WWE SmackDown will feature the return of Kevin Owens from his two week hiatus. On this week show, there’s a match planned: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn in an MITB Last Man Standing Qualifier. In addition, the seeds are already planted for a future Slam summer schedule between Edge and Seth Rollins because Edge returned last week to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Title after Seth Rollins previously offered this title challenge by asking management for it. Despite this prior request, a title match between Reigns and Edge had been formalized by management for WWE MITB 2021.
Speaking of which, WWE is four weeks away from WWE Money in the Bank 2021. There are already four games scheduled for this PPV event: Bobby Lashley (c) against Kofi Kingston for the WWE Title, Roman Reigns (c) against Edge for the Universal Title, Rhea Ripley (c) against Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Title, MITB male scale match and MITB female scale match. Four competitors already qualified for each ranking match on the Raw side, so the same is expected from the SmackDown side. What follows will focus on the scheduled last man standing qualifier between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
With that resolved, now is the time to preview and predict what will actually happen in this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown.
WWE SmackDown is scheduled to take place on July 2, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT live on FOX. Here are some predictions for this week’s show.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn [Last Man Standing MITB Qualifying Match]
After Sami Zayn beat Kevin Owens at WWE HIAC 2021, Kevin Owens has revealed he will take a “little break” from in-ring competition and return soon. Although he only missed one episode of WWE SmackDownIt was reported by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that he only requested two weeks off and was still scheduled to take part in this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown. However, that begs the question: why is this MITB qualifier a last man standing game when all other qualifiers were grudge matches?
As many wrestling fans know, Last Man Standing matches involve two superstars trying to neutralize each other to the point that they can’t stand by the count of 10. That’s bad enough for any one. superstar to participate in the next dangerous MITB ladder match. Now either Owens or Zayn have to take part after winning this perilous Last Man Standing Match. While it could be argued that a last man standing match is justified between these two superstars due to their history, it is quite anomalous to book an MITB qualifier as a last man standing match.
Obviously, the crux of this fight is getting someone off the TV. There is currently no legitimate reason for Zayn to be written off, but it would make sense if Owens was after his mention of a “little break.” It’s very possible that WWE wanted to kick Owens off TV for his “little break” in a more memorable way, and a Last Man Standing Match would allegedly be their way of making it memorable. If so, Zayn will undoubtedly win.
The writing on the wall is screaming that Zayn will go here and move on to the MITB Ladder Match, which is in desperate need of another heel as there are already four babyfaces in the match (i.e. Drew McIntyre, Riddle, Ricochet and Big E). On top of that, Zayn would have something to complain about as a conspiracy theorist, as he would be the only MITB contender to have been booked into an MITB Last Man Standing qualifier weeks before a grueling MITB ladder match. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Prediction: Sami Zayn
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