SummerSlam , an event which is around the level of Wrestlemania in terms of artificial importance administered by the WWE, is set to take place on Sunday. As such, WWE has put together the biggest card they’ve had in months, featuring returning highlanders like Brock Lesnar, and STEPHANIE FREAKING MCMAHON in in-ring action. I’m really excited about SummerSlam, if only because it actually feels like things are happening in the WWE after a months-long water-treading of endless rematches, tired angles and Adam Rose.
This is our official predictions column, we’ll be picking the winners of every match on the card, as well as telling you what to expect and offering a little fantasy booking of what we’d like to see the talent do in the future, and how the WWE will inevitably screw it all up. Please join us in our desperate hopes.
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
What to expect: Hopefully something a lot better than what we saw at Battleground. These two had the most uneven match on the card last month, and it smelled distinctly like two guys saving their best ideas for the much bigger, much more relevant stage of SummerSlam. Bray Wyatt certainly isn’t going to tap out to a transitional move, and the whole “Harper and Rowan banned from ringside” angle seems built to showcase Bray at his biggest and evilest.
Who wins: I don’t think there’s any way Wyatt isn’t going over. It’s probably the result I’m most comfortable predicting on the entire card. Jericho’s dates are coming to a close, and he’s made it clear in the past that he’s really happy to job out to younger, fiercer talent. The aforementioned BRAY WON’T HAVE HIS CULT storyline seems specifically designed to have him leave the ring looking like one of the biggest monsters in the company, hopefully capturing some of that pre-Wrestlemania momentum.
What should happen next: Wyatt, newly reborn in his maleficent power, makes a truly unique antihero run at Lesnar’s title – slowly elevating him to the most powerful figure in the WWE.
What will happen next: Probably a flavorless, but well wrestled feud with Sheamus or somebody of that ilk.
WWE Intercontinental Championship - The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
What to expect: Dolph Ziggler bumping his ass off, and throwing some killer dropkicks. The Miz constantly rolling out of the ring, and a whole lot of cheating.
Who wins: I think The Miz retains, because I think he has some more sinister aspersions to cast as a champion before giving it to somebody more likable. I could honestly see this Miz/Dolph feud carrying out to a few more pay-per-views. As much as you might want to see Ziggler go over, you’d much rather see it happen for something that isn’t the IC title.
What should happen next: Miz and Dolph carry on their feud for a few more months, culminating in Dolph getting selected to star in The Marine 5 forcing Miz to discard his platinum-white suit.
What will happen next: Dolph continues to be the best wrestler in the company to the utter apathy of WWE brass.
Flag Match – Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
What to expect: A giant, brutal hoss match with some devastating superkicks and a least one instance of Jack Swagger snatching a Patriot Lock out of nowhere. Definitely some flag bumps, maybe some Lana interference, a ton of USA chants, and the general vibe that we’re watching some vintage, mid-80s NWA bout.
Who wins: Honestly? I think Rusev takes his first loss here. Swagger is so over with his uber-patriotic face turn (opposing his previous uber-racist Tea Party gimmick,) that I don’t think it makes sense to squander it in a big moment like this. Rusev is currently undefeated, and I don’t think a loss against Swagger will hurt his status too much, the xenophobia angle is always an ever-replenishing well. You get the sense that these two will be fighting each other for a while now.
What should happen next: Lana starts wrestling. That’s the only way I can be happy with anything regarding this feud.
What will happen next: Basically the same match over and over again. Neither of these two make sense fighting anyone else in the company. Until scumbag-patriot John Cena makes his return to put away the Big Scary Foreigner (guaranteed,) this will be the status quo.
Lumberjack Match - Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
What to expect: Probably the best match of the night. Ambrose wildly throwing chairs into the ring, Rollins making some suicidal top-rope bumps, a whole lot of interference, (always inevitable with a lumberjack match,) some awesome chained finishers, and two of the best young talents in the world on the biggest stage of their careers.
Who wins: This is the toughest call of the night because you could really see it going either way. My gut is to say Ambrose, just because of how thoroughly he’s mentally destroyed Rollins over the last couple Raws (hiding in birthday presents, stuffing popcorn into his briefcase,) that being said, you could easily see this serving as a pathway for Seth to cash in his contract later on in the show. But Ambrose has gotten the last laugh enough times over the last month that it’s hard to not see that continuing here.
What should happen next: After finally destroying the psyche of his archenemy, Dean Ambrose targets Triple H and an eventual title shot at Wrestlemania.
What will happen next: The same thing really, even the WWE knows that Ambrose is their guy.
Divas Championship – AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
What to expect: Paige acting like a crazy person, and both of them doing some of the best work you’re going to see on the show, or any show for that matter.
Who wins: I sorta think Paige gets her title back, because I don’t think these ladies have a lot to do other than go back and forth for a few more cycles. Heel Paige exists to give AJ Lee a foil, she certainly isn’t meant to be picking on, like, Nikki Bella or something. And Paige lost to AJ at Battleground, two failures in a row would pretty much conclude the angle entirely.
What should happen next: WWE calls up the remainder of the NXT women’s talent; Charlotte, Sasha, and Bayley, putting them directly into a web of feuds that quickly becomes the best stuff on Raw.
What will happen next: Paige goes on Total Divas and starts feuding with Natayla.
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
What to expect: Randy Orton countering a Roman Reigns spear with an RKO and it being the sickest shit you’ve ever seen in your entire life.
Who wins: I honestly want Orton to go over, because Reigns has been protected as this invincible babyface for so long that some ACTUAL FUCKING ADVERSITY would persuade me to start caring about his perspective again. But that’s not going to happen. Reigns will win. Internet fans will continue to be discontent. Side note: does anybody care about this match? I mean, it’ll be some good wrestling but for two of the tippy-top guys in the company, it’s weird how cooled the hype has been. Maybe that’s because we’ve watched these two guys wrestle for, like, three months now. But the collective shrug is still surprising.
What should happen next: Roman Reigns adds something, anything, to his character to make him less anonymous. Or he starts tagging with Ambrose again. Or maybe he just says “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT CENA SUCKS WHEN ROMAN REIGNS IS IN THE BUILDING” and I start cheering again.
What will happen next: Roman Reigns continues his meteoric rise to the top, and it will continue to be the most okay thing happening in wrestling.
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
What to expect: The true headliner of SummerSlam. Stephanie delivering the brassiest pedigrees in all of pro wrestling.
Who wins: I want Stephanie to win this really badly. She is so much better at her job than Brie that the pitch-darkness of her character is sorta worth rooting for. I’d much rather cheer for a virtuoso of hate than a blank hero. But nah. Steph is jobbing to Brie and putting her over in the biggest way she possibly could because real life Steph genuinely wants the best for her employees. Despite my thirst for anarchy, that’s pretty admirable.
What should happen next: Steph continues to wrestle and reigns terror throughout the women’s division for the rest of time.
What will happen next: Steph and Brie have a laugh after the match, and she probably hangs up her in-ring performing days for good.
WWE Heavyweight Championship – John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
What to expect: They’ve been putting this match over enough as the most brutal thing you’re ever going to watch. Considering Lesnar ripped Cena to shreds at Extreme Rules a couple years ago, it’s hard to imagine they aren’t aiming to exceed. I’m preparing for a really brutal match, maybe even some blood. These two are going to destroy each other, and in the words of our patron saint Brock Lesnar, “it’s gonna be ugly people.”
Who wins: I really think this match ends with an unconscious Cena. Ripped to shreds by an unstoppable, streak-conquering Brock Lesnar. Cena has to go shoot this movie, and sending him off on some “HE DIDN’T TAP, EVEN WHEN HIS BODY GAVE IN ON HIM” kayfabe injury leave is the perfect excuse. And honestly, how are you gonna have a guy beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania if you aren’t gonna give him the belt at some point?
What should happen: Toxic-heel Brock Lesnar carries the title to Wrestlemania 31, where it’s taken off by Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Stardust, or any other awesome upstarts in the business.
What will happen: Toxic-heel Brock Lesnar carries the title to Wrestlemania 31, where it’s taken off by John Cena.