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I said a couple of weeks ago that I was going to review the new album put out by WWE, but things have been moving so fast in their crazy mixed-up world that it’s difficult to find time to write a music review.  I’ll get to it soon.

So last Friday we got the names for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match.  We’re getting The Undertaker (duh), Chris Jericho, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, and R-Truth.  I honestly believe that this will be the more entertaining of the two chamber matches.  The Raw match is old news, with Orton, Cena, and HHH involved, along with Sheamus, who’s already worn out his welcome, Dibiase, and Kofi Kingston, neither of whom have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this match.  I’d love to see Kofi steal the title away, but the way he’s been treated, getting stomped by Orton so many times, it makes me doubt that he’ll ever get a shot at a main event push.  And, I fear, with the men participating in the Raw chamber, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Sheamus retain the title.  Unless, of course, HHH wins it and has a match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 26.  But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

The Smackdown chamber match has a ton of intrigue.  You’ve got two guys in Morrison and R-Truth who, by some force or other, are actual contenders.  Well, Truth not so much.  But he deserves it, being a former NWA Heavyweight Champion and all.  Morrison’s on the cusp of main event-level stardom.  Punk is a wild card, but I doubt he’ll get the dupe in two weeks.  I highly suspect that this will be a transitional championship title reign for Chris Jericho, as Creative has been setting up an Edge/Jericho feud since July of last year.  Taker’s been looking worse, and needs the time off so he can rehabilitate whatever’s ailing him so he can have one last match at Wrestlemania.  Against whom, I do not know.  But that’s what this column is really about.

I figure that with all the prognosticators out there making wild and insane predictions about events happening months in the future, I might as well toss my own opinions out there and give my predictions as to what the Wrestlemania 26 card will be.  Some things already seem set in stone, and I’m okay with that, because they provide a lot of interesting matches, certainly far better than last year’s offering.  So let’s get right down to it and give you some Wrestlemania 26 card predictions!

First off, I’m sure there will be some sort of Divas match.  Whether it’s on the Raw or Smackdown side of things is unknown.  Hell, maybe we’ll get a title unification, seeing as how two women’s titles seems all but pointless.  But I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon.  The womens’ rosters on both shows is decent right now, so maybe two titles is okay for now.  Anyway, I’d look for either a Mickie James/Beth Phoenix match or possibly a Maryse/Gail Kim match.  I’m really hoping Gail wins the Divas Title at the Elimination Chamber, seeing as how she is also quite deserving of a title run.  I pray that we don’t get another debacle like we did last year, and we get just a good old-fashioned women’s match.  Well, not quite Fabulous Moolah old-fashioned, but a good women’s match nonetheless.  You know what I’d love to see?  Beth Phoenix vs. Nattie Neidhart.  Now THAT’s an attraction.

Since it’s Wrestlemania, there should be a Tag Team Title match.  Those of us who were looking forward to the match between MizMo and the Colons were sadly deprived of it, and if we wanted to watch the match, we had to purchase the DVD.  I, for one, was not amused by this bait-and-switch tactic that would have meant spending some $80+ for the PPV and the DVD.  Not worth it.  Anyway, with NEW Tag Team Champions crowned on Raw this evening (congratulations to ShowMiz, as they dubbed themselves), it would make sense to have some kind of tag title match.  If they hold on that long (which I think they will), then their competition isn’t that great.  They could face Cryme Tyme, but I doubt that Vince would give Cryme Tyme a match at Wrestlemania.  Don’t get me wrong, I like JTG and Shad, but Vince probably won’t give them a chance.  Then there’s the Hart Dynasty.  I’d love to see ShowMiz take on the Harts and finally give Kidd and Smith the titles they deserve.  But that’s also difficult to predict.  So, for the sake of giving a prediction, let’s say that we’ll get ShowMiz vs. The Hart Dynasty for the Unified Tag Team Championships.

Now, a staple of Wrestlemania the last five years has been the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and I’d expect this year to be a hell of a fun one.  With NXT arriving in a couple of weeks, there are sure to be a lot of up-and-comers who will do just about anything to get into this match.  But I’m betting that we’ll see several former ECW talents vying for the briefcase.  Let’s see…I’ll give you eight names for the match, since that’s been the custom the last few years.  Shelton Benjamin’s a lock, as this is his signature match.  I’d bet Yoshi Tatsu will get a shot as well.  The match needs some more veterans, so I’ll bet that CM Punk and Matt Hardy get in.  And as for the rest, let’s see…I’ll say Christian, Drew McIntyre, Evan Bourne, and Kofi Kingston.  If Kofi doesn’t win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber (which I highly doubt), then I’ll say he wins this match and FINALLY gets his main event push.

Next, I’m hoping that we get a tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, and the final match is at Wrestlemania.  When I think of the next generation of WWE wrestlers, I think of two names: Low Ki and Bryan Danielson.  And, what the hell, I bet these two are going to be going at it for the NXT Championship.  Who better to carry a brand on his back then the American Dragon?  I’ve already seen that he can adapt to the WWE style of wrestling, while still being Dragon, so why not?  We all know he’s completely deserving of it.

Now, we get to the Grudge Matches.  First off, with what happened on Raw tonight, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to get some form of a Bret Hart/Vince McMahon/John Cena/Batista match, be it a street fight, a tag match, or one of those matches akin to the McMahon/Trump fiasco a few years back.  While I don’t think it’s in Bret’s best interest to get back in the ring one last time (he is 52, after all), I can’t help but hope that, at some point during Wrestlemania, he locks the Sharpshooter in on Vince and gets that revenge that the fans have been wanting for over twelve years.  If anything, I’d bet it’s a tag team street fight of some sort, with Hart and Cena facing McMahon and Batista.  And with this much crap that Bret’s had to put up with on TV (akin to Mickie James’ dealing with the worst storyline in years), he’d better win.

Next is the WWE Championship.  Now, this is a clouded field right now.  I think one of two things can happen: either Sheamus retains his title at the Elimination Chamber and goes on to face…someone, or HHH wins and faces Shawn Michaels.  Well, to be fair, I think that HHH vs. HBK is going to happen anyway.  Whether it’s for the WWE Championship or not doesn’t make a huge difference.  These two are set to implode, and it’s only a matter of time before they face each other one-on-one.  Let’s drop the HBK/Taker angle and focus on this developing story on Raw.  I’d actually like to see these two tear each other apart on the biggest stage of them all.  I’d definitely prefer this match to HBK vs. Taker II.

Now that I think about it, if Sheamus escapes the Chamber with the WWE Title, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get Sheamus vs. Taker at Wrestlemania.  The logistics would be kind of weird, but hey, it’s a possibility.  But don’t expect the ghostly Irishman to pull off a victory against the Dead Man.  If he wins clean over Taker, I swear I’ll stop watching WWE programming.

I almost forgot about the whole Legacy situation.  The Elimination Chamber will only be the beginning of the feud between Rhodes, Dibiase, and Orton.  If Rhodes and Sheamus are indeed working together, then we might even get a Fatal Four Way match for the WWE Championship between Sheamus, Rhodes, Dibiase, and Orton.  In fact, I’m rescinding my idea of Sheamus vs. Taker.  That’s a horrible idea.  Now, as to who will face Taker, the possibilities are not that great.  I’ve used up most of the big names already.  The one match I wouldn’t mind seeing is Taker vs. Rey Mysterio.  These two had a really good match at the Royal Rumble, and I’d love to see them face off after Taker gets five or six weeks of rest.  I bet it would be an epic encounter.  Of course, Taker would win.

And now, we come to our main event, the match nine months in the making: Edge vs. Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship.  When Jericho qualified for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, the plan was solidified.  We all knew that Edge and Jericho were going to have to have it out once Edge returned.  And what better way to cap off this feud than with a main event match on the grandest stage of them all?  All the verbal abuse Edge has taken (and will continue to take over the next month and a half) will all come to a head at Wrestlemania.  And you’d better bet that he wins the match and becomes a 10-time World Champion.  I’m very interested to see how Edge works as a face champion.  Will he finally get that long title run he’s deserved for years?  I hope he does.

So there you have it.  My predicted Wrestlemania 26 card.  Keep in mind that this is in no way my Wrestlemania Dream Card.  About the only similarity that would have with my predicted card is Edge vs. Jericho.  I’d consider doing a Wrestlemania Dream Card as well, if anyone would be interested in reading that.  But for now, I think it’s time for me to stop.

But before I go, I’d like to toss out an idea for expanding this column.  I’m thinking about starting up a podcast wherein I discuss the topics I don’t cover in this written column.  I have some experience with creating a podcast, so I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to start another one up.  And you’d all get to hear my *HACK COUGH* wonderful voice.  So, if I get around to it (which hopefully I will), then look for a Rantables podcast coming soon.  I can’t host it on WordPress, unfortunately, but there are some free sites that can host the podcast.  So we’ll see how that goes.  Until then, stay awesome, and I swear I’ll do the review of WWE The Music: Volume 10 someday soon.


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