Hot on the heels of what was officially WWE’s worst performing PPV in terms of buy-rate for over 5 years comes another event with no real selling point. Oh dear.
The piggy banks at WWE HQ apparently aren’t bursting with as much gold coins as the company is used to – so I can’t help but feel that a few performers will be getting a “future endeavours” letter through their mailbox in the very near future. Chris Masters, I’m eyeballing you.
But hey, despite Capitol Punishment being a rather pointless event on the WWE calendar, there are a few salivating bouts on the card and it could well be a thoroughly decent show. Dontcha think? Here be my predictions, Slapnuts…
Ezekiel v Wade Barrett
Ezekiel really does suck balls as a wrestler. I’m already regretting not including him in my recent “Worst wrestlers in WWE” column. When a guy is instructed to give simple bodyslams over and over again during a match – a move that my little sister could safely perform on her friends after 30 seconds of training – you know you’re dealing with a guy who’s incredibly limited.
With an intense course of steroids, my little sister could be Ezekiel’s wrestling equal in no time at all.
On a roster that’s pretty thin, I expected Wade Barrett to make more of an impact on Smackdown – but he hasn’t really been given the chance yet. I suspect the ditching of his buddies Slater and Gabriel might be a sign that he’s being prepped for another push towards the main event picture, this time on his lonesome. But if he were to lose here… Well, then I guess I’d be totally wrong about that.
I’ll gonna side with Barrett to retain here though in what will no doubt be a short match, then hopefully he can move on to feuds better than this. Ezekiel is a crowd-killing mega bore.
Pick: Wade Barrett
Dolph Ziggler v Kofi Kingston
Both of these guys are doing almost nothing on RAW – they’re just ridiculously wasted on the red brand. Smackdown is so short of talent at the moment, I think Ziggler and Kofi, along with Morrison and Swagger, could all transfer to Smackdown without RAW suffering one tiny bit. I doubt anyone in the RAW locker room would even notice they’re gone. And, consequently, Smackdown would be a better show for it.
Just a few months ago, Ziggler was feuding with Edge for the world title, so now the US title seems too beneath him (because it is). But I think WWE wants to put the strap on him just to remind us all that he still exists. Make no mistake about it though, win or lose this is a massive step down for Ziggler. Why he wasn’t kept on Smackdown and pushed as a main eventer is way beyond me.
I really don’t think WWE has a clue what to with Kofi either. He’s become super bland in recent times. Maybe he too needs to undergo a character change of R-Truth-sized proportions?
Pick: Dolph Ziggler
The Miz v Alex Riley
As far as I can recall – ever since Alex Riley graduated from NXT he hasn’t won a single TV match. Not one. Not even accidentally. Even tagging with Super Cena on last week’s RAW wasn’t enough to earn him a tick in the win box. That’s pretty harsh for a guy that’s been on the RAW roster for 12 whole months! But regardless of all that, he now finds himself rewarded with a feud against WWE headliner The Miz. That’s called “landing on your feet”.
Riley has carried himself very well indeed since his face turn, and audiences genuinely seem to enjoy him – but I don’t see any point in The Miz putting him over at this point. Riley at least needs to pick up some victories over the Primos and Otungas of this world before he can be earning wins over guys like The Miz.
I fully expect The Miz to allow Riley a barrage of offence to make him look strong in the process, but The Awesome One should emerge with his arm raised here.
Pick: The Miz
Alberto Del Rio v Big Show
I enjoyed it on RAW this week when The Big Show sold being hit by a car by sprinting to the ring for the first time ever in his 12 year WWE career. Surely that’s a sell-job right out of the Cena School of Wrestling! Who even knew The Big Show was capable of running? Maybe someone backstage told him that Del Rio had some half-price Subway vouchers, hence his eagerness to get to the ring.
It seems obvious at this juncture that Del Rio is being groomed for a feud with Super Cena, so I expect a couple of big wins for the Mexican in the coming weeks – starting here – that will nicely tee up a match for the two at Summerslam.
Pick: Alberto Del Rio
Rey Mysterio v CM Punk
It’s a match that’s been done to death, but somehow it’s managed to creep on to a PPV again. The two aren’t even feuding! Sharing pinfalls on the last two episodes of RAW hardly calls for a PPV match… Or does it? Er, well yes, actually it does it seems. So what do I know?
But, trivialities aside, these two have fine chemistry and are sure to put on a most entertaining bout – as they always have done in the past. Bravo, chaps.
Rumours continue to circulate that Punk will be leaving the company very soon, but a rare pinfall victory over Cena on RAW this week (“rare” for anyone that is, not just Punk) would seem to indicate that management still hold him in high regard. Maybe they’re trying to tempt him to stay with a more concrete push as a main eventer? That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it – so for me, Punk will be the winner here.
Rey Mysterio, like a few guys I mentioned above, is just chewing grass on RAW. I bet he just looooongs for a return to Smackdown. WWE seemingly aren’t familiar with the phrase: “Putting all your eggs in one basket”.
Pick: CM Punk
John Cena v R-Truth
R-Truth is just impossibly entertaining at the moment. If someone had told me a couple of months ago that Truth would rise to be the hottest heel on RAW in the space of just a few weeks, I would have laughed in their face and spat on their mother. Yet here we are.
R-Truth’s act is fresh, freaky and funsome in a company that’s grown incredibly stale in recent history. I really hope WWE capitalises on his overness and releases a “Little Jimmy” T-shirt quick smart. Who wouldn’t want one of those?
But as much as I adore R-Truth’s new gimmick, I don’t perceive him as figurehead material for the company. I just can’t see WWE putting the title on someone who portrays a character that deals with severe mental issues. It would no doubt upset some of the Big Jimmys out there no end.
So Cena will retain the title and go on to feud with the far less crazy Del Rio. But I hope that R-Truth remains a high profile figure on RAW once his title chase is over, because he’s pure gold at the moment.
Pick: John Cena
Christian v Randy Orton
I feel sorry for Christian that the bad sell rate for last month’s PPV featured him in the main event. I’d prefer for WWE to see the bad buy-rate figures as an indicator that the audience is bored of constantly seeing Orton and Cena as champs. But Vince probably won’t see it that way, and will attain the blame to Christian being in the main event. Why? Because Vince is stubborn, old bastard.
I’m glad Sheamus wasn’t thrown into the mix here, as Orton and Christian have had a couple of cracking bouts in recent weeks, and I expect this to be match of the night (which is often the case whenever Christian is involved these days).
The storyline seems geared for Christian to reclaim his strap, but unfortunately I just can’t see it happening. If Christian were to become champ again, there’s nothing logically for him to do with the title other than drop it back to Orton – as Orton is the sole babyface on Smackdown at the moment who is championship material (Kane had his sentimental run last year and won’t get a look in again) so it makes sense for him to retain. Then feuds with Sheamus and Cody Rhodes (who’s ready for the big push) seem likely in the near future for Orton. Who could Christian, as a heel champ, feud with other than Orton? There’s no obvious answer (And don’t tell me Daniel Bryan or Sin Cara, they whiff way too much of “midcard” at the moment. And one of them doesn’t even speak English).
As happens with alarming frequency these days, it’s one of those occasions where I hope with all my might that I’m wrong – but I totally foresee Beardy Orton retaining once again. Bah, humbug.
As I write this, I’ve just read stories of Orton suffering a genuine concussion. This doesn’t sway my opinion at all. Orton is old school and will want to show the “boys in the back” that a mild concussion won’t stop him from performing and carrying the brand. Even if it results in his brain exploding.
Pick: Randy Orton (but I pray I’m wrong)
Those are my picks. In all honesty, a lot of the bouts are pretty difficult to predict – which of course is a good thing. I fully expect Cena and Del Rio to win 100%, but beyond that the other matches could go either way. I’d be happy if I’ve predicted 4 of the 7 bouts correctly. I never did aim high. That’s why I’m a constant source of disappointment to my father.
Please leave your own thoughts below, jabronis – I love it when you do.
Over and out.