Preview & Predictions: Summer Slam (8/20/2017)

This Sunday, the WWE’s second biggest show of the year, Summer Slam returns to Brooklyn for another combined-brand show that will hopefully keep us entertained for six-plus hours of wrestling (WWE can get away with this for NOW, but only until the return of the NFL). Let’s see what Vince and friends have in store for the “Biggest Party of the Summer”

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman

With Samoa Joe’s strong showing in his program with Brock Lesnar he has made a case to continue his pursuit of the beast. Add in the assumed heir to Brock’s throne Roman Reigns and a Monster Amongst Men who’s still not finished with Roman and you have a recipe for a Fatal Four-Way of epic proportions. With rumors swirling both behind the scenes and on camera of Brock’s eventual departure from the company, this Summer Slam tilt becomes a little trickier to predict.

Prediction: I’m not sure who the “safe pick” is here, but I’m going to a bit outside the box and say that Samoa Joe emerges victorious. Reigns and Strowman will have their time in the leadup to Wrestlemania to get back in the title picture. Lesnar doesn’t need to have the belt anymore, and it’d be good to have the champ on TV during football season.

WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

So much like last year’s strangely-thrown together Smackdown title match (Ambrose/Ziggler), Shinsuke Nakamura finds himself as the last minute challenger in the title match at Summer Slam.  Everything appeared set for Uber-American John Cena to beat the uber-foreign baddy (from the nefarious country of India…our sworn enemy!) and top Ric Flair for the most heavyweight titles of all time. But then Cena was forced to fight Shinsuke Nakamura to gain the chance (Smackdown, land of opportunity, yada yada) and was upset by the “artist/rock star”.

Prediction: Even though Jinder really doesn’t have that much going for him right now, this doesn’t seem like the right time to pull the trigger on Nakamura’s first title run. Maybe we’ll have a screwy finish and Nakamura can flesh this feud out for another PPV or two before taking the belt. Mahal retains.

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

So in the blink of an eye, Baron Corbin went from soon-to-be future world champion to soon-to-be future endeavored. Well maybe it’s not that bad, but things sure aren’t looking up for the Lone Wolf after unsuccessfully cashing in his Money in The Bank briefcase this past Tuesday on Smackdown Live. I’m not sure why WWE did this (one would presume they’ve lost confidence in him) but why not delay the failed cash-in until AFTER Summer Slam. Now this match has no intrigue (kind of not fair to Cena either) as Corbin seems like a big dummy who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Prediction: I don’t see any logic in taking the briefcase from Corbin only to have him turn around and beat Cena at Summer Slam (though Cena does seem to take some bad losses in August). Cena shines up his Slam record and beats Corbin cleanly.

US Champion AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens (special guest referee, Shane McMahon)

So after trading the title back and forth a few times (including a surprising Styles win at a house show at MSG), Styles comes into Summer Slam as champion. Owens has felt cheated out of a fair opportunity for the belt on more than one occasion and seems to have the bigger grudge with Shane than he does with Styles. I think we can safely expect a well-wrestled match with a Shane-centric finish.

Prediction: It seems the bigger story here is the building feud between Owens and Shane O Mac. I’m calling some questionable refereeing leading to another loss for the New Face of America. Styles retains and move on to his next program with Luke Harper (haha, that would be cool though, huh?)

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