4.) Jeff Hardy vs. Elias & Jaxson Ryker [1-on-2 Handicap Match]
On last week’s WWE Raw, Jeff Hardy defeated Elias via pinfall but lost to Jaxson Ryker in record time. That episode had a trend of booking babyfaces against two heels in two separate matches, thereby setting up a handicap match for this week’s episode. A handicap match is the WWE’s way of fixing a booking problem, and Jeff Hardy will have to be that babyface who defies the odds to somehow pick up the victory. He will be successful in that regard.
Elias and Ryker have nothing to lose here because their momentum has already faltered. Hardy, a grand slam champion, needs this win more to protect his credibility as one of the major players in the upper midcard. That way, when he loses to a rising star who is actually on the verge of a main event push, a victory over Hardy would be more meaningful. Elias and Ryker are nowhere close to receiving such a push, so Hardy must win this match.
Prediction: Jeff Hardy
3.) Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley & MVP [1-on-2 Handicap Match]
On last week’s WWE Raw, Riddle defeated MVP via disqualification but lost to Bobby Lashley in his first United States Championship match on the main roster. As mentioned in the Hardy/Elias/Ryker prediction, that episode had a trend of booking babyfaces against two heels in two separate matches, thereby setting up a handicap match for this week’s episode. A handicap match is the WWE’s lazy way of maintaining continuity, so Riddle will have to also probably face two heels at the same time.
However, Riddle won’t be as successful as Hardy. As the United States Champion, Lashley should not be taking unnecessary non-title losses. Riddle already had his title shot, and it’s time for Lashley to move onto his next challenger. A decisive victory from Lashley and MVP here should end the feud. However, WWE will probably stretch this feud by booking Riddle to join the Royal Rumble with the sole purpose of eliminating Lashley.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley & MVP