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TNA Wrestling returns to pay-per-view wit Lockdown on Sunday night. In a return to the company's previous form, this year's entire card will be held inside of a steel cage. The event is held in Miami, Florida. Despite that, I do not expect The Rock to make a surprise appearance.
That's not one of my 5 bold predictions—that one's free!
Read on for my bold predictions, along with real predictions at the end...
Samoa Joe Becomes World Champion When EC3 Turns Face
Yeah, I'm swingin' for the fences with this one! But it actually makes some semblance of sense...
Magnus is the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, hand-picked by Dixie Carter. Magnus has also been talking down to Ethan Carter III, better known as EC3. Dixie Carter is better known to EC3 as Aunt D, as she's his storyline aunt.
Basically, Dixie has been favoring her boy toy champion (now THAT'S an angle TNA should run!) over her family—and that can't sit well with Ethan. Ethan, by the way, is now without a match as Kurt Angle is out of Lockdown. Instead of giving him a new match, TNA can insert him into the world title contest...as the special guest referee. Carter can refuse to help Magnus win, instead calling the match down the middle. Magnus would finally be fed up and push Ethan, leading to a shove or strike of some kind that sets up a Samoa Joe victory.
What would you do with these guys next? With Slammiversary looming in June, the company could have Kurt Angle back in time for a reprisal of his feud with Samoa Joe—this time over Joe's World Championship. Magnus would then move into the obvious feud with EC3.
Austin Aries Turns—Yet Again?
Austin Aries revealed his true allegiance on Impact Wrestling ten days ago—or did he?
Aries was the special guest referee of a match between MVP and Bobby Roode, a match Aries found his way into as he wanted to gain MVP's trust while picking sides for Lockdown.
But what if Aries' mind had already been made up? And what if that choice was actually MVP?
It makes sense to me. Aries joins Team Roode, but is in reality a face supporting Team MVP. This gives MVP a 5-3 advantage (and two out of those three are Robbie E and Jesse Godderz!). This isn't cheating for MVP, it's strategy—and fighting fire with fire. It would also make for a great swerve, and you know TNA loves swerves!
The Great Muta, Seiya Senada & Nakanoue vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin Steals The Show
This has all the makings of a Match of the Night. Muta still has it. Senada is young and hungry, and likely sticking around in the X-Division. Yasufumi Nakanoue is a very talented and exciting wrestler. And The Great Muta is a legend, one that can still hang with the younger guys.
Then you have two of the most talented grapplers in the world in Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian being joined by Chris Sabin, another talented wrestler who can tear it up at any time in the ring.
This match is the perfect blend of talent, legend and spectacle. It will deliver big time.
Tigre Uno Will Reignite The X-Division
The X-Division was once the thing that made TNA different, made it a true alternative. Now it's merely an afterthought, with title changes happening for no reason and no build around the division.
With the return of Manik and (rumored return of) Kenny King, plus the debuts of Seiya Senada and Tigre Uno, the division is on the road to recovery. It can't be a four person division, but the likes of Austin Aries (likely outgrowing the division again), Chris Sabin, Eric Young, and even Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian can be rotated in and out of the division at will. Robbie E's been there, and there is a ton of indy talent that TNA could look to. Plus, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards could really step things up in the division if TNA sent them there.
TNA has a great opportunity with the X-Division, and Uno vs. Manik should kick that off.
Christy Hemme Helps Samuel Shaw Beat Mr. Anderson
What can I say about Samuel Shaw. Last June he lost the Bound For Glory Series qualifying match to Jay Bradley and disappeared. Now Bradley is gone from the company and Shaw remains the lone Gut Check winner still with the promotion. On top of that, Shaw is doing exactly what he has to do—taking what he's been given and making the most of it. This is what a true superstar does, and you can't teach it. Either you have it or you don't, and he has it. Mr. Anderson never gets the credit he deserves. He's done great things in TNA lately, and if TNA wants to elevate Shaw than he's the man for the job.
When I look at the Christy Hemme situation, I really feel like she's gonna fall for the guy. While Shaw's character suffers from a serious case of erotomania, Hemme could be much more than a ring announcer. I know many see the Shaw character and wonder how they'll eventually get out of the corner they've booked themselves in—this is the way. Hemme helps Shaw win, and even Shaw himself is shocked. He then evolves into a brutal assassin in the ring, celebrating with his prized possession in Hemme. There are so many directions you can go with it, and it has much more potential than Shaw being "creepy stalker guy."
A card loaded with potential, it'll be interesting to see how TNA Lockdown fares. I have high hopes for this show.
Full, and Real, Predictions:
-- TNA World Championship: Magnus (champion) retains over Samoa Joe
-- Lethal Lockdown: Team MVP over Team Dixie
-- TNA Knockouts Championship: Madison Rayne (champion) retains over Gail Kim
-- Gunner defeats James Storm
-- The Great Muta, Seiya Senada & Nakanoue over Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin
-- Samuel Shaw over Mr. Anderson
-- Tigre Uno over Manik
-- Kurt Angle's replacement Bully Ray over Ethan Carter III
All matches held inside a steel cage.
"Rumor on Concern in WWE with Triple H Taking Over for Vince McMahon"
There's a "rumor" from a "source" being "reported" by The Wrestling Observer that there is "concern" in the WWE about Triple H holding down the fort after Vince McMahon steps down. And I quote...
F4WOnline reports that many within the WWE were surprised when Triple H used the term "hijack" on TV because Vince McMahon would "never" have used that term on air, especially after it was being used all over the internet going into this week's edition of Raw in Chicago. According to a source in WWE, the biggest concern of Vince McMahon stepping down and Triple H taking over is that Triple H would let the internet "get to him."
Here's the thing: I don't believe for a second that Dave Meltzer has a source telling him this. That part is total bullshit. But I do believe this bit of speculation is 100% right. This is exactly what Trips would do.
Davey Richards Discusses Not Being on Good Terms with Ring of Honor, His WWE Tryout, Going to TNA, and More
Davey Richards buries everyone in Ring of Honor not named Jeff Jones, basically at the first opportunity given. He states that Hunter "Delirious" Johnston "inadequate at his job and he got his job more for being spineless than being talented." Oh, "And the owner (Joe Koff) is even worse, he could care less about wrestling. He just wants to do television."
Umm, Delirious has ROH on a roll right now. Every ROH booker has had their ups and downs, from Gabe Sapolsky to Adam Pearce to Delirious. And Joe Koff? He works for Sinclair, television is his job!
We are fast approaching WrestleMania XXX, which means we're about to increase our speed down the Road To WrestleMania. With only two official matches announced, more is obviously coming. I'm sure it starts this Monday, on Raw.
One of the most fun parts of this road is predicting the card. I actually start in the fall, but I'm stupid like that! It's way easier now, but still just as much fun.
I am not building the card *I* want to see. I am predicting the card based on the events the WWE is putting on television. Yes, I am trying to make the most with what they've done, but I am not going to do anything crazy like change a major storyline or bring back someone who is obviously not coming back.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (champion) vs. Batista
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
These two matches are set, and as much as the Internet Wrestling Community wants to see it, the world title match isn't likely to change. The only way that happens is is CM Punk has a change of heart—and I don't see him doing that. Undertaker vs. Lesnar has a ton of potential, and I'm excited to see it.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
It'd be irresponsible for me to not predict these matches. They're obviously happening. And they should.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt is a fresh feud, and the only drawback is the fear that Cena will go over in strong fashion. What needs to happen is either a) a Bray Wyatt win, or b) a disqualification loss for Wyatt. The end result needs to depend on him, not Cena.
Regardless of rumor or even the WWE's own intentions, they've been building to Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H at WrestleMania since August when Triple H didn't want Bryan to win the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. The title has been but a prop in this feud, and if CM Punk's walking out is the reason we have this match then I'm glad Punk walked. Ideally this match would go on last, ending with 70,000+ chanting "YES!" after Bryan overcomes Kane, Stephanie and a Sledgehammer to beat HHH clean.
Sheamus vs. Christian
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger
Based on the events of the past Raw and Smackdown alone, these matches seem likely. Christian is the forgotten beneficiary of Punk's walk-out, and he is making the most of it. Dare I say that he's doing some of his best work since the Elimination Chamber build, and he and Sheamus have great chemistry. This seems like the perfect opener to WrestleMania 30.
Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio had what seemed like a one-off on Monday's Raw, having more to do with Aaron Paul than anything else. But then the WWE continued it on Smackdown, with Del Rio distracting Ziggler on from atop the announce table in the same manner that Paul had done to "Alberto of the River" on Raw. I don't see them getting a ton of time on the big stage, but it's nice to see both men on the card. I could also see this one happening on the Kickoff Show.
Cesaro and Jack Swagger just can't coexist much longer, and they're likely dance partners at WrestleMania. I'd like to see Cesaro in a bigger match, but I'd be violating my own rules if I did that. This makes sense based on all of their tension, and should happen. Thanks to the random involvement of Big E in their dissension, I could see Cesaro beating Swagger on a Raw before ‘Mania to earn a shot at Big E's Intercontinental Championship in New Orleans.
Hard To Tell
All seven matches listed above are singles encounters, which makes sense to me. The WWE is back to hating tag teams, and their two trios are hard to match-up with Wyatt facing Cena. Thus, we have a list of talent that needs some direction.
The Shield – WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
The Shield seems headed for a break-up, despite their (sort of) show of solidarity on Smackdown. I'd argue that was more for Rollins' character development than anything else, however. If they go with a Shield Triple Threat, I have no doubts the group could tear the house down. But there is another option...
WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy & Jey Uso
WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E
Outside of a rematch with The New Age Outlaws, these the Usos won't have much going on. Many of their potential opponents are broken up or otherwise occupied, even though a match with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan could work. The WWE doesn't usually have people work twice at ‘Mania (despite a few occurrences), and I expect Harper & Rowan to make an appearance during the Cena-Wyatt showdown.
Big E literally has nothing going on. He and Cesaro could put on a great match, and Mark Henry would make a great opponent as well. You could always do a unification with Ambrose, but I don't see the benefit in it.
So what do you do???
The Shield vs. The Usos and Big E
WrestleMania, as Triple H reminded us on Raw, is the Showcase of the Immortals. I say you put these three in a six-man tag and let them tear the house down for a bit. It'd allow the company to put the final nail in the Shield's coffin on the biggest stage possible, and is a better showcase for all six of these guys than any other matches.
Other talent that could find their way onto the card:
Kane, Mark Henry, The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Curtis Axel & Ryback, Los Matadores (you know Vince wants that bull at WrestleMania!), Santino & Emma, Fandango & Summer Rae (she is on Total Divas, you know!), Divas Champion AJ Lee, The Bella Twins (consider their relationship status) and any combination of the Divas in general.
There is always talent left off of the card at WrestleMania, so I don't expect all of them to make the card. Some could be on the "expert panel," the WWE could extend the kick off show to 2 or three matches, or they could not be used at all.
Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam
The WWE knows they have tremendous name value in both men, and a WrestleMania match between them could kick all kinds of ass (we all saw that they did on Raw last year!). While it's yet another singles match, and it could cost someone else their spot, you can't argue with a history of success.
So there you have it—a look at what should, or could, be coming at us over the next few weeks as the WWE builds to their biggest event of the year, WrestleMania XXX!
A tradition started at the end of each point when I wrote The Wrestling 5&1, "You Decide!" is your chance to weigh in on a major question facing professional wrestling each week. Vote once per hour, and leave your opinions in the comments section!
Last week I asked who you thought has the biggest "arrival" at NXT ArRIVAL. Your answer? Ole!
While I didn't care to talk more about CM Punk and Monday's Raw, I do want to know, if after what we saw in Chicago, if and when you see Punk finding his way back to the WWE.
Voting closes Wednesday night!
In wrestling today, there is no show quite like Raw. Giving us moments and memories that we will cherish forever, and some we'd rather not ever recall again. This space is the chance to look back in time, each week, to a Raw memory.
We all remember the above referenced classic Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam showdown from 2013 on Raw. But that's obviously not the first time they've torn it up on Raw. I take you back nearly eleven years to October 27, 2003, where they fought not once but twice during Raw.
October 27, 2013
Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam
Have a match or a moment you'd like to see here?
Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
NWA World Women's Champion Barbi Hayden is back as your DeMarcette of the Week!
Did you know I was the first person she followed on Twitter? Yep. You can follow Barbi on Twitter at @barbihayden!
Sunday night Barbi joins us on The Greg DeMarco Show on the VOC Nation! We'll have Lockdown reaction and much more!
Please allow me to share these again, from last week:
Bonnie "Rain" Maxon, as you should know, is one of my favorite female competitors ever. She is the perfect combination of beauty, brains and in-ring skill. She was in a horrific car accident that's had her in the hospital for a two weeks now (since Valentine's Day).
You also might know that she's both a pro wrestler and someone starting a business—which means she doesn't exactly have health insurance! Those bills will mount up, and friends and family have started a Give Forward donation site. If you feel so moved, please contribute. They are half-way to the goal already:
Then we have the story of DeMarcette Allie Parker's brother, Ryan Kelso. Ryan has been battling Type 1 Diabetes for 20-years that caused blindness (which was corrected) and has now become Stage Renal Disease. Ryan is now in need of a kidney transplant, and this Give Forward site is to raise the $25,000 needed just to get on the list:
Life is short, people—make the most of it, and give back!
Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, drop a line in the comments, and until next time...