Full disclosure, I forgot that there was a wrestling pay-per-view this weekend. WWE Stomping Grounds emanates from Tacoma, Washington, with a card mostly headlined with rematches.
Nine bouts are scheduled for the show, with seven championship matches. And based on ticket sales for the event, the match participants and Vince McMahon might be the only people in attendance.
But let’s give the company the benefit of the doubt that the fanbase for WWE Stomping Grounds might just be waiting until the last minute. And if they aren’t, WWE will just lie about the attendance figures anyway.
As I forgot this show was taking place, some of my predictions are a little rough and a bit rushed. But I’ll do my best.
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (C) vs. Baron Corbin, With A Referee Of Corbin’s Choosing
The “headline” match for WWE Stomping Grounds is a rematch of the Universal Championship contest from Super Showdown. For the second time in two weeks, Rollins will defend the big red belt against Corbin.
Corbin announced that the return bout would be happening almost immediately after his Super Showdown match. To drive intrigue for the rematch, WWE added the stipulation that Corbin can name a referee of his own choosing. As of this past week’s Monday Night Raw, the guest referee has not been announced.
And since the rumors that he’ll be debuting at AEW All Out are a little played, I predict that the referee will be CM Punk. But he’ll officiate it remotely, via Twitter. Rollins and Corbin will have to watch the TitanTron for live updates as to when to break holds, whether a pin attempt gets three, and whether they want to tap out to a submission.
Punk’s status as the referee is all but confirmed, if you think about it. The Cubs have a day game on Sunday, so Punk will be free to tweet-referee the match. But, rain is expected in Chicago Sunday afternoon. That could delay the game and throw a monkey-wrench into Punk’s objectivity.
Winner and NEW Universal Champion – Cubs Shortstop Javier Baez
Steel Cage Match For The WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Kingston’s superheroic reign as WWE Champion began at WrestleMania 35 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
It can be argued that his popularity has waned since it reached its peak at the Show Of Shows, but WWE’s popularity is down across the board. Ziggler isn’t a legitimate challenger (he also has a bad case of Baron Corbin-itis), but the two could still put together a solid match.
Look for Bray Wyatt to make his return during this match. The recent Firefly Fun House vignettes on Raw concluded this past week, hinting that Wyatt will return at WWE Stomping Grounds.
Bray’s new direction in those promos promise new and exciting ways for him to cut nonsensical promos and appear in the ring after the lights go out.
The finish will play out with the lights going out, and when they come back on, Wyatt will be in the stands watching, increasing the total number of people in the building from 233 to 234.
As a result of the confusion, the referee will disqualify both Kingston and Ziggler, because WWE referees don’t know the rules of wrestling matches.
Winner By Disqualification: The Vince McMahon Puppet
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (C) vs. Lacey Evans
Becky Lynch exited WrestleMania 35 with both the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles, but she comes into WWE Stomping Grounds with just the Raw title. Her match with Evans is a rematch of their encounter from Money In The Bank, where The Man successfully defended the red brand strap.
Some of Evans’s inexperience was put on display during a dismal match against Charlotte Flair on Raw a few weeks back, so the odds of her coming away from this show with the title aren’t great. Expect Lynch to retain.
In the middle of the match, expect Dana Warrior — who has been handling a lot of creative for the women’s division in recent months — to wander out onto the stage thinking she’s supposed to be “directing” the match. She’ll audibly be shouting things like, “Whip Lacey into the ropes, and then she’ll catch you with a kick to the face!”
Michael Cole will get up from commentary and remind her that Lynch is perfectly capable of audibly calling spots for the whole universe to hear without additional help. As a result of the distraction, Cole will get the pin on Becky Lynch.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Michael Cole
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (C) vs. Alexa Bliss, With Nikki Cross
It would be a shame for Bayley to drop the title so soon after finally getting a legitimate push at Money In The Bank. That’s how I see this match going, though, as Bliss has been prominently featured on television.
Even during her prolonged injury dating back to late 2018, Bliss has been a major part of WWE programming, even serving as the host of WrestleMania 35. Look for her to win the title at WWE Stomping Grounds.
Bayley’s loss, though, could serve as Nikki Cross’s gain. Cross has been tied to Bliss’s hip since the latter named Cross as her replacement in the women’s Money In The Bank match last month. Bliss coming away with the title opens the door to a future program with Cross. I’m a big fan of Nikki Cross, so I’m all for her getting a bite at the apple in a big program.
After the match, during Bliss’s celebration, count on Michael Cole rushing the ring with a replica MITB briefcase to leave the show as a dual champion.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion: Mikey Two-Belts
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Here we have yet another rematch, this time from WrestleMania 35. Reigns is coming off a loss to Shane McMahon at Super Showdown (no, seriously), and McIntyre continues to be closely aligned with the junior McMahon.
Ultimately, the WWE Stomping Grounds result doesn’t matter much, as McIntyre is clearly just a transitional opponent to get to another rematch. Mark my words, we’re going to get Shane vs. Roman at SummerSlam with some random spot where Shane jumps off of a tall thing.
By the way, if this Shane push ends with him as WWE Champion, I quit. Not really, because I won’t be able to stop myself from crapping all over it with words.
But in all seriousness, the finish of this match really doesn’t matter. I don’t know who’s going to win, and its only function is to continue building Shane. Who is not a wrestler.
So since the result doesn’t matter, the winner is Roman Reigns of Earth-2, who emerges from a portal. He comes from a universe where his push actually worked. Reigns of Earth-2 is disgusted by our universe’s Reigns and cuts a scathing, unscripted promo on his doppelganger.
Winner: Roman Reigns of Earth-2 Via Some Sort Of Actually-Convincing Offense
New Day vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Presumably, this is the payoff for Owens’s betrayal of the New Day. Shortly after WrestleMania, Owens joined the New Day to substitute for the injured Big E. The alliance was short-lived, as Owens turned on Xavier Woods and the rest of the gang.
Sami Zayn is also employed by WWE.
For WWE Stomping Grounds, Big E needs to have a big comeback win. Whether WWE goes forward with Big E’s rumored heel turn against the New Day or not, he needs to stay strong. He either needs to be a credible threat heading into a feud with Kingston, or he needs to stay strong as the New Day’s muscle.
Near the end of the match, the Revival run out to remind the 8 people (some have left in the interim) in Tacoma that they’re still the Raw Tag Team Champions. As with the rest of the WWE, everyone in the ring ignores them, and their presence causes no distraction at all.
Winner: New Day
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (C) vs. Heavy Machinery
Poor Heavy Machinery. They’re probably still in that honeymoon phase after being called up from NXT when they think all their dreams are about to come true.
Without being certain of Bryan’s health at this point, I would expect him to do a lot of bumping around in this match. Considering he’s the only one in the match who isn’t a giant, there’s not a lot more for him to do.
Heavy Machinery won’t come out of this match buried by any stretch. A pro like Bryan will do all he can to make these guys look like a million bucks. But to think this is their first big step to prominence is a pipe dream.
The winners of the match will be the Revival, but WWE will just call them Bryan and Rowan. Also by this point, there are 10 people in the crowd. The Ascension (who got BOGO tickets) will scream, “Run while you can!” at Heavy Machinery through the whole match.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Rowan
United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (C) vs. Ricochet
I don’t have a lot of jokes for this one, as I’m genuinely excited to see this match.
Samoa Joe, by sheer accident of another injury to Rey Mysterio, had his reign as U.S. Champion extended. And as a huge Samoa Joe fan, this makes me ridiculously happy. He’s been on the main roster for two years, and this is his first championship.
But of all the recent transplants from NXT, Ricochet has a lot of upside and is really over with the crowds. And after the week the poor guy has had, I’d like to see him walk away with the title.
Having said that, all of this is damage control until Mysterio can make it back to conclude his feud with Joe. Expect Joe to go over in this match. And with the recent vignettes of Aleister Black looking for a fight picking up steam, he may well be involved in the finish.
Something tells me this match will make for an improvised lead-in to the conclusion of Samoa Joe vs. Mysterio and the kick-off for a Black vs. Ricochet program.
But this is WWE, so let me pick a name out of a hat to see who they’ll put the belt on at WWE Stomping Grounds.
Jim Duggan. It’ll be Jim Duggan.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: Jim Duggan
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Tony Nese (C) vs. Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa
Because of Reigns of Earth-2 coming through the portal, some aspects of reality will be changed. Therefore, this match will take place in front of 40,000 people, all screaming and cheering for every spot.
It’s still on the WWE Stomping Grounds pre-show, though.
Nese has been a great Cruiserweight Champion, and I see no reason to end his reign here. Odds are good that whoever looks the best coming out of this match will challenge and take the title at SummerSlam.
Even referencing the Earth-2 stuff earlier, I feel like I’m not applying enough WWE logic to this match. So let’s book a Vince Russo swerve here, just for funzies.
Winner and NEW Cruiserweight Champion: Big Show
So if it isn’t obvious at this point, pretty much everything above was meant as a joke. After all, WWE itself is a joke these days. All of these predictions are ridiculous, but give us credit where it’s due.
We put more thought into this show than WWE did.
Here are our actual predictions for WWE Stomping Grounds:
Seth Rollins def. Baron Corbin via pinfall (referee: WWE hasn’t put any thought into it, so I won’t either)
Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
Becky Lynch def. Lacey Evans by disqualification
Alexa Bliss def. Bayley via pinfall
Roman Reigns def. Drew McIntyre via disqualification
New Day def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn via pinfall
Daniel Bryan and Rowan def. Heavy Machinery via pinfall
Samoa Joe def. Ricochet via pinfall
Tony Nese def. Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak via pinfall
WWE Stomping Grounds will stream live on the WWE Network from Tacoma, Washington, this Sunday. The preshow will begin at 6 p.m. ET, with the event proper beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
All images courtesy of WWE.