Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" Battleground Predictions: Will we see Chris Jericho get a little crazy? Who will emerge as Intercontinental Champion? And will anybody care about the super stale main event?
By Darren Gutteridge
As a rule, I do my predictions on WWE 2K14, which I beat at Money in the Bank by five correct predictions to three (taking the overall score to 7-1), on the Saturday before the PPV. I sat down to do them this time round, and for the first time in a very long time, the PS3 sat idle as I stared into space, desperately trying to remember the matches on this PPV.
I knew the main event, but everything else utterly escaped me. There was a dull "Oh yeah" when I did look up the matches. Is it just me that's not engaged with the vast majority of content being put forward? I hope not, because I want to feel like it's not just me being a downer.
Pre-Show - Naomi vs. Cameron: Oh noooo, the Funkactyls are breaking up, or something. Well the offshoot could be a new serious take on Naomi, who has all the tools to be an athletic powerhouse in the Divas division, but I couldn't care less about the first step towards getting to that positive.
Prediction: Naomi defeats Cameron
WWE 2K14: Naomi defeats Cameron
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev: I'm afraid my nationality prevents me from getting on the Swagger hype train. What has he done to appeal to people outside of America? Nothing. He hasn't taken a stance against Rusev because he is a bully; he has taken a stance against Rusev because he "ain't from round these parts".
I'd have been happier had they merely addressed the nationalistic differences week one, and then gone with a simple, old school "heavyweights clashing" build. Both guys are big athletic bulls, so a good match is very likely to happen, but the build has been lacklustre for those not born under the Star Spangled Banner.
Prediction: Rusev defeats Jack Swagger
WWE 2K14: Swagger defeats Rusev
AJ Lee vs. Paige for the Divas Title: Poor Paige. I think we all got swept up in the hype of her first night victory. In hindsight, it's very easy to jump to the conclusion that Paige was merely a holding pattern while AJ went to get married to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Having the title switch-back on night one of AJ's return has all but put an end to Paige's early momentum.
Now, she has more than enough potential to get a restart at some point, but as I say month after month after month, why should I have belief this will happen when Diva booking is so dreadful? It's aggravatingly bad. The match should be a great one, but it will all be for naught IMO.
Prediction: AJ Lee defeats Paige to retain the Divas Title
WWE 2K14: Paige defeats AJ to win the Divas Title
The Intercontinental Title Battle Royal: No confidence picks, as there are only two men I would want to win this title. Cesaro is my outside choice. I would like to think he is above mid-card titles (which, in itself, is a whole different problem I could spend hours arguing about), but he is stuck in purgatory doing nothing right now, so the gold could represent something to channel energy into. But he isn't my favourite.
The fact that most of these guys have already had forgettable title reigns in the midcard speaks for itself. What's needed is a man to whom the belt will mean everything. That man right now is Bo Dallas. This is based entirely on my love of delusional champions. Think Santino's "Honk-A-Meter" IC run, or RD Evans' "New Streak" in ROH. The IC title isn't worth squat right now, why not use it for some comedy fodder? (As a side note, it just took me 5 minutes to think who the US Champion is).
Prediction: Bo Dallas wins the Battle Royal to become the IC Champion
WWE 2K14: Zack Ryder (!) wins the Battle Royal to become the IC Champion
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins: This is one of three matches I am looking forward to seeing. It's logical, it's been well built, and the potential for entertainment is huge. It's also interesting to ponder where these two go in the immediate aftermath. Do they continue for another month, or is this the end? Rollins path is fairly clear (he can still feud with Roman Reigns before he gets around to cashing in his MITB contract), but Ambrose's future is much less certain.
He will be pushed, but it's not easy to pick a natural next opponent because of his character. He isn't a traditional face, so do you turn him heel going forward, or find reasons for him to go crazy on another heel? Many points to consider, but all interesting for Ambrose fans. For tonight, I think a Rollins win is in order, as it seems to best suit whatever path they choose in the aftermath.
Prediction: Seth Rollins defeats Dean Ambrose
WWE 2K14: Ambrose defeats Rollins
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the WWE Tag Team Titles: Even though I am down on the product overall, there are bright spots. The Wyatt Family is one of them, so this and the following match have me jazzed. I know what we are getting here, but that isn't to say it's stale – far from it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the Usos go over here, then it should be the last match of the feud. But based on all their previous matches, would you be disinterested in one more huge blow-off match at SummerSlam if the Wyatt's win the belts? I doubt it. I called it wrong last time out, but I'll tempt humiliation by again calling for the title switch here.
Prediction: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeat The Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE 2K14: The Wyatts defeat The Usos
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt: While I am truly excited to see what these two have in store, I haven't been completely blown over by Jericho's return. His promo work that I have caught has been odd. He is still doing the Jericho mannerisms and lines, but then he tries to make out that he's crazy dangerous. It hasn't clicked for me, but luckily Wyatt has just kept on trucking with his mic work. He is also enjoying a lengthy run of good to great PPV matches, and I suspect it will continue here.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Chris Jericho
WWE 2K14: Jericho defeats Wyatt
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title: I could not be less interested. Kane and Orton have been stale for years, Cena as champion again does nothing for me, and while Reigns has come on leaps and bounds since his main roster debut, he isn't ready for the title. I'm not going to be invested in any of these guys being champion come Raw on Monday, and that is a sad state of affairs considering these are supposed to be four main event players.
Prediction: John Cena wins to retain the WWE Title
WWE 2K14: Reigns wins to capture the WWE Title
RECOMMEND THIS ARTICLE:
READ OUR INSIDER NEWS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE! BECOME A MEMBER FOR JUST $7.50 A MONTH (or less with a year-long sub) - GET THE FIRST LOOK AT EXCLUSIVE INSIDER DOT NET NEWS, TONS OF EXCLUSIVE AUDIO CONTENT, MEMBER MESSAGE BOARD ACCESS, START YOUR OWN BLOG, AND VIEW THE SITE WITHOUT ANY ADVERTISING: SIGN ME UP (or MORE INFO)
RELATED ARTICLES FROM MGID AFFILIATE SITES...