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Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Predicting SummerSlam (What Will Happen & What I'd Do)
By Hustle
Aug 18, 2012 - 9:32:12 PM

"Biggest party of the summer.."

With the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable not doing our usual pay-per-view predictions episode, I figured I might as well return to the world of predictions in column-form. Since I'm bringing it back, I'll also be bringing back my old "What Will Happen" VS "What I'd Do" predictions, where I predict what I think actually will happen at SummerSlam, as well as what I'd do if I were the one in charge of things. Sometimes those answers will be the same, but other times those answers will be very, very different. No more wasting time. Shall I proceed? (Yes, indeed.) Less dew eet!!

Santino VS Antonio Cesaro - United States Title Match
This is an interesting match for me. Santino is in a weird place right now. He is always going to be over, and that isn't a problem at all. As the company has shown on multiple occasions in the last two years, they could pull the trigger on pushing him to the main event, and live crowds would eat it up. However, they aren't really booking him very well, and he continues looking foolish on an almost regular basis. That's fine any other time, but now, he's the United States Champion. If you're going to book him to look like a fool, don't give him a title, because that only diminishes the value of said title. The title needs to come off of him as soon as possible. His opponent here is someone that is a favorite of the internet, of course, but up until this point, he seems to be suffering from Alberto Del Rrrrrio Syndrome. The company appears to be behind him, and is giving him a push, but it's in spite of the fact that live crowds aren't really reacting to him at a level that would match his push. Obviously, Antonio Cesaro is slightly different than ADR, because this is only Cesaro's first push, so there's plenty of time for crowds to start warming up to him, but it just hasn't happened yet. This will be a very telling result, no matter who gets the win.
What Will Probably Happen: Santino wins and retains the title.
What I'd Do: Give Cesaro a shot as the champion, and see if he can run with the ball. If not, he can drop the title to someone else without much of a problem. That way, Santino is free for either end of the scale.. he can be booked as a joke, but not hurt the prestige of a title in the process, or he can be slowly pushed back to a point where he can flirt with the main event scene. Cesaro, as I said, can see if he can run with the ball. If he can, great, because you have a champion that can put on entertaining matches with just about any type of worker he's put in the ring with. If he can't, the title will move on to the next person, and the world will continue to spin.

The Miz VS Rey Mysterio - Intercontinental Title Match
I'd be willing to bet that a nice chunk of the WWE Universe didn't even realize these two were involved in any sort of feud. That's what happens when your Creative Team doesn't know what it's doing, randomly throws a feud together, but then has one of the people in the feud working with other people during the feud. If you didn't know any better, you'd think Miz was defending the title against Chris Jericho and/or Dolph Ziggler here. The booking of the Intercontinental Title has been nothing short of a joke since Cody Rhodes dropped the title to Big Show at WrestleMania this year. Show's reign was terrible, and he lost the title in that ridiculous Tables Match at Extreme Rules, where he stepped onto the table on his own. Cody's second reign was also a joke, and he dropped the title to Christian right away. While Christian held the title for over two months, he did nothing of note with it, and dropped it out of nowhere to a returning Miz. Miz losing the title to Mysterio would fit in with the way the title has been booked, that's for sure. Does Mysterio "need" the title? Of course he doesn't. He's at the stage of his career where he doesn't "need" any titles of any kind, but that certainly hasn't stopped countless other wrestlers from winning titles in the history of the business.
What Will Probably Happen: The Miz wins and retains the title.
What I'd Do: This is probably going to surprise some of you, but I'd have The Miz retain the title. He just won it, and I'd like to see if some steady booking can help to motivate him and get him moving in the right direction. He needs to prove that he deserves a return to the main event picture, and continuing to pick up wins as the Intercontinental Champion can help him do just that. Mysterio, on the other hand, doesn't really lose ground by not winning here. It's not like he'll plummet down the card and be jobbing to the likes of Alex Riley in dark matches or anything. He'll be just fine, and will continue doing Rey Mysterio-y things. Now, if he can just lose some of that weight he put on during his latest absence.

Chris Jericho VS Dolph Ziggler
When all is said and done, and SummerSlam comes to a close, I'll be really surprised if this match isn't looked at as Match Of The Night. I don't know if I'm going to go ahead and predict Match Of The Year contention, but all of the right pieces are there. In the world of kayfabe, you have Ziggler, who wants to prove to the world that he belongs in the upper echelon of the company, and that he deserves to have the Money In The Bank briefcase, and you have Jericho, who wants to prove to the world that he hasn't lost what made him a huge star in the first place, and that he can still win a big match. If these two are given 15+ minutes to work with, expect some magic, and look for it to be one of Ziggler's best matches of his career, perhaps taking him from "super talented seller" to "super talented worker" in the process. The elephant in the room, of course, is Jericho leaving the company soon to go tour with Fozzy. The seeds for his departure have already been planted, with him getting "injured" on Smackdown at the hands of Ziggler and Alberto Del Rrrrrio, but does the company want to go the "obvious" route here?
What Will Probably Happen: After a tough, back-and-forth match, Ziggler picks up the victory via chicanery
What I'd Do: No chicanery. No shenaniganery. Just an old-school wrestling classic, with Dolph getting the clean victory. After the match, I'd have Jericho offer a handshake as a sign of respect. Dolph would think it over for a while, before finally accepting it. Take it to the next level by having them hug in the center of the ring, and then Dolph "turns", attacking Jericho, giving him the "injury" needed to put him on the shelf for a while. As a nice touch, that puts Jericho on the other end of exactly what he did to Shawn Michaels years ago.. bitter foes, fighting for respect, and a post-match embrace turns into an attack. Jericho gets to go off and do his thing with Fozzy, and Ziggler gets a nice boost in momentum and some really solid heel heat, which is something he needs, putting him squarely on one side of the fence.

I have to admit.. this match worries me a bit. Well, not the match itself.. I have no doubt that these two will have another entertaining match that the crowd will really be involved with. I'm worried with the way Daniel Bryan has been booked recently. Usually it's just the midcard guys that get the scatterbrained booking, but even as he continues to be involved in the WWE Title scene, Bryan goes from looking like a punchline to looking like a legit threat to looking like a punchline again, seemingly on an every-other-week basis. They might view him as someone who, thanks to the continued evolution of the "Yes!" chants, only grows more over all the time, and therefore, doesn't need to win matches as often as someone else who would be in his "spot" on the card. KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE is more of a pawn here than anything else. He's just a large obstacle thrown in Bryan's way, as the match was poorly put together and didn't really have a whole lot of build.
What Will Probably Happen: Bryan wins, but continues to be tormented by "Yes!" chants all night long.
What I'd Do: Call it being biased, but not only would I have Bryan win, I'd have him pick up a dominant win. We've seen the "Yes!" chants wear on him, almost distracting him and throwing him off his game, but at some point, the anger that he displays when he hears the chants has to work in his favor. You can even do both in the match, if you play your cards correctly. Early on, the chants get to him, and KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE can take advantage of the distractions to gain some offense, but at some point, Bryan just snaps, and he uses the chants as fuel to wear into KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE with his array of strikes and submissions, picking up the victory. Even though KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE isn't in his prime anymore, he's still a seven-foot-tall monster, and a strong victory over him, especially for someone the size of Daniel Bryan, can do wonders. It pushes Bryan back into the mix for the WWE Title without much thinking at all.

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth VS Titus O'Neil & Darren Young - Tag Team Title Match
Before Abraham Washington was kicked to the curb, allowing him to think, in his own delusional mind, that he's a modern-day Martin Luther King Jr or Malcolm X (get ALLLLL the fucking way outta here with that shit), the Prime Time Players were popular picks to win the Tag Team Titles at some point. Now that AW has been released, though, people seem to have mixed opinions. Some feel that AW was the only interesting thing about the team, and now that he's gone, they're pretty much dead in the water. Others feel that the team will almost be "rewarded" for the AW fiasco, and for staying quiet on social media sites about it. What is known is that the tag team scene needs some sort of a kick in the ass. That doesn't necessarily mean new champions, of course. It just means that we need to see something new. Something different. Something fresh. It seems like these two teams have been feuding since 2010 at this point. Throw in the teams of Epico & Primo and Hunico & Camacho, and we really need something different. Either start the race war or move on already, WWE.
What Will Probably Happen: The Prime Time Players become the new Tag Team Champions.
What I'd Do: Have Kofi & Truth retain the titles. I didn't think the PTP were ready to be the champions when they had someone to do the talking for them. Now that AW is out of the picture, I think they're even further away from being ready. I know WWE generally hates managers, but this is a team that really needs one if they're ever going to reach the next level. For now, though, I'd have the champions retain and move to give them some new challengers. If a random team isn't going to be thrown together for that, perhaps it's time to call up The Ascension from NXT. They might not be ready just yet, either, but their gimmick and entrance (which should definitely be kept for the main roster) is enough to help them get over on top of whatever they can do in the ring. Maybe that can help to jump start the tag division, which Triple H is supposedly planning on doing. Again.

Sheamus VS Alberto Del Rrrrrio - World Title Match
I know a lot of people that would consider themselves major fans of Sheamus. I know a lot of people that would consider themselves major fans of Alberto Del Rrrrrio. It should be a sign to everyone, though, that none of those people are really looking forward to this match. I'm not, either. It's not that I think the match will be Botchfest 2012, or that it will be terribly wrestled. I just don't think their styles go well together, and that the match is going to be slow and.. well.. boring. That's not how matches should go these days. That's damn sure not how World Title matches should go. I'm sure it will be hard-hitting and full of stiff shots, so at least there's that. Some people look at Sheamus as a World Champion that has had a pretty bad title reign, all things considered. They see him as someone that just isn't working out as a face, and as someone who needs a major change soon. Of course, pretty much all of those people see ADR as someone who doesn't deserve one title shot, let alone the seemingly endless string of shots he has been getting, based on the reactions he gets from live crowds. That leaves people somewhat torn on what they think should happen in this match, but I guess that's a good thing, isn't it? Better that than damn near everyone being absolutely sure things are going to go in a certain direction.
What Will Probably Happen: Sheamus wins and retains the title.
What I'd Do: Let's be real here, ladies and gentlemen.. the WWE Universe isn't ready to accept Alberto Del Rrrrrio as a World Champion, so I wouldn't force it on them. Sheamus would get the win, but he wouldn't leave SummerSlam as the World Champion. Instead, I would capitalize on the heat I built for Dolph Ziggler earlier in the night, and I'd have Dolph cash his Money In The Bank briefcase in, take advantage of an exhausted and hurt Sheamus, and become the new champ. Dolph becomes the talk of the blue brand after having a fantastic night, Sheamus can try to capture some of his lost magic by chasing after the World Title instead of holding on to it, and ADR can have another attempt at trying to get a real connection with crowds without it being forced on them.

Triple H VS Brock Lesnar
There was so much potential with this one. So.. much.. potential. The WWE Universe would have eaten everything up with a spoon because of the people involved in this match, but the wheels began falling off. For one, Brock's contract only allowing him to appear at a certain number of shows hurt things. Sure, Paul Heyman promos can get a nice reaction sometimes, but when Triple H calls Brock out, and fans are excited to see them go face-to-face, they become just a little annoyed when only Heyman comes out and we get another promo. On top of that, as I've mentioned before, WWE has basically neutered Brock since he returned to the company. He looked like an unstoppable force of nature the night after WrestleMania, and only looked even more unstoppable as the build to his match with John Cena was underway. Then he lost the match after dominating 99.9% of it. Then he stopped appearing again. Then Triple H spent weeks cutting promos that painted Brock as a coward that was afraid of him. After WWE decided to insert Shawn Michaels into the feud, they waited too long to have Brock attack him to get his heat, and they didn't even do it "correctly", with most of the attack taking place where nobody could see it. Just an absolute mess, all around.
What Will Probably Happen: Brock wins after some sort of tomfoolery, setting up a rematch down the road (Hell In A Cell?).
What I'd Do: Have Brock win, but after some help by none other than Shawn Michaels. I wouldn't have Michaels come out and help Brock, then shake his hand or anything. Just have Michaels come out, hit Trips with Sweet Chin Music, and then have Brock destroy Trips as HBK leaves. The reasoning is simple, and has already been hinted at a bit on television. On Raw, HBK seemed a bit upset that Brock wanted to fight him. He told Triple H, in a phone call, that this was Triple H's fight, not his, and he didn't know why he was even involved. That was before Brock attacked him, destroyed his car and "broke his arm". In the grand scheme of things, it makes perfect sense for Michaels to be pissed off at Triple H. I don't see Trips losing this match cleanly, so this provides him with an "out". It gives Brock the win that he needs so badly. It allows for a rematch to still take place at some point down the road. It also opens the door for a possible Triple H VS Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania. With all of the rumors of HBK returning to the ring, it fits, and it gives Mania yet another huge, blockbuster match (even though many of you reading it don't want to see the match again). Everything just makes sense. Triple H can focus on the rematch with Brock for a while, and once that feud is finally done, he can officially turn his attention to calling Michaels out of retirement, and things can pick up from there. Works for me.

CM Punk VS John Cena VS Big Show - WWE Title Match
I don't think this match ends up main eventing the show, so I figured I'd mention them last in my predictions. Are you happy, Punk? I respect you. Punk, of course, is in the middle of quite the epic WWE Title reign. I'm not going to get into any of the stats right now, because I might have a statistics-based column coming in the next couple days, but it's clearly something special. He's been the WWE Champion for a long time now. The fans are split into two groups when it comes to this match. One group is the fans that think WWE has put too much into Punk's title reign to end it now, and therefore, he'll retain and continue on. The other group is the fans that think WWE is going to panic at the falling ratings again, and will put the title back on Cena, as the biggest draw on the roster. You'll notice that there isn't a group of fans that think Big Show is going to win anything. There is something to the idea that the company could put the title back on Cena in a panic. I have this same conversation with people time and time again. Ratings don't mean what they meant during the Attitude Era, yes, but ratings are still very important to those in charge of WWE, and when ratings slip, the company falls into a panic, and they either lean on "old faithful" in Cena or they bring older names back. Well, they're already bringing the older names back, so if they're going to panic again, it will be them giving Cena the ball again, I would have to assume.
What Will Probably Happen: Panic. Cena wins the title. The IWC complains.
What I'd Do: I'd start by messing with the lock on Big Show's hotel room door, not allowing him to open his door, leaving him stuck in his room all day, and giving us Punk VS Cena one-on-one. The match doesn't need Big Show to be involved in it. At all. Whatsoever. From there, I'd have Punk win and retain the title. I get that ratings are slipping again, and I get that Cena is the biggest draw that the company has, but you know what else can get people interested in watching Raw every week? Better booking and making Raw worth watching again. You can do that with Punk as champion. Even though Punk has had the title for such a long period of time, it's safe to say that he really needs this win. He's been viewed as something of an afterthought on Raw for a while now, which is the entire point behind his shift in character recently. Even as the top guy on the top show of the top company in all of wrestling, Punk still doesn't get as much "play" as Cena does, and he hasn't had the same focus that Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Shawn Michaels have had heading into SummerSlam. Then, of course, there's The Rock, looming in the background. Punk needs to win this match, defeating Cena again, to help solidify the title reign, and to get at least some of the spotlight back on him.

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