A Song for Whoever: Edge & Larry Sweeney Edition

BOSS LADY RAY: There isn’t much I can say about Edge and his shock retirement that hasn’t already been said this week. We can’t, however, let it pass without comment. The outpouring of love for Adam Copeland over the past seven days has been astonishing. I’m not for a second suggesting he doesn’t deserve it. Quite the opposite. I just mean it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such universal affection for a single wrestler.

At 3:00am on Tuesday morning, the wind blowing through a forgotten, open window woke me up. I was suddenly struck with insomnia. To entertain myself I opened Twitter to see if anything interesting was happening on Raw. Edge was retiring. I assumed it was a story. There have been so many false goodbyes in the WWE lately and there were no signs of injury at Wrestlemania. But the more my Twitter feed refreshed, the more it became apparent that it was a very real farewell. I resisted the urge to turn on the television. Feeling sleepy again I went back to bed. When my alarm woke me up I returned to Twitter to find it awash with mournful messages tagged with #ThankYouEdge. Clearly I hadn’t just dreamt it.  Before I’d even got up I navigated my way to YouTube on my phone and watched the speech North Americans had been reeling over four hours earlier. I had a little cry.

.....as did he.

One of the things I’ve really been taken aback by this week is just how well respected and very much needed Edge is backstage. Curt Hawkins’ video tribute was especially lovely.

It must be an incredible feeling to make the difficult decision to take your ship to shore for the final time, knowing that not only your audience are going to miss you, but that your peers will miss you even more. The extended send-off WWE sprung on Edge on this week’s Smackdown was even more touching than his big announcement on Raw. And yes, I definitely cried.

The thought that keeps coming back to me is that Edge can’t possibly retire because he’s one of the new guys. But he isn’t. He’s 38 this year. He was already established in The Brood when I started watching some thirteen years ago. He’s one of the most decorated Superstars in the WWE. So why do I keep thinking of him as one of the new guys? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because Edge’s retirement feels untimely. We’re not used to wrestlers being given medical advice to quit and actually listening. We’re not accustomed to seeing wrestlers retiring without their bodies and faces looking twenty years older than they really are. Sad as I am to see Edge go, I’m thrilled I won’t be seeing him dragging a broken carcass around the ring ten years from now. I’m happy he gets to go hiking in the mountains with his good lady and a couple of dogs. Live the dream, make your money and get out while you can still enjoy it.

This is the first generation of wrestlers who have the sense and the future prospects to retire when their body tells them to. It’s a relief to me. This is why Hulk Hogan’s comments that there is somehow something weak about retiring before dropping dead in the ring are infuriating. Hogan’s generation haven’t retired because they don’t know what else to do but wrestle. They had no options of second careers so they just kept going. Is this ideal? No. It’s terrible for them and embarrassing to watch. So why on earth would Hogan feel the need to denigrate Edge’s very sensible decision? Maybe envy, but probably just irresponsible stupidity. I could not despise that man more.

This new generation of educated and media savvy performers have something to fall back on at the end of their careers; whether that’s at the end of an illustrious career or one cut short because of injury as Edge’s has been. Once he’s finished being off the radar, I have no doubt he’ll be back in some way, shape or form. I only realised this week that Edge had been part of the creative team during the time he was recovering from the spinal fusion surgery he underwent seven years ago. My guess is that the door is very much open to him whenever he decides to walk back through it again.

Regardless of the fact that professional wrestling results are predetermined, what they do in the ring requires real physical effort. Wrestlers are athletes in every way apart from the fact that they know when they’re winning and when they’re losing. How many professional athletes do you know who continue in their sport beyond maybe their late thirties? A lifetime of athletic exertion takes its toll. In the words of that esteemed philosopher Kenny Rogers “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” Edge is declaring himself out and walking away from the table with his body and his dignity fully intact. I couldn’t be prouder. Thank you, Edge. This one’s for you…….

SIDEKICK ANDREW:

A Song for Whoever: Jeff Hardy & Edge Edition

Boss Lady Ray: I had my part of this post all worked out last night. I hadn’t typed it up but I’d written it in my head. I was going to dedicate a bangin’ tune to the Miz for reminding us so perfectly that it’s him defending the WWE title against John Cena at Wrestlemania, not The Rock. Then Jeff Hardy went and screwed up his career again at the TNA PPV last night. I was torn. We hate TNA and I didn’t want to give it more coverage than it deserves. I certainly didn’t want to be one of Jeff Hardy’s enablers by rewarding his bad behaviour.

Ray

But when I scanned through my Twitter feed I couldn’t quite resist this one. So this is my one and only piece of advice for all the sobbing Jeff Hardy fans. Stop. Stop expecting him to change. Stop expecting him to be what he was ten years ago. He never will be that good or that clean again. He’s going to screw up over and over again and he doesn’t care whether he breaks your heart or not. Jeff will show up at work drunk/high/stoned on whatever he’s slurped/injected/smoked/inhaled again. Stop being shocked by it.

Think of Jeff Hardy like a loser boyfriend (or girlfriend). Your friends hate him and tell you to cut him loose. You mother rolls her eyes ever time you try to sing his praises. He lets you down, messes things up, embarrasses you in front of your colleagues by turning up at your work Christmas drinks already boozed up to the eyeballs. Why don’t you cut him loose? Because you love him. You think you can change him. You remember how great he used to be and you know that person is still in there; you just need to help him ‘find himself’ again. You just need to figure out why he keeps pressing the self-destruct button and make sure he doesn’t go there again. Good luck with that.

Really, you’ve got two choices. You can keep hoping Jeff Hardy will turn over a new leaf and stick with it, absorbing the fact that people will think you’re crazy for doing so. This means not complaining when he gets thrown off a show for being high as a kite again. Or you can stop calling yourself a Jeff Hardy fan and bypass the heartache. Not that I was exactly a fan when Matt Hardy finally got himself fired from WWE after making a total arse of himself on YouTube, but unfollowing the Hardys and all their enabling cronies on Twitter made my feed a much nicer place to be. I suggest you do the same.

It’s taken me all morning to find this song in my brain’s musical archives, but it’s finally popped to the front. This is the most perfect ‘stop-caring-about-Jeff-Hardy’ song on the face of the earth. Let it work its magic and, well, stop caring.

Sidekick Andrew:Back in February, somebody on the wrestling forums over at www.somethingawful.com posted a picture of Brodus Clay in his original FCW gear. As originally pointed out by Boss Lady Ray in her NXT Series 4 post, Brodus Clay looks like a cartoon or video game character already, so I decided to Photoshop said picture (this is what I do to pass the time):

Now, I often forget that the majority of people are either a) younger than me or b) not quite as geeky as me. As such (or maybe due to my lack of photoshop skill) there is a chance that the “joke” isn’t immediately apparent. For those of you who might not know, it’s supposed to look like King Hippo, a character from the Nintendo “Punch-Out” video games series (starting with DX member Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. There’s always a wrestling connection if you look hard enough).

Anyway, I posted this photoshop on the Something Awful forums and was encouraged to tweet it to Derrick Bateman, which seemed like a good idea. Bateman liked it, asked me to add a couple of things and then retweeted the finished product. I was happy, he was happy, we forgot about the whole thing…

Fast forward through the mists of time with me to this week’s Smackdown. Exciting wasn’t it? Kaitlyn! John Cena! HHH! The much teased reunion of Edge & Christian! Can you guess which I was most excited for? I mean… it’s been ten years since Edge & Christian teamed up together. Ten Years! And they had been teasing this since Backlash 2009! The answer’s pretty obvious really…

If you didn’t watch the show, the whole reason Edge & Christian teamed up was to take on Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay, after Edge had words with the two of them at the start of the episode. Amongst the words Edge used to describe Brodus Clay? Yep… “King” and “Hippo” :(

Now, I’m not saying that Edge definitely saw my photoshop previously. I’m not suggesting Edge follows myself and Bateman on Twitter, or that the two of them held some shadowy meeting in a backstage corridor to discuss this. But I am going to dedicate this song to you Edge…

Sunday Musings

I was going to write a humorous summary of Wade Barrett’s appearance on Daybreak today. Nothing makes me feel more smug than non-wrestling bods interviewing wrestlers, desperately walking the journalistic tightrope of curiosity vs ignorance. The idea of Adrian Chiles snarling and spitting “Wrestling is fake though, isn’t it?” at Wade Barrett would have been worthy of a whole post in itself. Christine Bleakely trying to look interested in any man who isn’t Chiles or pretty-faced boyfriend Frank Lampard would have been great, especially when faced with wonky nosed Barrett. At least they could have discussed their shared interest in over-tanning.

If you’re not lucky enough to be British and have no clue what I’m babbling on about, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakely are a platonic TV couple who jumped ship from their daily evening show on the BBC (where they were great) to front a daily morning show for more cash on ITV (where they are terrible). Adrian Chiles just isn’t made for being seen in the morning and Christine Bleakely makes me not want to look in the mirror myself in the morning.

Evidence

Unfortunately, Wade Barrett was bumped from Friday’s show. They needed room to cover the atrocious earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. That’s fair. They’d be hauled over the coals for chatting away with a home-grown wrestling superstar while thousands of people were suffering at that very moment. Having said that, they did find time to run a segment where five, yes five, grown adults sat around and chuckled at the fact that the Ken doll has a new haircut. It went on for some time. This was before speaking with their Hollywood reporter live via satellite to ask for an update on that washed-up actor who has been dominating Twitter with his incoherent musings. (I’m deliberately not saying his name.) Nice to know you’ve got your priorities straight, Daybreak. So Wade recorded a British radio interview to be broadcast next week and jetted off to Germany for more promotional work before I’d even caught glimpse of him on local telly.

Now what am I going to talk about? I could tell you about the dream I had last night where CM Punk dumped me for Kaitlyn while we were on holiday in Cornwall, only to find myself crying on Stephen Merchant’s shoulder, but that’s not very interesting. The truth is, it’s actually been a very busy week for both of us. It’s definitely been one of those weeks where real life has taken priority over blogging. We even had to skip our sacred ‘watching Smackdown in pyjamas’ on Saturday morning. Sad times. We did manage to watch CHIKARA’s Anniversario Elf show on Thursday, which was unsurprisingly fantastic, and we squeezed WWE Superstars in on Friday afternoon. Unusually, I’ve only just got round to watching Raw and Smackdown. Smackdown on a Sunday is wrong. It is to be watched on Saturday mornings in pyjamas with the Sidekick or not at all.

I’m not going to recap either show and the post I might have written about Michael Cole’s interruption of the Raw Divas match on International Women’s Day has already been written rather wonderfully elsewhere. More on that in a few paragraphs time. But something quite profound struck me while my eyes jogged through today’s Raw/Smackdown marathon, and that is that this really is a watershed in WWE programming. At least, I hope it is.

The forthcoming Wrestlemania is the pulling-out-all-the-stops Wrestlemania. They’ve brought legends back, others are probably on their last trot around the paddock and a young and overly stacked roster are salivating at the prospect of being moved up. Obviously, Wrestlemania is the money spinner; the one chance WWE has to draw in PPV buys from people who don’t bother for the rest of the year. Unabashed carrot dangling is expected, but what they’re doing here can never be done again, at least not without people saying “Meh. You’ve done this already. Show me something else.” If you’re going to this Wrestlemania, soak it in.

The Rock’s reappearance sent tingles down my spine, but he definitely won’t be a regular feature once ‘Mania’s done. Austin will always be around in some form, but if he values the use of his lower body he’ll never wrestle again. Trish Stratus is ultimately back to plug her own yoga business. The Undertaker’s body is so broken I’m worried he won’t even make it to his Wrestlemania match with HHH. Triple H has made no secret of the fact that he loves his backstage role and would be fine if he disappeared again. Shawn Michaels is indirectly involved in the Taker/HHH match and will be in Atlanta to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Strange as it seems, I hope this last hoorah is a way for all those legends to say goodbye.  When I started watching wrestling, all these people were at the top of their game. They were wrestling to me. They were the reason I watched. This loaded Wrestlemania card should be where they say thank you, step aside and let the young roster flourish. Yes, The Rock pulls out the most incredible promos. He always will. He’s the best. But I don’t think he necessarily shows the other performers up. Wrestling is a totally different game now and I don’t think Jim Ross was fair in telling the younger guys to shut up and stop complaining about having to share the ring with their predecessors.

It’s got to be frustrating for them and I don’t buy into the idea that today’s wrestlers are less of a draw than Rock and Austin. The output and the audience have changed dramatically. If you still want the Attitude Era and profess about how much you hate the PG era, wrestling has left you behind. You can’t compare current individual performers with those from 15 years ago because they’re working in an entirely different environment. It’s not disrespectful to acknowledge that this is a whole new ballgame. Without balls. Well, some balls, but…..never mind. You get my drift.

I’m genuinely proud of the young performers and how their media savvy selves are embracing their roles inside and outside the ring. The way Dolph Ziggler sold his faux firing on Twitter, for example, was brilliant. The current mix of former collegiate athletes, second or third generation competitors and indie stars is actually a nice mix. They don’t always use them properly and I’d like to see more indie guys being brought up, but then, I’m a born again indie geek. I would say that.

Once, Wrestlemania’s over, I hope WWE have the courage and the confidence to leave the past as it stands and put some faith into their current roster. I’m quite comfortable with Rock, Austin, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, HHH and Trish Stratus limiting their appearances to biennial pops, leaving Edge, Christian, Mysterio, Jericho and possibly even Cena to be the elder statesman. If you feel you’d be left wanting without the people brought back for Wrestlemania 27, I’ve a feeling you might find the next 18 months or so rather painful.

Before I sign off for the day I just wanted to mention the excellent work going on over at Fair to Flair. I caught up on the latest posts this morning and it’s really inspiring work. It makes me want to be a better wrestling blogger. There are very few places where you can read intelligent, thought-provoking writing on professional wrestling without the aggravating, smarky, ‘wrestling fan’ rubbish, but you’ll definitely find it there. If any project deserves to prosper, it’s Fair to Flair. I mentioned earlier that the women’s post I might have written has already been written brilliantly elsewhere and that’s where you’ll find it. Click here to read and enjoy.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our latest Song for Whoever and hoping real life gives us a break this week. Happy Sunday and if you haven’t entered our second birthday giveaway yet, you’re missing out. Click here to win excellent prizes. They’re on us!


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Here we are again. Another pay-per-view, another results show. *sigh*  It’s now become a running joke in the Wrestle-Bunker that I will be writing the Results Show every month. So with this in mind, I’ve requested that this month’s results graphics be MasterChef themed. There is no reason for this other than to cheer me up because it’s my favourite show on TV. The Sidekick has not disappointed, which I’m grateful for. Not only am I still sad about predicting Elimination Chamber so badly, but I also botched baking some macaroons this afternoon. If Gregg Wallace and John Torode had been watching they’d have pulled these face:

Woe is me. But enough of my whining. Let’s cook….up a new blog post! See what I did there?

The first match was as expected with both Kofi and Del Rio being excellent. But as the match played itself out I soon realised my prospects weren’t looking good. During the quiet moments of this match, we spent our time either giggling at the fact that Kofi’s knickers looked like this:

……or debating how acceptable it would be to completely hate how Booker T growls into the microphone. We decided we just didn’t enjoy his commentary and kindly asked for him to disappear from our television screen. He didn’t. He sat there through the whole show talking nonsense. I mean, fine, they all talk nonsense. But we at least want nonsense we understand.

Del Rio won the match and while I boo-hoo’d, Andrew had one of those BOOYAH-IN-YOUR-FACE moments. It was not becoming and my soufflé had well and truly sunk.

Time for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber and this match has already been written down in our little notebook for next year’s Wrestlegasm Best Match of the Year Awards. It was truly outstanding and I haven’t gasped and held my breath at so many nearfalls since the first time I watched a CHIKARA sampler.

Ever the logical thinker, Andrew had very sensibly picked Edge to win this match. I, on the other hand, had come up with a convoluted story involving CM Punk , Nexus and The Corre that would allow Wade Barrett to win and take the title to Wrestlmania. Even as the match began I kind of knew this was a mistake, but I still stood by my man and repeated my favourite Wade Barrett chant “WADE! WADE! WADE! Oh yes indade!” I made it up myself. It made The Sidekick smile while he mourned the empty pod that had been set aside for Dolph Ziggler. And who replaced the Zig in that final empty space? HHH? Kong? Evan Bourne?

UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGG! Just like that moment in Masterchef where the contestant promises gourmet and delivers a pile of gruel.

As I said, this match was spectacular and despite the fact that Wade was eliminated and Edge went on to win, to paraphrase my esteemed colleague – we all won during that match because it was so brilliant.

And to make it even better, this happened.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Christian in civilian clothes is a real treat. Also…..Christian’s back! Hoorah! It’s now 2-0 to Andrew I need something to cheer me up.

That'll do it.

Sadly, this moment of extreme pleasure was followed by a pitiful segment intended to promote Tough Enough. Booker T bounded up to the ring to introduce his fellow Tough Enough trainer:

After a brief moment of swooning the rest of the segment died on its arse. We watched tentatively through our facepalms and shouted MAKE IT STOP in tandem. Things didn’t get much better. Not only did we have to suffer the tedium of the tag titles match, but we also lost the prediction. Even the match I turned over entirely to chance by flipping a coin failed me.

There was another diversion in the form of an impossibly sad Vickie Guererro, who begged the world to stand up and demand that Dolph Ziggler got his job back. We rose to our feet, punched the air and gave Vickie a round of applause for her perseverance. This had no effect on Teddy Long, who brought Kelly Kelly back instead. Kelly beat up Vickie, then LayCool beat up Kelly then Trish ran out in ridiculous boots and beat up LayCool.

On to Lawler and the Miz. I had to get this one right. Right? Wrongggggg. As wrong as poaching an egg in cling-film. Poor old Jerry Lawler. He finds himself in a match against the Miz, then his Mum dies and he has to take a week off, then he loses said match against the Miz.

Sad times indeed. But who’s sadder? Jerry Lawler or moi? I think it’s me. I have not predicted a single match correctly. If this were a MasterChef audition, I’d have been sent home already with my chef’s hat drooping.

Andrew had already won the competition but I still had one more opportunity to claw back a crumb of dignity. If ever there was a match I was going to get right it was the Raw Elimination Chamber fisticuffs. We spent the majority of this match cooing equally over CM Punk, declaring how much we love him and smiling uncontrollably as he squeezed himself through his broken pod door, then bashing on it like an asylum patient until he was released to the ring for the second time.

And quite frankly, anyone who can suffer this and can continue without even a wince is captain of our hearts forever.

Was this match better than the Smackdown match? Definitely not. Remove Punk and it would have been considerably less entertaining. But it did deliver a result which saved me from turning in my wrestling blogger membership card for good.

Oh thank god!

While we watched this show I felt it was pretty good. Running through it again I’m not sure it was as good as I originally thought. There were some incredible individual moments, but as a whole it was a little flat. Still, it’s a tough gig being sandwiched between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, so we’ll let it off with a warning.

I’ll have to up my predicting game for Wrestlemania, especially as I wont be predicting by cupcake this year. I can’t blame baked good when it all goes wrong. Speaking of which, I should go and rescue my macaroons before I’m asked to return my chef’s whites for good.

Over 2 Miles of Chain? So, over 160 Chains of Chain then?: EC Predictions

Another month, another PPV. Except of course it isn’t, this is one of those “another 3 weeks, another PPV” things that the WWE seem to think are a good idea for some reason…

Anyway, another three weeks, another patented practically perfect PPV Predictions Post. Yep, once again we’ll try and fruitlessly predict the results of a show featuring “professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from scripted feuds and storylines that have been seen on World Wrestling Entertainment’s television programs – Raw and SmackDown.” (Thanks for that Wikipedia, you bloody idiots. This is why I stopped writing articles for you)

NOTE: As always, the WWE try to deliberately catch Ray and myself off guard by not announcing all their matches in advance, or changing them at the last minute. We’re not sure why they single this blog out for their petty amusements. Think of us as a couple of those little statues that Zeus played with in Clash of the Titans with Vince playing the “Father of Gods and men”

That's right, old school Titans. Real Harryhausen shit yo

Sidekick Andrew: First up, we have a match seemingly chucked on the card to either a: pad the numbers, b: give the #1 Contender something to do or c: just give us a really fun match. It’s hard to imagine these two having a bad match, so I’m plumping for C. As for predictions, I would hope that the WWE wouldn’t be silly enough to let Del Rio lose in the pre-Wrestlemania PPV, especially to someone holding a “lesser” belt than the one he’s challenging for. Let’s face it, BEEPBEEPBEEP>BOOMBOOMBOOM.

The man from Del Rio, he say "siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

Boss Lady Ray: Elimination Chamber is the last PPV before the big bomper. More than ever you have to consider the slow-burn, the long-game, the…. something else relating to the future. Del Rio will challenge for the World Heavyweight title against an as yet unknown champion. We’ll get to that special person later, but for this match I think Kofi will win. Stay with me on this. Lots of people still aren’t sold on the greatness that is Alberto Del Rio. Stupid people, admittedly, but there are quite a few of them. I wouldn’t put it past WWE to make it seem like the Rumble was a fluke and beat Alberto down for a while before he comes out at ‘Mania and KAPOW! he’s all great again. By the way, that KAPOW! was accompanied by a high-kick and karate chop, a la Batman fight scene (circa the Adam West years).

Sidekick Andrew: This will either be a glorious train crash of a match, or the surprise match of the night. After the match they had on Raw nobody should be surprised if this is great, but there are a lot of people out there who will be suspicious of both these guys. Lawler’s at the age where he should be tucked up on the couch with his slippers on and a packet of Werthers Original, whereas Miz is still “that annoying prick with the faux-hawk from The Real Life.” But The Miz has come on leaps and bounds over the last year or so to the point where he’s been a great heel champion, as well as the go to guy after Cena for publicity appearances. Lawler on the other hand, has forty (40!) years wrestling experience and was part of one of my top 10 or so brawls opposite Terry Funk in an Empty Arena Match

Between Lawler’s experience (and, cynical as it may seem, he’ll be wanting to go all out to prove a point) and The Miz’s amazing heel charisma, not to mention Alex Riley and Micheal Cole’s involvement, this could well be great. As for who’s going to win, I’m going with Lawler. Having said that, I think he’ll win by DQ and not take the title. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lawler really takes the fight to Miz and Riley, only to be distracted at the last minute by Cole interfering in the match causing the DQ. There’s only so much mileage in a Miz-Lawler feud, and Miz’s Wrestlemania opponent will be decided in the Chamber anyway. A Cole-Lawler feud would be nice and easy to push over the next month, maybe culminating in one of those silly “non-wrestler” matches that they always seem to add to Wrestlemania cards. Lawler vs Cole in a Loser Leaves Raw match? Maybe a tag match with Cole & Riley vs Lawler & Random Wrestler Who Happens To Stick Up For Him That Week? It worked with Jonathan Coachman *and* Jim Ross previously, for a given value of “work” at least.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree with Andrew that Lawler will win the match, but I think he’ll actually take the title. He’ll have it for a maximum of a week and the Miz will get it back in plenty of time to plug his Wrestlemania match against &£@*&€ (sshhhh can’t tell you that yet).  Jerry Lawler has got to be looking towards retirement from his commentary role soon.  His brand of commentary, especially when discussing the Divas, is becoming outdated. They’re kind of overloaded at the announce table at the moment and there are a long line of people who’d love to have his job when he hangs up his headset. *cough*Striker*cough* This would be a nice way of letting Lawler have his moment in the sun before he says so-long, farewell etc.

My only hope is that Michael Cole falls out of love with the Miz soon. Seriously, this man-crush is worse than Andrew’s on Dolph Ziggler. The only thing that stopped The Sidekick sobbing into his bacon sandwich while watching Smackdown this morning was me pointing out how pretty the ticker tape was. It distracted him from his whimpering. What would be excellent is if the Miz could actually reject Cole’s affections and, just like a broken-hearted lover, Cole sought revenge. By helping Lawler win, maybe? I think I’m on to something here.

Sidekick Andrew: Just to clarify, this is for the Number One Contender and a title match at Wrestlemania. It’s *not* for the actual WWE Championship, as we in the Bunker keep imagining for some reason. Not that this makes a massive difference to the predictions however. This one starts off pretty simple:

R-Truth: Definitely not. As Boss Lady Ray pointed out in the inaugural Song For Whoever, Truth has been botching left, right and centre recently, and his punishment started on NXT this week when he lost to Brodus Clay – not a good sign. I suspect he’ll be one of the first two entrants (possibly with Cena) and eliminated very quickly before the next person even enters.

John Morrison: Despite looking amazing on Raw this week (please, please, please turn heel again) Morrison still can’t talk so he’s not going to put in the title picture until that’s sorted out or he gets a manager/valet. Take him back to being a heel rock star, one who’s too cool to talk to us – give him a spokesperson and then we can have a rethink. OK? Cool…

Sheamus: at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Sheamus is just treading water until “He wHo sHall not be named” comes back. Plus, by all accounts (well, one website that I read) Sheamus isn’t very popular with management backstage at the moment, so he’s not going to win.

Randy Orton: hmm… Randy’s always got a chance, but I don’t think I’m alone in hoping he doesn’t get another title shot. It’s amazing how boring he’s become, but again it’s down to turning him face. That being said, as I admitted to Boss Lady Ray over Curiosity Cola and Welsh Cakes in the Bunker the other day – I generally want every wrestler I like to be a heel.

John Cena: Cena seems the obvious choice. They even pushed the fact on air recently that Cena is the only competitor on this show that has won more than one Elimination Chamber match. However, I’m going to channel The Boss and say that baby, I was born to run. Sorry… wrong Boss. I’m going to channel Boss Lady Ray and go with my heart rather than my head and say that I’m hoping Vince is a man of his word and uses this Wrestlemania to push newer talent. Plus Cena could fit into the role of “Random Wrestler Who Happens To Stick Up For Lawler That Week” for the tag match at Wrestlemania pretty easily.

CM Punk: My pick to win this one. Despite the fact that would lead to Heel vs Heel at Wrestlemania, it would be a great match and give the New Nexus someone different to feud with rather than Randy Orton. Logic dictates that I’m definitely wrong on this one though – but I’m sticking with Punk. Please don’t let me down…

Boss Lady Ray: Unlike my learned friend, I won’t give you a paragraph on each contender. Mainly because we agree on a lot of what he said, but also because I’m excited to tell you who I think will win. R-Truth is a rope stumble away from getting his P45 and Sheamus is waiting to be validated by a certain failed movie star. (I’m assuming it’s going to fail.) By the way…unpopular backstage? You didn’t tell me about that. Fill me in later, please.

It could possibly be CM Punk, but I have plans for him. Not those kind of plans. Actually, yes, those kind of plans. But I have Wrestlemania plans for him involving The Corre and Nexus. Randy Orton is a big ball of meh and while I’d never be fed up of seeing John Morrison and the Miz have a match, no way is John Morrison headlining Wrestlemania. WM is all about the money. Which is why the only winner can be Cena.

I know, I know. You hate Cena. Down with Cena. Cena sux. BOOOOOO! But if you stop thinking like a ‘wrestling fan’ for a few minutes and remember that Vince is running a business here, it makes brilliant sense. If he doesn’t make cash on Wrestlemania, he’s sunk. Assuming Miz gets his title back you’ve got the past, present and future best talkers all involved in one match. There’s so much promo fuel in The Rock, Cena and Miz it’s like finding treasure. Money shaped treasure.

Sidekick Andrew: This one actually is for the title, and more importantly the chance to face Alberrrrrrrto Delllll Rrrrrrrrrrrioooooooo in his first ever Wrestlemania match. Surely the biggest prize in Sports Entertainment? Anyway, same deal as last time…

Kane: Sorry Kane, you knows I loves you. But there’s no way you’re winning this. I’m not sure what you are going to be doing, especially if your brother comes back on Raw this week, but you won’t be taking the belt to Wrestlemania. My prediction is that the lights will go off during the match and a gong will sound. You’ll get all panicky and distracted and Barrett will pin you. Titantron cuts to a shot backstage of Ezekiel Jackson with a gong and a big grin. There you are, you can feud with him for a bit if you want.

Drew McIntyre: Nah, you’re not interesting enough for a title run yet – you should probably stick to being narky with Dolph for sacking that girl you’ve been crushing on? Maybe bring her back and turn her heel? (there I go again!)

Rey Mysterio: Making up the numbers, the only reason for Rey to win would be for a Rey/Del Rio headline match. But we’ve seen that a few times now, and Rey’s not the man he used to be. On the bright side, those pods will seem nice and roomy for him, so claustrophobia won’t be an issue.

Dolph Ziggler: *sob* Whoever is in this spot, whether it’s Dolph or someone else, isn’t going to win. I don’t want to talk about it OK? Just LEAVE ME ALONE!

Wade Barrett: How amazing would that be? Wade Barrett as World Heavyweight Champion? With a headline match at Wrestlemania? A year or so after his debut? There would be a certain amount of swooning in the Bunker, but there’s a catch. If Barrett wins, he has to face Del Rio. That means either Del Rio doesn’t win the belt at Wrestlemania which seems somehow unthinkable, or Barrett’s title reign is a little over a month, which doesn’t seem very logical for someone they’ve pushed so highly.

Edge: The only logical winner is Edge. He can retain the belt in the Chamber to help him look like a strong champion going into Wrestlemania, but losing to Del Rio in April won’t hurt his career at all, especially with a bit of Rodriguez/Guerrero interference. Plus I want to see Edge’s God Pyro at Wrestlemania again…

Boss Lady Ray: Mysterio is still hanging out for a holiday, Kane has had more than his fair share of belt-time during the past year and Drew’s only reason for being there is a possible appearance from Kelly. As seen through the veil of Andrew’s tears this morning, Dolph is out and soon to be replaced by a mystery competitor.

I suppose Edge could retain, but I’m over that. It’s all about Wade. The kiddies can have Cena vs the Miz at Wrestlemania and us Smackdown-ites can have a triple threat between Wade Barratt, CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio for the title. God, that sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m tingling at the mere thought. You see? I told you I had respectable plans for CM Punk.

And as Andrew predicted at the beginning of the post, another match has been added this morning – a tag match between Santino & Koslov and Gabriel and Slater. I seriously don’t care about this squabble at all, so I’ll just flip a coin. ‘Heads’ Santino and Koslov and ‘Tails’ to the Corre boys. And winner will be?

HEADS!

So now it’s your turn. Tell us what you think will happen on Sunday night. It’s the Road to Wrestlemania, kids. Get your coats on! And if you’ve read the spoilers, don’t post them masquerading as predictions, please. It only ruins it for everyone else. Thank you, lovelies. (Sidekick Andrew Edit: I’m going to pretend I care about that tag match as well by the way. Santino & Kozlov will win, and the world will yawn)

-

As per the new Wrestlegasm tradition, whichever of us loses the PPV prediction competitions has to write up the results. So guess who lost again? The Boss! I’m very grumpy and have spent the week skulking around the Wrestle Bunker with a permanent frown on my face while the Sidekick does his smuggiest  smug-face every time I walk past his desk. It also took me a good three days to get over the live PPV-watching jetlag, which didn’t help with the tetchiness. For the rest of this post, assume I have reverted to being the sullen teenager I was in the 90s, sucking on my baggy sleeves and rolling my eyes when it’s suggested that listening to a personal CD player in a restaurant is rude. This may or may not have actually happened. Aren’t teenagers absolute twats?

Dolph and Edge were up first and this was by far the best individual match of the night. To be honest, it was probably always going to be, but not only was the in-ring action brilliant, the interplay between Vickie on the sidelines and the boys on the other side of the ropes was magic. When Vickie tried to interfere with the match Kelly-Kelly, of all people, ran out to make sure that didn’t happen. It seemed random at the time, but it lead to a fantastic main event on Smackdown. I should learn to trust wrestling more. (N.B. Never trust wrestling. It will break your heart.)

Long story short, everyone was having a punch-induced nap apart from Edge & Dolph. With nobody to tell him off, Edge decided to initiate the Spear. Thrilling, of course. But more thrilling was the fact that we could now spear onion rings with crunchy sticks, as discussed in the predictions post.

Everyone woke from their slumber and Edge took the match with the Killswitch. All was buoyant in the Bunker.

Ah the Royal Rumble. The only show that can be opened with two title matches. Which leads me neatly towards Randy Orton vs Mizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-zzz-zzz-zzzz-zzz. Everything we said about this match turned out to be true. Miz was great, as always, but Orton was dull and managed to knocked the air out of every Miz move. We used this time to chat about nonsense, spear more onion rings and debate whether we should turn the fire on or not.

Not gonna lie, towards the end there I genuinely thought Orton was going to take it. But I was even more thrilled than usual to see the New Nexus bods trot out to distract Randy. He didn’t know where to look. What he should have done is kept an eye out for CM Punk, who was waiting to knee him in the chops with a GTS. From there is was a simple case of dragging Miz’s broken carcass on top of Randy and letting the ref do his job. The happiness continued in the Bunker.

To unleash a Kong or not to unleash a Kong? That is the question. The Divas handicap match was about to get going when the lights flickered and the anonymous GM did his/her bleeping email sound thing. YESSSSSSS! This is it! This isn’t going to be a handicap match. It’s a Fatal 4-Way. YESSSSSSSS! She’s here! I’ve wanted to see this for so long. Heeeeeere’s Ko….EVE? The entire world groaned all at once. It was like being told you were having an amazing dessert after your dinner and it turns out to be a rice-cake. It’s a shame, because I really like Eve , but if ever someone was used as a pawn for Vince McMahon to flip his middle finger to the internet, Eve was she.

With Eve in the mix, Bunker disappointment turned to quickly deciding how we were going to work the predictions. We settled on me sticking with LayCool and Andrew taking Natalya and Eve. The match itself was great and those little hints that cracks may form within LayCool at any time are always a tantalising reminder of what will be a brilliant story when Layla and Michelle finally go their separate ways.

So, who won this pre-Rumble tussle? Eve. Yes, EVE! After the collective global groan came the collective global ‘WTF-Just-Happened-Face’. I’m not sure Eve was ready for the heat she was thrown from the crowd, just for not being Kong. Still, this turned out to be a very important result in our predictions competition. Just a second, I need to put my teenage angst face back on.

Rumble tiiiiiiiime! Woo! Time to head to the kitchen and break out the WWE themed ice cream bars I made for the Sidekick and myself.

Ah-ha. When I tweeted about them on Sunday you thought I was joking, didn’t you? Wrong. They were delicious. If you’ve ever wondered what Mason Ryan and Beth Phoenix taste like (and we definitely have) they taste like……printer ink.

Where to start with the Rumble? CM Punk came in at no.1 and Andrew was already expecting to lose. Then when Daniel Bryan came in at no. 2, we both figured we were screwed. And to make me even more miserable, when the New Nexus and The Corre stormed the start of the match, I was waiting for them all to be disqualified, culling the quota of entrants and depriving me of Mason Ryan screen-time. Luckily, they were all sent backstage and the match began. PHEW!

Daniel Bryan was eliminated after about 20 minutes by Punk while I was out of the room feeding the cat. At least I didn’t have to watch Andrew begin his gloating fiesta. Much the same as last year, where Punk held a sermon in the middle of the ring and attempted to save every entrants from themselves, he managed to sweep the decks with his Nexus ship-mates at his side. Waiting for Mason to appear was absolute agony. And then….

Of course, their work was all for nothing. Super-Cena showed up and got rid of every single one. And not just the sidekicks, but Punk too. Then there was a whole thing where Hornswoggle came out and they practically tag-teamed everyone out of the ring. This didn’t do much to keep us awake at 3:00am. Wait, I’m forgetting something…….

I’d tell you how exciting this was, but knowing what happened on Smackdown this week, I’m on a Booker T embargo. I’ll discuss this more in our new feature, to be posted later tonight.

We were at the business end of the Rumble. It all becomes a little hazy from this point. There were so many possible winners and still no Trips or Kong. My fixation with the HHH comeback clouded my thoughts and, you know, it was creeping towards 4:00am. There’s only so much you can take in at this ungodly hour. It was safe to say that, once Sheamus was eliminated, Triple H was not coming back. It then became about Wade Barrett and Del Rio for us. Either one would have had us leaping in the air in our new pyjamas.

So this is it. It’s Del Rio. YAY! Amazing! He so des…..oh no. This can’t be. Santino? SANTINO is going to win the Rumble? FUUUUUUCK!

I suggest you take a moment to scan to faces of people in the crowd. This is wrestling.

Ah. It was just a joke. Oh WWE, you silly little sausage. You had us going there.

Jumping in the air in our new pyjamas commenced right about nnnnnnnow:

This is not an accurate depiction of myself and Andrew. We look much older.

After the ticker-tape had fallen we went to our respective wings of the Bunker and stared at the ceiling for a few hours. Europeans: how on earth does anyone sleep after a live PPV? If you figure it out, let me know. In 12 years I’m yet to solve the mystery. Luckily, I didn’t have to work in the morning. Being a hard taskmaster though, I put the Sidekick to work and saw to it that he didn’t fall asleep by poking his arm with a newly sharpened pencil every time he did the nod at his desk. MWAHAHAHA!

As a whole we thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Rumble. Sure, it has its dull moments, but it was miles away from being a bad PPV. Was 40 too many for one match? Maybe. But then, they needed the New Nexus to be in there and they wanted The Corre involved. That gives you most of the extras. Booker and Nash were nice surprises (assuming you hadn’t had them spoilt for you). The biggest surprise was the lack of HHH and Kong. Maybe the internet (including ourselves) should learn to shut up a little more. The more we want something, the less McMahon is likely to give it to us. We never learn.

The one thing I forgot to mention was John Morrison’s velcro-feet move. He jumped from the ring to the audience barrier, shuffled about, jumped over to the steps and made it back into the ring without his feet touching the ground. It was fab. Such a shame he can’t string a decent promo together. He’s some vocal training away from being a mega-star.

Okay, that’s another Rumble and another results post in me the bag. If you’ll excuse me I need to pull my fringe down in front of my face, turn my mouth downwards and do some more eye-rolling. God, teenage life was hard work.

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…

TLC – CrazySexyPredictions

Well, after last month’s predictions for Survivor Series went reasonably well, it’s time for a new PPV already. This time it’s the second ever TLC show, and a card that hopefully promises some great matches. The Intercontinental Title match and Mysterio vs Del Rio matches in particular look great on paper.

As an aside, as a designer I really like the style of that video and would gladly watch 3 hours of that instead given the chance. Anyway, on with the predictions (and this time we might actually find out which one of us is better at predicting this nonsense.)

Sidekick Andrew: This could be interesting, assuming the WWE actually let the women wrestle. People have commented that this is a direct response to TNA having Mickie James and Tara in a cage match recently, and if that’s the case then this might be the best thing TNA have ever done. The prospect of these four having a good tables match, especially with wrestlers as good as Beth and Natalya, is an exciting one.

Having said that, the WWE preview for this match mentions the fact that Beth has returned to “clean house” and “set the table” while mentioning how Natalya now holds the “Butterfly Title” – none of which bodes well. The fact they took the belt off Lay-Cool and gave it to Natalya, certainly one of the best female wrestlers in the WWE, was apparently a good omen. However, scrapping the Women’s Championship in favour of the Divas Title, and then referring to it as the Butterfly Title shows a worrying lack of respect.

Anyway, that’s a rant for another time. As for this match I’m predicting Beth and Natalya to win. Much as I’ve enjoyed Lay-Cool I think it might be time for them to go their separate ways, and this could be the way to help split them.

Boss Lady Ray: My first reaction to hearing about this match was excitement. You mean there’s a gimmick PPV and the women don’t have to skip the gimmick? Thrilling. Then when we discussed our predictions yesterday I was a little less confident that our four ladies would be allowed to have a true tables match. Then Andrew pointed out that the WWE.com preview mentioned ‘setting the table’ and I said a word I only save for the most extreme, angry situations. If this match turns out to be anything even slightly akin to the Extreme Makeover match earlier in the year, I might actually cry. I mean it, WWE, If I see even a single tablecloth tomorrow night, a little part of me will die. Oh and I’ll be sending you my dry cleaning bill for when I try to get all the salt water out of my cuffs too.

Having said all that, I do believe Natalya and Beth will win. With Michelle winning her Slammy this week and Layla now more than capable of standing on her own two feet, a parting of the ways may definitely be on the cards and a loss could move things along.

Sidekick Andrew: It’s no secret that we in the Bunker are big fans of Alberrrrrrrto, and this could be a great match. I’d be happier if it was a ladder match though, rather than a “Chairs match” (or, as wwe.com describes it, an “explosive chairs” match, bringing back memories of that Japanese tournament with Cactus Jack and Terry Funk.)

These two have shown they work well together, which is hardly surprising given their mutual lucha libre heritage, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with this time. I’m just not sure what the addition of chairs will help provide, especially given the (entirely justified) distaste for chairshots in the WWE at the moment. Maybe they’ll channel NXT and have a quick game of musical chairs half way through the match? As for a prediction, I think they’ll give this one to Mysterio, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Del Rio snaps and attacks Rey after the bell making all the childrens cry.

Boss Lady Ray: Andrew has the honour of writing most of this post. I just add my predictions after he finishes putting it together, so it’s a cosy life for me. I’m writing my predictions on  Saturday afternoon so I now have the knowledge that this match isn’t happening quite the way it was originally planned. Thanks for saving me a paragraph, WWE. Had it remained unchanged, I would have chosen Alberto and my reasoning would have been ‘because I love him’.

Sidekick Andrew: As a match, this has “piss-break” written all over it. As a way to lead into a certain hirsute Motorhead fan to return, this has the Boss squealing louder than is strictly necessary. This match is to decide the Number One Contender for the WWE Championship, and really… do you think they’re going to give that to Morrison? No, I didn’t think so.

Sheamus will take this one, leading to him having a title shot at the Rumble only to be interrupted by some hairy bloke spitting water all over the place.

Boss Lady Ray: Ah man, I love big hairy blokes who spits water all over the place. OK, just one in particular. There’s no way on earth they’re giving Morrison arguably the biggest title run in the company. Sheamus is King of the Ring, HHH is rumoured to be returning at the Royal Rumble, Sheamus was the guy who put him out of action and Trips will want to avenge his forced absence. Sheamus will get a title shot at the Rumble and the aforementioned hirsute Motorhead fan will ruin it for him. This stuff is getting easier to predict than Eastenders*.

*This is where I’m proven to be embarrassingly wrong.

Sidekick Andrew: Now, this should be the match of the night as far as I can see. Ladder matches always bring an extra element of danger to a match, and these three guys have had some great matches between themselves recently on Smackdown. We’re both massive fans of Ziggler, and both Kofi and Swagger are impressive in the ring.

Interestingly (at least to those mildly interested in the domestic goings on in the Bunker) this was the match that generated the most debate over our hot Vimto and Welsh cakes. While we both agreed that Ziggler probably shouldn’t retain, the Boss incorrectly decided that Kofi should regain the title he lost to Dolph all those months ago. I on the other hand, using my superior male brain, think Swagger should get the belt - if only because he has a giant seagull or something… [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: Superior male brain? Really? That's the last time I slave over a cast-iron hotplate making you Welsh cakes, pal.]

Boss Lady Ray: At first I figured they’d just leave the title with Ziggler. But with NXT over, Kaitlyn now busy using her brain to think for both herself and Kelly Kelly and things with Vickie and Dolph a little stale, his reign is probably over for storyline purposes. I was tempted to go with Swagger, but I’ve got ornithophobia, so I’m siding with Kofi. He’s had some great matches lately and he’s been waiting in the wings for another push for some time.

Sidekick Andrew: As you’ll no doubt be sick of me mentioning by now, I don’t watch Raw. Well, I say I don’t watch Raw… but I did watch the two King of the Ring shows which included Cena going rogue and attacking Nexus members and spilling soda. I gather however that David Otunga managed to persuade Barrett to reinstate Cena, using the logic that if he was employed by the WWE he would be less likely to attack them (you know… because if he’s in the same building every week rather than, say, signing on somewhere, he can’t attack you?)

I like Wade Barrett a lot, but I can’t see him winning this one. If WWE have decided it’s time for the Nexus to start to fragment, then it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding. And if it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding, that ain’t gonna end with Cena staring at the lights. Oh, and before you ask, yes I am fully aware that I started that sentence with the word “and” which makes me a terrible person.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree.  I do think it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding, which is why I think Barrett will take it. Cena’s been reinstated. He got to live another day and fight the good fight for the rest of his adult life. If  he loses, it won’t dent his career at all. If Wade wins, that might be just what he needs to seal his position for the next year. And, you know, I love him.  Oh, and before you ask, yes I am fully aware that I started several sentences in this post with the word “and”, which makes me an excellent person.

Sidekick Andrew: While I have said that I think King Sheamus will also be crowned Number One Contender on Sunday, I don’t think he’ll take the belt from The Miz. Miz has come too far to have a short reign, and the way he is being pushed as the new spokesman for the WWE makes me think they’ll keep him as champ through to Wrestlemania at least.

I can’t see him losing to Orton at the PPV. A tables match generally means no disqualification so A-Ri (or whatever his name is) can assist Miz, basically making this a handicap match. Plus, let’s face it, we don’t need more Orton promos with… him… speaking… very… slowly…then… looking… down… and… to… the… left…

Boss Lady Ray: Oh please. Miz’s belt-grab was so long in the making and he’s the golden boy of mainstream media promotion. There would no logic whatsoever in giving the title back to Snooze-Pants Orton. Grapple-peacock about a bit-punt in the head-get fake angry-punch the mat without letting your member scuff the canvas-RKO-zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The Miz has got it all and, as I pontificated over my breakfast omelette this morning, you can help someone to improve in the ring, but you can’t teach charisma. This is why his former tag-partner John Morrison is struggling to claw his way out of the mid-card, while Miz is defending the WWE Championship. Incidentally, if it could just stop snowing long enough for my Miz t-shirt to be delivered from the Royal Mail depot where its being held against its will, that would be ace. I paid the customs charge five days ago and people need to know I’m awesome. Thanks.

Sidekick Andrew: Dear WWE. I like Kane a lot. I have liked him for a long time now. I liked him when he was silent and masked. I liked him with his weird robot voice box thing. I even liked him when he was teaming with Rob Van Dam and Rob bought him Hungry Hungry Hippos. I also like Edge. I liked him in The Brood with the Fattest Vampire in the West (copyright White Wolf Game Studios.) I liked him when he reeked of awesomeness and played the kazoo and made Christian wear a chicken suit. I liked his transformation into sleazy sex god rock star. I even liked it when he beat up that laptop.

So why oh why do I hate this feud. Oh yeah, that’s it… it’s because the “face” has kidnapped an elderly man and has routinely humiliated and tortured him, making his son believe that he was severely injured or even killed on numerous occasions. The “heel” on the other hand has been distraught, to the point where he has begged tearfully for the safe return of his father, the only person to ever show him genuine love and affection. Stupid stupid stupid…

Hopefully Edge wins this, stops messing about with Kane and Paul Bearer and goes back to being great.

Andrew’s Saturday Morning Edit - OK, so after all that the WWE decided (again) to change the matches around a bit at the last minute and throw Mysterio and Del Rio into the WHC match. That’s a shame, not just because I can’t be arsed making a new graphic but also because I was looking forward to their match. Still, a Fatal 4 Way TLC match has the potential to be really fun, like a mini Money in the Bank match. Strangely enough, I think this favours Del Rio more than Mysterio so I’m torn between Alberto or Edge winning the match and gaining the title. Hmm…I’m going to go with Del Rio, if only because the extra smugness factor of his entrances will be amazing to watch

Boss Lady Ray: As previously mentioned in this post, I’m the second predictor, which means I have the luxury of predicting this match as it actually stands. When it was just Kane and Edge I was going to go with Edge, with the Undertaker somehow getting involved. I hadn’t got as far as considering exactly what he’d do when they changed the match.

My gut feeling is that Edge will win this one, still with some kind of appearance from the Undertaker. But something’s telling me to take a cheeky punt on Del Rio. Mysterio’s due the break he was promised about a year ago, Kane’s floundering a bit and had the title for far too long, Edge could happily retain but Del Rio’s been getting such a massive push lately, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be without some kind of waist-bling for much longer. Also the smugness. Imagine how loud those horn beeps would get!

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Well, that’s what we think. As with last time though, we want to know what you lot think will happen. Disagree with our picks? Let us know in the comments. Think that Hungry Hungry Hippos was a silly gift for Kane? Let us know in the comments. Foreign and want to know whether a “hot Vimto” is a steamy fruity drink, or a steamy, fruity sexual reference? Let us know in the comments (and you have my pity, you’re really missing out. Nothing warms the cockles like a good hot Vimto)