Although the card is always "subject to change", Raw definitely indicated that they are going in a semi-new direction for WrestleMania 25. Edge was confronted by John Cena after officially being announced as the new World Heavyweight Champion and Triple H rushed to Stephanie McMahon’s side after a Randy Orton RKO. Additionally, JBL and Shawn Michaels are competing next week on Raw with the winner facing the Undertaker and his undefeated streak. Therefore, it looks like the following are very possible for WM 25:
- WWE Championship: Triple H (c) versus Randy Orton
- World Championship: Edge (c) versus John Cena
- Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels
Interestingly, if a trade is not made prior to WrestleMania to move one of those six men over, there will be at least four interbrand matches (MITB included) at the pay per view. Triple H is expected to make the jump back to Raw, but they don’t necessarily have to do that before the 2009 Draft that is scheduled to take place a week after WrestleMania on Raw. I’d be surprised if they don’t announce the Triple H jump before the big event, but in either case, I expect to see Triple H showing up on Raw regularly and Cena on Smackdown in the coming weeks.
Jeff Hardy versus Matt Hardy seems to be the logical choice at this point and ECW will get their Championship match that I presume will involve Christian as either Champion (he is facing Swagger for the title next week on ECW) or challenger. The "Money in the Bank" match should return and the Women’s Championship should also be defended. There’s seven matches already.
Chris Jericho punked out Rowdy Roddy Piper following a great, emotional promo by Piper and you still expect him to be placed in a one-on-one match with someone. It’s not looking like Flair or Rourke is going to be his opponent and Piper was made to look a little weak on Raw, so this is still wide open at this point. I’m not sure what match is actually going to take place, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Austin got involved somehow at WrestleMania. It’s already been reported via Jim Ross that Austin will "never" wrestle again, but he is obviously going to be there in Houston that weekend and some sort of spot or segment at WM seems inevitable.
There’s eight potential matches and you’re left with the following superstars without something to do at WrestleMania, although some of them will be involved in "Money In The Bank": JBL, Big Show, Kozlov, CM Punk (has been rumored that he could get involved in the Jericho situation, possibly facing him at WM), Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, Miz & Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Mike Knox, William Regal, Priceless, Cryme Tyme, Santino Marella, MVP, Great Khali, The Brian Kendrick, Carlito/Primo, Finlay, Evan Bourne, Mark Henry & Tommy Dreamer.
That’s still a ton of names left and WM should only have 9-10 matches. Last year, there were nine on the actual WM event with another match (a 24-man Battle Royal that Kane won) airing on WWE.com. Eight men "should" compete in the MITB and some of the early candidates would be MVP, Kozlov, Umaga, R-Truth, Shelton Benjamin, and The Brian Kendrick (from Smackdown), CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Mike Knox (from Raw), Miz and/or Morrison, and Evan Bourne (from ECW). Don’t forget a possible return of Mr. Kennedy by then.
Those are my thoughts and educated guesses as we head into WrestleMania 25. There’s still quite a few questions to be answered and some major players without something to do at this point. The WWE has a history of giving as many talent as possible a pay day on the big show, so Battle Royals are always a possibility, even if they aren’t aired on the actual pay per view.
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