The final WWE Pay Per View event of 2005 is here, and so is the Inside Pulse Wrestling staff with our picks for who will end up closing out the year on a high note. And here we go!
Hell in a Cell
Randy Orton vs. Undertaker
Matthew Michaels: Unless they’re looking to give Taker one more title run before he retires (and really, he’s one of the only “top names” to have not held the Big Gold Belt, unless you’re counting the inclusion of its lineage in the “WWE Undisputed Title” in 2002, so I can think of worse), you have to give the Lesnar win here to the latest next big thing. As the NFL Films style promos said a few years ago: “the business is in his blood,” and unlike Lesnar, he’s going to be around for a long, long time, so Taker can always get his win back in the future. It’s more important now to build up title contenders here. I’d like to see Randy win AND turn on his dad before this series is over.
Winner – Randy Orton
Eric Szulczewski: Well, at least we know this is the blow-off. That wouldn’t have been the case with a Buried Alive Match (as we would have had at SurSer if not for poor Eddy), since they could have escalated to HitC. But there’s nowhere to go from here. HitC is always considered the blow-off for a feud. Since it is a blow-off, that dictates the ending (as does the fact that, thanks to the lack of title defenses on the show, this one’s going to be the main event). Sorry, Randy, but in the words of that great philosopher Axl Rose, you’re in the jungle, baby, you’re gonna die.
Winner – The Undertaker
Mark Neeley: I have to admit that these two have had some matches in the past that were mediocre to decent, watchable to say the least, but boy did they murder this with the ongoing feud. They even had to stretch it out to yet another Taker death so they can magically ressurect him so we can watch in awe as he tried to scare Orton with coffins and voice overs. Hopefully Orton can come out with a victory here and finally, for the love of all that is holy (reminds me of the Rey-Eddie storyline), END this! Oh yeah, and look for it to be a boring brawl HIAC, like Trips-Nash.
Winner: Randy Orton
Danny Wallace: This feud is a f*cking joke now. End it already. Taker needs to do the j-o-b, get killed (again), then make another return at the Rumble or something. I really don’t care to be honest. Does it show?
Winner – Randy Orton
Vinny Truncellito: Since the Undertaker is becoming more and more of a “special attraction” lately, and since HIAC is supposedly “his” match, I can’t see the Legend Killer going over here.
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” Unfortunately, the Undertaker
Mike Fitzgerald: Flawed booking in the past aside, WWE has done a great job building this one up with Randy slowly getting taken apart mentally by Taker. One on one these guys like their rest holds but they have a hold over the crowd that few other guys do. The Casket Match at No Mercy was shockingly watchable before the stupid finish eliminated all good will from it so hopefully they’ve learned their lesson but I doubt it
Winner – Randy has to win this one cleanly and deciseivly otherwise it will take a whole year to build him up again
Jed Shaffer: Dear God, let this be the end … I don’t even watch this crappy show, and I’m exhausted from this meandering, pointless, dead-horse feud. If the ending isn’t blatantly obvious, you should gouge your eyes out with melon ballers.
Winner – The Underseller
RAW vs. SD: Champions vs. Champions
WWE Tag Team Champions Batista & Rey Mysterio vs. World Tag Team Champions Big Show & Kane
Matthew Michaels: Smackdown has to win, as it does no one any good to put Kane and Show over after the way this storyline’s gone. Well, unless Batista turns on Rey here… (hmm)
Winners – Team Smackdown, quite possibly with outside HHHelp from someone on the RAW roster with a bone to pick…
Eric Szulczewski: Ladies and gentlemen, let me demonstrate the weirdness of publishing. The Round Table has a deadline before the Short Form. However, the Short Form will be up before the Round Table will. Therefore, I have to choose where to bitch about that tag title match on Smackdown. Do I do so in the material I write first, which is the Round Table? Or do I wait until the Short Form? Obviously, I wait until the Short Form to do so, because any kvetching is more relevant in there. So, therefore, I will confine myself to the probable results of this match. Batista looks like a million bucks, pisses off TBS, and this leads to a challenge to a title match at Royal Rumble between Batista and TBS, notwithstanding TBS’s employment on Raw (and provides TBS a way to pimp up in order to make his match with Trip at New Years’ Revolution more credible). This match will have one benefit: “creative” won’t have to think of yet another stupid way to eliminate TBS from the Royal Rumble Match.
Winners – Batista y Rey-Rey
Mark Neeley: Man, MNM had to job the titles just so it would look fancier for Dave and Rey to fight Kane & Big Slow if they were the SmackDown tag champs? I really don’t know nor care who wins this one, but it since it’s a SD PPV I see Dave finally getting his revenge on Big Red and Big Slow.
Winners – Those B level show guys
Danny Wallace: Now THIS is something I do care about. Tag Champs vs. Tag Champs. THE perfect way to unify the tag belts and to bring the tag division to one show. With Big Dave being the World Champ, I can only assume that he will get the win for his team. If they don’t unify the belts, they’re stupid.
Winner – Batista & Rey Mysterio
Vinny Truncellito: What exactly was the purpose of taking the tag belts away from one of the VERY few established teams, just to give them to Big Dave (who needs to rehab his injury) and Rey? The only thing I can think of is a unification of the two tag championships. If that’s true, do you put the unified titles on the team with a member who’s injured, or the OTHER team with a member who’s injured? What ever happened to Kane’s reportedly broken back, anyway?
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” SmackDown guys, I guess
Mike Fitzgerald: The Title match on Smackdown this week blew away ANYTHING Raw has done with it’s tag division pretty much all year and as starts go Batista and Rey couldn’t have asked for a better one. By going over in a hot TV match the Smackdown guys are riding a wave of momentum and I think the crowd will be digging this one even if it’s quality isn’t as high as this past Fridays match
Winners – Smackdown guys as it’s their show and Rey needs to get a win over Show or Kane to really ram home his ability to hang with the big guys
Jed Shaffer: Huh?!? What the hell kind of ridiculous booking is this? What happened to “mixed-brand matches once a year”, Vince? Now we’re having them on meaningless PPVs in the middle of the winter? At least when TNA books tag matches for mains or semi-mains on a PPV, they mean something to the overall story arc; this is senseless filler shite.
Winners – Team Roid Rey-ge
Best of 7 for United States Championship: Match 4
Booker T (up 3-0) vs. Chris Benoit
Matthew Michaels: Like everyone else, I don’t see the point of giving Booker a sweep, unless Benoit really IS as good as out the door after his contract expires early next year.
Winner – Chris Benoit
Eric Szulczewski: Let’s see, Booker’s up 3-0 in a Best of Seven. Not even “creative” is stupid enough to book a sweep. The only way they’d do that is an asinine attempt to make Booker look strong, and no one would buy it. No one.
Winner – Our Lord and Savior
Mark Neeley: I’m sticking with my plan, and that is since Booker is up 3-0 that Benoit will come back with 4 straight victories into the ultimate heel Booker frustration gimmick where he complains to Sharmell and back down the corporate ladder.
Winner – Benoit
Danny Wallace: There’s no way Bookers’ getting a clean sweep over Benoit. No way.
Winner – Chris Benoit.
Vinny Truncellito: I doubt they’d book the clean sweep, although Benoit’s rage over being continuously screwed by Miss Black America could lead to an interesting character turn for him…
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” Chris Benoit
Mike Fitzgerald: I think I’ve said enough times how disapointed I was with Booker’s totally pointless heel turn. The guy is boring as a heel and Benoit has had to carry him through this whole feud as when Booker tries to get heat the crowd just sits on their hands because he’s a BORING heel. As a face Booker could do his usual, get the Spinaroonie in and send the fans home satisfied. As a heel fans just go “What’s on after Booker T’s match?” or “Want a coke and a hotdog?” Benoit is a saving grace in a world with few but he’s just been crushed in this feud and beaten at every turn by Booker and Sharmel.
Winner – I want Benoit to win but if he did win and make the comeback to win 4-3 it would mean nothing and devalue Booker even more as he would be known as the guy who lost after being 3-0 up. I would want Benoit to save face somehow but I can’t see this any other way than Booker getting the clean sweep
Jed Shaffer: This’ll help steal the spotlight from the Hogan WCW Title defense later on … oh, wait, I forgot, this isn’t 1997. If it ain’t match #7, then it’s a foregone conclusion.
Winner – Our Lord & Savior
Champion Juvi vs. Kid Kash
Matthew Michaels: I like keeping it on Juvi, but this is the only title on the line tonight (unless Booker wins), and I think a title change will give Kash some momentum with a ton of babyface cruiserweights likely looking to challenge him. Although, despite both of these guys having backstage problems, they still seem to like Guerrera and the Mexicools, and something tells me Jamie Noble vs. Juvi is where they’re going with this.
Winner – Juvi
Eric Szulczewski: What is an actual title match doing on a Smackdown PPV card? Are they insane? And the Cruiserweight title? Aren’t Cruiserweight title matches supposed to be an Epilepsy Exclusive? You know what? Why not another CW title change? The thing bounces around more than Juvi did when he was dealing with those cops in Australia when he was out of his skull on E.
Winner and New Champion – Kid Kash
Mark Neeley: Oh Matthew, you’re playing tricks again, I know there isn’t a Cruiserweight division in WWE!
Winner – Kid Kash to add even more lifelessness to the title
Danny Wallace: Personally I f*cking loathe ‘The Juice’, and from what I read on the t’internet, so do a lot of wrestlers in the WWE. So… get the strap from him and fire him. Then, have Rey Mysterio take his spot as leader of the Mexicools. Simple.
Winner – Kid Kash
Vinny Truncellito: Kash has been given a pretty strong build-up here, but I’ll bet they don’t pull the trigger yet. Look for something to go down here that leads us to another encounter at the Royal Rumble.
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” The Juice
Mike Fitzgerald: Could it be WWE has accidentally realised how to book Kid Kash? I mean he was actually getting a decent ammount of non piped in heel heat in his demolition of Super Crazy. Given 10+ minutes and a decent slot on the card this could be very fun. But we all know this will be on right before the main event as all Cruiser matches are and will get about 7 minutes in front of a dead crowd
Winner – Juvi losing is the way to go here. Kash looks good and he could run with the belt. If he loses it will undo all the previously good work
Jed Shaffer: Time for the Flavor Of The Month WWE Cruiserweight Title change!
Winner – The Next Guy To Ask For His Release
Tag Team Match
MNM (Nitro & Mercury) vs. The Mexicools (Psicosis & Super Crazy)
Matthew Michaels: Match of the night? Maybe. Will anyone care with no titles on the line? Doubtful. With the tag champs on SD being babyfaces, it makes sense to keep the heels strong, so I’m going with MNM.
Winners – MNM
Eric Szulczewski: See the Short Form on my feelings about this match suddenly not being for the title. If it had been for the title, no doubt the Mexicools would have won. Now that this match has been stripped of all purpose, the result is up for grabs. I think the Mexicools still win it as a consolation prize, thus capping off a bad week for MNM.
Winners – Super Crazy and Psicosis
Mark Neeley: This one is going to be prett lifeless since the tag titles are no longer involved, and since MNM has nothing to lose I guess let the Mexes get a face win for the crowd?
Winners – Mexicools
Danny Wallace: With MNM loosing the tag straps, this match kinda seems pointless, but look for a solid match anyway. I’m not keen on MNM, but the team of Psicosis & Super Crazy could go along way.
Winner – MNM
Vinny Truncellito: MNM need a big win coming off a horribly humiliating SmackDown episode for all three of them.
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” 2005’s tag team of the year, MNM
Mike Fitzgerald: MNM are the new Midnight Express. That’s high praise I know but I just can’t help it. They have such great chemistry together and last Friday they really got a chance to fully show off what they could do. Their heel heat segment on Rey was sublime and they pulled out a whole bunch of stuff they hadn’t done before. This team is the future of tag wrestling and I’ll stick by that.
Winners – MNM because the Mexicools are nothing in the grand scheme of things and Super Crazy got his arse handed to him on Smackdown by Kid Kash
Jed Shaffer: The MexiCools are faces? Did I miss something? Nice to see them attempt to fake at pretending they have a tag division. Since the Tag Titles aren’t involved, though, we’re not buying it, especially with these teams.
Winners – Oh, like you care anyway. The MexiMelts, I guess.
Matt Hardy vs. JBL
Matthew Michaels: The mark in me is rooting for Hardy, but the smart in me doesn’t know if JBL would agree to job to him in such a quickly-thrown-together feud OR if that would even make sense right now. Before Eddie’s death changed everything around, it seemed to me that they were leaning towards a Randy/Matt feud of some sort, but with Orton/Taker and Orton/Batista likely taking up Randy’s time into 2006, Hardy/JBL can be a REALLY good feud if drawn out and Matt’s put over in the end. That being said, I’m betting on (“if they have enough time”) a solid midcard bout here, but JBL has to go over, by shady means, for this to go anywhere.
Winner – Bradshaw
Eric Szulczewski: High-Quality Speaker Boy is not my favorite person in the world. However, if he smashes the living piss out of Hardy, I’ll be willing to acknowlege his oft-stated divinity. Unfortunately, Hardy has to get some offense in here, so a squash is out of the question. That being said, I can still dream, can’t I?
Winner – High-Quality Speaker Boy
Mark Neeley: Talk about a desperate match they needed for the card. Sloppy build, sloppy brawl, Hardy gets the face win and JBL contines whatever that Jillian career consultant angle is.
Winner – Hardy
Danny Wallace: A good way to get both wrestlers involved in the card someway. Might as well throw them together and see what happens. I think this match might surprise people by being pretty damn good.
Winner – Matt Hardy
Vinny Truncellito: As a wrestling fan, nothing is more compelling than the blow-off match in a long, slow-simmering feud. Remember when this heated rivalry first began, some three whole days ago? Matt’s been the bookers’ bitch since returning, so it’s gotta’ be JBL here.
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” The Wrestling God
Mike Fitzgerald: Instead of desperately trying to get every mid carder on pay per view why not just give these two a well deserved night off and let Paul London and Spanky get some PPV time? This match will surely be watchable but it serves no purpose to either man. No one is getting elevated from this so give the fans London/Spanky Vs The FBI and try and let some of the smaller guys get over
Winner – JBL
Jed Shaffer: This is a very special match: it’s the Two People Whom We Have No F’ing Clue What To Do With match. We all love these matches, don’t we? You know what to do: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …
Winner – The $5 Man, JB DiBiase
William Regal & Paul Birchall vs. Bobby Lashley
Matthew Michaels: Why hasn’t any of my more cynical colleagues called him “Black Lesnar” yet?
Winner – Lashley
Eric Szulczewski: Well, Lashley’s squashed both of them individually over the past couple weeks, so why not a handicap match? However, not even the Power of the Punch can overcome the Power of the Blowjob Push.
Winner – Bobby Lashley
Mark Neeley: Uh…
Winner – Bobby
Danny Wallace: I really thought they were building Regal & Burchill up to be something special, however I think we all know they’re gonna get destroyed by Lashley, so that theory goes out of the window.
Winner – Bobby Lashley
Vinny Truncellito: Is there any sense in even making a prediction here?
Winner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” Brock Lesnar, v2.0
Mike Fitzgerald: Let’s job the Brits again, “great”
Winner – Big Black Lashley with the Big Black Dominator
Jed Shaffer: Poor Regal. Poor, poor Regal.
Winner – Ice Train 2.0
Who will get more airtime, if any, at the PPV — The Boogeyman, Palmer Cannon, or a tag or cruiserweight competitor not already booked in a match?
Matthew Michaels: Why do I feel like they’re going to end up building to Boogeyman vs. The Undertaker at the Rumble or Wrestlemania? Just saying…
Eric Szulczewski: The Boogeyman, of course. I’ve seen him more this month than I have my own dick.
Mark Neeley: The Boogeyman will take part in a couple of backstage antics I’m sure, there isn’t really any purpose that Lashley would be on.
Danny Wallace: The Boogeyman.
Vinny Truncellito: The Boogeyman will get the most airtime. It seems this ridiculous gimmick fascinates Vince. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Boogeyman turned out to be working for the Undertaker? The Reaper of Souls uses his opponents’ childhood fears to haunt them…
Mike Fitzgerald: Stacy Keibler as she’s a hell of a draw
Jed Shaffer: Boogeyman, for sure. For some reason, they think a freak in Darth Maul’s make-up eating worms will draw crowds.
Tune in to Inside Pulse tonight for full results of the PPV, and tomorrow for all the fall-out!