SummerSlam 2015
Sunday, August 23
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, New York
Watch: VoicesofWrestling.com/WWENetwork

This Sunday, WWE presents the biggest SummerSlam in history, in length (Sunday’s show will clock in at four hours) but also importance as SummerSlam could begin the framework of the most ambitious WrestleMania in history, next year in Dallas’ Cowboys Stadium.

The importance of Sunday’s show cannot be understated, with rumors that The Rock could possibly make his return, the obvious WrestleMania implications from the result of Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker and, of course, Seth Rollins and John Cena putting title vs. title — could Cena become a 16-time World Champion? There’s a lot at stake this Sunday and all signs leading to this being one of the more important events in WWE’s 2015 calendar.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

Sean Flynn (@spiffie6123): Rusev is trying his best. The man is so incredibly over the top that soap opera cast members are telling him to tone it down a bit. He has his damn face on the Bulgarian flag. Sadly everything else about this angle is a tire fire surrounded by corpse flowers. This feud will go on because eventually there will have to be a mixed tag match between the four people, so let’s assume that Summer Rae and Lana shenanigans lead to a cheap win for a once-proud warrior.

Prediction: Rusev

Rob Barry (@robsbrutalworld): Here’s two fairly talented guys who are being wasted in a match I don’t care about. Remember when Rusev was this monster who might be a main event player? Remember when Dolph Ziggler won Survivor Series and was going to get pushed hot and heavy? This whole feud has been cringe worthy, read Ru Gunn’s feelings on the matter below. Here’s something people won’t remember: who won this match and why they should care who won.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler

Ru Gunn (@doctordala): I’m unbelievably frustrated that this match isn’t building on the significant history between the two men, ie. Ziggler being the first person to ever pin Rusev, back on NXT, in his board-breaking days. Instead, it’s about ex-girlfriends, dead fish, emotional manipulation and ringside catfights. They threw Rusev’s nigh-intact dominant reputation away on a series of consecutive SmackDown main events recently so it’s not unfeasible he gets a(nother) throwaway, meaningless loss here.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler

Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D vs. PCB

Sean Flynn: I actually have high hopes for this match. There’s enough talented workers who can carry the bulk of things, let the less skilled people come in briefly to do the things they do competently, and with so many people they keep the pace sprightly. This seems to be the end of Stage 1, where the new people are introduced and the division is presented as a serious thing for the most part. Stage 2 is going to be about gunning for the title, and the first one in line is likely Charlotte.

Prediction: Team PCB

Rob Barry: You know how you make this a true Divas Revolution? Get rid of the name Divas, the Divas title and have a true singles match. Maybe Naomi vs. Becky Lynch? Charlotte vs. Nikki? Paige vs. Sasha? Unfortunately Trios matches only seem to work in Dragon Gate. I’m hoping this is the exception to the rule and that this is a stellar outing for all women involved.

Prediction: Team PCB

Ru Gunn: I feel like the Divas division have had their shoes tied together or something for the last few weeks, because as much as there are voices willing them to succeed, and they’re finally getting longer slots, the quality of matches has absolutely plummeted — particularly on the PCB side of things. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this is going to be the showcase that turns things round. It doesn’t really make any sense to pick the one team without a champion to win, but I just have a hunch that’s the way it’s going. If I had to hazard a guess, Charlotte with the win.

Prediction: Team PCB

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

Sean Flynn: Why Rob Barry would want to doom Owens and Cesaro to misery and pain with the IC belt involved I’ll never know. Given the amount of likely overlap between the NXT and Summerslam crowd I assume the audience will be quite ready to see Owens have his head forearmed off his body. This is the “wrestling” match of the night, and should be a damn good one. I don’t really want either one to eat a loss, but I think Owens as the heel can wear it a little easier.

Prediction: Cesaro

Rob Barry: Hey that guy Cesaro seems to connect pretty well with the fans, doesn’t he? Kevin Owens is a solid all around performer and this will not disappoint. Keep these guys in the upper midcard for years to come. The only thing this match is missing is the cursed IC Title. Either man could do wonders for that title. These two men are out to impress and Cesaro will surely pick up the win here in the dark horse match of the night. Keep this feud going WWE, I’m invested in both guys and wish both success for their tenure in WWE.

Prediction: Cesaro

Ru Gunn: I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that this is going to be the best match of the night, and I hope this gets a real generous amount of time and an un-gimmicky treatment, so both men can show off their skills and snowball from their recent successes. Cesaro has been the most enjoyable member of the roster to watch for weeks now, so I hope he gets the win here: but I also hope it’s not the last time these two tussle.

Prediction: Cesaro

Stephen Amell & Neville vs. The Cosmic Kings

Sean Flynn: I’m so happy about this match. WWE embracing the fact that it is not a real thing, and having a match where everyone involved is at least halfway to being a comic book character is a fun thing. This will be a very long heat segment on Neville, lots of Stardust wackiness, a few token hip tosses and body slams by Amell, and a Red Arrow. And that’s just fine as long as it is kept fairly short. At 8-10 minutes I’ll enjoy this match. At 15 I’ll tolerate it through gritted teeth. At 20 or more I’ll begin to wail and tear at my garments in despair.

Prediction: Stephen Amell & Neville

Rob Barry: We all know if Green Arrow was in a fistfight with Batman he would lose. Perhaps The Cosmic Kings could actually become a thing, it might give both men something to do. I’m fairly sure this match will be structured around Neville hitting the Red Arrow — terrible comic book character by the way. Maybe you can go watch Daredevil on Netflix if this isn’t your cup of tea.

Prediction: Stephen Amell & Neville

Ru Gunn: Being marvellously out of touch with American pop culture, I’m often confused and bewildered by guest stars on RAW, and this feud has rapidly spiraled past the grasp of what I understand. I can grasp good vs evil, zany outlandish characters in capes, but why is King Barrett in this match, apart from the fantastic Katamari-esque tag team name? I’m going to be daring and suggest that this is a match that’s not really about wrestling at all.

Prediction: Stephen Amell & Neville

WWE Tag Team Championship
The Prime Time Players © vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores vs. The Lucha Dragons

Sean Flynn: New Day’s entrance. Kalisto’s 30 second rush around the ring doing crazy flips. The Xavier Woods fighting El Torito spot. Titus O’Neil with a tag so hot that individual quarks will be seen flying out from where Titus and Darren’s hands meet. I need all of these things oh so badly. I feel like it isn’t quite time to move the belts of PTP, though I would certainly not be opposed to New Day taking them back.

Prediction: Prime Time Players

Rob Barry: Have The New Day do a 20-minute entrance and then have them squash everyone. Do Los Matadores have blackmail on someone, allowing their inclusion in this match? This should be a high energy match with everyone bringing their best moves to an entertaining sprint.

Prediction: The New Day

Ru Gunn: Aside from side-eyeing the dubious decisions that entitled Los Matadores to appear in this match, this is going to be the sort of high-paced mess of fun that we’ve been quietly enjoying on SmackDown for months now. Hopefully they’ll bust out their special occasion spots and it’ll be a pleasure; but even if they don’t, the New Day are excellent entertainment value alone.

Prediction: Prime Time Players

Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

Sean Flynn: It is right about now I’m realizing how long watching this show is going to feel. Just writing the preview is exhausting. Because we have matches like this. I have little doubt it will be a fun brawl full of plunder and Dean Ambrose propelling himself through things. But this is the wrestling version of an old band going on tour but with only 1 or 2 original members. Sure the songs sound familiar, but you can tell there’s essential things missing.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

Rob Barry: This is the feud that never ends, it goes on and on my friends. Shield 2.0 vs. Wyatts could be a potentially great match as all four will set out to prove a point. What will happen after the match is what I’m interested in. All four individuals are spinning their wheels and need direction. They are meandering and when they move on after this it will be to another meaningless feud. I want to care but WWE is making it increasingly hard to do so.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

Ru Gunn: If you rewatch those old Shield/Wyatts matches, the thing that really stands out on reflection is how it was Seth Rollins who anchored it all together. It was Seth with the breath-taking spots, with the smart ring-awareness, the moments of drama and the structure that the match needed to make sense. A Shield rematch without Seth is like a day without sunshine. I’m picking Wyatts to win here purely because Luke Harper got pinned on SmackDown and WWE loves its “opposites booking”.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Ryback © vs. Big Show vs. The Miz

Sean Flynn: The winner of this match should be able to throw the IC Belt into the fires of Mount Doom and rid WWE of this evil forever. Then fly into Raw on a giant eagle. I want Ryback riding a huge eagle as part of his regular entrance. Because reviewing Raw every week has turned my brain to oatmeal I’m over the moon about this match. I love all of these people and find their interactions hilarious. They all know exactly who they are and why they do the things they do. The match will be plodding and slow and I don’t even care a microiota. I’m giving this 12 stars in advance. Title stays with the Big Guy for now.

Prediction: Ryback

Rob Barry: I love The Big Guy. I’m over The Miz. Big Show has instant go away heat. This match is truly just a placard for the awful IC Title scene-it’s the equivalent of being on the Madden cover. I wrote more words than I wanted to.

Prediction: Ryback

Ru Gunn: In the last few weeks, a lot of VOW readers have been along for the New Japan G1 Climax ride: a tournament of matches comprising dozens of hours of wrestling content with little respite, night after night of 3 hour+ shows. What I’m trying to say is that this match will likely feel more interminable and exhausting than all of that put together, and with 10% of the wrestling prowess, to boot. I’m going to be chugging energy drinks to get through this one. Only thing that could redeem this is if they go with the “genuinely haunted Intercontinental Title” plot everyone secretly wants.

Prediction: Ryback

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

Sean Flynn: Remember at Wrestlemania when Randy Orton beat the guy who had the MitB case and then the guy with the case cashed in that night and won the title? I don’t think that’s happening here, but it certainly seems plausible. I hope Sheamus does cash in, but forgets to specify which belt he wanted and becomes the US Champ. I’m trying to talk about things other than this match because this match is like watching an infomercial repeatedly. It wasn’t very interesting at first, and each time through it becomes more and more of a chore. Orton’s winning because RKOOUTTANOWHERE.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Rob Barry: Have you ever been stuck in an elevator with no conceivable way out? Have you ever seen A Clockwork Orange and the scene where Malcolm McDowell is forced to watch his crimes? I feel like a young Malcolm who is forced to watch this lifeless Super Deluxe Edition of Match #2,989 between a Viper and Irishmen. Nothing good will come of this.

Prediction: Sheamus

Ru Gunn: Sheamus’ obnoxious face, waggling his eyebrows, with sweat in his facial hair braids, and clutching on to that golden briefcase…he’s fairly hard to like, and his wrestling hasn’t been anything to write home about either. Randy Orton has a ceiling when it comes to matches like this, and rarely surprises. I’m hoping it’s over before it’s even begun. I don’t think it matters too much who wins here, but I have a hunch WWE will be contrary and fail to keep their MITB winner strong.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker

Sean Flynn: I’m a sadist, so I hope this match is just Brock giving Undertaker the key to Suplex City. By which I mean I hope he gives the old guy 50 Germans and kimuras him into retirement. But I don’t see that happening. Lesnar might get a win, but it’s not going to be a destruction like Cena was last year. Vince is not going to give up the Undertaker for good when he has a 100,000 seat stadium to fill next year. This match is prelude for even bigger things, so someone or maybe two someones are showing up before this segment is done.

Prediction: Undertaker

Rob Barry: Lesnar Murder Death Kill Taker.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Ru Gunn: What with The Undertaker’s recent MO, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to open this match with a hair-pull rollup. Surely there’s no reasonable way Undertaker will get his win back here? That’d be nonsense. Not looking forward to this, as a Brock match where you’re praying “please be gentle” is a disappointing Brock match from the bell.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

WWE United States & WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena © vs. Seth Rollins ©

Sean Flynn: I keep flipping on this one. I thought Rollins sneaking out a screwjob win at first. Then Cena got his nose broken and I figured Cena. Then they made the match for the unified titles and I grew certain of Cena. Now it seems so obvious that I’m beginning to doubt myself. But I think in the end I will go with what is almost always the right answer when it comes to odds needing overcoming. John Cena takes the belt, confronts the unhappy Authority, and AA’s me into roving correspondent duty. Though if Ru’s vision comes true, including the statue, I’ll review Raw until the day I die.

Prediction: John Cena

Rob Barry: Sean Flynn’s future is hinging on the outcome of this match. Here’s hoping that Seth Rollins wins as his reign has been non-remarkable and devoid of anything memorable. Oh yeah, he’s been booked weak the entire time, that’s how you build your World Champion. The winners of this match are Gatorade and Millenials-no not the defunct Dragon Gate group. Cena however has built up the prestige of the U.S. Championship with weekly defenses and a few MOTYC’s sprinkled here and there. This being WWE let’s hope for a change that they don’t go the predictable route but I won’t hold my breath.

Prediction: John Cena

Ru Gunn: A strong victory for Rollins here, to assert himself as a rightful, fighting champion. I predict lots of nearfalls, many skillfully reversed AAs, and a clean win with the Phoenix Splash. Seth stands tall and cuts a heartfelt, sincere promo to end the show. Next week’s Raw opens with a team of sculptors chiseling a Seth Rollins statue for the Performance Centre Lobby.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

SummerSlam Infographic
(Thanks to Rukkus (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoinTheRukkus / Twitter: @jointherukkus for sending this along)