WWE Backlash Predictions

The Greatest Royal Rumble has absolutely ruined the build up for this PPV, and that’s a damn shame given what it could have been.

Backlash_20181

It’s the first PPV of WWE’s new co-branded era, or at least that’s what that god awful music video keeps telling me on a seemingly daily basis. Seriously, who’s idea was that? Because they seriously need to reconsider their line of work.

If you haven’t seen it already then please, grab some popcorn and enjoy the below video, because it’s pure comedy gold but for all the wrong reasons.

Anyway, with that monstrosity behind us let’s get on with some predictions.

Pre-Show Match: US Championship
Singles Match: Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Randy Orton
It’s amazing what a few weeks can do for a division. A Hardy and Orton feud is infinitely more interesting than the Roode/Mahal/Orton feud we had to suffer through for weeks prior to Wrestlemania. With that being said, this feud doesn’t have enough build to be anything other than pre-show fodder, but good pre-show fodder. It’s too early to take the title off Hardy, unless they want to go for an Orton heel turn.
Prediction: Jeff Hardy

Match 1: Smackdown Women’s Championship
Singles Match: Carmella (C) vs. Charlotte Flair
20180424_BackLash_Carmella_Charlotte--2be9291f925a09f5da09a5db47b19d05
Surprisingly the women’s division on Smackdown has been a breath of fresh air since the arrival of the Iconic Duo and Carmella’s cash in. After having a division built around Natalya and Charlotte Flair for so long, Carmella as champion is offering something completely different and with the Iconic Duo being thrown into the mix I’m really interested to see where they can take it. The one thing I’m worried about is that they’ll put Asuka in a losing streak, which if it turns her heel could be a good thing, but otherwise it’s a dangerous road to take for one of the WWE’s best female attractions.
Prediction: Carmella

Match 2: Raw Women’s Championship
Singles match: Nia Jax (C) vs. Alexa Bliss
20180423_Backlash_NiaBliss--fd852942cf78fc04885e140b0d5abcf9
I don’t think there’s much to this match, the build up with Alexa’s “Moments of Bliss” PSA’s have been good, but the contractual rematch has dragged on a feud that should have ended at Wrestlemania. Hopefully it’s pretty quick and really there should only be one viable winner.
Prediction: Nia Jax

Match 3: Tag Team Match
Tag Team match: Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
20180430_BackLash_Braun_Bobby_KO_Sami--8ada15f586bdf9225dbd08a3054132f3I have a few things to say about this. Firstly, it’s hilarious how Braun’s new GRR Championship has just been photoshopped onto his shoulder, because let’s face it, we’re not seeing that title in person for another year. Secondly, why is this match happening again, let alone on a PPV? And thirdly, I’m concerned that should Kami lose, then they’ve been squashed pretty bad since arriving on Raw. With that being said, I think there’s one clear answer to those questions – That this match is leading towards a Bobby Lashley heel turn, costing Braun the match. Lashley has done nothing since coming back, he’s not said a word on Raw and he’s very quickly just become another body. WWE need to remedy that, so a heel turn and a name change to just Lashley doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility. He could then feud with Braun and that seems like a decent feud to me.
Prediction: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

Match 4: Daniel Bryan’s PPV Singles Match return
Singles Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
20180424_BackLash_Bryan_Cass--7bb6613f1a896049bde36587fa168a46
Logic would dictate that Bryan goes over in this match, but this is the WWE we’re talking about and Vince is well known for having an affinity for big guys; enter Big Cass to ruin the party. Whilst I don’t think he will go over clean, there are definitely signs there that Cass could walk out the victor here. Even if he doesn’t and my prediction is wrong, then I fully expect Cass to beat up Bryan after the match to ensure their feud carries on and that Cass doesn’t lose too much heat.
Prediction: Big Cass

Match 5: Intercontinental Championship Match
Singles match: Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Miz
20180409_Backlash_SethMiz--b90cb3a5288569cc29675dbba0970035
Again it’s the culmination of a feud that should have finished at Wrestlemania. It’s good to see The Miz in the IC title picture one last time, but with no US title match currently announced he has roughly a 0% chance of winning the belt and taking it with him to Smackdown. Hopefully from here Seth can go on to have some real work-horse one on one feuds on Raw with the likes of Finn Balor, Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns. Which probably means he’ll be feuding with Jinder Mahal within a week.
Prediction: Seth Rollins

Match 6: Singles Match
Singles Match: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe
20180409_Backlash_RomanSamoa--b17d2eb06e7fab2bccac8e234d5de6df
I really don’t understand why this match is happening. I don’t understand how the feud started and I don’t understand what they’re fighting over. It just reeks of the WWE changing their minds back and forth about who was going to be swapping brands and who was going to be Universal Champion by this point. As Roman is on somewhat of a losing streak they may as well go all the way with it and give Joe a big win to take him across to Smackdown where he can beat up Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton for the US title, before moving on to the winner of the Nakamura/Styles feud.
Prediction: Samoa Joe

Match 7: WWE Championship
Singles Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Nakamura
20180424_BackLash_AjStylesNakamura--cb8c1dc2b09841e9dac01ca6e26e15d6
This feud has been crying out for a No DQ stip, so I’m pleased that we were given just that with Paige’s announcement on Smackdown Live. With that being said I don’t think the stip will make any difference to the outcome. Either Nakamura wins here or they run the risk of killing him off for good. Another loss and his heel character will have failed in the exact same way as his face persona. Nakamura has to win the title here, it’s simple. It would also mean that the show has at least one title change if my predictions are right, and given the house show feel that the Greatest Royal Rumble suffered from it’s about time we saw a title change.
Prediction: Nakamura

So there we have it, my predictions for the second PPV in the space of just over a week. Let’s hope that it proves to be a better show than the Greatest Royal Rumble was. If I had any overall thoughts on this show it’s that the card looks like it could be really strong in terms of wrestling quality. The build itself may have been non-existent, but I fully expect this show to deliver on the night.

What are your predictions for the show? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @WeAreNiche.

5 Predictions For The Next WWE Season

WWE is like a TV series in more ways than one, beyond the standard weekly format WWE also runs in what could be considered seasons. Every season starts on the Raw after Mania, with shake ups, debuts and returns abound and then it culminates at the next Wrestlemania. As such, let’s dive into what I think will happen before Wrestlemania 35 rolls around.

1134474-download-free-wwe-logo-wallpaper-2018-1920x1080-ios

A year is a long time in the WWE and pretty much anything could happen… just ask that kid Nicholas who became a freakin’ Tag Team Champion at Wrestlemania.

So with that in mind, here are some bold predictions that I think will happen over the course of the next “season”.

Prediction 1: Samoa Joe will win a World Title
It doesn’t really matter which World Title he wins, as I think he’s viable to win either the WWE Championship or the Universal Championship at this stage, and it will likely come down to what brand he ends up on following the Superstar Shake Up. But mark my words, this is going to be a big year for the Samoan Submission Machine and he will at some point be the top guy in the company.

Prediction 2: Rusev will leave the company
It’s an unfortunate scenario regarding Rusev. He’s one of the most over acts in the business, but for whatever reason the WWE just can’t seem to bring themselves to support and push him. Rumours were abound that he asked for his release during the build up to Wrestlemania and that he was placed in the US title match as a payoff. But with him taking the fall in that match I can’t see anything significantly changing any time soon and he will likely make the decision to ply his trade elsewhere. 

Prediction 3: Neville will return to our TV screen
On a happier note, the return of Neville is something which a lot of fans are clamoring for. The rumours surrounding his current situation have been up and down more than a roller-coaster, with reports constantly switching between him leaving and coming back, but it seems to have been silent for too long at this point. If he was going to leave then I think he will have done already, and at this point I see him coming back in a big way.
PS – This could age really badly depending on what happens this week on TV.

Prediction 4: Roman Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar at the Greatest Royal Rumble
The whole mystery surrounding Brock Lesnar’s current deal with the WWE and his altercation with Vince McMahon after the Wrestlemania main event is probably the most intriguing story in wrestling at the moment. The crowning of Reigns seemed inevitable, and the subsequent victory of Lesnar indicates that he’s sticking around for a while longer. But who then do you have dethrone the Beast? Well, I say it’s still Reigns and that Vince sees big money in this Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. Give them a monumental moment with Roman finally toppling the baddest man on the planet and I’m sure Vince will be seeing dollar signs. Brock can then ride off into the sunset and potentially return for the rumoured one-off match with Lashley at Summerslam.

Prediction 5: A Women’s match will main event Wrestlemania 35
If Charlotte vs. Asuka and Ronda’s performance in the mixed tag match proved anything, it’s that the women can steal the show at Wrestlemania. You could quite easily argue that women made up 4/6 of the best two matches on the card this past Sunday. So come next year I expect to see the culmination of the women’s revolution, with Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey for one of the women’s championships main eventing Wrestlemania 35. And quite honestly, I can’t see any room for complaints. Go get em.

So there we have it, five predictions for what we could be in store for over the next year’s worth of WWE. Hopefully I can come back in a year’s time and brag about how right I was. Do you have any predictions? Do you have any thoughts on ours? If so fire away in the comments section or let us know @WeAreNiche.

Wrestlemania 34 Predictions vol. 2 FT. The Royal Grumble

Wrestlemania week is well underway and as such we’re very happy to bring to you our first authored article. Following on from our own predictions which we posted yesterday, we’re now very happy to bring you the predictions of the fine folks over at The Royal Grumble podcast.

wrestlemania-34-logo-superdome.jpg

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
img_0140
Who cares? I mean of course I care who wins this prestigious trophy. I could see someone like Goldust winning it as a nod to his long career, that’s if surprise entrant Rob Gronkowski doesn’t steal it.

Women’s Battle Royal
img_0146
As I predicted on this weeks Royal Grumble (available on iTunes), I think this is where Bayley gets a measure of revenge against Sasha Banks, eliminating her to win the cup. I feel like I’m letting my co-hosts down if I don’t mention that the trophy is shaped like something I’m not sure I can mention here.

Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali
img_0147
I was hoping this was on the main show, meaning at least 2 cruiserweights would get DVD cheques (wrap that around your banana and eat it A Double). Cedric Alexander looks to be the guy to win this.

Cesaro and Sheamus vs Braun Strowman and TBD
img_0144

Our big prediction is that Curt Hawkins will break his record breaking (probably) losing streak by becoming Braun’s partner, having little to no involvement while Braun does what Braun does best.

The Usos vs The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers
img_0142

I’m a bit gutted that the Bludgeon Brothers with their hamme… I mean Mallets (sorry Hunter) got added to this, and I love me some Luke Harper. The Usos to retain here beating one of the New Day.

The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor
img_0145
This should be a good match, The Miz will lose the title here (he’s needed for bigger things, again check out the show to know more). My prediction is Seth Rollins as the focus seems to be more on Balor in the build.

Orton vs Roode vs Mahal vs Rusev
img_0143
This would have been the match I went away to make a coffee if it wasn’t for the addition of Rusev. My head says Jinder as he has been so quiet since his unlikely title reign, but my heart is with the Bulgarian Brute. He needs this moment more than anyone, especially with Wrestlemania being held on Rusev Day.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax
img_0141
SQUASH MATCH ALERT! if this goes longer than a minute I will be shocked. I fully expect Nia to destroy Alexa and bring home the gold.

Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
img_0139
The streak cannot end here. I do worry considering Charlotte’s pedigree but there is still mileage in the streak the longer it goes. Asuka to win in what could be one of the best matches of the night.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
img_0136
Ah, the annual Steph bump. My guess is this will follow the pattern of last years mixed tag match of Cena/Nikki vs Miz/Maryse, where the guys do most of the work while also building to Ronda finally stepping in the ring. Wrestlemania is the one time of year that the power couple like to take the fall so I see both tapping out at the same time to the Ankle Lock and Arm Bar.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
img_0137
I can’t wait to see Daniel Bryan back in the ring, and he has the perfect opponents here. Kevin Owens will get the win for his team in a match that I can imagine will have lots of plunder (Shane has nothing to fall from so he’s got to get damaged some other way).

Brock Lesnar vs Roman reigns
img_0134
Its time to crown the biggest dog in the yard. This match has had nearly 4 years of build and no matter the crowd reaction, I can’t see anything other than Roman finally beating Brock and been crowned Champion at Wrestlemania.

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
img_0135
If you have seen their Wrestlekingdom 10 match (if not, why not) you know these two can create magic together. AJ has been a true star since coming to WWE just a few weeks after that match, while Shinsuke has coasted since his brilliant match with Sami Zayn, only his charisma and “It factor” has really kept him in the spotlight. I predict this will be the night we see the Nakamura who debuted two years ago, and alongside AJ Styles will create something really epic. Nakamura to take the gold here, though the result will be second to the contest these two will have.

Cena vs Undertaker
img_0138
Will it happen? Probably, if not there might be a riot. The Undertaker to return and get a win over Big match John. Bonus points (yes, I’m giving myself bonus points) if the famous Streak ending reaction guy gets shown on camera during the introductions.


The Royal Grumble Podcast releases a new episode every Sunday, check them out on iTunes or via their website Royalgrumble.podbean.com, Facebook.com/Royalgrumble, on Twitter @royalgrumblepod, or their Twitch live streams at twitch.com/royalgrumble.

 

Many thanks to The Royal Grumble for sharing their predictions with us! Make sure you go and check out their show, with a Wrestlemania Week show going live today.

Wrestlemania 34 Predictions

Give me the green light because I’m ready to go, go, OOooOOOOOooOOoOoh, OH, OH.

It’s Wrestlemania Week and the fever pitch is reaching boiling point!

No matter how good the build is the atmosphere surrounding Wrestlemania is contagious and once again I find myself completely engrossed, eagerly waiting, hook, line and sinker. And this year there’s even more reason to be excited as this is arguably one of the best Mania cards in a long time.

Although it may end up being a 7 hour long show there are enough matches that have some serious anticipation around them that it will hopefully go like a breeze.

So let’s get this bad boy started with the Kickoff Show.

Kickoff Show

Match 1: The Andre “The Giant” Memorial Battle Royal
Multiple participants
One of the few matches on the card that I’m not actually looking forward to. The Andre Battle Royal has done nothing for any of the past winners and I don’t expect that to change this year. So to keep things fresh and even slightly interesting I think the best option might actually be to go with something that no one really expects to happen, so why not give the win to The Revival? It would be something different, interesting and might even give them a stepping stone for post-Mania. But this is WWE, of course the Revival aren’t winning.
Mitch Prediction: Matt Hardy
Rachel Prediction: Random mid-carder no. 3

Match 2: Cruiserweight Championship
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali

This could turn out to be a really good match. It’s a shame that once again the Cruiserweights are relegated to the Kickoff Show, but unfortunately with the magnitude of the main card it is hard to see what you would bump in their place. These two are both phenomenal athletes, but the steam has somewhat burnt out from the 16-man tournament which led to this spot.
Mitch Prediction: Mustafa Ali
Rachel Prediction: Mustafa Ali

Match 3: Women’s Battle Royal
Multiple Participants

Unlike the men’s battle royal I’m actually surprised to see this match on the Kickoff, but similar to the Cruiserweight Championship I can’t see what would replace it. Fortunately for this first time ever the WWE have actually put a molecule of effort into building this match. Absolution, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky, Naomi etc. have all been involved in the build for this match and hopefully the winner will be in the title scene before too long.
Mitch Prediction: Becky Lynch
Rachel Prediction: Bayley

Main Show

Match 4: US Championship Fatal Four Way
Rusev vs. Randy Orion (C) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode

Even with the addition of the super over Rusev into the match I’m still less than enthused about the offerings we’re going to get here. It’s certainly one that can be placed in the dead zone of the show, sometime between main events and the crowd are needing a rest. One thing that this match does have going for it is that it’s unpredictable, realistically any of these could walk out with the title. Let’s just hope that the WWE use this as a base from which to build a solid mid-card scene on Smackdown Live.
Mitch Prediction: Rusev
Rachel Prediction: Rusev

Match 5: Raw Tag Team Championship
The Bar (C) vs. Braun Strowman + A Mystery Partner

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Wrestlemania is who will end up being Braun’s partner. Unfortunately most of the names which have been throw around the internet are less than exciting, if it turns out to be The Big Show who recently signed a new deal with the WWE then expect a severely disappointed live crowd in New Orleans. However on the other hand, if the WWE go balls to the wall and team Strowman with someone like Samoa Joe or Elias; or a comedy partner in Ellsworth or Curt Hawkins then things will start to look up again.
Mitch Prediction: Braun + Partner
Rachel Prediction: Braun + Brains

Match 6: Tag Team Championship Match – If Kami win they’re re-hired
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan

What a feel good moment this is. Seeing Bryan return to a WWE ring is something that none of us thought we would ever see and you don’t need me to tell you why his inclusion at Wrestlemania has suddenly taken this card to a whole new level. The stipulation that “Kami” are fired for good if they lose is interesting as I don’t see them both going back to Raw, but equally WWE wouldn’t dare turn Bryan heel to align himself with them. Maybe an unfathomable McMahon heel turn? Nah, there can only be one winner.
Mitch Prediction: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon
Rachel Prediction: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Match 7: Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day vs. The USO’s (C) vs. The Bludgeon Brothers

These teams are great, this feud is great and this match could very well be great. Hopefully they’re given enough time to build a story throughout this match, and if they are I can’t see why a match with these participants couldn’t live up to the quality of DIY vs. The Revival vs. AOP.
Mitch Prediction: The Bludgeon Brothers
Rachel Prediction: The New Day

Match 8: Intercontinental Championship
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz (C)

I genuinely have no idea who is going to win this one and I’m so happy about it. I genuinely love all 3 guys, so whomever wins I’m going to be happy. These three are great together, both in the ring and on the mic, so hopefully this could be a show stealing match, just give them plenty of time and they’ll blow your minds.
Mitch Prediction: Finn Balor
Rachel Prediction: Finn Balor

Match 9: Raw Women’s Championship
Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss (C)

I would be incredibly surprised if Nia doesn’t win the title in this match. They’ve done the build very well, both are coming across like real people and the hatred between them both feels legitimate. It’s no surprising that these two have great chemistry given their friendship off screen, so hopefully they match that chemistry in the ring too. It’s very possible that we see Carmella cash in after the match to avoid the Asuka issue on Smackdown.
Mitch Prediction: Nia Jax
Rachel Prediction: Nia Jax

Match 10: Mixed Tag Team Match
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Stephanie McMahon and HHH

As good as the build has been for this match, I’m not anticipating a great showing. No matter how much experience Ronda has elsewhere she’s going to be green stepping into a WWE match, and Kurt Angle is certainly not the best he’s been. On the other side of the ring you have Stephanie, who isn’t a wrestler and isn’t going to be carrying anyone to a Five-Star classic, so her exchanges with Ronda are likely going to be awkward. However, they do have HHH in there with them and if anyone can build a match that hides the weaknesses of everyone else then it’s him.
Mitch Prediction: Ronda and Kurt
Rachel Prediction: Ronda and Kurt

Match 11: Singles match
John Cena vs. The Undertaker?

I no longer want this match to happen. I hate to admit it but the WWE have completely squandered what should be a dream match. This feud has no build, someone just not showing up is not a build, it doesn’t give you any incentive to want to see the match. As much as I was in to this when it first started, as much as I wanted to see the American Badass Taker return and as much as I know it’ll piss off the live crowd, I now either want Taker to flatly turn down Cena, or I want this to be the beginning of a build towards Wrestlemania 35. But the WWE won’t see it that way, we’ll probably get some crappy segment followed by an impromptu match with little explanation as to where Taker has been.
Mitch Prediction: The Undertaker
Rachel Prediction: The Undertaker

Match 12: Smackdown Women’s Championship
Asuka vs. Charlotte (C)

It’s a shame that these two have been on separate brands for the entire build up, effectively resulting in us having no story going into this match. I really think that if they had been given a run from the Royal Rumble to really put some steam into a rivalry then we could have been looking at a contender for the first ever women’s match to main event Wrestlemania. Unfortunately though this match is built on name value alone.
Mitch Prediction: Asuka
Rachel Prediction: Charlotte (Bye bye streak)

Match 13: WWE Championship
AJ Styles (C) vs. Nakamura

To this day I am still amazed that we’re going to see this match on a WWE PPV, let alone at Wrestlemania, let alone off the back of Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble and let alone over the most prestigious championship in wrestling. Say what you want about John Cena vs The Undertaker, this is what a modern day dream match looks like and we can only hope that they live up to the hype. If these two are given anything less than 15 minutes then it will be a damn shame and a real show of what WWE think about one or the other. This match should be the main event of the whole show, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
Mitch Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Rachel Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Match 14: Universal Championship
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (C)

Say what you want about Roman main eventing 4 Wrestlemania’s in a row, but this is probably the closest the WWE have come to getting the fans behind him since the Shield initially broke up and it’s arguably the feud with the most heat behind it going into Mania itself. We’ve already seen what these two can do on the Grandest Stage of them All, and whilst I would have preferred this match to have been a Triple Threat with Rollins involved, I’m not going to complain for the sake of it.
Mitch Prediction: Roman Reigns
Rachel Prediction: Roman Reigns

So there we have it, one of the best Mania cards in a long time and hopefully what will turn out to be one of the best actual shows the WWE have put on in a long time. Enjoy the week everybody, because this is what it’s all about in the world of pro wrestling.