The poster says it all in many ways. This PPV has to be shocking in some way. It has been set up in such a way as to make it inevitable, and unlike last year’s outing, one that will be memorable. Indeed, this has the potential to be the biggest, most infamous PPV in years, and for one reason only: the future of John Cena. But more on that when I talk about the main event.
Match 1) WWE Tag Team Championships Match: Nexus (Gabriel & Slater) (c) vs Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov
I think Nexus will start and end the show. Hearing the Nexus music to start out the show is the perfect way to set the tone. Barrett and the rest may all come out for a pre-match promo. I think this one will be intentionally short to get over the strength of the Nexus, but given Kozlov’s size and reputation, they will probably need outside help to achieve that. Expect a later segment where Barrett tells Cena that they all have to work together to achieve the Nexus’ goals, as in the tag match.
Match 2) United States Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs Ted DiBiase
For the first time, I think Bryan’s reign as US champ may be in jeopardy. In the past it’s been a case of Bryan beating whomever is placed before him. This time, however, it seems that DiBiase could be on a similar run. After his part-comic feud with Goldust, he seems to have come out of his experience hungrier and more ruthless. Of course this is all judging from one attack only (i.e. the one on Bryan on RAW), but the change in DiBiase was unmistakable. As we have come to expect with Bryan (and as DiBiase has potential for, even if he’s never quite shown it fully), this will be a very good match. I’m not sure whether Maryse will play a part or not; it seems to me that DiBiase was on the verge of dumping her. I think this is the start of a programme between the two, but I think it’s too sudden to have DiBiase take the title just yet.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Match 3) Divas Championship Match: LayCool (c) vs Natalya
I think this is the time where Natalya will finally beat LayCool and take her first, very much deserved, Divas Championship. This will probably happen for a couple of reasons. Firstly, every match-up and outcome between them has been exhausted, and secondly because the almost insurmountable odds for Natalya probably works in her symbolic favour. The story is quite easy to imagine. Natalya will take a big-time beating initially, but during a surge for Nattie, LayCool will accidentally hurt each other, allowing Natalya to take the victory. As for LayCool, it might necessitate a split – after all, who will get the statutory re-match? Saying that, LayCool are so successful still, that they may find a way of staying together for now.
Match 4) Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Kaval
Like the United States Championship match, this is another tight one to call, and for the same reason; Dolph has been very strong of late whereas Kaval hasn’t been in the title picture until suddenly, two days ago. However, there are slight differences: firstly, Kaval actually beat Ziggler in the ring as opposed to ‘beat’ing him down, but more importantly, Kaval is ‘cashing in’ his statutory title match. The conventions of that sort of privilege usually end with the challenger taking the title. This could be another excellent match (and it’s important for Kaval to have one) as they are both great wrestlers, while Ziggler has proven himself against Bryan, another smaller guy with a Japanese-esque style. Kaval will provide a more high-octane opponent (though perhaps a, slightly, less technically gifted one) which is conducive to a dramatic and unpredictable match, and in the end, will take the shock victory. After all, he wouldn’t be breaking that losing streak, just to lose again.
Match 5) Sheamus vs John Morrison
To be honest, this is the match which least interests me. I like Sheamus and i’m warming to Morrison as being towards that level, but I just think the build-up for this match has been a little tame. Sheamus is doing his part, but Morrison still doesn’t have the charisma or mic skills to make a really compelling story. I’m sure it will be a good match though, and probably one that gets a lot of time. I think a Sheamus victory wouldn’t make any sense. Why all this if Sheamus is just going to win. It wouldn’t do much to spark off a full-blown feud like a shock (as it would be) Morrison victory would. Therefore, I expect a Morrison victory, perhaps after a roll-up (though that would detract somewhat from the victory.
Winner: John Morrison
Match 6) World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kane (c) vs Edge
A very good job has been made of building this match up, and though, as I mentioned in my Smackdown review, i’m less keen on Edge’s reprise of his meniacal side, there is no doubt that a sense of genuine hatred has been established between these two. What you can expect from these two veterans is a well thought out match, and one with high drama as regards the end of the match. A crucial factor will be the role played (or not played) by Paul Bearer. Will he even be there? If not, how will that affect Kane? Could Bearer turn on Kane? If Undertaker is approaching his last run, maybe Paul will be returning to his side. As to the result of the match, partly because of the result i’ll be predicting in the main event, but mostly because of the nature of Kane’s reign, I see Kane retaining. I don’t see the point of giving the title to Edge and stop Kane’s seemingly unstoppable run. I think Kane will be keeping the title until the Royal Rumble at least, and continue to seem unbeatable.
Match 7) Smackdown Survivor Series Match (Team Mysterio: Rey Mysterio, MVP, Big Show, Kofi Kingston & Chris Masters vs Team Del Rio: Alberto Del Rio, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes & Tyler Reks)
The two team captains have a good degree of ‘beef’ with each other, and with the addition of MVP, there is genuine interest in who wins between the two teams. I’m pretty sure the faces will be going over here, as MVP and Kofi Kingston especially could do with the spotlight that ‘surviving’ this match would bring, while the recently split Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes will doubtlessly be on different pages, Del Rio has proved himself no team player. I expect, given the build-up, to see MVP and Rey Mysterio as sole-survivors.
Winners: Team Mysterio
Match 8) WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton (c) vs Wade Barrett (John Cena, Special Guest Referee)
There is so much to say about this match i’m almost hesitant to begin. This match will be just as nerve-wracking (and probably more so) than the classic Cena-Barrett match from Hell in the Cell. The first thing to say is that it’s almost a given that Wade Barrett will be the new WWE Champion. John Cena is not getting fired (unless, in the lamest kop-out in wrestling history, Cena ‘does the right thing,’ is fired, and is brought back in quick measure). I’d like to see Nexus make it as difficult as possible for Cena too. Have them come to the ring, interfere and dare him to disqualify Barrett. No doubt he’ll find diplomatic ways to deal with such situations. The moment of truth will come, as you might expect, towards the end of the match. I am among the hoards of people begging for a Cena heel turn, and on Sunday, I believe, one way or another, will turn that way. The most shocking way of achieving this would be for Barrett to enter the ring with the belt or a chair and Cena to appear as if he wants to stop him before turning round and striking Orton with the weapon and counting the pinfall for Barrett’s victory. That would make my year, and the year of many others. Another year-making event would be the more slightly more subtle turn of Cena counting the three before cracking a smile and shaking Barrett’s hand. Even if Cena’s heel-turn is unrelated to Nexus though, it could still happen. Imagine he counts the three but follows his word of beating down Barrett. In the following weeks he’ll be getting heat from fans and the other wrestlers that he’ll be driven to snap and turn heel. There has been lots of talk of Miz cashing in his MITB opportunity – that will not happen. I still think he needs a big feud with a main-eventer (someone like Triple H or Orton) to get over at that level. Him cashing in would distract from what has happened already and be a bit of an overload. Whatever happens, this will be one of the most compelling matches in recent WWE history, and could be one of the very most important and iconic matches in WWE history.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Here is the moving promo for the match, to get you in the mood: