Apocalypse 2012 is based in my universe where Vincent Kennedy McMahon's ego and wallet have finally gone into overdrive. No longer is he content with being top dog, but after seeing a steady rise in TNA's ratings, he squashes the competition before it gets out of hand. On January 1, 2011, the Apocalypse 2012 Pay-Per-View will celebrate the new year showing VKM's dominance by featuring matches between the two brands' biggest draws. We go to Taz and Jerry "The King" Lawler at ringside.
Opening Match - Cruiserweight Title Ultimate X Match: Evan Bourne v. Daniel Bryan v. Jay Lethal v. Kazarian
The obvious point of this match is to open with a bang. By opening with the Ultimate X match for a newly rebranded X Division/Cruiserweight Championship hanging above the ring, excitement is guaranteed. All of these performers are capable of creating a spot-fest necessary for gripping interest at the beginning of the show, as well as providing good storytelling throughout the match with their relative skill-sets.
WWE Title Unification Triple Threat: WWE Champion The Miz v. TNA TV Champion AJ Styles v. United States Champion CM Punk
With TNA joining the mix, it's obvious that there is too much gold going around to do the company any good. To prove who's the best over all brands, the Miz decides he's going to put his awesomeness and WWE Title on the line against the best that Impact and Smackdown have to offer. The contract made before the match stipulates that one person leaves with all titles unified under the WWE championship. It's gold versus gold versus gold for the biggest bling of all.
The Miz is a great worker on the mic and puts up a good effort in the ring, but having Styles and Punk in the match would draw the focus away from his weak ring skills and provide him with not just one, but two performers who can carry the match and provide the ring theater necessary for a big PPV.
Divas v. Knockouts - Women's Championship Elimination Battle Royal: Tara/Victoria v. Angelina Love v. Mickie James v. Beth Phoenix v. Melina v. Michelle McCool
This is in here not just because we need a women's match on the card, but a good women's match. There's plenty of eye-candy to go around, but it also includes some of the most skilled women in the industry. Mickie James is back after a couple years of exile in TNA's Knockouts Division and Crazy Vicky is back to her roots. This match promises skill, beauty and the idea of Beth Phoenix against Tara/Victoria sounds damn good for a division in serious turmoil.
Christian v. Edge: All-Or-Nothing #1 Contender TLC Match
Christian has spent the last several months needling at Edge and provoking him to commit to a real match between the two of them. Christian is pissed that Edge continues to worm his way into the championship picture and has been distracting, attacking and harassing Edge to the brink of insanity. Edge decides that he's had enough of Christian riding his coattails all these years by bringing up their tag team success, so he goes to WWE Commissioner (yes, I brought that back for this purpose) Teddy Long and arranges for the World Heavyweight Championship's number one contender to be named in a match between the two of them. The only caveat is that the loser must walk away and retire. Christian countered Edge's demand by offering the match's stipulation: the two of them will compete Money-In-The-Bank style in a TLC match.
With these one-time friends thrown to compete against one another for their respective careers with the payoff being a shot at pro wrestling's greatest prize, we have a match that has motivation for them to win and motivation not to lose. A TLC match hearkens to their collective pasts and ensures a high-risk, high-reward format worthy of a match where the stakes are astronomically high.
Tag Title Throwdown: Motor City Machine Guns v. The World's Greatest Tag Team
The WWE has recently rejuvenated its tag team division and hired back the World's Greatest Tag Team of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas to take on Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin to prove that WWE has always had the best tag teams in the world. This match showcases two tag teams blowing up the ring with a solid combination of mat wrestling, high-flying moves and a literal grab-bag of double-team maneuvers. Who wouldn't appreciate seeing the best tag teams of the past and present throw down?
Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four-Way: Rob Terry v. Sheamus v. Wade Barrett v. Drew McIntyre
Who's the best accent of them all? Jokes aside, this match for the Intercontinental Championship returns an international flavor to the title and features four of the best young talents that the British Isles have to offer. Rob Terry is an absolute beast, Sheamus is a dominant force, Wade Barrett is a smooth talker and worthy competitor, while Drew McIntyre has the look of a champion. While it's a bit of a gimmicky match, the IC Title's purpose is fulfilled by showcasing the best young international talent the combined TNA/WWE roster has to offer.
Monster v. Monster - No Holds Barred: Kane v. Abyss
Ever since the announcement of the brand merger, Kane and Abyss were built to not like each other. Both are gigantic, fearsome, psychotic and demon-possessed machines built to be fantastic wrestlers. They both strike fear into the hearts of their competitors with their blend of skills, power and surprising agility and in a new twist, Kane has decided to don his mask again to match against Abyss. The two hate each other because looking at the other is almost like looking in the mirror and seeing your dark soul for what it is. Both have spent the last several weeks tormenting and harassing each other to set up a highly-anticipated match of immovable object versus unstoppable force.
Icons v. Exiles Six-Man Tag Team Match: Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton v. Shannon Moore, D'Angelo Dinero & Mr. Anderson (Kennedy!... Kennedy)
With this match, we have the ultimate competition between TNA and WWE performers to prove which brand is better. The TNA wrestlers want to show the WWE how wrong they were to let go of their services while the WWE stars want to put these guys back in their places and remind them of their inferiority. Some backstage history between Orton and Kennedy provides some good heat to really drive this rivalry to the boiling point.
All-American Challenge: Kurt Angle v. Jack Swagger
Kurt Angle loves a challenge. He decimated the TNA's Top 10 in glorious fashion, but his next challenge is against a guy who's career has mirrored his own. Angle decided that while Swagger may be good, he isn't good enough to beat him, so Angle will limit himself. The All-American American can beat Kurt Angle any way he can, be it pinfall or submission, but no count outs. Kurt Angle though, believes he only needs one weapon to beat Swagger, and it's the only way he can win this match: Swagger would have to submit to the Ankle Lock. Angle's challenge is to prove that nobody can use his signature move like he can.
This is a matchup between two mat specialists with equally prestigious amateur backgrounds. It promises a great combination of submission moves, grapples, suplexes galore, reversals and more kitchen sinks than the Home Depot can provide.
Main Event - World Championship Unification Elimination Chamber: Jeff Hardy v. Rob Van Dam v. Sting v. Triple H v. John Cena v. Undertaker
For the Main Event, we bring back the New Year's Elimination Chamber! The biggest names each company have to offer will be battling for the greatest prize of all: The World Heavyweight Championship. Sting has started his retirement tour in the WWE by proclaiming his intention to headline WrestleMania by any means possible. Rob Van Dam continues to cement his legacy by becoming a main event player, Jeff Hardy wants to just wrestle until his individual body parts start falling off. The WWE's players, on the other hand, have to prove that TNA's slow rise was nothing but a fluke and their "main eventers" are of diminished caliber to WWE's.
Putting Hardy and Van Dam in this matchup guarantees the spots needed to pull off an exciting Elimination Chamber. HHH and Cena are two of the biggest names WWE has to offer and will be necessary in any Elimination Chamber match. Sting and 'Taker are the old guard, brought in for name recognition and can show they still maintain a high-level of performance ability. This match promises not only star power, but main event-style action and skills.
All in all, this card promises to be a huge lead-up to the Royal Rumble and further on the road to WrestleMania 28.