1 – The Usos vs. The Hype Bros – WWE SmackDown Tag Team title tournament match to replace American Alpha in the finals
After 65 years of service as sorta-hot babyfaces, the Usos are finally heel and perhaps marginally interesting. Given that they’re kinda-sorta over with casual fans (every house show I’ve been to in the past year, they get HUGE pops) I could see letting them rum with the first-ever SD Tag belts. Hype Bros on the other hand… I mean, I like Ryder and don’t wish death upon Mojo Rawley, but “really excited” doesn’t have a lot of legs once you win the big prize. Let ’em chase for a while and let the Usos work on their heel personas.
PICK: The Usos
2 – Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Miz has been on a genuine roll since Mania, so there’s no reason at all to take the belt off him at this show and hand it to a guy who’s lost pretty much every 2015 and 2016 match that mattered. I still like Ziggler in a general sense and would indeed like to see him with a belt and some kind of real push, but uh, unless they use a freak win to really alter his character, then just keep it on Miz. Because SOMEHOW The Freaking Miz is the one restoring some sense of prestige to the IC belt.
PICK: The Miz
3- Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Actually saw this match in a recent house show and Orton won. TBH I’d rather see Bray win this, because he reallllly needs some kind of notable victory in 2016. He can’t keep spouting nonsense for 3-4 weeks, lose a PPV (or not even be PART of the PPV) and then go right back to spoopy light shows. Randy can withstand the loss; let’s say he’s reeling from Brock’s assault or someone assists Bray, whatever. Just hoping it’s not a case of “Well Orton lost last month so he has to win again this month.”
PICK: Bray Wyatt
4- WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Finals: Usos OR Hype Bros vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
If Heath wins, I guess his story kinda concludes, huh? He’s signed and that’s that? That makes me think the Usos win, get to heel it up by depriving fans of a feel good moment, and Heath gets to morph his game into something new, some other way to get on the show. Meanwhile, Rhyno may soon end up some kind of elected official so surely he can’t also be a tag team champion?
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
Oof, hard to say. I like just about everyone in this match, though it is farrrrr too soon for Carmella. Nikki is an obvious choice, but she can easily lose due to some shenanigans, fued with that person and then end up challenging at Survivor Series, Rumble or even Mania down the line. Bliss would be a fun upset, but I think she could use a few more months of work before becoming the center of attention. Naomi deserves a chance, Becky certainly does as well… hard to say! I would say Becky because it’s a “first ever SD champ” moment, but it’s also not a 1-1 victory, which is the real test of a hero. I’ve kinda worked my way into a corner with Natalia, huh? I mean, that’s what makes this match interesting – any one of these women could win and have some kind of sensical path to that victory. Uhhhh I’ll just straight up guess and say Becky wins.
PICK: Becky Lynch
6- WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles
Love Ambrose, but his character is kinda stale at the top and needs something to claw for. This could’ve been a fun time to change his character, let success get to his head, become a different kind of person etc… they teased it a little but didn’t really deliver. Doesn’t matter, because AJ is hot stuff and delivers every single time, so yeah, make him the champ and let’s get this Bullet Club 2K17 shit going.
PICK: AJ Styles
There’s our choices! Make yours in the comment section below, and be sure to include a running time for the World Championship match as well as a YouTube link to your wrestler theme of choice for inclusion in Cheap Popcast, should you win!