The Piledriver Report 04.04.14: WrestleMania XXX Preview
Posted by Ronny Sarnecky on 04.04.2014
This Sunday is WrestleMania XX from the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. With the show less than a week away, The Piledriver Report presents its annual WrestleMania predictions.
Sunday April 6th, the WWE presents the 30th installment of their biggest show of the year, WrestleMania. Unlike past years, WrestleMania XXX ushers in a new era for World Wrestling Entertainment. This is the first year that WrestleMania is available, not only on pay per view, but through the WWE Network. Since the WWE has never experienced the amount of traffic that the network will hit on Sunday, my first official WrestleMania prediction falls on the airing of the show. I predict that the WWE Network will experience several issues during the telecast leading to many angry consumers. In order to avoid being completely shut out of the show, I suggest that you have your cable box ready to order WrestleMania at the first sign of the pay per view crashing on the WWE Network. Sure, it defeats the purpose of paying $10 a month in order to get the show for free. However, at least you can see the show, and then call the WWE the next day to complain and hope to get compensated in some form by the WWE.
While the Network crashing is one prediction, the main prognostications have to do with the WrestleMania card itself. The WrestleMania line-up currently features eight matches. Only three of the WWEs five championships (WWE World, WWE Divas, and WWE Tag Team titles) are at stake on the biggest show of the year.
The Uso Brothers just won the WWE Tag Team Titles on March 3rd over the New Age Outlaws. I can't see the Usos dropping the titles at this moment. The Usos have too many positive things in their direction at the moment. First, the WWE reality show "Total Divas" is currently airing on the E! Network. Jimmy Uso has a pretty big role on the show, and now is the time to push the Usos when there are more eyes on Jimmy Uso due to the reality show. Another thing that the Usos have in their favor is that they only won the titles a month ago. If they were in the middle of a few month run, then I could see them dropping the titles, but after one month, I can't see it happening at WrestleMania. I think the biggest thing that will come out of this match will be the status of the Real Americans tag team. Will Cesaro and Jack Swagger break up, or will they continue to remain a tag team? I think WrestleMania will be the show where we finally see the break-up of the Real Americans tag team as Cesaro joins the baby face ranks of the WWE.
When WrestleMania first become a reality, the battle royal match was looked at as a major match in wrestling. Both, the WrestleMania 2 and IV battle royals felt like big deals on the show. However, over the last three decades, the battle royal is no longer seen as a major event. Instead it is thought of as a filler match, that is usually the worst match on the card. This year, the WWE decided to bring back the WrestleMania battle royal after a three year absence. Instead of the usual, meaningless battle royal, the WWE has decided to name the match the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, where the winner gets a trophy that was made in the likeness of Andre the Giant. As of Wednesday, April 2nd, the following names have been confirmed for the Andre the Giant battle royal: Mark Henry, The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Christian, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Santino Marella, Heath Slater, Big E, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Titus O'Neil, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Sheamus, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young, R-Truth, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, and Brad Maddox. This isn't exactly the main event caliber Royal Rumble battle royal, despite the WWE pushing it as a big deal. Looking at the line-up, I think there are two likely candidates to win the match. The first is Sheamus. Sheamus is one of the biggest names in the match, and the WWE sees him as a player. The second name is The Big Show. The Big Show is the closest thing that this generation has to Andre the Giant. World Championship Wrestling even dubbed him as Andre the Giant's son when the Big Show debuted in WCW. Who better to win the Andre the Giant battle royal then the "next" Andre?
The first rumor that I heard regarding the WrestleMania plans for the Shield was that the group was going to break up, and face each other in a Triple Threat match. I was actually excited about the prospect of a Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose match. If given time, this Triple Threat match could easily steal the show. Even though I was looking forward to the clash, I really didn't want to see The Shield break up. I felt The Shield had a lot of life left as a group. There was no reason for The Shield to break up yet. Even though Bray Wyatt was scheduled to face John Cena at WrestleMania, I really wanted to see a Wyatt/Shield clash. I figured that this could be a Match of the Year candidate. This was before their six man clash at the Elimination Chamber pay per view or their battle on RAW. As WrestleMania approaches, it looks like the WWE is not breaking up The Shield, but is trying them out as a babyface group for the moment instead. What makes their current babyface run so great is that The Shield hasn't changed. They are still the same characters as they were as heels. The only difference is that they are beating up heel wrestlers instead of babyfacces. I'm glad the WWE is going this route. Let them have a run as faces, and then do the turn by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins against Roman Reigns. Instead of facing off against each other, the WWE is having The Shield face Kane and the New Age Outlaws. Kane and the New Age Outlaws make the perfect opponents from a storyline standpoint. The Shield were the Authority's muscle, and are now replaced by Triple H's friends. The WWE has done a great job in protecting The Shield ever since they were brought up from NXT. I do not see that changing at WrestleMania XXX.
If the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was meant to be used as a platform to get a bunch of wrestlers onto the WrestleMania card, then the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational is being used to get as many Divas on the WrestleMania card as possible. The participants in the invitational are AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae and Tamina Snuka. Originally, the Divas title match was to be contested between AJ Lee and Naomi. However, Naomi was injured a few weeks ago, so plans of a one on one WrestleMania match were scrapped in favor of the fourteen women match. AJ Lee has been the Divas champion since June 16th, 2013. It's time for AJ to drop the title. The question is to whom? Since the WWE was originally going to have Naomi beat AJ for the title at WrestleMania in a singles match, the odds are pretty good that Naomi leaves the thirtieth WrestleMania with the WWE Divas title. However, I'm going to go a different route. For the second title match on the show, I think the belt will change hands due to the Total Divas television show. Brie Bella is about to get married to Daniel Bryan. What would be a better story for the television show than having both Brie and Bryan win the respective titles just days before their wedding in front of all to see when the episode airs on Total Divas? That storyline was made for the WWE's "reality" show.
This is a match that is more than three years in the making. Ever since the day that Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar, and the Undertaker and Lesnar had words after the bout, the WWE has been planning for a Brock Lesnar/Undertaker WrestleMania match. When Brock was the UFC Champion, it was very intriguing to have the UFC Heavyweight title holder go up against the Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. Today, the match isn't as intriguing. Does anybody really think that Brock Lesnar has a chance to unseat the Undertaker as the king of WrestleMania? Of course, not. However, the WWE's booking of the match isn't helping matters. During every confrontation leading up to WrestleMania XXX, the Undertaker has gotten the best of Brock Lesnar. It wasn't until this past Monday that Lesnar finally got the better of the Undertaker. For me, it's too little, too late. Not even the biggest marks would believe that Brock has a chance to beat the Undertaker. I don't understand why the WWE chose this path when they started to book the angles for the Lesnar/Undertaker match. Since no one believed that Lesnar had a shot to beat the Undertaker, the WWE needed to push Lesnar as an unstoppable monster, and not someone that got spooked by the Undertaker's mind games. Every time that the Undertaker went face to face against Brock Lesnar, the former UFC champion should have destroyed the Undertaker. The Undertaker should not have hit even one offensive manuever on Brock until WrestleMania. The promos should have talked about Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker's past wars with each other, and how Lesnar dominated the "deadman." They could have aired video clips and talked about the Undertaker being older now. How could he beat Lesnar now when Brock dominated the Undertaker during the "deadman's" younger years? At least this would have put some doubt in the outcome of the match from a storyline standpoint. Even if they did do that, we all know who will win. The same man that wins every year.
When I first heard that the WWE had planned on having Bray Wyatt take on John Cena at WrestleMania, I thought that was crazy. Wyatt isn't in Cena's league. At the same time, I was looking forward to the match-up. For once, the WWE was giving us a refreshing match-up featuring John Cena and a rising up and comer. There was no Rock to take on for a thrice in a lifetime match. No Triple H, Randy Orton, or Batista match for John Cena to face for the 1,000th time. For once, John Cena would not be the center of the show. Instead he is third or fourth down on the card. This is not necessarily a bad thing. One of the reasons why the fans boo John Cena is because he is forced down our throats. If Cena isn't in the WWE title match, he is in the main event. This time, Cena is taking a backseat to the Daniel Bryan story. This is how it should be. The WWE World title should be the main storyline regardless if who is in the match. As far as Cena's match at WrestleMania, I think that the WWE has done a nice job of building the match. While John Cena had his moments in getting the upper hand on the Wyatts, he never got the best of Bray Wyatt. Meanwhile, Bray beat down John Cena. The music video that the WWE has been airing to hype this match has been phenomenal. Even better is the fact that we have been getting the serious John Cena, and not the laughing poopy joke John Cena. This is the best John Cena. The question is who should win their WrestleMania match? John Cena has beaten a Who's Who of wrestling throughout his career. Bray Wyatt's career is just beginning. A win by John Cena does nothing for his career. However, a clean win by Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania would make his career. The WWE needs to start making the stars of tomorrow. Putting Bray Wyatt over John Cena is a good place to start.
This is the match that cause CM Punk to walk out of the WWE. It was CM Punk that was originally supposed to face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX. However, Punk didn't feel this was a big enough match for him. Instead, Daniel Bryan was put into Punk's spot. Daniel Bryan should have always been scheduled to face Triple H. Whether it be at WrestleMania or the Royal Rumble, a Daniel Bryan-Triple H match was the natural progression of the angle. They needed to have a match against one another. Not only was a Bryan/Triple H match a necessity, but Bryan deserved to be in the WWE World title main event match at WrestleMania. The WWE is giving us both- maybe. The WWE added a stipulation to the Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan match. The winner will be inserted into the WWE World title match at WrestleMania. The WWE has been doing a great job in hyping up this match. By adding the stipulation that the winner of this match gets in the title match was a great idea. If they stuck with the if Bryan beats Triple H, he gets into the title match stipulation, there would have been no suspense as to who would win the Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H match. At least by giving both men the main even spot with a victory, there will be suspense and drama throughout the match. As much as people tend to be negative, and expect Triple H to bury Daniel Bryan, I think the WWE will do what's best for business, and have Bryan beat Triple H.
This match was originally scheduled to be a one on one singles match between Batista and Randy Orton. Instead, the fans voiced their opinion, and let the WWE know that they had no interest in Batista vs. Randy Orton. Enter Daniel Bryan. Bryan has been the WWE's most popular performer since August. As the WWE's most popular star, Bryan needed to be inserted into the WWE World title match. A victory over Triple H will put him in the match. A loss against Triple H would cause the WWE Universe to turn on the WrestleMania main event. Can you imagine 70,000 people hijacking the WrestleMania main event? It will be an embarrassment of monumental proportions. Thankfully, I don't think the WWE will feel the fans wrath. Instead I think we will see 70,000 fans screaming "YES!" as the show fades to black.
BONUS PREDICTION: The other day, Steve Austin was quoted as saying that he believes that CM Punk will return at WrestleMania XXX. I still do not buy it. I still think that Punk will not be back until next year's WrestleMania season.