I've got a perfect 8-0 record from Vengeance to build on, so let's take a swing:
THE ROYAL RUMBLE To those people who say that the Royal Rumble winner is a toss-up... I don't get it. In my mind, there are only five legitimate possibilities for the two main event slots at Wrestlemania (and, by proxy, can win the Rumble): the Triplets (Austin, Rock, and Hunter), Jericho, & Angle (sorry, guys, but van Dam is not there yet). Two of the five aren't in the Rumble match (bye Jericho, sayonara Rocky). History has shown that unless you're an overweight egomaniac of an owner, heels don't win (later Angle). That leaves us with Austin and Trips, and of the two, everything points to Hunter as the winner. He's the only Triplet without a Royal Rumble win (a fact I'm sure he's reminded Vince and Stephanie of many times); he's in a similar situation that Austin was in last year, coming back from a career-ending injury and having the crowd in his pocket; and Austin is both defending Rumble champ and the only three-time winner in history. Giving him a fourth is a bad business move when there are others to be pushed. In my mind, the choice for Rumble winner is even more crystal-clear than last year. MY PICK: TRIPLE H
STREET FIGHT Vince McMahon v. Ric Flair To prepare you for my pick for this match, I wanted to quote from Scott Keith's review of Starrcade 1998, but the old HPUTA version isn't up on the Smarks anymore, which would've driven my point home more effectively. Nevertheless, Vince has, in some way, gotten the best of the Man week in and week out. The Street Fight stip leaves the opening for a Vince win via run-in there, but the bottom line is that justice needs to be served, and I personally doubt the WWF creative team is as dumb as the old WCW's. MY PICK: RIC FLAIR
UNDISPUTED WWF TITLE Chris Jericho (c) v. The Rock Sadly, the logical pick here is Rocky, because he's jobbed to Jericho twice in title matches on PPV in the past four months, and he has the drawing power and clout of being a Triplet. Your God and mine's salvation, however, is the fact that Triple H's Rumble victory and Flair's victory over Vince are pretty much sure things considering the circumstances. The victory is not going to be clean by any means, but I expect Jericho to walk out of Atlanta kissing both of his well-deserved belts. MY PICK: CHRIS JERICHO
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE Edge (c) v. William Regal Here's your sure thing of the night. Regal has built up a ton of momentum in recent weeks and, looking for retribution for his Vengeance job to Edge, needs the Intercontinental title to gain that momentum some credibility. The question is, will the feud continue to Wrestlemania or will Edge pursue greener pastures? There's still tons more potential in this feud if they do it right, and I don't see it ending here. Either way, however, Regal goes over and we enter the next phase of the feud. MY PICK: WILLIAM REGAL
TAG TEAM TITLES Spike Dudley & Tazz (c) v. The Dudley Boyz What happens in this match is sort of dependent on what happens in the women's title match (and vice versa). The conventional wisdom is that either the Dudleys regain the titles here, or Spike & Tazz keep them warm a little while longer for the Ambiguously Gay Duo (Billy & Chuck). Considering the fact that the WWF is going to give the Hardy Boyz a "new direction" (which is WWF-speak for "stick them back in the same old feud again"), I'll go with conventional wisdom here. MY PICK: THE DUDLEY BOYZ
WOMEN'S TITLE Trish Stratus (c) v. Jazz I'm also going to follow conventional wisdom here, which says that Trish gets a fluke win over Jazz. Jazz will definitely be the aggressor in this match (since she has to prove herself in the eyes of the rubes), but I don't think Vince is apt to give her the title mere weeks after making a meaningful impact on the programming. MY PICK: TRISH STRATUS
Your reaction to my comments as well as your own picks and thoughts are appreciated.
The Rumble: Triple H wins clean StreetFight: Flair over McMahon Undisputed Title: Jericho over Rock (clean) IC Title: Regal over Edge (cheating) Tag Title: Dudleyz over Tazz/Spike (Tazz turns on Spike) Women's Title: Jazz over Trish (clean)
Rumble: Austin and HHH have a Bret/Lugar ending. Street fight: Run in by a new guy (Nash, Hall, Hogan?) leads to Vince win. Undisputed title: Jericho wins after many shenanigans. He won't hold it until Wrestlemania though. IC title: Edge clean. Tag-Team title: Spike and Tazz retain. Woman's title: I've got to pick some kind of upset here, so I'll go with Jazz.
"Excuse me, do you have any EuroDisney T-Shirts?" January 2nd, 2002. Paris, France. My proudest moment.
Okay, I have to say I found some flaws in your reasoning, but liked most of your picks.
1) RUmble. No Heel has won save an over weight owner, what about Flair, and Yokozuna, and the sorta Heel Austin when he be feudin' With Bret Hart. So I don't Count angle out on that score, however I don't see him picking up the win either. I suspect some sort of screwy multiple winner ending possibly, but barring that. Winner, Triple H
2) Street Fight. Who says WWF Writng can't be as bad as WCW. WCW was supposedly fighting for ratings at the time, Now Vince Runs the show. But in the interests of Justice, I say Flair scores the win.
3)Undisputed Title. Tough Call. I never gave Jericho a Shot at getting the belt to begin with, let alone holding onto it 'till now. Sometimes, the WWF loves to make an outcome obvious, and then go the other way. The problem here is, what is the obvious outcome, the screwy way Chris keeps the belts, or the Rock getting the win. I hope to see a stellar match where Rocky Jobs Clean to the Ayotolah of Rock and Rolla. I also hope to get a date with Stacy Kiebler, (I'm such a nice guy..honest) but since neither seems likely this weekend, I predict Jericho Retains the gold!
4)IC Belt This Depends on where they want to go with this. I canhonestly see Regal taking a DQ but almost destroying Edge in the Process, to prolong this feud till the Next PPV, perhaps a No holds Barred match or some other odd stip. Keep in Mind Regal is out for Revenge, not Gold, so he can hurt Edge, lose the match and still be satisfied. Of Course I can see a Regal Win as well, but I'm voting Edge Retains his Belt, but not all his Blood.
5)Tag Team Who cares? Oh all Right. Dudley and Tazz Retain so they can lose them in later weeks to Sigfried And Roy.
6)Women's Title. Rife with Possibilities. You see, Trish's Bra could explode, pre-match, under the strain, knocking her out, and leading to a postponement of this one. Jazz Could attack Trish Pre-match and again, postponement. I could see Trish losing, Jazz then runs rough shod on the ladies Division for a few weeks and then a determined Trish, who spent all that time training, comes back and takes what is hers, say at Mania. Only problem with this is..WHAT ladies Division? How many times would Jackie Job to Chyna...I mean Jazz. Given a few more competitors, the ladies div could be just as interesting and magical as the Tag situation... Anyone else suddenly longing for Midgets?
"Money's the Same whether you earn it or scam it" Bobby "The Brain" Heenan "Will you stop!" Gorilla Monsoon after just about everything Heenean says.
I'm just shocked (!) and appalled that with Tajiri, Chavo Guerrero, TAKA, Funaki and others under contract, we are forced into sitting through Jazz vs. Trish when we could be seeing Cruiserweight Chaos!
How about Triple H/Jericho at wrestlemania for the straps... They've got history... the whole this matchnever happened angle from jan 2000, plus stephanie could dump H and side with Jericho leading up to the match or even do it as the finish.
TKL, you've got the "HOWS" but neglecting the "WHYS". Jericho/HHH will not happen (yet) because WrestleMania is DREAM MATCH territory, not rematch from Fully Loaded 2000 territory. Sure, Steph COULD dump Hunter...but she's been bitching about how she's the reason Trips is where he is, etc, while relying on his status in the WWF to get in the building. Plus she's bitchy. So why would she dump Trips? (He'll dump her, because she's bitchy and using him for power)
So you would rather watch something we have allready seen before a million times? How about Rock Austin for the thrid time at MW? or how about ROCK Triple H again? Why cant stephanie use some other wrestler as a meal ticket to get in the building?
Royal Rumble: Triple H wins in controversial fashion. I think they're goingtowards some sort of multi-person match for the title at WM. Austin can't win again because I don't think the WWF would give him a fourth rumble win before anyone else has passed two.
WWF Title: Jericho over the Rock. The WWF isn't stupid. I'm sure they realise a loss here, by any means, would kill Jericho. Contrary to what people like to believe, the WWF is interested in building new stars.
IC Title: Regal over Edge. Edge has done nothing as champion. Regal has been consistently entertaining for over a year and has little to show for it. Regal goes over here, finally creating some interest in this dormant title.
Women's Title: Jazz over Trish. Who cares. They seem to be pushing Jazz hard, I can't be bothered.
Tag Titles: Dudleys over Tazz/Spike. The only obvious result on the card, IMO .
Street Fight: Ric Flair over Vince McMahon. Like the Jericho situation, Vince knows when to put over established guys (not saying Flair isn't established, he's just new to storylines here) and when to put over the other guys. Vince knows how far he can push it before people get sick of him coming out on top.
"A lot of guys on this team have a lot of bark, but no bite. Guys have to just shut up and play." -- WR Keyshawn Johnson, following the playoff loss to Philadelphia
In '00, the Rumble was a great ppv. Last year, I'd probably even say it was better than wrestlemania(but that's just me). Last year's was a great ppv, with only five matches. 1 really sucked, but 4 were damn good. Here's this year's card:
Women's title Match: Jazz vs. Trish Stratus(c)-Ick, a women's title matches at the Rumble 2 years in a row, and the WWF/WCW cruiserweight/lightheavyweight/whatever the hell it is, is nowhere in sight. I'd say Jazz will win, but I don't really care. Hopefully it will go less than a minute so the real wrestlers get more time.
WWF Tag team Title Match: Spike Dudley and Tazz(c) vs. The Dudley Boyz-I think they should've saved the streetfight stipulation for this match. Maybe they will make it a tables match on smackdown. Anyway, I say the upset champs will lose the belts back to the Dudleyz b/c the titles always seem to make their way back to them a lot lately. This match will not keep the WWF tag team division from sucking though. It needs a shot in the arm fast, and I'm not talking about Lenny and Lodi 2000 and some stupid dancing fools.
Street fight Match: Vince McMahon vs. Flair-Well I hate Vince, I pretty much respect Flair. Anyway, match WILL suck, but it will be rated over 4 stars by everyone because of the bumps and probably and a blade-job by Flair. Another thing, didn't WCW already do this 3 years? I say Vince wins.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Edge(c) vs. William Regal-Edge has had lame, uneventful reign as the champion. But at least he got to keep it over a week for once. The last really good IC champion was Jericho around last year, and the division hasn't really recovered since. This is a rematch from Vengeance, and I think Regal will win, and maybe their match just might actually go over 10 minutes.
Undisputed Title Match: The Rock vs. Chris Jericho(c)-Jericho has no chance in hell of winning this match. Can someone please tell me what happened to that RVD/Jericho feud that was dumped after a month of buildup? Same thing that happened to the Jericho/Angle feud last year I guess, and the Edge/Angle feud that seemed to be brewing this year. This is another rematch from Vengeance, where he defeated Rock, and defeated Rock at No Mercy in October. Rock got a clean win over Jericho on RAW, but has never beaten Jericho in a ppv environment. I like Jericho as the champ, but WWF won't let him be as good of a champ as he can be. I'd love to see Jericho/HHH at Wrestlemania b/c it would give the event a much needed refreshment, but with WWF it just won't happen like that.
The Royal Rumble Match: Definitely one of the more stacked up Rumbles in recent memory. So here you have Austin, HHH, Angle, Kane, The Undertaker, Booker T, and of course Mr. Perfect. I'd say only 2 of those men I just listed have a real chance of winning, and I think you know who they are. One created that stupid stupid brain fart "WHAT?!", and the other reminds me more and more of Scott Steiner every day. Between HHH and Austin, I'd say HHH will win, even though he's been gone for 7 months. Undertaker was hoping to get a world title shot this year at Wrestlemania, so I really hope he doesn't win, because that would suck.
So there you have it. All in all, I think it will be a decent ppv, but probably not as good as last year's.
"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing." -Boromir
Trish vs Jazz: I don't care about Jazz, but I guess she should win it. If not, then her 'threat' to Trish would be over already. Unless someone interferes.
Edge vs Regal: Same can be said here, however, if Edge would be able to retain somehow, and they can still make Regal look like a badass then this feud can go on with some inda stip for the next ppv. Last man standing?
Dudleyz vs Spike/Tazz: Dudleyz will get it back? Why? Just because..Unless they have somewhere to go for the current champs.
Flair vs Vince: Flair wins it..unless Vince gets help, which is now legal due to the Streetfight rules.
Title Match: Rock loses. fair..I (want to) believe that.
Rumble: Final Four; HHH, Austin, Angle and RVD. Yes, they will take the easy (yet awesome) way.. Big Show and Taker will destroy eachother, Kane will be in it for a long time just like last year.. Winner: HHH after he tosses Angle.
I noticed that I could come up with some great future storylines if all matches would be allowed to be screwjobs...(except the title match, chris wins cleanly)
they could do a jazz vs ivory story if ivory interferes in that match. they could do a dudleyz vs outsiders if the latter would/could interfere. They could have Hogan (patooye!)run in and helping Vince after which Flair takes out Hogan at WM once and for all.. They could make Regal vs Edge b.r.-utal if Regal looses it and loses the match..
I am looking forward to the PPV, disregarding all the terrible rumors about pending returns it looks like one helluva PPV.
Imagine this is some funny signature. Then I will imagine you compliment me on it.
Trish/Jazz: Hard to say, since booking in the women's division rarely makes sense (I know, I know, as compared to what?). I'll say Trish goes over, barely, to set up a later rematch.
Edge/Regal: I'm tired of this feud already. They'll have a solid match, Edge will go over, and the crowd will sit on their hands.
Dudz vs. Spike/Tazz: I don't want to see the Dudz get the titles back to stale up the tag ranks further ("verbing weirds language."). Nor do I want to have to endure the Orange Midget getting pushed again. So it's not like I have a lot of desirable alternatives here. Oh hell, Dudleys win.
Flair vs. Vince: Vince overpromotes himself, but he's rarely had a problem jobbing on a PPV when the story calls for it. He jobbed to Triple H at Armageddon 1999, he jobbed to Shane at Wrestlemania last year. I think he'll do the same here.
Title match: All signs point to Jericho losing -- but is that what they WANT us to think? I'll take a risk and say Jericho goes over.
Rumble: The final four will be the Rock, Austin, Triple H, and Undertaker, with Triple H winning it. I also have an odd feeling that Triple H will come in early and last the longest of anyone -- after all, it's the tenth anniversary of 1992, and he IS the New Man....
Trish/Jazz: Blah blah drive through come again. Monster Boobs defeat Monster Heel in a semitolerable match and the Women's belt goes into hibernation for another few months.
Edge/Regal: Regal wins with the knucks, after an uneventful match. I like Regal, but he is the additive inverse of the typical WWF style, and Edge is certainly carryable but hasn't impressed me outside of highspot-driven circus matches. It wouldn't shock me if the Edge push continues here, but Regal CHEATING TO WIN is more logical.
Dudleyz/Spike & Tazz: Dudleys in a walkover. Over-under on Stacy losing her skirt -- six minutes.
Flair/Vince: Everything points to Flair getting the win here... except that it's Vince McMahon in the ring with the man who was the personification of the NWA/WCW. I think Vince wins with outside interference, followed by Flair getting a moral victory and an ounce of heat back with a post-match beatdown and figure-four.
I would not be shocked AT ALL to see Nash return here as Vince's new "enforcer" and as the outside interference mentioned above.
Rock/Jericho: If names like Hall and Nash and Hogan are being seriously considered, McMahon is in panic mode right now. McMahon with "big names" coming back == less room in the upper-card, no room for works-in-progress. McMahon in panic mode == go with the most obviously crowd-pleasing solutions. Hence, Rock all but squashes Jericho -- twenty minutes, very little Jericho offense (mostly from cheating), Rock Bottom, People's Elbow, ding! fries are done.
THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH. This is merely what I expect to see.
Rumble: If Nash doesn't show up in Vince/Flair, he shows up here and lasts a while, perhaps as a very late entry. HHH wins with some sort of wacky ending (run-ins and distractions expected).
HELLO KITTY gang terrorizes city, family STICKERED to death!
Laugh all you want. I'm on my way out the door for this week's Smackdown tapings and, as sweet as the Brock-Angle match we're unfortunitely getting tonight may well be, I bought these tickets solely on the basis that Hulk Hogan will probably be there.