Nia Jax is introduced during WWE Royal Rumble at the Alamodome on January 28, 2023 in San Antonio, Texas.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for tonight’s pre-taped episode of Friday Night SmackDown, as reported by EWrestlingNews. If you wish to remain spoiler-free please do not read until after the episode airs tonight from 8-10PM. You’ve been warned.

This weekend, a new king and queen will be crowned in the middle of the squared circle of WWE. That’s right, it’s time for my WWE King and Queen of the Ring predictions!

King and Queen of the Ring Tournaments

Immediately following the explosive WWE Backlash show in Lyon, France, the company got right to work for the next premium live event: WWE King and Queen of the Ring, emanating live from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

As is the case with every King (and Queen as of 2021) of the Ring, WWE holds a tournament featuring many of the toughest competitors from both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. After a grueling gauntlet of matches big names like Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles, and LA Knight to name a few, the winner of the men’s tournament will either be the Ring General Gunther from Raw, or the Viper Randy Orton from SmackDown.

And on the women’s side, the 2nd ever Queen of the Ring will either be Nia Jax, or recent NXT call up Lyra Valkyria. The former NXT women’s champion has wasted zero time in making her presence felt on the main roster, but will her fire and tenacity be enough to stop the Irresistible Force Nia Jax from claiming the crown?

It was also recently revealed by WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque that the winners of the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments will also be granted a title match at SummerSlam for the world championship of their respective brands. How will this play into the outcome of the tournament finals this weekend?

The American Nightmare Vs. The Influencer

In his second ever world title defense, the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes will put his Undisputed WWE Championship on the line against the Influencer, and current WWE United States champion, Logan Paul.

In typical Logan Paul fashion, the US champ has been popping off at the mouth about Rhodes for weeks now. If Cody wants respect from the cocky social media star, he may have to beat it into him.

Prediction Perfection

I’m so proud of myself for perfectly predicting the entire card of last month’s WWE Backlash show. For the first time since I started these prediction threads, I correctly guessed every single match winner on a truly stacked card. And now I aim to start a post-WrestleMania hot streak of prediction perfection this weekend at WWE King and Queen of the Ring. Here are my picks:

  • Gunther vs. Randy Orton - King of the Ring Finals Match

    My pick: Gunther The Ring General being promoted to the King of the Ring just feels right. With the added stipulation of the winner getting an automatic world title match in a few months at SummerSlam, I briefly considered picking Randy Orton. I fully believe the Viper will face Cody Rhodes for the WWE Championship at Summerslam (spoilers for my Cody/Logan pick later), but there’s already enough history between those two to make for a compelling feud. As Gunther stated on Raw, his King of the Ring win feels inevitable at this point, and I’m here for it.

  • Lyra Valkyria vs. Nia Jax - Queen of the Ring Finals Match

    My pick: Nia Jax

    While the new “King/Queen of the ring get a world title match at SummerSlam” stipulation didn’t sway my thoughts on the men’s tournament, it completely flipped my pick for the women’s finals winner.

    There’s just too much history and bad blood between the Irresistible Force Nia Jax and the Women’s World Champion Becky Lynch to pass up. A title match between the two at WWE’s biggest show of the summer is practically a license to print money.

    Valkyria is still new to the Raw roster and will have time to cut her teeth in the ring, but right now Nia Jax absolutely needs the queen’s crown.

  • Becky Lynch (C) vs. Liv Morgan - Women's World Championship

    My pick: Becky Lynch

    Given my thoughts on the Queen of the Ring tournament, it should’ve been clear who I had winning this match. I think this match could end up being a sleeper hit for match of the night, especially with all the heat Liv has been soaking up since taking out the former women’s champ Rhea Ripley.

    But as I said earlier, Nia Jax vs. Becky Lynch at SummerSlam is too big to pass up. Liv could always win Money in the Bank again later this year and insert herself back into the title picture down the road.

  • Sami Zayn (C) vs. Chad Gable vs. Bronson Reed - Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship

    My pick: Chad Gable 

    This is probably the match I feel least confident about. After all, Sami Zayn pulled off one of the biggest upsets of WrestleMania weekend by ending Gunther’s legendary Intercontinental championship reign. Should a momentous win like that risk being squandered by Sami losing the title in his 2nd ever defense?

    Yes, I think it should. Chad Gable has been unbelievably petty since turning on Sami, and seems more determined than ever to claim the gold, even at the risk of his friendship with Otis and the rest of his Alpha Academy colleagues. Leave it to Gable to pick his spot and get an opportunistic win against Sami and big Bronson Reed this weekend.

  • Cody Rhodes (C) vs. Logan Paul - Undisputed WWE Championship

    My pick: Logan Pa-just kidding. Cody Rhodes.

    Come on, really? I don’t even have a big thesis about this match prepared. Just, really? I mean…really?

    I’d bet my next paycheck Cody Rhodes is winning this one.

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