Money in the Bank 2018 Predictions

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On our Kickoff match for this PPV we have the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships on the line. The tag team division in WWE is in need of revamping and creating compelling teams. The pieces are there but as seen in BBQs and battle royals and the fact that the RAW tag champs aren’t even on the card indicate that WWE does not take this division seriously. I’ll continue to advocate that you have one set of championships with a team that can travel between both brands to defend the titles. I am a fan of Luke Harper and anticipate we’ll have a physical match between these two teams but look for the Bludgeon Brothers to retain.
WINNERS: BLUDGEON BROTHERS

IMG_0814The premise of the feud is that Big Cass is taller than Daniel Bryan making the returning Big Cass an incredibly one dimensional character. Furthermore, with Daniel Bryan already picking up a victory over Big Cass it is hard to see Cass as any sort of threat. Look for Cass to cheat to get the upper hand on the smaller Daniel Bryan. Contrast Braun Strowman who is the monster among men (of all sizes) and Big Cass who struggles to definitively defeat smaller competition. Hopefully this is the end and Bryan is featured as a prominent main event guy that fans clamored to see return to the ring.
WINNER: BIG CASS

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I am a fan of Carmella as champion and would not have her lose on this night. Fact of the matter is I would not have booked this match to begin with as I would not want Carmella to beat Asuka. I don’t think the SD Live Women’s Championship had to be on this match as the Ronda Rousey RAW Women’s Championship match is overshadowing this match. I would have had Carmella on commentary during the women’s ladder match and even interfere to ensure no women from the SD Live roster wins the contract to surprise her with a cash-in. As far as this match goes the easy pick and believable pick is Asuka but I can’t see the title reign of Carmella coming to an end, after all MELLA IS MONEY!
WINNER: CARMELLA

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What on earth is the WWE doing with Bobby Lashley? Was it that hard to portray him as a main event star? All they simply had to was re-introduce Lashley to fans who did not see him almost a decade prior. A proper sit down interview would have been to have Lashley explain he was young and surpassed expectations too quickly before having time to mature. Now Lashley is back as a more mature and seasoned veteran having wrestled and fought all over the world. When Lashley was in WWE a decade ago he felt he was behind the likes of Cena, Batista, Orton, Undertaker, and Triple H and now of that bunch Lashley is at the front of the line and here to lead the charge and will do so as Universal Champion! He’s never faced Brock Lesnar and is here to slay the Beast. Was this so hard to write as the direction for Lashley? Poor Sami Zayn has been tied to this abysmal story and is simply the body standing across a Lashley squash.
WINNER: BOBBY LASHLEY

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Elias is easily my favourite superstar on RAW and I would love nothing more than to see him walk out with the Intercontinental Championship. Unfortunately for Elias, Seth Rollins is perhaps the top superstar in the WWE. He is having incredible matches with different superstars and has brought prominence to the work horse’s title. It isn’t time to dethrone Rollins and I think he needs to build momentum to Summerslam where he should challenge the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in a winner takes all championship match.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS

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The only thing of interest to me in this match is the Chicago crowd’s reaction to these “pushed” superstars.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS

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This match is perhaps coming a bit early in the career of Ronda Rousey. I also think this is a tough first opponent for Nia to continue her reign against as she has done a good job so far as champion. I liked the anti-bullying and self-image promoting nature of the Nia Jax character as it is easy to root for her. I was impressed and enjoyed Ronda’s match at Wrestlemania. Given Ronda’s inexperience I have reasonable expectations and will tune in to see how she fares. I’m not sure the outcome but I think I’d prefer Nia remain champion on this night. I’m guessing there will be some interference or shenanigans and a possible cash-in on this night.
WINNER: NIA JAX

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I continue to enjoy the villainous nature of Shinsuke Nakamura and especially enjoyed him during the contract signing segment. I hope on this night Nakamura will be the Last Man Standing and have a fantastic match with an actual conclusion.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

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Since watching the Money in the Bank Ladder match debut at Wrestlemania 21, this has been a match type and PPV I look forward to annually. What works in the match’s favour is when all the competitors have a realistic chance of walking out with the briefcase and will be of interest as a possible challenger to their respective brand’s champion. Let’s look through the competitors to see who may walk out as the second Ms. Money in the Bank.

LANA: No offense to Lana but her inexperience makes her the least likely to win this match but stranger things can happen in the WWE. I am concerned that her inexperience may impact her safety as a ladder match can be brutal given limited experience. I’d be shocked if she walks out with the briefcase

NAOMI: Look for Naomi to showcase some athletic feats involving multiple ladders. With her win at Wrestlemania in the Battle Royal she could very well walk out with briefcase and rack up her accolades. I wouldn’t be disappointed if Naomi won this match especially with a glowing briefcase.

BECKY LYNCH: My favourite in the match. I’d love to see Becky pick up a big victory and win the briefcase and build some momentum. I did want to see Becky change scenery and land on RAW. I would build towards a battle of Becky versus Ronda in a battle of the armbar with Becky growing in frustration over the hoopla around Ronda.

ALEXA BLISS: The smallest woman in this dangerous match could be a dangerous affair for Little Miss Bliss. Look for her to take some brutality and keep going. Bliss would be another good candidate to win the briefcase with her arrogant promos and deceitful tactics.

EMBER MOON: A win in this match would be a great way to help Ember pave the starting ground for her career path. In fact, I could see WWE going with Ember and giving her the chance to sink or swim. Look for Ember to possibly steal the show with some great moments. Imagine an Eclipse from the top of a ladder?

CHARLOTTE: The one superstar in this match that I don’t think needs the money in the bank briefcase. She is a worthy challenger and can always win a #1 Contender’s match. It has proven more impactful to cash-in on Charlotte rather than to have her cash-in.

NATALYA: I think Natalya has the best the chance to win the briefcase on this night. I could see her cash-in as the lead to the break-up of her friendship with Ronda Rousey. Natalya could cash-in on Nia and ruin Ronda’s first single’s, championship match and steal her glory or even worse, should Ronda win; Natalya cashes in on her friend both embarrassing Ronda’s first reign and handing Ronda her first loss (and we all know how Rousey handles losing).

SASHA BANKS: I wouldn’t mind seeing Sasha win this match either. Her character is in need of refreshing and walking around with the briefcase could very well do that. Her feud with Bayley has seemingly stopped and so perhaps she’ll refocus on the championship scene.

WINNER: NATALYA

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Let’s take a look at each competitor and rate their chances of walking out with the Money in the Bank briefcase.

KEVIN OWENS: I would have no complaints if Owens walked out with the briefcase. I would look forward to the promos and the calculated and underhanded ways he would plot to cash-in and weasel his way into being champion. Owens is a main eventer and is deserving of a title reign and what better way to kickoff a reign than with setting yourself for the best title win possible!

BOBBY ROODE: Roode is in desperate need of a character change. Money is the root of all evil and a win here could lead Roode to a more villainous path and underhanded way of racking up wins which he has been short on as of late. I’m surprised he qualified for this match given how far he has appeared to have fallen down the card. A big win here for Roode would be absolutely…GLORIOUS!

THE MIZ: It’s time for the Miz to once again get serious and look to be in the main event scene on SD Live. So put away the pancakes and keep your eyes on Daniel Bryan and the WWE Championship. The predictable route is for Miz to lay in wait until Bryan challenges for the WWE Championship and go out of his way to ruin the life of Bryan to build to the match we’re waiting for between Miz and Bryan.

FINN BALOR: The only reason I don’t see Balor winning is because the MITB often works best in the hands of a cowardly superstar with low character. Balor could very well win and do the honourable thing and let his opponent know when the challenge is coming.

BRAUN STROWMAN: Can’t say that Braun needs the briefcase because he’s in that main event scene and should be the next challenger after Rollins but certainly ahead of Roman Reigns. I’m excited to see the path of destruction he carves out in this match.

RUSEV: My pick for this one is Rusev. It is very simple: Rusev announces he will cash-in on Rusev Day. During championship matches that Rusev isn’t involved in and a champion looks vulnerable, crowds will erupt with Rusev Day chants which will play mind games with the given champion. No one will be ready on Rusev Day and on that momentous day our champion will be crowned on his day of celebration!

SAMOA JOE: Similar to Braun, Joe is at a main event level and doesn’t really need the win here. Joe should be the next challenger for the title, even ahead of Daniel Bryan. Joe has been dynamite on the mic and his brutality also has me excited for how he will fare in this match.

NEW DAY: Who? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who? The series of questions we are asking of who will compete on behalf of the New Day in this match. Kofi Kingston has had his chances and so I could see it being Big E or Xavier Woods. If Big E is selected to compete then I believe there is an increased chance of a New Day member walking out with the briefcase. There is some massive competition (size alone) and so sending in the muscle of the New Day may be the best strategy. Smart strategy to wait until bell time to announce who is taking part and it could pay off (no pun intended) with a Money in the Bank contract for ya boys…THE NEW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

WINNER: RUSEV

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NXT TakeOver: Chicago II Predictions

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To the casual WWE fan, this match may not strike you with any star power or captivating personalities. Although I personally have limited interest, I think the mix of talent with an electric Chicago crowd and a hard hitting nature will make this a sleeper match. Look for the Undisputed Era to retain with a numbers advantage.
WINNERS: THE UNDISPUTED ERA

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A lot of these matches should benefit from the Chicago crowd. I think this will be another hard hitting match and may very well be the women’s singles match of the weekend. A victory over Cross should be one of momentum as Baszler enters the summer as champion.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER

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We talked earlier about limited interest and low expectations, conversely this match has high expectations from myself as it could be match of the night. I like the personal animosity between these two unique characters. The story here is that what Ricochet can do, the Velveteen Dream can do better. This can also be translated that a WWE made superstar can surpass any “indy darling”. Ricochet has made a name for himself on the indies and in Japan whereas the Velveteen Dream has had limited name exposure and been more of “WWE guy” that represents the company’s style of superstar. The Dream lives out his character and looks to be motivated to outshine and outperform the high flying Ricochet and silence his following. Either man can come out victorious on this end so I’ll side with the camp I’m in.
WINNER: VELVETEEN DREAM

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As much as I tune into the NXT TakeOvers for match of the year contenders featuring prominent in-ring performers, I feel wrestlers like Lars Sullivan are missing. Lars stands out in NXT and has true star presence in my opinion. I am surprised he is getting a championship match already instead of decimating more guys on the roster. I would say Aleister Black is unique and the best option for champion. He too does have star presence and is certainly far better in the ring and and has proven he can have main event caliber matches in the main event slots. This is Black’s first title defense on a TakeOver so I can’t see it coming to an end already. This may be the victory Black needs to kick off his lengthy title reign.
WINNER: ALEISTER BLACK

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We return to where it all began between Gargano and Ciampa. I would say this has been one of the best stories told in WWE in a very long time. With Ciampa’s injury it bought a lot of time and built this story up tremendously. I anticipated that their Unsanctioned Match in New Orleans was the culmination but the Psycho Killer could not sit by and accept defeat. Look for Johnny Wrestling to put up the fight of his life. This one is hard to predict. Does Ciampa get the victory he has sought? Does Gargano prove once and for all he is better? Where do Gargano and Ciampa go from here as both are worthy contenders for the NXT Championship.
WINNER: JOHNNY GARGANO

Wrestlemania 34 Predictions

We are only days away from the most exciting wrestling event of the calendar year. The weekend has grown into a tremendous culmination of storylines, featuring superstars of the past and present and even the future in other independent promotions showcasing their talents in the host city of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania returns to New Orleans after four years and this year’s card seems to get better with each announced match. Let’s take a look at the card and predict how the night may turn out.

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On the kickoff show we have two Battle Royals and a championship match. The Andre the Giant Battle Royal debuted in New Orleans at Wrestlemania 30. So who will come out the winner in this one? Every year I’ve predicted the winner and I’ve been wrong. I predicted Rusev, Mizdow, Mark Henry and Braun Strowman and Cesaro, Big Show, Corbin and Mojo Rawley were in fact the victors. This tells me that the winner can be anybody. I’m going with a man who hasn’t been announced for the match but I believe will WALK away with the trophy: Ladies & Gentlemen…ELIAS. This may not be the only time we see Elias and he may be performing again on the main card but I believe The Rock will RAMPAGE (in theatres April 13th) the stage for a concert of his own.
WINNER: ELIAS

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The Women’s Battle Royal was also slated to be named after a former wrestler but unfortunately the Fabulous Moolah was originally selected who if you do your research was a despicable human being and should not be celebrated. Despite the controversy the match remains with a bewildering looking trophy that may resemble something a bit too female. Nonetheless, who else will participate in this match and moreover who will win? I could see the Iconic Duo getting an opportunity to participate on this grand stage. I see Bayley and Sasha possibly costing each other the trophy. If it were up to me I’d have Lass Kicker win this one!
WINNER: BECKY LYNCH

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To have a match at Wrestlemania is any aspiring wrestler’s dream, so it is exciting to see two guys who fought on independent shows in front of hundreds get a chance to perform in front of thousands. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali endured 205 Live during its entire duration when it was a dismal show with good matches but no fanfare or meaningful promotion. I am excited to watch this match and see both men put it all on the line to prove they belong on the Wrestlemania stage with all the big names. Alexander has come up short on many occasions so it would be fitting to see him win here but I believe Ali has really stepped up his game going into Wrestlemania so it makes this one a toss up but you can’t go wrong with either man as champion.
WINNER: MUSTAFA ALI

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Until Rusev was added to this match I had no interest in this match. I’m excited for a possible Bobby Roode extravagant entrance but thankfully Rusev Day will be celebrated at Rusevmania. The easy choice is to have Rusev walk out victorious to a tremendous ovation. I don’t think anyone wants to see Mahal win and Orton and Roode are in need of repackaging in my opinion so why not go with the hot fan favourite and have him walk out victorious.
WINNER: RUSEV

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On the RAW side we have another multi-man championship match. It is also exciting to see Balor have his first Wrestlemania match and it would be great to see him walk out with some gold. I think this will be a fine match but look for Miz to sneak out a victory and be one of few who will retain their title on this night.
WINNER: THE MIZ

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Braun Strowman deserved a more featured match at Wrestlemania. I think he was truly a contender for the Universal Championship but here he is relegated to a tag team championship match in a division he hasn’t participated in. The only exciting part of the match is who will be Braun’s partner. Possible names include Samoa Joe, Elias, Bray Wyatt or James Ellsworth. If it is Joe than it will make for a powerful force. I’m predicting Bray in a  brief reunion of the Wyatt Family. That is a bit anti-climatic to me and I’d hope for a better surprise. Once the partner is revealed, the excitement for the match goes down. I’m guessing Braun walks out victorious with whoever his partner is.
WINNERS: BRAUN STROWMAN & MYSTERY PARTNER

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FINALLY the Usos have made it to the main card of Wrestlemania and deservedly so. They had a tremendous 2017 with awesome matches against the New Day so I’m glad both teams get to do it one more time on the grand stage. Wrestlemania needs to be the showcase of the best of the divisions and no one dominated the tag team scene on either RAW or SD Live like the Usos. I am also excited to see Luke Harper in a meaningful match. I was concerned that with a gimmick like the Bludgeon Brothers that he and Rowan would be made a comedy team. I do think this could be their crowning moment and what a stage to win your first tag titles. The New Day are another team that enthrall fans and it will be exciting to see a crowd of 70,000 plus chanting alongside the New Day. I think this match has potential to steal the show on an already stacked card.
WINNERS: THE USOS

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After Asuka chose Charlotte as her Wrestlemania opponent that left RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss without an opponent. Alexa was then caught speaking maliciously about her “friend” Nia Jax. The story here is very similar with the bully Alexa Bliss body shaming and putting down the Nia. It may seem like just another wrestling storyline, but there are  female fans and casual viewers  (I can confirm) who can emotionally relate and want to see Nia prevail. I’ve always thought Nia Jax as a confident, body activist similar to Ashley Graham was a good character for the WWE as they progress in 2018. It would make sense for Nia to walk out champion but for some reason I see Alexa retaining as WWE hopes to keep fan interest in the chase.
WINNER: ALEXA BLISS

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The Queen versus the Empress. There isn’t much to say as this should be a great match on a card with many contenders for match of the night. Will another Streak end in New Orleans? Anything can happen at Wrestlemania! Also look for Carmella to attempt to make a Wrestlemania moment of her own with a cash-in, if not this match, maybe the other women’s championship match.
WINNER: ASUKA

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The match has been teased but has been yet to be officially announced. I do believe like I have stated before that neither Cena or Undertaker are needed for this Wrestlemania but I still see this match happening. Will the American Badass return with a Kid Rock performance? Will Cena be the third man to defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania? Many questions of which I hardly care the answers to. Look for Undertaker to win in what I hope is his final match.
WINNER: THE UNDERTAKER

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Ronda Rousey makes her in-ring debut at Wrestlemania. If I’m honest this match doesn’t have my interest because I don’t find Rousey an intriguing wrestling character but I applaud her for wanting to be a wrestler like any fan. In the two matches I’ve seen of Angle I know he isn’t what he used to be so I’m not expecting a wrestling clinic between him and Triple H. The easy prediction is Rousey tapping out Stephanie McMahon. I can’t blame WWE for signing a PPV draw like Rousey and I hope it brings the desired numbers WWE is looking for.
WINNER: KURT ANGLE & RONDA ROUSEY

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It seems that where one brand fails, the other delivers. This tag match involving a McMahon has my attention because of the other three men involved. Similar to the Usos, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have been captivating to watch both on the mic and in the ring. This story of Owens and Zayn versus McMahon has been a strong build and good story of heels versus a babyface authority. On top of all that Daniel Bryan has been cleared and will return to the ring on the Grandest Stage. I think this will be another electric atmosphere and most likely a very good tag team brawl. I can’t see Bryan losing upon return but I am delighted to see both Owens and Zayn in a featured, top of the card match.
WINNER: SHANE MCMAHON & DANIEL BRYAN

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They (WWE) have their match that they’ve wanted since the conclusion of last year’s Wrestlemania. Lesnar has held the Universal Champion captive over the last calendar year when the likes of Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman elevated their game to main event players who could have dethroned Lesnar but WWE was hell bent of having Reigns be the one to slay the beast. Lesnar already has one foot in the octagon so the outcome looks like Reigns will be Universal Champion which is a good thing because he will be on the show night in and night out.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS

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I have my main event. Nakamura is my favourite superstar on the roster and I’m excited to see him compete for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. The two men had a great match in the Tokyo Dome but AJ has stated the two have never squared off in North America. AJ Styles has done a great job as champion and I do not assume we are getting a new champion on this night. I am trying to not have high expectations for this “Dream Match” but it is the match I am most looking forward to!
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

 

NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Predictions

In the last few years since NXT TakeOvers have been added to the Wrestlemania weekend we have learned one thing; Wrestlemania sells the weekend but TakeOver steals the weekend and this card may due exactly that. Let’s look at some predictions of how the show may shape up.

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This card is so stacked that at the bottom of the card is the women’s championship. This is a rematch from NXT Philadelphia and I expect a different result in this one. With Ronda Rousey making her debut the night after this, look for fellow MMA turn pro wrestler, Shayna Baszler to pick up some gold in this one. I can’t see Baszler being defeated twice unless she refuses to relinquish any submissions. Look for this one to be a full out brawl.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER

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The Tag Team Championships and the Dusty Classic Trophy in a winner takes all triple threat tag team match. This should be another tremendous match up but who will take it all? I think the Authors of Pain are in their final TakeOver as they will make their RAW/SD Live debut post-Mania so they most likely aren’t winning this match. It is possible that Dunne and Strong pick up the win here but I think this match was a way to get them on the card in front of a global audience. The Undisputed Era has many options on this night. I don’t see O’Reilly competing alone and I don’t see Cole withdrawing from the Ladder Match, so Cole may win one of two matches on this night. I see the Undisputed Era retaining and winning the Dusty Classic despite not competing in the brackets!
WINNER: UNDISPUTED ERA

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Wow! As I look at the six men involved in this match, I think NXT and WWE at large has a bright future with all sorts of different superstars. The new North American championship in a ladder match is a draw enough and truth be told I could see any of these men walking out as champion. This match has a similar feel to the first Money in the Bank Ladder match. It would be a tremendous debut for either EC3 or Ricochet to come out as champion but seeing as neither man will be pinned in their debut a loss won’t hurt them. I see Sullivan and Dain cancelling each other out but both will showcase tremendous athletic feats for big men and have some great big man moments in this ladder match. So for me it comes down to Adam Cole and the Velveteen Dream. With Cole most likely pulling double duty on this night, will he be rewarded with yet another accolade provided the Undisputed Era retain and capture the Dusty Classic trophy? That seems like a lot of championships but Cole can certainly pull it off. I think a man who has been nothing but impressive to date should be our first North American Champion and we will forever continue to say his name.
YOUR WINNER: THE VELVETEEN DREAM

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Coming off his classic match, there is great expectation for this match to be another classic. Almas has been one of the better NXT Champions in a long time and it has totally trasnformed his career in NXT. I think many predicted to see Black in the championship match on the Wrestlemania weekend. I think the obvious choice is to crown a new NXT Champion and obvious isn’t always a bad decision. I could see Almas retaining but perhaps Almas is on his way up to the main roster, so I’ll go with Aleister Black as new champion and leading the NXT brand in 2018!
WINNER: ALEISTER BLACK

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This is my personal main event for the night. It has been an emotional story since Ciampa betrayed Gargano back in May 2017 in Chicago. Not only can these two deliver in the ring but they have delivered in the story. The vignettes, the outside the ring antics, the social media interactions have really made this a captivating and believable story. Many found the Golden Lovers vs. the Young Bucks an emotional match but as a casual fan I haven’t been watching week in and week out to feel all the emotion the men displayed in that match. In this match, I have been following and watching and feeling the story through my screen. I believe not only will this be match of the night/weekend but a definite contender for match of the year. Now who do I pick to win? I think if this match closes the show we get a happy ending but if it is in the middle of the show we may never see Gargano again.
WINNER: JOHNNY GARGANO

WWE Elimination Chamber Predictions

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The road to Wrestlemania takes one final stop for the RAW superstars at the Elimination Chamber this year. The main event match will determine who squares off against The Beast, Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. The rumoured match since last year’s Wrestlemania has been Roman Reigns versus Brock and I believe we are getting that match at Wrestlemania 34.  So I’ll add to this prediction what I think the other competitors may be doing at Wrestlemania.

BRAUN STROWMAN: If there is one man who could and should disrupt the year long Wrestlemania plan, it is Braun Strowman. I think this man has elevated beyond anyone’s anticipation into the main event scene. I’d love to see it be Reigns and Strowman for the title as they’ve had nothing but stellar brawls. I’m not a fan of multi man matches for World titles but I’d love to see Strowman, Roman, Brock and Samoa Joe have a Summerslam rematch at Wrestlemania. What will be Strowman’s fate at Wrestlemania? Rumours are he’ll be squaring off against Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. I could also see him being a tag partner for Ronda Rousey against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon if that match is believed to be taking place.

ELIAS: On the road to Wrestlemania there is one question to ask: WHO WANTS TO WALK WITH ELIAS? I love this guy, but I don’t see him having a featured match. He may be in (and win) the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. This could be followed by a concert where he is interrupted by legends such as the Hall of Fame class which includes a guitarist of its own.

JOHN CENA: I anticipate we are getting John Cena versus Undertaker. I think this match is almost 4 years too late. I can’t say this match excites me and I think its the first year that Wrestlemania really does not need either Cena or the Undertaker.

THE MIZ: I think the Miz deserves a featured match and it would be great if he could do battle with Daniel Bryan. I envisioned him squaring off against Finn Balor or Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental championship but I think WWE will go ahead with Strowman vs. Miz and have the seeds planted in the Chamber.

SETH ROLLINS: It looked as though Rollins was going to square off against Dean Ambrose at Wrestlemania until Ambrose got hurt. Then it looked like Rollins versus Jason Jordan was going to happen but he got hurt too. I think Rollins may have lucked into a match with Kurt Angle which is a great opponent for Angle to have one last classic at Wrestlemania.

FINN BALOR: Like I said above, would be great to see Balor walk out with some gold at Wrestlemania. If the Miz match doesn’t happen, I think a RAW vs. Smackdown match would be of great interest. A man who looks to be lost on the road to Wrestlemania is Randy Orton and WWE could easily build a Demon vs. Viper match.

ROMAN REIGNS: Is most likely headed to Wrestlemania and the Main Event and will dethrone the Beast and win his first Universal Championship with a win here in the Chamber. It may be Reigns’ fourth straight Wrestlemania event.

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Anything can happen in the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match. There is the possibility of Bayley or Sasha winning the title as I think both women will have a match at Wrestlemania. In playing WWE 2K18, Sasha managed to dethrone me and win this match. There is also the possible split of the friendship of Nia and Alexa which could be the face off WWE wants remembered on their grandest stage. I see a women’s Memorial Battle Royal for the other women on the roster which is where you may find Mickie James, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Look for Ms. Bliss to win the first ever Chamber match.
WINNER: ALEXA BLISS

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Once again, another outcome that appears fairly predictable. Could Nia end the streak on this night? It certainly is possible but that would be a terrible booking decision in my opinion. I see Asuka winning this match and challenging Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. I think Nia will put up a fight and earn her shot at the RAW Women’s Championship. As for the new signee Ronda Rousey, I don’t see her getting involved in the title picture right away but a mixed tag as mentioned above with her partner possibly being the Rock, Kurt Angle or Braun Strowman as likely picks.
WINNER: ASUKA

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Now is when the show gets a little more unpredictable and less enticing. We have another match between Wyatt and Woken Matt. I think this feud had all the potential to capitalize on wrestling whackiness in the cosmos. If it were up to me I’d have these two join forces and have Jeff Hardy return in an effort to save his brother from the evil Bray Wyatt and free him of this current state of mind at Wrestlemania. I don’t see WWE making this a priority storyline for Wrestlemania, so look for Bray to win here.
WINNER: BRAY WYATT

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I think it would a great but welcome shock to see Apollo and Titus win the belts on this night. I think with the success of the Black Panther movie, it would be cool to see Apollo build as a role model superstar but I can’t see WWE knowing how to tell such a story. The Revival appear to be waiting in the wind for the championship opportunity and could have a great hard hitting bout with the Bar as opposed to Titus Worldwide.
WINNER: CESARO & SHEAMUS

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I still have yet to understand the logic of the kickoff show matches. Wouldn’t you want a meaningful story or an exciting match to, well, kick off your show? The Club vs. Miztourage has none of that. Two teams who have no issue with one another. This could have easily been a four corners match involving the Club, Miztourage, Rhyno & Heath Slater and the Revival in a elimination (fitting PPV) match to determine the #1 Contenders match for the RAW Tag titles. I literally thought of that as I was typing; are they really lacking such basic creativity? Does anyone care who is winning this match? Just us die hard…NERDS!
WINNERS: THE CLUB

Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions

The road to Wrestlemania starts at the Royal Rumble. 2018 still feels as though it is getting under way and with a new direction in my own life, my viewing habits of the WWE has changed from being able to watch RAW/SD Live regularly. I plan to watch the Royal Rumble and figured I’d give my predictions and see how Wrestlemania will begin to take form.

KICKOFF:

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Here we have another encounter between the Balor Club and the Revival. If given some time, this should could be a dark horse match of the night. The Revival should come out on top and start their chase for the titles and road to Wrestlemania.
WINNER: THE REVIVAL

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Six tremendous athletes in a match that no will care about. This about sums up 205 Live.
WINNER: KALISTO, GRAN METALIK, LINCE DORADO

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The United States Championship Open Challenges returns and is always a fun match to look forward to. Who will respond to the challenge; Ziggler? Mahal? Corbin? Maybe someone from NXT? I think Ziggler is a bit too obvious so perhaps will see the underwhelming Maharajah himself respond and look for one more chance to win gold. If Roode fails to retain, it’ll prove that this title’s existence remains futile.
WINNER: BOBBY ROODE
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Is there a better team on the WWE roster than the Usos? I still believe there should be one tag team champion who defends the titles on both brands and I’d have that team be the Usos. The Usos versus the Revival is the tag match I want at Wrestlemania but I’ll certainly take the Usos versus Gable & Benjamin in a 2/3 Falls match on this night. My hope for this match is that it will be a wrestling masterpiece and a possibly a show stealer. I think the Usos deserve to go into Wrestlemania as champs and anything can happen between now and then but I think Gable & Benjamin will out wrestle the champs on this night and win the belts!
WINNER: GABLE & BENJAMIN

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As mentioned above, there should be only one be one set of tag team champions and that team is the Usos. I understand the story of Jordan and Rollins but can’t say it is a captivating story and I have limited interest in this match. It seems Cesaro and Sheamus are the only team ever in the RAW tag title picture. I don’t see the need in having Rollins and Jordan retain. When this feud is over, I hope to see a revival of the RAW tag team division.
WINNER: SHEAMUS & CESARO

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Is this really the major championship match at the second biggest PPV of the year? We know Kane is here to take the pin but who will walk out with the Universal championship?
WINNER: BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAUN

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Once again SD Live offers a better championship match at this year’s Royal Rumble. The Handicap match stipulation does lack some sense but I remain intrigued. Kevin Owens deserves to be WWE Champion but I think the advantageous stip will back fire in some way. What role with Shane and Daniel Bryan play in this one as they’ve surrounded this story as much as the competitors. I have a feeling that a SD Live superstar is winning the men’s Royal Rumble and I see them squaring off against the winner in this one.
WINNER: AJ STYLES

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Two Royal Rumbles on this night! It is one of my favourite matches and so I’m excited for this one. It is hard to predict who will win this one but that is the fun of the Royal Rumble. An equal fun component are the surprises of superstars of the past and the future who may show up in this night. Let’s look at who is in this one and the bolded names are my predictions of who may show up:

  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Liv Morgan
  3. Sarah Logan
  4. Ruby Riott
  5. Nia Jax
  6. Mickie James
  7. Natalya
  8. Lana
  9. Tamina
  10. Carmella
  11. Naomi
  12. Asuka
  13. Sasha Banks
  14. Bayley
  15. Mandy Rose
  16. Sonya Deville
  17. Dana Brooke
  18. Alicia Fox
  19. Billie Kay
  20. Peyton Royce
  21. Nikki Bella
  22. Brie Bella
  23. Ivory
  24. Jacqueline
  25. Beth Phoenix
  26. Alundra Blayze
  27. Michelle McCool
  28. Eve Torres
  29. Trish Stratus
  30. Lita

I’m sure most of these names are wishful thinking and can see some lesser known NXT names get a one-time call up. I really do not want to see Stephanie McMahon in this match and I don’t think this she be the debut scene of Ronda Rousey. I’m most looking forward to the Iconic Duo possibly being in this one and hearing some familiar themes I haven’t heard in a while. As far as my prediction? I’m stuck between Asuka and Becky Lynch. Asuka being eliminated won’t be considered a loss but I see them splitting up the winners by brand and if a SD Live superstar is winning the men’s match, I’ll go with Asuka to be the first ever winner of the women’s Royal Rumble.
WINNER: ASUKA

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Let’s use a similar format to predict the men’s Royal Rumble match.

  1. Titus O’Neill
  2. Bray Wyatt
  3. Rusev
  4. Baron Corbin
  5. Matt Hardy
  6. Aiden English
  7. Elias
  8. Tye Dillinger
  9. The Miz
  10. Shinsuke Nakamura
  11. Randy Orton
  12. John Cena
  13. Finn Balor
  14. Apollo Crews
  15. Roman Reigns
  16. Seth Rollins
  17. Jason Jordan
  18. Big E
  19. Xavier Woods
  20. Kofi Kingston
  21. Bobby Roode
  22. Jinder Mahal
  23. Dolph Ziggler
  24. Mojo Rawley
  25. Goldust
  26. Sami Zayn
  27. Killiain Dain
  28. No Way Jose
  29. X-Pac
  30. Bobby Lashley

Some of the bold names aren’t necessarily bold predictions. There is usually a name or two from NXT. Last year there were no surprise returns but there was nostalgia in seeing the Undertaker and Goldberg. I can’t think of a past legend that may be a realistic entrant. It would be great to see Razor Ramon compete but I don’t see that happening. Lashley came to mind and although it is unlikely, I think seeing him return in this match could elicit a great response. The most important question; who is going to the Main Event? Roman Reigns is the easy pick but I’m going with the man I want in my Wrestlemania main event.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

Worst Male Wrestler of 2017

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NOMINEES:

  • Baron Corbin
  • Jason Jordan
  • Jinder Mahal
  • Bray Wyatt

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

JINDER MAHAL

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The four men nominated certainly had a difficult go at it in 2017. Corbin looked to be headed for a mega push and be SmackDown’s counterpart to RAW’s Braun Strowman. Unfortunately, at some point Corbin failed to impress and so led to failures like his Money in the Bank cash-in and his US title reign and feuds. Bray Wyatt’s name has been brought up in several other categories and has had his fair share of bad matches and feuds. Jason Jordan who is far from the worst wrestler was given a bizarre storyline and character and simply and it appears a bit soon for the young man. His promo skills have failed to deliver and with his character he is in need of more personality rather than his in-ring prowess. Nonetheless, there seems to be improvement but fans have the expectation of wrestlers to fulfill the responsibilities of a major push.

With that in mind, this is why Jinder Mahal has to be the worst male wrestler of 2017. Mahal went from barely being on RAW television and never having a meaningful feud or pay-per-view appearance to becoming the #1 contender for the WWE Championship. It seemed obvious that Mahal might do the unthinkable and capture the title. What I did not expect was for his boring reign to last as long as it did. What I did expect was improvement both on the mic and in the ring. I expected Mahal to deliver and at least show a hint of main eventer talents. Mahal, unfortunately was rather basic in all departments compared to that of other guys not in his position like Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe or Rusev. Mahal had really boring matches that were formulaic and lacked anything resembling a big fight feel for the title. The defense of he is a “heel” so if you hate him he’s doing his job simply does not apply because I did not hate the character, I felt it was poor selection on the real life actor for the role. Mahal really hurt the image of the title and failed to elevate himself to a main event status. A reason for his reign was to impact India where they couldn’t even sell tickets to two shows and were forced to reduce it to one and to make matters worse Mahal lost the title prior to the show and ended up doing the job to Triple H. It seems WWE has learned and is giving Mahal a chance to shine at a more appropriate level for Jinder.

I don’t enjoy doing Worst of the Year for superstars who work hard night in and night out, but in 2017 I felt no other option. I will post some predictions I have for 2018 and hopes of a more captivating year for WWE programming.