Early Predictions for the WWE SummerSlam 2019 Match Card
With the way WWE has been booking things over the past few months, trying to predict what is coming next is virtually impossible.
The scripts have been changing mid-show, ideas are conjured out of thin air just to see if they stick, only to be dropped out of nowhere almost immediately when an alternative pitch becomes the new focal point.
Everything seems to be suggested on the fly with no regard for what will come next, combined with a dangerously overly optimistic "we'll figure it out tomorrow" attitude, even if Future Creative almost always moves on and leaves Present-Day Creative looking like fools in hindsight.
The Wild Card Rule, in particular, has especially made it difficult to see where WWE is going, as there doesn't appear to be any actual direction.
But the biggest party of the summer is coming up, so WWE must have at least some ideas in mind of what to do for SummerSlam 2019, right?
We can only hope that's the case, and while it's a completely blind guess week to week of what will happen, let's try to gaze into our crystal balls and attempt to predict what the card for WWE SummerSlam 2019 may look like come August 11.
Universal Championship Match Options
While Seth Rollins is dealing with Baron Corbin, the bigger story and primary focal point has been the lingering threat of Brock Lesnar's Money in the Bank contract.
However, WWE could have easily had The Beast Incarnate win the title from Rollins multiple times now, as history has shown the company has no problem—for whatever reason—giving him the belt and having him disappear for months on end.
There's been nothing stopping him from becoming champion except the possibility that there are other plans in mind that involve him being busy elsewhere—more on that in the WWE Championship section.
In any scenario, Rollins vs. Lesnar seems like the match WWE wants everyone to think is coming, but that absolutely will not be advertised in advance unless it's Rollins attempting to win the title back from Lesnar after having already lost it.
There's no way Lesnar would call his shot in advance to challenge Rollins, so if The Architect is still champion after Extreme Rules, he's facing someone else, not Lesnar.
The list of challengers on the Raw brand are many, with Bobby Lashley, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Samoa Joe and Drew McIntyre standing out as the top heels who could theoretically face Rollins. But The Scottish Psychopath is probably in the best position on the hierarchy to get that title shot.
Lashley, Zayn, Cesaro and Joe have been booked around the United States Championship picture more than the universal title, and it's clear WWE still values McIntyre quite a bit due to his pairing alongside Shane McMahon.
At least until something else happens to present an alternate route, look out for Rollins to face McIntyre for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam, with no involvement from Lesnar.
WWE Championship Match Options
The swerve with The Beast Incarnate could well be that he isn't winning the Universal Championship because WWE plans on having him hold the WWE Championship instead.
As bad of an idea as that would be for the same reasons Lesnar has been booked as a bad champion for years, WWE hasn't learned that lesson and most likely sees him as a top draw for SmackDown's switch to Fox in October.
Up until close to WrestleMania, Kofi Kingston was definitely never in talks to be the champion at this point in the year, so his title reign is perpetually on borrowed time, and the clock may stop ticking at SummerSlam.
But, again, Lesnar wouldn't be advertised ahead of time for this match. Instead, Kingston would need a different challenger.
That could be Randy Orton, Andrade or so many other people, yet the person with the most momentum right now, oddly enough, is Shane McMahon.
It would not be shocking at all to see McMahon and his minions feuding with The New Day, only for Lesnar to swoop in with the swerve, destroy Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E, capitalize on the weakened champion and leave the night on a sour note.
That way, Kingston will have had a long enough title reign to legitimize him as a true champion, he'll have lost the belt in a way that keeps him looking strong, and Fox and WWE will have what they want in Lesnar as champion, wherein he'll defend it at Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and barely show up anymore between those shows.
Match Options for the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships
Everyone knows how much of a priority Charlotte Flair is, to the point where that is just a fact and not something worth debating. This means she's always at the top of the list for every big event as someone in title contention, no matter what has been going on.
But there are two possible paths ahead of Flair that make a lot of sense and are dependent upon one major factor: Sasha Banks.
If Banks is so unhappy with WWE right now that she truly has no plans on returning to the ring, she has to be eliminated from the equation. However, plenty of times in the past, people in those scenarios have come back with much fanfare, either out of a swerve or a bargaining tactic to keep them on the roster.
In the scenario that Banks is able to return to action, she would assuredly be positioned in a title match against either Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship or Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship, leaving Flair to feud for the other title.
Flair against Bayley with Banks against Lynch has all Four Horsewomen involved, and both matches could be considered big enough. However, Banks against Bayley would be even more tempting, leaving Flair against Lynch again.
If that were to happen, it's likely Lacey Evans will make that a Triple Threat to spice things up, since she has had issues with both Lynch and Flair in recent weeks, and we've all seen enough singles matches between Flair and Lynch over the past year.
But what about Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross? Well, if Banks will be factored into plans, there's simply no room for either of them, and Cross will probably get a shot at Bayley's title at Extreme Rules and the two will move on.
However, if there is no Banks in the mix at all, we may see a different type of Triple Threat, with Bayley against Bliss and Cross to counterbalance the Lynch vs. Flair vs. Evans match.
To sum that all up, Lynch will either face Evans and Flair, or Banks, while Bayley will either defend the title against Flair, Banks, or a combination of Bliss and Cross, but it all depends on what The Boss is up to.
Women's Tag Team Championship Match: The Kabuki Warriors vs. Fire and Desire
After much pomp and circumstance around its creation, the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship quickly went from a title that had lots of promise as a quad-branded crossover storyline to a complete afterthought.
To no fault of The Boss 'n' Hug Connection or The IIconics, WWE simply hasn't invested much time or effort into this division, and as more time goes on, the more it feels as though it was a hollow and cheap pandering move with no intention to actually go anywhere.
But WWE will be having a live event in Tokyo on June 29, wherein The Kabuki Warriors are scheduled—at least, for now—to face The IIconics for these titles. This may mean WWE hasn't completely forgotten about that storyline and was simply stalling until this event to pull the trigger on crowning new champions, pushing any build to this aside and never getting around to it over the past two months.
It's safe to say if that match goes down, Asuka and Kairi Sane will win the titles and continue to feud with Peyton Royce and Billie Kay on SmackDown throughout July, but new challengers could rise by the time SummerSlam comes along.
Out of all the options, the most likely contenders would be Fire and Desire, as Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are a firm unit who work well together and have been scoring some victories over Carmella in recent weeks.
Since the tag team scene is often sidelined, it wouldn't be surprising if this title isn't defended at SummerSlam at all, but if it is, Fire and Desire fighting The Kabuki Warriors seems like the next logical step.
United States Championship Match Options
2019 has not been kind to the United States Championship, as the plans kept shifting around WrestleMania before WWE settled on Rey Mysterio against Samoa Joe in a rematch that had already happened many times—there was the idea of incorporating Dominic and going somewhere with that, but it seems that was thrown out the window.
After another stalling period, WWE opted to try that again, but nothing properly came about from their match at Money in the Bank, save for Mysterio suffering an injury that has put him on the shelf for an indeterminate amount of time.
However, if Mysterio is able to return in time, picking up where they left off seems like an easy choice to follow through with and possibly execute whatever plans could have happened with Dominic in April.
No match other than Joe vs. Mysterio screams out as an easy prediction, despite how there are tons of wrestlers WWE could pair up to do something interesting.
Between Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Ricochet, Cesaro, The Miz, Robert Roode and so many more, there is an abundance of talent that could fight for the United States Championship, especially if WWE goes with a Fatal 4-Way or something to cram in as many names as possible.
Still, for now, let's assume it will be Mysterio challenging Joe for the title, while everyone else looks for another spot on the card—perhaps in some sort of multi-man tag team match thrown together just to have something for them to do.
Intercontinental Championship Match Options
The United States title picture could have an easy prediction with Joe and Mysterio, but SmackDown's midcard championship scene is much harder to figure out at the moment.
Andrade seems to have unfinished business with Finn Balor, and either man could be the champion come August, which would present all sorts of combinations of babyfaces for Andrade to face or heels for Balor to go up against.
With Superstars like Elias, Randy Orton, Ali, Buddy Murphy and Kevin Owens as just some of the potential challengers, this match may be one of those situations wherein WWE has no idea how to incorporate everyone other than to book a Six-Pack Challenge or something along those lines.
This is definitely one of the matches WWE hasn't planned out yet, and we probably won't see any setup for this until at least Extreme Rules approaches, if not after that event.
When in doubt, assume there will be a multi-man match with four or more challengers, so for now, let's say that Balor will defend the title against Andrade, Ali and Owens.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin
AJ Styles was written off Monday Night Raw after being attacked by Baron Corbin. Somewhere down the line, unless WWE simply forgets about that and moves on, there will be a revenge storyline to draw from.
Whether that happens at Extreme Rules or following that is the question that has a big influence on the SummerSlam card with these two.
If there is room on the card in August and WWE wants to give Styles more time to rest his nagging injuries, The Phenomenal One could return to screw over Corbin at Extreme Rules to set up a match between the two for SummerSlam, which would be the most logical scenario.
It wouldn't be the most glamorous fight on the card, but with a No Disqualification stipulation of sorts, such as a Street Fight or Last Man Standing match, it would be something interesting for some midcard filler.
The Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Divisions Will Be Ignored
There are far too many names to get on to this card as it is, and there is an overwhelming history of WWE setting aside the tag team divisions, so the safest bet is to say that both of those titles will be on the sidelines for SummerSlam.
Of course, that's never a certainty, and the card is always subject to change. It isn't as though there aren't some amazing tag teams ready to put on a great show if given the chance.
The Raw tag team division is most likely going to revolve around The Revival, The Usos, the returning AOP and The Viking Raiders as the top talent, more so than Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, The Good Brothers and The Ascension.
Likewise, Daniel Bryan and Rowan are the top of SmackDown's tag teams and will definitely be involved if those belts are defended, possibly against The New Day, Heavy Machinery, Apollo Crews and Chad Gable or even Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura.
But with such a long list of bigger singles names to pair off into grudge matches and regular feuds, WWE will look at the tag team titles as unnecessary for the card and scrap them if there isn't enough room on the kickoff to shove them in there.
Cruiserweight Championship Match Options
Just as the Raw and SmackDown tag titles are in danger of being cut from the card, that goes double for any representation from 205 Live.
The Cruiserweight Championship is basically only ever used as pre-show material, and if the tag team titles are moved around and put in that spot, there is no way this title will be prioritized and find a spot on the SummerSlam lineup.
However, if it all works out, someone to look out for is Drew Gulak, who has an aura around him right now that basically demands he will either be the challenger for Tony Nese's title or have already dethroned him.
At the moment, Stomping Grounds hasn't even had a finalized match, so Gulak could win the title there—if he's in the match with or in place of Akira Tozawa. Then, Gulak could fight any number of wrestlers like Nese, Tozawa, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, The Brian Kendrick, Oney Lorcan or Chad Gable.
If Nese is still the champion, there is a slight chance Mike Kanellis faces him, but Gulak is the real standout, and if he is fighting in the Cruiserweight Championship match in any capacity at SummerSlam, he'll leave with the title around his waist one way or another.
Lars Sullivan vs. Roman Reigns
This may be jumping the gun a bit, but there is no way Roman Reigns and Lars Sullivan will be off this card, and WWE may be cramming so many people together that a battle between these two behemoths is rushed.
Over the course of the next two months, Reigns will have to move on from this McMahon feud to fight someone else, while Sullivan will need to find something better to do than beating up enhancement talent and The Lucha House Party.
It's possible Reigns gets paired with someone like Orton or Owens, but there's just as much of a chance McMahon sees how destructive Sullivan has been and sics him on Reigns.
That way, WWE can have Reigns be the guy who takes down the monster and puts him in his place, albeit much earlier than most would prefer. Or, this could just be the start of a much longer feud, with Sullivan getting the win and carrying them into 2020.
Aleister Black vs. Randy Orton
WWE tweeted a graphic asking who should pick a fight with Aleister Black, who has been begging for someone to challenge him in recent weeks. Randy Orton responded by tagging himself.
This could just be The Viper playing mind games or goofing around on Twitter, but it could also be the first step in telling the story that he—one of the best SmackDown has to offer, and someone with a perpetual bone to pick with virtually anyone on the roster—could also be looking for a fight and may want to step in the ring with The Dutch Destroyer.
If that happens, there's enough time to drag this out until SummerSlam without even seeing the two really get into a skirmish, which would make their first match against each other quite interesting to see.
Recap and Finalized Card Predictions
To sum up everything in a much easier to read format and finalize some picks, here is as good of a guess as any for what the card might be for SummerSlam 2019, in no particular order:
- Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre
- WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Shane McMahon (followed by Brock Lesnar cashing in on Kingston)
- Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans
- SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (or vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross)
- AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin in a gimmick match
- Lars Sullivan vs. Roman Reigns
- Aleister Black vs. Randy Orton
- Intercontinental Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Finn Balor vs. Andrade vs. Ali vs. Kevin Owens
- United States Champion Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio
- Braun Strowman, The Miz and Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley, Sami Zayn and Cesaro
- Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors vs. Fire and Desire
- Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese
- plus possible matches for the Raw and SmackDown tag team titles, as well as interstitial filler with the 24/7 Championship
What do you think will be the card for SummerSlam 2019? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.