Tossing Salt Presents:
WWE BackLash 2018
Thoughts & Predictions
May 5, 2018
Coming up on Sunday, May 6, is the latest pay-per-view offering from the WWE, live from Newark, New Jersey, it’s WWE BackLash 2018. After barely a month away from Wrestlemania and just two weeks removed from the “Greatest Royal Rumble” event, it’s seems like it’s way too early for WWE to be offering yet another big time event. It’s their first co-branded offering both the stars of RAW and Smackdown Live, at least since they got back from Saudi Arabia, and it should be a good show. Let’s break out the Crystal Ball and do the “Sister Cleo 4 Life” routine. It’s prediction time and away we go…
No DQ – WWE Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Is it finally Shinsuke’s time to capture the ever-so evasive WWE Championship or will AJ manage to overcome the dastardly deeds of the one time “King of Strong Style” and remember to wear a cup over his little AJ’s? They’ve had two big matches so far and each one has been better than the one before and I fully expect to see AJ and Shinsuke really pull out all the stops here and try to steal the show with an epic encounter for the ages. I can’t really see Shinsuke as the WWE Champion, but just as they’ve done with Roman Reigns and his feud with Brock Lesnar, the WWE has worked themselves into a corner. If Shinsuke loses, what’s next? AJ is and deserves to be the top guy on the Smackdown brand, but I can see a title change happening here just to allow Shinsuke to save face and give him a lock on a spot as a top guy. It won’t last long, maybe until just SummerSlam, but it probably needs to happen.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Miz
This match has me torn. I want to see Miz as the Intercontinental Champion. Miz deserves to be the champ and is truly deserving of that honor. Seth doesn’t need the belt and if done correctly, a loss to Miz won’t hurt him a bit. But Miz is on Smackdown, which already has the United States Championship as part of it’s package and since both U.S. title match participants are also Smackdown stars, that would put both secondary titles on Smackdown and I can’t see WWE doing that. Plus Miz is already in an angle with Daniel Bryan and unless they want to hotshot a title on to Bryan, it’s not needed or important in their feud. Seth will probably retain and go on to have more matches against Balor and maybe the returning Jason Jordan, while Miz will fight with Daniel Bryan and they’ll have an epic situation that hasn’t been seen since the days of Steamboat / Flair or HBK / Bret. I’ll say that Bryan causes a distraction and Seth takes advantage to get the win.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Seth Rollins
WWE United States Championship
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Randy Orton
Randy doesn’t need the belt and it’s way too soon for Hardy to drop the title. Look for a good fight between two grizzled veterans that will be solid, yet probably not spectacular. And Jeff will retain and keep the gold firmly in his grasp at the end.
Winner and STILL United States Champion: Jeff Hardy
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Nia Jax (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
And here we have a problem. Nia is the champ, but thus far, she’s been less than spectacular or anything really. Nia as a “face” just doesn’t really work for me and this whole “bully” story has lost my interest pretty quickly. Alexa is awesome and has long been one of the brightest spots on the RAW roster for a while. She gets it and has just gotten better and better, both on the mic and in the ring over the past couple of years. She is definitely the top woman, in my opinion, on RAW right now. But Nia has the belt. So do they switch the title and show that being a bully and hypocrite (Alexa) wins out in the end or do they keep the belt on the former bully (Nia) and let her continue to play the victim role despite being the champion? It’s a tough call here, but I think they’ll play it safe for now and maybe hold off on the title switch until SummerSlam. Look for Nia to retain.
Winner and STILL WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Nia Jax
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Carmella (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
As much as I love her character and gimmick, Carmella is taking the fall here. Charlotte is a Flair and when it comes to taking back what they feel belongs to them, the World titles, a Flair takes a back seat to no one. I’d love to see them prove me wrong and have Carmella steal a win here and retain, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Winner and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe
Reigns is coming off a controversial loss to Brock Lesnar at the Great Royal Rumble event and can not afford to lose. Joe is just recently back from injury and is making moves for a big push towards the top of the card and also can not afford to lose. So what is the solution here? A big brawl for all that settles nothing, but showcases the skills of both men and is brutality at it’s best. Look for a double-disqualification finish or maybe a count out at the end. I’ll go for the latter since it is essentially a stalemate, but still gets a “winner” listed in the record books. So who gets counted out? How about Joe? Works for me.
Winner by Count-Out: Roman Reigns
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
Big Cass is back and he has to prove that he’s not at all “SAWFT” and belongs at the top of the card. Bryan is the hottest thing in WWE once more and is back with a fire we haven’t seen in a long time. Bryan can take a loss, but if Cass loses, he’s D.O.A. for any kind of major push. I’ll go for Miz getting involved and giving Big Cass a hand, thus cementing a relationship with Miz and Cass as partners, something that would work well with both men given their histories, and would allow Bryan to take the fall without being hurt in any way by doing so. Sounds like a plan.
Winner: Big Cass
Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Why are Braun and Lashley for that matter, being wasted in a tag team match? Isn’t Braun the man who defeated every tag team on RAW and then teamed up with a ten-year old to win the tag team titles at Wrestlemania? And Lashley is a big bad in his own right and is being groomed for future battles with Brock? Oh vey! I love Kevin and Sami, but there is no way in hell that they’re going to pull this one off and win. What kind of casserole is in the oven? SQUASH! Unless we see either Bobby or Braun turn heel and throw the match, this one will be silent, but violent and the faces go over in short order.
Winners: Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley
Bayley versus Ruby Riott
This is the match scheduled for the Kick-Off show. Look for the ladies to do their thing and look for others, the Riott Squad for Ruby and Sasha for Bayley, to all get involved. And Sasha will cost Bayley this match and the simmer for their upcoming battles and broken friendship will continue to burn. Besides, Bayley can take the loss and Ruby looks as if she’s going to be getting some kind of push in the near future.
Winner: Ruby Riott
And there you go. It’s Sunday night, live on the WWE Network. Am I right with my predictions or do I need to go eat a Tide Pod or something and reflect a bit first. Let me know what you think. Comments, thoughts and any questions are welcome. And until the next time, that is all for me today. Take care and stay safe. Love ya – mean it.