Nick Porcaro, DJ Chapman, Michael Dworkis, & MJ Rawls predict the winners and losers in the Summerslam 2017 Predictions Column
Cruiserweight Title Match: Akira Tozawa (C) vs. Neville
MJR: I think that Tozawa winning the title on RAW was a mistake. It would have been more significant on the big Brooklyn stage. Neville was one of the best champions in all of the WWE. Wouldn’t make sense for him for him to win it back. I think this win is the beginning of the end for 205 live.
NP: Stays with our new champ. Tozawa and his escapades with Titus Worldwide are the only over thing in this Cruiserweight division, and fans just love to yell “AAH!” with the charismatic striker. Give Neville time to cool down before heating him up again—there’s simply too much talent languishing in this division to head back to the “King of the Cruiserweights” well.
MD: An interesting predicament. The Cruiserweight Championship changes hands on SmackDown, the rematch is at SummerSlam. Neville will regain the championship. The King of Cruiserweights will do everything he can to regain, and I expect a show-stealing level match. I love Tozawa, he’s fantastic, but you can’t be a king without a crown.
DJ: It would be very odd for WWE to take the belt away from Akira right after giving it to him. I think Akira is going to have a nice long run to promote himself and give the Titus Brand a push. I’m giving it to Akira. I’m hoping to get a lot more of Akira’s sweet sweet facial reactions.
Smackdown Tag Titles: New Day (C) vs. The Usos
MJR: The two best tag teams in the WWE in a enjoyable feud thus far. My gut says the Usos win. New Day were the longest reining champs of all time. They can be without the belts.
MD: I don’t think the New Day will pull another record-breaking title reign on SmackDown, but I do think they will retain. The Usos are probably in the best position they’ve ever been. The heel gimmick works great, but New Day dropping belts so soon doesn’t bode well. The Usos will be fine regardless of the outcome, which is why they will not win at SummerSlam likely a win at the next PPV.
NP: The Usos underwent quite the career renaissance this year! Their nasty, dangerous demeanor is just as compelling as their backstage hijinks are amusing. The New Day, on the other hand, never need the titles again after a record-breaking run from 2015–2016. The only move is to let these two great teams tear the house down, and put the belts on the Uso Penitentiary once more.
DJ: I must say I have come to love the Usos over the past couple of months, their swagger and sheer ruthlessness has been a fun combination. That being said, I believe the New Day will keep the belts. This will help give some Power of Positivity Pop for the Brooklyn crowd.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Naomi (C) vs. Natalya
MJR: This one is a little weird just because I would have thought it would have been Becky or Charlotte challenging. It’s good for the veteran of the division, Natalya to get that look, but Naomi will win.
NP: Natalya has zero momentum going into this match, while fans continue to #FeelTheGlow of Naomi’s straightforward good gal run. Let the woman with the best entrance in WWE win.
MD: This is a tough call. Natalya has been clawing for a title shot for longer than I can remember, and when she isn’t she is buried by jobbing to everyone. I want her to win, I really feel she deserves a real run with a Women’s Championship. However, Naomi and the raving glowsticks are all the rage. Let’s look at it this way: Fans will love Naomi regardless if she is champion. Natalya, most don’t seem to care anymore about her, and that is sad to me. Because Natalya is one of the best, EVER, period. So, I’ll play the devil, and say Natalya will finally win the Women’s Championship.
DJ: I have Naomi hanging onto the belt for this one. I don’t know if Natalya is ready for a title run right now, it just doesn’t feel like she has had enough exposure recently.
Bonus: Does Carmella cash in the MITB briefcase?
MJR: Yes, but I think she Loses to Naomi.
NP: No. Baron Corbin’s epic fail of a cash-in really took all the steam out of any potential cash-ins at SummerSlam. Carmella excels as a smarmy, cowardly heel, and having the briefcase for as long as possible is the way to help her character grow.
MD: I think she will, and she will win with help from the Neckless Wonder.
DJ: So Naomi will win, and obviously Carmella will come out toting her MitB briefcase, but there won’t be a cash in just yet. With Baron Corbin cashing his briefcase this past Tuesday it feels too early for Carmella to do so. My gut says she’ll hang onto the case for a little longer.
RAW Tag Titles: Cesaro & Sheamus (C) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
MJR: I love the slow burn they have done with Seth and Dean. They were floating around for a bit, but there’s a real storyline here. Cesaro and Sheamus has been good champs, but I have Seth and Dean winning. Gives new life to the Raw tag division.
MD: This goes one of two ways. Two-Thirds Shield either win the Tag Team Championships, or they turn on each other and we get a feud lasting two more PPVs. Cesaro and Sheamus have carved out a nifty gimmick for themselves, and have been very successful so far with both gimmick and presence as a tag team. I feel many are torn about Sheamus’ abilities, but one has to agree he plays the big bad boot-dropping brute very well. Cesaro, is always awesome. Rollins and Ambrose being paired, whether together or apart tells me WWE Creative has nothing else for them to do at the moment and needs something to keep them occupied until after Brock likely drops the title to someone else. So, with that in mind, I will say Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins will win the RAW Tag Team Championships.
NP: Shield bros—unite! The crowd popped huge for Seth and Dean’s fist-bump, and it’s common knowledge Sheamus is leaving to film a movie pretty soon. This one’s a given.
DJ: I have Rollins and Ambrose winning the tag team belts. There has been too much of a work up to the Shield reunion for them not to win.
RAW Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Sasha Banks
MJR: With the under current of apparent dislike that these two have each other, this will be a good match. Sasha wins. Turns heel. Sasha vs Bayley at Mania?
MD: I’m picking Sasha Banks for the win. Alexa has a nice reign for herself, but I think a title change will keep things a bit fresh. Ideally, I would have liked to see Nia Jax have gotten the nod for the title match, but that would mean a full face turn. This wouldn’t be too difficult since fans already cheer for her. But, scripts have to stay scripted. If Jax remains heel, I would like to see Banks defend against Jax at the next PPV, with Jax finally getting a win over Banks.
NP: Alexa Bliss just handed Aaron Judge a commemorative WWE Championship, and got herself a custom jersey to match. If that doesn’t say “made woman”, I don’t know what does.
DJ: I think Sasha will win the belt. I can see a really good storyline of Bailey trying to win the belt from Sasha once she’s recovered from her arm injury.
Big Show vs. Big Cass — Enzo in a Cage Match
MJR: Why is this match on the main card? Didn’t we already have a cage match this year? What is going on here?
NP: Big Cass is 7 feet tall and you can’t teach that. He’s also 31 years old, and he too just handed Aaron Judge a commemorative WWE Championship. Big Show is 45 years old. Do the math. Big Cass.
MD: I’m only interested in the concept of Enzo being held up high in a cell. Now, does this mean we could see some weird heel-turn by Enzo and realign with Cass? That would be one hell of a convoluted storyline. But not past WWE to rewrite recent history. If Cass is to be pushed as the next major heel on the show, then he has to win. However, we have seen the ol’ “Broken Big Show Hand” bit before and Big Show come back to triumph. This is a hard call because there is all for Cass to gain and nothing for Show to lose. Enzo, like the cage, will be held in limbo for the foreseeable future as no one is certain where he can go next. Guess I’ll go with Big Cass on this one.
DJ: It really seems like WWE is trying to put a rocket on Big Cass, which is why I believe he’ll win the match. Meanwhile, Enzo will be forced to look on from above, as the Big show gets massacred. The most I can see Enzo potentially doing is being a distraction, but I doubt he’ll making it out of that cage. I think he’ll just be there to provide the specter of something happening without any actual substance.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
MJR: I’ll call this the US title number one contender match. The winner will go on to feud with AJ Styles. Orton win here.
NP: Orton “needs” some more wins after getting punked thrice in a row by Jinder and the dastardly Singh Brothers. Rusev can’t have nice things. We all lose.
MD: As much as I don’t want to admit it, Orton will win. The feud won’t end there, they will have their rematch at the next SmackDown PPV I imagine. Rusev comes off as a big bad brute, but when a top tier guy shows up, he loses. The same will happen here. If Rusev is allowed to win, I will genuinely be surprised. I’ll also be very happy.
DJ: If WWE is trying to push Rusev now is the time. WWE will give Rusev a win in Brooklyn so that he can go over as a huge heel. Rusev over Orton after about 8 RKOs.
US Title Match: Kevin Owens (C) vs. AJ Styles with Shane McMahon as special guest referee
MJR: Some regard the US title to be the best championship on the Smackdown. Expect a weird finish where Shane messes with KO and costs him the match. It will set up their match and have AJ retain.
MD: Most of this build has been how neither Owens or Styles can really get along with Shane, which leads to wonder how this just hasn’t turned into a Triple Threat Championship match. My guess, something really off-kilter is going to happen, and next month we get Owens vs. Shane, AJ vs. Shane, or hell, that Triple Threat which would be incredible. Anyone who had doubts when AJ Styles faced Shane McMahon, were put silent as it stole the show. Owens vs. Shane would be no different. But, a triple threat? Forget it, just make that a PPV in of itself. As for tonight, I expect something to end by way of DQ or Countout, likely in Styles favor.
NP: Shane and Styles will find some way to inadvertently screw KO over, all in the service of building to a Shane / KO match I’m not sure anyone wants to see.
DJ: Finn. He’s coming out as the demon. To quote Bernie Mac: ‘Nuff Said!
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
MJR: Again. Another head scratcher to have this match on Raw, but I guess you had to push the return of “Demon” Finn. Balor will win here. WWE is trying to build something special with the demon. Can’t see Bray winning.
MD: If they can put on a 10-15 minute creep-fest, I wouldn’t care who wins. When they turned out the lights and projected vermin in the ring during the Wyatt/Orton feud, I thought they couldn’t top it. Covering Balor in blood? Topped. We get The Demon vs. The Eater on Sunday, and this goes under another match where I have difficulty picking the winner. I have been surprised Wyatt got a win over Balor on RAW, so another win at SummerSlam doesn’t seem too far-fetched. However, under the Demon persona, we will be treated to a very eerie side of Finn. Despite the Demon unleashed, I have a creepy feeling somehow Bray Wyatt will somehow get the win.
NP: The last time we saw Finn’s “Demon King” persona, he fought through injury to triumph over Seth Rollins and become the first-ever Universal Champion at last year’s SummerSlam. Unless WWE pulls a 180 on Bray and decides to make him look really strong, this one goes to Bálor.
DJ: Finn. He’s coming out as the demon. To quote Bernie Mac: ‘Nuff Said!
Smackdown Title Match: Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
MJR: Mahal has done a decent job as champ (promos aside). I know people will be mad, but he will retain. Nakamura will chase for the title and win down the road.
NP: Despite cutting corners almost everywhere else, WWE continues to utilize fancy, expensive set-dressing to promote the Modern Day Maharaja and his flimsy WWE Championship run. Unfortunately, this leaves me with the sinking feeling that the belt will stay on Jinder come Sunday evening.
MD: Removing the anticipation of a possible cash-in, my feelings for this match tanked a bit. Using the briefcase to further Corbin’s feud with Cena hurt this match. It’s nuts I could even write this. On the one hand, Nakamura winning would cause an eruption in Brooklyn. Nakamura, WWE Champion? But hang on, this is SummerSlam, and the main event, the final match will 99% be the Universal Championship Match. That has to end with a big bang. Although given the past few WrestleMania have been more whimpers than bangs, perhaps this may not be different. As much as I feel Nakamura is the right choice to have a face go over as champion, however I don’t feel WWE is ready to pull the trigger. Instead, I see Jinder Mahal retaining after some sort of interference, as this seems to be the trend for his victories. If he gets a clean win, that would shock me.
DJ: I have Nakamura winning clean. My dream is that the Singh Brothers come out and Nakamura just Kinshasas them into oblivion. However, I believe this will be a standard match with Nakamura winning to put the WWE Championship on a rising star from the land of the rising sun.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
MJR: Welp. Baron löst the MITB briefcase. Cena moves on to RAW after this, so Corbin gets the revenge factor and picks up the win.
MD: This one doesn’t really matter so much anymore. Following Mahal kicking out of the AA, the excitement grew as Corbin attempted to cash in on SmackDown. This, was horrible, as a lamest of distractions caused Corbin to be rolled up in seconds. This also stole any suspense for the WWE Championship match. I can’t believe they used the MITB as a Macguffin to push the feud between Cena and Corbin. I would be shocked if Bacon Rorbin rallied for a win over Cena. At this point, if Corbin isn’t going to be challenging for any titles soon, Cena will get the win, and we will scratch our heads as to why Corbin got such a convoluted push in the first place.
NP: Big Match John is in the twilight of his career and has demonstrated plenty of willingness to put younger or newer talent over. If Cena really is a “free agent”, losing to Corbin gives him a convenient excuse to show up on Raw. More importantly, Baron’s performance in this match will make or break his main event prospects.
DJ: I’m torn on this one but I have Cena winning just because it’s Summerslam and it will probably make Brooklyn furious.
RAW Title Match: Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
MJR: The finish of this match is super under wraps. I’m going to go out on a limb as say that Braun Strowman will win.
NP: Knowing full well how absurd WWE’s booking logic can be, I try and keep my predictions grounded—not so with this feud. The hottest program on either show led to a gargantuan Fatal 4 Way match that has fans salivating, and what better way to dethrone Brock than with a thunderous Running Powerslam courtesy of BRAAAAAAAUUUUNNNNN? The Monster Among Men’s rise to the main event has been undeniable. It’s time to put him on top of the mountain.
MD: The belt may come off Lesnar, but who will wear it home? The fans want Strowman or Joe. Vince wants to keep Reigns strong. So, because I have difficulty, I turned to family members for some guidance. Both of my six-year-olds picks Samoa Joe. My wife feels this is the moment for Braun Strowman to have it. Roman Reigns is Vince’s big man. Brock… He could keep it simply by outlasting everyone else. Heyman’s promo suggested Lesnar losing this would be cheap and easy for WWE to get the belt off him. Reigns has been in the background mostly, with some spears here and there, but Joe has been the most vocal next to Heyman, with Strowman the most impactful. The Barclays Center will echo with boos should Reigns win, again. Vince won’t care. If Joe or Strowman win, they will erupt. If Lesnar wins, it might be a 50/50 split. The other factor, is winning or losing does not change anything. All these big men will continue main eventing regardless. So, I think my kids are onto something, and I will go with Samoa Joe for the Championship win.
DJ: I am so excited for this match! All four competitors will be great but, in the end I think the Monster Among Men, Braun Stroman, will be victorious. Joe is going to put Lesnar to sleep and then Roman will end up taking out Joe with a superman punch. With only Braun and Roman left, Braun will Roman to win the Universal Championship. The Barclays Center will go insane as the show ends.