Friday Morning Backlash – SummerSlam Preview

Welcome back to InsidePulse Wrestling!  It’s Friday, and you know what that means!  Time for another edition of the Friday Backlash!  I’m still Kyle Sparks, and my contribution to the Backlash means that the weekend is almost upon us.  So without further ado, let’s get into SmackDown Unspoiled!

SmackDown Unspoiled
Christian vs. Sheamus (Non-Title)
Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs. Kaitlyn and A.J.
Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
Ezekiel Jackson (c) vs. Cody Rhodes (IC Title Match)
Mark Henry vs. Johnny Curtis
The Great Khali vs. Randy Orton

First off, I’d like to point out that yes, I do read spoilers.  It’s nice to see Beth on the Blue brand, as well as it being a continuation of the angle that apparently her and Natalya are running.  Sin Cara, as I’m sure some of you have read, is not Sin Cara, but according to reports is actually WWE developmental talent Hunico.  It’s an interesting choice, and one wonders if any casual fans will notice the difference.  We’ve had Del Rio vs. Bryan before (during the last King of the Ring tournament), but now that both men are carrying briefcases, I would have liked to see more of a build to this, possibly in a PPV environment.  Regardless, it should be a great match.  The debut of Johnny Curtis is nice to see, finally, and hopefully he can connect with his punny gimmick.

Speaking of NXT alumni, if you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to see the match between Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel from this past week’s NXT.  The two men got somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 minutes and put on an excellent match that color commentator William Regal pimped on his Twitter feed this week.

Since I don’t have a clever way to segue this, I guess I’ll just slam on the breaks and get right to it.  Let’s preview SummerSlam!

The Biggest Party of the Summer
Since I just turned in my picks for the IP staff roundtable, I figure that’s a tremendous idea for this column, as no one else has really done so.  So, that said, let’s work our way down the card as it exists now, discuss what should happen, what will happen and all that stuff.  So let’s do it up Glazer style!


CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena (c) — Undisputed WWE Championship (Special Referee – Triple H)
This will be interesting, to say the least.  Punk and Cena have built a tremendous rivalry in much the same way that Austin and The Rock did a decade and a half ago.  It’s been discussed ad nauseum on the net.  Cena slotting nicely into the Rock role of the more acceptable corporate face of the company, the movie star looks, the decorated resume, etc.   Meanwhile, Punk slots perfectly into the Austin role of rebelling against authority–albeit for somewhat different reasons–and upsetting the status quo at every available opportunity.  Every time Punk opens his mouth and tells off someone in authority–be it Triple H or be it Vince McMahon–the people seem to love him even more.

What Should Happen: The best involvement Triple H can have at this point is none.  There’s no viable reason for him to get involved.  If Punk wins, then you have a champion that’s gotten you more mainstream buzz than any in recent memory.  Punk wasn’t exaggerating when he talked about how he’s making wrestling relevant again.  If Cena wins, you’ve got a champion who’s moved as much–if not more–merchandise than most anybody else in the company and continues to be a safe, acceptable, profitable champion.  If you’re Triple H, this is win-win.  Despite that, Triple H should see Punk as the more dangerous choice of the two–and therefore one to be avoided.  What I would have happen is Triple H call it right down the middle and only hesitate just before he finally counts three for CM Punk.

What Will Happen: Triple H will inexplicably screw John Cena, leading to a “corporatization” of CM Punk, completely ruining any cool factor the character has.  I worry that this has been telegraphed due to Punk’s getting shooed from the ring on Monday night and yelling that “the fix is in,” referring to Triple H favoring Cena.  This tells me that the writers will try to swerve everyone and have Triple H turn on Cena instead.  The thing could, however, be salvaged if Punk proceeds to turn on Triple H as well, telling him how he used him to get what he wanted and now has no use for the corporate power structure, etc.  He could then debut Colt Cabana and/or the Kings of Wrestling to help back him up.


Christian (c) vs. Randy Orton – World Heavyweight Championship (No Holds Barred Match)
This has been built for quite some time now, and really needs to end.  Not really sure what else I can say.  Orton and Christian have had tremendous outings every time they’ve been in the ring together, and this one shouldn’t be any different.  Throw in a kendo stick, a couple of chairs, a trash can, and a table spot, and you’re good to go.

What Should Happen: Christian simply has to win.  His first reign was completely neutered by the immediate hotshotting to Randy Orton, leading to this whole long chase.  Now that Christian has won the title by disqualification of all things, if he drops the belt again to Randy, any long term value the guy has will be pretty much gone, as will be any chances of him being taken seriously for several years–if not ever again.  Christian needs to beat Orton as clean as can be done, given the circumstances of this match, so he can move on to fight Sheamus, while Orton feuds with the new monster, Mark Henry.

What Will Happen: What should happen, thankfully.


Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
These two have built a decent little feud based off a disarmingly simple premise.  Mark Henry wants to fight, and Sheamus wants to fight, so Sheamus has encouraged Henry to “pick on someone his own size,” essentially.  Both have proven to be capable brawlers/power wrestlers, and should put on a watchable match if nothing else.

What Should Happen: Sheamus should go over to put himself next in line to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship.  Mark Henry could still use a little more build before he’s at that level, but…

What Will Happen: …Henry really shouldn’t be losing  clean to the first major opponent to step up to him since he started this rampage (I choose not to count the Big Show, as he was more of a point of collateral damage).  Therefore, with WWE’s 50/50 booking “strategy” (if it can so be called), look for this one to end in disqualification or something of the like.  Potentially due to an overabundance of Mark Henry violence in the corner.  It hurts Sheamus a little, but with a quick brawl after the bell, it’s all forgotten.


Kelly Kelly (c) vs. Beth Phoenix – WWE Divas Title Match

Pretty simple.  Beth won a battle royal to earn the shot and then promptly turned heel promising the end of the days of the blonde bimbos.  To most of the IWC, this made Beth the face in the feud, but regardless, Beth is promising renewed violence, and it should be good to see.

What Should Happen: Beth should obliterate Kelly inside of 3 minutes and take the title.  In order to take this push seriously–and everything she’s promising alongside–this shouldn’t even be remotely competitive.

What Will Happen: Well, what should happen will sort of happen.  Beth will still walk out of LA with the Butterfly belt.  But I have a sinking feeling that it will take altogether too long for it to happen, and Kelly will get far too much offense.  The right result will happen, but not exactly in the right way.  Of course, with a few squashes once she wins the title, it could be easily forgotten.


Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett

Another fairly simple build that’s worked fairly effectively.  Daniel Bryan won the Money in the Bank briefcase and promised to cash in at WrestleMania.  Barrett has decided that Bryan doesn’t deserve the briefcase or his success, and has taken it upon himself to take out the American Dragon.

What Should Happen: Bryan should win here.  As I said in the Roundtable, the only justification for him not winning would be to build towards a rematch at Night of Champions where Bryan puts the briefcase on the line.  But it would be better for the long term development of Bryan if he makes Barrett tap clean here.

What Will Happen: What should happen.  Bryan will make Barrett tap out to either the LeBell Lock (is that really that hard to spell?) or the Guillotine Choke (that I don’t believe he’s named yet).  Barrett may attack him after the match to continue the feud, because currently there really aren’t a lot of other big time heels on SmackDown that he hasn’t already feuded with.


Rumored Matches

Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler
What Should Happen: Riley has proven better than I thought, but he still doesn’t entirely impress me.  I’m admittedly a little biased, as a big Ziggler fan, but Ziggler should win, because, frankly, he’s more established, more talented and could use the win to continue his current angle of being the best and making the US Title the prestigious title to care about.
What Will Happen: Riley will win to further the angle of Dolph and Vickie ending their business relationship, and likely set up a future US Title match between the two, possibly on Raw in San Diego.


The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

What Should Happen: Miz needs the win more than Mysterio does at this point, especially given his inability to get past Alex Riley over the last few months.  Yes, he finally got the win in the WWE Title Tournament, but it doesn’t erase that Miz has seen a rapid de-push since losing the WWE Title.  Miz’s solid promo on Raw about his status in the company since WrestleMania coupled with his attack on Mysterio should signal a renewed push for the Awesome One, and a win over Mysterio will help continue to establish that.
What Will Happen: If the match goes on the card, look for what should happen to happen.  Miz and Mysterio have had several quality matches on both Raw and SmackDown against each other, and given some time on PPV, they should be able to have another excellent contest.


Final Thoughts

There’s no reason this shouldn’t be a solid PPV, despite the total lack of tag team matches.  Literally, I have no recollection whatsoever as to the last PPV that WWE put on which did not feature a Tag Team match at all.  It wouldn’t shock me to see New Nexus vs.  Oh, say…The Usos.  However, they’ve given us no reason to think it will occur, so I see no reason to discuss it.  Punk and Cena should deliver the goods again, despite the high probability of shenanigans.  Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett should have a very good match as well.  Sheamus and Mark Henry won’t be a technical classic by any stretch of the imagination, but both have proven to be effective, powerful brawlers over the last few months and it should be entertaining to watch them whale on each other for 5-10 minutes if nothing else.  Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix should be short and not particularly good, but it should feature the crowning of Beth atop the Tramp Stamp division–which with her at the head maybe can lead to a different nickname.  Will it be worth your $45?  Your mileage may vary, but it’s one of the Big Four PPVs.  In general, WWE tends to pull out the stops and put on good shows for the Big Four, and with the intrigue stemming from the development of Punk/Cena, I see no reason to think this wouldn’t be a good show.

As always, thanks for reading.  Keep the feedback coming, as I always appreciate any questions, comments or suggestions.  Thanks again, and see everybody  next Friday!

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