Sunday, 25 January 2015

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Predictions

This is really a two match card, let’s be honest. They’ve done really well to make the Lesnar- Cena match interesting by adding Seth into the mix and there are so many scenarios that you can envisage coming out of it. What I think is slightly foolish, however, is that its clear that Seth won’t win because otherwise the briefcase is useless.

The Rumble only has about two or three people who have any hope in hell of winning it but I have a soft spot, like many, for this ppv so it doesn’t matter too much. The fun is always in the surprise entrants and where the two of three likely candidates are placed in the 30.

Otherwise, the card is really weak. I had to look up the other matches here because I wasn’t entirely set on who was actually down to work. Sad really – with good ppvs that have been built up well, you can normally reel off the list of matches without too much thought. The only other match that really sticks out is The Ascension-New Age Outlaws match but only because these poor guys have been thrust into the main stream and are already being shit all over.

30-man Royal Rumble match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 31

Firstly, I really don’t buy any of this heavy-handed, social media teasing that The Rock will be in this match. If he’s there, I’d bet he’s just there for a quick pop but nothing more. I can’t see how he plays into any plans and if he were to win the Rumble it would really be a huge insult to all the guys who are there 24/7.

What I do think, though, is that, just like last year, the original plan stays. I say that Roman Reigns will win. If you think that the only other genuine options are Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton then I would have to say that Reigns is the one who would needs the win. The other two don’t need to win the Rumble to be in amongst the top matches at WrestleMania – you’d expect them to be there anyway. People will be clamouring for Daniel Bryan to win and it could well taint Roman Reigns’ win – Philly are likely going to boo him, unfortunately.

I hope that the Dudley Boyz rumours are true. I think that Bubba Dudley back for once last WWE run would be really good news for the company. He’s a really good character, a great worker now and would just give the roster some more strength in depth. He’s also great as either a heel or a babyface.

Bo Dallas is said to be back – nothing exciting about that, I’m afraid. We have Kofi’s spot to look forward to – I’d guess it will involve the other members of The New Day. RVD is said to be there – (see Bo Dallas) but the Philly pop may be worth it. Someone from nWo – there’s talk it will be Waltman – will be there; I’d say it’s more likely Nash looking at the shape they’re all in. Sheamus could return but I don’t see how that would help him and too many returns and surprises just makes it all a little too messy. Jericho could come in, I suppose, but we’ll see.

I see the final two as being Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. Reigns and Cena then tag against Wyatt and Rollins at Fast Lane.

Pick: Roman Reigns

Brock Lesnar (c) v John Cena v Seth Rollins in Triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

There are so many ways you could go with this. Firstly, I don’t think that Seth is winning and I don’t think he’s cashing in. It feels too obvious. Obvious is Roman Reigns winning the Rumble, we don’t need obvious here as well. Clearly, Seth shouldn’t win and have title and briefcase  - I mean they could do it, he’d have a get out of jail free card to carry around, but it seems pretty pointless. Cena doesn’t need to get pinned and so Brock can pin Seth.

I think that you have to remember just how strong Lesnar has been booked this year. He destroyed Undertaker and her destroyed John Cena. Whoever defeats him needs to be a super hero and I think that they see that as being Roman Reigns. So, here, I think he wins and carries the title to WrestleMania.

Should be a GREAT match. I just love anything with Brock Lesnar (although the less said about his match with Big Show – remember that?! – from last year’s Royal Rumble, the better) and Cena always delivers on ppv. Seth is another level when he’s on his game. Excited for this.

Pick: Brock Lesnar

The Usos (c) v The Miz and Damien Mizdow for the WWE Tag Team Championships

Not too interested in this. I see it that The Usos will retain but we should see the start of the dissention between their opponents. Miz and Mizdow need to go into the Rumble later where they can really start to break up. A match at Mania between them would seem to be a good idea. I actually think having made Mizdow mute for a while will help him, because Sandow is a great talker. If they want to make this split half-decent they can give him a mic and make it into a good little feud. We’ll see.

As for this match, it’ll be a typical Usos match. Lots of high flying moves at the end with a creative finish where they retain. I like The Usos but we’ve had WAY too many matches between a combination of these four in the last few months. This can surely be the blow off?

Pick: The Usos

The New Age Outlaws v The Ascension

I don’t really care. Sorry. The Ascension ought to win here. It’s a horrible gimmick and they’re just taking the piss out of them for it. It’s all a bit weird and unnecessary. They’re not that great in the ring and The New Age Outlaws are just there to plug the fact that the attitude era happened and so Michael Cole can tell you that you can go and watch it all on the Network, I guess. Cynical, me? No! Expect this to be quick.

Pick: The Ascension

So a two match show. But a two match show that has plenty of excitement and intrigue in those matches that I’m happy to pay my Network subscription and I’m genuinely excited to see the ppv.

Booking WWE WrestleMania 31

Like most WWE fans, I’m preoccupied at the minute with trying to second guess how they are going to book WreslteMania this year and where they’re going given the current poor showing on Raw. But, like most years, there are some things that even by this point you already know are pretty much guaranteed.

Last year, I tried booking Mania in October. Despite Dean from @WrestlingMANIAx maintaining that I called the end of the streak, this had pretty dire results and a shockingly poor success rate. So this year, on the eve of the Royal Rumble, I’m going to try to pick a path through to WrestleMania 31.

I should note: as with all predictions, I enjoy being utterly, unreservedly wrong as much as I like being even remotely right.

But I suppose this year I am again looking at things differently. Apart from attempting to book this much closer to March than I did in 2014, I also have a vested interest because I will actually be in San Jose to watch the event, live. Therefore, as much as these are what I *think* will happen, given what I know at time of press, there’s probably a little of my subconscious that is telling me that some of this is just what I *want* to happen.

John Cena v Rusev

I think this one is the easy build. Cena comes off looking like a huge all-American hero against the Soviet threat – Rusev is one of those heels who doesn’t get ironic support or respect from the marks because his gimmick is so hateful to American fans. Lana is the key to that. Unfortunately, there’s a far less partisan crowd at Mania but I still think Cena is less likely to get booed out the building here.

What will be interesting is whether they make this about the US title. How would Rusev lose it between now at Mania? Cena going for the US title? I don’t think so…

The great thing for fans will be to see whether Cena puts over the monster heel or whether he does what he always does – and wins. Last year at Mania he should never have beaten Bray Wyatt but they just couldn’t do it. They just didn’t dare beat Cena in front of the kids. Of course, if they wanted to, Rusev has never been pinned and you could protect that and have Cena win but Rusev tap out instead, to the STF.

Sting v Triple H

Pretty much a definite, wouldn’t you think? I don’t think it will be much of a match but god knows if you’re going to have Sting work with anyone, the ring general HHH is the man for him to work with. It books itself and I have to say that WWE have done a great job with Sting so far. As long as they don’t use him too much in the run up, and keep his appearances surprises and sparse, this will at least have a great build – even if the match doesn’t live up to much.

Triple H doesn’t actually have a very strong win tally at WrestleMania so I can see him putting Sting over here, but that will all depend on how many more matches Sting feels he has in him. Being in the building for Sting’s first ever WWE match is going to be the thing that they really push but, I have to admit, doesn’t really excited me all that much.

Randy Orton v Kane in a loser leaves the company/career match

I’ve been wondering what they do with Orton when he comes back. The strong feeling is that he’s coming back as a babyface. If that’s the case you’d have to assume that they have to address his time under Authority rule and that might lead to him facing Kane. Ordinarily, I’d say that this would suck. And it still probably would. But if you look at how old Kane is (47) and think that they could work in an angle whereby Randy has to face him with something on the line that is as definitive as Kane’s career then they could deliver a really interesting match. Or at least give us something to give two hoots about.

Brock Lesnar v Roman Reigns

If you look at history with this company it generally teaches you that they change plans a lot. But what it also teaches you is that if they have a direction for WrestleMania they tend to stick to it, regardless. Last year no one wanted to see Dave Batista win the Rumble and main event WrestleMania against Randy Orton, but he did and they did. Thankfully, the company listened to what we were saying and they put Daniel Bryan in there too.

This year, the plan all along has been for Lesnar to lose the title to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Whether the title is still involved may change but I think the match is still going to happen. In this instance, plans won’t chance. Reigns wins the rumble. Only issue is that if Lesnar is leaving we’ll all know by March 29th and there lies one disinterested crowd for your WrestleMania main event.

Yet what I do figure is this: if Lesnar, the conqueror of the streak, the only man who could beat the Undertaker and destroy John Cena , is going to lose then only a huge superhero can do it. They see that man as Roman Reigns. I don’t buy that Lesnar is now a babyface, I think that may be a swerve and we still get plan a) after all.

Daniel Bryan v Seth Rollins

Has anyone else seen how much media Bryan has done since his return pushing how much he’d love to fight Lesnar? I think it may be all in vain. But this would make me very happy. Not to mention a lot of others. This could be the title match, who knows. I think it could form the dénouement of a year-long Daniel Bryan v The Authority story. Seth fights for The Authority and Bryan fights to overcome his injuries and injustices for everyone else. They’d tear the house down.

Dean Ambrose v Cesaro

You could interchange Cesaro for Barratt and it would still work. After all, Barratt is the IC champion. But Ambrose and Cesaro would have a great match.

I feel sorry for Ambrose. He lead the company while people were off or out injured and cut some mighty good promos – “on no, they’ve sent out the Cruiser weight division” – but now he’s at the bottom of a recently-shuffled mid-card deck and feels like an after-thought. He shouldn’t be. But let’s face it, he wrestles in a t-shirt, is going bald under his mop of hair and isn’t conventionally attractive, so there’s only so much that Vince will allow him.

Cesaro is the greatest but they refuse to do anything with him. If the Battle Royale returns, then scrap this.

Undertaker v Bray Wyatt

I don’t think this is a) going to happen; is b) going to be very good; and c) would be a match the people would care about. But there’s some talk of it that I can’t ignore. Selfishly, I’d like to see The Undertaker wrestle. I actually think Wyatt will be the last one in ring with Reigns at the end of the Rumble but I don’t know who he’d go against this year if this one doesn’t come off. There aren’t many spare parts if you look at the above. He’s faced Cena. He’s beaten Ambrose. Orton? Bryan?

There are too many singles matches in the above: even with the addition of the preshow, WrestleMania is typically a 8-9 match card. We still don’t know if they’ll be a Battle Royale. There could of course be a celeb angle - I’d assume against The Miz/Mizdow. The Divas will get a match. And the tag titles will need to be represented – I’d hope in a turmoil or 4-way match.

All told this has the potential to be one of the worst WrestleMania’s since The Miz faced Cena but, equally, if booked right and built right, this could end up being a great show.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report January 16th 2015

Cameron beat Summer Rae with a roundhouse kick in 4:20

Byron Saxton joins Tom Philips on commentary this week - I don’t know if this is a permanent change but given that Saxton is now on the SmackDown announce team, I’d assume not. Cameron checks herself out in her mirror but Rae wants to look at herself and they bicker back and forth. There’s no sense that these two want to actually fight each other so you have to wonder why we’re supposed to care.

Read my full article here

Sunday, 11 January 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report - Jan 8th 2015

WWE Superstars TV Report

Episode 300 of WWE Superstars opened up with new titles. The images have been reshuffled to reflect the current talent. Just like Raw, Roman Reigns is the last person we see: he punches the floor and, in super hero fashion, it causes the world around him to EXPLODE~! to reveal the Superstars logo. There’s a nice touch, too, where they have synced the lyrics “it’s the dawn of a new day” with an image of The New Day posturing on the ropes. Astonishing that they think to do things like that and yet manage to remain ignorant about huge loopholes in major storylines.

Jack Swagger beat Titus O’Neil with the Patriot Lock in 4:32
Read the full article here

Sunday, 23 November 2014

WWE Superstars TV Report - 20th November 2014

Noteworthy: Paige made her debut on Superstars. Curtis ‘The Axe Man’ Axel made it three weeks in three on this show but appeared for his second straight loss against Sin Cara.

Paige beat Alicia Fox with the Ram-Paige in 3:59

They lock up and out of the lock Paige takes the early going with a drop kick and running high knee to Fox. She tries for a quick pin with a sunset flip and then comes off the ropes with a cross body but Fox kicks out quickly...

Read my full article here:

Monday, 17 November 2014

WWE Superstars TV Report - 16th November 2014

Noteworthy: Curtis ‘The Axe Man’ Axel made it two consecutive losses in as many weeks on this show. The Liverpool crowd were not faded down here.

Sin Cara Beat Curtis Axel with a senton in 4:45

Liverpool loved Curtis Axel this week in the same way that a UK crowd loves anything that they can cheer ironically. And whatever you think of that, it makes for far more compelling television. The crowd alone (who were not silenced by post production here) made this one of the best Superstars episodes in weeks...

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WWE Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story DVD Review

In the last 5 years or so, there’s been a flurry of DVD documentary releases from WWE, focusing on everything from ppvs, to particular eras, to talent and even managers. Some have felt a little rushed and unfulfilling. Some have been a repackaged amalgamation of previously available material. Some have been well-made but haven’t taught us anything new. And some have been outstanding. Thankfully, this DVD collection can stand up and be counted amongst the latter...

Read more here: Macho Man Randy Savage DVD Review