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Previews

Elimination Chamber 2014 Preview

Como estas, bitches! And now that that’s been said, how are you? It’s been a minute since I’ve blessed you with my presence and between this, practicing cooking food for the eventual and almost solidified trip I’m making to Atlanta to thug out with the homies (that’s the L.E.W.D. preservation society for the unenlightened) and listening to De La Soul, I find myself ready to jump into my L.E.W.D. pants – sidenote: ALL my pants are L.E.W.D. pants – and say a few things about 2014’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and the kickoff that comes before it.  So without further ado, let’s talk Olivia Wilde!

I mean, er… wrestling.

Kickoff: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback

I’ll be the first to say it: I don’t get this match.  I understand you need something to start the program with, but why this?  You have Cody Rhodes and Goldust, who have shown themselves to be one of the most, if not THE most, competent and entertaining tag team in the company going against the most boring powerhouse shy of Big Show and his partner Ryback.  The kickoff show is comparable to a live show in that it may or may not have any implications outside of just keeping the crowd enthused, but perhaps it’s the storyteller in me talking out loud.  As it stands the ideal match come Wrestlemania XXX would be Cody Rhodes versus Goldust as a final send-off for the latter (my opinion), and a win by the WWE’S J. Cole and his partner Buddy would only make that rift between the two all the more wonderful, likely with a speech by Rhodes that went, “You’re losing your step, bro… that’s just how it is.”

Otherwise, who cares?  This match is the kickoff and you could pay me to care but I’d just end up wasting your money. 

DiZ Prediction: Steve Wilkos and Mr. Meh win via pinfall

Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil

Go ahead, raise your hand if you thought for one second that Titus O’Neil would be able to float, let alone swim, in the deep end on his own.  I didn’t, but I’m so glad I’m wrong.  Even now, with the fresh heel O’Neil (I’m a poet and I don’t even know it) and Black Cena with a bright future ahead of him, what appeals to me more than anything right now is that this is the first time we’ve had a brother of Omega Psi Phi versus an openly gay athlete; yes, that matters to me because damn near all my uncles are Ques and more and more of my friends are coming out.  To me, oddly enough.  Let’s not talk about it anymore.

Back to O’Neil: until further notice it IS Titus O’Neil’s feud.  He wanted a solo run as a bad guy and he’s shown out to be one hell of a competent bad guy, from his clean cut attire worthy of Carlton Banks to his willful misspelling of three syllable words.  More than that, from a clean perspective, he’s undefeated; his only defeat so far is a result of an outside distraction by Young.  I’m not one to speculate but the higher ups may just be big on Titus. 

But where does that leave Darren Young?  As of now, we don’t know.  He could be getting a boost like his one time partner, but maybe not.  Frankly, right now, I don’t care.  I’ve always found O’Neil to be the more entertaining of the two.  Young may be more athletic, but O’Neil is entertaining: he’s made the most out of his opportunities, down to putting on a wig and declaring himself Rufus “Pancake” Patterson (you know… because he flattens fools).  I’d like to see him have a title run (Intercontinental preferably) and run things like the Kingpin (Marvel fame), declaring himself a god amongst men. 

And Young?  He could easily be one of the newer guys who leads the WWE into a new era.  With a rather uninteresting card for this PPV, this match remains one of the more interesting ones for me.  Here’s rooting for O’Neil.

DiZ Prediction: Darren Young wins via pinfall

The New Age Outlaws © vs. the Usos for the Tag Titles

I’ve been watching TNA regularly lately (don’t judge me) and watching the (American) Wolves do battle I think to myself, “You know… they look like the Usos…”  Not in terms of skin tone, but because of style.  I often wonder why the WWE passed on the team and it might be the same thing as with Chris Hero: they just weren’t needed.  As great as the (American) Wolves can be, what does it matter when you have a crowd of cats who can do it too?  Subsequently, they don’t seem to be comfortable in TNA yet.

What we have in this match is a case of old versus new.  We have an exciting team of symbiotic titans versus the Usos.  It’s… good?  The match itself has potential, but I’m more interested in why the Outlaws are a factor at all right now.  Maybe Tiple H is the Andrew Jackson of the company, deploying the spoils system now that he can put the homies on.  Maybe he wanted to reunited the Kliq.  Maybe he wants to form a new Four Horsemen and single out Bryan as their Dusty Rhodes, I don’t (expletive) know.  I want to see the Outlaws out, if only because they’ve overstayed their welcome in my eyes. 

But we also have the rise of the Usos.  It’s been a long road (getting from there to here), and the build up hasn’t just been slow, but worthwhile.  The crowd loves them: most of us like them.  Sure, (expletive) one of them for (expletive) Trinity and (Oh my sweet Jesus, this is FAR too NSFW for even an adult film scenario) with a Samoan slapstick and a lemon wedge, but the team itself is gravy.  If they win tonight, it’ll be well deserved.

DiZ Prediction: New Age Outlaws win via pinfall

Big E © vs. Jack Swagger for the Intercontinental Championship

Another “Why for?” match.  I don’t have much to say about this one so I’ll just say what I have to say: Big E has no direction right now.  He’s beating people up, but why?  Because he has the belt.  What’s he doing with the belt?  Winning matches.  That MAY sound like the right thing to do, but action without direction is exactly how the sidewinder moves around.  He doesn’t necessarily need a feud or anything but there needs to be a story and the prospect of possible payoff in the foreseeable future.  That or that (stop with the ethnic slurs, Chris!) can just admit that he stole my idea and pitched it to the higher ups.  If Kofi and Henry team up…

DiZ Prediction: Big E. wins via pinfall

Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

One: I am happy to see Batista back.  I don’t think all his detractors are against him so much as against the circumstances presented in his direction.  He came in, won the Rumble, and he’s stuck in the shadow of the good man Danny Bry.  He was screwed the second he won. 

Two: a feud with Del Rio is weird.  It was teased at and perfectly so, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the WWE told Del Rio to start a tweet war with Batista and left Batista completely in the dark.  I’m willing to bet money that Batista’s reactions to Del Rio’s tweets were legitimate confusion.  But much like Charlie Sheen being Charlie Harper in Charlie Sheen’s beach house on Two and a Half Men, it could just as easily be Dave being a douche.  So yes, the two will fight, and Del Rio might even pull a good match out of the old fart, but at the end of the day I have to say…

DiZ Prediction: Batista wins via pinfall

The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield

Yes.

This is THE match I want to see.  It could only be better if it was a Chamber match, but I don’t see how it would have been possible what with pods and “randomness” and all.  On one hand with have the Wyatt Family, a creepy backwoods cult (you know, like the population of Parma, Ohio) led by a man who does inverted crab walks, and on the other you have the Shield, a team of young thundercats who are all attempting to make a path to greatness.  Both teams are always entertaining (save for that match between Punk and Rollins one ill-fated RAW) and both teams do it big.  We’ll have a violent, terrific conflict and yes: it MIGHT be the match of the evening.

Now let’s look at the implications.  The Shield (if there is a God) will split up and battle in a triple threat match come New Orleans, which will propel one of them (likely Reigns) to superstardom.  The Wyatt Family will remain creepy as Harper and Rowan push their way out and become great singles stars.  But this is the entry point, and yes, it WILL be great.

DiZ Prediction: The Wyatt Family wins via pinfall

Randy Orton © vs. John Cena vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Christian vs. Sheamus in the Elimination Chamber for the Title with a Long Ass Name

My expectations are that Cena will get screwed over by the Wyatts, Sheamus will be knocked out first, Christian will fall into heeldom, Cesaro will become a face, Bryan will come close (but no Cuban) and Orton will squeak by utilizing the skills and strategies he developed over the past couple of weeks.  Here’s the deal: expect no surprises here outside of Cesaro swinging everybody with a pulse.  This match CAN be the strategic and technical monstrosity that overtakes the show, but only if done right.  I’m all but sure that the winner is Orton, and that he squeaks by, and that Bryan gets thrown into the main event at Wrestlemania to appease the people and lead to an interesting angle.  Because people don’t care to see Orton vs. Batista.  I know I don’t, but I can’t speak for anyone by myself.

DiZ Prediction and Order of Elimination: Cena, Sheamus, Christian, Cesaro, Bryan; Orton wins via pinfall

But that’s just my two cents.  What do YOU think?

Disclaimer: written knowing damn well it won’t be completed before the kickoff match comes on.  In any case, I don’t care.  Can they both lose?


Give Daniel Wyatt A Chance, Dammit!

Because I’m a hypocrite, I’m going to write as though I did not excoriate WWE creative for having Daniel Bryan join the Wyatt Family last week. I’ve been seeing a lot of things echoing the points that I made, but missing the positive spin I tacked on at the very end. Because I am committed to watching five hours of WWE every week, one way or another I will give shit a chance. And I feel as though many are not seeing the bigger picture here.

First off, I’m not backing off of my stance that Daniel Bryan can never be the face of the WWE. That, at BEST he will be Mick Foley, a guy who had a lot of memorable matches and moments but not necessarily remembered as THE guy. Not considered the best. And that’s ok. I’m not one of the binary thinkers who considers everything classic or trash with no in between.

That said, I DO acknowledge that Daniel Bryan has embedded himself as one of the top five acts in WWE today. If the world were a meritocracy, he should be WWE World Heavyweight Champion TODAY. But, alas, our world is NOT fair, so… he’s not. At this moment, he is still a notch below MY guy, CM Punk as that guy who SHOULDN’T get the big push, but will because he’s just that damn good. “Pipebomb” aside, Punk has this edge to him that Daniel does not and THAT is what excites me about this angle!

When CM Punk turned heel at Raw 1000 we all knew what that meant: He was being thrown to the likes of Cena, Ryback and The Rock. Right now, after Randy Orton and The Shield, what top heels are there to work with? The Wyatts are being built up now, but they’re no main eventers. Daniel Bryan IS. Just off association, he raises the level of Bray Wyatt. I didn’t think that WWE was going to have Bryan join the group, but now that he has, it adds to the creep factor. CM Punk has an innate ability to work an audience whether he’s heel or face, so I’m looking to see if Bryan can use this angle to continue his momentum.

A lot of people are saying this ‘heel turn’ is WWE trying to kill his momentum. I am one of those people. The more I think about it, however, the more I realize, CM Punk never stopped getting good crowd heat. This past Monday, the sense that the crowd was still behind Bryan AND felt betrayed by him was portentous of how if this is done right, Bryan will be hotter than ever before! After all, Bryan’s first title reign was as a heel and that’s when the ‘YES’ chants started. Between then and now he has vacillated between heel, face and tweener. Crowd heat white hot. Let’s be real, we wrasslin fans are some complaining ass cynics. WWE has hurt us too many times. But… they’ve done right by us enough times that we keep watching.

My prediction is that this angle may well carry us into SummerSlam where Bryan will likely win the world title again and get screwed Evolution style, irony of ironies, a la Randy Orton. I think it will be cool to see him develop a darker, more twisted edge to his character, and as I have forestated, see Bray rise by association with WWE’s hottest commodity. It’ll be interesting to see if they do an angle where Bryan lays down for Bray, or if they fight and screw him out the belt(s). If this angle blows off by Mania, it was a waste of time. Speaking of which, that’s technically what this is, something to keep Bryan interesting, yet out of the title picture. Not a burial. (Hi, Quinn!)

I wasn’t pleased with how they were booked this past Monday… doing a finish where Harper gets rolled up because he was mad Bryan wanted to get the victory was foolish, in my opinion. Teasing that there will be dissension in the group points towards this breaking down before there can be an appreciable payoff. I’m not saying they should never lose, just it’s too much to have dissension in the ranks WHILE doing the same exact fucking story with The Shield.

Speaking of which, a lot of people are saying Roman Reigns needs to get better at promos to be what WWE wants him to be. I call bullshit. During his entire time with the group, he has been the strong, silent type. In my opinion, it would be a mistake to make him growl or yell Memphis style promos when his soft-spoken yet impactful style fits his look and personality so well. Watch the Piper’s Pit from the Old School Raw and you had Rollins and Ambrose talking cash shit to Piper while Reigns just sat there looking cool, yet intense. When addressed, he told Piper to cut the shit or he’ll beat his ass, more or less. Simple, but effective. Sometimes, less is more.

Related/unrelated: When are we going to see Big E Langston get to unleash this charisma I’ve heard so much about him having on NXT and Twitter? Why does WWE give so much mic time to people who suck at promos for different reasons like Orton (boring, droning delivery) and Del Rio (English as second language, seeming lack of charisma) and none to guys who ARE entertaining talkers? Iono, man. To dovetail these last two paragraphs, Big E and Roman could be future rivals for the top of WWE. The charismatic irresistible force versus the stoic immovable object.

Overall, I feel there is way more to be excited about than there is to bitch about. Batista is coming back. Sheamus returning from injury. RVD may re-sign. Brock Lesnar is in the fold. You can see new stars being made, and potentially, current stars being remade. As Daniel Wyatt would say: YES!


The DiZ Predicts: Summer Wrestlemania 2013 (Summerslam 2013)

*Disclaimer: all pictures used throughout are utilized for the purpose of criticism and entertainment*

How much truth can a man stand?  That’s not a question I want you to really answer, it’s rhetorical in your case, reader.  It’s also a lyric to a rather quirky song of the same name.  I’ll answer, however, and say, “Er… somewhere in the vicinity of a little bit and too damn much”.  See, I only acknowledge so many truths right now, in my 24 years and one month of life.  One of these truths is that The Walking Dead really isn’t all that amazing a show.  That’s not to say that it’s bad, but as whole, the episodes are usually C+ to B quality in my opinion.  Another truth: the two best episodes of the show (season one, episode one; season three, episode twelve) owe virtually ALL that status as “best” to one man: Lennie James, who plays Morgan Jones.  Another truth: these brilliant performances are likely why he’s starring in the new AMC show Low Winter Sun.

Yes, truths are fun.  Here’s one that’s directly related to the WWE: this year’s Summerslam is shaping up to be Wrestlemania: Summer Edition.  And that’s saying something.  With the white hot intensity of the Bryan v. Cena feud and the reintroduction of fire in a match, I see few people even ABLE to complain about the card.  But what’s in a card?  What do you think will happen?  Frankly I don’t care: here’s what I think will happen though, and if you agree, that’s cool.  If you don’t, that’s cool too.  I’ll just feel all types of special that you cared enough to read.

Douche…

Pre-Show: Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose (c) for the United States Championship

Right off the back, a big match.  For the casual fan, this is due to be a treat beyond treats.  For the indie fan, this is a dream match.  For people like us at L.E.W.D., this is two meals at the Varsity, a fresh roll of toilet paper and a second copy of Batman: Hush.  Translation: epic.

It’s no secret that Swatkowski and Good are two tremendous talents, and the idea of them doing battle is terrific, so the question isn’t whether or not it’ll be a good (no pun intended) match, but rather why put such a match in the pre-show?  Well, I wish I could tell you.  So I will.

Fact is we have to remember one thing: RVD is a part-timer.  That’s not to say that he shouldn’t hold a belt or have a feud, however.  He’s a 42 year old man who is noticeably slower than he was in his ECW/WWE prime, or even in his tenure with TNA (earlier on), but he is more than capable of putting on a great match and putting over good talent.  Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley (Jonathan Good)) need something to maintain some relevance as the focus on the Shield has taken a backseat to the Wyatt Family, and a bout with RVD is just what he needs.

There’s something else that’s special about this match: the title that’s on the line.  You can argue that the United States Championship is the spiritual successor of sorts to the ECW Championship, the belt that Rob Van Dam is almost notorious for.  Should he win come Sunday, he’ll have come full circle, and the series he and Ambrose can put on could result in a strong push for the unofficial leader of the mercenary group. 

As for predictions, I see RVD winning, but just barely.  Frankly it doesn’t matter who wins: WE win because it’s sure to be a damn fine match.

Natalya (with the Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (with Eva Marie and Nikki Bella)

Say what you will about Total Divas: the show is a hit.  I like it.  Maybe you do too.  If anything I gained a new respect for most of the Divas, save for Natalya.  I’ve always significantly respected Natalya.  With the canon of the show, Natalya plays the role of the older sister who both does all she can to uplift her younger siblings and yet can’t get a break of her own to really shine.  The way she is on the show, you can’t help but feel for her.  Hell, even ?uestlove was feeling for her, and that man has better things to do than watch TV, like work on the new Roots album, or find a barber.

No hate, ?uest: I wanna fro like you when I grow up.  Anywho, part of me is surprised that it’s Brie Bella vs. Natalya as opposed to Nikki.  Nikki just comes across as more of a bitch, but what I anticipate is a fan favorite crowd response for Nattie as well as her carrying Brie through a lot of the match.  The Bellas are a decent enough pair of wrestlers, I suppose, but Natalya is a Hart: she’s got it in her blood, and I think she’s finally getting that push into being a contender for the title.  We can only hope.  As much as I love seeing AJ with those pigtails and short shorts, er, I mean with that belt, Natalya would bring some class to it, and straight laced prestige.

My prediction: Natalya wins via submission.  Don’t ask why.

Also, this serves as an extension of the show.  I find it harder and harder to say it breaks kayfabe, really.  It’s just as scripted as RAW or SmackDown! as far as I can tell.  That’s why the other four are there.  On another note, I can’t stand Eva Marie.  But I respect her.  Because she called out Jerry Lawler for looking at her a certain way and smacked him.  God bless you, unnatural red head.  God bless you.

Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ Lee

First and foremost, shout out to that guy on Smackdown a week ago who screamed “AMY SCHUMER!” when Dolph Ziggler mentioned ex-girlfriends.  I haven’t laughed so hard at an ad-lib since someone tried to explain that Control was Big Sean’s song.  HA!  BWAHAHAHAHA!  That liar…

What we have here is your standard mixed tag match, and all the parties involved have one thing in common: AJ Lee.  Still.  Hard to imagine but she’s been in the forefront of a major story one way or another for months, and I dare say her rise from nothing to something has been as dynamic as Daniel Bryan’s.  Even now we have a sick kind of love (sic) angle shy of a Nujabes series.  Dolph is an ex.  Big E is a wild card.  Kaitlyn is a lesbian in fan fiction.  And AJ is just soaking up everything, playing the narcissistic woman with zero self-esteem, justifying her existence with that belt and the men she’s ran though (or should I say who’ve ran through HER?  HIYO!). 

But as a whole, I struggle to see the necessity of this match outside of putting together two feuds that could be split apart.  We have AJ and Kaitlyn still, but that’s lost a lot of focus and relevance.  Sure, it’s entertaining, but Kaitlyn is fighting for revenge and AJ is just fighting, playing the role of defense.  With Dolph and Big E, it’s an odd kind of mentor vs. student thing, but Big E’s role as AJ’s friend/Ziggler’s heavy has never been expounded upon outside of a hatred for Ziggler and a “I love her, I love her not” thing with AJ.  Sure, she’s cute, almost adorable, certainly desirable, but Big E himself still stands as little more than a big black guy with personality and a borderline painful-looking finisher. 

I’m not even sure what CAN be resolved with this match outside of a decent showing.  All four of them are impressive enough in the ring, so if nothing else it’ll be a solid exhibition, but as Bruce Lee said:

Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire match

Ooh baby, when’s the last time we have a match involving everyone’s favorite element fire?!

Let me wipe the drool from my mouth right quick.  Yes, the Devil’s Favorite Demon is taking on the Devourer of Worlds in a Ring of Fire match.  What does this mean?  It means the ring will be surrounded by fire, and the two will do battle.  As far as gimmicks go, this is the closest the WWE has gotten to blatant sacrilege in a while, and praise Jebus the Jew for that!  We need blatant sacrilege every once in a while, keeps up on our toes, keeps us focused.  The match itself is an extension of the still more or less undefined mugging that the Wyatts committed on Kane way back when, and this match likely serves as a way for Kane to lose his match, join the cult and give the Undertaker someone to challenge in due time, all the while reintroducing the dark, violent man that has been Kane on various occasions in the past.

But here’s the thing: this is a very “adult” storyline, if you can catch my meaning.  Not for the violence or the imagery or anything but because of the symbolism.  I compare it, ironically enough, to the song Hellfire from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Disney version.  As far as Disney songs go, it broke EVERY rule.  The song featured a judge (judge for the Disney movie, archdeacon for the traditional tale) who was essentially singing about a gypsy girl he was in lust with.  Lust in a Disney movie?  Not blatantly!  They usually do that in a subtle manner.

But lust, religious imagery, the mea culpa, fire, DEATH, the song covered it all.  It wasn’t just about his lust, or how evil the woman MADE him as opposed to how evil he himself was, but how he was asking God to either make the woman (kid by our standards, but this was 1400s) his, or give her up to the flame (Hell), all while begging for mercy for himself AND her.  It was deep, and frankly the sequence alone in the film was worth the price of admission.  Don’t let your kids see it though: they WILL be scared and confused.  But since I endorse scaring and confusing kids…

It’s all a big, metaphorical, je… never mind…

Sorry, I got a bit off topic.  I just enjoy that sequence.  As far as Kane and Bray go, it’ll be a welcome reintroduction to the man we once called Husky Harris, and I see him winning, thus dragging Kane into the Wyatt Family.  And yes, I WILL be playing this awesome song if Wyatt embraces Kane as a new disciple.

Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow

You can consider this a prequel for a World Heavyweight Championship match in a near future PPV.  And you can also be mad at the WWE for not being wholly consistent with Cody’s character.  At first he came across as a petty, whiny, sore loser who was wholly unjustified in how he was treating Sandow and his briefcase.  After last week, he ADMITTED that he was a petty, whiny, sore loser who was wholly unjustified in how he was treating Sandow and his briefcase, and to add insult to that he admitted that he would have done the same thing to Sandow if he was in his position.

You may wonder why I have an issue with this.  Simple: after admitting something like he did, his role in attacking Sandow becomes moot.  The idea of Rhodes taking the briefcase is ridiculous, and the notion of Sandow fighting Rhodes first and THEN cashing in adds filler, not content, to Sandow’s first World Heavyweight Championship reign.  Because he WILL win it.  It’s written in the stars, or at the very least MY stars. 

The saving grace is the match itself come Summerslam, which will be a good one, and will almost certainly result in a Rhodes win.  Why?  Just because.  If Sandow wins, which I doubt, the ultimate outcome will remain the same, and I’ll get to it in a little while.

Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship

Let’s address the elephant in the room right now: this match is irrelevant.  Yes, irrelevant.  Completely and utterly.  Never mind my melancholy towards Del Rio or my disinterest with Christian: this match is little more than the equivalent of a place holder for the future title match between the above two.  Now, from a pure wrestling standpoint, this will be a MONSTER.  Seriously, it’ll be beautiful to watch.  Christian and Del Rio are two of the most gifted wrestling talents in the WWE, but one is nearing the end of his career I think and the other is… Del Rio. 

Nothing more to say about it.  The belt?  Who cares?  It’s the World Heavyweight Championship: it hasn’t had meaning for a while, and it’ll stay that way even after Del Rio wins.  Yes, I call Del Rio winning.  But therein lies that “ultimate outcome” I mentioned in the Rhodes v. Sandow match.  So long as Sandow can MOVE after that match, win or lose, and they do battle BEFORE Christian and Del Rio, I see him cashing in during the PPV.  Sandow will be loved as a hated fellow, Rhodes will be looked at as the man to take the belt from him, and MAYBE Del Rio will be thrown into a storyline that’ll make him worth a damn.

Perhaps.

We can only hope.

Meh.

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman (and likely Curtis Axel))

The Best vs. the Beast.  How poetic.  How appropriate.  Or IS it?  Perhaps another indie favorite is making a solid claim as being “the best”.  But I digress.  It doesn’t matter who is the best.  Trying to determine who is stands as a fruitless test.  A worrisome quest.  In choosing one you neglect the rest.

I apologize: I was having fun at your “This guy is SO corny” expression’s expense.  The story is simple here: CM Punk wants revenge on Heyman.  Heyman chose Lesnar as his champion.  Punk turned one-track minded and stayed focused on trying to hurt Heyman.  Lesnar introduced Punk to a special variation of the F5 I refer to as the F.Y.L. F5, F.Y.L. standing for “f*** yo life”.

Honestly I think Lesnar really tries to hurt people in that ring.  Good for our visceral nature but bad for business.  In any case, this will probably be the second best match on the card, from both an in-ring perspective and a psychological perspective.  Punk is fighting like a man possessed and Lesnar is in his zone, doing what he does best: hurting people.  We like that.  We like it when Lesnar hurts people.  You hear that, WWE?  Resign Shannon Moore!

So here’s the truth regarding me: as fun as this match will be – and it WILL be fun – my only question is “What now?”.  I’m not sure who is set to win, but I’m leaning more towards Punk, because I don’t see HOW this story can progress from this point.  Including Axel is odd, but he’s the third Heyman Guy, and he’ll likely have a role, but it doesn’t answer my only question. 

I’m leaning toward Punk winning, beating Lesnar and Axel senseless, then turning his attention to Heyman, and afterwards getting back into the title hunt.  As I was telling the Right Reverend Showtime the other day, I have a feeling the CM Punk who looked at the new WWE Championship belt and said, “I want THAT one” would be VERY welcome once this feud was over.  And it could culminate in my dream main event for Wrestlemania XXX.  Ah, dreaming…

Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena (c) for the WWE Championship (with Triple H as Guest Referee)

Here it is.  The big one.  The granddaddy of matches this Sunday.  Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena.  What can I say that hasn’t in some way already been said?  It’s the wrestler’s wrestler vs. the sports entertainer’s superman.  We’ve seen promo after promo, funny shirts, a few puns, even a brief appearance by Heel Cena (also known as Jerk Cena, also known as the Dick) and now we even have Triple H as the guest ref. 

Why?  Because.  Because why?  You’re asking too many questions.  Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like him being a part of the match, but with McMahon being a part of the Bryan v. Barrett match on SmackDown! the ref position is “justified”.  Like I’ve said, and will say in a piece that’ll probably be up just before the PPV starts, the McMahon power struggle is a grand storyline that’ll likely end with McMahon being ejected from being the primary figurehead seen on TV.  Don’t ask me about it here, wait until the other piece comes up. 

As for the match, it’s going to be interesting.  Note: interesting.  Good?  Yes.  Great?  Likely.  Epic?  Perhaps.  Five stars?  Remains to be seen.  At the end of the day we have a man who stands as today’s Hogan and a man who would shine the best against someone like Kurt Angle, or the man with no name himself, Chris Benoit.  That triple threat match would have been incredible.  But c’est la vie: it’s impossible now.  Stupid Angle drinking and getting caught…

Now, let’s address some wild cards.  First: Randy Orton.  I don’t know WHY they’re making him out to be this boogeyman, but that’s all he is right now.  He’s constantly reminding Bryan and Cena that he’s there, and in true buzzard fashion he WILL likely swoop in on the victor when they’re out, and… lose.  Well no, that’s not quite right.  I’ll get to that later.

Second: Wade Barrett.  Remember the McMahon power struggle story and how Vince said he didn’t want Cena OR Bryan to hold the belt.  His vision of a Superstar isn’t Orton either though: he’s too lean.  But who stands as big, muscular, clean cut and constantly angry?  Wade Barrett.  Who MIGHT be finally getting his chance to shine.  The hell with a title, I’m happy to just see him pursue it actively.  As I’ve said: I think he’s the most deserving guy on the roster for a title opportunity/run. 

Finally, who I see winning.  This… is a hard one.  There’s what I WANT to happen, what I THINK will happen and what I think is BEST.  They aren’t all the same.  What I THINK will happen is John Cena winning via help from McMahon, but it’s a ludicrous notion too.  It would be further heel momentum for McMahon, confusion for Cena who wouldn’t accept anything like assistance (see: Money in the Bank 2011), and even MORE support for Bryan, who is already dazzling hot (you see what I did there?) as it is.  But what I THINK will happen means little, because I don’t have much faith in that.

What I WANT to happen is even more ludicrous.  I want Bryan to be the first one to make Cena tap.  Only two people in the history of the WWE come to mind when it comes to never tapping out: Hogan and Cena, but there is a third.  Cena would be embarrassed beyond belief, Bryan would be champ, Orton would attempt to cash in AND Bryan would make Orton the second person to cash in AND lose.  That would make me happier than some quality alone time with Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman on a deserted island.

I take that back: that would NOT make me happier than some quality alone time with Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman on a deserted island, but it would come about as close as… forty miles.  Nautical miles.  On foot.

Then, there’s what I think would be BEST.  And this is subjective, I have no problem saying it.  Daniel would win, and he’d force Cena into a position that the third was in.  Cena wouldn’t tap: he’d pass out.  Cena would pull a Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Daniel would get his props, Cena would maintain his respect, and Orton… would stay in the shadows.  He’d strike later, on another day, at another PPV, and be a sneaky son of a bitch as a feud between Barrett and Bryan took the spotlight and Cena took some time off.  That would be fun too.

Well, loyal random interwebz vagabond, those are my predictions and whatnot.  Hope you enjoy the PPV as much as I think I’m going to.  Sleep tight.  Blee.