This Sunday is the WWE Summerslam from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California and airing on the WWE Network. Here are the Between The Ropes staff predictions for the matches on the show.
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
Brian Fritz: I really thought WWE had done a great job in building up to this match … until this week. Things were going along great in the buildup but for whatever reason, the company decided to go soap opera on this angle with Daniel Bryan having an affair on his “dead fish” wife with his physical therapist and then getting arrested later for slapping the mistress. The whole thing has just gotten wacky now. Originally I thought Stephanie would find a way to get the win but I’ll go with Brie. Either way, I expect a rematch in the coming weeks or at Night of Champions.
Steve Muehlhausen: This is perhaps the biggest women’s match in the history of the WWE considering where both women are at this stage. McMahon is the top heel authority figure, while Bella is the wife of the quite arguably the biggest star in wrestling in Daniel Bryan. If you recluse yourself from this past week’s Raw, this has been a really good build. Going to go with Stephanie winning with Nikki turning on Brie.
Josh Lopez: I won’t talk about the the “Claire Lynch” esque storyline we saw on Monday because one I didn’t care about it and two all wrestling companies have done this type of angle before take it easy TNA fans. It’s sad that their worst on-screen character was the only thing TNA will have trending worldwide #Pipebomb. One of WWE’s only few pro-wrestling storyline is sure gonna bring the WWE Network subscriptions which cost $9.99. I’m looking forward to this match, Stephanie is just like her father she will put on a great performance and Brie has gotten better in the ring, so this should be a fun entertaining match. I do see Stephanie McMahon picking up the victory via Brie’s sister Nikki turning on her. Stephanie McMahon did make a lot of good points during their contract signing a couple weeks ago, Brie is selfish and only cares about herself she even said on Total Divas that her wedding is more important than WrestleMania karma is gonna get to her eventually. Bow down to the queen.
James Borbath: Heading into Monday I was legitimate excited to see Stephanie against Brie Bella at Summerslam. They went way too far and totally ruined this feud with an angle that is comparable to Claire Lynch in TNA. That stated, I going to try to forget Monday and enjoy this match anyway. I think in-ring this match will not be “The Gong Show” many expect it to be. My main reason for this is Stephanie training in Jiu-Jitsu. Maybe I am crazy who knows it might be terrible. I see based on how Brie has performed in this angle, which has been poor, as the main reason Stephanie will win. After Monday, I am not sure we will get the Nikki Bella heel turn that I expected. It would make sense, as I do not see this feud continuing. Maybe they will just drop “Brie Mode’ altogether. If Stephanie does look good in the ring could we see a Stephanie vs. A.J Lee Wrestlemania match? I am just throwing it out there as a possibility that might make some sense.
Nathan McCarter: As previously stated, until Monday this was one of the best angles heading into the summer showcase. I am still interested, but that nonsense on Raw lessened the excitement. Making the match even more interesting is truly not knowing what to expect as far as the outcome. I suspect they will want to drag this feud out a bit longer. With that playing in the back of my head I lean towards McMahon getting the win some how. And who knows, we may even get a surprise or two in this fight.
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
Brian: No one is talking about this match from the angle on how good it might be. Yes, it’s a big test for Reigns to see how good he can be against one of the better wrestlers in the company on a major stage. I think these two are going to have a fantastic match and Reigns will have a very good showing, finished off with him spearing Orton out of his boots for the win.
Steve: Shockingly not that interested in this match. This feud peeked two weeks ago when Orton brutally attacked Reigns. The last two weeks have felt like filler when the beatdown should have occured this past week. This will be the biggest match so far for Reigns. WWE is grooming him to be the guy and this match will go a long way to see if that will be the case. Going with Reigns.
Josh: Why rush to this “Roman Reigns vs. Triple H” match at Night of Champions because of the WWE Network? This is going to be the major eye test for Roman Reigns he’s been putting on solid performances over the past couple of weeks, but you’re in the ring with Randy Orton say what you want about him, but if you can’t have a good 15 minute match with him you don’t deserve to be the next “face” of the WWE. I like seeing the old Randy Orton come to life over the last couple of weeks. I’m surprised that this match has kinda been overshadowed, but also tells you how good this card is this Sunday. I expect this feud to continue after SummerSlam and I do see Roman Reigns picking up the victory. Believe that!
James: The “Next Big Thing” of 2014 is Roman Reigns. Randy Orton is a guy with two strikes on his wellness policy and having to apologize for his transgressions on Twitter and is yesterday’s news. Roman Reigns wins impressively and moves on to what was suppose to be his Summerslam program with Triple H at “Night of Champions”. Anything outside of this would be a major shock to me and I think all wrestling fans.
Nathan: Reigns will win this. Honestly, I don’t even care to go more in-depth than that because this angle has been so dreadful. It’s just not a compelling portion of the event.
Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Brian: I’m a little disappointed in the stipulation here and not just because they didn’t go with my idea from weeks ago that this could be a ladder match for the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lumberjack matches can get a bit clunky and the action can easily be diverted by everyone standing around the ring. Honestly, with this being their first meeting (even though it should be their second – Battleground, ugh) it should be just a straight one-on-one match rather that a gimmick match. Regardless, I still think these guys will tear it up. With the added lumberjacks, I expect one of them (Corporate Kane?!) to cost Ambrose the match and Rollins escaping with a win.
Steve: IF this match takes place, it will be the showstealer since they were originally supposed to meet at Battleground last month. Is the lumberjack stipulation the best idea? Not at all, but Rollins and Ambrose can easily overcome that. This match has that raw emotion that makes you want to see Ambrose get his hands on Rollins. Ambrose has been awesome and Rollins is getting better week by week. Going to go with Ambrose as the feud should continue for another couple months.
Josh: Oh boo hoo it’s a lumberjack match. Don’t we know already that this feud is probably going go for the rest of this year. I think this stipulation it make sense because due to their history with The Shield taking out the entire WWE roster for The Authority and Seth Rollins runs away every time he see’s Dean Ambrose. If you’re expecting this 5 star wrestling match this is not the show for you it’s going to be a brawl until something is on the line. I don’t expect this match to go very long nor should it in a feud like this. I’m going with Dean Ambrose to pick up the victory in this match and it gives Rollins the point to blame Ambrose needing 30 WWE Superstars to help you beat me and then they will put Rollins briefcase on the line at Night of Champions. It’s a pro wrestling storyline take a chill pill let it play out why rush to the end of the story?
James: Great feud if the WWE would just get out of the way and let it happen. First, there was the debacle of screwing fans out this match at Battleground in which no match occurred. Now we get a lumberjack match instead of a ladder match or some match for the “Money in the Bank” briefcase. I realize that Seth Rollins is booked or holds the claim of being the brains of the former Shield. Still, is Dean Ambrose supposed to be a complete idiot? It would appear so based on the stipulation he has chosen and his explanation for it. I beg the WWE to just get out of the way of this feud and let it happen. These guys can put on compelling and great in ring matches, they do not need all the gimmicks, and bells and whistles that creative seem to want to add. This feud is so simple just get out the way and let it happen. Assuming we actually get the match this time I think Dean Ambrose needs a win here having called his shot and not having anything on the line. If he does not despite how over with fans he really is, these gaps in logic are going to catch up with him in terms of his character’s thinking.
Nathan: The WWE blew it with this poor stipulation that means next to nothing. At some point the heel lumberjacks will put a beating on Ambrose, and that will just upset me more. I want to see Ambrose and Rollins go at it without any outside factors. This is just the first of many between these two rivals, and that is why I favor the heel. Mr. Money in the Bank escapes SummerSlam with a win.
Divas Championship Match: AJ Lee vs. Paige
Brian: Here we go again between these two. Paige has really started to show some personality as a heel in the last few weeks treating her “best friend” like she stole her boyfriend from her. I want to see that fire carry over in the ring between them. Paige probably needs the belt more but I think AJ will win. Expect a lot of Paige screaming afterwards so get some earplugs in advance.
Steve: Two women’s matches on one show? Times be a changing. Paige has found her niche as a heel. The first match at Battleground was nothing to get excited about, but the build-up to this match has been a lot better. Both ladies should deliver here, but see Lee retaining the title.
Josh: I’ve the found the match that will end in a kabuki finish. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I like where this storyline with AJ and Paige. I think it’s another storyline that people will enjoy if you give it time, so with that don’t expect to see this match be the culmination to their feud. It’s always good to see AJ Lee and Paige in the ring or in general. I feel bad for AJ Lee she can’t no longer be original with the CM Punk chants and that’s the reason why I always put an asterisk on her career because besides skipping and kissing four other guys hasn’t her whole career been a CM Punk rip off? This should be a good match, but I think AJ will retain her Divas Championship via a double disqualification.
James: If A.J Lee wins, C.M Punk wins. It is a joke calm down; still will fans chant C.M Punk during this match. Yes! Yes! Yes! While I rather hate this pretending to be friends nonsense, the change to a heel has been a great move for Paige. You get the feeling that if this feud is going to continue Paige almost has to win at this point. Still I think A.J Lee is the most worthy of holding that Divas title. She is on a completely different level. As I mentioned in the Stephanie and Brie match that A.J against Stephanie is a good feud for say a Wrestlemania. As for here and now, I hate to see A.J lose the title, but for now, it is for the greater good and needs to happen.
Nathan: Following WrestleMania I had high hopes for this feud. Those hopes were quickly dashed by AJ taking time off, and the WWE overusing Paige’s Scorpin Crosslock repeatedly. To the credit of both women, they’ve captured a bit of the magic I expected earlier this year. If the WWE is smart, they’ll want to continue this feud a couple more months – I would suggest a submission match blow-off.
At SummerSlam, AJ has to retain for that to be a possibility. They have to continue to make Paige work for the belt. There is no reason to hot potato the belt back to Paige right now. If nothing else, I hope the WWE gives this match at least 15 minutes. They could do something very special. AJ retains in what could be the match of the event.
Flag Match: Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Brian: So what are the rules for this thing? Grab your flag from the opponent’s corner? Pin or submit your foe and then wave your flag in victory or make the loser wave your flag? I NEED TO KNOW! If you just have to grab your flag, I’ll take Swagger but if you have to defeat your opponent, then Rusev is my pick in what should be a very physical match. Even if you don’t like it, just stare at Lana.
Steve: Looking forward more to this match than Orton vs. Reigns. The build for this match has been tremendous as it is simple and to the point. Lana and Zeb Coulter have been really good on the stick for their guys. Since it is a flag match, I see Swagger winning here as Rusev won’t have to take a pinfall.
Josh: I got a nice scenario that can work with this match and the future of this feud. I do see Rusev beating Swagger in this match and taking him out with the russian flag after the match is over. Jack Swagger will be out of action for a month Rusev can move on to Night of Champions to take on Sheamus for the WWE United States Championship. Rusev could win the title their and they can have their rematch on Raw or SmackDown. Then when Jack Swagger comes back from injury boom here comes the money feud for the United States Championship heading into the fall season of the WWE.
James: America wins because there has been a long standing conspiracy against Russia that dates back to Volkoff. Serious answer is though that WWE has stumbled upon something here that they didn’t expect. Given the real life problems with Rusev representing Russia I can’t see them allowing him to win. The gimmick of the “Flag Match” still keeps him strong. He does not need to be pinned or tap out so it is perfect.
Nathan: This match cannot end in any other way than having Old Glory wave, right? No matter how much they are moving Rusev up it just makes no sense to have the American lose a flag match.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Brian: Wyatt won their first encounter last month so it makes sense for him to get the win here. He won’t have either Erick Rowan or Luke Harper in his corner since both are banned from ringside but that’s a good thing. I just want to see the two of them mix it up and have a great match. Even though their first one wasn’t anything special, I expect this to be much better and Wyatt, all by himself, scoring a big SummerSlam win over Jericho.
Steve: Been disappointed so far in this program. Beyond the night Jericho returned, something is missing here. I liked the concept WWE tried last week in a boxing like faceoff., but it just didn’t click and felt contrived. The match they had at Battleground was underwhelming to say the least. Hopefully, they have their working boots on here as both guys have a lot to prove. Going to go with Wyatt with help from The Family.
Josh: I loved the sit down conversation Wyatt and Jericho had on Raw last week probably the most original thing they have done in this feud. I’m happy that Rowan and Harper are not in this match for one reason only. Bray Wyatt has not won one match cleanly by himself since the Royal Rumble when he defeated Daniel Bryan. I think Jericho and Wyatt will put on a better match than they did at WWE Battleground. I think it’s fair to say that this feud will continue after SummerSlam, but my question is who will feud with Bray Wyatt when Chris Jericho leaves the WWE again after Night of Champions? This should be the show stealer I’m going with Bray Wyatt to beat Chris Jericho.
James: Bray Wyatt against Chris Jericho has been a disappointment. I am just gonna say it because it is the truth to me. It will take a hell of a performance from both in this match to get me on board to want to see a third match, before Chris Jericho leaves to be the best in the world at what he does that is not wrestling. I am starting to have concerns with Bray Wyatt as an in-ring performer. Chris Jericho has gotten good matches out of Goldberg, Kane and more recently Fandango. If you can’t have a good match with Y2J it is on Y-O-U! Oh and in case I didn’t make it clear to have a third match Bray must win this one.
Nathan: This is one of the most intriguing matches on the entire card. After their current run it is hard to believe Jericho loses, but Wyatt has failed to win nearly all of his big matches. He is due. Wyatt is one of the hottest heels in the company, and he needs a win here or there to continue the momentum or else the WWE will have effectively killed one of the young talents. Jericho will get the big win, but not at SummerSlam. Wyatt goes over clean.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Brian: Who would have ever thought that Dolph Ziggler is getting pushed again?! Well, he is, even getting a win over Randy Orton last weekend at a house show main event. Amazing! Just as surprising is The Miz is finally being used much better as a heel and is once again cutting fantastic promos and doing great work. I’ve never been on to think that The Miz is as bad as some people think he is. These two have very good chemistry and I think it will show again here with The Miz escaping with his title … and his face intact. Wiseman will be on pins and needles the entire match though.
Steve: Nice to see the IC title getting some recognition here. Been really impressed with both guys as they are being given a chance to shine. This match should open the show and could also be a showstealing match if given some time. Going to go with Miz to retain, but wouldn’t surprised if Ziggler walks away winning the title.
Josh: I find it interesting that Dolph has been put in another situation where he can win a championship while riding a wave of momentum of not only the fans but also picking up victories. I’ll make this short and sweet I’m not gonna whine and complain about how the Intercontinental Championship is relevant or not because if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be on television anymore. I think it’s interesting that Miz is defending his title in his hometown of Los Angeles for the second time in his career. He won the previous time against Rey Mysterio ironically a heel at SummerSlam 2012 and Rey Mysterio got a concussion in that match, it would be interesting if lightning strikes twice with his challenger having previous issues with concussions. I think their match will be a tremendous way to start off the show get heat and baby face reactions going to set the pace of the show and with that I’m going with Dolph Ziggler to win his second Intercontinental Championship and embarrassing The Miz in his hometown. Sorry Michael.
James: Attempt number 7,032 to make the Intercontinental Title seem relevant again. Here is the thing this match puts two of the most polar opposite wrestlers together in a match. Let us rename this title the IWC Title and we can avoid embarrassing great legends like Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold and many more. Every time you think, Ziggler is out of the doghouse they throw him back in. I hate the new Miz getting to play the Rock’s old Hollywood heel gimmick. I get the sense the WWE does not share in that opinion. Miz is the new X-Pac for 2014, under any gimmick he is still The Miz and I still do not care. This makes him the perfect Intercontinental Champion because people have long stopped caring about it. This is actually sad. Sorry Dolph, it is back to the doghouse, or this being a match of two people from Cleveland the “Dawg Pound” maybe Johnny Manziel can cheer you up.
Nathan: This would be a more interesting match-up if it were not following so much Intercontinental turnover. They are going to want some semblance of stability, and that is why The Miz will retain. If nothing else I am looking forward to a fun match, and for The Miz to win by cheating so that this storyline continues on.
WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
Brian: Clubber Lang made a simple prediction before his match against Rocky Balboa: PAIN! That goes for this match too with Lesnar, and especially his advocate Paul Heyman, talking a big game about how bad they will hurt Cena and take the title. The build to this match has been awesome, especially from Heyman bragging all the virtues of his client. Cena has played his part too, talking about how he knows he will get hurt but it won’t be enough for him to lose his championship. The best part in the storyline so far: they haven’t touched. They’ve stared each other down and talked a good game but nothing physical which is the way it should be.
This is being billed as the “biggest fight of the summer” and that’s what I expect: a fight. Physical, raw, crude, bloody, just a war between the two biggest superstars in the WWE. And what’s best for business (trademark Triple H) is Brock Lesnar winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Not only do I expect him to win it, but he should keep it until WrestleMania 31.
Steve: WWE has termed the main event “The Biggest Fight of the Summer”. They are correct in that estimation. I haven’t been this excited for a WWE main event in a long time. It shows if you put some promotion behind your main event and give the fans a reason to care, interest will be there. A lot of buzz is surrounding the match and you can feel. Non-traditional sites are talking about it, ads on sites you wouldn’t expect to feature WWE ads.
WWE did a boxing and UFC like 24/7 special promoting the match with comments from Cena, Lesnar and Paul Heyman. One thing I’ve liked the most about the buildup is the fact they haven’t touched. It makes it more special when Lesnar and Cena touch on Sunday. The mic work by all parties has been taken to another level. When talent is excited about what they are doing, you see it in there work.
The match should be really good and even better than the first two encounters they have had. (yes everyone forgets about their match at 2003 Backlash, which should have been used to build up this match). You would think Lesnar goes over, but you never with how screwy WWE is when it comes to main event finishes and being protective of Cena. Cena doesn’t need the title and Lesnar NEEDS to over clean here. Would make him look weak if it went any other way.
Brock Lesnar wins the match and the WWE world heavyweight championship.
Josh: This is “ the biggest fight of the summer” and it shall be. Even though Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar is one of WWE’s top heel’s I bet you 90 % of the audience will be vehemently behind Brock Lesnar which doesn’t make sense to me. I love what they been doing with the video packages and the special on the WWE Network hyping up probably the biggest match of the year. I do have a scenario that can work if John Cena did defeat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but it would be too long for this staff predictions piece. I think this will be a pure fight and it will get uncomfortable at times, and that just speaking as a guy that was in the arena where Brock and Cena had their last match. You don’t have the Extreme Rules gimmick stipulation added to this match, but that doesn’t mean that this match won’t succeed their previous match. I think the logical choice is go to with Brock Lesnar winning the championship and that has nothing to do with Lesnar’s previous MMA background. MMA should have nothing to do with pro wrestling or sports entertainment booking decisions. I like that Brock is attraction piece to the WWE and doesn’t have to be on every show. But the question I have for you guys does it really make sense to have Brock win the title at SummerSlam then drop it at Night of Champions because it’s best for the WWE Network? Is what’s best for the network the new best for business if so it will be a eyeball roller. I’m going with Brock Lesnar to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship if you have the guy on the payroll and you’re gonna give him one run with the title make it seem special.
James: It is so rare that a match in the WWE these days feels like something fresh with two long-standing characters. Just one of about a hundred reasons you could list for why Brock vs. Cena is a compelling match-up. Brock stating that he plans to practically commit a homicide on John Cena does not hurt either. All of this said what has made this feud is one man; his name is Paul Heyman. The promo work done by Heyman in the build up to this feud has been some of, if not the best of his long career in wrestling. He sold this match the night after “Battleground” and it has only been expanded upon since.
Brock Lesnar’s next loss needs to be to someone this company is going to be banking on for the next 10 years. John Cena is not that guy. If he is that guy, I am not sure I could survive that. Realistically though the WWE thinks, they have found that guy in Roman Reigns. He needs to be the one that beats the one for the future of not just him but this company as a whole. If Brock does indeed win you will need to re-educate fans to a new era where the champ isn’t here. WWE should not “hot shot” Reigns to win the belt but wait until Wrestlemania 31. Given Brock limited schedule that will mean very little of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion being seen. This is not a bad thing as Paul Heyman proved keeping Brock’s accomplishment of beating the Undertaker alive for months. He can do the same for the “NEW” WWE Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.
Nathan: The 1 in 21-1 cannot lose this match. Period.
Cena is a great piece to have for positions like these. He is not going to lose any traction by dropping the belt to Lesnar, and that is why I was fine with him winning at Money in the Bank. He is the perfect opponent to drop the belt to Lesnar – which HAS to happen. If Lesnar loses this match then what was the point of Wrestlemania?
Lesnar continues his dominance, and I don’t expect him to drop the belt at any point in 2014.