WWE United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP
The United States Championship has been passed around like a bit of a hot potato in recent weeks; of all the competitors to run afoul of Retribution’s meddling, it is MVP who has the largest axe to grind as it was because of them messing with the arena lights that he lost the title back to Apollo Crews some time ago.
Street Fight: Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
My Prediction: MVP by pin fall (due to some kind of interference), new champion crowned
Last month at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, the WWE actually followed through with their ridiculous stipulation and had Seth Rollins pop Rey Mysterio’s eyeball from its socket! As a result, his son has stepped up his vendetta against Rollins and, after all these months of build, is finally going to go one-on-one with the Monday Night Messiah. Rollins is so confidant and arrogant that he has even stipulated that Dominik will be allowed to use weapons in this match; he and Murphy then took Dom to school the other week by smacking the absolute shit out of him with kendo sticks (because, you know, everyone’s gotta “pay their dues”). While Dom has proven he can take a beating, though, I’m not entirely convinced I believe in his in-ring abilities; apparently, he’s a natural and he’s picked it up really well so I assume that he will be busting out all kinds of surprising stuff in this match…but I don’t expect him to win, nor do I think that would be a good idea, narratively.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
My Prediction: Seth Rollins by pin fall
Somehow, I didn’t even realise that these two were feuding in a way that actually revolved around the Raw Tag Team Championships; it’s probably because of stupid shit like “poisonings” and what-not. It seems Andrade has slipped right into the role of a tag team wrestler for the time being, which is a real shame as I feel he would be a great mid-to-upper card guy; given the current state of affairs, this seems like the perfect opportunity to have pushed him towards the WWE Championship, especially over the likes of Dolph Ziggler. He even has a crew behind him who could make Drew McIntyre look even more powerful but, instead, Drew ploughed through them without any issue and he’s been relegated to a tag team. May as well toss the belt on him and Angel Garza, then, to try and give him some spotlight.
My Prediction: Andrade and Angel Garza by pin fall, new champions crowned
Hair vs. Hair Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
…Yeah, so, these two fell out a while back and have been on and off for a while. I don’t really care about this match or this angle; Mandy Rose and Otis haven’t really been that big a feature on Smack Down, which is weird considering Otis has the Money in the Bank briefcase but the focus has shifted on to this feud more than anything involving that. I guess we’ll see Sonya Deville get a buzzcut and then start throwing hand son Raw Underground.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
My Prediction: Mandy Rose by pin fall
I kinda thought that this match would happen; Raw has a serious lack of credible main event heels right now and, after the WWE gave up on an extended Lashley/McIntyre feud (in favour of Ziggler…!), burned through a Rollins/McIntyre rivalry a while back, have successfully recast Kevin Owens as a face, and refuse to put Andrade in this spot, who else is there, really, who can challenge McIntyre? Obviously, Orton was in the middle of a feud with Edge but, since Edge got hurt, he’s basically returned to his “Legend Killer” gimmick, infusing his aggressive and paranoid persona with it to give it a bit of an edge (no pun intended). This means we’ve seen him take out the Big Show, Ric Flair, and even Shawn Michaels and the much-welcome return of his devastating Punt Kick. Still, I really don’t need to see Orton as the WWE Champion in 2020 and feel this is another really good, dependable way of emphasising that McIntyre is “the guy” right now. I think the only person who can stand to put some doubt on McIntyre’s title reign right now is Brock Lesnar…and I hope he stays well-the-fuck-away from Drew and the belt.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka / SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
My Prediction: Drew McIntyre by pin fall, championship retained
I’m going to lump these two matches together as I think we’ll see Asuka pull double duty and Bayley and Sasha Banks arrange to have her challenge each of them back to back. It’s been a weird old time for the WWE’s women’s division; Nikki Cross showed a flicker of a heel turn recently, Alexa Bliss seems to be in a bit of turmoil thanks to the influence of the Fiend, Bray Wyatt, and no other women is apparently allowed to get a title shot other than Asuka. It’s gotten so weird that even career bad-ass and natural heel Shayna Baszler looks to be in line for a face turn! I was hoping we’d see the implosion of the Bayley/Sasha partnership but, alas, that’s still on the slow burn. I think, however, that this is how we’re going to get it; I reckon Asuka will defeat Bayley and win her belt and then immediately face Sasha and, despite it all, defeat her as well to win both titles. I think we’ll see both ladies’ interference cost the other and the two finally come to blows afterwards, which frees them up to feud without the belts and Asuka to finally get some spotlight as a dominant bad-ass.
WWE Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
My Prediction: Asuka by submission (x2), new double champion crowned
Man, you talk about finally getting to SummerSlam and this match. I’ve been expecting this match ever since Bray first challenged Braun Strowman and I’m happy to finally see it come about. No doubt this will probably involve a lot of smoke and mirrors and the cinematic style the WWE likes to use for Bray, which is a good thing I think as it makes the matches more visually interesting and exciting. Oddly, we’ve seen shades of a double turn leading into this match: Strowman has been pushing himself as “The Monster” and gone to great lengths to match Wyatt’s mind games, even leaving Alexa to Wyatt’s mercy and threatening her safety. The storyline has kind of painted the Fiend as being conflicted more towards caring for Alexa, kind of reminiscent to how Kane was notably softened by his association with X-Pac and Tori. I think we’ll see that come to fruition at SummerSlam; Strowman will be so consumed by the monster he is rediscovering that it will cost him, leaving him without the belt and an unhinged, monstrous bad-ass heel while Bray will regain the belt and be portrayed as more of a cool anti-hero type figure.
What is your current level of excitement for this year’s SummerSlam? Which match are you looking forward to the most (or the least)? Who are your predictions to win? Whatever you think about the line-up for SummerSlam, drop a comment below and be sure to pop back on Monday for my breakdown of the event’s results.
My Prediction: The Fiend, Bray Wyatt, by pin fall, new champion crowned