Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" WWE SummerSlam Predictions: Is the internet prepared for what could be a very busy night? Will Wyatt or Kane fall into a burning Ring of Fire?
By Darren Gutteridge
Can Dot Net contributor Darren Gutteridge predict the outcomes of pay-per-view matches with more accuracy than the WWE '13 video game simulator? Let's find out.
Although I did get to see Money in the Bank on a freebie (thanks to the 2 or 3 gloriously random free PPVs Sky Sports treats us to each year), this will be the first PPV I’ll be ordering since Wrestlemania. Traditionally, SummerSlam has only meant something to me as being the first PPV I ever watched, and roughly marking how long I’ve been watching wrestling for (13 years and counting). The PPV doesn’t hold any real pull over anything else outside of the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and now MITB. It can be a fairly routine one for me to skip, but two matches alone make this a must see in 2013.
Last time out, I outsmarted WWE ‘13 6 to 4, but I should have stuck to my initial gut feelings for both MITB matches, as I would have completed my first clean sweep. It still means my overall lead extends to 5-1.
Pre-Show – Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam for the United States Championship: If RVD is to be believed, and he is working a Chris Jericho type schedule, then WWE is booking him exactly right. He’s not on a winning streak, as no one will believe he’ll hold a major title if his stay is so short, yet he’s well over with the crowd and beating him still means something. This match will either end in a straight up enhancement win for Ambrose, who can hopefully pull out a good PPV singles match after a few stale matches with Kane, or end in a screwy way to set up. . .
Prediction: Dean Ambrose defeats Rob Van Dam to retain the US Title
WWE ’13: RVD beats Ambrose to win the US Title
Bonus Prediction – Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry and Big Show for the WWE Tag Team Titles: . . . Or a straight up rematch of the 6 man tag from Smackdown. I went for the former for the prediction as I’m genuinely surprised they didn’t announce it on SD, as everything seemed to fall into place for the match on Raw. Maybe it’ll be an “added on the fly” match on the actual PPV, but with 7 matches already it may be too tight a squeeze. Either way, I think The Shield will get a win at some point on the show.
Prediction: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeat Big Show and Mark Henry to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE ’13: Rollins pins Show to retain
Natalya vs. Brie Bella: I can’t pass judgement on Total Divas as I haven’t seen an episode, but I can certainly moan out loud about all of the clumsy backstage promos it has brought to regular TV. I like Natalya, she can work, but everybody else involved in this match (especially Eva Marie, a person so devoid of charisma in promos she makes Adrian Neville look like Johnny Depp by comparison) bores me to tears. Natalya wins because the Bellas are bullies, and Be A Star. Or something. I guess.
Prediction: Natalya defeats Brie Bella
WWE ’13: Brie defeats Natalya
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ Lee: Unfortunately for everyone involved the build for this match just never seem to gain any traction. Creative seemed content to merely have AJ go crazy, and then have Big E dropped by the Zig Zag every week. I don’t know how you can screw up a feud between four people who have been teaming or feuding since before Mania, but I do think they’ll rise above that to give us a good match.
Ziggler always raises his game for PPVs, and reminding people why they liked him in the first place (bad babyface promos have cooled a lot of fans off) will motivate him even more. Luckily he has a guy in Big E who can give him an avenue to perform his big bumps. AJ and Kaitlyn are also more than capable of upholding their side of the match. I see this being a decisive end to both respective feuds, so I’ll go for Ziggler pinning Big E.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeat Big E Langston and AJ Lee
WWE ’13: Big E and AJ defeat Ziggler and Kaitlyn
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow: Both guys being used as enhancement talent for people involved in higher calibre matches at SummerSlam has dampened this matches build, which started off quite well before losing its way. Up to and including the SD where Cody threw the MITB briefcase in the Gulf of Mexico, the two seemed to have set out to have a fun, easy to understand feud. Rhodes was getting over, and Sandow was as entertaining as always with his OTT antics. However, the losses to Del Rio, Christian etc. and Cody pointing out big logic holes while on commentary has lead to me forgetting this match is on the PPV several times.
But as with the mixed tag, good talent can always overcome bad booking and provide a good match (Punk vs. Taker at Mania 29 for example), and their time together as a tag team will have provided them with a good understanding of each other. Sandow needs the win to sustain any “future World Champion” credibility, but if he isn’t cashing in any time soon, I see no reason for this to be a one-and-done feud. I’ll go for Sandow winning in a less than clean fashion.
Prediction: Damien Sandow defeats Cody Rhodes
WWE ’13: Rhodes defeats Sandow
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire match: I’m a little miffed that Wyatt’s first main roster match will be in such a restrictive gimmick match, but at least it’s not as restrictive as the usual Inferno match. The build has been entirely about introducing Wyatt’s character, and he has done well with the mic time he’s had. Those still wondering about all the cryptic things he says, and why Harper and Rowan follow him, had better be prepared to wait a while longer, as in a year plus of watching NXT, I still have no clue. Visually, this match should be a hit, but whether they can overcome the flames to put on a good match remains to be seen. I see Wyatt winning, and setting Kane on fire to boot, with Kane taking a long leave of absence to sell how dangerous Wyatt is / start his road towards politics.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Kane
WWE ’13: Kane defeated Wyatt in an Inferno match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Title: This may be the most cut and dry match on the card. Christian is a place holder while they figure out what to do with Del Rio’s title reign so it doesn’t fizzle out like. . . every other Del Rio title reign. Don’t get me wrong, the match has potential; I just think neither man is really as over as they should be considering their position in a World Title feud. Christian’s credibility would be better used in the mid card to boost talent down there at this point, not used to simply give Del Rio another meaningless PPV win.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Christian to retain the World Heavyweight Title
WWE ’13: Del Rio defeats Christian to retain
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar: I had to check the listing several times as I was convinced this was a no-DQ match. The feud felt intense enough to start with a hardcore match (especially since its doubtful Lesnar will be sticking around for Night of Champions), but that could be being saved for later on down the road. The build has been superb, with Heyman being the primary antagonist that people are dying to see Punk get his hands on, only for him to be stopped at every turn by Lesnar. This match has that elusive quality of feeling very important despite there being nothing really up for grabs outside of revenge. I expect both men to rise to the occasion and tell a great story.
Choosing a winner comes down to how long it is before Lesnar is back. If this is merely the start of the feud, then Lesnar will win and the rematch can take place at Survivor Series or the Rumble, as Mania seems a bit of a stretch. I know Lesnar did something similar with HHH last year, but both men were not on TV, meaning they didn’t get sidetracked at any point between SS and Mania. Punk won’t have such a luxury, so there is a chance Punk wins here and Lesnar merely terrorises someone else when he comes back. I’ll go with a Lesnar win after Punk gets distracted by Heyman, with a rematch in November at Survivor Series.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats CM Punk
WWE ’13: Lesnar defeats Punk
John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title with Triple H as the Special Guest Referee: It really does feel like there have been two separate builds for the match. There is all the McMahon crap, which threatens to derail everything, and then the great feud between a man who sees himself as a pure wrestler going up against a “sports entertainer”. Bryan has smoothly moved away from most of his comedy act to focus on the other reason he has gotten over – he’s one of the world’s top wrestlers, and he intends to prove it by beating the poster boy and winning the most prestigious title in wrestling. And Cena has retaliated by pointing out his vast credentials and fighting his own corner, while not shying away from the fact that he is the “franchise” at this point. And no I don’t mean he’s Shane Douglas, but that most of what Bryan is saying is true – he is the poster boy, but he’s not ashamed of it and he has earned his way there by winning titles. My sincerest hope is that Vince and HHH see that fans only care about that feud, and not there own, and keep their contributions to a minimum.
There are many possibly outcomes here. I’m going to throw out anything involving direct McMahon influence, such as Daniel Bryan turning heel to be the corporate champion, or McMahon screwing him over. I think at most McMahon will try to interfere, and HHH will see him off. I’m going for a Bryan win, but don’t see Cena tapping. Maybe Cena passes out from the pain in his elbow during the Yes Lock ala Stone Cold in the Sharpshooter at Mania 13. But I also don’t foresee a long title reign for Bryan, because. . .
Prediction: Daniel Bryan defeats John Cena to win the WWE Title
WWE ’13: Cena defeats Bryan to retain the WWE Title
Bonus Prediction #2 – Randy Orton cashes in and wins the WWE Title: As much as I dislike this idea due to a dislike of the Orton character, I do think this is the most compelling story. I can picture it so easily – Bryan finally proves himself, and is about to be handed the title, but before he even touches it, Orton runs out, cashes in, and punts Bryan in the head. Instant heel turn, tonnes of heat from the fans who had just been so elated to see Bryan win, and Bryan can enter chase mode again. I’m overly confident of this, but I hope I am wrong.
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this preview, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg, where I will be live tweeting the show.
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