Tonight, we begin a new regular feature at Southbound Cinema. From the man who successfully predicted the fake trailers in Grindhouse and Batman losing a few vertebrae in The Dark Knight Rises, it's the only place on the Internet where criticism meets clairvoyance: I Am the Future.
Okay, so it's another excuse to talk about silly crap, in this case, tonight's WWE pay-per-view, Night of Champions. (It's kind of like a George Romero movie, only with champions instead of living dead. That made no sense. I'll try harder. ) On with the ballin', Cristal style!
According to Wikipedia (the greatest source of wrestling knowledge ever; take that, angry high school teachers), the kickoff show will feature the return of Christian's interview segment, The Peep Show. It's kind of like The Highlight Reel, in that it's kind of like The King's Court, in that it's kind of like The Barber Shop, in that it's nothing like Piper's Pit. Still, Christian and his guest, Chris Jericho, are among the best talkers in the business, so expect to be entertained. Furthermore, expect to see Randy Orton, probably a full-fledged run-in, just to show how vicious (read: moderately interesting) Orton can be.
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
Are you kidding? Even Y2J himself has admitted that he's basically around to put guys over, and good on him for it. Orton still has a few years left as a potential main eventer, and no matter how boring his promos can be, he's still a great in-ring performer. Jericho still rules, though, and I'm bummed out that he won't be around for a while. His presence will be missed.
The Usos vs. Goldust and Stardust
First of all, the Rhodeses love them some Willie Nelson. If the Goldust character, "shattered dreams" and all, was something of a backhanded tribute to Dusty Rhodes, then Stardust has to be a reference to one of big Dust's favorite country singers. (You'll find Willie's Stardust for about six bucks on CD. Highly recommended. )
Onward. I know it's not a popular sentiment among the "smart" wrestling crowd (an oxymoron if there ever was), but I like the Usos. They're exciting to watch in the ring, like a cross between the Rockers and the Samoans. Kids like them for that very reason, and if you're not watching real-life superheroes to feel like a kid, what's your problem?
That said, I believe it's the Dust Brothers' time. They didn't turn heel (seemingly overnight) for nothing. I love seeing these brothers together, and hope they stay a unit a long time.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev
Yeah, I like Rocky IV, too. Frankly, though, Rusev's monster Russian gimmick is already tired. I hate it when WWE echoes the day's headlines, because they tend to screw up along the way. (Remember Lana's noncommittal reference to "recent events" a few weeks ago? ) Now is as good a night as any for Rusev to lose horribly, get amnesia, and find a better gimmick. I love Mark Henry, and hope he's the one to pull out off.
Paige vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
I like Paige and AJ. Both women have solid ring skills and can tell a story in the ring The Bellas are cute, but I'm tired of this angle. It's a holdover from a crap reality show I couldn't sit through for more than an episode. (Yes, I tried. No, I'm not a Neilsen family. Don't blame me. )
Of course there will be a Brie run-in, and of course no one will care, and of course you'll hear Punkand Bryan chants, but at least Paige and AJ will look good. Also, maybe we'll see the beginning of an AJ/Stephanie feud... or am I truly naive?
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
This is the comedy match, which is fine, but Ziggler's better than that. If he doesn't win, I riot. Fear for my cats.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Sheamus has grown on me over the years. I didn't like him as a heel, but that's when the product was so bad, I would have hated a Sammartino return.
Cesaro, however, is in his prime. If WWE is serious about "the next generation" (cue Jerry Goldsmith), they may as well start with their best young talent.
Seth Rollins vs. ???
Okay, so it's Dean Ambrose. Maybe. Either way, Rollins wins. Bummer, too. Ambrose is hysterically entertaining, far more than Rollins.
Roman Reigns will be back, just not tonight. When he comes back, I hope they allow him to be himself. There's a moment in the "Royal Rumble Moments" Countdown when Reigns comes off as a regular guy, not the stiff, boring monster he's been playing. I'd like to see more of that guy. He doesn't have "attitude," but it would be a good restart, seeing as this is the "reality era" and all.
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
The kids love Cena. The kids with older brothers love Lesnar. The rest of are wondering why we're seeing a Summerslam rematch. WWE is already positioning Cena as the comeback kid, but there's always a chance they'll save his big win for a bigger show. If Cena wins, he'll have to cheat or otherwise get lucky, but this is a tweener show, so that's not outside the realm of possibility. I say Cena wins, if only because WWE is running out of main event babyfaces.
Expect a fairly decent show, even for a glorified In Your House PPV. It won't have too many surprises, as tweener shows rarely do. Have fun and don't take or too seriously. It's wrestling, dude.