By Jason Powell
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton: There’s a notable name that you won’t find on the SummerSlam card. This person had a moment with Randy Orton on Smackdown and (unfortunately) I’m not referring to Heath Slater. Sadly, I suspect we’re going to see Bray Wyatt interference in this match. My guess is that Orton hits the RKO, but we never find out whether it would have been enough to take out Lesnar because Wyatt does something to prevent Orton from winning. Whether we see Wyatt or not, Lesnar targets Orton’s bad shoulder and wins.
Brock Lesnar defeats Randy Orton.
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the new WWE Universal Championship: I had it all mapped out. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows win the tag titles, then swerve their former Bullet Club leader Balor by helping Rollins win this match. The New Club has all the gold, Anderson and Gallows mean something, and new life is breathed into the heel Rollins act. The big problem with this fantasy booking scenario? I can’t see the Demon King losing in his heavily hyped first appearance.
Finn Balor becomes the first WWE Universal Champion.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship: Congrats to WWE for making the Universal Championship feel more important than the title with all of the lineage before the first Universal title match has taken place. Placing Ziggler in this match didn’t help, but it’s time for everyone to admit that part of the problem is that Ambrose doesn’t feel like a strong world champion at this point. Let’s hope a strong outing here is a step in the right direction for Ambrose, and Ziggler’s frustration leads to a heel turn.
Dean Ambrose retains the WWE Championship.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship (Dana Brooke is banned from ringside): Brooke is banned, but there’s nothing preventing Ric Flair or someone else to come out and help Charlotte. I hope they turn them loose and the women deliver the type of title match we know they are capable of having.
Sasha Banks retains.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles: Cena beat Styles in the six-man tag match last month, and he just put him through a table on the go-home show. Cena will be heading off to film the second season of American Grit (yes, FOX actually signed on for a second season of the poorly rated show) at some point. I’m not sure how they get there, but I suspect Styles is getting the win. The alternative scenario is Cena wins here and has a big match with Ambrose on the first Smackdown pay-per-view next month and then runs off to get all patriotic in the woods. I tend to live by the words “When in doubt, pick Cena.” Sometimes I just can’t help myself.
AJ Styles wins.
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns for the U.S. Championship: Their match on Raw would have been a fine SummerSlam match. Now that we saw it, I can’t say I’m anxious to see it again just six nights later. I suspect there’s a reason they had Reigns win on Monday beyond just filling time on the three-hour marathon. It feels like this feud is just getting started, so I vote for Roman in chase mode.
Rusev retains the U.S. Championship.
New Day vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are out for revenge because Gallows and Anderson rammed Big E’s nuts into the ring post and then dared to joke (even though Kingston and Woods were involved in a nut joke skit). Or something like that. I like everyone involved, yet the hype for the match was so lame that I’m not even looking forward to it. Do Gallows and Anderson win because Big E is out? I’m guessing Big E’s wounded gonads are healthy enough for him to at least distract the challengers just as he did on the recent overseas tour.
New Day retains.
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship: The Smackdown creative team is so excited about this match that its final hype consisted of them showing a recap of a brief angle that took place during a commercial break on the go-home show. This is another feud that feels like it’s just getting started. They could put the title on Crews to send the message of change, but I’d rather see it when he has some momentum.
The Miz retains.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho: I’m more excited by this tag match than any non-title, traditional tag team match we’ve seen from WWE in recent memory. There’s chemistry between all four men and the crowd is going to go crazy for Enzo’s mic work. I assume this is the main show opener and that it gets things off to an electric start.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass win.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus in the first match of a Best of Seven series: And now we’re into Kickoff Show territory. Will Pruett wisely pointed out that Cesaro won the two matches that preceded the announcement of a best of seven series. Thus, it feels like this is a logical time for Sheamus to get a win. Will clearly put more thought into this than I cared to, so I’ll just steal his pick.
Sheamus wins the first match of the best of seven series.
Naomi, Carmella, and Becky Lynch vs. Natalya and Alexa Bliss: Eva Marie was pulled from a match that she probably would not have actually worked anyway. WWE hasn’t announced what they intend to do. Could this be Nikki Bella’s return? The Smackdown brand needs a strong heel and her boyfriend John Cena is also Smackdown exclusive. Whether Nikki returns for this match or not, I think we all suspect she will be a Smackdown wrestler.
Naomi, Carmella, and Becky Lynch win.
Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz: All signs point Bubba and D-Von breaking up, so there’s no need for them to win. Plus, Neville actually got a tag win over the Dudleys when he had Sin Cara as his big mystery partner on a recent Raw show, so of course the babyfaces are going to win this match.
Sami Zayn and Neville win.
American Alpha, The Usos, and The Hype Bros vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains: We just saw this match on Smackdown Live and for some reason WWE is going right back to it. I guess this is the SummerSlam version of the get everyone on the show Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Here’s hoping for some friction between Alpha and the Usos.
American Alpha, The Usos, and The Hype Bros win.
Powell’s Bold Predictions for WWE SummerSlam
-SummerSlam won’t actually end until Raw starts on Monday night.
-The highlight of the show will occur backstage when Vince McMahon attempts to sing the praises of Donald Trump to guest star Jon Stewart. Please have those WWE Network cameras rolling so we can hear Stewart’s rebuttal.
-A match will be moved to the Kickoff Show to make room for all of the material the writers have saved up for Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon. After all, this is the last time they will appear on television together until Survivor Series.
-I didn’t make good on my bold prediction that WWE would raise the price of the WWE Network in time for SummerSlam, so I’m doubling down and betting on the increase coming in time for the separate brand shows. Will they bring back the pop band to record a $12.99 theme song?
-With Eva Marie unable to use the excuse, R-Truth and Goldust will claim to have been robbed at gunpoint in Brooklyn.
-When I appear as a VIP mock drafter on August 31 at Bent Brewstillery in Roseville, Minnesota, Fantasy Football Party Podcast hosts Anthony Maggio, Bo Mitchell, and John Tuvey will let me in on the secret that “VIP” stands for Very Ignorant Person in this case. I am looking forward to getting together with my former co-workers and I hope locals will join us for the fantasy football fun from 6-9 pm. For more details, visit Zoneblitz.com.