David Stephens previews WWE Summerslam 2013
August 18, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com
A preview for tonight's 26th annual WWE Summerslam PPV live from Los Angeles.
WWE United States Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) v. Rob Van Dam
It’s easy to get upset that this match is on the pre-show. After all, these are both talented wrestlers with dedicated fan bases so why push them to the pre-show? That’s exactly why. When I attended the Money in the Bank PPV I was blown away by the showing of The Shield v. The Usos, which occurred on the pre-show. It made the crowd hot for the evening and everyone was on their feet during the surprisingly energetic match. It’s easy to miss the purpose of the pre-show when fans become so clouded with their own bias and wanting to see their favorites on the main show. Out of all of the matches on the card that could be used to get people excited about the PPV this was the logical choice. This match will do a better job of enticing fence sitting buyers to make a commitment than most others would. Even more, it will get the crowd hyped for the monstrous show.
Dean Ambrose is proving to be a dynamo on the microphone and in the ring. His character translates to every movement and facial expression his character makes. It’s a treat to watch because he is so devoted to playing a unique character and fully commits to the role. Rob Van Dam is one of the most exciting high flyers in the company. His legacy extends back for decades. This bout is a logical mix of styles. Ambrose has fought several opponents with a moveset akin to RVD’s during his time grinding it out on the Independent circuit.
Prediction: DEAN AMBROSE should retain the belt. Rob is talented but is still shaking off some ring rust. Ambrose is calculated and focused. RVD may take too much time pandering to the crowd and not enough focusing on an opponent who approaches every match like a battle between life and death.
Natalya w/ The Funkadactyls v. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella & Eva Marie
Total Divas is responsible for this match, and I’m okay with that fact. My 13-year-old niece was watching Total Divas with me the other night and something happened that I wasn’t expecting. I should preface and say that she is no way a fan of wrestling. But, Total Divas was on and instead of retreating to her phone or another room she stopped to watch. Eva Marie and Jojo appealed to her and she was hooked. She turned to me and said, “I wish it was Monday so I could watch them wrestle”. Ladies and Gentlemen that is why Total Divas works. It is not solely targeted to WWE fans, it is targeted to Kardashian-esque reality show fans – and it’s working.
Prediction: NATALYA overcomes her frustration as a veteran forced to train the newbies and thwarts one of the main poster girls of the company.
Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn v. Big E. Langston & AJ Lee
The crazies are going to be out in full force tonight. Langston is turning into a Superstar in his own right but he will find himself frustrated by the antics of AJ Lee. She is more concerned about her relationships than the action that occurs in the ring. When AJ uses that as fuel for viciousness she finds success, but more often than not it can be distracting and cost either her or her love interests the match.
Prediction: DOLPH ZIGGLER & KAITLYN are the more focused tag partners and will keep their mind in the match. Langston may or may not be forced to abandon the companionship of AJ following this match. Sometimes a crazy chick starts to negatively impact your life and needs to be kicked to the curb. Oh sure the craziness can be a lot of fun when the sun goes down, but when an inquisition breaks out over every girl that likes your Facebook post it just becomes too much. Or maybe that’s just my experience. Either way the bad from the crazy will always outweigh the fun and pleasure in the end.
Ring of Fire
Kane v. Bray Wyatt
Spiritual warfare is about to unfold. Bray Wyatt will face the Devil’s favorite son in his first PPV solo showing. Wyatt may have the profound skill to blow out electric lanterns, but Kane brings fires forth from the depths of hell. Wyatt will have his family at hand for an insurance policy, but with the ring surrounded by fire they may not be able to save their cult leader when Armageddon commences.
Prediction: BRAY WYATT needs to prove himself and is placing a lifetime of training into defeating his foe. Kane has had a successful past year as he teamed with Daniel Bryan and dominated the Tag Team division. However, in order to work well with his teammate the Big Red Machine was forced to tone his fire down and hug things out. The monster within may be returning but his focus is not as great as that of Bray. There is a real potential that Wyatt inflicts the type of damage that could keep Kane out of action for months.
Cody Rhodes v. Damien Sandow
Following his victory at Money in the Bank, Sandow has had a falling out with his former tag partner. Cody has gone as far as tossing the briefcase into a body of water. Sandow may have had a gaggle of leather smiths create a new case, but Rhodes and his moustache are ready to do battle. Rhodes feels like the case is rightfully his and he was screwed over by his former Team Rhodes Scholar partner.
Prediction: DAMIEN SANDOW is out for blood after being forced to jump into water to save his case. Despite not being able to swim, or being able to find the case, Sandow was eventually reunited with his Money in the Bank contract. Rhodes has had his fun, but tonight he is going to get several fists to the face as retribution.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) v. Christian
Ricardo Rodriguez has found himself at the butt of Rio’s attacks as of late. Alberto did try and name Ricardo as his opponent for this PPV, but his decision was overruled. Rio has every right to be angry that his decision was not respected considering that Cena received the opponent of his choice. However, despite his trickery Alberto cannot hide behind his lackey in this match. Christian has recently returned from injury and is in the twilight of his career. As each day passes Christian finds himself closer to the end. If he is to win a Championship it needs to be soon because his chances and opportunities are starting to dwindle.
Prediction: Despite Christian’s fire and passion following his return it still will not be enough to dethrone ALBERTO DEL RIO. Rio spent a good deal of time in the past year trying to appeal to the audience. While he did enjoy his time as a crowd favorite it did not bring about the success that he feels his destiny deserves. Christian has returned off of an injury and despite his assurances it is tough to believe that he is at full health. Alberto is focused and should have no problem dismantling his foe with a Cross Arm Breaker.
CM Punk v. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
This is going to be a battle between brains and brawn. If this match was solely between Punk and Lesnar then there is a chance that Punk would be able to outsmart his foe. The problem is that Lesnar will have Paul Heyman in his corner. There are few who know the inner mind of Punk as well as Heyman. Punk proved this past week on RAW that even if Heyman sets a trap it is possible for him to overcome the obstacles. But, that was a healthy Punk who had run down to embark on an attack. During the match, while the former UFC Champion is pummeling Punk, it’s not really going to matter how smart of a plan he has. Heyman will have a clear mind and be able to instruct his client during battle.
Prediction: Despite Punk’s own martial arts background, the beast that is BROCK LESNAR will prove too great. Lesnar had a good point in one of his recent promos in which he drew the comparison between himself and Punk in a simple manner. Lesnar is a stacked, jacked, beast – Punk is quite puny in comparison. Unless Punk can figure out the right strategy and game plan and stick to it during the match he doesn’t have a prayer against the man that has driven fear into every opponent that he has ever faced. Punk has stated that one of his main goals in this match is to force Paul Heyman to get staples in his own head as retribution for Punk’s Money in the Bank injury. When facing an opponent like Lesnar such outside objectives are too distracting. Focus must be on the monster. It just takes a split second glance for Lesnar to capitalize and submit or pin his opponent.
Special Guest Referee: Triple H
John Cena v. Daniel Bryan
This rivalry is one that started out of mutual admiration. Cena and Bryan each dating one of the Bella Twins is an interesting side note. They spend time with each other and their families outside of the ring and know each other on a personal level. I would expect a high number of counters and reversals in this match as each man is very familiar with each other’s styles. While they have not been in the ring with each other ad nauseam the proximity of their lives ensures that they are at the least mindful of the other’s sequences. This match is going to come down to whether or not Cena will be able to stay focused and not underestimate his opponent. The secret to Bryan’s success will come down to that very fact. If Cena goes into the match with a sense of confidence because he selected his opponent and feels that he is very familiar with Bryan’s moveset, he just might find himself on his back staring up at the lights in disbelief as the referee counts to three.
Prediction: DANIEL BRYAN makes his boyhood dream comes true. Cena is no doubt banged up and in need of rest to heal from injuries including a disaster of an elbow. Bryan is fired up and truly believes that this is his time. He spent over a decade touring the world and gaining a reputation as one of the greatest pure fighters in this particular Universe. Despite his diminutive size his passion, speed and agility will prove too much for the face of the company. If Bryan and Cena fought each other ten times at full health Cena might win the majority of those matches, but all Daniel Bryan needs is one victory. With a breadth of submission knowledge it is time for Cena to finally fall. John has made a career out of being able to take unimaginable beatings but still find his way to victory. This time it might just come down to a fraction of a second that ends in a pin.
WATCH OUT FOR – Randy Orton. The Viper has made a point of reminding fans that he is holding the briefcase. He has appeared in many segments leading up to this match. The curious thing is that even if Cena and Bryan know that Orton is waiting in the wings it doesn’t change the amount of effort that they put into the match. If one of the competitors tries to save energy for a potential Orton cash-in they will probably fall at the hands of their opponent. The focus of the competitors must be in the match or they won’t even be in a position to face Orton.
Triple H is acting as the Special Guest Referee in this match. As the tensions rise between HHH and Vince McMahon fans are left to wonder whether the match will be called right down the middle. Either way, considering that Randy Orton is a former Evolution teammate, Hunter might be about to cement his foot into his view of the company’s future. Whether Cena or Bryan wins this match it could very well be Randy Orton, with the help of HHH, who walks out of the PPV with the Championship belt.
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