Our No Way Out predictions have nothing to do with the Kevin Costner film

Sidekick Andrew – Well, here’s one that the internet will no doubt be *very* excited about. Two “comic relief” wrestlers in a comedy gimmick match – this has five star classic written all over it. Of course, sarcasm aside, this could be at least fun – assuming you can sit back and not take wrestling too seriously. It’s not been put on to impress with hold and counter hold, insane lucha flips or hardcore bumps – it’s put on for the “entertainment” part of sports entertainment and will hopefully fulfill that role adequately.

That said, the obvious choice for this is Santino to win and embarrass Rodriguez again. It’s not often that heels will win a match with this kind of stipulation.

Boss Lady Rae:  “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun aaaaand SNAP! The job’s a game!” Words of wisdom from that great philosopher Mary Poppins there. One of the things we noticed while we took a little break is just how seriously we had started to take wrestling. That’s not to say we don’t stand by all our more serious points from the past, or that we won’t be making serious points again in the near future. But we definitely forgot some of the fun.

This “match” is pure fun and I’m kind of looking forward to it. The crowd love Santino’s foolin’ and Ricardo’s antics over the past few weeks have rivalled his opponent’s for laffs. It seems obvious that Santino will win, and I believe he’ll win the war. But because I think they’ll string this out a little longer, I’ll say that Ricardo’s got this battle won. If only to reward his wicked Sheamus impression.

Sidekick Andrew – Given more than five minutes, this could be a pretty enjoyable match. Both wrestlers are more than capable of impressing, and we’re fans of both here in the Bunker. In fact *ahem* you could say I’m torn between the two…

 Gratuitous links? We got ’em!

Anyway, now that unpleasantness is over with, my prediction. Pretty sure Layla is going to keep the title tonight. She’s not had it long and there’s still mileage in pushing her as champion. If Kharma is on her way back (as indicated on twitter this week) then Beth doesn’t need the title just yet as there’s (hopefully) a feud on it’s way for her.

Boss Lady Rae: I won’t lie, the girl crush I developed on Layla before injury sent her packing for a year is back with a vengeance.  Chances of me betting against her at the moment are pretty slim, so I won’t. Layla will win. I’m definitely not torn between them. *ahem* Having said that, I agree with my colleague. Given more than a couple of minutes this could be a great match. We can but hope.

Sidekick Andrew – I still can’t bring myself to get excited about a Christian match. I know people love him, but he just bores me so much. On the other hand, Cody is always great to watch so there’s a chance the match should be watchable at least. Honestly, I can’t think of much else to say about this one. So I hope you’ll accept this photo of Cody eating chicken with a lady as recompense.

 Christian’s probably going to win this by the way…

Boss Lady Rae: Cody Rhodes has been kind of a revelation lately. I spent years passing him off as dull mid-card fodder. Then the Wrestlemania run-up kicked in and I started warming to him. I lost a lot of the enjoyment I got out of Christian’s stories after the hullaballoo following his lost title last year. Hopefully Cody can inject some interest into this one and swipe the belt back. 

Sidekick Andrew –
Punk vs Bryan?
Well, we all know how good that can be.

Punk vs Bryan vs Kane?
Hmm… suddenly I’m not so sure about this match.

Punk vs Bryan vs Kane (with added crazy AJ)?
Yep, that’ll do!

Is it strange that in a match containing two of the best wrestlers in the world, and one of the best “monsters” in the world, the deciding factor in this one for me is AJ? Rae and myself have spent the last week gushing over how well AJ is playing her character at the moment, questionable “I Dig Crazy Chicks” shirts aside. It really does seem like the role she was born to play, with small details like the way she reacted to the crowd’s chants on Monday showing that she’s the skill to improvise rather than just being well written.

I’m a big fan of Punk and Bryan, and I’ll always have a soft spot for Kane. Adding AJ into the mix is just the stupidly cute cherry on the top. As for a winner? Oh, let’s say Punk wins and retains the belt (and hopefully changes it for something more tasteful soon.)

Boss Lady Rae: I’ve observed some chatter about how sexist AJ’s current character apparently is. Trust me. I’m usually the first to jump on this shit. And yeah, it would be lovely if there were more big female characters unconnected to men. (I have an updated Eve piece in the works. Shhh.) But AJ’s done such a brilliant job of playing the lunatic ex-girlfriend, it’s lovely to see a well developed female character, regardless of the situation.

The 4-way banter between Punk, Bryan, Kane and AJ on this week’s Raw was brilliant and long may it continue. I’m not sure why Kane has become involved with this story beyond adding an extra string to its creative bow, but I’m pretty sure he isn’t winning any titles tonight. Keep the title on Punk’s waist and keep this thing going. I flippin’ love it.

Sidekick Andrew – It shouldn’t be any surprise which of these two wrestlers is my favourite. Sheamus is (kind of) local, talented, surprisingly huge and with a charisma and look that stand him apart from the rest of the roster. But he’s no Dolph Ziggler…

Straight as I am, no man can make me swoon like Dolph comes out to the ring. I Am Perfection? Yes you are sir, yes you are. We’ve been singing his praises for what seems like years now at Wrestlegasm, and he hasn’t lost any of his appeal, even if he did lose some momentum along the way. Back in the title picture due to Del Rio’s unfortunate concussion, I’m going to predict that Ziggler will be the (perhaps unlikely) winner tonight. There is precedent for last minutes replacements to win titles on PPV with Johnny Nitro taking the title in a match with Punk after Benoit did, well… you know. Plus Ziggler deserves a second title run, and one that lasts slightly longer than 11 minutes and 23 seconds.

Boss Lady Rae: This is by far the most tantalising match on the card, and this is a show where Punk and Bryan are going at it again. Sheamus is absolutely on fire at the moment, which is nice to see considering he spent the best part of a year in the doldrums. We’re also delirious that Dolph Ziggler, our top bloke of 2011, is getting a title shot. He’s more than paid his dues in the mid-card and he’s long overdue another jump to the top. I suppose he has Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton to thank for this one, but it’s not how opportunities arise, it’s what you do with them when you get them. I think Sheamus is keeping the title for now, but the idea these two might get a long title run out of someone else’s misfortune is absolutely delicious.  YUM!

Sidekick Andrew – This is unfortunately another match that I’m struggling to get excited about. I’m not a Cena hater like a lot of people, but he needs someone great to go against, and Big Show just isn’t that great.

Oh grow up…

The added stipulations would seem to suggest that Cena is winning this. Certainly Laurinitis getting fired makes more sense that Cena getting fired. Except for the fact that Cena getting fired is about as permanent as Superman dying or me deciding to stop eating bacon sandwiches for breakfast. Add in the fact that Cena is going through a divorce at the moment and this could end up being a chance for him to take some much deserved time off.

What I’m positive we will see is one of Cenas patented feats of strength. I wouldn’t be surprised if Laurinitis or Otunga gets involved at some point, and I also wouldn’t be surprised if Cena manages to get Big Show and Otunga/Laurinitis up for a double Attitude Adjustment. I’m going to go with Big Show winning this one, although I’m conscious that betting against Cena is always a bad idea.

Boss Lady Rae: It’s no secret that John Cena’s been having a tough time lately. A little light relief was in order and, honestly, there’s nothing to be taken less seriously than a run with Big Show. If you like Big Show as a face, hang on a few months and he’ll turn into a happy chappy. Like him as a heel? Hold out a little while and he’ll be the black-bearded bad guy again. It’s all veh silly.

The stipulation that would leave Laurinaitis out of a job is the basis of this whole story and, with Vince back on the scene this week and HHH showing up tomorrow, it would seem pretty likely that John Cena’s got this one in the kitbag. Dude, you never bet against Cena.


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

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

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

Beth Phoenix vs Tamina Snuka

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

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

John Cena vs Kane

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

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

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

Raw Elimination Chamber

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

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

Smackdown Elimination Chamber

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

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

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

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.

”]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?

A fresh start – the Survivor Series predictions post

Sidekick Andrew: Have I mentioned recently my massive man-crush on Ziggler? Luckily for me it appears that someone high up in the WWE has the same, slightly disturbing, feelings as me. Not only is he booked on the last two PPVs, but he’s been in two matches on each. Double the Ziggler, double the pleasure. Morrison, on the other hand, doesn’t strike me as someone who is held in great esteem by management at the moment. Since Melina’s departure he has been floundering slightly, and doesn’t actually seem like he wants to be there anymore.

yeah... that's not going to help matters John

With Ziggler wrestling twice I can see this being a really short match. Like, really short. Morrison tries for a lock up, Ziggler hits the sleeper hold and Morrison goes down – hopefully learning that you don’t piss off the boss in the meantime. Ziggler retains, Morrison is future endeavoured and the spectre of “Mr Ziggles” is banished forever.

Boss Lady Rae: Oooh. Doesn’t he get feisty when he’s talking about Ziggler?! Personally, I think Andrew’s just jealous that the object of his platonic desire retweeted me this week.


After John Morrison’s interference this week, I thought he might pull off a shocker here and take the title. But that doesn’t seem too likely considering he’s been saying silly things on Twitter. I’ll say that Morrison wins, but by DQ so Andrew’s Mr. Lovely can keep his belt. Nice compromise.

Sidekick Andrew: I hate to say this, I really do, but I think Eve is going to win tonight. There’s been plenty of speculation as to whether the Divas of Doom (or whatever the hell they’re known as) will be splitting up, leading to a pretty exciting feud between the two. This match being a lumberjill match means three things:

  • 1. All the women on the roster get a PPV payday
  • 2. Jerry Lawler gets to make some very unseemly noises
  • 3. There’s a good opportunity for Natalya to “accidentally” cost Beth the match in the chaos

While my crush on Beth is almost as strong as my aforementioned crush on Ziggler (but neither can touch my crush on Ultramantis Black), I’m not opposed to her losing tonight. A Beth and Natalya feud could lead to some amazing matches, and Eve proved herself pretty capable during their match at Vengeance. All in all, I’m quite looking forward to seeing where this goes. Not a feeling I have very often with regards to the WWE Womens Division.

Boss Lady Rae: I’ll save you my boohooing over how indifferent to Beth Phoenix I’m gradually becoming. It’s disturbing me beyond belief. I think Eve will be winning this one. The Beth/Natalya alliance hasn’t quite been the revolution it could have been and I actually think they’d be better feuding against each other. A PPV match between the two could be pretty special.

I’ve always thought Eve was wildly underrated. It would be brilliant if they could give her the title again and actually let her do something with it this time.

Of course, this is a lumberjills match. I’m probably setting myself up for a fall believing it will be anything but a mess of flying Louboutins and chicken fillets. Still, a gal can hope.

Sidekick Andrew: Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Del Rio. I think he’s a great wrestler, and an even better gimmick. The addition of Ricardo Rodriguez and his luxury car entrance are just the icing on the cake. However, it’s time for him to lose the title. It’s not his fault… the trouble is that he’s on Raw – a show where there are any number of stories going on that are given more precedence than the title itself. Between HHH, Kevin Nash, John Laurinaitis, The Rock and John Cena, the title picture is seemingly an afterthought. If any one can give the belt some relevance again it’s Punk, so my money is on him to win tonight.

Lest we forget, he even made Matt Hardy look interesting

Boss Lady Rae: When we discussed these predictions yesterday, I didn’t think I even needed to make a prediction. It fills me with joy that it still only takes one short guitar riff to make my tummy flip over when Punk appears at the top of the ramp. I am hardly impartial when it comes to Chicago’s finest. Look at our predictions graphic. Even my illustrated self is now wearing a CM Punk shirt. But I genuinely think it’s time for Del Rio to pass the title on. 

Andrew is unfortunately right. Raw has always been the home of big personalities and Del Rio has a lot to compete with, especially now the brands are mixing more regularly. Titles don’t have to be the centre of every story. On the contrary, some of the best runs have had no belts attached to them. But it seems a waste to keep the WWE Championship with Alberto Del Rio if they’re not going to make the most of it. Punk now needs something to do leading up Wrestlemania. I’m sure it will be a perfectly amicable exchange of property. (HAH!)

Sidekick Andrew: Probably the match I have the least amount of interest in, and therefore the match I will use the least amount of words to talk about. I think Big Show will take the title but quote frankly I’m not that bothered either way. Sorry about that, but in recompense here’s a picture of a goat in a suit…

Boss Lady Rae: I’m sure people will hate me for this, but I am so terribly bored of Mark Henry. And if this laziest of lazy t-shirt is anything to go by, so are them on high….

To create some interest here I think Big Show has to win. As recompense for my Henry related malaise, here’s me happy to be with a goat:

Sidekick Andrew: Nice of the WWE to remember the whole gimmick behind Survivor Series is these 5 on 5 man elimination tag matches. And it’s always good to see Barrett get a push of some sort. So with Barrett having Ziggler (swoon) on his team against Randy bloody Orton and his worthless team of worthless wrestlers you’d think this would be an easy choice. But, the masochist in me is expecting a face win in this match for some reason. Orton still seems to be on a roll, and Kingston needs something to do while Evan Bourne is otherwise engaged (sitting on his couch scoffing Monster Munch and watching Loose Women or something).

Boss Lady Rae: Tricky. One the one hand, I feel pangs of intense guilt and betrayal not shaking my pom-poms for any team involving Mason Ryan. On the other, Barrett and Ziggler on the same team is so much more interesting, and I’m generally more of a ‘nice guys finish first’ lady. Can’t I have Sheamus, Mason, Kofi, Wade and Dolph on one team? Actually, I’m not sure my heart could cope with all that bromancing. It’s more interesting if the bad guys win this one, so that’s who I’ll predict. I just hope my Celtic compatriots will forgive me.

Sidekick Andrew: Am I the only person who couldn’t really give a toss about The Rock? There’s no denying the guy can cut a good promo, but he’s never done anything for me as a wrestler… and still doesn’t I’m afraid.

I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. That doesn’t mean I think “Awesome Truth” are going to win of course. I do think it would be pretty amazing to end the show with Miz and R-Truth (R-Truth!) victorious over two of the biggest WWE stars ever, but I still think Cena and Rock are going to win. Obviously they’ll fall out after the match, probably with the Rock taking out Cena with a Rock Bottom.

Boss Lady Rae: Unlikely as it seems, I think Survivor Series is going to hold a surprise and I think it’s that Miz and R-Truth are going to beat John Cena and The Rock. What would be the point of them having Rock and Cena winning and being pals if the whole reason the Rock’s there is to plug their Wrestlemania rivalry? Eh? EH? I’ve got this one in the bag.

Night of Champions: The Predictions

Due to screwed up personal scheduling, we weren’t able to predict SummerSlam the way we like to. Rae wasn’t even supposed to be around to watch it, let alone write about it. Gawd bless the NHS! Andrew did knock some up on our Tumblr though. Life is a little full at the moment, so if you’re finding this space a tad empty, you can find us on Tumblr and on Twitter (here and here) most days. Some spare Sunday moments have allowed us time to predict Night of Champions though, which we invite you to devour forthwith….

Sidekick Andrew: Have I mentioned recently just how much I love Ziggler? His “Ask the Heel” segment on Zack Ryder’s T:LIS has really helped showcase his personality way more than having Vickie Guerrero be his mouthpiece. In fact, speaking of Ask the Heel, I’ve just found out that the logo is based on a “specialist internet website” which makes sense given the amount that Ziggler tweets about porn.

wrestlegasm.com is not responsible for any irrevocable damage to relationships, employment history or congregation size due to visiting the aforementioned website

Anyway, now that my admittedly biased admiration for Ziggler has been reinforced, I’m afraid to say I don’t think he’ll win this match. I’d love him to keep the belt (if nothing else, to paraphrase in Men in Black, he makes it look GOOD) but I think they’ll move it on to someone else for a while. For some reason I’m leaning towards Alex “Utterly Butterly” Riley taking the title. He’s due a push, if for no other reason than to test him. Morrison’s not going to be winning much for a while and Swagger just isn’t doing anything for me at the moment.

Boss Lady Rae: Much as I’ve enjoyed Dolph and Vickie’s comedy coupling, they’ve been teamed up for a long time now. Remember back when Vickie was inviting him into her office to hang pictures on the wall in teeny hotpants? That was aaaaages ago. My Ziggler crush isn’t quite as pulsating as Andrew’s, but I do believe he’s wildly underrated and could be due a solo push without his “cougar” crutch very soon.

Never gets old.

For that reason I think this is the perfect time to shift the title and Vickie’s favour to Jack Swagger. Swagger stops floundering and Dolph starts, once again, trying to get to the top of the roster tree.

This is what happens when Andrew has technical problems and Rae has to finish the graphics.

Sidekick Andrew: Good grief Charlie Brown, I couldn’t agree more. Much as I like Cody Rhodes the chances of Ted DiBiase putting on an enjoyable match rather than coasting along on the family name seem to be getting slimmer than [insert “hilarious” Family Guy style pop culture reference here.] And to think, when Legacy split up DiBiase was the one I had high hopes for. I even had him pegged to wrestle Undertaker at Wrestlemania in a throwback to his dad originally bringing him in.

I’m hoping that Cody retains the title tonight. I’m not against him losing it (he has had it for a while now) but not to DiBiase. Please, anyone but him…

Boss Lady Rae: I wish I cared more about this match. No, really.  I do.  But truth is, every time I see Cody traipsing out with those paper bags all I can think is…. this is seriously still a thing? I like Cody and, like Andrew suggests, it’s astonishing that the break-out star of Legacy was the scrawny kid at the back hoping his mentor would allow him to utter a few words to camera, but this feud has lost me. Win me back, Cody. Win the match, send DiBiase packing, get the train back on the tracks and  let’s move on to better things.

Sidekick Andrew: First of all, Air Boom is a stupid name. I know it was suggested by the WWE Universe but let’s be honest, you wouldn’t trust most of them to choose their own cereal in the morning, never mind name your new tag team champions. I still think they should have gone with my suggestion anyway, not that I’m bitter or anything…

I’m pretty sure it’s too early to take the belts off *cough* Air Boom, so I think this match will end in a DQ finish and they’ll retain. If nothing else the DQ will give Miz/Truth more evidence for their conspiracy theory. Whether this will help kick-start a new tag team renaissance will remain to be seen, but anything that might just bring up the newly signed Antonio Cesaro (hopefully alongside Chris Hero or whatever they call him) can only be a good thing.

Boss Lady Rae: I’d love to have been in the meeting where  they approved the Air Boom name, but on balance I think they made the right decision. Consider some of the other portmanteau possibilities…..EvFi sounds like some kind of communications industry conference that technology nerds would watch streamed over the internet. KoVan is the name of the Turkish bloke who owns my local kebab shop and also wouldn’t look out-of-place on the back of an NBA jersey. (God, I’m glad I don’t have to watch the NBA anymore!) Any amalgamation of Kingston and Bourne comes out sounding like a low rent Jamaican version the Bourne book/film series, which I’d actually quite like to watch.

Hook me up, KoVan.

Enough of this tomfoolery, I think Miz and Truth need something to draw them together and, much as I adore seeing Evan’s happy little face shining next to the glow of the belt draped over his shoulder, I think it might be more interesting to have Miz & Truth holding the titles for a little while. I’m holding fire on hanging all my hopes on seeing the KoW reunited on WWE turf until I see Chris Hero change his Twitter name.

Sidekick Andrew: First of all I need to get something off my chest. Happy as I am that Beth and Natalya have a storyline and are getting to beat people up, this whole Divas of Doom gimmick does come across as slightly insulting. Maybe I’m in the minority in my tastes, but the notion that either of them are somehow less attractive than Kelly Kelly seems pretty laughable. There’s a reason Beth won my Crush Award alongside Dolph in last years awards.

That being said, at least she’s getting TV time now. I’m desperately hoping Beth takes the belt tonight, and hoping against hope that they drop the stupid “butterfly belt” while they’re at it. Also, I’d love it if Natalya started to get jealous over the next few weeks and the two fell out and feuded for a bit – Beth vs Natalya at Survivor Series could be an amazing match.

Boss Lady Rae: That’s definitely where this has to go eventually – Beth and Natalya fighting for the title, and it will be wonderful. But I can’t see it happening that soon. It makes sense to stretch Beth’s win tonight out to start rebuilding the division around stronger, more experienced women. Of course, that’s my inner optimist speaking. The WWE Divas Division is like a manipulative boyfriend you know is going to break your heart again, but maybe, just maybe, he’s changed for good this time. I don’t hate Kelly. I actually think she’s come an amazingly long way. I just desperately want to see the women I look up to leading the way. Don’t go breaking my heart. Again.

Sidekick Andrew: Oh Randy… has anyone fallen from grace with the fans as drastically as you? With the exception of Chris Benoit of course…

Boss Lady Rae: I did not sanction this gratuitous image

From being hailed as the best thing since sliced bread (#1 or #2) Orton slowly devolved into the dull… monotonous … plodding purveyor of “another headlock Randy?” I still hold out hope for Orton, his RKO can still be a thing of beauty and there are occasional flashes of exciting brilliance whenever he’s in the ring with an opponent that can get the best out of him…

Boss Lady Rae: That jumper looks well cosy.

Bless him. Mark Henry tries, he really does. Much like Kane he takes whatever nonsense they give him and just goes along with it, smiling… scowling… sweating…

Meanwhile the World Heavyweight Championship gets tied up between the two, giving us a match I’m struggling to look forward to. The fact that Orton & Henry basically rehashed Monday’s HHH/Punk promo on Smackdown this week hasn’t helped inject any novelty or excitement for me either. I suspect Orton will keep the title, but only because The World’s Soggiest Man as World Heavyweight Champion is pretty unthinkable.

Boss Lady Rae: I do not share my colleague’s indifference to Mark Henry. I kind of like the idea of a champion that just goes out and smashes everyone up while grunting and sweating. We don’t see that very often. And any man who can pull off such an incredible expanse of khaki knitwear is OK with me. I’m going to say Henry will win, but only have the title for a short time before losing it again. This title needs some new blood to carry it through to Wrestlemania. And besides, if the whole purpose of giving it to Orton was to make him the face of Smackdown after the draft, the half-hearted  SuperShow/Brand Mixing baloney has made that move redundant.

Sidekick Andrew: This match however could be great. I’m swiftly becoming an unabashed Cena fan, whether in ring or out, and as such I no longer approach his PPV title matches with the same sense of crushing inevitability as a moderately successful Z-List Celebrity in the vicinity of Katie Price

Del Rio consistently puts on good matches and as such I’ve high hopes for them blowing Orton/Henry out of the water. As for a winner, I’d prefer Del Rio to walk out champion, if only because I really can’t be arsed listening to the internet go on and on and on about Cena being Superman and getting another win.

Boss Lady Rae: I honestly don’t think John Cena is going to see the title again this side of Wrestlemania. They’ve invested so much into Cena vs The Rock that a title would only cloud the rivalry and deprive someone else of having a ‘moment’. Their fight can’t have any external distractions. We’re not quite on the ‘road to Wrestlemania’ yet, but we’re on one of the back streets leading up to it. I can just about hear the thumping bass line of a terrible pop tune I will grow to love dearly come April. For that reason, I’m going to say that Del Rio’s going to retain. That boy’s only just getting started.

Sidekick Andrew: Speaking of making the internet explode with impotent rage, this certainly has the opportunity to do just that. The idea of HHH winning in his first match since Wrestlemania, burying Punk in the process? Well … that would be a Twitter goldmine frankly.

That being said, I don’t think HHH is that stupid. Admittedly he’s been a glory seeking belt hog in the past, jobbing to no man, but it’s hard to refute he has a good head for the business. The way he’s gone along with this Punk storyline, breaking kayfabe left, right and centre leads me to think he’ll genuinely do what’s right for the company – in this case not burying the most “over” wrestler on the roster.

He is still HHH though, so I’m not sure how happy he’ll be with losing in his first match back. So I’m going to predict an enormous mess of a finish, with interference from at least Kevin Nash, and possibly HBK, leading to a No Contest. The internet will still go bonkers, but then I’m not watching live so while avoiding spoilers I’ll miss you all having a hissy fit 😛

Boss Lady Rae: At some point, when I have a little more time and can find the words to express it how I feel it, I’m going to write a big, word-count busting essay on this HHH/Punk/Cena storyline. For now, I shall just try to predict this match which, let’s be honest, will be nothing short of a giant cluster of nonsense. I actually think Punk will win, but there’s no way on earth this thing is ending cleanly. The sheer number of folk who could potentially interfere is mind-boggling. Personally, I’m hoping for another appearance from Mrs. McMahon-Levesque and Chris Jericho, because if he doesn’t come back soon and challenge that ‘Best in the World’ moniker, it will be a travesty.

And now, I’m going to watch the final segment on this week’s Raw again. All this ‘Phil’ and ‘Paul’ and ‘IN YOUR FACE SHOUTING’ and Punk not taking a single bite of the bait makes me feel funny. In a good way.

More Than a Feeling: CM Punk at Money in the Bank

I haven’t had much sleep. I took myself off to bed at 9:10pm last night with the hope of sleeping until Money in the Bank started at 1am. This didn’t happen and was largely down to the fact that I was too excited about the show to drift off.  By my calculations, I had about 90 minutes of uninterrupted sleep beforehand and didn’t fare too well afterwards either. The ending was so thrilling that when I returned to bed at 4:20am with the sun starting to rise and a stupid smile on my face, I found it impossible to sleep. It seems there is no natural antidote to adrenaline. Lord knows when I finally dropped off, but I know I was awake again not long after 8am. And now, in the early evening, I look and feel like death warmed up in the microwave, incurring the physical consequences of spending the night on North American time. I don’t regret a thing. What I experienced watching Money in the Bank was worth its weight in insomnia related nausea and under-eye luggage. It must be love!

I spent the first hour I was ‘awake’ trying to think about how I might express just how incredible last night was; writing whole paragraphs in my head and forgetting them the second I dotted them with a full-stop. I then turned to music and asked again….how do you explain something that’s bigger than a feeling and so much more important than a few wrestling matches? This was proceeded by 30 minutes of me playing Boston’s More than a Feeling on a loop, while treating the neighbours to my own unique, croaky brand of power ballad vibrato. “I closed mah eyes an’ ah slipped er-way-y-y-y-y-y-y.”

The show as a whole was the best of the year – better than the Rumble and definitely better than style-over-substance Wrestlemania. Every single match was booked to make the fans happy, which is almost unheard of. Both Money in the Bank matches were outstanding and, being the born-again indie kid that I am, seeing Daniel Bryan win the Smackdown briefcase was a massive surprise and a win I reacted to with…..

But if we’re all honest, we were only truly interested in one match – CM Punk vs John Cena. I had mixed feelings about this match. I never want anyone to become ill or burnt out just for the sake of my entertainment. I don’t expect wrestlers to be circus animals, jumping every time someone cracks a whip because they have no other choice than to keep going. But I have to admit that the idea of Punk leaving left my heart a little heavy.  Over the past few years I’ve fallen in love with Punk in the most wonderfully organic way. He was ‘just there’ for a long time, then I liked him, then I loved him…unconditionally. And despite what our blog archives will tell you, it really has nothing to do with the fact that he filled those tiny lavender trunks so impressively. The fact that I fancied the pants off him was a lovely bonus. He was just special. When Killswitch Engage’s crunching guitar rang out around countless arenas, I stopped what I was doing and paid attention – partly to swoon and sigh with my chin in my hands like a 1950s teeny-bopper, and partly because I knew that whatever was about to happen would indubitably be good.

Myself and Andrew had dipped in and out of Twitter throughout the show. In the early hours of the morning, feeling like you’re at a PPV party can be the stimulus you need to stay awake, but it can also be a distraction. There’s nothing more annoying than missing a brilliant, bone-crushing move because you were refreshing your Twitter feed at the time. As the promo video for the main event began, we decided to turn Twitter off and concentrate on what had the potential to be one of the most historic hours of wrestling in years. And so began a little experiment we’ll call ‘How many times can Ray’s stomach flip over in an hour.’

It began with the entrance. With that first rabid eruption of appreciation from the hometown crowd, synching perfectly with the initial scream in the entrance music, it  felt like my tummy was being stirred with a giant spoon, spinning back the other way and sending a shiver up my spine when Punk reached to the ground, looked at his imaginary watch and declared it was most definitely clobbering time. I can’t remember the last time a single wrestler caused that kind of crowd reaction, and as he marched down the ramp to the ring I started getting a little emotional. I promised myself I’d stay dry-eyed until the end, but as Punk plonked himself cross-legged in the middle of the ring, my bottom lip started to tremble and I declared out loud that “I love wrestling so much!” There have been so many moments where I’ve exclaimed the exact opposite (even as recently as a few weeks ago) but here I was brushing real tears away from the corners of my eyes, pressing my lips together tightly and more in love than I ever knew I could be – with Punk and with wrestling. It became even more intense when he jumped back to his feet, flew over to give him mum a kiss and whipped the crowd into even more of a frenzy.

The ‘BOO’ John Cena entered the arena to was so hostile I almost felt sorry for him, although it felt pretty awesome too. John’s not accustomed to being the bad guy, but for one night we entered an alternate universe where he felt the full brunt of an unappreciative crowd. John’s no stranger to hostility though. If he could survive a roasting from an old-school ECW crowd, he could cope with this. By this point I could feel my heart beating hard and fast in my chest. I didn’t even need to put my hand on it, I could just feel it pulsating far faster than it ever should be at gone 3am. I had no idea where all this was coming from, but had to concede that I loved wrestling even more than I had admitted to and was more than happy to roll with this glorious feeling.

The match was strange. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen. We had decided not to make any predictions for it because we wanted to just absorb whatever they had in store. The downside to this was that I had no clue what a good or bad outcome would feel like. All I knew was that every time John pinned Punk, I gasped loudly and held my hands to my face. Every time that pin was reversed I lifted my shoulders to my ears, sunk my nails into the leather of the couch and held my breath counting “1, 2..awww.” And it got worse. I watched the time ticking away, knowing that the further into this thing we got, the more chance there was of that three-count actually ending with the bell ringing.

The defining moment for me was late in the match when Punk dove through the middle of the ropes to land on a dizzy John and reached up to high-5 his mum. He had his two best friends and other family members whooping and hollering across the barrier and a crowd whose noise levels refused to quit. After that I was lost to the match, carried along entirely by the pacy back and forth between the two like a rip-tide I couldn’t and didn’t want to fight. STFs, failed attempts at making John Go to Sleep, duelling crowd chants, wobbly top rope leaps, raised shoulders and quivering hands trying desperately not to spank the mat and submit – I loved it all and responded to each with a new swear word of increasing obscenity. It seems I swear a lot when I’m that excited.

When Mr. McMahon and John Laurinaitis turned up, my mood changed. For all I praise the McMahons and the brand of wrestling they pump out every week, if they ruined this for me I would not be a happy bunny! I believe the expression I used was “DON’T FUCK THIS UP! PLEAAAAASE!” When Vince called for the bell, my “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” could have woken people three streets away, but they didn’t mess it up at all. John indicated that he wanted everything to be legit, the GTS did its job for the first time all match and the three-count finally hit the three with both John’s shoulders down.

I reached up and punched the air above my head repeatedly, pyjama sleeves flopping around in the downdraft. I think I just figured out what I wanted to happen. Even when Vince marched Alberto Del Rio out to cash in his MITB contract, I knew he wasn’t going to get it. They had given Punk the moment he deserved and there was no going back. I revelled in the euphoria of it all as Punk blew a vacant-faced Mr. McMahon a kiss and disappeared into the Chicago crowd, reaching their hands out to touch him as if some form of messiah was passing among them.

Then that little green logo appeared in the bottom left corner of my screen and it hit me that he was gone.

Remember that scene in Titanic where Rose is floating around in the freezing Atlantic and she has to blow a whistle and scream for the lifeboat to collect her? And remember how she barely had enough breath to make a sound? I felt like that. I don’t want him to go. I wanted to drag him back and force him to stay. I wanted to promise that everything would be OK if he just stuck around. At 4:00am I was exhausted and emotional enough that this all made perfect sense. It all seems a little ludicrous now. WHISTLE-WHISTLE-WHISTLE. COME BAHHHHCK! COME BAAAAAAHHHHHCK! WHISTLE-WHISTLE-WHISTLE. COME BAHHHHHHCK!

For the next 30 minutes I rested my head into the back of the chair with what can only be described as a gorgeous post-coital floatiness. I don’t really mind what you loved about it, as long as you did love it. Whether you loved it because Punk was sticking it to the man, or that John Cena proved his immeasurable worth, or that Vince allowed himself to be ridiculed in the name of narrative, or because of the cacophony of sound coming from the audience, that you saw an incredible wrestling match, or just (like me) that you felt moved seeing your favourite performer reach their full potential for the very first time – it all works. All I care about is that you felt that same tingle under your skin that I did. And if you didn’t, we need to talk. Sometimes you have to give yourself over to the story, even if you know the ending will make you sad.

I suppose now that Punk’s having a holiday I need a new person to direct my affections to towards, eh? Hey, Colt Cabana. How you doin’?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

How could I compete?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

true dat...

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

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

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

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

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

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






What a capitol idea! It’s another new WWE PPV predictions post!

Sidekick Andrew: Let’s get this out of the way first shall we? Look at that poster up there. It’s bloody horrible. We really enjoyed Fatal-4-Way last year here in the bunker, so there’s a chance I’m just feeling bitter that they replaced it with this, but the whole show seems like a bit of a non-event. The fact I haven’t really been watching any WWE shows recently might also be a contributing factor – which does mean that my predictions will be “from the heart” rather than based on any actual knowledge. I’m pretty sure this is how Boss Lady Ray does her predictions each month, and look how well she’s doing… [Boss Lady Ray’s Edit: I’m losing deliberately. Duh!]

Sidekick Andrew: First up is Kingston vs Ziggler for the US Title. I have it on good authority that Ziggler has agreed with Austin to dump Vickie in return for a title shot.

It’s no secret that I have a pretty massive man-crush on Dolph Ziggler (hey, it could be worse right? It could be Justin Bieber or someone…) As such, I want Ziggler to hold a belt again. Kofi is a fun wrestler, but as a character he does nothing for me. Ziggler on the other hand makes a great cocky champion and I really want to see him in that role again.

Boss Lady Ray: Dolph’s been knocking about with Vickie for quite some time now and if he’s going to move on they probably need to separate them. A Dolph win without Mrs. Guerrero at his side would do that. I’m more than happy for Dolph and his re-bleached locks to start creeping back up to the top again. He was so very nearly there and, lovely as Kofi is, he holds no interest for me at the moment.

Sidekick Andrew: I’ve no idea why these two are feuding again, but they have a history of great matches over the last couple of years. We still have fond memories of Punk singing Happy Birthday to Rey’s daughter, and I wrote about how great their matches were even at house shows here.

So, despite not having a clue why these two are fighting again, I am looking forward to this match. It certainly should be the best match of the night if nothing else. As for a winner, I’m going to have to go with Punk.

Boss Lady Ray: Punk hasn’t had a successful run in so long. It’s hurting my heart. As the Sidekick said, this Mysterio feud had every drop of juice squeezed out of it in glorious fashion on Smackdown last year. This little dalliance is just a feeder feud to get them both through to Summerslam, where I expect them both to have moved on to other people. It may be wishful thinking, but I’m going to say Punk will win to start him on winning streak. I’m still not opposed to some kind of falling out with Mason Ryan. Now that WWE have started sending people on their merry way with their P45 in hand, I’m getting a bit nervous about ole Bazza’s employment status.

Easy, Tiger. We'll get you to the top. *shoulder-rub*

Sidekick Andrew: Hmmm… again (unsurprisingly) I have no idea why these two are feuding. It could be an interesting match though, and I’ll be intrigued to see how their styles gel with each other. Del Rio’s offence being aimed at his opponents arm could be tricky to pull off with someone of the Big Show’s size. They both have a lot of experience though, so I’d like to think they can pull something out of the bag.

I think Big Show will win this one. Not that he needs wins, he’ll always be over purely because he’s bloody massive. But I think they might consider splitting up Del Rio and Rodriguez soon, and having him mess up his interference and cost Del Rio a PPV win would be a nice way to do it. Plus Rodriguez said on Twitter this weekend that he was disappointed in the CHIKARA King of Trios this year, so I’m hoping he takes a kicking just for that.

Boss Lady Ray: He said WHAT? That is OUTRAGEOUS! We need to discuss. Not right now though. It makes me sad that the Del Rio match is the one I’m least interested in. As often happens, being drafted to Raw left Del Rio floating around behind the big hitters. Obviously you can’t tell how these things will work until you try them, but I can’t help but feel he’d have been better left on Smackdown.

Big Show will probably win as the good guy coming back to seek his revenge, but in a gesture of solidarity with what I think was one of the best WWE buys in years, I’m going to say Del Rio will win. And he can get rid of that wretched Rodriguez at the same time.

Sidekick Andrew: A-ha! I actually know a little bit about this one! Look at me, having some background information like a real wrestling journalist!

I only dress like this at the weekend, and even then it's strictly a comfort thing

So, the last thing I saw was Jackson getting beaten up and having a wheelie bin dropped on him by The Corre, but from what I can gather The Corre is pretty much done with now. I can’t say I’m surprised, given the drastic downturn in t-shirt logo quality from Nexus to Corre I’d be tempted to leave as well.

I’m going to with Barrett retaining the belt, but this PPV marking the definitive end of The Corre. Barrett needs a run by himself to show he’s capable of winning matches on his own merit. Slater & Gabriel would work well enough as faces or heels, and they could enjoy their slot as the “insert random tag match on day of PPV” team. I think Barrett won’t come out of the PPV unharmed, but I do think he’ll win, possible leading to a post-match beatdown to “beat him out of the gang” as he did with Jackson.

Boss Lady Ray: When we held a staff meeting to discuss these predictions yesterday (on my birthday, I should add. There’s dedication!) I was sure Wade would be dropping the belt to Zeke so he could finally walk away from The Corre alone with no ties to the group. However, Andrew’s logic seems pretty sound on this one and I do have a strange blind-spot when it comes to Wade Barrett. Maybe it’s Andrew’s local bias, maybe it’s because we followed him through every episode of NXT, maybe it’s because he quotes lyrics from Welsh bands on Twitter and confuses foreigners, but I find it hard to bet against him.

In the interest of keeping the competition between us spicy, I’m going to say that Wade will lose, but only so he can sever ties with The Corre and get back on his main event trail.

Trust me, Wade. I'm supporting you with tough-love.

Sidekick Andrew: Now, I think I might have seen some mention of this feud briefly on Twitter. I seem to recall a couple of people being slightly miffed at the fact that Christian lost the title to Orton so quickly. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and all for naught. Yes, Orton is still champion; and yes, he’s almost insufferably dull, but it has led to a storyline and a heel turn for Christian. What was it Jericho said?

Fancy that! It’s almost as if he has more experience and knowledge of the way pro-wrestling is booked and works than the members of the dreaded INTERNET WRESTLING COMMUNITY! I can’t see them turning around and just giving Christian the belt back just yet. As such I think Orton will win and retain the belt, but hopefully via DQ. I’d love to see Christian snap and just beat the crap out of Orton with a chair or something, really cement his heel status.

Boss Lady Ray: I think I made my views on the reaction to Christian losing his title quite clear last weekend, so I won’t repeat myself. I am, however, quite enjoying his heel turn. I’m not sure the audience have fully bought into it yet, but it certainly seems to have pushed Randy closer to being the face they’ve wanted him to be for a long time. This scrap has bucketloads of mileage left in it and I can’t see Christian getting the title back after there was such fuss when he lost it. Orton will retain and continue to buck the trend that is ‘facial hair = bad bad man’.

Sidekick Andrew: I’m pretty confused about this match. Regardless of the fact that I’ve missed their whole fall out, this match seems like a strange idea. I can’t imagine Miz getting beat by Riley considering how high the WWE are on him. I know people like Cena are in a position to lose and put guys over at PPVs (see below) but Miz doesn’t seem to be in that position just yet. The idea of Riley beating Miz seems like it can only leave Miz looking weak.

On the other hand, If Riley loses this match then the whole feud seems like a waste of time. Wrestling storyline logic states that in a position like this, the ex-sidekick gets the win, toppling the evil heel that has been dominating him for so long (take note Boss Lady.) Splitting them up and then having a blow off match on PPV which Riley loses seems pretty pointless, and wouldn’t bode well for his future. So, the match is either going to make one of their top stars look weak by losing to a guy with half the skill and a tenth of the charisma, or prove that the feud was a complete waste of our time and merely a shoddily put together plot device to fill some air time. Obviously The Miz is going to win, I certainly wouldn’t put it past them to happily waste our time like that.

Boss Lady Ray: Andrew, if you don’t start watching WWE with me again I’m going to send you off on a ‘sabbatical’. I mean, seriously, have I got a body odour problem you haven’t told me about?

I’ve quite enjoyed the way they’ve gradually brought Alex Riley to the fore. There’s something rather old-fashioned about it. Miz has been reigning high for a while, second only to Cena in being the guy they send out to promote the company. The loss to Piper and the way Austin metaphorically brought Miz to his knees on Raw this week were nothing short of genius. He will be just as good at playing ‘the fall of the Miz’ as he was at playing ‘The Rise of…’ For this reason, I think Alex Riley will win this one, leaving Miz with a broken man to play and Riley with a growing following.

Sidekick Andrew: Yeah, I’m just going to throw all my credibility away and pick R-Truth to win this match. While I’m at it, I’d like to confess that I have a certain fondness for Avril Lavigne as well. And I really enjoy tinned ravioli on toast. I shall expect none of you to be able to look me in the eye again.

Just like heaven...

Boss Lady Ray: I didn’t know this! Okay, yeah I did. You wouldn’t believe the number of ‘Avril Days’ we have in the Bunker. But then, I think John Cena is lovely and will definitely win tonight. Who am I to judge?

Hah! Now you can't say a thing!