18th Aug2018

‘WWE Summerslam 2018’ – Preview & Predictions

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to the Summerslam 2018 prediction article, right her on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have an excellent card to cover, so let’s do so.

Match #1: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak (Kickoff Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Drew Gulak won an incredible Fatal 4-Way against Mustafa Ali, Hideo Itami and TJP to earn the right to challenge for the WWE Cruiserweight Title. The reigning champion, Cedric Alexander, has said he’ll fight anyone at any time. Now, the time and place has been named. As confirmed by 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, Alexander and Gulak will clash for the title at SummerSlam, marking Alexander’s biggest showcase since winning the championship at WrestleMania and the biggest opportunity yet for Gulak, who has long been bubbling under the surface as one of WWE’s most talented and fearsome grapplers. The two have had a handful of competitive matches in the past, but both have grown leaps and bounds since their last confrontation, with Alexander the hybrid, fighting champion and Gulak the savage, merciless mat master who has left countless opponents pretzeled on the canvas. Both Superstars are talented, hungry and worthy of championship glory, but only one will leave King’s County with the title in hand.

My Take: This will be a quick match that doesn’t get to be half as much as it should be, but the wrestling will be good any-way. Alexander will retain and in abrupt fashion.

Match #2: Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega (Kickoff Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The rivalry between Rusev & Lana and Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega will reach its boiling point when the two pairs square off in a Mixed Tag Team Match during the SummerSlam Kickoff next Sunday, streaming live at 5 ET/2 PT. The Bulgarian Brute and Almas first faced off last month on SmackDown, following an argument between Vega and The Ravishing Russian about whose associate was the superior competitor. It was Almas who walked out victorious, following a distraction caused by Aiden English, who was trying to break up a scuffle between Lana and Vega. The two women then took to the ring themselves to settle the score on the July 31 edition of SmackDown LIVE. Lana looked to have things in control against Vega, until English ran to ringside to neutralize an interfering Almas, only to once again cause a distraction, allowing Vega to roll up The Ravishing Russian for the three-count.

One week later, Rusev was in Lana’s corner to counter Almas as his wife and Vega squared off again. Rusev & Lana had asked an apologetic English to stay in the back for this one, but The Artiste could not help himself once he saw Rusev in trouble in a struggle with “Cien” at ringside. He tackled Almas, but knocked him into Lana, once again costing The Ravishing Russian the match. English vowed that he would make it up to his friends. What that means is yet to be seen. However, Rusev & Lana will certainly be looking to even the score with their rivals next Sunday. Will it be a Happy Rusev Day in Brooklyn, or will Almas & Vega spoil the festivities again?

My Take: I don’t expect much from this match. Who did Rusev and Almas piss off to be stuck on the Kickoff? Almas will win by way of Aiden English screwing up the finish for Rusev.

Match #3: Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team vs. The Revival (Kickoff Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

How lucky can one team be? The hungry Revival have been on an absolute mission to lay waste to the unlikely Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team and The Deleters of Worlds in pursuit of Team Red’s tandem titles. Nevertheless, while they definitely looked impressive in a Triple Threat Match against both teams this past Monday on Raw, the contest ended with Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas pulling out another astonishing title defense and extending perhaps the most bewildering underdog story in recent WWE history. Now, Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson will refocus their efforts when they get a traditional title opportunity against The B-Team this Sunday at SummerSlam. Will fortune finally run out for WWE’s luckiest combination? Or will The B-Team score another improbable W? Plus, will former titleholders Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy play a role in this explosive affair?

My Take: This will be a nice little match that sees the champions retain.

Match #4: Elias to perform his greatest song at SummerSlam

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

At SummerSlam, the WWE Universe is invited to truly Walk With Elias when the strumming Superstar follows up Saturday’s live concert at Gramercy Theatre in New York City by performing what he promises will be his single greatest song to date during The Biggest Event of the Summer.

My Take: Elias plays the part of a bad singer, so I can’t imagine I’ll like this. Bobby Lashley will beat him up at some point, which is a gross mis-use of a guy who beat Roman Reigns on the previous PPV.

Match #5: SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After winning a grueling tag team tournament to earn a SmackDown Tag Team Championship opportunity, The New Day will challenge The Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam. The Bludgeon Brothers have been on a tear through SmackDown’s tag team division since winning the titles at WrestleMania 34, bulldozing over The Usos and Anderson & Gallows, among others, reveling in the punishment they dished out along the way. To earn this battle at SummerSlam, The New Day first defeated SAnitY, besting Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain in a hard-hitting battle. Two weeks later, Big E & Kofi Kingston emerged victorious from an all-out war with Sheamus & Cesaro to win the tournament and a date with destiny at SummerSlam. The Bludgeon Brothers have made it clear that devastation awaits their opponents in Brooklyn. Will The New Day overcome their monstrous foes with The Power of Positivity?

My Take: This will be a short match that sees The New Day win the title to keep the crowd happy.

Match #6: Finn Bálor vs. Constable Baron Corbin

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Can one man stand up to the machine? We’ll find out at SummerSlam when Finn Bálor aims to defeat Constable Baron Corbin after the first-ever Universal Champion and the towering Constable — who has not been shy about trying to put Finn in his place — split victories over the past month. Ever since assuming the Constable role, Corbin has targeted Bálor as the proverbial “little guy,” dogging The Extraordinary Man for, among other things, his height and humble beginnings in the sports-entertainment industry. Bálor answered by defeating The Lone Wolf at WWE Extreme Rules, though the animosity persisted, and Corbin notched a victory of his own on Monday Night Raw. Now, per Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, the two Superstars will settle their differences at The Biggest Event of the Summer, where it’ll be a battle of big size and big heart. May the best man win.

My Take: It’s a shame that Finn isn’t wrestling Bobby Roode or Bobby Lashley, because that would be a better match than the one he may have with Corbin. I hope Corbin turns the corner with his skills here, because it just gets so depressing to see some-one who’s not ready yet to get the match that should go to a wrestler who is ready. Finn should win and be free to move on to a title match.

Match #7: United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Caution! Warning! All-out bedlam has just been guaranteed at SummerSlam. WWE.com has learned that United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura will once again go to war against Jeff Hardy at The Biggest Event of The Summer, with Randy Orton no doubt lurking in the shadows. Hardy’s United States Championship reign ended in shocking fashion at WWE Extreme Rules, as The Charismatic Enigma suffered a demoralizing, near-immediate title loss to Nakamura. Before the opening bell, The King of Strong Style floored Hardy with his now signature move — a savage low blow — behind the ref’s back. Hardy struggled to his feet and insisted on starting the match, only to suffer an instant Kinshasa that snapped his reign and landed the nefarious Artist the first championship of his WWE tenure. And it would only get worse for Harty, who suffered a surprise post-match attack by none other than Randy Orton, who also delivered a ruthless low blow.

Then, at the height of his U.S. Title rematch on SmackDown LIVE, Jeff seemed to have Nakamura down for the count after hitting him with a picture-perfect Swanton Bomb. However, outta nowhere, Orton emerged to break up Jeff’s pin attempt and savagely attacked The Charismatic Enigma. Though Hardy picked up the win by disqualification, The Viper proceeded to unleash a nearly-unspeakable post-match assault on his prey, which he concluded by DDT’ing Hardy off the table, as Nakamura watched from a distance. When Hardy returned weeks later to SmackDown to answer the attack from Orton, he suffered dual onslaughts, first by Nakamura and then again by The Viper, who wiped the paint off Hardy’s face in a moment he later described as “erasing The Enigma.” With so much turmoil surrounding the United States Championship rematch between the titleholder and one of the most extreme Superstars in WWE history, the WWE Universe is left asking just how much chaos awaits at The Biggest Event of the Summer? Moreover, will WWE’s Apex Predator once again look to play a painful role?

My Take: If this is given time, then it will be excellent. I can see Randy Orton getting involved and costing Jeff the title, but I’d rather see Jeff win here. This should have been a triple threat match, but they chose not to do that. Randy has been accused of sexual misconduct this past week, so he may not even be there, but I’d wager that he still plays a part in the match.

Match #8: Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It’s a match that has been years in the making, born in the ambitious environment of the original NXT, growing in the fires of mutual contempt and now destined to be settled in a highly-personal showdown at The Biggest Event of the Summer. Daniel Bryan will go one-on-one with The Miz at SummerSlam. From the moment Miz was selected to be Bryan’s Pro in the original NXT competition, a fierce resentment ignited between the two competitors, one that would lead to Bryan winning his first United States Title from his outspoken adversary in 2010. For there, the conflict would only intensify from year to year.

Perhaps the most impactful moment between Bryan and Miz was, ironically, not in the ring, but in a war of words that took place during a 2016 episode of Talking Smack. Forced to retire due to injury, Bryan had since become the General Manager of SmackDown LIVE, where Miz was the reigning Intercontinental Champion who didn’t feel he was getting the respect he deserved. During the blue brand’s post-show, Bryan shared his opinion that The A-Lister took a “soft” approach to the ring. In response, Miz fired back with a tirade on Bryan that still rings loud today. Unable to compete at the time, however, the GM could do nothing more than walk away, but you never say never in WWE, and it was only a matter of time before the rivals would be at it again.

Refusing to give up on his dreams of once again lacing up his boots, Bryan returned to active competition in 2018, and one of the first things he did as a competitor was ask new SmackDown LIVE GM Paige to bring the then-Raw Superstar back to Team Blue. Now, after a few twists and turns involving other competitors, it seems the two Superstars are once again on a collision course, which became apparent when Miz held a eulogy of a defeated Team Hell No and claimed that Bryan was “destroying his legacy.” In response, Bryan attacked him and laid waste to everything in sight.

Then, when Bryan confronted Miz again the following week, The A-Lister used a fake baby to get the jump on him and drilled his nemesis with a Skull-Crushing Finale, which resulted in Bryan challenging Miz to a match at SummerSlam. In response, Miz appeared on SmackDown LIVE from the TitanTron, and he and Bryan engaged in a jaw-dropping verbal exchange. However, after a weekend of consideration, The Awesome One accepted the challenge from the set of Miz & Mrs., setting the stage for one of the most highly-anticipated showdowns in recent memory.

My Take: Whether Bryan stays with the WWE or not, I say Bryan wins. You could go with The Miz, but no one pays to see him, so why waste the fall on some-one that will never be able to do any-thing with it? On a different PPV, The Miz could win and to great effect, but Summerslam is too large to play any games with the booking. The big star should win and that star is Daniel Bryan.

Match #9: SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Triple Threat Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Mella is Money. Becky Lynch is on a streak hotter than straight fire. And now Charlotte Flair is back with the natural focus of a champion. Which of the three elite Superstars will walk away from their SummerSlam Triple Threat Match with the SmackDown Women’s Title? Lynch, the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion, has been chasing the title for almost two years, often coming up just short despite an overwhelming amount of grassroots support from the WWE Universe. The ever-resilient Becky Balboa has recently found new, amassing a 5-0 streak that culminated in a victory over The Princess of Staten Island — the very defeat that earned her the title match. However, the championship bout was destined to become more complicated with the reemergence of The Queen.

Flair turned the established title match upside-down after returning to SmackDown LIVE to help Becky fend off Carmella’s sneak-attack and overcoming the titleholder in the show’s main event. The Queen’s win transformed the SummerSlam championship showdown into a Triple Threat Match. Having the six-time Women’s Champion in the contest will undoubtably change the dynamic. As fearless as she is athletic, Charlotte she is one of many Superstars responsible for the Women’s Evolution, from being the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion to competing in the first-ever Women’s Hell in a Cell Match against Sasha Banks. After having her title stolen from her via Carmella’s cash-in, she will enter The Biggest Event of the Summer with a score to settle with The Princess of Staten Island.

The Queen and The Irish Lass Kicker would be wise not to underestimate a competitor like the arguably underrated titleholder. Like her of loathe her, Carmella knows how to win when it counts. She has played every technicality and loophole in the book to her advantage, using a Money in the Bank cash-in to dethrone Flair, taking advantage of an injury to win the rematch and wrangling James Ellsworth back from exile to survive two challenges from Asuka. Though her chinless accomplice has since been fired for a second time, Mella has shown that she has pretty of tricks up her sleeve and will definitely not go quietly into that good night.

My Take: Carmella will win a decent match. I wanted this to be a bout contested between Becky and the champion only, but at least Flair’s addition adds more talent to the mix.

Match #10: Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

At SummerSlam, The Kingslayer is poised to knock Dolph Ziggler off his throne in a highly-anticipated Intercontinental Championship rematch, and his returning Shield brother-in-arms Dean Ambrose will be standing in his corner while attempting to neutralize the meddling Drew McIntyre. Ziggler took down Rollins to lay claim to the Intercontinental Title for the sixth time on the June 17 edition of Raw, thanks to an assist by McIntyre. Although Rollins technically got even by defeating Ziggler in the championship rematch the following week, The Scottish Terminator’s interference caused a disqualification and once again kept the gold around The Showoff’s waist.

This led to WWE Extreme Rules, where the resilient competitors left everything on the canvas and battled it out to a 4-4 draw in a classic 30-Minute WWE Iron Man showdown, though Ziggler emerged victorious in sudden death overtime once again thanks to McIntyre’s continued interference. With such controversy, it is no wonder that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced the rematch for the workhorse title at The Biggest Event of the Summer, but will The Architect overcome The Showoff and his imposing friend to finally recapture the illustrious gold now that The Lunatic Fringe has reemerged to counter Ziggler’s sinister second?

My Take: I think Rollins gets the title here to help set-up Drew turning on Dolph. Dean should be a welcome addition to this and add some fun brawling on the floor with Drew.

Match #11: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Kevin Owens will once again dare to step into a ring with Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. In fact, he asked for the rematch this time around. Like anything with KO, however, there’s a catch. Strowman has spent the past few months making Owens’ life a living hell. In addition to throwing the object of his wrath off the rungs and sending him crashing through a table during this year’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Strowman responded to Owens’ attempts to get on the fierce Superstar’s good side by chasing him all over Raw, flipping his rental car and even trapping him inside a portable toilet and knocking the structure of (in)convenience off the stage.

Mr. Monster in the Bank’s fury reached new heights at WWE Extreme Rules, however, when he hurled Owens off the top of the Stage Cage and down through a ringside table below. Though his actions technically handed KO the win, the completely-decimated Superstar did not look at all victorious after making such a horrific descent. Though Owens perhaps should have taken his win and gone home, he instead vowed that he would take everything away for the Strowman. Owens then approached Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and asked her to grant him a rematch with the stipulation that he will win Braun’s Money in the Bank contract if he is victorious. Though not unprecedented — WWE Hall of Famer Edge stole a Money in the Bank contract from Mr. Kennedy in May of 2007 — can Owens possibly think that he will overcome Strowman in a similar fashion?

My Take: Braun will win in a good match. This match may very well get one of the best crowd reaction of the night.

Match #12: Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

At SummerSlam, the heat of summer will turn positively explosive when The Baddest Woman on the Planet sets her sights on Five Feet of Fury and the Raw Women’s Championship. Some might say that the conflict between Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey began back in January when the debuting Rousey seized the spotlight just moments after the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match to stare down the victorious Asuka, as well as The Goddess of WWE and then-SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Any unspoken animosity came to a head at WWE Money in the Bank when Little Miss Bliss interrupted Rousey’s first title opportunity against Nia Jax, attacking both Superstars and causing the match to be thrown out before cashing in her contract on The Irresistible Force to become a five-time Women’s Champion.

After Bliss continued to antagonize Rousey the next night on Raw, the already-seething Baddest Woman on the Planet attacked the newly-crowned titleholder, but she made the mistake of putting her hands on Raw General Manager Kurt Angle and a slew of WWE officials. Although Ronda’s transgressions earned her a 30-day suspension from the red brand, that didn’t stop her from buying a front-row ticket to WWE Extreme Rules and turning the title bout upside-down when Bliss and her friend Mickie James incorporated various underhanded tactics during Alexa’s Extreme Rules Match against Jax. The following night, Angle announced the highly-anticipated showdown between Bliss and Rousey for The Biggest Event of the Summer, and the title fight promises to be extraordinary from start to finish. Rousey is a truly fierce competitor who has defied every expectation while completely adapting herself to WWE’s style and is now poised for greatness. Alexa Bliss is a Superstar who knows how to win at all costs and refuses to take a back seat to anyone.

My Take: I think either Ronda will win outright, or Alexa will retain with some screwy booking snafu. The match will be decent, but Ronda will deliver a great performance.

Match #13: WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Samoa Joe has set his destructive sights on the WWE Championship, a path will put him on a collision course with none other than AJ Styles at SummerSlam. Fresh off his recent title defenses against Rusev at WWE Extreme Rules and Shinsuke Nakamura in a savage Last Man Standing Match at WWE Money in the Bank, The Phenomenal One continues to ride high as one of the greatest Superstars the squared circle has to offer. Whether he can maintain the structural integrity of “The House that AJ Styles Built” against such a force of pure annihilation remains to be seen. Joe sent a clear message that he will be taking no prisoners when he attacked Styles from behind, just seconds before signing the contract for the championship bout. The Phenomenal titleholder will need to use every bit of his incredible arsenal to repel his brutal no-nonsense challenger.

My Take: This can be the best match of the night, easily. I can’t see how these guys don’t have a match worth talking about. AJ will win, but Joe might win it next month.

Match #14: Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After months of controversy, chaos and conflict, Roman Reigns will get what he has been craving — another opportunity to dethrone his greatest rival Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. After he defeated Bobby Lashley on the July 23 episode of Raw, The Big Dog earned the right to get another crack at The Beast and his Universal Title. Of course, Lesnar and Reigns’ rivalry dates all the way back to WrestleMania 31 in 2015, and the two recently collided in unforgettable contests at this year’s WrestleMania and a Steel Cage Match at The Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia in April. The Steel Cage Match was shrouded in controversy because the replay seems to clearly show that Reigns’ feet hit the floor before Lesnar’s in the match’s closing moments, but Brock was awarded the victory.

The infuriated Big Dog has been calling himself the “uncrowned Universal Champion” and vigorously campaigning for another opportunity ever since. However, The Anomaly’s contract status with WWE has taken several twists and turns, and he showed up in the UFC Octagon several weeks ago, so Reigns has been unable to get close to Lesnar, much less get another title match… until now. With his victory over Lashley, Reigns has secured another chance to take down The Beast and claim the Universal Title. Will The Big Dog’s personal and growing vendetta against Lesnar be a help or hindrance as they approach this title clash at The Biggest Event of the Summer? And with The Beast’s recent contract entanglements and potential UFC return looming, will he be focused squarely and solely on once again conquering Reigns?

My Take: This will be good, but not great. Roman will win and get screwed out of the title by Braun when he cashes in on Roman. Braun will turn heel to the delight of no one and Roman will start chasing him for the title.

Thank you for reading and I will see you for the Summerslam review.


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