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News & Notes: Rumored WM26 Lineup

I hope everybody reading this had a safe New Year’s celebration. What better way to start out the new year than with some rumors on what might be happening at WrestleMania 26 in three months? This comes from the Figure Four Weekly and the Wrestling Observer newsletters. Both newsletters are the best in the business and they have sources within the wrestling business. Keep in mind these are all just rumors that I’m going to be writing about. Nothing is set in stone. Ideas change all the time. Last year at WrestleMania they had John Cena penciled in against Batista until Batista got hurt. Then they had Cena vs. Hogan in there until Hogan hurt his back (according to Hogan, who is known to BS). They ended up sticking Cena in a triple threat with Edge and Show a year after he had a triple threat with Orton and HHH. Between now and March things will happen like injuries, not to mention opinions changing. Vince McMahon is notorious for changing up plans at the last minute.

The encouraging thing going into this year is that they apparently realize that the best way to book WrestleMania is to go from WM26 and work backwards. Last year they didn’t have the same approach, which is why the build for some of the matches was just average. They apparently have a tentative lineup in mind with the big matches set. Here are the rumored big matches:

– For John Cena, they are trying to get The Rock to come in to face him. If you’ll recall, Rock has made comments about possibly working with WWE again in some capacity. It could mean a match. They can shoot an angle with him as a guest host in March (heavily rumored that he will host a Raw in March because he might have free time) and have the match in March. Obviously WWE wants this to happen. It’s up to Rock more than anything. Me? I’d pay Rock whatever he wants, even something like $5 million for one match, because he’s going to make the money back for sure.

If they can’t get Rock then they will likely go with Cena vs. Batista in a Raw vs. Smackdown “dream match” that they wanted to do last year. It would probably be better this year because Batista’s getting over very well as a heel. They have done the match before, but not enough that it has lost its luster. It could be title vs. title too.

– Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. This is the biggest sure thing of the matches. They loved it last year and figure that a rematch would draw pretty well. I agree. No problem with seeing this one again. I doubt that the Undertaker will be walking into WrestleMania still the World Champion, so this wouldn’t be a title match. Would Michaels go over? I doubt it.

– Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart. Obviously the seeds will be planted for this one on Monday’s Raw. Bret’s agreed to work one match and is signed through to WrestleMania, so it makes sense obviously. They would likely do a Street Fight match to avoid having Bret take any bumps due to his health concerns.

– Triple H vs. Sheamus. Among the newer wrestlers, it’s said that HHH has two “boys” and they are Sheamus as well as Drew McIntyre. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he was booked to feud with Sheamus. There’s chance that Sheamus would still be WWE champion.

– Chris Jericho vs. Edge. All signs are pointing to Edge being ready for WrestleMania. If he is, this match is on. If not, I guess they’ll do something else for Jericho (Morrison maybe?) and Edge could be used to do a run-in or something like that. I hope he’s ready. This could be the feud of the year in 2010 if they are allowed to carry it for a few months.

– Randy Orton vs. Ted Dibiase Jr. The long rumored Dibiase face turn would happen in the Rumble when he throws Orton out of the match. There are many ways to go about it obviously, but the Rumble is typically a good place to start a turn for somebody. Makes sense to me.

– The early rumor for Money in the Bank is that Kofi Kingston would win that although it should be noted that opinions on that get changed all the time. I remember last year they changed the CM Punk win a number of times before the show. I think either Kingston or Morrison should win. I hope that one of them wins the Rumble although I don’t see that happening.

– Regarding Jeff Hardy, he was always supposed to come back around WrestleMania time to feud with and get the win over CM Punk. However, with his impending court date due to his drug arrest on the horizon they might not bring him back until that’s settled because Linda McMahon is still running for a senate seat in Connecticut. His court date has been pushed back a few times, which is a sign that there probably isn’t enough evidence to convict him.

That’s seven matches right there, eight if you count the Hardy one. If Rock does come in then you need one for Batista, which would make nine. It’ll be tough to get other matches on a four hour show.

I’m not sure who would win the Rumble (please not HHH) or who the titles would be on (I’d guess Batista as SD champ with Cena or Sheamus as Raw champ) heading into the show, but I think in terms of lineups this would be pretty good. I think with Bret Hart wrestling they will already do really good in terms of PPV buys. If they can get Rock in a match they will probably break their all-time PPV buy record, which is held by WrestleMania 23. That show, with the main attraction being the McMahon/Umaga vs. Trump/Lashley with Austin as ref hair match (with Cena vs. HBK going on last), did 1.18 million PPV buys.

I think if they had The Rock and Bret Hart returning on the same show this year they could beat that because The Rock’s return to WWE would be a huge deal considering he’s become a bigger worldwide star since leaving the company. As for Bret, obviously that would be attractive to older wrestling fans. A lot of people only buy one WWE show in a year: WrestleMania. If people know that the likes of Rock and Hart are coming back for Mania word will spread and casual fans might be willing to drop down the $50 to watch it.

There’s your first juicy set of rumors to start 2010.

Digest it and talk about it below. What do you think? Good plans or no?

  1. Jens
    January 1, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Good plans for sure. If they could get Rock and Bret on tha same card that would be huge! Rock vs Cena is actually a Cena match I could enjoy all the way.
    Jeff probably isn’t coming back for Mania-time. I’m thinking May/June, but who knows with this trial stuff and all. I’d still like Punk on the Card. Maybe Punk/Gallows/Vince vs Hart Foundation as I’ve heard several places now?
    If the matches above all happend it would be a very solid card. In general a lot of decent matches too (Taker vs Michaels and Y2J vs Edge in particular).
    So all in all… Good plans!

  2. Clay
    January 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    That’s a great line up i would rent Mania if Rock and Bret Hart have matches. I think if Morrison or Kingston don’t win the Rumble one of them should win MITB. My MITB match would have Morrison, Kingston, Bourne,Christan, Benjamen and Rey. I think MITB should showcase the young talent and give them a shot at the strap. The Rock and Cena would be epic in terms of hype. Edge vs Jericho would be my must see match because they are my favorite wrestlers going today. I hope some of the matches on your card get made the WWE needs a great Mania after the cluster of last year.

  3. Joshua Richey
    January 1, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Im not holding out hope for a Rock-Cena Match, but if it does happen, my wife will even want to watch Mania, just for this match.

    If Batista-Cena is a Title Vs Title, what happens to the brand extension? Do they cheapen the worth of one belt by having the winner job it off the next night on Raw, or do they have the rematch a month later at a throw away PPV (this just devalues the title that isnt being defended, unless the rematch ends in a double pin/controversial finish)? I dont like the idea of a Title Vs Title Match unless theyre ending the brand extension, Which I would like to see, but Im probably the minority…. it makes the secondary titles mean more, and allows for a healthier Tag division. yes I know it pushes the younger guys back a notch, but in the long run, I think one world champ, a US and IC champ (remember the TV Champ?)and a Tag Champ would make for better storylines and create for some interesting story lines. It would place more emphasis on the IC/US belts, making for competitive matches rather than throw away matches like “winner gets a shot next week…”…. remember the heyday of the US and IC Belts? not the Jim Duggan demolishing of Steve Austin, but the Classics like Bret Hart-Mr Perfect, Shawn Michaels-Bulldog, Bulldog-Bret Hart (this was a Summerfest Main event!)…..

    I think Id rather see Michals and HHH go at it at WM…… they planted the seeds this week with Trips telling Shawn to stay out of it…… Story: Trips sees himself as the Leader, tells shawn to stay out of BH/VKM…. Shawn tries to get involved, Trips tries to pull rank… Shawn takes exception, claims hes the leader (tension mounts)…… @ the Rumble, they eliminate each other (ala Hart-Luger), and begin their push towards Mania…. over the next few months, they lose the tag titles, argue, and tensions rise….. Hunter ends up blasting Bret Hart, much to HBKs ire, given his attempts to make ammends (storyline), giving Vince an opportunity to get a few licks on Hart, and escalate the match at Mania (Trips being the son in law and all)… the very next week, in a tag title match, Trips walks out on HBK (denys the hot tag), and attacks shawn backstage. this would leave about a 4-5 week period before Mania to truly build the match, and hopefully WWE bookers keep the two away from each other in ring (sans run ins)…. Mania Match would be HOT! This could carry over for a few months, give trips a new partner in Sheamus, HBK pairs with Kofi, and then leads to SummerFest where Kingston finally gets a title match with Sheamus, and HBK and Trips get it on in HIAC

    Ok John, sorry to pirate your blog…. just a few scenarios Ive been thinking of for a while…..

  4. Chris
    January 1, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    I have a question, knowing what they know now, even with Bret Hart, and let’s say The Rock does come in for one night to wrestle Cena, does the Undertaker/HBK match go on last? And unlike everyone else I still don’t want to see this match again. Not because I hate either guy, HBK is my 2nd favorite wrestler of all time and I have tons of respect for the Undertaker, but I just can’t see them top the match they had last year.
    It’s just one man’s opinion, but shortly after the brand extension, I’ve always thought there should be a World Unified Champion. Just one guy to hold THE World Championship and be able to be on both brands. Each brand could have it’s own title, and those 2 guys are both the #1 contender for the World Title or just put both straps on one guy like they have the tag titles. I might be wrong but I think it’d add some much needed prestige to the World Championship. WWE tries alot of things that fail, why not try this and see what happens.
    On a side note, I know you and some of your readers like to knock Jerry Lawler’s announcing, and I agree he’s become very cheezy and lost his touch, but I challenge you to check him out as a wrestler back in the day. I grew up in the midwest and watched him when I was young and to this day he IS my favorite wrestler of all time. He had some of the greatest matches ever with Hennig, Bockwinkel, Kerry Von Erich, he faced them all. He may not have been the most technical wrestler, but he sure could tell a story in the ring.

  5. Mike
    January 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    I’m as big of a Rock fan as anyone, and as much as I’d mark out for a Rock-Cena match….I’d have to see it for me to believe it will ever happen. I know we’ve seen and heard guys before say “I’ll never wrestle again” (hell with Bret Hart actually working for Vince again, I guess ANYTHING is possible)….but the Rock has been so steadfast in saying he is thru with wrestling. Its good to see him be willing to work w/WWE again, doing the guest host thing, doing the pre-taped interview he did on Smackdown….but I just dont see him stepping in a ring again. There is no reason for him to do so. He makes a ton of money making movies. He has never even given a hint that he has the desire to wrestle again.

    I hope it happens. I just dont think it will.

    In response to the poster above me regarding Lawler…he’s still a good announcer. I miss the days where they had JR play the face announcer, while Lawler played the heel. Even the first time around w/Cole and Lawler, those two did a fine job of playing face/heel. But the announcers are lame now–both of them just pander to the faces. Its terrible.

  6. Joshua Richey
    January 1, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    WWE PG = Face Lawler……

    Remember when Lawler was the initial test for guys like Evan Braun, and Kofi Kingston….. Lawler was so good at his heel announcer job, people wanted him to get beat up. I retch when I think about him as a face announcer, and trying to take on guys like sheamus, or Tazz, when he first came in. it does ntohing for the credibility of the Heel to beat on a 50 plus year old announcer. I dont even think its a good way to start a heel off in the company. Lawler is loved, but damn, its a given hes putting over the new guys. I can handle a newly turned face to heel wrestler attacking Lawler in order to garner instant heat, or even as a prop to initiate a face wrestler to the rescue, so as to build a new feud. other than that, let him announce and keep him away from early stage pushes.

  7. Legacy
    January 1, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    I like the lineup, however I don’t want a Kofi/Morrison win in the MITB match for two reasons. Firstly, while those two are good wrestler, they just doesn’t entertain me that much, personally. That can change though, but for now, Morrison is only entertaining in the ring and Kofi has only done a few exciting stuff. Perhaps the problem is that I like heels better as they tend to usually do the entertaining part. The second reasons would I want Christian to win it. The fact that he’s not in the lineup really pisses me off. He’s a wrestler of mainevent calibur. He’s should win, turn heel, cash it and come a maineventer for years to come.

  8. Belal
    January 1, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    I still think u can do a Bret/Undertaker vs Mcmahon/Hbk for mania. I think a tag works cuz it means Bret and Vince don’t have to be in the match the whole time or at least lightens the load on them. Make it a street fight tag. It will be big!

  9. ark noir
    January 1, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    Im going for new memebers to join DX that aren’t drew,sheamus or kip james.

  10. January 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    i would love to see hbk heel. Itll be fresh. But its ganna be cool to see him focused leading up to wrestlemania. No stupid dx skits (i can only pray) no stupid midget. Just a focused hbk on undertaker. Lastyear he went in as the cocky i can beat you hbk. This year he needs to be the i must beat you hbk. The rock and cena. Would vince put over a man who hasnt wrestled in years over his pg posterboy? No. Rock loses this match. Hopefully its because a cena heel turn. I dont see anyone but kofi or morrison winning mitb. I still say shelton should be in kofis shoes right now. Edge and y2j. Rated r (pg) superstar? As a face? ) so much for nick names but edge coming back and mania would be huge. Put him in a match agants jericho and hbk vs taker will have its compition. Didnt trump say something bout wrestlemania after the gm announcement? Oh well.

  11. Dan
    January 2, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Would definitely pay for that card; would love a Hardy return vs Punk as well, would maintain Punks record of winning MITB when he’s in it for the last 2 years as well, allowing a Kofi/Morrison to win and pick up the belt and offers the potential for a Kofi heel turn into summer 2010.

    Rock vs Cena would be pretty damn good, although I’d put a lot of money on Cena going over him so would be relatively annoying after the rock takes him to promo-school all through March. HHH vs Sheamus if kept ‘relatively’ short (10-12mins) would be good, give the time to HBK.

  12. Dangerzone
    January 2, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    I agree with Joshua… I would rather see Shawn vs Triple H at Mania as a culmination of a 3-month feud. It’s been a long time since they wrestled a 1-1 match and they never had a 1-1 match at Wrestlemania. Tripper would work hard for Shawn and they would steal the show. There isn’t really a reason for Shawn-Taker; just Shawn saying he can beat Undertaker (but we all know he can, he beat him all the time in 1997 (but we also know in advance that it will NEVER happen at Wrestlemania, which takes away part of the intrigue for me…)). If they do go with HBK-Taker, Shawn should indeed go full-out heel!!! He’s really better as a heel (remember the 2005 Montreal interview about Hogan anyone?). Why not go for the ULTIMATE Grundge match: HBK vs Bret????

  13. Brandon
    January 2, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    I actually like the title vs. title Cena-Batista scenario. The titles need to be unified like the tag team championship, and they could defend it the way they did in 2002 right after the split. Raw get the title shot one month then SD get it the next. Maybe change the lineup after WM or big PPVs. Then to keep from having a draft each year, have the guy that loses the title go to the brand the new champion came from (i.e. if Cena were champion and lost to Taker, Cena would go to SD then if a few months later Taker lost to HBK, Taker would go to Raw). Maybe do the same with the tag titles and women’s championship, but let each show keep its US/IC belt. Also, put this one on last because the title match should be the final match at the biggest event of the year.

    Also, I’d like to see HBK with Vince in his corner vs. Bret Hart. Then to have Vince in HHH’s corner when he takes on the Rock to renew what I think was probably the greatest rivalry in WWE history when you take into account how many times they fought and for how many different belts did they fight. Then WM could lead into a program that could last to SummerSLam or Survivor Series of a repackaged heel DX (Corporate DX maybe?) similar to when Hogan was repackaged for NWO. Have them be the guys that have been big moneymakers for VKM for years and maybe even recruit Shemus or McIntyre to be young guys in a stable to take on a younger generation of rebels like Kofi, Dibiase, Morrison, MVP.

    For Taker, maybe Cody Rhodes. Then RKO could punt him in the head after a close loss to explain Taker being off telvision until August. Seriously though, somehow get him involved with Legacy maybe at RR, and Dibiase Sr. maybe asks Taker to help his son against one of Taker’s more recent old foes. And maybe have a Ted Sr. vs. Bob Orton HOF match later in the year. Have Cody and Ted Jr. start a young lions type rivalry that could last until they work their way to the top of the company, and then have Taker play his “mind games” with Orton all summer leading up to his return at SS in a last man standing match tombstone vs. RKO/punt to the head.

    Jericho vs. Edge is good as is Punk-Hardy. MITB should be Kofi, Morrison, Christian, McIntyre, Sheamus, MVP, Miz and Bourne.

    Because Rey needs a match as well to make it nine total, would Big Show be interesting to anyone? Maybe reunite the former tag champs of Edge and Rey against Jerishow for a program for a few months.

    I know I have some off the wall stuff, especially Taker vs. Rhodes and the Corporate DX. But maybe that’s why I watch and not why I write for the company.

    • Aaron
      January 4, 2010 at 3:39 PM

      I can’t follow hardly any of this… you *DO* write for the company, don’t you?

  14. chris
    January 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I see too many 1 on 1’s though. I have a feeling we’re getting a Michaels win at the Rumble and he’ll challenge Taker. I think if he doesn’t win then either Morrison or Kingston will win. We need fresh main events although I’d love to see Jericho win or just main event Mania against Edge for the title.

  15. Ieuan
    January 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    I have several issues with this card.

    First of all it is far too one on one oriented, I like a bit of variety on a major card like this and don’t see so many one on ones as a good thing, you need something to break up the show a little more.

    I also wouldn’t bring in the Rock, not now that Hart appears to be scheduled anyway. Yes having both on the card would be great for the fans but it doesn’t make sense on any other level at all, at least nowhere near as much as trying to make the Rock happen in 2011 instead. From a business point of view lots of extra people will order it for Bret, lots for Rock, lots of those are the same people, you get a diminishing return from having both yet will still have to pay both the full amount. From a publicity point of view it messes us the build, one or other would have to take second billing as the returning star (likely Bret), both deserve better than that.

    – Assuming Batista is champ by then (and I think we see him winning at the RR and retaining at NWO/EC against Mysterio) the bet choice is Cena, Batista makes an open challenge and Cena takes it up, simple but effective, Batista wins and goes on to have his rematch with Taker.

    – Taker hasn’t asked for that rematch yet because Shawn Michaels turns up on the Raw after RR and superkicks him as he is about to ask for it. Obviously they go again at WM.

    – The Raw championship match is less set as they could change champs before then but I’ll go with HHH vs. Shemus too. This does mean HHH winning the rumble, I’d like to see a fresh face win it a much as most people but this is the only route that makes sense to the matches I have here as Cena will be wrestling for the title at RR.

    – Money in the Bank features Punk, Kofi, Christian, Morrison, Mysterio, Hardy, Miz + Drew MacIntyre. Christian wins it (he loses the ECW belt to someone else prior to the match) which allows him to switch brands at the oppertune time.

    – Jericho vs. Edge is entirely dependent on Edge returning, if not then I see Jericho vs. Big Show as Jerishow goes off the rails.

    – Orton vs. Bret. I know it will likely be Vince vs. Bret but I dont want to see Vince wrestle again. Have Vince make a big deal about how he can look past Orton punting him and DDTing Stephanie if it means making sure Bret is beaten, have Bret get his hands on Vince and beat him down during the match instead of facing him straight, you still get the moment that way.

    – Legacy vs. The Hart Dynasty. Get the belts on Legacy ASAP, have Bret make the point to THD that they are letting their own heritage down and point to Legacy as an example, let the history do the rest. (To be honest I would prefer THD+Bret vs. Legacy+Orton here to any match with Vince but it’s unlikely)

    – Insert generic WM Divas match, because yu know they will.

    – ECW title match, make it a four way with Benjamin, Regal plus two others for a bit of variety.

    – 5 singles matches
    – 1 multi-man singles match
    – 1 MITB
    – 1 Tag Match
    – 1 Divas Match

    Which for me is more balanced.

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