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These are going to be short and sweet, because I got five hours of sleep last night and I’m fucking tired.

“Miss Wrestlemania” Hog Pen Match – Vickie Guerrero (c) vs. Santina Marella

I hope that this is the end of the Santina character.  Santino needs to move past this atrocity and go back to being funny and entertaining as a comedy wrestler, not a joke.  Yes, there’s a difference.  I’d expect plenty of interference by Chavo, and Vickie Guerrero will retain her pointless title.

Samoan Strap Match – CM Punk vs. Umaga

I see that WWE is trying to forget that Umaga ever spoke English, since in their video on Smackdown this past Friday, there were no shots of him speaking, only of him tying Punk upside down in the tree of woe and beating him senseless.  With Punk winning their match on Friday, it’s almost guaranteed for Umaga to win.  Besides, he needs the win more than Punk in order to solidify himself as a contender.  I expected their last match to go three minutes and it went 15, so I’m hoping for a brutal match, with the strap being used quite often.

US Championship Fatal Four Way Match – Kofi Kingston (c) vs. MVP vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy

This is a very important match for Kofi.  If he can take out his three main challengers, he’ll solidify himself as a legitimate midcard star.  Which is a hell of a lot better than I can say for a lot of other guys working for Vince these days.  Kofi needs to win, because otherwise his match with MVP on Monday night was pointless.  If Regal or Hardy is going to win today, why not have them win the qualifying match two weeks ago on Raw and then beat MVP this past week?  It just wouldn’t make sense.  And MVP doesn’t need to win the title back, because he’s moving on up into the main event.  Kofi Kingston is my pick to win, so he can show that his Intercontinental title run wasn’t a fluke.

Intercontinental Championship No Holds Barred Match – Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Chris Jericho

This should be a barn-burner of a match.  I was thinking about the term “No Holds Barred,” and it made me wonder why that translates to “Hardcore Rules.”  It doesn’t necessarily condone the use of weapons or illegal strikes.  It just allows illegal holds (like choke holds) to be used.  But I’m sure WWE won’t ever bother to make that distinction, because it probably thinks its fans don’t know what a hold is these days.  And they’re probably a little bit right.  But enough of my rambling.  Both of these guys have a legitimate chance to win/retain the IC Title.  If Rey retains, he’ll show that he is here to stay as the top of the Smackdown midcard, and if Jericho wins, then everything he’s been saying these past few weeks was right.  Whether he gets Mysterio’s mask is another thing entirely.  I don’t think that WWE will ever unmask Mysterio, especially with as much time as he’s got left on his contract.  This is actually kind of tough to call, so I’ll just pick Chris Jericho to start his ninth run as Intercontinental Champion.  Though I don’t really like the pick.  But that’s good, because Creative has somehow made it difficult to pick who I think is going to win.  That’s a sign of a good build for a match.

Submission Match – John Cena vs. The Big Show

On paper, this sounds like a great match.  We saw how Cena couldn’t lock in the STFU at Judgment Day, so how is he going to make the giant submit?  Well, all he has to do is knock Show out with a few dozen chair shots and then slap on the STFU.  Or use something different.  I cannot honestly see Big Show winning this match.  He’s stuck in creative limbo, and probably will be until he retires again.  I’m not expecting much out of this match save a win for John Cena.

ECW Championship Triple Threat Hardcore Rules Match – Christian (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger

This is the best built match on the card.  Each man has an honest and legitimate chance to win the title.  Christian has lookes strong, especially in his hard-fought victory over Tyson Kidd this past Tuesday.  Dreamer is the sentimental favorite, as if he doesn’t win, he’s retiring from in-ring competition, and Swagger…as much as I hate to admit, may very well have a chance to win, simply because I wouldn’t put it past WWE Creative to have Swagger pin Dreamer and coast on the notoriety that he made Dreamer retire for a while.  I hope that doesn’t happen.  It’s logical and it’s exactly the type of thing that the WWE would do.  I’m going with my heart over my brain on this one and I’ll say Tommy Dreamer somehow pulls off the win and pins Swagger to win his final ECW Championship.  Lord knows the man deserves it more than just about everybody employed by WWE these days.

World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match – Edge (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

I’ll call this to be match of the night right now.  Edge and Jeff have incredible chemistry, and have worked with each other on and off for over 10 years now.  If this is going to be the blowoff to their decade plus long feud, I’d expect one hell of a match.  And ladders are the perfect environment to do it.  I was hoping for a TLC match, if only to “officially” bring tables and chairs into the match.  There will likely be both anyway.  As far as the pick goes, it’s tough to decide.  Jeff Hardy’s definitely the sentimental favorite, but Edge has yet to deliver a truly solid World Title run so far this year.  As much as I want to see Hardy win and realize his dream for the second time, I just don’t think that this is his time.  There are new faces coming up quickly, and they deserve their shots as well.  And there isn’t a better heel to take your shots against than Edge, so I’m picking him to win.  Expect a lot of sick spots and awesome moves from atop very tall ladders.  I may evey squee a few times during this match.

WWE Championship Steel Cage Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista

This is one of those odd cases where the build is strong and done very well, especially with Flair and the rest of Legacy getting involved.  But unlike the ECW Title match or the IC match or even the WHC match, this one seems much more predictable than the others.  Batista just isn’t world champ material any more.  Orton may not be the face of the future, but he’s the best Raw has right now.  At least until MVP comes out of nowhere and takes the WWE title away.  I’d expect this to be a pretty great match as well, including some interference from Flair, Legacy, or both, and maybe even the return of HHH.  Let’s hope he puts his return off until after The Bash, so we won’t get any possibility of another HHH/Orton match for a while.  Unless HHH comes back as a heel.  That might be interesting.  He’s been a face for nigh on three years now.  Perhaps it’s time for a change.  However it goes down, Randy Orton is going to retain his WWE Championship and stay the champ for at least the next three weeks.

On a side note, and something I find just a touch coincidental, I was visiting Wrestleview.com to get the card for Extreme Rules, and I saw the headline “Serious Injury at June 6 CZW event.”  Now, I’m not a big fan of the ultraviolent side of wrestling, of which CZW is a big part, but when you see a headline like that, you have to look.  Apparently Nick Gage severed a main artery while taking a bump onto a light tube, and got sliced open from armpit to hip.  And it took an hour for him to get taken to a hospital, because they were out in Bumfuck, Delaware and for some reason waited until the show had ended to airlift him out.  It’s times like these that I wonder why guys put themselves through such horrific conditions just for a little notoriety.  I’ve never watched any CZW, but after hearing about this, I likely never will.

I’ll probably be back tomorrow with the results of the Extreme Rules PPV and tell you how I did with my picks.  And if I’m feeling like it, I’ll tally up my picks for the year and find out how I’m doing.  See you then!

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