Barnett's WrestleMania 29 Preview and Predictions: The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Undertaker vs. CM Punk, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and more
By Jake Barnett
The following predictions are based on my personal opinion and not on any advanced knowledge of this weekend’s events. They are also likely wrong.
The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship: The build to this match shot out of the gates very hot with John Cena and The Rock’s first verbal encounter, but they failed to recapture that magic in the ensuing weeks. What WWE managed to do well here is create some doubt as to whether John Cena would be able to weather his self-doubt and frustration and beat The Rock without taking any shortcuts. I don’t anticipate a John Cena heel turn here, but I think they have shown enough to remind us all of how interesting it would be if it ever happens. I expect a better match from these two than last year, and a different outcome.
Prediction: John Cena defeats The Rock and wins the WWE Championship.
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk: I have a blog up on the site regarding this feud, so I won’t get into it too much here, but the build to this match has been underwhelming to say the least. That being said, I think the match will be fantastic, as CM Punk and The Undertaker are both extremely talented, and I can imagine both men are motivated to go out and steal the show at WrestleMania. Despite having little more to say about the build heading into Sunday, I have a feeling there will be plenty of people talking about this match come Monday.
Prediction: The Undertaker defeats CM Punk to keep the streak alive.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar: This match will not doubt be emotionally charged. Triple H’s career being on the line added a nice wrinkle to this match, one that has given it the big fight feel that you hope for when thinking about WrestleMania. With Paul Heyman and Shawn Michaels at ringside, I think we’re going to see a very interesting mix of antagonism and emotion that should push this match over the top. There’s no doubt in my mind that they will make liberal use of the no holds barred stipulation to make this one a brawl from start to finish, which will be a nice change of pace from their Summerslam match. WWE has a lot to gain by cementing Brock Lesnar as a career ending monster, and even with the retirement stipulation I don’t think this will be the last we see of Triple H.
Brock Lesnar defeats Triple H and forces him to retire from the ring.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship: This build started with a lot of promise, and ended with a sputter. The characters were never fully developed, and the story ended up losing a lot of steam as a result. I’m a fan of both guys and think they will deliver an entertaining spectacle of a match, but I don’t think either of them will walk out of New York with the World Heavyweight Championship. Since this feud has lost its way and the characters involved are in desperate need of a reboot, I think this is a perfect opportunity for Dolph Ziggler to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase and walk out of New York with the World Heavyweight Championship. I think Alberto Del Rio retains his title, but is beat down after the match and Dolph Ziggler capitalizes.
Alberto Del Rio retains, but Dolph Ziggler leaves Wrestlemania with the World Heavyweight Championship.
Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston vs. Team Hell No for the Tag Team Championships: There is a lot of potential here for a great match depending on how much time it’s given and where on the card it is in proximity to the World Heavyweight Championship match. I’ve enjoyed Team Hell No in the past, and still do once in a while, but I think it’s time for a change of pace for both Kane and Bryan regardless of the outcome of this match. I think Zigger and Big E holding the tag titles as well as Ziggler capturing the World Heavyweight Championship would put them in an excellent position to take over the Smackdown brand as its featured personalities post WrestleMania, especially with people potentially taking time off.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston defeat Team Hell No.
Mark Henry vs. Ryback: I think this match could surprise some people. Henry has generally been excellent lately, despite some weird promos leading to WrestleMania, and I think Ryback has shown that he has plays the part of a juggernaut pretty well. I’m hoping they avoid the typical stereotypes of big man matches and try to deliver a solid brawl with some athleticism tossed in to boot. Both men seem to be on a trajectory back towards a World Title, so it’s a shame one of them has to lose, or do they? I’m not so sure.
Predicton: Ryback and Mark Henry ends in a wild double countout Brawl.
Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show vs. The Shield: The build to this match confused me, as it has been sold in recent weeks as if they only way the babyface team could lose is if they turned on each other. It struck me as odd because The Shield had looked so strong in all of their previous victories, that I don’t know why WWE would go out of their way to make them appear like the vulnerable team heading into WrestleMania. I think we’re going to see another brawl here, with liberal bending of the rules and potentially the beginnings of a heel turn for Randy Orton. He has been portrayed as the voice of reason here, which is totally out of character for him, so a loss here could potentially push him over the edge.
Prediction: The Shield defeats Sheamus, Orton and Big Show.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango: This is a match that I might be looking forward to the most out of all the undercard matches on this show. Jericho is an amazing talent in the ring and Fandango has an opportunity to really prove himself to the WWE audience on a big stage. It’s not often we see somebody make their debut at WrestleMania, and I think it’s a sign that WWE is very optimistic about where they think Fandango can go. He has been dancing the past few days at Axxess and the WrestleMania Press Conference with NXT talent Summer Rae, who looks to be set to debut as well. I’m interested to see how they integrate her into his act, and how it affects the outcome of this match.
Prediction: Fandango defeats Chris Jericho.
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins: I really hope they flip a switch soon and turn Tons of Funk into a Tag Team bent on destroying the universe. They have all the promise there with two monsters who are both capable of great matches, and I a lot of it is squandered in this act. In any case, this match should be quick and painless, and I see the crowd going home happy.
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls defeat Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins:
Wade Barrett vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Title: It’s hard to get motivated to watch an hour long WrestleMania pre-show on Youtube, but I think Miz and Barrett will have a match worth tuning in for. My only problem with this is that the Intercontinental Title has never meant less, and being on the pre-show while Tons of Funk is on the main one isn’t going to do much to improve the status of the title in the eyes of casual fans. In any case, I see the Miz winning here, and going on to lose 100 non-title matches in a row to various main event talents.
The Miz defeats Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title:
Questions, comments or concerns? E-mail me at email@example.com or find me on twitter @barnettjake.
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