Get your Daniel Bryan T-shirt on and your popcorn ready, SummerSlam 2013 is just about here.
Before sitting down for the big WWE pay-per-view, a look at some backstage reports and statistics will affect what fans expect to happen. A lingering injury, a contractual conclusion and the WWE champ's recent SummerSlam record are among the bits of info to gobble up before watching the show.
Beginning with the baseball-sized abnormality on the WWE champ's arm, let's dig into the five things WWE fans need to know pre-SummerSlam.
When picking a winner in the WWE Championship match, one has to factor in John Cena's elbow injury.
Many have noticed how swollen Cena's left elbow has been recently. The injury is reportedly more significant than the typical bumps and bruises that come with the WWE life.
As reported by F4WOnline.com, via WrestlingInc.com, "Cena will be having surgery shortly after SummerSlam, meaning he will be taking some more time off."
That doesn't necessarily mean that Daniel Bryan will beat him on Sunday. Randy Orton could cash in after a Cena victory or Cena could vacate the title after retaining it. Still, knowing that Cena has an injury-induced vacation coming up changes how certain fans will be about him winning.
Kane loves fire. He has it spray into the air each time he enters a WWE ring and once set Jim Ross on fire.
Matches that have had fire blazing around the ring haven't been kind to him, however.
The Big Red Machine is only 1-3 in past Inferno matches. His SummerSlam clash with Bray Wyatt has been officially dubbed a Ring of Fire match, but that looks to just be a new name for an old stipulation.
Kane's Inferno match history includes a loss against Triple H in 1999, two losses against his brother The Undertaker and his sole win over Montel Vontavious Porter in 2006. Wyatt could either join MVP as the only other man to lose to Kane in the heart of flames, but the wise bet is on Kane to lose here.
History and the Wyatt Family are against him.
The way that Brock Lesnar and CM Punk's battle plays out may hinge on the state of Lesnar's contract.
The Beast Incarnate is reportedly done for the year after SummerSlam. As reported by F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, "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."
Does that mean then that Lesnar goes out with a win, or does Punk manage to pin a loss on him that will linger until WrestleMania season?
Either way, fans should enjoy Lesnar's destructive ways on Sunday, as it may be the last time we see them live for a long while.
In their short history, WWE pay-per-view pre-shows have proven more than filler, at least in terms of titles changing hands.
While one might assume that WWE would save its championship transitions for pay-per-views or at least on its weekly programming, the pre-shows have had a few new champs crowned.
One year ago, Antonio Cesaro won the United States title from Santino Marella on the SummerSlam pre-show. The Miz defeated Wade Barrett at the WrestleMania 29 pre-show to capture the Intercontinental title. That may not seem like a large number, but there has only been four championship matches on pre-shows so far.
The Shield retained at this year's Money in the Bank and Cesaro retained at the Royal Rumble to make champions 2-2 in keeping their titles.
Rob Van Dam fans may perk up at this news, knowing that he has a decent shot of dethroning Dean Ambose on Sunday.
WWE apparently has no issue letting John Cena lose at SummerSlam. That's great news for Daniel Bryan fans and is just another element to consider when picking a horse in the WWE title bout.
A look at TheHistoryofWWE.com reveals a surprising win-loss record at the event.
Cena lost a Triple Threat match against Big Show and CM Punk in 2012, against Punk in 2011, Orton in 2009 and Batista in 2008. Not counting his win in a tag match in 2010, that's four straight singles matches where Cena came up short at the summer event.
Sunday gives him an opportunity to end the streak or have it stretch even further.
The reverse Undertaker streak is just one of many things to keep an eye on when the pay-per-view kicks off on Sunday.