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T3C: WWE WrestleMania 25 Countdown #1



12 March 2009

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So another WrestleMania is on the horizon and the card so far announced has a distinct feeling of having gone back to the drawing board on more than one occasion.  In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania 25 I’ll be taking a look at the matches due to be taking place culminating in one giant preview of the event at the start of April.

Another WrestleMania and Triple H is again in the main event this time defending his title against Randy Orton in a match that has already claimed one victim, kayfabe.  For years the storylines in WWE have avoided mentioning the fact that Triple H is in fact married to Stephanie McMahon in real-life.  We’ve had the storyline marriage in Las Vegas with the bride looking as lively as Amy Winehouse after a night out with Ashley Cole followed swiftly by the heel turn by Stephanie to cue plenty of screeching against her poor father.  We’ve endured the possible affair with Kurt Angle, the renewing of the vows and the inevitable break-up a few years ago.  Since then Steph has had two children but for some reason the storylines failed to tell us who the father really was.  But that all changed when Triple H finally lost it after Randy Orton attacked his wife on Raw and finally admitted that she was his wife and the mother of his children.  Strange how he never did anything when Stephanie had similar problems on Smackdown and even wrestled her father.

So now those fans who weren’t in the know (they are still out there you know) are fully aware that Triple H is the son-in-law of Vince McMahon, not that it ever got mentioned during the DX feud with Vince of course.  So reality invades professional wrestling again but something different has to be done to breathe new life into a feud between Triple H and Randy Orton because it’s all been seen before.  Of course it also makes the near invisible brand extension even more ridiculous but at this time of the year with big bucks to make at WrestleMania it doesn’t really exist does it?

More on the WWE title match next time around, now onto the World Heavyweight title and a bit of confusion marred by inevitability.  Edge seems to be defending his newly won title (his short reigns mean they are always ‘newly won’) against Big Show in a match that wouldn’t exactly get many people digging into their pockets to buy the PPV.  So we can fully expect the John Cena campaign for a title match to be successful setting up a three-way.   But again it’s feuds that aren’t totally fresh and that’s what WrestleMania should be about.

That’s why The Undertaker v Shawn Michaels will undoubtedly prove to be one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the show.  Aside from their clash at the end of the Rumble these two have barely shared the ring together in recent years.  Can the winning streak finally be ended?  I very much doubt it of course but at least Undi’s opponents are getting better in recent years as have the match quality.  No Giant Gonzalez or King Kong Bundy nightmares this time around.  Michaels always has a good match and these two will steal the show.

I can picture it now.  Mark Henry climbs the ladder and eventually gets to the top (probably sometime around WrestleMania 30) and then thinks how the hell am I going to get down?  Could CM Punk win it for the second year running? I don’t think so, MVP is a better candidate now there’ll be no Hardy brothers to botch up the spots. I doubt Finlay thought nearly twenty five years ago that he’d be chasing up a ladder at WrestleMania a quarter of a century later.

Talk is there’s a 25-Diva Battle Royal this time around. Not sure if it’s a title match or whether we’ll actually get the possible Triple M match (Melina v Maryse v Michelle) that is gradually being hinted at.  Michelle McCool isn’t odds on to be in that match but with the influence of Undi who knows?  25 Diva’s and barely any that can wrestle isn’t a thrilling prospect. At least we get to see Sunny again and Vince might even decide to take Gail Kim out of cold storage.

Vince might also remember that the first feud between Jeff and Matt Hardy was a resounding failure.  Years on they’re at it again and even though Matt is coming across well in his promos against Jeff, won’t he just return to mid-card once this feud is over?  Of course Jeff hasn’t agreed to fight Matt yet just like The Undertaker did with his ‘brother’ Kane.  Mind you, once he did decide to face him in the ring he had no objection to taking him on countless times more.  Matt v Jeff has potential if Jeff is in the right mood of course.

Chris Jercho now seems to be the new legend killer (did he have to ask Randy Orton for permission?). but he’s also a man without an opponent.  Vince must have something up his sleeve but hopefully not the umpteenth return of Hulk Hogan though recent surgery makes that unlikely thank heavens.  A Ric Flair return to the ring would just destroy what happened last year and Jerry Lawler, despite being rumoured just wouldn’t feel right. Perhaps the week before WrestleMania but not the actual card, it’s just not big enough a match for that stage.  It all depends on Mickey Rourke I guess, I don’t see a match between the two but some kind of involvement perhaps.  Austin doesn’t need the risk he’d be taking if he were to get back in the ring so I’d actually go for Piper at this stage.

What else can we expect to see added to the card?  Well, a slightly longer ECW title match would be appreciated but with Finlay already in the MITB match, it looks as if Swagger v Christian is the only real option but again we’ve already seen that on the TV show.  Poor Christian must have expected something a lot better than he’s been given since returning to WWE.  Must have, otherwise he’d still be in a ring with more than four sides to it.

Well I’ll be back next week with the latest WrestleMania countdown. The big day is getting closer and closer but will it be a healthy addition to its history? I’m not sure yet, only time will tell.

Stephen Ashfield

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