So with the eight-person School Bells vs. Dance Dance Evolution match booked, the Wrestlemania card is all set except for Antonio Cesaro's YouTube challenger. The top three matches have been set since August, but the next tier down has changed twice in the last couple months. Which version was for you?
Pre-Royal Rumble Early Version Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the world title Sheamus vs. Randy Orton Ryback vs. Big Show Hell No vs. The Shield for the tag titles Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro for the U.S. title
Post-Rumble, Jericho/Swagger/Henry Return Version Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the world title Sheamus vs. Mark Henry Ryback vs. Chris Jericho Randy Orton vs. Big Show Hell No vs. The Shield for the tag titles Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro for the U.S. title
Post-Elimination Chamber Final Version Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the world title Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show vs. The Shield Ryback vs. Mark Henry Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E Langston for the tag titles Chris Jericho vs. Fandango Miz vs. Wade Barrett for the IC title
I guess I'd cheat and want a buffet version where Ziggler is in the title match but the Shield wrestles the main eventers. But I'll withhold some judgment until I see if Dolph and AJ come out of Mania as the champions of wrestling.
To me, Jericho/Fandango is actually far more preferable to Jericho/Ryback. Although I think Ryback should've had a blowoff with the Shield, I like him against either monster. And I think the Shield is probably going to win again (maybe leading to the original Sheamus/Orton feud), so at least he'd avoid even further embarrassment.
I can't think of a good reason why you'd drop Miz and Cesaro's long chase for the exact same thing, unless they just got sick of seeing Miz vs. Cesaro. Consolation is that we were spared Barrett vs. Bo Dallas, which I think we all figured would be mercy killed before Mania.
I like where things are now better than both pre-EC lineups.
If Ziggler has the briefcase, then it's better if he cashes it in unadvertised than if he projects it out, plus Del Rio-Swagger, even if it has lost steam, gives Del Rio a good opponent.
Of course, in WWE Creative Land, they may decide to hold off on Ziggler cashing in, because it's "too predictable," which will make him look stupid.
I don't really get the tag title match they went with, but if it's setting up Ziggler winning two titles in one night, that could be pretty cool. I think they should have just simply had Bryan and Kane split up before and have the blowoff at WM, though.
The Shield being in a six-man makes more sense for them than going for the tag titles, since all three members get to be featured. Henry is Ryback's most interesting opponent out of the two earlier, although Show wouldn't have been so bad.
Jericho/Fandango is a great switchup. And, just based on personality alone, an interesting matchup.
Miz/Barrett doesn't really interest me since Barrett's been jobbing left and right, though. I wish it was Barrett/Cesaro in a unification match, or a triple threat with Barrett/Miz/Cesaro for both titles.
All told, I like the current card better. It is a monster of a card too. 10 matches currently booked. 11 if AJ vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship happens. Plus the YouTube Everyone Else Battle Royal headlined by US Champion Antonio Cesaro, probably.
This will be a curiously timed WrestleMania to squeeze all of that in, plus ring entrances, Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Wave to the Crowd, musical acts if any, backstage vignettes, Triple H vs. Brock, Undertaker vs. Punk, and Twice in a Lifetime video package retrospectives, and pleas to download the App for some reason.
Of the three listed, I'm kinda glad they went with the curren iteration.
I think they'll merge the Tag Titles and Divas Titles matches and make it a mixed six person tag with both championships on the line. I have a feeling they might add Cesaro to the Miz/Barrett match as well and have both the IC and US championships contested at the same time. Otherwise there's gonna be eleven matches, and with all the filler they insist on these days, I don't envision them cramming eleven matches onto the show. If they bump the mixed 8-person tag down to the pre-show, that'll leave a much more manageable, nine matches for the main show (Rock/Cena, Swagger/Del Rio, Punk/Taker, HHH/Brock, Shield/Show, Orton & Sheamus, Ryback/Henry, Jericho/Fandango, Hell No & Kaitlyn/Ziggler,Langston & AJ).
It's not a bad card all in all but given the guys they had to work with, it's not the most inspiring card they could have worked out. I'd have gone with something like...
Rock/Brock for the WWE Title Orton/Sheamus for the WHC Cena/Taker Punk/HHH Ziggler/Jericho Shield/Hell No & Henry Show/Ryback AJ/Kaitlyn MITB - Del Rio/Swagger/Barrett/Cesaro/Cody/Sandow/Miz/Fandango
You go with the first one mainly, so you don't have to deal with the racism of ADR/Swagger. The other reason is Ziggler deserves that title spot. Shield winning the tag titles is better for them as well.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
...Whoa. I was just about to start reading the SmackDown! spoilers when I realized... I've got Thursday off this week for the second straight week in a row! That has to be damn well near unprecedented. So I can watch SmackDown! WHOOHOO!