It was a few weeks ago that the stars of Raw looked for some post-Wrestlemania “Payback.” Now, the superstars of Smackdown face “Backlash.”
Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English
The “Perfect 10” has defeated and frustrated “The Drama King” over the last several weeks. They’re both mid-card talent and there’s nothing really important hanging in the balance. This match wouldn’t be happening if the WWE wasn’t up to something.
I was always of a fan of Aiden English and the Vaudevillians, however with Simon Gotch now gone from the company English finds himself a singles competitor. He’s been solidly beaten over the last several weeks, but I sense a change in his fortunes.
Prediction: Aiden English
Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin
Poor Sami Zayn is being fed to someone again.
These two have been going after each other for the last several weeks. Now, the score is set to be settled on Sunday.
I long for the day that “The Underdog from the Underground” gets his time to shine, but for now Baron Corbin seems to be building momentum during his eventual push to the main event.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Luke Harper vs Erick Rowen
Two former Wyatt Family brothers now face off.
Rowen returned from injury not too long ago, however upon his return the Wyatt Family was in the midst of imploding and Bray was quickly off to Raw.
Rowen needs the win here, and with the tons of momentum Harper has had a loss won’s hurt him substantially.
Prediction: Erick Rowen
Naomi, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch vs Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina
WWE is blessed with a wealth of great female talent right now, so they should avoid just booking the women for the sake of booking them. But I digress…
The inaugural and current Smackdown Women’s Champions’ and Smackdown’s newest acquisition take on Natalya and her “welcoming committee.”
WWE has been pushing the angle that Naomi, Flair and Lynch are “on the same page” really hard, which makes me smell a rat.
Someone is going to turncoat and cost the good guys the match. The obvious choice is Flair, which makes me absolutely believe that we’re about to see an unexpected Lynch heel turn.
Prediction: Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina.
The Usos (c) vs Breezango for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Call me crazy, but this match screams upset!
Compared to Raw, Smackdown’s tag team division is a little lacking, to say the least. Raw has Enzo and Big Cass, The Hardy Boyz, Sheamus and Cesaro, and The Club. Smackdown has, uh, The Ascension?
The Usos have had much more of an entertaining title run than American Alpha before them, but the Blue Brand still needs to establish a few of their tag teams as credible.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but “The Fashion Police” are adding a new blue and silver accessory to their summer ensemble.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
“The King of Strong Style” vs “The Show Off;” if you’re not drooling, you may not be a real wrestling fan.
Nakamura’s long anticipated call up to the main roster finally came around the time of the Superstar Shakeup, however it’s been over a month and the WWE Universe has yet to see Nakamura participate in a match.
Ziggler and Nakamura are both sensational workers who are known to put on spectacular matches. This has the potential to steal the show, and is a great opportunity for Nakamura to kick off from while not hurting Ziggler’s stock in the slightest.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Kevin Owens (c) vs AJ Styles for the United States Championship
If Nakamura and Ziggler doesn’t steal the show, this match will.
Two of the most entertaining talents on the roster (if not the world) face off over for the United States Championship.
Last Tuesday, AJ Styles told The Canadian “New Face of America” that he intended to bring the United States Championship back to America.
Neither of these guys need the title; they’re both already extremely over with the crowd. Owens and Styles both are former World Champions, and undoubtedly will both be back in the main event scene eventually.
For now, let Owens keep the title and build it and himself up. Both individuals should bring out the best in each other for one great match.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Randy Orton (c) vs Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship
The Iron Sheik. Nikolai Volkoff. La Resistance. Mahammad Hassan. Rusev. WWE hasn’t been afraid to do the “evil anti-American foreigner” angle before, and the once laughable Jinder Mahal (along with former “Bollywood Boyz” the Singh Brothers) have settled into the role pretty successfully.
Mahal was quickly and quite surprisingly thrust into the main event scene once he was acquired by Smackdown during the Superstar Shakeup.
While Randy Orton is undoubtedly one of the more boring and least engaging champions as of late, Mahal isn’t quite at the superstar level he should be to take the title. This is likely not the end of the rivalry by any means.
Prediction: Randy Orton