The Stomping Ground: Final Thoughts Before Wrestlemania XXIX

Hi diddly ho, mother fuckers! I’m back inexplicably with another column! Crazy how time flies around here, right? Sorry for a distinct lack of a Not-So-Live Smackdown Report this past weekend, but Blair Douglas did such a good job with the Usual Gang of Idiots that I felt it was pointless to throw in my two cents.

Lately I’ve noticed a certain percentage of our audience chiming in with critiques about how “everyone on this site says the same damn thing.” At the risk of being “one of those guys,” I wanted to take this time to lazily give you, dear readers, my final thoughts on Sunday’s card.

Also, a bit of warning: every last word that follows will reappear again in Rhett’s Roundtable….because today’s secret buzzword is “lazy.”

Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett vs The Miz
The Miz has had a very bizarre run as a face. He spent the past few months feuding with Antonio Cesaro, losing time after time to shady heel tactics and unfortunate officiating, so one would assume he’d finally get his big win at Wrestlemania. Well, you know what happens when you assume, right? Instead of the superior Cesaro, we get the middling Barrett, whose career has stalled ever since his return from injury. Why should I care about either of these two? The WWE was right to place this as a pre-show match; fan interest is at an all-time low for both competitors and a free title match online is a decent hook to bring in more wary viewers. I just hope these guys realize how low their stock in the company really is at this point and try to pull out all the stops.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz

The Shield vs Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show
This is perhaps the least predictable match on the card, which is odd because you’d think The Shield have been unstoppable for so long and would logically lose at Wrestlemania. However, these three are unique in that they’ve CONSISTENTLY beaten top tier talent in the likes of John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback, Kane, and Daniel Bryan in previous outings. Victories don’t get much bigger than that. There’s no reason to think adding Big Show to the equation would change much, especially considering that he has an uneasy alliance with his partners.
Winners: The Shield

Chris Jericho vs Fandango
Most people would look at this match at first glance and wonder why a guy with a gimmick like Fandango would get such a high profile match at this point in his career. Luckily, I’m not most people and did a little digging: apparently, Fandango is one of Vince McMahon’s pet projects so big things are expected from him in the near future. On the other hand, it could backfire. Remember when Sin Cara was Triple H’s first big acquisition since his new role backstage? That turned out well.
Winner: Chris Jericho

Mark Henry vs Ryback
Keep those Goldberg chants a-coming, folks! Lots of clubbing forearm shots here and there, a kickout from the World’s Strongest Slam, and a Shellshocked to the World’s Strongest Man make this match one of those OMG moments the WWE will inevitably put on their next compilation DVD.
Winner: Ryback

WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston
I feel like this match is here not only to showcase the skills of Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, but to also throw off audience assumptions that Ziggler will cash-in later in the night. This should be a fun contest and a good way to make Big E Langston look dominant, but I don’t see a title change here.
Winners: Team Hell No

Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins
This is the piss break in between main events. Probably between a title match and either Lesnar/Triple H or Taker/Punk, but most definitely the piss break.
Winners: The Concession Stands

No Holds Barred: Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
I still don’t fully grasp the point of adding Triple H’s retirement in this match. The guy’s been in semi-retirement for the past couple of years, having only wrestled Undertaker, CM Punk, and Kevin Nash before this “epic” feud with Lesnar. I suspect this will be our bloody showdown of the evening and I’d prefer it if Lesnar wins. This is a tough call, but I can at least predict with 99% certainty that we’ll get some Sweet Chin Music to the jaw of Paul Heyman.
Winner: Triple H

Undertaker vs CM Punk
I’m concerned for this one. Not because of the “content” leading into the feud; that doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m concerned about whether Undertaker can deliver the goods in his physical state. Last year’s battle in the Hell in a Cell hid Taker’s limitations well, but this is a regular one-on-one with no stipulations. I wonder to what lengths Punk will go to make Taker look like a million bucks (rather than, say, a million years old).
Winner: Undertaker. Duh.

World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto del Rio vs Jack Swagger
Perhaps had Swagger been built up months before, his victory at Elimination Chamber would not have come off as quite a shock. Perhaps if del Rio was allowed to properly transition into his role of a face, his turn would not be receiving a lukewarm reaction. Regardless of both of those points, this should be a good technical contest.
Winner: Alberto del Rio
BUT WAIT!!!!! Dolph Ziggler cashes in and wins the title off of del Rio.

WWE Championship: The Rock vs John Cena
Something I hadn’t considered (nor have I heard murmurings of) is what would happen should Rock lose the title in this match. The general consensus seems to be a rubber match at Wrestlemania XXX (groan), but word on the street is that Rock has been penciled in for Extreme Rules. If that’s true, then it would stand to reason that Johnson would get his title rematch next month, thereby eliminating the chance for a rematch a year from now. Well, one could hope and pray that’s the case.
Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena

So there you have it. While the card seems lackluster, I’m hoping that my low expectations going into the show will be dispelled when it’s all said and done. Don’t expect a Smackdown recap this week, but I will be going to the Hall of Fame ceremony, so expect a report early Sunday morning.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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