Latest WWE SummerSlam 2021 Match Card and Predictions Ahead of Go-Home Raw

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2021

Latest WWE SummerSlam 2021 Match Card and Predictions Ahead of Go-Home Raw

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    Just five days from WWE SummerSlam this Saturday night in Las Vegas, WWE will hit the USA Network airwaves for the first of two opportunities to drum up interest and excitement for one of its biggest, most significant pay-per-view events of the year.

    With blockbuster matches like John Cena vs. Roman Reigns for the Univeral Championship and Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg for the WWE title, it remains to be seen what angles and vignettes the company puts together to take advantage of said opportunities.

    Ahead of the go-home episodes of Raw and SmackDown, dive deeper into the advertised matches with these previews and predictions for each encounter.

Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal

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    WWE has done nothing creatively to suggest Jinder Mahal is on the same level as Drew McIntyre.

    Every time he and henchmen Veery and Shanky attempt a beatdown, McIntyre thwarts it with his sword, Angela. There will likely be some sort of angle Monday on Raw to try and build heat for the heels prior to Saturday's pay-per-view but it is too little, too late.

    Former WWE champion McIntyre rolls into Las Vegas, delivers a Claymore to his former 3MB teammate, and earns a pay-per-view victory that feels significantly underwhelming given his spot in the main event a year ago.


    Prediction: McIntyre

United States Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest

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    Sheamus has defended the United States Championship just twice since WrestleMania, continuing a recent trend of that title being largely meaningless on Monday Night Raw.

    The feud with Damien Priest hasn't exactly lit the world on fire, either, thanks to WWE's typical subpar booking and redundant, repetitive matches.

    There's no real heat or anticipation behind the match but given the talent of those involved, will likely be a strong, entertaining battle of the big men. Sheamus has felt like a lame-duck champion since April and Priest could use the gold to help regain the momentum he had back around WrestleMania, when he was part of Bad Bunny's in-ring debut.

    Look for the Archer of Infamy to win the match and title in his latest pay-per-view victory of significance.


    Prediction: Priest wins the title

Edge vs. Seth Rollins

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    Edge and Seth Rollins enter SummerSlam with one of the best, and hottest, feuds in WWE. The promo work has been strong and the quality of their work between the ropes suggests their showdown may be the best of the entire weekend.

    The question is which Superstar needs the win in Las Vegas more.

    Edge has not won a pay-per-view match since the Royal Rumble in January and in singles competition since last year's WrestleMania. Rollins defeated Cesaro back at Hell in a Cell but lost out on the Money in the Bank briefcase at the last event.

    Certainly, Edge didn't come back to put everyone over. While he has done wonders to strengthen Roman Reigns as champion, he needs to win occasionally to retain his credibility. Rollins could certainly use the victory over a Hall of Famer with Edge's resume, but he is a strong enough performer to recover from a loss.

    Throw in the idea of a loss fueling Rollins' downward spiral and leading to a potential series of rematches and you have a reason to think the feud itself benefits from Edge picking up the win Saturday night.


    Prediction: Edge

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair

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    Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks back at WrestleMania in the leading candidate for Match of the Year in WWE. Since then, she has dispatched of challenges from Bayley and Carmella, but once again finds herself confronted with defeating Banks to further legitimize herself.

    The Boss has been on fire since returning, leaving The EST lying on more than one occasion and setting the stage for another championship victory. With the tease of Carmella and Zelina Vega serving as her backup, the numbers game could prove too much for Belair.

    And it should.

    Bianca has been a great babyface champion to this point, absolutely living up to expectations and proving she can hang with the best in the division. A lack of heel contenders, though, creates a scenario where she would be better off dropping the title to Banks at SummerSlam and chasing it for the rest of the year than steamrolling the last real threat to her gold.


    Prediction: Banks regains her title

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs. Rey and Dominik Mysterio

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    Make no mistake about it: this is all about the Mysterios.

    In recent weeks, Rey has struggled to keep Dominik in check, repeatedly attempting to coach a young star whose early success has gone to his head. Frustration has been apparent on more than one occasion, leading many to believe the third-generation star may turn on his father to set up an emotion-fueled rivalry.

    If that is the case, and recent booking suggests so, this will be an opportunity to further plant those seeds.

    The Mysterios and Usos have worked with each other countless times in the last two months as WWE settled into that repetitive booking pattern. The match will be good, either Rey or Dominik will do something to cost their team the titles, and the champions will retain.


    Prediction: The Usos retain their titles

WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg

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    Bobby Lashley has been utterly dominant since winning the WWE Championship from The Miz on March 1, beating any and all challengers put before him. Considering the lack of depth on the Raw side of things, it makes sense that WWE went calling for a legend to come back and attempt to dethrone The All Mighty.

    Whether Goldberg was the right choice after years of being beaten down by WWE's creative decisions is a question best left for another time.

    The showdown between the WCW icon and WWE's current dominator should be a spectacle if nothing else. Do not expect 30 versions of a suplex or 80 V-Triggers heading into the finish. There will be punching, kicking, an occasional power-based slam or throw and the finish. There will not be any messing around, nor will the match go long.

    To do that would be to expose every weakness Goldberg has at this point.

    Lashley will retain his title if only because the idea of Goldberg winning another championship and appearing inconsistently would only further hamper a Raw brand already in the toilet creatively. Who he moves on to feud with after SummerSlam is the real question.


    Prediction: Lashley retains

Triple Threat Match for the Raw Women's Championship

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    Nikki A.S.H. cashed in Money in the Bank to capture the Raw Women's Championship last month, pinning Charlotte Flair to win the gold. Since then, she has repeatedly frustrated The Queen in subsequent rematches while Rhea Ripley remains in the title hunt.

    At SummerSlam, those three women battle in a Triple Threat Match with the top prize on the red brand at stake.

    While it would appear as though Nikki is the most obvious choice to win, ensuring the continuation of a young title reign, anyone that has watched WWE programming before knows how this goes. Flair consistently wins when you least expect it (and when you totally do), re-energizing the argument that WWE relies far too heavily on her.

    WWE appears invested in the superhero babyface but chasing the title seems like the most logical direction in order to get fans fully behind her.


    Prediction: Flair wins the title (again)

Universal Championship Match: John Cena vs. Roman Reigns

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    John Cena vs. Roman Reigns is a blockbuster rivalry that is absolutely deserving of the SummerSlam spotlight. It is a feud that was enhanced exponentially by the back-and-forth promo from Friday night, in which Reigns took a shot at Cena's relationship with Nikki Bella and the franchise responded by claiming Reigns has been protected by the WWE system.

    The anticipation for that match will be at a fever pitch by the time the legendary Superstars set foot inside the Allegiant Stadium for their championship clash. The performers themselves will deliver up to expectations, if only because they have made careers of doing just that.

    Both are among the best big-match performers in recent WWE history and showed considerable in-ring chemistry when they battled back in 2018. Reigns is better now and Cena will be driven to prove he still belongs in the ring with the measuring stick.

    While Ric Flair's departure from the company creates conspiracies about WWE putting the title on Cena to erase The Nature Boy from the record books and make Cena a 17-time world champion, this is Reigns' match to win as The Tribal Chief continues his incredible year-long run atop the company.


    Prediction: Reigns retains his title