My Two Centsss - SummerSlam Predictions (I Smell A MitB Cash-In Coming)
By Super Chrisss
Aug 15, 2014 - 2:03:31 PM
What is up, people? Happy SummerSlam weekend! Coming off the critical success of last year's Pay-Per-View, how can you not be super amped for Sunday's show? I believe this is the first time in a long time where I am excited for every scheduled match. Not a bad feat, considering there will be multiple divas matches on Sunday. But let's not waste anymore time; we have an exciting show to discuss!
Kickoff Match: ???
Well, this is awkward. For what feels like the first time in ages, we're a few days away from a PPV and as of this writing, there is no planned pre-show or kick-off match. Even when WWE couldn't come up with something for half of their roster do, they had something happen on the 30-minute pre-show, such as a Daniel Bryan appearance. As a WWE fan who has never bothered to watch a single pre-show since it's inception (as the saying around here goes - if it's not on the main show, it doesn't matter), I can't say I'm too bothered by it's absence. Although, I do find it a bit odd with WWE announcing jack-shit, especially since it's on the Network, and we all know how much they love promoting that $9.99 thing.
Nevertheless, I think there will be a match added to the pre-show at the very last minute. My money is it being a Battle Royal (I know, another one) to determine who faces Sheamus for the U.S. title later that night. Considering RVD is another big name who isn't booked for SummerSlam, my money is on the veteran taking the win and facing The Celtic Warrior in a face vs. face match. Should that happen, except Job Van Dam to come up short in championship contention...because, to quote Mark Henry, "that's what he does".
Flag Match: Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Looking up and down the SummerSlam card, there's no match that sticks out to me as a sure-fire curtain-jerker. I guess that's what happens when they forget to book a tag team title match. Even though neither match can be truly considered a bathroom break, I doubt WWE is ballsy enough to kick off the PPV with a divas match. Miz/Ziggler could get the nod, but my money's on Swagger vs. Rusev getting the honour, especially due to the outcome.
While the argument could be made that this feud has cooled off a bit since Battleground, it's still an excellent addition to the card that is serving it's purpose of getting Swagger over as a babyface. I really enjoyed The Real American's match against Cesaro on Raw, and while the crowd seemed dead at times for both guys, it's nothing to worry about. Swagger is playing the hero role for thie first time in his WWE career, and much like the crowd was a bit slow to warm up to Dolph Ziggler when he first turned face last year (just go back and watch Ziggler's matches and mini-feud with 3MB if you don't believe me), Swagger will be just fine. Having the "We The People" gimmick will do nothing but accelerate his standing among the audience.
But I digress. I expect the L.A. crowd to be heavily into this one, and numerous people have said this already, but it bares repeating: a Flag match is the perfect way to give Swagger a win without having Rusev suffer his first proper loss. A loss for Swagger could send him straight back to midcard hell while a win could elevate him even further up the card. Rusev won't be hurt by failing to retrieve the Russian flag. I see Swagger winning and possibly ending this feud on Sunday.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Divas Championship: Aj Lee (c.) vs. Paige
A lot of people were disappointed with their match at Battleground, and rightfully so. The bout had a number of miscues, and they seemed to have trouble falling into sync. However, I believe their initial encounter was simply a run-through and we'll get a match on Sunday that could very well challenge Mickie vs. Trish as one of the greatest divas matches of all-time. I'm serious. Paige is one of the best workers on the entire roster, and now that she's a full-blown heel, she can go all-out, something which she could not do back at Battleground. Aj, to her credit, is no slouch in the ring, and now that she's facing a non-Total Diva, she can really excel. Just look at her match with Kaitlyn from last year's Payback if you need further proof of that.
Predicting a winner is a bit tricky. Storyline-wise, Paige needs the win if we want to continue this feud (and who wouldn't want it to?). Also, we've already seen Aj vs. the Total Divas cast a million times before. Do we really need to see it all over again? However, I hate when companies play hot potato with their belts, so I'd rather have Aj retain in questionable fashion (roll-up of doom, perhaps?) in order to set up a final match at Night of Champions next month. I'm super-excited for this one, either way. Hopefully my heart can handle watching these two Goddesses go at it!
Winner, and STILL Divas Champion: Aj Lee
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c.) vs. Dolph Ziggler
If you're The Miz or Dolph Ziggler, you have to feel pretty excited for your macth this Sunday. It's always nice for the company to reward you by giving you a one-on-one match on one of their biggest PPVs of the year (especially since Ziggler is yet to have a singles bout at Wrestlemania). When you look back at last year's show, which saw Miz serve as the host and Ziggler compete in a five-minute, forgettable, mixed tag match, it's one hell of an upgrade for both guys. I would therefore be SHOCKED if they don't go out there and try to steal the show.
I know some people aren't a fan of The Miz and his "Moneymaker' gimmick, but Jesus, everyone complained when he was a face, and now that WWE turned him back heel, they're still not happy! I say shut your mouth, count your blessings, and look forward to what should be a good, possibly great match on Sunday (even though Ziggler doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning).
Winner, and STILL Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Much like Paige vs. Aj, new-school vs. old-school failed to meet most people's expectations at Battleground last month. Again, there seemed to be chemistry missing from their match, but hopefully they'll have it worked out two days from now. I mentioned this in my Battleground prediction column last month, and I'll say it again: for many, Wyatt vs. Y2J is a dream feud come to life. If you try to dissect it and over-analyse everything, you're not going to enjoy it. A lot of people did the same thing two years ago when Jericho and CM Punk feuded over the WWE Championship. Sometimes you have to put your smark brain on hold and just sit back on the couch with your friend Mark and enjoy the show.
I thought Jericho winning at Battleground was the right move, 100%. The future Hall of Famer has put countless guys over the last few years, and we don't need him to become RVD and make a win over Y2J feel meaningless. So having Wyatt cleanly defeat Jericho at SummerSlam - especially with Harper and Rowan banned from ringside - will definitely pay dividends for the cult leader. You'll see.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
Remember what I said earlier, about being excited for every single match on Sunday's show? I must have forgot about this one. Oops. Everything about this match feels forced - the feud, Roman's push, the 'big-match feel' - it all seems flat. The numerous house show reports about Reigns vs. Orton being nothing more than stinkers in recent months does nothing but sour my mood even more. Despite what he says during an interview, Reigns is anything but ready for the push he's on, and the fans will turn on Super Reigns way before Wrestlemania 31 rolls around.
The sad part is, WWE doesn't realize they're booking The Roman Empire the wrong way. I've seen people complain that Dean Ambrose should be in Roman's position. Ummm, no he shouldn't. Ambrose's booking has been near-perfect, so much so that he is getting organically over, which is what every superstar and diva should strive to accomplish. No one should be on the receiving end of Roman Reigns' current push because it's not going to end well.
In my opinion, Orton should walk away the victor because it would be too much, too soon for Reigns, but with all the heel victories on Sunday's card, there has to be a balance somewhere. I hate it, but Reigns' push will go on; there's nothing The Viper can do to stop it (unless Reigns ****s up during the match and Orton complains to management).
Winner: Roman Reigns
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella
Regardless of how you feel about Brie Bella, her terrible acting skills, the build-up to this feud, the terrifying gap between Stephanie McMahon's breasts, the Claire Lynch impersonation, or whatever else that you don't like about this angle, I think we can all agree on one thing: it's going to be bad-ass to watch Steph compete in an actual match this Sunday. Sure, she's never been a super-athletic diva, but she's not a trained wrestler; neither are her father or brother. Yet, that didn't stop any of them from going above-and-beyond the task at hand to entertain the fans. Brie has improved in the ring ever since she started dating Daniel Bryan, and Steph will do her best to impress.
It's kind of hard to pick a winner here. I could see Brie finally getting her revenge by having Steph tap out to [a horrible version of] her husband's Yes! Lock. Then again, is Brie really the right diva to get the major rub of putting Steph in her face? Personally, I'd much rather see Aj be the one to get the last laugh on Miss McMahon down the road, maybe even at Wrestlemania 31. Instead of ignoring the CM Punk, why not turn them into a positive by building support for Aj in a feud with Stephanie? I like that scenario better, so I'm going on Nikki turning heel (sigh) and costing her sister the match.
Winner: Stephanie McMahon
Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
The match that never happened at Battleground (I told you WWE doesn't give a damn about their non-Big 4 PPVs, didn't I?) is finally upon us, but sadly, they chose to make Ambrose vs. Rollins a Lumberjack Match. Their reasoning behind it is Rollins will have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from The Lunatic Fringe. k. Doesn't a Cage or Hell In A Cell Match accomplish the exact same thing? So does a Strap or Inferno Match. This is just WWE's way to get a lot of their roster on the PPV. That's fine business-wise, but it could very well affect the quality of one of the best current feuds in the 'E.
Those of you who wish to defend this gimmick match, keep in mind there has never been a good or memorable Lumberjack Match in WWE history, so the former Shield members are already at a disadvantage. I'm not saying they won't deliver on Sunday, but Rollins and Ambrose will have a steep hill to climb at SummerSlam. I assume one of the Lumberjacks (maybe Kane or RybAxel) will cost Ambrose the victory; either way, there's no way this feud culminates at SummerSlam.
Winner: Seth Rollins
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c.) vs. Brock Lesnar
Instead of offering the typical preview for this huge match, I'm going to skip it and share my thoughts on the outcome instead. I do recommend you read fellow LOP Main Pager Leaf's latest column, as he does a phenomenal job of breaking down The Beast vs. The Champ.
In my humble opinion, there's no way John Cena leaves SummerSlam as world champion. Suffice to say, that doesn't mean Brock Lesnar will win on Sunday. Confused? You shouldn't be.
Since his WWE return in April 2012, almost every one of Lesnar's matches has had a no-disqualification stipulation attached to it. Whether it was Anything Goes, Extreme Rules, or a Cage Match, Lesnar almost always wrestles a match where the rules are bent. But not this Sunday, even against an opponent who he last faced in an Extreme Rules match. There is no way the man who conquered The Streak at Wrestlemania can be pinned or submitted in his first match since April. That would be the ultimate spit in the face to 'Taker and his legacy.
Yet, do we truly believe WWE is willing to go months without a world title being defended at every PPV? I would love it if Lesnar won the title on Sunday and only defended it at major PPVs like Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, but I can't see WWE taking the risk of marketing PPVs without a world title defense. That, and I don't think Creative is competent enough to book shows without a world champion on a consistent basis. Which is why my final prediction for SummerSlam is this:
Brock Lesnar and John Cena have a grueling, one-on-one match. After Cena kicks out of not one, but two F5s, Lesnar goes insane, getting himself disqualified and decimating Cena with a steel chair, similar to his post-Royal Rumble match with The Big Show earlier this year. As Lesnar leaves the ring, Seth Rollins runs down, cashes in Money in the Bank on John Cena, and is successful.
What does all that accomplish? John Cena loses the title; Brock Lesnar loses without tarnishing his victory over The Undertaker at Wrestlemania; we have a new, engaging feud heading into the fall. Maybe not as unique as Lesnar leaving SummerSlam with the title, but it seems like WWE painted themselves into a corner, and this will be their way out of it.
Winner, and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion (by DQ): John Cena
Seth Rollins successfully cashes in Money in the Bank on John Cena
Your Two Centsss: Do you see this year's SummerSlam matching - or even surpassing - the quality of SummerSlam 2013?
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