One of the biggest debates among fans the week of Wrestlemania is the match order for the pay per view.
To many fans, the pecking order of matches is very important as it symbolizes importance as the show makes its way toward the main event. Yet, a Wrestlemania card is not always booked from least important to most important match. If that was the case, then why was the Women’s Title at Wrestlemania 18 placed between The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan and the main event, which featured Triple H vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Title?
It’s more about pacing, rhythm and not burning the fans out. The WWE tries to give respites between the “big-time” matches at Wrestlemania with “filler matches.”
For example, last year the WWE opened the show with the World Heavyweight Title match. Many fans felt that the WWE showed a total lack of respect for the title by doing that. I agreed to a certain point, but remember, the titles don’t hold as much importance as they used to. It was a hot-start to the program and being it’s a title match, the fans were into it from the get-go.
The WWE placed the Undertaker-Triple H match sixth between the Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler match and the tag team match that featured Snooki. After the grueling, emotional roller coaster Undertaker and Triple H gave us, Snooki was the filler before the main event.
This year, we have two matches that have been booked above the titles. That doesn’t mean the final two matches of the night will be Undertaker vs. Triple H followed by Rock vs. John Cena.
Here’s my order of matches and why:
1. Team Jonny vs. Team Teddy
Following the intro video and the singing of “God Bless America” fans are excited and they want something to cheer for. Santino is easily the most over star in this match and as Team Teddy’s captain, he will get the fans going. On Team Johnny, you have a lot of guys who are going to get heat. You can’t ask for more than that.
2. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show
Even though this match has had decent build, I don’t expect a great match and much reaction. It’s fine for the No. 2 match to be a bit of a drag.
3. World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Fans are not really clamoring for this match, but since it’s for the World Title they should get revved up. Whether you like Bryan or not, he’s got above average heat for a heel and guaranteed to get a decent heat. I feel we will see a title change in this match so that should get the fans back before…
4. Hell in a Cell: Undertaker vs. Triple H (Shawn Michaels special guest referee)
Rock vs. Cena may be the most anticipated match, but this match has the most emotion. Let’s not forget it’s a Hell in a Cell and HBK is the special guest. My only concern for this match is the cell. Since Wrestlemania is outdoors with no roof, where will the cell dangle from? I’ve read rumors that the crew will have to assemble it on the spot. I hope these factors don’t push the match to the first spot on the card. I doubt it will, but the logistics of the cell makes me wonder.
5. Randy Orton vs. Kane
The crowd figures to see a 25-minutes match from ‘Taker and Triple H and they will need time to relax and bring it down a few notches before the last two big matches. Orton and Kane will provide that.
6. WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
I expect a quick match from Orton and Kane, allowing the fans, still reeling from Hell in a Cell, only a few minutes to recuperate. CM Punk and Jericho are about the two best workers in the industry right now and they will find a way to get the fans back into the show.
7. Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve
Kill the crowd for seven minutes with the diva’s tag match before going all out with Rock-Cena.
8. The Rock vs. John Cena
The WWE has dubbed it "once in a lifetime" for a reason.