SSEP returns as Jon and Matt hit on NFL offseason news, a UFC 209 preview and this week in WWE, including a Fastlane preview and early ‘Mania speculations.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
SSEP returns as Jon and Matt hit on NFL offseason news, a UFC 209 preview and this week in WWE, including a Fastlane preview and early ‘Mania speculations.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
This past week was full of surprises in the world of WWE. Chris and Spaceman Frank tackle Jeri-KO’s tragic split on Raw, Elimination Chamber and the Chamber fallout on Smackdown Live! This episode is dedicated to the memory of George “The Animal” Steele.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
by Frank Lucci
The first SmackDown! Live solo live special feels like a nice little Pay-Per-View. It does not feel like a huge deal, but considering this is a stepping stone to WrestleMania WWE has done a good job in two weeks to make this a worthy watch. WWE has noticeably focused on having multiple women matches, which is smart because the Smackdown women’s division is one of their biggest strengths. Throw in MY BOY LUKE HARPER getting a shot at Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton and this event has Spaceman Frank salivating. Here are my Elimination Chamber 2017 predictions!
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins (Kickoff Time-Filler Spectacular)
This match came about in about 40 seconds when Hawkins made fun of Patriots tight end/Buffalo native Rob Gronkowski, who is buddies with Mojo. WWE put about 87 seconds of thought into this, so I will do the same. Unless Gronk shows up, I do not care. Mojo wins because Hawkins has the heat of ice cream at this point.
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
These ladies have done a good job of imitating Nikki’s last feud with Carmella, with the two ladies just brawling 24/7 to protect Nikki’s allegedly hurt neck. With the Bella sister rumored for a tag match with her man John Cena for WrestleMania as well as time off/retirement rumors, it is likely Natalya will be eating the pin here. While Nattie Ice has been better as a heel, I really want her to cart out Tyson Kidd to give him something to do as well as coach her on how to do his NXT gimmick so she can actually succeed.
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
Another grudge match sees Lynch stepping away from the title picture to take on the returning veteran Mickie James. James looks amazing and is a much needed shot in the arm for the division, and Raw needs a similar vet to come back to mix up the division and get some new matchups on television. However, I do not see James as SmackDown! Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss’ henchwomen for long, and I would like to see her in the title picture sooner rather than later. Mickie wins in what is essentially a toss-up for The Spaceman.
American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) (c) vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) Tag Team Turmoil Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Well that is a busy headline, isn’t it? The SmackDown! Live tag team scene has been a hot mess, and the fact that we do not get a PPV American Alpha vs. Wyatt Family match speaks volumes on where the WWE sees the division currently. Not that I don’t think this will be fun, but besides when new champs are crowned, there has been little to latch onto between all these teams. American Alpha is the best team out of all of these guys, and I do not think there is any reason for them to lose anytime soon. Can we get a champ vs. champ tag team match between Raw and SmackDown! at ‘Mania to give these guys something significant to do? Alpha wins because AMERICA.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Naomi gets another shot at the belt after her previous push was halted due to injury. I appreciate the continuity, and her split-legged moonsault is a thousand times better than the bum to the face. Naomi is not bad by any means, but she does not scream “champion” to me. If it wasn’t for my obsession with Total Divas I would have a zero read on her personality. Bliss is simply too good to lose the belt now, and should carry the belt to Mania. Bliss wins and gives us even more gifs of resting Bliss face for the internet to enjoy.
Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
IT’S WESTERN NEW YORK’S MAIN EVENT! Seriously it is crazy to me that a guy I use to live ten minutes away from is wrestling the Royal Rumble winner in a PPV match before WrestleMania. Harper has been on fire since Orton joined the Wyatts, and I really, really hope he does well here. The crowd seems to be buying into his babyface push too, which has me hoping he can get to the next level and sneak into the Intercontinental title scene or even further. After all, the best way to get him to show true babyface colors is to get him a real shirt and trim his facial hair. As much as I am incredibly bias towards Harper…he is here to lose. Furthermore, he is here to do an abbreviated blow off towards his feud with Randy so Orton can move on to ‘Mania mode. Much like my house show experience when Harper would get his 15 minutes of hero worship in Rochester, he will take on a big name, get an incredible near fall, and then eat the pin.
John Cena (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bray Wyatt (Elimination Chamber Match for WWE Championship)
There’s lots to break down here, so I’ll just go from who I think has the least chance to win to the most chance to win. To start, Dean Ambrose is already Intercontinental champ (I was really hoping Harper would get the nod here to add a bit more drama to the match, but the above singles match works also). Ambrose is here to start the match first, provide several hardcore spots for the crowd and then get eliminated 40 minutes in.
The Miz is here to set up his ‘Mania match with John Cena (if the rumors are true), probably by pinning the champ in a shocking twist. I’m fine with main event Miz at this point, but he’s not getting the belt. I just said Cena will get pinned by Miz, and it would be insanity for him to face Orton at Mania considering they just had their 21st match against each other on SmackDown! last Tuesday.
A.J. Styles is a wild card as he has history with lots of these dudes but no solid direction going forward. He and Baron Corbin seem like runners up for this match, and it would actually be kind of cool to see these guys face off. I am not completely sold on the rumored ‘Mania match between Styles and Shane McMahon, and Corbin deserves better than getting dumped into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, so why not have these dudes beat the piss out of each other at the Grandaddy of ’em All?
That leaves Bray Wyatt, who is the obvious and smartest choice to win. Sometimes the best choice is the clear choice, and Orton vs. Bray for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania feels right. It’s about time Wyatt gets singles gold, and after years of being the guy main eventers beat up between title shots, he deserves a chance to be the head honcho. Wyatt wins and we get some good television for the next few weeks.
by Frank Lucci
The end of the year is closing in fast, and the last SmackDown exclusive PPV of 2016, TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, seeks to end things on a high note for the blue brand.
SmackDown Live has had the best weekly programming the WWE has to offer, which granted is not saying much. Each match on the card has been built up in enjoyable fashion, and even some minor feuds got some spotlight time in during Survivor Series. It definitely helps make this event stand out over the general sameness that prevaids over Raw, and throwing in stipulations galore also spices things up nicely. As long as WWE refrains from throwing in a stairs match (or another exploding TV monitor), this should be another solid event that overshadows its Raw counterpart Roadblock: End of the Line later in the month. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for TLC 2016.
Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships Match)
This is the only match on the card that does not have a stipulation (so far), which is probably a good thing. For one, this match was made official on the go-home SmackDown. And two: I imagine if WWE had a stipulation for this match Slater would spend 90 percent of the match getting murdered.
Slater and Rhyno continue to be entertaining, but they clearly are not the focus of the tag team scene. At this point they’re just a stepping stone for the inevitable Orton vs. Wyatt feud. The X-factor here is Luke Harper, who might try to break up Wyatt and Orton out of jealousy. The (Quasi) Wyatt Family wins and sooner rather than later, both these teams will break up.
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin (Chairs Match)
This match has been building for some time, which is amazing considering these guys were begging for time before and after the brand split. Co-General Manager Daniel Bryan promised Corbin retribution for costing SmackDown the Cruiserweight Division, and his punishment is…facing the guy he previously beat so bad he got legit hurt? Sure.
If Bryan really wanted to punish Corbin he would trade him to Raw or have him team with Apollo Crews. I’m pretty sure this whole match is just building up to Corbin hitting the End of Days on a steel chair, which is something I swear already happened on NXT. Corbin wins and then is one of those guys in the middle of the Rumble who lasts for ten minutes before Brock or Goldberg tosses him out.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella (No Disqualifications Match)
Who knew these two had big enough vicious streaks to beat the holy hell out of each other enough for people to excited to see these two go No-DQ? The crazy part is Nikki legitimately had a tooth knocked loose a few weeks ago and now Carmella has a black eye (Hopefully WWE incorporates that into the video package for this match). Carmella has won a fair number of their matches, but Nikki is the bigger star here. However, I ‘m guessing we get Nattie Ice as Nikki’s mystery attacker at Survivor Series who also takes her down here. Carmella wins and sneaks into the title picture in a sink or swim feud.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss (Tables Match for WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
I hate tables matches. Unless you have a James Ellsworth type who manages to shove somebody through a table to win, I do not see the appeal. Lynch is probably the most well-rounded woman on SmackDown, but Bliss is the second best heel on SmackDown period. Plus, it is easier to see Bliss hitting a Sparkle Splash through a table to win the belt than Lynch awkwardly hitting a pump handle slam through one. Bliss wins to test the waters on her being the top dog and Lynch gets her shot with Carmella at the Rumble.
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder Match for Intercontinental Championship)
After about a three week break for Survivor Series, these two are back at it again. Their first go around was amazing, but do we really want to see Ziggler chase The Miz again? We already had the payoff, and the unceremonious way Ziggler lost the belt took most of the wind out of his sails. In addition, The Miz’s only good ladder spot throughout the years is cockily sitting on top on a ladder before getting knocked off of it. Some fresh faces are needed for these guys, but I have a feeling they’ll end up in the Rumble and this angle gets drawn out even further. At least The Miz has Total Divas to make him much more likable outside the ring. The Awesome One wins after Maryse throws a newly adopted dog at Ziggler.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose (TLC Match for WWE World Championship)
It is about time Ambrose gets to throw down in an extreme match with Styles, and for the first time it seems as though he might have an advantage as the champion. This figures to be the blow off match between the two, and I expect these guys to beat each other like Cookie beating Hakeem with a broom. Ambrose is fired up after Ellsworth was murdered to death by a Styles Clash off the stairs, so I think these guys might have enough leeway to get crazier than usual. That being said, Styles is keeping the belt until John Cena comes back. Maybe Ellsworth returns and turns heel on Uncle Deano? We shall see.
by Frank Lucci
WWE 24 is a great concept for original programming on the WWE Network, but so far only a few episodes have been produced. Immediately following the Royal Rumble however, the WWE released a new episode following several superstars in the immediate lead up to WrestleMania 31.
How does it stack up to previous entries that chronicled WrestleMania 30 and NXT Takeover: Brooklyn? Spaceman Frank has the answers.
Authors note: Don’ t know why they subtitled this Silicon Valley. Is Santa Clara copyrighted? Why not just call it WWE 24: WrestleMania 31?
Sting is first, and as he arrives at his hotel there are dozens of fans waiting for him. Good guy Sting signs autographs and takes photos. Sting runs into Ricky Steamboat and they share some dad humor. Sting looks like a CEO of a tech conglomerate that always shows up to the office late because his morning workout went long.
We then see various WWE personnel doing press for a wide variety of outlets until we settle on Roman Reigns. Reigns talks about how he feels it is fate to headline WrestleMania in his favorite football teams (49’ers) stadium. One of the many production members Jason Robinson talks about the several week setup for the WrestleMania set. This is a huge production which is cool to see. In addition, we see how having a WrestleMania in the daylight affected the design of the stage.
Cue the Axxess montage. Several wrestlers are interviewed, but the highlight is Zack Ryder confronting a fan for buying Seth Rollins merch instead of his. The Ultimate Warrior statue is unveiled as we see the late legend’s ex-wife and daughters tear up.
Don’t blink because here comes the Hall of Fame montage. Although nothing too exciting initially as it is all footage from the ceremony with small bits of candid backstage talk. The highlight again being Ultimate Warrior’s and Connor the Crusher’s family being honored with a hard shift in emotion from the previous fun and excitement vibe from before.
We get to the big day and (shocker) everyone is nervous, particularly Seth Rollins (working his first singles match at ‘Mania) and Paige (wrestling in front of her mom). Cool guy Reigns drops an F bomb before we cut to the crew trying to get everything together hours before the event. My biggest question is how they got the tank for Rusev into the stadium, where the biggest disappointment of the show is that it ignores this completely. Good guy Sting continues to be super grateful to be there and Paige refers to Kid Ink and Travis Barker as “superstars” (right….).
Paige tries to knock out an interview only for Scott Hall, X-Pac, Kevin Nash (wearing a gold helmet of all things) and Shawn Michaels to drive into the shot on a golf cart.
Can we get a show featuring these guys just causing shenanigans?
We spend a long time seeing how the Triple H/Terminator entrance came together. This tidbit is fairly cool, but I thought his entrance was just OK when I saw it live (It ain’t no tank!). Several NXT guys are interviewed being super stoked that they get to wear masks and stand in the middle of the fog during the entrance.
Showtime! Paige continues to be nervous as we see the participants of the opening ladder match warming up (I guess pre-show match people didn’t warrant being shown). Luke Harper is briefly seen before they actually go into the match (Another missed opportunity: seeing how Stardust’s ridiculous outfit and bedazzled ladder came into being). We then get more focus on Paige being nervous, so much so you forget that three other women are in her match.
Next are some quick highlights of Rollins vs. Orton before we see Sting preparing for his WWE debut. Easily the highlight of the show, Sting is getting pumped for his match while trying to come to grips with the scale of it all. Vince McMahon gives him a hug and some words of encouragement as good guy Sting is just happy for the opportunity to be there. This is great stuff and really makes you fall in love with Sting as a person and not just a character. It’s also nice to see Stephanie McMahon yell “Get ’em, Sting” as the NXT guys cheer him on before his entrance to get him psyched ( The poor guy probably needed that based on his blank expression as the ‘Mania crowd is easily his biggest audience in a long time if not ever). Triple H enters and the match goes well. Wrestlers watch backstage looking like excited kids, especially John Cena with a big grin on his face (cue Hulk Hogan alert!).
Montage of random moments from the show are then dragged down by having to hear the lackluster live performance of the WrestleMania 31 theme song. We skip over Cena and Rusev’s US Championship match (why all the tank hate, guys?) and The Rock’s segment to get to Paige’s match. Paige is so nervous that she has to be told by the cameraman to keep moving down the ramp (dawwwww). Afterward the match she has a touching moment with her mom as A Day to Remember guitarist and boyfriend Kevin Skaff just stands there awkwardly.
Undertaker is here.
This is followed by some quick footage of him backstage with Brock Lesnar exchanging words of advice. It’s funny to see ‘Taker being human before he gets in the zone. Footage of his match with Wyatt plays as Rollins talks about how Reigns is “like, such a cool dude” (really sick of WWE getting Reign’s much more talented friends to try and convince us of how great he is).
Reigns is awkwardly trying to get pumped up for his entrance in front of a bunch of fans as Lesnar looks like he is ready to murder someone. More montage of in-ring action where the best part is seeing Reign’s laugh followed by a fan yelling “Stop laughing Roman, it’s not funny.” Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase and we get a cool shot of him sprinting out from backstage. Rollins wins and he is understandably blown away. Cue the montage of people hugging Rollins even though he looks pretty gross (how much do wrestlers spend on dry cleaning?) followed by the ending montage and we are out.
Overall, this is a decent way to kill 40 minutes. Sting steals the show as the dude is just so humble and comes off really well. While not as good as the Takeover: Brooklyn show, WrestleMania 31: Silicon Valley still shows some pretty candid moments behind the scenes. There are a little too many montages of footage we’ve seen before but this is the WWE and we know how much they like recapping things.
The story of WWE’s Bray Wyatt is troubling.
When he debuted on the main roster in 2013, he was considered the next big star. His promos were incredible, his wrestling abilities were above average for men of his size and his faction carried a following. Wyatt was very over initially because he was very into his character. While his first feud with Kane was mediocre at best, fans looked past it and have mostly forgotten it as the flash-in-the-pan as it was because of confusion surrounding the booking and at least Wyatt defeated The Demon.
Over the next eight months, The Eater of Worlds was sparingly used while his family did the dirty work for him, cutting electric promos in the wake of destruction. His feuds with Daniel Bryan and The Shield were amazing and elevated The Wyatt Family to the degree everyone hoped. It seemed Wyatt was poised to become the top heel by the end of 2014.
Until his horrendous feud with John Cena reared its ugly head.
Wyatt cut weeks of brilliant promos only to once again become another obstacle for “Big Match John” to shrug off and overcome like he always does. Wyatts matches with Cena were very one-sided and did not elevate either talent. The only match Wyatt wound up winning was a cage match at Extreme Rules 2014 thanks to the help of a questionably possessed child.
You read that right.
While Cena went on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the rest of Wyatt’s 2014 resulted in very meaningless midcard feuds with Chris Jericho, Ryback and R-Truth (this isn’t a jab at the talents Wyatt was working with, the problem is that WWE has made it very clear over the past few years that these are the “we have nothing for you” feuds with the exception of Jericho; who returns simply to put others over – which is a very nice but overused gesture). He also dissolved his stable for unknown and illogical reasons. It looked as if Wyatt was on the rise when he feuded with fan favorite Dean Ambrose, but sadly creative dropped the ball yet again when Wyatt became victorious thanks to a TV that exploded at random in an otherwise good match.
2015 was no different. Wyatt feuded with The Undertaker and Roman Reigns on multiple occasions but sadly never went over and wound up looking like a false prophet rather than “The New Face of Fear” he claims himself to be. Even after reforming his faction and adding a powerhouse in Braun Strowman, Wyatt continued to look like a joke due to poor booking. Although Wyatt did round out the year by defeating the ECW Originals team consisting of The Dudley Boyz, Rhyno and Tommy Dreamer, no one seemed to care because all of these men were in their 40’s and it would have not been believable otherwise (which is the main reason why Wyatt’s Undertaker feud may have done Wyatt more harm than good).
Not only did Wyatt lose most of his big matches in 2015, but he was booked into a horrific routine. Wyatt would come out, cut a cryptic promo, send his family out to attack whoever he was feuding with, lose the big match and then act as if nothing happened the following night. The few times he did win, it was made obvious. Wyatt has been booked so badly into oblivion that it seems that he may wind up as a comedic face in the near future.
The 2016 Royal Rumble has the potential to 180 Wyatt’s problematic situation.
Being that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is on the line, WWE would be wise to have Wyatt hold the gold at the end of the 30 man Battle Royal.
Have Wyatt enter at some point in the middle but not officially enter the ring until all four members are in the match at the same time. Wyatt moves along with his pawns and the entire faction lays waste to the entire locker room. The final eight participants should look like Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, a returning Triple H (or Jericho), Ambrose and the Wyatt Family. Have everyone go to town for a good 10 minutes before the only participants left are Reigns and the Wyatts. Have Reigns try as hard as he can to build sympathy but unable to leave with his championship due to the Wyatts numbers. Once Wyatt (and ONLY Wyatt) eliminates Reigns, Wyatts cronies Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Strowman sacrifice themselves for their leader and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
While the downside would rekindle a feud we’ve already seen, the upshot could be fantastic if Wyatt were booked and treated as a legitimate threat going into WrestleMania.
Enter Lesnar, who is furious at his Rumble loss. Have him challenge Wyatt at Fastlane and have Wyatt go over convincingly (clean or not). Lesnar has been booked so well since his return to WWE that anyone beating him who’s name isn’t John Cena will look like a monster. Wyatt can also use the fact the he’s beaten the man who beat The Streak in his promos against Reigns to increase credibility.
When ‘Mania does indeed come Reigns should go over because he should legitimately be over with the fans. Wyatt’s defeat of Lesnar should be enough to suspend even the smarkiest fans disbelief long enough for his match with Reigns to have that “big fight” feel. During this match, it is essential that Wyatt defends his championship alone. Keep the remaining members of the Wyatt Family out.
Let the two heavyweights go at it in an epic war and Wyatt will stay over.
With a talent so charismatic, it’s a shock that WWE has stunted Wyatt’s growth as a main event player as much as it has in such a short while. With a literal golden opportunity on their hands, it’d be a shame if Wyatt isn’t utilized to his full potential in the coming weeks.
Wyatt is not only on the Road to WrestleMania, but redemption as well.
Mr. Bonesaw and Spaceman Frank go over WWE Night of Champions.
Topics include, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker’s upcoming Hell in a Cell match, Charlotte’s Divas Championship victory, the Tag Team division, Sting’s injury, and their thoughts on Seth Rollins next opponent – Kane. Frank gives his account of WWE’s Rochester live event.
By Frank Lucci
The WWE has managed to sneakily put together a pretty stacked card for Night of Champions, and on paper this pay-per-view has the potential to be one of the best of 2015. However, the key words in the previous sentence is “on paper,” and the company could ruin any of these exciting matchups faster than you can say exploding monitors (seriously, did we ever see that thing ever again?). Anyway, on to Spaceman Frank’s Night of Champions 2015 predictions.
Preshow match: The Lucha Dragons and Neville vs. Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust and the Ascension)
Can Stardust, Neville, R-Truth and King Barrett form a group called The Protectors of the Preshow and just be done with it? The WWE does not seem willing to push these wrestlers higher up the card despite the four doing the best with the scraps they are given. WIth Neville winning at Summerslam I see Stardust and his new henchmen getting the win in what can be a very exciting match. Hopefully then all those involved can find a more worthy spot on the card (Cosmic Wasteland harassing Rybak and Neville challenging for the US Championship with an actual storyline attached would be grand).
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae)
So Rusev is a heel because he dumped his girlfriend, shacked up with a new girl (who looks suspiciously like the old girl, least we know he has a type), and then acts like a pig. Ziggler on the other hand is clearly the face cause he…um…makes out with a dude’s ex in front of him and and dresses like a bully from any 80’s movie ever? Sure why not. With Lana hurt and a mixed tag match seemly not gonna happen, hopefully this feud between Eskimo brothers dies after this and everyone can move on. My prediction: Damien Sandow shows up, gets both girls, and struts out of the building like a boss. Real Prediction: Rusev wins and starts regaining some of the momentum he had as US Champ.
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and TBA vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Braun Strowman)
The last of the matches at Night of Champions to not have a title involved, this match largely depends on the mystery man joining Ambrose and Reigns. With names such as Randy Orton, Jimmy Uso, and a returning Erik Rowan being thrown out along with surprises such as Chris Jericho and The Rock(!!!), this is the match that could be a dark horse or a flop. If the sixth man lives up to the hype and everyone does their part this could be a very good match. On the other hand, if the live crowd turns on the mystery man and the shenanigans that seem to follow Wyatt leak into this match this could be a major disappointment. Look for the Wyatt Family to sneak out a win after the Summerslam loss (barring a major surprise return) and perhaps a six man tag Hell in a Cell match?
The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, and/or Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) (WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The New Day simply are the best reason to watch WWE’s weekly programming, but the Dudley’s have been red hot since they returned the Raw after Summerslam. The champs deserve to retain based on their stellar work, and with Woods most likely waiting on the outside to cause a distraction or perhaps use the trombone as a foreign object to cause the DQ it is probable they will. That being said, the WWE might want to strike while the iron is hot with the boys from Dudleyville, and either outcome will be welcome to me. With all the talent involved this may sneak in as best match of the night.
P.S TRICEP MEAT YO
Ryback vs. Kevin Owens (Intercontinental Championship Match)
With the WWE giving the least amount of hype out of the four championship matches to this match, it is hard to feel as much excitement for Owen’s chase of the IC belt as the US belt. The sad part is that Ryback has been doing well as champ, and it will be interesting to see if Ryback can build upon his momentum with an opponent that will force him to step up as oppose to an opponent that is largely immobile and sweats gallons after five minutes (cough). Bet on Ryback retaining in a decent match that will most likely be the best match for Ryback as champ and Owen’s worst pay-per-view match since joining the main roster.
Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte (Divas Championship match)
With the DIva’s Revolution stalling, this match needs to deliver. Now that all the drama surrounding if Nikki Bella would become the longest reigning Divas Champ of all time is in the books, it seems likely the WWE legitimizes the revolution with Charlotte winning. However, despite the Bella’s not being able to retain via DQ Team Bad may interfere or a member of PCB (cough Paige cough) could cost Charlotte her chance at the title. At this point i would be happy to see the three teams disband to pursue the title individually to keep things fresh, as there is only so many times the teams can face each other with nothing on the line and keep things interesting.
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (US Championship match)
Keeping with the theme of “this could be good unless the WWE writers screw this up” this match could be good…unless the WWE writers screw this up. With Jon Stewart out of the picture these two could have a stellar match with a much cleaner finish, especially if my pick to win John Cena walks away with the belt. WIth Rollins having to work two matches the quality could be down somewhat, but with Captain Crossfit and his bag of tricks nobody will notice if he saves some energy for later. Cena winning is almost guaranteed considering Rollins seemingly giving two shits about the secondary title and Cena being who he is, but the journey should be fun.
Seth Rollins vs. Sting (WWE World Heavyweight Championship match)
Will Sting become the oldest champ in WWE history? Will Sheamus cash in? If he does, who will be champ? Will Ric Flair betray Sting after hitting his head and waking up thinking it is 1995 again? Will Triple H slap Sting with a bill for the destroyed statue? All these questions could be answered Sunday night. Rollins winning seems likely, but if the WWE decided to either A) give Sting a win and put him in the history books as one of their champs or B) have Sheamus cash in and walk out champ to try and drum up interest in the product during football season could very well happen. The crowd will certainly be into this match to start, but if Sting shows his age or if Rollins is fatigued from working two matches this could be a Taker vs. Lesnar situation. Expect decent but underwhelming work with most of the interest with what happens post-match rather than what happens during the match.
With Wrestlemania season over, Extreme Rules is always a fun way to start WWE’s Pay Per View calendar off with a bang.
With nearly every match being given a stipulation, the odds are never always in favor of one or the other due to the added elements of chaos.
Here are our predictions for this year’s event.
WWE Tag Team Championships Match: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd w/Natalya (c) vs. The New Day – The match will be about 15 minutes of high-flying hard-hitting action, but The New Day will remain fodder for Cesaro and Kidd. Expect some sort of heel tactics from both sides third party, but nothing too serious.
Kiss Me Arse Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus – As much as we would rather see the match without this stipulation, someone’s going to join a certain club (albeit a less prestigious one than Vince McMahon’s). While the match itself is going to be excellent, the end result will be the opposite for Ziggler. Sheamus is being booked as a monster right now and it would be completely pointless to have him lose any momentum since returning roughly a month ago.
Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper – The Windy City is going to get hit with a hurricane and a tornado with this one. Ambrose and Harper will wage a war that will have the Chicago crowd on their feet with insane spots people usually only see on the indy circuit. Expect several raucous “This is Awesome” chants to form throughout the brawl with Ambrose walking away victorious.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Bad News Barrett – While the match is still on as of WWE.com, it may not happen due to a recent injury Bryan suffered during the recent UK tour. Should it take place, we are expecting Bryan to retain. However; we would not be surprised if a last minute booking decision sees Barrett reclaiming his lost gold.
Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show – It is almost too obvious that Reigns is going to win. We expect a spear through a table or stage to hand Show the big loss.
Russian Chain Match for the United States Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Rusev – Cena is helping bring prestige back to the first WWE title he ever held. Rusev’s character would not be damaged by another loss to the Cenation Leader as he is holding his own in the ring and on the mic. Cena will retain and that’s fine for us. Just keep him away from the main event.
Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella (c) vs. Naomi – We really enjoy Naomi’s new found intensity but we don’t think it will be enough to get the gold. It would be nice to see her dethrone Nikki Bella (and she will dominate the match), but sister Brie Bella is going to get involved in one way or another, costing Naomi her title opportunity.
Steel Cage Match (With the RKO Banned) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Randy Orton – Due to the recent omission of Rollin’s “Curb Stomp,” it feels like both of the competitors finishers are banned. Regardless, a steel cage is a steel cage; and it’s going to be a slobberknocker. With Kane as the gate keeper, expect a plethora of shenanigans from The Authority. Orton will come close, but he is not going to win as Rollins begins a (hopefully) lengthy title run.
As usual, WWE ended 2014 with a bang. Unfortunately, that bang was in the form of an exploding TV that cost Dean Ambrose his TLC match against Bray Wyatt.
Ambrose gave Wyatt the beating of his life, elbow dropping his opponent through a table from a ladder multiple times before finding a TV under the ring. The TV was not only plugged in, but it also gave Ambrose the idea to go for the biggest ladder he could carry. He then dropped the big elbow off that giant ladder onto Wyatt through the Spanish announcer’s table.
Dragging Wyatt into the ring, Ambrose readied to finish him off with the TV, but it was plugged in and prevented the blow. Then it exploded after Ambrose tried again. Wyatt then hit Sister Abigail and that was all she wrote.
Two things can be said of this. One: who leaves a TV under the ring? And two: there is no way any of us are to believe someone can be that stupid.
The Kickoff match was well done with Goldust and Stardust really delivering their offense and executing their heel tactics beautifully. They get better every night. The New Day predictably got the win, but the match was solid. Hats off to these teams for getting the crowd pumped up.
Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper put on the match of the night in an excellent Ladder match with Ziggler stealing the show and the Intercontinental Championship in his home city.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow had a decent encounter with the Uso’s for the Tag Team Championship with a logical DQ finish. The inclusion of Jimmy Uso’s real life wife Naomi into the storyline is interesting and will add real life situations into play if done right. Mizdow is slowly becoming a fan favorite with his antics and will hopefully get his shining moment down the road.
The Divas Championship match was also a decent match with a logical conclusion of Brie Bella’s interference and Nikki Bella taking advantage of a referee’s blind spot with a foreign object.
The Steel Stairs match between Big Show and Erick Rowan was much better than expected with good use of the stairs. This was a tough match to work but the two superstars did a great job with what they had.
Kane and Ryback’s Chairs match on the other hand, was pretty boring and predictable. Ryback was dominant, lots of chair shots and way too long.
Jack Swagger and Rusev’s United States Championship encounter also was very predictable. It’s clear that there are big plans for Rusev, but the “foreign oppressor vs. patriot” angle is getting old. We need to see more layers to the Rusev character.
Last but not least, John Cena once again overcame the odds and defeated Seth Rollins in a Tables match – securing his number one contender spot to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship yet again.
You didn’t have to watch WWE programming since SummerSlam to figure that out.
It is nice to see Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury playing the parts of Rollin’s lackey’s perfectly. These guys were the best part of the match.
It was also nice to see Roman Reigns back in action as he saved the day for Cena and is moving into a nice feud with Big Show for the time being. Having said that, Reigns returning at the pay-per-view before the Royal Rumble was a mistake as he would have had a much better reaction at the Rumble en-route to victory.
Perhaps WWE is saving that reaction for the return of Daniel Bryan.