Like Brodus Clay during an all-you-can-eat buffet, I’m baaaaaaack! In case you missed it last week, Kelly Floyd took over my column. I could have done it from Florida, but I felt I deserved a true vacation so I let her do the honors. If anyone else would like to do a guest spot on The Stomping Ground, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to oblige.
The 25th edition of Summerslam is mere days away at the time of this writing and I’m honestly very nonplussed about the card. The only match I’m looking forward to is Dolph Ziggler vs Chris Jericho, but I know you’ve heard that from pretty much everybody here at the Pulse. Instead of a simple card rundown I thought I’d take this opportunity to take my predictions a step farther and prognosticate where the WWE seems to be heading post-Summerslam. Indulge me, won’t you?
United States Championship
Santino Marella vs Antonio Cesaro
The title needs to go onto someone who’s not using it as a simple prop and if the WWE is willing to put it on Claudio, I’m all for it. The guy is great (I’ve seen him put on some classics in person at ROH events) and he certainly deserves the push. Santino won’t suffer from the loss since he’s not playing the part of a serious competitor. Let him get his rematch and lose so he (and the rest of us) can move on. I can see Cesaro defending his title against guys like Christian and Zack Ryder so he can continue to receive a good push. And hey, why not showcase the guy on Raw?
The Miz vs Rey Mysterio
Ah, the pitfalls of shotgun booking. Why are we getting this match? It’s in California; Rey’s home state. Big boost in merchandising and a draw for last-minute ticket buys. There’s no story to this match, but with the focus on Triple H/Lesnar and the Triple Threat match, who cares? Miz will retain and I’m sure Rey will get some sort of rematch down the road to give these two something to do.
Tag Team Championship
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs The Primetime Players
I like to put myself in Titus and Darren’s shoes because you can tell from the way they act that they are living out their childhood fantasies and loving every minute of it. They need some sort of edge though, because as far as teams go they’re a bit bland. Give them the belts so Kofi and Truth have a reason to face them again. I predict miscommunication in the coming weeks between Kingston and Truth, leading to a one-on-one feud between the two so that Epico and Primo can get back in the title picture.
Kane vs Daniel Bryan
The only tie these two have is their bizarre past relationship with AJ. It’s an excuse to get them on the card and I all but guarantee that Charlie Sheen will be sitting front row in the audience so he can deck Bryan. Vince is betting the mainstream media will be all over that one. I expect we’ll be stuck with whiny Daniel Bryan for the long haul. I don’t mind him as a heel, but watching him come unglued and lose every match is rather annoying. A nice feud with Mysterio should give him something to do as he tries to get back into the title picture. As for Kane, he’s just around as a special attraction these days. Perhaps he can feud with Alberto del Rio.
Damien Sandow vs Brodus Clay
I’m not sure what’s surprised me more about this match: the fact that it’s Clay’s first advertised PPV match or the fact that it’s on the main card while a title match is on the pre-show! I suppose there’s a title match on Youtube to draw more hits, but this match isn’t going to wow me no matter where it’s placed. I like Sandow’s persona, but I want to see more from him in the ring outside of a two-minute match. He’ll probably go after Brodus’s leg again but I think Clay will pull out the win to prolong things for a bit. I’d prefer it if Damien simply defeated Clay and moved on to something else. Why not let Tyson Kidd get into a good series with him? It’ll give both guys a chance to shine.
Dolph Ziggler vs Chris Jericho
This is going to be tough to predict, but I still think this is match of the night. No matter what the outcome, I predict a cash-in by Ziggler on Sheamus similar to how Edge faced Ric Flair at New Year’s Revolution and then cashed in on a hurt Cena. It’s no secret that Y2J is moving on to tour with Fozzy and Ziggler can have a series of rematches with Sheamus.
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio
No, I haven’t read any Smackdown spoilers, but you and I know the match cancellation is a work. Del Rio will get his match, assault and injure Sheamus, lose, and then Ziggler can run in and take his title. Formulaic and done-to-death? Yup, but who cares? How much longer can Dolph pull the stupid cash-in tease at this point? As I stated before, Sheamus can get Ziggler in a series of matches and del Rio can move on to someone like Kane.
WWE Championship Triple Threat
CM Punk vs John Cena vs Big Show
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Big Show is only in this match to take the pin for Punk. I think they’re going to try and save Punk and Cena for Survivor Series and Cena and Show have unfinished business, so let them go at it next month in some stupid grudge match. Punk can face someone fresh to the title scene, like Randy Orton or Rey Mysterio. Hell, even give him a one-on-one with Kane. It’s not a brilliant idea by any stretch of the imagination, but it keeps the belt on Punk and keeps Cena away from the inevitable.
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
“Where do we go from here?” refers not only to the title of this week’s column but more specifically to this match. This will be quite the brawl, perhaps more-so than Cena/Lesnar. As a side note, I think they missed the boat by not referring to the initial brand split when Lesnar ruled Smackdown and The Game reigned over Raw at some point during this feud. Lesnar is not going to wrestle on Raw and he NEEDS this win badly so he can go away until Survivor Series. Bear with me for a second, okay? Here’s what I think might go down: Lesnar defeats Triple H when someone (say, Stephanie) throws in the towel for the COO. Brock gloats for a while about defeating Triple H but raises the ire of a certain Deadman. Taker challenges Lesnar at Survivor Series for his transgressions on HBK and Triple H and…loses. Lesnar gloats again and says he’ll win the Royal Rumble. Cut to the end of January: Lesnar looks to be dominating the 2013 edition of the Rumble when Shawn Michaels comes from out of nowhere to force an elimination! This sets up Lesnar/Michaels at Wrestlemania, which HBK wins in a great underdog story to get retribution for his pals and vindication for himself.
How does Wade Barrett figure into all of this? Apparently he’s in line for a nice push, so putting him up against Sheamus, Orton, or Cena would probably be the best way to go about it.
In any case, I’m probably just shooting blanks as we ARE talking about the WWE here. Enjoy the PPV and what remains of the Summer. I’ll see you this weekend with Kelly for another Obnoxious Smackdown Breakdown.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big show, Brock Lesnar, brodus clay, chris jericho, christian, cm punk, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, edge, Epico, Intercontinental Championship, john cena, kane, Kelly Floyd, Kofi Kingston, Mike Gojira, Primetime Players, Primo, R-Truth, randy orton, Raw, rey mysterio, Ric Flair, royal rumble, Santino Marella, shawn michaels, sheamus, Smackdown, Summerslam, survivor series, The Miz, triple h, Tyson Kidd, undertaker, United States Championship, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, Wrestlemania XXIX, WWE, wwe championship, WWE Tag Team Championship, YouTube