So WWE has brought another of its shows out of mothballs and in a way, I like the idea of there not being a major theme. There is no big signature match or concept to the show, instead leaving it as just a show with matches. Now that being said, this show has not had the strongest build, with part of that being due to last week’s Smackdown being thrown off the rails after Bray Wyatt passed away. There isn’t much of a card to go over so far but let’s get to it.
Women’s World Title: Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez
We’ll start out with the hoss fight as these two are going to be able to hit each other really hard. They aren’t exactly hiding about what this is supposed to be and that is a fine way to go. Sometimes you need to just present two powerhouses doing powerhouse things and that is exactly what we’re getting here. Ripley is a star but Rodriguez has risen to the occasion before so we should be in for some fun with this one.
That being said, as entertaining as the match might be, there is no reason to believe that Ripley’s title reign is in any serious danger. Ripley is looking like she could have the kind of record setting title reign that WWE has been using in recent years and while Rodriguez will get her reign one day, it isn’t going to be here. They’ll have a heck of a fight, but it won’t include a title change.
Tag Team Titles: Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens(c) vs. Judgment Day
This is a street fight and that should make for a fun match. Owens and Zayn can work a regular match but they can also do the wild brawling stuff rather well. It also helps that the Judgment Day can work that style as well, with Dominik Mysterio and perhaps JD McDonagh getting involved as well. At the same time though, you have the internal issues for the Judgment Day and things could get rather complicated rather fast.
Again I don’t see much of a reason to believe that the titles are going to change hands here, as Zayn and Owens have cooled off as champions, but I don’t think they’ve cooled off enough to lose. Judgment Day has to win something, but that briefcase Priest is carrying around makes the Tag Team Titles feel like a downgrade. Owens and Zayn retain here, but I’m not sure how much longer they’ll keep the belts.
United States Title: Rey Mysterio(c) vs. Austin Theory
Mysterio is in a more vulnerable place than most champions as he does not feel like anything resembling a long term champion. He is someone who could put someone else over at any time and Theory getting the title back is not completely out of the question. It makes for a more compelling match, but the fact that Mysterio beat him so easily a few weeks ago brings that back down.
I still can’t go with a new champion here though, as Mysterio retains and likely drops the title to Santos Escobar sooner than later. That is the story that has been set up and I don’t see much of a reason for anything else to happen. Theory has held the title for so long that it doesn’t make sense to put the belt back on him, as he is desperately in need of something new. Therefore he doesn’t win here, as Mysterio gets ready for his eventual showdown with Escobar.
LA Knight vs. The Miz
This has been built up on a string of promos and that is where both of them shine. The match gone from what felt like an easy win for Knight into something more personal as Miz has been in serious mode in the last few weeks. That can make for a good Miz feud and he has made it work well enough here. Now they just have to stick the landing and Knight can be well on his way.
So yeah of course there is no reason to believe that Miz wins here, as Knight is one of the hottest stars in WWE at the moment. He can move up the ladder a bit with a win here as he gets into title contention, with this kind of a win helping. What matters most is that Miz has been serious coming into it, which will make the win feel that much more important. This match doesn’t have to be great, but it needs to be good enough with Knight winning, and that should work out.
Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus
They’re inside a cage, which should be the end to this longer than necessary feud. However, that has been the case for a few months now and the thing just keeps going. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though as a cage match should be a sure fire way to wrap it up. Lynch has already taken out Zoey Stark as well, so they have a way to make this one work out.
Since there is no reason to believe that Stratus is sticking around after this one, I’ll take Lynch to win so she can move on to something else (like Tiffany Stratton for example). Unless they jump start some new feud way faster than necessary, this should be Lynch going over to finish Stratus off or good. The feud has lost steam, but having them get a good, dramatic and violent match here would be enough to get out of it as unscathed as possible. Lynch wins.
World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the only match that I can imagine headlining the show, but like most World Heavyweight Title matches so far, it feels like a glorified midcard title. Rollins is trying and they have enough of a feud, but this headlining the show doesn’t seem like the easiest move. It’s about all we have for now though and they should be able to have a good match in this slot.
As much as I would love Nakamura to win the title for once, there is no reason to believe that he is anything more than the challenger of the month in between Rollins’ bigger feuds. Rollins does have a bad back and that is going to need to be addressed sooner than later, but for now, Rollins wins. He also doesn’t have to deal with Money In The Bank just yet, as they haven’t ignored it long enough to have Priest cash it in.
And that’s the show for now. It’s a six match card as of the end of Smackdown and that isn’t exactly feeling like something major. There is also Cody Rhodes on the Grayson Waller Effect and John Cena as the guest host, and it wouldn’t shock me to see Cena and Rhodes cross paths. The show needs something else and setting up a potential Rhodes vs. Cena showdown could work. Odds are we get a bonus match somewhere, but there isn’t much that can be done to hide how much of a C-list show this really is.
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