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WWE SummerSlam 2017 Staff Predictions

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13 matches. 8 WWE championships on the line. Enzo in a shark cage!? It’s time for the 30th annual edition of WWE SummerSlam; and as crazy as a spectacle that this may be, we’ve come a long way from The Mega Powers versus The Mega Bucks.

For FightBoothPW, this marks our first week as a fully functioning website and our 5th year as a crew since we started at FightBooth.com. Our crew today is by far the deepest and the best it’s ever been and we’re forever grateful to everyone who has supported us to get us where we our today. Thanks so much for stopping by and please, feel free to give us some feedback on the new site and talk some shop/smack with us on Twitter @FightBoothPW. Welcome to the landmark 5th Annual FightBoothPW SummerSlam Pick ‘Em.

PRE-SHOW (WWE Network, 5 p.m. ET)

The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan vs. The Miztourage

Shannon Willis: Jordan gets the pin on The Miz to set up a feud for the IC title.

Winners – The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan

Dave Reno: There was a moment there not too long ago where I thought that The Miz was actually working his way up toward a world title shot. Instead, he’s going to be helping jerking the curtain with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.

Winners – The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan

Luis Vasquez: If you would have told me a year ago the Hardy’s would be on the pre-show of WWE SummerSlam, I would have ask if they retired for on-air roles. Additionally, it’s a shame that The Miz is not at the top of this card. The Intercontinental Championship should always shine almost as high as the heavyweight title. And talent wise, the Miz is more than deserving. I can see this benefiting Jason Jordan the most, so it would not surprise me if this catapults him into a title shot.

Winners — The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan

Christian Waugh: In my opinion, this match is just used as a buffer match to continue The Hardy Boyz momentum while The Revival is out of action. Jason Jordan is in much need of a good showing because his new push with Kurt Angle has not gotten over as much as was presumably planned.

Winners — The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan

Final Score: Clean sweep for team Hardy, 4-0

The New Day (Big E & Xavier) w/ Kofi (c) vs. The Usos

(Smackdown Tag Team Championship)

Willis: This feud is just getting started and neither team has really stood out. The Usos should get back the tag titles…even if it’s by any means necessary.

Winners — The Usos

Reno: My feeling is that they should put the titles back on Jimmy and Jey (they’ve been fantastic all year) and let The New Day and Breezango begin a comedy feud for the ages. Keep the title picture serious and give The Usos a serious team to feud with.

Winners — The Usos

Vasquez: It’s tough to look past business on this one and to doubt the New Day will win. T-shirt sales prevail in this one folks, and The Uso’s will live to see another day.

Winners  — The New Day

Waugh: You could argue that the New Day shtick perhaps “jumped the gun” months ago but it’s an undeniable fact that they’re are still hugely over with the fans and move a very large amount of merchandise with their varied products. The heated rivalry between the two teams has been full of entertaining segments and matches but it’s time for a blowoff and I see New Day pulling out the win, perhaps with some chicanery from an outside New Member.

Winners  — The New Day

Final Score: All even at 2-2

Akira Tozawa (c) w/ Titus O’Neil vs. Neville

(Cruiserweight Championship)

Willis: Tozawa gets his definitive win here. I can’t see why Neville would get the title back when more people saw him lose it on Raw than the amount of people watching SummerSlam.

Winner — Tozawa

Reno: It was a late decision to put the title on Tozawa this past Monday and it was the right one to generate some interest in this particular match. Neville reclaims his throne as the rightful king of the cruiserweights in Brooklyn.

Winner — Neville

Vasquez: As much as the feel-good story feels right, Neville reclaims and establishes himself as the biggest cruiserweight star we’ve seen since the division’s heyday.

Winner — Neville

Waugh: Tozawa’s  surprising championship victory over Neville on the go-home edition of Raw provided a much-needed shot in the arm to the entire Cruiserweight division as a whole. It provided a sense of spontaneity that the WWE product as a whole has been lacking for far too long. Although I don’t see Tozawa having a relatively lengthy reign, I don’t see the company pulling a bait and switch and having the belt placed back onto Neville just yet.

Winner — Tozawa

Final Score: All even at 2-2

MAIN CARD (WWE Network, 7 p.m. ET)

Big Show vs. Big Cass

(Enzo Amore suspended above the ring in a shark cage)

Willis: Don’t know what to think or say about this one. Big Cass has to win over the Big Show. He needs a solid win on a big show (pun intended) to keep his momentum going. Plus, Big Show has a broken hand. The highlight of this will be Enzo’s smack talking during the match.

Winner — Big Cass

Reno: The Enzoless Cass experiment just isn’t working. These two still need each other (for now) and I have a feeling Enzo is going to play a part in Cass securing the victory here. How exactly they’re going to explain it, I have no idea. It can’t be any worse than Kurt Angle revealing that Jason Jordan is his storyline son. RAW needs more tag teams and a heel Enzo and Cass could be magical. If you find yourself in the crowd while Enzo’s on the stick from here on out, prepare to be called S.A.W.F.T.

Winner — Big Cass

Vasquez: Who wins? Management and hopefully the locker room. It is being reported that Enzo, who is afraid of heights, will dangle from the shark cage as punishment for his backstage heat. Aside from that, look for Cass to secure the pinfall as he arrows ahead on the Vince train push.

Winner — Big Cass

Waugh: Big Cass’ heel turn hasn’t had very much steam since kicking off against Enzo Amore. He’s been the victim of of “50/50 booking” as of late. He lays out Big Show looking like a genuine monster and then the next week, he’s running scared from Big Show and Enzo. I feel Big Show has nothing to gain from a victory in this one. Show’s time has come and gone as a credible threat to a championship and is best suited as a veteran used to putting over young talent and giving them the rub.

Winner — Big Cass

Final Score: 4-0, a clean sweep for Big Cass

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

Willis: RKO. 1–2–3. Short match. Orton Wins. Poor Rusev…

Winner — Randy Orton

Reno: RKO’s out of nowhere = big pops. Orton gets the victory in a match that really holds no meaning. Rusev could sure use Lana right about now.

Winner — Randy Orton

Vasquez: Rusev is due a big win in order to start maximizing his full potential. If Randy were to win, it does nothing for him. So why not help a guy out who could really use it? I’m putting my chips on the right move: Rusev.

Winner — Rusev

Waugh: Not much to say about this one. There’s about 20 minutes of buildup total going into this match. Hopefully a Rusev win because he’s far too talented to being relegated to a Bray Wyatt role as a “pseudo-credible threat but eventually always loses”.

Winner — Rusev

Final Score: All even at 2-2

Naomi (c) vs. Natalya

(Smackdown Women’s Championship)

Willis: One of the more interesting matches of the night. Carmella and Ellsworth will surely be lurking around. I see Natalya winning, but we don’t get a cash in. Naomi probably will get distracted by Carmella, rolled up by Nattie and loses on a fluke.

Winner — Natalya

Reno: Natalya has felt like an afterthought in this feud with Naomi and Carmella taking center stage. Expect it to play out that way on Sunday. Natalya wins a hard-fought match and Carmella cashes in successfully.

Winner — Carmella cashes in

Vasquez: Nattie is nearing the end of her wrestling career, so I’m pretty sure she gets the nod here out of respect. Furthermore, putting Naomi in a position to regain the title and become a much more meaningful-sounding, multiple-time women’s champion. Thus, giving her more stature in the company.

Winner — Natalya

Waugh: Though I believe that this will be a surprisingly good match between the two talented athletes, I personally don’t believe that either woman will walk into Smackdown on Tuesday with the Gold. I think this match has all the makings of a perfect storm for Carmella to cash in her Money in the Bank contract to win the Smackdown Women’s championship for the first time.

Winner — Carmella w/ ‘The Big Hog’ James Ellsworth

Final Score: 2 for Nattie, 2 for Carmella, 0 for Naomi

Sheamus & Cesaro (c) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

(RAW Tag Team Championship)

Willis: After buddying up on RAW and the WWE 2K event debacle, The 2/3 Shield really don’t have a choice but to win the belts. Ambrose gets the pin on Sheamus.

Winners — The Shield Bros.

Reno: Ambrose and Rollins get the loudest pop of the night with a big victory. Although I don’t see anything topping the main event, this one is my sleeper for match of the night.

Winners — Ambrose & Rollins

Vasquez: Sheamus and Cesaro pick up the win here, leaving Ambrose and Rollins to pick up the pieces to re-evaluate where they stand. This will further their storyline and maybe introduce a cast off Roman Reigns, giving fans indeed what they want, a fortified Shield reunion.

Winners — Sheamus & Cesaro

Waugh: The reunion of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose was a heartfelt moment and has been a dominant story from the past few episodes of Monday Night Raw. Weeks of tension between the two paid off when the two defended each other after a barrage of attacks from the duo known as ‘The Bar’. I don’t believe that the alliance will last for very long. I suspect that it will end with a Dean Ambrose heel turn on Rollins. However, I do believe that the Tag Team Championships will be used as a vehicle to drive the storyline further.

Winners — The Shield 1.5

Final Score: Ambrose & Rollins 3-1

Bray Wyatt vs. ‘Demon’ Finn Balor

Willis: The initials for “viscous acidic liquid” are VAL like Valentine’s Day, and I love Demon Balor for the win but absolutely hate this feud. I’m sure Bray will continue to deliver nonsensical scripture even after the loss.

Winner — “The Demon” Finn Balor 

Reno: Demon Finn does not lose. Nor should he for a very, very long time. Has Bray been in a good feud this year? After that incredible moment where he won the WWE Championship, it’s strangely been all downhill from there. Finn gets the W and goes on to bigger and better things. Not sure what to do with Bray anymore.

Winner —  Demon Finn 

Vasquez: Barring a dirty finish, the Demon King goes over here and moves on to a new feud. Especially after losing clean this past week on RAW. Perhaps he takes aim at The Miz’s intercontinental championship? Now that would be intriguing…

Winner —  Demon Finn 

Waugh: For the first time since his untimely injury at last year’s Summerslam event during the inaugural WWE Universal championship match, Finn Balor will don the Demon facepaint. WWE has shown a serious display of restraint with holding off on bringing out the Demon. I don’t see them having Bray defeat Balor. The Demon has been cemented as almost a separate being than Finn Balor and is regarded as a near unstoppable being. WWE seems to be very content with keeping Wyatt where he’s at and don’t believe he is in need of a push.

Winner —  Demon Finn

Final Score: 4-0 for the Demon 

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks

(RAW Women’s Championship)

Willis: Alexa Bliss might keep the title until 2018. Or until Asuka shows up. Sasha doesn’t need the title at the moment, and Alexa is on fire.

Winner — Alexa Bliss

Reno: Sasha gets her big WWE SummerSlam moment here in New York and these two feud for the foreseeable future. #4TimeChamp

Winner —  Sasha Banks

Vasquez: A win for Alexa Bliss is an opportunity to inch closer to Charlotte Flair level. On the other hand, a failed attempt by Sasha may spark outrage among her loyal supporters who have seen her trying to find a solid place in 2017. My prediction is Nia interrupts the match and thrusts herself into the title picture.

Winner — Alexa Bliss

Waugh: Sasha won the opportunity to face Little Miss Bliss at SummerSlam after beating a determined Nia Jax on Raw after Bayley had to relinquish her shot due to injury. I’m torn on this one because I could see it going either way. Either Nia helps her friend Alexa retain the title or Sasha wins the title now which leads to a heel turn and subsequent feud with Bayley leading into Survivor Series or beyond. If I had to pick one, I predict Sasha will win. This gives Sasha the motivation as a heel believing that “Bayley held her back and look how much she accomplished during Bayley’s absence.”

Winner —  Sasha Banks

Final Score: All even at 2-2

AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens

(U.S. Championship – Shane McMahon is your special referee)

Willis: This is a glorified Triple Threat Match. Shane will get his greatest hits on both, but The Phenomenal One will come out on top once more.

Winner — AJ Styles

Reno: Shane was put in this match to screw somebody over and begin a feud with them. He’s already been there with AJ, so that leaves Owens. AJ gets the victory here and Shane and Owens build toward that inevitable Hell in a Cell match in Detroit. I’m actually all for it as long as he goes over.

Winner — AJ Styles

Vasquez: AJ retains and KO goes on to make a play for the heavyweight title. In fact, I can see AJ carrying this belt to as far as WrestleMania. Just as the title benefited from sitting on Cena’s shoulder, AJ will be able to give it the same magic touch, or better.

Winner — AJ Styles

Waugh: Another match I’m torn on. I can see this match going either way. It depends on the main event. If Nakamura wins, I can see them having KO go over and letting AJ Styles transition to the main event to set up an eventual match between the two. If they hold off on Nakamura’s championship run, I think they will prolong this feud for a few months while they reconfigure plans for the two superstars for later in the year. In the scheme of things, I see AJ retaining, to keep the momentum going for the future.

Winner — AJ Styles

Final Score: 4-0 for Styles

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

Willis: Corbin destroys Cena because he is SUPER pissed that he looked so stupid on SmackDown Live this past Tuesday. Gotta make sense out of something that makes no sense, right?

Winner — Baron Corbin

Reno: If I’m not mistaken, this is Cena’s last match before he goes to RAW. So do you give Corbin the rub since it really wouldn’t hurt Cena any since he’s leaving the brand? Or is Corbin really that deep in the doghouse after that unsuccessful cash-in last Tuesday? I have no idea. If I had to pick, which I do, I’m not going against Cena this soon after losing to Nakamura clean.

Winner — John Cena

Vasquez: So many questions swirl around this match-up. Will John Cena do the job for Corbin? Does Corbin have backstage heat? Will this be a long feud? These very questions may be answered in the way the match is carried. Personally, I don’t see Corbin securing this magnitude of a win yet, especially after getting rolled up by Jinder this past week on SD Live to lose his Money in the Bank title shot. Cena wins.

Winner — John Cena

Waugh: Baron Corbin’s credibility took one giant hit on Smackdown when he blew his Money in the Bank opportunity in embarrassing fashion as he was rolled up by Mahal in about 6 seconds. It is rumored that Cena will be swapping over to the Raw brand soon after SummerSlam, and a decisive victory for Corbin will be a good way to write Cena out on Smackdown and begin the attempt to re-establish Corbin as a mid-to-top tier performer on Smackdown Live.

Winner — Baron Corbin

Final Score: All even at 2-2

Jinder Mahal (c) w/  The Singh Bros. vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

(WWE Championship)

Willis: The Modern Day Maharaja isn’t quite done yet. Jinder and his goons never seem to be too far behind. Look for Shinsuke to be in full control all match long until the Singh Brothers cause a DQ.

Winner — Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ

Reno: There’s great arguments for both sides. While I do believe Nakamura will capture that world title sooner rather than later, I just don’t think it’ll be on Sunday night. This feud carries on for a few more PPV’s. I agree with Mr. Wills on this one.

Winner — Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ

Vasquez: Jinder retains. Pulling the plug on him now could risk sending him back to mediocrity. While Shinsuke, remains unscathed. Shinsuke’s time will absolutely come, probably sooner than later, but not on Sunday, because the Jinder project is near completion. It wouldn’t be smart to rush it.

Winner — Jinder Mahal

Waugh: No build going into the match so the outcome is very much up in the air in my opinion. I feel they’re going to hotshot Nakamura into a championship reign in this one. The India expansion experiment has been interesting but Nakamura is much more charismatic than Mahal and unquestionably a better wrestler. Very cut and dry on this one. Nakamura decisively.

Winner — Shinsuke Nakamura

Final Score: 2 for Nakamura by DQ, 1 for Nakamura clean, 1 for Mahal

Brock Lesnar (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

(Universal Championship)

Willis: Joe’s not getting the title. I would love for that to happen, but the bigger picture will always be about Roman Reigns. Roman has had his best year to date, but he needs a downer to kick-start his WrestleMania build. If Brock pins Roman to retain, it opens up a ton of storytelling avenues for The Big Dog. WWE has downplayed Brock and Roman to the point that they will be the respective winner and loser of the main event.

Winner — Brock Lesnar

Reno: It’s the match that we all wanted. And it’s the match that we’re getting. This all comes down to Brock and Braun. Lesnar gets the victory but Braun looks strong as hell leading up to a singles match for the title at No Mercy next month. Sign us the F up. I see the Jon Jones tease as more of a long play leading to a PPV fight next July at UFC International Fight Week.

Winner — Brock Lesnar

Vasquez: What do I want? Samoa Joe. What will actually happen? Brock Lesnar retains. I see Lesnar steaming into ‘Mania with the title to do the job for someone else, helping to get them over and solidifying them as another top star. Someone like Braun, Joe, or even – goodness I hope not – Cass.

Winner — Brock Lesnar

Waugh: By far the most polarizing match of the night. I can reasonably see any of the 4 men winning this one. There’s so many intricate stories interwoven into this match that it’s hard to see a clear trajectory for the outcome of this one. Though for the purpose of this piece I have to pick one.. and my pick is Samoa Joe. Joe is without a doubt ready for the championship. Somehow he managed to do the impossible and make a submission move seem like a genuine threat in WWE again. Along with the rumors of Heyman’s push for Joe to win, I think the odds will be in his favor on Sunday. This leaves Brock to train for his possible UFC return, and Reigns and Strowman as credible threats to win the title in the coming months.

Winner — Samoa Joe

Final Score: 3 for Lesnar, 1 for Samoa Joe

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