by BROCK KOLLER
It’s not one of the big events of the year, but it is shaping up to be perhaps be the start of something big. Real big.
But let’s not jump ahead just yet. It’s all about the build in pro wrestling. We got to begin with the undercard and match of royal proportions.
KING BARRETT vs. R-TRUTH
This feud is fun, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like this feud? Doesn’t this feud make you want to win King of the Ring?
Remember when Stone Cold won King of the Ring? That was an iconic moment. Barrett’s reign doesn’t have the same feel. Maybe because the first thing they have the king do is fight in a pointless feud like this one.
I agree, but it should not be forgotten, ol’ King Stone Cold was in a Kickoff Match (then known as the Free For All) two months after his coronation. But R-Truth is no Yokozuna…even ‘fall from a broken middle rope’-era Yokozuna.
All hail King Barrett in this one and let’s hope the scepter is broken over the head of this rivalry in Queen Sherri fashion, ending it once and for all. Yes, that made sense.
WINNER: KING BARRETT
PRIME TIME PLAYERS vs. THE NEW DAY – WWE TAG TEAM TITLES
I would like Titus O’Neil to commentate this match as he wrestles – a la Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler used to do against jobbers on Saturday morning WWE Superstars. O’Neil’s commentary has been stellar – even his jabbing back and forth with JBL. That would add an extra layer to the very decent wrestling these five competitors will bring to the table. In a quality match, I see the champs retaining.
WINNERS: PRIME TIME PLAYERS
RANDY ORTON vs. SHEAMUS
The night after WrestleMania 29, Randy Orton fought Sheamus. The crowd did the wave. There is something about these two former World Champions that when placed face to face inside the squared circle makes wrestling fans want to do the wave. It’s nothing against them personally or professionally. Randy Orton is one of the most talented professional wrestlers of all time. Sheamus is back to being a heelish bully which freshened up his character and made him interesting again. But please stay away from each other! It’s like grape jelly and engine oil. Two fantastic things, just not together.
WINNER: RANDY ORTON
ROMAN REIGNS vs. BRAY WYATT
This match is the anti-thesis of the previous one. While the aforementioned pair featured two stars who have been around, this one is a grudge fest with newer blood in a match we have yet to see in this vein. Yes, we have had the Wyatt Family vs. the Shield – epic encounters – but this is the first one-on-one feud between Reigns and Wyatt. The ‘Anyone But You’ story does not only bring a catchy, shiny new phrase to wrestling fans’ vernacular, but who will come out on top of this one is up in the air. Both men need a win. Wyatt has lost his fair share of big time matches. But Reigns is still coming off that loss to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania. If they want to extend this feud to Summerslam they could have Wyatt pull out his old parlor tricks. But how about this: Wyatt tries a trick – maybe the fake Wyatt again – but Reigns figures it out and pulls out all the (Superman) punches to defeat the new face of fear. Believe that.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS
The next matches are a combination of the future of WWE going up against the established stars.
JOHN CENA vs. KEVIN OWENS – U.S. Championship
It’s 1-1. All tied up in the series. However, Owens is coming into this one a little lighter. Since losing the NXT Championship to Finn Balor in Tokyo, Owens seems to have lost some steam. But he should be able gain back his mojo after what should be another wrestling classic with Cena. Owens right now is in the midst of at least 6 different feuds (Cena, Cesaro, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Balor, Sami Zayne) and nothing will his cement his place on the card more than a brand new title on his shoulder.
WINNER: KEVIN OWENS
SETH ROLLINS vs. BROCK LESNAR – WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Since when did we start cheering Lesnar? I mean, we’ve been cheering Lesnar since his return, yes, but now we are supposed to be cheering Lesnar. He’s demolishing villainous vehicles and destroying evil security teams, all while showing his vulnerability, has a city-friendly new Suplex City t-shirt, and is getting outnumbered by an even more vile group. Lesnar went from heelish monster to anti-hero monster this month. He became Venom. Venom was once Spider-Man’s fiercest foe, but then when Carnage came about, a foe even fiercer, Spidey turned to Venom for help. Likewise, the fans have turned to Brock Lesnar for help to take down the Authority. See, same thing.
But Brock Lesnar being champion? Been there. Plus, there are too many outlying factors that might play a role in the outcome of this match. The big something I was talking about earlier.
If you have noticed the past few Kane segments on WWE TV then you realize his family has been brought up a lot. If WWE is in the process of good storytelling, which I hope they are, then these segments are a good foreshadowing of things to come.
I at least believe Kane will play some sort of role in this match. Any other Kane family members would be an added bonus. We shall see.
Regardless, Lesnar is not becoming champion again, but he’s also not going to lose cleanly either. In fact, he will probably win this match via DQ. But Seth Rollins is taking his title to Summerslam; who he will face is a game for another day.
WINNER: BROCK LESNAR, by DQ – Seth Rollins retains title