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Brand exclusive pay per views make a return to the WWE as part of their “new era” campaign. We kick off with Backlash starring the superstars of Smackdown. While I feel that the promotion for this event has been poor I am looking forward to the main event.
The predictions league table is as follow:
Winners advance to Smackdown Tag Team Championship Final
The Usos vs. The Hype Bros
Easiest match to predict. The Usos have just turned heel. It was the best thing on either Raw or SD Live last week because they needed to turn to become more interesting characters. I don’t have a problem with The Usos, it’s just that their face act was getting stale, so turning heel is going to give them a much-needed boost. I’m really excited about what they can do as heels. It should be a relatively easy win for The Usos over The Hype Bros.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Six Women Elimination Match
Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss
RIF: Becky Lynch
Michael: Becky Lynch
Dan: Nikki Bella
There are a lot of different things they can do here. But it boils down to three people who can realistically walk away as the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion. Those three women are Nikki Bella, Natalya, and Becky Lynch.
What about the other three girls? Naomi has been on the brink of becoming a champion in the past ever since she turned heel in 2015 at the Raw TV tapings in London. I was there when it happened. It’s best to build her back up in the babyface role. She’s not there in terms of popularity right now, give here half a year and she might be. Love her entrance by the way!
I know I’ve banged on about it time and time again, but I do feel Alexa Bliss has improved a lot over the past few months. She’s a shoehorn for most improved female for this year’s Rif Awards. She has both the look and demeanour and has been very well protected since her call-up. While that would make a cool surprise for her to win. She could very well be champ before the end of the year!
Carmella is likely to continue her feud with Nikki. Like with The Usos, I’m intrigued to see how her heel persona develops.
Speaking about Nikki Bella, she seems to be the most likely to win here. It’s a safe bet in the eyes of creative. I understand why her chances are so high, but does she really need the title right now? Not really. Let her work a programme with Carmella first before joining the hunt for championship glory.
Now that leaves us down to two; Becky Lynch and Natalya. Both girls deserve it. Natalya has really embraced the heel role and it’s been six years since she held a title. Lynch would be a fine choice. She portrays a solid babyface character, although the focus has been taken off her a bit since Nikki’s return. Her win makes sense. Therefore, she’s my pick to become the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz © vs. Dolph Ziggler
RIF: The Miz
Joe: The Miz
Michael: The Miz
Dan: The Miz
Not too interested in his one. I blame creative more than the performers. It’s really just Dolph calling Miz a coward and Miz wanting to prove that he’s a tough guy. It doesn’t make sense for Miz to lose his title just yet. He’ll win after some form of an assist from his missus. Ziggler keeps on losing the big matches. I hoped something would happen to him after his loss to Dean Ambrose but it hasn’t. He really needs to turn heel asap.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Final
The Usos/ The Hype Bros vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
RIF: The Usos
Joe: The Usos
Michael: The Usos
Dan: The Usos
The Slater/ Rhyno partnership was worked out surprisingly well. Slater is funny as a comedy face while Rhyno is the serious veteran partner that doesn’t really fit in, yet it works somehow. They could have a very short run and drop the titles to The Usos right before American Alpha make their return. With that said I think giving Slater the contract even in defeat isn’t a bad option. It’s going to be one of those matches that plays with your emotions throughout, much like The Revival vs. Gargano & Ciampa from Takeover: Brooklyn II. Comedy shouldn’t trump emotion, and American Alpha’s quest to unseat the heel champs is a great story that we want to read.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
RIF: Bray Wyatt
Joe: Randy Orton
Michael: Bray Wyatt
Dan: Randy Orton
Does Orton really need to win here? He’s been a main event performer for over a decade now, so who cares if he wins or loses? His legacy has been cemented whiles Bray’s hasn’t. I’m going to go with Wyatt simply because I see this as the start of a feud between the two. It may be a cheap victory for Bray with help from Erick Rowan or even a returning Luke Harper. Who knows? Or they could so a story where we come to find out in the match that Orton is still more injured from SummerSlam than he’s letting on, and Wyatt really attacks him and takes the fight to Orton. Orton gets in an RKO outta nowhere, but even Wyatt kicks out because it’s a weakly performed version of the move. Eventually, Wyatt is too much for Orton and gets a much needed and deserved win.
WWE World Championship
Dean Ambrose © vs. AJ Styles
RIF: AJ Styles
Joe: AJ Styles
Michael: AJ Styles
Dan: AJ Styles
This is an interesting one. I’m hoping that it ends with AJ holding up the title in victory because he’s the best performer in WWE right now. He carries himself like a superstar and I think he deserves that based on his in-ring work.
Ambrose is a guy that I like, but he’s lost some steam as the Champion. His match against Ziggler was a disappointment. I keep wanting him to do something extra or different like Steve Austin suggested he do, yet there just isn’t that “special” feeling about him. I think it’s because Ambrose was more interesting as the face that struggled to get to the top and once he got to the top back at June’s Money in the Bank, there was nowhere else for him to go except down.
Hoping the match is a competitive 25-minute affair with Styles getting a clean victory. Give AJ Styles credit for a major achievement. While others that went before have made inroads toward this goal, Styles might be the first wrestler to successfully argue that he overcame Vince McMahon’s outright distaste for anything he didn’t create and rose all the way to the company’s ultimate prize.
There’re your predictions for Backlash. Feel free to post your predictions in the comment section below, and I’ll be back again with my Random Thoughts on Backlash.