Editor's Note: This FanPost has been mildly edited for promotion to the front page and various sections within Cageside Seats for your enjoyment, Cagesiders!
Happy WrestleMania week, America! It's been a while (and by a while, I mean like four days) since I've written anything for this corner of the Internet. But what better time to come back than during WrestleMania season (hey, it worked out for The Rock. He's the WWE Champion and is in the #1 movie in America)? As a public service, I will now provide you with simple analysis-because simple is good-as to who will win this Sunday at the "showcase of the immortals" and why.
LEGAL STUFF: As always, my winners are not guaranteed. Also, over-unders here are for entertainment only and are not official by any means. Translation: if you're foolish enough to bet money on this and lose, that's on you.
For actual odds, check out this post from The General.
[NOTE: Match card* is current as of 4/3/13. *Card subject to change.]
Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay & Tensai-aka Sweet T) & The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi) vs. Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) & The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie)
Already I've written more about this match than I wanted to. Also, Bellas picked a hell of a time to come back, didn't they? Must be a big 'Mania paycheck coming.
Over/Under on number of legal combatants in match: 3.5. I'm taking the under.
Over/Under on match time: two minutes. WrestleMania XXIX is currently a nine-match show, and with performances by Diddy and Living Colour added on, anything non-main event is eligible to be cut short. Or dropped altogether, but likely dropped. This match for sure will meet one of these fates. I'm going under.
Chances this is the "bathroom break": 99%. If it makes the show, this will be the bridge between two main event bouts. Probably Undertaker-Punk and "Twice in a Lifetime".
Winners: The Funktacular Four. That's what I'm calling them. I don't see you coming up with anything better.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Fandango (aka Johnny Curtis, winner of NXT Volume 4) will be one of two men to have their first WWE match under the big lights, and it will be against one of the surest hands in the game in Y2J.
Over/under on entrance time for Fandango: three minutes, 30 seconds. The only man that may be able to challenge The Undertaker and Triple H for entrance time Sunday. The first time he made it all the way to the ring was 1:49. And that was a standard entrance. You know the WrestleMania ramp will be extra long. Makes me long for the old 'Mania carts. Reluctantly, I'm going under.
Over/under on match time: seven minutes. I'm going slightly over. We'll find out how much confidence WWE has in Fandango going forward here. Curtis will have a chance to show what he's got on the big stage.
Chances that Fandango will "crap the bed" so to speak: 65%. Your debut match under the gimmick's going to be in front of 85,000+ people and over five-million viewers worldwide (assuming four viewers to each TV that buys WrestleMania). It's natural to be nervous in that spot. But given Curtis will get a seasoned vet in Chris Jericho, he'll be given every chance to not crap the bed. As one of my Twitter friends said last week, if Chris Jericho can't get a good match out of you, you probably shouldn't be wrestling.
Winner: Fandango. I hate myself for even typing this.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Hell No (Daniel Bryan & EVIL WELDER KANE) vs. AJ's Boy Toys (Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston)
The other WWE in-ring debut will be current NXT Champion Big E Langston. But in all seriousness, this makes me long for the days of Edge & Christian, the Hardyz & the Dudleyz.
Over/under on number of people AJ will make out with from entrance to exit: 1.5. I'm going over. AJ will distract either Daniel or Kane with her "charms" if you will. And possibly contract a communicable disease, but that's a different story.
Chances Big E Langston "craps the bed" under the big lights: 55%. Seriously, you crap the bed with veteran Kane (who has been in more Manias than anyone not named Undertaker, Shawn Michaels or Triple H) and one of the world's best wrestlers in Daniel Bryan Danielson, you need to find another line of work.
Over/under on match time: seven minutes. I would not be surprised if this gets cut from the main show altogether. If it stays, I'm going under. This one's about as haphazardly put together as any non-main event match on the show.
Winners: Hell No, though I do envision them losing the belts soon after. Maybe as soon as Monday.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
HOSS FIGHT! HOSS FIGHT! HOSS FIGHT!
Over/under on number of times Mark Henry yells "That's what I do!": 4.5. I'm going under. If he yells it maybe two times, I'll be good.
Over/under on number of times Ryback yells any of his catchphrases during the match: 9.5. The key here is DURING THE MATCH. Still going over.
Chances this match gets the Lesnar vs. Goldberg treatment at WrestleMania XX: 40%. Especially if nobody gets knocked on their ass in the first three minutes. At least both these men will still be around next Monday, so it has that going for it, which is nice.
Over/under on match time: ten minutes. Under all the way. Ryback and Mark Henry are most effective in small portions. Like Extra Value meals at McDonald's. Sure you can order the supersize, but your stomach will regret it later.
Winner: Ryback. There's been speculation for some time that Mark Henry's retirement is imminent, and if this is his last run, then this match will make Skip Sheffield the WWE's new resident hoss.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Wade Barrett, pit fighter vs. The Miz.
So basically, it's two guys in a feud over which WWE movie they were in (The Marine: Homefront vs. Dead Man Down) was better. It's like fighting over the last piece of fruitcake. The next good WWE movie they put out will be the first (though The 'Mania of WrestleMania, the WrestleMania XIX doc narrated by Jesse Ventura was real good. It's on the WrestleMania 20 three-DVD pack).
Chances you care about this match: 5%. Not even a retro redesign brought back interest in the Intercontinental title, which will make its first appearance at a WrestleMania since 25 (the 21-second burial of JBL's wrestling career), and only the second WrestleMania X8. (NOTE: Oops. This was made the pre-show match earlier this week. WrestleMania 25 will remain the last appearance of the IC belt at a Mania. Sorry, preshow don't count.) It's about as important as the light heavyweight title during the Attitude Era. Or any era for that matter. The twobelts look a lot alike, don't they?
Over/under on match time: six minutes. Going under. Now that it's officially the pre-show match, I have every reason to believe it goes under. Real quick though: from main eventing WrestleMania XXVII to pre-showing this year. Has anyone had a more precipitous fall in the last two years than Mike Mizanin? At least he has Maryse, so he has that going for him, which is nice.
Winner: The Miz. It's a foregone conclusion, ain't it?
The Shield (Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins) vs. Showrton (Sheamus/Big Show/Randy Orton, legend killer)
Three guys who have killed everyone and everything in WWE since their arrival last November take on a new trio intent on stopping them.
Chances you believe in the shield: 80%. Let's be honest: The Shield beat a better threesome in John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback (aka the Superfriends) a little over a month ago. And they were more cohesive. What chance does this threesome have?
Over/under on number of heel turns in this match: 0.5. Someone will flip near the end of the match, or right after it. Some say it's Randy Orton. I think it's Big Show. Orton will flip soon after, though. So...over.
Over/under on match time: ten minutes. This has quite a bit of backstory, so among the undercard matches, this will get the most room to breathe. I'm going over.
Winners: The Shield. You cannot stop them, you can only hope to contain them. Believe in The Shield. For life, for life.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
It's the Mexican aristocrat with 1/10 the heat of his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez versus the Tea Partier with 1/10 the charisma of his mouth piece, Zeb Colter, aka Dirty Dutch Mantel. So why can't it be Ricardo vs. Dutch?
Chances this match curtain jerks WrestleMania: 98%. One only has to look at recent history: the SmackDown world title match has opened two WrestleManias in a row. Please stop telling me how SmackDown is a thing among WWE brass. It hasn't been for years.
Chances this match goes one minute or less: 51%. Last year's world heavyweight title match. That's my evidence. You need anything else?
Chances you care about this match: 15%. The feud was hot for about five minutes. Then Glenn Beck skipped the RAW he was supposed to appear on, and the feud just...died. Plus, people realized it's Jack Swagger. And Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio as a face has been more miss than hit, and Swagger, well, he's Jack Swagger. What can I tell you? Even Ricardo's ankle getting snapped in two has not made people care. Though the"We The People" spoofs by Alberto and Ricardo have been hilarious. We're on to you, Canada.
Over/under on match time: eight minutes. Even with the backstory of Swagger breaking Ricardo's ankle, I'm going under.
Chances of a post-match Dolph Ziggler Money in the Bank cash-in: 90%. If Dolph wants a show-stealing moment with that briefcase that people will remember, Sunday will be his last chance to do it. There are no more big shows between then and when the contract expires in July. Plus, that case has taken a beating. Show the world already -- OR: Shut. The Fuck. UP -- But in all honesty, whether the cash-in happens or not depends on whether this match or the tag title match goes first. If the tag title match opens, Dolph's most definitely cashing in. If the world title match opens, it's not as certain. I mean, after winning the world title, wouldn't the tag titles be a come down, even if you have a chance to win two belts in one night, something that hasn't been done since The Ultimate Warrior in 1990?
Winner: Alberto Del Rio via ARMBAR.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in a no holds barred match
(If Triple H loses, he must retire from WWE)
It's the sequel to their SummerSlam bout where Triple H done got his arm broke by Brock. And COO H has everything riding on it. EVERYTHING. By the way, this is pretty much the same stipulation we got last time. Come on WWE, be a little creative.
Over/under on total entrance time: five minutes. Over. Triple H will take four by himself.
Over/under on number of McMahons to interfere in the match: 0.5. Not only am I going over, I'm going way over. As in two. Expect an appearance by Vince and Stephanie at some point in the match.
Over/under on match time: 22 minutes, 40 seconds. That was the time of their SummerSlam match last August. I'm going over. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets a half hour.
Chances the Metlife Stadium crowd still remembers Lesnar's shitty WrestleMania XX performance: 60%. Though Lesnar has looked dominant more often than not in the last year, his outing nine years ago cannot be scrubbed away no matter how hard he tries. Had Lesnar not resigned earlier this year, the crowd would have been all over him again. I still think they will though, though not nearly as venomous as then.
Winner: Triple H. Come on, it's wrestling's greatest politician this side of Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash. COO H has to get his win back.
Chances the retirement sticks even if Triple H loses: 0%. Even Vinnie Mac came back from being tossed on his ass. What does that tell you?
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
Punk wants to be the one in 20-1.
Chances CM Punk is the one in 20-1: 0%. As much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise, not even the "best in the world" can stop the juggernaut that is The Deadman's unbeaten WrestleMania run.
Chances CM Punk is the one in 21-0: 105%. The death of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer (Undertaker's long-time manager) all but clinched it for Undertaker. Sorry. It's the truth.
Chances this match will be better than their 2009 encounters: 98%. Undertaker looks like he can move around a bit. CM Punk has improved in the last three and a half years. Plus, it's the one televised match Undertaker will be in this year. How can it not suck?
Chances you remember their 2009 encounters: 1%. If only for Teddy Long taking a ride. Where to, Teddy?
Over/under on total entrance time: six minutes, 30 seconds. Over. Expect both men to milk it, Undertaker to do it even more so. I got four minutes for the phenom. Oh, and with Living Colour performing, it should push the entrance time well past six and a half minutes.
Over/under on match time: 27 minutes, 50 seconds. The approximate average match time for an Undertaker match in the last five WrestleManias, with two going over a half hour, and a third missing by 30 seconds. Good thing CM Punk can go 30 minutes (seriously, Punk needs an ironman match before his run is done. Just saying). I expect plenty of latitude to be given for this one before the inevitable happens. Over, by the way.
Winner: The Undertaker, playa.
The Rock vs. John Cena
Seriously, do you need a backstory?
Over/under on number of times this match will be referred to as the biggest in WWE history: 9.5.Over. And by the way, it's not.
Over/under on number of times a reference is made to John Cena's divorce: 2.5.I'm going over, but not by much.
Over/under on number of Kendra Lust references during the broadcast: 0.5. Under. Though I will laugh if there is one. (For the unaware, Kendra Lust is an adult film star and alleged mistress of John Cena.) If there is one, it will be from a sign in the crowd. Don't let me down, Metlife.
Over/under on number of rest holds in the match: 5.5. Over on principle alone. I'm sure Rock's conditioning has gotten better in the one year since "Once in a Lifetime".
Chances this match gets the Lesnar-Goldberg WrestleMania XX treatment: 75%. Granted, this time around there will be a lot more young folks than at WrestleMania XX, the adult portion of the crowd will be very vocal. And a lot of those people have a dislike for both The Rock and John Cena.
Chances the winner of this match gets booed out of the building: 75%. I'm splitting the difference here. 50-50 if The Rock wins, 100% if Cena wins.
Realistic chance The Rock has of winning: 1%. I'm leaving that glimmer of hope out there. We know how this ends. John's gonna get his win back. But... then again, we were pretty much sure John Cena was going to win last year. Look how that worked out. A Rock repeat would be one of the biggest upsets in recent WWE memory. I'm not kidding.
Chance that there will be "Thrice in a Lifetime": 99%. Make it 100% if one of following happens: (1) a huge buyrate, or (2) John Cena wins.
Chances we get a WrestleMania VIII-style non-finish: 10%. Hey, WWE: wanna make everyone happy/really pissed? End this WrestleMania the way you did in 1992: have someone run down (better timed this time) and interrupt the count, and all semblance of order go out the window, until someone comes in and runs them off, while the faces celebrate with fireworks and whatnot, then have that someone disappear from WWE television for like four months. Then four years.
Over/under on match time: 33 minutes, 34 seconds. The length of "Once in a Lifetime". That was in an eight-match show where not a lot was expected of it quality-wise. The sequel is on a ten-match show with the belt on the line and a lot of expectations. We all know the final destination. The journey better be an enjoyable one.
Winner: John Cena. Is there any doubt?