The biggest night of the summer for WWE fans returns to the Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn for the annual Summer Slam Pay Per View that can be seen exclusively on the WWE Network. One year ago, we saw the beast Brock Lesnar defeat the Viper Randy Orton by TKO in a match that was really no contest. Now, we will see Brock put his Universal Title on the line in perhaps the most-stacked fatal four-way heavyweight title bout in the company’s history. The night is also loaded with quality mid-card matches from top-to-bottom that I will run through giving my spin on the feud and prediction of who the victor will be.
Big Show vs. Big Cass
The seven-foot tall heel in Big Cass had been received just as you’d expect from crowds after turning on his best friend Enzo Amore in pursuit of a more storied singles career. The reaction from the Boston crowd on Monday night was deafening every time the big man tried to utter a single word into the microphone, it’s almost a Roman Reigns level of disgust. After being KO’d several times over the last few weeks, and with Enzo suspended high above the ring in a shark cage, Cass will run through the World’s Largest Athlete as he ascends to the top of the RAW roster, it’s only the beginning of Cass’ push.
The New Day vs. The Usos
New Day are three-time WWE World Tag Team Champions after defeating The Usos at Battleground to secure the gold. This is the rematch for the former champions and after scoring a victory over two members of the New Day on Tuesday night in Providence, the Day-One-Ish team will be looking to regain their place atop the Smackdown Live Tag Team division. New Day will have Big-E and Woods defend the gold on Sunday and the big man will be the x-factor this time around as New Day will retain.
Naomi vs. Natalya
The Smackdown Live Women’s Championship will be defended this Sunday after the Queen of Hearts earned the right to be the No. 1 contender. Naomi has dominated the Women’s division since winning the title at WrestleMania and that will continue as she will defeat Natalya in what will be a great contest, but the niece of The Hitman just won’t have enough to capture the gold. After the match, a jealous Natty will jump and attack Naomi after clearly not feeling the glow, creating an opening for Ms. Money in the Bank to cash in and win her first women’s championship. With James Ellsworth by her side, Carmella will leave Summer Slam as the new SD Live Women’s champ. Take it to the bank.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
In a feud that has had it’s twists and turns and has seen each competitor unleash their demons on their rival, business is about to pick up on Sunday. After defeating Balor on Monday night, Wyatt disrespected his adversary by coating him with a layer of blood in the corner of the ring releasing his demons. Balor then promised a return of his alternate personality the Demon King to take on the Eater of Worlds. With the demons back in his side, I’m picking Balor in a fight that will certainly not spell the end of this long-rivalry between two of WWE’s more charismatic and beloved superstars.
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
The Boss earned the opportunity to take on Little Miss Bliss after defeating Nia Jaxx in a No. 1 contender’s match in her hometown of Boston on Monday night. The former No. 1 contender Bayley was rendered unable to compete after suffering a shoulder injury leaving an opening to take on WWE’s version of Harley Quinn at the biggest bash of the summer. Despite Sasha riding all the momentum heading into Sunday, I’m taking Five Feet of Fury in Alexa Bliss to retain her RAW Women’s Championship and continue to prove why she is the most talented superstar in the women’s division.
Akira Tozawa vs. Neville
The Power of Tozawa dethroned the King of the Cruiserweights in a shocker this week on RAW. Since joining the Titus Brand and Titus Worldwide, Tozawa’s career has taken off and he is now holding WWE gold. There’s no way he’s dropping the belt to Neville in their rematch this Sunday. 205 Live has seen a shakeup at the top and it is led by the Japenese star Tozawa.
Rusev vs. Randy Orton
The Viper Randy Orton is ticked off and has been seething ever since losing the WWE Championship and being screwed over in every rematch by Jinder Mahal, The Singh Brothers and even The Great Kahli returned to cost Orton in the Punjabi Prison Match. On the other side is Rusev who returned only to be humiliated and defeated by John Cena at Battleground in a flag on a pole match. Rusev came begging for increased competition a few weeks back on Smackdown and the call was answered with an RKO Outta Nowhere. That has set up this bout for Summer Slam that will be overlooked by many, but really cements the mid-card of the evening and will be key in building momentum for the victor. I’m taking Orton to beat the Bulgarian Brute and go back on the hunt for his WWE Championship, but a win for Rusev would do wonders for him in building momentum towards a title run himself.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
In one of the more shocking moments of the year, Baron Corbin unsuccessfully cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase against Jinder Mahal after a distraction from 16-time World Champion John Cena on Smackdown. Cena had just hit Mahal with a super-AA and was going for the pinfall before Corbin interrupted the match. Corbin’s plan was thwarted by the veteran Cena and dashed all the future hopes of Corbin holding WWE’s most prestigious prize. While Corbin will be out for revenge, Cena is on a collision course with the title himself after nearly defeating Mahal on Tuesday night and almost becoming No. 1 contender in a classic battle with Shinsuke Nakamura. Cena will defeat Corbin on Sunday night and send the Lone Wolf to the back of the line as far as the championship picture is concerned.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
The Shield is finally back together (well two-thirds at least), after weeks of back and forth attacks and battles with the RAW Tag Team Champions, the two former WWE Champions have reconciled their past and have united to take on the champs. Sheamus and Cesaro are a formidable alliance that took down the iconic Hardy Boyz in route to becoming champions, but are no match for one of the greatest factions of all-time and two former heavyweight champions. If Rollins and Ambrose can remain on the same page and united towards a common goal of defeating their opponents and holding gold, and that’s a big IF, then they will become the new RAW Tag Team Champs. I’m going with the Shield Reunion on Sunday against Sheamus and Cesaro.
Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles w/ Special Guest Referee Shane McMahon
This feud has hit a boiling point as these two men have beaten each other time after time and have exchanged the United States title. With two opponents that despise each other so much and with each possessing the ability to skirt the rules and do whatever it takes to win, General Manager Daniel Bryan imposed a referee who can take a hit and keep on going in Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane O’ Mac. McMahon has been on the receiving end from kicks by each of the competitors over the last few weeks and has stated he will physically insert himself into the match if it comes to that point. Shane also had a brutal rivalry with Styles back in March where AJ sent the commish through a car window after attacking him in the parking lot and went on to defeat McMahon at WrestleMania. This match could really go either way and McMahon will no doubt get involved laying down the law. My pick is that the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles will retain the U.S. Title on Sunday after Kevin Owens crosses the line and puts his hands on Shane.
Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura gets his chance at the WWE Championship on Sunday. After defeating John Cena to earn the right to face Mahal on Sunday, the artist formerly known as Shinsuke Nakamura will take on the champ Jinder Mahal. The Modern Day Maharaja has taken the WWE by storm ever since capturing the title defeating Randy Orton and has dominated the competition in the process with a little help. With the weight of 1.3 billion people on his shoulders once more, I expect Mahal aided by the Singh Brothers to come out on top over the Japanese superstar Nakamura in what will no doubt be a fantastic wrestling match.
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle really outdid himself this time in setting up one of the better main even fatal four -way title bouts in WWE history. In a match that features The Destroyer Samoa Joe, The Big Dog Roman Reigns and The Monster Among Men Braun Strowman, fans are almost certainly guaranteed a new champion. Excuse me while I channel my inner Paul Heyman, but that would be the case if it weren’t for one reason; the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar! The Beast Incarnate has threatened to walk out if he loses the belt and not getting pinned, the only way to take the title from an unbeatable champion, but the possibility is very likely come Sunday. With a stacked heavyweight main event of this caliber, it will be next to impossible for Brock to retain. Roman is a former champion that has squared off with Brock in the past, Joe lost to Brock at Great Balls of Fire but took the beast to the limit nearly choking him out with the Coquina Clutch. Then there’s the monster Braun Strowman, after months and months of grueling battles between Strowman and Reigns, the two both get a championship opportunity in this fatal four-way collision.
Here’s how this match is going to go. Brock will take all three men on a journey to a place called Suplex City before they collaborate and gang up on the beast in an attempt to eliminate Lesnar from the equation. While Brock is subdued, Joe will begin to take control using his raw power and innate ability before he is met with a spear and also removed from the equation for the time being. Then, the feud between Strowman and Reigns is on as the two will be more concerned with inflicting damage on their arch-rival than winning the title and they will battle up and down the arena. At which point Brock Lesnar gets back to health, delivers and F5 to Joe and retains his title, 1-2-3. The beast proves once again why he is an unbeatable champion and stays in WWE conquering every challenger in his way.
Now of course, these are all just my completely unbiased unadulterated predictions for the fantastic pay per view event we have in store this Sunday. The card is loaded from top-to-bottom and while it doesn’t feature a title defense by WWE’s A-lister The Miz, it will not disappoint. Brooklyn is getting ready to host Summer Slam for the fourth year in a row, and WWE certainly knows how to put on a show for their fans in the big apple.
Lastly, you won’t want to miss NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 3 on Saturday night on the WWE Network if you call yourself a professional wrestling fan. The Glorious Bobby Roode will main event the show and bring the house down defeding the NXT Championship agaisnt Drew McIntyre.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank