WWE WrestleMania XXVIII Preview

Posted by Grey Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Showcase of the Immortals. The Grandest Stage of Them All. The Grandaddy of Them All.

Finally.....The greatest spectacle in Sports Entertainment, WrestleMania XXVIII will happen tonight at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

This ain't no April's Fool joke. "Finally, The Rock has come back to Miami!"... And The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania (a year after The Great One's tenure as the host of WrestleMania XXVII)!

We continue The Daily Zombies' regular Wrestling PPV Preview with our preview for the biggest Pay-per-View (PPV) of the year. We have been at this for years and as much has we don't expect non-professional wrestling-watching audience to be here reading this, WrestleMania is like a 'Season Finale' to a long-running season (the season's a whole year long but it runs weekly) of a TV series. In the modern form of marriage between professional wrestling and syndicated TV, WrestleMania is where storylines are culminated, feuds are ended, careers are made, and legends are born.

Intriguingly, as we find ourselves fast approaching WrestleMania XXVIII, this year's "Road to WrestleMania" is indeed one hell of a roller-coaster ride, making those from previous years pale in comparison. Like last year's WrestleMania, there are a total of four upper-card main event level matches and we kid you not that all four are essentially unmissable great matches with consequences that can potentially rock the industry (of course, some more so than others).

First and foremost, the hype for this year's "Showcase of the Immortal" kicked off as early as a year ago as we witnessed the previously unthinkable one year build of a WrestleMania main event between the one and only, The Brahma Bull, The Great One, The Most Electrifying Man in All of Sports Entertainment, The Rock, against The former Doctor of Thuganomics, the current "Man" of WWE and multiple WWE and World Heavyweight Champions, John Cena. Billed as a "Once in a Lifetime" match, will Cena prevail against The Great One in his hometown Miami and end this year of never-ending tirades of verbal jousts between the two icons of Sports Entertainment?

Next up, we have a match-up billed as the "end of an era". "Attitude Era" veterans Triple H and The Undertaker collides once more in a rematch of last year's epic confrontation. However, add to the demonic environment of "Hell in a Cell" and the involvement of unpredictable "Mr. WrestleMania" Shawn Michaels himself, will The Dead Man's incredible 19-0 WrestleMania Streak ends at its twentieth edition?

Arguably the other "Man" of the hour, CM Punk takes on the returning former Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho with the namesake as "The Best in The World" as well as the WWE Title at stake. Meanwhile in our blue corner, the unexpected winner of Royal Rumble, Sheamus take on Daniel Bryan for his World Heavyweight Championship.

Further down the card, we have Team Johnny taking on Team Teddy in a 12-Man Tag Team match to determine General Manager of both the Raw and SmackDown brands. Kane will collide with Randy Orton in a weird payback to Orton for defeating him less than a year ago. Big Show, in a bid to redeem his mostly unfortunate WrestleMania career, takes on Cody Rhodes for his Intercontinental Championship while dishing out some personal grudges. As always, we have more fillers match-ups but hey this is "The Showcase of the Immortals", and any self-respecting pro-wrestling fans ought to catch the show and embrace the weird, occasionally-silly, often-clumsy, regularly-kickass culture of professional wrestling or Sports Entertainment or whatever you call it.

Who will have their hands raised up high on the "The Grandest Stage of Them All"? Allow us here at The Daily Zombies to look into our undead crystal ball for our preview and prediction.

Meanwhile at the prediction results department, we scored a perfect 4/4 with our prediction for Elimination Chamber, ascertaining our deduction for an unprecedented result of which no major titles will changed hands in the two Elimination Chambers respectively. Will we finally redeem ourselves with our crazy-ass (in retrospect) prediction for the HeartBreak Kid to end the Deadman's undefeated streak back in WrestleMania XXVI?

In addition, as per our WrestleMania tradition, apart from predicting the results in our preview, we will also be playing a mini-game of predicting the order of the matches. The main event would be the first on our list, as opposed to our regular preview where we placed matches of more importance to the first.

With that out of the way, let's move along to the show.

John Cena vs. The Rock

The epic clash of two of the most recognizable icons of the industry (with The Rock being the much, much more recognizable face far and away above Cena of course) serves more than its hyperbole-filled purpose. It is a telling tale of pro-wrestling scriptwriting. Mainly, subjects like "can we build a year-long WrestleMania main event feud?". While this is strictly subjective, I opine that the answer is a not-too-resounding no.

While in retrospect, we can always think about how things might have turned out different had The Undertaker challenged Triple H on Raw the night after WrestleMania XXVII while Cena continue to goad The Rock for a year to a match-up at WrestleMania, it is of course a fool's errant to ponder on what-if scenarios as such.

However, it is safe for us to say that both opponents of the match have responded well though we can already figure out why Cena has turned all-edgy and having the upper hands over The Rock, creating a more even field for both. That said, WrestleMania XXVIII happened to be in Miami, the hometown of The Rock. Are we in for a spectacle of WWE's number one face having his ass kicked or is The Great One going to fall to Cena?

Predicted Winner: John Cena
For the record, WE HATE JOHN CENA. We hated his goody-two-shoe way, we hated his PG_TV superhero way, and we just hate it when he no-sell anything and everything. "The Rock screwing me out of the WWE Title on "The Greatest Stage of Them All", oh hell, I can live with that."

In Cena's penultimate promo on RAW last week, his reveal of the reason why he will win really rub it in for us. That the crowd's overwhelming discouraging reactions doesn't affect him and the reason behind the crowd's response is that they know he is going to win. A point that we know as a fact, and that the man is right.

In WrestleMania X-7, Stone Cold Steve Austin turned heel and side with Vince McMahon, unleashing hell on The Rock. Are we watching a repeat of that match here, or are we anticipating something along the line of Hulk Hogan's return back then?

Cena will prevail given the fact that he is the leader of the current crops. That said, with sightings of both Brock Lesnar and Batista reported online and the much-talked about rumor of Lesnar actually signing his new WWE contract, a third party interference might just be the way out for these two formidable opponents. While Batista is obviously the less interesting opponent for both Cena and Rock, Lesnar's involvement leading to a SummerSlam or WrestleMania match between Lesnar and Cena seemed perfectly feasible as a sound choice given the status of both man being the respective leaders of their world. And of course, it is also because Brock vs. Rock has been done and we see no attraction in that anymore than two semi-retired wrestlers going at it again. However, with Lesnar being the third party we are talking about here, chances are, he will instead light up a new feud with The Undertaker, which brings us to the other match-up...

The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match with special referee Shawn Michaels)

It's the "End of an Era" match with The Cerebral Assassin taking on The Dead Man one more time (three times actually, but Vince McMahon reportedly nullified that memory as he really hated the American Badass gimmick)to challenge his undefeated streak. And thrown in the ShowStopper, Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn Michaels, and we have an epic set-up like no other, complete with the right amount of intrigue and drama.

Like the HeartBreak Kid two years ago, The Undertaker actually desires a closure by further validating the fact that he can defeat Triple H and defend his streak. Meanwhile, Triple H is haunted by the Ghost of Shawn Michaels and the need to prove that he is better than his best friend. Finally, we have Michaels rounding up the drama as the man to decide if he should follow his heart or his mind when dishing out the trophy to the final victor.

All in all, a match with epic stipulations filled with epic drama and we are fully expecting an epic match that could go a step above last year's great match.

Predicted Winner: The Undertaker
While we have to credit the writers for actually being successful in injecting some hope in people that Triple H might just be the one to end The Deadman's incredible streak. Well, he just isn't the one. A 42-year-old semi-professional who is obviously past his prime to take the most prestigious honour in professional wrestling history? Not even when he is Vince McMahon that I could fathom such though.

However, as mentioned above, the run-in interference of Lesnar remain a very likely option here as Lesnar might just tear the cell open to get to Triple H in order to allow the undefeated streak of The Undertaker to continue... just so that he can get to end it next year.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

The two "Best in the World" collide to decide who actually is the best and guess what? This is the placeholder for a show-stealing match if not the match of the night. And that fact is a testament of how far the two has come since their respective formation years. It sure as a hell meant a lot on a phenomenal night with incredibly booked match-ups.

With Jericho adding in the additional element of the feud by going on a verbal tirade against the StraightEdge superstar, expect no choke holds in earlier part of the match-up.

Predicted Winner: CM Punk
With the next PPV, Extreme Rules, set to be held at the end of this month in Chicago, the hometown of Punk, it is in fact very likely that Jericho will win in this first bout of the potential series of matches between both but with Punk on a runaway tear as the current "Man" of the hour, we are sticking with Punk for this one.

World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

An amazing case study of what a difference a year made, it is hard to believe that a year back at WrestleMania XXVII, this exact match-up was forced to become an unscreened Dark Match when we had all the high hopes for it.

This year, WWE finally decide to give us an opportunity of redemption with Sheamus, as the winner of Royal Rumble, challenging for Bryan's World Heavyweight title. As distinctly different as both superstar are, this match should be an awesome clash of style.

Predicted Winner: Sheamus
It has certainly been a peculiar tradition for Royal Rumble winners to be losing in their WrestleMania title shot opportunity. We opine that this weird little tradition will be ending this year with Sheamus reclaiming his main event status while Bryan can continue his diabolical storyline with AJ.

Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show

For a feud like this one, it is interesting to note that Cody Rhodes has single-handedly turned on the heat behind the rivalry between the current WWE Intercontinental Champion and the "Largest Athlete in the World.

Gaining the upper hand almost at every corner, Rhodes has taken the opportunity well in a strong display of the heel quality. With Big Show now humorously positioned as the "Anti-Undertaker" and mocked at for the last month, we are expecting a better-than-average grudge match between the two.

Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes
It could be Big Show winning via Disqualification by Rhodes or a vicious beatdown by Rhodes but either way, the path is clearly lit forthe result of this match to take shape.

Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny

Team Johnny, led by David Otunga, Mark Henry, The Miz, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre vs. Team Teddy, led by captain Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Zack Ryder, and Booker T.

In exhibit two of exactly what a difference a year made, last year's WrestleMania main eventer that close out the show as a victor (albeit a knocked out one), The Miz has barely gotten a chance to make it as one of the six-man tag-team in this year's WrestleMania. That said, dwelling in the midcard sorrows are fellow colleagues who are filled with underachievers. Henry has a more-than-decent run earlier this year but all momentum has been unfortunately been derailed. Swagger, the most unfortunate former World Heavyweight Champion ever, even had his U.S. title taken away mere weeks from the event.

For a match that could easily be turned into a massive clusterfuck, the match quality should be just fine with a considerable numbers of good opponents involved.

Predicted Winners: Team Johnny
It goes without saying that a heel manager for a show serves much better storyline purpose than a face one. And seriously, what could it mean for a Draft when we continue to have a Raw Supershow involving WWE Superstars from Smackdown or a General Manager for both shows?

Randy Orton vs. Kane

The obligatory match for Orton this year appears to be yet another mix-and-match booking, a fate most undeserving for a talented individual like Orton. And like all other obligatory matches in WrestleMania history, Kane is at the other corner ready to be defeated. Potentially one of the most uninteresting matches tonight with Kane's dry offense and Orton's best efforts in selling whatever moves hit him.

Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
This is easy. It just wouldn't be ending any different than a vicious RKO to the Big Red Machine's thick skull.

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve

Argh... we are down to the obligatory match involving Divas (but not involving their worthless titles). With reportedly more than a few injuries sustained, Menounos should not be involved in the action for most of the time.

Predicted Winners: Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos
A predictable feel-good match that will send the crowd back home happy. Nothing much to expect though.

WWE Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match

A Dark Match with Primo and Epico defending their titles against The Usos as well as Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd. Readily available now online.

Predicted Winners: The Usos
To shake up the incredibly stale air of the tag-team faction (if such things still exist), we opine that it might be good if The Usos are actually awarded with some encouragement.


The Rundown

Yes, it is WrestleMania, but this isn't the usual WrestleMania we are talking about. With a totally unmissable match between two icons, an "End of an Era" Hell in a Cell for another two icons, and the respective title defences by Punk and Bryan, we are in for one hell of a spectacle.

While it can be argued that the bookings of this year's WrestleMania are heavily inclined to returning legends (The Rock, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Triple H, etc.), the hype was appropriately built up and have indeed injected an eventful sense to fans. In short, this is yet another can't miss event for any self-respecting pro-wrestling fans.


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