WWE SmackDown is on the road to WWE Backlash 2023. In this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown, there are three scheduled matches: Gunther (c) vs. Xavier Woods for the Intercontinental Title, Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez (c) vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville for the Women’s Tag Team Championships, and Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. Viking Raiders in an old school tag team match. These matches will help maintain momentum for established champions and build up some brand-new contenders for future title opportunities.
With that being addressed, the following will provide some rapid-fire predictions for what should be an exciting episode of WWE SmackDown.
WWE SmackDown is scheduled to take place on April 21, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT live on the FOX. Here are some predictions for this week’s show.
Gunther (c) vs. Xavier Woods [Intercontinental Championship]
On this week’s WWE SmackDown, Gunther will defeat Xavier Woods to retain the Intercontinental Title because he should not lose the title on some random episode of SmackDown after what has been a historic 200+ day reign. Woods only defeated LA Knight to become the number one contender and there is really no story built here for him to win his first IC Title. This will merely help Gunther regain his momentum after losing to Sheamus and Brawling Brutes in their six-man tag match that took place two weeks ago on SmackDown.
The fact that Sheamus and Brawling Brutes defeated Gunther and Imperium on SmackDown recently is a sign that Sheamus is not done with the IC Title and will likely set up a title match with Gunther at Backlash to end the trilogy.
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez (c) vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville [Women’s Tag Team Championships]
On this week’s WWE SmackDown, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez will defeat Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville to retain the Women’s Tag Team Titles because they just won the titles from Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus on Raw last week and need to solidify their reign and retain on their first title defense. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville barely have any momentum to warrant a title victory here, as they are currently 1-2 as a tandem thus far. The only reason they got this title shot is that they interrupted Morgan and Rodriguez’s championship celebration.
The true challengers for the tag titles will be Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler, who won the showcase match at WrestleMania 39. Due to that victory, they are the official number one contenders and will likely challenge Liv and Raquel to a title match at Backlash.
Prediction: Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. Viking Raiders [Tag Match]
On this week’s WWE SmackDown, Viking Raiders will defeat Braun Strowman and Ricochet because Viking Raiders are a legitimate heel tag team that needs the momentum to get back in the title picture to battle the babyface champions in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. It is understandable that Braun Strowman and Ricochet have more star power and need retribution for the vicious attack implemented by the Raiders last week, but they are a questionable makeshift tag team that had way too many tag title opportunities already and needs to break up at some point.
Strowman and Ricochet are just better off in their singles careers, and a loss here can lead to their dissension. Since Ricochet is more likable as a babyface, a potential heel turn by Strowman would do the trick and set up a feud and potential PPV match for BackLash.
Prediction: Viking Raiders
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