2011: The Year Punk Broke – Money in the Bank Predictions

Yes, Punk, we’ll get to you soon, you wonderful man…

Sidekick Andrew: But first, let’s get this out of the way. As you may have noticed, we’re big fans of women’s wrestling here in the Bunker. However, even we’re struggling to build up any enthusiasm for this match. Kelly Kelly was essentially given the title thanks to her appearance in the FHM “Top 100 Bland Looking Ladies That Teenage Boys Fantasise About” List, and Brie has very little going for her as a wrestler. As a brief appearance on the arm of some C-List celebrity that nobody outside the US has ever heard of? Fine. In a title match at a PPV? Shocking idea…

In fact, despite actually making the effort to keep up with the WWE over the last couple of weeks, I had no idea what this feud was about (other than the title of course.) Thankfully, Boss Lady Ray is much more knowledgable than I and was happy to fill me in. Apparently “they’re building this storyline around bullying again. Kelly’s too skinny.” Now, ignoring the fact that this is another bullying story line based around two heels making fun of Kelly Kelly, there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in the Bellas calling anyone too skinny, I mean… they’re hardly what you could describe as Rubenesque.

I’m going to pick Kelly Kelly to get the win and retain the belt. While she’s never going to be on the level of Beth Phoenix or Sara Del Rey she does at least seem to have improved recently. Plus I never want to see a Bella with a belt again.

Boss Lady Ray: Really, WWE? REALLY? Pathetic. I think Andrew’s said it all and nobody needs another rant on the portrayal of women from me today, so I’ll just go with Kelly to avoid giving this lame storyline any kind of approval.

Sidekick Andrew: This will either be a really fun brawl or an embarrassing mess, although given the way Henry has turned himself around recently I’m going to hope for the former. The Mark Henry heel turn has been really fun to watch, and combined with his weight loss and new-found enthusiasm I’m suddenly in a very strange place where I quite fancy seeing him have a title run.

As such, I think Henry will win this one, leading to him feuding for the title soon with whoever has it by then. He’s the most imposing “monster” on the roster at the moment, especially with Kane’s recent emo phase crying to Teddy Long, and I do enjoy a monster heel champion.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree, I think Henry’s got this one. I’m rather proud of how Mark Henry has turned himself around and got himself back on everyone’s front page. Good for him. The match, I imagine, will just be the two of them knocking lumps out of each other for twenty minutes, but hey, everyone loves a massive brawl from time-to-time. I just hope Mark Henry isn’t allowed to design his own merchandise if he becomes WWE champ again.

Just...wow.

Sidekick Andrew: Meh… I still find Orton boring and I’ve never been the biggest Christian fan (I know, I know… internet blasphemy) so I’m not necessarily that interested in this match. At the very least this should be a pretty good match, I’m just not that bothered who wins.

I’m thinking this will be the beginning of the end of this feud, and Orton will win to retain the belt. The extra stipulations that Christian added to the match (If Orton gets disqualified or the referee makes a “bad call”, Christian automatically wins the title) rather ironically help to cement this decision. Give a face more odds to overcome and chances are he’ll find a way to do it.

I should mention that at this point in our discussions I noticed a strange, almost dream-like quietness settle over Boss Lady Ray. While I am admittedly quite boring company, I did find this slightly strange until I realised that Smackdown was showing an old Punk vs Mysterio match at the time and Punk just happened to be wearing the Boss Lady’s favourite lavender trunks.

How could I compete?

Boss Lady Ray: Aww. I think you’ll find I was watching the TV and talking at the same time. I’m a woman! I can multi-task! And actually, I was merely observing how different Punk looks these days with short hair and a moustache. *shifty-eyes*

The Orton/Christian feud had the potential to be huge, but the Punk story has picked up such astonishing momentum it’s overshadowed every other story in the company. It’s also amazing how little people still care about what happens to Christian now that this ‘other story’ has taken over. You are fickle beasts indeed, wrestling fans. I’m going to say that Orton will retain and they’ll both move on to other people by Summerslam. There’s nowhere else to go with this one.

Sidekick Andrew: Much as I love them, Money in the Bank matches are always going to be a bit tricky to predict. Other than Evan Bourne and perhaps Jack Swagger, anyone of the competitors could take this one. I was tempted to choose Kofi Kingston as he’s probably due a push again soon, but I think he’ll fill the Shelton Benjamin role of “doing mental stuff every time but never actually winning” instead.

The Miz could win, but I can’t picture him carting that briefcase around all year again. Riley could win, but the same applies as he carried the case with Miz. Mysterio is always an option, and (much as it pains me to admit it) R-Truth is a possibility. But my pick goes to Del Rio. They seemed to tease him feuding with Cena on Raw this week, and he’s due a new push after the Rumble one fizzled out.

Boss Lady Ray: No MITB match is an island. You really can’t just look at the match in isolation because you have to consider where the writers might want to take the winner afterwards. A guaranteed title shot is a big thumbs up to whoever gets it and, let’s be honest, predicting who they might be challenging for the title is almost impossible this year.

After much consideration, I’m going to go with Alex Riley. Andrew’s right, he did carry the briefcase with Miz for a long time. But I think it might be fun for the worm to have turned, possibly with Miz trying to steal it away afterwards. I always think MITB matches should be used to elevate a young, rising star and Riley really deserves to move up.

Sidekick Andrew: Like the Raw match, I’m really looking forward to this one. And much like the Raw match a lot of that is down to the fact that there’s never a guaranteed winner.

true dat...

I think I’m looking forward to this one even more than the Raw match. The combination of Justin Gabriel and Sin Cara alongside Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan should make for some great spots. Add in Kane, Sheamus and Wade Barrett and you have the makings of a really fun match. Although, like all ladder matches, that fun will probably involve a lot of cringing on my part. There’s just something about people landing on the edges of the ladders that gets me every time.

I would love Wade Barrett to win this and get another run at the title, but I’m going to go with the obvious choice and pick Sheamus to win.

Boss Lady Ray: If I’m honest, I think this one will probably be Sheamus. He’s been getting a nice little run on Smackdown and he’ll work well with Orton. But it also seems just a little too obvious.  For that reason I’m going to go with Wade Barrett. He hasn’t got much to do now that the Corre have died a death and he really does deserve to get back up to the top. I wouldn’t object if it was a triple-threat between Orton, Sheamus and Barrett at Summerslam and, you know, if I can save Andrew from getting killed by predicting Wade, I’d do it. Who’s going to do all my Photoshopping if he dies?

Boss Lady Ray: Well, what can we say about this match? I can’t remember the last time I saw WWE fans quite this emotional about a story, probably because we’re not entirely sure how much is story and how much is genuine. They are the very best kind of wrestling stories. We’ve discussed what might be happening to Punk endlessly in the Bunker and have come up with so many theories I can’t even remember half of them.

The thing is, none of them seem right, so we’ve decided not to predict the end of the show. Wrestling fans, including ourselves, are a curious breed. We’re constantly trying to figure out what might happen in advance, sometimes to its detriment when it actually happens. The satisfaction of ‘I told you so’ wears off quickly. We don’t want Punk to leave, but we don’t want him to be miserable either, so we’re just going to let this one play out however them on high have decided and try to enjoy it (in amongst a few tears from myself, I expect.)

All week we’ve been playing this song and getting a little weepy in anticipation for tonight. Listen to the lyrics carefully and you’ll understand why. (N.B. Andrew would like me to point out that he hasn’t been getting weepy because he’s a manly-man with a new subscription to Sky Sports and everything. *bicep-curl*)  This one’s for you, Punk. If you really are leaving, I’ll miss you….bloody loads!*WEEP*

 

 

 

 

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A Song for Whoever: Mark Henry & Cody Rhodes Edition

Sidekick Andrew: This week’s Song For Whoever can actually be about the WWE for once, as I’ve followed Boss Lady Ray’s demands and actually watched some TV this week. Admittedly it was Capitol Punishment, Superstars and Smackdown rather than Raw; I’m not going to change my habits that much…

Although this was admittedly genius

One thing that’s really come across to me in my first week back watching WWE is how much more believable Mark Henry is as a heel. While there’s always a place for a “good guy giant” type of character, Big Show is currently filling that role. Admittedly Khali has turned heel as well, but let’s face it… who cares?

On second thoughts... SWOON

From manhandling Big Show through the Spanish announce table at Capitol Punishment, to taking out Kane on Raw Henry’s been on a roll this week. Culminating with taking out Big Show again on Smackdown and winning the main event tag match later on the show, the “World’s Soggiest Man” seems to be really doing well since his weight loss and something remarkable has happened. I’ve somehow gone from dreading his appearances on screen to actually starting to think I’d like to see him have a title run.

This one’s for you Mr Henry. You’re certainly a big man, you’ve been showing you can be a bad man recently and, errrm… well… I suppose 2 out of 3 ain’t bad?

BOSS LADY RAY: Ahhhh children. So young. So precious. When they’re small all they want is to be just like you. They copy everything you do and try to emulate you because you’re mum/dad and just so cool. It’s a glorious time for all.

Look at us hoisting out children in the air! We are very happy!

As they grow, that changes. You eventually become the most uncool person in their lives. It is inevitable that at some point they’ll slam their bedroom door in your face and tell you they hate you. They don’t mean it.

If my mother wore that bloody awful scarf I'd refuse to look at her too.

The tension is multiplied if said child chooses to follow a parent into their profession. They will forever feel stressed at trying to live up to the parent’s professional expectations and climb out of their shadow. Luckily for me I faint at the sight of my own blood, so medicine was never on my agenda. I threw out the idea of being a paramedic after we drove past a man under the wheels of a van on the motorway one summer when I was in high school, and I  discounted physiotherapy when I found out it was a six-year course that began with cutting up dead people. Sorry, Dad.

The life of a second or third generation wrestler is a minefield of expectation. Those with a family legacy to live up to must surely feel pressured into being better than their relatives. An ingrained inferiority complex wouldn’t be surprising at all. This was beautifully illustrated by Daniel Bryan on this week’s Smackdown. Neither myself nor Andrew really enjoy Cody Rhodes’ current gimmick. We love the music and his titantron, but we’re just not digging the whole paper bag deal.We were discussing just this when Daniel Bryan showed up on Smackdown to put an end to Cody’s silliness with some pop psychology.  Bryan suggested that the Codester wasn’t afraid of his own ‘ugliness’ at all. He was just using it as a crutch to avoid the fact that he didn’t feel he lived up to Daddy Dusty’s legend. Give that man an honourary PhD from a mid-quality university!

I’d like to apologise for choosing this song for Cody. I am a self-confessed lover of Country music, but this is one of the most atrocious songs ever written, recorded and sold. Props go out to anyone who makes it to the end of the video without dry-heaving.

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

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

The beginning of the end.

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

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

Thanks, Adam.

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

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

Aww. Bless.

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

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

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

Dude! NO!

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

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

Mmm. Ginger beard and girlie shades. Yum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sing your hearts out, Ukraine and Albania!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until…….

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

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

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

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

OK. Maybe Kelly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eww

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

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

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