The Hitman's Update March 30, WrestleMania 27 Preview
I'm looking forward to WrestleMania 27, especially because it's in Atlanta, a city that had a truly rich pro wrestling history going back decades until Eric Bischoff killed it deader than dead with WCW in 2000. I worked Atlanta back in 1981 when it was Georgia Championship Wrestling and it's terrific that WWE is inducting the greatest monster heel the wrestling business ever knew. Abdullah the Butcher terrorized the Stampede territory when I was a kid. From there he hit Japan like Godzilla, drawing tons of money and tons of fans. He is the King of Heels, if you ask me. I won't be at Wrestlemania this year but just knowing legends like Harley Race will be at Axxess makes me want to book my flight.
As for the actual line-up, it's been a slow build for much of the card, but for the past few weeks the promos and backstage situations seemed to be rather plain and flat, totally predictable. The Undertaker and Triple H segment with Shawn Michaels played out exactly like I expected, the usual smoke blowing up the rectum stuff, more grunts and then a staring contest, thank God Shawn was there just to add something, anything to it. I suppose there isn't much else these two legends can do as far as buildup goes but it came across to me as having little imagination, the match itself should be one of the better match ups because Taker brings it all the way for Wrestlemania and Triple H can turn it up when he wants to. Triple H has had some hard fought battles over the years, but I don't know if he's ever had his chance to literally blow them away at Wrestlemania but this might be his best chance. Taker, in my opinion, is truly one of the all-time best and time and time again, he has delivered the best match on the show so I expect a good solid match, old school but intense. It could steal the show.
I think that Edge and Alberto Del Rio should be a great showdown. These two can dance and Del Rio has been getting more annoying every week. Edge is one of those solid workers that can and will deliver when the time comes, and nobody should underestimate the skill of Alberto. Having grown up in the business, he has waited his entire lifetime for this exact moment. He's just starting to hit his stride now. They'll be no stopping him soon enough.
Cody Rhodes against Rey Mysterio should also be a classic simply because this is a clash of the greatest Mexican wrestler that ever lived squaring off with Cody Rhodes, who is one of the very best American style wrestlers in the business. Son of a legendary father, he has all the tools. If you don't believe me take a look at Cody's punches and kicks, spot on, enough I bet to make some of the bigger stars in the company cringe when they watch their stuff back on TV.
I expect that Randy Orton will give a great fight at Mania against CM Punk. This is one that, again, seemed to build up pretty much like I expected; same promo and psychology I envisioned before they even came out on RAW last night. These two are some of my favorites and they're at the very top of their game. I don't like to criticize either one of them, but I do wish there was more possibility for the unexpected. The angles are becoming harder and harder to differentiate from what they were doing a few months ago. With the storylines, I know it's a difficult job to be original in a business where everything has been done, but with two pros like these two, you'd think their buildup could've been slightly more unpredictable and actually think up something fitting as far as drama and intrigue. So I guess what I'm saying is the talent is there, I'm curious to see where it all ends up at Mania.
I know I've raved about certain guys, but the match I'd tell any young aspiring wrestler to concentrate on and study over and over will be the Sheamus versus Daniel Bryan. I was impressed by Daniel back in ROH but he's absolutely brilliant since his WWE arrival. He reminds me of my brother Owen at times, but he is everything that is good and true about pro wrestling. He makes me rise up to my feet in my living room every time I watch him. He is the best in the world right now as far as workrate goes. As for Sheamus, he has only gotten better and better. His moves are rock solid and his timing is perfect. The timing for a guy his size to jump up and kick his opponent in the face as he jumps off the top rope is sublime and these two will steal the show if they let 'em.
As for the Miz versus Cena match, again I thought for sure that The Rock would end up as part of it all along, but maybe not. If not, then I feel very disappointed. Rock brings so much. He looks great and he stoked a fire in me with his blazing promos. if anything, this storyline seems empty without him, which is a shame because Miz and Cena deserve better. This one seems to be all about Rock versus Cena. I thought some of the writing these past weeks came seriously close to killing the goose laying the golden eggs in WWE. I think with the main event, as a fan, I'd like to see them get to the damn point and focus on that, rather than dressing something up to look like a something else. Oh, and by the way the point is the actual wrestling.
I've never underestimated my onetime nemesis Jerry 'The KIng' Lawler. People can say what they want but Jerry is an old pro. I have no doubts he'll deliver a entertaining match and having Stone Cold there adds a lot as well. As for Michael Cole, he might be the most hated heel in wrestling right now and it will be worth the price of the PPV to see Lawler kick Cole's butt from one end of the ring to the other. No doubt Andy Kaufman will be watching from above. This one will deliver the smiles needed to complete a first rate Wrestlemania. I expect an excellent show, but I'm putting my faith in some of the dark horse matchups to make the most noise.
FREE AUTOGRAPHED PIC! My online store has a WrestleMania sale on now where fans can get a free 8x10 autographed WM26 pic with any order until the end of April. Checkout the new Sharpshooter shirt and many others at brethart.com/store. Thanks Hitman fans!