In the next seven days, just about everyone who cares about WWE will predict the outcome of at least one match coming up at the SummerSlam PPV. So, with that in mind, from the bottom of the card up through the main event, here are predictions with a twist-not what I think WWE will do, but something that they should do, in order to set up or continue feuds through the end of 2013.
Dolph and Kaitlyn vs. Big E and AJ
Given that it wasn’t that long ago that Ziggler got over huge in the post ‘Mania RAW as he cashed in MITB and claimed the gold, it is somewhat surprising that, for the second biggest PPV of the year, he is toiling in a mixed tag match. Misuse aside, Ziggler should finally get a win over Big E and AJ, though I can easily see this having a questionable ending and dragging on. In a perfect world, this match puts an end to this feud and allows Ziggler to get back into the title hunt.
Aside from that, if WWE is intent on having Dolph be more face than heel, it would be nice to see him with a new entrance theme. Oh, and a twitter handle, too. I feel like they are packaging him as a modern-day HBK, and while I understand Michaels never changed his theme (outside of the DX entrance), Ziggler’s just doesn’t resonate.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
I could see this being the logical hard fought victory for the briefcase holder-don’t want to have him lose clean to someone in a high profile match, considering he is a champion in waiting. Given how Damien captured the briefcase, and all that has unfolded since, what would be really neat to see is having Sandow put the briefcase on the line in this one on one matchup (a la Kennedy v Edge). That said, the stipulation would add some interest but I would expect a Sandow retention. For all of Cody’s lineage, I still don’t feel he has “the look” to get that next-level push. Regardless of who wins this match, I can easily see this rivalry continuing on beyond SummerSlam, and for this one that would be OK. Money is on either a Sandow win, or more likely a DQ as someone puts the briefcase in play.
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
For all of Kane’s former dominance, I just don’t see how he wins this match. First, there are the numbers. While this is technically a singles match, there are still two other members of the Wyatt clan expected to be at ringside. That is likely going to be a factor, depending on how WWE pulls off the ring of fire gimmick for this match. In theory, it would keep the odds even, but as unique as the Wyatt family is, I somehow don’t see it keeping them from becoming involved. Given the Wyatts are still a new and rising group, and Kane has a new movie to film, I fully expect a Bray Wyatt victory by way of severely injuring the Big Red Monster and putting him on the shelf for a while.
Del Rio vs. Christian for the World Championship
Sentimentally speaking, I would absolutely mark out for a Christian victory. That being said, I see Captain Charisma as nothing more than a notch in Del Rio’s championship belt. Having watched most of Christian’s televised matches since his recent return, something just doesn’t seem quite there. I understand the angle of wanting one more shot at the belt, but he just doesn’t feel or look “over” to me at this point. Fully expecting a Del Rio victory, unless they let Ricardo get some revenge and provide a DQ victory for Christian. I don’t believe this would lead to a cash-in by Sandow-how frustrated would Del Rio be to lose the strap twice in 6 months to MITB cash-ins?
The Beast vs. The Best
I honestly think this match could steal the show, primarily because of CM Punk. From a sheer size perspective, Punk should not have a shot. But Punk has shown his mettle on several occasions as WWE builds up to this collision. Having Punk win would be smart booking on a number of levels. Brock being a part-time attraction, it is really hard to justify putting him over Punk. That being said, I can see Punk taking a hard fought and controversial loss (read: outside interference via Heyman or Axel), possibly leading to a return match at Survivor Series. Gut says this ends up with Brock on top.
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena for the WWE title
I’ve heard from a number of fronts that this title run by Cena was going to be on the longer side. Whether that means it would rival Punk’s recent reign remains to be seen, but as hot as Bryan has been, here’s hoping it carries him to a clean victory and another title reign. But I somehow doubt it. There has been too much outside influence in the build-up to this encounter to make me expect a clean outcome. First, you have the McMahons-who knows exactly how that plays out, or whom it ends up favoring. 2nd, there is the ever-present Apex Predator and his briefcase which he is itching to cash in. Is this the time when WWE finally turns Cena heel? Or does Cena win, controversially, and send Daniel Bryan over the edge, injuring Cena post-match leading to a cash-in? Anything is possible at this point, though given Cena’s ability as an entertainer and Bryan’s ability as a wrestler, I truly hope WWE bookers allow them to have a good long match that these two ought to easily be capable of-completely devoid of outside interference or a MITB cash-in. At the end of the night, I do expect Cena still to be wearing the gold.
Matches not yet announced that make sense:
Mark Henry and the Usos versus the Shield - It’s about time a team with the heritage of the Usos to look good and promising, so I’d hope for a solid performance here leading to a tag title run for them. Not surprisingly, the tag team division needs some TLC (still). Something underscored by the fact that, less than 7 days away, and there’s no match for the straps on the PPV yet.
RVD versus Fandango - Just because I think this would be a nice match to see, and whats not to love about RVD back in WWE.
Curtis Axel vs. mystery man – I honestly feel that any time a championship belt is not defended on a PPV, especially the company’s second-most important of the year, diminishes the value of the title. Then again, regardless of who his daddy was, I think throwing that title on Mr. Perfect’s son so soon doesn’t necessarily help, either. I wouldn’t mind a “surprise” opponent-take your pick from Rey Mysterio or Evan Bourne. Personally if Rey could go, I’d love to see that match, especially in Rey’s neck of the woods and with his career winding down. Give Mysterio the win and one last run with a strap, ultimately elevating someone younger in a series of captivating matches before calling it quits.
(Originally posted at WrestleNewz.com.)