The WWE invades the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the grandest Summerslam yet. And at four hours, that’s not just hyperbole.
Can the WWE keep us entertained that long and how many commercials for the WWE Network’s shows can we expect? Will I go 10 for 10 on my predictions? Time to break down the summer’s biggest event on the WWE calendar.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Even if it was something as simple as Sheamus putting up his Money in the Bank briefcase against Orton not being able to use the RKO for 60 days. It doesn’t require some massive gimmick, but it would give the match more importance than the feeling of the WWE not having anything else better for them.
Since Orton got the win last month at Battleground, I fully expect WWE 50/50 booking to kick in and Sheamus pick up the victory here.
Fatal Four Way: Prime Time Players (c) vs. Los Matadores vs. New Day vs. Lucha Dragons
Now it’s time for a changing of the guard and these Fatal Four Ways are the easiest way to take the belts off the champs and set up a rematch down the road. Los Matadores’ time has come and gone and the Lucha Dragons aren’t quite ready yet.
The New Day would benefit the most from having the gold and using the numbers advantage in subsequent defenses.
Prediction: New Day
Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs.
Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper
With Ambrose out of the title picture for now and Reigns’ journey back to title contention isn’t complete yet, the Wyatts should resort to some devious tactics to get the cheap win. And if WWE wants to get some long-term booking going, have the Wyatts use some foreign object that can be utilized in the rematch next month.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Considering WWE has four hours to kill for Summerslam, I’ll assume most matches are going to have time to develop and actually tell a story. If that’s the case for all of them, this is my dark horse to be the match of the night.
Since losing his feud with John Cena, Owens has remained near the top of the heel roster side frequently main eventing RAW in tag matches with heels like Seth Rollins and Sheamus, but he’s a little directionless.
Likewise Cesaro is also kinda just there. This match is a perfect example why WWE should go to a Top 10 ranking system as that would provide a little more depth to this rivalry if the winner walks away with a shot at the champ. Cesaro is one of the top faces in the company right now and he’s got enough goodwill with the fans to take a loss while Owens can’t afford another one so soon after coming out on the losing end against Cena.
Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) vs.
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana)
The storyline that’s managed to kill off most of Lana’s heat culminates with this match. We should fully expect to see Summer Rae and Lana get involved with a Joey Styles tribute catfight.
Were I booking, I’d totally go the Vince Russo route and have Lana’s fascination with Ziggler be part of an elaborate plot to ruin another pretty boy wrestler. Lana would turn on Ziggler helping Rusev get the win and finally coming up with a way to make fans sympathetic toward the Show Off.
That said, I don’t expect WWE to put that much thought into the match and will let Ziggler and Lana have yet another awkward passionless exchange after beating the Bulgarian Brute.
Intercontinental Title: Ryback vs.
The Big Show vs. The Miz
Big Show and Ryback have already had their battles and Miz is an odd fit with this dynamic. Miz has already had his run with the world title and the secondary belts and Big Show doesn’t need to make us endure more lumbering title defenses at this stage in his career so “The Big Guy” should overcome the odds and retain.
Stephen Amell/Neville vs. Stardust/King Barrett
Cody Rhodes has been excellent in making Stardust a fun WWF 80s-90s throwback character and he’s got a prime showcase to justify why he’s one of the guys Vince McMahon really needs to keep pushing.
I will completely geek out if Amell wears some sort of Arrow theme outfit. This is an audience feel good match so look for Neville to hit the Red Arrow and Amell to get the pinfall win.
Prediction: Amell and Neville
U.S. Champion John Cena vs.
WWE Champion Seth Rollins [winner takes all]
With the world title match not necessarily being the main event for Summerslam, I wonder if WWE wouldn’t have just been better off paying homage to the original event and having a tag team match featuring the champ. Owens and Rollins could have battle Cena and Cesaro, which could have then transitioned to a Cena/Rollins match later down the road.
I can’t see Rollins pinning Cena and him losing the title to Cena wouldn’t help him either. Since I’m assuming this won’t be the main event, I’m looking for some screwy finish to get WWE out of having to bother doing a U.S. title tournament.
Prediction: Disqualification/count-out finish. No winner
Team Bella vs. PCB vs. Team B.A.D.
The addition of the NXT Divas has helped improve the match quality to the main roster and give NXT fans hope that Charlotte, Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks will go on to beat Nikki Bella and become the face of the WWE Divas division.
But at Summerslam, it’s all about keeping Team Bella strong so their eventual defeat has more meaning.
Prediction: Team Bella [Nikki pins Charlotte or Becky Lynch]
Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
vs. The Undertaker
The main event of the evening is the much-anticipated latest clash of Brock vs. The Undertaker. Undertaker has only managed to get a pinfall on Brock on two occasions in 2003. Brock, of course, infamously ended The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania win streak at Wrestlemania 30.
After the path of destruction Lesnar was brought to the WWE, it seems fitting Undertaker gets another crack at The Beast Incarnate. For the big money and one last hurrah for Taker, the best bet here is to have Brock beat Taker again and have Taker put his career up against Brock at Wrestlemania. I’m worried WWE might just use this as an excuse to give Taker his win back and make the not quite rubber match one of the featured attractions at Wrestlemania.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
That’s my picks, what’s yours?
Pics credit: WWE.com