WWE Summerslam 2017 Predictions
It’s that time of the summer where I’m excited for one of the biggest shows of the year, Summerslam, but it’s bittersweet because that means summer is winding down. I didn’t do my usual WWE Raw and Smackdown Live columns the last two weeks because I figured I could tie the last two weeks into this prediction feature. There have been some odd and downright stupid booking decisions leading up to this event and I’ll touch upon them when they relate to a match.
As of the time of writing, this is what is advertised. If and when there are any changes, I will make the appropriate edits.
Kick Off Show – The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan Vs. The Miz & The Miztourage
I guess this answers what all these guys are doing for Summerslam. What a waste. You have The Miz, arguably one of the best heels, talkers AND Intercontinental Champions of the last five years (sue me) and WWE wastes the opportunity for him to defend his belt on one of the biggest shows of the year? That shows that WWE Creative really needs to be reorganized.
The Miz, after ending his forever feud with Dean Ambrose, has had weeks to establish a feud with anyone. Hell, I’d even go for him vs. Jason Jordan for the belt even though that whole story line in itself is so ridiculous, I can’t buy into it. Instead, The Miz is relegated to a talk show host and is set up for Brock Lesnar to take out.
I don’t even want to talk about this match anymore because I’m so disappointed.
Winners: Who cares? OK…if I have to: The Miz and his crew.
Kick Off Show – The New Day (Champs) vs. The Usos –
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
I hate writing about The New Day. I don’t mind a bit of hot potato with the belts but if The Usos win here, they have to have them for a couple of months. The boring New Day don’t need them but then again, there seems to be only two tag teams ever featured on the show nowadays, so what’s the point of the belts?
Winners: The New Day (and I hope I’m wrong)
Kick Off Show – Akira Tozawa (Champ) vs. Neville –
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Starting off with odd booking decisions, we all knew this match would be going down at Summerslam. What we didn’t know was WWE Creative jumping the gun by not only giving us this match in advance on Raw but having the title change hands as well.
You would THINK WWE would have done something to elevate this feud to the highest level to gain as much hype in the floundering Cruiserweight division (a fault of Creative, not the talent), and THEN give Tozawa his moment in front of a huge PPV audience. What does this feud gain with Neville trying to go after the title? Nothing! There’s no point of Tozwa winning on Monday night and not retaining here. Then again, stranger things have happened in WWE.
Here’s hoping that Neville gets bumped out of the Cruiserweight division because of all of his hard work and goes after the IC Championship (a title not being defended on the show as of the time of writing this).
Big Show vs. Big Cass
(w/Enzo Amore suspended in a Shark Cage above the ring)
Mistake number one: splitting Enzo and Cass up early. What they should have done is turn both of them heel and let Enzo be Cass’s mouthpiece. How could they have turned them both heel while Enzo usually gets cheered? Have them turn on the Hardy Boyz. Done.
Mistake number two: having Big Cass and Big Show square off so many times already. Show has already decimated Big Cass on many occasions. Gallows and Anderson have now gotten involved for no reason (as WWE gave us no story) and teamed up with Big Cass to “break” Big Show’s hand. They had weeks for Gallows and Anderson to get involved and they chose to do it on the Raw before Summerslam instead of blending them in the story beforehand.
Mistake number three: having the gimmick be Enzo above the ring in a shark tank. There is no reason for this. Cass whines because Enzo doesn’t shut up. Having him above the ring won’t stop that. You want people to pay attention to the action in the ring, not Enzo doing wacky stuff above the ring.
Some people are predicting that Enzo and Big Cass will reunite here but I don’t see it because it makes no sense with Gallows and Anderson getting involved at all. Big Show now has a broken hand and that’s his “out” to lose here.
Winner: Big Cass
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Randy Orton has had three Smackdown PPVs against Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship and lost them all. Why he got so many shots in a row is beyond me. Two weeks ago, he pinned Mahal clean in the middle of the ring. He PINNED the champ CLEAN. Wouldn’t that be enough for Orton to demand another match for the championship? There’s no logic here! He loses three times in a row and gets two more chances at the championship and in the fourth (ugh) match he wins the one that doesn’t count and then walks away to focus on Rusev? I shake my head.
There’s NO feud here. Rusev wanted an opponent for Summerslam and Orton stepped up to the plate. After that, Orton sprang surprise RKOs on Rusev for no reason. That’s it. That’s the story. I’m hoping after Summerslam Orton goes away for a bit and this match is used to beat down Orton to write him off TV for a while and build up Rusev again.
Sheamus and Cesaro (Champs) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose – Raw Tag Team Title Match
I admit I like how they built up this reuniting of two thirds of The Shield. Some of the writing has been awful and some of it has made no sense (like Rollins walking away from Ambrose last week when Rollins has been the one pushing for forgiveness and reconciliation all along). In the end, a “new” team is formed and Kurt Angle grants them a tag team title shot. What about the other teams that have been established already?
I think Sheamus and Cesaro are an awesome team and they work well together and look good together. A loss for them right now shouldn’t be in the cards. I have a funny feeling we’ll see a heel turn from Ambrose during the match and/or after. He needs a change in character and this is the best way of doing it.
Winners: Sheamus and Cesaro
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
Back to things making no sense. We had this match basically thrown together two weeks ago. Instead of WWE Creative focusing on a story like Corbin vowing to take down Cena and use Cena’s legacy to get himself over, WWE Creative wastes the Money in the Bank opportunity by having Cena cause Corbin to lose seconds after the bell rings.
What the hell is wrong with the writers? Wouldn’t Cena want Corbin to win the match? It would mean he would be fighting Corbin for the WWE Championship at Summerslam! Instead Cena looked like a goof laughing at ringside while a fan flipped him off.
Corbin has now joined the “I had the Money in the Bank briefcase but didn’t capitalize on it” club. Because of that (and in retrospect WWE wasting Corbin winning the MITB match instead of someone else) there’s no way Corbin is winning here.
Winner: John Cena (and then he’s moving over to Raw – just watch).
Naomi (Champ) vs. Natalya – SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
When Naomi was asked last Tuesday on Smackdown Live by the one of the announcers if she was scared of Natalya or feared losing (I’m paraphrasing here, people), she said “no” because she has the glow. What the hell does that even mean?
I think this is the perfect time for Natalya to win the Women’s championship. She deserves the run, although how she comes off on Total Divas makes me can’t stand her real life personality.
I know Carmella is in the shadows lurking with her MITB briefcase waiting to cash it in. If Natalya wins, I don’t see Carmella cashing it it. If Naomi wins, Carmella is walking out as champion. I WANT Natalya to win but I think the MITB controversy (hot off the whole MITB match/James Ellsworth fiasco) will do nothing but give Carmella more heat and us a story line with the babyface trying to get her title back from a hated heel.
Winner: Naomi then Carmella cashing in her MITB briefcase and walking out as champ.
“The Demon” Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt
Sweet f’n asscrackers. Here’s another huge-assed mistake by WWE Creative. This feud has been going on for a few weeks now with Wyatt wanting to destroy Bálor for what people see in him and those fans wanting to feel they are a part of the Bálor Club. Wyatt has interfered in Bálor matches and, in turn, Bálor has given Wyatt some of his own medicine.
Why WWE Creative gave away this “first time ever” match on Raw is beyond me. People will argue that it was the way to get Bálor so angry that he would release “The Demon.” I say horseshit on that. They could have poured that sweet and sour sauce…I mean, blood….I mean “acidic liquid” (whatever the hell that is) all over Bálor during a promo from above or after a surprise beat-down. They didn’t HAVE to have a match with a clean finish. It doesn’t make me excited to see them again. The whole spectacle is Bálor’s entrance now.
I guess getting slimed is enough to release “The Demon” in Bálor. If I was him, I would have had it released after getting clocked in the head with an f’n guitar and taken out both Elias AND Wyatt. Wyatt’s win on Raw will mean nothing because unless they’re planning to do something huge with Wyatt after this feud, he’s not winning. Plus if “The Demon” loses here, what’s the point in summoning him?
Winner: Finn Bálor
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs. Sasha Banks –
Raw Women’s Championship Match
Here’s a back-up plan match between two women who really don’t like each other in real life. Banks is taking over for Bayley, who got injured three weeks ago and it would be interesting to know where WWE was going to go with Bayley. Were they going to give her the belt here or keep her on her losing streak?
I don’t think Bliss is losing this match. She’s a red hot heel who keeps getting better and better and the crowd loves to boo her because she can manipulate the crowd. She has “IT” and keeps getting better. I think these two will have one of the better women’s matches we’ve seen in a long time.
Knowing WWE and how they like to exploit situations, I can see Bliss winning here with some interference from Nia Jax or just plain cheating and then WWE will bring their behind the scenes disdain for each other front and center to entertain the fans and prolong the feud.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship Match
with Shane McMahon as a Special Guest Referee
I like how WWE has incorporated Shane McMahon into this match as the special guest referee. It makes it look like this feud is so hot only someone high up in the pecking order of WWE can be trusted to officiate. It’s also intriguing because McMahon has had major issues with both men.
I can’t see Styles losing and then getting into it with Shane McMahon because we’ve already been there and done that – unless Shane helps Owens, turning heel in the process. With Daniel Bryan off and on TV lately due to being a new father, it would bring more dynamics to the backstage relationship when they’re both on the show, bring a hated authority figure that’s NOT Stephanie McMahon to Smackdown to try and liven up the product, AND give Owens more heat than imaginable. I just don’t see WWE pulling the trigger on something like that, though.
The other scenario is Styles wins the match and Owens gets heated and beats down Shane, leading to a match between the two down the road. That is the most likely scenario in my mind and I’m using that to guide my prediction.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jinder Mahal (Champ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship Match
Mahal has been portrayed as a champion that can’t win unless he has his cronies beside him. I think I can deal with that because it gives him the heat he needs. Then again, with Mahal saying the same promo over and over again and the xenophobic vibe from the WWE audience (that’s encouraged by what WWE Creative writes for Mahal), what’s it matter if he has people interfering in his matches? WWE pushes that he’s from India and that’s enough to be hated by much of the US WWE audience (OK, he “represents” India. We all know he’s Canadian).
Let’s add to Mahal’s lack downfall as champ that not only has not won without interference, his written promos have been garbage, his delivery hasn’t been good, AND WWE Creative booked him to lose to Orton two weeks ago and WOULD have lost to Cena if Corbin didn’t interfere. That’s not building someone up!
Shinsuke Nakamura has been handled poorly in my eyes. The crowd loves the entrance but is that why they like him? I know what this man can do and he’s not being allowed to do it. There’s actually very little story here and practically no feud besides Nakamura wanting to be champ and Mahal wanting keep the belt but even that has been poorly communicated. They had weeks to establish something here but WWE Creative fed Mahal to Orton and then put Cena in the main event with Mahal instead of focusing on both building this championship match and focus on a feud of some sort. Way to drop the ball.
Vince McMahon signing off on taking the belt away from Mahal here isn’t happening. He’s not going to admit he was wrong for picking Mahal yet and they haven’t built up Nakamura enough yet to be champ. Whether it’s with interference or not, Mahal is walking out as champ.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Brock Lesnar (Champ) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
(Fatal 4-Way Match for the Universal Championship)
The build up to this match has been quite good – I’ll give WWE that. I really like how they’ve played into the rumours of Lesnar going back to UFC by adding the stipulation that if Lesnar loses, he and Paul Heyman will leave WWE. On Raw, Heyman alluded to WWE locking the animal “in a cage,” referencing the situation further.
The fatal four way main event could go one of four ways and each person in that match has valid reasons for winning and can be Universal Champion no problem in my mind:
Strowman could be champ but the crowd will cheer him and WWE doesn’t want that. I would be behind Strowman as a champ and he’d need a good babyface to feud against. They can’t just toss him in a program with Reigns again.
Reigns could be champ but I think they would want Reigns to do it in a one-on-one situation facing the fight of his life. I don’t think Reigns doesn’t need the belt at this point either seeing how he’s such a polarizing figure.
Samoa Joe could win and I think many fans would really like it, too. I think he would be a champ (like Strowman) who would state they would defend any time and anywhere. He would be my favourite to win it with Strowman being a close second.
If you’ve read my columns before, you know my feelings about Lesnar and the whole “part-time” champion BS. I hate it and I can’t stand it that McMahon is paying this guy so much money to barely wrestle, to not be on the road, and to not talk. This is the second time this has happened and it’s garbage. I want the belt off him so badly that I don’t even care if Reigns wins.
I can see WWE changing their minds until just hours before the match (even closer to it) when trying to decide who wins here. I’m sure they’re also doing their best to keep it a secret for most of the talent, too, which makes this match really tough to call.
Brock Lesnar is supposedly booked for more PPVs and appearances on Raw so, with that, I don’t see him losing here. I hope I am wrong and perhaps if Lesnar does lose, WWE has something planned that gets Heyman out of his promise to leave WWE. With Cena being predicted to move over to Raw after Summerslam, I wonder where he fits into the Universal title picture – or even on the loaded Raw program. We’ll see.
Winner: Brock Lesnar (and again, I hope I’m wrong).