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Ah, Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania, no matter how bad we think the show may end up being, is still the most exciting time to be a wrestling fan. Sure, the card may look a little weak, and build-up may have been a little dry, but even so, Wrestlemania has so much history, and its reputation is so great, that even if we end the night shaking our hands and wondering why, we must still remember that throughout the four hours, we were remarkably entertained.
If there is something positive to say about this show it is that it is at least unpredictable. That unpredictability starts with the main event, where there are a number of fairly realistic possibilities.
The first possibility is that Daniel Bryan defeats Triple H in their match, and then overcomes the odds in the main event and wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Ideally, this is the reality that fans would most like to see. Bryan certainly deserves his title reign, and the fans have longed to see him actually be the champion for an extended period of time. Also, WWE has a documentary crew following Bryan this weekend for a show that will premiere on the network, which has to be a positive sign, because there isn't one following Batista or Randy Orton.
Another, less likely possibility, is that Triple H defeats Daniel Bryan and HE wins the world title. The reasoning behind this move, is that Triple H seriously feels that neither Orton or Batista can be the dominant heel champion that the company needs. Admittedly, HHH going on a powertrip and booking himself to be champion WOULD get him a ton of heat, more than Batista and Orton could ever get. I don't think it is particularly likely that this would happen, but I do believe that it is within the realm of possibility.
The final possibility for the main event is that Bryan against wins his match against Triple H, only to have The Game screw him in the main event, allowing Batista to pick up the pieces and claim the title. As an individual, Batista is a wholly underserving performer to become the world champion, but there is no doubt about it that he gets a ton of heat, and him walking into the title thanks to HHH screwing Bryan would only increase that heat. In theory, it would give WWE a super-heel champion, and fan the flames of the Bryan/HHH feud. As disappointing as it would be, in the long run WWE could convince itself that this is the right move.
For what its worth, and I have no definable proof of this, I do think that Batista may have agreed to come back if only he was guaranteed the world title. How else could you explain the ridiculous decision to have him win the Rumble and main event Wrestlemania? I may be completely off-base on this hypothesis, but it is something to think about heading into Wrestlemania.
As for the match from a quality standpoint, I wouldn't expect anything tremendous. Even if Daniel Bryan were to make it into the main event, him and Orton have failed to do anything great together, despite the reputations of each men as being elite talents. Working with a slug like Batista will only further complicate matters. If Triple H makes it into the main event, then forget about it. The crowd will be booing the entire time and the match will be worked at a snail's pace.
The Bryan vs HHH match will take place early in the card, and I wouldn't rule it out as the shows opener. As a match, despite all the hype it is getting, I'm not expecting a classic. Daniel Bryan has worked the best when he is allowed to work a more independent style. This means a very quick pace, lots of back and forth, plenty of quick near falls and only a sprinkling of really high impact moves. Triple H, over the last couple years, has wreslted the exact opposite of that. Very plodding, only a handful of moves and a lot of finishers and false finishes. Triple H physically is probably in good shape, but athletically I doubt he can hang with Bryan. HHH recently has only gotten mediocre matches out of The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, and I expect more of the same on Sunday. Also, I guarantee this match ends up being a No Disqualification match by the time it takes place. Not counting his stupid matches with Curtis Axel, 8 out of the last 10 televised matches Triple H has partaken in have been some form of No Disqualification. It's a crutch he pretty much needs to get through his big matches, so expect it to happen again on Sunday.
The Undertaker's streak is pretty much unbreakable, but for the first time I believe that it could conceivably end Sunday. The Undertaker will have to retire eventually, and he keeps limiting the dates he works, so much so that I have to believe that the end is near. Brock Lesnar is probably not the ideal guy to beat the streak, which should be reserved for a younger, up and coming star, but does Undertaker really have another Wrestlemania left in him? I'm really not sure.
The match should be a good one. The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar are very good ring psychologists, and although it may not be the quickest match, it should still be expected to be of the highest quality. The Undertaker is very meticulous in his preparation for his Wrestlemania matches and as long as it is given a good finish, the match should be really special.
It's hard to think that a John Cena match is flying under the radar, but that is exactly the case for his match against Bray Wyatt. This is a really refreshing change for Cena, especially around Wrestlemania time. Cena has wrestled in a world title match at every single Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 21, with the exception of Wrestlemania 28, where he worked the main event against The Rock. Seeing Cena not only out of the main event, but against an exciting younger star like Bray Wyatt is a breath of fresh air into his perpetually stale character and storylines.
One thing that is not clear about this match is why the heck does Cena keep talking about this match being about his legacy? Cena literally said the words "On Sunday, I'm not letting my career end that way." What the hell does that even mean? Is this suddenly become a match were Cena's career is on the line? This is Cena's lowest profile match since Wrestlemania 20, so if anything his legacy is not even close to being on the line compared to his previous matches. It just seems like a way for Cena and WWE to try and make the match more important than it really is.
The match should be alright, because any time Cena meets with a rival that the fans really can get behind (like his matches with Bryan and CM Punk) the match ends up being really good. I have to believe that Wyatt is going to claim the win. Cena really has nothing to gain by defeating Wyatt, just another bad guy that Cena slayed. Wyatt on the other hand, has everything to gain by deafeting Cena. Now, Cena may eventually get the best out of the feud, because frankly, he is John Cena and he tends to win a lot, but for Wrestlemania, Wyatt should probably pick up the victory.
The general undercard for the show is pretty underwhelming. The pre-show match will feature the tag team titles on the line, but not a lot of gusto went into the build-up. The Uso's are the recent champions, and their competition is pretty weak. Los Matadores are playful gimmick wrestlers, not really championship material, The Real Americans are close to a break-up and Ryback and Axel are just charisma-deficient bullies. If the match is quick and chaotic, like the match they had on Raw, it could actually be quite good, but it would be surprising if anyone other than the Uso's walk out the winners.
The Andre the Giant Battle Royal is a nice thought, but the execution of it has been sloppy. The winner gets a trophy, which is cool, but other than that, it just seems kind of pointless. It would be much better if the winner got a future title shot or something really impactful. Instead, WWE just got lazy with stars like Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry and Big Show, and through them all into a vegetable soup of a match with a bunch of jobbers.
The six man tag is something that I am taking a great offense too. The Shield were totally heading towards an epic triple threat match at Wrestlemania, as they were clearly breaking up since the Royal Rumble. However, all of sudden they turned face and got back on the same page. It is being reported that the New Age Outlaws wanted to face The Shield before they broke up, and that is why this match is happening. Triple H, a noted friend of Gunn and James, did them a solid by letting them have this match. However, it puts The Shield, guys who were destined to have an epic showdown at Wrestlemania, into a meaningless match against Kane and the Outlaws, just so Triple H's friends can have a match at Wrestlemania. Triple H has a reputation of burying guys, something that he has openly acknowledged recently, but what really bothers me about his time in charge is decisions like this. He is more interested in putting his buddies into a good spot than having The Shield go at it at the biggest event of the year, which would be extremely beneficial to their careers, as Wrestlemania is always the most publicized event of the year.
The final and easily the least important match at Wrestlemania is the unbelievably poorly booked Diva's match. For starters, Vickie Guerrero, a supreme heel character comes out and makes this match out of the blue, a match that normally a face authority figure would make since it puts the heel champion in a bad position. Secondly, the match will have EVERY SINGLE DIVA ON THE MAIN ROSTER in the match. Many of the women in the match are either incompetent workers, or have done nothing to deserve a title shot. Aksana is 3-34 in 2014, and she somehow got a title shot. Instead of having a Naomi/AJ match that could end up actually being decent, they have some form of ridiculous, 13 person, one fall match which is destined to be a botchfest. This is just another example of WWE being more concentrated on Total Divas and marketability than actual wrestling based content.
The ceiling for this Wrestlemania probably isn't that high, but that doesn't mean that it can't be a good show. Last year, I predicted that Wrestlemania would be a sleeper hit and would shock everyone with its quality, which I was clearly incorrect about. This year I'm not that optimistic about the show, but the reality is that Wrestlemania is pretty much always exciting leading up too, and during a majority of the show. We will leave the reactions to the aftermath.