Keeping it short and sweet as I will be performing an improv show tonight. I’ll be posting my thoughts on who should win and how, and my predictions on what WWE will do.
The Pre-show tends to be fairly predictable and decent warm-ups for the show. I liked Battleground’s Usos vs Breezango. It was a fun match and we saw the right team pick up the win over the stale twins.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus – Best-of-Seven Series Match #1
Who Should Win: Cesaro is really wasting his time with this feud. As much as I’d like to book him clean sweeping this series, Sheamus needs to pick up at least a win to not get buried entirely. Sheamus wins after a countering the “Big Swing” and pushing Cesaro into the ropes. On the rebound, Sheamus rolls Cesaro into a small package with a handful of tights. Cesaro kicks out at 2 3/4. As the two recover from the pin attempt, Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick + White Noise for the win. The story for the feud will be Cesaro never gets the Big Swing/Sharpshooter combo until the deciding match of the series.
Who Will Win: Sheamus for the reasons above. Likely will be a dirty finish with a handful of tights.
The Dudleys vs. Sami Zayn & Neville
Who Should Win: Good to have Zayn and Neville on the card at least. Sadly, they are in a throw away match no one cares about. Zayn and Neville in a short match. As Neville sets up the Red Arrow on Bubba, D-Von is caught with the Blue Thunder Bomb to prevent stopping the pin. Bubba loses patience with D-Von and walks off leaving D-Von alone in the ring.
Who Will Win: Same as above but I figure Bubba will plant D-Von with a move of some kind. I don’t know what his singles finisher is.
Smackdown 12-man tag match
Who Should Win: American Alpha to continue their dominance and build to the tag team division. The win will come over the Ascension after the requisite clusterfuck where all the teams get involved.
Who Will Win: Same result but I think Simon Gotch will take the pin as WWE Creative seems hell bent on making the Vaudevillains lose.
Jeri-KO vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Who Should Win: Enzo & Cass come out to run down their opponents verbally. This will get the crowd hot for the actual card. As the duo hits their stride, the heels’ music will cut them off and respond. Eventually things get heated and all four go for it until order is restored and a proper match structure takes place. Enzo and Cass pulls out the win due to miscommunication between the heels.
Who Will Win: Enzo and Cass, but Kevin Owens abandons Jericho to the Italians.
U.S. Title match: Rusev vs. Roman Reigns
Who Should Win: Rusev gets back his win with a clean victory over Reigns as the announcers hype up how focused he is after the loss on Monday.
Who Will Win: I can’t see the hype train behind Reigns allowing him to drop further down the card despite my belief Reigns needs to turn heel. He wins here because ‘Murica and embarrasses Lana somehow. They’ll particularly play up the fact the crowd will be hot following the opener and hope the momentum from Enzo and Cass transfers to Reigns.
IC Title match: The Miz vs. Apollo Crews
Who Should Win: The shallow Smackdown roster and the budding feud between Kalisto and Baron Corbin leads me to believe that program will start in earnest post-Summerslam leaving Miz and Apollo Crews without a feud except against each other. Miz wins due to distraction by Maryse with Daniel Bryan setting up a re-match for Backlash. The build to this match has been lukewarm and Crews has had too little character showcase for the crowd to get behind.
Who Will Win: I think WWE will have the title switch here but keep the program continue to Backlash if only to claim there was a title switch. Toilet break match #1.
Tag Title match: New Day w/o Big E vs. The Club
Who Should Win: The Club is the only heel tag team with any credibility on the Raw roster (Jeri-KO is likely a one time thing). They pick up the win with the story being they took out the backbone of the team with “Ringpostaytis”.
Who Will Win: The New Day are big merchandise movers and the WWE seem to not really care for the tag division. I figure Big E has a surprise return to foil the Club and the champs retain but a rematch down the line set up because of the interference.
A.J. Styles vs. John Cena
Who Should Win: A weird placement on the card but the card is very much stacked. It is the match I’m most looking forward to. Styles needs the win here. A clean win ideally. Post-match, the Club join AJ in a beat down of Cena to send him off to shoot American Grit.
Who Will Win: After winning the titles, the Club remain at ringside to comment. AJ steals the win due to shenanigans. Post-match beatdown takes place and result is the same. Cena will get his win back at the Rumble or Survivor Series.
Women’s Title re-match: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (w/out Dana Brooke)
Who Should Win: Charlotte is amazing and a more complete package than Sasha in my opinion. While I give Sasha an edge in the ring, her persona and promo skill doesn’t work for me. Charlotte pulls out a win with the Figure 8 to prolong the feud with no viable contenders currently waiting.
Who Will Win:No contest with champ retaining. A a run-in from Dana is intercepted by Bayley which leads to all four women brawling in the ring.
Smackdown 6-Woman tag-teach match
Who Should Win: If Eva Marie was in the match, I think they’d have gone with her getting the pinfall after doing nothing during the match. Her suspension will be played up due to having “missed her flight”. Nikki Bella will make her debut here with the heels and she’ll assist with the win but Natalya will tag herself in to get the pinfall over Carmella. This sets up Nikki and Natalya potential feud as the fans tend to get behind returning wrestlers.
Who Will Win: The heels but Bella will secure the pinfall because they would want to make her return a bigger deal. Toilet break match #2.
WWE Universal Title match: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
Who Should Win: Finn Balor, duh! You can’t have him lose with the first appearance of the Demon and with so few top faces on the card… unless there’s the double turn but there hasn’t been enough to tease a face run for Rollins yet. Next night, Rollins would argue his fight was supposed to be vs Finn Balor and not the “Demon King”. Their re-match will ban Balor from coming out as the Demon King.
Who Will Win: Rollins to surprise the smarks but due to outside interference. J&J security comeback in my view.
WWE World Hvt. Title match: Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler
Who Should Win: Another controversial placement but hear me out. Their feud has had much better build up and the title has the lineage than the new title. The match goes on for some time before Bray Wyatt intervenes and lays out both to set up a triple threat at Backlash.
Who Will Win: Ambrose kicks out of the super kick, does his silly bounce off the middle rope followed by dirty deeds with the clean win. Ambrose remains to celebrate in the ring long enough for the next match intros to begin so we have Brock and Ambrose cross paths staring daggers at one another.
Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton
Who Should Win: Brock. Despite the USADA illegal substance abuse violation, I can’t see Orton getting the rub of beating Lesnar here. I’d give it to cement an up and coming star. Instead Lesnar locks in the Kimura lock and Orton taps to avoid re-injuring his shoulder.
Who Will Win: Somehow I think Heath Slater will get involved comically to get destroyed by both wrestlers. This brief interlude will allow the crowd to recuperate long enough before the finish: F-5 into an RKO but Randy is too beaten down to get the pinfall immediately. As he goes for the pin, Lesnar grabs his arm and cinches in the Kimura Lock. Orton passes out instead of tapping for the loss.