It’s the 28th annual SummerSlam event coming live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s Josh Lopez from the Between The Ropes staff giving you an unique in-depth analysis and predictions for the second biggest show of the year for the WWE. The biggest party of the summer this year is four hours long. Whether you’re a fan of the WWE or not, as a professional wrestling fan you can’t deny the fact that the WWE has done a stellar job in promoting this event and elevating the importance of SummerSlam and as a fan who grew up watching wrestling in this era I couldn’t be more excited for this event and also wondering what the fall has for us. We have grudge feuds, love triangles, family wars, return matches, epic title for title clashes and a match “Too big for WrestleMania”. I personally can’t wait to cover this event on Sunday, so I’ll go over the full card and I’ll give you thoughts on the storylines that pertain to the matches on this card and predicitons for all the matches.
1.) Ryback vs. The Big Show vs. The Miz~ Triple Threat Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
We have our self a triple threat match that was supposed to take place at last month at the Battleground. Ryback has been out of action for the past month with a staph infection, Miz has replaced Hulk Hogan as the judge on this year’s Tough Enough and Big Show well his straight to DVD movie “Vendetta” came out this week. When you look at this match on paper maybe you wouldn’t care about it and most triple threat matches can be hits and at the same time those type of matches could be complete and other flops. However, I think this will be a pretty solid triple threat match it may not be the best match on the show, but it won’t be the worst and honestly I think this is going to be a great wrestling centered event. Miz is the darkhorse in the match and he’ll pick his spots throughout this match. Then of course you got Show who is Show I mean at this point there’s no need to lose sleep over how many times the guy changes his character. Ryback just came back from injury and yea I’m a Ryback, but you have to give the guy credit if your not a fan of his he’s had a great rapour with the fans since he’s came back. I don’t think this match will over stay it’s welcome. Quite honestly you can go either way here, but for me I just don’t see the logic of having Big Show become the Intercontinental Champion. He won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal this year that’s fine and dandy, but he doesn’t need a mid-card title right now. I think it would be interesting if Miz won the match and maybe somewhere down the road you can have Miz feud with Daniel Bryan over the title whenever Bryan comes back from injury. In the end I think it’s too soon for Ryback to drop the belt. I don’t think he’ll have a long title reign, but he shouldn’t drop the title that soon either, so with that I’m going with The Big Guy.
Prediction: Still WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback
2.) The Prime Time Players (c) vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons~ Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
No disrespect to any of four tag teams that are competing in this match on Sunday, but don’t be surprised this match out of the 10 matches on the card would be moved to the SummerSlam kickoff show. I’m a Prime Time Players fan, and while they been having good matches in the ring there’s hasn’t been much character development between Darren and Titus since they captured the titles since Money in the Bank. Los Matadores is Los Matadores and as a Puerto Rican it’s kind of sad seeing two talented Puerto Rican professional wrestlers playing Mexican Bullfighters the gimmick just doesn’t work and both guys should come up with something different. I love the Lucha Dragons, but whenever I see either Kalisto or Sin Cara cut a promo it’s so generic. Over the past four weeks we’ve seen nothing, but a competitive eight man tag team matches and New Day showing how great they really are. I have no problem with good matches, but at least have a storyline in between so we can emotionally invest in the match. Let the tag teams come on Raw and SmackDown state their case as to why they should be the WWE Tag Team Champions instead of doing short promo’s for the WWE YouTube channel. Obviously the tag team division was put in a rough place with the bevy injuries that plauged the division with Jey Uso being out, Tyson Kidd being injured for the next year, so no more Kidd/Cesaro and then you have Erick Rowan tear a bicep and The Wyatt Family have gone in a different direction. I think the match will be fine you have your cool sequences, but at the end of the day I think it’s going to be a New Day for the tag team division.
Prediction: New WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day
3.) Rusev w/Summer vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Lana
I was really excited for the possibility of a Rusev/Dolph Ziggler program because of the matches they can have. Ziggler is a stellar perform and Rusev is supremely underrated. While the general consesus on this feud is sour I happen to like this feud alot. I think this feud has helped bring a new character traits to not only Lana, but also Rusev and Summer Rae. I think Rusev has the making to be a tremendous comedian heel or babyface down the road. It doesn’t matter what he does Rusev for some reasons cracks me up. Hot Summer, Rusev face on a flag, and etc Rusev is the man. Ziggler was laid out with a crutch on the Raw in Chicago and has been shooting a movie with Kane and he just came back to WWE on Raw this past Monday night. I’m loving the cat fights with Summer and Lana I mean come on now we two extremely sexy woman going at it and it’s good physical interactions. It was “reported” that this program would lead to a mix-gender match, but that’s not the case as Rusev will be going one on one with The Showoff this Sunday. I think this match is going to be pretty good and we’ll get a cool brawl with Lana and Summer Rae at ringside. I’m going with Rusev to make the Showoff tap out to the Accolade.
Prediction: Rusev via Subsmission
4.) Stephen Amell & Neville vs. Stardust & King Barrett
I’m afraid I got some Bad News! Well quite frankly, I don’t. I’m looking forward to this match. I don’t think Amell is taking a spot from somebody because if that was the case then Stardust, Neville or Barrett would probably be off the card. Arrow is not my favorite show on Television, but I’m a fan of Stephen Amell and appreciate the fact he’s actually training for the match and he’s a true fan of the WWE product. Would I wish King Barrett was “booked” better, but hey what do any of us really know about booking? Like really there’s right or wrong answer. I’m loving the comic book vignette they’ve been airing over the past couple of weeks I think this will be a great spotlight for Stardust, Neville and Barrett and this should be a fun little tag team match. I think Neville & Amell will pick up the victory. Amell will great a reception and this will be a good celebrity in-ring appearance.
Prediction: Stephen Amell & Neville
5.) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
I liked the Orton/Sheamus match from Battleground. Yea maybe this match will get booed by the Brooklyn crowd. It’s whatever to me because as much as people complain about Orton/Sheamus fighting each other I didn’t hear a peep from these people during the Attitude Era when TripleH/Rock had 6 straight PPV matches. Yes Orton fought Sheamus at SummerSlam 2010, and at the same time Undertaker fought Triple H at WrestleMania 17, 27 and 28. The point is yes these guys have fought each other alot of times, but I don’t remember a bad Orton/Sheamus match. What intrigues me about this match is the fact there’s heat between Sheamus and Orton with the fact Sheamus cost Orton the Money in the Bank briefcase and Orton cost Sheamus the WWE World Heavyweight Championship a couple weeks ago. I think we’ll get good physical brawl and I kind of wish this match would be a No DQ match, but nonetheless it will be a good 15 minute brawl and I think the Viper will pickup the victory here.
Prediction: Randy Orton
6.) Team Bad (Naomi, Sasha Banks, Tamina Snuka) vs. Team Bella (Nikki Bella, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) vs. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch)~ Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination Match
The Divas Revolution is here. We wanted to see good divas matches on the WWE programming right? We’re getting it now. Only disappointing part of this scneairo has been the lack of storyline development, but that will come in time, so I’m not going to harp on it. It’s great seeing Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch dominate since they came up to the main roster. For alot of the NXT fans you need to take a realistic approach when these stars come up to the main roster. Not every single NXT Superstar or Diva that comes up to the main roster automatically deserves to be in the main event scene. Surprisngly Team Bella is the team that’s lost the most matches since in this program began before Battleground. I think this match will be alot of fun and the Brooklyn crowd will eat it up. I’m not sure if this is going to be single or team elimination, but either way sorry to be the party pooper, but Team Bella will pickup the victory in this one.
Winner: Team Bella
7.) Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. The Wyatt Family
It’s time for a good ole fashion war. We all know that both Roman and Dean Ambrose have fought Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in singles, tag team and six man tag team matches all over the world for the past two and a half years. This match is going to be a pure donny brooke and I love those type of matches. I loved the Shield/Wyatt Family matches and this match should be off the charts. This is another match that I wished would have been some type of hardcore match it would be just a bumber to have this match end in a DQ or No Contest. What’s the shock of the summer? Usually during the summer we have a major moment where a character goes from good to bad. Who’s it going to be? Ambrose or Reigns? I sense tension between these guys for the past two months and it’s time for Ambrose to turn. I think this match has the possibility to steal the show on Sunday. It’s going to be back and forth and in a Shield town the crowd is going to be in love with this match. I see Ambrose turning on Roman Reigns and the Wyatt Family will win this war.
Prediction: The Wyatt Family
8.) Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Will Owens “Win Owens Win”, “Walk Owens Walk” or “Lose Owens Lose”? I hope you didn’t mind the execessive punds there. This match is going to be pretty good. How will Owens perform after the match he has with Finn Balor at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn this Saturday? I’m happy Cesaro is getting a spotlight after the two fantastic US Open Challenge matches he had with John Cena. Cesaro is a great and goes into Raw and SmackDown every week with a chip on his shoulder and he’s very consistent and strives to have the best matches on the show and Sunday will be no different. I don’t know if this match will be that long, but I know the crowd will be in love with this match because of the fact that both Cesaro & Owens are former ROH mainstays in a major ROH market. I think Owens will have to regain his heat somehow after he loses his match at Takeover. Unfortunately I see two scneairos happening here either Owens walks out which brings a countout or Owens will beat Cesaro. I don’t think Owens will be going down here and I think he will have a successful career let’s take a collective chill pill and see where he goes.
Winner: Kevin Owens by KO
9.) Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena (c)~ Winner Takes All for the WWE United States and World Heavyweight Championship
I think Rollins title reign has been stellar. Rollins gets better week by week and he has deserved the pushed he has gotten over the past year. Cena at the same time is in the running for wrestler of the year and he’s in the middle of the best year of his career. WWE has put both guys and the perspective titles in a corner. Here’s my prediction. Obviously the match will be off the charts, but at the end of the day. I think with the comments Cena made about Triple H is going to bite him in the ass. I think Triple H will cause a DQ. I think Rollins will be celebrating with The Game and then fireworks goes off and Kane comes back with the mask and lays out Seth Rollins which will lead to Sheamus cashing in the Money in the Bank Briefcase and becoming the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. That’s best for business
Prediction: New WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
10.) Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker
“The match that’s too big for WrestleMania”! I make no bones about it Undertaker was my favorite wrestler during the Attitude Era and I’m super excited that this rematch is indeed happening. Taker has played a heel role in the build towards this program and I don’t have a problem with that. I think the build has been perfect in my personal opinion. This match will be better then their WrestleMania 30 match. I think Undertaker will win and I don’t think it will negatively effect Brock Lesnar. As Undertaker goes up to the ramp and puts his hand up the scarecrow hits and Sting appears in the crowd or the rafters and stares at the ring and the show goes off the air.
Prediction: The Undertaker
I hope you guys enjoyed this piece. Remember it’s subjective there’s no right or wrong answer. I will be providing live coverage of the show on Sunday for the site.
You can follow me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR