The hottest night of the summer is upon us. This Sunday, live from the Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada, WWE Presents: SummerSlam.
In what is sure to be another WWE 5+ hour show, we have the scoop on can’t miss matches, when you can refill the chip bowl or your favorite adult beverage, and the matches you could flat out skip for this year’s SummerSlam.
Here’s a rundown of the SummerSlam card thus far:
- Universal Championship match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
- WWE Championship match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton
- United States Championship match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet
- Raw Women’s Championship match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya
- SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon
- Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
- Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
- Trish Stratus vs. Charlotte Flair
- Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Roman Reigns vs Mystery attacker:
As of this writing, we are not certain which of the above matches will take place on the preshow, or if there will be any additional matches set for that. None of the Tag Titles are set to be defended at this time and, currently, more than a few notables have been left off the SummerSlam card. Samoa Joe, The Miz, Elias, Barin Corbin and Braun Strowman, to name a few. But let’s go over what we know will be on the show.
Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon
Both of these guys are great performers and the match will surely be entertaining. But I don’t like KO being used here, especially if it’s in an attempt to write Shane off TV. Main highlights will be Shane O’Mac’s entrance, KO yelling some funny stuff at his opponent, and surely Shane will hit a crazy spot or two. But the bottom line is Shane’s on-screen character is played out. He takes the bumps in the matches, and much respect for doing it, but KO should be in a bigger role at such an important show.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Goldberg vs Dolph Ziggler:
A snoozer of a match if there ever was one. Use this time to go to the bathroom or check some MLB scores from the day. But don’t doddle. Goldberg can’t wrestle for long so look for him to hit the spear and/or jackknife in under two minutes and pin the “Showoff” clean.
Finn Balor vs ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
Speaking of potential squash matches, this match has the sad potential to go there. We all know these two competitors have the ability to go the distance, but with Balor set to take some time off from the WWE, and the Bray Wyatt debuting a fresh new gimmick, look for the Fiend to make short work of Finn Balor (sans the demon attire). He’ll score the victory setting up for a return of the Demon sometime down the line.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Trish Stratus vs Charlotte Flair
Any time you get a chance to see the semi-retired Trish Stratus in a match, it’s a delight for wrestling fans. This match gives us a battle of generations in the WWE women’s division. It’s doubtful that this is more of a one or two-off situation for Trish, so look for something to happen in this match to further a storyline. My money would be on a Sasha Banks heel turn. But this is a can’t miss match.
Prediction: Charlotte Flair (with an assist from “The Boss”)
Roman Reigns vs ??
Roman Reigns looks set to do battle against either Daniel Bryan or the less exciting Eric Rowan. As was revealed this week on SmackDown Live, the driver of the attempted hit-and-run was Eric Rowan. Was he operating under the orders of Daniel Bryan? We sure hope so because the WWE could do better than Rowan vs Reigns. As of now, no match is set. The fan in me is hoping we get to see Samoa Joe teaming up with Reigns to take on Bryan and Rowan. Either way, look for Roman or some formation of his team standing victorious at SummerSlam.
Prediction: Roman Reigns (and co.)
Smackdown Women’s title: Bayley(c) vs Ember Moon.
Now we get to some title bout predictions, starting with the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This should be a must-watch match. Both Bayley and Ember can carry a match. Look for some good spots and a decently timed match giving these two the spotlight to entertain us. And be on the lookout because a Sasha heel turn on Bayley could happen here, too, and it would work itself into a possible storyline reveal. Outside interference is a real possibility here, too.
Prediction: Ember Moon
Raw Women’s title: ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch (c) vs Natalya
This doesn’t strike me as a SummerSlam caliber match for Becky Lynch. Making it a submission match does add a little something to it, but I again feel like WWE creative will go the outside interference route here as well. Perhaps they’ll go in the Alexa Bliss or Niki Cross direction. Or even potentially a returning Rhoda Rousey. She could potentially get involved and come back in a part-time sense, setting up a match for Survivor Series.
Prediction: Natalya by DQ
WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Ricochet
This is a match that I really hope WWE creative leaves alone. Both of these guys are capable of putting on a match-of-the-year calibur match. And this one could easily steal the show. The temptation to send AJ’s
Bullet Club, The Club, The OC buddies in to wail on Ricochet a-la the same thing that happened last month might be too much for the creative team to bear. And, maybe, they even send some other guys in evening the playing field (NWO, DX, take your pick). But this isn’t the Raw Reunion. This is SummerSlam, and we all hope and pray WWE doesn’t parade out the same old tired trope and let these two have a good match. Sadly, I don’t think they will.
Prediction: Ricochet by DQ
WWE Championship match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton
On to the WWE and Universal Championship matches. In the first, Kofi Kingston defends against Randy Orton. This will be an entertaining match between two in-ring technicians. Kofi will fly high, there will be an RKO or two hit out of nowhere. This match should have it all. It’s tough to call as far as prediction goes. The crowd is huge on Kofi right now, but Orton seems to win when you least expect him to. As far as a win at SummerSlam goes Orton would be an underdog and I love an underdog!
Prediction: Randy Orton
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Seth Rollins
And, finally, at sometime after 11 p.m., the Universal Title match. If you’re tired at that point and have to work the next day, let me save you the trouble. SETH ROLLINS WINS. There’s one thing no hardcore wrestling fan said before WrestleMania and that was “I’d like to see this match three times.” Matches like these are what the WWE isn’t getting and it’s the cause of their low numbers. Any other wrestler vs Seth Rollins for the title would have been acceptable. For instance, Samoa Joe, Kevin Ownes, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Roman Reigns are all deserving. I would have accepted literally ANYONE. What a missed opportunity for WWE to highlight a hard working talent and push them into the title picture and give fans a memorable match. If the match is good, fans don’t mind seeing it over and over. Now I’m wondering when is the last time I didn’t see part-time Lesnar in a Universal Title main event.
Prediction: Seth Rollins….God, I hope so
Will SummerSlam live up to the billing?
Well, that’s the SummerSlam card as we know it. We’ll wait and see if any matches are added to the preshow. It’s been no secret that WWE’s numbers are low. Two things are set to happen this fall. Smackdown Live moves to Fox and All Elite Wrestling premieres their weekly show on TNT. This show would be a good way to establish WWE’s direction going into the fall. Will WWE set the tone and show fans they haven’t lost touch? Tune in to SummerSlam Sunday night on the WWE Network and back here at The Turf for reviews and reactions next week.