To Be Determined – Wrestlemania 26 Main Event

After doing a crappy job with the buildup to Wrestlemania 25 (Something I still haven’t forgiven WWE for), this year’s offering seems to be headed on the right track. In fact, I might be bold, but I’d say that with the current Wrestlemania 26 card, this could either be best Wrestlemania ever (or at least since X-Seven), or the most disappointing ever.

Just one day after Elimination Chamber, WWE announced three main event caliber matches for this year’s biggest event – The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, Edge vs. Chris Jericho and John Cena vs. Batista. Add to that Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon and you have four matches that each of them could headline any Wrestlemania on its own and make it a success. Putting all four together and WWE is faced with a real problem – what will be the main event of Wrestlemania 26?

I think it’s safe to bet that while Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon is the definition of a “Wrestlemania Moment”, it will not be the main event. But the race between the three other matches is tight. I believe that it’s a rare case where whichever match they choose will be the right choice and not one match is more deserving than the other. Let’s break it down.

Edge vs. Chris Jericho:
The first thing going for this match is that fact that Edge won the Royal Rumble in his comeback from injury. Sadly WWE hasn’t made this a habit, but I think that since there are two championship matches on Wrestlemania every year, the top billing should go to the match featuring the Royal Rumble winner. But this is not the only reason. Of the two championship matches, this one is guaranteed to be excellent and please the fans and the IWC. We have two of WWE’s best all-around performers getting the opportunity to put on a show at the main event of Wrestlemania. Everyone expected this match to take place since these two won the tag-team belts last year and Edge’s injury and return only made the anticipation better. Both Edge and Jericho deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their hard work and constant excellent performances. How can this not be the main event?

John Cena vs. Batista:
Their promo on Raw wasn’t just a script. These two wrestlers are really the faces of WWE in the last decade. Two years ago WWE squandered their first ever match at Summerslam, but this year they’re doing everything right – the initial tease several weeks ago with Bret Hart, the screwjob at Elimination Chamber and this week’s confrontation. This is one of the few main event feuds for either Cena or Batista that hasn’t been done to death and feels fresh and exciting. Their Summerslam match showed that these two work extremely well together so the match will almost certainly live up (or in the IWC eyes surpass) expectations. This year’s with Batista as the killer heel, it could be even better. Sure, everyone knows that Cena is going to win back “his” championship, but the outcome of the other championship match is also predictable. For years Cena vs. Batista had “Wrestlemania Main Event” written all over it. How can this not be the main event?

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
(Before moving on I advise everyone to read Will Pruett’s excellent piece on this match. I also feel like I have to mention that I started writing this article before his was published)
Last year I was sitting at the edge of my seat (Or standing because I was too excited to sit) as I witnessed this match live in Houston. There aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to describe it. Triple H was absolutely right when he said no match could follow and if this year’s showdown is even half as good as last year’s, it will still be a classic. But this year has two extra factors that were not present last year – unpredictability and the sense that it’s the end of the road, one way or another. Last year it was obvious that HBK will not break the streak. He was terrific in building this match up and telling the story in the ring, but everyone knew he’s jobbing. This year, though, is the first one since WWE started building up the streak where it’s not clear who would win. In 2008 it was obvious that Michaels would end Ric Flair’s career but no-one knows if HBK is really going to retire. Sure, Guys like Mick Foley and sadly Flair himself are making a mockery of retirement matches, but the retirement stipulation is adding a lot of intrigue. On the other hand, what will be the point of giving us the exact same match-up with the exact same result two years in a row? What good would it make to have HBK lose to The Undertaker in back-to-back Wrestlemanias? Is it possible that HBK will actually win and end the streak? And if he does, what the odds that it would actually lead to Undertaker’s retirement? Something historic is about to end here, Shawn Michaels’ career, The Undertaker’s career or the streak. No matter which one it is, how can this not be the main event?

WWE is in the perfect position for this year’s Wrestlemania. It’s obvious that unlike previous years, it’s not a “one match show” and they seem more focused than ever. It’s quite possible that not even Vince McMahon knows today which match will go last and it may come down to “eeni meeni miney moe” because there is no way to make a rational decision. If it were up to you, what would be your Wrestlemania 26 main event? Answer in the comments below.

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