Weeeeell, slap my ass and call me Shirley because I’ve got a very funky feeling in my thyroid about Summerslam, and I’ve got an inkling that on Sunday WWE could well deliver what transpires to be their PPV of 2013. There’s a genuine “must see” vibe about the event, and for the first time in several years Summerslam feels like the big deal it always claims to be (being Wrestlemania’s little sister can’t be easy I guess).
The card is packed with intriguing matches housing a pleasing mix of brawlers and technicians, veterans and up-and-comers, heroes and villains, beards and moustaches, and boats and hoes. I made the last one up.
My predictions lie below, dear reader. If that tickles your fancy in the slightest then I heartily encourage you to read on.
US TITLE: Dean Ambrose v Rob Van Dam
Both guys will be pretty bummed that their bout isn’t on the main card… And if truth be told I’m pretty bummed about it too. I think this will be a funsome encounter; RVD can work a match with pretty much anyone, and it’s one of the rare opportunites where we get to see exactly what Ambrose is capable of in a singles environment.
RVD is still emitting a red hot aura of freshness after a 6 year absence from the WWE so it’s most unexpected indeed that he finds himself bumped from the main card. But one would have to assume that Mr Monday Night has been brought back primarily to put over the next generation, and I guess that starts here. Following a lengthy bout, it’s a sneaky pin from Ambrose and a retained US Title says I.
BREKING NEWS! As I’m writing this a rumour has surfaced that this match could be turned into a 6 man tag pitting The Shield against RVD, Big Show and Mark Henry, and promoted to the main card. Sounds like a Teddy Long scenario could transpire here. Holla holla holla! If this does happen I’m all for it… And I’d tip the veterans for the win. Otherwise, I stick with Floppy Fringed Ambrose to retain.
Pick: Dean Ambrose
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn v Big E and AJ
It must be mighty frustrating for Dolph Ziggler to find himself pulled from the title picture once again, and I don’t think that 6 months ago he would have envisaged himself being involved in a mixed tag match at Summerslam. Why WWE hasn’t pulled the trigger on a long title run and a dominant spell from him is beyond me – because it seems massively obvious to pretty much everyone else that Ziggler should be performing at (or near) the top of the card every single night.
I do enjoy the work of Big E and AJ – but a feud with Ziggler just seems a little out of their league. I’m going for a victory for the babyface team and then hopefully Ziggler can once again turn his focus to the WWE Heavyweight Title, and Kaitylyn can return her focus to looking like a prostitute.
Pick: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn
RING OF FIRE: Kane v Bray Wyatt
The fire surrounding the ring will surely make for a pleasing spectacle, but as fire can be dangerous and unpredictable (and also “hot” according to some science textbooks that I’ve read) I anticipate this match being kept short.
It’s obvious that WWE has big plans for Wyatt, and I don’t foresee those “big plans” starting with a loss for the bearded chubster on his debut PPV outing. There will likely be some kind of stunt finish (it would be criminal not to when there’s fire involved) and Wyatt will leave as the victor, whilst Kane rolls around on the floor screaming in agony and horribly disfigured for life (for real this time) after having his big toe set alight.
Damien Sandow v Cody Rhodes
This feud has been pretty freaking entertaining thus far, and it’s fantabulous to see that the pair – who both so badly needed a meaningful feud – have managed to find that feud with each other.
I know this is the first match between the two and it will likely stretch beyond this PPV, but if I have one minor gripe it’s that this match is gimmick-free. I think it would’ve been awesome to see these two rising stars battle it out in a ladder match for the MITB briefcase (echoing classic Summerslam encounters between HHH/The Rock and HBK/Razor Ramon). But alas, that’s not to be. Maybe that one occurs further down the line.
I’m siding with Sandow for the win because he is the briefcase holder after all – and WWE needs to start building him as a credible threat to others if he is indeed to be WWE Heavyweight Champion in the near future.
Pick: Damien Sandow
Brock Lesnar v CM Punk
It’s arguably the biggest match of the night, and chances are this will be the bout that closes the show. Take that, Cena!
It’s been a truly brilliantly built feud – largely thanks to the verbal duels between Punk and Heyman – and it has a genuine aura of “dream match” about it. Whatever WWE is paying Lesnar, moments like this make it worth every penny. Or cent. Or magic bean… Whatever the US currency is these days.
A lot of people are pointing to Lesnar’s limited dates and how, as we likely won’t see him for a few months beyond Summerslam, it would be pointless to have him beat the almighty Punk. But the way I see it is this: If Punk wins then the story is over. If Lesnar wins, then you’d have to expect a rematch somewhere down the road and WWE can milk even more money from the feud.
On the other hand – Punk needs a big win. Since his record-breaking title run he’s lost in high-profile matches against John Cena, The Undertaker and The Rock, and he also failed to capture the briefcase at the Money in the Bank PPV. Yes, he’s beaten Jericho – but so has everyone else on the roster. Punk needs a mammoth victory on his CV to remind the wrestling world that he’s the Big Cheese, and they don’t really come any more mammoth than Brock Lesnar.
So, as you can see from musings, I’m properly torn on this one and am finding it mighty difficult to predict the winner… Which is fabulous! Wrestling, of course, should be unpredictable and PPVs are always gonna sell better when the outcomes of these blockbuster bouts are taxing to telegraph.
If you were to twist my nipples whilst wearing cactus skin gloves in an attempt to get an answer out of me, I think I’d scream “Lesnar”. Punk conquering The Beast and then delivering a GTS to Paul Heyman almost seems tooooo obvious. You catch my drift? Lesnar already has too many losses under his belt since his return in my opinion, and another would hurt him a lot more than it would Punk seeing as he only fights around 4 times a year.
So I’m siding with Lesnar for the win… Just… But it will only be the first chapter in tale of The Best vs The Beast.
Pick: Brock Lesnar
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Alberto Del Rio v Christian
I penned my thoughts on this one in detail HERE so I’ll keep it brief here rather than repeat myself.
Christian is my favourite guy on the roster and thus I’m utterly chuffed to see him involved in one of the main event bouts at Summerslam… But I think it’s fair to say it’s come somewhat out the blue, and part of me feels that the only reason Christian has been handed the spot is because there wasn’t really anyone else. Ho-hum.
I just hope that whatever happens here, it acts as a trigger for Christian evolving his character. Although he’s my number one guy, I’m irked by the slightly vanilla, fan-favourite persona he’s been saddled with since returning in May. Look to Christian’s past roles in the E+C era, his Peep Show segments and his partnerships with Chris Jericho and Tyson Tomko as proof that he could and should be portraying a character much, much more entertaining than a cookie-cutter babyface.
WWE has bizarrely booked this feud by having the two guys involved face off regularly on Smackdown – which is just plain retarded. What sort of title feud is built by having the two constantly wrestle one another until their PPV meeting?! It stinks of stupidity! But as Christian has consistently got the upper hand in those bouts, there’s logically only one way this one can end and that’s a win for ADR.
I’m expecting Ricardo Rodriguez to make an appearance at some point. I foresee him appearing to want to assist Christian, but it’ll prove a swerve and he will aid ADR in retaining the title. IT WAS A SET-UP ALL ALONG GODAMMIT!
Pick: Alberto Del Rio
WWE TITLE: John Cena v Daniel Bryan
I’ll confess that I’m a tad downbeat that HHH has inserted himself into this match as the special guest referee. This feud had a brilliant tale to tell. It’s the underdog taking on the over achiever; the outcast taking on the mainstreamer; the wrestler taking on the entertainer; It’s David versus Goliath.
There was enough narrative and intrigue in this match without the need for HHH to join the party… And now I’m concerned that however magnificent the match turns out to be (and it surely will reek of magnificence) it’s all gonna be massively overshadowed by whatever impact HHH and Vince have on the outcome.
I firmly believe that, with the story they’ve told, that Daniel Bryan simply has to win – perhaps even making the nigh-on invincible Super Cena tap out (which could bring the injured elbow into play). Bryan has been portrayed as the underdog who doesn’t belong at the helm of the company. If he were to lose, then Vince and co would have been correct all along… And what sort of pay-off would that be? So Bryan HAS to conquer Cena.
But then, of course, Randy Orton and his briefcase are lurking around the edge of this one – with many folk believing that Orton will crash Bryan’s celebrations and “steal” the WWE Title from him.
I think things could go down differently…
I’m envisioning a scene where Daniel Bryan successfully wins the WWE Title, and as he’s celebrating with the gold (Yes! Yes! Yes!) Ortons music hits and The Viper makes his way down to the ring with Vince McMahon. Vince takes the mic and cuts a short promo about how Orton is a much more suitable WWE champion and company figurehead, and he signals that Orton will be cashing in his briefcase right now on Daniel Bryan… But as Orton enters the ring, Bryan slaps on the no-lock and Orton taps out.
The crowd would go absolutely wild! Orton will have finally undergone his long-rumoured heel turn by aligning himself with Vince (and by trying to cash-in on fan-favourite Bryan), and Bryan would get himself super-SUPER-over by defeating Cena and Orton in the same night.
It might be a bit too much “what I’d like to happen” rather than “what I think will happen”, but I guess only time’s gonna tell on that one.
From a business perspective though, I think it would be most counter-productive indeed for Daniel Bryan to have a title reign that lasts mere seconds. The fans have waited a long, long time for the moment and it would be daft to piss them off and rob them of the experience.
What do you think would provide the bigger ratings boost to RAW the night after Summerslam – Daniel Bryan entering the arena as WWE Champion for the 1st time, or Orton entering the arena as WWE Champion for the 38th time? I’d suggest the former… By more than a considerable amount.
Pick: Daniel Bryan
Those are my picks jabronis, please add your own below. I love it when you do.
I’m only mildly confident with the majority of my picks as there’s a few bouts that could easily go either way. I think even the keenest gambler would keep his hands in his pockets for this one… Not just so he can secretly scratch his testiscles, but because the action is just too freakin’ difficult to predict.
Summerslam is looking scorching hot so let’s hope it delivers. What a fantastic pun to finish on.
Over and out.