Following the results of last night’s Elimination Chamber pay per view, the WWE has laid the foundation for a complete Wrestlemania 26 card.  Although I don’t necessarily agree with some of the options they’ve gone with, I can share my perspective on how I view things shaping up to this point.

The Givens

WWE World Title (a.k.a. the current RAW World Title)
Challenger:  John Cena (with Bret Hart)
vs
Champion:   Batista (with Vince McMahon)
After the interactions between these two recently, this match happening at Wrestlemania seems fairly obvious to most fans over the past month or so, especially given both of their involvements in the Bret Hart / Vince McMahon storyline.  If you missed last night’s pay per view, then you’re probably wondering how Batista came to get the World Championship.  After John Cena won the RAW World Title in the first Elimination Chamber match of the evening, Vince McMahon congratulated him and then made an impromptu title match between Cena and the well-rested Batista right then and there.  It’s elementary from there, with Bats picking up an easy victory to become the champion.  I’m 99% sure this is the match WWE has planned for John Cena and Batista, and I’m in favor of it – except for the inclusion of the championship belt.  I would not have given John Cena the World Title win last night.  It isn’t NEEDED as a storyline element to get people interested in this match. It’s a hot match on its own given the star-power of John Cena, Batista, Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, and the WWE is WASTING the Wrestlemania title match by putting it here.   For example, I don’t know what Triple H is going to be doing right now, but unless he faces HBK & Undertaker in a triple threat, there’s no way that Triple H’s match at Wrestlemania is going to be as hot as it could be were it to involve the World Title.

World Heavyweight Championship (a.k.a the current Smackdown World Title)
Challenger: Edge
vs
Champion: Chris Jericho
I said it in my article prior to yesterday’s pay per view, but I continue to fully expect that Edge and Chris Jericho will continue their feud at Wrestlemania.  If you don’t remember, Edge and Jericho were tag team champions prior to Edge’s injury, and they planted seeds for this match in the first month Edge was away – having Jericho trash talk him while Edge was unable to show up to fight back.  If you remember, Edge’s FIRST action upon returning was to eliminate Chris Jericho from the Royal Rumble.  Having won the Royal Rumble, Edge has a guaranteed shot at whichever champion he chooses for a Wrestlemania 26 opponent, and it would be completely illogical for him to choose Batista.  This will be a great match to highlight Edge – one of the best in the business when he’s healthy, taking on Chris Jericho, who was named Wrestler of the Year for 2009.

Challenge for the Title of “Mr Wrestlemania”
The Undertaker vs “Heart Break Kid” Shawn Michaels
Given how Shawn Michaels has been begging for a rematch with his Wrestlemania 25 opponent for months now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this will be happening again this year.  The closing moments of last night’s Elimination Chamber pay per view all but confirmed it, with HBK superkicking the Undertaker to cost The Dead Man his World Title, gifting it to Chris Jericho in the process.  If you didn’t see it, the visual of Shawn Michaels emerging from beneath the Chamber structure was incredible to watch.  I fully expect another great Wrestlemania match between these two, but I really hope the WWE doesn’t have Shawn Michaels come through victorious this time around.  The Undertaker’s Unbeaten Streak at Wrestlemania is one of the storylines I enjoy every year, and if anyone were to break the streak, I would want that to be a young talent who could benefit from the “rub”.  Shawn Michaels is on his last legs, probably retiring in 2011 if not 2010, and there’s no long-term benefit from having him beat The Undertaker at the flagship event… which I fear they might do this year.

Legacy Battle
Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase
The WWE obviously sees Ted DiBiase as a guy who they might be able to elevate into the legitimate main event scene (not just as an “also ran” in Elimination Chambers) given his in-ring ability, his “look”, his ability on the mic and his charisma.  They had him star in one of their WWE-produced films in a sequel to The Marine, and now the time is right to give him a high profile match at Wrestlemania, albeit not involving a championship.  With the way Randy Orton has been treating Ted DiBiase the past few months, and the internal struggle you can see on DiBiase’s face where you just know he wants to hit Randy Orton, last night’s moment inside the RAW Elimination Chamber where DiBiase pinned Orton after hitting him with a steel pipe (albeit accidentally) was a great moment.  If this leads to anything other than Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase, the WWE is missing a big opportunity to see what DiBiase has to offer.

WWE Diva’s Championship (a.k.a. the current women’s championship on RAW)
Gail Kim vs Maryse
Last night’s Elimination Chamber pay per view was supposed to have the finals of the Diva’s Championship Tournament, but a bait-and-switch left us with Maryse & Gail Kim tagging up against Layla & Michelle McCool.  Were it up to me, I would’ve had Vickie Guerrero show up after the tag match (which Maryse was never tagged into) and I would’ve had the Diva’s Championship Tournament Finals start right then and there, with Maryse getting an easy win.  Yes, it would’ve been very VERY similar to what they did with Batista / John Cena, but it would’ve happened AFTER the Cena / Batista stuff, so it would’ve been a decent “dessert”, so to speak.  AND it would’ve afforded the opportunity for WWE to promote Wrestlemania by showing off Maryse WITH the Diva’s Championship.  She’s the perfect woman’s wrestler to use to promote the Diva’s Championship – since she’s great at promos and she’s nice to look at.  Nothing against Gail Kim, but going into Wrestlemania 26, Maryse should be holding the championship.  I can only hope it happens tonight on RAW.

Other Likely Matches / Matches I’d Book:

Unified World Tag Team Championships
MVP & Mark Henry vs Hart Dynasty vs Cryme Time vs Show-Miz (c)
I wouldn’t want Wrestlemania to go without a match for the Unified World Tag Team Championships, and I think the segments and matches on RAW and Smackdown (and NXT?) leading up to Wrestlemania over the next 5 weeks could really help to highlight the division and make for an enjoyable match – which I fully expect Show Miz would win (which is why I didn’t include The Straight-Edge Society as a team in the match).

#1 Contenders Match
Sheamus vs Triple H
I think it would be great if Wrestlemania had a heated match between Sheamus and Triple H, with the added stipulation that the winner gets the next shot at one of the two World Championships.  It gives the feud more heat than if it’s just two of RAW’s top competitors battling it out for supremecy, and since the WWE seems to want the belt on Batista going into Wrestlemania 26, the best thing to do would be to add that stipulation to it.  Would it conflict with Money In The Bank?  Not really, because the winner of that match can take their title shot whenever they want, whereas the winner of Sheamus vs Triple H would get their shot at Backlash… which is likely to happen anyway regardless of the official stipulation.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match

C.M. Punk vs R.Truth vs Rey Mysterio vs Kofi Kingston vs John Morrison vs Cody Rhodes vs Drew McIntyre vs Shelton Benjamin vs Christian
The only two reasons I didn’t put this match in the listing above with the GIVEN matches is because the annual Wrestlemania Money In The Bank Match hasn’t been verified to happen at this year’s event (though I hope it happens at Wrestlemania, WWE does have an upcoming pay per view entitled “Money In The Bank” which makes me wonder if they don’t plan to have it at the flagship event as per usual), and I don’t know the list of competitors who would be a part of the match, were it to happen.
I really like the list I’ve proposed because it includes all the available competitors who work well in ladder matches (C.M. Punk, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston) and provides an opportunity for R.Truth, Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to compete in a high profile match.  As for Rey Mysterio, I believe his presence speaks for itself.

Six-Man Tag Match
Matt Hardy & Evan Bourne & Yoshi Tatsu vs Dolph Ziggler & Zach Ryder & Jack Swagger
Essentially these are six individuals who I wouldn’t put into the Money In the Bank ladder match, but they’re good enough that they should get the chance to compete in a dark match (prior to the official opening of the pay per view) to give them some experience on a HUGE stage, to feel the energy, and to help warm-up the live crowd.  This is a match I’d watch in the DVD extras.

Women’s Championship Three-Way Match
Mickie James vs Beth Phoenix vs Michelle McCool
While Beth Phoenix is currently aligned with Michelle McCool (unless I missed something on a recent show), I think that could easily be dissolved prior to Wrestlemania 26 in five weeks time, and given the fact that most years WWE puts a Playboy Pillow Fight (or something of that ilk) as their women’s match at Wrestlemania, I don’t think they’d regret having a match which could potentially be quite good.  Title matches increase ratings, and even if this match would only bring in another couple handfuls of people in the various hometowns of the competitors involved, it could be worth it – even if it were just a dark match.

Playboy Pillow Fight
Kelly Kelly / Layla El / Eve Torres / Bella Twins / Maria
Mostly just kidding with this one, though I’d still watch…