Monday, July 11, 2011

Punk's Last Stand: Preview & Picks

Excitement returns to pro wrestling this Sunday night. As the PG-era dimmed the fire of violence, passion, and originality, WWE's Money in the Bank has provided a light at the end of the tunnel. Not since Hulkamania, the Monday Night Wars, and ECW's One Night Stand have wrestling fans buzzed about a Pay-Per-View. I haven't ordered a WWE PPV aside from WrestleMania since No Mercy 2008. Ladies and gentlemen, the draught is over thanks to one messiah...C.M. Punk.

Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship
If only Karma could pop out her kid and prevent any more of these easy on the eyes divas from forcing eyesore matches on the fans. Kelly Kelly has been with the WWE since 2006. Aside from strip teasing without the strip and valeting Mike Knox, I can't tell you one thing that she has done in her five year career. Brie Bella is a twin. These two are supposedly "wrestling" for a belt with a butterfly on it. $40 for this? Just wait til Wednesday for a $5.99 ten wings special at Hooters to stimulate your Rocky Johnson.
Winner: Kelly Kelly...and those ten or so dudes that Orton claimed schoolboyed her.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Lately, July is also known as Mark Henry Appreciation Month. Everyone from X-Pac to David Lagana has been praising the former Sexual Chocolate for his current success as the traditional trash talking, monster heel. Although he has been saddled with heat killing gimmicks such as Cloudy's partner and Mae Young's hand daddy, Henry has a reputation for pulling his weight when the spotlight is on. His minifeud with Goldberg, injury on Batista, and run as ECW champion have all entertained as well as raked in the ratings. While this behemoth brawl could be bowling shoe ugly, I expect some impressive feats of strength sprinkled throughout a quick match.
Winner: Somebody's Gonna Get Their Ass Kicked!

Smackdown Money in the Bank: Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
Originally a once a year novelty occuring at WrestleMania, now the multi-man ladder match has its own PPV showcase. I have read that the MITB winner needs to lose soon because the concept of everyone cashing in to always win the championship is becoming outrageous. I don't necessarily agree with that logic because that 100% success rate adds to the prestige of the Money in the Bank. Since those who cash in always win the championship, you better Charlie Hustle up that ladder! Although eight Superstars are listed for the match, only five men actually have a shot in winning. Sure, Jack Swagger may have shocked the world by winning last year after weeks of losses and minimal TV time, but Kane has no chance in hell of reigning supreme once again. Gabriel will be relying on his guardian angel for a miracle and Slater's "one man rock band" should find another gig. The only reason I'm not counting out Daniel Bryan is because he has a full year to gain enough momentum to warrant a title shot. Plus, Vince would finally have the winner lose to spite the internet if it was Bryan.
That narrows our potential winners down to four. During his feud with Mysterio, Rhodes tore up Friday nights with killer promos, grueling performances, and plenty of conviction. While his momentum has faded, the formerly Dashing One could still recruit some assistance from Ted DiBiase to steal the victory. By dropping the Intercontinental Championship to Ezekiel Jackson, Wade Barrett makes room on his platter for the magical briefcase. Despite the Internet Wrestling Community claiming that a clean loss to number one contender Christian seals the fate of Sin Cara, the neon lit luchador was chosen by Triple H; therefore, Cara's career is still on the rise. If you don't believe me, check out our last potential candidate: Sheamus. Triple H's training buddy had the skyrocket strapped to his pale back before the imaginary King of the Ring curse extinguished his flame. As the attacks on Christian and Orton continue to build, the Celtic Warrior seems a shoe in to win his pot of gold.
However, as much as I am a fan of the Irish fella, I will go out on a limb for a fellow European to snatch the case and challenge Orton once Christian, Sheamus, and Henry have been thwarted.
Winner: Barrett

Raw Money in the Bank: Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz vs. Alex Riley vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Evan Bourne
Certainly a more promising lineup than the Smackdown brand's, RAW's MITB lineup features high flyers and fresh blood. Remember the saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?" Well, call me a fool because yet again I say that Swagger is the upset of the year. So is Air Bourne. He is only in the match to perform a shooting star off of the ladder onto six or seven guys. Although a perpetual fan favorite and reliable veteran, Rey-Rey receives the Kane treatment and should stick to climbing pinatas rather than ladders.
The remaining competitors all have a shot to win the Money in the Bank. I am a bit confused about Alberto due to his victory in the number one contendership match on last week's RAW. Does that give him two title shots if he wins this match? Or does that practically eliminate him from the potential candidates? As the last heel to walk out of the WrestleMania main event as the champion since Triple H in 2000, you can never count out The Miz. He cashed in before and as Edge proved, lightning can strike twice. While unproven in the main event mix, Miz' former protege Alex Riley could pull out the underdog victory. A-Ri could be the Virgil story that actually has a happy ending. Constantly shuffling among the mid-card scene, Kofi Kingston sniffed a main event run in 2009 with his Madison Square Garden Boom Drop on Orton. With a year of nonstop support, Kingston could take over the main event picture like a "controlled frenzy." (By the way, I loathe that oxymoron. If a frenzy was controlled, it wouldn't be a frenzy. I can only assume that since Kofi is a kid friendly WWE SUPERSTAR, he goes crazy but in a professional, appropiate, PG way. JAMAICAN ME CRAZY!)

Last but certainly not least, the flavor of June, R-Truth has the greatest chance of winning the glorious briefcase due to his unpredictable shenanigans. Not since Bradshaw transformed into JBL has a barely mid carder soared to the top of the ranks in the WWE. From getting rowdy with Road Dogg eleven years ago as K-Kwick to threatening the Little Jimmies and injuring John Morrison, R-Truth has captivated the wrestling world and isn't finished yet. By parading around arenas with the briefcase for a year, R-Truth could continue to keep the fans on their toes regarding his next move.
Winner: R-Truth

Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship
If CM Punk's promo turned on the wrestling world, Christian's two day title reign turned the wrestling world upside down. Fans, wrestlers, and even WWE employees chastised the company for booking Orton to truncate Christian's well earned and much deserved reign. A couple of months have passed and now Christian has revolted against his peeps. Although Christian sharing his big moment with Edge was as satisfying as Eddie and Benoit's WrestleMania 20 celebration, Captain Charisma relishes in his heel role. As the weeks passed and Christian's rage grew, Randy Orton morphed from wrong place, wrong time to resourceful avenger. With Sheamus interrupting the flow between Orton and Christian these past weeks, it appears that Christian is being faded out of the title picture. Especially with the stipulation that Christian will win the championship if Orton is disqualified or if there is another poor referee decision such as Christian's foot under the bottom rope incident from Capital Punishment. Regardless of the finish, we are guaranteed a PPV quality match from these two main event stallions.
Winner: The Viper...Legend Killer...Gym Bag Shitter...Randy Kennedy Orton

John Cena vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE Championship
The reason I'm plopping down $40 to stay in on a rare summer night off. If I had to, I would call out of work to watch this match. Although Punk has announced that he is leaving July 17th, speculation remains whether he signed a new contract with the WWE. After capturing not only the wrestling world but the media in the palm of his hand with an epic tirade on WWE politics, Vince would be pissing away the next boom period by allowing Punk to ride off in the sunset. I haven't been this excited for a Cena match since his show stealer against RVD at One Night Stand 06; probably due to the same reasons that this match with Punk has me excited.
John Cena has become worse than Hulk Hogan. Only in a wrestling sense of course, I would never compare Cena's personal demeanor to that of such scum as Hogan. Cena doesn't get enough credit for all the charitable work and company promotion that he performs on a daily basis. He eats, sleeps, and breathes the WWE; however, the WWE eats, sleeps, and breathes Cena. That's not good. Cena has been shoved down our throats for far too long. His merchandise floods each stand, his name headlines every championship match, and his win-loss record has only one column. Despite having a talented, fully stocked roster with unlimited potential, the WWE believes that they NEED Cena as evidenced by his lack of absence during his FIRED angle. When Cena is slated to wrestle an underappreciated darling of the hardcore fans, genuine interest swarms the wrestling community. It doesn't matter whether Cena is wrestling another hero such as RVD or a largely despised villain such as Punk. Fans embrace hard work and originality so they rally behind Cena's opponent. I'm dusting off my rally towel to wipe off the sweat during the summer of Punk.
Winner: C.M. Punk

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