Wrestling Thoughts – Breaking Down Wrestlemania 28
Since there are real betting odds on this years Wrestlemania, I thought it would be fun to break down the card if the event were actually a real sporting contest.
John Cena vs. The Rock: This is without out a doubt one of the biggest matches in wrestling history. It’s the biggest draw of today against one of the biggest draws during the 90s and early 2000s. Both guys are pretty evenly matched. I’d give the slight strength advantage to Cena but feel Rock will have the speed advantage. Save for a “tune up” match last November, Rock hasn’t wrestled on a consistent basis so you have to wonder what kind of ring shape he’ll be in. One thing about Cena is that you can never count him out. He’s been down and badly beaten before but he has a tremendous amount of heart and we know that he won’t quit. When it comes skills, these two are almost equals. They both have a long drawn out rope running move and they both have finishers that can be hit quickly as long as they’re not too busy posing to the crowd. Cena has the better submission game as he’s defeated plenty of foes with his STFU while Rock hasn’t put too many people away with his sharpshooter, probably because he doesn’t know how to finish the hold properly. A lot of bouts come down to “who wants it more.” Well both guys want this pretty bad. Cena doesn’t want to lose to a guy who only comes in once a year to wrestle after he’s worked so hard to be the top guy in the business and Rock wants to prove that he’s still one of the best there is by beating the top guy in the business. Rock will have a huge hometown advantage but Cena is rarely fazed by the crowd not being on his side. Both men will step their game up on Sunday but I feel like Cena will pull out a victory in the end because of his heart and toughness. Rock will throw everything at him but Cena will overcome and find a way to score the pinfall.
Prediction: John Cena
The Undertaker vs. Triple H: This is a rematch from last year and a battle between two veterans who know all the tricks to the trade. Neither man is what they once were but considering their limited schedule, they should both be prepared to pull out all stops in order to secure the victory. Undertaker has really changed his game over the years, adding some submissions to his arsenal and tightening up his striking. Tripe H hasn’t really added anything to his game but his go to moves are so powerful and explosive that I guess he doesn’t need to change what has worked for so many years. I worry about the mindset of Triple H heading into this bout. He was hesitant to take the match in the first place and Undertaker has already beaten him twice at Wrestlemania. Plus Shawn Michaels, Triple H’s best friend, will be the referee for the bout, which could lead to some complacency from Triple H, feeling that his buddy will help him out should he get into any danger. You can’t question the mental game of The Undertaker. He’s undefeated at Wrestlemania and last year he took a beating of a life time but still came back to win. He hasn’t wrestled in a year but when your as old and have been through as many wars as he has, the year layoff might actually be a good thing for him. Like Cena and Rock, I expect these two to go all out in this battle and hold nothing back. In the end though, you just can’t go against Undertaker at Wrestlemania. His will to win along with the mental edge gives him the advantage in this contest.
Prediction: The Undertaker
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho: This should end up being the best contest on the card. Both men are evenly matched and are two of the most skilled wrestlers in the sport today. They’re both technically sound, have plenty of cardio, use their speed well, and have good power. Jericho got into Punk’s head this past week, which might lead to Punk fighting on emotion. If he can keep his emotions in check though, I believe that he’s the more skilled competitor. Jericho hasn’t been in a big time title match recently while Punk has been battling all challengers since early last year. That said, Punk has never been in the Wrestlemania spotlight before like Jericho has. So if Jericho is in Punk’s head and the moment overwhelms him, it could spell trouble for the champion. Given how bad Jericho wants to prove that he’s the best and how he’s not above using cheap tactics to get the smallest advantage, don’t be surprised by Jericho goes all Cheick Kongo and uses some underhanded tactics. Expect to see Punk to use his speed and kicks while Jericho will likely want to slow things down, use his power advantage, and try to work over Punk’s back in order to set up the Walls of Jericho. This should be a back and forth battle, but I think Jericho will have just enough to pull it out. It may not be pretty, but a win is a win and a title is a title.
Prediction: Chris Jericho
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus: Now this is battle between speed and technical ability against raw strength. Bryan is one of he most technical grapplers in the sport with easily the best submission game. The way he chains submissions together is a thing of beauty. He’s also a very smart competitor. He doesn’t take many unnecessary risks, he knows how to wear his opponents down, and he strikes when the moment is right. Sheamus on the other hand is pure power. Every move he goes for, he’s looking to do serious damage. I worry about the cardio of Sheamus in this bout. Muscular guys like him always have cardio question marks, while Bryan has proven in the past that he can go 60 minutes like it’s nothing. Plus Sheamus burns a lot of energy with all of his power moves. This seems like a bout that Bryan should win considering that he is the better wrestler, but you can never count out a power guy like Sheamus. Because of that power, I have to go with Sheamus. I don’t think cardio will come into play as Sheamus will simply be on Bryan early and often, land his big power moves, and eventually put Bryan away.
Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show: This is a throwback to the old days when there were no weight classes. Obviously The Big Show has a huge size advantage, but he doesn’t move well for a big man and his cardio is very suspect. He also has a history of failing at Wrestlemania, which has to hurt him mentally. Rhodes obviously needs to use his speed in this bout. He can’t let Big Show trap him and use his size and strength, otherwise this one could be over quick. I think we’ll see a very motivated Big Show in this bout, as he knows that this could be his last shot at Wrestlemania glory and he’ll make short work of Rhodes.
Prediction: The Big Show
Randy Orton vs. Kane: This is terrible match making as these two compete in a battle that no one cares about. Orton is a methodical wrestler who likes to grind his opponents out and Kane is pretty much the same way. That means we’re likely in for a boring contest. Orton should win this one with ease, it’s just a matter of whether or not he’ll let Kane hang around. Orton is known for working at his competitions level, so despite the fact that he’s much better than Kane, it’s possible that this one drags out for far longer than needed. Lets hope that isn’t the case though.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny: On paper, this looks like it should be a route of Team Johnny as they have the much more well-round team. That’s why the have the bouts though. Team Teddy has a lot of heart and won’t go away easy, but this is just not a well-constructed team. Mark Henry is the most dominate wrestler on either side, Dolph Zigger is the best wrestler of the bunch, and Jack Swagger is the best pure wrestler. Plus they have The Miz, who was in the main event of Wrestlemania last year, so he knows what it’s like to compete on the big stage. Team Teddy has the most accomplished guy in Booker T, but he’s older now and hasn’t been very active. Zack Ryder is coming off a major injury, and R-Truth and Kofi Kingston haven’t performed too well as of late. I feel like this is a bout where anything can happen, but in the end, Team Johnny will win.
Prediction: Team Johnny
Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly vs. Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix: Even though Maria will be working hurt in this bout, I think her and Kelly will have a pretty easy time. Beth and Eve might be better as singles, but they’re just not on the same page as a team. Kelly will have to use her speed to counter Beth’s power and Eve just isn’t all there mentally given her personal problems with Zack Ryder. Maria will have to work smart instead of hard, but I think she’ll be able to get the job done along with her partner.
Prediction: Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly