From the land of the hipsters…it’s WWE Summerscam
What is usually billed as “The Biggest Party of the Summer” has become a party that if I got invited to it on Facebook I’d rsvp as a maybe to, just to not offend the person who invited me. Hear me out, Summerslam has a lot of hype and advertisement. I am not speaking poorly about it this year because I couldn’t get tickets. I’m honestly and truthfully saying that the card is fairly weak and is not a pay-per-view event that I would spend my rent money on to get tickets. A word of advice, don’t spend your rent money on wrestling tickets. The ending is never good.
The draft happened. It is great and all, but we have yet to see anything truthfully develop and benefit from said draft. Raw ratings are low, but who even cares about TV ratings anymore? Screw the ratings, the product has not gained anything since the draft. The same people are floundering, and there are many unanswered questions. I’m sure if we give it some time we can see some overall changes in the grand scheme of things, but leading up to what is supposed to be the spectacle of the summer season has only brought forth disappointment. Why are we watching Summerslam? Because we want to see what the new WWE Universal Championship is going to look like, and who is going to get it. That’s it! My response? Phone cases are universal. Computer chargers are universal. Even toilet seats are universal. But at no point should World Championships of wrestling be universal. What the hell is that? We can all agree it is a terrible name, but the card itself has not hyped itself to earn the title of “The Biggest Party of the Summer”
Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Best of Seven Series)
What good is a best of seven if there is nothing to be gained from it? With all due respect to both superstars, we will see some great spots and great story being told, but it will be old news no more than three matches into it. Both have been vocal about their positions on the card. Why are they not booked well? Because the characters are terrible! One guy thinks he is James Bond, but fails to cut a wrestling promo, and the other guy braids his beard, which is the furthest thing from being manly. I can’t take a man seriously when he bedazzles his beard. Listen to the fans, dude. You look stupid. Let the heel go over here to put the good guy at a disadvantage. Even in the new era, it is a no brainer.
Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz
If the championship main events are the killer, then this is the filler. I can only feel bad for Sami Zayn for being booked so poorly following such a great feud. The Dudleyz are great opponents…in the year 2000. They are jobbers now, guys. If you haven’t already noticed. They don’t even bust out tables anymore. What good are they now?
Prediction: Zayn and Neville
American Alpha, Hype Bros, Usos vs. Breezango, The Ascension, and The Vaudvillains (12 man tag match)
On paper, this is disappointing. Here’s a tip, WWE. Take these Smackdown Tag Teams, and put them in some cluster fuck of some sort for a Smackdown Tag Title. Wouldn’t that be more entertaining than a spotfest tag team match that has no meaning? It is an injustice to the talent in this match to have them wrestle for no reason other than money. Where is Teddy Long when you need him?
Prediction: The good guys…
Enzo and Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
This has been a joy for me to watch and kudos to Jericho for being himself. It is wonderful to see this guy be old and out of touch on purpose to get heat. Come on, people. The guy is being corny on purpose if you haven’t noticed. The stuff is gold. It’s almost as good as him baiting Greenberg, or telling Malenko he knows four more holds. Jericho is a seasoned veteran who is playing the role he needs to play to get the people he needs to get over…over. Kevin Owens has been on a roll, and I’d like to see him be the top heel on Raw, because Rusev isn’t doing it for me. Enzo and Cass can afford a loss here. You will all still mark out and chant their shtick.
Prediction: Owens and Jericho
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Even though the storyline is mediocre, just the matchup holds enough weight. I enjoy how AJ Styles has sort of slipped out of his soccer mom heel role, and this feud has become about who is simply the better man. I’m a little bias. John Cena is the better man, people. Ok, you don’t agree, but this match will tell a great story in the midst of a whole bunch of average ones. These two are two of the best to ever play the game, and this match will display that. Brooklyn won’t have it any other way. I want Cena to win, but I’m sure Pabst Blue Ribbon feels otherwise. Let AJ win to keep this thing going for a little bit. It might hurt some of you smart fans that they could possibly wrestle more than three times on pay-per-view, and to that I say that you are probably one of those people that chants that the match is awesome, because it went longer than seven minutes.
Prediction: AJ Styles
The Miz © vs. Apollo Crews (Intercontinental Championship)
If you are pissed that the Miz makes out with his wife on TV all the time, then he is doing his job right. The Miz is a guilty pleasure for me on WWE television, and I enjoy his over-the-top old school heel role that he has assumed on Smackdown. This guy breathes the business. While he was a terrible World Champion and headlined one of the worst Wrestlemanias in history, he still conquers the mid-card with ease, and he is easy to hate. While his movies are terrible at best, he still plays a great character on television, and Apollo Crews should show up with a notebook this Sunday and take some notes. The Miz will take him to finishing school because Apollo has a long way to go before he earns anything. While he is a great talent and is an unbelievable athlete, he is still too white meat babyface for my taste. Keep feeding the Miz low card faces to get him over. When the time is right, someone who doesn’t deserve it will come in and end his reign. At that point, the Miz will probably leave television and make the Marine 1000.
Prediction: The Miz
The New Day © vs. Anderson and Gallows (Tag Team Championship)
We all know Big E. is not really hurt. He is out to put the New Day at a disadvantage because Xavier Woods likes to play video games and trombone over wrestling. Nothing wrong with that! With that said, the story has played out decently at best, and Anderson and Gallows get an E for effort in the overall build. I can do without the egg/testicle jokes, but I couldn’t help but give a small chuckle to the vignettes. I think we can see a title change here due to the disadvantage going into Sunday. They can swap the titles back and forth while the tag division strengthens itself over time. Has anyone tried that cereal yet?
Prediction: Anderson and Gallows
Sasha Banks © vs. Charlotte (Women’s Championship)
I can’t get down with how this feud has played out. While a title change on television is great every now and then, this was not the time to do it. More could have been done to make this a destination match on the card, but the title change just waters it down slightly. While many of you readers drink the Sasha Banks kool-aid, I can’t get down with the flavor. She has a cool theme song, and a great entrance, but the fun stops there. She is probably the least skilled out of all of the horsewomen of NXT, and it shows in the ring. Enough with your party city bling-bling and your Strawberry-Banana trix yogurt get up already. I’d rather see Charlotte in her maternity outfit that she has been sporting since Wrestlemania season. It kind of resembles the hip hop culture of today. It is all hype and no substance. Sasha Banks is super overrated, and I hope she loses the title this Sunday. My guess is that Dana Brooke being banned will surely work against Sasha in her quest to retain. That’s how it always plays out. Don’t expect it to end clean. Maybe we can see daddy naitch back in the picture helping her daughter win. You wouldn’t hate it.
Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar
This is disappointing for one reason. Brock Lesnar is lazy. Yes, he is the beast, he is the conqueror, he ended the Undertaker streak. But, I have grown bored of him because every match is the same. It is amazing athletic ability on his part, but the guy won’t take a back bump or sell anything. Period. It is a shame. This match will end the way all the other ones do, because that is the way Brock does business. It’s worse than Hogan. At least Hogan was winning for the greater good as a role model. Brock does business for only himself. It showed at Wrestlemania when he squashed Dean Ambrose. I’m not saying the guy has to take losses. But the guy should at least show the audience that his opponent has a fair shake at winning. I’m even growing tired of Paul Heyman. Perhaps that’s the approach he wants to take. The repetitiveness gets him the heat. But it is also that repetitiveness that takes away from the character that is Brock Lesnar. The manager is supposed to enhance their respective talent. And more is to be said with Brock Lesnar being a bully, than having Paul Heyman tell you how much of a bully he is. Apparently, Lesnar and Heyman are a packaged deal, but I can’t fully get down with it. Randy Orton is a twelve-time champion, and should look like that caliber of a competitor. If he gets squashed, then he is no better than the Brooklyn Brawler.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Rusev © vs. Roman Reigns (United States Championship)
You know you can’t get over when you get booed over the foreign heel. Poor Roman. I don’t even think John Cena had it bad, even though he probably did. Kudos to Roman Reigns for taking his lumps and paying his dues. Let’s look back at a time where Shawn Michaels was the champion. He was booed in the same way. And let’s not forget that Shawn is fifty times the performer that Reigns is in the ring. So I have to at least tip my cap to Roman. At least he didn’t lose his smile. This is a tough call for me, but I think Roman winning will breathe a little bit more life into him. I don’t see Roman going down to the accolade, which is the only way Rusev wins, so I expect the same result this Sunday. If Roman loses, then Lana will have something to do with it. Remember, Roman is still in the doghouse. Believe that.
Carmella, Becky Lynch, Naomi vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, vs. ???
So Eva Marie is on drugs? What a shame. Just when we as the universe start warming up to her, she falls short. All red everything? More like…All P.E.D. everything. Let’s just move on to the fact that this is another wasted match and more wasted time. We could be crowning a Smackdown Women’s champion and now WWE is left with an incomplete filler six women tag. Where is Teddy frickin’ Long? Daniel Bryan can learn a thing or two from him about Tag Teams. Who will replace Eva? Although she is a Raw talent, let’s look for Nia Jax to substitute. She is on a role and it is a shame she isn’t on the card. Perhaps she is the missing link for the heel divas. Maybe then, I can believe that Natalya has at least one bad bone in her body. You’re not a heel, Nattie! You’re Canadian! All Canadians are nice people.
Prediction: Heel Divas
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler
Don’t get too excited, people. Job Ziggler is still going to job. It doesn’t change. From curtain jerk to main event. This guy will not go over in a big match situation. Nothing is to be gained from a title change here, and more should be invested in putting Dean Ambrose over. Don’t over complicate things. There shouldn’t be a heel turn, or a double turn. It’s not that hard, guys. This is a contest between two good guys, fighting for something they are trying to win, and they will tear down the house in the process. Ambrose will be the better man, and Dolph can go back to bedazzling his wrestling gear. When the hell did Ziggler become Shawn Michaels? Maybe at the end of this one, he, like Shawn Michaels, could lose his smile.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor (WWE Universal Championship)
Let’s just skip the fact that they are fighting for a title with a horrible name. Would you want to fight for the Universal Championship? Who was in that meeting to determine that name? It couldn’t be more unfitting for a World Title, and I will not be able to take that seriously, in any time period. I still want to see what it looks like. Hopefully, we can see a newer, fresher, innovative design, but don’t be surprised if it is the same belt with different text. Even big companies have a budget. Based on the semi-relevant Monday Night Raw formula, it puts Seth Rollins over this Sunday. While I’m happy WWE threw us a curve ball putting Balor in the mix, it is too early for him to taste gold. It is in Brooklyn, so anything is possible. Both men are fitting to be the winner, but the show is always better with a conquering heel champion. While the whole gimmick is unique, I can’t be a fan of the whole Finn Balor/Demon King get up. It’s really corny, and he looks like a salamander when he is supposed to appear to be more threatening. The whole production is just straight up too produced. The real attraction is in the ring. This will be the show stealer simply on the fact that a new champion is guaranteed at the end of the night. A better name for the belt. WWE…Champion of the Universe. Way better. So much better.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Like Wrestlemania this year, the Summerslam card is stacked with several matches, but has poor buildup, resulting in an overall lack of interest. Where is Bray Wyatt? Out of 13 total matches on the card, you couldn’t include him in anything? The same thing can be said about a lot of talent, but he is the one that sticks out the most. I’m still excited for the event and will tune in, but only because it has been ridiculously hot and being outside has been highly inconvenient. The crowd will be hot and make it entertaining, but that still won’t make up for the fact that this is pushed to us like it is Wrestlemania, but doesn’t appear that way on paper. I’m usually wrong here and the show exceeds my expectations, but it’s always better to expect less, so you don’t get disappointed. I shouldn’t have to say that about any wrestling show, at any time of the year, but for $9.99 a month, you can’t really say no. Out of all the unanswered questions, one thing is still certain. This event will not make Darren Young great again.