Wednesday, May 2, 2018

WWE Backlash 2018 Preview & Predictions

Well it's been a week since Greatest Royal Rumble, and that means WWE's already got another PPV on tap for us.  This Sunday is Backlash!

Yeah so GRR was largely a pointless, bloated affair, but not a terrible way to spend an afternoon/evening either.  My son liked it, so that made it more fun than it would've been had I been wearing my wrestling analysis goggles.  And a few good things came out of it.  Daniel Bryan broke the longevity record and we got the greatest Rumble moment of all time:

I swear, as I live and breathe that moment will never get old.

Anyway, Backlash looks like a pretty damn enjoyable show, and is surprisingly Smackdown-heavy considering it's the first dual-brand B-PPV of this era.  Of the eight matches, four are SD-exclusive and two of the four remaining bouts are RAW vs. SD.  Not a bad deal for the blue show.  Best of all it looks like AJ vs. Nakamura will be the main event, since Roman failed to beat Brock again (Seriously guys, move on and let someone else have Brock now).

On to the predictions.   Dave is in the lead with 62.5% (15/24), I'm in second with 58% (14/24), Landon's third with 54% (13/24) and Dan's in the rear (heh...rear) with 50% (12/24).  It's anyone's ballgame.

Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Lemme ask you guys something: does ANYONE give a shit that Lashley came back?   I certainly don't.  He hasn't been relevant in like a decade, and he wasn't then either.  Lashley is one of Vince's many failed pet projects who was pushed because "muscles," and TNA later scooped him up because he was a WWE name.  If his work in the Rumble last week is any indication he hasn't improved since 2007.  Guy almost murdered Big Cass with a botched suplex.  Anywho, Strowman is getting hugely pushed without any real direction.  Time to set up Braun-Brock II while Braun's still on everyone's mind.  Clearly the two monsters aren't losing here.  Poor KO & Sami...

Justin: Brobby Strowley.  Or Baun Lashman.  Or "Something Balls."
Dan: Brauny Lowman, stupid.
Landon: Blaster Lashley and Braun
Dave: Something Balls takes it.

Smackdown Women's Championship: Carmella vs. Charlotte

Ugh.  This match is the result of Vince painting himself into a corner and giving both MITB briefcases to people who weren't ready for them.  He already had Corbin fail in his cash-in so he couldn't do that to Carmella too.  Thus she is now the champion, having dethroned the woman who ended Asuka's streak.  And this perfectly encapsulates why the Money in the Bank concept has outlived its usefulness.  Charlotte should realistically steamroll Carmella and resume her feud with Asuka.  But that won't happen yet.

Justin: Carmella retains somehow
Dan: I guess.
Landon: Carmella
Dave: No idea, Carmella I guess.

US Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

Wow, it's like 2008 all over again.  This should actually be a pretty good match, and the fact that two former WWE/World Champs are fighting over the US Title is a good thing.  Both secondary belts are being presented with some importance again.  Only problem with this particular title is all the switches in the past three months.  Slow it down, fuckos.

Justin: Jeff retains
Dan: RKO
Landon: One of my favorite reversals of all time was the Twist of Fate into the RKO from the 2008 Royal Rumble. Fucking classic. Hardy.
Dave: Jeff

RAW Women's Championship: Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss

I liked this match at 'Mania, so this should also be a solid bit of work.  Nia's a good monster and Alexa's an excellent coward.  If this is at least as good as the first match I'll be happy.

Justin: Nia retains
Dan: Yes
Landon: Nia
Dave: Dorchester shrimp Jax retains.

Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. The Miz

I wish this were Seth vs. Finn, but we got that match on RAW instead.  'Twas good though.  Finn should really turn heel so that feud can continue; it would produce more excellent matches and help elevate the title.  This match feels like tying up loose ends before Miz focuses on a Smackdown feud (maybe with Bryan).  Should be fine.  I'm hoping Finn attacks Seth after the match.

Justin: Seth retains
Dan: I wish it was Miz but it's gonna be Seth
Landon: Well im glad there's no fucking intrigue whether Miz will bring the belt to Smackdown. Seth.
Dave: Rollins but I want Miz to win.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Here it is - Daniel Bryan's first PPV singles match since Fastlane 2015.  Oh man.  Even the mediocrity of his opponent can't curb my excitement.  Bryan losing to Cass would though.  Cass eliminated Bryan in the Rumble and got to be the runner up.  That's enough I think.  Bryan needs to win here and be added to the WWE Title mix.

Justin: D-Bryan.  I call him D-Bryan cuz I see somethin' in him.....
Dan: Big Cass STINKS.  So yeah.
Landon: Bryan.  Pass the liquor.
Dave: Gotta be Bryan.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

Look, I like Roman Reigns.  He's not my favorite or anything, but he's a good worker and I was fully on board with him beating Lesnar at WrestleMania, given the way their feud was booked this time.  I could identify with Roman's point that he's here every week while Lesnar gets to come and go as he pleases.  And then they didn't let him beat Lesnar.  "Okay," I thought.  "They're saving it for GRR instead.  I wouldn't have done that, but whatever."  And then he didn't beat Lesnar there either.  So now we're supposed to give a shit about a guy who has failed to dethrone Brock THREE TIMES now.  This ain't happening anymore guys.  Strowman is the man of the hour.  Let him beat Brock and go on to feud with a heel-turned Roman.  It would be a great feud, Roman would be a great heel, and in a year the fans would embrace him when he turns babyface again.  It works every freakin' time.

As for this match, Joe should 100% be the winner since he's already put AJ and Nakamura on notice that he's next in line for a title shot.  Having Joe lose and then challenge for the belt would make no sense.  Having Reigns win and then not challenge anyone since Brock isn't around right now would be pointless.  But it's Vince we're talking about, so Roman probably wins.

Justin: Roman, to make up for his back-to-back losses to Brock.  A Samoan named Joe beats another Samoan named Joe.
Dan: Roman
Landon: Joe is going to Smackdown, which Vince has always seen as the inferior brand. Besides, fans have a 2 second memory as to things that happened on different shows so losing won't neuter him at all right? Roman.
Dave: Love Joe, but Roman needs a big win.

WWE Championship No DQ Match: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Well I'm super excited this is headlining this show (probably), and with no real time constraints we should finally get a definitive WWE version of this matchup.  The No DQ stip is probably unnecessary since neither of these guys is really about those types of matches.  But AJ has proved in the past he can adapt to gimmick matches, so I'm not worried.  Up until last night I was 100% certain Nak would finally get the win here.  But with Joe coming out and basically challenging the winner, now I'm not so sure.  Joe vs. heel Nak doesn't make any sense as a program, so it seems like AJ vs. Joe is probably the next title feud, while maybe Nakamura finally gets to fight Bryan (though I'd save that match for SummerSlam I think).  That said, Nak would now be in the same boat as Reigns, having failed to win the belt multiple times.

Justin: I'd love to see Nakamura win the belt finally but I think AJ retains again
Dan: AJ
Landon: This is a weird one, because I feel like this should be Nak winning. But him facing Joe doesn't make sense. Against my better judgement, AJ wins.
Dave: AJ, then we move onto a triple threat with AJ, Nak and Joe.

That's our picks, hope you enjoy the show!  Don't forget to join us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (@EnuffaDotCom)!

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