WWE’s Backlash will come to us Live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ this Sunday. This event does hold some historical significance, as it will be the first of the “Co-Branded” pay-per-view shows going forward. This Pay-Per-View also finds itself still shaking off the effects of the Superstar Shake up from few weeks ago. With that said, let’s get right into our predictions for WWE’s Backlash!
1) Bayley v Ruby Roitt (Preshow)
Projected Winner: Ruby Roitt
To be honest, we’re just as confused as you probably are. This match was just announced on Friday, and named the first preshow match the show has so far. The Roitt Squad are still new to RAW, but it feels like Bayley has been involved in an endless battle with heel-women factions forever now.
It is still unclear as to exactly why Bayley and Sasha Bank’s feud hasn’t gotten off the ground yet. With months and months AND MONTHS of buildup, when will fans finally get the BEGINNING of this feud? It’s clear that either there is more happening than we know, or possibly the rumors regarding possible backstage heat are true.
Regardless, this match will most likely be a decent performance, where Ruby will receive help from her fellow Rioters (or is it Riotters?); with a possible run-in by Banks to try to even the match. The dream would be for Sasha to come out and help and real heel turn occur from either her or Bayley.
In all honesty, we just want this thing to get going.
2) Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Projected Winners: Strowman and Lashley
If you think this feud is a bleak and one-sided affair, good. So do we. Strowman and Lashley have gotten the better of Owens and Zyan at almost every turn in this short rivalry, and it’s hard to imagine Kami coming out the winner.
Added to the fact that Strowman is still booked strong as ever, and WWE’s need to keep booking the newly returned-Lashley strong as well, it’s a recipe for a fun, but a sure-fire win for the big men.
Seth Rollins vs The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
Projected Winner: Seth Rollins (retains)
This cross-brand matchup is nothing more than clean up from the Superstar Shake up. With the Intercontinental Title on RAW, one can assume that the title will stay right where it is. Rollins has been a great champion so far, and WWE will have nothing to do with stopping his momentum.
The two have had multiple clashes before, and have shown us that they have great in-ring chemistry. With that, The Miz will play the convincing heel, and the match will have plenty of moments to keep us second-guessing as to whether the title will go to the blue brand again.
There is no question, however. Monday Night Raw will continue to be Monday Night Rollins for the foreseeable future.
4) Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass
Projected Winner: Daniel Bryan
While the build up for this match has been anything but entertaining, the match itself has plenty of potential to be a good match.
This will be Daniel Bryan’s first singles Pay-Per-View match since his return, and the set up of the Big Man-Little Man match up is just what Bryan needs. Bryan needs to remind fans on why they supported him; he was never the biggest guy in stature, but the biggest in heart. Cass will look like a million bucks as the clearly imposing antagonist, and will undoubtedly garner great heat from the crowd. No one in New Jersey will want to see Bryan lose cleanly, so they will be cheering and on the edge of their seats for every moment, praying that Vince McMahon isn’t trying to pull a Roman Regins 2.0.
The quality of the bout falls heavily on the 7 footer’s shoulders. As much as Daniel Bryan’s selling will make him look as powerful as Thanos; Ironically, Cass needs to show that he can roll with the “big boys”, and provide a quality singles match. Especially after years as a tag-team wrestler, this match may prove to be a litmus test to see if Cass is ready for the upper-midcard or even the main event scene on Tuesday nights.
5) Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton – United States Championship
Projected Winner: Jeff Hardy
It’s Crazy how in 2018 we are talking about Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton competing for a midcard title. The two have competed all over the world, and have won multiple championships in their tenures with WWE. Just think that 10 years ago, in Madison Square Garden, these two were fighting for the WWE title.
However, with all the years that have gone by, people may still argue that both are at the peaks of their physical abilities. The biggest issue with this match is it’s lackluster story. Orton lost the title to Jinder at WrestleMania 34, Hardy wins title from Jinder on Raw, and now that Hardy is on Smackdown with the US title – Orton wants his back. That sentence felt boring just to write. With this, the match feels like it is missing something, which is sad considering the two stars involved.
However, the sheer star power of Orton and Hardy will likely get the crowd excited regardless. Its our belief that with Hardy only recently getting the title, Orton is most likely taking the proverbial “L” on this one.
6) Charlotte Flair vs Carmella – Smackdown Live Women’s Championship
Projected Winner: Charlotte Flair (DQ – No title change)
Carmella’s cash-in to win the title was done perfectly, winning the title in front of a hot crowd in New Orleans days after WrestleMania. Charlotte had just symbolically crowned herself the top woman in WWE with her win over Asuka, breaking the longest winning streak ever recorded in WWE. With seemingly no challenger on par with Flair, WWE gave us the long awaited Cash-In and gave us a new champ without hurting Charlotte at all.
Fast forward to Sunday, Carmella will be competing in her first title defense on Pay-Per-View, and against not only the former champion, but someone who is believed to be light-years ahead of her. Similarly to her Ex-Boyfriend (Big Cass), this match will test to see if Carmella is really up to the task of competing with the best in her division. Carmella will work the cowardly heel angle, constantly trying to avoid Flair’s offense and submission attempts.
With it unlikely that Carmella will win the match cleanly, and WWE not wanting to do any damage to Flair or take the title off Carmella just yet; it is our opinion that Flair will win via DQ or even possibly Count-Out. This will most likely cause Flair to become unhinged, and get a rematch on SmackDown Live next Tuesday.
The key for a successful Carmella title run is the slow-burn method; having the fans beg for someone to beat her, while constantly denying them.
7) Roman Regins vs Samoa Joe
Projected Winner: Roman Regins
This one is tough; Roman is due for a big win, but Samoa Joe JUST got back.
Roman Regins has been having both lost at Mania and The Greatest Royal Rumble to Brock Lesnar, the typical formula would have Roman get a monster win to even out his string of losses. However, Samoa Joe has only recently come back from injury and is going to be a large presence on SmackDown in the future, especially with SmackDown’s main event scene looking as thin as it is.
For us, Regins will get the win. This is due to the simple reason that Regins has taken just too much abuse, and WWE believes that a hard fought win over a top competitor in Joe will help move Regins forward. While Joe would suffer slightly, he’d be losing to Roman Regins, plus he would be on Smackdown and won’t clash with Regins for the foreseeable future.
WWE’s logic is likely to give Regins the win and the fans will forget about it eventually. Regins will move on, and so will Joe.
Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Championship
Projected Winner: Nia Jax (Retains)
Unlike the last one, this match is an obvious choice. Bliss gets her guaranteed rematch for the title she lost in New Orleans. Jax has only begun to come into her own as a champion, and while her character isn’t as strong as Bliss’, her sheer size and strength make up for it.
This match will serve as a final resting place of their feud, leaving many questions as to what will happen with Bliss and the title scene respectively. With names like: Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Mickie James, and even Ronda Rousey floating around, the are plenty of options going forward for possible programs for either competitor.
Overall, we feel this match will be good, but nothing amazing. Much like their title match from Mania.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles – WWE Championship (No DQ)
Projected Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the match that we are most looking forward to seeing. Nakamura and Styles’ feud has only seemed to get better with time. This is due to simple and effective booking: Nakamura’s surprise heel turn, the rematch ending indecisively, and the third match stipulation that makes sense to the story.
With a new attitude and more dynamic character, Nakamura has become the heel of heels on Smackdown Live. Kicking AJ in the family jewels every chance he gets. The Phenomenal One is seething and foaming at the mouth for his chance to get his hands on the Artist.
As said before, this stipulation makes sense. It ensures a clear winner will be decided on Sunday and that we can be sure to see Styles and Nakamura pull out all the stops in this one, leaving many to think that this match might be their best encounter yet.
With all that in mind, this seems to be the time and place for Styles to drop the title to Nakamura. Shinsuke Nakamura has been hungry for his first world title win, and a stipulation that allows him to pull out all the underhanded tricks he wants provides a perfect set up for him to snag the gold. Styles is so established that dropping the title would do little, if nothing, to his credibility. In fact, a shift from being the hunted to the hunter, which might be a nice change of pace.
Photo Credits: WWE.com