Steven Gepp: Man, I hate these multiple choice questions. And I guess it all comes down to what the future plans are. I would have gone with Orton, but with his injury, Iâ€™m guessing no. So Iâ€™m gonna go with a heel victory here.
Winner: (and new champ) Sheamus
Raffi Shamir: First I will point out that this is another PPV event where John Morrison is not on the card. You’re probably tired of this but I will not stop being to John Morrison what Fox News is to Sarah Palin (Only less annoying, deceiving and fascist). As for this match, I hate the fact that WWE is going for “first pin” rules rather than elimination. With the uncertainty regarding Orton’s physical condition and Edge’s less that sizzling heat right now, I’d imagine WWE would use this opportunity to transition the title to Sheamus and try to once again reestablish him as a main eventer.
Matthew Michaels: I think you have to keep the belt on Cena here, until the NXT angle settles itself. Hopefully Wade’s title shot gets reinstated and we see him on a minor PPV against the champ.
Andrew Wheeler: Hey, another Roundtable, awesome. Last week I got ballsy and decided to dip my toe into the TNA Roundtable and wound up getting raped, which is impressive since my asshole is nowhere near my foot. Guess thatâ€™s the brilliance of TNA. Anyway, I have learnt my lesson and will now and forever avoid any TNA predictions (well, forever until I get asked politely to contribute again and my inability to say no is legendary, which explains how I got crabs). What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the card. This magical, amazing PPV card for a show that I, for the life of me, cannot spell. Is it Fatal Fourway? Is it Fatal Four-Way? Is it F4tal Way? Come on Creative, if youâ€™re going to give me an incomprehensible title for a ridiculous gimmick show, at least have the decency to let me know how to write it. Keep it up and Iâ€™ll be forced to lynch you with a cravat.
Donâ€™t worry, Iâ€™m kidding. PulseWrestling would fire me if I used a necktie to assault anyone, as it might remind people of our old association with 411Wrestling and the way they butchered talent.
So, hereâ€™s our main event featuring the four biggest stars on RAW. Wow, seriously? Without getting all head-up-my-ass, Iâ€™ll just say that Cenaâ€™s going to win and move on. Of course, since I canâ€™t resist, Iâ€™m going to have to discuss things just a little.
First off, this show is the definition of a filler PPV. Unlike last monthâ€™s DUI PPV, where the WWE was desperate to write off Batista and make a buck in the process, this monthâ€™s show is all about putting the company in a holding pattern. John Cena and Sheamus have issues because Sheamus kicked Cena at the end of the last PPV. Sheamus has issues with Cena because he has two things the Irishman desperately wants; the title and melanin. Meanwhile, Edge and whatâ€™s left of Randy Orton are engaging in a feud that seems destined to be blown off sooner rather than later because one good sneeze and Randyâ€™s going to be the one-armed answer to Zach Gowan.
In short, this match is designed to distract fans from the fact that no one knows what the fuck to do. Edge and Randy still have one or two matches left in their â€œwarâ€, but with Randy in the condition that heâ€™s in, heâ€™ll be lucky if he can stand on the apron and not suffer another separated shoulder. Meanwhile, thereâ€™s money in a Sheamus/Cena feud, because chances are Sheamus is going to take the belt off of John just in time for Hunter to return and kill the Celtic dead with a sledgehammer (but in a totally TV-PG way).
By all estimations, Edge is the big loser here. Once this match is over, heâ€™ll be without the title and without a true opponent. The only other â€œstarâ€ at his level is Chris Jericho, who, in addition to being a heel, is wrapped up in a losing streak gimmick that, to quote Krust, is always death.
Evan Bourne seems to have evolved out of nowhere as a potential main event-ish guy, but in order for that to happen, he would have to face Edge at the next PPV andâ€¦gaspâ€¦win. Can the WWE afford to take that kind of a risk with Edge when heâ€™s probably the most established heel not hosting a conveyer-belt themed show? And what of the NXT Rookies who will most certainly interfere in some way?
My guess is that the match will start and after about three minutes, the NXT Rookies will run out and attack everyone. Once the smoke has cleared, lo and behold, Randy Orton has been injured. Oh no, do we end in a disqualification and send the fans home unhappy? Perish the thought. Since the name of the PPV is Fatal Fourway, theyâ€™ll need to replace him, so theyâ€™ll wind up inserting Wade Barrett into the match. If the WWE is stupid (or more likely nervous), theyâ€™ll put the title on Barrett, who has no one to actually feud with (since Cena and Sheamus are locked in and Edge is, ya know, a heel).
Next month is the MITB PPV, which I guess means everyone is competing for a shot at the title. Since you need six men to be in the match, and since you need the champion to sit it out, it would make sense to put the gold on Wade Barrett. Hell, since no one knows the rules for the PPV, it could wind up being FOR the title itself.
With the loss of Daniel Bryan and the horrible vehicular homicide angle to close RAW, the NXT invasion has gone from white hot storyline to lukewarm retread in about ten seconds. In the WWEâ€™s mind, if a guy like Wade Barrett goes from â€œfiredâ€ to champion, thatâ€™s intrigue. In reality, itâ€™s an overpush of a guy who might forever be tainted by the rocketship to the top. Regardless, at the next show, they need six men to fill slots, so the winner here is inconsequential.
At the next PPV, itâ€™ll be John Cena (in his first MITB) versus Edge (the pioneer of the gimmick essentially) versus Sheamus versus Chris Jericho versus Evan Bourne (a great way to get him into the main event scene without shoving him down our throats) versus Wade Barrett (potentially, or they could insert someone new like John Morrison or The Miz).
Unless Wade Barrett cashes in his title shot here, itâ€™ll beâ€¦
Winner: John Cena
Kyle Sparks: Orton’s hurt. He’s likely out. Edge has been lukewarm since he came back. Sheamus is a decent possibility, and if Triple H is really ready to come back in July, I could see Sheamus being a transitional champion between now and SummerSlam. So, would WWE advertise a gimmick PPV where both main events feature the champions having “a 25% chance of retaining” (never mind the mathematical issues with that) and then have both champions retain? Probably, but I’d like to hope not.
Winner: Sheamus (NEW WWE Champion)
Ben Morse: The match format here is actually ideal, because all four guys have decent chemistry with one another, but this allows things to seem a bit fresher with dance partners switching every few minutes and covers any injury issues Orton may still be having. I foresee a title switch here, and not to Sheamus because I donâ€™t think his issue with HHH needs the belt involved and not to Orton because heâ€™s too hot as an emerging babyface not to get a one-on-one win at some point; thus by process of elimination Iâ€™d say Edge gets the nod and gets chased through the summer by Cena, maybe Bourne and eventually HHH. Will the NXT guys be involved in the finish? Maybe as a way to transition Cena from title contention to a feud with them, but Iâ€™m not sure.
World Heavyweight championship:
Jack Swagger (C) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk vs. Big Show
Steven Gepp: Conceivably any of these guys could win it. All have something going for them. But this is really hard. Iâ€™m gonna go out on a limb here, and say, with the help of SES (especially a masked man), we have a new champ.
Winner: (and new champ) CM Punk
Raffi Shamir: It would be so wrong to take the title away from Swagger. None of the other people in the match need the championship and a loss now would kill any momentum that Swagger might have gained as a champion (minimal as it is). I hate it when WWE gives new guys a title, doesn’t properly push them and then takes the titles away because they were not good champions. It was the same thing with Punk’s first title reign, and even with Edge and Randy Orton’s first reigns, and I’d hate for Swagger to repeat that.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Matthew Michaels: I really want to see Swagger keep it but they seem to have no confidence in him for whatever reason. Want to put him over big time as a heel? Have him actually be the one who took out Taker. Rumors I’m reading are to the contrary however, so I’ll go with an upset here: Rey Mysterio. Why not?
Andrew Wheeler: This is a much more muddled mess than the previous match because of the loss of The Undertaker and the underwhelming force that is Big Show. Show has shown us time and time again that he just isnâ€™t a compelling face; heâ€™s too big to be threatening, heâ€™s too goofy to be taken seriously, and when he is serious he is downright boring. The strength of this match lies in the fact that people hate Kurt Swangle so much that they want to see him get knocked the fuck out. That, folks, is why Swangle is golden right now. He is the kind of cowardly heel that the WWE can make a fortune on. He has shown that he is more than capable on the mic and is watchable in the ring, and best of all almost all of his feuds will be fresh.
Rey Mysterioâ€™s the add-on here because he broke Takerâ€™s face, though I doubt heâ€™s too broken up about it. Yes, this was supposed to be his time off, but now that he has a light at the end of the tunnel, he might want all the main event payoffs that he can get. Is he winning the belt here despite not at all being part of the match initially and on the WWEâ€™s shit list? Nope.
Punk could actually win the title here, since heâ€™s a hot heel and has shown he can succeed without an opponent. Unfortunately, that would kill the Swangle run, which, up until now, has been effective. My guess is heâ€™ll keep it here and weâ€™ll see the rest of the merry band of weird guys in the MITB Match next month.
Winner: Kurt Swangle
Kyle Sparks: This one I don’t really get. The original plan, according to “sources,” was that Swagger would hold the title into SummerSlam where The Undertaker would once again
help get a younger champion over take the World Title and destroy any momentum built. Now with situations possibly keeping Taker out longer than that and no other real face challenger on the horizon outside of Mysterio, one wonders if they’ll just go for the safe choice and your established top heel in Punk. As an unashamed Punk mark, I hope so, but somehow I doubt it.
Winner: Jack Swagger (STILL World Heavyweight Champion)
Ben Morse: The lesser of the two main events in my eyes simply because I donâ€™t think Big Show is built for matches like theseâ€”you need to be ostensibly knocked out for portions of these multi-man matches and it takes a lot to get babyface Show out of the mixâ€”but Iâ€™m intrigued to see Swagger go at it with the two smaller dudes who we already know match up well against each other. Iâ€™d bet on Swagger retaining here and feuding with Kaneâ€”who will likely show up somehowâ€”until Undertaker returns.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Eve Torres (C) vs. Maryse vs. Gail Kim vs. Alicia Fox
Steven Gepp: The best womenâ€™s wrestling at the moment is in my local fed RCW. Seriously. Those girls hit clean, crisp moves, know how to throw a punch and look hot to boot. These inflatables are not wrestlers, and TNAâ€™s knock-out division has been so diluted with wrestlers leaving and TBP (who are not copied by WWE, no way, no sirree, billybob) looking like eye candy that the once awesome division is now an afterthoughtâ€¦ Sorry, where was I? My bad. Ah-hem. When I want women wrestling, Iâ€™ll watch RCW and the women from interstate. When I want vacuous tarts, thereâ€™s the WWE. And so, with that in mindâ€¦
Winner: (and still champ and who cares?) Eve Torres
Raffi Shamir: Well, at least Eve won last month so I now know what she looks like. It still doesn’t mean I care about her or WWE’s women/Divas championships. Let’s go with Maryse, just because.
Matthew Michaels: I really like the belt on Eve, but you know what I really wanna see? Gail as champ, and the Amazing Kong showing up the next week on WWE to take her OUT.
Andrew Wheeler: Could I care less? I mean, I guess I could. The feud here is between Eve Torres and Maryse, with Gail Kim and Alicia Fox just rounding out the batch for the hell of it. If the WWE wanted to, they could have Gail Kim cost Eve the title to show Coleâ€™s point that no one is a friend in this match, but I think that the WWE still believes in an Eve/Maryse feud. Besides, turning Gail heel would mean that all of the capable wrestlers on RAW are now villains. While it would be interesting to see Kim win, I think that they will keep this full steam ahead with Eve holding the title.
Winner: Eve Torres
Ben Morse: This will likely go five minutes and not stand out. Iâ€™ll predict Eve retains and hope Gail turns on her post-match for something different.
Winner: Eve Torres
Kyle Sparks: Look for Maryse to pin Eve here to take the title back and move into a “feud” with Gail Kim. Why? Why not. She’s fairly over as a heel, and Gail is overdue for a title feud, which works better with Maryse than Eve.
Winner: Maryse (NEW Divas Champion)
United States championship:
The Miz (C) vs. R-Truth
Steven Gepp: The booking of this belt has been weird to say the least. Bret Hart winning it, then vacating it, then the Miz getting it right back. But Truth certainly has the crowd behind him and his song â€“ â€œfuzzawuzzarazza hey yo whazzupâ€ â€“ is particularly catchy, soâ€¦
Winner: (and new champ) R-Truth
Raffi Shamir: The Miz is golden again and somehow, the world seems a little more right after last Monday night. In my dream The Miz’s next US title reign will resemble Orton’s IC title reign from 2003-2004 (The greatest IC title reign of the last decade) and when it’s over, he will be ready to move to the main event. Sadly, I don’t see WWE pulling it off, but he will retain here.
Winner: The Miz
Matthew Michaels: No reason to take the belt off Miz so quickly after giving it to him, right?
Winner: The Miz
Andrew Wheeler: Miz retains. I think thatâ€™s all the analysis this needs. He lost the belt to Truth on RAW and now heâ€™s gotten it back. To be fair, Miz losing the title here would actually help him, since he would be free to be in the MITB match. On the other hand, the WWE could always do another Miz/Morrison storyline so maybe thatâ€™s where this is heading. I, for one, miss Jericho and Miz together as a team. I thought that had some heat.
Winner: The Miz
Kyle Sparks: There’s absolutely no point to put the title back on R-Truth here, and he’s fairly over without it. Miz as US Champion just works, and with Bourne, Morrison, Kozlov (assuming he stays face), Mizzark and (yes) Truth as potentially viable challengers, there’s plenty for him to do yet, especially now that he’s not being a Tag Whore anymore.
Winner: The Miz (STILL US Champion)
Ben Morse: Both guys can go, but Iâ€™ve really got no interest in seeing them wrestle each other again. I would have preferred they make the Divas title match a one-on-one and toss John Morrison and Zack Ryder back in for a rematch here. Regardless, Miz retains and then feud with Morrison over the title; hopefully they can give that issue the build and attention it deserves this time around.
Winner: The Miz
Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Drew McIntyre
Steven Gepp: I still think if they let McIntyre off his leash, heâ€™ll be a great wrestler, as clips from Europe have shown him to be. But they wonâ€™t, so Kofi will bump around like a rag doll untilâ€¦
Winner: (and new champ) Drew McIntyre
Raffi Shamir: For the first time ever, Drew McIntyre showed on the last Smackdown why WWE is so high on him. His delivery on the mic and during the beatdown was good, but I still need to see a continued, long lasting good performance from him. Kofi Kingston hasn’t shown real fire in him since the Orton feud last year and I expect him to step up here, even if he does end up losing the title.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Matthew Michaels: Drew is just not over. Unless he can beat Kofi in such an EVIL way the fans hate him over it, I say keep the belt on the popular Ghananian.
Andrew Wheeler: Well, Drew keeps losing because of Matt Hardy. Kofi just got the title. Matt Hardy keeps getting suspended because of Drew. Matt Hardy keeps interfering to cost Drew matches. Kofi needs the title to have something to do. Hmmâ€¦I wonder what will happen.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Kyle Sparks: They seem to be really pushing Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre as the big midcard feud, and involving the Intercontinental Title in that is just wholly unnecessary. Kofi can feud with Cody, Ziggler, Shad, Kane (assuming he does turn and is the one who attacked Taker), possibly Gallows, etc, and it will do far more for him than tying up the IC Title with the McIntyre and Hardy feud that has enough heat to not need it.
Winner: Kofi Kingston (STILL Intercontinental Champion)
Ben Morse: Again, two guys who have ok matches, but enough already. Kofi retains so Drew can continue his deal with Matt Hardy. Smackdown has some pretty decent midcard heels in Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes, so hopefully one of them gets Kofi next.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
And now that you know our picks, come back to Pulse Wrestling on Sunday night for our full, live coverage of WWE Fatal 4 Way.
Tags: alicia fox, big show, C.M. Punk, cm punk, Drew McIntyre, edge, Eve Torres, fatal 4 way, Gail Kim, Intercontinental Championship, jack swagger, john cena, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Maryse, Matt Hardy, NXT, R-Truth, randy orton, Raw, rey mysterio, sheamus, Smackdown, Straight Edge Society, The Miz, United States Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE, wwe championship, WWE Divas Championship