By RJ Marceau
Before I get into the predictions I just want to say that I have definitely been a bigger fan of SmackDown over Raw since the brand split. The two hour time frame definitely helps especially when they focus on actual feuds instead of squash matches.
After these two tournaments SmackDown may be similar to Raw but I am not going to complain about it right now.
The Usos vs. The Hype Bros (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals)
Both these teams lost in the semifinals but it was refreshing to see The Usos finally go heel. They guys have been the same stale act since 2013. I don’t hate The Usos but they have been in the WWE Tag Team title since 2013. It has been so overdone fans just want them out of the title picture. I have no doubts they will beat The Hype Bros. It was great to see American Alpha win but the turn was better. American Alpha is new and they will become The Usos if they were given the titles a month after they were called up. The Hype Bros don’t do much for me so I have The Usos winning to face Heath Slater and Rhyno in the finals.
The Usos defeat The Hype Bros
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya (Six Pack Challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship)
I’m glad that SmackDown has featured these women weekly to show that they are all looked at the same level. Carmella and Nikki Bella are the only women that actually have a storyline as of right now but I don’t think either of them win. I will not give up that Becky Lynch deserves the Women’s Championship so I have her winning. They can have Carmella and Nikki Bella feud and the winner becomes #1 contender as Becky defends against Alexa Bliss. Naomi deserves a run with the title so I wouldn’t be pissed if she won but I just pray either Nikki or Natalya don’t win. They have had the title before and Nikki hogged the damn thing for a full year. It’s her time to put over young talent like Becky, Naomi, Alexa and Carmella.
Becky Lynch defeats Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Naomi, Nikki Bella and Natalya to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
This is a program fans have been asking for and it has been good so far. The promos at time can get repetitive and stale but it has been such a “dream feud” that people are excited. The match will be hit or miss but I think Wyatt has to win. Wyatt was left off of SummerSlam and he has the special aura to be a big deal. The stop and go pushes don’t help his case but Orton similar to Nikki Bella is a veteran who should be putting over talent. Wyatt losing won’t doom his career but it will just solidify him as a B player in the WWE.
Bray Wyatt defeats Randy Orton
The Miz © vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
Wow. These guys have feuded before but when you actually give the fans a reason to care about both these guys then the feud is worth our attention. The WWE has done a great job revitalizing both men and I am really into this feud. The Miz and Ziggler have cut main event level promos over the past month. I think Dolph wins here but it will catapult The Miz into the main event scene. I have never been the biggest fan of The Miz but Graham has really changed my attitude on him. They will have a good match and the “Show Off” will become the new Intercontinental Champion.
Dolph Ziggler defeats The Miz to become the new Intercontinental Champion
The Usos vs. Rhyno & Heath Slater for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
SmackDown has focused around the 6 teams they drafted similar to their women’s division. On paper, The Usos and American Alpha were the only ones that are good to great. With the new team of Rhyno & Heath Slater I think they can add new appeal to the division. Slater was the only free agent and I think his storyline has been handled perfectly. Slater & Rhyno are the front runners for this tournament and I think they win. Rhyno isn’t a full time talent to my knowledge so WWE would be smart to have The Usos attack him after they lose. He can be written off TV and give Slater a new partner. I don’t have a replacement off the top of my head but Tye Dillinger would be cool.
Heath Slater & Rhyno defeat The Usos to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Dean Ambrose © vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship
This feud has been underwhelming with all the joking and comedy stuff. Styles has been a decent heel but I hate that he is still wearing the “Never Give Up” headband. We get it, you beat John Cena. Ambrose comedy is unbearable at times but I know the WWE just gives him terrible material. The match however should be great and I am leaning toward AJ Styles winning. Styles has been one of the top players since joining back in January and was rumored to win the Universal title at SummerSlam before Reigns was suspended. Ambrose is better in chase mode so he should lose the title and feud with John Cena. Styles can go on to face Randy Orton or even Bray Wyatt next which would both be fresh feuds.
AJ Styles defeats Dean Ambrose to become the new WWE World Champion
I have all the titles changing hands at Backlash and it will be the perfect opportunity on the first brand exclusive PPV of the “New Era.” SmackDown has great looking titles (better than Raw's) so being put in new hands will be a great shakeup. SmackDown focusing on actual feuds will make it more must-see over Raw especially since they have at least two squash matches a week.
SEE ALSO: "RJ's Two Cents - How WWE Should Book the WWE Universal Championship Fatal 4-Way on Raw"
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