Reported by Adam Martin of WrestleView.com
Big update on current plans for ''WrestleMania 23'', World Titles & more
On Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 4:01 PM EST According to a new report by The Pro Wrestling Torch, the following is an early idea of what the card for WrestleMania 23 on April 1, 2007 will look like next year: John Cena vs. Triple H for the WWE Title, Batista vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Title, Bobby Lashley vs. Rob Van Dam or CM Punk for the ECW Title and Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Show. Of course, plans can change at any time, but these are believed to be the early ideas for the top four matches (possibly more down the line) for WrestleMania 23.
John Cena vs. Triple H is said to be a tentative plan at the moment as there is no plan to turn either heel. It is possible that someone like Randy Orton could be put into a mix since the WWE isn't very hot on a babyface vs. babyface main event at WrestleMania. But as of now, there is no plan to have John Cena lose the WWE Title heading into WrestleMania (although that was the same plan last year and that changed quickly when the WWE did a quick feud between Edge and Cena for the title).
As for Batista and The Undertaker, the idea is to have Batista put his title on the line against Undertaker's winning streak at WrestleMania. Another co-main event if everything goes to plan is Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Show. Big Show recently turned down a five-year, seven-figure-per-year deal to stay with WWE, but has stated he is open to returning for one more match.
In regards to the ECW Title match, the original pitch by Paul Heyman was to have a heel Bobby Lashley defend the title against a babyface Rob Van Dam. McMahon wanted the direct opposite to take place as he preferred to have Lashley as the babyface and RVD as the heel, something Heyman was strongly against and one of the main reasons for his departure from the company recently, among other things. Given the ECW roster, it is possible they could throw other names into a big ECW Title match involving CM Punk, Hardcore Holly, Test and others.
Looking at this early lineup, it still leaves off many names from both the Raw and Smackdown sides including Shawn Michaels, Edge, Randy Orton, King Booker, Chris Benoit, Kane, Finlay and many others. Getting Mr. Kennedy into a big WrestleMania program is also a top priority for the company as he looks to be pushed heavily throughout 2007, with one idea being pitched already of having JBL come out of retirement to face him. Either way, we will continue to follow this situation as it develops.