Badseed's Bottomline #351
The Return of the Crystal Ball
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Hey yo! Merry F-N Christmas everyone. This is the Badseed coming at you with my year-end predictions for 2006. Yes, 2005 was a very interesting year for wrestling. A lot of really cool things happened, but 2006 may or may not be an even bigger year. There are a lot of things that could go down to change the face of wrestling forever. Then again, we could be in for much of the same. Here is what I think will go down.
Over in the WWE, I think we will see continued dominance from Batista as Smackdownís World Champion. Right now, with the exception of Randy Orton, the only other wrestler who could get a run with the title is the Undertaker. After getting his butt handed to him at Hell in the Cell, I canít see Orton being taken seriously as a title contender. The dream match right now would be Batista vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. That would be the only serious contender for Batista at the moment until they truly build up Lashley as a threat. If the WWE is smart, they will allow Batista to end Undertakerís streak at Wrestlemania and truly make him a star.
Over on Raw, the title will change hands a lot. You will not go through the year without seeing HHH hold the title at least one more time. I donít know how soon it will be, but expect HHH to grab a hold of the belt sometime in the near future. The thing is, I donít think he will win the title as a heel. I think the plan is to have John Cena beat HHH at Wrestlemania, but I could see Cena losing the title to Edge and I definitely see an Edge vs. HHH feud somewhere down the line. Donít ask me how HHH will turn face, but when HHHís big match right now is against the Big Show and they are actually going to do a contract signing over it, you know they are running out of opponents for HHH as a heel. He could do so much more battling Chris Masters, Carlito, Kurt Angle and Edge than he can just fighting John Cena and then HBK one hundred more times.
The world title scene in TNA will be a hot potato. Like the WWE of old, TNA has several stars worthy of holding on to the belt. Obviously, Sting will hold on to the title at least once. Jeff Jarrett will win the belt at least one more time, but you can almost guarantee Christian making a serious run at the title, Raven being cheated out of the title and Monty Brown edging closer and closer to the belt. The thing is, if TNA is smart, and I think they are, I would only have Christian win the title out of the three. Having Christian win the belt sends a message to WWE stars looking for other options. It shows that good talent is rewarded. I expect Christian holding the belt, even if for a short time.
I predict that Sting will not be as bad an addition to the roster. Sting has only fought Jeff Jarrett in the past. There are a lot of fresh new match options for him to take part in. Sting vs. Monty Brown is intriguing. Sting vs. Abyss could be interesting. There are a number of great possibilities with Sting and I have a feeling he will help elevate the younger talent, rather than hinder it.
I predict that TNA will take the X Division to new heights by adding an X-Division tag-team title to the mix. I heard rumblings and they sort of make sense. With Team 3D, The Naturals, Team Canada, The New Age Outlaws, Konnan and his new partner (my guess is Homicide), and The Diamonds in the Rough, they have enough teams vying for the World Tag-Team belts. The X Division tag-team division gives talent a chance to elevate themselves. Austin Aries is a great wrestler, but right now, all the focus is on Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. The same can be said for Roderick Strong, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Matt Bentley. A tag-team division could produce even more exciting matches and concepts and more reasons to watch the product.
I predict a big year for Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin and Carlito. These guys are the real future of the company. They need to step up their game and create credible challengers for the title. Masters and Carlito are in the process of getting a major push by helping to headline the next PPV and the Elimination Chamber. Masters has a great look and he has improved in the ring. Carlito has shown great stuff against HBK. Those two are definitely going places. They have put a lot of focus on Shelton lately, which means they are trying to work him out of the doghouse he put himself in by being disrespectful to a WWE agent and give him something to do. A feud with HBK and a heel turn will push him in the right direction; possibly into a feud with John Cena over who the real Bad Bad Man is. Watch out for these three.
Expect moderate Intercontinental title pushes for wrestlers like Chavo Guerrero and Matt Striker. Striker is starting to get some attention and I can see him doing a lot of great things in the company because of his ability to work the mic like so many others just cannot do anymore. I met him. The way he acts in character is sort of the way he acted in independent wrestling when there were no script writers. Heís cocky and funny and has charisma. He will go over well in the company. Chavo will always be a huge favorite to the crowd because of his affiliation with Eddie and the cheers will not go unnoticed.
Expect Rob Conway, Tyson Tomko, Gene Snitsky, Eugene, The Heart Throbs, Viscera, Val Venis, Torrie Wilson, Sylvan, The Basham Brothers, Simon Dean, Steven Richards, Vito, Johnny Parisi and Rene Dupree to get cut in 2006.
Expect the WWE to continue to screw up the tag-team division by splitting up teams when they are just starting to work out and by pushing the wrong people together as teams, because they have nothing else for them. Expect them to continue to ruin the cruiserweight division, too by just giving everyone the belt without rhyme or reason; without feuds that make sense and without matches worthy of cruiserweight action. Nothing is going to change. You want great action, go to TNA.
Expect the next version of the ECW DVD to be hot and expect the WWE to ruin it with a really poor ECW One Night Stand PPV that will be short on any real match quality since all the good wrestlers from ECW are in TNA.
Expect Chris Benoit to leave the WWE at the end of his contract unless they provide him with a really good deal and a guarantee of some kind of major push. Heís all Smackdown has right now in terms of great matches. I expect Benoit to work a limited schedule in New Japan and TNA.
Expect Brock Lesnar to continue to fight with the WWE only to resign with them by the end of the year.
Expect Paul Heyman to leave the WWE and eventually go to TNA. I really think this is going to happen. I just canít see him being stupid enough to sign with the WWE unless he was promised some creative power. He is a creative genius and if his work canít be appreciated, I see Heyman being smart and going where it can be appreciated. Of course, if he does sign with the WWE, I guarantee it will be a one-year deal that allows him to save a little more money before he leaves for TNA.
Expect Samoa Joe to take his push into the heavyweight division.
Expect Team 3D to have the hottest three-way feud with The New Age Outlaws and AMW over tag-team dominance.
Expect Candace Michelle to enjoy a good year in the WWE for now, because of Playboy only to get cut from the roster in 2007. Thereís a two year prediction for you.
Expect Christy Hemme to show up in TNA really soon and expect several more girls to follow.
Expect Ken Kennedy and Lashley to really dominate Smackdown in the coming year.
Expect Kurt Angle to truly turn against America, but in a different way then Sgt. Slaughter. Look for an overhaul in music, gear and attitude for the Olympic gold medalist.
Look for the brand split to end in the fall.
Well, thatís all for this week. I hope to have another column next week, but if not, because of the New Year, I just wish everyone a prosperous 2006. We all deserve it for a change. Peace
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