WWE Championship Match: Batista vs. John Cena
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: John Cena - I love how WWE has used time-proven wrestling booking philosophies to build up this match. Batista is the cowardly heel, who despite his tough talk hides behind private security guards. But he just might have Cena’s number. Cena is the knight in shining armor who is fighting not only for the WWE title, but to prove that his motto of “hustle, loyalty, respect” can pay off. After two years of having Cena wrestle in triple threat matches, this is a refreshing change. The top babyface in the company wrestling the top heel for WWE’s top title. Cena will win.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: John Cena - I have a feeling this match will be the final match of the night and the WWE will not let the fans go home with a bad taste in their mouth, therefore Cena is your new WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 26. It’s the biggest event of the year and I cannot see Cena losing this year. Also, Cena is a Superman figure in the WWE to fans. There is no way Batista continues his dominance over the Superman anymore.
World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: Edge - On paper, the storyline that has led up to this match has been picture perfect. But in execution, there’s no question that the anticipation for this bout is well below that for the night’s other big matches. That could be a good thing, as it gives Jericho and Edge the incentive to try to steal the show. I don’t think they will, but I do think they’ll have a very good match. It will end when Edge spears Jericho to capture the world title.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: Edge - Edge has all the momentum going forward especially after his big return earlier this year. Edge also has the odds in his favor. The winner of the Royal Rumble is very successful in winning the title at Wrestemania. However, one can make the case that the 2009 Rumble winner, Randy Orton, did not win the title at Wrestlemania 25. Still, Edge is my pick. Jericho was never anything more than a transitional champion.
Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: Bret Hart - It’s not exactly going out on a limb to predict the babyfaces going over in all of the night’s big matches. But, even if it’s the predictable thing to do, WWE is right to deliver a series of happy ending on the biggest show of the year. And no story in wrestling has ever begged for a happy ending – or, really, any ending at all – than the seemingly never ending saga of the Montreal Screwjob. Indeed, this is the one match on the show – and really in recent memory – that I never thought I’d see. With McMahon being well into his 60s and Bret Hart not having wrestled in nearly a decade, I wouldn’t expect this one to be pretty. But WWE knows how to book around wrestlers’ limitations, especially on the WrestleMania stage. And so I expect every bit of smoke and mirrors that WWE can come up with – stunt bumps with ringside props, run-ins, etc. – to make this one entertaining. And, in the end, McMahon will tap to the Sharpshooter and leave Bret, and his fans, to believe that the Hitman got the last laugh. The truth is something quite different.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: Bret Hart - The match that has been 13 years in the making. More than anything, this match symbolizes that you never say never when it comes to wrestling. No one would have ever thought that these two would face off in a match at a Wrestlemania so many years later. Hart will walk away with the victory as I see no way Vince would take the win. There is no way Vince brings Bret back for him to lose the night after his father gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. With the no DQ stipulation, I have a feeling that Vince will bleed and when he bleeds, it’s usually enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool. The only real question is whether or not Bret returns in the pink & black tights?
Triple Threat Match: Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: Ted Dibiase - After seeing these three wrestle each other in every possible combination in the weeks leading up WrestleMania, it’s hard to get excited about this match. While the goal may have been to elevate Rhodes and Dibiase, this feud – and this match - instead feels like a demotion for Orton, because his two cronies have not been established to be anywhere near his level. My guess is that Dibiase wins this one – capping off a big weekend for the Dibiase family. But in the end, it will take a lot more than winning this match to elevate the Legacy boys. I’m not expecting a great match here.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: Ted Dibiase - I think this is the coming out party for Ted DiBiase and his chance to make his mark in the WWE. He’s been a terrific wrestler so far with impressive mic skills and he hasn’t even reached his peak. This match has a chance to be really good and finish right behind Taker/HBK for best match of the night. I think DiBiase pins Rhodes for the win setting up a bigger one-on-one feud with he and Orton in 2010.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: Kofi Kingston - With an unprecedented 10 wrestlers in this year’s installment of MITB, there are more possibilities than ever for a winner. The crowded field may also take away something from the match – as it could devolve into a TNA-like meaningless spot fest like never before. Unlike in past years, there are no obvious candidates for a world title run later this year. And so it could very well be that, for the first time, the wrestler who cashes in the briefcase does not win the world title. Kofi Kingston seems to have the most upside of all the contestants in this match, so I’ll pick him. Another option is Christian, who could go on to cash in the briefcase against former partner Edge in a major storyline.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: Kofi Kingston - I look at this match and say who is going to be the man the WWE will entrust the title within the next 3-12 months. Every Money in the Bank winner has gone on to cash in their briefcase and win the title of their choice. I’d say the top three contenders are Kofi Kingston, MVP, and Drew McIntyre. Out of those three, I think Kingston is your winner in this match and eventual WWE champion before next year’s Wrestlemania. The fans like Kofi, he obviously has the ability to carry a good match, and he’s already been in high profile matches. The WWE thinks highly of him and this match is made for someone like him.
Triple H vs. Sheamus
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: Sheamus - Indeed, you’d have to go back to maybe Triple-H’s WrestleMania XIV bout against Owen Hart to find the last time Triple-H wrestled in a match as low on the card as this one. Word is that Triple-H has taken to Sheamus, and was willing to have an off-year at Mania in order to give his new protégé the rub of working with him on the big show. I think the build up has been pretty good, and I expect these two could have good chemistry. But I’d be surprised if they had more than 8 minutes or so for this match. As a final, selfless act, I expect Triple-H to put over his new buddy – perhaps causing Hunter to become further frustrated in his gradual turn back to a heel.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: Sheamus - I cannot even remember the last time Triple H was involved in a match at Wrestlemania that received such little attention. Maybe it’s good for Triple H that it has received such little attention because I don’t see him winning. The WWE likes Sheamus a lot and even though he was champion for a bit, I don’t think the fans put him on the same level as the elite stars of the WWE. They way you get him there is have him beat The Game on the biggest stage.
Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: C.M. Punk - Of all the matches on this year’s show, this may be the one I’ve enjoyed watching develop most of all. Where so many wrestling feuds these days are based on fueled by things like titles, respect, and political power, at heart of this feud is one of the sport’s greatest motivations – rage. C.M. Punk disgraced Rey Mysterio in front of his family, and for that Mysterio will stop at nothing to get his hands on Punk. It’s a formula as old as time, and it still works. I’ll pick Punk to win this one – forcing Mysterio to join his Straight Edge society and stretching this feuds out for at least one more pay per view.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: C.M. Punk - This match could be another candidate to steal the show. Two great workers who have such immense ability in the ring. Punk has been on a roll lately and I have loved where his character has gone ever since the heel turn. A win at Wrestlemania gets Punk back into the title picture on Smackdown and that’s where he’s at his best. I see a great feud between he and Edge later this year.
Unified Tag Team Championship Match: The Miz & The Big Show vs. R-Truth & John Morrison
Alfonso Castillo’s pick: The Miz & Big Show - It is nice to see the tag team championship return to WrestleMania, but I’d be lying if I said I was much anticipating this match. All four men should work hard to make this bout entertaining, but Morrison and R-Truth just haven’t clicked as a team, so it’s hard to root for them here. I’m just glad to see my favorite guilty pleasure, the ridiculously lame R-Truth, wrestling in a championship match at WrestleMania.
Anthony Castellano’s pick: John Morrison & R-Truth - This is probably the best tag team title match to appear at Wrestlemania in a really long time. The main reason the WWE has given this match plenty of attention is because it has star power with Miz, Big Show, and especially Morrison who is on the verge of being a breakout star in the WWE. Morrison and R-Truth take the gold home. It’s a nice young team and the WWE hasn’t had many of those around lately. Maybe the WWE builds a tag team division around the new tag team champions and adds another dimension to Raw and Smackdown. I’ve always thought that the best way to bring young stars along in the WWE is in tag teams. Morrison is living proof of that as he has been involved in a few good teams over the years.