It’s time once again to take a look at what is in store for WWE fans this weekend!
Traditionally Summerslam weekend has been treated as the 2nd biggest weekend of the WWE year. They usually pull out all the stops to make it only slightly less spectacular than Wrestlemania weekend. That hasn’t been the case this year, and I’m not entirely sure why. Sure, Lesnar is on the card and two Hall of Famers are competing, but it all feels thrown together really late. Matches were still being booked on the go home episodes of Raw and SDL this week, and some still seem likely to be added. None of the main roster tag titles are set to be defended as of publishing of this article. Perhaps it’s due to some of the behind the scenes transitions currently happening, but it just doesn’t feel like Summerslam this year.
Alas, on with the predictions, and I’m making some BOLD choices this month!
NXT TakeOver Toronto Aug 10
-NXT Title- 2 out of 3 falls, each fall has a stipulation: Adam Cole© vs Johnny Gargano
This is title match #3 for these two men. Even though Cole currently holds the title, they are essentially tied at this point with 2 falls each over their previous 2 meetings. In an effort to determine a definitive winner General Manager William Regal has made another 2 out of 3 falls match. The twist this time is that each man picks a stipulation for one of the falls.
Cole chose for the first fall to be a straight up wrestling match. Gargano has chosen a street fight for the second fall. Should the third fall be necessary, Regal will choose the stipulation. I’m a bit torn in that either man could reasonably come out on top with the other making his way to the main roster. As NXT’s 1st two Triple Crown Champions, neither man has any major goals left to achieve on the black & gold brand.
Prediction: The deciding factor for me is a BOLD prediction that could play out over the course of the night, and it starts with Adam Cole (BAY BAY) retaining the NXT Title.
-NXT Tag Titles- Street Profits© vs Undisputed Era (Fish & O’Reilly)
The Street Profits are one of the most popular and entertaining tandems NXT has seen in a while. After an extended amount of time on the roster where they didn’t quite reach their full potential, they’ve absolutely made the most of their moment to shine since picking up the vacated titles left behind by the Viking Raiders. Much like the Vikings though, the Profits have already begun making regular appearances on Monday nights.
Prediction: The Profits already have one foot out the door, and UE are multi-time champs who are ALWAYS a threat to regain the titles. Thus phase 2 of my very BOLD prediction sees Fish & O’Reilly recapturing the gold.
-NXT North American Title- Velveteen Dream© vs Roderick Strong vs Pete Dunne
Dream is amazing. He’s got that special something that can’t really be taught when it comes to building a star. His matches have been highlights on nearly every TakeOver card in recent memory. He’s also been rumored for a call up for months now.
Strong is one of those talents that doesn’t always reach their full potential regardless of an unlimited supply of genuine talent. He has a special mission here though that could play into my BOLD predictions.
Dunne is a surprising inclusion here. He has old beef with Strong but no real story with Dream. He’s basically here because after a nearly two year title reign there’s not much else for him to do on the UK brand currently. Could he play spoiler to MY story?
Prediction: I think you all see where this is going. Go BOLD or go home right? Strong wins and the Undisputed Era truly begins with all 4 members of UE holding gold.
-NXT Women’s Title- Shayna Baszler© vs Mia Yim
Baszler has been a dominant force for quite some time now, in part due to her friends Marina and Jessamyn. Mia has seemingly removed those friends from the equation with parking lot and locker room attacks. This could be the best chance any woman has had to wrest the title away from the Queen of Spades.
Prediction: I feel like I make some version of this same prediction every Takeover. The way I see it, if I stay the course, it has to come true eventually. Right??? Mia wins the title freeing Shayna to be called up.
-Io Shirai vs Candice Lerae
They started as friends, providing back up for one another against the Horsewomen. Alas, when after Shirai tried and failed one too many times to dethrone the Queen of Spades, she shocked everyone by turning on her friend Candice. Now LeRae wants revenge.
Prediction: Evil Io needs the win, so I’m afraid it’s going to be a sad day in the LeRae-Gargano house.
-Universal Title: Brock Lesnar© vs Seth Rollins
At the conclusion of Extreme Rules Lesnar cashed in Money in the Bank on an exhausted Rollins to claim the Universal Title. The champion has made more TV appearances in the month since than I think he did during 6 months of his previous title reign, and each time he’s gotten the better of the former “Beast Slayer.” Most recently “the Beast” left Rollins a broken man, both physically and mentally, this week on Raw. Can Rollins slay the beast again, or is it time for a new challenger to rise? It would be a lot easier to answer that question if there actually was another challenger who’d been built up enough to be in line for that opportunity.
Prediction: Lesnar retains and continues making regular TV appearances, because the powers that be think he’ll help boost Fall ratings.
-Raw Womens Title: Submission Match: Becky Lynch© vs Natalya
These two women have a long history both in and out of kayfabe. They’re also two of the most skilled in ring workers on the roster. However, I think the thing I’m most intrigued by is where the crowd will stand come Sunday. “The Man” has been arguably the most bankable fan favorite of the past year plus, BUT Canadian audience almost always side with the Hart family. In the build up to the match they seem to be hedging their bets by positioning both women as tweeners so that they can lean into whichever direction the Toronto crowd leans. As long as the audience is into it, it won’t matter which way they go and we should be in for a fantastic fight. Do they stay the course with Lynch, or do they give Nattie a special moment in front of a supportive crowd?
Prediction: Given that she’s the cover girl for the new video game they just started advertising, I’m gonna say they keep the Man at the top for the foreseeable future.
–WWE Title: Kofi Kingston© vs Randy Orton
Well before Kofi was known as a tag team specialist or a Royal Rumble highlight package he had a brief flirtation with the top of the card where he feuded with Randy Orton. Things didn’t work out then, but it’s kinda great that the history is being brought back all these years later now that Kingston finally has reached the top of the mountain. Knowing that the champ is more than a little banged up from essentially carrying the company for the last 6 months, they’ve built this one mostly with words and video packages. It worked. The only question that remains is whether or not Kofi-Mania rolls on further or Orton is the guy who leads Smackdown over to Fox this Fall.
Prediction: I hate myself for this choice, but I think they’ll go with the more established champion going into the Fall TV move. Orton wins.
-Smackdown Womens Title: Bayley© vs Ember Moon
This might be the worst booked match on the card. After dispatching her previous challenger Alexa Bliss multiple times, Bayley simply handed Moon this opportunity as a show of respect. Unfortunately they’ve done nothing since then to make Moon seem worthy of that opportunity. She’s been pinned by the aforementioned Bliss, and this week she was brutalized so badly by Natalya that Bayley had to come out for the save. That is NOT how you book the #1 contender to a major title (or even a minor one). These two women are just as talented as the two women fighting over the Raw title, but unfortunately the creative department has really let them down this month.
Prediction: Bayley retains and hopefully receives better booking next month.
-US Title-Aj Styles© vs Ricochet
Ricochet’s first US Title reign was seemingly cut short by a resurgent Styles with the help of the newly reformed Club. The gravity defying high flyer fought his way into a rematch, but can he overcome the OC? This is a tough call, because both men could really use the momentum.
Prediction: Styles retains because there’s so much more they can do with a dominant OC. Ricochet will recover from the loss and get plenty more opportunities to show off his superhuman abilities.
-Cruiserweight Title: Drew Gulak© vs Oney Lorcan
Lorcan emerged victorious from a 6 man #1 contenders match on 205 Live this week. He’s been a somewhat underappreciated star on both NXT and 205 this past year. Is it finally time for him to taste some gold and get a bit more of the spot light?
Prediction: Gulak had a long road to this title and has been a good champion since obtaining it. His journey is not yet over, because he’s retaining here.
-Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon: Owens will quit WWE if he loses
Shane McMahon has spent the majority of 2019 dominating TV time, often at the expense of more deserving full-time wrestlers. There’s no denying that Shane can be a fun addition to the show when used appropriately (and infrequently), but by mid-summer he was so over-exposed that fans were ready to change the channel. Suddenly an unexpected anti-hero emerged from the ranks to reclaim the spotlight on behalf of both the fans and the locker room. KO, now utilizing the Stunner once made famous by WWE’s greatest anti-authority figure, is so confident in his ability to get the job done that he’s put his own career on the line. Will he succeed, or will “the best in the world” bring friends to help him maintain power and dominance?
Prediction: Owens NEEDS to win. For the sake of ratings AND the future of the roster we NEED a break from Shane.
-Charlotte Flair vs Trish Stratus
Credit where it’s due, booking choices may not be perfect, but the women are definitely getting more opportunity these days (some of them anyway). This weekend they’re featuring 2 women’s matches on Takeover and 3 women’s matches on Summerslam. That’s a far, far cry from the years when the women would merely have pranced about in bikinis for Summer themed advertising.
That said, out of the 5 women’s matches this weekend, this is the one with the least amount of build. It was thrown together just last week as a battle of the generations. The stars involved don’t need a ton of build to be a special attraction, but it still would have been good to set up the match a bit sooner if for no other reason that advertising power.
Prediction: Charlotte goes over and probably reenters the title picture.
-Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
After months of incredibly entertaining Firefly Funhouse sketches and a few weeks of that show’s puppet stars popping up in backstage moments, Wyatt’s “fiend” persona finally made his 1st in ring appearance with an attack on Balor. Since then he’s also gone on to attack Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Kurt Angle just to show how diabolical he can be. This will be Wyatt’s first official match since returning and it’s against a man with a dark side of his own. We don’t know for sure if we’ll be seeing the “demon” this weekend though. What we do know is that Finn is scheduled for a little vacation time after this, so the outcome of the match is fairly certain.
Prediction: The Fiend Bray Wyatt picks up his 1st victory and sends the Irishman home for a while.
-Dolph Ziggler vs Goldberg
This one just came together this week. Ziggler has been mixing it up with Miz and Shawn Michaels recently, so of course it makes sense that he’s fighting neither of them at Summerslam. Instead, those 2 rivals tricked the showoff into a match with Goldberg. I don’t think any of us expect a show stealing performance from the old man here, but at least Dolph should be able to carry him to a better performance than he had in Saudi Arabia back in June.
Prediction: Goldberg wins because Ziggler doesn’t matter.
Might there be more? I can think of quite a few options.
-Aleister vs Sami: This match was originally scheduled for Summerslam, but they had it on Smackdown instead. Will they go again or was that it?
-Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan: Bryan and his associate Rowan were revealed to be behind the recent attacks of Reigns in the closing seconds of SDL this week. Will that lead to a last minute match? Will they just do an angle that continues building the feud more slowly? Mid-week rumors suggest Roman could actually be fighting Buddy Murphy this weekend. Apparently we won’t know until Sunday, which seems like a terrible way to build excitement for such a large show.
-Tag Titles: Currently none of the company’s tag titles are scheduled to be defended on the 2nd biggest show of the year. Now that the women’s belts are on the wastes of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross will they get to defend those shiny new accessories? What about the OC’s recently acquired Raw belts? The New Day’s SD Titles?
-Drew McIntyre vs Cedric Alexander: will they get to finish what they started on Raw?
-IC Title: It seemed as though Ali was being set up to challenge Nakamura for the IC title, but then they threw away that momentum by feeding Ali to Ziggler this week. Does Nak get a different challenger for this weekend?
NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff Aug 31
-UK Title- Walter© vs Tyler Bate
-NXT UK Womens Title- Toni Storm© vs Kay Lee Ray
WWE Clash of Champions Sept 15
WWE Hell in a Cell Oct 6
NXT TakeOver Wargames Nov 23
WWE Survivor Series Nov 24
WWE TLC Dec 15
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