In 2013, Summerslam might have been the best pay per view of the year, with two Match of the Year candidates. While it might not reach that level, the card this year certainly has the potential to be memorable.
Last year, both the Brock Lesnar/CM Punk match (which was my pick for match of the year) and the John Cena/Daniel Bryan match were showered with praise both from fans and critics. They were the top of a great pay-per-view, which also included an overlooked match featuring Alberto Del Rio and Christian.
The star power is there this year, too, with two big matches -- Cena vs. Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose -- that both have some big buzz. There are also a few smaller matches that could rise up and threaten to steal the show.
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Here is my breakdown of Summerslam, complete with predictions.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title
This match reminds me a bit of a Summerslam match from 2012 that Ziggler was involved in, against Chris Jericho. One of the lower-profile matches coming it, it ended up being one of the best.
Before you protest, no, I'm not saying Miz is at Jericho's level in the ring, but he has shown the ability to wrestle a good match, including one against Ziggler on RAW just a few weeks ago.
The WWE continues to book the mid-card titles horrendously, as Miz hasn't done anything of note since winning the title in the battle royal.
It wouldn't surprise me if either person won this, but I'm going with Miz. Ziggler could've very easily won last month if they wanted him to hold the title. If they're intent on getting Miz credible again, they can't pull the rug out from under him at this point. I could certainly see Ziggler win in a few months, but not here.
Winner: The Miz
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger in a Flag Match
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this match, or where they’re going with Rusev. Since Lana’s promo at Battleground, Rusev has looked decreasingly menacing.
Whether this is a direct response to the segment or not, something needs to happen here. Either he’s going to be back to looking like a dominant force, or we could see a sign that the WWE is souring on Rusev, and Swagger wins.
Personally, I think Rusev should win this. There’s still a lot to be told with his character, and I have doubts that the WWE would push Swagger even if he beats Rusev.
However, I could see a situation where they believe that since this is a Flag match, and the winner doesn’t need to actually pin the loser, that Rusev could afford to take the loss.
What they seem to forget though is EVERY match matters. You can bill Rusev as a guy who has never been beaten, but when he’s lost by DQ several times, and lost in a flag match, that does add up.
It’s similar to how champions can be devalued by losing non-title matches. While I fully believe Rusev should win, I have a feeling the WWE will go with the “loss but not a loss” route.
Winnner: Jack Swagger
AJ vs. Paige for the Divas Title
You could make the case that this is the most interesting feud in the WWE right now. It hasn’t necessarily been the best, but seeing Paige branch out and show off her heel side, both in her moves and her antics, has been truly compelling. It’s shown a whole new side of her, even to those who were fans in NXT.