Tag Archives: Money In The Bank

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.

Manopera! Episode 44: Whose Briefcase is it Anyway?

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by Chris Butera and Frank Lucci

Chris and Frank talk WWE Money in the Bank 2017 – and they’ve got a lot to get off their chests about both MITB matches, the pay-per-view and what to expect from Great Balls of Fire next Sunday.

Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on the now former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

For more awesome content, check out www.bonesawzine.com.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP – Episode 18: 2017 NBA Draft / The Cyborg Situation / Mauro’s Big Break / MITB Review

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by Jon and Matt Schorr

It’s a slobberknocker of a podcast as Jon and “the Jewharaja” Matt Schorr break down the top picks in the NBA Draft, proclaim their love the UFC’s decision to strip Germaine De Randamie of the title and anticipate Mauro Ranallo calling WWE NXT as well as the Mega fight with Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor. All this, and they review WWE Money In The Bank.

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

SSEP – Episode 17: McGregor vs. Mayweather is Happening / WWE Money in the Bank Preview

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by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and Matt get excited about Mayweather vs. McGregor’s official announcement, review the worst NBA season ever, commend the greatness of the New York Yankees and preview WWE Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View this Sunday.

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

Spaceman Frank Ranks WWE’s 2016 PPV’s

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by Frank Lucci

2016 was a very up and down year for WWE live specials. While the company has one of the most talented rosters they have ever had, but oftentimes the booking and build makes PPV matches transparent and predictable. So while many matches are of high quality, the endings sour the overall match. Call it the Lost effect. Another big factor in the up and down year for WWE is the sheer amount of events the company put on, which can be intimidating to people trying to catch of or find highlights from the year. Fortunately, Spaceman Frank is here to rank every single main roster WWE live specials (no Takeovers here cause they would pretty much fill up all the top spots) and give his highs and lows from the events.

Royal Rumble

This was one of the best events of the year, and since it came first it gave me plenty of hope for the upcoming year. Sure, it would have been difficult to match the dumpster fires of the previous two years. But with Reigns walking in as champ the doubt was there. Between the stellar Ambrose vs. Owens last man standing match to Alberto Del Rio’s best match of his second WWE versus Kalisto the undercard delivered. Then the Rumble was full of amazing moments from AJ Styles debuting to Zayn charging in to take out Owens to Triple H hoofing out Reigns as I screamed profanities at sad sack Reigns, this is an easy PPV to rewatch.

Highlights: Owens vs. Ambrose, Del Rio vs. Kalisto, Rumble Match

Lowlights: League of Nations failing to eliminate Reigns, Reigns acting tough in returning while Dean and Owens entered after a Last Man Standing Match

Extreme Rules

Building on the previous event Payback, this live special had many fantastic matches. The fatal four way for the IC title was amazing and began The Miz’s epic run as IC champ. Kalisto and Rusev had a nice little match as well. The New Day had one of their more memorable promos before their match which was better than their actual match. And the main event actually delivered with AJ Styles pulling the best match out of Reign with their extreme rules match. However, The Asylum match was pretty lame and Charlotte again failed to impress against Nattie.

Highlights: Zayn vs. Owens vs. Miz vs. Cesaro, AJ vs. Reigns, New Day promo.

Lowlights: Jericho vs. Ambrose, Flair vs. Nattie

Summerslam

On one hand you have my match of the year match with Cena vs. Styles II on this card. Throw in a great considering one member of the match had to pop his shoulder back in place bout between Finn Balor and Seth Rollins and a pure spectacle match between Brock and Orton and this was a very solid PPV. What was suppose to great was great and even the stuff that could have been better was at least memorable. Throw in Nikki Bella returning and a solid Women’s title match and there is a lot to like here. Mostly makes up for the long run time, though Miz vs Crews did nobody any favors and The New Day vs. The Club match being when the latter team officially went off the rails. Easy enough to skip the filler however especially if you ignore the pre-show.

Highlights: Cena vs. Styles II, Rollins vs. Balor, Banks vs. Charlotte, Orton vs. Lesnar

Lowlights: Miz vs. Crews, The Club vs. The New Day, Ambrose vs. Ziggler

Backlash

The first SmackDown exclusive PPV was memorable, which is why it is high on this list. When the WWE crams as many live specials as possible into the calendar many PPVs just do not feel like they are significant. Yet this one had the crowning of multiple new champions, and in matches that were fantastic to boot. Sure the Wyatt vs. Orton match got cancelled last minute and we had to sit through Bray westling Kane instead, but that was the only blemish on the PPV. Good stuff that set the standard that SmackDown Live would dominate Raw.

Highlights: Six Women Elimination Match for Smackdown Women’s Championship, Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos for Smackdown Tag Team Belt, Miz vs. Ziggler I

Lowlights: Kane vs. Wyatt

TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs

While this was a pretty high quality PPV, there was many matches that were repeats. Smackdown can get away with it a little bit because of the quality of the matches, but it is a systemic problem in WWE. Miz vs. Ziggler III was great as a ladder match, and Ambrose took Styles to the limit in their TLC match that was probably the best Ambrose match of the year. The rest of the card was pretty tight as well, even if Nikki Bella could not figure out how to use a kendo stick the right way.

Highlights: Ambrose vs. Styles, Miz vs. Ziggler III, Kalisto vs. Corbin, Bliss vs. Lynch

Lowlights: Ten Man Tag Team Pre-show Match

Survivor Series

The big story out of Survivor Series was Goldberg destroying Lesnar, which is memorable sure but did screw over fans looking to see these guys actually face off in an actual match. Definitely something you do not need to re-watch again. One the plus side the men’s Survivor Series match was excellent and delivered on all fronts. The other elimination matches were also fun to watch as well and help reestablish why the gimmick match has worked over the years. Zayn vs. Miz was pretty lame though and WWE blew it by not having Kalisto win the Cruiserweight belt. Good for the gimmick matches but this will always be remembered for Goldberg’s return.

Highlights: Survivor Series Elimination Matches

Lowlights: Zayn vs. Miz, Kane vs. Harper

Money in the Bank

The obvious emotional highlight was Dean Ambrose cashing in and winning the WWE Championship on Seth Rollins less than two hours after winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. WWE finally put a bow on their epic rivalry and had an actual fan favorite win the belt and get a positive response from the crowd. We also got Cena vs. AJ Styles I, starting perhaps the best rivalry of the year. While there was many good matches there was also too much filler at 11 total matches on the PPV. Almost great but not quite there.

Highlights: Cena vs. AJ I, MITB Ladder Match, Ambrose’s Cash-In

Lowlights: Pre-show, Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match, Corbin vs. Ziggler III, Crews vs. Sheamus

Payback

This was a very good PPV marred by the usual questionable booking. Nattie vs. Flair was a joke that nobody laughed at. We got the beginning of the endless Ziggler vs. Corbin match that did nobody any favors. Plus we got one of the scariest scenes of the year when Enzo Amore got knocked out during his match.Yet this is a solid PPV that set up much of the live special content for the next few months. We got the first of the Zayn vs. Owens Fight Forever matches along with the best Ryback match ever vs. Kalisto (sensing a pattern with Kalisto here). Not bad but not the best.

Highlights: Zayn vs. Owens I, Kalisto vs. Ryback

Lowlights: Natalya vs. Flair, Ziggler vs. Corbin

No Mercy

Similar to Payback, WWE put on another event with weird booking. Putting the WWE championship match first was odd, and when it turned out to be the one of the best match on the card it definitely hurt the PPV. We also got the amazing Miz vs. Ziggler match with Ziggler’s career on the line, which again is hindered slightly in retrospect when they just reset this feud later on. Other than that not much here to get invested in or re-watch.

Highlights: Miz vs Ziggler II, Styles vs. Ambrose vs. Cena

Lowlights: Corbin vs. Swagger, Wyatt vs. Orton

Fastlane

I’m sure Fastlane was a decent show, but I honestly do not remember a single match from this PPV outside of the main event. Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth happened on this show for Christ’s sake. This was also during peak botching Charlotte time, and having Brie Bella as an opponet was not a good look for the Divas at the time. The main event was pretty fun though, and triple threat Brock is probably my favorite Brock. The Edge and Christian segment was also pretty fun, but too long. Very skippable and an obvious stepping stone to Mania.

Highlights: Brock vs. Ambrose vs. Reigns

Lowlights: Pretty much everything else

Hell in a Cell

We did some history here with the first women’s Hell in a Cell match. And Owens vs. Rollins was decent, and Reigns vs. Rusev can get a pass too. However all the Hell in a Cell matches diluted the quality of them all, and the rest of the card was just kind of there. More of the same from Raw in a pattern that continues with the red brand to this day. The best matches were things we have seen before.

Highlights: Banks vs. Charlotte II, Owens vs. Rollins II, Rusev vs. Reign II

Lowlights: Brooke vs. Bayley, The Club vs. Enzo & Cass

Battleground

Simply put, Zayn vs. Owens II saved this PPV from being a complete disaster. So many unmemorable matches or just flat out bad matches that were a product of the upcoming brand split. Cena and Enzo & Cass vs. The Club was ok, and the Shield triple threat was decent but nearly as epic as it should have been. Really this is a very skippable PPV that was screwed by the brand split and made relevant almost as soon as it was over.

Highlights: Owens vs. Zayn II

Lowlights: Miz vs. Young, Rusev vs. Ryder, Wyatts vs. New Day

Roadblock: End of the Line

The last PPV of the year was also one of the worse. Raw continued to just stall for time, this time to make to the Royal Rumble in 2017. Many of these matches just did not matter, and very little changed. Banks vs Charlotte had their best PPV match, but the Iron Man Match was structured weirdly. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The New Day was also a solid match which ended The New Day’s reign, but these two things don’t make up for the blandness of the PPV. Like a steamed carrot this was as meh as it gets.

Highlights: Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The New Day, Banks vs. Charlotte III

Lowlights: Rusev vs. Big Cass, TJP vs. Swann vs. Kendrick, Reigns vs. Owens, Jericho vs. Rollins

Clash of Champions

Remember how Backlash set up SmackDown Live as the standard bearer for WWE? Well that notion was solidified when Raw dropped Clash of Champions on us. Owens vs. Rollins should have been better than it was, though Rollins did crack a rib so that is forgivable. Meanwhile most of the other matches seem to feature people sleepwalking through them or just meandering their way through the event so we could get to the next event. Cesaro vs. Sheamus was good though, and now that the best of seven actually paid off it is better in retrospect. Still would have liked to see a definite winner (Cesaro) who got into the main event picture.

Highlights: Cesaro vs. Sheamus

Lowlights: Jericho vs. Zayn, Reigns vs. Lana, TYP vs. Kendrick, Jax vs. Fox

WrestleMania 32

Mania 32 highlighted everything wrong with WWE 2016. The event was seven hours long, had too many matches, and a super predictable main event that should have killed the Roman push dead. Throw in The Rock to set things on fire and waste half an hour to let us know the attendance and murder Erick Rowan’s career and it is easy to see how this was one of the worse events of the year. I cannot imagine how disappointing this must have been to someone who finally got the chance to attend WrestleMania only to see this show. However, the young and hungry talent came through on the big stage, and the ladder match and the women’s triple threat match were great.

Highlights: IC Title Ladder Match, Lynch vs. Banks vs. Flair

Lowlights: The other 6 hours

Manopera! Episode 20: MITB 2016 – Suspensions and Speculations

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In light of Roman Reigns’ shocking suspension, our hosts break down the former WWE Champion’s possible return scenarios, review Money in the Bank 2016 and continue to speculate on the upcoming brand split.

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.

Manopera! Episode 19: NXT TakeOver – The End (Sort of)

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Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss NXT TakeOver: The End, Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet and the bizarre TNA Slammiversary angle between Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Manopera! Episode 18: Extreme Rules 2016 Ups, Downs and Brand Splits

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“Spaceman” Frank reveals his new “Dudley” inspired gimmick before he and Chris divulge into WWE Extreme Rules, the brand split returning and Money in the Bank possibilities.