WWE returns to the pay-per-view arena this weekend with their first-ever WWE Stomping Grounds show from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington on Sunday, June 23rd. The show will feature seven championship matches in what will be a nine-match card that will stream live via the WWE Network starting at 7pm Eastern Time, with a one-hour Kickoff Show starting at 6pm Eastern Time.
In the headline spot at WWE Stomping Grounds will be WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins defending his title against Baron Corbin. “The Architect” defeated the “Lone Wolf” at the WWE Super ShowDown PPV in Saudi Arabia less than three weeks ago, fending off an attempted cash-in by “Mr. Beast in the Bank” Brock Lesnar in the process. At WWE Stomping Grounds, Rollins will once again be put in a position where he must defy the odds, as he will have the unique dynamic of Corbin picking a special mystery guest referee to deal with in their match.
In the co-main event slot, Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler in another WWE Super ShowDown rematch, however this time he will do so inside the confines of a Steel Cage.
Other title matches on the WWE Stomping Grounds card include Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans for the RAW Women’s Championship, Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet for the WWE United States Championship, Daniel Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery for the SmackDown Tag-Team Championships and Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Non-title matches rounding out WWE Stomping Grounds this Sunday night are Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre in a one-on-one rematch from WrestleMania 35, as well as Big E. & Xavier Woods from The New Day taking on the duo of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in tag-team action.
As is the case before every major pay-per-view event, SEScoops.com compiles a handful of pro wrestling journalists to provide their in-depth insight and analysis into each match scheduled on the card in our SEScoops.com Predictions Roundtable feature. Joining us for this WWE Stomping Grounds installment will be veteran staff writers Ian Carey, Andrew Ravens and Jeff Moss.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the SEScoops.com predictions for WWE Stomping Grounds.
Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak (WWE Cruiserweight Title)
Ian Carey: Honestly, I’d put the title on Gulak here. If anything, Gulak can at least cut promos, draw up some interest on social media or do something to give people a reason to watch 205 Live. They won’t do it, though, pulling the trigger on anything in 205 Live right now seems like it isn’t happening. The big storyline on the show right now is the whole roster is upset that their GM is more concerned with the 24/7 title. Nese will pick up the win here as it doesn’t seem as though they are building up any of the challengers here as future champions. (Prediction: Tony Nese)
Andrew Ravens: Although I like Tozawa and Gulak, I don’t see them as future champions. Thus, it certainly won’t start here and no good reason to do it. WWE typically likes for the champion on 205 Live to have a lengthy title reign and I see that with Nese.
(Prediction: Tony Nese)
Jeff Moss: I haven’t been following 205 Live as closely as I should have been (What’s the point? It has like, no Shane McMahon content) but I’ve been loving the hell out of Drew Gulak’s few matches in NXT over the last little while. Tony Nese is great, and Akira Tozawa sure can yell, but I’d love to see that purple strap around Gulak’s waist. Then let him defend it on Raw, Smackdown and NXT. Let’s blur a few lines here and show off how great the Cruiserweights can be. Y’know without making the ropes purple. (Prediction: Drew Gulak)
CONSENSUS: 2-1, Tony Nese
Big E. & Xavier Woods vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Ian: Owens and Zayn have been losing big matches on RAW and Smackdown every week it seems, so there’s little harm in having them do the same on PPV this Sunday. I wouldn’t expect this match to be long but it’ll give New Day a chance to get the crowd going. There could be a fair amount of comedy here as well. (Prediction: Big E. & Xavier Woods)
Andrew: A pick em here as either team could win. Purely on the fact that I think Kofi Kingston retains his WWE Title on this show, I have the heels going over and getting the win as winning would help them more than Big E and Woods at this point in time.
(Prediction: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn)
Jeff: It’ll be nice to see Big E back in the ring and while I love anything that Kevin and Sami do, I have to ask: what is the point of this? Does this match exist to simply so someone can interfere? If so, who? Is it so Sami can yell at us some more? Is it revenge for the 5 minutes I was excited during the “Big O” saga? Does Vince really just like watching Sami lose matches that much? SHANE MCMAHON?!?!?!!? (Prediction: Big E. & Xavier Woods)
CONSENSUS: 2-1, Big E. & Xavier Woods
Daniel Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery (SmackDown Tag Titles)
Ian: Much like Samoa Joe might using under-handed tactics to retain his title, the Planet’s tag team champions will likely do the same here. The match doesn’t seem high-profile enough for Rowan and Bryan to drop the belts and I doubt they want Heavy Machinery to lose clean yet. Sometime of chicanery, likely from Daniel Bryan, will lead to a controversial win or DQ loss for the champs. (Prediction: Daniel Bryan & Rowan)
Andrew: Another match was built upon less than a week and wouldn’t make much sense to do a title change here. Why Heavy Machinery is a good act, they are a comedy and not serious contenders. That’s a problem when trying to build challengers to be taken seriously.
(Prediction: Daniel Bryan & Rowan)
Jeff: Please, put the titles on Heavy Machinery. Put them on Heavy Machinery and let the weirdness commence. I know I’ve been pretty dour and Shane McMahon-heavy in this prediction piece, so give me something fun. Please. Let Daniel Bryan move to Raw and work with Seth. Let Rowan… be tall somewhere. Wth AEW openly stating that they are making tag team wrestling a priority, either throw something at me to compete with that, or just kill the division all together. I can’t miss something if it never leaves after all. Hey, what are the Revival up to these days? Are they the RAW champions still? (Prediction: Heavy Machinery)
CONSENSUS: 2-1, Daniel Bryan & Rowan
Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet (WWE United States Title)
Ian: This match is likely the one die-hard fans are looking forward to the most, though it’s not certain how much time they will be given. Two options are possible. One is that Ricochet scores the big title win, leading Joe to become infuriated and want revenge, and the other is that Joe cheats to retain. One way or another, WWE will want Ricochet to look strong here as he is essentially replacing Rey Mysterio in his feud with Joe minus the parental part of the angle. Joe cheating to win seems more likely but either is possible. (Prediction: Samoa Joe)
Andrew: As much as I would like to see Ricochet get his first title win on the main roster, I don’t see that happening as Joe was just crowned the new champion. This match was built upon less than a week and wouldn’t make much sense to do a title change here.
(Prediction: Samoa Joe)
Jeff: This is the one match on this absolutely brutal card that I’m actually looking forward to. Joe’s a heavy, ground-based hitter and Ricochet is, well, freakin’ Ricochet. This should be a great match and depending on who can adapt better to who, could be the crowning of a new champion. I suspect though that Ricochet’s “inexperience” will play a factor and Joe will catch him going for a high-flying move of some kind and retain, which ain’t the worst thing in the world. The best part? Neither of them are Shane McMahon. (Prediction: Samoa Joe)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Samoa Joe
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Ian: Roman should win purely because he lost to Shane McMahon at Super ShowDown and WWE will want to rehab him from that. They could have just not booked him to lose in Saudi Arabia, then leading to a tougher challenge with Drew McIntyre here but that just does not seem to be how this angle is being booked. Reigns will win, setting up another match with Shane McMahon so the Big Dog can get his revenge. (Prediction: Roman Reigns)
Andrew: Reigns just lost to Shane McMahon at Super ShowDown so unless they do a screwy finish, Reigns should go over here as a loss doesn’t hurt McIntyre as he’s losing to WWE’s chosen one in the process. This will ultimately lead to another match with Reigns vs. McMahon, potentially at SummerSlam.
(Prediction: Roman Reigns)
Jeff: This one is tough, but I predict that the big guy with long hair will triumph over the big guy with long hair. Seriously though, we’re all going to look pretty silly when Shane McMahon somehow wins this match, which in spite of all my jokes so far, may actually happen here. Unless WWE has some massive sleeves with even more massive tricks up them, this is going to be dry toast with a side of soda crackers. But, someone has to come out of this looking strong and there’s no one better at looking strong than Roman Reigns. Except Finn Balor. He looks TOO strong, that’s why he and the Intercontinental titled had to be cut from the card. I assume. (Prediction: Roman Reigns)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Roman Reigns
Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss (SmackDown Women’s Title)
Ian: Vince McMahon loves Alexa Bliss, which is likely the reason Bliss has spent so much of her main roster career as a champion. There is a built-in angle for Bliss to lose here, though. Nikki Cross is Bliss’ underling and has been doing and saying things to gain our sympathy. Nikki will try and cost Bayley the title, it won’t work, and she’ll end up costing Bliss the match, leading to Bliss and Nikki down the road. (Prediction: Bayley)
Andrew: I could see WWE doing a shocking finish and having Bliss win here but Bayley just won the title so unless they want her to chase again, she should retain her. WWE has a solid storyline behind this feud that can easily be extended into next month.
Jeff: Hey, everyone remembers that Alexa isn’t even on Smackdown, right? Or has she been permanently Wild Carded? This is one of those matches where the “heel” isn’t saying anything that’s particularly “heelish” she’s just stating the facts. Bayley DID peak in NXT. Bayley IS a placeholder champion. At least, this is what WWE has made her into. Since Shane McMahon doesn’t want a women’s title (yet), Bayley has a chance to remind us here why she’s everyone’s favourite hugger, but I’ve got so little confidence in what WWE allows it’s talent to do, I expect it to be another dry patch in a night of dry patches, but one that keeps the strap on Bayley. (Prediction: Bayley)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Bayley
Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans (RAW Women’s Title)
Ian: They wouldn’t put the title on Lacey Evans would they? No, no that would be too much… right? After all, Lacey is fresh out of developmental, didn’t work much in NXT, and doesn’t have a lot of experience. Meanwhile, Becky is coming off of main event’ing WrestleMania and is arguably the hottest act in the company.So, they wouldn’t do it, right? I’m taking Becky Lynch here. (Prediction: Becky Lynch)
Andrew: In my opinion, this is the easiest pick on the card as Lynch continues her dominance in the women’s division. Obviously, WWE is high on Evans but it seems like she has to grow much more before she can be considered a worthy title contender and eventual champion.
(Prediction: Becky Lynch)
Jeff: If you haven’t noticed by now, WWE seems to be in a holding pattern. A boring, boring holding pattern, and as a result I don’t see any titles changing hands (unless Shane McMahon is involved). The Raw Women’s title is in a hard spot right now. Lacey Evans is NOT ready to be champion. Becky Lynch is infinitely more entertaining chasing the title instead of holding it, simply because they don’t have any real competition lined up for her. Presuming Sasha Banks doesn’t return from “vacation” that is. So, Becky keeps the belt here so they can continue being extremely tasteful and playing up the “Championship Couple” of her and Seth. Good to see WWE and the Women’s Revolution have moved on from women being enhancement characters for their boyfriends. (Prediction: Becky Lynch)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Becky Lynch
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler Steel Cage Match (WWE Title)
Ian: Lesnar cashing in on Kofi at some point is possible but it’s not happening here. Lesnar likely won’t be in Tacoma and a steel cage match is not an ideal place for MITB cash-in. When the time is right, however, Kofi dropping the title in less-than-fair circumstances is how they will try and get the title off him. It’s not happening here, however, and it’s not going to be Ziggler who does it. (Prediction: Kofi Kingston)
Andrew: This is one of the easiest picks on the card as there’s no real reason to put the title on Ziggler at this point. WWE has done a good job of getting Kingston over as a babyface that fans can get behind and Ziggler has done a fine job at the role that he’s been put into. It appears that this path will be over and most likely Kingston feuds with Kevin Owens next.
(Prediction: Kofi Kingston)
Jeff: Kofi has been here for 11 years, yadda yadda, Ziggler deserves it more, blah blah, fans turned their backs, so on, so forth. We’ve danced this dance so many times (and as recently as a couple weeks ago) that it’s hard to get excited about this match, even if it’s in a steel cage. Kofi wins, but it’s gonna be super weird when Shane McMahon walks away with the title in a Hogan-At-Wrestlemania-9 move. (Prediction: Kofi Kingston)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Kofi Kingston
Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin With Mystery Referee (WWE Universal Title)
Ian: I have to imagine Seth Rollins is winning here but I’m not sure the match result is what will be most notable. There are two big questions regarding this match, the first being who the referee will be and the second is will Brock Lesnar cash-in? It feels as though no matter what the answer to either of those questions, it’ll be a let down. If Lesnar was going to be there they would have announced it, what with all they are doing to try and boost ticket sales. (Prediction: Seth Rollins)
Andrew: We’ve seen it before and will also see the same outcome as Super ShowDown. Obviously, the majority of fans are tired of seeing Corbin continue to be put in the main event scene. With this being a rematch, let’s hope WWE goes into a different direction come Extreme Rules next month. It will be interesting to see who’s next to challenge Rollins.
(Prediction: Seth Rollins)
Jeff: Shane McMahon is the special Guest Referee. The Brock cashes in his Money In the Bank contract. Then Shane produces a second MITB contract, cashes that in and becomes Universal Champion. Baron Corbin will also be there. Seriously though, the most entertaining thing the WWE has done in weeks is Seth Rollins madly destroying anyone who even thinks about being the special guest referee with a never-ending supply of chairs. Seth retains here, and please, for all of our sakes, moves onto a feud with someone who can actually feud back and main selling feature isn’t just “wears a vest for no reason now.” (Prediction: Seth Rollins)
CONSENSUS: 3-0, Seth Rollins
What are the “real experts'” predictions for this Sunday? Find out by checking out the latest WWE Stomping Grounds Betting Odds. What are YOUR predictions for this Sunday? Share them in the Comments section below.
Make sure to join us here at SEScoops.com this Sunday for WWE Stomping Grounds results coverage.