By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
These predictions were made with no help from the betting lines because I’m not a dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking, cheater. In other words, I’m guessing just like you are. Join me for live coverage of WWE SummerSlam beginning with the Kickoff Show at 5CT/6ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the audio review hosted by Jake Barnett and I after the show. Join us on our ad-free website via PWMembership.net.
“You’ll never see it coming.” Fans are letting their imaginations run wild. There’s even been some speculation that CM Punk could be revealed as the secret leader of the Retribution group. The Chicago Blackhawks season is over, so I guess anything possible. But is the SummerSlam tagline a bold tease of a storyline shocker or just a marketing slogan? It’s hard to say. I have a couple of “you’ll never see it coming” related scenarios for the two major title matches, so the slogan has been effective in terms making us ponder some big twist possibilities. But there will be a lot of disappointed people if the payoff sucks or, worse yet, it’s just an empty marketing slogan for a straight forward show.
Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship: Retribution was blamed for the lights going out when Orton punt kicked Ric Flair on a recent edition of Raw. As I’ve noted all along, it may have been a way to protect Flair from taking the kick, but it also could have been a swerve. We never actually saw Orton kick Flair. So the door is open for this to be a ruse masterminded by The Dirtiest Player in the Game. The low blow that preceded the kick would still need to be explained. I vote for Flair being so committed to Orton that he voluntarily underwent castration surgery prior to that segment. Now that’s one you’d never see coming! Okay, not really. We’ve seen nut shots explained away in the past and this one can be too. So I’m going with Orton stealing the championship with help from Flair, which sets up the need for a rematch a week later at WWE Payback.
Randy Orton wins the WWE Championship.
Braun Strowman vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship: The obvious story is that Alexa Bliss is under The Fiend’s spell and helps him win the championship. But I continue to wonder if that’s a swerve. Keep in mind that Nikki Cross shoved Bliss to the mat recently in an act of frustration. Cross is also the one who said she has a feeling that something terrible is going to happen. Nikki’s NXT character was portrayed as being an unstable member of the Sanity faction and she played it well. She’s shown versatility by playing a lovable babyface persona on the main roster. And because she has played the babyface role so well, her character shift will be all the more shocking to casual viewers if she reverts to the unstable persona and joins Wyatt, perhaps with some type of Sister Abigail twist. Quite frankly, Strowman has become a lousy babyface and I’d be just fine if he joined his former storyline mentor on the dark side as well, but I’m guessing that’s not the plan.
The Fiend wins the WWE Universal Championship.
Bayley vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: This will be the first of Asuka’s two title matches. I wish I cared more. All three wrestlers feel overexposed. And while there’s obviously a storyline reason for Asuka challenging for both titles on this show, I can’t say that it excites me even though the potential is there for her to have a couple of top notch matches. It looks like they are finally moving toward the Banks and Bayley split. I continue to assume that Bayley will be the heel, so it would make sense to keep the title on her so that babyface Banks go into chase mode.
Bayley retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Sasha Banks vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship: It’s hard to believe that Asuka will fail to win at least one of these matches. I am curious to see how they get to the Banks and Bayley split. Bayley costing Banks the championship in this match is one way to do it.
Asuka wins the Raw Women’s Championship.
The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza for the Raw Tag Titles: Montez Ford was poisoned in a storyline. Before the reveal, the creative forces felt the need to have Bianca Belair get revenge by beating Zelina Vega. Strange. They also had Ford beat Andrade prior to the reveal. Equally strange. Now that we know Vega was responsible, is anyone still looking for the Profits to get the revenge? This has been a horribly written storyline. The challengers have been made to look so weak that I just assume it somehow means they will win the titles.
Andrade and Angel Garza win the Raw Tag Titles.
Apollo Crews vs. MVP for the U.S. Title: I think we all see it coming. Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside because Benjamin lost a match to Crews on Raw. The same show saw Cedric Alexander act slighted when Crews opted to team with Ricochet and Mustafa Ali instead of him. Sure, it could be a swerve, but I think most of us are assuming that Alexander will help MVP win the match and become the newest member of Hurt Business.
MVP wins the U.S. Championship.
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio in a Street Fight: The added Street Fight stipulation actually lessened my enthusiasm. I want to see how Dominick performs in an actual match, not how he looks swinging kendo sticks and using other weapons. I sure hope we get at least a glimpse of his actual in-ring skills because that was the real hook. I suspect that the stipulation will be used to give Rollins an out for a feel good finish. After all, Dominik already had his initiation in the form of that brutal beating he took on Raw, so he doesn’t need to lose his first match too.
Dominik Mysterio wins.
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville in a No DQ, loser leaves WWE match: Noooooooo!!!!! I was really looking forward to Rose or more likely Deville joining me in the Bald World Order. Don’t get me wrong, the abrupt change in direction is completely understandable given the circumstances involving the disturbing stalker who was arrested for attempting to kidnap Deville. It’s now disheartening to know that one of these women will be going away at least temporarily if WWE lives up to the stipulation. Rose has done good work since these characters split, and Deville has truly shined. Please don’t mistake this as hyperbole written out of sensitivity triggered by the stalker incident. Deville has done a terrific job since this angle started. I can’t blame her if this situation has driven her to take time away from WWE temporarily or even permanently, but I selfishly hope that she will return soon if she is the person losing this match.
Mandy Rose wins.
Looking for a good online scoring service for your fantasy football league? Check out MyFantasyLeague.com.