By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of WWE SummerSlam beginning with the Kickoff Show at 6CT/7ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the audio review hosted by Jake Barnett and I after the show.
Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the WWE Universal Championship: The added stipulation that Reigns will leave WWE if he doesn’t leave with the show as champion makes the outcome feel even more predictable for the diehard fans, though maybe there are some casual viewers that the company drew in with that added stipulation. Here’s the thing. This match never felt like it was about the mystery of the outcome. It’s about seeing Cena back in a WWE ring. It’s about seeing Cena back in a high profile WWE match. It’s about the two top stars of their respective eras meeting in a dream match on what will be the company’s biggest show of the year. It’s fun and I intend to enjoy it for what it is.
Roman Reigns retains the WWE Universal Championship.
Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg for the WWE Championship: Goldberg hasn’t had a match reach the three-minute mark since he worked with Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam 2019. There’s no reason to mess with the formula now. The question is what role his son Gage plays. Is he there for a distraction that will give Goldberg an out for losing? Will he throw in the towel for this father? They can’t possibly think it’s a good idea to have Goldberg win the title, can they? Sure, it puts Drew McIntyre back in play for the title, especially given that Goldberg’s last loss was to McIntyre at the Royal Rumble, but I feel it would be a big mistake to have a legend end Lashley’s title reign.
Bobby Lashley retains the WWE Championship.
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Will this match take place? Both women missed last weekend’s house shows due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Belair was back on Smackdown last night, but Banks was conspicuous by her absence. If the match take place, they have a really good thing going with Belair as the champion and I wouldn’t mess with it. But they had her plow through Carmella and Zelina Vega in one night, Bayley is sidelined, and they haven’t built up any of the other heels to serve as strong challengers. Regardless of the outcome of this match, I suspect that the feud will continue. I’m going with Belair. A title change isn’t out of the question, but my guess is that we get more of a cheap finish that sets up the need for a stipulation match at Extreme Rules.
Bianca Belair retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins: This was a match that looked good on paper and yet I just wasn’t connecting with the story early on. Edge delivered his usual top notch promos, and the oddball Rollins character is starting to grow on me. I didn’t care for the Brood Bath with the black blood even though Edge tried to set it up during his intense final promo. Still, the build drew me in and has men invested in the outcome. I went into this thinking that it was going to be Edge putting over Rollins. And perhaps he will, but Rollins is playing the type of heel role that allows him to absorb key losses by simply acting like they make him become even more unhinged. I have gone back and forth on this one, but with heels winning some of the other key matches, this feels like a spot for a babyface win. I will add that I have no idea when Edge’s deal expires given that he missed time with an injury. Obviously, if this happens to be his final match, then Rollins should go over.
Nikki ASH vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley in a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship: I wish I cared more than I do. ASH’s Pollyanna act feels one note and I hope she has a fallback heel character in mind. The house show crowds have consistently booed her and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before the television crowds do the same. Flair has held so many championships that I’d feel numb if she won again. Ripley had a forgettable title reign and her character is still recovering from a lousy main roster introduction. I’m not saying this is what I would do, but I suspect that it’s what WWE will do.
Nikki ASH retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
AJ Styles and Omos vs. Randy Orton and Riddle for the Raw Tag Titles: One of the only things truly clicking on Raw these days is the RKBro tag team. The odd couple won over this early skeptic quickly. Styles delivered a promo in which he ran through all of the teams that he and Omos have beaten. In other words, there’s nothing left for them to do. Sure, they could stretch out this feud and keep Orton and Riddle in chase mode, but I’m actually hoping that we’ll get another Styles babyface singles run soon. How about Styles earns a title shot somehow and Omos turns on him to join The Hurt Business to launch a full program with Styles chasing Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship? Fantasy booking aside, this should be a feel-good finish.
Randy Orton and Riddle win the Raw Tag Titles.
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio for the Smackdown Tag Titles: There seems to be trouble brewing with the father and son tag team. Young Dom has been made some rookie mistakes and his father has been calling them out. Are they building to a father vs. son feud? Either way, I don’t see a reason to book a title change.
The Usos retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Sheamus vs. Damian Priest for the U.S. Championship: The feud feels like it’s just getting started, so they could stretch this out by having Sheamus escape with the title via DQ or something along those lines. But Vince McMahon loves to book big moments on the big stage, so I’m going with Priest having his biggest main roster moment to date. Regardless of the outcome, I just pray that Priest is finished working with The Miz and John Morrison.
Damian Priest wins the U.S. Championship.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal with Veer and Shanky barred from ringside: McIntyre is always out to steal the show, and Mahal has to know that he needs to do something to make people care about his act. McIntyre stated an interview that we ran earlier today that he’s “excited to show just how much [Mahal] has grown over the past few years.” So both men are surely motivated to deliver a strong match. That said, it’s going to take an amazing match to make me want to see this feud continue. Mahal and his cronies feel ice cold, and booking them to run away in fear of McIntyre’s sword didn’t help. My hope is that this is a one and done, but I have a bad feeling that the feud will continue. I’ll pick with my heart rather than my head.
Drew McIntyre wins.
Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie: And you thought there was nothing that WWE could do to top CM Punk’s return to pro wrestling on AEW Rampage? This eight-star mat classic will have some Lilly silliness that will result in Bliss going over.
Alexa Bliss wins.