Chris and Spaceman Frank review WWE Fastlane 2017 and its aftermath on Raw, speculate on the Hardy’s returning to WWE, and more. Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on the infamous “Cash me outside” girl, Danielle Bregoli.
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by Frank Lucci
It is Fastlane time in WWE land, which means we’ve got one last pitstop before WrestleMania.
Smackdown Live had the advantage of having Elimination Chamber two weeks after the Royal Rumble, allowing them to put on a nice bow on Rumble storylines while giving people a reason to watch the blue brand build its ‘Mania storylines for two uninterrupted months.
Meanwhile, WWE has tried their darndest to get people to care about Fastlane in combination with hyping and setting up matches for the show of shows. With two title matches almost guaranteed to end a certain way and most of the rest of the card meaning very little, fans can at least look forward to incessant ‘Mania commercials and people pointing at the big WrestleMania sign at random times. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for Fastlane 2017.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar (Kickoff)
We start the night (after about 30-40 minutes of useless banter) with four Cruiserweights trying their best to make some sort of impression on the Raw crowds. I think we’ll get some sort of crazy Cruiserweight scramble for the championship at ‘Mania (perhaps taking over the Intercontinental Championship Ladder match that has opened the show recently). Tozawa seems to be making some headway with live crowds, and Rich Swann and Brian Kendrick have history on their side. Sadly, Noam Dar has been adrift despite being crazy talented, possibly due to a lack of direction after being paired with Alicia Fox. The faces win because Tozawa’s Snap German Suplex is the best.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
A preshow match at the Rumble becomes a real match here, and Banks looks to take down the monster Jax with her fully recovered knee. I’m curious to see if Banks get a respectable amount of offense in, or if she continues to ragdoll around Jax to make her look dominant. In the end, however, I see Jax pulling out the win to make Banks go back to her Boss ways and betray Bayley because it’s about time she turns heel.
The Club (c) (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Big Cass and Enzo Amore (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)
The Club are finally champions, much too late for anyone to care and facing the perennial challengers who never win anything. Enzo and Cass may be the Buffalo Bills of the WWE, and that is coming from a Bills fan (I never expect either of them to get the championships, but I can dream right?). If WWE pulls the trigger with Enzo and Cass it will be at WrestleMania for the big feelgood moment of the card, but honestly I think WWE will hedge their bets and have the Raw and SmackDown tag champs face off on the preshow to get everyone a payday. The Club win and the crowd halfheartedly make a vaguely disappointed sound.
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)
This one is obvious. We have seen this storyline beaten into the ground, and despite Bayley having more pure babyface potential than Sasha Banks, that will not save her from the streak of Charlotte. If WWE was smart, they would have Charlotte keep the belt for a bit and stop having the title hot potato between people (if Charlotte wins she will have become a five time champion before the title’s one year anniversary) and make her Pay Per View streak more compelling. Then call up Asuka post-Mania and have a streak vs. streak (Asuka is currently threatening Goldberg’s WCW undefeated streak legitiamtely) match between the two at some point. Until then, Charlotte should just stop defending the belt on Mondays and just cut insane promos like her dad.
Neville (c) vs. Jack Gallagher (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
This is one of the more intriguing championship matches that WWE has put on for the Cruiserweights since the finals of the CWC. Neville is the heel champion the division needs, easily blowing Kendrick out of the water in that regard. Meanwhile, Gallagher is one of the few true breakout stars the division has had, getting reactions Swann and TJP could only achieve by meeting Jiminy Cricket and wishing upon a star. The fact that Jackie Boy was the only Cruiserweight in the Royal Rumble match speaks volumes on how much WWE values him. And yet, he will lose here. After so many different champions, the division needs a rock to build a foundation on. Neville is that rock, and he will walk out as champ by doing something dastardly and ungentlemanly.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Finally, WWE has found a Reigns match I am actually intrigued by. While the Reigns hype train is a little beat up at this point, he always threatens to run over the internet’s favorite wrestlers…until now. Strowman is Vince’s shiny new toy, and his push thus far is similar to Reigns early push in The Shield, minus the extra teammates to lean upon. I think Strowman is the one guy WWE management may have usurp Reigns as their guy, but being so close to ‘Mania I do not see this match happening, or at least having a proper finish. Instead, I see these two brawling all over the arena much like they have in the past, leading to a Falls Count Anywhere match at ‘Mania between the two. If I have to pick a winner, I would go with Strowman just in case they want to have Reigns seek a vengeful rematch at the biggest show of the year.
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
The other big grudge match on the card sees Joe staying on his warpath to destroy all the top babyfaces on Raw. Rollins’ injury is unfortunate, but may be a blessing in disguise for himself (he essentially gets a second chance at his big babyface turn) and Zayn, who gets something important to do and another chance to steal the show. Rewatching their epic 2 out of 3 falls match from NXT makes me salivate at what these guys can do, plus the WWE universe has been too long for Samoa Joe to debut on the main roster. In what will be the match of the night, Zayn will go down swinging as only he can and make Joe look like a boss from Dark Souls 3.
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg (WWE Universal Championship Match)
There are so many possibilities that I have chosen to list all of them as a series of cliffhanger questions.
Is there any way Owens walks out as champ? Can he beat Dad-Berg, or at least carry him to a decent match that is longer than three minutes? Will Chris Jericho cost Owens the Universal Championship? Will Brock come in to even the odds in Owens’ favor? Will the son of Goldberg pop his shirt off and defend his father against the team of monstrous evil dads? Will the son of Kevin Owens take down Junior-Berg leading to a father and son inter-generational tag team match at WrestleMania? Will Jericho emerge from the ashes and end up challenging Brock Lesnar for the title after winning it on Raw the day after this PPV? Will the universe eventually stop expanding, collapse, and thus claim the Universal Championship before becoming a singularity and becoming the Universal Champion in the past, present, and future simultaneously? Find out on WWE Fastlane!
In all seriousness, Goldberg will probably win in five minutes or less because it’s just that time on the WWE’s calendar for stuff like this.
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.
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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.
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In honor of Bonesaw Entertainment’s two-year anniversary, Chris and Spaceman Frank talk the ‘member berry madness of Royal Rumble 2017.
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by Frank Lucci
A big Four Pay-Per-View is here, which means that WWE is rolling out the NXT brand the night before for a (probably) superior show of their own. What’s most likely is that the last major show for the developmental brand of the year promises to be an exciting event, and considering the event will be around one-third of the time Survivor Series promises to be that is very welcome. With an emphasis on tag team action reflecting the overall Survivor Series theme, Toronto has massive potential to show why WWE deserves to invest in more serious tag teams instead of the multitude of joke tag teams that populate the main roster. While it’s unusual for no new talents to be making their debut during a live special, Toronto features several grapplers having the highest-stake matches of their careers, plus the return of a legendary women’s wrestler. I’m Spaceman Frank, and here are my NXT TakeOver: Toronto predictions.
The Authors of Pain vs. TM-61 (Finals of Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic)
It’s smart of the WWE to only have the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on the Toronto show rather than the semis and finals in one night. It’s also smart of NXT to have two up and coming teams clashing for the trophy rather than having a superteam win it like last year. While I would (and honestly) rather see Team DIY and The Revival clash for the NXT Tag Team Championships and the trophy, I’ll take this alternative instead. What I don’t like is Paul Ellering being suspended from a cage above the ring. If we had seen the dastardly manager interfere in more matches it would make sense, but since the Authors have been pretty dominate it doesn’t seem necessary. It’s tempting to say that the Authors of Pain will win…so I will. TM-61 is a fine team, but to me they are discount Team DIY until they fully establish themselves.
The Revival (c) vs. Team DIY (Two Out of Three Falls Match for the NXT Tag Team Championships)
Having this be a two out of three falls match is perfect. This was already shaping up to be the match of the night, and guaranteeing there will be high drama throughout the match. These four can steal not only this NXT special, but the whole wrestling weekend as well. I think The Revival will win, so they can bide their time until AJ Styles brings them in to be his henchmen in the SmackDown chapter of The Club (please let it happen WWE). There is a lot of fertile ground for Johnny Wrestling and the Sicilian Psychopath to begin feuding, and the smart money says that losing their chance at the belts for a second time will lead to the split. I could also see them splitting up while trying to take the Cruiserweight Championship on the main roster, considering how many times we’ve been teased with their divorce. Either way, the stakes in this match are high, and I’m ready for The Revival to pull out some shenanigans and Team DIY to lay some some serious hits that echo so loudly I hear it from Buffalo.
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
The only singles match on the card not for a title involves Dillinger finally getting a match on a live special he is not guaranteed to lose, and it’s about time considering how long the dude has been working away at NXT and has been overdue for some sort of push. The crowd is solidly behind the guy, as they have wanted The Perfect 10 to get the spot he finally deserves. On the other hand, he’s going up against the immensely popular Bobby Roode, whose theme song admittedly is more over than he is. NXT is in need of some main event heels besides Samoa Joe, and Roode fits the bill to a “t.”
In order to do this, I predict he will bully and batter Dillinger to get the win, earning him some heat so people begin to turn on him. Roode wins to set himself up as the next challenger for the NXT Championship and Dillinger solidifies himself as a midcard face with a strong outing.
Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James (NXT Women’s Championship Match)
Asuka is facing her stiffest competition yet…or at least that’s what WWE wants you to believe. Mickie James is a legend and probably a future Hall of Fame candidate, but rumor has it that the only reason she’s here is because Trish Stratus was not available. I also have concerns over how their styles will mesh, but considering the biggest thing I know about James is that she sexually assaulted Stratus at ‘Mania 20 I’m probably not a good reference point. Asuka seems destined to hold on to the belt until Ember Moon (or someone else) steps up, so she’ll win this match and will have to wait awhile until someone becomes the clear-cut choice to take her title away. Either that or NXT books her in a multi-women match so she can lose the belt without being pinned.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe (NXT Championship Match)
While I predict the Tag Team Championship match will be the highlight of the show, these two are engaging every time they face off. While their first encounter was built around the dream match potential, now there are personal stakes involved as Nakamura and Joe have taken turns beating the bejesus out of each other. I predict these two will lay down some serious lumber, and if Brock vs. Goldberg II matches 50% of their intensity I’ll be shocked.
I know NXT is reluctant to throw around gimmick matches, but if any two needed a Street Fight stipulation this is the pair. Joe has nothing left to prove in NXT, and is an early candidate for a 2017 Rumble entrant. Therefore, Nakamura is walking away with the title. Maybe he’ll have one final encounter with Joe, or maybe Roode will sneak into the main event scene, or maybe No Way Jose turns heel and uses an actual baseball bat on the champ. We shall see.
Chris and Spaceman Frank sound off on the “glorious” NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II in part 1 of their SummerSlam 2016 Spectacular.
It’s that time of the year where the weather is hot and the wrestling action is hotter (that’s right, I went there). The wrestling world has been abuzz after the WWE’s brand split and SummerSlam, the first Pay-Per-View of this new era.
Meanwhile, things continue to chug along on NXT. Despite losing some top talent (along with Mojo Rawley and the now suspended Eva Marie) in the Brand Split, buzz is high for the company’s return to the Barclays Center. Spaceman Frank is here to hopefully follow up on his perfect predictions for NXT TakeOver: The End with predictions for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 2.
Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
Do I even need to say who will win this? I have been waiting for Ember Moon (formerly Athena on the independent circuit) to debut for some time, and am subsequently predicting big things for her. Kay seems to be the frontrunner of the new crop of unheralded women the WWE has debuted on NXT, but there is no way she’s coming up the winner here. At least Kay can take comfort in the fact that she has some sort of personality a.k.a. she is allowed to talk on air.
No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
While some may see this as a demotion for Aries (having faced the number one contender Nakamura at TakeOver: The End), NXT has played this feud fairly well. Aries finally initiated his heel turn to give Jose something meaningful. I had the feeling that if NXT did not give Jose something to sink his teeth into the fans would have turned on him, but giving him The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived prevents that.
Jose could have been a joke, but showing fire and initiative against the veteran has helped him develop what could have been a one-note character. That being said, Aries is going to win this one to humble the newcomer and help keep himself in line for title contendership.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Bobby Roode
Roode has been killing it on the microphone, and has already made chicken salad out of chicken shit considering he alone built this feud with an opponent who’s apparently not allowed to talk in one week. Almas has quickly transitioned from the hot newcomer to just another guy in NXT, and now he’ll be the one jobbing to the next big newcomer. I have a feeling that the WWE sees money in Roode, and one day I hope to see him face off against Triple H. Until then perhaps an NXT title run is in store? Possibly even a quick call up?
The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)
After getting some sneaky wins over the champs, the longtime tag team finally get a shot at being them on a TakeOver program. The champions have been doing their thing for a while now, and this matchup seems natural considering there are few face tag teams in NXT these days. Many have been calling for Ciampa to turn on Johnny Wrestling after losing to him in the Cruiserweight Classic, which will likely happen at some point. I don’t see it happening at TakeOver, but instead on NXT TV (like Aries’ heel turn after The End). The Revival just got their titles back, and I don’t seem them losing them so soon after making history as the first-ever two time champs.
Asuka vs. Bayley (NXT Women’s Championship Match)
One of the most hyped matches of this TakeOver sees Bayley trying to recapture the magic of her previous NXT: Brooklyn match against the mighty Asuka. Asuka still remains undefeated, and I don’t see that changing in Booklyn. Bayley is well overdue for a callup, and her tease at Battleground hints that it’s coming sooner rather than later (like the night after SummerSlam, maybe?).
Asuka needs more time to adjust and fine tune her character to become either a face or heel, as right now it seems as though audiences don’t know whether to cheer or boo her. This may be because she is going after the top babyface in NXT’s history, but it makes more sense that Asuka wins and gives Bayley her big curtain call.
Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (NXT Championship Match)
Joe has been on fire since winning the title, and he’s played against Nakamura’s swagger and craziness well. In particular, his reaction to the “got your nose” segment had me on the floor then praying Nakamura makes it out of Brooklyn with all his limbs. It’s tempting to say that Joe will keep his belt here to build to a rematch. It’s also likely the red-hot Nakamura wins the championship triumphantly to help Joe get to the main roster sooner as he continues to work on his English speaking skills. When push comes to shove, I believe Nakamura will win here after a brutal match that makes me wince several times in sympathy agony (great band name).
by Frank Lucci
The WWE has finally released the rules for the WWE draft scheduled for the first edition of SmackDown! Live on July 19th, 2016. Long story short: Raw gets the first pick, Raw gets three picks for every two SmackDown! gets (due to the Monday show being an hour longer), tag teams count as one unit unless a GM wants just one member and each show gets 3 NXT picks.
Going with the assumed format of Raw/Smackdown/Raw/Smackdown/Raw/Raw for the order, here is Spaceman Frank’s mock WWE Draft with some explanations/fantasy booking to boot.
Author’s Note: I wrote this before the edition of Raw before the draft, so i’m assuming Dean Ambrose is still champ because please don’t take that away from us WWE I beg you! Also i’m assuming that the televised portion of the draft will be around 15 picks for Smackdown and 20 for Raw, but depending on how thing go it may be much shorter. Here’s to hoping they do a Network Special after Smackdown continuing the draft.
6. Raw: Charlotte – In order to push the Divas Revolution, Stephanie IMMEDIATELY does a 180 and turns face for a good minute or so. With her so-called “free pick,” she drafts Women’s Champion Charlotte. This would A) make the women look as important than the men, seeing as she is drafted before the Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Champions, B) keep the whole Stephanie as women’s division advocate thing going and C) give much needed variety and content for the three-hour Raw so that they, you know, actually make those three hours entertaining.
11. Raw: The New Day – Stephanie figures she might as well lock up the last champions and picks The New Day. However, The Tag Titles will be defended on both shows, but the current champs will call Raw their home base. Similar thoughts to having the women on Raw for The New Day: they can eat up part of the three hours while making it actually worth watching.
12. SmackDown!: Samoa Joe – With all the champions and upper tier people chosen, Shane chooses at this time to continue his whole “New Era” schtick and makes the first NXT selection in Joe to a huge pop. Cut to the locker room and everyone has crapped their pants over potentially being a victim of Joe’s wrath. The camera lingers on A.J. Styles’ reaction because of their history (that WWE kinda-sorta acknowledges).
13. Raw: Bray Wyatt – Steph goes monster for monster with her brother and (rather nervously) picks Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds comes out and creepily smiles at her to further freak her out as Triple H steps up to Wyatt, playing on their Royal Rumble interaction and maybe teasing a match in the future?
14. SmackDown!: Kevin Owens – KO gets drafted, does his KO thing by insulting everyone, tells Shane he’s glad all his daredevil antics left at least a few of his brain cells working and leaves.
15. Raw: Sasha Banks – Somebody reminds Steph that Charlotte needs somebody to wrestle on Raw and picks The Boss, because we all know the inevitable match between the two is coming at SummerSlam.
16. Raw: Finn Balor – Balor goes to Raw to another big pop to the crowd. Steph makes fun of Shane for stealing what would (presumably) be one of the cornerstones of his “New Era.” Backstace, The Club is happy for their boy finally being called up to the main roster.
17. SmackDown!: Cesaro – The Swiss Superman goes here because something, something, SmackDown! will be a wrestling show while JBL shrieks, “UPPERCUT PARTY MAGGLE” for no reason.
18. Raw: Sheamus – “Oh yeah, Sheamus is still a thing.”- Stephanie McMahon moments before drafting The Celtic Warrior.
19. SmackDown!: Sami Zayn – KO comes back out to flip out on Shane. He demands to be traded to Raw rather than have to deal with Zayn after their Battleground match. Things get heated and eventually an army of referees have to hold back KO from Zayn and Shane (I’m so excited for their match I have to stand in front of the fridge to cool down).
20. Raw: The Big Show – The Big Show literally eats a pick here before shuffling off to the back.
21. Raw: Chris Jericho – I’m tempted to put Jericho on SmackDown! as he seems more focused on working with younger guys, but given his part-time status and the fact that Cena already can fill that role more regularly he will be on Raw.
22. SmackDown!: Enzo and Cass – These two are constantly rumored for being split up in the draft, but considering people only take about four of the WWE tag teams seriously they need to stick together. The two act much like The New Day do on Raw: delivering fun promos and eating up time.
23. Raw: The Usos – At this point I see a run on tag teams to help fill in the rosters. The Usos stay on the show with their cousin because family and such.
24. Smackdown: Kalisto – I’m not sure if this counts as a tag team split, since Kalisto and Sin Cara are listed as singles competitors instead of the team they usually are. Nonetheless, Kalisto goes to Tuesdays just in case they start the Cruiserweight division up again.
25. Raw: Becky Lynch – I see Raw using these extra picks as a way to emphasize the women’s division while still making them feel tacked on. The Lass Kicker (side note: please give her a new nickname. I love Lynch, but there ‘s no way I go out in public with “Lass Kicker” written on my chest. Don’t need people thinking I hit women) goes to Raw to continue her role as “early 90’s Sting” to the ladies.
26. Raw: The Club – A.J. is super upset his boys are leaving and they have a big bro hug. It’s a touching moment…interrupted by Finn Balor. The Club and Balor immediately partake in an even bigger bro hug and start “Too Sweet-ing” each other and go away laughing. This leaves Styles with a bit of sympathy for his inevitable babyface return and plants the seeds of a Balor heel turn with The Club.
27. SmackDown!: The Wyatt Family – I know all the Wyatts are listed as individual competitors but hear me out. Shane, realizing Raw has way more superstars than SmackDown!, makes a bold move and drafts Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman and Luke Harper. Rowan and Strowman come out followed by Harper, who at this point should be healed up enough from his knee injury to at least make an appearance. Harper goes on a tear and declares they don’t need Bray Wyatt and the three of them can take on anybody in the WWE. Honestly, I feel like the Wyatt Family is toxic for everyone involved due to their horrendous booking. Bray has his family eat loses for him on free TV while he loses nearly every Pay Per View feud he has. Time to split them up and let Bray run wild on Raw while Harper guides Rowan and Strowman in the tag team division. Everyone wins…hopefully.
28. Raw: Dolph Ziggler– My how Ziggler has fallen. Hopefully with the split roster he can get back on track.
29. Smackdown: Alberto Del Rio– See Dolph Ziggler.
30. Raw: Nikki Bella – With the show running out of top picks, Stephanie picks the former Divas Champion, who comes out looking classy with or without a neck brace. She reminds everyone that she is now officially the longest running Diva’s champ of all time thanks to the title being retired and that the only reason Charlotte beat her was because her neck wasn’t 100 percent. Even if Nikki does not return immediately they should address her status during the draft.
31. Raw: Darren Young – I would have had Young getting drafted off camera, but since he’s challenging for the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground he will probably show up here with Bob Backlund screaming inaudibly behind him.
32. SmackDown!: Zack Ryder – Same story as Darren Young, only for the United States title.
33. Raw: Nia Jax – With her second NXT pick Steph strengthens her women’s division with Jax, who (along with Balor) is frequently rumored for a call up.
34. SmackDown!: American Alpha – Shane uses his final (televised) pick on the hot NXT tag team, just in case you forgot that Shane and GM Daniel Bryan love you and want you to be happy.
35. Raw: Paige – Just to hammer home the Divas, here is Paige going to Raw.
As for the rest of the roster, here is where I see them going; along with the final NXT picks.
Raw: Baron Corbin, Demon Kane, Jack Swagger, Sin Cara, Titus O’Neil, Golden Truth, Shining Stars, The Vaudevillians, the rest of the women and Mojo Rawley (NXT call up).
SmackDown!: Apollo Crews, Mark Henry, Neville, Breezango, The Social Outcasts, The Ascension, The Dudley Boyz, Hideo Itami (NXT call up).