Powell's WWE SummerSlam 2012 Preview and Predictions: Will Brock Lesnar beat Triple H? Will Dolph Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank contract? Who will leave with the WWE Championship?
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SummerSlam 2012 is an odd show. The outcomes of the matches don't feel all that predictable, yet at the same time they haven't done a great job of setting things up in a way to make me truly care about who goes over. The Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H match is no exception in that there's nothing more than pride at stake and thus there are no obvious ramifications regardless of which wrestler loses. It's a show that I believe will leave those who order it satisfied, yet I also believe the buy rate won't be as big as WWE officials believe it will be.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar: It seems like every fan who emails or contacts me on Twitter @prowrestlingnet is of the belief that Triple H will win the match because, well, he's Triple H. However, the early poll results on the main page are in favor of Lesnar beat Hunter by pinfall or submission. I'm curious to see whether Shawn Michaels makes a surprise appearance and Sweet Chin Music determines the outcome of the match. That would be one way for Lesnar to lose and save face, or to have Hunter lose if HBK misfires (no, I don't expect Shawn to turn on Hunter and return to the ring). Lesnar needs the win after losing to John Cena at Extreme Rules. Here's hoping WWE creative and Hunter feel the same way.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats Triple H.
C.M. Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship: The story has been all about C.M. Punk's heel turn and not whether John Cena or Big Show will capture the title. If WWE changes the title, I'll consider it a foolish move if only because they didn't set it up by making viewers think this could be the night he loses. I'm still holding onto the possibility that A.J. is secretly aligned with Punk, which could result in her interference and then presenting Punk with the new title belt on Raw. Either way, I don't see why they would change the title here.
Prediction: CM Punk retains his WWE Championship.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Ro for the World Heavyweight Championship: The placement of this match on the card will be interesting. Crisco of the Extreme Pro Wrestling Radio show that I appeared on this morning threw out the idea of this match taking place in the opening slot with Dolph Ziggler successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract afterwards. He thinks Ziggler would then go on to lose the strap to Chris Jericho later in the night, which would be a hell of a surprise since so many of us know that Jericho is slated to go on tour with Fozzy. It's an interesting scenario, and one could only assume that Jericho would have to drop the title on Raw. That's a lot of title changes. I like the idea and it would be fun to be surprised, but I'm sticking with Sheamus going over. I do believe there's a chance that Ziggler could cash in successfully on this show, and it would be very cool if he did so and then went on to beat Jericho.
Prediction: Sheamus retains the World Hvt. Championship.
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler: We all know Jericho is leaving, but that doesn't mean he has to lose this match. He could get the win only to have Dolph cash in his MITB contract and win the title later in the show. That would set up an interesting match between Jericho and Ziggler for Raw. Jericho could also win here and then take a hell of a beating at Ziggler if they want to write him out that way. I lean toward Ziggler going over in this match, and Jericho announcing his departure on Monday as his character leaves to go find his mojo. Again, I lean toward Ziggler cashing in successfully tonight and leaving the show as World Hvt. Champion.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats Chris Jericho.
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan: Will Charlie Sheen appear? There's been no indication from WWE that the actor will show up tonight. I'm leaning toward no, and I don't think it's necessary. I've been leaning toward Kane all along, but somehow I don't think we've seen the last of this program, so either Bryan goes over or he does something post-match to keep the feud going. I must admit that this is one of those wishful thinking predictions.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship: The Miz just won the title at Raw 1000. Has he won a match since then? I think they are going for the vulnerable heel champion angle with the idea that people will watch Miz's matches because they think he could lose the strap at any time. I don't think it will be tonight, but I am looking forward to a solid mid-card match.
Prediction: The Miz retains via some nefarious means.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Team Championships: They spent some time building up to this match, yet I can't say I care any more about it now than I did when they started. If the Players lose, fans will assume plans changed after A.W. was fired. I'm of the opinion that the plan should change because I don't think the Players act is as strong without him. Of course, this is the tag division and it's barely a blip on Vince McMahon's radar. It looks like they are trying to do more with Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. I'm taking that as a sign that they are being set up as future heel challengers, thus the face team retains.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth retain the WWE Tag Titles.
Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship: The build has been all about Cesaro getting the better of Santino. He beat him in two non-title matches and then shoved him over the announcers' table on Smackdown. I would just assume that Santino gets his revenge here had it not been for Cesaro losing to Christian on television recently. I'm hopeful that was done to give the new U.S. Champion a good opponent to work with. NFL season will be in play by the time the Night of Champions pay-per-view takes place next month. If they want people to pay attention to their free preview matches during NFL season, then it would be wise to make it seem like the matches matter. Booking a title change here would be a step in the right direction.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro wins the United States Championship.
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