Oh joy, oh joy… Two multi-man ladder matches in one night. WWE is really spoiling us with this card. There’s nothing wrestling fans enjoy more than seeing large men getting shoved off ladders. And that includes Lana’s sweaty cleavage. Maybe.
A paltry 4 matches have been confirmed for the PPV as I type this (Friday morning), with a pre-match bout also being booted from the card to make way for a Daniel Bryan promo/update .. So I’ve added Rusev v Big E and Rhodes v Rybaxel to my predictions under the assumption that they will happen, just to boost the word count more than anything. If the matches don’t happen, you have my permission to smear excrement all over my keyboard.
So here be my predictions. Read ’em and weep…
DIVAS TITLE MATCH
Paige (c) v Naomi
As I’ve babbled previously, having Paige win the Divas Title on her debut was just plain dumb. There’s literally nothing left for her to achieve in her WWE career… she reached her pinnacle within a few minutes of her debut on the main roster. Talk about peaking too early.
She’s certainly a credible champion though, and is capable of pulling off mildly entertaining matches by WWE diva standards, and thus I expect her to carry the garish pink strap for a long while yet. At the moment it seems feuds are being thrown at her rather randomly on a monthly basis. This month it’s Naomi. Next week it will probably be Nattie. Paige is just working her way through the roster as a way of making the belt seem relevant. Which isn’t too upsetting I guess.
But until a feud has a meaningful build up, and her opponent is genuinely perceived as a genuine threat by the audience and herself alike, her reign at the top isn’t going to be troubled.
Pick: Paige retains
Goldust & Stardust vs Rybaxel
Ryback challenged The Rhodes Brothers to a PPV bout during the Main Event tapings, so it looks this match is happening. At first I thought Stardust could be a career killing gimmick for Cody Rhodes. But then I remembered that the Goldust character has had an on-and-off career with WWE for nearly 20 years… So maybe Cody doesn’t have anything at all to worry about!
It should be a routine win for the guys in golden jump-suits as they continue to discover their winning ways. They’re like The Conquistadors for 2014.
Pick: Goldust & Stardust
Big E v Rusev
Again, it’s just an assumption that this match is happening, but their face-off on RAW (which featured Big E’s bizarre promo delivery) would seem to suggest that it will. It will no doubt be another win for Rusev, and it surely can’t be long until he’s challenging the likes of Shemaus for his first taste of WWE gold.
Isn’t it a tad odd that WWE commentators constantly speak up Bo Dallas’ streak but never mention the fact that Rusev is undefeated since joining the main WWE roster? Adam Rose too for that matter…
TAG TEAM TITLES The Usos (c) v The Wyatt Family
As awesome as Bray Wyatt has been over the last few months, I’ve always perceived his lackies as little more than glorified jobbers. Harper and Rowan are always on hand to take finishers from Cena, and their win/loss record certainly leaves a lot to be desired. But in the last month they seem to have built some promising momentum, and Luke Harper particuarly has been garnished with praise from many wrestling aficionados – including Mick Foley – for his ring-presence and wresling skills.
Consequently, I’d really like to see Harper and Rowan win the tag titles here. It would help shake off their “sidekicks” tag, and also it would be pretty funny to see guys dressed like hobos wearing elaborate gold titles around their waists. Alas, I don’t see it happening. I don’t foresee Bray Wyatt winning the WWE Title later in the night, nor being involved in the title scene for the foreseeable future… And it would look a bit weird if Bray Wyatt – the leader of the trio – were the only one not holding any gold. It would almost rob him of his power. You feel me?
I’m picking The Usos to win, and then likely a feud with The Rhodes Brothers throughout the summer.
Pick: The Usos retain
MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH Seth Rollins v Kofi Kingston v RVD v Dean Ambrose v Dolph Ziggler v Bad News Barrett v Jack Swagger
With mad bastards like Rollins, RVD, Kofi and Ziggler involved here, you know this is likely going to be nucking futs (not a typo, just keeping it PG) and genuinely kick the ass of PPV’s other ladder match.
I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for Bad News Barrett. As of Friday afternoon, there’s still no confirmation of Barrett’s status for the match. Having separated his shoulder during the Smackdown tapings on Tuesday, it seems veeeeery unlikely he will be passed fit to perform in a ladder match by Sunday – which is a mighty shame indeed. Barrett had been my pick to win the briefcase. He was arguably ready for a WWE Title run way back in 2010 when the Nexus feuded with Cena, but WWE totally dropped the ball in the aftermath. He’s built himself back up in recent months though, and the ‘Bad News’ gimmick as well as The Bullhammer finisher are both over with audiences, so the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. Hopefully he’s just out for a couple of weeks rather than months.
So who to win if not Barrett? WWE could always throw a curveball and replace the injured Barrett with someone who goes on to be the eventual winner. Rusev would be an obvious choice. Or possibly even The Miz or Christian. But I’m gonna make my pick from the current 6 guys left in the match, otherwise I’m giving myself a near infinite list of potential winners.
I think I can state with more than a modicum of confidence that Kofi (too much of a jobber) or RVD (too much of a nostalgic act) won’t be leaving with the briefcase, but I think all the other chaps have a genuine shot at winning. Swagger has been a surprise MITB winner once before and still should be considered an outsider here, but he seems to have turned his career around of late with a plethora of TV time; Ziggler has been kept out of the main event scene for way too long and a win for him would receive a hugely positive reaction from wrestling fans; Ambrose and Rollins are both mega-stars of tomorrow and newly embarking on singles careers. So it’s a wide open match! Do you see?
With Barrett out of the picture, Rollins and Ambrose are likely to be considered the favourites here as their storyline is high on the agenda of WWE TV, and I wouldn’t argue with that theory too much. I had considered a scenario where Rollins and Ambrose grab the briefcase simultaneously and are declared joint winners – leading to a ladder match between the two at WWE Battleground to determine one briefcase holder. But picking two winners is cheating, so I’ll chalk that one as some fantasy booking.
Rollins alliance with HHH arguably makes him the bigger star than Ambrose currently, and that reason alone is why he’s my pick. Whilst I don’t perceive him as championship material just yet, he has the option to carry the briefcase for an entire 12 months… but it’s certainly not a pick I’d be willing to put any money on. No sirree.
Pick: Seth Rollins
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE LADDER MATCH Bray Wyatt v Sheamus v John Cena v Cesaro v Roman Reigns v ADR v Randy Orton v Kane
Even before the artwork leaked for WWE’s Summerslam PPV, Cena was already my pick to win this one. Yes, it would be an incredibly dull outcome (and let’s hope the live WWE audience let’s Vince and co know that should it occur), but with Summerslam on the horizon, WWE will want the gold on a megastar so it can start gearing towards the main event for the company’s second biggest show of the year.
A showdown between Cena and Brock Lesnar at Summerslam for the WWE TItle seems likely at this point, and I can understand why it’s a match that WWE would want to promote… But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. I’m fine with Roman Reigns not winning the WWE Title yet. It’s too early for him and I’d much rather see that happen next year once he’s thwarted a few credible opponents. And with Cena single-handedly destroying The Wyatt Family several times this year – Bray Wyatt’s credentials have taken a nosedive and he needs to win some feuds before he can be considered championship material.
Sheamus, ADR and, sadly, Cesaro have pretty much zero chance of winning here. And Orton is too fresh from a very forgettable run as champ (everyone essentially remembers as being the time that Bryan WASN’T the champ). I guess Kane would be my second pick after Cena. A return feud with Daniel Bryan for the title would certainly have a degree of logic to it. But Kane is 47 years old and loses pretty damn frequently on TV… So I would certainly understand there being concerns in letting him hold the company’s star prize at this stage of his career.
So it’s Cena to win for me, in what will be his 87th reign as champ… But I’m optimistic it will just be a short reign that will be derailed by Brock Lesnar or a returning Daniel Bryan within a couple of months. Fingers crossed.
Pick: John Cena
So those are my picks, jabronis. Please add your own below. I love it when you do. Or if you don’t fancy doing that, why not write a dirty limerick instead. Over and out