The biggest party of the summer of 2020 has almost arrived, WWE’s annual SummerSlam pay-per-view. If you haven’t already heard, SummerSlam will be the first main roster pay-per-view to take place at WWE’s newest arena, dubbed the THUNDERDOME!
On the cusp of this truly momentous event AIPT’s team of wrestling nerds are here to walk you through each match and provide their not-so-snarky takes on which WWE Superstar’s will walk out of SummerSlam victorious, with a championship belt, or in one case, a full head of hair.
You can watch WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view this Sunday, August 23, at 7 ET/4 PT on the WWE network, but you can get a head start on it by checking out the full card and our predictions below.
Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP (United States Championship match)
Shane: My gut is telling me that we will see Apollo Crews retain here. I don’t see why they would have him beat MVP in the ‘unification’ match on Raw a couple of weeks ago just to take it off of him at SummerSlam. Even though I would be happy with a MVP victory here, I just don’t see it happening.
Winner: (and Still US Champion)Apollo Crews
Forrest: MVP and Apollo are on very different, but equally interesting, career trajectories right now. MVP’s story is one of a former star turning a bit appearance into a full fledged, and well deserved, career revitalization. Apollo’s is one of finally getting recognition in a vast, largely uncaring machine. MVP is, of course, the heel. A harder worker than Goldberg, but one resting primarily on the same laurels. His story is representative of WWE’s inability to move forward, to recognize new talent and to give them new opportunities to succeed when former stars can simply be revisited. Apollo’s is not. Apollo’s is the story of a face connecting with management, with colleagues, and ultimately with fans to finally, finally get some of the spotlight – how can you root against that?
Winner: Apollo Crews
Jay: MVP. They’ve done too much work teasing the Cedric Alexander heel turn to not see it through. Especially since the stipulation is that The Hurt Business can’t get involved. I expect Cedrice to cost Apollo and give him yet another hurdle to overcome to reclaim the US Title.
The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza w/Zelina Vega (Raw Tag Team Championship match)
Shane: Why can’t we just have a tag team feud without all the extra shenanigans and BS!? It seems that since The Street Profits have become champions we have been subjected to one ridiculous feud after another. It would be nice to see Andrade and Angel Garza win the straps here. I can see them entering into much more interesting and stronger feuds down the line, but with the Hurt Business looming in the tag scene, I don’t see that happening quite yet.
Winners: (and still Raw Tag Team Champions) The Street Profits
Forrest: I’m still not entirely unconvinced that Montez Ford’s apparent poisoning doesn’t have something to do with the ongoing Retribution angle, Zelina, Andrade, and Garza’s usual chicanery aside, and if we see any interference at SummerSlam this is where I’m expecting it. That being said, The Profits have maintained a certain kind of electricity even during the pandemic era, and I think even WWE would have to be especially inept to not see that. Let The Hurt Business develop a little more before committing.
Winners: The Street Profits
Jay: Street Profits. Mostly because this whole affair has been a mess and we should likely just move on. Andrande has been regulated to the background. Garza is just kind of flirting with Charly and The Bachelorette who is now on the Raw roster. Dawkins is just kind of flirting with The Bachelorette and Ivar who can summon turkey legs as if they were Mjolnir. Zelina poisoned someone. Bianca and Zelina should be in the match but, you know what – just whatever.
Sasha Banks (c) w/Bayley vs. Asuka (Raw Women’s Championship match)
Shane: I am jumping on the Asuka train here. I want to see Asuka win both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships and finally get the meaningful title reign(s) that she deserves to have. Plus, do we really need two women’s champions?
Winner: (and NEW Raw Women’s Champion) Asuka
Forrest: Asuka is, without reservations, my favorite wrestler.
Jay: Asuka. Asuka will lose to Bayley first and then beat Banks setting up the break-up of The Golden Role-Models.
Bayley (c) w/Sasha Banks vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women’s Championship match)
Shane: #AsukaAllBelts #MatchOfTheNight #MakeItHappenVince
Winner: (and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion) Asuka
Jay: Bayley. I am so sick of the double-champion angle. It never, ever, ever, ever lasts more than a few weeks. It’s terribly predictable. It’s ugh. This will be catalyst that starts the feud and to do that Bayley needs something to hold over Banks’ head.
Dominik Mysterio w/Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins w/Murphy
Shane: I keep hearing rumors that Rollins is set to take time off sometime in soon and I can’t think of a better way of writing him off than in this match. I expect Dominik Mysterio to pull out a big win here.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
Forrest: I was so impressed with The Passion of Dominik Mysterio on Raw recently that I can’t not want him to win here.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
Jay: It has been years since an angle that has been given so much serious effort has yielded so little results. This is Marc Mero levels of, “who cares!?” This is Rikishi running over Stone Cold levels of, “but why?” This is Hardcore Holly against Brock Lesnar in 2004 levels of, “wtf?” And this is Enzo A’more vs. Big Cass levels of, “please, leave.” You have Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins involved in an angle. The damn thing should write itself yet here we stand. I’m making a point to not watch this match.
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville (hair vs hair match)
Shane: There is no way I can see Mandy Rose shaving her head… I really just can’t imagine that. I don’t want to imagine it. I won’t imagine it.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Forrest: Of the two, I think Mandy would look better with a shaved head. I also think a win would solidify Sonya’s new solo heel gimmick and that, hey, she deserves it after the week she has had.
Winner: Sonya Deville
Jay: Mandy. A pissed off, bald Sonya can do more than a scared, broken Mandy character-wise.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (WWE Universal Championship match)
Shane: I had such high hopes for this feud because of what we saw leading into Backlash. But then it just got weird. Now I’m just looking forward to this being over. I don’t like the idea of the Fiend being back in the title picture because that means he has to lose it eventually which just damages the character all over again. BUT I do like the idea of him being champion more than Braun Strowman.
Winner: (and NEW Universal Champion) “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Forrest: If Alexa joins The Fiend and Nikki Cross is unexpectedly really into it, wearing Wyatt Family Gym shirts and the like, it will all have been worth it.
Winner: The Fiend
Jay: This is alluring in a car-crash sort of way. I don’t expect The Fiend to take it because they have to let Braun’s new character breathe a little bit. I guess? But then again, Alexa is there? Is Braun the heel? Is The Fiend the heel? Will Alexa turn heel? Is Nikki Cross a heel? So many questions with answers that I only maybe want to know.
Drew McInytre (c) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship match)
Shane: Drew has against all odds done a fairly decent job as champion. It is hard to really gauge how successful he has been because of the current situation we’re currently in. However, Randy has been the best thing in WWE since January. His feud with Edge has been his best work since the Legend Killer gimmick back in ‘04. Even though the timing of Edge’s injury was unlucky at best, the work Randy has done with Christian, Big Show, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels has been just as entertaining. I hate to see Drew lose the title on Sunday, but Randy is arguably the best heel in all of wrestling right now. Give him the belt and build a strong storyline moving forward with Drew chasing the belt, and I think we can possibly see him get his huge Wrestlemaniaesque moment down the road.
Winner: (and NEW WWE Champion) Randy Orton
Forrest: Drew has, against all odds, proved himself a truly unique charisma magnet in the weirdest, hardest period any of us will likely (hopefully) experience in our lifetimes. I genuinely enjoy seeing him every show, and hey, there’s much worse things than The Claymore, too. Unfortunately, his run has to date also been punctuated by entirely uninteresting pseudofeuds. The Big Show defeat was unauthentic, rushed, inconsequential. Dolph, too, is an after thought even attached to a surprisingly good match and stipulation. RKO, especially on the heels (lol) of an effective Ric Flair promo, maybe the first one of those in decades, is not. RKO is different. He’s someone that can, and when used properly, does make people, and Drew needs that to fully arrive. So give Randy the win, make him the biggest bad guy you possibly can, shift that electric energy from his 2 out of 3 with Edge to Drew and cash in at Clash of Champions on really, actually, and authentically making a legitimate star for the first time in years. You’ll never see it coming.
Jay: Orton. They need a heel to bring Raw together and Orton is the guy. D. McIntyre will get his shot again and he will likely get it at WrestleMania next year but right now they need Orton to do damage control. Plus, he’s the strongest he’s been since 2011.
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