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WWE SummerSlam 2017: Full preview and predictions

SummerSlam comes to us tonight with one of the most loaded cards we've seen in quite some time, but who are the favorites headed into the night?

The biggest party of the Summer is less than 12 hours away, and it’s set to be packed to the brim with hard-hitting action. Six hours of hard-hitting action, to be precise. With the lone exception of the Intercontinental Championship, every championship from Raw and SmackDown will be defended, though two will be defended on the Kickoff Show. We’ll also see Shinsuke Nakamura get his first shot at the WWE Championship, a moment many fans never thought they’d ever see. Lastly, the night’s main event features four heavyweight contenders squaring off for the Universal Championship. Which will leave SummerSlam as champion? 

The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan vs The Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (Kickoff Match)

The night will get started with a rematch from Monday Night Raw as The Hardy Boyz team up with Jason Jordan to take on The Miz and the Miztourage. While a relatively bland match as far as build, an appearance from The Hardy Boyz is sure to get the crowd fired up during the Kickoff Show. On top of that, even if it’s on the Kickoff Show, it’s nice to see Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel getting a pay-per-view match. This one will be fun, but forgettable. 

Predictions: The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan (Patches, Jeremy, Gur, Ash, Craig), The Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (Ed, Dom)

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs The Usos (Kickoff Match)

If this match is given a significant amount of time, it’ll make up for pushing the best match from SmackDown Live’s last pay-per-view to the Kickoff Show as if it’s no big deal. Regardless of placement, these two teams are among the best and most consistent in the WWE and they’ll surely put on another unforgettable clinic. The Usos seem to be figuring out how to keep New Day’s numbers advantage at bay, but the third man could still play a role in the heat of the moment. The New Day are favorites to retain, but not by a massive margin. 

Predictions: The New Day (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Craig, Dan, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), The Usos (Gur, Ed, Toby, Dom, Kyle)

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Akira Tozawa (c) vs Neville (Kickoff Match)

Titus O’Neil has shown everyone just what Titus Worldwide can do for you as he got Tozawa’s title shot to come early. In a moment that shocked the WWE Universe, Tozawa defeated Neville this week on Raw to capture the Cruiserweight Championship and dethrone the King of the Cruiserweights. Neville is invoking his rematch clause at SummerSlam in what should be an equally spectacular match, despite being relegated to the Kickoff Show. 

Predictions: Akira Tozawa (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Ash, Jaime, Toby, Craig, Dom, Dan, Kyle, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), Neville (Dimitar, Ed)

Randy Orton vs Rusev

Of all the matches on this year’s SummerSlam card, this one is easily the least interesting. There’s practically no story to be found. A few weeks ago on SmackDown Live, Rusev complained about not having competition. Randy Orton said he’d be his competition. They’ve had a few altercations since then. Now they’re having a match at SummerSlam that (for some reason) isn’t on the Kickoff Show. There, that’s the entire detailed recap of this feud. Predictions are split, but you can probably use this match as your bathroom break. 

Predictions: Randy Orton (Dimitar, Ed, Jaime, Toby, Dan, Kyle), Rusev (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Ash, Craig, Dom, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy)

Big Show vs Big Cass (with Enzo Amore suspended above the ring in a Shark Cage)

As shocking and unforgettable as it was to see Big Cass turn on his longtime friend and tag team partner Enzo Amore, the subsequent feud between Cass and Big Show has been equally forgettable. It makes sense that WWE wants to hype Cass as one of their future big men, but this is just nonsense. On top of that, the stupidity of the Shark Cage returns because WWE is losing money and wants to boost sales of the Crash Cage toy set. Everyone (except Ed the contrarian) knows Cass is winning this. Can we move on, please? 

Predictions: Big Cass (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Toby, Craig, Dom, Dan, Kyle, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), Big Show (Ed…)

“The Demon” Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt

Prior to this week on Raw, it was only the basic concept of a clash between Balor and Wyatt that gave it any sort of hype or build. Bray seemed to target Finn, but things were so poorly presented that it wasn’t really clear why it was happening. We saw a glimpse of SummerSlam come early on Raw as Wyatt and Balor faced off, but it was Bray that came out on top. After the win, he doused Finn in a red “viscous acidic liquid.” The embarrassment and inconvenience finally give this feud some weight, and it’ll make the return of “The Demon” that much better. 

Predictions: Finn Balor (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Toby, Craig, Dan, Kyle, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), Bray Wyatt (Ed, Dom)

John Cena vs Baron Corbin 

The stage was set for this confrontation when Corbin attacked Nakamura after the number one contender’s match between Shinsuke and Cena. The former Mr. Money in the Bank tried to make his impact by attacking the King of Strong Style once again, but it was Cena who got the last word as he made the save. The brawl ended with Cena sending Corbin through an announce table. That really would have been enough, but Corbin’s attempt to cash in and become WWE Champion this week on SmackDown really ramped things up. A brief distraction by Cena was enough to let Corbin get rolled up by Jinder and lose his cash in. With his briefcase rendered useless and his shot wasted, Corbin has nothing left to lose going into a match against Cena. However, a win here could cure all those wounds. 

Predictions: John Cena (Gur, Dimitar, Ash, Ed, Craig, Dom, Andrew, Liam), Baron Corbin (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Jaime, Toby, Kyle, Binnzy)

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Sasha Banks

It looked like we’d get to see the culmination of Bayley’s quest to defeat Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, but a shoulder injury came out of nowhere and threw a wrench into things. With Bayley out of commission, Sasha Banks had to fight through a triple threat match and then a clash with Nia Jax to earn a shot at Bliss. The Boss came out on top, but defeating the current Raw Women’s Champion will be no easy task. Despite the quick build, this should be a quality match on a relatively loaded card. It’ll also be key to see if Nia Jax, the alleged best friend of Alexa Bliss, plays a role in things or lurks at ringside. 

Predictions: Alexa Bliss (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Ash, Craig, Dom, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), Sasha Banks (Gur, Ed, Jaime, Toby, Dan, Kyle)

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

Sierra! Hotel! Indi- oh. I guess we’re not there yet. Cesaro & Sheamus seem to have enjoyed targeting two-thirds of The Shield, but it may backfire as they’ve pushed Ambrose and Rollins to set aside their differences once and for all. Tensions are still high between the former brothers, but they’ve gotten closer to reconciling those issues with each passing week. While Sheamus and Cesaro continue to refer to themselves “The Bar,” they could have a whole new blockade if Ambrose and Rollins can stay on the same page. 

Predictions: Cesaro & Sheamus (Ed, Craig, Dom), Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Toby, Dan, Kyle, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy)

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi (c) vs Natalya 

Despite her in-ring skill, family pedigree, and veteran status, Natalya has never been Women’s Champion. She is a one-time Divas Champion, but that’s it. Meanwhile, Naomi has been one of the most consistent champions on the main roster. She’s taken on all challengers and done so with an incomparable glow, but Natalya will be more dangerous than ever. As her career gets to the later years, it’s becoming clear that she only has so many championship opportunities left. This should be a solid contest, but it suffers from the same minimal build as the other Women’s Championship match. 

Predictions: Naomi (Patches, Jonathan, Gur, Ash, Toby, Craig, Dom, Kyle, Cathal, Andrew, Binnzy), Natalya (Jeremy, Dimitar, Ed, Jaime, Dan, Liam)

United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens (w/ Shane McMahon as Special Guest Referee)

The issues between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens go back months, and we’ve yet to see a definitive victory between them. From Owens’ countout victory at Backlash to their awkward finish at Battleground to the referee’s botched pinfall count on SmackDown Live, nothing has been settled between the current and former United States Champion. Thanks to the referee issues in the past, Shane McMahon will be handling referee duties this time. Shane tends to ramp up everything, and he’s already got pre-existing issues with both competitors in the match. If given a proper time slot, this could be one of the best matches of the night. Shane’s involvement will surely come into play at some point, but this should be a memorable clash regardless. 

Predictions: AJ Styles (Patches, Jonathan, Gur, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Toby, Craig, Dom, Dan, Cathal, Andrew, Liam, Binnzy), Kevin Owens (Jeremy, Ed, Kyle)

WWE Championship Match: Jinder Mahal (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

This is a match that would’ve sounded like a drunken pipe dream a few years ago. Shinsuke Nakamura being in WWE alone is something that’s still hard to believe. Shinsuke Nakamura getting a shot at the WWE Championship is hard to believe. The current champion being Jinder Mahal just cranks up the weirdness of this. While Mahal has been a solid champion, his in-ring skill is still far from that of Nakamura. The King of Strong Style is a once in a lifetime talent, and Jinder will have his biggest test yet as he tries to hang in the ring with a competitor like Nakamura. Despite the fact that this match is overshadowed by the Universal Championship Match, this could be a surprisingly good contest. Plus, even if the match isn’t a five-star classic, it’ll be worth the price of admission alone if Nakamura wins the WWE Championship here. 

Predictions: Jinder Mahal (Dimitar, Ed, Jaime, Toby, Andrew, Binnzy), Shinsuke Nakamura (Patches, Jeremy, Jonathan, Gur, Ash, Craig, Dom, Dan, Kyle, Cathal, Liam)

Universal Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman

The most massive match on the card (quite literally) is also the most highly anticipated. The Beast Incarnate has proven himself to be almost unbeatable in recent years, but this isn’t a normal match. Normally, a competitor would have to pin Brock Lesnar to leave as champion. Here, Lesnar doesn’t even have to be involved in the decision. The fact that every competitor feels like they have a legitimate shot of winning just ramps up the excitement. Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe have both faced Lesnar in the past, but Strowman’s inexperience is easily covered up by his raw power and intensity. This is a match you don’t want to miss because literally, anything could happen. Anyone of these four men, with the right timing, could leave Brooklyn as the Universal Champion. If there was ever a time where it was clear which match on a loaded card deserved to be the main event, this is it. 

Predictions: Brock Lesnar (Jonathan, Ed, Toby, Andrew), Samoa Joe (Patches, Dimitar, Ash, Jaime, Craig, Dom, Dan, Cathal), Roman Reigns (Jeremy, Binnzy), Braun Strowman (Gur, Kyle, Liam)

What are you excited to see tonight at SummerSlam? Let us know in the comments below!

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Patches Chance

Yo, Patches Chance here. I'm the Content Editor for the WWE section here at RealSport. In my past, I majored in English Literature at the University of Houston. I'm a former referee with the Doomsday Wrestling promotion. I've been an avid fan for over fifteen years and have written about wrestling for over a decade. I'm also a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have been a featured columnist for WhatTheBuc. Edge will always be my favorite, but Shinsuke Nakamura is the best thing in wrestling today.

WWE SummerSlam 2017: Full preview and predictions

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