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 and wacky WWE President For Life Vincent Kennedy Trump McMahon. 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 Dupont Lucite paint, now available in over one thousand fashionable colors for long-lasting beauty inside or outside your home. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe provided by Chez Antoine, 19th century craftsmanship for the 21st century man. 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, and yes, he’d banish Shane & Stephanie from television until further notice.
I’m going to be a father in eleven days. I’m sure my columns will go up much earlier in the day after that happens. Hahahahahahaha….*(yeesh)*.
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 November 11th, 1997, the World Wrestling Federation taped the December 27th episode of “Shotgun Saturday Night” in Lowell, Massachsuetts. That show had a main event of Mark Henry against The Sultan. 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 December 17, 2002, the World Wrestling Federation taped the December 21st episode of WWE Velocity in Tampa, Florida. Your opening match featured WWE Tag Team Champion Chavo Guerrero against Mattitude Follower Shannon Moore. Josh Mathews and Ernest “The Cat” Miller had the call.
Did you catch WWE “Tribute To The Troops”? No? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here’s footage of Lillian Garcia singing the national anthem at Naval Base San Diego. And the intro. And a bit of the opening match. Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and John Bradshaw Layfield have the call.
Tom Phillips, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton will be announcing the show. Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg and hopefully David Otunga will be doing the preshow, with Kayla Braxton chilling in the Social Media Lounge. On with the program!
Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley (Kickoff Show Match): For months, WWE fans were hoping Zack Ryder would turn on Mojo Rawley, so they could finally cheer for him. But this works too. Projection? Short match. Powerslam. Rawley takes it. Gotta keep Mojo fresh for his match with Gronk at WrestleMania 34.
Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers: We’re finally going to (maybe) get our payoff for six months of Fashion Files sketches here, as Breeze & Fandango confront Harper & Rowan. Projection? The ‘Zangos win by DQ when Harper & Rowan won’t stop beating on them. But in a shocking twist, “2B” is not a clue that leads to the Bludgeons. It srtands for “BB”, Bianca Belair, who leads the Authors of Pain to the ring to beat up Tyler and Dango some more. (Unless it stands for “2 Bees”, and they get beaten down by B. Brain Blair & Jim Brunzell. I haven’t ruled that one out.)
Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: Shane McMahon is a special referee. Daniel Bryan is the other special referee. This is significant. It means that IF Daniel Bryan can get cleared in the next six weeks, he’s up for the richest prize on Smackdown. That’s right. Daniel Bryan could be The Guy Who Fights Shane McMahon at WrestleMania.
But it’s probably too soon to start that up, so…Projection? Randy gets tagged in the finish and…hits Nakamura with the RKO and leaves the ring. Owens pins The King of Strong Style as Shane & D-Bry sit there with their mouths open. Tune in to Smackdown on Tuesday when Orton rants about how Shane McMahon hung him out to dry in his feud with Jinder Mahal, letting Randy fight one-on-three and one-on-four in his WWE title matches. Why? Because AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton is the best WrestleMania main event Smackdown has.
Listen, this is a pay-per-view, so at least one title has to change hands here. Projection? The Usos and New Day fight outside the ring, while Rusev stomps Chad Gable and makes him tap. Aiden & Alexander are your Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Happy Rusev Day!
Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya Kidd (WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match – Lumberjack Match): We’re still getting Charlotte ready for Ronda Rousey, correct? That makes it easy. Projection? We have interference, the Riott Sqquuaaddd starts hitting people, and the lumberjacks fight each other. Charlotte makes Natalya eat ringpost, and wins with Natural Selection. We’re going to have to have Charlotte go heel again, slowly.
Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE United States Title – Triple Threat Match): WWE was nice enough to put Zigglepuss in here so someone could take the fall. So let’s oblige them. Projection? Roode does his Glorious pose, Dolph kicks him in the balls. Baron catches Ziggler with End of Days and keeps his championship.
AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Brother Singh): It sure was nice of WWE to heat up Jinder Mahal for tonight’s main event by having him lose to Triple H in India last weekend. Projection? Singh One and Singh Two get attacked at ringside by Randy Orton, for old times sake. AJ makes Jinder tap to the Calf Crusher.
Aftermath: The New Day face Jinder & The Singhs in a lengthy feud over the WWE World Six-Man Tag Team Titles. Styles fights Owens again at Royal Rumble, because why not? And, of course, Shinsuke Nakamura takes on Randy Orton.
Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He’d take the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Oakland Raiders in tonight’s big football game. You know, if gambling were legal.