WWE Summerslam 2016 Predictions
Summerslam is bittersweet – it’s one of the big shows I look forward to every year, but it also means that summer is on it’s way out in a few weeks. This year’s event has some great matches but some of the build up has been lacking, overshadowed by the brand split, with some matches being rematches. Here are my thoughts on the card with who I think will win (in the order I think the card should go).
Enzo and Cass vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens
I know WWE wants to start the event off strong, so without going right to a title match, they can get some of the best talkers on the mic to get the crowd hyped up. I don’t see this being a long match at all and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see: either Jericho or Owens mistakenly hits the other to secure the win for Enzo & Cass, a walk-out by either of them, leaving the other stranded to be pinned, or a beat down by one on the other when Enzo or Cass win the match. A program between Owens and Jericho just seems natural after this. Winners: Enzo and Cass
Cesaro vs. Sheamus (1st in the Best of 7 Series)
I’m not sure why they’re featuring a first of what’s going to be a seven match series on a major PPV show. I bet this will be one of the matches on the two hour Pre-Show (EDIT: Yep, it is!). I mean, if they’re not planning on having 50/50 booking until the seventh match, it makes no sense for WWE to make this a best of seven. Seeing how this match is featured at Summerslam, I see the crowd favourite getting the first win. Winner: Cesaro.
Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya, Eva Marie, and Alexa Bliss
Here’s another match that I think will be on the Pre-Show as well so the ladies can get a little more time to showcase their stuff (EDIT: Nope – it’s on the main show, although this will still be under 10 min). Eva Marie is now suspended for 30 days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy. OK, so now this match won’t be dedicated to getting heat on Eva Marie, so I wonder who will take her place. Because of Eva’s screw up, I’m now picking in this edit that the faces win. Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi.
Rusev (Champ) vs. Roman Reigns – US Championship Match
I said in my Raw/Smackdown Thoughts for this week that the face/heel booking for this makes no sense as Rusev has been the one looking for respect and was honouring his wife while Reigns interrupted their celebration, made jokes, and attacked Rusev (although I will admit the last two weeks we’ve seen Reigns best mic work). I was curious as to why we got a match between them on Raw AND seeing Reigns get the win. Usual WWE booking would then state that Rusev gets the win here. I actually see Lana interfering somehow, distracting Reigns so Rusev gets the win. Either that or we’ll see a DQ but I don’t see WWE putting a belt on Reigns so close to his wellness policy violation and there’s no reason to take it off Rusev who is still in the midst of his rebuild. Winner: Rusev
The Miz (Champ) vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship Match
With the brand split, you’d think WWE would emphasize the IC belt, its titleholder, and a feud surrounding the belt, right? Wrong. The Miz has been berated, beaten, and put in the backseat over the last few weeks. His new opponent came from a battle royal and the audience knows nothing about Apollo Crews besides he came from NXT, is athletic, and smiles a lot. They’ve done NOTHING to build this match up. The only real build-up came during a commercial break from last Tuesday’s Smackdown. What a waste. The only reason people would want to see Crews win is because The Miz is such a great heel that people can’t stand him. There’s no reason for a title change, but at least if there is, there’s a reason for the feud. Winner: Apollo Crews.
The New Day (Champs) vs. The Club – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Holy shit! What a horrible feud. What should be about the belts and dethroning the long-reigning champs has become about Big E’s sore balls after getting them rammed into the ring post. Awful joke after awful joke have made me cringe and feel all these guys deserve better. I wouldn’t want to explain the lead up to this match to anyone who doesn’t watch the product as they’d look at me with a blank stare probably and then laugh that I watch this. While I do think Big E will show up on Sunday, I think The Club will be walking out with the belts and hopefully continue to feud OVER the belts and tag team dominance instead of testicle injuries. Winners: The Club
John Cena vs. A.J. Styles
There have been some good promo exchanges between these two over the past month, but I think Styles really needs to be victorious here to send a statement: that he’s here to conquer and that WWE really believes he’s THE superstar he is. Styles has said many things in his promos that really hit the nail on the head – being tired of Cena’s shtick, that he panders to the kids, and he delivers the same old retorts. What does Cena do in return? He panders to the kids and delivers the same promos we’ve heard forever. I think WWE and Cena will do something that will deliver something new here – Super Cena going down in defeat. Winner: A.J. Styles
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
I don’t know why other people are excited about this match. I’m not. Look, Lesnar doesn’t have a big arsenal of moves in the ring and he’s gone for months on end. I hated when he was the champ because the belt was never defended (like The New Day, but they’re always on TV). I know people like him going in and destroying people, but I could actually care less for him, and I’ve never cared for Orton. At least Orton is proficient in the ring. With that being said, I’m curious to see how Brooklyn will treat Lesnar with his UFC doping controversy. Coming out of a win from his UFC match, I just can’t see Lesnar losing. Orton will fight with his head up (and on) another day. Winner: Brock Lesnar.
Sasha Banks (Champ) vs. Charlotte – WWE Women’s Championship Match
I’d book this match after Lesnar and Orton because a) it’s a main championship, b) if we are to believe there’s a women’s wrestling revolution, it should be booked near the top of the card, and c) people will want to see a great wrestling match.
I’m still shocked that they gave away this match on Raw a couple of weeks ago when the brand split first started, but I understand the rationale behind it. I’m more excited to see these two face off in a pure wrestling match more than some other matches on the card. Although Banks has had the belt for a short time, I could see something happening where Charlotte could walk out with it again. Will Dana Brooke be at ringside and try stuff? (EDIT: I guess not as she’s now banned from ringside). I could now see Nia Jax interfering possibly.
I’ll have to see what happens on the NXT PPV the night before with Bayley, but she may appear and help even the odds (EDIT: She lost so she may appear on the PPV as there’s no doubt she’s headed to the main roster). There are so many things that could cost Banks the belt, but I think if she gets help, she’ll retain. But then again, she’s the Boss and could retain against all odds as well. After this whole blurb, I just hope WWE lets these two wrestle a great match with no interference. Winner: Sasha Banks
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal Championship
I’m hoping this match, alongside the Styles/Cena and the Banks/Charlotte matches to be among the top of the night. I think Rollins should have sold more shock seeing Balor as the Demon (or sigh, “Demon King”) on Monday and Balor should have been more passionate as to what being the first Universal champion means to him. That being said, I think these two will tear the place down and hopefully there is no stupid booking or cheating. I want to see these two guys give it all in the ring. Rollins is made and will be one of the top guys on Raw and the company for years to come. It would make sense that they launch the new title for a new era with a new face – why else would they push Balor so big immediatley. Even if he does lose, he’s still getting props from WWE as a huge superstar over the past month and in this match. Winner: Finn Balor to be the first ever WWE Universal Champion.
Dean Ambrose (Champ) vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship Match
Out of all the matches on the card, no other match has been built up better than this match in my mind. Ziggler has shown more fire and determination in the past month than he has in years. I know that’s also due to WWE Creative keeping him down, but his promos have been (sorry AJ) phenomenal, even with the odd flubbed line.
Ambrose has been what many have been wanting him to be for a long time: maniacal, direct, edgy, and void of all comedy. I am so pumped to see this match and where it goes. Could Ziggler lose the big one and turn heel out of frustration? Could Ambrose turn heel by losing and snapping? I just don’t see the loser of this match holding their composure well and shaking the winner’s hand. I hope these two will also try to have the match of the night as they are capable of such a feat. Although Ambrose has been good in the role, my gut is telling me Ziggler is finally going to win the big one. Winner: Ziggler
After writing this and thinking of the numerous situations that could occur during most of the matches, I’m actually more excited to watch this show than when I started writing this article earlier in the day. Let’s hope WWE carries their “new era” labeling over to this PPV with booking that makes sense, some good surprises, letting the wrestlers wrestle, and having meaningful outcomes that push all their brands in the right direction.
I wonder if Samoa Joe may show up in some capacity if he loses the NXT championship on Saturday night. Make sure you check out NXT Takeover Brooklyn 2 as the NXT shows are great and last years actually topped the actual Summerslam event. I’d write about NXT and their shows, but I just don’t have the time to include that on my site as well. If anyone out there would like to join the team, let me know via email.
EDIT: Joe lost but looked like he really got his jaw hurt last night. Let’s see if he shows up tonight OR on Monday or Tuesday!