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.