Naomi (c) v. Lana
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Naomi has only had one televised title defense since winning the belt at Wrestlemania, and that came on an episode of Smackdown Live in a DQ finish against Charlotte thanks to The Welcoming Committee. While many would have guessed that Naomi would have dropped that title by now, she has done nothing to reduce the importance of that title, carrying herself well as a champion. Now, she faces off against Lana in her singles debut. For Lana to get a title match as her first match is an interesting prospect for an upset.
Smackdown seems set on trying to swerve everyone in the world. From the rise of Ellsworth to the crowning of Slater and Rhyno to World Champion Jinder Mahal, the blue bran would love to make you believe that anything is possible. This will not be one of those cases. Naomi has done well as the champion and switching the title to Lana (while intriguing) would only serve to shock in the short run, while providing little direction in the long run. This will serve as a good first test for Lana to prove her worth.
Jinder Mahal (c) v. Randy Orton
WWE Championship Match
You can’t hinder Jinder. The meteoric rise of the Maharaja has been nothing short of astonishing. The initial shock was certainly present, but now that the wave has died down, there are still major questions about Mahal’s ability to lead the blue brand. However, fans certainly seem more interested now than when Orton was champion. Despite the reactions from the WWE Universe, Orton doesn’t seem to have the intrigue to pull in major ratings week in and week out. With questions abound, this match can go either way.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal
I will never get over that fact that I am actually making this prediction. But the facts are clear: people are interested in Jinder. His presence as the top champion bolsters curiosity, which improves ratings. And while they have yet to truly accomplish their goal, WWE has been working hard to make Jinder feel more legit, including a new entrance. The future, at the moment, seems bright for Mahal.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn v. Baron Corbin v. Dolph Ziggler v. A.J. Styles v. Shinsuke Nakamura
This match is one of the most exciting matches every year. Filled with insane spots, even when there are stars like Kane or Big Show, the MITB ladder match is always entertaining and sets up storylines for the next few months until the winner cashes in. Each of these stars have amazing talent and could easily be a top star in the company, which means whoever wins will likely be the future of the blue brand.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
The single star who could use the briefcase the most would be Corbin. He has been so close to the title picture since the brand split, but never reached the main event yet. The best way to launch him to the main event is to give him the threat of using the MITB briefcase. He is an excellent heel who could easily threaten the champion with his briefcase at any moment, leading to a feeling of excitement for Corbin.
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Charlotte v. Becky Lynch v. Natalya v. Carmella v. Tamina
While the men will certainly put on a show in their MITB ladder match, the women will create history. With the first ever women’s MITB ladder match, WWE is more than likely going to pull out all the stops to make this one a match to remember. Considering the talent involved, there is all the potential to steal the show away from the men. The question is whether they will build a new star or give more credibility to a top star.
While every women in this match has a valid argument to win the briefcase, Carmella is likely the most intriguing of the bunch. She is talented, has continued to grow in the ring, and has the character that would benefit greatly from having a trophy to tote around. With Ellsworth as her little briefcase holder, Carmella with the briefcase has the potential to build into a great run with the title.
And those are my picks. Do you agree or disagree? Tell me about it in the comments below and don’t forget to like this post, share it on social media, and subscribe to Babble Royale for more quality content.