This show looks awful.
Let’s just pretend I have some catchy intro for it here. I’m currently at 66.2% after going 8-1 in my predictions at Super ShowDown (including predicting that god awful Shane win). Anyway, let’s get this over with.
THE NEW DAY VS. KEVIN OWENS AND SAMI ZAYN
I mentioned Tuesday night on Twitter (and I’m sure you all follow me… just as I’m sure there are actual people reading these articles) that KO and Sami have been booked like losers so much recently that I expect them to win the Raw Tag Titles soon. Hilarious jokes aside, they’ve been booked as constant losers for quite some time now. In fact, with the exception of Sami’s win over Braun that saw McIntyre and Corbin both pin Braun along with Sami, Sami Zayn hasn’t won a televised match since March 6, 2018! And even if you include house shows and dark matches, Sami has only won twice since that March 6th win. The aforementioned Braun Strowman match and a house show win over Heath Slater last Sunday (June 16).
I know I got off track there, but it’s amazing how WWE can keep throwing guys on TV to lose every week and still expect the audience to view them as credible opponents for anyone. It would make sense to have KO and Sami try to get something back by beating Big E and Woods here, but WWE doesn’t do “making sense.”
Winners: The New Day
ROMAN REIGNS VS. DREW MCINTYRE
Why? I hated this feud before Mania, I hate it now. Shane McMahon is on television WAYYYYYY too much, and there isn’t anything in this match that feels important. There are no stakes, nothing seems to hang in the balance here. In fact, quite the opposite rings true here. It feels like no matter who wins, Shane will just keep doing his 1990s heel authority figure clichés and keep nagging Roman (and maybe Miz).
This is an example of the biggest negative that can come from the Wild Card Rule™ as having two guys feud across brands puts them on TV twice as much and makes the feud overexposed. Of course, everything with Shane is overexposed right now, so why would this feud be any different? I don’t care who wins. I have become completely tired of McIntyre over the past few months. His scripted promos sound so disingenuous that I can’t suspend belief when he talks. It always sounds like he’s saying things he doesn’t believe. They’ve made him boring which is just sad.
Winner: Roman Reigns
CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP– TONY NESE (C) VS. AKIRA TOZAWA VS. DREW GULAK
WWE expects me to watch a seventh hour of wrestling in addition to Raw, SmackDown, and NXT? C’mon. I’m picking Drew Gulak, because why not?
Winner: Drew Gulak
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP– SAMOA JOE (C) VS. RICOCHET
I’m really looking forward to these guys finally paying off such a long and well thought out feud for a title that both men have been feuding over for such a long time. Oh, no, wait, this was thrown together Monday night. I get that the Mysterio injury threw a wrench in the plans, but why did they have to shoehorn a US Title match onto this show? There’s no IC Title match (as of this writing) on the show, so why does there have to be a US match?
Speaking of the IC Title… where the hell is Finn Balor? He hasn’t wrestled on a non-PPV tv show since May 14th and he hasn’t defended the title on television since April. He’s not injured, because he wrestled Shinsuke Nakamura (remember him?) at a house show in Utah on Sunday. So why couldn’t WWE have been building a nice IC Title program so that the US Title injury wouldn’t have been as big of a deal? This show was thrown together from top to bottom just about and I guess that’s the reason for any of this. But why has Finn disappeared? Maybe he’s looking for Aleister’s door?
Anyway, as for this match, WWE has a bad habit of making certain people the “almost won the big one” character. Ali is that guy on SmackDown right now and I’m afraid that’s Ricochet right now. He doesn’t have to win the title here to avoid that stigma but knowing how WWE books, if he loses here, they’ll probably move on to another feud without him. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling ole Ric might be winning the title here regardless. Call it a gut feeling.
SMACKDOWN LIVE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS– DANIEL BRYAN AND ROWAN (C) VS. HEAVY MACHINERY
At least they’re trying to do something with the tag division on SmackDown. Of course, WWE has been the ones setting the bar so low for the division in the first place so they don’t really deserve a pat on the back for doing something now. They should’ve been doing something all along.
The MVP of this whole thing is Daniel Bryan for getting on the mic and in front of the camera to give this feud some legitimacy. The segment from SmackDown this week with Bryan on commentary was well done and helped get this feud over the hump for me.
I should mention that I hate Otis. He’s a goof with weird facial expressions who’s more about the ha-ha’s than he is about anything else. I don’t really find Heavy Machinery entertaining at all. It’s appropriate that they pay homage to the Bushwhackers as they are as equally groan-worthy as the New Zealand duo. All they’re missing is Jameson to really kill me.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Rowan
RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP– BECKY LYNCH (C) VS. LACEY EVANS
We already did this match! WWE has killed any momentum Becky had prior to Mania. They’re still kind of positioning her as if she’s still red hot, but they made sure to cool her off real quick by sticking her with a woman that had no business being called up from NXT. I don’t even understand Lacey’s character. They’ve given her no motivation for being a “Lady.” And she’s not good enough in the ring to hang with Becky. Let Becky win and move on to someone else. I’m not sure who, exactly, since the woman are booked about as well as tag teams these days.
Winner: Becky Lynch
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP STEEL CAGE MATCH– KOFI KINGSTON (C) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER
We already did this match! Common sense says there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell Dolph beats Kofi for the title at any point in this feud. But WWE hates common sense. They also hate booking match results that fans can “see coming.” So, despite common sense, I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if WWE decided to have Dolph go over here. I could see WWE thinking they could recreate KofiMania by having Kofi win the title back at SummerSlam. They would be wrong in that thinking, but that’s never stopped Vince McMahon before.
But, I still can’t bring myself to actually pick Dolph. Kofi needs to go over here and move into a better feud with someone else. Who exactly? Yowie Wowie, that’s a heck of a good question.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP– SETH ROLLINS (C) VS. BARON CORBIN
We already did this match! Why? No one cares. No one cares about the special referee tease (that as of this writing still hasn’t been revealed). My guess for why the ref wasn’t announced on Raw or SmackDown is because WWE actually doesn’t know themselves who they’re going to pick. The whole deal with Rollins beating people up was alright, but I don’t get why we’re supposed to cheer him after beating up Eric Young (remember him?) for no reason. Also, the Authors of Pain and Matt Hardy met with Corbin on SmackDown and Rollins didn’t attack them. So, I have no idea what’s going on here.
With all this garbage going on around the periphery of the match, it seems unlikely that a title change would occur. But that’s one reason WWE would switch the title. The way Baron has been booked, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won the title, much like Dolph. But again, I can’t bring myself to picking that outcome.
Winner: Seth Rollins
SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP– BAYLEY (C) VS. ALEXA BLISS
I know this won’t be the main event, but I wanted to put this match last because it’s the only match I’m invested in. It’s the best booking/writing WWE has done in a while (which I know is about as impressive as being the tallest person at a jockey convention, but still…) and I would love to see a double-turn take place in this match.
That’s really the only thing that could make sense here. Why would WWE go back to that same old well of Alexa being a mean liar who is manipulating a supposed friend to help herself. Been there, done that, as the youths say these days (or in the 90s…). So why not do something fresh? Have Bayley turn out to be a jerk. Have Alexa turn out to be a true friend to Nikki. Have Nikki help Alexa embrace her inner crazy. Have something entertaining actually play out!
If what I want to see happen actually happens, then we’ll see Bayley cheat to win and retain her title. Then we get Alexa chasing to SummerSlam where she finally gets redemption and the title. I won’t hold my breath of course.
Alright, that’s it. Until next time, make good decisions.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @THExWilliam. Thanks for reading!