This weekend is the official start to summer! WWE kicks off its summer schedule with the brand new PPV event, Stomping Grounds, this Sunday. The event is being criticized by some for being a retread. Four of the nine matches card on the card are rematches from the last three PPV events. Two of those four matches have an added stipulation. WWE says it’s time to kick ass and take names. Along with my Double Play CLE co-host Justin, we are here to kick ass and take names! Well, metaphorically. Here are our picks for WWE Stomping Grounds.
The New Day vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The New Day will be represented by Xavier Woods and Big E. What is going on with Owens and Zayn? Owens went from challenging for the WWE Championship last month to a tag match? All four superstars have utilized the Wild Card Rule to spend time on both Raw and SmackDown Live. They competed against each other in a 6-Man Tag Team, 2-Out-Of-3-Falls match on last week’s Raw. New Day was victorious in that encounter.
Owens and Zayn vowed to be the reason Kofi Kingston loses his WWE Championship. This match will be New Day’s way of stopping them. New Day can put the boots to Owens and Zayn to make sure they cannot get involved in Kingston’s Title defense later in the night.
Our Pick- The New Day
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Reigns defeated McIntyre at WrestleMania 35. Since that night, McIntyre has been out for revenge. He sided with Shane McMahon, gaining the upper hand on Reigns. McIntyre laid out Reigns with his Claymore finisher at Super ShowDown to allow McMahon to pin Reigns. The loss did not sit well with The Big Dog. Reigns vowed payback on McIntyre.
“At Stomping Grounds, I bounce back! I’m gonna kick ass and take names. And the first name. Drew McIntyre.”- Roman Reigns
Reigns was embarrassed by suffering a loss to the boss’ son, Shane McMahon. He gained a measure of revenge on McMahon last week on Raw, leaving him laying after a Superman Punch and a Spear. Now, he needs to finish things with McIntyre. He can do so by kicking ass and taking his name! Justin is a little less sure. A win for McIntyre would be a great step towards a potential Title match. Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre could be a great match for Summer Slam and the Universal Title.
Our Pick- Roman Reigns
Cruiserweight Championship- Triple Threat Match:
Tony Nese (c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak
Tozawa and Gulak won a Fatal 4-Way match on 205 Live when each scored a simultaneous pinfall at the end of the match. As a result of the controversy, 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick declared both men winners and awarded them both a Title opportunity. Nese successfully defended his Title on the main card at last month’s Money in the Bank event. It is a rare occasion to see the Cruiserweight Title on the main card of a PPV. They look to do it again, with higher stakes.
This could be the time to get the Title to Gulak. He’s a proven competitior who puts on great matches. He spent part of the month in NXT making their newest signee, Kushida, look like a million bucks. Gulak has earned a Title shot at the very least. Tozawa feels like he’s here just to take the pinfall or submission. Nese could use a win here to cement himself as a fighting Champion. Two good stories to be told in this match. Justin pointed out the Cruiserweight Championship has changed hands at each of the last two WrestleManias and the 2018 Super ShowDown. That makes this match a little less exciting as it’s less likely to see a Title change.
Our Pick- Tony Nese
SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c) vs. Heavy Machinery
Bryan and Rowan claim to be The Planet’s Tag Team Champions. They ducked challenges from Heavy Machinery on multiple occasions. Bryan was on commentary for Heavy Machinery’s match on last week’s SmackDown Live. The Planet’s Tag Team Champions will finally step into the ring to defend against Heavy Machinery at Stomping Grounds.
Don’t expect the Tag Champs to lose their Titles here. There’s just not a good reason to do it yet. It’s worth noting the show will be in Bryan’s home state of Washington. He may get a loud crowd reaction. If they decide to do it for some reason, Rowan would be the one to take the fall. Strangely, Justin is hoping for a Title change. He’s not expecting it, but he’s hoping for it.
Justin’s Pick- Heavy Machinery
My Pick- Daniel Bryan & Rowan
United States Championship:
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Ricochet
Joe was awarded the Title back after controversially losing it to Rey Mysterio last month at Money in the Bank. Mysterio pinned Joe that night, but Joe’s left shoulder was never down and the pin should not have counted. After the match, Joe jumped Mysterio. The attack resulted in an arm injury for Mysterio, who decided to surrender the Title back to Joe. Samoa Joe then choked out the injured Mysterio with his Coquina Clutch finisher. Ricochet won a Fatal 5-Way Elimination match on last week’s Raw to earn this match. After Ricochet’s win, Joe snuck up behind him to lock in the Coquina Clutch. However, Ricochet got the last laugh by fending him off.
This would be huge for Ricochet. It just doesn’t feel like this will be his night. He is a highlight reel. The feats of athleticism he pulls off are beyond belief. But Samoa Joe’s grinding offense doesn’t play well with the high flyers. Joe is a submission specialist. He spent the last two months pounding Rey Mysterio into the ground. That doesn’t bode well for Ricochet.
Our Pick- Samoa Joe
SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
The Wild Card Rule allowed Bliss to appear on SmackDown Live and defeat Charlotte Flair and Carmella to earn this match. Bliss claims Bayley is not the nice person she claims to be. She claims Bayley bullied her in NXT and continues to do so now. Bliss found an unlikely ally in the somewhat aloof Nikki Cross. Bayley inadvertently cost Bliss and Cross the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship last week on Raw, when she yanked Bliss off the apron as Cross was being pinned by Billie Kay.
Cross will factor into the end of this match, and that’s a shame. The tag team of Bliss and Cross has potential. But there should be concern it will end here with Cross costing Bliss the Title. Bayley gave Cross a history lesson on A Moment of Bliss last week on SmackDown. She pointed out Bliss’ past relationships with both Nia Jax and Mickie James. Both of those “friendships” ended with Bliss turning her back on them. In hindsight, Cross would be a moron to continue her friendship with Bliss. Cross needs to stab Bliss in the back before The Goddess can even grab the knife. It seems likely that will be the case here.
Our Pick- Bayley
Raw Women’s Championship:
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Evans cost Lynch the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank after falling to The Man in her own Title match minutes earlier. Lynch wants payback, claiming The Man is coming around to settle the score. Evans continues to taunt Lynch, claiming she will be Becky No Belts after this Sunday.
First, Becky No Belts is a stupid nickname. Second, I am here for The Man! Lynch calls Evans a plank. Couldn’t agree more! Evans is clearly in over her head. Her microphone time is slow and robotic. It is very difficult to buy into someone when you can almost see that person reading from a script. Lynch is our scrappy, fighting Champion. She’s here to kick ass and take names! Conveniently, this PPV is just for that. However, Justin is behind the Sassy Southern Belle. He thinks Vince McMahon sees something in Evans that could push her to the Title. Either that, or he hates everything that I love.
Justin's Pick- Lacey Evans
My Pick- Becky Lynch
Universal Championship- Corbin Picks Special Referee:
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
After the referee put his hands on Corbin in the original match at Super ShowDown, Corbin demanded a rematch and the right to pick the referee. Rollins spent the last two weeks assaulting with a steel chair anyone who offers to be the referee. Rollins is also dealing with the specter of the 2019 Money in the Bank Winner Brock Lesnar who tried to cash in at Super ShowDown, but ended up on the receiving end of several well deserved chair shots from Rollins.
God I hope Baron Corbin doesn’t win the Title. Corbin is so boring and tedious to listen to. Let’s have Rollins pin him and beat the hell out of him with the chair after.
Our Pick- Seth Rollins
WWE Championship- Steel Cage Match:
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Xavier Woods got involved in the previous match at Super ShowDown, allowing Kingston to retain the Title. Ziggler immediately requested a Steel Cage Match to make things right. He sent a message to Kingston on last week’s SmackDown, laying waste to Woods in a one-sided singles match.
Ziggler feels like a placeholder. He doesn’t seem like he’s supposed to win the Title. Look for Kofi to use this chance to further cement his Title reign. Two Title defenses over a former two time World Champion would be big for Kingston.
Our Pick- Kofi Kingston
Stomping Grounds is this Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. streaming on the WWE Network. The Kickoff show begins one hour prior. Stomping Grounds will be live from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. Check out our live video preview streaming on the Double Play CLE Facebook Live page this weekend! Next month’s preview will be a bit different, so don’t forget to check back here on redlineradiollc.com and the Double Play CLE Facebook page!