Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ROH Best in the World Preview & Head 2 Head Update!

First of all, a quick update on the Head 2 Head Competition after Payback.  I went 6-2, while Tom went 4-4, extending my lead to 26-8 to Tom’s 21-13.  With a 5 match lead for me after the halfway point, Tom’s got his work cut out for him!  Tom is away on business this week, so I wanted to take a quick look at this Saturday’s ROH Best in the World iPPV coming to you live from Baltimore!  Some good matches set for this weekend, so let’s take a look!

BJ Whitmer vs Mike Bennett

They’ve built this one nicely for what it is, a short undercard feud giving these two guys something to do.  I’m wondering at this point what the situation with Bennett is as far as his future goes.  If he is signing with WWE, it’s been kept quieter than Sami Callihan & Samuray Del Sol’s signings were, but yet I’d still be surprised if he didn’t get signed.  Alot of the outcome of this match is hingent on that in my eyes.  If he is leaving, no chance Whitmer loses.  If Bennett is staying, I think he could pull it out.  

The American Wolves vs Adrenaline RUSH

This could be the match where Adrenaline RUSH breaks out.  I like the team name for Thomas and ACH, and since it seems right now all the singles stars are programmed elsewhere, I like keeping them together as a team and giving them a name.  The Wolves always bring it, and I expect this to be a hell of a battle.  I’d love to say Adrenaline RUSH would get the win here, as it would skyrocket them perhaps, but instead, I think the Wolves sneak one out just barely and then put Adrenaline RUSH over afterwards.  

Michael Elgin vs Tommaso Ciampa

I don’t quite get why this is on the iPPV and Ciampa/Marshall is at the TV Taping.  Don’t get me wrong, this will be a VASTLY better match than Ciampa/Marshall, and maybe that’s why, but that issue has been built so well that Ciampa killing Marshall would have worked on the iPPV maybe more as far as storylines go.  I think they could have saved this too and had a slower simmer to a matchup that could have been huge down the road.  The other problem here is who loses?  Elgin seems to be heading to a title shot in Toronto, though I’d rather see it on iPPV.  Ciampa has just come back and you really don’t want to beat him cleanly yet I don’t think.  So, my guess is that Marshall comes out and interferes and “screws up the match” leading to both Ciampa and Elgin beating him down.  

Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole

These two would seem to be incapable of having a bad match, so, I get putting them together here.  Combine that with Cole not shaking Roddy’s hand after Roddy beat him in San Antonio, and you’ve got a very interesting story here about where Adam Cole’s head is at.  Now that we know Cole is staying with ROH for the forseeable future, I love that they are investing in him, and would love to see him as ROH World Champion by the end of the year, unless Elgin gets it before him and gets a good run, they both deserve it.  Roderick Strong seems a bit lost in the shuffle right now, but while there isn’t much storyline going on for him, he’ll put on a hell of a match here with Cole.  If I had to guess, either Cole gets the win by some sort of interference from Corino, or Strong gets another win to cast more doubt in Cole’s mind.  

Kevin Steen vs Matt Hardy

This is another match where for me it’s tough to pick a winner.  This is basically the culmination of Steen going through each member of SCUM, so it would make sense to have him win.  Yet with Hardy getting a World Title shot the next day on the TV Tapings, it would seem you’d want to keep him strong.  Of course if he’s going to win the title, you could say that since Steen beat him at the iPPV, he’s first in line for a shot at Hardy...but alot of that is up in the air depending on the outcome of Steel Cage Warfare at the TV Taping as well.  Either way, I expect this to be a heated match, with the crowd firmly behind Kevin Steen, and I’m going to go with Hardy getting the win after interference from Corino and maybe the rest of SCUM.  

Matt Taven (C) vs Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jay Lethal

I don’t see Lethal having a shot here, mainly because I don’t think he should be in the TV Title mix.  I either see Taven retaining (which would make sense going into Night of Hoopla) or Jacobs winning it to put gold in SCUM, after all, by Sunday they may have all the gold in ROH.  I tend to feel like that’s what’s going to happen here.  I’d rather see Taven keep the title as I think they are building him nicely and a good long run with the title will help with that, but instead, I see Jacobs taking the title here.  

reDRagon (C) vs. Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton vs Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Part of me says they’ll put the tag titles here on SCUM as well, but I really really hope not.  I am really digging redDRagon as champs, and want them to continue their run for a while more, and I think they’ve more than earned that right.  That being said, SCUM winning two titles in one night and with the chance to win the World Title and control of matchmaking at the TV Tapings does seem to make a ton of sense storyline wise.  I expect this should be a really fun match, but in the end, I see Compton & Titus walking out the champs sadly.  (Prove me wrong ROH!)

Jay Briscoe vs Mark Briscoe

This should be a hell of a battle!  I can’t really see any way Mark wins the title here, unless it’s to drop it immediately to Matt Hardy on Sunday, but I’d rather see Jay just keep it if that’s the plan for Sunday.  I think the attendance of the Briscoe Clan will be very interesting to watch.  Will they try to keep the Briscoes from just tearing each other apart?  Or will they just let them go at it?  I like that they’ve built this match up as Mark just being tired of Jay always saying he’s going to beat everyone’s asses, and standing up to his big brother.  No real hate, just a little brother saying “ok, enough, let’s do this!”  While I won’t see the card live due to work obligations, when I have the chance to catch it about a week later, I will be very interested to see how this all turns out!

So, there you have it.  Who do you think will win the big matches at Best in the World?  What are you excited to see?  Leave a comment here, or drop us a note at our Facebook page and let us know!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WWE Payback Head 2 Head

WWE returns to PPV this weekend, live from Chicago, IL with Payback – featuring Cena vs. Ryback in Three Stages of Hell (will there be an actual finish!?), Dolph Ziggler’s return to the ring after his concussion, CM Punk returns to his hometown crowd and much more!

Jim leads the Head 2 Head competition 20-6 to Tom’s 17-9.  Can Tom close the gap here?

Pre-Show Match – Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow

Tom: Okay, so Sheamus takes care of Mark Henry last month and now gets a pre-show match?  Well, it’s better than the big man Henry, not on the show at all.  Sandow has done well as a singles character, exuding his attitude and pompous self well.  This will be a delight for the fans, as the favorite Sheamus get the win and puts Sandow in his place.

Jim:  Yeah...I don’t get how Sheamus ended up in this mini-feud either, other than it was something to do with him until they need him for another thing.  If anything I’d love to see this feud as a way to elevate Sandow, but yeah, that doesn’t seem in the cards.  Sheamus gets the win for sure here.

Divas Title Match – Kaitlyn (C) vs. AJ Lee

Tom: I like the set up for this match, with Lee being revealed as the “catfish” secret admirer of Kaitlyn.  It fits great with the loony Lee of old and I think it is the psychological trick needed to throw Kaitlyn off her game.  AJ Lee wins to become Divas Champ.

Jim:  AJ Lee finally gets the Divas Title that she should have had long ago.  She is money, hope WWE continues to see that.  A reign of her as Divas Champ & Dolph as World Heavyweight Champ will be fun to watch!

IC Title Triple Threat – Wade Barrett (C) vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel

Tom: Originally scheduled with Fandango in Axel’s spot, I really thought he was set to win the Intercontinental Title here. Fandango goes on the shelf with a concussion and the hot Axel gets added in.  This is somewhat tricky, because I think WWE still likely wants the title to get to Fandango…but now because a matter of if that will happen versus when.  Axel has been built well and seemingly will continue to be pushed well, but would that be boosted more by a title around his waist?  Lastly, poor Barrett.  I think WWE really has dropped the ball with him.  Since I think that Fandango is a future IC champ, I will pick The Miz here, with my thinking being that he drops the title to Fandango at some point.

Jim:  I’m with Tom in that I think Fandango was going to get the title here.  So, now the question becomes, do they go to a holding pattern of The Miz until Fandango beats him for it, do they just leave it on Barrett and figure out where to go from there, or do they change course and give Axel something to do besides get weak “wins” over top guys without ever actually beating them?  I think Axel could work in the long term plans, but they have to start having him beat people other than SIn Cara cleanly.  I think that happens here and they give themselves the chance to tell a cool story of Axel holding the same title that his father so famously held back in the day.  Curtis Axel wins.  On a side note, totally agree with Tom about Barrett.  I suppose he could win Money in the Bank and get elevated (though if you win it you have to lose a crap ton of matches sometimes before cashing in, like Bryan and Ziggler), but dang, he just seems lost in the shuffle which is a damn shame.  

United States Title Match – Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Kane

Tom: I really like this extension of the fantastic stuff between The Shield and Kane, Bryan and Randy Orton over the last month.  Battling Kane is just another step on the ladder of increased spotlight for Ambrose and his talent to be on display.  My only wondering is whether or not this will have a clean finish.  I will lean towards that and my pick is Dean Ambrose.

Jim:  Totally agree that the matches between The Shield and Orton, Kane & Bryan have been awesome and I love the chance for Ambrose to continue to show what he’s got in singles action.  Rollins and Reigns will get their chance eventually in singles (and are doing a very nice job in tag action right now), but for right now, Ambrose is the singles star.  I could see a DQ win for Kane here, but they just did that Monday, so I say Ambrose gets the win here.  One thing is for sure, he’s keeping the title one way or another.

WWE Tag Team Title Match – The Shield of Reigns & Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton

Tom: On paper, this might be the match I am most looking forward to.  This just seems like it has unlimited potential to deliver and Bryan has been on fire as of late in the ring.  While I don’t see a title change likely at all, like the match before the storylines in play and going on here have been great.  Shield retain their titles and win.

Jim:  Yeah, NO chance that Orton and Bryan win the tag titles here, actually much more of a chance of miscommunication leading to an issue with them for a while here.  So, Rollins & Reigns get the win, but I totally agree, this match should be awesome to watch.  Bryan is still the best in the world if you ask me (Punk is right there with him), Orton has been on fire lately, and Rollins & Reigns have come into their own as a team.  Easy contender for Match of the Night!

World Heavyweight Title Match – Dolph Ziggler (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tom: Del Rio gets his singles re-match here and Ziggler returns from his concussion.  I have no doubts these two deliver a great bout.  I still think that the issue with Jack Swagger remains open as well, so I would not be surprised to see him stick his nose in as well.  I am going with Ziggler to win and retain, no doubt about it!

Jim:  It seemed on Monday that they were moving Swagger away from the World Title picture and into issues with other Mexican stars like Sin Cara.  So, I don’t see him playing a role here.  Either way though, there is no chance in hell they’d put the title back on Del Rio this quickly.  They’ve waited far too long to see what Ziggler can do on top to go back now, and Ziggler has more than earned it.  I hope he is all healed up, and I hope they have a hell of a match before Ziggler retains and he and AJ become the “power couple” of WWE!  

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Tom: There has been considerable speculation surrounding this match.  Will Punk be there?  Will the match take place?  Is there a rift between Punk and Paul Heyman?  Without buying and selling every rumor out there, how this match occurs and plays out will likely set up for a very interesting Summer for CM Punk.  I think there is something awry in his relationship with Paul Heyman and be it Curtis Axel, Brock Lesnar, another “Paul Heyman Guy” or Paul Heyman himself, I see Punk getting shafted and Jericho getting the win.

Jim:  I think Punk shows up, as it’s Chicago and I can’t see him not being there.  I’ve also read on PWInsider that he is scheduled to be back this weekend, so hopefully he’s at least there.  I agree with Tom, there is a ton of ways they can go here.  My guess is they do something here where Heyman, Axel or Lesnar “accidentally” causes Punk to lose and start the simmer to an eventual split.  Jericho gets the win here (if there is a match at all!)

WWE Title – Three Stage of Hell: John Cena (C) vs. Ryback

Tom: Interesting choices in the 3 Stages here: Lumberjack, Tables and Ambulance stipulations.  Of course the Ambulance carries over from last month, and the other can be built and sold well.  Unlike Jim, who doesn’t hide his disdain for “Super Cena,” I haven’t been nearly as irritated with some of the stuff that Cena has survived and come back from.  Now, come Sunday and depending on the brutality of this match, my belief and opinions may be tested.  No matter what happens, I hope the props and gimmicks are enough to carry this match and keep the fans into it.  If WWE doesn’t pull the trigger on Ryback here, I think they are stupid!  Ryback wins.

Jim:  Tom is dead on with his understanding of my disdain for the “Super Cena” who can’t be beaten, I know I made that really clear in last month’s react.  Three falls with three different stips is hard to keep people invested in for the length of time needed, so I think they’ll have their work cut out for them, and probably will keep one of the falls (maybe the table match?) pretty short.  I agree with Tom that if they don’t pull the trigger on Ryback here, they are stupid...but unfortunately, I think they are, we will differ on one more pick here, as I am going with John Cena and I expect I may have a lot to say about that in our React!

So, who do you think walks away with the titles this Sunday at Payback?  And what will happen with CM Punk?  It all goes down this Sunday night on PPV!