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Wrestlemania XXVIII Preview: Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus

The match for the World Heavyweight Championship at this year's Wrestlemania will give us an interesting clash of styles, as the technical expert and "submission specialist" Daniel Bryan will do battle with the powerful Irishman known as Sheamus.

Sheamus got to this point by winning the 2012 Royal Rumble back in January, a match that everyone thought that Chris Jericho was a lock to win (Jericho was the last person eliminated). After the event was over, the rumors began circulating that Sheamus' victory was a "swerve" of sorts, designed to get a rise out of the fans that were all set to see Jericho go over. In any case, winning the Rumble meant that Sheamus was guaranteed a championship match at Wrestlemania 28, and he could choose the champion that he would face. He made his choice abundantly clear at this year's Elimination Chamber event, when he planted Daniel Bryan with the "Celtic Cross" after Bryan had defended his title in the Chamber against five other WWE Superstars.

Bryan got to this point by cashing in his "Money In the Bank" briefcase at this year's T.L.C. event. After Big Show had beaten Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship, Henry beat the stuffing out of Show after the match. Down to the ring came Bryan. . .who had long maintained that he wouldn't cash in the briefcase until Wrestlemania. . .with a referee in tow, and he pinned an unconscious Big Show to win his first World Heavyweight title. In recent weeks, Bryan has done an outstanding job of playing the role of "cowardly" heel. (I put the word "cowardly" in quotes because there's a more accurate phrase. . .one that could be used to describe poultry droppings.) He has hidden behind his girlfriend, A.J., on several occasions while being pursued by opponents, which is sad when you take into account that A.J. weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet with a handful of spare change in each pocket.

The ending that makes the most sense to me in this particular match has Sheamus going home with the title, and I have a feeling that Miss A.J. is finally going to get sick of being used as a human shield. Her telling Daniel Bryan that's the case will somehow lead to Sheamus landing the blow necessary to win the match and take home the World Heavyweight Championship.

SB Nation Minnesota prediction - Sheamus by pinfall, becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.