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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Judgment Day: Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for WWE’s May pay per view event!.

Judgment Day, WWE’s May pay per view from Chicago’s Allstate arena, looks like a “no frills” card on paper. There are few gimmicks or quirky matches, like the ones that have dominated recent shows.

What we don’t know yet is whether WWE has muted the flourishes to heighten the importance of the matches or if the company has decided that this is a throwaway ppb that would waste any special angles.

Let’s look at the matches:

C.M. Punk vs. Umaga
The Story: The Samoan Bulldozer is back after an injury rehab and he has lost no time making a statement. And what he has said, with his actions, is that he wants to destroy CM Punk. Mr. Straight-Edge has other plans.

My Prediction: The nature of the current push for both combatants suggests that this is the beginning of a program, rather than its climax. The idea will be to lift Umaga without damaging Punk. The best way to start this series would be to have Umaga win, but only by foul means. That inevitably leads to big confrontation, possibly over the Intercontinental Championship, if Punk takes it from Jericho.

Predicted Grade: B

Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Intercontinental Championship
The Story: When Rey Mysterio went to ringside to watch a match, he ended up getting in Chris Jericho’s way. That’s a dangerous thing, to say the least. Chris got shut out of the major title picture as a result of Rey’s distraction, so he plans to make the Masked Marvel pay dearly for the intrusion.

My Prediction: Chris Jericho’s dramatic talent has been on spectacular display for the last several months, but he hasn’t had the big matches that keep him in the main event group. Mysterio’s demolition of Leyfield at W< 25 should keep the fans behind him even if he does lose a hard-fought, exciting match to Lionheart. WWE might be tempted to use Mike Knox or Kane as a deus ex machina; I’d favor an unambiguous decision that gives Jericho the belt, but retains Mysterio as a challenger to re-take the gold.

Predicted Grade: B+

Jack Swagger vs. Christian
ECW Championship
The Story: Jack Swagger’s mammoth ego took quite a holt when Captain Charisma successfully took the ECW Championship. The All-American American looked poised for bigger things. Now he must regroup and climb that ladder again. It could start on Judgment Day, if he can beat Christian for the belt.

My Prediction: One way to liven up a pay per view is a title change. Christian’s future, even short-term, probably doesn’t lie in ECW. It will be a prestige win for Swagger – and Christian will get some payback on ECW on Sci-Fi before he moves on to green pastures. One possible scenario would be to have Tommy Dreamer come out to closely observe the match. He might try to counter some nefarious Swagger tactic only to have it blow up in Christian’s face. This would give Dreamer a shot at Swagger and then a final match against Christian in which Capt. Charisma would briefly regain the title.

Predicted Grade: B

Big Show vs. John Cena
The Story: Big Show and Cena have been at odds since Vickie Guerrero brought in the big guy when Edge took a breather. There’s been a love affair, blackmail and some hellacious right-hand punches. John Cena is not a man to back away from a fight, however, so he’ll go to the ring against the much bigger Mr. Wight.

My Prediction: They have harped on the fact that Cena is not himself and has sustained all manner of debilitating injuries. It’s likely to be an alibi-in-advance for a Big Show beatdown.

Predicted Grade: C+

Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Story: Sometimes, you don’t know how valuable something is until it’s gone. That’s the way Jeff Hardy seems to feel about the World Heavyweight Championship. Now that his feud with his brother Matt is on the back burner, he can train his sights on regaining the title.

My Prediction: Jeff Hardy isn’t going to win this. He’ll look good and get in his share of offense, but Edge will flatten him with the Spear to hold onto the belt. An out-of-ring factor may have a big impact: Hardy’s contract is expiring and the negotiations are expected to be complicate by the possibility of early retirement. WWE may want to hold another title run as a carrot to get the Charismatic Enigma motivated for another hitch.

Predicted Grade: B+

Randy Orton vs. Batista
WWE Championship Match
The Story: The epic feud continues with Batista stepping up to battle on behalf of the McMahon Family – and to even the score against the man who Punted him to the sidelines for several months/

My Prediction: Triple H will rush to the ring, interrupting a very intense seesaw match. He will initially counter Rhodes and DiBiase, but he will end up getting the Animal disqualified. That will be a good and sufficient reason for HHH and Batista to meet in the ring “to settle their differences.”

Predicted Grade: B+

Predicted Grade for Judgment Day: B-

The Kingfish comments: If the show is true to its on-paper form, Judgment Day is going to be quite a letdown after WrestleMania and Backlash. It could surprise – a Punk Money in the bank Challenge would bring it home in good style.

Note that there is no women’s match or tag team contest on this card. We might see one added at the last minute.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I’ll have the recap and analysis of Judgment Day and you’ll be able to laugh at my predictions.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]