|WELCOME TO WRESTLEMANIA!|
Can you feel it? The electricity in the air? The mounting excitement?
WrestleMania 30 is less than one week away, and tonight is the all-important final RAW before the "Showcase of the Immortals".
This 'Mania has been a long time coming. The build toward the event, beginning way back in August at SummerSlam, has been controversial, at times discouraging. But with a few carefully timed, excellently executed creative decisions this could potentially be one of, if not the greatest WrestleMania of all time. With The Rock (and no other part-timers) disrupting the Main Event for the first time in three years, the WWE Universe may finally get the conclusion they want and deserve.
The following is a list of currently known/announced WrestleMania matches, and (rather than predicting the likeliest conclusions) my desired outcomes. I will also arrange the card as I hope it will play out.
Enjoy, and get ready!
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
It's truly unfortunate in a year where the tag team division has resurged for the titles to get relegated to the pre-show. But without a proper build and a decent feud, this lazy fatal-four way Tag Team Championship Match will probably get the pre-show treatment. That doesn't mean it won't be good, but there's no reason this couldn't have been a significant match between The Usos and The Rhodes Brothers, the two teams that have been the most "over" all year.
Desired Winner - THE USOS
TRIPLE H VS. DANIEL BRYAN
I know there's some disagreement on when this match should be booked. Alfred Konuwa at Bleacher Report makes a good case for why this match should go on right before the Main Event, but I think the audience should be given time to breathe between these two massive events.
The benefits of the Triple H/Bryan match going on first are as follows: the night starts off with a massive bang - we're immediately enthralled, immediately thrown into the most important story of the night. We'll also then be able to rest a little easier, allowing our excitement to build to a fever pitch going into the final bout (if Bryan wins, that is - though if the match goes on first then that's a pretty clear sign Bryan will win because forcing the 'Mania audience to sit through an entire night that leads into a Bryanless 'Main Event would be unheard of, and potentially disastrous).
This match will also likely, hopefully be a long one - the entire thing constituting a full hour of the show (consider video packages, promos, entrances and a thirty/forty minute match). That kind of emotional commitment should be separated from the emotional commitment of the main event so as to receive the adequate attention it deserves. This match has the potential to steal the show, but if it occurs right before the Main Event it might be overshadowed as a result, or detract from the quality of the final match.
Desired Winner - DANIEL "THE FLYING GOAT" BRYAN
THE SHIELD VS KANE/THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS
While this match will certainly be exciting (because anything The Shield does is amazing), I'm somewhat saddened by its very existence.
In my dream card The Shield would have either been fighting against each other, or perhaps The Wyatts in some form - Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins accompanied by Roman Reigns (Roman would later face Big E for the IC Title hence his lack of inclusion in this match) vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan accompanied by Bray Wyatt (Bray sitting it out because of his match with Cena later on).
Instead we're left with this odd Frankenstein-match, that will hopefully earn some good pops thanks to the awesomeness of all three Shield-members. It's possible one of them will turn heel and join The Authority, though that trope is played and The Shield is more deserving of an interesting, honest break.
Desired Winner - THE SHIELD.
DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONAL
Go get a snack. Have a smoke. Visit the restroom. Catch up with a friend. Call your mother.
Desired Winner - AJ "ADORABLY EVIL" LEE
BRAY WYATT VS. JOHN CENA
Another bout that has the potential to steal the show, this is the only other significant match apart from those involving D-Bryan to receive a proper, excellently crafted build. The themes and the goals are clear and relatable and the stakes, despite the lack of a title, are surprisingly high. This match represents the potential future of the WWE. It is potentially an important benchmark, a passing of the torch, a changing of the guard. John Cena has headlined an absurd number of WrestleManias over the years - some more memorable than others. The fact that he's not going on last is already a sign of positive change (not that I think Cena is the end of universe, simply that his time has long past, and the world is ready for some fresh blood).
Desired Winner - BRAY WYATT
ANDRE THE GIANT 30 MAN BATTLE ROYAL
This is a potentially fun match that,much like the long lost King of the Ring, could be used to give a boost to a particular young wrestler that doesn't have a title. The significance of this match will be determined by how the winner is pushed in the weeks that follow. While it could be used to add a bit of prestige to Big E's IC championship, it should probably go to someone who doesn't have a title and who has been misused of late.
Desired Winner - Damien Sandow
THE UNDERTAKER VS BROCK LESNAR
The build to this match has been dull to say the least. That doesn't mean the match itself won't be awesome, however. The honor of defeating The Undertaker has to go to someone who will benefit from it, though. And it can't go to a part-timer like Lesnar. Hopefully, The Dead Man can last one more year and finally relinquish his crown to a worthy up and comer like Bray Wyatt.
The Winner - The Undertaker
THE MAIN EVENT
DANIEL BRYAN VS BATISTA VS RANDY ORTON
The time has finally come for the hopes and dreams of the WWE Universe to be granted. Daniel Bryan needs to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship cleanly and without controversy. The fans have been emotionally tortured for eight months.
If that really is a "slow burn" as Jim Ross called it on his Twitter, then there must be an adequate payoff. Daniel Bryan is already the WWE Champion in the eyes of the "Universe" as evidenced by the fact that Randy Orton has been virtually nonexistent this past month and Batista being universally despised.
There is no other fitting outcome, nothing to rally the WWE fans and make them continue watching, continue recommending the show to their friends, than a triumphant victory for the beloved wrestling hero, Daniel Bryan.
Desired Winner - DANIEL "THE BEARD" BRYAN
With Monday Night RAW less than one hour away, The Road To WrestleMania is drawing to a close. The Super Bowl of wrestling is fast approaching, and the coming weeks promise twists, turns, unexpected returns, heartbreak, and joy. This is the time of year we wrestling fans live for, and soon, one of the most frustrating, exciting, and rewarding wrestling stories might finally receive its rightful conclusion on the grandest stage of them all.
Thanks for reading, live long and prosper and be sure to come back tomorrow or Wednesday for an all new RAW REVIEW!
Follow the exploits of The Gladiator Maximus, WWE 2K14 Champion, @MaximusWrestler.