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Thursday, 28 June 2007

So what happens now?

It’s been a nightmare few days for the WWE and all wrestling fans, not to mention the friends and family of the late, and it seems not-so-great, Chris Benoit.

I am still coming to terms with the shock, still cannot fathom the depths of pure evil that seems to have been perpetuated, and without naming names for obvious reasons, there are several names in the wrestling industry that I CAN believe are capable commit such an act. However, before Monday, Chris Benoit was not one of them.

But we must move on. I am not saying this should be forgotten. This should never, ever be forgotten. Whether it serves as a warning to ordinary people against steroid use, or simply a wake up call to a reasonably lax industry, is yet to be seen. But I would stop short of laying all of the blame at their door.

Yes, it seems that more stringent procedures ought to be in order. I think that it is fair to say the much vaunted wellness policy has bigger loopholes than Andre the Giant’s shoelaces. However, while it cannot possibly be condoned, plenty of wrestlers have been ‘on the gas’ in the past – not many, if any, have gone on a suicidal, homicidal killing spree. (thinking about it, maybe Sabu might have to rethink his gimmicked introduction)

Do the WWE have a duty to look after their wrestlers? Of course they do. A prevailing suggestion at the moment seems to be that because Chris Benoit was smaller than most pro wrestlers, that he spent most of his life on anabolic Steroids to boost his size. Those of us that have watched him for many, many years, know that although Benoit has spoiled his legacy as a person, his talent and record of quality matches can never be extinguished.

But you can understand why wrestlers, on a tight schedule of being on the road for approximately 300 days a year, with no off season, may be forced into taking other, more drastic measures to help their look that simply working out in the gym. To make it as a top guy, you pretty much have to look like a star.

The only reason Dusty Rhodes made it was because he was a great interview and developed a following because of his being ‘just a common man’. The Dream, frankly, was an ugly, podgy guy, and still is. But he could work, he could talk, he had a great gimmick, and a brain for the business.

Most of those things can apply to Mick Foley. Although there was a right place, right time, aspect with Mick, as there is an argument to say that he would not have been picked up by WWF when he was if they weren’t on the bones of their arse, because he didn’t look like a star.

An example of someone who never really made it is Steve Corino. Here’s a quote from an interview with Raven in January 2000, when he was back with ECW:

“Steve Corino is a great example, he had long hair and was a real good talker but had no build, no tan, no nothing and didn't look a star. He's a hell of a talker, but didn't look like a star. So I made him go to the gym, put on 15 pounds, and made him get a tan, you know this is a cosmetic business, and made him bleach his long hair white, and grow out his face hair which is actually hadn't ever grown in 'cuz it was sparse...

"But it came in black. So he's got this white hair now with a black beard type thing and he's tanned and he's got a much better build, and you see him in a bar now and you're like, "I bet that guy's a somebody," and he looks like a star.”

(This comes from

The relative success of people such as Test and Chris Masters in recent years, who with all due respect have precious little in-ring or vocal talent, compared to someone like Corino, seems to back up those claims.

None of this is meant to vindicate either the WWE or Benoit, but is intended with a view to a slight redressing of balance, for some of the ill-informed comment I have read from some mainstream outlets.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Chris Benoit: 1967-2007

For anyone who doesn't know, yesterday authorities found Chris Benoit, wife Nancy and son Daniel dead in their Atlanta home. Police suspect that Mr Benoit killed his wife and son, and then himself over the weekend. I should stress this is not confirmed, just suspected.

I've been watching and writing about wrestling for so long, I'd always thought of myself as someone that didn't really have 'favourites'. There are people who I would prefer to see, like Edge, others I respect for the career but don't personally find so entertaining, like Undertaker and Flair, but I really do think if you pressed me and asked who my favourite was, I'd have said Chris Benoit.

What the hell do the WWE do now? Its one thing losing Benoit and throwing the Mr McMahon limo thing into jeopardy. Its quite another for the man to potentially be a murderer. We may now have had a 3-hour set of glowing tributes to a murderer.

It wasn't even twelve hours ago that I was blissfully unaware of this tragedy. I kinda wish I still was. I was gearing up for Raw - how would they come out of Vengeance, a really poor show, and deal with Vince's 'funeral'.

Vengeance. I feel so guilty about what I posted yesterday. Not because I hurt anyone or wrote what I didn't believe, but I wrote about it as if it was so important, so crucial that a few wrestling storylines and matches weren't up to scratch.

I went to both tapings in Earls Court in April. Saw wrestlers from all three brands, even met some of them. Not being a 'fanboy', I discussed goings on with those around me and occasionally expressed surprised, but didn't 'pop', didn't cheer or boo anyone's promos.

However, when Chris Benoit walked the aisle, I stood and applauded. I felt that he above all others was the one that deserved my respect. I am having a hard time dealing with that.

All of a sudden it feels so wrong to use his nicknames. The Rabid Wolverine. The Crippler. I know it doesn't bring any of them back, but a reall selfish part of me wants to find out that it was Nancy who killed them other two and turn it on herself, or some other outside party. I fear that is simply wishful thinking.

In due time, I will write a retrospect from my point of view of Chris Benoit's life and career. It may be here, it may be on The Sun's site. Now is not the time.

This feels like it can't be happening. But it is.

For real.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Back, with a Vengeance reaction

OK, so I’ve had some time to ponder last night, and collate my thoughts a little. I’m still feeling very deflated about the whole Vengeance PPV, and the WWE in general.

In my mind, of the nine matches, one was good (Edge v Batista) four were average (Hardys v Cade & Murdoch, Nitro v Punk, Chavo v Yang, MVP v Flair) one was barely a match (Umaga v Marella) Two were below par (Candice v Melina, The main event) and one was beyond dreadful (Deuce/Domino v Snuka/Sarge)

That’s an appalling return for Pay Per View which I was looking forward to, especially the main event which was so poor considering the talent and potential in the ring. If any of you saw TNA’s Slammiversary last week, the King of the Mountain title match was a great spectacle, a quality concept and really well put together. The WWE’s main event didn’t even come close to the efforts of Joe, Styles, Cage, Angle and Harris.

I’m fairly confident that Raw tonight will be better than Vengeance. I know that isn’t hard, but the annoying thing is, I bet Vengeance got a lot of people to purchase the PPV because of Benoit/Punk and the fiveway title match, and many of these people will become disillusioned about getting another PPV if this is what you get for your money.

When Raw is the following day and also a 3 hour show, as it was a fortnight ago, you wonder whether Pay per Views lose their edge and appeal.

I would definitely advocate cutting back dramatically on the amount of Pay Per View shows. Less could well be more, and I’m not begging for TNA to pick up a second hour and start pushing WWE a little bit. It might frighten them into action, like what happened when WCW went into overdrive.

There is only one company who resemble WCW circa 2000 at the moment, and it’s the company based in Stamford.

Guys, I want your thoughts. Please leave your comments below, because I do wonder if I am too scathing sometimes. I’ll get back to you on all feedback.

Vengeance: Blight of Champions

Hi all, its Vengeance time. As I type this, the opening montage is on, running through the card, and I’ve just read on a news site that Benoit may miss the show tonight. I jinxed the England Under-21s this week by saying it would be a Serbia-England final on Football365, I’m praying that me saying that Benoit/Punk is the match I am looking forward to more than any I can remember of late, isn’t going to scupper it.

Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham, former Tag Team champions, are shown in the audience, and a flashback of them competing in 1985 is shown.

Funnily enough, no sign of them wrestling as Captain if a ship, IRS, The new Blackjacks or The Stalker. How strange.

So it’ll be The Hardys and Cade & Murdoch to open. I like Cade and Murdoch, I think Cade especially could have a bright future, but damn, they aren’t over at the moment. In fact, their logo comes from a branding iron, and they should carry one to the ring – it’s the only way they’ll get any heat. Boom. And indeed, boom.

Wow. 0 for 1 for me, as Cade & Murdoch get it done against the Hardys. Reasonably clean as well. One would think that Londrick will be next up for C&M, and that the Hardys will go back their respective brand and prepare for government – I mean, prepare for singles pushes.

A Summerslam advert, and basically confirmation that the Jackass crew will indeed be part of the August PPV. So, a TV show where ordinary people hurt themselves in very, very stupid ways.

Oh, don’t try this at home, by the way…………

A strange juxtaposition, as a clip of the late Eddie Guererro winning the World title from Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004. Nice memories.

So out comes Chavo, Eddie’s nephew, as a heel. Hmm.

Jimmy Wang Yang (even less reaction than Cade & Murdoch) is now battling Chavo, and JBL is going through the legendary Guerrero family. Gory Guererro, grandfather of Chavo, is mentioned. His dad, Chavo Classic, a former Cruiserweight champion and a man who tagged in Houston with Mil Mascaras.

No mention of Hector Guererro, who portrayed the Goobledy Gooker. Funny that.

During this match, we’ve so far has references to Mascaras, the man of a thousand masks. Also Dean Malenko, the man of a thousand holds. I’m waiting for a reference to Vince McMahon. Man in a thousand pieces.

Christ, its like Tenpole Tudor have turned up. (kids, I’d google that one if I were you, I can’t be bother to explain it. The match is decent, by the way, so far.)

Chavo wins.

Now you won’t get many overtones about this being a 5-star classic, or indeed anyone remembering it in more than about 3 months time. However, I’d like to point out how well this match was booked and performed, because for much of it Yang had no reaction to anything, but by dropping in highspots like a flying bodypress (nearfall) and moonsault (missed) the crowd got into it, and when Jimmy reversed the Gorybomb in a sunset flip, the nearfall elicited a big gasp from the audience. Good matches tell a good story, and manipulate audience reaction. Good job here.

6 minutes of Vince related filler, and actually some good stuff, studying the last movements of the chairman, and even teasing a ‘major breathrough’ tomorrow night on Raw.

Damn it. Damn it, damn it. I wish I knew someone called Janet and I’d say it to her.

Benoit didn’t make it. There’s a massive “We want Benoit” chant in the arena, as CM Punk is taking on Nitro. No-one’s fault, I sincerely hope Chris and his family are ok, and that whatever the situation forcing him to miss this show, it not too serious in the longrun.

The trouble is, I don’t think either of these guys are ready for the title yet. Lets just hope for a decent match.

Johnny Nitro, former winner of Tough Enough, wins the ECW title. A clean win over CM Punk, no less, is how he got there.

If Benoit is back by Tuesday, he will kill him. They will want Benoit to carry this belt for a while, and him taking it off Punk on an ECW show is pointless. He’ll take it from Nitro, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Nitro, Benoit, Punk triple threat on PPV.

Here comes Ricky Steamboat, and JR & King talk about his match with Savage at Wrestlemania 3, and his series of encounters with Ric Flair.

Not when they dressed him up in orange wings and pretended he could actually breath fire.

Its Santino v Umaga, and as I ponder where Estrada is these days, it strikes me that it perpetuates the “Umaga is a lunatic” idea. I smell a DQ.

I swear I wrote the above paragraph before the match.

But come on. That was a really, really pissweak DQ finish. It was a few right hands in the corner, something you see in virtually every match and which is allowed to happen. Utter crap

The funniest thing was that Umaga was cheered as a face after the event. He was cheered when he attacked Santino post-bell, and when he looked as his thumb to symbolize the spike, I think it was as big a pop as I’d heard all night. The people then chanted “One more time”, and I think were expecting Maria, who had rushed to Santino’s aide, to get it too.

Remember the “kill the clown” chants directed at Doink? That was Santino’s equivalent.

Magnum T.A. is announced to the crowd. Wow, that’s some mustache he has on him. Magnum was a good show, but he was crap in Three Men and a Baby. What do you mean, “wrong guy”?

Flair v MVP now. This show is dying. We need these two, both very strong hands, to come through. This is the middle match on the show, and apart from the two main title matches, we have the Womens title and a tag team ‘challenge’ where is=f the rumours about the participants I hear are true, it’ll be a challenge for the match to anything but stink and for the challengers to be able to run and jump at all.

MVP wins, and as I suspected, he played dirty to do so. Fair enough. I have no problems with this match at all. It was tight, it didn’t expose either man, it had a logical conclusion.

So far we’ve had four out of five heel wins, and the babyface victory was Santino, who didn’t really look like a champion. Also, apart from the ECW title, which was vacant, we’ve had no title changes thus far.

They show Rick Martel and Tony Garea in the crowd. My God, what will happen if a backstage fight breaks out. That’s Garea job to sort it out!

The showed them winning the tag gold from The Wild Samoans. They didn’t show Rick Martel spraying Jake Roberts in the eye with perfume, and have a match with sacks on their head.

Yep, at a combined age of 112, its Sarge and the Superfly, with the only interesting story being that Deuce is in fact the adopted son of Jimmy Snuka.

I thought it was going to be two Majors, and instead I got a Sergeant.

I’d have had The Iron Sheik on commentary for this one, that’d been priceless.

Garea and Martel shockingly (!) get involved after Deuce and Domino win then beat down the legends. The combined age of the people in the ring now goes past 200. At least there is something on the show older than my jokes.

Long period of build up and intro, including Harley Race at ringside. They have shown former champions of every belt thus far, and it’s the Women’s title next. It will be probably be Moolah, but I’m begging for it to be Harvey Wippleman!

Edge and Batista III then which, if it’s a feud blow-off and there is nothing to suggest otherwise, you’d feel would benefit from a stipulation. Maybe 2 out of 3 falls or something. After all, their last match was in a cage. Maybe Adam Copeland thought “Edge inside Cage” sounded like a gay slur about him and his best friend, the former TNA champion.

Hooray! A good match. Finally. Great action, back and forth, and the more I watch Edge the more impressed I become. I was very hasty in predicting Batista to win this, because I’d say Edge is THE best all round performer in the company at the moment. He deserves that belt more than anyone.

People will slate the end of the match, but I liked it. The fake DQ and restart has been done loads of times, but I thought the count-out finish was creative, it didn’t bury Edge or make Batista look week. Maybe, if they are struggling for a route to go down, they could have Batista assist whomever Edge faces, with the idea being that Batista rids the rated R superstar of the belt, then is a allowed a title shot.

Damn, it was Moolah they reviewed. She doesn’t seem to be there. Presumably she and Mae Young are in quarantine after the dog barking routine on Raw the other week.

Two matches to go then – still no title changes, still no face wins.

We’re a couple of minutes into Melina and Candice, and the two divas are being very vocal. Lots of grunting and groaning. I bet I won’t hear noises like that on TV until……….well tomorrow, when Wimbledon starts.

Excuse me, I need a Sharapova moment…………….

Good lord, that was the last title change and face win I expected. And what a pretty face too. To Candice’s credit, she has improved a great deal of late, and we should remember that Trish was hopeless when she first started, and turned into as good a Women’s champion as there has ever been.

For the second time in the space of a week, I’m watching a Pay Per View main event with 5 people vying for a World Title. Lets see how they compare.

Hmm. I try and make a joke about the goings on in these PPVs, and I hope you find it at least vaguely entertaining. However, after that short, uneventful, uninspiring, very disappointing main event, which fittingly caps a distinctly poor Pay Per View.

The WWE is in trouble, big time. TNA got its biggest ever rating last week. Admittedly we are talking 1.2 to around about 4.0, but Slammiversary was vastly superior to Vengeance, and if Jeff and Dixie can successfully lobby for 2 hours, I’m begging that people give TNA a try as a genuine alternative, and hopefully it will inspire the WWE creative team to get out of this worrying slump.

I’ll try to get back within a few days to elaborate on my thoughts. Also, keep an eye on, which has had a makeover and will likely feature some of my current thoughts.

Good night, all. I think I probably should have gone to sleep 3 hours ago.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

More talk about Vince? No Vengeance in hell. (yeah, that was pretty weak)

So the next WWE Pay Per View comes hurtling into view, and it doesn’t seem four weeks since the last one.

And that’s because it was three.

To me, there are far too many Pay Per Views at the moment. Two problems with this: the first is that people only have so much disposable income. To watch all the PPVs, even for viewers here in the UK, for whom not every big show requires payment, is a considerable outlay. And for that, you want quality.

Which leads me to the second problem. Pay Per Views used to be when matches you were looking forward to took place, rivalries came to a bitter end, and major turning pints occurred. Now, this is very rare.

On Sunday’s Vengeance card you have three matches we’ve seen at least once on PPV (Edge/Batista, Melina/Candice, Hardys/Cade & Murdoch), two which were decided in the last 10 days of programming via qualification (Punk/Benoit, Yang/Chavo) and two which have basically no build up (Flair/MVP, Marella/Umaga).

And why is this? Well, the injury crisis hasn’t helped. Having several major stars out of the picture isn’t helpful to anyone. And obviously, the whole Vince’s Limo angle has overshadowed events of late.

So what will happen Sunday? Let’s take a look……..

US Title: Ric Flair v MVP (c)
As mentioned, zero build up to this, and no real reason to care, really. Logically, I don’t understand what Flair has done to earn this shot, ahead of, lets say Finlay, or indeed Khali, who was challenging for the most prestigious title in the company three weeks ago, and now can’t be seen. I’m not complaining, like, but logically Flair isn’t in the reckoning.

He is, though, still popular and a draw, so that is likely the reason for strong-arming him in somewhere.

I’d have this opening the show, as you know it’ll be fairly solid and likely not overlong. This is probably a slight ‘feed’ for MVP, who has shown massive potential and development during his feud with Benoit. The Porter/Benoit feud was, I would suggest, the catalyst for sending The Crippler to ECW, where he can do the same kind of this with Burke, Punk, Cor Von, etc.

I’m taking MVP to win this, probably with a liberal helping of tights or ropes to assist him. A US title reign does nothing for Flair, while a victory over the Nature Boy elevates MVP somewhat. A victory over “The dirtiest player in the game” through cheating makes sense.

WWE Tag Team Titles: The Hardys v Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch ©
For me, the title change should have occurred in their first match. Cade and Murdoch don’t look impressive for having beaten the Hardys, because when they did claim the gold, Matt and Jeff were selling their injuries from a ladder match.

Had their first encounter been a title switch, you could have had the rematch as the second bout on PPV, and the titles going back to the boys from Raleigh on the third go-round.

Anyhoo, they did it this way, and perhaps it’s because they intend to keep the belts on Cade and Murdoch. I think it is more likely that The Hardys regain the titles, and go on to face London and Kendrick. I hope so anyway, because that would make for cracking viewing.

I’ll go for the Hardys, because Londrick should be waiting, and because I don’t think WWE have the nerve to job them on Pay Per View.

World Tag Team title Open Challenge.
Deuce and Domino have apparently issued an open challenge for their titles. Whoopee.

There is only one other team on SmackDown, which is the Major Brothers, so logically it’ll be them, unless the WWE decide to go with what they do on occasions, which is mismatched partners who win a belt, then go on to feud. I can only find, though, with the help of’s Smackdown Superstars page, four available babyfaces: Shannon Moore, Funaki, Kane and Eugene. Kane and Eugene has to be a possibility, but I’d still plump that it’ll be the Majors.

The only other option is to have a Raw team step up, perhaps Cryme Time or The Highlanders, in which case they could win the belts and move to SD, making a complete mockery of the Draft (get the “R” out).

Since I have to make a prediction, I’ll say that whoever the challengers are will win.

Cruiserweight Title: Jimmy Wang Yang v Chavo Guerrero ©
This should be a fairly solid encounter, with Chavo being another Benoit-like character, who can help others to improve. This, I would suggest is why is Cruiserweight champion, much like Dean Malenko several years ago.

I don’t see any change to his situation, and the booking up to this show backs up his retention claims, in my eyes. Booking JWY to look a credible challenger, beating Chavo in previous encounters, the WWE are trying to stress he is good enough to pull off the win at Vengeance. Not for me.

Should be decent, but Chavo will win.

Womens Championship: Melina Perez © v Candice Michelle
With more silicon in the ring than is in the PC I’m typing this on, I’m not expecting a catch-as-catch-can classic, but this shouldn’t be a complete disaster. Candice has shown significant improvement of late, and Melina’s character is a strong one, so this feud has been reasonably watchable.

I think Melina will retain, as I don’t think they would be able to rely on Candice to be quite strong enough to carry the title just yet.

Intercontinental Title: Santino Marella © v Umaga
To be fair, I got sick of the underdog routine after Barry Horowitz’s second match, so subsequent similar angles with Crash Holly, Spike Dudley and now Santino Marella don’t particularly interest me.

My first instinct was that this would be simply a way of taking the belt away from the Italian, by virtue of the fact that Umaga is an unstoppable monster (unless you’re Cena or Lashley, of course). However, a Regal v Marella programme was teased on Raw, with the attractive, though not exactly Oscar-nominated, Maria in the middle. And that makes more sense as a title encounter, rather than a feud for the hell of it. And where does the Samaon Bulldozer go with the belt?

Tricky one. I’ll stick with Umaga, because I can’t see him being dropped after ht push his character has received, to lose to Marella. Remember, the reason he lost in the first place was because Lashley imposed himself.

ECW World Title: Chris Benoit v CM Punk (title currently vacant)
Hopefully this will be given plenty of time, a sensible position on the card (about third last) and a sensible, clean finish.

What this match needs is for that rarest of beasts to occur – a match which finishes clean, but manages to put over both men at the same time. It’s a tough ask, but these men are up to.

Benoit needs to win this. CM Punk is a future star, should be a future world Champion, but needs time to develop and perfect his craft. There is no hurry; Bret Hart was 35 before winning his first WWF title – Punk is just 28.

And the point I made previously about losing a match but still getting over? Steve Austin was a ‘future star’ until Bret Hart beat him in five-star classic at Wrestlemania 13. This was the catalyst for Austin’s career, and he took off after this.

So give the ECW title to Benoit, but book it closely, with loads of near falls and false finishes, perhaps throw in Punk not tapping to the crossface after prolonged pressure, and Benoit winning with a wresting hold. Follow this with a handshake of respect, and you might be talking Match of the Year contendership.

I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a match quite as much for some time. I hope they deliver. Benoit to win, just.

World Heavyweight Championship: Edge © v Batista
This is quite tricky to call, I think. I’ve been quite impressed that Edge has been booked to win reasonably cleanly twice, to be honest. Once again, back to the logic thing, how many consecutive title matches has Batista failed to win? I make it 5. Now the first one he lost the belt, so earns a rematch. Then there were two draws, so fair enough. But he didn’t really earn the last one, nor this.

Anyway, here we are, and most reports I have read seem to be saying to put your house on Edge to win. I’m not so confident.

It’s interesting to note that this is now a “Last Chance match” rather than a “do or die” match. Presumably the bad taste surrounding the Mr. McMahon explosion or even Sherri Martel’s passing. Anyway, so if Batista doesn’t win, he doesn’t get another title shot while Edge is champion.

Back to the lack of faces on the Smackdown roster, and I’m trying to see where Edge goes next if he wins. And all I can see is a returning Rey Mysterio. Otherwise, Batista can be set for title programmes with Mark Henry or The Great Khali – I didn’t say they;d be pretty, but its likely, isn’t it?

So against the grain, I’m going to plump for Batista. Although I reserve the right to award myself a late half-point if Edge wins and feuds with Mysterio next.

WWE Championship Challenge match – John Cena © v Randy Orton v King Booker v Bobby Lashley v Mick Foley.
I think that I have to wheel out the old patented (the patent finally came through) McNichol Eliminator for this one. But it might not get me that far……..

Firstly, Mick Foley doesn’t win. He can’t, that’s nonsense, forget it.

Next, Booker isn’t going to take this. He isn’t nearly as high a calibre as the other three remaining. If it goes to a heel, it goes to Randy Orton. And can you see someone who is admittedly talented, but with a played-out gimmick headlining the flagship show? No. He’s out.

So we are down to Cena, Lashley and Orton. Three ‘untouchables’.

Cena and Lashley have been the unstoppable champions, overcoming all odds and defeating most everything in their path, almost Hogan-style. Randy Orton, meanwhile, despite the occasional destruction of a hotel room and defecation in Diva’s bags, is favoured currently – mainly because Triple H wants him kept strong until The Game himself returns.

I really am struggling, and the McNichol Eliminator Add-on of a random guess isn’t fully developed yet, so I have to try and be logical.

I’m going for a bit of wild stab. I’m going for Orton.

Why? Well first of all, I’ll say that he won’t be pinning Cena or Lashley. I suspect that Foley’s inclusion might be so that Orton can pin a face without making Cena or Lashley seem weak by comparison. Cena then says he wasn’t pinned for the belt, Lashley hasn’t lost cleanly since he lost the ECW one, so they are still strong.

And as an extra variable, what about Cena being accused of the McMahon limo explosion? I’m not saying that he’ll be revealed as the one who did it, but I could see some sort of angle where Coach, with support from Stephanie, stops Cena from having any more title involvement, while they investigate him.

Prediction: Randy Orton, and that I need to design McNichol Eliminator 2.0.

So there we are. I am actually really looking forward to Vengeance, mainly because of Benoit and Punk, which I expect to be excellent, and the Raw, WWE championship match which I really have no idea who’ll come out victorious.

Enjoy Vengeance, I’ll see you back here on Monday for a recap.

Friday, 15 June 2007

A quick note on Vince's possible assailant(s)...........

I don't think it takes a expert on 1980s television to draw a slight parallel between the new WWE "Who killed Vince?" angle and the famous Dallas "Who Shot JR?".

So in honour of that, I propose that the three consipirators in this campaign to be relevaled to Lashley, Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross.

Bobby, the Dream and JR.

You heard it here first.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Now thats what I call an angle "Blow Off".....

I've seen some weird shit in my time watching wrestling, but this weeks edition of Raw just about tops it all.

The show itself was ok. Unfortunately my predicitons of CM Punk, Carlito and Shelton moving were off the mark, but I did successfully call benoit to ECW and Booker to Raw. (I'm fed of the bloody "King Booker" act though - just be Booker T again, please?) The draft was handled reasonaly well, albeit the logic behind someone wrestling a match whereby if they win they got another bloke who could kiss their arse was a little flawed - especially after Edge 'won' Khali for his brand.

I always love seeing legends pop up in the show. To be fair, I can take or leave the insane ramblings of Snuka, Sheik and especially Captain Lou, and Moolah and Mae Young really must be shameless or get paid a lot to do what they do.

But as well as this motley crew, we got Piper, Heenan, the Dream, Foley and best of all Bret on the show to say a few words. It was great to see the Rowdy one back, I certainly wish him well in his fight with health issues, and my all-time hero, the legendary Bret Hart apppearing made my night.

To cap the night off we had a battle royal. Orton wins, and Kennedy and Snitsky go tot Raw. Fine, I can live with that. End of show, right? Wait, theres still time remaining.

Vince wanders to the ring, gets a microphone. Drops the microphone, heads to the back. We follow his movements as he passes basically everbody we haven't seen in the show up until that point standing behind Gorilla (the position) - presumably the logic was that if they got drafted they had to get to the entrance quickly.

We see Vince pass notables such as Howard Finkel and, tellingly Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson. He then walks outside, slow as you like, turning twice to eye two lurkers outside the building. He then gets in his limo.

The limo explodes.


It seems very much as though, stressing very strongly that this is for storyline purposes only, Mr McMahon is dead.

Running Steve Austin over to explain a storyline absence with could have permanent is one thing - he had a bad neck - supposedly killing off the best heel in the company, like it or not, is decidedly odd.

I know that the Undertaker 'died' and came back but that was very different. That was 1994, and his gimmick was an undead zombie, for crying out loud. The landscape has changed, and we are not talking about getting beaten up with elbows, headbutts and Bansai Drops - we are talking about being car bombed.

This is serious stuff, and I can only imagine that someone, somewhere in th WWE is considering retiring. The reason I say this is that surely we'll see Steph, Shane and Linda appear on TV appealing for help in catching their father's killer, and eventually someone will get busted for it. This person should then be (kayfabe) imprisoned, not forced to wrestle a stipulation match then dropped into the midcard (Rikishi)

Another option is that after months of searching a person gets arrested for it, but Vince turns out to have faked his death for some reason.

If he is 'dead', who did it? The most famous 'killing' in television history is 'Who Shot JR?' Maybe JR, Jim Ross, killed VKM!

Coach could be an early contender. Here is a direct quote, the last words heard on Raw this week: "You're going the wrong way. Sir, your limo is that way."

Shane, Stephanie, Hogan, Flair, Bret, Lashley (haha, soft spoken killer) Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff, Mick Foley, The Undertaker. You could probably make good cases for any of these to be worked in as the storyline murderers.

I prefer, right now, to leave it, tune into ECW and Smackdown this week, and see wht happens. I urge you to as well. This was huge, and no-one saw it coming. As an eternal opimist, I hope that WWE creative have that one great idea up their sleeve.

The next few weeks could be a blast.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Is it me, or is getting drafty in here?

I am writing this some 12 hours before RAW is scheduled to start tonight, with their 3-hour draft special. (1am start in the UK tonight, guys not 2am)

I’m really looking forward to it. I have a list of grievances with WWE as long as my arm. In fact as long as Mr. Tickle’s arm. (I’ve been a writer 7 years and I think that’s my first ever Mr. Men reference – and I loved it) However, I feel that in the present climate, they really are urinating into the wind as it were. The injury problems that have just mounted up leads to a, and you’ll hopefully pardon the turn of phrase, crippling of the roster. Consider this:

Booker T
Rey Mysterio
Triple H
The Undertaker
Ken Kennedy
Shawn Michaels

Now add Rob Van Dam not being around for a different reason and Big Show has left, and you are talking eight different main event level stars who are currently out of action for one reason or another. So who is left? Well, Edge, Cena and Lashley are the champions, Batista is still up there, Orton I suppose, and probably you could include Benoit in the list if pushed. But realistically, Khali and Umaga have been pushed up into the picture, with the use of Lashley’s extended feud with Mr. McMahon trying desperately to cover up the deficiencies.

The good news? Well, Mysterio, Booker, Kennedy and Triple H should be back in action relatively soon, and with the popularity of the Hardys as high as it’s ever been, the elevation of MVP, and the continuing progress of CM Punk should mean a restoration of prominence for the product in the upcoming weeks and months.

So the draft? Firstly, I’m unsure as to how the process will work. When the original roster split took place, Ric Flair and Vince McMahon (storyline Co-owners) selected ten wrestlers each, as I recall, on RAW, then everybody else was just drafted afterwards and they told us on

Last time, someone simply got drafted to another show each time, beginning with John Cena going from SD to Raw, and ending with Batista taking the opposite route. Drafts have seen teams broken up, which was a bad thing for the Dudleys, who floundered, but a short–term boost for Shelton Benjamin, who was pushed heavily on RAW.

Looking at logical moves, I’d say that Chris Benoit is long overdue a move, and may be sent to ECW what with his history with the company, plus their loss of RVD. He may also replace CM Punk, who I can see benefiting by moving to Smackdown. The reason I say this, is I would send Carlito and Shelton Benjamin to Friday nights as well.

To me, the draft should be there to freshen up the roster, to create new feuds, or ones we haven’t seen in a while, and to allow workers who careers are dwindling, or stagnating, to be given a fresh opportunity to shine. Carlito and Shelton are in this bracket. However, there were in this bracket the last time there was a draft, I think and were moved then. But having these two jump to Smackdown along with Punk would give the Straightedge superstar more scope for interesting angles – on a show people actually watch.

Since there are no tag team titles on ECW, I fail to see why the Major Brothers would logically stay there. So if no ECW tag titles are forthcoming (and its best there aren’t) then send them to Smackdown too.

To Raw? I’d send Booker T to compete there when fit again, and possibly Finlay or someone of that level. He’d be good for Santino Marella to help him improve after his rushed push to prominence which has further devalued the Intercontinental title. You know what’ll happen though, don’t you? They’ll move Mark Henry to Raw, so after sleeping through Cena and Khali, we get another immobile freak with no heat for Cena to squash. Or maybe Lashley might have to The World Strongest Man with the World Longest Contract with the Worlds Wrongest Push.

But it’s good to have some contention about whats going to happen, and really nice to look forward to a show. Don’t let me, down, WWE.

Monday, 4 June 2007

One Night Stand - An Extreme Letdown

In 2005, he showed how good he was on the microphone with a great promo. Rumour has it the whole pay-per-view was his creation.

In 2006, he main evented again John Cena, and emerged victorious in front of a rapid, pro-ECW crowd.

How sad then, that if this is his last match, its one with a rubbish gimmick attached to it. I mean, honestly – pull your opponent over a finish line with a stretcher? What is this, It’s a Knockout? Wouldn’t it have meant something for RVD to have his final match in an ECW rules match in front of an ECW crowd……a REAL ECW crowd.

But never mind, I just hope he goes out with a bang.

Haha, swerve city! Although I did read a report earlier that Vince may change the finish in order to fool us all, but I’ll admit I didn’t believe it. Maybe we will see Van Dam again.

To be fair, sentimentality aside, this was a great match from the WWEs perspective. It wasn’t quite a Flair/Steamboat classic or a Bret/Bulldog from Wembley. It did, however, elicit great sympathy from the fans for the babyface in peril, RVD, and made Randy Orton look like a complete bastard, which is the longer term aim.

Some great spots too. The fall from the top rope added to the psychology, the rolling thunder into the powerslam was perfect, and both men seemed to work the match very stiffly, which truly lend it an air of gravitas.

The thing that struck me early on was that it was supposed to be extreme rules, as JR, King and other keep reiterating, and yet basically no illegal moves were used, save for a few closed fists. I mean, wouldn’t RVD have gone to get a chair as soon as he got the opportunity?

Anyway, maybe it’s a goodwill gesture, as if to say that if RVD wants to return, they’d welcome him back.

The daft CM Punk storyline is painful, as is ECW generally. So far, at least it has yielded a decent Punk/Burke match. I get the feeling this tables match will be organized chaos.

AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Why are they starting the match on the apron? A) Its no-DQ, what is going to happen if someone interferes? Nothing. B) Since when was ECW about following rules and guidelines. C) The first table match I saw (non-ECW) was the Hardys v the Dudleys at Royal Rumble 2000. It was tornado tag.


Fairly short match, booked to showpiece Punk, which is fair enough. However, I’d like to point out that 40 minutes into this pay-per-view, the only pieces of weaponry on show have been items that are part of the matches themselves, except for the Sandman’s cane, which he hit Striker which about as hard as one would tap a spoon on a boiled egg.

A sort backstage spot where Orton and Edge basically threaten each other, and Orton manages to get the date of the draft wrong, and do a feeble Goldberg impression. In fact, Randy, remind us long that streak is? 32-0? 125-0? 999-0? In fact, Orton hasn’t lost a match for over 20 minutes. Way to go, Legend Killer.

Time for the ladder match. By my maths, that means after this we have the three title matches, Kane/Henry in a concession stand match (for the fans in the arena anyway) and …………….PUDDING!!!!

I know JR is a Hall of Famer and all that, but so far he has said that Matt and Jeff are as good in singles matches as they are in tag matches – so they both have 6 world titles do they? – and that a ladder can be used ‘defensively’. How, exactly?

This match never got going. Whether we are spoiled by Money in the Bank and TLC matches, I’m not sure, but I just don’t think The Hardys, Benjamin and Haas clicked. Don’t get me wrongly, the bumps taken, by Shelton in particular, were pretty brutal, but as well as being disjointed, it featured Haas slipping when German Suplexing Jeff off the top rope, Benjamin having two mishaps with the ropes within 60 seconds, which I am sure were botched, as well as the most piss-weak double team maneuver I have ever seen, as Haas and Benjamin, did some sort of forward roll hip toss resembling a nine year old gymnastics lesson.

To be fair, I’m probably being way too critical, but I just felt it lacked a little. I bet it was fantastic live though. I shall watch this in a replay with a less critical eye, and will like it, I’m sure. Would have been a hell of a fillip for The World’s Greatest Tag Team to beat the World’s Most Over Tag Team, though. Would then have been good to watch the Hardys chase the titles down, rather than just obliterate their opponents. All the time.

I listened to a Khali promo, and tried to pick out English words. I got “On me a catastrophic oblong.” I hear you, buddy. I intend to play “The Khali Game every time from now on. I urge you to too.

Lumberjack match now, and I think the only reason they announced the Lumberjacks individually was to play the whole ONS theme song for longer.

If Mark Henry is only 390lbs, then Khali is an inch taller than Hornswoggle, Snitsky is a black guy, and Jillian Hall’s tits are real.

It tells you something about how people get ahead in WWE, when this utter bore-fest, travesty of a wrestling match which made me want to cry, goes ahead, but Carlito, Benoit, Nitro and Chavo are stood on the outside watching.

The Match ends as Kane falls asleep. No seriously That’s like David Copperfield getting robbed by a pickpocket.

A backstage fight breaks out between The Hardys and TWGTT. Fair enough. I wonder if Tony Garea gets paid extra for appearing on TV to separate these fights.

Here comes the Boss. And he has Shane and Umaga in tow.

I can smell the Pudding.

Lashley misses his first move. 0 for 1.

Jesus, Bobby neds to work on the art o making friends. Not too many folks rushing out to help him right now, is there?

That Estrada was useless wasn’t he? Umaga was a mad savage, responding only to the symbolism of breaking a cigar. Two months with The McMahons, and they’ve got him holding trash cans in place and patting the boss’s head.

Speaking of the trash can – it hit Umaga in the head. If wrestling has tought me nothing else, its that Samoans all have heads so hard you cant hurt them. I is confusinged! (sic)

Lashley wins, fairly well pud together. All competitors pud in a lot of effort, and credit to them for puddin themselves out. Pudding themselves…….puddin…….PUDDING!

After a fun skit with Santino, Maria and Candice (Damn, indeed, Mr Simmons) we’re ready to go. I’m worried about the depth of pudding. Wrestling has had enough bad press, we don’t need items on news programmes worldwide leading with the unfortunate drowning of a diva. Candice and Melina have decent buoyancy aids though.

It’s over already. I demand an Iron Woman Pudding match at Vengeance.

The cage is lowered, and I’m trying to work out how Edge can retain without Batista losing face. I can only think that Orton will insert himself in the match somehow.

A fairly standard cage match, with Edge bumping like a mad thing, and a reasonably logical ending. I like the fact that Edge has now won two matches fairly. Cheaply, yes, but legally nonetheless. I hate it when a heel champion is booked weakly with the belt for no reason other than he isn’t a babyface. To me, he can be a weasel, a whiner and a cheat, but he needs to be a bit of a badass, and a legitimate champion. That way people pay to see them get whats coming to them, and the face looks great for having beaten the guy who hasn’t lost in ages. Remember: ECW = Edge Can Work.

Worth noting that Batista would still make for a reasonably credible challenger, Orton has been build up well, Kennedy and Mysterio aren’t far off returning. The draft could be very interesting.

Cena v Khali – this might make the pudding match look like a catch-as-catch-can classic……….

Mercifully, as I find myself saying for the second time in 4 weeks, it was short. Just please God, no more of it.

Sorry to be negative about the whole thing, but I cannot in any good faith give a thumbs up to this Pay Per View. Henry v Kane was abysmal, Khali v Cena uninteresting. I have joked about the pudding match, but it was poor fare really. Edge v Batista was fine, but no better than many main events we’ve seen on Raw and Smackdown of late.

Hardys v Haas & Benjamin had its moments, and was probably the best spectacle on the card, although I thought Orton and RVD worked their socks off. Six man tables match was uninspired, and Lashley beating Vince was probably one match too many.

Worth staying up for? Lets just say I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it.

Extreme-ly glad.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Depending on WWE announcers whims, they often talk of either Hell in a Cell or the Elimination Chamber as being the ‘most demonic structure’ in the federation. These matches can shorten careers, JR & co will tell co. Hear Michael Cole go into hyperbolic overdrive as he insists that the steel can take human form and become ‘a carnivore’. But if you think that these are the most dangerous and extreme matches possible in pro wrestling, think again. I have one word for you.


Yes that’s right, although the most prestigious (only) women’s world title is not on the line on Sunday at One Night Stand, Candice Michelle bids to put one over current champeen Melina.

Could you imagine, back when Joe Frazier was world heavyweight boxing champion, and Muhammed Ali lay claim to the belt, before they went toe-to-toe in The Fight of the Century at Madison Square garden, they had a non-title encounter in a paddling pool filled with junk food?

This may be a sticky situation for champion Melina, who is likely to get her just desserts in a match which is Candice’s bread and butter.

Prediction here says that Candice will win, then get soundly beaten in a title match at Vengeance.

One Night Stand is shaping up to be a strange Pay Per View. Not just because of its name – how can it be a one night stand if it’s the third time you’ve done it? But anyway, from an artistic perspective, heaping stipulations on every match could be tricky. After all, the idea of gimmick matches is really as a feud ender, when ordinary matches couldn’t get it done. To just have a two week Hardys/WGTT programme and then say ‘oh we’ll have a ladder match’ may affect fans expectations further down the line. However, for now, we’ll just concentrate on the PPV.

Aside from the above Pudding match, seven other matches are currently scheduled, all with a certain stipulation added to it.

The most recent, and the least anticipated, will be Kane v Mark Henry in a lumberjack match.

I’ve never understood lumberjack matches. The theory is that it’s dangerous because if you leave the ring there are loads of people there to beat on you, and you get no respite because they throw you back in to your hungry opponent.

In the dim and distant past, George Hackenschmidt didn’t run Frank Gotch over the barrier into the crowd, or backdrop him through the announce table. Today, leaving the ring and changing the complexion of the match, making it easier to watch.

Kane v Mark Henry is going to be difficult enough to watch, let alone with them limited to in ring action. I’ll go for Henry to take this match, due to the seemingly never-ending push to get this overweighted, overrated, boring, bumbling waste of airtime over with the fans. It will never happen. Sometimes I wonder if Mark Henry has incriminating photos of Stephanie or something, and if he isn’t pushed he’ll reveal his secret. And sometimes I just cry quietly.

Since One Night Stand originated as an ECW idea, and features extreme matches, it only seems right to feature the only two remaining individuals who really embody the spirit of the old Ee-cee-dubya. Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman.

These two ‘originals’ will team up with CM Punk to take on the New Breed of Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker and Elijah Burke. Punk and Burke stole the show at the last Pay Per View, Judgment Day, and will be hoping to be in a similar situation this time round.

This is a tough one to call, as I can’t really see the bookers getting behind Dreamer and Sandman (well, they haven’t done so far), but then Punk has been on a bit of a roll. I’ll sit on the fence: this is a good candidate to start the show, and if it does, then I’ll say a face win. Anywhere else on the card, and I’ll go for The New Breed.

You know, it feels hard to even write the initials ECW now. A once proud promotion, although time and nostalgia has made it seem a lot better than it really was, the modern day equivalent, although improving, is a pale imitation of the original. In fact, no it isn’t, it isn’t even an imitation.

There is no doubt that One Night Stand 2005 was one of the greatest Pay Per Views I have ever seen. Several excellent matches, one absolute belter with Tanaka and Awesome, and a killer promo by Paul Heyman were just some of the highlights.

Last year the main event saw Rob Van Dam winning the WWE’s major title from John Cena after RVD cashed in the money in the bank.

In the 2005 show, Van Dam was not an active wrestler on the show due to injury, although he did get involved in a Sabu v Rhino match. He did cut a promo, though, accompanied by Bill Alfonso, in which acknowledged the generally held belief that it was he, Rob Van Dam, who came up with the idea for One Night Stand in the first place.

So how fitting, then, that his contest with Randy Orton will likely be his last for the WWE. His future is subject to much speculation. It has been said for numerous months that he, along with his friend Sabu, was growing tired of competing for Vince McMahon. Censured for drugs offences, both men have been in the WWE doghouse for some time, and with Sabu having been let go, the burgeoning promotion and lighter work schedule of TNA is beckoning them. Other sources tell you that RVD will take some time off then return to WWE.

He could do both. Jeff Hardy had become disillusioned with WWE, joined TNA for a bit, then found his way home. Sabu has already competed for TNA, before it started to gain increased recognition.

In recent times, we’ve seen the departing Trish Stratus and Lita sign off in very different ways. Trish left as a face, (and what a lovely face it is) had her name chanted by the crowd, and won the Women’s title in her final bout. Lita, however, lost and was ridiculed, presumably in keeping with her heel persona.

RVD is a babyface, but I don’t see him leaving with a win. Look for the courageous underdog doing all he can but ultimately failing on Sunday night. Look at it for the WWE’s point of view. You have Randy Orton, a superstar who is over, placed near the top of the card, and logically the next contender to John Cena’s belt, depending on the draft. He has been credited on air with putting HBK on the shelf, and is halfway to doing the same to Van Dam.

On the other hand, some upstart who is still living on past glories in a minor promotion in a bingo hall in Phillie is too much of a big shot to sign a new contract. Who do you put over?

RVD is a supremely talented wrestler, and I sincerely hope that he gets whatever break he needs to recharge his batteries and return to the ring, whether a WWE one or a TNA one, as good as ever.

But he won’t win on Sunday, in the third incarnation of his own creation.

There are three world title matches on the card for One Night Stand. None of which really get me too excited about the show. All are basically rematches from the Pay Per View from a fortnight previous.

I do feel sorry for the WWE, what with their plethora of injuries. Think about it. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Ken Kennedy, Booker T, Rey Mysterio Super Crazy, Shane Helms, are all out at the moment, and apart from the last two, are all main event-level stars.

So I do feel for them having to keep it together in the face of one of the worst injury crises ever, but nonetheless, no-one is going to buy Pay Per Views out of compassion and sympathy. And there really isn’t much to write home about in terms of tempting matches to draw in the punters.

The one possible saving grace may by the Ladder match between the Hardys and Haas & Benjamin. There are a couple of factors to consider here. Firstly, we have seen multi-team ladder matches, major TLC matches, not to mention the money in the bank which both Hardy brothers competed in less than three months ago. This can’t live up to that.

Also, the build up……..well, has there been one? Basically, the WWE-proclaimed-Self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team watched a match at ringside then fought in an 8 man tag with Nitro & Dysktra against The Hardys and Cade & Murdoch. Common sense says a four-way tag ladder match is the sensible booking, especially considering that Dykstra and Nitro both seem suited to this environment, but I would think the storyline with Cade & Murdoch supporting the Hardys is the reason for keeping them out of it.

Benjamin was awesome in two money in the bank matches, and Haas can go, so I expect this to be the best match of the night. Can’t see the Hardys dropping, maybe Johnny and Kenny will try to assist TWGTT, but Lance and Big Trev will even the score, with the Hardys retaining.

Edge v Batista is the trickiest match to call of all. This is quite simply the only two remaining headliners in the company apart from John Cena (I still don’t consider Lashley a headliner whatever they try to tell me) who are fit. The only other option, potentially, is Chris Benoit, but he hasn’t been considered that highly in a long time.

The problem here is twofold. Firstly, Edge v Ken Kennedy is the obvious, and as I understand, planned, feud upon Mr K’s return. Considering Edge, in the storyline at least, was responsible for Mr. Kennedy losing his Money in the Bank title shot, you’d think that this contest would be Kennedy trying to win the title from champion Edge.

So you keep the belt on Edge then? Don’t want to have a transitional champion again, really, do we? And Edge does deserve his run. Ok…….what happens to Batista? He has been Beaten by the Undertaker, then tried to get the belt back twice more, unsuccessfully, from the Deadman. One attempt at Edge was unsuccessful, although they played up a leg injury. So if Batista doesn’t win this time, then is his credibility sliding somewhat?

I wondered whether the draft will see Batista being placed on the same roster as John Cena, giving us this feud for the first time, really. As I understand it, Kennedy is due back in July, so maybe a month for Edge v Benoit, or they could switch Orton to face Edge, continuing their unfinished business.

Moving away from my fantasy booking, which is clearly me stalling before having to make a prediction, I think Edge will win. To be fair, it is more a latter prediction making me think this, but all of the above has an impact as well.

One final thought on the draft – it is a superb opportunity to draft someone to a show who is returning and could make a big splash, putting a fresh name at the top of the card. Chris Jericho anyone?

I think it is likely that Vince v Lashley will top the bill, so I would expect that John Cena v The Great Khali will precede this, maybe with the Divas match in between the two.

I don’t see this being anything other than Cena winning a short (10 mins?) match after an FU, putting him over as being able to beat a big man, as well as putting him over his shoulders and slamming him to the mat.

Again, this is a match which is not exactly mouth watering, but basically forced upon the booking team. This, I suspect, is a major reason for the draft.

Finally, then, Bobby Lashley v Vince McMahon. Street Fight – which means that at some point Shane and Umaga will get involved. I don’t have any doubt in my mind when I say Bobby Lashley will win. He is a Vince McMahon pet project, and will win this match and the ECW title. The only thing I can’t work out is how.

To me there are three options, I don’t know which is more plausible. This is all assuming that Umaga and Shane will stick their noses in.

Firstly, Lashley overcomes the odds. Theoretically, he has done it once, beating the trio of Umaga, McMahon and McMahon (that sounds like the shittest bunch of solicitors ever, doesn’t it?) at Judgment Day. So the first option here is he just destroys everything and everyone in his path.

Secondly, he wins after a cock up by Team McMahon. Think Vince holding Bobby in position for Umaga, who swings the spike at Lashley, but clocks the Boss. Lashley gets rid of Shane and the Bulldozer, and simply pins Vince. Other options could involve Shane clocking Vince. Whether either of these would lead to dissention in the ranks and even a turn, who knows, but its possible.

Lastly, Lashley (not easy to say) wins by virtue of being saved by someone. So Vince, Shane and Umaga are in the midst of a beatdown, and Lashley is saved by someone in the back. I can’t see this happening, because it would suggest that Bobby can’t get it done by himself, and seemingly the whole point of the feud is to put him over as a bit of a monster.

I’ll go for the first one, tentatively. By the way, because I think Lashley will cap off the show with a win is why I’ve tipped Edge to beat Batista. I can’t see three major babyface title wins, especially when two of them would see the belt changing hands.

Enjoy One Night Stand, I’ll be back with my thoughts early next week.