Hello everyone, thank you for joining me. You've landed here on Planet Kayfabe on NoDQ. Today I'm giving my preview of this year's SummerSlam live this Sunday from Brooklyn, New York's Barclay's Center. It's a long show so I'll cut the chatter and get on with the pre-show matches first.
The B-Team (c) vs. The Revival (Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Yup, once again the tag titles are on curtain duty. This is not a good thing for those of you who want another title, like a women's tag-team championship, to be added to this promotion. I feel like I say it every month but it's a shame if you remember the up tick the tag division in WWE was on prior to the renewed brand split 2 years ago. Now that they're split in half between two shows and WWE seems as disinterested than ever in the division -- on Raw especially.
Now that that commentary is out of the way, I'm picking the B-Team to win simply because they have a new theme. Sorry Revival fans. I know they were great in NXT but this is the main roster where hot NXT acts come to eat a roll-up and die a death. That's what I see happening here.
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak (Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
I haven't really followed 205 Live but I know Alexander has been champion for a long time and I expect him to retain. I don't think some asshole digging up an old tweet of an unoriginal joke about rape that sounds much worse with 2018 ears after all that Hollywood exposure last year than it did in 2012 when that same bad joke I saw on my timeline used in memes fairly regularly. Whoever dug it up was just looking to get someone in trouble and wasn't legitimately offended. Like I said on Twitter, I'm in favor of a social media statute of limitations. I don't give a f*** what you Tweeted 5 or 10 years ago especially if you were a teen or college student aged. So, there was no real need to Alexander to apologize in my opinion, unless the WWE made him do it. In my opinion an apology just lends credibility to the trolls out there looking to f*** with people's livelihood but digging through old social media trash.
That said, if there's any young wrestlers out there looking to become WWE Superstars, if you get signed to NXT, just delete your personal account and start fresh because this is the age we live in. People with nothing better to do than to feign outrage and make a bunch of noise about shit people posted a decade ago that everyone forgot about... Like in 2011 when Michael Cole tweeted to Josh Mathews that he's a.... ah... never mind.
I'm picking the champ to retain.
Rusev and Lana vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega (Mixed tag team match)
Boy way to reward Rusev and Almas for their great bouts with the WWE Champion AJ Styles with a spot on the pre-show. What the f***? This couldn't make the main card? Anyway, I think this one's pretty obvious. Aiden English is going to come out to try and help his old buddy, but in the end will f*** everything up. Zelina, who is a f***ing babe, I mean God, good lord what a babe. I mean holy shit.
Anyway. Yeah. Zelina will probably roll up Lana or Rusev will be distracted by English to eat Almas' finish. Some banana peel shit or whatever. Now to the main card.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy (Singles match for the WWE United States Championship)
The champion almost feels like the odd man out here. Jeff and Shinsuke have barely feuded. It's been all about Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. I expect Nakamura to retain either by DQ or by Randy interfering and either hitting a move on Hardy or distracting him. This one seems pretty obvious to me.
Finn Bálor vs. Baron Corbin (Singles match)
It will probably just be an o.k. match. Finn went over at Extreme Rules so I have to pick Corbin here and the two will probably finish their meaningless feud at the next PPV. 50/50. No one gets over. No one becomes a jobber. They're all just there. WWE books like a bunch of communists.
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The New Day (Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
It just feels like The New Day are going over here. The WWE hasn't done too much with the Bludgeon Brothers. I hoped this past spring that they would be built up as monsters, but between the occasional beat down and jobber match they just do the same kind of Wyatt Family weird promos with dry ice back stage.
You may be tired of TND's act, but people are still reacting. People like the pancakes. They're probably never going to break up because they're such merch movers and if you're one of them why bother? Kofi would probably just go back to his generic old babyface gimmick trading off between the IC and US titles like he used to. Big E might get a push because he's big, but the die may already be cast for him since he's played such a silly gimmick for so long it would be hard for the fans to accept him as a serious persona. Like when Rikishi "did it for The Rock". Shaking that ass in people's faces made him a superstar after years of crap gimmicks. The New Day are superstars by pouring cereal and flipping pancakes around. Oh, as for Woods, he's probably the one who would want this group to break up the least because he'd probably just be doing dark matches every week. The New Day is a case where the whole equals more than the sum of the parts. You might be tired of them, but they aren't going to break up as long as their shirts, cereals, Funko Pops and dildo headbands still sell and all 3 of them are making a lot more money together than they would on their own and getting a lot more TV time too.
So, after all that. My pick is The New Day to regain the tag titles.
Braun Strowman (MITB holder) vs. Kevin Owens (Singles match for the Money in the Bank contract)
I think this stipulation was just made to cast doubt and act as a red herring. Strowman isn't losing. Strowman has seemingly overcome some shitty moments that would bury other guys, but he managed to make work, but there's a big stigma that comes with losing the MITB briefcase. Either losing the match or losing it in a match. I also don't like this stipulation because it undermines the MITB Ladder Match. You may not see losing to Owens as a big deal, but he's been portrayed as such a pussy this summer. They've stripped all the bad-ass-ness he had last year after almost killing Vince McMahon and now he's hiding backstage or in porta-pottys. I hate this. Whatever. Strowman wins clean.
Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Triple threat match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
They've teased a rift between Becky and Charlotte. It feels like they want Charlotte to be the babyface and Becky to be the heel which is ass backwards. Charlotte is a natural heel. As a babyface, she is.... fine. Her babyface promos are shit, but her work holds up. Becky has a natural likability and people have wanted to see her get a strong push for a while.
Also, in story line I think more people are sympathetic to Becky. Charlotte lost to Carmella CLEAN and then went away to get new tits. In that time Becky Lynch beat Carmella to earn a shot at the Women's Championship at SummerSlam. Then Charlotte waltzes back into the picture and Paige just gives her a contender's match as well just because she did a run-in. It feels like Becky has had the carpet pulled out from under her so is anyone going to really boo her if she turns on Charlotte? I don't think so.
I see Charlotte winning. She'll probably pin the champion after Becky warms her up somehow or makes Carmella tap after Becky and Carmella are both laid out over a high spot. Becky may be more likable as a babyface and I strongly feel she would get the bigger pop here, but I think WWE wants Charlotte with the belt on that Evolution poster.
Dolph Ziggler (c) (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Dean Ambrose) (Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
It seems like most people are leaning towards a Dean Ambrose turn. He has a new look that even seems heelish and when he returned on this past week's Raw he didn't cut a promo. If you're wondering why Dean would turn, the reasoning I have is because in story line Dean was taken out by one of Rollins' dives to the outside at the December 18, 2017 Raw in Providence, Rhode Island. In reality Dean was already injured at the show. The dive was just a way to write him off. They could have had some heel take him out backstage. Instead he was caught in friendly fire. Now Dean is back and I think Seth will get the upper hand and that's where Dean turns to break up what will probably be a very good match.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe (Singles match for the WWE Championship)
Here's one for you old TNA fans. These two have obviously known each other for most of their careers and will likely deliver a great match. A 5 star match-of-the-year type match? I doubt it, but I'm sure it will be very good. WWE put over AJ Styles on Twitter by making it known that he is the longest-reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history. Originally I figured they'd have AJ go the distance to Wrestlemania and maybe even have a match with Daniel Bryan assuming he re-signs. However, now I think if Joe loses, what's left? AJ would have beaten everyone on the Smackdown brand credible enough for a world title shot right now. if Joe loses where does he go? Challenge him again until he wins? Is that the Samoan way in this company?
My pick is for Joe to win. The fact that WWE pointed out AJ being the longest reigning WWE Champion in the history of the Smackdown brand makes me think they are happy with just that since Smackdown is "the house AJ Styles built" he can always have that feather in his cap. AJ has been a good WWE champion and has been reliable on TV and PPV to deliver entertaining matches. I don't think he's quite had that home run yet with this run, but he has been a reliable hitter with men on in scoring position and probably still has the best batting average in WWE this year even though the smell test would say his previous 2 years were better, especially 2016.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
Before the death of Natalya's father, Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart this past Monday I would be leaning towards a turn by her who is another who seems somewhat miscast as a babyface, but I understand them wanting to keep Ronda close to her friend while she's still very much learning on the job and Natalya has helped train her.
I think Ronda has to win. It might be a quick match too. I don't want to see Ronda sell too much. No one really wants to see it but WWE has this weird f***ed up logic where they think everyone has to look vulnerable. Ronda doesn't and shouldn't. Vulnerability is not a good quality in a bad ass. I don't know why so many people, even smart people like Jim Ross use that excuse for WWE having strong babyfaces like Asuka when she first got called up from NXT to sell for 90% of the match and then come back and win at the end in 2 moves. No one wants to see people like Ronda sell. They want to see her hit moves and kill. At least be somewhat in touch with your audience instead of telling them what they should want to see. Not one person there is paying to watch her sell. I know selling is part of wrestling, but this is f***ing Alexa Bliss, not a "giant" like Nia Jax or a fellow fighter like Sonya Deville or a stronger booked wrestler like Charlotte. It's 5 foot tall Alexa who plays a good chicken heel who always has a buddy to back her up. There's no reason for Ronda to be spending most or half of this match on the canvas selling for her. All that does is bring her down. My pick is Ronda to win clean.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns (Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship)
It's too bad they closed up the one interesting angle about this match by having Paul Heyman pepper spray Roman Reigns after seemingly offering him a deal to be his new client. It's also too bad Roman sold that shit like he was being sprayed with a water gun. What a loser. Yeah, I said it. Whatever, if some of you are tired of hearing yet another guy on the internet pile on Roman Reigns. That's exactly what he's been in this feud with Brock Lesnar. I guess after his twentieth or whatever match with Brock he will finally win since it's clear that Lesnar is UFC bound.
I don't think these two have had great chemistry and their Wrestlemania main event was one of the worst main events of Wrestlemania in history. Like how Roman's match with HHH was also one of the worst. Like how Roman's match with The Undertaker was also one of the worst.
But sure... The internet really just boos him because "its the cool thing to do" with no real reason. Keep guzzling that Kool-Aid, shills.
Roman's going to beat Brock in a shitty match. If it's an average match don't message me on Twitter to rub it in my face either. It's not all Roman's fault either. I don't think Brock is that interested in putting on great WWE matches anymore. I think he's going to walk through this match without risking an injury and that will be it. He'll put Roman over in a shallow victory because it has taken so long for Roman to finally win and no one will care.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz (Singles match)
I don't think this match will go on last, but there's a slight chance it will. In my opinion it has been the best built up of the matches on this card so it gets the last slot on my preview. The build has been great not just because of the 8 year history between the two, but because of the video packages on Smackdown this past week which were very well done.
Some of you may be asking why here? Why not save it for Wrestlemania. Well, there's two things. One, we don't know if Daniel Bryan will be with WWE that long. Sure, he's most likely to re-sign, but we and they don't know for sure. Two, now feels like the right time. Daniel Bryan has been a full-time wrestler again since returning to the ring at Wrestlemania this year. How are these two supposed to just avoid each other for a full year? Not everything has to be settled at Wrestlemania. SummerSlam is still the 2nd bigger pay-per-view of the year. I mean, come on... It's not like when they blew off John Cena vs Roman Reigns at f***ing No Mercy of all things.
The match has been built as a serious bout so, I'm not expecting a weird finish. I think Daniel Bryan wins out right. I know Miz loses a lot, but he's supposed to. He's not a serious, bad-ass heel. He doesn't have the credibility to beat a guy like Daniel Bryan clean and have people buy it. In my opinion the best possible finish not just for the match but for this PPV, is to put this match on last and have them go 25 minutes to a half hour. Put on a great match that ends with Daniel Bryan winning clean and both guys closing the show with a new found respect for each other and... no. No handshake with Miz kicking Bryan in the balls to get his heat back. Just have Bryan go for a handshake, keep it subtle, have Miz think about shaking Bryan's hand but then just walk out of ring unable to swallow his pride. There's no need to Miz to have a redeeming quality by showing to the fans that he respects Bryan, let the story play out like Miz does respect Bryan... but would never actually admit it, because that's what an asshole heel would do. It should be a very good match. Bryan wins clean.
Before I go I want to send my condolences to Natalya, T.J. Wilson, Bret Hart and the Neidhart family.
I hope you enjoy SummerSlam. The hype for this show has not been that hot. I know its a pretty cold period to be a WWE fan (notice I said fan, not stockholder) but usually SummerSlam feels bigger than this. Outside of the hardcores, no one is really talking about it and even they aren't that excited and no one is happy with the length of the show. I frequent a message board that has an open WWE thread which typically spikes in activity around big PPV's but it's been pretty dead lately outside of people sharing their memories of The Anvil and the stray comment about how all the shows are too long. You may be tired of hearing about that, but it's actually the hardcore fans who complain about the shows being too long the least. SummerSlam used to have the tagline "the biggest party of the summer", but like any party, it stops being fun when the guests overstay their welcome.
Follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe where I live-tweet shows including SummerSlam. Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy NXT. Enjoy SummerSlam this Sunday. Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon with my review. Take care, everyone.