WWE Evolution 2018: B/R Expert Match Picks, Predictions and Analysis

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2018

WWE Evolution 2018: B/R Expert Match Picks, Predictions and Analysis

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    Some of the Superstars competing in the Battle Royal at Evolution.
    Some of the Superstars competing in the Battle Royal at Evolution.Credit: WWE.com

    WWE Evolution is the first of what will hopefully become an annual event that showcases the company's women's division on its own pay-per-view.

    Management has brought in several past Superstars to compete in a couple of matches, including Hall of Famers Lita and Trish Stratus.

    Both main-roster titles and the NXT Women's Championship will be on the line in addition to the final of the 2018 Mae Young Classic.

    Here is a quick rundown of the card, according to WWE.com:

    • Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad
    • Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss
    • Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai (Mae Young Classic final)
    • Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT Women's Championship)
    • Women's Battle Royal
    • Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Championship)
    • Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SmackDown Women's Championship)

    Our writers will analyze some of the biggest feuds and provide predictions for all of the matches. Our group is made up of the following:

    Each writer on the panel will answer a question about a midcard match, and everyone will be talking about the two main events.

Jeff J

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    Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SD Women's Title)

    Q: This will likely be the final encounter these two have in this feud. Whom would you like to see get the next shot at the SmackDown women's title and why?

    I'd like Asuka to step up and challenge. I still think her trajectory was stalled a bit after her Wrestlemania loss. Bringing her back to the main event scene would provide a dope foil for whomever wins.   

                          

    Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Title)

    Q: What needs to happen during this match to make Nikki a credible threat to Rousey in the ring?

    She has to invoke the spirit of Eddie Guerrero and lie, cheat, and steal her way throughout the match. Wrestling as a full-blown heel and using every dastardly trick in the book would legitimize her role in the contest.

                            

    Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT Women's Title)

    Q: Which one of these women do you see having the better career on the main roster? Why?

    I would bet on Shayna Baszler. She has the MMA background, the Ronda Rousey connection, the pedigree to be a monster heel and, unfortunately, doesn't have the language barrier that hinders connection with the American fans. Kairi Sane is solid and will have a great career too, but everything is set up for Basler to go nuclear once she's called up to the main roster.

Anthony Mango

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    Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SD Women's Title)

    Q: This will likely be the final encounter these two have in this feud. Whom would you like to see get the next shot at the SmackDown women's title and why?

    This mostly depends on what WWE's plan is for WrestleMania. There aren't a lot of options on SmackDown for a decent-enough match other than Lynch against Asuka, so while I'd love to see The Empress of Tomorrow win the Battle Royal and face Lynch, that would be too early. If not just to keep that in reserve for later, I'd almost rather see a surprise like Lacey Evans from NXT or a sudden push for Sonya Deville, just for something different.

                             

    Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Title)

    Q: What needs to happen during this match to make Nikki a credible threat to Rousey in the ring?

    In terms of believability, I don't think it's entirely possible. Everyone will see through it as Rousey over-selling for Nikki Bella. However, if the match were to start with both Bella Twins attacking Rousey and injuring her, that would position the bout to be a much more even and raise suspicion that Nikki could actually pull it off.

                                   

    Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss

    Q: If Alexa Bliss is unable to compete on Sunday, who would be the best Superstar to replace her and why?

    Nobody could decently replace Alexa Bliss and make it feel like it wasn't a downgrade, like Alicia Fox or someone who strangely comes out of nowhere with no rationality. If Bliss can't make it, I'd rather WWE changed the card.

    The Riott Squad match is already weak, so toss them into the Battle Royal with Natalya and Mickie James and put Trish Stratus and Lita against Sasha Banks and Bayley. Then fill in the time with an impromptu NXT match. That won't happen, though. WWE would just put Fox in the match instead, and it would be underwhelming.

Kevin Berge

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    Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SD Women's Title)

    Q: This will likely be the final encounter these two have in this feud. Whom would you like to see get the next shot at the SmackDown women's title and why?

    I've wanted to see Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for a long time, as I think they have the perfect blend of styles. It would make for a great story and a fantastic match. However, it may be a story WWE will want to save for WrestleMania time.

    For that reason, the best immediate challenger to The Irish Lass Kicker would be Naomi. The two are former friends, which makes for a good follow up to the rivalry with Charlotte Flair and should produce some of the strongest matches of Naomi's career.

                          

    Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Title)

    Q: What needs to happen during this match to make Nikki a credible threat to Rousey in the ring?

    While it would lower the quality of the match, Brie Bella will need to be heavily involved to make this fair. The Bella Twins can be just dangerous enough as a pair to make this feel even, as Brie could interfere and likely also pull off twin magic to keep The Baddest Woman on the Planet grounded.

    Ultimately, though, this likely will not last long. Rousey will look to quickly make The Fearless One tap out.

                            

    Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai (MYC Final)

    Q: Based solely on personal opinion, which woman do you want to see win the Mae Young Classic and why?

    Both are stars in the making, but I think Toni Storm would gain much more from the victory. She already competed in the tournament and lost the first year, so this is her comeback story. If she can overcome Io Shirai where she failed against Sane, it would make for a satisfying complete journey while boosting the UK division's top female star.

    If Shirai just runs through the competition as the clear favorite from Japan, she would only be following in Sane's footsteps, which makes the whole tournament look predictable and typecasts both Japanese women.

Erik Beaston

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    Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SD Women's Title)

    Q: This will likely be the final encounter these two have in this feud. Whom would you like to see get the next shot at the SmackDown women's title and why?

    Assuming Lynch retains, Asuka would be the rather obvious answer. The Empress of Tomorrow vs. The Lass Kicker would be a hell of a series that would not only provide strong in-ring content but also serve to return legitimacy and credibility for Asuka, who has become more concerned with dancing with Naomi than chasing championship gold in recent months.

                            

    Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Title)

    Q: What needs to happen during this match to make Nikki a credible threat to Rousey in the ring?

    The constant threat of interference from Brie, coupled with an injury angle, is about the only way WWE Creative can even begin to present Nikki as a credible threat to Rousey—well, short of booking a run-in from John Cena, furious over Rousey's recent comments. That would be a worse booking decision than the build to this show and less sensible than Bella winning this title.

                         

    Women's Battle Royal

    Q: It feels like this bout was created just to pack as many Superstars on to the show as possible. Pick two Superstars from this match that you would rather see have a singles match and explain why they would help the show.

    Nia Jax vs. Tamina would be an intriguing match, if only because their sizes and styles would make for a cool brawling-style contest. Give them a few minutes to have a hard-hitting match wherein Jax survives the onslaught of the second-generation star and picks up the win.

Chris Mueller

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    Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (SD Women's Title)

    Q: This will likely be the final encounter these two have in this feud. Whom would you like to see get the next shot at the SmackDown women's title and why?

    Asuka is the only right choice here. Not only has she been severely underused on the main roster, but she would also make an excellent opponent for Lynch or Flair. Her in-ring style can work against any opponent, and the fans already love her, so there is no downside.

                          

    Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women's Title)

    Q: What needs to happen during this match to make Nikki a credible threat to Rousey in the ring?

    The only way anyone would believe Nikki could give Rousey a challenge is if Brie interferes several times. WWE could show a dozen Rocky-style training montages for Nikki, and people still wouldn't think she was a challenge for the Baddest Woman on the Planet.

                             

    Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad

    Q: Out of the three members of The Riott Squad, which one do you see having the best singles career once the group inevitably splits?

    Ruby Riott is head and shoulders above Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan at this point. While those women will both have good careers in WWE, Riott stands out the most. She has the alternative edge that separates her from the rest of the division and enough skill to put on a great match against anyone. Her recent singles matches have proved as much.

Predictions

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    Each writer's initials will appear after the name of the person or team they predict to win each match. Here is how everyone on the panel voted:

    • Banks, Bayley and Natalya (AM, KB, EB, CM) vs. The Riott Squad (JJ)
    • Stratus and Lita (JJ, AM, KB, EB, CM) vs. James and Bliss
    • Storm (JJ, AM, EB, CM) vs. Shirai (KB)
    • Sane (AM, KB, EB) vs. Baszler (JJ, CM)
    • Rousey (JJ, AM, KB, EB, CM) vs. Bella
    • Lynch (JJ, AM, KB, EB, CM) vs. Charlotte

                           

    Women's Battle Royal predictions:

    • JJ: Bianca Belair
    • AM: Naomi
    • KB: Nia Jax
    • EB: Nia Jax
    • CM: The IIconics win as a team. 

    What are your predictions for WWE Evolution?