Cut The Cord: McNEILL Previews HIAC 2015 (w/Wrestling History Lesson!)

By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist


Wake the pets & call the neighbors, it’s time for our exclusive WWE Network pseudo PPV projections!

DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul “NXT” Levesque, Runjin Singh, Ed Koskey, and WWE President Bats— Crazy Vincent Kennedy Gagne. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a supply of Faultless Fabric Finish. Today’s sizing that makes ironing easier and helps restore body and newness to all modern fabrics. From Faultless. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe provided by Harry Lebow (a division of After Six Inc.). Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, right after he replaces the Susan G. Komen Foundation with the American Cancer Society. (That’s right. I said it.)

Say, remember last month, when we talked about the Raw ratings had dipped to a 2.4? Those must seem like good times in hindsight. Randy Orton is injured, and John Cena is rumored to be taking time off after this weekend. Plus, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker are not scheduled for Survivor Series. It is well past time for WWE to let some new faces headline their shows. Let’s see if that actually happens.

Before we preview Sunday night’s show, let’s get to this month’s edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that’s why many of you clicked here in the first place. Twenty years ago, on October 23, 1995, we saw a big twenty man battle royal headlining a live WWF Monday Night RAW episode from Brandon, Manitoba. Who would win and earn the right to face Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Title? Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler had the call.

What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I’m glad you asked! On October 23, 2000 the World Wrestling Federation presented an episode of “Raw Is War” from Hartford, Connecticut. The opening match on that show saw two future Hall of Famers competing for the WWF Women’s Title. It was Amy “Lita” Dumas against Trish Stratus in a Greco-Roman Bra and Panties match. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler had the call.

Did you catch WWE Smackdown? Well, you can watch one of the matches from Thrusday night on SyFy right now. It’ll be Nikki Bella taking on Paige Knight in singles competition. Rich Brennan, Booker T & Jerry Lawler have the call.

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John B. Layfield will be announcing the show, while Rich Brennan and Byron Saxton handle important backstage duties. On with the program!

Will we have an eighth pay-per-view match to round out the show? I’m not sure it’s necessary, but if there is one, I’ll go with Damien Sandow & Curtis Axel defeating The Ascension.

Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cesaro & Adrian Neville vs. Sheamus, Alexander Rusev & King Barrett: These six wrestlers already squared off on Raw this past Monday in a pretty good match. I can’t imagine they’ll get the same amount of time on the WWE Kickoff show. Projection? Tyler Breeze shows up to torment Dolph Ziggler, and Sheamus knocks The Showoff out with the Brogue Kick. It’s all for a good cause, if we get a Ziggler vs. Breeze feud out of it.

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt (Hell In A Cell): Yes, I would absolutely open this show with the first of two Hell In A Cell matches. You’ll understand why a little bit later in this column. Projection? For once, the Cell actually does what it is supposed to do, and keeps the Wyatt Family from interfering in the contest. Bray Wyatt unleashes a wacky hologram on Reigns, but Roman ignores it. Reigns beats Wyatt with a spear.

Kevin Owens vs. Ryback (WWE Intercontinental Title): In case you haven’t noticed, this month’s pay-per-view has most of the same matchups as last month’s pay-per-view. This month, Big Kev is the champ, and the Big Guy is the challenger. Projection? Owens won with an eye rake last month, so let’s have him use his feet on the ropes for leverage to pin Ryback here in Los Angeles. Does that work for everyone? Fantastic.

The New Day vs. The Dudley Boys (WWE World Tag Team Titles): Xavier Woods was held off of Smackdown to sell his injuries from Raw, but we certainly hope he’ll be raring to go on Sunday. Since the trombone is now broken, Woods will need a new ringside prop. May I recommend a xylophone? Projection? You know what? It’s time. Woods and Kingston collide on the ring apron, and the challengers hit the Dudley Death Drop to win the match and the titles. Bubba Ray and D-Von can achieve their goal, and we’ll get a good celebration of Raw. No, the Dudleys won’t hold the championships forever. Relax.

Charlotte Flair vs. Nikki Bella (WWE Divas Title): Now that Charlotte is the new champion, you can tell the WWE Divas Revolution is in full effect because, um, the announcers keep using the phrase over and over. (Yeah, I got nothing.) Projection? All the other ladies show up at ringside, even Paige, making this a sort of lumberjack match. Charlotte wins with the Figure Eight. Paige talks some smack to Charlotte after the match. You know, the usual.

Seth Rollins vs. Kane (WWE World Heavyweight Title): I’m uncomfortable projecting this match, but if WWE’s website can be believed, Kane has to win the championship or lose his job as WWE Director of Authority. The promotion hasn’t always honored its match stipulations, but let’s pretend everything is above board this time. Projection? Kane has Rollins reeling when Seth signals to the back. Big Show, The Cosmic Wasteland, Bo Dallas & Heath Slater all come out to interfere. Seth gets disqualified and keeps his title. As a result, Corporate Kane loses his job. However, Demon Kane is entitled to some sort of a rematch.

So, who takes over as Director of Authority? It doesn’t matter. Brad Maddox, Alex Riley, one of Stephanie’s daughters. Most anyone will do. The entire heel authority figure gimmick should have been euthanized during the Bush administration, if not sooner.

John Cena vs. Mystery Opponent (WWE United States Title): Yes, I ran a poll on the subject during the Wednesday Livecast, and yes, Samoa Joe is still winning the pole. But it won’t be Joe, because Joe is needed on NXT for the next two weeks. Fortunately, we have a plan. Projection? Dean Ambrose is free this Sunday. Ambrose is the challenger. Ambrose and Cena have a long match, which ends with Dean escaping the Attitude Adjustment, hitting the Dirty Deeds, and capturing the United States Title.

After the match, the Wyatt Family rolls into the ring and beats up Dean Ambrose, since Dean is buddies with Roman Reigns. Bray tells Cena to leave the ring, because this isn’t his problem. Cena, of course, helps Ambrose instead. The Wyatt beat up Cena too, and injure Cena’s knee before Roman Reigns can run down in his shower shoes to make the save. The Reigns & Ambrose vs. Wyatt Family feud continues, plus Big Match John will have something to do when he returns in December.

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (Hell In A Cell): Look, this match already happened in October 2002, at the WWE No Mercy pay-per-view. It was fantastic, a violent affair which saw ‘Taker, Brock and Paul Heyman. All that has to happen is for WWE to do the same match, except without the blood. Projection? The Beast gets the better of the Dead Man, hitting the F-5 and avenging last month’s loss. Both wrestlers go on a break. I don’t know if WWE wants to do Lesnar vs. Reigns again at WrestleMania 32, but I’m certain Brock can hold up his end of the deal.

Aftermath: Next month is Survivor Series. Let’s go with The Wyatt Family against Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Jimmy Uso & Randy Orton in a classic Survivor Series match. Then let’s do The New Day & The Miz against The Dudleys & The Primetime Players in a second classic Survivor Series match.


Pat McNeill has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina. He’d take the Philadelphia Eagles over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday Night Football. You know, if gambling were legal.

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