Preview: WWE WrestleMania XXVI

Usually, I give the back story to the event we’re about to preview and say how it came about.  But come on, man.  It’s WrestleMania.  ‘Nuff said.  Let’s check out the card.

WWE Championship Match
Batista(c) vs. John Cena
When will they ever learn that it’s just not smart to cross Vince McMahon?  When McMahon disgraced Bret Hart during his WWE return (see below), John Cena confronted him and called him a coward for his actions.  This simmered between Cena and McMahon until last month’s Elimination Chamber PPV.  Cena dethroned Sheamus and recaptured the WWE Championship, but McMahon would have the last laugh.  He granted Batista an immediate title shot and the Animal demolished the exhausted Cena to win the title.

Cena got his chance for a rematch, but only if he could beat Batista in a non-title match.  Batista quickly got himself dq’d with a kick to the groin, and the match was on.  Since then, it’s been non-stop intensity between the two.  The promos from both Cena and (shockingly enough) Batista have been excellent,  and this is really an exciting feud.  Everything seems to be pointing towards a happy ending for Cena, but I’ve learned to never try to guess on the obvious at WrestleMania.  Actually, I’m going to anyway.  My bet is for Cena to win.

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho(c) vs. Edge
This one starts all the way back at The Bash in June.  Jericho and Edge were entered into a tag team title match and captured the titles from Carlito and Primo.  Less than a week later, however, Edge tore an Achilles tendon and was put on the shelf for months.  Jericho took the opportunity to verbally bash Edge before announcing his new partner to be the Big Show.  Edge made a surprise return at the Royal Rumble, eliminating Jericho and capturing the guaranteed title shot at WrestleMania.  Jericho, shockingly enough, captured the World title at Elimination Chamber when Shawn Michaels surprisingly entered the Chamber and hit champion Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music.  It was inevitable that Edge would take his shot against Jericho.

What makes this feud slightly odd is that Edge is the face here.  He first turned heel back in 2004 (abandoning partner Chris Benoit) and has been the top heel of the company nearly ever since.  The fans took to his return, however, and have accepted him in this role.  You have to think that it won’t be long before he’s back on the dark side, but it may not be here.  As for a winner?  I don’t know.  It seems like Edge will have this one in hand, but I could also see Jericho pulling out the shocking upset and this thing going past this match.

Streak vs. Career Match
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Last year, Shawn Michaels tried (and failed) to end the Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak with the two putting on what some have called the greatest match in ‘Mania history (take THAT Savage/Steamboat).  The two were given the prestigious Slammy Award for the match, and after accepting the award, Michaels challenged Undertaker to a rematch.  Obsessed with the idea, Michaels confronted Taker directly, but the Dead Man refused the challenge.  At that time the World Heavyweight Champion, Undertaker said that Michaels could only get a match with him if he won the Royal Rumble.  Michaels failed to do so.

To even the playing field, Michaels entered the Elimination Chamber during Undertaker’s match and cost him his title to Chris Jericho.  He then issued the challenge again.  A very peeved Taker accepted, but only on the condition that Michaels put his career on the line as well.  Since then, the two have been going back and forth with Taker trying to play his headgames and Michaels having none of it.  If nothing else, Michaels seems to have gotten more under Taker’s skin, which is very uncharacteristic of the Phenom.

If last year is any indication, this match will be fantastic.  Taker pulls out all the stops at ‘Mania, and Shawn Michaels is an in-ring perfectionist on the big stage.  It will be awesome.  As for a winner?  You know, usually I’d say Undertaker without a doubt.  But with HBK’s career on the line?  Is he really ready to retire?  I don’t know.  I’m going to say Undertaker, with Michaels showing back up once in a while for various events.  But that does make me very sad.

No Disqualification Match
Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
So did you hear about the one where this guy gets legitimately screwed out of his WWF Championship right before he leaves the company?  Seriously, I’m not going to explain the Montreal Screwjob to you here.  If you’re reading this blog, then you probably already know the details.  This started when Hart served as the special guest host of Raw back in January.  After settling things with Shawn Michaels, he confronted Vince McMahon who initially cleared things with him, but then kicked him in the gut and left him laying in the ring.  After catching crap from several superstars, McMahon invited Hart back, but this time attacked him with help from Batista.

Hart hinted at a WrestleMania match against McMahon, but it wasn’t until Hart seemingly broke his leg that McMahon actually accepted.  At the contract signing, Hart changed the stipulation to a no-DQ match, then revealed that his leg was not actually broken at all.  And here we are.

This match is really going to be carried by its hype and little else.  McMahon is  borderline OK in the ring, but the man is 64 years old.  Hart is just over 50, but had his career ended by concussions then suffered a stroke.  There’s not a lot the two can do in the ring.  But Hart’s moniker of ‘the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be’ isn’t for nothing.  I’m sure he’ll find a way to make the match watchable and probably even fun.  This will require Vince getting beaten on a whole lot.  Expect Hart to get the win with the Sharpshooter and finally get his happy ending with the WWE.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Kane vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre

When the Money in the Bank match was created, it was a six-man ladder match.  A couple of years ago, that number was expanded to eight.  Now, 10 guys have been entered into the match.  It’s basically a forum for all the popular guys who don’t have anything else to do on the show.  The only participants of notice are Christian, who spent most of the last year as the (now-defunct) ECW Champion, and Drew McIntyre who is doing a ‘chosen one’ gimmick.  Jack Swagger has also been getting a lot of face time as of late, but he did at the Rumble as well.

This match is going to be a mess.  There are simply too many people involved.  Get your suspension of disbelief ready because you’re really going to need it to believe that one move puts guys on the mat for six minutes at a time.  As for a winner – let’s work backwards here.  The winner gets a guaranteed title shot at any point during the year, so who can work with that?  It’s safe to say that Kane and Matt Hardy will not be winning here, nor will Evan Bourne.  A while ago, I would have said yes to Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger or MVP, but all of their stars seemed to have greatly diminished since then.  Shelton Benjamin is constantly looking to take that next step, but I don’t think it’s going to be here.  I would have given a definite to Kofi Kingston just a few months ago, but he’s gone from a main-event level feud with Randy Orton to getting squashed by Batista.  That leaves Christian and Drew McIntyre.  Personally, I’d prefer Christian because it seems like McIntyre just isn’t living up to the hype he’s been given.  But the WWE seems keen on him, so I’d say it’s a pretty safe choice.

Unified Tag Team Championship Match
ShowMiz (The Miz & Big Show)(c) vs. John Morrison & R-Truth
Shortly after defeating D-Generation X for the tag straps, The Miz showed up on Smackdown (as is his right) to stake his claim to the show.  This didn’t sit well with GM Theodore Long, who held a #1 contendership match for the belts at WrestleMania.  Despite having been in 20 million matches against each other Cryme Tyme and the Hart Dynasty failed to defeat new opponents John Morrison and R-Truth, who won the match.  Since then, the two teams have been taunting each other time and time again.

But The Miz also has NXT to deal with.  The highest profile star on the show, Daniel Bryan, got saddled with Miz as his trainer.  All season, thus far, Bryan has suffered at the hands of his trainer and has even got some payback.  Expect Bryan to be a factor in this match.  Perhaps we could even see R-Truth’s rookie David Otunga.  As for a winner?  I have to say ShowMiz.  Morrison and R-Truth can go back to doing little to nothing while Miz and Big Show continue to run rampant on both shows.

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
Finally, we get the breakup of Legacy.  After taunting it forever, WWE finally broke the stable up by having Rhodes and DiBiase plan to take out Orton, only to have Orton outsmart the two and keep the advantage.  One would assume that it’s more of a two-on-one here, but expect egos to get in the way and the union of Rhodes and DiBiase to quickly dissolve.  Where does that leave the match?  Orton takes advantage of the chaos, as Orton does, and picks up the win.

Triple H vs. Sheamus
Because neither of them have anything else to do since DX broke up and Sheamus lost the WWE title, here we are.  No one seems to think very highly of Sheamus, but if the WWE really wants to cement him as a big star, a WrestleMania win over Triple H would do it.  Personally, I just don’t see that happening.  I’m going with Triple H.

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
I feel bad about this, but I really haven’t kept up with this feud.  I know the stipulation is that if CM Punk wins, Mysterio is forced into membership of the Latino World Order Straight Edge Society.  With Serena and Luke Gallows in the mix, I fully expect Punk to pull the win and keep this storyline going.  It would be much more interesting than ending it right here.

10-Diva Tag Team Match
Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve vs. Maryse, Michelle McCool, Layla, Alicia Fox, Vickie Guerrero
And because we have nothing to do with the Divas, this is thrown in to add some T&A (not Test and Albert).  All the divas (and Vickie) on the heel side are a bunch of bitches, and all the girls on the face side are cool.  I expect the heels to get the actual win, then the faces clear the ring and stand victorious.  Naked.  That’d be awesome.

Worth buying?
It’s WrestleMania.  If you’re not going to buy this one, don’t bother buying any of them.

Seriously, this is a really good card.  The title matches are going to be fantastic, Hart vs. McMahon will be a spectacle (the good kind), as will Money in the Bank (the bad kind).  The only match that will likely be uninteresting is Triple H vs. Sheamus.  But don’t let that sway you.  The rest of the show will be awesome.

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2 Responses to Preview: WWE WrestleMania XXVI

  1. The most important event from this WrestleMania is the Undertaker’s 18:0!!!

  2. Squishy says:

    Unfortunately, hbk retired, but he always will be Mr. WrestleMania.

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