WWE SummerSlam 2016: Predictions, Analysis & Full Preview

WWE SummerSlam 2016 is upon is and it has one of the most promising cards in years. While WrestleMania is WWE’s signature event, SummerSlam in recent years has almost become a bizarro WrestleMania with its own fair share of dream matches.
Predicting the outcomes for the 13 matches (!) on this card is admittedly a tricky proposition. You have to negate what you think should happen and try to get inside the mind of WWE’s 70-year-old maniacal mastermind, one Vince McMahon. And whereas most WWE PPV have some high-profile matches with fairly obvious outcomes, most of this SummerSlam’s big matches can truly go either way.
Alas, here are my predictions for tonight’s huge show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton

This match was announced before Lesnar’s foray back into UFC, and is thus the only match to pit a Raw Superstar (Lesnar) against one from SmackDown (Orton). Both came up in WWE Developmental in the same period in the early 2000’s, yet this will be their first match ever.
Lesnar should have been coming back to WWE the conquering hero after his beatdown of Mark Hunt at UFC 201, but the result was marred by failed drug tests. WWE curiously never disciplined Brock for the failed drug test, so it’s conceivable that he will have to take a loss to Orton as his punishment.
But I just can’t pick against Brock Lesnar. The guy has been demolishing everyone in his path the past few years, and I don’t think this is the match when that stops. Orton is a WWE stalwart who has won numerous titles in his career. Orton doesn’t need the rub from beating Lesnar because he’s already a made man himself.
Expect Lesnar to win tonight in a hard-fought match. Then perhaps someone like Roman Reigns, Finn Balor or Seth Rollins will slay the Beast at WrestleMania 33 and become immortal as a result.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins clean

Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship

Finn Balor unexpectedly earned himself a title shot on his first night on Raw by beating Roman Reigns, and the Demon King (not Demon Kane) could potentially exit his first WWE pay-per-view as the inaugural Universal Champion. Standing in his way will be the smug Seth Rollins, who has a much common with Balor but has been a focal point of WWE programming for the past few years now.
I’m torn on this one. I think the two will have a fantastic match that will have a screwy ending, but I’m not sure who will be the victor. Either Rollins will somehow cheat to win or Balor’s buddies from Japan Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson will come out and help him steal a victory and form a heel Balor Club faction. The company’s been selling those Balor Club t-shirts for the past few years, and will want to establish the Demon King as one of the new era’s top guys so I think the latter will happen. Finn Balor will walk out the first WWE Universal Champion, with Rollins then chasing him for the title as a vengeful babyface.

Prediction: Finn Balor wins with the help of The Club

Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship

A lot of people, myself included, were surprised when Ziggler became the number one contender. Ziggler is one of the more talented workers in the company, but a lengthy period in the midcard abyss made him an afterthought. It also seemed like an uphill battle for these two fan favorites to really get the audience invested in the outcome of their match, but a great build on SmackDown Live the past few months has made this a hot feud.
As great as it is to see a reinvigorated Ziggler show a sense of urgency, I don’t foresee him winning the WWE World Championship. Ambrose just defeated his former Shield brothers and is being positioned at the the helm of the new SmackDown brand, and I expect him to win by pinfall after a Dirty Deeds.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins clean to retain the title

John Cena vs. AJ Styles

(AJ Styles vs. John Cena)
John Cena has a reputation of always coming through in big matches, which makes the fact that he hasn’t won at SummerSlam since 2007 so mind boggling. Styles won their first one-on-one match with the help of The Club at Money In The Bank in June, and then Cena along with Enzo & Cass defeated Styles and The Club at BattleGround.
Look for Cena’s impotency at SummerSlam to continue. Styles won’t get help from The Club this time, but he’ll win via some other nefarious means. Then look for Cena to beat Styles in the blowoff match at the SmackDown exclusive Backlash PPV that is taking place September 11th.

Prediction: AJ Styles wins

Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship

In the first Raw after the brand split, Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte to win the Women’s Championship for the first time. It was a great moment that came out of nowhere because most people pegged it to take place at SummerSlam. Nonetheless, Sasha is champion and will look to make her first title defense tonight.
Charlotte’s lackey Dana Brooke has been banned from ringside. I don’t think WWE will hot potato the title right back to Charlotte, so I think The Boss wins what hopefully will be a match on par with some of their best work in NXT. I think Ric Flair, having been shown the curb and disrespected by his hatable daughter a few months ago, will come out and help Sasha win the match. Woooooooooooo!

Prediction: Sasha Banks wins to retain the title with the help of Ric Flair

Rusev (C) vs. Roman Reigns For the United States Championship

Roman Reigns slide down the card at SummerSlam has fueled speculation that his stock has fallen in the aftermath of his 30-day suspension for a Wellness Policy violation. While that might be true to some degree, there are only so many available main event spots in a given month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Reigns back at the top of the card in of the next few pay-per-views.
Reigns beat Rusev in a long, clean match on Raw on Monday which makes me think Rusev will retain in a way that won’t damage Roman too much. I forecast a Rusev disqualification here, to have him retain the title and get some heat. If Rusev does retain, whether Roman continues to pursue the U.S. title or moves onto something bigger will convey a lot about his current standing within the company.

Prediction: Rusev gets disqualified to retain the title

New Day (C) (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) for WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day’s yearlong run as Tag Team Champions will come to a screeching halt tonight when they go against The Club. The WWE is trying to make The Club matter now that they’re on Raw and AJ Styles is on SmackDown, and the tag team titles would go a long way toward legitimizing them.
With Big E suffering from his groin injury, expect the bald duo to heel it up and end The New Day’s hegemony of the tag team division. Then this feud will probably when a vindictive Big E makes his imminent return. Even if my other prediction of The Balor Club forming doesn’t come to fruition, look for Gallows and Anderson to leave Brooklyn as the new champs.

Prediction: The Club win to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions

Enzo & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

I had been leaning JeriKO on this one, before looking at my picks and realizing I’m picking all heels except for Ambrose and Sasha Banks in all the main card matches (and Balor, who I’m predicting turns heel). Since I don’t think it will hurt Chris Jericho or Kevin Owens to lose as part of a makeshift tag team, I’ll predict Enzo & Cass go over with Jericho taking the pin. Look for this match to potentially open the show to pop Enzo & Cass’s hometown New York crowd.

Prediction: Enzo & Cass win clean; Chris Jericho takes the pin

The Miz (C) vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship

Apollo Crews’s in-ring skill has never been in question, but he has suffered from minimal character development. In contrast, while nobody raves about The Miz’s wrestling ability, he’s one of the WWE’s most genuinely hated Superstars. I don’t think anyone is really clamoring for the generic Crews to have a title run, so I’ll peg The Miz to win in typical scummy fashion to try to build some sympathy for Crews.

Prediction: The Miz cheats to win and retains the title

Cesaro vs. Sheamus

Cesaro’s already beat Sheamus clean twice in a row, and now they’re slated to begin a best-of-7 series. Sheamus can’t lose a third time in a row, so expect him to win this. While the matches between these two are always good, a best-of-7 series just feels like filler.

Prediction: Sheamus wins

Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz

Poor Sami Zayn. His reward for beating Kevin Owens at the past PPV is a kickoff show throw-in match. Him and Neville will at least pick up the win.

Prediction: Sami Zayn & Neville win

Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Alexa Bliss

Eva Marie has been the central female character thus far on SmackDown, continually avoiding matches. This one she’s going to miss not because of a storyline but because she this week was suspended for 30 days for a wellness violation. Without Eva, this match has been thrown into a state of flux, though Nikki Bella could be making a return here. Look for the babyfaces to win, probably with Becky Lynch making someone tap out to the Dis-arm-her.

American Alpha, The Hype Bros & The Usos vs. Breezango, The Ascension & The Vaudevillains

This match will be a chance for Chad Gable and Jason Jordan to showcase their immense talent. You can expect the duo, known as American Alpha, to power the good guys to a victory.

Jon Stewart will also be making another appearance at SummerSlam. Enjoy the show!

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