1- The Usos versus The Hype Bros
This one is one I am not thrilled to see on the card. Why? Because I think it sets a bad precendent. How long before all the heels try to injure the babyfaces for spots in big matches? OK, maybe I am overthinking it a bit, but there is that point. But, I don’t book, I just write.
That being said, I have long enjoyed watching Ryder and Rawley, even if I did think Mojo was a surprising draft pick. In any other match, I might think these two have a shot to make the finals of the tag team championship tournament. However, let’s be frank: whoever wins this match goes on to face the fan favorite team of Rhyno and Slater. And while it’s happened before, we don’t tend to get babyface versus babyface, especially in tournament matches. And, I do believe that booking will stay in place for this one, as I expect Jimmy and Jey to defeat Mojo and the Long Island Iced-Z, to advance to the finals.
2-Miz versus Ziggler, for the Intercontinental Championship
Want my honest opinion on this one? It baffles me. Yes, I said it baffles me. And here’s why.
Take Ziggler, for starters. At SummerSlam, he challenged for the WWE Heavyweight title, coming up short. It wasn’t his best match ever, but still it was a good enough effort. But to me that was a huge night for Dolph, considering a couple years ago, he was the de facto top babyface, and that never translated into a renewed push for him. So, getting into a major title match in August, I thought he was back on track. But now? Now he’s facing off for the mid-card title, which is not to knock the IC title, but it is a step down.
And then there is The Miz. A man who has held the IC strap on numerous occasions-seriously, look it up-but whose reigns were usually kind of…uneventful. Blah, even. And his current reign was no different, up until a couple weeks back when Miz flipped out on Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack. It was as though Miz had woken up and remembered how cocky and brash and snarky he was when he held the world championship, and was finally going back to that. So, is Miz finally showing some maturation into a better, more bankable heel?
So, with that said…this one is a challenge. I am a big fan of Dolph, and I think he’s had so many title shots where he’s come up empty, he’s just overdue, right? But, as overdue as he might be, my gut tells me that, on the strength of Miz’s outburst, he retains his title.
3-Randy Orton versus Bray Wyatt
OK, don’t hate me for saying it, but to me, this is one I just haven’t thought much about. After the destruction of Orton at SummerSlam, he needs a rebound match. So in that respect, I question the choice of Bray for the rebound, because Wyatt himself needs to get on a roll and run off some wins.
In the long run, I think a win means more to Wyatt. But I think a loss could be damaging to Orton, too. So for that reason, I am thinking this one ends in a DQ or count-out of some form, allowing someone to get the win, while allowing WWE to protect the other. Which works, but begs the question: if that’s how they need to book this specific match…then why book THIS specific match?
4-Womens’ Six Pack Challenge-to crown SmackDown Women’s Champion
Try as I might, I don’t think I can do this one justice-I just feel like this match is going to be a good one. On one hand, I do wish that the women were enduring a tournament similar to the tag ranks, but I do see that two tournaments at once could be a bit much.
So, who do I like? A few, honestly.
My preference is to finally give Becky her due. She’s earned it, she’s worked her tail off, and I think she’d be an exceptional choice as the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion.
But if not Becky, I see two smart choices.
First is Nikki, already being the longest-reigning Divas Champion. Why not add one more accolade to her career?
Second? Natalya. Why Natty? Well, she’s emerging on SmackDown as their top heel, or one of them. This run could just be a sort of lifetime achievement award-not that she’s old, or nearing the end of her career, but it’s been a long time since Natalya held Women’s gold in WWE, and she’s been a loyal worker all this time. Not that booking takes any of that into account, but if they did? Then I think she’d be a wise choice, too.
Beyond that? I think the rest of the women in the match all could hold the belt some day, but I do think Sunday is too soon a day for that to happen.
5- The Usos versus Rhyno and Slater-SmackDown Tag Team Championship
I preface this by of course pointing out that I predicted The Usos would win their match earlier in the evening.
That being said? It’s hard not to root for Slater and Rhyno. For one thing, if Slater wins, he gets his WWE contract (per the storyline). For another? He gets his kids that pool. And a third? I’ve been a fan of Rhyno for a long, long time. But I think that, should they win, it will be a short-lived reign, setting The Usos up for a reign, leading into an inevitable feud with American Alpha. But I am getting ahead of things.
I think The Usos make a mistake, creating an opening, and Slater and Rhyno do indeed become champions on Sunday.
6- Dean Ambrose versus AJ Styles-WWE Heavyweight Championship match
I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Ambrose’s reign.
I was less thrilled by the buildup toward this, honestly. I don’t know if it was a lack of chemistry between these two, or if we were just due a letdown considering how hot the Styles/Cena feud was.
As for the match? I think Ambrose could very well retain here, but at the same time, AJ Styles has been climbing the ladder since he debuted in January. He has but one more rung to go, and as much as the fans love Ambrose, I do think it’s time for Styles to grab the proverbial brass ring and become WWE Champion.