Monday, September 3, 2012

Looking Ahead To Wrestlemania 29

Yes, it is still 7 months away. But I always love looking ahead to try and figure out next year's Wrestlemania card. And you know that the WWE is already planning ahead to the event as well. But of course, the WWE changes things almost hourly, so anything they would do know is more than likely going to be scrapped anyways. It is always good to have an initial idea and try to figure out how to get there, however. The WWE's problem is that they always lose faith in someone so quickly that they feel the need to make things change because of it.

Now if it were up to me, as you know, I would have booked this Brock Lesnar angle completely differently. My main event matches would have been The Rock vs C.M. Punk and Brock Lesnar vs John Cena for the WWE Championship. But since Lesnar/Cena is not happening, we have to go with something else. Because this year's show is in the backdrop of New York City, the WWE will want to have as many big name matches as possible.

This Wrestlemania card would be me working from what the WWE has done so far. I'm not going back and changing storylines. I'm going forward with what has been given to me. There's actually a lot to work with. When you think about trying to put various guys on the card there are a lot of possibilities. If the WWE puts enough effort into this year's card, and doesn't put all of its focus into the top matches, this year's Wrestlemania could be a good one.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Damien Sandow vs Cody Rhodes vs Christian vs Daniel Bryan vs Zack Ryder vs Alberto del Rio vs Kane vs Miz

I know there are a good amount of people who think Money in the Bank should be its own PPV. I personally think having the match at Wrestlemania gives it an extra special feel. I also think just having one briefcase around is better than having two. It also gives the winner the opportunity to cash in on whatever Title he wants. That gives a lot more unpredictability to win the winner will cash in. I don't like what the WWE is doing with Dolph Ziggler and his multiple cash in attempts. It will water down when Ziggler actually cashes in his contract because it has been teased so many times. The favorites here would be Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Del Rio is here because I have nowhere else to put him on the card. Some people may argue that Bryan would deserve a one-on-one or World Title match on the card, but I think Bryan works well here. He would be great too if he won it again.

United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs Dean Ambrosse
Sooner or later, Dean Ambrosse will debut on WWE TV. They are really high on him, and what a better way to get him over with the crowd then have him win his first Title at Wrestlemania. I like Cesaro's gimmick and I could see him as a long term US Champion. These two could probably have a very good 10 minute match.

Tag Team Championship: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
At this point, I really don't know what the WWE can do with Mysterio and Sin Cara. Sin Cara can't cut a promo so there is no way he can have a long, sustainable feud with anybody. Rey Mysterio is on the last legs of his career, and I was almost tempted to leave him off the card because I feel like he will be injured by the time Mania comes around. I know some people think that Rey and Sin Cara could fight each other, but I think that eventually the WWE will just put them together as a tag team. Long term, you could also turn Kofi and R-Truth heel as well. It will never happen, but I've been in favor of a possible Nation of Domination reformation with Mark Henry, Kofi and Truth. It won't happen because of the WWE's programming nowadays, but the idea is out there. I just don't think a Sin Cara/Mysterio match would be appealing to most people outside of Mexico. Here you could have Truth and Kofi turn heel if you want, or have this a face vs face match. Its a good way to get these guys on the card.

Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler: 2 Out of 3 Falls
I don't know exactly what Jericho's contract situation is with the WWE. If I had to guess, I would assume that he is back in time to work some program for Wrestlemania. I think the most logical choice would be to have him fight the man that sent him out of the WWE in the first place. The WWE dropped the ball so badly with Jericho's exit. I know they had to plan the big IS TRIPLE H RETIRING storyline, but they could have done Jericho's exit better. If it were up to me, I would have had Jericho/Ziggler's match stipulation from RAW in place at SummerSlam. The World Title Match starts the show, Sheamus wins but Ziggler cashes in afterwards. Ziggler thinks he is off the hook, but the match with Jericho is now for the World Title. Ziggler wins, and Jericho is still gone. But that would've made too much sense. In the weeks leading up to Elimination Chamber, Jericho starts showing up in the crowd and distracting Ziggler. Then at Elimination Chamber, Jericho's distraction cost Ziggler the World Title. Ziggler demands Jericho be re-instated and whoever the GM is agrees, but says Jericho must fight Ziggler at Wrestlemania to fully get his job back. I made it two out of three falls because I would love to see these two get 20 minutes to go at it.

World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs Wade Barrett
The WWE is very high on Barrett, but I don't think he will be rushed back into the main event picture right away. I could see him having a couple of brief feuds with some mid card guys like Christian and Rey Mysterio before going after the World Title. And I think these two could have a pretty good program. Barrett is a great promo. While Sheamus has gone a bit down hill since his face turn, he can still work a good match in the ring. Off my scenario listed above, Sheamus would win the World Title at Elimination Chamber. You then have Barrett win some type of #1 Contenders Match on Smackdown and then you go from there. From now until Wrestlemania I see Ziggler cashing in and winning the World Title, then losing it to Sheamus at the Chamber. I know the WWE likes to have the faces win at Wrestlemania, but having Barrett come out on top and starting a run with the World Title makes the most sense. Faces chasing the heels for the Title is always better from a storyline stand point.

Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar
There are a lot of possibilities with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Multiple opponents would be logical choices. Here is everyone that was considered:

Triple H: From the WWE's standpoint, this is probably the match that they will go with. It could be done before hand at Survivor Series, which is what I would want. I don't want to see a rematch wasted at Wrestlemania. I just didn't enjoy the feud now and I don't see what the WWE could do in time to make the feud any better.

Undertaker: The thought of an Undertaker/Lesnar match just doesn't appeal to me. Yes, there is history between the two. But Taker can't move like he used to at his age and with injuries piling up. In my re-booking of Brock Lesnar, I has these two fighting at Hell In A Cell. That would work if you wanted Lesnar to just dominate Taker. At Mania, we wouldn't get another Cell match. There's better uses of Lesnar and Taker on this show.

Sheamus: I know the WWE likes Sheamus, and these two could put on a decent brawl, but I don't think the WWE would do this match at Wrestlemania. If Lesnar sticks around, I could see this match happening in 2013, or even Wrestlemania 30. But this Wrestlemania may be a bit too soon. I don't think Sheamus is on that level quite yet.

The Rock: This would be the big $$$ match for the WWE. But the thing is, both guys would more than likely be leaving after Mania. So it is either just a one-on-one match, or it is for the WWE Title. If its for the Title, you have whoever wins MITB cash in to close the show. There would definitely be buzz and interest in the match, but storyline wise after Mania there isn't much of a reason to have it.

Shawn Michaels: This may not be as far fetched as you would think. The backstory is there. Lesnar broke HBK's arm. And Shawn was practically running scared the last time he was on RAW with Lesnar. Shawn can say he needs to prove to himself that he isn't a coward and he wants to fight Lesnar on his stage, where he is Mr. Wrestlemania. I think HBK is content with retirement though, but the back story is already there for a match to take place.

After giving all of those guys consideration, I ended up going with Randy Orton. Yes, I know the WWE doesn't have too much faith left in Orton after his second suspension. But the WWE needs to find a way to get Orton back over as a main eventer again. A match with Lesnar would do just that. You would hope that Orton knows to keep his head on straight from here on out. And hopefully, a promise with a match against Lesnar would do just that. I think Lesnar will wrestle at least once more before Wrestlemania. If they are going to do a rematch with Triple H, I would prefer it at Survivor Series. After the Elimination Chamber, have Lesnar come out and issue an open challenge to anyone at Wrestlemania and have it be answered by Orton. With the rest of the card I have left, it doesn't have to be the match that sells the show. But it would be an intriguing one that would make for a good upper main event match.

The Undertaker vs John Cena
The Undertaker does not have a lot of Wrestlemanias left in him. Its pretty obvious. The man is getting up there in age and he has sustained a ton of injuries over his career that are finally catching up to him. I think he has this year and next year left in him and that is it. So the WWE really needs to get these last two matches right for Taker.

Now whether or not The Streak should remain in tact or be broken is a subject of much debate among wrestling fans. There are some that are for it while others are very much against it. I'm on the side that i should not be broken. UNLESS, the WWE has a guy in mind that they feel like could be their next big star in the WWE, and the perfect way to launch his career would be to defeat Taker at Wrestlemania. That is the only way I would justify The Streak coming to an end.

With that being said, I think Cena/Taker is the match they should do this year. I know there is a lot of talk about doing Rock/Cena again, this time for the WWE Championship. Its the big stage, for the WWE Title. People would think the rematch would sell. But would it? I wouldn't mind the idea of a rematch. But at Wrestlemania? The match was billed as being "Once In A Lifetime." Personally, I think the WWE would be taking a big risk doing a rematch at Wrestlemania. Would a rematch really draw as much as the first match?

Since the WWE already did Cena/Lesnar, the next logical opponent for Cena would be The Undertaker. And I think Cena is the most logical opponent for The Undertaker as well. The two haven't feuded since Cena was still the Doctor of Thuganomics. If you go by my booking, Cena wins the WWE Title from C.M. Punk at either Night of Champions or Hell In A Cell. Cena defends the WWE Title against The Rock at the Royal Rumble and loses. You could have Cena win then lose it to Rock at Elimination Chamber so Cena gets his win back, but I wouldn't do that.

After Cena's loss, he can say that people are starting to have doubts about whether or not he belongs in the same sentence as all of the greats in wrestling history. Cena wants to go out and prove that he does belong, and the one way he can do that is by defeating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Now is Cena the guy who should end The Streak? No. Absolutely not. But it would be a big time match for the WWE. And if we are going off the assumption that Wrestlemania 30 will be the last one for Taker, the match should be against a young guy who could benefit from ending The Streak. And if the WWE wants to get a trilogy out of Rock/Cena, they could do the third match at Wrestlemania 30. Similar to what they did with Austin/Rock. But for Wrestlemania 29, I would go with Cena/Taker.

WWE Championship: The Rock (c) vs C.M. Punk
This is the route that I would go if booking Wrestlemania. To me, Wrestlemania is all about first time matches. I get that rematches can be done, and they can be acceptable at times. But I don't like doing rematches in back to back years. The story for these two was set up t the 1000th episode of RAW when C.M. Punk took out The Rock.

C.M. Punk is on a mission to get respect from everyone. What better way to get respect then to win the WWE Title from the People's Champion on the grandest stage of them all. I'm pretty positive that The Rock will go into Wrestlemania WWE Champion. I just don't see any other option for him. And quite frankly, I don't see the WWE keeping the Title off of Cena until Wrestlemania. There would really be no point in Cena wrestling Punk two-three times for the WWE Title, not winning, then winning the WWE Title again at Wrestlemania. It wouldn't feel like as big a Title win. People in the WWE may feel like Cena needs to get his win back against The Rock. But I don't necessarily agree with that. Like I said, they could very easily go the Rock/Austin where Austin beats Rock twice, then Rock finally wins in the last match.

As far as C.M. Punk goes, he is on the cusp of being one of the top guys in the WWE in quite some time. He is now doubt a main eventer right now, but a win over The Rock at Wrestlemania could help get him into an even bigger discussion when it comes to his place in wrestling history. I actually think that a Rock/Punk match would generate more buys than a Cena/Rock match at this point. The WWE also runs the risk of tarnishing big matches at Wrestlemania if they continue to have the same matches year after year. They did it with Taker/HBK and Taker/HHH, and if they do it again with Rock/Cena, the wow factor of the first match is taken away because you know there is a good chance it happens again. Give me Rock/Punk.

So there you have it. Agree? Disagree?

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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