This weekend will mark WWE’s fifth special event (not counting NXT Takeovers) to take place without a live audience in attendance. However, It will be the first to take place in the “ThunderDome”. The Thunderdome is WWE’s version of virtual fans. This will be a new experience for fans and wrestlers alike. WWE has promoted it as a brand new experience with upped pyro, lasers, and other effects in addition to new camera angles and of course the virtual fans in attendance. Retribution will likely make an appearance at the event, and hopefully provide some answers or possibly even reveal their identities.
Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
WWE Universal Championship
Braun Strowman has already defeated Bray Wyatt to keep the Universal Championship, and he’s had a nice little run with the title. It would make sense that Wyatt has to let the Fiend out in order to conquer the Monster among Men. This will likely be a very hard-hitting match, and we may get some extra creepiness from Wyatt, via the ThunderDome setup.
Prediction: “The Fiend” Wins
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
Randy Orton has often been used as a holdover feud for champions. He’s good on the mic and in the ring, and at this point in his career, really has nothing left to prove. Orton attacking Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels has given fans a reason to root against him, and want to see justice served. Orton will likely go away for a while and McIntyre will look to start a new feud in the following weeks.
Prediction: McIntyre Retains
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
SmackDown Women's Championship
Sasha and Bayley have had an excellent run as duel champions, but with Charlotte and Becky out, their feud needs new life breathed into it. The best way to do that is to put at least one of the belts on Asuka. If Asuka wins only one of the championships on Sunday, it would make sense for it to be Bayley’s. That could lead to tension between the Tag Champs, and Sasha has always been the better villain of the two.
Prediction: Asuka Wins
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka
Raw Women's Championship
Another option in this feud would be to give both championships to Asuka. Sasha and Bayley can both chase the championships while trying to also maintain their tag team champion titles. It would also make Asuka look dominant again, and give her the retribution she wants for what the pair did to her former teammate, Kairi Sane. I for one would love to see Asuka Two Belts taking on all challengers on Mondays and Fridays.
Prediction: Asuka Wins
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio
The street fight stipulation here protects both participants from looking too weak when suffering a loss. It’s hard to say who the stipulation favors more at this point, with both men using weapons in recent weeks, and having others who can interfere on their behalf. It seems like the right time for Dominik to get revenge for what Rollins did to his father, and for the Monday Night Messiah to move on to another feud, perhaps getting back in the championship picture. Hopefully, after Dominik wins, he will become a mainstay on the roster. Who wouldn’t love to see Dominik and Rey make a run at the tag championships?!
Predictions: Dominik Mysterio Wins
The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
Raw Tag Team Championship
Sunday looks like it is shaping up to be a good night for the good guys. To keep things balanced, I could see Angel and Andrade getting the win here, although through some sort of nefarious tactics. Taking some action against Montez Ford could also serve to keep the animosity between Zelina and Bianca Bel Air going. That feud is a great way to get Bianca familiar to main roster viewers and push her into the bigger picture of the women’s division.
Prediction: Angel and Andrade Win
Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP
United States Championship
Boy oh boy, we can only hope that Apollo retains on Sunday. This match seems to serve mostly to keep the two factions at war. MVP is the easiest to take a loss so that Lashley and Benjamin do not look bad. They can follow MVP’s loss with a beat down of the other group, to display some dominance, even in defeat. The story moving forward seems to be whether or not MVP can pull Cedric Alexander away from Crews, Ali, and Ricochet to join Hurt Business. Which has to be on a pretty short list of worst faction names of all time.
Prediction: Apollo Retains
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE
The last time WWe had a hair vs hair match was Over the limit 2010 when CM Punk lost to Rey Mysterio Jr. And as of Friday night’s SmackDown, it looks like it will remain that way, as the Mandy Rose vs Sonya Deville match has had the stipulation upped. What was to be the first hair vs hair match in a decade is now a No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE match. WWE has invested a lot of time into Mandy, not only with her storyline but also with her development as a wrestler. The company knows what to do with someone like Rose, but they seem less sure of what to do with an athlete like Deville. Mandy Rose will likely win, but it will be interesting to see whether Deville actually leaves WWE or not. We’ve seen that stipulation be undone too many times to trust that it will actually stick.
Prediction: Mandy Rose Wins.
BONUS PREDICTION: John Cena will show up on Sunday. He might likely save the day for Dominik against Rollins or possibly go after Orton for his attacks against the legends. One way or another, I think we will see Cena at SummerSlam.
Story by Tim Howell A.K.A. The Not So Macho Man from Zero Dark Nerdy