WWE SummerSlam 2017
August 20, 2017
Barclays Center
Brooklyn, New York

Watch: WWE Network

Meet our previewers:

  • August Baker: Reviewer of New Japan and WWE, Protector of the Realm, Breaker of Chains, The Unburnt. Follow along at @augustbaker12
  • Andrew Sinclair: Suffering from post-G1 angst, on the look out for the wackiest wrestling the internet has to offer. VOW’s resident Cookie Monster. Find him on Twitter at @AMSinclair97.
  • Lee Malone: VoWs resident OTT show reviewer, occasional PROGRESS reviewer, big fan of the graps, find him on Twitter @Malone_713 and his new soccer podcast @12yardsoutpod
  • Barry Hess: Voices of Wrestling columnist. Follow him on Twitter @BFHess171

This preview was completed before WWE announced Miztourage vs. Jason Jordan & The Hardyz, so that match is not included.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Cesaro & Sheamus © vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

August Baker: How great are Cesaro and Sheamus? Super great, that’s how great. Watching their team come together has been some of the best TV from WWE over the past year. They went from bitter rivals to wearing each other’s ring gear. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re two incredibly talented guys during their matches. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Rollins have nothing better to do, so here we are. The former Shield mates have a tenuous relationship at best, and the WWE loves their tag teams that don’t get along. Cesaro and Sheamus becoming best buds may cost them the titles, and that’s a shame. Prediction: Ambrose and Rollins

Andrew Sinclair: This match makes me sad. The in-ring will be fabulous, as these four are all very talented, but Cesaro and Sheamus feel destined to lose. As August said, their story arc has been fascinating and I’d love them to have a nice long run and eventually lose to the Revival. There seems like miles to this programme though, so I have a feeling that Ambrose/Rollins lose here, but eventually win the straps at No Mercy. Prediction: Cesaro and Sheamus

Lee Malone:I love Sheamus & Cesaro as a team. They are so great not only in the ring but also in their promos and their appearance and I will be devastated if they lose to Ambrose and   Rollins. The reunited Shield boys has been an interesting story but we all know that ultimately they are being put back together for Romans benefit. This should be a damn fine tag match and Seth and Dean winning here so they can be screwed by a group of guys leading to them needing Roman seems to be the smart way to go. Prediction: The Shield 2.0

Barry Hess: The drama between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose is a compelling story. The manner in which that drama has been portrayed, however, has lacked finesse and restraint. Obviously, Ambrose’s willingness to reunite should have remained in doubt right up until the final bell of this match. I can hear the pitch for the back and forth now, ‘it’ll create so much more drama this way’. Eh, not so much. Still, I think we all know what the end result will be, and it will be an awesome moment. Nevertheless, I’ve got my spidey senses finely tuned for a last minute swerve. Ambrose was never more interesting as a character then during his program with Rollins in 2014. It’s probably a long shot, but as they say, anything can happen in the World Wrestling Fed… Prediction: Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

August Baker: It’s a battle of the failed Money in the Bank cash-ins! This match was given some much needed juice after this week’s Smackdown. I don’t think losing the MITB is necessarily a indication Corbin going to be depushed. Maybe someone realized there’s no way Baron Corbin should be WWE champion, but the MITB is a tired concept. This way, Corbin gets a much needed chip on his shoulder, and the briefcase is no longer hanging over the head of every title match. A disqualification wouldn’t surprise me here, but I think Baron stands tall regardless. Prediction: Baron Corbin

Andrew Sinclair: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA BARON CORBIN. His failed cash-in was hilarious and a left-field move, which I’m always in favour of. That does make this match a little harder to gauge. I’m not convinced the failed cash-in is a complete derailment of the Baron Corbin push, but it’s definitely a firm pumping of the brakes. Corbin’s not at the level they want him to be yet and I don’t know if he ever will be. Had originally tabbed Cena to win, now I’m leaning more towards Big Banter Baron. Prediction: Bacon Corbin

Lee Malone: So it’s John Cena against the guy who had a failed MITB cash in against a guy that John Cena had just laid out. The Corbin push seems to be nearing a conclusion that many people did not expect, WWE have given up on him before they even put the title on him. And simply he isn’t ready, he hasn’t improved in any way recently and he will probably never improve. Personally I hope Cena squashes Corbin and after the second or third AA he pins Baron with a schoolboy rollup just because he can.  Prediction: John Cena

Barry Hess: Baron Corbin beating John Cena is one of the more obvious outcomes of this card in my view. The next SmackDown Live ppv is not scheduled to take place until October. That’s a long time (by current WWE standards) for this burgeoning feud to incubate. Cena can use his free agent status to head over to Raw after taking the loss and move on to something completely different in the other brand. Corbin gets a high profile win under his belt. Makes sense to me. Prediction: Baron Corbin

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

August Baker: Ever since WWE decided not to pull the trigger on Balor vs Lesnar, Balor has been treading water. Pairing Balor with Bray Wyatt makes a certain amount of sense. Both are highly theatrical with a dark side that can be unleashed. They, in theory, complement each other, character wise and in the ring. If there was an actual reason they were fighting, I would be pretty pumped about this match. Instead, we just get more rambling, pointless Bray Wyatt promos to set this up. With Demon Balor confirmed as showing up (boy, they really should have let that be a surprise), and Bray’s Win-Loss record on PPV, this one isn’t in a lot of doubt. Prediction: Finn Balor

Andrew Sinclair: ‘Hey Corey, it’s the DEMON Finn Balor’. ‘The Demon’. I’m sure a bookmaker has over/unders on the amount of times Michael Cole will say ‘The Demon’ on Sunday. I’m going to with 20. With regard to the match, I’m not even sure. You’d have thought that for one of their biggest shows of the year, they’d have fewer matches, each with some clear defined direction. This has nothing, other than they’re two spooky dudes and some rambling Wyatt promos. Oh, and that weird looking Jam stuff on Raw. This is a Raw main event. DEMON Balor obviously wins, because he’s a Demon don’t you know, and because Bray sucks. Prediction: Finn Balor

Lee Malone: My preview for this one is going to mirror the commentary for this match ; Demon King, Demon King, Finn Balor, Demon King, The Demon, The Demon King Finn Balor, Japan, Demon King, Demon King, first ever Universal Champion, Demon King, Finn Balor, The Demon King, Demon King.   Prediction: Demon King Finn Balor

Barry Hess: This was pre-show city in my mind prior to this past Monday’s episode of Raw, where we finally got some semblance of a narrative as to why I should care about this match. I wish the build was better structured, this could have actually been a hot little story. Wyatt has accumulated some big wins in 2017 and while his character has certainly not regained the creative equity it lost over time (that ship sunk long, long ago), he’s at least in a position to be taken seriously. I remain conflicted about the Demon gimmick. The pre-match antics of the Demon King are awesome, but when the bell rings Balor wrestles the same as he does when he’s not covered in body paint. Balor is great in the ring, of course, but there’s no tangible difference that makes me feel like the stakes have been raised, which is the point of the transformation. The again, anything that prevents Finn from wearing that leather jacket is a plus. Prediction: Finn Balor

Enzo in a Shark Cage
Big Show vs. Big Cass

August Baker: The only thing I want from this match is for Enzo to have a live microphone while locked in the cage. Just let him say whatever comes into his deranged mind while Cass and Show lumber around beneath him. As for the match, it will probably be terrible. I hope that the WWE reunites Big Cass and Enzo sooner rather than later, and we can forget about this ever happening. Prediction: Big Cass

Andrew Sinclair: Did you know this will be the third shark cage match in less than a year? The first one, between the Authors of Pain and TM-61 felt novel. Owens/Reigns felt unnecessary and then this feels mind-numbingly stupid. I get that Show wants to put over the next generation of big men before he goes. That’s commendable. They also obviously think Cass has something. I don’t know if I agree but I’m prepared to run with that in a way I’m not with Corbin. But having Enzo there takes away any seriousness that might have existed. Prediction: Big Cass

Lee Malone: Man Big Show has put over more up and comers than anybody else I can ever remember and that won’t change in this one. Somebody high up obviously sees big things in Cass and to be fair he has done his best work since the split with Enzo. Enzo is in a weird place where he is a babyface that wants revenge on Cass but isn’t good enough to get it on his own. I am sure Cass will slam Show and Cole will lose his mind like it’s never happened before.   Prediction: Big Cass

Barry Hess: The point of this match is to show the audience how formidable Big Cass is as a singles performer by beating an even bigger opponent. Makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is having Cass get knocked out in successive weeks by the guy you want him to look impressive against. It also doesn’t make sense to have Big Show wounded heading into the match. There’s no need. You certainly don’t have to worry about keeping Big Show strong. Beating a wounded opponent, giant or not, isn’t intimidating it’s opportunistic, which is not the dynamic they appear to want. I’m not typically one for simple language, but Cass sucks and Cass will suck whether his booking is strong or poor. So does any of this really matter? Nope. Prediction:Big Cass



WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The New Day © vs. The Usos

August Baker: I don’t really know where the Smackdown Tag division goes from here. There aren’t any credible tag teams besides these two, so I guess they’re just going to keep feuding. Both teams are great, but things are going to get stale very quickly if they aren’t shaken up. And isn’t about time Big E was given a singles push? One of these days someone is going to listen to me on that one. This is a coinflip, but since there are no other teams, these two will keep fighting until the sun expands and consumes the Earth. Prediction: The Usos.

Andrew Sinclair: I was sorely tempted to Copy and Paste my Battleground preview for this match. Smackdown’s Tag division remains a desolate wasteland, meaning whoever wins faces the same problem. But, even so, I really don’t want to see these two teams keep battling each other. Maybe pair up Sami and Tye? Reunite Harper and Rowan? Anything to freshen up the most stale division in the entire company. I agree with August, it’s a coin toss, but I favour the New Day. Prediction: The New Day

Lee Malone: This match makes me sad. I am sad because both of these teams are so good and so far ahead of every other team on Smackdown that WWE really have no choice but to drag this feud out to diminishing returns until they come up with some new challengers. The New Day have been revived since their return on Smackdown and everyone has been singing the praises of The Usos since their heel turn. Both teams are great but have nowhere else to go from here except maybe trade the belts a few times.  Prediction: The Usos

Barry Hess: Is this match really on the pre-show? Outside of the main event this is the match I’m most excited to see. I enjoy few things in wrestling more than two tag teams with great chemistry going at it. I’ve been having visions of Big E turning heel. I dunno, I don’t think that would suck. Xavier Woods is underrated in my book, he’s been coming up with some really neat stuff in the ring lately. It’s very cool to see his quiet progression over the last few years. I think there’s still compelling drama with him and Kofi Kingston as a unit. So why not, let’s start planting some seeds for a BIg E turn and book at title change on the pre-show. The Usos continue to serve as great heels and would do well leading the division once again. Prediction: The Usos

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

August Baker: I have no idea who wins this one. I also have no idea why this is on Summerslam instead of main eventing a Smackdown. There are too many matches on this show anyways, and seeing a singles match between these two, probably tucked away in the middle of a 4-6 hour slog, is not appealing. I hope it’s on during Game of Thrones so I don’t miss anything exciting. Either one of these guys could walk away with a win, and they’ll probably do a rematch the next show. Prediction: Rusev

Andrew Sinclair: Last Summerslam, Randy got his forehead caved in by Brock Lesnar. I felt some sympathy for him. Coincidentally that was the last time I cared about him. This match doesn’t matter. Randy got the upper hand on what was a dire episode of SD Live this week (becoming a common theme…), so I guess Rusev gets the win. Prediction: Rusev

Lee Malone: I can’t believe this is actually a match on SummerSlam. A singles match with zero consequences and chances are they will have a rematch on this coming weeks Smackdown. Rusev should be a huge star in this company! Instead he floats in the midcard destroying lower card guys until he faces a guy WWE deems a star and he spends 2-3 months looking at the lights. Rinse, repeat.  Prediction: Randy Orton

Barry Hess: VKM: Goddamn, pal. We need Randy on the show. What have we got for Randy? WWE HQ Security Desk Manager: Uh. Well.. Rusev isn’t book yet, you could use him. VKM:Rusev! That’s great. My dad always said, when in doubt, just book a Russian heel. WWE HQ Security Desk Manager: Well actually, sir Rusev is Bulgarian. Bulgaria has been a fairly strong ally to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union. You know, they’re part of NATO and everything. VKM: What? WWE HQ Security Desk Manager: Nevermind, sir. I’ll have the team go dig up Rusev right away. He’s buried down with Bayley and Sami Zayn. VKM: Ha ha ha. That’s a hoot. Prediction: Randy Orton

WWE United States Championship
AJ Styles © vs. Kevin Owens

August Baker: I hate matches with special referees. It’s always more about the ref than the wrestlers. But since AJ and Owens haven’t had that classic match we all hoped they would have, so maybe taking the focus off them isn’t the worst idea. Both of these guys are worthy US champions who can be pushed to the world title scene easily enough. So I guess my prediction here is based on who I think leaves WWE Champion. Prediction: AJ Styles

Andrew Sinclair: All roads lead to Shane vs KO. I’m probably the odd one out, but I don’t have a problem with it. Owens is at his best when playing the vicious bully, and Shane, if nothing else, always puts himself on the line. His presence will definitely pull this match down, and there’ll be shenanigans, but if that’s the end result I don’t mind too much. AJ gets the decisive win and moves on to a new foe. He might be a brute. And he might be Bulgarian. Prediction: AJ Styles

Lee Malone: I am with Andrew, I have no problem with the upcoming Kevin Owens Shane McMahon feud so long as Owens comes out victorious. AJ Owens was a dream feud for some but it really hasn’t delivered in ring as they just don’t seem to gel together at all. This one will be all about Shane and his interactions with both men and ultimately Owens will blame Shane for his loss while AJ can move onto a new opponent.  Prediction: AJ Styles

Barry Hess: I’m pretty surprised these two have yet to put on a Match of the Year contender-type match yet. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed their matches, for the most part I have. But they’ve all felt just a little bit off. I can’t imagine it’s a chemistry issue. Part of me is hoping they were just waiting for the big stage to finally have the match we all know they can have (allowed to have may be more accurate). Shane McMahon’s involvement does kind of throw a wrinkle in that way of thinking. Despite my desire for a traditional battle, more often than not Shane delivers a satisfying performance when he’s involved and so I’m fairly excited to see where this ends up. I think Owens spends most of the match trying to create an issue between Shane and AJ. I’m pretty sure we’ll get a tease spot between Shane and AJ as well. I’m not really convinced a Shane/Owens program is in the cards as everyone else thinks. I don’t really have any supporting evidence to back up that opinion. Prediction: AJ Styles

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Akira Tozawa © vs. Neville

August Baker: Deja vu. These two just had an unadvertised match on Raw where Tozawa won the title, so I guess we’re getting the obligatory rematch out of the way. Neville was a great champion to get the 205 Live brand back on track, but I’m a-ok with Tozawa being champ. I don’t think Neville wins it back here. In a just world, Neville would move on to bigger and better things. Let the brand breathe without the King of the Cruiserweights for a bit and see how it does. Prediction: Akira Tozawa

Andrew Sinclair: Whilst part of me hates that this is on the pre-show, especially when four meaningless singles matches clog up PPV minutes, it does mean that I’ll still be enthused when it happens, as it’s my second most anticipated match on the card. From an in-ring perspective, these two Dragon Gate alums know each other well and have shown they’re capable of putting on a great match. But it’s the storytelling options they have at their disposal that have me intrigued. Neville’s run as champ was great but it was wearing thin and Tozawa as champ offers a new direction. However, Neville lost because he went for the Red Arrow, a move he’d largely avoided since his heel turn. They could quite easily tell the story that it was a lapse in concentration, a rare mistake from the King. This match could be the chance for him to prove himself, dominate Tozawa and reestablish himself as a force not to be messed with. Or, he loses again, the Titus brand takes control of 205 Live, and we get the Neville redemption story. I know I’m probably alone on this, but I’d give the belt back to Neville. Prediction: Neville

Lee Malone: Neville has without a doubt been the best male champion of any kind in the WWE in 2017. Hell he has probably been the best performer all year in WWE. After such a great run as CW Champ I’d love to see Neville be moved up to challenge for the IC Title on Raw and let him have a similar run with the IC Title as he did with the Cruiserweight Title. Tozawa is the guy I expected to beat Neville for the belt and so it came to pass, I just did not expect it to happen on an episode of Raw. This should be a fresh start for 205 Live and Tozawa feuding with guys like Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, TJP, Drew Gulak and others would be a fun new direction.  Prediction: Akira Tozawa

Barry Hess: Neville’s run as Cruiserweight Champion was almost unanimously viewed as a success. That’s not an easy feat when it comes to WWE. His unexpected loss on Monday means one of three possible scenarios is at play: 1. Hot-shotting the title prior to Summer Slam was viewed as necessary to make the match (where Neville ultimately regains the title) feel more important. That scenario doesn’t hold up to me since the match is on the pre-show. 2. Neville is about to make a jump to the heavyweight division (I guess that’s what we’d call anything not part of the Cruiserweight Division). Possible but not likely in my view. 3. Tozawa retains and Neville remains in the Cruiserweight Division but slowly just disappears into obscurity as if the last 7 months didn’t really mean anything. (Spoiler alert: it’s 3). Prediction: Akira Tozawa





WWE Championship
Jinder Mahal © vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

August Baker: I am so relieved that the spectre of a Baron Corbin cash-in is gone over this match. I can now sit back and enjoy this match for what it will be. Unfortunately, what it will be is trash. Jinder sucks, and Nakamura has been very underwhelming. I can’t see any circumstances where this isn’t terrible. Nakamura has always had a reputation for dogging it against lame opponents, and it doesn’t get much lamer than Jinder Mahal. If they’re smart, this match goes 60 seconds. If they’re dumb, they do a standard, boring, WWE-style main event that puts the crowd to sleep. Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Andrew Sinclair: Welp. I was 110% convinced that Naka was going to win this, and then face the ignominy of being cashed in on by Baron Corbin. Well that won’t happen now, with Shinsuke now facing the ignominy of losing to Jinder. Jinder could well lose, but I just can’t see it. He’s accompanying Arjan Bhullar to his UFC debut in September, so I feel like they’ll keep the belt on him for that (his whole run is a marketing incentive, why change now?) and if that’s the case he’ll keep it until Hell in a Cell – giving him a WWE title run longer than AJ Styles, Eddie Guerrero, Batista and Daniel Bryan. Cry. Nakamura has underwhelmed in the WWE thus far, so the ceiling for this match is very low. Prediction: Jinder Mahal

Lee Malone: Hands up who expected a Nakamura title win followed by a Baron Corbin cash in, I know that’s what I expected up until Tuesday night. So the Baron factor is gone but the very real possibility remains that this match just will not be good. The Singh Brothers are more than likely going to be bumping more than anyone else on this show and still that won’t be enough for this to be anything above acceptable. Jinders title reign will never be forgotten but I can’t say that is a good thing. Nakamura becoming almost like Smackdowns version of Lesnar and being the champion who never wrestles on tv could be a great thing for both WWE and Nakamura.    Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Barry Hess: I wish I could write a spirited preview of this match that talked about how Jinder Mahal needs to retain the WWE Championship and continue this improbable run. I can’t. The opportunity to tell a great story with this character slowly transforming from a heel to a face was right there for the taking. Oh well, I knew it was a long shot to begin with. Also, It bothers me that the WWE title is positioned as a midcard title during these co-branded shows. It shouldn’t bother me because it’s a meaningless fact, but it does. I can’t imagine this match will be anything but an awkward mix of styles. Just remember to tuck that head on the landing, Jinder. Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss © vs. Sasha Banks

August Baker: I’m really curious why they’re waiting to pull the trigger on Nia Jax. Nia vs Bliss would have been a unique match that would have been fitting for SummerSlam. Instead we get Bliss vs Banks, again. Which replaces Bliss vs Bayley, again. These are matches we’ve seen before, they were unremarkable then, they’ll be unremarkable now. And since we’ve gotten Nia vs Banks several times too, the only match I want to see in this division is Bliss defending her title against Jax. Prediction: Alexa Bliss

Andrew Sinclair: So, Bayley’s injury announcement wasn’t awkward at all was it? I thought Bayley was winning here, with the big takeaway from the PPV being an impending feud between her and heel Sasha. Rumours of genuine backstage heat between these two make this match-up quite interesting. Despite the change in opponent, Bliss dropping the belt still makes the most sense and I’ll be interested to see what they do post-Summerslam. Prediction: Sasha Banks

Lee Malone: It’s interesting to me that when Bayley was ruled out with injury that WWE turned to Sasha as the face to oppose Alexa. On the surface it feels like the safe choice but I think WWE are being very clever in that if Sasha wins here and gives Bayley the title shot she had earned and Bayley wins, it is a logical way to turn Sasha heel. And my god does Sasha need a heel turn. Alexa has been a good champion and she is getting steadily better all the time and at this moment she no longer needs the Women’s Title. She is going to be around for a long while and down the line I see huge potential in a babyface Alexa chasing the title but for now the anticipated Sasha and Bayley programme needs the title.  Prediction: Sasha Banks

Barry Hess: This match can go either way and I’d be good with it. Will Nia Jax and Bayley play a role at some point? I’d prefer they didn’t. Both Alexa and Sasha would have been better served had this match been given some more juice in the last few weeks. Instead, this match feels like it’s being overshadowed by the two players not actually competing. I do think this could actually be the sneaky ‘Match of the Undercard’ contender if it’s given the time needed to do so. Prediction: Alexa Bliss

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naomi © vs. Natalya

August Baker: Oh my god who cares. I think one reason Corbin lost his MITB briefcase is having two of them running around at the same time, doing the same things, is boring. But seriously, who cares? Prediction: Naomi

Andrew Sinclair: Never fear ladies and gents, James Ellsworth’s here! We’re definitely getting a cash-in from Carmella here, I can feel it. With regard to the title match scheduled, the build to it hasn’t been scintillating but the match itself should be good. Natalya is a solid, if underused, hand and I’m leaning towards her winning. No real conviction, but we all know how much the bookers love a multi-woman match, which would more or less book itself for HIAC. Prediction: Carmella, by way of Natalya

Lee Malone: Natalya in a ppv singles match in 2017?! No thanks. Naomi beating Nattie only for Carmella to cash in is the only way this should go.  Prediction: Carmella, by way of Naomi

Barry Hess: Nothing in this match will matter. Absolutely nothing. Randy Orton vs Rusev will have 10 times the substance of this match. When it’s over Carmella will cash-in and become the new champion. Ellsworth antics will ensure. Those antics will be Gloriou…whoops, gimmick infringement. Those antics will be more entertaining then I’d like to admit. Prediction: Carmella, by way of Naomi

WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar © vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman

August Baker: This is easily the most exciting match on the card. Lesnar is so dominant that he’s nearly unbeatable in a one on one situation, so these multi-man scenarios are the only way his matches have any drama. The past several years, WWE has put on some really excellent Triple Threat and Fatal Four Ways, so I have high hopes for this one. This should be an all out brawl. Barricades will be broken through, tables will be shattered, and chairs will be bent. Should be great fun. A winner is hard to pick, as any of these guys could walk out with the title. I’ve thought for a while we were going to get a Reigns/Lesnar single match so Reigns could get a win, but it doesn’t seem like that is happening. So the next best thing is Reigns pinning Lesnar in a Four Way. Prediction: Roman Reigns

Andrew Sinclair: HOSS WAR! Sad to say that with so many matches on this card, it essentially all boils down to this. Aside from the Cruiserweight match it’s the ONLY interesting one and if they just go balls to the wall, it should be a lot of fun. The narrative they’ve weaved around Lesnar is fascinating and even if it’s purely him working leverage for a better contract, it still adds a layer of mystery. Roman’s not going to win, they’re obviously saving that for Mania. He also won’t eat the pin. Nothing would make me happier than them putting the belt on Samoa Joe. His presentation since his main roster debut has been superb and I think there’s miles in a feud between him and any of these men post Summerslam. That said, I’m a gambling man, and my gut tells me, aside from me being hungry, that Braun’s gonna win and he’ll pin Joe. Prediction: Braun Strowman.

Lee Malone: BIG LADS WRESTLING! Now this is exactly what a main event on the second biggest show of the year should feel like. The story WWE have told with Brock has been phenomenal and then interweaving Roman and Braun and then Joe, props to WWE for getting this whole thing spot on. And really there is no bad winner in this except Roman but we know that is being held for Mania. So the question is which monster emerges as the champion ; the real life monster (Lesnar), the monster WWE has created (Strowman) or the monster they should have gotten behind 12 years ago (Joe). Maybe it is just me hoping but I think now is Joe’s time. We know WWE like to try new champions and challengers coming into the fall and winter months so what harm in Samoa Joe sitting atop the Raw mountain while Roman is off reliving 2014 with Ambrose and Rollins.  Prediction: Samoa Joe

Barry Hess: The answer to the question, ‘Where’s the beef?’ is Brooklyn, New York apparently. The only way I’d be more excited for this colossal clash of menacing monsters is if the name Bunkhouse Stampede was somehow associated with this match. WWE playing into the Brock/UFC rumors was either a nicely played card or they know something we don’t. Either way, the extra intrigue of Brock’s possible departure was a nice touch. Once again, WWE has managed to make a Lesnar title defense feel different from everything else on the card while also preventing the outcome from feeling predictable. Kudos. I want to see Braun Strowman go to Suplex City. I want to see Roman and Brock square off (if only for a minute or two) one-on-one in the ring. I want to see Braun Strowman grab someone by the head and scream ‘I’m not finished with you yet!’. I want to see Samoa Joe continue to be the badass that he is. If I get all that, I could honestly care less who wins. I’ll be happy. Prediction: Braun Strowman