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So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
Follow @Colohue for updates.
1. Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega vs Rusev and Lana (Pre-Show)
The debut for Almas has been smooth and strong, with Almas established as a big deal in a strong match with AJ Styles. Meanwhile the push for Rusev has been equally strong recently with a WWE championship opportunity last month leading into this pre-show appearance.
Meanwhile, Lana and Zelina Vega have been having their own little feud which has resulted in awkward matches but a compelling storyline.
Unfortunately for Rusev, he is not having the best of times right now and given their storyline, I can’t see him picking up the win here.
Winner: Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega
What If?:Aidan English manages to save the day instead of ruining it this time?
2. Cedric Alexander vs Drew Gulak (Cruiserweight Championship Pre-Show)
This marks the first PPV featuring Cruiserweights since Wrestlemania, which shows how far their exposure levels have fallen. It also means that this match is as much an advertisement for 205 Live as a match in its own merit.
On that basis, I can see Cedric Alexander taking the win as he is a champion that still needs building.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
What If?: We get to see an Ali vs Murphy vs Alexander match on Raw next week?
3. The B Team vs The Revival (Raw Tag Team Championships Pre-Show)
Still technically undefeated since the shake up, The B Team’s push has far exceeded what I was expecting. With Matt Hardy out for a while and seemingly no real plan for the return of Bray Wyatt, The B Team are in a great position ruling over a very weak tag division.
New challengers The Revival have a presence if not a push. They’ve had a brief feud featuring Roman Reigns which got them great exposure but this is hardly going to be a featured match.
I would expect this to be another “the faces win on pre-shows” match.
Winner: The B Team
What If?: The B Team carry the titles all the way to Survivor Series and have to face The Bludgeon Brothers?
4. Bludgeon Brothers vs The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
The Bludgeon Brothers are on a strong run but it’s a strong run with a lot of gaps. Meanwhile, The New Day are essentially invincible and given how badly The Bludgeon Brothers have beaten them before, this should be an easy win for the Bludgeons.
Winner: Bludgeon Brothers
What If?: The only way to get the titles off of The Bludgeon Brothers is without them being pinned or submitted in a multi team match?
5. Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin
This feud as not exactly caught the attention of the fans in a good way, or any way in fact. Baron Corbin is getting good exposure but ultimately it’s hard to remember a good feud that Balor has had with anybody other than Seth Rollins. Neither man has hit the heights that their fans expect.
That said, these two haven’t wrestled any particularly bad matches together. If they don’t overstay their welcome then I can see this delivering nicely.
But there are other elements at play of course.
Winner: Finn Balor
What If?:The Demon King arrives to win his third straight Summerslam match?
6. Carmella vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
Of all the Summerslam matches, this is one of the strongest storylines going in. Carmella is firmly established now as a heel champion who wins matches that she really shouldn’t be winning using a variety of luck and James Ellsworth. Having Ellsworth leave the company just before this match to make room for Charlotte Flair was a stroke of genius though.
Becky Lynch put together a strong winning streak, despite feuding almost entirely with lower card opposition. Then Charlotte returned and turned everything on its head. This is one of those rare times where the champion is the least important part of the story but could be the most important part of the match itself.
In order to make a prediction you have to have some idea as to what will happen next. With Evolution coming in we could have any combination of matches put together but Lynch vs Charlotte seems the most exciting.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
What If?: James Ellsworth finds a way to make a difference again?
7. Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
Unquestionably the strongest story going into Summerslam and with all the components to be a match of the year contender, Bryan vs The Miz has been no end of glorious since the moment on Talking Smack when Miz went rogue. Unfortunately, this match has a finish that is very much complicated by Daniel Bryan’s contract situation.
With a new contract not having been announced, Daniel Bryan could be on his way out of the company. If this is the case then he absolutely has to lose this match and help to establish The Miz as the biggest thing on Smackdown Live. If Bryan does sign, or if he has signed and it is yet to be announced, then Bryan would be an ideal next opponent for a Shinsuke Nakamura or a Samoa Joe.
Either way it should be a great one on one match with everything to win and everything to lose.
Winner: The Miz
What If?: We see the return of Maryse?
8. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship)
There is no end of potential for this match but we’ve recently seen it a lot and it’s been made very clear that the two men inside the ring are entirely secondary to the two men outside of the ring.
It’s hard to say whether we’d be better off with this as a tag title match and the IC title elsewhere but depending on who gets that the belt the tag title scene could certainly be next on the agenda for either. With the return of Dean Ambrose undoubtedly likely to factor in to the finish it comes down to whether or not that will be a clean brawl of interference.
I’m going to have to go for interference.
Winner: Seth Rollins via DQ
What If?: Jason Jordan.
9. Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jeff Hardy (United States Championship)
I’m starting to see a pattern here whereby champions are secondary elements of a story.
Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy is a feud that…
Sorry, Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton will undoubt…
Why isn’t Orton in this match?
Hardy vs Orton is an ideal feud going into the next few months, particular with Hell in a Cell and TLC to come. Nakamura, meanwhile, has just won a title that should do good things for his future so I would hope for him to take the belt and leave these two behind.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
What If?: Nakamura’s next challenge is someone like Cesaro or Anderson?
10. Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens
I genuinely keep forgetting that this feud exists.
If Owens had been the designated Money In The Bank winner than I don’t see why he couldn’t have won the briefcase back at the actual Money In The Bank event. I also don’t see an Owens briefcase run ending well for anyone. The top Raw trio of Strowman, Roman and Lesnar is practically unassailable at this point because all three men have been pushed mercilessly.
It just doesn’t make sense for Owens to win this one.
Winner: Braun Strowman
What If?: Strowman bides his time to cash in tomorrow night on Raw?
11. Alexa Bliss vs Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Championship)
This should be an absolute squash, especially with a title less Alexa Bliss due to face Trish Stratus in October. Rousey should absolutely destroy Alexa Bliss.
The Ronda hype train shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
What If?: Alexa tries to walk out for a count out loss, but finds Nia Jax waiting on the ramp on the way up?
12. AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
Since Wrestlemania, AJ Styles has been deep in a feud that rules New Japan. Now he moves into a feud that ruled TNA. The man is WWE’s dream match machine.
Samoa Joe doesn’t have a very good win loss record in WWE. In fact, he’s never been pushed particularly strongly but he has always been lined up against top names and his intensity has kept him high on the mountain, ready for this opportunity.
Meanwhile, AJ Styles has been at the top of Smackdown Live since the second he walked into the company, even when the show was still pretaped. He has delivered in the role as well with consistent high quality feuds and matches. He recently broke a record over a decade old held by JBL. He is the man to beat.
And I think he’s going to be the man that is beat.
Winner: Samoa Joe
What If?: Joe manages to turn a calf crusher into a coquina clutch?
13. Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
And here we go again.
There’s really no way to send the fans home happy without a Strowman cash in at this point and even then it means we’re just going to see Lesnar whining all tomorrow night. We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it now and we’ll see it again in future.
Personally, I think it makes the most sense for Lesnar to once again take the win, especially given that he won’t want to look weaker going into the UFC and it makes the most sense for him to lose the title to a cash in piece of opportunism.
So I’ve got Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
What If?: This match isn’t the main event and instead we have Styles vs Joe, Bliss vs Rousey or even The Miz vs Bryan instead?
I’ll see you tonight for a live tweeting session of Summerslam 2018.