SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Originally scheduled to take place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, Summerslam has been moved to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida due to the current pandemic. The Amway Center will house the Thunderdome, a way in which fans can attend virtually and appear on LED boards throughout the venue, along with other audiovisual enhancements. The tagline for the event is “You’ll Never See It Coming” which is ostensibly a reference to Randy Orton’s “RKO out of nowhere”, but one I’m sure will play a much larger role in the show.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton, WWE Championship match
Story in a nutshell: Drew McIntyre defends his championship and seeks a measure of revenge against Randy Orton who has been injuring legendary wrestlers by punting them in the head.
Since his match with Edge, Randy Orton has gone on a tear, injuring the likes of Christian, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair by punting them in the head, just to get under Drew McIntyre’s skin (well, and maybe to satiate his sadism). Drew, for his part, holds Randy in contempt for not helping the younger talent backstage, instead being more concerned with keeping his “spot”.
Prediction: Randy Orton will ultimately take the belt off of Drew since Randy vs. Edge for the championship is what I think is ultimately in the cards (while Drew goes to the other brand to pursue the Universal belt). The change could very well happen at Summerslam.
You’ll never see it coming: Lights go out. The fan screens turn on but with hooded members of Retribution. In the ring, a distracted Randy gets Superkicked by a Shawn Michaels in the ring while Drew looks on, surprised by the development. Drew eats a Superkick. Retribution unmask, revealing themselves to be “graduating” NXT talent. Triple H and Shawn Michaels take over the WWE.
Braun Strowman (c) vs. The Fiend – Universal Championship match
Story in a nutshell: Not even Alexa Bliss was able to contain the “monster” in the “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman after it was unleashed by The Fiend who may be getting more than he bargained for when he challenges for the championship.
After losing to the cult leader version of Bray Wyatt in the swamp match, Braun Strowman emerged as an evil version of himself. To try and get Braun to agree to a championship match, The Fiend kidnapped Alexa Bliss who had a prior relationship with Braun. Braun couldn’t care less, a fact that hurt her (emotionally and then physically). Bliss did say that she felt a connection to The Fiend.
Prediction: Unless there was a specific real life reason why Alexa Bliss wasn’t on the last Smackdown (injury or illness), she will be involved in the finish where she will either be The Fiend’s Achilles heel, or get though to Braun Strowman. I think she tries to get through to Braun but fails, and The Fiend sacrifices himself to save her. Braun wins.
You’ll never see it coming: Otis cashes in on the winner, likely The Fiend in this case, and Otis and Mandy Rose feud with The Fiend and Alexa Bliss.
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka, Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka, Raw Women’s Championship match
Story in a nutshell: To get revenge for Kairi Sane being forced into retirement by Bayley and Sasha Banks, Asuka maneuvered herself into challenging for both belts in one night.
At The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, Sasha Banks stole Asuka’s championship with Bayley’s help. During a match to resolve the ownership of the belt, Bayley brutalized Kairi Sane forcing her to retire. Asuka wanted to get her hands back on Banks at Summerslam, but to try to avoid her, Banks placed Bayley in Asuka’s way. Much to Bank’s chagrin, Asuka beat Bayley. Then Asuka entered and won a battle royale to win the right to face Bayley at Summerslam, too. The real story though, is what is looks like to be the beginning of the disintegration of the Bayley and Banks relationship as they’ve begun to bicker with each other and Summerslam will be the next step in their inevitable split.
Prediction: I’m relying on WWE booking rules for this one. Bayley has been pinned twice recently so she will win, likely with Sasha’s help. Then, since Asuka will be worn for her match with Sasha, Asuka pins Banks, probably due to a miscue by Bayley to further their split.
You’ll never see it coming: Kairi Sane returns to help Asuka win.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins – Street fight
Story in a nutshell: A recently signed Dominik Mysterio tries to avenge his father’s eye and the hellacious (and I mean HELLACIOUS) kendo stick beating he received at the hands of Seth Rollins (and Murphy).
For weeks (months? years?) Seth Rollins has claimed to be the Monday Night Messiah and extracted a sacrifice from Rey Mysterio (specifically his eye) in order to “save” Monday Night Raw. Dominik signed with the WWE and signed a match with Rollins. For his trouble, Dominik received one of the most brutal beatings I’ve seen in wrestling.
Prediction: Dominik wins. No, I haven’t lost my mind, and this isn’t “You’ll never see it coming”. There has been way too much back-and-forth between Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins. If Joe helps Dominik win, it can lead to a Joe/Rollins feud.
You’ll never see it coming: How do I top my prediction? I can’t but here is a swerve they can pull; Aleister Black shows up but turns on the Mysterios, joining Rollins.
Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP – U.S. Championship match
Story in a nutshell: MVP REALLY wants to send Apollo Crews a message that turning down an opportunity to join the Hurt Business by beating him for the title.
Originally Apollo Crews and MVP were supposed to meet at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules but due to injuries suffered at the hands of Bobby Lashley, Crews was ruled out of the match. MVP declared himself US Champion and unveiled a new belt. When Crews returned, he defeated MVP, taking the new belt and agreeing to a rematch at Summerslam, only this time, by beating Shelton Benjamin, the rest of the Hurt Business are barred from ringside.
Prediction: Apollo Crews wins, setting up a match with Bobby Lashley next.
You’ll never see it coming: Cedrick Alexander takes MVP up on his offer, turns on Crews, and joins the Hurt Business.
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville – No disqualification, loser leaves WWE match
Story in a nutshell: For months now, Sonya Deville has been attacking Mandy Rose verbally and physically due to her good looks and Mandy has had enough.
After being attacked by Sonya and having her hair cut, Mandy went on the offensive, challenging Sonya to a hair vs. hair match. Likely due to an unfortunate real-life event requiring her to be written out of the story, Sonya upped the stakes to a “loser leaves the WWE” match.
Prediction: Due to real world circumstances, it is probable that Sonya will be taking time off to deal with personal issues.
You’ll never see it coming: To prove to Sonya that she doesn’t rely on her looks, Mandy shaves her head anyway.
The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza, Raw Tag Team Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After (allegedly) being poisoned by Selina Vega, a recovered Montez Ford joins his Street Profit partner Angelo Dawkins to defend the championship from Andrade and Angel Garza.
During a series of matches where one member of each team faced each other, Montez Ford mysteriously collapsed. It was revealed that he was poisoned. Blame was promptly leveled at Selina Vega who denied it, but video evidence proved otherwise.
Prediction: It’s time to make Andrade and Angel Garza tag champions. They can then feud with the Viking Raiders or Cedric Alexander & Ricochet.
You’ll never see it coming: Andrade or Angel Garza collapse in the same manner Ford did and the Street Profits retain thanks to some timely assistance from a poison wielding Bianca Belair.
You’ll never see it coming, either: It wasn’t Vega behind the poisoning, it was Demi Burnett.
You’ll really never see it coming: It wasn’t Vega behind the poisoning, it was Charly Caruso.
And now I’m just making a mockery of this whole thing: “It was me Austin! It was me all along, Austin! You all bought it!” Vince McMahon.