As always when I get around to writing a predictions column, it’s nearly here, the biggest party of the summer is nearly here. Only this time, it’s been spoiled. Spoiled, by a perfect storm… apparently. Let’s get right to it, with 8 matches announced (including the pre-show).
United States Championship Match (Pre-Show) – Antonio Cesaro vs Santino Marella (C)
In the past, I haven’t always predicted pre-show match results. The reason I include this one is very simple. Look at how the status of the Intercontinental Championship has been relatively rejuvenated over the last year or so. Then look at how the US belt has done the exact opposite. The reigns of Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger and Santino Marella have ruined the work done by The Miz, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler not too long ago – and through very little fault of their own. It’s not impossible to make more than three championships feel important, even if you wouldn’t know it. Here’s a statistic for you, Eddie Guerrero had two runs with the belt, one in WCW and one in WWE. Santino Marella has now held the belt longer than Eddie did with his two reigns combined. To stop the slide of the belt even further, it needs to change hands.
Prediction: Winner and NEW United States Champion – Antonio Cesaro
WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Primetime Players vs Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (C)
Obviously this match has been pushed to one side because of all the media attention being focused on the very real sacking of AW. But what shouldn’t be ignored is the tag team division getting focused on again. They’re even getting a title match on PPV! The last time that happened was at Over The Limit in May when the current champs defeated Team Swiggler. The trouble with the champs is that I truly believe they were only ever meant to be a temporary team until someone else could be built up to lead the division. As it happens, this is the 4th month of their reign, and they are still by far the most accomplished team in the WWE. Maybe it’s time to test the waters with something different…
Prediction: Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions – The Primetime Players
Kane vs Daniel Bryan
Wasn’t Charlie Sheen supposed to be making an appearance here? Surely if he was going to appear WWE would be constantly advertising an appearance. On the face of it, I don’t even know why this match is taking place, and I definitely don’t know why I should care that this match will happen. But thinking about it, and its possibilities, it doesn’t really matter who Bryan is against. Contradictory as this will sound, considering what I’ve said in the past about building credibility, the best thing for Bryan to do is lose as much as he can. It will allow him to develop his insanity character more easily, and make him all the more threatening when he does return to winning ways. And being naive as I am and still believing creative is smart, that only leaves one option.
Prediction: Winner – Kane
Dolph Ziggler vs Chris Jericho
This should be the highlight of the show. This is a match between two masters of their craft, one young, ambitious superstar against one veteran, highly accomplished superstar. It’s a simple but effective story that has been told many times before. Considering Jericho’s widely known contractual status, the outcome of this is arguably the most straightforward of the night, but I maintain that this is a vital step in Ziggler’s career and one that will only help him in the long-term.
Prediction: Winner – Dolph Ziggler
But will that be the end of the night for Dolph Ziggler?
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus (C)
This time round I think they’ve done a better job of making this feud seem personal. It was far too lacklustre going in to Money In The Bank, and while it still isn’t great these two look like they want to beat the hell out of each other. They should have acknowledged that last month’s match did happen though, and question whether or not Sheamus’ rage would get the better of him to make Alberto look like a threat to the belt. I think this will be the end of Alberto as a main event level talent for now, as I think Wade Barrett will return to weekly televised programming this coming week on Smackdown and assume the role of the top heel challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Prediction: Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion – Sheamus
I very carefully chose some of the words above. More specifically, the speculation about Wade Barrett. I said he would “return to weekly televised programming this coming week”, but I think he’ll return at Summerslam – one of their monthly PPVs – and attack Sheamus. I also said he would “assume the role of the top heel challenger”, challenger being the key word. My belief is that after said attack, Dolph Ziggler will cash in and become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. (Hey John Canton, I agree!)
Intercontinental Championship Match – Rey Mysterio vs The Miz (C)
Out of all the matches announced after my last “thoughts” column, this is the one I got wrong. I assumed Christian would still be challenging for the IC belt, but alas it was not meant to be. The Miz desperately needed something to change for him, and his break from TV to film the new Marine movie certainly did the trick. His slightly altered look, attitude and the fresh reaction to them has turned him from glorified jobber to Intercontinental Champion. Expect him to hold it for a long time, until his next main event run at least.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion – The Miz
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
I know who should win this one, but the question is will it happen? Brock should win, because if he doesn’t then he can’t be seen as a legitimate danger to anyone else. But will Vince’s pride get the better of him? Will his ego force him to punish Lesnar for leaving all those years ago, and have him job to anyone and everyone on the roster? I hope not, but by WWE’s standards it almost seems likely. I thought the ending of Raw was very effective, not by attacking Shawn Michaels but by Paul Heyman’s reaction. He couldn’t believe Brock “broke” his arm, and that makes Brock all the more dangerous, because it looks like his manager and representative can’t even control him, and so the question of if anyone else can must be asked. For the sake of future business, and future victories meaning more, there can only be one outcome.
Prediction: Winner – Brock Lesnar
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – Big Show vs John Cena vs CM Punk (C)
Much like I thought with Kane a couple of months ago, the only reason Big Show is in this match is to take the pin to set up future main events. The question there is, who will the champion be in those future main events? I’ve been going back and forth between Punk and Cena. There are reasons both should win. There are various scenarios I can imagine that furthers the rivalry between these two. I think the one I’ll go for is this: John Cena pins Big Show to win the title. That way Punk can complain that he never got pinned, that the match was a travesty in the first place, he is being unfairly treated by a GM with a personal agenda against him etc. Also, it should increase buyrates for Night of Champions if the hometown boy walks into the event as WWE Champion, Cena can argue that he won fair and square, and to top it all off, Punk’s wishes are starting to be realised. The PPV would go off air with the WWE champion, and Punk would look like a total hypocrite for not wanting the focus to be on the WWE Champion just because it isn’t him anymore, furthering his heel turn. So, to make it official…
Prediction: Winner and NEW WWE Champion – John Cena
So I’m predicting 5 new champions. That seems like a lot. In any case, I think SummerSlam will be a decent show, by no means the best of the year, but it certainly won’t seem like a failure.
As always, I want to know your thoughts not just on this show, but on the wrestling world in general! If there’s anything you want to discuss, or even anything you want me to write about, then please do not hesitate to get in touch either below in the comments or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org