WWE’s Stomping Grounds is among us. Will this be a rematch PPV of matches that we have sen many times before? Will anyone care, can the WWE use this PPV as a launching pad to greatness or will be a PPV of rematches? Find out all you need to to know right here.
Stomping Grounds Preview
WWE debuts a new event this weekend called Stomping Grounds. I normally like to watch the last Raw and Smackdown before an event before I write up my predictions due to the fact that plans often change at the last minute. Alas, I’ll be on vacation this week, so I’m going to do my best to make my predictions during Monday Night Raw. Here we go….(With David G helping with the newest rumors. Thanks Jason for all the great work! My updates will be in bold print)
New Day (Big E & Woods) vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The card for this show had room for a bit more filler, and this match was added Monday night to fit that bill. As filler goes, you could do a lot worse than tossing 4 of the best all around performers on your roster in the ring and letting them have some fun. Obviously, this match ties into New Day member Kofi Kingston’s WWE title reign. He’s had his partners by his side throughout his dream run including a number of tag matches. In fact, just this week all 3 members of the New Day faced the trio of Owens, Zayn and Baron Corbin on Raw.
In some ways, either team could believably come out on top here. However, should Kingston retain the title in his match against Ziggler Sunday, Owens and Zayn are each in a great position to challenge him next. As such, I think they’ll get the win here to look strong and continue their current momentum.
Prediction: Owens & Zayn
*David G’s prediction: This is spot on after watching both Raw and SDL. KO and Sami need a big solo win as BFF’s. This also maybe confirms sport betting sites on their predictions. We’ll dive into that in a bit.
United States Title Match
Samoa Joe(c) vs Ricochet
Raw kicked off with a 5 way elimination match to determine Joe’s challenger. The contenders were the Miz, Bobby Lashley, Cesaro, Ricochet, and Braun Strowman. After Strowman eliminated both Lashley and Cesaro, they decided to stick around and help eliminate the “monster among men.” I’m not sure why 2 heels would want to help the 2 faces that remained in the match, but that’s what happened. This basically left us with a one on one match between Miz and Ricochet.
Ricochet won the match and was immediately attacked post-match by the champion. The challenger fought back and stood tall to close the segment. The brutality of Joe and the resilience of Ricochet should make for an excellent match if they’re given time to have one. The US Title would be a great one to put on a guy like Ricochet and there are plenty of great mid-card heels to chase him. That said, given that Joe most recently lost the title to Rey Mysterio and was handed it back without a match when Mysterio had to abdicate, he might look weak losing it again so soon.
Prediction: Samoa Joe retains
*David G’s prediction: Jason is again spot on with this. It seems a theme to predict outcomes without watching weekly shows. Samoa Joe shouldn’t even lost the title and should have had a build up with Ricochet the entire time. If Ricochet does not come out the victor in this match, it will not hurt him. But if Joe does not retain, it hurts him.
Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre
As has been the case for a while now, these two men are working together in part to give them something to do that isn’t going after titles. Reigns, as a top face, can’t currently chase either of the top titles held by Rollins or Kingston. McIntyre is long overdue to go after those titles, but needs to be held off and kept strong until the powers that be are ready for him to win one of those belts. Thus, another match between the “big dog” and the “Scottish psychopath.”
The additional layer of the story this time is that Drew is currently part of Shane McMahon’s VIP posse. Given how Roman laid out all 4 members of that crew on Raw, it has to be expected that Shane will use his power to make this match less than fair for Reigns. While you can never fully bet against the big dog, I will dare to give the edge to Drew because of who his friends are this time.
*David G’s prediction: I am at a cross road with this. In one hand, it’s hard to have a “once forced down our throat”, a guy who fought Leukemia twice and win lose. In the other hand, we have a superstar that the fans want to have a legitimate push. I go with Roman winning and The Big Dog claiming his yard clean. Superman punch and Spear it for the win.
Raw Women’s Title Match
Becky Lynch(c) vs Lacey Evans
It’s basically a repeat of Becky’s previous title defense except for the fact that she can focus exclusively on this one match instead of splitting time defending two belts. While Evans is definitely not every fan’s cup of tea, she has managed to hold her own thus far since being thrust into title contention. The women’s division, as I’ve mentioned in previous reports, is feeling a bit depleted at the moment for a variety of reasons. As such, actually putting the belt on the “sassy southern belle” would be a good way to solidify her status as a long-term top star.
That said, as well as Evans has done for herself, she’s just not ready to dethrone THE MAN yet unless there are special circumstances involved. Lynch needs to continue her reign until a truly worthy successor is available. Might I suggest 2 time NXT Women’s Champion and friend of the woman Lynch pinned at Wrestlemania, Shayna Baszler?
Prediction: Lynch retains
*David G’s prediction: This shouldn’t be up for questioning. After Lynch’s soaring push vs Ronda Rousey, Becky has cooled down significantly and her rivalry vs Charlotte Flair 2.0 was been sub par. Not truly a knock against Becky, but it is definitely not a way to build up this once Super Nova Star.
Smackdown Women’s Title Match
Bayley(c) vs Alexa Bliss (with Nikki Cross?)
Take a look back at what I was just saying about a thin women’s roster. That’s why we currently have one of Raw’s top stars (and a potential injury risk) challenging for the Smackdown title this month. What’s interesting is that Bliss also has a new “friend” in Nikki Cross. It’s clear to everyone but Nikki that Alexa is manipulating her and using her for her own purposes. In the process, Cross is coming across very different from the crazy woman many of us grew to know and love in NXT. My hope is that eventually this story line will lead to the return of crazy Nikki seeking revenge once she figures out Bliss’ game.
For now though, she does give the challenger a little bit of an edge on Sunday. It would be a bold move to put the belt on Bliss, especially considering how often she’s been out of action for medical reasons recently. That said, Bayley is still in the midst of establishing herself as the top woman on Smackdown. It feels early to take the title off of her, especially when she still has a potentially awesome feud with Charlotte Flair available on SDLive. For those reasons I’m giving the slight edge to the champ again.
Prediction: Bayley retains
*David G’s prediction: This again should not be up for questioning. At last Bayley is spreading her wings. But it seems that WWE does not know what to do with her. Should Bayley be a “tweener”, a baby face or a heel? No matter what, it would be a shame if Bayley lost her title before she began. Jason is on point so far.
WWE Title Match in a Steel Cage
Kofi Kingston(c) vs Dolph Ziggler
Kingston defeated Ziggler earlier this month at Super Showdown, but the possible involvement of outside players leads us to this rematch inside of a steel cage. Since returning to television last month, Ziggler has been more interesting and more fun to watch than he had been for quite some time. Imagine that. A performer took time off and came back refreshed and motivated.
On one hand, I’d love to see what this rejuvenated Ziggler would do with the title on his waist. On the other hand, I’m not quite ready to see an end to Kofi’s years overdue title run. This truly could go either way, so I’ll give the edge to reigning unicorn.
Prediction: Kingston retains
*David G’s prediction: What is there to gain with Dolph winning the title. The crowd is already dead while watching Kofi defend his title. In which I find disconcerting after the huge organic crowd push Kofi received before. Kofi should not and can not lose his long earned title to someone who just shows up. But hey, it’s the WWE. Kofi retains, like Jason said.
Universal Title Match with Guest Ref ??
Seth Rollins(c) vs Baron Corbin
Corbin gets to choose the special ref for this match, but Rollins has beaten up every person thus far who agreed to take the job. It was teased throughout Monday night Raw that the ref would be announced by the end of the night, and yet that did not happen. It seems somewhat clear that the obvious choice would be the “beast in the bank” Brock Lesnar. Well, he’s the obvious choice if you only look at it as a means of putting Rollins’ title reign in jeopardy.
Corbin is the person choosing the ref though, and why would he willingly put himself in Lesnar’s cross hairs? He may win the title with Lesnar as referee, but would almost certainly lose it in an immediate post-match cash in. Perhaps all the stuff with Seth taking a chair to potential referees was meant to leave Corbin feeling like he had no choice but to put himself in that position. Alas, without actually knowing who the ref will be I’m left uncertain how things might play out. I do however know that Stomping Grounds seems like a less than worthy event to end Rollins’ reign, so I’m giving the edge to the champ.
Prediction: Rollins retains but could still have to deal with MITB shenanigans post match.
*David G’s prediction: Yup, yup, and yup. What do you ask? There is no major title changes? Again, yup. So this PPV doesn’t add to the overall story line? Well, we have to watch it first, but it seems that way. “Why should anyone watch this?”. Well, Ricochet vs Joe should steal the night and the main matches may contain swerves or not. But that’s all I got.
Random News and Notes…
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Mike and Maria Kanellis since making their way to the WWE 2 years ago. Maria took an extended absence to give birth to their first child, and Mike took time off to deal with addiction issues. Earlier this year there were rampant reports that the couple had been seeking their releases. They must be fairly happy with their current status on 205 Live though, because they just signed multi-year deals to stay with the company.
At times it seems as though the “original bro” Matt Riddle has a rocket ship attached to accent through the WWE ranks. Not so, say recent reports. While he has quickly become one of the top stars of NXT, there are currently no plans to rush him towards the main roster. He’s already had great matches with a pretty wide variety of what NXT has to offer and it’s expected that the former MMA competitor will continue to do so for a long while. It’s been expected that he could be next in line for an NXT title program after Cole and Gargano wrap up their saga.
The Kabuki Warriors last wrestled on Smackdown May 14th… That’s over a month since we’ve seen the incredibly talented team of Asuka and Kairi Sane (along with their mouthpiece Paige). To quote the great Hurricane Helms, “WHAT’S UP WIT DAT?!” When last we saw them, it seemed they were being set up to face the IIconics for the Women’s Tag Titles.
The Aussies continue appearing somewhat regularly, even if it’s not for actual title defenses. Meanwhile the superior Japanese team seems nonexistent. I was hopeful that when Paige took over mic duties for Sane and Asuka that they may finally get the booking their in ring talents deserve. Alas, it they seem to be victims once again of inconsistency on the WWE booking department.
The rocky main roster career of Lars Sullivan may have hit yet another bump in the road. A planned TV match didn’t happen last week due to what at the time was thought to be a minor injury. This week the thinking is that it may not be quite so minor after all. Further medical evaluations this week should determine the severity of Sullivan’s injury. After further evaluations, Lars is expected to be out of action for six to nine months.
Xavier Wood’s (aka Austin Creed) gaming channel Up Up Down Down celebrated its 4th birthday this week. If you enjoy video games, both new and vintage it’s a great place to celebrate those. Woods and his fellow WWE superstars film segments backstage at shows or in hotel rooms or anywhere else they can find the time to get together. Personally, I enjoy seeing them get to let loose and show their own personalities outside what is written for them to present on WWE TV. In more than one instance I’ve actually become a fan of someone as a wrestler based on the the personality I connected with while they were playing a classic video game. Head to Youtube and check it out if you haven’t yet!
WWE Extreme Rules July 14
NXT TakeOver Toronto Aug 10
WWE Summerslam Aug 11
NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff Aug 31
WWE Clash of Champions Sept 15
WWE Hell in a Cell Oct 6
NXT TakeOver Wargames Nov 23
WWE Survivor Series Nov 24
WWE TLC Dec 15
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