It’s just about time for one the biggest events of the WWE calendar, so to fill the time until Sunday, here is a preview and predictions to the entire card.
Toronto is lucky, as this might actually be one of the best cards the WWE has had in awhile. But the question is always whether or not the fallout will match expectations, or even just the potential. Here’s how it might all end up by the time the night is through:
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Drew Gulak Vs. Oney Lorcan
This match is more than likely on the pre-show and honestly, I’m not going pretend like I religiously watch 205 Live or even really know who Oney Lorcan is. So I’m just gonna say that these too
Side note: Why don’t they resurrect Sunday Night Heat instead of just calling it “the pre-show?”
Winner: Drew Gulak
Trish Stratus Vs. Charlotte Flair
This isn’t to say that this will necessarily go on first, but I also wouldn’t be too surprised if it did. Trish coming out to start the show and pop the hometown crowd will definitely get them hot, and if these two superstars burn the ring up with a great match, the crowd will stay buzzed no matter who wins. My only concern here is that we haven’t seen so much of an Irish Whip out of Trish in the build up to this match; she never tagged in during her match with Natalya against Charlotte and Becky Lynch on Monday Night Raw. Avoiding contact does have some value to blow off the build up to a superstar’s return or debut, but Trish has been away from a wrestling ring for a long time, so there could be some concern there.
But, she’s a veteran, a legend, a hall of famer, and a pro, so one has to have faith that she hasn’t missed a beat. It makes the most sense to have Charlotte go over. The Toronto crowd will eat her alive and will only help her moving forward.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Goldberg Vs. Dolph Ziggler
The question everyone wants to ask: does anyone even care about this? I still have faith in Dolph as a valuable asset to the company, and he’s doing some great heel work right now. I gotta say, I was pretty surprised by Goldberg’s pop when this match was officially announced on Monday Night Raw, because I really didn’t think that anyone cared anymore. Goldberg will always have the coolest entrance, but is that enough? I mean, Ziggler really is the best to take power bumps to make this match a little compelling, and there will no doubt be some audience taunting.
With all that being said, I’m torn between what I think should happen and what will happen. If Charlotte goes over Trish, then there’s no chance Ziggler goes over Goldberg too, even though that’s what will help both these guys. I just don’t think the bookers have as much faith in Ziggler anymore as I do, and might just be here to get buried by a guy who wants to redeem himself after a poor showing in Saudi Arabia.
But I’m still going with The Showoff.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Finn Balor Vs. “The Fiend”
I’m unclear as to whether Bray Wyatt and “The Fiend” are supposed to be considered separate entities (like back when we had Demon Kane and Slacks Kane); is he going to wrestle with the mask on, or will he have Jeff Hardy-style face paint? I’m just going to make an executive creative decision for myself and say that Bray Wyatt is locked inside the Firefly Funhouse and “The Fiend” is who we’re getting in Toronto.
Despite poking some fun at it, I’m into this “Fiend” angle, I just only hope that this isn’t another failed Bray Wyatt reboot by immediately having him lose. There are rumours that Finn’s taking time off after this, and he isn’t “The Demon” here, so it would lead us to believe that he’s going out on his back in this one. But we’ve been disappointed before.
Winner: “The Fiend”
Side note: “The Demon” isn’t really that cool. Regular, Leather Jacket Finn is way cooler. I want him to just stick to that.
WWE United States Championship
AJ Styles Vs. Ricochet
The OC’s back! Ryan, Seth, Summer, the whole gang is back! That slimy, grimy Volchek is out of jail! What’s going to happen to all our favour… wait, what’s that? Oh. The hit FOX teen drama isn’t back on the airwaves? That’s the name of AJ, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows’ stable? The OFFICIAL. The ORIGINAL. The ONLY Club that matters? Why not call it the Triple O Club, then? Seems unnecessarily confusing…
Anyway, Ricochet has got to be one of the hottest guys in WWE right now, but there’s no way he’s getting out of Toronto with the US title. He and AJ are going to put on a killer match, and he’ll have victory in his grasp, but he’ll get jumped by Gallows and Anderson and that’ll be the finish. Welcome to The OC, bitch.
Winner: Ricochet (by DQ; AJ Styles leaves with the title)
Wait. SmackDown Live is moving to FOX in October. Maybe this is the formation of a reboot/crossover…
Kevin Owens Vs. Shane McMahon
Alright, everyone’s sick of Shane taking up space on these cards. I think having an egotistical, power-drunk McMahon is useful, but I agree that there’s no reason that this can’t be Elias or Drew McIntyre in Shane’s spot here and have the desired effect. WWE fans are desensitized to Shane leaping through the air (which is effed considering this is billionaire in his fifties who doesn’t have to do this), so even the promise of a Shane O’Mac high-spot can’t compel fans to care much. That being said, something feels a little too telegraphed to have Owens beat the crap out of Shane, win, and save his job. This might end similar to the US title match, with McIntyre and Elias getting involved here and screwing Owens. That’ll build Owens better moving forward, anyway.
Winner: Shane McMahon
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley Vs. Ember Moon
It’s too bad, but I don’t care for this feud at all. The biggest problem is that Bayley needs an edge. The “hugger” thing just feels tired and lame, and I’m sort of confused by Ember Moon: she’s a werewolf? I dunno, there’s nothing pushing this over the top. Considering how stacked this card is, even with some a high workrate, frankly, I don’t think that’ll save this from inevitably with being on the pre-show or a cooler match on the main card.
WWE RAW Women’s Championship (Submission Only)
Becky Lynch Vs. Natalya
This should be good. The stipulation should make it a hardcore/technical bout. Natty’s done some great heel work, and there’s seems to be some buzz that this may be setup as a Toronto Screwjob. I really hope that’s not the case, because it’s just lazy, and would much rather see a double-turn. Lynch needs something to turn the heat back up on her push, and using her edge to be a cocky champion who feels like she’s on her own and doesn’t need anyone would eventually get her back to that desired tweener status.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Kofi Kingston Vs. Randy Orton
Is it time for Kofi to drop the title? Most fans think “no,” and though this feud has bent some history to fit it into a kayfabe world, it’s still had a compelling build that has all signs pointing towards Kofi prevailing over “the guy who kept him down.” The only thing is, I already have all of the champions retaining their titles, so someone has to drop one. It might not feel like the time for Kofi to drop his title, and Orton might not seem like the appropriate guy to do it, but Orton always seems to win these matches whenever he isn’t expected to.
Something feels weird to me here. And maybe having Kofi turn back around and earn the title back might be an even better story…
Winner: Randy Orton
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar Vs. Seth Rollins
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Brock Lesnar’s main eventing SummerSlam. Oh you have you say? For the past SIX YEARS? Damn. Well, talk about something not working anymore. The crowd in Pittsburgh for the go-home Monday Night Raw really couldn’t’ve care any less about Seth’s valiant struggle and earnest declaration of determination (that crowd was flat all night, though. A “CM Punk” chant during the Women’s Tag Team Championship match? If you’re bored, that’s fine, but you can’t be more creative? It’s like the old guy trying to fit in at a frat party: “this is still cool, right kids?”). Everyone is so done with Lesnar, but you can never predict how a Canadian crowd is going to react, so would not at all be surprised to hear him cheered over Rollins.
They’ve really set this up for Seth to overcome all his struggles, but I’m conditioned to believe that Lesnar is always going over.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
All in all, this card has a lot of potential, with opportunities to really advance some storylines and push some stars while still having a handful of matches that’ll feature some high-end workrate. If the Heyman-Bischoff Era is truly a sea-change, this should be where we’ll see it. WWE fans are just so used to being letdown, so there’s always measured expectation going into any event.
If you’re in Edmonton this weekend, join the All Wrestling team on Sunday at our SummerSlam watch party and see it all go down! Info below.