It’s that time of year, the flowers are blooming, the birds are returning, and the Superbowl of Wrestling is this weekend. The Showcase of the Immortals gives me an excuse to invite people over, cook hot wings and chili, and drink too much beer. I have a feeling this year’s Wrestlemania will have more “meh” matches than great but the few that will be great will make it worth the $65 and then some. The potential is there for a few matches, specifically one match, to never be forgotten by wrestling fans. So, here we my “fake Vegas gambling column” that I do every year for Wrestlemania.
I’ll explain the betting lines to those of you fortunate enough not to have a gambling problem like me.
The sign in front of the number indicates whether placing a wager on that outcome will pay out more money then you have wagered or less money then you have wagered. If the odd is negative (-) it means that outcome is more likely to happen and placing a bet on that outcome would payout, less than the amount you wagered, while a positive (+) odd shows that the outcome is less likely to happen and it would pay out more than the amount you wagered.
Example: Hulk Hogan (-200) Brooklyn Brawler (+150)
This means to win $100 on Hogan you’d have to bet $200. However, a $100 bet on Brawler would net you $150. So + indicates under dog and – indicates favorite. We good…okay let us begin.
Intercontinental Tile Match: WADE BARRETT (-180) vs. The Miz (+200)
Wade Barrett is favored coming into this one and part of that has to do with the fact that he has the “champions advantage”. I don’t think he’ll need to save his title by being counted out or disqualification. No, Barrett is just the far more talented and bigger of the two. I just don’t see how The Miz can win this one. Tough fall from grace for The Miz who just two years ago headlined Wrestlemania with John Cena. Oh how the mediocre wrestler has fallen. Take Wade here and thank me later.
WADE BARRETT over The Miz
Tons of Funk w/the Funkadactyls (+200) vs. Rhoades Scholars w/The Bellas (-300)
Vegas is very confident that Rhoades Scholars and Bellas will win, but I don’t share their confidence. For one thing, the sure size advantage of Tons of Funk should have pushed this line a lot closer than it is. For another Rhoades Scholars doesn’t have a signature win yet as a tag team and I’m starting to think they are more hype than talent. With that said, the Bella Twins have had more in ring experience than the Funkadactyls. I think it’ll be a surprisingly entertaining but quick match. I’m taking the underdogs here if only because there is a ton of money that can be made off a line that should have been closer.
TONS OF FUNK/THE FUNKADACTYLS over Rhoades Scholars w/the Bellas
Chris Jericho (-250) vs. Fandango (+150)
This one has the potential to surprise us. We know Chris Jericho is good enough to drag anyone through a decent match and Fandango looks like he could be very good in the ring. He has the worst gimmick of the last five years but he looks athletic enough to put on an entertaining match with Jericho. Jericho has loads more experience and that is why is favored in this match, but I’m worried that won’t matter. Jericho is a great performer but I have a nagging feeling in the back of my brain that somehow the upstart Fandango will find a way to win this one and piss off the WWE Universe further. No, I’ll take Jericho here but I’m not confident about the pick.
CHRIS JERICHO over Fandango
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
WWE Tag Title Match: TEAM HELL NO (-150) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston (+150)
Team Hell No has held and defended their tag team titles much longer than I anticipated. I thought by now they would have imploded and started feuding with each other. That hasn’t happened and to the contrary, they seem to be getting along better than ever before. The team of Ziggler and Big E. is freighting in how good they could be. However, we have no idea how good their good is because we haven’t seen them, as we have Team Hell No. Team Hell No seems like the right choice here so I’ll take them, but the potential that Ziggler and Big E. have makes me hesitant.
TEAM HELL NO over Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston
No Holds Barred Match: Brock Lesnar (-300) vs. HHH (+250)
If HHH loses he has to retire, which you know is a big deal because then he can’t wrestle twice a year or something like that. With all snark aside, this could be one of the best matches of the night. I’m not talking from a wrestling standpoint but from a spectacle standpoint. This will be a brutal and physical match that we just don’t’ get to see anymore in the WWE. Lesnar has shown a propensity to bleed and HHH has shown even in today’s WWE that he will take a chair shot to the head. This will be a vicious match with big spots ala HHH vs. Undertaker two years ago. There won’t be many actual wrestling moves but it will be top three match of the night guaranteed. With that said, I think even with Vegas jacking up the odds; I’m still taking Lesnar. This means bye bye HHH…until you return in a few years.
LESNAR over HHH and HHH “retires”
World Heavyweight Title Match: ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. Jack Swagger (push)
Vegas gives us our first push of the night and I have to say I’m just as torn as they are. I would like to think Alberto Del Rio will win and then Jack Swagger will be suspended for his wellness policy violation but I just don’t think they are going to punish Swagger. This should be a good match if the WWE lets them actually have a match as oppose to an 8-second kick and it’s over. Generally speaking, the WHT doesn’t get the respect I think it deserves, and that is doubly true at Wrestlemania. I think it’ll get 10 minutes and they’ll each hit their spots but neither will shine and then it’ll be over leaving us wanting just a little bit more. Swagger and Del Rio are both very talented performers and I’m actually excited to see these two; even if it will only be for a short amount of time. I think it is a complete toss up but my money is on Swagger.
SWAGGER over Del Rio Swagger new World Heavyweight Champion
WWE Title Match: THE ROCK (-200) vs. John Cena (+250)
Vegas always loves rematches because you know what to expect. This “once in a lifetime” event was so “awesome” we get to see it again. In all seriousness, though this was not a terrible match last year and I expect it’ll be another fun watch. The Rock looked sharp in his two matches against Punk…, which you know probably, has a lot to do with Punk but still. Cena seems edgier than he has in the past and he seems to be edging closer to a heel turn…, which doubly means it won’t happen. The WWE loves to mess with internet wrestling fans who want so desperately for Cena to turn heel. I just don’t see that happening because well he is a freaking cash cow thanks to kids. Kids just don’t buy the shirts of bad guys. So, you internet fans clambering for that long sought after Cena heel turn are going to be super bummed after Cena beats the Rock cleanly on Sunday. That’s right I’m picking Cena even though it kills me. Cena will win and set up the rubber match for Extreme Rules or hey why not a trilogy at Wrestlemania?
JOHN CENA over the Rock Cena new WWE Champion
CM Punk (+350) vs. The Undertaker (-300) Undertaker’s Streak
CM Punk has crossed more lines than anyone who has ever faced the Undertaker has. No one has attacked the mythology of the Taker the way Punk did on Monday. Punk opened the urn and powered its contents and it’s “power” all over himself and the Undertaker on Monday. The Undertaker’s streak has never seemed to be in more danger than it is this year. Punk has erased from our minds his most recent failures and instead of talking about that, we are all talking about what he did on Monday. Paul Heyman and CM Punk have played perfect mind games against the king of mind games, but it won’t be enough. As a CM Punk mark, I can’t help but keep my bias out of my columns. It sucks to say it but there is no way The Undertaker’s streak ends this Sunday. Not with Wrestlemania 30 looming next year. No, if Punk gets to end the Streak it’ll have to be at their rematch next year. However, I have no doubt this will be match of the night and a candidate for match of the year. I also think that after Monday’s Raw this match has to get top billing over Rock and Cena. It probably won’t be last but it should be because it’s the only match with an actual build up to it. Cena vs. Rock seemed very flat this time around compared to last year. Punk and Taker have built a great story here and I can’t wait for the conclusion on Sunday, even if it means Punk loses.
THE UNDERTAKER over CM Punk
Well, that’s all for me this week, please enjoy Wrestlemania and remember you can email me at email@example.com or live tweet Wrestlemania with me @JaredGebhardt.