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Sunday, 7 September 2008

WWE Unforgiven Preview

Hey guys – time for my usual pre-PPV guesswork and moaning, and as ever I apologise for the later-than-I-intended delivery.

So then, what do you reckon? Is it going to be any good?

Frankly, on one hand it doesn’t deserve to succeed, since it’s been one of the most lazily booked build ups to a Pay Per View that I can remember.

“Welcome to the booking meeting, everyone. So we want the belt off Mark on ECW, to keep it with Paul....”

“Who, boss?”

“Paul. You know, Hunter. Triple H.”

“Oh right. He doesn’t let us call him Paul, you see. We have to call him Sir. Or Champ. And we then have to bow down to the King.”

“Right, well he’s my Son-in-Law, do as he says. Anyway Paul is champion of Smackdown and he’s staying that way. And we don’t know about Punk, so let’s put him with a bunch of people that could win, and we’ll decide on the day what happens.”

“Ok, so who shall we put in the ECW match?”

“Who cares, it’s ECW.”

“I know (sarcastic) let’s put The Miz in”

(all laugh)

“Yeah, Miz whatever. Who else is on ECW?”

“Shit, I don’t know, I don’t watch it. Erm, Matt Hardy, Chavo, Finlay.......”

“They’ll do.”

“Bourne, Ortiz, Morrison.....”

“Nah, the first three’s fine. Right, Smackdown. Don’t make it that challenging, so stick Kendrick in, he’s done ok to be fair. Err, Shelton is due a once a year mini-push. He’ll go back to stunt work by the time the Rumble comes around.”

“MVP, boss?”

“Sure, but most importantly get Hardy in there. Paul hasn’t dashed his hopes since the chamber, so it’s time he was put in his place again. Humiliate him on Smackdown a bit too, we can’t have two people the fans actually like doing well. We’ll punish them for hating John Cena. The basta.....”

“Err, boss, that’s all we need. What about the Raw one?”

“Batista, we have any more vaguely over big guys? Sid?”

“Yeah, Sid! Pick Sid! Sid! Sid!”

“Settle down Johnny, I don’t think we’ve actually signed him yet. So that’s Cena, Batista, Kane....”

“No boss, Cena’s hurt.”

“Book him to win anyway.”

“Err, we can’t, he really is hurt.”

“Oh, damn. Shove Rey in instead.”

“He’s also injured, and we’ve said that Kane has killed him.”

“No-one will know. So that’s Batista, Kane, Rey. We need one more.”


“No, he can’t even beat Santino. How about we dress Charlie up as Cena again?”

“Charlie says he’d rather kill himself.”

“I know, JBL! Bradshaw can do it.”

“Err, Sir, JBL is too old, immobile, not over and has no credibility. He can talk, but that’s it.”

“It’s either him or we put Adamle in the ring.”

“Ok, JBL it is.”

“Ok, I declare this meeting over.......”

“Wait, what about other matches.”

“It doesn’t matter. We’ll only promote the scrambles. Just stick Cody and Ted against the two black guys.”

“Sir, they’re called Cryme Tyme.”

“I know, dammit. I named them. I have an affinity with black people.”

“Sir, you don’t really......”

“Shut up, honky. Anyway, book those for the titles, and have Michelle face Maryse.”

“Sir, we’ve got so many great Divas now. Mickie, Beth, Jillian, Katie Lea. Candice is back and has improved. Even Kelly is starting to look plausible. Natalya is great and Victoria has credibility. Gail’s coming back, there are girls in developmental. Maria is.........actually, forget Maria. But why Michelle and Maryse?”

“Taker said so.”

“Fair enough. How about Shawn and Jericho?”

“We can’t book stuff that well. Let them sort themselves out, it’ll still be awesome. Well done guys, you just booked the Unforgiven Pay Per View.”

“Well boss, you made all the decisions, really.”

“Sure I did, but if it sucks I blame you guys. If it rules then I’m a genius. This meeting is over.”

There you go, you didn’t think you’d get a sneaky peak into the WWE booking meetings today did you?

Cryme Tyme v Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes (Tag Titles)
Should we call the champs Simply Priceless? I’m not sure. The biggest question is whether call them Tag Team champions after tonight.

I don’t see why they ought to lose the straps, since Cryme Tyme are inexplicably over even without the belts.

It depends on who is taking the other belts, really. I would think the scramble will see at least two babyface winners, and I don’t see Maryse defeating Michelle, so I’ll take Ted and Cody to retain in probably the show’s opener.

Michelle McCool w/surname v Maryse w/o surname (Oullet, by the way)
Oh, who cares?

I hate it when they suddenly get an idea that they’ll build around someone for a while, especially in the women’s division. It happened with Trish by accident, because they brought her in because she was hot, and it turned out she had personality and learned how to wrestle.

Since then, they periodically decide to do it with other divas, Candice being the obvious one, and now Michelle is getting the push as a ‘legitimate athlete’. It’s a poor choice for several reasons, because Michelle has a few decent points, but no hugely saleable ones.

She is attractive, but not the most attractive. She is athletic, but not a great wrestler. There are many better wrestling divas. She is not particularly charismatic and can’t really act.

She is (allegedly) banging The Undertaker. Go figure.

To be fair, the match she had with Natalya for the vacant title was very good, but I suspect that Natalya schooled her through it.

This will be terrible, and Michelle will win.

Next. Make it a good one

Shawn Michaels v Chris Jericho (Unsanctioned)
Now you’re talking.

This has been just so fantastic, it doesn’t really need saying. So what I’ll do is be incredibly picky and find three things wrong with the feud.

1) Shawn said to Chris, “You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘Unforgiven’” Well he wouldn’t Shawn, it is a word. Fool.

2) If they had a contract signing, how is it unsanctioned?

3) Shawn’s acting has been a little over the tops at times.

To be fair, I had to reach for that third one. This has been tremendous, with even the big eye injury and all the spilled blood not being over the top. Apart from the odd (and I do mean rare) piece of ham from HBK, it’s been special. I just prey they don’t try to go too daft with this one, if it is to be the blow off.

This time last week I would have suggested Michaels to win, since it makes sense for the babyface to get the big win to make the thing worthwhile. However, if Shawn is injured reasonably badly, then they might give the W to Jericho, and for the former Y2J to step up and face the winner of the Scramble.

To be fair, I don’t care. I’m just going to sit back, enjoy it and prey they either end one of the best angles I’ve ever seen effectively, or if they have enough about them to spin it out a little longer.

I just hope they don’t try to make it last too long and soften the effects. Part of the beauty of a great angle is not only letting it build, but knowing when to switch it off. Please, please get it right, folks.

ECW Scramble – Mark Henry (c), Matt Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Finlay, The......Miz
This is the one fairly certain title switch I would think. I expect this to be the first Scramble, sent out there to get everyone to concentrate on the rules when you aren’t worried who wins.

Mark Henry, in an interview with my colleague Simon Rothstein at The Sun, said something about going 20 minutes, so either he is starting the match and let slip or he doesn’t know the rules.

Or I don’t know the rules.

Anyway, I’d think he will drop the belt, although I’d say there will be a late pin for whomever the champ will be.

Looking at the contenders, you’d say Miz is unlikely, and it wouldn’t really do anything for Chavo. I’d expect a babyface victory, so either Matt or Finlay fit the bill.

Both are quite over, but Finlay doesn’t need the belt, because the kids go nuts for little Hornswoggle, so I’d say that Matt gives the people the first scramble babyface win.

Smackdown Scramble – Triple H (c), Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Jeff Hardy, The Brian Kendrick
Can’t see Trips losing this one. I expect this to be the best scramble in terms of in-ring action, but probably the most predictable in terms of winner. I would although think Triple H will be the last introduced and dominate, with a late flurry from Jeff Hardy making it look like “The Charismatic Engima” will win.

I still haven’t seen anyone mention that that nickname is a TNA one yet.

Raw Scramble – CM Punk (c), Batista, JBL, Rey Mysterio, Kane
Kane and Rey and set for a programme after this, and I don’t see JBL being given a title run again, so it comes down to Punk and Batista.

You’d think that having hyped the Scrambles to be so treacherous for champions that more than one would change, but it may well be the old-fashioned build up of how difficult it will be for the champ only for them to overcome the odds. Punk’s MO of late has been to scrape a win, so I’d expect him to barely hold the title for most of the 20 minutes but to get a late fall.

Other thoughts
I think there could be a controversial fall in there somewhere. Perhaps two at the same time or one right on the bell, leading to either a title change tonight reversed on TV, a dusty finish title bait and switch or maybe a title being vacated for a forthcoming match.

Undertaker is supposed to be on the show. I think he will get attacked by either Edge or Randy Orton. Or both.

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