The Dark Match Predictions – WWE Backlash (SmackDown Live PPV)


This Sunday, WWE takes to the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia for the first brand exclusive PPV of since the newest brand split.  Can you tell which brand this one is?  That’s right, it’s Smackdown, so get Hyped.  (Note:  Matt would like it known that he doesn’t get Hyped, he stays Hyped).

We’ve got a pretty good card, and I’m going to be completely honest with you, I feel like nearly all of these can go either way.  But now it’s time for us to do what we do and predict them, however wrong we tend to be.

Richmond, we have a problem, but that’s ok, because we’ll plug it with HYPE!


So yes, that’s my sign from an NXT House Show in Cocoa Beach.

American Alpha member Chad Gable suffered an ACL Injury and will be out of action for two to four weeks, so an additional match has been added to the Tag Tournament where The Hype Bros will take on The Usos to determine who will face Rhyno and Heath Slater later in the evening.

Matt:  You know I whole heartedly want the Hype Bros with that tag gold, and it may come down the line somewhere, but the purpose for an Usos heel turn is going to serve one of two purposes, and each of them depend on this win.  Either the company needed a team to drop the tournament final match to Rhyno-Slater (how the hell do you come up with a catchy name for them?  The Free Agents?  RhyTer?  SlaYno?) and they didn’t want American Alpha to get a loss anywhere yet, or they want to have a heel team walk away with the belts so that all these face teams can chase them for the next few months, culminating in that American Alpha win.  I fear for the second one, because that just means Mojo and Ryder taking a lot of losses until American Alpha wins and then still probably taking a good bit of losses.  But I’m going to go against my heart on this one because there’s no way that move on Smackdown wasn’t to set up the Usos being part of the Final Round.  (Yikes, I just picked The Usos.)

Jeremy:  There’s no way they’re wasting a newly heel team Usos and not taking them to the final.  Nevermind the fact that they shouldn’t be awarded this match because they injured the rightful finalists.  So with that suspension of logic, there’s no way the Usos aren’t going to get to the finals.  Perhaps they’ll kayfabe injure Mojo or Ryder to generate even more heat.

The Miz (C) vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship


Matt:  I want Ziggler to take a win here.  I loved that they gave him the nod, even in a place filler sort of role, at Summerslam against Ambrose for the big belt.  He’s been one of the most consistent pieces of the roster all year, puts on some great in ring performances, and I think it’s time they give him a belt, give him that nod of respect, and let him start working matches with tons of this younger talent that he can help elevate.  I got a feeling we’re going to disagree on this one, and I respect Miz a lot too.  I think he’s a great character and he does solid work, but I’ve got to go with Ziggy for the win and the new Intercontinental Champion.

Jeremy:  One thing I like about this show is that I really don’t know where Smackdown is going with this.  I think Miz wins this one with yet another loss stacked against Ziggy.   Possibly this pushes him over the edge and lives up to his twitter name once again.

The New Smackdown Women’s Championship Six-Pack Challenge


Matt:  See, this is a really hard card to predict.  Honestly, I could see them pulling some kind of swerve here and the belt ending up with Carmella.  Bella is the most likely one here to cause issues for Becky.  Natalya has had like 38 Women’s Championship opportunities this year alone.  Alexa Bliss or Naomi could be a sleeper pick.  Any of these six could win this match, but if they don’t finally put gold (Blue/White) on the Irish Lass Kicker, I’m going to be pissed off about it.

Jeremy:  I love the fact that this is going to elimination style and I hope it lasts a good 30 minutes +.  These women deserve it.  If you’re cynical, you would think that Nikki takes this.  She has the new reality show to promote after all.  I’m hoping though, that her issues with Carmella starts a non-title feud going forward.  There’s room for two women’s stories on Smackdown, IMO.  I want Becky to win.

The Eater of Worlds vs The Viper


Matt:  I can’t tell you who will win this one, and I’m actually damn thrilled by that.  Randy Orton could get the win here to make up for having to get the shit kicked out of him by Brock Lesnar.  They could finally be in a position to try to do something with Bray Wyatt and all the work he puts in to keeping that damn character afloat even though its a running joke that his family can’t win at a PPV.  I’m going with Orton, and I really want to see how he turns a Sister Abigail into an #RKOOuttaNowhere.

Jeremy:  Both of these guys need a win.  This is the only match I’m hoping for a Dusty finish of some sort.  Perhaps Harper comes back and makes the save after an #RKOOuttaNowhere?  But barring a double DQ of some sort, I’ll go with Orton.

The New Smackdown Tag Team Championship Final – The Hype Bros/The Usos vs Rhyno & Heath Slater Baybay!


Matt:  We’re at a disadvantage here because we don’t know who one of the teams are.  Also, look at those brackets.  They sort of screwed themselves putting 3 of the 4 heel/face teams on each side of this thing.  Vaudevillains are practically done, so why are they the only bad guys on the side of this with an over Hype Bros, the nostalgia act in the Headbangers and the super over Slater-Rhyno pairing?  It makes no sense.  That being said, I was going to pick Slater and Rhyno anyway because they’re both so damned over right now it’s insane.  That crowd Tuesday night went nuts when Rhyno got the hot tag and set up for the Gore.  I don’t expect them to hold it for any length of time, probably just Sunday through Tuesday, but Heath Slater gets his contract, his kids get to eat, and then Rhyno can ride off into the sunset to preside over whatever district he’s going to win in Michigan this time around.  Slater and Rhyno

Jeremy: The argument for the Usos is that they’ll get major heat taking out Slater and Rhyno.  And it does give the added benefit of continuing the Free Agent storyline.  But if they go with Nikki Bella on the 6-Pack challenge, I can see them rewarding us with a Slater and Rhyno win.

Dean Ambrose (C) vs AJ Styles (Face That Runs The Place) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship


Matt:  I’m 50-50 on this one.  On one hand, I think it legitimizes Dean Ambrose some if he can get a win on Styles, but I also think it takes a shot at both Styles and at John Cena for Ambrose to come out on top of The Phenomenal One here.  I don’t think it happens, but I am finally happy to see Ambrose and Styles on this sort of stage.  Can you remember how much Styles elevated Roman?  He won’t have to work half as hard to get a match of that caliber from Ambrose, and Dean’s been itching to put on a show since Brock Lesnar denied him that at Wrestlemania.  I think it’s gotta be Styles here, but this match is not going to be disappointing in the slightest.

Jeremy:  I’ve thought a little bit more on this one and I have to go with Ambrose here.  Styles deserves it and he will get it.  I just think it might be on the second (or third) outing between these two.  I think Styles will inevitably walk away with the championship but not so quickly.  It makes Ambrose stronger if he can withstand the guy that made Cena give up, at least in one match.  Plus it begs the question on who do they move onto next?

Final Thoughts:

Matt:  I like this card.  It was weird to write out a card and not have the Raw guys on it, but that’ll come with time.  I’m sure there’s some preshow match to come, or maybe they’ll do the first tag match there so they get some extra rest between performances.  I’m trying to think of who they could pair up in the preshow and I got nothin’.  They don’t exactly have the same sort of “well of course Sheamus and Cesaro match 900 is in the preshow” thing going on.  This is also one of the first PPV weekends in a long time where I can safely say that I’m most excited for the main event.  These two guys are going to put on a clinic and I’m excited for every minute of it.  I’m glad Mojo will get the PPV paycheck.  I’m happy that Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt actually have something fairly well written to work with here.  I hate calling them the “six-pack challenge” but that match should be great.  There’s nothing on this card, not even The Usos, that have me disappointed going into this thing.  I’m truly excited to watch this show.

Jeremy:  I love the unpredictability of this card.  There doesn’t feel like there’s anything wasted here either.  I like how there’s no preshow match announced (although it could totally be the Usos Vs. The Hype Bros) and there’s only 6 total matches.  Despite the end result, if the women’s match is a decent length, I’ll be pretty happy.