WWE Wrestlemania 28 Predictions 2012 – April 1st, 2012 – Predictions from Smartasses Magazine Senior Editor- Johnny Video.
WWE Wrestlemania 28 Predictions 2012 | Pay Per View Predictions – SA Magazine
Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly vs. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve
Kelly Kelly officially takes over the Trish Stratus mantle on this one- your prerequisite ‘celebrity match’ to cater to the throngs of people who will be watching Wrestlemania for no other reason than the simple fact that it’s become an americana “Holiday”… and society dictates you should do so. Truthfully, I’m hard pressed to call Menounos a celebrity on this one, but she’s extremely attractive and she does have some relatively admirable history in the ring. In a way, it’s a shame that they didn’t start the marketing for this match a little earlier, because it really could have been pseudo iconic if they had, even though again, I may be giving the WWE a little too much credit, seeing as how the Divas Division is laughable at best. Yes, the wrestling has improved, but given the revolving door mentality they apply to the championship, and the way last month’s champ is next month’s jobber… it’s hard to take it too seriously. It’s no wonder real women’s wrestlers like Gail Kim have moved on to smaller & better. But I digress. Fact is, you can bet the house and the car on this one, it’s a lock- celebrities always win at Wrestlemania and this match will be no different. Cling to it for what it’s worth… there won’t be the same amount of ‘feel good’ matches you’re used to this year, but this will be one of them.
WINNER: Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly
Randy Orton vs. Kane
Again, with no buildup we sort of have a throwback-to-old-days match, that is on the card simply because it’s a good match. Then again, given the utter joke that Kane has become since the “no-mask” era, and the utterly ridiculous animations Randy Orton seems destined to perform every time he steps into the ring these days, “good” is a relative term. But both are seriously good performers when they need to be, and one would argue that they both deserve to be here. Most experts are picking Orton, but most ‘experts’ also like to take the path of least resistance when they’re not sure who’s going to win and go with the babyface. I think there’s more to this one than that. This match isn’t so much as who has the most to gain from a victory, as much as it is who stands to lose to most by losing, and the fact is, Kane has been nothing short of a punchline lately. So unless you want to continue seeing him do nothing but beating up Zack Ryder each week, the WWE needs to get him over as a baddie, and Randy Orton is the best man left to do the job for him. Besides, people out there are calling for a Cena heel-turn, and I think those people are putting their money on the wrong guy. Orton has always preferred being a heel so I look for him to snap, and do exactly that, shortly after losing this match- and probably beginning a new feud with Sheamus.
Match for Control of Raw and Smackdown
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny 12-Man Tag Team Match
To the ‘experts’ out there, this one is a no-brainer. In most people’s eyes, for professional wrestling to succeed you simply must have a heel General Manager in charge, and John Laurinaitis has played the role well. But they’re wrong if they think that’s guaranteeing him the victory here. First, look at the rosters- have you ever seen a more lopsided match in your life? People love rooting for the underdogs, and this ragtag team that Teddy Long has strung together sure fits the bill. Aside of that, yes, it’s good for entertainment purposes to have a heel “boss” in charge, but what people are forgetting is that given Laurinaitis’ spot within the company, he can still come in and pull strings and make life for everyone miserable, including Teddy Long, whether he’s the GM or not. Long on the other hand, becomes one-hundred-percent irrelevant if he loses. And before someone plays the “He can go back to being a manager” card, remember one thing- managers are typically heels by default and Teddy is a babyface. Therefore my money is on Teddy to win, with John-John continuing to throw his weight around and interfere with Long’s affairs on the weekly telecasts- until Triple H gets tired of it and challenges him to a match at Summerslam.
WINNER: Team Teddy
Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Big Show
Keep in mind, Big Show is getting up there in terms of age (he was in the n.W.o. after all) so there is an ever so slight chance that he shuts Cody Rhodes up, gets his revenge for Rhodes’ recent verbal onslaught, and finally gets his Wrestlemania Moment in the twilight of his career. But I don’t think we’re there yet. For what it’s worth, it’s still almost as entertaining watching Big Show lose at the Big Dance every year as much as it is watching Undertaker keep up the winning streak, and I believe the trend continues here. Besides, it’s time for Cody Rhodes to take that ‘next step’, and retaining the title here is the path to it. He’s been a great heel, defending his Intercontinental Title as little as humanly possible, and I say that deliciously heel-trend will be allowed to continue for awhile- perhaps even long enough for him to break Honky Tonk Man’s record for holding the IC belt the longest. Besides, no one will argue that this matchup was a bit thrown together. So without giving away my next prediction, I see this as nothing more than an entertaining delay to get Big Show back in the hunt for the World Heavyweight title mix, after Wrestlemania is done and over.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes
World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Sheamus
This match is definitely going to start out with Sheamus beating the living tar out of Daniel Bryan, and showing the world exactly why Bryan has no business wearing the belt. But it’s not going to end that way. Never in a million years did I ever believe I’d be saying this, but Daniel Bryan has been a great heel-champion for the past few months, and the WWE would be absolutely nuts to job him out right now. Besides, given the fact that it was exactly one year ago at Wrestlemania 27 where these two battled for the US Title in a dark match with the heel-babyface roles flip-flopped, I think Sheamus still has to suffer a little more injustice to truly get the fans behind him all the way. Personally, I think the WWE wants to focus more on the slowly dissolving relationship between Bryan and AJ Lee, so I look for Daniel to ‘use’ AJ in some underhanded way to retain his belt. Sheamus will move on (for some yet to be determined reason) to battle with a heel-turned Randy Orton later on in the month, and it will actually be Big Show, the lovable-loser, who resumes the feud with Bryan for the rest of the warm weather months, in both an effort to defend AJ Lee’s honor, and hopefully win the belt in the process. Call Vegas, this one’s a lock.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan
Best In The World vs. Best In The World – WWE Championship
CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho
If anyone actually gave a damn about Chris The Lionheart Jericho, this one would have a great opportunity to steal the show. Problem is, no one does, though I would venture to say from a pure wrestling point of view, this one may steal the night. With that said, there are actually two reasons I know CM Punk walks away with the victory on this one. First and foremost, CM Punk has arguably carried the WWE on his back for the better part of the year, and there’s no way that the WWE is going to blow the opportunity to reward him for that on their biggest stage. Secondly, Wrestlemania simply has to end on a ‘feel-good’ note and given the fact that we’ll be robbed of that this year no matter who wins the Rock-Cena match, the WWE has to make up for it by giving us two feel-good matches leading up to it. Besides, let’s face the facts here- in spite of the fact that Jericho did just sign a contract extension (though he will be touring with Fozzy this Summer) to steal a line from Cena, he’s still a “visitor” and you don’t put belts on visitors at Wrestlemania. The storyline will most likely continue after the lights go down tomorrow night, but I look for a thirty minute match ending with Punk hitting Chris in mid-lionsault with his patented GTS. So start singing it now, “In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle, The Lionheart Goes To Sleep Tonight…”
WINNER: CM Punk
End Of An Era
Triple H vs. The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell, with Shawn Michaels as the Guest Referee
First of all, let’s consider the facts. First fact- Word on the street is that The Undertaker has it written into his contract that he can choose whether he wins or loses at Wrestlemania. Without saying it’s anything ‘selfish’, no one would argue with ‘Taker if he chose to go 20-0 as it’s simply the best decision for the WWE’s legacy. Second fact- Assuming Undertaker no longer has that creative control for a minute, everyone on the planet knows that Triple H does. Hunter does a great deal, if not all of the booking for the WWE. Do you have any idea how much heat he would catch if he chose to be so megalomaniacal as to send The Undertaker off into the sunset with a loss? Not to mention that, though no one will argue that it is indeed time for The Undertaker to retire, if he loses- he has zero appeal for ever making a comeback. However, if he remains undefeated, who is to say that in five years, if the WWE needs a big push and wants to bring someone out of retirement (as they always seem to feel the need to do for Wrestlemania these days), that we won’t see “One More Time” with ‘Taker vs. Whomever? So the question isn’t who is going to win on April 1st, 2012, it’s a matter of how Undertaker will score the victory.
Enter Shawn Michaels. You are being led to believe that somehow Michaels is there to screw Triple H out of the victory, with a slow count, interference, or something else, based on the buildup between Shawn & HHH about who gave Taker a better run for his money. Folks, this is a swerve. Though there is a slight possibility that Michaels may call for the bell while The Dead Man has The King of Kings in a submission hold, in a way that will blatantly hearken back to the Montreal Screwjob of 1997, not only does this match deserve a clean finish (for a clean 20-0, versus a twenty-first match that would be inevitable if it doesn’t end clean), I also believe you are considering the wrong Heartbreak Kid match if you feel that way. The one you should be thinking about, is Michaels vs. Ric Flair, because… look at the name of this match- “The End of an Era”. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a retirement match. Let’s face it, the story within the story here is that HHH has more integrity than Shawn Michaels, and even though Ric Flair “wouldn’t have wanted it any other way” and Michaels apologized before he did it, Shawn still superkicked Flair so that Ric had to go out on a losing note. This is Triple H’s chance to one up him, and he will take it. As the characters go, Triple H knows that Taker deserves to retire undefeated at Wrestlemania, he also needs to “finish” ‘Taker for his own sense of self-esteem, and back to the “business” side of things, Hunter needs to leave this match as a clear-cut babyface so that he can get properly involved, when all the white-collar story-stuff comes down the pipe between John Laurinaitis & Teddy Long in the near future (in fact, bank on HHH vs Laurinaitis at Summerslam).
So here’s how it’s going to shake down- This match will last 45 minutes to an hour. This match will be supremely bloody. In the end however, HHH will put Undertaker in a pedigree and knock him out. Then, staring ever so deep into Shawn Michael’s eyes, Hunter will cover ‘Taker for a (very slow) two-count, and then do the unthinkable- he will lift Taker’s head off the mat, lie down, and put Undertaker’s lifeless arm over his own chest, and forfeit the match. If this were not a Hell In a Cell, I’d say that HHH could simply disqualify himself by getting counted out, or cheating. But this is No-DQ, and you can’t get counted out of a cell… which really is what convinces me even more that this is how it will end. If it were that easy to throw the match, not only would HHH not really be “finishing” Taker, we also wouldn’t be granted with the same opportunity for Triple H to glare into Shawn Michael’s soul this way- silently screaming to him and the world, “I’m better than you.”
Once In A Lifetime
John Cena vs. The Rock
Where to start with this one? If you ask 100 people, 60 of them will say that Cena is going to win. First of all, picking Cena to win is the “obvious” answer. He always wins at Wrestlemania, and that’s pretty much WM’s modus operandi is to have their superhero hold up gold as the credits roll. Additionally, they feel that Rock is “passing the torch”, and that there’s no way that the WWE is going to job out Cena to a part timer who’s going to go back to Hollywood and make movies. Unlike Chris Jericho who is a ‘visitor’ that is actually going to stick around awhile (in spite of the fact that Rock is supposedly going to be around for Summerslam and Wrestlemania 29) The Rock is not, so the aforementioned argument certainly makes a degree of sense. To further that logic even more, people like to make comparisons to Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan ten years ago at Wrestlemania X8, saying that Hogan ‘passed the torch’ to Rock during that match, and now it’s his turn to do the same for John Cena. But I say to anyone who claims such a thing, you’re obviously getting your facts from Wikipedia and history books and clearly didn’t watch that match. Hogan passed his torch years earlier to the Ultimate Warrior, or at least tried to. Rock vs. Hogan on the other hand, had nothing to do with torch-passing and had everything to do with the WWE’s poster boy putting an end to the n.W.o. (I.E. Not “Hulk Hogan”, but the “New World Order”)- despite the fact that the fans in Toronto that night weren’t having any of it. In my mind, I think this matchup, Rock-Cena, was the WWE’s attempt to recapture that Hogan-Rock magic, by bringing in a “heel” who everyone loves… to sort of ride the wave of Cena backlash, but I’m not so sure it’s worked out that way. You simply cannot plan the kind of “magic” that happened ten years ago in Toronto.
All things being equal however, even though some of Rock’s rants were downright hilarious, I still feel Cena got the better of him in the verbal war. Perhaps Rock’s wrist-notes were staged, but I don’t believe they were, and Cena punked him out for it. Furthermore, Duane’s attempt to close out RAW in Cleveland with “We Will ROCK You” was feeble at best, leaving Cena the clear cut smack-talk winner in my eyes. Despite these things though, the crowd does seem to be rooting for The Rock at around a 65-35 clip. For me personally, the emotion I get is one where my heart kind of goes out to Cena a little bit. Yeah, John’s shtick is old… but he (his character anyway) doesn’t deserve the heat he’s catching. So who knows? Maybe that was the WWE’s goal- to make you care about Cena again.
Whatever the WWE was after, and whichever emotion they were trying to steer you to, no one can say, and therefore no one can say whether it worked or not. However, one thing I can say for certain- for those of you who believe Cena is going to pull a heel-turn after this, you’re dead wrong. He’s just too important to kids, and they wouldn’t be playing up how he’s broken the record for celebrity “Make A Wish” appearances to just turn him into a bad guy after this. So that’s not going to happen. Some people also seem to think The Miz is going to work his way to ringside during this match as a throwback to Wrestlemania 27 last year, but don’t bet on that either. I’m sorry folks, Miz just isn’t that relevant right now.
But what you can bet on, is Rock winning this bout. Yes, it breaks the trend of the superhero holding the gold so to speak, but if you want proof that the WWE is well aware that they have to start throwing better curve balls, look no further than CM Punk’s title run and ‘Colt Cabana’ remarks in mid 2011. As well, in the midst of Cena-backlash and Rock being over better than Cena at a 65-35 clip… who’s to say Rock isn’t the superhero this time around?
All I know is… put yourself in Vinnie-Mac’s shoes, and picture the scene of Cena standing in the corner of the ropes with his arms raised in victory… to a chorus of backlasher-boos as the credits roll and your screen fades to black. Not gonna happen. Second of all, the event is in Miami for a reason. Not only is the University of Miami a huge rival of Boston College (Cena’s from the Boston area), secondly, and more importantly, Rock played football for the Miami Hurricanes. The Rock isn’t Good Ol’ J.R. – they’re not going to bring him back for a year-long run just to job him out in his hometown, for a dude half the planet is sick to death of. Not to mention that Rock is arguably one of the top five WWE entities of all time, and they’re not going to send him packing in shame with Cena’s Air-Jordan in his ass, any more than they are going to send Undertaker off at 19-1.
WINNER: The Rock
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