Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz
This got added late so you have to assume it's just to give Neville and especially Zayn something to do on the 2nd biggest card of the year. No feud, no backstory here leads me to believe Zayn and Neville should get the victory to jumpstart the crowd.
Winner: Zayn and Neville
Basically the entire SmackDown tag division in one match. I would say similar to the last match, it's purpose here is to get the crowd excited and energized heading into the main card. I'll take the easy pick here of American Alpha picking up another win to keep building them up.
Winner: American Alpha, The Hype Bros, and The Usos
Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Match 1 in their Best of Seven Series)
Feels like if these guys are doing a Best of Seven series it should be for something, like a championship or Number 1 Contender's spot or something. Maybe it's coming later but it just feels weird. I'd say Wrestling Booking 101 says the heel has to get the first win of the series so the babyface can overcome some challenges to get to match 7. Plus, with Sheamus losing two straight matchups with Cesaro leading into this series I think he needs a win to make this feud mean something.
The sixth spot was to go to Eva Marie but she was suspended over the weekend due to a Wellness Policy violation. I think that will change the outcome of the match as well. I originally had Eva doing nothing for the entire match and then picking up the pin at the very end, but it's going to be hard for her to do that if she's not in the match anymore. I'm not sure who they get to replace her, especially being a heel. I guess you call someone up from NXT for the night and let them get some action. I'll guess Billie Kay. But since Eva is now out of the match, I'll say the faces pick up the win now instead.
Winners: Carmella, Becky, Naomi
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews
The Miz is having an outstanding 2016. He's so entertaining but still in a way where he's one of the few true heels the WWE has. But I don't think he is as good in that role without the Intercontinental Championship. I can't see him dropping the belt here, especially to Apollo who really hasn't had a chance to click with the WWE Universe yet. I'm not ready for a feud for the IC Championship with Crews as the champ quite yet. That has pre-show written all over it. So I'm confident The Miz retains here. I say he cheats somehow so Daniel Bryan can keep ragging on Miz over on SmackDown.
Winner: The Miz
Speaking of people who have been outstanding in 2016, add all four of these guys to the list. If I'm WWE right now, if building up Enzo and Cass to be huge stars isn't my #1 priority right now then it sure as hell better be #2 on that list. These guys have the potential to be mega-stars for WWE, either together or separately. That doesn't necessarily mean they need a win here though. Jericho and Owens could easily get a win here and keep this feud moving past SummerSlam. It's an entertaining quartet that I wouldn't mind seeing more of. But I think this is just a device to get these four guys something to do on the card so I think it ends here. And if that's the case I say it's Enzo and Cass winning, with each Jericho and Owens blaming the other for the loss and wrestling at the next RAW PPV.
Winners: Enzo and Big Cass
The New Day vs. The Club
I don't think we are quite ready for a New Day vs. Enzo and Big Cass feud yet, especially in the stretch between SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble. If you do New Day vs. Enzo and Big Cass I think you can hold that for the WresleMania or SummerSlam seasons. But regardless of the season, I don't think it's time for that feud to happen yet which leads me to think I don't know what else the New Day could go to if they win this match. If they beat The Club, who do they fight next? I don't see very many options for them. I thought the title change should have happened a month or two ago, so I'm definitely predicting the change here. I think a title change opens up the New Day to do other things and really solidifies The Club as a threat, which they need to be seen as without AJ on their roster anymore.
Winners: The Club
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns
I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of these two fighting in the main event of RAW this week was if they are wrestling again at the PPV. Seems odd to me but it does solidify my thoughts of Rusev winning this match. I can't see him losing clean two times in one week. Roman got the win on RAW, Rusev should get the win at SummerSlam to retain.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
That Paige suspension really throws RAW's Women's division into a side-spin. I had assumed Sasha would retain here and transition into a feud with Paige. But now with her suspended, who else can step in? Your options are Dana Brooke, Summer Rae, Alicia Fox or Nia Jax. That's the entire roster unless I'm missing someone. It will be interesting to see where they go with this division post-Brand Split, because I can't think of many great options.
For this match though, I think it's too early to pull the title off Sasha. I don't know where she goes after this but I can't see her losing the championship in under a month from winning it. That wouldn't be very Boss-like.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Quite the card when this is being promoted as the 4th biggest match of the night. I want to go all-in on AJ here but his loss a WrestleMania is holding me back. He came out of the gate exceptionally hot and looked like a lock to win his debut WrestleMania match against Jericho....but then he didn't. Could the same thing happen in his debut match at SummerSlam?
I would think he should win this match and be positioned as one of the elite guys on SmackDown, because SmackDown is going to need as many of those guys as they can get with their smaller roster. But.....this is technically only the 2nd match of the Cena/Styles series. AJ won the first matchup with help from Gallows and Anderson. Cena then won a tag team match over Styles at Battleground. So even though it feels like these guys are 1-1 right now, it's technically 1-0 Styles in their singles matches.
Which means logic should dictate a Cena win here to tie it at 1-1, with the blow-off probably coming at the first SmackDown only PPV in September. I was going to go AJ Styles here but I think I just talked myself into John Cena.
Winner: John Cena
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
A couple UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERTS about this match:
1. The Universal Championship name is actually growing on me.
2. I think Finn Balor is pretty overrated.
I'll let you digest those hot takes for a moment before we proceed. I've watched NXT ever since the WWE came out with the WWE Network. My wife and I even have tickets for NXT when it comes to Des Moines next month. So I've seen Finn Balor from the beginning of his NXT run to now. And I think he's great but the internet has crowned this guy already like he's the savior of WWE. I guess I just don't know where all the hype is coming from. He's not great on the mic yet and he's not exactly physically imposing in the ring. When he's in the ring he looks just like Cody Rhodes to me. I hope I'm wrong but I think Finn Balor ends up more of a bust than a superstar by the time his WWE run is over.
Seth Rollins is legit though. He's great. I think he is the perfect fit to be the first Universal Champion. I can imagine him bragging about being the first Universal Champion the same way Jericho always brags about being the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Rollins was already the first NXT champ, this seems like another logical achievement to give Rollins.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler
They've done a great job of at least putting a little bit of uncertainty into this match. With Dean just winning the championship and Dolph randomly winning a #1 Contender's match, it looked like this would just be a placeholder feud. But the last three weeks have really built Dolph up as a credible opponent and someone who could actually win at SummerSlam. I still think it's a long shot but at least it's now a possibility in my eyes.
And being a big Dolph Ziggler guy, I'm going to bite. I'll predict him to win here. I think he pulls it off, probably turning heel in the process, and ends up leaving SumemrSlam as the champion. Just like I said above with AJ Styles, I think SmackDown is in need of creating and collecting wrestlers that can be at the top of the card. They've done so much positive work the past 3 weeks building Ziggler back up as a credible main-eventer that I can't see him just losing and dropping back down to the mid-card. His career can't afford to do that again. So Dolph takes some type of short cut in this match and defeats Ambrose.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
This is the main event of the night isn't it? I can't see Ambrose and Ziggler closing the show and I can't see the WWE putting the Universal title match in the main event spot over the WWE Heavyweight championship either. So I think this is the last match of the night. And I'm interested to see how they go about this because I think Randy Orton has to win but I'm not sure how you go about it.
But I don't think Randy can come back to a loss here and possibly another small UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT but this iteration of Brock Lesnar is becoming a little stale to me. I'm not sure how much longer I can get excited about him showing up randomly whenever he wants and stand in the middle of the ring while Heyman talks for him. And then his matches are just him suplexing and beating down people. Don't get me wrong, it's still fun to see and I'll watch it but it's not nearly as exciting as it was for me when it was fresh. I think Brock needs a little shaking up. Maybe a loss to Randy Orton can do that. Again, I'm not sure how it happens but I think Orton needs to leave with a win here.
Winner: Randy Orton