My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Saturday, January 24, 2004

WWE Royal Rumble predictions and other thoughts...

Royal Rumble predictions

Rey Mysterio VS Jamie Noble (Cruiserweight Title): If this match doesn't get bumped up to HEAT to give the other matches more time, I expect Mysterio to retain after Nidia reveals she has her vision back and backstabs Noble for all the abuse these past weeks. Yet another happy couple ruined cause the writers can't think of anything else to do with them....

Ric Flair & Batista VS The Dudley Boys (Tag Team Title Tables Match): Evolution retain cause the Dudleys have a big history in Philadelphia and McMahon never lets the hometown wrestlers win. But it leaves the gates open for a young team like Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade to finally win the gold as a face team.

Eddie Guerrero VS Chavo Guerrero: Expect this match to be the highlight of the show. Eddie wins but gets beat down by both Chavo Sr. & Jr.

Brock Lesnar VS Hardcore Holly (WWE Title Match): Brock was a monster these past few months, now Hardcore Holly returns for revenge and he's scared of him eventhough he's bigger and stronger than him? Is he gonna wimp out like a little girl when Zack Gowen wants revenge for pushing him down the stairs? Anyway, I don't expect this match to last very long. Brock retains and Holly goes back to the midcard status feuding with whoever helps Brock retain here.

Triple H VS Shawn Michaels (World Title Last Man Standing Match): This could just out-work Eddie Vs Chavo for match of the night (Unless HHH tells Vince to order them to tone down their workrate so as not to make the World Champion look slow...). Expect HBK to carry most of the match like their previous title match on RAW. And of course Triple H retains after all kinds of interfearance from Evolution and starts bragging about it for the next two months.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match: Hopefully no one gets eliminated in under a minute this year. There's also talk of a mystery 30th entrant, which I might predict as Mick Foley to get his hands on Randy Orton, or the expected return of the old-school Darkside Undertaker to get his Revenge on Kane for burying him alive at Survivor Series, It's most probably the later as its rumoured as a SmackDown talent.
As for the winner, since who wins gets to pick which brand champion he can challenge at WrestleMania XX, there are 2 possibilities. Benoit defies the odds as No.1 entrant and wins, but goes on to challenge HHH on RAW as Hunter brags about being the best in the industry after beating HBK. And Benoit being the best technical wrestler on the planet won't stand for it, hence his jump to RAW and a one month World Title reign as he beat HHH at WMXX but loses it back to him a month later.
The other high possibility is Bill Goldberg becomes the 1st man to enter at No.30 to win the Rumble match. However, on the following RAW while HHH rambles excuses trying to get out of his match with Goldberg, Da Man comes out and just before HHH wets his pants, Goldberg says to forget about it cause he's challenging the SmackDown WWE Champion! Then after Flair changes Hunter's diaper, Benoit appears and makes the challenge for Hunter's World Title!
Benoit winning the Rumble seems more likely as Goldberg's last WWE match is suppose to be at WrestleMania XX and I don't think it's wise to have Goldberg in the main event if it means he's gonna lose the match. I find it even less likely he wins and forfeits the title after or drop it back just days later.

Other WWE thoughts of the past week...
As expected, WWE's pre-show talent meetings are turning into a chance for Vince to rant at the talent as he continues to point the finger for the companies troubles at the hard working men and women who draws the crowds that put money his pockets. I don't think Vince has ever pointed a finger at any of the writers or bookers unless they oppose his ideas (i.e Paul Heyman).
Vince also ordered the workers to stop talking to internet reporters. Why? Cause it "ruins the illusion" when they talk about the business. Didn't WWE say that the internet community was the lowest demographic? Why would they care so much if it was? Either way, it's no big secret already about the reality of the pro-wrestling business. If Vince doesn't want to "ruin the illusion", he should try not writting angles where wrestlers fall into dumpsters engulfed in flames only to appear a week later with hardly a scratch on them.
As for the miss-use of talent, WWE could probably learn a thing from New Japan Pro Wrestling by signing its talent to one-year deals instead of multi-year deals when they have nothing to do for them. Think about it. If the talent were signed to just a one year deal, wouldn't that encourage them to work harder as the year comes to a close to encourage WWE to resign them? It would also be less hassle to release workers that aren't drawing or have nothing for them (i.e Spanky) at the end of the year instead of just have them sit home and collect paycheques till their multi-year contracts run out. Most of the time they just sign them to multi-year deals just to keep them away from working for other feds despite not having anything to do for them.

Johnny Fairplay's less than stellar TNA debut
After the hype, Johnny Fairplay just seems to be another cheap heat getter. I wasn't really impressed as all he did was bad-mouth the fans and it takes just one powerbomb by A.J. Styles to put him out. I would have prefered Styles brawl with Fairplay till the heels gang up on him to at least make Fairplay look like a real wrestler. I should probably wait to see Fairplay's in ring work before passing final judgement.

New Japan contract negotiations continue-
Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Katsuyori Shibata and Mitsuya Nagai have renewed their contracts despite receiving paycuts. Nagata wasn't happy with his 20% paycut as he was just given a hefty bonus the previous year. Could we see more of 'Demon Nagata' as he vents his frustrations out during his matches? That would be cool to me. Despite a incredible breakout year, even Tenzan was given a paycut and is himself not happy with the situation.
Is it just me or does this year's contract renewals seem like one big angle involving the entire company?

That's all the ranting I have for now. Check back monday for my Royal Rumble report and thoughts.



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