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Boondocks Kernoodle
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So, No Way Out tonight...

 

- HHH wins the title again

- Edge steals Kofi's Chamber spot and wins the other title

- Orton beats Shane, no surprise

- Michaels beats JBL, probably ending their storyline

 

Certainly an eventful PPV, but I thought this show would provide some answers as to where they are going for Mania, and now it's even more unclear. HHH and Edge as champions would seem to prevent the match between them I was expecting, but I'm thinking they might do that match anyway and make it title for title. They wouldn't necessarily have to unify the brands if they did that, just have the champ wrestle on both shows like in the early days of the draft.

 

I'm still predicting Orton-Austin for WM, even though I'm listening to Meltzer on the LAW right now saying he thinks it'll be HHH-Orton and Cena-Edge. (From his tone and use of language, it sounds like it's just him speculating rather than working on any inside knowledge.) I've seen those matches so many damn times, I could do without them taking place ever again.

 

Michaels beat JBL, seemingly ending their angle, but I think there's a chance they'll reverse the decision because Rebecca slapped JBL during the match. If not, there was that speculation a couple of months ago of Taker-HBK at Mania, but certainly there haven't been any clues in that direction. Before the show, I was expecting Cena to retain and defend against Taker at Mania, and I still think those two might wrestle.

 

Obviously Jeff vs Matt is a lock, and I still think Rourke is going to wrestle Jericho.

 

There are still seven weeks before WM this year, which I think is actually a longer gap between WWE PPVs since '95. Speculate away, y'all.

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There was that moment at the Rumble (I think) where HBL was having one of his Personal Moments of Reflection after getting berated by JBL, only to turn around and have Taker behind him. Seemed like that was a "we'll refer to this later if we decide to run an angle" kind of deal.

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I'd like to see Edge stay on SD and HHH go back to RAW, he's got the history with Steph and the McMahons, plus it can be explained as Vicky giving him a release from SD (they set the precedent with Matt Hardy leaving ECW that way). That sets up HHH/Orton for WM. And I'm sure they'll add Cena (they've got a habit of doing that the past few years).

 

The problem that leaves is that doesn't leave a big SD main event. I suppose they could do Edge/UT again, but that's pretty played out IMO. Jeff is busy with Matt, and I'm blanking as to anyone else they could use in that role.

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I'd be surprised if anyone officially switches brands until the draft lottery. I think they'll just ignore the brand split for the major stars until the draft lottery happens and have several inter brand matches at Mania (Hunter vs. Orton, Cena vs. Edge, Shawn vs. Taker and Money In The Bank).

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The fact that they're repeating matches so much shows that they really need to mix some new people in. Is there anyone in the top mix Orton hasn't feuded with multiple times? I guess he could feud with JBL if he ever turns face, and maybe Edge, since that wasn't as done to death as everything else, but he's faced Cena (which I think would have been the better choice for a WM main event), HHH, and Undertaker way too many times.

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I'm still predicting Orton-Austin for WM, even though I'm listening to Meltzer on the LAW right now saying he thinks it'll be HHH-Orton and Cena-Edge. (From his tone and use of language, it sounds like it's just him speculating rather than working on any inside knowledge.) I've seen those matches so many damn times, I could do without them taking place ever again.

Anyone else think Meltzer has lost some WWE sources? He used to have a lot of concrete information to report but now all he seemingly does is speculate.

 

Just a coule of years ago he detailed the Vickie Guerrero angle in full months before it happened and it went down exactly as reported.

 

or maybe the company is just booking on the fly more and he *has* to speculate

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With HHH, I wouldn't mind seeing him face Orton simply because the time has come for Orton to get his big singles win over HHH.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing Edge face somebody else... they could do Edge/Rey to shake things up a bit and let Cena face somebody else. Not sure who he would face, though.

 

HBK/Taker seems pretty obvious at this point.

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With HHH, I wouldn't mind seeing him face Orton simply because the time has come for Orton to get his big singles win over HHH.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing Edge face somebody else... they could do Edge/Rey to shake things up a bit and let Cena face somebody else. Not sure who he would face, though.

 

HBK/Taker seems pretty obvious at this point.

Wouldn't No Mercy '07 in the LMS match be Orton's big win over HHH?

 

Has anyone heard anything about Cena/Austin at WM? I haven't, but there are posts on DVDVR mentioning it.

 

I'd dig Edge/Rey at WM and I could see them doing Edge/Christian too.

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I don't know about that. I doubt Vince could work a good Mania main event match at this stage, even with tons of distractions and liberal usage of weapons. Even though Orton-Hunter has been run into the ground over the years, you're at least guaranteed a high quality match.

 

At the end of the day, I don't think it matters much whether they can keep the program strong for seven weeks, as I think the success of the show still hinges on what Austin and Rourke are doing, because that's what is going to resonate with the casual fans who rarely buy a PPV. Even if they promote Orton-Hunter perfectly, it's still going to be a recycled match with recycled storylines.

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Wrestlemania has almost nothing to do with the matches. The show will do a buyrate based on how well they can sell the Wrestlemania brand, just like every other year. I don't think most people tune into Wrestlemania because of the line-up -- moreso, because they know it's the biggest show of the year, so whatever is happening must be important. This year is going to be a tough sell no matter what they do because of the economy.

 

For the record, Dave said on the audio update on F4W today that they have no idea where this Jericho/Rourke thing is going. Vince apparently told Jericho not to worry about it, and that he would have something big for him, and left it at that. But even though Rourke told them no, they're going on the assumption they can get him to change his mind after the Oscars. But there is not a deal in place. There was no mention of Austin. I have no idea if Austin is doing a match or not at this point, but if he is, with Orton/HHH now locked up, Austin/Jericho is really the only direction they can go. Dave and Bryan talked about their idea of doing Jericho/Lawler with Flair and Piper in Lawler's corner as a back-up, but that would really seem like scrambling to do something.

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Loss mentioned the economy. Anybody have a list of the last several buyrates or so, in comparison to the year before? I heard Survivor Series was significantly lower than that of the year before, in spite of Cena's return being extremely hyped, but haven't heard anything else besides that.

 

Jericho-Lawler sounds like something they'll do next week. Jericho-Austin sounds like more the WM match if they can't get Rourke there.

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Is Austin in wrestling shape? He hasn't done an actual match in about five years, if I'm not mistaken. Whenever he shows up, it's just to do an wrestling angle where he usually gives somebody the stunner.

 

I suppose they could always try to prod Terry Funk out of retirement again, or find some other "legend" they can pull out of the woodwork to do the match with Jericho... assuming they don't get Mickey Rourke to show up.

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Promos to build Jericho/Austin would be interesting. I'm curious if they would have Austin give him a stunner as part of the build, or avoid any physical confrontation prior to the match to build to that moment. The Jericho promo about how he was able to defeat Austin (and The Rock in the same night) in Austin's prime before Jericho had even peaked, so what makes Austin think he could beat Jericho all these years later when Jericho is at his peak and Austin hasn't had a match in six years would be great.

 

Jericho/Flair would be the absolute worst idea possible. According to the latest F4W, they actually have discussed some type of Jericho gauntlet against all the legends he insults between now and the road to Wrestlemania, but that seems ridiculous, and the way Bryan wrote it, I can't figure out if that's his idea or WWE's.

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Wrestlemania has almost nothing to do with the matches. The show will do a buyrate based on how well they can sell the Wrestlemania brand, just like every other year. I don't think most people tune into Wrestlemania because of the line-up -- moreso, because they know it's the biggest show of the year, so whatever is happening must be important. This year is going to be a tough sell no matter what they do because of the economy.

HHH-Batista, which was extremely well-built for months, did a surprisingly huge buyrate for 2005, considerably larger than the following years's show. Wrestlemania 19's main events were built much better than 18's, but 18 had Rock-Hogan and nobody cared about 19's matches. I don't think you can underestimate the value of a strongly-built main event between two big stars. Sure, they'll get hundreds of thousands of buys for Wrestlemania no matter what they present. But there's a difference between 800,000 and a million, and sometimes it takes a little more to get into the seven figures.
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What are the chances of Taker losing? I'm thinking 1 in a 1,000,000.

 

Cena and Austin would draw, but if they were going that route they'd need to have been building it up for a couple of months now. Austin would need to hit the gym hard for a few months as well.

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Taker will never lose. The streak has been so mythologically inflated now that they will never have him lose at Wrestlemania. He'll retire with a perfect record.

 

Austin is scheduled to appear unannounced (make sense of that) on RAW tomorrow night, which should confirm whatever direction they're going with him, if they are in fact planning anything at all.

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Austin is supposedly in shape for a movie he is doing, so that wouldn't be an issue as much as him not being active in wrestling for so long.

 

It seems that they were seeding the idea of Lawler vs Jericho from the way he was so disgusted at Piper getting beat up on RAW. It wouldn't have the celebrity rub that they wanted from Rourke, but it would be a much better match (assuming they don't make Lawler work "WWE Legend style" where they get pummeled by a youngster until getting a fluke win).

 

I think they (as usual) stumbled into something great with the HHH/Orton angle, since just as no one bought the HBK/JBL storyline because it was too ridiculous to be true, here you have something based in reality. Looking back, you can see how they sort of were planning for this angle for a while, Steph hasn't been physically involved since coming back and they always are doing something to subtly remind folks she's a mom now. Of course everyone knew of the marriage for a while, but when Steph gets laid out by a heel, suddenly there's a real sense of "oh shit, he just nailed the mother of HHH's kids". Also I think you have to give credit to HHH for not going overboard with this. His mugging as a face sometimes gets annoying to the point of distraction, but he's playing this perfectly as a guy who just watched his wife get attacked. The sitdown with JR on Smackdown (do those ever fail to get people/angles over?) where he was too mad to even speak was a thing of awesomeness.

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