Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
For the 2nd straight year, The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, will host the 29th edition of SummerSlam on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. ET. Before the four-hour event kicks off, WWE will air a two-hour pre-show starting at 5 p.m. ET. WWE has yet to announce which of SummerSlam‘s contests will be pushed to pre-show status. Fans can stream it all on WWE.com, theWWE App, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, as well as the WWE Network. Thanks to Bleacher Report for the info.
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
Setup to Summerslam- On June 5, WWE granted Brock Lesnar “a one-off opportunity” to return to mixed martial arts competition at UFC 200 on July 9, while also confirming that Lesnar would compete at SummerSlam. On the July 7 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent was announced as Randy Orton, who was returning from injury. WWE is billing the match as “15 years in the making”. On July 15, WWE confirmed that the match would still be taking place, despite a USADA notification in regards to Lesnar’s UFC fight, stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on June 28, which tested positive for a banned substance. A second sample taken in-competition on July 9 was also tested positive for the same banned substance, believed to be hydroxy-clomifene, discovered in the previous sample. On July 26, WWE confirmed that Lesnar would not be facing any disciplinary action from the WWE as he is exempt from the WWE Wellness Policy due to his status as a part-time performer. Orton returned at Battleground as the guest on Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel”. Orton said that he only needed one RKO to take down Lesnar and also took a shot at Lesnar’s failed drug tests. He also said he wanted to face Lesnar to prove that he belongs at the top, before delivering an RKO to Jericho. On the August 1 episode of Raw, Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman proclaimed that Orton would never be able to execute his finisher on Lesnar when Orton suddenly appeared and surprised Lesnar with an RKO. Lesnar subsequently attacked Orton with an F-5 during his match against Fandango on SmackDown the next night.
Prediction- Most want to see Randy Orton win this match vs. Lensar, I just don’t see Orton beating Lensar & keep Lensar going as a unstoppable beast. I would be surprised if the Wyatt Family inject themselves in the match. I like Lensar to go over Orton.
WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
Setup to Summerslam- After SmackDown draftee Dean Ambrose retained the WWE World Championship at Battleground against Raw draftees Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a Triple threat match, Raw was left without a world title. Subsequently, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley created a new championship, the WWE Universal Championship, the following night on Raw to serve as the brand’s top championship. The inaugural champion will be crowned at SummerSlam in a singles match; Rollins, as Raw’s #1 draft pick, was automatically set for that match, while his opponent was determined by two Fatal 4-Way matches that night, with the winners wrestling each other in a singles match. Finn Bálor won the first Fatal 4-Way by defeating Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Rusev, while Reigns won the second by defeating Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Sheamus. Bálor then defeated Reigns and was added to the title match at SummerSlam. Bálor and Rollins confronted each other the following week, both promising to win at SummerSlam. Rollins then attempted to attack Bálor, but Bálor countered, forcing Rollins to retreat.
Prediction- I understand why the “Demon King” was introduced on Raw this week to spice up this matchup for the New Universal Title. Most was shock that Balor beat Reigns on the 1st Raw after the WWE Draft & Battleground. I like Rollins to cheat to win the New WWE Universal Title & keep Balor chasing for it but we do have another star in the WWE main roster with Finn Balor.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Setup to Summerslam- On the July 26 episode of SmackDown, a Six-Pack Challenge involving John Cena, Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews was held to determine the #1 contender for the WWE World Championship at SummerSlam. Crews had won a battle royal that night to earn the sixth spot. Ziggler won the Six-Pack Challenge by pinning Styles, earning a title match against Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. The next week, after Ambrose doubted Ziggler’s ability, Wyatt attacked Ziggler and challenged him for his title shot. Ziggler accepted his challenge and defeated Bray Wyatt.
Prediction- Very good promo exchange between these 2 for the WWE Championship. I called Dolph Ziggler aka Ziggy Jobdust of the last couple of months, but his talent is top notch & its good he’s being used much better as of late. I do believe his promos about his career & being doubted as made Ambrose responses even better. At this time I would say Ambrose keeps the WWE Title with Ziggler looking good.
WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte
Dana Brooke is banned from ringside.
Setup to Summerslam- At Battleground, Sasha Banks recruited Bayley from NXT as a mystery partner and the two defeated WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a Tag team match when Sasha made Charlotte submit. This earned Sasha a title match against Charlotte the following night on Raw, in which she again made Charlotte submit to win the title. Charlotte invoked her rematch clause five days later to face Banks for the title at SummerSlam. The following week, a confrontation between the two was interrupted by Chris Jericho and Enzo Amore, resulting in a mixed tag team match, which Charlotte and Jericho won. On the August 8 edition of Raw, Sasha Banks defeated Dana Brooke, resulting in Dana being banned from ringside at SummerSlam.
Prediction- Disappointed that the Title switch happened before Summerslam, if Sasha sells her injuries from Charlotte & Dana Brooke from Raw on Monday, it will make retaining the title tough for Banks. These 2 right now do have the best Women’s Rivalry since Trish/Lita. I like Banks to retain & wouldn’t be surprised that Nia Jax be watching the winner very close.
WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Rusev (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Setup to Summerslam- On the August 1 episode of Raw, after United States Champion Rusev defeated Mark Henry to retain the title, Roman Reigns came out to confront Rusev. The following week, Reigns interrupted Rusev and Lana’s wedding celebration and issued a challenge to Rusev for the title. Rusev declined and the two brawled, causing Lana to fall into a wedding cake. Backstage, Mick Foley told an angered Lana and Rusev that Rusev would be defending his U.S. title against Reigns at SummerSlam. Later that night, Rusev successfully defended his title in an impromptu match against Cesaro, who felt that he should also have a shot at the title. After the match, Rusev was attacked by Reigns with a Spear. On the August 15 episode of Raw, Rusev would get revenge on Roman Reigns by attacking Reigns backstage. This would result in a non-title match being made for later in the night which ended with Reigns scoring a pinfall victory.
Prediction- Most would say this is a demotion for Reigns & to a point it is, but this makes this match a little bigger than it would. Just not smart to me to have a non title match between the 2 on Raw on Monday that last over 25 minutes. I predicted Reigns in a DQ victory & Rusev retains. I wouldn’t take the US Title off of Rusev just yet.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Miz (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Setup to Summerslam- On the August 2 episode of SmackDown, Apollo Crews defeated Baron Corbin and Kalisto in a triple threat match to earn an Intercontinental Championship match against The Miz at SummerSlam.
Prediction- Very little buildup to this IC Title Match as Apollo Crews to me just don’t have it yet as he just looks like your white meat babyface but he don’t cut the best promos. I just don’t see Crews winning the IC Title yet. The Miz Retains.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Setup to Summerslam- After AJ Styles’s victory over John Cena at Money in the Bank, The Club (Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) began attacking Cena until Enzo Amore and Big Cass came to Cena’s aide, setting up a six-man tag team match for Battleground. At the event, Cena, Enzo and Cass defeated The Club. As a result of the draft, Enzo, Cass, Anderson and Gallows were drafted to Raw, while Cena and Styles were drafted to SmackDown, splitting up the two teams. On the August 2 episode of SmackDown, Styles challenged Cena to another match at SummerSlam, which Cena accepted.
Prediction- To me out of all the matchups on the card, this one has your tradition Summerslam blowoff feud as Styles has step his game up vs. the Face that runs the place. I want Styles to win & go over, but I see the powers to be having Cena win to end this feud.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The New Day (c) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Setup to Summerslam- On the July 25 episode of Raw, The New Day were celebrating in the ring on becoming the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions. Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods then asked the fans in Pittsburgh for someone to join them and celebrate. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson then attacked all three members of New Day while the fan escaped. The following week on Raw, Big E and Kingston were in a tag team match against Gallows and Anderson, where Big E rolled up Gallows for the pinfall victory. Gallows and Anderson then attacked all three members of New Day, finishing with Gallows and Anderson sending Big E groin-first into the steel ring post, causing a contusion in Big E’s groin. On August 8, Woods and Kingston were scheduled to defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Gallows and Anderson at SummerSlam.
Prediction- If no Big E in the match, the New Day will lose the title. Big E comes out the New Day retains. Gallows & Anderson to me winning the Tag Titles will make the Raw Tag Team Division shine much more better.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
Setup to Summerslam- After the aforementioned mixed tag team match above during the Women’s Title Summary, Chris Jericho attacked Enzo Amore until Big Cass came out to help his partner. Later in the event, Owens told Jericho that he had his back during a backstage interview with Tom Phillips. The following week, Jericho defeated Amore by disqualification when Cass interfered. After the match, Cass challenged Owens and Jericho to a tag team match at SummerSlam, which Owens and Jericho accepted.
Prediction- Enterainment value this is up the card as you have maybe 4 of the best talkers in WWE feuding. The Wisdom here is to get Enzo & Cass over. I would be shocked if Owens betrays Jericho. I like Enzo & Cass to win.
Natalya & Alexa Bliss (Eva Marie has been suspended; Not Storyline) vs. Carmella, Naomi & Becky Lynch
Setup to Summerslam- Eva Marie was drafted to SmackDown but during several episodes, circumstances including pulling her hamstring and a wardrobe malfunction prevented her from making her in-ring debut. On the August 16 episode, Eva Marie no-showed for her match against Naomi. Later that night, Becky Lynch and Carmella took on Natalya and Alexa Bliss, when Eva Marie appeared on the entrance ramp. Naomi then started to then chase Marie, passing the ring at one point. During the confusion, Becky Lynch applied her Dis-Arm-Her on Natalya, who submitted. Later on, a six-woman tag team match was scheduled for SummerSlam. On August 18, Eva Marie was suspended for 30 days in violation of WWE’s talent wellness policy, effectively taking her out of the match. Despite this, WWE continued to advertise the match as a six-woman tag team match with Natayla and Bliss’ partner unknown.
Prediction- Out of the 3 wrestlers that was suspended(Alberto Del Rio, Paige & Eva Marie) by far Eva Marie was the most hurt as she did not turn in portions of required paperwork in the time frame WWE Medical deemed timely for Adderall, but anyway I do believe Nikki Bella has been cleared to return to Action & will get the pin over the babyface team.
Summerslam Kickoff/Pre-Show Matches
BEST OF 7 SERIES KICKOFF
Cesaro vs. Sheamus Match#1
Setup to Summerslam- After losing to Cesaro on the August 1 episode of Raw, Sheamus attacked Cesaro. On the August 8 episode of Raw, Cesaro defeated Sheamus again but lost a match for the United States Championship against Rusev after interference from Sheamus. On the August 15 episode of Raw, Cesaro distracted Sheamus, costing him a match against Sami Zayn. During an ensuing argument, Raw general manager Mick Foley scheduled a Best of Seven Series between the two, with the first match to take place at SummerSlam. On August 19, the match was moved to the SummerSlam kickoff show.
Prediction- After seeing Cesaro beat Sheamus twice in 3 weeks I just soured over these 2 facing off again & for maybe 7 matches at that. I like Cesaro to win match #1 & the series also. I will say this, this will be some hard hitting matches coming up.
Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz
Setup to Summerslam- On August 19, it was announced on WWE.com than Sami Zayn and Neville would team up to take on The Dudley Boyz on the kickoff show.
Prediction- This is match is to do 2 things, make Neville & Sami look good & to either plant another seed or fully break up the Dudley Boyz. Neville & Zayn wins.
The Usos, American Alpha & The Hype Bros. vs. Breezango, The Ascension & The Vaudevillians
Setup to Summerslam- On the August 16 episode of SmackDown, American Alpha, The Hype Bros and The Usos defeated Breezango, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains.[On August 19, it was announced that the two groups would face each other again on the kickoff show.
Prediction- Don’t you hate when you just seen the same match & not only a week later lets do the same one over. The Faces got the win on Smackdown so I would guess the Heels return the favor. I would have rather seen American Alpha 🆚 Brezzango in a lumberjack match than the same match from 5 days ago.
Jon Stewart, who had been SummerSlam’s guest host the previous year, was announced to be returning to the event as a special guest.
Check out the Flex Zone Preview episode of the 2016 WWE Summerslam under Episode #28, click here & I will return with a review of the event.