Tag Archives: Alberto Del Rio

Spaceman Frank’s Money in the Bank 2016 Predictions

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Official Money in the Bank 2016 poster. Credit: WWE.com

by Frank Lucci

Oh Money in the Bank. Considered to be on the level or just below the Big Four Pay-Per-Views (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series), oftentimes the event is one big tease.

We get excited over who gets the Money in the Bank contract and will most likely get a run with the WWE World Heavyweight title, but considering how recent winners have fared when they’ve actually cashed in (Sheamus, Rollins, etc.) it’s been either a blessing or a curse depending on the Superstar. With a whopping ten matches scheduled for this year’s event, this could be a down year for the PPV. Nonetheless, Spaceman Frank is here to predict what will happen at Money in the Bank 2016.

MITB Kickoff: The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boyz

A recent edition to the pre-show will feature the Dudleys again being wasted on another meaningless and directionless feud with a team that frankly should have broken up once Kalisto won the United States Championship. Neither team has done much and with a sudden influx of tag teams (none of whom seem to be doing anything significant other than The New Day and Enzo and Cass) there is no reason to care about this match. Can we get a continued singles run for Kalisto please? The Dudley Boyz will pick up the win because they are the veteran team and are due for a victory.

The Golden Truth vs. Breezango

For whatever reason this feud is still a thing. While I’m all for lower card guys getting storylines to work with, this has been stretching out two weeks of plot devices in what has felt like three years. Fandango should replace the recently released Adam Rose in the Social Outcasts and Tyler Breeze might as well join The New Day since he is a regular on Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown YouTube channel. Meanwhile, The Golden Truth has some potential as a veteran tag team with oddball personalities, but they can’t even get into the Fatal Four Way for the tag belts because of this atrocious angle. Breezango wins because somebody has to win and it might as well be the super handsome guys.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

On the plus side these guys have managed to get off the pre-show. On the negative side these guys are still stuck feuding. Either man could have spiced up the Money in the Bank ladder match, but instead we have to see the same match we’ve been watching since WrestleMania ended. Ziggler wins to finally end this and make him look strong in time for the brand split.

Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus

Yet another match featuring wrestlers thrown together with minimal story (at least this is a fresh pairing) because both men need something to do until the brand split. Crews has been getting the Breeze treatment since joining the main roster and Sheamus has done nothing even though he has a major role in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Rocksteady-err Sheamus wins because of said movie while Crews continues to just be happy he was invited to the party.

Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch

Instead of having Charlotte defend her Womens Championship, she’s dealing with her new BFF Dana Brooke being a klutz of a partner while Nattie and Becky are just kind of there. Despite having a wide range of competitors to challenge for the title, this match exists as an extension of the never ending Charlotte vs. Nattie feud.

The WWE is currently very, very guilty of beating dead-horse storylines (see Ziggler and Corbin), maybe because the upcoming brand split but also probably due to laziness. Anyway, the Spaceman thinks Charlotte and Brooke pick up the win because Nattie can never have nice things.

The New Day (C) vs. The Club vs. Enzo and Cass vs. The Vaudevillians (Tag Team Championships Match)

This match should be pretty exciting based on the promos alone and each team can deliver in the ring. It would be nice if The New Day won out and carried the belts for a full year, but I don’t see that happening. Instead, The Club will walk away with the gold. For one, they’re the only tag team in the match without a fun side, making them a wildcard in this match. Second, with The New Day now as faces and the two recent NXT callups still finding their footing The Club is prime for a championship win. They need the titles to help make their group more legit and the epic New Day vs. Enzo and Cass feud that will eventually happen can take place without the championships being on the line.

Rusev (C) vs. Titus O’Neil (United States Championship Match)

An epic hoss fight, these two are capable of having a fun match that will probably be around seven minutes long. Many feared that O’Neil would be punished after his suspension, while others feared Rusev would be buried by a returning John Cena after his newfound title win.

Thankfully neither scenario seems to be the case. Rusev will keep the gold here, as I see this as a way for the WWE to test the waters on a Titus title run to see if he can take his awesome hot-tag fire and ignite a singles push. 

Then again, MITB takes place on Father’s Day. Would it not be a wonderful swerve if the WWE gave the 2015 Celebrity Dad of the Year award winner his first singles title instead of another tie?

Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Alberto Del Rio (Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

The marquee matchup of this event has been hampered somewhat by the fact that one: we’ve seen all the competitors (especially Zayn, Owens and Cesaro) have matches against each other on every single Raw and SmackDown! in the past few weeks and two: it seems unrealistic that anybody besides Ambrose or Owens will win the match.

Ambrose has flirted with the main event scene since The Shield broke up and winning the briefcase could help him finally ascend to the next level. Owens fits the bill of the classic sneaky heel Money in the Bank winner who can cash in on a wounded babyface. Overall, Ambrose fits the bill best and needs the briefcase more than anyone else.

John Cena vs. AJ Styles

The WWE is fast-tracking this dream match, which I honestly thought would be a big-money SummerSlam encounter rather than a B PPV headliner. The battle between the two faces of two very different companies finally happens and people have been quick to assume that Cena will be the victor.

Both men have managed to sell this matchup solely on mic work and even more important we have not seen Cena job out The Club on Raw or SmackDown! (as he is known to do), thus preserving their status as game changers. Since this is the first encounter between the two icons, I see Styles taking this match for the OMG IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED pop (just like Owens’ clean win over the Cenation leader last year), leading to a bitter grudge match at SummerSlam.

Roman Reigns (C) vs Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
This match is heavily overshadowed by rumors that the top championship in the company will become two world titles due to the brand split. This is especially poignant considering that Rollins has been pretty justified in his rage towards Reigns, who he sees as an unworthy champion considering he never beat Rollins (who was forced to relinquish his title upon injury last year).

With the WWE continuously in a bind with Reigns as champ, having shenanigans occur during this match offers the company the chance to have their cake and eat it too. Some sort of DQ/non-finish will occur, giving WWE an excuse to split the titles and allow them to have Reigns be one champ while Rollins can hold the gold for the smark crowd on the secondary brand.

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Manopera! Episode 10: Bonesaw’s 1 Year Anniversary Podcast (Featuring Royal Rumble 2016)

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It’s the one year podcast anniversary for Bonesaw and we couldn’t be more excited. Chris and Frank are once again joined by Nick Lopez of Prowrestlingopinion.com to mull over the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble and the puzzling aftermath on Raw. Enjoy countless thrills, spills, chills and of course, Manopera!

Spaceman Frank’s WWE TLC 2015 Predictions

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By Frank Lucci

I could start this prediction article with yet another tirade about how poorly the WWE has booked their programs and how the lazy writing from the creative team has made what should be an exciting Pay-Per-View into another mediocre event. Instead, I’ve decided to list three positives to keep in mind while watching TLC.

  1. They have gotten rid of the incredibly stupid stairs add on from last year.
  2. The Big Show is not set to appear.
  3. NXT is holding another Takeover event later in the week.

With this in mind, here are Spaceman Frank’s TLC 2015 predictions.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger – Chairs Match for the United States Championship

With a stairs match no longer able to provide people with a bathroom break, the WWE has reverted to having the Chairs match as the least hyped match on the PPV.

Alberto Del Rio has done nothing since returning to the WWE, despite beating John Cena clean for the championship, being managed by Zeb Coulter, joining the already ill-fated League of Nations stable and then (thankfully) ditching Coulter. With Swagger having the same amount of momentum as his opponent (aka zero) and an awkward stipulation to work in, this match is sure to disappoint. I see no reason for Del Rio to lose the belt here or anytime before Cena returns.

The ECW Originals (Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno) vs. The Wyatt Family(Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) – Elimination Tag Team Tables Match

It is a sad state of affairs when it is disappointing that Spike Dudley is not booked into a feud. ECW reunions are played out beyond belief, but yet again we got to see the four or so semi-functional originals trotted out for a nostalgia pop. The Dudleys have fallen off the map hard since their return over the summer and the Wyatt Family has not fared much better.

That being said, much of the talent in this match should make this an entertaining affair as long as creative does not overbook things. I also like that we finally get all the members of the Wyatt Family involved in a PPV match and Rhyno has shown in NXT that he can still go.

My biggest issue is with Dreamer’s involvement with the match. Dreamer is a veteran performer and is still a decent hand in the ring, but the man has a lengthy history of concussions. Why the WWE would book him into a match that involves massive dudes throwing each other into tables yet Daniel Bryan cannot be booked in any capacity in the WWE despite being medically cleared by independent neurologists is beyond me. With so little star power on Raw and Smackdown these days, Bryan would be a welcome addition to the show as a wrestler, authority figure or even a manager.

Back to the actual match now. With both the Wyatt Family and the Dudley’s hurting for a win this match will be hard to call. I believe the Wyatt Family will pull out a win by taking advantage of the part timers on the ECW team along with the fact that they are massive fucking dudes.

Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Paige – Divas Chapionship Match

It’s mind boggling how badly the WWE has botched this feud. Since creative can’t decide what to do with Charlotte, I would not be surprised to see her turn heel on both Paige and her dad, then immediately turn face and join The New Day for five minutes before forming a new faction with Bo Dallas and Barry Horowitz called “The Charleston Chews.”

Anyway, Charlotte seems to be set to give in to her inner Flair and cheat her way to victory. This would be much more impactful if Becky Lynch was her opponent for the title instead of Paige, who seemed to appear out of nowhere to challenge Charlotte. A placeholder feud between two talented women, Charlotte will retain and most people will remember the likely heel turn more than the in ring action.

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) – Tag Team Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships

Perhaps the best reason to watch TLC, this match seeks to emulate classic ladder matches between several teams and should give these hungry high flyers ample opportunity to steal the show. Granted, the booking leading into the match has been bland besides The New Day’s usual shenanigans, but considering the talent and exciting stipulation here fans can expect some fireworks. The New Day will retain and hopefully get even more chances to get ridiculous on Raw.

Kevin Owens (C) vs. Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship Match

Another potential show stealing match pitches two savvy grapplers against each other for the IC belt. While the pair’s Survivor Series match disappointed, this can be chalked up to the tournament forcing Ambrose to save his energy for his later match. Owens and Ambrose have had a chance to develop chemistry since their previous encounter. If given the right amount of time, these two can definitely give fans something to cheer about and remind people why we enjoy wrestling in the first place. Owens retains and keeps the feud alive for another PPV.

Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns (TLC match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

WWE almost had me getting behind Sheamus as champion. His Sheamus 5:15 gimmick and his braggart style was fairly entertaining and showed why he was more deserving of the title than Reigns.  In addition, him forming the League of Nations using several underutilized wrestlers almost had me thinking the internet wrestling community might back him. Then on the go-home Raw before TLC, the WWE booked Sheamus to look pathetic and revealed they have little faith in the man.

The only person looking worse than Sheamus is Reigns, who delivered yet another terrible promo that revolved around casual racism and testicle jokes. And yet WWE still wants us to view Reigns as a sympathetic character despite the fact that:

  1. Reigns has challenged for WWE World Heavyweight Championship on PPV five times (including TLC)  in 2015 (and had two additional championship matches at PPV’s if you include Money in the Bank cash ins).
  2. He also headlined Fastlane in February and won the Royal Rumble.
  3. He partners with Dean Ambrose, who goes from nearly winning the belt to being kicked back down to sidekick status yet again.

Out of 13 total PPV’s in 2015, Reigns has been in the main event seven times. It is time to end the experiment and for WWE to realize that Reigns simply is not main event material at this time. During this time of record low ratings the WWE cannot hope that the mixed reaction Reigns gets will somehow morph into a John Cena style pop (as there is no time to wait for Reigns to figure it all out while ratings tank).

With Cena, at least respect is there. As far as Reigns is concerned, he is headlining the majority of the year’s PPV’s and cannot gain any traction with fans. It was very telling that Reigns got jeers instead of cheers when shown crying after Survivor Series. Even worse is that WWE has sacrificed Sheamus (who could have used his upcoming role in TMNT 2 to gain a new level of popularity and mainstream recognition while being champ) to try to get us to feel bad for a bland guy who gets yet another chance at the gold.

Sadly enough, I see Reigns winning to end the Sheamus experiment and Brock Lesnar finally coming back at the Royal Rumble to set up a WrestleMania rematch between the two.

Spaceman Frank’s Survivor Series 2015 Predictions

 

By Frank Lucci

Survivor Series was once one of only four Pay-Per-View events the WWE (then WWF) put on per year. With the unique elimination tag team setup, Survivor Series became a must-see Thanksgiving event.

However, with Money in the Bank supplanting Survivor Series in importance the event has struggled to live up to it’s own reputation.

With last year’s Team Cena vs Team Authority main event (and the debut of Sting) helping breathe life into the PPV, this year’s edition of Survivor Series seeks to up the ante with a celebration of The Undertaker’s 25 year career and the crowning of a WWE World Heavyweight Champion after Seth Rollins’ knee had enough of wrestling Kane and promptly  self-destructed.

But with WWE’s uneven booking, even these high-profile events have felt fairly lackluster and the mid and lower card matches faring even worse. With that in mind, here are Spaceman Frank’s Survivor Series 2015 predictions.

Traditional Survivor Series 5 on 5 Tag Team Elimination Match (Who the Fuck Knows vs. Are We Supposed to Even Care?)

The WWE has announced a traditional Survivor Series match for this event but has given zero clues as to who will be involved, thus making this a clear time waster for a PPV.

If I had to wager a guess I would say this will be a face versus heel match that means fuck all but will be entertaining with the right talent involved.

My dream scenario is The New Day (who appear to be not defending their Tag Team Titles on the show) teaming with Sheamus (again, who has nothing going on despite being Mr. Money in the Bank) and King Barrett taking on Cesaro, Neville, The Dudley Boyz and Ryback. Regardless of who are on these teams, considering how little build this match has gotten expect the faces to win.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze (with Summer Rae)

A natural pair of rivals, this match will hopefully serve as an impressive PPV debut for Breeze, who could use a win after losing to Ambrose in the Deadly Games 2: Electric Boogaloo tournament. Hopefully WWE writers have learned from NXT that an aggressive Breeze is the best Breeze and have Prince Pretty take it to Dolph and pick up the win. With Summer Rae having feuded with Ziggler in the past (and seeing his junk) it makes sense for her to help get Breeze a win that kick starts a feud that goes smoother than Ziggler vs Rusev did.

Charlotte (c) vs. Paige (Divas Championship Match)

First off, this match has been overshadowed by the controversial segment that finished the go-home edition of Raw where Reid Flair’s untimely death was brought up. While I personally have nothing against bringing a wrestler’s personal life into a storyline if they and their family is fine with it, this does not look like the case here. Both Ric Flair and Reid’s mother have said they were not aware Reid’s death would be put into the story, which is a major oversight of Charlotte and the WWE’s part.

It should also be noted however that Charlotte has been very vocal in different interviews and WWE programming that it was Reid that convinced her to try pro wrestling and considers her career a tribute to her late brother; so perhaps it should be less shocking to fans that he was mentioned on Raw. Jim Ross pointed out on his website this has lead to people talking about Reid Flair and not Charlotte versus Paige.

As for the actual match between the two, I see Paige upsetting the champ and winning the belt. Although Charlotte has been wrestling very well since coming to the main roster, she seems to be uncomfortable with the title and spotlight on her and may need to spend more time as challenger than champion.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament

Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Zeb Colter (Semifinal)

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (Semifinal)

Rather than predict the two semifinal matches separately I’ve decided to lump them together because the outcomes seem fairly obvious.

Long story short: Reigns looks destined to be champ and Del Rio already has the Gob Bluth “I’ve made a huge mistake” look in his eyes. Reigns wins and hopefully nukes Mexamerica out of existence.

As for Owens vs. Ambrose (which should be match of the night), as tempting as it is to say Owens gets the sneaky win for a heel vs. face final; it’s extremely unlikely. Owens already has the Intercontinental Championship and can serve as the de facto top heel of the company – but only if there is no heel turn to end the night. Which brings us to…

Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose (Tournament Final for Deadly Game 2: Electric Boogaloo)

It seems clear from the moment the WWE revealed the bracket for the tournament this match would be destined for the final.

Hell, if not for Kalisto’s upset win over Ryback most would still have a perfect bracket.

That being said, who walks out champ is a much murkier outcome.

Will Vince insist that Reigns, tall, dark and handsome as he is, walks out as a babyface champ? Will the WWE realize that nobody is going to pick Reigns over Ambrose (considering Reigns was literally handed the belt by Triple H before the tournament started while Ambrose has served as Reign’s second banana since the summer and makes for a much more interesting underdog babyface story)? Will Ambrose turn heel? Will Reigns turn heel? Will Paul Heyman show up regardless of winner and declare that Brock Lesnar will challenge for the title? Will John Cena burst through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man to remind everyone that you can’t be the man until you beat the man? Will Big Show ruin everything like he always does? Will Triple H just say “Fuck it” and declare himself champ? Will the WWE go back to the well and have a legend show up to save the day? Is that legend Rick Steiner?? BY GAWD MAGGLE WHO KNOWS!!!

…But seriously it is probably going to be Reigns and we will have to accept that.

The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) vs. Two Members of The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman)

What could have been all of the Wyatt Family taking on two legendary figures and two guys who get instant credibility by standing with them somehow got turned into a normal tag match.

This is better how?

With ‘Taker and Kane’s combined 98 years of age having to take on Wyatt and the big-ass strongman this figures to be a “methodical” (i.e. slow) match. The crowd will be into it because The Undertaker is actually wrestling on two PPV’s in a row, but what was a easy layup for WWE creative has been fucked up by a combination of lazy writing and the fact that FOR FUCK’S SAKE IT’S SURVIVOR SERIES PEOPLE EXPECT A TEAM ELIMINATION MATCH.

Hopefully the Wyatt’s win because we have yet to see Strowman do much besides stand around and Bray simply can’t keep getting pinned by every babyface on the roster. Plus if Taker (and also Kane) are truly retiring soon, then they owe it to the WWE to actually put over somebody who works for the company full time.  If they can’t be bothered to find two worthy wrestlers to team with, then they can lay down for two wrestlers who can use their rub.

Manopera! Episode 5: Harry Potter Does Not Suck & The Return of the Deadly Game Tournament

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Chris and Frank discuss the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, missed booking opportunities for The Undertaker and Bray Wyatt, Rhonda Rousey vs. Holly Holm and speculate WrestleMania 32.

Manopera! Episode 4: Hell in a Cell 2015 Supershow

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Chris Butera and “Spaceman” Frank Lucci return for another round of Manopera to discuss Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series possibilities. Also discussed are NXT Takeover and Chikara Pro Wrestling. Chris and Frank cut promos on pet goldfish and Burger King’s Black Bun Halloween Whopper.