WWE SummerSlam: Burning Questions and Final Projections
What better way to get excited for SummerSlam than with the SummerSlam Jam?
It’s the party of the summer, but don’t tell The Great Khali and Hornswoggle. They’re not invited.
This year’s SummerSlam is pretty stacked. We have the intriguing in-ring debut of Bray Wyatt, the potentially brutal CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar and more McMahon interference than you would ever want to pay to watch.
After going 6-2 last month at Money in the Bank (Wade Barrett wining the contract? What was I thinking?), my lifetime Bleacher Report WWE pay-per-view match prediction record is 46-13-1 (a healthy 78 percent).
I’m putting that all on the line as we take one last look at WWE SummerSlam, and ask the last minute burning questions and take our best guesses to the winners.
Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam
Burning Question: Since when did The Shield take The Miz’s job as the pre-show all-stars?
Match Outlook: This match would be much more exciting if it had more than six days of build, and was on the actual show. Don’t forget, there will probably be at least one commercial break for the pay-per-view during the match.
This should be good though, and could actually entice a few people to buy the show.
Final Projection: Ambrose (60 percent confidence).
I’m not overly confident on this pick. I could see Van Dam taking the gold for a feel good moment before the show, and then dropping it shortly after.
But Ambrose hasn’t been given much of a chance to do anything with the US Title yet (has anyone?), so the company may as well leave it on him.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Burning Question: So if Cody admitted he would have attacked Sandow if he were in his shoes at Money in the Bank, then what exactly is the point of this match?
Match Outlook: Expect a decent, but nothing too spectacular, eight to twelve minute match. Sandow has improved in the ring lately, but the storyline between the two has been underwhelming. The Rhodes Scholars were pushed so lousy to begin with that their breakup just doesn't mean a lot.
Final Projection: Rhodes (75 percent confidence).
Both guys could use a win here. Sandow hasn't had any big victories since winning the Money in the Bank contract, and Cody needs to pick up some steam for his babyface turn.
Let's go with Cody, because Sandow can always get his heat back with some mic work.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Burning Question: Why should we pay for this match when WWE gave it to us for free twice lately?
Match Outlook: WWE finally got around to making this match feel like a big deal on Raw. The retrospective on Christian's career was a nice touch to make this more personal. But was it too little too late?
The match itself should be good, but far from epic. I'd guess we'll see 10-15 minutes of action, and perhaps some interference by Ricardo Rodriguez at some point.
Final Projection: Del Rio (75 percent confidence).
We've seen Christian get the better of Del Rio at nearly every point in this feud. That usually means the guy on the losing side ends up winning.
Del Rio seems more valuable to the WWE than Christian does at this point, so expect him to retain.
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
Burning Question: Can the estate of Johnny Cash sue the WWE over this match?
Match Outlook: When Kane announced this was a Ring of Fire match, how exactly did Bray Wyatt know what that would entail? Nobody seems to know. Is the entire ring going to be set on fire?
Well, these two are gonna duke it out anyway. It would be nice to see Wyatt get some squash wins first, as Kane may not be the ideal debut opponent. Hard to say how good this will be, it has the potential of being pretty lousy.
It could make for an interesting spectacle match though. Keep your hopes up!
Final Projection: Wyatt (98 percent confidence).
It would be idiotic for WWE to have Wyatt lose his debut match. Unless he walks in on Vince McMahon in the bathroom before the show, there's no good reason to see him taking a loss.
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ Lee
Burning Question: Is this the best WWE can do for the newly turned Dolph Ziggler?
Match Outlook: I just can't get too excited about this one. Ziggler is always great, and AJ is fun, but the heat in this match is between those two, and they're not going to wrestle.
Katilyn is also pretty unlikeable as a character with her constant breakdowns. She's already lost to AJ multiple times, so a rematch seems unnecessary.
Final Projection: Ziggler and Kaitlyn (90 percent confidence).
Ziggler needs some momentum badly. Kaitlyn needs a win too, and AJ can get her heat back quickly from a loss.
Cm Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
Burning Question: Who needs this win more?
Match Outlook: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena was fantastic. Lesnar vs. HHH was mediocre. Lesnar vs. Punk should be more like the former.
Punk will most likely get tossed around like a rag doll for most of the match, but get in a few submissions that will tease Lesnar tapping out. This has the potential to steal the show if they go all out, and brutalize each other.
It’s also hard to imagine Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel staying out of this one.
Final Projection: Lesnar (65 percent confidence).
Lesnar is really damaged goods right now, after barely squeaking out a victory over the COO of the company. Having him win would give him back some credibility, and keep Punk out of the title picture a bit longer.
The two could then rematch down the road while Punk fights off another Heyman minion (Axel? A returning Matt Morgan?) in the meantime.
Natalya vs. Brie Bella
Burning Question: Is it WrestleMania already? How has WWE blessed us with such an epic match up?
Match Outlook: WWE will probably use this match as the buffer match between CM Punnk vs. Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena. At most, I'd guess this thing will go six minutes, and will not have an awkward of a finish as we saw on RAW.
Final Projection: Natalya (85 percent confidence).
The Bellas seem to get the best of Natalya most of the time, so she's eventually got to get even. She also tapped out AJ Lee on Raw, so maybe WWE is giving her a bit of a push due to her exposure on Total Divas.
Then again, WWE may just go the lame route and give us Twin Magic for the 9,745th time.
John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan
Burning Question: What amount of shenanigans will we see in the main event, and why will it be necessary?
Match Outlook: Without all of the outside distractions (HHH, Vince McMahon, Brad Maddox), this would have the potential to be a classic.
Cena is also going through some elbow problems, so maybe this won’t be as good as hoped for. Still, this should at least be a satisfying main event. You can expect the crowd to go crazy for this one.
The problem is though, the fans aren't going to pop for any false finish until we get interference. That's the entire reason HHH is the referee.
Final Projection: Cena (75 percent).
What makes this match intriguing is the variety of ways it can play out. Not all of them are good though. There's the possibility that Cena may need some time off due to an elbow, so perhaps he'll drop the gold.
But I’ll go with Cena tapping out or passing out like Bryan has promised. However, HHH doesn’t see it due to interference from Brad Maddox, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Wade Barrett, Vickie Guerrero, Teddy Long, Booker T, Matt Morgan and Brutus The Barber Beefcake. Or some combination like that.
Bryan then battles some more only to take an Attitude Adjustment and the pin, but leaves with the bragging rights of making Cena tap.