4 Predictions for WWE SmackDown Live: July 18, 2017

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The Bulgarian Brute Strikes Hard

Two weeks ago, Rusev made a shocking return to WWE and immediately set his gaze upon John Cena. Angered over the fanfare and publicity the former 16-time world champion received prior to his return to SmackDown Live, the Bulgarian Brute decided he was the ideal man to target. After a bit of verbal sparring between the two, Cena chose to challenge Rusev to a Flag Match. Rusev accepted the challenge, but declared it would take place on his terms.

Later on, in that same episode, it was declared that Cena and Rusev’s Flag Match would take place at Battleground. Rather than waiting until the event for them to cross paths though, WWE decided to book them in a tag match last week. While Rusev went on to lose that contest, he was fortunate enough not to have suffered the pinfall. Kevin Owens lost the match for his team, however, we’ll discuss this in more detail in a moment.

In order for Rusev to be viewed as a serious threat, he needs to get the better of Cena here tonight. This is a goal that can be accomplished in a number of different ways. For example, the Bulgarian Brute could choose to attack Cena from behind at some point during the show. The action is certain to instill heat on Rusev, while managing to maintain Cena’s aura of near invincibility.

Another option is to have the Champ compete in a match of his own, only to have Rusev interfere in the closing moments. Once again, this is a perfect way to protect both men ahead of the event. Whichever route the company decides to take, it’s crucial that Rusev receives momentum on SmackDown Live.