After a well deserved break I, your humble servant — and less-humble Senior New Producer — James McKenna, have returned with a fresh set of SummerSlam predictions!
Before we get into the picks, can I please state for a second how sad the theme song makes me? I yearn for the danceable-weirdness of Demi Lovato’s “Cool For The Summer” — the 2015 theme and a song that by Demi’s own admission “kind of brings attention to people’s sexuality, taking away the stigma and the shame of wanting to try things.” This played over Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar promos.
I may have digressed a bit.
Everyone ready to hear my predictions for a SIX HOUR SHOW?
The Cricket Wireless TWO HOUR SummerSlam Pre-Show
Akira Tozawa (C) vs. Neville
I was a bit taken aback when Tozawa beat Neville out of thin air on Raw, but afterwards it clicked. It made sense to swap it a week before SummerSlam so you don’t have to do a title change with no emotion on a pre-show, plus it gets people invested in their storyline. I think Titus Worldwide is getting a test run with a smaller title before it branches out and that train isn’t stopping at SummerSlam. Eassssssyyyyy. Easssssssyyyy.
Educated Guess: Akira Tozawa
The Hardy Boyz w/ Jason Jordan vs. Miz and The Miztourage
Honestly, the Revival injury killed me inside because I knew that meant we were not getting the Hardyz vs Revival pay off we deserved for SummerSlam. Instead, we get this convergence of the side storyline of Miz and Jason Jordan. I do think it’s smart not putting the IC title up quite yet, as it would feel incredibly rushed and shoehorned into an already packed show. That said, they need a way for Miz to get a leg up on Jordan and this feels like a great way to do it.
Educated Guess: Miz and The Miztourage
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day (C) vs. The Usos
It’s the feud that somehow already feels a year old. Both teams need a refresher and a two hour SummerSlam pre-show seems like the perfect place to do it. Much like the Tozawa situation, it’s far too recent to play hot potato and switching the titles again just extends an already stale storyline.
Say … what are Luke and Erick doing …
Educated Guess: The New Day
The FOUR HOUR SummerSlam Main Card
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
Did we need Bray covering Finn in syrup on Raw? No.
Did we need to know the demon was showing up? No.
Did we need this match on Raw a week before? No.
Am I oddly angry about all of this? YES.
This bothered me a lot because fans are NOT dumb. To half the people it was a foregone conclusion that the demon was showing up and Wyatt showing legitimate surprise/fear when a psycho shows up would’ve been an incredible surprise.
Instead … we’re getting a match we JUST saw and Finn basically said “IM GONNA BE A DEMON GUYS” to the camera. The writers need to do better for Finn AND for surprises.
Educated Guess: ‘Demon’ Finn Balor
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Naomi (C) vs. Natalya
Can I just express for a second how psyched I am that this weekend (including Takeover) there are women’s title matches and ALL THREE feature women of color. More importantly, they are the face in every single match — just a fact I found cool as hell.
To get back to wrasslin’ – Naomi has been a solid champion so far and I don’t think they have another avenue to really go down until they decide to cash in with Carmella. Therefore, I believe the title stays glowing for now.
Educated Guess: Naomi
United States Championship Match
AJ Styles (C) vs Kevin Owens w/ Special Guest Referee Shane McMahon
I’d love if this match were allowed to really flourish into what it should be, but it is such an obvious setup for something else. The writing has been on the wall for a Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon feud and, with Hell In A Cell looming in October in a brand new arena, one can only assume Shane steps behind the walls again.
The fact that I am talking so much about a feud I am convinced is happening NOT involving the US championship should tell you everything you need to know about this match.
Educated Guess: AJ Styles
Big Show vs Big Cass w/ Enzo Amore Suspended Above the Ring in a Shark Cage
Honestly, out of all the matches on this card — THIS is the one I’m the most confused on.
There are a lot of elements that WWE has introduced and it’s a miracle that the finish isn’t obvious. Enzo is 100% not staying in that cage all match and Big Show’s hand is going to play into this a bunch. I think they’re banking on building Big Cass a bit more though and believe he finally silences Enzo.
Educated Guess: Big Cass
Randy Orton vs Rusev
When life hands you two lemons that you don’t know how to use in a month, make mid-card lemonade. It’s a match I adore, I just really wish they had some buildup besides “well, we’re doing nothing.” The key to all this, is that Randy probably has an extended vacation coming up soon and Rusev needs to be a monster again. This seems to be the best way we can get to both cleanly.
Educated Guess: Rusev
WWE Championship Match
Jinder Mahal (C) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
I am STILL not convinced this is a real match.
For years the only way of getting this match was going into a WWE 2K game, putting them on the same show and simulating to five years in the future. This is technically a co-main event on a SummerSlam and I am loving it. We need more randomness and this match is huge in establishing why Smackdown is not the status quo.
That said, I am still “all in” on Jinder holding for a long time and Shinsuke isn’t going to be the one who ends it. Not here. It could end a few ways, but on the second biggest stage I say Jinder gets a pin.
Educated Guess: Jinder Mahal
John Cena vs Baron Corbin
WHY?!? WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY LET BARON LOSE THE CASE SO QUICKLY?!?! IT’S SO DU-
Wait … the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
As I just stated, I think Jinder is holding onto the title for a while. So, what? They have Baron feud with Mahal? I don’t think so. The case is wasted on him (as it kind of was to begin with) and he can do better without focusing on “cash ins.” You do need something to replace it though, something in WWE worth its weight in gold.
A singles win over Cena.
Not many have that accomplishment in recent years and the list is prolific. My call is Baron adds “BEAT UP JOHN CENA” to his already impressive resume.
Educated Guess: Baron Corbin
Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss (C) vs Sasha Banks
As weirdly pasted together as this all feels, I actually like this match WAY more than I did the Bayley one. Sasha is still super hot with the crowd and can elicit an incredible response from the crowd, whereas Bayley has been slipping as of late. Injuries are the worst and I wish them on no one, but the silver lining is Bayley’s “hug em all” gimmick needed a breather. That all said, I don’t think Alexa loses the title to Sasha here.
I wonder how Alexa would do against someone who is undefeated …
Educated Guess: Alexa Bliss
Raw Tag Team Championship
Sheamus and Cesaro vs Ambrose and Rollins
*James plays the boys are back in town on a boombox*
Do you kids still remember boomboxes? Nevermind.
Finally … the match at SummerSlam with a perfect setup. They have been teasing that fist bump for what seems like AGES now and this past Monday we finally got the payoff. Admittedly, it felt good to see them back at it. Ambrose and Rollins always worked incredibly as a team and we have them against Sheamus and Cesaro, who I consider the best performer in the company. I am expecting an absolutely lit feud, started by having new tag team champs.
Educated Guess: Ambrose and Rollins
Universal Championship Match
Brock Lesnar (C) vs Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
HOSS FIGHT! HOSS FIGHT! HOSS FIGHT!
There really isn’t too much to say about this match that hasn’t already been said by every. other. person. on. Twitter.
It’s going to be a good match, but WWE showed their cards too early when:
a) They made Brock the only one with anything to lose in this match. They ALWAYS win.
b) Let Barclay’s Center tweet out about seeing “THE CHAMP BROCK LESNAR” on Monday, and then having them delete it.
I think Brock walks out the same way he walked in. The reigning, defending …
Educated Guess: Brock Lesnar
Sound off in the comments below and tell me if you agree or disagree with my picks!