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Big Cass vs Rusev
Why are these two fighting?: Because Big Cass's best friend Enzo was a giant douche to Lana, and due to his douchiness, Lana tricked Enzo into coming to her hotel room for a little hanky panky, but when Enzo got there, he found neither hanky nor panky. Instead he found Rusev, who proceeded to put Enzo into a coma.
NOTE: Enzo isn't actually in a coma. We know this because he appeared in Cass's corner at Tribute To The Troops on Wednesday. This was a huge missed opportunity for WWE. They could have, and should have, filmed scenes of Cass at Enzo's bedside in the hospital, devastated by his friend's condidtion. Perhaps, a single tear. Then Enzo wakes up slowly, and Cass is overwhelmed with happiness. He caresses Enzo's cheek, who looks up at him and smiles. They don't speak for the longest time, and then finally, Cass asks Enzo a question:
"How you doin'?"
To which Enzo replies, "Not too bad."
"Is there anything you need, little buddy? Anything I can do for you?"
"There's just one thing I want you to do for me."
Enzo motions for Cass to come closer, and he whispers to his seven-foot friend:
Then the camera angle switches and we see Cass's trainer, who is somehow also played by Enzo:
"Well, what are we waitin' fer?"
So basically, this scene from Rocky II, but with Enzo playing both Adrian and Mickey.
And, I dunno, maybe The Brooklyn Brawler as Paulie.
But anyway, the WWE didn't do that, because they are stupid.
What should happen: That evil heel Rusev, always sticking up for his wife, and proclaiming that because they are married, she is forbidden from having sex with other men. How dare he, the monogomous JERK?
It's got to be a running joke with WWE creative that they keep insisting Rusev is the heel. Okay, maybe he overreacted just a tad, trying to (Rusev) crush Enzo's skull with a flower vase, but still. Cass should be like: "Sorry about my friend. He's kind of a dick sometimes." I truly think Rusev would accept his apology. Instead, no.
Instead, Cass had to babble about how his pants are on, even though, no Cass, you are clearly not wearing pants.
Rusev, is Cass wearing pants?
See, that's what I said too.
Anyway, Rusev should win, probably via shenanigans. Enzo gets the taste slapped out of his mouth by Lana, and the distraction lets Rusev get a chairshot in on Cass, something like that. Cass loses, but stays strong in the process, so they can build him up before turning him heel and feeding him to Roman Reigns or something.
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman
10 Minute Time Limit
Why are these two fighting?: Because Sami Zayn has a death wish and Braun Strowman is a giant bearded genie.
No but seriously, Braun was tired of squashing jobbers (and Sin Cara) so he asked Mick Foley politely if he wouldn't mind finding him some worthy competition.
Just kidding. He said "FOLEY YOU GIVE ME COMPETITION OR I AM GOING TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN!" or something to that effect.
Sami Zayn volunteered to be his competition, and then was miffed when Braun turned him into this:
You literally asked for this, Sami.
Sami engaged in a screaming contest with Mick Foley for like three weeks straight until Mick Foley made this match, which has a ten minute time limit. Braun says he can destroy any man in two minutes, if Sami can last ten, he basically wins.
What should happen: Braun turns Sami in to Creamed Ginger (is that a thing? I know minced ginger is a thing. do they cream ginger too? Sami Zayn has red hair. You get the joke.), but Sami won't stay down, which just makes Braun angrier. There's going to be at least one time where Sami, barely holding on to consciousness, does the "bring-it-on" gesture to Braun, whereupon I think Braun gorilla presses him and throws him from the ring through the Spanish Announce Table. The 10 minute time limit expires before the ref can count Sami out. It's a draw. Sami is a hero for taking the beating that he's going to get tonight. This feud continues through the Rumble, where somehow Sami eliminates Braun after Braun has eliminated like 15 guys. They face each other at Fastlane, Braun beats Sami to within an inch of his life, wins by TKO. Sami wins a Last Man Standing match at Wrestlemania. He becomes the new fan favorite underdog. Braun still hasn't been pinned or submitted, and can now move on to getting fed to Roman Reigns.
The New Day vs Cesaro & Sheamus
Tag Title Match
Why are these two teams fighting?: Because there are literally only two teams on Raw who are allowed to face the New Day, and Gallows & Anderson are busy doing their Christmas Shopping. Anderson is getting his hot Asian wife a nice cashmere sweater, and Gallows is going to pick up something for his three nephews. Bobby gets a toy truck-ski, Sam gets a football-ski, and Charlie gets a nice new pair of ski-skis.
Seriously though, Sheamus & Cesaro won a Fatal 4-Way match on Tribute to the Troops to get this #1 Contendership spot, and it looks like their days of incessant bickering are behind them.
They're still gonna lose though.
What should happen: Look. If you have The New Day break Demolition's record for longest ever tag team title reign, only to then immediately have them drop the belts in their next match with no build-up, you're basically waving a big flag that reads:
"WE ARE HUGE GAPING ASSHOLES
WHO ONLY BOOKED NEW DAY TO BREAK DEMOLITION'S RECORD
BECAUSE THEY ARE SUING US FOR NEGLIGENCE
SURROUNDING THE REPEATED HEAD INJURIES
THEY SUFFERED WHILE IN OUR EMPLOY,
FOR WHICH THEY RECEIVED NO COMPENSATION.
WE ARE A BUNCH OF PETTY, VINDICTIVE DICKS
AND WE WOULD LIKE THE WORLD TO KNOW IT."
Admittedly, either that would have to one giant f*cking flag, or the font size would have to be pretty tiny, but still there would be flag waving.
I think they know this, and they don't want their petty dickishness to be so obvious, so they'll let New Day keep the belts, probably through Trombonic interference, thus inching us ever closer to the New Day's heel turn. Let Cesaro and Sheamus chase for another month, then win the titles at The Rumble after a proper build. Maybe we'll get a break-up feud for the New Day where they all have to fight each other at Wrestlemania. Maybe Kofi and Xavier can patch things up and continue to team together. Big E finally gets his singles push, and maybe even a run at the United States title, before being fed to Roman Reigns.
Prediction: Francesca II Turbo hits Sheamus with a folding chair.
TJ Perkins vs Rich Swann vs Brian Kendrick
Why are these guys fighting?: Because the Cruiserweights still exist and there's a title to be won, and these are the only three guys allowed to be in the title picture. It's like a rule or something.
There are 17 competitors in the Cruiserweight division currently, and since there's no other title for them to compete for, no Cruiserweight Tag Belt or Cruiserweight Intercontinental Title, I don't know what those other guys are even doing. I mean, heaven forbid Cedric Alexander have a match against Titus O'Neil or something. He's the most impressive guy in the division, and he's spending his weeks down on the NXT Florida house show circuit working (and winning) matches against some acne-riddled behemoth named Dan Matha. But on the main roster, he's not allowed to step outside his weightclass. Because him's just a widdle guy. It's so insulting. DO SOMETHING WITH HIM? Why not put him in a tag team with like, I dunno, Mark Henry? That could be fun. But no, he's already got a storyline. He's dating Alicia Fox and she's crazy. That's the storyline. The WHOLE storyline.
Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick to become champ, after Brian Kendrick defeated TJP to become champ. Kendrick is a master manipulator. TJP likes video games. Rich Swann is "Outlandish." TJP and Swann are friends. TJP and Kendrick used to be friends, a long, long time ago. Did I mention that Rich Swann is Outlandish? Because I'm being told that I need to mention that as often as possible.
What Should Happen: Rich Swann retains, then Jack Gallagher immediately declares his intention of challenging for the belt. He does, and he wins, and he is the champion forever, because he does things like this:
Cedric Alexander, meanwhile, is sent down to NXT where he is an immediate fan favorite and eventually becomes NXT Champion, reigning for over 6 months before dropping the title to a newly svelte Chris Hero. Alexander is brought up in the draft, immediately turned heel and fed to Roman Reigns.
Prediction: This match will be awesome, and no one in the arena will care.
Also, Michael Cole will call Rich Swann "Outlandish" at least 100 times.
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho
Why are these two fighting?: Seth Rollins has been trying to win the Universal Title from Kevin Owens since Owens became champ via Triple H Pedigree-ing Rollins back in August. Every time he was in a position to win the title, KO's then- best-buddy Chris Jericho interfered. Since the last time that happened, Jericho and Owens had a falling out. Before Jericho could explain to Seth "I don't care about Kevin Owens anymore, you can beat him up all you want, it's fine by me," Seth had already Pedigreed Jericho on the roof of a car.
And that kinda thing tends to make a guy hold a grudge.
Also, Seth seems to think that Chris Jericho is some kind of mini-boss that he has to defeat in order to progress to end-of-level boss Kevin Owens, and ultimately to Final Boss Triple H at Wrestlemania.
Also also, Chris Jericho has a list that he puts people on.
The fans like it when he puts people on the list.
What should happen: This is the biggest forgone conclusion of the night. Seth needs to win this, to be able to continue on his quest. First he slays the Golden Haired Elf King tonight, then the Ogre of the North at the Royal Rumble, then finally Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a reclusive wanderer so vicious they call him "The Burier."
I say that Kevin Owens comes out to try and help Jericho again, costs him the match again, and further widens the rift between them.
I mean, at this point the rift between them is basically Grand Canyon-sized, but you know how WWE likes to take an angle and wring every last drop from it.
This angle is dry, fellas. Dryer than the Gobi Desert. Time to move on.
I think there's a real chance that Rollins wins this, then finds out that the next boss on his list to fight isn't in possession of his precious Universal Title anymore.
Because that guy just got fed to Roman Reigns.
Prediction: No matter what happens in the match, Bret Hart will pop up somewhere tomorrow to call Seth Rollins unsafe.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair
Women's Title Match
30 Minute Iron Woman
Why are these two fighting?:
You're kidding right?
What Should Happen: Honestly, I don't know. The early betting lines have Sasha as the favorite, but not by much. However, Charlotte has that PPV streak going and it seems like they'd wait to end something like that at Wrestlemania or at least the Rumble.
The fact that it's an Iron Woman Match makes anything possible.
Will Dana Brooke get involved?
If she does, will Bayley come down to ringside to counteract her?
(Seems only fair)
Will Nia Jax cost Sasha the final fall, setting them up to feud in the new year?
(Color me intrigued.)
Does Ric Flair make an appearance, and if so, will he turn on Sasha?
(Naitch gotta Naitch.)
Could the whole thing somehow wind up in a draw?
(Please say no.)
But the biggest factor is the "No Rematch" clause. Meaning that whoever loses is done, and this feud can finally come to a close for now.
And here's what keeps nagging at me: This match IS Charlotte's rematch. She lost the title on Raw three weeks ago, this is her rematch, and if she loses tonight, she's done anyway, clause or no clause. So this "No Rematch" thing really only applies to Sasha, who would normally have an automatic shot to reclaim the belt were she to lose tonight. This clause in the contract is only there to make sure that doesn't happen.
Which means Charlotte is winning this and beginning her next program, a feud with Bayley, who will eventually be the one to end Charlotte's streak.
Sasha Banks, meanwhile, gets a new enemy as well, Nia Jax, who has been built up as a complete monster. If she comes out of this program with Sasha victorious, look for her to be groomed to be fed to Roman Reigns.
Prediction: This match goes on in the middle of the card and tears the damn house down. These two women have too much pride to let their "final match" be viewed as anything less than their absolute best. This has the potential to be the greatest women's match ever.
No pressure, Ladies.
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns
Universal Title Match
Why are these two fighting?: Because Roman Reigns gets whatever he wants.
He came to the ring when he was invited, interrupted and insulted Kevin Owens, and demanded a Universal Title match. He did not offer to put up his US Title.
Kevin Owens said no, because that is a stupid deal.
Incompetent horribly biased babyface GM Mick Foley made the match anyway.
BECAUSE ROMAN REIGNS GETS WHATEVER HE WANTS.
What should happen: Kevin Owens finally wrestles like the dominant heel champ we all know he can be, taking advantage of every weakness that Roman Reigns shows, and really trying to hurt him. At some point the ref is knocked out, when Kevin dodges a spear. Owens removes Reigns' illegal body armor, and goes to town on Roman's bare torso with a steel chair. VICIOUS SHOTS. He brings the steel steps into the ring, lays the passed-out-from-the-pain Roman across the steps, and lays a chair on his chest. Owens then PUTS ON ROMAN'S OWN CHEST PROTECTOR and performs the most picture perfect Bullfrog Splash that you've ever seen, right on to Roman, breaking two of his ribs and puncturing his lung. The ref comes to and calls the match off. Roman is the winner by disqualification. But it doesn't matter. Owens doesn't care. He's proving a point. He drags Roman outside and powerbombs him on the apron, then does it again, and again, AND AGAIN. On powerbomb on each of the four sides of the ring, so everyone can get a good view of the destruction.
The following night on Raw, a somber Mick Foley says that Roman Reigns will be out of action for several months. He was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen and a lot of internal bleeding. Owens comes down to the ring, STILL WEARING ROMAN'S BODY ARMOR AS A TROPHY, and demands to be made United States Champion as well. Mick Foley denies him. Owens says "You saw what I did to your precious Roman Reigns. You wanna be next, old man?" Foley does not and hands over the US Title to Kevin, who says "Thanks. As United States Champion, I hereby give the title and all the benefits occurring thereto, to my new best friend..." and out comes BRAUN STROWMAN.
Kevin and Braun run Raw, recruiting new toadies and hangers-on, basically behaving like the original NWO. They even install their own corrupt GM: Corey Graves.
The only thing that eventually slows them down is the alliance of Sami Zayn, and, wait for it, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA.
That's what should happen.
But it won't.
Prediction: Kevin Owens gets fed to Roman Reigns.
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Until Then, I've Been Alex Pawlowski
and this is going to be me when
Kevin Owens is fed to Roman Reigns.
You can follow me on Twitter @pawlowskithe4th