Home > General Wrestling, wwe > The John Report: Rumbling to WrestleMania 26

The John Report: Rumbling to WrestleMania 26

It’s that time of year again in World Wrestling Entertainment. The new year is here, the wrestlers are refreshed with an eye towards the granddaddy of them all, the writing team’s ideas are in place (or so we hope) and the push to the year’s best two events begin. I’m talking about the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. In between those is the newly named WWE Elimination Chamber PPV (see ya No Way Out), which has produced good PPVs the last couple of years. I think we all know that the first three months of the calendar year tend to the best in WWE. The first Raw of the year on January 4th featured the return, after 12 years, of Bret Hart to a huge response from wrestling fans. It did good ratings and created a lot of buzz too. I think WWE should be excited about these next few months because, despite the lack of quality on Raw on a weekly basis, they should be heading into WrestleMania with a lot of positive hype on their side.

This column will look at the two current World Champions, the other titles in the company and also focus in on the Royal Rumble match. Then at the end I’ll try to wrap it up in a nice little bow with some of the matches that I think we will be seeing at WrestleMania 26 this year in Phoenix.

Note: If you’re one of those people that hates rumors about people that might be showing up you might want to turn away now because I will be dropping some names throughout the column. They are rumors, though. Some are stronger than others, but in the crazy world of WWE we know that things are subject to change. If you want to be spoiler free, go read WWE.com.

Two World Champions: Where are they Headed?
The WWE Universe (somebody punch me for using that term) revolves around the World Champions. The two titles that are the centerpiece of Raw and Smackdown are what fans know as the ultimate prize. Sure, they may not be booked very well and their value has diminished over the last 8 years especially with two “world” titles, but they still mean something. WrestleMania’s all about the babyfaces conquering the villains on the grandest stage of them all. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be about. Will that hold true this year too?

Raw’s WWE Champion right now is Sheamus. It’s been over a month. A lot of people thought they’d put the belt on Cena by now. Didn’t happen. Now we’re less than a week away from Orton/Sheamus match at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Title. I don’t think Orton’s going to win the belt. He could, obviously, but I doubt it. I think it’ll be the start of the breakup of Legacy. We could see something where the ref gets KO’d, Dibiase comes out, tries to interfere and it accidentally costs Orton. Sheamus capitalizes for the win. Later in the night, maybe Orton goes in the Rumble to get revenge on Dibiase and causes him to lose. It can start that feud without having Orton lose clean while Sheamus rolls on as the champion.

Smackdown’s World Champion is The Undertaker. I think one of two people is going into WrestleMania as the World Champion. It’s The Undertaker or Batista. It won’t be Rey Mysterio. There’s an outside chance it could be Chris Jericho if he wins it in the Elimination Chamber, but I think they’re going to keep it on Undertaker. It’s surprising when you consider that they booked so many title changes throughout 2009, yet Undertaker would have a nearly six month reign as champion if he holds it all the way to WrestleMania. I’m not complaining. I’m actually pretty happy because it makes me think somebody in WWE read my column in October where I asked What Happened to the WWE and World Titles?. Of course, it’s the Undertaker and there are always going to be health concerns. If he holds up, though, I think he walks into WrestleMania 26 as the World Champion.

No, I’m not drunk because I believe WWE is going to go a couple of more months without a title change. I have faith that they realize they booked too many title changes in 2009. Blind faith maybe, but still faith.

The Other Titles
There are other belts in WWE. They may not care about them as much as we would like, but it’s important to look at how things might shake out regarding these titles too.

The Intercontinental Title is currently held by Drew McIntyre, who is set to defend the belt against John Morrison on Smackdown this week in a No DQ match. There are rumors that McIntyre has some kind of knee injury although he’s been working house shows, so I think he’s fine. The feud’s been pretty good. I’d like to see Morrison get elevated to a higher level, though. He’s been wrestling at the IC title level for a couple years now. Give him the push up the ladder. I think they’ll keep the belt on McIntyre for a fairly long run to continue to try to establish him. I don’t see the belt being defended at WrestleMania just like in year’s past. I think the title holder will be in the Money in the Bank match.

Raw’s United States Title is being carried by The Miz. The feud involving The Miz and MVP has been heating up over the past few weeks thanks to some strong promo work from both guys. I assume they’ll have a singles match on Raw one of these weeks although it’s Raw, so who knows if they can actually have a match. Raw’s a foreign land for actual wrestling matches. Much like Morrison with McIntyre, MVP has been at this level years ago although I guess it’s better than doing nothing like he did for much of 2009. The Miz is somebody whose stock is on the rise. Much like with the IC title, I think the holder of this belt will be in the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania.

The current holders of the Unified Tag Titles are Shawn Michaels and Triple H of DX. They are defending the belts against the team of CM Punk and Luke Gallows this Friday on Smackdown (taped Tuesday of course). I’m expecting a title switch when DX accidentally screws up as a way to promote the Rumble match and show that there might be dissention in the ranks. Plus, if they’re only going to appear on Smackdown once a month they might as well move the belts onto a pair of guys that will benefit from holding them. I would love to see The Hart Dynasty take their rightful place as the top tag team in WWE although I don’t know if it will happen before WrestleMania. I’d also love to see each show with a set of tag titles like they were intended to have, but I think we all know that Vince McMahon hates tag team wrestling for whatever reason. I doubt the tag titles are defended at WrestleMania. Even last year when they did the unification match they didn’t even put it on the main card. It was relegated to pre-show duty. Pretty sad.

Christian continues to be the holder of the ECW Title. The belt is so extreme that it is almost never contested under extreme rules. There are heavy rumors that come WrestleMania they’ll end the ECW brand. I’m not sure what they’d call the show or if it would only be a developmental brand, but that’s where things are headed. I think it’s very likely that Christian will drop the title belt to Ezekiel Jackson. Let’s not pretend like it matters that much because clearly WWE refuses to treat the belt like it really matters. If you disagree, look at the jobber that Matt Hardy has become after being ECW Champion. It’s not prestigious. It might even be below the IC & US titles. Can we get Christian on Raw or preferably Smackdown already? Please.

The Women’s Title has been held by Michelle McCool since June’s PPV called The Bash. It’s been over 200 days for her. Sure, she hasn’t wrestled much in the last two months and PPV title defenses are rare, but this belt means something these days. The storyline involving her and my girl Mickie James-Canton has been the best divas feud in WWE since the Trish/Mickie story from four years ago. I didn’t like how it started out with the “Piggy James” angle because Mickie’s not an overweight woman (if she was four months ago then she definitely isn’t now), but they’ve really drawn a good reaction from the audience. I’m picking Mickie to win the belt at the Rumble. If not, it’ll probably happen at WrestleMania in a triple threat involving Beth Phoenix, who has played the tweener role through a lot of this. I hope they can keep the momentum strong going into WM26 because it’s been one of the better feuds in all of WWE.

Lastly, the Divas Title is currently vacant after Melina tore her ACL. They’ve had a tournament on Raw with Maryse, Gail, Eve and Alicia coming out as the final four. Like usual, there’s not much in terms of a storyline. I’m expecting Maryse to have another run with the title while the likes of Kelly Kelly and Eve try to take the belt off of her in two minute matches on Raw featuring botched moves all over the place. At least they look good in short shorts though. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters. Am I right people? High five.

The Rumble Match: Key Participants
I heard the Royal Rumble is every man for himself. I also heard that the only way you can eliminate somebody else is by throwing them over the top rope where BOTH FEET have to touch the floor. I also heard that there are no friends in the Royal Rumble, only enemies. I need confirmation on all this. I wish the announcers would say it once in a while because I really have no idea. Please WWE, let us know! For the love of God, let us know.

Okay, now that I’ve got my sarcasm out of the way let’s look at the key competitors in the Royal Rumble. I’m going on the assumption that the winner of the Rumble goes on to WrestleMania to get a title shot just as Orton did last year. I’m hoping that it’s not like 2008 when Cena used his title shot at No Way Out. I’m not going to do something like post odds of winning or anything like that. It’s the Rumble. Five or six guys have a legit shot. The rest have no shot. I’m not wrong, trust me. I’d love to see somebody like Morrison or Kingston win. Guess what, though? Not happening. Also, considering last year had a heel victory I think it’s very likely that a babyface wins it this time around.

Shawn Michaels: Even though he’ll be 45 years old this year and doesn’t work house shows, he’s the favorite going into the match. He’s my pick to win although I’m leery. They can get to Michaels/Undertaker through other means, but they might stay the course with Michaels winning while Undertaker holds onto the belt. Question is, is it too obvious? It might be.

Triple H: If Michaels doesn’t win then HHH likely will. I’m sure he’s telling his father in law Crazy Vince that it’s been 8 years since he won and he’s due for another victory. Sure you are, Hunter. I’m very tired of babyface HHH. At least he’s not the McMahon Family Avenger anymore.

John Cena: Seems like an outside shot. His win two years ago was a pretty huge moment because it came as a shock to everybody. That was a surprise that WWE did a good job of keeping under wraps. It wouldn’t surprise me if he won because they love to book SuperCena strong, but I think they’re going in a different direction. Remember that promo he cut saying he won’t lose a match until he wins the title again. No? Don’t worry, WWE forgot about it too.

Chris Jericho: The Best in the World winning the Rumble would make me happy. It’s one of the few things on his resume that he hasn’t done. However, I think he’s in line for a non-title match with Edge at WrestleMania. Get him back in the title picture after Mania. For now, it’s okay if he’s not in it.

Batista: The Animal’s done great as a heel. I don’t know if that means he’ll be winning the Rumble, though. Seems like his gimmick is to go around hurting people and bitching about things. The obvious booking to me is having Cena eliminate him only to have Batista go back in the ring, beat the crap out of Cena and then get him eliminated. It’s the HBK/Angle moment from 2005 to set up the Raw vs. Smackdown match.

If somebody other than those top five guys wins I’d be very surprised. I’ll throw out some more names.

CM Punk: Would be a fun choice for a win because his promos are as good as anybody in the company, but I think it’s a longshot.

Big Show: Always a threat, never a winner. That trend will continue. My favorite final elimination ever was Benoit pulling Big Show over the top rope in the headlock. I can’t watch Benoit stuff with the same love that I had before, but Show was great in that role.

Edge: He might be a surprise entrant. I think it’s very likely that he’ll be there, but to win? I doubt it. All they need him to do is start the feud with Jericho here. More on that later.

Rob Van Dam: He’s rumored to show up. I doubt he would win, but it would be cool to see him again. I have no idea if he’d stick around long term especially considering the fine for smoking pot has gone up from $1,000 to $2,500 since he was last in WWE. Vince McMahon 4:20 says I just fined your ass.

The Miz: Highly unlikely. I’d love to see him be an early entrant and last a while as a chickenshit heel, though.

John Morrison: I’m not even sure if he’s in the match. I expect him to be. If I was booking he’d be the winner because I think it’s important to build new stars using the Rumble match. He’s not even that “new” since he’s been on the main roster for five years now. The odds of him winning are very slim. Like with Miz, I hope he’s booked strongly.

Kofi Kingston: They put him in a feud with Orton and he lost all the time to him. I think the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. It would be great to see him in the final four or last the majority of the match, but to win? I don’t think so.

You can throw in a bunch of other names like Dibiase, Rhodes, McIntyre, MVP or other midcarders, but do any of them really have a shot? No.

Now I feel obligated to mention three “monsters” in the match that the announcers will tell you are favorites to win even though anybody with a brain knows they are not winning.

Kane: He’s a big threat to win the Rumble. Really. They mean it. Who doesn’t like the annual “Kane is a threat to win the Rumble” angle they do? It’s vintage by this point.

Mark Henry: How can anybody eliminate Mr. KOOL-AID~? I don’t know, maybe the same way they’ve eliminated him for over a decade.

The Great Khali: How can anybody eliminate the Punjabi Playboy? Very slowly. That’s how. It always looks like he’s going to pull a muscle just stepping over the top rope.

I love the Rumble in part because it’s a fun match to watch, but also because of the ridiculousness involved in acting like the big guys are always a threat even though they never actually win.

What About WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV?
The Elimination Chamber is the new name for the February PPV that was No Way Out. Last year WWE had two EC matches with Triple H winning one while Edge won the other one through nefarious (fun word, say it out loud) means. I loved the booking for Edge’s win as a surprise after he lost his title earlier in the night. That was a great moment.

What about this year? Honestly, I have no idea. The plan is to run two Elimination Chamber matches again just like last year. My hope is the Rumble winner isn’t in either of the EC matches. Book him in a different match like they did a year ago when Orton beat Shane.

For the Raw brand, they could have Sheamus retain after being the 6th guy in the last. They can book HHH as the first guy in, he can outlast everybody and then succumb to Sheamus at the end. They can put it over as HHH being so close, yet he lost because Sheamus was the fresher of the two guys. If you don’t think HHH is going to be in the title picture at WrestleMania you’re crazy. He’s been out of it for over half a year because he’s about to get back in. He knows what he’s doing whether we like it or not.

For the Smackdown brand, since I’ve got Michaels winning the Rumble I would have him sitting at ringside. He can be cheering the Undertaker on. Maybe it comes down to Batista vs. Undertaker as the final two and Michaels does something to allow Undertaker to win. He can cut a promo about how he saved the Undertaker’s title while the Undertaker can be pissed off that Michaels thought that he could save him.

There could be another twist in the Michaels/Undertaker storyline, though. What if Shawn doesn’t win the Rumble, so he does everything he can to make sure Undertaker fails to leave the EC PPV as the champion, thus infuriating Undertaker? That would make Undertaker title-less and would make him want Michaels at WrestleMania, which would help ignite the fire in terms of the build for the match. There are a lot of ways they can get to Michaels vs. Undertaker, I think.

My hope is that unlike last year the champions actually retain. I know that’s asking a lot considering WWE loves to book title changes, but I think that’s the direction they’re heading.

The Projected Card for WrestleMania 26
These are not the matches I want to see. It’s not MY dream card. These are the ones that I think will happen. Before I start, I know that a month ago I wrote that WWE really wanted The Rock to wrestle at this show. It’s not going to happen. He’ll be filming a movie. He might be back in the summer (he said so himself just last week), but I don’t know if that would be in a wrestling capacity. In other words, let The Rock rumors go. It’s not happening. Now, let’s look at the lineup.

Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – I know there’s a small minority out there that’s complaining about this match happening again because they think they can’t top what happened last year. I’m not part of that group. You think I’m going to complain about a rematch of one of the best matches ever? Hell no. Rematches make money. Rematches are a draw. If this match does actually happen WWE needs to show that awesome video package about it again. They should have more wrestlers comment on the WM25 match and talk about how special it was. I think this match will be for Undertaker’s World Title. I’d expect the Undertaker to win again. I don’t see the streak ending. Also, this year maybe they’ll be smart enough to put the match on last like it should have been last year.

Sheamus vs. Triple H – It’s well known that Sheamus is one of Triple H’s “boys” in terms of being friends backstage. I know a lot of people like to make jokes about how he’s getting the push because he sucks up to Triple H. I don’t know if that’s true. It might be. Who knows? Fact is HHH has a lot of power in terms of the booking and anybody that denies that is flat out wrong. I’ve also got no problem with Sheamus getting a push because WWE needs new main eventers. I expect Sheamus to walk in as WWE Champion with HHH walking out as champion because frankly he wins all the time. It’s a safe pick.

Is there a chance they could end WrestleMania with HHH coming out to hug Shawn with both guys holding their respective titles? Yes, absolutely. It’s just that I know better than to predict an Undertaker loss at WrestleMania.

Since I know I’ll be asked, let me clarify that I think HHH will stay babyface. I wouldn’t be opposed to a HHH vs. HBK match at Mania, but I doubt it happens. Maybe next year.

John Cena vs. Batista – This would be billed as a Raw vs. Smackdown “dream match” and the first time they’ve ever wrestled at WrestleMania. They’ve wrestled before, but never with Batista as the dominant heel that he is now. If you read my SD recaps weekly you know I’m a big fan of heel Batista. As long as neither guy gets hurt (which is saying a lot considering these two) this one’s very likely to happen. There could be a title involved too although if not it’s still a pretty big match. Cena wins most likely. (And the readers boo. I can hear it.)

Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart – It’s the biggest lock on the card. It’ll happen. Expect it to be a street fight considering that Bret can’t really take bumps like he used to. Have Hart win with the Sharpshooter forcing the Chairman to tap out. Don’t overthink it. I will enjoy this as a fan of Bret Hart.

Randy Orton vs. Ted Dibiase vs. Cody Rhodes – This could be simply Dibiase vs. Orton, but I’m going out on a bit of a limb in calling it a triple threat. I think after Orton fails to win the title from Sheamus he’s going to take it out on his Legacy brethren leading to Ted’s long rumored separation from the group. They can play where Cody’s loyal to Randy for all that he’s done for him, so Ted goes into the match as the sole babyface as well as the underdog due to the numbers game. I would have Dibiase go over, which would lead to the singles feud against Orton in the spring heading into the summer.

Chris Jericho vs. Edge – The Rated R Superstar is supposed to be ready by the Rumble as a returning babyface. I’m excited for it. This one is very likely to happen. Also, in case you missed it I did a fantasy booking article on the Jericho vs. Edge feud that will take us from the Rumble all the way to the match at WrestleMania. It has received some really good reviews so far. The link is here. I hope you like it. I’m very proud of it.

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio – The head shaving storyline is supposed to lead to a Hair vs. Mask match at WrestleMania. Needless to say, Rey’s not taking off the mask. I think this has the potential to be a great match that will lead to an awesome feud. Let’s just hope Rey’s chronic knee problems allow him to keep performing at the high level we are used to seeing.

Money In the Bank – We know it’ll be on the card. Who will be in it? I think it’ll be the typical cast of midcarders that won’t be in a match, so they’ll find a way to stick eight of them in here. The eight names I’ll go with: Big Show, John Morrison, The Miz, MVP, Drew McIntyre, Christian, Kofi Kingston and of course Shelton Benjamin to do his vintage (yeah I said it) ladder spots. They could extend it to ten by including Kane and Matt Hardy too. As for a winner? I would hope that it’s John Morrison because I think he’s the guy that should be pushed to the main event level this year. I wouldn’t be shocked if The Miz won it, though. My boy Christian winning would be well deserved considering he’s been carrying the dying ECW brand, but I don’t think Vince cares about him enough to do give him the big push. The favorites here would be Morrison or Miz with an outside shot of it being McIntyre or Kingston.

Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix – They deserve a real match. I hope they don’t get thrown into some terrible battle royal like last year’s waste of time. If Mickie doesn’t get the title at the Royal Rumble she’ll likely get it here. Like I wrote earlier, best divas feud since Trish/Mickie four years ago.

What about a celebrity? Could happen. The use of Floyd Mayweather and Donald Trump in previous years led to very good PPV buyrate numbers for WWE. (Did You Know? The 1.2 million PPV buys for WrestleMania 23 with Trump is the highest in the history of WWE.) Considering all the celebrities they’ve used on Raw in the past eight months it could happen. I don’t think it’s necessary because the lineup is pretty stacked and the return of Bret Hart is going to be a very good selling point. If a celebrity is used try to keep that person in more of a guest announcer role rather than being the focal point of an angle.

I know I’ve left off others like Kane, Matt Hardy, The Great Khali, Dolph Ziggler, Ezekiel Jackson, The Hart Dynasty and the less talented divas from Raw that may appear on the show. I wrote about nine probable matches. WrestleMania 25 had 8 matches while WrestleMania 24 had 9 matches. I think going with 8 or 9 is the most likely scenario. Everybody else? Maybe they can compete in a pre-PPV battle royal like they did at WrestleMania 24. I’m not really sure, though. I’d rather see 8 or 9 really good, high profile matches in a 4 hour span instead of seeing 10 or 11 matches with some of them being rushed just so that they can get everybody on the card. That’s why I think the battle royal is a good idea. It gets everybody in the ring to do something.

What do you think: Good lineup? I think so. The pieces are definitely in place to make WrestleMania 26 a memorable show.

Final Thoughts
If somebody from WWE is reading this (highly probable), I say please DO NOT change plans just because people on the internet might know what is coming. You are on the right course. This lineup is strong. You’re going to be able to attract the older fans by advertising Bret Hart on the show while the younger fans will probably like some of the fresh matches that they’d be getting like Jericho/Edge, Cena/Batista, Sheamus/HHH and Punk/Mysterio – not to mention the usually exciting Money in the Bank match.

I’m excited about the Rumble and WrestleMania. The return of Bret Hart has me the most excited while Edge coming back will be awesome too. They’re two of my all-time favorites. I think in terms of match quality, this lineup would blow away last year’s show, which was really just a one match thing. This card would have better matches from top to bottom as well as the signature memorable moment with Bret Hart in a match. If they do it right, the lasting image of WrestleMania will be Vince McMahon tapping out to the Sharpshooter. What a lovely picture that would make, huh?

I’ve put up some polls on my blog asking you who you think are winning the matches at the Rumble.
To vote for the winner of the Royal Rumble match go here. I posted it on Sunday. Right now Michaels is in the lead.

To vote for the winner of the Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James Women’s Title match go here. Posted it on Sunday. Right now Mickie’s in the lead.

To vote for the winner of the World Title, WWE Title and ECW Title matches go here. For the ECW one you can pick Christian, Jackson, DQ or “ECW Still Exists?” I think the fourth option is going to win, knowing my readers.

——————

Hit me up at oratoryjohn@gmail.com with any questions, comments or concerns about anything you read here. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner. I may post some at my blog too. You can also contact me on Twitter or Facebook (the info is below). Please feel free to add me on either of those social networking sites. I’m fairly active and I try to have fun. Also, if you’re not checking the blog regularly you’re missing out. It’s at johnreport.wordpress.com with daily content including thoughts on TNA every week that I don’t post anywhere else as well as random news articles or videos that I don’t post elsewhere. If you bookmark that site you’ll see all my stuff in one place without any popups to annoy you. The other thing I’ve started doing are chats via tinychat. I post the link on there, I let you know when I have a couple hours free and I’ll be available to chat if you ever want to ask me a question. It might be a regular Monday night thing prior to Raw. We’ll see how it goes.

The last link I have for you (just as I did in the Talking Smack column this past weekend) is for this Royal Rumble site filled with stats. It’s pretty incredible. Check it out if you’re bored one day because it’s a good time killer. The link is here. There are a lot of nice stats on that page.

I’ll be back late Monday night with the Raw Deal and then Tuesday in the AM with Commentfest. On a personal note, for the next three weeks I’m only working part time (about 20-25 hours per week). In three weeks, starting on February 16, I start a new full time job that’s much better than my old one. It will probably affect some of my writing a little bit although I’ll do my best to keep up. In the next three weeks, though, I’ll be writing quite a bit and looking to do improve my blog ever so slowly. It could mean the appearance of some guest writers. I’ll let you know more on that probably next week. This is Rumble week, though, so the focus is on that.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – oratoryjohn@gmail.com
Visit the blog: johnreport.wordpress.com
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  1. Jon
    January 25, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Mark Henry has like 2 ELIMINATIONS all time. He is only in the match so that it makes someone look good. “Hey, I threw out a 400 pound bucket of Kool Aid.” Kane might break the Austin record for eliminations this year.

  2. Kiefer
    January 25, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    might want to change wrestlemania 22 to 26 :)

    • January 25, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      Thanks man. My bad. I had written the column four years ago and stole the headlines. I’m lazy and forgot to edit. It’s good now.

  3. Luke Ryan
    January 25, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Fantastic work as usual man, awesome read thanks

  4. Andrew Jarman
    January 25, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    That would be a superb Mania card! I am more than happy to see HBK v Undertaker II.

  5. Kiefer
    January 25, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    i can see any divas match being the typical lumberjill match.
    I like the sound of the card you have written, so fingers crossed JC.

  6. Rated R
    January 25, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Ugh imagine Triple H or Cena winning the RR. Please WWE. Don’t do this to us, please!

  7. mr.ken
    January 25, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    i dont see taker and hbk for the title. Seeing as both these guys wana take time off after mania itll be week to have them lose the belt within the month after wrestlemania.

  8. Lacie
    January 25, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    McCool’s only held the Womens belt since Night of Champions. She got the Divas belt at The Bash

  9. Steven Lake
    January 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Great article.

    Would have liked to see DX implode leading to HHH/HBK at WM, but HBK/Taker will draw better and those DX glowsticks are still selling like hotcakes.

  10. John Clair
    January 25, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    will John’s card happen? Probably not… cause the WWE aint smart enough to book it the way we think it should be. But I fully agree to what John is saying, 2010 should be the year of new beginnings… this year should be about showcasing Morisson, Miz, MVP, Benjamin, Christian, Matt Hardy, CM Punk, Sheamus, Drew McIntire, Rtruth, and please for god sakes give Carlito, Evan Bourne, and the Hart Dynasty a decent feud!!

  11. Harrison
    January 25, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Your card (which is pretty much spot on to mine) kind of resembles the XIX card to me as far as the main matches:

    mysterio/punk=mysterio/hardy
    orton/legacy=taker/show & atrain
    women’s match=women’s match
    mitb=triangle tag match
    jericho/edge=jericho/hbk
    hhh/sheamus=hhh/booker
    vince/hogan=vince/hart
    austin/rock=cena/batista
    taker/hbk=angle/lesnar

    strange correlations between both cards and how the matches are built and could be placed

  12. Matt
    January 25, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Cheers John, once again a brilliant column and I would love to see this card. I think theres 3 potentially great matches there (Punk/Mysterio – although that probably wont be given enough time, Jericho/Edge and Taker/HBK), a few matches that will probably be good (Cena/Batista, Orton/Ted/Cody and Sheamus/HHH), the always entertaining MITB and of course Bret having his day in the sun by beating Vince. I think there is a chance of a lot of matches on this card happening and I’m definitely looking forward to WM26 now.

  13. Priceless
    January 26, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Two thoughts:

    Undertaker v. Michaels – They’re burning a good match by using it at Wrestlemania rather than adding a fresh face to The Streak. It’s not happening at the Rumble, but I’d like to see it at the following PPV instead of ‘Mania, myself.

    WWE v. the Internet – I can’t think of any organization that needs to get its ass into the next century than the WWE. There are so many things they could take advantage of when it comes to the Internet that it makes me cringe every time you hear someone at the top whining about leaks and stuff like that. Maybe they should take the initiative and drop some false leads, add to the rumor mill, that sort of thing. They understand the concept of working and teasing the audience, why not extend that to the great blue of cyberspace?

  14. Damon
    January 26, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Those predictions sound good. I think it’d be interesting if Triple H wins the championship match at WM, then Shawn Michaels loses his match to the Undertaker. Trips comes out to congrat him on a good match, then Michaels snaps and superkicks Triple H. Just a thought…

  15. Aaron
    January 26, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    That’s *IF* Michaels doesn’t take the Summer off following Mania, which is very likely…

    Much rather have a DX explosion at Mania because it’d keep them both out of the title picture.. but that’s just wishful thinking.

  16. Josh
    January 26, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    How about this for an idea John?

    Everyone is expecting Orton and Di Biase to end up facing eachother soon, no doubt about it. But does it warrant a place on the Grandaddy of them all? I have my doubts now how about if it was booked a little like this:

    Randy Orton loses to Seamus in the 3rd last match (Rey/Taker and Rumble to follow)

    After the SD! match we see Orton, Di Biase and Rhodes back stage, Di Biase and Rhodes compare numbers and Orton smiles and nods at their chances.
    “I’ve got a good feeling about tonight guys, Legacy is going to win the Rumble”

    Number 22 comes round and out comes Cody Rhodes who walks down to the ring as the other 6 or so people in the ring continue to go back and forth. He waits near the ring smirking away. Then the countdown 3…2…1….Di Biase’s music BUT out comes Orton!

    Orton starts by clobbering Rhodes and rolling him in to the ring and then starts to clean house (Starting with Rhodes). Orton goes on to win the Rumble!

    This sets up the annual “Mania Title Shot” Match at Elimination Chamber between Orton and Di Biase! Which Orton could win and then have Orton beat Seamus at ‘Mania (or anyone else if they win the title at Elim.)

    After that Di Biase can reignite the fued to say he still deserves the title cos Orton got his number in the Rumble etc. with eventually Di Biase going over Orton to win the title (after say 4 months of Orton holding).

  17. Ralph
    January 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    I would love to see that card at WrestleMania, but also have a few of my own suggestions:

    An Andre the Giant trophy battle royal with most of the current 300+ pound atheletes (Big Show, Khali, Luke Gallows, Ezekiel Jackson, Kane, Mark Henry, Vladimir Kozlov, Mike Knox and a few 300+ pounders from the past like Kamala, Godfather, One Man Gang, etc. It would put these guys on the card in a match that isn’t awful, keep them out of Money in the Bank, be a helluva lot better than the diva’s battle royal, and provide a nostalgia factor from the past.

    Why can’t the WWE get two hours of network tv time in the afternoon the day of WrestleMania to run a six hour show (the first two on network tv, probably NBC, and the last four on pay-per-view) to show four or five matches live that don’t make the pay-per-view. Many wrestling fans consider WrestleMania an all day sporting event like SuperBowl Sunday or New Year’s Day anyways and on the day of WrestleMania it would probably draw decent ratings on NBC and be a nice treat for those who can’t afford to order the ppv. Show five quality matches and use this time to have title matches for the intercontinental, U.S., diva’s title, ECW title (if it is unfortunately still around), and unified tag team titles, or just a plain good match. That leaves them good time to provide anywhere from eight to ten good matches on the pay-per-view without leaving off anyone important or having to rush matches. It wouldn’t clash with football or baseball, would be before the NBA or NHL playoffs and hopefully wouldn’t clash with college basketball.

  18. David McMillan
    January 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Sheamus v HHH is probably the worst idea ever, and I’m suprised you’re not more critical of the idea, John.

    At this point I HAVE to hope WWE is planning to drop the belt onto Orton, not because I don’t like Sheamus, but the way they’ve booked him (he’s the WWE champion and barely on television) seems to be a semi vote-of-no-confidence.

    Ideally, I’d like to see Kofi Kingston win the rumble, face Orton at Wrestlemania, and WIN because of fallout between Legacy. Then you enter post Wrestlemania with a Legacy fued, and the belt on Kofi Kingston.

    Problem with that is, what do you do with Sheamus then?

    Which is why you’re right, HHH v. Sheamus is inevitable. But if Sheamus then drops the strap to HHH, that is down right retarded. WWE if you’re reading this, DON’T DO IT.

  1. January 27, 2010 at 8:28 PM
  2. March 2, 2010 at 2:05 AM

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