The Biggest Party of The Summer is usually a moment of fun. SummerSlam is one of WWE’s ‘Big Four PPVs’ and this year, the excitation is not really there. We went without crowds for WrestleMania 36, Money in the Bank, Backlash and The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, and despite high hopes, SummerSlam is going the same way. The Thunderdome will give the image of fans being there but the arena will remain empty of ‘real fans’ yelling and booing.
WWE chose the tag line You’ll Never See It Coming for this PPV. And we haven’t been closer to. Between RETRIBUTION hijacking RAW and SmackDown and Shane McMahon opening a fight club under within the bowels of the Performance Center, the product has become as familiar as it was fundamentally dreadful. As is so often the case with these shows, a card has emerged and it actually looks okay.
Many matches are extremely difficult to predict and let’s not forget Otis has not cashed in his MITB briefcase. The fans definitely need something exciting, after the failure The Horror Show at Extreme Rules was. SummerSlam has always been one of the most-anticipated pay-per-view events each and every year, almost ready to take centre stage of the sports entertainment world. This year, more than ever, it has to be.
Note: Predictions are purely that, predictions. None of us has heard of anything before, we promise.
RAW Tag Team Championships Match
Street Profits (c) vs Andrade & Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega
The smoke is coming to SummerSlam as The Street Profits will put the RAW Tag Team Titles on the line in a battle against Andrade and Angel Garza. Zelina Vega’s vaunted duo earned the championship opportunity with a hard-fought win over The Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander & Ricochet in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match on RAW. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins will need to be as locked in as ever against the talented, yet combustible duo. The Street Profits have dispatched of a collection of the red brand’s best throughout their six-month title reign and recently defeated their SummerSlam challengers on RAW.
Let’s face the flames. The Street Profits may not be dominating the headlines every week, but they’ve looked pretty comfy as Raw tag team champs. The lack of depth across both tag team divisions is still a significant problem (we’re still pushing for some sort of unification and reorganisation), but for now, the Street Profits just have to beat what’s in front of them. There’s a good chance that Garza and Andrade will go their separate ways and look towards singles gold.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Street Profits – Up until the last episode the RAW, my prediction would have gone the other way. But after Zelina Vega was revealed as the one who poisoned Ford’s drink, it seems to be that this storyline is being wrapped up. To me, Andrade and Angel looked surprised when they saw the footage of Zelina. Could it be that this duo is drifting about from their business associate? It’s looked like this trio have been hanging by a thread for some time. That thread could be about to snap.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Street Profits – Just because I’m sick and tired of Zelina and Co every week on RAW. I even lost the pleasure of seeing Garza remove his pants…
No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE Match
Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose
Mandy Rose wants to make things ugly in the latest showdown with her former best friend, and she and Sonya Deville will put their locks on the line in a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam. Deville felt that stipulation didn’t go far enough. After Mandy’s final peace offering, her former tag team partner addressed the WWE Universe and decided instead for a No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE Match.
Sonya made the first cut toward the clash when she attacked Mandy backstage and took multiple snips of her hair with a scissor. The Golden Goddess debuted a new look and a revamped attitude the following week, as she came back swinging and brawled with Deville. Now the two former best friends turned enemies will settle their dispute once and for all.
Almost all tag teams usually end in acrimony, and while these two more drifted apart than exploded, things are absolutely kicking off now. With her MMA background, Sonya Deville is maybe the better pure wrestler, but Mandy Rose is no slouch and also knows every trick in the book to pull a win out of nowhere. This storyline has been running for so long and this match is exactly what we need to put an end to it. Definitely.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Mandy Rose – This feud effectively started back in February, although it strangely doesn’t feel like it. But with this sort of stipulation, it’s clear we’ve reached the end of the line. It’s been a rough time in Sonya Deville’s personal life and this may just be a way of writing her off-screen so she can take some time. Meanwhile, Mandy goes back to her entertaining relationship with Otis.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Mandy Rose – If I love Sonya Deville, what happened to her this week is enough to make her have a breath from wrestling. If that had not happened, I would have bet on her.
Dominik Mysterio vs Seth Rollins
Rey Mysterio’s debut WWE PPV match came at SummerSlam in 2002, so it does seem somewhat fitting that his son’s debut should come at the same event, but 18 years later. WWE have invested a lot in young Dominik Mysterio. Having been involved in WWE storylines since the age of eight, the WWE Universe have watched Dominik grow up in front of their very eyes. From the custody storyline that involved the late Eddie Guerrero, to standing up against Brock Lesnar. Now Dominik is fighting on behalf of his father against the Monday Night Messiah.
We have no idea how good Dominik is in the ring, but he has presumably been training for some time, and being trained by one of the all-time greats. It’s been rumoured that Dominik’s position in the company was a big factor in Rey’s recent contract extension negotiations. There’s a lot of pressure on the young man’s shoulders, as there is often with third-generation stars.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Seth Rollins – The Street Fight is a good gimmick to use in a match like this. The use of weapons can make up for Dominik being rough around the edges. Also, Seth Rollins is among the best performers in the current WWE roster to guide someone inexperienced through a match.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Seth Rollins – I honestly think Dominik Mysterio couldn’t have a better opponent for his first match in WWE. The Prince is definitely not like his father, Dominik is not the Lucha Libre wrestler his father has been. Dominik has a very different wrestling style than his father that makes him fit Rollins. Then, it’s his first match ever in the biggest wrestling company on the planet. You have to crawl before learning to walk…
WWE United States Championship Match – Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside
Apollo Crews (c) vs MVP
It’s been a mixed few weeks for the Hurt Business. After MVP lost the United States Championship (which he officially never held) that he paid for himself and Shelton Benjamin can’t seem to hold onto the 24/7 title for long. MVP, Benjamin and Bobby Lashley declared they were taking over RAW Underground but they haven’t bothered to go back over the two subsequent weeks. Then there’s also the mysterious faction, only known as RETRIBUTION, who have been sabotaging productions of RAW and SmackDown over the past few weeks. MVP has claimed that Apollo Crews is part of RETRIBUTION, using the flickering lights to his advantage in order to “steal” the Championship in their recent title match. Apollo granted MVP another title rematch, although he really didn’t have to, so one would imagine this is the last chance saloon for MVP, at least for the foreseeable future.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: MVP – There are a few seeds that have been planted over the past few weeks that make me think that MVP could be leaving the ThunderDome as the new United States Championship. After Crews won a match on the go-home edition of RAW that means Lashley and Benjamin are banned from ringside for this title match. But there’s nothing about Apollo’s associates being at ringside. With MVP trying to turn Cedric Alexander against Ricochet, Apollo and Ali, a part of me think that Cedric will align with the Hurt Business and help MVP capture the gold.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Apollo Crews – Because not MVP.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley (c) vs Asuka
Asuka will be busy during The Biggest Event of the Summer as The Empress of Tomorrow added a second title clash for the night. The red brand Superstar will face Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship after winning a Triple Brand Battle Royal to earn the opportunity.
Both of “The Golden Role Models” will have to fight off Asuka’s title aspirations, as RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks will also face a challenge from the former titleholder. The Boss won the title from Asuka on RAW after Bayley’s attack on Kairi Sane forced a count-out of the competing Kabuki Warriors. The SmackDown Women’s Champion was bested by Asuka in their most recent showdown on the red brand, which punched The Empress of Tomorrow’s ticket to a clash with Banks for the RAW Women’s Title.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Bayley – I’ve been predicting that will Bayley will lose the title for months and it just hasn’t happened. Therefore I expect her to escape with the title here – by hook or by crook. But surely she’s only clinging onto this title reign by her fingernails.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Asuka – With Charlotte sidelined for the moment and Becky pregnant, WWE need a strong female wrestler to lead the division. Since pandemic and all its consequences, Asuka has definitely emerged as a key player. She is entertaining in the ring but also out of the ring. She has been there week after week, she has given everything she has.
RAW Women’s Championship Match
Sasha Banks (c) vs Asuka
The bad blood between the two can be traced back to The Boss’ desire to be a double champion, just like her fellow WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. Banks jumped Asuka and made her intentions clear ahead of The Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules last month. That, of course, turned into a nightmare for The Empress of Tomorrow after she inadvertently sprayed the official with green mist. That led to Bayley donning the referee’s shirt and making the three-count for Banks. While it was not an official victory, The Boss and Bayley nabbed the RAW Women’s Title and ran off with it.
Stephanie McMahon later made a rematch between the two and declared that the title could change hands by pinfall, submission, count-out, disqualification or if anyone interfered. Bayley took full advantage of that rule, ambushing Asuka’s friend and tag team partner Kairi Sane in a vicious attack. The ruthless assault left The Empress of Tomorrow with a decision to make: save her friend or save her title. Asuka chose the former, rushing to Sane’s aid and taking the count-out loss, ceding the title to Banks. But with Sane now gone from WWE, Asuka has made it clear that she has one thing on her mind: payback. She had to go through Bayley on Monday Night RAW to get the title opportunity.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Asuka – If Bayley does escape with her title earlier in the night, then the Golden Role Models may be led into a false sense of security, thinking they can leave SummerSlam with all their gold, but I don’t think it will be that simple. Plus, after Becky Lynch’s lengthy title reign, WWE seem to like the RAW Women’s title being passed back and forth for the time being.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Asuka 2Tsu no beruto (Two Belts in what is supposed to be Japanese) – Period.
Ok, Asuka said yesterday the Empress of Two Belts…
WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre (c) vs Randy Orton
It’s almost a year since Randy Orton’s last shot at the WWE Championship. His last reign ended in May 2017 when he lost at Backlash to Jinder Mahal (no, you weren’t dreaming, that actually happened). Orton is still chasing a fourteenth World Championship (a record that would equal Triple H), and at least there seems to be a genuine story trajectory this time. Randy Orton’s performances over the last few months are arguably the best of his career. His matches look sleek and effortless, and his promos cut right to the bone. Since defeating Edge at Backlash, Orton has been a heat-magnet, taking out legends including Christian, Big Show, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. Orton’s become somewhat of a prizefighter on RAW, rarely wrestling weekly. Why should he? When he sees most of the roster as beneath him.
But when the Legend Killer is declared as the Greatest Wrestler of All Time, he’s missing one thing to back that up: the WWE Championship. It just so happens, that Drew McIntyre is the one currently standing in the way of the hungry Viper. This is the biggest challenge so far in the first World title reign of Drew McIntyre, and it remains to be seen if the Scottish Terminator can rise to the occasion.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: Randy Orton – I feel like WWE booked themselves into a bit of a corner here. Randy Orton’s been on an absolute tear since Backlash and then being declared the best ever by Ric Flair. With Orton destroying legends left, right and centre, there’s only one last thing to do: win the WWE Championship again. If Orton doesn’t get the win here, all the steam goes out of his storyline. So I think he has to win, and then potentially hold onto the title until Edge is cleared to return.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Randy Orton – I feel extremely bad for Drew McIntyre who, this time, was really the chosen one, but by the fans. The current context is prevented him from his supporters, the ones who have made him rise to the top of WWE. Defending in stacked arenas would have made his reign something unforgettable. Orton winning could give him a boost and make a second reign more magnificent than the first. Unless Lesnar…
WWE Universal Championship Match –
Braun Strowman (c) vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Universal Champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt have inflicted an endless amount of physical and psychological agony upon one another over the last few months, and it will all come to an end at The Biggest Event of the Summer. After months of slugfests, mind games and putting each other through hell, “The Monster” and “The Fiend” are finally set to collide for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
When Strowman and Wyatt last crossed paths, the Universal Champion returned to his old stomping grounds at the Wyatt Swamp, where he endured a snake bite, being tied up in a chair, and a haunting image of Alexa Bliss. Sporting his old Hawaiian shirt and cackling maniacally, Wyatt took advantage of his “home field advantage” to send Wyatt head-first into the murky swamp and stood tall at the conclusion of The Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules.
On a recent episode of SmackDown, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt trapped Alexa in the ring and applied the Mandible Claw in a horrifying scene. A week later, however, Bliss appeared to dissuade “The Fiend” from doing the same thing, gently blocking his hand and touching the side of his face before Strowman interrupted on the TitanTron. Speaking in a low but ominous tone, The Monster Among Men claimed that he has been pushed to his breaking point and vowed that he is more than a man… he is “the thing that nightmares are made of.”
After yesterday’s SmackDown, the match was announced as a Falls Count Anywhere Match, as Strowman and Wyatt will have free reign over the WWE ThunderDome to try and brutally settle the rivalry.
Danny Cause’s Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Much like the McIntyre-Orton match, I don’t really see another way this can go. “The Fiend” character sustained a lot of damage in losing to Goldberg back at Super ShowDown and it’s taken the time in between to rebuild to this point. Braun may have shaved his head and think he’s a bad man, but it shouldn’t be enough here. I’m also curious to see if Alexa Bliss may play a deciding factor in the finish.
Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: “The Fiend”. Both Wyatt and Strowman have been through so many ups and downs since then, and after trading wins and losses, it feels like things are perfectly poised for this match-up. There is so much backstory here that Wyatt/The Fiend barely needs the motivation of the title that he so wishes to regain. Introducing Alexa Bliss into the equation has disturbed more than a fan. The way she touched The Fiend’s face was a scary moment of beauty. Which Monster is she going to befriend with?
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE