What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes, and I am back here today with my monthly pay-per-view preview. I will break things down and give the realistic odds for each match.
This month, as always, I'll have fellow columnist RiZE joining me. I'll also have QuickWrestlingNews columnist Geddy Cahoon, commonly known as the guy who collects action figures well past the age that it's socially acceptable, joining me as well.
Make sure to add me on Facebook for daily wrestling discussion and to keep up with all of my latest columns.
Now, without any further ado, let's get this show on the road!
Eric Kanes: The first match on this card will probably be Dolph Ziggler, who is doing double duty for the second straight pay-per-view, defending his U.S. title against John Morrison.
I still don't get this. They had John Morrison lose in every single match for three months, had him win ONE match and he suddenly gets a title opportunity. On the other hand, they've actually been building Zack Ryder up, but he can't get a title shot in his home state even if thousands of people signed his petition.
This would actually be a pretty good way of turning Morrison heel and leading to a feud with Zack Ryder. I don't think that will happen, though. It's probably a typical bad decision that WWE made. Oh well. The "We Want Ryder" chants should be fun.
Eric's Pick: Dolph Ziggler
RiZE: Before I start, I’d like to discuss the general reaction of the IWC to Morrison’s placement in this matchup. Yes, I know the IWC loves Zack Ryder and his YouTube show, but I find the hatred for Morrison a little irrational considering this will eventually lead to Ryder winning the U.S. Championship.
Personally, I’ve found Ryder less entertaining with each passing week, but I can obviously see the WWE using this as a way to build support for Ryder.
Anyway, considering the string of matches these two have had on live events, I expect a great matchup here. The WWE should at least give these guys 10 minutes to put on an unforgettable show. I think Dolph will ascend to the top card soon while Ryder and Morrison will participate in a program that’ll end up with Morrison turning heel. So, John Morrison (he’s not leaving) is your new U.S. Champion.
RiZE's Pick: John Morrison
Geddy Cahoon: Well, apparently, this match has been added to the card, despite large support for Zack Ryder and his petition and all that nonsense. I’m not a Morrison fan, and these two have feuded in the past, so I’m more or less ambivalent towards this match.
It was a quick addition, and some are speculating that it could be a sign that JoMo is finally out of the doghouse after all these months. I wouldn’t count on it. It’s just a placeholder until Mason Ryan gets a little less green and they can give him the belt. That said, this match will probably be quite good. It doesn’t have show-stealing potential, because nothing does when the freaking Rock is wrestling, but I assume it will be solid.
Don’t expect Ziggler to drop the belt to anybody if his opponent’s name isn’t Mason Ryan, though.
Geddy's Pick: Mason Ryan
Eric Kanes: For the past couple of weeks, Beth has had trouble dealing with the dominant monsters that are Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres and Alicia Fox. I guess she'll have to win via interference from Natalya because this would simply be too difficult of a match for her to win clean.
Eric's Pick: Beth Phoenix
RiZE: I don’t know if the other guys know this but I recently learned that this match will be a Lumberjill’s matchup.
Eve Torres is definitely the Diva deserving of this title shot. Yes, Kelly Kelly may be the face of the WWE Diva's Division, but Eve Torres is an all-around better Diva than Kelly. Her match at Vengeance with Beth proves this. Anyway, I expect a great Divas match here, with Beth winning and little involvement by the Divas surrounding the ring (hopefully).
RiZE's Pick: Beth Phoenix
Geddy Cahoon: Oof. Apparently, we got this one because of "High demand for another Eve Torres title shot." Whoever demanded that, I hate you. I don't care for Eve, but I do love me some Beth Phoenix.
I predict Beth going over clean here, as they allegedly want to feud her and Natalya sometime in the not too distant future. Eve is merely a placeholder to freshen the title picture up a bit.
Geddy's Pick: Beth Phoenix
Eric Kanes: Here we've got a pretty solid-looking 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series match. Both teams look pretty strong, with Team Orton obviously a bit stronger since it has two protected faces.
WWE seems to be building Wade Barrett up again, which is great. Unlike guys like Alberto Del Rio, who get shoehorned into the title scene for a few weeks, this guy is one of the best all-around talents and will be a star sooner or later. Just thinking about it, I don't see why WWE would give him a winning streak and his own team going into the PPV only to have him lose. Plus, Christian, Primo and Epico all have a chance of being in the team's corner, so that only adds to their advantage.
A smart way to book it would be to have Orton throw his signature psychotic fit and get disqualified early on. Sheamus then leads the team, but it's simply not enough and Wade Barrett ends up winning.
I don't think it'll go exactly like that, but I do think Wade Barrett will end up victorious. I'm probably wrong on this, knowing how WWE books these things, but whatever.
Eric's Pick: Team Wade Barrett
Predicted Sole Survivor(s): Wade Barrett
RiZE: I must say, I’m actually looking forward to this match, as it is the only traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series matchup on this card.
Personally, I admire the WWE for resurrecting Wade Barrett with wins over Sheamus and Randy Orton. Honestly, I didn’t think the WWE possessed the testicular fortitude to have Orton put over someone not named Mark Henry, but it’s surprising nonetheless. We’ve got guys like Orton, Sheamus, Rhodes and Ziggler, so it’s a guaranteed great matchup.
Like I stated above, I admire the WWE for building up Barrett, but there’s no way his team is defeating three of Vince McMahon’s guilty pleasures in Orton, Sheamus and Mason Ryan.
RiZE's Pick: Team Randy Orton
Predicted Sole Survivor(s): Randy Orton, Sheamus, & Mason Ryan
Geddy Cahoon: This one is a little bit tough to predict. It seems as though, judging from this past Monday's RAW, WWE does NOT want there to be an obvious winner going into this. Guys from both teams won matches on Monday, although if memory serves me, it did end with the heels looking rather weak and getting Hunico thrown at them.
I personally think the winning team doesn't particularly matter. It's more about who eliminates who since this is essentially an amalgamation of multiple feuds.
I feel like the final survivors on the respective teams will be Sheamus and Swagger. We just saw them fight on Monday, and Sheamus won. Neither guy has a concrete feud presently, with Christian out of the picture, and they obviously want to build Sheamus into SD's top star. Swagger is really the only guy on Team Barrett who can afford a clean loss (he's the go-to guy for that), so I think it'll be those two. Regardless of how it's set up, the relative ambiguity of it, or who the final guys are, I predict Team Orton goes over in the end.
Geddy's Pick: Team Randy Orton
Predicted Sole Survivor(s): Sheamus
Eric Kanes: I really hope CM Punk wins after a solid 20-minute match here. Alberto Del Rio is not a legitimate main-eventer, no matter how much WWE wants you to think that he is. Just give the belt to Punk and build Del Rio up the proper way. Like Punk says, "make this fun again."
Del Rio as WWE Champion is doing absolutely nothing for the company.
Eric's Pick: CM Punk
RiZE: Honestly, I’m severely disappointed in this program and the sooner it ends, the happier I’ll be. Despite my distaste for the WWE Champion, I expected this feud to be interesting at the very least. This is apparently not the case, as CM Punk has decimated Berto on the mic while he retaliates with his overdone and predictable attacks.
Anyway, Alberto will retain the WWE Championship via interference or a dirty tactic that’ll set up a rematch at TLC with Punk regaining the WWE Championship. By the way, isn’t it sad that the U.S. Championship currently has more contenders than the WWE Championship has had all year?
RiZE's Pick: Alberto Del Rio
Geddy Cahoon: This is the first bout in what will most likely be our WWE Title picture for the foreseeable future. I’m not complaining that these two will be fighting over the belt, though. They’re both phenomenal workers (the two best on RAW) and are solid on the mic (Punk more so than Del Rio).
Beating Punk a few times will also give Del Rio credibility. I expect this match to be very, very good if they’re given an adequate amount of time, which, given the small number of matches, I assume they will be.
I think there is a good deal of people expecting a Punk win here, but I’m not one of them.
They messed around with Del Rio’s title reign the first time due to ratings, but I’m fairly certain that now they’re ready to give him the belt for a semi-lengthy amount of time. Punk will win it eventually, hopefully after a lengthy feud, but not here.
Geddy's Pick: Alberto Del Rio
Eric Kanes: Here we've got a rematch from last month's PPV with Big Show challenging Mark Henry for the world title—again. Their first match was good for what it was. Right now, there's no hype going into their match and there's no way they can top their last one. I don't get why WWE is having Big Show challenge Mark Henry again or why they'll probably also have him challenge him at TLC.
There are other things that can be done. For example, you could have Henry defend against Booker T at Survivor Series, with the story being that Booker T wants to stop Henry's dominance and thinks he has one more run left in him. Then, have a tables match between Henry and Sheamus at TLC. Have Kane return to take on Henry at the Royal Rumble and have Henry win the Elimination Chamber match or defend against Undertaker at Elimination Chamber. It's not hard to keep things fresh and interesting. Instead, WWE will keep doing the same things over and over. It gets boring and it makes Mark Henry look less impressive, too.
Eric's Pick: Mark Henry
RiZE: Honestly, I found this program rather intriguing when it first began. Normally, I wouldn't expect a five-star classic at WWE Vengeance, but these competitors put on one of the best big-man matches I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. However, the build to the rematch has been less than enthusiastic and I find it unnecessary to use Daniel Bryan to progress the feud between these two. I am prepared to observe another exceptional match between these goliaths, with Mark Henry silencing Big Show once and for all.
RiZE's Pick: Mark Henry
Geddy Cahoon: I understand that there’s currently a lack of viable talent to contend for the World Title on Smackdown, but do we really have to see this two PPVs in a row?
These are two guys that are average in the ring at VERY BEST. The proper opponent for the 400-pound world champ is not another 400-pound guy. At least, in my humble opinion.
I think this will be more like a straight-up brawl than a match, but this time, put Henry over clean. Really, there is no need for this feud to continue, and I think it’s time for Orton to start chasing “his” title again. Not even WWE is dumb enough to take the world title off of one of the hottest champs in recent memory just for Big Show.
Geddy's Pick: Mark Henry
Eric Kanes: Finally, we've got the main event, which features the highly-anticipated return of The Rock to in-ring action. This is The Rock's first match in over seven years and will probably be the reason most of the people order this pay-per-view.
Sadly, WWE has not done a very good job building R-Truth and Miz up. The story should've been that they're so dominant and dangerous that John Cena has no choice but to choose The Rock, because nobody else can help him. Instead, the story is about John Cena facing two idiots and choosing The Rock as his partner for no reason whatsoever.
Either way, I'm just excited to see The Rock wrestling a match again. I'd say there's a 95 percent chance of Rock and Cena picking up the win here. There's a chance that one of them might turn on the other and Miz and Truth steal the win, but they can't really be considered "winners" any way you look at it.
Eric's Pick: The Rock and John Cena
RiZE: The only purpose for this match is to have Rock wrestle before WrestleMania, and it is also the only reason I’m giving it a second look. Let’s be honest, Cena has taken on Awesome Truth every week since Vengeance. The Rock's participation is the only thing we're looking forward to as fans. I predict this to be an OK match with obvious signs of friction between Rock and Cena, but they will prevail nonetheless.
On the other hand, I know some fans are speculating Cena will finally turn heel. Honestly, that ship sailed for me a long time ago.
RiZE's Pick: The Rock and John Cena
Geddy Cahoon: Here’s the match many people are ordering this PPV for…The Rock is returning to action, and it’s against the most entertaining act in WWE, The Awesome Truth.
While I am against the idea of Rock wrestling before his WM match with Cena (I feel it diminishes the prestige of that match), I am excited for this, as Truth and Miz are involved. Also, teaming him with Cena, the Hogan of this generation, makes it feel very special.
However, they have, from the beginning, made no attempt to hide the fact that this match is all about dissension between Cena and Rock. It is not a question of whether or not Rock and Cena can beat Miz and Truth (they can do that single-handedly, as we’ve seen). It’s a question of whether they can adequately work as a team and that’s where I think this should go.
Have the two of them be at odds the whole match, until eventually, they reach a boiling point. Either have one of them lay the other out, allowing Truth or Miz to score a pinfall, or do the old blind tag, followed by a roll-up. Maybe have Rock get cocky and tag himself in while Cena’s not looking, then the two argue, and Rock is rolled up by Miz or Truth. That way the two have even more reason to be at odds going into WrestleMania. Also, it would give Miz and Truth credibility because they defeated the combined forces of Rock AND Cena. However, this is WWE. So Rock and Cena will go over cleanly and effortlessly, and it will end with a pose-off/staredown between the two.
Geddy's Pick: The Rock and John Cena
As always, here are some bonus questions for our readers:
Which superstar left off the card should've been included in a match?
Eric Kanes: Honestly, I think that the whole Rock/Cena match should've been Team Triple H (Rock, Cena, Sheamus, Punk, Foley) vs. Team John Laurinaitis (Truth, Miz, Nash, Del Rio, Brodus Clay) for control of WWE. The other 5-on-5 should've been Team Orton (Orton, Bryan, Ryan, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston) vs. Team Barrett (Barrett, Ziggler, Swagger, Rhodes, Hunico).
Fantasy booking aside, if I had to pick one wrestler left off the card who should be on it, I'd definitely go with Zack Ryder. There is not a single rational argument that can be made for Morrison being in the match, unless he's turning heel, which more than likely won't happen.
Geddy Cahoon: Ted DiBiase for sure. I assume many people are thinking Daniel Bryan, and while I do agree, they seem to be building DiBiase up these days. He's squashing jobbers on Smackdown and a push seems to be in the works. He will probably be feuding with Cody Rhodes for the IC Title, so why not involve Ted in the 5-on-5 match and have their feud begin with a confrontation between the two? Or at least, hint that a feud will be happening soon.
Drew McIntyre also would've been a nice replacement for Christian on Team Barrett, since we don't really need Ziggler on the card twice.
Which match will steal the show?
Eric Kanes: The Rock and John Cena vs. The Miz and R-Truth. No question. Nothing can top Rock's first match in seven years. This and the 5-on-5 are the only two that'll likely be worth watching.
Geddy Cahoon: The Rock and Cena vs. Miz and Truth will steal the show. It’s not even a matter of opinion. It’s The Rock’s first match in years. Couple that with the fact that Miz, Truth and Cena (when given time) are all great workers, and you’ve got a recipe for greatness.
How do you think this PPV will do in terms of buy rates?
Eric Kanes: WWE isn't even trying, but it's The Rock's first match in seven-plus years, so it has to do well.
Geddy Cahoon: In terms of buy rates, I assume this PPV will do fairly well. The Rock is a huge selling point, plus Survivor Series is always a big show anyway. It may not do too, too well, because no PPVs get outstanding buys these days, but still. With The Rock wrestling again, I think it’ll get an above-average number of orders.
Will you be ordering this PPV?
Eric Kanes: Hell yeah. There's two matches I'm really looking forward to. It could be so much better, but I've ordered every PPV since Capitol Punishment, so why not?
Geddy Cahoon: I will most likely be ordering this show. I’m not 100 percent positive, but it’s the freaking Rock! Regardless of how predictable the ending is, and the fact that Miz and Truth have more or less been buried from the very beginning and all that stuff, it’s still THE ROCK. And regardless of my issues with it damaging the prestige of the ‘Mania match, I still need to see The Rock’s return to the ring. I think everyone does.