Elimination Chamber Predictions: now with 33.333% extra terrible wrestlers!

Due to a number of factors (illness, real life work, school holidays and at least one unexpected trek through the Amazon in search of the fabled golden skull of Mezzakin the Unwise) these predictions will be a more compact and bijou affair than usual. Compact and bijou – can you tell I’ve been dealing with estate agents recently? Anyway, with that preemptive disclaimer out of the way and my cocktail cabinet fully stocked, let’s do the whole “predicting predetermined pretend pugilism” thing!

Well.. I *say* cocktail cabinet...

Beth Phoenix vs Tamina Snuka

A Diva’s PPV match featuring two women who can wrestle! Not only that, but Tamina has now progressed to the upper echelon of the WWE Women’s Division – a distinction shown by the fact she now has a surname. This could be a really enjoyable match, assuming they are given the time to tell a proper story, and they keep the interference (and hilarious fart jokes) to a minimum. It’s no secret that we love Beth here in the Bunker, but we’re both agreed that it’s time for a change in the run up to Wrestlemania, and that Tamina will take the belt tonight.

Rae’s Prediction: Tamina Snuka
Andrew’s Prediction: Tamina Snuka

John Cena vs Kane

This is apparently an Ambulance Match, so promises to be pretty brutal at least. Kane has experience in this type of match, in fact I’ve still fond memories of his Ambulance Match with Shane McMahon from Survivor Series 2003.

As for who’s going to win, Cena is always the obvious choice for winning a PPV match, and I have to agree that he’s probably going to win here. Unless they want Kane to interfere in the Rock-Cena match at Wrestlemania they have to bring this feud to an end soon.

Rae’s Prediction: John Cena
Andrew’s Prediction: John Cena

Raw Elimination Chamber

Definitely the better of the two Chamber matches on paper, the only wrestler in this match that I’m not a fan of is R-Truth. The idea of Jericho wrestling in the match and overtaking HHH as having the highest number of entries is pretty cool, and Kofi is bound to replicate RVD and Morrison’s spidermonkey antics from previous years. Add to that great wrestlers like Punk and Ziggler and this has the chance to be the best match on the card. As for winners, Rae has decided that Jericho will win, which is very possible. I personally think that Punk will retain here though, just because I think they’ll have him as champion at Wrestlemania. Having said that, if Rae is right that does open up the chance for Punk to get his rematch at ‘Mania, so I’ll be happy either way.

Rae’s Prediction: Chris Jericho
Andrew’s Prediction: CM Punk

Smackdown Elimination Chamber

Well, talk about extremes (and no, I don’t mean XTREME! because the match takes part inside “Satan’s Prison”) You have three really talented wrestlers in this match, people I’d be happy to watch wrestle any day of the week, in Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. You have Big Show who has a role to fit and plays it well – the giant who punches people in the face will always be worth a look. And then… well… yeah, you’ve got the other two. Santino isn’t the worse wrestler in the world, and he’s ridiculously over with the crowd, so I’ve no real objection to him being in there for a while. Khali on the other hand, is a frankly bizarre choice for the match, and I can only hope that he’ll be the last to enter, only for everyone to hit their finishers and eliminate him within an minute.

As for the winner, Rae says Barrett will win (which would be amazing) but I think Bryan will retain. He needs a decisive title victory/defence and this is the ideal time. Let him go into Mania as champion to wrestle Sheamus and make everyone happy. Please?

Rae’s Prediction: Wade Barrett
Andrew’s Prediction: Daniel Bryan

-

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)

raw(lite): smoulders and sobs

The Elimination Chamber PPV ended on the whole Undertaker/Shawn Michaels story. In all that madness, we also found ourselves with a new World Heavyweight Champion in the form of Chris Jericho. It was understandable then, that he might like to come out on Raw and gloat a little. This bragging was soon stopped by Edge. While everyone looked to the ramp for him to appear under the titantron, he sneakily ran in from the other side of the ring and speared Jericho right out of it. There was no hanging about. Edge had an announcement to make.

Once this little scrap was over, John Cena came out to announce something too. And oh my lord, was he full of angst. Nothing makes me happier than an angry Cena. John was understandably cheesed-off about losing his title to Batista, just seconds after winning it at the PPV the night before.  He demanded a rematch and he wanted it right there and then.  You know I love you , John, but had you not hammed up how exhausted you were after just ten minutes of grappling, maybe you wouldn’t have lost. Just sayin’. Also, pulling your hat up like that kind of detracts from your loveliness.

So don't do it.

Vince McMahon appeared at the top of the ramp to answer John’s call for a rematch. He told the whole story of how he negotiated the devious little plan to overthrow Cena with Batista. After much shouting back and forth, Vince announced that John would have to beat Batista that night if he wanted another title shot at Wrestlemania.

Moving on, a new Divas champion was FINALLY to be crowned after weeks of diversions and cancelled matches. They had a short but solid match which, unsurprisingly, left Maryse the champion. Good. Now we can start a few challenges. I’d like to see Eve get a proper shot now. She’s criminally underutilised.

Man in blue t-shirt obviously a Gail Kim fan.

You would be forgiven for thinking that there was no guest host this week, being that we were already over a quarter way through the show and nobody had appeared. But this week’s random celebs were lovely folky-singer Jewel and her rodeo champ husband, Ty Murray. There are many American obsessions I don’t really understand. I’ve mentioned my annoyance at NASCAR on several occasions. But I totally get the whole bull-riding thing. I came across a rodeo show one afternoon while flicking through the sports channels on Sky. My initial plan was to mock it, but it turned out to be pretty exciting. There’s nothing like the possibility of ‘death by bullock’ to juice up the motor, is there? Anyway, I don’t follow it or anything, but it certainly was enthralling.

Unfortunately, Ty’s presence  meant that a mechanical bull had been placed in the arena and some of the Divas were forced to wear ‘country’ gear. Kelly Kelly even went the whole hog and put her hair up in pig-tails. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…. ladies, if you’re a grown-up, never put your hair in high pigtails. It’s just creepy.  So we had a  bull-riding competition to look forward to. You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes. As well as preparing for the contest, Jillian also appeared to impress Jewel with her singing prowess. Jewel tried to show her how it’s done, Jillian demanded some respect, then Jewel slapped her.

Over in the locker room, Randy Orton was contemplating his ejection from the Elimination Chamber the previous night and, much to Cody Rhodes’ surprise, he hadn’t been murdered by Randy in his sleep. Not only that, but as Cody stepped up to apologise to the boss, Randy stopped him and actually apologised himself! I know! What a revelation! How many exclamation marks can I use before it becomes grammatically incorrect? Anyway, Randy claimed to have taught his minions too well and felt it was no surprise that they’d looked out for themselves. That’s what he’d taught them to do.

Randy left, leaving Cody with an uneasy feeling in his stomach, then Ted showed up. At first, it just seemed that The Codester had been sent in to smooth things over between Ted and Randy.  But as the conversation continued they alluded to a sub-plot, which suggested that the people were about to overthrow their leaders. Oooh I love a good coup. It was so Shakespearian. So Machiavellian. So…something else with ‘ian’ at the end.

Randy had asked for a 6-man tag where Legacy would face Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston and Yoshi Tatsu. It was exciting in that nobody knew whether Randy was punking his team-mates or if his two errand boys would reveal themselves as traitors. At first, Legacy worked together. But then……

From one fierce feud to another, Shawn Michaels came out to explain why he had  Sweet Chin Music’d Undertaker at such a crucial moment during the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. I’d tell you what he said, but as he wore such a  minging, tucked-in shirt, I was a little distracted. Looks like HBK was bitten by the rodeo bug too.

I think we all know why he did what he did anyway. Also, I’m not allowed to poke fun at The Deadman’s patchy bronzer this week, as it was covering up some pretty major burns. So good on him for stepping out in front of a global TV audience of millions and ignoring the fact that his face was peeling off.

Taker agreed to give Shawn a rematch at Wrestlemania 26, but only on the condition that he put up some collateral too. If Taker was putting up his 17-0 streak, HBK had to put his career on the line. If he loses, he retires. Hmm. You’d think gambling with your soul would be enough? Anyway, Shawn agreed and we’re all set for WM26. It’s tricky to know which way this match will go. Both have indicated that they’re ready to retire, so at the moment I think it could swing either way. I’ll have to do some more ‘predictions by cupcake’ this year. They were especially accurate last year! Well, apart from that one that said 16-1 on it.

As well as that exciting career-ending WM26 match, we also have the traditional Money in the Bank match to look forward to. Time flies, eh? Seems like only a few weeks ago I was watching the last one. Christian fought Carlito for the first place in that high-flying match and……

Well DUH! You didn't think Carlito would win a match, did you?

Well, DUH!

Then Eve, Kelly Kelly and The Bellas straddled a large animal and grinded into it, in a wank-fest thinly veiled as a bull-riding contest.

And not to leave the female population without something to cross their legs to……

Then The Miz and Big Show beat MVP and a heavily strapped Mark Henry in a tag match. Nothing major to report.

Vince McMahon appeared on-screen  to apologise to Bret Hart for all that had gone down between them in recent weeks. And to extend his sorry even further, Vince offered to bring Bret back to Raw the following week so that he could say a proper goodbye to the fans. Seems a bit iffy to me. Does this look like the face of a man you can trust?

Any man with painted eyebrows should be approached with caution.

Back in the ring, John Cena was desperate to get that rematch against Batista at Wrestlemania.  He just had to beat Dave that night. But the match had hardly started when Dave kicked John in the crotch, rendering him paralysed. John won the match by DQ, but we all know that a title can’t change hands on a disqualification, so Big Dave kept the bling. He then went on to pummel John some more, just to be sure the job was truly done. Dave even chased away the medical staff, who ran out to give John some TLC. Don’t worry, I diagnosed John’s ailments from the comfort of my armchair. He’s suffering from Over-acting-itis, a common disease among professional wrestlers. I believe I’ve touched on it several times before.

Don’t worry. I can almost guarantee he’ll be back in his feet come tomorrow night’s show. Possibly with a certain leather jacketed Canadian at his side.

elimination chamber: tell my family i love them

It’s been an eventful week in the world of wrestling. The best thing we can do is go back to Sunday’s Elimination Chamber PPV and roll through the happenings as they occurred.

Elimination Chamber was the first WWE Pay Per View I haven’t watched live in several months. As there’s only so many days I can reasonably take off work for wrestling, Sidekick Andrew and myself agreed that we’d spend Sunday night and all of Monday avoiding spoilers so that we could watch it on Monday night. This was more difficult than you might think when you spend all day working at a computer. For the most part, we managed to avoid results and watched it in the Cardiff Wrestle Bunker on Monday night. The Dean, Matt Striker, joined us via satellite phone so that he could comment on how wonderful his commentary was. Show-off! He had to turn his volume down a few times because he was so desperate to tell us what happened next.

The first match of the night was the Raw Elimination Chamber. John Cena was the first to be encased in his pod, followed by Ted DiBiase, his boss – Randy Orton, Triple H and Kofi Kingston. Kofi didn’t have to deal with any claustrophobia worries, as he got to start the match in the middle of the Chamber with Sheamus.  They scuffled for a bit, then Kofi rolled away for a little rest while the next competitor was released. I wasn’t sure who it was at first. It appeared to be some kind of terrifying yeti creature.

Then I realised it was The Game. The three of them scrapped it out until Randy Orton burst out of his pod like a maniac. With bodies strewn all of the place and nobody eliminated yet, it was time to release someone else from their plastic prison. Ted DiBiase was let loose and, to my surprise, he helped Randy Orton to his feet. Booooo! That’s not how it’s supposed to go. They teamed up to make some Kofi flavoured ravioli…..

I'll have mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic. Cheers!

I'll have mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic. Cheers!

Then they squashed Triple H into the plastic grid……

Then they waited at John Cena’s pod door for him to vacate his quarters like a couple of vultures. But they were no match for Super-Cena, who powered his way through them like a hot knife through butter. At one point, he even used Ted to knock Randy out of the ring. What a hero! John had cleared the ring and was starting to think about eliminating the dead-wood when Cody Rhodes showed up with a lead pipe in hand. The EC is no DQ, so it was totally acceptable when Cody sneaked the lead pipe through the chains for Ted to use as a weapon.  Back in the middle of the ring, Cena was adjusting Orton’s attitude and everyone else was having a bit of a snooze. Ted could have thumped either John Cena or Randy Orton. He took both out of action and didn’t stop at just giving Randy a little tap with his rod either. Oh no. Ted DiBiase eliminated Randy Orton from the chamber. *GASP*

Time to start clearing house. Kofi eliminated Ted, Sheamus pinned Kofi and Triple H got rid of Sheamus. And then there were two. At this point, I proclaimed out loud that HHH would win. I was incorrect. After a little more squabbling, John rode the wild bull that was Triple H (thanks, Lawler) and STF’d him until he tapped out.

Well this is most curious. How will John Cena’s much hyped feud with Batista play out now that he’s the champ? Wait. What’s this?

Despite only being in combat for about ten minutes, John Cena looked more exhausted than he did after his Iron Man match last year.

So, extreme lethargy allowed Dave to make quick work of pinning John and, in the blink of an eye, the title belt had switched hands again.

After the amateur dramatics were over and Matt Striker was done taking the piss out Cole and Lawler via the use of his eyebrows, it was time for Drew McIntyre vs Kane for the Intercontinental Championship. The crowd didn’t care about either of these guys. I only care about McIntyre because of the country that issues his passport and the number of bedazzled Scottish flags on his pants, so it was kind of dull. The match itself was solid, but the sulky crowd took away from it. All I’ll report is that Drew McIntyre kept the belt…. and died of embarrassment when realised he’d only tanned from the pectorals upwards.

Backstage, it appeared that Gail Kim had finally rumbled Maryse’s not-so-genius plan to trash talk Gail in French, while giving the impression that they were great pals in English. Hmm reminds me of when my brother and I used to swear in Welsh in front of our mother. Although, we were clever enough to make sure she didn’t know what we were saying. It appears Gail Kim speaks French too. SHOCKER! It’s not like she’s a Canadian or anything!

So, the last match of the Divas Title Tournament was FINALLY ready to take place. Or was it? Well, no, it wasn’t actually. Vickie Guerrero came out and took offence at all the derogatory comments the Raw ladies had been making about the Smackdown ladies. Vickie decided to cancel the Divas Title Match and sent Team LayCool out for a tag match instead. This is what happens without a regular GM on Raw. Smackdown randoms can take over whenever they please.

At least it was a decent match, with Michelle pinning Gail for the win. Maryse was well miffed about this and clambered into the ring to teach Gail a lesson for refusing to tag her into the match in time to win.

There were only four matches billed for this PPV, which meant that either the Smackdown Elimination Chamber would be really long, or something “unexpected” needed to happen. The latter was to be true. Just as The Miz was plugging his mentoring of NXT rookie Daniel Brian, MVP showed up and demanded a shot at the US Title. The Miz was in no position to refuse and was forced to remove his smooth threads and prepare for a match.

If Josh Matthews shrinks any more he might disappear completely.

Looking curiously handsome that night, William Regal came out to promote NXT a little more. He was soon interrupted by Edge, who was utterly bored with Regal’s ranting. After a bit of chatter, Edge speared him into the middle of next week and smoothed his locks back all Danny Zuko-like. I felt conflicted.

Now to that impromptu match between The Miz and MVP. We’ve seen it time and time again on Raw, right? We almost don’t need to watch it, we’ve seen it so many times. Except, it was actually a really good match. I’m not the biggest MVP fan, but they both worked their socks off. There was blood and everything. Despite MVP’s best efforts, Miz’s belt tally remained at three. He was so excited, he even tried to hug the doctor attempting to quickly remove the blood from his forehead before they were forced to flash a parental guidance sign on the screen.

It’s time to lower that metal structure again for the second of the Elimination Chamber matches.  Rey Mysterio was the first to be sealed in his cubicle, followed closely by John Morrison and Chris Jericho. Then Undertaker came out and, if you’ve ever questioned why so many wrestlers come to the ring with soaking wet hair, Taker’s entrance is a good example of why it’s a good thing. Some paraffin must have spilt out of the pyro canisters, creating a fireball in the middle of ramp just as Taker was walking down. This shows it best:

Like a total professional, Undertaker dabbed himself down to put out the flames and carried on to his pod.  If it had been me, I would have been screaming like a banshee and calling for an ambulance. And just imagine if it had been John Morrison! All that beautiful, lacquered hair would be a thing of the past. This moment of flaming excitement was followed by CM Punk’s arrival which, true to form, was supported by a vocal sermon. Oh and if you’re wondering if Serena was drunk, she wasn’t. They just gave her some very awkward shoes to wear down the ramp. Punk pledged to save all the boys in their pods, climbing up on the turnbuckle and smacking Mysterio’s pod for extra impact. But R-Truth was getting bored and interrupted Punk, rapping his way to the ring.

The two of them started things off but Truth couldn’t quite keep up with Punk’s pace. While he took a little breather at the end of the ring, Punk grabbed a mic and entertained himself my addressing those still locked in their little tubes. They didn’t look impressed. Then he invited everyone at home to “place your hand on the screen and feel CM Punk flow through you.” Ahem. I do that regularly when I’m all alone, but ok, if you insist.

For those not enjoying the lecture, Rey Mysterio came to the rescue when his pod door flew open. They fought it out in spectacular fashion for some time before Mysterio eliminated Punk with a Splash. BOO! More sermons! I want more “flowing”. Anyway, after a few seconds of respite, Jericho was released. Once they’d entertained for five minutes, John Morrison was let loose, leaving just Taker to enter the match. After several minutes, Morrison eliminated Rey Mysterio and Undertaker joined soon after. From this point the three of them strung the match out for quite some time and, to be serious for a moment, I’d be surprised if John Morrison isn’t being groomed for something big very soon.  Not right now though. Taker eliminated Morrison, leaving just himself and Jericho in the ring. And we knew he meant business, because the straps came down.

Yawch.

At this juncture, it was completely obvious that Jericho had to win. With John Cena and Batista all set for Wrestlemania, it was clear that Edge would challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. Before he was seriously injured, Edge was messing around with Jericho. It was the perfect set-up for a Wrestlemania 26 title match. I thought I’d been proven wrong when Taker sliced his thumb across his throat. But there’s someone who’s been noticeably absent from this show……

Jericho pinned Taker while he was down and ran off with the belt. Then Shawn Michaels’ neck disappeared. Bring on Wrestlemania. Like, NOW!

raw(lite): and the oscar goes to…..

With Jerry Springer in place as guest host, I had high hopes for this week’s Raw. Very high hopes. High apple-pie-in-the sky hopes, even. Despite hosting one of the trashiest shows to ever appear on television and inspiring a million equally awful copycat programmes around the world, Jerry Springer seems like a pretty decent dude.  And how many former politicians can you say that about? Also, when he traced his family back to the Nazi Holocaust and visited the concentration camps where his grandmothers had died on Who Do You Think You Are?, it was one of the most moving pieces of television I’ve ever seen. Anyway, there was a ton of stuff they could have done with Jerry as guest host. Unfortunately, the Raw creative team used him as little as possible and took the lowest road available, which was disappointing. According to Sidekick Andrew, if I were a little more cynical (like him) I wouldn’t continue to feel let down by Raw. Taking this path of optimism is rather stressful.

Breaking from tradition, I’m just going to concentrate on one awesome event on this week’s Raw. No, not the hideous bit where half the roster claimed to have sired Kelly Kelly’s fake unborn child in a Jerry Springer Show spoof. This included Michael Cole, by the way. Ewww. There’s a mental image nobody needed. He was SO grateful to Kelly that drunken night.  Again, ewww.

No, the segment I refer to relates to Bret Hart and his dramatic, leg-crushing car accident. Let’s…errrrm….. crush?

In case you haven’t noticed, the Winter Olympics are taking place in Vancouver,Canada, at the moment. Canadians are mega proud of this despite criticism from the rest of the world that they haven’t controlled the climate well enough. God, Canada, could you just make it snow a bit harder so the events don’t get postponed? Pfft. Oh and Britain won its first individual gold medal in some 3o years yesterday. YAY! You go, Amy Williams! Nobody slides on ice quite like you, you good sliding thing. Shut-up, North America. I can hear your laughter from here! We don’t get enough snow to practice these events properly. Come to think of it, we don’t do that well in the Summer games either. But if they come up with a new Olympic Games that takes place when it’s ‘ too warm for a big coat but nippy enough to need a jacket to keep the drizzle off’……TEAM GB = top of the medal table. Anyway, Bret Hart showed up wearing his green Olympics clobber and went on to give a speech about how he’s had enough of all the McMahon silliness and just wants to go back to normal life. There would be no Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon match at Wrestlemania 26. :(

It sounds sad but don’t be blue. His long walk to his car gave all kinds of usually overlooked guys and gals a booking.

John Cena tried to talk Bret out of leaving. He pleaded with him. But it was no use. I know, kids. SOB SOB SOB. Bret got into the back of his posh limo to be driven away, the camera swung around to follow sad-pants Cena away and then someone in the production van pressed a button on the sound-panel to release a car-crunching sound.

OH NO! Looks like some dumb broad has managed to back her car into Bret’s limo seconds before he pulled his left leg into the car. OMG! OMG! ZOMG!!!!1!! And here begins the most fabulous piece of over-acting you’ll see this side of Oscar night.

Thank heaven John Cena was there to take control of the situation and boss everyone around. Once a Marine, always a Marine, right Johnny? Suck on THAT, Ted DiBiase-Marine 2.

Gail Kim doesn’t get to speak much, so she shouted like a lunatic from the second she reappeared on screen. You’ve got to take your chances to shine whenever they show themselves. Evan Bourne comforted Gail at her side. Dirty dog! *wink*

This isn't really the time, Gail.

Some kind of doctor ran in, John appraised him of the situation like a pro and the doc put the call in for medical back-up. Ooooh it was like being in an episode of 24. When Kiefer Sutherland retires, John wants first dibs on Jack Bauer’s replacement. I would like to volunteer myself to be Chloe to John Cena’s Jack Bauer. She really only has one miserable facial expression, which I know I can pull off.

I look like that every single day sat at my desk at work. Also, I can totally bash at multiple keyboards and pretend I know stuff about technical shit. In addition, she only ever has one conversation with Jack in every season of 24. Sure, the names and locations change, but ultimately it’s the same conversation over-and-over again.

*PHONE RINGS, CHLOE ANSWERS*

JACK: “Chloe, I don’t have much time. I need you locate Julio Menendez. He’s on foot and heading towards 10th Avenue. Realign the satellite and patch the visuals through to me.”

CHLOE: “I can’t do that, Jack! My systems are being monitored. If anyone here suspects I’m helping you, I’ll be ejected from the building. At best I’ll lose my maximum acces to sensitive data.”

JACK: “Damn it, Chloe. Please! This is a matter of national security. I really need you on this!”

CHLOE: “Ok. Give me a few minutes. But you should know I’m taking a huge risk for you here.”

JACK: “I know. And I appreciate it. Just work quickly.”

CHLOE: *THINKING TO HERSELF* “I love him so much it hurts.”

So, you see, I could absolutely make that work with John Cena as my Jack. Wait, I feel I may have both digressed and revealed a little too much of my personal fantasy. Ummm. Back to Raw. Where were we? Ah yes………

As they waited for the medics, John lost his temper and started yelling at the random woman who committed this atrocity. Poor lady. How was she to know that Bret had previously suffered a stroke and takes a little longer to manoeuvre his limbs into the back of a car? Gail Kim continued to ham it up like ham soup on Ham Appreciation Day (probably a real event somewhere in America) while Primo re-appeared to see what he could do to help.

Even though Bret happened to be on the left side of the car, the paramedics (flanked by Sargent. Cena) brought the stretcher to the right side of the car. OF COURSE! Makes perfect medical sense. This meant that Bret had to be dragged through the car the other way to reach the stretcher. Genius. Bret’s crushed leg had been immobilised in an inflatable splint, so he was ok while they pulled him arse-backwards to the stretcher.

Unsafe.

All the jobbers ran to the other side of the car to get on screen, including some randoms which may or may not be appearing on NXT, and then Bret Hart was loaded into one of Iowa’s finest ambulances. He was sped off to a medical facility with the lights flashing and the sirens blaring. He must have felt so special. You know, this whole section was so chaotic, it isn’t really clear what happened. Maybe Jerry Lawler could simply it for us plebs.

“Man, it appears as though Bret’s leg was still outside the car door and someone, I guess some woman, backed her car into Bret’s limo there.” – Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Thanks, Jez. I’m good now. Whew! What a crazy few minutes, eh? And yes, Michael Cole, it is a horrible story, on so many levels. But don’t panic, viewers, The King and Cole are as concerned as we are about Bret Hart’s health. They’ll pull on their serious-times faces and keep us updated on his condition at every interval.

John Cena had a match with HHH to end the show, but before that, he had a conversation with Dave Batista via titantron, where he challenged him to a match on next week’s Raw. You know, this feud might just hang around til Wrestlemania. And, you know, John Cena might like to have someone in his corner like, oooh I dunno, Bret Hart? Then Batista might like to have someone in his corner like, ummm let me think, Vince McMahon? Hah! I bet the writers haven’t thought of THAT!

The rest of the show was mostly fluff designed to make the Elimination Chamber PPV more saleable. This will be the first PPV I haven’t watched live in quite a while. I’ll be watching tomorrow night. What’s the betting I’ll have accidentally encountered spoilers within minutes of getting up tomorrow morning? I’ll have to impose a Twitter embargo until I’ve seen it. I’m getting withdrawal symptoms already.