As I write this column I am exhausted from another hard day’s work but yet my smile couldn’t be wider. Why is that you ask? It’s really simple I have a bit of Christmas come early as I am looking at printouts of my Wrestlemania 27 tickets. For those who may be new to the column I have often called Wrestlemania my personal Christmas. There is no day of the year I look forward to more than Wrestlemania Sunday. As such I have traveled the past 3 years to view the spectacular in person and well barring any unforeseen circumstances this next Wrestlemania will be my fourth in a row. Of course I am not a fan access type of guy so I will be attending the ROH shows that weekend and of course will hit up the Hall of Fame and for those of you who loved it so much last year will bring back some incarnation of FYB Radio with David Miranda who will be accompanying me for the trip. I’m even thinking of a contest to hold while I am down there (more on that later). So while I know its November and we haven’t even hit Survivor Series yet I want to fantasy book Wrestlemania…you’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
I have to confess to you all, I am a bit nervous about this upcoming installment of Wrestlemania. The previous 3 years all had captivating matches by Shawn Micheals and well he is gone now. When I went to Wrestlemania 24 the big appeal at the time was watching the final match of Ric Flair (yeah I know) and of course that match was against Shawn Micheals. I still vividly recall watching Shawn say “I’m sorry, I love you” right before he superkicked Ric Flair out of the WWE. Wrestlemania 25 I got to witness that epic encounter between him and The Undertaker which was probably the greatest live match I have ever witnessed and of course Wrestlemania 26 I saw that rematch in what was the final match (?) of Shawn Micheals career and now I have to wonder who is going to be that guy that I go to Wrestlemania to see? 3 years in a row I was looking forward to a match and all 3 matches were headlined by Shawn Micheals. Who can be Mr. Wrestlemania? Maybe one of the matches I’d book will give us that answer.
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk- I’d like to see this match happen at Wrestlemania this year. For those who read my VIP blog “Outside Interference” I forecasted this feud as soon as CM Punk was drafted to Raw but as we all know by now injuries have prevented that feud from happening right now and while Punk is injured there is still an outside chance he can make it to Wrestlemania and what better way to go than by going against another ROH alum and giving all those internet fans the match that they have seen a million times in small venues but never on the big stage of Wrestlemania. I think for me as a fan who has watched both of these guys grow it would give me great personal satisfaction as a fan to see these guys in a headline match at Wrestlemania. This could potentially be the Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat of the modern era of Wrestlemania.
Beth Phoenix vs. Lita- Yes, I know Lita is not with the company and I am really reaching with this one but wouldn’t it be a really good match? While I didn’t make the WSU IPPV (more on that later also) this past Saturday it did do quite well from what I have been told and well one would stand to reason that WWE should probably start shoring up its women’s division again and what better way to do so than by having a match featuring one of the more prominent women wrestlers in WWE history in Lita taking on Beth Phoenix in a bit of a passing of the torch kind of match? I mean the only thing that could trump it is Trish Stratus coming back but that seems more than unlikely to happen. I’d like to see the women’s match at Wrestlemania be more than just a bathroom break moment this year. This match could accomplish that.
HHH vs. Wade Barrett- It’s been speculated that Nexus is going to be somewhat dissected after Wrestlemania which means it should start being cooled off a bit before then. Regardless of what happens with Nexus I think it’s apparent that WWE sees something in Wade Barrett and they should have him in a prominent match at Wrestlemania this year. I know many people get mad when they see anyone young go against HHH but the fact of the matter is by this point Wade will have already done jobs for Randy Orton and probably John Cena what difference does it make if he jobs to HHH at that point as long as the match is solid? Losing to HHH didn’t hurt Sheamus as he has had a pretty good year since Wrestlemania and I don’t think losing to HHH if that’s the choice WWE would make would hurt Wade Barrett much either. Putting him in a random multiple man match undoubtedly would.
Kaval vs. Dolph Ziggler- Am I the only one that remembers Kaval is owed a PPV title match for winning NXT Season 2? Well I don’t expect Kaval nor think he should get the Wade Barrett treatment but I think it would be very good if he had a chance to maybe go for the US title against Dolph Ziggler. Sure it means you have to make sure Ziggler still has the title by then but maybe that would work best since it would mean Ziggler would have been champion for 8 months and would make the match look more impressive in the eyes of fans no matter which way it goes. I really would like to see Wrestlemania be highlighted by more of the future stars which is where I am coming from with many of these matches. Sure you need veteran wrestlers in there but I think some of these younger less established stars is really the way to go as WWE needs to start educating their fans that these guys are not going to be a big deal but already are.
Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater vs. The Hart Dynasty vs. The Uso’s vs. Husky Harris and Micheal McGuillicutty- This is not the sexiest match on paper but one that could potentially help some of these younger guys get over. I am a fan of the youth movement and I am probably a bigger fan of tag team wrestling. Something that I think is great in helping to develop young wrestlers is being able to let themselves find themselves in a tag team. WWE has done their best to sort of squash tag team wrestling and it sort of shows in there later development of stars. This would be a good way to sort of go back to that formula and help showcase some younger stars.
Money in the Bank featuring John Morrisson, Kofi Kingston, Rey Misterio, Alberto Del Rio, Kane, David Otunga, Jack Swagger, and The Big Show- While not the most spectacular Money in the Bank lineup this one will have to do as there are just guys on the roster that you really can’t go out of your way to leave out of Wrestlemania. I’d really like to see this become the springboard for John Morrison as I think this could be his year.
Edge vs. Sheamus- You know I really hate Smackdown vs. Raw matches as they happen all over the place but sometimes when it happens at Wrestlemania it works really great. A great example of that is the Shawn Micheals vs. Undertaker matches the past two years. I’m not saying this could be anywhere near the caliber of those matches but it could be a decent program and the truth is these guys don’t really have anyone left to work with so they might as well work with each other.
Miz vs. Randy Orton- I’m like many people who expect the Miz to cash in his Money in the Bank sooner than later. To be honest I see him facing Edge at Wrestlemania as for some reason I just see him taking over that “Ultimate Opportunist” persona of Edge but that’s me forecasting what I think WWE is thinking. This is what I would do. I’d have him hold that briefcase to be the very first person to cash in at Wrestlemania. It works great with his personality and win, lose or draw you got another young guy in a big main event situation. It would cement his status as a main eventer for years to come in my opinion if WWE had him work this main event.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker- I think for the rest of Undertakers career he has to be the main event of Wrestlemania. The streak he has put together has become more important than the title matches on the card and if he is going to be the main event he has to be on the card with guys that fans may think have a legitimate chance of winning. The ultimate opponent for him would be John Cena. Sure WWE may want to give him Sheamus and Wade Barrett but those guys are going to be around for years to come and the truth is no one is buying Wrestlemania like they used to. Maybe John Cena vs. The Undertaker in a title match where the streak is also at stake will be the key to having some of those fans really pony up and pay whatever it is WWE is going to charge for Wrestlemania this year to see if WWE throws that curveball at fans and has Undertaker lose at Wrestlemania.
So there you have it. I have fantasy booked Wrestlemania this year. Do I think any of these matches will happen? Nope, not really to be honest I don’t even think it’s a spectacular card but one that I would put together to set up a foundation that I would hope would carry WWE for years to come. What will the card look like? We all will just have to wait and see.
So it’s time to wrap this one up but of course I have to give you all something to do for the weekend. UFC 122 is free and on Spike TV this Saturday night that has a decent card to it but nothing spectacular but if you want to get your MMA fix it works. Of course I expect to be watching what I expect to be the big PPV event of this year in Manny Pacquaio taking on Antonio Margarito that same night. For those who want to watch wrestling maybe you want to check out the WSU IPPV from last weekend which is archived for viewing at gofightlive.com. I was supposed to be in attendance at that show and ran into unexpected travel complications that prevented me from being there live but hope to get a copy of the show soon to review for you guys but seriously why wait for that to happen? Maybe I am shooting myself in the foot but I’ve never been a big fan of reviews/recaps I mean the best way to know if something is good is to watch it yourself and if it means anything I have not heard a negative word on this show yet.
So I was talking earlier about a possible contest that I would be holding while down in Atlanta for Wrestlemania weekend. I haven’t decided on a name yet but I am leaning towards “Where is Jose”. Basically the idea would be that I am going to be in Atlanta for 3 days and well for those of you that have paid attention I have a standing tradition that has gone on the past 2 years and is expected to go on for the 3rd where I design a themed shirt to wear to Wrestlemania. Basically what I am going to do to make myself identifiable is wear those shirts the whole time I am in Atlanta. Friday I will wear one of the retro shirts from years previous, Saturday the other and Sunday I will debut the new one. So I know what everyone is saying? “OK that’s great where the contest is?” Here it goes: Whoever is down in Atlanta for Wrestlemania and is the first to spot me and identify me will get a prize which I have yet to determine and a picture with me that will go up in this column. Right now I am leaning towards two ideas one of which is to give the prize of $20 on the spot and the other is to create another themed shirt and give that to the winner. So basically if you find me you would get the same shirt I have of which there would be only 2 others in existence (Mine and David’s). I haven’t decided on the prize yet or if I want to make this contest official but it’s something I am toying with. If I do make it official expect to hear more about it in the column and for that matter other columns/shows as Wrestlemania weekend draws near. Maybe the powers that be at Wrestleview will want to throw in a month or two free of VIP to sweeten the pot. I really want to do something that is more reader/listener interactive with everyone this year and this seems like a good idea that is fun as I get to talk to many of you every year and you all make my trip enjoyable and well I’d like to do something that can return the favor. I am open to any feedback or other ideas so go ahead and get them to me. How do you do that? Easy just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your ideas, thoughts, etc. That’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better, and until then, I am out.