Triple Z discusses WWE's SummerSlam and why their biggest event of the summer will have huge ramifications for their upcoming fall schedule.
It's been a while since I blogged on professional wrestling. A lot has come up in the past few months. WWE's pay-per-view schedule is fast and furious, and not to mention the lack of interest in the earlier months led me to be silent on ZWrestleTalk and focus on other projects. Well, I'm back and there is a ton to discuss for SummerSlam. The event is important and will have ramifications on WWE's future this fall.
NBCUniversal and Fox are wondering why WWE isn't performing well in the ratings. Can WWE turn itself around?
WWE hired Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman to course correct their main shows. These aren't "figurehead" roles either. The Executive Director role comes with real responsibilities like talking to the show's respected network and reporting directly to Vince McMahon. Was the move a reaction to WWE's stale product or was it a reaction to AEW?
All I know is before I get heavy into predictions. WWE locking up Heyman and Bischoff was brilliant. You know for sure AEW would've made a play for Heyman. Bisichoff would be more unlikely considering his stint at TNA. I feel like that whole saga damaged his aura.
WWE has turned it around lately. Kicking things into high gear even before Heyman/Bischoff assume full control of their shows. The prospect of competition on a major network has them shook, and really that isn't a bad thing. I like AEW. Yet, I still think WWE is overrating their threat level.
WWE is a billion dollar company. AEW has funds but it's not even near that range yet. The roster of AEW is good but it's not even close to the talent of WWE's. WWE shouldn't even put NXT on Wednesday's to compete against AEW. NXT needs to remain on the WWE Network. It adds necessary value to it. Having a taped NXT on FS1 will not capture the same level of value. Especially ratings wise, and not to mention its unnecessary to showcase that brand on a network of that size alongside your other shows. If WWE messes with NXT's current format they could once again end up with a lackluster third show that looks reminiscent to Main Event/WWE Superstars.
Now with that all being said let's get to some predictions.
I'm abandoning predicting for 205 Live because I don't keep up with it at all.
Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
Finn Balor is going on a break after SummerSlam. Honestly, that's probably the best thing for him. WWE is stuffed with talent, and Finn Balor has been included in major storylines but that will only last so long in the current WWE ecosystem. Bray Wyatt on the other hand is in line for a major push. I give him credit he has reinvented himself.
I do find his new character not as entertaining as others have. I think Wyatt will eventually burn out but maybe this run actually works for him.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
AJ Styles vs Ricochet
AJ Styles will take on Ricochet once again for the United States Championship. I can't imagine Styles losing so quick into his reign. Especially now that he's part of the rebranded "The Club" which is now just "The OC" meaning "Original Club." Which is a reference to the past of AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows. It will be fascinating to see how long this lasts before WWE decides to make Styles a solo main event act again.
Winner: AJ Styles
Goldberg vs Dolph Ziggler
This will be the most exciting Dolph Ziggler match in years. That being said.
Trish Stratus vs Charlotte Flair
I really hope this isn't Trish Stratus' last match. She wouldn't be a bad part time talent to have during big pay-per-views like SummerSlam and WrestleMania or even during a random event that just needs some star power. My heart wants Trish to win because it's Toronto after all, and how good would it be to see Charlotte Flair lose a big match? I just know better. It's going to be Charlotte Flair winning and Trish "passing the torch."
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon
I'm starting to see shades of current Kofi Kingston and 2014 Daniel Bryan in Kevin Owens. I think there is a possibility he could rise to be a true top guy. Someone that is truly over. His momentum is ramping up. He uses the stunner now and cuts passionate promos, and it does help he is in a feud with Shane McMahon.
The match itself I assume will be okay. Maybe it will be better than their previous outing. It feels like WWE is making Shane McMahon wrestle a ton. Which is crazy considering he works best as a part-time talent in most scenarios.
I can't see Owens losing this fight, and I can't see WWE attempting the tired "He lost so he has to quit only to come back three weeks later." Just give us a clean Owens victory.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Bayley vs Ember Moon
This match to me is just one big shrug. I hope Bayley keeps the title so she can finally return to height of her popularity. I just haven't felt this feud at all but I do respect WWE making this feud between just two SmackDown stars. We really need to enforce the brand split again. I think Bayley is going to retain so it doesn't make her cash-in look like a waste.
Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton
This one should be epic. Kofi Kingston is the WWE Champion and longtime foe Randy Orton is now in his way once again. Will Randy Orton win his 14th world championship? It's a possibility. This feud has been brewing for a decade ever since Kofi's first main event feud with Randy Orton back in 2009. There were rumors after that program, Orton used his status within WWE to hold Kofi Kingston back. After that feud in 2009, Kofi Kingston would go on to have entertaining matches and even become a part of The New Day. Which is now one of WWE's best tag teams of all time. Kofi Kingston is finally a main event talent. Yet, the WWE is a hard place to stay at the top. Ask the likes of JBL, Jinder Mahal, and even Dolph Ziggler.
Kofi Kingston's reign has been decent. He's only faced the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, and Samoa Joe so far. Which are all good but none are on the established level like Randy Orton. The Viper poses Kofi's biggest challenge yet. WWE tapping into the real life aspects of this feud is brilliant.
If Kofi Kingston can retain at SummerSlam we could see him holding on to the title for a couple more months. Orton/Kingston has potential to be the match of the night. Purely from a story element. It's hard to bet against Randy Orton, especially when he is in raging heel mode, but I'm going to have to this time.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Let me start by saying I love Becky Lynch. Yet, "The Man" gimmick is starting to take its toll. It was starting to feel unoriginal at WrestleMania and some of her tactics have leaned more heel than "anti-hero." The one thing I give Becky credit for is that she stole the female Stone Cold status away from Ronda Rousey but if Rousey returns soon it could be fun to see those two compete for the same role. I don't think Rousey is returning anytime soon but I would assume WWE would need one of their most marketable names available during WrestleMania season. Heck, they may need her for SmackDown on FOX this fall.
I honestly think Becky Lynch may hold the belt until WrestleMania. Why make the women's championship a hot potato when you don't need too? Although, it could be a good twist to see Natalya tap out Becky Lynch in Toronto. Natalya has come across way more impressive in this feud with Becky.
Still I think Becky retains.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins
It's clear WWE no longer thinks of Money in the Bank as a long story arc. The Money in the Bank briefcase is now used for short term gains in terms of story. This is what happened with Brock Lesnar winning Money in the Bank and winning the Universal Championship. It was a short term gain.
Now the bigger question rises. Which Brock will show up?
Lazy Brock, who doesn't care to even try and just hits suplex after suplex and a F5 or in the losing scenario loses in less then a minute.
will we get Motivated Brock, the same Brock Lesnar we saw against the likes of AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and most importantly Daniel Bryan. The Brock that has a desire to tell a story and have a fun match.
It will be interesting to see but WrestleMania showed us that Lesnar can lose in horrific fashion. The first true WWE talent to beat him outside the likes of Reigns, HHH, Taker, and Goldberg squashed him in an unmemorable match.
Lesnar is going to stay with WWE for awhile. I can't see him dropping the title so soon. Also, if this match is main event maybe they can do a twist at the end? I honestly don't know where Rollins and Lesnar go from here.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
One last thing will call this like a post-credit prediction.
Roman Reigns' "Who did it" storyline will take a major turn at SummerSlam. Please give us Reigns vs Bryan at WrestleMania 36.
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I created ZWrestleTalk. On this page I give my PPV predictions for Wrestling Events (Usually just WWE)