Before I get to anything WWE related, I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC on one hell of a PPV last night. UFC 154 was an overwhelming success with a great Montreal crowd. I won't go into it too much, because that's not why we're here, but suffice it to say that Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit brought down the house. If you haven't seen it, catch it on replay. If you've never been a follower of UFC, this is the kind of show that creates new fans. My hat off to the Undisputed Champion, but also to Condit who lost a ridiculous amount of blood and still managed to last all five rounds. Unbelievable. With Survivor Series on deck tonight, this has been a really cool weekend for fans.
Speaking of which...
WWE Survivor Series 2012 -- @MikeKillam
Big Show vs. Sheamus: Round II
These two monsters stole the show at Hell in a Cell, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll bring to the table tonight. Sheamus needs to move away from the title picture, at least temporarily. I can see these two going to a third match at TLC if their showing tonight is good enough, but that has to be it. I like their program, and the backstage brawls have been really convincing, but there's no long-term value in this feud. The "big angry brawlers beating the hell out of each other just for sport" angle can only be stretched so far...
I wonder: who stands next in line? Wade Barrett comes to mind first. Randy Orton or the Miz could be up there, particularly if The Viper turns heel tonight, as expected. Could the Ryback jump ship to Friday nights and go after the 500 pound giant? I don't particularly care who enters the World Title picture after Sheamus, they just need to find some fresh talent and do something new. After an entire summer of Sheamus and Del Rio, and what will probably be three months of Sheamus and Big Show, Friday is getting to be a bit of a chore.
There's always Dolph Ziggler to consider. I often forget he holds the briefcase, and I'm not sure cashing in on the Big Show is a smart choice - hey, Daniel Bryan did it - but don't rule it out. Survivor Series is a big stage, and it could make Ziggler very relevant, very quickly.
Prediction: Big Show retains. Ziggler saves the briefcase to fight another day.
United States Championship
I don't really have an opinion of Antinio Cesaro. I hear he's gotten better since dropping Aksana, which I don't disagree with. But is he good for anything but being consistent in the ring? For those wicked uppercuts? The crowd still doesn't seem to care; I don't blame them, there's very little to invest in. He's one of those guys who's just bad for the sake of being bad. He doesn't cut very good heel promos, and he doesn't particularly exude the "evil mastermind" archetype. The "hate me because I'm from another country" gimmick wore off a long time ago in my mind. And that seems to be the only thing going for him, unfortunately...
R-Truth on the other hand, is one of my favorite talents. He's a great talker and a very solid in-ring performer. Granted his face work can be really annoying, and the whole Little Jimmy thing just doesn't do it for me. But remember his face turn on John Morrison in the UK? Remember how good he was for a very short period of time? Truth and Miz were one of my favorite things about 2011, and it's a shame they didn't last longer. Still, Ron Killings is unquestionably talented, and I'd actually like to see him get the win here.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains.
WWE Championship Triple Threat Action
If it weren't for CM Punk, the WWE Championship picture would be a boring, broken old mess. Controversial as it may be, I thought the Paul Heyman heart attack segment and subsequent Mick Foley promo was gold. It got people talking, and that is the number one priority of every WWE Superstar. Whether Punk draws "real heat" or "fake heat" doesn't matter; the goal is to get people to boo him. The wrestling business has lost the old school mentality of cheering good guys and booing bad guys. It's nice to see Punk go out there and be a real villain; in my opinion the industry needs MORE moments like that, not less. I thought the same thing when Randy Orton said Eddie Guerrero was in hell. The fact that fans still remember that promo is a testament to my point.
Now, as far as the other two guys in this match, I've got nothing. I'm a big fan of the Ryback, but the Hell in a Cell loss kind of killed his momentum. Vince McMahon didn't help any when he just threw this match together, effectively bitch-slapping the previous week's show right in the face. I can't stand lack of continuity in any story, and this triple threat still bothers me. There's no reason for it, short of Vince wanting to make money from a big main event. He pretty much said it himself! Hell, John Cena is balls deep in a completely different angle right now. His presence in this match makes even less sense than Tom Lawlor's recent shenanigans as the Shockmaster.
The only reason I care about this match - because I don't think technically it'll be anything to write home about - that it will signify CM Punk's championship reign hitting one full calendar year.
Prediction: CM Punk retains.
Traditional Survivor Series Action
This match right here is what the November classic is all about. This traditional Survivor Series match has a ton of intrigue, and potential for several cool moments and surprises. Will the Miz stay face and lead his team to victory. Will Randy Orton finally turn heel and cost his team the win? Can either team get along for more than five minutes...? And the biggest question: who will replace Cody Rhodes as the fifth and final member of Team Ziggler?
I like not knowing everything going into a match like this. A long time ago, WWE used to reveal the teams over the course of the month-long build up to the show. These days they just throw things together and announce it all at once. So when the Miz ended up on Team Foley, I thought it was awesome! Their "team meeting" on Miz TV during this weekend's Smackdown was a great segment, and really sold me on tonight's pay-per-view.
There is so much talent in one match. Unlike most years where you have one or two main event caliber guys, and a bunch of fillers, this year the decks are stacked. Randy Orton and Foley round out the true main event guys. But the MIz is a former (and future) WWE Champion. Kane and Daniel Bryan are awesome, and I'm happy to see them involved in something a little different this month. Damien Sandow is money. Kofi Kingston is a huge asset if used correctly. Dolph Ziggler speaks for himself, and I've always liked Alberto del Rio despite his largely negative audience. This match has the potential to go 30 minutes like the Survivor Series contests of old, especially considering there's only five booked matches on this card.
Prediction: Team Foley wins. With Miz and Orton potentially changing alignment, they have more to lose.
There's not a great deal of momentum going into tonight's show. In fact, the traditional match aside, there's not even anything new or exciting to look forward to. But Punk's one year celebration is going to be awesome, and Big Show did put on a 5-star match with Sheamus just last month. There could be more to this card than what we see on paper, and I think if you keep an open mind you might find Survivor Series 2012 to be a really fun pay-per-view.
I'll see all of you tonight on Twitter @MikeKillam, and in the Wrestlezone Forums for a live discussion!