Saturday, 16 June 2012

WWE Predictions For 2012 - Part 2

Well it's officially the halfway mark in the year since I made my predictions in January. And it's about time I took a careful look at what's going on right now so I can make my predictions for the next half of the year. Before we do that, let's take a look at my previous wishes and guesses to see if any came true.

Zack Ryder vs Kane at WrestleMania:
Nope these two didn't make it to WrestleMania. Ryder got dropped from the Kane storyline completely and shunted into the Team Teddy vs Team Johnny match-up while Kane got an out-of-nowhere feud with Randy Orton for Mania. Although they did get a match on the pre-show for Over The Limit so I wasn't completely off right? Fail
Alex Riley Heel Turn + Burial:
The heel turn didn't happen but the burial did. Squashed by Brodus Clay on Smackdown, choked out by Tensai on Raw, knocked out by Big Show backstage. Thank the lord for NXT or else he'd be completely screwed. Hopefully we'll see something from him in the coming weeks. Fail
AJ Own-Back on Daniel Bryan:
Everyone expected this to happen and so WWE went in the opposite direction. AJ cost Bryan the title by accident, got dumped by him and went crazy instead. This Sunday's No Way Out PPV will clarify whether or not AJ and Bryan are done for good because I smell a heel turn. Pending
The Miz Face Turn:
Miz has not turned face but he's been buried week in and week out so you never know maybe he'll return from filming The Marine 3 and make the turn. Anything would be better than a dance-off. Pending
John Cena Temporarily Heel:
He didn't turn heel but he actually played the heel in his feud with The Rock. I mean at the WrestleMania match he lost and he was the heel figure in terms of working over The Rock and controlling the match. I'll give myself this one because I knew whatever the fans thought he wouldn't be heel after WrestleMania. Pass
Undertaker/Triple H Retirement:
It remains to be seen about Taker's retirement until next WrestleMania but he is 20-0 and has not been seen on WWE TV since then. Triple H has made a few appearances but has not retired, in fact he's due to work a program with Brock Lesnar heading into SummerSlam. Fail
Divas of Doom Split:
Yeah this happened but not in the way we were expecting. Natalya made a weird face turn where she was still kinda heelish then she went back heel after about a month (clearly to fill the void left by the Bellas) and the split amounted to Natalya working one tag match against Beth on Superstars. Pass
Ted DiBiase Push:
Aside from his feud with Hunico, DiBiase sadly did not get a push because he sustained several injuries to his shoulder and ankle though he said he's due to return in a month. I guess that rules out the MITB briefcase. Pending
Kelly Kelly Heel Turn:
Boy was I wrong on this one. Instead it was Kelly's BFF Eve that turned heel...and it was glorious. Plus it seems like Kelly is headed out of the WWE so she remains one of the few Divas to never turn heel. Fail
Wow, none of my list actually got future endeavored which is a good thing. Tamina actually got a big push for the Divas' Championship but has gone back to competing on NXT. Jinder Mahal remains in jobber hell, Heath Slater annoys the hell out of us every week, Mark Henry is out with an injury and not expected to return for three months, Tyler Reks hit the jackpot and got a storyline and tag team so there's potential, Ezekiel Jackson is really just there and Evan Bourne suffered a foot injury that'll keep him out until October. However the departures and expected ones have been pretty shocking. The Bella Twins walked out after Extreme Rules and Kelly Kelly is said to be quickly on their tail. Even more shocking, Randy Orton might be fired too after failing a drug test. There have actually been very few releases this year which is surprising though they've managed to find a way to feature more people on NXT and with Raw going to 3 hours there's likely going to be more guys featured there.

And so, my predictions for the rest of the year...

1) Eve Torres Will Become Johnny Ace's Replacement:
I think it's safe to say that Johnny is on thin ice and not just in kayfabe. The fans don't care much about him, he fails at cutting promos and he's pretty much run his course as the GM. It's time for a fresh face in charge and who better than Eve? First of all, she's got legit heel heat. Second of all, she can cut better promos than Johnny, Vickie and Otunga. And third of all, when she has been put in charge of things she's been relatively fair. Unlike Johnny and Vickie who only make matches out of their own interests, Eve has made fair matches so that makes her a GM that would do what's best for the company instead of herself. You can overbook some storylines by having a heel authority figure so Eve would bring a welcome change to that. You could have Vince introduce Eve as Johnny's replacement on Sunday. If that doesn't happen then I predict he'll split the brands again and have Eve as Raw GM and Otunga as Smackdown's.

2) MITB Winners - Cody Rhodes & Kofi Kingston:
At the MITB PPV next month I expect Cody Rhodes to claim the Smackdown briefcase. Why? Well he's competed at the last two MITB events and seen a significant rise in notoriety since then. He's even had a feud with a main event star. He lost his IC title to Christian so now it's time for him to move onto bigger and better things. I don't see Sheamus losing the title to Dolph Ziggler on Sunday so it's likely going to be a heel that will claim the briefcase. Rhodes is one of the best heels in the company right now so why not give him a crack at this push? Officials seem to be high on him so stranger things happened right?
I don't see Kofi keeping the tag belts because rumours of R-Truth's foot injury leads me to believe they will drop them soon and Truth will be taken off TV for recovery. Meanwhile Kofi could finally get that main event push we know he deserves. It should be one heel and one face that wins the briefcase and I can't see another face that could feasibly win it. Kofi is popular and if he was given a storyline (like this would lead to) then he'd be able to shake off some of his bland babyface routine.

3) Dolph Ziggler vs Jack Swagger at SummerSlam:
I said above that I doubt Ziggler will leave No Way Out as World Heavyweight Champion. In fact I think this last minute WHC match will be used to further the feud between Ziggler and his former partner. Judging by Raw it looks like the two of them are splitting up and it also has potential to be a slow burner. While Ziggler is fairly over he should not turn face as that would ruin his whole character. Swagger on the other hand is beyond saving as a heel so why not turn him and see if he fares any better? Have Swagger try to help Ziggler win the title but fail and cost him the match. Over the next few weeks he could try to make amends but eventually Ziggler turns on him. They escalate their feud by going for each other in the MITB ladder match and eventually face off at SummerSlam. I think this is a match that could be pretty exciting if WWE threw a good build-up behind it.

4) Wade Barrett Will Return To Feud With Sheamus:
It was rumoured that Wade Barrett was poised for a huge title push before he was injured and that was back in February where he was expected to be out for 3-4 months. Now provided Sheamus has the lengthy title reign he deserves, the stage could be set for a great feud with Wade when he returns from injury. I mean, it's England vs Ireland which everyone knows will be an added spice to the proceedings. Wade is one of the best heels they have and I see him returning sometime in the next two months to spark a feud with Sheamus going into SummerSlam. Wade had MOTN at last year's show, can he do it again this year?

5) Kharma Feuds With Layla:
When Kharma made an appearance at the Royal Rumble, fans everywhere were buzzing about when she would return. Many expected WrestleMania and others thought on the Bellas' last night on Raw. Now the prediction is for the 1000th episode of Raw. My prediction is this Sunday at No Way Out. I see Kharma returning to destroy both Layla and Beth Phoenix, maybe causing a no contest in their match. She will have a feud with Layla much akin to her one with Gail Kim in TNA. Layla has that fast-paced lucha style that will work well against Kharma's dominance, using hit and run tactics to try and get the upset. I'd have Layla win by DQ or countout in the first title match to prolong the feud and then have the title change hands in the second match. Kharma can dominate the other Divas, feuding with the likes of Alicia Fox, Natalya and eventually Beth Phoenix.

6) Daniel Bryan Heel Reign as WWE Champion:
Daniel Bryan is insanely over as a heel right now, getting crowds to forget to chant "What!" and instead chanting "Yes!" every week. WWE would be stupid not to capitalise on this right now. This Sunday he gets his second opportunity at the WWE title and he doesn't even have to pin the Golden Guy CM Punk to win the belt. What direction the WWE title will go in depends heavily on Kane and AJ. Personally I sense AJ distracting Kane to allow Punk or Bryan to win. I think Kane is only there to take the pin because he's the odd one out in this storyline. I'd hope more for Punk to win here and for Bryan to take the title in a match at Money In The Bank. That's a very special PPV for Punk so it would make more sense for him to drop the title there. Unlike his World Heavyweight Championship reign, I see Bryan's reign lasting a long time, perhaps even until WrestleMania. WWE have realised now how over he is and so the potential for feuds is endless. Kofi Kingston, Christian, Jack Swagger, a face Miz, all those could and should happen.

7) Big Show's Heel Turn Will Amount To Nothing:
Unlike Mark Henry who finally showed something with his big push last year, Big Show is not likely to actually go anywhere in his new heel role. WWE clearly don't want him near the title considering he had it for less than 20 seconds at the end of last year and his Intercontinental title reign lasted a measly four weeks. Where exactly can he go from there even if he defeats John Cena? Do we want him to feud with Punk, Bryan, Sheamus or anyone who has a title? Of course not. WWE will realise about two months after this Sunday that they can't do anything with him that hasn't already been done. He's been the unstoppable giant how many times in his career now so what makes this time any different? I predict by the end of the year Big Show will be doing nothing of note at all.

8) Natalya Will Turn Face:
I know she was face for about two weeks earlier in the year but switched back to heel because they had hardly any left when the Bellas walked out but I sense Nattie seeing the light before the end of the year. After all Beth Phoenix got her run at the Divas' Championship and I'm not crazy to see her chasing after it again in a few months, but Natalya has been out of the title picture for ages. She hasn't had a Divas' title opportunity since the battle royal where Beth won last August. As much as she is being misused, she is being booked a little better than she was at the start of the year. Afterall she's not farting anymore, she's gotten a couple of wins and she's no longer the one who has to put everyone else over. I demand to see a face Natalya getting a big title push against Kharma. They've worked together before so that would be a good move on WWE's part. I'm not saying Natalya should win the title as Kharma herself does need a lengthy reign, but if Nattie won the belt again then we could finally get that match against Beth we've been itching for.

9) Maxine Will Get A Push:
WWE seems really high on elevating Divas outside of the women's division right now. Eve has been promoted to on-screen authority figure, AJ has been given the storyline of a lifetime with CM Punk and even Aksana is getting something with Antonio Cesaro. Maxine is someone who is very well liked by the creative team, judging from how much exposure she gets on NXT and it's well deserved. She would make an excellent heel manager to act as a mouthpiece for a wrestler who can't talk. They could keep her with Johnny Curtis or pair her with somebody else but by all rights she should be featured because she is one of the best characters in the division right now. Who knows, she might even get to form a stable of her own. Hell maybe she could be Johnny's replacement.

10) The Call-Ups Will Be...
*Dean Ambrose - he's already working loads of dark matches and just needs to shake off the whole bad attitude thing but we could forseably see him on Smackdown before the end of the year.
*Sofia Cortez - she's got 8 years of wrestling experience and the Divas' division is getting even shallower with three departures so far. Bring her into the fold if you're running out of women for Kharma to beat.
*Richie Steamboat - people at FCW are really high on him and I can see why. He's coming along in the ring very nicely and I would love to see him make it to the main show by the end of the year

Well that's all I've got in my crystal ball so I'll see you guys again in December to check if this round of predictions was better than the first lot.

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