Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls we have now arrived at the Biggest Party of the Summer and I couldn’t be more excited! Sunday’s show is jam-packed to the gills with matches crossing over SmackDown and Raw and every single championship belt is on the line! Shinsuke vs. Mahal! Universal Title Fatal 4-Way! Orton vs. Rusev! …er… I mean Styles vs. Owens! Let’s speed-run through this massive card with our Summerslam 2017 preview!
Akira Tozawa vs. Neville
for the Cruiserweight Championship
In a shocking twist on Monday night, Akira Tozawa actually defeated The King of the Cruiserweights for the Cruiserweight Championship. Many believed this to be a way of shoehorning in this match prior to the actual event to save on time, but it looks like that was wrong. Tozawa and Neville will square off again on Sunday in a title rematch. I see no reason to hand the title back to Neville, as the loss was clean and clear – no doubt that Tozawa has finally proved himself the better man. Tozawa is more than deserving of the championship, and the only qualms I have with his reign is that it didn’t begin on a bigger stage.
PICK: Akira Tozawa
The New Day vs. The Usos
for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
One of my favorite feuds on the entire WWE roster, the New Day and the Usos have already produced a pair of memorable matches. With the series even at one, the rubber match comes a perplexing quandary. Do the Usos cement their legitimacy and win back the championships, or does the New Day retain and continue on to another legendary reign? I am of the mind that getting over the Usos is the priority and to win back the titles at SummerSlam would be enormous.
PICK: The Usos
Naomi vs. Natalya
for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
I was pleasantly surprised when Natalya walked away from Battleground as #1 Contender, but this joy has been a bit overshadowed by the impending possibility that Carmella cashes in on whomever walks away victorious. Naomi is incredibly over and I – sadly – do not foresee a title change or even a continuing program with Natalya. I also am wary on the hints dropped by Carmella. They seem a little too overt. This will likely turn into just a distraction that costs Natalya.
Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
for the WWE Championship
What a match. I mean what a goshdarn match we’ve got here. Could anyone in their right mind have predicted this even six months ago? Definitely not. There is going to have to be some serious intervention by the Singh Brothers to keep this from looking like a total wash if Jinder leaves with the belt. I have a feeling Shinsuke will find WWE gold one day, but I don’t think it will be on Sunday night.
PICK: Jinder Mahal
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
for the WWE United States Championship with guest ref Shane McMahon
Two of the best wrestlers on the WWE roster had a very rough go of it at Battleground and will likely seek redemption here, so make sure you place your bathroom/snacks break elsewhere. The changing of hands of this championship has made me downright dizzy, but I have a feeling the strap will end up back around the shoulder of one Kevin Owens at the end of this all – seeing as the contender for the WWE championship may want words and fists with AJ Styles.
PICK: Kevin Owens
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Rusev is on the card and that’s enough to make me happy. This match has had minimal build to it, and, honestly, I don’t think anyone much cares who comes away as victor. Randy has gotten the short end of the stick with Jinder, so he may find redemption here.
PICK: Randy Orton
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
for the Raw Women’s Championship
After an injury derailed Bayley’s #1 Contendership, Banks has stepped in as new contender after defeating the imposing Nia Jax. Banks defeated Bliss via count-out at GBoF, so even though this doesn’t seem to be the route originally planned it, luckily, has some solid story base to back it up. Bliss will retain, as — even if a Sasha heel turn is planned — there is only one way to redeem Bayley and that’s through Alexa Bliss.
PICK: Alexa Bliss
Big Show vs. Big Cass –
Enzo Amore will be suspended above the ring in a shark cage
Well, looks like Mattel made too many of those shark cage toys just for TakeOver Toronto. I hate this feud so much that I will make it a point not to discuss it. I don’t care.
PICK: Enzo’s left shoe will score a pinfall on both Cass and Show
Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt
The Demon will return one year since its last appearance on WWE PPV! Honestly, I think that’s this match’s biggest draw. I hope Finn and Bray can put on something decent – especially for the Eater of Worlds’ sake. As for a winner: the Demon doesn’t lose. And watch out for that acidic red liquid, folks.
PICK: Finn Bálor
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
The recently dethroned Mr. Money in the Bank will take on the man who spoiled it all for him. I hope this turns into an interesting feud. Corbin certainly needs something big and soon after the embarrassment of Tuesday night. Cena probably won’t be sticking around on SmackDown if the rumors are to be trusted, so this probably will not stretch on for too long post-SummerSlam. I say Corbin either scores a pinfall to regain some semblance of respect or here begins his descent to a Future Endeavor.
PICK: Baron Corbin, for his own sake
Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
for the Raw Tag Team Championships
Oddly enough, I think I’m most intrigued by both tag team matches on this show. The Dean/Seth story has been extraordinarily compelling on Raw and the payoff to their team-up should carry on that energy. I see a major story starting here and I strongly wish that’s with a pair of red leather straps. That pop at the end of their segment on Monday was extremely promising.
PICK: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
for the WWE Universal Championship
This four-way feud has already reached and surpassed a ‘larger than life’ feel and we haven’t even had the match yet! Words cannot express how excited I am to see these behemoths come head-to-head-to-head-to-head on Sunday night. Brock may very well walk away as dominant as ever, but with four equally viable contenders, I really don’t think the odds are in his favor.
Samoa Joe was the unlikely victor at Extreme Rules, and I think his chance to do the same here is not negligible. Braun is almost too popular for the belt at the moment and I strongly believe Roman is in need of a bit more work before he gets another reward. It comes down to Brock and Joe in my eyes and I may be going safe with this one.
PICK: Brock Lesnar
Woah! We did it! If you think that was exhausting, just wait until Sunday night itself. Don’t forget TakeOver Brooklyn III will be taking place on Saturday and be sure to catch me back here next week to discuss whatever massive fallout I’m certain will take place.
-Dat Man S.Fran
Photo Credit: WWE.com