Predicting the match order at Stomping Grounds

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It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Stomping Grounds, but how about taking a guess at the match order?

WWE has announced nine different segments for the main card of Stomping Grounds.

Here is my subjective view of how important each of these nine segments rank on the card, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
  2. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
  3. Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
  4. Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
  5. Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans
  6. Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet
  7. Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery
  8. New Day vs. Zayn & Owens
  9. Nese vs. Tozawa vs. Gulak

It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.

I’m ranking McIntyre’s match ahead of both women’s championship matches because his match represents the Shane McMahon story, and I expect it will receive significantly more time than the women.

It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Nese or Zayn’s match is moved onto the pre-show. Though considering WWE’s track record with dual-brand PPVs, they’ll probably add a 10th match to this card and throw it onto the Kickoff show. For the purposes of this exercise, I will assume the nine advertised matches all make it onto the main card.

Main event

This spot comes down to either the Universal championship or the WWE championship. Corbin’s match has the hook of a mystery referee, while Ziggler’s match includes a steel cage gimmick.

I recently thought that Kingston might land his first ever singles PPV main event at Stomping Grounds, but WWE seems to be putting a ton of emphasis on the special ref decision for the Universal championship match. Therefore I am actually putting Baron Corbin in the main event of Stomping Grounds. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a quick shower.

Opening match

The opening match of the night is usually one of the mid-level attractions with good work rate that doesn’t require a dedicated video package ahead of time to hype it up.

The three best candidates for this match are either of the tag matches or Ricochet’s match.

Stomping Grounds takes place in Tacoma, Washington, and I’m pretty sure that Daniel Bryan will be received like a god there. Therefore I’m giving him the opening segment at Stomping Grounds. I can definitely see Bryan cutting a fire promo after his entrance to kick things off.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin

Segments 2 and 3

One of the least important matches of the night usually goes in Segment 2, so that would mean Owens or Nese winds up there.

I don’t want to open the show with consecutive tag matches, so that rules out Owens. And I expect WWE will use the cruisers as a cool-down match after one of the more important matches of the night. That rules out the cruisers for Segment 2, because Bryan’s match is not one of the most important matches of the night. I’m going to need a different strategy here.

Considering Bryan’s match has decent comedy potential with Otis, I could see WWE going with a no nonsense high workrate match like Joe versus Ricochet in Segment 2.

After that it’s about time for one of the women’s championship matches in Segment 3. There are rumors that Becky Lynch could play a role in Rollins’ main event match, therefore I’m going to put Becky’s match early in the night.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery
Segment 2: Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet
Segment 3: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin

Everything else

I think it makes sense to put some space between the New Day tag team match and Kofi’s singles match, therefore I’m going to get the tag match with Owens and Zayn out of the way in Segment 4.

A big match should follow that one, and the Shane McMahon storyline featuring Reigns and McIntyre fits the bill. I’m sure Shane and his lackeys will all get involved and turn this one into an overbooked mess. That means the cruiserweights will probably get to follow it up in Segment 6.

That leaves Segment 7 and Segment 8 for Kofi and Bayley, in some order. I think Bayley’s match has a better chance to win the crowd over if it follows the cruiserweights rather than following a steel cage match, so I’m putting Bayley in Segment 7.

This card has Baron Corbin in the main event, so there’s no need for a cool-down match right before it. I have no problem putting Kofi and Seth’s matches back-to-back to close out the night.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Stomping Grounds, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times.

Segment 1: Bryan & Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery (11 minutes)
Segment 2: Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet (12)
Segment 3: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans (9)
Segment 4: New Day vs. Zayn & Owens (13)
Segment 5: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre (17)
Segment 6: Nese vs. Tozawa vs. Gulak (11)
Segment 7: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss (10)
Segment 8: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler (17)
Segment 9: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin (17)

These times add up to 117 minutes, which implies the main card of Stomping Grounds will be in the neighborhood of 3.5 hours long.

That’s my prediction for the match order at Stomping Grounds. What’s yours?




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