Summerslam is nearly upon us! Officially recognised as the slammiest time of summer, the event is traditionally billed as WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year after the almighty Wrestlemania. So it has a mission statement to deliver.
Whilst the card is pretty decent, I wouldn’t describe it as pants-wettingly brilliant (few things are) – but with Brock Lesnar in the title picture we have a main event that could have some scenery-shaking ramifications for the WWE product.
Considering The Usos strong outings of late (as well as having match of the night at Battleground last month), I’m a little irked to not see a Tag Title match at Summerslam. And I bet Stardust is pretty irked too, although he’d never admit it. WWE enjoys to throw unannounced matches into the fray at PPVs though, so there’s always the chance The Usos will find themselves in some spontaneous action regardless.
There’s also no pre-show match announced as I type this (have they been abolished altogether?!), so I’ll dive head-first into my predictions for the featured card…
DIVAS TITLE MATCH
AJ (c) v Paige
It’s the most entertaining feud we’ve had for the Diva’s Title in a long while, and I have no doubts in will extend beyond Summerslam.
Paige has consistently got the upper hand over Mrs Punk in the build-up which, wrestling lofic dictates, makes her the likely loser here.
After suffering the indignity of losing to that red haired chick who is about as much as a wrestler as I am an ewok, AJ deserves nothing less than the victory quite frankly.
On a side note – despite her all round decent work, Paige really needs to change her finisher. The Paige-Turner constantly looks like a different moved that has been botched, and it measures close to zero on the impact scale.
Pick: AJ Retains
IC TITLE MATCH
The Miz (c) v Dolph Ziggler
It’s been refreshing to see Dolph Ziggler picking up victories of late against the likes of Cesaro, The Miz himself and even the largely untouchable Randy Orton (on house shows). He deserves no less.
I’ve also enjoyed seeing The Miz transformed back into a braggart heel. It’s a role he plays way more naturally than the sarcastic babyface character that was a waste of everyone’s time. Hooray for WWE giving a hoot about the midcard!
I’ll pick The Miz to win just because there are a lot of babyface champs in WWE right now, plus he has a movie to promote, aaaand because he’s only had the belt for a month. Ziggler winning certainly wouldn’t be a shocker, but my spidey-sense is tingling for The Miz.
To me, the IC Title seems almost beneath Ziggler. I guess that’s the problem when there’s only one World Title in the company. I fear Ziggler’s relationship with the main event will only be flirtatious at best for the duration of his WWE career. And that, dear readers, is mighty sad.
Pick: The Miz retains
Jack Swagger v Rusev
Nobody seems really sure what the rules for the “flag match” are, with several WWE bigwigs giving conflicting definitions. Regardless of what goes down, I think the gimmick match has been designed to protect Rusev from being pinned or submitting and handing a victory to Jack Swagger.
Jack Swagger is getting the loudest crowd pops of his career by a long shot, so it may as well be capitalised upon. Americans love a bit of patriotism, it cannot be denied.
A buddy of mine is convinced that Hulk Hogan (another ‘Real American’) is gonna get involved with this match – perhaps even setting himself up for a comeback match against Rusev. Personally I don’t think the 61 year old, broken down Hogan could ever possibly be medically cleared to wrestle again. But stranger things have happened I guess. Mae Young giving birth to a hand for starters.
Pick: Jack Swagger
Chris Jericho v Bray Wyatt
Since Bray Wyatt’s magnificent victory over Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble PPV, his prospects have perpetually plummeted.
Along with his lackies Harper and Rowan, the trio were mercilessly and pointlessly squashed by John Cena time and time again during the spring months. Quite why WWE felt it was a good idea to have their fastest rising star destroyed by the stale Cena is beyond me… But I guess it’s something that shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore.
Wyatt then put in an unmemorable performance at the MITB PPV, and now finds himself here in a feud with the ever-reliable Chris Jericho.
I predicted that Jericho would win their first encounter last month. It was a win that Y2J needed after selflessly putting a plethora of talent over in his last stint (take note, Cena). But from here on out the feud has to belong to Bray. It’s surely the key reason Jericho has been brought back to WWE TV (well, that and his schedule allows it).
So it’s Bray Wyatt to win for me – and then a stipulation match to end the feud next month before Jericho goes back to being a rock star.
Pick: Bray Wyatt
Stephanie McMahon v Brie Bella
Having the build for this match feature in the main event segment of two consecutive RAWs was pretty insulting to everyone else on the roster – and the audience. Main event material it ain’t. But with that said, I’m quietly confident that this match will be entertaining due to Stephanie’s involvement. Much like her Daddy, she’s developed a wonderful range of OTT reactions and seems to take great please in sending herself up should the moment call for it. Her efforts really can’t be faulted.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same For Brie Bella. She and her sister are such utter charisma vacuums and literally every line that they do or say on TV is cringeworthy or just plain rubbish… The kind of stuff that makes you embarrassed to be a wrestling fan.
I had Steph pegged as the winner, but after she got the upper hand on RAW this week I’m having to side with Brie. In the aftermath, I sincerely hope the Brie v heel Nikki feud doesn’t occur. I think two perfectly stationary trees would be able to put on a more entertaining battle than those two.
Pick: Brie Bella
Randy Orton v Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns’ ascendancy to superstardom continues, and if we are to perceive him as a genuine big boy within the WWE hierachy his momentum really shouldn’t be quashed here.
Many would argue that losing to a big player like Orton wuldn’t hurt Reigns’ push at this stage of his career. But I’d put forward the case that Bray Wyatt being buried by John Cena has stalled his progression massively.
Reigns to win is the right decision and hopefully will be the outcome. He’s also surely also gotta be on the shortlist as Lesnar’s next opponent. I’d buy that for a dollar.
Pick: Roman Reigns
Dean Ambrose v Seth Rollins
A lumberjack match is definitely the wrong choice of stipulaton for this pair. Rollins and Ambrose have been kept from having their match for so damn long (with WWE even falsely promoting in for last month’s PPV, the dastardly bastards) that when the spectacle finally occurs, it should be just the two of them finally alone under the spotlight in the middle of the ring. Instead there’s going to be 20 other guys – mostly jobbers you’d have to assume – who are gonna be invading the moment. It just has a whiff of a Smackdown match about it to me… Or even house show-esque.
I had been massivly hoping for a ladder match – with the briefcase on the line – giving the two involved the chance to etch their way into the history books with a monumentous match much like rising superstars HBK/Razor Ramon and The Rock/HHH acheieved in the past in Summerslam ladder matches. How many memorable lumberjack matches have there been in WWE history? None. That’s how many.
The fact that there will be a host of lumberjacks at ringside makes me think an angle will occur. Maybe The Authroity will add a new member who has been paid off to ensure that Seth Rollins wins. Sheamus is mysteriously absent from the card and has been long rumoured for a heel turn, so maybe he will be the difference maker here.
As much as I think Ambrose needs the win more (Rollins and Reigns have been handed far more prominent positions since The Shield disbanded) , I’m more inclined to pick Rollins as the winner here. But this feud will surely rage on for a few weeks yet.
Pick: Seth Rollins
WWE TITLE MATCH
John Cena (c) v Brock Lesnar
Lesnar simply has to win. Having The Beast end The Undertaker’s streak only to lose his very next match would reek of stupidity and would also be incredibly disrespectful to what The Undertaker achieved over the last couple of decades.
Many folk are concerned about Lesnar’s limited schedule and are asking the question whether WWE would really put their most prized title on a performer who only makes a handful of appearances per year. And it’s a valid question. But WWE surely has planned for such an occasion, and at the very least Paul Heyman is on hand to make weekly appearances.
I think the crowd will be more behind Lesnar than they will Cena – and I will be joining in with the crowd pop at home if/when Cena is beaten.
My one big concern with this match is that Cena will be the one who takes the title back off Lesnar (assuming he wins the belt). That would be so incredibly. When it’s time for Lesnar to drop the belt it needs to be to someone like Roman Reigns or Bray Wyatt… Not a 15 time champion who has already been pushed to the moon and back for the last 10 years.
Pick: Lesnar wins the WWE Title
Those are my picks jabronis, please add your own below. I love it when you do.
I think the buy-rate/watch-rate for Summerslam should be impressive considering the WWE Network has just launched in 170 new territories/countries. Here in the UK we have to wait until October for the Network to be rolled out… Which will make me a few quid poorer every month, but much richer in regards to wrestling content.
Over and out.