By Haydn Gleed
I will be providing my rankings on the build-up, as well as my interest for the actual matches on a 1-10 scale. I have no idea who's going to win the matches, these thoughts are based solely on my opinion.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler For The Intercontinental Championship
The term meh could have been invented for how I feel about this match. I don't hate the idea, but I could live my life without seeing this match and not be upset at all.
The Miz has been a really good heel since he returned, and although I can remember Rick Martel rocking the same gimmick back in the day, and that makes me feel old, I do enjoy the don't touch my face shtick. What can you say about Dolph Ziggler that hasn't been said in the last 18 months? Supremely talented , but I wouldn't be surprised if WWE buy him a new bone and squeaky toy each year for his birthday to have as company in the doghouse. I don't see any reason why the title will change hands here, as The Miz has only just won the thing, but I do think it will be an athletic contest, and a decent match.
Prediction: The Miz retains the IC Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
WWE are listing this as the seventh match out of eight on the WWE website, who would have thought that two months ago? The buildup hasn't been anywhere as good as I would have expected, and I've been waiting for that one epic promo battle which hasn't materialised. Look back at my Smackdown report from the show with their first talking segment, I was giddy with joy with what was to come. They haven't reached those heights.
You know what though? I'm okay with that. If this is indeed a three match series, then the peak of the feud needs to be Night Of Champions for it to make the greatest impact. With SummerSlam being so loaded, this match didn't need to be the biggest thing on the show so I'm not too worried. They just need to get behind the feud over the next month.
As for the match itself, I'm intrigued as to why Bray is so confident about not having Rowan and Harper at ringside for this match. Could we see a new Wyatt family member debut? I'm not too sure as no one jumps out to me that could fill that role. The match should be a lot better than their decent outing at Battleground, and I think Bray will get the win back to setup a rubber match at Night Of Champions.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
It's strange that my interest is actually lower than how effective I see the buildup, but there are two things that have brought my interest level to a four.......flags. I don't enjoy flag matches, I find the premise and reasoning for them silly and in general find it an embarrassing spectacle to try to explain to non-wrestling fans. Saying that, in the world of WWE, the feud was built logically to this type of match so I will give them credit for a strong build.
Swagger and Zeb have been fantastic as the American protagonists while Rusev and Lana (*heart skips a beat*) have been great as the evil foreign villains. I struggle to separate the fan in me to the wrestling writer when it comes to a good evil foreigner storyline, as it's a guilty pleasure of mine, and I would put these two characters up there with the best. And no, it's not because I think Lana is the perfection all women should strive to (except for my girlfriend who doesn't need to.....just incase she's reading this).
With all that being said, I think this is simply a way of giving Jack Swagger a win without Rusev losing in a proper match, and we will get a beat down from Rusev after the match to setup the Night of Champions.
Prediction: Jack Swagger
AJ Lee vs.Paige for the Divas Championship
Hugely disappointed with the buildup for this match, it just seems like an afterthought when it could be special. I personally enjoy the fake friend act that Paige is putting on, but I can understand if people don't share that opinion. I'm struggling to remember if AJ has had an opportunity to give a long promo on her reaction to this English girl's actions over the last couple of weeks, which is a real shame. She has shown consistently over the last couple of years that she can pull it off, and enhance a feud with her mic work, so why haven't they given her the chance?
Similar to Chris Jericho against Bray, I think this month the chemistry will be there that was missing at Battleground. I think we will get a well wrestled, aggressive Diva's match and it's the potential for a good match that has raised my interest, not WWE's build, which is a shame.
Prediction: AJ Lee to retain the Divas Championship
Seth Rollins vs.Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack Match
If WWE can learn anything from the buildup for this match, is that Dean Ambrose sucks at hide and go seek. He hides in obvious places that cameramen everywhere know where to point their cameras and his opponents work out where he is. They are obviously not clever enough to run off the stage when they work out where he is, but I digress. All joking aside, the build has been fantastic except for the present and boot of the car fiasco's. Dean Ambrose continues on a weekly basis to be the highlight of the show for this viewer, and he is he started to show his charisma and potential on the mic, but his selling has come on leaps and bounds. He manages to convey pain and suffering on even basic moves, without being cartoony, or seem over the top.
Rollins for me is either surprisingly good or just bad, there is no middle ground. I'll give him credit, as there has been a hell of a lot more good than bad, and he has surprised even the most sceptical of people, like myself, who thought his babyface moveset and look would mean he wouldn't work out as a heel. Definitely room to improve, but a pleasant surprise so far. I'm not as down on the Lumberjack stipulation as most people. For weeks if not months, Rollins has evaded Ambrose, and when Ambrose has come close to Rollins, either someone has interfered or Rollins has ran out of the ring. With this stipulation, in theory, that shouldn't happen here, so I'm all for a lumberjack match.
That being said, lumberjack matches can descend into a cluster pretty quickly, but I hope this match is thought out and put together well so it won't be the case here. I don't really have a good feel about who's going to win this one. I think the feud will continue for another month, so I can see Rollins winning here, either in a cheap way or due to some form of distraction from ringside. Ideally this is the sort of feud that should end at Hell In A Cell, but I don't know if they can stretch it out that long.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
I'm not too sure how I feel about this match. On one hand, I can't really criticise the build-up in anyway. Randy Orton unfairly feels that Roman Reigns has cost him the chance at competing for the World titles, the sort of heel logic that would usually work. But on the other hand, I don't feel strongly enough about Roman Reigns as a babyface, to want to see him beat the heel to shut him up.
Don't get me wrong, I don't fall into the, Roman Reigns is the chosen one so I hate him camp, but at the same time I can sympathise with the people who don't see the potential that others in the wrestling industry do. He has all the tools, but he hasn't had that one stand out moment either in the ring or on the mic that would justify his push to a lot of people.
Randy Orton has been more effective in the buildup to this match than I would argue he has been for 12 months. Although the feud is based on an authority storyline, he hasn't been in the shadow of Triple H or Kane this time around. He was the one who attacked Roman Reigns and showed aggression like we haven't seen for a while. He is also the one who issued the challenge, and hasn't been made to look like a chickenshit heel in the process, so I've enjoyed that aspect.
I think this is a great opportunity for Roman to display his in-ring skills to silence his critics. They have been working together on the house show loop, and despite his faults, Randy is a fantastic wrestler, so they should have got the match down by now, and with the WWE machine behind Roman, I'm sure this will be a good to great match......if Roman has indeed got the ability in him. I don't know where Randy goes forward from here, but I don't think that's the biggest priority for WWE right now.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
Okay, guys, I've calmed down somewhat since my rant blog earlier this week. I still stand by the fact the go home angle was the single worst thing they could have done to destroy the interest in this match, but at the end of the day it's done and there's nothing we can do about it now. I'm hoping beyond hope that they give Brie or even Bryan an opportunity to tell the audience that what Stephanie was claiming was bullshit, which they need to show again tomorrow on Raw and that will be the end of that and it can be confined to the Wrestlecrap archives.
Before last Monday, I had really enjoyed this feud which started months and months ago. It felt that they had built this match up to a crescendo that would peak at SummerSlam with Brie going over Stephanie and getting the revenge for not only herself but for her husband. Now I'm not so sure. With the latest twist, I think this will be the first match of two.
I can see Stephanie being confident and cocky at the beginning of this match until Brie makes a comeback and Stephanie tries to get away before eventually getting the advantage, probably through heelish means, and getting a fluke win. The most important aspect if they continue this feud is there has to be a reason for a rematch. We can't have Stephanie dominating ala Triple H and Brie begging for a rematch on Raw because she had an off night or whatever.
Prediction: Stephanie McMahon
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
I was going to make the Spinal Tap "eleven" joke at this point, but Jason Powell already made a similar one on member exclusive Dot Net Weekly audio show. It's hard to imagine how they could have built this match any better, seriously. Aside from Cena's worked shoot promo from Monday, which worked on some levels, this could be seen as the perfect build for a main event match. The sports like feel to the match, the outstanding promos from Heyman and Cena, the sit down interviews with Cena and Lesnar, everything has just worked so well.
I'm sitting here writing this, and just staring at my screen. I want to tell you what I think is going to happen and who I think is going to win, but I just don't know, and I haven't felt this way about a match for a hell of a long time, and I love that fact!
Conventional wisdom says Brock is going to beat Cena, destroy everyone on the roster until Roman becomes the all-conquering new face of the company at WrestleMania. But there are two things that are niggling at the back of my head. Firstly, it's WWE's second biggest PPV of the year and I don't think they want to end it with a heel Brock standing tall holding the titles. Secondly, with network subscriptions coming up, it's not inconceivable that WWE will want Cena and Brock to face off in a rematch at the next PPV to convince people to re-subscribe. About five percent of me thinks we might get a shock result, where Cena gets himself DQ'd, playing on the silly worked shoot from Monday, to retain his titles, but I don't have the balls to officially predict that, haha.
Despite all that, I think Brock will get the win, and I can see the title match at Night of Champions being Cena's rematch, but I think this is going to be one hell of a match and for me, the most anticipated match of the year. I cannot wait!
Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
I have booked Monday off from work as SummerSlam is 1am to 4am here in the UK, so you can follow me on twitter @haydngleed to see my live thoughts on the PPV through the show. You will also see how tiredness effects how much sense my tweets make! If you have any comments you want to make before the show about my predictions, by all means follow me on twitter @haydngleed or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.