I really hope everyone here is getting paid well enough to be there. The risk for this after the nonsense last time really isn’t worth it surely? But, hey…. let’s see how it goes and hope the plane works this time, eh?
This isn’t a show to be spending a lot of money on – because the odds are short all round and the card is odd for reasons I’ll explain…
WWE Championship Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Ricochet
Skip to the obvious bit here. Lesnar is winning, winning clean and then going on to face Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania. I officially predict a Lesnar win but the odds will be so low, there’s really no point putting money on it as the risk of a no contest via McIntyreference is too high to risk the cash considering how much you’d need to bet to justify backing a Lesnar win.
The interesting point for this match will be to see how it’s laid out. The Lesnar Title defences give the impression of what “The Beast” potentially thinks of his opponents – either in-ring, backstage or potentially both. Given their brief previous interactions, one has to hope that Lesnar will be in a “generous mood”
It’s actually quite a nice little story – McIntyre/Ricochet feud, win each other’s respect, they eliminate Lesnar… Lesnar then faces Ricochet before defending against Drew. Don’t bet on this to go long – Lesnar to win in under 10 mins with Drew seeking revenge shortly after.
Given Ricochet’s endurance and general madness, if you can get a market for 10+ German Suplexs then it’s worth a punt. Fully expecting Mr O’Shea to thrown into those comfy looking sofas at ringside too.
Winner: Brock Lesnar Wins
WWE Universal Championship
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Goldberg
Oh Lordy… this could be…. this could be, err… this could be a thing.
Goldberg isn’t renowned for ‘wacky’. Goldberg isn’t renowned for competitive matches. Goldberg also is fiercely protective of himself, so the obvious way for this match to go – spear, spear, spear, jackhammer, kickout, spear reversed into mandible claw – feels less obvious as it’s hard to see Bill allow himself to be displayed in this toothless manner. I’d imagine this a big part of where the “Goldberg is winning the title there” rumours have been coming from.
Don’t forget, Goldberg is a man who apparently refused to lose to SCOTT STEINER as it wasn’t realistic. Getting battered by Husky Harris in Red Lighting feels a bit unlikely.
That said, I don’t think Goldberg is winning the title here and presumably is picking up a FAT cheque for this, so I’m very much backing that his personal standards have found a price. I’m fully expecting this to be a total smoze here where neither man can have the match they either need or want. We’re getting Roman vs Wyatt at Mania – despite what recent rumours may say – so this may start here with Wyatt winning by SHENANIGANS and then The Big Dawg attacks after.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt Retains
RAW Tag Team Championship
Seth Rollins & Murphy (c) vs The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)
I’m looking forward to this one, but – like most matches on this card – the result really isn’t in doubt. Expect Rollins and Murphy to win before heading on to face Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens (presumably at Mania), but The Street Profits will should put in a strong losing effort here.
WWE kept Angelo Dawkins around for *years* in developmental – suggesting that they see something in him beyond being a solid hand with a mixing bowl pose, but Montez Ford is very much the star of this team. He’s up there with Zack Gibson for “put some money on them winning the IC Title within the next 5 years” if you’re looking for a decent punt. His eventual heel turn with real-life partner Bianca Belair will be fantastic before 2025
Another man worth mentioning is that Buddy Murphy is transitioning from an under-rated wrestler, to one who people know how good he can be and I’m looking forward to seeing how the interactions go between Murphy and Montez.
Expect this to be the match of the evening and with Joe and Owens seemingly staying at home, I expect the result to be (fairly) clean, but regardless, the champs retain here.
Prediction: Murphy & Rollins Wins
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (c) vs The Miz & John Morrison
I’d expected this match to take place at The Rumble but it’s not shocking it’s been delayed until here all things considered. Title changes are *very* rare in Saudi. (Putting aside the 2 vacant title deciders that have taken place) Champions have kept their titles 15 out of the 16 different matches that have taken place during this era.
Moving the titles to Miz & Morrison is certainly a possibility here and they’re the bookie’s favourite, but my tip for this show is a New Day retention. As mentioned, Saudi title changes are rare and a loss here would leave The New Day – one of WWE’s top acts – seemingly directionless for Mania; which would be travesty considering where they (not just Kofi) 12 months ago.
Keep your bets low (The Dirt Sheet could win it here and lose it at Mania) but John Morrison hasn’t exactly been *protected* since his surprise return, so I think we’re getting The Day against someone else at Mania. The odds are saying different, but this is the match with the most potential for a payday.
Prediction: New Day Retain
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Naomi vs Bayley (c)
Unlike the Tag Title match, this is a contest I’m very surprised to be seeing on the Saudi card. Not only because of the oft well lamented political nightmare of women’s wrestling in Saudi, but also because this is a match I was expecting us to get at Wrestlemania.
Naomi has looked great since her return, has a vocal, supportive fan base and an entrance which could look spectacular on the Grandaddy of them All.
So why book this here if you’re if there’s a likelihood of repeating the match in April. The obvious answer is – you wouldn’t.
The very fact this match exists makes me think that Sasha Banks is going to be the women’s challenger at Mania and THAT makes me think we’re getting Bayley in the match, so – coupled with the rarity of Saudi title changes – expect Bayley to retain here.
As much as I loved the original Banks/Bayley matches in NXT, the dynamic does feel a little played out (like Gargano / Ciampa) and with no obvious “goodie” between Bayley and Sasha, I’m hoping this leads to a triple threat at Mania including Naomi. These all seem the most sensible options (and as much as WWE often runs away from that) I think that’s the plan here.
The smart money is on Bayley to retain via cheating to keep Naomi in the picture, with Banks winning the Chamber to set up a Triple Threat. Naomi may even win the title at The Chamber, but she ain’t winning here.
Prediction: Bayley Retains
Gauntlet Match for the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy
AJ Styles vs R-Truth vs Rusev vs Bobby Lashley vs Erick Rowan vs Andrade
In a world where we’ve had 51 Man Battle Royals and 50 Man Royal Rumbles in Saudi; the fact that the “big multi-man match” features a whopping six people really does tell a story about either how many people refused to go to Saudi, or how WWE has decided to keep the risk down. It’s easiest to ditch town when there’s less of you, eh?
This match is for the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy, which is the 2020 version of The Royal Samovar Trophy (big nerd points if you get that reference) and really could be won by anyone. I’m a little surprised Mansoor hasn’t been flown out for this match – it feels exactly the sort of match he’d win – and without a “home town hero” this match is wide open with all as potential winners given how meaningless the match actually is.
I don’t see Andrade winning but this could serve as a nice way of setting up a US Title Contender.
Probably not a Mania one (as I expect *that* match to be Humberto vs Mysterio vs Garza vs Andrade) so with Truth and Rusev being the only faces in this, if they’re building up this match for a US Contender then I’m expecting Rusev to win as a bit of a rebuilding of the character (and potentially rebuilding the relationship between Rusev & WWE following some rumoured shaky contract situations)
BUT the sad truth is that WWE don’t value their champions as strong as they could – and the winner of this match is likely to completely ignore the US belt and head straight for their rumoured Mania big match. Put money on Rusev if you fancy a gamble, but the safe money goes on AJ Styles. He’s the biggest name on this match and therefore the favourite.
Editor’s Note: Well… err…. I guess that the contract issues with Rusev haven’t been sorted then? Since writing this “the Bulgarian Brute” has been replaced in the match by Rey Mysterio. Although Styles remains the favourite, it really wouldn’t be a shock for them to have Rey win it now – getting himself in the US title contention, but also to show Rusev “what you could have won”
Prediction: Rey Mysterio Wins
Steel Cage Match
Baron Corbin vs Roman Reigns
I mean, why? Why are we still at this point? I’ve said many times before, the key to all storytelling is the ending. Ends are important. In this case, it feels like we’ve already had the ending, epilogue, post-credits scene & directors cut missing scenes, so what else is there for this to do?
Put a cage on it, I guess.
Fully expect Roman to win here before moving onto bigger and better things at Mania, but with no stakes attached, keep any bets low as Corbin could shithouse a win to set himself up as a challenger post ‘Mania. I think Roman / Baron has been done to death though, so I’m keeping my prediction as a Big Dawg win
There been breaking rumours as I type this up that we’re instead getting Goldberg/Reigns at Mania instead (with Cena facing Wyatt). Whilst I don’t think this will come to pass (convinced we’re getting Wyatt/Reigns) but regardless of what happens here, the benefit comes from Roman beating Comfortable Corbs.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
Those are our predictions, what are yours? Please leave them in the comments below!