Once In A Lifetime – You’ve heard it for about a year now and today is finally the day The Rock and John Cena clash at the main event of Wrestlemania XXVIII (that’s 28 for those Roman numeral illiterate). Combine this cross-generational match-up with a (mostly) well thought out card featuring the heavy-hitters of “This Business” and you’re looking at an event that could match the hype that “Professional Wrestling’s Superbowl” promises to bring every year.
There are a total of 9 announced matches for the event and I will attempt to predict how each match will fare. If you’re not fortunate enough to fly to South Beach to take in this year’s event in person you may notice you will only see 6 or 7 matches on the PPV telecast. That’s because some of the lower-card matches will only be streamed on WWE.com or YouTube to allow adequate match times for the main draws of the show.
Without further hesitation, here’s my predictions for each match-up:
WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico will defend against The Usos and Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd
With the way the WWE treats the Tag Team division now days it doesn’t surprise me at all to see this match announced the day before the event and only available for viewing on WWE.com and YouTube. You can also expect this match to last about 5 minutes and end with a title change and/or run-in (I’m looking at you Brodus Clay).
Prediction: The Usos. The Usos are the sons of Rikishi, who is the cousin of the late Rodney Anoa’i aka Yokozuna. With Yokozuna being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last night, Primo and Epico being squashed on a regular basis and Gabriel and Kidd being thrown together as late as Thursday I don’t see how The Usos don’t win this.
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos Vs. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve
The good news is the WWE used up both of their Wrestlemania “obligations” booking their celebrity for this match, Extra’s Maria Menounos, as well as and putting a Diva’s match on the card. The bad news is the match itself. I’m never going to complain about having some eye candy on the card but it still doesn’t hide the fact the Women’s division is terrible and therefore the actual wrestling sucks. That’s not the point of this match but I would have loved to see Karma involved in some capacity.
Prediction: This will be everyone’s bathroom break. I’m praying Karma runs in and smashes everyone but Beth and they have a series of title matches post-Wrestlemania. Since I have to pick a winner I’ll say Kelly Kelly and Maria pull this out because Eve is distracted by Zach Ryder.
Kane Vs. Randy Orton
This match came about because Wade Barrett got injured and they had to have one of their current franchise players in Randy Orton on the card of their biggest PPV. With Orton’s presumed Mania opponent Wade Barrett injured, multiple month’s worth of storyline were thrown out the window. Kane is a good guy to include in this event for the more casual fan due to his pyrotechnics and monster persona, but in term’s of match quality this should be a total borefest.
Prediction: Orton RKO’s Kane after a relatively short match.
Team Teddy (Long) Vs. Team Johnny (Laurinaitis)
I may be one of the few members of the IWC (Internet Wresting Community) that’s actually looking forward to this one. It may be because I’m holding out hope that the end result of this match is dissolving the brand split. This should be a fun match-up as you’ll more than likely see everyone’s finishers and of course Santino’s “Cobra”.
Prediction: I’m fully expecting this match-up to be a tad bit difficult to keep track of once the finisher’s start flying, but after the dust settles I’m predicting Vickie interferes and Team Johnny prevails. Of course Mr. McMahon could come in after the match and say none of this mattered and take over both brands himself.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes Vs. Big Show
The buildup of this match-up has been phenomenal. From Big Show’s “Fail Reel” to Rhodes pulling his best “Little Mac” impression, the buildup has been fun and entertaining. Also, can you remember the last Intercontinental Championship match you actually cared about? This may be the biggest IC match in a while so I’m going to take this one in.
Prediction: I don’t see the WWE having Show be embarrassed for this long without the pay-off of this story being Big Show knocking Rhodes out with a WMD. That being said, I think Rhodes retains the belt by DQ but is on his back after everything is all said and done.
World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan Vs. Sheamus
I’m not going to mention their match-up last year at this time since it’s been discussed ad nauseum but it’s definitely awesome to have these guys in the brightest of spotlights. I would have liked to have seen more of a buildup for these 2 on Raw, but this match-up should be fun nonetheless. It’s almost impossible for Bryan to have a bad match with anyone and the crowd loves Sheamus so expect the crowd to be amped. Regardless of the result, I’m predicting these 2 will have a 3-4 month Post-Mania feud for the title.
Prediction: Bryan has been champion for over 100 days. Sheamus is the new darling within WWE headquarters. You combine these 2 caveats and you almost have to predict Sheamus is going to win on the Industry’s biggest stage so that’s exactly what I’m predicting. Bryan doesn’t need to be champion and he can be a thorn in Sheamus’ for month’s to come.
WWE Champion CM Punk Vs. Chris Jericho
If I told you this WASN’T the main event of Wrestlemania you would tell me I’m crazy. That’s how loaded the card is this year. In terms of pure wrestling I’m cautiously expecting a Savage-Steamboat type match between the 2 “Best in the Worlds”. I say cautiously because I’m not sure how the whole unnecessary “Your Dad’s a Drunk” storyline will come in to play here.
Prediction: With the uncertainty of Jericho’s contract there’s a few directions this could go. We’ve already seen the “Outgoing Wrestler Wins the Title” angle during the “Summer of Punk” so I don’t see that happening here and for all we know Y2J’s signed for another 5 years. It wouldn’t shock me 1 bit if this match is the 1 match you remember from this year’s event and I expect Punk to pull this one out with a technically sound roll-up. It’s going to be that kind of match.
The Undertaker Vs. Triple HHH in a Hell in a Cell Match (Special Referee Shawn Michaels)
THIS BUSINESS. END OF AN ERA. SHAWN IS BETTER THAN YOU. The storyline here has flip-flopped more times than Ric Flair on his retirement. I actually don’t care that it has. You could have told me that it was HHH Vs. The Deadman in a Hell in a Cell match at Mania and I would have watched. Adding HBK to the match was also unnecessary icing, but icing nonetheless.
Prediction: Shawn will probably inadvertently Sweet Chin Music one of these guys. Triple H will pull out the sledgehammer. Taker will do the flying clothesline. They’ll exchange finishing maneuvers. Taker will come out on top and make it a nice round 20-o. Taker will do his bended knee Deadman thing. I’ll love it all.
John Cena Vs. The Rock
Prediction: No summary needed for this one since you’ve heard this story to death after an entire year’s worth of buildup. There’s really no reason for The Rock to win since he’s part-time and it only hurts “THIS BUSINESS” to not put Cena over in this one. I know it’s in Dwayne’s hometown but I’m predicting Cena wins this one and they shake hands at the end. It’ll be reminiscent of Hogan “passing the torch” to the Rock 10 years earlier.
-Written by Derek H.