Why Cena winning at Fastlane would make (some) sense

Let me start this by saying I completely understand the backlash WWE would receive from a large percentage of fans if John Cena won the WWE Championship Sunday at Fastlane. But let me explain why it could work.

I’m on the side that believes Cena will win his record breaking 17th championship. But for him to win this and not get booed out of the building – it needs to happen soon. As he slowly transitions into a part time superstar, fans will not be willing to accept a 17th title win later down the road.

So Cena wins Sunday. Now you have to choices here. Make the WrestleMania match with Shinsuke Nakamura a triple threat and add Styles to it. Or you move Styles to quick US title program to face Orton or Roode at Mania. The latter is the way to go.

Nakamura has not been built to be a serious WWE Champion powerhouse. And I worry that some fans would boo him if he beat Styles at Mania. But if he beat Cena for the Championship he would receive a major ovation.

Then Cena can disappear and do whatever he has next on his busy schedule and we slide Styles back into that WWE Championship picture with Nakamura for the next PPV or build it up for SummerSlam.

Yes, fans would be furious that WWE is taking away Styles versus Nakamura but that doesn’t mean we will never get that inside a WWE ring.

Uncertain Cena is fun Cena

John Cena came out Monday night and did exactly what everyone predicted — call out The Undertaker.

Cena Sunday night was very down on himself, a sight the WWE Universe is not familiar with. And that’s good. After losing the Elimination Chamber match, Cena said he did not have a Wrestlemania match.

On Monday, Cena swerved everyone. He challenged Undertaker to a match on the grandest stage of them all. But then said that wasn’t possible.

It’s still not clear what Cena will be doing at Mania but we should learn more Tuesday on Smackdown Live.

Cena is now showing a different side of his character. He’s beginning to transition into a part timer leaving him in a weird middle ground right now without any real direction. And that’s exciting. The opportunities are endless. And just because Cena said a match against the Undertaker is impossible, I still wouldn’t count it out. The Deadman could walk out tomorrow night and stun fans.

While not being able to predict what will happen is always fun, it can also be scary. If they add Cena to the A.J. Styles versus Shinsuke Nakamura title match then things could turn ugly and you might see and hear some backlash. Hopefully that’s not the case and Cena has something fun up his sleeves.


Battleground predictions

WWE Battleground comes to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sunday. It is the final PPV before a highly anticipated SummerSlam in August.

Let’s get to the predictions:

Jinder Mahal (W) vs. Randy Orton WWE Championship: The Punjabi Prison makes its return one more time and hopefully brings this feud to an end. The Singh Brothers did not exactly do the best job explaining how this match will work but we are used to that at this point. It’s time for both of these men to move on. The Modern Day Maharaja is giving 110 percent each week, but it’s just not good enough. While I think Mahal loses the belt at SummerSlam, it will not be to Orton. Mahal picks up with win thanks to help from the Bollywood Boyz.

A.J. Styles (W) vs. Kevin Owens United States Championship: I love what Owens is doing off air. He has blacked out his social media until he reclaims the Championship he believes is rightfully his. It’s great stuff. But I don’t see another title change so soon after Styles just won. The Phenomenal One also just started the “open challenge” so it seems silly to move on already, but who knows, considering I said the same once the “New Face of America” gimmick began and Owens dropped the title right away. Styles wins clean with a Phenomenal forearm.

John Cena (W) vs. Rusev: If we are building toward another WWE Championship for John Cena, he can’t lose here. Rusev can lose and still look strong considering this is a flag match and neither man will have to be pinned. Hopefully this match will unleash the Bulgarian Brute and force him to wreak havoc on the Smackdown roster. Cena wins and then gets a beating from Rusev.

The Usos (W) vs. New Day Smackdown Tag Team Championship: This has potential to be the show stealer. Both teams can work and have proven they have great chemistry in the ring and on the mic. The Usos are one of the hottest acts on the blue brand right now. I think New Day will be the team to win the straps from them, but it’s not the right time.

Lana (W) vs. Charlotte vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch: It’s time to put the belt back on a heel and I think we are building toward a Lana championship run with the help of Tamina. They are already building the perfect heel story. Lana has lost several times to Naomi but it appears her and Tamina are starting to work together and I think she helps put Lana over this match and then will be the one to help the Ravishing Russian claim the gold at SummerSlam.

Shinsuke Nakamura (W) vs. Baron Corbin: Corbin is Mr. Money in the Bank. He does not need to win another match until he cashes in. Nakamura still has not been able to show what he can do. This is a great opportunity for him to embrace the strong style and take down a giant. I think Nakamura wins clean in a tough fought battle so he can then set his sights on Mahal or Styles for SummerSlam.

Mike Kanellis (W) vs. Sami Zayn: Kanellis just had his first match on Smackdown since debuting at Money in the Bank. He defeated Zayn thanks to his wife Maria. That’s what should happen again. Zayn loses matches. That’s what he does. And when you can add shenanigans thanks to Maria, it doesn’t hurt anyone. Kanellis needs this win so people can believe in the true power of love.



SD Live 7/11: Four Takeaways

John Cena makes a surprise appearance and no one cares about the WWE Championship.

Here are the major takeaways from Smackdown Live for July 11 in San Antonio, Texas:

  1. A.J. Styles is bringing back to United States Championship open challenge. His first challenger this week was non other than the originator of the open challenge – John Cena. But of course we didn’t get this match for free, it led to a tag team match with Styles and Cena teaming up to take on Kevin Owens and Rusev. It’s incredible that these four men are all in a story that has nothing to do with the WWE Championship. Styles made it clear in his opening promo that he wants the U.S. title to feel just as big as any other championship. Any if you’ve been watching Smackdown since the superstar shakeup, it’s clear that’s what creative is going for. It wants two top level titles. The open challenge will hopefully be fun and a nice way to get some other competitors in the ring with Styles but if we are going to continue with Kevin Owens as the “New Face of America” it seems like it will still be Styles and Owens going at it at least for the near future.
  2. Then it’s time to get the main event guys in the WWE Championship picture. Because it is getting extremely stale. Jinder Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger but I’m not sure what that proves. We have the WWE Champion fighting meaningless matches and cutting the same exact promo each week while all the top stars of Smackdown Live are off doing there own things. It’s time for Mahal and Orton to wrap up their feud at Battleground so everyone can move on.
  3. Speaking of top stars – Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin decided tonight was not going to be the night we saw the two collide for the first time in singles action. Which is good. I was curious to see how this would be booked, and I think they did a great job. Nakamura did not give Corbin a chance to even get in the ring before he attacked him on the ramp. Officials came out to break the two apart with Nakamura returning to the ring where he challenged the Lone Wolf to get in the ring. Corbin decided to back down and head backstage. It seems likely that we will get Nakamura versus Corbin at Battleground which will be a crucial match for Shinsuke who has not really had the chance to show off what he can do on the main roster.
  4. Tamina picked up another pinfall tonight in a tag match in which she teamed up with Natalya to take on Becky Lynch and Charlotte. Tamina has been booked strong and appears to have some sort of partnership building up with Lana. Despite the booking however, Tamina is falling flat with the live crowds. I’m not alone with saying I just do not care about her one bit and she has not given me a reason to care. She will be part of a number one contender match involving the other women on Smackdown at Battleground but I can only hope she helps Lana secure the victory.



A.J. Styles beat Kevin Owens Friday night at a Live Event at Madison Square Garden.

It’s a very rare move to have the belt change hands at a house show but it appears WWE did not want to wait until Battleground to make it happen.

What does this mean for the New Face of America? Hopefully a rematch at Battleground and then it’s time to go after that WWE Championship assuming Jinder Mahal loses it sometime soon.

SD Live: 5/30: Cashing in

Some rumors do become true. Shane McMahon and Smackdown Live made history Tuesday in Atlanta announcing the very first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

What started as a five-pack elimination challenge quickly became an all out brawl before the first bell even rang.

Now, the woman will square off at Money in the Bank where either Charlotte, Carmella, Becky Lynch, Tamina or Natalya will be crowned the first Mrs. Money in the Bank.

It’s a decision many fans have been asking for but very few thought would ever be made. And the setup was perfect.

The five women all showed they can they can take some serious bumps during their brawl outside the ring. Nattie even went through the announce table. I can’t remember the last time a woman hit that spot. It’s great that these superstars will get a chance to shine and with Charlotte and Becky in the ring, this group should have no problem putting on a killer match.

The Best of the Rest:

It is more clear now then ever why Kevin Owens was moved to Smackdown. The show needed a true heel to carry it. Owens is doing exactly that. The opening segment with Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin could’ve went bad but Owens was there to carry the two through it. That’s not a knock on Corbin or Nakamura, I love all three of these stars, but that’s why Owens is here. So guys who still need some work on the mic can improve working alongside the new Face of America.

On a side note: Why are they giving Nakamura so much time on the mic? Just let him be the star he is. People will get behind him because of his work in the ring and his entrance.

In a very interesting booking decision, but also one that isn’t surprising – Dolph Ziggler went over on A.J. Styles clean. Everyone knows you don’t win in your hometown but Ziggler beating Styles clean on a random Smackdown was an intriguing decision.

Ziggler is the only superstar of the group competing in Money in the Bank ladder match who has won it. He keeps reminding us of that. But this win over Styles likely means he stands no chance winning that match.

The Fashion Files returned and continue to be excellent. Breezango is killing it right now, but with the return of New Day this week, their future is uncertain.

The New Day will be challenging The Usos now for the Tag Team Championships and I couldn’t be more excited for this feud. Both teams are gold on the mic and can put on awesome matches.

Randy Orton decided he finally cares a little bit. Orton cut a solid but predicting promo saying that winning is the only option for his rematch with Jinder Mahal. Orton had a bit of fire that we haven’t seen recently which is great, but there is no way he reclaims he championship because again – the rematch takes place in Orton’s hometown of St. Louis.

Backlash match card and predictions

It’s round two of wrestling in Chicago following NXT Takeover. Sunday is Smackdown’s turn to take over the Windy City and it’s finally time for the long awaited in ring debut of Shinsuke Nakamura.

Besides the King of Strong Style, we also get the Face of America versus the Face of Smackdown Live and the controversial matchup between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal, so let’s dive in:

Shinsuke Nakamura (W) vs. Dolph Ziggler (L): If you haven’t seen a promotion for this match you must be living under a rock. They are everywhere and only feature Nakamura. Clearly Ziggler does not have a chance in this fight and he shouldn’t. If we are building up Nakamura to be this special talent, which he definitely is, then Ziggler should not last more than a few minutes. I’d like to see Nakamura take out Ziggler in under two minutes. It would be a holy shit moment for people who are still learning who Nakamura is.

Jinder Mahal (W) vs. Randy Orton (L) WWE Championship: It’s the most controversial match in some time. Many fans don’t understand the random push to the top that Mahal is getting. But since arriving on Smackdown, Mahal has made this match feel important unlike his rival who seems to not care at all. When this was first booked, I thought Jinder didn’t have a shot, but now I would love to see anyone take the belt off Orton. His title run has already become stale and it’s time for a change.

The Usos (W) vs. Breezango (L): WWE Tag Team Championship: Breezango are quickly getting the crowd’s support thanks to the Fashion Files they have been doing each week. The segments are excellent, and finally a reason to like Breezango. Tyler Breeze and Fandango are a very talented team, but I don’t think it’s time to take the belts off The Usos who have been white hot on the mic recently with some of the best promos this year. I think this match ends with some shenanigans leading to a rematch at the next PPV.

Kevin Owens (W) vs. A.J. Styles (L) United States Championship: Kevin Owens is the new Face of America and for that reason he should retain his U.S. title. Styles is ready for another WWE Championship run. Owens should pick up a dirty win, keeping Styles looking strong and allowing him to move on the WWE title.

The Welcoming Committee (W) vs. Charlotte, Naomi and Becky Lynch (L): It looked like Charlotte was going to get a run as a baby face but that may have changed. This is where Charlotte turns on Becky Lynch setting up a great feud between two of the four horsewomen. The Welcoming Committee has run its course and was only needed for the superstar shakeup. It’s time the women get their own programs again.

Baron Corbin (W) vs. Sami Zayn (L): While it’s nothing new, I don’t have any clue what the plans are for Sami Zayn. Baron Corbin will be a champion before Zayn. The Lone Wolf needs this win after losing a bit of momentum. I think he will be a WWE Champion before the end of the year.

Luke Harper (W) vs. Erick Rowan (L): Erick Rowan cut an awesomely creepy promo after Smackdown Tuesday and Talking Smack. But I think Luke Harper has the brighter future going forward. He has been putting on great matches since splitting up with the Wyatt family and could benefit big time by beating Rowan and ending this feud.