Reality From Ringside #46
January 4, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of

Projecting Wrestlemania 26

Let me begin this week’s ?Reality? by saying I did NOT want to write a column about the renewal of the ?Monday Night War?. I feel that there have already been plenty of critiques, analyses, and opinions about WWE vs. TNA, Hart vs. Hogan, and the ramifications both short and long term regarding the promotions.

The last thing that I like doing is trying to through more brush onto a bonfire that had been burning for well over two weeks. My opinions about tonight’s somewhat-historic television programs would pale in comparison to what has already been said.

Instead, I feel we should look towards the future; that future being Wrestlemania 26. According to Figure Four Weekly Newsletter, plans have been made for five of the matches for the grand daddy of all professional wrestling pay-per-views. While some matches could potentially already be set in stone, some seem far-fetched at first but could definitely be seen as plausible.

Between now and WM26 (March 28) we have twelve weeks of WWE television programming and the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber/No Way Out pay-per-views. Keeping this in mind, it’s time to postulate if these matches are attainable or not and how exactly WWE plans on going about achieving them.

Let’s take a look at each of these matches, what potential circumstances may arise, and the talents that are left out from the WM26 card in general?

Undertaker ? Shawn Michaels II

No one will deny that this match could definitely take place. Although over 2 months ago many of us within the media believed Undertaker’s opponent would have been John Cena, having the rematch between the two first-ballot Hall of Famers seems like a no-brainer.

The wheels were set into motion two weeks ago on Monday Night Raw where Michaels proclaimed that he wanted the rematch after accepting the ?Slammy? for his match against Undertaker at WM25 as ?Match of the Year?.

I would be very hard pressed to find anyone complaining about a rematch between the two? but there is a much bigger question that needs to be answered: Will this be for Undertaker’s current World Heavyweight Championship?

So much can occur within the next twelve weeks and within that span I do see Undertaker losing his title. Reason being, if Undertaker were to hold onto the title and defend it at WM26 against Michaels, we would all be under the notion that ?Taker would prolong his undefeated streak at Wrestlemania.

Can you see Shawn Michaels being World Heavyweight champion and appearing on Smackdown? Whatever the reasons may be for him not appearing on Smackdown tapings (be them work, health or spiritually related), I just do not see it happening. So keep that in mind? ?Taker will NOT be World Heavyweight champion by the time WM26 comes around. Next on the projected card?

Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart (Street Fight/No Holds Barred/Similar stipulation)

The wheels are set in motion. We don?t need to wonder what will happen within twelve weeks? time regarding this potential ?bridge burning? match. Also, we have all become pretty accustomed to the obligatory ?annihilation of Vince McMahon? match at every Wrestlemania.

I?m not going to linger on this contest so let’s just move on to the next one?

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase Jr.

DiBiase’s eventual face-turn has been rumored for nearly 8 months now. I?m surprised a match like this hasn?t been predicted in every single pay-per-view since last year’s Summerslam when Legacy faced the thrice-renewed Degeneration-X.

This match definitely feels like a shoe-in now that ?Marine 2? has been released (starring DiBiase) and the turn just seems much more likely now than before. If the turn had occurred before the movie’s release, would it have helped sales? Maybe? but having the turn happen after its release makes it for that much more of a compelling contest against the heel of all heels at the grandest stage of them all.

How and when will the turn go down? Simple answer? Royal Rumble? Something involving the Rumble match where Orton tosses DiBiase, or DiBiase tosses Orton, the other retaliates pulling his rival over the top rope after being eliminated, and the melee ensues.

Am I the only one who feels sorry for Cody Rhodes in all of this? Does anyone else see the amount of potential that he has just as palpable and legitimate as DiBiase’s? Of course I see Cody having a short feud with DiBiase within the twelve-week gap, but what becomes of him when WM26 shows up?

But I digress? onto match #4?

Chris Jericho vs. Edge (dependant on Edge’s health)

The question of the rehabilitation of Edge’s Achilles tendon is in bold in order for this match to happen. The wheels were set in motion for this match right when the injury occurred and Jericho made his proclamations of Edge’s weaknesses at last July’s Night of Champions pay-per-view. However, I think there is a more grandiose question that needs to be asked?

Will THIS match be for the World Heavyweight title?

We all know that anything and everything can and will happen at the Elimination Chamber/No Way Out pay-per-view next month. There is nothing keeping Jericho from winning the title and at the following Smackdown taping, Edge making his triumphant return in face mode.

On the flipside, this might not be for the title. There are still many other talents that we have yet to mention as being part of the Wrestlemania card that weren?t even postulated. Just keep these thoughts in mind. Onto the fifth and final match that was predicted as a goal?

Triple H vs. Sheamus (WWE Title Match)

At first glance, this seemed to be the one match I thought that looked the most far-fetched. I guess it was because of my familiarity with the WWE Title as being the pre-requisite for the main event match of every Wrestlemania (however I do understand that the World Heavyweight Title is viewed in the same manner).

Imagining Triple H/Sheamus as a Wrestlemania main event was very difficult for me to swallow, but as one of the matches on the card absolutely. It’s very simple to see how they will come about doing this? and I know many will disagree with me when it comes to it.

Easiest way to put it: Triple H, 2010 Royal Rumble winner.

Simple, effective, and straight to the point. However, what will keep Triple H busy between then and WM26? He needs to have a feud with someone or have a match of some kind putting his main event spot at WM26 in jeopardy. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to who they choose.

That gives us five matches on the Wrestlemania 26 card; and normally on every WM card there are at least eight matches. So what will those final three matches be? Two of them are pretty cut and dry?

Money in the Bank Ladder Match

I am not going to use this space to predict who will be participating in the match, anywhere between six and eight talents will be in it so we?ll leave it at that. All that really needs to be thought about is who will be grabbing the briefcase in the end.

I already hear the collective noise from the opposite end of this column? ?Kofi Kingston! He’s been pushed for 3 months! He has great feud with Orton! He deserves it!?

That all sounds well and good? and I?m not denying Kofi’s talents or the effectiveness of his feud and push. My question to you, the collective of professional wrestling enthusiasts is this: Of all the matches and talents I have mentioned earlier, which name has NOT been brought up yet?

Easiest way to put it: Rey Mysterio, WM26’s ?Mr. Money in the Bank?.

Why not? Sure, it would be nice to see Kofi grab the briefcase? but can you imagine the roar of that Arizona crowd (well over 80K, a third of them being children under 13) when Mysterio unhooks the case and hoists it high in the air (albeit only an additional 4 feet from the top of the ladder)?

Inevitable bathroom break Divas match

I truly hope that this does not become the atrocity known as the ?Miss Wrestlemania? match from last year. I also hope that this is not some multi-Diva cluster. like year’s past. I would much rather prefer a good one-on-one match? insert names here?

So that leaves one slot open for the WM26 card. Sure there could be two additional matches but it’s better to err on the side of caution and think this is an 8-match slate. Do you see any names still missing from this projected event?

Where does John Cena fit in the card? What about Batista?

Here’s my quick answer to the final match?

John Cena vs. Batista (Special guest referee? The Rock)

WWE has been trying their damnedest to bring Dwayne Johnson back to the fold for the past 3 years. Sure they would love for him to perform in a match, but I think it would be better for both sides (WWE to capitalize on the name/charisma, Johnson to keep in good health for his acting career) if The Rock were to be used in a limited capacity.

Just close your eyes and think about? the newly-turned, muscles-on-muscles heel renewing a rivalry against the biggest face in all of professional wrestling with the most charismatic talent of the past decade keeping the peace. If Vince isn?t sharp just thinking about this, then I question his love for pay-per-view buy-rates.

There’s still one question that needs to be answered regarding this entire Wrestlemania card. It’s a question that I just cannot answer and have no idea how to go about it. Of all the matches that are on our fantasy card, which of these is the main event?

There’s plenty to debate about within the next 12 weeks. Anything can happen? but one thing I definitely see happening? regardless of the card or the methods WWE goes about achieving it? we?ll still be watching.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts…. adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements:

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