Once August rolls around, everyone starts to get a bit melancholy.
Everyone know that this time of year signifies the last month of Summer temperatures. But wrestling fans always seem to be the ones remaining in good spirits. They all know that the “Biggest Party of the Summer” will return once again.
SummerSlam 2018 will emanate from Brooklyn, NY’s Barclays Center and set the whole city ablaze! Raw and SmackDown Live will combine rosters and place their biggest Superstars and defending champions in marquee spots for WWE’s Summer extravaganza. For everyone that’s looking to see Brock Lesnar finally relinquish his stranglehold over the Universal Championship, you may get your wish during this show.
Before the big event rolls around on August 19, let’s all take a look at SummerSlam’s match lineup and make some predictions.
Rusev and Lana vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega (Mixed Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: “Rusev Day” has hit some hard times lately. Aiden English accidentally costed Lana the win against her newest rival, Zelina Vega. The same treatment has come Rusev’s way now that he’s been having issues with Andrade “Cien” Almas. So now it seems as if the three-person Rusev Day trio may fall down to two. I think that’s a very strong possibility come SummerSlam. Rusev and Lana will have no choice but to tell English that his ringside services won’t be required for their Mixed Tag Team Match.
As for the bout itself, it will follow the usual formula of its match type – the men will tear into each other. Once they take a stamina break, their female representatives will pop the crowd as they go to war. I have a feeling that we’re going to see an out-of-nowhere heel turn near the close of this bout. English will make his presence felt even though Rusev and Lana made it clear that it wasn’t needed. Feeling betrayed by his best friends, English will purposely screw them over and somehow hand Almas and Vega the win. English will then join the hot Latin duo and give them the singing treatment he once gave to Rusev and Lana.
The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) (c) vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: So The B-Team have been on quite the roll lately. They captured the Raw Tag Team titles at Extreme Rules, turned a Dudley Boyz maneuver into a viable finisher, and have adopted a new cheerleader theme song. During the last edition of Raw before SummerSlam, they managed to defeat the teams of Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy and The Revival. Bo and Curtis stole the pin away from Wilder and Dawson though, which means the unpinned team has a right to a title rematch.
I’m sure you guys know how this one will go – The B-Team will play the part of the lovable babyfaces, while The Revival will stick to their dirty heel gameplan. Wilder and Dawson will take apart one of the B-Team members’ limbs during the entirety of the match. But once the healthier B-Team representative gets a hot tag, all hell will break loose. After a bit of back and forth action between both teams, The B-Team will reach into their bag of tricks and sneak away with the win and the Raw Tag Team Championship still intact.
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: If you’re still skipping 205 Live, you’re making a grave mistake. Ever since Enzo Amore got canned, the show’s quality has risen from mediocre to great. At the head of 205 Live’s resurgence is the champ with the purple strap, Cedric Alexander. His reign hasn’t really blown minds or anything, but he’s quietly put together a number of quality matches with all types of talent. His next challenger will be a technical wizard who’s scratched and clawed his way into the #1 Contendership position – Drew Gulak.
I’m expecting this bout to a fun outing with plenty of action that’ll bring life to the Barclays Center. Gulak is known for bending his opponents into a pretzel and stiffing them with painful strikes. And thanks to the assistance of Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher, Gulak can zero in on Cedric’s weakened neck. Cedric will be forced to tap into his high-flying prowess and agility in order to keep Gulak from locking on his most debilitating submission. “The Age of Alexander” doesn’t seem like it will meet its end by someone a little lower on the popularity chain. I’m giving Cedric the win here and, later down the line, possibly dropping it to Lio Rush or his old rival Mustafa Ali.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Jeff Hardy’s been treated like an unwilling S&M participant lately. Nakamura’s blasted his lower regions with low-blows and Orton’s even stuck his finger inside Jeff’s earhole. Even after enduring such torture, Jeff’s managed to get back on his feet and do his best to fend off such savage foes. Nakamura’s currently reigning as the United States Champion, a title he captured after just a few seconds of action. But now Jeff’s finally getting his rematch at SummerSlam.
I feel like Jeff’s inching closer and closer to the end of his days as an active member of the main roster. After news of his body breaking down even further hit the web, I figured he’d be dropping the US Championship soon after. And that’s exactly what happened. As for what will transpire here, it looks like this bout will also feature Jeff’s most hated rival at the moment, Orton.
This is definitely going to change into a Triple Threat Match at some point before the show. Even with the added threat of “The Viper,” I’m choosing Nakamura as the victor. Fans need to get used to seeing Nakamura with the US Championship around his waist cause it isn’t leaving it until the Fall. LOW BLOWS FOR EVERYBODY!
Finn Bálor vs. Baron Corbin
Predictions & Winner: The feud that no one asked for must continue! When it happened at Extreme Rules last month, it was nothing more than an average match not worth revisiting. I figured Finn would be moving onto something a bit more worthy of his talent. Raising the stakes and throwing him into a multi-man match for the IC Championship would have been preferable. Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Bálor would have been something special. But sadly, we’re stuck with a rematch that’s a huge step down from Finn’s SummerSlam 2016 position.
Finn and Corbin have been mortal enemies lately and they’ve traded wins. Finn got the W at Extreme Rules, Balor pinned Finn on a past episode of Raw, and now it’s time for the tie-breaker. Since this is a major event, I think it’s time for Finn to tap into his more “demonic” ways. Don’t be surprised to see Finn crawl down the ramp in some bad-ass face and body paint. While this rematch won’t be any more entertaining than their past performances, Finn and Balor will make the crowd care just a bit more since Demon Bálor’s involved. Finn’s getting the win, of course.
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) (c) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: So over the past couple of weeks, the Blue Brand has been running a tournament to crown the next challengers for the SD Tag Team Championship. I figured we’d get a Sanity vs. Bludgeon Brothers title match, but The New Day managed to win the whole tourney. Their Finals victory came at the close of a great match against another fine duo, Cesaro and Sheamus.
The Bludgeon Brothers have been running roughshod over the competition, but I think The New Day will prove to be a bit more formidable this time. I can totally see Kofi Kingston and Big E being the men to represent their stable and present a worthy challenge to their larger foes. Even though Kingston and Big E will look to be on the verge of victory several times, Harper and Rowan will find a way to stomp out the competition. The Bludgeon Brothers will retain after a pretty good match. As for who they’ll feud with next, I could see Sanity getting a shot. A garbage brawl between those teams would make perfect sense for Hell in a Cell 2018.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Here’s a matchup we all saw coming a mile away. The events that took place at Money in the Bank and Extreme Rules were obviously meant to set this feud in motion. Ronda Rousey has managed to become the most entertaining part of Raw ever since she transitioned to wrestling. And Alexa Bliss stands tall as the MVP of the Red Brand’s Women’s Division.
But if you ask me, throwing Rousey into another Raw Women’s Championship so soon seems a bit off. But I guess WWE is trying to strike while the iron is still hot. I figured a heel turn from Rousey’s buddy Natalya would force her into a quick feud with Rousey while Alexa defended her title against Ember Moon at this show. Holding this off until Survivor Series would be the move I would’ve gone with, but I’m not a WWE booker so oh well.
Anyways, I’m very much looking forward to how this one plays out. Obviously, Rousey’s going to find a way to neutralize Mickie James on the outside. This distraction will lead to Bliss getting in a few licks on Rousey and doing her best to keep her on the mat. But once Rousey really gets going, Alexa’s going to have a rude awakening.
A severe beatdown full of nasty judo tosses and stiff strikes will cause Alexa plenty of discomfort, but she’ll eventually make a slight comeback as the match wears on. The ultimate result after this hot back and forth match will be Rousey getting the win by submission and becoming the new Raw Women’s Champion. WWE has something special in Rousey and I think they’re ready to rush her to the top of the (women’s) mountain. And what better way to make that moment happen than at SummerSlam!
Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Everyone’s favorite Irish lass has made it back to the promised land! I got so used to seeing Becky eat pinfall losses these past few months, but she’s slowly but surely returned to her winning ways. All those victories led up to her defeating Carmella in a non-title match, which means Becky has a chance of beating her again for the title next time. And by the looks of things, Carmella’s chances of winning have been lowered dramatically now that James Ellsworth’s been released. Add on the fact that Charlotte’s been added to the match and it looks even more likely that we’ll be getting a new champ.
All the stars seem aligned for Becky to reclaim the SD Women’s Championship she first held in 2016. But it also seems like Charlotte will take back the title that was previously stolen from her. But don’t let those strong odds fool you – Carmella always has a Plan B. This bout has a chance of being halfway decent since two good workers are a part of it.
It’ll look like either Becky or Charlotte has the win firmly in their grasp at several points of the match. But I envision a screwy finish involving Carmella’s surprise BFF’s – Billie Kay and Peyton Royce! They’ll interfere on her behalf and fill the void left by James Ellsworth. Thanks to their outside interference, Carmella will manage to hold onto her prized possession while Becky and Charlotte sit in disappointment in the middle of the ring.
Dolph Ziggler (with Drew McIntyre) (c) vs. Seth Rollins (with Dean Ambrose) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Predictions & Winner: It’s redemption time. After boring the crowd to tears during their Extreme Rules bout, this is an opportunity for Ziggler and Rollins to deliver a rematch worth positively reacting to. While these two men are capable of delivering a classic, they have a much better chance of doing so within the span of a well-put together 20-minute matchup.
I’m still scratching my head over Ziggler taking the IC Championship from Rollins so quickly. Rollins deserved to be the one heading into this PPV with the title and defending it against a returning Jason Jordan. Instead, we’re getting a repeat of a match that wasn’t so good the last time it took place. But this time, the added presence of Drew McIntyre and Dean Ambrose may make things a bit more interesting.
But when it took place on Raw a few weeks ago, it was a special bout that actually made me care about Ziggler again. I’m looking forward to seeing Ziggler and Rollins stick to the winning formula they established there and adding a few extra minutes to it. This rematch is taking place on a much bigger stage, so I’m predicting that the big fiery babyface in Rollins will be the one winning here. Ambrose will keep McIntyre from screwing with Rollins and help his former Shield brother prevail. Maybe after this feud finally comes to a close, we can get that Rollins vs. Jordan feud continuation that was rumored to take place at WrestleMania 34…
Braun Strowman (MITB Holder) vs. Kevin Owens (Money in the Bank Contract)
Predictions & Winner: Strowman always looks like he’s having so much fun torturing Owens. Shoving him off the stage while he’s trapped in a porta potty and flinging him off the top of a steel cage to the announce table below are forms of Strowman’s crimes. You’d think that Owens would try everything in his power to stay out of the behemoth’s war path. But Stephanie McMahon has actually given him a reason to step in front of an always intense Strowman once more. Their rematch has massive implications on the main event for this show – if Owens gets the win, he’ll walk away with Strowman’s MITB briefcase and contract.
I mentioned the fact that this match will impact the main event in some fashion because I see a MITB cash-in taking place after it. As for who will be the one making that cash-in, I think it’ll be Strowman. Owens will fight hard and look like he’ll be on the verge of getting the shocking win several times. It will all be for naught, however. Strowman will pick himself back up, dust himself off, stare down Owens, get his hands on him, and beat him into the ground. Strowman will walk into this match as Mr. Money in the Bank 2018 and leave this match with the same nickname intact.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
Predictions & Winner: Let’s be real everyone – THIS is the true SummerSlam 2018 main event! Daniel Bryan and The Miz’s eternal hatred for each other reaches all the way back to 2010. Bryan made his way from the indie scene, competed in WWE’s developmental system, and then made his way onto the first season of NXT. And who was his Pro? The Miz, who disapproved of the indy darling and regularly belittled him. Since then, both men have competed in a number of great bouts. Their feud re-intensified in 2016 when Bryan got berated on an episode of “Talking Smack” by a supremely pissed off Miz.
Fans wanted to see them take their issues to the squared circle, but Bryan was still unable to compete due to WWE’s concerns for his health. But ever since Bryan got cleared by medical experts, everyone has been anticipating a highly-intense rematch between him and The Miz. Over the past few weeks, The Miz has cut several scathing promos against his former Rookie. Bryan hasn’t taken too kindly to his words, which is why he’s challenged The Miz to this hotly anticipated bout. I’m very much looking forward to this one – here’s a match that’s been building for YEARS, folks! I can see Bryan coming out as the prevailing hero here after an amazing match with his hottest rival.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: All the leaks were true! Everyone saw this coming as soon as advertisement leaks started flooding your favorite online dirtsheet. Anyone who’s followed the careers of both men know just how amazing this match could possibly be. AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have stood across the ring from each other numerous times, most notably while in TNA. Side note – make sure you check out Styles vs. Joe at TNA Turning Point 2005 here. This one’s “Dave Meltzer 5-star status” type of material!). Joe is just as vicious as he’s ever been and AJ’s at the top of his game. This one’s gonna be a classic!
I’m a huge fan of both competitors, which makes this prediction so hard for me to make. While crowning Samoa Joe WWE Champion would be a shocking and cool decision to make, I just don’t see it happening. It seems like WWE has finally realized how hot of a commodity Styles is. He’s been champion since November 2017 and I don’t see him dropping the title anytime soon. He’s the cover athlete for WWE 2K19 and in the middle of a record-breaking WWE Championship reign. AJ’s going to get one of the worst beatings of his career, but still fight back just as hard and hold onto his title. This won’t be a one and done type of feud, however. An incensed Joe will attack AJ after the bell and bring their rematch to Hell in a Cell 2018.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: I am beyond tired of WWE’s continued attempts to make their audience care about Reigns. What makes this re-run of Reigns vs. Lesnar extra tiresome is the way we got to it. Lashley defeated Reigns clean at Extreme Rules. You’d think that the winner of that major bout would be next up to face Lesnar at this show. But as it turns out, you’d be completely wrong.
Reigns got another chance at becoming number one contender while Lashley was stuffed into another match with the same man for that same opportunity. And of course, Reigns won the rematch. Lashley gets robbed by a man he shouldn’t have been forced to face again in the first place.
Anyways, I could care less about this matchup. I’m just going to give you the short version of everything that will happen here. Lesnar will beat the breaks off of Reigns for several boring, uncomfortable minutes. Then Reigns will make an uninspired comeback against Lesnar while the Barclays crowd rains down boo’s. Lesnar will F5 Reigns over and over, Reigns will kick out, and be followed by Reigns landing several Superman Punches and Spear’s.
That will get Reigns the win he’s finally been fighting so hard for…then Strowman’s roar will ignite the crowd! Strowman will hand his MITB briefcase to the ref, stare a hole through a weak Reigns getting to his feet, then finish him off with a Running Powerslam once the bell rings. The next bell ring we’ll all hear will mark the crowning of Strowman as the NEW Universal Champion!