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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
TEAM COVERAGE:
WWE Judgment Day PPV Preview
May 20, 2006

Compiled by Rick Scaia
Featuring All Your Favorite OnlineOnslaught.com Semi-Stars

 

So I had this idea back on Tuesday.... I figured the last two SD! PPVs have taught me that it's awkward-as-hell to try publishing a PPV preview before the final episode of the show even airs on Friday nights. And I had this kick-ass feature from Rocky to run on Friday, and all the pieces seemed to be in place for me to just hold off on polishing up the PPV Preview until Saturday afternoon.
 
This was me not fully contemplating what I'd get myself into on Friday night, nor recognizing the fact that (before I'd finalize my own picks and fill in my predictions boxes) I'd have to struggle to coherency fairly early on Saturday afternoon so I could quickly review my DVR of the final SD!.

This was also me before I got another invite out to the

house of a casual friend's dad for some horsey race today. I did the Derby out there a few weeks ago, and hell, I might even be better friends with the dad at this point. It's magical what a Shared Love Of Fine Whiskey can do. Or at least: it's magical that MY love of whiskey rendered me capable of carrying on the kinds of conversations that leave old horsey guys convinced I am an interested connoisseur of the Sport of Kings. My ability to be an asshole is well known: but what you don't know about me is that I also have the incredible ability to mesh in with almost anybody. Provided there's booze involved.

Anyway, this girl's dad considers Maker's Mark to be bottom-shelf swill (!), and if you think I'm passing up a chance to spend a few hours abusing his hospitality (and his aged liquors) again today, you're crazy. So I have to finish this preview thing up faster than I would have predicted, so I can go feign interest in the Preakness. Go Barbados! Or whatever your name is!

I guess what I'm saying is that if my predictions seem brusque or unimaginative, that's why. Awake at noon, and out the door at 3 is gonna take it's toll on my work here. The preview summaries for each match should be OK, though. I did those when I had plenty of time yesterday afternoon. So if those sections are lacking, blame WWE. I did the best I could with the material they served up. I have the most well-developed Turd Polishing Capacity in all the land. But what I don't have is patience, so a show as crappy as this one? Even if I thought I was trying, I might have -- subconsciously -- been phoning it in.

You decide.

Here's the full, exhaustive breakdown of the 8-match card for Sunday's Judgment Day PPV: 
 

REY MYSTERIO vs. JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD
World Heavyweight Title Match

At WrestleMania, Rey Mysterio won the World Title. He did this by pinning Randy Orton (who was not the champ) in a three-way match. He did this after a month where The Ghost Of Eddie Guerrero was a regular character and a main contributor to his Road to WrestleMania. Not surprisingly (to learned observers such as The Me, anyway), this comically-inept mishandling of Rey has resulted in the fans not exactly taking to Rey as the champ.
 
But a week or so after Mania, it does almost seem like WWE figured out the problem, and finally wanted to tell the "Rey-as-underdog" story (instead of the "Rey-as-Eddie's-Ghost-Whisperer" story) that should have defined Rey's run to the title win at WM22.
 
You see: for over a month, our World Champion has been on a cosmic losing streak. And JBL -- the US Champ and de facto #1 Contender due to all of SD!'s Roster Depletion Problems -- has been more than happy to point this out. It started out innocuously enough: Rey couldn't beat Kurt Angle (who had been the champ at WM) cleanly in their one-on-one rematch, but that was just cuz Mark Henry stuck his fat ass into things and caused a DQ.

But then, when JBL mocked Rey over that loss, Rey said he's not intimidated by anyone, and he'd face anybody at anytime. And thus began three weeks of JBL handpicking Rey's opponents. And thus began three weeks of Rey being absotively SQUASHED by them.

First is was Mark Henry who scored a decisive pinfall win over Rey. Then it was the Great Khali who needed even LESS time to pin Rey. And just this week, Kane came over from RAW to utterly decimate Rey on the occasion of May 19 (unless you were at the live show on May 16, or watched it on May 18 in Canada or in the UK, but let's not quibble).

And all this while, JBL is tearing Rey a new asshole in promos. Not just taunting him over the losses, but also pointing out that when the fans do try to rally him, they don't even chant his name (the fans usually give Rey an "Eddie" chant). It's the sort of magnificent assholery that JBL excels at, and it has rendered Rey a lot more likeable (even if only by comparison to his challenger) than he was during the unnecessarily Orton-flavored/Ghost-of-Eddie run to WM.

As it stands today: Rey hasn't won a match since WrestleMania, and he hasn't even looked vaguely-competitive since three weeks ago when he actually got some offense in against Angle. And JBL's been bragging on himself and talking up Rey's short (HA!) comings the whole time. It sucks that WWE couldn't do this Massive Underdog Story heading into WM22, but I guess we give them (and JBL) credit for recognizing the problem and trying to give Rey what he needs in his first title defense AFTER WM22.
  

The OOutlOOk
Rey wins: 7 votes   --|--  JBL wins: 0 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
A Smackdown pay-per-view? BWAAAHAHAHAHA. For the record, the only reason you are seeing my name here is because Rick thinks he needs more than 5 sets of predictions for the PPV Preview to qualify as "team" coverage. The things I do for my OO.

If the reason I stopped paying attention to Smackdown had a name, it would be "JBL." So if WWE ever wants me to pay attention to Smackdown more than once in a blue moon, Rey must win here.

Canadian Bulldog Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
Ooooh, a tough one to start things off this month. But hey, it's the Bulldog here -- I'm going to screw up my main event pick no matter what, so here goes nothing:

Now, if I were the booker for SmackDown (I'm not, by the way. I have to legally disclose that fact), I would have had Rey escape by the skin of his teeth against Henry and Khali and THEN job him to Kane. Kane is established, plus he has that gawd-awful movie to promote. Also, it creates a slight bit of doubt for Rey going in to this weekend's big match. Everyone wins.

No matter, what's done is done. I can't imagine that they would job Rey so many times in a row only to have him lose AGAIN when it counts. The tricky thing is, how long is this feud going to last? Because if its for one more PPV, I could see JBL getting a countout victory or something. But assuming this is their only meeting on PPV this year, it just makes more sense to keep building Rey on the path they started him on at WrestleMania. And I loves me my JBL these days, but what benefit is there to giving him the belt right now?
The Cubs Fan Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
I'm sure I'm wrong, and I think, with a week or two, JBL will be the champion, and nothing they attempt to do before or after the title change will recover the damage down to Rey or the championship. I'm just guessing there's enough people upset about how they've handled Rey as world champ that they'll try a tentative make good by giving him the win here, and then JBL will win the championship back on SmackDown in a couple of weeks.
Matt Hocking Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
Somebody in the WWE offices HAS to like Rey. They've been pushing him on and off for a couple years now. For whatever it's worth, he's superceeded his weight class and been allowed to be considered an upper tier talent. Now, you're going to just flat out job him out three weeks in a row and THEN have him drop the title while he's at it? Yeah, I could imagine that happening too.

But it won't. You know what convinced me it won't? John Cena. John Cena who has been practically non-existant the past few weeks as WWE champion, playing a third string role to the DX v. Spirit Squad angle, and whose role in that angle will be even further back by the time Vengeance rolls around 
next month. So it makes me think that he's going to go into One Night Stand to job to RVD, and this momentum loss is entirely intentional. Thus there's no need for JBL to get the title here.

This way, Rey can avenge his series of losses, get his big "giant killer" win, and probably continue to spin his wheels against JBL until Batista and Booker T have had their little "take advantage of Internet heat (not to be confused with Internet Heat") match. Honestly, I could see a world where 
JBL would come out of this as the champion, but I don't think that's the move they're going to make this time.

Jeff Snider Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
I don't see any point in playing up the underdog issue unless you plan on the underdog ultimately being victorious. I think anything other than a Rey Mysterio victory will be a mistake, and it will be tantamount to saying, "We had our heads up our collective rears when we put the belt on him in the first place." Also, having the belt on Rey has much better storyline implications when Batista comes back. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Batista get involved in this match somehow.
Big Danny T Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
Ok, I am going to admit that I am doing these predictions having seen a grand total of one (1) episode of Smackdown in the past month, and it's 2:30 in the morning and insomnia has taken hold. So no in depth analysis here, folks. Just me shooting from my markish hip.

But I feel that Rey will retain on Sunday as J"B"L has a title that he can gloat over already, and it's really fun to watch him get upset.
Rick Scaia Says... Rey Mysterio d. JBL.
Simple fact: if WWE thought the title belonged on JBL, they could have had him win it directly from Kurt. They didn't do this. And thus, I don't really think WWE has a hard-on for putting the strap back on JBL.

Rather, this entire last month of (mostly-subpar) TV seems to point to JBL trying his damned best to give Rey Mysterio the foil and the win he needs. And when an asshole like JBL gets his way for 4 straight weeks, the only satisfying payoff is to have the underdog get his shocking win.

This match is everything that's wrong with Judgment Day wrapped up into one little ball, by the way: the main event match has one, single, inevitable outcome. As a result, I have no reason to get vested in the biggest match on the show. And if WWE tries to get fancy and give us an unexpected ending, what does that accomplish? Nothing, since a JBL win is not infuriating in the "I want to boo and tune in next week to watch this guy lose" king of way. It's just eyeball-roll-inducing in the "Fucking hell, I let these bastards trick me into giving them 3 hours of my time again, and they give me this tired horseshit" way. When a PPV can only end in a predictable-but-necessary way or a surprising-but-nobody-gives-a-shit way, there's just no reason to care.

Just compare that to a few weeks ago, when RAW's PPV had a main event with three legitimate winners, and you didn't know who'd win, and you really cared about finding out who did.

 

UNDERTAKER vs. THE "GREAT" KHALI
Unmitigated Horseplop Match

So six weeks ago, this big dude shows up on SD! and attacks the Undertaker. For no reason, and with no motivation. He's a stuntman/quasi-actor best known for appearing in the remake of "The Longest Yard," but WWE prefers to ignore this and calls him "The Great Khali."

After the still-unexplained attack, the Undertaker disappears for the entire past month-and-a-half. And Khali basically sucks in everything he's tried to do for the past month-and-a-half. And to the best of my ability to discern, nobody's given a shit about this the last month-and-a-half. And yet: here we are with a PPV match.

The "story" that WWE's attempting to tell is that Khali "broke Undertaker's spirit" and that's why Taker's been gone. It still doesn't explain why Khali even attacked in the first place, but hey: plus 10 points to the Writer Monkeys for trying to figure out a way to explain why Mark Calloway has been off hanging out with his kids and pleasuring his wife regular for the past 6 weeks. And now, at the last possible moment before a Major PPV Event (or at least, before Judgment Day), Taker has found his nutsac and decided to return to face his dominant arch-nemesis.

Ugh. You know the story I'd have told? It's pretty simple: Taker destroyed Muhammad Hassan (who was managed by Daivari). Then Taker destroyed Mark Henry (who was managed by Daivari). So Daivari finally got so pissed that he found some mutant from Sri Lanka who might be big and bad enough to destroy Undertaker. They should have made this be about Daivari's Revenge. Instead, it's about some ugly dude who showed up out of nowhere and who sucks so bad that even the densest fan can tell he's not more than a few months away from being sent back there.

This will suck. The only drama involved will be finding out how badly.
  

The OOutlOOk
Taker wins: 6 votes   --|--  Khali wins: 1 vote

Erin Anderson Says.. Taker d. Khali.
Okay, I admit it: I haven't even seen the Great Khali. That's how little Smackdown I watch. But I've heard enough about him to know he sucks. And I've been a wrestling fan long enough to know that Taker doesn't lose very often.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Taker d. Khali.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that 'Taker isn't as ruined or destroyed as everyone claims he is. And he'll have his usual match against the big lug before pinning him, or maybe getting the DQ win via some Daivariference. Unless they're trying to make this guy the next Mankind, no way he's going over here. Back to Hollywood, actor boy.
The Cubs Fan Says... Taker d. Khali.
Thinking off all the people Undertaker hasn't let get a win over him, it'd be a horrible miscarriage of justice for the Great Khali to get one. The problem is this can't be a short match; they've pushed Khali so hard, you imagine they'll be trying to keep him strong by having him go a long way with Undertaker (the same way 'taker "looked surprised and impressed" about how much it took to beat Heidenreich) and that'll make sure it sucks to epic levels.
Matt Hocking Says... Taker d. Khali.
Supposedly, you've got people within WWE saying "Geez, we don't know what the hell we were thinking bringing in Great Khali!" If we've learned anything throughout the years about Undertaker, it's that he'll feud with ANYBODY, and this is just more of that. There's no doubt Taker is going to come out on top in this feud, the only question was "When" and if the 
McMahons are doubting the long term viability of Khali (and make no mistake, they are, the win over Rey was establishing something completely seperate from the viabilty of Khali) then there's no reason for Taker to lose this 
match.

And I don't think he will. I suspect there will be a lot of posturing, a prolonged beatdown by Khali, numerous zombie sit-ups, and the most awkward Tombstone ever (EVER!) and Taker will have his win. After that, I expect Khali to be quietly released, although I have the nagging feeling that he 
will probably spend the rest of his contract either as a midcard novelty/comedy act (who rarely has to actually wrestle) or as, dare I say it, the new 911. Hahaha...just kidding. Maybe.
Jeff Snider Says... Taker d. Khali.
Taker will win. Khali will go away. That's is all.
Big Danny T Says... Khali d. Taker.
Yeah, he's a horrible wrestler, and if this were Wrestlemania, I'd be saying, "Undertaker, all the way!" But this isn't Wrestlemania, and I don't think Vince is quite finished with his latest big man. Expect 'Taker to dispose of Khali at Summerslam.
Rick Scaia Says... Taker d. Khali.
Sadly, Khali's on booking sheets for the foreseeable future. Actually, I think it's still another 7 months before WWE has a "roll-over" option on his contract and can fire him, so they'll probably try to milk as much out of him as they can in that time.

But make no mistake: I've talked to nobody who expects Khali to see WrestleMania 23, and if that's the case, I don't know why Taker would even contemplate giving this doofus the honor of a win. Extending the feud? Nuh uh. You want to do that, you have Taker win, and then you have Henry pile back on and do like a handicap match thing to give this heaping pile of Suck a big blow-off. But you do not let Khali get a win.

Better yet: Taker wins, and Daivari ditches Khali (just like he did Henry), and they finally steer this story the way it should be going.... have Daivari openly admit that he's looking for ANYbody who can help him get sweet, sweet revenge on Taker for Taker's year of abusing him and his charges. I'm thinking that could be a fun way to serve up a few more of Taker's lambs.... and I still have this wacky fondness for how incredibly effective the Muhammad Hassan character was, and if at some point in the future the story came full circle? Nobody would be more pleased than I.

 

KURT ANGLE vs. MARK HENRY
Olympic Hero vs. Olympic Zero Match

You could try to spin a tale in which this rivalry goes back as many as 10 years to the Hotlanta Olympics. That's where Kurt Angle scored a huge upset to win a gold medal in wrestling. And that's where heavily-favored Mark Henry flopped his way to a 23rd-place finish in weightlifting. Maybe there's some latent hostility or jealousy there? At least, that something Kurt Angle tried to do in his last canned promo...

Or you could try to spin a tale in which this rivalry goes back 5 months to when Kurt Angle made the surprise jump to SmackDown!, and was the guy who won the World Title by last eliminating Mark Henry from a Battle Royale. But if you did that, then you'd also have to bring up the fact that their rivalry continued for about a month, and resulted in the Worst WWE PPV Main Event In Recent Memory at the Royal Rumble. So I'd prefer to stay away from that....

Or you could just be a pragmatic asshole like me and point out that after the Rumble, Henry and Angle had nothing to do with each other for 3 months. Henry was too busy being buried by the Undertaker. And then, 3 weeks ago, Henry randomly came out and attacked Kurt Angle during Angle's title rematch versus Rey Mysterio. The hell?

So yeah: I choose to look at this as a 3-week-old storyline that's attempting to play off a long-dead feud that nobody cared about the first time. And no matter how much platonic-man-love I have for Kurt Angle (which is a lot), and no matter how much I understand that Henry's continued existence is a function of SD!'s roster problems, I still just cannot bring myself to comprehend why WWE thinks that this match should happen.

Much like Taker/Khali, the only drama here is finding out just how much this one ends up sucking.
  

The OOutlOOk
Angle wins: 5 votes   --|--  Henry wins: 2 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Angle d. Henry.
Kurt's broken, and Henry sucks. I don't even care who wins. Just don't die, Kurt. Seriously.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Angle d. Henry.
Kurt Angle goes hot and cold with me. One month, he's by far the best and most exciting worker in the company. But then the next month, he's completely not "into" his work, and you can tell he's kind of half-assing it. I'm sure part of it is his mounting list of injuries, but if that's the case - shouldn't he protected from facing destructive 400-pounders?

I guess I would just hate to see the guy permanently crippled because he was always on the active roster and never took enough time off. Kurt Angle can be used as a "special attraction", even when SmackDown is lacking in star power.

All that said... of course Kurt's going to win. How would Mark Henry benefit from a win here? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The World's Strongest Man does a great job as the bad-ass, super-heavyweight enforcer, but that's about all he's good for.
The Cubs Fan Says... Angle d. Henry.
Kurt shouldn't be back yet; this match means absolutely nothing either way. I guess it's a reflection of the main event, with the winner here facing the winner there next, but as an event itself, it's not too intriguing. Angle gets his win back.
Matt Hocking Says... Angle d. Henry.
Well, props to WWE's writers for never giving up on Mark Henry, I guess. He's not exactly the kind of guy I'd put up against Kurt in Kurt's currently brittle condition, especially when Angle is going to try to go at this full bore and pull a *** match out of him, which on't work to an epic degree.

That said, neither guy is really in danger of doing anything in the next several months. Under the new "welness program" Angle is starting to look like Skeletor and he's become as brittle as he ever was, so they can't afford to really PUSH him, and Mark Henry is, well, Mark Henry. Angle has more "mystique" about him than Henry, and he's got motivation to revenge his injury, so I'll take Angle.
Jeff Snider Says... Henry d. Angle.
This match will suck. A healthy Angle might be capable of carrying Henry to an only-kinda-bad match; an unhealthy Angle will not fare so well. The outcome of this match may depend on Angle's health, and I am guessing they will be using this as a way to write Kurt out for longer.
Big Danny T Says... Angle d. Henry.
One just signed an extension to his contract, the other is working hurt. Still, I hope beyond hope that Angle will pull this one out, because until Mark Henry develops a personality beyond, "Glares menacingly," He shouldn't be anywhere near sniffing distance of the main event.
Rick Scaia Says... Mark Henry d. Angle.
It causes me physical pain to make this prediction. But trust me, it represents the fullest, purest "Rick Think," and is not some case where I grudgingly defer to what I think WWE will do.

Kurt must lose. And Kurt must get healthy. I know he's back on house show line-ups starting next month, so we know KURT thinks he only needs a few more weeks of rest. But I say "bullshit" to that. This isn't Samoa Joe trying to decide whether or not to work through a knee injury: this is Kurt toying with a cavalcade of issues that add up to "career-threatening," if you believe everything you hear. And after some intelligence reports I got from the last Europe tour, I'm starting to believe.

So Kurt's hurting and Henry's a 400-pound load who doesn't mean anybody harm, but still seems to cause it to them.... I can't be the only one who thinks booking this match is a cataclysmically bad idea, can I? This isn't Kurt putting himself in harm's way in the name of one last **** masterpiece against Benoit. This is Kurt putting himself in harm's way in the name of recreating the worst WWE PPV Main Event I can recall. So frustrating.

For the benefit of everybody involved, I just want to know the next time I see Kurt on TV, he's feeling healthy. That's not gonna happen if he's lugging 400 pounds of deadweight around in PPV matches that don't mean anything. So I say have him lose, give him a vacation, and let him get well.

And just because I'm The Rick, and I care about making this Not Sucky, I'll even give you one possible "out" which would make a Henry win a little more palatable, and a little less ploptastic. In a word: Batista.

Angle non-sequitur'd Batista into his promo last night on SD! (saying, in a gentle round-a-bout way, that Batista was a much bigger pussy than Kurt because Henry put Batista on the shelf for 5 months, but Henry only put Kurt on the shelf for 3 weeks). And Henry *is* the guy who is storyline-responsible for Batista's injuries. If there's a spot for Batista to make his return to TV, it'd be here.

Perfect World Booking: Batista shows up, clearly intending to get revenge on Henry. But things foul up, and Batista's interference backfires, allowing Henry to get the win. After the match, Angle is FURIOUS at Batista, and they have a nose-to-nose showdown. Angle even slaps Batista. And then, right after the crowd is done "ooohhhh'ing" at the bitchslap, Henry attacks Angle from behind. Batista -- his feelings still hurt by Batista's slap -- stands idly by and watches Henry do all manner of horrible things to Kurt. Make no mistake, Batista appears conflicted, but he's not exactly rushing to action.

Then finally, Batista does run Henry off. But not after a beatdown sufficient to explain Angle being on the sidelines for at least 4 months.

What do we accomplish this way? Well, for one: Henry wins a match in a way that doesn't leave fans feeling raped by WWE's ass-hatted booking. Two: Angle gets a break. Three: you start foreshadowing a heel side of Batista, which I think is important, cuz.... Four: after Batista does a comeback feud, crushing Henry, and then possibly a #1 Contender's feud with Booker, then you move into Batista going for Rey's Title. And that means a kick-ass slow-burn heel turn. And once Batista finally flips that switch into the bad-ass position, and does something naughty to Rey, and takes his title, you know who should finally be feeling a bit more healthy?
 
Kurt Angle.

Tell me this little theory of mine didn't just totally give you a reason to cheer for Mark Henry on Sunday!

 

BOOKER T vs. BOBBY LASHLEY
King of the Ring Tournament Final

It seems to be a bit of an annual tradition: after WrestleMania, SmackDown! busts out some kind of tourney to determine a new top heel. A few years ago, they called it the "Great American" tournament, and it was won by JBL. This year, WWE dusted off the "King of the Ring" gimmick, and it's come down to Booker vs. Lashley.

One could have looked at the original brackets 6 weeks ago, and I doubt many would have pre-saged this final. But with legitimate injuries hampering Angle and contract issues hanging over Benoit's head and stuff like that, a few of your more-conventional Fantasy Booking Ideas just weren't gonna be plausible.

And I think that WWE's done a solid job of building to this unexpected final. Tournament finals -- by the very nature of the beast -- can be underwhelming, and with no solid backstory, just because you can't "telegraph" who's gonna make it through to the finals by having them do all kinds of compelling feuding. But in this case? WWE struck a nice balance.

Early in the tourney, Booker and Lashley had a seemingly random encounter in which Lashley was sick of listening to Booker's bragging. And that was that. Nothing anvilicious, really: just a little bit of table-setting. And then the tourney progressed. Booker advanced to the finals like a good chickenshit heel: by getting a cheap-ass bye due to Angle's injuries. Lashley advanced to the finals by scoring convincingly-bad-ass wins. And WWE's timing was good, since they locked in the tourney final 2 weeks before the PPV, giving them time to do a bit of storytelling once we knew for sure that it was Booker vs. Lashley.

It hasn't been anything fancy. And with Lashley (who at this point is still best left as a Man Of Few Words), that's a good thing. But Booker has shown a serious fetish for the KotR throne and robe. And Lashley has dicked with Booker by appearing at inconvenient times to abscond with the throne and robe (which have been on display at the top of the SD! entrance aisle anytime a KotR competitor has a match). Just last night, Lashley lounging on the throne caused Booker to get distracted and lose yet-another-match to Shooter Albright. Er: Gunner Scott.

This one'll be interesting. Of the top level matches that might get 15 minutes or more, this one is obviously the one I expect the most of. Booker's just been so freaking AWESOME (along with Sharmell, who's role in this cannot be ignored) in his character building the past 5 months. And Lashley's nothing but 300 pounds of potential. I'm actually curious to see what the combination of Booker's newfound perfect-heelishness and Lashley's freakish-athleticism brings us on Sunday....
  

The OOutlOOk
Booker wins: 5 votes   --|--  Batista wins: 2 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Booker d. Lashley.
So I hear that Booker's been hilarious lately and his wife always wears a tiara? Sorry, Black Lesnar, but I think that means we're looking at the coronation of King and Queen T.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Booker d. Lashley.
The idea of King Booker and Queen Sharmell are just far more compelling than "King Lashley". This is not a knock on Lashley, who I think is really on his way to becoming a big name, but Booker deserves this far more. Over the past six months, Booker has consistently been the best part of SmackDown between his work on the mic, in the ring and backstage skits. Reward the guy with this, move him into a program with Big Dave for SummerSlam, and be done with it.
The Cubs Fan Says... Booker d. Lashley.
King Booker and Queen Sharmell is just so rife with potential, it'd be a crime to go the other way. Lashely's would have to graduate to a new level if he won the KOTR tournament, and he's not ready and there's no obvious spot for him quite yet. Feuding with Booker a while longer won't hurt a thing.
Matt Hocking Says... Lashley d. Booker.
As entertaining as Booker winning would be, I think WWE is using this whole thing as an excuse to "make" Lashley. People haven't really gotten behind Lashley like they figured they would, and so they figure the best way to do it is to have a really clear "career defining moment." Actually, I don't 
think that will help, to be honest, as Lashley suffers from something that plagued Brock Lesnar, with whom he has a lot in common. The only difference is that Lesnar, in addition to coming out and destroying people in the first part of his run and being tremendously athletically gifted, also had a great mouthpiece in Paul Heyman. The charismatically challenged Lashley doesn't have that, and while I think the crowd is finally starting to connect a little better with him, I don't think the "King of the Ring" title will have anything to do with it.

For that very reason, I'm guessing WWE is hedging their bets on this one. While I think they want Lashley to be able to carry around the title of "King of the Ring Winner" I think ultimately, he'll have little to do with winning the actual match. I'm guessing Booker will have the upper hand most 
of the time, while the plucky Lashley fights back, and gets the timely help of a returning Dave Batista, who will pop the crowd nicely, which will carry over a little more into Lashley's coronation. And there you have an instafeud for SummerSlam with Batista and Booker, and Lashley gets the King of the Ring moniker to make himself seem a little more important in the grand scheme of things.
Jeff Snider Says... Lashley d. Booker.
This is one of the two matches on this card that should actually be good. Booker is certainly capable, and Lashley is more and more impressive every week. I think they have done a great job letting him progress slowly, but I think the time has come to bump him up a notch. Putting him on the King of the Ring throne is a good way to do that.
Big Danny T Says... Booker d. Lashley.
Bobby Lashley is coming up fast, and the crowd is solidly behind him, which is exactly why he will be doing the job sunday night. When Booker wins through nefarious means, it'll be the fuel for the feud that will carry them through the summer. Or at least, I'm hoping...
Rick Scaia Says... Booker d. Lashley.
Booker and Sharmell as King and Queen is just too perfect. I've loved what Booker's been bringing to the table, persona-wise, since his injury late last year, and it's weird just how much I'm digging Sharmell, too. She's all Prom Queen and stuff, and yet, I'm loving it. Must be some mutant strain of whatever it is that lets me get turned on by Lita's bludgeoning sluttishness and Lilian's all-encompassing girly-girl-ness.  I like to think that amounts to me be able to, without bias or overriding personal tastes, appreciate any girl who finds her own personality and plays it up. Lita couldn't do what Sharmell does, and Sharmell couldn't do what Lita does, and I hate both skanks and prom queens, and yet: I'm loving the both of 'em. 

I digress. Point is, there's no reason to not let Booker and Sharmell do the Royal Couple gimmick. It'd be awesome. And further more: if you do the finish of the match right (some chicanery), then Lashley won't lose any cred.... and then you give Lashley his first real singles feud over the summer, and see what he and Booker can do. And at the end of the road? A win for Lashley over Booker that actually MEANS something. Cuz he will have had to struggle for it.

 

MNM vs. PAUL LONDON/SPANKY KENDRICK
Tag Team Title Match

These five (gotta count Melina in there) have been one of the few bankable reasons to watch SmackDown! these past 6 weeks. The story may be simple, but the work has been predictably-excellent, and the proof of that? It's in the fan reactions.... for the most part, crowds stop giving a shit about MNM after they've seen Melina's ass. Tis the cross to bear for a team that has a manager who (1) has a truly remarkable ass, and (2) has formulated a truly remarkable way to feature it during The Greatest Ring Entrance Of All Times (tm, Tazz).

But my point: these guys have had five various iterations of matches in the past six weeks (and the off week? that was the one where MNM cheap-shotted London/Kendrick to prevent a title match from taking place), and the crowds always start off mild. But the action is always so remarkable (and the intramatch drama and psychology, often goosed by Melina, is so dead-on) that the crowd responses by the end are really loud. I've always loved that sort of build-up. Beats the hell out of the guys who get their loudest pop for their entrance theme, and then frequently dull their way through a match. *coughortoncough*

Anyway, this started out with MNM basically looking around and going "Um, so the tag scene around here sucks, so let's issue an open challenge and see what happens." Well: London and Kendrick happened. The weekly stars of Velocity decided to make the step up to Actual Television, and accepted MNM's challenge. And in a non-title match: they beat MNM.

This infuriated MNM, who has since tried to get revenge in all manner of single-, six-man-, and intergender-matches. In every instance, MNM has failed, and London/Kendrick have scored the win. So: riding the wave of a five-match winning streak over MNM, London/Kendrick finally get their shot at the champs with the titles actually on the line.

Given that the top matches on this show pretty much suck (unless JBL *really* shows up to brawl his ass off, Booker/Lashley hitting "three stars" is about the best you can expect from the top half of the line-up), I would not be surprised in the least if this ended up as your show-stealing match of the night. If nothing else, I know that, over the past month-and-a-half, these guys have been the best reason to give my fast-forward finger a rest when I watch SD!.
  

The OOutlOOk
MNM win: 4 votes  --|--  London/Kendrick win: 3 votes

Erin Anderson Says... MNM d. Kendrick/London.
I've read nothing to make me feel strongly about this outcome, one way or the other. When all else fails, pick the team with the conniving bitch of a manager to win.
Canadian Bulldog Says... MNM d. London/Kendrick.
For the same reasons that Rey should go over JBL, I'll argue that MNM should go over London & Spanky. Otherwise, you could have made MNM look like more of a threat in the last few weeks. Besides, I like the idea of having MNM as long-term champions. They're doing a good enough job in that role. Keep them strong for a while and let them build a dynasty.
The Cubs Fan Says... MNM d. London/Kendrick.
MNM isn't getting split up, so there's no chance they're losing every match in the feud and the titles. I just figure it'll be a Melina sweep.
Matt Hocking Says... London/Kendrick d. MNM.
No, I really don't know why I'm picking this. Especially when the WWE Law is applied to it....

As MNM is the more charismatic and over team and,
As Paul London and Brian Kedrick are two flippy jobbers and,
As flippy jobbers don't get titles other than the Cruiserweight and,
As London and Kendrick have already taken a huge lead in this series, 
It should follow that 
MNM wins this match. 

Who knows, they probably will. But I think that MNM's probably in the kind of position right now where the writers seem to be more interested in telling a story about their 
relationship with Melina, and the loss of the tag titles would really push that story, and Kendrick and London are in the lucky position of feuding with them at just the right time.

Jeff Snider Says... London/Kendrick d. MNM.
This is the other match that should be good. These two teams have been gold, and as I explained in my Smackdown recap, even though traditional wisdom would tell us that the team who got the last laugh before the PPB -- London/Kendrick -- will get their comeuppance on Sunday, the roll they've been on makes me think that traditional wisdom might take a back seat this weekend. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the good guys win the titles in the match of the night.
Big Danny T Says... London/Kendrick d. MNM.
Considering the skills possessed by the four performers, if this is anything but a mind-blowing-aerial extravaganza, then someone on the booking committee needs to be fired. Oh, and Spank-Don will be an awesome team to watch with the belts.
Rick Scaia Says... MNM d. London/Kendrick.
This is as tough a call as there is on the entire show. Not just because there's no real indication what WWE might like to do, but because *I* don't even know what I'd like to see.

I guess what I'd like to see is London/Kendrick coming out of htis as bigger stars.... but that doesn't even require them to win. In fact: thinking it through, I think WWE has done a good enough job building London/Spanky up that they should lose this title match.

Their five other wins over MNM will give them ample gravitas to remain a thorn in MNM's side. And frankly: MNM's toolish doucheness is all well and good, but they ARE the tag champs, so I say you give 'em a win when it counts, and make Spanky and London work for it.

 

CHRIS BENOIT vs. FINLAY
Workrate Showcase Match That Nobody But Rick Will Enjoy

This one's an odd bird. On one hand, these two have been at odds for over 4 months, going back to when Booker enlisted Finlay's help against Benoit during a US Title feud. But on the other, the idiot writers haven't bothered keeping up any sense of relevant tension or continuity, and the end result is that this PPV match seems Completely Random.
 
And even though *I* do not need any particular reason to watch these two talented bastards beat the hell out of each other in a match that allows me to believe that the competition in the middle of the ring is real, I'm in a minority.
 
So there's a real good chance this one'll flop with the live crowd. Benoit's gimmick these days seems to be "Holy Christ, does anybody else remember when Chris Benoit was A Somebody? Cuz I do, but it's a memory that's starting to fade." And Finlay's gimmick is "surprisingly amusing worker, but he's still basically just getting by being somebody else's sidekick." Honestly: after his initial start on SD!, he spent some time as Booker's pal. Then he inexplicably decided to hang around and help JBL against Lashley. And if there *is* a reason for this PPV match (note: there isn't), it's because Finlay wound up buddying up with Booker again (and still with no real rhyme or reason) to deal with Benoit's new buddy, Gunner Scott.

At WM, Benoit's match flopped because he didn't have a dance partner who could meet him at some common ground (JBL simply doesn't have the ability to have a good "Benoit Match" where the work is crisp and technical; and the storytelling was so bad that Benoit couldn't have a good "JBL Match" where the drama and characters create an atmosphere of extreme drama). This one's different. I love that Finlay's getting a chance to shine in his little comeback, and we all know full well that he can hold up his end of a "Benoit Match." But depending on the crowd, if the entertainment aspect is lacking, you and I might end up being the only ones who realize that this stiff-ass fight is good.

I don't mean that to sound like I'm insulating myself against the fact that I'm gonna end up secretly liking a match that most people hate, but.... well, I guess I kinda am.
  

The OOutlOOk
Benoit wins: 5 votes   --|--  Finlay wins: 2 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Finlay d. Benoit.
From what I gather, Finlay has an evil midget and Benoit doesn't have a long-term contract. Advantage: Finlay.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Benoit d. Finlay.
I suppose it could go either way, but as one of their hardest-working performers, I like the idea of rewarding Benoit, particularly when there are few consequences for doing so. Finlay is doing great so far -- probably better than most people expected -- but he's on bloody SmackDown, how much farther does he need to go?
The Cubs Fan Says... Finlay d. Benoit.
Finlay wins because this should be the beginning of a rivalry for these two. This is as good a thing to do with them as any.
Matt Hocking Says... Benoit d. Finlay.
Erm...Is this the show where they're debuting Cheatum...er...I mean Shortstack? Honestly, Benoit's completley fallen off my radar to the point that he is just "there" now, and I know WWE has high expectations for 
Finlay, but I think Benoit will probalby win here just to kind of get his name back in circulation a little bit. I imagine his contract situation has made that sort of thing kind of tricky at the moment, but he's the kind of guy who needs a PPV win every once in a while to get him back into the collective, and Finlay is the kind of guy who can take a loss like that.

Incidentally, I imagine this will be the best match of the night. I didn't get a chance to catch their match a few weeks ago, but their styles are extremely compatable, and with Finlay's pentient for fun little heel spots and brawling will allow Benoit to break out his bowling ball style brawling 
where he just runs around the ring suplexing people and chopping them in the face without worrying about having the absolute most excellent technical contest ever. Which, in my opinion, is Benoit at his best.
Jeff Snider Says... Benoit d. Finlay.
It will be intense, of that I am sure. I am not so sure that it will be "good," but I guess that's okay. This is the second PPV in a row (after Wrestlemania) that Benoit is in a match that is hard to predict because it is pointless and out of nowhere. I will flip a coin and say that Benoit wins.
Big Danny T Says... Benoit d. Finlay.
Huh? they have a match? Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but this is totally out of left field for me. I pick Benoit to even the score from the KOTR tournament.
Rick Scaia Says... Benoit d. Finlay.
Given the recent revelations about the status of Benoit's contract (or lack there-of), I want to get all smarky and out-think myself. But I won't. Because everything still points to Benoit being a company man and stuff, and plus, winning a pointless undercard match like this isn't exactly gonna give Benoit the underground cred he needs to be a megastar in the ImpactZone.

So I say you pay-back the Benoit/Finlay tourney match, and let Benoit win this time. Contract status aside, this doesn't catapult Benoit back to the top or anything (in fact, evening the series at 1-to-1 could mean that Benoit vs. Finlay remains a going concern).

All I'm asking? No midgets. Not here. Not yet. Wait till you've gotten all out of Finlay that you can (and wait till Benoit's clear of the blast zone) before changing his act to a comedy sideshow.

 

GREGORY HELMS vs. SUPER CRAZY
Cruiserweight Title Match

Wait, there's a Cruiserweight Division on SmackDown!?

Well, in fairness, Helms has been nursing a broken nose for the past 2 months, and if the CW Champ is unavailable, it's kinda hard to promote the division, right?

Still: this one has the stink of having just been pulled out of somebody's rectum. Helms has been absent from TV for months, and out of the blue, WWE decides to run a three-way match to determine a #1 Contender to his title. Super Crazy won that one. And so here we are.

Don't get me wrong: if they give it a chance, this oughta be really good. For the past few months, Super Crazy has basically been my new Tajiri, in so far as I know that nobody but me likes him, and it sucks because he's so freaking awesome at pretty much everything. Seriously: Crazy can brawl, fly, and grapple, and unlike a lot of the flippy high-spot wrestlers, you believe in most of what he does. Maybe not QUITE as much as with Tajiri, but still: Crazy's incredibly versatile, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. (Maybe with the revival of ECW, that'll change?)

Anyway: on a show where the top half of the card has issues, put this prelim match on the pile along with Benoit/Finlay as one that I doubt many fans will really get into, but which I'm sure will end up being quite good.
  

The OOutlOOk
Super Crazy wins: 4 votes   --|--  Helms wins: 3 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Super Crazy d. Helms.
I still remember watching Helms win the title at the Royal Rumble. I can't remember watching him do anything since. So I'm thinking you put the title on a Mexicool and see what happens.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Helms d. Super Crazy.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but its time that WWE needs to take a memo from TNA, at least as far as this division goes. SmackDown has a half-dozen cruiserweight guys that can put on entertaining and memorable matches. But what are they fighting for? A belt that will be won in a battle royal two months from now? Big deal.

Although the X title isn't about weight limits (as we hear all the freaking time on iMPACT), its clearly meant as a championship for the athletic and exciting guys. The thing is, the X title is a big thing. The cruiserweight belt? Not so much.

Helms has done a decent job as the outsider heel thus far, but most people aren't going to get behind him if they know he'll just lose whenever the next flavor-of-the-month comes along.
The Cubs Fan Says... Helms d. Super Crazy.
It's the Cruiserweight Championship, so it could change on a whim, but if they were just going to have Crazy win the title, why bother not stripping Helms of the belt when he was out? I think he comes close and loses here.
Matt Hocking Says... Super Crazy d. Helms.
Alas, poor Suga Shane, I knew thee well. After an inspiring start to things with the Gregory v. The World storyline, Benoit had to go and break his nose, and now the cruisers are back to square one in trying to make the division relevant to the audience at large. One way to do that? Hook your horse to a better angle, baby! And no, I'm not talking about London/Kendrick v. MNM, either. Nope, I'm talking ECW.

Phoenix might not be much of an ECW town, but a lot of Smackdown's Cruisers are former ECW guys (Crazy included of course) and a kind of Cruiser Revolution would be a neat little thing. Not that I think that will happen, but I do fully expect an ECW appearance at Vengeance at some point or 
another, and what better place than here to help Crazy win a WWE Title?
Jeff Snider Says... Super Crazy d. Helms.
The time has come to take the belt off Helms. He is not a cruiserweight, no matter what the scale says. I have been a huge Helms fan in the past, and I think I could be again if they used him correctly, but as of right now, he just needs to lose the title and find something better to do.
Big Danny T Says... Helms d. Super Crazy.
Just because the Cruiserweight division needs a mainstay with the belt for a bit, and to have Helms lose the belt less than a month after he's 100% just isn't right.
Rick Scaia Says... Super Crazy d. Helms.
Some will call me a prick for saying this, but Gregory Helms is basically Matt Hardy, only less relevant. He's the guy you look at and you think "Wow, this guy is clearly a student of the business and has all the in-ring tools you can imagine."  And yet somehow, at the end of the day, you just cannot possibly give a shit about the personality behind that in-ring machine.

And since coming over from RAW, he's been the guy you don't give a shit about who governs over a division that most fans don't give a shit about. So let's just put the strap on Super Crazy, and see if we can't get fans to give a bit of a shit about more-naturally-engaging personalities such as Noble and Kash as Crazy's top heel foes.

 

JILLIAN HALL vs. MELINA
Surprisingly, NOT a Bra and Panties Match

I actually watch SmackDown!, and even *I* have no idea why this is happening.

Jillian got fired by JBL. And then for some reason, she was coming out to help London/Kendrick against MNM three-on-two attacks. If there was any connective tissue at all in there, I must have missed it.

Well, I *guess* this could all stem from when Jillian was briefly aligned with MNM as an image consultant, and she's still just really pissy towards Melina over how that ended. But if so, it doesn't explain why this was a total non-issue for 6 months while Jillian worked for JBL.

Whatever. I could write more about this, but it's making my brain hurt. It's two chicks rolling around together. Either you think that sounds like Good Times, or you're over the age of 14 and know how to find real porn.

[OK: in fairness, Melina's a hard worker who is better in the ring than you'd know from her spot on SD!. But Jillian's more in the "Sable-before-she-became-a-horrifying-bitch" mold: she's willing to try anything because she wants to not suck, but just cuz the effort and willingness is there is no promise that it'll look good.]
  

The OOutlOOk
Melina wins: 7 votes   --|--  Jillian wins: 0 votes

Erin Anderson Says... Melina d. Jillian.
Jillian's even worse than Gregory Helms. For one, I never cared about her to begin with. And for two, I can't think of anything important that she's done since the Boogeyman ate that thing off her face. Melina might only have her freakishly striped mane and her two tools, but that's still more going for her than what that bleached-out sack of silicone's got.
Canadian Bulldog Says... Melina d. Jillian.
Whatevs.
The Cubs Fan Says... Melina d. Jillian.
Melina wins, because they don't seem to have any plans for Jillian, or really any reason to care about Melina. When her only attribute is  "hates Melina", then it's all about Melina.
Matt Hocking Says... Melina d. Jillian.
If I'm going to pick MNM to lose, I guess I'll go the other way on this one. Not only is Melina a TON more valuable to WWE than Jillian, but it'll nudge the MNM storyline forward a little bit also. I'm not behind breaking up MNM in the least bit, but I think a little dissention in the ranks storyline could help freshen them up, and if Melina wins while Mecury and Nitro lose, that would be a nice little building block for them.

I'm not really sure what to expect from this really. As I understand it, both girls can do a fair amount of wrestling, but I'm pretty sure that's not really what this match is about. I would say they'll probably go through a few little wrestling sequences before things breakdown into hair pulling and rolling around. But maybe they'll surprise me.
Jeff Snider Says... Melina d. Jillian.
You know how I feel about women's matches. Jillian wins.
Big Danny T Says... Melina d. Jillian.
No real reason for my pick. I've heard both these girls are somewhat skilled in the ring (I.E. better than Torrie and Maria,) it'll be entertaining to see that in action. And depending on the ring attire, the old cliche comes into play: the real winners are the fans!
Rick Scaia Says... Melina d. Jillian.
Bulldog stole my line.

Melina: has a personality and prospects on Friday nights. Jillian: does not. So Melina gets to prove that she is -- as the comically-typo-ridden t-shirt said -- the "Most Dominate Diva" on SD!.

Bonus prediction: fans'll be pretty dead for this, but in as much as they give a shit, they'll cheer for Melina. This is not a rip of Jillian's worth as a person or as eye-candy, it's just a simple fact of nature that Melina's given us a reason to notice her, and Jillian hasn't.

 

EXTRAS/CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Eight matches makes for a pretty full slate. But in the case of this show, it's a slate full of crap. So with the idea that WWE might have a few aces up its sleeve to actually entertain us on Sunday, let's at least contemplate a few extra add-ons....
  

The OOutlOOk
Batista wins: 7 votes   --|--  John Cena wins: 2 vote

Erin Anderson Says... I gots better things to do with my time.
Extra predictions? Oy. I officially predict I won't watch this show. Rick sent out an email looking for a replacement recapper, so I officially predict he won't watch this show. Hell, I officially predict that most of you won't watch this show.

So why am I still sitting here writing about it?

Canadian Bulldog Says... Me likey Kristal.
Matt Hardy vs. Jamie Noble is YOUR Internet Heat match.... I'm on the fence about whether Batista should be at this show. His big return should be shown as a huge deal, though they've already cheapened it by giving him not one but two PPV returns. I could see him interfering in the Booker-Lashley match, but then that would go against my earlier prediction, so I'll leave Big Dave at home.... However, I wouldn't be shocked to see the return of Mister Kennedy (KEN-NE-DY), perhaps even inserting himself in a situation with Benoit..... And after weeks of those annoying-but-in-a-good-way vignettes with The Miz, it would be great if he did a little something on the show..... I could also see some sort of PPV bonus match featuring Burchill and Regal, either with or against each other (I can't remember if they're still a team anymore).... And one small request: If WWE is going to force us to watch this crap-ass PPV, can they please show us a little Kristal? Or a lot of Kristal? Is that too much to ask? Or is she out injured now, too?
The Cubs Fan Says... I don't even know if I'd watch this one for free.
I don't have any interest in this show, but if anyone's reading these every month (does anyone read these?), I appear to hate everything. Which is fair, I grant. I just need to find a way to express how much I don't care about this show. In my opinion, if you're paying $35, you value $35 a lot less than I do and/or have a dangerous addiction to 
watching every show ever. Even the most appealing match from this show - Finlay vs Benoit - has been done on TV recently (and long ago) and will be done again. There's nothing here that is new, different or special. I don't think I'd bother watching this show if it was free. Instead of trying for a third brand, maybe WWE should be working a bit harder to 
make the existing ones work.
Matt Hocking Says... Bring on The CW!
To be honest with you, I'm less than jazzed for this PPV. Not because the card sucks (which it does), but mostly because I haven't really seen a full episode of Smackdown in about a month. Due to the impending takeover of the CW network (which will be broadcast on what is now my WB), my local UPN has been airing Smackdown at midnight on Sunday morning when I have far better things to do with my time than try to stay awake to watch Great Khali. I've watched bits and pieces of them all while dozing on my couch, but I can't say as I know for sure what the hell is going on on Smackdown currently.

BONUS:

- Paul Burchill v. Simon Dean is your Heat Main Event. Ok, maybe it's not, but those were the only two guys I could think of that weren't injured or cruiserweights and didn't have a match off the top of my head.

-To ruin the surprise of him showing up during the Booker T match, I fully expect Batista to cut some kind of promo back stage either vaguely referencing Booker, or just plain ruining the surprise of his appearance.

-I also anticipate the presence of Ken Kennedy who I've sorely missed, maybe doing some backstage interviewing, or better yet, the coronation of King Lashley (though that might be a little too much for that one segment)

-IF they DO do the ECW thing during the cruiserweight match, I doubt it will get much of a reaction, because the only thing that flashes into my head is Kid Kash and Nunzio running out in ECW shirts to the delight of one guy in 
the crowd.

-As predicted on WWE.com, Kurt Angle will have a custom mouthpiece for the PPV. For his match with Mark Henry it will say "Fragile-Do Not Drop".

That's...really all I've got. Join me in a few months when hopefully, Smackdown will be airing at a halfway decent hour!
Jeff Snider Says... The Additive Properties of Mark Henry are Non-Existent.
This PPV is amazing. Every match (other than the women's match) has at least one performer who I really really like, but I have no desire to watch the show. That's a remarkable accomplishment on WWE's part. I am excited for Batista and Kennedy to come back, because I recap Smackdown every week and I want it to be enjoyable. Like I said in my recap, it is time for Smackdown to start doing some addition by addition, and maybe this PPV will be the start.

Of course, as long as Mark Henry is on my TV every week, there is still a little more room for some addition by subtraction. I can dream, right?

I think Batista will show up and help Rey beat JBL, only to turn on him a week or two later.
Big Danny T Says... Expect the Expected. And Don't Expect Me To Talk About It At Any Length.
Got nothing for you this month, folks. I mean, I could predict wacky shenanigans featuring Teddy Long and Paul Burchill, Or a Surprise match where Simon Dean goes against the returning Ken Kennedy, or a wacky Batista promo, Or the return of Bret Hart, or for Tazz to regress a little more into his ECW persona, but I'm pretty sure we're all expecting these. Aren't we?
Rick Scaia Says... Not Recapping Crap RULES~!
I dunno. You already got my "Batista Comeback Theory" in an above Predictions box. That's about the most creative thought I've had about SD!'s PPV in the past few days, so I'm running on empty.

Plus: who the hell even knows if I'll see this PPV. I'm running at about 70/30 against, so just to be safe, I fired up the old OO Staff Mailing List and asked if anybody wanted to be on call for Sunday. A few got back to me, and I do believe I'm free of recappening duties. In fact, in the process of letting Bulldog off the recapping hook, my memory was jogged, and I realized that I haven't recapped a SD! PPV since the Great American Bash last year. Bulldog did one, the chick from Chicago did one, and one didn't get done because I was put upon my deathbed That Very Night (and didn't write anything for like three weeks, afterwards). With Adam stepping up on Sunday, I think that means I'll end up going (at least) one whole calendar year without recapping a SD!-only PPV!

Although, you know what's odd? Adam said he'd recap the PPV, and he didn't even do PPV picks.... maybe I need to remain vigilant, afterall, in case I have to half-ass my way through a recap? We shall see....

 

Barring unforeseen circumstances, you oughta be able to come back to OO on Sunday night right after the PPV to collect a full recap, courtesy of Adam Gutschmidt. And of course, on Monday, I'll hit you up with a column full of my own thoughts and analysis, and all the PPV fall-out.

So don't be strangers, kids! 


  
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RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
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SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 

 


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