Pop Break’s WWE Evolution 2018 Predictions by Bill Bodkin & MJ Rawls
Battle Royal: Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Alundra Blayze, Ivory, Molly Holly, Maria Kanellis, Carmella, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Naomi, Dana Brooke, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Lana, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Tamina, Torrie Wilson.
NXT Competitors Reported for the Show: Bianca Belair, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir, Candace LaRae, Dakota Kai, Lacey Evans, Mia Yim, Kacy Catanzaro, Tegan Nox, Taynara Conti, Kavita Devi, Xia Lia, Shadia Bseio.
Bill: My money is on Asuka. Obvious pick, for sure. However, who else could legit win this? Nia Jax? Sure, but look how she and giants in their respective divisions have faired in these matches. Unless your name is Andre, you ain’t winning. Asuka is a nice set-up to challenge Becky or Charlotte. I feel that there could be a number of NXT talents in here, and one, most likely either Dakota, Nikki or Bianca will be in the final four.
MJ My heart says Asuka. Asuka would really be the obvious choice and it would give leeway for her to maybe turn heel and break that Naomi tag-team up, but WWE is going to hit is left field. I think it would be a gateway for an NXT call up. NXT is stock piled with talent, so I’m going to go with Nikki Cross. She’s ready. She has had great matches there and been intertwined with the Aleister story line, but it’s time to move her up with Sanity.
Tag Match: Riott Squad vs. Sasha & Bayley & Natalya.
Bill: Yes, we’ve seen this 1,000 times before, but I feel like we’re going to see the gloves come off here. This won’t be your run-of-the-mill RAW match. I think this will be a coming out party for Logan and Morgan, who’ve improved dramatically since their debut. Do I see dissension rebuilding between Sasha and Bayley if they lose? No. We’ve been down that road and it didn’t work. And of course saying that, it’ll happen. Winners: Riott Squad
MJ: Groundhog’s day here. You had to get these ladies on the show somehow, but I was really hoping for some sort tag team titles to make it more worth it. I feel that The Riott Squad are on the upswing. They get the win here. I’m not sure what this means for Bayley, Sasha, or Natalya. I think this is a match where it’s a feel good thing where you get the pin, but there’s no story line connotation to it.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler
Prediction: This could go either way as both women are really hitting their stride in NXT. However, I see Shayna winning this one, and maybe just maybe we see a feud building with Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir taking on Kairi, Io Shirai, and Meiko Satomura. That would be straight fire. Winner: AND NEW NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler.
MJ: Shayna Baszler has been the bully of NXT, but she finally has met her match in Kairi Sane. She beat Shanya in the first Mae Young Classic and she also beat Shanya in a crafty way at NXT Takeover. I don’t think Shanya wins the title back, simply because I believe that she is ready for the main roster. Kairi needs a lengthy run with the NXT Women’s Championship and you can always revisit their rivalry on Raw or Smackdown. Shanya, i feel, is going to try to be even more aggressive and it will catch up to her. The Pirate Princess retains.
Dream Tag Match: Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Alicia Fox & Mickie James:
Bill: Bit of a lay-up…unless Trish is signed up for more than just one match. The legend of the women’s revolution should beat Alicia and Mickie, with Mickie taking the loss. HOWEVER, if Trish Stratus is going to have a limited return, it’d be a hell of a lot of fun to see her Alexa help her friends steal win to fuel a feud. However, in the end, I think we play it safe. Winners: Trish & Lita
MJ: First off, I’m sad that Alexa can’t make this match. This is now the first women’s Royal Rumble and Evolution that she’s missing. I think that her and Trish should have a single match; possibly at Survivor Series. Mickie James and Trish will have their moment in the ring wrestling together. Ultimately, this is a “send the fans home happy” type match. Trish and Lita are going to show out and win. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we will see of these two.
Mae Young Classic Finals: Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai
Bill: This one is going to be special. My brain is telling me that Toni takes this because not only would this be her second straight MYC loss, but she also just lost in the finals for the NXT UK Title. However, Io Shirai is special. She’s the legend. She’s going to be a big part of WWE going forward. Yes, Toni will too, but Toni is still super young, and is already beloved. WWE wants Io to shine on the brightest stage possible. Winner: Io Shirai
MJ: Who is the winner here? The WWE. Here, you have two of the best females wrestlers in all of the world fighting for the Mae Young Classic. Honestly, I think Toni Storm wins. She can then carry that to challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT UK Women’s Title. They are on a collision course. Io doesn’t necessarily need to win here. You still need to build her up in NXT. A lot of people are already aware of how amazing she is in the ring. A good showing in this match is going to carry her to the moon when she debuts on NXT tv.
RAW Women’s Title Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella
Bill: Ronda should take this one. She’s improved dramatically during her time in the ring, and I think to the surprise of the naysayers, this is going to be a killer match. Could we see a 4 Horsewoman debut here? I wouldn’t be stunned to see one of them equalize Brie. The money is not in Ronda chasing the title…yet. That’ll come much later. Winner: Ronda Rousey
MJ: I think this is going to be a lot more even that people think. It’s going to be hard nosed. I’m not sure how long Nikki is going to stay around. Especially, considering her neck. She’s the longest reigning Divas Champion, so you have to make her look somewhat strong. (this will be too the chagrin of many fans. ) Ronda will definitely retain and then we have a short build to Survivor Series. Imagine Ronda vs Becky in a interbrand match? That’s main event status right there.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Bill: This, to me, reminds me of Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk at New York Knockout in the 80s. It was an I Quit Match, and it was brutal. It was a masterfully told match that saw two of the greats tear each other part as emotions ran high. Charlotte vs. Becky will be this…but I think it could top it. These two have built an awesome feud…one I don’t want to end any time soon. I’m really, really hoping for a cage match between these two. Regardless, I think Charlotte is going to walk out of the first-ever Women’s PPV as the champion. Winner: AND NEW SDL Women’s Title Charlotte Flair.
MJ: I’ve been going back in forth in my mind on this one. Becky Lynch is the biggest star in the WWE right now. She’s it. She’s got the tweener, “Stone-Cold-esque” thing that everybody is loving. When I think back to old bookings, Stone Cold would win the title, but he would lose it in some screwjob way and have to fight through adversity to get it back. For some reason, I think Charlotte wins. When they said that Ric Flair would be at ringside, that was a tip off to me.. It’s a last woman standing match, but Becky is not going to lose clean. Something is going to happen where Charlotte is going to pull that “dirtiest player in the game” essence and win the match.