It’s time to go back to Saudi Arabia for what will be…well if nothing else the show with the longest title in a long time. The show is built around the namesake tournament finals, plus a few other matches. This week saw WWE add some major stakes to the tournaments by putting World Title shots at Summerslam up for grabs, so they are about more than just the crown. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Women’s Tag Team Titles: Bianca Belair/Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell/Candice LeRae

I try to start these things with the Kickoff Show matches, followed by the most obvious results. This one should cover both of them, as even with Belair suffering a knee injury, it is hard to imagine that the titles are in jeopardy. Hartwell and LeRae have been treated as little more than annoyances, so having them be a major threat to the super team is a stretch.

In case you didn’t get it, of course I’ll go with the champions retaining here as there is no reason to believe anything else will happen. Belair and Cargill are going to lose the titles someday, but they already have Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark waiting on them. Why should I believe that a far weaker team has any serious chance of beating them in a match made the previous night? The champs retain here without much effort.

Queen Of The Ring: Nia Jax vs. Lyra Valkyria

This is one of those matches where it could go either way and the more you think about the options, the more interesting things get. In this case, I could see either of them getting a title shot at Summerslam. Bayley vs. Jax and Valkyria vs. Becky Lynch both make sense, but now the question becomes which of the paths WWE is going to take. That’s more that I would have bet on coming in so well done.

With that being said, I’ll go with Jax getting the win as WWE wants her to be a big star and needs to give her an important win of some kind. Valkyria has already been turned into a thing by making it this far and doesn’t need the win, so go with what makes sense and give Jax the win. I could see Valkyria winning and it would make me rather happy, but I’ll go with Jax winning here to make her that much bigger of a monster.

Intercontinental Title: Sami Zayn(c) vs. Bronson Reed vs. Chad Gable

The more I think about Zayn’s mind vs. body vs. soul promo from Monday Night Raw, the more I like it. This is a feud that has gotten a lot of mileage out of something that feels like it should have wrapped up weeks ago and that is heavily due to what Gable has been saying. He has sold me on the feud and that is a great feeling, though it doesn’t mean he’ll be leaving as champion.

I’ll go with the conventional wisdom here and say Zayn manages to retain the title. As much as it would benefit Gable to win the thing, Zayn losing the title, even with potential Otis interference, doesn’t feel right here. Zayn retains the title here, likely pinning Reed in the process, but I could see one more big match between Zayn and Gable, hopefully with the latter winning.

Raw Women’s Title: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Liv Morgan

This is an interesting one as Lynch is a placeholder champion until Rhea Ripley comes back and rips Morgan to pieces. That opens up an interesting question though, as it could be Ripley coming back for Morgan with the title or Morgan and the title in two separate stories. In theory that would mean Lynch retains here, as Morgan vs. Ripley does not need to be for a championship.

While Morgan needs to win the title to avoid being labeled as a choker, I don’t think she does it just yet. There might be a screwy finish here of some kind, but I’ll go with Lynch retaining and the feud continuing. Morgan has quite the set of skills and a VERY loyal fan base, but I don’t know if that is enough to see her win the title here, as much sense as it would make.

King Of The Ring: Gunther vs. Randy Orton

NOW we’re getting somewhere as this could go either way. We would be looking at either Gunther vs. Damian Priest/Drew McIntyre or Orton vs. Cody Rhodes, both of which could make for some awesome moments. Gunther has been waiting to move into the main event scene for a long time now, but Orton has been there for so long that there is always a chance of him sliding right back in. That opens up some interesting options as they both could easily win this.

As much as I could see it being Orton, I’ll go with Gunther, who already has his own history with McIntyre, should that be the path they take. Gunther has mostly cleared out the midcard scene and needs some fresh blood, while Orton could lose every night for years and still be fine. I’ll go with Gunther winning here, as it’s almost hard to imagine him losing again so soon after WrestleMania.

SmackDown World Title: Cody Rhodes(c) vs. Logan Paul

We’ll wrap it up here, with Rhodes getting another title match where the result might not be in doubt, but there is something here to make him look that much better. Paul is just enough of a wild card that he could have a shot at a miracle, but what matters is that he has a chance. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise as Saudi Arabia seems to be really big fans.

So yeah of course I’m taking Rhodes to retain here, as there is almost no reason to believe otherwise. Rhodes is still relatively early in his title reign that he needs to have another big match with an almost guaranteed win, which is where Paul comes in. Paul can put on some of the most exciting and entertaining matches in WWE today, so having him as the next designated victim is a smart move and could boost him up as well. But yeah, Rhodes retains here, as he should.

Overall Thoughts

WWE has benefited quite a bit from these tournaments, as they have allowed the company to produce quite the string of solid matches over the weeks. Having tournaments lets WWE map things out for weeks to come and now we’ve reached the big payoff. The rest of the card is stuff that should be good but they’ll have their work cut out for the to beat some previous events.

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