What do Austin Aries, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan have in common? All three either are currently or have been world champions for the two biggest promotions in wrestling today. The other thing they have in common. They were all in ROH before they were “made men” in WWE and TNA. Austin Aries will be the soul reason I tune into TNA for the first time in months. Side note I’m well aware it’s Impact Wrestling, I don’t care it’ll always be TNA to me just like as much as I love the show breaking bad Bryan Cranston will always be the dad from “Malcolm in the Middle” to me. Ring of Honor has been the AAA for WWE and TNA for years now. The place where potential becomes reality and veterans go for one more shot at getting exposure to get back on top. Great young talent continues to make its mark in ROH and many more will soon “make the jump”. Guys like Eddie Edwards will soon out grow ROH and go on to blossom or fail in TNA or WWE. The best part of ROH is it is the place that made people realize you can have a successful company built around smaller guys. Ten years ago Punk, Aries, and Bryan never sniffed world titles. It was never going to happen. Now, well the game has changed because of…you guessed it Benoit. His death made the WWE take drug use and steroids seriously. So seriously, that mega stars like Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio are no longer untouchable. Now I’m not saying what he did was good, dead God I would never say that. We all knew it would take a major event to fix this sport. Like baseball steroids are still a part of wrestling but I think they play a much smaller role than they did as little as a decade ago. I think this is a great new era. We are seeing where guys like Ziggler get a real shot and guys like Buff Bagwell are a thing of the past.
Now on to my picks for MITB this Sunday. I’m making these picks prior to reading spoilers for SmackDown so the picks are subject to change.
Tag team title match: Kofi Kingston and R-truth vs. Hunico and Camacho
Really? This is the WWE taking tag team wrestling seriously again? Kofi and R-Truth are good, but not great as a tag team. I personally think Kofi is being wasted in tag team Purgatory. Hunico and Camacho are nothing special as well. I personally would have preferred to see Darren Young and Titus O’Neil in this match. I enjoy that team, very old school tag wrestling.
Winner: Kofi and Truth and I’ll predict a 2.5 out of 5 star match.
Raw MITB Match: John Cena, Big slow(Show), Kane, and Jericho
Now last week lamented my disdain for this years Raw MITB match and it’s poorly chosen contestants. However, I’m still going to be fair in my analysis. Okay no I’m not this match will probably suck out loud. I predict a whole lot of Chris Jericho taking awesome bumps for the bigger guys and big show being the biggest liability in the match. He’s a downer, literally in this match. At this point in his career he doesn’t belong on ladder matches; especially one like this. MITB was made famous by risk takers like Shelton Benjamin and Jeff Hardy. Sorry Show this one isn’t for you.
Winner: John Cena and I’ll predict a 2 out of 5 star match. For the record I’ve never seen a MITB match that wasn’t at least 3.5 out of 5.
SmackDown MITB: Santino Marella, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Tensia, Damien Sandow, and Dolph Ziggler
Now this is a MITB lineup we’ve grown accustom to seeing. Tyson Kidd is my pick for “will do something insane to get noticed” Shelton Benjamin Award. Kidd has the talent and seems desperate to finally break out. He won’t win but we’ll be talking about him after the match. The rest of the lineup has the right blend of flyers, workers and veterans to make it great. The only weak link is Santino who will undoubtedly be annoying at some point in the match. Rhodes and Christian have a great in ring chemistry and I see those two being the final two on the ladder at the end reaching up for the briefcase.
Winner: Cody Rhodes I predict a 4 out of 5 star match
World Heavyweight Title Match: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
This match will be a physical one. Del Rio has found his inner mean streak needed to become a very good heel. Del Rio has been a bit of a let down for the WWE. He was expected to be the top heel by now and bring in more Latino viewers. Well through no fault his own he hasn’t been able to stay healthy long enough to become a top star. Every time he catches on and is making headway with the WWE Universe, he gets injured. Concussions, shoulder problems and other ailments have all hindered his assent. It’s tough to say whether the WWE wants to give him another run considering his past. It looks like they really want to give him the title and see what he can do with it for an extended run. The question is do they do it now, or do they wait a few injury free months? Also, do you take the belt off Sheamus who is making great strides as a baby face? These are the tough decisions that need to be made by WWE’s creative team.
Tough one but Sheamus will win and retains title. Seeing it as a 3 out of 5 star match.
WWE World Title Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan with AJ as a special guest referee.
Here it is the crowing jewel of nerd wrestling fans…again. Last, one on one match did not disappoint and I don’t expect this one to disappoint either. AJ has been fun to watch as she slips or skips if you will further into her own crazy screwed up world. I appreciate the work done by all three involved in the angle. Punk and Bryan will beat the holy hell out of each other and ultimately we’ll get a great match. The interesting twist will be AJ who I honestly can’t predict and outcome for. I think she’ll betray Punk but the character is just crazy enough that a winner might not be declared. This could easily drag into SummerSlam if she did something like that. I just don’t know how it’ll go down and that’s a very good thing. I have to make a pick though so….
Daniel Bryan wins with the help of AJ but don’t think I feel confident about this pick. It’ll be a 4.5 out of 5 star match
All right, that is all for this week folks, thank for reading. You can reach me to complain, praise, or whatever either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter via @JaredGebhardt.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt