Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga (YouTube Pre-Show Bout):This is the third PPV in a row where the WWE has had these YouTube pre-shows, and while I love the idea of it, I don’t believe they’re adding crazy numbers of buys last minute – probably because the bouts on these pre-shows aren’t much to write home about. Clay vs. Otunga will go a few minutes and Clay will win because Otunga isn’t that important and we need dancing Funkadactyls on the card. No harm, no foul.
Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez (Tuxedo Match):Not into a match where dudes have to strip clothes off of each other, but this stems from Santino ripping off Ricardo’s shirt to reveal a Bieber t-shirt on Monday’s Raw. The US Title isn’t on the line, so just expect this to be chock full of the comedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ricardo wins.
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix (WWE Divas Championship Bout):There’s not been much build with this feud. It’s essentially Beth vs. Layla because why not, which is sad. Layla’s good on the mic, and she’s much better in the ring than people give her credit for. The more you look at their arc overall, it just screams PLACEHOLDER (especially with recent word that Kharma’s been training). I’d be surprised if Layla went over Beth again, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes (WWE Intercontinental Championship Bout):Their match at Over The Limit wasn’t much to write home about, and the time between the two since hasn’t been that amazing. Christian finally gave his reasoning for turning face (he figured any day could be his last as a superstar, judging by his boy Edge retiring abruptly), but the seeds for a real feud between Christian and Cody aren’t really germinating that nicely. Hopefully Cody is on his job, and they get a great back and forth, but I have a feeling this one will be carried by Christian, who will retain.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Bout):Congrats, Dolph! You won a chance to help put over Sheamus, instead of a chance to help put over Randy Orton! I feel bad for Dolph, to a degree. He’s got all of the talent that cats in bigger positions than him (and more), but he’s almost too good at getting beat up, if that makes sense. He makes people look SO good, his flops are SO over the top, yet instead of being in a Ric Flair spot of holding a strap and putting people over while stealing wins, Ziggler just loses clean. I don’t see Sheamus losing the strap to Ziggler right now. Should be a solid match though.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (WWE Championship Bout):This one might surprise some. They’ve done a decent job of keeping this one interesting, which surprised me. The last thing I needed in a CM Punk/Daniel Bryan bout was heavy doses of Kane and AJ, but it’s worked. AJ’s the most captivating Diva on the roster right now, even if her whole appeal is “crazy chick”, but I figure she’ll play prominently into the end of this bout. I’m not sure Vince wants Daniel Bryan as champion right now, and I see no reason for Kane to walk out with the belt, so I’d put my faith in CM Punk winning.
John Cena vs. Big Show (Steel Cage Bout):Recently leaked stipulations have dropped, but the ramifications won’t even cause people to really believe them. We already knew that if Big Show lost, John Laurinitis would be getting fired. For some reason, an additional stipulation has John Cena getting fired if he loses to Big Show. I don’t know when this stipulation has worked in the past – I believe it was a year ago on Raw that something similar happened. It’s almost tainting what could be a decent match, with Big Show getting credibility using a gimmick similar to what Mark Henry did last year. I’m figuring John Cena will win, but Laurinaitis will find some way to stick around. Loopholes always abound. And it won’t be complex. It’ll be right there in your face.
That’s the card, as it’s known so far. As we saw last month, WWE has no problem adding extra exhibitions to their PPVs as of late, so don’t be surprised if Sin Cara or Ryback get a bout. Kofi Kingston, too – with R-Truth currently nursing a broken foot, the WWE Tag Team Championships won’t be getting defended any time soon, but I could see Kofi getting a singles bout somewhere. Will it be an exciting PPV? We’ll see. Punk and Bryan have been fire as of late, and Sheamus/Ziggler will be one to dig into. Cena main events have been lackluster since Brock shook him down, so it’s hard to get excited for this cage match. We’ll be chatting during the entire PPV, so come join us back here this Sunday around 7:30PM EST to catch the scoop live during the pay-per-view. We'll drop updates throughout the night, and hopefully there's some great convo from you guys during the matches, too. And for any news you may have missed, check out this week's blackrasslin podcast.