Well. This SummerSlam certainly went from potentially skipable to absolutely must-see. Welcome to the biggest part of the summer and the first PLE under the era of Triple H. As I’m sure everybody reading this column knows (and if you don’t, what rock are you living under and do you have any extra room?), the almighty Vincent Kennedy McMahon was forced to resign from WWE as Chairman, CEO, and head of creative due to an investigation determining he used unreported company money for his own purposes of giving out $14.6 million in NDAs to former female employees over sexual misconduct. This past Monday, it was announced that The Game Triple H was named Head of Creative for WWE. Now, while this past Monday’s Raw was already written by Vince before he retired, Wrestle Votes on Twitter reported that, “With SummerSlam being his real first show in total control, source says Triple H would like to make a creative splash at the event, HOWEVER- only if it’s makes sense. Won’t just do something to do it.” So, with that, my interest in SummerSlam just went up, a LOT. SummerSlam is largely considered WWE’s #2 of its Big 5 by the company, though this year, I just see, on paper, an average PLE. But, with Triple H running the show, there’s a lot of potential as, with the reign of The Game in full swing, it all begins again. With that, this is Mansfield’s Matchups and this is my 2022 WWE SummerFest predictions! (Oops, I meant SummerSlam. Sorry Jeremy Piven).
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Bobby Lashley ( c ) vs. Theory
If there was ever a symbolic sacrificial offering for Triple H to make to show he’s in control, not Vince, it is without a shadow of a doubt, Mr. Money in the Bank Theory. Theory has been Vince’s pet project to be the new John Cena. In fact, it was originally reported that WWE wanted Cena vs. Theory at SummerSlam, with both teasing it on Twitter for months, but that didn’t happen. Cena has other commitments, and that trip up to see Cena on set by Vince obviously got canceled when Vince stepped down. So, no Cena. But, honestly, I’m just happy to see the United States Title defended on PLE again (now, Hunter, please do so with the Intercontinental Championship, if you please). The winner is not even close to being in doubt. Lashley will destroy Theory. I haven’t been the biggest fan of this feud, cause it’s just not believable that Theory has a chance in hell at beating Lashley without Vince around (see what I did there?), and WWE is going to want to distance Theory as far away from Vince as much as possible now.
WINNER – Bobby Lashley (champion retains)
NO DISQUALIFICATION TAG TEAM MATCH
The Judgment Day (Finn Balor and Damian Priest) w/Rhea Rippley) vs. The Mysterios (Rey and Dominick Mysterio)
Well. No Edge vs. Balor. Boo. Another match people were looking forward to, and while I’m sure this match will be okay, I really was looking forward to that big match between two of the greats. It was reported that Edge’s travel plans got canceled, but it’s not known if that was by design or out of WWE’s control. Either way, this is the match we have now. We’ve seen this multiple times in recent weeks, so this is particularly a match I hope Triple H has his hands in, especially since Balor and Priest are two of his NXT boys. Whether Dominick turns on Rey during or after the match remains to be seen. But, either way, this match should still be fun, especially with the no DQ twist on it. But, Judgment Day still needs to win this. Whether Edge returns after that is up for debate, but Balor and Priest are winning.
WINNERS – The Judgment Day
SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Liv Morgan ( c ) vs. Ronda Rousey
Only two women have ever pinned Ronda Rousey in WWE. Becky Lynch (who is in anothr title match we’ll get to) and Liv Morgan. Liv Morgan cashing in on Ronda and winning at Money in the Bank was a huge shock, but so very well deserved, with it being reported that Ronda specifically wanted to lose the title to her because of how hard she works. Their rivalry has been really good the past few weeks with Rousey’s promo skills continuing to improve. So, who walks away as champion? Logic would say Ronda, but the storyline likely says Liv. Liv is getting the rub from Ronda and, honestly, that’s really great to see. It will likely be by a rollup or count out or distraction, but Liv walks away still champion. Hopefully we finally get Bayley returning after, but, we’ll see.
WINNER – Liv Morgan (champion retains)
The Miz vs. Logan Paul
I never thought I would say these words: The Miz is actually getting me to cheer for Logan Paul….I think. Two Cleveland boys, one of my favorites in Miz vs. the social media boxer boy. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a Logan Paul fan before WrestleMania, but he honestly looked REALLY good in his debut match. Now, how this match isn’t a tag team match with Ciampa and A.J. Styles, I’m not sure, but, it is what it is. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Logan Paul does in a one on one match. However, even though he is a celebrity, and their power level is over 9,000 on principal, he also signed a WWE contract as a performer. And if they want this feud to continue, I think Miz actually needs to win this match with help of Ciampa interfering, then leading to the tag team match. Miz does his job really well, and will no doubt make sure Logan Paul looks like a million bucks, but I don’t know if I can fully cheer for Logan Paul all the way.
WINNER – The Miz
UNDISPUTED WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE – Jeff Jarrett
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) ( c ) vs. The Street Profits (Montz Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
This match is going to be fun. Now, this is another one where I hope Triple H just makes it for one of the tag team titles. But, either way, this match will tear the house down as they always do. The Usos have been champions for well over a year now, and I think the time has finally come to give the Street Profits one last run with the gold before they split them up, but I don’t think it’s happening. Jeff Jarrett as guest referee is, okay, I guess. Wasn’t really needed and doesn’t add much, in my opinion, except to give a false security that the faces are winning..
WINNERS – The Usos
Seth Rollins vs. TBD
So. This match I’m kinda upset with. I was REALLY looking forward to Rollins vs. Riddle at SummerSlam, but Triple H wants to hold off until Clash at the Castle. Okay, fine. Triple H also teased on Twitter that Seth could potentially have another opponent penciled in, so in case that does happen, I’m just gonna go with trying to figure out “who”. Rollin’s 3 likely opponents are either: 1. A main roster guy who doesn’t have a match. 2. An NXT call-up. 3. A returning former star that Triple H got to sign back pretty much immediately. So, of the main roster people, we either have Rollins vs. Styles in a fun match, or an inter-brand match in Rollins vs. McIntyre since neither have matches scheduled. From NXT, if they want to go the route of Rollins vs. the Bloodline again, Solo Sikoa makes sense to debut against Rollins, or if they want to *actually* call him up this time, NXT Champion Bron Breakker. But, where I really think this is going is another return, likely in the form of Johnny Gargano. Gargano is obviously the easiest person for Triple H to sign back, and is already going to be in Nashville.
WINNER – Seth (if vs. A.J.), TBD (if vs. anyone else).
Happy Corbin vs. Pat McAfee
Ya know, I gotta give McAfee a LOT of credit here. He’s done something that even Drew McIntyre couldn’t do: make me excited for a Corbin match. Now, to be fair, I’m only looking forward to this match cause I want to see McAfee in the ring. The guy is fantastic! And beating the crap out of Corbin is just icing on the cake. The winner isn’t even in question, I just can’t wait to see it.
WINNER – Pat McAfee
RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Bianca Belair ( c ) vs. Becky Lynch
FINALLY we get this rematch!!! Their match at WrestleMania was great, and seeing Becky tailspin the past several months has been beautiful storytelling. We have come full circle one year later. Last year, Becky returned out of nowhere and beat Bianca in seconds to win the SmackDown Women’s Title. This year, we have a rematch for the Raw Women’s Title. I think it would be poetic justice for Bianca to just beat Becky in 27 seconds to retain the title just like Becky did last year to win the title. Therefore, with everything come full circle, we could see Big Time Becks completely implode and see the return of The Man. It would also permanently cement Bianca as the biggest women’s star on the main roster who is not one of the Four Horsewomen or Ronda Rousey.
WINNER – Bianca Belair (champion retains)
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH FOR THE UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Roman Reigns ( c ) w/Paul Heyman vs. Brock Lesnar
Please, OH PLEASE, Triple H, let us be done with this!!!! Let us please move on. I did not want this for SummerSlam. I did not want to see these two fight ever again. I’m done with it. I almost didn’t want to watch SummerSlam because of this. It’s a Last Man Standing Match so maybe it’ll actually be good this time, but we’ll see. Either way, Roman is winning and Theory ain’t cashing in. There just isn’t much to say about this that hasn’t already been said, except that this better be it. Brock is on his way out more than likely since he walked out of SmackDown when Vince retired, so likely Brock is gonna do the job to Roman and be done. I just hope their last match proves to actually be one worth watching.
WINNER – Roman Reigns (champion retains)