The first round of both nights has been set and the 28th trio has been revealed! Below I'm going to list the first round matches, who I think will win (and why), and who I think will be moving on to the final eight on night 3.
The Colony vs. Team El Dorado -- This is a good match to start on because there is one major point I want to get across about making picks: don't let wins hinge totally on bookability. Just because a team was flown in from halfway across the world doesn't mean that they're automatically going to win a first-round match-up. The Colony had an outstanding 2007 and should have a great 2008 going forward. As I've been preaching for a few weeks now, the Colony have an outside shot at winning this whole tournament. This could be their chance to show tons of people in other markets that they are one of the best teams in Chikara and maybe independent wrestling today. Pick: The Colony
Las Chivas Rayadas vs. Team ROH Grads -- Shane Hagadorn can't even win a dodgeball match. Also, the "screw you!" kick to the back of the head is so awkward to me and I really hope he doesn't do it this match. Las Chivas impressed at the Cibernetico and International Invaders night 2 last year, including a win over then-tag champs F.I.S.T. But you know what? Every tournament needs an upset or two. Yes, that's the basis for this choice. Pick: Team ROH Grads
Team Dr. Keith vs. Team WTF? -- The Brodie/Colin/Jimmy team will definitely be shorthanded if Colin's injuries from falling down the stairs last January carry over. And the fact that they can't practice on Tuesday nights given the Olsens' grandmother needing dialysis won't be helping things either. Cheech and Cloudy lost last month in "Two Eyebrows..." but I definitely think they'll bounce back this month with a first-round win with m.c. KZ on their team. Pick: Team WTF?
Kaiju Sea Amigos vs. The Order -- Dr. Cube has to be there for the tournament now. Evil itself will be redefined if he and UltraMantis Black meet up in any way, shape, or form during or before this match. I can't wait to see Crossbones punch DW Cycloptopuss III's eye really really hard. The Order will pick up another win to add to their January 27th tag team victory. They may almost lose due to a gaffe by Hydra, but UltraMantis and Crossbones will prove to be too formidable even for Hydra's mistake. Pick: The Order
The Naptown Dragons vs. Team IPW:UK -- Here's another example of some people wanting to pick Team IPW:UK because they were flown in from far away. Who cares! Does anyone see a team with Drake Younger and Scotty Vortekckzksxxz losing in the first round of a tournament in the ECW Arena? I sure don't. In fact, I see Drake's team progressing pretty far into the tournament. Pick: The Naptown Dragons
Team Egypt vs. Quack/Storm/Skayde -- Skayde!! Skayde!!!! What a fantastic surprise this turned out to be. I actually wanted to give Team Egypt a chance in at least the first round of the tournament. The Osirian Portal have been doing quite well for themselves over the past 5 months, but being teamed with Mecha Mummy doesn't really help their cause. They'll have a bright 2008, but it won't start with a win in the first round. If Quack/Storm/Jigsaw won the tournament last year, anything short of winning the whole thing would be a disappointment for Quack/Storm/Skayde. Great surprise for the final trio, who will put on several good matches over the weekend. Pick: Quack/Storm/Skayde
Still to come: Night 2 first round predictions, and who I think will be left standing on Night 3!