Thursday, April 30, 2009

2nd Round Playoff Predictions

Greetings one and all to the predictions for the 2nd round of the NHL's playoffs. This time Jeff, the Coin, and I will be joined by Troy, who has been seamlessly added to the logo...



New to this prediction this round is this blogs frequent prognosticator, Troy.

Troy Says: Well, I must say that after my very long sabbatical it is great to be back in the greatest blog on the internet. I like to thank both of my fans for all their support while I was away. Now lets get to the picks...

With a total score of 4, for getting 3 series right and one at the correct length is this blog's namesake...

Glen Says: Well, it was a bit of a rough first round for me. While I knew that there would be some upsets, I called the wrong ones, as my gamble picks of St. Louis, Montreal, and Columbus failed to come through for me, while my top ranked predictions of San Jose and New Jersey failed me. That's right, after the first round I was a dismal 3-5, with only Pittsburgh, Washington, and Chicago coming through for me.

Ahh well, there is always next round, which poses some VERY interesting match-ups, as we have the last two Stanley Cup champions coming toe-to-toe (which hasn't happened since 1991), two tough teams that ended their regular season contests with an intense brawl, a team of destiny going up against a giant, and of course the first Crosby-Ovechkin playoff meeting. The first round did not disappoint, and the second round looks to be even more intriguing.

Going 4-4, which included a perfect Eastern Conference prediction, and 0-4 in the West is the 1RMB Coin, which had to be silenced for obvious political reasons.

Fairing much better was an actual human, Jeff, who went 5-3 on predictions, and correctly guessed the amount of time it would take both Detroit and Chicago to win, bringing his total points to 7.

Jeff Says: So the first round did not go as planned....seems every year is supposed to be San Jose's year, and yet again they exit early. Maybe we will all learn our lesson and never pick them to win again....probably not. They did run into Anaheim that is well, a really good team with a terrible regular season record. Lets be honest, Anaheim is a power house, they slept all year and are waking up at just the right time. Poor SJ. Remember when I picked Joe Thornton to be MVP........As for my Blues, I expected more of a fight from them. Although the series was not a blow out, I wish they could have at least won one game. Young team, they'll be back. Philly, such a dissapointment. Last year they did wonders for me, this year, not so much. Everything else went as planned however....even if it was tight.

As for round two, there are some interesting match-ups that will have me glued to the tv for sure i think. Lets get started.....

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#2. Detroit Red Wings vs. #8. Anaheim Ducks

Troy Says:
Well well well Detroit....time to face the music. How great would it be to see the 8th place Ducks knock out the defending champs....again? It would be fantastic. And the truly great thing about this is that I actually believe they have a decent shot of doing it. The play of super-rook Bobby Ryan has been great and one of Detroit's greatest strengths (besides an insanely good offense) is playoff experience and knowing how to win the big games but that strength is shared by Anaheim as well.

Anaheim may be an 8th place team but they definitely don't play like one.

Prediction: Anaheim in 7.


Glen Says:
Well last round I was totally convinced that the Wings would screw up, and I want to pick against them so badly. The Ducks are good, don't let that #8 in front of them cloud your view, they have a ton of talent, however so do the Wings. The last two times that these teams have met the Ducks have won, and moved onto the finals as a result. Even though it pains me to say so, I see the 2008 Champion defeating the 2007 Champion, in what should be a hell of a series.

Prediction: Detroit in 6

Coin Says:
Detroit in 7

Jeff Says:
Anaheim is a monster this year just like Dallas was last year. A sleeping giant that nobody really thought much of because of a lackluster series. They have all the tools to win the cup just like they did years ago. I think that they could go very far in these playoffs.....however they are facibng Detroit and will not go any farther....sorry guys......Detroit wins this one......and eventually probably the Cup again.......nuff said....

Prediction: Detroit wins in 5

#3. Vancouver Canucks vs. #4. Chicago Blackhawks

Troy Says: Well since two of my favourite teams (Montreal and Calgary) both decided that they'd rather play golf than hockey I've now fully jumped on the Canucks' bandwagon. Luongo is one of those goalies that can not only steal a game, but he can outright steal a series. Vancouver had no business sweeping St. Louis in the first round but thanks to Luongo that's exactly what happened. This is going to be a very tough series though because Chicago's young talent is incredible and up to this point they don't seem to be shaken by the pressure that comes along with being under the playoff spotlight.

I think Chicago is the better team here but not by a huge margin so I'm going to take Vancouver on the strength of their captain, Luongo.

Prediction: Vancouver in 6.

Glen Says:
How much does the league want Chicago to be in the finals against either Pittsburgh or Washington? I am really torn on how to asses the Hawks performance in the first round, did they play well, or did Calgary just play bad? While it's impressive that the Hawks came back so many times to win, the Flames were almost out of defensemen by the end of the series. And with all due respect to the Flames goalie, he's no Roberto Luongo. The real test for the Hawks is how they can perform when they are down in a series, which never happened against the Flames. I just don't see them being able to rally back after Luongo steals a game, which is bound to happen a few times.

Prediction: Vancouver in 6

Coin Says: Chicago in 7

Jeff Says:
This is a tough series to call. Both teams are fast and physical and have great goaltending. They both beat teams rather easily, well, Calgary put up more of a fight, but Vancouver played well and weathered a couple St.Louis storms. Luongo seems to be hot right now so look out. I am really not sure who is going to win this one. I can only expect that each team will win their share of games. I wanna say this will go to 7 however I think one goalie will make sure that does not happen.....and I think that goalie is going to be Luongo.

Prediction: Vancouver wins in 6

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1. Boston Bruins vs. #6. Carolina Hurricanes

Troy Says: Before I talk about this series I would like to say something to Carolina's last opponent, New Jersey, about what it feels like to lose a game 7 with very little time left in the game .....ahem.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... now you know what the 2003 Ottawa Senators feel like suckers!! New Jersey was actually WINNING with 80 seconds left! BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! But I digress...time to talk about Boston vs Carolina. I think this will be a tough series and I'm almost not sure who to go with but since Glen pays me....well....let's face it...A LOT of money to make predictions I will do just that. I will take Carolina for two reasons...Firstly....Boston sucks and nobody likes them and Two....Cam Ward is 3-0 in game 7s and I think

Carolina is strong enough to push this series to the limit.

Prediction: Carolina in 7.


Glen Says: Easily the most difficult series to predict. Boston looked completely dominant against Montreal, while Carolina looked to be as much of a "Team of Destiny" in the first round as imaginable, seriously, who scores a goal with 0.2 seconds left, what is this basketball? Also, down by 1 with 80 seconds to play against the greatest goalie of all time, only to come back and win. That happens? Carolina's emotional high, coupled with Boston's lull, should propel the Canes to an early charge, which should give them at least a split in the first two games in Boston. Then, at the end of the day, it's all up in the air from there. Both teams match up very well, with a strong work ethic, a balanced attack, and phenomenal goaltending. I think that the Bruins are going to be realyl special in no time, but I'm going to give it to the team of destiny on this one.

Prediction: Carolina in 7.

Coin Says: Carolina in 7.

Jeff Says: One of the hottest teams of the second half won game 7 in a minute and a half....what a game that was. Now they face the Bruins who are rested and well prepared. Carolina has a great team, they are playing well, and they are fast. Boston has a solid all round team that can beat you up and make you pay on the score board. I like Carolina, and hope they do well, however, I think Boston will take this series. Their goaltending is top notch and they have the scoring and defence to shut down Staal and Whitney. It could be a good series, and I hope it is, but oston takes this on. (Remember when Paul Maurice was fired as head coach by a certain team not to be named.....shucks.....he must really look back and complain about that)

Prediction: Boston wins in 6


#2. Washington Capitals vs. #4. Pittsburgh Penguins


Troy Says: This will be an AMAZING series and you know the NHL is lovin' this! My gut is telling me that Pittsburgh will pull out to a 3-1 series lead and then blow it but these are definitely not the same teams that met frequently in the early to mid 90s. If you look overall I think you'd have to say Pittsburgh is the better team here. They have a better offense, a deeper defense and stronger goaltending. Simeon Varlomov is still an unknown at this point and although we've seen Fleury be shaky at times we've also seem him stand on his head and steal games that Pittsburgh had no business winning. In this edition of the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry (the best player rivalry in a long time) I'm taking Crosby. I think last year's run to the finals will really pay off this year for the Penguins.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6.

Glen Says: Here we have the main event of main events. Crosby and Ovechkin are going to do something that Gretzky and Lemieux never did, meet in the playoffs. Needless to say, the entire hockey world is drooling over this one. This is going to be a wide open, end to end series, and at the end of the day, it's sad that only one of these teams can move on. All that being said, I don't expect this series to last seven games, because quite frankly, the Penguins are too good here. Sure the Caps won three straight, and rookie sensation Simeon Varlamov has been playing great, allowing only 7 goals in his 6 games, but he never had to face Crosby or Malkin in the last round. The Rangers offense is really quite weak, and I just don't think that he can match those numbers against the Pens. This should be a very high scoring series, but I think that Fleury has more in him to shut the door, and the Pens should be able to move on here.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 5


Coin Says: Pittsbugh in 5

Jeff Says: This is going to be a great series to watch. Three maybe 4 or 5 of the bestplayers in the league this year are in this series with Wshington owning 3 of them. I think these two teams match up well. They both have scoring from both the forwards and the defence. Pitt is deeper but Washington didn't finish as hig in the standings as they did because they suck. Ovie will e fired up in this series as his rivalry with Sid the Kid and Malkin will make him want to one up them. I picked Washington to make it to the finals and I am sticking with that prediction. Hoping the goaltending stands up.....

Prediction: Washington in 6.

Let's see how this one unfolds...

Until next time,

G

Sunday, April 19, 2009

WWE Draft Winners and Losers

Well the WWE Draft has come and gone, with some very, very interesting moves. Some of which I was right about (Punk, Triple H, Jericho, Mysterio), but some I was rather shocked about (Big Show, Matt Hardy). However, in the end, I think that this was more or less a very good draft, which should give a number of talents a great opportunity to move up. I'll look at the few people who I think were most affected by the moves.

WINNER: CM Punk. An easy choice here, as there was clearly not much room at the top for Punk on Raw, especially with Triple H going to the red brand. CM Punk should get another chance as a top dog on Smackdown, especially since he comes with the briefcase. I have really high hopes for the Straight Edge Superstar in the coming year.

LOSER: Mr. Kennedy. How the mighty have fallen. Two years ago Kennedy was the big "last pick" for the Raw brand at the draft, last year he was supposed to be a big one, right before Triple H, and this year he gets bumped down to the Supplemental Draft. Hopefully he is able to move up the rankings, but it seems to be very problematic for him on Raw, since Cena, HBK, Triple H and Batista are all higher up than he is on the face side of things. A heel turn would be very welcomed, but he would need to feud (and presumably win a few) against one of those four big faces, and I wonder if that is going to happen in the near future.

WINNER: The Big Show. Sure, he won't move too much no matter which brand he's on, but this allows him to keep his on-screen association with Vickie Guerrero, which should keep him near the top of the card for the time being. However, without Vickie around he would have be just languishing like he was this time last year.

LOSER: Montel Vontavious Porter. I love the guy, but he just doesn't feel right on Raw. While I do applaud the move to freshen him up (especially given his long losing streak), I do question having him on Raw, especially since he recently turned face. However, if he (like Kennedy) makes a heel turn, there is some potential there, I just don't see it working well for both of them, and to have them both do it in short succession could be damaging.

WINNER: John Morrison. Be prepared to start calling him the "Friday Night Delight", as he is set to take Smackdown by storm. Fresh match ups with Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy are a liscence to print money. Morrison is really set to have a great year, and I for one, can't wait.

LOSER: The Miz. On the other hand, there is Morrison's former partner, The Miz. I don't see how a move to Raw does him any good, other than by getting him away from Morrison. He was working as a joke on Smackdown, until the fall of 2007 when he paired up with the Shaman of Sexy. This helped him move up, especially on ECW, but he is likely to get very lost in the shuffle on Raw.

WINNER: Vladmir Kozlov. A number of people have complained about this move, but I think it's probably for the best. Kozlov had really done all that he could on Smackdown, and was really hurting after a series of loses to HBK, The Undertaker, and Triple H. He should get plenty of time on ECW, and I could see a Mark Henry-esque title reign sometime over the course of the year.

LOSER: THE Brian Kendrick. One of the big winners from last year's draft looks to be in trouble here. He was able to move up the card, and even get a shock of a place in the Smackdown scramble match at Unforgiven. However, he has reportedly been in the doghouse for a while, so expect him to have a rough go on Monday nights. Also, him being split from Ezekial Jackson looks to be damaging for him.

WINNER: Rey Mystero. I really didn't like Rey-Rey on Raw, it never made much sense to me. There is something definetively "Smackdown" about the little guy, and I think that it's in his best long term interest to be on this brand.

LOSER: DJ Gabriel. Sure he wasn't drafted, but the only reason for watching him (i.e. Alicia Fox) was drafted to Smackdown. I think that he can count his days numbered soon.

WINNER: Chris Jericho. Easily my favourite pick of the draft! In the year since Jericho came back, he was matched up with all of the top names on Raw, and even had to go to the Hall of Fame for fresh Wrestlemania opponents. This switch to Smackdown gives him a whole new set of big names to match up with, and it should give him a chance for a long term world title run in the future.

LOSER: The Colons. Not sure how I feel about them going to Raw. I liked their spot on Smackdown, and felt that it was giving them a nice amount of time to do their thing and get over, both in the ring and outside of it. Also, Smackdown was supposedly the show with the large latino viewers, I question having two large latino stars getting moved from that network.

WINNER: Matt Hardy. My first thought here was a very clear "what the hell are they doing?" but upon reflection, I think that this has potential to be a great move. See, no matter what Matt would do, he would forever be connected to Jeff, and it would be hard to really seperate either of them while they both remain on the same brand. Matt has been a great heel of late, and if he gets matched up with some new big names on Raw, he should have a great chance to climb the ladder, especially since Raw is so short on big heels at the moment. I really think that this has a chance to really see Matt Hardy climb the ladder, as a feud with John Cena would be all kinds of awesome.

That just about covers everyone, I think that most other moves (Kane, Melina, Maryse) were more or less lateral moves, I guess as always, we'll have to see what happens.

Until next time,

G

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Round Playoff Predictions

Well it is finally that time...the time to stop talking about Wrestling!!!! I can feel the sigh of relief, and more clicks coming back to this blog already :)

It is also one of my most favourite times of the year, the NHL regular season is officially over, and we are waiting for the main event to start, the Stanley Cup playoff. Joining me for this post season break-down is going to be a man that miraculously went 14-1 in predicting last year, which was far, far better than any expert, human, or primate went last season. The man coming off a repeate in performance in dominating the Kodiak hockey pool, finishing 1st for the second strait year (to my piddly 4th), my friend Jeff.

Also, we will be joined by the whims of chance, as a coin tries to upset two supposed experts. However, the quarter I used last year was spent on a Popsicle, or a Red Bull. As such, it will be replaced by a 1 RMB coin, which will double as an estimate as to how much the Chinese know about hockey.

How will we all do? Let's find out...




Glen Says: Welcome one and all to the big day that we have been looking forward to for 365 (or so) days! The NHL playoffs are underway, and the first round looks like it has potential to be a great one. There are a few series that we have seen in recent years (Boston-Montreal, Jersey-Carolina, and Pittsburgh-Philly), one that has never happened before (Detroit-Columbus) and several others that have no happened in recent memory (i.e. the rest).

While last year was relatively short of upsets, as all the lower seeds had approximately the same (if not more) points than the higher ranked teams that they defeated, this year seems to be different. We have St. Louis and Carolina, who have been the two hottest teams in the past month, Columbus who is riding an emotional high, and pre-season favourites Anaheim, New York, and Montreal, who have the talent for an extended run. I think that all of the six through eight seeds have potential to pull of a shocker. Of course, the chances of all of them pulling of an upset is low, but I think that we may just see some big shocks this year. Who you ask? Well you'll have to read on a little further for that one...


Jeff Says: So here we are once again, predicting the playoffs. I almost have deja-vue having successfully defended my title as Kodiak Hockey Pool champion, triumphing over Glen again, by only a mere 260 points or so and 178 in front of second....domination!, lol. This time I did not have to capitalize on a Glen blunder, for I put together the most powerful team ever, accept goaltending…lol. If things go right I will have had the Hart Trophy winner (Ovie), Norris Winner (Green) and if I am lucky, Rookie of the year (Ryan). What a year. Now it is onto bigger things, the playoffs. Exciting thing this year is my St. Louis Blues are back in and ready to make some noise, so let’s get started!


EASTERN CONFERENCE


#1. Boston vs. #8. Montreal

Jeff Says: This should be a good series. At least, a series that will get pretty darn high television rankings. Boston comes in with a pretty solid team, and a defence that is stacked. Montreal comes in with questions and plenty of them. What is going to happen in net? Will Kovalev show up? I honestly do not think Montreal has what it takes to beat Boston four times in 7 games. They may steal one or two at home, but ultimately Boston takes this without to much trouble.

Prediction: Boston in 5

Glen Says: Call me crazy, but I don't believe the Bruins hype. During the middle of the season they were a terrifying beast of a team, but later in the season the struggled, and if Jersey hadn't have fallen so hard, they probably would not longer be in 1st place. I know that Montreal has been nothing short of a disappointment this season, and yes, I know that I predicted them to win the Cup, but needless to say I have tempered my expectations a bit. That being said, I think that we are in for a shocker here. I think that Price is going to deliver, and that Kovalev has been playing great of late, and has delivered for the Habs in the playoffs in the past. The Habs have beaten the Bruins in three playoff series this decade, two of which had the Bruins highly favoured. I'm going out on a big limb here.

Prediction: Montreal in 7

Coin Says: (EDITOR'S NOTE: My coin comments last year have not aged well, as such they will not be happening this year)

Prediction: Boston in 6

#2. Washington vs. #7. NY Rangers

Jeff Says: Washington has weapons. Between Ovie, Semin, Backstrum, and Green they are scary in the offensive zone. Defensively they are iffy. Goaltending is super iffy. To be honest, they are going to have to have the playoffs of their lives to make it all the way. However, I think that they just might do that. They finished 2nd in the east so they can’t be to shabby. New York will do best to stay out of the penalty box. With Avery on the loose that could be a problem, but I think Torts will keep a tight leash on him. It will be interesting to see if they match Avery up against Ovie or Green. I think they will be the two main targets, which will mean it is time for Semin to come up big. New York has the goaltending, but the scoring has not been there at all this season. So unless they are planning on having 2-1 games, they are in trouble.

Prediction: Washington in 5

Glen Says: This is actually a really intriguing match up. One of the worlds best goal scorers, against one of the worlds best goaltenders. Usually in the playoffs, it is smart money to bet on goalies, but I just don't think that the Rangers have enough up front to get the job done. Jose Theodore always plays well in the first round of the playoffs, but drops off sharply after that. I think that this will be a closer series than most people think, but I'll go with the favourites here.

Prediction: Washington in 6

Coin Says: Washington in 6

#3. New Jersey vs. #6. Carolina

Jeff Says: This is going to be a good series. New Jersey can play well, they have goaltending, proven goaltending, but it has been shaky lately and the scoring has not been there as much (I have Parise and Zajac on my fantasy team…production is down). Carolina has been hot, and I mean red hot the last 2 months. This is a team that can make some noise, and they also have a proven goaltender in Ward. This series will come down to every aspect of the game as I believe these teams to be evenly matched.

Prediction: Carolina in 6.

Glen Says: Jersey was the hottest team in the league for the middle of the season, while Carolina played simply phenomenal down the stretch. This should be an amazing goaltending duo, as both teams match up well from top to bottom. This is actually the third match up of these two teams in the playoffs, interestingly enough every time the winner has been in the Cup Finals. Expect that trend to break here.

In a battle of keepers, I'll bet on the greatest one to ever lace up.

Prediction: Jersey in 7

Coin Says: Jersey in 6

#4. Pittsburgh vs. #5. Philadelphia

Jeff Says: This is going to be another interesting one. I seem to say that for a lot of series, but truth is, the way things worked out, a lot of them are going to make for some great hockey. Philly was a team last year I called to make some noise. They are built for the playoffs and Pittsburgh is unlucky to draw their number. Pittsburgh is a great team, defence could be an issue, but goaltending is their, and offence is one of the most dangerous in the league. Trade deadline was also good in making them more playoff ready with Kunitz and Guerin. I wonder how Biron will play, assuming he is drawing the starters job. Philly’s defence does not jump out at me, but their offence sure does. Briere can be a force, and Carter is having the season of his life. With a healthy Gagne this is a team to watched.

Prediction: Philadelphia in 6

Glen Says: I'm not certain if the league wanted two of their best young teams to meet in the first round, or to have it hold off until a later time. Last year, both of these teams played great in their respective playoff runs, and I think that they will play great in this playoff run, it's just a shame that it will be a short run for one of these teams, as I think that this may just be the real Eastern Conference final, as whoever wins should have a damn good shot of making it out of East. I think that Philly has a great corps, but neither of their goalies have been great this season. The Pens got hungry last year, and will be tough to be beat.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6

Coin Says: Pittsburgh in 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1. San Jose vs. #8. Anaheim

Jeff Says: This is a good way for San Jose to start out. If they are going to win this year they need to beat some top teams. Anaheim has not been this power house they have always been the last few years. An early exit at the hands of Dallas last year should be leaving a bad taste in their mouths ready to be washed out with a solid showing this year. Unfortunately they traded away a number of pieces to their successful puzzle from a few years previous. This will not be easy for San Jose by any means. Anaheim, although not playing well now has the tools to win. I would not be surprised if an upset happens here. If Gigeure gets hot, then San Jose is in trouble.

Prediction: San Jose in 7

Glen Says: Now here is a match that many people (including myself) have been seeing as a potential Western Conference final for years, yet oddly it has never happened. The Ducks were pre-season favourites, so I don't think that the Sharks will be taking them lightly. I think that San Jose is just too good this year to go down in the first round.

Prediction: San Jose in 6

Coin Says: San Jose in 7

#2. Detroit vs. #7. Columbus

Jeff Says: Poor Columbus, first time in, and they have to face Detroit. Mason, who will win rookie of the year I am sure will need to be lights out, period. Osgood is beatable, but you have to actually get a shot on him first, and when you have top scorers who are also top defensive players that’s hard to do. This should be a rather easy series for Detroit, which may come back to bite them in the second round.

Prediction: Detroit in 4.

Glen Says: Alright, now is the time to show some guts. The Jackets are ridding a huge emotional high, and the Red Wings have played a lot of hockey in the last two years. In 2006, the Ducks made it to the Conference final, then won the Cup. How did they do in Year #3 you ask? Well they played like garbage in the opening round, made it close and then lost to the Stars. Detroit finds themselves in a similar situation, having played a ton of games in the past two seasons. I just see them being burnt out. Ken Hithcock knows hows to win, and everybody on this very young team seems to want to learn.

Prediction: Columbus in 7.

Coin Says: Columbus in 6

#3. Vancouver vs. #6. St. Louis

Jeff Says: Yes, my Blues are back in the big show. And they have done it by putting together the best 2nd half of the season out of any team. 9-1-1 to finish the season to boot. Goaltending is playing well, finishing with a shutout in their last game to clinch 6th. And they have scoring and speed. They are a dangerous team who is still missing a few top guns! Vancouver has been no slouch themselves the past couple months also putting together a great 2nd half. This series will be very interesting to watch, and I am pissed that most of the games will be late ones if they get to them of course. It is hard for me to pick against my Blues, especially if I think they actually have a shot, so I will not be doing that!

Prediction: St. Louis in 6.

Glen Says: Really, who likes the St. Louis Blues? How can you grow up in Canada and be a fan of that team? Especially when they had that turncoat Brett Hull on them for so long?

All razzing aside, I actually like the look of this team. Last year, I thought that they would break through into the playoffs, but it looks like I was only a year away. They have a ton of young talent, and Mason may end up being the best off-season acquisition of any team, and to think it only cost them a 4th round draft pick. That being said, when you talk about good young forwards and great goaltending, it's hard not to mention the Canucks. These teams are virtual mirrors of one another, with the Blues having the better forwards, and the Canucks having the better goalie. I think that both teams are hungry, and really want to succeed. That being said, there is something about this St. Louis team that make them hard to bet against for one round.

Prediction: St. Louis in 7

Coin Says: St. Louis in 7 (NOTE: It has the Blues coming back from a 3-0 deficit, can we say '72 Islanders?

#4. Chicago vs. #5. Calgary

Jeff Says: Chicago is also in the playoffs for the first time in many years. They remind me of Washington last year…young team that has a lot to bring to the table. They are facing a team that has been hit and miss the last little bit of the season in my opinion. Both teams have the tools to succeed in the playoffs, it is all going to come down to which team shows up. Will Jokinen be the force Calgary hopes he will be? Will Phanuef lead the defence like we know he can? What about Chicago? What will Khavibulin do? How will their young guns play? It is going to be another interesting series. I do believe that Calgary has a great team, but I think Chicago will come in a steal away their 2nd round dreams.

Prediction: Chicago in 6.

Glen Says: Much more so than the Pittsburgh-Philly match up, you hate to see either of these teams loose in the first round. They both have a great nucleus of talent, and are teams that you'd really like to see win the Cup. The Blackhawks remind a lot of people of the Penguins, and with good cause. This has a lot of people pointing to Crosby and Malkin's first trip to the post season when they really froze when the bright lights were on in 2007. I really don't see that happening to Toews and Kane, both have proven that they can really up their game when it counts, and I see that happening here. Also, don't count out Brian Campbell, who has struggled late in the season, but has played very well in the past three playoffs. Calgary has been limping into the palyoffs, and I think that they are cold at the wrong time of the year. This will be a great series, with a disappointing result for anyone hoping to see the Cup return north of the border.

Prediction: Chicago in 7

Coin says: Calbary in 7

FINALS PREDICTION

Glen Says: I've been ballsy already, so let's go out on a limb even farther. I think that it's going to come down to San Jose and Pittsburgh. The West seems prime for some upsets, with the Sharks being the pick of the litter to run through everyone else, and the East is full of enough also rans. The Bruins are not experienced enough, the Devils are not deep enough up front, and the Caps are not deep enough in the back. I think that the first round match up between the Pens and Flyers will result in the East Champion, and I called a Penguins win there, so let's go with it.

Sid and Evgeni beat Joe and Patrick in 7.

Playoff MVP: Sidney Crosby

Jeff Says:First off, my prediction for the Stanley Cup Finals: Fun pick…St.Louis vs. Carolina. This could happen!
Reality: I believe that as of this writing it will be San Jose vs. Washington.

San Jose has turned out a great year, and they have a few players firing on all cylinders. They have top notch goaltending, offence (especially with Marleau having the season he has had), and they have defence (Boyle and Blake…both from my fantasy team) so they are a force to be reckoned with. If Nabokov holds up they can beat Detroit, but it’s only if Nabokov can play up to it. Washington of course has the offence; their big question is in goaltending. They will benefit from a hard fought first round and if Green and Ovie can play as they have, combine that with Backstrum and Semin they have the tools. But Theodore has to step up, and I believe that he will.
San Jose wins in 6.

MVP: Joe Thornton

Coin Says: Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis...aka Jeff's wet dream

Pittsburgh in 5

MVP: Heads

Glen Says: Stay tuned for round 2 in a few weeks!!!

Until next time,

G

Sunday, April 12, 2009

WWE Draft Preview 2009

So I can't seem to stop talking about Wrestling right now, first with Wrestlemania, and now something else rather exciting, the upcoming WWE Draft. While it is earlier this year than in previous years, it still promises to be quite exciting.

I think that the main reason to have the draft now is two fold. For starters, it maintains any post-Wrestlemania interest, and helps keep the viewers returning from one week to the next, and secondly, and more importantly, it just makes more sense financially. Both SciFi and MyNetworkTV are getting rebranded, and losing a fair bit of steam, as such I think that a great deal of talent will makes it way back to RAW, which is on by far the most stable network that the WWE makes use of. They moved a number of big names like Triple H, Jeff Hardy, and Jim Ross to Smackdown last year in order to increase the profile of the show for them to change networks effectively. Now that they have moved, and the network seems to be in trouble, it is a good time to get a lot of the bigger names off of the show. While I see a few names moving shows, I think that it will end up with a pretty big divide, with Raw as the #1 show, Smackdown as the #2, and ECW in a distant #3.

The WWE has already announced that 12 talents will be switching brands on the big show, but fails to mention the details. I think that it will probably end up like the last few years, with interpromotional matches where the winner gets a pick for their brand, I have listed the 12 highest profile talents who I think are most likely to switch sides.

FROM RAW

CM Punk

Punk's run as a top face on Raw can't really be seen as a success, despite the number of titles he's won in the past year. If the WWE unloads the talent to Raw like has been reported, I think that Punk would get lost in the shuffle, so a move to Smackdown could go a long way to keeping the brand afloat, and help Mr. Straight Edge out a great deal.

Kofi Kingston

Punk's former partner should join him in a switch to the Blue Brand. It would be nice to get them together as a team, only for Punk to turn on Kingston, leading to a great summer feud between the two.

Jerry Lawler

While a lot of people seem to think that they will reunite Lawler and Ross, I just don't see that being in the card. I think that Lawler-Grisham has much more potential in the long term, and could be the direction that they are headed.


Rey Mysterio

Mysterio really is an awkward fit on Raw, as he doesn't match up well with his opponents there, and for whatever reason just fits better on Smackdown to me. The Intercontinental Title may be a bit of a problem, but they could easily have Rey defend it on SD for a while before someone on Raw comes to “reclaim it”, or it could be balanced out with a later move.


Chris Jericho

I'd love to see Jericho go and help Save_SD from the surefire exodus of main eventers that is going to happen over there. I think that Jericho would be a good choice to run with the brand, like Edge has done for the past few years.




From ECW

John Morrison

This one has practically been telegraphed. He is getting way too big for ECW, and while I enjoy him appearing on all three shows, he needs to make the next step to being a star, and I think that a move to a different show would be a big step, I see him going to Raw to get all the exposure.




Christian

Another easy choice to move, as he was really only put on ECW to work as a different top face after Hardy left. I'd like to see him move to SD, as he would be a great wild card in the ongoing Hardy Boyz feud.




From Smackdown



Umaga

He has spent most of his time on SD injured in some capacity, so he could really use a fresh start of sort. Some time on ECW as the Monster Heel Champion could be well suited for everyone, similar to Mark Henry.






The Undertaker

Here is one of those ones where I think it is what they will do, and not necessarily what they *should* do. I, for one, like The Deadman on Smackdown, for some reason it has always suited him. But I think that it may be time to shake things up, and have perhaps the one wrestler who has never really been drafted to switch sides, so it certainly would open up a series of fresh opponents for the Deadman.

Jim Ross

This is complimentary to the Lawler swap. Apparently, Ross was moved to SD to help beef the show up for the move to MyNetworkTV, but that has sort of fallen flat, so JR should switch back. A pairing with Cole, could increase Captain Vintage's learning curve.



Edge

A move that has been simply telegraphed by Vickie becoming the full-time Raw GM. It just makes a heck of a lot of sense to have Edge go with her, as there is still more to be gained in the interaction between those two. I'm not entirely sure how this fits with their World Title plans, but I somehow see The Big Show holding the title on Smackdown after taking it from either Edge or Cena.

Triple H

He's in a feud with Raw's hottest star, and shows up on Raw more than Smackdown anyway. His drafting would just be a formality here.

So to summarize:

Raw gains: John Morrison, Jim Ross, The Undertaker, Edge, Triple H
ECW gains: Umaga
Smackdown gains: CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Jerry Lawler, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Christian

In addition, there is also a Supplemental Draft taking place on Wednesday, at this time I am uncertain as to who will move one way or another, but I think that the biggest names should end up being R-Truth, Mark Henry, William Regal, Michelle McCool, and Kelly Kelly.

Tune back next week to find out!

Until next time,

G

Friday, April 10, 2009

Looking Forward to Wrestlemania XXVI

Well, since Wrestlemania XXV has come and gone and it's time to look forward to Wrestlemania to next years event, much like I did just over a year ago. In retrospect, I was able to correctly predict the Hard vs. Hardy match, which belts Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin would hold at some point over the year, and I got 3 out of 8 MITB participants accurate.

While I mostly enjoyed this years event, I do feel that the WWE has been relying on the same old, same old for a while now. Wrestlemania 21 had star-making moments for John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, and Edge, but other than their weak effort to elevate Rey Mysterio, and Bobby Lashley's flake out, there haven't been any others to really break through to the top. Since that event, all of the top matches have involved those four men plus the old guard of Triple H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and to a lesser extent, the Big Show. While this has worked relatively well, they need to realize that they have the talent that is ready, willing, and certainly able to break to the top. Wrestlers like John Morrison, Mr. Kennedy, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, CM Punk, Evan Bourne, and Jack Swagger all have the necessary tools to get to the top, but they need the stage to do it, and I, for one, think that Wrestlemania XXVI may be the perfect time to make that a reality.

And it could just go something like this.....

***************************************************

ECW Title Match
R-Truth (c) vs. Tyson Kidd

I see Truth going to ECW in the near future (more on that to follow), and this seems like it would be a good feud. To be honest, I wouldn't be the slightest bit shocked if this didn't get on the card, given the treatment of the ECW Title by management.

Money in the Bank Match
Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Evan Bourne vs. The Miz

A few old faces to the match, a few new ones. If the WWE decided to go with this crop, they could possibly top their greatest MITB match ever, as Shelton, Christian, MVP, and Hardy always deliver in these types of matches, while Kingston did great this year, also The Miz, and especially Bourne would be ideal for this one. Lastly, Swagger would be a great power guy to throw the little ones around, and pull out some cool stuff of his own. As for the winner, I would probably go with Swagger, since he seems most likely to be a big-time future main eventer, no matter how much I'd love to see my boy MVP get the win.

Big Show vs. Kane vs. Umaga

I had a similar match suggested for this year, and I think that it could be a fun special attraction match. If they wanted to add people like Finlay, Henry, Khali, or even Santino Marella (as a hilarious joke) that could work too.

Ted Dibiase Jr., Cody Rhodes, and DH Smith vs.
Rey Mysterio, and Carlito and Primo Colon


A battle of second generation teams! I think that DH Smith is going to be the next member of Legacy, and I would love to see them feud with another group of second generation wrestlers. This match could be fun if some titles were added (a secondary and the tag titles) to be defended in a winner take all match, but it could be fine as it is.

Women's Title Match
Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Gail Kim

I actually have high hopes for the Women's Division over the next year as there is a fair amount of talent there! This is a match up of who I believe to be the two most talented performers in what could be the closest that the women could have to an “Inter-promotional Dream Match”. I think that the dynamics would work better if Phoenix was champion, but if they wanted to do a Champion vs. Champion (non-title) match that could work too.

Shawn Michaels vs. John Morrison

The first of many matches that I have slated to help groom the next generation. These two are in a ready made feud, as it would be nice to see HB2k9 challenge the original, sure it would be a bit of a redux of the first Jericho feud, but it would still be amazing. Morrison really has a lot of early HBK mannerisms, and I think that these two could give a match for the ages, that could really help cement Morrison as a big star.

Edge vs. Mr. Kennedy

Yet another star-making match. These two do have a very long feud running between the two of them, which started after Kennedy won the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania 23. I think that they are going to be split across the brands after the upcoming draft, but a special inter-promotional match could be good. I think that the promos on this one would be amazing, and it could finally set up Kennedy as a big star, which the WWE has tried to do a few different times.

The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho

Taker needs more big names for the big event, and (to my knowledge) these two have never gone one-on-one. The build could be a simple “I want to send The Streak” type angle, or it could be simmering for longer, and be more personal. Either way, it needs to happen, and it would be great to have at the big stage.

Triple H vs. Batista
Special Referee: Ric Flair

Sure Batista returned as H's buddy, but I don't see that lasting for too long. I think that H-Batista-Orton is going to be a fun triple threat type feud in the coming months, as they exchange partners, and switch off. Hopefully in any one-on-one encounters, Batista always defeats Triple H (remember, he is 3-0 against his former mentor). I would love to see a dejected Triple H challenge Batista to a match at the grandest stage of them all, on the five year anniversary of their first match, and to up the ante make their other Evolution mate work as the referee, since that would be all sorts of awesome.

World Title Match
CM Punk (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

I think that Punk (and the briefcase) are going to go over to Smackdown at some point soon. I really, really hope that Punk turns heel at some point this year, as it would liven up his character and help him be a solid main-eventer. A feud between a “holier than thou” straight edge wrestler and someone with a past like Hardy's would practically write itself. While this may not seem like a “Wrestlemania Main Event”, a world of wonder can be done in a year, and also I think that there are enough big matches that the world title match does not have to be one of the top matches. These two could really go a long way to making each other stars, an extended feud between these two that could be blown off with a ladder match stipulation would be all kinds of awesome.

WWE Title Match
John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton

Two men with a long history settling their score on the big show. It should have happened last year, and possibly this year. These two have a really good chemistry with one another, and I would love to see them work their magic, especially if you add a stipulation and let them get violent. These two are going to be the companies biggest names for the next several years, so let them have the stage now.

***************************************************

So there we have an event that gives several of these wrestlers a moment to shine with the big guys, while still giving us some solid encounters between the old guard.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if it happens.

Until next time,

G

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Looking Back at Wrestlemania XXV

Well it appears that the event has come and gone. I made my first post about the event last year, and it appears that this will be my last post on it. I'll always remember the memories.

I'm going to look back at the matches, and see where it fits on my different rankings that took far too much of my time leading into this event.

Lumberjack Tag Team Title Unification Match
Carlito and Primo Colon vs. John Morrison and The Miz

An absolute crying shame that this was bumped to the pre-show, as these four performers really deserved to have a big moment in the sun, especially for something as important as a title unification match. However, in a move that shouldn't be shocking, they were moved to the pre-show. To be honest, I have yet to watch this match, as I have only seen the highlights, so I feel myself unable to comment on it, let alone rank it.

Money in the Bank Match
CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Christian
vs. Finlay vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP

Now this was a great way to open up the show! These guys really, really delivered. They did a repeat of the "everyone dives to the outside" spot from the first year, but followed it up with Shelton doing a crazy dive from the top of the ladder, that really could have gotten him killed. I quite enjoyed the series of ladders that they used, setting them up as a ramp going from the outside to the inside. As great as Shelton was (as always), the real star of the match for my was Kofi Kingston. He started the match by doing a standing leap over a ladder attack, and got better from there. Him jumping up the ladder that Mark Henry was holding onto was simply breathtaking. I am surprised that they gave it to CM Punk as a repeat, as the crowd seemed to want Christian really badly, and the WWE seemed to want someone else. I am hoping that they do a good redo on his first title run.

Rankings: I think that this is a hair below Money in the Bank 3, which is far from an insult. That puts it at #3 on the list of all-time openers, and #12-11 on the Extreme Rules list.

GG and TT's Prediction: Neither of us had Punk as the winner, but Travis said that this would jerk the curtain, so he gets a point. 1-0 for the bad guy.

Santina Marella wins the 25 Diva Battle Royal

It seems to me that they took everything bad about the gimmick battle royal from Wrestlemania X-7 (i.e. the quality) and none of the good stuff (i.e. the nostalgia moments during the entrance), as the only time that any diva from the past was mentioned was when they were eliminated. I understand that the entrances would have ruined the surprise of Santina Marella winning, but, I am sure that they could have worked around that. Also, Kid Rock's 10 minute "medley" was awful, and the time should have gone to the Tag teams, for shame.

Rankings: Somewhere in the "perverse entertainment" portion, mostly for Santino Marella's dancing at the end. I guess that puts it in the #12-8 ranks.

GG and TT's Prediction: My hope of a Stratus return was dashed, what hurts more is that my arch rival correctly called our new inter-gender champion. 2-0 for the Andy Kaufman to my Jerry Lawler.

Handicap Elimination Match
Chris Jericho vs.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Ricky Steamboat

I certainly was not expecting this to be pretty, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by this match. At the start, all three legends got in their spots and kept their time in the ring short. Snuka then tapped out, bringing the submission streak at Wrestlemania to six (after only three submissions in the first 19 events!), Piper was eliminated shortly thereafter, leaving Steamboat to go one-on-one with Jericho. The Dragon hasn't fought a match in I believe 15 years, and looks like he hadn't missed a beat. His flying body press, leap to the outside, and picture perfect armdrags were things of beauty. I love how the announcers played up the veteran still being able to go one more time (a la The Wrestler) without hitting us over the head with the comparisons. Steamboats roll ups were great, and I really thought that he would pull off a fluke win at some point or another. Of course, Jericho ended up hitting the Code-breaker and taking the win. The Rourke stuff afterwards really dragged on too long, and was a bit of a let down, but the match was decent though.

Rankings: Fine match, the celebrity involvement helped build the match, but added very little to the aftermath, putting it on about par with the Battle of the Billionaires from Mania 23, if not slightly better, putting it at #7 on my Celebrity rank.

GG and TT's Prediction: Looks like TT takes another one on me, and clinches the win in the third match. 3-0 in an anti-climatic moment, fitting of this match.

Extreme Rules
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy


Another match that was a touch of a let down. Don't get me wrong, these two performed well, but it seems like they just didn't have enough time to tell the epic story that they needed to. The big spots were a little rushed, especially at the beginning. I really liked the ending, with the leap-frog, followed by the Twist of Fate of absolute death with the chair. I suppose they did the right thing, saved some bigger spots for later in the feud, and made Matt Hardy look like a champ. Hopefully they really up the ante from here.

Rankings: I have it about pegged with McMahon-Hogan, but they are hard to compare, since this was clearly a better match, but McMahon-Hogan was more epic. Probably a touch better when it is all said and done, thus putting it at #12 (including the MITB match) on my Extreme Rules list.

GG and TT's Prediction: I finally got on the board with not one, but 2 points as there was a table break, giving me a bit of a fight in what may be automatically a lost cost. 4-2 for my turncoat brother.

Intercontinental Title Match
JBL (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

What a crock of garbage. Mysterio wins in a squash and JBL quits. Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame. JBL deserved a better send off in his last match, Mysterio deserved a better moment in his Triple Crown completion, and the IC Title deserves more after not being used on the show for far too long.

Rankings: Move over Maivia-Sultan, we officially have a new worst IC Title match in Wrestlemania history. Congrats guys, you earned it.

GG and TT's Prediction: Like the match length, we both came up short here. 4-2, but I won't quit after this loss.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

On the other end of the spectrum, we have this match, which was simply amazing. These two men, both in their fourties, went out and delivered an absolutely sensational match. They had a good mix of brawling, high flying, technical wrestling, and sick spots. I thought that Taker was going to die (for real) when he landed on his head on the concrete, but yet he got up and kept fighting. Both of these men really had you believing that anything could happen. I loved the countout spot (after said dive) and after some of those superkicks, I really thought that HBK was going to take the win. Like I said with Edge-Taker, it really speaks volumes about both performers when they got out and make you believe that what you *know* is not going to happen. What makes this even better, is that I watched this match a few days after the event (in China, you know) so I actually knew who won, and yet I was on the edge of my seat thinking that HBK would be able to pull it off. While it may not be the best Mania match ever, it is easily in the Top 10, and possibly in the Top 5.

Rankings: Taker's best match not only in Wrestlemania history, but possibly in the history of his career (on par with the first HITC, coincidently with HBK). I'm not certain about HBK's list though, as it is about on par with the Angle match from Wrestlemania 21. In all honesty, I would require a second viewing to decide the Number 1, and given my esteem for that match, it is saying quite a bit.

GG's and TT's Prediction: We both called for a Taker victory and we both said that it would be awesome, and what do you know, we were both right. 17-0 makes it 5-3.

World Title Match
Edge (c) vs. Big Show vs. John Cena

I said that this match could be surprisingly good, and it certianly was. The three men did well, and Cena holding both men up for the F-U was simply awesome. I also quite enjoyed the Edge getting F-U'd onto the Big Show, which was similar to what I predicted, just far less dangerous. All that being said, this realyl lacked the big match feel, and came across as more of a Raw main event than anything else.

Also note: Cena's entrance was awesome.

Rankings: This really had nowhere to go on my rank, as it didn't fit as a "last match", but if I were to do a ranking of best title matches to not go on last, this one would certianly be better than HHH-Booker and Cena-JBL, it was about on par with the Triple Threats from 22 and XXIV, but probably the worst of that lot.

GG and TT's Predictions: Both of us gain a point, but I fail to gain any ground. 6-4 for the Ultimate Opportunist.

WWE Title Match
Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton

Bad match, bad result. Orton needed to win here but didn't. I understand not wanting to end the show with a heel win, but there were lots of other options for who to give the closing spot to. It seems like they are going to give the belt to Orton at Backlash, but it may be a touch too late.

Rankings: And so the streak of great main events at six, as we get what is out worst main event match since Wrestlemania X8 (when H also ended the show with the belt, coincidence?), I'll even rank it below Bret-Yoko from Wrestlemania X, putting this at #19.

GG and TT's Prediction: We both get no points for both the results and the match placements, thus making us join Orton, and everyone who watched this match as losers. Unlike Orton, the man who attacked a female interest gets the win here (note: maybe 5 people will get that one) giving it 6-4 to TT.

So the obvious question stands: Where does this Wrestlemania rank? Well looking back at my ranking from last year, I think that this one is pretty much in the middle of the pack, compareable to X8, 2000, and VII, all three had some very good undercard matches, but flat main events, so it fits somewhere in that pack. Decent show, but probably the worst edition of the event in the past six years or so.

Ahh well, better luck next year.

Until next time,

G

Friday, April 03, 2009

Heel Heat - Episode 5

Welcome all to the 5th episode of the most irregularly scheduled Wrestling talk program, Heel Heat. Today, Tenacious Trav and myself, Gorgeous Glen preview the big show scheduled for Sunday, and provide our thoughts on what should happen after Wrestlemania. Hope you enjoy.



(One Question: Great banner, or greatest banner?)

Let's get right to the card...

25 Diva Battle Royal

Gorgeous Glen Says: This should be a fun nostalgia match to go between some of the big ones. I am looking forward to appearances from people like Trish Stratus, and Lita. While it seems like they are going to push Gail Kim here, I see her getting illegally eliminated by someone like Maryse or Michelle McCool. Let's go with a nostalgia win here.

Prediction: Trish Stratus

Tenacious Trav Says: Well Glen here we are with another Wrestlemania to predict and discuss. As anyone who has read our previous features would know, I pretty much loathe women’s wrestling and have often refused to call the match. This year we’re being treated to a 25 Diva Battle Royal and I could really care less. There’s more no-to-low-talent women on the roster than ever before and there’s really been no effort to hype the return of divas of days gone by for this one historically significant match. Combine that with the winner receiving a ridiculous title and I could really care less about this one. While there are still some open spots as of this writing, I anticipate we’ll see Trish Stratus as you’ve mentioned, but also that we’ll see Santino (perhaps in drag). As he’s the most entertaining thing to happen to the divas scene in years, look for him to take home the prestigious title.

Prediction: Santino Marella

Extreme Rules Match

Jeff Hardy
vs.
Matt Hardy


GG: Who would have thought that the build to this feud would involve such great promo work? I think that it just shows how far they have come since their aborted (and ignored) feud from 2001. Like Bret-Owen from fifteen years ago, I expect this to be an absolute classic, as both brothers have a lot to prove. I think that this feud should stretch on for a while longer, so there needs to be a heel victory here. Like Wrestlemania X, let's go with Matt taking a fluke win in a shocker.

Prediction: Matt Hardy, cleanly.

TT: This definitely has the potential to be an instant classic, with both of these stars having incredible in-ring ability. It’s unfortunate that neither is all that entertaining outside of the ring or perhaps we would’ve seen a longer build-up to this match. A win for Matt here makes sense and is certainly deserved given his longer (and far less troublesome) run with the company.

Prediction: Matt Hardy

Elimination Match

Chris Jericho
vs.
Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat


GG: While I would have much preferred to have this come down to Jericho vs. Rourke or Jericho vs. Austin, that did not seem to be in the cards. I see Jericho pulling out easy wins on two of these men, probably Piper and Snuka, only for Mikey Rourke to get involved, hit a Ram Jam on Jericho, and give the match to Steamboat. This will give a chance for all of the legends to hug and give us a happy Wrestlemania moment

Prediction: Legends via Mike Rourke interference

TT: This is probably one of the more disappointing items on the card as it’s an absolute waste of one of the company’s top 3 heels (the other two being Edge and Orton). While Jericho has worked his ass off trying to make this interesting (cementing that top heel status) it doesn’t change the fact he’ll be in the ring with a bunch of washed up 80s stars who have no business being in the ring. I know with this being the 25th edition of WM that there should be some nostalgia and a nod to the stars of the past, but this is just not the way to do it. We all know that it should have been Jericho vs Mikey Rourke. Rourke would have provided the celebrity involvement that this card so desperately needs – and his involvement as Glen has predicted simply won’t be enough.

Prediction: Jericho (with the legends revenge coming after the win)

The Undertaker
vs.
Shawn Michaels


GG: Easily the most anticipated match on the show. I wish that they would learn the lesson from Wrestlemania X8, and XXIV, and just have this match close the show, to not have to make anyone else try and top it. I have loved the build to this, as Michaels has continuosly gottend the better of The Undertaker, and one upped him at every stage. If you are a new fan, trust me, that never happens, ever. I think that the streak will be intact forever, unless they decide to let Cena have it, but even that I doubt. That being said, I expect both of these men to do a damn good job convincing us that maybe it will end on this night.

Prediction: The Undertaker, after probably three tombstones.

TT: Unlike the Jericho match, this one features some legends that can still go. Easily the match I’m most looking forward to, UT and HBK are sure to deliver. Your chronicles of both Michaels’ and Takers’ Mania matches (even with the completely wrong order for the top 5 UT matches) has detailed the great heights these two men can reach. Breaking the streak here makes no sense (Orton should have been the one) and since Undertaker has never beaten Michaels this match will still be historic.

Prediction: The Undertaker in what will be the match of the night.


Money in the Bank Ladder Match

CM Punk vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs.
Kane vs. Mark Henry vs.
Christian vs. Kofi Kingston


GG: The usual train wreck with many of the usual suspects, however this match is anything but usual for these guys. This is probably the hardest of all the Money in the Bank matches to predict, as very few men seem like viable contenders. Mark Henry and Kane have been around for far too long and wouldn't really work, Finlay seems to have been demoted heavily in the past year or so, Punk won it last year, and Kofi is probably a year or two away from that high of a win. This leaves three men who the WWE has pushed, and stalled on a number of times in their career, Shelton, MVP, and Christian. I would be happy to see any of these guys get the win, but I think that the winner has to be MVP, this is the most logical conclusion of his long-running losing streak storyline, and he would be a great cocky tweener to carry the briefcase around.

Prediction: MVP

TT: For once, that’s a great synopsis, Glen. While I don’t like the involvement of the big men here (one would’ve been even too much) this usual spot-fest should still pass as mediocre. Kingston is a great worker and I expect him to shine here as Shelton has done in the past. As you’ve outlined, there are really only 3 potential winners for this one and so to be contrary I’m going with Christian.

Prediction: Captain Charisma

Intercontinental Title Match

John Bradshaw Layfield (c)
vs.
Rey Mysterio

GG: I thought long and hard about this one, and changed my mind a few times. JBL winning seemed like a good transition to a new face, like Mysterio. However, JBL has promised something "special" for Wrestlemania, and rumours have persisted that he will retire with the title, thus giving him the win here. I think that seems far more likely, especially since I think that Rey will return to Smackdown following the draft (more on that later in the column), so let's give the win to JBL here. Especially since Mysterio beat him 1 on 1 in a non-title match on Raw this week.

Prediction: JBL, by some sort of heel tactics.

TT: This is shaping up to be a predictable card. I’m hoping JBL’s historic action equates to more than a retirement with a major title, but it does seem we’re going down this road. JBL and Mysterio have had a past feud, but this storyline is really out of nowhere and hard to care for. They could’ve used Koslov against JBL to have the cowboy-come-millionaire go out as an all-American face, but alas I don’t write the shows.

Prediction: JBL

Tag Team Title Unification Match

Carlito and Primo Colon

vs.

John Morrison and The Miz

GG: If their previous matches have been any indication, this should be a great, great match. I do worry however, that the addition of Lumberjacks will take away from this one. Still, these four men have been delivering classics for the past few months both in tag team matches, and in singles affairs, and I expect no different here. It all depends on who the WWE sees as the bigger stars of the future, as it would be a great thing for announcers to mention years down the line (a la Jericho), and I think that is Miz and Morrison who seem like future world champions to me, hopefully the Bella twins aren't too heavily involved in the finish, but I find that doubtful.

Prediction: Miz and Morrison via Bella-ference

TT: I’ve been a fan of Morrison since Tough Enough and even with his humble beginnings as a lackey to Eric Bischoff he showed incredible promise. He’s become a fantastic performer and is a future World Champion for certain. Carlito has gone from promising up-and-comer to being lazy in the ring. While his brother outshines him, he is the lesser known competitor. The Bella twins have no business being involved at Wrestlemania.

Prediction: Miz and Morrison (clean)

World Title Match

Edge (c)
vs.
The Big Show
vs.
John Cena

GG: While expectations are not particularly high for this match, I think that we may be in for a surprisingly good one here. Both Edge and John Cena usually deliver when they are in the spotlight, especially when it involves each other. Also, the Big Show seems tailor made for triple threat matches, as he can deliver his big moves, and then rest for a bit before returning later. I think that Cena will pull out a victory here, and let Edge and Show continue to feud over Vickie afterward. I'm really hoping to see Cean F-U the Big Show onto Edge for the finish, that would just be awesome.

Prediction: Cena via some sort of awesomeness

TT: Am I the only one getting bored with Cena? It’s sad because Edge is the number two heel in the company and should really be retaining the gold here. The kids need to go home happy, though, so look for the action star to pick up the strap. I’m just hoping this doesn’t go on too long and that Big Slow stays out of the way for the most part.

Prediction: John Cena

WWE Title Match

Triple H (c)
vs.
Randy Orton

GG: The build up for this match has been simply fantastic, and I for one am looking forward to it. While these two have never delivered a classic in their many one-on-one encounters, this time feels different. They finally have emotion, hatred, and a really big stage. As much as a part of me thinks that H is going to retain, I think that logical booking has to give it to Orton, these two are locked in a blood feud, and H would have no reason to give Orton another match after this. I think that we are in for a long story between this two, so Orton needs to win this one.

Prediction: Orton, hopefully without any McMahon swerve

TT: My love for Orton is well documented. He is truly the WWE’s number one heel and has shown depth of character rarely seen before. His ring work is second to none and by forming his own stable he’s placed himself at the top of the Raw heap of talent. The storyline is red hot going into this (minus a few mis-steps – the recent McMahon involvement, the over-the-top home invasion) and like Glen, I really expect this one to deliver. Triple H is the kind of star, not unlike the Undertaker, where he doesn’t need to hold a title to be incredibly over. Having him retain really no makes sense, and a win will mean everything to Orton on what is one of the most historic Wrestlemanias to date.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Bonus Questions:

(EDITOR'S NOTE: In the past, mostly in real life, we have done a few special "bonus questions" mostly because they are a lot of fun)

What match will go on first?

GG: Tag Title Match, Miz and Morrison deserve to open up the big event with a big win

TT: You’re probably right, but I’ll go with the MITB.

What match will go on last?

GG: World Title Match, since I have Cena penciled in for the win, it just makes sense

TT: Agreed.

Which match will a table get broken in?

GG: Hardy vs. Hardy, come on far too easy here

TT: Yes, or Orton/HHH

Will Ric Flair bleed?

GG: YES, Flair always blades, and this should be no exception.

TT: I expect him to still be bleeding from the Jericho beat down on Raw 2 weeks ago. (You know they were desperate to get some heat for this match when they resort to that)


And now to some more intriguing questions...

GG: With the upcoming draft scheduled to take place on April 13th, are there any big names that you see switching sides?

TT: I suspect we’ll see some changes involving Morrison, HHH, Rey and ideally John Cena.

GG: Agreed on the first three, but I find a Cena switch highly doubtful. MyNetwork TV, Smackdown's current network is looking like it may just tank, so I expect them to stock Raw with the biggest names, and like it or not, that's John Cena. I think we could also add Edge, JBL (to play announcer), Christian, CM Punk, and Batista as the other big names to switch sides.

It seems like every year the WWE decides to bring some new stars to the top of the card. Do you have any predictions of anyone who will break on through to the top following Wrestlemania?

TT: In the long term I expect Kofi Kingston and John Morrison to become big players. Although not at Mania, look for Evan Bourne’s star to rise in the next year.

GG: Good thoughts on those ones, but I think that the real star to break on through will be Matt Hardy, who should take a big jump to the top of the card, and Jack Swagger, who should move his way into the Upper card within the next few months.

And sadly, that just about does it for this edition of Heel Heat, and it should be my last post before Wrestlemania. Expect next week's blogging to be filled with thoughts on the event, before we make the shift back to our regular, erratic format.

Enjoy the show!

Until next time,

GG

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wrestlemania Rankings - The Main Events

Here we are the 9th, and final installment of the Wrestlemania Rankings, as we look at the best matches to ever close the show. Most of these matches have been pretty spectacular, and are considered the best of the best.

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#24.
WWF Title Match
Yokozuna (c) vs. Hulk Hogan
Wrestlemania IX
Ceaser's Palace
Las Vegas, NV


Ten seconds of pure crap. This was completely insulting to absolutely every wrestling fan out there, as Hogan went out and stole the show from Bret Hart, and Yokozuna in what is probably the worst Wrestlemania moment ever.

#23.
Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Vicious

Wrestlemania VIII
Hoosier Dome
Indianapolis, IL


What was supposed to be Hogan's final match, but things worked out a little bit differently to say the least. This was supposed to be Hogan vs. Flair, but sadly that never happened here for a variety of complicated reasons. This was only the second time that a non-title match closed out Wrestlemania, and it was the only time that the show ended with a disqualification finish. The match was pretty bland, but the post-match surprise of having The Ultimate Warrior return was pretty freakin' fantastic.

#22.
WWF Title Match
Psycho Sid (c) vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania 13
Rosemont Horizon
Chicago, IL


Sid's second appearance on the list is hardly a classic either. Yet again, this is a match that was not supposed to serve as the Main Event, since it was supposed to be Bret-Shawn II, but we get this instead. Not much to write home about.

#21.
Steel Cage Match for the WWF Title
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. King Kong Bundy

Wrestlemania 2
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Los Angeles, CA


Another rather bleh match, very little action, very little drama. It happened, lets move on.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: And here's were they start to get good)

#20.
Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
Wrestlemania
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY


This is a hard match to hate for nostalgias sake. These four men (including one non-trained wrestler) went out and put on a fun match, that made you believe was important, and they certainly succeeded. Well worth a watch for nostalgia, but not for much else.

#19.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor

Wrestlemania XI
Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, CT

The third (and to date, final) non-title match to close out the show, and probably the best of the bunch. This is easily the best celebrity wrestling match of all time, and has held up well to this day.

#18.
WWF Title Match
Yokozuna(c) vs. Bret Hart

Wrestlemania X
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

I remember watching this match and simply jumping for joy at the finish. My Canadian hero, Bret Hart, defeated the evil villain who had squashed him a year before. Simply a great moment. That being said, the match leading up to it was not the Hitman's finest, but still pretty decent, and one of the best of Yokozuna's career.

#17.
Undisputed Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Triple H
Wrestlemania X8
Skydome
Toronto, Ontario

I have such mixed feelings about this one. The storyling going into this one was simply ridiculous, as the main focus was Triple H vs. Stephanie. The match in itself was pretty good, but not on par with their work from a year and a half before. Also, the crowd was really not into this match at all, with everyone being exhausted after the spectacle that was Rock-Hogan.

#16.
WWF Title Match
Sergeant Slaughter vs. Hulk Hogan

Wrestlemania VII
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Los Angeles, CA

Like the previous match, the build to this one left a lot to be desired, and like the previous match, this was still pretty good. However, unlike the previous match, the crowd was actually into this one, as Slaughter approached nuclear level heat here, thus putting it abouve Jericho-H.

#15.
World Title Match
Triple H (c) vs. Batista

Wrestlemania 21
Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA

I remember a lot of people raving about this match at the time, and I really didn't get it. Maybe because it was on the same card as Rey-Eddie, Angle-HBK, Taker-Orton, and the first Money in the Bank Match, but I really wasn't blown away by the match quality here.

#14.
Four-way Elimination Match for the WWF Title
Triple H (c) vs. The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show

Wrestlemania 2000
Arrowhead Pond
Anaheim, CA


The first multi-man match to close the show, and the first time that a heel left Wrestlemania as champion. Despite all of the McMahon involvment, the match was still a good one, especially when it came down to Triple H and The Rock. I think that everyone could see the Vince turn at the end, but it was still a fun ride getting there.

#13.
Tournament Finals for the Vacated WWF Title
Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase

Wrestlemania IV
Trump Plaza
Atlantic City, NJ

This was seriously the only redeeming quality to an otherwise mediocre event. The main event really delivered as both men (plus Hogan and Andre, their respective corner men) played their role well. Savage had already fought three very long matches en route to this finale, and looked like he was set to loose. Despite all the odds though, good prevailed, and Savage was able to win his first world title.

#12.
WWF Title Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant

Wrestlemania III
Pontiac Silver Dome
Detroit, MI

This match could be ranked as high as #1, or as low as #23 and it would be hard to argue with it. This match, while technically was certianly lacking, it is easily the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling. This was not about the holds or high spots, it was about the spectacle, and every main event has been trying to recreate the same effect, to no avail.

#11.
WWF Title Match
Randy "Macho Man" Savage (c) vs. Hulk Hogan

Wrestlemania V
Trump Plaza
Atlantic City, NJ


The second Wrestlemania to feature a "former friends, current enemies" main event, that was much more emotional that the build to Hogan-Andre. The match here was really nothing short of spectacular, as it featured a good mix of psychology and emotion, and marked a major shift to the current idea of a "soap opera for men".

#10.
WWF Title Match
The Rock (c) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Wrestlemania XV
First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA


The first of their epic Wrestlemania trilogy, as The Rock was backed by Vince McMahon and Austin was trying to regain his title. The match walked the fine line between "epic" and "overbooked" nicely. The series of referees, before Foely returned to count the three helped build an undeniable drama here.

#9.
WWE Title Match
John Cena vs. Triple H

Wrestlemania 22
All State Arena
Chicago, IL


Simply one of the most bizarre crowd reactions ever, as Cena was supposed to be the face, and H was supposed to be the heel. However, the crowd ended up being split somewhere in the middle, and both men played tweeners for the match. This is perhaps the most genuinely shocked with a finish of a Wrestlemania main event that I have ever seen, as everyone was expecting a Triple H victory, and nobody expected Triple H to cleanly tap out to the STFU.

#8.
Title vs. Title
Hulk Hogan vs. The Warrior Warrior

Wrestlemania VI
Skydome
Toronto, Ontario

The first face vs. face main event, which was simply unheard of at the time. Both men (and the crowd along with them) gave the matches of their lives, and it was far, far better than anyone could have ever anticipated.

#7.
WWF Title Match
Shawn Micheals (c) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Wrestlemania XIV
Fleet Center
Boston, MA

As I mentioned the in Showstopper list, this was HBK's manliest performance of his career, as he probably should have sat this one out, but fought through it all. Similar things can be said for Austin who was still recovering from his near fatal neck injury. These two gave us a great match that kick started the Attitude Era. Tyson punching HBK was one of the most lasting images in Wrestlemania history.

#6.
WWE Title Match
John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Wrestlemania 23
Ford Field
Detroit, MI

Another of the Showstopper's great performances. One of the most well rounded matches I have seen in a while, as these two really have a fantastic chemistry.

#5.
WWE Title Match
Kurt Angle (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

Wrestlemania XIX
Safeco Field
Seattle, WA

One of the most anticipated matches in recent Wrestlemania history. Ever since Lesnar was signed, everyone wanted to see the battle of the two amateurs turned pro, and it was saved until the biggest stage of them all. These two men mixed their amateur background in with the professional present, and gave us a match for the ages. The one thing that stopped this match from being even higher was having Lesnar miss the shooting star press at the end, and nearly killing himself.

#4.
Iron Man Match for the WWF Title
Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Wrestlemania 12
Arrowhead Pond
Anaheim, CA

A great match that showcased the incredibly difference between the WWF and WCW main event style at the time, as the WWF's guys could really, really deliver. Despite my criticism of this match, I still think that this is one of the best technical matches to take place on the big stage.

#3.
World Title Match
Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania XXIV
Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL

Yeah, I think that the latest addition to this list was that good. The build up was sub-par, and the match was in danger of falling behind the WWE Title Match, Mayweather-Big Show, and HBK-Flair on the depth chart, but they went out and closed the show in style. Seeing The Undertaker chokeslam one of Edge's cronies onto the other was great, followed by Charles Robinson's lonnnng run to the ring, and Edge getting a 2.999 count was great. Edge looked like a million bucks, and The Undertaker saved the day as usual.

#2.
World Title Match
Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels

Wrestlemania XX
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

Simply one of the best matches to ever take place, regardless of events that have followed it. Three of the greatest in-ring performers of all time simply delivered a match for the ages.

#1.
No-Disqualification Match for the WWF Title
The Rock (c) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Wrestlemania X-Seven
Astrodome
Houston, TX

Now here it is, THE match. As I have said repeatedly on this blog, this is the most important match in the history of the pseudo-sport. The Attitude Era was defined by Austin fighting on his own against the Evil Boss, no matter what. Yet, here he had to turn to the very same boss to beat his long time rival, he had to give in to The Man, he fought the Law and the Law Won, he loved Big Brother. There was nothing more after that, anything else was just a footnote. This is simply required viewing for any wrestling fan.

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And there we have it, the last of my Wrestlemania rankings for the year. Turn back later on to see prediction for the big show, as well as post show analysis. It's been a fun ride, let's see how this event changes any rankings from here on out!

Until next time,

G

Achieved Posts:

The Openers
The Intercontinental Title
The Tag Team Titles
Celebrities
Extreme Rules
Women's Matches
The Dead Man
The Showstopper
The Main Events