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Sunday, 1 April 2007

Wrestlemania 23 Predictions

Mere hours to go until the biggest show in the WWE calendar, and I have literally just seen a television advert for the Pay Per View. Wrestlemania 23: All Grown Up. I have two major problems with this.

Firstly, that’s the name Stephanie McMahon’s theme music, so I’m now petrified she will appear at some point. Steph, don’t do it, your weak-quadded hubby is recovering from a serious injury, and he must be constantly dehydrated due to the fact that every time he drinks water he spits it all over the place. Look after him.

Secondly, the advert has several superstars talking about their dreams and what Wrestlemania means to them. Then we hear Torrie’s voice saying she is able to show she is “more than just a pretty face.” Which is true, she has a cute ass and a great rack too, thanks to her tag team partners, Mother Nature and the Plastic Surgeon.

Anyway, onto Mania, and I thought I’d better have a stab at trying to predict the outcomes and their significance. Its been an odd build up, because I don’t think that many of the matches are that appetizing, yet it has been built up and promoting fantastically well – I hope that the storylines and psychology are strong enough to cover for what looks a ropy card.

Chris Benoit v Montel Vontavious Porter – US Championship
I think this will probably open the night. Two reasons. This is a very hastily arranged match with little heat. (MVP actually has less heat than a broken fridge-freezer…… Greenland) The second reason is that history has shown that the IC title or Cruiserweight title has been used in the opening spot.

I, frankly, feel sorry for Benoit because I don’t see much in MVP, and Benoit has been woefully underused ever since back in 2004 when went from losing the belt to Randy Orton on one PPV, then jerking the curtain at the next. I have heard talk of Benoit moving permanently to RAW, so they would need to get the belt off him. It was also raise MVP’s stock and give him a bit more heat to have him go over Benoit, with the help of the ropes, and claim the title.

Prediction: MVP (by way of cheating)

ECW – New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus cor Von, Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn) v The ECW Originals (Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman)

Poor, poor ECW. I think this is possibly the saddest match on the card. Matt Striker, the half-trick pony, brought in on a whim because he was in the news. When you are a poor man’s Dean Douglas, you know you are struggling. Kevin Thorn, who found a more boring gimmick than Mordecai. Elijah Burke, the Black Hole of Personality, and Marcus Cor Von, the Alpha Male with the name almost certainly created when someone was joking in the creative meeting but Steph and Michael Hayes took it seriously.

All of these misfits against Rob Van Dam, who is a shadow of the shadow of his former self; Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, and The Sandman – The Innovator of Violence, the Homicidal, Suicdal Death defying lunatic and The Extreme Icon. All being asked to do ordinary, boring, 3-minute matches with no weapons. Go figure.

Suffice to say, interest in limited (much like ECW as a whole) and the only outcome I can see is the New Breed (they even stole a WCW stable name, that’s how bad the angle is) going over, because that’s the way the wind is blowing. There are a couple of ECW guys without a match. How about Stitsky rearing his (considerably) ugly head to push the New Breed to victory.

Prediction – The New Breed

Kane v The Great Khali

Because Khali v Taker was such a great success……….

Kane is penciled in for some time off post-Mania, and I see no reason why Kane, who lets face it has had his best times, would be allowed to get the better of Khali in this one.

Prediction: The Great Khali – and hopefully the match will be shorter than this section.

Melina v Ashley – Women’s title Jumberjill match

A playboy covergirl, only in the match because of the publicity, v a moderately talented improver, with *allegedly* heat backstage. Ashley is going to win, and will probably lose the title back to Melina on Raw in the very near future.

Oh, and every other diva in the company will surround the ring. This match will probably go in between the title bouts at the end of the show.

Hey, Ric, Carlos? Isn’t it nice to know that while you aren’t on the show this year, that all the highly talented divas who just by sheer coincidence happen to be attractive and dress scantily clad, get a payoff for being Lumberjills.

Prediction: Ashley, with all the other girls, err, brawling. And probably losing garments.

Money in the bank Ladder match – Edge, Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, King Booker, CM Punk, Fit Finlay.

We can use the McNichol Eliminator (patent pending) for this one:

Can CM Punk win it? No. He is a future star, and may one day have a crack at the pig one, but his stock isn’t high enough yet, after being booked to lose to Hardcore Holly and Test a few weeks back, don’t expect him to topple the others. Down to Seven.

The Hardys will never move from their position. To be fair, they have done well to get back to a position as they are in, after their respective issues, but aside from probably providing the vast majority of high spots in the match, they can’t win. Down to five.

Finlay has been a solid performer, but especially due to his constant double act that little Bas……what, I can’t say that now? Oh dammit – Hornswoggle it is. Anyway, Finlay is a solid hand, but not World title material. Dismiss him from this. Down to Four.

I just can’t see King Booker doing it. They’ve given him a title run, had their fun with his royalty act since King of the Ring, but it is a step back to put him over here. Down to three.

So that leaves Edge, Orton and Kennedy. It looks for all the world like Edge and Orton will have an upcoming programme. I would imagine this would centre from one costing the other this match. Maybe Orton with his hands on the briefcase and an Edge spear off the ladder? Down to one.

So that leaves Mr. Kennedy-Kennedy. A real up and coming star, someone who really does ‘have it’ and someone the WWE could really get behind. A good look, solid in the ring and an awesome promo. This could be his year.

Prediction: Mr. Kennedy-Kennedy

The Battle of the Billionaires: Umaga (w/Vince McMahon) v Bobby Lashley (w/Donald Trump). Special referee Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Well this is obviously the most hyped of all the matches on the card, and to be fair, although I don’t think it’ll be a 5-star classic, I’m sure it’ll live up to hype in terms of storyline and emotion.

Lashley has to win, because it will be Vince that has his head shaved, and will probably get a stunner from Austin for the hell of it. Should be a lot of fun, but maybe not a catch-as-catch-can thriller.

Prediction: Lashley

Batista v Undertaker – World Heavyweight Title

Apparently these guys are pretty annoyed that they aren’t going to be in the final match, and in fairness I don’t blame them, because the Rumble winner is suppose to main event Wrestlemania. However, you do get the feeling that this won’t be nearly as entertaining as HBK/Cena, so it makes sense.

I’ve looked at this in various ways, and I can only see an Undertaker victory, maintaining the streak and then Batista getting his belt back at a later stage. Batista’s character can further be solidified her. If he is to be a longer-term heel, he bitterly attacks the seriously over Taker. If he is retained a face, then he graciously shakes hands.

Prediction: Undertaker

John Cena v Shawn Michaels – WWE Championship match

Michaels is probably the most over babyface in the company, and the best thing about Cena is that everyone has an opinion about him, positive or negative. I can’t help but feel that it is in the long term interests of the WWE to keep Cena up there and continue to build round him. He is the future, and although Michaels is a hell of a worker, I don’t think he needs the belt to push him further in the hearts of the fans, whereas a win over HBK gives Cena credence.

I’m going for Cena, and this is the match which has the biggest question mark over quality. This has the potential to be anywhere in the range from a great match full of psychology, to a slow drawn out snoozefest. Hopefully the former.

Prediction: John Cena

Ok then, enjoy the show folks, I’ll be back as soon as I can with a review.

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