WWE’s “biggest party of the summer” is taking a break from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY this year.
And surprisingly, they’re not heading back to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California either. This time, they’re taking the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown Live with them to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Crazy how the last time Summerslam emanated from Canada, it was all the way back in 2004. Fans can look forward to seeing WWE’s top prizes contended on the final wrestling Supercard of the summer with stars like Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, and Canada’s returning heroine Natalya. Besides those four, plenty of other WWE standouts will be on hand to take over the Scotiabank Arena on August 11.
Before we head off to Canada, let’s take a look at the full lineup of matches for SummerSlam 2019 and predict the ultimate victors.
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Oney Lorcan (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: My, my, my! This match has the potential to be the wildest, most vicious brawl of the entire show. Drew Gulak is known to be a stiff, submission machine and Oney Lorcan is the master of wince-inducing strikes. Putting these two in the ring together means we’re going to witness a back alley brawl that’s supplemented by amateur wrestling exchanges and nasty suplexes.
While Gulak has been a decent champion, I think it’s time for Lorcan to get a run with the belt. And judging by his recent victories and entertaining hardcore bouts on 205 Live, it seems like WWE is pushing him towards that big title win. And the best way to crown him Cruiserweight Champion is by doing it at SummerSlam. I’m predicting a title change here!
AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Um…why is this rematch not a Ladder Match? Makes a whole lot of sense for WWE to raise the stakes here and give us a modern-day classic at SummerSlam, right? AJ Styles and Ricochet put on a pretty satisfying matchup at Extreme Rules (under standard rules, which was kinda off-brand for the PPV it took place on). AJ captured the US Championship from a man who just won it a few weeks prior at the last PPV. Wrestling logic says that shocking loss set up a major rematch with a special stipulation added on in order to christen Ricochet as the champ one again. But this 2nd title meeting between the two men is just another standard affair. Strange…
Anyways, I’ve still got high hopes for this US Championship rematch. If both men are placed in a better spot on the card, then I’m sure the crowd will respond better this time around. And with a few more minutes added to this much-anticipated meeting, AJ and Ricochet have the chance to go above and beyond their previous PPV encounter. I’m guessing AJ’s stable lackeys will get involved, but Ricochet will take them out in a much more intelligent way. AJ’s tricks might not work this time around, but I get the feeling that he’ll still find a way to cut down his challenger. AJ’s riding high with the O.C. right now – all three stablemates are holding championships and looking stronger than ever. I think WWE will want to ride this new situation out for a little while longer, which makes me think AJ’s going over here.
Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler
Predictions & Winner: Ziggler enters. Goldberg proceeds to headbutt door and makes the usual intense entrance to the ring. Bell rings, Ziggler goes for a sudden superkick, Goldberg ducks it, then turns around to Spear Ziggler right out of his boots. One Jackhammer later and Goldberg finally redeems himself after an atrocious performance with The Undertaker at Super Showdown 2019.
Finn Bálor vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Predictions & Winner: Who would have thought I’d care about a Bray Wyatt match in 2019? Kudos to “The Fiend” for his zany vignettes, PBS children’s show catchphrases, and horrifying mask – they’ve all managed to make the former cult leader relevant again. Upon his return to the ring, Wyatt set his sights on a former rival he never truly got to end things with – Finn Bálor. I’m actually surprised one of WWE’s major PPV’s doesn’t go all the way and have “The Demon” head into battle with Wyatt’s newest persona. But alas, we still have an interesting match to look forward to between these two even without Bálor’s alter-ego in play.
This one should be a banger. Wyatt’s newly rejuvenated self and cool presentation have given people a reason to invest in him again. And Bálor’s always prepared to perform at the highest level, no matter who he’s pitted against. The end result of this one can be seen a mile away for two reasons – this being Wyatt’s first PPV return match and the rumors circulating around Bálor preparing for a two-month break following SummerSlam. With all that in mind, it’s clear that “The Fiend” will steamroll Bálor on his way to victory.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya (Submission Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Man, the women’s division on Raw is super dry right? Ronda Rousey’s exit has certainly left a big hole on Monday nights. And in her absence, there hasn’t been any well-built replacements to really get excited about. Lacey Evans’ time is up as far as being a top contender to Becky Lynch is concerned. Plus Alexa Bliss has been beaten far too many times by Bayley, so she’s not really worth caring about either. During a #1 Contender’s match for the Raw Women’s Championship, Natalya of all people got the win. So now we have a far less interesting Lynch PPV matchup to look forward to, sadly.
Now I used to be a big fan of Natalya. But she’s gotten quite stale these past few years and really hasn’t amounted to anyone worth investing in. This is the type of match that would be perfect for a B-level PPV, but I get why she’s being put in this spot. Canada’s the home of the Hart Family and she’s coming home to fight proudly in front of her hometown crowd. I’m guessing the audience will probably care a lot more about this one than me. But let’s be real here, people – the “Pink and Black” attack won’t prevail here. Lynch is still running high as Raw Women’s Champ via a final Disarm-Her – dropping it to Natalya is just a waste of time and energy at this point. Hey, when’s Sasha Banks coming back?
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (If Owens Loses, He Will Quit WWE)
Predictions & Winner: “Stone Cold” Kevin Owens is running wild! The former heel has slowly morphed into a crowd favorite ever since he took aim at Shane McMahon’s abuse of power. Shane ‘O Mac has been given far too much screen time and won a bunch of matches he had no right winning these past few months, which has caused everyone to grow tired of his antics. The “evil commissioner vs. the pissed off everyman” storyline has been done to death, but I’m willing to give this one a chance since I thoroughly enjoyed both men’s Hell in a Cell Match in 2017.
I get the feeling that this match will be full of outside shenanigans. Once the ref inevitably goes down, Shane’s goons (Drew McIntyre and Elias) will run out to aid him. Once Owens is overwhelmed, he’ll receive some assistance of his own in the form of Roman Reigns and Cedric Alexander. All three men will help even the odds and find a way to cut off Shane’s backup. Once Owens renews his focus and gets his hands on Shane once more, he’ll finally put him out to pasture and keep his job intact.
Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Leave it to the Blue Brand to set up a women’s championship match I actually care about on this show. Bayley’s finally moved on from Alexa Bliss and found herself embroiled in a face vs. face setup with Ember Moon. I’m overjoyed at the fact that Moon has finally moved on from a lame feud herself – her repeated interactions and bouts with the heatless duo of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were a definite lowlight of Tuesday nights. Now she’s finally getting the chance to stake her claim on SD Live and prove her worth as someone worth getting behind for months to come.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a first time meeting between two interesting talents. This matchup falls right into that category. Bayley’s been on a roll since Money in the Bank as far as title defenses go, while Moon is a quality in-ring athlete who’s perfect for this opportunity. A title switch would be major if it happened here, but I don’t see it happening quite yet. I see this match playing out as more of a proving ground sort of situation where Moon shows she can hang with the champ but ultimately fails in the end. Even in defeat though, Moon will still come out of this looking great since Bayley’s been known to show respect to any babyface challenger she comes across.
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus
Predictions & Winner: Count me all the way in for this dream match! For such a major PPV like SummerSlam, you’d think WWE would set up more marquee bouts like this one. On a card full of matches we’ve already seen countless times, this women’s matchup sticks out for all the right reasons. Charlotte Flair has practically been a ghost the past few months, especially on PPV. To see her come back to a major Sunday PPV against a WWE Hall of Famer is quite the comeback. Canada’s own Trish Stratus has returned to do battle with one of the greatest women on the current WWE roster. This one should have gotten more than two weeks of buildup, don’t you think?
So this match should be good enough to possibly nab Match of the Night honors. Charlotte performs at the highest level most of the time, plus Trish hasn’t lost a step since returning to the ring (check out the opening match from Evolution 2018 for proof). Let’s all hope WWE gives this one a solid runtime – this is a legendary first-time meeting that needs to meet all the high expectations expected of it. Since it’s likely that one Canadian Superstar is losing on this show (I’m looking at you, Natalya…), it makes sense to give the other hometown hero of the show the W. Since that second Canadian hero is Trish, I’m guessing WWE will put the Hall of Famer over to please the crowd.
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: If you would have told 2009 me that this match would take place 10 years later (with Kofi Kingston as the WWE Champ, no less!), I would have annoyed you with the “WHAT?” chant. This meeting is mind-blowing when you really think about it – an errant botch by Kingston during a big Raw match against Randy Orton in 2009 instantly killed his main event push. Fast forward to 2019 and we now have a matchup that pits a ‘tweener Orton against the happy-go-lucky WWE Champion in Kingston. Kingston made the challenge to Orton since it’s clear he wants to get some much-needed closure with someone who destroyed his original push to the top.
Now, this is one of those main card PPV bouts that will get ample time to wow the crowd. For such a heated feud that’s been cooking up for years, it makes all the sense in the world for Kingston and Orton to work an epic encounter. The near-falls and gasps from the crowd will reach into the double digits by the time this one wraps up. WWE has given the world to Kingston ever since he got crowned WWE Champion – I don’t see them switching up on Kingston quite yet. Orton will play the part of another stepping stone for Kingston during his eventful WWE Championship reign.
Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Can we do some fantasy booking real quick? Imagine this – Bobby Lashley goes over on Braun Strowman during their Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. The next night on Raw, newly crowned Universal Champion Brock Lesnar stands and smirks in the ring while Paul Heyman gloats. Then out of nowhere, Lashley runs out of the crowd and spears Lesnar into oblivion. BOOM! There’s your SummerSlam 2019 main event – Lesnar vs. Lashley, a battle between two former MMA fighters and WWE’s current world-beaters. But here’s the boring reality – Seth Rollins, the former champ, is back in the challenger’s role to take on Lesnar…again.
This match will be good if it’s given way more time to crescendo, of course. Lesnar is known to work better with guys that are smaller than him, plus Rollins brings his A-game whenever a title’s on the line. But this matchup bores me to no end, honestly. Lesnar as the champion is a retread we really didn’t need to go back to. And if we really needed to present him with a match at SummerSlam, someone besides the last champion would have been far more interesting. Alas, here we are. The title’s been put back on Lesnar for whatever reason and I don’t think he’s dropping it anytime soon…again. Rollins is going back to his role as an upper mid-card talent once he’s been beaten by Lesnar here…again.