HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My Armageddon Predictions
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, breaks out the crystal ball, tea leaves and lucky coin to try and decipher and decide the outcomes of this Sunday’s PPV.
The WWE is back with their latest offering to the rabid fans, Armageddon. They are offering a half dozen semi-decent battles that should excite the fans. So far, there isn’t a bimbo brawl in the bunch (of some things we can be grateful). This PPV is a lead-in to Royal Rumble, with a quick side trip to New Year’s Revolution, first. . Let’s take a look at this B-level PPV.
Finlay v Mark Henry
The Backstory: Mark Henry has been slipping further and further back into his old mid-card position in the WWE. He peaked when he won the ECW title. Actually, Henry’s probably getting ready to hang up his boots in the near future, so the WWE is keeping him in safe, nowhere feuds to let him end his career in good standing. Finlay is possibly the best worker in the industry, today. He’s just on the wrong show. He is helping ECW get better but his career is just stagnant. These two are great to pair off against each other. They will give good performances, even if they don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.
Prediction: This match is being billed as a Belfast Brawl. What does that mean? Basically, the match is an Extreme Rules, Anything-Goes war. Normally, I’d give a match like this to Henry and his over-whelming power. I’m not gong down that path for this one. ECW is starting to hint at splitting up the mentor/student relationship. This match could help to push that to the next level. I expect Tony to take out Hornswoggle and grab Finlay’s trusty shillelagh. Tony will toss it to Henry but put a little too much power in his throw. Finlay will intercept the weapon and use it to take out Mark. That blunder will lead to a win for Finlay. After the match, Mark and Tony will get into a screaming match. There won’t be any physical confrontation, just yet. That will wait for either a good episode of ECW or as an undercard match at Royal Rumble.
Predicted Winner; Finlay
Predicted Grade: C
Rey Mysterio v CM Punk
Intercontinental Title Tournament Finals
The Backstory: The WWE has been running a mini-tournament to set up the number one contender for William Regal’s Intercontinental Title. Rey beat Kofi Kingston in the semi-finals, while Punk took down John Morrison. Rey is nursing a hurt elbow, caused by a fall off the entrance ramp during a battle with Mike Knox.
Prediction: William Regal stated that he wanted Punk in the ring for the I-C title. The problem is that Punk already holds the tag belts with Kofi Kingston. Rey hasn’t really done much of anything since going over to Raw from Smackdown. This match is going to be one of the fastest matches in WWE history. I can only hope that somebody doesn’t stick their nose in this one and spoil it. Punk is going to focus on Rey’s bad arm and try several times to nail the G-T-S. This is really a Get out the Lucky Coin kind of match. The deciding factor is going to be the tag belts, I think. The only thing that will keep Rey from winning this is Mike Knox. Rey may well feud with Knox, so that could keep him from the I-C match. I know I sound wishy-washy on this one, but it’s going to be so close that I’m just going to go with Rey. I expect Knox to cost Rey his I-C title win, setting off their feud. Punk goes back to defending the tag belts with Kofi.
Predicted Winner: Rey Mysterio
Predicted Grade: A+
Matt Hardy v Vladimir Kozlov
ECW Championship Match
The Backstory: Vladimir Kozlov showed up out of nowhere on ECW and attacked Tommy Dreamer. Kozlov then demanded a shot at Matt Hardy’s ECW title. The match was signed in minutes. Kozlov was announced as the newest member of the ECW roster.
Prediction: I put the Lucky Coin back in its holder and set the Crystal Ball back in its base. This one is so easy to pick that it’s almost too easy. Matt is running out of competition in ECW for his title. Kozlov has run over just about everyone in his sights. Kozlov is taking home the ECW title. I feel it in my bones. This is going to be almost as bad a squash match as the Chavo v Kane battle at Wrestlemania. Matt will try to put up some defense but he is going to be steam-rolled by the Moscow Mauler. Hardy is likely going to be shelved, due to a dramatic (storyline) injury. Kozlov will then set himself up as one of the most dominant champions in ECW history. This may well lead to a Kozlov v Khali match at Wrestlemania 25.
Predicted Winner: Vladimir Kozlov
Predicted Grade: B
Batista v Randy Orton
The Backstory: The former Evolution teammates are set to battle to figure out who gets the next shot at the World title. Orton has already beaten Batista in a tag match, this year. The winner of this battle will get the winner of the Jericho/Cena World title match, most likely at New Year’s Revolution. I think that title shot will make all the difference in this one.
Prediction: This is another easy one to pick. The WWE isn’t about to waste Batista v Cena II on a minor PPV or on an episode of Raw. They are saving that bad boy for Royal Rumble and again at Wrestlemania. Cena will need something to keep him busy until Royal Rumble and Orton is a perfect choice to battle Cena. Legacy Inc. may well get involved in this battle to turn the tide. Batista will come very close to taking out the Legend Killer but Orton will come back to nail the R-K-O to earn a title shot.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
Predicted Grade: B+
John Cena v Chris Jericho
World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Backstory: John Cena pulled off the Cinderella Story, coming back from a somewhat serious injury to capture the World title. Jericho didn’t whine, too much, about losing the belt. He did demand his rematch. This match is going to be bowling-shoe-ugly.
Prediction: This one is almost a filler match. There is just no way in Hell that the WWE is going to spend a gazillion dollars in advertising on Cena, only to have him drop the belt on his first PPV after winning it. Only TNA does that (with Sting). Jericho is going to be allowed to look good in this one. He will lock in the Walls of Jericho and may even hit the Codebreaker. Cena is going to pull off a Hogan Comeback and cinch in the STFU in the center of the ring. Orton will be standing on the top of the ramp as Jericho taps out. Orton will clap and then stare down Cena to send a message.
Predicted Winner: John Cena
Predicted Grade: A-
Edge v Jeff Hardy v Triple H
WWE Championship Triple Threat Match
The Backstory: Edge showed up at Survivor Series to take out Vladimir Kozlov and Triple H on his way to taking the WWE title. Jeff Hardy got involved, as well. Since Kozlov is battling Matt Hardy for the ECW strap, Jeff got Kozlov’s spot in the WWE title match. This will be a Triple Threat Match, where everyone goes at each other like crazy.
Prediction: Triple H has held the WWE title for far too long. The title needs a new face behind it, at least until Wrestlemania. Jeff Hardy just hasn’t been able to get the job done in winning the top Smackdown title. I’m hoping that when Matt drops the ECW title and Jeff loses this fight, they go back to teaming together. I would love to see the Hardyz face Los Colons (Carlito and Primo) and Miz and Morrison. The later battle could be a Match of the Year-level battle.
Edge has a lot of future opponents in the wings. Undertaker, Big Show, Khali, R-Truth and others could give Edge a true challenge over the next few months. Having him drop the title would make absolutely no sense. Of course, WWE has been known to do things that don’t make sense, a lot. The fact that there is a World and WWE title is a perfect example. That being said, I expect Jeff and HHH to basically cancel each other out. Edge will swoop in like a vulture and pick the bones. I expect him to Spear Jeff Hardy after HHH is knocked out of the ring. Edge holds his title aloft as the Undertaker’s gong sounds and the arena goes dark. That’s how the show will end.
Predicted Winner: Edge
Predicted Grade: A
Final Grade: B+
Final Thoughts: This will be a mediocre Pay-per-view. The show is going to be pretty predictable. I still expect WWE to toss in another match or two at the last minute to flesh out the card. I’m expecting a few people to make surprise appearance. Santino is likely going to show up for the I-C Tournament match to whine about not being in the tourney. Vickie will be there for Edge’s battle. Hornswoggle just might end up squished by Mark Henry in the Belfast Brawl. I’m also waiting for Shane McMahon to show up and take over Smackdown to counter his sister’s death grip on Raw. That could lead to some interesting cross-promotional battles at a future PPV. This is going to be another set-up PPV.