The Three Count

T3C: WWE WrestleMania 22 Preview

So it’s time for the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 22 is upon us and boy is Vince desperate to get buy rates this year. Posters, adverts, you name it, everything is aimed at getting us to buy a show that includes a pillow fight and The Boogeyman. Good luck Vince. Anyway on with the preview beginning with the matches from Raw, then the Smackdown matches and ending with the inter-promotional Can Someone help Flair down from the ladder match…

A Ghost dominates Wrestlemania

So it’s time for the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 22 is upon us and boy is Vince desperate to get buy rates this year. Posters, adverts, you name it, everything is aimed at getting us to buy a show that includes a pillow fight and The Boogeyman. Good luck Vince. Anyway on with the preview beginning with the matches from Raw, then the Smackdown matches and ending with the inter-promotional Can Someone help Flair down from the ladder match.

Raw matches

WWE Title : John Cena v Triple H

So is the King of Kings about to get a crown again? The past two Wrestlemania’s have seen Triple H lose his World Heavyweight Title (to Benoit and Batista) so perhaps it’s third time lucky for him this time around. I’m certainly hoping that as I’m still not impressed with Cena and believe he should never have been given the belt back after losing it to Edge.

The build-up to the match hasn’t been that spectacular, in fact it’s been pretty predictable. The big problem with Cena is he’s nowhere near as funny as he used to be. That’s what made him a star in the first place but that side of his character has gone downhill recently. Where’s the constant mocking of your opponent John? As for Triple H, he just goes round saying how damn good he is and sucks up to Vince all the time (anyone would think they’re related!). The linking of his storyline with the McMahon v Michaels one was cleverly done that’s for sure but shouldn’t the WWE title match be given top billing and sole attention in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania?

So who’s going to win? I go for Triple H to get the WWE title in a pretty predictable match with a Backlash rematch guaranteed. Peter Gabriel isn’t just about Big Time you know, by the end of the night Cena will hate the song ‘Sledgehammer.’

World Tag Team Titles: Kane and Big Show v Carlito and Chris Masters

Big Show has never won at Wrestlemania you know. Six matches and six defeats, I’d be worried if I was you Kane. However history is about to change as I can’t see Carlito and the man with the shrinking muscles, Chris Masters, getting the titles here. Kane and Big Show are supposed to be the biggest tag team ever, the unbeatable team but what are Carlito and Chris? They’re made to look like fools and Carlito even slags his partner off in the Daily Star. Sooner or later I see Carlito turning face on Masters and that could happen in time for Backlash. I go for Kane and Big Show to win.

WWE Women’s Title: Trish Stratus v Mickie James

It’s nearly fifteen months since Trish won this title, a very long reign by current WWE standards and it makes you wonder why it’s happening. Doesn’t Vince have any faith in someone like Mickie or Victoria to carry the belt, he didn’t even take the title from Trish when she was injured.

This has been a long drawn-out feud, a bit like Triple H and Batista from last year. Vince as usual is doing his best to get a lesbian angle onto the show but the obsessed psycho Mickie is starting to take it to another level and I really want her to get the title this Sunday. This could be a decent match and will go some way to restoring the women’s division. If we could get Lita and Victoria involved more then the division could work but is that what Vince wants? I go for Mickie to get the title.

Playboy Pillow Fight: Candice Michelle v Torrie Wilson

Total waste of time, why don’t they just put up an ad saying ‘Buy Playboy this month, Candice is naked in it.’ I go for Torrie to get the win but don’t really care.

Edge v Mick Foley

A hardcore war is set here and could Mick Foley finally get his Wrestlemania moment and Edge lose his unbeaten streak at Wrestlemania (Ok only 4-0 but it’s getting there). These two are great on the mic but will it work in the ring? Foley is well past his best and this isn’t really Edge’s style. It should be entertaining and could perhaps we see the break-up of Edge and Lita? I go for Edge to get a win but tensions to rise.

Mr McMahon v Shawn Michaels.

A man over sixty wrestling at Wrestlemania, now that’s going to give Ric Flair an idea! McMahon has had two matches at Wrestlemania against his son Shane and Hogan, he lost them both and I think he might just be up for the hat-trick here. The only factor that worries me here is the story that Michaels is going to be reducing his workload after Wrestlemania. Perhaps he might just win this and get a hell of a beating by someone like Test who is back in WWE.

The feud has been interesting these past months but terribly one-sided. Michaels has been beaten up constantly and even drugged. Yes, only Vince could have his daughter fake problems with her pregnancy and then drug Michaels just as the company are starting new drugs tests for their employees. Then again SNME had a drinking competition, so just say no to the drugs but it’s ok to drink yourself to death. Anyway back to the feud between Michaels and McMahon. Part of me thinks there might be a twist here with Shane turning on his father, well he hasn’t done that for a few weeks hasn’t he? All those dirty looks he gives Vince after being told he’s in a match that night, all is not well in the family again if you ask me and where the hell is Linda these days?

I go for Michaels to get a win in a predictable no holds barred bloodfest


World Heavyweight Title: Kurt Angle v Rey Mysterio v Randy Orton

The ghost of Eddie Guerrero hangs over this match. Would Mysterio be in the main event if Eddie was still alive? I have this feeling that the result of this match which could well be the best on the card is going to be dominated by Eddie. It’s that feelgood factor of Rey, the underdog winning the belt for his beloved Eddie, you know the guy he feuded with and hated for most of last year.

Angle has a bad record in title matches at Wrestlemania losing to Eddie, Lesnar and dropping the IC and European belts to Benoit and Jericho without even being pinned. That’s a fact that could well befall him this weekend. I feel that Mysterio will pin Orton to win the title, after all it’s Randy who’s been making all the crap Eddie statements and feuded with Rey all year.

Like I say this could be a classic but this whole Eddie tribute storyline has just gone on for far too long.

US Title: Chris Benoit v JBL

After recent events I’d have liked to see JBL take on Austin and I have this sneaking feeling that Stone Cold might just interfere in this match and cost JBL the belt. At least the US title is being defended which is more than can be said for the IC Title which is again ignored, more of that later. Benoit as champion makes sense but I’d prefer to have seen him feuding with Finlay or even William Regal. The feud has been ok despite JBL not being in the ring much due to his hand injury, then again it’s not always a good idea to have JBL wrestle too much. I see Benoit retaining his title here and believe JBL should go to Raw soon to give his career a fresh start.

The Undertaker v Mark Henry: Casket Match

14-0 here we come unless Undi is about to retire. The guy may never lose at Wrestlemania but in thirteen matches he’s only ever had one title match which is pretty strange. He’s had plenty of crap matches and here comes another one. Henry has a position in the company he doesn’t deserve but I just can’t see him winning this one!

The Boogeyman v Booker T and Sharmell

Oh heavens, just look at the talent that’s not booked on this card (including the tag champs) and then we have The Boogeyman. Worms are not funny, not every bloody week anyway. Booker T has gone from a former Wrestlemania main-eventer to US Title holder to comedy match. Boogeyman could restore people’s faith if he could show us that worms aside he can put on a decent match. I don’t believe he will but he’ll still get the win.

Inter-Promotional Match:

Money in the Bank II: Flair v RVD v Benjamin v Lashley v Hardy v Finlay

So just who is going to get a title shot in the future? I think we can discount Lashley and Finlay who will be too busy hammering each other to pieces to care about anything else. Hardy is only there because he’s already lost three ladder matches at Wrestlemania and a fourth is now due. So that leaves us with an all-Raw shortlist. The storyline is pointing heavily towards Flair winning this and even getting one last title reign. That could be interesting if the nature boy is finally thinking of retiring. Rumours persist that RVD could be getting a push and even cashing in his Money in the bank title shot at One Night Stand but I don’t believe that. As for Benjamin, he’s the IC champ who never gets to defend his title at Wrestlemania and you have to wonder why. I go for Flair to get the win but don’t see any real merit in that.

Stephen Ashfield