Fatal Four Way, Tag Team Turmoil, Or Texas Tornado Match
Well, this is a match that I was glad to see added, hopefully as an opener. They’ve been dancing around re-building the tag team division for months now on both shows and this is exactly the type of match needed to show people that they are serious about it. It sucks the best tag team in the company is on a show that had a promising division, but has gone to pieces fairly quickly. Sucks even more that a lot of these teams aren’t even near the term “passable,” but at least WWE is trying, right? RAW could have a good tag team division too if Michaels and Triple H would get off their high horse and take the task of elevating the tag team division. Forget all that “it’s beneath them garbage;” with all that the egos in WWE like to take credit for, you’d think someone would want to add “re-build a non-existent title and division” to their resume. It’s not a knock on Triple H or Shawn Michaels at all; just unfathomable. Anyway, I’m not expecting something great here, but if done right, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be decent. Of course, the key phrase there is “if done right” and I’m fully expecting to be laughing at the number of botched spots and “deer in the headlight” looks. I pray to God a Texas Tornado match won’t be the vote, but I know it will. Eight of these people in the ring at one time is just a train wreck waiting to happen; something that will make the Reverse Battle Royal from iMPACT! seem watchable. A Four Way match is better, but my vote goes for the Turmoil match with the first two matches (involving Haas & Viscera and The Highlanders against either Cryme Tyme or the rednecks) being short and the last being a decent match between the ghetto thugs and the southern rednecks. Ideally, Cade & Murdoch would go over. There easily the best team out of this group, entertain me the most (since this is my opinion), and seem to be a team that WWE’s not just going to abandon after they run out of ideas for their “funny” segments. But Cryme Tyme’s going over since they’ve got the novelty of being “fresh” and they’re just trying to capitalize on what made Los Guerreros work except with a different race. Problem is no one in this group comes near either Chavo or Eddie in the ring or on the mike. As was extremely evident on Monday, Cryme Tyme is a team with a decent gimmick that was just again brought up way too soon by WWE and gets lost easily in the ring. But they have a “fresh” gimmick, a flashy look, and a different finisher than everyone else. Push them to the moon!
My Vote: Tag Team Turmoil
WWE Women’s Championship
People just need to give up hope on WWE’s Women’s division. They will always be two to three women in the division who can wrestle and put on a good match, but hoping for more than that is just delusional. You want good women’s wrestling? Order some old tapes from All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling or get some SHIMMER. Don’t look for it in WWE and don’t expect it from TNA either. This should be a decent match though no matter what. Lita does have a lot of ring rust, but I don’t see any reason why this match will be anything to overly complain about in terms of quality bar a few botches in their under ten minute match. Of course, if it even comes near the level of the WrestleMania match this year, people will be pimping it out to be something insanely special without realizing that after years of watching crappy three minute Diva matches, a decent eight minute match involving two of the best women workers in the company is naturally going to seem like a five star classic. Doesn’t make it one though; doesn’t even make it good. Still though, no reason this shouldn’t be decent. I voted for a submission match simply because in that match, you’ll have a clear-cut winner who’s put over strong. But since it’s the WWE fans voting just for spectacles, I think it will be a No DQ match or a Lumberjill match, but I’m leaning towards the No DQ for the one it will be. Of course, after bitching about people being delusional, I’m the one deluding myself into thinking the WWE fans won’t vote for a chance to see all the Divas in skimpy outfits around the ring. With Lita leaving at the end of the month or whatever, I suspect she’ll win tonight to get one more title reign and then put over Mickie clean at the big fall PPV. I could always be wrong though and if my vote actually does go through, there’s no way I see Lita leaving with the belt. But if it’s a No DQ or Lumberjill match, I’ve got my money on Lita.
My Vote: Submission Match
Umaga Vs. (Kane, Chris Benoit, Or Sandman)
I voted for Sandman. I wanted to vote for Benoit in order to at least get a decent match, but there’s no reason to demean Chris Benoit or the US Title any more by having either Umaga win cleanly or it go either way via some screwy finish. They certainly want us to vote for Kane, but since we’ve seen that before, I thought I’d try something new. Plus, at least with Sandman, you’ll at least get an entertaining entrance and maybe a couple of good cane shots in the midst of a crappy match. No doubt in my mind Umaga’s going over clean if it’s Sandman or Kane though, but if it is Sandman, I hope the give the drunk a fighting chance to actually give an ECW wrestler besides Big Show, Sabu, or RVD a rub. God forbid another ECW original look good in the eyes of the WWE audience, right? Anyway, I voted Sandman, it’s probably a 99% chance Kane will get voted in, and no matter what happens, Umaga will keep his undefeated streak and probably by a clean pin.
My Vote: Sandman
WWE World Tag Team Championship
I’m so torn on this match; so unbelievably torn. The pure spectacle of seeing Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair is exciting, but makes absolutely no sense given all their history and seeing the sight of the two hugging on Monday night almost made my skin crawl. To be honest, I voted for Piper and it’s not because I’m a big Piper fan. I actually do believe that Piper is the better wrestler out of the three (if you could call what they are now “good” which is sad to begin with), not to mention the fact that it’s obvious Flair and whoever is going over to win the straps and the team of Flair and Piper would make much more sense & just be better overall. You would think that with the Piper DVD coming out soon and the fact that Piper is already in the Hall Of Fame, they’d push him over Rhodes. But no, they want Rhodes in that slot because they want to show that it doesn’t matter what happened in the south during the eighties. This is WWE and it’s 2006. Anyway, Rhodes will be voted in and of course, they’ll win which is a freakin’ joke. I’m all for title changes on this show because it does show that the fans had an impact. But the same title three years in a row? That’s just pitiful and exposes the tag division for what it is…a mess of crappy teams that can be put up against any combination of legends or former champions and lose ever time. All it does is un-do the work of having two non-title tag matches on the card (even if one match had four people who will never be anywhere near those belts). In a perfect world, Spirit Squad would have lost the belts to DX who would have done something to elevate the belts against the McMahons and now Orton & Edge. But they still have it and they have to drop it to someone and this is going to be it. My only solace in this is the small chance that Flair & Rhodes go up against Cade & Murdoch at Survivor Series in a straight ‘rassling match!
My Vote: Roddy Piper
WWE Intercontinental Championship
I had a complete rant written out about Carlito and Shelton Benjamin, but it really doesn’t need to be said. People looking at these guys like they’re the answer to all of WWE’s problems aren’t going to look differently at things no matter what, so why try? They are the same people who hold up TNA in such ridiculously high esteem that it begs the question why, but you know the answer will be even more absurd. Anyway, all feelings aside, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be a decent, if not good, match if given a right amount of time and not a moronic finish. Call me optimistic, but even if it’s Nitro-Hardy, I don’t see why I’d be bored or begging for it to end. Of course, shit happens. I voted for Shelton Benjamin and I really don’t see any logical reason why someone would ask why when you put him next to Johnny Nitro or Carlito. None of these people are world class wrestlers (being a world class athlete and wrestler are two different things, people), but it’s painfully obvious Benjamin is better than all of them. There is no chance in hell that Carlito’s not winning the vote though. Seriously. There are two absolute locks on this PPV: Vince McMahon will be voted the ref and Carlito will be voted into this match. The only question is whether or not Carlito will win it which I think he will. I’d rather Hardy just get a good match out of Carlito and win cleanly, putting over the Intercontinental Belt and himself and establishing some dominance in a division that is also being built up (a division with Masters & Nitro isn’t ideal, but again, they’re trying). However, with the way things turned out in 2004 and the stock WWE puts behind Carlito most of the time, it’s clear Carlito will win the belt. I just have no idea where they go from there unless they want to start hot-shotting it around every week in an attempts to make the division look like it has some depth yet actually making the belt look easy to obtain. All in all though, no reason it shouldn’t be a good match no matter who’s voted in, but I’m still hoping for Benjamin to win the votes and wrestle a solid match with Hardy putting over the champion and the belt in the end. Of course, hoping in wrestling doesn’t amount to much nowadays.
My Vote: Shelton Benjamin
Guest Referee: Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Or Jonathan Coachman
I was so pumped for this match. I truly was. Then Triple H made a comeback from a two-on-one beating and had the heels running scared. I’m sorry; how the hell am I supposed to believe Edge & Orton have a chance against DX when it’s clear that Triple H can beat both of them himself and with Shawn Michaels added to the mix, it’s only going to make things more one-sided, even if you look at who will most likely be voted in as guest ref. Yep, that guy DX has beaten all year despite impossible odds. This is just absurdity at the highest of levels. I don’t see how hard it is to put over Edge and Orton, Edge especially, in this program. Really, I just don’t see it. Just because someone could be a better heel at this moment in time doesn’t take anything away from Hunter’s ability to draw heat…get over it. They still have a chance to salvage the program though, but I doubt that it’s going to be resolved here. With a heel as a ref and Vince being a lock for that role, no doubt that DX will get screwed and Orton & Edge will win somehow leading to a Survivor Series match. That’s when DX and WWE will have a chance to redeem themselves and actually make Orton & Edge look worthwhile. Even if you don’t think Orton is worth it, at least do it for Edge. The guy practically carried the show for the year with Cena and even at times without Cena. The Survivor Series match is where it’s going to count and will probably be the better match. Here, we will get a decent to good match with a horrid finish whichever way it goes. Nothing mind-blowing except, again, for the finish. Seems to be a pattern here tonight, doesn’t there?
My Vote: Vince McMahon
WWE Championship, WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Or ECW World Heavyweight Championship
Wow, what to say about this match that hasn’t already been said? Well, let me say something different: I like it and I’m in favor of it. Even though I know the WWE Title will be the vote and Cena will pin Booker to retain it, I’m in favor of it. Because they have the opportunity right now to do something right and with the way they flip-flop on decisions nowadays, there’s still a good chance they could do something right. SmackDown!, while putting on good shows and having a better roster than RAW right now, does severally lack in credible main eventers and stars and I know WWE doesn’t want to put the belt on Batista yet and with the rare appearances Undertaker makes, that wouldn’t be smart either (especially since he just fought for the US Title). So who’s left? Booker isn’t horrible, but he’s definitely not drawing like they want and not setting up for anything down the line except maybe another bad match with Batista. Why not have John Cena beat Booker, unify the two belts, and be a traveling champion between the two brands? Ratings went up when Cena was on the “B” Show and doing so could definitely keep the ratings improving like they have been since then. Even more, WWE wants to solidify Cena as a fighting champion and a fighting star. What better way than to do this? I’m not saying to unify the brands because I know that’s not going to happen, but why not finally give SmackDown! some star power, more interest than just casual, and a chance to get over Cena more as well as your belts? The silliness of a company having three World titles under its umbrella aside, this could actually work if only on a trial basis while furthering the brand versus brand versus brand sentiment. Am I grasping at straws here? Maybe, but it seems like something new they haven’t tried and at least something that could make some kind of impact that the match is supposed to have. Daydreaming aside, whichever title is voted will be the one retained tonight. The match itself is something I’m not too sure of considering the immobility of Big Show lately and the fact that Booker is a decent to good worker that can’t carry anyone and Cena is a decent to bad worker that can’t carry anyone. Still though, WWE normally always has good Triple Threat matches so I don’t see why this should be any exception.
My Vote: WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Overall, I don’t think this PPV will be bad, but it certainly won’t be anything to write home about. There’s only one match I truly believe will suck with the rest being at least decent, but the question of “where on Earth are they going from here” will most likely overshadow any good wrestling and make people pessimistic heading into Survivor Series and that seems to be the problem with most to all WWE PPVs nowadays. The wrestling overall is good or decent and some months worth ordering, but seeing the company dig themselves further into the hole they’ve been digging for the past five years is just not worth watching and really turns more and more people off every week. I only pray that if you do get turned off by it, you’ll try and find something new other than just dropping wrestling altogether (perfect opportunity to plug my last column on the very same subject; just click here to read it). Like I said in the beginning, I’ll be reviewing the PPV live play-by-play at TheWrestlingVoice.com, but I don’t expect to be blown away. However, one thing I have to remember is that the majority of WWE shows this year have surprised me and been a lot better than they looked on paper. But again, with the current direction of the company, are a few great matches going to be able to overpower the horrid direction of a company with all the tools for success possible and the subsequent depression it will give me and many others over mainstream wrestling?
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