Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega
After facing AJ Styles in a championship match at the last WWE PPV Rusev finds himself in the kickoff show with his wife to face the Almas and Vega. How do you feel about Ruru being bounced around like this?
Allen: I don’t think it matters when it comes to Rusev. He is so popular, it doesn’t matter where he is on the card anymore. I for one, am ok with this because it has a storyline behind it that makes sense.
Greg: I prefer Rusev in a more prominent role to capitalize on his popularity. I guess he is still technically involved in Summerslam this year being on the kickoff show. It’s better than not being on any part of the show at all.
BigFreaky: Even though it’s the kickoff, it’s still part of the show, it’s not a dark match only seen by the people in attendance. We’re frankly to the point where WWE has too many talent and not enough PPV time, especially after dropping down to just 1 a month. Even though SummerSlam would have been a 1 PPV month anyways. At least Ruru is still on the card.
TOZ: I liked the flirtation with the title, but what else is there for him at the moment?
Almas and Vega were fire in NXT, on SD Live they have yet to be utilized to their fullest potential. Will they too suffer the same fate as Ruru and Lana or is there still hope this tandem will get the rocket straps later on?
Allen: Almas and Vega are starting to find their groove and I think they will be rocket strapped. Vega is actually having her own matches and now we need Almas to put in great work just like in NXT. He will have a lot to work with on Smackdown.
Greg: Almas put in great work with Sin Cara and Styles. It feels like there is not room for him until some of the other stories on the SD Live side get sorted out. I’m hoping that this duo will get rocket strapped in the second half of the year.
BigFreaky: NXT is still treated like all the other independents. No matter what you did there, when you make it to the “Main Roster” you basically start back at 0. Only a few have avoided that. Give it a couple months and he’ll be going after one of those gold straps.
TOZ: I think we reached the moment that the WWE has too much talent. Even with a split roster, someone of his ability is on the Kickoff. As great as NXT has been for all of wrestling, the feeder system is now too good. They are drowning in talent, and this really feels like the first casualty of this era.
Which pair do you think will win this match? Does it even matter right now given that both are kind of just doing nothing much of consequence at this time?
Allen: Aiden English will find a way to mess things up for Rusev and Lana. I see Almas and Vega laughing up the aisle while the other three argue in the ring in the end.
Greg: I agree that English will cause Rusev/Lana Day to lose. Almas and Vega for the W.
BigFreaky: I think both of you are right. We’re probably going to witness the absolution of Aiden and Rusev.
TOZ: I don’t think it matters.
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak (Cruiserweight Championship)
Flippy shit live get no love on the main card and are once again relegated to the kickoff show. Is the cruiserweight division forever to be in this spot for every PPV?
Allen: Honestly, I haven’t watched anything from 205 Live since Enzo left…
Greg:. It’s a shame that they have been stuck in the curtain jerker spot despite putting on some good shows. I sense that will not change for a while.
BigFreaky: I think once again it comes back to, too much talent in the WWE. 205 is a whole entire other show to try and squeeze talent onto a PPV.
TOZ: Nothing will change.
On paper this is a good contrast of wrestling styles. Do you think it is time for the belt to change hands? If so, are you ready for a better 205 Live free of flying objects?
Allen: I like Gulak so I hope he wins.
Greg: May 205 Live become a no fly zone.
BigFreaky: It will become a better 205 Live.
TOZ: Sure. Why not give him a run?
The B Team vs. The Revival (RAW Tag Team Championship)
This was tacked on to the kickoff show on the go home episode of RAW. Is there any reason to care about this match other than the fact that The Revival get a title shot?
Allen: B TEAM! B TEAM! GO GO GO! The Raw tag division needs to do something but I don’t think having The Revival win will change anything. FTR
Greg: B TEAM’s ridiculous run is too short for the titles to change hands. As much as I would like The Revival to win there are more possibilities with Bo Rider and the Axe man as champs for now.
BigFreaky: Another day, another win for the B Team!
TOZ: B Team keeps the titles.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
So neither of these guys has anything better to do at the moment right?
Allen: Gotta have filler…
Greg: Yup. filler. This should be the first match on the show since there is nothing significant for viewers to invest in this feud.
BigFreaky: Corbin as Constable Corbin has been quite entertaining to me. I think he’s really grown into the spot and shows how much “diversity” he has. He is such a hated guy, that you actually do want to see him get his ass beat. Bálor does seem to be spinning his wheels a bit, in his never ending quest to get back to the Universal Championship.
TOZ: Nothing better.
Are you hyped for another Balor/Corbin match or is this your early food delivery/bathroom break?
Allen: From what I’ve seen they have been having pretty decent matches. I don’t think they can have an absolute stinker of a match.
Greg: No hype here. I’ll probably be treating this as background noise. Maybe I’ll look up every once in a while if Cole freaks out over a big move or something.
BigFreaky: Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll see any breaking developments in terms of storyline progression.
TOZ: Early food delivery.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
After a lot of waiting we get the match that may have never happened if Daniel Bryan was not medically cleared. Given all the build up and hype do you expect this to be one of the highlights of Summerslam?
Allen: I hope so. They really kept up this rivalry for so long, they have to be a huge match on Summerslam. I did like the vignettes and the 3 part history on their relationship. It’s another match with a great story behind it that has me and a ton of people highly interested.
Greg: I have faith that this will be a very good and intense match. With all the animosity built up over the time Bryan has been out it should at least have that going for it. Will it be a match of the night candidate? Probably not, but it will be great to see the Miz get his ass handed to him.
BigFreaky: I DO think this will be MOTN. It’s too bad we couldn’t have had this match years, ago, but here we are. I’ve been a bit aloof as to watching lately, but it does seem like they’ve kind of shoe horned this match in “real quick”. I would have enjoyed another build. Cuz what the were working with before was pure fire.
TOZ: One of the highlights, but not the biggest. Part of me wanted this for WM.
It is probably a given that Daniel Bryan should be the winner of this match given how the storyline of this feud has been going. But what if the Miz wins? Would that deflate the entire show after or just lead to better things in future PPV’s?
Allen: Bryan has to take the win. His win/loss ratio since he came back hasn’t been that good. If Miz wins, he will most likely cheat. What I would like to see, to continue the story long term, is Bryan win this match and sometime in the near future Miz wins the US or WWE title. Miz will continue to rub his success in Bryan’s face so they can have another match but with a title on the line.
Greg: If this feud is going to end with one match at Summerslam then Bryan should have a clean win over The Miz and move on. Personally I would rather have The Miz win via cheating so we get at least a couple more matches out of this pairing while the angle is still hot.
BigFreaky: If the Miz does win, it will be from cheating, no matter what. If that were to happen, then maybe we could get a proper build to a Mania match rematch.
TOZ: Either Bryan wins this, and they bump him up to the title, but Miz wins by cheating to set up that WM match.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy (U.S. Championship)
A rematch for for the U.S. championship after Nakamura abused Jeff Hardy’s nether regions at Extreme Rules to win the belt. Do you think the match will go longer than their last encounter or will Hardy’s twig and berries get mangled again?
Allen: Has no one learned to use cups to cover their junk?? Babyfaces are so dumb. It has to go longer because Jeff was hurt last time. Hopefully they can have an actual match this time.
Greg: I will expect an actual match this time as well. A good 10 – 15 minute contest would be nice. The only way I see a cheap finish happening again is if a KFC or Snickers Ad needs more time to be promoted.
BigFreaky: If Nakamura wins, mangling will happen. I really can’t pick a winner in this one.
TOZ: Can we have a Japanese-born person keep a title in this era? Who cares if it’s cause of berry trouble.
Should Jeff Hardy wear a cup if Nakamura is expected to low blow again?
Allen: He should but he won’t because babyfaces are dumb idiots. His extra eyes won’t be able to see the future full of crotch shots.
Greg: Maybe Hardy should tuck his stuff in so he can take the shot and then make a huge babyface comback.
BigFreaky: Wearing a cup to stop a crotch shot is so 80s wrestling. Who even knows at this point. I don’t.
TOZ: Why doesn’t everyone just wear cups more often?
With the seeds of a Hardy vs.Orton feud being planted do you expect Nakamura to retain and move on to another challenger?
Allen: I thought Orton was going to be added but with his scandal going on I can see why they haven’t made a him more prominent. If Nakamura retains, I’d like for him and Daniel Bryan feud for the US title.
Greg: Orton’s trouser snake could make an appearance in this match still. But seriously, it looks like that Orton/Hardy thing is on hold. I expect Nakamura to win and move on to a different challenger.
BigFreaky: I guess if Nakamura doesn’t wreck that twig, than Orton will snake his way into giving a helping hand to Hardy losing.
TOZ: Yeah, seems like the best move.
Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
This match seems to be more about Lynch and Flair rather than the belt Carmella currently holds. Do you see someone not named Carmella walking away with the belt?
Allen: I would like to see Becky Lynch win but they might save her title win if she can make it to Evolution.
Greg: I think the belt is going back to Flair to make the eventual match with Becky mean something more.
BigFreaky: Carmella could walk away with the belt, if Lynch and Flair can’t keep it nice between themselves.
TOZ: Nah. Carmella stays winning. She’s money.
If Lynch and Flair are destined to go the “former best friends” route which one should turn heel and which one should be chasing the title?
Allen: Charlotte she be heel, always. She’s a damn Flair after all. Becky should not ever be a heel. The WWE Universe loves her and she can chase the title a little bit longer.
Greg: I want Becky to be the heel. She’s had a good babyface run but maybe a heel turn will freshen her character up a bit.
BigFreaky: Give us heel Becky!
TOZ: Can’t lie, heel Balboa would be interesting to see.
Where does Carmella go from here if she loses?
Allen: What was she doing before she was champ and Ms. Money in the Bank? She needs to be that loud mouth annoying heel that all the girls want to shut up.
Greg: I have no idea where Carmella would go if she loses.
BigFreaky: She’s going to keep that title nice and warm until Evolution. But who is she keeping it warm for?
TOZ: She ain’t losing dude.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship)
These two have great in-ring chemistry. Barring any injuries or crappy booking it should at least be a good match right?
Allen: We had good matches with them. They just get overshadowed by a lot of other things. 5 4 3 2 1 ERRRRHHH!
Greg: It should be a good match. I expect beach ball to make a run-in if the crowd gets bored or is anxious for higher paced action.
BigFreaky: Ziggler and Rollins are two of the best. Solid match for sure.
TOZ: Should be good.
With Dean Ambrose added to the mix what is the likelihood that he will screw Rollins out of the title?
Allen: DEAN IS JACKED! He’s gonna rip Seth’s head off with a clothesline with his newly jacked arms.
Greg: Logic dictates that jacked Dean will cost Seth the match. But we are talking WWE here, so logic does not exist. Dean will do nothing but stand there and looked jacked until he has to take out Drew to help Seth.
BigFreaky: I thought they would have waited until SummerSlam to bring out Ambrose. They are going to try to milk The Shield for all they are worth… guess we’ll see on Sunday.
TOZ: HEEL DEAN STRIKES.
Who walks out with the IC title?
Allen: I don’t think Seth needs it anymore. I see Ziggler retaining and then taking on someone like Finn Balor for a new feud.
Greg: Ziggler will retain. Seth will go on to feud with jacked Dean if logic does indeed exist in WWE.
BigFreaky: Can Ziggler have a belt longer than a week please?
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (MITB Contract)
Does Owens have a realistic chance of winning this or is he just a someone for Braun to toss around for big spots?
Allen: I have to see Braun run over KO on the outside at least three time. I find that spot hilarious every time.
Greg: KO is great but he’s not winning. Braun is on too much of a roll.
BigFreaky: KO is gonna get those hands.
TOZ: KO steals it.
Will Owens once again die for our sins like at Extreme Rules?
Allen: No, I see Sunil Singh taking an insane bump instead. Hopefully he doesn’t take a chokeslam from the top of the ring post on the Spanish announce table.
Greg: No big bump from Owens this time. He’ll just get beat up a lot.
BigFreaky: Please No.
TOZ: He got kids, man. No way.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
The New Day get another shot at the tag team belts after winning a tournament held on Smackdown Live. Will they win the Smackdown Tag Titles?
Allen: I feel like New Day doesn’t need the titles but they might need to spice up the Smackdown Tag division for a bit.
Greg: New Day don’t need no belts.
BigFreaky: I don’t even know why this match. Something new please.
TOZ: I’m bored by this. Let New Day win and the brothers go bye-bye.
Or is it too soon to pull the plug on the Bludgeon Brothers as champs?
Allen: They’ve been champs for awhile. It wouldn’t bother me if they lost.
Greg: Keep the belts on the Bludgeon Brothers.
BigFreaky: Keep letting them kill the randos. Gives me a better chance to see friends on TV! LOL
TOZ: New Day wins it.
If the champs retain, who are their next logical opponents?
Allen: The Bar needs to get into the mix.
Greg: I would say Sanity but they haven’t been built as anything threatening to the Smackdown Live audience yet. So The Bar or The Usos.
BigFreaky: The Bar… omg the Usos again? Dissolve the titles.
TOZ: IDK. Rusev & Almas?
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
This feud goes way back to TNA (now known as Impact Wrestling) and is being reborn in WWE. Are you hyped?
Allen: Hell yes!
Greg: Yes, absolutely.
BigFreaky: Two amazing talents. This match will look completely different from their older outings.
TOZ: So hyped.
Is it Joe’s time to be champ or does Styles retain?
Allen: It will be a long time coming for Joe. I hope they can steal the whole show and put on the best match with Joe winning in the end.
Greg: It is time for Joe to be the man on Smackdown Live.
BigFreaky: AJ just hit the record for the most amount of days as WWE title holder on SmackDown. That strap is moving from Arkansas to Samoa.
TOZ: JOE! JOE! JOE!
Which winner would have fresher matchups? Joe or Styles?
Allen: Honestly it’s Styles. I can see him feud with Orton, Almas, or even Miz. All of those can be cancelled out with an amazing Samoa Joe vs Daniel Bryan feud though.
Greg: Either one would work for me. But in the context of who would bring freshness to future programming? I say Joe.
BigFreaky: AJ not being Champion would feel weird… but Joe is gonna get people riled up.
TOZ: Joe just has more matchups we haven’t really seen yet. But I’m not mad if AJ wins.
Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Championship)
Rousey gets a shot at the RAW women’s title. The odds seem high that Bliss will drop the belt to her. Is it too soon or is the timing right?
Allen: Rousey is the most popular person in WWE right now. They have to ride her popularity and having her lose her first title shot will be an absolute wrong decision made by management.
Greg: Rousey is going to win the red women’s belt.
BigFreaky: Rousey headlining Evolution you say…
TOZ: Ronda gets the win.
Regardless of who wins, do you think that this will at least be a competitive match given both women’s relative experience combined in the ring?
Allen: Squash City, kind of like Goldberg. That way it doesn’t have to be a five star masterpiece that we know won’t happen.
Greg: Alexa will get her shots in but will spend a lot of the match bouncing around for Rousey. I don’t see a squash but I don’t see Alexa walking out with the belt either.
BigFreaky: Alexa will get in more than we expect.
TOZ: As competitive as Ronda vs Nia was.
If Rousey wins who should be her first challenger after the obligatory rematch with Bliss?
Allen: Well it should have been Natalya but with the death of her father this past week, I don’t think it will be her anymore. I see Nia Jax returning to challenge Rousey for her first title defense.
Greg: I’ll go with Mickie James. Put Rousey in with another experienced person if Natalya is going to be away for an extended period of time.
BigFreaky: We have Hell in a Cell, and the Aussie Super Show before Evolution. Would love to see a friendly match with Nattie, but current situations may prevent that from happening so soon. I don’t think Ruby Riott is on the radar in that part of the world right now. It might just be Jax.
TOZ: Jax or Bliss.
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)
The match not many care to see again. Who gets the most boos? The Big Dog or The Beast?
Allen: The security guards popping all the beach balls will get the most boos. If not them, Roman will be a close second for boos.
Greg: Both men will be equally disliked. Beach ball will make another run-in for a huge pop.
BigFreaky: I think Brock will get the most Boo’s this time.
It appears that given Brock’s upcoming fight with Daniel Cormier that he will not be leaving Brooklyn as champ. Would that be a safe assumption?
Allen: Very much a lock. Way more likeable opponent in DC than Reigns.
Greg: I think we’re all gonna get swerved somehow and Brock retains.
BigFreaky: Look what happened last time we thought he was going to drop it…
TOZ: No. I bet WWE likes the idea that Brock wears the Championship of the Universe in the UFC.
If Reigns is finally going to best Lesnar how many F5’s do you think he will take before he big dogs up to hit his superman punch/spear combo to end Lesnar’s reign?
Allen: It has to be no less than 7 this time right? That just sounds so stupid but it might actually happen. In the end I don’t think it matters since Strowman will most likely cash in his briefcase. If I had to book it, I would like Lesnar to win after taking a bunch of spears and then Braun cashes in on him winning the championship. That could go into Reigns trying to beat the Monster again and we would have no more Lesnar/Reigns matches.
Greg: Reigns is going to take at least 10 F5’s. Just kill the move with every Reigns kick out if Brock is riding off into the UFC sunset. And yes, have Bruan cash in on Roman so he is once again denied the belt.
BigFreaky: My brain can’t wrap itself around the absurdity that we will probably witness this Sunday…
TOZ: 1. Either Braun or KO cashes in, fails, then Reigns gets his moves in.