Inside Pulse 12

Rasslin’ Roundtable for WWE Backlash 2016 PPV

WWE is presenting the first Smackdown-only PPV of 2016 with Backlash tonight! Here is the Pulse Wrestling crew’s preview and predictions.

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WWE World Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. AJ Styles

Kate – With so much going on since before the Draft (all the hype leading up to it plus all the stuff going on afterward), Ambrose has been kind of washed out, which sucks because he’s super dedicated. It’s also pretty amazing how he hasn’t gotten TOO hurt to the point where he needs time off, so major props to him for that. So with this in mind, as much Creative should just chill out and reward Styles with the title, Ambrose deserves at least a little more time in the spotlight. To be honest, I could see his feud with Styles carrying on a bit more. Although on the other hand, maybe those very reasons are enough for Styles to begin his title reign and gain that prestige back for the title that has been somewhat lost in the mix with everything that’s been happening.
Winner and still your WWE World Heavyweight Champion – Dean Ambrose

Jake Z – I would be shocked if they kept the title on Ambrose here. I mean AJ can beat John Cena clean but can’t beat Ambrose? I wouldn’t buy that.
Winner – AJ Styles (new champion)

CB: Dean’s time is up. AJ’s time is now!
Winner: AJ Styles

Michael McMonigle – I want to see AJ win, and I would hope they make the switch, but I just don’t trust the WWE yet. Maybe they wait another month or two before AJ’s rightful coronation.
Winner – Dean Ambrose

Sam P: If I didn’t think this feud still had legs in it, I’d go for Styles. But these two are capable of putting on a bunch of quality bouts going forward.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Widro: The Ambrose title reign hasn’t lit the world on fire, and WWE should capitalize on Styles’ momentum from pinning Cena without a loss in between.
Winner: Styles

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Six-pack elimination challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella

Kate – All of these competitors are deserving of this title and I have no doubt all of them have what it takes to successfully complete a title run. However… PLEASE LET IT BE BECKY. She has done so much and deserves even more, and becoming not just a women’s champ, but the FIRST ever SmackDown women’s champ. My gut is telling me they’re just going to give it to Nikki Bella anyway, and while Nikki certainly deserves a title run or two in the New Era, Becky just really needs it more right now. Becky has what it takes to “establish” this new title just as much as Nikki does.
Winner and your first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion – Becky Lynch

Jake Z – Seems like Becky Lynch would be a good first choice, especially if a heel walks away with the WWE Title and heels win the tag team titles, as I’m predicting.
Winner – Becky Lynch (first champ!)

CB: Becky wins or we riot!
Winner: Becky Lynch

Michael McMonigle – There are still only two people in this division I care about. But I doubt they will give the belt to Becky or Natalya. Let’s say Nikki Bella to promote Total Bellas and then she feuds with Carmella.
Winner – Nikki Bella

Sam P: What a nebulous mess this has been. There are only two possible winners, and while the Lass Kicker should be given a smidgen of relevance with a strap, Nikki Bella has a new reality show to promote.
Winner: Nikki Bella

Widro – There could be a number of possible winners here, but I think because the Raw champion is a heel and she is the biggest star, they will go with Nikki.
Winner: Bella

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The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley)

Kate – It sounds like American Alpha is going to feud with the Usos soon, so as much as I’m not crazy about them, it makes sense from that angle of the Usos win this round and go on to wrestle Slater and Rhyno. Plus, I feel like Rawley and Ryder need some more time before going on to a title reign.

Jake Z – The Usos just freshly turned heel and have a ready-made feud with American Alpha coming up. Not giving them the win here would be legit insane.
Winners – The Usos

CB: Usos take it.
Winners: Usos

Michael McMonigle – We saw the Hype Bros against Rhyno and Slater last week, so I doubt we’ll see it again, so…
Winner – The Usos

Sam P: The Usos are interesting again, but not to have American Alpha on the PPV is a travesty. They’ll either feud with the Usos over the titles post Backlash, or effectively hand Slater and Rhyno the belts with a run in in the final.
Winner: The Usos

Widro – Turning the Usos heel was a good move, and they should blow thru the Hype Bros here.
Winners: The Usos

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Winner of above vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno

Kate – I feel like regardless of whether or not the Usos or Hype Bros win the last semi finals match, Slater and Rhyno will walk out as champs. They HAVE to. I can’t even imagine another tag titles run featuring the Usos anymore. While I definitely want to see Mojo and Zack with the titles at some point, Slater and Rhyno as champs would blow my mind.
Winners and your first ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Heath Slater and Rhyno

Jake Z – See what I said above about The Usos beating the Hype Bros, and apply it here. Slater and Rhyno are fun, but the end game has to be getting the belts on Alpha, so putting them on The Usos here is the right call.
Winners – The Usos (first champs!)

CB: Slater wins the contract and Rhyno gets an above-ground pool.
Winners: Slater and Rhyno

Michael McMonigle – I think this match will be used to further the Usos dastardly heel turn. Plus it would set up American Alpha turn at the belts sooner rather than later. But maybe Daniel Bryan takes pity on Slater and signs him anyway.
Winner – Usos

Sam P: SlynoRater, as I’ve cleverly christened them in a particularly epic double portmanteau, are a bizarre oddball pairing, but Slater’s story has been surprisingly entertaining. In theory, he should win to guarantee a contract, but with the Usos reinvigorating themselves, this could go either way. I’m plumping for a valiant SlynoRater effort that ultimately leads to defeat.
Winner: The Usos

Widro – This will solidify the Usos heel turn with both taking the titles after getting eliminated, and bouncing Slater and “costing” him a job.
Winners: The Usos

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Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

Kate – I feel like this is one of those matches that could go either way. Orton’s helping get Wyatt over but the feud could go on a little longer. Orton as winner feels more likely at this stage.
Winner: Randy Orton

Jake Z – Honestly, I have no idea. Since it seems like a lot of heels are going over, AJ will need a credible first challenger, and no one cares about Bray Wyatt, let’s go with Orton here.
Winner – Randy Orton

CB: Randy wins because Wyatt never does.
Winner: Randy Orton

Michael McMonigle – I can’t imagine Orton came back to lose on two straight PPVs. I see an RKO outta nowhere. Maybe one of these days the higher ups will let Bray actually get the best of someone in a feud.
Winner – Randy Orton

Sam P: Both men need wins, but even with WWE storytelling you can’t have two men get the three count. Despite a slight post Brand Split repackage, Wyatt has seemingly denigrated into the same standard creepy promo / PPV loss niche that has become a stale staple of recent years. Having been fed to Lesnar, Orton can’t take two straight PPV losses. Unless there’s a big surprise in store, it’s lose lose.
Winner: Randy Orton

Widro – Orton was basically obliterated by Brock Lesnar, and needs a win to get back on track.
Winner: Orton

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WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Kate – I am so pumped for the Miz now. That is all.
Winner and still your IC Champion: The Miz

Jake Z – Worst feud. Ziggler is done. I like him but he needs to go away for a while.
Winner – The Miz

CB: My favorite match on the card. Miz keeps his never-ending IC title reign going.
Winner: Miz

Michael McMonigle – Honestly, I do not care about this match. But poor Dolphins. Going from losing while fighting for the World title last month to losing while fighting for the Intercontinental title this month. I still think they’re going for a Honky Tonk Man thing with Miz until he eventually loses to an incoming Samoa Joe or Bobby Rode or Shinsuke Nakamura.
Winner – The Miz

Sam P: I’ve always championed The Miz. He is a really great heel and it’s great to see him grab some headlines after his rant this month. How impressive is it to make the most beloved Superstar of the decade come across as a dick? I’ll tell you. It’s super impressive. On the flip side, Dolph needs a heel turn desperately. Either that or some massive transformation a la Stardust!
Winner: The Miz

Widro – Miz has some momentum as a heel whereas Dolph is a huge jobber, hopefully en route to a heel turn himself.
Winner: Miz

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