It’s been “leaked” for a few weeks the top five or so matches that will take place at WrestleMania this year. For a while a few of these matches seemed a little far fetched, but as the case usually is, after a disjointed Royal Rumble and awkward followup on RAW just last night (1/27/14), these unlikely matches seems closer to happening than before.
- Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker: Since Brock reappeared on television at the start of the New Year the face value story is he’s back to win the World Heavyweight title. However, between the lines he’s been saying that he’s the biggest and baddest man on the planet, and he’s looking to prove that. The red herring in all this is Brock challenging either Batista or Randy Orton on last night’s RAW. Brock is the type of guy who doesn’t need a title. He’s one of those part timers there to pop ratings and boost curiosity. Remember, this is the guy that that elevated UFC to over 1 million buys time and time again.
So, how do you get Taker and Brock lined up for Mania? The RAW after Elimination Chamber after Brock has seemingly defeated another wrestler on his way to conquering the WWE, Paul Heyman makes the proclamation that Brock deserves the title shot at Mania. Who he wrestles at the Chamber is of small consequence. It’s what happens the next night as Heyman is in the middle of his promo that matters. A familiar gong will resonate throughout the arena, and Undertaker will answer the challenge and face Brock at Mania.
- Triple H vs. CM Punk: This one is a little easier to see even with Punk’s somewhat surprising absence from RAW last night. Corporate Kane (or Senator Glenn Jabobs as Justin calls him) eliminated Punk from the Rumble ending Punk’s 50+ minutes in the match. This lines up a match with Kane either in the Chamber itself, or in a singles match. After Punk dispatches Kane, it’s obvious that Triple H is next in line.
What’s a little harder to see is what’s on the line in this one. Will the Authority give up power (or just Triple H)? Will Punk leave (which isn’t too hard to fathom since his contract is up in July anyway)? The match is easy to see; the stipulation is harder to figure out.
- John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt: This match is nearly set in stone considering the Wyatt family has made it an issue to interfere in Cena’s last two matches. While most observers are discussing Roman Reigns and his breakthrough Rumble appearance, the true breakthrough star of the Rumble was Bray who is getting closer to the upper tier with each creepy promo.
This is not to say Reigns doesn’t have a bright future. It’s just his time isn’t now. If I had to guess I would say his time would be closer to SummerSlam. WWE is certainly taking its time with pulling the proverbial trigger with its main stories, and the Shield breakup is just another example of this. I thought it was kind of strange that Reigns eliminated Ambrose and Rollins in the Rumble and there wasn’t a word about it last night. All in due time I suppose.
Getting back to this match between Cena and Wyatt, time will tell where this one goes as far as who goes over. It’d make sense for Wyatt to, but it’s simply to early to tell.
- Randy Orton vs. Batista: Batista won the Rumble. I don’t see any big changes happening at this point to the plan. There’s far too many factors at work behind the scenes for this one to change because some fans are upset with Daniel Bryan’s placement on the card.
- Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus: When I first heard about this match a few weeks ago, I certainly didn’t understand how or why Sheamus would fit into the Authority/Bryan storyline. Well, now that Cena, Sheamus, and Bryan are all in the Chamber, it makes a bit more sense. Sheamus will “turn” on Bryan, join the Authority, and be the “muscle” to take out Bryan on his quest to the title.
Sure, this won’t sit well with most fans. And, the fact these two already have three Mania matches under their belt (even if one of those matches became a battle royal and the other was a squash), certainly doesn’t sit well with most observers. For whatever reason, WWE is taking their time with Bryan. At this point, I can’t see him winning the title until Survivor Series and running with the title for a while after that.
WWE already foreshadowed a possible Reigns/Batista feud at the Rumble. It’s no mistake that they were the final two in the ring. Whether Batista has the title or not, these two will likely feud, and it will further ascend Reigns further up the ladder.
This is pure speculation on my part as to how WWE will get to these matches. I can not say with any degree of certainty that these angles will play out in the way I see. However, despite the Rumble and its lackluster RAW followup, the Road to WrestleMania has begun. Despite how upset some folks are about Daniel Bryan, I can’t remember a time in recent memory this many people were talking and using social media about pro wrestling. Try and enjoy the ride as we get closer to WrestleMania.