A Healthy Vice

A few months ago, a friend told me that I needed a healthy vice to distract me. That was the inspiration for the thoughts in this piece. If she is reading this, thank you.

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I don’t like to share personal things publicly. I have always been an extremely private person. I have a few close friends that I share things with, and even they do not know everything. I choose to keep my life close to the vest and be emotional in private. I feel everything, but share my feelings about nothing. Crying in front of other people, including my friends, is not something I do. I hate to bring others down, and prefer to have a good time with my friends and save my emotions for the privacy of my apartment. That is why I have no idea why I am so drawn to write about this particular experience. It might be another form of closure, but it might also be my hearts way of trying to break down my walls. And, in my life the perfect way to break down walls would be through wrestling.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I am incredibly passionate about professional wrestling. I have been watching it since I was very young, and have always had such great respect for the men and woman who live to entertain me. It has been one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle of my life, yet I do not have many people in my life who share my passion. There is my brother, and a few friends. Aside from my brother, however, I feel that while many people in my life enjoy watching wrestling with me, they do not have the same respect for it. To most of them it is merely another entertaining thing to watch on TV. To me it will always be so much more. Wrestling has always been there for me. It has always been my safe place. It has been a second home to me. It has always been that place I go when I want to escape the world. When things went wrong in my life, I turned to wrestling. It has helped me to forget and to heal. It is a connection that most people in my life do not understand, but wrestling has been there when people haven’t. It has been there when I couldn’t or wouldn’t allow people to be there for me. My deep connection to wrestling is a huge part of how and why my passion grew.

Yet, some of that passion has cooled in the last year or so, and by no fault of professional wrestling. I met someone. Someone who loved wrestling when he was younger, and still watched it as an adult. Even some of his friends still watched. No, he did not sit at home every Monday and Friday and wait for RAW or SmackDown, but he truly enjoyed it. And he liked that I enjoyed it. He was impressed by my knowledge about professional wrestling, instead of considering it silly because it was not a real sport. I can even recall a conversation where I, trying to not look like a complete dork, said I knew I was a little weird for liking wrestling so much, but that I was okay with being weird. I can remember him very clearly saying to me that I was not weird, at least not to him or his friends. Yes looking back, he was trying to impress me a little, but the comment was genuine. I had met someone who liked wrestling, who liked me, and who liked that I liked wrestling.

We bonded through wrestling (that and football) over the first few weeks of our time together. We would text during the shows or I would fill him in on Monday Night Raw because like and old man, he fell asleep before it was over. Eventually he started asking me to DVR the shows, so he could catch up when we hung out. One night, early on in our relationship he came over to visit, armed with vodka and old wrestling videos for us to watch on You Tube. The matches that were his favorites when he was a kid. We drank, sitting close to one another on the couch with my laptop, watched, and reminisced about our wrestling childhoods. It is a memory I will always cherish. When live football wasn’t on we would catch up on the shows I had saved on the DVR, or the most recent wrestling event. It meant so much to me to have that connection with someone else AND wrestling. It meant so much to me that someone appreciated my connection with wrestling.

I fell hard. I equally loved the guy and the connection he had with one of the biggest passions in my life. He may or may not agree, but wrestling became our thing. It was no longer just me and wrestling. For the first time, I shared my passion for wrestling with someone I cared about and wanted to have a relationship with. It was something we looked forward to doing together week after week. It was something we laughed about, bet each other silly things on, and unwound cuddled up on the couch after a long day  together. Everything in my life felt like it fit together, and wrestling was a big piece of ‘our’ puzzle. I was in my glory. The comfort that I  always felt from wrestling, I also felt from him. It was the home I had always wanted.

And then it was over. Although not as quickly as that. The end was drawn out for too long, because I did not want to let go and he did not know how. I was heartbroken, and wrestling could not help me. For the first time, the one thing I always turned to (aside from family/friends) to escape, hurt. The one thing that had always been there for me and helped me through so much in my life, that had always made me feel safe, now made me feel broken. I was lost. I could not give up something that meant so much to me, but wrestling just made me think of what I did not have. Wrestling felt wrong, because my life felt wrong. Wrestling could not comfort me, because in some way it also broke my heart.

Wrestling was my healthy vice.

It was what I turned to for comfort and it was gone. Wrestling was what I lost myself in, and I no longer had a place to turn to.

I did not even truly understand what had happened. It was not until a friend, months after my heartbreak, told me to find a healthy vice that I realized what I had lost. And it was then that I became determined to regain my trust in wrestling. The summer months helped with the healing process. The WWE was in my area for a few live events and I was able to attend. One of the events I attended alone, and it helped me to remember how much wrestling was a home to me. I never once felt out-of-place at this event, and it gave me that sense of comfort that I had been missing for many months. I was alone, but I was comfortable and most importantly happy. The next night, I went to the Money in the Bank Pay Per View in Boston. It has always been one of my favorite events, and my excitement gave me even more hope that I was on the mend. And I am. Those aforementioned events have proven that wrestling can still take me to that place. My safe place, where nothing else matters except for my special connection with wrestling and where my problems cease to exist. Even if only for a few hours.

I can not say that I am completely whole. I have picked up the pieces of my heart and I continue to put them back together. As I mend my heart I will continue to let my love and passion for wrestling grow into something new and different. I will start to intertwine wrestling into the puzzle that makes up my life again. I hope to start a new wrestling adventure, and maybe I will even begin to share those adventures again. Sooner than later all of  the missing pieces will be placed together again to form a picture that is more beautiful than before. Even though my connection with wrestling has been altered because my life has been altered, and I may need a back up healthy vice to turn to at times, wrestling will always be a place I can call home.

Elimination Chamber Predictions

Soooo, it’s been a while. I was a bit busy with work and going back to school last semester and the blog unfortunately took a back seat to life. I am back, and hopefully not going anywhere anytime soon. So without further delay, Elimination Chamber Predictions! GO!

Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars – Pre-Show

Who needs the win: Team Rhodes Scholars needs this one. They are the better team. Actually, they are a REAL team. To lose to those dancing fools, would not be acceptable.

Who I want to winI think I made that clear above, but I will say it again: Team Rhodes Scholars.

Who will get the win: Team Rhodes Scholars. Not one doubt in my mind.

WWE Diva Champion Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka

Who needs the win: Kaitlyn needs to prove that she deserves that Championship. This is her chance, against a fairly formidable opponent. One the other side of the coin, Tamina needs to prove that she is as good as the hype.

Who I want to winI am a pretty big fan of both woman, but a small piece of me loves that Kaitlyn has that Championship, and would like it to stay there.

Who will get the win: I am going to go with Kaitlyn. She has worked hard to get her chance, and I don’t think she blows it this quickly.

United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz 

Who needs the win: The Miz needs this one. He has been beaten down and broken by superstar after superstar in the past weeks. The Miz needs to step up, focus, and take what so many others have failed to take from Antonio Cesaro.

Who I want to winThe Miz, of course. My MizFit status never waivers.

Who will get the win: I am going with another sweep here. I truly believe that The Miz has what it takes to defeat Antonio Cesaro and maybe impress and change the minds of a few doubters in the process.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs The Big Show

Who needs the win: The Big Show needs to prove that he is still who he says he is. He is a big, bad, mean giant of a man. Show needs to prove that Alberto Del Rio’s wins have been nothing but flukes in order to back up his place on the top of the WWE.

Who I want to winI am not very against either man winning. Both men bring very different, but very great things to the top of the WWE. I am a fan of both men, and mostly, I hope they give me one hell of a show.

Who will get the win: I think that Alberto Del Rio has the slight edge with Ricardo, Big Show’s temper, and the WWE Universe in his corner. The biggest question becomes, does Ziggler cash in?

Elimination Chamber Match

Participants: Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho, Kane, and Daniel Bryan

Who needs the win: Wow, any of these men could use and have earned a chance at the World Heavyweight Championship. Henry and Swagger have the most to prove to the WWE Universe, however.

Who I want to winI will never, EVVVVEEEER, go against  Chris Jericho in an Elimination Chamber match (except for if Punk is around). He is the best in the world at what he does, and the Elimination Chamber is what he does.

Who will get the win: Wow! This is a tough call. A really tough call. I am going way out on limb and saying that Jericho sneaks this one out, just in time for WrestleMania.

John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus vs. The Shield

Who needs the win: John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback need this one in order to put The Shield in their place.

Who I want to winChild, please. I love me some young, brazen heels. Believe in The Shield!

Who will get the win: Did I not just say to believe in The Shield? I meant it.

WWE Champion The Rock vs. CM Punk

Who needs the win: Both men for very different reason needs this one. CM Punk needs to back up his claims that The Rock’s Royal Rumble victory was a fluke. The Rock needs to prove that he still belongs at the top of the WWE, and if he can not hang with the likes of CM Punk, it may be back to making movies for The Great One.

Who I want to winCM Punk. ‘Nuff said.

Who will get the win: The odds are stacked against the Champion. With the likes of Paul Heyman at ring side, the no DQ stipulation in place, and the many, many groups of people aligned with Heyman and Punk, I am not sure even The Rock can overcome. This match ends in a  swerve, but even with those odds, The Rock retains.

For updates throughout the night on how my predictions held up, check me out on Twitter (@RinHeelLove). Until next time, enjoy Elimination Chamber, take care, and get after it.

Draw of the Week – #3

This week’s Draw is none other than the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ rolla. I have been watching Chris Jericho take the wrestling world by storm for 13 years (since his WWE debut in 1999). In those early days he was a brash, eager, young man who wanted to make his mark on the world of professional wrestling. I was a young fan who was just beginning to appreciate the depths and ins and out of the professional wrestling world. Since those days both Y2J and myself have a grown and evolved. Jericho is now a highly respected and regarded legend. He is a future WWE Hall of Famer and has certainly made an impact on wrestling fans all over the world, including myself. As for me, I have developed into a more sophisticated (we’ll use that term lightly) and appreciative wrestling fan over those 13 years, and there are few men in the business that I appreciate more than Chris Jericho.

Chris Jericho’s accomplishments speak for themselves. He has won countless championships, including the Intercontinental Championship 9 times. He was the fourth Grand Slam Champion and the first Undisputed Champion. Y2J has accomplished things that many wrestlers will only dream of. But, what does he really have left to conquer in the WWE?  While I am sure that he loves the WWE and all of his fans, Chris wants to pursue his other passions, and who can blame him?

One of the passions that Chris has pursued is the band that he fronts, Fozzy. When Jericho made his return to the WWE in January, most fans knew that with the success of Fozzy building it would only be a matter of time before he would be back on the road with them. In recent months, with the band’s tour schedules being released, it was clear that our time with Y2J was limited. Still Chris Jericho gave us fantastic matches, promos, and segments. Moments for the fans to hold on to even after his imminent departure. At SummerSlam he faced off with Dolph Ziggler in what was in my eyes the best match of the evening, and showed the WWE Universe that he is still the best in the world at everything he does. Y2J and Ziggler followed that match with another stellar performance on Monday Nigh RAW. This time the stakes were higher. This time if Chris Jericho lost, his WWE contract would be terminated. As soon as the match was announced I knew that this was Chris’s last match for the foreseeable future, and that it was the perfect ending to this run with the WWE.  Not only would Jericho put on a tremendous performance on Monday, he would assist another brash, eager, young man to begin to make his own mark on the wrestling world. He would do this by being pinned.

After his unsuccessful match on Monday night, Chris Jericho looked out to the WWE Universe and said, “I’m gonna miss you guys.” As a fan I am always touched to think the men and women that I admire appreciate my time and support. But that is part of Chris Jericho’s draw. I know that he loves his fans, and that their support is why he continues to be the best and why I know that one day he will return. There are no words to describe the void in the WWE when Chris Jericho leaves.  His dedication, talent, and passion will be missed more than he knows. I know that the WWE Universe has not see the last of Chris Jericho. He will back in a WWE ring someday, if only so that Y2J can enact his revenge on Ziggler. Until then, I will follow him and support him in his other passions. Chris has given his everything to the fans of professional wrestling over the last 13 years, and he continues to give his everything to entertain us, even if it is not inside a squared circle. Thank you, Y2J. Rock on!

SummerSlam Predictions!

SummerSlam Predictions! GO!

United States Champion Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro – Pre-Show

Who needs the win: They both do. Santino needs to prove that he still deserves to be the United States Champion, while Antonio needs to prove that he belongs in the ring with champions.

Who I want to win: Honestly, I think the United States Championship picture could use some revitalizing. Perhaps, Antonio Cesaro is the man for the job.

Who will get the win: Antonio Cesaro takes the win and the United States Championship from Santino Marella. It is time for the new comers to prove their worth.

WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players

Who needs the win: The Prime Time Players need to prove that they are not just talk.

Who I want to winI am a huge Kofi Kingston fan. I am always behind him. I am a fan of R-Truth and Little Jimmy, too and I think they bring a lot of experience and fun to the Tag Team Championship. The Prime Time Players have grown on me, though, so I will not be too upset if they get the win.

Who will get the win: Even though I will be cheering on my man Kofi, I have to give this one to the Prime Time Players. They have something to prove, and I think that is all the extra motivation they need.

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

Who needs the win: The Miz. He has risen to the challenge by returning to the ring (from filming a movie) to win the Intercontinental Championship. Miz needs to hold on to the Championship against one of the WWE’s top stars to affirm that he has returned to take back his spot at the top.

Who I want to winI will admit it. I am a MizFit and I am proud of it.

Who will get the win: It’s a sweep, The Miz. He knows what he has to do in order to claw his way back to the top, and he has the abilities to do it.

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan

Who needs the win: I am not sure that either man really needs the win. If I have to choose, I will go with Bryan, if only because he needs to prove to himself that he still has what it takes.

Who I want to win: Daniel Bryan is one of the best characters in the WWE today, and it is hard not to want him to succeed.

Who will get the win: Daniel Bryan will defy the odds and defeat the Big Red Monster.

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler

Who needs the win: Dolph Ziggler needs this one. If he wants to show off, he will need to back it up. If it is his time he will need to prove it by defeating a WWE legend.

Who I want to winI am a huge Ziggler fan. He has so much talent and potential and I love a good heel. I have been a Y2J fan since his debut in 1999 and he will always be one of my favorite wrestlers, but it is Ziggler’s time.

Who will get the win: Plain and simple, this one is all Dolph Ziggler. Ziggs will back up that mouth of his at SummerSlam, and he will look good doing it. I also think this match will steal the show tonight. Keep your eyes open.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

Who needs the win: Triple H called out Brock Lesnar, therefore, Triple H needs to defeat Brock Lesnar.

Who I want to winTriple H is one of the best fighters to ever step in a WWE ring, and he has always been one of my favorite guys.

Who will get the win: This is tough call. Triple H is fighting for his family, and after what Lesnar did to HBK on RAW, he is also fighting for his best friend. Lesnar is a beast and has the cunning and ruthless Paul Heyman in his corner. This one will be intense and it will take both men to their limits. In the end, Lesnar will know what it is like to play The Game and lose.

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Who needs the win: Alberto Del Rio. Do I need to say more?

Who I want to winI am a fan of both men, but Sheamus wins out. Mostly because of his hilarious shenanigans and the accent.

Who will get the win: Sheamus pulls out yet another win against Del Rio. What I don’t know is will he walk out as World Heavyweight Champion with Ziggler and the Money in the Bank briefcase waiting in the wings?

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show

Who needs the win: CM Punks has nothing left to prove in my opinion. I can not say the same for his opponents. On one hand, The Big Show needs to prove that he is still capable of winning the big one. On the other hand, John Cena needs to prove that he still deserves to be at the top of the WWE.

Who I want to winI am loyal CM Punk fan. I will always want him to win, always. Even when my hometown boy (John Cena) is the challenger.

Who will get the win: Punk will over come the odds yet again. Respect is a great motivator. Punk has earned his respect, and it is about time he got it. Move over Cena, Punk is coming for you.

For updates throughout the night on how my predictions held up, check me out on Twitter (@RinHeelLove). Until next time, enjoy SummerSlam, take care, and get after it.

The WWE and A.W.: This is NOT the Attitude Era

I won’t lie. I miss the days of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin terrorizing the WWE with beer trucks and middle figures. I miss degeneration X running amok with no consequences, making off-color jokes that often jumped over the line of decency, and refereeing  matches with stuffed bike shorts. The Attitude Era of the WWE was one of the best time periods in wrestling. Yet, even the attitude era should have had a limit, and at times completely went too far (Katie Vick, anyone?). Still the fans, myself included, loved every minute. I never knew just how far the WWE would go. I often found myself wondering where their limit was. I tuned in just to see how far the wrestlers would push the envelope of decency from week to week. It was edgy and it was raw. For a long time I thought those reasons were why I loved the Attitude Era. I have come to realize with age, that it was not the content, but the talent that was the reason the Attitude Era shines. At its forefront were Superstars that we will NEVER see the likes of again. It was an era that will never be forgotten and should be revered for the amazing talent and stories it produced. But, it is over.

This is not the attitude era, and the WWE has made that abundantly clear with the punishments dished out when talent cross the line. Over the last few months alone two top stars, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio, have been suspended for 60 days due to Wellness Violations, taking them off of TV during a period when the WWE needed their star power. They have also suspended a legend in Chris Jericho for 30 days when he disrespected the Brazilian Flag. An action, that in the days of Stone Cold and degeneration X was a professional wrestling heel staple. The WWE is sending both the talent and the fans a message with these actions. Cross a line with those in power, and you will be punished regardless of your status in the WWE hierarchy. The Attitude Era is over, and the WWE will now only tip toe over the line from time to time, and will tolerate very little “line jumping.” If this is the message that I am getting from the WWE as a fan, you better believe the talent in the locker room has been beaten over the head with the exact same message, and are expected to toe the line.

A.W. should have known better. A.W. did know better. There is no question in my mind. The warnings were there. The message was clear.

For those who may not know what happened, on the July 30th episode of Monday Night RAW, during a match featuring the “Prime Time Players,” A.W. was wearing a live microphone. Along with his usual ring side running commentary in support of his team, A.W. made the following remark, “Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel room in Colorado. He’s Unstoppable.”  The WWE immediately issued an apology for A.W.’s remarks, as did Abraham Washington. The story was also immediately picked up by TMZ. A.W. was said to be punished, and eventually released from his contract with WWE.

I will be the first to admit that I laughed when the comment was made, but even I quickly realized that his comment would not be tolerated. The WWE is not an all adult audience, stand up comedy show. Ring side at a WWE event is not the time or the place for that type of material, and I am sure there are many who would argue that those types of jokes should not be tolerated anywhere, from anybody. I am not an easily offended person, and I believe that comedy and humor is meant to ease the sometimes harsh world we live in. Not everyone has the same sense of humor however, and comedy can easily offend. Not to mention the thousands of children in the audience. Thousands of children who are easily influenced by the Superstars and Divas of the WWE. Thousands of children and their parents who came to see a show that is supposed to be for the entire family. Yes, the joke more than likely was not even understood by those thousands of children, but that is potentially even more dangerous. No parents wants their child repeating something so insensitive to a room full of classmates at school the next day. A.W.’s comment could not and would not be tolerated by an organization that has spent so much time and put so much effort in to rebuilding and re-branding themselves as family entertainment.

Believe me, I understand why many fans are upset. There are valid reasons for believing that the WWE are acting like hypocrites regarding this incident. I do not think that A.W.’s Twitter comments are warranted, however. He knew better. He chose to work for a company that he knew was different from the edgy, raw, over the top company that once existed. For A.W. to say that you can not be a stand out in the WWE anymore, because you can not try to be great like The Rock or Stone Cold, and that because of this the WWE are sellouts is just ridiculous. A.W. knew where he was working, and what his expectations as a performer were. The WWE made themselves clear.

The release of Abraham Washington is a shame. He had charisma, and I was excited to see the return of the obnoxious, over the top, ring side manager that will stop at nothing to assist their talents and gain the win. A.W. having a live mic during the “Prime Time Players” matches was genius. It was an advantage to the team, and kept the audience interested in the action. It took being a ring side manager to the next level. A.W. could taunt, distract, and irritate his talent’s opponents in new ways. A.W.’s antics were funny, and were helping to bring new life to the Tag Team Division and to the ring side manger. I was excited to see how far A.W. Promotions could go, and what other superstar might benefit from A.W.’s management.

Who’s to say that we will never see A.W. in the WWE again. Perhaps this is all an elaborate work. This is after all professional wrestling, and you can never believe anything that you see and hear. Perhaps A.W. will go the route of Daniel Bryan, and be rehired down the road once the backlash from his comments have died out. This is after all the WWE, and you never what the WWE is thinking from minute to minute. You never know exactly what to expect next from the WWE, and even though the Attitude Era has passed, that will never change.

Draw of the Week #2

My “Draw of the Week” can only be one man. He is brash, hard-working, and always quick with an innuendo. He is the “Show Off,” the one and only #HEEL: Dolph Ziggler. I have been a fan of this man for a long time. Ziggler has a  natural ability and charm that immediately caught my eye, and he continues to improve with each promo and match. Ziggler has a certain charisma to him, reminiscent of a Mr. Perfect or a Shawn Michaels. He has an arrogant air about him and walks with a confident swagger, but he can also back that up with natural ability. That combination endears him to the fans. Whether the fans want to admit it or not they are paying attention each and every time Dolph makes his way to the ring. It is hard to deny someone their talent, and Ziggler can not be denied. Ziggler will not be denied. If you are not paying attention to Dolph Ziggler, you should be. Ziggler has “it,” and believe me, you want “it.”

What’s “it,” you ask? The elusive “it” factor that people talk about when referring to someone who is the total package, of course. Ziggler has the talent and the look. He has proven he can work with the best inside the ring, shown the world that he can own the microphone by hosting his own show, and is easy on the eyes. Dolph Ziggler is all that, and so much more. When I say that Ziggler has “it” I am also referring to his drive and passion. Dolph is willing to work harder than almost any one else in that ring, night in and night out. He is willing to put everything on the line, including his own body, to give you (the fans) the best show possible. Ziggler is one of the hardest working men on the current WWE roster, and it has only positively benefited him. (I mean, seriously, have you seen this guy sell?) People in high places are noticing Ziggler, but more importantly the fans are noticing and starting to stand behind him. Dolph has the drive to want to be the best, and the passion for what he does to actually be the best.

Ziggler with the MITB Briefcase.

Mr. Money in the Bank, took his game to the next level on Sunday by winning the briefcase and a contract for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Ziggler put everything on the line, and came out on top. Ziggler left everything in the ring during that Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and once again showed the world exactly what hard work and determination are capable of. Sure Ziggler is cocky. Sure he has an edge. Sure his mouth gets him in trouble from time to time. But every time he will back that up with his talent, in that ring, and at the end of the night, nothing else matters.

With Ziggler’s good looks, natural ability, and work ethic he could be my “Draw of the Week” every week.  Ziggler is the next big thing. Ziggler will be a champion in the WWE. Don’t believe me? You should, because Ziggler is everything that a sports entertainer should be all rolled up into one flawless package. Dolph Ziggler has everything that the fans want and is everything that the fans need. Whether he appeals to your love for the heel, your yearning for wrestling ability, or you simply just love to look at his abs (and who doesn’t), Dolph has something for every fan. Dolph Ziggler is here to show the world what real talent looks like. And it looks good.

Money in the Bank 2012 Predictions

Here we go again! Predictions for Money in the Bank, one of my favorite Pay Per Views of the year. Enjoy, comment, and share! Follow me on Twitter (@RinHeelLove) for updates during the show, commentary, and updates on how I fared with my predictions. See you later tonight! Until then, take care and get after it.

WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Hunico and Camacho – Pre-Show

Who needs the win: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth need this one as the champions.

Who I want to win: Personally, I think that Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are both amazing talents. They also mesh very well together as a team. I am firmly behind the Champions in this one.

Who will get the win: With Little Jimmy in their corner, Kofi and Truth retain their Tag Team Championships to kick off the Money in the Bank Party.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the World Championship Contract

Participants: Dolph Ziggler, Tensai, Christian, Santino, Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, and Cody Rhodes.

Who needs the win: Any of the participants in this one would see their careers skyrocket with a win. I believe that Ziggler and Rhodes are on the precipice of greatness and a win at Money in the Bank would solidify either of those men as top contenders in the WWE.

Who I want to win: Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of Ziggler (HeelLove). He is incredibly talented in the ring, and his mic skills have become top-notch. Ziggler has the charisma to draw you in, and the talent to hold your attention. I will be in Ziggler’s corner tonight, watching him steal the show.

Who will get the win: Ziggler, and it’s about damn time.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE Championship Contract

Participants: The Big Show, Kane, John Cena, and Chris Jericho

Who needs the win: The participants in this match have a lot of experience in the square circled between them. Just because they have quite a few Championship reigns combined, does not mean that they don’t need the win. Each of these men has been unable to secure a significant Championship reign in quite a long time, and they all need it. Perhaps though, John Cena is the one with something to prove since he has had a shaky run as of late. A victory in a match he has never participated in before, over three men with Money in the Bank experience just might make me believe there is a “Super” Cena.

Who I want to win: Um, Y2J and I go way back. I have been a fan since the night he debuted in the WWE. A little piece of my always wants him to win, and in this one, all of me wants him to win. Money in the Bank is Jericho’s brain child, he has earned this one.

Who will get the win: It goes against everything I am to not say Chris Jericho, but I can’t seem to get the image of John Cena atop that ladder out of my head. Hometown boy, John Cena, for the win.

World Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Who needs the win: Alberto Del Rio needs this win. He has proven he deserves the chance, but has had set back after set back over the last few months. Del Rio needs to put up or shut up in this one, because he is running out of chances to make it to the big time.

Who I want to win: It is hard to bet against Sheamus. He is so fun to watch, and has proven that he is more than just a brawler. Sheamus is on top of the WWE for a reason, and he deserves to remain there.

Who will get the win: I can not see Sheamus allowing the likes of Alberto Del Rio to defeat him when it matters the most. Although this match is tricky to predict, because there is always the chance the Money in the Bank contract winner cashes in on a vulnerable opponent. Sheamus may walk out of Money in the Bank with a win over Del Rio, but I am not sure that he walks out as Champion.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan

Who needs the win: Daniel Bryan needs this one. Bryan has been given more than his fair share of chances at the WWE Championship, and if he can not pull off a victory tonight, he may not get another for a very long time. Even though, as a wrestling fan, I could honestly watch Punk and Bryan wrestle in the main event at every event and never get bored.

Who I want to win: CM Punk. I am forever loyal to my small group of wrestling elite, and that will never change.

Who will get the win: Well, well. This one is a bit of a crap shoot isn’t it? AJ has been assigned the duty of special guest referee for this very important Championship match, and I can not help but think she will take this opportunity to show us her true colors. AJ is the wild card, once again, and she may dictate the future of the WWE Championship. That being said, CM Punk has proven that he can not only defeat Daniel Bryan (over and over, again), but that he is can catch any curve ball you may throw at him. AJ’s crazy chick act is just an obstacle for Punk to overcome. I, for one, think Punk’s savvy can handle that. But does the Money in the Bank contract winner lie in wait?