Spring has arrived in every city except for Cleveland, and you know what that means. The air in Cabot Cove, Maine, is tart with the aroma of salt water and slightly decayed fish, Jessica Fletcher has called Artie to come take a look at her budding spring garden, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt is prescribing long walks along the beach to all of his patients again. Also, WRESTLEMANIAAAAAAAAA!
In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t really watched wrestling since the last time we drove to Detroit to watch the last PPV with Joe, Harrison, and their ladywives. Mostly what I remember is that Joe’s wife made some delicious chocolate raspberry port and I spent the evening giggling with Harrison’s wife while their child grasped onto my pink sequined slippers and held on like a drag queen at a Dorothy’s House of Oz clearance sale. So when Garvin asked me to write the WrestleMania predictions this year, my first thought was that I was unprepared, having spent every wrestling night live tweeting episodes of Murder She Wrote. However, I soon realized that professional wrestling isn’t that different from the world of fictionalized murder mysteries, and I believe that I can use my knowledge to accurately predict this event’s winners. Impressed? You should be.
Randy Orton v. Batista v. TBA
This is a title match between Orton, the reigning champion, Royal Rumble winner Batista, and…someone else! The whole suspense of the “TBA” is very much like a murder mystery in which the plot hinges upon suspect “x,” a third party which needs to be in operation for all of the conflicting evidence to link up. Traditionally, X is a major factor, revealing the guilt of one of the more obvious suspects while not necessarily being the murderer. X is almost always guilty of something smaller, yet significant to the plot. To bring in an unknown and surprise readers with a new, random murderer is sort of considered literary cheating. I feel that the same situation will prevail here, with X acting as a catalyst to whatever tensions are currently happening with Orton and Batista, but that one of those two will walk away with the title. I hear Batista’s been extra orange and fashionable lately, with his jeggings and navel tattoo, so obvs he’s got something special in the works. Therefore, my prediction goes to Batista, the Fashionista.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
Two men with facial hair battle for supremacy much like the grizzled Maine fishermen arguing politics over blueberry pancakes at Maras’s Diner. Or should I say PAINCAKES! In the world of mystery we use the phrase cherchez la femme, “look for the woman.” In this situation, this match is bankrolled by WWE royalty Stephanie MacMahon, and she’s married to Triple H. HOW CONVENIENT! My prediction goes to Triple H, because you don’t mess with the leading lady’s beard.
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesner
Oh, this match is classic. Here we have a man using two identities (Kane & Undertaker – see my previous WifeQuotes posts about this) against a guy who appears to be a brutish, rage-filled beast. The concept of a disguised identity worked well in the Murder She Wrote episode “I’ll See You in Court, Baby!” There, a young man disguised himself as a gold digging prospective divorce client in order to obtain some information on his previously unknown stepfather, in the interest of determining whether he would later be able to appeal to said stepfather for a loan for medical school. The young man’s true identity and deception lead to a motive for murder. Although he wasn’t the murderer in the end of the episode, neither was the obvious bad guy, an angry ex-husband who had been found personally liable for the destruction of a sports car. I’m inclined to think that Brock Lesner, the obvious choice, will turn out to be a March lamb in this scenario, and that our double dealer Undertaker/Kane will walk away with the win.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Another classic case of good vs. evil…or is it? In Donald Bain’s Murder She Wrote novel, A Little Yuletide Murder, the town Santa Clause is found brutally murdered, and the prime suspect is an angry neighbor and farmer who was engaged with Santa over a land dispute. Eventually “Santa” was revealed to be a brutal business shark, and he had really dicked the farmer over, to use the parlance of our times. I feel as though Cena’s true evil nature will be revealed, and Wyatt will emerge victorious here.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
A thirty wrestler elimination match. Man, these are hard to watch, with or without hard liquor. At some point these matches all deteriorate into a bunch of people punching each other like drunks in a bar. It’s like a cosy murder in a locked house. New people arrive, but no one can leave, and only one of the household can be the murderer…DUN DUN DUNNNNNN! Just as in a closed room mystery, it’s almost impossible to make a prediction just by looking the names and not seeing the scenario as a whole. However, I predict that the winner will be someone who enters in the middle of the match, stirs stuff up with a bunch of other wrestlers, and then gradually makes more and more dangerous and desperate eliminations until finally, in one risky maneuver, that person wins the match.
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
Fourteen ladies, the winner is determined by a pinfall and gets AJ Lee’s title. Fourteen women? Oh snap, sounds a lot like Loretta’s Beauty Parlor, where all the women of Cabot Cove go to gossip with their frienemies while looking totes glamorous. Usually the first to leave is the first to become gossip bait, so much like the Battle Royal, it’s too tough to determine a winner without some deeper thought. In Murder She Wrote, the person who hangs around the beauty parlor the longest is Loretta herself…and you best believe no one talks trash about Loretta. First, she never leaves, secondly, you don’t smack talk the woman in charge of your perm. I predict the first diva to enter the ring will also win this match.
Usos vs. Rybaxel vs. Los Matadores vs. Real Americans
A four way tag match, and a melting pot of ethnic pride. Isn’t that what America’s all about, ayuh? You may live in a small town in New England, and your family members may have come over on the Mayflower. But your land may rightfully belong to a young man of Native American descent, who enjoys upsetting town meetings (and the town ladies) by riding into city hall bare chested on a horse, when he’s not taking law classes at Harvard, that is. Your friends may have come from other countries and settled in your small town to open family businesses and partake in a quiet country life. America is good. Aren’t we all “real” Americans? That being said, my pick goes to Real Americans, because for real, real America is really about embracing each other, isn’t it really? For reals.
The Shield vs. Kane & New Age Outlaws
Just as in a slow season of Murder She Wrote, WWE decided to bring in the big guns — a secret organization known for protection but which sometimes plays outside its own laws. This time The Shield faces two-faced Kane (also Undertaker, see my previous WifeQuotes article on this point) for consequences far greater than the understanding of a humble, middle aged mystery writer. The Shield may be dirty, and the Outlaws may be noble and fight for a cause of justice that speaks to our inner soft hearts and makes us rage against the cold, unfeeling bureaucracy of the WWE. Nevertheless, in real life and in Murder She Wrote, you can’t fight The Machine, especially when The Machine starts out as a vehicle to fight The Man but is revealed to be even more rigid than The Man himself, that’s what she said. My prediction goes to The Shield. You may not like your position as an international author and celebrity used to promote The Shield’s interests, but you don’t really have a choice. Just put on some sassy lipstick and your most disapproving former English teacher expression. It will be OK. Books will sell.
It’s no mystery that we’re going to have a great time watching WrestleMania, and simultaneously complaining about WrestleMania, since that appears to be what wrestling fans do best. Jessica Fletcher and I will see you on Sunday night.