WWE SummerSlam 2014 Pay Per View Preview, Schedule and Predictions: Brock Lesnar to Conquer John Cena as Stephanie McMahon Makes In-Ring Return for $9.99
One of the WWE's "big-4" pay-per-views returns Sunday with "SummerSlam" featuring the in-ring of two major talents. Although the match card features matches from July's "Battleground" show, the WWE Universe are likely to see an entertaining show from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler:
The Miz is the Intercontinental Champion because Bad News Barrett's injury and winning the battle royal at "Battleground." If it wasn't for Barrett's injury, who knows what The Miz would be doing. He returned with a Hollywood gimmick, and with the title in hand, the gimmick is enhanced. Dolph Ziggler has had a turbulent time during the past year with no memorable feuds or title wins. With the feud with The Miz, Ziggler finally has a story to advance. The two superstars have been playing cat and mouse because of the title, thus recreating the importance of the Intercontinental Championship.
The Miz wins. The WWE has another "Marine" movie scheduled for release soon, and it should be important to have the main star looking strong as he might be portrayed in the film. A Ziggler victory would be surprising, and he is overdue for a title win. But "SummerSlam" won't be that night.
Flag Match: Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. Rusev (with Lana):
Another rematch from "Battleground." The real-life tension between Russia and the U.S. continues on WWE television. While the storyline here hasn't really advanced, Rusev and Jack Swagger are capable to performing a decent match. Zeb Colter and Lana, once again, are the mouthpieces and need to be applauded for their promos and attracting crowd interaction. With each team consistently showing their flags, it was finally decided to compete on Sunday in a Flag Match.
Due to the flag match stipulation, it's difficult to predict the outcome of the match. If it was a simple pin or submission match, Rusev wins. But with Flag Match rules, the competitor doesn't need to submit or get pinned, thus not harming Rusev's gimmick as a strong, monster heel. With that noted, Swagger will win and lead the crowd to sing the U.S. National Anthem.
Divas Championship: AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige:
It's a rematch of their lackluster "Battleground" match. The "frenemy" feud is a bit refreshing from the usual "Diva A is jealous of Diva B" shtick. Paige wants to reclaim what's hers, the Divas Championship, and the spotlight that was taken away from Lee during the latter's break. Lee hasn't gone down easily in her fight against Paige, except for the push off stage on "Friday Night SmackDown."
Lee and Paige have the abilities to deliver in the ring and hopefully can showcase themselves better at "SummerSlam" than last month. The feud has the potential to last longer, and it hasn't bored me. One way to continue the feud is for Paige to win the title then have Lee try to recapture the championship at "Night of Champions" in September. The pick to win is Paige. It's necessary to keep the feud fresh, otherwise Lee is shown to be too dominant.
Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins:
It was the match that could have stolen the show last month, but it got canceled. Dean Ambrose has been chasing Seth Rollins on most WWE shows for betraying The Shield's trust. Ambrose earned the right to add a stipulation to the match and chose a Lumberjack Match, where over a dozen WWE Superstars surround the ring to ensure no one escapes the ring. The decision for the Lumberjack Match might have caught fans by surprise, but Ambrose and Rollins could fight in a cardboard box and still amaze an audience.
It is the first matchup, one on one, between Ambrose and Rollins. It is a feud than can, should and will continue after this Sunday. Ambrose and Rollins will perform their hearts out in an attempt to take the spotlight away from the main event of Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. In the end, Rollins will escape with the victory. Ambrose, however, will continue to chase Rollins after Sunday and expect a rematch at "Night of Champions."
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho:
This match has two prominent figures yet the storyline has not been as effective as it could be. Bray Wyatt lost his match at "Battleground," which surprised many. Since then, Jericho has been gaining the advantage and secured a ringside ban for Wyatt Family members Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. The lack of family members hasn't deterred Bray, but it could on Sunday.
A Jericho win would shock avid WWE fans, even though most respect Jericho, face or heel. Wyatt needs the victory. He has lost three important matches this year at "WrestleMania" against John Cena, "Money in the Bank" in a fatal-four way, and last month against Jericho. The WWE has to be cautious with their booking of Wyatt. Ultimately, that opportunity will come on Sunday with Wyatt scoring a win over Jericho. Despite being banned from ringside, expect Harper and Rowan to appear.
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton:
Roman Reigns and Randy Orton are continuing their feud following the Evolution vs. The Shield storyline. It's unclear what's the purpose of the feud except both men competed in a fatal-four way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at "Battleground" last month. The WWE should have helped specialize this feud by adding a purpose for it such as a "Number 1 Contender" match even if either competitor would lose to the reigning champion at a future show.
It's obvious Reigns is being built as the next top WWE Superstar in the company, and a win at a major pay per view can help cement his rise. Orton has been floundering and has lost several pay-per-view matches, and it's unclear what the WWE has planned for him since other talent occupies the WWE World Heavyweight Championship scene. This feud is likely to continue for at least one more pay-per-view in order to keep Reigns and Orton busy. As a result, the heel will win. With the Orton victory, except Reigns to seek revenge at "Night of Champions."
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon:
Stephanie McMahon was never an active competitor in the ring, but whenever she entered the ring, it definitely was a unique match. McMahon's last match was an "I Quit" match at "No Mercy" in 2003 against her father, Mr. McMahon. She lost and hasn't competed physically since that match. Brie Bella has slowly captured the attention of the WWE Universe, not just for her marriage to Daniel Bryan but also because she has improved significantly in the ring in recent years. The storyline has so far been impressive with McMahon delivering ace promos, and the women closing "Monday Night Raw" twice. The feud is about McMahon's cult of personality and excessive abuse of power against The Bella Twins and Bryan. This "SummerSlam" match has been in development for several months, not just three weeks like some typical Divas feud.
It is a tough call. "SummerSlam" is a major pay-per-view event, and the WWE might want to send fans home happy with a babyface victory to Brie. McMahon, however, can play dirty and utilize the Pedigree again. What's "Best for Business" is a McMahon victory.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman):
Brock Lesnar's in-ring return is the first since conquering The Undertaker's undefeated streak at "WrestleMania 30" last April. His latest return is for John Cena's WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This match isn't new as the two wrestled in 2012. However, Lesnar is a major name, as is Cena, and the latter is the "face" of the company. Two big names, and yet it's guaranteed to have people's attention.
Lesnar's first win for the WWE Championship was at "SummerSlam 2002," and he fought against The Rock. Lesnar and The Rock are now "part-timers" in the WWE, and the latter has managed to win the WWE Championship in January 2013. Lesnar can win this match. The problem here is his appearance schedule. Can Lesnar appear on television weekly? The Rock missed a couple shows, but who knows how different Lesnar's contract is? Cena has been at the point of his career that he doesn't need the title to main event, as evident when CM Punk was WWE Champion during the 434-day reign. Cena seems to be a placeholder champion for someone, and for this Sunday, that "someone" is Lesnar. The "Beast Incarnate" should win and continue his "conquering" ways following The Undertaker's loss.
How to Watch on Television:
Contact your cable or satellite provider for information on how to order the "WWE SummerSlam" pay-per-view with the broadcast set to begin at 8 p.m. EST.
How to Watch Live Online:
Live-coverage stream of "SummerSlam" begins at 7:30 p.m. EST with the "Kick-Off" show, and it can be seen on WWE Network.
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