All posts by Chris Butera

Chris Butera enjoys going to metal concerts, reading and having a cold one with friends.

Spaceman Frank’s Money in The Bank 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

After a welcome month off from PPVs WWE is ready to come storming back with their Money in the Bank event. After a too long Wrestlemania, an curious but unimportant Greatest Royal Rumble, and the disastrous Backlash (WAY TO PUT YA WORST PPV ON MY BIRTHDAY YA JERKS!) the company took a much needed break, but are fans ready for more? The barrage of events left passions drained for the product, and the frustration with WWE may be at a all time high. New Japan threw their Dominion PPV featuring what many are already calling the greatest match of all time in Okada vs Omega IV (The Revenge), which just reinforced the lack of quality the WWE hit fans with lately. Throw in the upcoming G1 Special as well as All In and there is some alternatives to their product WWE cannot ignore anymore. There solution? Make PPV’s even longer and monopolize wrestling fan’s time. Sure we got NXT Takeover: Chicago 2 and the UK Tournament to look forward too, but this is WWE again just steamrolling fans with a massive content overload. It’s hard to care about any WWE event right now considering the hype is elsewhere, and even NXT may be crackling under the weight of this vicious cycle. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Money in the Bank 2018 predictions!

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. The Club

The B Boys vs the Good Brothers. A match that should be good, if only they gave us a reason to care. MY BOY Luke Harper and his big ginger friend could be key players on Smackdown, but for the life of me I cannot remember one single thing they have done since Backlash. At least WWE put out this amazing video about Harper that hit me right in the feels. Definitely put more of these out WWE. Meanwhile I have not cared about The Club since last year’s Wrestlemania, and I honestly forgot they were on Smackdown. WHy haven’t they reunited with AJ yet? They could at least tell him to wear a cup. At least Anderson got to show off his abs? The Buldgies win and continue to wait for a chance to get over properly.

Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn

Real time footage of the Bobby Lashley right here. They have given him the personality of a overripe cantaloupe, and his ring work has come off as very generic. Zayn has hopped around and tried to bother him like a little brother in the middle of a pixie stick binge, but has that made me want to see these guys wrestle. Absolutely not. What happened to Sami and KO hinting towards a split for like the seventh time? Bob wins to continue to build towards whatever plan they have for him as Sami drinks to forget Lashley’s sisters.

Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal

Who to cheer? Who to boo? Will the crowd chant CM Punk during this match despite his embarrassing UFC loss? Those are the questions to define this match. By putting the two controversial men together we potentially have a perfect storm of snark brewing, especially in Chicago. I just cannot see this being anything worth writing home about, but Botchamania will have some quality footage soon. One positive is that I do not think this will be the main event…probably. Reigns wins since we are allegedly getting another match versus Lesnar at Summerslam because we live in the darkest timeline.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Apparently this is still going. DB has thoroughly trashed the big man repeatedly, but now they will up the ante by…having a standard match again. At least WWE has learned to avoid showing Big Cass when his massive cranium covers up the “C” in his name on the Titantron. I do not know why this is going to happen, but to be fair their feud has been watchable for the most part. Charitably I’d even say it has been a top five feud on Smackdown. But not top three. Definitely not top three. It feels nuts that Big Cass would do the job three times in a row, so I will go out on a limb and say that the big man will pick up a surprise/dirty win to give him some sort of rub from wrestling with Bryan.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Elias (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

Two promising young talents clash in what should be a fun little match on what will be a long night. Elias is reaching Miz levels of punchable yet loveable heels, but for the life of me I cannot remember one match of his I have enjoyed. That makes me hope we can actually see what he is capable of facing the IC champ. Meanwhile Seth has been a fine champion, but I still feel like he can do more. He has proven his talent time and again, and I feel like his time to rejoin the main event scene is coming. But instead we will get Roman Reigns with Seth being his cooler younger brother until Evil Dean Ambrose comes back.

Carmella (C) vs. Asuka (WWE Smackdown’s Women’s Championship Match)

Another thing that I guess we shall experience sees Mella face someone who should murder her face. Instead, we may see the return of our lord and savior James Ellsworth help his lady keep her belt. Ellsworth has better merch than 90% of the WWE Roster (exhibit A), so any and all excuses for him to get that paper. Will his return be full time, or more like a Great Khali situation? We shall see. Anyway back to the two ladies in this match! Asuka is still Asuka and should be champion, but it seems like rumors are swirling Carmella is keeping the belt, so with all the gossip pointing to her returning Carmella manages to sneak in a victory. Followed by Asuka literally kicking someone so hard they explode.

Nia Jax (C) vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

There is plenty of ways this match can go. Nia Jax has wasted a heel turn so soon after trying to be a role model, which is probably the biggest tragedy of this whole thing. Jax deserves a real run as a face, but instead she proved Alexa Bliss right by being a bully. Ronda meanwhile is not ready to carry the belt, but that does not mean she will lose her. My prediction: Ronda wins the belt followed by some shenanigans (more on that later).

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing Match for WWE Championship Match)  

These two meet for (possibly) the last time and may actually be the match we have been waiting months to watch. This whole feud has been rather deflating, so these two better have a barn burner to make up for all the dick kicks. Shinsuke should have probably won the championship now after all the drama, and if he does not win here he never will. AJ Styles is still one of the top wrestlers in the world, but if this was their plan to have two workhorses draw this fued out i’ll eat a hat full of mustard. I feel like every time I think Shinsuke is going to win he ends up failing me, but now, truly, finally, it is the time to crown a new champ. Shinsuke wins probably…right? RIGHT?!

Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

Time for some lists! Here are the rankings from least to most likely to win the Women’s Briefcase.

  1. Lana- HAHAHAHA NOPEEEEEEE
  2. Naomi- She won a trophy this year. Moving on.
  3. Sasha Banks-Member when she was champ? Member that she is a four time champ? Member her Iron Man Match with Bayley? I Member!
  4. Ember Moon- Recently revealed in an interview she is scared of heights. So I am guessing no Eclipse from a ladder for us.
  5. Becky Lynch- I could see her getting the briefcase and turning hell on someone, but then the WWE would have to actually care about Becky and I am pretty sure they no longer do.
  6. Charlotte Flair- She has the talent to pull off a win, but will more likely do something insane off a ladder that makes us gasp in wonder. Sadly this will probably put her out of the match, but she will probably get a title shot sooner rather than later.
  7. Alexa Bliss- Having the briefcase would fight her character very well, especially if Nia retains and she can stalk her former bestie. That being said I wonder how she will fight into this match considering her style does not scream for hardcore stunts. Only thing I can see is her hitting Twisted Bliss on someone who is on a ladder, only to get tossed out towards the end.
  8. Natalya- I would have not said that Nattie Ice would get the briefcase a month ago, but here we are. The way I see it is this match is first on the card, and she wins the belt after what should be a fun romp. Then, when Ronda beats Nia Jax she goes in and pretends to be chummy with her buddy, only for a classic betrayal five. Then Nattie wins the belt and we get the Canadian vs the Rowdy One for Summerslam. Nattie is the one to guide Ronda to another solid match like her Wrestlemania match and give her a proper crowning at the big show.

 

Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Rusev vs. A New Day Member (Ladder Match for Men’s Money in the Bank Briefcase)

Here comes another list!

  1. Bobby Roode- Poor Bob Roode. Poor, poor Bob Roode.
  2. Rusev- We can’t have nice things. Deal with it.
  3. Finn Balor- Going to jump off a ladder for a Coup de Grace and ruin his chance to be the winner here. We know it is coming.
  4. The New Day Member- I could see Kofi getting the briefcase leading to a whole bunch of fun and eventual title win as a big “you deserve it” moment. I would not cry foul, but that depends on many moving parts coming into place (such as him actually being in the match). Big E could also be a dark horse, and Xavier would be interesting but unlikely.
  5. Kevin Owens- Wouldn’t complain. Fits his character to a tee to have the sudden cash in. Sadly his stock has dropped considerably since he got jobbed out to Goldberg last year and I wonder if he ever will be a main eventer again or if he will be the guy who keeps the face busy while they avoid the title scene.
  6. Samoa Joe- See KO’s entry, but with a slightly better track record (besides getting hurt at inopportune times)
  7. Braun Strowman- Similar to Charlotte Flair, we all know the Monster Among Men’s time is coming soon. Like, before the year is done. Like, please, let it happen before the leaves start falling. I NEED THIS WWE DON’T YOU MAKE ME WAIT!! I see the typical parade of finishers (this time with ladders!) to put the big man down for the count. Leading to…
  8. The Miz- He’s just too good to ignore. The most punchable face in entertainment is going to milk the briefcase for all it’s worth, and I’ll watch every damn minute of it. Vegas has him as the favorite, the internet has him as the favorite, and WWE would be foolish to not give Main Event Miz a second chance. I even named my fantasy football team Team Miz’s Dad (I got sixth out of eight thank you very much). It’s time to see The Miz TV to hit primetime.

 

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Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago 2 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

Here comes NXT to save the day once again. After the repeated hits on the head from WWE in terms of PPV’s it is time for fans to remind us once again that WWE can put on quality programming when they want to. That being said the build for this event has been muted. The matchups feature some repeats and odd combinations, which while being put together in entertaining ways still may not be what fans were necessarily looking forward to. Sure it may not be up to the standard of “ZOMG BEST MATCH EVER” (real Dave Meltzer quote) set by New Japan’s Dominion event, but at this point i’ll take a watchable WWE show. It may not be the NXT event we wanted, but it will be the WWE event we need. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Chicago 2 Predictions!

The Undisputed Era (C) vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch (NXT Tag Team Title Match)

It’s the battle of the technically gifted versus the hard hitting. While the team of Fiesty and Bald Men (copyright pending) have not been treated like a treat for 90 percent of their run, the build for this makes sense at least. Oney and Burch have always been people I wish NXT would do more with besides have them do the job to people, so seeing them both get a chance to work the big stage is a win in my book. Meanwhile Undisputed prove their worth each and every show, and little things such as getting people’s names wrong on purpose makes my inner Slytherin chuckle. There are other, more established teams out their, but in terms of a match I expect to have a lot of fun watching, this is a solid pairing. But despite this being a fun match I do not doubt for a second Undisputed is going to win. Simply put, they are too good as heels and with Adam Cole not having a match he can save the match for his boys no problem. Now a serious Heavy Machinery push for my boy Otis.

Shayna Baszler (C) vs. Nikki Cross (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

Fans have been waiting for awhile now for Cross to get a serious push or, like, just a Takeover match period, and now the wait is over. She is facing Kraina Quazner, who is nothing like Ronda Rousey or Sonya Deville. Nope, nothing like them at all. She is an OK wrestler, but she does not stand out much compared to a mega star like Ronda. Her theme song is pretty cool though. On the other hand Cross has been a long standing favorite of it mine. I was upset she did not get a call up with the rest of Sanity, but if it means we actually get to see her wrestle and say things in the most Scottish way possible I’m all for it. Can she win the big one? Probably soon, but not now. They build Vanier Killmayzer up for so long I cannot see her as a one and done champion in NXT. Maybe next year during the Women’s Royal Rumble.

Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream

This has been all about peacocking and showboating, and you could cut the sexual tension between the two with a cake server. These two tried to kill each other in the North American Championship match at Takeover: New Orleans, so I am ready to see what they do in a regular match. Both these guys are the future of NXT and WWE in general, and it would be nice to see the winner of this match go after the NXT Championship after this event. Dream has frequently come up short in big matches, yet has failed upwards towards more and more meaningful programs. Ricochet is exciting his honeymoon phrase with fans and this seems like a little bit of a detour considering how hot off the gate they initially positioned him. I think he will win against the Dream since the former Patrick Clark has years to get even better and can take the loss and spin it into gold later on. Ricochet needs the win more to say near the top until they pull the trigger on him as champ.

Aleister Black (C) vs. Lars Sullivan (NXT Championship Match)

Poor Dutch Ale has been in the backseat to everyone else since winning the big one, which is a shame considering is has been a consist performer in NXT. He has the look and skill set of a main eventer, but he is pushed to the back in favor of others with more developed personalities. The dark and brooding guy does very little week to week, and when he does appear it is most to remind us he can be dark and brooding. His opponent Lars Sullivan is getting the Cien Almas award for sudden ascension to the main event, and while I find him enjoyable enough I haven’t seen enough to think of him as a contender. Maybe with more seasoning, but besides his mean mug he screams generic monster man. Also, the piano part of his theme sounds like it is played on a child’s xylophone. A good but forgettable match see’s Big Champ Ale retain and go back to his emo corner.

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Chicago Street Fight)

The obvious main event of the evening promises to get ugly fast. What is the difference between and unsanctioned match and a street fight? NOBODY CARES NERDS!! Considering their first match featured several spots that made me legitimately wince and gasp I do not know what they are going to cook up here. But it is going to be brutal and hard to watch at times. Gargano got his big victory last time, and since then he has lost his wife due to inadvertent pushing (you think as a trained wrestler she would be able to take a bump better). Ciampa has been a killer on the mic and draws heat like no one else, and this will be a hot one with plenty of carnage happening. Hell, Ciampa got busted open during the build in pretty gruesome fashion before they brought toys into the picture. I think Ciampa is going to get the win here after taking advantage of some Gargano hubris and then sets his sights on a championship opportunity.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 47: Infinity War of the Worlds

Hold on to your butts, because Chris and Jon are back to discuss the epic Avengers: Infinity War!

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s Backlash 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s the post-WrestleMania hangover (yaay!).

The big event has come and gone, and WWE has attempted to keep the ball rolling with the likes of the Superstar Shakeup and the Greatest Royal Rumble, but now the creative well has gone dry.

Nobody ever really expects much from the months after WrestleMania, and besides a few hot feuds, people  would rather speculate on what next WrestleMania will be like as opposed to fantasy booking Backlash.

At least now all PPV’s will be co-branded now to make them even more homogenized?

There is one redeeming quality to Backlash: it falls on my birthday (ALL HAIL THE SLIGHTLY OLDER SPACEMAN!). I am Spaceman Frank, and coming off my near perfect predictions for The Greatest Royal Rumble (damn my hubris for picking Samoa Joe over Braun), and here are my Backlash 2018 predictions!

Bayley vs. Ruby Riott (Preshow Match)

Why isn’t this Bayley vs. Sasha Banks? Because shut up, that’s why.

I am not sure why the WWE refuses to pull the trigger on that feud, especially because they kept the ladies on the same show. Don’t get me wrong this match should be pretty OK and Ruby impressed me in her match against Charlotte, but c’mon man. Just give it to us. Bayley isn’t allowed to have nice things and this seems like the time to have the Riott Squad beat her up so Sasha can do the fake save and betray her, so I will say Ruby will get the win here.

Carmella (C) vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

Who’s ready for a good old fashioned murder?

Carmella finally cashed in, but I cannot imagine her holding the belt for very long. Charlotte is just too good and it wouldn’t make sense for her to break Asuka’s streak to then get stuck in a feud with ‘Mella. She just is not on the level to hang with the top ladies on the program, and is better served as a midcarder for people like Becky and Naomi to have matches with while they shift in and out of the spotlight.

Good for her for getting her win, though. But on Backlash, Charlotte gets her belt back and then goes after The Iconics for their part in having her lose the belt in the first place.

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Randy Orton (WWE United States Championship Match)

Where is my boy Rusev?! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, I WANT MY BOY RUSEV!!!

But seriously, WWE, what are you doing here? Having the title bounce from Randy to Jinder then Jeff reeks of impulse booking. Meanwhile, Rusev’s fans are begging for a chance to cheer for The Bulgarian Brute, and he remains more over than a certain babyface on the roster (COUGH). Randy continues to be that union employee who has seniority on everyone thus puts in about 30% effort when he shows up for work. Jeffery on the other hand, is just happy to be here and can be a good US champ in a vacuum. But he isn’t Rusev and thus is Satan. Jeff Hardy wins and hopefully then we can get good guy Rusev.

Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

The most over men in Quebec face off against two meaty hunks in what should be a fun match. Or like 75% of a fun match.

Since Bobby Lashley nearly killed Big Cass during the Greatest Royal Rumble I have cooled considerably on him. I understand he was pretty good in TNA, but until he proves it on Raw, I get some Roman-lite vibes off this push. Good thing he has Braun with him to get cheers (just like the forced pairing of Braun and Roman) and run over KO.

I am not sure what WWE is doing with any of these guys long term, but it looks like Braun is due for a big push sooner rather than later now that he won the green time stone infinity belt so he will pick up the win.

Nia Jax (C) vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

These two have been pushed down the totem poll in favor of watching Ronda chase people around the ring for Nattie, so it is pretty excusable to not be excited for this match. Their Wrestlemania match was a nice moment, but as for the sequel I do not see much new happening. There is only so much you can do when Alexa is so clearly outmatched physically by Nia. Jax could be the face of the women’s division for years to come since she is such a loveable human being in general, so I think she will retain and be champ until WWE is ready to have Ronda win the title.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Miz (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

These two have been killing it lately on their respective shows, so this should be a fun little match. The problem now is it is a relic of the pre-Superstar Shakeup, so there is no mystery as to what will happen here.

I’m a little sad WWE cannot chase the spot of top IC champ of all time, but that is a storyline that WWE can put in the freezer and thaw out whenever they run out of ideas for the Miz (AKA in three weeks).

Finn Balor is waiting for Seth on Raw, and he is a heel in all but name now, and with his goofy grin suddenly turning sinister I am ready for their feud to kick off. Meanwhile, Miz will continue to help other people get for the rest of time. Seth wins and Balor comes for the belt afterwards.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Who predicted this would be DB’s first big feud after his return? And who would have predicted that Big Cass wouldn’t suck nearly as bad as we thought?

Sure he isn’t doing fantastic but he is not detracting from the feud at all, which I never would have thought before he came back from injury. Maybe there is something to the seven footer that WWE officials saw before anyone else, and I honestly am curious to see if he shows he can hang with one of the best in ring performers on the roster. That over anything else is what I will be watching this match for. But even with his sudden ascent, Cass is going to lose to Daniel as we creep one step closer to DB vs The Miz.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

Can Joe just murder Roman and save us all?

After Roman failed yet again to beat Brock Lesnar we had to deal with him whining and having a moan until Joe would cut a brilliant promo on him. I have to believe they are trying to turn Roman heel with the nonstop complaining, it makes him look like a bum.

Joe deserves to get the win here, but since Reigns has been losing tons recently it is time for him to get a win so we can all feel bad about ourselves. Ya see, kids? Complain a bunch and you will eventually get what you want.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

This match is no DQ, which will probably favor the guy who has been constantly punching AJ in the dick.

I sense this could be the first proper high quality “dream match” between the two in WWE, and each of their encounters has been trending upwards since ‘Mania. I am just hoping they go on last since Brock is busy punching boulders like Chris in Resident Evil 5 or whatever he does in his spare time.

As much as I love that AJ is the man in WWE, I think it is time for Shinsuke to win the belt. After losing at ‘Mania then going to a no-contest because AJ was busying beating him up, it would not make sense for have him lose again. Therefore, Shinsuke wins and we keep this ball rolling until summertime.

 

Spaceman Frank’s Greatest Royal Rumble Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s not just a Rumble. It’s not just a Royal Rumble. IT’S THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE!

So great the WWE has truly half-assed the build to the show and acted like the event is going to be a weird non-cannon holiday special.

This is especially prevalent when WWE is setting up the card to the Backlash PPV (which is on my birthday, by the way, hold the applause), while essentially just casually mentioning this event in a 50,000 seat arena in Saudi Arabia.

Is there anything more WWE than to continue flying the women’s revolution while holding a massive show in a place that is historically is not great with equality?

All that stuff aside this shall be a unique event to watch. There is plenty of (men only) matches to watch, including a 50 man Royal Rumble that sees many former stars returning. Throw in a Friday afternoon start time in a foreign country and it should be an interesting time. Oh, and there is all that Brock and Roman drama to look forward to after all that ‘Mania 34 drama (I’m sure that won’t be an awkward match… )

I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Greatest Royal Rumble predictions!

Cedric Alexander (C) vs. Kalisto (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

Fresh off the WrestleMania preshow sees Cedric defend his Cruiserweight championship against everyone’s favorite filler opponent, Kalisto.

This came together at the last minute and features possibly the least interesting character on 205 Live, so I do not have much hope that this will match the ‘Mania match.

Not sure why Mustafa Ali did not get a rematch, but hey at least we can look forward to pretending that Lucha House Party is a thing! That’s fun right everyone?! You all remember all those crazy college parties where people played beer pong and hit spikeramas on people?! Anyway, Cedric retains in hopes that they do something with the talented wrestler.

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. The Usos (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

The story here is the Bludge Boys (Nope, nixing that nickname right now) are creeping on Naomi, but since she can’t compete in Saudi Arabia, who cares about this match?

Nobody really cares what happens here. It may be a fun match, but the WWE is looking past this and onto Backlash. Of course, they are doing that with many matches on the card, but this is bottom of the barrel level of care from the company. I am tempted to say that they care so little they may change the titles to pop the crowd, but realistically probably not. MY BOY Luke Harper and the bros. retain.

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy vs. The Bar (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

So after Braun and Nicholas won the belts at ‘Mania they gave it up immediately, thus making the whole thing completely meaningless.

We then got a tournament featuring four, count ’em, four tag teams facing off for the right to face The Bar at the Greatest Royal Rumble for the red belts. Then The Bar went to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup, thus adding another layer of worthlessness to this match.

Bray and Matt can be a fun team, and since they are a lock to win I look forward to whatever weird promos they will cut for the next several months. Deleter of Worlds win as I play XCOM on my laptop.

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (WWE US Title Match)

Welp, we got another weird match ruined by the Superstar Shakeup. Could they not schedule it for May or something? Jefferson Hardy can be a solid US champ, while Jinder can slowly fade into the background on Raw until Vince accidentally sits in his lap thinking he is a chair and getting another run as WWE Champion. Jeffy boy wins and moves on to face Randy Orton in another feud I cannot wait to be over with already.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe (Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship Match)

Finally, a match I can look forward to!

Except my favorites Samoa Joe and Miz are on SmackDown now, so that’s a waste. That leaves Finn and Seth, both of whom really need a notch in the win column. Finn lost The Club, so unless he grab Titus Worldwide or The Miztourage he is solo again. I think a heel turn is in order sooner rather than later, but for now he will continue to smile and lose as he tends to do. Seth wins and swings the belt over his head like a goon.

John Cena vs. Triple H

Hey, this is happening! Anyone care? Nope? Okay then.

It is hard to predict this match since I think everyone forgot it was happening. I think Triple H will be in the back, hear his music, then freak out and start stripping. Gonna say John Cena wins since he is slightly more active than Triple H and surprisingly has been on a pretty epic losing streak lately.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

Another match to actually care about sees AJ try to get revenge for his dick. Yup, that is the story, but hey, anyone else would be peeved about constantly getting low-blowed.

Really, AJ should know what is coming and wear a cup on Tuesday nights. Side Note: I love Nakamura’s new theme song. I could see Nakamura getting a run with the belt at some point (like Backlash). I think we shall see Styles triumph either by sneaking in a quick pin or Shinsuke going to the well and going for the dick punch again and getting DQ’ed. Either way, AJ wins.

The Undertaker vs. Rusev (Casket Match)

If John Cena cannot last three minutes, what chance does Rusev have?

I just cannot see this being memorable in any way besides seeing Undertaker wrestle again. But if this is just a chance for people to cheer while Undertaker slowly makes his way to the ring, what happens afterwards does not matter nearly as much. Undertaker wins because of course he does and Rusev gets his wish to be “buried softly,” brother.

50 Man Royal Rumble Match

I’ll always take more Royal Rumble matches, but this may end up being too much.

They only have about half of the participants announced, so the risk of huge amounts of filler is high here. Throw in the fact that we do not know what the winner actually gets and I am not sure why we should care about this match besides that it should be pretty fun. I just feel bad for guys like Heath Slater who are flying halfway around the world to get tossed after two minutes by The Great Khali.

As for an actual winner, I’ll pick Samoa Joe to give him a boost before he murders Roman Reigns at Backlash.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns (Steel Cage Match for WWE Universal Championship)

WWE fooled everyone at WrestleMania 34 by having Brock spam finishers until he beat Roman, with the popular theory that Vinny Mac was waiting for The Greatest Royal Rumble for a more positive reaction to the title change.

My hope is that the fans in Saudi Arabia are all high-level internet fans who copy American fans by being super snarky. That would make my day.

As much at it makes sense that WWE would shoot for a Roman victory that may actually get a positive reaction from the crowd, I do not see that happening. WWE has Brock in their pocket for a while still as he needs to complete several more months of his UFC suspicion. While I cannot see him holding the belt for much longer, I’ve been burned by the Reign’s push before and I do not think it is happening. They would have had Roman smash Brock in a match similar to Brock and Goldberg instead of the drawn out affair they had if they wanted the crowd to care.

Instead, Brock Lesnar wins and WWE pivot to focusing on Ronda Rousey on Raw before getting a Money in the Bank winner available to cash in on Brock down the line.

Manopera! Episode 57: WrestleMania 34 Weekend Review

Chris and Spaceman Frank review WrestleMania 34 weekend and speculate the Superstar shakeup and the state of the main roster.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Bonesaw Podcast – Episode 55: Bruce Corbitt

Chris sits down with the mighty Bruce Corbitt, who may or may not be Batman as they talk Rigor Mortis, Mike Scaccia, Corbitt’s uphill battles and much more – including the April 21 “Freaks” demo release that has Corbitt’s long-lost vocals from yesteryear!

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP – Episode 39: WrestleMania 34 / NXT TakeOver: New Orleans

by Jon Schorr

Ya boy Jon and the Jewharaja review NXT TakeOver: New Orleans and WrestleMania 34!

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s WrestleMania 34 Predictions

It’s that time of year where being a wrestling fan becomes a full-time job.

WWE has decided to blast us with 14 matches on ‘Mania Sunday, which on paper seems insane. But at the same time, there is very little fat to trim from the PPV, and I can honestly say I am stoked for about 11 and a half of the matches. Sure, it is going to be a long night, but this has the potential to be the best of the six plus PPV’s WWE has insisted on putting on in the WWE Network Era.

The big questions I have for the event is 1) when will I be able to pee during the event and 2) how bitter and angry I’ll be during the Universal Title match. The build could have been better for some matches and Raw and SmackDown still are tolerable only as a series of Youtube clips, but IT’S ‘MANIA SEASON BABY! You can’t not get at least a little bit of excitement going when thinking about it. I’m Spaceman Frank and these are my WrestleMania 34 predictions.

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal

Big mistake to have both battle royals on the preshow as it is hard enough to get people to care about the men’s one before throwing women in their as well.

I would have had the women’s battle royal and the Cruiserweights on the main show and throw the Raw women’s championship match and the US title match on the preshow. Anyway, WWE really screwed this one right out of the gate by initially naming it after The Fabulous Moolah.

To use their “what if kids google her and find out what she did” anti-Chyna logic, there is plenty of popular and talented ladies involved here, but not a whole lot of story to go around. Bayley and Sasha Banks are getting the most screen time, but I see them eliminating each other to set something up later. Outside of that I could see Becky Lynch win since she really needs something in the win column. She is my pick of the announced people in the match, but I will cheat a bit and take a flyer out on Ember Moon being a surprise entrant and winner.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

WWE has not exactly stacked this match with a murder’s row of talent, instead giving people a chance to remember that Rhyno and Zack Ryder are still employed.

The honor of winning this match has lost all meaning, so I hope they have some decent action planned for this thing. Out of the announced people in the match I do not feel particularly keen on any of them, so using the “well, I have one of his shirts” logic I’ll give Heath Slater the nod. However, I’ll take a flyer out on a returning Samoa Joe winning this thing since Joe needs to be on a WrestleMania card finally and get a win as well.

Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

This was the second match announced for WrestleMania.

205 Live has been a very exciting program to watch as the tournament unfolded. Cedric continues to be the guy we truly hope gets a big break and gets the push we know he deserves. Ali has built a groundswell of support by getting you invested in his story and cutting better promos that most of the main roster. But these guys are an inch or two too small SO AWAY TO THE PRESHOW WITH YOU LADS!!

Seriously, perhaps one of the biggest mistakes the WWE has made with the WrestleMania card is putting this in the preshow and it is a continued sign that the 205 crew are stuck in no man’s land. I wish both men could win this match, and no matter what, I think they will have a hell of a match that pumps up the crowd. I am split 50/50 between the two, but Ced has been my boy for longer so I want him to finally get the crown.

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship Match)

The simple story here is Bliss has gone full mean girl on her IRL best friend but onscreen rival Nia Jax.

This has lead to lots of crying from Jax followed by unbridled rage. The complicated story is that WWE continues to treat women differently from men, since you do not see Braun Strowman crying in the corner because The Bar made fun of his height.

Slightly problematic, but Jax has said she is fine with it and it is a solid bet she will win. Jax has deserved a high profile win for years at this point, since most big match she is in ends with her losing. She will steamroll the tiny Bliss in a fun but short match and finally get the big win on the biggest stage of them all.

The Bar (C) vs. Braun Strowman and TBD (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)

If WWE does not make a Brains Strowman shirt I have lost faith in humanity.

I think Braun should be able to challenge for the belts solo since it would lead to some more interesting future booking. Plus, it would give him something to do while they fart around with Roman before they realize Braun is better in every single way.

While the Bar continue to be as solid as ever, it is hard to compete with the magic that is Braun. As much as I want to see James Ellsworth make his triumphant return to WWE and be Strowman’s partner, I doubt that will happen. I could see Rey Mysterio being the mystery partner for a similar dynamic, plus it could give Rey a chance to recover while Braun does the heavy lifting. However, I think Big Show will return and the pair of massive men will win the championships off The Bar.

Randy Orton (C) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode vs. Rusev (Fatal Four Way for the United States Championship)

This match is Rusev’s to win, which makes it all the more shocking that he was a last minute addition to this match.

His merch sales have been through the roof in 2018, and you would think that if WWE cared enough about the Bulgarian Brute to make Rusev Day calendars they would have a plan for him during ‘Mania.

Meanwhile, Randy Orton is farting about SmackDown as per usual and has added nothing to the US belt as champion. Roode has quickly lost momentum as well and needs to be a heel ASAP. In other news, Jinder continues to Jinder his way through life, and I could see him eventually get the Rusev circa 2015 treatment with the belt.

But all in all, it is Rusev’s time and there is no way they completely ignore the babyface connection he has with the crowd right? Right???? Rusev wins on Rusev Day and we get America-loving foreigner Rusev filming skits at The Alamo and national parks for six months.

The Usos (C) vs. The New Day vs .The Bludgeon Brothers (Triple Threat for SmackDown Tag Team Championships)

First off, I am super happy all three of these teams get a chance to wrestle on the main card of WrestleMania this year (New Day hosted last year). Second, this could be a sleeper hit on a long card.

Give these guys around 15 minutes and let them go balls out and it could be an amazing way to invigor the crowd after say, a Roman or Ronda debacle.

The Usos have been great as champs, and The New Day continue to find ways to keep their gimmick fresh. Meanwhile, the Bludgeon Brothers are not exactly a new team on the scene, but MY BOY Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are looking like killers thus far (now if only they dressed like real people).

Any team could walk away with the belts and I would be happy, but I am going to be biased and say The Bros. win the belts and MY BOY brings the blue and silver strap home to Western New York.

The Miz (C) vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins (Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship)

This is another tough one to call.

The Miz has been his glorious best as of late, having a healthy baby girl born and winning 100K for homeless dogs by winning the Mixed Matched Challenge. On that note, YA DON’T SEE ROMAN REIGNS HELPING SHELTER DOGS DO YA??!! SOME BIG DOG YOU ARE, YOU PUTZ!!

Miz has to deal with two stellar workhorses that it can be argued need to belt. Finn is trying to get the Balor Club (now with more than one member!!) off the ground, and Rollins has been ramping back up to pre-knee injury levels as of late.

What I really want is Miz to come within days of becoming the longest reigning IC champ of all time then lose leading to an epic meltdown. What I see happening is Finn remembering he can put on the paint and stomp people to death and win the belt. Seth has no backup and Miz should probably take some paternity leave after ‘Mania.

Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Asuka (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

The real main event for women’s wrestling for the weekend (though it probably will not be the last women’s match on the card) sees Asuka defend her streak against arguably her toughest opponent yet.

Charlotte is someone I can see beating Asuka once her streak is already over, but not before. Having Asuka face Ronda in a year is much more of a money match, unless Ronda failboats hard in the following months. That being said, this should be a hell of a match, and Flair is one of the few women that can match Asuka’s physicality in the ring.

There are some rumbles that Carmella will cash in here, but I see her going to Raw to make up for Asuka jumping ship and cashing in on Jax or Bliss. Asuka wins in an epic encounter that makes you pause and think the streak may end.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

This could be fine, but I have a feeling the audience both in the arena and at home will have little patience for this match.

Triple H moves at glacial pace against younger opponents, but against Kurt and his dead shark eyes I do not see much vigorous action happening. Meanwhile, we got a non-wrestler and actual executive taking on a former UFC champ.

Ronda has not exactly wowed as a pro wrestler thus far, but awkwardness on the mic aside, she is still an elite athlete. If she went against someone she could just trade blows with and do some chain wrestling with this would be fine, but against Steph? No way this is going to be smooth.

Name one offense move in Stephanie McMahon’s moveset besides a slap. I’ll wait.

That being said, if this match ends with Kurt and Ronda getting the double tapout victory in less than ten minutes I’ll consider it a win for the company. Team Tapout beats team Board Members in a hot mess.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

This shocker of a match came together at the last minute and probably has more to drive the hype up for WrestleMania and any single other match has.

The immediate flood of support for DB has myself and most other wrestling fans on a high, and I cannot wait to see Shane get beat up in front of his stupid kids and then give a hot tag to Bryan.

They also have the perfect foils in Sami and KO who will do everything they can to make both men look good. There are lots of rumors that Shane or Bryan will turn heel here, but I do not know if I see it happening at WrestleMania. Both these guys resigned their authority roles, so I see this as a chance to reintegrate DB into the active roster and give Shane a chance to disappear for a bit to refresh his character and maybe comeback as a bad guy.

But this is WrestleMania and Daniel’s first match back will be a clean win with no shenanigans so the crowd have a happy moment before the main event (shudder…it’s getting closer).

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

What everyone wants the main event to be besides Old Man Vinny Mac sees two of the best in the world square off at the biggest show of the year. Shut up and take my money.

This has not gotten the grandiose treatment that the Universal Title match has gotten, but it does not need it. Everyone knows this is the Savage/Steamboat match on the card and could be something truly special.

Do I expect them to knock each others brains out like they did at Wrestle Kingdom? No. Do I still expect a spectacle? Yes.

Shinsuke should have the entrance of the night which will be worth the price of admission alone. I really hope WWE does not drop the ball and have this be the opener. I will chug a beer in anger if that happens. As for who wins, I think it is Shinsuke’s moment here and pulling the trigger on him later will not nearly mean as much.

John Cena vs. The Undertaker

While not an official match on the card, I cannot imagine WWE would allow Cena to drag ‘Taker’s name through the mud for nothing.

What remains to be seen is what version of Undertaker we get, both in terms of look (Biker ‘Taker rumors have been a hot topic as of late) and how healthy he will be. He did not look great last year, and post-hip surgery makes me worried about how many bumps he will be capable of.

This is more of a curious sideshow more than a match that I am really looking forward to, but if it wipes the taste of last year’s debacle of a main event out of my mouth I will be fine with that. It will also be interesting to see how salty Undertaker is after Johnny Boy effectively turned the Dead Man into a heel during the build.

As for who wins, if this is closer to the beginning of the show I can see ‘Taker passing the part timer torch to Cena. If ‘Taker comes out as  the American Badass towards the end of the show I think he will pull out the victory. I’ll go with historical precedent and say ‘Taker wins to get some revenge on the Neon Knight.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Universal Championship Match)

UGHHHHHHHH.

We got the best version of this match three years ago that featured Brock beating the piss out of Roman for 90% of the match before Seth Rollins came in to win the belt. Now, we have no last minute contract renewal by Lesnear, no Money in the Bank cash in (imagine Baron Corbin being the savior of ‘Mania), and no reason to allow Brock to dominate Roman.

I really wish they would put this match on first to placate Vince so he could go to bed and AJ vs. Shinsuke can headline. Instead, I think WWE is going to wait until the entire crowd is tired and ready to boo this match into oblivion or file out early. I cannot see this match being worth the previous six or so hours of waiting. Roman wins, nobody is happy, and everyone goes to bed angry and disappointed. Happy ‘Mania day to all.

 

Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Predictions

by Frank Lucci

The Easter Bunny has delivered a late present with this one. TakeOvers are usually grad affairs, but WWE really have gone all out on this one.

This could be one of those events that gets into the rarefied air of other legendary live events. I could not hype this one up more if I tired, and I plan on spending my Saturday night freaking out and yelling at my TV like I am a wee lad again. Hell, I plan on taking a nap after work so that I can be fully energized for the event. When your wrestling is so good you need to take an afternoon nap beforehand you have something special on your hands. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my TakeOver: New Orleans predictions!

Ember Moon (C) vs. Shayna Blazler (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

I start with the match that has the least mystery to me.

I was shocked that Ember held on to her championship the first time around, so I think Kanyser McDanger will take the belt here. NXT told a good story of how Moon survived their first encounter, but they cannot do the same finish twice. Plus Ember is prime for a main roster run and get some matches in with ladies like Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

I could see Wanyer Gamezer jumping ship to act as Ronda’s proxy while she get’s good, but really I think WWE has made it clear on their weekly programming she is going to be the focus for the foreseeable future. Blaszler wins in the only potential misstep of the show.

Undisputed Era (C) vs. Authors of Pain vs. Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne (Triple Threat for NXT Tag Team Championship)

It is very unfortunate that Bobby Fish got injured right at WrestleMania season, but it did add some last minute mystery to this match. I was hoping Adam Cole would be forced out of the North American Championship match, but having him choose is also an interesting twist. I see him choosing the singles belt but running interference to help his buddy Kyle. Authors of Pain have nothing to prove, and I want them to challenge Braun and his mystery partner for the Raw belts the show after ‘Mania. Strong and Dunne are the X factor here, and they could be a super fun tag team that has a good run before the sudden but inevitable betrayal. But I think Undisputed Era wins via some tomfoolery to retain, with Cole losing his ladder match so that they can keep Undisputed strong sans Fish.

Adam Cole vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Velveteen Dream vs. EC3 vs. Ricochet (Ladder Match for NXT North American Championship)

My reaction to finding out about this match boiled down to this for about four days.

For one thing, my boy Ricochet is making his debut, and I am all in on seeing him in WWE. Second, we got EC3 also making his in ring debut, and just his intro promo alone has me excited to see what he will be able to do for NXT. Throw in four other capable wrestlers and this could be special.

My only complaint is I wished they swapped Cole out of the match once Bobby Fish got hurt and replace him with Kassius Ohno or someone similar. But between Lars and Dain trying to out hoss each other, several debuts, and Cole probably flying through the air repeatedly I am stoked. Plus, anything involving the Dream could lead to some levity in what could be a death defying showdown.

I think EC3 and Ricochet have the best chance to win, and out of the two I can see EC3 getting the strap. He would serve well as the entitled heel that NXT is known for, and having him already debut has allowed the crowd to get their “welcome to NXT” pop out of their system.

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa

IT’S TIME FOR BLOODSPORT BABY!

These guys are going to tear each other to pieces and I cannot wait. One of the best long-term stories in WWE of the past decade, which is even more impressive because Ciampa has been gone for most of it.

Johhny Wrestling is one of the most over pure babyfaces in all of WWE, and Tommaso has been pitch perfect as a vengeful heel. Just watching the hype packages they have rolled out for this have me ready to see some violence.

But who wins this match? I could see it go either way. Gargano is ready for a main roster run, even if he will most likely end up on 205 Live, so that makes me lean towards a Ciampa win to keep Johnny off of NXT. However, considering Johnny has won very few big matches and I think NXT will allow everyone’s favorite wrestler a chance to hear his entrance music play twice on a live event. Gargano wins in a gutsy affair.

Andrade “Cien” Almas (C) vs. Aleister Black (NXT Championship Match)

Who would have thought after seeing this match at TakeOver: Orlando that this would be the main event of any show?

Cien has grown tremendously as champ, and while it still feels a bit odd that he is the top guy in a loaded field, it does not seem as improbable as say, Jinder’s run at the top.

His opponent, meanwhile, has been steadily proving himself as one of the most believable and consist performers in all of WWE. He looks the part of a demonic kickboxer, and I could see a scenario where he is on the main roster ASAP.

That being said, I think we have gotten all we can get out of Cien as champion. He had a match of the year candidate against Gargano, so they should have him drop the belt and move up while he still has some goodwill. I just do not see him being compelling for much longer in NXT and could be a boon to 205 Live. Aleister wins, holds down the fort, and offers up some dreams matches for the next year or so.