This pay per view could not be in a worse position, as it is placed between the two biggest shows of the year. However, this year seems more interesting than past years, simply based on the fact that there are four main events on the card. After this pay per view ends, we will likely know where everyone is going be positioned on the WrestleMania card, which might not be the best news for a lot of guys.
Here are my predictions from start to finish…
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger in the Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship
This match is going to be an important one to get some of the lower mid card guys up to main event level. I think it should definitely be the opening match, because it’s not going on last, and placing it in the middle of the card would be a big mistake. The participants start making their way into the cage, but during Orton’s entrance, the lights go out, and when they come back on, Orton is being attacked in the aisle by The Shield. Referees are trying to get The Shield away from ringside, with Orton doing his best to fight them off. Ambrose has a lead pipe with him and he hits Orton in the back of the knee. After The Shield finally leave, Orton is helped to his feet, but he insists on competing in the match. Unfortunately for Orton, he’s the first one in with Swagger, who immediately targets the knee. Orton manages to fight Swagger off long enough for the next entrant Chris Jericho to enter. Jericho and Swagger exchange holds, allowing Orton to catch his breath in the corner. Kane is supposed to come out next, but there is a problem with his door, as it won’t open. So the officials make the decision to open Daniel Bryan’s chamber instead. Bryan then stands in front of Kane’s chamber, and begins taunting him with ‘No’ chants, only to turn right into the Code Breaker from Jericho. Jericho goes for the pin, but then Kane’s door finally opens, and Justin Roberts announces that due to Kane’s door being opened before the countdown started, Bryan must now return to his chamber, as he is not yet legal in this match, because Kane was supposed to come out when Bryan did. So Bryan returns to his chamber. Mark Henry comes out next and basically runs through everybody. Bryan then comes in last and delivers a missile dropkick to Henry. Everyone then attacks the big man with a different move. Bryan, Kane, Jericho and Swagger then pair off, as Orton is still hurting in the corner. Bryan and Kane start working together on the other four guys. But when Bryan goes for a tope through the ropes onto Jericho, Kane catches him and delivers a chokeslam to his own partner Bryan. Before Kane can do anything, he is caught in a World’s Strongest Slam by Mark Henry and eliminated. Henry then sets his sights on Bryan and eliminates him as well with a Vader bomb. Mark Henry hoists Jericho up next for the World’s Strongest Slam, only to have Swagger run and clip his knee from behind. Jericho then delivers the lionsault, which Orton follows up with an RKO to finally eliminate Henry. After Henry’s elimination, he starts losing it on the outside, tossing around chairs and other equipment. He then tries to get back into the chamber and manages to swing the door back open, until all the security guards, and the referee who is in charge of the match team up to get Henry out of there. Meanwhile, Jericho has Swagger in the Walls of Jericho, and Swagger is tapping, but the distraction by what’s going on with Mark Henry allows Dolph Ziggler to run down and nail Jericho from behind with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Swagger then delivers the Doctor bomb to eliminate Jericho, after Ziggler’s interference. It’s now down to Orton and Swagger as the last two. Orton makes a valiant effort, but when he goes for the RKO, Swagger violently yanks Orton down by his shoulders, right into the Patriot Act/ankle lock. Due to Orton’s injury at the hands of the Sheild, he has no choice but to tap out, making Jack Swagger the number one contender.
[Zeb Coulter gets on the mic and raises Swagger's hand]
Coulter: Get ready America! Soon you’ll have the champion that you deserve!
[Mark Henry is going absolutely berserk backstage, and continues to throw things around, as he's approached by Matt Striker]
Striker: Mark, I know you’re upset, but you’ve just lost your opportunity to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania. What now?
[Henry grabs Striker around the neck and forces him against a wall]
Henry: NOBODY EVER TELLS THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN THAT HE CAN’T DO SOMETHING! I’M GOING TO THE MAIN EVENT AT WRESTLEMANIA! AND THERE AIN’T NOTHING THAT ANYBODY CAN DO ABOUT IT!
[Henry then releases Striker and acts like he may let him go, only to pull him back and give him the World's Strongest Slam through a nearby table. Officials then come to check on Striker and once again try getting Henry to leave]
Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the United States Championship
Cesaro recently got a three-star match out of the Great Khali, so this could be a great match. I thought the spot on Raw where he kept swinging Miz back and forth into the barricade looked very impressive, and I think he can only get better from here. Having said that, I don’t think Miz will ever make it to main event level again, especially after he almost injured CM Punk at a recent house show. I see the announcers playing up the fact that Miz may have a concussion after the attack on Raw, which will lead into the finish. Cesaro elevates Miz to the apron, with Miz fighting back with headbutts through the ropes, only to eventually catch a vicious knee to the head. Cesaro then hooks Miz through the ropes and brings him in for the Neutralizer to pick up the clean win.
[A promo for WrestleMania airs]
[Dolph Ziggler, AJ and Big E. Langston are walking through the hallway, as they are confronted by Booker T. and Teddy Long]
Booker: Yo Zig! What the hell was that out there? What were you doing, interfering in my chamber match?
Ziggler: Look Booker, I’ve told you from the start that Chris Jericho didn’t belong in that chamber. As a matter of fact, Jericho doesn’t belong here in the WWE. I wanted in the chamber, and I found a way in; it’s as simple as that.
Booker: Oh it’s as simple as that, is it? Well I hope you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight, because there ain’t no way that I’m ever granting you a World Title match after that stunt.
Ziggler: How many times do I have to tell you, Book? I don’t need anything from you, so long as I have this (holds up briefcase). I could cash this bad boy in tonight if I wanted to, and there wouldn’t be anything you could do about it.
[Ziggler starts smirking, only to realize that Big Show is standing behind him]
Big Show: So you’re waiting for the right time? Let me give you a piece of advice. When I regain that World Title, cashing in your Money in the Bank briefcase is NEVER a good idea. But if you’re feeling froggy tonight, then maybe you better go ahead and jump.
[Ziggler just walks away, leaving Show to get in Booker's face]
Show: I don’t know what it is you have against me, but after tonight, you’ll be seeing a lot more of me with that World Heavyweight Title. So you better get used to it.
[Big Show walks away]
Teddy: The man’s got a good point, Book. We could be looking at the next World Heavyweight Champion right there.
Booker: When did you become such a Big Show fan? Come on dawg, we got work to do.
Katelyn vs. Tamina Snuka for the Divas Championship
This match was added on WWE.com I believe, but unless I’ve missed something, it has zero storyline attached to it. As a matter of fact, the Divas division in the WWE is the most pathetic it’s ever been, in my opinion. However, hopefully Sara Del Rey will be able to train some of these girls to wrestle. The good news is that this match will likely be kept short. I’ll pick Katelyn to win via her finishing move (whatever that is).
Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship
I find it odd that the last two matches that these men have had, have been with stipulations. But this match is a straight-up one-on-one encounter. These two have really brought out the best in each other, at least in the ring, and I’m thinking this match won’t be any different. I see a ref bump near the end, which leads to Big Show grabbing a chair. Before he can attack, Ricardo jumps in the ring and tries to grab it from him, but Show just uses the chair to force Ricardo to the outside. Del Rio then climbs to the top rope and dropkicks the chair into Big Show’s face to pick up the win. After the match, Teddy Long comes out and says that the match should be restarted, due to the chair being used. But then Booker T. comes out and overrules that decision, saying that since Show was the one who brought the chair into the ring, the original decision stands, and Del Rio is still the champion.
[After the match, Del Rio leaves, but Big Show is irate. He gets in Booker's face, but Booker does not back down. Booker removes his jacket and looks ready to fight, only for Teddy Long to step between them. Booker starts arguing with Teddy, as Big Show winds up his fist. Show goes to KO Booker, but Booker dodges it, and Big Show ends up knocking out Teddy Long instead]
[Josh Mathews interviews CM Punk and Paul Heyman]
Mathews: Well we’re all still waiting to hear about Matt Striker’s condition, and I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted once we…
Punk: Mathews, what the hell is wrong with you? Who gives a crap about Matt Striker? You’re standing next to the People’s Champion; act like it!
Mathews: Very well then. Punk, this is the first time in a long time that you’ve been in the challenging role, heading into a title match. Your thoughts?
Punk: My thoughts are that you’re an idiot. I’m not now, nor will I ever again be the challenger. I’m fighting for a title that I never should have lost in the first place. It was taken from me by Vince McMahon, out of jealousy. And it’s because he knew what I know, which is that I am the greatest champion to have ever lived. I’m a better champion than The Rock, better than Stone Cold Steve Austin, better than Bret Hart, better than The Undertaker, and I’m even better than Bruno Sammartino; in fact, when Bruno is inducted into the Hall of Fame, there might as well be a second place ribbon hanging around his neck. So Mathews, don’t you ever refer to me as the challenger again. The next time you put your foot in your mouth, I’ll put my foot in your face. Now as far as Dwayne goes, he better enjoy my title while he can, because all is right with the world again, now that this man right here (points to Heyman) is back in my corner.
Heyman: And behind every great champion is a great agent. And I’m not one of those phony baloney Hollywood agents like The Rock has. I only stick with the elite. I’m what you might call an agent of the stars. And no star shines brighter than CM Punk.
Punk: At least The Rock and I have that in common, because he’s going to be seeing stars when I put him to sleep.
Mathews: Punk, some say that the only chance you have is if The Shield gets involved, like they did at The Royal Rumble.
Punk: That is all hearsay, Mathews. Them getting involved in my matches has had nothing to do with me, as I’ve proven time and time again; they are merely coincidences. I mean I’m just as much a stranger’ to them as The Rock is, or Ryback, or anyone else that they’ve attacked, so…
[The Shield interrupt]
Ambrose: So it’s like that, is it? After we’ve bailed you out time and time again?
Punk: What the hell are you talking about?
Rollins: Punk, you can play dumb all you want, but the jig is up.
Reigns: And the bad news is that we still have each other. But you? You’ve got your back against the wall now, without a friend in the world. And if you think that you can beat The Rock on your own, good luck!
[The Shield leaves, and Punk has a nervous and worried look on his face]
The Shield vs. Ryback, John Cena and Sheamus in a six-man tag
This is likely to be more of a brawl than a wrestling match, and it’ll be interesting to see how this one is booked. I see a ref bump near the end, where all six guys start brawling in the ring. Ambrose then reaches under the ring and attacks both Cena and Ryback with the pipe to take them out for the time being. This leaves Sheamus to be triple teamed in the ring. Randy Orton then comes out to try to get even. He pounces on Ambrose and starts beating the hell out of The Shield. Sheamus then comes behind Orton, who thinks it’s another Shield member, and Orton ends up dropping Sheamus with an RKO. Ambrose then pulls Orton out of the ring, which allows Rollins to take the pin on Sheamus. After the match, Cena and Ryback help Orton clear the ring of the Shield. Orton then goes to help Sheamus up, but Sheamus pushes him off. Orton and Sheamus then exchange words, which quickly gets physical. As Orton and Sheamus start brawling, they are being pulled apart by Ryback, Cena and a bunch of officials.
[The announcers quickly update us on the conditions of both Matt Striker and Teddy Long]
[Another WrestleMania promo airs]
The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship
I was really impressed by the first match between these two, and I think this one could be even better, now that they’re used to being in the ring with each other. I see several near falls in this one, with each guy kicking out of the other’s finisher. Suddenly the lights go out, and everyone assumes that The Shield interferes. As they come back on, CM Punk is out cold, and the referee disqualifies The Rock for the interference and starts to return the title to Punk. Vince McMahon then comes out and somehow proves that Punk wasn’t really attacked, and it was all just another set up attempt. So Vince restarts the match, which leads to The Rock picking up the win off the Rock Bottom. After the match, The Rock brings Heyman into the ring and attempts to give him a Rock Bottom, but Punk attacks from behind. The Rock fights back, but then the Shield runs out, making it four against one. Cena and Ryback then run out and the two of them and The Rock lay out Punk and start brawling with The Shield through the crowd. Punk then gets to his feet, as the lights go out one more time. When they come back on, The Undertaker is in the ring behind Punk, and chokeslams him to end the show.
So there you have it.
Here are my match predictions for WrestleMania:
The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship - This one’s a given, so there’s not much to say here.
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker - Taker takes exception to the fact that Punk keeps referring to himself as the best in the world, when he hasn’t beaten the best at WrestleMania.
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a No Holds Barred match - Triple H is obviously out for revenge, for what Lesnar did to Vince McMahon. Hopefully this does not lead to the return of Stephanie.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship - This match is going to be at the bottom of the card anyway, or somewhere near the middle, so it might as well be a three-way. I see Mark Henry interrupting the contract signing and stealing the contract, until Booker T. agrees to put him in the match. With Booker out of action (see below), Teddy Long accepts Henry’s offer. Swagger then cuts a deal with Henry that Henry does not touch him until they get to Mania, so that the two of them can work together to soften up Del Rio. On the go-home show, Henry beats Del Rio clean in a non-title match, only for Swagger to attack the back of Henry’s knee with a steel chair and apply the Patriot Act, breaking his own deal just before Mania.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus - These two attempt to reconcile by competing in a tournament to crown new tag team champions (see below), but the team falls apart from the get-go, and Orton and Sheamus both realize that they make better opponents than teammates.
Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee vs. Chris Jericho and Trish Stratus in a mixed-tag team match - With Trish being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and considering her history with Jericho, I think this match makes perfect sense. Plus, Ziggler needs to be involved in a big match at Mania. I can see him losing this match, but then cashing in the briefcase later on.
Ryback (representing Booker T.) vs. The Big Show (representing Teddy Long) – For some reason, they keep teasing something between Booker and Big Show, but I don’t think it’ll be a match, because they’re also teasing some dissension between Booker and Long. The stip here is that if Big Show wins, Teddy Long becomes GM, but if Booker wins, he gets five minutes alone in the ring with Long. After what happened at Elimination Chamber, Booker is blamed by everyone for Long being knocked out. Teddy Long then comes back and sets Booker up to get beaten down by Big Show and Long replaces Booker as GM in his absence. Booker returns later and this match is set up. I’ve heard rumors of Ryback versus Jericho at Mania, but I am against that idea for a number of reasons. I think that would be the better match, but I’d hate to see a quick heel turn for Jericho, and nothing against Jericho, but Ryback beating him really doesn’t do anything for Ryback. Jericho has been jobbing so frequently, that it really wouldn’t mean anything for Ryback to beat him. But beating someone like Big Show would be a major accomplishment, even though the Jericho match would be better.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane - Both guys are forced back to Anger Management, but not even Dr. Shelby can control them this time. The team officially breaks up and has to forfeit the Tag Titles, which are held up in a tournament.
The Shield vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in the finals of the tournament to crown new WWE Tag Team Champions - I don’t mind postponing the Mysterio versus Sin Cara match, and having it at one of the smaller pay per views, where it will get more time. At Mania, that match will not go more than 10 minutes. Plus they need to get the Shield on the card somehow, and this is the only way I see that happening, since everyone else is kind of tied up.
Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes vs. Christian, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas and The Miz in an 8-man tag - Pre-show