What went down at WWE Payback? Chris and Frank have the answers (or at least they think they do). Find out what the boys have to say as they mull over Payback’s strong points, weak points and everything in between.
What went down at WWE Payback? Chris and Frank have the answers (or at least they think they do). Find out what the boys have to say as they mull over Payback’s strong points, weak points and everything in between.
by Frank Lucci
With WrestleMania 32 in the books, the WWE has wisely decided to switch Payback and Extreme Rules around on the Pay-Per-View calendar; or at least it would have been if WWE had booked more WrestleMania rematches instead going with fresh feuds (with only two feuds receiving a continuation from previous events).
Semantics aside, this Pay-Per-View has an exciting vibe to it due to those new rivalries and Payback could make up for a lackluster ‘Mania if done right. Here is Spaceman Frank’s Payback 2016 predictions.
Side note: Vince Mcmahon will be at the event to decide if either Shane or Stephanie gets control of WWE. Since this isn’t an actual match I won’t do a full prediction for it, but if I had to take a guess I’d say Stephanie gets Raw and Shane gets SmackDown! so the WWE can have their cake and eat it too.
Kickoff Match: Kalisto vs. Ryback (United States Championship Match)
One of the few ongoing rivalries from ‘Mania where both men had a surprisingly good match. WWE rewarded Kalisto and Ryback by giving them even less build for this match and another pre-show time slot.
It’s unclear what plans WWE has for the U.S. title, as it seems pushed down the card in favor of trying to rebuild the tag team division. Why we can’t have both I have no idea. With all the new talent coming in and taking up TV time, this is hurting not only both men involved, but the U.S. Championship as well (Open challenge anyone?). Kalisto wins because he is bright, colorful and will pop the crowd.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin finally made the leap to the main roster at ‘Mania 32 with his shocking Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal victory and so far his build mirrors that of his NXT booking.
Ziggler is also being booked much like Corbin was in NXT, acting as the gatekeeper to the main event for new people trying to break the glass ceiling. The Lone Wolf has a good shot at impressing fans in his first proper Pay-Per-View match, but I see Ziggler getting the sneaky win so Corbin can beat him up some more so the two can have a match at Extreme Rules with a wacky stipulation (kiss my arse match anyone???)
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Cool dad Jericho is still around trying to hang out with all the hip young people in the WWE. Ambrose is a decent opponent for the part timer, but beating Jericho won’t make up for his weak showing at ‘Mania.
Rather than build off of their incident at last year’s Night of Champions, WWE decided that this feud should play out over increasingly bland talk show segments. Considering that last month Jericho beat the WWE Championship’s number one contender A.J. Styles and Ambrose was taking on Brock Lesnar, it’s hard to get excited for this. Ambrose wins and Jericho threatens to bury more people on Raw.
The Miz vs. Cesaro (Intercontinental Championship Match)
The WWE finally get an injured wrestler back and Cesaro has been killing it as stripper James Bond despite the one-liner contest he had with The Miz on the go-home Raw.
The Miz has also been fantastic since winning the Intercontnental title and having his real-life wife Maryse on television with him. I didn’t think it was possible to want to punch The Miz in the face any more than I wanted to before, but believe it or not I actually do. Even more shocking, I see The Miz cheating to keep the championship from Cesaro as The Miz needs a legit IC title reign and at this point Cesaro doesn’t because he’s still fresh off of his triumphant return.
Charlotte vs. Natalya (Women’s Championship Match)
This match has been overshadowed in recent weeks by the behavior of the two men in each women’s corner. Ric Flair made headlines when it was rumored he was drunk at an airport, though it appears he merely injured his hand and went to an airport bar to kill time. Bret Hart on the other hand (pun intended), has openly criticized the WWE, stating that he has no interest in appearing at Payback (Way to sell the feud, fellas!).
Charlotte has hit her stride as champ, but WWE could easily give Nattie a title reign to help build the the championship’s lineage. With outside drama overshadowing the in-ring story, I see Charlotte retaining in a good match.
Enzo & Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillians (Number One Contenders match for the WWE World Tag Team Championships)
While the Vaudevillains have quietly been a solid addition to the main roster, Enzo and Cass have absolutely crushed it since appearing on the post-‘Mania Raw.
It still seems crazy that these two teams are facing off for the number one contendership and both teams will make great foils to The New Day (who again are not defending their titles on Pay-Per-View).
The Vaudevillians will win this match for two simple reasons: First, The Vaudevillians are the only heels between the three tag teams, leading to a more natural feud. Second, if the Dudley Boyz do not interfere in this match and cost Enzo and Cass their title shot then they will be the biggest putz’s in Dudleyville for letting the rookies walk all over them.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
The epic rivalry between these two is fully reignited after several teases and they are going to have an absolute slobberknocker of an encounter. For many fans, this match alone is the big reason to watch Payback.
If Owens and Zayn get a good amount of time this is 100 percent stealing the show. The only negative I can think of is that it seems obvious that this rivalry is continuing into Extreme Rules. Zayn gets a surprise victory followed by Owens beating The Underdog From the Underground into a pulp afterwards.
Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Roman Reigns in a feud we care about (GASP!)?
With so many moving parts at play, WWE has built up a lot of potential for this match and fans are eager to see what twists and turns will play out. It seems obvious that the Good Brothers and the Usos will be factors. There’s also been subtle hints former NXT Champion Finn Balor and possibly Nakamura could also be at play here (Bullet Club debut anyone?). Throw in the potential for many different heel/face turns from everyone involved and this may be the best feud Reigns has had since becoming a main-eventer.
The only slight criticisms I have for the build is Reigns constantly repeating his “I’m the man” schtick (Even his attempts at being nonchalant seem incredibly forced. Reigns reminds me of people who constantly claim that they are “for real” and “don’t have time for fake ass people.”) and the hype surrounding this match is all about what will happen at either the end or after rather than match itself (which will be excellent). Reigns wins, Balor debuts and takes control of the Bullet Club who then lay waste to Reigns and Styles.
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.
By Frank Lucci
Hell in a Cell 2015 promises to be one of the more memorable pay per views of the year, but for all the wrong reasons.
What should have been a stacked card that has been built up expertly over several weeks has turned into a plate of hot garbage. The WWE has managed to waste appearances by Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin (side note: HOW THE HELL DO YOU BOTCH STONE COLD’S RETURN?) and filled the top matches with aging superstars instead of the hot young talent who WWE can’t even be bothered to come up with feuds for despite having around seven hours of weekly programming to fill.
Despite all this, there are a few matches with potential on the card that should give fans something to cheer for. Here are the predictions for Hell in a Cell 2015.
Preshow Match: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Neville vs. Rusev, Sheamus and King Barrett.
This match was originally supposed to Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper and Braun Strowman, but apparently Orton has hurt his shoulder (again) and Harper was removed from the card because of a family situation (wish him the best). Harper lives in the same suburb of Rochester as me, so this slight is unforgivable. Anyway, this match features six men who have nothing going for them unless you count being Mr. Money in the Bank, a former world champ or being european as something.
Given time this could be a great match, but it will most likely be a ten minute snorefest as JBL yells about Mountain Dew and Premier League Futbol. The face team will pull out the victory because Rusev needs to be punished for having his fiance’ be excited they are getting married instead of keeping that shit on lockdown and Barrett and Sheamus aren’t allowed to have nice things in general.
Kevin Owens (C) vs. Ryback (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Vince McMahon most likely booked this match during his play time where he smashed the two superstars action figures together like a five year old before realizing he could make this happen in real-life.
WWE had a chance to develop this feud after Owens won the title by cheating but instead they just had these two bounce around aimlessly. With no added stipulations to raise the stakes, expect Owens to cheat again to win to show how despicable he is in a lackluster hoss fight.
John Cena (C) vs. TBD (US Championship Open Challenge)
I can see Cena’s match breaking down in three ways:
1. Newly called up wrestler Tyler Breeze answers the challenge and sneakily wins the championship from Cena to give Breeze some much needed rub considering his NXT run ended with him losing over and over again at Takeover specials. Perhaps Breeze could hit Cena with the “Beauty Shot” or the “Unprettier” and injure Cena’s nose again to get the victory. On Raw the hurting Cena could be taken out by Lesnar or some other force so he can take his time off and have feuds ready to go.
2. The New Day shows up and use their numbers game to take down Cena and give Xavier Woods a championship (as he is on the sideline for their title defenses 90% of the time.) Then The New Day could get some real heel heat by dismantling Cena and knocking him out of action so they get more boos from the WWE target audience of children. Then when Cena comes back he can heroically overcome the odds yet again (despite almost never losing a single match) because BIG MATCH JOHN MAGGLE.
3. Dolph Ziggler challenges and beats Cena for the championship using some less than heroic tactics. Ziggler goes full heel the next night which leads to Cena being taken out for his vacation. This ties into the “Total Divas” storyline and allows Ziggler to take on some fresh opponents. No matter what, I expect Cena to lose (if you couldn’t tell).
The New Day (C) vs. The Dudley Boyz (WWE Tag Team Championship)
The WWE had several chances to put the titles on the Dudley Boyz. The forgettable Madison Square Garden show, for example. But instead had The New Day repeatedly disqualify themselves to keep the titles. This is good heel tactics, but at least point switching the championships would be fairly anticlimactic.
With the Dudley Boyz once again getting a rematch with no added stipulations, The New Day will likely win, Xavier Woods will get destroyed afterwards, and the tag team division will keep spinning it’s wheels.
Charlotte (C) vs. Nikki Bella (Divas Championship Match)
With the Divas Revolution quickly losing steam, Charlotte (and by extension, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks) need to do something to capture the magic that the NXT women’s division has. Feuds with Team Bella is not the solution. Charlotte wins, Nikki films an episode of “Total Divas” about how sad she is about it, and the WWE gives Sasha Banks (who clearly is the fan’s choice for favorite new Diva) a shot (and maybe gives Becky Lynch something to do besides hang out with Ric Flair at ringside to cheer her bestie on).
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt (Hell in a Cell Match)
This feud started out promising, but overall the Reigns vs. Wyatt program has shown how far behind Reigns is compared to Wyatt and his BFF Ambrose. BUT HE’S TALL AND TAN BY GAWD so now we’re stuck with him.
Wyatt has attempted to keep people engaged with this feud by delivering his signature promos, but after three months of his “anyone but you” schtick it is time for this to end.
By the way, nice of Wyatt to summarize the internet’s feelings about Reigns and help us feud with him by proxy. Reigns did his best to get us emotionally invested in him with his infamous “I’m doing this for, like, my family and stuff” promo, which only went to show how much better Wyatt is as a talker and how much more natural charisma Ambrose has. At the go home Raw, the WWE then tried to get people hyped by bringing out Ric Flair. Instead, Flair puttered around the ring and said Reign’s name to try and get the crowd to pop.
I guess it was better than Flair bursting into tears every time Charlotte wrestles.
With rumors of Reigns winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania circling again, Wyatt will lose this match as he always does, then find another guy we hope he will defeat and gain momentum, but ultimately end up jobbing to.
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Kane (World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Does anyone else feel like this will be the bathroom break match between Hell in a Cell matches? The Corporate Kane/Demon Kane thing is kinda funny, kinda meta, but does not belong anywhere near the championship picture. Have this be a random offshoot of an Authority storyline, but not something involving Rollins, who goes from wrestling AARP Sting to wrestling a 48 year-old guy who is an honest to God grandfather.
Can we get this guy a challenger who works full time on the roster and is under the age of 40?
Another side note to this feud: way to bring out Shawn Michaels to bury the champ and eat some kids pizza (which probably cost $8).
Rollins vs HBK would be a bonkers match but it will never happen and Michaels did not seem to care much about selling people on Rollins or his match.
Another legend wasted.
Please let this be a swan song for Kane, who deserves to bow out in a decent match for all he has done for the WWE over the years. While he should not be gunning for the championship, he should have a nice moment to close his career out and transition to becoming HR Representative Kane to counter The Authority’s thuggish tactics.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (Hell in a Cell Match)
WHO’S READY FOR SOME TORTURE PORN???
Seriously though, I fear for the Undertaker in this match. The guy had a massive concussion (which by the way, never stopped him from competing while Daniel Bryan continues to sit out) after WrestleMania 30, then collapsed after his match with Lesnar at Summerslam.
Clearly the guy cannot hang with Lesnar anymore and should not be doing this. Any enjoyment to be had will be mixed with the feeling that Undertaker can be legit hurt at any moment (I know the point of Hell in a Cell matches is to be dangerous and violent, but at some point you need to step in and say enough is enough).
Brock wins, Undertaker has his big retirement hoopla in Dallas at WrestleMania 32 and rides off into the sunset. Personally, I’d like to see ‘Taker vs Bo Dallas in a easy squash at ‘Mania so the crowd can watch the legend take a bow and not worry about whether he can walk on his own power after the match.
#DallasinDallas people make it happen!
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.
Episode 12 marks the long overdue return of “the shoot.”
In a hilarious outing, Chris and Frank go toe to toe with the results of WWE Elimination Chamber.
Industrial metal unit The Unravelling is featured with their new single “Revolt.”
After a brief hiatus, WWE is bringing back the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view exclusively on the WWE Network this Sunday.
Four out of the five championships will be defended with two being inside the dreaded Elimination Chamber for which the event is named.
For some, the stakes can’t be any higher. For others, the rewards will be vast. For all, there will be no mercy.
Here are our predictions for the event.
Neville vs. Bo Dallas: What started as Dallas trolling Neville’s slump has evolved into a grudge match rekindling their NXT rivalry. Expect a nice exchange between the two before Dallas pulls an underhanded tactic to squeak out a win in hopefully the first of a series of matches on the big stage.
Tag Team Championships Elimination Chamber Match – The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd vs. The Ascension vs. Los Matadores vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Prime Time Players: For the first time the Tag Team Championships will be defended inside the Elimination Chamber. Given the circumstance, this is going to be both fun to watch and a bit confusing when determining the grounds for elimination. Having said that, there are going to be plenty of high spots involving The New Day’s Kofi Kingston, The Lucha Dragons and Cesaro and Kidd. When you give young talent with unique styles an enclosed cage you are creating a recipe for beautiful, violent art and we can’t wait. However; we feel that The New Day is going to end up retaining with another slight of hand from the groups wild card Xavier Woods. One question remains: does one member have to be pinned or submitted for a team’s elimination or do both members have to be eliminated individually? We’ll know for sure come Sunday.
Non-Title Champion vs. Champion Match – United States Champion John Cena vs. NXT Champion Kevin Owens: This is something the WWE should cherish. Since making his NXT debut roughly three months ago, Owens has not only dominated but completely changed the WWE landscape in that short time. Cena has also greatly invigorated the United States title as well, making it feel as important as it should be with his weekly open challenges while giving the rub to young talent waiting to shine. Though it would not be the worst thing in the world for Cena to win, Owens is something special and should be treated as a commodity. If WWE wants to continue building the NXT Champion as a monster they should have him go over the Cenation Leader. Win Owens, win.
Triple Threat Divas Championship Match – Nikki Bella(c) vs. Naomi vs. Paige: Naomi has been gunning for the Divas Championship for quite some time now and Bella has held on long enough. Paige is the wild card in the match with her eyes set on not only a third title reign but revenge on Naomi as well. The two’s history has been budding for several months as Paige was originally set to take on Bella at Elimination Chamber, only to be taken out of action by the former Funkadactyl. Sunday night will not be her night, as Naomi will finally rise above the ashes and taste gold for the first time in her career.
Elimination Chamber Match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship – R-Truth vs. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett vs. Ryback vs. Rusev: When Daniel Bryan vacated the Intercontinental title due to injury last month, he may have given Elimination Chamber a small blessing in disguise. While he is unable to compete, a new champion will be crowned. One of the best features of the Elimination Chamber is the unpredictable feeling of when a competitor will be unleashed from the pod and who will be eliminated by whom. This match will have all that and more due to how even the odds are for every WWE Superstar involved. While the momentum is on Barrett’s shoulders, he needs something more than the Intercontinental title as he’s held it enough to show he’s ready for the main event. Due to an unforeseen injury on Smackdown, Rusev may not be in the match and there are talks of him being replaced with Bray Wyatt if he is not able to compete. If Rusev is in, he’s taking home the gold. If he’s out and is in fact replaced by Wyatt, then the Eater of Worlds will leave the arena 10 pounds heavier.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose: This is one of the more intense rivalries WWE has built up in a while. These two were brothers in The Shield before Rollins did the unthinkable and turned on his fellow man for corporate greed. A little more than a year later, the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” is sitting atop the food chain as WWE Champion with Triple H’s Pedigree finisher at his disposal. The Lunatic Fringe on the other hand, is fighting in the trenches day in and day out against anyone and everyone just to get his hands on Rollins. This Sunday he finally gets another shot at his former ally in what could be their best match to date. Ambrose is not going to win, but he’s going to put on a clinic trying.
Another year has come and gone which means Wrestlemania season is just around the corner. As is tradition, WWE will make sure 2014 goes out with a bang in this year’s installment of their annual TLC pay-per-view. Below are our predictions for the winners of each match.
The New Day vs. Goldust and Stardust (TLC Kickoff)– While the cosmic duo sets its sights on the darkening of The New Day, we at The Bonesaw feel that since The New Day has debuted very recently, it is likely that they will prevail against the brothers Dust. Expect a good back and forth with plenty of tag team twists and turns as both teams have great chemistry with their partners and deliver unique offenses. The one variable is which two members of The New Day will be doing the brawling. Our money’s on Big E and Kofi Kingston due to their more direct confrontations with Gold and Stardust.
Nikki Bella (c) vs. AJ Lee (Divas Championship Match) – A re-match for the championship that should (hopefully) last longer than their Survivor Series encounter. These two young women will make the match as interesting as they can with the time they are given but it a tough call due to the constant flip-flopping of the title. History tells us Lee will regain her championship, but we predict Bella. One thing’s for sure: sister Brie will have some involvement in the outcome.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow (c) vs. The Uso’s (WWE Tag Team Championships Match) – A tag match that will be entertaining due to The Uso’s hybrid style and Mizdow’s hilarious antics. Chances are the champions will retain, but just barely as The Uso’s will outmaneuver the self proclaimed “A-lister” and his goofy “stunt double.”
Luke Harper (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship) – Ladder matches are notorious for death-defying spots and hard hitting action. Harper and Ziggler will put their bodies on the line with an intense showing of instestinal fortitude. The two rising stars will put on a heart-stopping clinic that will culminate in Ziggler winning back his championship.
Rusev (c) vs. Jack Swagger (United States Championship Match) – Aside from their characters being natural enemies, Rusev and Swagger have shown great chemistry in their feud. TLC will be no different when stars, stripes and sickles clash again for the United States championship. The Bonesaw believes Rusev will again conquer the good ol’ U.S. of A. – but would enjoy seeing Swagger knock off the Bulgarian Brute as it would greatly benefit his career.
Ryback vs. Kane (Chairs Match) – The inclusion of a Chairs Match is very unnecessary in any circumstance. The feud of Ryback and Kane is probably a short placeholder that would fare better with a regular match or a no-disqualification stipulation. The match will be decent if it is not given too much time. If we see more than 10 minutes, this could turn into a stinker. It is very likely that Ryback will continue his rampage.
Erick Rowan vs. Big Show (Steel Stairs Match) – Similar to Ryback vs. Kane, this very shoehorned in match with a steel stars stipulation rather than chairs might be decent if given a short length. Fans would much rather see Rowan battle his former tag team partner Harper, but it is what it is. The Big Show is almost a lock to win this one.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt (Tables Ladders & Chairs Match) – This match will steal the show. It will be as violent as PG programming will allow and the in-ring psychology will tell a fantastic story. Wyatt will endure the beating of his life, but The Eater of Worlds will defeat the unstable one in order for the feud to continue. The promos alone are too good to stop this freight train now.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Tables Match) – It should be noted that should Cena lose, he also loses his no. 1 contender spot against Brock Lesnar for the WWE title. Not to Rollins, but to an unknown challenger to be announced at a later date. Seeing as Rollins is in possession of the Money in the Bank briefcase, the match is more about a notch on his belt as he will get his championship match whenever and wherever he likes until the next Money in the Bank pay-per-view. It will be a hard fought battle and a great main event, but chances are Cena will find his can of spinach and emerge victorious yet again. Having said that, we really hope Rollins wins.