With WrestleMania 29 at the Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New York only two weeks away, the card is no doubt shaping up to be one of the best in WrestleMania history with not one, not two, but three main event-caliber matches (The Rock versus John Cena for the WWE Championship, The Undertaker versus CM Punk, and Triple H versus Brock Lesnar) taking place on Sunday, April 7th, 2013.
And so, here's a look at the projected card for this year's "Show of Shows" which features seven announced matches as well as some other matches that are expected to be added in the next several days.
With the WrestleMania 29 pre-show on WWE's official website, WWE's YouTube page, and WWE's FaceBook page, being one hour long as opposed to 30 minutes prior to all other WWE pay-per-views, expect two matches to take place prior to WrestleMania 29 coming on the air. And so, here are my projected pre-show matches:
LUMBERJACK MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
THE MIZ VS. WADE BARRETT (C)
LUMBERJACKS: ALEX RILEY, ANTONIO CESARO, BO DALLAS, BRODUS CLAY, CODY RHODES, CURT HAWKINS, DAMIEN SANDOW, DARREN YOUNG, DAVID OTUNGA, DERRICK BATEMAN, DREW McINTYRE, EPICO, THE GREAT KHALI, HEATH SLATER, JEY USO, JIMMY USO, JINDER MAHAL, JTG, JUSTIN GABRIEL, KOFI KINGSTON, MASON RYAN, MICHAEL McGILLICUTTY, PRIMO, R-TRUTH, SANTINO MARELLA, SIN CARA, TENSAI, TITUS O'NEIL, WILLIAM REGAL, YOSHI TATSU, & ZACK RYDER
Despite Barrett retaining the Intercontinental Championship against Chris Jericho and The Miz last week on RAW, it appears that The Miz-Barrett feud isn't over after a stare down between the two last week on SmackDown. With three matches on the main card expected to be very long, expect this match to take place during the WrestleMania 29 pre-show with this match being a lumberjack match to allow the male wrestlers who are not booked for WrestleMania 29 card the opportunity to be at NYC.
Anyway, look for The Miz to get the victory.
12-DIVA TAG TEAM MATCH
KAITLYN, LAYLA, NATALYA, ALICIA FOX, NAOMI, & CAMERON VS. A.J. LEE, BRI BELLA, NIKKI BELLA, TAMINA SNUKA, & AKSANA
Another match that will likely be relegated to the pre-show is the annual WrestleMania Divas match. In recent weeks, the divas have been relegated to competing on WWE Superstars and Saturday Morning Slam as of late in order for the WWE to allow more TV time for Cena, The Rock, CM Punk, Undertaker, Triple H, and Lesnar. Although it has been widely rumored that Extra co-host Maria Menounos will be competing this year, expect the WWE to book this match instead with Layla finally turning heel, setting up Kaitlyn versus Layla for the Divas Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday, May 19th, 2013. As a result, look for the heels to get the victory here.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
KANE & DANIEL BRYAN (C) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER & BIG E LANGSTON
The dysfunctional tag team champions Kane and Bryan having been necessarily seen eye to eye in recent weeks, yet they still somehow manage to retain. But as they always say, "All good things must come to an end" as I expect Kane and Bryan to drop the titles to the Show Off and his partner.
CHRIS JERICHO VS. FANDANGO
Normally, this match qualifies as a pre-show match but then again, it's hard exclude Y2J from the WrestleMania card. This feud began after Fandango interrupted Jericho during his interview on last week's RAW. Expect Jericho to get the pin in this very short match.
6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
RANDY ORTON, SHEAMUS, & BIG SHOW VS. THE SHIELD
On paper, you would expect the babyfaces to win here but keep in mind, the WWE is very high on upstarts Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns; plus, TNA Wrestling has the Aces and Eights which is one of the most talked about heel stables in recent history.
With Aces and Eights being a huge success, look for The Shield's momentum to continue which will involve one of the babyfaces to turn on his teammates, and I expect that Superstar in question to be the Apex Predator.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
ALBERTO DEL RIO (C) VS JACK SWAGGER
After ditching his "All-American American" gimmick for a more darker persona, Swagger has found new hope with a viable manager in Zeb Cotler. But expect the Mexican Aristocrat to retain here, setting up a possible Del Rio-Orton match at Extreme Rules.
NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH
TRIPLE H VS. BROCK LESNAR
After Lesnar defeated The Game at last year's SummerSlam, the rivalry picked up steam last February when Vince McMahon tried to fire Paul Heyman. Look for Triple H to get the victory in this 30-minute match.
UNDERTAKER VS. CM PUNK
Another talked about rivalry has been the CM Punk versus Undertaker feud. The feud got so personal in recent weeks following the death of The Phenom's longtime manager Paul Bearer where Punk used Bearer's urn on Kane a couple weeks ago on RAW and taunted Undertaker on last week's RAW. Look for the Deadman to extend his WrestleMania streak of 21-0 in another lengthy match.
JOHN CENA VS. THE ROCK (C)
The seeds of this match were planted at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view last January when Cena won the 30-man Royal Rumble match and The Rock finally ending Punk's 434-day reign as WWE Champion. With the People's Champion returning to filming movies, look for Cena to be the new WWE Champion in this epic 40-minute match.