The best part about the 26th edition of SummerSlam this Sunday is that pretty much every match on the card has at least one big story point or feature to look forward to. As a fan, that's really the biggest thing you could ask for when deciding whether or not to purchase or watch a pay-per-view event.
Here are my thoughts and predictions on every match, from top to bottom:
WWE TITLE: John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan (with Triple H as the special guest referee)
Armchair bookers are having a field day with this match because of the number of outcomes that can occur. I'll be honest: at first I wasn't too hot on the idea of a guest referee in this match (whether it was Triple H or anyone else) because I thought the "Entertainer" vs. the "Wrestler" plot point was more than enough to capture my interest. The key ingredient that Triple H offers is unpredictability. Randy Orton's perfectly timed appearances with the Money in the Bank briefcase adds the exclamation mark to the end of that sentence.
The two scenarios I like most on how this match ends are:
1.) Randy Orton cashes in and wins the WWE title. Either Triple H was in cahoots with Orton all along and helps Orton cash in, or reluctantly counts the fall, with Mr. McMahon (who sent Orton down) watching from the stage. The cash-in may happen after the match and Bryan wins, or even during the match, before a winner can be determined (Orton just simply interrupts).
2.) Randy Orton cashes in but is blocked by Triple H, after Daniel Bryan wins the WWE title. Vince McMahon is the one that has the most issues with Daniel Bryan, and Triple H gains respect for Bryan, which further adds fuel to the McMahon family fire.
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
I would guess we will see a lot of MMA incorporated into this match. Punk is a big fan and Gracie Academy pupil, while Brock Lesnar is a former UFC Heavyweight champion. As for outcome, I like Punk winning, standing tall and then beating up Paul Heyman, which is really what the WWE Universe wants to see.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Alberto del Rio vs. Christian
This match wasn't appealing to me until that video retrospect of Christian's career played on Raw. Suddenly, this match had significantly more meaning. Will this be it for Christian? That story is compelling to me. I still see ADR winning by crook.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
This will be a breakout night for Cody Rhodes as a good guy. Sandow is immune right now holding the "Tender in the Repository" briefcase, so a loss won't hurt him. Rhodes showed great "babyface" fire at the Money in the Bank PPV and I expect more here, including a convincing win. I could see him moving on to a World Heavyweight title rivalry with ADR, with Sandow's cash-in looming over that feud.
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
This might be the most Instagrammed match in WWE history. The visual of the "ring of fire" as these two slug it out will be excellent, and certainly picture-worthy. The Wyatt Family is great, with terrific attention to detail, and Kane is bulletproof. Give me Bray Wyatt via his finisher.
Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E & AJ
The key here to remember is that there are two different matches involving WWE Divas on the card. It's hard to pick a winner in this match, but I do see it as an opportunity for Kaitlyn to pin AJ, leading to a title match at Night of Champions, where a Divas title defense is mandatory. Unless a Total Divas castmate will assume the challenger spot because of the show's success (E! Network has already ordered six more episodes and each of the three eps have grown in the ratings).
Natalya (with Cameron and Naomi) vs. Brie Bella (with Eva Marie and Nikki Bella)
This is the #TotalDivas match. Originally, due to Twitter interaction WWE thought this might be a tag match involving Maria Menounos, who would team with Natalya to face the Bellas, but that match has been moved to Axxess (so it will still happen). The Bellas are the stars of the reality show, which leads me to believe they will get the W here, but Natalya is the "elder statesman" (and, in my opinion, the best wrestler on the Divas roster), so a win for her wouldn't seem out of place.
U.S. TITLE: Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose
This is a terrific pre-show match for many reasons. It will set the tone, it's a match the crowd will enjoy, it's a title match, RVD is a big name and therefore him caring about the U.S. title makes the fans care about the U.S. title, and Dean Ambrose will get a higher profile being in the ring in a singles match against a guy like RVD. Ambrose retains somehow, some way.
Arda will be in LA and will be live tweeting Summerslam festivities all weekend. Follow him @arda_ocalCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun