Live from Barclays Center in New York City, WWE will present the 2018 edition of its second-biggest pay-per-view of the year, SummerSlam. The absolutely stacked 13-match card features all nine titles being defended as well as the Money in the Bank briefcase controlled by Braun Strowman. Both Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey will be in action with Lesnar looking to continue his dominant Universal Title reign while Rousey hopes to win her first championship since joining WWE. Below are my predictions for the show.
Kickoff Show Match: Rusev and Lana vs. Zelina Vega and Andrade “Cien” Almas
Zelina has definitely gotten the better of Lana throughout this feud so far, and Rusev hasn’t really been super impressive against Almas. Logic dictates that Rusev and Lana should have their day here, but Almas and Vega have more momentum and they need the win more. Hopefully the fans get in their seats in time for this one because it should be decent.
Prediction: Almas and Vega
Kickoff Show Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival vs. Champions The B Team
It would have been a bigger deal for Wilder and Dawson to win the straps on Monday night’s episode of Raw than on the SummerSlam Kickoff Show to be perfectly honest. My guess: Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel win on a technicality on Sunday night, then Constable Corbin makes a rematch on Monday night or something along those lines.
Prediction: The B Team
Kickoff Show WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak vs. Champion Cedric Alexander
A Cruiserweight match has finally made it back onto a PPV (well, the kickoff show anyway). Gulak has done really good work on 205 Live, and its about time Cedric dropped the strap anyway.
Prediction: Drew Gulak
Money in the Bank Contract On the Line: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
I have this feeling that Owens will somehow win the briefcase and then go on to win the Universal Championship all in the same night. As much as I like the guy, I don’t see that working out too well. Braun should be the guy on the top of the card, and he should run through Owens in short order.
Prediction: Braun Strowman
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
Some find the whole Constable thing entertaining and think this match deserves a spot on a major card. I agree with the latter, as restroom breaks are important. Poor Balor deserves better than this. I'm not even sure why this match is on the card.
Prediction: Finn Balor
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
One of WWE’s longest running feuds finally returns to the ring. One suspects it won’t end here. Miz winning via shenanigans makes the most sense for the bitter feelings between the two to continue, and it should continue, because these two are amazing together.
Prediction: The Miz
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
After a 30 minute Iron Man match last month ruined by bored fans chanting for the clock, these two will only need one fall this time. I think the presence of Dean Ambrose gives Rollins an emotional edge, and I don't think we will see an Ambrose heel turn just yet. But I could be wrong.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy
Probably the most predictable match on the card. I'm sure Randy Orton will be involved in some sort of capacity. I'm surprised they didn't just throw him in and make it a Triple Threat.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day
The only time fans have really cared about the Bludgeon Brothers reign was when Team Hell No was involved. Not a good sign. Getting them out of the way opens things up to teams like The Bar and Usos.
Prediction: The New Day
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
The story here should probably be Becky vs Charlotte, but Carmella has done a good job of generating heat & making everything about her. I think she takes advantage of dissension and retains the championship to the shock of the crowd. But I hope Becky's time comes soon.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Champion Alexa Bliss
Logic dictates that Alexa finds a way to screw Ronda over and hang on to the title until Evolution. That could happen, but I just don’t see Ronda taking the fall here. I figure her undefeated streak in WWE should last as long as her MMA streak did.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey
WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
You have the rarity of two seasoned veterans in Joe and Styles who are extremely well-versed in the ring, have developed a phenomenal (pun totally intended) chemistry with each other, and have each developed their own remarkable cadence on the mic, constructing an emotionally in-depth storyline based on Styles’ family woes, Joe and AJ’s shared history, and the mind games Joe plays to screw with Styles’ and undermine his confidence going into what is bound to be a MOTN candidate for SummerSlam, if not MOTY for 2018. Plus, Styles is on the WWE 2K19 cover, so he will probably hold onto the title based on that also.
WWE Universal Championship Match: Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
The past few months have taught us never to assume that Brock Lesnar is going to drop the Universal Championship, least of all to Roman Reigns. However, at this point, it’s hard to fathom anyway it’ll make sense to have Lesnar vs. Reigns again without the title moving to Reigns and/or Braun Strowman swooping in with the Money in the Bank contract. In the end, though, I’m doing something that I never do and that's bet against Brock and calling it that Reigns finally goes over here. Which may or may not lead to a cash in straight after.
Prediction: Roman Reigns