Kester's WWE SummerSlam Preview and Predictions: Who will walk out of SummerSlam as the WWE Champion? Will The Best or The Beast reign supreme? What will be the next chapter for The Wyatt Family?
By Ryan Kester
The following predictions are made with no foreknowledge as to what the finishes or booking will be. They are predictions made solely based on what WWE has done and what I think they will do.
John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship with Triple H as the special guest referee: The build for the match, when it has been isolated to the work between the two wrestlers, has been splendid. Cena and Bryan have managed to outline their characters' motivations for this match well and they both expressed what walking out of the PPV will mean to them. Had this been all that went into the build, it would likely be my most anticipated match of the card.
Unfortunately, the McMahon family drama that has been married to this story and has received the lion's share of the focus of the build. I can only guess that this is to set up the story that will get us through the fall and early winter, but it's still led to a build for a budding star that was muddied down by another wave of authority figure drama. It may yet prove to be a good story in its own right, but the family drama was poorly timed considering how hot Bryan has been on his rise.
I'm going with Bryan to in here tonight. I could easily see him winning the belt only to drop it to an Orton cash in moments later to restart Bryan's chase for the title, but that path has been so heavily hyped that it comes off as a red herring. I'm going with Bryan to win and have a huge babyface SummerSlam moment after getting past a Vince McMahon orchestrated run-in.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan defeats John Cena to win the WWE Championship.
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar: This match has had an excellent no-frills build that knew what it was trying to accomplish and kept the formula simple. This feud has helped sell Punk's babyface turn, made Heyman looks more despicable than he was already, and helped reestablish Lesnar as a beast after his lengthy feud with Triple H. It's been exciting to watch and I am excited to see what Lesnar and Punk come up with in their showdown.
I'm going with Lesnar winning after some Heyman interference. It would be a mistake to blow off this feud so early, and I can't see a clear path for Punk out of this PPV if he gets his vengeance this soon.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats CM Punk.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship: This is a fairly easy one to predict. Alberto Del Rio has been getting more and more moments to display his new aggressive and vicious heel character and the best Christian has had is a few enhancement matches since his return. This will likely be a fun match to watch, but I would be shocked if they decided to move the title off of Del Rio considering the work they've been putting into him as of late.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire Match: While I can't pretend that I am looking for a classic from this pairing, I am curious to see how the returning inferno gimmick gets used sans fire spot and where the story of the Wyatt Family will go after the match. I think it's very safe to predict that Wyatt, the new talent out of developmental, will be going over a long-established elevator of new acts. This match may surprise people on its quality depending on what WWE has in mind. Still, the greatest interest this match holds for me is in the follow up.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Kane.
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ Lee: WWE has lost its way with the Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn characters. Ziggler should have shed his Showoff gimmick after his big turn moment, and instead he seems to be floundering to find a babyface persona that fits. Kaitlyn has simply been booked to be unlikable and both could benefit from simply getting out of their current stories and moving on to something new. I'm going with the babyface team to go over, but I fully recognize that is based heavily in my desire to see WWE get away from a formula that simply isn't working.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeat Big E Langston and AJ.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow: In a similar capacity to Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes has suffered since his turn due to a lack of progression form his former heel character. Rhodes let the air out of the feud when he admitted on commentary that he would have done the same thing Damien Sandow did to him in the MitB match, which is the entire impetus for the two men to be feuding. Add into that blunder the fact that the build for former teammates fighting one another was centered around increasingly silly briefcase props and you have a story that simply stinks. Between the two men, I can see WWE wanting to have Sandow go over to prepare him for his eventual cash in. Whatever the finish, I can only hope that WWE comes up with a plan to overhaul Rhodes' act before he gets stuck in the same midcard hell he's inhabited for the past several years.
Prediction: Damien Sandow defeats Cody Rhodes.
Natalya vs. Brie Bella: This match is more of a live commercial for the Total Divas reality show than it is an actual feud for the Divas division. I'm going with Brie Bella to go over in the match simply because the Bellas are the main focus of their new show, and Natalya is simply relegated to a supporting role.
Prediction: Brie Bella defeats Natalya.
Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam for the United States Championship: This should be a fun match for the Kickoff show. I don't see WWE moving the belt off of Ambrose this early, and the focus on the Shield lately has been more over another three-man team for them to face than it has been for their individual titles. I'm picking Ambrose to go over, but only after either direct interference or a distraction from the remaining Shield members brawling with Mark Henry and Big Show at ringside.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose retains the United States Championship after interference from his Shield brethren.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter.
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