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Countdown to WWE Judgment Day
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff



The time has come for WWE to give the final verdict on several feuds...hopefully.

Yes, Judgment Day is upon us and with it comes the possibility of upper card feuds coming to their end. Others, meanwhile, are in their infancy, and look to be ignited at J-Day.

Here's what the Fed has lined up for us tonight (minus the Big Show/Mark Henry match, announced after our predictions were assembled; such a shame).


WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (Steel Cage)

Triple H vs. Randy Orton


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I'm almost sorry to say this, but this feud is getting really boring. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that we all knew Triple H was getting the belt at one point or another. What Levesque needs now is to go into a series with someone he hasn't faced, either before or in a long, long time. As I suggested last month, a flip between Orton and Edge would really freshen things up; but in the mean time we have the cage. I'm betting that there will be a clean finish here for Triple H, with the absolute final blow-off coming at One Night Stand, maybe in a First Blood Match.

Jason Clevett

Triple H seems incapable of having a bad cage match, so I expect this one to be a fun main event. Kind of surprised this is a normal cage instead of Hell in a Cell, but that is a good thing, as that gimmick should be kept for a blood feud. Expect Triple H to bleed a lot, and Orton possibly as well. Hunter retains, of course.

Matt Mackinder

Oooooh, a cage match. Bring back the cage with the blue bars. I’m kidding. Both of these guys have the same routine matches over and over and to be blunt, they are boring. Triple H loses the gold here and then gets drafted to ECW next month. Yeah, right. This match will have false finishes galore until HHH scales the cage and keeps his title.

Greg Oliver

To me, this is, unfortunately, a no-brainer. Triple H has to win clean, but Orton with control the majority of the match to look strong. The real question is who's next in line for feuds with both men -- they need to move on from each other.

Bob Kapur

Granted there is history between these two, but to me, the cage stipulation just seems thrown in there as a desperate ploy to increase buy-rates. I think, storyline, a no-holds barred match or something like that made sense - but there hasn't been a good buildup to warrant a cage. In any case, HHH retains.


 
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

Miz/John Morrison vs. Kane/CM Punk
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

John Morrison may be the breakout talent this year in WWE. I can see him getting into the ECW Title picture again, and this may be an experiment to see how he and Kane work together. I also wouldn't be surprised if WWE wastes the MITB stip here and has Punk challenge Kane immediately after the match, winning the belt and then starting a heel turn, which culminates at Summerslam between the Straight Edge Superstar and Jeff Hardy. Thus, I'll take Morrison pinning Kane after shenanigans in this contest.

Jason Clevett

Well, the challengers lost on ECW TV this week, so that means that we will have new champions at the pay per view. It will be interesting to see where they go from there, as while Miz is probably the most improved wrestler of the year and is great teaming with Morrison, the tag belts have seemed to be an afterthought, with repeat matches against Yang and Moore. With the ECW champ and MITB winner with the belts, I worry it will become even more of an afterthought.

Matt Mackinder

Judgment Day isn’t good enough to have Kane defend his ECW title, so he gets put into a tag title match? Who’s booking this crap? I’d book a scenario where Kane and Punk lose with Kane getting pinned, then Punk cashing in the briefcase and winning back the ECW title or something like that. Tuesday nights can’t get much worse than they already are. Miz and Nitro retain.

Greg Oliver

The more I watch John Morrison, the more I appreciate him. The Miz? Not so much; but he's well-protected in this tag team. Morrison could get some real rub by moving up the ladder and challenging for the ECW title again; hopefully that is what this match is about. The Miz & John Morrison win, somehow. It'll be Punk being pinned.

Bob Kapur

Remember when ECW had teams like the Eliminators and the Gangstas and Public Enemy and the Bad Breed? I miss those days. Mizison retains.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH

Undertaker vs. Edge

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Didn't I say last month that this feud has been going on too long? Hello...McFly... The concept here bugs me, because it feels like UT is just trying to rack up his title count to compete with Triple H. Edge could win here, but I can also see 'Taker winning and Teddy Long showing up after the match, announcing that he's spoken with the WWE Board of Directors, and has arranged for Edge to be sent to Raw in exchange for the loser of their title match (which will be Orton as previously discussed).

Jason Clevett

The booking leading to this match makes no sense at all. I have no problem with the third match in a row between these two, although it kind of makes me long for the brand split PPVs so that there was a longer break. Taker wins and "regains" his title.

Matt Mackinder

As long as Vickie Guerrero stays away, I’ll be happy. Give that chick some voice lessons. Edge has Vickie, Chavo, Hawkins and Ryder on his side and ‘Taker has…??? Kane? Outside interference should mar this match, but eventually, Undertaker regains the championship he was stripped of for really no reason at all.

Greg Oliver

They had a chance to try something new just for one pay-per-view, like throw Finlay or MVP in for a sacrificial lamb position, with the little mini-tournament a few weeks ago. But instead, they went back to the tried and true. As much as I like Edge, he's not winning here either.

Bob Kapur

I don't like the deal where UT was stripped of his title. It just cheapens things, such that if Edge wins the belt now, it's not as monumental an accomplishment. This should be a good match, as Taker is as good now as he's ever been, especially in PPV situations. Edge wins.


  WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH

Melina vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

WHAT YOU THINK
What announced match are you most looking forward to at Judgment Day?
Orton vs HHH - 17%
Cena vs JBL - 5%
Edge vs Undertaker - 18%
Jericho vs Michaels - 43%
Miz & Morrison vs Kane & Punk - 5%
Phoenix vs James vs Melina - 12%
I absolutely love the angle between Beth and Melina. If Phoenix is a truly dominant Diva, she should not align herself with anyone. Mickie, in a way, becomes an afterthought thanks to this new development, which in a way is fine for me because it means she can quietly go about her business and solidify her title reign. I foresee Mickie winning here, and Beth vs. Melina being set up for ONS, maybe with James as the ref.

Jason Clevett

This should be a decent match. It's good that WWE is starting to let the women who can work be highlighted. Hopefully this is given enough time. James retains with a pinfall on Melina, after some fighting between Melina and Phoenix.

Matt Mackinder

I like Mickie as champ. I do. Then again, having Beth as champion also made sense. Why Melina is still around, I have no idea. Why most Divas are still around, I have no idea. The tension continues between Beth and Melina and Mickie takes advantage to keep her belt.

Greg Oliver

A champion should face top contenders, heel or face. WWE forgets that a lot. Mixing up the James versus Phoenix battles with Melina freshens things up a bit. I'll take Phoenix to regain her title.

Bob Kapur

I like the buildup for this one, particularly the deal with Beth not caring about forming any alliances. Mickie retains, with Beth and Melina continuing their feud.


 

GRUDGE MATCH
John Cena vs. JBL



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This is simply a way to get Cena on the card. This one will also carry over to ONS, where the blood will flow steadily.

Jason Clevett

A rematch of one of the most boring Wrestlemania title matches in recent history. These two had a fantastic match at Judgment Day in 2005, but they had weapons and blood, and I can't see this match working without those added concepts, especially in JBL's current state. Cena wins.

Matt Mackinder

Another old feud revisited. It was decent the first run-through, so common sense would dictate it will be better this time. Or not. This should be a handicap match, truth be told, with Cena taking on JBL and JBL’s man-boobs. In any event, however, Cena wins, either with the FU or the STFU.

Greg Oliver

If they are (still) serious about JBL as a main player on the roster, then he should win here. A loss by Cena at this point doesn't hurt him since he's still away a lot filming a movie. It's a meaningless match otherwise. But I'll take Cena anyway to win.


 

GRUDGE MATCH
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Anyone remember the last time these two fought on PPV? If not, you can go here to get a refresher. I'm expecting a nice, long battle between these two, with Batista getting involved near the end. Yes, we'll get the interference, but instead of attacking HBK, Big Dave will go after Jericho and align himself with a new mentor. A heel tandem of HBK and Batista would freshen up both characters and make a potentially interesting faction, maybe with Flair as manager and a third or fourth member of this troupe...

Jason Clevett

One of my all time favorite matches is these two's Wrestlemania XIX bout. If there is one reason to watch this pay per view, this is it as I expect these two to pull out all the stops, and Jericho to have his best match since his return. This is a really, really hard one to pick, but hopefully WWE follows up with Batista's threat if Michaels was faking the injury. If so, I expect Batista to cost Michaels the match.

Matt Mackinder

This would be better as a title match, but WWE doesn’t seem inclined to have champions defend their titles. Whatever happened to the 30-day rule? This match has a sniff of someone turning heel and my bet would be on Jericho. But these two are two of the top guys in the Fed, so hopefully wishing for a 20-minute four-star match isn’t out of the question. HBK wins, too.

Greg Oliver

This has been a good slow build to a bout, with some good emotion / acting on both sides. It has to be some sort of schmozz non-finish, like a double DQ or double countout. Or I could see Jericho trying an injury angle of his own, and forfeiting the match -- especially if it is a non-title match.

Bob Kapur

To me, this is the real main event of the night and, frankly, the only match I'm really looking forward to. I think this war between the two men will be a lengthy war, so this first skirmish will end inconclusively.

 


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman