This match-up takes me back to the old days of Smackdown; offering about as much excitement and anticipation as another Ziggler vs. Kofi match. Truth be told, Swann and Dar are talented wrestlers — but this has been going on for months now. Thanks to 205 Live repeating the same shit we see on RAW, this feud has easily had a dozen chances to captivate the audience. Even the addition of the Boss hasn’t been enough to get the crowd to invest in this ridiculous storyline. Sasha wasn’t even a part of the Payback card, now relegated to a throwaway fued with longtime WWE Diva (YES, DIVA — NOT SUPERSTAR!) jobber/botch-queen extraordinaire, Alicia Fawwwwwwwwwx.
At this point, Fox has been with WWE for a decade and I can only hope that this match serves as a much needed changing of the guard. While Alicia has improved in the last year, point blank she just can’t hang with this new batch of talent. It’s time to step aside, beautiful Northern Lights Suplex or not. PREDICTION: Expect a short match, with the men doing most of the actual wrestling while the women are hair-pulling and cat fighting. Swann and Banks will come out the winners, hopefully a push to get both of these stars back in their respective title pictures for SummerSlam.
The Man That Gravity Forgot against The Greatest Man That Ever Lived have been going back ‘n forth since before WrestleMania. They had, what I thought, was the most entertaining match of the night on the Mania pre-show; but, last month’s Payback match didn’t live up to the lofty expectations that have been set. I’m hoping that this submission match will still let Neville showcase his high flying expertise, while giving us the show-stealing performance that we know these two cruiserweight studs can put on. PREDICTION: AA finally gets the belt in his third attempt. If he doesn’t, what’s the point of a 4 month feud where one guy always comes up short? If Neville does retain, please, WWE, move on (Tozawa-ah!-ah!-ah!???).
Ohhhh yeeeaaaaaaaasss!!! Credit goes out to WWE Creative, for once, for not putting The Hardyz in a 50/50 booking scenario with Sheasaro. No. In fact, both Not-Quite-Broken Matt and Brother Jeff Nero have dominated the team of Sheamus and Cesaro — both respectable singles competitors in their own right. This would lead you to think that the legendary tag brothers would drop the candy cane straps in the Cage on Sunday, but a hunch tells me there’s somethin’ else in play. Remember: The Arrival are back; Anderson & Gallows were left off television Monday; and Enzo & Cass are bound to split up. With this tag team division, something’s gotta give.
I also don’t see the full Broken angle until the suit between Anthem (owners of Impact Wrestling) and the Hardyz comes to fruition. But if it’s a silent courtroom and there are zero leaks (hey–you were shocked when The Hardyz were at Mania, weren’t you?), there’s no telling when we could see the Broken Universe. Of course, it only makes sense for Matt and Jeff to drop the titles when that era comes to play. PREDICTION: Fuck–I may have picked the hardest match of the night to predict. Burying Sheasaro any further than they have been buried makes no sense. Then again, neither does WWE Creative. Hardyz win.
I will refrain from pointing out how a stipulation like this is the furthest thing from Extreme as it can get, short of a John Cena babyface promo. This type of match should play to Miz’ strengths. There aren’t many that can play the cowardly heel as good as this revitalized Mike Mizanin. I ascertain that Maryse will come into play as a distraction early to lull the audience into thinking she’ll factor into the finish. PREDICTION: The ref will send Maryse to the back, leaving her husband to fend for himself. Ambrose will put a hellacious beating on him, but Miz walking out with the IC championship is the best possible scenario. No offense to Ambrose, but it feels as though creative and booking completely fail him when he’s a title holder.
The goddess Alexa Bliss has run over the RAW women’s division ever since she arrived after the Superstar Shake-Up. She’s also pretty handy with a kendo stick, which has led to her rematch with Bayley for the title being a kendo on a pole match. The go-home show featured an atrocious “Bayley, This is Your Life” segment in which we learned all of Bayley’s deep dark secrets…like she’s a very nice girl. Oh, and she apparently can’t do anything without her father around. A boring bit that only indicates that Blissy—one of the best talkers on RAW—deserves so much better. PREDICTION: Bayley can use a kendo stick herself (just ask Tommy Dreamer, who learned on the Edge and Christian Show that “there are many types of hugs”), but I gotta go with Blissy, perhaps with an assist from her partner in #TeamRude, Nia Jax.
Five men. One destiny. One battle between 5 warriors. Five fighters enter the arena. Five gladiators will fight. One opportunity. Five hungry souls. Five combatants shall face off. 5 champions. 1 prize. 5 wrestlers. One mat. Vying for a shot. A chance. One position: the number one contender. Winner take all… Ish. By all, I mean a chance to face BUROCK LESSNARE for the title. The championship. The Universal Championship. Of RAW. World Champ? Nay. UNIVERSAL CHAMP AMP.. Amp.. amp.. am… The match will be stellar, possibly even a WWE MOTY candidate, if not topped by the CWs or the cage match. But “meh”, because Balor will probably win it (I’m probably the only Apostle that isn’t on Finn’s junk.. And no, I still don’t care how awesome he was in Japan; this is now). We know it won’t be Joey or Broman, since they won on Monday.
I don’t know who Seth Rollins pissed off, but it won’t be him because reasons (also, he’s still in finisher limbo to me, since that Kenny Omega move does nothing for me. Also, there are far too many knee-centric finishers at the moment). Won’t be Bray — though it should be — because WWE is allergic to Heel vs. Heel. PREDICTION: So, this leaves us with the Paint Baby. While I hate that he’ll win, this “Deacon” will be looking forward to Brock beating the crap out of him — espeically if #BrockIsGonnaBrock and just refuses to act impressed/scared to the stupid “oh.. I’m stronger and dark now because of paint” schtick. Anyway, Pinn Talor wins. Go throw your arms up during that part of the song or when he adjusts his jacket.