Backlash, because Joey Styles isn’t good enough to call it.
In my preparation to write this article, the one thing that is noticeable is the Joey Style post Backlash shoot. No Joey Styles, you are not good enough to call Backlash. This event couldn’t come at a more inappropriate time. Where is the “Backlash” in story lines? Coming from a mediocre Summerslam event, there isn’t much Backlash to be had within the storylines, but it is good to see brand exclusive events on the network. By the way, shoutouts to Nerdfit editor, Dylan, who knows what is going on. Welcome to the disappointing world that is professional wrestling. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
You cannot expect more from a two hour television show. Let’s be honest, while Raw is longer than Smackdown, more stars are produced in the three hour format. It was clearly shown in the draft that Smackdown is the lesser brand, and shame on WWE for doing so. This card is not terrible by any means, and all the objectives will be carried out in this show. Let’s crown an equal amount of champions on Smackdown. While it may not reflect in the ratings, Smackdown is the better produced product. Where is the Raw after show? Talking Smack is a great supplement to Smackdown programming, and it is a shame that Raw doesn’t adapt the same formula.
My opinion? While Raw has more talent and more television time, Smackdown is still the better overall show. Raw seems to be the young buck show, and history has shown that it is usually the star stacked show, while Smackdown is the show where talent is built. Smackdown appears to have more continuity and I don’t’mind catching it on Hulu. For some reason, I feel the need to catch Raw live, even though it has been pretty weak in its overall delivery, but that is just my opinion.
Let’s just get down to the predictions.
The Miz © vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship)
While this match is mediocre on paper, The Miz has been straight gold. I have expressed in the past that I have been rather fond of the Miz’s work, but his work simply supports my fandom to his ability. Yeah, say what you want about the Miz, but he takes everything he gets and turns it into gold. Sure, Wrestlemania 27 was horrible, but the Miz is currently the king of the midcard. Don’t be surprised if the Miz surpasses the Honky Tonk Man record. His fued is that relevant and watchable. Job Ziggler knows his role, even though he does not shut his mouth, it will be no different come Sunday. Ziggler is merely an obstacle to the Miz’s memorable reign and after all this time I cannot feel sorry for Ziggler fans anymore.
Prediction: The Miz
Usos vs. Hype Bros. (Winner faces Heath Slater and Rhyno) (Tag Team Championship Tournament)
Bones to the Uso’s for the heel turn. The Smackdown tag division has a lot of promise, and the Uso’s as the heel champions is the most fitting scenario. Yes, we want Heath Slater to succeed and it is a testament to his ability for us to get behind him, despite such a lame storyline. The truth of the matter is, Smackdown lacks a true heel tag team combo. Yeah, the Vaudvillains are just not heel enough for my taste. Let the Uso’s win the belts to guide the young and green tag team division. There are plenty of face tag teams so it is only fitting to have the Uso’s to lead the way. They are related to Roman Reigns, which seems to be the only grounds to hate these guys. Otherwise, how are these guys heels?
Prediction: The Usos, new Tag Team Champions
Nikki Bella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Carmella, vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss (Six Pack Challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship)
It is great to see that WWE is listening to me and implementing a Women’s division on Smackdown. The six pack challenge is new and unique to the Women’s division, and it is only a matter of time before we start seeing more types of matches in the women’s division. Let’s see some hardcore and cage matches! Be patient! It’s coming. Carmella has done a fine job establishing herself against a top superstar in Nikki Bella. I can’t really get down with anyone else, even though I can’t help but love Alexa Bliss. We are only fascinated with the fact that a new champion will be crowned, but the better characters stick out more to me. Natalya, you are not a heel and you never will be. Carmella has made the most progress in this storyline so I’d like to see her win it. If anyone else wins, then I can’t help but question the booking decisions. I don’t know about you, but I’m psyched for Total Bellas. Do you realize how difficult it must be to live in John Cena’s house? I mean, the standards of living….
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Let’s make one thing clear. Bray Wyatt has become the TV heel. What a shame! Whether you like it or not, this guy warms up faces to the real heels. Tell me a time where Bray Wyatt had a relevant storyline? Stuck? News Flash, he hasn’t had one in almost two years. I’m upset and disappointed with the direction WWE has taken with Wyatt, and WWE should wake up and realize what they have. I feel so bad for Randy, that I feel like he should get a win here to save his overall credibility. That is what Bray Wyatt has been reduced to, people. He is there to get the real heels ready. Maybe it is just me, but shouldn’t Bray be one of the top heels? I have more faith in Braun Strowman. Squash matches are back, people!
Prediction: Randy Orton
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose © (WWE Championship)
On paper this is a great feud, but there is only so much you can do in three weeks. AJ Styles has been nothing but stellar post the John Cena feud, and he proves here that he belongs in the WWE. AJ Styles has more or less floundered since his debut in January, but he has gained my respect since. Bones to John Cena for jobbing and moving out of the way for AJ. It is a long time coming. AJ is a great anchor for the blue brand, and I’d like to see him win the belt Sunday. While I like Ambrose, they can swap the belt to create a buzz and AJ deserves it. Anytime you guys chant that said guy deserves it, they probably don’t, but AJ certainly does. But that soccer mom hair doe…
Prediction: AJ Styles
Short card? You better believe it! Welcome to brand exclusive pay per view events. That is the nature of the territory. Give the WWE some time. They are really trying to feel stuff out and probably make the best out of a formula they probably should have never gotten rid of. Technique wise it will certainly be sound and we can have the peace of mind knowing that people are fighting for title belts that don’t look completely terrible. That cannot be said for the Raw brand. Sure, I’m happy that Kevin Owens is having a shot, but Raw seems to be lost on every part of the spectrum. Monday Night Raw is nothing short of confusing, and Smackdown seems to be the overall better produced product. Does anyone even care that Darren Young and Titus O’ Neil are feuding? That’s your Monday Night Show. When Heath Slater is your top storyline, that pretty much tells you what the landscape is. Maybe we might need Joey Styles after all. Do me a favor and stop comparing Mauro Renallo to Jim Ross. They are two different people!
Oh yeah…CM Punk is gonna get knocked out. What a scrub!