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Spaceman Frank’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2107 Predictions

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.

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Spaceman Frank’s No Mercy 2017 Predictions

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.

 

Manopera! Episode 47: SummerSlam 2017 Review

Chris, Frank, and Pro Wrestling Opinion’s Nicholas Jason Lopez review WWE’s biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam 2017.

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

 

SSEP: Episode 23: Mayweather and McGregor are Best Friends/Reigns Burned by Cena/Elliot Suspended?

Jon and Matt review Mayweather/McGregor, Reigns’ and Cena’s verbal spat and discuss if the final word on NFLs Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension will be coming soon.

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

SSEP: Episode 22: Major NBA Trade / NXT TakeOver and SummerSlam Review / Mayweather McGregor Preview

Your boy Jon and the Jewharaja break down the Kyrie Irving trade to the Celtics, review both WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III and SummerSlam, and preview Mayweather vs. McGregor.

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

 

Manopera! Episode 46: NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III

Chris and Spaceman Frank review and discuss the mighty NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, part one of a two part SummerSlam podcast.

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

Spaceman Frank’s SummerSlam 2017 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

SummerSlam 2017 promises to be a similar event to WrestleMania 33, meaning that while there will be plenty to like in this PPV, everyone will agree that the card would be better if they cut several of the 13 matches announced.

That many matches is just too damn many. At least throw in a Miz segment instead of the throwaway six man tag to break things up and act as a palate cleanser during the show.

I just hope the bad matches or potentially dead crowd during the show do not detract from the quality matches on the show, since there is a really solid three hour show in this marathon. I’m Spaceman Frank and these are my SummerSlam 2017 predictions.

Akira Tozawa (c) vs. Neville (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

This match was looking to be a dud until Tozawa won the title on the Raw before the show. While the decision to switch the title unto the challenger so close to the main show baffled many it did serve it’s purpose to get people to care about this feud.

Tozawa can be a great champ (especially flanked by his boys in the Titus Brand), but it is hard to see him topping Neville’s run. One big advantage for the champ is, despite getting little reaction coming out he always gets the crowd into his matches. However I do not think it will be enough for Akira to retain. The King gets back his title in a good opener.

The New Day (c) vs. The Usos (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Why this is on the preshow instead of Big Show vs. Big Cass is a complete mystery to me (cursed shark cages).

Anyway, this match has plenty of goodwill from fans based on the popularity of the teams involved, and I think this could be a showstealer. It will be early enough so the crowd will not be burned out, and if there rad match at Battleground is any indication this should be epic. The New Day continue to be super hot fire no matter what they do, and considering they are all over the promotion for the show I think they retain the belts here.

The Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan vs. The Miztourage

I would be behind Jason Jordan as Kurt Angle’s son if he changed his name to Jason Angle-Jordan and just tried to recreate Kurt’s biggest moments. Or if he wrestled Brock Lesnar and broke his neck just like his poppa.

Jordan’s new direction appears to already be dead in the water, and just about everyone else in this match is drifting along as well. I’m glad Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have something to do at least. Miz vs. either Hardy Boy (can you still be considered a boy in your early 40’s?) would be a pretty fun feud for the IC belt, and WWE could keep teasing the Broken/Woken Hardys with the singles feud.

Miz needs the traction since his IC title run has been nothing on his epic Smackdown run and adding a bit of weirdness from Matt and Jeff would be fun. However here Hardyz and Jordan win because it is the preshow and any team with Dallas and Axel is doomed.

Big Show vs. Big Cass (Enzo Amore in a Shark Cage Match)

Starting off the main card we see WWE needing to remind kids about their shark cage playset. The only reason I see this match being watchable is if Enzo gets a mike in the cage so he can provide running commentary during the match. Big Show allegedly has a broken hand for this match, but I do not see Big Cass being able to hang with the giant.

Some people seem to think Enzo is going to turn heel and rejoin Cass, but I cannot see that working at all. Enzo is to entertaining to throw away, backstage heat or no. Enzo provides a distraction and costs Cass the win, thus getting the closest thing he can get to a win against Cass.

Naomi (c) vs. Natalya (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

I really hope WWE does not continue to use the SmackDown Women’s championship as the bathroom break before main events. Naomi is a fine champ when the WWE actually has her defend the belt, but hindering her with infrequent title defenses and lousy segments do not help her. Plus, that whole Lana situation was misguided at best.

On the other hand I am glad Nattie Ice is getting a shot for the belt, and I would not mind if she got a crack as the top lady of SmackDown. I just wish she could cut a promo without sounding like she was reading off cue cards. With a good amount of time I see this match being decent but unmemorable, and I think Naomi retains.

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

I could see this match starting off the show, as Finn’s demon entrance would be a great way to pop the crowd to start things off. Both these men have lost so much momentum that it is crazy to think they were even champions since the previous SummerSlam. Both these guys need to enter the main event picture again ASAP or they will continue their freefall.

Out of the two I see Bray taking the loss here, unless he has a spectacular entrance planned as well. Go with the man with the paint when the chips are down. Now if only WWE could get me to care about this match beyond the entrances…

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

I hate everything about this match. From the lazy booking to the fact that it is going to suck the momentum right out of the show just like every Orton match this year has. I just cannot muster up anything but pity for Rusev.

I don’t mean to be a downer, but considering recent events in America can we get one foreigner character who does not play on xenophobia?

I think Rusev will lose here, and I wish he would come out on SmackDown, say he realized he simply does not have the hate for America he once did and that conflict in his soul caused his career to hit the skids. Now he is fully embracing his new country and can be the big goof he is on Total Divas and at Nashville Predator games. That would be much better than being just an ornery Bulgarian feuding with charisma vacuum Orton.

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

For all the talk of the tag team scene in WWE being lackluster, WWE does have three former world champs in this match. This has been the sneakily best built match on the card, and having Dean and Seth act like real people instead of the babyface caricatures they were before is very much appreciated.

Rumors and fantasy booking are flying concerning a Shield reunion, and I think WWE may be moving in that direction. Seth and Dean as tag team champs and Roman being Universal Champ as part of a heel Shield is a hell of a way to end the show, although I doubt people would boo Reigns if he finally turned. Seth and Dean win in a potential barn burner of a match.

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

This match between Cena and his favorite dumpster fire has people talking to say the least.

Corbin’s epic fail on the go home SmackDown has people talking about WWE losing faith in the big man, but I am choosing to see the cash in attempt in a different light. There are only so many ways to tell a Money in the Bank cash in story, and Corbin failing and then going on a rampage on SmackDown before organically earning a title shot may be better in the long term than just randomly handing him the belt. Here, I see Corbin attacking Cena before the match starts and just beating him down instead of having a proper match. Or, if the match gets underway, Corbin DQ’s himself to give Cena the technical victory. Either would be much better than Corbin storming to the ring and…having a regular match with the man that cost him his big break.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship Match With Shane Mcmahon as Special Referee)

I keep waiting for these two to have a match of the year candidate, but so far this feud has been built on disappointment and potential botches.

I guess their snafu at Battleground served as the excuse to get Shane involved, but so far he has proven unable to prevent these men from attacking each other. With all signs pointing towards a Shane and Kevin match down the line I am thinking AJ keeps the belt here. We do not need more hot potatoing of the belt and AJ Styles can serve to elevate the belt while playing a proud country boy for the company.

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

It may be a good thing Bayley got hurt when she did, as she was tanking hard beforehand.

Bliss and Banks had a damn good match before, and the rematch feels much more natural than Bayley getting the shot again after the kendo stick on a poll debacle. Both these women have proven to be worthy of the top spot, but it is hard t take Sasha’s chances seriously when she is second choice for this match. Sure, it worked out better in the end, but I have to think Bliss will retain here over the Boss.

Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

Jinder Mahal: heel in the ring, face in the gym.

With the possibility of Corbin cashing in out of the picture we can now focus on this very intriguing match. This may be one of the first, if not the first match for a main WWE title between two people of Asian descent, and both men deserve credit for making it so far in the company.

Both men’s standing and characters also depend individual crowd reactions. Jinder can either be a complex villain or a foreigner cartoon character, and Shinsuke can ether be The King of Strong Style or the goofy loose limbed guy. I imagine Brooklyn will have a stellar reaction for both, and I can see these guys working well together.

Jinder’s style is pretty snug, which will compliment Nakamura and the story they want to tell. Plus I am curious to see Mahal work against anyone other than Orton. I can see this going either way, but I’ll give the champ a slight edge here.

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns (Fatal Four Way for WWE Universal Championship)

I am looking forward to this match the most out of any in the card, and honestly I will most likely be satisfied with whoever walks away with the belt.

With Reigns I would be happy if we get an evil Shield reunion, but if he just wins and keeps being the Big Dog in the Yard I will be peeved. Samoa Joe could sneak in and win the belt like when he one the number one contendership a few months ago, and considering how amazing he has been since I would love to see him be the top guy on Raw. Braun continues to impress, and he seems to make giant strides the more WWE leans on him to be a future cornerstone of the company. Plus, he seems like a lovely guy in real life who is not above stuff like this. And then we have the champ, whose resume speaks for itself.

While I can see each man having a significant shot to win the belt, I give Braun and Joe the least chance of victory, as Strowman may not quite be ready for a title run and Joe being the indy darling of the match. That leaves Brock and Reigns, with the champ threatening to leave if he loses. With that kind of statement I think Brock will win to keep him front and center in case he really does fight Jon Jones in UFC.

Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III Predictions

It is time… for bringing The Defenders to Netflix (oh, and  about a dozen hours of wrestling in between).

NXT Brooklyn 3 is like many threequels: the franchise may have lost some luster, but you still hope for a worthy chapter that can stand on it’s own. This could be a very good show that is more pleasing than big brother Summerslam (since it won’t be a punishing five plus hours), but there has been weirdness to the build that has left Brooklyn 3 feeling somewhat flat.

Granted, Takeovers have yet to disappoint, but considering what could have been I feel like this is a missed chance for a Return of the King level threequel rather than Saw 3. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 3 predictions.

Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (with Zelina Vega)

The build to this match (much like SummerSlam match Rusev vs. Orton contest) consisted of Gargano wishing for an opponent, seeing Almas, and muttering “you’ll do” like a sad drunk at a dive bar looking for a date. Despite the minimalist build I am excited for this match.

For one thing, I do not think these two will have a bad match, and each are properly motivated to deliver. Gargano needs to prove he can be a singles star, and Andrade needs to show his new pairing with Zelina has legs. But what really interests me is the possibilities after this match.

I see Andrade getting a much needed win, most likely with help from Vega. This leads to Gargano looking for someone to even the odds against the pair, aka real life Mrs. Johnny Wrestling herself Candice Lerae. This leads to a mixed tag match down the road and a perfect filler match while Tommaso Ciampa recovers from knee surgery. Then Tommaso can fued by proxy with Johnny until he is ready to return.

Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami

Heads are going to roll during this match, and I am pretty sure these two are just going to batter each other until the crowd legitimately worries someone is going to die.

Black is the hot new community in NXT, and I think he is going to earn a title shot before the year is out. Hideo already had his big comeback match for the championship, and I really think if he stays with WWE he will be on the main roster soon. There is no point in keeping him in developmental at this point, and he could be a valuable addition to 205 Live or Raw.

Since Hideo seems on his way out either way, I think Black will be winning in an epic match.

Authors of Pain (c) vs. Sanity (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)

With very little competition to be had for the Authors of Pain, NXT is throwing half of Sanity at the big boys with the gold.

The build to this match has been fine, but my most memorable moment was Nikki Cross taunting and calling out AOP rather than anything either of these tag teams have done.

There is plenty of potential in the ring, and I am waiting for a star making match for these four guys. The Authors had the best match of their career at NXT Chicago, but that was against the over as hell Team DIY who carried them immensely and made them look like monsters.

In a hoss vs. hoss match with a much less experienced team I think this may be a dud. Authors of Pain retain until Steaks and Weights themselves Heavy Machinery get another crack at the titles.

Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

I am very conflicted about this match.

When these two first  had their match at Takeover: Orlando I was all for Moon beating Asuka for the belt and ending her undefeated streak. Now, I would rather Moon lose. She has been derailed, partially due to injury and partially due to the fact that she just not have the chops to hang with Asuka, let alone beat her.

When the highlight of their build is the Full Sail crowd chanting for Asuka while recreating the Goldberg theme, you know that the challenger is done.

Am I saying Moon is bad? No, and I think in an NXT sans Asuka there is no question she could be a stellar champ. But not now.

What I predict is Asuka retaining, then the next TakeOver sees her defend against whoever wins the Mae Young classic. Have that women top Asuka, while at the same time calling Asuka up to Raw/SmackDown after SummerSlam. Asuka has done everything she can in NXT, and at this point she should be a main roster ambassador for the brand while the rest of the women get themselves sorted out.

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre (NXT Championship Match)

It is a bad sign for NXT’s main event scene when I have to remind people I know who McIntyre is ever time he appears onscreen. I get he is a former champion and really salvaged his career in the indies/TNA, but I just do not have much invested in his journey to Brooklyn 3.

I know he is good, with his match against Roderick Strong the show before Takeover being a highlight, but his NXT Cheerleader/redemption arc is pretty weak. Hideo’s redemption arc last Takeover was much more believable, and there are plenty of opponents I would rather see here.

Roddy Strong got the shaft in his feud with Roode (who despite barely wrestling manages make up for it with his interview segments), and would be a much more logical fit here. Hideo could have also gotten the shot here with a stipulation after snapping in a tweener role. Aleister Black would be a fun opponent for Roode, as would poor Kassius Ohno who is left off the card. Hell, Johnny Wrestling getting his big break would have been better watching than Drew.

I am not saying that I expect this to be bad, I just think, like the Asuka match that things could have been done differently. As for the outcome I think Roode has proven he can carry a program with anyone and wrestle a nice safe style for the main roster so he will lose here. I could see McIntyre losing then jumping back to the main roster, but I think he is more suited to gauging newer talent in NXT while Roode could tag team with The Miz and make Raw 150% more watchable. Roode loses and puts over Strong at the next taping before moving on up.

SSEP: Episode 21: SummerSlam 2017 Preview

by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and Matt “the Jewharaja” preview WWE SummerSlam 2017.

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

Manopera! Episode 45: Great Balls of Battleground

by Chris Butera and Frank Lucci

After a month of adulting, Chris and Spaceman Frank are back to talk WWE Great Balls of Fire, WWE Battleground, and all the madness in between.

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