Yeah we have to go back to Saudi Arabia because WWE needs money to keep paying for all these people that they never actually use on TV. The card feels a little tied together and that’s not the best thing in the world. Some of the matches could be entertaining but the previous two shows have been horrendous at best and a disaster at worst. Maybe they can break the trend here but I’m not exactly optimistic. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Revival vs. Usos
You know, because this has no place on the main card. This story had cooled off a bit but suddenly the Revival are Shane McMahon’s lackeys, because that’s….actually I shouldn’t be complaining about that because it’s a major upgrade over the stuff they had been doing with the Usos. They also beat the Usos a few weeks back on Monday Night Raw, but I doubt WWE remembers or cares about something like that.
I’ll take the Usos to win here, likely setting up a rubber match at Stomping Grounds. These guys can put on a clinic if they’re given the time and I’ll certainly take this over some of the other stuff we’re likely to get. I could go for either of them winning, but it makes more sense for the Usos to go over here. That’s fine, as long as we stay from the utter nonsense that they did a few weeks back.
It has to be better than this:
Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party
On paper, this should be the easiest pick of the year but there is one problem. Would you put it past WWE to punish Sullivan by having him lose to three luchadors? I mean, it would be the dumbest thing they could do and it wouldn’t shock me to see it happen. Sullivan is one of the best prospects for a monster they’ve had in a little while and that’s not the kind of thing they need to waste in a match like this.
I’ll hope that sanity prevails here and that we get the Sullivan win that makes all the sense in the world. Sullivan should crush these three with no problem whatsoever but that isn’t always the way WWE likes to play these things. Hopefully Sullivan goes over and gets to move on to something more substantial (like picking a fight with Aleister Black) but for now, I’m just hoping WWE doesn’t get any “brilliant” ideas.
Intercontinental Title: Finn Balor(c) vs. Andrade
Yeah this is a thing in case you had forgotten about it. Andrade beat Balor back around the time of the Superstar Shakeup but thanks to Money in the Bank, we’re just now getting to the big title match. Neither has done anything significant in months so let’s have a title match. I’m not thrilled with this one but it’s a match with some potential.
I’ll take Andrade to win here, as Balor is the kind of guy who can be moved around the card without losing much steam. It’s not a good idea to have either of them lose and the title is the kiss of death at the moment, but it wouldn’t shock me to see a title change. That being said, these shows have a tendency to not do a lot of title changes in the first place, so maybe I’m overthinking things here. It’s not like either of them are going to benefit from having the title either, but I’ll go with Andrade for the sake of some history.
This would get on my nerves too:
Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman
This sounds good on paper but I’m not sure what kind of chemistry they’ll have together. It’s a power match and Strowman will be able to throw Lashley around like no one ever has, though I’m not sure how dominant Lashley is going to be able to look in return. At least there’s a simple idea here and it’s an actual wrestling match instead of the arm wrestling mess we had on Monday.
There’s no reason to have Lashley win here so I’ll take Strowman to go over and continue his dominance in the country. Given how behind the times Saudi Arabia tends to be, it makes sense to have Strowman get some momentum there since he’s a few months (if not years) removed from being an interesting character and anyone worth pushing.
It’s a different kind of wrestling:
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Yeah this is a thing that’s being done because the shows need to have something “special”. In this case it’s a feud that was completely played out ten years ago and that no one has thought of since then. I’m not thrilled with seeing this and based on their segment on Monday, neither are Triple H and Orton.
I’ll go with Triple H to win here in what I’d assume is a feel good moment, though seeing the RKO finish him off wouldn’t be the biggest shock. The problem here is there is no reason to care about either guy winning the match because Triple H isn’t a wrestler anymore and Orton has absolutely nothing going on at the moment. It’s a match that doesn’t matter to either guy so I’ll take Triple H to give himself a win.
It’s like we’ve been here before:
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon
How are we here? I don’t even mean how are we having this match, but more importantly how are we in a place where McMahon winning is not out of the question? I know it isn’t likely to happen, but would McMahon pulling this off really shock you? Reigns winning is what makes the most sense here and yet I can’t get the slightest bit of confidence rolling for the idea.
For the sake of my own sanity, I’ll pick Reigns to win here but you know the feud isn’t going to end anytime soon. For some reason WWE has turned McMahon into the greatest thing since Sliced Bread #1 and it started last November in Saudi Arabia. Hopefully it ends here as well, but do you really think we’re getting away that easily? Reigns wins, and I say that with roughly 51% confidence.
This could go bad in a hurry:
Raw World Title: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Baron Corbin
And I thought my nightmares were over with the last match. This is another match that only WWE seems to think is interesting and odds are it’s going to get at least twenty minutes because Corbin needs twenty minutes. Rollins is coming in banged up thanks to Brock Lesnar, who is going to be lurking around with the Money In The Bank briefcase. Lesnar promised to cash in the briefcase here too so you know what that means.
I’ll take Rollins to overcome the odds and retain, likely setting up a rematch at Stomping Grounds with Corbin because WWE doesn’t know how rematches work these days either. Then again the fact that Corbin is already in the match should tell you everything you need to know about their intelligence in the first place. Rollins could use another big win and if you add up the three he’ll probably have to get over Corbin, he’s at least up to a medium.
I’d get used to it already:
SmackDown World Title: Kofi Kingston(c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
I’m getting such a headache with a ll these names that are in such big matches. Of all the people that WWE has available for this show, they decide to bring Ziggler out of mothballs for his latest “I’m totally different this time and I’ll win the big one for real!” story? You have the whole Wild Card thing at your disposal and you couldn’t find ANYONE better for this? Like, Andrade or Drew McIntyre or Rusev or Shinsuke Nakamura or the paper plate that Bo Dallas used at catering?
Not that it matters though as I fully expect Lesnar to cash in the briefcase here and become SmackDown World Champion. WWE is going to try as much as they can to boost the SmackDown Live ratings and since the problem can’t be everything else going on with that show, the blame must call directly on Kingston and Kingston alone. That being said, the title reign has already been longer than I would have bet on, but does it have to be Lesnar that takes it? I mean, odds are Reigns takes it back on the first FOX show, but egads I hope they can come up with something more original.
This, but for a title:
Fifty Man Battle Royal
Who is even in this thing? I know they’ve announced a few names but the biggest name is Miz, and that’s not exactly the top level star that you would pick as a winner. Battle royals can be all over the place as you never know what you might get in something like this. It might be a match where they get rid of everyone in a hurry, but at the same time there is a possibility that this is going to be crazy long with a bunch of waiting around until we get to the big names.
Since I don’t know who is in the thing, I’ll take…..let’s go with Big Show to win. I mean, it’s not like the match means anything at all anyway (as proven by the Greatest Royal Rumble) so go with someone who hasn’t meant anything in WWE in a long time. Hopefully this isn’t some 45 minute epic struggle because that’s about as far from what this show is going to need as you can get. Or it could be McMahon, because why not.
I mean, these people might be in it:
Goldberg vs. Undertaker
Yeah they’re old, yeah this would have been better twenty years ago and yeah it’s going to need to be about five minutes long, but sweet goodness that showdown they had at the end of SmackDown Live was great. This feels epic because it’s an actual dream match that could be really entertaining. What might not be so entertaining is seeing Undertaker’s bones come flying out of his body when Goldberg hits a spear. Then again with the money they’re getting for these things, I’m sure they can afford the medical bills.
I guess I’ll go with Undertaker here, but I can’t imagine either of them actually losing. Undertaker is far more likely to wrestle for the company again though and it would make more sense to have him get the win. Also can you imagine WWE letting a WCW wrestler get that big of a win over someone as important as Undertaker? The match is going to feel a lot better than it is, but I’ll take what little good I can get.
This has to be awesome:
I don’t want to watch this show and I don’t know many people who do. These shows are long, usually terrible and I just feel wrong for watching them. There is a good chance that it’s one of the worst shows of the year and very little on the show gets my attention. Hopefully they exceed my nonexistent expectations, but it’s not like they have any kind of a positive track record.
Oh and I don’t think they’ll have the teased women’s match. I’ll be stunned if they do and there’s a tiny chance they could, I just can’t picture them actually letting it happen.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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