Please note: This article was written prior to this weekend’s pay-per-view TLC. I was expecting John Cena to prevail, but of course Randy Orton left as champion. This may limit the possibility of some of these guys competing for the belt at Mania.
This week I would like to look at the intriguing possibilities for the title picture going into Wrestlemania. With this unification match coming up, there are a huge number of question marks over who will be involved. It’s certain that the show will have at least three or four big name matches, and a lot of the guys mentioned in this post will be involved in them. But who will be competing for the title? That’s a tricky one. I am fairly sure that John Cena will come away victorious next Sunday. I don’t know exactly where that leaves Randy Orton, but I don’t think he will be in the title match. I see a rematch at the Royal Rumble between the two of them, and that being the end of it. This would leave “The Champ” to meet one, or maybe more, of the following guys for the Championship on the grandest stage, but who?
Brock Lesnar: I am a huge mark for Brock, and always have been. I’ve loved his return wholeheartedly, and in my opinion, he has participated in some of the best matches of the last couple of years. The only thing his character has been missing is some involvement with a title. He was always the guy back in the day holding the belt, or chasing it. He has had some personal feuds now with the likes of Triple H and CM Punk, but I think it’s time he got down to competition. He could come back as the monster heel and, with the help of Paul Heyman, manoeuvre himself into a match with Cena at Wrestlemania. I would love to see this happen, but I don’t necessarily think it’s likely.
Daniel Bryan: This man has been the stand-out performer of the year. He has stole the show on Raw and Smackdown practically every week, made the main event of multiple pay-per-views and won the WWE Championship twice. He is surely set to be named Superstar of the Year at the Slammy Awards. Recently though, the office has made their real life issues with Bryan more transparent through their horrific handling of his character. There is however, a shred of hope inside me that says they will remember how great the Summerslam match with Cena was, and put these two back in there in April. It would be best for business, even if the suits don’t want to accept it. As for match quality, this would be the guy’s perfect chance to put himself in the history books, so I have no doubts that it would be a great encounter.
The Rock: Frankly I will probably vomit if this guy gets anywhere near the title picture. His mostly absent, phony reign earlier in the year made me very upset. Nonetheless, I am wise enough to not rule out such a move from World
Wrestling Entertainment. The rumours are already circulating about a return, and a possible Royal Rumble win. This wouldn’t surprise me, but it would sadden me. Once in a Lifetime 3 could be on the cards. I hope that it’s just hearsay, but you never can tell. He is the big name that they want on the marquee. He is the draw. I see him being involved in the show in one way or another, and I am worried that this may be that way.
CM Punk: The man who held the WWE Championship longer than anyone in my lifetime could, has been poorly booked since he lost it, in my opinion. His personal feud with Paul Heyman, however good, was played out for far too long. Since then he hasn’t had a real clear direction, and now he and Bryan are both booked in handicap matches and couldn’t seem further away from the title fold. However, the office know that Punk is someone who they can rely on, someone who draws and someone who would be a worthy contender for a match with Cena at Wrestlemania. I can picture the vignettes now. The great matches they had in the past, Punk’s lengthy title reign, their respective journeys. It would be perfect, but is it a little too perfect to actually happen?
Sheamus: When the Irishman first emerged in the WWE, I marked out for him hard for years, regardless of whether he was working babyface or heel. That changed dramatically during the last year of his run, before he was somewhat fortunately injured. His character got so stale and annoying! Luckily he has given us all some time off from him, and he will be re-introduced soon (probably in the Royal Rumble match) to a much more welcome response. I know he has already won the thing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they let him do it again and bring him back in a big way to take on Cena. I would think that is a little too much of a hot reintroduction, but WWE (and particularly Hunter) have shown how high they are on the guy. This may be one of the less likely ones, but I wouldn’t count it out.
Thanks a lot for reading my musings. Why not leave a comment and let me know who you think will be in the title picture, or indeed who should be?