Another day, another lawsuit against WWE. The difference this time though is that over fifty wrestlers are suing WWE for concussion related issues. The thing that always gets me about these lawsuits is looking at what the wrestlers did before they were employed by WWE or how long they actually wrestled for WWE. For a lot of them it wasn’t that long and some of them keep wrestling elsewhere!
You’d think WWE actually waiting a full month after Money in the Bank to have Battleground would build excitement for the Pay Per View, but I think it’s importance pales in comparison to the draft that just happened and seeing what the split rosters are like in action next week. Not to be outdone, there still are a few decent looking matches coming up on Sunday.
Sasha Banks and TBD vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
A lot of people are looking forward to this match as an extra draft pick for Bayley, which would be kind of a cop out, but an exciting one none the less. I imagine Sasha’s team will pick up the win though, especially since she lost her first match on Smackdown (boo!).
Who will win: Sasha Banks
Rusev vs. Zack Ryder for the US Championship & Darren Young vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
This is a big time for WWE, with a lot of big changes. They want to make sure people tune in to watch their split brands, so I think they’ll attempt to shake things up by having Ryder beat Rusev and Young beat Miz, switching the two titles between brands. I know it’s a risky call to make, but I think WWE will use it as a way to show that anything can happen. Also Young’s been on a hot streak since coming back, and I think a loss to Miz would really stop him in his tracks.
Who will win: Ryder will win the US Championship and Young will win the Intercontinental Championship
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
Well, I guess The New Day will win since they’re the team that’s actually sticking together post-draft. I was worried that Xavier would leave The New Day for the Wyatts, but since Bray’s moving on over to Smackdown, I don’t think he’s taking anyone with him. Oh, except for Rowan. Can’t forget about him.
Who will win: The New Day
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
This was a feud that I was expecting to be broken up by the draft, but I guess it could keep going on for a while! With that in mind, I expect Nattie to win, so Becky can come back next time. I’m really hoping that we get some new info about the Women’s Championship though, and whether Charlotte will travel between brands or if Smackdown will have it’s own title.
Who will win: Natalya
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
I seem to remember a time when I was worried that WWE would sign El Generico and Kevin Steen but never make reference to their long standing friendship and rivalry on the indies. That was a long time ago. Now we’re seeing them in another singles match, and while I’m sure it will be good, I definitely wish they were moving on to separate brands so we knew this was the last time we’d see them fight for a while. Kevin won their last Pay Per View singles encounter, so I’m picking Sami to win.
Who will win: Sami Zayn
John Cena, Enzo Amore, and Big Cass vs. The Club
This is one feud I would’ve liked to see go on for longer. Enzo and Cass help make Cena a little fresher and The Club were really hitting their stride together. I know FInn’s coming up to Raw and will probably join in with Anderson and Gallows, but will he say “ski” the way AJ does? I don’t think so. I’m predicting Cena, Enzo, and Cass will win because, well, it’s John Cena.
Who will win: Cena, Enzo, and Cass
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship
This is a tough one to call, not just because of Roman’s fluctuating popularity with Vince, but also because I really don’t think WWE will let a show go on without a title. I imagine Steph, Shane, Mick, Bryan, and possibly even Vince, will come out and announce a solution to the problem that will involve a tournament being set up on Raw or Smackdown, whichever brand doesn’t have a belt on it. With that in mind I’m predicting Dean to win as a result of Seth and Roman focusing on fighting each other, which will lead to them feuding over a new belt on Raw.
Who will win: Dean Ambrose
All in all I think WWE’s last joint branded Pay Per View (except for the Big Four) looks good, if not a little disjointed thanks to the draft. I’m hoping we’ll get some surprises like a Finn Balor appearance or Cesaro dropping more pipebombs, but even on paper we’re looking at a solid show!
“Bigger than Wrestlemania!” That’s how WWE is pushing Money in the Bank this year. Honestly I thought Payback and Extreme Rules were better than Wrestlemania 32, but I’ll admit that “bigger than Payback” doesn’t have the same ring to it. I’ll agree though that this is a big Pay Per View, with the main event being overshadowed by the Money in the Bank match and AJ versus Cena. Let’s dive in with some predictions!
Pre Show: Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (again???)
Winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is going to start having the same stigma as winning the King of the Ring if they keep Corbin on pre show matches.
Who will win: Baron Corbin, because he’s on his way up and Ziggler’s on his way out.
Pre Show: Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
I can’t believe they called Apollo up so early for this.
Who will win: Apollo, because he’s the cool new guy.
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match
I’m really glad WWE went back to six entrants this year instead of the typical seven. I think having six strong contenders right on the verge of breaking into the main event (or back into it) is way better than just stuffing in whoever can take a bump off of a ladder. While I’d be happy with any of these guys winning it (except for Del Rio), the only two I think have a chance are Owens and Ambrose. Del Rio and Jericho’s main event days are behind them, Zayn’s still too new, and WWE hasn’t gotten behind Cesaro yet, so I’m not sure why they’d start now. Owens is consistently fantastic at everything and hasn’t flirted with the World Title much yet, so I think he’d be a strong contender. I think the temptation of having (or at least teasing) a Shield Main event is too much for WWE though, and Ambrose will win.
Who will win: Ambrose
The New Day vs. The Club vs Enzo and Cass vs. The Vaudevillains for the WWE Tag Team Championships
As much as I love New Day, Enzo and Cass, and the Vaudevillains, it’s nice having The Club provide a serious threat to the tag team division. I’ll admit that on Raw when Xavier and Enzo were getting jealous over a trombone and Aiden English came out singing I started thinking things were getting a little too silly. Now that New Day have become the longest reigning tag team champions again, I think it’s the perfect time for them to lose the titles and chase after them again.
Who will win: The Club
Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil for the United States Championship
Titus may be back on TV, but I feel like his punishment for grabbing Vince’s arm isn’t over. The man used “blowhard” as an insult. On commentary he said he would be a great US champion because he is an American like Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali. He literally said that! While I’m glad to see Rusev being built back up, this could be Titus’ last chance in WWE and they’re giving him nothing to work with.
Who will win: Rusev
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch
Do you remember a time when fans thought there would be a women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match? We were all so naive back then. I can’t believe that the great “Diva’s Revolution” and renaming of the division at Wrestlemania has boiled down to one crummy tag match at this Pay Per View. Not that it matters, but I think the babyfaces will win after Dana screws something up for Charlotte.
Who will win: Natalya and Becky Lynch
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
I want to take a minute and acknowledge just how mind blowing it is that WWE are spending so much time hyping up a wrestler who’s still in his first six months with the company. They’re talking about Cena vs. AJ Styles like it’s Cena vs. the Rock, and while I agree that it is a big deal and will be a great match, I’ve never seen them build up a non-WWE guy this much in my life. Even Sting was brought in like “yeah, he’s cool, but he was also around for the death of WCW, so…” Simply mind blowing.
I really think this feud’s been great so far, and I love AJ’s heel work. I haven’t seen much of him as a heel before, and I hope he stays this way for a while. During his contract signing with Cena at Raw he seemed to get under Cena’s skin in a way that I haven’t seen before. I think this has a real potential to be a match of the year contender. Most of Cena’s recent feuds see him losing the first match and winning two after it, so my official prediction for this one is AJ Styles picking up the win.
Who will win: AJ Styles
Likelihood of the club coming out anyway (because what even was the point of those two contracts): 95%
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
While I enjoyed the “Ambrose Asylum” talk show last Monday on Raw, the rest of the build for this match has felt flat to me. For one thing, I personally am seated in the big ol’ boat of people who wished Seth would’ve come back as a face. While his heel run as a champion last year had a fantastic start, by the time he was injured it was growing old. To see him come back playing the exact same character doesn’t really have me excited, especially against Reigns. It will be great to see Seth in the ring again, but I don’t think he’ll actually stand a chance at beating The Guy. While I think Ambrose will definitely win Money in the Bank and tease a cash in, I think he’ll still hold on to the briefcase for a while.
Who will win: Reigns
As much of a drag as Raw is, and as much of a Raw Replay as Smackdown is, WWE’s Pay Per Views almost always deliver and I think Money in the Bank will be no different. There are a lot of great matches on the card and as confident as I sound when predicting that AJ will beat Cena and that Ambrose won’t cash in, I know when the pieces are in motion I’ll be glued to the TV.
While I really only consider myself a casual TNA fan, I’ve been watching it quite a bit more lately. Part of it is for my Patreon exclusive webcomic, “What You Missed in Wrestling”, available for only $1 a month (cheap plug), but also because I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the new stars that TNA is focusing on now that most of their roster has left. Seeing wrestlers like EC3, Mike Bennett, Maria, Eli Drake, Jade, and others coming to the forefront has helped me renew my interest in TNA enough to actually order Slammiversary this Sunday.
At nine matches, the card is pretty stacked, and while not all the matches are must-see, I still think it will still be a good show. Let’s get into some predictions!
Jade vs. Sienna for the TNA Knockouts Championship
While Jade may have started out as Dollhouse member number 3, she quickly shed that roll to become a legitimate force to be reckoned with. I’m having trouble remembering her feuding with anyone other than Gail Kim, so I’ll be interested to see how she does with the newcomer (to TNA anyway), Sienna.
Who will win: While I want Jade to win, I’m predicting Sienna will take home the gold to help build her role as Maria’s muscle.
Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. DJZ vs. Eddie Edwards for the X-Division Championship
I honestly haven’t been following the X-Division as closely as the other divisions in TNA. Wasn’t the champion, Trevor Lee, just fighting against TNA for Team GFW not even a year ago? I like Helms being brought in as a manager, but I guess Lucha Underground has spoiled me when it comes to cruiserweights.
Who will win: I’m not sure what the timetable is for Davey Richards to return, but I’m predicting Eddie Edwards will finally put Trevor Lee away and win the title.
The Tribunal vs. Grado and Mahabali Shera
While I enjoyed their work in NXT, Dax and Baraka are a weird pairing for Al Snow, especially when going up against Grado and Shera. Al said that he originally attacked Grado because he’s angry at rookies, and then he shows up with the Tribunal who are fresh out of his school. Also the French gimmick is just begging for fans to chant USA, but the only American is Snow! I’m probably overthinking it.
Who will win: The Tribunal, despite being attacked with bellies and turkey legs.
Eli Drake vs. Bram for the TNA King of the Mountain Championship
Eli’s becoming one of TNA’s best new stars. He’s got a kind of unpredictable humor like Dean Ambrose, but unlike Ambrose, Eli’s doesn’t have a giant glass ceiling above him. I really hope Eli wins because a lengthy title reign would do a lot to help establish him as a legitimate competitor.
Who will win: E, Li, Drake
Gail Kim vs. Maria
While I’m glad to see Gail Kim finally get an opportunity to beat up Maria, I wish there was something on the line in this match, like Maria’s position as leader of the knockouts. I’m not sure what the match quality will be like because I haven’t seen Maria wrestle since she was fresh out of the Divas Search, but I’m sure Kim can carry her through to something decent.
Who will win: I’m guessing Maria will win thanks to interference from her three associates, Ellie, Sienna, and Mike.
Decay vs. The BroMans
Decay embody every Hot Topic stereotype I normally hate, but I still really enjoy seeing them on Impact every week. To be honest I’d just about given up on Abyss after he was a part of The Revolution a year ago, but I like him a lot more with Crazzy Steve (who I was never big on) and Rosemary. I’m not much of a Bro Mans guy and even less of a Gabi from Tough Enough guy, so I’m really hoping Decay pull through on this one.
Who will win: Decay because the Bro Mans need more “training” videos with Gabi/Raquel.
Mike Bennett vs. EC3
I’m a huge EC3 fan, so I was a little hurt when Bennett ended Carter’s long running undefeated streak (although I’m glad it was at least a younger, newer name in TNA). This feud has been great to watch, in part because Mike is one of EC3’s few opponents who hasn’t been past his prime. I feel like Bennett can really go toe to toe with EC3 on the mic and in the ring and if this match does end their feud, it’s been a fun ride.
Who will win: EC3. Because I really want him to.
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem Match
Look, I’ll be honest. A big part of why I’m here is Matt and Jeff’s ridiculous feud. I’ve watched their contract signing video multiple times and I’ve determined that Matt is the perfect kind of heel for me. He’s hatable enough so I want to see him lose, but entertaining enough so I don’t want to see him legitimately gone from TNA. I’m not crazy about Willow coming back (it gives me way too many flashbacks of looking at goofy art projects by goofy art students when I was back in art school), but if that’s the price to pay, I’ll accept it.
Who will win: I’m guessing Jeff will beat Matt with the help of a bunch of Willows and baby dolls.
Drew Galloway vs. Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
While I’m honestly not looking forward to this match as much as Bennett vs. EC3 or Matt vs. Jeff, Drew and Lashley are both great in their own right. Lashley’s really been picking up steam as a heel, but considering that Galloway just won the title, I’m predicting Bobby won’t be able to win the gold.
Who will win: Galloway
Hey everyone, I wanted to share with you some of the awesome wrestling comics that Botched Spot fan @Martytholath showed me! Great work, Martytholath! Please go check out more of his work at his DeviantArt pages here and here.
Normally I don’t get out to watch a whole lot of independent wrestling, but when I saw St. Louis Anarchy, a wrestling promotion based right outside of St. Louis, was having a two day show this past weekend I jumped at the chance. I went to the “STL Mega Ticket” show they put on last December with PWCS Wrestling and it was really awesome, so I knew I wanted to see them again, and I’ve also never been to a two night wrestling event before so I wanted to have that experience.
I’m going to be honest and let you know up front that since I’ve only been to one of their other shows and I’m not super familiar with indy wrestling in general, I’m not entirely sure which guys here are regulars or how long everyone’s been wrestling, so if I get anything mixed up I apologize in advance!
Overall both nights had a lot of really great wrestling put on by really talented wrestlers. At a lot of indy wrestling shows I’ve been to in the past there’s a clear division between the people who are there to have fun and the professionals, and all the wrestlers here definitely seemed like professionals.
During both nights there was a tag team tournament between the teams of Roscoe Eat Lisa, Viking War Party, Team IOU, and the Hooligans, and all of these guys were insane. I mean they were great, but also really brutal, with one match between the Hooligans and Team IOU breaking down into a “circle of death” where they literally sat in a circle and punched each other until all but one guy was knocked out of their chair. Crazy! There was a lot of funny spots in their matches and good wrestling too. They often sent fans running for cover when brawling outside the ring.
STL Anarchy also has a great stable of heels called “The Cause” who strut out to the ring in suits holding a book called “The Rules”. Led by Evan Gelistico (who looks like he could be JBL’s nephew), the group wrestled all over the card both nights and instantly got their opponents over with the crowd.
I was also really impressed with Jonathan Gresham, who wrestled Gerald James the first night and Davey Vega the second. He’s an amazing technical wrestler! In his match with Davey Vega, the two of them matched each other move for move most of the night, inspiring the audience to chant “chain wrestle forever!” That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that chant! He also threatened to break wrestlers’ fingers both nights, which really sticks with you.
Another bright spot on the show was a young wrestler named Ricky Starks, who bragged to the audience multiple times that he had been called by Vince and Paul to come up to NXT, but he postponed it because he was already committed to entertaining the St. Louis Anarchy fans “Then, now, and forever… Forever… Forever….” The second night he even got “the call” in the middle of his match and took it out in the audience. Being a couple of feet away, I want to mention that he wasn’t doing a phoney TV call where he just said “Uh huh, uh huh, yes, got it…” over and over again, but actually had a full on conversation with “Paul” where he begged him to understand that he had an obligation to the St. Louis Anarchy fans.
TJ Perkins (aka Suicide and Manik from his TNA days) was probably the biggest name there and he had an amazing match with the Stl Anarchy Champion, Mat Fitchett on the second night. Perkins also wrestled Davey Vega the first night, but unfortunately we had to leave early and missed it. His match with Fitchett was a variety of technical and high flying moves that brought the normally rowdy crowd to dead silence at times because everyone was so focused on what the two wrestlers were doing in the ring.
Honestly, all of the wrestlers were really great, with people like Paco, Jojo, Angelus and many others getting huge reactions from the crowd. Overall the whole show was amazing both nights and I definitely recommend checking St. Louis Anarchy out if you’re around Alton, Illinois during one of their shows. They also have their shows on Smart Mark Video if you can’t make it there in person.