WWE Summerslam 2013 Predictions: Match-by-Match Breakdown
A new champion, a world-eater and a second-generation WWE Superstar will emerge from SummerSlam 2013 victorious.
Buzz crackles around the Brock Lesnar and CM Punk clash, Daniel Bryan and John Cena's WWE Championship match and the impending battle in the Ring of Fire between Bray Wyatt and Kane.
At WWE's second biggest pay-per-view, who will leave the Staples Center with their head down and who will leave carrying championship gold and boasting of a win?
Foreseeing both the winner and the star rating of each match, here are the predictions for every bout at this year's SummerSlam.
Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam
Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Projected Star Rating: 3 stars
Dean Ambrose's United States title reign has seen him fend of Kofi Kingston and Kane in successful defenses. After little activity surrounding that belt, Rob Van Dam flies into the picture, electrifying along the way.
Van Dam represents Ambrose's biggest challenge to date.
An Ambrose win not only nudges the championship's prestige upward, but makes the champ look powerful.
Van Dam should spend much of the match elating the crowd with his unique offense, but Ambrose is so comfortable amid chaos that fans should expect him to have some counters ready.
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee and Big E. Langston
Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn
Projected Star Rating: 2.5 stars
This feels like it will be a moment where WWE has the fan favorites win out over the heels. AJ Lee has made life miserable for Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler in recent weeks and seeing her get her comeuppance will be the fun of this match.
Kaitlyn is one spear away from victory if she can stay focused.
Ziggler's job will be to keep her calm regardless of the tricks that AJ pulls. Big E. Langston may be too worried about protecting the Divas champ to keep from getting a Zig Zag from The Show Off.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane
Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Projected Star Rating: 3.25 stars
Flames are Kane's domain, but he's not above losing in a match where the ring is surrounded by them.
Kane lost twice to The Undertaker and once to Triple H in Inferno matches, compiling an unimpressive 1-3 record. Bray Wyatt looks to make it four losses for the big man.
This match is far more about it being Wyatt's pay-per-view debut as a win could catapult him going forward. Even if Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have to get involved, Wyatt will have this victory.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Predicted Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Projected Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Christian beat Alberto Del Rio on the July 29 episode of WWE Raw and on last Friday's SmackDown. A betting man wouldn't place a large wager on him beating the champ three times in a row.
These recent wins have felt like a way for WWE to convince us that Christian is a legitimate and dangerous contender. Del Rio enters the match knowing his challenger can beat him, but expect him to derail Christian's momentum.
WWE clearly likes Del Rio as champion, having him reign as either WWE or world champ for a good chunk of his time with the company. Del Rio's current reign should continue here, with the champ successful against his first challenger not named Dolph Ziggler.
Brie Bella vs. Natalya
Predicted Winner: Brie Bella
Projected Star Rating: 2 stars
In a street fight, Olympic wrestling match or just about any athletic competition, Natalya would beat out Brie Bella. She's stronger, more athletic and a far better wrestler.
Brie's key to victory is going to be her cronies with her at ringside.
Her twin sister and Eva Marie promise to be in Brie's corner and either lady could do something devious once the referee's back is turned. It could be a case of their patented twin magic or Eva making a name for herself.
The biggest stars of the Total Divas reality show will shine here, putting the spotlight on that show and the Bellas.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes
Projected Star Rating: 3.75 stars
Damien Sandow will leave with his Money in the Bank briefcase, but Cody Rhodes will leave with the victory.
WWE will have plenty of time to highlight Sandow. He'll boast about his briefcase, cash in on some unlucky champ and wear the world title soon enough. This match is about pushing Rhodes.
He has looked fantastic as of late and defeating Sandow accentuates his recent roll. It also solidifies him as an upper-level face, something WWE is going to need with Sheamus and John Cena on the mend.
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk
Predicted Winner: Brock Lesnar
Projected Star Rating: 4 stars
Brock Lesnar may not need it, but he has the numbers advantage as well as the size advantage. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman could play a major role in how this plays out, but it's hard to imagine WWE having Lesnar lose once again.
Since his return in 2012, Lesnar has lost to Triple H and John Cena and has a pay-per-view record of just 2-2.
Punk will have plenty of opportunities this year to gain some victories to make up for a SummerSlam loss. His battle with Punk is reportedly Lesnar's last match until WrestleMania XXX, per F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com.
Expect Lesnar to go out strong and for Heyman to feel Punk's wrath once the match is already over.
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Projected Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Picking against John Cena is normally not a wise move.
It's not often that his opponent is as popular as Daniel Bryan is right now. Add that to the fact that Cena's elbow is reportedly due for surgery, per Dave Meltzer via CagesideSeats.org, and it looks like a new champion is set to be crowned.
Putting Bryan on top is a bold move, but expect WWE to pull the trigger.
The audience is demanding he get a shot via their raucous chanting. If Bryan doesn't bring in ratings or pay-per-view buys as champ, the company can always hand the title back to Cena when he returns.