Can you lay the prediction Smackdown on Smackdown Live’s first-ever exclusive PPV? If you pick the most correct results, you’ll win bragging rights and your choice of song on the next Patreon-exclusive Cheap Popcast!
WWE Backlash may be a bit lean on matches, with a scant six bouts after overloaded shows like WrestleMania and Summerslam, but it’s big on meaningful title bouts with inaugural Smackdown Women’s and Tag Team Championship matches as well as an interesting World Championship match. We went through the entire card (plus we tacked on another big weekend match in the form of CM Punk vs Mickey Gall) in WWE 2K16, and you can watch the fun below!
Anywho, here’s how the prediction contest goes. The LaserTime gang will make picks in this here article, and then open up the replies to you great listeners. You will then pick a winner (or if you’re feeling frisky, a rare draw/no contest) for each match (don’t worry about getting the finish right, I’m just looking for winners, if any), and then, just in case there’s a tie for correct predictions, pick a running time for the final match listed (the presumed main event) as a tiebreaker.
If you reap the wealth of your picks and have the most correct predictions, you can make your mark on the next Cheap Popcast episode (exclusive to Patreon) by choosing a theme to close a segment. Pick the wrestler theme and include a YouTube URL to a wrestler’s theme alongside your predictions (including the running time of NXT Championship match) and I’ll give you a shout-out on the next episode. Got it? Good. Now, onto each LaserTimer’s predictions!
1 – The Usos vs. The Hype Bros – WWE SmackDown Tag Team title tournament match to replace American Alpha in the finals
It’s always nice to see Zack Ryder get a PPV payday, and while it’d be even better to see Ryder have another high profile title win in 2016, there’s nothing sadder than an inaugural tag team title match featuring Mojo Rawley and Heath Slater (even though they are both guilty favorites). The Usos end up being rewarded for brutalizing opponents and take American Alpha’s spot in the finals later in the night.
PICK: The Usos
2 – Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is a good candidate to finally end The Miz’s title reign; he’s the best cipher for Daniel Bryan after the awesome Talking Smack confrontation they had last month. However, it’s actually the last thing I want to see at this point; we just had a protracted Miz-Ziggler feud in 2014, so I’d rather see Miz continue to slither away with the title before someone like Randy Orton annihilates him.
PICK: The Miz
3- Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
I can’t remember a match that needed BOTH guys to win as much as this one. Randy Orton looked pretty ineffectual against Brock Lesnar and really needs a rebound, while Bray Wyatt always seems like he’s one loss away from completely losing all of his credibility. We do seem like we’re mere weeks away from a Luke Harper return, so I say the most talented wrestler in the Wyatt family makes his return, costs Orton the match, and then the last two remaining Wyatts go after the Smackdown tag straps.
PICK: Bray Wyatt
4- WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Finals: Usos OR Hype Bros vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
While I’ve liked Slater’s Smackdown story of late and think he’ll impress enough during this match to FINALLY earn a contract with the blue brand, it’s a bit of a disservice for a comedy tag team to be Smackdown Live’s first-ever tag champs (especially since Smackdown has the best tag division right now). The Usos need to kickstart their heel run with something substantial, and adding another tag reign to their resumes is a good start. Plus, most of Smackdown’s tag ranks are faces, so they have a few feuds to start with.
PICK: The Usos
5- WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match, Elimination Rules – Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya vs. Naomi
As soon as both Smackdown titles were revealed, I knew we’d either get either American Alpha or Becky Lynch winning their first main roster titles to please the crowd, with the other falling short and chasing the belt(s) for a few months. Now that AA has been written off of the show, I’m gonna say that we at least get one face leaving Backlash as champ. HOWEVER, it’s not the face you’re thinking of. I think Naomi’s hot start on Smackdown shouldn’t be wasted, and her near-half decade of WWE service without a Women’s Championship will finally be rewarded with a title (that she’ll drop to Becky in a few months). Plus, how sick would Naomi’s blacklight entrance be with a glow-in-the-dark title belt?!
6- WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles
Short of beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania or Brock Lesnar anytime, there’s no bigger feather in a wrestler’s cap than cleanly beating John Cena, and like those other accomplishments, it’s usually the first step before a character goes onto even greater heights. Dean has been a decent champion, but there’s really no other worthwhile title feuds he can move onto. It may not happen this month due to shenanigans, but that belt has Styles written all over it. I say AJ wins it sooner rather than later.
PICK: AJ Styles in 22 minutes
Up next… Hank’s picks!