The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
The Cyber Sunday Choices
The Kingfish Arnie Katz walks you through the choices fans can make for Cyber Sunday. See which would be best for fans, which best for WWE and which bad news for everyone
Once a year, at Cyber Sunday, WWE gives its fans a chance to make some choices about what they’ll see at the pay per view. This year, there are more choices than ever, both for voting on the promotion’s web site and via text voting.
In past years, cynics wondered if WWE fiddle with the vote. The current system, which requires fans to pay for the text messages, means that it would be difficult for WWE to mess with the tabulations. Let’s assume that this vote is on the level and that fans will see what the majority selects.
That said, WWE has done its best to both encourage voting and to nudge fans toward the outcome the company most desires.
Let’s look at the choices and consider which would be the best for fans, the best for WWE the biggest swerve and the most likely choice.
The Choice: Who should be the Special Guest Referee for Batista versus Chris Jericho?
The Options: Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels or Stone Cold Steve Austin
Best Option for WWE: Stone Cold Steve Austin. This puts him in the show and frees up the other two choices to do something else.
Best Option for Fans: HBK. His long-time feud with Michaels and his friction with Batista would add an exciting dynamic to what is already likely to be a hard-fought match.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Randy Orton. WWE has gone to some lengths to dissuade fans from voting for Orton. The storyline is much less interesting than without either Michaels or Austin in the striped shirt, unless they want to turn Randy.
The Likely Winner: Shawn Michaels.
The Choice: Who will fight Santino Morella?
The Options: Roddy Piper, Golddust or Honky Tonk Man
Best Option for WWE: Honky Tonk Man. The rivalry is a natural. Even if Honky can’t work, which seems likely, he and Santino can probably do a side-splitting comedy spot, which is all this match is worth.
Best Option for Fans: Golddust. He is closest to being able to work a decent match of the three possibilities.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Golddust. He doesn’t have quite the charisma of the others, at least not these days.
The Likely Winner: Honky Tonk Man.
The Choice: What will be the stipulation in the Kane-Rey Mysterio showdown?
The Options: Falls Count Anywhere, No Holds Barred or Two out of Three Falls
Best Option for WWE: No Holds Barred. The action would stay in and around the ring and Mysterio would be able to use weapons to even the odds against the Big Red Machine.
Best Option for Fans: No Holds Barred. Falls Count Anywhere takes the action into the crowd, where it usually becomes chaotic – and hard for fans in the arena to follow.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Two out of Three Falls. If fans somehow select this, you can count on some mighty short falls. WWE wouldn’t give this match anywhere near the amount of time it would take to do a full match of this kind.
The Likely Winner: Falls Count Anywhere
The Choice: Who will fight Triple H for the WWE title?
The Options: Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov or Both men in a Three-way Dance
Best Option for WWE: Three-way Dance. No one takes a bad loss. This adds the ring skill of Jeff Hardy to the build-up for Koslov-Triple H.
Best Option for Fans: Three-way Dance. Hardy-Triple H would be a very good match, but we have seen it before. It is also unlikely that they’d give Jeff the title, so the match would be another Hardy-comes-close-but-fails match.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Vladimir Kozlov. WWE wants this match, but it probably doesn’t want it right now. Actually, this is one of those choices that won’t make much of a difference. If the fans choose Hardy-HHH, Kozlov will most likely interfere.
The Likely Winner: Three-way Dance
The Choice: What should be the stipulation for the Undertaker-Big Show match?
The Options: Knockout, I Quit or Last Man Standing
Best Option for WWE: I Quit. There really aren’t any bad options for WWE here, though I Quit might open the way for yet one more showdown between these two.
Best Option for Fans: Last Man Standing. This ties in with the feud without turning it into a boxing bout. It is likely to be the most intense alternative.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Knockout. This would be the dreaded choreographed boxing match, which is pretty much guaranteed to be dull. Since both men are now known for their striking ability, the loss would hurt the loser’s status.
The Likely Winner: Last Man Standing
The Choice: Who should fight Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship?
The Options: Mark Henry, Evan Bourne or Fit Finlay
Best Option for WWE: Evan Bourne. If the fans select Bourne, WWE will figure he’s a rising star and push him accordingly.
Best Option for Fans: Evan Bourne. The match won’t have a lot of personal heat, but it would be very athletic and exciting. That would play well on this card, which figures to have some brutal slugfests.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Fit Finlay. The funny thing is, it would probably be a pretty decent match. It’s just that WWE doesn’t have title plans for the Irish Battler/
The Likely Winner: Evan Bourne
The Choice: Who should challenge Shelton Benjamin for the United States Championship?
The Options: R-Truth, MVP or Festus
Best Option for WWE: R-Truth. WWE is calling this a “Preview Match” and has scheduled it for airing on WWE.com. That’s quite an experiment. If WWE wants it to be successful, having R-Truth win the title would make next month’s Preview Match
must watch” video.
Best Option for Fans: Festus. This would be a minor, forgettable and uneventful match that would discourage WWE from doing this again or, if they did, not expecting too much in the way of fan support. I don’t really want to start watching matches on my computer just before I watch a three-hour show on my television. I’d rather see that Preview Match on the Free-for-All.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: Festus. WWE wouldn’t be able to do much to glamorize Festus-Hardy.
The Likely Winner: Evan Bourne
The Choice: Which tag team match would fans like to see?
The Options: Rhodes/DiBiase vs. Kingston/Punk; Miz/Morrison vs. Cryme Time or Noble/James vs. Regal/Layla
Best Option for WWE: Noble/James vs. Regal Layla. This is a throwaway match so why not use it to wind up (or move forward) a long-simmering plot? It puts two beauties on display, which won’t hurt, either.
Best Option for Fans: Rhodes/DiBiase vs. Kingston/Punk. Even though they probably won’t give the babyfaces the title, this would be the start of what could be a sensational feud. Cryme Tyme vs. The Miz and John Morrison would actually be quite acceptable, too.
Biggest Potential Swerve/B>: There really isn’t a swerve choice in this group. WWE could schedule all three matches with some assurance that fans would like any or all of them.
The Likely Winner: Rhodes/DiBiase vs. Kingston/Punk
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back to join me – and bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz