The biggest show of the summer takes place in Brooklyn this Sunday, yet it doesn’t feel as big as it should be. Fans are set for a huge card that will no doubt push the limits of four hours. Though it’s hard to disregard that this card has way too many filler matches, this will be the biggest show since Wrestlemania and the first true test for bringing the brands back together for pay-per-views. With that said, WWE SummerSlam is 12 matches deep and the ‘less is more’ feeling is starting to kick in. And if we are to be honest, it’s very possible that NXT Takeover could steal the weekend from the main roster.
Kickoff Show: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana
Team Tranquilo has been getting the best of Rusev Day in the ring and on social media. Almas and Rusev put on a show in their first duel, so it’s a shame this is being placed on the kickoff show. I expect Aiden English to get it right this time and for it to be a joyous Rusev Day. Prediction: Rusev and Lana win
Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Championship — Cedric Alexander (C) vs. Drew Gulak
205 Live has been quietly entertaining since the reboot, partly due to the maturation of the Gulak character. From PowerPoint presentations to becoming a submission specialist, it was only a matter of time before he headlined the division. Although Alexander has been an ironman for the brand since becoming champ, his reign ends Sunday. Prediction: Drew Gulak becomes Cruiserweight Champion
Kickoff Show: Raw Tag Team Titles — B-Team (C) vs. The Revival
The B-Team has not lost a match since separating with the Miz. The champs just retained the belts in the three-way-tag match on Raw that also featured the Deleters of Worlds. Bray Wyatt took the pin in that bout and it was announced after The Revival would get a one on one opportunity. The throwback style of The Revival is refreshing to see and I believe they eventually will sit atop the Raw tag division. However, The B-Team, now sporting new entrance music, still has a lot left to offer in a flat tag division on Raw. ‘The top guys’ come up short. Prediction: The B-Team retains
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
The rubber match no one seems to care about. Both superstars deserve to be in more meaningful feuds. A loss for Corbin here seemingly does nothing as he’s in an authority role. Balor wins and hopefully this propels him to the main event scene. Prediction: Balor wins
SmackDown Tag Team Championship — Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The New Day
How many ways can The New Day continue to reinvent themselves to stay relevant? I’m here for all of it, the commentary during the tag tournament and the backstage interview were refreshingly entertaining. Entertainment is precisely what the Bludgeon Brothers’ title run needs. Undefeated can only take you so far (see Asuka) and I expect The New Day to carry promo work to keep us engaged. The Bludgeons are overdue for their first L, but it will come via DQ. Prediction: New Day wins via DQ – Bludgeons retain titles
United States Championship — Shinsuke Nakamura (C) vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy will get his rematch for the US title, but the titleholder, Nakamura, is in an odd position. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen grueling images of Randy Orton taking out Hardy while Nakamura seems to stand idly by. Orton has vowed to take out each star the fans love, citing he’s been unappreciated. Heel Orton is one of the great joys of wrestling and he will undoubtedly play a role in this match. Prediction: Nakamura retains US title
Intercontinental Championship — Dolph Ziggler (C) vs. Seth Rollins
This feud has begun to get redundant as of late and it’s neither superstars’ fault. Ziggler has been pulling double duty as champ/comedian. The matches have been excellent; however, the consistent presence of Drew Mcintyre gives way to the outcomes.
It has been long overdue for a Dean Ambrose appearance to shake things up and get somebody in Seth’s corner. Personally, I would have held off until Sunday for Dean and had Jason Jordan appear on Raw to the dismay of fans. How hilarious would that have been? Even with the recent surprise on Raw, Dean being back won’t be enough. Drew Mcintyre is too much of a game changer. This feud just added another layer to continue a little while longer. Prediction: Dolph Ziggler retains
Money in the Bank Briefcase — Braun Strowman (Holder) vs. Kevin Owens
Owens is hell bent on taking everything from Strowman after being terrorized in these past months. With the briefcase on the line, the stakes are at an all-time high. Strowman forfeits the case with a count out, DQ or traditional pin fall/submission. These outcomes have been teased in the past few weeks to build up the idea. As awesome as “KO in the Bank” sounds, there is no way Braun has achieved all this glory to not become Universal Champion. KO will eventually get his revenge, it won’t be tonight. Prediction: Braun Strowman wins
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Bringing back Becky Lynch into the fold is great for the Smackdown brand. The inaugural champ deserves to be in the title storyline. Charlotte on the other hand is always in the title picture and her involvement in this match can only cause friction. There’s no James Ellsworth so the deck is stacked against Mella. After losing to Becky and Charlotte clean in subsequent weeks, she faces an uphill triple threat bout. It’s obvious the WWE will have a tag team division by the time Evolution occurs that will feature tea time. Expect enough tension between Becky and Charlotte in this one that they cancel each other out and Mella walks out a champion. Prediction: Mella continues to be $$$ and retains
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
Eight years in the making, and since the days of the original NXT. I am just surprised WWE is giving fans this Wrestlemania-worthy match so early. These two have been tied to each other since Daniel’s debut, and over such time, the storytelling aspect for these two has been remarkable. With that said I expect this ending to be inconclusive so this war can continue down the road. Still, this match will be full of fireworks and likely best of the evening. This is, without a doubt, the most enticing match of the night. Prediction: No contest
Raw Women’s Championship — Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
After being (kayfabe) suspended over a month, Ronda finally gets Bliss one on one. Bliss will not have much offense in this match. In fact, she may get destroyed the entirety. But every good champ has a plan in place – if Mella is money, then the Goddess is gold. Rousey continues to grow as a WWE Superstar, but she will not be a champ this early. Look for Bliss to gain some serious heel heat for how she picks up the W and retains the Raw Women’s Championship. Prediction: Alexa Bliss retains
WWE Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
A match many have waited to see on a WWE stage finally set to take place. Styles has dominated as champion since taking the strap off Jinder Mahal – for nine months, in fact. With Joe having the character that can shoulder the load as champion, this could be a money program for a while, but only if AJ gets knocked down a couple rungs. Styles title run has gone over 281 days, which makes him the longest reigning WWE champion in Smackdown history, surpassing JBL. The WWE 2K18 cover boy loses the title and immediately invokes his rematch clause. Prediction: Samoa Joe becomes WWE Champion
Universal Championship — Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
OK, so we get Lesnar vs Roman for the 1,000th time. We all know the definition of insanity, but regarding this feud, Vince may have cracked the Roman code. Flipping the narrative to the champ who’s never present has gotten Roman some cheers from fans as of late. The tyrant champ turned on his only advocate in a stunning twist…. only for it to be a calculated plan to injure Reigns’ days before SummerSlam. Just when we thought we would finally get a Roman heel turn.
WWE eagerly wants Roman to be the hero to this story, but the outcome will be more Suplex City.
It’s no mystery WWE and UFC have some sort of partnership going on. Having Lesnar enter the Octagon as Universal champ creates more branding. Of course, my dream scenario is for Lesnar to lose to Daniel Cormier in a UFC, only for Braun Strowman to cash in shortly after to become the new Universal Champion. Wouldn’t that be something? Prediction:
Suplex City B**** Brock Lesnar retains
Cedric Welton is an aspiring journalist. In addition to creating content for TSFJ, he works part time at the NFL in Next Gen Stats and is a Reporter/Host for Torrance CitiCable’s Sports Desk. He is a proud Arizona State Alum and enthusiast of all things WWE and combat sports.
“Character is not determined by what it takes to motivate you, but by what it takes to stop you.”
The Marathon continues 🏁