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)

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)

survivor series 2010: the predictions

 

 

In a bold and visionary move (and not in any way just vaguely plagiarised from Razor over at Kick-Out) we have decided to start posting our predictions before each PPV. This way you can all see just how incredibly perceptive and intelligent we are when it comes to blindly guessing the results of a pre-scripted event. Of course, chances are we’ll both do really badly and you’ll lose all the respect (hah!) and credibility (hah again!) that we have built up over the last year and a bit.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple post. We’ll waffle on a bit about each match and then make a prediction at the end. Hopefully some of you will be interested enough to leave your predictions in the comments section – we’d love to know how the Wrestlegasm readers think some of the matches will go.

DISCLAIMER: Neither of us have watched Raw in its entirety for a few weeks now, and we are writing this before Smackdown has aired. So if anything really obvious happens on SD that would affect our predictions then, to paraphrase the much missed Snitsky, “it wasn’t our fault”.

No of course we don't. You were just a cheap throwaway joke. Sorry

OK, on with the predictions, starting with…

Andrew: As you may be aware (especially if you read this last week) I don’t watch Raw, so I’m not 100% sure how accurate any of my predictions for their matches will be. Having said that, this Nexus/Cena storyline has been going on long enough that even I have a rough idea what’s going on. I would be surprised if Barrett doesn’t win on Sunday, giving Cena chance to escape Nexus and start on the road to beating Barrett for the title further down the road. Whether Cena will help Barrett to win or not, I’m not sure. But I can definitely see our favourite Preston wrestler looking incredibly smug on Raw with the belt draped over his shoulder.
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Ray: Picture the scene. Wade Barrett sits alone in a dark, empty room. The shadows from his broken nose switch from one side to another as a solitary light bulb hangs perilously above his head. He wrings his hands together as he tells you you’re too simple to understand the might of the Nexus. Well not me, Wade. I am not too simple to understand that you wouldn’t be the only person in the promo video if they weren’t going to make a star of you at Survivor Series. Also, I feel somewhat obliged to tip Wade. Anything else would feel like going to an international sporting event and singing the other team’s national anthem. Predict from the heart!
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Andrew: I’ve a feeling this one will also be a title change, with Edge getting the win, the belt and his awesome God-pyro back. I’m expecting some kind of Undertaker/Paul Bearer/Urn-related shenanigans to be involved, with the “Ultimate Opportunist” taking advantage for a cheap win.
WINNER: EDGE

Ray: Let’s face it, Kane was only ever made champion to facilitate the whole ‘who beat my brother into a coma?’ thing. And then the ‘let’s bring Paul Bearer back for old time’s sake’ thing. Followed swiftly by the ‘let’s bury the Undertaker alive in a grave made of polystyrene and resin’ thing. It was never about Kane being a fabulous champion. Time to lay this story to rest (sorry) and move on.
WINNER: EDGE

Andrew: Much as we both love Alberto Del Rio here in The Bunker, I’m sensing a Team Mysterio win after Del Rio walks out on his team (again!) leaving them to take the loss against Rey and Big Show. Plus Mysterio’s name is (kind of) mentioned in the title of our favourite Simpsons episode, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
WINNER: TEAM MYSTERIO

Ray: I feel I may regret this one. Andrew makes a good point. But I’m under the Del Rio spell. Despite logic, every time those trumpets pipe up and he blasts the horn of his Rolls with all the arrogance of aristocracy, I’m won over. I’m even convinced he may be angling for an invite to Will and Kate’s marital toff-fest next year.
WINNER: TEAM DEL RIO

Andrew: While I find it very hard to get excited (or even interested) in this match, I’m going to predict some kind of mass Nexus interference leading to a DQ victory for Santino & Kozlov. Barrett, Slater & Gabriel celebrating on Monday’s Raw with all three belts seems like too good an image to ignore – even if they will then be attacked and chased off by Cena…
WINNER: KOZLOV & SANTINO

Ray: Easily the least interesting match of the night. It seems fitting that if I have Barrett winning, I should make it a clean sweep for the boys in black and yellow. I think Sheamus will interfere somehow, leading me nicely to my prediction for the final match in the list (Sheamus/Morrison). Cor, it’s like it’s all been worked out in advance or something.
WINNER: NEXUS

Andrew: First prediction is that this should be match of the night. Kaval is obviously a great wrestler, and Ziggler has repaid the affection that Ray and myself have paid him by having consistently enjoyable matches including his recent run against Daniel Bryan. Having said that, I’m picking Kaval for this one. Ray mentioned that she always makes her predictions from her heart, and I would love for Kaval to start a title unification feud against Bryan
WINNER: KAVAL

Ray: There I was saying that I always make my predictions from the heart and here I am doing the opposite. Much as I would love to see Kaval win, I’m not sure they’re quite ready to give him that push or move Ziggler in another direction. I think there might be a bit of juice left in that love triangle nonsense yet. But psssst! Kaval! If you prove me wrong, I’ll secretly be quite pleased.
WINNER: ZIGGLER

Andrew: Going from the heart is trickier in this one as we’re both fans of LayCool and Natalya. Having said that, Layla is a surprisingly good wrestler when she’s given chance, and I’d be happy for LayCool to split up now (especially if McCool having to skip the recent European tour to look after her husband are true and she needs take more time off.) I’m hoping for Natalya to win this one, then feud with Layla for a while until Beth Phoenix comes back. Then I can sit and mark out as Natalya and Beth feud for the title… well, a man can dream can’t he?
WINNER: NATALYA

Ray: I just want Beth Phoenix to come back. OK, I don’t just want that, but it’s started to feel like everything in the Smackdown women’s division is waiting with bated breath for the Glamazon to storm in and take everyone out. I do think it might soon be time for Layla and Michelle to part ways, but not before Ms. Phoenix comes back to buddy-up with Natalya. Then again, maybe that will happen at Survivor Series. Queen of wishful thinking.
WINNER: LAYCOOL

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve no idea what this is all about. Hang on a sec, I’ll just check wwe.com… What? They’re fighting over Santino! Why are they… but… Santino has Kozlov on his team! Why would he need John Morrison? Meh…
WINNER: MORRISON

Ray: Sheamus is just hanging around waiting for Triple H to come back and take his revenge for ousting him all those months ago. John Morrison is just, well, hanging around. So why not let them have a little match over a pretend Italian man to keep themselves amused while waiting for something better to come along. A bit like the way firefighters play poker in between fires.
WINNER: MORRISON

Right, that’s what we think. What about you lot? We like to think that Wrestlegasm reader’s are smarter (and smarter) than the normal wrestling fan, so if you get a couple of minutes feel free to let us know your predictions in the comments below and we’ll mention the closest results on the blog.


cool britannia week: part two

If you were one of the people who read this blog when I started it seven whole months ago, you may remember that one of my very first posts was about the fact that Rey Mysterio was doing a signing in Cardiff, which I couldn’t go to. I found out about it far too late and had to go back to my office. I made quite a silly drama out of it.

But no such worries this time around. Knowing the guys and gals of the WWE would be rolling into town on Monday and Tuesday of this week, I deliberately went looking for signings last Saturday. I want to shake a midcarder’s hand and someone better make it happen, damnit! I was starting to lose hope, until I rolled into Borders and saw a giant poster advertising a Kofi Kingston and Gail Kim signing on Tuesday. YESSSSSS! I quizzed the staff on the event and purchased my £5 worth of trading cards to get my ticket.

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On Tuesday morning I woke up in possession of three things. The disbelief that I was just 3oft away from CM Punk twelve hours earlier, the eyes of a panda thanks to the fact that I passed out with my mascara on, and a dilemma. A dilemma, you say? Yes, I say. Having had such a great time at the Smackdown show, I now wanted to go to the Raw show that night. Actually, I had wanted to go to both all along, but nobody wanted to drop the cash for two shows. I had to decide whether to go alone or skip it. The consensus was that I would hugely regret it if I didn’t go. On balance, the idea of spending the night with John Cena and Triple H seemed far more exciting than spending it watching Eastenders and Gok Wan on TV.  I made a decision.

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Now, time to think about Kofi and Gail. I had swung it with my boss that I could use some of my overtime and leave at 2:00pm for the signing at 3:00pm. Time to break out the Pepto Bismol tablets again. Much as the day before, I began getting excited enough that my stomach started tying itself up in slipknots. At this point it was suggested that I should just try being cool because it’s ‘just Kofi’. And it’s not like it’s Punk or anything. Honestly, if CM Punk was doing a signing, I’m not sure I’d even be able to walk through the door. I’d be too afraid of walking up to him and making involuntary and vulgar sex noises in his direction, ultimately being removed by security and arrested for a public sex offence.

There were some problems with this day. For starters, it was raining. And I mean REALLY raining. That in itself is not a surprise. It’s November in Wales. Rain storms are a daily and unremarkable occurrence. But I had to walk from my office to the other side of the city centre in drenching drizzle and my hair, which was beautifully coiffured in the morning, was sure to be flat as a pancake by the time I got to Borders. Also, I was in unglamorous office clothes and forgot to bring the programme from the show the previous night. I figured that adding a couple of autographs might add some value to the worst show programme in the history of show programmes. So I did the really sensible thing of forgetting it.

I made it to Borders and was buoyed by the fact that we were allowed to wait inside, away from the drizzle. Being about 40 minutes early I wasn’t too far from the signing table and expected to be on my way home and getting ready for Raw within the hour. I slowly shuffled from one foot to the other, checking the time on my phone, people watching and generally willing the clock to move faster. I hoped they might be slightly early as my green high heels, soggy from the puddles I splashed through, were starting to hurt. I switched them for the flat ballerina pumps I had in my bag…. because I think ahead when it comes to shoes but not when it comes to bringing merchandise to be signed. I wondered if Kofi would come running down the stairs like this….

But I suspected not.

I knew something was up when the staff started handing free WWE dog tags out to everyone. Clearly we were being pacified and being kept there for a long wait. The guy actually tried to walk past me without giving me a dog tag. How DARE he! I held my hand straight out and said “CM PUNK, PLEASE!” I got my goodies.

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I'm wearing my gift as inspiration as I write this post. I'm keeping him close to my heart.

An announcement was made that there would be a delay but we were assured that Kofi and Gail were on their way. UUUUURGH! As the guy behind me said “that’ll be another hour then.” He had no idea how true that would turn out to be. They were now 40 minutes late and I was starting to get very fidgety. I’m not very good at being still. Or waiting. At 45 minutes late I thought I’d been stood up. The people in front of me were giving them until 4:oopm and then bailing. I had decided I’d stay as long as possible.

Just in the nick of time, there they both were, clutching their red, Christmas Starbucks cups and looking very sheepish. “Sorry, guuuuuys! We got kinda lost!” It’s ok, Kofi. I forgive you. Funny how I completely forgot the annoying wait as soon as they showed up. Gail looked beautiful. She was wearing a short bejewelled dress and looked so glamorous she might as well have been on the red carpet at the Oscars. She certainly looked overdressed for Borders in Cardiff. But we certainly appreciated the effort.

Once things got started the line moved quickly and I found myself  waiting to be called up to the desk  in no time at all. Argh! I turned to the two blokes behind me and asked if they would take my picture. They agreed and I was called forward to meet Kofi and Gail. I repeat, ARGH! I stepped forward and, noticing I hadn’t brought anything to be signed (because I’m a fool), Kofi grabbed for one of the WWE signing sheets they had on the desk. “Heyyyy. How are you doin’ today?” he asked in a deep, silky voice. And then I made a complete idiot of myself. With a big grin on my face I replied “I’m VERY well thank you. All the better for meeting YOUUU!.” URGH! Even as the words spewed out of my lips I was thinking SHUTTUUUUP! The only thing that would’ve made me more cheesy would have been if I’d winked at him and done my best Joey Tribbiani impression. Like this…

Thankfully, Kofi is a super nice guy and said “Awww that’s nice. That’s nice.” I didn’t feel like such a cheese monster after that. He passed the sheet over to Gail and I asked if I could shake his hand. “Of course” Kofi said, as he proceeded to squeeze my hand.  SWOOOOON! I told him it was lovely to meet him and he returned the sentiment. I don’t believe him for a second, but it sounded sweet. Gail was quiet as a mouse, but I told her the same, she returned the compliment too and I shook her hand.

I tried to come in beside Gail to have my picture taken, but the angry security guard put his arm in the way and stopped me. Idiot! I mean, I know some nutcase punched Leona Lewis in the face when she did a signing a few weeks ago, but do I really look all that menacing, Mr. Security Guard? I’m just a girl in office clothes with flat, damp hair hoping not to look too hideous stood next to the stunning Gail Kim.  All he would let me do was lean into the desk. Never lean IN to a picture. Everything falls forward. Not flattering. I learnt that from Madonna as a kid and I never forgot it. I had no choice, so I leaned in as graciously as I could and the guy snapped my picture. This picture was the result of all this nonsense.

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In my excitement I forgot to take my glasses off too. They are the WORST glasses for pictures ever.

Satisfied that I had my autographs and picture I moved away from the desk to put my coat on and compose myself. I grabbed my stuff and walked off down the street. But something was wrong. I had forgotten something. After all that time waiting, I had left my autograph sheet behind. OH MY GOD! Could I be any more flaky?  I ran back and, luckily, it was still on top of some books, where I placed it while I put my coat on. PHEEEEW! Back in the shop I decided to stick around for a few minutes and watch Kofi and Gail at work. It may be an act, but they seemed like genuinely lovely people. Kofi is particularly good with the kids. It was cute to watch him striking up a new conversation with each child and watch their faces light up as he engaged with them. They probably felt the same way I did.

Doing it for the kids.....and me.

Doing it for the kids.... and me.

From there  I made my way home. I had to primp myself a little bit for the Raw show.

My next task is to find a frame for this fabulous piece of paper

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superstars: spreading my love around

It’s fair to say that this blog steers towards the mainstream. It touches on the ECW brand and occasionally mentions Superstars, but generally this is a Raw and Smackdown stronghold. Well, this was spotted  by the fine people who make WWE Superstars. Yes, WGN America emailed me this past week to say “Hey! Ray! How comes you ain’t gots no love for Supahstahs? We’z da coolest show on WGN!” Ok, so it didn’t really read like that . But WGN America did actually get in touch with me to point out that I’m giving WWE Superstars the cold shoulder. Sorry!

Truth is, it’s a timing thing. I would love nothing more than to recap every WWE show, but I haven’t got the time to cover everything. Also, I may be wrong, but I don’t think Sky Sports have picked Superstars up yet. It’s only a matter of time, but still. We Brits have to make alternative arrangements if we want to watch the show. Let’s just say, we’ve all got very good American friends and leave it at that.

So, as I’ve been stood up for the gym tonight (postponed til tomorrow) here’s a brief recap of last week’s WWE Superstars.

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David Hart Smith/John Morrison

I have to confess, I have a soft spot for David Hart Smith. I don’t love him madly or anything, but I want to see him become a star. It probably has a little something to do with his dad, but he’s also a brilliant talent. I’ll dare anyone who fancies a challenge to point and laugh at his acid pink knee-pads.

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The match against Morrison was superb. Whether it was the suped up Canadian crowd, a readiness to move up the ladder or a combination of two, DHS definitely seemed to up his game. John Morrison is like Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho – he’s generous. He allows youngsters to shine but still looks fabulous himself. By the way, they were leather pockets on the back of his tights, right? He didn’t just cut two holes out of his backside, did he? Because those pockets were totally the same colour as his bronzed skin. Just sayin’.

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A Starship Pain and a flick of the hair later, John Morrison had taken the match.

Goldust/Sheamus

I don’t know what’s more distracting – the fact that every scrap of Goldust’s skin is obscured from view (Why? What kind of scales and sores is his hiding under there?) or the fact that way too much of Sheamus is on show. Damn. I think that boy was EXTRA pink this week. And I thought John Cena was afraid of the tanning booth.  Much like Jim Ross, I can always rely on Josh Matthews to come up with the perfect words.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

I was expecting to have to feign enthusiasm for this one, but it was actually pretty good. The crowd appreciated it too, which should be no surprise being that Canadian fans love technicalities. Goldust pinned Sheamus for the win after almost 15 minutes of quality competition. Nice!

Mickie James + Kofi Kingston/Rosa Mendes + Carlito

I missed Mickie James on Raw last week, so it was cool to see her show up on Superstars. And I have to agree with Jerry Lawler. What on EARTH was going on with Carlito’s hair? I’m trying to remember what it reminded me of…….

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Yes.

Another enjoyable match. Rosa has a way to go, but Superstars is the perfect platform for her. How often does Raw have time for a  match like this? I guess that’s premise of Superstars though; to give decent TV time to those who usually have just bit parts. After a typically strong performance by all, it came to an end when Carlito put the Back-Stabber on Kofi, after he botched one of his high-flying leaps to the top rope.

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You’re welcome, WGN America. Kiss-kiss.

raw(lite): bespoke suits and amateur tanning

The jury’s still out on the whole guest host thing. It’s a shrewd business move and I’m not necessarily against it, but it would have been nice to see a few more former wrestlers getting a night with the mic. Jobs for the boys and all that. For me, ZZ Top hosting was hideous. But I’m really not a fan of theirs so it felt kind of pointless.

Everyone loves Shaq. Even people like me who get turned off by the whole bad boy thuggery of the NBA and get sick of hearing about King James. So I was certainly looking forward to this one. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, Vince should keep him on the books and snap him up the minute he hangs his high-tops up for good.

Shaq was eager to get to work straight away and set up a 5-man Beat-the-Clock challenge up. Whichever fella beats their opponent the quickest becomes number one contender against Randy Orton at Summerslam. But, oh dear, looks like the be-suited genius that is Chris Jericho has a little beef with Shaq. If someone gets a poster made of Shaq kissing Jericho’s forehead, make me a copy at the same time? I’ll put it up in my office and look at it in moments of general malaise and aggravation. How they both kept from cracking thoughout that segment is beyond me. And the crowd’s spontaneous chanting of CHRIS-TI-NA (Shaq’s new moniker for Jericho) made my heart smile.

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Shaq flicked Jericho away with one finger, so Chris decided to introduce him to his new tag-partner. It would appear that just 24 hours in the company of Chris Jericho has rubbed off on Show. Ooooh, look at him in his stylish bespoke suit.

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Ok, so pretty much every piece of clothing Big Show owns is going to be bespoke. I doubt even High n Hefty or Lofty n Mighty or whatever those shops are called stock Big Show Size as standard. The verbal slanging match between Show and Shaq ping-ponged back and forth beautifully as Shaq challenged Show to a match. Show wriggled his way out of it with a wordy theory on why he would not accept the invitation. Oh and…………

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Shaq was determined to make the tag champs fight SOMEONE that night, so he put Cryme Tyme in front of them, leaving the champs to scuttle away up the ramp.

With that hilarity done and dusted it was time for some fisticuffs and the first man jostling for that number one contender spot was Mark Henry, up against Carlito. Bad luck, Carlito. You drew the short straw on that one. Carlito decided to implement the tactic of flying kicks and piggybacks in the hope that he could topple Henry and keep him down long enough for the pin. But just like a really huge Weeble, Mark Henry rolled back to his feet again and smooshed Carlito in to the canvas. You remember Weebles, right? Those freaky, egg shaped people that always swung back up no matter how much you knocked them down?

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Looks more like a chubby CM Punk weeble than Mark Henry, but you get the idea.

Mark Henry wrapped his hands around Carlito and finished him off in 6 minutes, 49 seconds.

Moving on and the brand new Diva’s Champion, Mickie James, brought Kelly-Kelly and Gail Kim along to take on Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. This is exciting. No. REALLY! First off, Beth is back and without even a whiff of Santina. Second….err….off (?) a storyline involving Mickie and Beth is a female feud I think people will actually get behind.  Mickie has always held a special place in my heart. Her feud with Trish Stratus was brilliant. I’d love to see something that big again. Do it!

From one blast from the past to another, part two of the Beat the Clock Challenge involved M.V.P vs Chris Masters. Yep! Chris Masters! Back in the ring and clean as a whistle. I’m guessing.  Proof positive that the there is always a road back to WWE.  One thing though, if you’re gonna go down the spray tan route, you need to make sure you get it everywhere. That means lifting your arms when you stand in the tanning booth, Chris. Ask Randy to go with you next time.

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Both were out of the ring too long and were counted out. No M.V.P vs Randy Orton at Summerslam. Shocker!!!

Another break from Beat the Clock – The Brian Kendrick vs Kofi Kingston. Kendrick was giving Jerry Lawler some verbal heat when Kofi Kingston took him out with a kick in the face and ended the match.  A few days later Vince McMahon metaphorically punched Kendrick in the stomach and ended his contract.

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Back to business and it was time for Triple H to take Cody Rhodes on for his ten millionth shot at Randy. But wait, what’s this? Ted DiBiase ran out with some form of truncheon and gave Hunter a big whack on the back of the knee.

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Cody Rhodes did the most camp little run out to the ramp ever (watch it again, you’ll see what I mean) and Triple H limped out to the ring. In the words of my brother, “Triple H has got the best fake limp in the business.” But that’s probably because he’s had a lot of practice with real limps. I believe that’s called method acting.

The match trundled along nicely and I was super impressed when Triple H pulled off a dainty pilates move when he reversed Cody’s figure-4. The countdown was getting close and Triple H really needed to stop messing with his prey and finish the job. But Ted DiBiase reappeared and began doing a strange little leg dance which, with a bit more effort and a few additional spins and head flicks, he could totally have turned in to Jennifer Beals’ Maniac dance in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen it, watch. It is a thing of fitness beauty.

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Same leg movements as Jennifer. Trust me.

At first it seemed odd that DiBiase even got involved in the end of the match. There appeared to be no point to it. But all became clear when Triple H gave his Josh Matthews interview later on. More on that in a bit. Cody was pinned but after the time had expired. No dice for Hunter.

Time for some light relief, so we go to Shaq’s office where he is playing an epic game of scrabble with Santino.  I try not to smile at Santino, but I can’t help it. The Cryme Tyme boys rolled in, bumped fists with Shaq and generally loved all over each other, slipping in to Money, Money, Yeah, Yeah! But Santino felt left out so he threw a Cavs hat on at a jaunty angle, did some rapper-fingers and added his own lyrics. Careful, Tony. You don’t want that Canadian accent to slip through. The Italian’s not so easy to keep up while you’re hippin’ and hoppin’, eh?

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I won’t crush your enthusiasm by speaking about Hornswoggle and Chavo, so I’ll scoot over to the Jack Swagger/Evan Bourne Beat the Clock match. I’ve mentioned my brother a couple of times since being back from the USA, but that’s because he’s been watching wrestling with me again and it’s interesting to hear the views of someone who stopped watching wrestling because they couldn’t handle the silliness of it any more. He REALLY likes Jack Swagger and was impressed by Evan Bourne. Anyone who questions the pushing of all the new collegiate guys has got it wrong. If their hard work and new style can prick the interest of someone who abandoned wrestling can only be a good thing.

The match only lasted about three and a half minutes. Evan Bourne took the pin, so there’ll be no Swagger/Orton at Summerslam. That just leaves John Cena to beat Mark Henry’s time. Hmm. Wonder how that one will turn out?

Triple H was still fuming backstage about Ted sabotaging his match with Cody and vowed to take both of them out by himself next week.  By himself? Really? Seems like an awfully big task to set yourself. He could probably do with some help. From someone who’s refreshed by a long break, maybe? Someone to act as a tag partner? Has Hunter ever been in a tag team?

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By the way, Triple H mentioned ‘the tail that wags the dog’ in his JM interview. For a perfect explanation of this phrase, watch the Wag the Dog movie.  It’s brilliant. And it’s De Niro and Hoffman (pre-Meet the Fockers). How could you possibly lose?

The final Beat the Clock match was John Cena vs The Miz, with Randy Orton watching from the annouce table.  Not that I would ever dream of complaining, but why was Randy without trousers when he had no involvement in any matches that night?

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The Miz had already dissed various D.C. sporting teams and tried to run Cena’s clock down to force his exclusion from the BTC contest without getting hurt himself.  Didn’t work. John forced Miz to tap out with well over two minutes to spare. Randy joined John in the ring and I went all…..

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Remember several months ago when John and Randy (being BFFs and all) asked the writers if they could work together?  I wrote a post about it. John was even willing to go heel. Looks like they got their wish. And I, for one, am joyous beyond belief.

Final match of the night was Shaq’s special tag match between little and large and Cryme Tyme, with Shaq himself at ringside to keep an eye on proceedings.  All was moving along swimmingly until Show interfered with the pin on Jericho and the match had to be called off.  Shaq was furious. He whipped his shirt off and faced up to Show himself. Show had him in a chokehold, Cryme Tyme came to the rescue and Shaq rolled Show out of the ring. Jericho dashed around and started screeching at Shaq like a Jack Russell defending a Great Dane.

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Best. Raw. In. AGEEEEES. Congratulations, Shackwheel….. as Santino would say.