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SummerSlam 2012 Preview and Predictions

SummerSLAAAAAAAM!!! Yeah b****es!

Tonight’s the night!  Fans all across the world are geared up for the biggest blockbuster party of the summer.  Hailing from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, this year’s SummerSlam Pay Per View looks chocked-filled with sports entertainment goodness that’s sure to leave fans lingering on the edge of their seats…for what, we’ll have to wait until the show starts to see.

One look at the card shows us a bevy of matches that pit up-and-coming stars against veterans of the sport.  With the exception of the Triple H/Lesnar match, the card looks like a springboard for the next generation of superstars.  What better than a place like Los Angeles to attempt such an important feat for the WWE?  In that sense the show should be perfect for those who are tired of the same old matches and stars dominating the product.  If you don’t buy into this show and your favorite star gets pushed back down the card, who can you really blame for that?

That’s another point for another time.  Until then, let’s join in on the speculative goodness and provide some good ol’ fashioned previews and predictions, L.E.W.D. style!

Pre-show – Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana) vs. Santino Marella (c) for the United States Championship

I’m sure the average fan can agree that Santino’s reign as United States Champion has been lacking…well…a lot of stuff.  Relevance, significance, prestige, importance, focus, meaning…we could go on all day about it but that’s not really the point here.  Marella is gold when it comes to bringing attention to his opponents, and it’s that ability that will make or break his pre-show match against Antonio Cesaro.

Cesaro is still in the infancy stages of his WWE career and it is very noteworthy that he’s advanced far enough in so little time to the point where he has a Pay Per View match for a championship title.  Yes it’s for a “meaningless” title, but it’s a title nevertheless.  Eric Escobar never got that far…

At any rate I expect this match to be one where Cesaro can easily dominate and physically embarrass Santino.  The irony of this international fracas is that an Italian and Swede are vying for the U.S. Championship; take that, Arizona.

Cesaro’s Pay Per View outing tonight should be one were fans get a chance to buy into the character.  By being in a high profile match against the WWE’s top babyface underdog, Cesaro can gain tons of heat and further his character without even winning the match.

Prediction – Santino Marella retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Antonio Cesaro wins, moves on to feud with Alex Riley…b/c story line wise* no right-minded “American” would agree with it.

“The Prime Time Players” Titus O’Neil and Darren Young vs. “High Times” Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c)
for the Tag Team Championships

Despite what fans may gripe about, tag team wrestling in the WWE has slowly made a return to some level of prominence within the company.  Any one that’s followed the progress of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young can easily agree with that aforementioned statement.  If you haven’t followed their progress, then that’s your fault and not the WWE’s.

Not much has been seen collectively from Kingston and Truth other than furthering the feud between them and the PTPs.  So far their reign has been lackluster, but that is largely due to the WWE’s insistence on putting over the story more so than the athletic competition.  While not necessarily a good thing it isn’t all that bad either; we get that the PTPs are the new jack tag team stars on the rise and that High Times feels it necessary to humble the young, brass duo.

Having been involuntarily relieved of A.W.’s managerial services, the PTPs will have to utilize their own abilities (athleticism and charisma) to put over their team as a legitimate threat to High Times.  Other than that, the group isn’t as polished as they could be and a clean win tonight would not do them justice in the long run.

Prediction - High Times retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – High Times retains. #BillionsandBillionsandBillionsofReasonsWhyTheyShould

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz (c) for the Intercontinental Championship

According to Mr. Quinn Gammon, Rey Mysterio has a pinfall victory over The Miz which entitles him to a match of this caliber.  I honestly missed that victory and care very little to visit YouTube to see it.

This does not take away the potential for this match to be an exhibition of solid ring work from two superstars capable of getting a rise out of the fans.  My fear is that the prestige of the IC Title that was built up during the magnificent reign of Cody Rhodes has been lost by now.  With no offense to The Miz, the title has returned to its inglorious days of being an accessory; it’s like a Yves Saint Laurent purse or a celebrity’s 3-month old baby.

Since his departure from the WWE to film The Marine 2: Homefront, The Miz has yet to stand out dramatically in the midst of everything else going on in the WWE right now.  Rey Mysterio is the perfect WWE vet to bring some attention back to the man who has a pinfall victory over John Cena at WrestleMania.  Not too many people can say that now can they?

Prediction – Miz retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Rey Mysterio wins, begins feud with Sin Cara b/c they’re going to have to do it anyway.

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan

All one has to do is take a look at Daniel Bryan’s rise to WWE superstardom to see just how far the “indy darling’s” stock has skyrocketed in such a short time.  Bryan was once the man that fans knew wouldn’t receive a fair shake in the WWE due to his size and abilities.  A few years later the man literally has fans eating out of the palms of his hands; it’d be awesome to look at his transition from professional wrestler to sports entertainer.

Bryan will go one on one against “The Big Red Machine/Monster” tonight in what could be an interesting match-up of skill versus brute strength and power.  I expect Bryan to amp up his intensity in this match to compensate for the monstrous brutality he lacks and Kane will provide.  I believe I heard somewhere that Bryan does not hold a singles victory over Kane, which means he will probably work for not only the victory but also to do so in a way that will weaken Kane’s stoic persona.

I’m not sure if RAW’s General Manager AJ Lee will get involved, but I’m hoping she doesn’t as it could take away from the athletic story telling in the ring while adding to the drama that exists between herself and Daniel Bryan.

Prediction – Kane wins via AJ Lee distraction;

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)

This will perhaps be the best wrestling match of the night.  Combine a renaissance man like Chris Jericho with a super-solid in ring worker like Dolph Ziggler and fans are guaranteed one hell of a display of athleticism and ring psychology.

We’re looking at two stars who are brilliant in their own right and bring something unique to the table of professional wrestling and sports entertainment.  Jericho is an entertainer at heart who excels at pro wrestling all around the world, is a NY Times bestselling author, is the lead singer of the popular rock band Fozzy, and has a degree in communications.

Dolph Ziggler is a decorated amateur and collegiate wrestler, has a political science/pre-law degree, and is fluent in American Sigh Language.

What in the blue fluke are we in for tonight?

Jericho’s band Fozzy has already began touring a hectic schedule that will pick up dates in September.  Needless to say Jericho’s run in the WWE at this point will probably come to an end with this match.  However look for the vet to put over Ziggler in spectacular form, perhaps in preparation for his cashing in of his Money In the Bank briefcase.

Prediction – Dolph Ziggler wins; Mr. Morris Hopes – Dolph Ziggler wins.

Big Show vs. John Cena vs. CM Punk (c), Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship

For starters, CM Punk is not the heel in this match.

In fact, CM Punk has pretty much spouted everything that IWC pundits have spewed venomously against the WWE since the beginning of the PG Era.  His nine month reign has received far less fanfare and fan attention than what it should have (in comparison to Robert Roode’s nine month TNA World Heavyweight Championship reign) and the focus of RAW has been on everything except the champion.  So why then would anyone boo CM Punk for stating his beef with this especially when we all agree with him?

This match is important as it will allow Punk to put to rest all the chatter that does not have to do with his reign as WWE Champion.  Between the Big Show’s “I’m a giant and I can bully everybody because I’m big and mean and surly and frightening and blah blah blah,” and John Cena’s “I can take up TV time for a major announcement that’s not really an announcement and I’m also made of adamantine,” Punk’s “Joe 6-Pack” reign will carry most of the work in this match.

To be honest Big Show is just a prop in the match, the real beef taking place between the face and the champion of the company.  At this point in his career Cena really doesn’t have to be anywhere near the title in order to be significant, which is one of the reasons why Punk’s pissed off in the first place.  I imagine a feud between the two sometime in the future, but I’m also aware that Punk’s character will be featured prominently to coincide with the release of the WWE ’13 video game.  That notion makes the match all the more interesting.

Prediction – Punk Retains.  Mr. Morris Hopes – Punk retains.

Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Sheamus  (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship

That goofy smiling doof just doesn’t get it.  Del Rio is going to lose, flat out.

This match makes me angry because of Del Rio’s character being stuck in development hell.  After returning from an injury/suspension or whatever it was, Del Rio fell casually back into the same safe schtick that has not worked to get him over with the fans.  The man even changed the color of his tights and scarf to represent how “sinister” he had grown in his quest to win the WHC, and it hasn’t worked.  I won’t go in on Sheamus because he’s a pretty straight-forward character: “My name is Finlay Sheamus, and I lov’ ta foite!”

I’ll keep this one short: Del Rio has to gain some viciousness (like The Rock did in his I Quit Match against Mick Foley) in order to be taken seriously.  He should make someone bleed, put someone out of action indefinitely, and probably punt an eight year old’s soda to the other side of the area. Then and only then will someone take him seriously.

That ain’t finna happen tonight, so get ready for another month of mediocrity.

Prediction – Sheamus retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Sheamus retains…for the love of all that is sacred please let Sheamus retain.

“The Perfect Storm” Match – Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)

Tonight’s “big business” match will see Brock Lesnar attempt to decimate Triple H.  To quote WWE Legend Jim Ross, “this one ought to be a barn burner!”

Over on Gerweck.net a few fans complained about the event taking place in Los Angeles for the fourth time in a row.  For those of you that missed Captain Obvious’ groundbreaking appearance, here’s a recap for the logic behind this:

The WWE has established itself as a major player in the Los Angeles market.  Without even considering the tons of networking opportunities and shoulder rubbing events that accompany an appearance in Los Angeles, the area has been good for the WWE fans for at least three years running.  It would be illogical and stupid for the WWE to not capitalize off of booking in a city that has been and will be gracious to their presence.

Excuse them for not considering Tumbleweed, South Dakota, population: YOU as the most lucrative host for one of their major Pay Per Views.

So while some sit and stream the show for free as they complain about the location, think about the potential money that could be raked in from this Lesnar/Triple H fight in L.A.  Lesnar’s credibility as a fighter against Triple H’s reputation as a technician and brute will make this fight even more chilling than Lesnar’s destruction of John Cena at this year’s Extreme Rules Pay Per View.

Cena was a pancake compared to Lesnar; this fight with Trips won’t be as sugary sweet or easy.  I’m not sure how many more dates Lesnar has with the company, but I’ve heard at least one person remark that a missing Triple H (due to getting his ass handed to him by Lesnar) could equal a return for John Laurinaitis.  One could only dream…

Expect this one to be ugly in a good way, satiating the blood thirsty appetite of those fans longing for an un-PG product.  I’m not predicting blood, but wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up during the course of the match.

Prediction – Triple H prevails at a great cost; Mr. Morris Hopes – Lesnar beats the crap out of Triple H, who wins but disappears from TV for awhile.

Well there you have it; hope you enjoyed the preview and here’s to a good SummerSlam that’s worthy enough to be purchased on DVD in a month or so.

WrestleMania XXVIII Predictions

These polls will be the way we will do predictions here at L.E.W.D. Headquaters.  So let’s see what you think. (This is a test run to see how we will do things in the future)