Posts Tagged ‘Alicia Fox’

For the third month in a row, the WWE gave us another new PPV concept. Money In The Bank was a fast-paced show with plenty of action and questions left unanswered. As always here at N1P, I keep track of my PPV predictions and provide a running tally of my record. Below is the card in order along with my picks and the actual outcome.

Smackdown Money In The Bank Ladder Match

Predicted winner: Drew McIntyre

Winner: Kane (Drew was SO close!)

0-1

Alicia Fox v. Eve Torres – WWE Divas Championship

Predicted winner: Alicia Fox

Winner: Alicia Fox

1-1

The Hart Dynasty v. The Usos – WWE Unified Tag Team Championship

Predicted winner: The Hart Dynasty

Winner: The Hart Dynasty

2-1

Rey Mysterio v. Jack Swagger – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Predicted winner: Rey Mysterio

Winner: Rey Mysterio (with the Angle/Eddie “loose boot” twist)

3-1

Kane then cashes in his MITB briefcase on Mysterio to become the new WHC (I was half-right; I did say the Smackdown MITB winner would cash it in on Mysterio).

Fun fact (via PWInsider): Kane is the first wrestler in WWE history to hold the WWE, World Heavyweight and ECW Championships under the auspices of the WWE. The Big Show has won all three, but his WHC reign occurred while the title was still in WCW.

Layla El v. Kelly Kelly – WWE Women’s Champion

Predicted winner: Kelly Kelly

Winner: Layla El

3-2

Raw Money In The Bank Ladder Match

Predicted winner: John Morrison

Winner: The Miz

3-3

Sheamus v. John Cena – Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship

Predicted outcome: No contest

Outcome: Sheamus

Final Total: 3-4

 

 

#1 Pretender PPV Standings

 

 

 

Extreme Rules: 6-1
Over The Limit: 4-3-1
Fatal 4 Way: 2-3
Money In The Bank: 3-4
Updated Total: 15-11-1

 

Join me again next month on August 15 when Summerslam comes to us live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Don’t forget to keep coming back to #1 Pretender for all of your WWE news and analysis.

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Courtesy of Wikipedia

Can you believe it’s already mid-July? Where does the time go? Anyways, tonight brings us our third consecutive new pay-per-view concept. Money In The Bank, a staple of Wrestlemania for the past five years, finally gets its own three-hour show. For the first time in WWE history, more than one MITB match will take place on the same night, one from Raw and one from Smackdown. Inside the suspended briefcase is a guaranteed contract for a championship match against the world champion of each respective brand. Who will grab the case and make history? We shall find out tonight. Live from Kansas City, Missouri, it’s Sunday night!

Kelly Kelly v. Layla El – WWE Women’s Championship

Who would have thought that Kelly Kelly would be a legitimate contender for the Women’s Championship? She has really come into her own as the babyface Diva on Smackdown. Much like Eve is doing on Raw, Kelly is continuing to improve every week and while there are still some kinks she needs to work out, she is on the right track. Kelly has gone over both Michelle McCool and Layla El in recent weeks, so we know she can beat them. Based on what I know from watching wrestling for so long, whoever gets the upper hand right before the PPV ultimately loses more often than not. Two weeks ago on Smackdown, LayCool jumped Kelly during an interview segment. I am going to go with history and predict a title victory for Kelly Kelly. LayCool’s run on top of the Smackdown Diva division has been entertaining to say the least, but bastardizing the Women’s Championship by creating a replica needs to end. I have a feeling that it will tonight when Kelly Kelly wins her first WWE title.

Winner: Kelly Kelly

Alicia Fox v. Eve Torres – WWE Diva’s Championship

This match was announced last week on Raw after Fox’s sneaky tactics that enabled her to retain the Diva’s Championship. Eve did a great job as Diva’s Champion and should regain the belt in the future. For the time being, Fox needs this win. Fox claims she receives no respect (and for good reason), but to gain that respect, she needs a clean win in a one-on-one match. She’ll get it here, but I hope she drops the belt soon to someone more deserving. Paging Gail Kim?

Winner: Alicia Fox

The Hart Dynasty v. The Usos – WWE Unified Tag Team Championship

This tag team “feud” has received little to no attention. Remember, this is the WWE tag team division. Regardless, after weeks of run-ins and pre-match assaults, we will finally see the Dynasty and the Usos battle for the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship. Jimmy and Jey show a lot of potential and the WWE has a knack for giving new teams title runs as a way of elevating them. Yet, other than a squash on Superstars, I can’t remember a solid win that the Usos have picked up. The Dynasty’s title run has gone from intriguing to boring in only two months. Since D.H. Smith and Tyson Kidd have won the titles, they have defended them ONE time, that being at Over The Limit against the Miz and Chris Jericho.

I have a feeling that the Dynasty will go over here and retain their titles, but they are nothing more than “lame duck” champions. Here’s what I would like to see: the Dynasty will retain the titles against the Usos and hold them quietly as they have for a few more months. Nexus will take those titles away from them in a coup of sorts that might also involve Wade Barrett winning the WWE Championship. Nexus can then defend the Tag Tean Championship under the “Freebird” Rule. That hasn’t been seen since the Spirit Squad (yes, I mentioned the Spirit Squad), but might breathe life into the tag team division. Or it could fail, which it has been doing for quite some time. And with the Usos going over last Monday on Raw, that does nothing but solidify my selection. The Dynasty wins, but don’t expect them to hold the belts for much longer.

Winner: The Hart Dynasty

John Cena v. Sheamus – Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship

Here we go again. John Cena is in a championship match for the 12th time in the last 13 pay-per-views (for those keeping score, the 2010 Royal Rumble was the only one missing). This one, however, should prove intriguing. The steel cage has been put in place by the Raw GM in order to keep Nexus from interfering, since you know, they don’t actually wrestle in sanctioned matches.

Sheamus has been adamant about not helping Cena in fighting Nexus, but last Monday on Raw, after being faced with Nexus, Sheamus literally ran to Cena’s side. Don’t let that fool you; these guys will put on one hell of a show tonight, but the locker room divide is becoming the more fascinating aspect of this Nexus angle.

When the WWE released the Summerslam poster, two familiar faces were on it: Triple H and the Undertaker. Reports from last week surfaced (much to the WWE’s chagrin) that Triple H underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his upper arm. The scheduled match between Triple H and Sheamus is in the air. If Trips was ready to return on time, I would have Sheamus going over here, no questions asked. But because of this turn of events, I am going to make a prediction I have yet to make in one of these PPV prediction columns. This match will end in a no contest.

With the events at the end of last week’s Raw in mind, I think that Nexus will exact revenge and find a way to interfere in the steel cage match. This will set up a triple threat at Summerslam with Wade Barrett cashing in his championship opportunity (I have a feeling that the “three month no championship compete clause” will be forgotten, as are a lot of things by WWE Creative). If you are looking for a clear cut winner here, don’t try too hard.

NO CONTEST

Rey Mysterio v. Jack Swagger – World Heavyweight Championship

According to reports I’ve read, the WWE gave Mysterio his second World Heavyweight Championship in exchange for postponing his vacation and taking the Undertaker’s spot at Fatal 4 Way. Keep in mind, however, that it was Mysterio who injured the Undertaker. Why would he be rewarded for that?

Anyways, it is fitting that Swagger is invoking his rematch clause at Money In The Bank because it was that very match that allowed him to earn his first major championship in the WWE. While Swagger’s run was interesting to say the least, I have never seen a world champion pinned cleanly more than Swagger was. Losses to the likes of John Morrison, Mysterio (on several occasions) and the Undertaker took away the luster of what Swagger’s reign could have been. I will give him one thing. Swagger did have one more clean pinfall victory at a PPV than Sheamus did during his first run (Sheamus didn’t have any). As of late, however, Swagger has been built into a vicious monster, adding the Ankle Lock to his arsenal and taking out Mysterio as well as the Big Show with said hold.

The outcome of this match shouldn’t be in question. After the lukewarm response Swagger received from the WWE Universe throughout his time as WHC, I don’t think the WWE would want to put the belt back on him so quickly. Mysterio should be a transitional champion; I am not sure of who will take it from him, but I doubt he will hold it for very long. Hell, he still needs to take his vacation! I could see a heel winning the Smackdown MITB match and cashing it on Mysterio before the end of the night, but I am not convinced. Also, Mysterio’s “ankle injury” plays into his “Ultimate Underdog” persona and what better way to cultivate that persona by retaining the World Heavyweight Championship on one foot?

If you are unsure of my prediction, let me sway you. Commercials for Smackdown‘s Australian Tour have Mysterio defending the WHC against Swagger, the Big Show, and C.M. Punk. I know this is always subject to change, but considering how close we are getting to the show, I doubt plans will change right now. Mysterio retains.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Kane v. The Big Show v. Christian v. Matt Hardy v. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes v. Drew McIntyre v. Dolph Ziggler v. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston – Smackdown Money In The Bank Match

This match features more overall MITB experience, including three Superstars with three MITB matches under their respective belts. The potential in this match is much higher, considering there are less bona fide main-eventers among the participants.

Kane (MITB experience: WM21, WM25, WM26) – Kane has come close to winning this match in the past, but could not grab the briefcase when it counted. This match is filler for Kane, but in a different way than Mark Henry on the Raw side. While Henry is there just to fill a spot, Kane needs something to do before the speculated return of the Undertaker at Summerslam. Kane winning this match wouldn’t make sense because his focus needs to be on the Undertaker angle. Bringing the briefcase into it would only lessen its significance.

The Big Show (None) – The Big Show has returned to his jolly self and he is being inserted back into the main event picture because of it. He is so much more believable as a face because he is a genuinely nice guy. Anyways, Show is floating. He has a feud with Jack Swagger, but Swagger is in the WHC match. I think their feud will continue after MITB. With my predictions of Show losing here and Swagger losing as well, that leaves them open for one another.

Cody Rhodes (None) – “Dashing” Cody Rhodes is a stud (not in that way, people, though the nickname screams otherwise). Rhodes, along with the Miz, have zoomed past their respective former partners, Ted DiBiase and John Morrison, which no one saw coming. Rhodes will be a great champion one day, but he still needs some singles seasoning before we can take him seriously as a main-eventer. I see an IC Title run in his immediate future.

Matt Hardy (WM22, WM23, WM26) – Oh, Matt Hardy. He is a pioneer of this very match and always knows how to entertain with the ladders. Hardy has been with the WWE for so long and has yet to sniff world championship gold. I wish he could win, but I don’t think he will. Hardy is a great enhancement talent, but other than a Kane-like title run in the future (maybe it will last longer than a day), I can’t see Hardy as WHC. The crowd loves him, but he just doesn’t have “it.” I know I sound like Matt Striker on NXT, but think about it.

Kofi Kingston (WM25, WM26) – After fading away following his program with Randy Orton last fall, Kingston came back in a big way on Smackdown, winning the Intercontinental Championship. A champion involved in MITB has never won. It looks like Kingston is in this match for his high-flying offensive arsenal and his penchant for big spots. Having Dolph Ziggler in this match will help further their feud, which I can see coming to a head at Summerslam.

Dolph Ziggler (WM26) – Ziggler was my early favorite to win this match, but I took a step back and realized that a world championship isn’t in the cards for Ziggler just yet. Ziggler has yet to win any championship in the WWE. Yes, you can argue that Sheamus hadn’t either when he won the title, but Sheamus was built up from the moment he debuted. Ziggler has been up and down for years. Ziggler deserves the IC Title and will get it very soon. He is in this match to provide some spots and further his feud with Kingston.

Christian (WM21, WM25, WM26) – Who among us wouldn’t love to see Christian win MITB and finally become a world champion? I would, but it won’t. Yes, I am being blunt, but let me explain. Christian is very over with the crowd, but for some reason, he has yet to climb further than an ECW Championship since returning two years ago. I think he needs a heel turn. Him turning on Hardy on Smackdown might be the beginning. Since it seems that Drew McIntyre has moved on to other things, Hardy needs a foil. Christian would fit perfectly. It would give him the chance to work himself over as a heel against a fan favorite. From there, maybe we will see the title run we have been salivating over.

Drew McIntyre (WM26) – The “Chosen One” has fallen out of favor because Mr. McMahon has been “incapacitated” by Nexus. It looks like McIntyre is attempting to get back into Teddy Long’s good graces now that he has no backup. Mr. McMahon disappearing is the best thing that could have happened to McIntyre. I have a strong feeling that it will be McIntyre grabbing the Smackdown briefcase. Remember how I said I could see a heel cashing in the briefcase on Mysterio? Imagine McIntyre doing just that. As WHC, he will once again have the power on Smackdown and the ensuing struggle with Long will make for great television. The “Chosen One” returns at MITB and wins the match.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

Randy Orton v. Edge v. Evan Bourne v. Chris Jericho v.  v. Ted DiBiase v. John Morrison v. Mark Henry v. WWE United States Champion The Miz – Raw Money In The Bank Match

This is a star-studded match. Three former world champions join five up-and-coming Superstars for what should be an amazing contest. There are three distinct rivalries taking place in this match (Orton/Edge, Bourne/Jericho, and DiBiase/Morrison) and one that will surely resume afterwards (Miz/R-Truth/Mark Henry). I will do my best to figure out who will win, but it won’t be easy. To do that, I will break down each respective Superstar and highlight his chances (or lack thereof).

Randy Orton (MITB experience: WM 23) – Randy Orton is in an interesting place. After being in the title picture for practically all of 2009, his organic face turn has allowed him to stay in the main event while not having to chase or hold the WWE Championship. Over three years removed from his first and only MITB appearance, Orton has changed dramatically and his transformation from cocky Legend Killer into deranged Viper has been entertaining to behold. Yet, I don’t believe Orton will come out on top. Orton does not need to win in order to be inserted into the main event picture and his character, which happens to lend to the unpredictable (something MITB is all about), can still be that way without a win. I don’t think this type of unpredictability is in the cards for Orton.

Edge (WM21, 23. Winner WM21) – Edge is the “Ultimate Opportunist” for a reason, having earned his nickname by cashing in MITB twice (the second time, he won the case from Mr. Kennedy, then cashed it in on a beaten Undertaker after an assault by Mark Henry). While Edge winning tonight wouldn’t seem out of place, it is simply a case of “been there, done that.” A win wouldn’t do anything for Edge. Plus, he’s not finished with Randy Orton and I see a match between the two at Summerslam.

The Miz (None) – The Miz has blossomed into a credible upper-mid-carder and will continue to elevate into a main-eventer. The problem is is that he’s U.S. Champion. Like I said before, no champion who has taken part in MITB has ever won. Miz needs to focus on his U.S. Title and defend against someone like Truth, for example, who is also on the precipice of becoming a main-event Superstar. Plus, with Truth unable to compete in the match due to the Miz’s attack on Raw, Miz should have his hands full.

Mark Henry (WM25) – Henry has been inserted into this match as R-Truth’s replacement. That is all Henry is: filler. Can you imagine Henry attempting to climb a ladder? Yes, I know the Big Show weighs more, but just the thought of Henry climbing a ladder makes me laugh.

Ted DiBiase (None) – DiBiase has floundered since Legacy dissolved before WM26. Cody Rhodes has taken the ball on Smackdown, which no one saw coming. I can’t see DiBiase winning this match, but I can see him possibly trying to buy it off whoever does as an angle heading into Summerslam.

Chris Jericho (WM21, WM24) – Jericho is the “dark horse.” He made mention before his match at Fatal 4 Way that he has gone from the “hunter” to the “hunted.” What better way to change that perception than by holding a guaranteed title match at any time? It is hard for me to do this, but Jericho probably won’t win. Like Orton, Jericho doesn’t need MITB to elevate himself.

Evan Bourne (WM26) – Bourne has skyrocketed from jobber to the stars to credible Superstar in such a short time. Since his tag match victory with John Cena over Sheamus and Edge, Bourne has been on a tear, picking up several wins over Chris Jericho. It would seem that based on current trends, Bourne has no competition heading into this match. But he does. And he won’t win. Why? Don’t get me wrong, Bourne is a fantastic worker. But WWE Champion? I can’t picture that at all. Not yet at least. I can see his feud with Jericho continuing past this, which will allow him to get the experience needed to become a world champion. Bourne might get his chance, but don’t expect it tonight.

John Morrison (WM24) – Morrison’s journey as a singles/face competitor has been intriguing to watch. Last summer, it seemed like a World Title run was inevitable, but it hasn’t happened yet. Morrison has had some IC TItle reigns to his credit over the past year, but as most of the IWC believed, that was behind him. Since being drafted to Raw, Morrison has battled injuries and has slipped down the face totem pole. A win would definitely elevate Morrison to where he belongs. I think he gets it here. Morrison is a multiple Tag Team, ECW, and Intercontinental Champion and it would only make sense for him to add WWE Champion to his resume. He is over with the crowd and he has proven himself worthy. I will go with my gut and say that John Morrison gets a victory at MITB.

Winner: John Morrison

Courtesy of wwe.com

The go-home edition for Money In The Bank was nothing special. Instead of going into extreme detail about last night’s happenings, I will introduce “Quick Thoughts,” where I will just bullet point my thoughts and analysis. Without further ado, here are my “Quick Thoughts” on Monday Night Raw.

John Cena really needs to cut out the cute promos. I will be honest. The “rip off his face and replace it with his butt”  and the “clan known as NNNNNN” lines made me laugh, but after all of the crap that Cena has gone through, why be funny?

Michael Cole really looks like a middle school principal when he steps up to the GM podium. I am waiting for him to give a Superstar a demerit.

Alicia Fox wonders why he she gets no respect. It’s because she is awful in the ring. Now you can pay $40 to see her again this Sunday when she defends her title against Eve!

The Usos/Hart Dynasty match was extremely predictable. This feud, if you can call it that, has lost all momentum.

Maryse is gorgeous. John Morrison tries to be Cena with his hokey promos, but they never sound good. His deadpan heel delivery was much better.

I am not going to even go into the “Santino’s Bunch” stuff.

Randy Orton v. Edge is always a solid match (minus Over The Limit). It is what happened afterwards that is worth talking about. Chris Jericho gives Edge the Codebreaker. then eats an RKO. Evan Bourne blindsides Orton and goes for the Shooting Star Press, but Orton counters it into a Super RKO. There aren’t many things these days that make me shout “OH MY GOD” at the top of my lungs and keep my mouth open for a good minute. That’s what I did here.

I like the Miz’s new serious side. His cocky bit is great, so this only makes him greater. Or more awesome.

Miz’s attack on Mark Henry would have been better if A) the laptop hadn’t mysteriously disappeared and B) the plastic garbage can hadn’t mysteriously appeared.

Florence Henderson. The Regal Bunch? Moving on.

News flash, Edge: Only Randy Orton hears voices in his head. You’re not Randy Orton. I was waiting for Edge to say “they counsel me, they understand, they talk to me.” Good thing he didn’t.

Nexus has been beating up people all night. Tarver’s face after they took out Yoshi Tatsu was f*cking freaky.

It takes only a flinch for Sheamus to run like a little baby? Talk about change of heart (or diapers for that matter).

It makes sense for Nexus to go over. It was 6-on-1 after all.

Yes, Michael Cole, we have seen handicap matches like this before. Even bigger ones! Remember that one time when Orton and Cena went up against the entire Raw roster? And didn’t Mr. Kennedy face the ECW roster on his own?

Sheamus didn’t hit one person with his chair. I’m just glad he didn’t hit Cena. I liked how the show went off the air.

This has been “Quick Thoughts.” Look for these in the future.

Courtesy of wwe.com

Well, that was some Raw, wasn’t it? Tonight, we got plenty of push for the MITB ladder match and the Nexus angle, but absolutely nothing for the WWE Championship match. Neither John Cena nor Sheamus were in action, but there were other quality segments to fill the void. And we got CONTINUITY! Yay! Enough chit-chat, let’s get to reviewing.

Nexus/WWE Locker Room promo

Nexus is in the ring for the cold open. Wade Barrett’s visa issues must have been worked out (and I hear Drew McIntyre’s visa has been renewed as well) because he is in the ring as well. Barrett tells the audience that the Raw GM requested that Nexus be in the ring at the start of the show, but it is not the right time to explain the group’s agenda. Skip Sheffield gets on the microphone and tells the WWE Universe that while what they did to Mr. McMahon had a purpose, what they did to Ricky Steamboat and the legends was just for fun. I am surprised he mentioned Steamboat, considering his current condition and the fact that the WWE took down footage of last week’s attack on WWE.com.

The lights flicker (for added effect) and we get an EMAIL! Michael Cole takes the podium like a middle school principal and reads the first message of the night. According to the GM, Nexus’ punsihment is as follows: no member can challenge for a WWE championship until furhter notice (we later learn its three months) and the “no-touch” policy has been lifted. Setting up the title ban makes sense; since Barrett is the only one with a guaranteed match and that match will probably be for the WWE Championship, it allows Sheamus a healthy reign before the inevitable Cena win. It also allows this Nexus angle to evolve before the PPV where Barrett challenges, which would be either Night Of Champions or Hell In A Cell.

Speaking of Cena, he finds his way to the ramp and brings a contingent of Raw faces to even the score. Before they can make it down, however, the Raw heels jump them from behind and allows Nexus to get away. The heels (Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Edge, Ted DiBiase, The Miz, and the Usos) respectfully decline Cena’s offer to fight as one because they like what Nexus has been doing. Randy Orton takes the mic from Cena and tells the heels (while focusing on Edge) that he and Cena are not friends and never will be, but will put differences aside if they must (Continuity!).

EMAIL! Cole tells the Superstars that all of them would fight tonight and that Cena will be in the ring with Wade Barrett, but not for a match. The Raw GM wants Barrett and Cena to call a truce. Cena disagrees, but I guess the Raw GM is watching in real time with his computer because he answers right back. The GM says that Cena will face consequences if he does not comply, and “that’s the bottom line because the Raw GM said so.” Did I hear that right? Before you get on the Stone Cold bandwagon, PWInsider’s Dave Scherer reported that WWE sources told him that it is all a “red herring,” or a trick. Three weeks is way too early to make hints as to who the GM is.

I do like the divide in the WWE locker room. It adds another dimension to the storyline, but if improperly executed, could come off as an “Invasion”-lite angle.

John Morrison v. Ted DiBiase (with Maryse)

The Raw GM let it be known that all eight men involved in MITB will be in action against each other. Instead of making fresh matchups, we get to further the rivalries that have started among everyone. It will be more evident later.

In the mean time, Morrison and DiBiase put on a solid match. It didn’t last very long and the focus was at ringside, where Maryse was on commentary. DiBiase wins when Maryse distracts Morrison and the referee enough for DiBiase to get in an eye rake and Dream Street. I am not sure how I feel about this pairing. I would like to see DiBiase actually use his “money.” Perhaps he can buy Maryse the Diva’s Title or invest in insurance for MITB. The possibilities!

Santino Marella & Vlad Kozlov v. William Regal & The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh)

So after last week, where Ranjin Singh berated Khali for being a coward, why is he dancing alongside of him? If Regal picks him as a partner, does that make him heel? Does anyone care?

Santino and Kozlov get the victory. Singh wants Khali to be more aggressive, so he chops Regal, then dances. That’s aggressive? And I thought I didn’t have to bring out the Continuity Soapbox (patent pending) this week.

Arn Anderson/Sheamus promo

After yet another recap of Steamboat’s demise, Josh Mathews is with Arn Anderson. Anderson tells Mathews that Steamboat is in a bad way, but Sheamus interrupts. Anderson’s still got it. This was an excellent exchange between Anderson and Sheamus. Anderson warns Sheamus that it doesn’t matter if he’s champion if there is no one else around, a “great white shark in a mudhole” as it were. I loved how Sheamus looked pensive after Anderson left, perhaps realizing that Anderson made a good point. If only current Superstars would take notice of how well Anderson cut a promo. I’m sure he hasn’t done one in ages.

R-Truth v. WWE United States Champion The Miz

This match never gets underway because Miz blindsides Truth beforehand and works him over. Miz targets Truth’s arm and does a great job of turning on the hatred. The final blow where Miz ripped Truth’s arm across the ring rope looked absolutely brutal. It is good to see these rivalries incubating through MITB. We later find out that Truth will not be able to compete, leaving a spot open. I wonder who it will be…

The Cutting Edge featuring Chris Jericho & Evan Bourne

To follow up Christian’s Peep Show on Smackdown, Edge hosts the Cutting Edge. His eulogy for Truth was hilarious. Edge explains why he decided not to help the Raw locker room; according to Edge, why would he want to make seven powerful enemies when he can make seven powerful allies? He even offered his services as a leader/mentor. Edge is the “Ultimate Opportunist” and this fits perfectly with his persona.

When Edge introduces Evan Bourne, Jericho comes out instead. These two go at it like they should, bringing up their recent past as well as their storied past. Thank you for continuity. I especially liked his comments regarding Nexus/Wade Barrett and Ricky Steamboat. Bourne eventually intervenes and the Raw GM does, too, announcing a tag match between Jericho/Edge and Bourne/Orton. There goes the continuity.

Edge & Chris Jericho v. Evan Bourne & Randy Orton

I will refer to Bourne and Orton as “The Spirits of St. Louis” from now on. This match was as close to perfect as you can get. The in-ring action was superb, with several near-falls and heavy spots, but the highlight was the storytelling. Jericho and Edge hesitating to tag each other worked very well and the ending, with Edge spearing Jericho and walking out, not only made sense, but emphasized the “every man for himself” that MITB is known for.

Bourne picks up the scraps for the victory. After the match, Orton gives Bourne an RKO. Orton’s facial expression and the way he turned Bourne around was perfect; it looked like he didn’t want to do it, but had no choice. This also works for the MITB vibe as well as Orton’s character. Well done.

Randy Orton/Nexus backstage promo

Orton runs into David Otunga, Michael Tarver and Heath Slater backstage. They apologize for ruining Orton’s shot at Fatal 4 Way, but let him know that if he lets them be, perhaps they can provide a service to whoever wins MITB. Orton thinks about it, but ultimately tells Nexus to get out of his face. This could prove intriguing, especially for Orton. Stay tuned.

Josh Mathews/The Usos/Alicia Fox promo

Mathews is back with the Usos. Before they arrive, Mathews announces that at Money In The Bank, the Hart Dynasty will defend their WWE Unified Tag Team Championships against Jimmy and Jey. Jimmy bets Jey $1,000 that Mathews can’t tell them apart, which he can’t. Tamina buts in and tells Mathews that the Dynasty have given them the same amount of disrespect. This feud has been so poorly booked that it’s hard to get into it. But to be fair, it is hard to tell Jimmy and Jey apart. I just think that each of them are half of Rikishi’s ass.

Alicia Fox enters and claims that since she won the Diva’s Title, she has yet to be interviewed or congratulated. She says she will earn respect when she beats Eve next. Yeah, okay.

Alicia Fox v. Eve Torres – WWE Diva’s Championship

After getting no respect, Fox didn’t do much to help her cause because her showing against Eve was pretty awful. Fox feigns an injury and helps a sloppy scissors kick for the win. Cole made a good point on commentary when he said that if a poll had been taken before Fatal 4 Way, Fox would have probably been voted the least likely to win. I know how much fans preach about pushing fresh talent, but when the fresh talent is anything but, what can you do? With Maryse tied to DiBiase and Eve possibly moving on, does this finally leave an opening for Gail Kim to get the push she deserves? Stay tuned.

John Cena/Wade Barrett confrontation

Long story short, Barrett gives his word and his hand, Cena starts off seriously, ruins it completely by being hokey, then becomes serious again before attacking Barrett. Nexus runs out and the locker room does, too. The Raw GM tells Cena that he will be in 7-on-1 handicap match against Nexus next week. Darren Young is the odd man out and Cena beats the holy hell out of him. I wish Cena wouldn’t try to be funny when it’s not time. Also, a 7-on-1 match screams run-in. Nexus is losing a lot of momentum every week. This won’t help.

Courtesy of wwe.com

After lagging behind Smackdown last week, Raw picked up the pace dramatically and caught up to its blue counterpart. The eight men involved in Money In The Bank have been revealed and the main event has been set. There was yet another beatdown at the hands of Nexus, but on an unexpected legend. The focus of this night wasn’t on the wrestling, but that is what Raw is known for. Let’s check it out.

John Cena/Sheamus promo

Sheamus opens the show and wants to make a statement on behalf of the locker room. Instead, he brags about his championship victory. There is no reason for Sheamus to care about the rest of the Superstars; as long as he is intact as champion, nothing else should matter. That was a great heel move. Sheamus is ecstatic because John Cena is no longer the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship and he won’t have to deal with Cena’s armbands, lame slogans, and fans anymore. It was a watered-down version of Edge’s promo on Cena before Backlash 2009.

Just when you thought it was safe, Cena heads down to the ring. Cena doesn’t want another rematch, but for Sheamus to stand by him against Nexus. Cena calls Nexus out, but there’s an email from the Raw GM. Michael Cole goes to the new podium, adorned with a Raw GM seal, and reads the first email. It states that if any WWE Superstar attacks any member of Nexus, he or she will be suspended. Conversely, if any Nexus member attacks a WWE Superstar, he will be fired. Wade Barrett is not present because he is at WWE HQ meeting with WWE officials (In reality, his work visa expired and he is back in the United Kingdom until things are processed).

Buck Woodward of PWInsider made a good point in his recap, asking why the WWE Superstars would hold back considering Matt Hardy kept on being suspended on Smackdown, jumped the guardrail constantly, but was ultimately reinstated. i guess Raw and Smackdown operate on two parallel WWE universes (no pun intended).

Cena says that this puts a hitch in his plans and that he and Sheamus should have a WWE Championship match instead. EMAIL! Cole informs everyone that Sheamus will be in a match with Mark Henry.

Cena screams that he has been screwed by the internet once again (a subtle shot at the IWC?) and that he hasn’t been this screwed over by the internet since his mother cancelled his Warcraft account. There was also something in there about a Gmail address (which by the way, is gmail.COM, not gmail.ORG. Pushes up glasses). Really? I know Cena’s promos can be a bit overdramatic and hokey, but this is over the top. Why would Cena be in such a good mood after being screwed out of the WWE Championship twice in two weeks? He started off well, but crapped out at the end. Where is 2004 Cena when you need it?

EMAIL! Cole goes back to the podium. He looks like a middle school principal. Sheamus leaves, but before he does, a cage is lowered and we find out that at Money In The Bank, Sheamus will defend his title against Cena in a steel cage match. This makes sense considering the constant run-ins. Though the segment ran a bit long, it got over the Nexus/WWE storyline for the time being and set up the main event at the PPV. It’ll do.

WWE Unified Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty & Natalya v. The Usos & Tamina

This match never starts because the Usos jump the Dynasty before the match. How many sneak attacks are there going to be? The Dynasty has been buried since winning the titles in April. I am afraid that we might see constant Dynasty/Uso matches like we saw constant Dynasty/Cryme Tyme matches last year. The Dynasty either needs to be pushed or drop the belts. In the spirit of Washington D.C., “Pick 1.”

R-Truth is a zookeeper? Must be a fun zoo. I am surprised that a former NXT Pro wouldn’t say anything about his Rookie, who happens to be taking part in Nexus. Oh well. I want to go to this zoo.

Vlad Kozlov v. Santino Marella – If Santino wins, Kozlov will become Santino’s tag team partner

This feud is better served for WWE Superstars, but I guess we can kill time with it. Kozlov wins, so there will be no team this year (Simpsons joke). William Regal shows up to congratulate Kozlov, but then attacks Santino. Kozlov runs off Regal and carries Santino to the back. This team might form after all. Too bad you won’t see it unless you watch Superstars on Thursday nights.

Trouble in paradise for The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh? Does anybody care? I still thought he was on sabbatical.

Rob Zombie/Edge promo

I completely forgot that Rob Zombie was hosting. Good thing he really didn’t. He came out to announce the eight men who would participate in MITB for Raw. Those men are: Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, John Morrison, R-Truth, Ted DiBiase, and Edge. I think it is incredibly lame that they didn’t earn them, but were handed them.

Speaking of Edge, we get the expected Edge/Zombie/entrance music spat before Edge puts over his MITB expertise. A very well done promo, but I can’t help to feel like I’ve seen it before. Edge calls out Orton specifically, which means that these two aren’t done with each other just yet.

EMAIL! Cole informs us that there will be a face v. heel eight man tag tonight featuring the MITB participants. Jericho and Edge teaming together? After they tried to cripple each other for two months? Continuity soapbox!

WWE Champion Sheamus v. Mark Henry

Sheamus wins. Henry looks bad in defeat. Poor Henry. Someone throw him a title run!

Josh Mathews is in the back with Nexus. Skip Sheffield beats up a PA. Said assistant is not a “Superstar,” so a loophole has been found! What will happen NXT? See what I did there.

WWE Legends/Nexus segment

Jerry Lawler is in the ring and brings out Ricky Steamboat, whose DVD drops today. More legends come out (Dean Malenko, Michael Hayes, Mike Rotundo, and Arn Anderson) to congratulate Steamboat on his accomplishments. This segment ran a bit long and I could smell Nexus interrupting. Guess what? They did.

To sum up what took about 15-20 minutes, Nexus beat up all of the legends, leaving Steamboat by himself. They beat up Steamboat, using a variation of the Nexus formula. What is the Nexus formula? Well it is clotheslines + Barrett slam + Gabriel 450 splash = beatdown. Tonight it was Otunga spinebuster + clothesline + Gabriel 450 splash = beatdown. This gets the group A TON of heat. I am really looking forward to these guys getting theirs, and I don’t say that often. Since I’ve grown, I watch more for analysis than for fun. But I still have fun. And I would have fun watching Skip Sheffield eat an RKO. Just sayin’.

WWE Diva’s Champion Alicia Fox & Maryse v. Eve Torres & Gail Kim

This is the Diva’s equivalent of Dynasty/Uso. I still don’t think that Fox is ready for a title run, but she is trying to improve and credit must be given where credit is due. Her rise isn’t as prolific as Eve’s was. but it’s a start. The heels win, which makes sense to get Fox over as a credible champion. Melina’s return could not come any faster.

Randy Orton, Evan Bourne, John Morrison & R-Truth v. WWE United States Champion The Miz, Edge, Chris Jericho & Ted DiBiase

This match was essentially the heels v. Bourne and Morrison. Truth pretyt much didn’t wrestle at all and Orton only came in for the decided pinfall. It was a good way for Bourne and Morrison to get over with the crowd. Orton getting the hot tag and winning right away with the RKO was different, but nice. We get a post-match brawl, but Orton stands tall with the briefcase at the end. A good way to end the show and set up the mystery of who will win in July.

Well, Fatal 4 Way just ended and I must say, what an interesting show it was. We had three title changes, including both the World Heavyweight and WWE Championships as well as a run-in by the NXT Rookies of Season One (or “Nexus” as they might soon be called). Below I have listed the results of the PPV as well as my selections from my “Predictions” column from earlier today.

Kofi Kingston v. Drew McIntyre – WWE Intercontinental Championship

Predicted winner: Kofi Kingston

Winner: Kofi Kingston

1-0

Eve Torres v. Maryse v. Gail Kim v. Alicia Fox – WWE Diva’s Champion

Predicted winner: Gail Kim

Winner: Alicia Fox

1-1

Jack Swagger v. The Big Show v. Rey Mysterio v. C.M. Punk – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Predicted winner: Jack Swagger

Winner: Rey Mysterio (Boy, was I wrong)

1-2

The Miz v. R-Truth – WWE United States Championship

Predicted winner: The Miz

Winner: The Miz

2-2

John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Sheamus – WWE Championship

Predicted winner: John Cena

Winner: Sheamus

Total score: 2-3

Matches not included (not announced before the show)

Chris Jericho v. Evan Bourne

Winner: Evan Bourne

WWE Unified Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty v. The Usos & Tamina

Winner: The Hart Dynasty

#1 Pretender PPV Standings

Extreme Rules: 6-1

Over The Limit: 4-3-1

Fatal 4 Way: 2-3

Updated total: 12-7-1

Be sure to join me next month on July 18 when yet another new pay-per-view concept, Money In The Bank, comes to us live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Until then, continue to come back to #1 Pretender for all your weekly WWE analysis!

Courtesy of wwe.com

Happy Father’s Day everyone! What better way to spend a day celebrating men than by watching other men beat the crap out of each other. The second new pay-per-view concept is ready for a test drive (a pun which would have been better used for last month’s Over The Limit, but I can’t be on all the time). Fatal 4 Way features, you guessed it, Fatal 4 Way matches. With Summerslam looming in the distance, the WWE is on the road to its summer Wrestlemania. Enough bad wordplays now. Live from Long Island, it’s Sunday night!

P.S. Five matches on the card? Really? Math time. A three-hour show divided by five matches equals 36 minutes per match. THAT’S not happening. Expect some NXT and Kane mixed in there for flavor.

The Miz v. R -Truth – WWE United States Championship

After holding the U.S. Title for no more than a month, R-Truth lost the championship to the Miz in a Fatal 4 Way match on Raw last week. While it was surprising, the outcome does make sense. Truth is very over with the crowd and does not need a championship to legitimize himself with the WWE Universe. On the other hand, the Miz works so much better when he is on top because it adds a new, even more annoying and braggadocios element to his character. Both of these men are on deck to become major main event stars in the near future and a feud between the two could work wonders for both Superstars. I have a problem with quick title changes because it makes the title and the wrestler holding them look weak and worthless. I cannot see the Miz dropping the U.S. Championship in less than a week. From here, the feud can continue or Truth can move into the main event. A title feud with John Morrison could be a good transition for the Miz; there is obvious history between the two, plus both are Pros on NXT so the angle could take place on more than one show. Regardless, he’s the Miz and he will retain the U.S. Title at Fatal 4 Way.

Winner: The Miz

Kofi Kingston v. Drew McIntyre – WWE Intercontinental Championship

I never thought I’d see this match again, but here we are and here it is. This entire Kingston/McIntyre/Theodore Long/Matt Hardy/Mr. McMahon pentagon has been confusing, and quite frankly, a clusterf*ck. I wish Kingston would just move on and find himself a new challenger and feud (right now, it is looking like Dolph Ziggler).The segment involving McIntyre and Long this week on Smackdown will definitely sell the fight, but what comes next? McIntyre needs to solve his Hardy conundrum and there is no need or point for the IC Title to be involved in said dispute. I am picking (and praying) that Kingston will retain his championship, finally move forward and leave McIntyre behind.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Eve Torres v. Maryse v. Gail Kim v. Alicia Fox – WWE Diva’s Championship

This match is going to be ugly. Eve and Maryse will carry the load while Gail Kim and Alicia Fox will struggle to keep up the pace with more Divas involved. Eve has held the Diva’s Title for about two months, which I consider a lengthy run for her. There has to be some sort of title change on every pay-per-view, so I am going to make a change here. Maryse winning would be too predictable and quite boring to be honest. Fox isn’t ready yet for that kind of exposure. That leaves Gail Kim. She teased some tension with Eve on Monday when she held onto the title for a bit longer than necessary. Kim is a great athlete that hasn’t had a chance to shine since returning to the WWE. Here’s her chance. I will go out on a limb and pick Gail Kim to win the Diva’s Championship.

Winner: Gail Kim

John Cena v. Sheamus v. Randy Orton v. Edge – WWE Championship

This will most likely be the main event and rightfully so. The two biggest faces and two of the biggest heels in the WWE will square off for John Cena’s WWE Championship. I am afraid that this match’s outcome will be painfully obvious. For months, the WWE has been teasing a John Cena/Sheamus feud. It started right after Extreme Rules with Sheamus demanding his shot after taking out Triple H and continued through Over The Limit, when The Celtic Warrior kicked Cena right before the show went off the air. When you put all of the pieces together, Randy Orton and Edge will cancel each other and continue their feud without the WWE Championship (for now). Cena retains and starts a lengthy program with Sheamus, one that should be more entertaining now that Sheamus has come into his own as a credible challenger and champion.

Winner: John Cena

Jack Swagger v. Rey Mysterio v. The Big Show v. C.M. Punk – World Heavyweight Championship

While the WWE Championship match’s outcome is easier to determine, the World Heavyweight Championship’s destiny is less clear. Not only is the winner harder to predict, but so are the programs each man involved will partake in once Sunday is over. I will do my best to explain where I see each participant going.

Rey Mysterio – Mysterio was originally slated to take off significant time after his feud with C.M. Punk came to a head at Over The Limit. With the Undertaker’s injury, however, Mysterio has had to stay on and take his place in the match. I still think Mysterio will take his desired time off, so not only do I see him not winning Sunday, but I also see him disappearing from WWE programming for quite some time.

C.M. Punk – Punk has become the best heel in the WWE and the Straight Edge Society is the most compelling stable since the days of Evolution. Even with all of that, Punk has floated since his amazing feud with Mysterio died down last month. Punk can’t afford to wander; not only would it affect him, but also Serena, Luke Gallows, and the Masked Man (whose identity we don’t officially know yet). I can’t see Punk winning the WHC Sunday, but I don’t know where to place him afterwards. He could feud with Kane by being responsible for the Undertaker’s attack or even for retribution considering it was Kane that allowed Mysterio to shave his head at Over The Limit. There are also some lower main-event wrestlers looking for a feud, especially M.V.P., who had his run-ins with the SES in the past. Punk always seems to follow a formula where he is inserted into the main event for months at a time before being “demoted” to mid-card feuds while WWE finds things for him to do (Check out the transition from Hell In A Cell to Royal Rumble for details). Maybe the focus can be put on Gallows for a bit. Either way, Punk needs something to do. The SES can’t be put on the shelf with the amount of heat it receives. Plus, the mask has to come off somehow and he’s not going to do it by himself.

The Big Show – As I mentioned in my Over The Limit predictions last month, Show is a great challenger, but not a great champion. I definitely can’t see him winning, but like Punk, I don’t where to place him. Perhaps the two of them could work together. Their match on Smackdown, albeit short, was very entertaining.

Jack Swagger – The World Champion has really transformed into a credible main-eventer. The WWE has already done a much better job with Swagger than they did with Sheamus earlier this year (minus all of the clean non-title losses). Rumors circulated that the Undertaker would be Swagger’s next opponent. Keeping in mind that these rumors were unveiled before Taker got hurt, he is only supposed to be out of action for about six weeks, which is plenty of time to build towards a Summerslam program (UPDATE: According to the Wrestling News Observer, the plan for Fatal 4 Way as of mid-week is to have Swagger drop the title. Also, a primary plan has the Undertaker v. Kane in a casket match at Summerslam). Even with all of these potential spoilers (which have a propensity to change at a moment’s notice), I have faith that Swagger will find a way to retain his title Sunday. I could see a mini-feud between Swagger and Kane to hold one of them over for Undertaker while also tying in the other. Swagger wins.

Winner: Jack Swagger

Be sure to come back tonight for my updated #! Pretender PPV Standings. Enjoy Fatal 4 Way and check back for new content on #1 Pretender.