What? Already? Bloody hell, it’s only the Over the Limit predictions

I have to question the logic of cramming in an extra PPV in the month after Wrestlemania. Considering the amount of sales they expect for ‘Mania, a bit of breathing space might be nice. Still, I’m sure they know what they’re doing. This weekend is the second Over The Limit PPV, and just looking at the posters for the two years you can see how much times have changed. Daniel Bryan on a Pay Per View poster? Surely the true harbinger of the rapture…

Sidekick Andrew: First up, the obligatory Divas match for the “butterfly emblazoned title” (© wwe.com) Brie is inexplicably Divas Champion (a fact I had to enlighten Boss Lady Ray with, which should give you an indication of how successful a champion she is) and Kelly is looking for her first title. Of course, this is really about one person, and one person only…

Yep, pretty sure Kharma is making an appearance and saving this match from being as awful as it promises to be. Seriously, with Beth, Natalya, Kharma and Gail on your roster, Brie bloody Bella and Kelly Kelly are the best you have to offer? Sheesh… Anyway, I’m going to go with Kelly winning the title, after Kharma comes out and distracts Brie long enough for Kelly to sloppily pull off a roll up.

Boss Lady Ray: It’s true. I, chief person in charge of being frustrated at the treatment of the Divas Division, had to ask the Sidekick who currently held the title. Times is bleak. I actually don’t think either will win the match. I’m guessing Kharma will interfere and end it early. Kelly and Brie can finish it another time. More importantly, I’m desperately hoping Beth and Natalya come out to beat Kharma down. UHH. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. I know WWE people read this blog (hah!) so let’s make it happen, people.

Sidekick Andrew: Hmm, I’ll confess I’ve not been watching as much WWE as I perhaps should have been. Over than Tough Enough, Superstars and Z! The True Long Island Story we’ve been (slowly) working our way through King of Trios over the last couple of weeks instead. As such, I’m not sure what’s going on with these two. I saw Chavo doing guest commentary on Sin Cara’s match the other week, and they had a very manly handshake in the ring afterwards (complete with FORESHADOWING)

While I don’t have much interest in the reasons for this match, I am looking forward to the actual match itself. Sin Cara is pretty exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs on a PPV setting after his slightly shaky Raw matches. Chavo is a pretty safe pair of hands for him to go against, seemingly bringing the best out of the newer guys on the roster (I believe he had Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio’s first WWE matches.) Pretty sure Sin Cara is winning this one though. If WWE are wanting to push him then a PPV win would be a nice start.

Boss Lady Ray: Unlike my slack colleague, I have been making an effort to watch WWE programming of late. We’ll discuss this at your appraisal, Andrew. I do, however, agree that Sin Cara’s got this one sewn up. He was such a huge acquisition and he’s not had the brilliant start everyone was expecting. Chavo’s a loveable dork and happy to put anyone over. It’s a perfect marriage.

Sidekick Andrew: I have absolutely no idea what’s going on here. I know R-Truth is supposedly a heel now, which means that everyone hates him…

Wakka Wakka!

I’ve literally nothing else to say about this one, other than I want Mysterio to win and that I’m looking forward to the Divas match more than this one.

Boss Lady Ray: You see, if Andrew had been watching Raw (which admittedly he’s always avoided) he’d know that R-Truth is rather hilarious as a heel. He’s still mad as a box of frogs, what with his krayzee-eyez, his waffle about kicking pets and hateful hospital food, but Truth is significantly more interesting now than when he’s winning the crowd over with his low-rent rapping. He keeps telling us he’s going prove his worth, so I think Truth will take this one in rather violent fashion. I’m still holding out for a promo to rival this one though:


Everything was falling apart around him. And he seemed helpless to halt the collapse; he could only witness it, completely impotent, snatched up and gripped by processes too powerful for him to understand. (Philip K Dick)

Sidekick Andrew: That was a bit geeky wasn’t it, quoting sci-fi authors – but then I’m writing on a wrestling blog so the “cool” ship has pretty much sailed I’m afraid. The Corre is slowly collapsing under the weight of thousands of unsold t-shirts with that terrible logo on. Jackson has been ex-communicated in that particularly gangland method of kicking the crap out of him then tipping a wheelie bin full of invisible glass bottles on top.

Much as I love Barrett, and all local bias aside, I think Jackson might win this one. He needs the push much more than Barrett at the moment, and this could be the time for the Corre to implode completely. Slater messes up costing Barrett the title somehow; Barrett turns on him; Slater’s hetero life partner Gabriel jumps in to interfere; end of the Corre. In fact, you could say… Corre no More! Get it! It rhymes and everything! Ah well, as the Space Pirates would say, “if you don’t get it, just forget it.”

On the other hand, if you did get the reference, you've now got "na nanana na... Space Pirates!" stuck in your head

Boss Lady Ray: I have no children and yet I know the theme tune to Space Pirates. I need to get pregnant so I can justify my unrelenting enjoyment of children’s television. Clearly I’m made for motherhood! Anyway, I’m going to disagree with the Sidekick on this one. The Corre is definitely on its way out, but I think Wade’s keeping the title and ditching his cronies for good. The Corre hasn’t worked that well and Wade needs to get back to ticking ‘World Domination’ off his to-do list before he misses the boat.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. (George Washington)

Sidekick Andrew: I’m pretty sure the only word to describe this match is going to be “ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.” The match itself won’t be that great, although as long as Lawler gets the win and we can put an end to Cole wrestling I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy for Lawler to carry on feuding with Swagger or something, but just stop Cole’s involvement… please?

My biggest issue with this match though is the stipulation – a “Kiss My Foot” match where the loser must kiss the winner’s foot. As far as I’m aware, this has been done once before in the WWE with Lawler and Bret Hart, which does make me wonder just how much Lawler likes feet (if you know what I mean.) I did manage to find footage of a Kiss my Foot match in FCW between Katie Lea (later WWE’s Katie Lea Burchill and TNA’s Winter) and Milena Roucka (later that really flexible girl running from Rey Mysterio’s uncle in the amazing Wrestlemaniac) but that probably appeals to a completely different market coughTurtlecough

Casting aside images of attractive women flexibly kissing each others appendages for a moment, do we really want to see Cole kissing Lawler’s foot? His sixty two year old wizened goblin trotter, sweating and stinking from being cramped inside a tight boot and wrestling under hot lights for 10 minutes or so? Does anybody really enjoy that kind of thing? Kissing dirty feet?

oh... right... eww...

Boss Lady Ray: Oh! Bloody brilliant! I’ve spent ages trying to rid this blog of sinister search terms and now they’ll all be swarming over here like zombies running at a fresh human. Sod off, you creepy foot freaks! Be ashamed of yourselves. *SHUDDER*

I keep saying that Lawler will win because I’m so desperate for Cole to stay in his commentary seat and stop interrupting Divas matches. Using the skill of reverse psychology I’m going to predict Cole to win. I really can’t lose. Either this feud ends, which is preferable, or I win a point in the predictions competition. Win-win.

Sidekick Andrew: No points for guessing who Boss Lady Ray is pulling for in this match. On the one hand we’ve got current Tag Team Champions Big Show and Kane, not exactly two of her favourite wrestlers. On the other team we have CM Punk, a man that the Boss has an almost ridiculous crush on (especially in those lavender trunks.) He’s teaming with the best that Wales has to offer.

Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennodMae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod!

Only joking (please don’t sack me Boss!) He is of course teaming with the “chainsaw temper and menacing muscle” (wwe.com again) of Mason Ryan. Now, I think even Ray will admit that Ryan is still slightly green in the ring, but even so I think he and Punk will take the titles. Ryan, with guidance, should be absolutely fine in tag matches with Punk, rather than being unfortunately exposed in singles competition. All he needs to do at first is look menacing and occasionally clothesline someone, and I’m sure he could do that pretty well. Basically, I have an overwhelming vision of Punk holding the title at the end of match with a massive shit-eating grin plastered across his face. Although, admittedly, this weekend should have taught both me and Harold Camping not to trust in visions.

Boss Lady Ray: Speaking of visions, I’m just recalling that dream I once had where Tom Jones showed up in his own version of a referee’s outfit.

I was tempted to suggest that Mason would cost he and Punk the match, but I just can’t do it. Punk needs a new title and I really want to see Mason win his first. This is love, lust and pride versus a couple of old geezers I’ve never much cared for. No contest. Punk & Bazza to win. Can we please hurry up with these? Tom Jones has just thrown some bubble-bath in the hot-tub and I want to get in on that action. HUH! *Jones-esque hip girations*

Sidekick Andrew: Randy Orton vs Christian: or, as we have taken to calling it in the Bunker, Vince McMahon vs The Internet. I’ve already written briefly about the frankly hysterical uproar when Orton beat Christian for the title, so I won’t go back over old ground. Suffice to say that Orton’s retaining the belt this weekend. There is definitely an argument to be made that the amount of complaints from fans and blogs online might make the WWE think that they made a mistake and that the title should go back to Christian. It might make Vince reconsider his apparent belief that Christian isn’t a draw and shouldn’t be in the main event scene. It might make him realise that the vast majority of the internet have lost interest in Randy Orton and… his… interminably… slow… delivery, both in ring and on the microphone.

It might do all this, if Vince McMahon cared even slightly what the internet thought.

Boss Lady Ray: If the whole purpose of giving Randy Orton the title so soon after he was drafted was so that he could become the face of Smackdown, it doesn’t make any sense to take it away again. I’ve no doubt that Christian will get it back again, but I’m not sure it’s happening before Summerslam. And if you think WWE panders to fans whining about who has the title, you’re dreaming.  Randy to retain.

Sidekick Andrew: Really? REALLY? Does anyone think Miz is going to take the title back this weekend? Much as I like The Miz, the idea of Cena saying “I Quit” is pretty unthinkable. He’s been in three previous I Quit matches (against JBL at Judgement Day 2005, Orton at Breaking Point 2009 and Batista at last year’s Over the Limit) and come out on top each time. Even wwe.com admit that the words I Quit “have never been in his vocabulary.”

Cena’s retaining the title. They’re not going to take it off him this quickly, even if the internet want Miz to get to it back (see above.) Much as I would love to see the show go off air with Miz holding the title aloft and Cena having quit, it seems very very unlikely to me.

aww...

Boss Lady Ray: Yesterday when we discussed this in the Wrestle Bunker, I was all about Cena keeping the title. No way was Miz getting it back. I even did a sassy finger snap and a head bob to confirm my confidence. Today I’m not so sure. I’m going to say that neither will quit and someone will interfere. Who and for what reason, I have no idea. The Rock? HHH? Soapy Tom Jones? I’m just going on a hunch. An instinct. But we all know how terrible my instincts are. It’s amazing I’ve made it through the first disc of L.A. Noire!


Celebrating the nuptials of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton

Yes, it may have escaped your attention during the incessant media coverage of Extreme Rules this week, but there was also a Royal Wedding planned for this weekend. By the you read this the rather low key affair will be all over, and we can get back to being swamped by coverage of yet another gimmick PPV from the WWE. And, sticking with tradition, we’d like to share our thoughts, predictions and well wishes for all involved.

Sidekick Andrew: It almost seems sacrilege to discuss this match on such a heartwarmingly romantic weekend, celebrating as it does the break up of one of our favourite WWE couples. No, not that kind of couple, although I’m sure if you search hard enough in the darker recesses of the internet you can find crudely photoshopped images and tawdry scribblings discussing just that.

We’ve long been fans of LayCool here at The Bunker. Despite a rather shaky start during the infamous Piggy James angle, we soon came to appreciate the comedy genius of Layla in particular. Through their genius internet-baiting role as NXT Pros to their run as “BFF Champs” they’ve been consistently entertaining characters. They may have even influenced our choice of XBox LIVE mottos, depending on how sad that revelation makes us sound.

Anyway, before I embarrass us anymore I should reveal that I want Layla to win this “Loser Leaves Smackdown” match. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t like Michelle McCool anywhere near as much as I like Layla. However, if I was going to be all “internet wrestling community” about it, I would say that McCool seems the type to buy into the whole A-Show/B-Show nonsense and would want to be on Raw facing the likes of Kong and Phoenix. And let’s face it, she has the influence to get what she wants…

Saturday Morning Edit: What? Loser leaves WWE? Really? Oh well, despite the fact that the overdubbing only managed to remind me of the infamous “I have to go now. My planet needs me.” line from The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie show, I suppose this lends a degree of gravitas to the match. I think the (Scott Stanford approved) Boss Lady is right on this one, and someone will interfere. Having said that, as it’s a No DQ, No Count Out match, I’m sticking with Layla to win, but due to interference
McCool will have an argument to stay with the WWE.

Boss Lady Ray: When this was a ‘Loser Leaves Smackdown’ match, I was pretty sure Layla was staying on Smackdown, with Michelle trotting off to Raw. However, after watching Smackdown and hearing the hilarious and atrocious dubbing of Michelle McCool replacing “Smackdown” with “WWE”, I’m inclined to think neither of them will win. If ever there was a clear sign from them on high that Kong/Kharma is about to debut in the WWE, this is it. My guess is that Kharma will interfere with the match and they’ll both be disqualified, leaving the two of them gainfully employed. Who knows? Maybe it’ll bring them back together. Here’s hoping. I supposed it’s No DQ though, they’d both have to be unfit to continue. A small price to pay to keep your job.

Flawless?

Sidekick Andrew: “Country Whipping Tag Match?” Yeah, I’ve no idea either. I’ve just checked the match description on wwe.com and they offer no help whatsoever. Admittedly I’ve been rather lax with my WWE watching over the last couple of weeks, so there’s always a chance that they may have explained this in meticulous detail on TV. I can only assume it’s something to do with butter maybe? Although the idea of these four wrestling in butter brings forth an uncomfortable mix of Deliverance and Last Tango in Paris – a mental image I could have happily gone to my grave without ever experiencing…

I think everyone can agree that unlike the previous match, we’ll all be happy to see the partnership of Cole and Swagger fall apart on Sunday. Swagger deserves better, and let’s be honest – Cole outstayed his welcome after the first appearance of his gong on NXT. Having said that, I think Cole and Swagger will win, with Swagger getting the pin (or more likely submission.) This will cause Cole to get all stroppy as he wanted the glory. As I explained to Boss Lady Ray across the boardroom table during our discussions, this can only lead to “PUSH – PUSH – PUNCH – PUNCH – GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB” and the end of the Cole-Swagger partnership at last.

Boss Lady Ray: I just want it to be over. This storyline should be have been drawn to a close at Wrestlemania. Michael Cole’s ego has been on the puff-up since Daniel Bryan gave him a smack way back on series one of NXT. This really has to be the moment where Cole eats his humble pie, shuts up and lets the people in the ring be the stars. King and JR to win with Swagger sticking the GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB! on Cole after it’s all done. As for the whipping thing, I have no idea, but if it does involve butter I’ll be skipping the toast and having cereal for my breakfast the next morning. Bleurgh.  

Sidekick Andrew: This Falls Count Anywhere match could be great. Cody’s a great wrestler and Rey always pulls out the stops at PPVs. The fact that it’s Falls Count Anywhere gives Mysterio chance to jump off something tall to get a victory, and much as I would like Cody to win I think Rey will get the pin.

Actually, you know what? Despite the fact I am pretty much looking forward to this match, I can’t actually come up with much to say about it. We’ve seen these two go at it a few times now, and there’s only so much to talk about. Instead, here’s a completely irrelevant video of another short flippy masked guy we really like here in The Bunker:

Boss Lady Ray: Being that Rey Mysterio is moving to Raw and possibly winding down for a break, I’m going to go with Rey. With Cody staying on Smackdown the feud needs to end and it’ll be a nice farewell to SD if Mysterio wins. Cody Rhodes was the surprising winner in the Legacy split and with himself, Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton all now on Friday nights, there’s potential for something interesting between Ted and Cody in particular. It’ll be a Rey Mysterio spot-fest, but hey, let him enjoy it.

Sidekick Andrew: Hmm… Wrestlegasm favourite Punk vs the Most Boring Wrestler in Christendom, Randy Orton. I don’t think anyone has dropped in estimation as much as Orton, not since Powell Motors revealed “The Homer”

Now that my obligatory Simpsons reference is out of the way, I’ve a feeling that Punk will take this one. After all the rumours swirling around this week about Punk wanting a break and not signing a new contract yet, this could go either way. There’s a possibilty the WWE could decide to punish him and give him a loss so that he doesn’t feel like he’s indispensable. But I think they’re more likely to give him the victory as an incentive to keep him. A Last Man Standing loss is particularly embarrassing for a wrestler: being unable to answer a ten count is almost up there with an I Quit loss and I just can’t picture Punk being down for that long. Orton, on the other hand, is a big fan of the rest hold and slow action – so there’s always a chance he’ll just not realise the time has passed letting Punk get the win.

Saturday Morning Edit: OK, I’ll admit Orton looks good with his new beard, and I enjoyed his little smiley promo at the start of Smackdown last night. Is it just me, or does he have a look of Beckham with that stubble? Anyway, doesn’t effect my prediction, just thought I’d mention it.

Boss Lady Ray: My inherent wish to see CM Punk win is never far away when making predictions. There’s a good reason why I’m losing 2-5 in our little competition. But even though it goes against every fibre in my body, I think they’ll give this one to Orton. They’re on different brands now, so it has to come to a close, and I never really dug it as a feud anyway. It’s hard to know what plans they have for Punk. It’s even harder to know whether the rumours that he’s not planning on renewing his contract are true or not. But I think Punk’s work for the next few months lies with Mason Ryan.

Those big hints of tension between them lead me to think Mason may be about to cost his boss the match on Sunday, leading to a run that finally puts Mason over. They made him FCW Champion amazingly quickly, to the point where he even mentioned that he wasn’t sure he deserved it so soon. Modesty is a Welsh trait. They also excused him the embarrasment of appearing on NXT like the rest of the FCW roster. They’ve got plans for Mason Ryan and this might just be the push they’re waiting on. If that’s the case and Punk’s about to bring him up, I may need to watch those matches alone in a darkened room.

Ray: Asian Edition


Sidekick Andrew: I have no idea why Morrison is suddenly in the main event scene. I like the guy as a wrestler, but he still can’t talk and I can’t quite picture him as champion. Of course it could be worse, R-Truth could still be involved in the match.

Thanks for that John, I almost feel bad for saying you shouldn’t win now. Almost. I suspect that the reverse of this will happen before the match itself, and Truth will take down Morrison backstage or on the entrance ramp. Morrison and Truth can then carry on feuding all they want, without muddying the title race on Raw. That leaves Cena and Miz to have a Cage Match by themselves: a match which should be good fun. I think Miz will win this one, despite not having Alex Riley at his side anymore after the draft.

I think Miz has earned a legit title defence without any outside interference to make him look like the champion, rather than someone who needs help to win everytime. Cena can afford to lose now and then without losing any credibilty or fans, and he genuinely comes across as someone who is happy to put over new talent, so that’s what I hope happens.

Boss Lady Ray: Andrew’s prediction is very logical. This is why he’s winning our little predictions competition 2-5. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Morrison will win. I KNOW! It’s ridiculous! He can’t string more than two sentences together without fumbling the order of the words and it definitely looks like they’ve put him there so he can start something more long running with Truth. But I’ve decided that’s a bluff. Yes, Miz absolutely deserves a clean win over Cena, but since when is wrestling logical and generous? I’m not saying Morrison will have it for long but….actually, this prediction is completely ludicrous. I’ll stick with it to see if I’m cuckoo or a genius.

Sidekick Andrew: Here’s a strange one. Whoever wins, this definitely has the chance to be the match of the night – these two in a Ladder Match should steal the show. Also, both men deserve a win – Christian is long due another title run, and Del Rio won the Royal Rumble only to lose in the opening match at Wrestlemania.

Of course, Del Rio has been drafted to Raw now, so the chances of him winning are pretty slim, but that needn’t effect the quality of the match at all. Knowing the winner (or assuming you know the winner) doesn’t always lessen your enjoyment of the actual match. So, although I think it’s reasonably foregone conclusion that Christian will get the belt, I’m still really looking forward to this match and I think it’ll be something pretty special.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree with everything my esteemed colleague said. Christian will most likely win, but I’m more excited about watching what promises to be an outstanding wrestling match.

So there you have it. Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments box if you so desire. Real predictions only. If you’ve read spoilers and want to look big and clever by getting everything right, you’re only cheating yourself. Oh and if you’re wishing you could eat your tea off those gorgeous plates…… so are we!

Wrestlemania 27 Predictions: Sidekick Andrew

Regardless of the rather baffling (and much less important than certain internet critics might have you believe) decision to drop the word “wrestling” from any description of the WWE, tonight is WRESTLEMANIA – undoubtedly the biggest event in the pro-wrestling calendar. An evening (or stupidly early morning for some of us) of celebrity endorsement, epic showdowns between legends and fast paced action between some of the exciting new stars of this ancient artform.

Ahh wrestling… wikipedia describes “Professional Wrestling” as “a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.” With a history dating back over 15,000 years, wrestling can be found in the ancient cave drawings of France. All of which leaves me with a slight dilemma: how best to convey the excitement and thrills of Wrestlemania? The grappling acumen harking back to Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs? The roar of the approximately 75,000 fans in attendance? The blood, sweat and tears shed by these men and women for the briefest moment of reward, a reward which (if were honest) isn’t that important? Quite frankly, I can only think of one possible way to correctly pay the respect due to this most masculine of endeavours – PIE CHARTS!

As Boss Lady Ray explained yesterday, we’re not the best at predicting the results of these things – so we pulled in some people who should, in theory, know even less that us. Our families…

First up, Cole vs Lawler. Now, my family were relatively split on this one with Lawler just edging it despite Alice deciding that “the one on the left [...] looks stronger” (although there’s always a chance she might have mixed up her left and right.) Very happy with their choices here. Let’s face it, nobody want’s Cole to win tonight, and logic dicates that he probably won’t. However, I should point out that I’m not basing this on Rebecca’s slightly strange reasoning that Lawler should win “cos he looks cheesy!” or her fiance Kris’ logic that “his comments are amazing” being that Lawler is just ahead of Booker T in the “Wrestlegasm Commentators we’d like to see relegated to regional news somewhere in Alaska”

Next up, Edge vs Del Rio, and almost a clean sweep for Del Rio, with only one person voting for Edge. Del Rio’s reasons ranged from the quite logical fact that “he has a very muscley body” and is “bigger built” to the slightly more worrying “the one with the nice panties..Del Rio?” Not sure anyone has described Alberto Del Rio, a man descended from Mexican aristocracy, as having “nice panties” before mother, but you might want to check out Ray’s old Crotch Watch posts.

Also nice to see that we’re a family that doesn’t forgive and forget easily, with Kris’ insistence that Del Rio should win “because of what Edge did to Christian” – admittedly Edge & Christian are BFFs again, but we’ll always know what you did that summer…

You might have noticed by now that these matches are probably not in the order they’ll be broadcast, but that’s how we do it on the Fylde coast baby! As such, here’s Miz vs Cena. Cena was the overwhelming favourite here, with only my mother voting for the current champion on the grounds that he is “named after (my sister) Alice” (For those of you grasping with the logic here, I’m assuming Miz being short for miserable is a slight on the cheery disposition of my teenage sister, but I couldn’t possibly say.

As for Cena… well, the fact that he looked “like a wrestler” and “angry,” as well as being “simply [...] amazing” were all perfectly valid reasons that I struggled to argue against.

Celebrity random team time, and the only unanimous decision of both sets of predictions. It would appear that everyone I’m related to is a massive fan of the Jersey Shore for some reason. Admittedly Kris did vote for Team Morrison because Rebecca would “kill him” if he went with the other team, but Alice and Rebecca both seem to be fans. Alice in particular seemed quite taken with Morrison, and the fact that “he has Snooki as one of his bitches which just proves he is awesome”

Obviously I can’t be seen to support this kind of language, but after the Trish/Snooki/LayCool segment on Raw this week, it would appear that “bitch” is relatively acceptable.

Strangely, I expected the girls in my family to vote for Cody because he’s easy on the eye. Turns out nobody mentioned his looks, they instead were frightened of Mysterio. That’s right, the children’s favourite Mysterio, the merchandising machine, the shortest wrestler on the roster – my family were scared of him because he wears a mask.

Having said that, Mysterio did win this one. Kris rightly pointed out his speed, whereas Alice said that “he looks more serious” – presumably a reference to his Joker get-up from Wrestlemania 25…

See? I can do outdated jokes as well

Unfortunately for my predictions, Orton won this one with only Alice focusing on Punk’s “muscly legs” and the advantage that they might give him. As for Orton, the reasons once again ranged from the suprisingly knowledgable (“his old man was a brilliant wrestler”) to the purely aesthetic (“he has a nice tan” and “he looks evil”.)

On a personal note, while I’ve tried not to give my own predictions this year, I really *really* hope Punk wins this one. My fondness for his muscly legs notwithstanding, Punk is miles ahead of Orton in popularity here in the Bunker and the idea of Orton crowing about his victory in… incredibly… slow… phrasing… with… unnecessarily… long… pauses… between… each… word… yawn

Last but not least, Undertaker vs HHH – a match that I wasn’t looking forward to until this week’s Raw and Undertaker’s John Marston impression. [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: SWOOOON. For John Marston. Not 'Taker. Eww. Forget I mentioned it.]

"ma'am"

So, this battle of the giants pitting the Undertaker’s unrivalled Wrestlemania streak of victories against HHH’s legacy as one the most successful wrestler’s in WWE history – how would the results come in for this one?

“Undertaker: my reason is it’s the Undertaker and HHH has a big nose… and that big nose muppet retired Mankind. Bastard, I hate you HHH”

“Undertaker because he has no eyes!”

“HHH as the other one won’t be able to see what he’s doing.”

Now obviously Undertaker has got the regulation number of eyes (that’s two in case you’re from some of the more remote areas of the United States and unsure) but I thought that it was interesting that his supposed lack of ocular equipment could be seen as both a detriment and an advantage. Still, I never claimed to be from a family blessed with an abundance of logic or common sense – hence the reason I like wrestling enough to write about it on here every week I suppose. Also, HHH is even less forgiven than Edge was earlier – so it’s probably best not to cross us…

Assuming you can count, you might have noticed that there are a couple of matches missing. That’s because, despite my usual love of procrastination I decided to ask my family to predict last week – something which would have worked well had the WWE not decided to add a couple of matches afterwards. So… how to predict these last two matches? I could use my knowledge of the storylines so far and wrestling logic to make an educated guess as to who the winners might be, orrrrrr….

In case you don’t know, www.googlefight.com is a site which allows you to compare the search results for two terms and come up with a “winner.” So let’s see what Google has to say…

There we go, that was pretty decisive wasn’t it? Now, roll on bloody midnight.

A Song For Whoever: Announce Team Edition

Boss Lady Ray: I was going to use this post to rant about the tedious Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Brian Lawler and Jim Ross segment on last week’s Raw. I planned on giving you a detailed précis of how very long it was. I was even going to time it to tell you exactly how many minutes were wasted on Michael Cole’s abominable dancing; if he was actually dancing at all. There’s a chance he was having an epileptic fit and nobody noticed. This might have lead nicely on to an analysis of how much actual wrestling there was on Raw last week. I might even have mentioned the WWE executive who suggested that the WWE isn’t a wrestling company and what that meant for the company’s output.

Then I felt a blush of embarrassment rising up my face like a greenhouse thermometer on a scorching day. This is the almost completed Road to Wrestlemania. It’s silly season. Who really cares that the announce team are having a match? Let the baby have its bottle. Give the dog a bone. Let the nut see the cracker (thanks, Paddy McGuinness). Jerry Lawler has been a servant of the business for decades, let him have a Wrestlemania match. Much as I hate to admit it, Michael Cole does a sterling job of being the guy everyone wants to punch in the gob. Any time you can involve Jim Ross in a storyline it at least give the die-hard smarks something to crow about and I had conveniently forgotten that Lawler and Cole’s Wrestlemania match is to be refereed by one Stone Cold Steve Austin. Stone Cold, the legend. Stone Cold, who hosts the next big WWE project – Tough Enough. Tough Enough, which starts in the same week as Wrestlemania and needs a little plugging.

I’m forever telling wrestling fans to lighten up, to not take it too seriously, to remember it’s just entertainment and not life and death, to keep in mind that everything WWE does is ultimately about plumping up the bank balance and that it isn’t going to please all the people all the time. Sometimes I forget to take my own advice. Being an objective fan of wrestling isn’t all that simple but, at the risk of making each and every one of you vomit over your laptops, with all the very serious things going on in the world at the moment, just repeat after me: “meh, it’s just wrestling.”

This song is dedicated to myself and all the other moaners, groaners, whingers, grumblers and complainers.* (It’s audio instead of video this week. YouTube was being unkind to me.)


*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to moan, groan, whinge, grumble and complain in the future. I’m only human.

Sidekick Andrew: Yeah, I’m not doing one this week… got a problem with that?

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Musings

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

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

Evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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): 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.

raw(lite): he came, then he left

Due to time constraints and with The Bash looming within the next few hours, this week’s Raw reminder will be in a shorter form than usual.  You gotta do what you gotta do!

For those of us in the UK, commercial free television is nothing new. The most powerful broadcaster on this island, the BBC, is entirely free of advertising. Ok, so we’re legally obliged to buy a TV licence for the privilege, but I believe it makes for better television and radio. Still, Raw is shot in dollar land, where advertising is the bread and butter of all broadcasting.  So I understand the excitement. Seriously though, America, do you have to have SOOOO many ad breaks? It kills my buzz. Anyway, here are the …..

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S RAW

BEFORE THE BASH

Catchy, eh?

  • Trump’s Da Boss

Yes, that’s right, Donald Trump now owns the Raw brand and kicked his tenure off with a full ticket refund to everyone in the crowd who kept their ticket stubs. Those who threw them away on their way in to the arena probably needed some of this….

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  • John-Boy’s a Farmer

John Cena who, despite making a triumphant return to his charismatic, funny  ‘old self’ came out in his most ghastly merchandise line yet. Not in any way inspired by a certain world-famous farming equipment brand. No. Not all. And call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it was launched in Pack-land. Home of the Green and Gold. I shall discuss this rant about this further in the next audio post.

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  • The Miz is a Puss

John Cena flipped the coin over and called The Miz out for a change. After much cuteness and frivolity, John got serious, gave The Miz a match at The Bash and warned Miz that his days were numbered. Oooh. It was deliciously perfect. Welcome back, John. The Big Show was obviously killing his good times. Favourite line? “You’re not a reality show ‘has-been’. You’re a WWE never was!” BUUUURN! Miz got rattled, punched John when he wasn’t looking and ran. Puss.

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  • Lemony Kick-It

Vince was left with the back-up limo (Trump had Road Force One), which happened to be a total lemon and broke down a hundred yards from the arena. Don’t you just hate when you have to use the back-up limo? So much less comfy than the best one. Vince made the poor little driver carry him down the street on his back.  Yah, ’cause that’s so much less humiliating than WALKING to the arena. Vince’s weight caused the driver to drop him so Vince kicked him in the arse. Nice guy!

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  • SD Trumps Raw

For the second week running, despite claiming full brand separation, there was a Smackdown match on Raw. I can only assume it was a ratings thing. They must have figured that the audience for Trump Raw would be larger than usual with the news of The Donald’s involvement causing a buzz in the mainstream media. What better way to impress than to bring your (real) superior brand in give off a good impression to first time viewers.

Jeff Hardy , Khali and Rey Mysterio beat Jericho, Edge and Ziggler when Jeff pinned Ziggler. Punk, being a nice guy, came to celebrate with Jeff, but he pushed him away like a lover who had been caught cheating. Oh, yeah, Punk wore clothes.  I sulked.

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  • Prelude to Crap

Cody Rhodes beat Primo in a prelude to what will undoubtedly be a tag-team belts win for Rhodes and DiBiase.I didn’t mind them so much when they first started hanging off Randy’s coat-tails……now…meh! Some sort of illegal crap will go down and the Orton Groupies will grab the titles ar The Bash. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. Prove me wrong. Please.

  • Song for Santina

Santina was fired. About two months overdue. Let’s celebrate with a song even more annoying than the actual character. Bet you don’t make it past the first 20 seconds.

  • Regrets, dear?

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Maybe it’s not all about da monaaay after all, Mr. M?

  • The King Ain’t Dead

That’s right, the King of Kings redeemed himself, remembered his job is not to be a corporate lackie and wrestled his oversized heart out. As did the delightful Randy. Best match they’ve had. Better than Wrestlemania even?

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  • The Penny Drops

You know how Vince McMahon is a smart businessman? Not so much. It turned out that Trump was giving money away and cancelling advertising contracts in the hope that Vince would buy Raw back for double the price. Oh Donald, you wiley fox. And I thought you were just a puffed up ball of orangey powder. The plan worked. The real Vince McMahon is indeed  great businessman, orchestrating this whole angle with hardly anyone knowing about it until the night of the show. But why so short? Ok, so I wasn’t exactly on board from the beginning, but there was a lot of mileage in that there storyline. I’m aware that I’m whining a lot today. I’m tired. I was up late and got up early. I’z grumpy when I’m tired. Donald bitch-slapped Vince, it all kicked off and they had to be separated by some burly looking security.

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  • Shut Your Trap

Rosa Mendes lost to Mickie James and Maryse got all pissy, telling Rosa to shut her yap while she tried to compose herself. Is it just me or are Maryse’s jubblies (thanks, Gok Wan) getting more plastic-y by the week? I don’t even care about boobs that aren’t my own and yet, I cannot look away. (?)

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  • Most Aspirational Stat Evah!

You know how much I live the WWE ‘Did you know…? stats. This week was the best ever. Check it out.

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Yep, because quantity is ALWAYS better than quality, right guys? Sweethearts, I love you enough to spend my life recapping your shows, but it’s not the size of your product that counts, it’s what you do with it. An hour of True Blood does not equate to an hour of Raw. We cool? Good. I love you. Mwah!

  • If you think I’m gonna recap another Cena/Big Show match….

you be trippin’. That is all.

  • Get offa my Randy

Just as Randy Orton was leaving the arena, Triple H whacked him, proper mobster style. At first it looked like he was gonna give Randy the lonely man in prison treatment against the back of his car, but he just dropped the boot door on him. Phew! REALLY! Writhing in agony, Triple H made it clear that their feud was SOOOO not over.

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

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The KFC buckets. For managing to get in so many camera shots and for showing such dedication to the show. Bravo, bucket of grilled chicken, bravo indeed.