Head Lock Go! Go! Professional Wrestling: Royal Rumble Predictions

It’s here already! Our favourite WWE PPV of the year is upon us and it’s time for us to blindly fumble our way towards a vague prediction of who might win. We’re both really looking forward to the show this year, especially as the Rumble itself is generally one of our favourite matches. Given that there’s only 4 matches listed for this year we were expecting more to be announced on Smackdown, selfishly hampering our practically paranormal predicting as usual. In retrospect though, last year only had 6 matches (one of which only lasted 20 seconds!) and the Rumble match was (presumably) shorter so 4 matches is probably all we’re getting. Still, with only 4 matches to predict we should be able to get a 100% hit rate right? Maybe…

Sidekick Andrew: First up, the Divas Title handicap match: Natalya vs LayCool. Now there’s a lot of rumours that Awesome Kong might debut during this match. Or rather Amazing/Astounding/Astonishing/Alarming Kong as TNA have kept the rights to Awesome, and the whole Miz thing might get confusing…

Anyway, assuming Discombobulating Kong does debut I would assume she’ll be a heel supporting LayCool so they can lead to a feud against Beth or Natalya (God I wish!) But I don’t think this means LayCool will win, I’m going with Natalya to get the win and retain the belt, although there’s a good chance she’ll get beaten down after the match. I can’t see them taking the belt off her just yet, but then that could be more wishful thinking on my part that the WWE actual care about having a great wrestler holding the title for a while. Much as I like Layla, she’s no Natalya.

Boss Lady Ray: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Kong will debut during the Divas match. I think it’ll be during the Rumble. My only hope is that there’s at least one other Divas there for her to begin a feud with. I’d hate for them to make it OK for Kong to fight boys just because she’s bigger than the other girls. But anyway, this is all speculation. The match itself is what we’re predicting here.

Boring as it would be to go back to where we were, at least without some interference, I think LayCool will get the title back. I have this feeling that WWE are bored of Natalya being champ and they’ll take the title back to Smackdown where they can do more with Beth. Of course, this entire prediction could be based on the fact that, ultimately, I just want Beth to have the belt again. This girl-crush thing is getting hardcore. Maybe it was because Beth publicly thanked us for making her Wrestlegasm Female Wrestler of the Year on Twitter. See? Didn’t we say she was lovely?

Sidekick Andrew: Next up, Miz vs Orton. Awesome vs yawnsome. Genius vs tedious. The Money in the Banker against the arrogant wan… well you get the point. Like many people I was a fan of Orton once upon a time, but now? I really struggle to muster any interest in him, either in or out of the ring. His promos are dreary and his in ring action is nowhere near as interesting as it used to be.

So, despite Randall’s shameless baby-kissing and giant puppy action I’m going to go with my fervent hope that Miz wins and keeps the title until Wrestlemania at least. There’s no mileage in another Orton title run, and if the rumours are true that he’s working injured it would make even less sense. Miz, on the other hand, is the WWE’s new media darling: taking on the promotional duties that would normally fall to Cena and doing a great job of them. Miz deserves a Wrestlemania title defence after the work he’s put in, even if it’s only to lose.

Boss Lady Ray: I’m right in saying that Orton is still injured, right? And I’m right in saying that he’s become pretty boring to watch, yeah? And I’m correct in saying that Miz lights the place up the minute his toothy face arrives on screen, yah? Yah? I agree with Andrew, Miz really deserves to take the title to Wrestlemania, so I think he’ll win this one. I just can’t see him losing to Orton at this stage. He has too much to offer the biggest show of the year. Besides, if he loses that totally screws my Rumble pick, so don’t lose or I’ll stop wearing your t-shirt, Miz. (I won’t.)

Even if Randy isn’t that seriously injured, I think he should go away for a while. I feel a little bit like he’s blending into the background and going through the motions. Randy, take some time off, have a break, put your feet up, watch Cash in the Attic, eat brunch, drink some full-fat lattes and come back refreshed and ready to punt someone in the head. It’s like poetry, isn’t it?

Sidekick Andrew: Spear! Spear! Spear! Actually, we’re more likely to hear “Edgecution! Edgecution! Edgecution!” after Vickie banned the Spear on Friday’s Smackdown. Now, this would usually be deemed slightly unfair but let’s be honest, she has done this before when she banned the Undertaker’s Hell’s Gate move while he was feuding with… erm… Edge! As Derren Brown sung: What Goes Around… Comes Around

Now, it’s no secret we’re huge Dolph fans (or Dolphans as he insists on calling them on twitter) and I definitely want him to take the title at some point this year, but I can’t see it happening before Wrestlemania. I think Edge will win this time, but I’d be very surprised if there was no shenanigans. I suspect Edge will use the Spear behind the ref’s back, maybe while Vickie is distracting him – giving them an excuse to have a rematch at Elimination Chamber.

Having said that, I would be over the moon if I was wrong and Dolph won the title. Sometimes being wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Something which Boss Lady Ray and her slightly askew prediction are very glad of. [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: Set some time aside next week, young man. You're writing the results show this month.]

Boss Lady Ray: Did Andrew just reference Justin Timberlake? Wow. This is what happens when you spend your time hauled up in a WWII Bunker with me. Anyway, I’m very annoyed with Vickie Guerrero. By banning the Spear she has effectively ruined our Bunker Rumble party. Our plan was to spear an onion ring with a salt & vinegar crunchy stick and scoff it every time Edge hit the Spear or someone hit a Spear-like move. Now, it’s spoilt and we’ll have to eat them separately.

On a more serious note, there’s way too much mileage in this feud between Dolph and Edge. Ex-husband is feuding with ex-wife’s younger, more ripped boyfriend? Come on, there’s months of material in there. It’s soap opera gold! I know it’s all been done before, but I’ve a feeling this squabble will carry through to Wrestlemania where Vickie will be seduced by Edge again and turn on Dolph.  She falls for him every. single. time. Dolph will retain this time, but his days are numbered.

Sidekick Andrew: Yay! The Rumble! And this year it’s a biggie – 40 men (or rather, 40 wrestlers *wink wink*) Last year’s was great, with Punk preaching, Beth battling and Edge entering from nowhere. I’m hoping for good things this year too. There’s a lot of feuds that will collide in the ring: Corre vs Nexus, Punk vs Cena, Barrett vs Cena, Big Show vs Nexus, Sheamus vs HHH (probably) all of which should lead to an interesting match.

There’s a few people I think could win this year. Other than the usual big names that always have a chance, there are a few newer guys that seem to have a good chance. If I was allowed to pick a few then Del Rio, Barrett or Bryan might get a look in…

I can’t believe I spent so long on a crappy photoshop of a magazine none of you will be old enough to remember. On a Saturday night no less… the things we do here in the Bunker for you lot. [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: I remember it. But then, I'm old too. Ah, the good old days. When magazines were 20p] Anyway, happy as I would be to see any of those guys win, I going to go with Punk to win the Rumble. They need someone who can ostensibly main event Wrestlemania and Punk vs Miz could be a great match. Punk also has Nexus behind him, and Bunker favourite Mason Ryan on his side so he’s my pick. The predictable finish would involve Cena, Barret and Punk as the final three, with Barrett and Punk teaming to take out Cena before Punk eliminates Wade.

Of course, there’s always a chance I’m wrong: the Big Show might win. After all he’s the biggest man in the Rumble, and surely someone that big must have an advantage?

fiiiiiine...

Boss Lady Ray: We spent a long time pondering the winner of the Rumble. Like a whole 20 minutes. I know, right? Ages. It’s the most fun match to predict because there are so many variables. My original prediction during this conversation was for Mason Ryan to be around towards the end. Batista comes out as number 30. They eyeball each other, Barri Mason eliminates Dave and that begins a feud leading up to Wrestlemania. Young Buck vs Ageing Legend. Everyone loves that. They eventually become mates and start a tag team, which leads to Batista’s proper farewell. Whaddaya think? OK, before you send me out the room with my tail between my legs, consider the fact that Dave never really had a proper send off. He announced he was retiring, walked out and was never seen again. He’ll be back to beat up Barri at the Rumble. (Sorry, the alliteration was just too good to ignore there.)

GRATUITOUS MASON RYAN IMAGE

My real prediction is Daniel Bryan. I haven’t seen many people predicting him as a winner, which makes me think I’ve either come up with a genius prediction or I’m on totally the wrong track. Here’s my reasoning….. If Edge and Dolph are going to feud through Wrestlemania, they don’t need the Rumble winner challenging for the Heavyweight title and interfering with their fight on Smackdown. With this in mind the Rumble winner needs to come from Raw. If Miz is going to keep the title and Randy’s going to slip away to fix his injured whatever, Miz needs someone new to scrap with at ‘Mania. Daniel Bryan and Miz have beef going back to season one of NXT. Bryan came back after his “firing” and took Miz’s US title, so it makes sense that he would now want to take his WWE Championship. See? It works. Of course, my Rumble prediction relies on my other predictions being correct too. If Randy Orton get the belt back this whole thing is shot to bits.

Have fun watching the Rumble, kids. This is the first PPV we’ve watched live in the Wrestle Bunker for some time, so we’re very excited. I’m off to make a Mason Ryan ice-cream bar now. I’m not even joking.

Sidekick Andrew: Right, you know what happens now. This is the bit where I ask you to put your predictions in the comments and you either don’t bother or you do and your predictions are much better than ours. Either way, thanks for that. Seriously though, I’d genuinely like to know at least who people think will win the Rumble, so if you’ve a spare few seconds please let us know. You know you want to…

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It was only when I started going back through all the shows from the past few months that I realised just how long it’s been since the last fashion post. And yes, I do go back through everything for these posts. Ded-i-ca-tion! Think about it…there’s been a major draft, some amazing PPVs, some of the roster were deported, and then they were allowed back in the country again. Some of the roster married each other, some big names have parted ways with the WWE (some voluntary, some by force), new stars have been made, new champions have been crowned (kind of), the first series of NXT finished, a new one began and the Nexus became part of the wrestling furniture. It would be impossible to run through every clothing related happening since Wrestlemania, but I’ll try to pick out some of the most memorable. You might need to go and get some tea and biscuits before you get stuck into this one. ‘Tis a long’un.

You better take a good look at that banner above the first paragraph, folks. Not only because we’re redesigning the site at the moment, but also because since I last did a fashion post, our favourite oiled fashion disaster has retired. Dave Batista, I miss you and your double-deni. Although, when I saw Big Dave covering up in a high-necked top and a cat-burglar hat a few weeks before he departed, I figured his time left with us was short.

The beginning of the end.

So, there’ll be no more near-naked Batista, sitting in the middle of the ring, sulking because things didn’t go his way. Let’s take a moment to remember…..

So what now for Dave? Rumour has it that he’s opened up an exclusive cocktail bar for select members of the community in Manhattan. I wish him all the very best.

Thanks, Adam.

As one veteran says goodbye, a new breed of superstars comes to the fore. Such is the circle of life. The Nexus may not have been around for long, but they feel like part of the family already. Look at them there in their cheapo t-shirts:

Their transformation from FCW wannabes to PPV hijackers was quite astonishing. Let’s take Justin Gabriel, for example. He was so cute before he turned bad. There he was with his dimply smile, ironed black hair and Matt Hardy inspired shirts.

Aww. Bless.

A couple of months, an evil streak later and……

Please note, as a face he wore white trunks and as a heel they’re black. Apparently, encasing your junk in white PVC means you’re angelic and wrapping it in black plastic makes you eeevil. Also the highlights and asymmetrical haircut. They’re eeevil too. Wade Barrett has only improved since winning NXT. He’s ditched the oversized winter coats and looks ever the illustrious leader:

It’s no wonder he beat David Otunga to the NXT trophy. Especially when Otunga decided to cover his head in stick-on plastic diamantes for the final show:

Dude! NO!

Otunga’s look hasn’t changed much since his rookie-hood, but Darren Young has had a major make-over. Personally, I’m not sure which is worse, so I’ll leave you to decide:

As for Heath Slater, he looked like a cock before he was on NXT, during and after.

Mmm. Ginger beard and girlie shades. Yum.

Our next batch of rookies don’t seem to display such extreme fashion guises. In fact, they’re fairly normal looking. Well, normal for wrestlers anyway. I mean, check out how miserable Kaval looks at having to wear his mentors’ home-made merchandise:

But don’t let grumpy-chops fool you. In his spare time, the man with the deepest voice I ever did hear likes to do a spot of catalogue modelling;

Look at all that smizing! Tyra would be so proud.

I’m sure his mentors would wholeheartedly approve. While we’re on the topic of LayCool, let’s have some REAL TALK.

Despite the fact that they appear dressed in increasingly elaborate self-branded outfits every week, not a single piece has appeared on WWEShop.com. Although, there is a youth Divas t-shirt available, so at least little girls have something to wear to cheer on the Divas now.

If WWE want to release some LayCool Flawless merchandise, I will most definitely buy it. Ms. McCool is now Mrs. Calaway, courtesy of her marriage to a certain Dead Man. And speaking of the Undertaker, you know you’re a wrestling fan when you watch the Eurovision Song Contest and assign wrestlers to the countries competing, based on their performance outfits. Clearly Taker’s a big hit in Eastern Europe.

Sing your hearts out, Ukraine and Albania!

Let’s move on. I just admitted to watching the Eurovision Song Contest. Quick! We need a more pleasant subject. Ah yes. CM Punk. Punk has gone through quite the transformation over the past few months. His once flowing locks were shorn in the name of defending the Straight Edge Society and I spent several weeks mourning the loss of his face.

Thankfully, just a couple of weeks ago the Big Show de-masked Mr. Punk and his face (plus shaven head) were visible again. Hooray!

It was rough, but we made it through and came out the other side stronger.

Going back to the ladies, my Maryse envy has been hitting new heights lately. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be her or anything, but let’s be honest, the girl fills her clothes rather beautifully. I’m not sure a halter-neck string bikini and a cropped lace top are quite suitable clothing for jiu-jitsu training. Eve has the edge in the practical clothing stakes.

But Maryse’s in-ring attire is always ace and this dress almost made me give up on life. I can’t compete with that.

But you never know, maybe I’ll go through some sort of image evolution one day and end up looking that glamorous. Bahahahaha! I couldn’t even keep a straight face typing that. Someone who did go through an image evolution though was Shad Gaspard. He ditched JTG and his urban streetwear to forge a solo career. All was looking trendy:

Until…….

Yawch! Matt Striker should have a word in his ear. That's not right.

You know, when Dave disappeared I worried that I’d have nobody to follow regarding hit-n-miss fashions. But I had not anticipated the wonder that is the cougar herself, Vickie Guerrero.

She started off in her blouse and ‘mum-jeans’, but her efforts to impress and keep up with the youthful Dolph Ziggler have been nothing if not brave. Check ‘em out:

Eeeeek! Wait. That last one was a bit dodgy. Tight dresses with zips right up the middle scream ‘street-walker’. Not even Kelly Kelly can pull that one off.

OK. Maybe Kelly.

But it’s OK, kids. In recent weeks Mrs. G’s cracked open the summer wardrobe and thrown on some rather flattering sundresses.

So all’s well that ends well. Even if she doesn’t look very happy about it. I love you, Vickie.

Sunshine seems to either bring out the best in our sense of dress or the worst. Just think of all those outfits you wear on your summer holiday that you wouldn’t dream of wearing back home. Drew McIntyre, I’m talking to you:

But I'll forgive you because you were just back from your honeymoon with Tiffany and you've had a rough time of things lately.

Sheamus could teach Drew a few things about dressing for an occasion. While stranded in Belfast as a result of the Icelandic volcanic ash, Sheamus strutted around in a mighty fine ensemble of muted colours and handpicked items. Ok, so the tie probably should be on top of the shirt, but still, he looks good, oui?

I should move on before that underlying Sheamus crush rears its ugly head. I fear that I’m a change of hair-do away from swooning for Sheamus. As Sidekick Andrew points out every time I mention it “It’s the voice, isn’t it?” Errrr, yah! Show me a girl who doesn’t love a boy with an Irish accent and I’ll show thee a liar! And while we’re on the subject of crushes I’d rather not admit to:

Yep! Zack Ryder. While he’s in his ring gear… nothing. Not even a tingle. But in his civilian clothing (as above)…. WOO WOO WOO! Although, my real reason for mentioning he of the glorious tan is to report that he’s FINALLY dropped the half-tighs/half trunks hybrid and gone for more standard trunks:

While the Long Island Iced-Z reveals a favourable increase in flesh, Cody Rhodes seems to be becoming even more naked, and it turns my stomach slightly. I mean, look….

eww

The lack of knee-pads doesn’t help and when he opts for his light-coloured boots, the boy looks practically naked. Enough. Get him some tights and a vest.

So there you have it. That’s your latest instalment of WWE clothing triumphs and disasters. I’ve learnt a few things from this trip down memory lane. I’ve learnt that I miss Beth Phoenix, Triple H and Mickie James a lot more than I thought I did, and I’ve discovered a few universal truths that will never change. I shall impart this wisdom forthwith. Never forget these important wrestling fashion rules:

  • Mark Henry in speedos is like a car-crash. You don’t want to look, but you just can’t stop yourself. You probably should look away though:
  • Jerry Lawler will always wear horrendous t-shirts:
  • Use somebody’s clothing as a weapon against them and you will be fired:

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First off, some sad news. I’m afraid Crotch Watch is now officially gone. I know you were all hoping I’d change my mind, but I’ve flipped the switch on the life support machine and have bid my tearful farewells. Don’t worry, it didn’t feel a thing. Here’s the kicker though; as well as inspecting the groins of wrestlers a little more closely than I should have, I also used CW as a platform to discuss wrestle-fashions. I kind of miss that part, so I’ve given birth to strut, pose, turn. Not only are some of our more established heroes making some…. ‘interesting’ fashion choices at the moment, but the new string of NXT rookies are also a bizarre crew of fashion triumphs and disasters. Seriously, Justin Gabriel, what were you thinking?

PS---> Lookin' smooth this week, Striker. See you at the weekend. Mwah!

I’ve never been to South Africa, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t standard dress on the streets of Cape Town. Still, you have to admire a man who would not only wear a white dress on global television, but a white dress that makes him look like a bit of a bloater. I can’t help but feel I’ve seen something similar before though. Maybe Justin took inspiration from a certain Newcastle lass.

Anyway, I’ll probably mix things up and include lots of different people in future posts. I may even have to include a few trunk inspections. Shutup! If they’re clothing, they’re fashion. For this first post though, I want to concentrate on the man who appears in the segment banner. Yes, everyone’s favourite bearded bad-guy, Dave Batista.

When he was a face, I can’t remember taking much notice of Dave’s threads. But as a heel, he’s been fashion roadkill week-after-week. In my role as chief mickey-taker, I feel  it’s my duty to drive back down that road and scrape up those festering clothing carcases with a shovel.

The first indication that things might be going awry for Dave came back in December at the Slammys.

I actually loved this outfit. Real men wear pink and all that. And besides, he was taking Maria’s Diva of the Year moment a la Kanye West/Taylor Swift at the VMAs. No problem.

But Dave obviously got a taste for the golf-shirt lifestyle and decided to carry it on a little longer.

It didn’t end there. In pure nouveau-riche style, he appeared on the Raw titantron to address John Cena in his Ralph Lauren Polo. LOGO TO THE MAX! Oh and the aviators were a must to top-off the look. Not sure how much you paid for those, David, but they sell them in TopShop for about 15 quid. Just sayin’.

From here, Dave decided to take a different clothing route. In one foul swoop he went from fair-weather golfer to King of Double-Denim. There are ways to wear double-denim and still look cool. For example, Christina Ricci looks pretty laid back and chilled in hers:

Captain of all Teenage Hearts, Zac Efron, pulls it off regularly:

Eternally stylish David Beckham makes it look effortless:

And then there’s fabulous Dave Batista; shirtless, bulging and with the style savvy of a South-Western trucker.

Oh Dave. Couldn’t you at least have put a shirt on, sweets? Ah. Of course not, because then we wouldn’t have seen that oiled, rippling, 6-pack, right?

But this wasn’t the end. Batista’s finest fashion hour came on this week’s Raw when he rolled in looking like the 80’s gay scene had just vomited him up.

That studded leather cuff alone is criminal, but the whole ensemble is both amazing and atrocious at the same time. I can’t even look at that picture without imagining him disappearing behind the curtain and throwing shapes to some wicked David Guetta beats. Click play, close your eyes and imagine it:

I’m tempted to suggest that someone in the wardrobe department has a word in Dave’s ear, but the anticipation of which combination of gaudy designer names, pleather waistcoats and fur-collared denim he might come up with next is kind of exciting. Keep on truckin’, David Batista. I bloody love you!