I have a lot of stuff to talk about before I go and pick Wrestlemania, so let me get started with some Ring of Honor stuff.
Ring of Honor crowns a new World Heavyweight Champion last night in Houston, Texas.
Jerry Lynn defeated Nigel McGuinness last night at Supercard of Honor IV to win the ROH World Championship after Nigel’s nearly record breaking reign as World Champion. I have to be honest with you, I am not surprised of this title change. I expected it. When I was at the Seven Year Anniversary Show a couple of weeks ago in New York City, and I witnessed Nigel’s last successful title defense against the GHC Jr. Champion in KENTA, I have to tell you, I cringed every time that I saw Nigel get hit or kicked in his arms. He was in immense pain that would’ve floored any normal human, and yet he managed to do another title defense in Houston two weeks later after taking a punishing beating from KENTA in New York. Nigel needs to be commended, he needs to be thanked, and he needs to be put in the lin of the Bryan Danielsons & the Austin Aries & the Samoa Joes & the CM Punks as the legends of Ring of Honor pro wrestling because nobody has gone through more adversity and came out of it looking as good as Nigel McGuinnes has looked.
When Nigel McGuinness won the belt from Takeshi Morishima, I hated it. I hated Nigel. I hated the title change. Hell, I hated it when they took the belt off of Homicide as fast as they did. But, as the time wore on, I realized how good Nigel was, and is, and I look forward to seeing his return to prominence inside ROH when he is 100%.
Now, searching for the next challenger for the ROH World Championship is something that the ROH message board is doing in droves, as well as piling on the hatred to Jerry Lynn. I don’t disagree with some of the criticism of putting the belt on someone who is in the twilight of his career, but the facts are obvious, ROH was against the wall. Nigel was not going to survive any more title defenses without putting him out for an extended period of time. It’s going to be a long time for the englishman to return to ROH and be prominent again, I would believe, but trying to keep the belt on the former champion until the ‘fan’s choice’ to take the belt would be put in place would’ve been a major risk to Nigel’s health, and ROH was smart in pulling the trigger when they did.
However the booking committee goes forward with the elder statesman as a champion remains to be seen. One should not be focusing on the probable discouraging decision to put the title on the former ECW Original, but one should be taking the time to give and show the proper respect to a former world champion who is on the same level as the two most dominant world champions ever to grace Ring of Honor. It’s Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness. After that, it’s everybody else. And yes, I mean that, even without including CM Punk, Low Ki, or Austin Aries.
Picks for ROH’s Take No Prisoners PPV happening later today
I have to believe that there will be some major changes to the card today. I went and checked the sites, and can’t find any information about changes, so let me make some quick picks.
Roderick Strong vs. Alex Kozlov
Strong and Kozlov should provide some hard hitting ground and pound style wrestling, as I suspect Strong will figure out a way to take the fight to the Russian, and come out victorious. I don’t see ROH investing long term in Kozlov, while with a new world champion, Strong has the distinct opportunity of getting back in to the title picture.
WINNER: Roderick Strong
Colt Cabana vs. Ace Steel
I didn’t know Ace was back on the ROH roster. I know I think he did one match, but I was surprised when this was booked. It’s intriguing as hell, mentor vs. student, and it should be tremendous. I would love to see the re-forming of the Saints following this match, and these two guys team up and go after Steen & Generico, Sweet & Sour, and the Embassy. I’ll give Colt the win, because I’m surrpised he got beat by D’Lo last night, and that I think will provide enough motivation for Colt to be the aggressor today.
WINNER: Colt Cabana
No Disqualification War
Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Jacobs
At 7YA, Necro pulled a Sabu after lacerating his foot, taping it up, and continuing the match only to be double eliminated when he and Brodie Lee fought all the way out of the Hammerstein Ballroom. If Necro is that sick in an elimination match, what’s he gonna do when he faces the sick bastard Jacobs one on one with no rules? God only knows. Question also remains, what’s Jacobs gonna do? Whatever it is, it’s probably going to be something that’ll be talked about for some time. I think Necro will win, but he’ll pay a heavy price for it.
WINNER: Necro Butcher
Four Corner Survival
D’Lo Brown vs. Erick Stevens vs. Bryan Danielson vs. ROH World Champion Jerry Lynn
Is ROH going to make this a title match? If they do, I think Lynn may have a Kane-like reign as World Champion, as any of these men could take the ball and run with it. I would say Dragon would be most likely to take it, but Stevens also could run, being a former Florida Heritage Champion out of FIP. D’Lo has been a former GHC tag champ, and could get the ball, but his schedule may be his undoing, with his participation in the Global Tag League in Japan coming up. So, with that all being said, the question remains, who wins? I think it’s gonna be Danielson, I think it’s gonna be non – title, and I think he’ll beat Stevens. I don’t think Lynn will factor in the decision. It’s too early to bring something to the picture yet.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson over Erick Stevens
ROH World Tag Team Champions Kevin Steen & El Generico, Jay Briscoe & Magno vs. Chris Hero, Icognito, & The American Wolves of Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards
Oughta be off the charts insane. KENTA sounds like he beat the crap out of Richards last night, so how potent he’s gonna be for this match remains to be seen. Steen, I wonder about his health. Outside of that, the remainder of the six men seem to be healthy, and this oughta be some serious chaos. I got a feeling Davey may take the loss, to put him in the SOUR portion of Sweet n’ Sour Inc. I’ll pick the Champs, Jay & Magno to win. Just a hunch.
WINNERS: Kevin Steen, El Generico, Jay Briscoe & Magno
Nigel McGuinness & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright & NWA World Heavyweight Champion Blue Demon, Jr.
I love the NWA Champion in ROH. I think it’s good for business. This match, I have to believe will be changed, probably to a triple threat. However, since I don’t have it officially, I’m gonna go that Nigel will compete, and be on the losing end again, so it officially takes him out of the loop for the forseeable future, and perhaps provide a little more incentive to see more of the Blue Masked World Champion in ROH.
WINNERS: Blue Demon, Jr. & Brent Albright
Tyler Black & GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion KENTA vs. Austin Aries & Katsuhiko Nakajima
The Japanese are such skilled competitors its sickening to watch. Black and Aries will be at each other like a pack of wild dogs which should lead to see Nakajima and KENTA renew their rivalry that may lead to an eventual rematch for the belt back in NOAH. Sad part is, with KENTA being successful here, and Black getting some negative publicity from situations he hasn’t been able to control with the changing of the guard as world champion, I suspect Aries & Nakajima will find a way to get the job done. No real facts, just more of a hunch here.
WINNERS: Austin Aries & Katsuhiko Nakajima
Tazz’s departure from World Wrestling Entertainment right before Wrestlemania 25 & The Announce Team Revealed for the 4 Hour Spectacular
I’m kind of stunned Tazz left when he did, timing wise. I am sure that burnout is the legitimate reason as I don’t remember any of them missing many times on television, and being all over the world like they do for as long as they do, burn out is liable to happen, and if it took 10 years for Tazz to burn out, well, I give him credit. I’ll miss him at the mike, as he was incredibly fun to listen to, but hopefully, with the forseen future re-retirement of JBL on the horizon, maybe that will be the impetus to put Layfield back behind the mike, where he can really shine in the twilight of his career.
The announce team for Wrestlemania as revealed earlier in the week is Jim Ross, Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler. I wonder about this. Cole & Ross are liable to trip over each other from time to time, and make the calls a little difficult to understand. Also, a three man booth has not been very positive in the past, but also, in the past, we were dealing with Jonathan Coachman, who was horrid as an announcer when tryng to be a heel. In this case, we have two men who focus more on play by play than trying to be a heel, and one color commentator who has honed his skills to a hall of fame shine. It’s a tough call, nearly impossible for these men to get it done right mere days and hours before the bell rings tomorrow night at 7pm in Houston, but it will be intriguing to see if they can do it, and how they react to Tazz’s departure, and whether or not they recognize it during the telecast.
Ok, let’s pick Wrestlemania, and then I’ll see if I got anything else to come up with.
25 Diva Battle Royale to crown the first Miss Wrestlemania
Why do I see Santino interjecting his ridiculous attempts to be “Miss Wrestlemania” in to this, and turning this whole segment in to an absolute ridiculous waste of time? I’d rather see Melina vs. Maryse to unify the women’s title and Beth Phoenix vs. Gail Kim, who can wrestle, rather than seeing this. Although 25 hot women will be fun to watch, although I oughta say less than 25, because Mae Young will probably figure out a way on to this match, it screams as a waste of time, and an absolute ridiculously booked match for this type of a card.
WINNER: Gail Kim
Why? I don’t know. She’s the newest one. Call me Ismael.
Money In the Bank Ladder Match
Kane vs. CM Punk vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston vs.Shelton Benjamin vs. US Champion MVP vs. Christian
Ok, couple of things here, and I’ll spend a few minutes talking about each man. So, let’s get to the obivous one I need to address.
Christian – Um, um, Jay? Jay, remember that time in Florida when you won a belt that was called a world title, and that has more of a lineage than anything WWE could remotely offer? Remember when you won that title, the NWA World Heavyweight title, not once, but twice?? You’ve never been a world champion, huh? Vince is THAT terrified of TNA? Give me a freakin’ break. When Cage left TNA to go back to WWE, he, and the rest of us, should’ve seen the writing on the wall. Christian has been buried in ECW, and he’s not going to be let loose of his exiled prison anytime soon. He’s never gonna win this match, and it can be pointed right to his past time outside of WWE that will cost him dearly. It’s sad that WWE can take the past of a talent, and use it against him, and I got no proof to validate my theory, but I believe in my heart, that Christian is completely screwed because of his time in TNA. Vince doesn’t like him, and for that, and the fact that he jumped ship back in the day, this guy is doomed.
Mark Henry – I can’t figure this out. Why is Mark Henry in this match? Why did WWE creative consider putting the Big Show in this match? Having this guy in this match is dangerous to the other seven competitors, because Henry on a ladder is absolutely lethal. And not for the right reasons.
Finlay – I’d love to see the Irishman come up with the briefcase, and take it back to ECW, and teach the whippersnapper with no title defense on this card how to wrestle. Although it’s a pipe dream, it’s a nice thought. Finlay’s experience will get guys like Henry through this match without making themselves look piss poor, but the chances of him winning the match, I would believe, are pretty slim.
Kofi Kingston – I would not be the least bit surprised to see Chris Jericho come down to the ring during the match, and take Kingston out of this contest entirely. Kind of sad to think about that possibility, as Kingston athletically has all the tools to take the briefcase. Question is, does WWE think Kofi Kingston can run with the gamut as a world champion, because it’s pretty much a guaranteed conclusion that whomever wins this match will eventually be a world champion of some type. My answer to the question, Does WWE think Kofi can be world champ? No. I don’t think WWE believes Kofi is a world champion. Athletic, absolutely, but not world title material.
Kane – Kane is always on the cusp of winning the big one and heading toward the possibility of a championship reign, but always something seems to get in his way and stop the momentum from him reaching the brass ring. I think this will be no exception. I think Kane will make a huge impact in this match, but not factor in the final decision.
This leaves the three men that I believe will be the favorites in the match, from 3rd favorite to odds on favorite.
CM Punk – He won the match last year. He’s been Intercontinental Champion, He’s been World Tag Team Champion, He’s been ECW Champion, and he’s been World Champion. It would not surprise me one bit if he wins the second briefcase in a row, as Edge has done in a roundabout way, and perhaps take it to try and bring back one of the belts to Raw if the situation warrants. I don’t think it will happen, but I do think he will be one of the men who could be involved in the decision, one way or the other.
Shelton Benjamin – All the skills, a very long reign as US Champion, is he capable of taking the reigns of a brand as a world champion? I don’t honestly know, but I do know that the man I am picking to win this match is this man’s direct rival, and because of that fact, I have to put Shelton in the top of the favorites to take the case.
WINNER – United States Champion MVP – MVP survived the losing streak, and kept quiet. He got the wins back together, and kept his ego in check. He’s managed to transform in to a viable babyface. He’s been a double champion before, and the bling bling would fit his image to a tee. I could definitely see the US Champ take the case, hold on to it for a while, and maybe use it to relocate to a new brand, and restart his career as a world champion. I think the momentum MVP has going in to Houston will propel him to victory.
Elimination Style Match
Mickey Rourke at Ringside, Ric Flair in the corner of the Legends
Chris Jericho vs. Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat & Roddy Piper
I don’t like this match at all. I know the angle, and the whole schmere behind it, but I don’t like this match at all. It takes a lot of steam out of the Jericho locomotive to put him in to a match like this, where he’s going to have to carry the load of this match for obvious reasons, being the fact of the age of the three men he’s facing. While I do not dispute the fact that Steamboat and Piper can bring it, even at their advanced age, Snuka I am not so sure. One way or the other, the match is definitely something I am not looking forward to in this card, and one that I believe could’ve and should’ve been re-done. I think the legends will win, but it will be ugly. Bowling shoe ugly. And that’s not a match you should be having on a card like this.
WINNERS: Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat & Roddy Piper
Unified Tag Team Championship Match
World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo Colon
The Battle of the Bellas, which is what this can be renamed as, is probably going to end up being the coronation of the most dominant tag team in the present generation of the WWE. And unfortunately, for Brie, Primo & Carlito, it’s not then. Morrison & Miz have been running roughshod over any and all tag teams that have attempted to challenge them in one way or another, and I suspect this will be the same thing. I don’t see the WWE wanting to put all the gold on the Colons, even with their legendary father in attendance. Seeing the Hollywood tandem of the Miz & Morrison holding four belts, and two slammys will be just too much for WWE to pass up.
WINNERS: John Morrison & The Miz
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Rey Mysterio
As memory serves, this is the first Intercontinental title match at Wrestlemania since Seattle, and RVD vs. William Regal. I am happy to see this title being defended at this card. With JBL’s health in serious question, I wonder how much of Rey’s attack JBL will be able to handle. What troubles me is JBL and Rey fought this past week on Raw, and Rey won the match. Normal booking 101 says JBL retains the belt at Wrestlemania. However, with the commentary position looming, is it possible that WWE has been able to convince JBL to make the sacrifice of re-retirement and return to the table alongside Jim Ross? That is the question on the table that will cloud this title match. I have to think that somewhere in the back of JBL’s mind, his “historic” Wrestlemania moment that he’s talked about since day one will be his retirement from the ring, permanently. Rey Mysterio took him out once, and I think he’s going to do it again.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
Even at their advanced ages, I suspect this match will be the absolute show stealer. Both men are hall of fame competitors. Both men have had moments that people will never forget at Wrestlemania. If ANYONE is capable of beating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, it is Shawn Michaels. Do I think it’s going to happen? Well, truth be told, no. But, I do believe that this match will be worth the price of admission alone, and I will be anxious to see it when it comes out on DVD. Not much else can be said about this match. It’s going to be as epic as the build up that’s occurred during the entire road to Wrestlemania.
I just read a story on Wrestleview about Michaels’ knees in bad shape, and a break being possible to help heal them up. This is definitely the death knell to Michaels winning the match. He’ll be able to perform as well as anyone, I am sure, but I have to believe that if HBK is not 110%, he’s got no shot of beating the streak, even if it was potentially in the cards for him to do so.
WINNER: The Undertaker
Extreme Rules Match
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Matt Hardy is not a good heel. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. He’s not a good heel. With that being said, they’ll still put on a show that will be memorable. Jeff will win the match, because he’s the most closely linked to a title, and needs the win more than Matt does. What I hope here, more than anything else, is WWE takes a cue from what TNA did with the West/Tenay storyline, and tone this down. Most every fan out there probably doesn’t like to see these brothers fight each other. One time, it’ll probably work. Make it lengthy, and it’s gonna turn fan ugly. That’s just my feeling on this.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
The last triple threat match I remember for the World title was Benoit vs. the Game vs. HBK. I may be mistaken, but that’s the last one I remember off memory only. If I’m wrong, well, I’m sorry. One thing is for sure, this match will not be as sound as the match from WM XX. I HATE the fact that Vickie Guerrero is so intertwined in to this match as she is, even going so far as the WWE.com pregnant storyline april fool’s joke that Cena portrayed. One thing leads to another though, and I have to think that the title picture will be fixed with one match, and the World title returns to Raw with John Cena winning the match. Sorry, guys, I know all of you hate the guy, but I don’t. I see this as the simple solution to the Raw no world title situation. I think the Vickie intertwining will take Edge & the Big Show, and literally cancel each other out.
WINNER: John Cena
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
I have enjoyed the buildup from this match for the most part. I think last week’s triumphant return of the McMahon men was just the momentum boost to give the champion the boost he needs to take the match and win it. I suspect this may be one of the most intense world championship matches in Wrestlemania history. Both men can do it, both men have done it, and I suspect they may damn well surpass their own standards when the smoke clears.
I’ll go ahead and say it. I’ll not be surprised one bit if the title picture is fixed with Edge or Show winning the world title, and Orton winning here, and bringing the WWE title back to Raw. I don’t want to see it, but I won’t be surprised. However, I do think that the McMahons will not allow their family to lose a feud to Randy Orton, because of them being the faces here, for a rare time. I think the evil will be vanquished, for the final time, and the Game will prove victorious. I will make a bold prediction here. Blood will be spilled by both men. And lots of it.
Wow, I stepped out on a limb on that last one. Blood will be spilled. Sheesh.
WINNER: Triple H
Some brief thoughts from last week’s TNA Impact
I missed 2 weeks ago’s episode of Impact, and I missed the first 20 minutes of this week’s episode of this show, so there are some aspects here I don’t know for lack of viewiing. But, I do have some thoughts to say.
One, Mick Foley losing his mind has been fun to watch. I don’t think it’s going to result in Foley winning the world title, and I don’t agree that Foley should be fighting for the world title, but the transformation back in to Cactus Jack has been fun to watch .
Two, the hot potato action of the captainship between AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett is stupid. Jarrett has to make up his mind, and either return full time, or step back. This in between stuff is getting really old, really fast. Now, with that being said, I do know about something that’s set to happen shortly that’ll make me think differently about the lethal lockdown match, but with that being said, AJ and Jarrett need to stop the bickering, and the lines need to be drawn, and they’re not. That makes for confusing television which will turn people off. Mick Foley saying the ratings are on the rise, man, how much was he smokin’ after saying that statement with a straight face?
A singles Doomsday Chamber of Blood Match at Lockdown? Interesting. Stevie Richards playing a psychiatrist, and smacking the crap out of Abyss. TURN ABYSS BACK IN TO THE MONSTER OR DON’T. Stop with this back and forth crap. It’s NOT FUNNY ANYMORE. It’s damn stupid. And it’s not working.
With Steiner pinning AJ in this dumb lethal lockdown advantage tournament match set, does this match Steiner the #1 contender for the legends title? And, since we’re on questions, WHAT IS THE FORMAT for this lethal lockdown advantage thing?? It makes zero sense to me.
Joe’s condition is awful. I know he has a child, I know he has all the right to snap, and want to attack the mafia, but this presentation of him is awful. He looks on the same plane as Takeshi Morishima, which is beyond fat, and approaching obese. How is he going to be even remotely portrayed as a top star when he looks like a piece of trailer park trash?
Jarrett is asked to join the Mafia. Hrm. Maybe that would be good for the show. One powerboss on the front line side, and one powerboss for the Mafia. I could see that happening, and it would provide a necessary element of solidarity to the feud. Right now, it’s such a clusterfuck that it’s almost unwatchable.
Beer Money vs. 3D. I like the aspect that Storm and Roode are doing. I know what they do next week from reading the spoilers, and that was and is the perfect way to build up the match in Philly. I like it a lot.
Angle goes for the IWGP title this weekend, tonight, as a matter of fact, in Japan. 3D are the IWGP tag champs. The Guns are the IWGP Jr. tag champs. Now, they’re being called the New Japan tag team championships. What is TNA trying to do, alienate every possible promotion that is interested to work with them? If Angle wins the IWGP belt, will that be a factor in the forthcoming matches leading to Lockdown, and possible rematch with Sting for world championship domination, to use their words for the tag title match.
TNA’s product has become very erratic, very difficult to follow, and very difficult to allow anyone young to watch. I know TNA is on Spike, and it’s not trying to achieve an audience of the younger generation, but damnit, young people DO watch this show, and some of the garbage TNA is putting out there needs to seriously be re-evaluated.
But that’s an opinion for another day.
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