Predictions for WWE Raw, SmackDown and AEW Dynamite for Week of August 31August 31, 2020
Predictions for WWE Raw, SmackDown and AEW Dynamite for Week of August 31
On the heels of a Payback pay-per-view that saw Roman Reigns regain the Universal Championship in controversial fashion and Keith Lee announce his arrival in as impressive fashion as possible, those two Superstars figure to play key roles in this week's Raw and SmackDown.
But they are not the only ones.
What does the week to come in WWE television hold for the newly reunited Riott Squad and former NXT Champion Finn Balor, who has the opportunity to regain the title that made him a star in the states?
Over on All Elite Wrestling, Jon Moxley has the opportunity to beat up MJF's lawyer ahead of an All Out title defense against the young star, but will the silver-tongued prodigy have the last laugh against the current world champion by the time this week's Dynamite wraps up.
Dive deeper into those topics with these predictions for the week's worth of wrestling to come.
Keith Lee Continues Explosive Rise on Main Roster
Keith Lee whupped Randy Orton's ass in a relatively one-sided pay-per-view debut, beating The Viper with a Spirit Bomb clean and in the center of the ring.
It was definitive booking that instantly made a star of the former NXT champion and put him in a position to become one of the top assets on the Raw brand.
There is no way WWE negates what it accomplished Sunday night.
Lee will continue his rapid rise, tearing through whomever it is that opposes him this week on the flagship.
If it is Orton one last time, The Viper will experience the wrath of The Limitless One. If it is another Raw heel, maybe even the new United States Champion Bobby Lashley and The Hurt Business, they too will find out what happens when one crosses Lee.
He has the rocket strapped to his back and is headed to the top in short order, and WWE will further confirm as much on this week's Raw.
Reunited Riott Squad in Position for Tag Team Championship Opportunity
The WWE Payback Kickoff Show featured Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan overcoming early dissension to defeat The IIconics and earn a fairly significant victory. With heels Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax forming a oddly mismatched tandem, the reunited Riott Squad should formally step up and challenge for the titles sooner than later.
Do not be surprised if their run to the gold begins Monday, fresh on the heels of a win that saw them overcome lingering distrust on Morgan's part to pick up a defining victory.
Perhaps it comes in the form of another victory over The IIconics, or maybe they step right up to the plate and challenge Baszler and Jax to set themselves up for a match as soon as September 20's Clash of Champions pay-per-view.
Either way, Sunday's win was a momentum-building one for two of the more underrated and underutilized performers in the women's division, and WWE should not (and will not) waste it.
Finn Balor Regains Title That Put Him on the WWE Map
An unfortunate injury left Karrion Kross unable to defend the NXT Championship, and as a result, general manager William Regal announced a massive Fatal 4-Way Iron Man Match to determine the new titleholder. Former champions Finn Balor, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will do battle for the opportunity to hoist the title for the second time in their careers.
It will be The Prince who does just that.
Balor has embraced his return to NXT, steadily picking up high-profile victory after high-profile victory on TakeOver events both in the States and across the pond in NXT: UK. He has yet to score that one definitive victory, though, and is finally in a position to do so.
Cole winning would feel like more of the same after much was made of the loss that ended his historic reign as champion. Gargano is not nearly hot enough at this point, and Ciampa just last Wednesday reverted to his unhinged heel ways as he brutally assaulted Jake Atlas.
Balor is the right choice at the right time, and with heels like Cole, Gargano and Ciampa to work with, he makes the most sense.
MJF Gets the Last Laugh on Final AEW Dynamite Before All Out
Jon Moxley may have gotten one over on MJF and Co. by implementing a stipulation stating he gets a match with the loudmouth No. 1 contender's lawyer Mark Sterling, but it is the young wrestling prodigy who will get the last laugh Wednesday night on TNT, just three days from AEW's All Out pay-per-view.
On the surface, Moxley versus an attorney is a one-sided beating if there ever was one.
What it is, though, is an excuse for MJF to get heat. Imagine him interfering or having Wardlow do his dirty work, laying the world champion out either after he beats Sterling or during the match, thus costing the dominant world champion a victory in the most humiliating of fashions.
Either way, the ante will be upped courtesy of a brazen young star whose future is as bright as anyone's, regardless of whether he leaves Saturday's extravaganza with championship gold in his grasp.
He adds fuel to the fire with his actions this Wednesday.
Roman Reigns Gives Explosive Explanation for His Alliance with Paul Heyman
Last week's SmackDown ended with Roman Reigns aligning himself with Paul Heyman, much to the shock and awe of the WWE Universe. That development, coupled with the manner in which The Big Dog captured the Universal Championship two nights later at Payback, all-but confirms Reigns' heel turn.
Friday, expect an explosive promo from Reigns detailing the reason for his change in attitude.
Fans have waited for half of a decade for this development; to see Reigns rediscover the edge that made him the breakout star of The Shield way back in 2014.
Now that it is here, do not be surprised to see the face of the company tear the collective fanbase a new one as he criticizes them and the company for abandoning him on more than one instance, most notably following his decision to stay home with his newborn twins amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imagine the frustration-fueled promo that John Cena never got to deliver, a therapeutic tearing down of those who criticized and booed him for doing the right thing over the course of his career.
Reigns gets to deliver that promo, and as long as it doesn't venture down an overscripted or hokey road, it could well be a definitive moment for a Superstar who still has a ton to accomplish in his career.