5/16/2013 06:58:00 PM Paul H
St. Louis, MO
It’s post- WrestleMania season in WWE which means it’s time to go extreme! The first PPV since the “granddaddy of them all” is Extreme Rules, the night where WWE randomly chooses “extreme” stipulations and tacks them onto any feud big or small. With several part-time stars leaving after Mania, this card is relying heavily on Triple H & Brock Lesnar (the two part-timers to remain) to sell it. Even though that might be too much to ask of two superstars who each have competed only once this year, it’s an unfortunate necessity as WWE continues to struggle in creating new stars. This is the chance to change that with a card that could surprise. Before we get to that, let’s check out the scoreboard from our WrestleMania picks!
Paul- @PaulHcle: 6 for 9
Victor- @weenusenvy: 5 for 9
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
Miz is pre-show fodder for back-to-back PPVs, this time facing the “essence of mustachioed magnificence.” I’d like to point out WWE is doing a better job of getting over Cody’s mustache than Cody Rhodes himself. Miz is back from filming a Christmas TV movie for ABC Family (can’t wait for the overhype on that during this holiday season). This match was thrown on the card to get people to tune into Yahoo and it shows. While I’m on that, why in the hell does WWE expect us to watch a Pre-Show for Raw on Yahoo this Summer? Seriously, watching 3-hours of Raw is like slogging through an unending abyss of replays & never-ending in-ring non wrestling segments. We don’t need another 30 minutes of that!
Our Pick- The Miz wins.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
As Jerry “The King” Lawler says, “Keep your words soft & sweet because you may have to eat them.” I must admit I never saw this Fandango thing catching on. And not only has it caught, it’s caught fire and become one of the hottest things on WWE. While it may be a catchy theme song from WWE music legend Jim Johnston, one thing is clear, Fandango is not going away quickly. This feud with Jericho is really helping establish Fandango as a legit threat, and there is no one better at helping the rookies than Chris Jericho. A win for Jericho is the only way to keep this feud going. But he’s not getting a pin or submission. On a card with “extreme” stipulations, I expect a DQ finish. Hopefully, Fandango attacks Jericho with the dance floor again, because I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. To quote Lawler once again, “He couldn’t beat Jericho *on* the dance floor, so he beat him *with* it!”
Our Pick- Chris Jericho wins.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
I just love these two. Mark Henry is a legit badass who you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Sheamus has one of the most devastating and spectacular finishers in the last few years with the Brogue Kick. While I’m not a huge fan of the Strap match, it could be a surprise candidate for match of the night. Expect a slobberknocker (credit Jim Ross). And expect Sheamus to Brogue Kick Mark Henry & drag him around the ring to touch all 4 turnbuckles and win the match.
Our Pick- Sheamus wins.
Randy Orton vs. Big Show
Orton’s in his hometown of St. Louis, which is actually never good in WWE. He may pick up the win in front of his friends & family, or he may be annihilated. Orton’s been on quite a roll recently, beating former United States Champion Antonio Cesaro repeatedly, and racking up wins. Show is back to his boring, dominant self. Still not sold on one punch as a finisher. I’m going with Orton to win only because of “home field advantage.” Next month is when Big Show gets his “Payback.”
My Pick- Randy Orton wins.
Victor’s Pick- Big Show wins.
WWE Tag Team Championship- Tag Team Tornado Match:
Team Hell No (c) vs. The Shield
This is the night of The Shield. They win the Tag Title & Dean Ambrose wins the U.S. Title. I can’t make this any clearer.
Our Pick- The Shield wins.
United States Championship:
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
It appears Kofi is a transitional Champion as Ambrose & The Shield are going to dominate Extreme Rules. Kofi is in need of a change, and perhaps a loss to The Shield’s Dean Ambrose will be the catalyst. Ambrose is the star of The Shield so far, and a singles title will solidify him as the leader of the group.
My Pick- Dean Ambrose wins.
Victor’s Pick- Kofi Kingston retains.
#1 Contender’s Match- World Heavyweight Championship- I Quit Match:
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Originally this was to be a World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match, with Dolph Ziggler defending his Title for the first time. Unfortunately, Jack Swagger’s is an unsafe worker in the ring and legit kicked Ziggler in the head on Smackdown a week ago. As a result, Ziggler suffered a “severe concussion” which will keep him out of action indefinitely. This same injury has caused some sports stars to never fully recover. I think I can speak for everyone here when I wish Ziggler a speedy & much more importantly a full recovery.
That said, it’s times like these I hate how WWE Creative works. An unsafe worker in Swagger, who has a history of causing injuries to fellow superstars, is being rewarded with a PPV paycheck, a high profile match for #1 Contendership, and will likely work a long program with Ziggler because of this. Swagger should be buried for this, not rewarded for it. This is a guy who put the World Champion on the shelf with such a dangerous injury that no one really knows what to expect next for Ziggler. The match should be a good spot-fest of weapons, but I remember a time when I Quit matches were used to end feuds once & for all, not as a backup plan. A better stipulation would have been a Submission match. Both are skilled in submission, both are nursing injuries, and the I Quit match is similar to the Last Man Standing match, which is the WWE Title match stipulation.
My Pick- Jack Swagger wins (because Vince McMahon is an idiot).
Victor’s Pick- Alberto Del Rio wins.
Steel Cage Match:
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
This should culminate a year long feud between these two. Their match at WrestleMania, while not the best of the night, was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. This match is being heavily pushed, but the way it’s being promoted doesn’t feel “big time.” To start, Brock laid out comedy act 3MB as Paul Heyman proposed the challenge. Then, Heyman was made to look a fool as he ate a Pedigree from Triple H when the challenge was accepted. To top it off, Brock & Paul “invaded” WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT last week to intimidate office workers & destroy Triple H’s office. In Triple H’s office was a flat screen tv from the first or second year HDTVs were ever produced, a Walmart desk that Brock could have waved at & it would have collapsed, & an IBM thinkpad that might be 5 or 10 years old. Needless to say, they didn’t put much effort into that endeavor. Then, Triple H shrugs off the fact that his office was destroyed and makes fun of Heyman. But the thing that really annoyed me was ending the go-home Raw with Brock looking like a clueless idiot in a Steel Cage with Triple H, who stood tall in the Cage after beating up Brock & tossing him out of it. Brock looks less like “the beast incarnate” & more like Triple H’s bitch.
Victor brings up an interesting point. He believes Brock has to win to legitimize him. A Brock Lesnar win could also set up a run toward the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship or a WrestleMania program with The Rock. But for any of that to happen, Brock has to win in the cage. A scenario that could extend this feud is a race out of the cage that results in a tie. Then, they can go on a 2 month break & come back at Summer Slam for “The Final Encounter.”
My Pick- Triple H wins.
Victor’s Pick- Brock Lesnar wins.
WWE Championship- Last Man Standing Match:
John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
How do you take a hot act and make him nearly irrelevant in just one month? Sudden heel turn! Even with his limited in-ring skills, Ryback was easily one of the more popular superstars of last year. But his sudden heel turn has been met with indifference from the WWE Universe. So putting him in this match might be Creative’s way of putting Ryback out to pasture. Another story is Cena’s Achilles injury & whether or not it is legit. I must admit I am indifferent to this match. I really don’t care who wins.
But I do care about the WWE Championship. For 50 years, it’s been the symbol of excellence in wrestling. Names like Bruno Sammartino, Buddy Rogers, Bob Backlund, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, The Rock, Undertaker, Edge, CM Punk, & Cena dot the landscape of the Title and represent a who’s who of the best of the best. With the WWE Championship recently celebrating 50 years, I hope to see new stars rise to the title & see it continue to evolve.
Our Pick- John Cena retains.
There’s potential in this card. It’s up to the superstars to go out and steal the show. With the lack of part-time stars, this show is a sign of the summer plans of WWE. How does WWE boost its ratings? And how can you really go “extreme” but not allow superstars to bleed, accidentally?
All rights reserved
4/04/2013 11:14:00 PM Paul H
East Rutherford, NJ
“The Showcase of the Immortals.” The Big Stage. This is the reason we are fans. This is the reason they lace up boots 365 days. This is what the wrestling business is all about. And while the build for this year’s event may seem unexciting, I can’t help but find myself buzzing and ready for Mania. I think it’s something in my blood. And while that may be the case for me, I’m concerned about the esteemed folks at WWE. The build for this year’s WrestleMania is really lacking. The undercard is underwhelming, and the Main Events just kind of feel like placeholders. There’s nothing about this card that says “You need to fork over $59.99 ($69.99 for the HD feed).” It feels like WrestleMani- eh. But, in the words of our WWE Champion, “It doesn’t matter!” I have faith something big is going to happen. Vince McMahon doesn’t just run the New York area, he makes history in it.
It’s been a while since our last picks, but here are our results from Elimination Chamber…
Me: 5 for 7- @PaulHcle
Victor: 4 for 7- @weenusenvy
Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz
Who did these 2 piss off to be relegated to the preshow with a title match? I’d rather pay for this match than listen to Diddy or watch the Funkadactyls & Tons of Funk carried through a forgettable Mixed Tag Match (more on that in just a moment). I like that Miz is in a title picture, and for all the promotional work he does for WWE, he really should be more prominently featured. How does a person go from Main Eventing WrestleMania 27 to barely on the card 2 years later? I’m at a complete loss to understand why Wade Barrett is being held down here. I’ve been impressed by his work, especially getting over an elbow smash as a devastating finisher. I thought that would last 2 episodes of Smackdown. Now, I can see him legit beating the piss out of someone with the Bull Hammer. There’s no need to do a title change here. Barrett needs a win over a former WWE Champion to build on for this year, and Miz can take a loss here since that’s all he’s done on PPV in 2013.
Our Prediction- Wade Barrett retains.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
WHAT??? I’m paying $80 to watch one of the best superstars in this or any era vs. a former NXT winner??? I was at the NXT taping in Cleveland, Ohio when Johnny Curtis won Season 4 of NXT. And I remember saying to my buddy, “Bro, this guy’s going to be the biggest star you’ve ever seen. He’s going to be legen-wait for it- dary! And if you don’t believe me, I’ll buy your next beer.” Needless to say, I bought his next beer. Curtis, Fandango, Moviefone, whatever the hell you want to call him, isn’t a star. He’s a mid-carder and really shouldn’t share the same ring as Jericho. I’m sure the Fandango character is Vince McMahon’s brainchild. I’m sure of it because it’s one of the dumbest characters since the Gobbledy Gooker. As for Jericho, I’m sure he’s happy he returned to WWE to work one of the opening matches with a green as horse crap superstar and gimmick.
Victor is actually looking forward to this match because of Jericho. But I just don’t see it. Jericho can carry most jobbers, but this may be his greatest challenge yet. Almost forgot, the story for this match is Jericho making fun of Fandango’s name. Seriously. Isn’t that bullying? B.A. Star, anyone?
My Pick- Chris Jericho wins (so that he had a reason to comeback)
Victor’s Pick- Fandango (pronounced however you see fit) wins.
Mixed Tag Team Match:
Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay & Tensai) & The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi)
vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) & Bella Twins (Brie & Nikki)
I’m paying $90 for this??? I’m not even sure why the team of Brodus Clay & Tensai deserve a Mania spot over the longest reigning champion in WWE currently, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. Or perhaps give Zack Ryder a shot since you chopped the poor guy off at the knees last year and killed every bit of momentum he had. Momentum which he built on his own, without help from Creative. If you’re expecting the show-stealing match of the night, your expectations should be greatly diminished. It’s great to see the Bellas back in WWE. I always thought they were underrated considering how weak the Divas division has been for so many years. It’s nice to see the Rhodes Scholars on the card, even if it is comedic fodder for the “Round Mounds of get down” (credit JBL).
Our Pick- Tons of Funk & Funkadactyls wins.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
I’m paying $100 for this??? I distinctly remember WWE trying to give this match away for free on Smackdown a couple weeks ago. And then Mark Henry tried to kill Ryback by forcing a weight bar across his throat during a weightlifting competition (don’t get me started on how that fits on a wrestling show). I don’t understand why this match was hot-shotted to Mania. It’s not a Mania match. It’s a mid-card match for Summer Slam, but there’s nothing to sink your teeth into here. There was very little story. Well, unless you count the Battle of the Big Men as a story. I don’t. Ultimately this match is on the card for one reason only. Let me channel Michael Cole… “He’s not going to do this! He can’t possibly! Oh my! Ryback! Shell Shock! He dead-lifted over 400 pounds!!!” And that will be Ryback’s WrestleMania moment.
Our Pick- Ryback wins.
6-Man Tag Team Match:
Randy Orton, Sheamus, & Big Show vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, & Seth Rollins)
Here’s a match with--oh my gosh!—story behind it! The Shield has wreaked havoc since debuting at Survivor Series, targeting Ryback, The Rock, Orton, Sheamus, & Show among others. The idea of a stable causing chaos in wrestling isn’t new (Hell, I’ve written that story myself once or twice. Right David Funk?) What makes this interesting is The Shield isn’t competing in-ring much. I think they have 4 or 5 matches total on tv. That’s concerning. One loss is going to kill their momentum. But the idea of conflict between Orton, Show, & Sheamus may be enough to get The Shield a much needed win at the “granddaddy of them all.” I see two possible scenarios. 1. Orton outright turns heel without explanation (WWE Creative’s bread & butter). He hits an RKO on Sheamus & Show, which allows The Shield to scavenge the win. Or 2. Even with Orton, Sheamus, & Show working together cohesively, The Shield simply beats them and continues their Hounds of Justice routine. I’m banking on the option 1.
Our Pick- The Shield wins.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Team Hell No (c) (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
The wild card here is AJ Lee in her home state. She will have a direct hand in the finish to this one. This is a big moment for Langston, making his in-ring debut at WrestleMania is a huge opportunity. Where this match is placed on the card will go a long way in determining the events of the night as well. I see AJ trying to distract Bryan on the apron, but he sidesteps a charging Langston who knocks AJ off the apron to the floor. He goes to check on her, which distracts Ziggler long enough to eat a Chokeslam from Kane & tap out to the No Lock from Bryan. Afterwards, Ziggler rolls out of the ring, grabs his Money in the Bank Briefcase and beats the crap out of the Tag Team Champions with it before dropping their titles onto them and leaving.
Our Picks- Team Hell No retains.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger
This is tailor made for a revenge/redemption finish. I don’t think this will have a clean finish. It may even end by DQ. But Del Rio isn’t losing the Title to Swagger. I’m not going in-depth on this one, because ultimately I don’t think the end result matters. There is absolutely no reason Dolph Ziggler doesn’t become the 1st person to cash-in the Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania. On a card sorely lacking anything really surprising, this would be a perfect way to pop the crowd, give one of the hardest workers a great push & establish a new Main Eventer, all in one shot.
Our Pick- Alberto Del Rio retains.
No Holds Barred- If Triple H Loses, His Career Is Over:
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
How can someone have a career threatening match when they only have 1 match a year? That was a stupid stipulation to add! There’s no point to hyping Triple H’s career being over because it essentially already is. I don’t remember who said it first but it is the best explanation of wrestling. “If you aren’t here to be the World Champion, you have no business lacing up a pair of boots.” Triple H isn’t going to be a Champion again (hopefully). So what’s the point of putting his career on-the-line? Is Triple H going to get the itch in a couple years and suddenly challenge Kofi Kingston to a match on Raw? Unlikely. Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar could and likely will at some point hold the WWE Championship again. But this match is simply to get the series to 1-1. The best thing about this feud is Paul Heyman. There is not another man left in wrestling who could headline WrestleMania as a manager twice at the same event. He is this generation’s Bobby Heenan. Simple, intelligent & constantly aware of fan response. I look forward to his interjections. Almost forgot, Shawn Michaels will be there too. He’ll likely being falling prey to the Kimura Lock again.
Our Pick- Triple H wins (and his career continues… at Summer Slam)
Undertaker vs. CM Punk
This is one preview I’ve absolutely dreading typing. On one hand, I’ve watched wrestling for years. I’ve seen attempted beheadings, crucifixions, inferno matches, a hand being given birth to, and generally anything in the Attitude Era. Controversy creates cash. But on the other hand, I’m a human being. And the idea that a man’s death is being used as a primary reason to sell not just a PPV but The PPV makes me sick. What would the story have been if William Moody had not passed away? Because this one makes me question the integrity of the Creative team. I understand that Moody’s family signed off on the story, but common decency should dictate morals. I have never hid my allegiance to CM Punk since day one in WWECW. But watching Punk douse himself in “the ashes of Paul Bearer” was disturbing. I really didn’t mind the angle with the urn until that moment. Michael Cole did a great job of describing the urn as a “sacred talisman of the Undertaker.” But the ending of Raw on Monday was disgusting.
My takeaway from Raw- WWE used ashes to sell their marquee event in the final segment of the show. Anyone else get a little queasy thinking about that?
Off the soapbox. The Streak will not end. There’s too much money, marketing, & merchandising to end it.
My Pick- Undertaker wins. (21-0)
Victor’s Pick- CM Punk and ends The Streak. (20-1)
The Rock (c) vs. John Cena
I’ve posted on Twitter several times, “I have absolutely no interest in the John Cena redemption story. Not even a little bit.” That has not changed. Let me be clear about this. There is no way this show ends Sunday night without John Cena as the new WWE Champion. The story has written itself. The question becomes, how do they get to that point? I was hoping for a Cena heel turn after his surprisingly strong promo during the Hall of Famer Panel on Raw. He showed real emotion and gave us that little bit of extra. You could feel it. You could emotionally invest in it. But I read something that changed my mind. A simple thought that makes a lot of sense. If Cena turns heel, who would he feud with? You can’t just turn the top babyface, because there is no one for him to feud with except The Rock. And Rock’s only around for a couple months a year. Then what do you do? Your only hope is it gives someone else a shot in the arm to stardom by taking down the new heel Champion. I don’t see them taking that chance.
My Pick- John Cena wins.
Victor’s Pick- The Rock retains.
I’ve debated for a month a blog post that I ultimately decided against. Not because I didn’t think it would be true, but because I didn’t have enough time to type it. I call it, “The John Cena Problem- Or Why There Won’t Be a WrestleMania 40.” Cena is his own biggest problem. I can’t understand why he doesn’t try to use the crowd reaction instead of ignore it. When half the people hate you, you’re a semi-effective heel, not the top babyface of the company! For 10 years he has stayed the course, altering only slightly to the character he is today. In that time, he’s done nothing to push the business forward into the next generation. He’s stale but he won’t change. WWE claims they cater to the children. I understand, but WWE is nowhere near the ratings it had during the Attitude Era. Which means less people are watching. Which means less kids are watching than 10 years ago when Cena debuted. Cena is driving away fans. A high ranking WWE executive was quoted as saying “there is an insatiable desire for WWE programming.” If that were the case, wouldn’t the ratings be considerably greater? Right now, WWE is telling die-hard wrestling fans to take a hike and they’re using John Cena to do it. That is a mistake. And if they are allowed to continue on this path, 10 years from now there won’t be anyone left. Because once the kids reach adulthood, WWE will phase them out as fans by catering to the kids. The vicious cycle of advertising & marketing could really hurt WWE if they don’t find that happy medium. I’m not advocating a return to the Attitude Era. That ship sailed a long time ago. I’m simply asking WWE not to insult the intelligence of its fans. Don’t treat us like kids, except on Saturday mornings.
A big congratulations to all of the inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013. This is easily the strongest class in history, with each inductee making a significant contribution to the business. I hope The Garden can hold all that talent under one roof!
The World will be watching this Sunday. Hopefully, WWE steps up to the plate and delivers an event worthy of the name WrestleMania. But the weak build to the event, combined with an undercard that feels somewhat thrown together gives pause for concern. To be honest, if not for the fact I’m splitting the bill on this, I wouldn’t buy this year’s event. I don’t think it’s worth the price. But I’ll be watching. Will you?
Copyright 2013- All Rights Reserved-- We are not affiliated with WWE in any way, we are fans.
Photo Credit- WWE.com
2/13/2013 06:15:00 PM Paul H
New Orleans Arena
New Orleans, LA
The last stop on the Road to WrestleMania! The final reason for you to drop $44.99 on wrestling PPV (because really, who the hell is actually going to buy the TNA PPV?). The Elimination Chamber PPV is another WWE concept match PPV and at times can be one of the most influential events as it is one month before WrestleMania. This year’s event feels kinda flat, with a WWE Championship rematch from Royal Rumble, and a 6-Man Tag match featuring John Cena (are you really picking against Cena in Mania season?), to the titular Chamber match which did not have a full 6 contenders until 6 days before the event. Any of that convince you to spend nearly $50 on Sunday? Even with the NBA All-Star Game as the only real competition? Let’s dive into the card and see how this one looks. But first, a quick look back at how we did predicting the Royal Rumble last month.
Paul: 3 for 5--@PaulHcle
Victor: 2 for 5--@weenusenvy
Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
If you’re really bored at 7:30PM this Sunday, by all means please tune in to this train wreck. This match is just pathetic. We have Tensai who suddenly turned face at Raw Roulette in Las Vegas & now dances worse than Brodus. Then, we have Rhodes Scholars, a team that disbanded to the point of spending a segment on Smackdown to tell General Manager Booker T. Now they are suddenly back as a team? This is haphazard WWE booking at its worse. Rhodes Scholars need the win to establish them both heading into the final stretch run to Mania.
My Prediction- Tensai & Brodus Clay win.
Victor’s Pick- Team Rhodes Scholars win.
Kaitlyn (c) vs. Tamina
This match was simply thrown onto the card during the final week, which is an insult to the performers & the fans. These two met in a throwaway divas match on Raw Roulette 3 weeks ago. A match that didn’t have a finish; it simply ended. How does that happen? WWE clearly doesn’t care one little bit about the Divas division, so why should anyone else?
Our Prediction- Kaitlyn retains (in a 2 minute match)
United States Championship:
Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz
The Preshow match from the Royal Rumble is being bumped up to the Elimination Chamber PPV. The match last month wasn’t terrible. And at least this match has a bit of a story. Miz hates Cesaro. Cesaro hates Miz. It really is as archaic as it sounds. One thing I am enjoying about this feud, though, is how the Main Event tv show on ion tv is being used to build the angle. The Main Event show might be the best show WWE produces each week.
Our Prediction- Antonio Cesaro retains.
6-Man Tag Team Match:
Sheamus, John Cena, & Ryback vs. The Shield
The Shield has popped up in matches for Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback since their debut at Survivor Series. Now, those 3 superstars band together to eliminate The Shield. This could be a bad night for The Shield. John Cena simply does not loses during WrestleMania season. In fact in the entire history of this event, Cena has 1 loss. And that loss came after he won an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE Championship, which he subsequently lost to Batista. So shenanigans were afoot. I stand by my prediction, John Cena does not lose at this event.
Our Prediction- John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback win.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show
A continuation of their feud at Royal Rumble, these two meet in a rematch. Show is knocking out anyone with a pulse and a WWE contract since he lost his Title. Del Rio has spent this time trying to embarrass Big Show, because pissing off a man who is twice your size in height & weight is always a good idea (life lesson). I really don’t give a damn about Big Show. This whole “iron-clad contract” gimmick has run its course. Show needs to lose, by submission, to put over Del Rio’s face turn.
Our Prediction- Alberto Del Rio retains.
Winner Gets World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania 29-
Elimination Chamber Match:
Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
The Tag Team Champions are in this match, so they won’t be winning. Smart money (who bets on pro wrestling?) is on Bryan vs. Kane at WrestleMania after dropping the Tag Team Championship in March. Jack Swagger is getting a push, but he’s not a draw, so he’s not getting a Championship match at WrestleMania. Mark Henry is back with a vengeance and is a legit threat to the World Championship. Randy Orton is a main-stay of WrestleMania & quite possibly the winner of this match. Original rumors had Orton vs. Sheamus for the World Title, but I doubt he will be the winner of the Chamber. When Chris Jericho returned as the #2 entrant of the Royal Rumble match, I kept thinking “Why?” Jericho didn’t return simply for another Mania match. He’s here to establish a star. But who? And how? The answer came to me after a great Daniel Bryan/Chris Jericho match on Raw. Jericho wins the Chamber. Then, Jericho wins the World Title at Mania. As he’s celebrating, Dolph Ziggler “cashes in” the Money in the Bank and wins, becoming the 1st person to “cash in” at WrestleMania. This leads to a Jericho vs. Ziggler match on tv for the Title shortly after, and then Ziggler runs with the Title.
Our Prediction- Chris Jericho wins.
WWE Championship- Title Changes on DQ or Count Out:
The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk
Can we get them to “emotional invest?” That’s the question wrestling promoters ask themselves at every show. That’s what pro wrestling/sports-entertainment comes down to. That moment when you, sitting on the couch, pop out of your chair and yell “What the hell was that?” or “Did you see that?” or something of the like. Many fans have voiced displeasure with CM Punk’s Title match loss at Royal Rumble, to the point where a man who was shot told local tv reporters the worst thing to happen to him that week was CM Punk losing the WWE Championship. That’s “emotional investment.” But with The Rock winning the WWE Championship-- and then not appearing on every Raw & none of the house shows-- it appears to undermine the work of the superstars who bust their asses everyday on the road. The lack of the Champion on shows is really unbelievable & insulting to the hard workers in the company who could be in that spot The Rock is taking. But Rock is on a collision course with Cena at WrestleMania. This match is to put over Rock, nothing more.
Our Prediction- The Rock retains.
Looks like Victor & I are pretty much in agreement this month on picks, which is not really a good thing. The unpredictability of wrestling is its biggest draw. I hope for some major twists & surprises this Sunday, but I’m not counting on it. Quick plug for The John Layfield & Michael Cole Radio Show on Layfield Report.com. Great show, well worth a download & listen. They cover a little bit of everything, from wrestling & politics to weird news & general opinion. It’s a great show & you should go check it out.
One more thing, I’d like to congratulate Triple H. What a spectacular job he did of convincing Bruno Sammartino of finally accepting the WWE Hall of Fame induction. Make no mistake about it. WWE has wanted Bruno in The Hall for years, going back to 2005. Bruno always turned it down. So then, why did fans bitch so much about him not being in The Hall? If Bruno was the one turning it down, why was The Hall “not legit?” I call bullshit. I’m not saying the WWE Hall of Fame is the ultimate wrestling HOF, but it’s all we have. The Class of 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best of all time, with Bruno, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, & Trish Stratus so far. WWE should be commended for its hard work in legitimizing their HOF, but fans who claim otherwise because guys like Randy Savage & Owen Hart are not in are delusional. Extenuating circumstances are involved in both cases, and please don’t get me started on the Canadian grappler WWE has rightfully wiped from its history. Certain stars will never be in The Hall; let’s celebrate those who are.
Thank you, and if you would like to complain… @PaulHcle.
Copyright 2013- All rights reserved