Category Archives: “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?” Preview

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Survivor Series 2013

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It’s Survivor Series Sunday, which means it’s time for us to ask: “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”.  And, because we love you, you’ll also be getting a PPV Predictions episode of Headlock’d fresh from the oven this afternoon. All of this (for free!) before we drop our world famous Bang for Your Buck PPV review in your lap on Monday morning.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, follow us (or me) on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Now that we’ve gotten the shameless plugs out of the way, let’s figure out What’s the Worst That Could Happen tonight in Boston:

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston (Kickoff Match)

Best Case Scenario: The inevitable “You Wanna Know Why?” promo is short, the match is long enough to make both guys not look like, well, themselves. Miz  fakes an injury, then leaves  for six months to go shoot the direct-to-video sequel to the ABC Family Original movie The Christmas Bounty.

Worst Case Scenario: The E uses the Miz’s heel turn as an excuse to show literally dozens of clips from the ABC Family Original movie The Christmas Bounty during Miz TV, with a victory in this match as the starting off point of the “push”.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Not to be impossibly bored/angry I spent time watching something I didn’t pay  for that’s supposed  to be an advertisement for the something I did pay  for.

What Will Happen: Impossible boredom and anger.

Big E. Langston (C) vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship

Best Case Scenario: Curtis Axel actually looks like he deserved to be Intercontinental Champion for the past few months, but the rising star of Big  E. burns just a little too brightly for Curtis to overcome. Also, Big E. makes the ref count to five. That would be awesome.

Worst Case Scenario: Big E. or Curtis Axel get hurt. Any other scenario is fundamentally okay. Even Curtis getting the belt back.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Less Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man, more Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage.

What Will Happen: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude

Total Divas vs. The Non-Total Divas in a “Traditional” 7-on-7 Survivor Series Match

Best Case Scenario: The heels sweep, Kaitlyn stabs AJ. All of this happens in under five minutes. 

Worst Case Scenario: The faces win decisively in a half-hour match consisting entirely of butts-to-the-face and poorly executed snapmares.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Anything interesting at all the entire match.

What Will Happen: Nothing interesting. At all. The entire match.

Rhodes Brothers, Usos and Rey vs. The Real Shield Americans in a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Match

Best Case Scenario: All the members of both teams each get a spotlight in the match, which eats up the middle hour of the show, Usos turn heel on Rhodes Brothers, starting the second best feud ever. The Real Americans  turn on the Shield, starting the best feud ever.

Worst Case Scenario: Rey Mysterio wrestles the entire match, not tagging anyone in the entire time, 619’s the entire heel team at once before pinning them all simultaneously.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match half as good as the main event from this week’s Raw.

What Will Happen: The heels win, because of dissension from the face team. Rey Mysterio gets speared in half.

 John Cena (C) vs. Alberto del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship

Best Case Scenario: The crowd  in Boston actually gets into a match with their “hometown” hero, John Cena. Alberto del Rio cleanly beats Cena, but after knocking out the referee as part of getting Cena in the position to lose, is then given an AA so powerful it A) looks like it might actually hurt instead of feeling like your being thrown around in a pool and B) allows Ricardo to come out and “take advantage” of del Rio, setting up an AWESOME match next month at TLC.

Worst Case Scenario: Del Rio is given an AA so powerful it A) looks like it might actually hurt and B) finishes the match in five minutes, followed by John Cena giving a 20-minute speech to the crowd where he changes his voice to sound like he’s from Southie.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A main event quality match, even if it’s going to be a Raw-quality finish.

What Will Happen: Cena will overcome impossible odds and beat Alberto del Rio with one arm. The injured one.

CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

Best Case Scenario: Mega Power seeds are planted between Bryan and Punk, who narrowly defeat the Dueling Banjos Band after a miscommunication nearly costs them the match.

Worst Case Scenario: This match gets shortened because the Diva’s Match ran long.

What Nick Wants to Happen: The Beard and the Best to take an epic shitkicking, but like Bret Hart and Timex before them, manage to take a licking and keep on ticking.

What Will Happen: Probably something close to what I want to happen. I’m special and Vince McMahon loves me.

Randy Orton (C) vs. Big Show for the WWE Title

Best Case Scenario: Randy Orton pulls out all the sto(m)ps as he reverts completely back into his serial killer/Legacy period. Triple H doesn’t come down to ringside, and nobody cheats.

Worst Case Scenario: Everyone cheats.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match with a clean finish where Randy Orton wins, since the storyline implications in this match otherwise are either silly or super depressing, depending on how you look at it.

What Will Happen: Orton retains. Probably with help from Kane and Brad Maddox.

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What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Impact Wrestling, 11/21

This week, TNA presents their “Turning Point” event in lieu of a regular episode of Impact Wrestling. Turning Point represents TNA’s return to Universal Studios, where they will tape two episodes of Impact over the weekend. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:

Turning Point

TNA Says:

The main event of Thursday’s “Turning Point” broadcast will feature Mr. Anderson battling Bully Ray of The Aces and Eights! If Anderson wins, the Aces and Eights must disband forever! If Bully Ray wins, Anderson is GONE from TNA! Can Anderson get the ultimate revenge on his former Aces boss – or will he be off the roster after Thursday night? Don’t miss it!

Best Case Scenario: Anderson wins clean, Aces & Eights are done, and TNA can officially put this angle behind them.

Worst Case Scenario: This clunky, long match culminates in an a moronic super spot that leads to a non-finish, writing both men out as “injured.” Both the Aces & Eights breakup stip and the loser leaves town stip are rendered meaningless and never spoken of again.

Dave Says: I can’t help but feel that this revenge/delayed gratification storyline for Anderson has been too, well, delayed. It feels like he should have kicked Ray’s ass and ended this a month ago. Instead, TNA stuck to their time-tested (albeit unsuccessful) strategy of stacking the odds impossibly against the babyface and making the heels look unbeatable through long beatdowns. The elephant in the room? Aces & Eights are far too depleted and irrelevant to successfully generate the heat that this angle is supposed to have.

***

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TNA Says:

Also at “Turning Point” the ongoing World Heavyweight Championship Tournament continues with TWO huge matches:

  1. In a Falls Count Anywhere Match, former Main Event Mafia members collide as it will be Magnus taking on Samoa Joe, with the winner advancing in the tourney!

  2. In the second tournament bout, “Cowboy” James Storm and Bobby Roode reignite their feud in a Bullrope Match!

Best Case Scenario:

  1. Joe and Magnus do the exciting, hard-working version of FCA, not the lazy, played-out version of FCA. After a long back-and-forth match, Magnus gives Joe his Michinoku Driver on the stage for the clean pin.
  2. Storm and Roode channel their long history together into another physical, personal-feeling match. Each man takes a big beating, both from their opponent and the bullrope. In the end, Roode is victorious, but because he out-wrestles Storm, not because of any EGO interference B.S. or that stupid finish from every bullrope/strap match ever.

Worst Case Scenario:

  1. Walking brawl/prop weapon clustermess.
  2. The ten-thousandth match in which Bobby Roode outsmarts James Storm and hits him with his own beer bottle.

Dave Says: If TNA can resist horrifically over-booking these matches (which is a big “if”), these could both be spectacular contests. Both matches have natural heat, as they feature well-established stars with tons of history. If TNA didn’t insist on presenting the Bully Ray vs. Anderson blowoff in the main event spot, either of these matches could easily carry the show.

***

TNA Says:

In addition this Thursday at 9/8c on SpikeTV: Joseph Park has challenged his brother Abyss to fight him in a match! Yes, you read that correctly! Has Joseph Park completely lost his mind? Will Abyss show up? Tune in and find out what will happen!

Best Case Scenario: Uhh… I mean, I think the Best Case Scenario is that the show is running long because of all the great wrestling and this gets cut.

Worst Case Scenario: Joseph Park comes out to fight Abyss. Abyss’ music plays revealing… Abyss being played by a developmental wrestler. “Abyss” beats Joseph Park in an unspeakably sloppy match, then cribs a page from the Undertaker’s book by throwing Park through the ring and “sending him to hell” with exploding fire and everything.

Dave Says: Boy, this is a peanut butter and fart sandwich if ever I’ve seen one… I can’t tell who I hate the most at this point: Abyss, Joseph Park, or the people who booked this.

***

TNA Says:

Plus, TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim continues her Open Challenge! Who will answer the call to face Gail this week? With Gail backed up by the juggernaut Lei’D Tapa, is there any woman wrestler who can beat Gail Kim?

Best Case Scenario: A fresh face challenges Kim, has a good match, and looks close to victory when a distraction by Lei’D Tapa allows the champion to score a quick, cheap win. Whoever the challenger is sticks around in TNA as a new babyface to fill out the anemic Knockouts roster.

Worst Case Scenario: Two words: Candice Michelle. Or, two words: Ashley Massaro. Or, two words: Reby Sky. Or, two words: Nicole Bass.

Dave Says: The open challenge is an effective way to show how dominant Gail Kim is, but in the long run, the title will eventually become completely meaningless if there isn’t a roster of well-established, over Knockouts competing for it. The challenge is a good way to fill out cards and take a look at new talent, but if TNA thinks they can do this for a year in lieu of actually hiring anybody full-time, then they might as well just forget about anybody caring about the Knockouts Title.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Impact Wrestling, 11/7

This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling will have former champions. Okay, one former champion. Technically. Okay. It’s Adam “Pacman” Jones. We’re sorry. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:

#IMPACT365: Adam "Pacman" Jones returns to IMPACT on Thursday 9/8c on SpikeTV

TNA Says,

NFL Cincinnati Bengals star and former TNA World Tag Team Champion, Adam “Pacman” Jones will return to make an appearance on Thursday’s IMPACT!

Best Case Scenario: Pacman cuts a babyface promo putting over TNA, only to be interrupted by Bully Ray. Pacman, however, stands up to Ray’s bullying and looks poised to fight him before Mr. Anderson runs to the ring and gets involved. Ray bumps for Anderson before Pacman hits some kind of “won’t-void-his-NFL-contract” move on a prone Ray (I dunno, maybe a stomp, or something?).

Worst Case Scenario: Pacman cuts a babyface promo putting over TNA, only to be interrupted by “Bully” Incognito, who berates him with racial slurs and threatens to *expletive deleted* in his mouth.

Dave Says: I’m trying to think of something harder to get excited about than this… but I can’t. This just seems like a cheap pop opportunity (a cheap popportunity: trademark it!) for the Cincinnati crowd/a desperate attempt for TNA to attract some mainstream sports media attention. (P.S. This is extra weird because both members of “Team Pacman” [R-Truth and Consequences Creed] are now in the WWE.)

***

TONIGHT on IMPACT LIVE from Cincinnati: World Title Tournament - Sabin vs. Hardy | Plus, Adam Pacman Jones

TNA Says,

The World Heavyweight Championship Tournament to crown a new titleholder starts on Thursday’s IMPACT, with “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy battling X Division Champion Chris Sabin! Based on TNA President Dixie Carter’s “Wheel Of Dixie” selection, this bout will be a Full Metal Mayhem Match where anything goes! Who will advance in the tournament – Hardy or Sabin? Don’t miss the huge IMPACT main event!

Best Case Scenario: A long, strong, athletic match that both elevates the profile of Sabin’s X Division Title and emphasizes the prestige of the World Heavyweight Title for which they are competing. In the end, Jeff Hardy gives Sabin his Twist of Fate off the ladder, nails a Swanton Bomb, and gets the win.

Worst Case Scenario: These two have a sub-fifteen-minute match that’s straight out of the year 2002. Ladder spots replace actual storytelling and each man takes ten thousand bumps, only to stand right up and set up the next spot. In the end, Jeff Hardy is distracted by the ample gazongas of Velvet Sky, allowing Sabin to pick up a sneaky victory.

Dave Says: TNA actually did a solid job building towards this match with the finish at Bound For Glory, but what are the odds they’ll show/explain that to people? 12:1.

***

TNA Says,

Also on Thursday, “The Icon” Sting has announced a “State Of The Main Event Mafia” address with the other members of the alliance. The past, present and future of the Mafia will be on the agenda – including their war against the Aces and Eights and the recent battles between Sting and Magnus!

Best Case Scenario: Sting says that The Main Event Mafia is lost and offers an olive branch to Magnus, saying that his fiery young leadership is what The Mafia needs to destroy Aces & EIghts once and for all. Magnus spurns Sting, however, saying that The Mafia never did anything for him and officially resigns his place in the group to the shock of the other mafiosi (but not any fans who have actually been watching this unfold).

Worst Case Scenario: Sting dissolves The Mafia, stating that the group is a total failure because they can’t even keep their own young lion in check. He calls out Kurt Angle for not being a better mentor to Magnus. In his anger, Angle delivers an Olympic Slam to Sting, followed by another protracted period of laying on the ground, fingers wiggling, selling a spinal injury.

Dave Says: Somehow over the past two weeks I had blissfully forgotten these two stables existed. The faster TNA can resolve this without just hastily sweeping it under the rug, the better.

If the Main Event Mafia is going to continue existing, it needs to morph into a group of well-established babyfaces that Sting runs up against rising heel star Magnus. What’s that, you say? The babyface stable taking runs at the heel is the opposite of the classic wrestling formula? Well, I know, but that hasn’t stopped TNA before!

***

TNA Says,

There will be a medical update on the condition of Kurt Angle after what happened this past week on IMPACT!

Best Case Scenario: Kurt Angle is fine and this whole stupid storyline ends.

Worst Case Scenario: In his solemnest fake solemn voice, Mike Tenay announces that Kurt Angle died in the hospital following his match with Bobby Roode. This leads to a storyline that sees Angle rise from the dead several months down the line, appear to The Main Event Mafia in a locked room, and eventually ascend into Heaven at the right hand of The Father.

Dave Says: This angle (ha, get it?) makes me queasy. As I touched on in my +/- review of last week’s Halloween show, TNA is setting themselves up to look really, really bad if something does happen to Kurt Angle in the near future.

***

TNA Says,

In Knockouts action, there will be a #1 Contenders match on IMPACT with Brooke Tessmacher vs. ODB vs. Velvet Sky! Who will earn a Knockouts Championship shot against reigning titleholder Gail Kim?

Best Case Scenario: Before the match, Brooke Tessmacher breaks up with Bully Ray in a backstage segment because, go figure, she doesn’t appreciate being led around on a leash like a dog. The freshly-minted babyface then wins clean when she hits her finisher on Velvet Sky.

Worst Case Scenario: Lei’D Tapa interferes in the match, destroying everybody and leading to a non-finish. Even odds on this, unfortunately.

Dave Says: I think there has to be a face turn here for Tessmacher. TNA has invested too much in Chris Sabin’s heel turn to have his girlfriend play some bizarro-world Miss Elizabeth ripoff, and Impact has proven over the last few weeks that ODB has no shot at winning the title from Gail/Tapa.

***

TNA Says,

Also on Thursday’s IMPACT: After being arrested twice, will Mr. Anderson again defy authority and continue his assault against The Aces and Eights?

Best Case Scenario: Mr. Anderson “again def[ies] authority and continue[s] his assault against The Aces and Eights.” See the best case scenario of the Pacman Jones segment above.

Worst Case Scenario: Mr. Anderson chooses not to “again defy authority and continue his assault against The Aces and Eights.” Instead, he sits at home and watches reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Dave Says: Can we please stop with the word “arrested?” He was removed from the building by security — that’s plenty rebellious.

***

TNA Says,

Plus, after his return on Halloween, will “The Monster” Abyss continue his path of destruction? All this and much more on Thursday’s LIVE IMPACT from Cincinnati on SpikeTV at 9/8c!

Best Case Scenario: James Mitchell (or some other manager) redebuts, declaring himself to be the voice of Abyss’ mission against the heels within TNA. Mitchell clearly explains where Abyss has been, why he came back, and what his goals are.

Worst Case Scenario: Abyss is granted an official handicap match against Bad Influence, who he squashes in two minutes.

Dave Says: Every week TNA spends trying to make fans care about Abyss is a waste of time, energy, and money. Abyss has his hardcore following (pun intended), but too much damage has been done to his character over the last five years for him to ever be a marketable star.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Impact Wrestling, 10/31

This week’s Halloween edition of Impact Wrestling will try to answer the terrifying question of how you can have a professional wrestling league without a champion. Universal Studios’ monsters Abyss and Lei’D Tapa will appear alongside the spookiest witch of them all, Dixie Carter. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments: 

IMPACT Preview: Tonight's Halloween Broadcast | Angle vs. Roode | Will Abyss Return?

TNA Says:

Thursday’s HALLOWEEN IMPACT will feature a HUGE “Bound For Glory” rematch as Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle once again battles his nemesis and EGO Hall of Famer, Bobby Roode! After their epic war at “Bound For Glory” and confrontation on IMPACT, can Angle finally get payback against Roode?

Best Case Scenario: These two have a strong TV match while still managing to make the audience who paid for Bound For Glory feel like they saw something more special than what’s presented on Impact for free. Angle wins clean, setting up a big rubber match between the two.

Worst Case Scenario: Botched interference by EGO leads to a less-than-clean win for Kurt Angle who breaks his freakin’ neck on a poorly-executed schoolboy pin.

Dave Says: It feels like only two weeks ago I paid for a show where this was the only good match. Oh, yeah — that’s because two weeks ago I did pay for a show where this was the only good match. It’s a positive that TNA understands that Roode vs. Angle is one of the best things they can present  (especially with A.J. Styles temporarily off TV), but it’s a decided negative that they aren’t building a better angle (no pun intended) around this. Their rivalry is about honor and ability and who’s the better man — all the things wrestling is supposed to be about — but some of the execution has made the whole thing feel cheap and sloppily thrown together.

***

Video: TNA President Dixie Carter announces the fate of AJ Styles and the World Heavyweight Championship

TNA Says:

What’s next in the ongoing situation involving World Heavyweight Champion “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles and TNA President Dixie Carter? Styles shocked the wrestling world this past week and left IMPACT with the World Heavyweight Championship without signing a new contract! How will Dixie Carter respond this Thursday on Impact?

Best Case Scenario: Styles appears “via satellite,” holding up the belt and telling Dixie that he’ll let her see it in person again when the time is right. She flips out, saying she’s going to strip him, but he only laughs in her face, saying that everybody knows who the TNA World Heavyweight Champion is, and she can’t take it away from him.

Worst Case Scenario: Fans don’t receive any word at all from Styles, with only Mike Tenay doing his classic/hackneyed “What’s going on with ________? We haven’t even heard from _________” routine. Dixie gloats about chasing A.J. Styles out of the territory and goes on to appoint her nephew Ethan Carter III new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

Dave Says: Goodness, is this really TNA’s top angle? It’s understandable that A.J. Styles would feel betrayed by Dixie Carter, but how is leaving the territory with the World Title the act of a hero? A strong, rebellious babyface stays and fights the rot from inside (see: Steve Austin, C.M. Punk); he doesn’t run away, flipping everybody off on the way out (uhhh… see: #ShawnMichaelsWeek).

***

TNA Says:

On the special Halloween IMPACT, ODB gets her rematch for the Knockouts Championship as she battles new titleholder Gail Kim! However, can ODB find a way to counter Gail’s newest associate, the juggernaut Lei’d Tapa?

Best Case Scenario: (I’m usually against rapid title changes, but…) ODB wins the Knockouts Title back, shocking Gail Kim with a roll-up and ensuring that there is at least one babyface champion in the absence of A.J. Styles.

Worst Case Scenario: ODB has Gail Kim in jeopardy when Lei’D Tapa enters the ring right in front of the referee and interferes, causing a disqualification. Kim and Tapa go on an extended beatdown of ODB, which no other babyface Knockouts come to the ring to break up because, well, there are no other babyface Knockouts.

Dave Says: It’s mind-boggling how far the Knockouts division has fallen since Slammiversary. Only four months ago, TNA had Mickie James putting in one of the best performances of anybody in wrestling, Gail Kim as a credible top heel, and Taryn Terrell looking like the next top babyface. Contract negotiations and a pregnancy later, we have Lei’D Tapa playing Diesel to Gail Kim’s watered-down Shawn Michaels.

***

TNA Says:

The Tag Team Titles will be on the line as the new champions The Bromans defend their gold against the former champions, James Storm and Gunner.

Best Case Scenario: The Bromans (What happened to the capital M? The way it’s written now, it looks like it should be pronounced rhyming with “Romans.”) assert themselves as strong heel champions, pinning Gunner following their Hart Attack clothesline. While there are aggravating heel shenanigans throughout the match, the finish itself is clean.

Worst Case Scenario: Mr. Olympia returns and helps The Bromans by interfering. He knocks down James Storm with a sloppy clothesline, tearing his own tricep off the bone and breaking Storm’s neck in the process.

Dave Says: GunStorm are so ice cold and dull as an act that it feels like The Bromans need to move past them as quickly as possible. The problem, however, is that the “tag team division” beyond these two teams consists of Chavo & Hernandez (ice cold and directionless), Eric Young & Joseph Park (seemingly back-burnered with the return of Abyss), and Bad Influence (much better heels than the heel champions themselves). The division desperately needs a shakeup, whether it’s an infusion of new talent or an improbably hard face turn from Bad Influence.

***

IMPACT Preview: Thursday Halloween Broadcast | Angle vs. Roode | Will Abyss Return?

TNA Says:

Also on Thursday’s IMPACT, will “The Monster” Abyss make his return on HALLOWEEN NIGHT and unleash terror on Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and anyone else who might be in his path of destruction? Will TNA’s Masked Monster make his return on Halloween to get revenge? Don’t miss it!

Best Case Scenario: Abyss bounces around Kaz and Daniels, who fly all over the place selling for him. Abyss is reestablished as a wrestler to be reckoned with, not just an ultra-gimmicked guy who appears once every three months, bursts through the ring and takes a bump on thumbtacks.

Worst Case Scenario: Just as it looks like Abyss is going to get his revenge on Bad Influence, they chase him into an abandoned windmill wielding lit torches. Bad Influence cackle and dance as they set the mill ablaze, buring Abyss alive and turning him into (Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of The Week©) Kane.

Dave Says: So, I know that Mary Shelley intended the monster to be the babyface in Frankenstein, but this is just ridiculous. It’s beyond kitschy for a wrestling show, even one airing on October 31, to be built around whether or not a friendly monster is going to kill some evil villagers. Holiday special episodes are as stale and worn-out trope-filled as Abyss’ career.

Bang for Your Buck PPV Review: Hell in a Cell

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Hell in a Cell took place in Miami, and we got what we were expecting from this. And I mean that in every possible way.

For those who missed Dave’s Bound for  Glory review, the criteria for these is simply: “Did I get my money’s worth?” in terms of the individual matches and the PPV as a whole, using the tried and true “what was this trying to do, and how well did it succeed” rubric.

Each match is rated plus or minus on a sliding scale between 1 and -1, with matches worth multiple rewatches worth 1, a just-quite-PPV quality match being 0,  and things that make me reevaluate being a fan earning up to a -1 score. The higher the number, the better Bang For Your Buck on the PPV. We’ll (eventually) keep a running tally for each PPV, and a handy list of PPVs we review to give you (and us) a better idea of what we thought was worth the time to check out in terms of matches and PPVs. As for the scale, it’s not particularly complicated but here are the basic levels (on a per-match average):

Review Guide

Like always, we’re going to be using what I said during the What’s the Worst That Could Happen preview to see how close I was to “predicting” what unfolded, and how it stacked up to my best hopes and worst fears. Enjoy!

Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs.

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs. The Usos

For the WWE Tag Team Championships

What Nick Wants to Happen: More than 10 minutes of wrestling, the Usos to not be completely buried and the Rhodes boys to start a feud with the Wyatt Family after narrowly, but cleanly, defeating the Shield.

Man, if them Rhodes Boys continue to put on performances like this, that “Goldust getting a run with the WHC before giving it to Cody” might have more traction than we think. The Usos continue to be the most underrated THING in wrestling, and may have been the stars of this match. These are three of the more exciting WWE tag teams in a long, long, long time and this was the best possible way to open what should have been a super hot show (Spoiler Alert: it was not.) This also featured maybe the best “babyface in peril” work in recent memory from Dustin, Roman Reigns showing why he is a future World’s Champion and, seriously if Cody Rhodes isn’t buying Seth Rollins a six-pack after every time he sells the Cross Rhodes P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y, he’s a bad friend. I would pay to see matches like this until the day I die.

Match: 1.0

Summer Rae and Fandango vs.

Natalya and The Great Khali

Easily the most surprising match of the night, and not just because it was unannounced. Summer Rae continues to build on her EXCELLENT — genuine top of the card — work on NXT, and Fandango wrestling on/around Khali was as well done as anything this side of his SummerSlam match with Triple H. While this isn’t a match you’d show your friends to get them to want to watch more, being pleasantly surprised by a good match for a PPV you were tepid — at best– about is something really really nice that doesn’t happen often enough. Throw in some a few really nice spots between Summer and Nattie — including a really smooth bridge spot — along with Mrs. Tyson Kidd’s takedown of Fandango, and you have a match that far far exceeded expectations. And not just because there weren’t any.

Match: +.3 | PPV: 1.3

Big E. Langston vs. Dean Ambrose(c)

for the U.S. Title

This match happened as a result of “an injury to Curtis Axel”, though, considering that the match jumped from the Kickoff show  to the main show it seems like there was a logical reason behind the switch. You’d have to think that  logical reason was “we think that Dean Ambrose is better than Curtis Axel”.  And while they may not be totally right about that, this match did exactly what it was supposed to do: put Big E. Langston — who seems to be on his way to a biblical push — in the “Authority” storyline, allowing him to logically be in inevitable Survivor Series match. This match, while not anything to write home about — other than maybe that DISGUSTING cut on Big E.’s face/Dean’s chin — did exactly what it was supposed to do, and featured one truly fantastic spot: the spear through the ropes. All in all, a perfect spotlight for a guy with as bright a future as anyone in the business.

Match: +.3 | PPV: 1.6

CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman

(Handicap Hell in a Cell Match)

What Nick Wants to Happen: This feud to end.

Even getting what I wanted didn’t really help me much with this match. The crowd was deplorable the entire night, and this was easily the worst match from that perspective. And while this may have been one of Ryback’s best performances — in terms of fluidity of movement, telling a story and safety (see: the gentle but effective atomic drop onto the edge of the table) — CM Punk continues to look like he’s going through the motions until he could finally move on from this feud. He showed by far the most enthusiasm at the end, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. While not a bad match, let’s just say this won’t be going on either man’s Essential Viewing.

Match: +.5 | PPV: 2.1

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match that doesn’t feel like filler, people actually start to get into Los Matadores and Zeb chases El Torito around the ring while they play Benny Hill music over the PA.

A mehburger with a nice tall glass of lukewarm indifference, the WWE continues to squander perhaps the best natural talent since Brock Lesnar in Antonio Cesaro. The magic of Los Matadores entrance has wained, mostly because fans don’t really seem interested in it, which is a bummer. At least they went over?

Match: +.0 PPV: 2.1

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena

for the World Heavyweight Championship

What Will Happen: John Cena will win, Damien Sandow will cash in and lose.

Despite these two being probably my favorite performers in the company outside of Mark Henry (and maybe Sheamus), it’s clear that John was limited here, and while that  didn’t make the match unwatchable, it was not up to what these two are both capable of.  Which seems to be the theme of the night. But, even with that, this was a match John Cena fans will love (because he overcame the odds), Alberto del Rio fans (me) will enjoy because ADR looked way-better-than-good (which sometimes a problem in matches he loses) and sets up an actually interesting story for a title that needed  it.

Match: .65 | PPV: 2.75

AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella

for the Divas Championship

Best Case Scenario: AJ Lee wins clean, ends this never-ending feud so that they can finally bring up the extremely talented girls from NXT.

Brie continues  to get better and better, and it’s really great to see that even Nikki has begun to understand the difference between “performing” — playing yourself up to eleven (see: the Bellas reactions during the “pipe bombshell”) — and “being a performer”  — using your own personality to inform how your character would react in specific situations (Brie’s reaction to accidentally hitting Nikki). That this also likely ends what has been a somewhat enjoyable if needlessly long feud, allowing AJ to feud with (hopefully) the girls from NXT and Brie to feud with Nikki actually makes this as good a match as you could expect from this combination. Which is to say, a mediocre one.

Match: .3 | PPV: 3.05

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

for the WWE Championship (Hell in a Cell Match)

Worst Case Scenario: An actual screwjob.

What Will Happen: An actual screwjob. (For the fans, at least.)

An excellent, enjoyable match between the two best workers in the company right now. This feud — which, for those that complain about continuity and hot-shotting has been going on since Act III of the Team Hell No saga — continues to deliver in the ring from the beginning of the match until SOMEWHERE NEAR the end. I — and this entirely a personal preference — very much enjoy the chase they are making Daniel Bryan go through, but I totally understand why other people don’t, and I can totally see why people thought this botchy-mcbotched ending was not anyone’s idea of a good time. HAVING SAID THAT, I will be watching tomorrow to find out about the fallout from this, thought the work before the WCW-execution on what would have been a really GREAT ending was unsurprisingly amazing, and at the very least, finally gave us a champion. This could have been their best match, even the ending had been better, and while because of that it ended up being the worst out of the three, it is definitely definitely worth watching (especially before the ending).

Match: .75

Depending on how you felt about the ending of the DB/RKO match, this was a decent PPV, with better matches than Battleground, just less of them. This is something that would be a GREAT non-premium PPV once the network comes out,  but for now, this is a less than great buy.

PPV: 3.8 | Match Avg: .475 (.48 if you’re nasty)

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Hell in a Cell

poster

It’s a PPV weekend! We’ll have all your Hell in a Cell needs covered here at Juice Make Sugar. First, we ask What’s the Worst That Could Happen? in Miami on tonight, then, we’ll give you our world famous Bang for Your Buck PPV review on tomorrow morning.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, follow us (or me) on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Now that we’ve gotten the shameless plugs out of the way, let’s figure out What’s the Worst That Could Happen in Buffalo tonight:

Big E. Lanston vs. Curtis Axel (c)

for the Intercontinental Championship

(Kickoff Match)

Best Case Scenario: Big E. Langston wins the IC belt, then trades it in Destination X-style for a shot at the WWE championship: new WWE Champion Big E. Langston.

Worst Case Scenario: Curtis Axel and Big E. Langston recreate Goldberg-Lesnar match from WM XX AND Axel retains.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Big E. Langston to look every bit the top-of-the-card star he should end up being, Curtis Axel continues to prove his worth by putting over Langston proper.

What Will Happen: Big E. Langston wins, or Ryback screws him over so that Curtis can continue to accumulate losses under the golden protection of the 4th most important title being defended on this show.

AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella

for the Divas Championship

Best Case Scenario: AJ Lee wins clean, ends this never-ending feud so that they can finally bring up the extremely talented girls from NXT.

Worst Case Scenario: Brie and Nikki win using twin magic after the ref is replaced by the security guard from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

What Nick Wants to Happen: AJ Lee wins.

What Will Happen: Brie Bella wins.

Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs The Usos

for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Best Case Scenario: They block out a full hour for what should unequivocally be the best match of the night, Rhodes Boys win after every single person hit their finisher in order, with Cody finishing everything off with the CrossRhodes.

Worst Case Scenario: They cancel this match.

What Nick Wants to Happen: More than 10 minutes of wrestling, the Usos to not be completely buried and the Rhodes boys to start a feud with the Wyatt Family after narrowly, but cleanly, defeating the Shield.

What Will Happen: Rhodes boys beat the Usos following a Reigns Spear to save face for The Shield, extending the feud to  Survivor Series.

CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman

(Handicap Hell in a Cell Match)

Best Case Scenario: Paul Heyman and Ryback win, then Big E. comes out, brawling with Ryback, leading him away from the Cell as it lowers on Punk and Heyman.

Worst Case Scenario: CM Punk wins after giving Ryback and Heyman the GTS at the same time, Heyman manages to escape Cell, CM Punk Spears and then Jackhammers Ryback, immediately after starting a “Goldberg” chant.

What Nick Wants to Happen: This feud to end.

What Will Happen: This feud won’t end.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena

for the World Heavyweight Championship

Best Case Scenario: Alberto Del Rio manages to win after the excellent match both are capable of by getting Cena in the Cross Armbreaker. Accidentally rips off John’s arm, and while Cena has it reattached without issue, he is forced to actually stay out of action until the Royal Rumble.

Worst Case Scenario: Alberto Del Rio gets Cena in the Cross Armbreaker. Accidentally rips off John’s arm, which Cena reattaches by himself without issue, beats Del Rio with STF.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Alberto Del Rio manages to win after solid match by getting Cena in the Cross Armbreaker, accidentally rips off his arm, and while Cena has it reattached without issue, is forced to actually stay out of action until the Royal Rumble. Damien Sandow cashes in MitB briefcase.

What Will Happen: John Cena will win, Damien Sandow will cash in and lose.

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans

Best Case Scenario: Crowd actually gives a shit, Antonio Cesaro does Giant Swing with both Matadores at same time, spins so fast he is transported to Oz. Or, a better gimmick.

Worst Case Scenario: “U! S! A!” “U! S! A!”

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match that doesn’t feel like filler, people actually start to get into Los Matadores and Zeb chases El Torito around the ring while they play Benny Hill music over the PA.

What Will Happen: Too many people get way too into the “We the People” chant, Los Matadores lose because of interference from Zeb, El Torito gets last laugh.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

(WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match)

Best Case Scenario: A clean finish.

Worst Case Scenario: An actual screwjob.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A clean finish.

What Will Happen: An actual screwjob. (For the fans, at least.)

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Impact Wrestling, 10/24

Dixie

This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling will feature TNA’s immediate follow-up to their biggest show of the year, Bound For Glory. The centerpiece of the show will be the World Heavyweight Championship rematch between Bully Ray and new champ “The Phenomenal A.J. Styles.” Below is a rundown of all advertised segments.

TNA Says:

Huge News: Dixie Carter orders the AJ vs. Bully rematch for Thursday on IMPACT  Watch exclusive footage now – after Bound For Glory went off the air on Thursday night, TNA President Dixie Carter ordered that the World Heavyweight Title rematch between new titleholder AJ Styles and Bully Ray will take place LIVE this Thursday at 9/8c on SpikeTV from Salt Lake City!

Best Case Scenario: These two have a ten-minute match which A.J. wins clean to cement his status as a strong champion. Bully Ray is thoroughly disgraced, leading to the long-awaited dissolution of Aces & Eights and a temporary write-out for their former president.

Worst Case Scenario: After three ref bumps, four run-ins (including two by Dixie Carter), and a hammer shot, A.J. goes over Ray in the most convoluted possible manner, ensuring that (1) he has no babyface credibility as an honest, proud champion and (2) he and Ray will continue to feud.

Dave Says: As I said at the end of my Bound For Glory review , TNA needs to get their top title away from Bully Ray in the worst possible way. On one hand, scheduling the rematch for tonight gives hope that Styles will win so he can move onto feuding with other heels. On the other, this could just be a pretext to present something screwy in order to prolong the feud between Styles and Ray.

***

TNA Says:

Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle will appear on IMPACT LIVE to discuss what happened at Bound For Glory! After shocking the wrestling world and respectfully declining his HOF induction, and then his controversial loss to Bobby Roode in which he was injured, what is next for Kurt Angle? What is Angle’s condition after the match? He appeared to suffer an injury and was prone for several minutes, but climbed off the stretcher and walked out on his own power! What will Angle have to say to the fans on IMPACT?

Best Case Scenario: Angle does his “warrior” routine, saying that while he was injured at Bound For Glory, he couldn’t bear the idea of being stretchered out. He tells the crowd that his body just isn’t in a position to be the standard-setter he talked about being at BFG. He says that he is going to step away from TNA temporarily in order to train and become the greatest wrestler in the world once again. He sets his sights on A.J. Styles, saying that at the next pay per view in three months, the two of them will face off to see who is truly the best wrestler in the world.

Worst Case Scenario: Angle cuts some long, awkward worked-shoot promo about how people within TNA were trying to disgrace him at Bound For Glory because of their jealousy. He calls out none other than Jeff Jarrett, who he claims came up with that finish just to make him look bad. This tears the last thread of kayfabe, causing TNA to become Vince Russo’s ultimate wet dream: a soap opera about a professional wrestling company.

Dave Says: Angle’s abdication of his Hall of Fame spot and the finish to his match with Bobby Roode were, well, weird. The booking aspect of both of them was fine. It’s definitely not a good idea to celebrate the legacy of a guy with multiple recent DUI arrests, and it also makes sense to put a star in his prime over a fading one. However, the execution of both led to some really uncomfortable moments that destroyed the morale of the live crowd. Can TNA possibly present a follow-up that isn’t just uncomfortable? We’ll see…

***

TNA Says:

On Sunday night, Chris Sabin regained the X Division Championship in the Ultimate X Match! Now that Sabin is back on top of the X Division, what does he have planned next?

Best Case Scenario: Sabin comes out to cut a gloating victory promo when he is interrupted by “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy. Hardy says that he never understood how much he wanted the X Division Title until it was snatched away from him by Sabin and his dirty tricks. The two of them have a pull-apart brawl igniting a feud.

Worst Case Scenario: Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky do a cheap imitation of the “Live Sex Celebration”, leading to none other than Manik coming to the ring to break things up. Sabin and Manik engage in the most forgettable feud of 2013.

Dave Says: The Ultimate X match at Bound For Glory was a little anticlimactic, but it did get the title on the right person. Sabin has an array of interesting insta-feuds ready at this point, even if he doesn’t move past his opponents from the X match, Hardy, Joe and Aries. (Those were the only people in that match. Don’t argue.)

***

TNA Says:

Also on Sunday, new Tag Team Champions were crowned as The Bro Mans (along with their new Bro addition Mr. Olympia) captured the gold, plus Gail Kim regained the Knockouts Championship with a big assist by the juggernaut Lei’D Tapa! Now that Gail and Tapa have seemingly formed an alliance, can any Knockout stop them? Tune in to IMPACT for the latest on the new titleholders!

Best Case Scenario: The BroMans get themselves over through (imagine this) an actual match in which they cleanly defeat another team rather than some goofy, homoerotic backstage segment.

Gail Kim comes out and does her best Mickie James impression, and cuts an over-the-top promo about her own greatness and her unbeatable nature. She clearly establishes that with Tapa at her side, nobody will ever take the title away from her.

Worst Case Scenario: Since both divisions are so weak, the tag team and Knockout angles are combined, with The BroMans defending their titles against Kim and Tapa. The Knockouts win clean when Tapa powerbombs Jesse and screams, allowing Kim to pick up the win.

Dave Says: I don’t know if TNA thinks that bringing in Mr. Olympia will lead to some kind of crossover publicity, but the fact of the matter is that the last thing wrestling needs is a conspicuously gassed-up looking maniac standing next to champions. What year is this that someone in the writer’s room said, “You know what’ll get these guys over?! A bodybuilder!” Seriously, does Vince McMahon book TNA?

As for the Knockouts Division, Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa seem like a solid faction, but who on earth do they feud with? ODB? A face-turned Tessmacher? A returning Mickie James? There’s so little to hold onto in the Knockouts Division right now.

***

TNA Says:

Plus, where do “The Icon” Sting and Magnus stand after battling each other at Bound For Glory? Both superstars will be on Thursday’s broadcast!

Best Case Scenario: These two have a man-to-man face-off in the ring in which Sting calls out Magnus for being disrespectful. Magnus runs down Sting and the Main Event Mafia, explaining why they don’t deserve an ounce of respect from a winner like him since they all lost their matches at BFG. Sting gets heated and tries to teach Magnus a lesson, but the younger man quickly overcomes him, delivers a big beatdown, and stands victorious again over the fallen Stinger.

Worst Case Scenario: See the Kurt Angle Worst Case Scenario. A bunch of worked-shoot garbage about how Magnus “didn’t appreciate what Sting did for him.” Just when you think it’s a promo segment, in classic TNA fashion the bell rings, signifying the start of an impromptu match. Sting defeats Magnus cleanly in under three minutes “getting his win back” and ensuring that Magnus never gets over ever.

Dave Says: I think when people look back at Magnus vs. Sting from Bound For Glory they’ll find that the match was actually better than it seemed at the time. With that said, Magnus has some ‘splainin’ to do. When did he actually turn heel? Was it before the match? During the match? When he realized he’d won? The audience needs to be let into Magnus’ head to see his thought process in order for his new character to get over.