Learning to break kayfabe
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Re: WrestleMania XXIX Match Card Predictions
April 7, 2012 - East Rutherford, NJ
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Antonio Cesaro(c) vs. Zack Ryder (w. Mick Foley)
Through the end of 2012 and into 2013, Cesaro continues his dominant reign as US champion, defeating all comers, and continuing his streak of not losing to any American. In the Rumble match and the months after, Ryder is pushed again as a legitimate mid-card babyface, receiving more and more airtime each week. He begins to have a segment on Raw called, “Countdown to Bro-Mania”, a pre-recorded segment each week where he essentially shows off a different parts of NYC, NJ, “the LI” leading up to Wrestlemania weekend.
Cesaro takes issue with Ryder’s show, saying that he is stealing Cesaro’s thunder as the US Champion, and that he should be the one showing off the NY area, not Ryder. Foley gets involved in the mix and says that Ryder needs to stand up not only for NY, but the US, and should challenge Cesaro to a match at Wrestlemania for the US title. Cesaro accepts, but on the one condition that if Ryder loses, he will never be allowed to return to the NY area again.
The build to their match focuses on Cesaro’s intense training regiment, with video packages showing him working out and lifting, while Zack is shown “bro-ing” out in NY with Foley each week, partying his way to Wrestlemania.
The bell rings after the opening pyro at Mania, with the announcer saying that the first contest is scheduled for one fall for the United States Championship, followed my Foley’s music hitting and the crowd exploding for him. Foley comes out with a mic and introduces “Long Island’s very own, Zack Ryder”, who also comes out to an enormous pop. Cesaro then enters to major heat, and the match is under way. Cesaro completely dominates Ryder for the first good 5 minutes of the match, with Ryder only getting in small bits of offense, to which Cesaro immediately shuts him back down. The announcers say how this may have really been a bad call by Ryder, and that he is so outmatched by Cesaro’s strength, skill and discipline. Cesaro finally is able to set Ryder up for the Neutralizer, and as he lifts Ryder up, somehow Ryder is able to roll Cesaro over and catch him with a small package for the 3 count. The crowd goes nuts as Ryder celebrates with Foley and his family and friends in the ring kicking off the show with a bang.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and new United States Champion, Zack Ryder
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - 4 WAY TURMOIL
Kane & Daniel Bryan(c) vs. Rhode Scholars vs. Prime Time Playas vs. Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez
Kane & Bryan continue to hold the Tag Titles but lose them to Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara at the beginning of 2013. The masked duo’s victory however is short lived, as Kane & Bryan reclaim the titles shortly after losing them. A 4 way turmoil match is set for Wrestlemania, featuring two face teams in Team Hell No and Del Rio and Rodriguez against two heel teams in the Scholars and Playas. Any team member is able to tag in someone from another team at any point, however if the member of a team takes a pin fall or submission, that team is eliminated.
At the beginning of 2013, Del Rio and Rodriguez become somewhat of a face comedy team, similar to how Booker T and Goldust were. (After I saw the Raw Christmas episode when Del Rio ran over Santa by accident, and Rodriguez was dry heaving, I was sold on them as comedy faces.) Del Rio really carries the team, but Rodriguez actually contributes in the matches more than one would think. During the match, the Prime Time Playas are eliminated first, followed my Team Hell No. With the reigning champions out, a new team will be crowned and it's down to Rhode Scholars and Del Rio and Rodriguez. Rodriguez gains the pin fall victory on Damean Sandow when Rhodes misses Del Rio with the Beautiful Disaster kick and Del Rio takes Rhodes out of the ring. Del Rio and Rodriguez dance in the ring together celebrating.
WINNERS: Via pin fall, and new Tag Team Champions, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR THE MITB BRIEFCASE
Randy Orton vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (h)
At the 2013 Royal Rumble, Ziggler enters the Rumble match as the 30th entrant, which shocks many people as he is the MITB holder and really has no need to be in the Rumble match. He catches a huge amount of heat from the crowd for not only being the 30th entrant that everyone always anxiously waits for, but he doesn’t even NEED the Rumble win. As soon as he enters the match, Orton and Miz are in a battle trying to eliminate each other, to which Ziggler runs over and pushes both men out of the ring. Ziggler mocks both men, and then as he begins to fight another superstar remaining in the Rumble, is thrown into the ropes, when both Orton and Miz pull down on the rope and Ziggler tumbles over the top.
Orton and Miz both voice their issue to GM Booker T about being eliminated from the Rumble by Ziggler because he had no business even drawing an entrant number - and they place that blame on Booker for allowing it to happen. Booker says that since Ziggler had no business being in the Rumble match, and eliminated both men, costing them a chance at a title opportunity, he would be forced to place HIS title opportunity on the line in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania (single pinfall wins).
In the match, Orton and Miz dominate Ziggler, taking their frustrations out on him. The match eventually turns to Orton and Miz, as Ziggler has been knocked out of the equation for a long while. Orton hits the RKO on Miz, when Ziggler comes back in and uses the MITB briefcase to hit Orton on the back of the head as he goes for the pin. Ziggler pushes Orton out of the way and steals the pin fall on Miz retaining his MITB briefcase.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and still the holder of the MITB briefcase, Dolph Ziggler
Rey Mysterio(c) vs. Sin Cara
Mysterio and Sin Cara competed as a tag team through the back end of 2012, staying in contention for the tag team titles. Mysterio has taken Sin Cara under his wing and mentored him, shown in many backstage segments coaching him and giving tips. Sin Cara and Mysterio prove to be a very effective team as they show explosive offensive power, yet Sin Cara seems to be the one of the team who keeps stealing the spotlight. After being shortly sidelined at the very end of 2012 with an injury, Sin Cara returns and the team picks up where they left off challenging Kane and Daniel Bryan for the tag titles in early 2012. The masked duo picks up the win, and become new tag team champions. The following week on Raw, Team Hell No issue their rematch clause.
Mysterio and Sin Cara seem to have the match locked up when Mysterio hits the 619 on Kane, then setting up for Sin Cara’s Senton Bomb off the top rope. Sin Cara hits the move and when he goes for the pin fall, Mysterio out of nowhere grabs Sin Cara off of Kane drop kicking him into on to the middle rope hitting a quick 619 on his tag team partner. Mysterio leaves the ring while Bryan crawls over Sin Cara for the pin to reclaim the tag titles.
Mysterio is interviewed in the locker room about his actions, and he claims that he has taken Sin Cara under his wing to teach him, and give him the tips to succeed as a smaller competitor in the land of WWE giants, but Sin Cara has taken Mysterio for granted. Mysterio says he has disrespected Mysterio by trying to steal all of the spotlight from him. Mysterio says he is the only true masked luchadore in WWE – has been for years – and when trying to embrace the new blood of WWE luchadore competitors, he was disrespected.
A battle royale for Kofi Kingston’s Intercontinental Championship is set for the Elimination Chamber in which both Mysterio and Sin Cara are involved in. The match comes down to Mysterio and Sin Cara, with Kingston being eliminated and injuring himself in the process. Mysterio eliminates Sin Cara and becomes the new Intercontinental Championship. Mysterio versus Sin Cara is set for Wrestlemania to determine the new Intercontinental Champion.
The match is a great back and forth, fast paced, passing of the torch bout. Mysterio gets caught off guard by Sin Cara, who hits him with his finisher and picks up the victory. After the match, Mysterio grabs the Intercontinental Championship belt from the time keeper very angerly, but slowly makes his way into the ring and ends up handing the belt to Sin Cara. The two embrace as Mysterio holds up Sin Cara’s arm. This ends up being Mysterio’s final Wrestlemania match.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and new Intercontinental Champion, Sin Cara
PUB BRAWL MATCH
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
Special Guest Ref: William Regal
At the 2013 Royal Rumble, Barrett and Sheamus both have great showings in the Rumble match, eliminating multiple superstars each. They end up eliminating each other from the match. Barrett and Sheamus have had issues with each other prior to the Rumble, but especially did after the Rumble match. Their issues turn into more of a war between Irish and British blood and whenever they run into each other, things get very chippy. William Regal gets involved in the feud, saying how both men really should get along here in WWE as they could represent European countries. They disregard what Regal says, so Regal counters by suggesting that the two should settle their differences at Wrestlemania. It can’t happen in just any old match, but needs to be an environment in which they have more familiarity than any other superstar in WWE – a pub brawl match. Both men like the sound of it, and Regal says he figured they would both enjoy that, so he already cleared it with the board of directors…with Regal also being made the special guest referee.
The match itself is an all our brawl with various weapons like chairs, trash cans, beer bottles, etc. The match is closer to an Attitude Era hardcore match than anything in recent memory, with both men beating the hell out of each other. After many false finishes, Sheamus catches Barrett with a Brogue kick out of nowhere. The crowd is going nuts, and as Sheamus turns around, out of no where Regal clocks Sheamus in the head with what appears to be his signature British Brass Knuckles. After hitting Sheamus, Regal looks pridefully at the knuckles on his fist…pulls Barrett’s arm over Sheamus, and counts the 1-2-3.
Barrett and Regal make their way up the ramp together both grinning while Sheamus looks up at them fuming with anger. Barrett and Regal form a new partnership, in which Regal begins managing Barrett.
WINNER: Via pin fall, Wade Barrett
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Big Show(c) vs. Ryback
Big Show continues a dominant reign as World Champion, destroying all challengers, displaying the power and force that should be expected of a giant. At the 2013 Royal Rumble, Ryback enters the match early on and has a very impressive showing eliminating many superstars. Ryback ends up winning the Rumble match, and after the match grabs a mic and says, there is one man in WWE that can feed his appetite, and that man has something Ryback had his eyes on before he entered the Rumble tonight – the World Title. “FEED ME BIG SHOW!”
At Wrestlemania, Big Show and Ryback stare each other down in the middle of the ring, reminiscent of Hogan and Andre staring each other down at Wrestlemania 3. The match only goes for about 10 minutes, filled with power moves from both men. Ryback finally hits a huge Meat Hook Clothesline on Big Show, then signals for Shell Shocked. Ryback hoists Big Show on his shoulders, marching around the ring as the crowd goes wild and camera flashes fill Met Life Stadium. Ryback slams Big Show down, pinning him to win his first World Title.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and new World Heavyweight Champion, Ryback
As Ryback is celebrating with the title, all of a sudden, Ric Flair pops over the security wall at ring side, having come through the crowd, sneaking behind Ryback, nailing him with the signature low blow. Almost on cue, Ziggler’s music hits and Ziggler sprints down the ramp as fast as possible to cash in his briefcase. Ziggler hits Ryback with his finisher, goes for the pin but Ryback kicks out!
The crowd is shocked as things suddenly look very grim for Ziggler and Flair’s obvious plan to catch Ryback off guard. They feel that Ryback might overcome the odds. In disbelief, Ziggler argues with the ref, but then realizes he needs to get the job done ASAP. He locks the Sleeper Hold on Ryback very tightly while still on the ground. Ryback seems to show some life, but Ziggler wraps his legs around Ryback locking in the Sleeper harder, and Ryback’s face turning bright red. Ryback passes out and the ref calls for the bell, awarding the win to Ziggler.
Ziggler and Flair stand tall with the World Title over the fallen machine Ryback to much heat from the crowd.
WINNER: Via submission, and new World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler
2 VS 3 HANDICAP TAG TEAM MATCH
John Cena & Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
The Shield continues their quest to bring justice to WWE moving into 2013. After the Royal Rumble PPV, it finally comes out that The Shield are in ties with CM Punk, Paul Heyman but also Brock Lesnar. The Shield turn their attention from attacking individuals that they claim are being “unjust”, but rather the WWE as a whole, as an organization of injustice and favoritism. They point the finger at John Cena, for being given countless chances and always being pushed. They point the finger at Triple H for representing this favoritism and character of WWE for an incredibly long time. John Cena and Triple H represent the institution that WWE has become, having fallen so far from what the company used to stand for.
Cena recruits Triple H to come out of his corporate role, to join forces with him at Wrestlemania to stand up for the WWE against the infiltration and rebellion of The Shield. Triple H agrees and says it is their duty to do so. He feels that he still has something that he needs to prove to Lesnar and Heyman, and he is not going to let them continue infesting WWE because he knows that what The Shield, Lesnar, Punk and Heyman represent is corrupt power. He saw what greed of power and similar actions did to WCW, and he refuses to let that happen to WWE.
At Wrestlemania, The Shield prove to be too much for Cena and Triple H, with the numbers game being too much for Cena and Triple H to handle. Triple H takes the fall, by taking the powerbomb from all three men, with Reigns picking up the pinfall victory. After the match, The Shield are shown walking into Punk and Heyman’s locker room celebrating their win, saying that this is the start to an incredible night of victories for their rebellion. Heyman is alone in the locker room though without Punk and Lesnar, saying that both men know what they need to do…and Lesnar is about to make a statement of his own.
WINNER: Via pin fall, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
ICON VS. ICON
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar (w. Paul Heyman)
At the Royal Rumble, The Rock returns to face CM Punk in the main event for the WWE Championship. The match is an instant classic with near fall after near fall. Rock looks to have the match locked up after hitting the People’s Elbow, but Brock Lesnar makes a surprise return. As the ref is distracted on the outside by Paul Heyman, Lesnar comes into the ring and hits Rock with an F5, allowing Punk to crawl over Rock and retain his title.
The following night on Raw, Rock calls out Lesnar saying that he demands an explanation. Lesnar no shows. Rock demands that he is given the opportunity to get his hands on Lesnar to make him pay. Heyman comes out and says Lesnar is not here and will not be available for Rock. Rock says he wants Lesnar, and he wants him at Wrestlemania to make an example out of him, kicking his ass. Heyman says, Lesnar has nothing to prove to Rock as he proved everything he had to Rock…10 years ago in the very city where Wrestlemania will be hosted this year – East Rutherford, NJ, when he pinned Rock to win the Undisputed WWE Championship. He says that Rock had lost his touch back then when Lesnar put him down, and it would be just embarrassing for him to try and face the beast that is Lesnar after years of refining his craft in the UFC. He claims that Lesnar is even more dangerous than he has ever been in his entire life…just ask Triple H. Heyman says that Lesnar will NOT face Rock at Wrestlemania, and Rock can keep dreaming.
The rivalry is taken to the main stream media with The Rock going on a number of talk shows like Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel to promote Wrestlemania, but ends up talking about how Lesnar is afraid of him. Lesnar is essentially backed into a corner by the media to take on Rock’s challenge, and eventually accepts the match to save face and uphold his image as "the baddest man on the planet".
The match has the feel of a true “big fight” bout as the two superstars who have transcended the WWE squared circle beyond any others in history face off in an Icon vs. Icon feature co-main event. Both men share a long stare down before the match begins, with the crowd absolutely electric. Lesnar brings more of his old WWE style back to the match, not relying heavily on his MMA-shoot style. Rock and Lesnar trade a number of very near falls, but the end comes when Lesnar gets Rock up on his shoulders for an F5. As Lesnar spins Rock out, Rock lands on his feet, and catches Lesnar in a huge Rock Bottom, picking up the 1-2-3. After the match Heyman gets a People’s Elbow to please the crowd further.
WINNER: Via pin fall, The Rock
CM Punk is shown making his way through the halls in the back on his way to the ring by himself, with Heyman having just taken the People's Elbow from Rock. Punk has a serious look of determination on his face when he turns a corner and runs into Stone Cold. They have a stare down for about a minute. Austin finally breaks the silence, slightly nodding his head simply saying, "Good luck...Punk". CM Punk continues to stare at Austin, finally asking, "Does luck earn you respect? Hmm? **pause** No. I don't believe in luck Steve; I never have and never will. Do you think 'luck' has made me the longest reigning WWE Champion of the the last 25 years? And yeah Steve, you better believe that includes your era too. Do you think 'luck' has put me minutes from going out there and facing the biggest challenge of my life? No, 'luck' has nothing to do with it. I've earned it, I deserve it and I'm going to go out there and cement my legacy ending the only remaining accomplishment standing in my way - The Undertaker's Streak. So I don't want your luck Steve. Save it for yourself." As Punk is about to walk away, he turns back around saying, "And that's the bottom line...because I said so."
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: STREAK VS. STREAK
Undertaker vs. CM Punk(c)
CM Punk shockingly retains his WWE Championship against The Rock at the Royal Rumble, with the help of the returning Brock Lesnar, but none the less, continues to extend his WWE Championship reign. Punk, Lesnar, Heyman and The Shield have formed a stable that all appear to cover each other’s backs and are seemingly unstoppable. Punk continues to extend his WWE Title reign streak, continuing to claim that he is the greatest WWE Champion of all time and is the Best in the World.
At Elimination Chamber, Punk successfully defends his WWE Title in the Raw Chamber match. As he and Heyman are celebrating in the ring, the lights suddenly all go out, and the familiar Gong rings, that can signal only one thing. The lightning lighting and fire begins as the Dead Man’s music hits and Undertaker slowly walks out to the top of the entrance ramp. Standing in the mist and with flames shooting up around him, Undertaker slowly raises his arm and extends a finger, pointing at Punk in the ring/chamber. The thunder sound effect rings through the arena as Punk and Heyman look back up at Undertaker with complete fear on their faces.
The following night on Raw, Punk and Heyman kick off the show coming out with Punk saying he has no idea why Undertaker showed up the night before at the Elimination Chamber PPV, but he’s no idiot and the message was loud and clear. Taker wants Punk, he wants the WWE Title, and he wants it at Wrestlemania. However, he thinks Taker’s choice is rooted deeper than just that…he knows Taker, and knows that he operates on fate. And fate has brought the two of them…but more importantly both of their Streaks to a cross road. With Undertaker’s 20-0 Streak looking to be extended, Punk’s WWE Title reign will actually surpass the 500 day mark on the date Wrestlemania falls on. Punk asks the crowd what makes the Dead Man tick, and what makes him come back every year to defend his Streak, and the answer is match ups that beacon his return. Taker comes out and says Punk is 100% correct in his assessment of the situation. There are only certain matches worthy of The Streak at Wrestlemania, and this one has all of the chips in: Streak vs. Streak, 20-0 vs. 500+ days, and WWE Title on the line.
In the match itself, Punk enters first, but not accompanied by Heyman after the People’s Elbow he received at the hands of The Rock. Punk makes his way to the ring to a mixed reaction from the crowd, followed by Undertaker making an elaborate entrance with his druids and the whole nine yards. The match is an instant 5 star classic, filled with back and forth, false finishes, and even a run in from The Shield to which Undertaker counters and fights back from. After many false finishes, and the crowd hanging by a thread, Punk is finally able to catch Undertaker and hoist him on his shoulders. As Punk thrusts Taker over his shoulders to bring the knee to the face, Taker grabs Punk’s knee and pulls him to the ground locking him into the Hell’s Gate. Punk holds on for as long as he can, but eventually has to tap out in the middle of the ring, extending Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak to 21-0 but also making him WWE Champion once again.
Wrestlemania’s final image shows Undertaker kneeling in the middle of the ring hoisting the WWE Title up with Met Life Stadium basked in ice blue lighting and fireworks shooting off all around the stadium.
WINNER: Via submission, and new WWE Champions, The Undertaker
We better get Punk vs. Taker for the WWE Title. This set up is fantastic...Punk to go 500+ days as WWE Champion versus Taker's 20-0 Streak. I can totally see that backstage segment between Punk and Austin before Punk vs. Taker...would be epic and totally plant the seeds for Wrestlemania 30.
The Rock/Lesnar build is awesome too. A perfect match up to get the national media involved around the two biggest stars inside and outside WWE. But more importantly it DOESN'T subject us Triple H and Brock Lesnar again.
I was really a big fan of the opening match between Cesaro and Ryder in the NY area. Would be a great way for Cesaro's reign to end. Screw the rumors of Jack Swagger facing him as the "All American American".