So, he’s back then.
Do they give him it or not?
They might, mightn’t they? But then again, they might go for the swerve. Or is that what everyone is expecting?
Who knows? But we’ll talk about it later.
Survivor Series tonight, and am I the only person in the world who doesn’t care for the return of the Survivor Series matches? Every year people talk about the fact that we’d like to see the old-school elimination matches more often, and every year I wince because I always remember them being formulaic and rubbish.
Mind you, I don’t like tag wrestling that much, either, so I guess I’m in the minority.
Anyway, the thing that gets me with the Survivor Series matches is that I can sit here now and offer you the basic blueprint of the matches now.
Right, we start 5 on 5. The babyface team get and early upper hand and several of them get to hit a big move or two. One of the heel team kicks the babyface best at taking a beating........who then takes a beating.
The heels gradually whittle down the faces, with the occasional babyface getting to eliminate a heel. This will be, at some point, countered by a heel getting a quick pin on a face that is caught unawares.
The heel team will get ahead by a ratio of about 4:2, with the two remaining good guys being the most popular on their side. They will whittle the odds down, with the result either being a sneaky win for one heel or the babyfaces somehow getting the upper hand.
During the match, I should point out, a series of moves which never win a match are now good enough to pin an individual who has only wrestled for six minutes.
Oh, and in one of the matches, two wrestlers who have yet to settle their score on TV, and who are due to fight at the next PPV, will get into it and either get disqualified or counted out.
So then, let’s take a look at each match.
Raw v Smackdown Divas match: Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Candice Michelle, Jillian Hall and Kelly Kelly v Michelle McCool, Natalya, Victoria, Maryse and Maria
Not worth doing major breakdowns or even winning predictions for these encounters, but we’ll have a look at a few plot points.
· Look for the new number one contenders to the belts to make themselves known. I’d suggest a heel walking out on a babyface (so either Beth walking out on someone, or someone walking out on Michelle) to set up a battle in the future.
· I’d take Festus to distract Maria and get her counted out.
· The Bella Twins and Katie Lea are the notable absentees in the match. I can’t see them interfering, but worth remembering that the whole roster isn’t out there.
· Speaking of which, what if Beth were to be the sole survivor, with the premise being that no-one can hang with her. And we then see Gail Kim on Raw.
Team HBK v Team JBL: Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Great Khali and Cryme Tyme v JBL, Kane, John Morrison, The Miz and MVP
· Look for MVP to be the first to be eliminated, possibly being humiliated on the way.
· I would think that in the spirit of the Royal Rumble, Khali will only be eliminated by heels ganging up on him, or by distraction.
· HBK and JBL getting a double count-out is possible. If they are out of the way, don’t be surprised by a result seeing Miz and Morrison surviving.
· More likely, though, this could open the show and would see a babyface victory.
Team Orton v Team Batista: Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal and Mark Henry v Dave Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy and KR-TruthKwik
· Orton has been a sole survivor on at least two occasions. I’d suggest they could play this up and if not have him make it three, then at least tease it.
· This is very much a hodgepodge match. Not many of the people involved have really important programmes going on elsewhere. The office seem big Hardy right now, so he may well survive for a time. I’d think Kofi, Punk and RKKwick-Truth may soon depart.
· Batista, after losing his title, is due to be made to look a killer once more. I can see it being 5-2 or 4-1 or something, with Batista dispatching heel after heel.
· In particular, look for Hardy to be downed by Henry, and then Batista to eliminate Mizark.
· I am going to be keeping an eye on Cody, in conjunction with his recent interaction with Randy Orton. Maybe Cody will abandon Randy or cost him something?
One other note, you may find that more time is devoted to the Survivor Series matches, since there are only six matches on the card.
Undertaker v Big Show – Casket Match
· This can only really go one of two ways.
· Either Undertaker slays the Big Show, and after a bruising battle manages to do what the Undertaker always does and overcome the odds. OR..........
· Big Show follows Yokozuna’s lead and, with Vickie’s assistance, enlists a bunch of athletes who systematically destroy Taker.
· The latter is possible, because as I mentioned in a piece I wrote for the Sun last week, Undertaker is broken up. Watching him live in Manchester for Smackdown was interesting, because he is moving about very gingerly. The simplest movement seems laboured. I’m not having a go at the guy. I’ll admit to not being the biggest Undertaker fan, but I respect and admire the match greatly. He has a huge burden upon his shoulders and, well into his forties and carrying a big frame around, will understandably slow down. It may be the time to give him an excuse to sit out the schedule for a few weeks, perhaps returning for Royal Rumble, starting a programme with someone to lead him into Mania.
Triple H v Vladimir Koslov v Jeff Hardy (WWE Championship)
· I am a big Jeff Hardy fan, but this is not the time to put the title on him. He, as a rising, massively popular star deserves to win it from a heel on a grand scale, not from the much-loved Triple H in a triple threat match.
· I also don’t see Koslov taking the title. I’ll give Smackdown a great deal of credit for producing a whole bunch of entertaining main events of late. Some points are taken off for schmozz finishes nearly all the time, but still, it’s been an improvement. Koslov on top does not help.
· I can’t see any other result than a Triple H win.
· By the way, on the Jeff Hardy being found unconscious story – I really don’t whether it is work or not. I would figure it would be work because I’m sure it wouldn’t be publicised so big on WWE.com were it genuine. It is likely an excuse for why Hardy loses tonight. Perhaps the perpetrator will reveal himself down the line.
John Cena v Chris Jericho (World Title)
· This is what I was talking about at the start. Will they give to him? Or is it a double swerve?
· I seriously can’t see anything but a Cena win. The thought process in the back, I’m sure, will be that Raw’s ratings are not great (They dipped below 3.0 again this week) so the reason may well be that the Champ is weak. Cena is their boy and is a man they’ll feel they can trust. The reaction to Batista has been lukewarm, really, and Jericho always has his detractors backstage. Cena will be safe pair of hands as far as they are concerned.
· By the way, keep an eye on the lifters on Jericho’s boots. They have him in heels to make him look a couple of inches taller.
· Jericho will not win this clean. If he is given the nod to go over, it will only be by foul means.
A note on two other intangibles in the proceedings.
· Edge. Are they holding out to see if Christian comes back to WWE before deciding Edge’s direction? Or will Edge be back as soon as tonight? Maybe he attacked Hardy.
· There is room for a talk segment on the show. Just a reminder, then, that Santino Marella is not on the card. Obviously he could be involved with Beth and the divas match (he could be a reason for Beth getting eliminated) but there is potential for an impromptu Santino interview somewhere.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
So, he’s back then.