SmackDown Live’s final stop before WrestleMania 34 is only a few days away, and we’ve got four huge championship matches set with major ‘Mania implications. AJ Styles has a huge challenge as he defends against five other men, while two new rivalries spout and another is revitalized. Who will make their mark and earn a spot at WrestleMania 34?
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs Natalya & Carmella
With Asuka having seemingly chosen Alexa Bliss to challenge at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s Championship, that leaves things open for SmackDown Live’s female superstars to try and earn a shot at the title. A win for either team here could offer crucial momentum and leverage to look for a title shot in the near future.
Predictions: Becky Lynch & Naomi (Jake, Josh, Keegan, Jonathan, Craig, Eddie), Natalya & Carmella (Patches, Jaime)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev
Shinsuke Nakamura is the only man whose Road to WrestleMania is already clear. He’ll be taking on the WWE Champion, whoever that is by the end of the night. However, before ‘Mania, he’s got a Bulgarian Brute in his way by the name of Rusev. After Nakamura’s win over Aiden English, Rusev is looking for revenge, and a win over the King of Strong Style would be huge for him. Of course, Nakamura will also be looking for a decisive win before he puts his focus on the WWE Championship.
Predictions: Shinsuke Nakamura (Patches, Jake, Josh, Keegan, Eddie), Rusev (Jaime, Jonathan, Craig)
United States Championship Match: Bobby Roode (c) vs Randy Orton
It’s a clash that many people probably never expected to see, but Bobby Roode will defend his US Title against “The Viper” Randy Orton. These two have had some rising tension in recent weeks, and Jinder Mahal’s frequent involvement hasn’t helped things. While Roode could be looking at the biggest win of his career, Orton is looking to capture the one championship that has eluded him during his lengthy career.
Predictions: Bobby Roode (Patches, Jake, Jaime, Josh, Keegan, Eddie), Randy Orton (Jonathan, Craig)
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Ruby Riott
Ruby Riott gets her first championship opportunity this Sunday, and she won’t be going at it alone. The leader of The Riott Squad will certainly have Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan at ringside to keep the champion on edge, but can the odds overcome The Queen? Charlotte Flair has proven herself one of the best champions of this generation, and now she’s got a young upstart ready to dethrone her. With another chance to walk into WrestleMania as champion, Charlotte will bring out all the stops to retain.
Predictions: Charlotte Flair (Patches, Jake, Jaime, Josh, Eddie), Ruby Riott (Jonathan, Craig), Carmella via cash-in (Keegan)
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs The New Day
One of the hottest rivalries of 2017 is being revitalized as The Usos are set to defend their titles against The New Day. Both teams have been the cream of the crop in the tag team division over the past few years, and now it’s all about walking into WrestleMania 34 as SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The Usos have expressed their disappointment in not yet having a WrestleMania match despite their nine year career, and a championship goes a long way to ensuring that will happen. Of course, The New Day are looking to do more than host the show, and a win over The Usos would put them right back on top.
Predictions: The Usos (Patches, Jake, Jaime, Josh, Craig), The New Day (Keegan, Jonathan, Eddie)
WWE Championship Six-Pack Challenge Match: AJ Styles (c) vs John Cena vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler
The most chaotic match of the night may be the most predictable, depending on who you ask, but that won’t stop it from being fantastic. With the long term build of a dream match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, it’s widely expected that AJ will retain on Sunday. However, there are no guarantees with five other championship-caliber competitors in the mix. John Cena is looking to find his Road to WrestleMania, as are Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler. This Six-Pack Challenge will be utter pandemonium, but if the magnificent Fatal 5-Way from SmackDown Live is any indicator, it will be the kind of chaos we all love to see. Even if you think you already know the ending, this is a match you don’t want to miss.
Predictions: AJ Styles (Patches, Jake, Josh, Keegan, Craig), John Cena (Jaime, Eddie), Sami Zayn (Jonathan)
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