By John Moore
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship: Finn Balor matches in NXT have been really easy to predict when he goes into Demon mode. The Demon always wins unless it comes time for him to leave the NXT promotion. I feel like since this is the debut of the Demon King that WWE will go with the easy result of giving Finn Balor the clean win to also signify the new era that they are trying to promote. Here’s another prediction, we will probably also see a Phoenix Splash from Seth Rollins. I also predict that Jon Stewart will not invade this main event like he did last year. Balor will pick up the win after hitting Bloody Sunday. They might go with something like Seth kicking out right after the three count so he can complain to people that he didn’t lose decisively. Seth is good at complaining.
Prediction: Finn Balor defeats Seth Rollins via pinfall to become the first WWE Universal Champion.
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton: If Brock Lesnar didn’t fail the USADA drug test, this would have been a clean cut victory for Lesnar. It’s not because I think they are going to punish him with a loss, but Brock was the hottest thing in sports after defeating Mark Hunt at UFC 200. If I were in the booking room on the Smackdown side, I would highly advocate for a Randy Orton victory here for two reasons. Orton is as hot as he’s ever been with more of a personality and a finisher that has been built up very well. Another reason I feel Orton can benefit from the win is Smackdown needs something! The character roster balance pendulum is far on the Raw side. Brock can eat a loss and maybe use the loss for character development. Orton can take a loss too, but a win can do him wonders once they separate Brock and Orton on their respective rosters. Orton wins with an RKO? I can also see Lesnar picking up the win for the sole purpose of WWE trying to continue to no-sell the USADA drug test.
Prediction: Randy Orton defeats Brock Lesnar via pinfall.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler: I’ll give WWE a little bit of credit in that they have caught my attention in a positive way with the latest Ziggler reboot experiment. At least he isn’t “new and improved” with black hair. Dolph has shown a bit of fire recently, mostly by yelling, but fire nonetheless. Ambrose has also been less campy in recent months as champion. The problem with this match is I feel we’re still in the early stages of a Dolph character shift, when you would think that at SummerSlam they should be at some sort of apex. This was simply an odd decision to go with this randomly booked feud out of nowhere and put it on the SummerSlam card. This match is going to have a really tough time standing out with the previous three matches I mentioned as well as the next match I’m about to mention. I’m sorry, this match is going to get lost in the shuffle, but I hope they find a way to prove me wrong. I’m not confident they will. Ambrose wins to lead to Dolph becoming heel sometime in the future? Right now Dolph and Dean better be watching The Goofy Movie to draw inspiration from the Tevin Campbell song “Stand Out”. Wait? Maybe Dolph Ziggler is drawing inspiration from Powerline since he’s trying to “Stand Out….Above the Crowd, even if [he has] to shout out aloud” since he’s been doing nothing but shouting out loud in his promos.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler via pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles: Here’s a match that is much more intriguing than the WWE Championship match. Cena has shown that he hasn’t missed a step when working with great workers in his first match with AJ. Styles can perform a decent match in his sleep and can be relied on to put on great main events on a nightly basis. I know that this isn’t correlated with my prediction, but it did implant the thought in my brain. The thought came when AJ took a shot at his former employers TNA (which he continues to do whenever he can which is funny, he did recently on upupdowndown). Smackdown needs heels, they need strong heels. As the show gets closer and closer, I feel that this might actually happen. What if AJ Styles picks up the victory over John Cena with help from Cena’s former rookie training partner Samoa Joe? I know it really screams TNA, but I feel the connection that Cena and Joe have from their origins in the business can really be one thing you center the feud around. His association with AJ would also make sense because… well… TNA! The fear with that feud is just like any other Cena feud where the guy debuting will end up being buried. I guess some people are afraid of that. Maybe, just maybe, Joe ends up beating up Cena so much that he has to sell an extended absence so he can film American Grit. I’m not 100 percent on this one, I’m not even 30 percent, but I see it as a possibility. Of course, Joe can stay in NXT for his rematch against Shinsuke Nakamura and that could be fine too.
Prediction: AJ Styles defeats John Cena via pinfall after the main roster debut of Samoa Joe.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte: This feud has been built up in a strange way, but the key to that probably stems from WWE giving Sasha the title victory on Raw as opposed to at Brooklyn. It looks like WWE gave Sasha the title to produce a genuine surprise, and it was executed very well. The problem comes in the post title win booking and it looked like the writers didn’t have Sasha’s title win in mind. This feud has been more about Dana Brooke’s interference and less on Sasha in general. My prediction here will have to do with what I hope doesn’t happen. I hope we don’t get Dana Brooke in some sort of disguise. I hope we don’t get Summer Rae interfering to form some sort of blonde faction with Charlotte. Hopefully we get the chicanery on the Raw after SummerSlam and I won’t even mind a new version of the BFFs which is Summer Rae’s faction that Charlotte got her start as a heel on. A Nikki Bella return somehow wouldn’t hurt too much. All that said, I’m just expecting Sasha Banks to pick up a clean win with the Bank Statement.
Prediction: Sasha Banks defeats Charlotte via submission to retain the WWE Women’s Championship.
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns: In a strange way, this is similar to the Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler feud in that it probably needed a little more time to stew to make the title match seem must see. It’ll be interesting here to see if WWE hands Roman his third loss in a short amount of time. Of course he won’t submit. I don’t think he’ll pass out. Here’s a prediction I’m confident in making. Roman Reigns will not win the U.S. Title yet.
Prediction: Roman wins by DQ, possibly due to Lana’s interference.
Enzo and Cass vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens: Enzo Amore is on a roll and Cass is riding along on this really hot tag team act. The gift of Jericho gimmick has breathed life into his character as Jericho finally found a modern gimmick that stuck. Owens is the ultimate antagonist. The guy just walks in a room and can draw heat. Remember when he feuded with every single babyface mid-card and main eventer in NXT? Another name that you can give the team of Jeri-Ko are “the non-stick pans” because both of these guys can shrug off losses like they are made of teflon. Big Cass will pin someone and it will probably be Jericho.
Prediction: Enzo and Cass defeat Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
The New Day vs. Anderson and Gallows: Well, at least this isn’t a nuts on a pole match (or “Jar of Egg” on a pole). On Monday, we had Rusev fighting for the honor of Lana. On SummerSlam we are about to get New Day fighting for the honor of Big E’s balls. What’s interesting about this prediction is I would like to see Anderson and Gallows pick up the win, but their current “Doctor” gimmick has made it really hard to see them taken seriously. Here’s more of a hope than a prediction. I hope Big E doesn’t return to the ring and do his deadly (to himself) spear tope. I can’t see Anderson and Gallows winning today. Hopefully we get a hyper Xavier Woods rally which was really effective when he used it against Bray Wyatt. Because Big E isn’t around, I expect Kofi to pick up the win with either a rollup or SOS. Then Gallows and Anderson hurt Kofi’s balls. Someday, Big E’s Balls will be avenged. Are they dubbing this the “Battle of the Balls”?
Prediction: New Day defeat Anderson and Gallows.
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Title: Apollo Crews comes off well in video packages. Too bad we haven’t had any video packages of note for Crews in WWE’s main roster so far. In fact, most of the hype from this feud has come from people making fun of how Daniel Bryan accidentally called Crews by the Apollo Creed movie character name. Let’s go for two in a row. This match will also have interference from a heel wife. Miz won’t win though.
Prediction: Apollo Crews defeats Miz via countout.
Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and [NOT] Eva Marie: It’s the Smackdown women’s roster folks! Will we get the return of Nikki Bella? Will “All Blue Everything” Billie Kay take the place of “All Red Everything” Eva Marie? Will Eva’s voice over guy be the third person of the team? Who knows and who really cares at this point, as it seems like this match was put together out of laziness.
Prediction: I’ll just say Carmella picks up the win with her triangle leg choke, via submission.
Quick Kickoff Show Predictions
Cesaro vs. Sheamus in the first match of their best of seven series: Hmmmmm…. Cesaro?
Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz: Here’s a prediction, Neville will be the afterthought of this match, which is a shame. Now’s a good a time as any to debut the WWE version of Bully Ray when D-Von somehow cost his team the match to initiate the WWE debut of Bully Ray Dudley.
12-Man Tag Team Match: Didn’t we see this match on Smackdown? Prediction: The Smackdown Heels will still look like scrubs.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...