By Mark Gessner
Editor's Note: This is the first of our staff's WrestleMania 27 predictions articles. Check back for the rest of the staff's predictions between now and WrestleMania. As always, the predictions are made without any inside knowledge of the match finishes. Don't forget that you can have ad-free access to our WrestleMania 27 coverage and listen to hours of WrestleMania-related audio content, including Jason Powell and former WWE creative team member Seth Mates reviewing the show on Sunday night, by signing up for membership right now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre (Wade Barret, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Ezekiel Jackson): Since C.M. Punk took over the Nexus leading to Wade Barrett going to Smackdown, which caused Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater to defect from the Nexus and join their former leader, The Corre has been given almost as good of a push on Smackdown as the original Nexus did on Raw over the summer.
The Corre added Ezekiel Jackson to be the muscle of the group. Since Barrett, Gabriel, and Slater moved to Smackdown, they have all captured championship gold. Gabriel and Slater became WWE Unified Tag Team Champions defeating Santino and Kozlov, and Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship this past Friday. Unlike the Nexus which was clearly led by Barrett, The Corre from the start has stated that they are all equals.
Since moving to Smackdown, The Corre has been a thorn in the side of Big Show. They beat him down in their debut continue to make life on Smackdown a living hell for Big Show. Following The Corre interfering in a match between Big Show and Kane, the two aligned and have battling The Corre since. Last Monday, Kane and Big Show came out to save Santino and Kozlov from a beat down at the hands of The Corre and now Santino and Kozlov will be teaming with Kane and Show to take on The Corre at 'Mania.
The original rumored plan according to the projected Wrestlemania card that came out a few weeks ago was The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Kofi, and Christian. Since then, Christian has been heavily involved the Edge vs. Del Rio angle, which left an opening because of his absence from this angle. Some speculated and believed that this could potentially be a spot filled by Kevin Nash based on his stare-down and nod with Big Show at the Rumble. Kofi Kingston was defeated by Wade Barrett this past Friday which could have led to an easy and reasonable inclusion in this match. However, neither was the case. The final two spots will be filled by Santino and Kozlov who Gabriel and Slater defeated for the Tag Team Championships.
The inclusion of the former tag champions really gives this match a hit in potential star power. All signs point towards The Corre going over in all four members' debut at Wrestlemania. While defeating a team that has Big Show and Kane is a solid resume builder, neither of the two will most likely be doing the job and either Santino or Kozlov will be the first pinfall victory on the grandest stage of them all. The added star power of Nash and Kofi would be a much more prestigious victory for the up-and-coming group.
Prediction: The Corre defeats Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship: Following getting fired due to choking out ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own neck tie during the debut of Nexus, Daniel Bryan returned at Summerslam and has been consistently delivering quality matches since. He worked a phenomenal match with Dolph Ziggler in the fall to open a pay-per-view and became the US Champion with a win over The Miz.
Over the last few months, he has been tied down with "sports entertainment" shit by having the Bella twins and Gail Kim involved in his segments and matches on Raw. Over the last few weeks though, he has gotten away from the Diva crap that has weighed him down and has gotten back to what originally got him over on the indys, on NXT, and on Raw- his wrestling ability.
Sheamus received the best push of any new comer to the roster since probably Brock Lesnar. He went through his opponents with ease, won the WWE Championship in the shortest time on the roster in WWE history, and seemed to be on the fast track to being a big name in the company. Triple H put him over at last years Extreme Rules and he was credited with injuring Hunter to the point he could no longer wrestle. He was considered as a potential opponent to challenge the Undertaker for his undefeated streak at 'Mania, and if not that match, had a ready made program with the returning "King of Kings" for 'Mania. The possibility of the latter was made even stronger when the WWE had him win the most recent King of the Ring tournament.
Since winning the King of the Ring, Sheamus went on a monumental downslide, losing to John Morrison regularly and getting buried by a returning Hunter as a blow off to their angle. He ended up putting his career on the line vs. Bryan for the US Championship and was able to capture the title. Since winning three weeks ago, he has gone back to being portrayed as a badass like he should have been throughout his entire early career. If given enough time, this could be the match of the night.
Prediction: Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan to retain the United States Championship
John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and Lay Cool (Michelle McCool and Layla): This is the celebrity match that we have come to expect with every Wrestlemania that is used specifically to generate mainstream publicity. We've had Donald Trump with his hair on the line, Boxing Champion Floyd Mayweather fight the Big Show, and now one of the top characters on the MTV ratings juggernaut, the Jersey Shore wrestling on this year's 'Mania in Snooki. This match way originally scheduled to be Morrison, Trish, and Kelly Kelly vs. Ziggler and LayCool but WWE had the opportunity to include Snooki on the card and capitalized on it. While she is out of her element and will most likely only be passable at best with her minimal involvement in the match, Snooks is going to help bring more eyes to the WWE from die-hard Jersey Shore fans. Look for Morrison and Ziggler to carry the majority of this match with Trish Stratus hitting her signature spots on LayCool.
Prediction: John Morrision, Trish Stratus, and Snooki defeat Dolph Ziggler and LayCool
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: Coming out of Legacy, many people predicted Ted Dibiase to be the breakout star from the tag team of him and Cody Rhodes. Since last year's Wrestlemania Triple Threat match between Orton, Dibiase, and Rhodes, Rhodes have proved to be the breakout star of the former Tag Team Champions. Rhodes began the "dashing" gimmick and has been one of the best heels on Smackdown with his vignettes and promos.
Rey Mysterio requested Rhodes as his 'Mania opponent this year backstage. The angle was set up by Mysterio breaking Cody's nose due to his exposed knee brace a couple months ago. Since the storyline broken nose, Rhodes has been hellbent on beating Mysterio for ruining his "dashing" looks.
This could and should be the biggest singles victory of Cody Rhode's career. Mysterio, as he has been the past few Wrestlemanias, is working through an injury and while he should be able to work with Rhodes to a very good match, he should not be going over a young up-and-coming superstar. Rhodes will most likely reveal that his face is fine and use the protective mask he has been wearing in some form or fashion to defeat Rey.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes defeats Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton vs. C.M. Punk: Following winning his third "Slammy," CM Punk stated that he does not forget the past and that he will bring retribution against prior adversaries. Following a short angle with Cena that led to Punk taking over Nexus, he has since moved into an angle against Randy Orton based on something that happened two and a half years ago. In September 2008, during his first every World Heavyweight Championship run, Orton punk kicked Punk backstage, leaving him unable to defend his title.
Orton has been on a punt kicking tirade over the last month. He has punted Husky Harris, Michael McGuillicutty, David Otunga, and Mason Ryan back to FCW. He's been booked to look absolutely dominant, until last week. Following Punk attacking Orton's knee with a wrench in the parking lot, he has finally looked vulnerable for the first time in months.
While Orton looks weak due to the leg injury, Punk looks cerebral by targeting his leg. With Orton utilizing the punt kick over the past month, Punk eliminating that from his arsenal was a brilliant move. It puts both wrestlers on a level playing field and allows Punk to utilize leg attacks with kicks and holds and for Orton to comeback against a tough opponent and overcome the odds. Punk, assuming he is fully recovered from his injury that put him in the announce booth to begin with, should be able to lead Orton to the best Wrestlemania match of Orton's career.
Randy Orton defeats CM Punk
Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Michael Cole w/ Jack Swagger; Stone Cold Steve Austin as Special Referee: This has been by far the longest building angle on this year's 'Mania card. Since his love for The Miz began on the first season of NXT and introduction of the anonymous Raw General Manager, Michael Cole has been portrayed as a prick on television and according to sources, has taken his prick persona with him backstage.
Every year fans have wondered, will this be the year that Jerry Lawler finally gets his Wrestlemania match? With the building conflict on weekly commentary between the two on Raw, it became apparent between him and Cole or a match for the chance to fight Cole if he won was most likely in the cards for The King.
Cole had the early edge going into this match by having his Jack Swagger in his corner. However, any advantage Cole had was negated by having Stone Cold added as the special referee. While this will not be a mat classic or a five star caliber match, this could have the best addition to the Wrestlemania card and beyond, Jim Ross as a possible fill-in announcer for the main event matches and hopefully for weeks to come on Raw.
Prediction: Jerry Lawler defeats Michael Cole
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship: Since defeating Kane for the championship, and putting Smackdown viewers out of their misery from watching the never ending title reign with the Big Red Machine, Edge has had a pretty entertaining title reign. On a weekly basis he was having good TV main event matches with Dolph Ziggler, overcoming all obstacles put in front of him by Vickie Guerrero.
Since his debut, this past Fall, Alberto Del Rio has been booked like a badass heel. He injured Rey Mysterio in his first night on Smackdown and followed that up by taking out Christian as well. He has incorporated a submission as his finisher, using an armbar and structures his matches around working the arm. Unlike most heels, Del Rio does not always need to win by underhanded tactics. He cut promos for week leading up to the Royal Rumble saying that winning the Rumble and main eventing Wrestlemania was his destiny, and he followed through on what he said. Early in his WWE career, Del Rio has proven to have the "it."
Del Rio had been utilizing his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez and his NXT rookie Brodus Clay to help him get the upper hand over Edge up until Christian's return at Elimination Chamber. Since Christian returning, Edge has had the upper hand which booking 101 says Del Rio will most likely be going over at the pay-per-view. Coming out of 'Mania, Del Rio has a ready made program with Christian or possibly a three-way program between Edge and Christian.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Edge to become the new World Heavyweight Champion
The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship: Coming out of winning out of Money in the Bank where Miz won the briefcase guaranteeing a WWE Championship title shot at anytime he wanted, many were predicting Miz could be the first ever to cash in the briefcase but not win a championship. However, he was successful when he beat Randy Orton to become the WWE Champion this past Fall. Since becoming champion, Miz has received mainstream publicity from various celebrity news sites such as TMZ, from other former Real World cast members such as Kyle Brandt who has gone on to produce The Jim Rome Show on radio and Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN, be interviewed by Bill Simmons of ESPN, and appear on Conan O'Brien.
Miz has lived up to his self-proclaimed title as "the most-see champion in WWE history." Following winning the title, he was booked to retain his title in flukey finishes to title matches, never going over clean. Following his win over Jerry Lawler at Elimination Chamber though, he has been booked as a dominant champion. He has laid out Cena to close out three of the four Raws leading up to this past Monday. After being booked like a chickenshit heel, he was finally given a mean-streak.
John Cena has been the face of the WWE since Stone Cold, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle left the company in the mid-2000s. He consistently "overcomes the odds" on a month-to-month basis at every pay-per-view. In recent months, whether he's forced to join the Nexus and undercut them every step of the way or "fired" from the company but doesn't miss a single week of Raw, Cena has been on our TVs for nearly every week for the better part of the last half a decade. Following his win at Elimination Chamber to become number one contender for the WWE Championship, the general consensus among the majority of fans was that once again, John Cena would be walking out of Wrestlemania as a champion.
Enter The Rock into this equation. John Cena for years has bad mouthed Rock for leaving the WWE to make movies in Hollywood. [For my thought's on this subject, DotNet members, click here -> http://tinyurl.com/6za99go]. Since coming back to the WWE to be the host of Wrestlemania, Rock has ripped Cena a new asshole verbally and made Cena's promos about Rock look elementary at best.
Since the introduction of The Rock as the guest host, Jason has been begging for a way to divert eyes from the stage waiting for Rock to get involved in this match until after the finish had taken place. This past Monday did not accomplish Powell's goal as after The Rock took care of Miz and Alex Riley, Cena slipped back into the ring and deliver an Attitude Adjustment to an unsuspecting Rock. For this reason, except Rock to in some way get involved in this matchup which gives Miz an opening to retain the title. Not once has Cena mentioned becoming WWE Champion during this program and there is no reason for him to win said championship. And, prepare for The Rock vs. John Cena at either Summerslam in Los Angeles where Rock films his movies or at Wrestlemania 28, where Rock played college football for "The U" and will most likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Prediction: Miz defeats John Cena to retain the WWE Championship
Undertaker vs. Triple H: Based on the precedent set at last year's Wrestlemania and what should have been the main event at Wrestlemania 25, Undertaker putting his undefeated streak at 'Mania on the line should main event every Wrestlemania for as long as 'Taker remains an active member of the roster, regardless of whether a championship is involved. "The Streak" has been built up as one of, if not the biggest angles in professional wrestling, as it very well should be. For this reason, I am predicting 'Taker and Hunter to close out this year's 'Mania.
Following the Royal Rumble, viewers received cryptic "2/21/11" videos, hinting towards the return or debut of a wrestler. The initial prediction of many fans was Sting who would challenge Undertaker at Wrestlemania in his first WWE match. Others, through the help of the arena's website, automatically chalked it up to the return of the Deadman. On 2/21/11, the cabin door opened and out walked the returning Undertaker. His triumphant return was cut short however when the opening E-flat power chord by Motorhead played, signifying the return of "The Game," Triple H. Both The Game and 'Taker have made it clear since that night that both are willing to go to any lengths to win and that the other will die trying. The program seemed to be treading water until this past Monday night.
Undertaker came out to his new Johnny Cash entrance. Hunter cut off the full entrance. Hunter was in position to spit water on the ring apron per his typical entrance and then the bells tolled and the arena went black. When the lights came back on, both wrestler's were face-to-face.
Viewers then heard the sound of a bass and snare drum followed by females singing "oh, oh, oh, Shawn..." We had the return of the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. HBK went on to question what made Hunter think he could do what Shawn couldn't, by defeating Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Hunter went on to say that Shawn has become more concerned about stealing the show at Wrestlemania rather than winning, whereas he was the opposite. Undertaker responded by saying that he leaves his opponents full of regret and disappointment, just like he did to HBK after the last two losses against him at Wrestlemania.
Undertaker is one win away from challenging for 20-0 at Wrestlemania. John Cena who could/should be in line for a heel turn by next year's 'Mania has yet to face the Deadman on the Grandest Stage of them All. While Hunter may shock the world, piss of the internet and fans across the world, I do not see that happening this Sunday. The man who was poised to end the streak was Shawn Michaels last year and because he did not, I do not seeing Hunter doing so this year, or anyone else winning in years to come. The undefeated streak holds as much, if not more prestige than any championship in WWE, and should be protected more than any WWE title based on the legacy of the streak.
Prediction: Undertaker defeats Triple H
-If you have any thoughts, questions, comments, or critiques, feel free to email me at email@example.com or tweet me at Twitter.com/MarkGessner. I'll be back tomorrow with my second "Mark Out Moments" recapping TNA Impact.
Gessner's Wrestlemania 27 Preview and Predictions: The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Triple H vs. Undertaker's Wrestlemania undefeated streak
Mar 31, 2011 - 12:00 PM
Mar 31, 2011 - 12:00 PM
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