Raw/Smackdown/ECW Battle Royal
Winner gets shot at Chavo Guerrero for the ECW title
Elijah Burke, Lance Cade, Deuce, Domino, Tommy Dreamer, Jim Duggan, Festus, The Great Khali, Mark Henry, Hardcore Holly, Jesse, Kane, Brian Kendrick, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Shannon Moore, Trevor Murdoch, Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo, Cody Rhodes, Snitsky, Stevie Richards, Val Venis and Jimmy Wang Yang.
Unfortunately, my prediction will be tainted here due to a Matt Hardy rumor that I read about. It really makes sense as I don't see too many of these guys getting a shot. If the winner is indeed somebody from the above list, I will go with Kane. Kane is a guy whom they do relegate to low status from time to time but as I said above, I just don't see too many guys getting the shot. There is one other possibility in my mind -- this may sound ridiculous -- and it's Tommy Dreamer. I know, I know. But they have done this thing on ECW where they take an "ECW Original" and treat him like a superhero for one show. I can see them doing this here. Whichever way they decide to go, I see Chavo losing the belt tonight.
Finlay vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield
JBL has put on good hardcore matches before. Finlay has done the same and being the ring general that he is, he can surely pull a halfway decent (if not better) match out of JBL. Of course, I see Finlay going over with interference of some kind from Hornswoggle.
Umaga vs. Batista
Smackdown vs. Raw
The key here is to keep the match short, fast and intense. Aside from this page from the George Lucas book of directing, they need to follow the crowd's reactions. Honestly, there may not be any, which will mean that they need to end it early. Obviously, Batista will go over here. He lost at Wrestlemania last year and Umaga is the designated jobber in matches like this one.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. The Big Show
Everyone thinks that Mayweather is going to win. I just don't see it happening. If Show doesn't win, it will end without a decision. I am more interested in how they will work the match. I can't see Mayweather mounting any kind of legitimate offense. It's going to wind up looking like Rey taking on Nash or Show.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison
Money in the Bank
I am somewhat surprised by Carlito's inclusion here. It's not unwelcome, just surprising. I see two guys as possible winners: CM Punk and MVP. If the other Matt Hardy rumor that I heard is true, he may be the winner. But from the above particpants, it'll be Punk or MVP. Here's why: Punk will cash in at One Night Stand if he wins and a MITB win will perfectly fit MVP's repertoire.
If Matt does return tonight to win MITB, he cashes in tonight, as well.
Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels
If Flair loses the match, he must retire from wrestling
I will also buck common wisdom here and say that Flair goes over. He will then cut a promo and say that he is retiring anwyays, by his own decision. HBK, a onetime retiree himself doesn't need the rub. All we need here is an emotional, epic match. HBK can deliver the goods.
The Undertaker vs. Edge
World Heavyweight Championship
This, for me, is like taking a test and getting eight seemingly correct "C" answers in a row. In some ways, I don't see UT ending his streak this year but in other ways I don't see him going over another top Smackdown star in a championship match for the second year in a row. I say Edge wins via outside interference of some kind.
Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Rando Orton
Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship
I hate triple threats. One of the many reasons is the increased difficulty in picking a winner. I think Triple H goes over. He's long overdue for a Wrestlemania win. Now that he's a face, he can do it. Cena has won too many times at Wrestlemania, so I think he's out, but his merchandising power may give him the win. Orton retaining just isn't going to happen.
I had been waiting to see this PPV as I had heard good things about its overall quality, which is a rare thing for WWE PPVs these days.
Rey Mysterio defeated WWE United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter by countout (11:29)
This was kind of a throwaway match in that WWE didn't want to take the US title off of MVP and they apparently didn't want to job their "biggest little man" to the rookie. Hence, we were given a fast-paced match with a lot of high spots. It was good for what it was, but they backed themselves into a corner in terms of the outcome.
Big Daddy V and Mark Henry (w/Matt Striker) defeated CM Punk and Kane (10:33)
This was one of those matches that surprises you. It was way better than it had any right to be. I have been a mild fan of CM Punk since his WWE debut, but after this one I am an even bigger fan. He kicked the living crap out of these guys. They more or less used Hot Tag Match Format #3 here, but it worked. Unfortunately, the finish was wrong. I was taken aback -- in a bad way -- by the heels going over here. CM Punk should have kicked out of the Samoan drop and given BDV some kind of kick for the win while Mark Henry and Kane were on the outside of the ring.
Shawn Michaels defeated Mr. Kennedy (15:16)
I really don't like Kennedy as a worker. I don't see him as a future main eventer so I wish HBK had gotten a more decisive victory here. The match itself was okay.
Jeff Hardy defeated Triple H (15:23)
I have been a big JH mark since his return to WWE. This was a good match with a great story. Unfortunately, I felt the pin came out of nowhere and didn't make sense. Triple H had beaten the crap out of Jeff and was about to give him a Pedigree and Jeff wriggled out of the double underhook for a somersault double-leg-hook-with-a-bridge pin? I don't know. I'd have preferred a more complex ending.
Finlay (w/Hornswoggle) defeated The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) (6:02)
Eh, it was a cute match. Nothing great or even good, but it gave the little men a moral victory.
Chris Jericho defeated WWE Champion Randy Orton by disqualification (15:05)
Here's another instance of where they back themselves into a corner according to their own set of parameters. They didn't want to let the returning Y2J do a job so they had JBL score the DQ for Randy Orton. They could have had JBL interfere and give Orton the win. This still would've progressed the JBL-Y2J feud and given us an actual decision. The match was good.
Edge defeated Batista © and The Undertaker in a Triple Threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship (13:00)
Far from being athletic, they kept it interesting. The finish brought us back to eight years before when Kurt Angle used a similar plan as Edge did with several imposters. It seems as though Edge's title wins always involve some kind of chicanery. Does this take away from his value as a legitimate champion and main eventer? I don't think so, as he is a heel and he does have that larger-than-life personality to be a main eventer. Also, I like how he really makes us believe that he WANTS the belt.
Good show. Not as good as I had expected but way better than some PPVs. A good close to WWE PPVs in 2008, a year in which they did a bit better at putting on good shows.