Things in WWE have been interesting since the brand split that happened a couple of months back. With the introduction of two new belts on SmackDown Live and one on RAW, the superstars and general managers - Daniel Bryan of SDLive and Mick Foley of RAW - have had their work cut out for them. 
While the RAW title was originally won by NXT Draftee Finn Balor, he vacated the title 24 hours later due to a shoulder injury. The Universal Championship is currently held by Kevin Owens, who will fight to keep it on his  shoulder at Clash of Champions against Seth Rollins (and possibly Roman Reigns).

SmackDown, however, has yet to crown newly the unveiled titles; the Women's Championship and the Tag Team Championship.

The card for the pay-per-view BackLash this Sunday (only on the WWE Network guys!) is decently stacked, which gives me hope that SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan are going to make the show bigger and better than it's ever been in the past! While the talent isn't exactly your typical WWE Wrestler, they are still excellent workers and deserve a chance to show the world this.

 

The card is as follows: 
Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship 
The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
A Six-Pack Challenge for the new SDLive Women's Championship
The Usos/Hype Bros vs Heath Slater & Rhyno for the new SDLive Tag Team Championship
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt

 

While this isn't the four hour pay-per-view we are used to from WWE, it is bound to be interesting. With so many possibilities to come from each match, I personally can't wait to see what Shane and Daniel (and Vince) have in store for us!

Below I go more in depth into each match-up, what I expect from the match, who I think should win verses who I think will win, and where WWE should take the superstars from there.

 

Dean Ambrose verses AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship
When it began circulating on all of the WWE forums that the next feud was going to be Styles and Ambrose for the title, I was less than excited. As we saw at SummerSlam, Ambrose fails to put on any sort of exciting or enjoyable match against a strong technical wrestler. With the brief feud between Dean and Dolph leading up to the PPV, I was hoping the feud would change to Ziggler verses Styles, which proves to be a much better match-up.

Nonetheless, here we are.

All my money is on AJ Styles walking out of BackLash as the new WWE World Champion. Nothing against Ambrose, but his title run has been dry and utterly uneventful. In fact, the most exciting thing that came out of it was a newly fired up Ziggler super-kicking him on MizTV.

Who I Think Will Win: While I'm betting on AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan has a thing for average wrestlers who will always be underdogs in the WWE. Ambrose might pull through, though I'm praying he will not. It's time for a new top guy!

 

The Miz verses Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
The second this match became a reality, I became immensely excited! It's no secret to anyone that I am a major Ziggler and Miz fan, so this match is everything I could hope for. Sure, there have been dozens of matches between these guys, but the new found fire they both have, coupled with their in-ring chemistry, promises to make this the match of the night.

Here's what I think should happen:

Since The Miz exploded on Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack, the WWE Universe have suddenly gotten behind The Miz and his title run. Rather than keep him where he is, move him up. Give AJ Styles, who will surely be the newly crowned WWE World Champion, a run for his money. Mike is a top mid card talent on SmackDown, magic on the microphone, and starting to resonate with the crowds..don't waste that!

Have Miz drop the belt to Ziggler, who can then feud with some of the lesser seen guys for a while, and have Miz chasing the bigger belt.

The only problem with this setup:

 AJ Styles would have to turn face in order to feud with Miz (though this wasn't much of a problem between Dean and Ziggler). This could probably be fixed by making AJ Styles a tweener-meaning he would be a face against heels and a heel against faces- therefore allowing Miz to feud properly with him
Of course, I wouldn't mind if The Miz held the title for a while longer. No need to fix what isn't broken after all.

Who I Think Will Win: I'm all for Ziggler walking out as a champ, but Daniel and Shane might want to keep the crowds behind Miz (and the title). There's a good chance Mike will win.

 

The Usos/Hype Bros verses Heath Slater & Rhyno for the new Tag Team Championship
For those who don't know, the original match was supposed to be the NTX Tag Team Draftee American Alphas verses Heath Slater & Rhyno, but one of them was injured in the fallout of the match on SDLive against The Usos. Daniel Bryan later set it up that The Usos would face The Hype Bros in a match on BackLash to see who could go on to face Heath & Rhyno later in the night.

The match between The Usos and Hype Bros promises to be interesting to see. Both groups are high flying and full of energy in the ring. The chemistry between the members of each tag team - Jimmy/Jey and Zack Ryder/Mojo Rawley- is incredible, making them that much stronger.

My guess is that The Usos are going to win. The Hype Bros are still very new to the Main Roster, whereas the Usos have been there for years now. Safe to say they will go on to face Heath & Rhyno.

Who I Think Will Win: This match could go a two ways: on the one hand, Heath and Rhyno could beat the Usos, becoming the first SDLive Tag Team Champions and earning Heath that contract he's been chasing for a while now. On the other hand though, The Usos, being the veteran Tag Team, could win the match. Heath would then have to continue in his quest to finally attain the contract for SDLive. The fans love this storyline, so it wouldn't be too much of a problem to keep it going.

Besides, who really cared about Heath prior to the mishap at the Draft? Or his seven/four/two kids?

 

Six-Pack Challenge for the new SDLive Women's Championship
In this match are: Nikki Bella, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Natalya, and Becky Lynch.

The match itself might be somewhat interesting, as long as the girls bring fire to the ring. Carmella and Nikki already have some heat between them, so we are at decent start.

My only issue, which is the same as with most women's matches in WWE now, is that the actual wrestling is less than satisfactory. While the veteran Nikki Bella has decent wrestling ability, superstars Becky Lynch and Carmella have too many botches to make their matches worth watching. Naomi is at least quite athletic, while Alexa is not as exciting to watch.***

Who I think will win: This is a tough one to call. Talent and popularity wise, the obvious choice is Nikki. Naomi, however, has been snubbed by WWE too many times to be ignored. Becky Lynch is also due for a title run now, seeing as her four horse women partners Charlotte  and Sasha Banks both have held/ are holding the RAW Women's Championship. The obvious not choices are Carmella and Alexa, who are too new to have a legitimate title run. 

*** This is not to say I hate any women wrestlers. While I don't watch any matches featuring the women if I can help it, I respect what they do -especially since I could never do it better- and appreciate the fact that they work hard and train hard. I am always looking to be impressed of course, so perhaps, with some work, these girls could finally resonate with me and the rest of the WWE Universe.

I watch wrestling to be entertained. I hold the men and the women to the same standards; do they make me want to keep watching the match?

 

Randy Orton verses Bray Wyatt
This match is Randy's redemption from the mess that was his match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Bray Wyatt has really nothing to prove to the WWE Universe, with many of them calling for him to win a title soon. Randy lost some credibility with fans of today because of the  match with Lesnar, so he needs to win this.

Side Note: I would like to point out that the character of Bray Wyatt, Eater of Worlds, would not and should not lower himself to chase a silly trinket in wrestling. It wouldn't make sense to the character, so calling for him to have a title match makes no sense, if you understand anything about Bray.

Who I think will win: It has to be Randy Orton. If he loses again, fans are going to lose interest in him and reject him. Randy is a legend in WWE; don't ruin that Daniel. 

 

I see this pay-per-view as a big step for SmackDown Live. The matches are decently set up, with as many superstars involved in the big night as possible, and the new titles have promising superstars fighting for a chance to hold it at the end of the night. I am very excited to see what happens this Sunday.

If you would like to tune in, the pay-per-view will only be played on the WWE Network this Sunday. The pre-show begins at 7 pm EST and the actual show starts right after at 8 pm EST!

 

Feel free to leave your predictions in the comments below. I am always open to 

Published by Caitlyn Booth