SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist
Wake the pets & call the neighbors, it’s time for our exclusive WWE Network pseudo-pay-per-view projections.
DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul “NXT Fanservice” Levesque, Runjin Singh, “Road Dogg” Brian James and WWE President Charles Foster Kane. 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 year’s supply of Lee Press-On Nails. Closed captioning for this column is provided by America Online. And if your bid comes within $100 of the actual retail price of your showcase, you win both showcases. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe provided by Warren Sewell Clothing Company. 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, except for where he would have hired Matt & Jeff to run the Broken Hardys Rock ‘n Wrestling Show on WWE Network. Oh, well.
So, what would you like to talk about this weekend? The former TNA wrestlers invading Ring of Honor last night in Manhattan? Alberto El Patron showing up at the Impact tapings? The former Neveah from Shimmer riding a rocket ship to the top of the Knockouts Division? Drew Galloway and Matt Riddle having another rematch at Evolve 80?
You’re right. Let’s stick with what we know.
Before we preview tonight’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 March 8th, 1997, the World Wrestling Federation presented an episode of “Shotgun Saturday Night” from Berlin, Germany. That show had Ahmed Johnson in action against “New Rocker” Leif Cassidy. For some reason, you won’t find this one on WWE Network. Jim Ross and Jim Cornette had the call.
What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I’m glad you asked! On March 2, 2002, the World Wrestling Federation presented an episode of WWF Metal (pretaped) from Providence, Rhode Island. Two current members of the WWE roster squared off as Goldust battled Tajiri. Kevin Kelly and Jonathan Coachman had the call. Those lucky devils.
Did you catch this week’s episode of “WWE Main Event”? Of course not. Nobody watches that show. But here it is (sort of). Catch the highlights of Gran Metalik vs. Ariya Daivari . Tom Phillips, Austin Aries & Byron Saxton have the call.
Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves and Austin Aries will be announcing the show, with several other announcers on standby. Renee Young, Booker T and Some Dong will be doing the preshow, with Charley Caruso chilling in the Social Media Lounge and ignoring texts from Tom Phillips. On with the program!
Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fawwwwwx (Preshow Pandemonium): Has Rich Swann been sending Alicia Fox flowers? If so, does he know Alicia Fox was eating those flowers on live television? Projection? Swann pins Dar with the standing 450. Kendrick teaches Tozawa another lesson by beating him up after the match.
Adrian Neville vs. Jack Gallagher (WWE Cruiserweight Title): The dastardly heel is set to take on two wrestlers in a handicap match. Hooray for backwards booking! Projection? So sorry. Neville wins by tapout with his double underhook crossface, which sets up Double Underhook Crossface versus A Double at WrestleMania 33.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax (Grudge Match): Nia Jax has beaten Bayley, and Nia Jax has beaten Sasha, and it’s time for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction, before we forget why The Boss is part of this feud. Projection? Nia dominates most of the match. Banks surprises Jax with a rollup for the three count.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady (WWE World Tag Team Titles): If Broken Matt & Brother Nero were showing up at WrestleMania, I’d book this differently. Projection? Enzo gets hit with the Magic Bullet and the Bland Baldies rack up another successful title defense.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe: The Underdog from the Underground was getting Undercut until he got to chase off Samoa Joe on last week’s Raw. That may have hurt Joe more than it helped Sami. Projection? Sami attacks like a swarm of nettles, but Joe puts Sami out with the Coquina Clutch.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman: It sure looks like the winner gets to fight Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. Reigns is already a heel in reality, but feuding with the Dead Man would be the best way to turn him inside the WWE Universe as well. Projection? Reigns wins with the superman punch and the spear. Hey, you might as well have someone going over clean with the spear tonight.
Kevin Owens vs. Bill Goldberg (WWE Raw Universal Title): As the champion, Owens comes out first. Rather, Owens attempts to come out first, when he is jumped from behind by an angry man in a scarf, who turns out to be WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho. Jericho beats Owens all around the entrance set, throws KO off the stage, then theatrically crosses Kevin’s name off of The List of Jericho. Medics tend to the damaged Owens. Security hauls Jericho out of the building. The match never gets underway.
Bayley Martinez vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE Women’s Title): We’ve booked the Women’s Division the same way for eight months. Why stop now? Projection? Charlotte hits Natural Selection and becomes a five time Women’s Champion. At this rate, Charlotte’s going to be the one to win seventeen World Titles and break her father’s worked record.
Kevin Owens vs. Bill Goldberg (WWE Raw Universal Title) Take Two: The champ makes a slow entrance, then thumbs through Larry Zbyszko’s Big Book Of Stalling for inspiration. Projection? Owens tries to take the countout, forcing Goldberg to come after him. They brawl around ringside. Brock Lesnar is at ringside, disguised as a retaining wall. Once Goldberg gets Owens back inside the ring, Lesnar attacks Goldberg and gets Owens disqualified. F5. F5. Lesnar stands over Goldberg’s prone body and screams as we go off the air.
Aftermath: WrestleMania 33 features Kevin Owens defending the Universal Title against Chris Jericho, Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha vs. Nia for the Raw Women’s Title, Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar III, Seth Rollins vs. Triple H and The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns. See you there.
Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He’d take the Golden State Warriors to defeat the New York Knicks in today’s big NBA game. You know, if gambling were legal.