Barnett's Oddly Specific WWE SummerSlam 2013 Preview and Predictions: Will John Cena escape this show with his WWE Championship? Does CM Punk have any chance of defeating Brock Lesnar? All that and full show predictions within
By Jake Barnett
Oddly Specific WWE SummerSlam 2013 Preview and Predictions
I have no advance information about what is going to happen on Sunday, but this month I’m going to try and be as specific as possible about the match finishes so I can be more wrong than usual.
Match 1: Dean Ambrose and RVD on the Pre-Show. This one piqued my interest on Monday, because it could be WWE’s chance to create an interesting feud around the US Title to elevate both the title itself and Dean Ambrose. WWE hasn’t done The Shield many favors in the past couple of months, but getting in to feud with Henry, Show and RVD could give them something interesting to do in the short term while continuing to associate them with big name acts. I think this should be a very entertaining and high impact match to start the pre-show, but I’m expecting it to be tarnished by interference, likely to set up another match on the pre-show or perhaps on SummerSlam itself.
Prediction: RVD picks up the win via DQ after Rollins and Reigns interfere, and Big Show and Henry make the save. This will either set up a tag team title match on the pre-show, or perhaps add a six man match to the main PPV Card. If either of those matches happen, I expect The Shield to win to continue the feud.
Match 2: Natalya (with the Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (with Nikki and Eva Marie) in a singles match. Total Divas bleeds over onto PPV and they cram as many of the people on the show into this match as possible. I’ll be interested to see how the women are portrayed, and whether they follow their onscreen characters. I would not be surprised if character elements that have been introduced on Total Divas make their way onto the actual WWE product. In the end, there is no reason to expect anything but a formulaic divas match with the Brie picking up another win and finding a way to embarrass Nattie in the process.
Prediction: Brie Bella pins Nattie with a roll up after Nattie is distracted by something close to “brawling” at ringside.
Match 3: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ in a Mixed Tag Match. This is a match that WWE has really swung and missed on. Kaitlyn is probably the character with the least likable qualities in all of WWE. Her feud with AJ and Big E has made her out to be an emotional child, and also exposed her as a fool for planting both feet right into an implausible catfish situation. Dolph Ziggler and AJ’s feud, with Big E as the intermediary, has really sputtered and stalled. Dolph’s corny jokes and no selling of AJ craziness, along side Big E not really showing any emotion about the situation at all, has made for a confusing scenario where you really don’t want to cheer for anybody involved. They combined both feuds to try and salvage them both, and I hope for everyone’s sake this is the blow off. Since that is my assumption, I’m going to pick the babyfaces to triumph and hopefully everyone moves on to something more interesting.
Prediction: Kaitlyn spears AJ and pins her after the match breaks down and Dolph and Big E spill to the outside.
Match 4: Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a “Ring of Fire” match. WWE's previous attempts at thrilling us with oversized BBQ burners at ringside have been pretty dull. This match doesn't require someone to be set on fire in order to gain victory, so maybe this will allow them to avoid some of the more ridiculous stunts that have made these things eye rollers in the past. The usual way of it is that each time somebody takes a bump, somebody in the back opens up the gas valve for a second or two to give it dramatic effect. I think we'll still get that here, but hopefully they wrestle a faster pace, and use a more inventive finish now that the fire is out of the way. We know Kane is going away sooner or later to film his next horror movie, and the Wyatt’s are on the upward arc, so I don’t think this one is hard to predict. Bray even said the fire would be turned against Kane in one of his promos, so I think that’s where this is going.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt enters the ring alone, and we find out during the match that Rowan and Harper were underneath the ring. They pop through the ring late in the match, and Kane is unable to escape due to the fire. He ends up being beaten by all three men and lit on fire, ostensibly to go film his movie.
Match 5: Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow in a grudge singles match: Where to begin with this story? Damien Sandow betrays his friend at the previous PPV, and dumps him off the ladder to win the Money in the Bank Briefcase for himself. You’d think that would be a simple story to tell, no? Well, WWE managed to go the most circuitous route possible, and in the process make it seem like Cody Rhodes has no idea why he was even angry in the first place. Sandow was made to look like a buffoon as well, after melodramatically trying to save his briefcase from sinking in the ocean on one episode of Smackdown, and then demanding Cody to return it, only to calmly produce a new briefcase with a new contract two weeks later. Why didn’t he do that in the first place? After all that, the only emotional response I can produce for this feud is apathy. It seems like WWE has plans for Sandow, but Rhodes is completely lost as a character at this point and his performances on the microphone have not done him any favors in that regard either.
Prediction: Damien Sandow defeats Cody Rhodes clean after a ref bump and a briefcase shot to the head.
Match 6: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in a singles match. I don’t think there is a lot to say about this one. Christian has not been given much time to establish himself as a character foil for Del Rio. He won a very fun Triple Threat Match to become number one contender, and a non-title match against Del Rio, but really got no microphone time at all. He had a very nice career retrospective video package on Monday, but nothing has been done to make this feel personal or give it the feeling of being more than a one PPV feud. I am intrigued if Ricardo Rodriguez will play into the finish of this match at all, but I think they’ll save that for a more dramatic feud where Del Rio is set to drop the title.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Christian via Cross Arm Breaker after a competitive back and forth match.
Match 7: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) in a grudge singles match. This has been a phenomenal build to what I expect will be a very intense and physical match. I think Paul Heyman’s writing has been fantastic, and the ebb and flow of both the promos and the physical confrontations has made for some must watch wrestling television. I fully expect a rematch to happen sooner or later between these two, so I am going to guess Lesnar picks up a submission win after a nefarious distraction from Heyman. I hope what we get out of it is that Punk will have to earn his rematch by going through a series of “Heyman Guys”, before we get the big win and his revenge on Paul for the betrayal of their friendship.
Prediction: I’m going bold here. Lesnar picks up the win after working over Punk’s injured ankle all match, and is able to drag the Brock Lock “Over the shoulder Boston Crab” out of moth balls after a well-timed Heyman distraction to get the submission victory.
Match 8: Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship in a singles match, with special guest referee Triple H. I have to be honest here, I really liked what John Cena and Daniel Bryan were able to do on Monday. I know some have been critical of the way Bryan has insinuated Cena wasn’t a wrestler, because it likely makes little sense to casual WWE fans, but I think it worked in context if you heard the promos from the previous week. Bryan defined being a wrestler as someone who isn’t out for the glory and the money, but instead someone who is in it for being respected for their skill and that they’d rather be wrestling than doing anything else. Cena’s response fit perfectly within his character, and he showed great passion in explaining his level of commitment to WWE and how he couldn’t bring himself to work anywhere else. I think Bryan and Cena fans both have reasons to get behind their guy, and Bryan certainly showed that he is capable of carrying his end of a Main Event feud.
I don’t particularly like the McMahon’s involvement in this feud, and I think fans hoping for a long wrestling match with a clean finish and no shenanigans will have to lower their expectations. I do think we’re going to see at least 15-20 minutes of very strong back and forth wrestling, but I think in the end we’ll see involvement from both Triple H and Vince, and they’re greater plot will be revealed. The reports out there on the web say that Cena is heading out for Elbow Surgery, so my thought is Randy Orton will figure heavily into the finish with Triple H and Vince.
Prediction: John Cena will pass out in the Yes Lock, but Triple H will refuse to call for the bell. Randy Orton will hit the ring and RKO Bryan, leading to Cena winning by DQ. Triple H will pedigree Daniel Bryan at that point, and Orton will then cash in the briefcase on the passed out John Cena to win the WWE Championship. The close of the show will be Vince, Triple H, and Orton Celebrating the beginning of Randy’s reign as the new “corporate” champion.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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