Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss a crazy amount of news that has recently happened within the pro wrestling world.
Jon addresses the unluckiest Fantasy Football season ever and also argues with the Jewharaja on Eli’s consecutive start streak and the WWE women’s division.
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After a long Thanksgiving weekend, Chris and Spaceman Frank review NXT TakeOver: War Games (with enthusiasm) and Survivor Series 2017 (with less enthusiasm).
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
Jon and the Jewharaja review NXT TakeOver: War Games and preview WWE Survivor Series.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
Chris and a slightly less salty Seaman Frank discuss major news in the world of professional wrestling.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.
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.
by Frank Lucci
Hell in a Cell – It’s happening, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Despite having a larger amount of time to build to this show than Raw the SmackDown Live, the creative team have done nothing to really make this interesting. Sure, Shane McMahon got beat up, but that happens before every Shane match. Other than that we have a bunch of rematches and and throwaway feuds that are meant to kill time until Survivor Series (I honestly got this event confused with TLC and I am amazed WWE has the balls to put two gimmick Pay-Per-Views in one month).
At least we got The New Day and the Usos, a match that everyone cares about…except for the creative team since their previous matches have all been on preshows and curtain jerkers. But hey, now it’s a big deal! I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Hell in a Cell 2017 predictions.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Preshow Slapfest Spectacular)
Do we have name for the team of Gable and Benjamin yet? Is American Beta too obvious? What about Cha-jamin? Anyway they face The Hype Bros, that team that looked to be breaking up, may still do that, but nobody cares either way. Fun fact: in 2017 Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and Zack Ryder was starring in comeback hype videos on YouTube. How the mighty have fallen.
Gable really had a chance to be a breakout star with his impressive singles matches, but instead he teams with a veteran to keep him hemmed into the tag team scene. Cha-jamin win here because they are the newer team and still have potential unlike the shambling remains of The Hype Bros.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Why? Just Why? Why throw this on PPV again instead of giving Sami Zayn a match? Or Tye Dillinger? Nope, gotta put Orton on PPV to continue his streak of ruining everything for everyone in 2017.
Poor, poor Rusev. Poor, poor WWE. Poor, poor humanity. Orton wins because of course he going to win he won in like 30 seconds at SummerSlam WHY DO WE NEED TO SEE THIS AGAIN??? WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS???
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
The battle between the guy with a cool entrance and his jealous coworker.
Ziggler is the guy that feuds with whoever showed up last, and while objectively I should care about this match, I just can’t find a reason why this needs to be a PPV match rather than a random match on SmackDown. Hopefully this match will surprise me and be really good, but I see this as being a way to kill about ten minutes with entrances and 15 minutes in the ring. Roode wins as the new guy who will probably move into the main event scene sooner rather than later.
AJ Styles (C) vs. Baron Corbin (US Title Match)
Baron Corbin couldn’t beat Mahal, couldn’t beat Cena, and couldn’t beat Dillinger (somebody give that man a title shot!).
I get that WWE has to do something to rehab his character, but constantly losing and getting rewarded for it is not the answer. Shouldn’t this be Styles vs. Dillinger as a way to crown The Perfect 10 as the hot new babyface? Instead we get Baron’s weird belly and receding hairline that is disappearing faster than management’s faith in him.
Despite my gripes about Baron I think he will win here. Sure AJ is better in every conceivable way, but I think they need him in the main event picture now. The WWE Championship is in a weird place where it is clearly not the focus of the show and fans know the best wrestlers do not challenge for it, so having Styles chase the belt will help rebuild it and Mahal as well. So Corbin will become champ and try to get some momentum going again after a rocky summer.
Natalya (C) vs. Charlotte (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)
Nattie’s title reign has been..a thing that has happened, and she has been a massive afterthought despite SmackDown having very little going on. It is sad really as this will probably be a good match that is going to set several records.
According to the champ herself, she will break Trish Stratus’ record of most PPV matches by a women in WWE and her and Charlotte will be the first pair of women to fight for the NXT, Divas, Raw and SmackDown Women’s titles. So why isn’t that the main focus of their feud???
For all of WWE’s talk about focusing more on women and treating them as equal to the men they sure messed up this historic match. It looks like a slam dunk for Charlotte to win her sixth (Sixth??? Really??!!!) women’s championship and go on to be the face of SmackDown’s women’s division.
The New Day (C) vs. The Usos (Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
The Savior of this PPV sees these two white hot teams square off in Hell in a Cell.
While WWE has not done the best to keep this feud seem important enough to warrant a match in the demonic structure, the fans know these guys will deliver in the ring. I expect some exciting yet PG spots and some crazy bumps to take place, and with the added drama of everyone in the ring at once I see this being a hoot.
The big question is if Xavier Woods will be able to get into the cell as well, or if he will hold off getting involved. With the other Hell in a Cell match guaranteed to have some sort of big stunt it is good to have this here to be the excellent wrestling match to balance it out. The Usos could sneak away with the belts here, but I think The New Day retain since they are such huge ambassadors for the company.
Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)
WWE has a tour of India in December, so guess who’s winning this match?
WWE has left it wide open for the Singh Brothers to interfere yet again, so that seems like the most obvious route to a finish here since we have seen that in literally every Mahal match. Nakamura is in a weird place where he is getting a huge push, but it seems like creative have no idea how to capitalize on the unique superstar. Meanwhile, WWE has flushed any nuance and subtly with Mahal’s character down the drain when they decided to have him tell racist jokes.
When the crowd chants “That’s Too Far,” it’s easy to see why attendance is hitting record lows. Mahal wins again and hopefully we get Styles in the title picture to see if Mahal can step up and have a decent match for once.
Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens (Hell in a Cell match)
This Hell in a Cell match will probably lead to some memorable moment WWE puts into video packages for years.
I’ve heard rumors that WWE is filming something with a stunt Shane so he does not hurt himself, which is good for protecting his health but lessens the excitement factor. This is the only match WWE has thought to put some effort in, because Shane is the coolest dad on the roster and it’s a big deal when he decides to let someone beat him up (sorry, Titus).
I hope Shane brings his kids to the match and Owens throws them off the cell one at a time.
Owens wins and possibly moves into the title picture at some point, though he has appeared on advertisements for Raw brand live events. Because Raw definitely needs more wrestlers they can ignore.
by Frank Lucci
The wrestling world has No Mercy for fans, as in the several weeks since Summerslam The WWE and others seem to create a major news story every day. The Mae Young Classic Concludes! The Four Horsewomen of MMA may be invading! Paige may be coming back! Shelton Benjamin is back! Lio Rush made his debut at NXT tapings! Global Force Wrestling may become Impact again due to their usual incompetence! Flo and WWN are starting a legal battle over streaming data! Nikki Bella is on Dancing With the Stars! Konnor from The Ascension is a new dad! Daniel Bryan may head to Ring of Honor! VInce bleeds on television! And Jesus Christ the worked shoots! Every week with the worked shoots! No Mercy should be an interesting show, but will it stand out among all the news that has come down the pipeline? My gut says maybe. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my No Mercy 2017 predictions!
Elias Sampson vs. Apollo Crews (Preshow Time Filler Spectacular)
Somebody (Vince Mcmahon) demanded this happen, so here we go. Titus Worldwide is dominating the preshow lately, and hopefully Akira Tozawa shows up here to remind everyone that he walked into the last PPV as Cruiserweight Champion. Is there a reason Titus cannot wrestle himself? Why is just being a manager? With the thin roster of tag teams on Raw Titus and Crews (with Tozawa doing a freebird gimmick?) could be a positive. Instead they face Elias, who hopefully will sing one of his strange songs to make sure we get less commentary on the preshow. Anything that prevents the preshow panel from talking more I am all for. Anyway Sampson wins because The Titus Brand loses every time. Maybe they should recruit Curt Hawkins…
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
I guess this is happening again, because reasons. I like the idea that Bray is calling out Finn the man instead of The Demon, and that could have been an interesting way to built this match up…if that was the built to their original match and not the sequel. Wyatt couldn’t beat him before, so Finn agrees to depower himself like Thanatos in the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Sure, you do that Finn. Grab that idiot ball with both hands. I did not care before and I do not care this time around. With all the worked shoots going around this story sticks out like a sore thumb. Balor wins despite the lack of demon powers because Wyatt cannot win anything and will be joining Titus Worldwide with Curt Hawkins.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match)
These four men put on a hell of a show at SummerSlam, and I have high hopes for this match. This is a good way to keep these guys relevent and be in a title picture while keeping them all out of sneakily crowded Universal title picture. I hope Seth and Dean taunt Cesaro with two beach balls, causing him to hulk out, rip both at once, then flip the ring over. I am roughly 65% certain Cesaro could pull it off. While I am hyped for this match I am concerned what comes after? Do The Club get involved after essentially jobbing out in the built to this match? Do we get more thrown together teams? Do you elevate The Miztourage or the dream team of Bray Wyatt and Curt Hawkins? We shall see. Dean and Seth win so we have a strong babyface team on Raw people can get behind.
Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Emma vs. Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (Fatal Five Way for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Bliss vs. Banks rematch? Cool Beans. Teasing adding Jax? Even better. Adding Jax and then also Emma for some reason? Ummmmm. Throwing Bayley in their the Raw before because it was in her hometown and people would actually cheer her? Sigh. We got a big old multi person match, so here are my rankings, from least to most likely, to win the match.
Emma- LOL NOPE PULLING A HAWKINS HERE
Bayley-She was just put in this match for reasons unknown, and it would be a strange to just give her the belt. Although WWE is hot potatoing the belt around anyway, so I at least see it being possible.
Sasha Banks- Considering this started off being about her seeking revenge for her loss was immediately pivoted to focus on others, I do not see her having much chance here. If they tease a heel turn for her by having her wrestle Bayley or take advantage of the no DQ setting that would be cool.
Nia Jax- If anyone has a chance to unseat the champ it is Jax. Usually in situations like this she gets ganged up on and taken out quick, and I would love for her to be a proper monster and wreck everybody here. But I see everyone hitting a parade of finishers on her towards the end of the match so she can roll out of the ring and not take the pin.
Alexa Bliss- I see the champ sneaking in and grabbing a pin to keep her belt. Bliss is super talented but they keep pulling the rug out from underneath her by having her drop the belt so I would like her to be a bit more dominate and have a lengthy run.
The Miz (C) vs. Jason Jordan (Intercontinental Title Match)
I almost care about this match. Almost. On one side Jordan has proven he can work a singles match with the best workers in the company, but the spectre of Baby Daddy Kurt Angle haunts him wherever he goes. The Miz is losing his wife Maryse from her television role due to her pregnancy, but he will recover so long as he just work shoots on everyone in the company. Meanwhile Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas are just hanging out in the background, and they really need to step up to fill the role Maryse will leave behind. I think The Miz will retain, continue to burn people with hot fire on the mic, adopt Curt Hawkins (thus inheriting Bray Wyatt and Titus Worldwide), and get that number one spot for longest combined reigns for the IC title.
Neville (C) vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
WWE for the first time built a feud involving the Cruiserweights that actually has the main WWE audience invested. Neville has always been super consistent and oftentimes is the best champion WWE has, and adding the uber popular Enzo has people talking. And, despite the rumors of Zo’s backstage heat, the challenger has been booked in very interesting ways. Sure they have the main roster stomp on him every chance he gets, but he uses shortcuts to compete with the 205 Live regulars and thus hang with the best pure wrestlers in WWE. Will the same tactics work against Nevill, who is known for using nasty tricks himself? Special props for both men for their promo on the go home 205 Live that added a huge spike of interest for this match. I could one day see Enzo win the belt, but he needs the chase more than he needs the belt. Neville wins by getting shady on Amore who becomes the more popular version of Curt Hawkins.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
Oh boy. During their first promo battle Cena slayed Reigns like he was Curt Hawkins and pretty much won over most of the smart crowd to his side. Not that I thought they would need much to side with Cena, but whatever. Meanwhile Reigns needed several weeks to recover and deliver anything close to what Cena pulled off, and I find it telling that his best promo of their feud was when he was alone without John there to offer rebuttals. Hell, even Reign’s match with Jason Jordan was not as good as Cena’s match with the same opponent the week before. Roman has been exposed as the lame corporate Cena clone he is, and while some fans seem on his side I just do not see how this helped him at all besides to try to shame him into getting better. Sadly all signs point to Reigns winning, so he is my pick here.
Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Braun Stroman (WWE Universal Championship Match)
For once, Vince’s wet dream is the same as the IWC’s wet dream. The WWE has allowed these two just enough physical contact to make this match feel like the Wrestlemania worthy match it is. My only complaint was the go home segment where they had the talking head interviews. This did not work well with Samoa Joe, and having two massive hosses just sit and talk is really lame. Just have the traditional pull apart brawl that allows them to look terrifying while decimating the roster and maybe ripping Curt Hawkin’s spine out. I really, really, reallyyyyyyyy want my boy Braun to win…and I am going out on a limb and say he will. For one, he is one of the hottest things in WWE right now, and he is one of the very few people on the roster that is must see. Having a more consistent champion presence would benefit Raw as well. Then you can save Brock for the Royal Rumble or Survivor Series when he is freaking out and terrifying trying to get his title back. Lastly, if WWE is willing to experiment with Jinder Mahal as champ, why not pull the trigger on Braun? The reign of Stroman begins at No Mercy.