Whilst the weather outside is dreary, we can take solice in the fact that Summerslam is only days away.
The biggest wrestling party returns for its thirty-second edition this coming Sunday. Having hailed from Brooklyn the previous four years, Summerslam 2019 will hail from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A normally vocal area from wrestling, Toronto holds the event for the second time in the Scotiabank Arena.
At the time of writing, a 10 match card has been assembled by WWE, mixing some of the top current stars with a couple of Hall of Famers from days-gone-by.
How each of these bouts will be viewed is up for debate. As a result, us at Suplex Retweet have asked our team to predict a match (in some cases two) a piece. By doing this, we will hopefully get as broad an insight to the build of the show as possible.
So here is our preview and predictions for Summerslam 2019.
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins – WWE Universal Title – Sarah Grieve
At Extreme Rules, Lesnar earned three-time universal champion status when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on the man who took the title from him at WrestleMania 35.
Still positioned as the top babyface on Raw, the self-proclaimed ‘Beast Slayer’ earned the right to challenge Lesnar the next night on Raw.
In the weeks following this, Seth has taken several beatings from the Beast Incarnate. Following the most recent, Rollins grabbed a mic and guaranteed that he would not only appear, but that he would win.
“This is all I’ve got. I’ll be at SummerSlam. And I’ll beat Brock Lesnar. I guarantee it.”Seth Rollins
It’s hard to believe that he’ll be 100 percent come Sunday. If Rollins isn’t 100 percent, it’s hard to see that he’ll be able to walk away with the title.
That said, one of Rollins’ specialties is defying the odds and doing things that no one expects.
No matter what Rollins’ condition is come Sunday, the WWE Universe will expect nothing less than his best effort in the hopes that he can reclaim the Universal Championship.
Lesnar has proven before that he will do whatever it takes, underhanded or not, to win a match and keep his belt. While the outcome seems to be a given, fans can expect a battle.
Brock will do whatever he can to win, whilst Rollins will refuse to stay down, no matter how hard Lesnar tries to keep him down.
It’s not just a battle of physicality, it’s a battle of wills. The champ is used to dispatching his opponents quickly, and is known to get frustrated when he can’t.
Rollins refuses to stay down no matter who he’s fighting, and if he can get Lesnar frustrated, he’ll have a shot at victory.
Brock Lesnar to retain
Becky Lynch vs Natalya – RAW Women’s Title – Allan McLucas
The Disarmour vs The Sharpshooter.
I think this match has the potential to be match of the night between two of the best female wrestlers around in the industry.
Expect a technical slow paced match with strong storytelling. I know many have their doubts about Natalya, however you do not graduate from the Hart Dungeon unless you are a solid technical grappler.
However, with that being said, I still expect Natalya to fall short as her character is still lacking, despite being greatly improved in recent months.
With Becky still being the hottest female talent in wrestling, I still feel there’s more to come from her as Champion, so she should pick up the victory.
However, if Natalya was to de-throne The Man, could The Baddest Women in the Planet Ronda Rousey have a role to play?
It’s unlikely but it’s the only way I see Natalya winning the title at Summerslam.
Becky Lynch via Disarmour, 3rd attempt.
Bayley vs Ember Moon – Smackdown Women’s Title – David Campbell
This is a weird one.
On the one hand, it is encouraging to see both Bayley and Ember featured in a singles match at arguably WWE’s second biggest show of the year.
Indeed, the last few months have seen both women given a considerably improved amount of both TV and promo time than they previously been granted.
On the other hand, it can’t be denied that the build to this match has been lacklustre at best.
Ember has come across as naive and unimpressive, having to be saved from a Natalya Sharpshooter by her Summerslam opponent on the go-home Smackdown before the big event.
Conversely, Bayley hasn’t come across well either. Ever since granting Moon the title opportunity she has constantly reminded her challenger that Bayley is the reason she is competing for the title at Summerslam in the first place, all the while never really treating Ember like a real threat.
Regardless of this poor build, both superstars are more than capable inside the ropes, and I expect this to be a match that flourishes at Summerslam despite its rocky road to get there.
I am predicting the hugger to walk away with the title on the night, but this one really is a toss up.
Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton – WWE Title – Ross Mcleod
This feud has been in the making almost as long as the 11 years it took Kofi to win the World Title.
Back in 2009, Kofi Kingston was in line for a massive push into the World title picture. He even captained a team that defeated Randy Orton’s team at that year’s Survivor Series.
Unfortunately, a botched spot in a match led to him being chewed out and berated on live TV by Randy Orton.
A loss to Orton at that year’s TLC PPV was the end of the Kofi experiment, for then. With Kingston still riding the wave of fan support and Orton playing the arrogant, smug heel he is so natural at, this feud has both its characters cast perfectly.
There has even been reference to to the infamous berating with Kofi Kingston reminding Randy: “I’m not the same STUPID kid I was 10 years ago”.
Kofi has done the seemingly impossible with title since winning it, defeating the likes of Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Samoa Joe, and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Despite being pinned in a 6 man tag by Orton at the start of this feud, I still see the fairytale run of Kofi continuing, but you never know when those 3 little letters could strike …
Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon – David Haughney
This feud has been built around Shane’s overbearing and overbooked role on WWE TV.
Acting as a ‘Voice of the People’ Kevin Owens got his pipebomb moment against Shane McMahon, calling him out for taking up all the TV time at the expense of more deserving superstars.
Fan criticism against Shane has been building for some time and WWE seems to have finally taken advantage it. The result has been a feud that people can be invested in.
Kevin has always been great at cutting promos. Hearing him deliver scathing promos with so much intensity and passion has added a much needed sense of realism whilst blurring the lines of kayfabe.
As a result, he has transitioned into somewhat of a face character. In a way, the fans see him as their representative in calling out WWE’s questionable booking.
Shane has had some dubious wins in the past against the Miz and Roman Reigns. It would be hard to argue that he won’t have any interference in the match, most likely from Elias.
There is also the stipulation that if Kevin loses, he quits WWE.
This Summerslam match could write off Shane from WWE TV for the foreseeable future if Kevin wins. If that happens, it would give Kevin a huge momentum boost following his mixed booking since his return from injury.
If Shane ends up winning, then WWE would have more to lose than gain, viewership figures might be one of them.
Kevin Owens is a prized asset to WWE and he should be treated as such. He plays a heel character great, but it would be brilliant to see him as a face going forward.
Plus, any other promotion would be lucky to have him if he does end up leaving!
Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor – Scott Mcleod
For several weeks, whenever I would catch up with RAW, the first thing I would check out was the latest Firefly Funhouse.
Watching each addition getting more and more sinister, I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next.
Then we finally got to see the Fiend in action when he attacked Finn Balor on Raw.
It’s clear that Bray is one of the few true characters WWE has had in years.
A character that can truly strike fear in people. You never know if he’ll show up as funhouse Bray or the Fiend.
The report that Finn is taking time off after SummerSlam does seem to indicate that Bray is winning.
Even if Finn wasn’t going away, there was only one way this could end. Balor has nothing to gain from winning and Bray losing his first match in this new gimmick would undo everything he’s done over the last few months.
Bray needs a strong win to solidify the Fiend as a threat.
If he can have a dominant run in this new guise, it could go a long way in making up for the years stop-start booking. This new version of Bray has so much potential that is not a case of wanting him to win, it’s more he has to win.
Finn’s IC title reign wasn’t the most memorable and he could use the time off.
He’ll feel fresh when he returns and he could continue hostilities with Bray as the Demon in the not-too-distant future.
AJ Styles vs Ricochet – WWE US Title – Sarah Grieve
These two have put on some terrific matches of late. Given the chemistry that pair have, this shouldn’t be a surprise.
Styles took the U.S. title from Ricochet at Extreme Rules with some assistance from The Club, although Ricochet was able to earn his rematch by emerging victorious from a gauntlet match on Raw.
This particular match has show-stealing potential if given the proper amount of time.
Since this is taking place at SummerSlam, it would’ve been a better match if there were some sort of stipulation instead of a run of the mill, straight forward rematch.
But even with it being a rematch, this could still be a stand out purely because of the two men in the ring.
Like previously mentioned, they have outstanding chemistry inside the squared circle. They are simply two of the company’s best and are capable of a match of the night any time they get in the ring.
Now known as The O.C., the Styles-Anderson-Gallows trio have been heels ever since. They’ll likely do more dastardly deeds during this rematch, unless Gallows and Anderson are banned from ringside.
Unless WWE’s ‘One and Only’ has some back up, Ricochet is essentially in a three-on-one handicap match.
Having the Good Brothers involved is pretty much expected, so this should prove to be a solid yet predictable match. With all three Club members carrying gold, it would be safe to bet that Styles retains.
AJ Styles retains
Goldberg vs Dolph Ziggler – Ross Mcleod
So … this is a strange one isnt it?
At the start of this feud, it looked to me as if Dolph was trying to unleash his original opponents, The Miz, true potential.
Then we have a showdown with Shawn Michaels. This one made even more sense as Dolph has lived with these comparisons his whole career, even hitting Shawn with a Sweet Chin Music on a recent episode of Smackdown.
Then, after some great back and forth between the Miz and Dolph on this Monday’s contract signing, and even a teaser of Shawn Michaels being Dolphs true opponent for Summerslam. Out comes Goldberg!
Goldberg had a great rivalry with Brock Lesnar from late 2016 to Wrestlemania of 2017. However, his recent performance with The Undertaker left a lot to be desired.
That being said, it seems he has taken most of the blame, despite Undertakers declining performances and advancing age being a problem for a few years now.
Even if it is just one last match, it would be good to see the former WCW icon have a good send off.
Dolph has made a career making others look good and I have the feeling the spear will look devastating on the Show Off. Goldberg for the win for me.
Charlotte Flair vs Trish Stratus – Steven Wilson
This one certainly came out of left field, not that I’m complaining.
Charlotte Flair has lived a quiet lifestyle in WWE since Money in the Bank. This was until recent weeks when she addressed her absence from the Summerslam card.
In doing so, Flair also outlined her intentions to prove she is “greatest female superstar of all-time”.
Enter Toronto favourite all-time female wrestler.
Trish would accept a challenge from the former eight-time women’s champion soon after, setting up a one-off encounter in her home country.
Stratus’ appearances last year in the Royal Rumble and Evolution show that she can still go in the ring. However, being a near decade post-retirement, her role should nothing more than to put over Charlotte.
Flair needs momentum, and Smackdown needs challengers to their women’s championship. Picking Trish as her opponent here is the perfect way to regain her mojo without flattening that of another.
Drew Gulak vs Oney Lorcan – WWE Cruiserweight Title – Scott Mcleod
No real story to this match as it was only made official on the go home episode of 205 Live.
Gulak has been waiting weeks for a credible challenger and Lorcan was just thrust into a six-pack challenge to earn this opportunity.
It’s great to see Lorcan getting a chance like this. The biggest opportunity he’s had since he had Danny Burch challenged Undisputed Era at Takeover Chicago 2.
The issue with this match is, like most Cruiserweight title matches, this will likely be relegated to the pre-show. I guess they figured why bother with story when it’s going to be on the kick-off anyway.
Despite having some of the most talented wrestlers in WWE, 205 Live tends to be low on fans list of WWE’s shows to watch.
Regardless of placement, give these guys 15 minutes and they’ll put on one of the best matches of the night.
That is as long as they don’t feel the need to put adverts on during the match.
As much as I like Lorcan through his work on 205 and NXT, Gulak is going to hold onto the belt.
He is the champion the brand needs and has needed for a while. At the moment 205 Live is lacking in star power so Gulak needs to have long reign as Cruiserweight champion.