With the final “Monday Night Raw” before WrestleMania 29 in the books, the matches for the biggest wrestling Pay-Per-View event of the year have been set.
The WWE will put on the event after many weeks of buildup, on April 7 at MetLife Stadium. Many of the top matches have been known for quite some time, but there is still a lot of doubt as to what will happen on Sunday.
Even with a four-hour event, as well as a pre-show, a few notable wrestlers have not been listed on the match card. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro isn’t scheduled to appear in the ring, nor is Kofi Kingston.
Ten matches have been officially listed for the PPV, with several possible finishes for each one. Who will at WrestleMania 2013?
WWE Championship (The Rock vs. John Cena)
Cena is the odds on favorites to win the match and regain the WWE title for the first time in almost two years. After losing the “Once in a Lifetime” matchup at WrestleMania 28, the biggest superstar of the past decade isn’t likely to lose to The Rock for a second straight year. The WWE has teased the possibly of a Cena heel turn, but with the company lacking in popular babyfaces, don’t expect a change in Cena’s character anytime soon. In this case, a predictable outcome makes the most sense.
Prediction: Cena OVER The Rock
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
We won’t see Punk put his 500-plus day title run on the line against the Undertaker’s 20-0 WrestleMania streak, like many fans hoped for, but it could end up being the best match on the card. Punk has continued his run as the best heel the WWE has seen in years in the lead up to the fight. When the feud first started, there seemed to be a slight chance that Punk could be the first to beat Undertaker at WrestleMania. However, Punk’s disrespect of the late Paul Bearer almost ensures that the Undertaker will extend his streak to 21-0, recovering his sacred urn in the process.
Prediction: Undertaker OVER Punk
No Holds Barred (Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar)
When the match was first announced, it seemed obvious that Triple H would get his revenge after losing to Lesnar at SummerSlam. The added career-ending stipulation and introduction of Shaw Michaels into the picture, however, have left some doubt as to who will come out on top. At the biggest PPV of the year, there’s usually at least one swerve in the main event matches. With Undertaker and Cena almost guaranteed to win, there’s a good chance Lesnar will get the victory and force Triple H into retirement. If that happens, look for HBK to cost his best friend the match.
Prediction: Lesnar OVER Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship (Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger)
The feud between Del Rio and Swagger has seemed to cool off in recent weeks, but WWE seems invested in building Swagger as a top heel. In order to draw even more heat, look for manager Zeb Coulter to assist the “Real American” in winning the belt. Chasing the title after WrestleMania could help Del Rio get over with the crowd. The champion has had some trouble doing so since he became a babyface at TLC in December.
Prediction: Swagger OVER Del Rio
Three-Man Team (Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show vs. The Shield)
The WWE has done a good job of making The Shield look strong with wins at TLC and Elimination Chamber. Look for that to continue on the biggest stage of them all. Roman Reigns’ claim that their opponents aren’t a “real team” should prove to be true, as a miscommunication between Orton, Sheamus and Big Show leads to a Shield victory. The night’s heel turn could happen here, rather than in the WWE Championship match. Orton has expressed his desire to turn heel on multiple occasions. Sheamus and Big Show could find themselves on the wrong side of an RKO at the end of this one.
Prediction: The Shield OVER Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Other than a loss by the Undertaker, a victory by Henry might be the most unexpected outcome of the 2013 PPV. Ryback has lost a lot of steam, since coming on as the most unstoppable force in the WWE. He’s found himself on the losing end of the last five PPV’s, and it’s time that he gets a big win on his resume. Ryback delivering a “shell shock” to the “World’s Strongest Man” could end up being one of the highlights of the night.
Prediction: Ryback OVER Henry
Tag Team Championship (Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston)
This may be the most unpredictable match on the entire card. After eliminating each other in the Royal Rumble, it appeared that Daniel Bryan and Kane were on the verge of a break-up. Now, they seem to be on the same page, as they face Ziggler and Langston. Team Hell No may not hold the title for much longer, but there’s a good chance they’ll retain it on Sunday. Ziggler can still have his big WrestleMania moment by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract later in the evening.
Prediction: Team Hell No OVER Ziggler & Langston
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
It’s hard to know what to expect from this match, since Fandango has yet to make his wrestling debut on television. Nevertheless, Vince McMahon is reportedly very high on the new character, so it’s hard to see him simply losing and leaving MetLife Stadium without making any significant impact. Jericho could get the win, only to be followed by a brutal attack from his opponent. The impending departure of Jericho, though, seems to indicate that the former undisputed champ will put over a potential new star for the WWE.
Prediction: Fandango OVER Jericho
Intercontinental Championship Pre-Show Match (Wade Barrett vs. The Miz)
Two years ago, it seemed like this match could be one of the main events at WrestleMania. Now, the two superstars won’t even be featured on the official PPV. Since making him a babyface and attaching him to Ric Flair, it’d be surprising for The Miz to fall short in another bid for a title. Barrett has lost several times on the road to WrestleMania and the WWE doesn’t seem determined to give him a big push, at the moment.
Prediction: The Miz OVER Barrett
Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins
In, perhaps, the least intriguing match of the night, look for the babyfaces to come out on top. Damien Sandown and Cody Rhodes could have big things ahead of them when they compete in singles competition. Brodus Clay and Tensai need the win more.
Prediction: Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls OVER Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins