This Sunday WWE SmackDown presents its latest pay per view. The event features four title bouts and a possible retirement match. Here are some quick drive-by predictions for this weekend’s card;
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin-Despite Swagger’s win over Corbin on SmackDown, this is still a classic case of two guys whose careers seem to be going in opposite directions. I can’t even remember the last time Swagger won a singles match on a pay per view event. Corbin, on the other hand, holds recent victories over Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews, and even a DQ victory over Dean Ambrose. The primary purpose of this match is to continue Corbin’s push.
The Pick: Baron Corbin via pinfall.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella- I think this match is primarily being put on the card to showcase Nikki and plug her new show, Total Bellas. Look for the commentators to mention Total Bellas early and often during this one. Carmela doesn’t seem to be getting much of crowd reaction since she debuted on Smackdown and might still benefit from the exposure of a pay per view singles match, even in a losing effort. This should be a relatively short back and forth match. That being said, it only makes sense to put Nikki over.
The Pick: Nikki Bella via pinfall.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss (Women’s Championship) – In one of my recent articles, I predicted that Alexa Bliss would hold the Women’s Championship in the future. However, I don’t think it happens this Sunday. Becky only recently captured the title and is getting a good reaction from the audience. Moreover, her low draft spot indicates that she’s the one they plan on building Smackdown’s women’s division around, at least in the early stages. Lastly, with Bliss getting the win on this week’s Smackdown, traditional booking logic would favor a Lynch to regain the victory this Sunday.
The Pick: Becky Lynch via submission.
Heath Slater & Rhino vs. The Usos (Tag Team Championship) – This seems like one of the easier matches to predict. This will probably be booked as the “feel good” moment of the show. The underdog team of Slater and Rhino take a beating for most of the match, just when all seems lost, Slater catches one of the Usos in some type of roll up or small package maneuver. This keeps the Cinderella story going and keeps the Usos looking strong.
The Pick: Slater & Rhino via pinfall.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship) – If Ziggler loses the match, he must retire. Ideally, I think it would be best to have the criminally underrated Miz win the match. This could give Ziggler some time off of TV and chance to bring the character back refreshed or possibly repackaged altogether. I think fans have had enough of the Ziggler win/loss roller coaster over the years and could use a break. Unfortunately, I think it’s more likely Ziggler takes the title, as the WWE tries to rebuild Ziggler…yet again.
The Pick: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt- The last time we saw Orton on pay per view, he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Brock Lesnar. This match will serve to re-establish Orton as a top contender. The Bray Wyatt character is strong enough to absorb the loss.
The Pick: Randy Orton via pinfall.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena (WWE World Championship) – Of all my predictions, this is probably the one I’m least confident in. The Ambrose character has cooled off quite a bit, in recent weeks. Secondly, Ambrose just dropped the championship at Backlash, so it wouldn’t make much sense for him to win it right back. This leads me to believe Ambrose is the guy taking the fall. That leaves us with Styles and Cena to choose from. Picking against Cena is usually a bad idea, throughout recent history; WWE has opted to put Cena over as opposed to pushing another talent. Cena is a proven commodity and WWE seems to feel comfortable with him on top. Moreover, since a lot of AJ Styles characters credibility is built on him beating John Cena, the triple threat provides a way to give Cena the belt without defeating styles. At this point, you can probably guess where I’m going with this one.
The Pick: John Cena pins Dean Ambrose.