WWE SummerSlam 2019
Depending on your perspective, it is either The Biggest Party Of The Summer, the second or third most important PPV of 2019, or the follow-up to the potentially superior NXT TakeOver: Toronto. Whatever the case, WWE SummerSlam 2019 is still a pretty big deal, and it is bound to create memories that will add to the 31-year legacy of the summer spectacular, dating back to its introduction in 1988.
As ever, there are some matches that are likely to succeed, and others that may disappoint. There are also bouts where the winner appears to be a foregone conclusion, while a few have unpredictable outcomes. And though it is still possible for a few more bouts to be added, the scheduled line-up will either give fans an epic supershow to remember, or further reason to gripe about the current state of WWE. But that is just standard these days, and so we will take that smile that Shawn Michaels lost, put it on our faces, and focus on the positives as we predict how SummerSlam will turn out on a match-by-match basis.
Cruiserweight Championship Match
Drew Gulak (C) vs. Oney Lorcan
Lorcan has been slowly pushed on 205 Live for a while now, and here he gets his big title opportunity. But Gulak has been chasing the purple-strapped title, on and off, for close to three years, and he finally claimed the prize at Stomping Grounds. With his reign having only begun seven weeks ago, I can’t see Drew losing the title just yet, though it’s safe to say that this match (likely for the Kick-Off Show) will be a good one, even if it doesn’t hold the attention of the Toronto crowd.
Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler
Replacing The Miz against longtime enemy Dolph Ziggler is Goldberg, a true legend whose name has been run down several times lately by Dolph. With a motivation to put his fumbled bout against The Undertaker at Super ShowDown at the forefront of his mind, Goldberg is here to do a few things: kick Dolph’s ass, Spear and Jackhammer him into oblivion, and to do so in a pretty short amount of time, all while the fans chant “GOLLLLLDBERRRRRG!” Expect nothing different here.
United States Championship Match
AJ Styles (C) vs. Ricochet
AJ and The OC have been attempting to run roughshod on Raw since reforming at the start of July. I say “attempting” because they are not exactly The Nexus when it comes to complete domination. They do have two of the red brand’s titles, though, with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson holding the Tag Team belts and AJ having the US Championship. All that said, I can’t see Ricochet losing again to Styles, since his fortunes will dip dramatically if he tails off, which leads me to believe that he will claim the gold back from AJ in what should be another strong encounter between the two.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt’s first televised match since August 2018 sees the in-ring debut of his new, frightening persona, The Fiend. With rumours of Balor taking a break from WWE for a little while, and with Wyatt needing the victory as much as any wrestler, well, ever, The Fiend simply has to win. How it goes down is another story; a competitive match would help Finn, but for The Fiend to truly strike fear in people’s hearts, another quick victory in decisive, brutal fashion must be the way to go.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley (C) vs. Ember Moon
This could go either way. Bayley has been on the roll of her career since her move to SmackDown in April, and she has held the SD Women’s crown since Money In The Bank. But Ember has been awaiting her big opportunity ever since being promoted to the main roster the night after WrestleMania 34, and this has the potential to be a star-making contest for her. But, while I expect this to be an enjoyable battle, I think that Bayley will retain, albeit with this rivalry not ending just yet. I actually think that one of the combatants will turn heel in the process, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Bayley went rogue in order to hold onto her title.
If Kevin Owens Loses, He Has To Quit WWE
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
KO’s fortunes have changed dramatically in recent weeks, in the latest part of a crazy year for the Prizefighter. This has led him to become one of WWE’s most popular babyfaces, but to take the next step forward, he has to defeat an old rival in Shane O Mac. McMahon’s heel persona has turned many fans off, to the point where he truly needs to receive his full comeuppance beyond a simple defeat. Owens might be the man that sends Shane on an extended break, but even if Shane sticks around on television, there is no way that increasingly-hot babyface Owens doesn’t win here.
Raw Women’s Championship Submission Match
Becky Lynch (C) vs. Natalya
I am going out on a limb here, and I will suggest that Natalya will pick up the shock victory. In her home country of Canada with her compatriots loudly cheering for her cause, Nattie is about to have the biggest match of her career, as she battles the woman (well, The Man) who won this year’s WrestleMania main event. Though Becky has the star power, her title reign has not exactly been a roaring success, and so it’s possible that WWE will switch things up. But just because it’s a Submission match, that doesn’t mean Natalya will win clean. I can see Ronda Rousey making a surprise run-in and destroying Becky (bear in mind that, in Submission matches, there are usually no disqualifications) just enough for Natalya to lock in the Sharpshooter and have Becky “pass out from the pain”, thus beginning the build to the long-anticipated Becky vs. Ronda singles match at WrestleMania 36.
WWE Championship Match
Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Randy Orton
Will Kofi Kingston finally defeat the man who “held him down” almost a decade ago in a singles match on a major stage, or will Randy Orton win another major championship in the same arena, at the same event, where he won his first World Title in 2004? I’m picking Kofi to retain, but with Orton earning a victory via a technicality. Perhaps Orton forces Kofi to lose his cool and pound Randy in the corner, or for a steel chair to be introduced and for Kingston to go crazy on The Viper. Whatever the case, while both a Kofi clean pin and an Orton title win are possible, I am expecting Orton to win via DQ but to pay the price, giving him a beating on the night but the path towards another title opportunity next month.
Trish Stratus vs. Charlotte Flair
Another Canadian hero in the form of Trish Stratus returns to the ring for one night only to face Charlotte Flair. These two have the potential to steal the show in my opinion, partly because the fans will be reacting to this big-time. But while it would be fun for Trish to get a feel-good victory, this surely exists for Flair to add another notch to her belt by defeating a true legend and a Hall Of Famer. Charlotte is bound to return to the title mix eventually, and if nobody turns heel in Bayley-Ember, it may be as soon as this Tuesday. In the meantime, though, she can still make an impact by defeating one of WWE’s biggest female stars of all-time.
Universal Championship Match
Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Seth Rollins
Hmmm. Does Lesnar retain to ensure that his latest Universal Championship reign will be another long one, or does Rollins pin Brock for the second time this year to regain his title? It’s hard to call, because we’re often told never to bet against Brock Lesnar, but Rollins has no direction as a big-name babyface if he loses to Lesnar. I am going to suggest that Lesnar retains, since Rollins was barely able to even stand up on Raw this past Monday, and it may be in a violent, bloody contest. Who challenges for the Universal Title next remains to be seen, but while another Rollins title win could certainly happen, I am leaning towards Lesnar holding the title – for now.
There will surely be an angle, maybe even a match, relating to the ongoing Roman Reigns mystery assailant storyline. Buddy Murphy suggested that Rowan was responsible, but neither he nor Daniel Bryan spoke on the live SmackDown programme about the situation; with Roman currently lacking a match in Toronto, something pertaining to the plotline is bound to go down. In addition, it is possible that a Women’s Tag Team Championship defence for Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross will be added to the pre-show, as well as a possible non-title battle between The New Day and The OC, based on their recent on-screen showdowns.
WWE SummerSlam 2019 looks set to follow the formula of other major cards this year: some matches could be barnburners, with others being filler or being prone to lacking the desired crowd response. The title changes, potential surprises and match outcomes will either have fans thoroughly satisfied or highly disappointed; there is no in-between for a certain section of the fanbase in summer 2019. On the whole, though, SummerSlam has the potential to be an exciting card with several thrilling matches, the likelihood for shocking turns or returns, and major results which will shape the direction of the company heading into the final four months of the year. In the meantime, we’ll be watching the PPV live this Sunday, and we’ll have to wait and see as to how many of our predictions come true!