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WWE Battleground

This Sunday is WWE Battleground! First some thoughts on the previous PPV, Money in the Bank. I didn’t to do badly on my last predictions going 2-4. I enjoyed the PPV and I thought both MITB matches were pretty stellar as was the Tag Titles match. There were some duds, including Rusev vs Big E and Paige vs Naomi, but that is to be expected. Anyway, on with the predictions.

WWE Battlefield 4 Way Match

WWE Championship Fatal Four-Way Match
John Cena vs Roman Reigns vs Kane vs Randy Orton

My pick: John Cena

Anyone who thinks they are going to the take the title off Cena after three weeks are deluding themselves, especially as the main event for Summerslam is pretty much set in stone as Cena vs Lesnar. Besides it doesn’t make much sense to take it off Cena and put it on any of the other guys in the match. Reigns needs more time to be built up. Have him win the Rumble and have him take the title at Wrestlemania. Kane is in there to stop Orton from winning the match to force The Authority to go to plan C (a.k.a. Lesna).

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WWE Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E vs. Bo Dallas vs. Cesaro vs. Curtis Axel vs. Diego vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango vs. Heath Slater vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. The Great Khali vs. The Miz vs. Titus O’Neil vs. Xavier Woods vs. Zack Ryder

My pick: Dolph Ziggler
Wildcards: Sheamus, The Miz or Bo Dallas

Whereas the main event is probably the easiest match I could predict the winner. This one I really don’t have a clue. It could be any one of these guys but I am leaning towards four guys in particular. Dolph Ziggler is most dependable guy in the ring and could bring the title back to some sort of relevance again, like my next suggestion Sheamus has done with the United States title. I could see him winning to unify the titles and possibly turn heel in the process. The Miz also seems like a favourite for this match but his last title reign was a disaster but now he is back playing the heel he could use his new gimmick to show off more. My final pick is Bo Dallas, now I’m yet to be impressed with his in ring work but to be fair he’s not been in with any top workers but I love to hate him and the gimmick. That’s what a heel is supposed to do so I would give him a cheap win like having him hide or waiting outside shaking hands with performers or ringside people and then when there is one or two left have him eliminate them. Then do his little victory lap and maybe then bam! Bad News Barrett nails him with the title turning him face and setting up a feud for when he returns. A quick note on Bad News Barrett I hope this injury doesn’t side-line him too long and I hope WWE will give him the chance to get back to his spot because the Bad News gimmick is so over. I would even keep him on TV as he recovers using the gimmick to keep him over.

WWE Battlefield Match

Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose

My pick: Dean Ambrose

This will be match of the night in my opinion. They’ve worked so many times against each other on the indie scene and even in NXT where I saw a amazing match between the two. Ambrose was beaten down quite badly on RAW by Rollin, Orton and Kane. My usual theory is if you get beat or beaten down on the go home show of RAW usually means you’re coming away with the win at the big event. It’s not always right but it’s just a theory. I also think Ambrose needs the win more than Rollins right now. Rollins won’t be cashing in the briefcase for a while and I am sceptical of whether he will have the briefcase. A win could mean Ambrose challenging Rollins at Summerslam for the briefcase and possibly winning it but it’s still too soon commit to that. Ambrose’s gimmick is getting more and more over each week which is good because when they turned Rollins instead of him I thought he might struggle but it’s really working for him. I think this will be a DQ ending with Rollins using the briefcase and setting up the Summerslam match as No DQ which I’m sure will be amazing as well.

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WWE Tag Team Titles 2 Out of 3 Falls
The Uso’s vs Harper and Rowan

My pick: Harper and Rowan

I predicted them to win last time out and was wrong and I’m going with them again but I could also see this feud being stretched out to Summerslam so a win here for them could mean The Uso’s would regain the titles at Summerslam. I really think this could be a contender for match of night, their match at MITB was brilliant and so have their matches on RAW. This another match that could go either way because something on RAW last week or the week before was Harper pinning the wrong Uso which could set up for perhaps a Uso’s win by pulling the old switcheroo but I really do think that Harper and Rowan win here.

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Bray Wyatt vs Chris Jericho

My pick: Bray Wyatt

Wyatt will win here simply because he has to. He’s in danger of losing momentum; I don’t think his feud with Cena did him any favours. Also Jericho is one of the greats so you know you are getting a great match with him and you know he is there to put Wyatt over. They really need to start building up Wyatt as more as unstoppable heel monster with Undertaker effectively retired and Kane looking like he is slowing down. Wyatt will be perfect to pick up the monster gimmick. I see some sort of screwy ending to take the feud onto Summerslam and possibly onto Night of Champions.

WWE Battleground

Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter vs Rusev w/ Lana

My pick: Rusev

They finally turned Swagger baby face which is something I’ve expected since Rusev and Lana debuted and going on their Anti-USA tirades. I think the big plus that both Swagger and Rusev have going for them is they have two tremendous talents in Zeb and Lana doing the talking for them. The turn for Swagger and Zeb has been tremendous; I don’t even think WWE could have predicted that it could have been this well received. I think this will be a very back and forth match with Swagger out wrestling Rusev and taking him off his feet though I still see Rusev picking up the win probably off a distraction by the ravishing Russian Lana who I swear gets hotter by the day! I see this going to Summerslam where Swagger will get the win and there will be a celebration ala Lex Luger when he beat Yokozuna at Summerslam 93 except it will be better booked.

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WWE Divas Title
AJ Lee vs Paige

My pick: AJ Lee

I was really torn over this one because whatever the outcome Paige will be turning heel. I could see her winning and regaining the title by heel tactics and then going on full post match beatdown. I think the most likely scenario will be Paige dominating the match and just when she has AJ beat, goes for the Paige turner and AJ counters into a small package or the black widow and gets the win. Then post match Paige flips and turns heel. I was really surprised when they took the title off Paige because I felt she was doing an adimirable job. They just weren’t booking against any of the decent worker on the Divas roster. How they put Naomi and Cameron in Divas titles matches on PPV instead of Natalya who can pull a good match out of any Diva and not afraid to put over a newcomer (see NXT match against Charlotte) is beyond me.

Well there we are folks, Please leave a comment with your own predictions. You can also follow me on twitter @KG4231 where you will find my ramblings on wrestling, film and games. Enjoy WWE Battleground!

WWE Money in the Bank Logo

WWE Money in the Bank is this Sunday and here are my predictions for the championship and traditional MITB style matches that have been set on the card.

WWE Money In The Bank Main Event

WWE World Championship Ladder Match
John Cena vs Kane vs Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton vs Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio vs Cesaro vs Bray Wyatt

My Pick: John Cena
Wildcard: Cesaro

Now before the IWC goes apeshit listen to my reasoning. This this is the smart choice, if as expected Lesnar will face the champion and win the title at Summerslam, then the only logical choice is to put it on Cena. He and Reigns are the only two pure faces in the match. Sheamus doesn’t count becuase I think he’s going heel soon. So they need a face to go against Lesnar at Summerslam. If you put the title on Reigns and he goes and loses it again Lesnar then you basically kill any momentum he’s going to have.

The wildcard here is Cesaro and if they are ready to push him through the roof already. It’s a possibility that he wins and then turns face on Heyman the next night on Raw saying something like that he doesn’t need him or is tired of him talking about Lesnar when he is now the #1- as in world champion, One idea I could see happening is WWE putting the Briefcase on someone like Kofi Kingston or Dolph Ziggler with the way he’s been booked lately to actually lose the briefcase in a match on RAW. This could put things back on track for WWE’s original plan of Cesaro as Mr. MITB, which he would cash in and beat Lesnar turning face. I dunno, but it’s interesting. Either way, I think Lesnar will take the title at Summerslam.

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The Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Seth Rollins vs Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler vs Rob Van Dam vs Bad News Barrett vs Dean Ambrose

My Pick: Bad News Barrett
Wildcard: Dolph Ziggler

This was a real tough choice as I had Rollins to win until Ambrose was announced. I figure they will probably keep each other from winning the contract with some pretty cool ladder spots. Let’s face it, Van Dam like Kingston are in there for cool looking spots with the ladders. They are not going to win unless it plays out ala Cesaro beating them for the briefcase. After Rollins it was toss up between BNB and Dolph. Dolph has been in the doghouse of late apparently cos of his injuries, so maybe this would be moment he gets out- but if a face is leaving champion then Dolph I’m afraid I’ve got some BAD NEWS! (sorry, I had to do that quote)

They are probably going with a heel to win the contract and at the moment in WWE there is no one better that Bad News Barrett. He’s has been a revelation since he got back into the gimmick and it’s slowly starting to turning him face. His matches are getting so much better, his IC tournament match with Sheamus was a pure old fashioned brawl and I LOVED it. His match on last night’s RAW with Dolph was amazing too, they had the crowd into it, did great near falls, and some awesome moves. Barrett’s Bull Hammer has become my favourite finisher just ahead of the Cesaro uppercut. They are like Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music. They can hit them from anywhere and on anyone. No better feeling as a wrestling fan than to see someone who’s got all the momentum in the match to launch themselves off the top rope and then WHAM! Bull Hammer/Uppercut and match is over. Bottom line, I give this to Bad News Barett. He was supposed to win two years ago but got injured. Now is his time; he has the support and he has the great gimmick. Push him now through the ceiling, plus if the idea to is to turn him face then cash it in against Lesnar and that will be the moment that everyone will talk about!

(Disclaimer: I support BNB because I’m English. ’nuff said.)

WWE Money in the Bank

WWE Divas Title
Paige vs Naomi

My pick: Paige

This is the easiest match to call. Paige will win. It’s a shame they are not putting her in the ring with credible divas like Natalya and AJ. They will need to start bringing up Charlotte from NXT soon to give the divas roster a boost with actual talent. It’s also stupid booking as I think Paige winning the match will rank second to the “Story line breakup” of the funkadactyls, does anyone actually care about that by the way? *listens for crickets chirping* Think that Paige will hold the title at least until AJ returns or confirms she’s pregnant. Then Paige will probably be put in a meaningful feud… well, one can hope anyway.

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WWE Tag Team Championship
The Uso’s vs Harper and Rowan

My pick: Harper and Rowan

I feel for the Uso’s, they are a great team but they haven’t been in any meaningful matches since they really won the titles. No feuds (really) and relegated to being Cena’s back up against the Wyatt family. But this could be what they need. I think Harper and Rowan get the titles cheaply, maybe Bray interferes, or maybe a blackout, etc. This would kick start the feud between the two teams where the Uso’s would regain the titles at Summerslam in a gimmick match. Just my prediction.

I hope that you like my predictions, I’m expecting more matches to be announced… I expect Rusev with Ravishing Lana against Big E and possibly Bo Dallas. I don’t care about either match, but I could watch Lana all day long 😉 .

I will be making this a regular column before every WWE PPV.  Please feel free to leave you predictions in the comments as well.

WWE Royal Rumble

Today’s topic: the 2014 Royal Rumble, sucked or shone? Lets see what FACE and HEEL thought of the show…

FACE: What an amazing Rumble. Let’s start at the beginning. We had an incredible match between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. We saw Brock Lesnar destroy the Big Show. The New Age Outlaws turned back the clock and won the tag team titles 15 years after last holding them. That’s a record. Randy Orton and John Cena tore the house down until a distraction by the Wyatt Family cost Cena the match. That’s all before the Rumble itself. There we saw Roman Reigns break the record for eliminations in a match. We saw surprises galore and we saw a great win by Batista.

HEEL: Are you kidding me? What show did you watch? I’ll concede the Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt match was excellent. But Lesnar and Show? It wasn’t a match it was just a beating (watch and judge for yourself). And having the announcers describe it as “borderline criminal?” Beating a man with a chair when it’s not part of a sanctioned match is criminal! That’s not the sort of thing you should talk about. Cena and Orton put on an okay match but the crowd was crapping all over it. Orton didn’t get a decisive win over Cena so he still looks like a weak champion. Don’t get me started on the Old Age Outlaws holding a title. And, as for the Rumble, most of it was a bad joke. Kevin Nash entering? JBL entering as a joke competitor? All the while taking up spots that could have gone to guys like Xavier Woods? Disgraceful. Roman Reigns was impressive, so impressive the fans cheered him over your supposed face winner, Batista. The fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan in that match. The fans wanted Daniel Bryan to win that match. I sincerely hope Bryan wins the Elimination Chamber and faces Batista, or both Batista and Orton, at Wrestlemania or you’re going to find there are a lot less people interested in that show that you’d normally expect.

FACE: It’s okay to have some humor in the Royal Rumble. It breaks things up, it breaks things up. It entertains a portion of the fanbase.

HEEL: A midget in a bull costume does not belong it the Royal Rumble. A retired color commentator does not belong in the Royal Rumble. Especially when the announcer says “the JBL character has never entered the Royal Rumble.” You don’t refer to wrestlers as characters. You say something along the lines of “JBL has never entered the Royal Rumble since adopting that moniker.”

FACE: It’s easy for armchair quarterbacks and fantasy bookers to criticize, but the creative team has a lot of factors to deal with. They have to plan for the future. CM Punk was being built up to face Kane, then HHH. Cody Rhodes and Goldust have lost the tag titles. It makes sense for them to feud with each other. Having Goldust eliminate his brother, even if it’s by accident, builds towards that feud. Roman Reigns is going to be a face when the Shield breaks up. That’s something else WWE built towards.

HEEL: No matter how you try to spin it WWE did not give the fans what they wanted and the reaction showed it. Creative needs to get their heads out of their collective rears and start focusing on the right people.

That’s it for this column of World of Wrestling. The one thing Good Cop and Bad Cop agree on is that we welcome your comments, requests and opinions!

1000 episodes. Every week since January 11, 1993. It’s an achievement worthy of celebrating. How will WWE handle it?

They began with an amazing promo heavy on celebrities, recently retired wrestlers and Eddie Guerrero. Eddie certainly deserves it. Vince had to start the show to get his own standing ovation, but he soon brings out DX. Lots of DX as X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws eventually join the fun. They are interrupted by a rookie superstar who goes by the moniker of Damian Sandow. He’s a guy who thinks of the others as common trash while he brings intelligence, enlightenment and saves us from ourselves. So of course, he gets beaten down by the legends doing their old antics.

And therein lies the problem with most of the show, nostalgia winning out over current events. Jim Ross doing guest commentary is all well and good and I’m sure it was many an RoH fan’s dream to see CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and The Rock in the ring all together. The problem is The Rock was made to look like the best of them. The Rock is usually off shooting movies. These other guys bust their asses for you over 200 nights a year. Why make them seem lesser?

We get plenty of 1993 trivia (the year RAW went on the air), Charlie Sheen doing commentary when he clearly knows nothing about the product, and all kinds of social media tweets, trends and touts. Twitter is clearly a sponsor, part of a relentless wave of product placement throughout the show.  And WWE has the audacity to introduce their 100,000,000th social media follower. But that’s across all platforms and we all know how much duplication there is across social media platforms. And how would you single out one person joining at one exact point across all platforms. I think they just took a guess and the lucky guy got to come to the show.

Big events? Stephanie McMahon convinced Paul Heyman to let Triple H (two more aging “Superstars”) fight Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. The Miz defeated Christian for the Intercontinental title. AJ left Daniel Bryan at the altar to instead become the  new RAW General Manager. The Rock gets a title shot at Wrestlemania for the big shiny belt. The Undertaker returned to save his brother Kane from a beatdown by six random heel jobbers. Yep, two old guys beat 6 new guys. I can understand throwing Heath Slater under the bus by having him lose to Lita since that’s about all he’s good for. It was nice to see the double Tombstone one more time though.

All this left 15 minutes for the main event, and even then it was slow paced. John Cena cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. CM Punk again showed he’s an amazing technical wrestler while John Cena showed how he can keep a crowd involved in a match no matter which side is winning. There was a good old fashioned ref bump and Cena should have pinned Punk. Then Big Show interfered to attack Cena and land the knockout punch. A reluctant CM Punk pinned Cena only to have him kick out. Then Big Show attacked again, but this time in plain view of the ref. Thus the main event of RAW 1000 ended in a DQ.

And really, that’s why I’m giving up. Three hour RAWs every week is too much. Add Smackdown, NXT, Superstars, TNA (who are rumored to be getting another two hour show) and RoH (who would love to expand to two hours) and it’s all too much. Wrestling quality today is not high. They are letting their past stars dominate and only a select few new ones can work hard enough to earn a spot at the top. After ten years, I say goodbye to professional wrestling* and move on to new horizons.

Results of all matches:

  • Rey Mysterio Jr., Sin Cara and World Heavyweight Champion Seamus defeated Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio in a Six-man Tag Match.
  • Brodus Clay squashed Jack Swagger
  • The Miz defeated Christian to win the Intercontinental Championship
  • Lita defeated Heath Slater with the help of the APA in a No Disqualification, No Count-out Match
  • John Cena defeated CM Punk by disqualification after Big Show interfered in the Money in the Bank match. CM Punk retains the title.

Guest stars included:
X-Pac, New Age Outlaws, APA, Lita, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mae Young with her grown up hand son, Dude Love, Trish Stratus, Slick, Bret Hart, Howard Finkle, Vader, Road Warrior Animal, Psycho Sid, Rikishi, Sgt. Slaughter, DDP, Doink, Roddy Piper, Bob Backlund, Fozzie Bear and Gene Okerlund.

*Except for finishing running my Know Your Role campaign and writing two sourcebooks for Wild World Wrestling. Heck, I might as well make some money out of this.

This is the end, my only friend, the end…

The last Smackdown on the road to Wrestlemania and my last regular column. With just the Mania live blog and going away column after this I’m starting to get wistful. I know next to nobody reads this but I hope you’ll miss me too. The show opens with a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Wade Barrett come to the ring alone. We get some decent wrestling. Kofi Kingston escape Barrett’s Wasteland Finisher and hits his own, Trouble in Paradise. But as he covers the champ the rest of The Corre run in and attack him for a DQ. That means Barrett keeps the title. Santino and Kozlov run in to make the save but can’t pull it off until Big Show and Kane join them. And Kofi will be in some kind of Battle Royal dark match at Wrestlemania. They usually have one to throw everyone on the card for the big show. Dark means untelevised by the way.

We recap the Cody Rhodes attack on Rey Mysterio before Matt Striker interviews Cody. Not as good as some of Cody’s recent work but he works in that he’ll have both the face mask and the knee brace for Wrestlemania. I expect he’s going to lose anyway. Todd Grisham and the Bellas are at Fan Access, probably taped well after Smackdown itself. Todd introduces the HHH/Undertaker promo video. A commercial is followed by another promo. This one is for CM Punk versus Orton. The Score reveals that Sin Cara debuts on RAW Monday. I guess they want him away from Rey Mysterio for now. Now the Road Warriors video again. Is this a clip show or something? Then they have a promo for playing the recap of The Rock, Miz and Cena from RAW coming later tonight. After another commercial we get a recap of the Jack Swagger versus Jerry Lawler match from I’d like something live to happen so I can start a new paragraph. If I were at this show live I would be demanding a refund.

Ok at least Jerry Lawler is coming out to talk. Cole has vamoosed. Boy is Lawler looking old. Lawler cuts a fine promo reminding Cole just why he’s mad at him and also that Stone Cold Steve Austin will take care of Jack Swagger at Wrestlemania. That will leave just him and Cole. And Lawler will do what the entire WWE universe wants: shut Cole’s mouth.

Wrestlemania press conference. This is a sad Smackdown to go out on. Now a long, long HHH/Undertaker recap from RAW. Now we get The Miz on Conan O’Brien. It’s cool but I’m just sour on the whole show by this point. Sin Cara video. We’re seeing more from Fan Access than a live show. Maybe there was no Smackdown taping this week and the little ring action we’ve seen was taped before or after RAW. Snooki storyline promo. Chaperone trailer.

Del Rio and Edge get a promo and, woah, we have another match! Cody Rhodes will be in action. More Rhodes recap before that. Rhodes’ opponent is Chris Masters so this shouldn’t be much of a match. And with 22 minutes left and the Miz, Cena Rock recap still to come this will be the last Smackdown match I cover. Cole is coming back, accompanied by security. Cody is in total control. He wins easily but Rey Mysterio runs in. Back and forth affair until Rhodes is in the 619 position and he reveals a knee brace of his own. But Rhodes slinks away and Mysterio is denied vengeance. Recap of Chris Jericho on Dancing With The Stars where Jericho is tied for fourth.

Fan Access trio throws us to the last video of the night. The promised Rock, Cena, Miz promo. I can stand watching this again. What exactly The Rock’s roll will be at Wrestlemania is one of the big questions left. Plus there’s Austin to watch for. And Trish is back in the ring. The Hall of Fame class will be introduced but will HBK have an even larger role? This was one the weakest Smackdowns of all time but I’m still psyched for Mania.

Wrestlemania Predictions

  • Triple H versus Undertaker – Undertaker
  • John Cena versus The Miz – John Cena
  • Edge versus Alberto Del Rio – Del Rio
  • Lay-Cool and Ziggler versus John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki – Snooki
  • Sheamus versus Daniel Bryan – Sheamus
  • The Corre versus Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov – The Big Red Ukrainian Cobra
  • Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio – Mysterio
  • Jerry Lawler versus Michael Cole – Lawler
  • CM Punk versus Randy Orton – CM Punk but it could easily go either way

Sunday is my last column. I hope you’ll drop by.

My last RAW recap for the foreseeable future starts with CM Punk in the middle of the ring in front of a cheering Chicago crowd. Punk toys with the crowd for a bit before making them hate him. Punk doesn’t care about the New Nexus or the Chicago crowd. Punk stole Orton’s family’s respect from him. And he will end this sick and twisted story at Wrestlemania. But Orton is here, limping at tortoise speed, with a heavily taped knee. Orton still manages to fight and hits his rope assisted DDT. Orton tries for the punt but his bad leg gives out. That leaves Orton at Punk’s mercy and he delivers the Go To Sleep to look strong going into thebig show.

Edge and Christian are teaming up again. Apparently the RAW GM has no problem with Edge laying hands on Alberto Del Rio. The opponents are the rather obvious Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Clay starts and Edge and Christian end up double teaming him. Then a commercial before Del Rio is even in the match. Back from commercial Edge and Del Rio have not been legal at the same time yet. Christian takes the face in peril role. When he finally does tag out Clay comes in. Christian and Del Rio mix it up on the outside which allows Edge to Spear Clay for the win. Del Rio has the Cross Armbreaker on Christian but runs when Edge nears. When Edge turns back Del Rio comes back and ambushes him. Del Rio again hit Edge with his finisher and we won’t know who comes out ahead until Friday.

Cole has an iPad, which looks more like a netbook, so he can read the GM’s emails without leaving his Cole Mine. GM wants to see if Jerry Lawler is ready so tonight he will face Jack Swagger. Yet another great HHH versus Undertaker promo that continues to ignore that HHH already lost to Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Kane and Big Show are at ringside as Justin Gabriel (accompanied by The Corre) faces Santino Marella (accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov) and they finally announce a Wrestlemania match for these people. It will be an eight-man tag with The Corre facing Big Show, Kane, Kozlov and Marella. Sucks to be Kofi Kingston right now. Also means neither the tag belts nor the IC title will be defended at the biggest show of the year. The faces keep order at ringside, Santino hits the Cobra and a very short match ends happily. Have Kozlov and Tamina been doing Santino’s trombone motion for a while? Big Show doing it is funny. Kane doing it is even funnier.

Here’s Undertaker. Here’s Trips. Taker steals HHH’s thunder this time around by interrupting his water spit with a peal of the gong and the lights going out. I have some cable problems as they stare each other down. Neither has a microphone. Then HBK shows up. HBK plays to the crowd for ages before actually getting a microphone. HBK has a ghost of a beard and he is in dire need of Just For Men. HBK recaps the whole situation before asking his best friend what makes him he think he can do what Shawn couldn’t? HHH tells him he went soft. Cared more about being the Showstopper than winning. HHH turns to Taker and rhymes off how amazing he was when Hunter started out. But now HHH has to respectfully tell him it’s time to go. He can’t do it anymore. And if he can’t accept it then it’s Hunter’s job to take him out. He even steals “Rest in Peace.” Now Taker grabs the microphone. Taker respect Hunter and if it were time to put him down he’d want Hunter to do it. But it ain’t that time. The streak will live. Ask HBK. Taker runs down Michaels until he tries a Superkick, which is caught. Hunter pushes Shawn out of the way and stares down Taker before asking Shawn to tell him why he’ll beat Taker at Mania. But Shawn has nothing to say. Oh great a “One more match” chant. Shawn retreats to the entrance ramp before admitting he thinks Hunter won’t win. Taker just tips his hat triumphantly and heads off to the sound of Johnny Cash. Top notch segment from three of the best of all time.

Swagger versus Lawler leaves only Josh Matthews to call the match as Cole is at ringside. Let’s see if Matthews can do what Joey Matthews did for years. It spills to the outside right away and Lawler just grabs a chair and wails on Swagger getting DQed. Josh Matthews sits silently. Lawler threatens Cole with the chair and Cole retreats to the Cole Mine. Lawler beats on it with the chair as Josh tries to warn him he’ll be fired. Lawler does what seems most people should have thought of and climbs over the top. But with security holding him back he can’t reach Cole who throws what looks like ginger ale in his eyes.

Vickie Guererro makes fun of John Morrison then Snooki. Dolph Ziggler joins her to wrestle a tag team match. His partner is Sheamus. Let me guess: John Morrison and Daniel Bryan will be the opponents. Yep. This close to any PPV the match-ups are fairly predictable. We get a commercial early in the match. Daniel Bryan gets a La Bell lock on Ziggler but Sheamus breaks it up. Fast forward a bit and he almost gets it on Sheamus but the Celtic King is able to escape and hit a Brogue Kick to win the match. Since Morrison is probably winning at Mania and Bryan is probably losing I would have gone with a different finish. Sheamus pinning Morrison would work better.

New interviewer guy asks Orton if he’ll make Wrestlemania. Orton has anger management issues and he despises CM Punk more than anyone else. It’s not if he will make it to Wrestlemania; it’s if CM Punk will make it out. The final Hall of Fame inductee of the year is, actually are, the Road Warriors. Snooki has been training with Trish. Not to speak proper English though. They’re live via satellite at a bar so Lay-Cool can attack them in a new and interesting location. They manage to fight them off only to have their calls of “bitches” bleeped by USA Network.

Time for a main event promo. The three-way faceoff between The Rock, John Cena and The Miz. This show is going to go way over time, I can tell. Rock is out first. He long-windedly, and catch-phrase heavily, calls out Cena. And yeah, of course he shows up. All Cena wants to say is Rock is still awesome and this is where he belongs. But Cena actually fights back by pointing out that Rock has been making fun of Cena for colors, music and appealing to kids. Who the Hell is he? And a potential fight is cut off, finally, by the arrival of The Miz. He’s sick of being overshadowed by Overhyped and Overrated. But at least Cena will go down fighting. Rock’s a movie star too scared to risk Miz hurting him. Miz has flipped the W on his microphone again. It takes Alex Riley and The Miz together to even give The Rock pause but he beats them off and delivers a People’s Elbow to The Miz. Cue John Cena to return to camera range and hit The Rock with an Attitude Adjustment, or FU if you prefer the original name. Cena gets to play his music at the end of the show and the last RAW on the road to Wrestlemania.

See you Friday for one last Smackdown!

Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw (3/28/11)
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Hard to believe but we’re into my final four columns. Or maybe I’ll do an epilogue after my Mania live recap. We’ll see. I will miss doing this but I need to spend more time at the office.

So Teddy Long steps in and says Edge and Del Rio can’t touch each other before Mania or they are both off the card. Edge is pissed because Del Rio already hurt him and he can’t retaliate. Meanwhile, in the arena itself, CM Punk arrives and we get a quick recap of his set-up and ambush on Randy Orton from RAW. He’s facing Rey Mysterio, who he robbed of the chance to beat Randy Orton clean. It’s a very good match and given some time but Cody Rhodes runs in for yet another non-finish. Rhodes delivers repeated Headbutts with his mask the lifts his pant leg to reveal a knee brace. He delivers running knee strike directly to Rey’s face.

Not only is Edge planning to face Drew McIntyre tonight he also plans to be in Christian’s corner when he faces Alberto Del Rio. Oh Edge’s match is now? His left elbow is heavily taped. You know if a guy has an injured left arm why not target the right one so he has no arms left at all? Edge still wins with a submission hold based entirely in the right arm. And he can follow up with a Spear too.

Repeat a HHH/Undertaker video from RAW (and NXT) then Kelly Kelly and Rosa Mendez are set to lose to Lay-Cool. Lay-Cool come out mocking Snooki with their hairstyles and footwear. This might be hilarious if I watched Jersey Shore. The faces ambush on the antics. Some matches you are glad are short. Subsequent promo highlights include Trash Stratus and John Snorrison.

Surprise Intercontinental title match as Wade Barrett, accompanied by his stablemates from The Corre, faces Kofi Kingston. Ok match. Kofi has Barrett where he wants him until Gabriel distracts the ref. Slater tries to interfere so Kofi hits him with Trouble in Paradise. But when he tries it again on Barrett the Brit has recovered enough to reverse the move into Wasteland. 1…2…3! We have a new Intercontinental Champion and Kofi has to be disappointed with his reign. A 450 Splash lets Kofi know he’s beign depushed. Maybe, just maybe, he gets a rematch at Wrestlemania. More likely he ends up on a four-man team with Big Show, Kane and someone else to face The Corre.

Time to continue the war of words between The Undertaker and HHH. How is it Undertaker can say Armageddon with ease but says “prolific” instead of “prophetic”? He’s going to be on RAW Monday to go face to face with HHH. Does everything big have to happen on RAW? Is Smackdown truly the B-show now?

Michael Cole is in full on booster mode as Jack Swagger faces R-Truth. Truth does an ugly looking rolling flip to the outside. He clearly lands on his shoulder but sells a hurt leg so Swagger can go for the Ankle Lock and Truth taps out.

Whole segments go by with no new material.

Main event time. I have nothing against Brodus Clay but do both The Miz and Alberto Del Rio need an NXT dropout hanging around them? It makes them seem too similar. The Del Rio characters is so incredibly different from Dos Caras Jr. and yet the performer behind both of them can excel in both roles. Wresters who can excel as both faces and heels are not a dime a dozen. Christian has looked great in the match. He nearly gets a pin but Rodriguez puts Del Rio’s foot on the rope. The leads Edge to attack him and Brodus Clay to go after Edge. Edge manages to Spear Clay, taking the focus totally off the match, then follows up with a chair. This is enough to distract Del Rio for the Kill Switch and Christian beats Del Rio again! Edge really wants to waffle Del Rio with the chair but Christian stops him. So Christian decides he can hit Del Rio and not get fired.

This was a good show and it did what it was supposed to do, focus on Wrestlemania. Swagger’s win was the closest thing to a clean finish on the whole show, but this close to Mania every win seems to need an asterisk next to it.  But too much of the really good stuff is being saved for RAW. Smackdown has good matches on the WM card. We have Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio which has been really well booked and has featured Rhodes’ best work ever. We have Edge/Del Rio which got some great emotion tonight. Something still has to be booked  involving The Corre, Big Show, Kane and maybe Kofi Kingston. If it were up to me I’d book a 4-on-3 Handicap match but if the faces win they get the titles. Undertaker versus HHH transcends both shows and, unless Taker is in much worse shape than they are letting on, I assume it will be the main event. One week left then it’s curtains for me. I hope you’ll stick around for the big finish.

Posted on March 26th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown (3/25/11)
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