Notes from the Nosebleeds #97
January 8, 2011
By: Matt O’Brien of

A new year is upon us and like any new year in professional wrestling fans anticipate the impending Road to Wrestlemania. Speculation over the main event matches is already taking place and why not? It’s a lot like Christmas shopping. Some people can never begin to early. Dream matches are made as armchair booking commences. With that said what follows is a number of possible scenarios WWE could go with for their big event.

A big piece of the Wrestlemania puzzle is already missing as The Undertaker’s presence on the card is in serious jeopardy. After returning in late summer of 2010 to feud with Kane, Undertaker fell in injury once again. The match with John Cena that WWE has toyed with in the past has become unlikely. Undertaker’s place on the card, if he has one, will likely be against Smackdown’s newest acquisition in Wade Barrett. Given everything that happened at Bragging Rights it would make little sense not to put Barrett and Undertaker in the ring together. It would also be a very good match and maybe the day Taker’s streak dies.

The Smackdown main event scene is a little bareboned heading into Mania. There really seems to be only really good choice, being Edge vs. Rey Mysterio. Alberto Del Rio has been doing very well but a Wrestlemania main event is probably not his place for this year. Other options would be Mysterio-Big Show, Edge-Christian or even Barrett against one of Edge, Mysterio or Big Show. There is always the possibility for a Raw star to make the jump. A lot of people are hopeful of Kofi Kingston’s ascension. As the Intercontinental Champion he is atop the Smackdown mid-card. A break for the main event seems unlikely, especially since his program in late 2009 with Randy Orton didn’t pan out too well for him. If the SD side sees a Mysterio-Edge match the question of an Edge heel turn is natural.

The Raw side appears wide open. John Cena’s current program with CM Punk could lead to a match at WM but talk has Cena challenging Miz for the WWE Championship. Realistically that would be the best option. Miz does still carry celebrity status from his MTV days and John Cena is the biggest star. Why not put them in the main event of Wrestlemania against each other? One reason to hold off would be that Cena and Miz could do a big money match at a Wrestlemania down the line as Miz’s star rises. Miz-Cena is a match that deserves a lot of time to build. Still, Miz and Cena could do very well this year. WWE could even throw in a couple clips of their 2009 feud to illustrate Miz’s need to defeat Cena. Miz tried to use Cena to catapult his is career in 2009. Cena quickly put him in his place and many feel that it nearly killed his career by the way Cena had squashed him. In 2003 The Rock needed to beat Steve Austin to prove something to the world. Miz could do something similar here, except he would come across as more desperate. Building the match could start at the Royal Rumble when Miz could attain another victory over Randy Orton while Cena walks away with the Rumble win. From there Miz would begin a campaign to prove he is not an underdog against Cena. It would be a very interesting story with Cena maybe becoming a little too cocky when mocking Miz, saying that there is no way Miz can beat him.

One more likely possibility for the main event of Wrestlemania is for WWE to finally put John Cena and Randy Orton in a match. It could have been done in 2007, but other plans were made. 2008 would have been perfect, but WWE decided to insert Triple H into the program. 2009 had a storyline Cena would have fit well into but Triple H was right for the program since it involved Orton terrorizing the McMahons. This might be the year, and maybe the last, that WWE can put Cena and Orton in the main event of Mania. With everything that happened between them during the Barrett-Orton series, they could play off the bond these two formed. A baby face match between them would be similar to the Austin-Rock match of 2001, but maybe flipping Orton back to a heel would be a good idea, given it doesn’t kill the momentum of Sheamus and Miz.

The inevitable return of Triple H points to a likely match with Sheamus. It won’t be as big of a deal as back-to-back Undertaker-Shawn Michaels matches but it just feels right. At this point Sheamus does not have a likely match for Mania. He has faced Orton and Cena, and his recent crowning as King Sheamus would lead in perfectly to a match with the King of Kings, similar to Triple H’s match with Booker T at Summerslam back in 2007.

These are mere possibilities, but interesting ones. Below is a compiled list of various combinations they could put together for matches at Mania.

John Cena vs. The Miz
John Cena vs. CM Punk
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Triple H vs. Sheamus
Triple H vs. Edge
Edge vs. Rey Mysterio
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
Undertaker vs. Wade Barrett
Undertaker v. John Cena

Matches not discussed earlier, but listed below are a little less likely. Triple H’s return could mark a shift over to Smackdown. Given his departure at the hands of Sheamus it seems unlikely, but maybe HHH could put Sheamus down on an episode of Raw or at Elimination Chamber, then go on to challenge Edge for the title at Mania. One match that a lot of internet fans would froth at the mouth to see would be CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. It wouldn’t be a main event mach, but it would be one worth a Wrestlemania slot.

Granted this is all early speculation. Some of this may happen or none of it may happen. What is certain is that wrestling fans are about to be struck with a fever whose prescription isn’t cowbell, but further speculation and anticipation of wrestling’s biggest annual event.

Matt O’Brien