In my predictions for Battleground I unveiled my fool proof plan for correctly predicting pay per views… and then preceded to do terribly at it! Well, maybe “terribly” isn’t quite accurate. If you’re being technical about the way people won vs. just looking at who won I only got five out of eight matches right. But if you’re a little more lenient about things like Rollins winning by forfeit and Jericho not winning by DQ (as I predicted), I still did pretty good with seven out of eight right. …damn battle royals. ANYWAY, my super secret prediction method is to place your bet on the most obvious, predictable option without considering anything that happened more than two weeks ago. Although it is a little different this time around considering it’s one of the “Big Four” pay per views of the year, as there should be some surprises in store. Let’s see…
The Battle of the Forgotten Paul Heyman guys (minus Rybaxel): RVD vs. Cesaro
As great as Paul Heyman is with Brock and Cena, I feel like he should be plugging Cesaro the whole time. I mean, that’s what he was doing for Brock the whole time he was managing Cesaro. I love Paul and I look forward to (eventually) watching his documentary, but looking at Cesaro from Wrestlemania to now it’s pretty clear that Heyman’s services did nothing for him. And what’s been the point of having RVD back anyway? I predict Cesaro to win because RVD’s been jobbing to the stars for too long to turn around now.
The Midcard Moneymaker Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
I’ve actually enjoyed the brief feud between these two. I’m glad to see Miz back as a full on cocky, cowardly heel, pulling out all the tricks like mentioning his movie star credentials every chance he gets. I also think he plays well against Ziggler, who is as cool as ever. I think Miz is just at the start of a long Intercontinental Championship reign and will win, but the feud with Ziggler will still stretch on for a while.
The “Chant for Punk NOW” Match: AJ vs. Paige
This is another one of those weird matches where the champion beat the exact same challenger at the last Pay Per View, so it’s not really clear why there is a rematch. Is it just because Paige has been a jerk? Paige has cost AJ two losses now (to Eva Marie no less) so standard booking practice shows that AJ will win. I think both of these women are great wrestlers, but their last match at Battleground was a little lackluster, so I’m hoping they can pull it around this time and put on a better showing.
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho in a Wyatt Family Banned Match (Except for the Creepy Kid with the Deep Voice)
People complain when Jericho comes back and loses to all of the younger stars, but then they also complained when he won against Wyatt at Battleground. Maybe it was two separate groups of people. Do you ever notice how annoying it is when “people” are painted with the same brush as if we all have the same opinion about everything? I think this feud will keep going on after this match, but I just can’t see how that will happen if Jericho picks up a win again. I guess that means I’m picking Wyatt to win by using either outside interference (maybe Paige will finally debut as Sister Abigail?) or that little kid singing again.
The Flag Match! Jack Swagger vs. Rusev!
I hope this involves Swags and Rusev jousting with their respective flags or fighting with them like broadswords. I’m still enjoying this feud, but I think it’s ending at this pay per view with Rusev picking up the win. Why? Because pretty soon Brock’s taking the title away to his farm in Corn Country and Cena will need someone to feud with. And who has more heat now than Rusev?
The “Will It Actually Happen This Time?” Lumberjack Match featuring Rollins vs. Ambrose
Some were disappointed at the addition of a gimmick to this match, but I think it’ll be great no matter what. The build up between these two men has been amazing and feels very natural. At Battleground I was convinced that Seth Rollins’ push was going on strong for a while, but now I’m not so sure. Ambrose has been getting over really well as a face, and Seth could afford to lose a few matches before he inevitably cashes in his briefcase (proof: Daniel Bryan’s run with the briefcase), so I’m picking Ambrose to win.
The Leader of the Roman Empire vs. The Angry Orange One
Didn’t Reigns just beat the team of Orton and Kane just not that long ago? Yes. Yes he did. Granted, there was a little bit of dissension between the Authority members, but still it’s weird that they had that match like a month before having a singles match with Reigns and Orton. I’m predicting that Reigns will win, but I think the real story behind this match is just how dominant he’ll look in it. This isn’t so much about having Reigns win as it is about building him as the next top guy.
Stephanie McMahon Helmsley vs. Brie Bella
Outside of the last minute addition of “He’s having an affair with a girl fuglier than you!”, this buildup has been pretty well done. There are still so many unknowns – will Triple H interfere? Will Nikki turn heel? Will DBry show up in the crowd for support? Probably no DBry, but that might be for the best to keep this match between the two ladies as much as possible. I’m really torn on the ending here, but I have a feeling that Steph wouldn’t return to the ring after a decade long break just to lose, so I’m picking the Billion Dollar Princess to win.
WWE World Championship Match: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (featuring the last appearance of the WWE Championship Title for the rest of 2014!)
At any other show I’d be tempted to pick Cena to win but considering that Summerslam is supposed to be this big network seller, I’m picking Lesnar to win the title. I don’t think he’ll be as dominant as he was at their first encounter and Cena will still look like he has a fighting chance without resorting to weapons. But Lesnar will still whisk the title away to Parts Unknown, his farm in Minnesota (that’s not the actual farm name). I found it reassuring to read Heyman’s thoughts about how it is a good thing to have the World Champion only show up every once in a while. While in my heart of hearts I think it’s kind of a crappy move to have a World Champion who only comes by once in a blue moon, it’s nice to know that someone out there believes in it.
So that’s the biggest party of the summer. It looks like a good show on paper, though other than the main event it feels like it could be just another one of the filler pay per views. I guess the real “big match feel” will come in the matches themselves, whether it’s Brock winning or Reigns decisively kicking Randy’s ass.
Despite being one of the filler Pay Per Views and having one of the most predictable main events in history, this show still has a lot going for it. A lot of potentially long term feuds are kicking off and they all look good. And, I’d like to point out that in my predictions for the last three Pay Per Views I’ve correctly predicted all but ONE of the announced matches. That’s pretty good. I mean, that’s better than that Dolphins guy, right? Do you want to know my secret? It’s not the cartoons I’ve been putting at the top. All I do is I pick the safest option and don’t think of anything that happened over a week prior. Let’s dive in!
WWE Network Exclusive PreShow Final Dismantling of Tons of Funk: Cameron vs. Naomi
Okay, so this is NOT one of the feuds I was referring to in the opening paragraph. I really think this match is more about a future Total Divas episode than anything else. While I like Naomi a hundred times more than Cameron, her recent feud with Paige for the Divas Title was fairly lackluster so I think Cameron will win. If nothing else, Cameron is great at getting people to hate her.
The Battle for Ultimate Xenophobic Stereotype: Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
I kind of hate and love Zeb in this current face run. Everything he says comes across as so wrong and yet somehow between his and Lana’s mic skills it stirs some patriotic sensations within me that make me really want to see Swagger win. Unfortunately I don’t think Jack can last as a face against anyone else and I really don’t think he’ll be the one to end Rusev’s win streak. So I’m picking Rusev to win, but Swagger will probably give him the toughest fight so far.
The Match I Really Want to See: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
I did a comic touching on this recently, but it’s very strange to me that everyone in the Shield is trying to move on to bigger things, but Ambrose is stuck as the guy who just can’t get over it. I’m totally okay with it though, because Ambrose plays the crazy anti authority role so well. Since Rollins is the one featured in segments with Randy Orton week in and week out I have a feeling he’s going to be moving upwards into feuds with them in the coming months, which means he’ll most likely win against Dean. It’ll be a hell of a fight though and the match I’m looking forward to the most.
The Latest in the Wyatts Neverending Rematch Clause for Losing: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
The Wyatts haven’t beaten the Usos yet for the belts, so I’m not really sure why they’re getting a rematch or are even considered to be likely to win. These four are always entertaining together so I’m sure the match will be good regardless. I’m picking the Usos to win, and we’ll probably see them defending against The Ascension before too long.
The Match I Really Want to See #2: AJ Lee vs. Paige
This is another one of those blossoming feuds that I think will be great. Paige’s subtle heel turn has been great to watch, and I’m really glad that AJ is able to be a face while still acting like her normal self (as in not crying or making lame jokes). I think AJ will win, prompting Paige to freak out.
The Match I Really Want to See #3: Bray Wyatt vs. Jericho.
While I’m a big fan of the Wyatts and Jericho, this feud is just starting and I don’t think it’s really found its footing just yet. Like Bray’s speeches to Jericho could be easily inserted into his feud with Cena, and other than the names you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I’m thinking that the story between these two will be going on for a while though, so I’m predicting that the end will be decided by disqualification, most likely with Jericho winning.
The “So I’m Definitely Not Going To Be In The Main Event Anytime Soon? Okay, I guess…” Championship Battle Royal.
This is another hard one to pick because I’m looking over the list of entrants and seeing only people I think WON’T win. Most are just treading water in the midcard, except… Bo Dallas. Yup, he’s my pick to win. And I think he’ll be a good champ, too. The only other person who stands out as a potential winner would be the Miz, but he’s in his “moneymaker” feud with Sheamus (the moneymaker being his face, that is, not the feud), so I don’t think he’ll win.
The Main Event Fatal 4-Way for the WWE World- Oh Cena’s Winning and We All Know It.
And I’d be a little disappointed if anyone else beat him for the title after he just won it last month. This main event seems too much like painting (booking?) by numbers to be that interesting. Roman being inserted into it is very weird though, seeing how Vickie was fired over letting him into a title match at Money in the Bank a month ago. The rivalry, if you can call it that, between Roman and Cena over the past few weeks has been fairly half assed, though I guess it’s more about giving Reigns a taste of the main event than anything else.
Well maybe I shouldn’t have bragged so much about my prediction prowess beforehand, because now I’m not feeling so hot about my predictions. But that’s a good thing that there aren’t too many safe picks this time around. Maybe Cena winning makes up for the rest.
Recently I heard someone comment that “Money in the Bank” is now one of the WWE’s big four Pay Per Views/ special events- replacing Survivor Series in terms of importance. While I personally wouldn’t go that far due to the history that Survivor Series has in the company, I’ll admit that the MitB ladder match- whether at Wrestlemania or it’s own event- is one of my favorite matches. And I especially feel that way this year with there being only one match for the contract (seeing as how there’s only one title), making the contract even more of a rare item to have.
The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Hm… This is a tough one to call. On one hand, the Usos have been getting more and more over with the crowd lately, and getting more mic time to boot. On the other hand, the Wyatts have new entrance music… But I think fortune favors the Usos. I know lots of people are hoping for a Wyatt family clean sweep (which I don’t think will happen for more than this match). I think this will be an exciting match either way, and I’ll be fine no matter who wins the match.
Paige v. Naomi for the WWE Divas Championship Match
Y’know, if Alicia Fox didn’t beat Paige for the Diva’s title, then I don’t know who will. Not Naomi, though I think she is quite good. I feel confident in saying that Paige will win, though I am worried about Ariane/ Cameron from Total Divas slipping in to the title picture (or on to TV at all) somehow.
Rybaxel vs. Goldust and Stardust
I’m pretty sure the Rhodes brothers will win this one since they just came around and Rybaxel is yesterday’s news. Remember when Ryback was the hot thing to talk about after he went all twitter crazy? Seems like forever ago… While I don’t hate Stardust, I don’t really find myself buying into the character either. I feel like it’s just Cody acting silly in makeup.
Summer Rae vs. Layla (with Fandango as special guest referee) (and maybe a dance off before hand!)
Wow, two divas matches and two tag matches in one show? It must be Money in the Bank… I think Summer will win because it seems like they’re pushing her as a face now. I guess that’s kind of a lame reason, but I don’t feel like there’s any consequence no matter who wins or loses. Both women are replaceable in my mind as very talented, kind of bitchy, dancers. After all of the recent releases I’m glad to see these three in an actual storyline because it gives them all something to do… but I really can’t bring myself to care about what happens.
Big E. vs. Rusev (with Lana)
Since we’ve already seen this match before I can’t possibly see how it could end any differently at MitB. I’d certainly like to see Big E. win over Rusev, but I still think the WWE wants to protect the Bulgarian-Russian Brute for a big feud with someone like John Cena. I predict that Rusev will win within a few minutes.
Money in the Bank Match (the contract one) with Barrett vs. Ambrose vs. Ziggler vs. Swagger vs. Kofi vs. RVD vs. Rollins
I think the person most likely to win this match is Seth Rollins. Actually, I don’t know if it’s so much that I think he has a really good shot at winning as I just can’t see anyone else pulling it off. Swagger and RVD have been there, done that. Kofi’s time to be in the main event is long over, and Ziggler is headed in the same direction. Barrett’s rumored to be injured, and out of the two Shield members Rollins seems the likeliest to win, so I see him going home with the contract. And I think that’s a good thing too. It’s always more fun to have a person who’s never held the title before holding the contract and Rollins still seems credible enough to pull off a win.
Money in the Bank Match (the one for the WWE title) with Del Rio vs. Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. John Cena vs. Kane vs. Orton vs. Reigns vs. Sheamus
Cena. Cena, Cena, Cena. Yes, this is the safe prediction, but I think the WWE is looking for some safe predictable times after their recent stock tumble. While I would not be happy about Cena being the champ AGAIN, if Brock does come back at Summerslam to face him for the title and we get a match on par with their Extreme Rules ’12 match, I can’t complain. Well I will complain, but I’ll enjoy seeing Brock beating the crap out of Cena again anyway.
Y’know, I think this is going to be a good special event. While these are the outcomes I’m predicting, and I would be happy-ish with most of them, if it goes a completely different way and we see a Wyatt clean sweep, I’d still be a happy customer. As long as Del Rio doesn’t win. Man, I’m sick of that guy.
If you look to the left of the site, you will notice a link to the redesigned Over Like Olav, with the start of a new storyline and a special message about the future of Over Like Olav (the long and short of it is that Olav will be updated with one large Sunday-style strip on the weekends)! As I mention in the OLO blog, while I’ve tried several different ways of drawing Olav and putting him online through the years, I feel like this method will be the best. I hope you will take the time to check it out in the future!
And for my newer readers who don’t know what I’m talking about, Olav, Rad Bad DeBone, and all of their wrestling buddies are my own creations that are featured in my original story lines. When I started Botched Spot they were the main feature in comics, but as the site progressed I felt like it was being pulled in two directions- one with comics that followed Olav’s adventures in the wrestling world and the other with comics that satirized the wrestling product you see on TV today. So a few years ago I decided to put Olav on his own site, where he lives today.
And if you don’t see the widget or notice any problems with the site, please let me know! Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the comics!
Payback is tonight and it looks to be a good show, although I can’t say I would be spending sixty bucks on it if it weren’t for the Network. With no WWE World Heavyweight Championship match involved it’s missing that “big show” feel for me, especially considering that seeing the second tier titles are defended regularly on Raw, but I’m sure some of the matches will be great. Let’s dive right in-
El Torito vs. Hornswoggle in a Hair vs. Mask match
While I know a lot of people have grown to hate this feud, especially with Torito going over non-little person wrestlers a couple of times already, now that they have two preshow matches under their belt I kind of want to see if they can stretch this feud through an entire year of preshow gimmick matches. Isn’t the preshow just when everyone’s getting their PPV junk food ready anyway? Since Hornswoggle can grow his hair back and Torito can’t put his mask back on (y’know, metaphorically speaking), the bull is winning this one.
Rusev vs. Big E
Since the WWE has made it clear they’re putting more focus on Rusev and less focus on Big E by taking the IC title from him, this one is easy to pick with a Rusev win. Since the Bulgarian-Russian brute hasn’t been catching on with crowds I would like to see Big E win, but I think the WWE will wait a little longer before giving Rusev the ol’ Sweet T. treatment.
Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam for the IC Title
While I think BNB will win and I WANT him to win, I’d actually be okay with RVD going over here if only so he will have won at least one match of importance since his return almost a year ago. I know that it’s the worst thing ever when a wrestler comes back from retirement or a break and runs all over the younger guys, but RVD seems to have the opposite problem going on. Some guys like Jericho can come back, lose every match and still be able to main event for the title when needed. I don’t thing RVD is in that same category though and I worry he will lose any remaining credibility unless he gets a big win sooner or later.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the US Title
This match is a hard one to call. I’ll officially pick Sheamus to win because he just won the title not long ago, though I feel like Cesaro has more of a push going on right now with the new music and all of the mic time they’re giving Heyman. There have been lots of backstage rumblings about Cesaro being one of the big guys that the WWE is going to base the coming year around though, so you never know…
Paige vs. Alicia Fox
As much as I enjoyed Paige in NXT, her Divas Championship run has fallen fairly flat. I know it’s very “IWC” to blame the writers and not the wrestler, but Paige has been booked as an underdog champion with little mic time and it’s not working for her. And to be honest the crowd has little reason to cheer for her other than the fact that she has an awesome looking submission finisher. Alicia on the other hand is giving crowds something to look forward to with all of her unpredictable post match antics. When Paige first won the championship I thought she would hold it at least until AJ came back, but the longer she’s gone the more I think the title is up for grabs.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match
There is little doubt in my mind that Cena will win. While this feud could have been a great way of putting Bray Wyatt over as a threat in the ring, I’m starting to think that the WWE believe that Cena just being in the ring with someone is putting them over. I’ll admit that I’ve lost interest in this feud since Extreme Rules where Cena almost won several times despite it practically being a handicap match for most of the match. The fact that Bray only won due to the deep voice kid who has never been seen again shows that their not interested in making Bray look like he can physically beat Cena. I mean sure, he’s gotten way more exposure as a result, but as a singles competitor he looks like he needs the help of two giant dudes and one gimmicky little kid and even then can just barely win.
Daniel Bryan surrendering the championship???
While this obviously isn’t a match, it’s a huge part of the show so I think it’s worth predicting. As such, I predict that Bryan will NOT surrender the title, and Brie will get out of being fired by challenging Stephanie to a match at the next special event (PPV), Money in the Bank. While that isn’t a match I look forward to in terms of in ring quality, it will be nice to see Steph get her comeuppance without Bryan attacking her and making all wrestling fans look like wife beating misogynists. I don’t really think that the WWE will make Bryan surrender the title for Brie, given how many wrestling fans want to see Bryan wrestle and don’t want to see the Bellas stay employed.
The Shield vs. Evolution in a No Holds Barred Match
Even though this feud started on shaky ground (Orton couldn’t get his world title rematch until they dealt with the Shield?) it has been great to watch. Thinking back to a decade ago when “Evolution” became synonymous with Triple H & pals burying anyone except themselves, it feels good to see them making new, young stars really shine. I especially appreciate that while the golden child is Roman Reigns, all members of Shield are made to look strong. Given Batista the Destroyer’s upcoming movie promotion schedule, I think the Shield will win. Maybe I could see Evolution squeaking by with a win, but it isn’t really Evolution with only Hunter and Orton. I may be assuming too much about Dave leaving, but this whole program has been about putting over the Shield so I honestly see them winning no matter what.
After looking over the card, I can honestly say that Payback definitely falls into the category of pay per view special events that I wouldn’t be watching if it weren’t for the WWE Network. There are a few matches that look good and I’m sure the Shield vs. Evolution will be stellar, but the main draw for me- Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship- is something I could get by following a recap online.