SummerSlam 2012: Burning Questions and Projections
Get ready for the biggest party of the summer!
Wooooooo! (Sorry, Ric Flair isn't invited.)
But it's still looking to be a solid show.
There's a lot of questions coming into SummerSlam, and hopefully, we'll get them all answered by the time the show is over.
I'm going to lay out the biggest question for each match, and then give my pick on who is going to win. To top it off, I'll give my confidence level for those picks.
It's important to remember, when picking the winner of a WWE match lately, the safest bet is to almost always choose the babyface.
The last four shows, the good guys are 29-4 against the villains. That's right—every show for the last four pay-per-views, a heel only won one match.
Still, WWE needs to shake things up, and this month it seems possible that the heels should at least win a couple times.
In the end, will WWE do the right thing? Will we pay $60 to watch SummerSlam or SummerScam?
Here's the best guess to find out.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino
Burning Question: Will WWE just please get rid of the U.S. belt already?
Match Outlook: This is the pre-show Youtube/Facebook match, so expect it to go five to six minutes. Also, expect Santino to attempt the Cobra but miss due to a distraction.
Cesaro has already pinned Santino twice on Smackdown the past few weeks. Will he make it a third?
It's yet to be seen, though, if WWE officials are behind Cesaro after he lost to Christian last week. WWE may want something noteworthy to happen on the pre-show, so maybe they'd like Cesaro to take the win and then move on to feud with Christian over it.
Of course, WWE doesn't care about the U.S. title, and Santino is a horrible champion, so maybe they'll just stick with what's not working.
Projected Winner: Santino (60 percent confidence)
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
photo from wwe.com
Burning Question: How exactly would beating Dolph Ziggler prove that Chris Jericho can win the big one?
Match Outlook: If given enough time, this could easily be the match of the night. Jericho has been on a losing streak lately, and he took the pin on Raw, which means he could potentially walk away the winner.
On the other hand, Jericho looks like he'll probably be leaving again soon, which makes giving Ziggler the win the much better choice. Jericho is also known for having no problem putting over younger talent, and he would take great pride in helping Dolph get to the next level.
Still, I think I'm going with Jericho taking the win and Ziggler laying him out after the match. This puts Jericho out of action for awhile, and gives Dolph his heat back.
Projected Winner: Chris Jericho (60 percent confidence).
Tag Title Match: Kofi and R-Truth vs. the Primetime Players
photo from wwe.com
Burning Question: Will the Prime Time Players keep their push without A.W.?
Match Outlook: Unless there is a really hot crowd for SummerSlam, this match probably won't get much of a reaction. The setup has been pretty lackluster.
There's just so few tag teams in WWE that it's hard to care about any particular act.
It will be interesting to see how the Prime Time Players evolve without A.W. With him no longer as their mouthpiece, the duo now has even less defined characters. WWE may not trust the two to do promos on their own yet.
The match will probably be decent, but unspectacular. Expect it to go about eight to 10 minutes.
Projected Winner: Kofi and R-Truth win clean (70 percent confidence).
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
Burning Question: Will Charlie Sheen actually show up?
Match Outlook: Here we go again!
Kane and Daniel Bryan have faced off a few times in various matches over the past few months. Now we get to pay to watch it, though!
If Charlie Sheen does show up, there will be some sort of tomfoolery going on. This will probably lead to Daniel Bryan yelling "No" a lot, most likely in Sheen's face. Sheen will then probably yell "Yes!" back a lot of times.
After 15 minutes of Charlie Sheen and Daniel Bryan yelling in each other's face, Sheen punches Bryan, who then turns around right into a chokeslam.
Projected Winner: Kane (85 percent confidence)
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Burning Question: Even with an injured arm, how easily will Sheamus dispose of Del Rio?
Match Outlook: It's back on! At the end of Smackdown, Booker T gave Sheamus his wish and put this match back on the card.
It may be the Heavyweight Championship match, but it just doesn't seem that consequential.
Right now, I just don't see any way Del Rio will take this thing. WWE seems to be really high on Sheamus, who seems to be Cena 2.0 now in the sense that it doesn't matter how much the odds are stacked against him, he'll plow right through them and win.
Expect Sheamus to be shoved down our throats for months to come.
Projected Winner: Sheamus (90 percent confidence).
Rey Mysterio vs. the Miz
Burning Question: Who needs the victory more?
Match Outlook: Welcome back (to the midcard), guys!
We know you've both been gone and that you could use a win to get you going so...um...let's just book you against each other!
Miz has lost his last three title defenses, and he could probably use a big win to get him on track. He's got that movie coming out soon, so maybe WWE wants to keep him in a higher profile position.
Mysterio is probably "above" the Intercontinental title at this point in his career. But don't be shocked to see him taking the title early in the show for a feel-good moment.
Projected Winner: Miz cheats and rolls up Mysterio (65 percent confidence).
HHH vs. Brock Lesnar
Burning Question: Will HHH put his ego aside, do what's best for business and lay down for Brock?
Match Outlook: With Paul Heyman set to be at ringside (and possibly Shawn Michaels), he'll most likely get involved at some point.
WWE would be wise to do a clean finish. But Brock eating a Sweet Chin Music or HHH being distracted by Heyman isn't out of the question.
HHH is notorioius for well...being a little in love with himself.
Will he actually lose another big match after jobbing to The Undertaker two years in a row? If WWE wants to make money, or even break even with their Brock investment, let's hope so. But you can never know when it comes to Hunter.
Logic said Lesnar should have beat Cena. Logic also said The Nexus should have beat Cena and his crew at SummerSlam two years ago.
Against my own better judgment, I'm still going to try and be logical on this one.
Projected Winner: Brock Lesnar (55 percent confidence).
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. the Big Show
Burning Question: If I paid more money for this show, would WWE please remove Big Show from this match?
Match Outlook: Cena vs. Punk was the biggest match of last summer in WWE. A year later, it is again, only they've added in the Big Show to spice things up...or slow things down.
It should still be a pretty good match, with some sort of shenanigans sure to play out for the finish.
There's a couple ways they could go with this: Cena wins and holds onto the title to fight Rock at Royal Rumble, or Punk solidifies himself as the top heel and holds on for months to come.
I'm going to go with Cena winning, as WWE really likes to send the crowds home happy, and since I'm going with Brock in his match, I don't see heels taking the two top matches.
All in all, though, it's an intriguing main event.
Projected Winner: Cena (55 percent), Punk (44 percent) Big Show (1 percent)