Summerslam is only 10 days away, and things are heating up as we inch closer towards WWE’s Biggest Party of the Summer. While the match card hasn’t been finalized yet, there are 10 bouts already on the show, so let’s take a look at the confirmed matches and speculate on what else could be added.
Make sure to check back on the site next Friday for our official preview & predictions post for both Summerslam and TakeOver Brooklyn III.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
I’m not as well versed on Smackdown feuds as I am with Raw, but WWE aren’t exactly the Coen Brothers when it comes to telling stories so I’m pretty sure I can figure things out. 2017 has been a frustrating year for Rusev. He missed WrestleMania due to a shoulder injury, got separated from Lana and when he finally debuted on Smackdown, he got thrown into a USA themed feud with John Cena that he obviously lost.
You’d think that’d be enough awfulness for one year, but now he’s slotted against Randy Orton, the man with less momentum than a nailed down piece of wood. Orton started the year off strong with a Royal Rumble win and a World title win at WrestleMania, but everything post Mania has been awful. He was in the House of Horrors match & has lost to Jinder Mahal three pay per views in a row. Even though he inexplicably got a clean non title win over Mahal on Tuesday, he’s still tanking.
In a perfect world, this would be a spot to give Rusev a win at a major pay per view over someone with name value, but we do not live in a perfect world. RKO out of somewhere will win it for Orton.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
If you’ve been following the story of Bray Wyatt, you know all his storylines have three acts. Act 1. Start a feud by teleporting in and costing someone a match. Act 2. build up that feud with teleportation/spooky dark room promos. Act 3. Lose the match at a pay per view. We’re all the way though act 1 and almost through act 2, so the only thing left for Wyatt to do is lose to Balor at Summerslam. I really hope I’m wrong, but Balor hasn’t done much since returning from injury, and he wasn’t even on the GBOF card. Wyatt beat Rollins at that show, which was nice, but his track record causes me to believe he’s going to lose to Balor at the more important PPV.
This one could go either way, but I’m leaning towards Balor.
Big Cass vs. Big Show (Enzo Amore will be suspended in a shark cage above the ring)
Dear lord please let this be the blow off match. The Enzo & Cass feud has been going in circles for what feels like forever, and adding Big Show into the mix hasn’t exactly been refreshing. I’ve read a few articles that think this has been a long con between Enzo & Cass and they’ll turn on the Big Show, but that’d be a hell of a lot of work for a mediocre result. I wouldn’t mind Enzo/Cass teaming back up as heels to add some depth to the tag division, but there’s no way WWE is doing that. Enzo in a shark cage means there’s a 1,000% chance he’s dropping something into the ring that’s meant for Big Show, but will end up Big Cass’s hands when the referee is knocked out or sleeping or trying to hang himself from boredom.
Big Cass by default.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
With Cena presumably fading into the Hollywood sunset this fall, this should be a spotlight win for Baron Corbin. I know this argument comes up every time Cena fights a younger guy in a big match, but John literally gains nothing with a win here, while Corbin could gain so much. He already has the MITB briefcase, and assuming Nakamura wins the title (which I’ll get to later) giving Corbin a win over Cena would make him that much more dangerous as he chases Nak.
It doesn’t even need to be a clean win. Have him kick Cena in the dick, set him on fire, whatever. WWE baby faces will never be as popular as they want them to be unless they have a legitimate heel to oppose them. If Corbin beats Cena at Summerslam, he’ll be on his way to being a true threat to whoever is holding the title.
Baron Corbin, NO RAGRETS
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville (C) vs. Akira Tozawa
In my Raw review’s I’ve said that I’d be interested in pretty much anyone else challenging Neville for the Cruiserweight title. I don’t understand the appeal of having guys like Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik & Mustafa Ali waste away on 205 Live & Main Event while Tozawa is given a title shot. At the least this should be a multi man match, but since it’s one on one, all I want is for Neville to rip Tozawa’s arm off and beat Titus O’Neil with it.
Neville should win convincingly.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (C) vs. The Uso’s
New Day & The Uso’s have been having a very under the radar feud on Smackdown, and this is one of the matches I’m most excited for. As solid as Xavier Woods was at Battleground, the best wrestling version of New Day is always Big E & Kofi, so I’m glad to see they’ll be defending the straps. The Uso’s picked up a decisive win on Tuesday over Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger, and New Day also showed some much needed aggression in their post match attack. You get the sense that these two teams really dislike each other, which is an element that’s missing from a lot of modern day feuds. If they’re given as much time as they were at Battleground, this could turn into a classic.
This is a toss up for me, but if I HAD to choose, I’m going Uso’s.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi (C) vs. Natalya
It’s refreshing to see the Women’s title defended in a one on one match at a major pay per view. I understand the mindset of wanting to get as much people on the card as possible, but the title feels more important when there’s a standout challenger. It’s also nice to see Natalya given a title match at a major pay per view, and as the senior member of the Women’s division I think she and Naomi are going to put on a hell of a match. Summerslam is slated for 4 hours (plus a 2 hour pre show) so there’s no reason to not give each match the time it needs to tell a story. Similar to Mahal/Nakamura, the result of this match may not matter as Carmella should be lurking in the background with her MITB briefcase.
Naomi retains after a hard fought match, and Carmella capitalizes and cashes in.
WWE United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens (Shane McMahon as special guest referee)
Whenever you put AJ Styles and Kevin Owens together they have a chance to do something special, so my only request for this match is to let them do what they do best, which is wrestle and tell a story. I know that’s a lot to ask when Shane McMahon is the special guest referee, but this is a different Shane O Mac than the one we saw ref matches in the late 90s & early 2000s.
The general consensus is that this will lead to KO vs. Shane somewhere down the line (since we’ve already seen Shane vs. AJ) but again, all I want is for these two to wrestle their asses off. Leave the shenanigans for another day. This match doesn’t need AJ getting his foot stuck in the announce table or a confusing ending based on shoulder placement. You have two of the best wrestlers in the world in a title match at your second biggest pay per view. Let them work their magic.
I’m very into workhorse mid card champion AJ Styles, so I’m going with AJ.
WWE Championship Match: Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the match I’m most nervous about. While it’s great to see a fresh face as champion, Jinder Mahal’s title reign hasn’t been great. While a lot of that has to do with him only fighting Randy Orton, you also have to remember who Jinder Mahal was before this run. He was the third best member in 3MB during his former run and his most noteworthy moment during his last run on Raw was hitting Finn Balor too hard in the head. Just because he’s champion doesn’t mean he’s magically going to turn into AJ Styles in the ring.
Nakamura has also had some growing pains since debuting on the main roster. He’s had subpar matches with Ziggler, KO & Corbin, all of whom are capable of much more, especially against Nak. If Nakamura can’t have good to great matches with those three, is he capable of doing it with Jinder Mahal? Are we in for another bad match with Singh Brother interference? I always skew positive when it comes to pro wrestling, but this match doesn’t have a lot going for it.
Nakamura should win this match. Even if you have the Singh Brothers interfere, Nakamura is clearly the star of this match, and he should be able to overcome the odds and Kinshasa Jinder to win the belt. While Corbin could always cash in his MITB briefcase post match, don’t forget about John Cena. I can picture a scenario where Corbin beats Cena, and then Cena stops a possible cash in on new champion Nakamura, someone who Cena has already shown has earned his respect.
Fatal 4 Way Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe
The biggest compliment I can give this match is that no result would surprise me. If Lesnar wins and retains the title somehow, it would make sense because he’s Brock Lesnar. If Samoa Joe or Strowman win, you’re giving them their first major title win at your second biggest pay per view. If Rollins & Ambrose win the tag titles earlier in the night and help Reigns win the Universal title in the main event I’ll probably lose consciousness.
The biggest stipulation is the announcement that if Lesnar loses, he’ll leave WWE. It’s no secret that he wants back in the UFC, and it’s tough to train for that and appear for WWE at the same time. As awesome as Brock is, he’s always better in small doses, and he doesn’t need the title. He can show up and murder everyone every 6 months or so until he’s 60. If his heart is set on returning to the UFC, let him do it and then welcome him back with open arms if he wants to return.
My heart is set on Samoa Joe winning here, so that’s who I’m going with. Lesnar leaves temporarily, Strowman & Reigns become de facto number one contenders and Joe gets a title he almost over deserves.
There are already 10 confirmed matches, but that will immediately change to 12 after Monday’s Raw. Alexa Bliss will defend her Women’s title against the winner of Sasha Banks/Nia Jax & I’d expect Rollins & Ambrose vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the Raw tag belts to be announced as well. Goldust teased ‘an unveiling’ last Monday, so he should be on the card in some capacity. Miz vs. Jason Jordan? Hardy’s vs. The Club? Fashion Files? The sky is the limit for a 6 hour wrestling show, so make sure to check back next week for our official preview post.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Last night’s Raw was live from Toronto, and was the second to last episode before Summerslam on August 20th. Brock Lesnar showed up, but The Revival are hurt again, The Hardy’s & Elias Samson were MIA and Goldust is still stuck in a dark room somewhere. If you want to read last week’s review, you can find it here.
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And now, the review of the August 7, 2017 WWE RAW.
Paul Heyman Likes To Role Play
Now that The Miz has seemingly moved away from Dean Ambrose, I can fully appreciate him again. He’s the best guy Raw has on the microphone, and his small posse of cronies has given him even more confidence than normal, which is a delight. Miz opened last night’s show demanding Jason Jordan get in the ring and face the consequences for suplexing Miz into Dallas & Axel last week. Instead of JJ, Kurt Angle came out to announce Curtis Axel vs. JJ for the later in the night, and also announced that Miz had two very special guests: Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar.
Miz, Axel & Dallas sold the arrival of Lesnar perfectly, who always brings with him the sense of impending doom. Miz did his ‘when my hand goes up your mouth goes shut’ bit before Heyman could introduce his Beast, which was timed perfectly & also unexpected. Remember that mega confidence I was talking about earlier? Miz had it here, as he foolishly ran down Heyman & Lesnar, proclaiming Brock will lose at Summerslam & leave the WWE. Heyman’s response was to tell everyone watching that he loves to role play, and thankfully he meant in the wrestling ring & not the bedroom. Lesnar proceeded to murder Miz and his -tourage, and I’m always going to enjoy a segment where Brock throws guys around rather than standing/bouncing in place, so this opening segment worked for me.
Groundhog Day Part 1
Seth Rollins took on Sheamus last week because Cesaro & Sheamus rightfully pointed out that Rollins had zero friends. When you break up The Shield, it’s going to take a long time before people want to be your friend again, Seth. Rollins won via rollup but got annihilated post match by The Bar, and since Raw is just one big, continuous loop, we got Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus again last night. Sheamus won this match via a rollup, Rollins tried to take them both out post match but ended up getting annihilated again instead. Rollins confronted Ambrose backstage because Dean didn’t make the save, and please remember that confrontation later on when Ambrose takes on Cesaro.
“Let’s Go Jobber”
Jason Jordan was supposed to take on Curtis Axel, but Brock Lesnar beat him up so badly in the opening segment that he wasn’t cleared to wrestle. That’s probably the most realistic thing that’s happened on Raw in months. Since Axel couldn’t compete, we were able to get a peek inside of Kurt Angle’s mind and see how he books matches, which we now know is him frantically looking around until he sees someone in wrestling gear. Axel’s replacement is Jean-Pierre Goulet, and if you didn’t watch the match last night or don’t’ feel like watching the video above, just picture a grizzly bear fighting your elderly neighbor. Jordan beats him quickly, and if you want to know how much the Toronto crowd was into JJ, they chanted ‘let’s go jobber’ during the match. Jordan is still a can’t miss athlete, but they need to switch up his theme and give him one of Kurt Angle’s finishers ASAP. If he’s supposed to be Angle’s son, at least give him something of Angle’s that the crowd would recognize. As far as his theme goes, he could come out to a recording of people screaming in pain and it would be an improvement.
The Tragedy of Bayley
Bayley faced Nia Jax last week and took a nasty bump on her shoulder that looked more like an injury than a wrestler selling something for a match, and it turns out it was a legit injury. She’s out of the Women’s title match at Summerslam, and there were two triple threat matches to determine who would fight in a one on one number one contender match next week. Before the first triple threat, Bayley came out to thank the WWE Universe for their well wishes, and it turned out that none of those well wishes came from Toronto. The crowd booed her pretty consistently, and people online who got upset at that need to remember that the crowd is booing the character, not the person. Booing Bayley’s character is probably the nicest thing you can do at this point, because she’s been a pile of garbage for pretty much the entire year. You never want to see anyone get hurt, but Bayley needs some time to make a lot of adjustments if she’s going to be successful on Raw.
The first triple threat featuring Sasha, Emma & Alicia Fox is the better of the two, but neither match was that impressive. I know Alicia Fox is more lanky than your average human, but it baffles me that she can’t keep her shoulders on the mat when someone is trying to pin her. The referees are taught to treat each match like a shoot fight, so they’re only counting pins if both shoulders are down. Alicia flails around so much that she almost never has two shoulders on the mat, and it causes the ref to awkwardly pause before he starts counting. The finishing sequence was pretty slick, as Sasha had Alicia in the Banks Statement, but Emma ran in to roll up Sasha. After a two count, Sasha countered the pin fall into another Banks Statement on Emma to pick up the win.
Groundhog Day Parts 2 & 3
I’m going to link these two segments together because they’re the same thing we saw last week in the case of Wyatt & Balor, and in the case of Big Show, Cass & Enzo, it’s the same thing we’ve seen since the late 60’s. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m firmly on team Cass. Enzo came out last night to introduce the Big Show/cut a promo on The Club and then proceeded to have the Big Show basically fight a handicap match against Gallows & Anderson.
Show does good until Big Cass shows up to cause a distraction which allows Gallows & Anderson to take out Show. Since Enzo can’t do anything on his own, he immediately gets laid out and loses the match. So Cass’s big speech last month about Enzo running his mouth and not being able to back it up continues to be true, and Big Show has replaced Cass as the guy who has to continually fend off 2 on 1 attacks because his smaller, louder friend won’t shut up.
In case you thought this feud couldn’t get any worse, it’s announced later in the night that Big Cass will take on Big Show at Summerslam with Enzo Amore suspended above the ring in a shark cage. The only way that match would interest me is if there were actual sharks in the cage with Enzo.
Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt play a game of teleportation musical chairs, and the only thing of note during this segment was Balor’s fixation on popping his collar after every movement. I was hoping we’d see Demon Finn at Summerslam, but at this point there’s no reason to bring back the Demon unless Wyatt does something that warrants it.
Presented by Mercury Insurance
The best match of the night by a mile is Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose, which was oddly presented by Mercury insurance:
It’s one thing to have a brand sponsor a segment, but it’s another to have an obscure insurance company sponsor a segment. Tune in next week when Twin’s Pizza presents Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro (little Rhode Island joke). The match itself was very good, and whenever Cesaro is given 15 minutes or more of ring time, it always makes me wonder why he isn’t ALWAYS given 15 minutes or more of ring time. If he can get a good, engaging match out of Dean Ambrose then he’s a modern day miracle worker, and even though the finish was lame the match itself was good enough to make up for it.
Since Sheamus beat Rollins with a roll up earlier, it would only make sense for Ambrose to beat Cesaro via a roll up after a botched distraction from Sheamus. The Bar proceed to beat up Ambrose again until The Man Who Has No Friends™ Seth Rollins comes out for the save. Remember that backstage segment where Rollins yelled at Ambrose for not helping him and telling him to get over the fact that he beat up his two best friends with steel chairs to join The Authority? Well Dean decided he’s over it, and extended his fist for an old fashioned Shield fist bump, only for Rollins to refuse it and walk away. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Ariya Daivari & Akira Tozawa fought each other again, and it was another meaningless, two minute Cruiserweight match. I’ll never understand how WWE has 3 hours every Monday night yet can’t give us an exciting 10-12 minute Cruiserweight match. Or why they’ll pick Daivari & Tozawa to fight each other when Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Neville, Gran Metalik & Mustafa Ali are all on the roster.
Nia Jax, All Day Everyday
Once Sasha won her match earlier in the night and you saw that Nia Jax was facing Mickie James & Dana Brooke in the second triple threat match, it was pretty clear who would be facing Sasha next week. You could’ve thrown Jean-Pierre Goulet back out there and Nia still would’ve wrecked everybody. The match is short and sweet, which it should be when these three are involved, and although Nia vs. Sasha was extremely predictable, it’ll end up being a good #1 contender’s match next week. Will there be a clean winner, or are we headed towards a triple threat title match at Summerslam?
Goldust is still stuck in a dark room somewhere talking to a camera, and while I’d rather watch him feuding with somebody in the ring, at least it looks like we’re going to get some type of debut at Summerslam. Goldust teased the unveiling of his latest masterpiece and that it could be a man or a woman. Are we getting a debut? Repackaging of someone already on Raw? You’ve got my attention, Golden One.
Last Monster Standing
We’ve seen Strowman vs. Reigns a lot this summer, and it’s always good to great. Last night’s Last Man Standing match started off slow but picked up the pace when they got outside the ring, and the highlight of the match (and night) was Strowman’s chair throw:
You knew Joe was going to interfere because he’s also in the Fatal 4 Way and we hadn’t seem him all night, but it didn’t really make sense to have interference in this match. Nobody came out looking that good: Joe sneak attacked and choked out Reigns; Reigns loses the match; Strowman should have lost the match, but only won because someone else took out Reigns and he stood up before the 10 count. Speaking of standing up before the 10 count – why did the referee stop the count on Strowman when Joe attacked Reigns? It’s a no DQ match, so Joe attacking Reigns shouldn’t have stopped the count on Strowman, and the ref was already at 8 before Joe started to choke out Reigns. Strowman was down for another 10 seconds or more after the Joe attack, so the match should’ve ended there. If WWE is going to book these stipulation heavy matches, they should at least come up with an ending that make sense. Give me more chair throwing and less guys winning because they stood up faster.
After last night’s Smackdown broadcast, Daniel Bryan joined Renee Young for ‘Talking Smack’ like he always does. During the final segment, the Miz interrupted Young and Bryan and asked why he and his IC title haven’t been featured more on Smackdown. Well The Miz got his answer, and it was a real one: Daniel Bryan thinks the Miz fights like a coward, and embodies that soft style that WWE used to be known for. Now, there’s going to a lot of discussion about what happened next, and my opinion on it is that it went down pretty much exactly as it what supposed to. You don’t have a guy interrupt a segment asking why he isn’t featured, then get called out for being a coward AND then have him cut the promo of his life by accident. Daniel Bryan walking off and Renee Young not knowing what to do made the entire segment that much more compelling, and this is the type of realistic stuff the WWE should be doing. If someone calls you a coward in real life, that is how you’d respond. I’m not saying everyone will be able to handle cutting this type of promo, but you know Miz can, and he went out and delivered. The only thing that would’ve made this better is if Daniel Bryan wasn’t seriously hurt and could get back in the ring and rip Miz’s arms off.
The biggest party of the summer is once again emanating from Brooklyn, New York, as the WWE holds their annual Summerslam pay per view this Sunday night. This year’s card is pretty incredible, and that shouldn’t surprise WWE fans, as more times than not in the recent past, Summerslam has been a very good show. Summerslam 2013 featured Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Championship, only to have special guest referee HHH take him out and allow Randy Orton to cash in his MITB briefcase. That kicked off one of the more memorable Road to WrestleMania’s, which culminated in Daniel Bryan putting on the best one man show in WM history and winning back the WWE Championship in the main event. Summerslam 2014 featured one of my favorite matches, as Brock Lesnar surprisingly decimated John Cena on his way to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. While last year’s Undertaker/Lesnar main event fell flat, the overall card was solid, and it officially brought Seth Rollins to the big boys table after he defeated John Cena. What will this year’s event bring? Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Eva Marie, Natalya and Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella, Naomi and Becky Lynch
So Sami Zayn doesn’t have a match at Summerslam but Eva Marie does. Nothing against Eva Marie, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Anyway, this match was made after last night’s Smackdown, and it’s should serve as a nice showcase for the six women who will eventually be fighting for the Smackdown’s Women’s title (if that ever becomes a thing). The positive side of not having a bunch of titles on each show is that it forces the creative team to come up with storylines that don’t revolve around two people vying for a championship. This should create more personal feuds, and whether it does or not will depend on the Smackdown writing team. As far as this match goes, it will be Carmella and Alexa Bliss’s first WWE pay per view, so it’d be cool to see them involved in the finish in some way. With Ms. All Red Everything involved though, I can see Alexa or Natalya landing a knockout blow during a fracas and Eva Marie sneaking in for a pin to claim the victory.
Prediction: Eva Marie, Natalya & Alexa Bliss
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
These four guys have been given the opening segment for the two out of three Raw’s, and have given us a thoroughly entertaining feud. 2016 Jericho continues to be great, and somehow gets better when you pair him with Kevin Owens. I love that Owens has hated Enzo and Cass since NXT, and that hatred has only gotten stronger now that they’re all on the main roster. The dynamic of Enzo and Cass works well too, as Enzo runs his mouth and clearly isn’t afraid of anybody, but doesn’t pose much of a physical threat until Big Cass gets involved. While I’d like Enzo & Cass to be in the tag title hunt, I’m perfectly OK with them mixing it up with two guys who know how to bring out the best in them. I have to assume that this Jericho/Owens tag team won’t last long, but I’m ok with it either way. Jericho is a tag team chameleon, so if they do stay together, why not let them make a run at the titles? If they don’t stay together, I’m all in for a Jericho/Owens feud, especially in the promo department.
Prediction: Enzo & Cass pick up a big win at a marque pay per view, continuing their rise to the top of the tag team division
IC Title Match: The Miz (C) vs. Apollo Crews
Now that the Miz’s fantastic feud with Darren Young is over, it’s time to give Apollo Crews something to work with. He came into NXT as a big new signee, but was never given much of a character and stalled out. He came onto the main roster as a fresh new thing, but was never given a character and is starting to stall out again. I’m a huge fan of the Miz, and he’s one of the best characters WWE has (especially with Maryse), but it’s time to get Crews going. He’s got a million dollar smile and for his build, he does some pretty amazing things. I have complete confidence that Miz can bring out the best in Crews, and put him over big time for what is hopefully a semi long title run.
Prediction: Apollo Crews
US Championship Match: Rusev (C) vs. Roman Reigns
This is a classic heart vs. brain match for me. My heart is, and will forever always be, with Rusev. He’s the most underrated guy on the roster and every time they’ve given him something to work with he’s knocked it out of the park. HE RODE A TANK TO THE RING AT WRESTLEMANIA. While I understand having Cena beat Rusev for the US title, they backed themselves into a corner by giving Rusev a long undefeated streak. Undefeated streaks in pro wrestling are the worst thing in the world because there is no good way to end them. The best example of this is Goldberg. The guy was the hottest thing in wrestling, held both the US and Heavyweight titles at the same time, and eventually lost because Scott Hall tazored him. Now Rusev finally has some momentum again and I have that feeling I had before WrestleMania 31 where WWE is going to have the hero come in and defeat the evil Russian, even though Rusev has been the good guy during every single moment of this feud. Remember last week when Rusev and Lana were innocently reenacting their wedding and Roman Reigns came out, unprovoked, and called Lana a mail order bride and made fun of Rusev because he couldn’t please his wife sexually on their wedding night? Remember when Roman Reigns complained and was just handed another title match? How does that make Reigns the hero in this feud? Add in the fact that Reigns is so goddamn boring, and I see no reason why Rusev should lose. Which brings me to my prediction…
Prediction: Roman Reigns. Let’s just move on.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus: Best of 7 Series Kickoff Match
While I love this move by GM Mick Foley, I do wish this had been set up prior to Cesaro and Sheamus already fighting twice on Raw. If Cesaro loses this series, shouldn’t he be furious that Foley basically ignored two hard fought, clean victories? I understand you can’t start a best of 7 series 2-0, but why not start this up a few weeks ago when Foley said he wanted to see who the better man was? If you make the best of 7 series then, you could make the Summerslam match number 3 or 4 in the series, and possibly continue it through the fall. Instead, WWE hits the reset button and we’re just supposed to forget that Cesaro has already beaten Sheamus twice. With that said, we should get a great match at Summerslam with a decent story behind it, so I’m all for it. While Sheamus is very good in the ring, his character is so bland it’s tough to care about him either way. Cesaro has all the talent in the world, but WWE just won’t let him get any continued momentum, so it’s tough for the casual fan to root for him. Hopefully this is the start of an extended showcase for both wrestlers with Cesaro eventually coming out on top.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Since coming to the WWE, AJ Styles has been one of their best performers. He had a great feud with Jericho, then slid into the #1 contenders spot and put on a few classic matches with Roman Reigns. Now he’s going up against Mr. Superman and even though he’s already beat him once (CLEAN) they’re having a rematch. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen here. It’s almost the same thing as Rusev/Reigns, except on a much bigger scale. Styles has a chance to be one of if not THE top guy in WWE, but he has to go through John Cena to get there. Kevin Owens tried, and failed. Rusev tried, and failed. Bray Wyatt tried, and failed. Why would Styles be any different? A classic John Cena feud has him lose at a B pay per view, then get his win back at a bigger show. Guess what? AJ Styles beat John Cena at MITB, and now they’re fighting at Summerslam, a much bigger show. History tells us John Cena is going to win, and there’s a reason I use that picture above for every Cena match I preview. While I’d love to happily be proved wrong, I’m going with Superman.
Prediction: John Cena
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
If you held this match before UFC 200, Brock Lesnar would eat Randy Orton for lunch. Lesnar was as unstoppable as anyone in recent memory until he decided to go back to the UFC and fail a few drug tests. While WWE doesn’t have the power to suspend him, they have to be embarrassed and upset at Brock to act as carelessly as he did, especially given the circumstances of WWE suspending Reigns shortly afterwards. Regardless of UFC fights and drug test failures, Lesnar steps back into the ring for the first time since WrestleMania as he takes on Randy Orton at Summerslam. While Lesnar hasn’t fought since WM, Orton is coming off of an almost year long hiatus due to injury, and although he’s fought a few matches on Smackdown since coming back, nothing can really prepare you for The Beast Incarnate. As much as I’d love to see Brock destroy Orton a la John Cena at Summerslam 2014, I just don’t see it happening. The WWE loves that ‘RKO Outta Nowhere’ talking point, and it really fits into this storyline perfectly. Whether Lesnar wins or loses, he should dominate the match, until an RKO Outta Nowhere surprises him and gives Orton the win. As I said before, I bet the original plan for this match was for Brock to return and destroy a worthy competitor in Orton, but now I’m not so sure. Vince McMahon was kind enough to let Lesnar fight in the UFC while under contract with the WWE, and Lesnar basically spit in his face. The Beast is going to have to pay for that.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (Kofi & Xavier) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
This is an interesting match, and it has rematch written all over it. As much I love Xavier Woods, the best in-ring version of New Day is Kofi & Big E. Now that Big E has suffered a ‘contusion to his groin area’ at the hands of Anderson & Gallows, New Day is forced to defend the tag titles with the team of Xavier and Kofi. Does Big E make a surprise comeback and help New Day retain? Or do Gallows and Anderson take advantage of the weakened unit and win tag team gold? New Day has done a lot of good as tag team champions, but they are way overdue for a loss. Similar to having Styles beat Cena, having Gallows and Anderson go over the longest reigning tag team champions of the modern era at Summerslam would be huge for them. Why bring these guys in from Japan if you’re not going to do something with them? Plus, you have a built in excuse for a rematch with the Big E injury, so why not give your new tag team a big win at a major event? Give Karl Anderson and his hot Asian wife a reason to celebrate.
Prediction: Gallows & Anderson
Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte
‘Women’s Championship’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? After suffering through the Diva’s division for so long, its nice to see the women slowly but surely making headway on the main roster. If there’s any two women the WWE Universe can thank for that, it’s Sasha Banks & Charlotte. They (along with Bayley and Becky Lynch) tore it up in NXT and forced WWE to start recognizing women for their in ring talent and not just because they looked good in a bikini. Sasha & Charlotte had the best one on one main roster women’s singles match on Raw a few weeks back, so if this match is anything close to that, it’ll be fantastic. Dana Brooke being banned from ringside is an interesting twist, and I can see either Ric Flair coming out or Dana dressed as Ric to try and cause some interference. Regardless of outside interference, the title has to stay on The Boss here. Sasha is not only the best in the ring, but she has a strong connection with the fans which goes back to her time in NXT and her look and personality give her a strong mainstream appeal. If the rumors of Charlotte taking time off are true, that’s just another reason to keep Sasha as the champion and to develop a new round of challengers for The Boss to dispatch. Don’t be surprised if Nia Jax makes a post match appearance as well to set up the next Women’s championship feud.
Prediction: Sasha Banks
WWE World Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
This has been one of the more enjoyable feuds on the card, and it’s safe to say no one is enjoying the brand split more than Dolph Ziggler. He’s looked like a star since the first Smackdown Live and hasn’t looked back. I really like Ambrose as the figure head for Smackdown as well, because he’s a great talker and while he might not be the greatest threat in the ring, he figures out a way to get the job done. When Ziggler became #1 contender, it was an interesting dynamic because both wrestlers were baby faces, but Ambrose has slowly been turning heel over the last few weeks. While I doubt he goes full heel, it does give this match a little more suspense than before. Will Ambrose cheat to win? Ziggler is a good guy based on fan reactions, but is he above cheating to finally stand alone at the top? I expect this to be an expertly wrestled match, and as much as I’ll be rooting for Ziggler, I think Ambrose deserves a longer title reign.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
WWE Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
While I’m pretty sure Orton/Lesnar will go on last, I think that’s a mistake. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor to crown the first ever Universal Champion should absolutely be the main event, and the WWE is crazy if they do anything else. Balor is the MAN. He’s got the entrance, the charisma, the look, the in ring skills; whatever you’re looking for, Finn Balor has it. He’s made every promotion he’s ever worked for better just by being in it, whether it be NJPW or NXT. If WWE gives him a real shot, he’ll do the same thing for Monday Night Raw. Balor had one of the best in ring debuts ever a few weeks ago, and he can’t ask for a better dance partner than Rollins at Summerslam. Since separating from The Shield and cashing in his MITB briefcase at WrestleMania 31, Rollins has been the standard bearer for the WWE. While they wasted his talent by turning him into a cry baby champion, Rollins still made the best of it and turned into a heel who was impossible to boo. His injury came at an inopportune time, but he busted his butt to get back, and now finds himself right back where he belongs: fighting for a title. If this was Rollins vs. Balor, I’d give the edge to Rollins and have him be the first Universal Champion. Unfortunately for Seth, Finn Balor is bringing The Demon with him to Summerslam. While The Demon has lost in NXT, it’d be a mistake to have him lose his first appearance at a major pay per view. The fact that Rollins is focusing so heavily on The Demon gives me hope that Rollins will unleash a demon side of his own at Summerslam, but either way, I’m going with Finn.
Prediction: Finn Balor
WWE had to deliver on the first night of the ‘new era Raw’, and that’s exactly what they did. The two big stories coming out of last night’s show were of course Finn Balor becoming the #1 contender for the new Universal title (on his first night on Raw) and Sasha Banks finally winning the Women’s Title in probably the best 1 on 1 main roster women’s match ever. If you thought Trish Stratus and Lita were studs in the ring, go back and watch Sasha and Charlotte blow away any of those matches, including the one that main evented a Raw. Beyond those two matches, we had two fatal four way matches, a new contender step up to New Day, Nia Jax and Braun Strowman assert their dominance and for the first time in a long time, a fresh feeling to a Monday Night Raw. The set was different, the announce table was put up towards the entrance ramp and announcers were in the ring before and after matches getting competitors reactions. I loved everything about last night’s show, and this should only be the beginning.
A couple random thoughts:
Finn Balor might’ve had the best wrestling debut in WWE history. Guys have had more memorable debuts, but as far as showing what you can do in the ring, I can’t remember a guy looking better. On the same night he turned 35, he made his Raw debut and beat Cesaro, Rusev, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. The last win against Reigns put him in the (Raw) main event at Summerslam where he’ll fight Seth Rollins for the brand new Universal Title. It just doesn’t get better than that. I hope that Stephanie sides with Rollins and HHH returns to side with Balor, and that Balor wins the title and HHH and Rollins go on to duke it out to see who is the true master of the pedigree.
While Balor had an incredible debut, my favorite moment was Banks winning the title. Her and Charlotte had the match of the night, and it’s so much fun watching these women get a chance to pull out all the stops and really deliver. Sasha is ‘the boss’ in every way possible, and Bayley needs to get up here ASAP so they can tear every single arena down.
My new favorite tweet:
— Brazzers (@Brazzers) July 26, 2016
Raw was live last night from Tampa, Florida, and compared to the last four or five shows, this wasn’t WWE’s best effort. It’s hard to put on an entertaining shows every week, but when you retread all the matches or feuds from your last pay per view two weeks ago, you shouldn’t be surprised when people think it’s crap. Seth Rollins is pulling double duty at Night of Champions, Nikki Bella has a new #1 contender for her Diva’s title and Xavier Woods has a beautiful head of hair. Let’s get to the 5 stars from last nights Raw!
Sting opened Raw with a promo, and it worked for one main reason: he got right to the point. He doesn’t necessarily have a beef with Seth Rollins, but he wants the WWE title, the one major championship that not only has eluded him, but that he’s never gotten the chance to fight for. Sting isn’t some guy looking for his 20th title shot before he retires; he’s looking to add another notch to his belt, and if he’s going to finally debut in the WWE, why not get a title shot too? The Authority continue to make no sense, as not only do they grant Sting a title shot at Night of Champions, but they also grant John Cena a rematch for his US title as well. Cena’s argument is that ‘all the titles must be on the line at NOC’ but they’re THE AUTHORITY. They make all the rules. Stephanie McMahon could have easily just said ‘actually John, no. You’re not getting a shot’, but instead, Seth Rollins has to pull double duty. Logically it makes zero sense, but I’m assuming Cena wins and Rollins beats Sting so Cena can prove he’s better than the WWE Champion and Sting in one night.
2. Kevin Owens & Cesaro
These two had a great match at Summerslam, and they continued to show their in ring chemistry last night as well. My only problem with the match was what the point of it? It was a great back and forth match with a logical ending, but what was the point? Did Cesaro really have to lose to Owens again? I’m all for pushing Kevin Owens to the moon, but it wouldn’t hurt to build up multiple guys at the same time. Summerslam happened and Cesaro lost, so that’s done, but don’t throw him out there again and again just to lose. Pretty soon we’ll be back at square one again with Cesaro, and all that momentum he had after the Cena matches will be gone. You don’t want every match to end in a distraction or count out or DQ, but throw my man Cesaro a bone once in awhile. As for Owens, he’s looked great on the main roster lately, and he’s getting decisive wins without looking like a cool bad guy. He’s an opportunist with a mean streak, and as long as he stays 1,000 miles away from John Cena I’m ok with it.
3. Braun Strowman
Speaking of guys getting solid pushes, Braun Strowman had his debut match against Dean Ambrose, and while he doesn’t get a clean win, he comes off looking like a superhuman powerhouse. My eternal hope is that Wyatt uses Strowman to strong arm his way to a title match (any title. I’m not picky) but for now it’s not a bad idea to show just how monstrous Strowman is. I wouldn’t mind a little variety here, as you don’t want him to beat up Ambrose and Reigns every week, but this segment accomplished what it set out to, which is to showcase Braun. He’s a little shaky in the ring and he overdid it a little bit with the monster voice, but when you’re his size and you have Wyatt and Harper by your side, you’re pretty protected. The WWE doesn’t need Strowman to have 25 minute classics, they need him to be the monster that he is. It’s an old school kind of build, especially the no sell of the chair shot, but I love it. There’s an absence of supernatural in today’s WWE, so here’s hoping the Wyatt Family gets to run with this for awhile.
4. New Day
— Riz. (@johncenaAm) September 1, 2015
That hair deserves its own bronze statue. It’s no trombone version of ‘New York, New York’, but it’s still beautiful, and my favorite part of the New Day grouping is that they switch things up every time out. Sometimes they skip and clap, sometimes they sing cover version of songs with a trombone, and now they’re trying to preserve tables in bubble wrap. They are the E in WWE because they’re entertaining as hell, and they’re also great in the ring. You can argue that the Dudleyz getting a non title win is kind of silly, but it does set up an interesting triple threat possibility at Night of Champions. The PTP still have a rematch coming their way, and the Dudleyz have done nothing but win since their re-debut. I wouldn’t hate an old school TLC match at Night of Champions, but I’ll settle for any variation of a triple threat at this point. As long as Big E gets to dance I’m in.
5. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins, from a character and wrestling standpoint, is holding the WWE together right now. Whenever he wrestles, he has without a doubt the best match on the card, and his promos lately have been getting much better. He still takes too long to prove his point, but I have a feeling that’s half Rollins and half WWE telling him he has 20 minutes for a promo. The Rock couldn’t make a 20 minute promo good, never mind Seth Rollins. I’m also starting to root for him in this whole Authority storyline. They continue to tell him to prove himself, and while he doesn’t win every match clean, he’s still the champion, which is really all that matters. Yet The Authority continues to put him in situations like Battleground, where he had to fight Lesnar, and now Night of Champions, where he has to wrestle twice and defend both titles. The guy is getting the short end of the stick, and I’m assuming all this HHH talk is leading to a HHH/Rollins match down the line, which is fine, because if there’s one guy HHH is putting over 100%, it’s Rollins. Seth is at the top of his game right now, and the only guy he should lose the WWE championship to is Lesnar, which I’m going to assume is what’s happening at Hell in a Cell. Have Rollins lose the strap, redeem himself against HHH and then embark on his own so we see what he can do.
The Raw after Summerslam was last night from Brooklyn, and it had a ‘Raw after WrestleMania’ feel to it. There were a few MAJOR surprises, and we even got our main event for next month’s Night of Champions pay per view. Let’s get to the five stars from last night’s Raw!
1. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar
It’s kind of a given that these two were one of the best parts of Raw, but as much as I hate to see Lesnar lose, the night after promos by Heyman are a thing of beauty. To say Lesnar lost in controversial fashion at Summerslam would be an understatement, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a match end like that in all my years of watching wrestling. Yes it protects both guys and yes it sets up some interesting scenarios in the future, but I do have a problem with that being your main event, especially when Seth Rollins beat John Cena to become the first ever WWE and US Champion earlier in the night. I would have rather Summerslam gone off the air with Rollins celebrating with both belts instead of Lesnar death staring a referee. With that said, Heyman’s promo here was great, and if they’re setting up a winner take all third match where Lesnar officially retires Taker in Dallas then I’m all in. Supplementary best to Bo Dallas, who I’m pretty sure is buried under the ring in Brooklyn right now. Those German suplexes looked brutal as hell.
2. New Day
Is New Day a real thing anymore or are the best parts of my brain coming together to make me hallucinate this wonderfulness?First we got this amazing dance after they won the tag titles at Summerslam:
I could do the Big E dance, that’s how awake I am pic.twitter.com/xuAwTdltN6
— Sahpy (@sahpy4) August 24, 2015
Then they came to the ring last night to sing a cover version of ‘New York, New York’ with Xavier Woods on the trombone. I really don’t think they can get any more entertaining than they are now, but I know they’ll one up themselves. With Rusev wasting away in a stupid jealously angle with Ziggler, New Day are now far and away my favorite part of every wrestling show. The best part is they can also back up their shenanigans with solid tag team wrestling. Xavier Woods as the obnoxious, trombone playing mouth piece followed up by the speed and power of Kofi and Big E should be what the tag team division is built around. I can’t think of one team I wouldn’t want to see feud/fight with New Day, which brings me to my next point…
3. The Mother Fucking Dudley Boyz Are Back
After New Day disposed of the Lucha Dragons, they began celebrating in the ring again, which brought out BUBBA RAY & DEVON DUDLEY. If you told me I could somehow be happier while watching New Day celebrate a victory, I’d call you a liar, but then the Dudley Boyz came out and my heart and brain simultaneously exploded. The thing about tag team wrestling is that a team like the Dudley’s, who were never built around great technical wrestling, can realistically wrestle forever. They’re money on the microphone and they can put over any team in the tag team division because they’re legitimately the most decorated team of all time. Just listen to the pop from the crowd last night. It was deafening, and you know Bubba Ray has been dying to come in and reignite the tag team division, and you can have confidence that the Dudley Boyz will do it with no ego attached. They’re not the New Age Outlaws coming back to prove how much better their era was; they’re just a great tag team who wants to work with the young guys and put on some great matches. Awesome move by WWE bringing Bubba Ray and Devon back.
4. The Wyatt Family
Bray and Luke Harper lost clean as a whistle to Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose at Summerslam, so when they announced a rematch on Raw I was hoping for something different to happen. Braun Stowman was that something different. Stowman is a legitimate former tough man competitor, and even without seeing him wrestle, his size brings instant credibility and fear to the Wyatt Family. This is the Bray Wyatt I wanted all along. He didn’t have to be like the NWO and recruit every guy under the sun, but if you’re billing him as this cult leader who can persuade people with his words, shouldn’t he have some followers? Harper and Rowan were a good start, but then they disbanded them, and now it looks like the WWE is ready to take Wyatt seriously again. I don’t know if this means Reigns and Ambrose get a third guy as well or if Reigns just overcomes the odds Cena style, but I like where this is headed. Let Stowman wreak havoc on the WWE until Bray Wyatt get’s that long deserved WWE title shot.
The main event of Raw was Seth Rollins well deserved statue ceremony, and wrestling 101 tells you that anytime there is a structure in the ring that everyone tells you is going to be one thing, it will most certainly be something different. We already knew Rollins was going to be in the main event scene for the next decade, but his match against Cena just cemented that mindset. He was amazing, and hey, a heel cheated to win a match. What a peculiar concept. Out of that win came the statue ceremony last night, and instead of Rollins’ new bronze statue, he was greeted by Sting. Obviously there was a lot of online complaining about this, particularly about the fact that they used that big spot on Sting and not a young guy, but fans who complain about that don’t understand what’s happening. Say the WWE put Cesaro behind that curtain. From a story telling standpoint, would the reaction and subsequent match at Night of Champions have been better or worse? The answer is worse, and I’m saying that as a Cesaro fan. The WWE’s goal is to make Seth Rollins THE MAN, and you do that by beating established guys, not by beating guys who need a big push of their own. I have complete faith that Rollins and Sting will have a great match at Night of Champions, and the mind games leading up to it will be even better. Sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy the show, and let a grown man in face paint beat the crap out of somebody.
WWE’s monster weekend will continue on Sunday night as Summerslam is live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the same venue that will host TakeOver the night before and Raw the night after. For the first time ever, Summerslam is four hours long, which is both a tribute and a sad reminder of how stacked WWE’s roster is. For as talented as they are, and as great as the matches will be, it’s still tough to think of how much better the event would be with some solid lead up writing. The show is headlined by the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar rematch and the title vs. title bout between John Cena and Seth Rollins. Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. Team PCB (Divas Elimination Match)
I believe the stipulation for this match states that only one member of each team needs to pinned or submitted for that team to be eliminated. If I had to pick the most logical situation, it would be Nikki Bella getting submitted by either Sasha or Charlotte, which would finally set up some kind of Diva’s title structure. No other scenario makes any sense, and if the WWE does anything else they’re proving they don’t mind staying stagnant. The only problem with that is they keep labeling this as a ‘revolution’. Revolutions do not stay stagnant, they evolve. As great as the women’s wrestling has been, it’s also been aimless. Becky Lynch is tapping out Tamina and Sasha is tapping out Nikki and nothing is changing. The rumor is WWE is stalling for the next month until Nikki becomes the longest reigning Divas champion ever, but it’s time to shit or get off the pot. I have Sasha losing the night before to Bayley, so now all three NXT women should be hungry for the Diva’s title. If I had to bet, I’d say Charlotte gets first crack at it.
Prediction: Charlotte figure 8’s Nikki for the win.
The Prime Time Players (C) vs. Los Matadores vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day (WWE Tag Team Championship Match)
As great as the PTP have been as champions both in the ring and on commentary, I’m not pure evil, and I can’t root against the New Day (just look at that gif above. LOOK AT IT). Between the skipping and clapping on their way to ring, Xavier Woods’ ringside commentary and their general wonderfulness, New Day has consistently been the best act on WWE TV for awhile. Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores both equally have a zero percent change of winning, but they should contribute to the overall match. I’m pulling for a New Day win, and the way they’ve been losing lately, I can see Xavier Woods getting the best of El Torito and everyone else and helping his partners win back the belts.
Prediction: per usual, heart > head: New. Day Rocks.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Rusev, along with New Day, are my favorite characters on WWE TV. Every time he talks on the microphone it’s wonderful, whether he’s giving Summer Lana a dog (named DOG ZIGGLER) or threatening to break people into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle, he always nails it. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much of his ring ability lately, as he’s been relegated to murdering Mark Henry’s lifeless corpse for the last few weeks. That should change Sunday, and Rusev should look good, because he’s facing the human selling machine in Ziggler. Usually when WWE runs angles like this, a guy like Ziggler will come out on top, but Ziggler loses pretty much every match he’s ever in, so I’m going with Rusev. Lana keeps goading Summer and Rusev into these arguments and attacks by continually showing up on commentary for Rusev’s matches, so I kind of hope she gets knocked out by Summer. Side by side accolades while Rusev’s personalized Bulgarian flag floats down from the ceiling would make my heart explode with joy.
Stephen Amell And Neville vs. Stardust And King Barrett
I think this might be the sleeper match of the night. You have three excellent talents matched up with an athletic celebrity who genuinely enjoys WWE and can pick his spots to look good. Amell is a physical freak, as shown by his quickness on Raw a few weeks ago, and he’s matched up with Neville, who I’m still not sure is a real human being. Amell and Neville are definitely going over, but I have faith that Stardust and the ‘Cosmic King’ will make the match entertaining. With 9 other matches on the card, this one should definitely stand out, and I hope Amell and Neville have a unique entrance planned. The Red & Green Arrow together is too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Prediction: Amell and Neville.
Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match)
I’m not really into this match, and I can’t imagine many people are, but when you have 10 matches on a card you kind of have to defend one of the main titles. Ryback is the latest victim of the IC title curse, and just recently returned from an injury and a staph infection. Big Show is Big Show, what you see is what you get, and Miz is desperately trying to get this feud over, but it feels like it’s been going on forever. When in doubt, the champion retains, which is what should happen here. Maybe phase Show out and have Ryback feud with Miz, or just start from scratch and give Ryback some fresh meat.
Prediction: The Big Guy.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
I really hope Orton and Sheamus put their thinking caps on Sunday night, because if they don’t, the Brooklyn crowd is going to eat them alive. This is one of those matches that HAS to be placed perfectly on the card. Their best bet is to go second after a really hot opener of either Owens/Cesaro or the Divas, because if they go too late in the show the crowd will get restless and just shit all over them. These guys are both methodical, and at this point in both of their careers are only tolerable when they have someone who contrast their style. Orton is based solely off his finisher, and so is Sheamus, and all their transition moves have been seen so many times you can pretty much watch their matches with your eyes closed and know what’s going to happen. That’s not a good thing. I have no idea what’s in store for Orton, but Sheamus has been getting pinned an awful lot lately, and it’d be smart for WWE to give Mr. MITB some forward momentum.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
I was going to list this match as my sleeper of the night, but when everyone is expecting it to be great and it still delivers, it’s kind of tough to label it a sleeper. I believe this match should open the show, go 20 minutes, and feature both guys figuratively saying “follow that”. You have four hours, why not? We’ve seen what both these guys can do, so I say just let them both loose and have them tear the damn house down. Cesaro is my favorite wrestler, but I’ve already come to the conclusion that he’s going to lose this one. Owens is more than likely losing at TakeOver, and losing twice in the same weekend in big time matches is not really the right direction for him. Once again, WWE has booked themselves into a corner with a young wrestler after a Cena feud, so Owens kind of has to win here to get back on track.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Title vs. Title Match)
This is the match that scares me the most, as do most Cena matches, and I can’t see it ending without a schmoz. Rollins defeating Cena and owning both belts just sets us up for Cena to win them both back down the line, and Cena winning both belts at any point makes me want to vomit. All this talk about Cena elevating the US Championship is great, but has he really? Is the US Championship really any more special than it was before Mania? Say a guy like Rusev wins it from Cena and just does what he did with it pre Mania, how would that change the perception of the belt? Cena has elevated himself, sure, and he’s tried to get back in the ‘internet’ fans good graces by giving all of our darlings (Cesaro, Neville, Rusev, Owens) title shots, but he’s continually won. I’m not drinking the John Cena Kool-Aid, because I really don’t think he’s done a thing for the US belt. And now he’s back to being the #1 contender because someone broke his nose. It’s comical if you think about it, and I can’t wait for the hate columns six months from now when the WWE still hasn’t made a new star. How could they when Cena is back in the title scene every six months? I say the Authority interferes, and we have some kind of title vs. title rematch at Night of Champions.
Prediction: if Cena wins we complain.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Will the WWE schmoz both of their main events for Summerslam? I really can’t see either of the two main events ending clean, but I guess if one of the matches had to end clean it would be this one. First off, the Undertaker should not win. Brock Lesnar is the best thing going in pro wrestling right now, and he should not be losing the main event of Summerslam so 50 year old Undertaker can get his WrestleMania loss back. The way they’ve set up this feud, it looks like Lesnar is going to win. They had the pull apart brawl, with neither guy getting the upper hand, and besides that, the other two times they’ve faced off Undertaker has used dick kicks and choke slams and tombstones to beat down Brock. I love Taker, but at this moment in time he is up against the greatest attraction in sports entertainment. Plus, Brocks owns Summerslam. I hope he suplexes Taker 5 thousand times and beats him silly with his own limbs.
Prediction: BROCK LESNAR.