Summerslam 2014 – Preview and Predictions

The 27th annual Summerslam comes to us live and on the WWE Network this Sunday, August 17th, 2014. This is the sixth straight year that the event will be in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Part-time wrestler Brock Lesnar will challenge the seemingly-perpetual champion John Cena in what is considered to be a blockbuster main event.

Rosie Piper and Mitch Nickelson have contributed to this month’s preview article. Each match is analyzed, dissected, and billed to their proper insurance provider. Along with brilliant insight, each writer will proclaim who they believe will win each match. The most punctual writer this month is Rosie, so she’ll get this ball rolling.

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Rosie: As far as Lesnar winning, it would give his “I beat the streak” claim some legitimacy. I’d be awfully shocked if they let him beat the Undertaker and then he couldn’t beat Cena. There’s no way I’d believe Cena is a stronger and/or better fighter than Undertaker. And, let’s be fair, nobody wants Cena holding that title any longer. He’s just been a placeholder.

It would make sense if Rollins cashed in and won. It would let Lesnar take his usual “sabbatical”, and could easily continue the Rollins/Ambrose feud (after all, the MITB briefcase would have been Ambrose’s if Kane hadn’t interfered for Rollins) — and it would thrust Ambrose into the main title scene, which the WWE Universe would go nuts over.

Rosie’s Pick: Brock Lesnar

Mitch: The big issue with Lesnar winning at Summerslam is that he’s working on that very limited contract. How do you have a champ that only wrestles four times a year? Paul Heyman is a fantastic mouthpiece for him, but is that smart business? Even with all of the issues of having a part-time wrestler as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, I still think Lesnar will be winning.

I also see Rollins successfully cashing in. Brock is supposed to be wrestling at next month’s event and I think having him challenge against Champion Seth Rollins is one of those Superstar-making matches. Seth can wrestle amazing matches and having a solid 25 minutes with Brock will push him into the top tier of the company. It’s interesting to keep in mind that the original plan was Brock Lesnar challenging Daniel Bryan in the main event of Summerslam, but neck injuries kept that scenario from becoming a reality.

Mitch’s Pick: Brock Lesnar

Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella

Rosie: I really, really want Stephanie to win. I’m no fan of the Authority, but I’m even less of a fan of Brie Bella. Her acting skills are pathetic (I’m pretty sure the only word she can say is a curse word that can be used to describe a female dog), and I’m not a big fan of her in-ring skills, either (then again, I don’t like women’s wrestling in general). I’m pretty tired of listening to her complain to Stephanie (seriously, YOU quit your dang job, Brie. You didn’t get fired. And then you act like you deserve to get it back?), and would love to see the bad guy (or gal) win this time, even if it is an underhanded win. Rumors are floating around about a Nikki/Brie feud, and what better way to close the book on this painfully annoying Stephanie/Brie battle with interference by Nikki which results in Brie’s loss. Then Nikki can complain about how Brie hairflipped and quit, and Nikki had to pay for it without much support from her sister other than an appearance in Florida during which she stole the spotlight for getting slapped (and Nikki still got beat up).

Rosie’s Pick: Stephanie

Mitch: Stephanie is a fantastic heel and has been pulling off the evil boss gimmick well. Brie isn’t too great with her acting abilities, but other than her potty mouth I haven’t minded her. The story has actually been one of the better booked feuds as long as you forget about the dumb ‘cheating’ revelation from Raw this past Monday. I hope there isn’t too much actual wrestling in this match and it’s more of an angle. It’ll probably come across better like that as long it’s only about 8 minutes or so. Let Stephanie win the match as Nikki turns heel, setting up the a Bella vs. Bella match. I’m not sure who wants to see it, but that looks to be the logical direction of all of this.

Mitch’s Pick: Stephanie

Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton

Rosie: Of course Reigns will win. Orton’s good, but he’s already over as a title contender. WWE really wants to push Reigns for some reason, even though he’s pretty limited as a wrestler and might even be worse than Orton on the mic.

Rosie’s Pick: Roman Reigns

Mitch: Jim Ross has been saying over and over on his podcast that Roman will win next year’s Royal Rumble and win his first title at Wrestlemania 31. I’m not as convinced that it’s a sure thing to fantasy book that far in advance, but I do agree that WWE sees him as a future champ and will protect him from momentum-damaging losses in the meantime. (Maybe they should have used that philosophy with Bray Wyatt?) Roman will win over Orton at Summerslam. He has a lot to learn and being in the ring with such a talented guy like Randy Orton will be valuable for him. This has potential to be Roman’s best match yet.

Mitch’s Pick: Roman Reigns

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
(Lumberjack Match)

Rosie: I personally consider Ambrose’s win to be a no-brainer. It just makes sense, WWE Universe. This might be because I think Ambrose is one heck of an awesome wrestler (how about that superplex off the ladder during MITB this past year?), and his mic skills are pretty much only matched by Paul Heyman these days. And who doesn’t want to see Ambrose finally give Rollins what he deserves? Of course, it also seems just as easy that Ambrose could lose, thus setting up his inability to interfere when Rollins decides to cash in. This fan wants an Ambrose win. It would set him up to be a big contender for a title shot. But, we’ll see.

Rosie’s Pick: Dean Ambrose

Mitch: I believe Seth Rollins will cash in and win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Sunday. Before that, I see Dean Ambrose getting a slightly tainted victory after a hard fought battle earlier in the show. This should set up their future matches after a short pause for Seth to have a month of focus on Brock Lesnar. If I’m wrong about the Rollins cash in then this match could go the other way, but I do expect an incredible match by two of the best workers in the WWE right now.

Mitch’s Pick: Dean Ambrose

AJ Lee vs. Paige
(Diva’s Championship)

Rosie: I also consider AJ’s win another no-brainer. She’s the dominant Diva, and it would be stupid to hand the title back over to Paige when they’re just now really starting this Misery-esque feud (let’s hope Paige doesn’t pull out a sledgehammer any time soon).

Rosie’s Pick: AJ Lee

Mitch: While I love Rosie’s Misery comparison (good one!), I disagree that this match is a no-brainer. I find this one pretty hard to call. I am going to go with AJ for the win as well, but I can’t rule Paige out. I’ve yet to see a truly stand-out match between these two and I hope we get one from them on Sunday. They’re capable of it and I hope they deliver.

Mitch’s Pick: AJ Lee

Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rusev (w/Lana)
(Flag Match)

Rosie: I used to be a big fan of the Real Americans, but since Cesaro’s departure, I just don’t get as excited to see them as I used to. Zeb’s great and all, but I never really cared much about Swagger. I’m picking Rusev to win this showdown.  I’m not sure who he’d contend with if Swagger beat him this time. I guess they could keep the “Cold War” feud going, but it’s going to get old.

Rosie’s Pick: Rusev

Mitch: I LOVE the idea of the Flag Match. While it is cheesy it should bring some unique responses from the Staples Center. This will give the crowd a nice change of pace and hopefully they “U.S.A.” the crap out of that arena. I’ve become more of a fan of Swagger over the course of this feud and I hope the WWE finds him purpose after this Rusev feud. He could make it his mission to bring the United States Champion back to the waist of a Real American. Like Roman Reigns, I see Rusev still on the beginnings of a career that will hopefully have some main event matches in the near future, so he should win this Sunday. If the feud isn’t over with Swagger, then he might take a loss in a cheap way. And a loss in a Flag Match isn’t really a loss that would tarnish him anyway, so that might work. Actually, that’s a great idea. I just changed my mind while writing this. Swagger wins. He can lose clean next month.

Mitch’s Pick: Swagger

Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho

Rosie: Wyatt needs this win. Cena just about totally buried him after their amazing feud (hey, Creative…BAD idea putting Wyatt up against Cena, who never loses to anyone ever unless he’s planning to be absent). Jericho, while still a fun guy to watch in the squared circle, is a has-been and it just makes sense for him to put over Wyatt. I’ll be a bit sad to see Jericho lose, but I’ll be glad to see Wyatt in a winning position again.

Rosie’s Pick: Bray Wyatt

Mitch: Chris Jericho won clean last month, so this is the most confident pick I’ll make for this show. Jericho puts over talent because he’s awesome, so Bray Wyatt will win. Their match last month wasn’t the show-stealer I was hoping that it would be. Because of that, I see Jericho really coming out guns a-blazing to have that epic match that we know he’s capable of. This is another potential match-of-the-night on a card that’s full of potential greats.

Mitch’s Pick: Bray Wyatt

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
(Intercontinental Championship)

Rosie: Ah, Dolph Ziggler. I was just starting to watch wrestling when he cashed in his MITB on Alberto Del Rio (#JusticeForDelRio). That was back when he was with AJ, I believe. He’s always been awfully entertaining to watch (I loved making fun of that goofy butt wiggle he did during his intro…sadly, he doesn’t do it anymore), He’s making a good comeback right now, and I think an IC win would help keep that momentum going. The Miz is a fantastic heel (his win at Battleground gave me the bump to win our group’s fantasy pick game last month), and while I would normally be cheering him to victory, I just have to go with Ziggler this time around. If Ziggler doesn’t win, though, I’m gonna say that The Miz isn’t gonna get a clean win. I personally rooting for Bad New Barrett to make a surprise return!

Rosie’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Mitch: Dolph Ziggler is such a great talent and it’s so good to see him in an actual feud right now. It seemed like he’s been in the WWE doghouse for over a year and he’s just now finding his way back into good graces.

The Miz seems rejuvenated as well. The whole “A-List Celebrity” gimmick that he’s embraced has been great. He’s a heel who’s obsessed with protecting his Moneymaker of a face. Similar angles have been done before, but sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to come up with a winning formula. The Miz thinks he’s a big-time star and that makes him better than everyone else. He’s a coward who will run from a fight if it means that he can protect his pretty face.

I’m not sure if Barrett will be coming back sooner or later, but when he does he’ll be a crowd favorite that will want to reclaim the title that is rightfully his. A heel will be needed in this role, so that’s my logic for why The Miz can hold onto the IC Title a little longer.

Winner: The Miz
                                                                                                                            

So there you have it. The biggest card of the summer is this Sunday and it looks like it could be impressive. Can WWE deliver this time around? We’re crossing our fingers. Comment below if you’d like to banter with us. Let us know if you agree or disagree with us. Also, keep up with Mitch on twitter @MitchNickelson because he does that kind of thing.

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