by Amish Patel - March 31, 2011
The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 27 Preview
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter @johnreport
It’s time for WrestleMania 27. Finally. That seems like the popular word to use considering The Rock has finally come back to WWE after seven long years to participate in WWE’s biggest event of the year. He’s brought some excitement along with him, hasn’t he? It’s time to go over the entire nine match card (I’m not previewing the pre-show battle royal) with match predictions and my thoughts on what else we might expect. This preview is going to a lot shorter than my normal length because I’m hours away from going to the event itself and I wanted to get it posted so you know what’s on my mind going into the event.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
I think this will be the opener since Rey has opened a couple of WrestleManias before. He’s always a good choice to get the crowd excited early in the show. The word is that Rey handpicked Cody as his WrestleMania opponent several months back because they are good friends who he sees a lot of potential in. Does that mean Cody is winning this match? I think so. The feud can continue after WrestleMania and I think Cody will ultimately win the feud too. I hope they can get 12-15 minutes of in-ring action because they have the potential to steal the show.
The Pick: Cody Rhodes
US Title: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Much like Rey vs. Cody, this has the potential to be really good if they are given time to have such a match. The problem is I don’t think WWE will give them that much time. To me, Daniel Bryan’s the best worker in the company while Sheamus is very good for somebody as big as he is. Even though Sheamus got the upper hand on the last Raw I think he’ll keep the title because they’re trying to build him back up after they buried him for a few months for reasons that still surprise me.
The Pick: Sheamus
The Corre vs. Kane, Big Show, Santino & Kozlov
The moment on Raw when Kane was doing the trombone celebration with Santino was hilarious. I absolutely loved it. Does that mean his team is going to win here? Absolutely not. The babyface team is a thrown together group featuring two big man veterans and a tag team that is often booked like a joke. The Corre is a group that WWE has heavily invested in by putting the IC title on Wade Barrett and the tag titles on Slater & Gabriel. They have high hopes for Ezekiel Jackson too. If The Corre doesn’t win it’s the wrong booking move. They’ll go over here…even though they don’t know how to spell Core. Yes, I know it’s for trademarking reasons, but that doesn’t make it right!
The Pick: The Corre
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
I have loved the way the feud has been built up since the Royal Rumble when CM Punk screwed over Orton for what appeared to be no reason. Then we found out that Punk remembered (not always allowed in WWE haha!) when Orton punted him when he was World Champion in 2008, costing him the belt. Each guy was in a different role back then, but the logic behind Punk’s attack worked. Since that time, Orton has punted the four other members of Punk’s Nexus group, which means Punk has to go at it alone. Two weeks ago Punk attacked the knee and this past week on Raw Orton was heavily favoring it as Punk took advantage. The end result is a properly built feud for two months between two guys who are really playing their parts well. And how about some sympathy for Orton? Finally! He’s been booked so strongly during his babyface run that it’s been rare to see him in physical pain. I like it. Now I want to see the good guy (Orton) overcome the injury obstacle to beat the bad guy (Punk). It’s an easy story to tell. Here’s to hoping the feud continues later on in the year when Punk hopefully has the WWE Title while Orton is chasing him for it. With a lot of confidence I’d say Orton wins here. There will be a huge pop for the RKO and perhaps a punt to end it with an exclamation point too.
The Pick: Randy Orton
John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler & Lay-Cool
This is an obvious win for the Morrison/Stratus/Snooki team. They didn’t pay Snooki a ridiculous amount of money to have her lose. The win will get a lot of attention on shows like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and other programs that drool over “celebs” like Snooki. I’d rather see John Morrison in a singles match for a major title because he deserves that, but this is better than not being on the actual card too. The faces win. It’s the biggest sure thing on the card.
The Pick: Morrison, Stratus & Snooki
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole with special referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
I said the match above this one was the biggest sure thing on the card. This one is too. Lawler’s going to win convincingly. I expect Cole’s trainer Jack Swagger to interfere in the match, maybe he’ll attack Steve Austin and that will lead to a Stunner on Swagger leading to the finish of the match with Lawler winning. Post match, cue up the beer celebration with Austin, Lawler and possibly the divas on the roster that aren’t on the card since Cole is hated by everybody. Cole’s role post WrestleMania will be interesting. I think he’ll still be an announcer, but they may tone down some of his heel antics.
The Pick: Jerry Lawler
World Heavyweight Title: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio
In Alberto Del Rio’s corner is Brodus Clay while Christian will be in Edge’s corner. The big question is will Christian be turning on Edge here? I say no. I think what we’ll see happen is Brodus will try to interfere, Christian will try to stop him and will instead actually hit Edge. That may not lead to the direct downfall of Edge, but I do think Del Rio is going to win the title via Cross Armbreaker submission. I think all of it will lead to a triple threat match at Extreme Rules at the end of April where Christian does end up turning heel on Edge. They have invested a lot in Del Rio’s character and have pushed him hard because they believe in him. He won the Rumble and he’s going to win the World Title at WrestleMania too.
The Pick: Alberto Del Rio
The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred Match)
My interest in this match grew after the awesome promo exchange between these two legends and Shawn Michaels. Did I always think The Undertaker was going to win this match? Yes I did. Do I still think that? Yes I do. What has changed is that Shawn Michaels will likely be involved in the match somehow. How? Your guess is as good as mine. Since this is my column, though, you get to read about my guess. It’s a No Holds Barred Match, so Michaels can interfere in some way. I think both guys will be down, Michaels will come out, hit Undertaker with a superkick and tell his best friend Triple H to cover him. Hunter will tell him that he doesn’t want it that way, so Michaels will kick him too. That’s just a guess, like I said. It would be a cool spot and would draw a big reaction. In the end, though, I think we’re looking at a 15-20 minute match with the last ten minutes being about each guy kicking out of finishers. Ring rust will be an issue since Undertaker hasn’t wrestled in about 6 months while Triple H has only had a few matches (non televised) since being out almost a year. The result? An obvious one. The win will go to Undertaker: 19-0.
The Pick: The Undertaker
WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Cena
This match is expected to go on last with a confrontation between John Cena and The Rock ending the show. Before this past week’s Raw my opinion was the Cena would win the match, then Rock would enter the ring post match, raise his hand as the winner and “pass the torch” so to speak. Now? I’m not so sure. While I do think Cena will win the match, I think his celebration with the title will be cut off by “If you smell…” and then we’ll see a situation where The Rock goes face to face with Cena. I think a fight will break out with Rock getting the upper hand. The show will end with Rock hitting the Rock Bottom & People’s Elbow on Cena while he celebrates over his fallen adversary. This should continue the build to an eventual match between the two whether it’s at Summerslam or WrestleMania 28 in Miami (my prediction). I didn’t talk about the match much did I? That’s because after this is over few people will be talking about the match. This one’s all about the moment of Rock going after Cena. It’s bigger than any belt or match on this show. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing long term, but it’s a good thing in terms of generating buys for this PPV.
The Pick: John Cena
I like the card a lot. I think it has the potential to be a great WrestleMania although I’m not sure if there will be any five star matches the way Undertaker and Shawn Michaels have given us in the past two years. The biggest draw on the show is the Rock-Cena confrontation. We’ll likely have to wait 3 hours and 45 minutes for it. I think it will be worth it. My disappointment with the card is that like usual the IC title isn’t being defended, the tag titles are overlooked and there’s not even a Divas title match. Why have belts when they aren’t defending on the biggest show of the year? The big matches are built well and they are what sell PPVs, but things could definitely be better in the midcard. Hopefully that’s a problem that gets corrected soon although I have my doubts about that.
I’ll be at WrestleMania this Sunday for the first Mania of my life. I’ve been to house shows, Raw, Smackdown and other PPVs, but never a WrestleMania. I’d suggest you follow me on Twitter at @johnreport and friend me on Facebook (Facebook.com/thejohnreportnet) because I’ll be writing a lot about my ride down there (12 hours), my experiences in ATL and of course my meetings with so many people there. I’ll also keep a running diary up at thejohnreport.net that I plan to update several times throughout the day. I’m not sure how often I’ll update, but I know I’ll want to write about it and share the experience with you, my fellow wrestling fan. It’s my first WrestleMania. I feel like I did when I was 7 years old going to my first live show. I’m excited. If you’re going to WrestleMania and you want to meet up let me know. All my info is at the bottom of this column, so just contact me and I’d have no problem talking wrestling with you, no matter who you are. We’re wrestling fans. This is the biggest event of the year. Let’s have some fun.
I’m excited about Sunday’s show. Time to hit the road. Be on the lookout for John Report signs. I’m told they could be in a few different places. I’m not sure if I’ll even bring one. I’ll see about that on Sunday.
Enjoy WrestleMania, fella. It only happens once a year.
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