WWE TLC 2018 Review

The final pay-per-view of 2018 was an alright show. The action picked up a lot towards the end, but still doesn’t change the fact that TLC was okay for the most part. New champs were crowned, including the Asuka finally being coronated as champion. Who else got a healthy dose of tables, ladders, and chairs? Let’s find out with my review for WWE TLC 2018.

Prediction Score: 7-5

Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) def. Cedric Alexander to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

I knew this match was on the preshow. The match started out with some flips and leg hooks, but Cedric used his speed to avoid Buddy’s power, but Buddy dropped Alexander out of the ring with a stiff knee to the side of the head. Murphy held Alexander down with some rest holds, but Alexander picked up the pace to regain momentum. Buddy Murphy almost retained thanks to a handful of tights, but Cedric’s perseverance kept him in the match. Murphy hit a superkick/powerbomb combo from the corner, but it wasn’t enough to retain. Cedric dropped the champion on the apron and hit the Lumbar Check, but Murphy’s foot hit the rope. Murphy threw Cedric in to the turnbuckle, then hit Murphy’s Law to retain the title.

Guitar Ladder Match: Elias def. Bobby Lashley

So, instead of using it as a weapon, you just win the match when you grab the guitar. Lashley used his power to gain early control, before using a ladder to gain control over the “Almighty” Bobby Lashley. He may be big and strong, but he’s not a God Maggle. Lio Rush distracted Elias from climbing the ladder, then Lashley regained the upper hand. Lashley hit a move on a ladder, which hit Elias in what was a funny spot. Lashley climbed a ladder, but Elias knocked him down after he threw a ladder at Lashley. In one of my favorite spots of the night, Bobby hit a belly to belly throw onto one of the ladders, then proceeded to pummel Elias in the corner. Elias hit a powerbomb onto a ladder, while Maggle called it a spinebuster. Elias climbed the ladder and got his guitar, but Lio Rush interfered before Elias could use it. Lio hit a frog splash, then Lashley cracked the guitar over Elias’ back.

Mixed Match Finals where the winning team gains the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble Matches: The Fabulous Truth (R-Truth & Carmella) def. Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal

Apparently they also got a free vacation along with their #30 spots. Truth and Jinder started out the match, and not a whole lot before a tag got made to Carmella, and then the dance break started. Carmella and Alicia Fox fought for a little bit, then Truth distracted Foxy, and Carmella hit a superkick to Alicia Fox and the Singhs. Foxy tried to roll up Carmella, but she countered with the Code of Silence to pick up the win. Truth is probably going to enter the Women’s Rumble, because he’s an idiot.

Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Bar (c) def. The Usos and The New Day to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

I think it’s weird that in a triple threat tag team match, only two people start out the match, completely isolating one of the teams. Kofi and Sheamus start the match out early. Kofi used his agility to get the upper hand on Sheamus, but the Usos came in and beat everyone up. Cesaro countered a Jey Uso suicide dive with an uppercut, and The Barr begin to dissect Xavier Woods with constant tags and power moves. Woods hits the Honor Roll, but Sheamus took out the Usos and prevented Xavier from making a tag. Woods hung Sheamus up on the top rope, and Xavier finally made the tag to Kofi, and he goes on a tear, and hit Cesaro with a new Day Boom Drop. Cesaro countered a Trouble in Paradise, and The Usos tagged themselves in. The legal men are Jimmy Uso and Kofi, and The Usos superkick everyone in the match. Cesaro managed to tag himself in the match, and locked the Sharpshooter in on Kofi, moving to the center of the ring. Kofi dodges a Brogue Kick, and Koi hits a Trouble in Paradise, then Xavier hit an elbow drop from the top, but the Usos and Cesaro broke up the pin. Kofi jumped off the top rope and took everyone out, but then Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick to retain the tag team titles.

TLC Match: If Baron Corbin wins, he becomes permanent General Manager of RAW. If Braun Strowman wins, he gets a Universal Championship Match at the Royal Rumble and Baron Corbin is stripped of his power: Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin and will get a Universal Title Match, and Corbin is fired

Out comes GM Elect Baron Corbin, and he cuts a promo talking about how he listens to the fans complaints, then tells the fans to get used to it. Heath Slater begins the 10 count. Heath gets to a count of 7, then out comes Braun Strowman with his arm in a sling. Braun cuts a promo saying that he’s got a buddy to help him, and it’d be perfectly legal in a TLC match. Is it Bray Wyatt? No, it’s Apollo Crews, the Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, and Finn Bálor, all armed with chairs. Corbin orders Heath to ban them from ringside, but Slater lays out Corbin and everyone hits Baron with chairs. Corbin goes up the ramp, but Kurt Angle grabs a chair and pummels Baron Corbin back to the ring. Roode and Gable hit a moonsault neckbreaker, Crews hits a frog splash, and then Kurt Angle hits an Angle Slam. Finn hits the Coup de Grace, and Braun pins Baron Corbin to win the TLC Match.

Tables Match: Natalya def. Ruby Riott

The Riott Squad came out with a table that has Jim Neidhart’s fathead on it, and Natty starts off very aggressive, with the Riott Squad on the outside of the ring playing mind games with Natty. Natalya tried to hit a German Suplex off the apron, but Ruby countered. Natty tried to ram Ruby through the table, but Liv Morgan takes the bullet for Ruby, as she crashed through a table on the outside. Natalya continues her aggression, even calling Ruby Riott a bitch. Natalya tried to go for a powerbomb, but Ruby escaped, and Natty put Sarah Logan through a table, making it 1 v 1. Ruby uses the Jim Neidhart table to play mind games with Natalya, saying that The Anvil was ashamed of her. They both almost put each other through the table, then Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter, and Ruby made the table fall on Natalya in order to escape. Ruby set up the table, but Natalya put Ruby up on her shoulders, and hit an electric chair. Natalya grabs a table with a fathead of Ruby Riott on it, and grabbed her dad’s Hart Foundation jacket. Ruby superkicked Natalya, then propped Natalya on a table, but Natty reversed and put Ruby on the table. Before she could go off the top, Ruby tried to hit a head scissor, but Natalya countered with a powerbomb, and put Ruby through it Bubba Ray style.

Finn Bálor def. Drew McIntyre

Hey Finn, long time no see. Drew uses his power to ground Finn, but Bálor tried to chop the big guy down to size. Finn hits a chop block to Drew’s knee, but Drew continues to use brute kicks and chops, before Finn continues to stomp on Drew’s leg. Drew grams Finn once he went up top, and countered with a belly to belly throw, and hammered down punches. Finn tried to hit a sunset flip, but Drew counters and throws Finn across the ring again. Finn hits a forearm and uses his speed to get an advantage over the Scottish Terminator. Finn tried to hit the Shotgun Dropkick, but Drew caught him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Finn counters the Reverse Alabama Slam with a roll-up, and tried to go up top, but Drew prevents it thanks to some chops. Drew hits a mid-rope White Noise, but Finn kicked out. Finn trapped McIntyre in the apron, and rained down some stomps, but Drew slammed Finn on the apron, and hit the Glasgow Kiss Headbutt, dropping Bálor like a heap. Dolph Ziggler hit a superkick to McIntyre, but Drew kicked the chair in Dolph’s face and Finn hit a shotgun Dropkick, and Coup de Grace to pick up the win over Drew McIntyre.

Chairs Match: Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton

Rey Mysterio was the first person to grab a chair, and Rey is pelting the Viper with the chair. Rey got caught up, and Randy Orton begins to tee off with a chair. Orton tried a suplex on the Apron, but Rey counters and kicks Randy’s feet out from under him. Rey hits a baseball slide while riding a chair like a sled to the outside, and continues to wear Randy down. Rey tried hit a seated senton from the apron, but missed and hit a chair instead. Randy clears off the Smackdown Live announce table, and gently places a chair on top of it, slamming Rey face first. Randy sets up a chair in the corner, and Rey sent him shoulder first thanks to a hurricanrana. Randy immediately counters with a quick powerslam. Rey almost hit a 619, but Randy countered. Rey tried to do a springboard move, but Randy countered by chucking a chair at him. Rey managed to hit a 619, but Randy took Rey’s leg out before he could fly. Randy slams Rey’s face into a chair he had propped up in the corner twice, then tried to hit an RKO onto a row of chairs, and Rey beat Randy Orton thanks to a roll-up, leaving a very irate Randy Orton in the ring.

RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (c) def. Nia Jax to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

Ronda used her quickness early to get the better of Nia Jax, and used her kicks to chop her down. Ronda tried to lock in the armbar early, but Nia countered with a powerbomb, allowing Nia to take over with her power, and smashed Ronda Rousey’s shoulder into the ring post. Ronda locked in a guillotine, but Nia used her power to counter, and slam the champion into the ring post. Nia locks in a Cobra Clutch, and Ronda counters a powerbomb with a hurricanrana, and hit a crossbody to the outside of the ring. Ronda hit some rights and lefts, a step up knee and a step up elbow, but it wasn’t enough to keep Nia down. Nia counters a crossbody attempt with a Samoan Drop, but Ronda kicked out. Nia tried a midrope Samoan Drop, but got countered into an awesome Sunset Flip Powerbomb. Tamina distracts Rousey, and Nia tried to hit a right hand, but got countered into a twisting armbar to give Ronda the win, and a title retention.

WWE Championship Match: The New Daniel Bryan (c) def. AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship

Bryan rolls outside the ring and jogs in place, and played mind games with the former champion. Styles starts to get aggressive with chops in the corner, and driving his shoulder into his ribs. Styles hit a dropkick and sent D-Bry to the outside. Styles went for a forearm smash, but got caught with a kick instead. Bryan sent AJ in to the barricade before dissecting AJ in the ring, hitting AJ with knees again and again to AJ’s spine before locking in a submission. Bryan hits AJ with chops in the corner, before Styles retaliates with chops of his own, then Bryan attacked the ribs. Bryan kicks AJ while he’s down, attacking AJ’s ribs with kicks, sending the Phenomenal One outside the ring. AJ pummels Bryan in the corner, but Bryan comes back with a drop toe hold into the corner, and hit his corner dropkicks, then AJ countered with a huge lariat. AJ throws Bryan into the ring post, and Bryan runs right into an Ushigaroshi. Bryan counters a Moonsault Reverse DDT with a bunch of knees to the face, then a suplex. Bryan hit the “YES” kicks, then tried to hit a suplex but AJ countered with a head kick. Bryan countered a Phenomenal Forearm with a kick, before AJ started to pick apart Bryan’s left leg with kicks and chop blocks. Bryan hit a hurricanrana, but AJ countered into the clash, but transitioned into a half Boston Crab. Right before Bryan was going to reach the rope, AJ dragged Bryan to the middle of the ring, and countered with the LeBell Lock. Bryan and Styles exchange strikes before AJ hit a springboard 450, but it wasn’t enough to take down the champ. Styles locked in the calf crusher in the middle of the ring while Bryan is writhing in pain, but Bryan wriggles to the bottom rope. Bryan threw AJ into the timekeeper’s area, but AJ caught himself and hit a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside. AJ tried to hit another Phenomenal Forearm, but D-Bry rolled out of the way, and tried to hit the knee. AJ rolled Bryan up, but Bryan reversed it and got the W over the phenomenal challenger.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (c) to win the Intercontinental Championship

I like the siren that plays during Bane Ambrose’s entrance, and Dean wearing the snake pin on his jacket. Corey Graves keeps pushing Renee’s relationship with her husband, which is pretty awkward. Dean Ambrose Rollins shoves Ambrose, then takes Ambrose down, and begins to quicken the pace right out the gate. Ambrose takes control, throwing Seth Rollins into the announce table and clubbing Seth down with rest holds and near falls. Dean throw Rollins in the corner, and beat him down with lariats and an elbow. Rollins goes for a clothesline and Dean counters with a neckbreaker, and hit constant covers on Rollins. Dean plays mind games with Seth, and pummels him with rights and lefts. Dean locks in a cloverleaf, but Rollins gets to the rope. Rollins hits a legdrop across the back of the neck, but Ambrose counters a suicide dive with a straight right. Rollins tried to go for a buckle bomb, but his leg gave out. Rollins hits 2 rapid fire suicide dives. Seth tried to go for a sunset flip, but his knee gave out, but he managed to hit a bucklebomb anyway. Seth hit a kick to the gut, but Ambrose followed up with a kick of his own. The two former brothers exchanged a series of strikes, then took each other with a clothesline. Dean went up top, but Seth tried to meet him. Seth’s knee gave out again. Dean tried to go for Dirty Deeds, but Seth’s knee gave out again. In an act of resilience, Seth hit a ripcord knee, but Dean kicked out. Seth hit the Superplex/Falcon Arrow combo, but Dean still kicked out. Seth tried to hit a superkick, but Dean offered the shield fistbump, but that sent Seth Rollins in a rage, hitting a bucklebomb into the barricade. Seth slapped Ambrose, calling him a POS, then tried to hit the stomp and hit Dirty Deeds, allowing Dean to capture the Intercontinental Championship.

Triple Threat TLC Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Asuka def. Becky Lynch (c) and Charlotte Flair to FINALLY become the new Smackdown Live Women’s Champion

Asuka goes ham on Charlotte and Becky, pummeling them with brutal strikes and kicks because Becky and Charlotte were bickering. Becky hits Asuka with knees to the back of her head, and begins to pummel the Empress of Tomorrow in the corner before Charlotte takes them both out. Charlotte and Asuka grab ladders while Becky grabs a table. Charlotte is choking Asuka, then Charlotte and Asuka start fighting. Asuka throws Becky onto a ladder. Asuka and Charlotte climb a ladder, with Asuka powerbombing Charlotte through a table. Asuka takes out Becky, then Charlotte hits Asuka with a chair and takes everyone out with a moonsault. Now it’s Becky’s turn to go ham with a chair, hitting Asuka 7 times before Charlotte kicks it out of her hands. Becky grabs a big ladder, and hits a legdrop onto Charlotte through the announce table. Asuka is all alone in the middle of the ring, and climbs the ladder, only for Becky to meet her there. Charlotte came from out of nowhere and went ham on everyone thanks to a Kendo Stick. Becky hits a Becksploder onto a table, then Asuka went ham with a kendo stick, only for Charlotte to hit a spear through a barricade. Meanwhile, Becky climbs the ladder and Charlotte brings her down. Then the two former best friends start fighting, with Becky throwing Charlotte into the ladder, and fighting on the outside. Charlotte hit a Swanton Bomb through a table, and Charlotte makes the climb, only for Asuka to come from out of nowhere and attack Charlotte on top of the ladder. Becky grabs another ladder on the other side, and Asuka falls. Charlotte and Becky fight on top of the ladders, only for Ronda Rousey to make her way to the ring, and push the ladder, turning heel in the process, hand delivering the Smackdown Women’s Championship to Asuka.

Match of the Night: Charlotte vs Becky vs Asuka

The Triple Threat TLC main event was one of the best matches of the year, and will go down as one of the best Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches of all time. The action was fantastic from start to finish. Ronda coming out to cost Becky the match was a good way to set up their WrestleMania feud, and ASUKA IS FINALLY CHAMPION. 8 months too late, but I’m excited that she’s champion.

Overall Review

The cruiserweight title match was a decent and quick match, even garnering a 205 Live chant. It was a very good match, and honestly should’ve been on the main show. Surprisingly, the Guitar Ladder Match was also on the preshow, and it was okay. Nothing great, just okay. It’s awesome that Elias won, but in the end he still was looking up at the lights because Lashley had to keep his heat. The MMC finals happened, and honestly you could’ve no watched this match and didn’t miss a thing. The Triple Threat Tag match was very entertaining, full of crisp action and great showings from all 3 teams. Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin was basically a mugging, and with the help of Kurt Angle and some other people, Braun gets his title match against Brock Lesnar at the Rumble, and Corbin is fired. The tables match was okay, with lots of storytelling hinting on Jim Neidhart’s death, but it was a nice moment to see Natty wearing her dad’s jacket and shades picking up a very personal win. The Finn Bálor-McIntyre match was one of the better match of the night. What kinda ruined it for me, was Dolph Ziggler giving the win to Finn. The story telling in the match was Finn overcoming Drew’s power, and cutting the giant down to size. The whole thing with Dolph, was Dolph doing Finn a favor because Finn helped Dolph, but it looks like they’re gonna feud instead. The Chairs match between Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio was meh. I didn’t care for the match. The RAW Women’s title match was also good, with Ronda once again showing how great her selling is. Then, backstage Becky Lynch kicked the crap out of Nia Jax because she was collecting debts when The Man comes around. The action picked up with the last 3 matches of the night, starting with the WWE Championship. AJ and Bryan wrestled their best match of the year, and was one of the best matches of the night from a pure in-ring standpoint. The roll-up finish keeps this feud going, which honestly shouldn’t. Bryan needs a new opponent for the Royal Rumble. My favorite match of the night was the IC title match. It had great action, great storytelling, and Corey Graves being a douche on commentary. I mean, we all know Renee is married to Dean, but don’t be a douchebag about it. And Ambrose winning was the right call, I was afraid that Dean was gonna lose so the crowd can have a feel-good moment. The main event was fantastic. Everything was great, and everyone had a chance to shine. Charlotte especially got to show how truly vicious she can be. Ronda interfering was a good way to set up Becky winning the Rumble, and Asuka is finally the women’s champion. I hope she has a long reign killing everyone, making up for the horrible year she’s had. TLC started off to be a meh pay-per-view, but the last three matches really picked up the pace. I’m going to rate TLC at a 8.5 out of 10. It was much better than I expected it to be, but still wasn’t a great show. Let’s hope that 2019 will be a great year for WWE, because they need to step things up.

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WWE TLC 2018 Predictions

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already the final WWE pay-per-view of 2018. This year’s had ups, and a lot of downs, but we’ve finally made it to a chaotic end. There hasn’t really been much build to a lot of these matches, which means that this show will likely crash and burn. Let’s see who will get a healthy dose of tables, ladders, and chairs with my predictions for WWE TLC 2018.

Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) vs Cedric Alexander

I slated this match on the preshow, because let’s be honest; this is going to be on the preshow. Cruiserweight title matches are always on the preshow. 2 months after suffering his first loss of the year, Cedric Alexander finally gets his rematch against the 205 Live juggernaut. They had a great match at Super Show-Down, and I’m sure that they’ll have another great match here. It’s way too soon for Murphy to lose his championship, so I’m picking Buddy to retain.

Prediction: Murphy Retains

WWE Mixed Match Challenge Finals where the winning team will gain the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble Match: R Truth & Carmella vs Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal

Has anyone really watched Mixed Match Challenge? Me either. The finals of the MMC have massive stakes, because the winning team will have the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble Matches. Well, I’m going to pick the babyface team to win, because apparently everyone loves the dance breaks.

Prediction: R-Truth and Carmella

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Dean Ambrose

I can’t believe that they made Dean Ambrose, a complex, and bitter character, into another generic WWE heel. The Ambrose heel turn finally happens, and after a couple of weeks he turns into a dude cosplaying as Bane talking about how dirty the fans are. Really? That’s how we’re going to portray Dean Ambrose? What happened to him feeling as the forgotten Shield brother? My frustrations aside, this is the biggest feud in the WWE right now, and has a lot of expectations to live up to. Their first feud in 2014, was the Dave Meltzer feud of the year. I feel like that this match is deserving of a stipulation, maybe a ladder match, or TLC, but Seth defended his IC belt on Monday. I’m going to pick Dean Ambrose to beat Seth Rollins, because this is his first match since his heel turn, and it needs to start off with a bang.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins the Intercontinental Championship

RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (c) vs Nia Jax

A rematch from Money in the Bank, Ronda defends her belt against the biggest threat on RAW (both literally and figuratively) in Nia Jax. If their match at MITB has anything to indicate, then we’re in for a treat. Nia won a battle royal at Evolution, and had a dominant showing at Survivor Series, being the sole survivor for her team. Nia is going to have a strong showing, and will most likely dominate the whole match. Just like their last match, I’m picking Ronda to pick up the win, just not by DQ.

Prediction: Rousey retains

Finn Bálor vs Drew McIntyre

This match was thrown together at the last minute, but it could be a potential show-stealer. Finn and Drew are two of the best workers on Raw, and should be in the main event picture. Thanks to Finn, Drew lost his first match on the main roster to Dolph Ziggler, and proceeded to pummel the Bullet Club founder backstage. There are rumors that he’s hurt because he was pulled from Mixed Match Challenge, and some house shows, but it looks like the match is still on. I’m going to pick Drew McIntyre to win this match, because he needs to continue looking dominant in case he gets to challenge Brock Lesnar.

Prediction: Drew McIntyre

Guitar Ladder Match: Elias vs Bobby Lashley

So, why is a guitar hung above the ring exactly? This stipulation doesn’t really make sense to me. Regardless, the first person to grab the guitar, can get to use it as a weapon. This hasn’t really been a feud, because it’s just been Bobby Lashley kicking the crap out of Elias alongside Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre. As much as we all would want an Elias victory, because WWE need to do something with Elias, I’m going to pick Bobby Lashley to win this match, and continue his heel dominance on Raw.

Prediction: Bobby Lashley

Chairs Match: Randy Orton vs Rey Mysterio

So, just because Randy Orton pummeled Rey with a chair means that they’ll be fighting in a chairs match? Makes sense to me. Regardless, this match should be nothing but Randy Orton demolishing poor Rey Mysterio, and just giving Randy Orton more and more heel heat.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Bar (c) vs The New Day vs The Usos

The three best teams on Smackdown Live are competing for the tag team titles. This match has show-stealer written all over it, and we’re in for a treat. After the Usos beat The Bar on Smackdown, a triple threat tag match was sanctioned. The only real build this match had, was the rap battle on last night’s Smackdown. That rap battle, may not have had as many brutal jabs, but it was pretty hilarious. The Bar dressing up like Run DMC, and parodied Ice Ice Baby, while the Usos interviewed a turnbuckle on how it felt to knock Cesaro’s teeth down his throat. While this match is gonna be a classic, I’m picking Run BAR to retain the tag titles, and finish the year strong.

Prediction: The Bar Retain

Tables Match: Natalya vs Ruby Riott

This feud started over a busted pair of sunglasses. Seriously. And WWE exploiting Jim Neidhart’s death, isn’t really worth this feud. It doesn’t have the fire that it should. But since the Riott Squad powerbombed Natty through a table, it’s getting a tables match stipulation. This is going to be a quick match, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was under 10 minutes. I’m picking Ruby Riott to pick up the win, shenanigans or not.

Prediction: Ruby Riott

WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs AJ Styles

Of all the matches that got stipulations, I’m surprised this one didn’t. After all, it is for the WWE Championship. The “New Daniel Bryan” is one of the best heels in the company, and I didn’t think it was possible to turn Bryan heel after he came back. He’s calling people parasites, and really using his eco-friendly and vegan lifestyle, to get heel heat. This is going to be a good match, because it’s two of the WWE’s best workers. I’m going to pick Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship, because it’s way too soon for the New Daniel Bryan to lose his WWE Championship, and he’s gotta get ready to fight the Miz at WrestleMania.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains

Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match, where if Braun Strowman wins he gets a Universal Championship Match at the Royal Rumble & Corbin is stripped of power; if Baron Corbin wins, he becomes permanent General Manager of RAW: Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin

I’m not really sure if this match is going to happen, because Braun Strowman still isn’t cleared from his surgery. For the past couple of weeks, GM-Elect Corbin has said that he’s just going to win the match by forfeit, but Braun Strowman is going to show up at the last second, and fight anyway. Corbin will have some control targeting Braun’s surgically repaired arm, but Braun Strowman is going to overcome Corbin’s assault, powerslam him through a table or two, and get his shot at Brock Lesnar.

Prediction: Braun Strowman

Triple Threat Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka

It looks like Becky has been cleared after all. After Charlotte turned heel at Survivor Series, this feud is finally the way it should’ve been. Now their feud got bumped up a notch, with a TLC stipulation. Then Asuka makes it even more interesting. I’m happy that Asuka is back in the title picture after being ruined for the better part of seven months. Although she’s in this match, Asuka doesn’t have a chance of winning. She’s just in this match to be a red herring. While Becky has been a phenomenal champion, we all know that Becky-Ronda is the money match for WrestleMania. With that being said, I’m going to pick Charlotte Flair to win this match, so Becky can win the Rumble match and face Rousey at WrestleMania.

Prediction: Charlotte Flair wins her 7th title

WWE Crown Jewel Predictions

Live from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is WWE Crown Jewel. It looks like WWE are going to go through with this show, despite the controversy surrounding Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Despite this, WWE is showing real signs of progression by having a show with no women after an all-women’s pay-per view. WWE is making a ton of money from their deal with Saudi Arabia, and they refuse to back out because of that. For those of you who are going to watch this show, it will be at 11 AM here in the states. Let’s see who will be crowned “The Best in the World” with my predictions for WWE Crown Jewel

WWE World Cup

What exactly are these guys fighting for outside of calling themselves “The Best in the World?” Are they going to get a title match, or a belt like Braun Strowman did after winning the Greatest Royal Rumble? Yes, he did win a belt, and it never made another appearance on WWE TV again. But this is truly a “who’s who” of superstars, and some of the best wrestlers on the planet.

Round 1

Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton

In a true throwback to the mid 2000’s, The Viper takes on the master of the 619 in the first round of the tournament. This should be a fun first round match, and maybe we’ll get to see an insane RKO spot for the people of Saudi Arabia. I’m going to pick Randy Orton to win the first round, because WWE needs to do something with a sadistic Randy Orton, and a strong tournament performance could be the start to something.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Seth Rollins vs Bobby Lashley

Since John Cena backed out of going to Crown Jewel, then Bobby Lashley is going to take his place. The problem with this, is that Bobby Lashley is currently nursing a separated shoulder. Now that he’s a heel, Lashley has a new lease on WWE TV, pummeling babyfaces and being accompanied by the annoying Lio Rush. This is going to be a solid opening match, and Lashley is going to look incredibly strong, but I’m going to pick Seth Rollins to win this match, and continue his pursuit to be the best in the world.

Prediction: Rollins Advances

The Miz vs Jeff Hardy

Does Jeff Hardy still need time off? If he’s still wrestling hurt, then he should definitely take some much needed time off. This’ll be an okay match, but sorry Miz. You’re getting bumped out first, because the crowd needs a feel-good win and both heels on the same show aren’t going over in the first round.

Prediction: Jeff Hardy

Kurt Angle vs Dolph Ziggler

This could be a gem between two phenomenal in-ring competitors and amateur wrestlers. It’s a clash of old school vs new school, and has MOTY candidate written all over it. Despite potential shenanigans from Drew McIntyre, I have Kurt Angle winning this match. I can see Kurt Angle countering a superkick into the ankle lock for the win.

Prediction: Kurt Angle

Semi-Finals

(From here on out, the results of the tournament are purely my speculation)

Kurt Angle vs Seth Rollins

Another dream match, we get to see arguably the best wrestlers of a generation clash as Seth Rollins takes on Kurt Angle. If Angle-Ziggler has “MOTY Candidate” written all over it, then this one could be a shoo-in for MOTY. I really wanted this match to be in the finals, but we’ll get a semi-final treat that will definitely steal the show. In what will be a close finish, I’m picking Seth Rollins to beat Kurt Angle. It won’t be a convincing finish, maybe he’ll roll through the Ankle Lock for the shock win, and get a handshake from Kurt Angle out of respect.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy

I know we’ve seen this match a billion times, but this match won’t last very long. Randy Orton is going to dissect Brother Nero, and move on to the finals of the World Cup.

Prediction: Randy Orton

WWE World Cup Finals: Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton

Again, I know we’ve seen this match, but a heel Randy Orton vs a face Seth Rollins could make for an interesting match, especially if they let Randy Orton have some freedom, and let him be as sadistic as possible. The fans may not be as invested in this match as they should be, but it’ll still be a good match on paper. I’m picking Seth Rollins to win the WWE World Cup. The tournament will tell a good story of Seth Rollins overcoming a lot of adversity, and Seth Rollins proving himself that he is the Best in the World (at least until he fights Kenny Omega).

Prediction: Seth Rollins wins the WWE World Cup

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe

Since Daniel Bryan is pulling out of Crown Jewel, this means that AJ needs a new opponent. Who better than Samoa Joe for the umpteenth time? I mean, it’s not that it’ll be a bad match because it won’t. I’m not as invested in this match because not only is it just now thrown together, but we’ve seen this match at SummerSlam. We’ve seen it at Hell in a Cell, and Super Show-Down. Excluding Evolution, this is the fourth consecutive show that has Samoa Joe fighting AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.

Prediction: AJ Retains

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The Bar (c) vs The New Day

On Smackdown 1000, The Bar shockingly beat the New Day for the Tag Team Titles, with the help of The Big Show. Yes, I’m being serious. Big Show came out, chokeslammed Kofi Kingston through an announce table, then The Bar won. I have no idea why Big Show is back, but I guess he still has something left in the tank. This will be the third time over the course of a month that these teams will face off, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They put on great matches, and often steal the show. I’m picking The Bar to retain the Tag Team Titles, and go into Survivor Series as the champs.

Prediction: The Bar Retain

D-Generation X vs The Brothers of Destruction

No, we haven’t traveled back to 1998. This is an Attitude Era dream match, only 20 years later. The thing is, the Brothers of Destruction are being booked as the heels after Triple H basically cheated at Super Show-Down. If anyone should be the heels, it’s DX. Oh well, the fans should love this match anyway. It’s Shawn Michaels’ first WWE match in six and a half years, and a rumored singles match against The Undertaker is also rumored to take place. This match is most likely going to go on last, since it’s headlining Crown Jewel. I’m going to pick The Brothers of Destruction to get revenge on DX, and get one last hurrah as a team.

Prediction: The Brothers of Destruction

Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman

After Roman Reigns relinquished the Universal Championship due to a battle with leukemia, Brock and Braun will battle it out to see who will be the new champion. Will it be “The Beast,” who is gearing up for a UFC fight against Daniel Cormier that may or may not happen, or will it be the “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman, who just turned face after his feud against the Shield. We’ve all seen this match before, and aren’t that invested. This match isn’t going to be very long, and the only reason I’m invested in this match is because Brock is in the match. Brock has held the Universal Title for 504 days, and doesn’t really need another reign. Braun Strowman’s had shot after shot for the title, but came up short. Which is why I’m picking Braun Strowman to win the Universal Title.

Prediction: Braun Strowman

WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Predictions

For a show titled “Extreme Rules,” not even half of the matches on the card have a stipulation or gimmick. I’m a big fan of Extreme Rules, in fact it’s my favorite B pay per view other than Hell in a Cell. This pay per view should be fun, with Rollins-Ziggler set to be a match of the year candidate. Now that Lesnar will defend his title at SummerSlam, and no #1 contender match on the card, I’m sure WWE will find some way to have Roman fight Brock. Again. We can gripe about that later, but before we do, let’s get extreme with my predictions for WWE Extreme Rules 2018.

Preshow: Tables Match: The New Day vs SAnitY

This match was thrown together at the last minute, and the pay-per-view debut for SAnitY should not take place on the preshow. SAnitY’s run so far has been a bit flat, in that they’ve lost matches to Jeff Hardy and the Usos, and to the New Day and Team Hell No in a 10 Man Tag Team Match on Tuesday. They need to just destroy the New Day in this table match, and have Killian Dain powerbomb Big E through a table, and then SAnitY assaults the New Day after the match.

Prediction: SAnitY

30 Minute Iron Man match for the Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins

This match has “Match of the Year” candidate written all over it. This match has the two most talented wrestlers on RAW, and they’re fighting for half an hour. This match will be chock full of action, and falls a plenty. This past Monday Night, Seth Rollins failed to defeat Drew McIntyre, which means that McIntyre won’t be banned from ringside. While Seth Rollins was a fantastic Intercontinental Champion, I think Ziggler needs a couple of months at least, and have a great heel run with the belt because Ziggler should finally get some credit. I think that some McIntyre shenanigans will play into effect in this match, and could even cost Seth Rollins the match.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler wins 4 falls to 3 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Man, the WWE have ruined Nakamura. After six failed attempts at winning the WWE Championship, Nakamura needs something. A run with the United States Title will be perfect for Nakamura. He has to win, because if he loses, there’s no turning back for Nakamura. Brother Nero has been an alright champion, but WWE needs to salvage Nakamura’s heel turn.

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the United States Championship

Extreme Rules Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Nia Jax

This is the only “Extreme Rules” match on the card, and that stipulation is usually reserved for the main event. After Alexa cashed in her briefcase on the same night she won it, things were back to where they were before WrestleMania. This seems to be setting up a SummerSlam angle between Alexa Bliss and the kayfabe suspended Ronda Rousey, who will be sitting in the front row to watch this match unfold. Ronda is going to get involved in some fashion, maybe Alexa will taunt Rousey during her entrance, and after the match she’ll get beat down by Ronda. I’m sorry Nia Jax, but I’m picking Alexa Bliss to retain her title, the money match for SummerSlam is Rousey-Bliss.

Prediction: Alexa Bliss retains

Finn Bálor vs Baron Corbin

Both of these guys deserve so much more because of how steep of a fall from grace they had. Finn has been an afterthought after coming back from injury last year, and the WWE has simply lost all faith in Baron Corbin, which is a shame because these guys should both be perennial main eventers. Both of these guys need a pay per view win to salvage some momentum, but I’m picking Finn Bálor to pick up the win here, and further send Corbin’s atrocious career down the tubes.

Prediction: Finn Bálor wins

RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The Deleters of Worlds (c) vs The B-Team

WWE have done nothing with the Deleters of Worlds after they beat The Bar for the Tag Belts at the Greatest Royal Rumble. The sketches with the unbeaten “B-Team” have been entertaining, with Bo Dallas doing a dead on impression of his real life brother. This match should have some fun shenanigans and tons of “DELETE!” chants, but the WWE have no plans for Matt’s Woken Wisdom, and I’m picking the B-Team to continue to be on a roll and win the Tag Team Titles.

Prediction: The B-Team win the RAW Tag Team Championships

Roman Reigns vs Bobby Lashley

The fans couldn’t care any less for this match. All the build-up has been is Roman and Lashley fighting The Revival for some reason, and blaming each other that they lost. Oh, and also something about wanting to fight Brock Lesnar too. Lashley’s return has been flat and hasn’t been getting over as a babyface, and the fans already hate Roman. I think the fans could crap on this match like the crowd did at Money in the Bank, and I hope not because these are two of the prime contenders for Lesnar’s Universal title. Anyway, I’m picking Roman because it’d be stupid to bet against Reigns

Prediction: Roman Reigns because it’s pretty obvious

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match with James Ellsworth suspended above the ring in a Shark Cage: Carmella (c) vs Asuka

I HATE James Ellsworth, and seeing him on my TV screens makes me wanna switch channels. The WWE teases Asuka murdering James Ellsworth, only for the Staten Island Princess to kick Asuka into tomorrow. Now that Ellsworth is suspended above the ring in a shark cage, which basically guarantees some form of interference. Maybe Ellsworth will pull an Enzo and slide out of the cage. Regardless of how, he’s going to distract Asuka and cost her the match. I’m picking Carmella to once again eke out a win thanks to the chinless wonder.

Prediction: Carmella retains via some James Ellsworth Shenanigans

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens

This stipulation makes sense because all Kevin Owens has done is flee from Braun Strowman. Now, he’s got nowhere to run from the Monster in the Bank. There really isn’t a reason for this feud. Like, why is Braun assaulting KO at every turn? Because he tried to get everyone to jump him at MITB? Braun won, and threw Owens off the top of a very large ladder. Whether or not this feud continues into SummerSlam, I’m picking Braun Strowman to win this match, because Braun doesn’t lose.

Prediction: Braun Strowman

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Team Hell No

I didn’t expect Team Hell No to be back, but I’m happy they are. This gives Bryan a much better direction after that boring feud with Big Cass. The Bludgeon Brothers are running amok, and what better team than a goat and a demon from Hell? The Bludgeon Brothers are looking dominant in the buildup to this match, and with Bryan’s looming feud with The Miz, this looks to be the end of the line for Team Hell No. I know that Miz isn’t going to be at Extreme Rules but the MLB All-Star Game. Plus, Kane has to prepare for the elections as the republican nominee for Knox County.

Prediction: The Bludgeon Brothers retain after interference from The Miz

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Rusev

This Sunday will be a happy Rusev Day indeed because he is finally getting a match for the WWE Championship. After winning the gauntlet match, Rusev said that he’ll evict AJ Styles from the house that he built. I think he’s taking AJ’s catch phrase a little too literally. At Extreme Rules, AJ Styles will have held the WWE title for 250 days, defeating the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. This should be a fun match, with the crowd divided down the middle on who to root for despite Rusev being a heel. While my heart says Rusev, I’m not sure WWE are going to pull the trigger with Rusev, so I’m picking the Phenomenal Champion, AJ Styles to retain in a great, well fought match.

Prediction: AJ Styles retains and ruins what could have been a wondrous Rusev Day

WWE Backlash 2018 Review

The first dual branded pay-per-view since before the brand split really crapped the bed. This show was marred with bad finishes and underwhelming matches. Neither of the Tag Team Titles were defended, and there were no title changes at all. If you missed this show, you didn’t miss out on much. Here is my review for WWE Backlash 2018.

Prediction Score: 6-2

Preshow: Ruby Riott def. Bayley

Neither of these two should be on the preshow, especially Bayley. She should be competing for the RAW women’s title, not in a really lame feud with Sasha Banks. It started off with decent chain wrestling, but then thanks to some Riott Squad shenanigans, Ruby took control and dominated for the better part of this match that I could watch because I was having WWE Network issues. Sasha kept looking from the back and I was thinking that Sasha would attack Bayley. Bayley regained some momentum, and hit the elbow, but thanks to some more shenanigans, Ruby Riott got the win.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) def. The Miz to retain the Intercontinental Championship

I was pretty disappointed when The Miz didn’t come out with the Miztourage. Miz took control early with stomps and punches, including one he missed by a country mile. And Maggle, the Intercontinental Title is prestigious, but idk about the whole planet. Miz kept control, and stayed on Seth Rollins like an annoying fly. Seth started to come back, hitting his trademark moves like a slingblade, and a suicide dive through the middle rope. Miz went for the skull-crushing finale, but Rollins reversed it. Miz tried to gain momentum after tripping Seth up on the rope, but that failed. Corey, Seth may be strong, but the pound-for-pound strongest in WWE is Cesaro. That’s a fact. Rollins hit a frog splash that would’ve made Eddie Guerrero proud, then Miz rolled out of the way when Rollins wanted to hit the stomp. Rollins tried to hit the knee onto Miz, but he dicked and Seth hit all ring post. Then Miz locked in the figure four leg lock. Rollins reversed it, and rather than let go, Miz reversed it but Seth reached the ropes. Miz went for the figure four again, but Seth countered it. Seth’s knee gave out and that gave Miz the opportunity to hit the skull-crushing finale. Seth hit tried to do the superplex-falcon arrow combo, but Seth’s knee gave out again and Miz hit another skull-crushing finale, and Seth kicked out. Miz tried to hit a skull crushing finale from the second rope, but failed. Rollins tried a second rope stomp, but also failed. After a sequence of roll-ups, Rollins hit a stomp from out of nowhere to get the victory. This was one of the best opening matches of the year so far, and is a great indication on how great The Miz is.

RAW Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (c) def. Alexa Bliss to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

Bliss immediately tried to chip Nia down and lock in a sleeper, but Nia overpowered her and literally threw her across the ring. Alexa started to gain control with a kick to the side of the head, and did everything in her power to keep Nia down. Nia went for a Samoan Drop, but Alexa tried to hit a sleeper, and Nia threw her across the ring. Nia then started to once again throw Alexa across the ring. Nia tried to hit a bonsai drop, but Alexa threw her over the top rope and Bliss had trouble getting Nia in the ring. Nia got her power back and tried to hit a middle rope Samoan Drop, but once again Bliss countered. Alexa went for the Twisted Bliss, but Nia countered and finally hit the Samoan Drop for the win.

United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) def. Randy Orton to retain the United States Championship

This was their first one on one match since 2008. Hardy took control early, and not taking too long to jump off of the apron. Jeff went for an early twist of fate, but Hardy tripped on the top rope and Orton began to stomp a mudhole into Jeff Hardy and take control, then hardy launched himself off of the steps and took control of the Viper. Hardy went for a springboard, but Orton countered with a dropkick that sent Brother Nero to the floor. Orton hit two back suplexes onto the barricade, and started to focus on the lower back of the Extreme Enigma. Hardy started to come back, and hit a Whisper in the Wind, but it was not enough for him to retain. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, only to be countered by Orton into an attempt at an RKO, then a powerslam. Hardy tried to hit a stomp into the corner, but Orton rolled out of the way. Orton hit the inverted DDT, and tried to hit the RKO, but Hardy rolled Orton up and hit the twist of fate and the Swanton Bomb to retain.

Elias, New Day, and Rusev Day, and No Way Jose Segment

Elias tried to give the people of Newark a concert, but was interrupted by The New Day armed with a trombone, cymbals, and a drum. Then when Elias tried to play again, Aiden English and Rusev interrupted him. After Elias once again tried to play his song, out came discount Adam Rose along with Titus Worldwide and Breezango. At this point, Elias is pretty pissed and Bobby Roode came from behind and hit a Glorious DDT onto Elias. Then No Way Jose exited with New Day, and Bobby Roode joining the conga line, and Bobby Roode shouldn’t twerk ever again.

Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass

This feud started because Big Cass thinks he’s better than Daniel Bryan because he’s bigger than him, and people should’ve cared when he got cleared. Bryan tried to chop the giant down with kicks to Cass’s injured knee, but Cass started to use his power to take control, before Bryan hit Cass with a baseball slide and a jumping knee. The crowd chanted “We want Enzo,” but he isn’t coming back after his sexual assault scandal. Bryan hit Cass with a dropkick from the top rope, but Cass quickly hit a spinebuster and put Bryan down. Cass then took a page from Big Show’s playbook with slaps to the chest, then he locked in a torture rack. Bryan tripped Cass into the turnbuckle, and Bryan hit the Yes kicks. Bryan went for the running knee but Cass threw Bryan up and down like a little kid and hit a series of clotheslines. Cass went for the boot, but Bryan countered and locked in the Yes Lock, and Cass immediately tapped out. Then Big Cass attacked Daniel Bryan after the match was over so he could get his heat back. Ultimately, this was the best scenario for Cass because he still has heat, and Bryan got the PPV win.

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) def. Charlotte to retain the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

Carmella mocked the Ric Flair strut and got kicked in the teeth for her troubles. Carmella tried to walk out, but was quickly stopped by the challenger. Carmella tried to escape again, and Charlotte tried to get her, but the champion kicked Charlotte in the head and took control. Charlotte tried to throw off Carmella, but got kicked in the head again and Carmella put in another submission. Charlotte began to gain momentum with some strikes, but Carmella slammed the Queen onto the apron. Carmella showed off, but ate a spear for her troubles. Charlotte went for a moonsault, but tweaked her knee and Carmella got the W over Charlotte without any shenanigans.

No Disqualification Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura went to a no contest, AJ is still WWE Champion

Nakamura immediately plays mind games with AJ Styles, but Styles gets his hands on Nakamura, and turns the aggression on early. Nakamura hits the champion in the throat, but AJ regains control and the action spills to the outside. AJ throws Nak into the barricade, and even hits a big splash into the barricade. Styles went for it again, but Nakamura rolled out of the way and threw AJ into the steps. Nakamura decided to have AJ eat some gruesome knees on the apron. Nakamura hit some stiff strikes onto the champion and remind everyone why he is called “The King of Strong Style.” Nakamura went for the reverse exploder suplex, but AJ reversed it and tried to go for the phenomenal forearm, but Nakamura made him eat a knee, then a second rope knee. Nakamura grabbed a chair, and AJ ducked from the strike and after a series of strikes, Nak hit a reverse exploder onto the chair. AJ countered a Kinshasa with the chair, and was busted open after getting kicked in the cheek. AJ countered a knee strike into the calf crusher, which got countered into the triangle. Styles hit the Pele kick, and went for the Clash, only for both men to hit each other with a low blow. When both men got up, they exchanged a series of stiff strikes, and then they hit each other in the nuts again, and the match ended when neither man could get up after a count of 10. That was such a disappointing finish to what was shaping up to be a good match. They’ll fight one more time, and it’ll be a last man standing match.

Tag Team Match: Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Sami Zayn tried to push Lashley’s buttons and Lashley quickly took control with a shoulder tackle before Zayn tags in KO. Lashley shows his power and throws Owens around. Owens made a tag to Zayn, and Lashley jumped over Sami in a very impressive show of athleticism. KO distracted Lashley and allowed Sami to take advantage. Lashley made the hot tag to Braun, and everyone is doomed. Braun runs after Sami Zayn and runs over KO. Strowman hits his shoulder into the post and Sami goes for a helluva kick, only for Braun to pick him out of the air. Sami tries to leave, but KO tries to convince Sami to stay, but Sami throws KO into the ring, and KO throws Sami into the ring, and KO gets murdered by Lashley and Braun for the win. After the match, KO and Sami try to escape, only for both Zayn and Owens to get powerslammed by Braun Strowman.

Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe

Fun Fact: the only WWE Pay-Per-View that Roman Reigns didn’t event this year was Fastlane, and that was because it was a Smackdown show. The match starts out hot when Joe assaulted Roman and hit Roman with a uranagi through the announce table reminiscent of Great Balls of Fire. The bell rang and Joe’s onslaught continues. He has Roman in a neck crank for ages, and Roman comes back with some right hands, but it goes right back to Joe. Roman slides out of the ring, then Joe immediately hits Roman with a suicide dive. Then Joe goes right back to the holds, and the crowd chants “This is boring!” and they were right. The fans were expecting a slugfest like their previous encounters, but instead we had Joe have Roman in holds for 90% of the match. Then the match began to pick up the pace. After Roman gets out of Joe’s hold, Roman landed some right hands and kicked Joe out of the ring. Reigns hit a drive-by, and Roman took control. Joe went for another Uranagi, but Roman fought out of it and hit a Samoan Drop. Roman went for a Superman Punch, then Joe countered with the clutch. Roman got out of it, and went for a drive-by, and Joe once again locked in the clutch. Roman hit a Superman Punch, but Joe kicked out. Roman hit a spear and Samoa Joe got his foot on the rope. Roman tried to hit another spear, but Joe locked in the clutch and reversed it into a pin. Joe locked in the clutch again and Roman gets a rope break. Joe went for a muscle buster, Roman broke out of it and hit a second spear, and Joe lost to Reigns. I understand that Reigns needed a win after losing to Lesnar twice, but Joe needed the win to establish himself as a contender.

Match of the Night

My pick for match of the night is Miz-Rollins. It may have been the opening match, but it was great throughout and this match proves how underrated The Miz is in big matches, and should hopefully establish himself as a main eventer.

Overall Review

Backlash wasn’t a great show. It wasn’t even good. It was pretty bad. Honestly, some of these matches were pretty underwhelming including the main event of Roman-Joe, and had some weird finishes such as AJ-Nakamura, and Carmella-Charlotte. The bad finishes weigh this show down, an ultimately leave a bad taste in the mouths of wrestling fans, including me. I would rate this show at a 4/10. Rollins-Miz was great, AJ-Nak was good until the finish, and then everything else sucked. I hope that MITB is a great show, because if not then this dual branded pay per view thing was a bad idea.

WWE Backlash 2018 Predictions

My first post was the review for last year’s Backlash, and it has been almost a year of me writing on this blog, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has read my posts, retweeted my tweets, or liked my posts on Instagram from the bottom of my heart. Now, on with my predictions.

Once again every pay per view will have both Raw and Smackdown and that’s alright with me because one pay per view every three weeks seems a bit much to me. Now, we are ready for Backlash, and honestly this looks to be an okay show. Not exactly a great show, but a passable one.

Tag Team Match: Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Hey, Bobby Lashley’s back! And all he’s done is be in a bunch of tag matches with Braun Strowman, including this Sunday. This match happened on RAW a couple of weeks ago, and now this match is happening again. I’m picking Braun and Lashley to win because this is Lashley’s first pay per view match back, and a pay per view win will be a fine welcome back for Bobby Lashley

Prediction: Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley win

Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass

The whole reason for this match is that Big Cass hates Daniel Bryan because he’s small. It’s a proven way to get heat, and it’s working because Bryan is still beloved by the WWE Universe. This is going to be a typical “David vs Goliath” match, with Cass dominating most of the match. I’m picking Cass to win this match because it’s his first match back since tearing his ACL, and he needs to be put over to make himself a big deal.

Prediction: Big Cass

Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe

Roman Reigns failed to beat Brock Lesnar, and now he has the most dangerous person on Smackdown Live to deal with in Samoa Joe. Joe’s been out since January and has missed Mania, but now he’s back. Despite both people needing a win, I’m going to pick Samoa Joe to win and regain some momentum. Joe needs this win more, because Joe needs to establish himself as the next contender for the WWE Title, and putting the Big Dog to sleep could do just the trick.

Prediction: Samoa Joe

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) vs Charlotte Flair

After nearly 10 months, Carmella finally cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase after Charlotte was attacked by the IIconics. It’s too soon for Carmella to lose her belt, so I’m picking Carmella to retain her title with some shenanigans from the IIconics to help further that feud. Charlotte can win the belt back, but not this soon.

Prediction: Carmella retains with some shenanigans

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs The Miz

The Miz is now on Smackdown, but he’s cashing in his rematch clause for the Intercontinental Championship. Rollins won the belt in a fantastic opening match at Mania, and then retained it at the Greatest Royal Rumble in a great ladder match. This should be a great match between two great superstars, and I’m picking Seth Rollins to retain so he can continue his feud with Finn Bálor.

Prediction: Seth Rollins Retains

United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs Randy Orton

This feud started when Jeff Hardy interrupted Randy’s entrance. Seriously. Jeff Hardy won the U.S. Title a week after Jinder won it, and got drafted to Smackdown Live. Randy Orton was about to fight Shelton Benjamin, and Jeff came out and fought instead. Next week, Hardy was gonna fight Shelton Benjamin and then Orton interrupted his entrance and fought instead. This should be a decent match, and I’m picking Jeff Hardy to retain the United States Championship, and hold it for at least another month or so before he drops it.

Prediction: Jeff Hardy Retains

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax (c) vs Alexa Bliss

Nia’s win at WrestleMania 34 was a great feel good moment for anti-bullying, but Nia Jax has done nothing of late since she’s won aside from be in multi man matches. Alexa made an “anti-bullying” video of her own, but that didn’t really add any fuel to the low embers that is this feud. I’m picking Nia Jax to retain the Women’s Title, and be the top face of the women’s division.

Prediction: Nia Jax Retains

No DQ Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

This is the third time these guys are going to be fighting in the past month alone. This really takes away from the mystique of this feud, because this was supposed to be the biggest feud in recent WWE history, but it’s been rushed. Nakamura’s heel turn was a good swerve, and his new music is pretty boss, but all he’s done is hit the champion in the nuts. I don’t think he wants AJ to have any more kids. Since this match is no DQ, that gives the two men more range with what they could do. I really hope that this is the match that should have happened at WrestleMania. I’m picking Shinsuke Nakamura to win the WWE Championship, and get a strong start with his heel run

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins the WWE Championship

WrestleMania 34 Review

WrestleMania 34 was a pretty good show. Yes, we saw the ending of yet another undefeated streak in New Orleans, but in the end, it all served a purpose. WrestleMania was both a shocking, and enjoyable show. The good times certainly did roll, and we avoided yet another Roman Reigns coronation at the Showcase of the Immortals. If ya’ll didn’t feel like staying up all hours into the night to watch Mania, don’t worry. I’ll get you up to speed with my review of WWE WrestleMania 34.

Prediction Score: 7-7

Preshow: “WOKEN” Matt Hardy won the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Typical preshow, nobody cares about the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. When I first heard that WWE might make this a bigger deal, it’d be a main roster spot. Nope, not this year. Mojo eliminated Zack Ryder, which is some good continuity from of the Hype Bros break up. Corbin eliminated like 5 people at once, and Matt Hardy got in a chant battle with Tye Dillinger. The final three were Mojo Rawley, Baron Corbin, and “WOKEN” Matt Hardy. They teamed up on Matt Hardy, and right before Matt was going to be eliminated, Bray Wyatt made his first return since The Ultimate Deletion, and teamed up with “Woken” Matt. Corbin hit Bray with an End of Days, and was about to eliminate Matt, but got dumped over himself. Then Matt and Bray embraced, and “WOKEN” Matt has procured the energy of Humongous Wonder #8.

Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedrick Alexander def. Mustafa Ali to become the new Cruiserweight Champion

Another year, another Cruiserweight Title match on the preshow. There were some great flippy shenanigans in this match, like that clothesline where both people flipped, and their skirmish on the top turnbuckle. The camera kept panning over to John Cena in the crowd, which is annoying. There were more flippy shenanigans, and even Cedric got his foot on the rope after Ali hit the 054. Then Cedric hit the Lumbar Check to win the belt. I hope that Cedric Alexander is a great champion, and leads 205 Live into a new era.

Preshow: Naomi won the Women’s Battle Royal

Carmella got jumped, and was quickly eliminated, then everyone jumped Dana Brooke, and eliminated her. Then everyone fought each other, and the women from NXT took control, but it quickly devolved back to chaos. Then it quickly went down to Sasha and Bayley, and then Naomi, who spent the match on the outside of the ring, came from out of nowhere and won the Battle Royal.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins def. Finn Bálor and The Miz (c) to become the new Intercontinental Champion

Seth Rollins came out to a pretty cool Game of Thrones inspired entrance, Miz sent back the Miztourage, and Finn Bálor is wearing LGBT inspired gear, which is pretty cool. It started out on a frantic pace, with Finn diving over the top rope, and Seth hitting a crossbody. Miz took control and knocked Seth out of the match, then momentum shifted in Bálor’s favor. Miz locked in the figure four on Finn, only for Seth to hit a frog splash. There was some Chaos on the outside, and Rollins hit Miz with a buckle bomb, then hit Finn with a superplex into a falcon arrow. The Ref botched a count where Bálor broke it up at 2, but the ref counted 3. Finn hit the Coup de Grace, but Rollins hit Finn with a stomp, then stomped Miz to win the Intercontinental Championship. This was a great way to kick off the show, and while Seth is going to be a great IC Champion, I wanted Finn to win this match so he can get his WrestleMania moment.

Streak vs Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) def. Asuka to retain the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

Charlotte came to the ring with Centurions, and she came out as the queen. The match started with some great chain wrestling and display of athleticism from both women before Asuka took control early, injuring Charlotte’s shoulder. Charlotte went for a moonsault, but Asuka countered it into a triangle choke, which Charlotte countered into a Boston Crab. Asuka suplexed Charlotte from the apron to the floor, then Asuka decided it was time for Charlotte to die with a series of strike and a top rope drop kick. Charlotte hit a top rope Spanish fly, and Asuka got Charlotte into a submission, which Charlotte escaped. Then Charlotte locked in the Figure Eight, and Asuka tapped out. For the second time in NOLA, an undefeated streak has come to an end. After the match, a ref whispered something to Cena, and then John sprinted to the backstage.

United States Championship Match: Jinder Mahal def. Randy Orton (c), Bobby Roode, and Rusev to become the new United States Champion

I expected a more extravagant entrance from Roode, and I loved that little spiel from Aiden English to usher in “RusevMania.” Randy went for an RKO early, and Rusev took early control after running over Orton and Mahal. Roode hit Randy with some chops before Randy countered with a powerslam. Orton hit a superplex and both Rusev and Jinder broke it up. Then the fighting went to the outside, and Randy Orton capitalized and hit everyone but Roode with an RKO. Roode hit a Glorious DDT, but the pin got broken up. Thanks to some Singh Brother shenanigans, Jinder won the US Title. MORE SHENANIGANS TO COME!!!!!

Mixed Tag Team Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle def. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out on motorcycles again, and it was pretty cool. Then the “You Suck” chants started, and I’m happy to hear that at Mania again. Ronda came out dressed up like her hero, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Steph delivered a cheap shot to Ronda, but Kurt and Trips start out the match. Trips took control early in the match, throwing Kurt into the steps, and even Stephanie gets a cheap shot in on Kurt. Hunter is taking his time, deliberately keeping Angle away from Ronda Rousey. Triple H almost hit his wife, but stopped. Kurt was going to make a tag, but Steph pulled Ronda down. Then, Kurt makes the tag, and in comes Ronda. Time for Stephanie to die. Steph blocked the armbar, and raked Ronda’s eyes. Steph mocks Ronda, but then Ronda grabbed her throat and hit a Samoan Drop, but Trips pulled the ref out of the ring. And then Angle went ham on The Game. Rousey then wanted to fight Triple H, and Ronda beats the crap out of him. Did Trips make a tag? I didn’t see it. Kurt Angle went ham on Triple H, and hit an Angle Slam. Angle locked in the Ankle Lock on Steph, and got a pedigree for his troubles. Ronda put Triple H in the Armbar, and Steph put Ronda in a choke, but got countered into an armbar, and Kurt Angle put Triple H in the Ankle Lock at the same time, but got thrown into Ronda. Ronda put Steph in the Armbar, and Stephanie McMahon tapped out. What a debut for Ronda Rousey.

Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers def. The Usos (c) and The New Day to become the new Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions

The New Day came out with pancakes galore, and had midgets dressed up like pancakes and give out pancakes. Kofi quickly hit a Trouble in Paradise but the Bludgeon Brothers pulled Kofi out and then the Bludgeon Brothers decided to murder everyone. The Usos tried to put Luke Harper down, but he keeps kicking out. The Usos hit Rowan with a double suplex, then the Bludgeons continue to wreck shop, and won the Tag Team Titles.

John Cena Segment

John Cena came out, then Elias came out and sang a song and Cena beat him down. Then the lights went out. Taker’s hat and gloves were in the ring, lightning struck, and then out came The Undertaker.

The Undertaker def. John Cena

After weeks of calling him out, John Cena finally got his wish. The Undertaker came out, and demolished John Cena. Cena had no offense, and all Cena did was hit a back suplex. Cena went for the five knuckle shuffle, and Taker sat up. Then chokeslam, tombstone, and the match was over. Taker got to redeem himself in the place where he suffered his greatest loss.

Tag Team Match where if KO and Sami lose, they stay fired: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

KO and Sami jumped Bryan and Shane before the match started and powerbombed Bryan on the apron, leaving Shane to fly solo. KO and Sami dominated most of the match, then Daniel Bryan came in and the crowd exploded. He looked like he hadn’t lost a step. I’m glad he’s back, and when Bryan locked in the YES lock, the crowd somehow got even louder. I hope that Bryan gets a WWE title match down the line, and this was a great moment for everyone.

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss (c) to win the RAW Women’s Championship

Right at the start of the match, Nia destroyed Mickie James, and then Nia destroyed Alexa Bliss. Alexa tried to escape, but Nia won’t let her. Alexa raked Nia in the eye, and she began to capitalize. While Bliss tried to put Jax down, Nia’s power is too much to overcome. She hit a Twisted Bliss off the top rope. Bliss insulted Nia, then Nia said “Shut the hell up!” and got right back to throwing the champ around. Nia hit a Samoan drop from the second rope to win the title. This is a great opportunity for Nia to be an advocate for anti-bullying.

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship

This is it. The “Dream Match” we’ve all been waiting for. Nakamura hit AJ with a knee, and AJ responded with a knee of his own. Styles took over with some strikes and a headlock. Nakamura kicked AJ’s feet out from under him and AJ’s face smacked the apron. Then the Rumble winner decided it was high time for AJ to eat some knees, and hit some pretty stiff strikes. The Champ bounced back with some forearm strikes, and hit Nakamura right on the inside of the knee, and locked in a calf crusher. Shinsuke reversed it into a triangle, then AJ picked up Nakamura and drove him on his neck. AJ went for the clash, but his back is in pain. The champ hit a phenomenal forearm, but it wasn’t enough to keep down The King of Strong Style. They exchanged quick strikes, and Nakamura kneed AJ in the back of the head, but AJ kicked out. Nakamura went for the Kinshasa, and then AJ countered it into the Clash for the win. This match was very good, but ended abruptly I feel like. After the match, Shinsuke Nakamura assaulted AJ Styles and turned heel.

RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Braun Strowman and Nicholas def. The Bar

Braun’s Mystery partner: Nicholas

The Bar came out on a Mardi Gras float playing “When the Saints come marching in” and i thought it was pretty cool. Braun came out and threw the Mardi Gras float off of the stage. Then Braun called out to the crowd to be his WrestleMania tag team partner. He picked some little dude out of the crowd named Nicholas to be his partner. Braun wrecked the Bar at the start, but then The Bar began to capitalize with double team moves. Braun hit a crossbody onto both men, and it was an incredible show of agility from The Monster among Men. Braun tagged in Nicholas, who tags Braun. Then Braun hit a running powerslam and won the tag titles.

WWE Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) def. Roman Reigns to retain the WWE Universal Championship

I guess Brock isn’t leaving after all. Brock hit three Germans, then Roman hit a superman punch to Lesnar and took control. Then more and more suplexes. Germans, belly to belly suplexes, absolute destruction. Roman hit Brock with a spear onto the announce table, and Lesnar is hurt. Roman hit two spears and it wasn’t enough to beat Lesnar. Roman went for another spear, but the champion countered with a jumping knee. Lesnar hit an F5, and Roman kicked out. Lesnar hit another F5, Roman kicked out again. A third F5, and Roman still kicked out. An F5 through an announce table, and Roman is down. A fifth F5, and Roman kicked out. Brock busted Roman open, and Roman hit 2 spears, Brock kicked out. Brock hit a sixth F5 and defeated Roman Reigns. I am so happy that The Beast retained, but now the question is, who will defeat The Beast?

Match of the Night: John Cena vs The Undertaker

There were plenty of good matches tonight, but my pick for Match of the Night goes to John Cena vs The Undertaker. It may have just been a squash, but The Undertaker looked better than he ever did, and while it may not have lived up to the expectations we had, but the suspense of whether or not this match was going to happen was intense. This was a great match for The Undertaker coming out of retirement, and was a great moment for the crowd.

Overall Review:

This was a pretty solid Mania, and that is to be expected when it comes to how loaded the card was, and it had some interesting booking choices. Jinder winning the US Title, Charlotte ending Asuka’s streak, Cena’s squash, and let’s not forget Braun Strowman teaming up with a kid. While these were strange decisions, they were part of making WrestleMania a great show. I’m going to rate WrestleMania 34 a 9.75 out of 10. This was a great show without one bad match on the night, but what doesn’t make this a perfect 10 like TakeOver, is the booking decisions. We have another month before Backlash, and since they’ll be dual branded shows, that mean they’ll be longer shows. What did you think about WrestleMania 34? You can tweet me @downtown_dkown, or leave a comment below.