Are you betting on the May 16 WWE pay-per-view WrestleMania Backlash or just one of those people who like to impress your mark friends with how much you know about “The Sport of Kings.” If so, you’ve come to the wrong place as I could pick the most logical choices to win matches only to have Vince “The Madman” McMahon rewrite the script while the show is taking place. With that in mind, here are my imperfect predictions for Sunday’s show as well as who I think should win the matches.
Lumberjack Match: The Miz vs. Damien Priest: A feud that’s gone on just a little bit too long, the Lumberjack Match stipulation should make this one a bit more fun to watch after seeing Miz battle Damien Priest 3,210 times.
Winner: Damien Priest
Who Should Win: Damien Priest
The WWE seems to be going with a Miz vs. John Morrison feud/ After all, they’re a tag team and tag teams only exist to be broken up (unless you’re the New Day). Priest needs to move on to a feud and personally, a Sheamus vs. Priest feud could take “The Archer of Infamy” to the next level.
Triple Threat Match for the RAW Women’s Championship. Rhea Ripley (Champion) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair: Asuka’s here for one reason-to do the J-O-B for Rhea Ripley. While the WWE’s misuse of “The Empress of Tomorrow” over the last year has been nothing short of criminal, it’s par for the course for the RAW women’s division that seemed to go on hiatus when Becky Lynch left.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Who Should Win: Rhea Ripley
As much as I dislike the way Asuka’s been jobbed out, the WWE needs to push “The Nightmare” strong and see if the fans will get behind her.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match. The Dirty Dawgs (Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler) (Champions) vs. the Mysterios (Dominik and Rey Mysterio): I never thought I would enjoy Dominik Mysterio’s work but he’s impressed me so far and I’m anxious for him to turn on Papa Rey and use him for a foot rest.
Winners: The Mysterios
Who Should Win: The Dirty Dawgs
The Dirty Dawgs are one of those rare teams where the WWE threw two singles stars together and they immediately gelled. The WWE’s tag team division could use some dominant heel champions who somehow cheat their way to victory every time. Unfortunately, the WWE seems determined to put the tag belts on the Usos and likely feels it’s better to have a babyface team lose to them than a heel team.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match. Bianca Belair (Champion) vs. Bayley: This match should be a treat for fans of the women’s division, but also for fans of good wrestling. Bayley rarely disappoints and Belair seems to be growing as a top-tier competitor. She’s not quite there yet, but this match could help a lot.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Who Should Win: Bianca Belair
Bayley is at the point in her career where she can help a wrestler by putting them over. However, that doesn’t mean that she should be jobbed too much as she’s arguably the best female wrestler in the WWE right now in terms of in-ring performance and her heel persona. Bayley will be women’s champion again, but right now she should be helping Belair to see if she has what it takes to be a true main eventer. Belair seems like she does and a big win over Bayley should help.
Triple Threat for the WWE Championship. Bobby Lashley (Champion) with MVP vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman: Expect this one to be full of crazy spots as all three men break tables, ring barriers, and each other. We all know Braun isn’t in this match to win it, but he will look incredible as he puts on his obligatory feats of strength against his opponents.
Winner; Drew McIntyre
Who Should Win: Bobby Lashley
While I think Bobby Lashley needs a long, dominant run as champion in order to set up a WrestleMania XXXVIII match against Roman Reigns, that’s not going to happen. Look for Drew to pin Braun and for Lashley to find himself in a new program. The ideal situation would be for a Lashley vs. Lesnar match (leading to SummerSlam) but that’s idle speculation on my part.
Universal Championship Match. Roman Reigns (Champion) with Paul Heyman vs. Cesaro: Major props to the WWE for presenting Cesaro as a credible opponent against Roman Reigns. While Cesaro has as much chance of winning the match as Braun Strowman does the WWE Championship Match, this could be an excellent encounter if the WWE avoids the tired formula of Jey Uso interfering and Roman Reigns hitting a low blow. Ideally, the WWE will present Cesaro as a challenger who might have won under better circumstances, elevating “The Swiss Cyborg” into an upper-card wrestler instead of a perrenial mid-carder.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Who Should Win: Cesaro. If the WWE wanted to give Cesaro a real push, they’d have him win the belt (albeit under controversial circumstances such as interference from Jey Uso backfiring). Cesaro has been a pleasant surprise over the last few months and the WWE could create another main eventer with a short title reign followed by a sustained push.
The WWE seems confident that its best bet is to keep the Universal Championship on Roman Reigns. It’s difficult to imagine anyone who screams top-tier main event on SmackDown right now so it’s not a bad move. In the meantime, the WWE needs to create some new main event babyfaces to topple Reigns down the road. That someone seems to be Big E, but you never know when a break-out star will seize the fans’ imagination.