Tag Archives: Stardust

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Night of Champions Predictions

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.  

Long Live “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

“The American Dream” is dead.

Virgil Runnels, better known to the wrestling world as the legendary Dusty Rhodes died Thursday morning. He was 69 years old. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

Runnels, who famously referred to himself as “the son of a plumber who grew up to be so sweet” was one of the best talkers in the business. At eight years old, the Texas native was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, a bone disease that he would live with for the rest of his life. While Runnels was thought to be unable to walk, he proved everyone wrong and then some. Regardless, Runnels would work with his father every day while the two would bond over local wrestling matches and baseball games. While wrestling was his first love, Runnels’ sport of choice was football as he would play for high school and college at West Texas University with fellow future wrestling stars Ted DiBiase,Terry Funk and Dick Murdoch, whom he would later tag with. Runnels almost became an NFL player, but instead chose “the business” after realizing where his heart truly was.

Starting his career in 1968 as a rule-breaking heel (a professional wrestling term for “bad guy”) in the territorial days of the NWA and AWA promotions; Rhodes would team up with college buddy Murdoch to form “The Texas Outlaws.” Together, the two would go on to hold the NWA Tag Team Championships multiple times in different territories before Rhodes would turn babyface (good guy) and gain the adoration of the pro-wrestling world for the rest of his days, feuding with the likes of Abdulla the Butcher, Harley Race and “Superstar” Billy Graham.

The original “every man” of sports entertainment would go on a rocket ride to superstardom when he moved on to Jim Crockett Promotions (where he would book outlandish run-in endings to matches, which became known in the industry as the “Dusty Finish”) and WCW, feuding with (arguably the best heel to ever step foot in the ring) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and his legendary stable “The Four Horseman,”leading to the creation of the infamous “War Games” match. The two would put on classic bouts regarded by many as some of the best matches of all time over pride and coveted WCW championships. Rhodes’ knowledge of wrestling psychology and charisma captivated the United States with his over-the-top promos, earning him the nickname “The American Dream.” It was during this time that Rhodes would become immortal with his legendary “Hard Times” promo (below in all its glory).

Rhodes was eventually fired from WCW due to booking a then hyper-violent storyline with the Road Warriors and bloodletting, (known as “blading” in the wrestling world) which was against WCW’s rules under ownership of Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS). While Rhodes was out of work, it was only a matter of time before Vince McMahon’s WWE (then known as WWF) would come calling.

After a series of ridiculously funny vignettes where he would perform everyday manual labor jobs, “The American Dream” made his WWE debut in what would become his trademark polka-dot attire with a “common man” gimmick (which was essentially the kind of guy he was at heart). While many felt the new clothes and gimmick was a step backward for Runnels, the man would take it in stride and remained hugely over with the fans. He would eventually gain a valet in the form of “Sapphire” (real name Juanita Wright), the common woman to Rhodes’ common man. The two would feud with DiBiase’s evil “Million Dollar Man” character, Randy Savage (under the “Macho King” gimmick) and “Sensational” Queen Sherri. Rhodes would also partner with real-life son Dustin Runnels for a short while as he continued to feud with DiBiase and Virgil until the two would leave WWE in 1991 (shortly after Dustin’s debut), returning to WCW where he would eventually become one of the head bookers for the company.

The pair would work together until 1996 when the two had a falling out that caused Dustin to leave WCW, returning to WWE under the name “Golddust” (an androginous character that he would portray to this day). It would be five years before the two would speak again.

During the late 90’s and early 2000’s WCW was in a constant state of chaos both on camera and backstage due to the N.W.O. (New World Order) angle becoming too ridiculous due to backstage politicking and overwhelming confusion. Eventually WCW would lose the “Monday Night War” with WWE and would be bought out by McMahon. Rhodes would not sign with WWE until 2005 after a brief stint in TNA and working the independent circut.

In September 2015 Rhodes would sign a legends contract with WWE and be brought onto the creative team, where he would help come up with storylines and mentor many a talent on the WWE roster. WWE would go on to release “The American Dream” DVD set, containing a full-length documentary, a collection of classic matches and a plethora of Rhode’s immaculate promos. On March 31, 2007, Rhodes would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his two sons Dustin and Cody (who now wrestles for WWE under the name “Stardust”). Rhodes would do the favors (lose to make a young talent look good) for then up-and-coming star Randy Orton in a “Texas Bullrope” match during Orton’s “Legend Killer” gimmick. The match was Rhode’s last televised match to date.

Rhodes would live out his days backstage with WWE as a mentor, creative force, and occasional plot device. He is survived by his wife and four children (including Dustin and Cody).

While the legendary son of a plumber has gone on to wine and dine with kings and queens in the afterlife, the wrestling world mourns the loss of one of its greatest talents. Despite Rhode’s non-athletic build, his abilities were unsurpassed and got him over with the world for ages. There are many different chants wrestling fans have used over the years, but only one can summarize the loss of “The American Dream.”

“We will miss you.”

Photo credit to Daniel Nemzer
A meeting with “The American Dream” in 2013. Rhodes was one of the greatest talents to ever grace the squared circle.