WWE Summer Slam Preview

The biggest party of the summer takes place this Sunday in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. It’s the second biggest event of the year for WWE and this card bears that out. Brock Lesnar will be in action defending his Universal Title, Ronda Rousey gets another title match and we finally see the rivalry between Daniel Bryan and The Miz play out in the ring after years and years of back-and-forth trash talk and attacks. Here’s your full preview of all the matches planned for the big card on Sunday:

Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander (Cruiserweight Championship): Cedric Alexander has reigned over the cruiserweight division for months since capturing the gold and Gulak will be his challenger on Sunday. It’s time for a better 205 Live and I see a Gu-lock in Alexander’s future. We will see a new champion crowned in the cruiserweight division in Brooklyn.

The Revival vs. The B-Team (RAW Tag Team Titles): The B-Team has had themselves a nice little run up to defeating the Deleters of Worlds capturing the gold. That ends on Sunday in the pre-show as a couple of Top Guys are long overdue to become the face of the Raw tag team division. They stepped up and challenged Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley during their feud and are in line to hoist the championship gold. That happens Sunday.

Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana (mixed tag match): Almas & Vega ride a wave of wins into this pay per view mixed tag match thanks to interference from Rusev Day member Aiden English who has inadvertently caused distractions leading to losses for his friends and cohorts. Cien Almas is emerging as a top heel on the roster and has put on some great matches in his short time over on Smackdown Live. Expect that to continue as he and his business partner take down Rusev Day, who is on the way down after failing to capitalize on a WWE Championship opportunity.

The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Smackdown Tag Team Titles): The New Day earned the right to be #1 contenders for the SD Live Tag Team Championship by defeating The Bar in the finals of the tag team tournament. Unfortunately for the New Day, their quest to recapture the championship has to go through the unbeaten Bludgeon Brothers who have devoured every challenge in their wake. I don’t see it playing out any differently on Sunday in Brooklyn as the Bludgeon Brothers will retain rather easily despite a great tag team opposing them.

-Constable Baron Corbin vs Finn Balor: Corbin has taken control in the ring and on Monday night’s since being appointed the constable of RAW by Commissioner Stephanie McMahon to keep General Manager Kurt Angle in check. We’ve seen for months the feud between Corbin and Balor play out through one-on-one action, tag team action and promos. Corbin has mocked the size of the Irishman and rides a wave of confidence into the match this Sunday. Balor is an impressive in-ring competitor and he should be able to get it done on Sunday beating The Constable.

Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens: This one ends on Sunday as the Monster Among Men puts his Money in the Bank briefcase on the line in the one-on-one bout versus KO. Owens has been tossed off a cage, off a ladder through tables and flipped in a port-o-john while trapped inside. What more can be possibly endure? Strowman is going to devour Owens on Sunday in Brooklyn and we’ll see what creative has planned as the final chapter to this very one-sided rivalry.

Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (U.S. Title): Hardy gets his PPV rematch for the United States Championship after the King of Strong Style won the title with a low blow and a knee to the face. Hardy has had his hands full of late after weeks of countless attacks at the hand of the returning Randy Orton. The Viper has returned with a promise to destroy the WWE Universe’s heroes and has not held back in attacking Hardy ripping at his earlobes, taking away his identity and beating him with the intention of putting him out of action. Randy is commanding respect from the fans and the rest of the locker room who have for so long not given him his due, and he will be a factor in the outcome of this match on Sunday. Whether it’s through disqualification or not, Shinsuke will retain the title with the Apex Predator lurking ready to strike at The Enigma.

Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre (Intercontinental Championship): Rollins and Ziggler have put on five star matches in their rivalry going back and forth for the most prestigious title in the industry. Ziggler and Rollins endured a 30-minute iron-man match in which the show-off came out victorious to retain his championship. Ziggler has also had the upper-hand in the rivalry with his Scottish pal Drew McIntyre in his corner each and every week. Now, Rollins has evened the odds with the returning lunatic fringe healthy and in his corner on Sunday. The architect will have his hands full if he wants to recapture his championship with just how damn good Dolph is as a competitor, but with Ambrose there to even the odds, I can see him burning it down and winning back the IC Title. Rollins and Ziggler will be a wrestling clinic.

Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (Smackdown Women’s Championship): The Princess of Staten Island was set to take on the Irish Lass Kicker one-on-one for the championship before a returning Queen re-entered the title picture beating the champ in a non-title match to make this match a triple threat. With no James Ellsworth by her side, the odds are stacked against the current champion with two former champions opposing her. This is going to be a great match especially when we finally see Becky and Charlotte going head-to-head for the right to re-capture the gold. Carmella has to play this one right and make the two friends beat the hell of of each other if she wants any chance to win this one. Becky Lynch is long overdue for another title run and had been on fire earning the right to be the #1 contender. I’m picking Becky to win and out-last her best friend pinning Carmella.

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Stlyes (WWE Championship): Styles has held the title for over 280 days and counting heading into the match this Sunday against long-time TNA Impact rival and superstar Samoa Joe. He earned the opportunity after being appointed #1 contender by General Manager Paige, jumped the current champion and signed the contract. In just a few weeks we have seen how deep and personal the promos have gotten between Joe, often referencing Styles family and children. An angry Styles will have his hands full with a very worthy challenger in Brooklyn, but should dispatch of the Samoan Submission Machine and keep Smackdown Live as the house that AJ Styles built.

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Championship): Bliss cashed in her newly won Money in the Bank briefcase on Nia Jax during her title defense against Rousey when the former UFC star was closing in on capturing WWE gold in her first title match. Bliss won the title and gloated in Rousey’s face calling her an over-hyped rookie which sent Ronda off the deep end and caused her to face a 30-day suspension with an attack on the general manager and WWE officials. Now, Rousey is riding a wave of momentum into her title match. Rousey is still unbeaten since joining the company, but I still see Bliss finding a way to retain on Sunday. Whether it’s count out or a flat out disqualification, Little Miss Bliss walks out with the Raw Women’s Championship on Sunday in the Barclays.

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz: This is a rivalry eight years in the making. From the days back when Miz was Bryan’s pro on the original NXT, to Talking Smack when Miz didn’t pull any verbal punches calling out Bryan who was forced to retire with a serious neck injury to his return to the ring at Wrestlemania and Miz quickly being shipping back to Team Blue, this rivalry finally comes to a head on Sunday. This is the match I am most looking forward to on Sunday. Daniel Bryan finally has the opportunity to go one-on-one with the A-lister in front of a ruckus crowd, and Miz can vindicate himself and prove to Bryan and the WWE Universe just how awesome he is. His in-ring ability, charisma and durability are why he’s one of the faces of the business. Miz is ticketed for the main event and a date for the WWE Championship with his success in the ring and on the big screen, oh and he also has the most watched reality show on USA Network in 7 years. Miz has to get through Daniel Bryan on Sunday and prove once and for all that it’s not just talk, it’s reality. Bryan has his moment to get his hands on the Miz and prove that he can still hang around with the best of the industry despite some tough losses since his return to in-ring action. The winner of this match will ride a wave of momentum into a title opportunity and put a period on the end of this long-storied rivalry, at least for the moment.

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship): Lesnar is in the midst of an unprecedented reign as the Universal Champion that has stretched to 500 days and counting heading into this Sunday’s clash in Brooklyn. He was forced to defend his championship at Summer Slam for just the 12th time during his title reign and it was the “big dog” Roman Reigns who earned the right to challenge for the title again, defeating Bobby Lashley. Recently Lesnar looked like he was about to discard his advocate Paul Heyman after refusing to appear live a few weeks back on Raw. Turned out it was all just one big elaborate ruse as Heyman waited until Reigns was most vulnerable and blinded the big dog last week on raw with pepper spray. Lesnar used the opportunity to strike and attacked Reigns ahead of their title match Sunday. Lesnar may be destined towards a return to the UFC at some point in the very near future, but he will not drop the belt to Roman. Brock is a box office draw and with his advocate by his side will continue to work a part-time schedule and conquer everything and every one that challenges him. Roman may be fired up and ready for the challenge, but like the last several opportunities he’s had to dethrone the beast, he will come up short again. Brock retains and his reign as Universal Champion continues and he may be on his way to being a multi-sport champion. It’s not a prediction, it’s merely a spoiler, friends.

There you have it, my complete rundown of all the matches on the card and even the pre-show which begins at 5 PM/ET on the WWE Network. Summer Slam is set for a 7 PM ET start time and there’s at least four really good matches I am looking forward to on Sunday, although I don’t forsee either of the major titles changing hands.

Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank

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