Predicting Wrestlemania XXX & WWE Week in Review (08/03/14)

I thought that as I have been striving to follow WWE until Wrestlemania, as a sort of experiment to see how predictable it is now, despite not following it in years, nor knowing who half of the wrestlers are, since I repeatedly read moans from friends on Facebook. I gave my prediction of the card HERE. I promise not to change my original prediction post, but I will reminisce weekly in a half-review-half analysis as we zoom in on Wrestlemania XXX.

Four weeks away...
Four weeks away…

BATISTA vs CM PUNK vs RANDY ORTON (Triple Threat)

ortonmatch

Current probability: 50%

Oh. Well, that’s not a great start for my guess at a match. Something rather important, and of course expected was missing, by the name of CM Punk. Paul Heyman’s Opening Promo made sure that everybody, as if they hadn’t already, realised that Punk wasn’t in that ring.

Fooling Punk’s hometown crowd by playing his music, only for Paul Heyman to come out and taunt the booing and chanting audience for 20 minutes, was quite evil, and I still think Punk could come back in time. Besides, that would mean two pops for him, to really big him up before the event, one of which he didn’t even need to be there for. However, Wrestlemania is getting mighty close. There is still a bit of time for Punk to return. As Heyman spent his time blaming the fans for him losing his beloved Punk, I could see Punk returning in a defiant revenge against Heyman.

Then, as Heyman decided to move onto ranting about The Undertaker, hope of that faded, as we realise what this was all about: Making the crowd as angry as possible to emphasize a rather pathetic reason for there to be a feud between Taker and Lesnar.

Perhaps there is a week or two left for a plotting Paul Heyman to drag in CM Punk after some rejection from Brock Lesnar. Look what could have happened if only you had stayed with me Brock. I plucked Punk from nowhere, got him back into the company and got him into the main event. While I’m not quite as sure as before, I’m still standing by this match. After all, there needs to be SOME drama involving Brock rather than a month of him showing off his strength by throwing around heavy things.

It also wasn’t just Punk that has caused me to doubt that match more, but also Batista, as his pummeling of a certain fan favourite opened doors for another to fill that (currently fictitious) third spot. You have heard of him. His name is Daniel Bryan.

DANIEL BRYAN vs TRIPLE H

bryanmatch

Current probability: 90%

RAW: It also wasn’t just Punk that has caused me to doubt that match more, but also Batista, as his pummeling of a certain fan favourite opened doors for another to fill that (currently fictitious) third spot. You have heard of him. His name is Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan vs Batista was definitely Batista’s strongest match since his return. Portraying Batista almost as a henchman for HHH is tantalizingly hinting that a rivalry between Batista and Bryan could begin, forming another way to shoehorn them in together in the main event.

While it was very entertaining to hear HHH threaten to set Stephanie McMahon on Bryan during a very Daniel Bryan/Triple H promo, my prediction is still a bit shaken. The constant requirement of something special in the main event in the form of either Punk or Bryan, is distracting me from assuming 100% that there will be a Bryan vs Triple H match.

SMACKDOWN: The Batista/Bryan/Kane promo was just the kind of thing needed to get Bryan into the main event. Batista’s dress sense is clearly getting more ridiculous to build a feud, as a man who is already nicknamed ‘the garden gnome’ successful mocks his looks. Taking on a ‘corporate figure’ and a main event wrestler, says to me that Bryan could get there. Similarly the Bryan/Big Show vs Batista vs Kane was a showdown against important figures.

So?: I was so sure about this one, but as HHH is already beating up Bryan, I could see some agreement as a result of a RAW match that if Bryan wins against Triple H, will be dropped into the main event. HHH is being played up as the ultimate villain. Wouldn’t it be ideal for Bryan to win the Heavyweight Title as opposed to just a single match against HHH for the sake of it?

A deciding match between Bryan and HHH could happen on RAW, leading to winner Bryan to be included in the main event. However, as we all know, the power of Mr Paul Levesque says that he won’t be wasted on an episode of RAW, and won’t let go of Wrestlemania. I still think that the arguing between Daniel Bryan and Triple H is too big a deal to be resolved before Wrestlemania, but it has been going on for a very long time. Can it continue for the next few weeks? I’m going to get fed up of this very quickly. However, one rivalry that I can’t get enough of is…

ROMAN REIGNS vs DEAN AMBROSE vs SETH ROLLINS (Triple Threat)

rollinsmatch

Current probability: 95%

RAW: Despite Bryan being a huge fan favourite, this was the most sought after match of the night: The Shield vs The Wyatts II. Their match at Elimination Chamber has been hailed as the match of the PPV, and a candidate for the match of the year, so everybody was drooling for a rematch. There were even a few disappointed comments when Wyatt and Cena met in the chamber, meaning that Wrestlemania XXX wouldn’t house a spectacular, all-out bigger and better sequel. However, we got what we wished for: more of the same. Understandably, it wasn’t quite as huge and chaotic as the first bout, but it was about as good as RAW gets.

Despite the chants of his name, Roman Reigns bizarrely came across as the least important Shield member in the match, after Rollins’ extended time in the ring and walk out and Ambrose being the victim of the pin. As their time in the spotlight is heightened to that of Reigns (who is played up regularly to big the next superstar, for example his record breaking elimination count at the Royal Rumble), they are finally equally important, and ready to be at one another’s throats. After all, Bray Wyatt has a match of his own that is as good as confirmed…

Still, it’s great that they managed to squeeze in one more match between the teams before the ultimate collapse of The Shield.

SMACKDOWN: The ‘Shield Summit’ on SmackDown only fanned the flames further. While Rollins attempted to state that he left that match to prove a point, the others weren’t so happy during this very suspenseful promo.

As it turns out, they are not on the same page as Rollins had hoped, and are across the spectrum entirely, with Rollins attempting to support the greater good, Ambrose on the other end, ready to delete Rollins from The Shield forever, and an unsure Reigns in between. It’s their most prominent three-way divide yet. As Reigns approached Rollins to give The Shield’s salute, we couldn’t be sure whether that fist was going to meet Rollins’ fist, or face. It will take a miracle for the troupe to reach Wrestlemania in one piece.

SO?: Surer than ever. Reigns and Ambrose appear to be on alright terms, but with the peacemaker Rollins’ walking out on RAW, it can’t last. The only thing stopping me from giving this 100%, is how Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have nothing to do at Wrestlemania. I can’t see them, at least for as long as the three-man Wyatt staple continues, being a two-man tag team, who could face The Usos at Wrestlemania.

THE USOS vs GOLDUST/CODY RHODES vs THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS

goldust

Current likeliness: 60% 

RAW: The Usos vs The New Age Outlaws. This match was disappointingly short, but was so fast-paced, and led to the eventual well-deserved crowning of the Usos as Tag Team Champions. Even though this was for the Tag Team title, The Shield vs The Wyatts was far superior.

SMACKDOWN: The match was fine, but there wasn’t a lot to write home about during The Usos vs Rybaxel, but it could be of great importance, maybe bringing closure on The New Age Outlaws fued, moving onto new rivals for Wrestlemania.

So?: The Usos are now champions, so already, my predicted win by The Usos after The New Age Outlaws arrive at Wrestlemania as champions, is already as good as disproved. The drama within The Real Americans and The Usos’ clash with Rybaxel means that either could take the third place, in place of Goldust & Cody Rhodes (as they’re currently nowhere to be found). Still, again I’m sticking with this. The only thing that’s really preventing this is the recent lack of Goldust and Rhodes, and The Outlaws and Usos battling a bit too often.

BRAY WYATT vs JOHN CENA

wyatt

Likeliness: 95%

RAW: It was inevitable. Cena tried his utmost to win over the Chicago crowd in the John Cena/Wyatt Family promo, but was engulfed with inevitable ‘CM Punk chants’. This was an interesting promo, as Cena’s fabricated legacy, and how he is held at the top was addressed directly, ready for that empty castle is ready to be taken away. Also, Wyatt gives the most fantastic evil grins. Look no further than when Cena is compared to a worn-out racehorse, and Wyatt threatens to ‘put you down’.

SMACKDOWN: This was a great, creepy Wyatt Family promo, but unusually Luke Harper began the chat. While the Family remain together a lot, I think that the prominence of Bray’s buddies during Bray vs Cena promos could be very important.

So?: Since the Wyatt vs Cena promos, I’m still sticking with this. Again, it’s the lack of Harper and Rowan on the bill as of yet that makes this slightly suspect, but I imagine that they will just assist Bray Wyatt to the ring, try and intervene during the match, only for Cena to magically destroy all three of them. This seems especially likely after Erick Rowan defeated Cena, and Luke Harper featured more than usual when taunting Cena in the Smackdown promo that Cena with bounce back into action and get his revenge at on everyone at Wrestlemania.

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