This is being written with the assumption that the following four matches will represent the main events: Rock vs Cena, Taker vs Punk, Brock vs HHH, and Swagger vs Del Rio.
For weeks I've been waiting for the REST of the card to take shape. I've had dozens of theories and valid reasons to support them. Now, just 5 weeks until Mania and I'm still just genuinely confused about the E's approach to the remainder of the card. I suppose the best way for me to express my confusions/frustrations will be to go by Superstar, and the possible direction I could see them going. Bare with me amigos.
Sheamus: Sheamus is seemingly in two feuds at once. On one hand, he has been a consistent player (along with Ryback) in the ongoing feud with the Shield. Most logic points to him being involved in a Mania match with them. BUT, he's ALSO been involved with Wade Barret for the past 2 weeks. Which feud is he actually in? And if he's tied to The Shield at Mania, where does that leave Barret - the IC Champion? Is there no-one on the roster they could find to have a great IC title feud with him?
Possible Matches: 1) Ryback vs Sheamus (One turns heel, blaming the other for their failures vs the Shield). 2) Sheamus and two others vs The Shield. - OR - 3) Sheamus vs Wade Barret for the IC Title (If they do this, they should introduce an Ireland vs England element to the storyline).
Dolph Ziggler: 3 weeks ago, I would have thought he was cashing in at The Chamber. 2 weeks ago, I would have thought it was guaranteed he'd finish up his feud with Jericho at Mania. Now, I'm reading Jericho might fight Mark Henry (why?). So, where does that leave Dolph? He's one of the top in ring performers on the Grandest Stage of Them All and is he going to make it onto the stage in any meaningful way? Seems like a waste.
Possible Matches: 1) Dolph vs Jericho 2) No official match, cashes in on Del Rio 3) Dolph vs Zack Ryder on the Pre-Show in the saddest Mania moment for El T Draino in recent memory 4) Dolph vs HBK (just dreaming)
Ryback: Ryback vs Big Show has seemingly faded away as a candidate. I would imagine he too will end up against The Shield.
Possible Matches: 1) Ryback, Orton, and (Insert Sheamus, Y2J, or surprise 3rd member) vs. The Shield. 2) Ryback and Orton vs. Ambrose and Rollins (w/ Roman Reigns)
Cody Rhodes: So, the WWE split up one of their best and most entertaining tag teams, Rhode Scholars. I was under the impression they were doing this to go forward with Goldie vs Cody. So do we get a Goldust appearance at Old School Raw tonight? I sure hope so. Cause if not, they made a mistake by splitting up Rhode Scholars. They could be credible Tag Team Champions right now, instead Hell No is awkwardly lingering against the PTP and I guess feuding with each other still?
Possible Matches: 1) Cody vs Goldust 2) Cody is not on the card
Monster Heels: Big Show and Mark Henry: Where are these two heading? Does it make any sense for Henry and Jericho to fight? They teased a feud with Great Khali for nearly 3 weeks that thankfully seems to have been axed. Perhaps the Big Show enters the Ryback and Orton twosome to fight The Shield - because "Everyone, good or bad, will unite to fight The Shield?" Again, Mark Henry is arguably the baddest heel in the biz and it seems crazy to me that there might not be one decent feud for him available at Mania.
Possible Matches: 1) I really don't even know.
Misc Question: Do you guys see any form of multi-man match at Mania to get more guys on the card? I usually see these in peoples prediction posts, but they always seem like filler-garbage. I know they have a gimmick PPV about it, so it blurs things a bit, but I'm a huge advocate for an annual MITB Ladder match at Mania. It's a great outlet for young mid-carders to shine and it's an automatic Match of the Night candidate.
I think I'll end this here. But, I've been wanting to get this down in writing and share it with everyone. It really just feels like a giant mess. I love wrestling and the WWE and I'll be attending and loving Mania no matter what, but lordy it's tough figuring out where in the world this thing is heading. That usually isn't the case this close to the Big Event.
What's everyone think?