Tag Archives: TLC

Spaceman Frank’s WWE TLC 2018 Predictions

The Last WWE PPV of 2018 is here! Which means the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania are coming fairly soon, which means WWE might actually get their try pants on and make some good television. To be fair I have seen many people who think TLC should be a fairly good event, but I felt the same way about Survivor Series before turning it off when Samoa Joe was eliminated within a minute in favor of Fallout 76. But hey, people don’t like that game but I love it, so perhaps I am just weird. There is a couple matches I am looking forward to, but there is 12 (TWELVE!!!??? WHY?????!!!) matches here so it will inevitably stall at some point. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my TLC 2018 predictions!

Buddy Murphy (C) vs. Cedric Alexander (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

I do not see any matches confirmed for the preshow, but this has to be on their right? Right??!! I Love Cedric, but his reign as Cruiserweight champ was pretty dull. Mustafa Ali has overtaken him as the goodest good boy of 205 Live. Watch his match with Daniel Bryan, you will not regret it. Meanwhile Buddy Murphy is still doing his best, which is pretty good. Not great, but he can carry his weight in the ring. I think the future Mr. Alexa Bliss wins again until they pull the trigger on the inevitable Ali title run.

Natalya vs .Ruby Riott (Tables Match)

This is another probable preshow match is technically the second most important women’s feud on Raw. I do not know anybody who cares about this rivalry though. This is another classic WWE trope of “some heel makes fun of a family member that passed away recently” story that would be offensive if I had energy to care. I guess Ruby wins because nothing will stop the Riott Squad from interfering? Yeah that feels right.

Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (Ladder with a Guitar instead of a title…match…We’ll call it the Jeff Jarrett Ladder Match)

I could see this as a likely preshow match, but I feel like it is just past being unimportant enough to make the preshow. Elias apparently has not won a PPV match all year which…sounds right.  Meanwhile Bobby Lashley beat Roman Reigns on PPV. We all remember that right? Or was it a fever dream? Anyway this stipulation is stupid and if it goes past five minutes I may fall asleep. Lashers wins because he is massive and hates guitars.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Chairs Match)

Two vets getting a paycheck. Is this really what Rey came back for? To wrestle someone he probably wrestled dozens of times before? I’ll pass. Randy wins cause he can.

Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre

Hey! Someone snuck a regular match in this gimmick PPV! Drew appears to have a rocket strapped to his back, and you know what? I’m into it. At least they are trying something new with someone with the skills to back it up. He may not be a future legend, but he can at least find his niche and run with it. All this will come at the expense of Finn, who didn’t ask to be shoved so far down the card but I do not see it ending anytime soon. Drew wins so he can keep moving up.

The Bar (C) vs. The New Day vs. Usos (Triple Threat Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles)

You know what would be swell? This match, at WrestleMania, in a TLC match as a callback to the WrestleMania X-7. As for this match, It should be a definite highlight of the night. These guys, sort of a horrendous rap battle, can do nothing wrong. Plus the Big Show is gone again so we do not have to worry about him slowlyyyy interfering in the match. I can see this going several ways, but my totally out of the blue rando pick is the Usos. They are falling behind the other two, and I think they need a solid win against both teams to get back on their level.

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (TLC match where if Braun wins he is number one contender and Baron is back being a regular wrestler, and if Baron wins he is GM for realz this time)

Braun may or may not be still hurt, but i’ll eat a pair of socks before I pick Baron. And that was before the rumors that Kurt Angle is going to appear on Raw Monday. I think this will be a quickly squash with maybe a bit of Heath to add some color, but in the end Braun yells in Baron’s face, throws him off something, and wins so we can get another terrible match with Brock. Can Strowman just kick his pale ass already and be champ? Ain’t nobody got time for another Brock Lesnar title run.

R-Truth and Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox (Mixed Match Challenge Final; Winner gets the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble)

Let’s check in on the Mixed Match challenge

HOW THE HELL IS THIS THE FINALS???!!!

I mean there was plenty of injuries and everything but seriously??!! I knew those dance breaks would lead to disaster. Jinder and Foxy are…the same people they always have been. My best case scenario is that R-Truth wins and gets confused come the Rumble and enters first. As a R-Truth hater it would make me happy.  As for Carmella i guess this is better than her getting wins over Asuka. Fabulous Truth wins during the dancing bathroom break.

Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship Match)

Welp. I suppose this needs to happen so we can move onto bigger and better things. Nia is leaning heavily into her “oops I hurt a coworker for real and cost everyone a dream match” character, which does help her get boos. Meanwhile the more Ronda talks the less I like her. I would believe her anti-millennial rants if she didn’t go into hibernation after her MMA loses and try to tee off against The Man after her journey to the top. Nyway we probably already saw the best version of this match at Money in the Bank so hopefully this doesn’t drag on long. Ronda wins blah blah blah build back up to a match with Lynch.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship Match)

Remember how excited everyone was for this match when Dean turns evil? And then they ruined it by having Dean give “wacky Dean with his hot dog cart” style speeches that you should see drain the life out of audiences in real time.  Meanwhile Seth seems to be feuding with everyone but Dean at the moment. Hell, I think he called me out on Raw at some point. That being said these guys have not had a chance to actually get n the ring, so maybe they can salvage it. This will either be a DQ or a nonstarter as they eventually get around to making this a real feud.

Daniel Bryan (C) vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)

I did not think I would enjoy a DB heel turn, but his evil hippy character is pretty fun. He is doing his best to get me to boo him, but like Kevin Owens he is just too good to actually hate. Plus he managed to get Brock to work a match that almost looked like a match normal wrestlers would have. Meanwhile AJ is AJ and my only complaint towards him is that he still has not learned to wear a cup. Dude, you need a cup! Protect ya balls man. Anyway Daniel Bryan wins so AJ can negotiate his contract and get his well deserved down time and fats stacks of cash.

Becky Lynch (C) vs. Charlotte vs Asuka (TLC Match for WWE Women’s Championship)

If this is not the main event of evening you can kiss a WrestleMania 35 headlined by  women goodbye. Becky Lynch is clearly The Man in every sense, and it is hard to deny it. Just watch this video. Is there anyone else crushing it on so many fronts as her? Charlotte is still a top tier wrestler and Asuka could very well be on Becky’s level if they let her just murder people and scream in Japanese at people. But Becky will not be stopped. Her dominance both has elevated several wrestlers while exposing those who do not match up (cough, Ronda, cough). Becky wins and blah blah blah just kill more people please and then set their bodies ablaze on Twitter.

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Seaman Frank’s TLC 2017 Predictions

by frank Lucci

Friday before WWE’s latest PPV I was preparing a very depressing intro where I talked about how many shots of black rum I would need to get through even writing the preview for TLC, let alone how much booze would be needed to watch the show. I was thoroughly in Seaman Frank mode, especially when Mayoral Candidate Kane burst through the ring on Raw. At that point I was so salty I was thinking about another gimmick change to Salt Man Frank, the worst Mega Man boss of all time. I was truly a broken and beaten man.

“BAH GAWD THAT’S VIRAL INFECTIONS MUSIC! WHAT’S HE DOING HERE ON RAW???!!!”

Yes, it is very tragic and sad that many WWE Superstars are sick enough to warrant keeping them home and isolated from the rest of the roster, but I do not think anyone can pretend for a second that this has made TLC about 1000% more watchable (Sure they are pretty much throwing many prominent storylines out the window, but c’mon would you rather have bad but logical storylines or Kurt Freakin’ Angle?). Plus throw in Asuka’s debut (which was going to be the sole highlight before all this) and this has a chance to make everyone forget, just for a little while, all the doom and gloom surrounding the WWE these past few weeks. And if things get boring, well, you can always watch Rusev play Madden.  I’m Seaman Frank and here are my TLC 2017 Predictions!

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Honey BBQ KFC DLC Scrappy Doo Slugfest)

This match comes after Fox got her first t-shirt after almost a decade of employment in the WWE, and it is great if you are a furry and crap for everyone else. She is coming out of nowhere to take on Banks, who seems to be doing important things (winning, losing, and then challenging for the women’s belt since SummerSlam) and nothing at all (losing or disappearing from television frequently).

Really, there is no reason for this match to happen, but hey there are only six matches on the main show so maybe this will get bumped up and we will have three women’s matches on a PPV. If people are sick you might as well take advantage of the moment and give the ladies and cruiserweights a shot. Sasha wins and Foxy disappears again until she is needed to act crazy at someone.

Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann

This match promises to be pretty exciting, especially if they get a decent amount of ring time to tell a story. With Nevile most likely gone from the company and rumors swirling that many superstars are unhappy, some have put two and two together to say that this is WWE’s attempt to pacify the cruiserweights.

It remains to be seen if this is just people piggybacking on Neville’s departure or legit gripes talent has, but at least for this PPV the division has a chance to shine. All four men are unique talents and can potentially steal the show, though it remains to see seen if the audience cares about this battle. Side note: can Alexander and Swann be a proper team outside the cruiserweights? That would be awesome. Team Swaxander wins in a cool little bout.

Kalisto (C) vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

I am not sure what the WWE is trying to do with the cruiserweight title, as they brought in Enzo and got people talking. Then Neville quit and Enzo lost the title to colder than Antarctica Kalisto who is about as boring of a choice for champ as asking for towels for Christmas. I mean we should be happy for Kalisto, but shoving him straight to the top was misguided at best. Enzo’s momentum is gone, and whatever they wanted to do creatively with him is out the window.

So where does the cruiserweights go from here? I am guessing they swap the title back to Enzo like they did with Tozawa and Neville and then thrust a random person into the title picture. Gentleman Jack, maybe?

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Mickie James (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

I am excited for this match, besides the fact the build centers around Bliss calling James old. Seriously, Mickie James is 38 and looks amazing. I do not know anyone who says differently (STOP THIS NONSENSE WWE).

Anyway, it is about time they do something with James. She is very talented and could definitely be a boon to the division that needs some fresher faces in it. Plus she has already faced the debuting Asuka before down in NXT, so it is a good time to build her up so they can have a killer rematch. I get the feeling that Bliss is in a holding pattern until Nia Jax comes back from her sabbatical, so I am guessing she retains here and we get that feud soon after. Hopefully that feud does not fall into the same trap and WWE has Bliss call Jax fat…unless they bring in Scott Steiner as Bliss’ manager.  

Asuka vs. Emma

Emma won the right to be murdered …err… face off against Asuka in the latter’s PPV debut.

This should be a doozy of a match, as before all the Shield hype this seemed to be the match getting the most hype. I truly hope WWE does not drop the ball here, and if Asuka loses her streak to a random person on Raw in three weeks I will drop kick my TV. These two had a superb match back in NXT, so I imagine this will be an exciting squash. The question will be when Asuka gets into the title picture and if mainstream audiences take to the Empress of Tomorrow. Asuka wins and continues the streak until ‘Mania where she squashes Goldberg and challenges Lesnar in the ultimate Kaiju Big Battle.

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

What was going to be the disaster between a pumpkin and a cross dresser has immediately been updated to The Demon vs. one of the best wrestlers in the world.

This has a ton of potential, and I think this could be the sneaky match of the night. Just let these guys work a Japanese-style match for thirty minutes and give the audience something to sink their teeth into (just don’t have Finn use the pumpkin facepaint. Just…no).

Also, I am praying that it does not turn out that Styles was Sister Abigail all along. I mean, that would be a hell of twist, but I would be terrified to hear AJ’s creepy lady voice. With Finn rumored to eventually face Lesnar and AJ facing the immediate opponent for The Beast I think Finn will go over here. AJ can survive the loss, and Finn needs some solid wins for people to care about his eventual push towards the Universal Championship.

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Kurt Angle vs. Cesaro, Sheamus, Kane, The Miz, and Braun Strowman (5 on 3 Handicap TLC Match)

Getting rid of Roman Reigns and replacing him with Kurt Freaking Angle is a godsend.

While before this was all just a way to drag seven different men into a situation to get people to cheer Reigns now is the return of a legend and a buffet of talented men ready to throw themselves into the mouth of madness. Still, there is some lingering problems here, such as why this is still a handicap match? I hope Braun is just like “nah I’m good” and leaves and Mayoral Candidate Kane just disappears forever.

At this point the match has changed so much they might as well just be like “our bad here is a regular match” and have Kane put over Braun. Since it seemed like a lock The Shield would win here before I am tempted to say they will win here, but I am going a different route. I think the numbers game will catch up to Team Sh-Angle, especially with the No-DQ setting. Braun or Miz get the pin on old man Angle and team Five Bar Miz-assic wn.

 

Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania Moments: #1 – Human Demolition Derby

by Frank Lucci

Welcome to Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania moments! Rather than just create another generic Top 10 list, I will be discussing the greatest moments from WWE’s biggest show of the year and explaining why I consider them the cream of the crop. This is based on in-ring quality, storyline quality, meta quality, as well as my own unique bias. Be prepared to read about triumph, heartbreak, and above all else, some truly unique moments in this unique form of entertainment.

The Moment: TLC II, WrestleMania X-Seven

While writing out this list I have seen some amazing moments in wrestling. I have seen moments that crowned careers and rejuvenated others, I have watched legends go out in a blaze of glory, and I have seen matches that will never be seen again. So how do you top legends, icons, and five-star performances? You lay it all on the line to make a statement, and that’s what happened at WrestleMania 17 with TLC 2.

This match has it all – including death-defying stunts that WWE has wisely chosen to avoid in recent years. You have kayfabe stakes as all three teams are willing to throw themselves off ladders and through tables just to get the Tag Team Championships. It seems inconceivable that WWE would ask tag teams in 2017 to do the same to this degree, which just goes to show how important it was to have any belt in this era. You have meta importance of six men trying to elevate themselves and make them stand out among the Rock’s and Stone Cold’s of the day.

One of the biggest outcomes and legacies of this match is the fact that in the years since half of the people involved have won the top prize in WWE, and five out of six won world championships if you include TNA titles (poor Devon Dudley, but last place here is being half of the most decorated tag team in history and a behind the scenes role in today’s WWE is not too shabby). Finally, you get an emotional roller coaster as you watch three teams that endured themselves for their fans to cement their status as the future of the industry in a match that was never seen before or since.

I could give a blow by blow of this match, but words cannot do justice for what transpires. I cannot fathom how nobody was seriously injured here (besides Spike Dudley who lost a few teeth), and even more amazing  it is that half these guys are still wrestling today. Hell, Edge was the first to retire, and that was a solid decade after this car crash of a match.

The only complaints I have this match are purely aesthetic. There are three extra people that make run-ins during the match, which is three too many. Second, instead of a video package we get shots of production people pulling out ladders and tables for the match, which does not exactly sell people going in cold why they should care. Also, I wish commentator Paul Heyman would be a little biased towards The Dudleys and Rhyno, or at least mention that he was their boss in ECW and sell them more as the killers they are.

Instead of immediately going for crazy spots, everyone builds up slow here. It starts off with some brawling, and the first big spot involves Jeff using his brother as a springboard to dropkick Edge off the ladder. The Hardys then do a tandem splash/leg drop on Christian off the ladders, and it makes sense that the daredevil brothers would be the first to go to extreme lengths to hurt their opponents. Edge and Christian are the cowardly heels and The Dudleys are more likely to just hoof you through a table, so Matt and Jeff setting the bar in terms of extreme risk first is a nice piece of psychology.

The Dudley’s take control, and it’s up to them to set up the toys for future spots later. They make the four table stack as well as three ladders in the center. Soon enough all six men are on the ladders and as flashbulbs go off all six take a dive. A special mention goes to Christian for falling completely out of the ring and view, making it look like he may be the first real-life casualty of this match.

Now we get to the run-in portion of the match. Even these Superstars have gotten a certain amount of respect for their involvement in this legendary match. Spike Dudley is out first, delivering a Dudley Dog to Christian through a table on the outside. Spike is one of my Boys as the excellent OSW Review defines them (one of your favorite wrestlers who never won a world championship), so seeing him get involved always makes me happy. Rhyno is up next to destroy people much more effectively, and being the smart cookie/ future Michigan House of Representatives candidate that he is, he wisely drags his compatriots towards the ladder he sets up in the center of the ring. Finally, to the biggest entrance pop (including for the people actually in the match) comes for Lita, who jogs awkwardly to the ring.

At this point things go too fast to recap properly and you just have to watch it unfold. It is beyond belief what these guys do here, and another special mention goes to Jeff Hardy for being involved in the biggest spot of the match. Sure, he failed in his big leapfrog spot involving three ladders, but considering he jumped off a giant ladder to the floor through two tables about 90 seconds before, I will let it pass. Edge hits the most perfect spear of his career in midair, sickeningly spiking his own head into the canvas. The match almost ends anti-climatically as Christian grabs the belt as Devon just kind of stops trying to climb the ladder.

Somehow everyone walks out of this match, moving gingerly around the debris and human bodies left around the ring. I’m not sure how these six men did it, but they survived something that could have gone much, much worse. Above all else, at the end of the Attitude Era WWE established a future crop of main eventers that not only WWE, but other wrestling companies would rely on for the next decade. Sure, they had to put themselves through hell during this match, but what would you pay to punch your ticket to immortality?

To get to the top of an industry that had just shifted seismically in the wake of WCW and ECW folding, the six men here did what they needed to do to prove they were just as worthy of that spotlight of the legends already in it. For paving the way of the future, delivering something never before seen or replicated, and the physical toll that even the stoniest of hearts can appreciate makes TLC 2 my favorite WrestleMania moment of them all.

For more of Spaceman Frank’s antics, check out Spacemanfrank.com and listen to our pro wrestling podcast, Manopera!

Manopera! Episode 30: Tables, Ladders and Chairs (Now With Selling!)

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Our hosts review WWE TLC 2016, talk Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 33 predictions, praise Cody Rhodes, and more.

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

Spaceman Frank’s TLC 2016 Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

The end of the year is closing in fast, and the last SmackDown exclusive PPV of 2016, TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, seeks to end things on a high note for the blue brand.

SmackDown Live has had the best weekly programming the WWE has to offer, which granted is not saying much. Each match on the card has been built up in enjoyable fashion, and even some minor feuds got some spotlight time in during Survivor Series. It definitely helps make this event stand out over the general sameness that prevaids over Raw, and throwing in stipulations galore also spices things up nicely. As long as WWE refrains from throwing in a stairs match (or another exploding TV monitor), this should be another solid event that overshadows its Raw counterpart Roadblock: End of the Line later in the month. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for TLC 2016.

Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships Match)

This is the only match on the card that does not have a stipulation (so far), which is probably a good thing. For one, this match was made official on the go-home SmackDown. And two: I imagine if WWE had a stipulation for this match Slater would spend 90 percent of the match getting murdered.

Slater and Rhyno continue to be entertaining, but they clearly are not the focus of the tag team scene. At this point they’re just a stepping stone for the inevitable Orton vs. Wyatt feud. The X-factor here is Luke Harper, who might try to break up Wyatt and Orton out of jealousy. The (Quasi) Wyatt Family wins and sooner rather than later, both these teams will break up.

Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin (Chairs Match)

This match has been building for some time, which is amazing considering these guys were begging for time before and after the brand split. Co-General Manager Daniel Bryan promised Corbin retribution for costing SmackDown the Cruiserweight Division, and his punishment is…facing the guy he previously beat so bad he got legit hurt? Sure.

If Bryan really wanted to punish Corbin he would trade him to Raw or have him team with Apollo Crews. I’m pretty sure this whole match is just building up to Corbin hitting the End of Days on a steel chair, which is something I swear already happened on NXT. Corbin wins and then is one of those guys in the middle of the Rumble who lasts for ten minutes before Brock or Goldberg tosses him out.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella (No Disqualifications Match)

Who knew these two had big enough vicious streaks to beat the holy hell out of each other enough for people to excited to see these two go No-DQ? The crazy part is Nikki legitimately had a tooth knocked loose a few weeks ago and now Carmella has a black eye (Hopefully WWE incorporates that into the video package for this match). Carmella has won a fair number of their matches, but Nikki is the bigger star here. However, I ‘m guessing we get Nattie Ice as Nikki’s mystery attacker at Survivor Series who also takes her down here. Carmella wins and sneaks into the title picture in a sink or swim feud.

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

I hate tables matches. Unless you have a James Ellsworth type who manages to shove somebody through a table to win, I do not see the appeal. Lynch is probably the most well-rounded woman on SmackDown, but Bliss is the second best heel on SmackDown period. Plus, it is easier to see Bliss hitting a Sparkle Splash through a table to win the belt than Lynch awkwardly hitting a pump handle slam through one. Bliss wins to test the waters on her being the top dog and Lynch gets her shot with Carmella at the Rumble.

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

After about a three week break for Survivor Series, these two are back at it again. Their first go around was amazing, but do we really want to see Ziggler chase The Miz again? We already had the payoff, and the unceremonious way Ziggler lost the belt took most of the wind out of his sails. In addition, The Miz’s only good ladder spot throughout the years is cockily sitting on top on a ladder before getting knocked off of it. Some fresh faces are needed for these guys, but I have a feeling they’ll end up in the Rumble and this angle gets drawn out even further. At least The Miz has Total Divas to make him much more likable outside the ring. The Awesome One wins after Maryse throws a newly adopted dog at Ziggler.

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

It is about time Ambrose gets to throw down in an extreme match with Styles, and for the first time it seems as though he might have an advantage as the champion. This figures to be the blow off match between the two, and I expect these guys to beat each other like Cookie beating Hakeem with a broom. Ambrose is fired up after Ellsworth was murdered to death by a Styles Clash off the stairs, so I think these guys might have enough leeway to get crazier than usual. That being said, Styles is keeping the belt until John Cena comes back. Maybe Ellsworth returns and turns heel on Uncle Deano? We shall see.

Manopera! Episode 7: Giant Sized WWE TLC 2015 & NXT TakeOver: London Review

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In the final edition of Manopera of the year, Chris and “Spaceman” Frank analyze WWE TLC 2015 and NXT TakeOver: London.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE TLC 2015 Predictions

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By Frank Lucci

I could start this prediction article with yet another tirade about how poorly the WWE has booked their programs and how the lazy writing from the creative team has made what should be an exciting Pay-Per-View into another mediocre event. Instead, I’ve decided to list three positives to keep in mind while watching TLC.

  1. They have gotten rid of the incredibly stupid stairs add on from last year.
  2. The Big Show is not set to appear.
  3. NXT is holding another Takeover event later in the week.

With this in mind, here are Spaceman Frank’s TLC 2015 predictions.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger – Chairs Match for the United States Championship

With a stairs match no longer able to provide people with a bathroom break, the WWE has reverted to having the Chairs match as the least hyped match on the PPV.

Alberto Del Rio has done nothing since returning to the WWE, despite beating John Cena clean for the championship, being managed by Zeb Coulter, joining the already ill-fated League of Nations stable and then (thankfully) ditching Coulter. With Swagger having the same amount of momentum as his opponent (aka zero) and an awkward stipulation to work in, this match is sure to disappoint. I see no reason for Del Rio to lose the belt here or anytime before Cena returns.

The ECW Originals (Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno) vs. The Wyatt Family(Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) – Elimination Tag Team Tables Match

It is a sad state of affairs when it is disappointing that Spike Dudley is not booked into a feud. ECW reunions are played out beyond belief, but yet again we got to see the four or so semi-functional originals trotted out for a nostalgia pop. The Dudleys have fallen off the map hard since their return over the summer and the Wyatt Family has not fared much better.

That being said, much of the talent in this match should make this an entertaining affair as long as creative does not overbook things. I also like that we finally get all the members of the Wyatt Family involved in a PPV match and Rhyno has shown in NXT that he can still go.

My biggest issue is with Dreamer’s involvement with the match. Dreamer is a veteran performer and is still a decent hand in the ring, but the man has a lengthy history of concussions. Why the WWE would book him into a match that involves massive dudes throwing each other into tables yet Daniel Bryan cannot be booked in any capacity in the WWE despite being medically cleared by independent neurologists is beyond me. With so little star power on Raw and Smackdown these days, Bryan would be a welcome addition to the show as a wrestler, authority figure or even a manager.

Back to the actual match now. With both the Wyatt Family and the Dudley’s hurting for a win this match will be hard to call. I believe the Wyatt Family will pull out a win by taking advantage of the part timers on the ECW team along with the fact that they are massive fucking dudes.

Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Paige – Divas Chapionship Match

It’s mind boggling how badly the WWE has botched this feud. Since creative can’t decide what to do with Charlotte, I would not be surprised to see her turn heel on both Paige and her dad, then immediately turn face and join The New Day for five minutes before forming a new faction with Bo Dallas and Barry Horowitz called “The Charleston Chews.”

Anyway, Charlotte seems to be set to give in to her inner Flair and cheat her way to victory. This would be much more impactful if Becky Lynch was her opponent for the title instead of Paige, who seemed to appear out of nowhere to challenge Charlotte. A placeholder feud between two talented women, Charlotte will retain and most people will remember the likely heel turn more than the in ring action.

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) – Tag Team Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships

Perhaps the best reason to watch TLC, this match seeks to emulate classic ladder matches between several teams and should give these hungry high flyers ample opportunity to steal the show. Granted, the booking leading into the match has been bland besides The New Day’s usual shenanigans, but considering the talent and exciting stipulation here fans can expect some fireworks. The New Day will retain and hopefully get even more chances to get ridiculous on Raw.

Kevin Owens (C) vs. Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship Match

Another potential show stealing match pitches two savvy grapplers against each other for the IC belt. While the pair’s Survivor Series match disappointed, this can be chalked up to the tournament forcing Ambrose to save his energy for his later match. Owens and Ambrose have had a chance to develop chemistry since their previous encounter. If given the right amount of time, these two can definitely give fans something to cheer about and remind people why we enjoy wrestling in the first place. Owens retains and keeps the feud alive for another PPV.

Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns (TLC match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

WWE almost had me getting behind Sheamus as champion. His Sheamus 5:15 gimmick and his braggart style was fairly entertaining and showed why he was more deserving of the title than Reigns.  In addition, him forming the League of Nations using several underutilized wrestlers almost had me thinking the internet wrestling community might back him. Then on the go-home Raw before TLC, the WWE booked Sheamus to look pathetic and revealed they have little faith in the man.

The only person looking worse than Sheamus is Reigns, who delivered yet another terrible promo that revolved around casual racism and testicle jokes. And yet WWE still wants us to view Reigns as a sympathetic character despite the fact that:

  1. Reigns has challenged for WWE World Heavyweight Championship on PPV five times (including TLC)  in 2015 (and had two additional championship matches at PPV’s if you include Money in the Bank cash ins).
  2. He also headlined Fastlane in February and won the Royal Rumble.
  3. He partners with Dean Ambrose, who goes from nearly winning the belt to being kicked back down to sidekick status yet again.

Out of 13 total PPV’s in 2015, Reigns has been in the main event seven times. It is time to end the experiment and for WWE to realize that Reigns simply is not main event material at this time. During this time of record low ratings the WWE cannot hope that the mixed reaction Reigns gets will somehow morph into a John Cena style pop (as there is no time to wait for Reigns to figure it all out while ratings tank).

With Cena, at least respect is there. As far as Reigns is concerned, he is headlining the majority of the year’s PPV’s and cannot gain any traction with fans. It was very telling that Reigns got jeers instead of cheers when shown crying after Survivor Series. Even worse is that WWE has sacrificed Sheamus (who could have used his upcoming role in TMNT 2 to gain a new level of popularity and mainstream recognition while being champ) to try to get us to feel bad for a bland guy who gets yet another chance at the gold.

Sadly enough, I see Reigns winning to end the Sheamus experiment and Brock Lesnar finally coming back at the Royal Rumble to set up a WrestleMania rematch between the two.

Manopera! Episode 6: Everyone is Gob Bluth at Survivor Series

manopera

Not only do Chris and Frank review Survivor Series 2015, but they do so with guests Marques “Box” Younger and Nicholas Jason Lopez of prowrestlingopinion.com for this heated and rambunctious debate.

WWE TLC 2014 Thoughts

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As usual, WWE ended 2014 with a bang. Unfortunately, that bang was in the form of an exploding TV that cost Dean Ambrose his TLC match against Bray Wyatt.

Ambrose gave Wyatt the beating of his life, elbow dropping his opponent through a table from a ladder multiple times before finding a TV under the ring. The TV was not only plugged in, but it also gave Ambrose the idea to go for the biggest ladder he could carry. He then dropped the big elbow off that giant ladder onto Wyatt through the Spanish announcer’s table.

Dragging Wyatt into the ring, Ambrose readied to finish him off with the TV, but it was plugged in and prevented the blow. Then it exploded after Ambrose tried again. Wyatt then hit Sister Abigail and that was all she wrote.

Two things can be said of this. One: who leaves a TV under the ring? And two: there is no way any of us are to believe someone can be that stupid.

The Kickoff match was well done with Goldust and Stardust really delivering their offense and executing their heel tactics beautifully. They get better every night. The New Day predictably got the win, but the match was solid. Hats off to these teams for getting the crowd pumped up.

Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper put on the match of the night in an excellent Ladder match with Ziggler stealing the show and the Intercontinental Championship in his home city.

The Miz and Damien Mizdow had a decent encounter with the Uso’s for the Tag Team Championship with a logical DQ finish. The inclusion of Jimmy Uso’s real life wife Naomi into the storyline is interesting and will add real life situations into play if done right. Mizdow is slowly becoming a fan favorite with his antics and will hopefully get his shining moment down the road.

The Divas Championship match was also a decent match with a logical conclusion of Brie Bella’s interference and Nikki Bella taking advantage of a referee’s blind spot with a foreign object.

The Steel Stairs match between Big Show and Erick Rowan was much better than expected with good use of the stairs. This was a tough match to work but the two superstars did a great job with what they had.

Kane and Ryback’s Chairs match on the other hand, was pretty boring and predictable. Ryback was dominant, lots of chair shots and way too long.

Jack Swagger and Rusev’s United States Championship encounter also was very predictable. It’s clear that there are big plans for Rusev, but the “foreign oppressor vs. patriot” angle is getting old. We need to see more layers to the Rusev character.

Last but not least, John Cena once again overcame the odds and defeated Seth Rollins in a Tables match – securing his number one contender spot to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship yet again.

You didn’t have to watch WWE programming since SummerSlam to figure that out.

It is nice to see Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury playing the parts of Rollin’s lackey’s perfectly. These guys were the best part of the match.

It was also nice to see Roman Reigns back in action as he saved the day for Cena and is moving into a nice feud with Big Show for the time being. Having said that, Reigns returning at the pay-per-view before the Royal Rumble was a mistake as he would have had a much better reaction at the Rumble en-route to victory.

Perhaps WWE is saving that reaction for the return of Daniel Bryan.

WWE TLC 2014 Predictions

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.