Title: WWE SummerSlam 2014 (Preview & Predictions)
Date: August 15, 2014
Original Source: Voices of Wrestling
Synopsis: I helped preview WWE’s Summerslam pay per view event as a part of a four-person panel.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC): I might be in the minority in having dug this build start-to-finish. Ambrose’s character development has pushed him from “one of my favorites to watch” to a guy whose segments I’ll now go out of my way to catch if I miss a show. Sure, the lumberjack stipulation is awful (though I can accept his explanation to the lumberjacks that “you hate us both, let us tear each other apart”). I think the feud is still hot enough to head to Night of Champions if this match is done right, and I could see Ambrose’s desire to just beat on Rollins costing him the actual match (because who cares about wins and losses in a blood feud?). I have high hopes despite the stipulation.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Blake Murphy: So here’s an interesting wrinkle for this match – while neither is in the top tier of face or heel, they’re both in the upper echelon of current crowd reactions. A late-match punch-for-punch could be a cool moment if the crowd’s hot, and they have enough chemistry to make for a good match. I don’t think they’d pull the plug on Miz’ title reign so quickly after re-introducing the character, but I doubt it comes clean. I’ve thought for a while Miz could use a bodyguard, The Brian Kendrick style, and this could be a good spot for it. Of course, there’s always the chance WWE goes for an early-card shocker to get the crowd hyped up and has Ziggler go over.
Prediction: The Miz
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
Blake Murphy: Reigns has been pushed like crazy and has done a good job developing when it comes to non-mic, non-match components, and this will be a really interesting showcase, if the match times that were leaked are true. Can he go 15 with a top star on a big card? I’d suspect almost everyone will give Reigns the nod and I would have thought the same had Triple H remained a tangential part of the feud, but if it’s not going to be H next, Reigns would have nowhere to go after a victory. I wrestled with the idea of giving Orton the nod for that reason, and because WWE may want to see how Reigns (and his character) responds to a loss, but let’s be serious – this is someone they see as having it, and he’s not dropping his first high-profile singles PPV match.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
WWE Divas Championship
AJ Lee vs. Paige
Blake Murphy: Good match, pretty decent build, but I really don’t know who gets the win. I guess I’ll go with Paige, since her character is newer, fresher, and could use the legitimacy of a victory, but it would also be odd to see Lee drop back out of the title picture so soon after returning. Maybe it could continue, though, with a focus on how close the rivalry is in-ring. Is it clear I don’t know for this one?
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
Blake Murphy: Was this feud dragged out too long, or did it just kind of run into unfortunate timing with Lana being somewhat restricted in how anti-American and pro-Russia she could go? It’s cooled for me, and maybe some of that is just eye-rolling at Jack Swagger beating Cesaro, or me being unable to buy into Zeb Colter as a face, but what I was once excited for is now just kind of…eh. I can’t imagine Rusev loses here, because what the hell would be the point of that? Rusev crush.
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
Blake Murphy: I’m no longer looking forward to this at all. Look, Brie and Steph have reportedly been training hard, and Brie had improved a fair amount in the ring before her storyline firing, so maybe it won’t be that bad in-ring. The feud was great, too, but the booking killed me on Raw this week. “Hey, we have two great female feuds right now, they’re both on fire, completely different and, you know, related to wrestling. We better pull out the Jerry Springer stuff, just to make sure.” Gah. Honestly, I was interested, and now I’m not, all because they had to go to the well with “women can’t have disagreement like men have them” garbage. Somehow, Brie wins, I guess? I don’t know.
Prediction: Brie Bella
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
Blake Murphy: The promos have been good. The match will be good. The story as a whole? I think everyone agrees it’s been lacking. But it’s picked back up of late, at least. Jericho has hit his stride the past two weeks and Wyatt has been at his best focusing in on Jericho-specific things instead of speaking in vague generalities, enough that I’m excited to see what kind of story they’ll tell in the ring. There’s no way in hell Wyatt’s dropping a second straight decision to Jericho, though, so it’s pretty transparent here.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Blake Murphy: That special, though! That’s how you build a match, and that not airing as a segment on Raw was a colossal mistake in driving buys for Summerslam (which would, in turn, probably help the Network more than making the special Network-only). In any case, this match should be awesome. Give me their Extreme Rules match with a slightly different finish, and I’ll be pleased. Lesnar doesn’t have to go over, and there’s always the LOLCENAWINS thing, but looking ahead at the next few months for WWE, Lesnar/Heyman winning is definitely the right call. The match has the potential to be really, really strong, but it’s Heyman’s promo on Monday night I’m most looking forward to.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman