Welcome back to Calling the Spots. Hard to believe it’s been five weeks since the last post. Going back to the standard one-PPV-per-month format is definitely going to take some getting used to. That being said, August is looking to be a great month what with back to back shows on back to back nights. Summerslam is actually looking like a really strong show this year, and the five weeks since Battlegrounds has given creative plenty of time to set up a big-time show, especially considering that Summerslam has finally been extended to a usually-reserved-for-Wrestlemania 4 hour block of time. Personally, I’m all for a longer show. More time means more opportunities for more superstars. Speaking of which, this particular Summerslam is looking really good, card-wise, so let’s get right down to business.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus (Added Aug. 18, 15)
A late addition to the show, this’ll likely open the event with a few cheap Randy Orton pops. Orton and Sheamus have been stuck in this pretty lazy sort-of feud since June, and it really hasn’t done much for either guy. Orton is pretty over, I guess, so there’s that, but Mr. Money in the Bank hasn’t really been pushed through the showcase. You have to wonder how the whole MITB briefcase thing really works in practice, since whomever has the briefcase seems to be made to look as unthreatening as possible. Maybe that’s the play, so we don’t expect them to cash-in or question why/when they do so. Anyway, this’ll be a pretty cut and dry affair. I’m inclined to go with Sheamus since he’s been on the receiving end for a good while now, but Orton is so over with the fans that a babyface win may be a better start to the show.
What I think will happen: Sheamus will likely cheat his way to a victory.
What I hope happens: Sheamus stops looking like a joke (“respect the ‘hawk”? Really?) and tries to legitimize himself again as a premier heel. He came out strong but seems to have lost some steam since pairing with Orton.
Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
There’s a lot of guys in the roster that owe Kevin Owens for their current pushes. Cena is one of them, and Cesaro is another. Cesaro has been in need of a big-time push for a while now, and he completely capitalized on John Cena’s newfound popularity and willingness to put on big, innovative matches coming out of his feud with Owens. It’s really too bad that Owens has largely been pushed aside in the wake of all of this, but as the new guy on the block I guess it is to be expected. Cesaro may finally be getting his due, so my money is on him to take this one, however with Owen’s likely losing at NXT Brooklyn as well he might get the nod just to keep him looking sharp. I’d give it 60/40 odds on Cesaro.
What I think will happen: Cesaro will get a big-time win over Owens, and the two will likely put on a show-stealing match.
What I hope happens: The Summerslam fallout includes Cesaro and Owens going for a recently-vacated United States Championship.
Four-Way Tag-Team Championship Match: Primetime Players vs. New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadors
These teams have actually gone a long way to bringing back some prestige to the tag-team bracket. That being said, there really isn’t a clear standout team within the lot. PTP is running strong as champs, mostly because the New Day’s shtick is over with the crowd like gangbusters, whether they have the belts or not. Los Matadors are good workers, but they definitely don’t have the presence needed to carry the straps. I’d actually really like to see the Lucha Dragons pull out a surprise win, but that seems pretty unlikely these days.
What I think will happen: PTP will retain the Tag-Team Championships going forward.
What I hope happens: We get thrown a curveball and the Luchas get a big-time surprise win.
Divas Elimination Tag Match: Team Bellas vs. Team B.A.D. vs. Team P.C.B.
Now, it’s all well and good that the Divas Revolution is up and running. I’ve been very happy that the Divas have been getting both the stage and the time needed to showcase their talents. But so far it’s just been noise. It’s been a good show, but it’s time to tell a story. Someone has to go after the belt, which means someone is going to have to break out of the pack, which means someone is going to have to kill this 3-way dance that we’ve got going on. Paige is clearly a strong candidate, so is Charlotte and especially Sasha Banks. Everyone has been stepping up their game, though, so really it just comes down to who can get over the fastest. With Sasha likely retaining the NXT championship at NXT Brooklyn, Paige seems like the go-to babyface to finally take Nikki’s championship. Since the belt isn’t on the line here, my guess is that Team Bella, who has been putting everyone else over like troopers over the past few weeks, are likely to get their due here.
What I think will happen: Team Bella with come out on top.
What I hope happens: While I like the three-faction set-up, I’m anxious to see people start breaking off on their own and getting some legitimate rivalries going. I would love to see some of those seeds planted here.
Neville and Stephen Amell vs. King Barrett and Stardust
This one actually could be pretty neat. While celebrities usually just function as hosts or get thrown around a little whenever they get into a WWE ring, Stephen Amell is both athletic enough and a big enough fan that he’ll likely try to turn his spots into something here. Furthermore, Stardust has been in top form ever since coming back from his break so I’m anxious to see what he’ll do on the big stage. This has got babyface win written all over it, especially considering that Neville has been getting pushed to the moon ever since he got to the main roster.
What I think will happen: Neville and Amell will get their hands raised at the endd of the match.
What I hope happens: Honestly, I just hope that Amell comes ready to play. You can always tell when the superstars are being extra-safe with someone, so hopefully they’ll be able to cover that up on this one.
Tripe Threat Intercontinental Championship Match: Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz
Well, I guess creative is really invested in this one since they pushed it back a full month to compensate for Ryback’s injury. That can only mean one thing: This one actually has some credence to it. If it was just a matter of getting the strap on someone else, they likely would have just done so by now. Therefore, there must be something going on here, and it seems like legitimizing Ryback is likely still on the agenda. The Miz had the IC strap around this time last year and really didn’t get to capitalize on it, so putting the belt on him seems unlikely. I’ve personally been pulling for a Big Show IC run, but giving his appeal as the World’s Largest Athlete he really doesn’t need the belt to keep his head above the water. So yeah, looks like it’s Ryback’s night to shine.
What I think will happen: Ryback will retain and hopefully put this angle to rest.
What I hope happens: Big Show steals the spotlight and gets one more big championship run.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
There was a lot of speculation about this one in the last few weeks. The common theory was that Sting was going to be involved in order for Reigns to get some of that alumni-approved shine on him. However, I’m personally much more pleased with the end result. All four of these guys have been tearing it up over that last few weeks, and I’m actually pretty excited to see how they step up their game on the big show. Reigns and Ambrose will likely get the win here for a big babyface pop, but Wyatt and Harper are likely to pull a great match out of them as well. Everyone is likely to come out looking good, but Reings and Ambrose will get the win so that we have the rubber-match all set up going forward.
What I think will happen: Reigns and Ambrose will get the win here, likely with the help of a certain electrifying superstar looking to make a surprise appearance.
What I hope happens: Ambrose finally gets his due and a big-time push coming out of Summerslam.
Title for Title Match: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
If there was ever a time to put the big belt on Johnny Jorts, this is it. He’s never put on better matches or been more legitimately over than he is at this very moment, and likely will never be this high on the mountaintop ever again. Rollins has had a pretty great first run with a major singles title, but Cenamania is running wild and there’s no doubt that the company machine is looking to capitalize (I mean, who could blame them). Cena getting his snoz busted up has actually really helped him out too, since it made him look like an absolute badass for possibly the first time in his career (plus it gave us one heck of a T-Shirt design).
What I think will happen: Cena will pull out a win over Rollins and walk home with both belts.
What I hope happens: Cena vacates the United States Championship in the spirit of opportunity so that an up-and-comer can run with it, like Cesaro.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
“The match too big for Wrestlemania!” If anything is going to legitimize Summerslam as a Wrestlemania-level event, it’s bookings like these. Brock vs Taker 1 gave us the biggest, most surprising upset of all time, so it might be tough for this one to live up to all of the hype. Either way, it’ll definitely be an event to remember. Taker will likely get the nod on this one since he’s likely to have at least one more Wrestlemania match in Dallas. Sting’s name has been thrown around a lot, same with a rubber-match with Lesnar. Either way, this only works if Taker looks strong coming out of Summerslam.
What I think will happen: Taker will avenge his streak-ending loss with a win over Brock.
What I hope happens: I’m just hoping that this one stays clean. We need a definitive end, so having a run-in or DQ finish would really put a damper on Summerslam’s big finish.
All in all Summerslam 2015 is looking really strong and may just contend with Wrestlemania for PPV of the year. Since I’m posting this one week prior to the show, there’s always the chance that something could change or get added on the take-home RAW of Smackdown. If that is the case, be sure to come on back as I’ll likely adjust as needed. Either way, I’ll see you all back here when I call the spots for Night of Champions, where I suspect we’ll see the NXT championships defended on a WWE PPV, resulting in some big-time debuts for a few NXT stars.