The first SummerSlam was held on August 29, 1988, in New York’s Madison Square Garden, which means this year’s edition is the 35th. No one could forget the 1992 edition live from Wembley Stadium in the UK or Randy Orton becoming the youngest World Champion in the history of the company in 2004. SummerSlam is one of the WWE’s most successful events and one of the “Big Four” pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble.

Due to WWE Clash at the Castle taking place on September 4 in the UK, SummerSlam is taking place pretty early this year. This edition will also be the first PPV without Vince McMahon who created it. No one would have expected the announcement of Vince retiring. How many fans have bragged on social media about Vince finally leaving? While it may not be that they forget that WWE wouldn’t be what it is now, some of the recent news surrounding Vince is difficult to stomach. That said, not just WWE but the wrestling business would be wildly different without him and his vision of wrestling as a sports entertainment.

Now, it’s time to play the Game. Once again, how many fans will be scrutinizing Triple H’s first choices as Head of Creative? As we say, Rome wasn’t built in a day and SummerSlam is probably the first baby step of a new era and a new vision. The card of the show remains pretty classic and doesn’t have the “epic” feeling a “Big Four” is supposed to have. Don’t forget is Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was destroyed in one night.

Note: Predictions are purely that, predictions. Nobody at SteelChair has heard of anything ahead of time, we promise.

Logan Paul vs The Miz

After being successful teammates at WrestleMania, Logan Paul and The Miz will clash in a star-studded match at SummerSlam. Following their win over the Mysterios at The Showcase of the Immortals, The A-Lister shockingly turned on his partner, delivering a Skull-Crushing Finale to the YouTube sensation.

Ever since then, Paul has been training for a showdown with Miz, inking a WWE deal on June 30. The Miz did not take kindly to this news, insisting they team up again at SummerSlam, wanting no part of a singles match. Once Paul signed on the dotted line, he made it clear that he’s on a warpath to a clash against The Awesome One, belittling and goading The Miz into accepting his challenge. On the July 18 edition of RAW, The Miz finally accepted Paul’s challenge after a surprise ambush with Ciampa backfired.

With the two A-Listers inside the ring at SummerSlam, no doubt sparks will fly and the action will be white hot. Logan Paul’s first order of business as a signed Superstar is revenge. Will Paul gain retribution for The Miz’s betrayal at WrestleMania or will The Awesome One prove he is the bigger star?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Logan Paul

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Logan Paul

Pat McAfee vs Happy Corbin

WWE is often criticised for a lack of long-term storytelling. To anyone who says that you just need to show them this match, you will struggle to find a feud that dates back further than this one. It was back in the summer of 2009 when Patrick McAfee and Thomas Pestock were both vying for spots on the roster of the Indianapolis Colts. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t recognise the name Thomas Pestock, you may know him better as Baron Corbin, Constable Corbin, King Corbin or Happy Corbin. The point is, that the summer of 2009 led these two men in different directions. While McAfee was signed up as a punter for the Colts until 2016, Pestock didn’t make the cut and instead made the transition to WWE. Corbin’s a former United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank, yet he’s struggled in recent months, especially when it came to dealing with his former sidekick, Madcap Moss.

Meanwhile, McAfee, after retiring from the NFL, went on to host a podcast before being employed by WWE. He had a couple of matches in NXT, including a brutal NXT WarGames appearance, before becoming the regular colour commentator on SmackDown, forming an incredible partnership with Michael Cole. He also worked two matches at WrestleMania, defeating Theory before losing to Vince McMahon (in what must surely be the last ever match for the former WWE Chairman). It’s from the SmackDown commentary desk that McAfee has been a vocal critic of Corbin’s underhanded tactics. Corbin has taken exception to that by blindsiding McAfee on numerous occasions, including the use of a vicious kick which suggests Corbin could have had a good run as a punter. On Saturday, there’ll be no more talking and no more sneak attacks. These former friends and teammates will settle things in the squared circle.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Pat McAfee

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Pat McAfee.

No Disqualification Match
The Mysterios vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor & Damian Priest)

A lot changes in WWE very quickly. The last time Judgment Day were included on a Premium Live Event, their members were Edge, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley, taking on a team that included Finn Balor. But the very next night on RAW, Balor aligned with Judgment Day and the group immediately excommunicated the Hall of Famer from their numbers. Edge hasn’t been seen since, but Balor and Priest have teamed on a regular basis since.

This past Monday night on RAW, the Mysterio family celebrated the twenty-year anniversary of Rey’s first appearance in WWE, and they also defeated Balor and Priest in the process. It turns out that may not have been the smartest move, when they were subsequently attacked by Judgment Day, including the return of Rhea Ripley. It was a vicious beatdown and was apparently mostly to do with Finn Balor feeling quite besmirched because Rey’s celebration had overshadowed his birthday. While the Mysterios will have their chance at redemption, this Saturday at SummerSlam in a No Disqualification match. But the father/son duo must be at a disadvantage considering they need to recover from Monday’s attack first.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Judgment Day – based on the last month or so, they need a result here. Plus, with no DQ and Rhea Ripley in their corner, they do have the advantage.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: The Mysterios, with Edge’s help.

United States Championship Match
Bobby Lashley (c) vs Theory

Theory will receive his rematch against Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship at The Biggest Event of the Summer. A burgeoning rivalry built out of showing off their muscles and squirting baby oil into each other’s eyes reached its boiling point at WWE Money in the Bank. Leading up to the contest, Theory put Lashley through the ringer, having him go through a gruelling Gauntlet Match to get an opportunity at Theory’s United States Championship.

In their match, Lashley got payback by dismantling the young upstart, with Theory operating on defence throughout the match.  At the Premium Live Event, The All Mighty captured his third United States Championship while Theory became the youngest Mr. Money in the Bank ever by winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match as a surprise entrant. Despite being Mr. Money in the Bank, Theory hasn’t shifted his focus away from the US Title just yet though, despite his new briefcase.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Theory – he’s taken a fair bit of a bashing in recent weeks, particularly on the last episode of RAW. That tells me that Theory’s getting the US title back.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Lashley.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship – Special Guest Referee Jeff Jarrett
The Usos (c) vs. The Street Profits

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos say there isn’t a team in WWE who can beat them. After a controversial finish to their recent title matchup against The Street Profits at WWE Money in the Bank, however, their status as “Undisputed” has now come into question. And that question will be settled, one way or the other, in a rematch at SummerSlam with Special Guest Referee Jeff Jarrett.

The Usos have been on an absolute tear since becoming champions, overcoming the best that SmackDown has to offer in their record-setting reign, including unifying the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships against RK-Bro and emerging victorious in a close battle with Shinsuke Nakamura & Riddle on the blue brand.

Although Jimmy & Jey also officially retained the tag team gold against explosive former titleholders, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins, at the WWE Money in the Bank Premium Live Event, a replay showed that Ford’s shoulder was clearly off the canvas before the three-count.

At The Biggest Event of the Summer, The Street Profits will be up and looking to knock both The Usos down a peg and finally lay claim to the Undisputed Tag Team Title. Can Ford & Dawkins take back the Championship gold, or will another climb to “Mount Bloodline” knock the wind out of them once and for all?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: The Usos – Jeff Jarrett wouldn’t be my trusted choice to referee a match and call it right down the middle. I expect shenanigans here.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: This is a story that has to come to an end. Adding Jarrett to the equation can help one team like the other. Let’s go for The Street Profits.

RAW Women’s Championship Match
Bianca Belair (c) vs Becky Lynch

At SummerSlam, Bianca Belair will battle Becky Lynch in a highly personal showdown for the RAW Women’s Championship. Since her triumphant victory over Lynch to capture the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38, her second Women’s Title captured on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Belair has been a dominant force atop the RAW mountain. All the while, an unpredictable Lynch has become simply unhinged in her quest to regain the gold, whether engaging in a chaotic rivalry with Asuka, battling in a Triple Threat Match at WWE Hell in a Cell or fighting tooth and nail in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

Big Time Becks continued to get inside the head of the reigning titleholder when she interfered with Belair’s Raw Women’s Title Match against Carmella on the July 11 episode of RAW to give The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE a victory by count-out. After The EST of WWE corrected that loss with a victory over Mella in a title rematch the following week, the path was set for Belair to take on The Man at The Biggest Event of the Summer.

Last year at SummerSlam it was Lynch’s shocking return that derailed Belair’s first title reign. Can The EST get payback in front of her home state crowd in Nashville?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Bianca Belair – it’s a straight-up rematch from last year’s SummerSlam, except this time Bianca is prepared and she has Becky’s number.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: I feel like I’ve seen this match a hundred times… I go for Becky Lynch.

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Liv Morgan (c) vs Ronda Rousey 

The girlhood dream finally came true at Money in the Bank. It’s well documented how Liv Morgan grew up idolizing Lita and wrestling her siblings in their backyard. We all saw the reaction when Liv won the Money in the Bank ladder match and then cashed in to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. We all saw the tears streaming down her face, causing her mascara to run. The moment was real, the emotion was real and we were all on the ride with Liv Morgan. Of course, it wasn’t an easy feat, knocking off Ronda Rousey, and initially, the moment did look bleak when Morgan was trapped in an Anklelock. Somehow, Liv did escape, taking advantage of the fact that Rousey was wounded, having just survived a match against Natalya.

SummerSlam will be a different affair when Rousey and Morgan meet one on one. Both will have the time to prepare ahead of this encounter, it won’t come as a surprise to either of them, and that also means there can be no excuses when all is said and done. This one could be a nasty affair as on the surface it appears as though Morgan may have bitten off more than she can chew. We know that Ronda Rousey is a vicious competitor and she has proved it in a number of ventures, including the UFC and Olympic judo. Morgan may be only the second woman in WWE to pick up a victory over Rousey, but she’s going to be in there against the Baddest Woman on the Planet who is majorly pissed off and hungry for revenge.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Liv Morgan – everything says that Ronda Rousey should be getting the easy win here, but I have a feeling that Liv’s going to upset the odds and escape with her title. Watch her.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: I expect a Charlotte Flair comeback, so Liv Morgan.

Last Man Standing Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

Hogan and Macho Man. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Rock and Austin. Cena and Orton. Those are four major feuds throughout the history of WWE. If you think of either of the names in those pairs, the other name isn’t far behind. But there is a fifth duo we can add to that list. Reigns and Lesnar. It doesn’t matter how you spin it, when you look back on the careers of either Lesnar or Reigns, this will be the feud that defines them.

After their historic clash at WrestleMania 38, where the WWE and Universal Championships were unified, it was the Tribal Chief who walked away with all the gold. Following that night, Roman has only defended his Championship once since, on an episode of SmackDown against Riddle. Following that victory, Roman declared there was nobody else left, inferring that he was potentially about to leave the company, with the gold.

That was then Lesnar’s music hit. It would seem the Beast Incarnate wasn’t content to leave things as they are and has been granted another shot at the Head of the Table. These two titans have met under a number of different circumstances, including the steel cage, but this time it will be under Last Man Standing rules. Which of these will be able to incapacitate the other to a point where they cannot answer the referee’s count of ten? Roman and Brock are big, tough men who have never been easily beaten, so this shouldn’t be an affair for the faint-hearted. Plus, whoever is the last man standing may then immediately have to deal with Theory and the Money in the Bank contract.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Roman Reigns – it’s difficult to imagine this going any other way, especially following the rumours that Lesnar considered walking out of the company following the news of Vince’s retirement, although it seems he is professional enough to compete in this advertised match. This ship may have a new captain, but we might not be seeing a change of destination immediately.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Falls Count Anywhere means no-DQ, which means the Usos can be involved. So Roman Reigns.

WWE SummerSlam is streaming this Saturday at 8 PM EST (1 AM BST) on the WWE Network or on BT Sport in the UK. The Kickoff Show begins at 7 PM EST (midnight BST) on WWE Network and WWE social platforms.

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE 

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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