TV Preview: Happy Birthday SummerSlam!

For starters, Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife, Evi. Fitting today is her birthday. When we were dating, she had zero interest in wrestling. Once we got engaged in January 2008, she decided to start coming to my friend’s pay-per-view gatherings. The first SummerSlam pay-per-view she ever watched, was August 17th, 2008 where The Undertaker defeated Edge in a Hell in the Cell match. Ready for more coincidence?  The first live show she attended was the 2009 Hell in the Cell pay-per-view where  The Undertaker defeated CM Punk in the Hell in the Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship. But, wait there is more! The next time she went to a show, was WrestleMania 29, where The Undertaker defeated CM Punk to become 21-0. Now, we come back full circle. August 17th, 2014, SummerSlam is upon us once again.

Today she is a fan, sharing in my cynical outlook on the industry.  Love you! Happy Birthday! 

Tonight John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Paul Heyman, because Brock Lesnar, and quite frankly Cena himself have been largely absent in building this feud. Heyman has done all the work, while Lesnar although making more appearances than Cena, cleverly remained silent and let the Rabbi of Wrestling do all the talking. At this point it would be smarter for the match to go to a draw or DQ or Count-Out and go to the next major event due to lackluster hype and general consensus of “no one cares.”

Anyone notice how suddenly Kofi Kingston, Big E. Langston, and Xavier Woods suddenly jumped back to their normal babyface routines? Current events may have played a slight factor, just a guess.

Jack Swagger vs. Alexander Rusev in a Flag Match: Wow, haven’t seen one of these in years. Let me rephrase that, I haven’t seen a good one in years. I recall a few featuring the Hart Foundation, but I think the most recent one to take place was Hunico vs. Ted Dibiase Jr. on SmackDown. In any case, this is a perfect match for Swagger to win, while Rusev can still appear strong. Why? Rusev is portrayed as an unstoppable force. In a match like this, he does not have to be pinned, does not have to submit. It does not have to be a clean finish. Keeps the feud going and rolling, but eventually someone will have to lose. Someone will have to submit or get pinned, clean. My guess is WWE is not sure where they want to go yet, but his sort of match is perfect for Swagger to keep his positive run going and Rusev will not come out any less of a behemoth.

Wade Barrett is not on the card. All are sad. I promise you, until his return, I will mention his name at least once in every column. What, you haven’t already noticed? Shame on you.

Paige vs. AJ Lee – Divas Title Match – Could be interesting. I hope by now Paige has gotten over the jitters of being on the main roster to perform at a major event like SummerSlam against AJ Lee. Paige had a good run with the title, but with the sudden loss back to AJ, many felt Paige was a bona-fide babysitter, and no one else wanted the job to do the job. In any case, I hope this turns out to be a good match, but as far as champion, I do not see a problem with AJ retaining. Fans of Paige might.

While on a topic of the female variety, what could be either a show-stealer or the worst match in SummerSlam history, Brie Bella goes up against Stephanie McMahon, one-on-one. Brie has been training, and I would think Steph has been hitting the gym again. I hope. I want to say this harkens back to the days of when Vince McMahon would step into the ring, but somehow I don’t see Brie Bella vs. Steph equal to Steve Austin vs. Vince. In any case, this feud has seen more hype than the WWE Championship match, so I hope we get our $9.99 worth.

Anyone else think it might be a bit odd… Brie marries Daniel Bryan, and augments her wrestling ability, while Nikki is dating John Cena and augments her chest. Just sayin’!

Damien Sandow… Might show up.

In match of main eventer versus new main eventer, Randy Orton will try to keep pace against Roman Reigns.  I cannot just be me noticing this. Ever since Randy Orton was taken away from the title picture he has gone back to his slouching, sleep-walking attitude in the ring, unless he’s scripted to win. It was just a year ago when he was feuding with Daniel Bryan and yes, even John Cena over the WWE Championship, he was having good matches. Really good matches. Suddenly, it all came to a screeching halt. Hell, his match with Cody Rhodes a year ago should have been match of the year. Suddenly, he’s back to being a lazy ass. I hope it does not take away from this one, as WWE is building Roman Reigns up, and a win over Orton would be a huge push for him. Reigns has the tools in the ring, but still needs to work on those mic skills. Maybe he could use Zeb Colter or Paul Heyman in his corner?

In what will be a good match, and runner-up to show-stealer will be the Showboat himself, Dolph Ziggler challenging The Hollywood Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. This could be a very good match. I have noticed The Miz has certainly stepped up his game in terms of both character and in-ring skills. He filmed The Marine 4, and now has a massive ego about it. This is just too funny. That should be the gimmick itself. But Miz takes it seriously and takes the whole “don’t hit me in the face bit” further than both Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel during their 1992 SummerSlam match to win the heart of Sensational Sherri. I hope Ziggler gets some sort of victory, although I cannot see them taking the belt of Miz so quickly after winning it, but you never know.

The first time around I was hyped. No. No Mojo Rawley joke here. But seeing Chris Jericho/Bray Wyatt II has my head itching, and I am hesitant to scratch. It might just go away, because it shouldn’t be there in the first place. At first the thought of a Jericho/Wyatt feud sounded awesome, the hype was great. The match itself was pretty lackluster, and the sudden shock victory by Y2J ended the hype for me. Felt let down. Perhaps this is the reason we get another go-around, with Jericho and Wyatt turning the creep-o-matic meter up past maximum. I think this time it will be Bray who gains the victory, because if he does not, the Wyatt Family will be packing their bags. They have not had a major victory in months, and another loss will also lose fan interest.

I believe the true main event and easy pick as show-stealer is going to be Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. Once again, the build of this feud has been infinitely better than the WWE Championship match. However, a Lumberjack Match is the stipulation? Man, I would have loved to have seen a Falls Count Anywhere or a Scaffold Match. I kid you not, these two guys could pull it off because they have done it before in Ring of Honor and Combat Zone Wrestling. The idea behind the chosen stipulation is so Rollins cannot run away from Ambrose. I get it, but this also means it can be loaded with wrestlers by Corporate Kane who will protect Rollins. We will get the obligatory high-risk dives which will bowl everyone down like dominoes. This will not be the last major confrontation between Ambrose and Rollins. I want to see this highlight the next three pay-per-views. I kid you not.

There you have the main lineup, and I am certain we will get some sort of pre-show match as well as one or two surprise matches, considering no mention of a tag match has been announced, and I doubt they would keep Jimmy and Jey Uso off a pay-per-view event as big as SummerSlam. Tune in tonight!