First off, an apology. I had planned on posting an article about draft picks long before now, but unfortunately I was delayed and it got to the point where, half an hour before the show starts, I thought it might be a good idea to move on to the preview. Also a quick request to share this with any wrestling fans you know out there, by sharing us using the links at the bottom of the post, and to get involved since there’s nothing better than a bit of discussion!
So we’ve finally arrived at the show that mostly feels like The Title vs The Streak, and without further ado let’s move on to the matches!
Randy Orton vs Alberto Del Rio
It feels so refreshing to be writing about Del Rio when he’s not in a one-on-one match against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. These two work well in the ring together so it should be an above average match. I think the build for this match has suffered to an extent because Orton hasn’t been on Raw (since he’s been away filming for WWE Studios), but at the same time this feud doesn’t feel played out or tired yet. This looks like the beginning of a feud that will last for more than one PPV, but I’d expect there to be some sort of shady finish to protect Orton.
Prediction: Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Divas Championship Match: Layla vs Kaitlyn vs Eve (C)
At least some attention is being given to the female wrestlers in the company again, and they are actually being given storylines and matches on TV. It may feel like all people do on the internet is complain about the divas division, and in some ways they’re right. The more talented athletes on the woman’s roster are usually the ones who are nowhere near the belts, but I’m sure everyone would rather see an attempt at a divas division that could be improved at some point in the future than there being no sign of women un the ring at all. As for this particular match, Layla has been bland since returning as a face, Kaitlyn is the new girl who is the one really starting to get a push, and the champion is the one who has the most well-rounded character in the entire competitive female roster. For now, the belt is on the right person.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Divas Champion – Eve
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz vs Kofi Kingston (C)
I was surprised to see Kofi beat Miz for the belt, as Miz hadn’t held it for too long, and I suspect that the change was more to make Main Event feel like a must-see program than it was to try and further Kofi’s career. Even so, there is a chance for Kofi to develop his character here as Miz is pointing out a lot of valid criticisms about Kofi’s career thus far – especially when it comes to his career stagnating. If Kofi can add a bit of depth to his character, it’s possible that this could be the feud we all look back on and think “that was the turning point”. This could be what he needs to break through.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion – Kofi Kingston
Tag Team Championship Match: Team Rhodes Scholars vs Team Hell No (C)
Remember when I said that there was at least some attention being given to the divas division? That was where the tag team division was a mere few months ago. Fast forward to now, and Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow won an 8-team tournament to face off against the champions. The main problem I see with the division is longevity: at Wrestlemania, or even the Royal Rumble, how many of these teams will still be together? The champion’s gimmick of the dysfunctional partners means that they could lose the belts at any time without hurting their momentum too much. Even then, I can’t see them losing the belts just yet, but I don’t think it will be too long before Team Rhodes Scholars can call themselves champions.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Tag Team Champions – Team Hell No
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Big Show vs Sheamus (C)
The WWE have done a good job of making this the battle of two deadly finishing moves that can happen at any time. Both the WMD and the Brogue Kick have been pushed over the past few months as deadly manoeuvres, but the difference between the two here is that there isn’t much of a question as to whether Big Show can hit the WMD on Sheamus. But there are doubts over Sheamus’ capability to hit the Brogue Kick. It’s a good story to tell – it puts doubt into Sheamus’ mind, so it could mean he isn’t as focused as he should be. Plus it’s a big weakness to not be able to hit your signature move that won you the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania in 18 seconds.
There is also the added factor of Dolph Ziggler in this match, since he has repeatedly said he was going to cash in tonight. Personally I think it would make more sense to cash in tonight if the match was inside the cage, but it doesn’t look like it will be. As I said last month, I would pick Ziggler to cash in every PPV until he does, so I’m not going to give it a separate section here. My prediction will just be for the announced match.
Prediction: Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion – Sheamus
Hell In A Cell Match for the WWE Championship: Ryback vs CM Punk (C)
Now for the big one. The undefeated streak vs the nearly year-long reign of the WWE Champion. And what a pickle for the creative team, as neither should end yet, but one has to. I bet whoever pitched Ryback as an alternative to Cena for this match regrets it now. Speaking of Cena though, it’s obvious that the WWE sees great things for Ryback’s future when the face of the company endorses you and chants for you in front of millions of people. Now I’ve heard a lot of theories about what will happen, the most common featuring run ins from Brock Lesnar or Mark Henry, to John Cena getting involved, to Punk escaping the cage and walking out, to the apparently impossible clean finish. I mean seriously, what are the odds of a clean finish here? Saying that, the last time I wrote something along those lines I believe was when asking if AJ, as the special referee, would call a match right down the middle – and she did. Here though it’s much less likely. They will want to protect both men, and will want them both to look as strong as possible after the PPV is over, which is difficult to do when there are no disqualifications and no count-outs. This match also represents the future vs the past. Here WWE have the chance to instantly create a mega-star if Ryback wins, as his popularity would probably be second only to Cena. But, looking ahead, the big money match at the Royal Rumble should be The Rock vs CM Punk, and it will be a hell of a lot more impressive if The Rock is the first man to beat Punk for the championship in over a year. Compare that to Ryback beating him for the belt tonight, three months before the Rumble, and Punk winning the strap back, most likely in some shady fashion before his encounter with The Rock. So yeah, in short, this one is difficult to pick.
Prediction: Winner and STILL WWE Champion – CM Punk
Yes, I’m not sure how he’ll do it but I think Punk will retain. I apologise if parts of this seemed rushed, but I’m posting this after the PPV has already started. That alone should tell you what my mindset has been. If a match has already finished, I promise I haven’t seen it – on the off chance that I actually got it right.
What do you think will happen? Or, since it’s started, were you expecting that to happen? Will there be – OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT? What does the future hold for the WWE Championship? Let me know by commenting or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.