SummerSlam 2013 Predictions (Part One)

Pre-show match:  United States Championship – Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam

On the August 12th edition of Raw, Mr. Monday Night won a 20-man battle royal to become the number one contender to this once important B-title.  Despite being held by The Shield leader, it’s still rarely defended on free TV.  The temperature has cooled a bit for The Hounds Of Justice overall which explains their recently lowered profiles.  In fact, this is the second consecutive pay-per-view where a Shield member is wrestling on the Internet pre-show.  Nevertheless, this is a pretty good match-up that would’ve probably generated a lot more interest if it wasn’t so belatedly booked.

Since his return at Money In The Bank, Van Dam has been a frequent performer on the WWE’s weekly prime-time shows and he remains an electrifying babyface performing the same kinds of moves that garnered him so much respect in the first place.  But because his return isn’t full-time and he really doesn’t need a championship push at this stage of his career, his placement here is likely to keep Dean Ambrose relevant in the eyes of the fans.  I can’t imagine a screwy finish so expect the champion to go over cleanly (probably with his front DDT finisher) without the help of his teammates.

Prediction:  Dean Ambrose retains the United States Championship by pinfall.

Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow

At last month’s Money In The Bank, this second generation mid-carder was on the verge of snatching the blue suitcase when he was mercilessly thrown off the ladder by his best friend, The Duke Of Decency, who went on to retrieve it for himself.  Feeling betrayed, he has since dissolved their tag team and attacked his former partner on a number of occasions.  Then on Smackdown, he actually stole the briefcase and threw it in The Gulf Of Mexico.  Despite giving back the damaged reward to The Emperor Of Enlightenment on Raw, a new briefcase was commissioned with a brand new contract for The Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses to cash in for a future World Heavyweight Championship opportunity.  One attempt on Smackdown has already been thwarted by his former best friend.

Even before this split, there were signs that Team Rhodes Scholars were not going to last.  Rhodes and Sandow at one point had agreed to go their separate ways amicably before being unceremoniously put back together again.  And there were a couple of subtle miscues in some TV matches that led to losses both as a team and individually.  When I made my MITB predictions last month, I even suggested the idea of Sandow winning the blue briefcase by screwing over his partner despite picking Wade Barrett as the winner (which, of course, turned out to be wrong).

But more important is the lack of logic in this storyline.  Cody Rhodes did a guest commentary stint on Raw recently where he admitted that if the roles were reversed at MITB, he would’ve done the same thing Damien Sandow did to him.  So, why is he acting like a sore loser and why should anyone root for him?

To think, all of this could have been avoided if the writers had come up with a better hook like this one:  Book the two men in a backstage segment or an in-ring promo exchange.  Have Sandow suggest that if one of them is close to getting the briefcase, the other will not interfere and let him retrieve it.  They shake on it.  Then, when Sandow tosses Rhodes during the actual match, he has a legitimate reason to be pissed.  His best friend broke his word to him.  And Sandow can call him a sucker for believing his offer was ever serious to begin with.

Or how about this scenario?  Rhodes graciously congratulates Sandow on his MITB victory.  But Sandow turns into a sore winner, ruthlessly mocks his friend for not getting the job done and tells him he doesn’t need him anymore.  Either of these two approaches is better than what the writers actually came up with on their own.

At any event, how will this one play out?  Curiously, this isn’t a ladder match for the briefcase.  It’s just a regular one-on-one encounter which makes absolutely no sense.  (Rhodes wants the briefcase, so why doesn’t he get a shot at it?)  Nonetheless, it’s hard to want to see Rhodes get his revenge when he hasn’t been resonating as a babyface, which is a shame because he’s a good worker and one of the better talkers in the company, and my sympathies lie with Sandow who is a hilariously snotty villain.  I suspect shenanigans here and a follow-up match or two so let’s go with the villain, which is my preference, anyway.

Prediction:  Damien Sandow wins by pinfall with shenanigans.

Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E. Langston & AJ Lee

In a booking that is more suitable for free TV than pay-per-view, the tired aftermath of the Dolph Ziggler/AJ Lee split drags on in this mixed tag team match.  Neither The Show-Off (who needs a new gimmick) and Langston (who doesn’t need AJ) really benefit in any way from this.  And considering the number of times the Divas Champion has already bested her former tag team partner in title matches, I’m not sure anyone really cares or believes that Kaitlyn can win it back.  Nevertheless, surely this encounter will mark the end of this program.  Since I have to pick a winner, I’ll go with the ‘faces.

Prediction:  Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn win by pinfall.

Natalya vs. Brie Bella

The least anticipated match of the show.  Yet another belated booking during the final week of building, this only exists because of Total Divas, the phony E! show I’m happy not to watch.  While I always appreciate Natalya slapping the hell out of one of the most annoying people in wrestling today, this is a lousy story to be saddled with.  Jim Neidhart’s daughter is a tremendous worker and deserves an angle worthy of her talents.  In fact, one wonders why she’s not facing AJ for the Divas title.  At least it would be different.

At any event, I don’t see a winner here.  Because The Funkadactyls will be in the babyface’s corner and Nikki Bella and newcomer Eva Marie will be supporting the heel, and because all roads lead to a six-woman tag match on the very next Raw, expect a quick match that ends in a useless brawl.

Prediction:  Double disqualification.

Ring Of Fire Match:  Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

The repackaged Husky Harris has done stellar mic work since moving from NXT to Raw just a short while ago.  Now a bearded, messianic, Southern cult leader, as opposed to just being Nexus muscle a few years ago, with two bearded followers under his demented tutelage, the third generation star (he’s the son of Mike Rotundo and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan) has already been given a decent feud with The Devil’s Favourite Demon.

After his protégés, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, attacked Kane after a match he had on Raw, the Big Red Monster was pulled from the all-star Money In The Bank match.  Now fully recovered, he’s challenged the Eater Of Worlds to a Ring Of Fire match which, incidentally, is not the same as an Inferno Match.  No one will need to be burned in order to lose.  Instead, the two combatants will step in the ring while surrounded by fire which will keep them inside the squared circle while simultaneously keeping Harper and Rowan away from the action.

Wyatt has yet to have a proper match since returning to the main roster so, barring some unforeseen circumstances, it’s not likely he’ll lose his pay-per-view debut.

Prediction:  Bray Wyatt wins by pinfall.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, August 15, 2013
12:43 a.m.

Published in: on August 15, 2013 at 12:43 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] pay-per-view:  Elimination Chamber, WrestleMania 29, Extreme Rules, Payback, Money In The Bank and SummerSlam.  So, why didn’t I continue on with this?  Let’s face it.  I’m a lousy […]

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