John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE SummerSlam preview. Thank you to WWE for not renaming it “The Horror Show at SummerSlam” or some bullshit like that. We appreciate it! The card has eight advertised matches with the possibility for WWE to add more to it by the time we get to Sunday. There’s also the unique situation of WWE running another PPV next Sunday, August 30th called Payback where I would expect some of these SummerSlam matches to have rematches at Payback. That’s just something to keep in mind as we go through the predictions. This is also the first pay-per-view where WWE is using the ThunderDome set that we saw on Smackdown. I liked most of the ThunderDome presentation, but I wish they found a way to make some more noise to react to the actions. Maybe we’ll see an improvement at SummerSlam.
I like to consider myself something of a SummerSlam historian since I have reviewed them all and earlier in the week posted my rankings of every SummerSlam counting down from #32 to #1. This year’s SummerSlam is the 33rd edition and I think it’s a pretty good lineup. If you look at all eight matches you can see that all of them have at least one month’s build and several of them have several months of build to set them up. Yes, WWE storytelling could be better and some PPVs have thrown together matches, but at least this year’s SummerSlam feels like they have put some care into building the show.
I think the main event of McIntyre vs. Orton will be outstanding, I’m intrigued to see what Dominik Mysterio does in his first WWE match against Seth Rollins, I’m excited for the Deville vs. Rose grudge match even with the stipulation change (more on that later) and I wonder if the Retribution group is going to make an impact. I also wonder if there will be surprises. Is there where Roman Reigns comes back? That’s up to him. I don’t know. I just think with the Thunderdome concept in place, WWE doing full Coronavirus testing and being in a bigger venue like Amway Center, maybe Roman is more willing to come back now.
Joining me for the preview are Alex Podgorski and Mike Sanchez. Here are some thoughts from Alex and Mike, then we’ll get to the preview.
Alex: I’m excited for this show. SummerSlam is one of my favorite shows of the year and in the past WWE managed to deliver. And hopefully, this year won’t be an exception. Though the card is sort of underwhelming, the tagline for the show definitely has me intrigued. The tagline for the show is ‘you’ll never see it coming’, which, in WWE could translate into literally anything. And while I’m usually pessimistic about WWE’s ability to deliver on their promises, this time I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Mike: We roll around to another of the ‘Big 4’ PPVs in the WWE calendar and I have to be honest, this card doesn’t look too shabby. There are some matches here that have been built up well over the past weeks and several should be really good. There are no easy picks, and with this being SummerSlam, I expect title changes aplenty. It should be a good show and with the added intrigue about the Thunderdome and how that will play out long-term, this could be better than expected PPV – at least I hope it will be.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.)
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits – Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
Alex: Every WWE show needs a high-octane tag match these days to get the crowd excited. And now that the magic of the Thunderdome has been revealed, I get the feeling WWE will take full advantage of the concept at SummerSlam. I can see the street Profits getting countless to chant ‘we want the smoke’ in some creative way to make this into a more exciting match. But aside from their ability to work a crowd, I don’t really see the appeal of the Street Profits. They talk a big game but they don’t really do anything truly ground-breaking as wrestlers. Because of that, I think WWE will pull the trigger on the challengers book a title change.
Winners and NEW RAW Tag Team Champions: Andrade & Angel Garza
Mike: Montez Ford is a pleasure to watch in action and these two teams compliment one another very well. Add Zelina Vega and Bianca Belair to the mix and it takes it up a notch. Ford’s win over Andrade on Monday leads me to think there’ll be a title change here, but I fully expect the feud to continue. The Street Profits are a great team and a loss here won’t hurt them as I see this being a long-term angle. Babyfaces are better when chasing belts rather than defending them.
Winners and NEW Raw Tag Team Champions – Andrade and Angel Garza
John: The Street Profits are a fun team to watch and they’re very likable as babyface champions. With that said, I thought they would lose the titles as soon as this match was announced. There just aren’t a lot of teams on Raw right now, which sounds ridiculous for a company with over 200 wrestlers on the roster, but it also shows how they don’t care about developing teams. There should be six to eight teams in a division with a mix of heel/face. Raw doesn’t have much past these teams, Viking Raiders and I guess Ricochet/Alexander count as well. You could say the Hurt Business are a team too. Anyway, I think it’s time for Andrade and Garza to win the titles probably due to some cheating or distraction from Zelina Vega. I think Andrade/Garza need the gold to be more credible as a team.
Winners and NEW Raw Tag Team Champions: Andrade and Angel Garza
United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
(Note: Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside.)
Alex: I’m happy they’re finally doing something with Apollo Crews. He has been on the main roster for around five years and this is the first time he’s really doing anything worth a damn. Despite his short stature, Crews can wrestle well and balance being a power wrestler with cruiserweight-style acrobatics. That makes him unique, someone worth promoting as much as possible. And while MVP is a much better promo than Crews, there is no title in WWE for being the best at running your mouth. At least for now, anyway.
Winner and STILL United States Champion: Apollo Crews
Mike: Apollo Crews was booked well on Monday even though he lost. He showed his toughness and determination in facing the Hurt Business (that’s a terrible name, isn’t it?), managing to take out MVP only to lose to Bobby Lashley in the end. These guys have done a lot to try and elevate Crews as best they can, especially given he holds a title. I think Crews will come up against some kind of shenanigans here, but will come out on top.
Winner and still United States Champion – Apollo Crews
John: It feels weird that they are doing this match again when it would have made more sense to have Crews face Bobby Lashley here instead of MVP. I guess the reason why they are doing this match is because it was supposed to happen at Extreme Rules, but Crews was storyline injured (he had Coronavirus) and now they are doing the PPV match even though they did it on Raw a few weeks ago. Anyway, I’ll pick Crews to retain in about a ten-minute match and then I expect Lashley to win the US Title either at Payback the following Sunday or soon after.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
(This week on Smackdown it became official that Asuka will face Bayley before she faces Sasha Banks.)
Alex: Someone in WWE must really love Asuka (then again, what’s not to love about her?) because here she is wrestling for two separate titles on the same night. It’s like she’s the female Chris Jericho or something. And to be honest, I have high hopes for her. Asuka is probably the most captivating woman on the roster right now. Sure, she does incredibly wacky stuff and dances like she snorted cocaine at a luau. But she’s also extremely talented in the ring, and in my opinion, is a better in-ring wrestler than every other woman in WWE. Because of that, I can see her getting revenge on Bayley, before setting her eyes on Sasha later in the evening.
Winner and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Asuka
Mike: Any PPV with Asuka is a winner, so imagine my delight when we get a double dose at SummerSlam. Despite losing her Raw Title, Asuka continues to be a highlight of WWE. She’s clearly on a level above most of the roster, on par with the top tier talent. I think she’ll walk out of SummerSlam with one belt and it’ll be this one. WWE wisely held back on pulling the trigger on a Bayley vs Sasha feud and I think this will be the night the touch paper is lit. Expect a slow burn though as this will simmer for months, hopefully culminating in a Wrestlemania showdown. I feel Bayley will be the one to drop a belt and become resentful of her friend keeping hers, leading to their eventual fallout. Asuka will go on to have fresh challengers whilst Bayley and Sasha Banks squabble with one another.
Winner and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion – Asuka
John: This match has happened too many times in the last month, yet here we go again this time for Bayley’s title. I like Asuka a lot and it would be cool if she had both Women’s Titles at the same time, but Asuka is a Raw wrestler. I’ve had people complain to me because I question WWE for making poor logical decisions, but what’s the point of the brand split if you have people going for titles on the show they aren’t on? It’s pretty silly. With that said, they had a near four-star match the last time they did this match on Raw, so it can be really good if they get time.
I think the best story that WWE could do in this scenario is to have one of Bayley or Banks loses a title at SummerSlam, which would then cause a rift between the best friends. Next Sunday at Payback, Banks/Bayley will defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles and I think they should lose those titles on that show too. That should accelerate the split. After Naomi pinned Bayley clean on Smackdown in under two minutes (after Naomi already lost to Sasha Banks), I think Naomi is going to be the one to get the next title shot and she’s probably going to be the next champion too. Bayley wins here thanks to an assist from Banks or some blatant cheating. It will be cheap in order to keep Asuka strong going into her match with Banks.
No Disqualification “Loser leaves WWE” Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
(Note: On Smackdown, this Hair vs. Hair match was changed to a No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE match. It is likely due to the unfortunate situation involving a crazed male fan that broke into Sonya’s home late Saturday night and tried to kidnap her. Sonya managed to get away with Mandy also staying at Sonya’s house that night and there have been court proceedings all week about it. We have an informative post up on TJRWrestling covering the details so far.)
Alex: Unfortunately, it is impossible to separate this story from Deville’s real-world situation given how much it has been in the news lately. For those that are somehow still unaware, Sonya Deville had a real-life stalker come to her house with the intention of kidnapping her. And this wasn’t just some crazed fan either. This guy had genuine malicious intent and had previously sent numerous graphic messages to her. And he found his way into her home. It doesn’t matter how devoted you are to your craft; that kind of experience is jarring enough to really mess with one’s psyche. For that reason, I think Sonya will take some time away from WWE. It’s likely she needs to re-evaluate her security at her house and find a way to get things back to normal with her life outside WWE. Because of that, Mandy Rose will take the win.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Mike: My original prediction for this match when it was hair vs hair was that Sonya would come out on top. I feel her character has blossomed with this storyline and it made her more interesting to fans. Sonya’s obsessiveness with Mandy would mean she would win and then use that momentum to push on. With the worrying real life events surrounding Sonya now (saw the home footage this morning on Twitter and it’s very scary), I think she needs time off, so Mandy will win this one now. I’m also glad the hair vs hair stipulation has gone, as I’ve never been a fan of that gimmick. Hopefully Sonya can take time out to recuperate and return stronger.
Winner – Mandy Rose
John: I was really looking forward to this as a Hair vs. Hair, but I don’t blame WWE for changing plans after what happened at Sonya’s home last Saturday. I can’t imagine it would be easy for Sonya or Mandy to just shake it off, so it’s certainly understandable if one of them takes an extended break. If you’re wondering, Mandy signed a new five-year deal with WWE early in 2020. I think Sonya did too, but I’m not sure about that. Anyway, I think this just a case of Sonya needing a break for a few months and after what she went through in her home over the weekend, it’s certainly understandable for her to take that break.
I will be rooting for both women to have a great performance, but if they don’t it will be understandable considering what they have gone through in the last week. I’m just rooting for them as people to do well. If it was Hair vs. Hair I would have picked Mandy for sure. I’m still picking Mandy in this “Loser Leaves WWE” No DQ match. It just makes sense for the storyline and for Sonya to take a break from WWE after going through a terrible experience. I truly hope she can overcome this and Mandy as well because she was in the house too. Stay strong, ladies.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Street Fight: Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
Alex: This will be the most brutal match on the show. There’s a personal edge to this rivalry that stems from the ‘eye for an eye match’ that left Rey ‘injured’. And to make the most out of this, I’m hoping that Dominik wins. He has the potential to become a true ‘wrestling prodigy’ in WWE. These sorts of stories are common in Mexico and Japan, where some wrestlers start with a company as soon as they graduate high school. In WWE, it’s rare for anyone under the age of 30 to get any sort of major push anymore, and more often than not these younger wrestlers toil away doing nothing until they’re older. To break that trend, I would love to see Dominik enter into a long-term story whereby he struggles to, but eventually succeeds in, filling his father’s shoes. That would make for a captivating long-term storyline centered on someone young wanting to live their dream in WWE. And to make this story work, it should start with Dominik getting a win over the man that hurt his father.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
Mike: Another match I have no idea how it’ll pan out, and that’s a good thing. Rollins has been playing his part superbly, as he does all the time, and this feud has allowed him to stray on a different path, allowing Drew McIntyre to have a run with the WWE Championship. If this match was Dominik vs a mid-card or underused talent, I’d suggest he could find a way to win, but Rollins is a big time player and no fool. Dominik is in for a world of hurt here and it’ll show. He’s going to be broken into the business in more ways than one. Many items will likely be broken over him from the bell. This doesn’t appear to be the endgame for this feud, more like a milestone on the way to something bigger down the line. I’ll go with Rollins only because destroying Dominik will make him more of a heel going forward.
Winner – Seth Rollins
John: This is one of my favorite matches on the card. I don’t think it’s going to be the best match, but I think Dominik is going to be better than a lot of people expect. Remember, he’s 23 years old and has been training to wrestle for several years. I saw this interview with Seth Rollins talking about how this feud with Rey and Dominik Mysterio has been a long storyline going back to last year. For whatever reason, fans got mad at him about it even though he did call out Mysterio in a speech on Raw last year. Over the last three months, this has become a very personal rivalry and I think it has been built up very well. I think out of nearly everything on this show, the fans would be so supportive of the rookie Dominik Mysterio in his debut WWE match against an evil villain like Rollins.
While it would make a nice story for Dominik to win his first match in WWE, I’m going with Rollins to win. I can see there being a tag team match in the near future with Dominik and Rey beating Rollins and Murphy where Dominik pins Murphy in order to set up another match with Rollins. That’s where Dominik can get the win over Rollins. I just think it makes more sense to Rollins to win, to say “I told you so” and then for the Mysterios to continue going after Seth until they can finally beat him. Long term, I want Rey (who is signed with WWE for three more years) and Dominik to win the tag team titles together because I think father-son champions would be awesome. Anyway, I expect Rollins to win a hard fought match with a lot of weapon shots. Give them 15 minutes or so and I hope people are impressed with how talented Dominik is already. I’m excited for the kid.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka
Alex: As I mentioned earlier, Asuka is the best women’s wrestler in WWE. So it would make sense for her to capture both titles on the second-biggest show of the year. This way, they can set her up for a big feud later this year and into next year with Becky Lynch. Once Becky recovers from pregnancy, there’s a good chance she’ll return to WWE. Whether that’s as a fulltime performer or as a part-timer remains to be seen. But there will be a ready-made story for her: Becky Two-Belts vs. Dual Champion Asuka. And since Lynch never formally lost her title, chances are she’d want to fight for that coveted top spot one more time.
In the meantime, I really think that Bayley and Sasha are better off as rivals and not allies. Bayley as a heel bores me and Sasha should return to how she acted in NXT. I think there’s potential for them to do great things when wrestling each other, instead of doing the same tired underhanded shtick that gets old fast.
Winner and NEW RAW Women’s Champion: Asuka
Mike: Expect this match to be after the Smackdown Women’s match, when a fresh Sasha Banks faces off against a fatigued Asuka. Bayley will no doubt be in attendance and may even cost Asuka the match, but if my earlier prediction is correct, Asuka will still leave SummerSlam with one strap around her waist. I expect Banks to come out on top – just, and at the end of the match face an uneasy, possibly jealous stare from her friend Bayley, teasing us for what is to come.
Winner and still Raw Women’s Champion – Sasha Banks
John: The story of Sasha’s five years on the main roster has seen her have several titles reigns and all of them have been short. I think this reign is going to last less than one month too. I think an Asuka win here makes a lot of sense because she has Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Natalya, Mickie James, Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan and a returning Charlotte Flair on Raw there to feud with. There are a lot of women on Raw right now and they don’t need Smackdown’s Sasha Banks holding that title.
They will likely have a technically sound match that’s very competitive. My prediction is that Bayley tries to interfere, she ends up making a mistake to cost Banks and then Asuka capitalizes to win back the Raw Women’s Title. Then, as I mentioned earlier, Bayley and Banks will lose the Women’s Tag Team Titles at Payback as well. The multiple title reigns aren’t going to last forever. We’ll start to see the Bayley/Banks alliance falling apart with this match.
Winner AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Asuka
Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Alex: Apparently there was a double-turn recently, with Strowman becoming the villain after attacking Alexa Bliss. And now, alongside the existing feud between Strowman and Wyatt there’s this ‘beauty and the beast’ thing going on with Wyatt and Alexa Bliss. What is this, the 1970s with George ‘The Animal’ Steele?
Anyway, this will definitely be one of those incredibly gimmicky matches with lots of stalling and no-selling. Both guys will ignore each other’s big moves and will try to one-up each other to see who the bigger monster is. And to be honest, I think this time Wyatt will win. Braun as world champion has been tepid, at best, and he doesn’t strike me as a truly captivating wrestler anymore. He was way more exciting when he was throwing smaller guys like ragdolls and doing laps around the ring. I think there’s more for WWE to work with The Fiend than there is with Strowman, which will translate into more interesting stories during the more challenging fall season when WWE faces stiffer competition from other TV networks.
Winner and NEW Universal Champion: ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
Mike: Braun is now the heel and the Fiend is the good guy? It’s difficult to tell without crowd reactions, but it appears this is how WWE are going. I wholeheartedly agree in turning Braun as he’s done little to nothing since becoming champion. He needed to change and bring something fresh. The title itself has become side-lined in this feud and really isn’t needed (more on that in a moment), so I think it’ll be gone sooner rather than later. Strowman has traditionally conquered all before him, but the Fiend seems to have his number. I see Strowman losing, but not being pinned or submitted. He’ll be incapacitated in some way, leading us to an opportune moment.
Winner and still Universal Champion – Braun Strowman
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! With Strowman incapacitated, Otis will race to the ring and cash in his MITB contract, stealing the title from Strowman who will go insane with rage in the coming weeks and months. It’s 2020, anything can happen.
Winner and NEW Universal Champion – Otis
John: There has definitely been some confusion about the roles of these two superstars. While Strowman might be on the heel side (that makes me think Roman Reigns is going to be back soon, by the way) based on his actions and how the announcers talk about him, I don’t think The Fiend is a face. After all, The Fiend gave lovable Alexa Bliss the Mandible Claw in the middle of the ring to end Smackdown a few weeks ago. That’s not the way a face acts! I do like that we don’t know for sure what either guy is right now. It’s fine not to know right now because as I like to say, we get to see the story plays out.
This is Strowman’s first Universal Title defense in two months. Remember that boring match against Miz and Morrison at Backlash in June? That was the last title defense. I miss when the major titles were defended more often, but here we are in 2020 where it’s as if we still have Brock Lesnar and Goldberg as champions.
I know that picking against The Fiend sounds like a bad idea because he wins nearly every match when he’s in that outfit, but I’m going to pick Strowman to retain his title. What I think is going to happen is Alexa Bliss is going to do something that helps Strowman win. It’s not a gimmick match, so maybe Bliss does something like handing Strowman a chair that he uses to hit The Fiend and then Strowman hits the Powerslam to win. It just seems like Bliss is going to be a factor in the finish and I think Strowman should have a longer reign as champion since he’s doing the heel thing now. Maybe The Fiend can feud with Jeff Hardy or somebody else after this. Just because The Fiend has won every match before this doesn’t mean he has to win here. Remember, The Fiend changes people and he changed Strowman into a bald heel while changing Bliss too. I’m going with Strowman retaining the title because I want to see how he does as a champion. If The Fiend wins again, I’ll be less interested because I don’t think that character needs to be a champion. You know that “You’ll Never See It Coming” line that WWE is pushing? That’s what comes to mind with Bliss helping Strowman win this match. That’s just my hunch.
Winner: Braun Strowman
I do not expect to see Otis try to cash in Money in the Bank on this show. If it does happen, I would be surprised. I’m still surprised they had him win Money in the Bank in the first place. Out of everybody in this company, they picked Otis? It’s still strange to me.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
Alex: Orton is probably the best villain in WWE right now. Since January he has done a fantastic job of making himself into the kind of prick that you want to see get his ass kicked. Drew is the right guy to fill that role. He has been on fire as WWE Champion and is still doing a great job carrying the RAW brand. And to be honest, Drew needs this win much more than Randy needs another WWE title win.
One of the main reasons I’m not as happy with today’s WWE as I used to be is because of how modern stars tend to get sacrificed to older stars for the sake of a nostalgic pop. It’s hard for me to buy into a new star when they get demolished by someone older, and past their prime. That’s why I’m really hoping for a McIntyre win. He needs to beat someone of Orton’s caliber to prove he isn’t just another cog in the machine. If WWE wants to grow their brand they need to push the current crop of wrestlers so that today’s fans can have someone to follow for the future, instead of relying on a star from the past to keep the brand going.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Drew McIntyre
Mike: Ah, here we go. Drew McIntyre has done very well since becoming WWE Champion and should be applauded. Like Bayley and Sasha Banks, he’s kept the titles relevant and important to the character. Now along comes Randy Orton. Orton is a steady hand when it comes to championship challengers. It’s believable that he can win and the same is true here. McIntyre will have to be on his guard and Orton won’t give him an easy ride. Orton is a way better heel than face and a feud with Drew can only help the giant Scot. Expect a hard-hitting match with plenty of action. Orton on his day can be superb and I expect big things from both guys here.
Winner and still WWE Champion – Drew McIntyre
John: I will begin by stating that I like both guys a lot and I think either man leaving this show as the WWE Champion is perfectly fine with me. McIntyre has arguably been the WWE Superstar of the Year so far (we are almost 2/3 of the way through 2020) with Orton possible as the runner up. A big reason why both guys have done well is that they have been booked to be dominant with Drew winning nearly every match he’s had this year while also performing at a high level in the ring as well as on the microphone. I know we can pick apart WWE booking all the time, but when it come to Drew and Randy in 2020, the creative team has done a tremendous job of pushing these wrestlers to the top of the company.
Orton said in an interview this week that he has become more focused when it comes to promos and I think it shows. Orton has always been strong when it comes to facial expressions and looking like a psycho. McIntyre also comes across as a credible babyface that has all the tools to slow down Orton’s momentum. I think Orton might be as good as ever as the heel, narcissistic character that has no problem hurting anybody at any time. McIntyre is also more likable because he’s the guy that has to try to stop Orton, so it’s an easy story to get behind.
I’m going with Orton to win become a World Champion for the 14th time (WWE Title nine times, World Title four times) in his legendary career. I totally understand the logic of having McIntyre win to make him look like a more credible champion by beating one of the best WWE Superstars of all time. However, I think Randy’s work has been exceptional and the timing feels right for a title change. It’s not like McIntyre is going to be out of the title picture anyway and I think when the fans are back at shows next year (or whenever) you can have Drew win the title back at that point. I can see there being a rematch for another PPV or two because it’s not like Raw has a lot of babyface wrestlers that would be ready immediately to go after Orton. I’m expecting this to be the longest match of the night that gets over 20 minutes and I think it will be the best match of the night too. I have high expectations for this match and I expect the rivalry to continue past SummerSlam as well.
One final point as to why I pick Orton. The phrase “you’ll never see it coming” has been pushed by WWE a lot to promote the show. That’s a phrase they have used for 15 years to talk about Orton’s RKO “outta nowhere” so that’s why I think Orton is going to be celebrating with the WWE Title while the announcers yell about how “you’ll never see it coming” since that’s the name of the show. I think it makes sense.
Winner AND NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Alex: Fiend vs. Strowman. It probably won’t be a good match, but WWE will somehow work the tagline of ‘you’ll never see it coming’ into this contest. The anticipation for what they’re going to do to live up to that tagline alone makes this match worth watching.
Mike: Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton should be a highlight, as should Asuka vs Bayley. And Asuka vs Sasha Banks. Can you tell I’m a big Asuka fan?
John: I think Drew vs. Randy will be the match of the night, so that’s my pick. There are several matches where I’m intrigued by how they book the finishes. That’s a positive sign.
The Match I Care About The Least
Alex: The Tag team title match. Neither team really interests me and I feel that tag team wrestling in WWE in general is at a pretty low point right now. They need to do something to reinvigorate that division because these two teams aren’t cutting it.
Mike: Apollo Crews vs MVP. I like Crews, but this is the biggest lock of the night for me.
John: I think the Apollo vs. MVP match has been done too much. Please move on.
Alex: Strowman vs. The Fiend. This’ll have crazy shenanigans, lots of delays in the action, and possibly some interference. I predict this will go between twenty and twenty-five minutes.
Mike: Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton.
John: I think McIntyre vs. Orton will be the longest and they’ll get around 25 minutes.
Alex: Apollo Crews vs. MVP. This’ll probably be the opener and will be somewhat competitive albeit uninspiring. It’ll probably last between eight and ten minutes bell to bell.
Mike: Apollo Crews vs MVP.
John: I’ll go with Bayley vs. Asuka with Bayley cheating to win a short match. I think Crews vs. MVP will be shorter around ten minutes since MVP is in his late 40s now.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Alex: 7 – This is an important show for WWE because it sets things up for the upcoming fall season. Regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic still going on, some things still move unhindered, and one of those things is the TV industry. Sports will be returning (to some degree), new shows will be airing on cable networks, and Netflix will continue to win at everything. To deal with this upcoming influx of competition, WWE will have to enter the fall season on a high note. That means creating a story that will keep people interested well into the fall. And since they’re hyping this show around something so far out of left field taking place, you can be sure it’ll be a show worth watching.
Mike: I’m going to go with a solid 8 here. Asuka adds a point whenever she’s on a show. I think it’s more because I expect a couple of title changes and the traditional ‘Big 4’ PPVs rarely go without at least one title changing hands. There’s a good mix of matches and talent on show, and it promises to be good. Do I think Retribution will show up? Possibly, but if they are making an appearance, go with the United States Title match or the Raw Tag match. Stay the hell away from the women’s matches and Drew vs Randy.
John: It’s a 7.5 out of 10 for me because I like most of the matches. I think the storylines for the majority of the card have been very good. If I had to predict star ratings into it, which plays into match quality, I think there are probably four or five matches over three stars and there might be two or three matches above four stars. I also think the McIntyre vs. Orton main event is a big WWE Title match considering how strongly both guys have been pushed this year. As I alluded to in the opening, I’m also intrigued by the booking of some of the finishes and how things proceed after this show. I think this is the best lineup of any show that has taken place in this “pandemic era” meaning WrestleMania until now. There’s also the Retribution factor. Will they have a bigger impact at this show since it’s a major show like SummerSlam? It’s certainly possible. I didn’t specifically mention them during the match writeups, but I think their presence will be felt at some point.
If you’re a fan that has barely been watching in the last few months, I can certainly understand that. I would also advise you to check out SummerSlam because I think it will be one of the better WWE PPVs of this strange year we’re living in.
John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE SummerSlam on TJRWrestling.net on Sunday that will most likely be live, so check that out during the show or after it’s over.
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