Welcome again boys and girls to another exciting roundtable. The best writers from around the Pulse chime in and offer their opinions and wit to determine what will happen tonight at No Way Out. Let’s start!
John Cena v. Randy Orton (c)
Paul Marshall: As I mentioned on VS, I don’t feel Cena should be given the World Title this soon. If Cena were to get the title, WWE would have no choice but to turn Cena heel since Triple H would be more over than Cena at Wrestlemania, most likely. However…it doesn’t matter what I say now, doesn’t it?
Winner – John Cena (New Champion)
Andrew Wheeler: Well it finally happened; the WWE lost all faith in Randy Orton. For months weâ€™ve heard the rumors that Wrestlemania was going to be headlined by Hunter/Orton and the collective response from the Internet Wrestling Community has been a resounding â€œehhh.â€ Unfortunately, we had a very limited number of options at our disposal. We could have been given Batista/Hunter and run the same tired Evolution retread that Hunter/Orton would have been. Batista/Hunter would have allowed Dave to come back over to RAW and remind Creative that there was a time with this guy was the most over superstar on the roster. On the other hand, we already had this main event and it sure as hell wasnâ€™t Austin/Rock. Then the Braintrust moved back to Hunter/Orton and we would have been given a guy who is the â€œtop babyfaceâ€ despite not being all that over against a world champion that couldnâ€™t be more of a lame duck if he were covered in feathers. No one was going to buy Mania based on the strength of Hunter/Orton. No one. Now, thanks in no way whatsoever to steroids or HGH, a man who was supposed to be on the shelf until July is suddenly available through divine intervention. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Well Cena/Orton at Wrestlemania was Paul Heymanâ€™s wet dream match three years ago when these two guys seemed like the future rather than the by default present, but it never happened. In fact, Cena/Orton was the last great feud for the WWE to run and the fact that they never had done it before shows either uncharacteristic restraint or sheer dumb luck. Thanks to injuries all around, Cena/Orton was going to have to get bumped to the summer, but this fateful turn of events made it available for Wrestlemania. What a main event! Two young guns going at it on the grandest stage of them all! One is the youngest world champion of all time and has made a career out of building his legacy at the expense of others. The other is a man who has reached Hogan-like levels of popularity and mainstream appeal while at the same time drawing the ire of the so-called smart fans. This match would stand as a monument to the WWEâ€™s ability to breed homegrown young talent and show the wrestling world that World Wrestling Entertainment was a forward-thinking organization. Then someone woke up Triple H, he took a pen, erased Ortonâ€™s name and put his in. Oddly enough, Iâ€™m okay with all of this. Hunter/Cena is an infinitely better main event for Wrestlemania than Hunter/Orton or even Cena/Orton because Randy Orton still doesnâ€™t have a true main event feel to him. Heâ€™s just sort of there, and unless I really think about it, I forget that heâ€™s even champion. The WWE has a bit of an embarrassment of riches in terms of their potential main eventers on RAW and should have no problem capitalizing on them for the next several months. Hardy is somehow insanely over and his match against Shawn Michaels this past week showed that he can actually go in the ring when motivated. HBK is always a perennial world title contender and can work a decent match against pretty much anyone. Mister Kennedy will hopefully be given his rightful place as a dominant heel by Summerslam. Plus youâ€™ve got Jericho and Bradshaw who are nice placeholder main eventers. Either way, this match should be â€œdecentâ€, though the buildup is so blah that I feel like the WWE could have squeezed another PPV or two out of them before moving on to Hunter. Oh well, thereâ€™s that embarrassment or riches thing again.
Winner – The Prototype is Hereâ€¦againâ€¦and againâ€¦and again
Paul Beasley: And at the same time as WWE announce the end of their collaboration with OVW, we have a WWE Championship match between two guys who graduated from that illustrious organisation at the same time (more or less). Won’t be a classic, but shouldn’t be dreadful either. I smell a screwjob finish coming though, enabling Orton to retain. I just think they’ll take it easy with Cena over the next few months and give him the belt back sometime in the summer. I can see Trips/Cena happening at Mania, but I think Trips/Orton is the more likely.
Winner – Randy Orton
Danny Cox: Waste of a Royal Rumble. Stupid stupid idea.
Winner and NEW Champ – John Cena
Matthew Michaels: As much as I’d love for them to shock everyone and go with Orton vs. Hardy at Mania, with HHH vs. Cena as co-main event that’s not for the title, my roundtable predictions have been slacking lately and I wanna win! Actually… I hope I’m wrong, but…
Winner – HHH
Iain Burnside: This is vaguely reminiscent of the 2001 event, which was tremendous and thoroughly deserving of a â€˜Championship Editionâ€™ DVD rerelease, when The Rock took the title from Kurt Angle only to go on and lose it to Austin the following month. You know what else that match had? An unwarranted, pointless and hence hilarious run-in by the Big Show. Just sayinâ€™. Anyway, going for the Cena/Orton PPV title match this quickly makes not a lick of sense unless it is a means of setting up Cena/HHH for WrestleMania. Whoever wins that match is far from clear at this point but will reveal a lot about the state of the backstage power politics. Orton has been rendered rather redundant as champion by all this (the third time thatâ€™s happened) and will no doubt have to settle for a spot in the Money in the Bank match instead of a main event spot. Still, itâ€™s hard to sympathise because he has not shown anything extraordinary in his title run at all. The guy is a solid worker with ample heel charisma who can carry out his job in a competent manner but thatâ€™s it. Compared to Cena and the Hs his place in the headline match of the year cannot be justified. That asie, one of the things I am rather intrigued by is the match order of this event. Given the logistics of setting up the Chamber, is Cenaâ€™s triumphant reclaiming of the title really going to be relegated to the mid-card? Yikes…
Winner – SAVE_US.CENA
Brad Curran: I was pretty skeptical that Cena’s suprise comeback was going to stick after the Rumble; I figured they just threw him out there to shake things up and make up for Lashley jumping ship, and that he’d quickly be put back on the shelf so he could complete his rehab.
Of course, with everything that’s come out of the Lashley debacle, it sounds like they didn’t have the ‘Mania plans for him I asumed. Also, given the reaction the Cena/HHH confrontation got in the Rumble, you know they’ll do everything in their power to make that the main event. I still feel like they’re mortgaging Cena’s future, although if his pec was in that much peril, I doubt they’d risk their cash cow. It also seems weird that they’d throw off the Hunter/Randy rematch, but really, who wants to see that again? So, nuts to you, young Randall!
Winner – Cena and this shirt
The Consensus: John Cena d. Randy Orton (5-1-1)
World Heavyweight Championship
Rey Mysterio v. Edge (c)
Danny Cox: Rey is injured now…whoever steps into his place or even if Rey somehow still fights, Edge retains.
Winner and STILL Champ – Edge
Paul Beasley: Rey Mysterio continues his task of filling the challenger slot until he gets dropped like a stone for Mania. Probably a DQ finish, since no major match on the Smackdown side seems to finish clean at the moment (or am I just imagining that?). That way Edge retains and goes on to face Taker at Mania. Good match, but ultimately pointless, and another opportunity to show how pathetically over-contrived the set-up for the 619 usually is.
Winner – Rey by DQ
Andrew Wheeler: What a shock! Rey Mysterio is hurt! Amazing! My disdain for Rey Mysterio arises from the fact that he isnâ€™t the same highflier that he used to be back in ECW or WCW and yet has been given more chances to be a main eventer in the WWE thanks to his ability to sell merchandise and befriend dead people. Mysterio is a fine placeholder guy who can work a feud with MVP one week and main event against Mark Henry then next, so I canâ€™t really gripe when the WWE throws him into a feud for the world title where his only job is toâ€¦wellâ€¦job. The biggest problem with Rey is that he is constantly injury-prone, though this might just be because heâ€™s associated with the World Heavyweight Championship curse that seems to strike everyone it touches. My guess is heâ€™ll suck it up, wrestle the match, do the job and Edge can â€œdestroyâ€ him to gain some heat. Man, Edge is an enjoyable champion. He is the best at playing that sneaky heel character and is infinitely better than his RAW counterpart. Unfortunately, heâ€™ll only get to hold the belt for a few more weeks because we all know the titleâ€™s going to the worldâ€™s oldest deadman. How many of you secretly thought that Punk was going to win the Rumble and weâ€™d get Punk/Edge at Wrestlemania? Iâ€™d like to see it too, but there arenâ€™t enough drugs on the planet to make that happen. Instead we get to see Edge versus a cartoon character at No Way Out before he has to fight a cartoon character at Mania. Oh, and who canâ€™t wait for the Edge/Vikki wedding when Taker pops out of the ground or strikes the minister with lightning? On the plus side, I think the Abyss deal on TNA is going to be geared towards mocking characters like the Undertaker. Oh dear Lord, the only positive I can find out of this comes from the steaming cesspool of TNA. Quick, get me the drugsâ€¦
Winner: Sexton Hardcastle
Matthew Michaels: Rey’s hurt, and I couldn’t imagine them giving him the belt anyway, with all rumors pointing towards Edge vs. Taker at Mania. I’m guessing, if Rey can’t go, they’ll bring back Matt Hardy as a surprise, and job him to the champ.
Winner – Edge
Iain Burnside: Aw, fuck knows. Edge shall be the champion going into Mania but as far as his match at No Way Out is concerned… will he even have one? WWE.com maintains that Mysterio wants to compete but given the lack of TV time in between his injury and this show they have to say such things. Running some sort of injury angle on the PPV makes sense, I guess. There might not even be a match as such, they might just have Edge, Chavo and the other two beat the masked piss out of Mysterio for a deliberate DQ to take him out of action â€“ a deliberate abuse of power that raises the stakes and naturally builds to Smackdown needing The Undertaker to stand up to them all and rescue the title. If they want to try and make Edge get one over on Taker then they could even run an angle where Vickie Guerrero changes the booking of Smackdownâ€™s Chamber match so that the winner receives a title shot immediately. Taker wins but is knackered, Edge comes out and pins him in three minutes â€“ a great way to play off of continuity given Edgeâ€™s post-Chamber defeat of Cena a couple of years ago and how he took the title from Taker last year. Or… the Big Show. Hey, Smackdown needs <b>someone</b> to flesh out their main event scene now more than ever…
Winner – YOUTHINKYOUKNOWHIM
Brad Curran: The fantasy booker/mark in me wants Rey to go over and face a heel Batista at ‘Mania. The smark/skeptic in me is sure ‘Taker’s winning the Chamber match and fighting Edge for the title at ‘Mania (as anti-climatic as it would be to see him win the title again after last year), and that was before Rey got hurt. The woman in me enjoys wearing white cotton panties. That’s probably not something I needed to share.
They can book around Rey’s injuries a bunch of different ways, and I could see Kane (who really should be in the Elimination Chamber) getting trotted out in his role as surprise replacement opponent if Rey can’t even hobble out there to explain do a quick job. Or Matt Hardy, if he’s healthy and they don’t have any interest in doing it as a PPV match in the future.
Winner – Edge
Paul Marshall: This is a filler feud until after No Way Out. Add a Rey Mysterio injury to this, expect more run-ins from the Edge clan and a change of stip by a soon-to-be Vickie Copeland. Poor Rey…and he deserves better.
Winner – Edge Retains the Title
The Consensus: Edge d. Rey Mysterio (6-1)
Career Threatening Match
Ric Flair v. Mr. Kennedy
Brad Curran: Flair’s not jobbing before ‘Mania, so the interest here will be the how, not the what. How will they protect Kennedy? How will this match contribute to Kennedy’s maturation as a worker? How will they eek drama out of this when most everyone knows this angle’s going ’til ‘Mania? How long will it take for Flair to look like he’s literally running in fumes? And so on.
Winner – Ric Flair
Iain Burnside: There are two schools of thought on this one. Some people think that Flair will win here and keep on winning right up until WrestleMania, where he will retire after facing Kennedy ROLF Kennedy or Shawn Michaels or Hornswoggle or an IRS auditor or someone. Others think that Flair should lose to Kennedy at No Way Out and then be granted one final match at WrestleMania in any event, so they can stop pretending otherwise and just let everyone enjoy the moment. Thatâ€™s a cunning option and one that I am in favour with, yet WWE has lost so much momentum in this entire angle so far that I have no faith in their ability to regain it at this stage.
Winner – WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Paul Marshall: Sorry Kennedy Kennedy, this isn’t your big break. The match will be good, but there’s no way Flair is losing at an unimportant Pay-Per-View.
Winner – Ric Flair…WOOOOOOOO!
Matthew Michaels: I recently read an opinion that Flair should lose here, then beg for one more match and go out winning at Mania. I don’t see it.
Winner – Flair
Andrew Wheeler: In a perfect world, this would be at Wrestlemania and Kennedy would retire Flair. In a perfect world, Obama would already be president and gas would cost a nickel. We donâ€™t live in a perfect world so hereâ€™s where I see this one going: Flair somehow pins Kennedy. Kennedy challenges Flair to a match. MVP challenges Flair to a match. Vince puts Flair in a handicap match against MVP and Kennedy and tells Triple H that if he interferes heâ€™s fired. This opens the door for Shawn Michaels to save Flair. Then McMahon makes Flair/HBK at Mania and thatâ€™s all she wrote for Ricâ€™s career. My only hope is that this match isnâ€™t as embarrassing as Flair/MVP was at the Rumble, were Ric really looked like an old man wandering around the ring like he was lost in a Target.
Winner – The Black Scorpion
Paul Beasley: Once again, like at the Rumble, this is not going to be a loss for the Nature Boy. Expect a lot of Kennedy working Ric’s legs, and then a “surprise” reversal into the Figure Four for the win. Do they really expect us to believe Ric’s career would end the PPV before Mania? Of course they do, since we’re all retarded.
Winner – Ric Flair
Danny Cox: I wish Kennedy was in the Chamber, but I know he wouldn’t win it so it is ok to have in a big time match with Flair. This could end up being a fantastic battle, but I don’t see Flair being “retired” at something that isn’t a big PPV or not in North Carolina. Flair continues on so every match can have a stipulation on it…”Career Threatening Match.” Makes me wonder how long they can keep this going. You think as long as Goldberg’s streak?
Winner – Ric Flair
The Consensus: Ric Flair d. Mr. Kennedy (7-0)
RAW Elimination Chamber
Triple H v. Shawn Michaels v. Jeff Hardy v. Umaga v. JBL v. Chris Jericho
Danny Cox: Duh!
Winner: Triple H
Andrew Wheeler: Alright, an elimination chamber! If only this one achieves the level of success that December to Dismember hit. That match single-handedly killed a Pay Per View, a brand, a world champion and a booker. This match? Probably not going to have the same effect. Look, we all know Hunterâ€™s taking it, and anyone who tells you differently is either trying to grasp at straws to look edgy or is on the aforementioned drugs. Hunter winning the Chamber means that he gets his main event slot and his rematch with Cena and his first extended main event stay since his return at Summerslam. Maybe weâ€™ll even get the â€œheelâ€ turn, though the pregnancy might put a damper on things. The idea of Hunter as a face came about because faces tend to take fewer huge bumps and that means a healthier Hunter. Shawn Michaels is in this match because he is a legit main eventer, heâ€™s been in the match before and knows how to work one effectively and he can take pinfalls and never lose his place as one of the biggest babyfaces of all time (though heel Michaels might be entertaining as hell to see again). Jeff Hardy has a rocket strapped to his back (and I swear that isnâ€™t a gay joke) and the WWE probably would have taken advantage of his heat if not for a certain pendant wearing fake army commando. Heâ€™ll win Money in the Bank and get his shot down the line. Umaga is a perfectly acceptable placeholder champion and having rewatched his match with Cena when I did my Best of 07 write-up, I realized that he is a hell of a worker. Plus, he can take the bump through the glass that the others either canâ€™t or wonâ€™t take. JBL is something Iâ€™m hoping that if I ignore will go away, though I doubt heâ€™ll ever leave now that his back is all juiced up. Chris Jericho has been so squandered that itâ€™s bordering on painful. I even forgot that heâ€™s back until I saw him wrestle on RAW. Seriously, has he just been working Heat and Iâ€™ve missed out?
Winner – Terra Rizin
Paul Beasley: Two Elimination Chamber matches! And one of them should be good. Oh, how I feel for MVP and Finlay being stuck in the other one. The RAW match should be a great example of workrate, bleeding, and a bunch of guys who have shown a willingness to put their bodies on the line repeatedly. This will be a whole lot of fun, and I expect Triple H to win the match and get the title shot at Mania.
Winner – He of many Hs.
Paul Marshall: Unless WWE throws a curveball, the result is obivous. JBL and Jericho have unfinished business. Michaels might be facing Flair at Wrestlemania. Jeff Hardy and Umaga may be tossed into Money in the Bank, thus furthering devaluing the Intercontinental Championship, but who cares about the secondary titles?
Winner – The Cerebeal Assassin…the King of Kings…the Game…Triple H
Matthew Michaels: Rooting for Hardy or Jericho; but Hunter will win. The Money in the Bank will kick ASS at Mania, though.
Winner – HHH
Brad Curran: Hardy’s the sentimental favorite of everyone outside of certain parties in Chicago, it seems. He’s certainly got momentum with the crowd to cement his status as a top face, but since when has that ever stopped Hunter going over? Besides, Jeff’s a shoe in to with Money In the Bank and finally elevate himself like RVD. And surely he won’t blow it by being busted with drugs! At least he doesn’t ride with Sabu.
Someone wrote in to Scott Keith’s blog that they could do Hardy/Orton for the title and HHH/Cena for the belt, and while that makes perfect sense in a fantasy booking setting, that ain’t gonna fly on Planet McMahon/Helmsley. This match has the potential to be really fun, even if the ending seems inevitable, with Umaga and Hardy getting their first chance to have some fun in WWE’s biggest amusement park (I imagine a big flat splash and Swanton off the plexiglass tubes will factor in there, as well as Umaga’s ass breaking some glass). Jericho, HBK, and HHH are all old hands in these matches. And JBL brings–a male enhancement drink? They can’t all be winners, folks. I did think Jericho got a good match out of him at the Rumble, and they can book around his limitations pretty easily. So I’m jazzed about this one, even if the concept of this match tends to be better than the actual match.
Winner – HHH
Iain Burnside: First of all, because it really is not said enough, Umaga deserves great credit for having taken a stupid and rather offensive caricature of a gimmick, maintaining it for this long in the upper mid-card and becoming a very good performer indeed. Rushed onto WWE TV in a generic role, burned out quickly, got released, went to Japan, worked hard to improve himself, was given another opportunity and made the most of it… a lot of the young guys in WWE in recent times could stand to learn a thing or two from him. Anyway, the outcome of this match is obvious. The real intrigue is in how Jeff Hardy does not win. The Hs cannot just defeat him in as deflating a manner as experienced by Jericho, Booker, RVD and so many others in the past. They need to keep Jeff looking strong because a well-built PPV title match built around his challenge could indeed be money in the bank. Jeff Hardy vs John Cena at SummerSlam has the potential to be just as satisfying as RVD/Cena was, only on a bigger scale. So, keep him strong. Start the match off with him and the Hs and then end it with the two of them, showing that he can go the distance. Let the Hs get their win back but in a dubious manner. Perhaps Michaels is the second last person eliminated and, in the huff, whacks Jeff with the Jeebus superkick on the way out. As Jeff stumbles, the Hs catch him with a low blow and a roll-up for the pin. At least that way Jeff can maintain that the Hs were unable to beat him cleanly in a one-on-one match. By the way, who is the Intercontinental Champion?
Winner â€“ OH SO MANY Hs
The Consensus: Triple H wins (7-0)
SmackDown Elimination Chamber
MVP v. The Great Khali v. Big Daddy V v. Finlay v. Undertaker v. Batista
Iain Burnside: Okay, so maybe Big Show returns here. After all, he did debut in the 1999 February PPV by throwing someone throw a cage. Perhaps he could do something similar here to Finlay, given that the McMahons have so often designated him as their favourite hitman (as in the aforementioned debut), want to punish Finlay, want to have a giant involved with Hornswoggle somehow and yet have already played the Gary card too often in that regard. Makes sense.
Winner â€“ Tâ€™UNDER Tâ€™AKER
Matthew Michaels: MVP? Destined for a Mania match-up with Matt. Khali or V? No way. Finlay? I think he’s facing Vince or Shane at Mania; I just can’t see him winning here. That leaves Taker and Batista, which raises an interesting question: do they go with the rumored plan of Taker vs. Edge to kick off that long Taker title run that never happened last year, or do they put Batista in the main event and find something else for the dead-man to do? I ask this for a simple reason, really: if not in the title match, what DOES Dave do at Mania? The best idea is a cross-brand Evolution clash of Batista vs. Orton, but two three-way matches for the RAW and SD titles is probably more likely than that…
Winner – Undertaker
Paul Marshall: This one is another foregone conclusion unless WWE Creative screws with our minds. Finlay will be busy with Vince, Khali; Big Daddy V will be an afterthought, MVP gets to feud with Hardy again, and that leaves Undertaker and Batista. The Undertaker hasn’t been in an Elimination Chamber before and…you get the picture.
Winner – Deadman Walking…The Undertaker
Brad Curran: This one’s gonna need more booking around limitations, but should still probably work, even if two of these things on the same card is overkill, although I imagine the fact that we’ll only get one of these a year will mitigate that a little. I expect ‘Taker to go over here, but Batista would not entirely shock me, just to shake things up. A strong showing here could continue MVP’s surge, Finlay should have some fun should the McMahon angle not totally overwhelm him (odds are murky there), and Khali and V are around to fulfill their roles as the really big and really fat guy who make other people look impressive by beating them, which is what they should be doing, if they have to still be around.
Winner – Undertaker
Danny Cox: Duh squared!
Winner – Undertaker
Paul Beasley: And the other Elimination Chamber match will be a black hole of interest, workrate and anything positive whatsoever. It reaks of suckitude. It stinks of a skunk taking a dump in a gorgonzola and parmesan factory. This match will be bad, and slow. Dear Lord it’ll be slow. Poor, poor MVP and Finlay.
Winner: Undertaker, who finally gets his revenge on Edge at Mania.
Loser: The viewing public.
Andrew Wheeler: Alright, an elimination chamber! Again! Only with two guys who canâ€™t work at all, two guys who can sometimes work and two guys who donâ€™t deserve to have to carry the loads of crap in the ring. This one is another foregone conclusion so let me just get it out of the way. Undertaker never won an Elimination Chamber and has never wrestled this gimmick match therefore he wins. He then goes to Wrestlemania and wins. He then suffers a convenient injury, relinquishes the belt and takes the summer off. He then returns at Summerslam against another giant (maybe Festus?) and then we just wash, rinse and repeat until he either retires for real or actually dies (and then works a few more months in Puerto Rico despite no one noticing that heâ€™s a corpse, though he holds on to the WWA title after being Scott Hall in a **** classic). Iâ€™m sick of the Undertaker and I think he should just stick to being an attraction. Batista has been getting hosed for so long Iâ€™m beginning to think that either he tried to screw Stephanie or he told Stephanie no. Either way, he is getting all kinds of shafted and Iâ€™m almost starting to feel bad for him. Almost. Donâ€™t forget that his workrate is akin to Shaq in that he ramps it up when it counts but he phones it in more often than not (if it was still around, heâ€™d be plugging 1-800-Collect). Big Daddy V still has a job. How the hell is that even possible? Who would have thought that at the end of the day Mabel would be gainfully employed and ECW would be out of business? Heâ€™s in there to look big and job. Done and done. Same goes for the â€œGreatâ€ Khali. This will guarantee that the match sucks big giant donkey balls. Speaking of donkeys (or workhorses), it looks like our boy Finlay will be playing the annual â€œGuy Who Faces Vince at Mania and has to Make Him Look Goodâ€ Guy, so expect a decent showing and probably an appearance by that disconcerting little midget. Oh, and MVP, just take these jobs now because in a year you will be holding this company on your previously incarcerated shoulders. Big things poppinâ€™, little things stoppinâ€™. Those big things? Untalented wrestlers. Those little things? Our enjoyment of this match.
Winner – Mean Mark Callous
The Consensus: The Undertaker wins (7-0)
CM Punk v. Chavo Guerrero (c)
Paul Beasley: I’d love to see Punk win the title back here, just because that would mean Chavo would have been one of the only guys in recent years to hold one of the three brand titles without actually winning a championship match at a PPV. But I can’t see it happening. Chavo retains.
Winner – Oooooh, Chavo!
Danny Cox: I’m not too sure who this match will end up, but it’s been done way too much already. That’s not to say a Chavo/Punk match isn’t going to be good, but it’s been on ECW what…four or five times in the past month alone? I’d really like to see Punk get the belt back and start up a feud with the noticeably absent Elijah Burke again so it could lead to Burke winning the title at Mania. But doubt it. Chavo hasn’t had the belt long enough yet and this will continue to probably Extreme Rules at the big show…not Paul Wight.
Winner and STILL Champ – Oooooooooo Cha-vo
Andrew Wheeler: Sigh. Hereâ€™s what I donâ€™t get about ECW; they have given the fans everything they always wanted yet somehow got it wrong. ECW had the first ever world champion to come from ROH and get over simply because of his association with ROH. No one was clamoring for TNA Punk, it was all based on Ring of Honor. The show also consisted of young, exciting talent who were going out there and killing each other. ECW didnâ€™t shatter the glass ceiling because none existed on the show. Hell, Johnny Nitro (a Tough Enough winner) was a legit world champion. The Miz of all people became a world title contender. And best of all, little Chavo Guerrero became a world champion (and not just because heâ€™s Eddieâ€™s kin). ECW is giving us a world title match featuring two guys who people have always wanted to see get over, and yet it is the least hyped match on the card. Sure, ECW sucks, but when you look at it, it probably shouldnâ€™t. Anyway, this could go one of two ways. First, Chavo could drop the belt here and free up a Punk/Benjamin match at Wrestlemania that might be a classic. Second, Chavo holds on to the title and we get a rematch at Wrestlemania. Either way is plausible. If Chavo loses the title, Punk and Benjamin can potentially show the world that they can wrestle and maybe even have a Steamboat/Savage moment in Orlando. On the other hand, that would effectively kill Chavoâ€™s momentum and not allow Edge to continue his Familiaâ€™s dominance. Under scenario two, Chavo/Punk at Mania feels like a curtain jerker and a rehash. On the plus side, it does free Benjamin up to be in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which could be entertaining as hell. I think the WWE wants to let Chavo continue to play as champion, especially because they get perverse joy out of screwing over Punk.
Winner – Kerwin White
Iain Burnside: Oh, goodie. The Television Title by any other name. Since I canâ€™t imagine they are shifting a lot of ECW T-shirts these days given the complete neutring of the brand, which can no longer sustain its own PPVs, house shows or TV tapings, not to mention that the brandâ€™s title has diminished into just another undercard singles title for Smackdown, can we just kill it off once and for all? Itâ€™s not like Sci Fi gives a faffinâ€™ hoot about what WWE calls their Tuesday night show, they just care that it is original programming with a steady rating, so start calling it Smackdown and have done with it.
Winner â€“ KERWIN WHITE
Paul Marshall: This has a good chance of being the curtain jerker for the Pay-Per-View and it will be a decent one. I actually like the feud and I hope it continues until Wrestlemania since there’s no other probable contender to that title…that is unless they elevate Tommy Dreamer or Stevie Richards to a Wrestlemania payday. Don’t expect that, however. Because of this, expect foul play…
Winner – Chavo retains the title
Brad Curran: I don’t see Chavo jobbing here, one month in to his first title reign as a main eventer, as they can comfortably keep this going until Wrestlemania, at least (and have to, since there’s pretty much no one behind Punk in the pecking order who’s over enough to get on PPV as a face in ECW right now). This has been a well built feud, and should be a good match, even if it will probably get the customary ECW short shrift that Morrison and Punk got all summer, which led to the odd situation where their free TV matches were miles better than their PPV encounters. That will probably be the case here, with three main event level matches on the card eating up the lion’s share of the time.
Winner – Chavito Heat!
Matthew Michaels: Since Edge is keeping the belt, I think it makes sense for Chavo to keep it here. Then figure out a way to get the tag belts on the Majors, and you’ve got a run, gold-laden stable on Smackdown/ECW that could really be fun. THAT SAID, there are plenty more heel contenders on ECW than babyfaces, and Punk/Benjamin sounds a lot more appetizing to me as the next program than Chavo/Richards.
Winner – Punk
The Consensus: Chavo Guerrero d. CM Punk (6-1)
There you have it. You have our thoughts. Now feel free to share your predictions and keep it here on Pulse Wrestling later tonight for the return of Steve Murray to Pay-Per-View! Have a great Sunday!
Tags: ECW, Raw, Smackdown, WWE