SummerSlam is officially here! Pat yourself on the back fans, you made it through the muck of the post-WrestleMania druge. We pushed through WWE's patented Spring complacency, transcending forgettable pay-per-views and questionable champions. Good for us.
In light of all that, let's get in the best pastime in WWE - speculation! Could Brock Lesnar possibly lose? Can Jinder Mahal possibly win? Who'll have the worst match? And what surprises are to come? Check it out!
Which match will steal the show?
Ryan: Ordinarily, I would say that this would be the AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens match. It still might, but I feel the inevitable involvement from Shane McMahon might take away a bit from the bout (and certainly the finish). Therefore, I feel that it's a pretty firm bet that the Fatal 4-Way for the Universal Championship is going to be pretty damn amazing.
Jack: How could I possibly disagree? This Fatal 4-Way Match is a WrestleMania main event. If you can't get excited for this, then WWE just isn't for you. Even though a match featuring Lesnar, Joe, Roman, and Strowman is what SummerSlam 2017 will be remembered for, I guess they can "steal" it too.
Oh and shout out to Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, because, you know, they hate each other.prevnext
If you had $1,000 to bet, who would you put it on?
Ryan: The safest bet, to me, is Finn Balor. This is the first time the Demon has made an appearance in a year, and it will only be the second time on the main roster that Balor has come out in the full Demon gimmick. There is just no way that they can have Balor lose under that persona if it's supposed to be special and he is supposed to be a big deal moving forward.
Plus, as Jack wrote here on the site yesterday, he's one loss away from becoming Bayley. Given Wyatt's booking over the last several years, I can't imagine he'd be given the green light to go over Finn in this situation either. Plus, Balor pretty well got owned by Bray on the go-home edition of RAW, which is historically a good sign that he'll get revenge at the PPV.
Jack: To me, the safest bet is Rollins and Ambrose. There may be some part of this narrative I'm missing, but this seems like a stone cold (kimura) lock. Sheamus is scheduled to be leaving WWE to film a movie and the WWE Universe so ready for this Rollins Ambrose payoff. Not to mention that have friendly odd (-175) so you could theoretically turn your $1,000 wager into about 1,600 without breaking a sweat.
I disagree with my compadre on Balor. While it's likely he wins, don't be surprised if WWE defers to a rising Bray Wyatt.
However, if you want to take a walk on the wild side, put that make believe stack of money on Jinder Mahal (+700)prevnext
Under what circumstances does Jinder retain?
Ryan: If Vince McMahon changes his mind the day of the show and decides to switch the Universal title (Brock is heavily favored right now), I could see them keeping the WWE title on Jinder. Otherwise, I think they will feel compelled to make a title switch on such a big show, and it will be Mahal who suffers that loss.
They have a well publicized tour of India coming up very soon. If they are dead set on having Jinder Mahal have the belt on that tour, have him win it back from Nakamura the first night of the tour overseas. It will be a huge deal over in India and won't hurt Nakamura at all here in the states.
Nakamura is certainly kind of floundering right now on SmackDown. He needs the title victory for a jolt of energy.
Jack: WWE has to ask themselves if a hot heel or a hot babyface is more valuable to SmackDown. While Nakamura is a HUGE favorite (-1500), I'm not sure how certain his win actually is. With the Singh brothers, Mahal has his route not just to retaining, but to really creating some volcanic heat. Brooklyn is going to be desperate for a Nakamura win, and WWE may feel like trolling them.prevnext
Ryan: No question, this will be Big Cass vs. Big Show. While Cass was always the better worker between he and Enzo and he's not awful in the ring, I just don't think there will be much interest in this match from the crowd. If the audience isn't into it, they are already going to be working uphill. Frankly, this one should probably be on the kickoff show.
Overall, though, I don't see any matches on the card that look like they would be terrible going in. Every single one of them has potential to be at least decent. If forced to pick, though, it's definitely this one.
Jack: Well, looks like I'm playing heel. Natalya and Naomi will not be good. It's not that they're incapable of having a great match, but there's no foundation for their bout. Their program was has been neglected and the Brooklyn crown almost has no choice but to be apathetic.prevnext
Ryan: Carmella does not cash-in the Miss Money In The Bank briefcase. I know that everyone is looking for this because it seems like the obvious outcome. However, I think it's been too obvious. I predict that Carmella comes out and teases cashing in, but then like a true heel decides not to do it to an ovation of boos from the Brooklyn faithful. I think she hangs on to the briefcase a while longer.
Jack: Maybe I'm whiffing my own flatulence here, but I think Bray beats Balor. Bray was a WWE guy at birth, and it took Balor 35 years to make it into the company. While Balor may seem like the shinier toy, it's Wyatt who will still be with the company in 10 years.prevnext
Is there any way Brock Lesnar doesn't leave as Universal Champion?
Ryan: I keep going back and forth on this one. I know what the odds say. I know what I've heard from people at WWE who claim there's zero chance that Brock is losing the belt. But for some reason, I keep thinking that an audible might be called the day of the show.
Look, Brock as champion has been a disaster this year. They need that championship belt on RAW each and every week. I've heard that Vince is deadset on Brock vs. Reigns at WrestleMania for the belt, and it would seem that means Brock is holding the belt all the way until April. That's a bad decision. Cena vs. Reigns is the money match at Mania. Reigns needs to win the belt at SummerSlam. There is no reason to wait any longer.0comments
Not only that, do the full fledged Shield reunion at SummerSlam. I'd have Ambrose and Rollins give him the assist and have the show go off the air with all three doing the fist-bump in the middle of the ring. Rollins and Ambrose as tag champs and Reigns as Universal champ. I've heard some in the wrestling media say that if they did that, the group would get boo'ed. That is utter nonsense. The crowd of hardcores would pop huge for it, and that includes the the thousands of grown men that boo'ed Reigns when he made his entrance earlier in the night. Go all out and make this one of the most memorable SummerSlams ever; it's right there in front of you WWE.
Jack: No, there isn't. This recent Undertaker stuff, doesn't phase me one bit either. Despite the Deadman having equal incentive to meddle with Reigns and Lesnar, despite the rumors of Paul Heyman lobbying for Joe, despite all of this UFC squabble, Brock Lesnar will leave Brooklyn as Universal Champion - and we'll likely feel silly for believing anything else.prev