WWE SUMMERSLAM 2018 [Preview]: Who Wants To Walk With Apostles?

Universal: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Ryan “Father Grimm” Davis

While there are many outcomes this match can have, very few of them won’t earn the ire and a chorus of boos to draw the show to a close. The booking for this title has never been quite what you’d expect for the top title of the flagship show, but I digress… Depending on a maybe/maybe not backstabbing by Paul Heyman and a few other outside forces this may be the most unpredictable match of the night; or, rather, that’s probably exactly what Vince wants us thinking.

Prediction: The funny thing? This crowd would give a much better reaction for either of the potential winners of the MITB briefcase winning the belt than either competitor in the actual match. What I’d like to see happen is that, with most likely Reigns winning, the MITB winner comes out and cashes in (my pick would be Owens). But knowing the gargantuan sized hard-on Vince gets for Reigns this could be that chorus of boos letdown ending to SummerSlam that everyone has been dreading for quite a while.

Richard “Bishop” Zom

WWE SummerSlam is back and at an all-time simmer; yeah– it’s not doing too great. Ever since Thanos got the infinity gauntlet and put the time stone to use, it seems to have affected the WWE Universe alongside Marvel’s. So now we’re getting a squash match rehash of Lesnar vs. Reigns. I mean, geeze–who would win: the forced fed star to the WWE masses that is Reigns, or the man on the universal mountain, Lesnar.

Prediction: We all know he’s going to the UFC to fight again, so is it a dead giveaway? Or, are we going to see a cross promotional championship victor, maybe even one we can call a Universal Fighting Champion? I dunno. I just don’t care much about a duct-taped match-up. I’m expecting 2 Infinity Stones out of 5.

-Ryan Davis & Richard Zom

Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega (Kickoff Match)
“Reverend” Lauro Rojas

Another SummerSlam, another Bork Laser v. Ramen Reigns headlined main event that is sure to have 40 German Suplexes, 12 Spears, 8 Superman Punches and 3 F5’s. But I am not covering that match I’m here to talk about the charismatic but oh-so underused Cien Almas and Zelina Vega versus the over Rusev and Lana. It’s on the kick-off card so don’t expect much although both superstars deserve much better. I don’t really want to add anything more and get more depressed than I already am on the matter!

Prediction: WWE logic says Almas and Vega will come out with the W, and just how.. doesn’t really matter, now, does it?

-Lauro Rojas

Raw Women’s: Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey
“Sister” Jenn Casals
IG @Jenn_Casals

The Raw Women’s Championship match was dealt a serious blow with the passing of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Without Natalya this match is primed to be quite the shitshow featuring the still green Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss, a champion who excels on the mic but has struggled with finding in ring chemistry with her opponents. The likely added calamity brought on by the walking botch machine, Alicia Fox, also doesn’t instill confidence. The thing that gave me hope for this match was going to be the ability for Nattie to be at ringside controlling the chaos and stepping in to cover the shortcomings of the other women involved. These women might have an amusing exchange since their strengths are storytelling but I’m not expecting much actual wrestling from this match; not unless Nattie can fight through her grief and make an appearance to add some needed guidance.

Prediction: As has been the norm, I expect a combination of Bliss and Fox shenanigans to steal a win away from Rousey. She’s just not ready to be a champ yet.

-Jenn Casals

WWE Champ: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
“Father” #HeelSean Farrell

Well, well, well.. what do we have here? The Actual WWE Title on the line? At a PPV? Whhaaaa? Oh no no no. I’m not talking about Soon Gone vs Never Getting Over. I’m talking about the Phenomenal One and the Samoan Submission Machine finally locking horns in a WWE Ring. Yes yes, we all know that Joe read a letter supposedly written by AJ’s wife and blah blah blah Joe talked about AJ’s kids and family and BookBookBook BlahBlahBlah. Whatever. That’s noise. I’ve got my eye on the real prize. Joe. vs. AJ. WWE Title. SummerSlam. These two have some of the greatest matches in TNA history. Sure it might be hard to name 10 matches universally loved and respected from TNA, but I can assure you that Joe v AJ is on that list. Top 2 easily.

Prediction: Here? I expect nothing less than greatness. AJ only seems to get better with age, while Samoa Joe is running full steam ahead revitalized and just as dangerous as ever. I can see Joe getting the belt here , but this rivalry is far far from over. Watch out AJ , 🎶Joe’s gonna kill you.🎶 (Calling it now, too: 4 Bibles.)

-Sean Farrell

Finn Bálor vs. Constable Baron Corbin
“The Dean” Gene Selassie

This match, again. If I never see a storyline about a “big guy being better than a small guy”, it’ll be too soon. I don’t know if that’s the full deal or if this is a way to have Balor try to help Constable Corbin to get better. But either way, it’s not working.

Prediction: Since it’s another overstuffed “big four” pay-per-view, I expect most of the matches, especially this one, to be short and sweet. And I expect Balor to get the W and move on to better things…like hopefully going to SmackDown.

-Gene Selassie

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
Felipe “The 3rd Deacon” Crespo

People see that Miz should win this, right? And, by that, I mean people with a brain, not the “yay! Yesyesyes! Fight for your dreams and they’ll fight for you!” sugar plum parrots. Don’t get me wrong; I like Bryan as much as the next guy, but he can lose this match and he’ll still come out smiling and yessing, and just keep on his merry way to.. whatever, which is the same damn thing he’ll do if he wins.
“But, but Bryan is a better wrestler and, and injuries, and ‘member when he…” yeah yeah yeah. That’s great and all, but if you take a close look at the rivalry, Miz would get a hell of a lot more out of the win than Bryan.

For whatever reason, Bryan (and some fans) never do give the Miz the respect he deserves. He’s proven time and time again to be a workhorse in WWE. Not just in the ring, but outside it; yet Goatface and his flock still bitch about how Miz started with the company. Boo-fucking-hoo. He wasn’t an indie guy. Get over it, it’s been over a decade. He’s busted his ass in WWE and ate more than his fair share of crap on his way to becoming a mainstay. And Bryan’s bitching about him not being tough? Just look at the Miz’s work history and how he’s elevated his skills throughout the years.

Prediction: It really does seem at times like Mr. Bella actually is bitter about how he had to get into the company vs Miz’s route. The Miz doesn’t need to prove anything… But he needs to win just to finally shut Bryan up and for things to be kept interesting. With Bryan losing, an angle where an obsessive D-Bry not being able to accept his loss can be pursued and build on the already epic rivalry. To make it even better is the fact that we all know the Miz would never let him live it down (and probably have an amazing celebration on SD). On the other hand, if Miz loses, Bryan has another Yesfest, cuts a predictable promo, and they’d probably let the rivalry die off. Here’s hoping the Miz gets what’s coming to him: making Bryan eat his words.

-Felipe Crespo

WWE Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak (Kickoff Match)
Destiny “Evangelical” Edwards

It’s finally here, the arguably two most talented people on 205 Live facing each other for the Prince Memorial Championship. Alexander is flipping great—pun intended—and Full Sail doesn’t beg Papa Hunter to sign just anyone. Gulak has been the breakout star since the show’s inception with the most developed character—there is literally a “For a Better 205 Live” comic—and it feels like we’ve been waiting for his turn with the belt forever. If [name redacted] hadn’t gotten fired for hiding his legal woes from the Fed, he would’ve had the title by now as they were clearly leading up to Gulak turning on him. But things happen for a reason and now we get 205’s technical master vs. the Queen City’s favorite son in what will probably be the second-best match of the night and the best of the pre-show.

Prediction: *gets projector and starts PowerPoint* It’s Drew Gulak. Sorry to friend-of-a-friend Cedric Alexander, but he ain’t leaving Brooklyn with that purple and silver. With the exception of Neville, that title doesn’t stay with one person long and us diehards have been waiting for the “No Fly Zone” to take over for a long AF time.

-Destiny Edwards

SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day
“Monsignor” Travis Moody

As you can probably tell by my bio photo here to the left that I’m likely wondering just where the heck Asuka is here on this card. She’s arguably the best worker — man or woman — in WWE’s big two, yet she doesn’t even have a match; they couldn’t even slide the Empress of Tomorrow in a mixed gender tag (where she excels, mind you), or anything. How sad. For her sake, I really hope Kana-chan goes nowhere, as I’ve loved her run to death in NXT and everything she’s accomplised in WWE this side of her two shit losses to Carmela. But, OK; this is about the SmackDown tag team titles, and on the positive, this division has been smoking. It’s been so hot that there are other great “can’t miss” superstars not appearing on this 13 match card: The Usos and Sheamus & Cesaro. Crazy, right? But in Vince and SD GM Paige’s defense, this mini-tournament the past few weeks has been nothing short of lit. The New Day and Sheasaro had a TV classic 2 weeks ago, while The Usos and SaNity had a fine match. The finals brought us another TV banger last week, led by the 2nd best tag team in the world in TND (and they could be #1, but we’d need at least an Elite v New Day match to see about that one) against those crazies from NXT. It’s been the #1 reason to watch the blue brand, and I’m happy to see the Booty-O’s back on top again.

Prediction: Crazy to say, but TND might also be the most underrated tag team in the world. Think about it; everyone knows these guys for their hi-jinks, pancake tossing and trumpet playing, joke-ringing ass-shaking greatness. But in-ring, there haven’t been too many dub guys better; Kofi, Big E and Xavier have all been pretty stellar in their singles outings. But while the Bludgeon Brothers have been brought up as a sort of Masters of Destruction, destroying every other tag team in their path in the process, it’ll be a New Day once again and these fellas are taking the crown they so rightfully own.

-Travis Moody

Raw Tag TeamThe B-Team vs. The Revival (Kickoff Match)
Ryan “Father Grimm” Davis

I need to preface this off by saying how disappointed I am with this tag division; they have some of the best talent just sitting there doing nothing and/or being put into meaningless feuds. The B-Team has been on quite a roll the last few months. But for what? Every “win” feels like they just barely survived apposed to being a triumphant victory. Wins/Champions or not they’re still jobbers, just place-holding the belts for another team to take. The sad thing is that they are talented and if the writing staff actually used this opportunity to truly rebuild the team they could have. And this was probably their last opportunity to do something meaningful with these guys.

Prediction: The saddest part of this whole thing is that they are most likely going to win. The Revival are an amazing team– so amazing they drew the attention of the top tag team in the world (The Young Bucks 🤘🏻☝🏻) while in the developmental program. They are solid mat tacticians and have a ring IQ decades higher than they should have at this point in their career, not to mention something that not so many teams have these days, a devastating tag team finisher. I think it’ll be a good match, probably filled with jokes and hope spots galore by the champions. In the end I think some rubbish finish will give the nod to The B-Team. WWE, prove me wrong…please!

-Ryan Davis

United States: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy
“Pastor” Shawn Puff

But seriously, Hardy and Shinsuke are having a decent feud especially when you add in the antics of a certain Viper. I think it’s obvious that it’s going to all come to a head with a triple threat match (which I’m wondering why it wasn’t booked for SummerSlam) between these three. But that makes this match all that much more unpredictable.

Prediction: But as much as I just want Jeff to just fade away and classify himself as obsolete, my gut tells me that we’re gonna see Orton cost Shinsuke the title on Sunday night and Nakamura and Orton will go at it to set up a triple threat for the championship. So… your winner, AND NEW United States Champion, Jeff Hardy!!

-Shawn Puff

Intercontinental: Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
Anthony “PriestMode” Holloway
IG @Grumpykore

The biggest party of the Summer is here! This Sunday, the confident IC strap will be on the line: Pretty Boy Ziggler vs. Seth Freakin’ Rollins. And both have been on great run as of late. With weeks of building this rivalry up, the tables turned on Raw this past week with Ambrose return and now in Rollins Corner and Drew in Ziggs, this will get ugly really quick. Hopefully, we will see the best of each other this time out, which could even surprisingly/possibly turn into a match of the night.

Prediction: My money is on Rollins but it won’t be easy. More then one curb stomp and zigzag is going to have to surface to put somebody down. Burn It Down!

-Anthony Holloway

SmackDown Women’s: Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Triple Threat Match)
“Sister” Jenn Casals
IG @Jenn_Casals

Unlike the Raw Women’s title match-up, the SmackDown Women’s championship contest has taken the less than legendary in-ring skills of Carmella and put her with Becky and Charlotte. These are 2 former champions who don’t know how to put on a bad match and will be sure to carry her through any rough spots. That said, using her weasel-like tactics and former man servant, James Ellsworth, Carmella has been putting in work in her first title run. Meanwhile, Charlotte has been a beast since she started on Raw and shows no signs of slowing down. Impressive as this is, none of it can compare with the epic run Becky has been having lately; the Irish Lasskicker’s been mowing down everyone in her path and showing us why she was the first SD women’s champion. It’s clear she’s a force to be reckoned with, and one way or another Mella’s time as Champion is probably over.

Prediction: Given the tense post match interaction with Becky and Charlotte on Tuesday I expect one of them to win and spark a new feud.

-Jenn Casals

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
“Pastor” Shawn Puff

This match is a head scratcher, as it could clearly go either way. If Braun loses in an way, he loses the Money In The Bank briefcase. Is this their way of getting the briefcase out of Braun’s hands? I wouldn’t be against that. It’s easy enough to get the big man into a number one contender’s spot without having him hold that briefcase.

Prediction: But I also think that Roman is walking out of Brooklyn a Paul Heyman guy and Braun will be the new ‘face’ of the company with Roman as the top heel. So do you keep the briefcase in his hands? Maybe. Maybe not. I think Jinder is going to interject himself in some way and it will somehow result in Strowman getting disqualified or counted out. Kevin Owens walks out your new Mr. Money In The Bank.

-Shawn Puff

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