HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My SummerSlam Predictions
Our resident philosopher breaks out the crystal ball, tea leaves and lucky coin to try and decipher the winners and losers in the summer spectacular.
While I’ve already ordered SummerSlam (it was a package deal), I’m not all that impressed. The matches are redundant and weak, for the most part. SummerSlam used to be one of the Big Four in WWE wrestling events, along with Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and Survivor Series. Now, it’s just another in a long line of mediocre shows to tap the fans for another $50 bucks. Despite that, I’ll try and keep a positive mindset as I sift through the sludge, looking for something that shines.
Christian v William Regal
ECW Title Match
Backstory: Christian took back the ECW title from Tommy Dreamer. He survived a rather nasty rematch under Extreme Rules. William Regal has been pushed as the next top contender for Christian’s title. He will challenge at this Sunday’s PPV.
Predictions: Why would ECW/WWE dare to trust Regal with the belt? Regal already has two strikes against him, thanks to the Wellness Program. While he has been a good boy for many months, ECW really can’t afford to risk their strap on someone unstable. I think Christian will survive this challenge, only to fall to one of Regal’s new cohorts, Vladimir Kozlov or Ezekiel Jackson. The ending will see Regal miss his Knee Trembler finisher. In the confusion, Christian will pull the KillSwitch. He’ll likely suffer a horrible beating, after the match. Tommy Dreamer will ride in on his white horse to make the save. Expect the next big match for ECW to feature Christian and Dreamer v the World Extreme.
Predicted Winner: Christian
Predicted Grade: B-
Jack Swagger v MVP
Backstory: MVP got into some major trouble as a young man. He spent time in prison. MVP did his time and has become a model citizen. Jack Swagger refuses to let the past lie. He continues to harass MVP about his criminal past. This feud has really just got rolling.
Prediction: This is a classic feud. The yuppie scum v the reformed bad boy. Both of these men are excellent competitors. This is really a tough match to call. I definitely needed the lucky Fitzgerald’s Hotel memorial coin for this one. I think Chris Masters is going to help Swagger win this one. Masters will distract MVP, which will allow the All-American American to catch MVP with the Gut Wrench Powerbomb. This match just might be the Sleeper match of the night.
Predicted Winner: Jack Swagger
Predicted Grade: A-
The Great Khali v Kane
Backstory: This feud goes back to Wrestlemania 23. In that match, Khali lumbered over Kane to take a somewhat surprising win. Two years later, no one cares about this lame feud. Kane kidnapped Ranjin Singh, who has been Khali’s manager/interpreter. It was revealed that the smaller Singh is, in fact, The Great Khali (Dalip Singh)’s little brother. The feud just became a matter of family.
Prediction: In every major Pay-per-view, there is one Who cares? match. This is it. Khali is no threat to any major title. Kane has settled into a comfortable position in mid-card Hell. This match isn’t going to elevate either man on the Smackdown roster. It finally comes down to the whole family thing. I think Khali is going to get screwed in this one. It’s going to be a rehash of the Paul Bearer/Undertaker swerve of a dozen years ago. Ranjin is going to turn on his brother. Eventually, it will come out that Ranjin has always been jealous of his big brother. Ranjin will accuse his brother of failing to protect him from the monster, Kane. Ranjin will slip Kane his See No Evil hook and chain to bash Khali and take the win.
Predicted Winner: Kane (with assist to Ranjin Singh)
Predicted Grade: D-
Rey Mysterio v Dolph Ziggler
Backstory: Dolph Ziggler got his butt handed to him at Night of Champions. He came back to win a Fatal Four Way match to earn this shot.
Prediction: The IC title continues to flounder with this feud. Rey Mysterio really doesn’t have too many choices for opponents over on the Blue Brand. I think this might end up as the Shocker Match of the card. In the real world, Rey should easily dispatch the annoying Ziggler. I think ol’ Dolph just might pull off the win with his Inverted Jumping Bulldog.
Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Grade: B
Chris Jericho & Big Show v Cryme Tyme
Unified Tag Team title
Backstory: Chris Jericho and Edge defeated the Colons (Primo and Carlito) to take the Unified Tag Team titles. Edge injured his Achilles Tendon and went on the DL until after the first of the year, at best. Jericho was able to find himself another partner. At Night of Champions, Jericho revealed his new partner, The Big Show. The duo easily dispatched Legacy to retain their titles. Big Show got into a little skirmish with Shaquille O’Neal, who was Guest Hosting Monday Night Raw. Shaq brought out Shad and JTG to battle Big Show and Jericho. That led to this championship match.
Predictions: Cryme Tyme are the Bushwackers of the 21st century. They are absolutely no threat to Show and Jericho. The only chance that they might have would require Shaq to show up and help unseat the champions. That isn’t likely to happen. Show is going to thrash the Boys from da Hood and take out Shad with the Colossal Clutch. Cryme Tyme will then slip back into their comic roles and real teams, like the Hart Dynasty, Kozlov/Jackson (The Cold War-riors) or, maybe, the Hardyz will get a shot at the belts.
Predicted Winners: Big Show and Chris Jericho
Predicted Grade: B-
D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) v Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, Jr.)
Backstory: As a side feud of the whole Orton v McMahon war, DiBiase and Rhodes attacked Triple H (Vince’s son-in-law, Stephanie’s ol’ man). Trip knew he needed a little help, so he called for his best buddy, Shawn Michaels, to come out of retirement and help him battle the next generationers.
Prediction: This is merely an opening act in this little drama. No matter who wins, the war will continue for months. There are rumors that DiBiase will turn face, around Christmas, to help push his upcoming movie. Until then, he needs to stay in the spotlight, as a strong heel. I so want to give this one to D-X. Heck, I’m wearing my official D-X t-shirt as I type this. The problem is this: If D-X trashes Legacy on Sunday, the feud stalls before it starts. If WWE really wants to milk this one for some great ratings, they need to have Legacy pull some underhanded shenanigans to steal a win from the veterans.
Predicted Winners: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr.
Predicted Grade: A-
C.M. Punk v Jeff Hardy
World Heavyweight Title under TLC rules
Backstory: Punk won the Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania 25. Jeff won the World title from Edge at Extreme Rules. Punk then cashed in his title shot and took the title from Jeff, moments after Jeff’s brutal ladder match against Edge. Jeff would come back and take the strap back from Punk at Night of Champions. Punk has been in the middle of a huge heel turn and looks to continue it on Sunday.
Prediction: This match has two outcomes: 1. How I would book it and 2. How WWE will likely book it. If I were booking it, Punk would cheat his way into a win. He would then go on to feud with John Morrison over the belt. Jeff would reunite with his brother, Matt, and make a run at the tag belts. If WWE does what I expect them to do, Jeff will retain to please all the people that like Jeff (I don’t) and Punk will feud with Morrison to figure out who gets Jeff at the next not-so-big PPV. While there would be so many more options available if Punk held the belt, I imagine that Jeff will keep the strap to give the teenie-boppers a thrill. I just know that this match is going to start a minor little war in my house. My daughter and son-in-law like Jeff, I like Punk. I may end up hiding in my office by the end of this one.
Predicted Winner: Jeff Hardy
Predicted Grade: A-
Randy Orton v John Cena
WWE Title Match
Backstory: For about the last year and a half, the Raw top belt has circulated between Orton, Cena, Batista and Triple H. Since Batista’s out with an injury and Triple H is doing the D-X thing, Cena got the call to battle the Viper, Orton. Orton has won and lost the belt several times in the past couple of years.
Prediction: The top tier of talent on Raw has dramatically dried up in recent months. Batista’s out with an injury, Kennedy was let go (just as he was ready to challenge Orton), Triple H has shifted focus to reliving the D-X Glory Days and Big Show is working with Jericho. This one’s a little tough to call because there’s really no where for either to go. If Batista were well, I’d give this to Cena in a heartbeat. Since Miz is focusing on the U.S. title, Cena wouldn’t have him to contend with. Cena v HHH has been done to death, as has Orton v HHH. Mark Henry would be a good challenge for Orton, since Mark has started a nice little face turn. Since the face Hardy is going to retain the World title, I expect the heel Orton to keep his strap to keep everything in balance. (When all else fails, fall back on good Buddhist philosophy. My late wife was a big believer in Karma and all that kind of stuff)
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
Predicted Grade: A-
Final Grade: B-
Final Thoughts: This looks to be the weakest SummerSlam, ever. The US, Women’s and Divas’ titles are being totally ignored on this big card. They might throw one or more in as a filler or dark match. The various feuds don’t have all that much steam. It’s tough to get into the enthusiasm of the show. Perhaps, WWE should have left a bigger break between PPVs. With SummerSlam being the ninth PPV in 8 months, the company just doesn’t have enough time to really build up strong matches. I’m expecting to hear a huge amount of negative feedback after the show. If I’d hadn’t already ordered this in the whole package deal thing, I wouldn’t have wasted the $50 on this one. By the way, it has been reduced from 4 hours to only 3. That says a whole lot.
— Jay Shannon