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Spaceman Frank’s WWE Evolution Predictions

It’s time for a very historic PPV, and I for one cannot wait for this epic tribute to one of the best stables in WWE history. Go get you a PPV all to yourself guys you earned it!

 

…Oh wait it’s the first WWE all female PPV? Well I guess that works to.

 

On one hand it is hard not to get excited about this event. It has been a long time coming, and WWE definitely has the talent to make this at least as good as any of the regular PPV’s they pump out. Heck, it probably will be better cause people actually want this to be a success. On the other hand, we got Crown Jewel. That other PPV this week has caused such a firestorm among many fans that some of that toxicity has managed to leak onto what should be the real crown jewel of WWE’s calendar year. It is hard to feel like the company truly cares about this event when the final segment of WWE tv set before this event featuring those noted feminists Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. Every single women wrestling legend they bring back is overshadowed by the unretirement/ selling out of Shawn Michaels for Crown Jewel. Even if you are ambivalent about the current situation in Saudi Arabia, it’s hard to not feel like the main promotional drive of the company is focused towards that (admittedly huge) story. And beyond all that there is the heartbreaking news that Roman Reigns is fighting leukemia. I think this will be a good night for the WWE and women’s wrestling in general, but let’s see how much WWE cares about the event in the weeks and months to follow. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my WWE Evolution predictions!

 

Historic Women’s Battle Royal (Yes that is what it is actually called)

 

WWE promised that their would be 50 women on this show and, well, this covers that. The winner also gets a shot at a women’s championship match, so at least there is that. Plus you can assume all the returning legends will lose. There is 20 women involved in this match, and I think maybe 4 have a shot. Naomi came out of nowhere to win the Wrestlemania women’s battle royal, so she will at least get to the final five or six or so women. Ember Moon is due to do something at some point on the main roster, so winning a random battle royal would make sense. Nia Jax is in the same boat after they blew her chance to be a positive babyface role model so she could get murdered by Ronda, so she could win. Plus, you know, WWE loves to have big people win battle royals. Finally, my pick to win is Asuka. It is tragic how she has been booked after her lost at Wrestlemania, and they need to get her back on track ASAP because there is money to be made with a future match against Ronda Rousey. Hell, she needs to win to face Becky Lynch or Charlotte again. Asuka wins and hopefully eats Lana’s heart in the ring to established dominance.

 

Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya vs The Riott Squad

 

What do you do when you are too big for the battle royal but do not warrant a singles match/an real fued? Go against the perennial losers The Riott Squad! At least this is an easy win barring betrayals for the good gals….and that’s all I got for this match. Still more effort than the WWE creative team put into it!

Trish Stratus and Lita vs Alicia Fox and Mickie James (with Alexa Bliss)

 

Originally Alexa Bliss was going to be in this match, back when it was the only match announced for this PPV and it was one on one versus Trish. Now it is a tag match featuring some legends and some of the veterans on the roster. I would have rathered Trish and Lita go against some up and comers, but considering this is probably Mickie and Foxy’s highest profile match is ages I’ll take it. Trish was pretty decent the last time we saw her, but it’s not like she had much to do during the Women’s Royal Rumble. Meanwhile Lita has looked pretty dodgy when asked to wrestle, especially when she does her moonsault. I cringe every time. But who knows maybe this will be pretty fun. If Alexa was in this match I’d say she would win, but with her out I think the legends win.

 

Kairi Sane (C) vs Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

 

The Pirate Princess vs the Shayniest of Baszlers! Their first NXT title match was pretty grand, and I was hoping we would get a rampaging Shayners murdering people even more than she was previously. Instead we are getting True Instinct Baszler who is training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber after being humbled. Interesting choice, made all the more strange that Sane has been regulated to the background of NXT. I think the WWE may start building towards the forever rumored Four Horsewomen vs Four Horsewomen match, but we shall see. More importantly, I think WWE may be trying to get that shot of Ronda and the Bestler with matching titles to make sure everyone knows how much better real MMA fighters are than WWE Superstars. Until Matt Riddle kicks their heads off for the bros. Shay Shay wins back her title for all the little girls in the Dakotas.

 

Toni Storm vs Io Shirai (2018 Mae Young Classic Final)

 

This year’s Mae Young classic has been very solid, and is a step up over last year’s edition. Maybe it was because they relied on less on unknown NXT trainees and more on established talent, or maybe because they knew they need to take it more seriously because the final would be on PPV. Io Shirai is one of the best wrestlers regardless of gender, but I have my concerns. She is the third highly touted female Japanese star the company has brought in, and looking at how Asuka and Kairi have fared you gotta have a little bit of doubt. I think they could all take over the roster, but will WWE put in the time, especially on the main roster? Meanwhile Toni Storm is…fine. She is not bad by any stretch, but I haven’t seen anything that makes me think she is better than many of the main roster or NXT wrestlers. She is however attractive, fit, and blond, which check off several boxes we know somebody in WWE (cough, Vince) likes, so I think she will win over Shirai.

 

Becky Lynch (C) vs Charlotte (Last Person Standing Match for WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)

 

Can we talk about how Becky Lynch is crushing it right now? In the ring, on the mic, hell even on social media and Youtube she is legit the best thing going in the company. She is the one person I feel the need to watch every single segment or clip the WWE puts out that she is involved in. She deserves to headline this PPV. Instead she will prob get the AJ Styles treatment and go on fourth. Also doing their part is Charlotte, who is putting in justttttt the right amount of classic Flair mannerisms to let fans who want to justify their boos of her to make this that much more interesting. I am ready to see the hell these two women put each other through. I just wish WWE would act like it’s as big of a deal as Nikki Effing Bella. Becky wins and continues to body every single thing that comes across her path.

 

Ronda Rousey (C) vs Nikki Bella (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

 

I heard the idea here was to put the two biggest mainstream women wrestlers against each other to get as many eyes on this as possible. First off, in what reality is Nikki Bella that big of a mainstream star? Stephanie Mcmahon is a way bigger name and would make sense given their past. Second I will not take the essentially retired Bella with a history of neck problems against the baddest women on the planet. IRL Ronda would fart on Nikki and cause her to explode. Third, I do not know how this will be anywhere near the level the Smackdown or NXT title match will be. Fourth, we all know who is going to win, and so really this could end the night on a big old rasberry. Ronda breaks Nikki and we all pine for Ronda vs Lynch at some point.

 

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Spaceman Frank’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Predictions

After a brief post-Summerslam pause the WWE is going all out in with a barrage of PPV’s in the next couple months. We have the upcoming Hell in a Cell, but nobody cares about that gimmicky PPV, especially the WWE. Instead the company has looked completely past this PPV to a pair of HISTORY MAKING EVENTS in October. We have the traditional but set in a massive cricket stadium in Australia Super Show-Down and the all women Evolution PPV soon after. And then of course we have the often overlooked big four PPV Survivor Series to feel mediocre about in November. Hell in a Cell is just the tip of the iceberg, and it feels very much like the company just does not care about this. Probably because this event won’t make them as much money as tens of thousands of Aussies or generate tons of headlines. At least we can look forward to the slow heat death of the universe and Braun Stroman’s push. I’m Spaceman Frank and this is my Hell in a Cell 2018 predictions!

 

The New Day (C) vs Aiden English and Rusev (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

 

The New Day have gained the tag titles from The Bludgeon Brothers after Erick Rowan did what he usually does in high pressure situations: get injured for several months. This has left MY BOY Luke adrift to randomly show up at NXT shows in Buffalo to put on barnburners in Ricochet and The New Day with the belts for the fifth time. Now Rusev and his young ward Aiden have won the right to face the modern day legends in their first defense. It seemed as though Rusev and English we destined to fight, but they seem to have pulled a Bayley and Sasha and made up unexpectedly. Maybe it will happen at Hell in a Cell, but I doubt it. The New Day will be front and center for the SUper Show-Down, so they will retain as Rusev continues his streak of losing big matches.

 

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre (C) vs Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

 

Speaking of sudden tag belt switches we have gone from The Deleter of Worlds to The B Team to now…um…Dolphintyre? Sure let’s go with that. They face a pair of old foes in the good 66 percent of The Shield, who at least are not being roped into making Roman look credible for at least one night. Dolph is getting somewhat a decent push with his Scottish man servant, and I am not sure it is time for them to drop the belts even to a pair of workhorses like Dean and Seth. Plus eventually Dean does need to turn evil at some point to justify getting swole and cutting off all his hair. Zigggles and Scots keep the belts.

 

Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell Match)

 

Why is this in a Hell in a Cell cage? Cause 40 something Jeff Hardy is looking for some workman’s comp that’s why. The only logical explanation I have for this stip is that Jeff is will to throw himself off the cage (cause lord knows Randy is gonna do that stuff. He hates dives after all), so here comes WWE’s resident non-Mcmahon stuntman. Lord knows I can’t be bothered to care about this match if WWE won’t and I’ll be cooking dinner during this. Randy wins because he is allegedly a super star and we need those for a Super Show-Down.

 

Ronda Rousey (C) vs Alexa Bliss (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

 

While these two’s first match was pretty swell, it did not exactly leave me wanting more. Ronda killed Alexa dead at Summerslam, and that beating was very one sided. Bliss thinks she has a chance against the former UFC champion because…reasons? Look I am all for the WWE showing the multi-time champ Bliss as a credible threat, but considering she was treated like a gnat by Ronda makes me think we will get more of the ame this go around. Ronda wins and moves on to break Nikki Bella’s neck at Evolution.

 

Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs The Miz and Maryse

 

After some shenanigans at Summerslam the ladies are getting involved in this feud. And it makes sense given that Maryse played a big part in getting her man a win over his hated rival. Props for Maryse and Brie returning to the ring soon after giving birth to their respective daughters, but really I hope they avoid getting in the ring as much as possible. Brie was a mixed bag at best in the ring, and her repeated failures at pulling off a suicide dive are worrying. Meanwhile was Maryse ever a good wrestler? I honestly do not know. It would make sense that Bryan would get some measure of revenge against his foe, but considering there is plenty of opportunities for further rematches this is far from over. I predict Brie pins Maryse to set up a rematch of their own at Evolution while their men have a Dad-off in Aussie Land.

 

Charlotte Flair (C) vs Becky Lynch (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)

 

Let’s be real: everyone was super stoked seeing Becky quit acting like a doofus and attacking Charlotte after she stole away her victory at Summerslam. And yeah they tried to initially lean into the heel turn, but now they have actually made it pretty easy to chose what dynamic you want to feel towards this conflict. Becky is justifiably pissed at her former friend, and Charlotte has not exactly come off as a sympathetic good guy. After all, she is now only behind Trish Stratus in terms of championship reigns and and def has put on shades of a spoiled jock. Personally I like both women, but I think we have had good guy Charlotte for too long. Time for her to be a baddie and Becky to be like SEE I TOLD YA SHE WAS A MEANIE! Charlotte has had plenty of short title reigns lately, and I think maybe having her lose immediately, so I think maybe she will cheat to win to further muddy the waters between the two women.

 

AJ Styles (C) vs Samoa Joe (WWE Championship Match)

 

I am guessing this is not a Hell in a Cell match because then Joe would have trouble creeping on Wendy Styles. While these two have very little to work with to further this feud, they have managed to turn chicken poop into something more edible. Not quite chicken salad, but like lukewarm Mcnuggets with no sauce. Still the first match between the two was pretty freaking awesome, but since that ended in a DQ having a plain jane rematch between the two is a pretty vanilla option. Hell, we already know a rematch is going to happen, so it is hard to truly care about this match. Still should be fun though. I can see Joe winning and getting a well deserved title reign before dropping it back to AJ soon afterwards, but I have burned way to many times by fantasies of Joe being WWE champion to believe it will actually happen. AJ retains probably by DQ again.

 

Roman Reigns (C) vs Braun Strowman (Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Universal Championship w/ Mick Foley as Special Guest Referee)

 

I was entirely apathetic towards this match once Braun used his Money in the Bank Briefcase to get it. It’s obvious that they did this to make it so they could get rid of all those pesky Braun fans clamoring for him to be the man instead of The Big Dog. Now they are cutting their nose off to spite their face, and turning Braun back into a cartoon ogre rather than the badass giant is just plain dumb. It’s the same thing they did to Nia Jax when she faced Ronda Rousey. It’s very transparent who WWE thinks are the real stars on the roster, and everyone else is there to prop them up. Roman for all his flaws needs to have an actual run with the belt instead of ust losing the belt immediately, so he will win and Braun will huff and puff and flip over a house.

 

Spaceman Frank’s SummerSlam 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

WWE needs a big win with SummerSlam. After a string of main roster PPV’s that were meh at best and downright depressing at worst they need to prove they can put on a show that people enjoy through and through. To add to the expediency of the moment, we are coming towards Cody Rhodes and the Young Buck’s All In show in September, which is a golden opportunity for independent wrestling to break out for real. I am starting to see a trend with wrestling fans both hardcore and casual to gravitate towards NJPW and indie highlights found on YouTube over watching the dozen or so hours of WWE content produced every week. The barbarians are not quite at the gate, but they are starting to gather down the road. Will parts of SummerSlam be worthy of the second biggest show of the year? Absolutely. Will it all be great? Hell no. But this is a good chance to get some momentum back for the global superpower and quiet some haters. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my SummerSlam 2018 predictions!

The B-Team (C) vs .The Revival (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Preshow Match)

Hey kids, it’s The Revival! Remember them and all the super fun matches they had in NXT… (grabs drink)?

But no really I am happy they are being given something to do, and shows Author’s of Pain fans they just need to wait a year and their boys will finally start being relevant again. Is there any more perfect team to be part of the preshow than a team literally called The B-Team? Bo and Curtis to their credit are pretty fun to watch during their celebrations, but I am pretty sure I’ll be cooking up some sausages while this happens. The B-Team win cause the FTR hashtag.

Rusev and Lana vs. Cien Almas and Zelina Vega

Rusev has gone from number one contender for the WWE Championship to tagging with his wife on the preshow. Hey at least this is one for the scrapbook. Meanwhile Cien and Zelina have slowly moving up the card, but they still are fumbling around the preshow when it matters. But hey at least there should be some good action. Except when Lana tags in. I say Ruru and Lana win because love conquers all.

Cedric Alexander (C) vs. Drew Gulak (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

You know what’s fun to watch? 205 Live. Ced might be the most consistently entertaining champ on the WWE main roster. And Drew has been killing it with his Powerpoint gimmick for some time now, and I guarantee he is every grad student’s favorite wrestler because of his presentations. Can we just make the first hour of Raw 205 Live? They deserve better, but at least there is a growing buzz about the program. Seriously any time you just want a power hour of fine wrestling throw it on. I think Cedric is going to retain in an excellent match.

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. The New Day (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Moving to the main show we got The New Day trying to topple the big old budgies in what should be a fun match. It seems like most fans have given up on the B-Bros, which is a shame cause I think they have done pretty well in an admittedly limited role. The New Day can do whatever they want at this point and people will still love them, but I am ready to see one of them break out and get a run with a solo belt. The Bros win because they are big and have hammers and MY BOY LUKE HARPER IS STILL MY BOY.

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

The “Match that is happening for reasons unknown” part of the card sees Finny take on Baron “def not Corporate Kane” Corbin in a rematch somebody must want. Somewhere. At some point I may care about Balor again, probably when he breaks out The Demon again. And I never cared about Baron Corbin, despite being his dad (via time travel. It’s complicated). I have to say Finn wins because he was the first Universal Champ and that should mean something.

Dolph Ziggler (C W/Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins (W/ Dean Ambrose) (Intercontinental Championship Match)

Is this considered another overtime period for their Iron Man Match from Extreme Rules? Not sure why we are just getting a strait rematch after that special stipulation match, but whatever. This should be kind of fun, but mostly people will be looking at Dean Ambrose and seeing if he goes for some betrayal. It would certainly be interesting, but I have a feeling they might try to squeeze a quick SHIELD reunion in since the last one crashed and burned so badly. Either way I think Ziggler will win leading to bigger and better things for Sethie and Deanie Poo.

Shinsuke Nakamura (C) vs. Jeff Hardy (United States Championship Match)

Why is this not a triple threat match with Randy Orton? Because Randy is suspended for whipping his penis out at writers (just kidding he’s taking the day off). Nakamura looks great with a title and Jeff is allegedly just as banged up as his brother, so do not expect much. Randy might do a very methodical saunter run in, but really would that make anyone happen? Probably not. Nakamura will retain and hopefully find a worthy opponent of his skills…that does not involve five months of dick kicks.

Carmella (C) vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Triple Threat for WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)

Nobody is ready for Asuka, which is probably why she is she is making slime rather than being part of this match or any part of SummerSlam. I mean, they added Charlotte to the match why not Asuka? Anyway when this was just ‘Mella and Becky I assumed that it was Lynch’s time since she is actually been booked like a winner for once. But then Charlotte was added to the match so I guess it is back to the Loser’s Ball along with Titus Worldwide and Bayley. My vote is Becky and Charlotte eventually get angry at each other over who gets to continue to murder Carmella, leading the champ to get the sneaky roll up win.

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

I feel like this is Ronda’s time. I think WWE is banking on the triumphant imagine of Ronda holding the belt high considering the unknowns of other title matches. This could be the halftime highlight before all the Roman gets everywhere and ruins your night. Plus there is that Evolution show in October that needs a headliner. Plus Alexa Bliss, while a great character, is about as threatening as a feisty kitten. After some hjiinks Ronda wins and hopefully starts showing up more often and moving towards some more physical opponents that can push her to greater heights.

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (If Owens wins he will earn Money in the Bank Briefcase, Braun will lose briefcase if disqualified or counted out)

This is happening to add some intrigue to the main event. But we will get to that later. After getting murdered (politely because the crash pad under the announcer table) Owens looks to seek revenge If he didn’t get crushed by Strowman for most of their match I would believe he would have more of a chance. I wanna say there could be a chance he special stipulations come into play, but overall Braun has been booked way smarter than most monsters so I think he will play it smart. Plus c’mon Braun is going to the belt sooner rather than later. Don’t tell me Vince isn’t ready to give him a run on the top.

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

The emotional highlight of the night sees these two rivals settle years of conflict and I cannot wait. This is not going to be the jazzy technical match of the night, but these dudes are master storytellers and will milk every high and low for what it is worth.  But who will win? There is a little bit of mystery concerning DB’s contract, but really I cannot imagine him hitting the open market. So with that being said, I think Miz will get the opening salvo of what will be a multi-match affair. There is Hell in a Cell coming up, and Miz can cheat here and keep things going until he is trapped with The American Dragon in a steel cage. Miz wins and his show lasts for seven more seasons Morty!

AJ Styles (C) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship Match)

The real main event of the evening sees two vets beat the piss out of each other. WWE learned from the Styles vs Nakamura feud and made this immediately about Joe’s comments about AJ’s family. It has lead to some amazing promos in addition to this amazing mini documentary which is a must watch. Joe has a chance to be the only man to be WWE, TNA, and Ring of Honor champion in history, and you know what? I think he will do it cause it’s now or never with him. Joe wins, even if his run could be a short one.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Universal Championship)

Welp. Here we are again. The internet is trying to convince themselves that there is some mystery here. Maybe Braun will cash in. Maybe he will make this a triple threat so we do not have to actually watch this rematch.  Maybe Kevin Owens will get the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash in. Maybe Heyman will join Roman. Here what will actually happen: Nothing. It’s time for Roman. We just have to accept it. If the WWE do not have him win now, then he is done. His goose will be cooked. Nobody will take him seriously anymore and WWE knows it. So here we go. It is happening. For Real. LOL ROMAN WINS. Get your beers ready in advanced.

 

Spaceman Franks NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

The summer is coming to a close, which means WWE is about to take over New York CIty. This weekend will feature the usual cornucopia of wrestling hijiinks and the various high and low points WWE fans are accustomed to at this point. First up we have the fourth NXT Takeover event to emanate from Brooklyn, which seems crazy to write.

I never thought the NXT brand would still be going as strong as it was four years later, and barring some poorly timed injuries this was shaping up to be the usual barnburner for the developmental brand. It will still be the bee’s knees, but some of the originality found on the card was robbed when the planned card fell through. I guess we will have to settle for some exciting if unoriginal rematches. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 predictions!

Velveteen Dream vs. EC3

The battle of the incredibly handsome man is the only non title match on the Takeover card. EC3 made the terrible mistake of debuting in the same match as Ricochet, so he has mostly fallen flat for me. I think he could be an excellent Bobby Roode clone in the current NXT environment, but for whatever reason he is presented as a good guy. A rich, arrogant, and handsome good guy.

Dream has continued to be the Dream, but while he had a natural rival in Ricochet athletically this feud has mostly been two grown men in tight clothes proclaiming how great they are. Definitely an excuse to get these two on the card, but entirely nonessential. Both men have had little success on TakeOvers, but I think Velveteen gets the win here to give him a bit of momentum.

The Undisputed Era (C) vs. Moustache Mountain (NXT Tag Team Title Match)

What I assume is the rubber match between the two teams after some epic back and forth between the squads. There is no doubting how popular Undisputed is, and they are the best bet for a modern NWO squad/rival to Bullet Club WWE has. There is plenty of potential in the group, and I think NXT would be smart to keep the belts on Roddy and Kyle for some time.

Mt. Stache got their names in the record books and will probably anchor the NXT UK scene when the time comes. Then when Bobby Fish gets healed up he can take over tag team duties, Roddy wins the North American belt and Adam Cole gets the NXT belt to run wild in 2019.

Shayna Baszler (C) vs. Kairi Sane (NXT Women’s Championship)

Hayner Declaymer seeks revenge on one of the few women to claim a victory over her in the form of Sane. Kairi has not exactly set the world on fire the way I thought she would after winning the first Mae Young Classic, so hopefully this gets her back on track. The champ has been getting better and better, but I still are not terribly impressed with her. I think she has potential as a character, but I’ve yet to see the match that tells me she is championship caliber.

That being said, I am guessing WWE is banking on the image of her and fellow horsewomen Ronda Rousey holding belts side by side so she is going to retain at least until October.

Adam Cole (C) vs. Ricochet (NXT North American Championship Match)

The One and Only faces the leader of Undisputed in what would be a hell of a match. Sure the build has boiled down to “really good wrestler wants a belt from slimy heel” but the crowd was going to be hot for this one either way. Expect lots of dueling chants and high flying moves as Ricochet tries to make up for the numbers disadvantage.

Adam Cole is destined for bigger and better things soon as I hinted at with the tag team match, and the same could be said of Ricochet. This very well could be a preview of a future NXT title match, or dare I say IC title match? I think this could be a toss up, but I think Cole is going to get the nod for the win since Triple H has singled him out as someone who is an MVP of NXT.

Tomasso Ciampa (C) vs. Johnny Gargano (Last Man Standing Match for NXT Championship)

I was very much looking forward to the triple threat match between these two and former champ Aleister Black, and it’s a shame Old Dutch Ale is out just long enough to miss the event. So with about two weeks notice the rivalry of the year is back on, and NXT has done a good job making a bunch of video packages driving the hype up.

However, I was really into Johnny Gargano’s evolution from heart of gold pure babyface to shades of grey and even, dare I say, a bit of a dick?! But now we can forget all that cause he is back to trying to murder his foe, unless of course he was the one who attacked Black. Re-watching their Chicago Street Fight I do not know how they will top that without actual murder, but I have faith they will. As for who wins, Ciampa has not had enough time with the belt, so Johann Wrasslin will regain his conscious just in time to mess up and let Ciampa win.

Spaceman Frank’s Extreme Rules 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

“Extreme” Rules more like it am I right guys? While WWE has decided to fill this PPV to the point of bursting with matches they remained stingy on the stipulations. This has made this event on the whole very unnecessary because we all know that the real action is being held off until SummerSlam. This merely serves to get all the pieces into place and give the main events something to do in the meantime. As someone who refuses to watch Raw and SmackDown i’m still excited to watch, but considering the YouTube clips from the shows seem pretty bleak God help you if you subject yourself to this plus the weekly shows. 205 is a blast though and the Cruiserweights get rewarded for their efforts by…(scanning card)…oh. My name is Spaceman Frank and this is my Extreme Rules 2018 predictions!

Sin Cara vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (Pre-show Thing That is Happening)

This came together about a few days before the show, and sees Cien Almas face one of maybe three people he has faced on SmackDown since being called up in April. Sin Cara is pretty much a non-entity at this point, so it’s not like the former NXT champion gets a boost from this. But at least he gets to appear on a television screen. That’s fun right?! Cien Almas wins and starts of our evening of twelve (TWELVE???!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!) matches.

The New Day vs. Sanity (Pre-show Tables Match)

Speaking of sad, sad post-Mania pushes here is Sanity having a losing streak to defend! They came, they saw, they beat up some people before getting pinned by other, more popular wrestlers. At least this match should be plenty of fun if wholy inconsequential to anything relevant. At least my gal Nikki Cross was spotted helping her boys at a SmackDown live show! Sanity gets it together and gets a win so they do not completely blow it on their first glimpse at the main stage.

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy (C) vs. The B-Team (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

Yup. Here is a match that somebody demanded. I am all for giving Curtis and Bo something to do, but they are literally called The B-Team. Bathroom break is written all over this. Bray and Matt win while I eat some queso and chips in the other room catching up on my telenovelas.

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE US Championship Match)

Shinsuke failed to ever put away AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, so now he takes on the walking wounded (according to the rumors) Jeff Hardy. Why dick kicks are not legal to keep that gimmick going is a mystery to me. It sounds like Jeff seriously needs some time off and they need to recover Nakamura’s image after the constant losing/non-finishes so he will win here to give him some payoff for his push.

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

The Monster in the Bank is in a holding pattern while he (like everyone else) wait to see when Brock Lesnar will show up next. And what does WWE do when it has it’s main eventers in a holding pattern? Kill a French Canadian. And with Sami Zayn out until next year with multiple shoulder problems it falls to KO to be sacrificed. Braun flipping over the car? Awesome. Braun knocking over a porta potty? Ummmm ok. KO hiding from a workplace bully in his bosses office? Sounds like a problem for HR. Braun wins in a squash as we remember Kevin Owens winning the Universal Championship with sadness.

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

Corbin is bald now, so I can’t make jokes about his hair. Sigh…but seriously, he looks much better without hair and the Constable Corbin gimmick is way better than him just Lone-Wolfing on innocent audiences across the country. Finn is the king of doing absolutely nothing of note for the majority of the year, and while this can be fun I do not remember a time I took him seriously as someone who wins big matches. Hell, the most excited I got for him this year was seeing the chemistry he had while facing Strowman in various situations before WrestleMania but we never even got a real feud out of it. Can we get that at some point please?

This one is a toss up for me and I think whoever wins has a good chance of filling time in a match at SummerSlam so I will pick Finn to win. Only to lose in the opener of SummerSlam against John Cena like Baron did last year.

Carmella (C) vs. Asuka (James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage Match for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)

Gasp! A stipulation match! Finally! And it is a…oh. Oh No. Not the shark cage again.

Ellsworth is my boy and I’m glad he is getting paid but Jesus why with this. Carmella is good as the annoying cowardly champ, but her time has come. Gotta get your big guns in spots to succeed before SummerSlam and Asuka has farted around long enough. Just give her the belt already so we can see her take on Charlotte again. Asuka wins and snaps Ellsworth in half and drinks his spinal fluid.

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Nia Jax (Extreme Rules Match for WWE Raw Women Championship)

Has anyone been damaged more by Ronda Rousey’s (deserved) push than Nia? Won the belt, set up to be an anti-bully hero, then immediately turns heel and proves her rival right. Now she is ready to take on her longstanding rival with the only extreme rules match on the card. We are all waiting for Rousey to come back from “suspension” and it would fit her current character to interfere and set up a triple threat at SummerSlam. More likely, though, I see Alexa winning and then getting fed to Ronda at the big event in August.

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. Team Hell No (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Team Hell No, official owners of the newest worst shirt ever produced by WWE. They have reunited despite Kane having an mayoral campaign to run to take on MY BOY Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. I’m glad The Bros of Bludgeoning get something real to do, but really anyone can fill this spot because it is all about what may happen after. I have heard theories that Kane will turn heel, but who turns heel when they are running for office?! He could sway some people against him and cost himself the match, err um election! I think The Miz will interfere and we shall finally get Miz vs. Daniel Bryan and all the glorious promos that will happen in the build.

Dolph Ziggler (C) vs. Seth Rollins (30 Minute Iron Man Match for WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

I really want to be excited for this match. I really do. But knowing that this is a half an hour match sandwiched in a 12 match card makes me very apathetic. Ziggler and his buddy Drew are much together than separate, and there is potential for plenty of fun. I just do not see anyone caring about this unless it is the opener. The Zigglypuff has more momentum than he has in awhile, and Seth is still Seth so it shouldn’t be an stinker. Ziggler wins to set up a rematch that sees an actually extreme rule or two attached to it.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Rusev (WWE Championship Match)

I was thrilled when Rusev won the gauntlet match to become number one contender. Finally, one of my favorite wrestlers was getting an actual chance to show off that he can be capable of headlining a show, and then…nothing.

Rusev and AJ have farted around like they are waiting for Brock Lesnar to show up on their show instead of Raw. It is a pretty sad state of affairs that AJ Styles, one of the best wrestlers in the world and the actual champion of WWE cannot even get top billing when Lesnar is absent. Even worse is they cannot take Rusev seriously despite being one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster. I do not know what the WWE is thinking here and it brings down everything else the company is trying to do. AJ wins in a solid match that makes me mad that it is not the top of the card.

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

Meanwhile, in Vince’s wet dreams we have this match. I was stoked to see Lashley return to WWE since I heard he was a bright spot on Impact, but since his redebut he has been nothing short of lame. Just another big bulking guy taking up the limelight as literally dozens of other wrestlers deserve the spotlight more. And then we have The Squeaky Puppy Roman Reign trying to gain an edge by working himself into a shoot and causing eye rolls across the country. At least Bobby has the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a potential Lesnar match, but I do not want any of this match. Get this out of my sight and bring me Braun winning the Universal belt at SummerSlam or I may cry. I’ll go with Bob Lashers here because why not.

Spaceman Frank’s Money in The Bank 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

After a welcome month off from PPVs WWE is ready to come storming back with their Money in the Bank event. After a too long Wrestlemania, an curious but unimportant Greatest Royal Rumble, and the disastrous Backlash (WAY TO PUT YA WORST PPV ON MY BIRTHDAY YA JERKS!) the company took a much needed break, but are fans ready for more? The barrage of events left passions drained for the product, and the frustration with WWE may be at a all time high. New Japan threw their Dominion PPV featuring what many are already calling the greatest match of all time in Okada vs Omega IV (The Revenge), which just reinforced the lack of quality the WWE hit fans with lately. Throw in the upcoming G1 Special as well as All In and there is some alternatives to their product WWE cannot ignore anymore. There solution? Make PPV’s even longer and monopolize wrestling fan’s time. Sure we got NXT Takeover: Chicago 2 and the UK Tournament to look forward too, but this is WWE again just steamrolling fans with a massive content overload. It’s hard to care about any WWE event right now considering the hype is elsewhere, and even NXT may be crackling under the weight of this vicious cycle. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Money in the Bank 2018 predictions!

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. The Club

The B Boys vs the Good Brothers. A match that should be good, if only they gave us a reason to care. MY BOY Luke Harper and his big ginger friend could be key players on Smackdown, but for the life of me I cannot remember one single thing they have done since Backlash. At least WWE put out this amazing video about Harper that hit me right in the feels. Definitely put more of these out WWE. Meanwhile I have not cared about The Club since last year’s Wrestlemania, and I honestly forgot they were on Smackdown. WHy haven’t they reunited with AJ yet? They could at least tell him to wear a cup. At least Anderson got to show off his abs? The Buldgies win and continue to wait for a chance to get over properly.

Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn

Real time footage of the Bobby Lashley right here. They have given him the personality of a overripe cantaloupe, and his ring work has come off as very generic. Zayn has hopped around and tried to bother him like a little brother in the middle of a pixie stick binge, but has that made me want to see these guys wrestle. Absolutely not. What happened to Sami and KO hinting towards a split for like the seventh time? Bob wins to continue to build towards whatever plan they have for him as Sami drinks to forget Lashley’s sisters.

Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal

Who to cheer? Who to boo? Will the crowd chant CM Punk during this match despite his embarrassing UFC loss? Those are the questions to define this match. By putting the two controversial men together we potentially have a perfect storm of snark brewing, especially in Chicago. I just cannot see this being anything worth writing home about, but Botchamania will have some quality footage soon. One positive is that I do not think this will be the main event…probably. Reigns wins since we are allegedly getting another match versus Lesnar at Summerslam because we live in the darkest timeline.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Apparently this is still going. DB has thoroughly trashed the big man repeatedly, but now they will up the ante by…having a standard match again. At least WWE has learned to avoid showing Big Cass when his massive cranium covers up the “C” in his name on the Titantron. I do not know why this is going to happen, but to be fair their feud has been watchable for the most part. Charitably I’d even say it has been a top five feud on Smackdown. But not top three. Definitely not top three. It feels nuts that Big Cass would do the job three times in a row, so I will go out on a limb and say that the big man will pick up a surprise/dirty win to give him some sort of rub from wrestling with Bryan.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Elias (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

Two promising young talents clash in what should be a fun little match on what will be a long night. Elias is reaching Miz levels of punchable yet loveable heels, but for the life of me I cannot remember one match of his I have enjoyed. That makes me hope we can actually see what he is capable of facing the IC champ. Meanwhile Seth has been a fine champion, but I still feel like he can do more. He has proven his talent time and again, and I feel like his time to rejoin the main event scene is coming. But instead we will get Roman Reigns with Seth being his cooler younger brother until Evil Dean Ambrose comes back.

Carmella (C) vs. Asuka (WWE Smackdown’s Women’s Championship Match)

Another thing that I guess we shall experience sees Mella face someone who should murder her face. Instead, we may see the return of our lord and savior James Ellsworth help his lady keep her belt. Ellsworth has better merch than 90% of the WWE Roster (exhibit A), so any and all excuses for him to get that paper. Will his return be full time, or more like a Great Khali situation? We shall see. Anyway back to the two ladies in this match! Asuka is still Asuka and should be champion, but it seems like rumors are swirling Carmella is keeping the belt, so with all the gossip pointing to her returning Carmella manages to sneak in a victory. Followed by Asuka literally kicking someone so hard they explode.

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

There is plenty of ways this match can go. Nia Jax has wasted a heel turn so soon after trying to be a role model, which is probably the biggest tragedy of this whole thing. Jax deserves a real run as a face, but instead she proved Alexa Bliss right by being a bully. Ronda meanwhile is not ready to carry the belt, but that does not mean she will lose her. My prediction: Ronda wins the belt followed by some shenanigans (more on that later).

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing Match for WWE Championship Match)  

These two meet for (possibly) the last time and may actually be the match we have been waiting months to watch. This whole feud has been rather deflating, so these two better have a barn burner to make up for all the dick kicks. Shinsuke should have probably won the championship now after all the drama, and if he does not win here he never will. AJ Styles is still one of the top wrestlers in the world, but if this was their plan to have two workhorses draw this fued out i’ll eat a hat full of mustard. I feel like every time I think Shinsuke is going to win he ends up failing me, but now, truly, finally, it is the time to crown a new champ. Shinsuke wins probably…right? RIGHT?!

Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

Time for some lists! Here are the rankings from least to most likely to win the Women’s Briefcase.

  1. Lana- HAHAHAHA NOPEEEEEEE
  2. Naomi- She won a trophy this year. Moving on.
  3. Sasha Banks-Member when she was champ? Member that she is a four time champ? Member her Iron Man Match with Bayley? I Member!
  4. Ember Moon- Recently revealed in an interview she is scared of heights. So I am guessing no Eclipse from a ladder for us.
  5. Becky Lynch- I could see her getting the briefcase and turning hell on someone, but then the WWE would have to actually care about Becky and I am pretty sure they no longer do.
  6. Charlotte Flair- She has the talent to pull off a win, but will more likely do something insane off a ladder that makes us gasp in wonder. Sadly this will probably put her out of the match, but she will probably get a title shot sooner rather than later.
  7. Alexa Bliss- Having the briefcase would fight her character very well, especially if Nia retains and she can stalk her former bestie. That being said I wonder how she will fight into this match considering her style does not scream for hardcore stunts. Only thing I can see is her hitting Twisted Bliss on someone who is on a ladder, only to get tossed out towards the end.
  8. Natalya- I would have not said that Nattie Ice would get the briefcase a month ago, but here we are. The way I see it is this match is first on the card, and she wins the belt after what should be a fun romp. Then, when Ronda beats Nia Jax she goes in and pretends to be chummy with her buddy, only for a classic betrayal five. Then Nattie wins the belt and we get the Canadian vs the Rowdy One for Summerslam. Nattie is the one to guide Ronda to another solid match like her Wrestlemania match and give her a proper crowning at the big show.

 

Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Bobby Roode vs. Kevin Owens vs. Rusev vs. A New Day Member (Ladder Match for Men’s Money in the Bank Briefcase)

Here comes another list!

  1. Bobby Roode- Poor Bob Roode. Poor, poor Bob Roode.
  2. Rusev- We can’t have nice things. Deal with it.
  3. Finn Balor- Going to jump off a ladder for a Coup de Grace and ruin his chance to be the winner here. We know it is coming.
  4. The New Day Member- I could see Kofi getting the briefcase leading to a whole bunch of fun and eventual title win as a big “you deserve it” moment. I would not cry foul, but that depends on many moving parts coming into place (such as him actually being in the match). Big E could also be a dark horse, and Xavier would be interesting but unlikely.
  5. Kevin Owens- Wouldn’t complain. Fits his character to a tee to have the sudden cash in. Sadly his stock has dropped considerably since he got jobbed out to Goldberg last year and I wonder if he ever will be a main eventer again or if he will be the guy who keeps the face busy while they avoid the title scene.
  6. Samoa Joe- See KO’s entry, but with a slightly better track record (besides getting hurt at inopportune times)
  7. Braun Strowman- Similar to Charlotte Flair, we all know the Monster Among Men’s time is coming soon. Like, before the year is done. Like, please, let it happen before the leaves start falling. I NEED THIS WWE DON’T YOU MAKE ME WAIT!! I see the typical parade of finishers (this time with ladders!) to put the big man down for the count. Leading to…
  8. The Miz- He’s just too good to ignore. The most punchable face in entertainment is going to milk the briefcase for all it’s worth, and I’ll watch every damn minute of it. Vegas has him as the favorite, the internet has him as the favorite, and WWE would be foolish to not give Main Event Miz a second chance. I even named my fantasy football team Team Miz’s Dad (I got sixth out of eight thank you very much). It’s time to see The Miz TV to hit primetime.

 

Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago 2 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

Here comes NXT to save the day once again. After the repeated hits on the head from WWE in terms of PPV’s it is time for fans to remind us once again that WWE can put on quality programming when they want to. That being said the build for this event has been muted. The matchups feature some repeats and odd combinations, which while being put together in entertaining ways still may not be what fans were necessarily looking forward to. Sure it may not be up to the standard of “ZOMG BEST MATCH EVER” (real Dave Meltzer quote) set by New Japan’s Dominion event, but at this point i’ll take a watchable WWE show. It may not be the NXT event we wanted, but it will be the WWE event we need. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Chicago 2 Predictions!

The Undisputed Era (C) vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch (NXT Tag Team Title Match)

It’s the battle of the technically gifted versus the hard hitting. While the team of Fiesty and Bald Men (copyright pending) have not been treated like a treat for 90 percent of their run, the build for this makes sense at least. Oney and Burch have always been people I wish NXT would do more with besides have them do the job to people, so seeing them both get a chance to work the big stage is a win in my book. Meanwhile Undisputed prove their worth each and every show, and little things such as getting people’s names wrong on purpose makes my inner Slytherin chuckle. There are other, more established teams out their, but in terms of a match I expect to have a lot of fun watching, this is a solid pairing. But despite this being a fun match I do not doubt for a second Undisputed is going to win. Simply put, they are too good as heels and with Adam Cole not having a match he can save the match for his boys no problem. Now a serious Heavy Machinery push for my boy Otis.

Shayna Baszler (C) vs. Nikki Cross (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

Fans have been waiting for awhile now for Cross to get a serious push or, like, just a Takeover match period, and now the wait is over. She is facing Kraina Quazner, who is nothing like Ronda Rousey or Sonya Deville. Nope, nothing like them at all. She is an OK wrestler, but she does not stand out much compared to a mega star like Ronda. Her theme song is pretty cool though. On the other hand Cross has been a long standing favorite of it mine. I was upset she did not get a call up with the rest of Sanity, but if it means we actually get to see her wrestle and say things in the most Scottish way possible I’m all for it. Can she win the big one? Probably soon, but not now. They build Vanier Killmayzer up for so long I cannot see her as a one and done champion in NXT. Maybe next year during the Women’s Royal Rumble.

Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream

This has been all about peacocking and showboating, and you could cut the sexual tension between the two with a cake server. These two tried to kill each other in the North American Championship match at Takeover: New Orleans, so I am ready to see what they do in a regular match. Both these guys are the future of NXT and WWE in general, and it would be nice to see the winner of this match go after the NXT Championship after this event. Dream has frequently come up short in big matches, yet has failed upwards towards more and more meaningful programs. Ricochet is exciting his honeymoon phrase with fans and this seems like a little bit of a detour considering how hot off the gate they initially positioned him. I think he will win against the Dream since the former Patrick Clark has years to get even better and can take the loss and spin it into gold later on. Ricochet needs the win more to say near the top until they pull the trigger on him as champ.

Aleister Black (C) vs. Lars Sullivan (NXT Championship Match)

Poor Dutch Ale has been in the backseat to everyone else since winning the big one, which is a shame considering is has been a consist performer in NXT. He has the look and skill set of a main eventer, but he is pushed to the back in favor of others with more developed personalities. The dark and brooding guy does very little week to week, and when he does appear it is most to remind us he can be dark and brooding. His opponent Lars Sullivan is getting the Cien Almas award for sudden ascension to the main event, and while I find him enjoyable enough I haven’t seen enough to think of him as a contender. Maybe with more seasoning, but besides his mean mug he screams generic monster man. Also, the piano part of his theme sounds like it is played on a child’s xylophone. A good but forgettable match see’s Big Champ Ale retain and go back to his emo corner.

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Chicago Street Fight)

The obvious main event of the evening promises to get ugly fast. What is the difference between and unsanctioned match and a street fight? NOBODY CARES NERDS!! Considering their first match featured several spots that made me legitimately wince and gasp I do not know what they are going to cook up here. But it is going to be brutal and hard to watch at times. Gargano got his big victory last time, and since then he has lost his wife due to inadvertent pushing (you think as a trained wrestler she would be able to take a bump better). Ciampa has been a killer on the mic and draws heat like no one else, and this will be a hot one with plenty of carnage happening. Hell, Ciampa got busted open during the build in pretty gruesome fashion before they brought toys into the picture. I think Ciampa is going to get the win here after taking advantage of some Gargano hubris and then sets his sights on a championship opportunity.

Spaceman Frank’s Backlash 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s the post-WrestleMania hangover (yaay!).

The big event has come and gone, and WWE has attempted to keep the ball rolling with the likes of the Superstar Shakeup and the Greatest Royal Rumble, but now the creative well has gone dry.

Nobody ever really expects much from the months after WrestleMania, and besides a few hot feuds, people  would rather speculate on what next WrestleMania will be like as opposed to fantasy booking Backlash.

At least now all PPV’s will be co-branded now to make them even more homogenized?

There is one redeeming quality to Backlash: it falls on my birthday (ALL HAIL THE SLIGHTLY OLDER SPACEMAN!). I am Spaceman Frank, and coming off my near perfect predictions for The Greatest Royal Rumble (damn my hubris for picking Samoa Joe over Braun), and here are my Backlash 2018 predictions!

Bayley vs. Ruby Riott (Preshow Match)

Why isn’t this Bayley vs. Sasha Banks? Because shut up, that’s why.

I am not sure why the WWE refuses to pull the trigger on that feud, especially because they kept the ladies on the same show. Don’t get me wrong this match should be pretty OK and Ruby impressed me in her match against Charlotte, but c’mon man. Just give it to us. Bayley isn’t allowed to have nice things and this seems like the time to have the Riott Squad beat her up so Sasha can do the fake save and betray her, so I will say Ruby will get the win here.

Carmella (C) vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

Who’s ready for a good old fashioned murder?

Carmella finally cashed in, but I cannot imagine her holding the belt for very long. Charlotte is just too good and it wouldn’t make sense for her to break Asuka’s streak to then get stuck in a feud with ‘Mella. She just is not on the level to hang with the top ladies on the program, and is better served as a midcarder for people like Becky and Naomi to have matches with while they shift in and out of the spotlight.

Good for her for getting her win, though. But on Backlash, Charlotte gets her belt back and then goes after The Iconics for their part in having her lose the belt in the first place.

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Randy Orton (WWE United States Championship Match)

Where is my boy Rusev?! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, I WANT MY BOY RUSEV!!!

But seriously, WWE, what are you doing here? Having the title bounce from Randy to Jinder then Jeff reeks of impulse booking. Meanwhile, Rusev’s fans are begging for a chance to cheer for The Bulgarian Brute, and he remains more over than a certain babyface on the roster (COUGH). Randy continues to be that union employee who has seniority on everyone thus puts in about 30% effort when he shows up for work. Jeffery on the other hand, is just happy to be here and can be a good US champ in a vacuum. But he isn’t Rusev and thus is Satan. Jeff Hardy wins and hopefully then we can get good guy Rusev.

Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

The most over men in Quebec face off against two meaty hunks in what should be a fun match. Or like 75% of a fun match.

Since Bobby Lashley nearly killed Big Cass during the Greatest Royal Rumble I have cooled considerably on him. I understand he was pretty good in TNA, but until he proves it on Raw, I get some Roman-lite vibes off this push. Good thing he has Braun with him to get cheers (just like the forced pairing of Braun and Roman) and run over KO.

I am not sure what WWE is doing with any of these guys long term, but it looks like Braun is due for a big push sooner rather than later now that he won the green time stone infinity belt so he will pick up the win.

Nia Jax (C) vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

These two have been pushed down the totem poll in favor of watching Ronda chase people around the ring for Nattie, so it is pretty excusable to not be excited for this match. Their Wrestlemania match was a nice moment, but as for the sequel I do not see much new happening. There is only so much you can do when Alexa is so clearly outmatched physically by Nia. Jax could be the face of the women’s division for years to come since she is such a loveable human being in general, so I think she will retain and be champ until WWE is ready to have Ronda win the title.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Miz (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

These two have been killing it lately on their respective shows, so this should be a fun little match. The problem now is it is a relic of the pre-Superstar Shakeup, so there is no mystery as to what will happen here.

I’m a little sad WWE cannot chase the spot of top IC champ of all time, but that is a storyline that WWE can put in the freezer and thaw out whenever they run out of ideas for the Miz (AKA in three weeks).

Finn Balor is waiting for Seth on Raw, and he is a heel in all but name now, and with his goofy grin suddenly turning sinister I am ready for their feud to kick off. Meanwhile, Miz will continue to help other people get for the rest of time. Seth wins and Balor comes for the belt afterwards.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Who predicted this would be DB’s first big feud after his return? And who would have predicted that Big Cass wouldn’t suck nearly as bad as we thought?

Sure he isn’t doing fantastic but he is not detracting from the feud at all, which I never would have thought before he came back from injury. Maybe there is something to the seven footer that WWE officials saw before anyone else, and I honestly am curious to see if he shows he can hang with one of the best in ring performers on the roster. That over anything else is what I will be watching this match for. But even with his sudden ascent, Cass is going to lose to Daniel as we creep one step closer to DB vs The Miz.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

Can Joe just murder Roman and save us all?

After Roman failed yet again to beat Brock Lesnar we had to deal with him whining and having a moan until Joe would cut a brilliant promo on him. I have to believe they are trying to turn Roman heel with the nonstop complaining, it makes him look like a bum.

Joe deserves to get the win here, but since Reigns has been losing tons recently it is time for him to get a win so we can all feel bad about ourselves. Ya see, kids? Complain a bunch and you will eventually get what you want.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

This match is no DQ, which will probably favor the guy who has been constantly punching AJ in the dick.

I sense this could be the first proper high quality “dream match” between the two in WWE, and each of their encounters has been trending upwards since ‘Mania. I am just hoping they go on last since Brock is busy punching boulders like Chris in Resident Evil 5 or whatever he does in his spare time.

As much as I love that AJ is the man in WWE, I think it is time for Shinsuke to win the belt. After losing at ‘Mania then going to a no-contest because AJ was busying beating him up, it would not make sense for have him lose again. Therefore, Shinsuke wins and we keep this ball rolling until summertime.

 

Spaceman Frank’s Greatest Royal Rumble Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s not just a Rumble. It’s not just a Royal Rumble. IT’S THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE!

So great the WWE has truly half-assed the build to the show and acted like the event is going to be a weird non-cannon holiday special.

This is especially prevalent when WWE is setting up the card to the Backlash PPV (which is on my birthday, by the way, hold the applause), while essentially just casually mentioning this event in a 50,000 seat arena in Saudi Arabia.

Is there anything more WWE than to continue flying the women’s revolution while holding a massive show in a place that is historically is not great with equality?

All that stuff aside this shall be a unique event to watch. There is plenty of (men only) matches to watch, including a 50 man Royal Rumble that sees many former stars returning. Throw in a Friday afternoon start time in a foreign country and it should be an interesting time. Oh, and there is all that Brock and Roman drama to look forward to after all that ‘Mania 34 drama (I’m sure that won’t be an awkward match… )

I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Greatest Royal Rumble predictions!

Cedric Alexander (C) vs. Kalisto (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

Fresh off the WrestleMania preshow sees Cedric defend his Cruiserweight championship against everyone’s favorite filler opponent, Kalisto.

This came together at the last minute and features possibly the least interesting character on 205 Live, so I do not have much hope that this will match the ‘Mania match.

Not sure why Mustafa Ali did not get a rematch, but hey at least we can look forward to pretending that Lucha House Party is a thing! That’s fun right everyone?! You all remember all those crazy college parties where people played beer pong and hit spikeramas on people?! Anyway, Cedric retains in hopes that they do something with the talented wrestler.

The Bludgeon Brothers (C) vs. The Usos (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

The story here is the Bludge Boys (Nope, nixing that nickname right now) are creeping on Naomi, but since she can’t compete in Saudi Arabia, who cares about this match?

Nobody really cares what happens here. It may be a fun match, but the WWE is looking past this and onto Backlash. Of course, they are doing that with many matches on the card, but this is bottom of the barrel level of care from the company. I am tempted to say that they care so little they may change the titles to pop the crowd, but realistically probably not. MY BOY Luke Harper and the bros. retain.

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy vs. The Bar (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

So after Braun and Nicholas won the belts at ‘Mania they gave it up immediately, thus making the whole thing completely meaningless.

We then got a tournament featuring four, count ’em, four tag teams facing off for the right to face The Bar at the Greatest Royal Rumble for the red belts. Then The Bar went to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup, thus adding another layer of worthlessness to this match.

Bray and Matt can be a fun team, and since they are a lock to win I look forward to whatever weird promos they will cut for the next several months. Deleter of Worlds win as I play XCOM on my laptop.

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (WWE US Title Match)

Welp, we got another weird match ruined by the Superstar Shakeup. Could they not schedule it for May or something? Jefferson Hardy can be a solid US champ, while Jinder can slowly fade into the background on Raw until Vince accidentally sits in his lap thinking he is a chair and getting another run as WWE Champion. Jeffy boy wins and moves on to face Randy Orton in another feud I cannot wait to be over with already.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe (Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship Match)

Finally, a match I can look forward to!

Except my favorites Samoa Joe and Miz are on SmackDown now, so that’s a waste. That leaves Finn and Seth, both of whom really need a notch in the win column. Finn lost The Club, so unless he grab Titus Worldwide or The Miztourage he is solo again. I think a heel turn is in order sooner rather than later, but for now he will continue to smile and lose as he tends to do. Seth wins and swings the belt over his head like a goon.

John Cena vs. Triple H

Hey, this is happening! Anyone care? Nope? Okay then.

It is hard to predict this match since I think everyone forgot it was happening. I think Triple H will be in the back, hear his music, then freak out and start stripping. Gonna say John Cena wins since he is slightly more active than Triple H and surprisingly has been on a pretty epic losing streak lately.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

Another match to actually care about sees AJ try to get revenge for his dick. Yup, that is the story, but hey, anyone else would be peeved about constantly getting low-blowed.

Really, AJ should know what is coming and wear a cup on Tuesday nights. Side Note: I love Nakamura’s new theme song. I could see Nakamura getting a run with the belt at some point (like Backlash). I think we shall see Styles triumph either by sneaking in a quick pin or Shinsuke going to the well and going for the dick punch again and getting DQ’ed. Either way, AJ wins.

The Undertaker vs. Rusev (Casket Match)

If John Cena cannot last three minutes, what chance does Rusev have?

I just cannot see this being memorable in any way besides seeing Undertaker wrestle again. But if this is just a chance for people to cheer while Undertaker slowly makes his way to the ring, what happens afterwards does not matter nearly as much. Undertaker wins because of course he does and Rusev gets his wish to be “buried softly,” brother.

50 Man Royal Rumble Match

I’ll always take more Royal Rumble matches, but this may end up being too much.

They only have about half of the participants announced, so the risk of huge amounts of filler is high here. Throw in the fact that we do not know what the winner actually gets and I am not sure why we should care about this match besides that it should be pretty fun. I just feel bad for guys like Heath Slater who are flying halfway around the world to get tossed after two minutes by The Great Khali.

As for an actual winner, I’ll pick Samoa Joe to give him a boost before he murders Roman Reigns at Backlash.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns (Steel Cage Match for WWE Universal Championship)

WWE fooled everyone at WrestleMania 34 by having Brock spam finishers until he beat Roman, with the popular theory that Vinny Mac was waiting for The Greatest Royal Rumble for a more positive reaction to the title change.

My hope is that the fans in Saudi Arabia are all high-level internet fans who copy American fans by being super snarky. That would make my day.

As much at it makes sense that WWE would shoot for a Roman victory that may actually get a positive reaction from the crowd, I do not see that happening. WWE has Brock in their pocket for a while still as he needs to complete several more months of his UFC suspicion. While I cannot see him holding the belt for much longer, I’ve been burned by the Reign’s push before and I do not think it is happening. They would have had Roman smash Brock in a match similar to Brock and Goldberg instead of the drawn out affair they had if they wanted the crowd to care.

Instead, Brock Lesnar wins and WWE pivot to focusing on Ronda Rousey on Raw before getting a Money in the Bank winner available to cash in on Brock down the line.

Manopera! Episode 57: WrestleMania 34 Weekend Review

Chris and Spaceman Frank review WrestleMania 34 weekend and speculate the Superstar shakeup and the state of the main roster.

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