There are few guarantees in life. Death, taxes, and WWE will celebrate the holiday season with Yuletide beatings. Miracle On 34th Street Fight, an in-ring staple for the last eleven years, serves as the annual festive highlight of Raw or SmackDown.
Decorated trees, oversized presents, giant candy canes, and delectable sweets fill out the ringside aesthetic of this Christmas-time spectacle.
While those yearning for a five-star classic loathes these over-the-top affairs, in reality, it’s not for them. Wrestling is a variety show and a match where one contestant gets a bowl of eggnog thrown in their face in a nod and a wink to the audience. Don’t think about it too much; sit back, relax and have fun.
I believed my King of the Ring bracket should have been etched in stone. Well, Ricochet changed that when he defeated the tournament favorite, Drew McIntyre on Raw. Not only did they put on a really good match, but Ricochet went over clean. Baron Corbin toppled The Miz to ensure half of my Raw bracket was still intact.
Then, SmackDown happened. Ali defeated Buddy Murphy, which didn’t surprise me even though I picked Murphy to win. Chad Gable pinned Shelton Benjamin ensuring I ended the week 2-2. My tournament predictions had a back door of sorts since Murphy, in my mind, wasn’t a sure thing. Ricochet straight-up broke my bracket by beating the guy I picked to win the whole thing.
Now, I got to predict the rest of the tournament and pick a new winner…Thanks, Ricochet. 😡
This Monday on Raw will host the quarterfinal matchups. Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet is the hardest match to predict considering who’s involved. Samoa Joe is always a good bet to win a tournament or championship. However, Ricochet has been getting a push over the last few months. Samoa Joe is a strong enough performer to bounce back from a loss here. Ricochet has the spotlight on him right now and shouldn’t lose this soon in the tournament.
The second quarterfinal match on the Raw side features Baron Corbin taking on Cedric Alexander. If I had to bet, I’d pick Baron Corbin to win. While an Alexander vs. Ricochet semifinal would be fantastic, Vince McMahon likes newly featured babyfaces to conquer dastardly heels. Plus, Vince thinks Corbin is a star. However, since Paul Heyman is the booker, I believe he will produce an Alexander win to get the semifinal match everyone wants to see.
Elias tangos with Ali in the first SmackDown quaterfinal match. This is the easiest one to call. Elias has been making Kevin Owens’ life a living hell at the behest of Shane McMahon. Shane injected himself as the special guest referee; helping Elias beat Owens in the first round. It’s time for Owens to return the favor and cost Elias the match with Ali.
The second blue brand quarterfinal match will see Chad Gable taking on Andrade. Both wrestlers are super talented; however, WWE has done next to nothing with Gable. It’s s shame, too. Andrade seems to be someone the company has high hopes for. This should be a great match, but Andrade gets the W in this one.
Here we go. My new prediction bracket. I’m going all in on a Ricochet vs. Andrade final. Ricochet can afford a loss in the tournament finals. Andrade needs it more, and I think he’ll take the whole thing going forward. Still, though, no matter how it goes, the finals should make for a match of the year candidate!
Eight shows have thus far encompassed NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Sixteen wrestlers divided into two separate blocks have faced each other in round-robin competition where each win is two points, a draw is worth one point, and a loss is zero.
The two top scorers in each block will advance to the finals on June 3, which will air live on New Japan World, where the winner will get an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match on June 11 at Dominion in Osaka, Japan.
Opening night kicked off with two standout matches. ROH TV Champion Marty Scrull defeated last year’s BOSJ winner Will Ospreay by submission after catching him in mid-air and locked in the chickenwing.
Last year’s Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) match between Ricochet and Will Ospreay drew highly divisive opinions from the pro wrestling community. Chris Jericho praised the match for its aerial evolution while Vader panned it due its choreographed nature. Fans were equally torn on the matter.
It’s one of my favorite times of the year as New Japan Pro Wrestling will kick off the Best of the Super Juniors 24 (BOSJ) on May 17th at Korakuen Hall. This tournament will span two weeks, which culminates on June 3rd at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
The winners of Block A and Block B will face off to decide who will get a shot at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on June 11th at Dominion. That is of course, if the current champ, Hiromu Takahashi should win the tournament.
The brackets are very interesting. Block A is so stacked that I almost want to skip the Block B matches…Almost.