30 Men? In a row? The Wrestlegasm Royal Rumble Predictions 2012

Sidekick Andrew: The joy of having only four matches (announced) on a card is that they are all pretty big deals. With the other two non-Rumble matches containing the blow-offs to big feuds however, this is looking like the weakest on the card. There’s no denying Bryan is a great wrestler, but sticking him in the ring with the likes of Big Show and Mark Henry isn’t necessarily going to give him chance to shine.

And we don't want any more small girls getting hurt do we?

That said, I think Bryan will retain the title tonight somehow. His gradual turn towards the dark side bodes well for his character, and having him as the smug “original best in the world” heel champion would be an interesting way to go.

...you can't all be the best in the world

Boss Lady Rae: Firstly, I apologise for the briskness of my predictions in comparison to Andrew’s. I’ve had a heavy writing weekend and my brain is slightly fried. I’m also unable to watch the Rumble live, which has broken my heart slightly. Alright, here we go….

Big Show made me cry during Smackdown this week. When he stood in the ring, weeping at the idea that a tiny girl had accidentally suffered at his meaty hands, I shed a little tear with him. Admittedly I was feeling blue at not being able to go to the Manchester TNA show like my esteemed colleague, but I felt quite endeared towards the big fella’s compassion. I think I just said I wanted to be at a TNA show. Who am I?

I have this fantasy that Wrestlemania will include a triple threat match between CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. For that to happen either Punk or Bryan need to drop their respective belts. I’d much rather that be Bryan, so I’ll say that Big Show will take the title tonight. Oh. Wait. Mark Henry’s in this thing too. Ummmm….meh, he’s done.

Sidekick Andrew: Never let it be said that I’m not still a massive Kane fan. He takes the ridiculous gimmicks and backstory retcons that WWE give him, shrugs and says “meh, whatever” and just runs with it. As a fan, I feel it’s only fair that I do the same. Whether it’s running around after Edge and Paul Bearer, inexplicably wearing a welder’s mask, or becoming an awkward teenager around ex-girlfriends…

After coming back and attacking Zack Ryder, Kane encouraged Cena to “embrace hate.” Cena manage to portray this magnificently in the best case of WWE emoting since Maria was dumped by Dolph Ziggler)

Logic dictates that Cena wins this match. He’s still the Superman poster boy for WWE, and using this match as a chance to channel some of his more vicious side (like his Last Man Standing match with Umaga for example) could be interesting. Also worth bearing in mind is that there’s nothing to stop Cena & Kane, or indeed any of tonight’s wrestlers, from appearing in the Rumble match as well. Cena could get his win here and avenge Ryder, but all it takes is for them to both clash again in the Rumble match and this feud could continue. After all, Cena needs something to do in the lead up to Wrestlemania other than respond to the Rock’s pre-recorded videos each week.

Boss Lady Rae: Do you know how much I love wrestling? In the midst of a brief and now slain ‘maybe I should give up on wrestling forever’ demon yesterday, Raw happened to be on while I was in my dad’s company. Even during the segment where Eve and John Cena’s acting skills following Zack Ryder’s ‘injury’ came straight out of a cheapo Horror Channel movie, I still defended them. As John knocked Josh’s mic from his hand and hilariously bubbled with fury into the camera lens (see above), I launched into a huge oratory about how wrestling is basically theatre and not a normal sport. Sometimes wrestling is like a bad boyfriend I can’t quit.

Anyway. The match. This whole feud is surely just a time-killing exercise for Cena until we launch into two months of him shouting into a mic for the Rock’s benefit. My guess is that Cena will win but only after Zack Ryder makes a miraculous recovery and runs (limps? wheels?) in to help. That could deliver the biggest pop of the night outside of any yet to be revealed Rumble surprises.

Sidekick Andrew: Much like Homer Simpson when faced with the choice to comdemn Springfield to obesity and diabetes, or listen to Marge and dump the smuggled sugar, I really don’t know what to do when it comes to predicting this match.

Obviously Punk’s been amazing over the last couple of years, and his interactions with Laurinitis helped the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the Interim General Manager of Raw (ugg) take our Villian of the Year award. On the other hand, Dolph is Dolph and there’s a reason we’ve been singing his praises for a long time here in the Bunker.

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[Boss Lady Rae's Edit: So long ago and yet so fresh in the memory!

If Punk is the future of the WWE, then Ziggler is the ideal counterpart. A more corporate heel to balance Punk’s rebellious face, Ziggler aligning himself with an authority figure, while Punk is constantly having the odds stacked against him by the people at the top. I wrote an article a while ago comparing Punk-Cena to the classic Rock-Austin feud, but now I’m wondering if Ziggler isn’t the new Corporate Champion instead.

As such I can see Ziggler winning this, with help from Laurinitis. HHH needs something keep him busy, and chances are he’ll turn up tonight at some point. If Laurinitis knows his days are numbered, there’s no reason for him not to screw Punk over, especially after his attack on Raw last Monday.

Boss Lady Rae: Excellent theorising indeed, young Andrew. I definitely think Triple H will be there tonight, but I think he’ll show up to stop Laurinaitis screwing Punk over. That would release Punk from this brilliant back-and-forth he’s been having with the boss, and give HHH a chance to seek his revenge.  And why would Punk need releasing? For my previously mentioned fantasy match, of course. I want to see Bryan and Jericho challenging Punk for both the title and the ‘Best in the World’ crown at ‘Mania. I think Punk will retain until then.  Never let it be said I don’t follow my heart.

Of course, we really cannot lose in this match. As Andrew says and as our remaining Report from the Fort awards will attest, we’re both massively smitten with both Punk and Ziggler. Setting the Rumble match aside, which is unique in its greatness, this might not only be match of the night, but one of the best of the year. A bold statement in January, I know.

Sidekick Andrew: We were in two minds whether to predict this match here in the Bunker. We deliberated long into the night over endless packets of Monster Munch and lashings of ginger beer, trying to decide if we just wanted to enjoy what is usually one of our favourite wrestling spectacles simply for what it is. In the end however we agreed to predict it anyway (by which of course I mean Boss Lady Rae held me down and threatened to remove any roast beef flavoured maize based snack priveledges unless I capitulated.)

The trouble with this of course, is that the Rumble is a bit of a bugger to predict. There’s no definite and obvious winner this year, so deciding on just one is a matter of preference in the end.

The Miz could win, bringing him back into the main event picture and explaining why he was given the Number One entrant slot on Monday.

Undertaker could come back, starting his Road to Wrestlemania (which has to start soon) with a late entry and victory.

Christian could make his return, although between you and me I’m not overly excited by that prospect to be honest.

Orton could win, now that he has returned, as could the increasingly verbose Jericho. However, I think this PPV will set up feuds for them, rather than title shots.

I’m going to go for Wade Barrett to continue his barrage and win the Rumble tonight. OK, I’m going with local bias as usual, but he needs something to get him out of the rather boring upper midcard nonsense he’s been involved with recently. You never know, he might even team up with his old mentor Jericho during the match.

Boss Lady Rae: I don’t really want to to predict what might happen during the match. The Royal Rumble remains one of the few WWE repeated matches that still has the genuine ability to shock and surprise. I will say though, I’d love to see some of the ladies make an appearance this year. What better way for Beth Phoenix to return to TV than showing up in the Rumble for the second time?

Predicting the Rumble is a curious business, because picking a winner means you’re predicting the next few months of storytelling. I’d love for Chris Jericho to win, but it all seems a little too obvious now, and he doesn’t need to win to end up in my fantasy match. There are also quite a few people coming to the end of genuine injuries who may return. Running with my Big Show prediction and assuming Punk retains, I too am going to have to pick Wade Barrett. I know, I know.  It seems like we’re just going with local bias again and it’s definitely a powerful force. But he’s been getting such a steady push on Smackdown recently. It’s all got to mean something, right? RIGHT?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head Lock Go! Go! Professional Wrestling: Royal Rumble Predictions

It’s here already! Our favourite WWE PPV of the year is upon us and it’s time for us to blindly fumble our way towards a vague prediction of who might win. We’re both really looking forward to the show this year, especially as the Rumble itself is generally one of our favourite matches. Given that there’s only 4 matches listed for this year we were expecting more to be announced on Smackdown, selfishly hampering our practically paranormal predicting as usual. In retrospect though, last year only had 6 matches (one of which only lasted 20 seconds!) and the Rumble match was (presumably) shorter so 4 matches is probably all we’re getting. Still, with only 4 matches to predict we should be able to get a 100% hit rate right? Maybe…

Sidekick Andrew: First up, the Divas Title handicap match: Natalya vs LayCool. Now there’s a lot of rumours that Awesome Kong might debut during this match. Or rather Amazing/Astounding/Astonishing/Alarming Kong as TNA have kept the rights to Awesome, and the whole Miz thing might get confusing…

Anyway, assuming Discombobulating Kong does debut I would assume she’ll be a heel supporting LayCool so they can lead to a feud against Beth or Natalya (God I wish!) But I don’t think this means LayCool will win, I’m going with Natalya to get the win and retain the belt, although there’s a good chance she’ll get beaten down after the match. I can’t see them taking the belt off her just yet, but then that could be more wishful thinking on my part that the WWE actual care about having a great wrestler holding the title for a while. Much as I like Layla, she’s no Natalya.

Boss Lady Ray: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Kong will debut during the Divas match. I think it’ll be during the Rumble. My only hope is that there’s at least one other Divas there for her to begin a feud with. I’d hate for them to make it OK for Kong to fight boys just because she’s bigger than the other girls. But anyway, this is all speculation. The match itself is what we’re predicting here.

Boring as it would be to go back to where we were, at least without some interference, I think LayCool will get the title back. I have this feeling that WWE are bored of Natalya being champ and they’ll take the title back to Smackdown where they can do more with Beth. Of course, this entire prediction could be based on the fact that, ultimately, I just want Beth to have the belt again. This girl-crush thing is getting hardcore. Maybe it was because Beth publicly thanked us for making her Wrestlegasm Female Wrestler of the Year on Twitter. See? Didn’t we say she was lovely?

Sidekick Andrew: Next up, Miz vs Orton. Awesome vs yawnsome. Genius vs tedious. The Money in the Banker against the arrogant wan… well you get the point. Like many people I was a fan of Orton once upon a time, but now? I really struggle to muster any interest in him, either in or out of the ring. His promos are dreary and his in ring action is nowhere near as interesting as it used to be.

So, despite Randall’s shameless baby-kissing and giant puppy action I’m going to go with my fervent hope that Miz wins and keeps the title until Wrestlemania at least. There’s no mileage in another Orton title run, and if the rumours are true that he’s working injured it would make even less sense. Miz, on the other hand, is the WWE’s new media darling: taking on the promotional duties that would normally fall to Cena and doing a great job of them. Miz deserves a Wrestlemania title defence after the work he’s put in, even if it’s only to lose.

Boss Lady Ray: I’m right in saying that Orton is still injured, right? And I’m right in saying that he’s become pretty boring to watch, yeah? And I’m correct in saying that Miz lights the place up the minute his toothy face arrives on screen, yah? Yah? I agree with Andrew, Miz really deserves to take the title to Wrestlemania, so I think he’ll win this one. I just can’t see him losing to Orton at this stage. He has too much to offer the biggest show of the year. Besides, if he loses that totally screws my Rumble pick, so don’t lose or I’ll stop wearing your t-shirt, Miz. (I won’t.)

Even if Randy isn’t that seriously injured, I think he should go away for a while. I feel a little bit like he’s blending into the background and going through the motions. Randy, take some time off, have a break, put your feet up, watch Cash in the Attic, eat brunch, drink some full-fat lattes and come back refreshed and ready to punt someone in the head. It’s like poetry, isn’t it?

Sidekick Andrew: Spear! Spear! Spear! Actually, we’re more likely to hear “Edgecution! Edgecution! Edgecution!” after Vickie banned the Spear on Friday’s Smackdown. Now, this would usually be deemed slightly unfair but let’s be honest, she has done this before when she banned the Undertaker’s Hell’s Gate move while he was feuding with… erm… Edge! As Derren Brown sung: What Goes Around… Comes Around

Now, it’s no secret we’re huge Dolph fans (or Dolphans as he insists on calling them on twitter) and I definitely want him to take the title at some point this year, but I can’t see it happening before Wrestlemania. I think Edge will win this time, but I’d be very surprised if there was no shenanigans. I suspect Edge will use the Spear behind the ref’s back, maybe while Vickie is distracting him – giving them an excuse to have a rematch at Elimination Chamber.

Having said that, I would be over the moon if I was wrong and Dolph won the title. Sometimes being wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Something which Boss Lady Ray and her slightly askew prediction are very glad of. [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: Set some time aside next week, young man. You're writing the results show this month.]

Boss Lady Ray: Did Andrew just reference Justin Timberlake? Wow. This is what happens when you spend your time hauled up in a WWII Bunker with me. Anyway, I’m very annoyed with Vickie Guerrero. By banning the Spear she has effectively ruined our Bunker Rumble party. Our plan was to spear an onion ring with a salt & vinegar crunchy stick and scoff it every time Edge hit the Spear or someone hit a Spear-like move. Now, it’s spoilt and we’ll have to eat them separately.

On a more serious note, there’s way too much mileage in this feud between Dolph and Edge. Ex-husband is feuding with ex-wife’s younger, more ripped boyfriend? Come on, there’s months of material in there. It’s soap opera gold! I know it’s all been done before, but I’ve a feeling this squabble will carry through to Wrestlemania where Vickie will be seduced by Edge again and turn on Dolph.  She falls for him every. single. time. Dolph will retain this time, but his days are numbered.

Sidekick Andrew: Yay! The Rumble! And this year it’s a biggie – 40 men (or rather, 40 wrestlers *wink wink*) Last year’s was great, with Punk preaching, Beth battling and Edge entering from nowhere. I’m hoping for good things this year too. There’s a lot of feuds that will collide in the ring: Corre vs Nexus, Punk vs Cena, Barrett vs Cena, Big Show vs Nexus, Sheamus vs HHH (probably) all of which should lead to an interesting match.

There’s a few people I think could win this year. Other than the usual big names that always have a chance, there are a few newer guys that seem to have a good chance. If I was allowed to pick a few then Del Rio, Barrett or Bryan might get a look in…

I can’t believe I spent so long on a crappy photoshop of a magazine none of you will be old enough to remember. On a Saturday night no less… the things we do here in the Bunker for you lot. [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: I remember it. But then, I'm old too. Ah, the good old days. When magazines were 20p] Anyway, happy as I would be to see any of those guys win, I going to go with Punk to win the Rumble. They need someone who can ostensibly main event Wrestlemania and Punk vs Miz could be a great match. Punk also has Nexus behind him, and Bunker favourite Mason Ryan on his side so he’s my pick. The predictable finish would involve Cena, Barret and Punk as the final three, with Barrett and Punk teaming to take out Cena before Punk eliminates Wade.

Of course, there’s always a chance I’m wrong: the Big Show might win. After all he’s the biggest man in the Rumble, and surely someone that big must have an advantage?

fiiiiiine...

Boss Lady Ray: We spent a long time pondering the winner of the Rumble. Like a whole 20 minutes. I know, right? Ages. It’s the most fun match to predict because there are so many variables. My original prediction during this conversation was for Mason Ryan to be around towards the end. Batista comes out as number 30. They eyeball each other, Barri Mason eliminates Dave and that begins a feud leading up to Wrestlemania. Young Buck vs Ageing Legend. Everyone loves that. They eventually become mates and start a tag team, which leads to Batista’s proper farewell. Whaddaya think? OK, before you send me out the room with my tail between my legs, consider the fact that Dave never really had a proper send off. He announced he was retiring, walked out and was never seen again. He’ll be back to beat up Barri at the Rumble. (Sorry, the alliteration was just too good to ignore there.)

GRATUITOUS MASON RYAN IMAGE

My real prediction is Daniel Bryan. I haven’t seen many people predicting him as a winner, which makes me think I’ve either come up with a genius prediction or I’m on totally the wrong track. Here’s my reasoning….. If Edge and Dolph are going to feud through Wrestlemania, they don’t need the Rumble winner challenging for the Heavyweight title and interfering with their fight on Smackdown. With this in mind the Rumble winner needs to come from Raw. If Miz is going to keep the title and Randy’s going to slip away to fix his injured whatever, Miz needs someone new to scrap with at ‘Mania. Daniel Bryan and Miz have beef going back to season one of NXT. Bryan came back after his “firing” and took Miz’s US title, so it makes sense that he would now want to take his WWE Championship. See? It works. Of course, my Rumble prediction relies on my other predictions being correct too. If Randy Orton get the belt back this whole thing is shot to bits.

Have fun watching the Rumble, kids. This is the first PPV we’ve watched live in the Wrestle Bunker for some time, so we’re very excited. I’m off to make a Mason Ryan ice-cream bar now. I’m not even joking.

Sidekick Andrew: Right, you know what happens now. This is the bit where I ask you to put your predictions in the comments and you either don’t bother or you do and your predictions are much better than ours. Either way, thanks for that. Seriously though, I’d genuinely like to know at least who people think will win the Rumble, so if you’ve a spare few seconds please let us know. You know you want to…

smackdown(lite): fluffychops rides again

After an explosive Royal Rumble, a surprisingly entertaining Raw and the official announcement on this week’s show that ECW’s days are numbered, Smackdown had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it’s Smackdown i.e. a very safe pair of hands.

Chris Jericho was eliminated from the Royal Rumble by Edge. Jericho responded to this by dusting off his finest suit and stomping down to the ring, where he vented on the crowd in a rather angry fashion.

I think the word I'm looking for is raaaawwwrrr!

Jericho called Teddy Long out to explain why he of all people had to qualify for the Elimination Chamber match at the PPV. When he failed to respond, Jericho went looking for Teddy himself. He marched past the table of fruit and honey-nut Cheerios (so healthy), shouted in The Hart Dynasty’s frightened faces, attacked a fat man and flung the door of Teddy’s office open. But wait…….

They can’t belong to Teddy Long. Who could it be?

Edge made one of his usual intense speeches and let Jericho know that he was bringing The Cutting Edge back, so he could have a nice chat with The Undertaker. Good luck with that, Edge. Not been getting any ‘great conversationalist’ vibes from The Deadman lately. Still, you never know.

Just as on Raw, the show was crammed full of Elimination Chamber qualification matches. The first of those matches was a Triple Threat between Drew McIntyre, John Morrison and Kane. I was pretty sure this wouldn’t be won by John Morrison. Some men seem to suit a good caging, some need to let their spirit fly free. Then again, maybe I’m confusing John Morrison with Jim Morrison.

Kids love a free-spirt more than an annoying Scot and a pyromaniac.

One of the things I love about wrestling is its ability to bring people from all walks of life together. True, most ‘pure’ wrestling fans are scumbags (confirmed by eye-witness report from Raw in Nashville), but where else would you see a white, upper-middle class lady with apparent wealth bouncing along to sub-standard hip-hop music, spun out by a man who wears spray-painted graffiti jeans and electrical tape around his biceps?

Kid on the left: "PLEEEEASE don't put my mom on TV!"

R-Truth had an Elimation Chamber qualifying match against professional jobber, Mike Knox. No change of pecking order this week.

I need to take you away from Smackdown for a moment. Remember when you were a kid and your hamster died? You were so sad that you cried for a week, and to make you feel better your mum said “It’s ok, sweetheart, we’ll buy you another hamster to replace Fluffychops.” To which you responded with something along the lines of “No, Mum! I don’t want a replacement. I want Fluffychops back!” Then you got over it and realised you loved the new hamster just as much…. he was just different. You’re wondering where I’m going with this, aren’t you?  Well, for several weeks now I’ve been mourning the loss of hot-Punk (Fluffychops). People kept telling me how great New CM Punk was but I couldn’t, nay, didn’t want to see it. Then the Royal Rumble happened and the penny dropped. I still miss you, hot-Punk, but your Rumble performance was nothing short of genius and I think I love you even more deeply than I did before. The way he eliminated Zack Ryder alone makes me laugh every time I watch it. And I’ve watched it a LOT! Besides, if this storyline ends in anything less than someone shaving Punk’s hair and beard off, it’ll be a totally wasted creative opportunity. So really, I can’t lose. Thank you for your patience while I grieved. Back to Smackdown.

Over in the locker room, Punk was rallying his troops for another night of soul saving. An observation though…. Luke Gallows’ attachment to Punk has crossed the line from BFF to “I think I like you as more than a friend” and it interfere’s with now returning Punk-love. Stop it, Gallows! Get your filthy fingers outta my pie!

Animal print hipster scarf to the right clearly owned by Ziggler.

Animal print hipster scarf on the right clearly owned by Ziggler.

That’s enough of this chatter, let’s get to Punk’s EC qualifying match against Batista. Oh wait, just one more thing. Thanks to the wardrobe dept. for reading my Raw recap and dressing Serena in a more flattering dress. Although, the matching hair-clippers handbag was a bit much.

Both men were in the ring in prepapration for the match, but something wasn’t quite right. Dave didn’t seem his usual AAAARRRGH self. In fact, if he’d been any more chilled he’d have been horizontal.

Contrary to Matt Striker’s theory that Dave was trying to make Punk angry and sloppy, the match never actually happened. Dave strolled away with a big grin on his face and Punk won by default. If that’s how easy it is to beat Batista these days, I think I’ll challenge him to a match myself. Punk was delirious at making his way into the Elimination Chamber with no effort whatsoever.

After cracking on to Maria in a thinly veiled “I love your work” bit, Matt Hardy took Chris Jericho on to challenge for a spot in the Elimination Chamber. I won’t bore you with the details. Jericho’s in the Chamber.

You know that long, drawn-out Piggy James storyline which tormented me from week-to-week? It all came to an end at the Rumble. Michelle McCool ran her mouth, Layla wore the fat-suit again, Mickie James swiped the title belt in a match lasting seconds and all the face girls piled cake on top of Team Lay-Cool. Did someone say ‘anti-climax’? You’d think they would at least have ended this awful mess with an epic match after such a big build-up. Anyway, that’s all over now. Mickie’s the champ again and all is right with the world.

Mickie was just about to launch into a lecture about karma when Beth Phoenix showed up. I’ll come to Beth’s Rumble achievements in a separate post, but for now she wanted Mickie to know that she had plans to take the Women’s Title. It appeared that something was about to kick off, but Vickie Guerrero had other plans and sent Team Lay-Cool out for a tag-match.

Looks familiar.

They went on to have a pretty nifty little match. Beth had Michelle all locked up and tagged Mickie in to take over. But as Mickie went to work on McCool’s arm, Beth turned on her supposed partner and left her writhing in agony on the canvas. Oh and then she took Michelle out too, you know, just for laffs.

Michelle rolled herself over and tagged Layla in, but Mickie was waiting and managed to grab at Layla’s neck, hold her shoulders down and take the win. Beth Phoenix vs Mickie James. Finally, eh? FINALLY!

Back to the Elimination Chamber hopefuls with Rey Mysterio vs Dolph Ziggler. Much as I love he of the loveliest arse to ever find itself wrapped in Baco-Foil, the idea that Ziggler would be allowed in the Chamber over Rey Mysterio is pretty unimaginable. While I’m here, a quick message to Dolph Ziggler….. please break kayfabe and be yourself on your Twitter account. It’s allowed. See Chris Jericho and Beth Phoenix’s Twitter accounts for tips on how to be awesome.

Ziggler: loses the match, loses at twitter, wins at arse.

Time for some more Edge mic-work. True, he’s had a lot of it this week. But fair play to the guy, he’s had a lot of months without an arena full of people to entertain with his Sheamus impression.  Edge was about to welcome The Deadman to the ring when Chris Jericho popped up. They shouted back and forth about who deserved more in life, then they were interupted by someone who believe himself more worthy of praise than either of them…..

Hold on a minute… this chit-chat is all well and good, but where’s the actual person who was supposed to Edge’s guest of honour?

Taker got rid of The Straight Edge Society, Edge speared Jericho out of the way and the two of them circled each other to indicate that they’re not going to fight right now, but they will some time in the future. Body language rules so hard!

raw(lite): i think i know him

Just in case you’re looking for it, I’m not doing a full Royal Rumble recap. You’ve all seen what happened by now and the whole purpose of live blogging it was to record the event as it happened. Then again, my contribution to the joint live blog with LOL, Wresslin‘ was pretty minimal, so maybe I should do a recap. All credit should go to Adam & Matt, not only for organising it but also for being clever and quick-witted throughout. In my defence, I was rather unwell with a nasty stomach bug.

It started painfully on Friday, it improved on Saturday and appeared to have disappeared altogether on Sunday morning. But come Rumble evening my body was mounting a rebellion against me and what felt like everything I’d eaten in the past month returned from whence it came. 30 minutes after the first stomach evacuation I was a little low on fuel and ceremoniously fainted in, what I’m told, was a hilarious manner. I disagree.

(Img. via luchins.com)

Following a pint of sugar-water, some gentle television and a nap, I joined the live blog, but pretty worse for wear. But hey, the boys kept you entertained, right? Oooh and if you do happen to read back through the live blog, the part where I excused myself for the Taker/Mysterio match was when I went to puke for the third time. Too much info? Yeah, I thought so. Best move on to Raw.

The winner of this year’s Royal Rumble was indeed Edge, as I and many others had predicted some weeks ago. Oh how wonderful it was to see his crazy but appealing face on TV again. Even in HD he looked healthy, so you know he’s fully recovered.  I do so love Edge’s intense, introspective monologues and he marked his return by delivering just that. I marked his return by marking out.

I think I know him.

But now that Edge has a Wrestlemania title shot in his grasp, which of the big belts does he want? His rightful place is on Smackdown, but that would require a match against the Undertaker, who just happens to be 17-0 at Mania.  Then again, he could take on the newbie who’s never appeared at WM before. 28 men and one lady wish they had that dilemma to contend with. Cue newbie.

Sheamus reminded Edge that he may be a little ring-rusty after spending six months with his foot resting on a cushion and suggested that he make his way back to Smackdown where he belongs.

Every time we get a flash of that WM26 sign hanging from the arena ceiling, a flutter of excitement curses through our bodies, right? But we’re forgetting that before we get there we’ve got the Elimination Chamber PPV to look forward to.  Personally, I’d run as fast as I could from anything involving the words ‘chamber’. These guys, however, want in; so there were a whole load of qualification matches on this week’s Raw. The first of these matches was to be John Cena vs Cody Rhodes. Even a chimp could predict the outcome of this match so I’ll just comment on the fact that Cody Rhodes wore some hideous trunks this week. Maybe he thought that because I’m killing Crotch Watch off slowly in a blogging hospice, I wouldn’t take note of his granny knickers this week.  Oh Cody. You don’ t know me at ALL.

Also, Nashville LOVES John Cena! Know why? Because John Cena is a super-friendly guy and Nashville is a super-friendly place. Once, the lady operating the security line at Nashville Airport hugged me and whispered “Don’t worry, you can come back again soon.” I was crying  because I was very sad to leave the Nash.  Oh and just in case your powers of deduction aren’t superior to that of a chimp, the match ended like this.

This episode of Raw was guest hosted by legendary nutcase, William Shatner. Boring as Star Trek is to me (sorry, nerds) I LOVE William Shatner. Vince should just let him show up and be on shows whenever he feels like it. Shatner and wrestling just go together. Why? Because they’re both totally ridiculous, but they know they’re ridiculous. William Shatner’s in on the joke and I think I’ve mentioned on several occasions that people who have the ability to laugh at themselves hold a special place in my heart.  Mr. Shatner’s first appearance of the night was a heated discussion about how Vince should be nicer to Bret Hart. Bill’s finest moment of the evening came a little later. I’ll come back to our host in a paragraph’s time.

Cute as DX is, I prefer Triple H when he’s The Game; angry, wet and a little bit scary. So as this current DX run draws to a close, my Triple H love begins to escalate. Trips was in the next Elimination Chamber qualifying match against Jack Swagger. Again, you can guess the winner, so I’ll comment on my excitement that the REAL Triple H is returning. This should cover it:

And just to confirm your suspicions………

Unless you’ve got the memory of a goldfish, you’ll remember me mentioning how great William Shatner is. This, my friends, is why……

“Musical genius” indeed, Mr. Dramatic-Voiceover-Man. My time is now-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!

Things are looking pretty bleak for Shawn Michaels. He eliminated Triple H from the Rumble, he was eliminated himself, he attacked the referees, refused to leave the Rumble and generally lost his marbles. He really wanted that match against Taker. Trips tried talking some sense into Shawn and attempted to prepare him for his EC qualifying match against Randy Orton, but HBK wasn’t ready to listen.

Just like all the other matches, I think you can guess who…… oh wait, this one is actually more difficult to call. Then again, if you consider Shawn’s aforementioned lack of focus and M.I.A.  zest for life, he gave Randy an easy night at work. He tried. He really did. But Randy wanted it more.

Then they played a promo video for Wrestlemania 26, which included the official theme tune. It’s a total tribute to auto-tune, but they’ll play it so much over the next couple of months I’ll end up liking it. Then I’ll hate the fact that I like it. Then I’ll watch Wrestlemania and I’ll love it regardless of how cheesy it is because it’ll remind me of how great Wrestlemania was. I’m so complex.

Moving on, Ted DiBiase had a pouting contest with Randy Orton.

Then he went to work on Mark Henry to challenge for the next spot in the Elimination Chamber.  For a while, I forgot the Rumble was over. So when Mark Henry did this……

…..I thought the match was over and I started pouting that my hopes of seeing Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase at Wrestlemania had been dashed. Then I remembered this match was ‘set for one fall’ and I went on to watch Ted book his place in the Chamber. Sorry, Justin Roberts. I wasn’t paying attention.

The Divas had a rough night of throwing cakes at the Rumble, so they were given the night off to recover.  Gail Kim and Kelly were chatting it up a storm when Maryse appeared at their side. Unusually, she was rather friendly and suggested that she and Gail make their race to the Divas title as ladylike as possible. Then she said something in French. I’ll presume it was something offensive. Don’t ask me. I did German at school.

This time of year, the brands all start mixing up; so it was only a matter of time before CM Punk and his minions made an appearance on Raw.  Punk and Gallows wanted a shot at DX’s tag titles, as did The Miz and Big Show. This had to be settled by our guest host, who set up a triple threat between all three teams for next week’s Raw. If the Straight Edge Society aren’t in possession of some waist-bling by next week, I’ll eat my waist-bling.

PS—-> Note to whoever dressed Serena this week. If you have an ample bosom, high-waisted gathered skirts can make the body look really short, eliminating the perfect hourglass shape. Either drop the skirt so it rests on the hips or switch the top so it falls beyond the waistline. Thanks.

Back in the locker-room, HHH was still trying to put a smile back on Shawn Michaels’ face. It didn’t work. Man, I wish HHH would stand at my shoulder and give me a gruff pep talk when I’m feeling blue.

Kiss him. It would totally work on me.

And I wouldn’t be so rude as to dismiss it and walk away. Just sayin’.

There was one Elimination Chamber qualifying match left and that final spot was fought over by Big Show and Kofi Kingston. Every one of this week’s matches had ended cleanly, so it was time for a bit of shenanigans. Kofi cat-scratched at Big Show’s eyes and Show threw a punch but whacked the ref in the chops by mistake. Show pleaded his innocence but Scott Armstrong was having none of it and ordered that Kofi be named the winner. Big Show cried.

Four weeks ago, Bret Hart was double-crossed once again by Vince McMahon. On this second visit, Bret wasn’t playing games. He wanted Vince’s ass down in the ring. YAH, he said ASS! So old-skool of him. Vinnie obliged and danced his way to the ring. Thank god they didn’t let Vince dress himself again this week.

Bret discussed his stroke and spoke about how difficult it was for him to find the courage to rise above his situation. Inspiring words. And, for making him feel so pathetic a month ago, Bret vowed to kick Vince’s ass right there in the ring. Vince responded by mocking The Hitman’s appearance.

Stroke damage = hilarious, right?

Following this, Vince retracted his offer to induct Stu Hart into the Hall of Fame, claiming that he didn’t deserve it. Here’s the odd thing about the Hart family. You can get up in their face and insult them all you like. But they only really come to life when you insult one of their relatives. Observe:

Vince is unusually fit and strong for a man in his 60′s and Bret Hart, as he so eloquently discussed, is a stroke survivor. So Batista felt the need to run out and save Vince from the wrath of Hart. Dave felt it appropriate to hold Bret down while Vince spat on him.

Dave!!! What are you doing?

Oh I see where this is going. Dave will represent Vince at Wrestlemania.  But who might represent Bret Hart? ….. Ummmmm……. I dunno …… any ideas, Nashville?

Oh yeah.

LOL, Wresslin’/Wrestlegasm LIVE RUMBLE BLOG – REPLAY

I had a technical hitch during the live blog in that I couldn’t get the software to embed. If missed it and you’d like read back through the live blog, click here. Thank you to everyone who followed along and left comments. We really appreciate you taking the time to get involved!

smackdown(lite): let’s get ready to rumble – part 2

…..and now to Smackdown.

DX came out. Then Rey Mysterio came out to blister Shawn about his claims that he’ll be fighting Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. There was a bunch of verbal fisticuffs:

Then the now-named ‘Straight Edge Society’ came out to put their 2-cents in. The Straight Edge Society now includes a bald girl with large bosoms. Obviously not going back to FCW after all, eh Serena? Good for you!

And because I couldn’t say it any better myself, I’m officially using the quote facility on this thing. Take it away, baby:

“You don’t drink, you don’t do drugs, you don’t smoke. Ok. Neither do I. But then again I don’t look like I’ve  been on a week-long crack binge with Amy Winehouse. I’m just sayin’, have a little pride, man! Pick yourself up. Clean yourself off. Maybe take them clippers out of the bag, shave that squirrel off you got on your chin. Hey, do yourself a favour…. grab a shower. ‘Cause I don’t know if it’s you, Lobotomy Man or Britney Spears right there but one of you’s got a bad case of swamp-butt!”

(Paul Levesque, WWE Friday Night Smackdown, 2010)

Then Teddy Long came out and made some matches, the first of which was an awesome match between CM Punk and HHH. Nobody won because the two bald kids beat up on Triple H. Shawn tried to help but Punk held a female shield in front of him and all but licked her face.

Jericho and R-Truth had the second great match of the night, won by Truth. Is this why Jericho went out and got bombed, got himself arrested and had to be bailed out by CM Punk for $120? True story. If by ‘true story’ you mean ‘unclear internet rumours’.

Dave wore his favourite boujis, nouveau riche outfit.

FOOOORE!

John Morrison said some stuff but I can’t remember it. I spent my time wondering which products he uses to make his hair look that soft and silky. You think I’m joking. I’m not.

Morrison challenged Drew McIntyre for the ICT in the third brilliant match of the night. The belt-bling did not change hands.

This this happened……

….. and I punched Matt Striker in the face for having the worst fake laugh on the planet. SHUT. UP. OR. I’LL. FIRE. YO. ASS.

Most awesomest of all the awesome matches was Rey Mysterio vs Shawn Michaels. The best bit was when it was awesome. Which was all the way through. But again, nobody won, because Batista ran in (without his golf gear), speared Michaels and spinebusted Rey.

But hark, here comes THE GAME. He exchanged punches with Dave, I marked out for HHH as he rolled Dave over the top rope and the lights went down.

But hark again,  as if by magic or something…………

Then………

Hands up if you’re ready to Rumble! (Both my hands are up.)

Just one final plug. If you’re watching the Royal Rumble live, please join me + Adam & Matt of LOL, Wresslin’ here at Wrestlegasm.com or at LOL, Wresslin’ for our live Rumble blog. Should be loads of fun!

raw(lite): let’s get ready to rumble – part 1

I figure nobody would really have time to read two full recaps today, what with it being Rumble day and all. Also, having spent most of the morning drinking tea and watching tennis (which I usually don’t care for) in my PJs, I haven’t got time to write them either. Seriously, Roger Federer is a Robot-Man, yeah? He can’t possibly be human. This is what he looked like at the END of the match against Andy Murray in the raging Australian heat?

And damn him for being so gracious and charming in his speech. It made me like him. But who the hell cares about an elegant sport like tennis, right? We’ve got the seedy world of professional wrestling to discuss.

All anyone cares about is the Rumble, so I’ll just run through the Rumble-related highlights from Raw and Smackdown in express format.

  • DX had a pretty cool match against Rhodes and DiBiase, but in-fighting between both tag teams threatened to destroy them; especially DX when Michaels interrupted Trips in the middle of his pedigree. I HATE when someone interrupts me in the middle of my pedigree. Puts me right off my rhythm.

I believe he'll deliver his answer at the Rumble.

  • MVP proved that, despite hanging all that faux bling around his neck, he is actually a real athlete by putting one of those oxygen enhancing sinus strips across his nose, even when there was no match. And Miz proved that he’s a style leader by turning up in a black shirt with a white tie. Ballsy fashion statement, m’friend!

MVP also insinuated that Miz and Big Show are gay lovers. Hands up if you don’t want to watch that home video. (Both my hands are up.)

  • Legacy’s gradual fragmentation continued.

Mmmm. Smell that tension.

  • Then that guy who used to be in The West Wing and that kiddies alien show came on.

  • Then that same guy frightened Maryse with some impromptu pyro while she was speaking French. Maryse over-acted and then shouted some more in French. It was good.

She channelled that anger into demolishing Eve to secure her place in the final match of the Divas Title Tournament.

  • Vince McMahon proved he’s a pretty cool billionaire by vox-popping the real audience on why they thought he should bring Bret Hart back. Well he had to do something to cover the fact that he’d teamed black shoes, light grey trousers, charcoal shirt and tie and a dark maroony-brown jacket.

No, no, no.

Then John Cena made an epic speech where he told the boss off, implored Vince to take the moral high-ground, and made me love him that little bit more. Come on Cena-Haters, don’t pretend it wasn’t fantastic.

Seriously, how many jobs are there where you can tell your boss you're gonna punch his false teeth in?

  • Kofi Kingston tried to humble The Miz in the ring and succeeded. Then MVP came out and tried to humble Thw Miz in the fashion stakes and failed.

  • As the result of some technical mishap, Carlito was put in a match against Kelly Kelly. But you all know that men fake-fighting women is no longer permissable in the WWE, so Santino came out to take her place. Then Jack Swagger came out, hit Santino and did some push-ups next to him to show how strong he is. Kind of like this……

  • Gail Kim beat Alicia Fox to face Maryse for the Divas Title, as should rightly be. Then Alicia slapped Dulé Hill for incorrectly predicting that she’d win. He’s an actor on a show called Psych and he’s not even the psychic character. Silly girl. But then, I believe in astrology, so who am I to speak?

The show ended like this…………