WWE Smackdown preview and predictions for the main segments on episode airing July 31st.
WWE Smackdown Preview & Predictions
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, July 31, 2020
Where: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, FL
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WWE Smackdown 7/31 Show Preview
This week’s Smackdown will feature two titles matches with one of them having a very unsuspected challenger. Gran Metalik, yes I said GRAN METALIK, will be challenging Intercontinental Champion, AJ Styles, for his title. The other championship match will be a Horror Show At Extreme Rules rematch between Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bayley, and Nikki Cross.
Other segments being promoted the show are Naomi up against Lacey Evans and the continued look into the relationship between Otis and Mandy Rose. Smackdown should also give fans more insight on the brand’s plans for the upcoming Summerslam show. Last week’s episode of Smackdown laid some groundwork for potential matches so that should be expanded upon this week.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross – Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley and Nikki Cross will do battle for what seems like the “millionth” time on this edition of Smackdown. Bayley defeated Cross at The Horror Show At Extreme Rules last week with a little bit of assistance from Sasha Banks. While Cross has been a credible challenger and has evolved her character in this storyline, she will not be the one to dethrone Bayley.
While Smackdown’s Women’s division is very talented, there does not look to be an actual credible challenger to Bayley at the moment. And while some people might fight back and say Naomi should be given a chance, I agree. But she has been defined down so much recently that it would be hard to build her up in a few weeks to face Bayley at Summerslam. The only logical option to face Bayley now is her partner and new Raw Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks.
Bayley versus Banks has been the story the WWE has been building to for well over a year now. Pulling the trigger on that match on the anniversary of their iconic match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn five years ago seems hard to pass up. So again, while Nikki Cross will put up another valiant effort against Bayley, she will not be winning this match. However, the match should be fun and perhaps give us a glimpse of what’s to come for Bayley.
AJ Styles vs. Gran Metalik – WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
You know 2020 is crazy when Gran Metalik is challenging AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship. Metalik won a number one contender’s match last week to earn his shot at Styles. But does anyone really believe that he has a shot at beating perhaps the greatest wrestler in WWE? Besides making it to the finals of the Cruiserweight Tournament a few years ago, Gran Metalik has done nothing important in WWE since.
Vince McMahon said this week that he is trying to push new stars in an attempt to get some viewers back on the product. But it’s hard to build someone up that has been beaten and a joke for years. Sure it’s worked maybe once or twice, but in this age of wrestling where there is a ton great promotions out there, it’s hard to invest time in a broken character. Don’t get me wrong, Gran Metalik is FANTASTIC in the ring and his match against Styles will probably blow people away. But it always stinks going into a title match when you already know the outcome. I really hope this match is given time to showcase Metalik and maybe, just maybe, help his character in the long-term.
WWE Smackdown 7/31 Predictions
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10 PT Pick = Bayley OVER 2.5 Appearances
9 PT Pick = AJ Styles VS. Gran Metalik UNDER 11:30 MINS
8 PT Pick = Bayley VS. Nikki Cross OVER 12:30 MINS