WrestleMania 27: The Prediction Special

Ken Napzok

WrestleMania 27: The Prediction Special

Finally.

Finally!

Finally… The Rock has come back… to save the buyrates. That’s right, kids,
pump it up, pump it up, pump it up, it’s time for WrestleMania. So gather around the
camp fire, bring your big foam Steve Austin middle finger, and let’s dive right in. It’s
WrestleMania 27: The Prediction Special.

The Miz vs John Cena

Now The Rock is the host of WrestleMania, right? Just like Kim Kardashian a
couple years ago? He technically doesn’t have anything to do with this match, right? So
we just have to look at the match itself, which, for the record, is WWE champion The
Miz defending against John Cena. That’s all the match is… right?

Hmmmmm…

These main event waters are somewhat murky and unclear, but in an all so
intriguing fashion. The slightly convoluted storyline is working exceptionally well as a
main event because it is really hard to predict where this will end up. The closing
segment to Raw was one of the best of the last few years and contained many defining
moments The Miz and Cena as they worked opposite a true legend. Last week I wrote
the WWE needed to have this thing at a fever pitch and, well, they delivered. You can’t
help but think that something big is going to happen. It is an event more than just a
match.

As for the action itself, we’ll probably have an average encounter. While both
performers are capable and The Miz has grown tremendously as an in-ring performer
this year, you can’t expect Steamboat/ Savage… but it doesn’t need to be. Just tell the
story, get to the climax. I can see Cena winning. Some are dreaming of The Rock
somehow winning. But I think…

Prediction: The Miz wins, but not clean. The Rock gets involved and whatever happens
AFTER the match is what closes the show. Which, of course, sets up Rock/ Cena.
(Ooooffff course!) Miz can walk away with the title even if Del Rio does too because all
you need is The Rock in the ring at end to send the fans home happy.

(WWE Championship match)

Edge vs Alberto Del Rio (World Championship match)

Here it is. Del Rio, the once and future king, ready for his coronation with only a
veteran champion in his way. This is what the WWE has been building for since they
first forced us to watch Del Rio’s introduction vignettes and the website leaked the
future plans. This is what the Royal Rumble win propelled us to. We even have the
defacto reunion of one of the greatest tag teams off all-time.

Yet there seems to be something lacking and you can directly relate it to the
inevitability of the match. It just seems like a foregone conclusion that Del Rio will win.
So, you know, let’s just get to it. This is why an added wrinkle of Christian, conflicted as
he protected his friend, but reached for a title he’s always felt he deserved, would have
added just enough of a question mark to the match. Not to be, but that’s OK. This
should be a decent match as they both can certainly go.

Prediction: Alllllllberto Del Riiiiiiiooooooo. The reign begins. Maybe now Del Rio will
have enough pull to put pants on Brodus Clay.

The Undertaker vs Triple H

Is this the main event? I thought it was a few weeks ago, but I guess not. Maybe
that will change on game day, but for now we’ve got to assume this will come before
Miz/ Cena/ Rock. I only mention that because the placement could be key. If this closes
the show, then Triple H’s chances of winning increase. ‘Taker winning to close the show
is great, but that won’t end Triple H’s career. Again. The last shot of this show will be
The Rock in the ring. (said the Internet Wrestling Opinionalist with blind confidence.)
I’m not expecting ‘Taker/ Shawn 1 or even 2. The build-up and heat will carry this
into the history books, but there is potential for a little bit of a letdown. Triple H could
very well be rusty and The Undertaker appears to be held together by glue and hot dog
skin. (and eye liner!) Both wouldn’t go if they felt they would embarrass themselves,
so we’ll get a good fight. No Holds Barred means they can just wallop each other with
chairs and trashcans instead of having to execute any actual moves. It will be close, it
will be fun, it will probably be five minutes longer than it should be.

Prediction: 19-0. The Undertaker wins and this time next year, he’ll be going for twenty
straight… probably against Brother Love.

Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan (U.S. Championship match)
These two will probably be called upon to jerk the curtain open on the show and
I’m sure it will be a good match, just under a show stealer level. We know what Bryan
is capable of doing, but Sheamus has become an underrated in-ring performer. Expect
some high impact spots and a lot of blotchy blue-redness on Sheamus’ body.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan. No! Sheamus. Eeeeeeeehhhhh. Push? Can I predict push?
No? OK. Then I’m flipping a coin and saying Sheamus successfully retains his U.S.
Championship.

Trish Stratus, Snooki, and John Morrison vs Lay-Cool and Dolph Ziggler

A few years from now, when Dolph Ziggler is a World champ, we can all look
back at this match and remember when the former Spirit Squader was still working his
way up the ladder. It’ll be like watching the Rockers at WrestleMania V. Well, sorta.
Shawn Michaels never had to tag or go against something called a Snooki.

Look, you shouldn’t be too disgusted at this match. Celebrity involvement is a
time honored WrestleMania tradition and, while I’m sure she won’t put on a Lawrence
Taylor-like performance, Snooki is not the worst celebrity to come out for the big dance.
WrestleMania 2 set that bench mark. (I’m looking at you, Mr. T.) This will be quick and
painless.

I hope.

Prediction: Snooki wins, Snooki wins.

Jerry “The King” Lawler vs Michael Cole

When I sat in attendance at the Staples Center the day after SummerSlam for
the Raw double tapings, I was absolutely amazed at the white hot intensity level of the
heat Michael Cole had. He was hated. And that was in August. Since then the WWE
has focused and refined Cole’s character and done everything they could to build on
that hate. Then Cole uses Twitter to garner even more legit heat just days before the
payoff. What the match will be lacking in the in-ring performance category, it will
certainly make up for in the drama and anticipation of the moment in which Michael
Cole gets his comeuppance. Add to that the basic historical aspect of Lawler getting his
first WrestleMania match and it’s easy to see why this match won’t just be filler material.

Prediction: Jerry “The King” Lawler via an old Memphis-style pile driver followed by a
fist drop. We can only hope Andy Kaufman comes back in time to be in the King’s
corner.

CM Punk vs Randy Orton

What’s great about this year’s card is that there are several match-ups that have
potential to be remembered for longer than a year or two. (What ‘Mania did Flair retire
at?) Punk vs Orton on paper alone is intriguing enough to belong just below the main
event, regardless of the build-up. The build-up only adds. Punk is slowly working his
way into an all-time, legendary heel. He just needs some memorable moments on the
big stage, not just basic cable. Here is your moment Punk.

Prediction: Randy Orton via the punt.

Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes has done some amazing work on The Road to WrestleMania. The
new wrinkle and intensity to his “Dashing” persona has is the only reason there is any
interest in this match. Mysterio, nothing short of a legend– I get it, has not done
anything new or exciting in years in terms of character development. The moves and
spots still wow, but name anything else he’s done outside of the ring that you
remember? This should be Rhodes coming out party, his arrival to the big stage. Ted
DiBiase Jr. should be taking notes.

Prediction: Rey Mysterio wins, but Rhodes dazzles. And is too much to ask for another
appearance by Dusty?

8 Man Tag Match (The Corre versus Big Show, Kane, Santino, and Kozlov)
Did anyone have a desire to see this on Raw? Then what is the desire to see this
at WrestleMania. Come on… rather just use the time this match will take to extend some
of the other matches or just have a straight out IC title match-up.

Prediction: Team Big Show, but I’ll probably be in the bathroom during the match so let
me know how it goes.

Rankings (That don’t really matter)

1.) Fit Finlay, fall guy- His biggest mistake was not having the safety net of being
booked to work Jerry Lawler at ‘Mania. You’re free, Fit. You’re free.

2.) Twitter, alternative to speaking to someone- The social networking site became
the hero of many pro wrestling fans (and probably some talent) by suspending Dixie
Carter for violating some Twitter policies. #IWantWrestling #TNAcan’tbuyawin

3.) Wade Barrett, The Corre frontman- In an underrated match that you might have
missed while fast forwarding your DVR, Wade Barrett captured his first singles title by
defeating Kofi “Boom Squad” Kingston for the Intercontinental Title. In the old days this
would be called a “stepping stone.” Now… it gets you a spot in an 8 man tag match.

4.) The Gay Avenger, Pro Gay Wrestling Champion- Had you heard of PGW or The
Gay Avenger before his response to Michael Cole’s deplorable use of a gay slur on
Twitter? Nope? Well, me either. That’s called a smart publicity move on the part of the
PGW champ. Smart, principled PR.

5.) Paul Ellering, professional wrestling manager- Sure it was nothing short of a
rush to finally confirm that The Road Warriors are going into the WWE Hall of Fame, but
it was a nice surprise to have Precious Paul Ellering officially included as well. Ya see,

kids, years ago there used to be these guys called “managers’” and they were
sometimes just as interesting or entertaining as the big, burly guys they lead to the ring.
Some of them were, it’s nice to see, even Hall of Fame-worthy.

The “Unsolicited TNA advice” of the week:

Don’t do whatever you just did in the Hernandez/ El Anarchia vs Matt Morgan/ D-Von
Mexican (?) street fight match. You officially introduced a new stable (Oh, great, a
racially charged storyline. Awesome. Just what we need.), introduced Morgan’s new
partner (How did D-Von Dudley get there? I think I missed that), broke away from the
MATCH ITSELF to have Velvet Sky (giggity) attack the Salsa Dance cousins, then had
Angelina Love come out for the save only to be stopped by Winter screaming her name,
and THEN you finished the match.

OK. That. All that. Don’t do it again.

A New Place in History…

For Shane McMahon as a worker. While watching the The True Story of WrestleMania
DVD extras, I sat mesmerized by Shane O’Mac in the McMahon vs McMahon street
fight at WrestleMania X-7. Shane was as brave of a performer as any one of the day
and embodied his character with every expression, punch, and dance move. He was a
lot more than Daddy’s boy.

Fast Count…

The way I see it… Team Vince has done their job. While the Road to WrestleMania
was bumpy at times, even boring at others, all the stops were pulled. Two of the biggest
stars in the history of the business are involved. Trish Stratus came back. Jerry Lawler
is getting his first WrestleMania match. Two Icons will meet in the ring. There isn’t much
more they could have done with their current roster and means. From this vantage
point, it all looks good. It should be a great event.

I would totally love it if… Zack Ryder You Tube’ed his way into the hearts of the fans
and into a U.S. or IC title run. He’s taking his character into his own hands and building
it grass roots style. And I hope his Dad is ringside, in John Morrison’s corner, when this
all happens.

I gotta think… next year is Macho Man’s year for the Hall of Fame. The inclusion on the
WWE All-Stars game was only the next step towards full reconciliation. If Bret Hart can
make amends, then Savage can too. Macho in ‘11, dig it!!

I must confess… I was surprised when Ric Flair didn’t bleed like a stuck pig during the
fist fight with Fortune. Maybe that Bret Hart drawing resonated with him. Or he just

couldn’t get to the razor blade in time?

Come on, admit it… you kinda liked it when John Cena slipped in, hit The Rock with
an Attitude Adjustment, and slowly proclaimed “you can’t see.”

Seriously… I’m not sure Scott Steiner is in on the rub. Since coming back to TNA,
everything he does or says has a tinge of “this guy knows this a work, right?” to it.

Sure… he’s a three time Intercontinental champ who just can’t seem to get over on a
higher level, but have you ever just stopped and watched some of the stuff Kofi
Kingston pulls off? I might pay good money to watch Kofi go up against Sin Cara and
Evan Bourne to see who stays in the air the longest. You’ll need a special guest air
traffic controller for that one.

Quick… who is coming to my TNA Lockdown viewing party?

Ken Napzok is a writer, comedian, and pro wrestling manager living in Los Angeles. He
still does not know why Triple H dressed like Conan at WrestleMania 22. He can be
followed online at twitter.com/kozpan and twitter.com/TexTunney or contacted at
wzkennapzok@gmail.com.

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