It’s Summerfest Y’all! Here are our WWE Summerslam 2019 Predictions.
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Seth Rollins
My main thought around the match boils down to one question; “What’s next?”
Brock is the bookie’s favourite for the match (4/11 at time of writing) and understandably so. Seth’s title reign wasn’t anything special and whilst you understand the underdog story they’re trying to tell with him vs Lesnar, it’s hard (right now) to see him as a believable challenger. We’ve seen a lot of Lesnar vs Shield Alumni and I’d imagine the match layout for this will be like most of the other matches in this series: Brock gives them a proper kicking and then someone wins.
If Seth wins here, it doesn’t feel – how can I put this – earned? Rollins is great, but is in a position where a bit of rehab will help him. Lose here and he’ll get it from whoever his next feud is against (hopefully). Win here and we’re back in the position we were in a month or so ago with Rollins as a champion who WWE are rumoured to be “desperately trying to make seem cool” and whose win feels somewhat hollow.
There’s a certain wrestling logic that says Becky Lynch turns on Rollins and costs him the match here (*cough*Russo*cough*), but I don’t see it. I predict Lesnar to win with Rollins getting bust open in an attempt to make him look cool and hard and generally awesome. No twist at the end end. Just Lesnar wins.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar Wins
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (c) vs Natalya
Natalya – who is increasingly dressed pre-match as a Power Rangers villain – is the sort of wrestler who every company needs; a good, steady hand who is believable in all roles. It’s a valuable skill which keeps you employed. I’d also argue it’s conceivable that Natalya does actually beat Becky here – the “submission” stip has seen rampant abuse over the years with unfairly knocked out wrestlers, crooked refs and dubbed audio all giving the hero a “get out” for having been beaten by the dastardly foe.
Additionally, Natalya had the whole Ronda Rousey’s BFF thing which essentially fizzled out. But was the plan all along that (if Rousey stayed) that Lynch wins at Mania, Natalya turns on Rousey, Natalya beats Lynch? It’s not crazy to think…
But – I don’t see it. There’s no need to take the belt off Lynch and she’s in that rare position of being a dominant face champion who the fans haven’t turned on. She was also just announced as the (first female?) cover star of the 2K series, so I think she’s retaining here and holding it for a while.
Becky is 2/9 here for the win but if you fancy a punt on a long shot, then Natalya winning by screwy means at 3/1 *could* get you some cash.
Prediction: Becky Lynch Wins
Kofi Kingston (c) vs Randy Orton
KOFI HAS TO WIN THIS MATCH. Seriously. Orton winning this match is as stupid (STUPID! STUPID!) a decision as when HHH beat Booker T at whichever number WracistMania was…
It’s a wonderful story here; Kofi’s previous push at the top of the card seemed to halt following a feud with Orton so beating him on the 2nd biggest PPV of the year is a wonderful footnote. Plus – like Natalya – Orton is a “good hand” where any result is believeable.
Historically, Orton shares a similar trait character wise to someone like the boxer Lennox Lewis; on their day, they can beat anyone. But when they’re against someone they under-estimate, they get beat. Orton has the second most WWE World titles in history, but where Lewis has his Haseem Rahman, Orton has lost high profile title matches to Jinder Mahal, Mark Henry & The Great Khali.
Orton winning here helps no-one and hurts several. Bookending his feud with RKO gives Kingston’s title reign another boost and it would be nice to see him take a nastier edge in how he beats Orton. Something he can turn to when he needs to get vicious. Kofi is the bookies favourite here (4/9) and I agree with them.
(On a final note; I love how on the Summerslam poster, Kofi looks like he’s photo bombed it. Everyone else is mega serious and Kofi’s all “HIYA!”).
Prediction: Kofi Kingston Wins
Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon
With Owens as the face in this feud, this stipulation really needs to finish with Owen beating Shane O’Mac comprehensively. If the stipulation was “Owens loses and is fired” then we’re in line for shenanigans-a-plenty. But if Shane wins, then Owens decides to quit? Doesn’t feel like the actions of a badass conquering hero now does it?
Because of this, KO has some of the shortest odds of the whole evening (1/4… Becky & Goldberg are the joint 2nd shortest… we’ll get to the shortest odds later). A screwy finish doesn’t work because of the stipulation, so we can only assume that Owens gives Shane a proper kicking.
Shane has been over-exposed on WWE PPVs this year and I predict that this storyline starts the end of that. It feels like the beginning of the end; Owens beats him here, Shane gets revenge somehow, eventually leads to a “loser leaves town” match. Owens’ll probably win the final chapter, but he’s definitely winning the first.
Prediction: Kevin Owens Wins
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs Ember Moon
This is the first time – and only time – all evening where I’m going to go against the bookies. Bayley is currently the favourite at 4/11, but with Ember Moon at 15/8, this could be your best option to win a bit of cash. The fairly short odds for Moon (even as under-dog) show this isn’t a locked in result. Generally speaking, the Bookies tend to get these things right (bar some late minute shifts) but with every other champion on course to retain their titles this evening, I think Ember Moon could sneak this.
Bayley – and the NXT Horsewomen in general – have a shaky history of title defences and picking up a win here would do more to help Ember Moon than it would to hurt Bayley. It would seem strange to have an entire PPV of this size without a title change and this seems a good place as good as any to add a ‘moment’ to the show.
I like Ember and she has a huge amount of potential. Bayley loses nothing dropping the title here and may even give the option for a heel turn if she takes the loss to another face badly. The bookies are going with Bayley, but if you’re brave, back Ember.
Prediction: Ember Moon Wins
Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
From an uncertain result, to an absolutely nailed on one. Bray Wyatt making his in-ring return proper, as The Fiend against Finn Balor (not as The Demon) and who is rumoured to be taking some time off soon. Because of all of this, it makes Wyatt picking up a win the most certain result of the night. The only question is does he wrestle in the mask???
The fact that Balor isn’t coming out as The Demon makes this even more of a certainty results wise. Although there’s an obvious “money match” of Demon vs Fiend in the future (probably at Wrestlemania) I actually think it’s a shame we’re not getting that here. I’d have had Finn come out as the Demon and get *squashed* by The Fiend in quick succession – giving Balor his first loss (in WWE) under the Demon character. This puts Wyatt’s new ‘version’ over strong and gives an obvious reason for Balor to take some time off. When he returns, he doesn’t even need to go after Wyatt – but return as a heel more akin to his Real Rock n Roller gimmick in NJPW. The Demon can always return later and with it the big match with The Fiend. But losing here would remove the ‘certainty’ of Balor winning each time he dons the face-paint, making his matches less predictable, whilst also massively helping Wyatt.
Given that Wyatt is a ridiculous (but not unjustified) 1/10 to win this, I actually think we’ll get a similar result here; Wyatt beats Balor and then Balor takes time off. It’s just a less interesting story and future chapters if it’s ‘regular’ Balor here losing. I really look forward to seeing what both men do next
Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
WWE United States Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs Ricochet
I enjoy seeing how revitalised AJ Styles has been since the recent heel turn and (re)formation of The OC – a name improvement on “The Club”. This revitalisation is especially seen in Anderson & Gallows also (the latter of whom has refound his face paint!). “We all hold gold” is a very Bullet Club-esque situation as well and just seems to suit the three. I’d actually like to see them grow beyond the trio and add some “fresh blood” to the OC and make it something new as opposed to an entirely NJPW retread.
Because of this, I don’t see Ricochet winning tonight. I said last month that this whole story arc feels a long time in planning, but that Ricochet is possible a replacement for the previously injured Rey Mysterio. “The One and Only” ran with the opportunity though, picking up both a US title win and now a high profile match on the second biggest PPV of the year
I predict that Styles wins here in a match dirtier than a football pitch in Wigan. With Gallows and Anderson not currently in a match, this will be *their* Summerslam moment too and will help Styles to retain. Ricochet will continue to grow and develop a great rep in WWE; but he doesn’t pick up the win tonight and AJ continues Summerslam 2019 as being a night for the champions.
Prediction: AJ Styles Retains
Goldberg vs Dolph Ziggler
Goldberg will win this match with the same speed (and effort) it took me to write the preview of this match
Prediction: Goldberg wins
Charlotte Flair vs Trish Stratus
I’m very much of the opinion that WWE’s reliance on bringing back nostalgia acts from The Attitude Era is both a reflection of, and cause of, many of the issues which the company is experiencing from a creative sense. There are many, many fans who are pleased to see these acts return, but another large amount who are totally apathetic to them and none of the returns have pulled back lapsed WWE fans beyond one show. Nostalgia acts don’t build long term stories and actually damage them (how much is of personal impression)
That said, of these returning acts, Stratus is one of the fresher. Trish has one of the greater evolutions as a performer, left at the peak of her career and never had a diluted run elsewhere. This match versus Charlotte should be fun (and would mean more if we weren’t already getting matches with Goldberg and Shane McMahon on the same show)
Much like the bookies, I expect Charlotte to win here. Trish doesn’t gain anything from winning and WWE will want to keep Charlotte strong, so I expect Trish to tap out to a Figure 8, clean, but in a valiant match. This is likely to be a “one shot deal” for Stratus and then Charlotte moves back into one of the Women’s Title pictures afterwards.
Prediction: Charlotte Flair Wins
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Drew Gulak (c) vs Oney Lorcan
The former Biff Busick takes his place as Cruiserweight challenger-of-the-month in a match which is headlining your nearest EVOLVE show in an alternate universe. The build to this one has been a bit odd with the early bets seeming that we were heading towards a Gulak defence versus Mike Kanellis (or possible a triple threat with Drake Maverick).
But then Kanellis / Maverick seemed to get blown off as The Kanellis got preggers and chased the 24/7 title and we ended up with a 6 pack challenge on 205 Live which was won by Lorcan
Gulak/Lorcan should be fun – certainly less flippy than a regular Cruiserweight affair, but a decent stiff outing. With Lorcan being added to the card at short notice, there’s no odds available (at time of writing) so it makes it a harder predict. I’d go with Gulak retaining – but would be reticent to place any real cash on it as WWE have been known to do some random, unexpected title changes in the past – especially in hasty matches like this. Expect Drew to retain with Lorcan returning to his fun NXT tag team with Danny Burch.
Prediction: Drew Gulak Wins
I’d written a whole preview of Zayn/Black before they hot-shotted the match on Smackdown this week (that’ll teach me to be organised for once!). And – as much as I’m a fan of both men – I’m totally ok with this. Not everyone needs to be on every PPV (and any fallout from people *not* being on each show could be a catalyst to WWE realising how over-stacked their current roster is).
The biggest rumour right now is that we get an impromptu match between Roman Reigns & Samoa Joe vs Daniel Bryan and Rowan. If it’s a straight, quick match then I expect Reigns and Joe to win, but given its unadvertised nature, I’m expecting something different – something more storyline centric. Perhaps Joe joins with Bryan and Rowan when The Samoan discovers an affinity for quinoa?
With no Andrade, Miz, Mysterio, Cesaro, Revival, Usos, McIntyre, Alexander or War Machine on the card (to name a few, and not including those mentioned already) Summerslam seems an oddly *tight* show for a traditionally bloated WWE card. Expect nonsense.
Anyway there are our predictions, what are yours? Feel free to leave them in the comments!