Tag Archives: The Usos

Spaceman Frank’s WWE No Mercy Predictions

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SmackDown Live continues to bring back old Pay-Per-View titles with their October PPV, No Mercy. An appropriate title considering that WWE is showing no mercy in their onslaught of content they put out every week. SmackDown is the clear winner so far in the brand split, as they have outshone Raw in every aspect (except the women’s division, but it’s close even there). With less time than Raw and a smaller roster, the blue brand has put out consistently better content, to the point where even the post-show interviews have become important.

This has helped my interest in No Mercy, but it’ll take a stellar effort from WWE to make it stand out over the deluge of content they produce. Spaceman Frank is here to short out the card and bring you my predictions for No Mercy 2016 (sponsored by the anti-euthanasia lobby).

Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin (Kickoff)

Both these guys do not have much momentum, leading them to fight for the new pre-show  Time Waster Championship for SmackDown (Raw has Neville and Bo Dallas). Swagger got traded to SmackDown in the first draft of the New Era and has…existed on the show ever since. Corbin is not terrible and can keep his end of the bargain when it comes to feuds and wrestling, but he’s constantly had to deal with go-nowhere feuds. It would seem weird that Swagger would switch shows and lose, but Corbin’s the one who needs the win here. Corbin wins and goes on being a Lone Wolf character and career-wise.

Curt Hawkins vs. TBD

Hawkins has come back to the WWE to be make filler vignettes for SmackDown, but now it’s time for the veteran to get into the ring (on television anyway; he already lost a match at a live show). No clue what WWE’s plan is for the former Edge doppelganger, so I’m going out on a limb and saying Apollo Crews squashes him to give him something to do.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella

Two women’s matches on a show?? And neither on the main event (LE GASP!)!!! Anywho, Carmella is a surprisingly good heel and has taken down Nikki Bella in convincing fashion. However, since this is so one-sided and Nikki Bella is Nikki Bella, Carmella is going to take the loss here. After all, it’s not like it’s called Total Carmella and we can see Big Cass obsessively keep his giant house clean as Enzo keeps walking around in his dirty Jordans (but maybe someday).

Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Speaking of surprisingly good heels, The Usos have been fantastic as vicious bad guys (perhaps a certain cousin of theirs should copy them so he could finally get over). This has deadened Slater and Rhyno’s momentum, as their feel-good story has stalled. Sure, they’re still entertaining, but it seems unlikely that the team will beat the Usos and their mean streak. Plus American Alpha is waiting in the wings to take a shot at the Usos again with the titles on the line this time. Then Rhyno betrays Slater leading to “Broken” Heath Slater.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

Randy Orton got hit on the head, taking him to Spookytown and making him able to counter Wyatt’s madness with his own! Who will win this epic battle? Find out on the next episode of Goosebumps!

This match is finally happening, and while the build has not been terrible, it stands out among the more serious feuds on SmackDown. Erick Rowan is also out with a torn rotator cuff and with rumors pointing to Luke Harper heading to Raw, it will be telling to see how much faith the WWE has in a solo Bray Wyatt if he beats the Viper. However, an Orton win makes more sense since he would naturally slide into the main event scene that is red hot right now and could feud with any of the top three guys.

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Bliss is finally getting the proper championship push she never really got in NXT, and so far she has done a very good job. Sure, both her and Camella have been written to just beat down their foes every week, but Bliss has the better mic skills and has built this feud up right. I’m high on Bliss’ potential, but this is not her moment. She will get a shot to carry the belt and division, but now it’s Lynch’s time to establish the new belt with a solid run. Lynch wins and runs the gauntlet of new opponents every PPV to prove her mettle.

The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Title vs. Career Intercontinental Championship Match)

This build to this feud has been perfect. SmackDown has two hot feuds going on surrounding their top belts, which is a testament to how well the show is doing post-brand split. The Miz is on a whole ‘nother level compared to his peers on the microphone and Ziggler has stepped up to make him the sympathetic babyface we saw flashes of (such as the conclusion of Survivor Series 2014). Do I think his in-ring career is over if he loses? Hell no. Do I think The Miz is going to lose? Hell no. The Awesome One wins and continues his never ending title reign.

AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship Match)

Oh Boy. This match has plenty of layers and with all three men firing on all cylinders it’s guaranteed this match will be the highlight of the show. Ambrose seemed to be sleeping through half his title reign, but he’s awake now and playing the tweener to a fantastic degree we haven’t seen since the PG era started. Cena has played his boy scout self, but this time he has his merit badge in Knifework as he cuts his opponents down with lethal precision on the mic. Styles has been in third place in terms of selling this feud with words, but since he’s the villainous champ he can coast on his amazing ring work instead. Much like Charlotte vs. Banks vs. Bayley at Clash of Champions, I think this is pretty even on who has the best chance to win. Therefore, I’m going with the champ AJ Styles to retain in what should be a stellar match.

Manopera! Episode 25: CWC Finale, Delete or Decay and Backlash 2016 Review

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Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss the Cruiserweight Classic finale, TNA’s Delete or Decay and the revived WWE Backlash pay-per-view.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Backlash Predictions

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Several months after the brand split we get our first official WWE brand exclusive Pay-Per-View, the revived Backlash.

It’s interesting to see how WWE presents these new types of PPVs and if they decide to shorten the length of brand exclusive events, or keep on steamrolling fans with three plus hour shows (not including the pre-show).

Despite splitting the roster, the WWE still seems to have trouble focusing on building up storylines properly (at least the video editing department will always be there to salvage the build and make us care about the matches right before they actually start). With the usual mix of trepidation and vague hope as most Pay-Per-Views, Spaceman Frank is here to predict Backlash 2016.

The Usos vs. The Hype Bros (Qualifying match for SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals)

While the WWE Universe may not have Roman Reigns turning heel, at least we finally get The Usos turning into bad guys and attacking American Alpha. The tag team tournament may be the best booked part of Smackdown, and the WWE has made sure that the fans have a reason to care about three out of the four teams that were in the semifinals of the tournament. The lone exception being The Hype Bros, who will be losing to the hot Usos team so they can advance to the obvious finale of them vs. Slater and Rhyno. Speaking of that match…

Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Heath Slater may be the 2016 version of Damien Sandow in that he turned crap into gold. His “free agent” gimmick has worked well, and the crowd is actually behind his antics with his perfect foil Rhyno. I went from having zero confidence WWE could pull this off to rooting for Slater to actually get the belts with his new buddy. It would be amazing if all of the Slater clan is at ringside for this match (please do this WWE). That being said, I see The Usos winning the tournament to set up the obvious Usos vs. American Alpha rematch for the belts down the line.

The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship Match)

The Miz is an interesting case in the WWE. The guy has nailed his character and has recently been pure fire on the mic. However, WWE has dropped the ball with giving him feuds people actually care about. After Apollo Crews lost at SummerSlam, we have another big disappointment from the show in Ziggler as his next opponent. I like Ziggler (I even named my Fantasy Football team Team Zigglypuff), but his big chance to break out on SmackDown has fallen flat. The Miz needs somebody he can actually play off of who can carry his half of the build (Heath Slater vs. The Miz anyone???) Anyway, The Miz wins because that seems to be the default option for The Miz in these types of feuds.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Becky Lynch (Six-Pack Challenge for SmackDown Women’s Championship)

This match is interesting in that it will reveal who the WWE brass has faith in going forward. Carmella has been targeting Nikki Bella, which makes me think the former champ takes down the rookie quickly. Alexa Bliss and Naomi have been background characters, and while they are decent in the ring it seems as though they’re there just to make up the numbers. Natalya may be the dark horse here, but she and Becky Lynch will take each other out because of their history. That leaves Nikki Bella as the last women standing, as she can help establish the belt and give the veteran something to do moving forward.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

Another month, another meaningless Bray Wyatt feud. The poor guy cannot get any traction, and now he gets fed yet again to somebody coming off a major match. At this point I’m desperate for him to actually go for the title, because this gateway to the main event place he is in for years is wasting a great talent (maybe we’ll get Luke Harper making his return?). Orton wins to regain his momentum and Wyatt just farts around as he does.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)

This is the saving grace of Backlash. I can’t see this match being poor in any way. Sure the build has been pretty bad, especially with Dean Ambrose acting like an apathetic teenager the whole time (We saw you cry when you won the title at Money in the Bank Dean, we know you care!). AJ Styles on the other hand is having one of the best years anyone has had in wrestling, and considering how hot he is I see him winning the championship in an awesome match. This will setup both rematches with Ambrose as well as John Cena, as I see him and Styles going at it again, but with gold on the line.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Extreme Rules 2016 Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

It’s the time of the year where WWE gets as extreme as the PG rating will allow, and the company is trying to carry some momentum into the critical Summer season.

The second Pay-Per-View of May, Extreme Rules is wedged between Payback and Money in the Bank (which has essentially become the Royal Rumble of the Summer). Throw an NXT TakeOver special into the mix and it would have been understandable for the WWE to sit on their laurels and phone it in for Extreme Rules (TakeOver won’t be happening until June 8). However, the influx of new talent has made the WWE and Raw in particular much better since WrestleMania. While there have been some hiccups, Extreme Rules has the potential to be a very good show.

Kickoff: Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (No Disqualification Match)

At Payback, Ziggler managed to get the sneaky pin on The Lone Wolf, but all signs point to Corbin getting the win here. While falling short in their previous pre-show match, Corbin has been very aggressive since his debut and needs a decisive win  to help put him over with casual fans who missed his NXT work and his ‘Mania victory in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Ziggler can make anybody look like a million bucks, but after doing the favors for Corbin he can hopefully go back to being main event cannon fodder.

The New Day (c) vs. The Vaudevillians (WWE Tag Team Championships Match)

The New Day remains one of the most entertaining elements of WWE, but they’ve lost a step since becoming full-blown babyfaces. For one thing, losing at ‘Mania to a faction that no longer exists and not having a match at the following Pay-Per-View doesn’t help. Secondly, not being squirrely jerks anymore means they can’t fully commit to being the perfect trolls we fell in love with.

While The Vaudevillians are doing far better than most expected on the main roster, they’re potentially tag team filler while Enzo Amore recovers from his scary concussion at Payback. The New Day retains in a good match.

Kalisto (c) vs. Rusev (United States Championship Match)

With Ryback seemingly on his way to being “future endeavored,” Kalisto has found a new massive monster trying to capture his title.

The better half of the Lucha Dragons has become the master of making something out of nothing, as his U.S. championship run has consisted of him pulling off great matches with little build. He pushed Ryback to new heights with his downright amazing moves and Rusev’s own freak athleticism has me almost thinking this could be the sleeper hit of the night (if only we could get a real effort from the WWE to promote the U.S. title again like last year).

Kalisto gets the win:  50% based on Rusev being a recent lame duck and 50% is me holding out for Sin Cara to betray Kalisto and challenge for the title before he sinks too far into the Jannetty realm.

The Usos vs. The Club (Tornado Tag Team Match)

First off: THE CLUB??? THAT’S THE BEST WWE CAN DO??? A million different options and the WWE decide to make Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson sound like they go to AJ Styles’ basement and drink mojitos while playing Team Fortress 2.

Since their debut, the two have been losing a disturbing amount to Roman Reigns (which is understandable given that he’s champ) and The Usos (who have not done shit all year) all well acting as pawns to the larger Styles/Reigns feud. That being said, they have been putting on good matches (albeit mostly reruns) and I see them winning at Extreme Rules to add more intrigue to the main event. 

Charlotte (c) vs. Natalya (Women’s Championship Submission Match – Ric Flair is banned from ringside)

After the frankly downright embarrassing ending to their Payback match, these two women are facing off again with the added stipulation that Charlotte’s father Ric Flair is banned from ringside (presumably Nattie’s uncle Bret Hart does not need to be banned from ringside since he openly didn’t want to be at Payback and therefore wouldn’t be caught dead at ringside for the rematch).

It’s easy to forget that this is the third PPV match between the two (if you count Roadblock) and WWE has made some questionable moves such as Ric saying he doesn’t think his daughter can win without him (watch out Titus we got a new father of the year here) and THE FUCKING SCREWJOB FINISH IN 2016. I will scream if Charles “Little Naitch” Robinson is again the referee for this match. Charlotte wins because we all know her versus Sasha Banks is going to happen.

Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose (First-Ever Asylum Match)

Strait out of WCW it’s the debut of the Asylum Match! This twisted match (that can only be won by pinfall or submission) features weapons lined all along the top of the cage, giving it a unique flavor beyond typical vanilla cage matches. The problem is that a) this is the PG era and b) Jericho is unlikely to take big bumps this late in his career. Add in WWE’s desperate attempt to show how “ka-raaay-zee” Dean Ambrose is and this will be a well worked match that is instantly forgettable.

The Miz (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens (Fatal Four-Way Intercontinental Championship Match)

While many are disappointed the Owens vs. Zayn feud is not getting a true Extreme Rules continuation, the addition of Cesaro and The Miz has been done very well. Merging the two separate feuds makes sure this will get the proper time on the PPV and lead to a stellar match.

Everyone has played their parts well and special mention goes to The Miz for being the perfect smarmy Hollywood champion (along with his equally perfect real-life wife Maryse) who has shown his ability to hang with three of the biggest indy darlings in the WWE.

The only wrinkle in the buildup is the WWE insisting that we see these four go at it over and over again – meaning this actual match between the four already feels like it has been going on for several months rather than weeks. This is a toss up, so I will say The Miz retains due to some type of Maryse related shenanigans.

Roman Reigns (c) vs. AJ Styles (Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

Since Payback the WWE has continued to play it smart with these two. Styles has been pushed into acting more aggressive and gelling with Gallows and Anderson, but only after several beatdowns from Reigns and The Usos. This is essentially the match we should have gotten at Payback, seeing as that one eventually became a “No DQ” anyway.

Styles is more of a natural underdog here, but if The Club takes out The Usos earlier I see a situation where he is given a chance to go full heel but refuses, leading to his defeat once again. Seeing this, The Club then turns on their friend for being weak – instantly making Styles the white-meat babyface the company desperately needs.

As for Finn Balor, it seems like talk of him jumping to the main roster has cooled, so I doubt he will be much of a factor here. On top of that, Balor is scheduled to face Samoa Joe inside a steel cage at the next NXT TakeOver event (making his arrival at Extreme Rules even more unlikely).

With Reigns vs. John Cena rumored for SummerSlam and Styles a prime candidate for a Money in the Bank win I see Reigns keeping his championship in a big brawl.

Bullet Club Must Debut at Extreme Rules

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For months WWE has been teasing the debut of the Bullet Club.

Rather than deliver the goods at what appeared to have been gift wrapped by booking, WWE continued to play mind games with the WWE Universe at both last Sunday’s WWE Payback and this past Monday Night Raw.

It now seems very obvious that possibly the hottest stable since the NWO will make their debut at WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday, May 22 in New Jersey’s Prudential Center.

Unfortunately, due to the near perfect setup at Payback it looks as though the debut will come out of necessity.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and A.J. Styles had a phenomenal match until the (initial) finish, when Styles defeated Reigns via countout. Unsatisfied with this decision, Shane McMahon decided to restart the match and added a no countout stipulation.

This was fine until Reigns hit an accidental low blow on the challenger, resulting in a disqualification. Equal parts unhappy with the outcome and wanting to upstage her brother, Stephanie McMahon re-restarted the match with no countouts and no disqualifications to determine a clear winner.

Out came Styles buddies the Good Brothers, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson followed by Reigns’s cousins the Usos.

Things just got interesting.

The match went on with minor distractions for each competitor and their feuding cohorts as they all began brawling. It seemed as if any moment Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura would make their main roster debuts and give the WWE Universe the notorious Bullet Club.

Nope.

Instead Reigns defeated Styles with a Spear, who was given an Extreme Rules rematch at (you guessed it) Extreme Rules almost immediately by the McMahons due to his incredible performance (which is fine).

With a six man tag match main event between Styles, the Good Brothers, Reigns and the Usos set for the following Raw, it almost seemed as if the Bullet Club would surely debut the next night.

Nope.

With Extreme Rules coming up at the end of the month, the fans are getting restless and the surprise factor is fading. WWE must strike while the iron is hot or they run the risk of shooting the Bullet Club down before it has a chance to fire its first round.

3 Ways WWE Can Introduce Bullet Club At Payback

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This Sunday at WWE Payback, AJ Styles will face Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

With the recent additions of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to the main roster as well as Finn Balor losing his NXT Championship and Shinsuke Nakamura’s semi-alignment with Balor, everyone knows what’s coming.

The imminent arrival of the infamous Bullet Club.

Although nothing directly has been done to say what’s going to happen, the tease has been generating a buzz and mass speculation on how WWE will form the beloved New Japan stable (and what name they will be given as New Japan not only continues to use the name with its latest incarnation but also recently blocked WWE’s attempt to trademark “Bullet Club.” In the meantime, WWE has been testing the waters with “Balor Club” t-shirts and occasionally using the hashtag #Bulletproof around the members).

With that said, here are three possible scenarios for the stables WWE invasion.

Option I: Bullet Club 

The easiest route of the three, AJ Styles has been saying for weeks that while Gallows and Anderson are his friends, he is not in cahoots with them. That hasn’t stopped the “Good Brothers” (as they’ve dubbed themselves on social media and the GB hashtag on their entrance robes seen on this weeks Raw) from interfering in Styles matches and segments, attacking Reigns and his cousins the Usos nearly every time one of them is in front of a camera. Naturally, Reigns isn’t buying Styles argument and it seems as if we shouldn’t either.

This possible outcome goes like this: Moments before the finish, Styles comes clean and aligns himself with the Good Brothers. The three men trade blows with Reigns and the Usos for awhile until the Samoan family begin to get the upper hand. Out come Balor and Nakamura to finish the job and the Bullet Club lay waste to Reigns and his cousins. It would be great to see Styles take home the gold due to these shenanigans but it’s more likely that Reigns would retain due to a disqualification. Either way, the Bullet Club has a strong debut; standing in the middle of the ring with all guns blazing.

Option II: Bulletproof AKA The Roman Empire

This one is a bit messy.

Rather than have Styles come out as the ringmaster, WWE could pull a 180 and have Reigns be the mastermind behind a new stable.

During the match, the Usos and Good Brothers start fighting alongside Reigns and Styles. Balor and Nakamura slowly make their way to the ring and everyone stops. The two look at Reigns, then at Styles and everyone subsequently attacks the Phenomenal One with the freshly turned heel Champion Reigns smiling while his also newly turned cousins hold up the Bullet Club’s former third leader. Rather than a five man stable, we now have seven warriors that make for an extremely dominant faction.

Despite MAJOR plot holes in the storyline, Reigns can revert back to his role in the Shield as the heavy, brooding leader while Styles is immediately the white-meat babyface the company so desperately needs. Long story short, everybody wins (for the most part).

Option III: Balor Club

While surely the least likely, there’s nothing more sinister than option three.

All six men (Reigns, Styles, the Good Brothers and the Usos) are engaged in combat when Balor and Nakamura enter. Like option two, everyone stops when they get in the ring. Like option two, Balor and Nakamura exchange glances with Styles and Reigns. Unlike option two, the Good Brothers, Balor and Nakamura destroy everyone.

With Reigns, Styles and the Usos laid out Balor picks up the mic and announces the Balor Club’s arrival. He mentions how Styles was a good leader in Japan but he’s come back to take his rightful place and announces himself as the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion (which he becomes). In the aftermath, Styles and Reigns set their differences aside and create an alternate on/off stable with the Usos to fight the good fight and end Balor Club’s reign of terror.

This is the most logical route because of Styles and Balor’s history in the Bullet Club (Balor is a founding member and the original leader while Styles became the third leader after Balor had departed to NXT. The two were never in the faction at the same time).  The two can have a storied rivalry while building it off of real life situations. Styles becomes a tremendous babyface, Balor becomes the company’s top heel and who knows, the crowd might finally start cheering for Reigns and the Usos again.

Manopera! – Episode 11: Thank You Daniel Bryan

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In the aftermath of Daniel Bryan’s retirement, Chris and “Spaceman” Frank discuss the news, possible career moves for Bryan, the build for WWE Fastlane and more.

The Ascension’s Debut a “Raw” Deal

We saw them grow on NXT.

They were ready.

For a good month we saw old school vignettes hyping the Raw debut of The Ascension. A team that demolished and pulverized every superstar on NXT for two years, holding the NXT Tag Team Championships for a record 364 days. Konner and Viktor were more than poised to unleash hell on the WWE locker room.

Then the actual debut happened.

Edge and Christian put a freshly dethroned Miz and Mizdow in a tag match against The Ascension that resulted in a quick and predictable squash match. The match itself was fine, but The Ascension deserved better than that.

They beat a team who had just lost their Tag Team Championships under an hour ago.

How are we to believe that The Ascension are unstoppable monsters if their first match in the big leagues is against two guys who just lost?

The best debut would have been a mere tease.

As soon as The Uso’s regained their Tag Team Championships from Miz and Mizdow, Jimmy Uso’s real-life wife Naomi came out and celebrated with them in the ring, creating a feel good moment for the WWE Universe.

What better time could it have been to have The Ascension standing on the entrance ramp staring them down, eyeing the coveted gold in the arms of the new champions?

While it’s no doubt that The Ascension will rise to the top of the mountain, they debuted with a whimper rather than the bang they deserved.