Shannon: My SummerSlam Preview & Predictions!

HeadLocker-Jay Shannon

Summerslam Preview and Predictions!

Our resident ring philosophy breaks out the crystal ball and tea leaves, once again, to give his thoughts and predictions on the summer tradition that is Summerslam.

I’m really excited about this year’s Summerslam. This one is looking to be one of the best shows in years. The matches seem solid and the backstories are really well-presented. Let’s take a look at the show.


Shawn Michaels’ Earth-Shattering Announcement

Shawn supposedly has a detached retina. If that were true, there isn’t a chance in Heaven or Hell that he’d risk the vision. I can claim to be an expert on this subjext. I lost 90% of the vision in my right eye due to a detached retina at the age of 15. Almost 30 years later, I’m still very cautious of situations that could affect the eye.

Shawn will, of course, want revenge against Chris for his Injury. Shawn might take some time off to recover. He might even claim that he is hanging up his boots. I don’t buy it for a minute. If the money’s good enough, Shawn will be center-stage. I expect Shawn’s big announcement to be something like:

I have one final hurdle to over-come. I have to get my revenge on Chris Jericho before I can retire in peace. My soul will never rest until I regain a sense of my manhood. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Predicted Grade: B

Kofi Kingston & Mickie James v Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix
Winner Takes All Combination Intercontinental and Women’s title match.

This one is going to turn into a Harvey Wippleman flashback moment, I’d almost bet my cat, EvilEarlenie, on it. I think Santino is going to take the whole Winner Takes All clause to the extreme. I expect him to get the pin, possibly on Mickie. Santino will then grab both belts as his own. That could lead to a few mediocre matches between Santino and Beth.

The other alternative is that Beth scores the pin and becomes the new Chyna. She would be the second woman to hold the I-C strap. I think this match is just a springboard for a love-hate relationship between Santino and Beth. Sadly, Kofi and Mickie will get caught in the crossfire.

Predicted Winner: Santino Marella
Prediced Grade: B-

MVP v Jeff Hardy

This is my Who the heck cares? match of the night. MVP is in a slump. Hardy is questionable as a long-term member of the roster. There are no belts on the line. This match is just a grudge match because MVP was rude to Jeff.

I’d liketo see MVP take this one. I’m looking forward to an MVP v Triple H battle in the near future. MVP really needs this to re-start his career. I can’t see WWE halting Jeff’s push. A loss by MVP wouldn’t really change all that much with his career. A loss by Jeff could derail the push. That wouldn’t be a good business move. Jeff moves more merchandise than MVP. That would be like shooting your prize milk cow just because you wanted a hamburger. MVP will use all kinds of under-handed shenanigans to try and upset the Rainbow-Haired Warrior, but Jeff will surprise MVP with a Twist of Fate into the Swanton to take the win.

Predicted Winner: Jeff Hardy
Predicted Grade: B+

Mark Henry v Matt Hardy
ECW Championship match

There is no way that both Hardys win on the same night. Mark is one of the better ECW champions and WWE really needs to give him a decent run with the title. I think Creative is going to play up the Injured Back of Matt Hardy. Mark Henry planted Matt on the steel championship belt with the World’s Strongest Slam on Tuesday. Mark will likely use Bear Hugs and other assorted nasty power moves to weaken Matt. The end will come pretty quick for Matt. After the brutality on his back, Mark will nail the World’s Strongest Slam to retain his title. This is the only match that I’m 100% sure on. That means that Matt will probably win. I’m going to stick with my gut instinct on this one, though. Mark Henry retains and Matt ends up with an even more injured lower back.

Predicted Winner: Mark Henry
Predicted Grade: B

Triple H v The Great Khali
WWE Championship Match

This is where the card will start to heat up. WWE has really been pushing Khali as a new and improved Giant since his hiatus to India. Khali is going to give Triple H a decent match. The outcome has more to do with the belt than with the wrestlers.

Khali v Edge has been done. Khali v The Undertaker isn’t fresh, either. Khali v almost anyone on Smackdown is already a known situation. Triple H v Edge could be new and fresh. Triple H v The Undertaker has always been one of the best match-ups in the company’s history. Their matches are the Hogan v Andre matches of this generation. Triple H might also want to take out a little frustration on Carlito for some very unkind things said about Trip and his relationship to the McMahons. It would make no sense to take the strap off Triple H to give to Khali. The only reason that I could see that outcome is if Triple H wanted some time off to take care of Stephanie and the new baby. I just don’t think that Triple H will drop the strap to Khali.

Predicted Winner: Triple H
Predicted Grade: (A surprising) A

John Cena v Batista

I love this match and hate it in the same breath. The action in this one is going to be top-notch. The reason I hate it is it’s giving me a headache trying to pick a winner. These two are so evenly matched that it’s almost like two sides of the same coin. Both men are quick, strong and agile. Both men have held the top titles in the sport. Both have been cheered and booed in the WWE.

My final decision came from Monday Night Raw. The WWE set up a text vote to determine who was the bigger star. Cena won 73% to 27%. Wrestling doesn’t do anything without a reason. If there is a winner (I’m not eliminating a time-limit draw or a run-in), then I have to give the nod to Cena. Cena is getting ready for a new movie release. WWE wouldn’t dare show Cena in anything less than a perfect light. Cena will amaze everyone with the F-U and then force Batista to tap to the STFU.

Predicted Winner: John Cena
Predicted Grade: A+

C.M. Punk v JBL
World Championship Match

This was poor booking on the WWE’s part. JBL has been mediocre since his return. He’s had as many defeats as he has had victories. Punk should have been facing Jericho in this match. That match would have been the show-stealer of the night. That’s not what the fans are going to get, most likely.

Punk has already taken out JBL. In fact, Punk beat JBL in Punk’s very first title defense. Punk easily up-ended the ex-Texan. Yes, he was distracted by John Cena but Punk was dominate in the majority of the match, before Cena showed up.

JBL will make the match look good. He is a great wrestler. He is simply going to be cannon fodder for Punk, though. Punk needs to beat a couple of upper-card stars to cement himself as a legit champ. The end will come thanks to a distraction by Jericho. JBL will turn to yell at Jericho, only to be spun around, Fireman Carried and G-T-S’d. JBL and Jericho continue their feud and Punk moves on to face the winner of Cena and Batista.

Predicted Winner: C.M. Punk
Predicted Grade: A-

Edge v The Undertaker
Hell in a Cell Match

This is the match that convinced me to pony up my hard-earned money for the Pay-Per-View. This match is going to rival the Mankind v Undertaker H-I-T-C from 1998.

Edge has turned into an even more sleazy character than before. He has cheated on his new wife with a bimbo wedding planner. He’s attacked her family and threatened her. There is simply nothing positive about the Edge character. Edge needs a serious attitude adjustment. Enter The Undertaker.

Undertaker is rested after another of his extended breaks. He’s being brought in by Vickie Guerrero-Edge (or would that be Guerrero-Copeland?). The Undertaker was shelved, storywise, by Edge. Undertaker wants revenge. Vickie wants revenge. The fans want revenge. Edge doesn’t stand a chance.

Undertaker is going to brutalize Edge in ways that he has never brutalized anyone in the past. Edge is going to end up a bloody mess. Undertaker might even get help from La Familia, including Vickie. Edge may end up getting an extended vacation following this match. The Undertaker is going to bring out the Tombstone Piledriver, The Last Ride and the Gogoplata. This match will lead to a re-match, maybe around Survivor Series. Undertaker will probably lose that one, but he’s going to seriously destroy Edge in this one.

Predicted Winner: Edge
Predicted Grade A+

Final Grade: A
Final Thoughts: Summerslam is the launching pad for the Fall season. It will set several feuds into place. Edge might end up fighting La Familia after Sunday or he might take some time off. Punk will likely face either Cena or Batista, depending on the outcome of their match. Triple H could go after Chris Jericho to avenge his fallen D-X partner. There are so many new angles in the wings that Summerslam will help launch. I hope you all enjoy the show. I’m sure that I will. I’ll be back with you all, next week, with another HeadLocker column where I will give my post-Summerslam thoughts. Until then, remember this:

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. (Benjamin Disraeli)

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(8/15/2008)