The 2013 edition of SummerSlam is the second-biggest pay-per-view on the calendar for the WWE, and the company will once again blow out the event for the hardcore and casual fans alike.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Sunday, August 18 at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com
Both major championships will be on the line Sunday—John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio takes on Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship—but that’s not all.
Add in the main event caliber match between CM Punk and Brock Lesnar to an undercard that is coming along nicely, and this is already developing into a very solid show which deserves the SummerSlam moniker.
Before the event, though, we will keep tabs on all the news and rumors surrounding the WWE’s huge August extravaganza.
The rumors, speculation and predictions are flying as the Sunday super-show approaches fast. While trying to decipher which ideas could actually come to fruition is always tough, the latest chatter about the main event is adding serious intrigue to the show.
F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc. talked about how Sunday’s show could play out:
Both Randy Orton and Triple H are booked to have key storyline influences on tonight's Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena match for the WWE Title at SummerSlam. Tonight's match is expected to be the kickoff for WWE's big WrestleMania XXX angle with the McMahon family. Triple H being added as special referee is not because officials think Bryan doesn't have enough star power and they need Triple H there, it's quite the opposite. Triple H was added to the match because this is a high profile title match, the biggest since WrestleMania, and the right spot for the angle to really get going with the McMahons.
Any time WrestleMania booking starts this far ahead of time usually indicates a huge storyline that will be the main focus of the programming until April.
With many fans not enjoying the power struggle between Vince McMahon and Triple H, how this angle plays out on Sunday is very important to the company’s success over the coming months.
Sunday is shaping up to be a wild night.
Despite Triple H being portrayed as the hero in the main event storyline with Daniel Bryan and John Cena, there is a rumor that the COO will turn heel as the company starts building toward the fall and to WrestleMania 30.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Wrestling Inc., SummerSlam could be the start of a monumental storyline:
No word yet if WWE still plans on turning Triple H at SummerSlam. The longterm idea is to have Vince McMahon eventually turn babyface and bring in a "conquering hero" to take out Triple H at WrestleMania XXX.
There is a strong contingent of fans that think the involvement of Triple H is overboard already, but if he interjects himself into the outcome of the match by turning on Bryan, this storyline will be beyond convoluted.
If Triple H is going to turn heel, betraying Bryan would get him unbelievable heat, but it could kill the momentum of one of the top stars in the company. As if the main event needed anymore intrigue, this rumor has interest piqued.
As seen on Monday’s Raw, The Big Show made his triumphant return to WWE TV by backing up the face duo of Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry.
UPDATE: Saturday, August 17, 7:26 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
Most fans thought the tag team championship match would be added to the SummerSlam card via Friday’s episode of SmackDown, but the WWE has still not announced that Big Show and Mark Henry vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., that doesn’t mean the title match won’t come to fruition during the PPV:
While they haven't been announced for a match yet, Big Show, Mark Henry, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have been told they are working the SummerSlam pay-per-view on Sunday. According to F4WOnline.com, the current plan is to shoot an angle during the Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose pre-show match that will lead to either a six-man match on the pay-per-view or at least a WWE Tag Team Title match with Rollins and Reigns vs. Henry and Big Show.
The team of Big Show and Henry is very interesting and one of the most unique tandems the WWE has paired up in a long time. With a lackluster tag division and no real threat to The Shield’s titles, Henry and Big Show have a great chance of coming out victorious.
Rollins and Reigns will likely retain their titles, but this should be an entertaining match.
With RVD working a match with Dean Ambrose and the rest of The Shield looking for a fight, the stage has been set for Big Show and Henry to team up and take on Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for the tag team titles.
According to Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc., the match is expected to be announced soon.
This bout will likely be further teased on SmackDown and made official the same night, but the outcome is unclear. The WWE has been pushing The Shield as indestructible forces, but the team of Henry and Big Show could take the straps away Sunday.
The only way that taking the titles off The Shield makes sense would be having the stable align with Vince McMahon as he pursues power of the WWE. Otherwise, a loss to RVD, Henry and Big Show hurts the trio’s credibility.
The WWE has done a great job of making WWE Championship contract Money in the Bank holder Randy Orton look like a strong threat leading up to the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. If WWE's potential plans for Night of Champions are any indication, The Viper could potentially leave Staples Center as the new WWE Champion.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com), Bryan vs. Orton is scheduled to be the main event at Night of Champions, and Cena is expected to take time off to deal with his elbow injury. That would almost certainly mean that Orton will have successfully cashed in at SummerSlam because the creative team wouldn't give the Money in the Bank winner a WWE Championship match otherwise.
Of course, this match could potentially come to fruition without the title involved at all provided Cena wins at SummerSlam and doesn't take time off. Based on WWE heavily involving Orton in this feud, however, all signs seem to point toward a forthcoming cash-in.
If it happens following Bryan defeating Cena for the title, it would add yet another dimension to Bryan's character. He has already developed into one of the top faces in the company, but losing the title to Orton would garner even more fan sympathy, and it would presumably make him more popular.
Based on the reactions Bryan has been getting, it seems like a matter of time before he has a lengthy title run. Until he finally secures the title for good, though, it is extremely enjoyable watching him chase the belt and his dream.
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Much like WrestleMania, WWE delivers fan Axxess events during the week leading up to SummerSlam. These events allow WWE fans to meet with many of their favorite Superstars and Divas, but there are also live matches for them to enjoy.
One high-profile bout that is scheduled to take place is a Divas tag-team match that will pit Natalya and television host Maria Menounos against Brie Bella and a partner of her choice. Raw general manager made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.
The Bella Twins had engaged in a Twitter battle with their Total Divas co-star Natalya in Menounos in recent days, so the match announcement doesn't come as a huge surprise.
Natalya originally laid down the challenge on Sunday as she had grown tired of The Bellas' constant barbs.
The Bella Twins accepted, but since Nikki isn't medically cleared to compete, Brie will team with a mystery partner of her choice.
This match comes on the heels of Natalya vs. Brie Bella being announced on Raw. While there isn't any indication that the singles match on the main card is off, one would assume that it isn't going to happen now that a tag match is being advertised for Axxess.
Ultimately it seems as though this bout is simply a vehicle to further promote Total Divas. A lot of fans took issue with Natalya vs. Brie being added to the SummerSlam card, but now that the match won't be televised, there is nothing to complain about.
The WWE has done a great job promoting Total Divas, and this match involving a Hollywood news reporter like Menounos should only help in that regard.
Brie's mystery partner is an interesting storyline worth following, but since Eva Marie was set to accompany Brie for her original match anyway, she may very well be the choice.
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While there has been speculation about how long Brock Lesnar’s feud with CM Punk will last, the latest report from F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc. states that the former UFC champion may not return for another match until WrestleMania 30:
With Brock Lesnar's current WWE deal reportedly being for three pay-per-view matches, he may be off WWE TV until WrestleMania XXX season following this Sunday's SummerSlam match against CM Punk. Since the new deal began after WrestleMania 29, Lesnar has defeated Triple H at Extreme Rules. Sunday's match with Punk would be his second match under the current deal, WrestleMania XXX would be the third.
After reports surfaced that John Cena may be taking time off with an elbow injury, per F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., there were many that thought the WWE would pay Lesnar to stay for a few extra shows to make up for Cena’s absence.
That doesn’t look to be the case here.
Unless the WWE is willing to throw big-time money at Lesnar and add dates to his contract, the company will have to come up with a creative way to get Lesnar away from Punk. The former WWE champion needs a marquee feud coming out of SummerSlam, and with the battle against Paul Heyman not over yet, maybe another Heyman guy like Curtis Axel or a turning Rob Van Dam could be in line for a match.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., WWE champion John Cena will be taking time off after SummerSlam due to an elbow injury and possible surgery:
WWE officials are trying to keep quiet the severity of John Cena's elbow injury. Cena's elbow is in a lot worse shape than they are letting on and the decision was made last week for him not to wrestle until SummerSlam. Cena will be having surgery shortly after SummerSlam, meaning he will be taking some more time off.
This could be a big spoiler for the main event. With Cena possibly taking time off, he will likely drop the title at SummerSlam. The focus would then shift to Daniel Bryan—or Randy Orton if he cashes in and wins—and would afford Cena the time needed to recover.
If Cena does miss time, it also could be an indication that the Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk match may not be the last between the two men. WWE will need to keep casual fans interested if Cena isn’t on TV, and another bout between Lesnar and Punk has the marketability to carry the company.
The WWE has yet to address the situation officially, but if the face of the company needs elbow surgery, this could be a huge development heading into the fall.
After the go-home edition of Raw before SummerSlam, the focus has shifted that what should be the finalized card. While there is still a chance that a match is added on SmackDown (likely Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry and Big Show) this is how the August PPV shakes out.
- WWE Champion John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
- Kane vs. Bray Wyatt (Ring of Fire Match)
- Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and Divas Champion AJ Lee
- Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
- Natalya vs. Brie Bella
- United States Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam (Kickoff Match)
The WWE knew about most of these matches already, but Monday brought two new bouts that will make for a marquee event. As much as Natalya vs. Brie Bella will be a perfect complement to the success of Total Divas, the real chatter is about the WWE’s kickoff match.
There is legitimate excitement about what should be a great match between United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Rob Van Dam. With both fighters holding a serious cache with hardcore wrestling fans, this is the perfect way to start the PPV off with a bang.
SummerSlam will be a great show.
There has been speculation for weeks that WWE Championship Money in the Bank briefcase winner Randy Orton could cash-in his opportunity at SummerSlam to finalize his heel turn and claim the title.
There is a chance this huge swerve comes to fruition.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Wrestling Inc., the plan is for Orton to win the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, but who he will reportedly be cashing in on may be a huge spoiler for the main event:
Word going around WWE is that the current plan for SummerSlam has Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena for the WWE Title, only to see Randy Orton cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, take the WWE Title and finally make his long-awaited heel turn. Another sign that Orton will be cashing in at SummerSlam is that as of this week, there is no Bryan vs. Cena rematch planned for September's Night of Champions pay-per-view.
Despite the fact that many fans see the writing on the wall that this rumor could actually happen, this is the perfect way to book the main event heading into the fall. Not only would this give Orton one of his first interesting storylines in over two years, but this would also add an incredible amount of intrigue to the WWE Championship scene.
Bryan would be incredibly over with the crowd if he captures the title and is immediately cashed-in on by Orton. Cena can be moved away from the championship and work a program with someone else.
If this rumor happens at SummerSlam, WWE will be must-see TV Monday night.
ECW and WWE legend Rob Van Dam’s return at Money in the Bank was amazing, and the fans were excited to see what the WWE had planned for the veteran. After several big matches, RVD hasn’t been given a proper storyline yet.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., that lack of direction could continue when RVD is possibly booked to make his pre-show debut at SummerSlam:
It had been rumored that the WWE Divas would work this year's SummerSlam pre-show match but now WWE officials are considering Rob Van Dam vs. Antonio Cesaro for the pre-show.
While there were few fans who expected Van Dam to be in the WWE Championship scene, getting caught up in a marquee feud that eventually puts over a younger talent was what should have come to fruition.
Instead, RVD may be relegated to the pre-show or left off the card altogether.
The WWE brought Van Dam back because of the name-recognition associated with his career, but their misuse of him has been maddening. If Vince McMahon and the shot-callers in the back wanted him for the pre-show, they should have been building Cesaro up as a star and teasing tension between the men.
Hardcore wrestling fans will love RVD vs. Cesaro, but casual fans won’t care about that match.