SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
Follow @Colohue for updates.
1. Tony Nese vs Ariya Daivari – Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship
I’m guessing here, given how many matches are on this card, that the Cruiserweight Championship match will be in that position. This is not just because it’s the Cruiserweights but also because we don’t have particularly well developed characters or a well developed rivalry such as we over the last year for Cedric Alexander or Buddy Murphy.
I’m not going to lie; I know very little about this match. If anything, it seems like a set up for a rematch in Saudi Arabia so there’s a real chance this goes to a non-finish. If that’s not the case though, Nese needs wins to justify his title win and establish himself in what is now the top position of 205 Live.
Winner: Tony Nese
What If?: The Daivari brothers reunite to steal the title before Saudi Arabia?
2. Daniel Bryan & Rowan vs. The Usos – Pre-Show Smackdown Tag Team Championships
Has anybody answered the question of why we couldn’t have a SmackDown tag team competing for the SmackDown tag team championships?
This is a rematch from what was a very good match on SmackDown. At the very least we know it’s going to be high quality. The Usos are entirely ignoring an actual feud with The Revival on Raw by being here though. At the same time, SmackDown lacks face tag teams, with Rusev and Nakamura being in a very strong position amongst some weaker competition. I get the feeling Chad Gable’s future is a brief singles run before going straight back into a random tag team again.
With the amount of development required for almost all of the tag teams on SmackDown Live, it would be a very bad move to have The Usos win the titles and take them to Raw with them.
Winner: Daniel Bryan and Rowan
What If?: The Usos do win and are forced to wildcard for the rest of their lives?
3. Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans – Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch will compete in two matches but it’s very unlikely that they will be back to back, thus ensuring that Lynch has a chance to recover from her hard work. The juxtaposition of the card I’m presenting is based on certain later predictions.
So first we have Lynch vs Evans. Lacey Evans has been given a good push on Raw so far. She’s looked and acted like a contender without actually competing enough to establish whether she is one or not. However, I can’t see her taking the win here for one simple reason.
With Sasha Banks absent, Nia Jax injured for a while and Alexa Bliss unreliably available, Becky Lynch is the only top star on the Raw brand. She has to stay on Raw. To do that, she has to keep the Raw Women’s Championship.
Winner: Becky Lynch
What If?: Evans does win the title, but Lynch also loses the SmackDown women’s title, so both women stay on Raw?
4. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio – United States Championship
Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania was an act of pure dominance for Samoa Joe due to a Rey Mysterio injury. Now that Rey has recovered and both have moved across to the Raw brand, we may get the story that they were planning to tell back at the show of shows. This is especially possible given that the wildcard, Dominic, is back in play.
Now there are a lot of old school WWE possibilities in this. Could Dominic turn on Rey and ally with Samoa Joe, thus turning this into a real blood feud with a little history behind it? Could Dominic cost Samoa Joe the match, thus endangering himself but creating a new United States champion? Could the match go to a clean finish, with Samoa Joe attacking Dominic to get a rematch, or in fact Dominic losing faith in his father’s constant losses? Many, many possibilities.
For me, his one ends with a new champion but the story is far from over.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
What If?: Dominic lies, cheats and steals to help Rey take it home?
5. Bayley vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Mandy Rose vs. Naomi vs Natalya vs. Nikki Cross – Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Given the current situation for both women’s championships, there are a lot of contenders here. Sure, you can elmiminate a couple, but that still leaves a lot of people in with a shot.
Naomi vs Lacey Evans could be a good feud. Natalya vs Becky is proven quality. What about Dana Brooke potentially getting a solid push for once? Is Ember Moon vs Charlotte Flair the future of the SmackDown women’s division? There are some exciting options.
There is also one woman who has been a constant servant of the company. Who has delivered high quality in everything she has done but been squashed and destroyed along the way. One woman who has lost to both top women of SmackDown Live on the way to this match.
It’s Bayley. It’s just Bayley.
What If?: Sasha Banks is a late addition after all?
6. Roman Reigns vs. Elias
We could end up with interference central here, given that Shane McMahon is Shane McMahon and that Bobby Lashley doesn’t have much to do right now. That said, with a cage match to prepare for that could also be interference central, I think this one might at least be a little more straightforward.
Winner: Roman Reigns
What If?: Roman Reigns loses?
7. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens – WWE Championship
On the face of it, this match has actually had one of the best builds of all the matches on the card. The lack of Big E has left Kingston exposed. Xavier Woods is hurt. Owens has essentially played a solid game of divide and conquer. Sami Zayn has also been teased as being involved. How anyone trusts Kevin Owens is beyond me. Why does nobody ever learn in the wrestling world?
This will be a good match and having it early in the season has helped Owens’ return massively as well as maintaining Kingston’s momentum. Is there a chance that Kofi will lose? Not really. I don’t think so, anyway. The stage seems more set for a big return for Big E or Xavier Woods. That, however, could easily be the long term story rather than the short term one.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
What If?: All three members of New Day reunite in the trip down to ringside, but Big E’s injury means that all he can do is watch?
8. Ali vs. Andrade vs Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton vs. Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn – Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
While the women’s Money In The Bank match had many options and many contenders, the field seems noticably slimmer in the men’s match. A lot of the players here seem more there to fill the match with high fliers and excitement, such as Ali and Ricochet, or to be bruisers designed to scare fans into thinking they might win such as Baron Corbin or Randy Orton.
For me, one man stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
What If?: Ricochet takes the briefcase and adds himself to the Rollins vs Styles match later in the night?
9. Shane McMahon vs. The Miz – Steel Cage match
The plan from here seems to be to move The Miz into a feud with Bobby Lashley. This is a shame but to be fair, the feud with Shane has done wonders to establish newly face Miz. It just needs to end now. Hopefully there is a plan for The Miz, though some time out of the spotlight a little could also do him some favours given how much more he has going on at the moment.
This match could go either way, either with Shane McMahon leaping off the cage through a table that Lashley is holding Miz down on or with Shane McMahon leaping off the cage through a table with no Miz on any more. I suspect the former.
Winner: Shane McMahon
What If?: Shane interferes in Roman’s match, this resulting in Roman getting involved here?
10. Seth Rollins vs. A.J. Styles – Universal Championship
This will be only the second Universal Championship that doesn’t involve Brock Lesnar in over two years and what a match we have. The build may have been weak, possibly hinting that this is going to be a long term feud that kicks into gear later down the line, but the match is almost a guaranteed hit.
But AJ Styles simply can not win the title this early. We can’t have Seth losing so quickly, despite the quality of his competition. This is a match that ideally doesn’t go beyond ten minutes and doesn’t go to a clean finish, leading Styles further towards a heel turn along the way.
Winner: A.J. Styles, by count out
What If?: This is the vehicle for The Club to reform?
11. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair – Smackdown Women’s Championship
And so it ends as it began, as it always should, with the final piece of an epic rivalry that lasted almost a full year. I firmly believe that Lynch will go to Raw and Flair to SmackDown, meaning that these two would be simply unable to compete with each other for a long time.
However, my choice of winner might surprise you. It’s neither of them.
If Becky wins, she stays across both shows, meaning that she’ll be defending on both shows against the top heels. Top heels on SmackDown equate to Charlotte Flair, a large drop, and then Mandy Rose. Meanwhile, for the faces, you have Ember Moon, Bayley and Carmella. A heel at the top does wonders for them.
If Charlotte wins, she becomes a nine time women’s champion, way ahead of anybody else. Almost double Sasha Banks. The only woman on the roster who would even come close is Mickie James.
So let’s have a triple threat, a face champion and someone new for Charlotte to feud with, shall we?
What If?: Becky simply loses, resulting in Becky no belts?
I’ll see you for a live tweeting session of Money In The Bank 2019.