It’s time to head back to Saudi Arabia and in this case that means we are going to be in for a pretty big show. This time around the focus is on titles, but there are going to be some non-title matches that are going to be pretty high up on the card. WWE is advertising this as a triple main event and it does fit the billing. Let’s get to it.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Natalya
We’re going to start off with a bit of a weird one here as Ripley is the most on fire stars in WWE today and is getting one crazy reaction after another. That is a sign that she is going to be on top of the division for a long time now and now we are going to be seeing her second major title defense. At the same time, she is facing Natalya, who has been around for so long that it is a little hard to get interested in the match.
I started with this one because it feels like the most obvious result on the entire show, which will be Ripley retaining the title. It would not surprise me whatsoever if Ripley is still champion at this time next year, so having her beat Natalya here makes a lot of sense. What matters here is giving Ripley a different kind of opponent and while the match should be quite good on the technical side, the result isn’t quite in doubt.
Raw Women’s Title: Bianca Belair(c) vs. Asuka
This is a Wrestlemania rematch and I’m really not sure where to go. On one hand, Belair has held the title longer than anyone not named Moolah, meaning there isn’t anything left for her to accomplish with her title reign. At the same time, I’m not sure I can imagine her actually losing here, as it doesn’t feel like a moment that is big enough for the reign to end. On the third hand, it’s hard to imagine Asuka losing twice in a row in this kind of a big spot.
I’ll go with….I’ll take Belair, but I don’t have the most confidence in it. I’m not sure how much good it does to have Asuka do the big heel turn and then lose, but it just doesn’t feel like Belair is set to lose here. The good thing is the rematch’s build has been better than the first, and now we should be in for a better match as things might not have to be as rushed. Belair wins and I’m at last 50% sure that will be the case.
Intercontinental Tile: Gunther(c) vs. Mustafa Ali
Ok so when I said Ripley vs. Natalya is the most obvious result, I had kind of forgotten about this one entirely. There is almost no reason to believe that Ali is going to win the title here and WWE hasn’t exactly hidden that reality. Gunther is on the verge of becoming one of the biggest heels in the company and Ali has never even won a big match. I’d like to believe that there is some drama here, but I just can’t do it.
In the biggest “of course he does” for the show, Gunther wins here and does so after Ali’s comeback isn’t exactly the most dramatic. What matters is having Gunther on the show and looking dominant, as he is going to be doing it for a long time. Just let Ali get in some of his flips and dives before getting beaten, as it is just about the only way to go with the situation that they have here. Gunther wins, hands down.
Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus
Now this one has some more drama to it, as I could see the feud continuing for several more months or I could see this already being the big blowoff. The important thing about this story is that Stratus’ heel run has been quite good and she isn’t just “I’m Trish Stratus” and moving on. She has something to what she is saying and now I want to see how the match is going to go.
I’ll take Stratus here, as I could see this going to a rematch down the line. There will likely be some shenanigans in the end and Stratus will get to brag about her win for a good while. Lynch is at her best when she is focused and has someone to go after, which is what she can do if she wants revenge on Stratus all over again. This should be a big fight feeling and I’m wanting to see how it goes, but for now we’ll say Stratus wins to keep it going.
Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes
It’s a rematch from Backlash where Rhodes won on little more than a fluke. This time though Rhodes is coming in with a broken arm and Lesnar is already ticked off at him. That isn’t going to go well for Rhodes, but at the end of the day, he is in over his head. In theory that should cause a big problem for him with the match and that is likely going to be the case here with Lesnar.
For the life of me I can’t imagine Rhodes winning here, as he squeaked by in the first match when he had both arms. There comes a point where the odds are stacked so high against someone that they have to lose and that is the case with Rhodes. Let Lesnar get his win back and get us to the big rematch down the line, which could be taking place under some different circumstances.
World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
This is either for the inaugural or restored title, depending on which lineage you prefer. It’s an interesting build as Rollins has been treated as a much bigger deal, despite Styles being a legend in his own right. The good thing is these two should be in for a great match due to pure talent alone, but they don’t have any kind of personal issue as we come into the match. That means it’s just about the title, which is probably what it should be.
I’ll go with what feels like the much more likely decision here and take Rollins to win the title. Unless there are some kind of major shenanigans (and there might be), there is little reason to believe that Styles is going to win here. Rollins has been treated as a focal point in recent weeks while Styles has been treated as the guy facing Rollins for the title. Go with the logical choice here, as Rollins is a great choice to carry the title at first. Granted Styles would do just fine as well, but I don’t think he will here.
Tag Team Titles: Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens(c) vs. Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa
Here we have the big storyline match as the Bloodline is beginning to implode around them. Reigns isn’t happy with the Usos losing to Zayn and Owens (over and over) and is going to do it on his own (well with Sikoa but you get the idea). Zayn and Owens have been needling the team for months now and their plan seems to have almost worked. Retaining the titles here would be a big step closer and that gets us to the big result.
I don’t see any reason for Reigns and Sikoa to win here, especially if the Usos just happen to show up and cost them the match. Reigns and Sikoa winning the titles would feel like a step in a very different direction and it would only make sense for them to lose to the Usos, which puts us close to where we were before Wrestlemania. Owens and Zayn keep the belts here, likely with some shenanigans.
The best thing about the recent Saudi Arabia shows is that they feel like WWE’s major monthly show which just happen to be taking place elsewhere. Aside from maybe Styles vs. Rollins, this feels like a card that could take place at any major event. I like what we could be seeing here as WWE has made the show feel big, but now they have to deliver on what they have set up.
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