Welcome to the FIRST Perfect Storm pay per view preview! I honestly cannot be more pleased with the group that we’ve had come together to share their thoughts on this year’s show. It’s a bit of a long read(roughly 5,000 words), but I hope you enjoy the variety as well as all of our thoughts and insights!
The crew for WWE Pay Per Views now consists of myself, Mike Lightning, KP, Jace Ace, and the two NEW additions of Parker and J-Bru! Enjoy!
Pre Show United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro vs The Miz
KP: I guess WWE pretty much showed what they think of this feud. I feel like with all the time they’ve got invested in the Rumble and the Punk-Rock main event, they could’ve added this to the pay-per-view. Especially considering Miz is a former WWE Champion and Cesaro is the U.S Champion. I don’t see the logic in this. If they had the Divas match on the pre-show then it’d make more sense. As far as a prediction, I think I’ll go with the gold on this endeavor.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro
ML: Cesaro won the US Title on the Summerslam pre-show against Santino Marella. Cesaro hasn’t looked back since and his momentum has carried him into 2013 as one of the hottest wrestlers in the company. He has continuously proven himself as a main event caliber guy with each big name he is pitted against. The Miz needed something fresh and this face turn has been enjoyable. I’m excited that Flair endorsed Miz and has “passed the torch” to him in the form of the Figure Four Leglock. I expect that this one will end up enhancing the feud further between these two heading into Elimination Chamber.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro to retain the United States Title
Confidence Points: 4
Ace: I expect Cesaro to retain. Miz is over as a babyface now, and I’d love to see him go on to bigger things with the WWE title in the future.
J-Bru: Why the same championship gold is being contested on the PRE-show of a PPV for the 3rd time is beyond me! Anyway, I think this rivalry is still just in its beginning stages. Aside from defending and emulating Ric Flair, Miz has no real reason yet to feud with Cesaro. Plus, these two could have great chemistry in the ring, such that the potential this match has shouldn’t be relegated to a one-off on a YouTube stream that not many people pay attention to anyway. I may be wrong (this is just a prediction, after all), but I see the US champ retaining so that their feud has more time to heat up before Miz finally wins the belt in its climax.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro.
Parker: This match has really good potential; I like how The Miz has developed his wrestling skills in the last 2 years since his WWE Title run and I have been following Cesaro’s career since his CZW and ROH days. These two should have a really solid match to open the show, and Cesaro should retain the US Title but I wouldn’t mind if they put the strap on Miz. I’d just rather have Miz step back up to main event status therefore I pick Antonio Cesaro to retain the United States Championship.
Confidence Points: 4
Thunder: I could complain about this match being on the pre show, but I’d rather just be glad that it’s even taking place. I expect Miz to give Cesaro a good match, but Cesaro will continue his run with the gold for now. Confidence Points: 5
Tag Team Championship: Team Rhodes Scholars vs Team Hell No
KP: This storyline has been one of the most comical things in awhile in WWE. Team Hell No to me completely overhauled the tag division but once again WWE just seems to be intentionally dropping the ball with it. I mean they buried the contenders one week by having Kane and Bryan beat them in a squash match essentially. How many teams are left to actually challenge for the titles? I think they still have traction with the Team Hell No story but I think Rhodes Scholars need the win to validate their claims. Plus Damien Sandow to me deserves some gold some way and somehow. Maybe this is the night or they push it back…I’ll predict tonight.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars win the WWE Tag Team Titles
ML: I’ve been back and forth on this match for weeks now. Team Hell No has been one of the best things going in the WWE, but their current gimmick has overshadowed the rest of the revamped tag team division. We’ve seen Rhodes Scholars become one of the best tag teams in the WWE and they remain highly entertaining. They have failed to capture the WWE Tag Titles lately and it’ll be interesting to see where the WWE moves with them.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars to become the NEW Tag Team Champions
Confidence Points: 3
QuickNote: Between losing the tag team titles and the Rumble match, I expect the breakup of Team Hell No to start which will eventually lead to a WrestleMania 29 match between Kane and DBry.
Ace: If Team Hell No retains, then they’ll barely win. I’m expecting Rhodes Scholars to put the hurt on them and maybe even win this match since the Rumble will start causing the tag team to dissolve.
J-Bru: Despite being called the leaders of the tag team division, I think THN’s reign as tag champs is ready to end. Their feud with Rhodes and Sandow has been going on since shortly after winning the belts in September, and both teams are as over with the crowd as they’ll ever be at this point. Why not give TRS a run with the belts, and they can eventually lose them to the next face tag team (who, ironically, hide their faces): Mysterio and Sin Cara when they return from injury. Daniel Bryan has proven himself more than capable of being a main-event talent again, and Kane deserves at least one more World Title run in his career. At this point, the tag team championships are just holding them back. Pass the torch already!
Winner: Team Rhodes Scholars
Parker: Another match that has a lot of potential, D-Bry and Kane have held the titles since September and have been a very entertaining duo, and Rhodes & Sandow are also a good team and should have the belts by WrestleMania. In my opinion Rhodes, Sandow & D-Bry should all be competing for the WWE or World Titles by now (again in D-Bry’s case) and I expect they will be by the end of the year. I expect D-Bry and Kane’s “friendship” or whatever they have to blow out either at this pay per view or the weeks leading up to the Elimination Chamber, setting up a match at WrestleMania. Therefore, I predict Rhodes and Sandow to win the Tag Titles.
Confidence Points: 3
Look out for: D-Bry/Kane split
Thunder: Despite Team Hell No having quite the lengthy reign with the belts, I don’t believe this is the end of their run. Rhodes and Sandow are good as a tag team, but both men need to be challenging for World Championships in 2013. Team Hell No retains. Confidence Points: 3
WWE Championship: The Rock vs CM Punk
KP: I’ve had a lot to say about this match and how as a fan, it burns me up. As a fan of pro wrestling, I’ve been very sour on 3 hour RAWs. I just cannot sit there for the full time like I used to. And then when it comes to how the talent has been used the past 6 months; Sheamus turned into a Super face to the point where a lot of people complained about it. People would cheer for his opponent than cheer for him. Sound familiar? John Cena wins Money in the Bank and loses it then gets another title shot at Summerslam and Night of Champions. He gets injured then returns to get another title shot at Survivor Series followed by an attempt to earn Money in the Bank again…all of which were unsuccessful. Yet he’s still being featured more prominently and as if he was a bigger deal than the WWE Champion CM Punk. I like the fact that he is a heel. Because WWE was never going to feature him as the #1 babyface over John Cena so he did the next big thing; become the #1 heel. But that in of itself has caused a problem for me as a fan. CM Punk went from a babyface who welcomed any challenge and was very confident and arrogant to someone who acted scared of any challenge and what seemed like not confidence unless he took a shortcut. I understand that heels are supposed to do that, but it’s not logical to turn someone heel and immediately have that happen to their character. I understand that CM Punk main evented PPVs starting with Night of Champions since the turn but what has been surrounded by each match? It’s what WWE likes to call controversy. The double pin with Cena initially made sense but now it’s part of an annoying cycle to always keep the title no matter what, the rogue referee with Ryback as if Punk needed the help and then The Shield interfering in his defenses since Survivor Series. It almost feels like they’ve reverted him back to his Straight Edge Society days where the WWE thinks that the fans won’t believe he can beat the Superheros and the good guys without having help or some credible enough to aid him. If he didn’t need any help 6 months before hand why in the last 6 has he been relegated to that? It’s getting exhausting. Then WWE had The Rock announce that he was going for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble this Sunday. What has WWE done to make CM Punk look credible enough to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble? I can name one thing…they gave him a microphone. That’s really it, if you want to use the way he’s been booked as something they’ve done…I disagree wholeheartedly. It’s to the point right now where if The Rock wins the WWE Championship, I won’t be surprised. If CM Punk retains the title, I’ll be surprised. I’m just tired of WWE booking their heels the exact same way. To me CM Punk should be a more unique character and should be built more important than he has been. Don’t give me that excuse that, “He’s facing The Rock, what more could a fan want?” I want CM Punk to win at the Royal Rumble but if he wins, then what? Nothing else would compare to that…other than facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship seems to be the consensus of what is main eventing Wrestlemania 29 unfortunately. And if that happens I’ll be disappointed completely. I don’t understand WWE’s fascination over these two going head to head. I don’t mind them going at it, but why for the WWE Championship? The Rock doesn’t deserve it, doesn’t need it to be relevant in the WWE. But WWE wants press, they want money for their fiscal quarter…well they can take all that money and shove it. Why would they turn they go from CM Punk being a hot commodity to just being another character. To me he should be that unique character that people cheer for and he can be himself. I’d prefer it for him to be an individual character that goes against the grain of WWE’s typically created stars. Stone Cold Steve Austin made himself into one of the biggest stars in the WWE’s history. He was an individual spirit; people identified with him and understood where he came from. People could vicariously live through him as they were enthralled by his actions/work. CM Punk to me used to be that. To others he wasn’t the biggest guy in the company, he wasn’t the best talker in the company; he may not even have been the best pure wrestler in the company itself but the overall package that came with Punk was the best part. He spoke his mind, got people/comedians to rave about his performance in social media and on talk shows to where people wanted him there and demanded he’d be there. What happened to that? He could’ve been a bigger star than where he is right now but WWE ruined that. Ruined it for the fans…I want WWE to rectify the mistake they made in not making him a bigger star. To me him defeating The Rock validates him more as a Superstar than anything else they’ve done with him. I don’t understand WWE’s logic anymore, they want to do whatever they want but what they want…the fan in me cannot accept because they want John Cena vs The Rock again, it was underwhelming and overhyped the first time around. What makes them think that it’ll be better the second time around? If all they did was tear each other down to the point where some fans didn’t give a crap about that match, they cared more about The Undertaker vs HHH or CM Punk vs Chris Jericho or the potential of the Sheamus vs Bryan match (and look how that turned out). Doing a part two would just heighten more interest for everything else…except maybe Lesnar vs HHH because it just feels like a burial waiting to happen. So back to the prediction in hand and the match in question, I know what I want as a fan and I’m going with what I want to see and not what the WWE wants. Hell they even went as far as to promise The Rock the WWE Championship, how sad is that?
Prediction and what I sincerely hope happens: CM Punk retains the WWE Championship via CLEAN pinfall
ML: I find this match to be unwarranted and ridiculous that The Rock is even getting a chance at the WWE Title. But I’m not going to mention it again. The Rock and Punk have cut some great, intense promos in the past few weeks and have done a good job at building hype around this match. The Rock looks to be in good shape and hopefully he is in better shape than his WM 28 match with Cena. CM Punk’s title reign has been awesome to watch and he’s helped rebuild the prestige of the WWE Title. I find myself wishing that he would keep the title until WrestleMania but I’m highly doubting that will happen.
Prediction: The Rock to become the NEW WWE Champion
Confidence Points: 4
QuickNote: Brad Maddox could get involved and help Punk win but that’s only if the WWE would rather keep the title on Punk instead of having The Rock hold it longer until WM.
Ace: As much as I don’t want to see Rock win it, he probably will. If Vince and Trips weren’t so set on making once in a lifetime mean nothing at all, we’d see Punk retain. If Punk loses, we go on to wrestlemania season with an on-again-off-again Rock as our champion, and Punk feuds with Undertaker. I have no problem with the latter, I just wish it wasn’t the Rock.
prediction: The Rock
J-Bru: This may be the first time in awhile where I see the WWE creative team in a win-win situation. If Punk wins, he can go on to maybe have the streak-vs-reign match with Undertaker that I’ve been openly campaigning for. If Rock wins, he and Cena can have another great Wrestlemania match, even more memorable this time because the title will be on the line. However, I’m not too fond of the theory that Punk held the title this long ONLY so he could lose it to the Rock. But the Rock’s side-feuds with authority figures Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero leads me to believe that some BS will happen where outside interference either causes the Rock to lose or Punk to retain due to disqualification. For that reason…
Winner: CM Punk
Parker: With what happened on SmackDown this week, I hope The Shield won’t interfere in this match. With that said it should be a potential match of the year candidate, Punk is so good at bringing out the best in his opponents and he is a genius in the ring and he should make The Rock look like a million bucks. I still expect that there will be outside interference, but from whom I don’t know. It won’t be Brad Maddox because he got “attacked” on SmackDown this week, but who attacked him? Will the same person attack The Rock this Sunday? We all know that Maddox has been a thorn in the side of Paul Heyman the last couple of weeks and it looked like Heyman was still unimpressed when he congratulated Maddox on Raw; could Heyman have got Brock Lesnar to attack him? I’m sure it will come into play during this contest. The word is The Rock is expecting to win the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble this Sunday, but I reckon he’ll have to wait until Elimination Chamber because I predict CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship with help from Brock Lesnar.
Confidence Points: 1
Look out for: Paul Heyman getting Rock Bottomed through the Spanish announcers table (Come on I’ve been waiting for it to happen again for 10 years!)
Thunder: The rivalry has been built since Raw 1000. We will see a match of the year contender on Sunday. Regardless of WHEN the Rock wins the WWE Title, it will happen before WrestleMania. I’m speculating that it happens here. Punk’s reign is over. Confidence Points: 5
World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match: Big Show vs Alberto Del Rio
KP: Alberto Del Rio winning the World Heavyweight Championship so soon after turning face to me was a little odd but I’ll take it because I’ve always liked Del Rio. Despite all the jokes I crack about him I really genuinely like the guy. His character is going through an overhaul and being given the title is a big thing to me. Big Show I thought would hold it a little longer before having Dolph Ziggler swoop in to defeat him for the title. Well now it’s the rematch and I don’t expect a different result at all. I think WWE is going with Del Rio as the new Latino Superstar after Sin Cara’s fail career and Mysterio’s constant need for time off. I think Del Rio moves on to Elimination Chamber to defend the title once again against Big Show and 4 other contenders.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the WHC
ML: It’s going to be hard for Show and Del Rio to duplicate their awesome Last Man Standing match from Smackdown, but with this match on a PPV, I expect it to be a lot more brutal. Del Rio’s victory over Show throws a wrench, in my opinion, in the plan of making Orton and Sheamus at WM 29 for the World Title. Del Rio’s face turn has been refreshing to me and I have slowly started becoming a fan of his(Something I NEVER thought was possible and can’t believe I’m saying). Big Show still entertains me but his entertainment value is limited. I don’t expect Dolph Ziggler to cash in.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Confidence Points: 5
Ace: I expect Del Rio to retain. Not sure how, but it just seems like a likely set up for the Elimination Chamber for Del Rio to drop it perhaps to a Heel Orton and if Sheamus wins the rumble (for the 2nd year in a row) then it’d be a triple threat WHC match at Mania.
J-Bru: It’d seem kinda wrong to have someone as overall improved like newly-face ADR win the world title just to lose it less than a month later. I predict he’ll win the match, but I don’t predict he’ll leave with the gold. It may sound odd, but somehow, I see Big Show luring ADR by pretending to be unable to make the 10 count, then when the champ’s back is turned, hits the KO punch (guess it’s no longer called the WMD?) in a sneak attack, and Ziggler cashes in on his fallen prey. Ziggler may seem to be in the same spot as before, in a relationship with a Latina (Vickie > AJ [she's Puerto Rican]) and with a muscle-head with poor mic skills as the third wheel (Swagger > Langston), but with him as world champ, that trio would be a force to fear!
Winner: Alberto Del Rio (until possible Ziggler cash-in)
Parker: The rematch from SmackDown a couple of weeks ago, this match is going to be a last man standing match again and you have to wonder. Will Dolph Ziggler cash in during or after this match? I could just imagine how hilarious it would be if Big Show had Del Rio out for the 10 count and Dolph comes out of nowhere and cashes in the money in the bank leaving Big Show with a WTF look on his face. As for the match I hope it’s a step up from their match on SD and it should be a pretty entertaining David vs Goliath brawl. I predict Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Confidence Points: 5
Look out for: Dolph cashing in.
Thunder: I expect this one to be better than what we saw on Smackdown. I don’t know about any surprise Ziggler cash in here, but it’s ALWAYS a possibility. That aside, I don’t think Big Show will have another run with any World Titles. Del Rio retains here and his top face push continues. Confidence Points: 5
The 30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
KP: So many possibilities, so many surprises….so many routes for victory. When Big Show was champ, my initial person I thought would win was Ryback to accomplish the big feat of lifting the big man at Wrestlemania and win the World Title. But the main possibility I keep hearing is John Cena winning the Rumble so he can face The Rock for the WWE Championship. It feels like to me that is the only logical thing WWE is capable of doing since they want Cena-Rock II. Any other victor in this Rumble to me will feel like a surprise because of the way it seems to be going/booked. As much as I would like someone else to win, I don’t see WWE not doing Cena-Rock II at this point.
Prediction: John Cena wins the Royal Rumble
ML: I’ve laid out hy Top Five possible outcomes and my number one doesn’t reflect my personal opinion about this match. There’s a lot of possibilities that the WWE could do here, two of the scenarios don’t involve Wade Barrett or Antonio Cesaro winning the Rumble. Since the inception of the winner going to WrestleMania and Main Eventing the show(1993), NO wrestler holding a title has EVER won the Rumble. I don’t expect that to change. The other scenario I eliminated is Ryback winning the Rumble. I expect that SHIELD will get involved and somehow help with Ryback’s elimination. This will set up a possible six man tag match at Elimination Chamber involving them. Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan and Kane I have eliminated as a possibility because I feel the WWE still wants to build Rhodes and Sandow up further and they want to have DBry and Kane feud before being thrusted back into the singles world. Kofi Kingston and The Miz are eliminated as potential winners due to the WWE wanting to establish Kofi as a top tier midcarder and The Miz to get more over as a face. My two favorite scenarios include Ziggler winning from 1 or CM Punk entering after losing the WWE Title and winning the Rumble. I would prefer not to see Cena, Orton or Sheamus win for a second time but I would be less mad at a Orton victory than I would Cena or Sheamus. Cena winning is the most predictable outcome.
Prediction: Randy Orton to win the Rumble Match
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: Super excited for Carlito and Shelton Benjamin; I’m going to mark out for both. I went back and forth on my winner and I seriously JUST picked Orton. I was leaning heavily on Cena or Sheamus but my gut feeling thinks Orton comes out on top.
Ace: My top 5 to win it (in no particular order): Orton, Sheamus, Cena, Ziggler, Miz. Not much to say here except that it’s going to be a hell of an exciting match. I expect to see Hell No start dissolving here, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with SHIELD, Ryback, Big E & Bo Dallas (Rotunda).
J-Bru: Wow…my first “official” PPV prediction, and I can’t really make just one clear prediction on this one! As with the WWE championship match, I see a very small chance that WWE could screw up the outcome of this battle royale. If John Cena wins, he could face the Rock at WM. Undertaker wins, he can face Punk. Rock wins (could enter if he doesn’t win the title match), goes on to face Punk again or Taker. Sheamus wins, repeat of last year. Orton wins, he can finally turn heel and face ADR if he manages to retain. Ryback wins, could go for either title. But the outcome I’m going with: Ziggler wins, he has two guaranteed world title matches. Maybe he’ll win both world titles at WrestleMania? He has too much momentum lately for me to think otherwise.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Surprise entry picks: John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, Rey Mysterio, the Shield, Brock Lesnar
Parker: Now the biggest match of the year is upon us again! And this year there are so many possibilities of who can win the rumble; Sheamus, Orton, Cena, Ziggler, Ryback, Barrett, I can go on and on. Also Shelton Benjamin and John Morrison are set to make their “surprise” returns during this match. At the moment there are 23 confirmed WWE superstars entering the rumble, leaving 7 more including Benjamin & Morrison to make surprise appearances. I’m expecting Billy Gunn and Road Dogg to be 2 of those guys, leaving 3 more surprise entrants. At this stage WWE has rumored Undertaker to make an appearance (but I haven’t heard any confirmation) and they have ruled out Ric Flair (I think). Triple H and Brock Lesnar might make returns to renew their rivalry from Summerslam but I haven’t heard anything about that either. I was hoping Chris Jericho would make his return but it doesn’t look like that will happen with Jericho saying a return is not likely on Twitter, but Jericho always says stuff like that so you never know with him. Now to my prediction: John Cena is the obvious choice if Cena/Rock II is going to happen at WM, but WWE doesn’t like to be too predictable so I’m ruling him out. Sheamus is another favorite with talks of him winning 2 years in a row and setting up a Sheamus/Orton match for the World Title at WM, but I don’t think WWE will go in that direction for the World Title. My prediction is Wade Barrett, if WWE wants to have the underdog to win the rumble this year Barrett is the perfect guy. WWE has been very high on Barrett for the last couple of years and winning the Royal Rumble is the perfect way to elevate him to main event status.
Confidence Points: 1
Look out for: The Shield
Thunder: I expect a few things to happen without question in this year’s Rumble match. First, I expect Kane or Dbry to toss the other and start the breakup of their tag team(I’d prefer Dbry win the Rumble but I don’t see it happening). Second, I expect the Shield to cost Ryback the Rumble match. Third, I expect Sheamus and Randy Orton’s rivalry to escalate because of their interaction in this match. What I would like to see here is someone come from out of nowhere and win the Rumble. I’d be happy with Ziggler winning it, and I’d even be happy if WWE booked a guy like Heath Slater(adding to the kayfabe that ANYBODY can win the Rumble) or even Damien Sandow to get the win. I don’t expect Zack Ryder to be in this year’s Rumble, but if he does then I’m betting he gets tossed in less than two minutes. I want to predict that CM Punk will enter and win the match after losing the WWE Championship, but WWE has never pulled such a stunt before. I’m going to predict the obvious outcome of John Cena getting his second Royal Rumble victory instead. Confidence Points: 2
Final Thoughts: The show has been built well. The hype hasn’t been overly significant on WWE’s part, but I expect the card to deliver and for anyone who pays for the show to be satisfied with their purchase. The Road to WrestleMania is here, and this Rumble marks the start of what something that I expect to be very special! Thanks for reading!