WrestleMania XXVIII will be taking place this Sunday night. Because the show will be having a running time of approximately four hours, the event will be starting an 7:00 PM EDT, which is an hour earlier than usual. I would love to know what you think will be happening on Sunday night. If you would like to share your predictions, click on the "Leave a Comment" link at the bottom of this post.
Next to each wrestler's name, you will notice some weird numbers. Those are the current money lines for this show that are being wagered on at bovada.lv. A negative number is given to the favorite and that represents the amount of money you have to wager to win $100. The positive number is for the underdog and represents how much money you will win if you bet $100. For further information about how the money line works, I suggest checking out the About.com Guide to Sports Gambling.
World Heavyweight Championship: Champion Daniel Bryan (+170) vs. Sheamus (-250) - Hopefully this match won't get bumped off the show like it was last year. The one thing this card shows is that the WWE has not been properly grooming their talent for the past few years because of the four "main event" matches on this show, this is the only one of those bouts featuring a wrestler that I would consider a product of the FCW developmental territory. While I am sure that some people in Connecticut might disagree with me, I consider Punk and Bryan to be ROH guys. Issues with the developmental territory became fodder of the Internet Wrestling Community last week when a report surfaced that FCW was going to be shut down. The WWE vehemently denied the report and said that they were going to make their developmental territory even bigger. Regardless of what they do with the territory, it is important that the company continues to develop future stars once they hit the main shows. It's been almost a decade since the WWE brought up a wrestler and groomed him into an A-list top guy. When guys like Cena and Orton eventually wind their careers down, I forsee Sheamus as being one of the men to take their spots on the card. However, he needs a decisive title victory on the grandest stage to put him up in that upper echelon of WWE Superstars. Predicted Winner: Sheamus
Intercontinental Championship: Champion Cody Rhodes (-170) vs. Big Show (+130) - While this bout is being built upon Big Show's dismal record at this show, he has actually won a match at the last two WrestleMania events. However, he still has yet to win a singles contest at this show. I think that Big Show will finally end that drought this year but won't walk away with the gold. Cody will lose the battle here but win the war when he purposefully gets himself counted out and in his mind adds another insult to WrestleMania legacy of his opponent. Predicted Winner: Big Show via count out
Randy Orton (-500) vs. Kane (+300) - I almost feel like the WWE knew that they needed to put Orton on this show yet had nothing planned for him so they just stuck him with Kane. Orton really seems to be lost in the shuffle at the moment and I think he will be drafted back to RAW in a few weeks. Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
WWE Championship: Champion CM Punk (-160) vs. Chris Jericho (+120) - Jericho's return to the WWE seemed to be a short one as Fozzy has been booked to play the Download festival in June which is right around the time they plan to release their latest album. However, there have been reports that Jericho has signed an extension and will stick around for a few more months. Regardless of how long he sticks around this time, I see him getting the win here. As we saw on Monday night, Jericho has gotten into Punk's head. It could make for some very interesting television to see how much further Jericho can break Punk and if this leads to a storyline of Punk abandoning his straight edge lifestyle. The potential for this feud is incredible and hopefully it will make Punk as red-hot again as he was during the summer before WWE creative destroyed the best storyline they have had in years. Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
Hell in a Cell Match With Special Guest Referee Shawn Michaels: The Undertaker (-900) vs. Triple H (+500) - Even though I'm in shock to see the oddsmakers picking the Undertaker by this wide of a margin, I can understand why the money from the wagers of the gambling public have been flowing in this direction. While the storyline makes sense for a possible Undertaker loss, I just don't see them ending the streak here. There is nothing to be gained by the Undertaker losing and there is A LOT of money to lose for the company if the streak is broken. Undertaker has a great job right now, where he only has to fight once a year and he probably gets more for that one match than quite a few wrestlers make during the entire year. While some may think his position is unfair, it is something he has definitely earned. When the streak is eventually broken, I don't think it will be in a semi-main event bout, it will be in a match that is the headliner of the show. On Monday night, I can easily see the Undertaker challenging John Cena to a match at next year's WrestleMania for a bout that will sell out MetLife Stadium. As far as the Shawn Michaels factor, I see him replaying the role he had at SummerSlam '97 only this time his screwed up interference will result in the Undertaker winning the match instead. That could eventually lead to a fight between Shawn and Triple H is Shawn decides to ever step back into the ring again. While Shawn claims he will never wrestle again, the history of this business suggests never-say-never when it comes to making one more appearance in the ring. Predicted Winner: UndertakerMaria Menounos & Kelly Kelly (-300) vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve (+200) - Excluding the NFL players that took part in the battle royal at WrestleMania 2, celebrities are 7-0 at WrestleMania. For those wondering Mr. T won two matches at WrestleMania while Lawrence Taylor, Butterbean, Akebono, Floyd Mayweather, and Snooki have all won one match at this show. After this match, that stat will be 8-0. Predicted Winners: Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly
Team Teddy (+200) [Santino Marella , R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, & Booker T] vs. Team Johnny (-300) [David Otunga, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, & The Miz] - I'm usually very good with numbers but even I can't count how many times Teddy Long has been threatened, fired, or demoted from his job on SmackDown only to somehow finagle his way back into the role of the General Manager. There is no doubt in my mind that Team Teddy will lose this match. However, there is one loophole which the announcers have seemingly forgotten about. If Team Johnny wins then John Laurinaitis will become the new General Manager of SmackDown. Unfortunately, he will still only be the Interim General Manger of RAW. A few weeks of corruption on both shows will convince the WWE Board of Directors that he shouldn't be named the permanent GM of RAW and they will give that job to Teddy Long. Predicted Winners: Team Johnny
John Cena (-180) vs. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (+140) - For those that don't know, this event will be taking place at the stadium where the Rock's alma mater currently plays. This won't be a 50/50 crowd like Cena usually gets. The crowd response he will be getting will be similar to what he got when he fought RVD and CM Punk in their "home" arenas only on a much larger scale. Because of his involvement with children's charities and the fact that he will still be the top merchandise seller for the company when the Rock returns to Hollywood in a few weeks, it only makes sense that Cena not only win this match but also win it in a way that won't make him a heel. For a possible rematch, it also makes sense that this one end with a little bit of controversy and someone grabbing all the hatred that will come with costing the Rock this bout. Up until Monday night, I was convinced that the Miz was going to be this man. Even though the Miz has finally gotten a spot on this card, I can still see him interfering in this match as retribution for the Rock stealing his thunder at last year's show. Add this to scoring the decisive pin for Team Johnny and I think the Miz will leave this show as the most hated man on the WWE roster with a bullet. Predicted Winner: John Cena
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images