It seems like the WWE is really trying to make SummerSlam into "WrestleMania-Lite" this year, which is a great idea in my book. I can't see why they haven't done this sooner. There's been Meet and Greets, autograph signing, appearances, charity work, ticket scavenger hunts, and more in the New York area already. And then you have NXT Takeover on Saturday night. And then SummerSlam Sunday and RAW Monday. It's quite the event. If you think about it, it really is a great time in the calendar to put on a major event. The NFL is still in the preseason, the NBA is out of season, and the MLB is still over a month away from the end of their season. It's a great opportunity to get some eyes and attention on the product.
So let's run down the card here. It was just announced that the Tag Team Championship match was moved to the preshow, so we'll start there.
Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores vs. The Lucha Dragons
I'm sure this is something I could research and find out but how much longer is Uso #2 injured? The tag division desperately needs a couple more legitimate tag teams. I really love the interactions between The PTP and The New Day but adding along Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons just feels like dead weight. I mean seriously, how big of odds would I have to give someone to put any money on Los Matadores to win this match? If I gave you 20/1 would you even consider it? How about 50/1? There's no chance they are winning.
But if this match was like The Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons then I think we have something. And if you could replace The Lucha Dragons with a make-shift pairing like Wyatt/Harper or Ambrose/Reigns or whatever, then I really like it. I think the tag division has the pieces to make a comeback here if they keep getting some time. But will the WWE put enough time into the Divas Division AND the Tag Division??? I have my doubts. For the match though, I'm going with The New Day. I feel like a Fatal 4-Way is a great opportunity for them to use their numbers advantage somehow to steal a win away from Darren and Titus. And then they can continue feuding with each other down the road.
Winners: The New Day
You'd think logic would dictate with Ziggler just coming back (to a huge pop) that he would have to get the win here to build some momentum but I'm going the other way here. I think the real money in this feud is Lana vs. Summer Rae, or at least some interaction between those two. So to get there, I think Summer Rae gets involved here somehow with Lana, which distracts Ziggler, which leads to either Lana vs. Summer Rae or Ziggler/Lana vs. Rusev/Summer Rae at Night of Champions.
The Bellas have been getting crushed recently while the WWE puts over the new divas in the division. And rightfully so. But at some point, the feud has to shift from three teams going against each other to divas actually fighting for the title. And the champ has to be strong for that shift to really mean anything, especially now that Nikki is under a month away from becoming that long reigning Diva's champion of all time. So I think this is a good way for the Bellas to get some momentum back and make Nikki look strong again. Then we can start moving into title matches and see where this #DivasRevolution really goes.
Winner: Team Bella
These two fighting each other reminds me a lot of HHH and The Rock battling each other for the Intercontinental title 10-15 years ago. Two great wrestlers battling each other and working their way up to the main event scene. Could be many great matches between these two in the forseeable future.
I'll predict that Owens gets the first match between these two. I can't see Owens winning the NXT title the night before from Finn Balor. Which also means I can't see him losing two nights in a row, especially when he is coming off two straight PPV losses to John Cena. So give me Owens here in a very entertaining match.
Winner: Kevin Owens
If there is a celebrity on the card and you don't put him or her as your highest confidence points in your confidence pool, I don't know what to say to you. Obviously Amell is winning here by pinning Stardust. My intrigue lies in where the participants involved go from here. I'd guess Amell is done after SummerSlam. Does Neville ride this momentum anywhere or does he go back to losing exciting matches. Do Barrett and Stardust stay together? I know it was a quick pairing but I kinda like "The Cosmic King" role for Barrett. Or does Stardust keep rolling on his own. I was on the fence about the Stardust character but Cody has been crushing it recently. He's been really enjoyable. His crazy promos have been a little more focused and easier to follow. I hope we get more from Stardust
Winner: Amell and Neville
I don't know what I wrote at the last pay-per-view when these guys met but I'm sure I could just copy and paste it here and I'd feel the same way. It will probably be a good match, but do I need to care about it? Orton won at the last PPV so I'll say Sheamus wins here. For the record, here where my first 10 sentences about their match at Battleground, and I feel the same way about that match as I do about this one:
"I don't know. Should be a good match but it just feels like a match that's there. Does Orton gain a lot if he wins this match? Or Sheamus? Is either just really hurt by a loss? Probably snarky of me but it's tough for me to get behind a match where the winner isn't that important. And I'm afraid that could happen to a lot of Randy Orton matches in the near future unless they find something interesting for him to do. I can't see him back in the WWE Championship picture for a while. And I think he's too far above the Intercontinental or US titles to fight for those. So what does he do? Interesting to find out but hopefully its not just more middle of the card meaningless matches."
My wife and I were in attendance at The Target Center in 2014 when The Wyatt Family and The Shield had their first match at The Elimination Chamber. Granted that was the only PPV I have ever attended live but that crowd reaction was the loudest I've ever heard. It was intense. The crowd was chanting "This is Awesome" during their standoff before the match even started. Fast-forward a year and a half with 2/3 of the participants still in this match and I have the exact opposite anticipation level for this match. I think this is a "Me problem" but I have no interest in this match at all. Unless we do something new or exciting with Bray in the near future I think my ship has sailed on him. And while I like Reigns better when he is with Ambrose, its still not enough to get me too excited for this match. I really think these guys as tag teams could really help the tag team division and spice that up a bit, but that seems like too far of a step down for most of these guys. Maybe something happens at SummerSlam that changes my outlook on these guys, but right now I'm indifferent here.
Ryback vs. The Miz vs. The Big Show
I think the most entertaining outcome would be for The Miz to somehow steal a win and walk out as champion but that feels like the least likely outcome here. I think if the WWE would have wanted to have Ryback lose the IC title they would have stripped him of it while he was injured. Since that didn't happen, I see Ryback continuing his championship run past SummerSlam. After losing almost all of his momentum he'd gained during his main event run a couple years ago, Ryback is starting to gain some traction again recently...at least with me. He's entertaining and his matches are pretty enjoyable to watch for a big guy. I'm not sure he ever gets back to where he was when he was feuding with CM Punk but he's head and shoulders in a better place than he was while he was teaming with Curtis Axel.
United States Championship
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
If someone walks out of this match with both belts I'll say it will be Seth Rollins. I can't see Cena winning his 16th world title and also carrying around the US Title at the same time. I feel like tying Ric Flair's record will be a storyline all by itself whenever that happens. That idea was just introduced this Monday night so I can't see them running with that for such short of time. So a Cena win for both belts is off the table for me.
Which means either Rollins walks away with both belts or there is some sort of screwy finish where no one wins, or one guy wins by DQ. And since this probably will not be the main event of the night, I think the screwy finish is likely. I'm trying to figure out what that screwy finish would be but I got nothing. So I'll just predict what happens after this match:
Screwy finish at SummerSlam causes both men keep their titles. They build the rematch up to Night of Champions. Along the way, Cena continues with the US Open Challenge. Owens accepts the challenge on a RAW. Rollins causes a distraction and costs Cena the US title. This evens the Cena-Owens score at 2-2, gets the belt off of Cena, and adds to the Rollins/Cena storyline to get to Night of Champions. I like it.
Winner: Double DQ
I have no idea on this matchup and I love it. I've been working through scenarios in my head all week on how this one could play out and I keep going around in circles. You know that land on Super Mario World for Nintendo 64 where you keep advancing but it keeps circling you around to the same spots and you don't actually get anywhere? The Forest of Illusions? That's how I feel about predicting this matchup. I feel like this match leads out to a final match at WrestleMania 32 but I have no idea how to get there.
Do you just have The Undertaker win somehow to make the series 1-1, and have the rubber match be at WrestleMania 32? You could but then what does Lesnar do until 'Mania? And after all the work the WWE has done the past year or so making Lesnar into an unbeatable monster, a loss to an aging Undertaker seems like a step backwards.
Do you just have Brock Lesnar defeat The Undertaker again to make the series 2-0 in The Beast's favor, and have The Undertaker try one more time at WrestleMania 32 to defeat Lesnar? This seems a little more likely but I can't pull the trigger on it. I find it hard to believe The Undertaker is coming back just to lose again. And I'd think that if he is coming back for SummerSlam, he may also be back a couple more times before WrestleMania too. So if The Undertaker goes 0-2 against Lesnar, I can't see him having much else to do between now and WrestleMania.
So you have to go a different way. Do you do a Paul Heyman turn? I've heard suggestions of this but I can't see it. The Heyman/Lesnar combo is way to good to break up. And does The Undertaker really have any use for Heyman being at his side? This sounds like a swerve just for the sake of a swerve and I'm not buying it.
So here's my guess....and this was where I was leaning all week leading up to SummerSlam and then that stupid Sam Roberts went on his podcast and predicted the same thing. So it looks like I'm just copying his idea here but I swear I was leaning this way heading into the week. And who cares about Sam Roberts anyway???? Linendoll is the real star of that podcast. Regardless, this turns into a brawl. Back and forth for 10 minutes or so and then Lesnar starts to gain the upperhand. It starts looking bad for the Deadman.....and then The Undertaker just snaps. Chairs, staris, urns, tables, ropes....you name it and The Undertaker will use it to destroy Lesnar for the DQ. This gets pretty graphic. This is that last match of the night so it has to be huge. The Undertaker leaves Lesnar in a pool of blood to close the show. This writes Lesnar off TV until around the Royal Rumble or so, makes The Undertaker 0-2 against Lesnar heading into Mania but with a much different feel, and Undertaker can still be a badass if he sticks around between now and WrestleMania season. I don't like having non-finishes for the top 2 matches on the SummerSlam card, but I think this can work.
Winner: Brock Lesnar via DQ
If you are like us, SummerSlam marks a new season in your Confidence Pool. And if you are like us then a tall, pale goofy looking fellow won the first year of your Confidence Pool, too. So congratulations to Tosh Dillinger who won our inaugural year of our WWE PPV Confidence Pool.
If you don't have a group of friends that you do confidence pools with, I'd suggest starting that up this year at SummerSlam. It's easy, it takes about 5 minutes before each PPV to make your picks, and makes the night much more enjoyable. And you can just steal all my picks each PPV to make sure you win if you want to. I'm expecting to go 10-0 to start the year here and start out with a quick 45 points.
Preshow: New Day
4- Team Bella