WWE WrestleMania 27: The Rock, Stone Cold Return To The Georgia Dome

On April 3 at the Georgia Dome, The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, and Triple H return to WrestleMania.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Results: The Rock Attacks John Cena, Miz Retains Title

The main event of WrestleMania 27 was all that remained after Snooki cut herself some flips. The Miz was set to defend the WWE Championship against John Cena.

Before the Miz came out, a video was shown of him studying old wrestling footage and then becoming the Miz he is today, all scored by Nas' "Hate Me Now."  His entrance consisted of a big blow-up “Awesome” balloon (really) and him walking with some sparklers behind him. Nothing in comparison to what we’ve become accustomed to for a WrestleMania main event. Alex Riley accompanied the Miz to the ring.

Then it was time for the boos. A choir stood at the top of the entrance ramp and began singing, then old footage of John Cena was shown (the crowds cellphones were back to filming) as fellow rapper, DMX talked about working hard and being strong or something. The choir started clapping, dancing, singing, and the crowd booed (ha). Then John Cena’s normal music hit, and the crowd continued booing, with a few cheers mixed in. The one good thing about a Cena entrance is that once he actually starts heading to the ring, we don’t have to wait around for five minutes like we do for Triple H and Undertaker -- he sprints to the ring.

The “Cena Sucks” and “Let’s Go Cena” chants were in effect from the get go on this one. The match began with fists being thrown back and forth and a few wrestling moves thrown in the mix. Before long, Cena was hitting a bent over Miz with a legdrop off the top rope. A couple minutes later and the Miz took control of the match. The crowd cheered every time the Miz hit a move and booed every time John Cena did. That is, until Cena slapped on the STFU (or whatever PG term they have for the move these days). The Miz got to the ropes and after Alex Riley distracted John Cena, Miz hit Cena with his Skull Crushing Finale. Two-count!

Next, the ref got knocked out and Cena hit the FU (or attitude adjustment), but there was no ref to count. Alex Riley got in the ring and hit Cena with a briefcase, just before the ref returned the Miz got a two-count.

A few moments later Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment one more time, and the Miz kicked out at the last second to a huge pop and a “That Was Awesome” chant.

The match the ended in a double count out draw. What! Thus, the Miz was announced as the champion and his music hit.

Then… The Rock’s music hit, and the host made his way ringside. He was not happy with the outcome of the match. An email came through from the Raw general manager, and the Rock got the honor of reading it. He started and then stopped and said “It doesn’t matter what you think!” and slammed the computer shut. He went on to say that there was no way WrestleMania would end like that and that the match would restart with no time limit, no count out, no disqualification. He said he wanted to give the people what they wanted.

So, the match was restarted, and he gave the Rock Bottom to John Cena. Then Miz rolled on top of Cena and picked up the three count.

The crowd continued chanting “Rocky” so he came back and gave the People’s Elbow to the Miz and posed as the crowd cheered and showed their approval.

It looks like a Rock versus John Cena match will actually happen sometime in the future.

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Snooki Makes WWE WrestleMania 27 Debut, Apparently Knows How To Do Handsprings

Snooki of Jersey Shore renown made her confounding WWE WrestleMania 27 appearance in the evening’s obligatory gigantic catfight mess. Pretty unsettling that this is happening at the same time as the NCAA Women’s Tournament, which I would’ve absolutely rather been watching, but Matt had turned the controls over to me for this one. Entry-level rasslin’ blogger, bros.

Trish Stratus of the internet, a gentleman named Dolph Ziggler, and many other people were also in the ring.

Snooki kicked things off by slapping a man. Then some cheerleaders rolled around and hit each other in the breasts. John Morrison executed some sort of spinning, flipping maneuver off the turnbuckle, which we were nominating for the move of the night until Snooki somehow pulled off a series of gymnastics flips that ended with a collision. Then Snooki won! Done writing about this.

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WWE Wrestlemania 27 Results: Triple H Taps, Undertaker's Streak Now 19-0

Complete live WWE WrestleMania 27 match results and updates here. For more pro wrestling, join SB Nation’s Cageside Seats. Here’s the complete WrestleMania 27 match card and WWE Hall of Fame Induction ceremony coverage.

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The most anticipated match of WrestleMania 27 was up next as the Undertaker put his undefeated WrestleMania streak on the line against Triple H. 19-0 or 18-1? That is the question. As a reminder, this match was a NO HOLDS-BARRED MATCH.

The lights went black, and everyone’s cell phones came out as Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” hit. The crowd stood in silence as they had no idea who was coming out at this point. They stayed silent and continued to film with their cell phones. Triple H appeared in a spotlight as some kind of king figure in some sort of horrible headress, cape, and so forth. Then the screen went black again, the caveman clothes were gone, and Hunter made his way to the ring to his normal Motorhead song. It took a good ten minutes, but I’m pretty sure the crowd enjoyed it.

Next, the Undertaker’s bells hit and fire erupted. Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” took to the speakers and the Deadman appeared. Five minutes later, Taker was in the ring.

The match began, and Triple H was quickly thrown over the top rope and slammed into the steel chairs before he could push Taker through Michael Cole’s popemobile seat thing. They got back in the ring, and Triple H broke up Undertaker’s attempt at an OLLLLD SCHOOOL. The crowd’s chants were split down the middle for this one.

The next big spot was Triple H attempting to give the Pedigree to Taker through the announce table. Taker quickly reversed it and went for the chokeslam. Triple H broke the hold and went for the Pedigree again before Taker flipped him off the table onto the floor. Taker ran slowly crawled back in the ring and then DOVE headfirst over the top rope and took Hunter out. Senior citizens diving head-first into the ground is pretty impressive.

They slowly went back and forth, and Triple H ended up suplexing Taker off the ring steps through the announce table. Predictibly, this was one slow match. Big spot… laying around for five minutes… another big spot.

Undertaker hit his first chokeslam of the night! And of course, Triple H kicked out. I mean come on, you think one chokeslam would take down the King of Kings?

A few moments later, Pedigree number one and… a two-count!

Two minutes later… THE LAST RIDE and… a two-count! The Undertaker was not happy. He followed it up with a TOMBSTONE and… a tie for the closest two-count in history. Triple H is apparently the most resilient wrestler of all-time. They really played up the drama of this Streak thing. Anyway, they laid around for a long time again, and then Triple H DDT’ed Taker on a steel chair. They laid around some more and then… Pedigree number two! Taker kicked out after a two-count and then Triple H cried. They easily spent half of this match crawling around. Anyway, Pedigree number three and another freaking two-count. This was kind of ridiculous.

Triple H then hit Taker in the back eight times with a chair (remember, this is PG WWE, no headshots) and then fell over. Wait, what? Triple H with a chair headshot on the Undertaker! Triple H then fell in the corner and looked to be deep in thought. He finally made it to his feet and decided to yell at the Undertaker… who grabbed him by the throat, but let go? Triple H signalled that it was over and then TOMBSTONE PILEDROVE the Undertaker, crossed his arms and stuck out his tongue as he tried to pin him and Taker still kicked out. The crowd went crazy for Triple H’s Tombstone.

Triple H, clearly frustrated, rolled outside of the ring and picked up his trusty sledgehammer. Taker tried to crawl out of the ring, but HHH pulled him back to the center. Taker then suprised Triple H with a submission hold and… two minutes later, Triple H tapped.

19-0, the Streak continues. This was pretty exhausting to type.

These were the most dramatic entrances I have seen in a long time.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Results: Stone Cold Steve Austin Declares Jerry The King Lawler Victorious

WrestleMania 27 continued with the Hall of Fame inductees being brough out for a quick segment, and we were all treated to Shawn Michaels’ theme song “Sexy Boy.” Needless to say, the crowd poppled.

Next up, Booker T and Good Ole J.R. came to the ring to announce the Michael Cole vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler match. Michael Cole interrupted J.R.‘s entrance to talk as he walked to the ring. Cole continues to be the best heel the WWE has at this point. The crowd definetly gave him the heat he so played them for. Cole even insulted J.R.’s bar-b-que sauce! Cole ended his speech by predicting that he would be the new “Mr. WrestleMania.”

Jack Swagger then began doing pushups, and the glass broke… Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared and drove to the ring on a four-wheeler, sending Michael Cole back into his glass-protected announce area. Austin ran around the ring, hit all the turnbuckles, and the crowd went freaking crazy. Michael Cole was busy showing off his muscles.

The sound of royalty then took over the Georgia Dome, and the crowd stood and paid silent respect to Jerry Lawler.

The match began with Cole still in his glass treefort. Lawler threw Jack Swagger, and then Cole offered Lawler his hand in friendship through the random hole in the glass. They shook, but Lawler wouldn’t let go and pulled Cole’s hand forcing his face into the glass (comedy!). Lawler then climbed in and pulled Cole out of the glass box and slammed his head into the GM’s laptop stand. Finally, Cole was thrown into the ring for the first time.

At this point, the match quickly got slow and boring. Cole slowly kicked the King over and over. Stone Cold did a fine job calling this match right down the middle. What a fair man. Cole took down a strap from his amateur wrestling out foot and then slapped the ankle lock on Lawler. Lawler broke the hold and as Lawler approached Cole, Jack Swagger threw in the white towel. Stone Cold picked it up, wiped the sweat off his head and threw it back at Jack Swagger. Swagger entered the ring to complain and Stone Cold kicked him, Stone Cold Stunned him in front of many many camera flashes. The crowd once again went crazy. Cole Pushed Stone Cold and Austin punched Cole in return.

Then the King took the match back over doing nothing but throwing punches (the opposite of Cole’s method of nothing but kicking). He even climbed the ropes and hit the flying punch after pointing to the WrestleMania sign. 1, 2, and Lawler pulls Cole up, to Austin’s suprise. Lawler slapped his own ankle lock on Cole who immediately tapped out. Stone Cold got in his face for about a minute and then finally called for the bell.

Jack Swagger carried Cole to the backstage and… GLASS BROKE AGAIN. Stone Cold’s music hit and Lawler and Stone Cold DRANK A LOT OF BEER in front of tons of cheering fans and cameras. Booker T then entered the ring and the music stopped… Booker T’s music hits and its Spinarooni time. Then MORE BEER. All three drink and Stone Cold stuns Booker T. (DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?!?!). Stone Cold and Lawler celebrate for a long long time and everyone is happy until…

The anonymous Raw General Manager emailed in the announcement that Jerry Lawler was disqualified due to Stone Cold's (the ref) interference.  So Michael Cole is the winner... ok.  Josh Matthews then got stunned and more beer was drunk as Stone Cold rode his four-wheeler out of the arena.

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Pee Wee Herman, Snoop Dogg At WWE Wrestlemania 27 For Some Reason

After the CM Punk-Randy Orton match at WrestleMania 27, The Rock was shown backstage and told that John Cena’s biggest fan was there to see him. He teased it for a few minutes and then… the camera panned over to show that John Cena’s biggest fan is in fact, Pee Wee Herman. Pee Wee then provided a John Cena “You can’t see me” along with the associated hand motion.

A few seconds later “Mean” Gene Okerlund showed up decked out in Cena garb. We were then treated to Pee Wee Herman yelling “CAN YOU SMEELELLLLL WHAT THE PEE IS COOKING”? Was that a Wrestlemania moment or what?

Pee Wee Herman was not the first unannounced celebrity of the night. Earlier in the night Snoop Dogg was shown backstage as a judge in an American Idolesque segment. The segment featured Chris Masters’ boobs dancing, WWE Legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper hitting someone over the head with a coconut (OLD SCHOOOOOL), and Hornswaggle rapping.

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Randy Orton Super-RKO's CM Punk At WWE Wrestlemania 27

It’s now time for C.M. Punk and Randy Orton’s WWE WrestleMania 27 grudge match. This match has been building since Orton cost C.M. Punk the World title in 2008. Before the match we were treated to a video sequence of the build-up to the match. The crowd popped for Punk, but they popped harder for Orton. A lady holding a sign a few feet from me really had the hips swinging as Orton made his way to the ring.

One minute into the match and Punk kicked the steel ring steps into Orton’s injured knee. Punk rolled Orton into the ring and quickly nailed a cross body press from the top rope for a quick two-count. Punk then stood up and smiled as he approached Orton and continued to work on the Viper’s injured knee.

Time for the competing “CM Punk!” and “Let’s Go Orton” chants!

Punk continued to control the match and turned Orton upside down in the corner before doing some sort of awesome legdrop to Orton’s face. Punk then called for the Go To Sleep and set him up, but Orton slithered out of it and went for the RKO, but Punk kicked him in the back of the head instead.

Randy Orton went into CRAZY LOOK MODE, then superplexed Punk off the top rope (after pausing for all the cameras to take pictures). Orton got a two-count, and then Punk somehow got back in control. He applied the figure four around the steel ropes and continued to focus on the injured knee.

A few minutes later, Orton finally took control of the match and started hitting many of his signature moves as he made crazy faces. Then he fully went into Viper mode, pounding on the ground waiting for the RKO. Predictibly, he thought better of it and stood up to punt CM Punk in the head. As he went in for it, Punk kicked him in the knee. Punk slowly approached, and Orton went for the RKO, but Punk awesomely moved out of the way and went to the turnbuckle. Punk jumped off the top rope and Orton hit the biggest RKO of all time. He then easily picked up the one, two, three.

That super-RKO was the move of the night.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Results: Santino Marella Hits The Cobra Strike And Picks Up Victory

Next on the card, The Corre took on The Big Show, Kane, fan favorite Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston. Obviously Santino got an amazing pop as he strutted to the ring.

Santino started the match and the crowd loved it. The crowd was really into this match through its entire 5 minutes. Santino quickly hits the Cobra Strike followed up by the Big Show’s big punch and one, two, three the good guys win. Kofi, Santino, Big Show, and Kane celebrate and I think we are all happy not much time was wasted with this match. I mean, come on, this is Wrestlemania.

The Rock is shown backstage next with Mae Young and refers to her as a Divasauras. The crowd loves video taped moments with the Rock! He’s making fun of how old Mae Young is, HAHAHAH!

blah blah blah... AND THEN STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN SHOWS UP.  Face to face, Austin and Rock shake hands and awkwardly note that it is good to see each other. 

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Cody Rhodes Defeats Rey Mysterio To Pick Up His First WrestleMania Victory

Second match of the night… Marietta, Georgia’s own Cody Rhodes takes on Rey Mysterio. The “grotesque” one, Cody Rhodes takes to the ring first, followed by Rey Mysterio in his Captain American/Might Mouse outfit.

Rey Mysterio is fighting as he normally does, video game style, fliying all over the place and Cody Rhodes is doing his best to ground him. So far, Cody Rhode’s face, has been safely guarded by his clear mask. Cody also created an amazing moment by holding Rey up for a superplex for close to a minute before slamming him to the mat. Lots of back and forth action here, and Rey continues to go crazy.

Rey goes for the 619, but Cody catches his feet and puts a stop to that one. Cody is back in control. Rhodes removes the brace from Rey’s injured knee, but somehow Might Mouse is able to get back to the top rope once again to do a few more flips. Cody’s mask is removed and Rey hits the 619! Cody’s magnificent face is mangled even further!!!

Rey continues to go for the nose, but then a chant for the hometown hero Cody Rhodes starts up and Cody nails the Cross Rhodes and picks up his first Wrestlemania victory. 

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Edge Defeats Alberto Del Rio At Wrestlemania 27 For The World Heavyweight Championship

Will Wrestlemania 27 open with a Snooki match? Hell no! Wrestlemania opens with Alberto Del Rio challenging Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Del Rio came out with his normal style, in his rented car, and with his amazing ring announcer. The crowd booed because he is a bad guy. Christian then came to the ring to stand in Edge’s corner. Then the crowd went crazy for the World Heavyweight champion, the “Rated R Superstar” Edge.

Alberto continued to rapidly attempt to pin Edge from the get go… he must have some place to be. The crowd was into the match with lots of action in and out of the ring.

The match went back and forth with Edge pulling out many close two-counts. Del Rio got Edge in the arm bar, but Edge quickly got to the ropes. After some outside interference by Christian and some fat guy… Edge got the crazy eyes and went for the spear. He missed and Del Rio latched the armbar on to Edge in the middle of the squared circle. H’es going nowhere. NO NO NO, Edge (somehow) turns it into a modified sharpshooter. Del Rio breaks loose and SPEAR EDGE RETAINS THE TITLE!

After celebrating, Edge attacks Del Rio's fancy car with a kick and an elbow drop?  Hmm ok.  Then he finally decides a crowbar might be better and breaks the windshield and forces Alberto to cry and leave the ring to boo's.

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The Rock Takes Ring As WWE WrestleMania 27 Host

Wrestlemania 27, now officially underway. Everyone raised to their feet as the Rock stood at the entrance listening to the crowd change “Rocky” for 3 straight minutes. FINALLY, the Rock decides its time to take to the ring. Turnbuckle one? Check. Turnbuckle two? Check. Turnbuckle three? Check. Turnbuckle four? Well yeah, he hit ’em all as he posed for the fans.

After listening to the Rock’s theme song for 7 straight minutes, Dwayne Johnson grabs the mic and stands there even longer as he listens to the crowd chant his name. What does he have to tell us this evening?!?

FINALLY, THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO ATLANTA. AND FINALLY, THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO WRESTLEMANIA.” Here we go.

The Rock “promises” this will be the most memorably Wrestlemania of all time. We’ll see about that. You might want to stay with us as we update you throughout the event, just in case he’s right.

The Rock led the crowd in a VERY LOUD chant of “wrestle,” “MANIA!” He then went on to make fun of John Cena by asking what rainbow fruity pebble t-shirt he is putting on right now. The crowd reminded the Rock that CENA SUCKS.

The Rock then enjoyed some People’s water. Millions and millions of chants going on here… and lots of pandering to the audience.

The Rock then instructed everyone to pose with a microphone above his head and yell “IF YOU SMELLLLLL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING.” And everyone went freaking crazy.

More to come.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Results, Updated Live From The Georgia Dome

WWE WrestleMania 27 kicked off with what my associate has termed a "dark match." This means it won't air live on pay-per-view, I'm told. It's a lumberjack match for the United States title pitting Daniel Bryan and Sheamus, featuring The Great Kali, Mark Henry, Chris Masters, Ted DiBiase Jr., William Regal, and a bunch of other wrestlers as ringside loiterers.

We had thought this match was going to be on the main card, as it had been listed there by the WWE. Trying to convince everybody this is freeing up time for a match between The Rock and Stone Cold. Sheamus and Bryan scrapped in the ring for a while until both tumbled out of the ring and lumberjack ham broke loose. Teddy Long took the stage to declare INSTANT IMPROMPTU LUMBERJACK BATTLE ROYAL due to "outside interference." I don't know either.

Utter anarchy ensued. Everybody looked to be burning tons of calories and having a lot of fun. Mark Henry made the first move, throwing out all type of bammers akimbo. The match appeared to come down to the guys who started it all, with Sheamus saving himself on the ropes before kicking out Bryan.

But The Great Kali! The biggest man in the city was forgotten about! Kali clotheslined Sheamus out of the ring to take the WTF WAS THAT.

This crowd may be the earliest-arriving crowd in Georgia Dome history.

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WWE WrestleMania 2011 Match Card Predictions: The Undertaker, Randy Orton Expected To Win

David Bixenspan of Cageside Seats, SB Nation's pro wrestling fan community, shares his picks and predictions for the non-title matches on the WWE WrestleMania 27 card. (For matches with championship belts at play, see yesterday's WrestleMania title match picks post.) On to the picks:

Triple H vs. The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred match: Undertaker via Tombstone, sending Triple H into pseudo-retirement. Undertaker's condition is a question as always. That said, while he's even more broken down now, he was still able to have a great match with Shawn Michaels last year even after having to cut his Hell in a Cell match with CM Punk short a few months earlier because he felt he was too broken down to have the type of Cell match expected of him. Triple H is talented, but he has never had a standout WrestleMania match and hasn't had many memorable matches in recent years. With the expectations, his lack of a standout WrestleMania performance or moment, and the strong possibility that this is his last match for a while as he transitions into his office job in creative full-time, I expect him to pull out all the stops so they can deliver a great match, but I wouldn't be shocked if they didn't.

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: They've done a very good job building up this match, even with the hilariously horrendous performance by Randy Orton's "wife." After the beatdowns the last few weeks, I could see Orton coming from being with a flash RKO for the pin, but I wouldn't rule out Punk taking advantage of the injuries to get a big win to put him further over the top as a legitimate top guy.

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger), special guest referee Steve Austin: Lawler will win, obviously, the only question is how. Do they unban the piledriver to let him "injure" Cole with it to echo the famous Andy Kaufman match? Does a parade of Stone Cold Stunners from Austin end the match like the last time he refereed at a WrestleMania four years ago? It's a forgone conclusion that Austin will stun Swagger, but does Cole take the Stunner at any point? Anyway, Lawler is able to get a good match out of anyone and had plenty of experience working with green rookies, useless also-rans, managers, local primary care doctors (really, it's on YouTube), etc., so this should be a blast to watch and will probably have as much heat from the fans as any match on the show.

Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov (with Tamina) vs. The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater): Team Kane has been dominating enough lately that based on WWE's patterns, I would expect The Corre to take the win here, possibly by nefarious means.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Trish Stratus and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) (with Vickie Guerrero): It's a celebrity match plus Trish Stratus's return to WrestleMania, so I don't see why the Snooki team wouldn't win. I expect that Snooki and Stratus will get revenge on Vickie in some form, as well.

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: This is a toss-up, with the only guarantee being that Mysterio will be wearing an outfit made just for this match that's inspired by a superhero or recent major movie. In the past, he's dressed up as The Flash, Daredevil, and an Avatar, among others. As for the match, Rhodes could use the big win and I don't necessarily expect this match to end the feud, so he's probably your best bet.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

 

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Match Card, Start Time, TV Schedule, Location

UPDATE: Go here for live WrestleMania 27 match result updates.

WWE WrestleMania 2011 is scheduled to start Sunday night, featuring the returns of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, along with title matches pitting Edge against Alberto Del Rio and The Miz against John Cena. But mainly The Rock and Stone Cold. Triple H and The Undertaker also square off in a match that will involve a lot of bleeding and Triple H losing.

And Rutgers professor Snooki from the TV show is in there doing something. That will be really worthwhile.

Also, here are title match predictions and non-title match predictions by Cageside Seats, SB Nation's pro wrestling community and complete coverage of last night's WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Start time, TV schedule, location: 7 pm ET on pay-per-view or WWE.com. Go here for more on all that and how to stream the show live online. The Georgia Dome in Atlanta GUESS THE STATE will host the event. If any of the wrestlers on the card aren't able to make it to their matches, the city will surely be able to supply replacements, because so very many of them live here.

Match card: 

Title Matches

Edge (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship

The Miz (champion) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, featuring The Rock

Sheamus (champion) vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship

Non-Title Matches

Triple H vs. The Undertaker, No-holds-barred

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole with guest referee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes

Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre

Snooki, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool

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'Stone Cold' Steve Austin As WWE WrestleMania 27 Guest Referee Will Highlight Match Between Jerry Lawler And Michael Cole

Professional wrestling fans will be looking forward to two things on Sunday night when perhaps the oddest of the WrestleMania 27 matches gets underway. First, they'll hope that Jerry 'The King' Lawler shuts up fellow announcer Michael Cole in a majorly painful way. And second, they'll be hoping that the guest referee in the match, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, gets involved and stuns anyone and everyone who gets near him.

Match background: Late last year, with Michael Cole taking a bigger role on "WWE Raw" than just announcing the matches, he started heavily promoting younger stars, such as The Miz, at the expense of some of the old-time wrestlers. Of course at the time, Cole was sitting right next to a pro wrestling legend, former AWA champion Jerry "The King" Lawler,. Needless to say, The King took exception to this.

It came to a head in November, when Lawyer got a surprise WWE title shot against The Miz in a ladder match, and appeared to be on the verge of winning ... before a disgusted Michael Cole got involved.

 

Since that disappointment, Lawler and Cole have traded barbs and blows and essentially stopped working together at the ringside announcer's table. And Lawler challenged him to a match at WrestleMania after Cole spent another way-too-long segment insulting Lawler's mother. Since then he's brought out Lawler's son, Brian Christopher, to insult the King, while also bringing on a trainer and corner man, Jack Swagger. Austin, at least at face value, was an uninvited guest, but he'll be wearing the stripes. So there will be plenty of manufactured emotion heading into this unlikely tilt.

Predictions:  I've got a few predictions for this match, so we're breaking them out into a list.

1) This won't be the worst match of the night. On any other night it probably would be, but it just so happens that Snooki and a lady named Lay-Cool are suiting up for a match in a handicap match with two third-tier grapplers and Trish Stratus, who was a big deal when the Internet was young. Stone Cold's involvement alone saves this match from being the most-booed stinker of the night.

2) Jerry Lawler will win this match. There's no way they brought The King back to the ring to have him get embarrassed by Michael Cole on wrestling's biggest stage. Plus, even if Lawler is 61 years old, it would be a stain on his legacy for Cole to pin him at WrestleMania. Unless there is a ridiculous amount of hijinks -- interference from Jack Swagger, foreign objects, a misplaced stunner from the guest referee -- the King will limp out of the ring with his crown.

3) The Anonymous Raw General Manager will be revealed. Just a hunch. Michael Cole, who essentially has acted as a mouthpiece for the mystery lord of WWE's flagship television program, will never have a higher-profile moment with WWE (or at least he shouldn't). This gimmick has been going on for nearly a year, and it was introduced essentially to get Cole over with the fans. So my best guess is that this is where the G.M. is revealed, in some fashion. Is this also where Vince McMahon makes his triumphant return to WWE?

4) We will hear glass break. And that's always a good thing.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Title Match Predictions: Alberto Del Rio, John Cena Should Take Belts

David Bixenspan of Cageside Seats, SB Nation's pro wrestling fan community, shares his picks and predictions for the title matches on the WWE WrestleMania 27 card:

 

Sheamus (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship: It seems like they're building Sheamus back up so I'd expect him to get a win here, but Bryan getting the title back is also a possibility. This should be one of the best matches of the night, especially if they get enough time, as they have great chemistry. The title change on Raw was fantastic and reports have universally praised their matches at live events, where they've gotten 20 minutes to show their stuff.

The Miz (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship: The real main event is however The Rock gets involved. Would that happen after Cena wins the title to theoretically make the fans happy (though since travelling Wrestlemania fans traditionally don't like him, that might not be the case live)? I'm not sure. Miz winning since he's much fresher as champion, leading to some Cena shenanigans with the Rock, is the most logical situation to me, but I'm really not sure what to expect since the match is just a backdrop for The Rock having a confrontation with Cena.

Edge (c) (with Christian) vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Brodus Clay) for the World Heavyweight Championship: Del Rio will win. It's reportedly been planned for months. He's fresh, and Edge is beyond stale. The seconds at ringside is not the norm for a WrestleMania title match, which makes me expect some sort of chaos leading to the finish, but there's no way Del Rio isn't walking out as champion while personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez comes close to having a heart attack screaming his name.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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Randy Orton Vs. CM Punk, WWE WrestleMania 27 Card: Match of the Night Contender

Randy Orton and C.M. Punk's feud will come to a head at Wrestlemania 27.  Randy Orton's gimmick is that he hears voices in his head, and he uncontrollably starts to act like a snake.  Somehow, that gimmick makes him a face.  C.M. Punk's gimmick is that he is a straight edge cult leader.  As horrible as the gimmick sounds, Punk makes it work and he has actually become one of the WWE's most entertaining wrestlers, and possibly my favorite currently active wrestler. 

Match background:  Back in 2008, Randy Orton punted C.M. Punk in the skull, costing Punk the World Heavyweight Championship.  Three years later, C.M. Punk decided it is time for revenge and soon after becoming the leader of the Nexus, Punk set the group's sights on Randy Orton.  

Randy Orton faced the Miz at the Royal Rumble and C.M. Punk interfered, costing Orton the mach and the WWE title.  That kicked off the feud and over the last month or two, Randy Orton has been busy systematiclly punting each member of the Nexus in the head, which of course puts them out of action indefinitely.  Thus, Punk is now  a solo act.  To even the score, Punk lured the Viper into a trap that resulted in Orton receiving a wrench shot to the knee.  Even with a bum knee, Orton was able to line up Punk for a head punt last Monday on Raw, but when Orton started running in for the kick, his knee went out on him, leaving the anticipation of a punt to Punk's skull until Wrestlemania.         

Prediction: I feel this match could go either way, but will put my money on C.M. Punk.  Since they have really been playing up Orton's head kicking abilities lately, the scenario I envision is Punk faking that he is hurt and tricking Orton into going for a punt to his head.  Then Punk will move out of the way at the last second and scoop up Orton and nail the Go to Sleep to end the match.  In any event, this match has the potential to steal the show.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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The Rock Returns To Host WWE WrestleMania 2011

One of the most exciting parts of WWE WrestleMania 27 for the average fan has to be the presence of The Rock, WWE legend Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, after a long absence from the industry that made him a star. The Rock — also known to wrestling diehards as The Great One, Rocky, or The Most Electrifying Man In All of Entertainment, and known to your daughter or nephew as "that guy from The Gameplan" — will host WrestleMania XXVII from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta this Sunday, and might well tussle with either World Heavyweight Champion The Miz, longtime WWE performer John Cena, or both.

You can imagine why WWE fans are excited about that prospect. The Rock's probably the most unimpeachable of the WWE's modern superstars, thanks to a run of charismatic dominance during the WWE's high point around the turn of the century, and his ability to work a mic during in-ring promos certainly hasn't deserted him.

Since that February 14 return to WWE Raw in Anaheim, The Rock has been part of the Cena/Miz storyline leading up to that duo's clash for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt at WrestleMania. And he's a great third vertex of that triangle: Cena's perpetually caught between his popularity as one of wrestling's most consistently interesting characters of the last half-dozen years and many WWE efforts to turn him heel, while Miz has parlayed fame from MTV's The Real World into a great heel character who never passes up a chance to remind the world of his greatness.

The Rock's something of a split between those two things: he's as popular and enduring a character as Cena, but has more than a bit of The Miz' arrogance to him. Oh, and he's a Far better athlete and wrestler, so seeing him get his hands a little dirty on this week's Raw have raised hopes that he'll be doing some work in the ring at WrestleMania 2011.

(That Cena rant? It's probably at least partly in response to recent anti-gay taunting in the Cena/Rock/Miz storyline, and maybe partly in response to the tough, hypermasculine character that The Rock and Cena have been riffing on for years.)

But in general, the WWE's idea is that having The Rock working the mic at WrestleMania XXVII will be at least far more entertaining than the average job done by announcers or other special guest. The Rock is still beloved in the WWE universe; it's possible that his presence at WrestleMania 2011 will make it one of the most memorable events in WWE history.

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Triple H Vs. The Undertaker, WWE WrestleMania 27 Matches: The Game Versus The Streak

The Undertaker versus Triple H is probably the most anticipated match at WWE WrestleMania 27. This match not only interests hardcore wrestling fans, but it also interests casual fans who only watch one wrestling event a year. For perhaps the only time Sunday night, the casual viewer will actually know each competitor. Additionally, pretty much everyone is familiar with the Streak.   

Match background:  The Streak. The most magical record in all of professional wrestling (there really aren't many magical records in wrestling). The Game. One of the most celebrated wrestlers over the last 20 years. Triple H has done it all; he is a thirteen time heavyweight champion, he's been a part of many popular factions, he's been a strong face and an even stronger heel, he's been a part of many historic fueds, and he even married Vince McMahon's daughter. The Cerebral Assassin has done everything, except defeat the Deadman at Wrestlemania.  In fact, Hunter was the ninth victim of the Undertaker's Mania streak. To add more fuel to Triple H's fire, he is out to seek revenge for the Undertaker retiring Hunter's best friend, Shawn Michaels.

There really wasn't much of an actual build up to this match. The WWE pretty much said "You want a storyline? Let's just play that Streak crap up."  Both wrestlers had been out of action for substantial amounts of time and both returned on the same night. Each week they have done a lot of staring, a lot of glaring, and a good bit of boring caveman style talking. The one good thing about the build up for this match was seeing Shawn Michaels on television again for a few weeks. HBK had two shots at breaking the Streak, once at Wrestlemania 25 and again at Wrestlemania 26. Shawn was forced to retire after becaoming number 18 in the Streak. HHH claims he will break the Streak or die trying... The Undertaker? Well he believes in the Streak as much as he believes he is a Deadman walking.

 Prediction:  The Undertaker will become 19-0 at Wrestlemania and the Streak will live on.  I just don't see the Undertaker's Streak being snapped at this point.  I assume the last match of his career will be at next year's Wrestlemania so that he can go out at 20-0.  Of course, there are rumors of Triple H's impending retirement, and wouldn't it be great for him to break the Streak and go out claiming he has done it all?  Well that won't happen.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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The Rock, John Cena, And The Miz: WrestleMania 2011 Match Card Previews

This Sunday at Wrestlemania 27, the WWE Champion, the Miz, defends his title against John Cena.  Yes, in case you haven't been watching TMZ lately, the Real World/Tough Enough alum is really the WWE Champion.  Anyway, I like the Miz and since I'm not eight years old or a female, I don't like John Cena.  I'll do my best to hide my bias in this preview.

Match background: The Miz is AWESOME!  And, he likes to let everyone know.  He also won the WWE Championship in November by cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot and defeating Randy Orton, who had just finished successfully defending the title against Wade Barrett.  It's hard to believe that the Miz has held on to the WWE Championship for over four months, but I guess I hadn't noticed how long it has been since he has wastedspent so much time fighting Jerry Lawler for some reason.  Anyway, the Miz and the rapper/wrestler/actor(?)/child clothing salesman, John Cena, do not like each other.  But guess what?  The Rock is back!  And John Cena doesn't like the Rock because he left the WWE for Hollywood, while the Rock doesn't like John Cena because... well because John Cena is horrible (though, I must give him respect for carrying on the Shawn Michaels tradition of "performing" his own theme song).  Also, the Miz doesn't like the Rock because he isn't AWESOME, while the Rock doesn't like the Miz because the Miz is "AWFUL."  The build up for this match was kind of odd, as it was pretty much set up as if it were a triple threat match.      

Prediction: The big question is who will the Rock help, inadvertently or on purpose, win the match and the WWE Championship.  Last I checked, my sources (the online wrestling rumor mills) were reporting that the WWE is moving forward with a John Cena/Rock match.  Conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that this would mean the Rock will cost Cena the match so that their feud could continue and lead to a grudge match.  However, this is Wrestlemania; the place where the good guys usually win.  So for that reason, I predict the Rock gets involved and costs the Miz the title.  John Cena becomes the champ once again (blah humbug) and the Rock and John Cena celebrate for an hour in the ring together, throwing their disagreements out the door while the Georgia Dome crowd goes crazy.  That of course would set up the Rock versus John Cena in a "I respect you, we should put on a show for the fans" match instead of a "Ohhh you are bad!!! I hate you!  I am so good!!! Buy my t-shirts!!!" match.  If this match turns out to be the main event, then my confidence in this prediction quadruples.

For more on WrestleMania 27 and pro wrestling, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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Edge Vs. Alberto Del Rio For World Heavyweight Title Headlines WWE WrestleMania 27 Matches

As a long-prodigal pro wrestling fan who's trying to catch up in time for WrestleMania 27, I'm going to be honest: I've never heard of Alberto Del Rio, who's apparently had a decade-long career as a MMA fighter and Mexican luchador. So it's with great surprise I discovered he has a title shot against Edge, a wrestler I recall jumping off of all sorts of furniture with his little Canadian brother.

Match background: Del Rio won a chance at Edge's World Heavyweight Championship belt by winning the 2011 Royal Rumble, completing the rookie's Goldberg-esque (there will be many Goldberg references!) run through the WWE. In his first match he beat Rey Mysterio, and I'm having a hard time finding any match he's lost in at least two minutes worth of Googling that hasn't involved me typing alberto del rio loses.

Prediction: A title win would be too much, too soon. Del Rio is actually heavily favored, but I'm not buying it. Edge is on a WrestleMania losing streak going back to 2006. You say regression fallacy, I say EDGE WINS! 

For more on WrestleMania 27, pro wrestling, and combat sports, join SB Nation's Cageside SeatsAnd here's the WrestleMania 27 match cardmatch odds, and weekend scheduleBrowse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team or sport. 

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Match Odds: The Undertaker, Jerry Lawler, Snooki Expected To Win

Gambling on pro wrestling? Oh, of course. Bodog.com has odds for all eight WWE WrestleMania 27 matches, and I can think of no more sensible use of your recreational finances than wagering on events that have been constructed for maximum enjoyment. The Undertaker is expected to keep his 18-win streak going, the two novelty matches are expected to play out as novelty matches should, and everything else is more or less up for grabs.

A list of Bodog's favorites for Sunday's entire match card, from shortest odds to longest, followed by my STONE COLD (GET IT) lock of the week:

Jerry "The King" Lawler -1500 vs. Michael Cole

Snooki, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison -1400 vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool

The Undertaker -1200 vs. Triple H

Alberto Del Rio -500 vs. Edge

Randy Orton - 285 vs. CM Punk

Sheamus -255 vs. Daniel Bryan

John Cena -230 vs. The Miz

Cody Rhodes -160 vs. Rey Mysterio (<------------------ Cody Rhodes is from Marietta, Georgia.)

A successful $10 bet on Rhodes would net you more than a successful $10 bet on any other favorite. Here are the reasons Rhodes will reap you a handsome windfall: this WrestleMania is in Atlanta. His father is Dusty Rhodes. Dusty Rhodes is still popular in Georgia. That's my entire rationale, and you're welcome for your early retirement.

For more on WrestleMania 27, pro wrestling, and combat sports, join SB Nation's Cageside SeatsAnd here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend scheduleBrowse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team or sport. 

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WWE Wrestlemania 2011 Weekend Schedule: Hall Of Fame Induction, Atlanta Braves Game, And More

With WrestleMania 27 set for Sunday in the Georgia Dome, the WWE is about to be all over the place in Atlanta. Even more so than usual, I guess. Here's the week's complete event schedule:

Tuesday, March 29

WrestleMania Night at Turner Field, 6 pm ET: Enormous individual Mark Henry and others will sign autographs before the Atlanta Braves game against the Minnesota Twins, assuming it isn't rained out like today's was. If it does, the event will be held in the shadow of Mark Henry. 

Wednesday, March 30

WrestleMania Art, 5:30 pm ET: The Fox Theatre hosts an event billed as a showcase of "artistic works of WWE superstars," a phrase that could lead one to hold out hope that these are artistic works by WWE superstars, in which case the bidding for a beer-splattered canvas studiously graced by Stone Cold will be the high draw. This has been a pro wrestling joke. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 3

WrestleMania Axxess: This is happening at the Georgia World Congress Center. It seems to be a whole lot of things all at once. The last time I went to the GWCC, it was packed full of Auburn and South Carolina fans. The same should again be true this time around.

Saturday, April 2

2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 8 pm ET: Shawn Michaels is the biggest name in this year's class, which will be honored at Philips Arena.

Sunday, April 3

WrestleMania 27, 6:30 pm ET: This is a pretty big wrestling show, to be held at the Georgia Dome.

For more on WrestleMania 27, pro wrestling, and combat sports, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team or sport. And here's the WrestleMania 27 match card and weekend schedule.

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WWE WrestleMania 27 Match Card: The Rock, Stone Cold Return To The Georgia Dome

WWE WrestleMania 27 is scheduled to take Atlanta's Georgia Dome on April 3 at 7 pm ET, headlined by a pair of big title matches and the returns of The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Triple H and The Undertaker are also returning from shorter layoffs, facing each other at WrestleMania for the first time in a decade.

Edge, The Miz, and Sheamus put title belts on the line, though most lapsed fans are just looking forward to seeing The Rock and Stone Cold back in the ring and hopefully on the mic for pretty much the entire show. How do we make that happen?

Rumors of Georgia's Bill Goldberg returning to WWE were shot down by the man himself a few months after Triple H and Shawn Michaels dismissed them while speaking with us. Fans of the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs will have to make do with being represented by Marietta's Cody Rhodes, son of that Dusty Rhodes, which doesn't sound all that bad to me.

On to the match card:

Title Matches

Edge (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship 

The Miz (champion) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship

Sheamus (champion) vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship

Non-Title Matches

Triple H vs. The Undertaker, No-holds-barred

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole with guest referee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes

Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre

Snooki, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool

For more on WrestleMania 27, pro wrestling, and combat sports, join SB Nation's Cageside Seats. Visit SB Nation's MMA Nation for the web's best UFC, StrikeforceWECK-1, and general MMA coverage. Browse our family of 300 sports blogs to find a community devoted to your favorite team.

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