Welcome to our annual WWE SummerSlam Preview & Predictions!
Since we’ve re-established our brand as GHG’s Ringside Apostles 2.0 the past few weeks with some tiiiight coverage, we hittin’ even heavier on you wrasslin freaks ‘n geeks than ever before. Not only have we added plenty of firepower to the writing roster (12 now, yo), GHG goin’ Back 2 Brooklyn with a preview of NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II. We hope you like.
BROCK LESNAR vs. RANDY ORTON – This Sunday, FINALLY we have the return of one of my personal favorites: The Apex Predator and Mayor of Viperville, Randy Orton. And another return with his opponent.. The Conqueror! Mayor of Suplex City!! Paul Heyman’s client! The Beast Incarnate himself, BURRRRROCK LLLLLLESSSNNN…… I can’t do this. Not anymore. So here’s the thing. On one hand, not going to act like Lesnar isn’t entertaining to watch. On the other? (and I’m well aware I’m in the minority here) His shtick is wearing thin. He disappears, comes back, Heyman metaphorically sucks him off for twenty-minutes in the ring, he decimates 3 or 5 stars weeks before the ppv, then destroys one huge star at the PPV for the win (unless you’re Cena or Taker, then maybe you have a chance). Never been a fan of squash matches, and I understood why they were doing them when he first came back, but the 15 german suplex matches are getting old… I’d wish the match on Sunday would be competitive, but I know it won’t be. Even so, after the German suplex parade (and after Brock kicks out of two RKOs), I want to see an F5 countered into an RKO for the win. PREDICTION: Orton forcibly sends Lesnar to #Viperville.
ENZO & CASS vs. CHRIS JERICHO & KEVIN OWENS – The Certified G’s versus JeriKO?? How you doin? What better way to fuel that rocket ship on Enzo & Big Cass’ backs than to give these two bonafide thugs the gift of Job Botchico… or is it Botch Jobicho?? Oh well. Drink it up, call em a couple hatahs and keep it movin I guess. I’ve loved the mic work on this one so far, but then again, you can’t NOT love anything that Enzo does with a mic in his hand and when Y2J isn’t botching moves or jobbing out, he’s not too shabby on the mic himself. And you can’t teach that. I’m usually not a fan of the comedy matches, personally (see Breezango v. The Golden Truth) but I’ll make an exception here. Kevin Owens sort of gets lost in the comedic mix in this one but him and Chris have built quite the bro-mance over recent weeks after their first failed attempt at a team-up back in April. PREDICTION: Unfortunately, you can count on Boticho botching 2 or three moves in this one and fortunately you can count on Jobicho taking the job. Not because he’s S-A-W-F-T– but because he’s the best in the world at what he does… and that’s job. Bada Boom! Realest guys in the room!
ROMAN REIGNS vs. RUSEV – Roman, Roman, Roman. Fresh off his wellness policy suspension, the man with everything to prove is pitted against the Newlyweds Rusev and Lana. Yes–there is a vocal majority who hates that Roman was hand picked to be “the guy” and was boo’ed every single time he came to the ring. His ring work is overlooked and chants of “you can’t wrestle” shows you that fans in the stands just don’t understand. So we’re in rehab (wink) mode with Roman, and what better way than to beat up the Mad Bulgarian Rusev? Sure, he’s held the US Title hostage since he reclaimed it, crushing all those who step up to the challenge. But the honeymoon is about to be over. PREDICTION: While Lana is busy filling out thank you cards and wondering how Ryback snuck into her exclusive wedding, Superman punch, one, two, three – Roman wins and takes not only the belt, but a few wayward fans with him.
WWE World Championship
DEAN AMBROSE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER – The jaded fan in me doesn’t care one iota about this match — despite the fact that the build has been solid, Ambrose is easily my top 1 or 2 performer in the company, and the build for the match has actually been better than most any other up to this point. Ambrose has shown some very good, natural subtle heel work, and Ziggler has pulled his promos from real life feelings and situations, making this build feel visceral. So why don’t I care? Simple… PREDICTION: There will be no resolution. Ziggler, despite his obvious talent won’t be the guy to beat Ambrose here, and I doubt there will even be a clear finish. This Disciple expects shenanigans, likely a Wyatt run in, and there you go; we will be pretty much exactly where we always are when it comes to the title picture, nowhere.
CESARO vs. SHEAMUS – Ugh. The first match in a best of seven series. What is this, geeks, Dubya See Dubya? Should I tune into “The Mothership” on Saturday Night at 6:05 EST on TBS? Either or, Cesaro is due. He had a big push before, which went the way of the Boogie Man, and now hopefully a solid, not necessarily great match could move back up. PREDICTION: Based on seeing nothing of the feud–for my own good I’m assuming–and just hating Lameus, I’d have to pick Cesaro.
Because, reasons and the Padre says so.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Superkick here. So we got an Intercontinental Championship match between the veteran, incumbent champion, The Miz and, his opponent, a more positive Ahmed Johnson. I kid. Apollo Crews. Crews was a buzzworthy name on the indy circuit. His NXT stint was impressive, although I wish–I so damn wish–he had hits mits around the NXT Championship, but I digress. Now, Apollo is the big man on Smackdown Live. Miz’s reign has been like every other reign. Stale. Not too memorable. Even if he has Maryse (YES LAWD!!!!!), his reign on top as IC Champion is short like leprechauns. Do I feel they will give the belt to Crews now? Possibly. PREDICTION: But it’s more possible that The Miz will sneakily (as usual) retain for the moment, with this feud continuing on the next Smackdown-oriented PPV.
WWE Women’s Championship
SASHA BANKS vs. CHARLOTTE – Two royal women take it to the ring again: one, the legit Boss who built her empire as nothing more than a fan with a heart of passion and a hustle to win, and, two, the natural femme fatale of robe-wearing wrestling legend Ric Flair. Whooo!!! Charlotte Flair has everything to win and nothing to lose; she’s purely driven to keep the victory streak going in the Flair family. Her mindset being in such a focused area makes Char’ the dirtiest player in the game– to keep her accolades and victory stats up. The Boss Champ, on the other hand, comes with the attitude to back it up. PREDICTION: Why would a legit boss be afraid of someone that can’t handle her sense of flair? With some more magic, Sasha retains.
WWE Tag Team Championship
THE NEW DAY vs. GALLOWS & ANDERSON – The Belser here, ready to lay the smack down on this preview of SummerSlam. Now, I don’t mind making it known that I “Bo-lieve” that New Day is WWE’s top attraction right now. They got it: great in-ring wrestlers, great collective comraderie between them, and “over like rover”. Add in the fact they’re all African American–like yours truly–and they got a big fan over this way. As far as their opponents go, TND has got some stiff competition (and I do mean stiff). Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come from New Japan Pro Wrestling, where Strong Style is the way of life. And when it comes to action, they are hardcore smashmouth vets that don’t play around; their recent attacks on The New Day have left Big E out of commission for a bit and that might be the telltale factor. PREDICTON: Gallows and Anderson. I hate to say it — but I’m an unbiased amateur journalist. Unless Big E makes a surprise appearance, I see the strength and aggressive nature of G&A bringing them the Gold.
WWE Universal Championship
FINN BALOR vs. SETH ROLLINS – This will be the only match on the SummerSlam card where no matter who is the victor at the end.. history will be made. That being said, you know these two showstealers will do everything they can to make it a memorable one. “Father Grimm” will call it right now”: Match of the Night! Both Balor and Rollins match-up somewhat close in height, weight, and wrestling styles. The experience edge would go to Balor who was wrestling a full 5-years before Rollins. Though no one can deny that Rollins has more “big match” experience. PREDICTION: Unless we finally see the formation of The Balor Club leading to a double turn, Seth “Rambo Apocalyse” Rollins wins with The Glass Ceiling (a.k.a. The Pedigree).
JOHN CENA vs. AJ STYLES – So predictable, Moody. Picking your hometown homie up against one of your current favs. Yeah, but.. that makes my decision to preview this MITB rematch so much worse! We all know Super Cena doesn’t lose big matches. Thankfully, there’s two elements that should make this one special: 1.) Big John always comes up big at PPV’s, hell–even inventing moves (i.e. Springboard Stunner) when it matters most. We all know he can work beyond the AA, Fisherman Side and 5-Knuckle when he has to; and it’s the only way he’ll look any good against “the Phenomenal One”. 2.) After a gazillion world titles, Cena actually puts people over now. But despite that, he’s been lighting up Styles with more ferocity on the mic than ever before. He’ll have a tough time but.. PREDICTION: Cena invents another new move to pin AJ, with the rubber match at (the PPV to follow) Backlash.
SAMOA JOE vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – It’s the King of Strong Style vs The Samoan Submission Specialist! NXT’s biggest “get” vs. the … Uh last biggest “get”! These two men are going to put on one hell of a show. Samoa Joe fears no man, no matter how well he dances or how loud the crowd cheers for him. Nakamura’s not one to shy away from a big fight in his life either. When the final bell tolls, the Barclay Center might not be standing! PREDICTION: Stiff kicks, followed by stiffer kicks. As much as I love me some Samoa Joe (and have since I saw him and Mike Awesome kill each other in MLW), a muscle buster kick out followed by a devastating Bomaye to that thick Samoan skull NXT will have a new champion. – Sean Farrell
NXT Women’s Championship
BAYLEY vs. ASUKA – With NXT Brooklyn still fresh in the minds of wrestling fans, it is the powerhouse of hugging, Bayley, who laid new ground in NXT’s Women’s Division. The bar has been set pretty high since her “upset” title loss to the Japanese mistress of elbows and hellfire strikes. Bay/Bae(?), though a constant.. smiler, is a relentless workhorse and is seemingly up to the challenge of climbing to the top of the mountain again. Asuka (pronounced Ash-kah) is nothing to toy around with either, undefeated since her debut just a few months ago. Through her unmatched discipline and training, this Bishop would even go so far in naming her the “Queen of Strong Style” (maybe a Nakamura love interest is in their imminent future?). PREDICTION: Bayley, sweetheart, bring your A-game because Asuka has had men fear the day they may face her. – Richard Pearson
NXT Tag Team Championship
THE REVIVAL vs. CIAMPA & GARGANO – I like what the Revival has accomplished and their in-ring style–and they have my current favorite tag finisher–but, just the same, they’re kinda stale. Given that they’ve made NXT history and they’ve pretty much run their course, I can see them getting called up soon with the brand split’s inevitable introduction of the secondary tag belts. Enter Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano (two men who recently gave us a M.O.T.Y. candidate at the CWC). They are over as hell, have amazing chemistry, they’re improving on the mic, and in-ring teamwork that can best be described as fluid. The sheer fluidity with which these two move and communicate during their matches is ridiculous. PREDICTION: Johnny Wrestling and Psycho Killer get the belts; The Revival get called up soon because the tag divisions need bodies; then JW and PK fued with the Authors of Emo… because TM 61 is pure garbage so far. – Felipe Crespo
BOBBY ROODE vs. ANDRADE ALMAS – Despite impressive manuevers and an undefeated record since the debut of “Cien” in June, Almas has not been featured regularly besides sporadic squash matches. Since April, NXT has teased us with Mr. “Glorious” — barely giving us anything from arguably TNA’s 2nd biggest home grown star in Bobby Roode, only behind AJ Styles. These two have a lot to prove. And with the vicious Brooklyn crowd, this match could be the perfect place to determine the next top contender for the NXT title going forward. PREDICTION: Roode, the star of my favorite wrestling skits #GLORIOUSBOMB, will leave with the W. – Ryan Davis
NO WAY JOSE vs. AUSTIN AIRES – The fact that none of my 11 other Apostles took this match.. speaks volumes. “Whatever Happened to The Greatest Man That Ever Lived?”, as the one Alan Moore would say, had he scripted up this match. I mean, shit. Seems so far like NXT has wasted all of the talents they’ve picked up from TNT this side of Samoa Joe. Eric Young, Bobby Roode (heel so fast! *sigh*), Rhyno, Aires — sorry bout ‘cho damn luck! (Yeah, him too.) The only good that could come out of this match is if Roode recruits his former Dirty Heels tag bud for a new clique, since they basically trolled/swerved Full Sail nearly the exact same way. PREDICTION: Despite the newfound fire for yet another dancing goofball (really, Hunter? I had higher hopes for you), Aires should pull it out. – Travis Moody
MORE TO COME!!!