Top 5 Threats to The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak

The Undertaker currently has a record of 21-0 at Wrestlemania and it is safe to assume the aging wrestler is going to give it at least one more go at Wrestlemania 30. At this point, it’s uncertain who will be facing The Undertaker next April, but I have compiled the top 5 wrestlers who may do so. These 5 in no particular order range from most likely to face him to who might actually win.

CM Punk

cm punk

Before facing CM Punk this year at Wrestlemania 29, The Undertaker took back-to-back wins against Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Therefore, facing CM Punk wouldn’t be so far fetched again and Punk has been heavily rumored to be in the top spot for the next Wrestlemania for quite some time. Possible scenarios for Punk include winning the rumble or facing Stone Cold in a dream match. Versing Stone Cold is a definite longshot, but if Punk wins the rumble, I can easily see him flip that to face The Undertaker rather than go for a title. Will CM Punk win? If the match is the main event, I think it’s a solid 50/50 chance.

Brock Lesnar

brock lesner

As of right now, this is the most likely match to take place. The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar feuded back in late 2002 and Brock got the best of him throughout the program, including a Hell in a Cell match win. There have been known real-life heat between the two and it was also seen a few years ago that the two had an encounter at an UFC event (YouTube it). As for who will win, I cannot see Lesnar winning. He has jobbed to Cena and Triple H already, so it wouldn’t make much sense to build a guy you already have losing and don’t have on the road consistently.

John Cena

john cena

This match is absolutely the biggest PPV seller if it takes place. No other match would be as meaningful and anticipated than this. The two haven’t had a meaningful encounter since 2003 and at this point of their careers, it would be hard to see either guy lose. WWE has built the company around Cena for years and seeing him lose a match clean is very, very rare. I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen Cena lose a match without an interference or disqualification. The idea has been thrown around to have the two have a submission match, would be even more interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen either guy tap out. I believe that Cena would have the best chance to win out of anyone who faces him. And one thing is for certain — every single person watching the match would be at the edge of their seat for this one.

Sting

sting wwe wrestlemania

We never got a chance to see top-tier dream matches like Andre the Giant vs. The Big Show or Stone Cold vs. Goldberg, but The Undertaker vs. Sting is still possible. Both men can still go in the ring and it would be a shame if this very possible match never takes place. Rumors of Sting often surface and they’ve been floating around again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for this match to happen. If this were to happen though, I don’t think Sting has any shot in winning the match. At the end of the day, the fans will win in just seeing these two titans finally clashing in the squared circle.

The Rock

The Rock

This match may be just as unlikely as facing Sting, but it would be a great match to see and an enjoyable experience to see these two in a match one last time. The two have had fantastic matches in the past and it would be special to see these two — whose careers are now in new heights and places — face off in the ring. Both their names alone would bring a lot of eyeballs to the match, especially folks who grew up during the WWE attitude era.

WWE ‘Money in the Bank’ Predictions

In the past few years, the “Money in the Bank” pay-per-view event has been the must see WWE showdown of the summer. SummerSlam used to hold that title, but lately, it’s been bigger just by name. “Money in the Bank” is stacked with difficult to predict matches, a big return, action-packed spots and results that will show clear indication on the direction WWE is going. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets booked as the number 2 most anticipated event in the next few years. Here are our predictions for this Sunday’s PPV event:

WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos

This match will be coming before the actual pay-per-view starts and the result in my opinion is very up in the air. The Usos have been looking very strong on TV lately and have even picked up a clean win with Christian against the entire Shield team. If the Usos do win the tag titles in this pre-show match, then I fully expect the favorite for the World title Money in the Bank ladder match. That way, The Shield doesn’t look too dominant with the two titles and a Money in the Bank.

Chris Jericho vs. Ryback

This match is interesting, because the two haven’t had much interaction on TV leading up to the PPV. Jericho picked up a good win against Intercontinental Champ, Curtis Axel during the go-home Raw, so Jericho has some momentum going into the match. Meanwhile, Ryback embraced Vickie while playing a new role as a sensitive big dude backstage on the same Raw. There’s no telling what will happen between the two with so little to go on. Since Ryback has been on such a long losing streak and Jericho being hellbent on the enhancement of future talent, I see Ryback winning this. That’s the only thing I can go off of. Maybe a giant twist happens and we see the emerging of the new and improved Ryback, “CRyback.”

Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn

These two ladies had a solid match at Payback last month and I think they’ll deliver again. AJ has been talking about leaving the event as champ with her boyfriend Ziggler also as champ, so my belief is that AJ will win and Ziggler will lose his match (I explain why later). AJ had just recently won the title and has even been endorsed by Stephanie McMahon on Raw to set up a possible future angle. No other recent Diva has had 1-on-1 interaction with Stephanie on TV, so AJ must be seen as something special. That’s why I don’t see AJ losing her title in just a month.

The Miz vs. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel

Again, another newly won title that shouldn’t switch hands so quickly. Curtis Axel won the title in an emotional bout last month on Father’s Day and him dropping the title so soon would be an abrupt end to his momentum. The Miz may need an entire repackaging of his character, because he is just not getting over and putting the title on him won’t help. Heck, he was endorsed by Ric Flair and “allowed” to use his finisher move, the figure-four leglock and still doesn’t get most of the crowd on his side.

World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match

This all heel ladder match is a tough call. It’s Dean Ambrose as the slight favorite and everyone else tied for a close 2nd. All of them are in the same place as far as momentum goes. Ambrose has the lead only because his group, The Shield has been involved with many of the top stars and matches and have posed as a legitimate threat more recently than anyone else. Lots of talent in this match and it’ll be a joy to see who gets cheered most in this all bad-guy ladder match.

Money in the Bank All-Stars

Everyone fully expected Daniel Bryan to win this Money in the Bank ladder match for weeks and this may have led to his downfall. WWE likes to be unpredictable and if everyone is expecting Bryan to win, then WWE may feel the need to keep fans on their toes and not have him win. Bryan also finished the last Raw strong by defeating Sheamus in a singles match and laying out CM Punk and Randy Orton. That is too much momentum for one guy to have and indicates to me that he is going to lose.

So who could win? Rob Van Dam is returning to the WWE after a 6 year absence and he just may be big enough of a returning star to win. There’s always a chance CM Punk could win and a possible replacement for the “injured” Kane could spell the wrestling debut and win for Bray Wyatt. There are so many factors in this match that it’s extremely difficult to call and that’s what will make this match so much fun to watch.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

Yet another newly won title that should not be dropped so quickly back to the former champion. Ziggler won the title the night after Wrestlemania in April, got injured and then had his first title defense at Payback and lost. I think this is the time for Ziggler to build up his credibility again by putting on some great matches and getting the crowd behind him some more. The only way he’s going to do that is to chase the title and drop his heel girlfriend AJ. I predict AJ will “accidentally” screw Ziggler over, which will lead to a break up and a phenomenal title win at SummerSlam.

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Mark Henry

If at any other time you told me that John Cena would be defending his title against Mark Henry, I’d say Cena was winning for sure. Not so much now. Mark Henry has been on his A-game and this feud hit the ground running with his fake retirement speech that turned out to be one of the best Raw moments in recent memory. Mark Henry has looked strong, his promos have been great and I believe Henry could actually win. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. I would love to see such a long time WWE Superstar win the WWE title for the first and only time as a courtesy for all the years of service. I still say John Cena will win this match to somehow face Bryan at SummerSlam, but Mark Henry certainly has a chance to win. A bigger chance to win than he has ever had.

WWE Payback Predictions

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow

This match will be the pre-event free match that will stream before the actual pay-per-view. After a series of “games” between Sheamus and Sandow, they will have a 1 on 1 match tonight to kick off the first ever Payback event. It’s hard to see Sandow winning this match, because WWE seems hard-pressed to protect Sheamus. I believe Sandow does has a big future in store and it would make sense to pull the trigger on him soon. However, even if Sandow did win, it would not mean much having a non-televised victory. My prediction is Sheamus will win this match in a speedy match.

Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee

Former “best friends” go face to face tonight in Chicago and it should be one of the better Divas title matches in recent memory. Both are on top of what the Divas roster currently offers, even though that doesn’t say much. I believe that AJ Lee’s momentum has set her up to finally win the Divas Championship. She has been involved in major storylines, currently involved with the World Heavyweight Champion and she doesn’t look like she’s slowing down any time soon. AJ Lee will win tonight in what will be a surprisingly good match.

United States Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

For the first time, it’s a toss up for these Shield wrestlers to win or lose on a pay-per-view. They have had an incredibly well put together streak and now it’s hard to call whether or not they will win their matches. The only reason why I think Dean Ambrose could win tonight it because he just got the US Championship. This could be a wild shot in the dark, but I think Kane will win via DQ. That way Dean can retain the title and Kane will not look weak. This way, the program between Kane and The Shield could continue and set-up the rumored inclusion of The Undertaker into it.

Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel

The inclusion of Curtis Axel into the IC title scene seems so rushed that it is almost a guarantee Axel will come away with the title. WWE has been doing a bad job convincing anyone Axel is important with meaningless count out and forfeit wins over Triple H and John Cena. It seems like WWE thinks it’s doing a good job of booking Paul Heyman’s newest guy and is now handing Axel the title to continue his “momentum.” Curtis Axel will win the strap tonight and it will hurt Barrett and Miz, who have been clawing to remain relevant.

WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan

This is a tough one to call because Daniel Bryan just came off a hot one on one match against Seth Rollins and won it clean. I would be all for Bryan and Orton winning the tag titles tonight, but because Daniel Bryan is being primed to be in the WWE title picture and Orton could turn heel at any moment, it’s hard to see. Bryan has finally broken away from Kane and it’d be a shame to have him stuck in another tag team situation. My prediction is that The Shield will win and Orton’s heel turn will be set-up to happen tonight or very soon.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

These two have had several matches before, but this is the first time Chris Jericho will be face and CM Punk will be the heel — sort of. The match is in Chicago and both men will be cheered wildly tonight regardless if they’re good or bad guys. Punk has lost the last 3 pay-per-view matches he’s been in and him losing his return match will probably not happen. The match will undoubtedly be a great one, but it’s hard to predict what will happen beyond Punk winning. Jericho could turn heel, Punk turn face, both remain face, etc. My guess is that Jericho and Punk will be babyfaces by the end of the event.

World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

Ziggler has recently returned to WWE TV and him losing the title tonight probably won’t happen, especially since he’s rumored to hold the title until Summerslam. My prediction tonight is that Ziggler will win, but it will be a cheap, unconvincing win, which is uncool, because he deserves much better. No doubt, the crowd will be completely behind Ziggler and it’s going to leave bad taste in everyone’s mouth when WWE tries to shove Alberto as the innocent babyface down everyone’s throat.

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Ryback (Three Stages of Hell Match)

I just can’t see Ryback as WWE Champion. After John Cena has beaten CM Punk and The Rock, Ryback winning the title would just flat-line the momentum Cena and the new WWE title has. The next WWE title change should be meaningful and that change should be from Cena to the hugely over Daniel Bryan. Rumors have been swirling of having Daniel Bryan face John Cena at Summerslam, so I feel that Ryback is just a stepping stone until that program begins. Ryback will lose a tough fought match tonight and he may move on to another superstar like CM Punk or Jericho to end the Cena and Ryback rivalry. Unfortunately, there will most likely be a 3rd encounter between the two at Money in the Bank before that happens.

WWE Extreme Rules PPV Predictions

WWE Extreme Rules airs live on PPV tonight, with several hardcore matches. Here are our predictions on tonight’s festivities.

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

Chris Jericho Fandango WWE Extreme Rules

These two will have a rematch of their Wrestlemania match and it will be hard to see Chris Jericho lose clean to Fandango twice in a row. No stipulations are set for the match, so expect some sort of botched finished for this match. That way, Fandango can stay hot and Jericho won’t look weak. Call me crazy, but I have a hunch sometime down the road, these two men will team up and both be good guys. After all, WWE would love to sell some Fandango T-shirts and more iTunes song downloads. Fandango showed off his aggressive and sneaky side this past Monday night on Raw and this Sunday, Chris Jericho will win via disqualification. We’ll go with a stereotypical low blow being caught by the referee.

Randy Orton vs. Big Show (Extreme Rules Match)
In his hometown of St. Louis, Randy Orton should be very over at Extreme Rules. With no disqualifications and hardcore rules in place, expect to see some chair play and other fun stuff throughout the match. Even though this brewing rivalry dates back to March of this year, I unfortunately do not see this feud ending just yet. This match should be going to Big Show to keep the rivalry going until at least the Payback pay-per-view. Then finally both men can move on and fit themselves into better and more engaging storylines.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry (Strap Match)
The feeling here is that both men cannot lose another match if they want to stay relevant in the eyes of the WWE Universe. It has been quite a while since either men were remotely close to the main event picture. With the strap match stipulation in place, the first man to touch all four corners of the ring wins the match, so expect a very physical and grapple heavy match. Although Mark Henry hasn’t competed for any world titles lately, he does have a win over Ryback at Wrestlemania. Nothing came out of that win, but it’s at least something compared to Sheamus who hasn’t won a pay-per-view match in the past 6 months and that was only a DQ win. I’ll give it to Sheamus to win this one.

Team Hell No — Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield’s Rollins and Reigns for the WWE Tag Team Championship

What an odd turn of events for The Shield this past Monday, because they actually received their first loss on Raw. They disqualified themselves after John Cena appeared to have almost won the match against The Shield. Whoever was responsible for that outcome for the match wasn’t thinking very clearly. I guess it was a way for Cena to not lose anymore to the team as well as keeping The Shield technically “unbeaten” or “unpinned.” The feeling is that the loss doesn’t count or else the commentators would have mentioned it. Therefore, The Shield is still perfect in WWE’s eyes and should win over Team Hell No with no problem.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Shield’s Dean Ambrose for the WWE United States Championship
Same goes for this match and Dean Ambrose and maybe even more so, because Kofi Kingston has not been very involved with The Shield’s whereabouts at all. It would have made this match more impressive if the red hot Dean Ambrose would have pinned the longest reigning U.S. Champion in recent memory, Antonio Cesaro. What was the point of Kofi breaking Cesaro’s streak a little over a month ago only to drop the title just a short time later? Poor booking by upper management I’m sure. The Shield will steamroll over their matches and take home 3 gold belts tonight.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (‘I Quit’ Match)
World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler was supposed to be in a triple threat match with these two men, but an injury has taken him out of it. Rumor has it that the match will eventually take place at Summerslam, which means that this three-way feud will last for at least a couple of more months. That being said, the outcome of the match doesn’t matter much, but Jack Swagger does need this win more than Del Rio. Swagger losing any more high profile matches will render him a non-threat to a title he hasn’t held since 2010.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (Steel Cage Match)

triple h brock lesner wwe

It’s bad enough that Lesnar is already 1 for 3 since returning, so losing a third match would be very unwise. Lesnar absolutely cannot lose this match tonight. Both men will probably not be making another appearance until Summerslam time, so Brock Lesnar will need to come in with some credibility for his next opponent. Last year’s Lesnar vs. Cena match was very physical and surprisingly bloody and it may be just as brutal this year too. Some fans may be skeptic about how good this match will be, because cage matches have been watered down very much in the past few years, but I think WWE will surprise them. My prediction is Lesnar will win after a very violent match.

John Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship (Last Man Standing Match)

John cena ryback wwe

Their first match is the type of match that usually ends feuds — a last man standing match. I fully expect John Cena to retain his title and it will be devastating for Ryback to lose yet again and after a last man standing match 10 count. Maybe some bogus or run-in type attack will end this match, but everything points to Ryback having his momentum come to a dead-stop. Maybe, just maybe, Ryback will actually win the title, but that has a very slim chance of happening. John Cena will win this match, but the feud will continue and no one will care. It’s a very bad situation for Ryback.

WWE Extreme Rules airs at 8pm EST, with a pre-show at 7:30, on PPV.

Four signs WWE doesn’t care about tradition

For years, there have been signs that the WWE puts less importance on tradition and more on “what’s best for business.” Year after year, traditions have been sacrificed to sell out t-shirts and get better PPV buyrates. But traditions are the things that mean most to hardcore and faithful wrestling fans.

Here are just four – of many – instances that show that the WWE is losing sight of the traditions that have built up the company – and its fan base – for decades.

WWE

1. Pay-per-view name changes and drops
Lots of WWE pay-per-views that have been ongoing for nearly a decade have been dropped in favor of “themed” pay-per-views. Pay-per-views such as Backlash, Armageddon and No Mercy have been discontinued to make room for Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber and TLC ppvs. I guess letting ppv buyers know what kind of matches they’re in for should mean better buys, but it certainly doesn’t explain why King of the Ring ppv was dropped back in 2003 as this was the event that Stone Cold Steve Austin made his infamous Austin 3:16 promo. Even more appalling is the fact that WWE actually tried to drop the Survivor Series event too back in 2010. Thankfully, the event that held the debut of The Rock and The Undertaker was reinstated after fans let their voice be heard.

2. New WWE Championship belt eagle-less
The most recent indicator involves what can be seen as the cornerstone of the wrestling industry — the WWE championship belt. The latest iteration of the title belt was introduced earlier this year by The Rock and it is the first time the gold strap’s design does not include an eagle. Sounds like something like this shouldn’t be a big deal. However, this is the first time an eagle wasn’t featured in the title’s 50-year-old history. Even the last, spinner version of the WWE championship belt had an eagle. A concept the WWE was considering featured an eagle, but was ultimately unused. It is well established that the WWE spinner version of the belt remained for so long because of how well it was selling and the latest change most certainly kept that factor in mind. So I guess someone in marketing decided no eagle equals better sales.

3. Royal Rumble not as special anymore
The Royal Rumble’s importance has been watered down very much in recent years. The winner of the match is awarded a world championship match at Wrestlemania, but the last handful of winners, besides John Cena have not main evented the flagship event. The 2011 winner, Alberto Del Rio challenged Edge as the opening match of Wrestlemania 27 and 2012 winner, Sheamus faced Daniel Bryan during the opening match at Wrestlemania 28. And although the 2013 winner, Cena was in the main event for Wrestlemania 29, the 2013 Rumble match itself took a backseat to the WWE Championship match. That hasn’t happened since the 2006 Royal Rumble and over a decade before that. Traditionally, the Royal Rumble match should be the main event for the pay-per-view and the winner should be in the main event for Wrestlemania.

4. Wrestlemania 30 not coming to NYC
The first Wrestlemania was in Madison Square Garden and so was Wrestlemania 10 and 20. Based on history, you would think that WWE would stick to tradition and bring it back to MSG every 10 years. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening and WWE has decided to bring the momentous event to New Orleans. It’s understandable if they couldn’t bring the big event to MSG because Wrestlemania has become a stadium-level event, but to not even bring it to New York is WWE showing us they’re totally disregarding the tradition they have set for the event in the past 30 years.

The Shield: WWE’s first legitimate ‘Stable’ since Evolution

Last night, on WWE Monday Night RAW, we learned that The Shield would take on The Undertaker, Kane and Daniel Bryan next week.

From the way things are going, The Shield could cement themselves as the biggest legitimate threat in the WWE in a long time. They have already established themselves with serious wins over the likes of John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback and Randy Orton. In the past 5 years or so, stables in the WWE don’t last very long. They either disappear quickly (The Corre) or get put to the side as a joke (3 Man Band). It’s interesting to see where this will go or end up, because they’re looking good so far.

The last time a stable looked like a threat was The Nexus. These were a group of NXT rookies who were trying to make a name for themselves and were bulldozing through everyone, similar to what The Shield has been doing. The 7 rookies (at one time 8 with Daniel Bryan who was dropped after a controversial attack on announcer Justin Roberts) attacked John Cena, Vince McMahon, Chris Jericho and anyone they can get their hands on. During the summer of 2010, The Nexus were on fire. The series of attacks led to a 7 vs. 7 match at Summerslam, which had The Nexus lose to a strong but dysfunctional team of John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, R-Truth, John Morrison and Daniel Bryan. That lost stopped any momentum the team had and it’s hard to take a team seriously when they can’t even beat a team where heels couldn’t cooperate with the good guys.

This isn’t the case for The Shield though. They remain undefeated and they have beaten teams that were gelling very well together. They have been involved in major storylines and they have even beaten up The Rock a couple of times. With such a streak going, this coming Monday should be another win for The Shield. It’s impressive enough that The Undertaker will be wrestling on free television, but for a team being built up so strong, it’s hard to believe that The Shield’s first lost will happen at a non-PPV event.

What’s next for The Shield? Right now it’s looking like Kane and Daniel Bryan’s tag titles are in their future. When it’s all said and done, who will be their breakout star? Will it be like Evolution where rookies like Batista and Randy Orton both benefited from being part of a strong stable? The future is looking bright and nothing points to anything but success. Much brighter than the Mexicools, Nexus, The New Nexus, 3 Man Band, The Corre, The Hart Dynasty, The Straight Edge Society and the list goes on. What do you think of The Shield?

New WWE Arcs Ripple out of Wrestlemania and RAW – Ryback & Ziggler Steal Show

Wrestlemania 29 has come and gone and the most exciting event of the year is a whole 365 days away again. Monday Night Raw after Wrestlemania was very important, because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. For the past two years, it was pretty clear what would be happening at next year’s Wrestlemania. The first John Cena vs. The Rock match was set immediately after Wrestlemania 27 on Raw and the brewing rematch and Brock’s warpath for Wrestlemania 29 was set at the same time a year after that. Tonight we learned a lot, but not as much as previous years.

Raw opened with John Cena as the new WWE Champion where he cut a typical promo. The crowd was super hot and didn’t let down one bit. Truly, the star of the show were the fans and their highly audible chants. Lots of obscenities and dissatisfaction was thrown toward Cena’s way as eventually a match is set for Cena vs. Mark Henry for later on in the night. So right there we figure by the end of the show we’ll be getting a good idea of what’s next for the WWE Champ in the coming weeks.

As that title situation gets established, another match takes place with World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a handicap match. The crowd isn’t stupid and they know this is the perfect set-up for a Dolph Ziggler cash-in of his Money in the Bank briefcase. They chant Ziggler’s name furiously throughout the match until finally Alberto pulls off a tough win. Ziggler’s music hits and he wins the belt off of a hurt and exhausted Del Rio. His win means we can have something a little more interesting than the “Real American” versus the American dream storyline. It was great to see Dolph finally win the big one (in a match and not handed to him) and the hope is that he’ll get a good run in 2013 to make it to Wrestlemania 30 in a decent match.

Undertaker’s situation going forward was also played out on TV this week, which is rare for him to do after Wrestlemania. He came out to talk about the match he had with Punk and how it was a tribute to the late Paul Bearer. Not long after he started speaking, The Shield approached the ring and was ready to attack. Kane and Daniel Bryan ran in to make the save and stared The Shield down. Going forward, it’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out. Will The Undertaker continue to wrestle for a little while? There was a report not too long ago where Taker was promoted for the April 23rd Smackdown tapings to face The Shield alongside Sheamus and Randy Orton. I’d say him wrestling is ill-advised, but it’s very cool to see he’s not just trying to wrestle once a year and that’s it.

CM Punk, Triple H, The Rock and Brock Lesnar did not show up to RAW, but all should still be around within the year. CM Punk was announced to come back next week by Paul Heyman after his “devastating loss.” Triple H won his match and won the right to not be retired, so this could only mean he’ll be having possibly a couple of matches within the year. The Rock was announced as the number 1 contender for the WWE belt by Booker T, since he is entitled to a rematch. Dwayne Johnson was scheduled to be on TV, but no-showed Raw because he was injured at Wrestlemania 29 and this was unknown to the WWE until moments before going live. And lastly, Brock Lesnar was mentioned briefly by Heyman as well and says that he’s ready to fight, but not for free on free television.

As the last match of the night, John Cena faced off against Mark Henry in a quick match where Henry was counted out. The highlight of the match was not the in-ring performance (of course), but the crowd chanting Sexual Chocolate toward Mark Henry. After the match, Henry attacks Cena until Ryback makes the save. Cena and Ryback seem to be on the same page, but after tossing Mark Henry out of the ring, Ryback turns around and attacks Cena. The crowd is loving the heel turned Ryback, which may cause some confusion to the “not-smart” fans out there. Ryback lifts the WWE title over his head and then Raw ends there. Ryback looks to be in the title picture, but so is The Rock. Again, this will be interesting to see play out in the coming weeks.

Lots happened this past weekend and Raw gave a glimpse into what’s to come. It doesn’t go as far as establishing Wrestlemania 30 matches, but at least we know everyone stands come the Extreme Rules pay-per-view next month. So what did you think of Raw? Do you like the stories being built up? Do you want to see Rock vs. Cena again? Do you want to see the Undertaker face The Shield? Let us know.

WWE Wrestlemania 29 Predictions – UPDATED

WWE Wrestlemania 29 airs on Pay-per-view tonight and there are a lot of questions on the minds of wrestling fans. Will Brock Lesner force Triple H into retirement? The Rock, who recently appeared in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, was named the cover athlete for 2K Sports first wrestling title, WWE 2K14. But does that mean “jack” when he faces off against John Cena? Who will win, when The Undertaker takes on CM Punk? What surprises and guest appearances will have lasting effects on the next year of WWE action?

Without further adieu, here are a few of our predictions for tonight’s WWE Wrestlemania 29 festivities!

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

This match was certainly on nobody’s radar when Chris Jericho returned earlier this year at the Royal Rumble. WWE teased a Jericho and Ziggler feud for a good Ziggler build-up match at Wrestlemania, but that ultimately never materialized. The rub will now be going to Fandango as he will be making his in-ring wrestling debut at Wrestlemania with a bona fide legend. This match should be very good because you have a great in-ring performer in Chris Jericho against a guy who is looking to make a name for himself. Who’s going to win the match? It doesn’t really matter, because what needs to happen is for Fandango to put on a good match and squash all the “you can’t wrestle” chants once and for all. For the sake of this preview, I say Chris Jericho wins, but Fandango puts up a hell of a fight.

CM Punk vs. The Undertaker

Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer has passed away and it has been played out on WWE television leading up to this match. CM Punk has just come off one of the longest WWE title reigns in history and has been getting the best of Taker week in and week out. It is very difficult to see The Undertaker lose after “losing” so much on television. If anyone should break the streak, I’d give it to CM Punk, especially because of the somewhat bitter, real-life history between the two where Undertaker didn’t give Punk the respect he deserved in the locker room. But nope, it just doesn’t seem like it’ll happen. My prediction here is Undertaker will win after a very, very physical match.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston for the WWE Tag Team Titles
It’s great to see the Tag Team Championship actually on the card and not a pre-show match; that honor goes to the Intercontinental Championship, which is an even bigger crime. The tag champs, Team Hell No go up against Mr. Money in the Bank and his bodyguard/friend Big E. Not only is Fandango making his in-ring debut at Mania, but so is Mr. Langston. Team Hell No have been champs since September of 2012 and them dropping the titles at Wrestlemania should not come as a surprise. The only issue is Ziggler is primed to win the World Heavyweight Championship in the next few months and having the tag titles will just slow him down. So the prediction here is that Team Hell No wins in a short match where A.J. Lee mistakenly costs her boyfriend and Big E. Langston the match.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar No Holds Barred; Triple H must retire if he loses

Logic says Lesnar should win since he has already lost one match and won one match. How are you going to pay a man to wrestle three times a year and have him lose more than win? It’s a bad investment and no one is going to buy into Brock being a monster if he’s losing more than winning. Especially since it is known now that Brock is sticking around after Wrestlemania 29, you have to have him win this match. The stipulation of Triple H having to retire is a throwaway addition to the match, because the man all but wrestles once or twice a year already anyway. I say Brock Lesnar wins and Triple H gets to retire and gets inducted into the Hall of Fame at Wrestlemania 30; his ego wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback
Two huge dudes are going to face-to-face in a regular, no strings attached match — expect a lot of shoving and lifting here, folks. This match could work well if they keep it short and sweet. The longer this match goes with moves like bearhugs and headlocks, the worse it’s going to be. Ryback needs to go over Henry in order to keep his momentum going and to be a fresh and strong face for when Wrestlemania season is over.

Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show vs. The Shield

Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show

Logic says that The Shield should win this one, since they already beat the team of John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. This watered down version of the “team of good guys” shouldn’t be able to beat The Shield, especially since there’s tension on whether or not Big Show is on the same page as everyone else. The Shield should win and continue their great run and it will be due to the collapse of the team sparked by either The Big Show or the real wild card, Randy Orton. Orton has been craving to turn heel for a while, so this will be the best opportunity.

Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay & Tensai) and The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) and The Bella Twins
This will almost certainly be the cooldown match between John Cena vs. The Rock and Undertaker vs. CM Punk. Team Rhodes Scholars should win this match because they are great talent with a bright future ahead of them, but I just can’t see it happening. Tons of Fun and The Funkadactyls will win, dance a whole lot and keep the kids happy. Everyone else can get their pee breaks in.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Title
WWE has been pushing Del Rio hard for the support of the Latino audience and what better way to get him over than to have him face and beat the anti-immigrant, “all-American” Jack Swagger. Jack Swagger has been built up quite well with his new theme, gimmick and manager, Zeb Colter. But if the WWE is serious about getting a new Mexican super duper star to replace Rey Mysterio (which they are), then Alberto should easily be considered the winner when Wrestlemania is all said and done.

The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
This match is certainly going to John Cena, but the big question is how. If this is indeed the show closer, how are you going to have John Cena win in one of the most (probably the most) anti-Cena crowd? It will look bad for WWE to close out Wrestlemania with the crowd booing John Cena out of the building. Heck, last night, a video of Cena and Make-A-Wish played at the Hall of Fame ceremony and that got furiously booed. The best way I can see this ending is Cena having to cheat in order to win or viciously beating down The Rock after the match to send the fans home happy. Yes, I’m talking about the fabled John Cena heel turn. There  isn’t much else for Cena after taking down The Rock at Wrestlemania, so a heel turn would be a good move at this point of his career.

So what do you think will happen? What is your take on the build to Wrestlemania this year? Leave comments and let us know how you feel. WWE Wrestlemania 29 starts at 7PM/4PM E/P tonight.

*This Article has been Updated

The Rock to grace cover of 2K’s WWE 2K14

According to a tweet by WWE‘s EVP, Stephanie McMahon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be the cover star on 2K’s first WWE game after acquiring the rights from the defunct THQ, WWE 2K14. The tweet reads, “Breaking News: @TheRock will be featured on the cover of WWE 2K 14.”

the rock

This year, The Rock stars in G. I. Joe: Retaliation, Snitch and Fast & Furious 6; he is currently the WWE Champion. That is a whole lot of attention for one man within a year.

The Urn Sits Silent – William Moody, WWE’s ‘Paul Bearer’ Passes Away

paul bearer

Professional wrestling personalities and their managers won’t have a place reserved for them at the Oscars’ “In Memoriam” production, but there is something to be said about playing a character to arenas packed around the country for over 20 years, wearing ghostly makeup while hugging an urn, and becoming etched into the halls of entertainment as one of the most memorable characters of the World Wrestling Entertainment. William Moody, WWF/WWE’s “Paul Bearer” passed away Tuesday at the age of 58.

Before arriving on the WWF scene, Mooney wrestled in the independent circuit for the Indian Coast, then began managing wrestlers Percy Pringle III. He earned a degree in mortuary science, and became a funeral director/embalmer. He returned to the square ring as a manager as Pringle, standing beside an assortment of wrestlers including “Stunning” Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Mark Calaway, Lex Luger and The Ultimate Warrior early in their careers.

But it wasn’t until of 1991 when Moody traded Percy Pringle for a character based on his other career and entered the WWF. Vince McMahon and Moody created Paul Bearer and attached him to The Undertaker and Mankind, wearing white makeup on his face, constantly hugging an urn, touting its power to resurrect the energy of his wrestlers. He hosted the Funeral Parlor segments and played heel multiple times. No fan of wrestling will forget his “Ohhhhh, Yyyyesss!” those expressive eyebrows, that double chin, the long running sordid story of The Undertaker’s family and Paul Bearer, and the running feud with The Undertaker and his younger half-brother Kane (fathered by Bearer).

Fans kept up to date with Moody’s latest adventures and appearances through his blog. Moody was heavily active on twitter under the handle @wweURNiverse interacting with friends and fans daily before falling silent on Sunday, March 3. Below is a sample of Moody’s work for a Royal Rumble promo in 1992. He not only made The Undertaker interesting, he found a way to scare the bejeezus out of wrestling fans with memorable performances like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTxmjud_IwM[/youtube]