Dot Net staffer Jake Barnett's WrestleMania 27 preview and predictions: The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Hvt. Championship, Randy Orton vs. C.M. Punk, and more
By Jake Barnett
Editor's Note: This is the second of our staff WrestleMania 27 predictions articles. Check back for the rest of the staff's predictions between now and WrestleMania on Sunday. 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.
WrestleMania 27 is coming up quickly, and is going to be one of the hottest shows in recent memory. Here are my picks an predictions for the show, from the bottom of the card to the top. I have no insider knowledge, so please keep in mind that I will likely be wrong, perhaps more than once.
Kane, Big Show, Santino, and Kozlov vs. The Corre: This match will hopefully be quick and painless. This just felt like a "let's get everybody on the card" match, and I don't think it will have any long term storyline implications much past WrestleMania. The Corre continues to mature and improve on what seems like a weekly basis, and everybody else in the match has been treading water for ages, so I hope we see The Corre continue their winning ways by picking up a clean win here. Beyond WrestleMania, I hope we see The Corre become the dominant heel faction that they have the potential to be.
Prediction: The Corre defeats Kane, Big Show, Santino, and Kozlov
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Title: This match has the potential to steal the show. Anybody who knows anything about Daniel Bryan knows he has always risen to the occasion in big match situations, and I don't think it will be any different for his first WrestleMania. Sheamus gave an interview the other day where he said he's willing to go any length to steal the show this year, so I have high hopes for this match. This feud will probably continue forward for the next few months, so I don't see a title change in the works for Sunday, but given some time these guys could tear down the house.
Prediction: Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan
Snooki, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison vs. LayCool and Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero: We can only hope that most of this match is worked by Ziggler and Morrison, otherwise it could be a snoozer. I'm sure we'll get to see Trish's signature spots, and most likely an opportunity for Snooki to pounce on somebody and unleash her troll powers, but the men have to carry this match for it to keep the interest of an audience that will likely have just seen a war between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. I expect this match to be short, and whenever celebrities are involved they always win, so I see the good guys coming out on top.
Prediction: Snooki, Trish, and Morrison defeat LayCool and Dolph Ziggler
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio: Well, this is the culmination of what has turned out to be a pretty solid feud on Smackdown. The character transition from arrogance to archetypal narcissism by Rhodes has been a lot of fun to watch, and I think it speaks a lot about his talents that he has been so successful with it at this stage of his career. Most of the young Wrestlers aren't able to work this kind of psychology until they have much more ring experience.
Rey Mysterio, perennial underdog, enters this match battling an injury. He's looked good in the ring in recent weeks leading up to the match, so I don't think it will affect match quality, but it should be an indicator of where the finish is going. We heard in a recent news story that Mysterio picked Rhodes himself for a Mania match, so it seems like a forgone conclusion that this should be Cody Rhodes big coming out party heading in to a year fresh with possibilities for him. This could be another sleeper contender for match of the night.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes defeats Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton vs. C.M. Punk: Both Randy Orton and C.M. Punk are performing at the highest levels of their career. Orton has been on fire lately, a heel turned face by the fans themselves, and Punk has been a lightning rod on the mic for the better part of a year now. Orton took out all of Punk's reinforcements with punt kicks, and now Punk has seemingly taken out the legs of Randy Orton by using mind games to lure Orton into a spot perfect for a sneak attack.
I see this match as a pretty good opportunity to cement the characters of both men. Orton coming into the match with a storyline injury, looks to be the underdog fighting the wily and tough Punk. You can do a lot to make Orton's character more sympathetic by having him really sell his injury. Punk, on the other hand, can show his ruthlessness by showing no mercy to an injured opponent. I see this feud stretching out to Extreme Rules, so there's no reason for a good guy victory here.
Prediction: CM Punk defeats Randy Orton
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole: This match should be a lot of fun. Michael Cole has been on fire lately with is heel character, to the point where I've gotten e-mail from readers responding to my reports saying that he makes the show unwatchable. Personally, I think Cole has really grown into the role, and I've found his antics recently to be over the top funny, and I think every WWE fan is anxious to see Jerry Lawler get his hands on Michael Cole.
With Jack Swagger at ringside and Stone Cole Steve Austin as referee, this match has a very real possibility of turning into one of the more entertaining matches on the card. I know Jim Ross is scheduled to make an appearance at WWE Fan Axxess, so it would be a great treat if we got to see him call this match and possibly get a measure of revenge himself. I expect this to be one of the big feel good finishes on the card, with Cole getting his comeuppance and Jerry Lawler getting the Mania Moment he's always deserved.
Prediction: Jerry Lawler defeats Michael Cole
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship: The little bit of email I've gotten about this match has been very positive, and I have to say I agree with the readers, this match has had a good build and has a lot of potential to be the coronation of Alberto Del Rio official as the new "Next Big Thing" in WWE. Del Rio has been the breakout star of the past 6 months in WWE, and has shown great ability both in the mic and in the ring heading into WrestleMania. Edge has been solid as well, and the crowds seem to be buying into him as a babyface more than in recent memory, which is a testament to both Edge's hard work and Alberto Del Rio's hated heel character.
The wild card in this is Christian, who has been a part of this feud and the main event picture on Smackdown since his return from a pectoral injury. How will he fit into this match and the finish? I think that remains the big mystery going into this match and what the fallout with be post WrestleMania. However, I can only see this match ending one way.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Edge
The Miz vs. John Cena: This is the match that I had the hardest time picking. John Cena has never lost a singles match at WrestleMania, his only loss coming in a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 24, and being the face of the company it is hard to pick against him anytime he is involved in a big time match. The Miz, however, has made a powerful case for himself in recent months for being the new face of WWE going forward. I'm a huge fan of his character and his mic work, and think he can be a major player the the WWE for a long time going forward.
The role the Rock will play had a lot to do with my pick in this match. The interaction between The Miz, John Cena, and The Rock on Monday was very good, aside from my blog where I took a shot at John Cena for his inability to stop smiling at inopportune moments. I think this match will boil down to who the Rock takes his revenge on last. Will John Cena be turned heel based on his feud with The Rock? If so, where does that leave The Miz? Only time will tell.
Prediction: The Miz defeats John Cena
The Undertaker vs. Triple H: I was not sold on the epic nature of this match until this past Monday. The segment between these two and Shawn Michaels on Monday was the best segment of this year in WWE, and it isn't even close. We saw masterful use of ring psychology, body language, and facial expression, and it all added up to a very emotional segment that drove home the importance of the streak and this match to the legacy of both men involved.
How this match plays out is really academic. I don't foresee a situation in which The Streak would be in any kind of danger, and this match is no exception. In a sport with pre-determined finishes, short careers, and a lot of injuries, there will likely never be another opportunity for anyone to ever go 19-0 at WrestleMania. It is the Iron Man record. The Undertaker is the Cal Ripken or Brett Favre of the WWE. So, while I am certain of the outcome of this match, I appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into Monday's segment, as it really made the event feel special, and cemented the fact that there is a reason why being a legend in this business really means something. Kudos to all three guys for giving us another classic moment.
Prediction: The Undertaker defeats Triple H
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