Seems like only two weeks ago we had a WWE PPV to make predictions for. Oh, wait. It really was just two weeks ago. But the best minds of the IWC donâ€™t mind working every other weekend, and they all gathered here to give their predictions or this yearâ€™s â€œall gimmick matchesâ€ One Night Stand. Iâ€™m your new host, Raffi Shamir and letâ€™s get right to it.
Last Man Standing match
Triple H (C) vs. Randy Orton
Mark Allen: This looks to be the final chapter in this feud, or at least in this run of their yearsâ€™ long feud. I expect HHH to go over clean so Orton can take his projected time off and Trips can either transition into his much anticipated John Cena rematch or into a new challenge brought in from the draft.
Winner – Triple H
Andrew Wheeler: Ah, to think back to a simpler time when this was a fresh match-up and the idea of two members from Evolution clashing was novel. Eh, who am I kidding? Nothing freshens up a PPV quite like a cage matâ€¦oh, that was last month. Well, how about a triple thrâ€¦ah, Wrestlemania. Hmmâ€¦four way? Oh, they did that, too. So it looks like Creative pulled out its copy of SmackDown v. RAW for PS3 and hit the randomizer button and came up with Last Man Standing. Again. Well, if Hunterâ€™s going to get his win back from No Mercy, it might as well be in the exact same match. Iâ€™m sure everyone will cite the fact that Orton is taking time off as the reason heâ€™s going to lose here, not to mention the fact that he has to return the job to Hunter. Again. Then again, I canâ€™t really complain about Triple Hâ€™s title reign because thus far itâ€™s been all him and Randy. Trips waited long enough to get the belt back, let him work some fun programs first. Thanks to the draft, Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll get a few fresh matches to fall into before the inevitable job to Cena. As for this match, it has to be particularly brutal to make Randy look even slightly credible. It sucks that heâ€™s going to be leaving for a little while since his heel character was supposed to be the most over heel in the company. Who the hell is there for Hunter to feud with now? I suppose if they brought Batista over to RAW that we could get another Evolution collision. Thereâ€™s also Umaga, whoâ€™s a great placeholder title contender. What about Shawn Michaels? Maybe HBK will do the full-on heel turn one last time to be able to work a title match with Hunter. In fact, theyâ€™ve never had a match together for the title where Shawn was the heel. Might be an interesting dynamic, I donâ€™t know. Hey, crazy ideaâ€¦what about CM Punk? Heâ€™s getting about as stale as the Masterlock Challenge, why not freshen him up a bit? Well, if all else fails they could always turn Hunter now and let him work a feud with Mister Kennedyâ€¦.Kennedy. As for this match, I think Hunter needs to put Orton out of action in order to keep him down. Iâ€™m thinking a Pedigree onto the entrance ramp or something. There needs to be buckets of blood, since this is supposed to be the Extreme Rules PPV.
Winner: Triple H
Paul Marshall: It wouldn’t surprise me if they run the “both men can’t make the 10 count” angle, but I have to hope that they move on towards ending the trio of main events between both men.
Winner – Trips
Raffi Shamir: Just like last month, itâ€™s a foregone conclusion. Triple H always had the upper hand in his battles with Orton and thereâ€™s no reason to believe it will change this time. Especially since Orton beat Triple H in their previous â€œLast Man Standingâ€, so H must get his win back.
Winner: Triple H
Iain Burnside: Our Randy has yet another confrontation with the Hs that terrify him so. Triple H is like Randy’s very own Kryptonite by this point. He’s almost at the stage where he should paint his face black, adorn a dreaded wig, star in a Japanese shampoo commercial, rob a Wendy’s and call himself Booker T. Almost. There is a locker room committee debating whether that honour falls upon him or Chris Jericho (though don’t quite rule out a confused ‘n’ amused Shelton Benjamin quite yet). Expect the Hs to once again try and recreate the magic of his Last Man Standing effort with Jericho at Fully Loaded 2000 and, as usual, fall short. There shall perhaps then be a rather random mini-feud against someone from the draft, the obligatory bout with Shawn Michaels, the pro-wellness violation of Jeff Hardy, the happy-go-lucky squashing of Jericho, the apparently necessary evil of a defense against Jellybelly Layfield, and then the big one against Cena at SummerSlam… or do they finally cross the forbidden threshold and switch The Undertaker to Raw?
Winner – THE TRIPLIEST OF HS
World Heavyweight Championship
Undertaker vs. Edge
Mark Allen: With the stipulation that if Undertaker loses he goes home makes it seem like an easy choice that he will win, but Taker always finds ways to take some time off and come back a few months later. Plus apparently the thought behind stripping UT of the belt weeks ago was that Edge makes a better champion than challenger, so I say that Edge continues his dominance in his signature match and becomes World champion again.
Winner – Edge (new Champion)
Andrew Wheeler: Well, the whole point of taking the belt off of the Undertaker in the first place was to inflate the number of times heâ€™s been champion. Right? I mean, why else would they go through all this trouble to devalue the belt further? Oddly enough, this feud has brought about the hottest heel in wrestling, Vikki Guerrerro. Too bad that heat wonâ€™t really translate into any real money because she never felt like the true ruler of SmackDown. Not like Regal was starting to feel. At least sheâ€™s not on the juice. Anyway, this feud has been going on for a really long time, and since I wasnâ€™t thrilled to see them when I went to Mania, I canâ€™t get too excited now. Yeah, itâ€™s a TLC match and yeah Edge usually steps up in those to kill himself, but he needs a willing partner. He needs a Jeff Hardy to take the sick bump with him. Taker can take bumps, but not the suicide bumps necessary to make this memorable. I guess it makes sense to stick these guys in this gimmick match to â€œstack the deckâ€, but the career stip makes this thing a foregone conclusion. I say that because Edge made such a point of saying how this is a real stip and that Taker wonâ€™t just show up again in a week on RAW. If they let Edge win and Taker does show up in a week, it makes this look even weaker then it does now. This way, Edge loses in his gimmick match, the role the Undertaker always seemed to be in. With Taker as champ, though, the WWE is back in the same position of who the hell is the next challenger? Will it be the long-rumored Umaga switch? Will we get heel Punk or heel Batista? Maybeâ€¦shudderâ€¦JBL makes his return to SmackDown? Edge as champ has so many more options that it just makes sense to put the gold on him. No matter what, you know Edge will kill himself to get this match over, so at least itâ€™ll be mildly entertaining. The way the WWEâ€™s been booking this feud, they really do need a draft, because thereâ€™s now no one left. Too bad they devalued MVP so much or else heâ€™d be the perfect next foil for the Undertaker. With the RAW and SmackDown titles in flux after this Sunday, it might make sense for the WWE to stick with the gimmick they did last year for Vengeance and do champion versus champion. Imagine Triple H versus the Undertaker headlining a PPV with no consequences. It could be a hell of a draw as a one-off and not force Creative to think too much. Ohâ€¦did I tip my hat as to who I thought was going to win? Whoops.
Winner: The Undertaker
Paul Marshall: If Taker loses, he’s banished from the WWE. Edge outsmarted the smarks by saying that Taker won’t show up on RAW or ECW, but he’d be banned forever. Let’s do the math. This is Taker’s first TLC match, right? That pretty much explains it.
Winner – The Undertaker
Raffi Shamir: Oh please, are we really supposed to believe that Edge is the one to retire Taker? Just like Taker beat Jeff hardy a few years ago in Hardyâ€™s signature match, he will do the same to Edge.
Winner and new champion: Undertaker
Iain Burnside: To answer my own question from the previous match – and reiterate what Wheeler wrote up above – a big ol’ interbrand, champion-versus-champion match between the Hs and the Taker at the Night of Champions would seem to be a more likely possibility than having Taker actually leave Smackdown (or, for that matter, the Hs leaving Raw). The serendipitous poster for the event agrees. In McMahonspeak it would be an epic headline attraction that would feel relatively fresh since they haven’t met in any meaningful match for several years (although those matches were atrocious). In reality, it would be an easy way to promote the next PPV without having to bother about getting the Draft Lottery out of the way first (it takes place on the 23rd, Night of Champions is on the 29th). Quite why they decided to hold the draft in the middle of their busiest calendar of the year escapes me. Why not just bite the bullet and hold the damn thing on a PPV? As long as it isn’t the centrepiece of the show and they have a proper card to back it up, the intrigue factor would probably add quite a few extra buys. So, anyway, if all this comes to pass then what about Edge? Well, let’s turn the tables on the dynamic of his relationship with Vickie Guerrero. When it began the idea was that he was just exploiting her vulnerability to get an upper hand over the rest of Smackdown, which would eventually lead to her penny dropping (oo-er) and him getting his comeuppance. Now, however, Vickie has somehow become the strongest heel in WWE. No need to revert her to the predictable ‘wronged women’ type. Just roll with her as Queen Bitch. Say she began to tire of Edge failing to finish off the Undertaker despite her giving him so much help along the way. Say someone new came to Smackdown in the draft who she felt was more likely to get the job done than Edge. Say this person had a prior history with Edge and could play the Angel to his Spike. Say this person had nothing more to do on Raw anyway, having had his fill of Hs. Someone like Randy Orton, who has been angling for a return to Smackdown in recent interviews and has evidently had enough of touring with the Raw group. Edge has been great as a heel but the act is beginning to get old, so perhaps this could be the start of a slow-burn face turn, re-introducing the more comedic aspects of his personality as he tries to train Hawkins & Ryder to back him up and win over a Diva to prove his manhood. It seems that I’ve just reverted to fantasy-booking for my Roundtable entries but, really, what else is there to do when presented with an succession of PPVs with the same bloody matches on the card?
Winner – THE UNDERIEST OF TAKERS
First Blood Match
John Cena vs. JBL
Mark Allen: I think Cena will win here to end this little part of their rivalry. Cena can go on to challenge Triple H while JBL will find something to do like torment Jeff Hardy or Mr. Kennedy.
Winner â€“ Cena
Paul Marshall: Cena losing here won’t hurt him, so let’s let JBL move on to challenge Trips for the title at Night of Champions.
Winner – JBL
Andrew Wheeler: Because you demanded itâ€¦the placeholder feud of the year continues! And what a gimmick! First blood match! Apparently when Vince bought WCW he couldnâ€™t find the box that had the coal minerâ€™s glove and the map to the White Castle of Fear. Anyway, Cena won the last round and so now we get round two. Does JBL need the win? No way. Does Cena even need the win? Not particularly. The first leg of this war was carried by JBLâ€™s promos while Cenaâ€™s off shooting The Marine 2: Fivel Goes West and the second leg has been carried byâ€¦can indifference carry a feud? Either way this match is a toss-up. Bradshaw might want his win back and busting Cena open isnâ€™t a career killer. In fact, JBL can get the cheap blood win and Cena can snap and lock in the STFU or something. Remember their bloody match from a few years ago? John went borderline Muta in that thing, so maybe thatâ€™s what weâ€™ll get at One Night Stand? I wouldnâ€™t mind it, though too much blood would take away from the blood thatâ€™s needed for the two world title matches. Iâ€™m going to stick with my rationale and go with JBL to take this but I feel like Cena will get the emotional win somehow. Besides, if the WWE doesnâ€™t go champ versus champ, they need a strong heel JBL to throw in the main event. Wow, is it 2004 already?
Winner: John Bradshaw Layfield
Raffi Shamir: JBL has been a major disappointment since he came back to active wrestling. His matches were mediocre at best (But thatâ€™s no different than his previous run at the top) and he hasnâ€™t been winning. If they insist on making him a serious contender again, he must get his win back from Cena.
Iain Burnside: What makes a First Blood match so extreme anyway? Hell, I just beat myself in a First Blood match on a toilet trip earlier on today. Fibre is your friend, kids. It would be more extreme to have a Most Blood match, where the guy who makes his opponent bleed the most after a time limit expires is the winner. Steve Austin can do the judging and somehow turn it into an anecdote about stuff that happened to him one day when he was talking about himself doing something. Obviously we need some heels to win some of the main matches and this is a good enough place to do just that, given that the face doesn’t actually get pinned or made to submit. It still doesn’t answer the question of why WWE is prepared to continue to patronise JBL by pretending to the world at large that he is an all-time great.
Winner – JELLYBELLY LAYFIELD
Shawn Michaels vs. Batista
Mark Allen: Easily the most intriguing feud that WWE has running today, I’d like to see it run all through the summer with a final blow-off somehow including these two and Jericho at SummerSlam. That being said I don’t know what direction they are going with this match. Just for fun I’ll say Batista wins after “injuring” Shawn like he has threatened to in the past. This will lead to Batista-Jericho at Night of Champions or the Bash and have Michaels ready to come back for SummerSlam.
Winner â€“ Batista
Paul Marshall: There’s new information circling the net about Batista taking time off until SummerSlam. How this affects this match remains to be seen. My pick doesn’t change, however.
Winner – Batista
Andrew Wheeler: Dave Batista on SmackDown this Friday seemed focused for the first time in a while. This feud is bringing the best out of him. Itâ€™s bringing the best of out of Chris Jericho. Itâ€™s bringing the same out of Shawn that he always brings out because the guy recently doesnâ€™t know how to not work at full capacity. So now weâ€™ve got a stretcher match where there are no rules and Chris Jericho has nothing to do. Will Chris interfere and cost Shawn the match, or will he help Shawn win because he doesnâ€™t want Batista to be able to say that he holds a victory over HBK? Jericho is the clear wild card in the match, but hopefully weâ€™ll get a lot of senseless violence before Chris makes his presence felt. Not much analysis needed here as Iâ€™ve dissected this feud for weeks in my column. I think that Shawn has to go over Batista in some capacity so that both Dave and Chris become hell-bent on beating Michaels and we can get the triple threat weâ€™ve been waiting on for months.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Raffi Shamir: The No DQ element opens up endless possibilities for the third factor in this feud, namely Jericho, to interject himself into the match. With Michaels winning the first two matches in this triangular feud, it makes sense that he drops this one, and the gimmick seems to favor a power wrestler like Batista.
Iain Burnside: Again, why is a Stretcher Match extreme? It is in essence the same as watching two hen-pecked, middle-aged men scrambling to try and sit down in a comfortable reclining chair, only they are polite to a fault and insist that the other should go first. The extreme version would surely be to have a torture rack at ringside and have to stretch your opponent on it to win. Or even just have Lex Luger at ringside and the loser is the guy unfortunate enough to find himself stuck in a conversation with him about how he once drove a bus and didn’t kill Liz and you got any junk on you by the way? Thankfully, Chris Jericho still has some sort of title belt on him, so they can easily segue into a Night of Champions match between some combination of the three of them without too much effort. Batista lost his last match to Michaels by virtue of being stupid and unwilling to eat Shawn’s leg, so he’ll go over here and perhaps eat a limb or a Bible or something to really rub it in.
Winner – SIR DAVID OF BAUTISTA
Falls Count Anywhere
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
Mark Allen: This is one of those rivalries that has been going off/on for months with no real direction or reason. But they do make a good dynamic of crazy little bumping machine and powerful monster that seem to have pretty good chemistry with each other. Here I’d expect Jeff to go over so he can keep his top card heat while Umaga takes a loss and moves to SmackDown in the draft.
Winner â€“ Jeff
Paul Marshall: Most likely this will open the show and it will be intense. Sadly, Umaga needs a change of scenery.
Winner – Jeff Hardy
Andrew Wheeler: Thrown together nonsense can still be fun, kids. Falls count anywhere means Jeffâ€™s going to take some insane jump off of something really high up and win the match. Remember when Jeff Hardy was the hottest star in the WWE and a surefire lock to be WWE Champion? Remember when Umaga was the unstoppable monster that no-sold everything and was a surefire lock to be WWE Champion? Remember when this was an ECW Pay-Per-View that reminded fans why we cared about wrestling in the first place? So enjoy this glorified RAW 10 pm match with its normal sick bumps and non-advancement of two superstars who had nothing better to do. Umaga will teach Jeff to spill coffee on him and Jeff will teach Umaga to not steal his Shampoo commercial.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Raffi Shamir: Isnâ€™t it great that wellness policy abuse doesnâ€™t hurt peopleâ€™s pushes in WWE? Seems like Hardy had a two-month long vacation and came back without suffering any real punishment. Sorry, but I hate this attitude. There were rumors of Umaga going to SmackDown for months now, so hopefully heâ€™ll win here and move to Friday nights with some momentum.
Iain Burnside: Firstly, I have to agree with Raffi about the complete absence of punishment for Jeff the Homeless Warrior. Giving him a One Night Stand match despite having just served his second suspension not only fails to act as a deterrent to others but must also really piss off the likes of Kennedy, MVP, Finlay and others left off the card. It was even worse at Judgement Day when they gave Jeff the PPV match and put him over MVP cleanly despite not even being able to promote his appearance in advance. Besides, who would buy a PPV to see Jeff Hardy and Umaga? Well, I might have had they taken the meta-route and filmed vignettes where Umaga blows up Jeff’s trailer and eats his dog. I wonder if the iguana survived? Umaga must like those. He finds them jaunty. Jeff wins because Vince can’t stay mad at that face and just loses himself in those dreamboat eyes. Umaga goes to Smackdown in the worst-kept secret since the secret of the Crystal Skulls in Indy 4, with Vince himself even telling the WWE investors about it during a conference call. Its hilarious to picture it… people seeking reassurance that the company is taking measures to remain profitable and the red-faced, brain-fried chairman is gushing away about some barefoot Samoan who yells a lot and reminds him of Kamala. Dave must have slipped a l’il vodka in the water that day.
Winner – LADY JEFF OF HARDYLAND
Number 1 contenderâ€™s match for the ECW title
Singapore Cane Match
Big Show vs. John Morrison vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. CM Punk
Mark Allen: ECW this past week hinted at Big Show winning so he can face Kane, because we haven’t seen that feud in two years now. I don’t see Tommy or Chavo having any chance, and I consider Morrison and Punk wild card/dark horse/insert random clichÃ© choices here. I’ll stick with logic and say that Show wins to battle Kane at Night of Champions.
Winner – Big Show
Paul Marshall – I want Tommy Dreamer to win, but we know that that won’t happen. CM Punk losing however, it’s a forgone reality, and it sucks…
Winner – Big Show
Raffi Shamir: After the last two weeks of ECW, thereâ€™s no doubt who wins this one.
Winner: Big Show
Andrew Wheeler: In Tommy Dreamerâ€™s contract, heâ€™s guaranteed a slot at One Night Stand every year. Knowing that, the WWE Creative Braintrust concocted this match and to everyoneâ€™s shock, it sounds pretty damn entertaining. Unfortunately, it will be the death of ECW once and for all. Big Show will crush everyone, go on to Night of Champions, beat Kane and become ECW champ again. He will then feud with Mark Henry, Snitsky and the returning Big Daddy V. Punk will get drafted away from ECW so that he can be the â€œproperâ€ star that the WWE needs him to be to sell even more merchandise. Dreamer will go back to putting over Vladimir Kosloff. Chavo can get drafted to SmackDown and feud with Matt Hardy, which wonâ€™t be too bad. Morrison? Heâ€™s so close to getting over for good that itâ€™s scary. ECW will be left as the big man carnival freakshow that Sci-fi has been praying for since day one. Huzzah.
Winner: The Big Show
Iain Burnside: I have just two things to say. Firstly, Night of Champions shall have Kane defending his ECW thing (and Punk defending his luggage) against Morrison and Miz, who shall defend their shiny belts in the very same match. Secondly, CHAVO.
Winner – JOHN MORRISON, KILTMAKER
I Quit Match
Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Mark Allen: I’m not a big womenâ€™s wrestling fan, but I love that WWE currently has two different womenâ€™s feuds going on the RAW brand and the non-title one got the PPV slot knowing that Mickie will get her spot in June. That being said, I don’t really know who to pick here as I don’t really know the direction they are going to go next. Beth is still booked to look dominant while Melina needs to gain momentum for new face turn. Either way I don’t expect the feud to end here. I guess I will just take a guess.
Winner â€“ Melina
Paul Marshall: This is the match I’m looking forward to. I’ve been on the bandwagon criticizing WWE for how they book the Women’s Division. You see the odd cage match or no DQ match here and there, but an I Quit Match? This won’t be pretty since both Melina and Beth hate each other. The main thing I like about this is that there’s no title on the line and that this feud is going strong by what these two have done the past few weeks. If done right, this will be hard to duplicate, so hopefully the WWE takes this seriously. Beth will still win, but Melina will keep the match so insanely close.
Winner – Beth Phoenix
Andrew Wheeler: Only the WWE could find a way to get the belt on Mickie James and STILL keep her out of the PPV. Maybe this is the WWEâ€™s way of showing that their womenâ€™s division can run circles around TNA? You know what, this match will let Beth Phoenix show that sheâ€™s a freak of nature and she can flatten a superstar that no one really cares too much about.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Raffi Shamir: I love Melina. There, Iâ€™ve said it. The problem is that they may be turning her face, which I donâ€™t like. Sheâ€™s such a perfect heel and with her mic and wrestling skills a feud between her and Mickie James can be excellent. But if sheâ€™s a face I donâ€™t see such a feud happening soon. Still, itâ€™s nice to see WWE going to new places with their womenâ€™s division instead of just a champion facing interchangeable challengers. Both women here are worthy winner, and Iâ€™ll go with my heart.
Iain Burnside: As long as Mick Foley isn’t jacking off under the Smackdown announce table whilst Melina is in the ring, I don’t care. Wait, does that mean I want him to be doing that? Actually, he could jack off to Melina and Jerry Lawler could beat it to Phoenix and whoever holds out the longest wins the match for their woman. Then they get a towel to clean themselves and Adamle with. Its a Towel Match: Extreme Rules!!
Winner – GLAMAMAMAMIAZON
Those are our staff picks for One Night Stand. Come back to Pulse Wrestling this evening for live coverage of the PPV.
Tags: PPV, roundtable, WWE