Posts Tagged ‘Wrestlemania’

The Royal Rumble is upon us and it’s a great time of year to be a wrestling fan. As soon as the Rumble is over, the push to Wrestlemania begins. This year WWE decided to make it a 40-man Rumble. Seems like too many wrestlers. But hey, anything that gets Zack Ryder on the big stage is ok with me. Seriously, I hope it doesn’t turn into a big, giant mess. Hopefully it just means that guys like JTG, Primo, Santino Marella, Yoshi Tatsu and Chris Masters get eliminated quickly.

WWE has already announced 34 competitors so there will be six surprise entries in this year’s Rumble. Who could fill those six spots? The surprises usually make for an interesting wait in-between wrestlers. Remember 2008 when John Cena was the surprise entrant at #30? He went on to win but the fact that he showed up was huge. I don’t think anyone expected him to be back from his neck surgery so soon. I was watching the Royal Rumble at a bar near Chicago that year and the place went nuts when his music hit. I think we’re in for a few surprises this year. A couple have already been spoiled but it should still be interesting.

Here are the 34 wrestlers already confirmed for the Royal Rumble:

Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, David Hart Smith, David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Ezekial Jackson, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, Jack Swagger, John Cena, John Morrison, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Primo, R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, Santino Marella, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, Vladimir Kozlov, Wade Barrett, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder

Is he back?

The wrestling dirt sheets are reporting that Kevin Nash and Booker T will be two of the surprise entrants. I don’t know what kind of reaction Booker T will get but the place should erupt when/if Nash comes out. That leaves four more spots to be filled. HHH should be healthy enough to come back so he should be another surprise entrant. There’s no reason not to bring him back now. Wrestlemania is around the corner and he needs to build an angle to get him there. I just hope he doesn’t win. WWE needs something fresh this year and if Cena or HHH win, it will seem like the same ol’ same ol’. Last year Beth Phoenix became the second woman to enter the Rumble so why not Awesome Kong this year? She’s in the company and they’re waiting for the right moment to debut her and seems like as good a time as any.

Some other names to fill the remaining spots are Christian, Evan Bourne, Jerry Lawler, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Cody Rhodes. Christian, Bourne and Rhodes would be nice but the other two, not so much. We don’t need to see any token “Legends” in the Rumble. The Undertaker is another name, a huge name, being thrown around. That would be big but does he really need a Wrestlemania push? He’ll be at Mania no matter what so winning the Royal Rumble is not a huge deal for him. He doesn’t need the rub.

Join a real company

An interesting angle I was thinking of was having Sting come out at #30. Sting has never been with WWE or WWF so this would be a big deal. This could lead to his induction into the Hall of Fame and possibly an angle with The Undertaker. Sting is 51 years old and he doesn’t have much time left in the ring. He’s hardly ever in TNA for an extended period of time so why not move to the E and finish his career there? The Hall of Fame should be the pinnacle for anyone in the business. I don’t know if Sting cares about that but it would be a good end of a career. Does he really want his last memories of a wrestler be in TNA?

The Mexican JBL

So who’s gonna win the whole thing? As long as it’s not HHH and John Cena, anyone else is fine with me. It’s not that I am a Cena or HHH hater, it’s just that we’ve seen that before. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Alberto Del Rio winning the Rumble. He may be too new to do it but he’s such a great heel and if he doesn’t win it this year, he should win it very soon. The guy is gonna be a star. John Morrison, CM Punk, Sheamus and Wade Barrett would also be good choices.

Speaking of CM Punk and Wade Barrett, maybe the Royal Rumble will come down to Nexus vs The Corre (Nexus II). The final participants could be a combination of CM Punk’s Nexus (Punk, Otunga, Harris, McGillicutty, Ryan) and Wade Barrett’s Corre (Barrett, Gabriel, Slater, Jackson). This could be a preview to an eventual Nexus v Nexus showdown at Wrestlemania. What also could take place is that Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield could reappear at the Rumble and each could be one of the unannounced entrants. There, Tarver and Sheffield could choose sides and rejoin Nexus or join The Corre.

He really is awesome

There are other matches on the Royal Rumble card. Natalya  will be facing Lay-Cool in a two-on-one handicap match for the Diva’s Title that nobody will really care about. Natalya should retain and hopefully we start to see some dissension in Lay-Cool so they can finally break up this annoying team. Edge will take on Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Title. This should be a decent match and Vickie Guerrero will generate a ton of heat. Ziggler is enjoyable to watch but now is not his time to win the title. Randy Orton will take on The Miz for the WWE Title. No way The Miz loses this match. He’s too good of a heel champion to end his reign now. There’s also no way Randy Orton loses clean in this match either. Alex Riley will somehow take some punishment so Miz can get the win. Look for Riley to eat an RKO from Orton but also for Riley to interfere in order for The Miz to get the win.

Except for the Divas match, the card looks pretty good.

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The World Cup is finally here and I’m here to get you up to speed on what’s gonna happen in South Africa.  Remember to come back after every matchday to get my thoughts on what’s going on in the World Cup.

I don’t think there’s much excitement from the other contributors at Reverse Oreo Sports but my excitement level is at near Wrestlemania levels.  As I stated in my preview to this preview, I haven’t missed a minute of the World Cup since 1994.  I watched a ton of games between 1982 and 1990 but they didn’t always have every game on or I would have been all over them too.  I’m already planning my sleep schedule around these games because living in Korea means we’ll have games starting at 8:30 pm and the latest game starting at 3:30 am.

There are so many great players in this World Cup but it seems to me that there are not that many great teams.  Before writing this post I was all over England and germany doing well in the tournament but looking at the groups and the games more closely, I’ve had a change of heart.  I want England to win but I just don’t think they can.  Fabio Capello might be able to get more out of England than any other coach but it may not be enough.  Italy shouldn’t do well but somehow they’ll manage.  So many storylines and that’s what makes the World Cup so great.

World Cup 2010 in South Africa should be interesting.  The venue makes it even more interesting.  Will there be problems?  I hope not.  Africa deserved to finally host this prestigious tournament and South Africa was probably the best choice.  I’m sure there will be minor glitches but there always are, except at Germany 2006 because the Germans know how to get things done.

I grew up watching Italy because the family is from there so they will always be my team but this team is annoying the hell out of me.  For the past eight years this team has been so whiney and annoying that it’s been hard for me to root for them but I always do and always will.  I’m looking forward to the new generation of Italian stars.  Maybe they’ll be more tolerable than this one.

Let me drop some knowledge on you.

Group A (France, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay):

France

As we all know, France shouldn’t be in this World Cup but they are and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t make it out of this group.  They’re stacked but this team won’t go too far.  Hugo Lloris (Lyon) is one of the top keepers in the world so he should be solid.  On of my favorite players, Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), is on this team but the player to watch might be midfielder Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux).  He was with AC Milan for a bit but they let him loose (too soon).  Everyone wants him and he should be moving on to bigger and better things later this summer.

Mexico

My sleeper team in this World Cup is Mexico.  I have them making some noise in this tournament.  They’re a young team with a surprising amount of European based players.  It’s probably the most European based players Mexico has ever had going into any World Cup.  Giovani Dos Santos (Galatasaray) should be the star and he can make things happen.  I saw Mexico beat Italy last week in a friendly and Mexico just looked faster, quicker and had more energy than the Italians.

Giovani Dos Santos will make some noise

South Africa

South Africa are the hosts but that might be all they have going for them.  No host nation has ever failed to make it out of the first round.  This might be the year it happens.  Steven Pienaar (Everton) is the brightest star on this team but the rest of the squad is so-so.  There are sixteen South African League based players and I don’t think that’s a good thing.  Anyway, thanks for hosting.

Uruguay

I want to like Uruguay but they might not have enough to get themselves to the second round.  Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Ajax) should give teams fits but the midfield is where they might not stack up.  I hope Palermo’s Edinson Cavani gets a chance to show his stuff but most likely England is in his future.

Group winner:  Mexico

Runner-up:  France

Group B (Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece):

Argentina

How does a team as stacked as Argentina limp into the World Cup?  Somehow Diego Maradona is a big help and a huge hinderance to this team.  Hopefully he can keep it together through the tournament without hitting or shooting anyone.  The Inter duo of Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso are huge omissions but let’s not forget that the greatest player in the world is on this team.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) should OWN this World Cup.  If he struggles, so does Argentina.  If Diego Milito (Inter) is his strike partner, they should be unstoppable.  Will Carlos Tevez (Man City, for now) get the nod over Milito?  Tough choices for El Pibe de Oro.  By the way, Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) and Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) are also forwards on this team.  That’s a nice problem to have.

The king of the (soccer) world

Nigeria

This team should do well but will they?  Playing on African soil doesn’t hurt.  Nigeria has a lot of good players but not great ones and that’s what will keep them down.  Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg) is key for this team.

Korea Republic (the good one)

South Korea has a ton of talent but most of it is in the midfield.  Park Ji Sung (Manchester United), Lee Chung Yong (Bolton), and Kim Sung Yeung (Celtic) will control the game for the Reds but who’s gonna put the ball in the net?  Park Chu Young (AS Monaco) is on the big stage playing in France but he only had eight goals in twenty appearances in Ligue 1.  An aging Ahn Jung Hwan (Dalian Shide) is on this team but it may only be for sentimental purposes.  Lee Seung Yeoul (FC Seoul) probably be the player to pick up the slack.

Greece

Sure Greece won Euro 2004 but what have you done lately?  This team doesn’t scare me one bit.  Georgios Samaras (Celtic) and Sotirios Kyrgiakos (Liverpool) are probably the best players on this team.  I would tell you about more players but I don’t want to type all those a’s, o’s, i’s, u’s, s’s and t’s.

Group winner:  Argentina

Runner-up:  South Korea

Group C (Algeria, England, Slovenia, USA):

Algeria

At first I thought this team was France II but, looking at their roster, I was wrong.  Algerian players are all over Europe, not just France.  They play in nine different European leagues.  Algeria was good enough to beat African powerhouses Egypt to make it to the World Cup but not good enough to make it out of the first round in South Africa.

England

This England team is very good but it will only go as far as their goalkeeping will take them and that’s the problem.  David James (Portsmouth) is shaky, Joe Hart (Birmingham City) is young and Robert Green (West Ham) is new.  If Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) continues his hot form, this team will be fun to watch.

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) is out but that’s not the biggest loss to this team, Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United) is.  Hargreaves was by far the best player for England in Germany 2006.  He could play anywhere and came up huge when the team needed him.  Sadly, he hasn’t played much in the last 19 months due to an injury.  Versatile players are gold to a team.

You will be missed Owen Hargreaves

Slovenia

This team usually does not play good defensively but Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble) will be their rock on defense and it should improve.  This is a very young team.  I don’t know why but this team will make some waves in this group.  I’m a sucker for teams that have players whose last names end in ic.  Maybe that’s why I also like Serbia in this tournament.  Samir Handanovic (Udinese) is a proven keeper in Serie A and that could be the difference between them finishing second or third.

USA

As much as I’m not a fan of USA Soccer, this team has talent.  Not just mediocre MLS talent but talent with real European experience.  I hope they’re not expecting too much from Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), seeing as how he missed the entire Serie A season due to an injury.  Plus, he just wasn’t that good when he was healthy anyway.  Is Jozy Altidore (Hull City) the answer?  He didn’t do much in England this year.  I’m sure the big fish in a small pond, Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) will get a lot of face time.  Whatever!

One of the reasons why I like the World Cup is because it’s the time every four years when the US pretends to care about soccer and vow to take it to the next level in the hearts of all Americans.  Not so much.  They forget that four years ago the level of interest was exactly the same, no more, no less.

Group winner:  England

Runner-up:  Slovenia

Group D (Australia, Germany, Ghana, Serbia):

Australia

Australia has a lot of players you may have heard of but none that really scare you.  Tim Cahill (Everton) is their biggest weapon but he’s struggling to be fit for the opener against Germany.  Don’t expect too much from this team.

Germany

Germany is a machine when it comes to big time competitions.  Michael Ballack (Chelsea) is out but I’m sure this team will be just fine.  Expect big things from Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne) and Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich).

Bastian will be Germany's BMOC

Ghana

Because of their quickness and pace, Ghana did a lot of damage in the 2006 World Cup but this team might not be as good as that one.  The loss of Michael Essien (Chelsea) is a big one.  Sulley Muntari (Inter) and Stephen Appiah (Bologna) will have to carry the load.  Another African team that won’t go far.

Serbia

Serbia, formally known as Serbia and Monetenegro, formally known as Yugoslavia, are very talented.  Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio). Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Dejan Stankovic (Inter) and Nikola Zigic (Valencia) are all big stars in Europe and they can get this team out of the first round.  The only problem I see is that they have a retread in Radomir Antic at the helm.

Group winner:  Germany

Runner-up:  Serbia

Group E (Cameroon, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands)

Cameroon

You never know which Cameroon team will show up to the big games.  This team is very young.  Even Samuel Eto’o (Inter)  is only 28 years old.  Cameroon might do better in another group but Denmark and the Netherlands are better.

Denmark

This team should have a pretty good defense with the likes of Christian Poulsen (Juventus), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Kjaer (Palermo) and Per Kroldrup (Fiorentina).  That’s formidable.  Forward Nicklas Bendtner (Liverpool) likes like he’ll be back from a groin injury in time for the opener.  Not too many people are talking up Denmark but this is a solid team.

Japan

Most likely a down tournament for Japan.  Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow) and Shunsuke Nakamura (Yokohama F Marinos) are the stars but there is little else to be excited about.  They were beaten at home 2-0 by South Korea in a friendly in late May.

Netherlands

This team is filled with talent but the injury to Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) casts a big shadow over the team.  He’s surely out of the opener with Denmark.  I think they might be able to do without him for the opening round of this weak group.  Mark Van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Inter) and Nigel De Jong (Manchester City) can pick up the slack until round two.  Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) and Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan) should be lethal up front.  Huntelaar is my pick to be among the top scorers in the tournament.

I can see this guy scoring a lot of goals

Group winner:  Netherlands

Runner-up:  Denmark

Group F (Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia)

Italy

How Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria) and Fabrizio Miccoli (Palermo) didn’t make this team is beyond me but coach Lippi has his “guys” and who are we to change his mind?  There has to be a reason why Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus) is on this team.  It just can’t be the fact that he plays for Juventus.

Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan) looks like he’ll be ready for the opener but he might still sit out just to be safe.  He suffered a groin injury in a friendly against Mexico last week.  He’s key.  This team is an older team and don’t expect them to repeat.  They’ll get lucky like they always do and go far but no more magic.

New Zealand

This team should be happy to be here.  If Australia stays in the Oceania region then the Kiwi’s are just watching this tournament on television.  New Zealand is probably one of the worst teams in the World Cup.  There are quite a few local players on this team and that’s not good (see South Africa).  Plus, there are two players who aren’t even attached to a league team anywhere.  How does that happen?  Not much to say.

Paraguay

Looks like a solid team and hopefully Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City) can knock off some the rust and make a difference for this team.  Paraguay likes to grind out games and they’re not big on scoring in the World Cup.  Let’s hope they can be more interesting this year.  They’re lucky to be in this weak group.

Slovakia

As far as I can tell, Marek Hamsik (Napoli) and Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) are the best players on this team and everyone else is “good”.  Not good enough for this World Cup but this is a really young team.  Watch out for the Czech Republic’s less popular sister at Brazil 2014.

It's too soon for Hamsik but at Brazil 2014, watch out for Slovakia

Group winner:  Italy

Runner-up:  Paraguay

Group G (Brazil, Ivory Coast, Korea DPR, Portugal)

Brazil

No Ronaldinho, no problem.  Brazil is just Brazil.  They got younger and are just as good as ever.  Kaka (Real Madrid) is the key and it doesn’t matter who’s playing alongside him because they’re all good.  They’ll probably coast in the last game of round one because it won’t mean much.  Champs?

Ivory Coast

Before the tournament everyone tries to figure out which African team will go the furthest.  How about none of them?  They all don’t make it out of round one.  This is the best African team in the tournament but not the best African team out there.  Egypt would have done well had they been able to beat Algeria in the one-off game to get into the World Cup.  Too bad Didier Drogba (Chelsea) will be limited because of an elbow injury sustained during a friendly against Japan.  As Drogba goes, so does the team.

Korea DPR (the bad one)

Don’t know much about this team except that they only have three players who ply their trade abroad.  The rest of the players come from the PRK League and I have a feeling that league isn’t one of the strongest in Asia.  They had a ton of trouble with Nigeria in a friendly last week.  I’ll be surprised if they score a goal.  On a side note, I heard that the North Korea games will be shown in the DPRK only if they win.  Looks like North Koreans won’t get the chance to see World Cup soccer.

Win or don't come home

Portugal

If Portugal can take time away from diving to actually play good soccer, they will have no trouble in this group.  The Brazil-Portugal match-up will be one of the marquee games of this tournament.  Too bad it’s the last game in the group and won’t mean much.  Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) will own the center of the midfield and Nani (Manchester United) should be causing trouble over on the right side.  Defensively they’re solid.

Group winner:  Brazil

Runner-up:  Portugal

Group H (Chile, Honduras, Spain, Switzerland)

Chile

Chile will make it out of this group because they’re better than Honduras and Switzerland but not much further than that.  Mark Gonzalez (CSKA Moscow) and Humberto Suazo (Zaragoza) will team up at forward and should be able to punish everyone except Spain.

Mark Gonzalez should be enough to get Chile over

Honduras

Honduras has some quality players.  Wilson Palacios (Tottenham), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), David Suazo (Genoa), and Victor Bernardez (Anderlecht) have made it in Europe but I’m not sold on the rest.

Spain

Remember when Spain was supposed to go into World Cups and European Cups and be great, only to fade early?  I do.  Am I supposed to forget about that since they won Euro 2008?  Looking at this team, maybe I can.  Will Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal, for now) be fit?  That’s huge.  David Villa (Barcelona) and Fernando Torres (Liverpool) should score lots of goals.  This team goes far.

Switzerland

Switzerland has a collection of good but not great players.  No one really excites me enough to choose Switzerland over Chile.

Group winner:  Spain

Runner-up:  Chile

Round 2 (Round of 16):

1A v 2B – Mexico v Korea – Winner:  Mexico

1C v 2D – England v Serbia – Winner:  England

1D v 2C – Germany v Slovenia – Winner:  Germany

1B v 2A – Argentina v France – Winner:  Argentina

1E v 2F – Netherlands v Paraguay – Winner:  Netherlands

1G v 2H – Brazil v Chile – Winner:  Brazil

1F v 2E – Italy v Denmark – Winner:  Italy

1H v 2G – Spain v Portugal – Winner:  Spain

Quarterfinal:

Netherlands v Brazil – Winner:  Brazil

Mexico v England – Winner:  England

Argentina v Germany – Winner:  Germany

Italy v Spain – Winner:  Spain

Semifinal:

England v Brazil – Winner:  Brazil

Brazil will be too fast for England.

Germany v Spain – Winner:  Spain

Germany will want to try and slow this game down but they might not be able to stop Spain

Final

Brazil v Spain

If this final happens it will be one of the best finals ever.

Champion

Brazil

This team is just too stacked to not win the World Cup.

Top Scorers:

Lionel Messi

Klaas Jan Huntelaar

David Villa

World Cup MVP:

Kaka

I didn’t mention them but I hope the referees don’t ruin this World Cup.  Be consistent and don’t try to be an important part of the game.  If you go through a game without noticing the referee, that’s a good referee.  Unfortunately, Olegario Benquerenca of Portugal is one of the referees in the tournament.  I mentioned him in February and said he shouldn’t get another big game after his performance in the AC Milan – Manchester United Champions League, round of 16, first leg match.  Somehow, he’s in South Africa.  Roberto Rosetti of Italy is also in the World Cup.  Why?  Is this the best Italy can produce?

Enjoy the World Cup.  I know I will.

Looks like the trophy will be headed to Brazil. Hopefully no one steals it, again

This Sunday is Wrestlemania XXVI and I know The Blasian and The Bearded One don’t give a crap but there are a ton of you out there who do.  Yes, I’m a huge wrestling mark and this is my Super Bowl.  I watch RAW, NXT, SmackDown and I scour the websites for wrestling news every day.  I also contribute to The Don Tony and Kevin Castle Show.  The Blasian and The Bearded One are laughing right now but they can suck it.

There are nine matches announced and I like them all.  The Hart v McMahon match might be the weakest on paper but I think outside interference will make it a better match.  Top to bottom, all the matches look like they could tear down the house.  Thankfully, there isn’t a diva match on the card to bring this Wrestlemania down.

The matches:

Undertaker v Shawn Michaels – This is a rematch of last year’s epic showdown.  It will be a career vs streak match.  There is no way Undertaker loses this match and there is no way Michaels retires.  So how do they make this work?  Officially, Undertaker pins HBK but it won’t be clean.  There has to be someone who affects the outcome.  The top candidates are Bret Hart, Vince McMahon and HHH.

Bret Hart could get revenge for the Montreal Screwjob by costing Michaels the match and his career.  They reconciled on TV on January 4th, or so it seemed, but that may have been a way for Hart to lull HBK into a false sense of security.  Does Bret Hart really want to go out like that?  While this is interesting, it’s unlikely that Bret would want to be known as the person who ended Michaels’ career.  Maybe The Hart Dynasty could do the job for him?

Vince McMahon could punish HBK for getting involved in his business.  HHH told him to stay out of the Bret-Vince thing because Michaels has already been punished before for sticking his nose in the Chairman’s business.  Vince loves being the bad guy so it wouldn’t be hard for him to get involved in this.

The only problem with Bret Hart or Vince McMahon getting involved in this match is that they will have already fought earlier in the card.  The HBK – Taker match should close the show.

HHH is my likely candidate to get involved and cost Michaels his career.  There has been dissention in the DX ranks for a few months and maybe HHH has had enough of Michaels only thinking about himself.  Plus, HHH needs a change and heel turn might do him good.

Whoever gets involved, The Undertaker will be 18-0 after Mania and HBK will be retired, for now.  If Vince or HHH gets involved then look for Michaels to be away for about six months and then come back to get his revenge, and then retire for good.

WWE Champ Batista v John Cena – The build-up to this match has been tremendous.  Cena is the same ol’ Cena but Batista has taken it to the next level.  This heel Batista is the best he’s ever been.  He’s been telling the world what he thinks about Cena and it’s exactly what we have been thinking for quite a long time.  He’s ripped Cena as a corporate creation and isn’t impressed with his clever turn of phrase.

Hopefully this match can live up to the great build but I have a feeling it won’t.  It should be decent but if there’s interference in the Hart-McMahon match, this might be the lesser of all the matches.  Methinks John Cena takes the belt and that would be a shame.  WWE needs to keep building Batista’s heel persona, move past Cena and set his sights on another wrestler the fans might be tiring of (HHH?).

Look for Batista to destroy Cena for most of the match but then Cena will turn into Super Cena and somehow fight back and get the win.  That would be disappointing.  These guys really need to have a knock-down, drag-out brawl for this not to be a stinker.

World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho v Edge – Get ready for a fantastic match.  The build to this has been so good because of the work these guys do on the mic.  Jericho, Edge and CM Punk are the best talkers in the business right now and put Jericho and Edge on the list of all-time mic guys.

Edge came back to win the Rumble to get a shot at Chris Jericho.  Jericho bad mouthed Edge after Edge’s injury so we could see this coming from a mile away.  Edge is the face heel to Jericho’s textbook heel character.  I don’t know if I like Edge getting cheered but that spear chant is pretty awesome when the whole arena gets into it.  Jericho is just good period.  Plus, he’s not a bad singer.

Spear, Spear, Spear, Spear

This should be a physical match and these guys will take lots of bumps.  I’d be surprised if they didn’t bring the house down.  Too bad there are no stipulations or a special match.  I gotta believe Edge takes this and feuds with Jericho a bit more after Mania before moving on to start a program with Christian (MITB?).

HHH v Sheamus – Should be physical but no way HHH lets Sheamus get over on him at Wrestlemania.  Sheamus already had the spotlight.  Now it’s time for him to build himself back up but it won’t be here.  It should be the same formula as the Batista-Cena fight.  Sheamus will destroy HHH for a good portion of the match and then HHH fights back and hits a spine-buster out of nowhere and then the Pedigree.  This match can be saved with a lot of action outside the ring.

I haven't seen anyone this pasty since John Stockton

If, by some strange reason, Sheamus were to beat HHH here than look for a pissed off Hunter to turn heel and either cost Shawn his match or join forces with Vince against Bret Hart.  Maybe a heel turn would do him good.

Money In The Bank – Christian v Dolph Ziggler v Kane v Shelton Benjamin v Jack Swagger v MVP v Drew McIntyre v Kofi Kingston v Evan Bourne v Matt Hardy – Spot-fest but very enjoyable.  The legitimate winners of this match should be Christian, Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre (???).  Why The Chairman is in love with Drew McIntyre is beyond me but he’s in here and in the back of your mind you gotta believe he’s got a shot at winning this.  WWE wants him to be a big star and maybe him holding the briefcase makes him look more important than he really is.

Kofi Kingston’s stock has fallen in recent months but he’s a big draw and he’ll be back on top and maybe this is the match to get him there.  Rumor has it that Randy Orton was furious with Kofi after he botched a spot that led Orton to miss an RKO.  Randy complained, Vince listened, Kofi de-pushed.  Let’s see if this gets him back on track.  Look for a boom shot onto a ladder.

Boom all you want, just don't mess up Randy's RKO. He hates that.

Evan Bourne is in this for the crazy stuff he can do.  He has no shot of winning but he’ll fly around and take serious bumps.  Shelton Benjamin has been in this before and he can do some crazy stuff.  Kane is in this for name value and he can do a spot here and there.  Dolph Ziggler is just filler and I’d be surprised if he was still in at the end.

MVP is in so people can get excited about him and maybe he can get a push after this.  He needs a belt to matter.  He doesn’t have to win this (he won’t) but he needs to do something so people can remember him.

Jack Swagger needs this match (a good showing).  He went from ECW Champion to losing to Santino Marella.  He’s physical and can work but he doesn’t have anyone to feud with.  He needs a move to SmackDown to take on R-Truth and/or John Morrison.

The All-American American

Matt Hardy is a huge fan favorite and he knows his way around a ladder match.  He’ll do some crazy stuff, guaranteed.  Besides that, maybe WWE is giving him a rub in this match to keep him happy.  They would hate to see The Hardy Boyz reunite on TNA.  Matt is hot right now.  His rookie, Justin Gabriel, is a way over on NXT and it looks like WWE wants to push him.  I’d like to see him win this match but it won’t happen.  He’ll be in until the end.

Christian is the likely winner of the Money In The Bank Ladder Match.  I see him on a collision course with Edge.  That program would be awesome.  The only question is when would he cash in the briefcase?  He could do it later in the show but that wouldn’t be smart.  Edge and Christian are so over right now and WWE wouldn’t want either of them to start getting booed.  With an all Money In The Bank PPV coming later in the year, the winner can’t hold off too long.  We’ll see but this match will have you jumping out of your chair.

Unified Tag Team Championship – ShowMiz (Big Show & The Miz) v Truth and Wisdom (R-Truth & John Morrison) – Hopefully Big Show doesn’t play a big role in this match.  I see R-Truth and Morrison taking home the belts.  R-Truth needs to win some gold.  He’s over, moves merch and he’s done everything the company’s asked him to do.  It’s funny that Morrison is the more successful WWE wrestler of the two but he needs the rub of being with R-Truth to take the next step with the fans.  Truth makes up for Morrison not be able to talk on the mic.

Big Show will try to use his size and power to control the match and slow it down.  When Miz, R-Truth and Morrison are involved it should be fast-paced with some nice spots.  Somehow I have a feeling that Big Show might walk out on his partner for some reason.  He’s known to do that.  That would cost them the match.

Who knows, maybe Miz’ NXT rookie, Daniel Bryan, could interfere and cost ShowMiz the belts.  The Miz has been trying to teach Bryan a lesson since day one of NXT and it could be a little payback.  This would make this Tuesday more interesting on NXT because it time to grade the rookies.

Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase vs Cody Rhodes – Is this the match that elevates DiBiase or does Orton get over on his ex-Legacy members?  Cody Rhodes seems least likely to win this match.  Maybe Rhodes turns on DiBiase and does the job to prove his worth to Orton.  Cody Rhodes needs to be on a team because I don’t think he can get over as a singles wrestler, yet.  Ted DiBiase is ready to go single and win some belts.  He has the most to gain in this match.  Orton will still be Orton after the match.  Randy Orton could turn face but I don’t see how that would work.  My pick is DiBiase but I don’t know how it will happen.

Another interesting angle is that these guys just beat the hell out of each other and Randy Orton is so impressed that he reforms Legacy.  Sounds good but is that the best thing for DiBiase?

They need to get back together

CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio – If Mysterio loses, he has to join The Straight Edge Society.  There was talk of this being a hair vs mask match but I don’t think anyone believes that Mysterio will ever lose his mask.  The gimmick would die and WWE couldn’t afford to let that happen.  Mysterio is over and sells tons of merchandise.

Plus, CM Punk getting his head shaved would damage The Straight Edge Society and they need to last for a while.  It’s the best gimmick going and CM Punk is the best heel in the business (sorry Jericho) and no one is even close.  When Punk was singing Happy Birthday to Mysterio’s daughter on SmackDown, it was one of the creepiest things in a long time.  Punk is Jim Jones and he sells it so well.  His looks and the way he talks are so believable and he generates so much heat every time he comes out.

CM Punk wins this match.  It should be wild with plenty of nice spots.  So Mysterio will be in The Straight Edge Society?  How will that work?  Will he reluctantly join Punk’s clan or will a full heel turn be in Mysterio’s future?  Can the fans get behind a heel Mysterio?  This could be interesting.

Saving us from ourselves

Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon – This No Holds Barred match has interference written all over it.  This should be the last hurrah for Hart and I doubt he came back to lose in this match.  If WWE was smart, they would have The Hart Dynasty help out Bret and that would give them a rub because they’re not getting over on their own.

Shawn Michaels could get involved but on who’s side?  This would be interesting but how would he pull it off with his big match on the card.  If he got involved, it would have to be on Bret Hart’s side because I don’t think the fan’s want a Shawn Michaels heel turn.

Whoever gets involved, don’t expect Bret Hart to do too much and that’s why I think the interference will be on his side.  Bret Hart takes this and Vince McMahon takes a lot of punishment.  Bret Hart gets his revenge and goes out on top at Wrestlemania.  Bret gets his closure and will be back in the future to induct Owen into the Hall of Fame.

Quite the card.  I’m looking forward to it.  My favorite match on the card is Jericho vs Edge.  I hope WWE has Shawn Michaels – Undertaker end the show because the fans will be exhausted after the match and it won’t be fair to whoever would have to follow them.  If you’re a wrestling fan you shouldn’t miss this.  Even if you’re a TNA mark you can’t tell me that you’re not interested.  If you’re back in the States and don’t want to pay $50 for the PPV, go to Buffalo Wild Wings or any one of these locations and check it out.  I’m sure I’ll have lots to talk about on Monday.