• WWE Summerslam 2016 Preview and Predictions

    Jon Stewart is back!

    Giving their thoughts and predictions on what to expect from the PPV are members of the site @JoeyOnEarth, @TimWelcomed and @TomBlargh.

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    Preshow: American Alpha, The Hype Bros and The Usos vs. The Vaudevillains, The Ascension and Breezedango

    Joey:

    I wish it was American Alpha vs. The Usos or Breezedango. I think this could be fun but who really cares?

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Good boys win.

    Tim:

    It’ll be nice to see American Alpha do some stuff, I guess. This’ll be forgettable I’m sure.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: The Uso Alpha Bros win.

    Tom:

    Aw yeah, let’s kick this off right! Tag team action! Oh yeah! Oh YEAH!!

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: American Alpha and pals win.

    Preshow: The Dudley Boyz vs. Sami Zayn and Neville

    Joey:

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Sami Zayn and Neville wins. Bubba turns on Devon.

    Tim:

    I’m going to take this time to say this whole Sami Zayn being in a thrown together tag match on the pre-show thing is incredibly lame. He’s had a great year in the ring and won his biggest match to date in my favorite match of the year so far just last month. All of that and this is where he’s at? You could’ve been creative and somehow worked into him and Owens tagging for a while instead of Jericho or something. ANYTHING. If this is what you were going to do with him why not just let Owens beat him again?

    The Dudleyz are for the trash and I don’t want to watch two great wrestlers take on boring garbage people in a pre-show match. They’ve done nothing interesting since they’ve returned to the company. I’m pissed! I’m letting the world know.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: The Dudleyz win because this is shit!

    Tom:

    Poor Sami. Poor Neville. Get them damn Dudz outta here. Hopefully Sami and Neville use the “fighting spirit” they learned in Japan to shoot on Big Bubba with some signature strong style strikes! Minoru Suzuki! MAMMA MIA!!!!!

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Sami and Big Adrian win.

    Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Match 1 in their Best of Seven series)

    Joey:

    There’s nothing wrong with either man and they have decent matches. The problem is it gets extremely repetitive and we all know this will likely culminate in nothing. I can’t say I’m overly excited but it could be good. They have to put this in the opening slot or on the pre-show while the crowd is still hot.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Sheamus wins.

    Tim:

    These two are awesome wrestlers. They really are… but Sheamus can suck the life out of me despite that. It is some sort of weird magic he has. It doesn’t help that I’ve seen them wrestle more times than I ever needed to. The story hasn’t been compelling at all. They threw in Zayn beating Sheamus for some reason. It’s just strange. We have six more of these to go. I’d rather Cesaro be doing bigger and better things at this point. It just seems like a roadblock and not a match I can be excited about despite wanting to be.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Cesaro wins.

    Tom:

    It’s hard to comprehend this being their first match in a best of seven series because it already feels like they’ve wrestled enough that there shouldn’t be too much question about who the better guy is. IT’S CESARO, LADS. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS.

    Speaking of which, it’s testament to how great Cesaro is that I have any interest in this at all!

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Cesaro wins.

    Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship

    Joey:

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    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.

    Tim:

    Dean Ambrose has been doing some of his best mic work in a long time in the build to this match. Ziggler has been doing better than usual as well but that’s still not enough. There’s so much about him that seems inauthentic. I can’t get behind the man. I certainly do not have much hope for this match. Ambrose is still boring in the ring. Ziggler might do some over-the-top selling but that’s it.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.

    Tom:

    What a situation. I think Ambrose has actually been pretty strong in their promos together, though they’ve still leaned too far into insidey bullshit and fuck Ziggler. It’s 2016 and there’s absolutely nothing appealing about him as a wrestler or a character.

    Back in 2010/11, we were starved enough of “workhorse” wrestlers that I could understand rooting for Dolph on that level, but there are DOZENS more deserving on the roster now, and half of them aren’t even Trump supporters! So get him in the bin, along with his shitty improv comedy skills.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Uncle Deano wins.

    Becky Lynch, Carmella and Naomi vs. Eva Marie???, Alexa Bliss and Natalya

    Joey:

    I was really looking forward to witnessing Eva Marie’s voiceover entrance live 🙁

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Alexa Bliss and friends win.

    Tim:

    I am into every single person in this match except for Natalya but in small pieces she’ll be fine and can keep up with this crew for sure. Alexa Bliss is really entertaining and owns her role. Carmella is super solid and has a high ceiling. She just needs to figure out her character. Becky Lynch is without a doubt one of the best people to watch. Naomi got a killer entrance and maybe that will help her get more time in the future. I still believe she has been supremely underutilized for so long despite being so athletic in the ring when she has the chance to be. I wish Emma was ready to return so she could take Eva Marie’s spot!

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: The good team wins.

    Tom:

    Well, I guess Eva Marie won’t be there for this one! I like almost all of the ladies in this match, so I’m still looking forward to it more than a lot of other stuff! What a show Summerslam is shaping up to be.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Naomi, Becky Lynch and Carmella win.

    The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship

    Joey:

    The Miz is the best champion in WWE right now. Apollo Crews is a lovable gentleman unless you’re a sick racist scumbag. I imagine they’ll have a decent match. Crews is definitely in line for a bigger push and I think he’s winning the title here.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Apollo Crews wins.

    Tim:

    I’ve said it a lot but The Miz is in the perfect spot for what he’s doing and he’s doing it well. However, I think it’s grown a little tired and it’s time to drop the belt. I wouldn’t want the WWE World Championship on him but wouldn’t mind him getting a shot for a month or two. Smackdown needs some challengers for the big belt anyway. Give this one to that smiling work of art Apollo Crews. All of that said, I don’t feel very excited for the match. Apollo Crews is fun to watch and The Miz is a solid hand but I’m not sure that’ll lead to anything special. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Apollo Crews wins.

    Tom:

    I want the best for Crewsy and I enjoy Miz as a character but I really don’t care much about this one. I just want Crews to have a decent showing on a big stage, that’s all. He seems to be past his shaky start on the main roster so having this cement him as a sensational superstar would be a treat.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: The Miz wins.

    Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho

    Joey:

    Hot take time: Enzo and Big Cass are officially the worst again. I hated them in the early days of NXT until I saw them live making me appreciate the bit. The recent main roster run has really soured me on them once again. Between the long weak promos of Enzo hitting on Sasha Banks and Big Cass making 90s gay jokes in recent weeks, I just can’t deal with them anymore. Let’s not forget their matches are almost always lackluster. Hopefully seeing them live changes my tune again but they are becoming my least favorite act on Raw.

    Kevin Owens is still the best and Chris Jericho has been highly entertaining since ditching Dean Ambrose. I wish Owens had a bigger match and Jericho had a singles match. Oh well.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Big Cass and Enzo Amore wins.

    Tim:

    I’m with Joey to an extent on the Cass and Enzo stuff. They are astounding together. Enzo on the mic is something special. He’s so talented in that regard but the content of their promos lately has been awful. They’re better than that. They don’t have to sink to those levels. This is the way of the typical WWE face though. I’m not sure if they’re completely to blame or part of that blame lies with WWE creative but it’s been a huge turn off for me despite finding myself easily caught up in Enzo’s unchained charisma.

    I don’t think they’re bad in the ring but they’ve definitely never had a match worth talking about afterwards except for their match against The Revival at Roadblock. I actually see way more in Cass as someone worth watching wrestle than Enzo.

    I’ve never understood why Kevin Owens, who is usually only out for himself, would have a weak spot for Jericho. Are they good together? Yes, of course but don’t go against someone’s personality for it without explanation. For a character I find to be handled better than most on WWE TV this sort of thing lets me down. Maybe the whole story hasn’t played out and he turns on him after they lose (and even that seems pointless for him) but so far it has always just seemed like the selfish prize fighter who does whatever is necessary to make money for his family digs rockstar dad Jericho and backs him up in a weird match with no real explanation outside of his minute and out-of-nowhere gripes with Enzo and Cass. MAYBE I’M NITPICKING but I hate seeing the one well-written character being tossed around. A solid character is such a rarity in the WWE machine nowadays so it kind of sucks to see.

    Him getting sidetracked from title chases and the money that comes with said title because of his obsession with beating Zayn and the enormous history behind the two made sense. Anyway, this match has an entertaining group of guys in it and should be a fun point in the show. I’m interested in seeing it at least.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Enzo and Cass win.

    Tom:

    Joey’s gone off the rails again! I like Enzo and Cass a good deal and I’m very excited to see the reaction to them live. Do I care for gay jokes? Absolutely not, but I have hopes that they will learn from that misstep and be good boys.

    It’s distressing that they don’t have more for KO to do at such a big show, but I’m still looking forward to this – the dynamic between Jericho and KO has been great and Owens’ barely contained contempt for WWE’s leading dad is plenty of fun.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Enzo and Cass win.

    The New Day vs. The Club for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    I love New Day. The Club have been used so badly. They should be on Smackdown as AJ Styles’ backup rather than making testicle jokes on Raw. Hopefully Big E and his balls save the day.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: New Day wins.

    Tim:

    This whole storyline has been nuts! Hahaha, but seriously, I hate it. The Club look like idiots so early on into their WWE run and The New Day haven’t really done much to entertain me this time around. I think The Club need to win the tag belts eventually but what would they do with The New Day after that? I doubt they’d shoot any of them up to the main title scene. Anyway, I’m not sure this is a must-see match. I’m just ready for both teams to move on.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: New Day wins.

    Tom:

    The New  Day are still great! I still don’t really care about The Club! I’m hoping Big E will make his sensational return to prove that his testicles are not destroyed.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: The New Day wins.

    Rusev vs. Roman Reigns for the United States Championship

    Joey:

    They already had a 25 minute match on Raw and it bored the hell out of me. I was looking forward to this until Monday. Now I have no interest at all. Big change from the last WWE show at Barclays Center when Roman Reigns was one week away from main eventing WrestleMania. He’s not even on the Barclays poster thing outside the venue. OWNED!!!!!!!

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Rusev wins.

    Tim:

    This whole feud has been absolutely deplorable. There is no reason for Reigns to be mad at Rusev personally. Reigns has been a complete jerk to the heel couple throughout this thing. They gave away the match in a non-title bought for “Lana’s honor” which is gross and had Rusev lose. It was a boring slog of a match. I don’t want to see any more. Rusev and Lana can do better and deserve better. Reigns, I can do without.

    Interest Level: 00/10
    Prediction: Rusev wins.

    Tom:

    Roman Reigns bloody hates marriage and who can blame him? Don’t tell my wife I said that.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: I can’t BELIEVE they made us watch this on Raw and they’re making us watch it again.

    John Cena vs. AJ Styles

    Joey:

    I keep forgetting this match is happening and it’s a nice surprise. Big Match John will always deliver against a great performer. I’m hoping for a wacky backstage segment with Good Guy Cena and Jon Stewart making peace in unity against the ultra conservative AJ Styles. This match will likely be the one that dictates the perception of the show and I think they hit a home run/score a touchdown/drain a three-pointer/get the goal.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: John Cena wins.

    Tim:

    Their first encounter didn’t live up to my expectations but I’m hoping they were holding out for this one. I’m really excited for this match. If Jon Stewart’s no-good match-ruining ass shows up and messes with this I’m going to be very upset BUT if he does he’ll help AJ Styles win. AJ Styles needs this victory. He needs to win a big WWE PPV match. These two will probably steal the show.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: AJ Styles wins.

    Tom:

    So, a problem with most of these matches it that they feel under-developed and rushed together in the wake of the draft. However, the issue with THIS one is kind of the opposite. As good as these two are together, I think the feud has fizzled out. AJ’s barbs at Cena have gotten a little tired, and the “beat up John Cena” bit is lame, especially now the Wreddit dorks have gotten into it:

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    However, the two of them are generally very good together – I just wish we were seeing this for the first time or there was a little more sizzle to it. I agree with Joey that Jon Stewart showing up again to put the boots to homophobe gun-nut AJ and give Cena a lovely make-up hug would be wonderful.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: John Cena wins.

    Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton

    Joey:

    The build for this is better than expected and it will likely help get Brock Lesnar back on track after the WrestleMania debacle. Randy Orton needs a great match to remind us that he’s a main event player. I have moderately high expectations for these two having effective chemistry. It is starting to feel like Orton will get the win but I just can’t imagine WWE giving him the big win over Lesnar.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins.

    Tim:

    Randy Orton has had a few entertaining moments leading up to this but not enough to make me care all that much. Lesnar’s last few matches have been repetitive and lacking that big fight feel he used to bring to the table. I think they could surprise me but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m sure Lesnar will win but it’d be refreshing to see Orton get some good footing. Not only for him but for Smackdown.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins.

    Tom:

    I’m more interested than I would have guessed in this! But still not that interested? Hopefully Brock swears again and he’s stinging from Ambrose’s barb about being a “lazy motherfucker piece of shit” on the Austin podcast and proves that he’s still good fun to watch.

    There’s been a lot of gossip about this ending with a win for Orton as “punishment” to Brock and… maybe? I dunno! I think Lesnar could afford to lose one and it’d give Orton a bit of an edge that he’s missing.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Randy Orton wins.

    Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    I honestly think this could have been the clear main event of the show if they didn’t do the title change on Raw. It can still be the main event since the other top matches are all on the same playing field. Sasha Banks and Charlotte pulled out a great match on Raw and it will be difficult to top it. I think they will. Old Man Ric revealed Charlotte was planning a huge move for Summerslam and I’ve been waiting to finally see it. The build has been weak but I have faith in the results paying off with the big match here.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Tim:

    There’s no way they can live up to their last match that was on Raw where Sasha Banks won the title but it should still be awesome. They have great chemistry and even though the build hasn’t been too strong these two didn’t really need it. I have some worry that Charlotte is going to get the title back but surely that won’t happen, right?

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Tom:

    The draft has left everything feeling messy, and Sasha’s initial title reign has been part of that. It’s not been a disaster or anything, but I don’t think any of the segments they’ve had her in have been particularly effective. Despite all that, I think she and Charlotte are a good pairing and I hope it’s close to as good as their Raw match, though MAN this will be a long show so I worry that it’ll get lost in the shuffle a bit and crowd reactions will be a bit muted.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship

    Joey:

    Following the triple threat Shield match on the prior PPV, I had strong reservations about the Summerslam main event. I expected another Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins match or something with Ambrose. God bless WWE for waiting until now to bring Finn Balor up at the right time. Balor’s first night on Raw completely sold me. I still love Rollins but I’m 100% behind Balor here. You just can’t have him lose with the demon stuff in his first match. I’m fearing Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson helping Rollins and forming a new version of The Club. Let’s hope that’s just a bad dream. Go Finn!

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Finn Balor wins.

    Tim:

    I could go on and on for days about how awful they’ve used Finn and his demon gimmick. The gimmick itself is great. It’s a sight to see. It is money. You can’t use it so much. You can’t shove it down people’s throat. How many times did they say “Demon King” on Monday? I thought I was losing my mind. By the time his NXT stint was over everything special about it had faded away and it had become somewhat corny. The gimmick ended up needing gimmicks. “Oh, the Demon needs a chainsaw!” They didn’t let it breathe and establish Finn himself when the call up was the perfect time to do so. Instead they threw it into a bad segment on Raw and it’ll be there Sunday night for the match as well. Finn has a certain star quality about him. He doesn’t need the paint every month.

    I will say I liked the segment where he explained his namesake and such. That was neat. I am glad they shot Finn up to the top. He’s got something special going on even if I am not too into his WWE matches outside of the one he had with Reigns. I know it’s there. Rollins is someone who surely can showcase him to the world. If you’re going to use the Demon at the very first you best not let it lose. I’m extremely excited for the actual match and what could come afterwards.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Finn Balor aka The Demon King wins. The Demon King. The Demon King.

    Tom:

    Finn’s first night on Raw was wonderful and made me extremely excited for this match, but man, subsequent weeks have been a weird mess. I feel like we’ve been witnessing the process of Vince trying to wrap his head around what Balor is all about and it’s been kind of tough to watch! The way they almost exclusively referred to him as “The Demon King” was something else.

    I think Finn is still a character that they need to be very careful with – establishing some consistency to how he’s presented feels necessary, but if he’s going to still be splitting his time between being Sexy Man In A Leather Jacket and Bodypaint Demon Weirdo, that’ll be tough. It’s also not helpful that Seth’s “hey, I’m not scared of you OH WAIT YES I AM” routine on Raw was awfully hokey.

    Balor seems like such an inherently likeable guy with a weird sense of humour, so I wish they’d figure out a way to try to translate that to screen rather than just having him recount Irish myths and legends on an uncomfortable looking stool.

    HAVING SAID ALL THAT I think Rollins is the opponent best-suited to give Finn an incredible showing in a high-profile match, so that should help keep his momentum going while they figure out the rest of it. Also, I hope the Universal Title looks really stupid and has a spaceship on it or something.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Finn Balor wins.