By Todd Matthy

A repost and a new post. Once again here are my Wrestlemania XXVIII predictions WITH the results and my commentary on the show. Results and commentary are in red. How did I do? Read on.

World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus.

Winner: Sheamus.

Why: For the past year Sheamus has been being built for this moment. He’s won the Royal Rumble and is a vicious ass kicker. Daniel Bryan is the best technical wrestler on the roster and Sheamus defeating him will only add to his legitimacy as an ass kicker. It’s ironic that last year these two had a match for the US title but were taken off the card so WWE could showcase their video packages to an audience that already bought the show. Hopefully, that will motivate these two to have a show stealing match.

Result: Sheamus in 18 seconds.

Commentary: I guess Daniel Bryan didn’t know the kiss of a woman has led to the fall of many a man. WTF was that? I wouldn’t mind them doing this on RAW or SMACKDOWN but this is “Wrestlemania” and we’re paying money to see this. Sheamus wins with a sucker-punch and Daniel Bryan looks like a dolt. Nobody looked good coming out of this. Four hours of time and you can’t give a World Title match 15 minutes. 

Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show

Winner: The Big Show.

Why: For long term growth of the company Cody should win but with the way they’ve been building the match, it’s looks like Big Show will be giving Cody his comeuppance.

Result: The Big Show.

Commentary: While I saw this ending coming, Big Show’s victory doesn’t do much for the long term growth of the company. He’s only got a few years left, Cody’s career is just beginning. A win for Cody could’ve gone a long way toward establishing him as a top guy.

Team Johnny: David Otunga & Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger & Mark Henry & Miz & Drew McIntyre vs. Team Teddy: Santino Marella & Great Khali & Zack Ryder & Kofi Kingston & R Truth & Booker T.

Winner: Team Johnny with David Otunga pinning Zack Ryder.

Why: Though I have little interest in this match and have no desire to see Johnny Ace on my TV, knowing WWE Creative and their insistence on shoving him down our throats, his team is going to win. Otunga will pin Ryder because a) they’re pushing him because he’s Jennifer Hudson’s fiancée b) to punish Ryder for getting over on his own.

Result: Team Johnny.

Commentary: A couple of things I noticed in this match. First, how can WWE run a anti-bullying video before a match that involved dwarf tossing? Second, how dumb was Team Teddy to trust Eve when she was wrestling as a heel ON THE SAME CARD. Anyway, predictable and didn’t care.

 

Randy Orton vs. Kane

Winner: Randy Orton

Why: Orton needs a solid win to get back in the Main Event picture and what better way to do so by defeating WWE’s resident monster.

 Result: Kane.

Commentary:  Slow match, probably due to Orton’s injuries. It was cool that Kane got a clean win but otherwise the match wasn’t all that memorable.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Winner: CM Punk

Why: Punk NEEDS to win this match. Since last summer, CM Punk has been the hottest name in wrestling, thanks to the scathing promo he cut against WWE management. Name one wrestler (other than the Rock) that has been interviewed by GQ? The only thing Punk needs to truly elevate him as the man to carry this company is a Wrestlemania moment. Defeating Chris Jericho will be that moment. This definitely has the potential to be the show stealer.

 Result: CM Punk via submission.

Commentary: Right before this match Johnny Ace tells Punk that if he gets disqualified he loses the title. That stipulation hampered the opening the minutes of this match with Jericho taunting Punk to get him disqualified. Eventually, they tossed that aside and did what they did best, wrestling! Great back and forth with some awesome mat wrestling and false finishes until Punk caught Jericho in the anaconda vice. Great spot where Punk went for a top rope hurricanrana only to get caught and placed in the Walls of Jericho.

The Undertaker vs. HHH in Hell in A Cell with Shawn Michaels as special referee.

Winner: The Undertaker.

Why: The streak has to endure. It’s the one thing in wrestling that cannot be taken back. It would also be really sad if Vince’s son-in-law were the one to end the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania winning streak.

 Winner: The Undertaker

Commentary: Last years classic is a tough act to follow and while it wasn’t as good, it was a close second. Once again, this was an intense, physical, fight. Each character had a story that played well into the match. Triple H wanting to end the Undertaker’s career, Taker out for revenge, and Shawn Michaels caught in the middle. There were some brutal chair shots in this one. So brutal you’ll rethink wrestling being fake.  Triple H relentlessly beating Taker with the chair so Shawn will end the match. Undertaker telling Shawn not to ring the bell is one example. My favorite moment was when a weakened Triple H crawled to grab the sledgehammer only to have the Undertaker standing over him with his foot on the hammer. Taker and Shawn helping Hunter to the back after the match was a classy moment. 

WWE Divas champ Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos.

Winner: Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos- Maria pins Eve.

Why: Access Hollywood photo-op.

Result: Kelly and Maria with Maria pinning Beth.

Commentary: Maria Menounos is a trooper. Wrestling with two broken ribs and taking that kick from Beth Phoenix. I hated Maria pinning Beth. The star of “Extra” should not be pinning the Woman’s Champion. Way to devalue the title.

The Rock vs. John Cena

Winner: John Cena.

Why: At Wrestlemania III, Andre the Giant put over Hulk Hogan. At Wrestlemania X8, Hulk Hogan put over the Rock. Now it’s Rock turn to pass the torch and Cena the guy WWE wants to carry it, whether you love it or hate it.

Result: The Rock pins Cena.

Commentary: Before I review the match the little underdog speech from the skinny guy (who performed before Cena entered and looked like he got beat up in school) did nothing to get Cena over. This match was great. Rock was in top form, especially for a guy who hasn’t been active for years, and Cena was aggressive as hell. False finishes, the two mocking each others mannerisms, and Cena’s hot dogging causing his downfall made for a great match. Cena’s face after the match indicates this feud isn’t over. I predict Cena wins at Summer Slam with the rubber match next year at Wrestlemania XXIX with Cena going over.

Overall Show: Wrestlemania XXVIII exemplified everything I love and hate about WWE. The first hour was terrible with half the card being breezed through and stupid skits and video packages nobody cares about. Nobody bought this for the guy from Deadliest Catch. Nobody bought this to see Flo Rida beat up Heath Slater. Both segments that had more time than a World title match. And don’t get me started on the Funkasaurus and Momma’s Bridge Club dance number. (Did anybody find that a little racist?) All these little sketches I expect from WWE but I don’t like that they sacrifice matches for them. WWE, face facts, you are a WRESTLING COMPANY! The people that buy “Wrestlemania” paid to see WRESTLING MATCHES! Your audience are WRESTLING FANS! You aren’t impressing people in the mainstream with this, you’re only alienating your core fanbase and your ratings are a reflection of this. When I see stuff like this I kind of hope the buy rate is bad so Vince will get the message and be forced to change direction. 

Now the positive. When WWE lets their stars do what they do best, use a match to tell a story, it makes me realize why I love pro wrestling. Two guys with an issue that is settled with a fight, performing athletic feets, and using psychology to get the crowd to follow, cheer, or boo their every move because they care. Undertaker/Triple H, Punk/Jericho, and Cena/Rock were all matches with participants who built up to matter and stories that make you wonder whose going to win and whose going to lose, even if the result is pre-determined. Those three matches are everything the WWE is meant to be and supposed to be; a company that promotes great wrestling and spectacle, not a company that’s reviving a movie franchise that was a punchline in “Wayne’s World 2.”

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