WrestleMania 23 hype is starting to now shift into full gear. We have less than five weeks left until the event, and after watching SmackDown! on Friday night, things are starting to get a little more clear as far as the overall direction we are heading in. Expect next week to have an Undertaker promo on SmackDown!, which would be his first speaking of the match between he and Batista, and overall his first interview in which he has spoken for some time. That match will continue to get pushed as heavy as the RAW main event of John Cena and Shawn Michales, and currently is still the plan to be the last match on the card as the true main event.
Right now on the WWE website, they have just four matches listed as official, but there are plenty of matches that are in the works, and more than a few that are for sure a go.
The listed matches include:
Batista vs Taker
Cena vs Michaels
The Hair vs Hair match (Lashely vs Umaga) between Donald Trump & Vince McMahon
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Edge, C.M. Punk, King Booker already in)
Here are some of the rumored matches and things that are likely to take place and be announced soon as Mania gets closer:
* Ashley vs Melina for the Womens Title is a go. The match will be built on the jealousy factor that Melina has for Ashely appearing in Playboy. Speaking of which, that issue releases on 3/12.
* Kane vs The Great Khali is another likely match after this past weeks SmackDown! They had better once and for all decide about Khali, as this weekly switching brands thing is getting old, and he needs to get better in the ring once and for all, or just be kept off of shows all together.
* ECW Originals vs The New Breed is likely to be a go as well. This basically is an 8-man tag of most of the mid-level ECW guys, and look for this to be extreme rules. RVD is the MVP of this one, so look for him to shine and get the win.
* I still think Randy Orton finds himself in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. With Edge already in, they really are lost on what to do with Orton, and for sure he needs a spot somewhere. They scrapped the planned Edge-Orton match to keep them a team, so with nothing else really out there, look for him to be added to this match.
* Ric Flair vs Carlito is also a planned match, as you could see Flair turn heel as early as tonight, but likely in the next two weeks. I think Carlito being back to heel would be a better storyline, but I don't think that is the route they are planning.
* There will be some mega-tag match in there somewhere, with the two top teams, London and Kendrick, and the Hardy's (they are planned to get the belts shortly) being in the match with two other teams. I am thinking a four-way ladder with them, along with Decue and Domonio and MNM could be the plan at this point.
All in all, that would be nine matches, which I think is about what they want to do for this event, the problem is they still have plenty of star power on the sidelines if the card above is all but set. They simply have to find a place though for a few guys - Chris Benoit, Finely, Kenny, Shelton Benjamin, Chavo Guerrero, Gregory Helms, and MVP. There are three spots left in the Money in the Bank match, but that actually will be two after Orton is added. Look for some creative booking to possibly add 1-2 more matches with some of these guys mentioned above involved.