The upcoming return match between Duane "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena at Wrestlemania 29 will be one of the biggest Wrestlemania matches of all-time.
The WWE’s yearly Wrestlemania event is referred to as “The Showcase of the Immortals” for good reason. Every April, the WWE puts together a monster card that ends yearlong feuds and settles scores. This year is no different. The card for Wrestlemania 29 at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium features 10 matches, with nearly every title on the line. A cavalcade of drama and entertainment, Sean “Diddy” Combs is also scheduled to sing during the show.
With just eight days before the big event, take a look at all of the matches on this year’s card and the predictions for each battle that will change the futures for all the WWE superstars involved.
Tons of Funk Tensai and Brodus Clay & The Funkadactyls Naomi and Cameron vs. Team Rhodes Scholars Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow & The Bella Twins Nikki and Bree: This will make for a fun opening match that gets the fans involved. Although Sandow and Rhodes are talented wrestlers, don’t expect much of that here. Tensai and Clay will eat up their smaller opponents, while the antics of the Bella twins and The Funkadactyls will make for some hilarious moments.
Prediction: With the Rhodes Scholars status as a tag team in jeopardy before this match was announced, it wouldn’t hurt them if they lost. Tons of Funk has been positioned as a mid-card tag team for over a month and a win would help them cement themselves in a weak tag team division. With either a big splash from Clay or a monster slam from Tensai, Tons of Funk will win this one.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango: Y2J is a legend, but he’s never been one to rely on his credentials alone. The nine-time Intercontinental Champion never shies away from a challenge. Fandango debuted over a month ago, but has yet to wrestle. His verbal skills have made for several interesting moments with Jericho and their match should continue the intrigue. But this time, Fandango will have to do more than talk.
Prediction: A solid back and forth heel/face match and a Fandango win via some trickery. This way Jericho doesn’t lose credibility and Fandango gets bragging rights. A rematch will definitely be in the works at the next pay per view. That’s when you’ll see a better match.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston, w/AJ Lee: This match kind of got thrown together at the last minute, but there’s a definite history there. Add in how popular Hell No is with the ability of Ziggler and the power of Langston and it’s easy to see this could be a fantastic match. Lee has also been “involved” with three of the four competitors and with the tag team titles on the line, she’ll play a role in the eventual outcome.
Prediction: Hell No retains. It doesn’t make sense for the WWE to have Ziggler in the tag team division while he’s the reigning “Money in the Bank” winner. It’ll be a great match though, with Lee scheming and skipping around the ring throughout.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry: The WWE’s two toughest performers, this will be a war. With Ryback yet to be cleanly pinned and Henry’s respect on the line, this match will be all about offense.
Prediction: This won't be a pretty match, but Ryback will win simply because he’s younger and Henry is a proven commodity. Henry has already won a world title and done everything anyone has ever expected of him. Ryback, on the other hand, needs this win to continue his limb up the ladder.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz: Two smart-alecky young performers with the Intercontinental title on the line? This will be good. The IC title has always been at the heart of the Wrestlemania card and this year will be no different. After weeks of insults, cheap shots and bickering, these two will finally settle their differences at Mania.
Prediction: Much like Ryback, Barrett is on his way up, but with better skills on the microphone and a more-polished in-ring repertoire, he’s more poised to make a run at one of the bigger titles. The Miz has already won the IC title and had a lengthy run with the World Title two years ago, but after filming a movie this summer, he’s had to work his way back up the card. This one can go either way, but if you’re a betting man, the size and strength of Barrett may end up being too much for Miz.
Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show vs. The Shield Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins: In the few months they’ve been with the company, The Shield has taken out every WWE superstar in their path. Can they do the same with three former world champions in Orton, Sheamus and Big Show? The tension has built for weeks and with no escape this time, The Shield will have to finish the fight they started. Or suffer the consequences.
Prediction: The Shield will win, but the victory can come in a few ways. One could be via a clean win, with no cheating, but don’t expect that. Instead, expect some weapon or outside interference from another young WWE superstar, who could join the group and make them even stronger than before.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter: Even conservative pundit Glenn Beck doesn’t like Jack Swagger, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. With his closed-border and tea party agenda, Swagger has destroyed the WWE mid-card on his way to Wrestlemania. Although Del Rio has been embraced by the American audience and has declared the United States his home, some fans have actually sided with Swagger.
Prediction: Both of these men are excellent performers. A 20-minute match is not out of the question, but don’t expect to see a clean finish. With Rodriguez and Colter at ringside, anything can happen. It probably will. When it’s over, Swagger will be victorious. With all the mainstream media attention he’s gotten over the past three months, it would be silly to cut him down now.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman (No Holds Barred Match; If Lesnar wins, Triple H must retire): The drama here is huge. Lesnar broke HHH’s arm last year and Heyman has made derogatory comments about Triple H's wife, Stephanie McMahon. With the retirement stipulation in play, this has the potential of being Triple H’s last hurrah.
Prediction: Triple H is far too young to retire and even if he’s in the ring part-time, he’s far too valuable to the company to be “retired.” Although Lesnar needs a win in this situation as well if the WWE is ever going to make him the world title contender he once was, a loss to HHH won’t destroy his momentum. In classic Wrestlemania fashion, this one will be decided after a plethora of twists, turns and near-falls, before Triple H wins with the Pedigree in the center of the ring.
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk: The dead man is 20-0 at Wrestlemania and Punk has something to prove after he lost the WWE title to The Rock. With the death of Taker’s former manager, Paul Bearer and Punk’s mockery of it over the past few weeks, this will be an emotional battle.
Prediction: This one will steal the show. Quite possibly Undertaker’s last match, he'll leave it all in the ring. An amazing worker in his own right, Punk will make sure Taker goes out in style. That doesn’t mean Punk won’t resort to sleazy tactics to win either though. After he runs out of his bag of tricks, expect Punk to win after several successful attempts of his finisher, The Go To Sleep.
WWE Champion The Rock vs. John Cena: The monster rematch from last year, except this time, the WWE title is on the line. After all the talking, the hatred, the blood that divides these two megastars, one will come out victorious with the WWE title.
Prediction: Cena wins after a long battle that sees both stars using all of their offense and even a few moves they haven’t done in years. With the cameras flashing and the fans screaming, this will be a well-worked match with a series of climactic moments.
Do you agree? Who do you think will come out victorious this year?