Last week, we had some fun with our NFL Divisional Round predictions as we assigned a Pro Wrestling legend to each of the competing teams and hypothesized on how the match-up would go, both on the field and in the ring. It was Vince Lombardi meets Vince McMahon as we previewed what turned out to be four very exciting games, and for what it’s worth, if not for a highly controversial, game changing reversal of what appeared to be a PHENOMENAL catch by Cowboy’s star wide receiver, Dez Bryant (on fourth down in the fourth quarter no less), then we would’ve been 4 for 4 with our predictions. But alas it wasn’t meant to be, so we’ll settle for a .750 success rate. That said, this week we’re going to keep the energy going and preview both the NFC and AFC Championship games using the same Pro Wrestlers that were assigned to the four remaining teams from the Divisional Round. That sounds like the bell ringing and there are two Conference Championship trophies on the line, so let’s get to rumbling.
Sunday, January 18th – 3:00pm – NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
(1) Seattle Seahawks vs. (2) Green Bay Packers
Seahawks Pro Wrestler: Booker T
Packers Pro Wrestler: ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
In the Divisional Round, we chose Booker T to represent the Seahawks because his in-ring versatility, having the ability to brawl it out or beat you with agility and finesse, mirrored Seattle’s ability to run the ball down your throat with Marshawn Lynch and/or Russell Wilson or beat you with the passing game. And that’s not to mention a punishing defense, headlined by All-World cornerback Richard Sherman, whose sometimes animated and hyped up post-game interviews also remind us of Booker T’s colorful and amped up promos.
Conversely, we had Ric Flair representing the Green Bay Packers because his 16 World Titles are tops among all Pro Wrestlers, while Green Bay’s 9 NFL Championships combined with 4 Super Bowl victories make them the most storied franchise in football history. Also, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been known to make the “Championship Belt around the waist” motion, so who better to represent Green Bay than the man who wore World Championship gold more than any other Pro Wrestler in history.
That said, we expected the Cowboys (represented by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin) to beat the Packers, and as previously mentioned they almost did. Aaron Rodgers was clutch and played with a lot of guts, but for several stretches throughout the game he looked banged up and not quite his typically dominant self. At his best he’s the best quarterback in football and a perennial MVP candidate, but given that he just doesn’t seem to be at 100%, that the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks are simply better than the Cowboys (particularly on defense), and that Seattle has home field, we predict that Booker T will capitalize on a valiant but hampered Flair, hit him with a DDT in the center of the ring, and get the pinfall. No shame in Green Bay’s game, but Seattle moves on to their 2nd straight Super Bowl.
Sunday, January 18th – 6:30pm – NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
(1) New England Patriots vs. (4) Indianapolis Colts
Patriots Pro Wrestler: John Cena
Colts Pro Wrestler: The Rock
We had John Cena represent the Patriots because he himself is a New Englander and has been the top and most consistent star in Pro Wrestling for the last decade plus, like the Patriots who since ’01 have won 3 Super Bowls, been to 2 others, and as of Sunday will be appearing in their 8th AFC Championship game of the Brady/Belichick era. Simply put, John Cena has the Championship pedigree to carry the Patriot legacy.
On the other side of the field, we have the Indianapolis Colts represented by The Rock because both have been Champions of their respective leagues multiple times. Also, the Colts’ Andrew Luck led high-powered passing is both effective and fun to watch, not unlike The Rock calls himself most electrifying sports entertainer of all-time, and with good reason. Every time The Rock steps into the ring, you can expect fireworks just like every time Andrew Luck takes the field, you can expect some sweet spirals flying through the air.
With that as the backdrop for this match-up, we’re going to go with the New England Patriots to win this game. The Colts are an up and coming powerhouse in the AFC and barring major injuries and/or terrible front office moves will surely contend for years to come. The Patriots however, much like Cena, have been the top dog in the AFC for over a decade and in the wake of last year’s AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos, have played this season with a renewed vigor, and more importantly a healthy Rob Gronkowski. Cena performs by the creed of “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.” New England has “The Patriot Way.” Both ethos’ are alive and well and given the Pats will be playing at Gillette stadium, we anticipate the Foxboro faithful will be a rambunctious 12th man, propelling the Pats to a hard-fought victory over The Rock’s Colts. Darrelle Revis will further cement his stature as a dominant corner, minimizing Andrew Luck’s impact on the game and Brady to Gronk will be the difference on offense for the Pats. Sure there’s a tad of “homerism” bias here as at JP Lime Productions we loyally root for our Greater Boston area teams, but the way we see it Cena will recover from a well-executed People’s Elbow, dodge a Rock Bottom, and finishes off The Rock with his trademark Five Knuckle Shuffle into the Attitude Adjustment routine for a 3 count, setting up a fantastic Super Bowl featuring the defending champs versus the team with the most Super Bowls in recent history. Oh what a glorious weekend it’ll be.