Choke's WWE Offseason Report - Post Wrestlemania edition
Posted by: choke Apr 25, 2013 | 1776 views | 2 comments
A look at the WWE since Mania. Who's increased their stock for the upcoming draft, who has fallen off, and other general observations (i.e., what about Fandango?)
Ah, the Raw after Wrestlemania. Barrett quickly wins the title back, Ziggler cashes in, Ryback turns heel, and the smarks like me finally are given a reason to smile. One fantastic show every 3 months: Ladies and gentleman, your 2013 WWE!
Since then things have pretty much settled back down into their predictable states: Cesaro still getting buried for no reason, Big Show facing off against Sheamus for the ∞th time, and just other predictable and uninspiring shock. SO ARE YOU ALL READY FOR THE NEXT SEASON OF FANTASY? Honestly without the fantasy leagues I'd probably stop watching. Now that I've got you all cheery and optimistic, here we go:
Rising up the draft boards (since Mania)
1. Dolph Ziggler/John Cena - Got to put the World and WWE champs up top. Ziggler would have been the clear #1 if he didn't cash it in off-season as you'd know he was going to at least attempt, and probably succeed in cashing it during the following season. Either way, I expect him to hold it for most, if not all of the upcoming season with some nice retention points. Cena I also think will at least defeat Ryback at Extreme Rules, and I lean towards his probably holding it for the next several months beyond that, but I'd need to see where they go opponent-wise after (Mark Henry? Big Show? Swagger? a returning Punk? Lesnar? Options are relatively scarce)
2. The Shield - They've been completely dominating, even winning the matches you could have made a case for them losing. Seems perfectly set up for a run with the tag belts, though I've said that about 4-5 other teams in as many seasons we've done the league. Rhodes Scholars, PTP, etc.. Hopefully the Shield doesn't join that group. If the WWE has Hell No retain against the Shield, I'll stop picking against them for the rest of my time on this earth.
3. Ryback - Even though I don't like his chances in next month's PPV, the thing is win or lose THAT match, I don't see them having Ryback go away quietly, and I think as a dominant heel he'll rack up way more points than he did last season (not quite as many as his debut though). Plus, are we CERTAIN he won't win the title? Just the chance is worth a pickup
4. Fandango - An interesting case. Not sure if I've ever seen a song MAKE a wrestler. I don't think there's any denying that without that catchy song that Fandango wouldn't be anywhere right now. Actually, I think I've seen some try to insinuate that the fans at that Raw after Mania were actually cheering the person and not the song. Those people are wrong. The WWE is playing a delicate balance of trying to hype the song while still keeping him as a heel for the fans to boo at. I personally don't have much hope in this all working out in the end, but for the meantime he'll get his share of wins as long as that song stays on itunes. The WWE loves saying things like iTunes and YouTube. TOUT YOURSELF FANDANGOING AND WE'LL TWEET YOU A KEEK!
5. Big E/AJ Lee - Big E's starting to get some nice solo wins without a Ziggler assist, and AJ just picked up a Divas title shot. Would love to see them build a championship stable out of these three (Big E vs Kofi for the US?) Ziggler having the belt gets these two increased exposure and more than likely some increased wins out of it
Also: Mark Henry was back on his way to being a dominant force, but did I just see him lose to Khali last night? Say it ain't so! And I have a sneaking suspicion Orton will be one of the next feuds against Ziggler coming up with a legit shot to win it at Summerslam. Though that's far in the future obviously and it'll probably be Rey Mysterio vs Evan Bourne for the title by that point. Okay, more like Big Show vs Sheamus part ∞ and 1.
1. Cesaro - What a fall. The 5th highest point getter from last season got completely buried towards the last few months and is now stuck with an awful yodelling gimmick before losing to the likes of R-Truth. I mean where do you even want to draft this guy? 3rd round? Maybe not even?!
2. The Rock - no comment, except I PUT HIM UNDER CESARO
3. CM Punk - I do expect Punk to make a triumphant return, but at this point depending on the storyline you can't really rely on him to be a massive point-getter once he does return. I do think he'll be a major player quickly after he comes back, but time will tell. Solid mid-late roundish pick or so as you might catch others in your league sleeping
4. Del Rio - I don't think he captivated the crowd as a face quite like the WWE would have wanted. Though he did some good work towards the end of his run IMO, I just don't see him getting it back anytime soon. I think he'll be stuck in the "there are way too many of us" top carders on Smackdown along with Orton, Sheamus, Big Show, Mark Henry, etc etc etc
Also: The Miz is terrible, and hopefully the WWE has realized this and never lets him in a ring again (or just turns him heel again. Funny how easy it is to appease me) I don't know if the mid-card champs will have quite as bad a run as they did going into Mania, but I'm not exactly jumping at the chance to draft Barrett and Kofi personally.
BONUS COVERAGE: PREDICTIONS ON WHO WILL WIN MITB, in order
1. CM Punk (would be quite a return)
2. Big E Langston (for LOLs with Zig E)
3. Fandango (to reward him for being the #42462 song downloaded in Zimbabwe for the week of April 14th)
4. Rey Mysterio (ha!)
5. Christian (PLEASE)
6. John Cena (to set up Rock/Cena 12)