I’m not going to fill this introduction with much, and that’s because there’s a ton of content below. Enjoy!
ML = Mike Lightning
JA = Jace D. Ace
KP = Kaysie Pena
JT = Yours truly, Joe Thunder
Pre-Show Battle Royal to name No. 1 Contender to U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro:
KP: What? It’s pre-show, should I really make a pick? Ugh fine, let them repeat Santino winning or something.
Prediction: Repetition (Santino)
ML: Not really sure what direction the WWE plans to move with this battle royal. Grumblings of Christian feuding with Cesaro over the title surfaced before he asked for a leave of absence. Doubt it will be him. I don’t see a heel vs. heel match here but Cesaro vs Heath Slater would be cool to see. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd are toying with the tag team scene. Tensai is useless. This pretty much leaves Ryback and Zack Ryder, maybe Santino(please, no. LOVE Santino, tired of the feud). There could be a curveball but I just don’t see it happening.
Predicton: Zack Ryder
Confidence Points: 0
JA: Another one of these? At least the US Championship Match is actually on the card this time. Your guess is as good as mine as to who could win this. Given who’s being pushed lately, it could be any of the following: Damien Sandow, Brodus Clay or Ryback. Yes, Ryback. His insatiable hunger could very well lead him into an actual match on a PPV that won’t be a full-on squash. Of course, given his return and all, Wade Barrett could make it into this match as well, but I highly doubt it. He’s above this sort of thing already and should be competing at least for the Intercontinental Championship.
JT: I don’t have a lot to say about this one. I have three picks for who could win this one, and they are Santino, Ryback, or Christian. Christian is being hidden until after he inducts Sting into the TNA Hall of Fame, and Santino has had his time in the sun(if you call it that) with the title. For the purposes of predicting ONE winner that makes sense, I’m going with Ryback. Confidence Points – 1
IC Champion The Miz vs Sin Cara vs Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
ML: I’m looking forward to seeing Botch Cara botch…err..”wrestle” his way through this match. Him and Mysterio are simple fillers in the match to make it more exciting. If the rumors are true, Mysterio and everyone’s favorite botch should be tag champs before the end of 2012. The interesting story here is Cody Rhodes and The Miz. Ever since Miz’s commentary on Raw, the WWE has slowly and steadily teased a possible Miz faceturn. And after Cody hitting the CrossRhodes on him, if even furthers the idea of a Miz faceturn. Cody, unfortunately, has taken a backseat to the World Title picture. Ziggler’s hard work, Sandow’s character and Ryback’s power have all usurped him in the pecking order for the World Title picture. Rhodes will get his time and good things come to those who wait.
Prediction: The Miz to retain the IC Title
Confidence Points: 4
JA: Well….this is……poorly thought out. Rey Mysterio and Miz are not mid carders and shouldn’t be in this spot at all. Sin Cara is a one man botchfest with no mic skills (unless they dub him over Power Rangers style.) The only person really qualified (and he should be going after the WHC as well) to win the belt is Cody Rhodes in my opinion.
Ace’s Pick: Cody Rhodes to reclaim the IC Title. Why? WWE doesn’t do too many title changes as of late, which makes me wonder if Miz is really going to retain. If Cody wins, I feel that a face Miz feuding with a heel Cody could put both of them over with the crowd massively, so I hope this is the outcome of the match.
KP: I think this match will feel like a bit of a spotfest considering the competitors. This is also can be a night where The Miz turns face or so I’ve heard. Cody Rhodes attack on Miz and going for the IC title makes a bit of sense since he brought back the old strap….but I think Rhodes’ obsession with the masks is a bit demeaning, so is leaving him in the IC title picture when he should be moving up. We’ll see where this match goes but I don’t think it’s too hard to predict.
Prediction: The Miz retains the IC title
JT: I love the idea of these four duking it out for the title. There’s going to be a ton of excitement and excellent wrestling in this and it would be a fantastic way to start the show and get the crowd hot. With the streak he’s been on, I’m picking the Miz to retain his championship. Confidence Points – 5
US Champion Antonio Cesaro vs Winner of the Battle Royal
JT: For me, I’m expecting Ryback and Cesaro to brawl quite a bit, and I’m guessing Cesaro will run away in fear of losing his title. This will allow for a rivalry to develop further with these two. Ryback wins by countout and Cesaro retains. Confidence Points – 5
Divas Champion Layla vs. Kaitlyn
ML: Rumors surfaced that the end of the Number One Contender Battle Royal ended in a botch. Eve Torres recently won Stars Earn Stripes, a reality-based show on NBC. The WWE loves exposure and recognition. Then rumors surfaced that Kaitlyn was going to be replaced by Eve. Never happened. The whole Divas division has been made a joke by the WWE. And despite the potential of Layla and Kaitlyn, I suspect these two won’t get enough time.
Prediction: Layla to retain the Divas Title
Confidence Points: 4
JA: C’mon WWE, if there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that you want to show you give a crap about your Divas division, now would be a chance to do it. Much like Kofi & R-Truth have been sitting atop the tag team pile, so has Layla with the Divas. Beth did so for a while before her as well. They just don’t push them enough. With Tamina Snuka teasing big things and Kaitlyn actually competing for the belt, I actually think things may finally be turning around for this division (although I highly doubt it.)
Putting Kaitlyn as the contender for the belt in this match is showing that they want to showcase more Divas talent and expose people to the potential the division has (or at least I hope that’s what this means.)
Ace’s Pick: Kaitlyn to become new Divas Champion. Why? Well, there are rumors flying around that Layla may still be a little sore despite coming back from injury, and that may be the reason why the Divas haven’t had much of a presence lately. Add to the mix that Kaitlyn’s former best friend AJ might be ousted from her GM position soon and Eve getting involved in all of this leads to quite the interesting power struggle. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
KP: Part of me is really intrigued, the other half of me is saying piss break. I’ll watch and enjoy the match for what it’s worth. My biggest problem is that we’ve seen Layla wrestle on tv only 18 times since winning the title at Extreme Rules. That was 5 months ago and she wrestles on tv 3-4 times a month, that’s not exactly a good thing. I think this might be a way to get the strap off her now and have Kaitlyn feud with Eve.
Prediction: Kaitlyn becomes the NEW Divas Champion
JT: Layla has been carrying the title well, but it’s time for Kaitlyn to step up and make a name for herself. I’m predicting Kaitlyn to become the new divas champion. Yes, this will be where I take a piss break during the show if needed. Confidence Points on Kaitlyn – 3. Confidence Points on the piss break happening – 5
WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Kane & Daniel Bryan
ML: So, Prime Time Playas take a backseat to a comedy storyline turned tag team. The number one contendership for these titles changed twice in the matter of weeks and the WWE apparently wants to ride “the hot hand.” Is this creative team this awful that we have to see rivals become tag champions again?!? Please, recycled storylines are antiqie now. Blow the dust off them and bring them back. Truth and Kofi’s run has been nice and if they lose, I want them back in singles action.
Prediction: Kane & Daniel Bryan to become New Tag Team Champions
Confidence Points: 3
JA: Well, this came out of nowhere. Some of Kane (as well as Big Show’s) best tag team runs have been with unexpected smaller partners (Kane & X-Pac anyone?) and the combination of “Anger Management” has got to have one of the most interesting dynamics since “The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection.” On the other hand we have Kofi & R-Truth, who have single handedly been on top of the mountain for months.
We get it, there’s no REAL tag team division aside from P&E, The Usos, and PTP. The Ascension in NXT are still miles away from their debut unfortunately. And of course you have the masked duo of Mysterio & Cara. Cara’s been going nowhere quickly due to his inability to keep from botching, and Mysterio is caught in limbo because they don’t know what to do with him. They make for an interesting tag team to say the least.
Ace’s Pick: Enough rambling. My pick is for “Jimmy Boom” to retain. Why? I just don’t see them dropping the belts to “Anger Management.” Something is going to happen with D-Bry and Kane and the match will fall to pieces. I expect within the coming months that either the masked duo or the Prime Time Players are going to be getting the belts soon, and maybe then Kofi & R-Truth can return to the singles main event scene.
KP: I think this will be the comedic relief of the evening. R-Truth & Kofi have felt like complete lame duck champions, they’re just waiting for someone to take the strap off of them. On the other hand I love the Anger Management story. I think it’s been very hilarious to the point that now they have a shot at winning the tag team titles and I think they can do it despite OBVIOUS differences. It’ll be a fun match and I say new champs. Maybe this time Bryan does a Roundhouse Kick to Kane and he falls onto the cover?
Prediction: Kane & Bryan become the new WWE Tag Team champions
JT: I’m a little more than pissed that the Prime Time Players have been bumped out of the picture because of a blooming storyline with Kane and DBry. There was a lot more potential for the tag team division with the PTP winning the gold. That said, this match will still be really good. I don’t expect Anger Management to take home the gold here. I’m thinking we’ll see them get the titles on Raw eventually, but for now Kofi and Truth will retain. This will leave Kane and DBry to argue after the match. Confidence Points – 1
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
ML: Here is your PPV show stealer. There’s no hiding the fact that I do have love for both these guys. Nobody works harder than Ziggler and Orton is hands down one of the best overall talented wrestlers in the company. These two have good in-ring chemistry and on a PPV, if they’re given enough time, this has dynamite potential written all over it. Orton’s time off for shooting 12 Rounds II is interesting in this match.
Prediction: Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler
Confidence Points: 3
JA: This will be a great match and will overshadow the Sheamus & Del Rio match no doubt. Orton’s quite upset with being a babyface since it just doesn’t work out for him at all. He’s too awkward and his gimmick just seems to be him saying, “My name is Randy Orton.” Orton will be going off TV soon to film the 12 Rounds sequel (ugh, WWE Films you’re worse than Ewe Boll sometimes) real soon, and I assume when he comes back he’ll be a heel again.
There’s also talks about Dolph dropping Vickie soon for Ric Flair. While I’m still wondering what he’s going to do for WWE when he comes back, I’m not adverse to the idea of replacing Vickie with Flair. It’s like looking into an aging mirror between the two of these guys. The only reason they keep Vickie around is so that Zigs can keep getting heel heat from the crowd (and that’s a smart move.)
Ace’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler. Orton could go off to film at any moment. I see Zigs cashing in the contract tonight. No doubt about it. I doubt this will be a clean win either. If Orton’s going to stick around until the next PPV, then it’ll definitely be a dirty ending and we most likely get a Fatal Four Way at Hell in a Cell.
KP: Each man holds one pin over the other, now it’s round 3. Randy Orton is filming 12 Rounds part 2 soon so one would think he would lose. But it’s WWE, I think like one report said, they’ll work around his schedule. One scenario could be what some MITB winners have done before Ziggler; Lose the initial match they had that night then cash in the briefcase later that night on the vulnerable champion. As much as I like the guy, I think that’s what WWE will do. What I want is for him to win both….but you can’t win em all
Prediction: Randy Orton via pinfall
JT: Can you say show stealer? These guys had a couple televised matches last winter, and they were magic. Their work as of late has been no different. I can’t wait to see these two go at it live! There’s just no loser here with what we’re going to witness. Ziggler needs this match for momentum, but I’m predicting Orton gets the face victory. Confidence Points – 5
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
ML: How I would book it: Sheamus puts Del Rio into the Texas Cloverleaf, early in the hold all of a sudden Damien Sandow’s music hits. It distracts Sheamus and Del Rio almost pins Sheamus. Sheamus gets angry and hits Del Rio with the Brogue Kick getting himself disqualified. Del Rio is awarded the WHC Title. It’s not because I want to see Del Rio as World Champion, it’s because I want to see Damien Sandow get an opportunity to prove he’s main-event material. A feud after a Sheamus World Title loss would be perfect for him and judging from the way their Smackdown encounter ended two weeks ago, it would make perfect booking sense. Del Rio could have a brief feud with Randy Orton before Orton disappears into the movie world. And hopefully by then, the WWE can have another face step in and fill the void Orton will be leaving. Will we see that? Probably not. Sometimes I feel I’m way more creative than the WWE Creative Team.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio to become the New World Heavyweight Champion
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: Not because I think my scenario is going to work out, but because I’m fairly positive one of the World Titles will switch hands. And I don’t want Cena being the WWE Champion anymore than I want Del Rio being World Champion. However this plays out, I want this dry, boring and drawn out feud over with.
KP: For the love of god, make it stop Vince. Just end this. Del Rio’s “new” aggressive self is entertaining in the ring, but this feud has been just plain bland. Sheamus is a great in-ring worker who’s mic skills need more polish if he wants to be the blue brand’s top babyface, and Del Rio’s mic skills have made this feud less than stellar. I hope this ends tonight.
Ace’s Pick: The ending’s going to be controversial, whichever way it goes. I expect Ziggler to cash in tonight (please let me be right this time about it.) I think they’ll attempt a submission ending that will get overturned and restarted for some BS reason. After all, with the Brogue Kick banned and Sheamus adding the Cloverleaf to his repertoire of moves to counter the Cross Arm Breaker of Del Rio’s, you know they’re both gunning to make each other tap. At this point I’d say I’m siding 55% with Del Rio winning the match and Zigs cashing in leading to a Triple Threat or Fatal Four Way at Hell in a Cell.
KP: Tired of this match up. It’s been 5 months of this stuff. Initially I remember Del Rio getting a win over Sheamus via DQ for a future shot is how this got started and hasn’t ended yet. Over the Limit they had Sheamus pin the PHENOMENAL Chris Jericho letting Del Rio have an excuse for another shot. Supposedly he had a concussion before No Way Out leading to Ziggler getting a shot and taking a debilitating Brogue Kick. Money in the Bank Sheamus takes home a clean win, Summerslam Sheamus steals the match using Ricardo’s shoe. Now round 4 with Del Rio never seeming to have a chance to win. I still think he won’t win, Super Sheamus will just plow through him and make him tap out to the Texas Cloverleaf.
Prediction: Sheamus retains the WHC
Bonus note: I hope I’m right about Ziggler possibly cashing in, I haven’t heard or read any news of that happening. I want him to, end the suffering please Ziggler
JT: Third time’s the charm, right? Del Rio has to win the title now, right? Wrong. The storyline here has grown too much to take the title off Sheamus now. Sheamus wins. Ziggler could cash in, but I doubt it. I’d mark out if Ziggler took the title in Boston. Confidence Points – 5
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. John Cena
WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena
ML: Well, I don’t believe this PPV or match will have as big of implecations on the Royal Rumble as everyone else thinks it will. It’s very possible we could see these two, well not possible, but most definitely see these two wrestle again for the WWE Title before the end of 2012. Will the WWE do two different title changes in two months? They’ve done it before and it’s possible here. I suspect that The Rock’s opponent at Royal Rumble will probably be whoever the WWE Champion is at the end of TLC in December, not here at the end of Night of Champions.
Prediction: CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: Cena winning his hometown is just too predictable. Punk won in his hometown last year, and it just makes it too predictable that Cena would win in his. Plus, I already said how I feel in the World Title QuickNote.
JA: CM Punk v. John Cena
Well, these guys put on a hell of a show the past few times they’ve been together. When Cena is allowed to wrestle a match, he’s pretty damn good. Punk, we’ll he’s Best in the World. This should be a wildly entertaining match that hopefully will be the main event (should be considering Cena’s involvement) and about damn time the WWE Title became the main event of a PPV.
Ace’s Pick: CM Punk to retain. Why? Well, I figure this feud is going to go on for a while. Hell, the poster for the next PPV has CM Punk as the devil himself. I expect Punk to carry the belt straight through to the Royal Rumble, where we’ll finally get to see Punk vs. Rock (and oh boy is that a bad pun.) I doubt WWE will have the belt changing hands back and forth like they used to, as Punk has built up quite the prestige as of late and has been breaking title reign records.
KP: Match of the night, that’s part of my prediction haha. RAW 1000 we saw the turn of CM Punk when he delivered a GTS to The Rock. He then has been a mega crusade about respect. I think he’s been lacking respect for 9 months. He hasn’t seen a main event since TLC 2011, a PPV that had no sign of John Cena (SHOCKING). John Cena however seems to claim that his reign will mean nothing if he cannot beat John Cena. In a way he’s right because Cena is the one main eventing everything. He main evented Elimination Chamber with that passable Ambulance match. Main evented Wrestlemania with The Rock. Main evented Extreme Rules with Brock Lesnar. Main evented Over the Limit with Johnny Ace (for the love of god). Main evented No Way Out against Big Show. Main evented Money in the Bank in the ladder match that gave him that shot at RAW 1000 in the first place. CM Punk I think needs this match a lot more than Cena does, they cannot just give the title to Cena after all the things that have been said and done. Cause then in my opinion it makes everything CM Punk did feel meaningless. I believe Punk will keep the title and face The Rock at the Royal Rumble. My wild guess of that night as I’ve said before is obviously having CM Punk retain the title that night but that’s as crazy as thinking Paul Heyman having zero involvement in the main event. He’s there for a reason and will kind of be out there as an unknown variable about what his role will be. I think he will cost Cena the match and possibly set up some kind of confrontation with Lesnar & Cena again.
Prediction: CM Punk retains the WWE Championship
Note: CM Punk for WWE Champion until Wrestlemania 29, anyone? No? All alone? Figures
JT: As much as I want this to be as big as their MITB match was last year, I know it won’t. That said, I’m still stoked for it. The intensity of this rivalry has been stellar since it’s beginning. As for Cena getting another run with the title, I don’t think it’s time yet. I expect Punk to walk out of Boston with the title. Confidence Points – 5
ML: The card actually shaped up pretty nicely. The Pre-Show Battle Royal for the US Title is intriguing and interesting due to the possibilities that the WWE can take with the winner. The Tag Team title scene is just going to take a quick backseat to the hot storyline involving Kane and Daniel Bryan, but hopefully, it’l just be a passing fad and they can refocus their attentions to the tag team division once either the Prime Time Playas or Kofi & Truth win the titles from Kane and DBry(if my prediction holds true.) The World Title scenes are interesting because I could see both matches going either way. From a booking standpoint, I firmly believe that my predictions make the most sense, but that’s me. Most of the IWC will probably have something similar to those predictions and we all know how much the WWE “LOVES” the IWC. Overall, looks like we have a lot of potential storyline enhancers and NEW storylines that could possibly be created with this PPV. Hopefully the WWE doesn’t drop the ball with further storyling enhancement and can actually see the potential this card holds for new and fresh storylines for the future.
KP: I think the show will be good, match quality wise. We’ll see where all these stories will go after the PPV. I’m confident that I will definitely be steaming this. Some of you saw me just completely blast TNA in the last prediction article because I thought that the No Surrender PPV wouldn’t make any money or sense or be good. I think this PPV will be the opposite and we’ll see something special hopefully. I know it isn’t Chicago but I think this crowd will be great considering their “hometown boy” (West Newbury *cough*) is in the main event. It’ll be a good-great crowd for the main event. Have fun watching it live Joe, the atmosphere should be great for that last match….big match feel.
Thanks for reading! I’ll have a review of the show up late Monday Night! -JT
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