Welcome everyone to the 2016 SummerSlam preview on Pop-Break. My word, we have 13 total matches for tonight, three alone on the pre-show, leaving the main show packed with what I think could be pay-per-view of the year.
The pre-show matches include:
Sami Zayn & Neville facing off with the Dudley Boyz – No idea why this is happening, but at least it keeps them on television. Concern is the continued burial of the greatest team ever and a possible low-tier shuffling of Sami Zayn. I don’t care who wins, but it’s likely going to Zayn & Neville.
A 12-Man Tag Team Match featuring: American Alpha (yay), The Usos (boo), and the Hype Bros. (uhh…) vs. The Vaudevillians (yay), The Ascension (boo), and Breezango (uhhh…). This match is all sorts of confusing, and it hurts to see American Alpha lumped in with crap like Ascension, but they all have to start someplace. Despite the obvious dive spots incoming from the Usos, this does give the hope the WWE Tag Team Division can revitalize somehow. Watch the faces get the win thanks to version two of The World’s Greatest Tag Team.
After being hyped for a few weeks, Cesaro and Sheamus get to really let it fly with a Best of Seven Series, something I have not seen since WCW. Hopefully this has a big payoff at the end and not a cheap, “great show, good job!” Since it is a series, my guess is Sheamus winning round one since Cesaro has been the dominant one thus far.
As for the main show, we have matches I don’t think I would have ever thought I would be writing about. Some of these matches are the main championship bouts.
Starting off with a big one, Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship. I know a lot of people, myself included, have made fun of this, and WWE to some extent has acknowledge the silliness of a “Universal” title, thanks to some online video clips from Shane McMahon, but this title is going to be a real thing. I wonder if this will be the show-closer, or if the WWE Championship match will. That will be very telling. Rollins vs. Balor is a natural pick for “must-see” matches and a likely contender for best match of the night, and adding it has a championship stipulation to it? Damn. Hard to believe WWE has come this far, the same company producing the incredible Cruiserweight Classic. I feel many believe somehow Rollins will cheat his way to a win, I feel this is a prime opportunity for WWE to continue shocking fans and having Finn Balor win the Universal Championship. Rollins can win it a month later for all I care, but tonight needs to be Finn’s night.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles – For some reason, I don’t care about this match. I want to, but I can’t. The novelty isn’t there. Maybe it will be different since it is a legitimate one-on-one match, but also since Cena is heading to part-time after this and a win by Styles will elevate him to main event championship opportunities, something Cena doesn’t need anymore. Hell with it, my pick is AJ Styles.
Enzo and Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens & Jericho – I love the JeriKO bit. Every time Jericho teams up with someone, we get a sillier team name. I’m going with JeriKO because the comedy value will be priceless. This will also be a great match.
Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and ????? There is thought it could be Bayley, but that would mean putting her on a team of heels. Switch Naomi to team Bliss and put Bayley with Lynch and Carmella, as that would make more sense. The other option is Nia Jax and let her devour everyone in the ring. I fear that would happen, robbing us of a decent women’s match.
Resuming our look at championship matches, Sasha Banks defends the Women’s Championship against Charlotte. This match will likely put half the male roster matches to shame. I love Charlotte as a heel, although at times she seems to forget her lines or appear uncomfortable on the microphone. Despite this, she gets real heat and we know some trickery will lead us to believe Charlotte will cheat to win, but I’m rooting for Banks to retain.
Intercontinental Championship Match – Apollo Crews vs. The Miz w/Maryse
Honestly, forgot this was a match. Honestly, forgot this was happening at all. This feud sucks. I want Miz to retain. Crews is flashy and can last a long match, but he smiles too much and reminds me of a rookie Bobby Lashley. Not a good thing. Tries too hard to get over with the fans, and I’m sure, like Lashley, could do it naturally rather than being too over-the-top good guy. Even though it seems like WWE wants to push Crews, I am still picking The Miz to retain.
United States Championship Match – Roman Reigns vs. Rusev w/Lana
The good, Roman Reigns demoted to mid-card. The bad, he still is given title shots. Makes it hard to tell if this is part of his punishment for his suspension, or whether this is WWE recognizing he isn’t the main event material fans want. If he wins the title, then we see WWE still loves Reigns and there are no hard feelings. If he loses, it could mean he is human like the rest of the roster. This match might not be eventful, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Oh, my pick? Rusev to retain.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match – The New Day vs. Doctors Gallows & Anderson
They should keep the medical gimmick going. Gallows and Anderson are solid wrestlers and would be great as heel champions for a new babyface team to chase. New Day is a great gimmick, and a loss tonight, I feel would signify the beginning of the end of their run, despite the release of a real Booty-O’s cereal. Like all good things, it must come to an end. With Big E. Langston out with an injury, a loss by a weakened New Day may very well happen, however it may not mean the end of The New Day… yet. Winners: Gallows & Anderson.
Side note: I did send some Tweets out trying to find out if they are Kosher. I am assuming the answer is no, but couldn’t hurt for someone to get back to me. Side note to that, Jim Ross was kind enough to personally reply to me regarding his BBQ not being Kosher and would keep it in mind for the future.
I purposely will not discuss Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton as the main event. Because it shouldn’t be. If it is, then once again WWE craps on its own championship. Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton in a Who The Hell Cares Match. Yes, I call it that. Because I don’t care. I really think this is just another showcase for Brock to get his paycheck and wow the crowd with multiple German suplexes. Here is the thing, while Brock may be the “Mayor of Suplex City” I believe I am not the only who agrees the population count of said “Suplex city” is growing due to the rising number of wrestlers using more suplexes now than we have seen in the past, I would say, five-to-seven years. We had some spurts of suplexes happening here and there, but nothing with consistency. Hell, you watch the Cruiserweight Classics and you are treated to no fewer than a dozen variations throughout the show. Brock isn’t a “Suplex novelty” anymore. He’s just a big beefy bad guy who “likes to hurt people.” We get it. We know. UFC/MMA guy. Sorry, the novelty wore off on me, maybe it hasn’t on anyone else. As for Randy Orton, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and hope he doesn’t get injured again. I highly doubt Orton can pull another fast one like he did with Ken Kennedy some years ago by getting him fired after a botch which led to an injury. WWE won’t fire Brock for it. I just have a hard time seeing Brock/Orton as the money maker of SummerSlam. I might be wrong. But then again, I might not. As for a winner, even though I don’t care, I’ll pick Brock Lesnar. Because, Rabbi Paul Heyman.
Finally, a main event championship match I am looking forward to is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose. I sound like a broken record, but a year ago, hell, six months ago I would think anyone suggesting this as a pay-per-view main event title match would be in serious need of electroshock therapy. But damn, it’s about time we got this. Dean Ambrose has certainly made himself the champion fans wanted, and sure it might be a bit Daniel Bryan-like with the whole underdog feel, but Ambrose is also a guy no one expected to climb to the top. So many teases, with tournaments and contendership matches, it was as though we were led to believe Ambrose would be another “oh-so close, but yet so far” type wrestlers. Seeing him as champion is a welcome sight, and a reminder that it doesn’t always have to be “the big guys” to hold it.
Dolph Ziggler. Geez. Every time he won the big one, injury rained down hard on the parade. Hell, at one point he was awarded the championship on a SmackDown show, granted, losing it moments later, but still showed he would be future championship material. He was, and still is. Even with the constant nods to Shawn Michaels, let Ziggler be his own man. Let him do things uniquely in his own way. He doesn’t have to be HBK. He uses a superkick. So does half the roster. Ziggler is probably the best seller since Rob Van Dam. Ziggler is known for doing whatever he can to put on a great match, and it isn’t just a gimmick, he actually does. Are all his matches considered great? No, but he makes everyone involved look like stars. Ziggler is one of those guys who could be low card, mid card, or main event, and he puts in the same 100% effort, unlike certain other wrestlers *cough* Orton *cough* who sleepwalk when things don’t go the way they want to. Dolph Ziggler, despite his bad run of injuries, has not slacked off and certainly did not let setbacks or being dropped down the card get to him. He had a three-month run of being on the WWE pre-show at one point, and now he is main eventing for the WWE Championship. Dedicated talents get that distinction. Does it mean he will win? This is a tough call. Ambrose has made a great champion so far, but Ziggler I feel is long overdue for another run. Face or heel, both men entertain in the ring and on the mic, so it doesn’t matter to me who wins, as long as they both are allowed to continue forward. This is WWE, so a loss might mean a trip back to mid-card, and I don’t want that for either. But if I have to pick, it goes to Dean Ambrose to retain.