WM25 Preview & Predictions!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

WrestleMania 25 Preview & Predictions!

The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for WWE’s most important card of the year – WrestleMania 25!

Everyone has heard the catchphrases so often that they are numb to them, like so much white noise. Yet we can’t let the hype blind us to the reality: WrestleMania is the single biggest wrestling event of the year, the most visible stage for the pro wrestling show.

The economy has raised worries that the buy-rate for this premium-priced pay-per-view will suffer. That’s bad news for WWE, of course, but it won’t hurt the fans’ enjoyment of what should, mostly, be a very exciting series of matches.

Now, let’s look at how each match shapes up for the big show in Houston, TX:

John Bradshaw Leyfield vs. Rey Mysterio
Intercontinental Championship

The Story: The Cowboy Financier and the Masked Marvel have fought, off and on, for years. JBL has weathered a losing streak and emerged with the IC belt, which Rey Mysterio wants to take away from him. JBL has promised that he will do something historic at WM.

How I’d Book It: After a seesaw match, Rey looks like he finally has Leyfield ready for the 619-West Coast Pop, HBL evades the finish and goes for Mysterio’s mask! Mysterio fights back bravely, but Leyfield hits him with the belt! It looks like Leyfield will have his way until Evan Bourne runs into the ring to make the save.

My Prediction: I don’t know how Leyfield will make history, unless it’s by winning and retiring the undefeated IC champion, perhaps even retiring the belt right along with him. The actual match will have Mysterio come close to winning the belt, but it will stay with JBL, probably because of a DQ.

Predicted Grade: B

The 25-Diva Battle Royal

The Story: It’s the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania so WWE has brought together 25 women to complete in this event.

How I’d Book It: They should orchestrate a pre-arranged blackout immediately after the introductions. By the time the broadcast resumed, there would be about four women in the ring, Gail Kim and three heels. The Awesome Asian would then eliminate them one by one.

My Prediction: It all comes down to this: Will WWE use this as a legitimate story point or just blow off the match as a meaningless piece of fluff? If WWE is just screwing around and serving up a ton of T&A, Mae Young will win. Yet if WWE plans to capitalize on this match to propel a woman into the title picture, the only possible winner is Gail Kim.

Predicted Grade: DD

Jeff Hardy vs. MTT Hardy

The Story: In wrestling, there’s nothing stronger than a tag team composed of two brothers – and there’s nothing more vicious than having the partnership break up in fraternal feuding. For reasons that are still not entirely clear, Matt Hardy has turned against his brother and menaced him in a variety of horrific ways. The sniping and mysterious accidents are done; now they’re taking it to the ring for a showdown.

How I’d Book It: After a great match, an exhausted Jeff Hardy finishes his brother with the Swanton Bomb and collapses. Jack Swagger runs into the ring and begins to whale on Matt. Jeff comes to his aid and the brothers shake hands, friends again.

My Prediction: The feud hasn’t worked too well, but a terrific match would go far to redeem it. WWE needs something for the May pay per view and this would make a nice featured rematch. That suggests that Matt Hardy should win, perhaps with outside help from Jack Swagger.

Predicted Grade: A-

The Colons vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Tag Title Unification Match
Lumberjack Match

The Story: There’s bad blood between these two teams made worse by a rivalry for the attentions of the Bella Twins. This time, it’ll be title versus title, so one duo will emerge as the undisputed masters of the WWE tag team division.

How I’d Book It: Under no circumstances would I have this match end in anything but a definitive finish that establishes one, supreme tag team champion team./

My Prediction: The Miz and John Morrison are the tag team in WWE. The Colons have shown promise, but WWE doesn’t seem delighted by them. The Miz and John Morrison will take the match by pinning Primo.

Predicted Grade: B+

Kane vs. Christian vs. C.M. Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin
The Money in the Bank Match>

The Story: The Money in the Bank Match has become a prime feature of WrestleMania in recent years. The match is always exciting – and it leads to an exciting title challenge.

How I’d Book It: I’d have Christian win.

My Prediction: Kofi Kingston, Finlay and Mark Henry are all extremely unlikely to win, because they wouldn’t draw on top of the card in a world title match. Shelton Benjamin, Kane and MVP are a little more possible, but still not very likely. I don’t see CM Punk repeating, so that leaves my predicted winner – Christian.

Predicted Grade: A-

Chris Jericho vs. The Legends
Elimination Match

The Story: A war of words has become a war of deeds. Chris Jericho disrespected the Legends. Now, with Ric Flair as manager and Mickey Rourke at ringside, the Legends will try to make Jericho eat his words.

How I’d Book It: I wouldn’t book this. Talk about total disrespect for the great wrestles of yesteryear!

My Prediction: Chris Jericho will eliminate all three legends, but he will have to take a beating, too. It might come from Flair – or it is distantly possible that Rourke will get in the ring to reprise his finisher from “The Wrestler.”

Predicted Grade: C

Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

The Story: Undertaker has a streak and Michaels, his ego hurting from recent events, wants to re-establish his status by ending it.

How I’d Book It: I don’t think there’s much wiggle room here. See my prediction.

My Prediction: Undertaker will keep his streak after a terrific match. The fans will cheer Michaels as he trudges up the ramp to the locker room after giving his all.

Predicted Grade: B+

Triple H vs. Randy Orton
WWE Championship

The Story: Randy Orton placed himself in Triple H’s crosshairs when he attacked Stephanie and DDT’d her. Of course, that was just the latest in a battle that has gone on for months in which Orton had attacked Stephanie, Shane and Vince.

How I’d Book It: I would book a tainted victory for Randy Orton to continue the program for a final blow-off at the next pay per view.

My Prediction: Randy Orton will beat Triple H, but the win will be by DQ, saving Hunter’s title.

Predicted Grade: A-

Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match

The Story: John Cena has confronted Edge at every turn in the quest to regain the title. Big Show became part of what is now a three-cornered feud, because each of the combatants is in some way involved with Vickie Guerrero.

How I’d Book It: I’d have Cena take out Show and fall victim to Edge, who would retain his belt.

My Prediction: My colleague here at Online World of Wrestling, Jay Shannon, has come up with a prediction so smart that I am forced to simply second his motion (and give him all credit for coming up with it). Ordinarily, John Cena would be expected to win the final match of the night at WrestleMania, if only because WWE likes to send fans home from WM on a “feel good” babyface victory. This time, as Jay explains in his currently posted column, fans will groan when Edge wins this three-way dance. That’s when Christian will cash in the title shot he won in “Money in the Bank” and take the belt from Edge,

Predicted Grade: A-

That’s it for today. I’ll return Monday with the recap and analysis. I hope you’ll come back and join me then. And, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(4/4/09)