Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Preview and Predictions for WWE Summerslam 2016

Submitted by: Joren B. Apiquian, Pro Wrestling Writer
17 August 2016
        Before every Pay-Per-View, the Geektified Team is going to make their expert predictions on what we think should and will happen on the show. We are going to kick things off by guessing what’s going to happen at the biggest part of the summer, WWE Summerslam. With Summerslam being the second biggest pay-per-view in WWE, they have to live up to the hype and relay that message to the WWE Universe. As we have seen in the past, Summerslam has lived up to the expectations of the audience, but it has also left us scratching our heads on more than one occasion. For instance, during one of the WWE’s darkest times, someone probably named McMahon backstage believed that Diesel versus Mabel for the WWE Championship would have been an amazing main event. Not only was it a complete disaster, but Mabel nearly ruined Diesel’s career with a botched spot. Back to reality, this year’s Summerslam has an impressive card that has a lot of potential to be recognized as one of the best pay-per-views in the event’s storied history. Let’s take a look at the card.
·      Naomi, Becky Lynch & Carmella vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss & Eva Marie
·      Cesaro vs. Sheamus
·      Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
·      The Miz (C) vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship
·      The New Day (C) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson for the WWE Tag Team Championship
·      Rusev (C) vs. Roman Reigns for the United States Championship
·      John Cena vs. AJ Styles
·      Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
·      Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship
·      Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship
·      Finn Bálor vs. Seth Rollin for the Universal Championship

Honorable Mentions

           Although one of the aforementioned matches may be added to the pre-show, there is a good chance that WWE may just throw an unannounced match onto the card as they’ve done numerous times before. The following matches aren’t guaranteed to be on the card, but anything can happen.
           With that being said, we may be doomed to see the continuation of the lackluster feud between Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. The chemistry simply is not there, but considering WWE’s (and Bob Backlund’s) persistence in making Darren Young great again, expect him to walk out of Summerslam with a win if they do end up locking horns, but due to their former partnership, this will not be the last time we’ll see them mix it up in the ring.

Result: Darren Young defeats Titus O’Neil

           Baron Corbin has tormented Kalisto backstage ever since the former Lucha Dragon “cost” Corbin his shot at the Intercontinental Championship. Although this particular mini-feud has given this writer horrible flashbacks to Heidenreich and Michael Cole as well as Ryback’s failed run as a heel in 2013, this rivalry has a lot of potential to give the two NXT transplants larger pushes in the future. Corbin’s “take no prisoners” attitude is nothing new to the WWE Universe, but that fact that he takes out both heels and faces is a breath of fresh air. The pop he received after flooring The Miz a few weeks back on Smackdown Live was quite commendable. Kalisto has been in limbo since dropping the U.S. title to Rusev. Expect Corbin to bring the “end of days” to Kalisto.

Result: Baron Corbin defeats Kalisto

Naomi, Becky Lynch & Carmella vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss & Eva Marie
           The finest women performers on Smackdown Live will go to war in 6-woman tag team action. Since this is the final official addition to the Summerslam card, don’t expect it to get a lot of time. This is a shame because all of these women are extremely talented and have a lot of potential. Yes, Eva Marie has been training endlessly to become a force in the ring too. She may not be the next Trish or Lita, but she’ll turn some heads when she gets in the ring. He reluctance to get in the ring has been one of the more interesting aspects of Smackdown Live. With that said, Eva will avoid every tag she is offered, much to the dismay of the Queen of Black Harts and Miss Bliss. Naomi’s recent gimmick change was well received from the crowd and it is great to see her simply having fun out there. That’s something that will definitely catch the eyes of the creative team. Becky Lynch is one of the best performers today regardless of her gender. She is receiving the slow-burn approach to success, which will benefit her. Carmella has the toughest task ahead. Despite making great strides in the ring over the last year, she is still green as a performer and would have thrived with Enzo and Cass. With a mass array of fresh talent in the women’s division on Smackdown Live, this is one of the more difficult matches to predict. Eva Marie will resort to dirty tactics to pick up the win, making her heat with the crowd even more substantial.

Result: Natalya, Alexa Bliss & Eva Marie defeat Naomi, Becky Lynch & Carmella

Cesaro vs. Sheamus

           Cesaro just can’t catch a break, can he? His frustrations with his role in the company have been on display both on and off of television. In the latest chapter of Cesaro’s pitiful booking, he now has to take on Sheamus in a Best-of-Seven Series. This is a feud that nobody wants to see go on, let alone for a maximum of seven times in a row. Sheamus has been irrelevant since dropping the WWE World Championship to Roman Reigns last year, yet he is still featured more prominently than a lot of the so-called “New Era” performers. On the other hand, the Cesaro Section is still alive and well. These two will have a good match with a fair balance of technicality, brawling, and brute strength. Since this will be the first encounter in the series, Cesaro should pick up the first win to not only please his internet fans, but the Brooklyn crowd as well.

Result: Cesaro defeats Sheamus

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
           Given all of the charisma involved in this feud, the build-up should have been golden. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Enzo and Cass have been arguably the most successful of the NXT alumnus in recent memory. Kevin Owens is the next big thing in the WWE and consistent on a weekly basis. Chris Jericho is a future hall of famer who has effectively reinvented himself once again, proving that he really is the best in the world at what he does (Drink it in, maaan). This match may not be remembered even a few months from now, but it will be a fast-paced showdown. The New York and New Jersey boys have been on fire since their debut, but this is where Kevin Owen starts rebuilding himself into the main eventer that he is destined to be. Expect KO to pull Big Cass out of the ring after Jericho rolls out of the way of the Bada-Boomshakalaka, leading to a Codebreaker straight into Amore’s skull.

Result: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens defeat Enzo Amore & Big Cass

The Miz (C) vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship
           Like it or not, The Miz has been awwwwwwesome since taking the Intercontinental Championship from Zack Ryder the night after Wrestlemania 32. He is one of the few performers in the WWE today that can still garner heel heat from the audience on a regular basis. After thwarting every challenger like a modern day Honky Tonk Man, he is now presented with his latest challenger in the form of up-and-comer Apollo Crews. If anyone is familiar with his work on the independent scene, they know that Crews is destined for big things in the WWE. However, the crowd hasn’t fully opened up to him. There are a few underlying factors, whether it is the corny, never-ending smile or lack of character development. Crews’ time will come, but don’t expect it to be at Summerslam. Although he undoubtedly deserves the strap, him winning it at the biggest party of the summer will be too underwhelming due to the current storyline. He won’t go down cleanly because that’s not how The Miz operates! Maryse will definitely have some involvement as well.

Result: Apollo Crews defeats The Miz via DQ, The Miz Retains

The New Day (C) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson for the WWE Tag Team Championship

           The New Day has ruled the tag team division for well over a year now. Many tend to forget that The Primetime Players ended their first run with the titles before dropping them back to them at last year’s Summerslam event. They have been one of the more consistent acts in WWE, proving to be both comedic and serious when called upon. However, all good things must come to an end and this is where the New Day falls. They will be taking on Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson without the muscle of the group, Big E, who is recovering from “ring-post-itis.” The better part of this feud is the Gallows and Anderson have proved that they’re capable of thriving without AJ Styles by their side. Many found their penile jokes childish, but it shows that they’re more versatile than they have been presented up until this point. The wily veteran Kofi Kingston and the psychology genius of Xavier Woods are going to put up a valiant effort, but once the Boot of Doom falls upon them, the reign of the longest WWE World Tag Team Champions will come to an end.

Result: Gallows & Anderson defeats The New Day to become the new WWE World Tag Team Champions

Rusev (C) vs. Roman Reigns for the United States Championship
           Similar to the 6-woman tag match, this is one of the harder matches on the card to predict. Since becoming a two-time U.S. Champion, Rusev has been transformed into one of the best natural heels in the company despite using the evil foreigner heel formula that has been used repeatedly over the years. On the other hand, Reigns has taken a back seat following his suspension for violating the wellness policy, but has he really? His feud with Rusev has been the focal point for the last two episodes of RAW. Instead of pushing the new Universal Championship, Reigns is still being portrayed as the main attraction. His reactions have been much more positive lately, but that could be due to Rusev’s amazing heel work. Rusev could be dropping the title to Reigns so he and Lana can go on their honeymoon, but it would be a shame since his run would end prematurely. On the other hand, Reigns could still be serving his punishment and take another clean loss. The odd booking decision on the go-home episode of RAW saw Reigns cleanly pin Rusev in a non-title match and if WWE’s booking has proved anything over the years, it can prove that Superstars with the most momentum heading into pay-per-views usually end up losing their match unless their name is Brock Lesnar. It probably won’t be their final encounter, so expect Rusev to retain somehow against The Big Dog.

Result: Rusev defeats Roman Reigns retains the United States Championship

John Cena vs. AJ Styles
           In the span of eight months, AJ Styles has become one of the most intriguing aspects in WWE and he will truly be someone to benefit from the brand extension. John Cena’s in-ring career is definitely coming to a close in the near future unless he begins a part-time schedule to pursue other career opportunities. He has been preaching that the New Era Superstars have to go through him before they can begin their journey towards prominence. The only odd thing about that statement is that Styles is only two months younger than Cena. These two have had the hottest feud of the summer and after Styles’ heel turn a few months back, he has been on fire both on the microphone and in the ring. After losing feuds to Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns shortly after his debut, it is time to solidify Styles as the real deal. Despite being 39, Styles is in tremendous shape and puts on breathtaking performances on a daily basis. He needs this definitive win here, but if history has proven anything, it is that the top guys in the company, no matter how long their run on top has been, always come out the victor. Just take a look at Cena’s feud with the Nexus, Ryback, Bray Wyatt and Rusev. This is where the tides should begin to shift, giving the possibility of the impossible: A John Cena heel turn.

Result: AJ Styles defeats John Cena

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton

           This match has been 14 years in the making and the WWE Universe will finally be able to see it. Suplex City meets Viperville. The RKO meets the F-5. The Beast Incarnate meets The Viper. This is the one match that will definitely be remembered for years to come without a shadow of doubt. The main question surrounding this bout is simple: Is this where Brock Lesnar finally falls? Since his return to WWE television in 2012, Lesnar has been portrayed as unstoppable. Foreign objects and unclean finishes have been the only times Lesnar has fallen to opponents since then, but that was a rarity in of itself. He remains the only one who decimated John Cena in decisive fashion at Summerslam 2014. However, if anyone can do it, it is Randy Orton. The third-generation superstar has been a valuable asset to the company as he has expressed his love for the business every time he steps in the ring. The RKO is also arguably the most beloved finishing maneuver since the Stone Cold Stunner. Although it seems impossible to pull off, but the only way Orton should slay The Beast is if an F-5 is reversed into an RKO. Again, it doesn’t seem possible to do, but if anyone can do it, it is Randy Orton. Unfortunately, not even that will be enough to put Lesnar down for the count. Lesnar said it best during the video package aired on Smackdown Live: “Randy Orton is not the one to defeat me.” Orton can recover from a loss to Lesnar and based on their stare down on the last episode of Smackdown Live, it is possible that Bray Wyatt makes an impact in this match. Isn’t it odd that he is not featured anywhere on this year’s card? Suplex City will remain intact while Viperville crumbles.

Result: Brock Lesnar defeats Randy Orton

Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship

           Sasha Banks dethroning Charlotte on the first episode of RAW following the brand extension was a breath of wonderful fresh air. It’s a shame that titles don’t switch hands on RAW and Smackdown as much as they used to. When it does happen, it is a great sight to behold. Banks is one of the most over performers in all of professional wrestling and her reign will not end. This is the easiest match on the card to predict. Charlotte has had a lengthy reign with the title considering her run with both the Women’s and Diva’s titles. Banning Dana Brooke from ringside is only going to help Sasha’s chances. She has done it before and she can do it again. The Women’s Revolution finally seems as if it is happening. It’s amazing to see the transformation of women’s wrestling in the last couple of years. These females can give the men a run for their money because they’re not subjected to Bra and Panty matches and mud wrestling. The Banks Era has just begun.

Result: Sasha Banks defeats Charlotte to retain the WWE Women’s Championship
Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship

           Dolph Ziggler always takes advantage of every opportunity given to him. Despite the worst booking of any other Superstar in this era, he still puts on one hell of a show every time he steps in the ring. His willingness to prove the naysayers and Dean Ambrose wrong has been a delight to see on Smackdown Live. His emotion, whether it’s on the microphone, backstage, or on commentary, it is apparent every time he speaks. His facial expressions makes one want to believe in him. The only thorn in this rivalry is the face vs. face dynamic. It shouldn’t be a concern in every rivalry, but it is hard to get in Ziggler’s corner when he is going up against one of the most over Superstars in WWE today in Dean Ambrose. Ambrose’s appearance on the Stone Cold Podcast definitely has him more motivated to be the top guy and he has been set ablaze since then. Ziggler’s frustration has been on full display, but Ambrose’s heart will overcome him in this bout. After failing to grab the biggest title in the industry, expect Ziggler to let out a vicious attack on Ambrose, leading him to the dark side, where he has had great success throughout his career.

Result: Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE World Championship

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor to become the FIRST EVER Universal Championship

           Despite all the criticism surrounding the name of RAW’s newest title, this match will be simply amazing. Anyone familiar with Bálor’s work in NXT will know that he is fully capable of being the next face of the company. Rollins does not need any explanation. He is one of the best all-around performers in the entire world. The buildup leading up to the match has been the biggest drawback. Finn is still adjusting on the mic from the NXT crowd and the main roster crowd. That’s always been his biggest weakness, but he will figure it out like he did in NXT. Luckily, Rollins (along with his awesome laugh) has been able to take the reins from a talking standpoint to make their feud compelling to watch. The decision of debuting The Demon King for the first time on the last episode of RAW before Summerslam was questionable booking at its finest, but it was still a sight to behold. The appearance of Bálor’s alter ego not only allowed the crowd to voice their favorite profanities towards the Irish-born competitor, but it gave people who aren’t subscribed to the WWE Network their first taste of why Bálor has been put in this position immediately. He has all the tools to be the biggest name in WWE since John Cena due to his marketable look, in-ring repertoire, and intriguing character. As every WWE fan knows, Seth Rollins is as opportunistic as Edge, so he may pull some strings to help him achieve victory. However, Finn’s, along with the Demon King’s, credibility will be diminished immediately if he loses in the alter ego’s in-ring debut. Much like AJ Styles, Bálor needs this win way more than Seth does, especially if WWE wants to make the New Era feel as new as possible.

Result: Finn Bálor defeats Seth Rollins to become the FIRST EVER Universal Champion

What our your thoughts and predictions on WWE Summerslam this year? Share your comments below!

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