It’s time for the hottest party of the summer: SummerSlam! The biggest Superstars in the WWE go to battle on Aug. 20. I’m a bit of a ‘pro-wrestling pro,’ so find out who I predict will win at this brawlin’ bash!
For the third year in a row, the biggest Superstars in the world will head to Brooklyn for the hottest night in the WWE. SummerSlam takes place on Aug. 20 from the Barclays Center, featuring both Raw and SmackDown branded Superstars. Practically every single championship will be defended, meaning that the night could be full of shocking wins and crushing defeats. Let’s see if my extensive pro-wrestling geekery pays off, as I think the following Superstars will take home a win.
Akira Tozawa (c) (with Titus O’Neil) vs. Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
This is technically a rematch, as the championship bout between Akira Tozawa, 32, and “The King of the Cruiserweights” Neville, 30, was pushed up to the Aug. 14 episode of RAW. Tozawa managed to end Neville’s 197-day reign with a top rope senton. I think it would be surprising to see him lose it less than a week after winning, so I’m picking Akira to retain. Maybe Neville gets disqualified after unleashing his rage from losing?
Prediction: Akira Tozawa.
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (c) (with Kofi Kingston) vs. The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The New Day defeated the Usos for the SmackDown tag team titles at Battleground, leading Jey, 31, and Jimmy, 31, to jump the new champs at the subsequent SmackDown. The New Day responded by showing a rougher edge, attacking the Usos with chairs. Considering that this show is supposedly on the pre-show, I don’t think either side scores a win. The Usos might get a DQ-win, but The New Day walks out of SummerSlam with the titles. Expect this feud to last until Hell In A Cell in October.
Prediction: The New Day retain.
— WWE (@WWE) August 17, 2017
Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Shield is back – sorta. Dean Ambrose, 31, and Seth Rollins, 31, have rekindled their bromance (excluding Roman Reigns, 32,) and Raw general manager Kurt Angle, 48, has rewarded them with a tag team title shot against Sheamus, 39, and Cesaro, 36. Being that nothing is forever in pro-wrestling, the question is not if but when will one of these Shield members turn on the other? Will Seth double-cross Dean or will Ambrose abandon Seth? I think the reunion lasts a little longer, and they christen it with the Raw tag team titles.
Prediction: Dean and Seth win the titles.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship (with Shane McMahon as special guest referee)
Kevin Owens, 33, and AJ Styles, 40, have been feuding over the United States championship, with referee shenanigans preventing them from determining a clear winner. Shane McMahon, 47, aka “the guy AJ Styles beat at WrestleMania” is the special guest ref. I don’t think Shane will screw AJ out of the win, and “The Phenomenal One” leaves the Barclays Center with the belt.
Prediction: AJ remains “Phenomenal” – and the U.S. champion.
Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt
So, in another case of “why wait until SummerSlam,” Finn Balor, 36, and Bray Wyatt, 30, fought on the Aug. 14 edition of RAW, with Bray securing the win. He then dumped a bucket of “viscous, acidic red fluid” on Finn, freaking the Irishman out. Finn has promised to unleash “The Demon” on Bray in this rematch and I think that will be enough to give Finn the win.
Prediction: Finn Balor.
— WWE (@WWE) August 17, 2017
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Both these Superstars are coming off of losses at Battleground. Rusev, 31, lost to John Cena, 40, in a Flag Match while Randy Orton, 37, failed to beat Jinder Mahal, 31, to win the WWE Championship. There’s no real motivation behind this match, which might be a greater statement on both of these guys’ careers. If I were in charge, I’d see Rusev take the loss and uses it as a way to reinvent himself. Perhaps he can resurrect “Handsome” Rusev? So, I’m going with that.
Prediction: RKO out of nowhere. Randy wins. Yawn.
Big Show vs. Big Cass (with Enzo Amore will be suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
This is perhaps the goofiest stipulation in pro-wrestling an on top of that, this match has it all backwards. Normally, a bad guy is suspended in the shark cage, as to prevent him (or her) from interfering in the match. Jim Cornette, 55, Jerry “The King Lawler, 67, and most recently, Chris Jericho, 46, have been hoisted high above the ring. Now, Enzo Amore, 30, will be suspended above as The Big Show, 45, and Big Cass, 31, fight. The Club (aka Luke Gallows, 33, and Karl Anderson, 37) are involved in this nonsense for some reason, having “broken” Big Show’s hand on RAW. I suspect Cass will escape the cage to pull off a courageous stunt that gives Show the win.
Prediction: The Big Show.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
So, Baron Corbin, 32, wins Money In The Bank, allowing him to have a WWE championship match “anytime, anywhere.” He attempts to cash it in after Cena fought Jinder on the Aug. 16 episode of SmackDown, only to lose after John distracted Baron, allowing Jinder to roll “The Lone Wolf” up. With rumors that the WWE front office has lost faith in Baron, according to Wrestling News, and John expected to bounce between SmackDown and Raw as a “free agent,” my pick is clear.
Prediction: John Cena.
— WWE SummerSlam (@SummerSlam) August 16, 2017
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
This match was originally supposed to be Alexa Bliss, 26, against Bayley, 28, but “The Huggable One” got sidelined with a shoulder injury. Sasha Banks, 25, won a shot at the title by defeating Nia Jax, 33. Honestly, I can see Alexa getting through this match and holding onto the belt until Bayley gets back. Though, there’s this nagging feeling that “The Empress Of Tomorrow” Asuka, 35, will make her debut either at SummerSlam or the subsequent RAW (assuming she loses to Ember Moon, 28, at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III). Eh. I’m going with “The Boss” on this one.
Prediction: Sasha becomes a 4-time Raw Women’s Champ.
Naomi (c) vs. Natalya for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
The real prediction to this is not if Naomi, 29, will defeat Natalya, 35. It’s “Will Carmella, 29, cash in her ‘Ms. Money In The Bank’ to take the title?” I think Carmella keeps the magic briefcase for little bit longer, and Naomi keeps her title.
Prediction: Feel the glow – Naomi retains.
Jinder Mahal (c) (with The Singh Brothers) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
Is it time to hinder Jinder? Having gotten recently thrashed by Randy Orton and John Cena, it seems “The Modern Day Maharaja” is running out of steam and will lose his belt to Shinsuke Nakamura, 37. Something else to keep in mind: Shinsuke and AJ Styles locked eyes during the titular Money In The Bank Match, causing fans to freak. These two had a massive rivalry overseas in New Japan Pro Wrestling. With both Superstars getting up in the years, the WWE doesn’t have much time to capitalize on having two of the most charismatic wrestlers on their payroll. After all, Cena’s been flirting with retiring and he’s also 40. Jericho’s a part-timer and he’s 46. Brock, who’s also 40, is also part-time. AJ is still ripped and is considered “the best wrestler in the world,” but time is of the essence.
However, I don’t think they’ll rush to the match, especially since SmackDown’s next event is Hell In The Cell. I think Jinder (aka “the New American Dream”) feuds for the US Title with AJ Styles, while Kevin or Baron keeps Shinsuke occupied until Survivor Series. Then, the WWE will see “The King Of Strong Style” versus “The Phenomenal One.” Perhaps it will be the first of three matches, with the second and third happening at the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 34?
Prediction: and your NEW WWE Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura
Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Universal Championship
In a case of mixing reality into pro-wrestling, Brock Lesnar, 38, (though his advocate, Paul Heyman, 51) has hinted that he would leave the WWE due to unfair treatment if he were to lose his Universal Championship in the Fatal 4-way with Braun Strowman, 33, Samoa Joe, 38, and Roman Reigns. There’s talk of Brock returning to UFC to face Jon Jones, 30, in a super fight, but fans can’t overlook the reality that Brock still needs to serve the rest of his suspension for a USDA violation. He has more than six months remaining on his suspension and Brock hadn’t re-entered the USADA testing pool by July, according to MMAJunkie. He wouldn’t be eligible to fight in the UFC until 2018. So, with that, it might seem that Brock beats the odds and keeps the belt.
The thing is, Brock is a part-timer who has only wrestled about four televised matches in 2017, so it’s likely he was going to “leave” anyway. Personally, I’m not a fan of Brock holding onto the belt. He’s too much of a beast (pun intended) that he doesn’t need the belt to draw attention. Keeping the title off of the WWE screen lessens the belt’s importance and hurts the show.
With all that said, picking a winner in this is tough. Joe came very close to beating Brock at Great Balls Of Fire. Reigns could believably beat Brock, having just sent The Undertaker, 52, into retirement at WrestleMania. Braun is a “Monster Among Men” who beat Roman in an Ambulance match. While I’d love to see Joe choke Brock out, something tells me that it’s Braun who ends SummerSlam at the champ.
Prediction: Braun Strowman is YOUR new WWE Universal Champion.
What do you think about these predictions, HollywoodLifers? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know your own predictions below.