John: I’m back to previewing WWE PPVs this time with a new partner in crime, the Oratory’s Adam Payne. We’ll run through all the matches on this card filled with three Championship Scramble matches, a huge grudge match and other stuff that isn’t as exciting. We hope you enjoy it. And if you don’t enjoy it we’ll send Shawn Michaels to your house to stare at you with the serious look that’s been on his face for two months now. Or not.
World Tag Team Championship Match: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase (c) vs. Cryme Tyme
Adam: I suppose I have mixed emotions about this match. On the one hand, I love that Cryme Tyme are finally challenging for the tag titles since they are the most over team on the WWE roster. On the other hand, I almost feel as though that anything that does not involve the scramble match has been cast aside. That being said, because of a single promo by an enraged Randy Orton, the tag team titles became relevant again. It looks as though upon Orton’s return we could see a new faction of sorts with Rhodes, DiBiase and Orton leading the way. I don’t know how much longer Orton is out for, but I have to believe that despite the shenanigans of stealing the belts (Let’s steal the belts to feel like champs!!!), Rhodes and DiBiase will be able to retain via some crafty cheating. Stealing the belts does not make someone a credible challenger to the titles and is quite possibly one of the most annoying things a wrestler or tag team can do to their opponents. Rhodes and DiBiase will win but I’m less than optimistic these teams will be able to put together a great match.
Winner: DiBiase and Rhodes (They should just call themselves Priceless already)
John: Nice picture of the champs, WWE.com guys. Those belts look photoshopped to me. I know this feud is lame in terms of how it started with the challengers stealing the belt, but I like the dichotomy of the match because they’re opposites, which is what works in wrestling. The champs are the snobby, cocky young heels that every heel in wrestling seems to be and the challengers are exciting, at least in the eyes of the fans. It will be a match with good heat. Since it’s their first PPV match my thinking is that the champs retain through cheating, then Cryme Tyme continues to “get in their business” so to speak and eventually gets the belts in a couple of months at Survivor Series. There’s no point in rushing this since there are so few actual teams on Raw. Ride it out and let the unnamed champs win with their non-existent finishing move. It will probably be the uncreative pulling of the tights or belt shot. So original.
Winners: DiBiase and Rhodes
Divas Championship Match: Michelle McCool vs. Maryse
Adam: I’m not going to say much about this, because I simply don’t care for the Divas division. The most lackluster division in WWE does not need a second division on Smackdown. Whenever the women come on TV it’s basically time for either another beer or a piss break and that will be the case this Sunday when I’m watching. I’m going to flip a coin and pick Michelle McCool to retain, she’s just keeping it warm for Natalya anyway. The only way they could make this division more interesting is if Awesome Kong won the belt as a Diva.
Winner: Michelle McCool, but I really don’t care
John: Maryse is like some knockoff of the Beautiful People in TNA except she’s a lot worse at doing it. Is McCool still slamming Undertaker? She wins. Good for him, by the way. Tall athletic chicks are terrific.
Winner: The Undertaker because I like Michelle McCool’s body. Oh the match? McCool for that too.
Unsanctioned Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
Adam: This is obviously the match of the night. I have to say that I was confused about HBK’s comments a few weeks back on RAW regarding his wife. He said that because she’s been married to him, she is tough and she will be fine. Did HBK just admit to being a wife beater? In any case, I was in attendance at the RAW in Oakland when HBK went through the Jeritron and sold it great like he does anything else. Unless you are dumb, deaf, blind or perhaps all three in one, this is WWE’s feud of the year without question. I hope that HBK’s recent injury (which looked absolutely disgusting) does not limit the ability of these two men. I think it is only fitting to have Y2J win this one and then go on a rampage with an injured HBK on the shelf, proclaiming himself as the guy. Hopefully this will be the match that puts Y2J over the top and puts him at the very top of the card as the top heel on RAW.
Winner: Chris Jericho
John: I love pretty much every single thing about this match and feud. I think they could have got where they were without the wife punching incident, but I understand why they would do that to pull at the heartstrings, so to speak, of the average fan out there. In a business where far too many things come off as fake, this feud feels more real than anything we’ve seen in WWE in a very long time. It’s hard for me to even compare this to a feud from the past because there haven’t been that many like it. That’s probably because Jericho and Michaels largely booked this on their own rather than relying on the writing team that provides the same thing over and over again. The actual match should be great as we’ve come to expect from these two, but the drama will be even better. I think if Michaels hadn’t hurt his triceps I’d definitely pick Michaels here considering that Jericho won the last time. Now I’m not so sure. Even though he doesn’t require surgery I’d assume that Michaels does need some time off to let it fully heel, and I still feel he’s going to get the win. I think the best scenario would be to have Michaels win the match, celebrate and immediately have Jericho do something like ram his triceps into the ring post. Michaels can take some time off, come back with a cast on and they can wait another couple of months for the final match in this awesome feud. No matter what happens, this is a match of the year contender coming from the feud that I think has been the best of 2008 to this point. Very much looking forward to this one.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Adam: Before I get into the discussion of the scramble matches, I have to say that I haven’t been simultaneously more excited and disappointed about a single match. I will give WWE credit for going out on a limb and booking something completely different and trying something new. Often times, people complain about the stagnant nature of wrestling and how nothing new can be done, which is why I applaud WWE at the risk they are taking. At the same time, why the hell are we getting three similar matches? I just don’t care for the lazy nature of the booking and one match would certainly be enough. I would rather have one match that was 30 minutes as opposed to three 20 minute matches. I have a feeling that this is going to be a game of one-upsmanship from one match to another. The truth is though, it’s not all that bad. Let’s start with ECW shall we?
ECW Scramble Match: Mark Henry (c) vs. Matt Hardy vs. The Miz vs. Finlay vs. Chavo Guerrero
Adam: I think it’s obvious that Mark Henry is going to enter this match at the very end because there is no way in hell he is going to last anything other than 5 minutes. WWE has been pushing hard for a Matt Hardy victory for quite some time now, but I don’t think this will be his time, just yet. Finlay and Matt Hardy will be pulling double duty against the likes of Mark Henry and The Miz, while Chavo will just be Chavo (nothing special and is just kind of there so to speak). I can’t see anyone else winning this match other than Mark Henry, it was made to protect him and it will do just that as he will come in near the end, clean house and end up getting the last pinfall with the help of Tony Atlas as well.
Winner: Mark Henry
John: When thinking about these scramble matches I figured they had to move one of the belts considering they’re playing up the “champion has an 80% chance of losing the belt” angle. I thought ECW would be the one to move, but then I watched ECW this week for the first time in months and saw Mark Henry get pinned cleanly. That’s what told me he’s retaining here. The only real viable other option is Matt Hardy, but I think most would agree that it would be better to do that in a singles match setting rather than this match. It will probably be a basic match without anything special going on because the other two scramble matches are more important obviously.
Winner: Mark Henry
WWE Championship Scramble Match: Triple H (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. Jeff Hardy vs. MVP
Adam: Because of the talent involved here, this match has the potential to be the best out of the trio. Everyone involved has a decent level of wrestling ability or even better. I’m glad to see the amount of talent elevated by using this match. If I’m correct, this is the first Championship match for the likes of Shelton, MVP and The Brian Kendrick as opposed to the WHC Scramble Match where everyone involved has been a champion at one point or another. I feel that this match could be the one to put a wrestler over the top and although I would go crazy to see THE Brian Kendrick walk away with the gold in this one, I have a sneaking feeling that MVP is going to come out on top. Triple H is probably the unlikeliest of the champions to give up his championship, but I have a feeling he will be the one to give up the championship. MVP is on a roll and winning this match would solidify himself at the top of the card. The only other possible ending I could see is two wrestlers gaining pinfalls simultaneously near the end of the match resulting in an unclear winner. I’m betting that will happen in at least one match and therefore immediately create a PPV match for No Mercy. I’m choosing MVP for the victor of this match.
John: On paper this is the best of three scramble matches because everybody here is a good worker with potential to be great. The other good thing about it is that all four challengers are fresh in the main event picture except for Jeff Hardy, who did get a title shot at the Royal Rumble. I think Hunter’s going to escape with the belt just because they’re not ready to move it to any of these other guys. What they can do in this match, however, is use it to get my boy MVP up to that level by having him score a number of pinfalls only to have HHH get one with like one minute left in order to leave as the champion. That way MVP has a legitimate gripe towards the champion and could lead to the one on one feud that leads to him breaking out potentially as a future world champion. I, for one, would be in favor of that. Could Jeff Hardy leave this match as champ? It’s definitely possible although once again I don’t think it’s the right time for him. I really like what they’ve done with Benjamin and Kendrick on Smackdown, but both of them are a level below the title and the scenario that involves one of them being champion seems really unlikely to me. The Game retains with MVP coming close leading to a fresh title feud. And if MVP wins like Adam thinks? Fine by me.
Winner: Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship Scramble Match: CM Punk (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Batista vs. JBL
Adam: Was anyone else as disappointed with the return of Rey Mysterio? I was expecting a new, darker Rey Mysterio without the mask and possibly a bit demented because of what Kane did to him. But no, he comes out as generic as ever and puts the unimaginable beatdown on Kane. And he’s only in the match because John Cena is injured and unable to compete. This match probably has the least going for it because of its hosstastic nature with Batista, Kane and JBL. One of those guys is going to have to go at least 15 minutes if not 20 if they start from the beginning and it’s going to be a big clusterfuck. I’m guessing CM Punk will start the match with Batista or Kane but I think if any of the belts are going to change hands it will be this one. The only problem is that I don’t see any of these guys as the champion at this point. I say CM Punk will retain because they are warming him up for the likes of Orton (or even so, Orton might be involved in the outcome). All in all this is probably my second least favorite match to watch next to the Divas match but I think Punk will be able to retain as the world’s greatest underdog.
Winner: CM Punk
John: This match will be awful if they stick Kane, JBL and Batista together early, so I expect Punk to be one of the first two guys to try to keep things moving in there. Due to that, they’ve got a good reason to take the belt off of him. They can use the “he fought everybody off, but had nothing left” excuse to explain how Batista is going to leave this match as champion. It’s not that I want Punk to lose. I think he should keep the belt and drop it to Jericho soon after, but I doubt it happens. The big storyline they have to go for on Raw is Batista being the dominant champion that eventually turns heel when John Cena comes back. He can brag about hurting Cena, brag about how he’s the world champion and eventually the fans will turn on him if it’s booked right. I’m not sure who he pins to get the last fall, but I’m going with Batista as the champion following this match. Oh yeah, is Rey Mysterio in the match? He’ll be a non factor, sadly. In the last two and a half years (when he won the world title) this company has routinely booked this guy poorly and I expect that to continue going forward. It’s a shame because he’s still such a talent even after all the injuries.
Adam: With HBK vs. Y2J and the WWE Scramble Match, this PPV could be worthwhile, but at the same time you have utter garbage like the Divas championship. Overall I am excited for the scramble match to see whether it is successful or is a train wreck of sorts. I, however, am not looking forward to sitting through an hours worth of scramble matches. I would have liked to have seen the IC title defended but otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on aside from those two matches. I think what will be interesting to see is the fallout from the PPV and if there are any new feuds to come out from the matches. I’m going to watch this match this Sunday just to see how good, or how awful these matches can be.
John: I’m not crazy about three Scramble matches on one show. I think it’s overdoing it, especially by doing the ECW one. It’s like when they did the One Night Stand show with all gimmick matches. They have to do a better job of moderation. Even if it does produce good matches (I’m expecting at least the Smackdown one to deliver) they have to curb the idea of repeating matches on PPVs. Reminds me of No Way Out with the two Elimination Chamber matches that basically killed the stigma of the Royal Rumble one match prior. Don’t overdo things. Keep it simple. Anyway, I think you’d have to consider this mostly a good card with the Jericho/Michaels match standing out along with some excitement probably coming from the three main title matches. I look forward to watching it…later in the week at some point. Football’s back, baby!
Enjoy the show, people.
Email Adam at AdamPayne101@gmail.com
Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org