Archive for March, 2016

WrestleMania 32 Part 4

March 23, 2016

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) v. Roman Reigns

WWE has done all they can to try to make Reigns a bad ass babyface. It isn’t working. Let’s start from the beginning. Reigns loses the WHC to Sheamus after a Sheamus Money-in-the-Bank cash-in. Reigns loses a TLC match to Sheamus after Del Rio and Rusev help Sheamus (legal in this match, technically). Post-match, he beats down all 3 guys. Then when Triple H comes out to check on Sheamus, Reigns strikes him first and beats him down. Triple H returns at the Royal Rumble and wins the WHC by winning the Rumble and eliminating Reigns. Triple H gets his revenge on Reigns by bloodying him up on Raw so Reigns can have a nose job and be off TV for a few weeks. Reigns comes back and attacks Triple H after a match with Dolph Ziggler (More on this moron later). He beats Triple H to a bloody mess. The following week, Reigns confronts Stephanie McMahon and assaults Triple H again inside his SUV. The crowd says Triple H is the babyface.

Triple H runs NXT, which is wildly over with the smark crowd. Triple H has a legitimately bad ass entrance and song(s). Triple H is at Legend status where a certain segment of the crowd is going to cheer for him no matter what. Triple H sells in the ring and works smart. The smark crowd hates Reigns. They’re trying to give Reigns that edge to make him cool, but the guy isn’t Steve Austin. He doesn’t have the charisma and can’t relate to the every-man like Austin could. He’s the sole member of the Shield who didn’t evolve their character.

Bottom line, this match has one option: Pull off a double-turn at WrestleMania. Triple H goes babyface and Reigns goes heel. In no way, shape, or form can this match go on last, though.

Brock Lesnar v. Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight

This match has had a solid build. It’s one of the few matches on this year’s card that I’m looking forward to and should probably be the main event, but it won’t be. I’ve enjoyed Ambrose’s interaction with hardcore legends like Foley and Funk since it pays homage to Ambrose’s roots in CZW. I do wish Funk had given Ambrose something more practical than a chainsaw – something he could actually use in the match. The only question left is how violent will this match be? It’s a different era nowadays. Will we see Ambrose being thrown into glass and thumbtacks?

Most people (Ambrose included) know he has no chance. Beating and bloodying up Brock before being completely destroyed will make Ambrose even more over than he is now. Ambrose doesn’t need to win and shouldn’t, but it needs to be a bloody fight.

Undertaker v. Shane McMahon in Hell in a Cell (If Shane wins, he gets RAW and Undertaker retires)

Last night, Vince announced in the most anti-climactic way possible that Undertaker’s career is over should he lose to Shane McMahon. He also called Undertaker his bitch. As with the previous match, we all know Shane McMahon has no chance against the Undertaker at WrestleMania in Hell in a Cell. That’s why Vince is taking this angle. Undertaker will thoroughly decimate Shane (Will we see him go off the top of the Cell?). As Vince watches from outside the cage, Undertaker will put Shane’s lifeless body on top of him for the 3 count. As a reward, Shane will reinstate Undertaker the following night and Vince gets his comeuppance for disparaging Undertaker.

I don’t see any other way for this to go unless there’s run-in interference. I’m more intrigued to see what lengths Shane McMahon will go to in this match to prove it belongs.

WWE Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Charlotte (c) v. Sasha Banks v. Becky Lynch

This is probably the best case scenario for the women’s division. I was torn between this or Charlotte and Sasha one-on-one, but this is what all three deserve. I’m only concerned it won’t live up to the hype because WWE has really watered down Sasha’s character especially. Charlotte is an excellent heel. Becky’s character is borderline too much of a caricature. Sasha’s character needs to be a little over the top, not Becky’s. WWE couldn’t resist the tired approach of having the champion lose a non-title match as Sasha and Charlotte wrestled on Smackdown completely unadvertised. Sasha won with a roll-up, of course. I’m sure Becky will get her win over Charlotte on Monday. It’s really hard to believe how effective WWE is at ruining almost anything unless it involves a veteran with some creative pull.

I’d like to see Charlotte retain, but I’d take a Sasha or Becky win. A babyface champion would lead into maybe tossing that awful belt down on the ground on Raw in favor of a new ‘women’s’ title.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) v. Sami Zayn v. Dolph Ziggler v. Miz v. Sin Cara v. Zack Ryder v. Stardust in a Ladder Match

Kevin Owens (Steen) and Sami Zayn (El Generico) have a history dating back to 2003 in IWS, at least. Nearly 13 years. It is criminal that this feud on the main roster didn’t start (and continue!) beginning at the Royal Rumble. They’ve been tag team champions all over the world. They’ve killed each other all over the world for over a decade. Owens ruined the biggest moment of Zayn’s entire career in NXT. Owens beat Zayn unconscious and took his world title. Then tried to end his career a few months later. Zayn is the ultimate babyface (and over!) while Owens in the ultimate heel (and over!). I would have been sold on this show with this one match if built up properly.

Instead! The Miz is involved. I’m not sure why. Maybe as a reward for losing to Zayn on Raw? Next, we have Dolph Ziggler. I dislike Dolph Ziggler, the wrestler, more than just about any other guy on the roster. He bumps around like Curt Henning did as Mr. Perfect, which was obnoxiously bad. He’s been in WWE for a long, long time and I don’t really know what his finisher is. He exaggerates his selling so bad and then effortlessly gets all his moves in. His character is unlikable and his mic skills consist entirely of sarcasm. Not to mention he was given a match against Triple H last week on Raw. The condition was that if he won, he could have a spot in WrestleMania. He lost. The next week on Raw, here comes Ziggler to want to challenge for the IC title at WrestleMania. Announcers never acknowledged last week even happening. But hey! He beat the Miz on Smackdown.

Next up, we have Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, and Stardust. These guys were introduced by Owens as a joke and are presented as such. None of them are remotely over and none of them have won a televised singles match in years. All of this adds up to 5 perennial losers added to the IC title match with Owens and Zayn. What an absolute fucking waste. Don’t worry though. I’m sure it’ll get lots of ‘This is Awesome’ chants while guys take unnecessarily dangerous risks to get them by repeating the same spots done in the last 10,000 ladder matches. The booking of this match is the biggest disgrace on the card. Happy for Owens and Zayn being in a WrestleMania match, but my God, what a wasted opportunity.

WWE United States Championship: Kalisto (c) v. Ryback

This is actually happening. The championship match that should have been the multi-jobber ladder match is a singles match. Kalisto, who is routinely left off half the shows and therefore never has a chance to develop a character and get over, is facing Ryback. Ryback could possibly be one of the worst workers in WWE and is tied with Kane and Big Show for the title ‘Person looked at most indifferently by the crowd’. Seriously, Ryback segments are really uncomfortable. Any match that takes place in silence is uncomfortable. Ryback is embracing the whole ‘big guy’ mentality of WWE to try to be a heel. Unfortunately, he’s not in a position to exploit that (like Reigns would be). It leads to complete indifference. This is just an awful match. Will Kalisto overcome the muscle-bound moron? Who cares?

New Day v. League of Nations

Apparently, the tag team titles won’t be defended at WrestleMania. The League of Nations guys needed on the WrestleMania card, so now we have a 4 on 3 handicap match. It must be a reward for the League of Nations for losing 2 consecutive unearned title shots cleanly in 3 days. Maybe this is for the tag titles. Does anyone even know? New Day is pretty over, so them losing here to a group of guys that don’t even register to the audience anymore would be horrible booking. Expect to see more one-on-one matches between the teams and trading wins because that’s the only way WWE knows to book a feud.

Usos v. Dudley Boyz

This match was made after the Dudleys turned heel by attacking the Usos and putting them through the tables. Bubba Ray and D-Von know how to be good heels because they actually know how to work. It’s baffling how much announcers don’t let the audience know that they are literally the most decorated tag team in the last quarter century. Regardless, as the Usos are tied in with Roman Reigns and Total Divas, the smark crowd has turned on them. Not evolving the characters since their debut doesn’t help either. Despite the Dudleys being very good heels, they’re going to be the fan favorites at WrestleMania. Why they aren’t ‘forced’ into a Tables Match is beyond me. My guess is that it is because the only way they can be booed is to tease tables in a regular match, but not deliver.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

This was finally announced by placing the trophy at ringside at Raw. Big Show is going to participate to ‘defend’ his trophy. Big Show is also now a babyface again. Kane is also now a heel or something. Only 6 of the 20 participants have been announced as of today – 11 days before WrestleMania. I was thinking that this would be a good opportunity for a major return or debut, but I now see that this match is on the pre-show (Are you kidding me?). I expect something routine like Strowman winning this year. Smart booking because the crowd won’t be in their seats to boo Strowman as heartily as they would have during the actual main show. It should be noted that this battle royal will feature 3 of the worst 4 workers in WWE (Antique Kane, Antique Big Show, and Strowman). I assume that this will include the entire Wyatt Family, Social Outcasts, Big Show, Kane, Tyler Breeze, the Matadors, Goldust, R-Truth, Fandango, Jack Swagger, Ascension, and Mark Henry. Then literally every actual active wrestler on the roster will be on the card.

Tamina, Naomi, Lana, Emma, and Summer Rae v. Brie Bella, Paige, Natalya, and Alicia Fox

In an angle set up on Main Event (Not kidding), we apparently have another 5 on 4 handicap match. It’s the Total Divas against the other Divas. Then again, I don’t think Lana has ever wrestled a match in front of a live audience, so she isn’t really a wrestler. Also, is she all non-Russian again since she is wearing her trashy Dolph Ziggler outfits again? It’s really hard to believe this has a spot on the main WrestleMania card as it represents the very worst of the old Diva division. If there is a mystery partner for the babyface team (Being generous), there’s no way WWE is naïve enough to have it be Eva Marie. If so, the crowd response to this will be worth it alone.

Chris Jericho v. AJ Styles

This match is happening, but it still hasn’t been officially announced. This should probably be the main card opening match because they can get the crowd worked up.

WrestleMania 32 Predictions (Part 3)

March 4, 2016

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) v. Roman Reigns (Official)

 

04-March: With Reigns out selling the nose ‘injury’ from last week and no Brock on TV, the focus was shifted to Dean Ambrose challenging Triple H. This World Championship match has been officially announced for a Network special on March 12. I’m a little confused by this match. Does Reigns return and attack Triple H while costing Ambrose the title? Does Brock run in to assault Ambrose and cost him the title? Reigns isn’t over, so this could just be a way to try to get heel heat on Triple H by having him beat Ambrose. It wouldn’t work. Plus, do you want the guy who is about to have a Street Fight with Brock Lesnar to lose to Triple H a few weeks before? The Reigns/Triple H match has surely been downgraded to a semi-main event to save face when the crowd craps on Reigns winning the belt. Or maybe there will be a double turn where Reigns goes heel and Triple H goes babyface.

Brock Lesnar v. Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight (Official)

 

04-March: There was almost no focus on any further developments between Brock and Ambrose. Instead the focus was on Triple H and Ambrose, which isn’t going to happen at WrestleMania. Instead, it builds to a Network special on March 12. The worst thing WWE could do would be to have Ambrose pin the IC Champion or something on Smackdown or RAW to try to ‘build him up’ for Triple H. WWE is in trouble when they can’t even effectively use 4 weeks of TV to build WrestleMania’s other semi-main event. I also just read that Ambrose pinned Kevin Owens in a non-title match on Smackdown. Of course.

Undertaker v. Shane McMahon in Hell in a Cell (Official)

 

04-March: Shane wasn’t on TV this week. Undertaker appeared and was all like, “Cool, but his blood is on your hands, Vince.” Then he left. Judging by Shane’s training tweets, it looks like this match will indeed happen for real. I really don’t know what happens in this match. Shane either takes a ridiculous beating and bumps all over and loses or takes a ridiculous beating and bumps all over only for Undertaker to pull his lifeless body on top of him and allow himself to be pinned. I assume the former option as there are rumors of a brand split coming back. It would make sense for Shane to take over Smackdown. Currently, the talent isn’t there for something like that. Once Cena and Rollins return along with NXT call-ups like Balor, Zayn, Samoa Joe, Aries, Nakamura, and others, it is doable.

WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) v. Sasha Banks v. Becky Lynch (Official)

 

04-March: Sasha and Becky had a good #1 contender’s match on RAW that ended with a draw (and a stupid finishing spot). Same kind of deal on Smackdown. The match was made official last night. This match needs Sasha and Becky since they’re better in-ring workers. Charlotte is great, but I still recall Sasha and Becky’s NXT title match being excellent. Taking Charlotte out temporarily so they can wrestle for 5 minutes would be great.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) v. Sami Zayn

 

04-March: Kevin Owens was finally back on TV Monday. He lost to Big Show via count out. I just read the SmackDown results and he lost clean to Ambrose. Safe to say there will be no Sami Zayn match and it will instead be some 6-7 person clusterfuck of a ladder match involving the rest of the lower mid-card to get them on the show. Total waste of an opportunity to build a feud that people will care about. Maybe the IC title match can be built around jobbers stealing the IC belt from each other every week. What a huge missed opportunity.

WWE United States Championship: Kalisto (c) v. AJ Styles

 

04-March: For some reason, despite AJ Styles being among the top 2 pops during live events, he has seemingly been paired with Jericho in a tag team. I won’t even use the tag team name because it is so awful. They have a tag title match next week that will undoubtedly end in a DQ or something. Could WWE waste another guy like Styles in a tag match at WrestleMania? You know it. I assume that Jericho and Styles will face the New Day for the titles at WrestleMania. There must not be any big plans for Kalisto, who is still US Champion. He and Sin Cara did the job to the League of Nations on RAW this week. Kalisto is a fun guy to watch wrestle, but there’s almost no character development. That means I increasingly care less. He likely ends up on the pre-show.

WWE Tag Team Championship TLC Match: New Day (c) v. Usos v. Dudleys v. Golden Truth

 

04-March: I’m keeping this match here because there is so much going on that no one cares about that it still might happen. The Usos and Dudleys are having a feud right now that I’m not sure anyone cares too much about. The Dudley’s as anti-table heels likely plays well to the live event crowds, but the smark crowds are going to cheer them over the Usos. Does anyone remember why the Dudleys hate the Usos? I don’t. All this time, I also thought it was R Truth trying to be Goldust’s partner. That’s how bad the storylines are: I can’t even remember what happened week to week.

Stardust v. Stephen Amell

04-March: This match will occur on Twitter as they trade snarky 140 character insults during the pre-show tag title match.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

 

04-March: This still hasn’t been announced. The favorite is likely still (ugh) Ryback who has been dominating such superstars as Adam Rose. But at least he didn’t almost break Luke Harper’s shoulder this week with a sloppy finisher! Speaking of the Wyatts, I don’t remember seeing them on TV this week. If you tune in to the WWE Network on March 12, you will get to see Brock Lesnar break Bray in half, though.

John Cena returns

04-March: No updates here. I still think he is somehow involved in the Hell in a Cell. Special referee?

Flo Rida Performs

04-March: This is inevitable since there’s always some awful R&B/rap filler concert. What’s hilarious about it is that the audience for this show is the last audience that is probably streaming Flo Rida right now. You have to buy food and use the bathroom at some point, though. My old hope is that Kevin Owens power bombs him off the stage through a table.

Other Predictions

04-March: Here’s a list of other predictions.

  • Crowd pop of the night: Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • OMG/Holy Shit moment: Whatever insane bump Shane McMahon takes
  • Total time wasted for video recaps before every match: 25-35 minutes
  • Loudest booing: Roman Reigns
  • Number of suplexes given to Ambrose: 14