The new brand split means that pay-per-views are coming at a fast clip – faster than we can keep up with them! This upcoming SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view is an excuse for the blue brand to get down and dirty and hit each other with a variety of weapons. So without further ado – let’s get to it!
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton – SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
This match has the dubious honour of being the only match on the card without a real ‘gimmick’. Both teams have to play by the rules; no hitting each other with weapons here. This is also the match for which I have most tipped my hand because I’ve been pretty sure how this one is going to end for a while now. Strange as it will be to see Bray Wyatt with a piece of gold, I can’t imagine Slater and Rhyno are holding on much longer.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton to take the titles.
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin – Chairs Match
I don’t care about this feud. I didn’t care about it when they piggy-backed this feud off of Dolph Ziggler and Miz on the most recent SmackDown, so I certainly don’t care about it now. The problem is that I’ve just found this feud largely forgettable so far. I know it has its roots some time ago, but I’ve just lost track of it. This most recent iteration is about Corbin costing SmackDown the Cruiserweight Division, but it goes deeper than that and I honestly forget why.
Prediction: Kalisto to win.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella – No Disqualification Match
So, Nikki stole Carmella’s Brooklyn-is-the-same-place-as-Staten-Island-right hometown thunder, and then Carmella tried to shame Nikki for dating John Cena. After Nikki got attacked from behind at Survivor Series, she wants to fight Carmella, who she holds responsible. Carmella denies it on the basis that she’d have bragged about it if it was her, so it’s possible the culprit is still out there. That seems pretty conspicuous to me, so I assume they’ll make something of that.
Prediction: Carmella to win, after the real culprit interferes and attacks Nikki Bella during the match.
The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship
What I like about this particular gimmick match is that it makes a kind of sense even outside of the ‘we’re obligated to do a gimmick because it’s time for TLC’. There’s some subtext about Dolph Ziggler’s career and reaching for things out of his grasp, not to mention Maryse constantly finding new ways to interfere. While I’d love it if Maryse just got sick of it all and climbed the ladder herself to become the new Intercontinental Champion, I somehow doubt that. I can’t help but feel, though, that there’s still many ways she can help out.
Prediction: The Miz retains, with help from his lovely wife.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss – Tables Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
This match was made a tables match at the last minute, after the contract signing went awry. I have to ask – I saw those women sign that contract. Surely you can’t go changing the rules once the contract has been signed, right? But in any case, Alexa stood tall on Tuesday night on SmackDown Live, so I can’t help but wonder if maybe we’re looking for a nice comeback from Becky.
Prediction: Becky Lynch to put Alexa through a table and retain.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose – Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the WWE World Championship
We needed at least one match like this. Every part of the pay-per-view’s gimmick in one big match, and Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles setting up to beat the hell out of each other. James Ellsworth is kind of a wild card in this match, because as he pointed out recently on SmackDown, he kind of has a vested interest in AJ Styles retaining the title given that he’s owed a title shot and has beaten AJ before, but it’s hard to say. Either way, I assume this will be extremely fun to watch.
Prediction: AJ Styles to retain.