Mike Tedesco’s WWE SummerSlam Predictions
August 17, 2014
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
After weeks and weeks of anticipation and a great build for the show, SummerSlam is finally here. WWE’s second biggest show of the year happens tonight with some of the best build for a SummerSlam that I can remember in a long time. There isn’t one match that hasn’t been well booked and that I don’t want to see. The WWE needs to hit a home run with this show for WWE Network subscriptions. Phase one is the build. Now they need to deliver on the actual show. My gut says they will. So without further ado, here are my predictions for SummerSlam!
As always, this was finalized the night before the show. If any new matches have been added, I apologize for them not being on here.
SummerSlam Kickoff Match
Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro
Hopefully this is the only match they have on the pre-show tonight. They threw two matches on the show last month and both were sub-par. Cesaro, after randomly and inexplicably leaving Paul Heyman, has been on a downward spiral. The guy is still getting a lot of time for his matches, but he’s become an enhancement talent in recent weeks. I understand that things could pick up for him in the fall and this is just what they have for him at the moment, but to have so much momentum after WrestleMania and be where he is now is surely a disappointment for many, myself included. Rob Van Dam on the other hand has done pretty much nothing since making his return to WWE in April. RVD is going through the problem that many older wrestlers and athletes go through – they’re the last to know that they’re old and can’t do the things they did in their youth. Granted there are times when RVD looks like he did in his youth, but those are few and far between. A lot of times the things he does now are in slow motion and not his crisply most of the time. It’s sad to watch. It’s no fault of his own, but it is happening. The point is that both men have something to prove in this match. I think Cesaro is going to continue his losing ways. Maybe it’ll build to something for the fall.
Prediction: Rob Van Dam
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
As I’ve previously said, I’m not completely sold on the stipulation of the Lumberjacks for this match, but I am completely sold on the match-up itself. I’ve been waiting for two months to see Ambrose and Rollins lock horns, and it’s finally going to happen tonight. I was pretty upset at the old bait and switch routine WWE used with this match at Battleground, as this was the one match I was most looking forward to, but in hindsight, I’m glad they did. Save it for SummerSlam and let these guys show what they can do on a big stage. My only fear is that the Lumberjack aspect of the match will limit what they can really do a bit. Still, when they’re not messing around with the Lumberjacks, I’m anticipating a really good exchange with these two in a feud that I hope continues on for a bit. We’ve been waiting for two months. It’s finally here. Ambrose has gotten the better of Rollins in almost all of their exchanges. Sure, Rollins has left him laying a few times, but Ambrose will get even with him more often than not. Rollins talks about how Ambrose fights more with his heart with his head, so I think that will cost Ambrose. I’m taking Rollins here in what I think will be the second best match of the night.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
This is really one of two no brainer matches for SummerSlam. Chris Jericho pulled off the upset at Battleground, so it’s time for him to return the favor to Wyatt at this show. Wyatt is the up and comer whereas Jericho is the legend here in between Fozzy tours. My only hope is they have a better match than the one they did at Battleground. Wyatt has lost a little of his edge in recent weeks. I think he really needs a good match against Jericho tonight to get back on track. Adam Martin said it best in his review of Battleground: Jericho needed to slow down in the Battleground match. The quickness made that match quite sloppy. Hopefully they click tonight because it’s rumored there is one more of these matches on the horizon.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella
I really enjoyed the build for this match until this past Monday’s RAW when they let it jump the shark. They built this up well with the angle at Payback, the torture of Nikki Bella, the arrest of Stephanie McMahon, and the contract signing. They could have just had them each cut a backstage promo this past week and been done with it, but instead they let it get cheap with the type of storyline that has made wrestling fans cringe and question why they watch for years. It was such an unnecessary addition to the angle. Still, if you can get past that and forget about it, it’s an intriguing storyline and match. The women never get storylines like this. It’s amazing that it’s basically all being done so Daniel Bryan is in some way involved in a storyline while he’s sidelined. It puts Brie over for sure, but it keeps Bryan’s name out there as well as continuing his unresolved feud against The Authority.
A lot of people have been speculating that Nikki Bella is going to wind up turning on Brie during the match, but I’m not so sure if that big turn will be on the show. I think Nikki will nearly cost her sister the match by “accident,” but I don’t think it’ll happen tonight with all of the other big things happening. It’d probably be better if it were on RAW. I think Stephanie will continue the great tradition of her father where a McMahon can take a hell of a whooping on big PPVs.
Prediction: Brie Bella
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
I’ve made no secret about this being one of my favorite feuds in wrestling right now. All of the segments have been so much fun. Granted, many of the awesome segments took place before the Battleground PPV, such as that United States-Russia Détente, but it’s still got a lot of juice. The rules for the match are a little unclear though. I’m not sure if they have to actually wrestle the match straight up or if the flags will be on poles. I’d prefer a straight up fight and the winner has their flag displayed. However, if they do have the flags on a pole, it would give Rusev an out to say he’s still never been pinned or submitted. I see Jack Swagger coming out on top here no matter which way they go. Rusev won’t lose any steam in either scenario. All winning streaks come to an end, and I think it’s time for Rusev to take his first big loss. Also, the way I’m predicting things, there will be a lot of heels coming out on top. I think the face needs to prevail in this one.
Prediction: Jack Swagger
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
This one is another no brainer for the show. Roman Reigns is the guy who is seemingly pegged to be the next “guy,” so why would you have him lose on the second biggest show of the year? Even though this is pretty cut and dry in terms of the outcome, I still think it’s going to be a good match. Reigns comes out for a RAW match everyone knows he’s going to win, but they still really get into him. I think he’s going to get a great reaction from the Los Angeles crowd. I also think Randy Orton is going to be a great opponent for him. Orton has been really on his game in the last few weeks. He’s finally out of the shadow of Triple H and Evolution and is acting more like his character should. That beating he gave to Reigns a few weeks back on RAW was great. Orton also is fresh off an out of control good match against Sheamus, so he should be primed up to work a great match. This is pretty much the launching pad for Reigns. I think he beats Orton and that starts a program with The Authority that works up to WrestleMania XXXI. It’s kind of already started, but I think in the video package they’ll have it going from SummerSlam.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
WWE Divas Championship
Paige vs. AJ Lee (c)
I was really down on the build of this match last month at Battleground because even though Paige basically turned heel when AJ Lee came back, they went with this weird “frienemy” aspect of it. I didn’t buy the fact that they were ever friends at any point since Paige ambushed her the day after WrestleMania. Then AJ ambushed her in her return. When the hell were they ever friends? It led to a match that lacked the heat I think this match-up is capable of getting. It was also brutally sloppy. I think that’s all going to be different tonight. Paige is heel (and a very good one at that) and this has actually developed into a very good angle. I thought they were going to throw a stipulation into this one stemming from the fact that Paige threw her off the stage on Smackdown, which would be a rare gimmick match for the Divas, but they didn’t go in that direction. No matter. I think they’re going to have a very nice match. I just hope they’re given a little time so they don’t have to blow through spot after spot. AJ hasn’t really gotten completely crazy yet since her return. I think tonight is the night she loses it, and that’ll help her to retain her championship.
Prediction: AJ Lee
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (c)
If you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that The Miz’ career was dead and buried, which would certainly make my fiancée very upset. He looked like a jobber, acted like one, and had no credibility remaining. What a difference a year and some time off makes. The Miz has really turned into an entertaining mid-card personality. His days of being in the WrestleMania main event are over (I’m still surprised it actually even happened), but he can really run with this character and be a great foil for main event talents for a long time to come. This is just what the guy needed. Opposing him is Dolph Ziggler, who is obviously a great talent but has never really advanced further than this spot. He had the quick run in 2013, but injuries derailed that quickly. I remember going to house shows in 2009 and 2010 and Ziggler was in the Intercontinental Title matches on those shows. Maybe this is the spot for the guy and it just has to be accepted. He is good in this role. I think they’ll have a very good match tonight, but because of the main event, I see no mid-card titles changing hands at all. The Miz will be victorious in his first defense of the Intercontinental Championship.
Prediction: The Miz
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (c)
This is dubbed “The Biggest Fight of the Summer,” and that is so apropos. This is the one huge match WWE had in its back pocket, and they’re cashing it in tonight. Lesnar is fresh off the unbelievable win over The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Cena is the veteran they’ve been promoting as the greatest WWE Champion of all time. He’s also been the face of the company for about a decade. I absolutely love how they’ve done the build for this match. Neither man has been overexposed in the build. Lesnar only showed his face before a live crowd on two shows. The same goes with Cena. They took the “less is more” approach with this one. They don’t need to lock horns. We’ve already seen what could happen with these two at Extreme Rules in 2012. The greatest thing is the last piece of action we’ve seen from Lesnar is him giving an F-5 to The Undertaker to pin him at WrestleMania. The build has been fantastic.
It’s also a huge match for the company in terms of those oh so precious WWE Network subscriptions. Now that they have an option to get the Network for $12.99 for a single month, why in the world would anyone buy it on PPV? You’d really have to be a huge dolt if you have the technology to watch the Network and still pay $54.95 or however much it is now to watch the same show you can now get for $12.99 for a single month’s subscription. Those single month subscriptions are great for people who just want to see the big events. It also obviously is a big money generator for the company as well. Then you have the people who are on the fence about renewing their subscriptions now that the first six-month term is coming up. Bottom line is this match is more than just a big PPV match – it’s huge for the company as a whole.
This is without a doubt going to be a brutal match. I remember feeling really uncomfortable watching the Extreme Rules match. I’m expecting that feeling again. There are going to be wild, stiff punches thrown and hard-way bleeding. The outcome for this match is really important. I have confidence that WWE usually knows what it’s doing, but it Brock Lesnar doesn’t leave with the title tonight, then there is a huge problem. I know they love making the Internet explode in a rage, but I really do feel like that would affect subscriptions. I think they’re going to make the right call and the right man will leave with the title tonight. It has all the potential to become an instant classic.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
I’ve had these prediction columns going since Money in the Bank this year. Last month at WWE Battleground, I went 4-4, which I was a little disappointed with. This month I feel pretty good about these predictions. Here’s my predictions record, which I’ll reset at the end of the year.
Predictions Record: 10-5
Well, those are my predictions for the show. What are yours? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!
Be sure to check out all the coverage of the WWE SummerSlam PPV on Wrestleview.com. Mr. Roll Tide Josh Boutwell, or J-Bout, has a preview column up so you can refresh yourself on the build that led up to tonight. Then my good friend Adam Martin, the Editor in Chief of this wonderful website, will be doing a live recap of the PPV starting at 8 PM EST!
Thanks for reading! Enjoy tonight’s show!