We are just over three weeks away from WrestleMania 28 in Miami, Florida. As the weeks get closer and closer, the WWE will begin to fill out the rest of the card. Five Matches have been announced so far.
John Cena vs. The Rock
Triple H vs. The Undertaker with Shawn Michaels as the Special Referee inside Hell in a Cell
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Each week, I will be writing a new article with new opinions from other WrestleZone staff, as well as tweaking what unravels in front of us. This week, Editorial Writer and Columnist Adam Gorzelsky gives his opinions on a few more matches that could fill the card out. Emailed to me his opinions on Tuesday morning, Adam breaks down what we COULD see April 1st.
Tag Team TLC
Eleven years ago, a tremendous era in the tag team division was highlighted by one of the most entertaining tag matches in Wrestlemania history. The Hardys, Dudleys, and Edge/Christian pulled off a death-defying spectacle at Wrestlemania X-7 that exhibited the passion, desire, and prestige that used to surround the titles. If there ever was an opportunity to regain some of this lost momentum, another 3-way TLC match may be just what the doctor ordered.
From the looks of things, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are obvious candidates to participate in such a match, alongside Primo and Epico. I have little doubt that the athleticism possessed by these four would shine in a TLC match. As for the third team…Ziggler and Swagger have been involved as of late, but I see Swagger being tied up with Santino. As a result, following with the theme of rejuvenating the tag division, I’ll make the bold prediction that Christian will return, bash the current state of the tag division, and join Ziggler. Since Dolph claims that he brought prestige back to the United States Championship, the two would fit together perfectly espousing the same goals for the tag team titles. After a brutal TLC match, I see this goal becoming a reality.
I love the idea of reviving the TLC Match at WrestleMania. Also, it would be a great way to give much needed exposure to the tag divison and their current champions. I have to disagree solely for the fact that the card already has a Hell in the Cell match, along with other big marquee matches. This would get lost in the shuffle, even though it would be the most entertaining match. I agree that there NEEDS to be a Tag Team Championship match, and I feel that Kofi and R Truth will be involved as well. I would prefer the addition of Ziggler and Swagger, who would ultimately win if I made the decisions. What could this do for the long haul?
Say Ziggler and Swagger win the titles, you have two established stars who work very well together in every facet. After a few months, you can go the old way of having one turn on the other. Ziggler is the more popular,.but Swagger would benefit more from a face turn. He is a likable guy who is a product of "American Wrestling." I would love to see this match at Mania, especially because the talent deserves a spot. Make a fatal four way, with these three teams, and potentially the return of Christian/Del Rio or even Christian/Henry. I would not announce the final team until their music hits in Miami. It would give us a surprise return. There is no need to really market or try to cash in on an announced return because everyone getting it will be buying the show for other matches. Bring prestige back to the tag division, and this night could be a stepping stone for recreating the importance.
US Title Battle Royal
I originally thought the United States Championship would feature Ryder’s revenge on Swagger, but Santino ruined my hopes and dreams. Based on the events of Raw, it appears as though the US Title will be the centerpiece of the ongoing feud between Johnny Ace and Teddy Long. With Drew McIntyre being fired by Teddy Long last week, I see Laurinaitis reinstating him and immediately giving him a title match against Santino. Chaos again will ensue, allowing Drew to walk away with the strap.
As Wrestlemania draws closer and the feud between the two General Managers continues to bubble, I think more mid to low card performers will get caught up in a game of Championship hot potato. As this plays out over the next few weeks, and numerous Superstars have a legitimate claim to the title, the best solution will be a championship battle royal at Wrestlemania. Even though not the cleanest of storylines, this match at least would be a short, entertaining method to give a number of guys some much needed Wrestlemania exposure.
In the end, I think the US Title belongs around Swagger’s waist. He’ll walk away from Wrestlemania as the champion, setting up an overdue rematch with Zack Ryder in the spring/early summer.
Smart idea to feature more than a single's match for the United States Championship. I would love to see Drew McIntyre come out shining brighter than ever here, but I doubt it. I really do not know what they will do with him, but a US Battle Royal at WrestleMania would be a great idea to insert guys who do not have anything to do. If you give Santino the belt up until Mania, it will create a "Milan Miracle" if he keeps it after Miami. They can really capitalize on his recent surge of popularity.
I do not think the GM Battle will be a direct correlation to the United States Championship like Adam suggests. If they do not go the route of a battle royal, I can see Santino and Swagger representing Team Long and Team Laurinaitis. I actually see this as a more logical choice since we already have the Intercontinental Championship being defended. Instead of a Battle Royal, I see Santino teaming up with Ezekiel Jackson and a Rey Mysterio to face off against Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and possibly Miz or Del Rio. You could always add a fourth to each team, but the main point is a Team Long vs. Team Laurinaitis makes more sense in the long run. It is more important than a title right now.
Follow @JoshIsenberg4 and @PolishHMR on Twitter. I thank Adam for contributing to this article.
For feedback, feel free to email me at Josh.Isenberg@wrestlezone.com
As we get a week closer to WrestleMania 28 in Miami, we know four confirmed matches that have been announced.
John Cena vs. The Rock
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
Triple H vs. The Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell
Each week, I will be writing a new article with new opinions from other WrestleZone staff, as well as tweaking what unravels in front of us. This week, Justin LaBar gives his opinions on a few more matches that could fill the card out. Emailed to me his opinions on Tuesday morning, Justin breaks down what we COULD see April 1st.
For Part 1 of the WrestleMania Prediction Machine, Click Here
World Heavyweight Championship- Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
I love the fact that both of these guys were bumped from the WrestleMania 27 pay-per-view last year and this year are in a world title match. I probably love it more than the average person because I was looking forward to this match so much last year that when it was taken off the main card I was furious. Although this match is good enough for me to care about it, I don't think WWE brass feels the same. The addition of Randy Orton and Wade Barrett would have been a perfect choice for WWE to add a proven main event star like Orton. This also would have obviously been a great pay off for the long running feud with Barrett to culminate at WrestleMania in a title match that both could possibly lose. Wade Barrett's injury on RAW nixed that idea.
I still think a fatal four is the way to go and WWE will substitute Barrett for Mark Henry. It makes sense. Henry has crossed paths with the other three in the match plus with so many other one-on-one matches already in place- been saying for months prior to Royal Rumble that there should be at least 3 men involved in the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 28. ""
Given how much they invested their time in 2011 with Mark Henry, I would really agree with Justin on this match. Now, given some events that occurred on Smackdown this past week, we may not have this match but let's think about this for a minute. Orton has been involved in Bryan's title reign for months, even though he has never faced him. Sheamus and Orton have a long running history, and Mark Henry is considered as the powerful underdog. Henry should be in this match because of what he accomplished in 2011. From impregnating Mae Young and being Sexual Chocolate to what he is now, it is shocking that Henry is still on the roster. He did a great job making his world title reign not be irrelavent.
I really would love to see a title match that is not a single's match, but I fear that is what we are still going to get. Give the Smackdown stars a chance and not bury them in some weak match with little to no meaning. These are your four biggest faces and heels, so it would make sense to put them all together to give us our first fatal four way World Title match since 2000.
Team Long vs Team Laurinaitis
This seems to be an inevitable match based on the quickly escalating power struggle. A winner take all the power of RAW & Smackdown WrestleMania match that can get at least 8 guys involved. I would be in favor of this because it has a purpose rather than a pointless 8 or 10 man tag like we have seen at WrestleMania's in the past. This would also be the substitute a Money In The Bank match to get more guys featured on the card.
If I had to guess right now I'd say John Laurinaitis, David Otunga, Alberto Del Rio and Christian vs Teddy Long, Ezekial Jackson, Drew McInytre (trying to win Teddy over) and Rey Mysterio. If Mysterio wants to be on the card and can bypass any of this reported heat he has from WWE officials, it would make a lot of sense. He has history with Alberto Del Rio and a match like this would allow him to be protected from a heavy work load. I also think Laurinaitis and Long will be fighting members of their team. Both are trained and having both gear up for a one night only match is something it seems Vince McMahon would find entertaining, at least for him to watch.
FANYASY BOOKING: There has been conflicting reports on Brodus Clay, I wouldn't be shocked if he had a spot on Teddy Long's team. I still stand by that the real reason Clay hasn't been on television as much is due to time. He has squashed everyone to squash and they don't have a feud for him going in to WrestleMania. He gets put in this match and either is the same old Funkasauraus OR.....he drops the gimmick by turning on Team Long and siding with Lauriniaitis who for months was seen talking to him on the phone.
This is a great idea and the way the WWE is heading. My only concern is that I do not think they need Long and Laurinaitis in the ring. They can put together a set of 4 guys to represent them. I realize they are trained in the ring, but a quick scuffle on the outside or a way for them to break up a count would be enough action I would want to see from them. I am sick of seeing guys like Mickey Rourke, Michael Cole. and others get time to fight and waste a valuable spot in the biggest night in Sports Entertainment.
For Laurinaitis, I would have Otunga team up with Del Rio, Christian, and Mark Henry (Given that Henry was suspended by Long and if he is not involved in the World Heavyweight Championship match) face off against Teddy Long's team of Santino, Ezekiel Jackson, Rey Mysterio, and Drew McIntyre. My biggest swerve is to have Mysterio not be announced until coming out as a surprise at the event. You do not need to advertise him, especially because there are so many other reasons people will buy the Pay Per View. He would be a nice surprise to the live crowd and a nice little dramatic element for the next few weeks. Maybe have Long keep searching and then say he will have his fourth member at Mania. Either way, I like the importance of the match even though I do not want to see either of these guys run BOTH shows.
Your Opinions below or Tweet @JoshIsenberg4. Thanks to Justin LaBar for giving me his thoughts on building the rest of the WrestleMania card. Stay Reading because Part 3 will be up next Wednesday.