Every year in the twenty-four hours between WrestleMania and the next episode of Monday Night Raw, I make out a hypothetical card for the following WrestleMania. I never take it very seriously or expect to come anywhere close to the actual card for the next year. With all the hiring, firing, and retiring that happens over the year, not to mention the possible heel/face turns that could happen; I don’t think I’ve ever predicted a single match correctly. The whole exercise is just used as a way to see how much the current environment of the WWE changes over a single year.
WWE Championship match: John Morrison vs. Alberto Del Rio
This time last year Morrison seemed all but guaranteed to be made a champion before the end of the year. He had the best spots in the past two PPVs, and he had a great championship match with the Miz before that. His mic work still needed some work but surely he would be a champ before you knew it. Little did I know that as I was making this prediction Morrison was falling out of favor with the company thanks to some backstage politics. Now instead of cementing a spot in the main event that would give him a title match at WrestleMania he spent the year jobbing for everybody else on the roster before getting future endeavoured. Del Rio doesn’t seem to be doing much better. At this point he had just come off of a title match at WrestleMania and the company seemed to be putting a lot behind him, having him appear on both shows every week. But now it doesn’t look like he’ll even make an appearance at WrestleMania, much less be in the main event. If I can take some comfort in this prediction, it can be that I correctly predicted that Del Rio would be drafted to Raw in order to be eligible for the WWE championship, but I think we all knew that was going to happen back then.
World Heavyweight Championship match: Randy Orton vs. Edge
Again, I’d like some credit for correctly predicting that Orton would be drafted to SmackDown for this match to happen, because I won’t be getting credit for anything else. The obvious problem with this match now is that Edge is retired, something that we would have no idea was about to happen right after WrestleMania 27. And injuries kept Orton out of the title scene as well leaving the title match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, two guys who I didn’t even put on my prediction card, since at this time last year they were both bumped from the WrestleMania card to make more time for that American Idol parody.
Streak Match: Undertaker vs. John Cena
This is one of those matches that had I given myself more time to make predictions would not have gone on my card, since Cena’s WresteMania match was booked the very next night. The way I figured it, Undertaker needed a major star to defeat for his 20th win and Cena was the biggest star in the company. After he finished feuding with the Rock (which I assumed would happen around SummerSlam) the only thing left for Cena to do would be to challenge the streak. Little did I know, that a year-long Twitter war had already been planned for Cena and he and the Rock would put off trading blows till the next WrestleMania.
Diva’s Match: Awesome Kong vs. LayCool (handicap match)
These predictions were made at a time when we didn’t know that Awesome Kong would be called Kharma. We just knew that she was coming and would most likely to some major shakeups to the Diva division. But almost as soon as she was here, she was gone again and nothing changed. Even the slight appearance of change with the Diva’s of Doom things have resulted in farting storylines which prove that it’s still more of the same. As for LayCool, I remember when I predicted this that I thought it was risky because disagreements were already starting to appear between the members of LayCool, but I put them down anyway because after all I figured, it’s not like the WWE is about to give Kelly Kelly a WrestleMania match. Oops.
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H
You can guarantee at least two title matches, a Streak math and a Diva’s match at each WrestleMania but after that, you’re down to what the feuds are going to be and that can get even harder because you have no idea who’s going to be feuding about what in the next year. So I consider this a minor victory because at the time we were unsure how frequently we were going to see Triple H wrestle from now on (remember he had returned just in time for WrestleMania after being out for almost a year) and we didn’t know when we would see Jericho come back if ever. So the fact that I was confident enough to put both of these guys on my card and have both of them be on the official WrestleMania card is something that I’m pleased with. And with the odds against you like this you have to take what victories you can.
Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara (loser removes mask stipulation)
Well injuries sure prevented this from ever happening. Remember all the promos that Sin Cara got before his debut? Remember what a big deal we were told he was going to be? Surely he would be in the next WrestleMania with all that hype. I think it’s safe to consider the whole Sin Cara story the biggest disappointment of 2011
Tag Team Championship: The Miz and Alex Riley vs. Big Show and Kane
I don’t suppose anyone really expected Alex Riley to stick by Miz for the whole year, but what we really thought is that as soon as Alex Riley leaves the Miz’s side he’s not going to be able to stand on his own. And that’s exactly what I didn’t want to see happen. Had Riley stayed associated with the Miz he could have gradually built his own heat, fought more mid card guys, and slowly gained his own credibility as a heel apart from the Miz. Instead, defying the Miz, and turning face left him nothing to do once that feud was over. In one possible situation, he would be WrestleMania ready in a year. In the events that actually happened, the last time we’ve seen him was in the Royal Rumble as the first contestant eliminated.
CM Punk vs. Wade Barrett (with factions as lumberjacks):
I’m proud of this one. It’s not any closer to being right as anything else on this list. Nobody really thought that both the Nexus and the Corre would be exist or be relevant a whole year later so perhaps I was dumb to include them on this list. Why should I be proud of this? Because I predicted that between last WrestleMania and this one, CM Punk would turn face. Sure I never thought that the whole storyline over the summer would happen, nor did I think he would become arguable the biggest face in the company. But hearing him on commentary at the end of 2010, I figured that he was way too entertaining to stay a full-blown heel for another year. And to make this match work sometime before April 1st 2012, CM Punk would have to turn face.
Tags: Alberto De Rio, chris jericho, cm punk, john cena, John Morrison, Laycool, randy orton, Raw, Smackdown, triple h, undertaker, wrestlemania, WWE