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. 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. Damean Sandow & David Otunga
vs. Prime Time Playas vs. Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez
Kane & Bryan continue to hold the Tag Titles in 2013. 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. Cody excels in singles competition, but a new member is added to Damean and Cody’s group in David Otunga. Otunga teams with Sandow for the match at Mania. The rules are 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.
After losing the World Title at Elimination Chamber, Del Rio and Rodriguez become somewhat of a babyface 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’s babyface run as World Champ spills over for the team, and they are incredibly over. 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 for the win. 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
Randy Orton vs. The Miz (w. Ric Flair)
Following the 2013 Royal Rumble, Miz continues his babyface push. He qualifies to be in the Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Title. Orton also earns a spot in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match
Orton gets eliminated by Miz in the chamber match. The following night on Raw, Miz host Miz TV with Ric Flair as his guest once again. Ric says he really has to give it to Miz for eliminating Orton, and that Miz was reminding him of himself (insert lots of WOOOing). Almost immediately Orton comes out, obviously not sharing the same sentiments as Flair. Orton says he knows that he and Flair have a long history, but he isn’t going to sit in the back and listen to Flair run his mouth, so he demands that Flair take it back. He gets in Flair’s face and the segment turns intense quickly. Flair refuses, and ends up taking an RKO from Orton, with one following immediately on Miz. Orton spits on both men and leaves the rings to loud boos.
At Mania, Flair accompanies Miz to the ring to a loud pop as the Wrestlemania faithful show their support for the two time Hall of Famer. Orton comes out to a mixed reaction, but primarily boos as he continues to settle into his new role as a heel. It’s a back and forth match with many near falls, but Orton pulls out the victory, kicking his newly found heel role into full effect.
WINNER: Via pin fall, Randy Orton
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP VS. CAREER
Cody Rhodes(c) vs. Goldust (w. Dusty Rhodes)
In the 2013 Royal Rumble match, Goldust makes a surprise entrance, and he and Cody end up targeting each other throughout the match. Cody eventually eliminated Goldust to a lot of heat from the crowd. After the Royal Rumble, WWE hosts an “Intercontinental Cup” – a tournament to determine the #1 contender for Wade Barrett’s title at Elimination Chamber. Cody wins the tournament, faces Barrett at the PPV and wins the belt.
Following Elimination Chamber, Goldust comes out during a Cody Rhodes promo saying that despite their differences, he wants to congratulate his brother on becoming the champion. Cody essentially laugh’s at Goldust saying he’s pathetic, a freak and has been a disappointment to the Rhodes name for decades. Cody’s words cut deep and hit Goldust so hard, that he leaves the ring without a word and walks back to the locker room.
Segments are shown the following weeks of Goldust sulking in the locker room, but Booker T and other legends keep coming to him to try and give him words of encouragement. Goldust won’t have any of it, saying Cody is right. Finally Dusty Rhodes shows up, and tells his oldest son that he needs to put Cody in his place. His father’s words and support move him, and Goldust says he wants to challenge Cody for the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania. Cody says there is no way he will do that. Goldust talks about how much the Intercontinental Title means to him, and how it was such a staple of his career…so he says, if Cody puts his title on the line at Mania, Goldust will put his career on the line.
At Wrestlemania, Dusty comes out with Goldust and is in his corner. Cody pins Goldust clean in a great back and forth bout. After the match, Cody, Goldust and Dusty all unite and hug in the ring to applause from the crowd.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and still Intercontinental Champion, Cody Rhodes
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, especially after Barrett loses his IC title in the finals of the “Intercontinental Cup”, when Sheamus was on commentary and distracted Barrett.
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
Big Show vs. Ryback
After losing the World Title to Del Rio at the beginning of 2013, Big Show goes on a rampage, destroying all challengers, displaying the power and force that should be expected of a giant. At the 2013 Royal Rumble, Ryback has a very impressive showing eliminating many superstars. Both men’s paths end up crossing after the Elimination Chamber PPV. The feud is based around both men being on hot streaks, and seeing if one can stop the other.
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 take the W.
WINNER: Via pin fall, Ryback
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Chris Jericho(c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Chris Jericho returns at the 2013 Royal Rumble, entering at the #2 spot, surprising everyone, but most importantly the #1 entrant, Dolph Ziggler. Both men last in the Rumble match over 45 minutes, but Ziggler ends up eliminating Jericho with a super kick.
Following the Rumble, Jericho and Ziggler have a continued rivalry, but never end up facing off one on one due to qualifying matches for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber, which Jericho is involved in. Jericho earns his spot in the Chamber match for Alberto Del Rio’s World Title, along with Big Show, Orton and Miz. In the Chamber, Jericho wins the World Title, however not by pinning Del Rio.
The following night on Raw, Ziggler cuts a promo calling out the new World Champion. Jericho comes out to a huge babyface ovation with his newly won title belt. Ziggler talks about how the two have them have a lot of history from last year, and they both did a hell of a job in the Rumble. Ziggler says there are so many comparisons between the two as they both have been looked at as “show stealers”, but he says there’s only room for one in WWE today. Ziggler says that while Jericho may be the champion, he’s washed up, and Ziggler wants to prove not only to Jericho, but to the world that HE is the show stealer. Ziggler says Jericho won’t need to look over his shoulder as champion, watching for Mr. MITB, because Ziggler choses to cash in his MITB briefcase in the form of a match against Jericho at Wrestlemania.
Ziggler’s move to use his briefcase as an actual match confuses AJ and Big E Langston, to which they are enraged with Ziggler. The crowd however, is eating up the competitive nature of Ziggler, with the whole ordeal position Ziggler as a bit of a tweener character.
At Wrestlemania, Ziggler is seen backstage saying that he doesn’t want AJ or Big E to come out with him…it’s his time, and his spotlight, not theirs, further playing to his tweener/face role. They look flabbergasted as Ziggler walks away to make his entrance. The match is exactly what one would expect from both men – a “show stealer” – with tons of big spots and false finishes.
During the match, AJ and Big E start making their way towards ring side. Jericho is uneasy as this obviously doesn’t look good for him, but Ziggler’s face also has a similar look of concern. AJ hops on the ring apron getting Jericho’s attention saying she’s done with Ziggler and wants a real star. Out of nowhere, Ziggler pushes Jericho into AJ, knocking her off the apron on to Big E, knocking them down. Immediately following the AJ situation, a finishing sequence comes where there are a number of reversals from both men, with Ziggler getting the final hit, nailing Jericho with the super kick. Ziggler gets the 1-2-3 and wins the World Title.
Following the match, AJ comes into the ring, while Jericho is still on the ground, at starts trying to flirt with Ziggler again. Ziggler looks like he’s almost going to get back with her, when he pushes her on her ass and says, “It’s over”. Jericho brings the World Title into the ring and hands it to Ziggler with both men hugging, and Jericho holding up Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler turns full babyface.
WINNERS: Via pin fall, and new World Heavyweight champion, Dolph Ziggler
6 MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
D-Generation X vs. The Shield
On the Raw following the Royal Rumble, Vince is doing a performance review of Paul Heyman, finding him guilty of hiring Brad Maddox and The Shield. As Vince is about to fire Paul, Lesnar makes his return to WWE, coming to the ring and F5’ing Vince. He breaks Vince’s hip in the process, obviously crossing the line putting his hands on the Chairman.
Triple H returns the following week calling out Lesnar, saying that he’s gone too far this time. Lesnar may have broken Triple H’s arm, and HBK’s arm, but now he’s hurt Vince, and Triple H’s just not going to let that fly. He says he wants another shot at Lesnar, but this time it’s in the name of WWE. Lesnar says he has nothing to prove to Triple H and doesn’t accept at first. Heyman gets involved though, saying something in Lesnar’s ear which he apparently likes. Heyman says Lesnar will fight Triple H at the Elimination Chamber PPV on one condition: if Lesnar wins, he earns a title shot. Triple H doesn’t even think twice and agrees.
At the Elimination Chamber PPV, Lesnar and Triple H’s match is much more of a brawl than a match. Lesnar ends up winning the match when The Shield get involved, beating down Triple H. The obvious partnership between Heyman, Lesnar, Punk and The Shield obviously is not boding well for Triple H or the WWE as a whole. Lesnar wins his title shot.
Triple H focuses his attention to The Shield following the PPV. The Shield point the finger at Triple H for representing the injustice and character of WWE. Triple H represents the institution that WWE has become, having fallen so far from what the company used to stand for.
Triple H says they don’t know anything about injustice. He knows a couple guys who do that would be happy to help show The Shield, cueing the return of Road Dogg and Billy Gunn. The three re-form as a three man DX team to face The Shield at Mania. In the match, The Shield prove to be too much pulling out the victory.
WINNER: Via pin fall, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
CM Punk is shown making his way through the halls in the back on his way to the ring by himself, having just walked away from Heyman saying he’s going to do this alone. 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' 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."
Undertaker vs. CM Punk
CM Punk loses his WWE Championship to The Rock at the Royal Rumble, despite the help of The Shield. Punk, Lesnar, Heyman and The Shield have formed a stable that all appear to cover each other’s backs and are seemingly unstoppable. Punk while having this support system in place, is still extremely angered and upset with Rock ending his historic WWE Title reign.
At Elimination Chamber, Punk and Rock have their rematch for the WWE Title to close the show. Punk unfortunately comes up short, and is unable to reclaim his belt despite a very close match. The following night on Raw, Punk says that there is a serious problem, because people seem to forget he was the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. No one respects him as they should. He rhetorically asks the crowd over and over again, “What will make you people understand?!” Punk says it seems like doing what no other man in the past 25 years has been able to wasn’t enough, so he is going to put out a challenge…to do what no other man in the past 25 years has been able to do either, and that’s defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
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. Taker says he knows what Punk has done, and he understand the magnitude of the accomplishment he has done. But Punk needs to not focus on everyone else respecting him, he himself needs to earn some respect. The match is set for Wrestlemania for the Deadman’s Streak; will it extend to 21-0 or will Punk become “The One” as in the “1” in 20-1?
In the match itself, Punk enters first 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.
WINNER: Via submission, The Undertaker
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: TRIPLE THREAT
The Rock(c) vs. John Cena 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 Rock wins the match, once again becoming WWE Champion after 10 years. John Cena also wins the Royal Rumble match on the same night, ultimately chosing that he wants to face the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania.
Rock and Punk have the rematch at Elimination Chamber, in which Rock retains. On that same night however, Lesnar wins a match against Triple H, in which the stipulation issues him a WWE Title match. This ends up inserting him into the WWE Championship picture for Wrestlemania, which John Cena already has his earned spot.
This sets up the biggest possible main event WWE can table right now. It has an A list movie star holding the WWE Champion, a mega star from WWE but more so UFC in Brock Lesnar and the WWE golden boy, John Cena all in a match for the WWE Title. Brock Lesnar is a major investment for Vince, and I think Vince should present him exactly in that way…especially with Lesnar signing the new two year contract.
In the build to the match, Heyman says that Rock has lost his touch back then despite being the champion, 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 says Rock should just ask Cena about Lesnar, from the beating he took at Extreme Rules 2012. He claims that Lesnar is even more dangerous than he has ever been in his entire life…and if both men don’t seem to get it, just ask Triple H.
The rivalry is taken to the main stream media with The Rock going on a number of talk shows with the WWE Title belt like Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel to promote Wrestlemania, pushing promotion of Wrestlemania 29 to levels never before seen. Rock also appears in a Superbowl commercial, the first time that a WWE Champion is getting that type of exposure.
The match has the feel of a true “big fight” bout as the match has the two superstars who have transcended the WWE squared circle beyond any others in history face off along with the biggest superstar of today’s WWE. All three 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, Cena and Lesnar trade a number of very near falls, but the end comes when Rock hits Cena with the Rock Bottom and is going for the People’s Elbow while Lesnar is down outside the ring. Lesnar jumps in to the ring as Rock is coming off the ropes to hit the elbow and quickly picks him up for an F5, nailing it. Lesnar crawls over Rock and pins him winning the WWE Title, shocking everyone.
(This is all done with the booking that Lesnar will be around for a couple months after Wrestlemania, but ultimately drops the belt soon after…possibly to Punk or Cena. I think it gives a complete unpredictable and fresh outlook for WWE, post-Mania with Lesnar being booked as the monster that he is, and becoming the new monster heel with a vice grip on WWE.
WINNER: Via pin fall, and new WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar
I LOVE this card.