Shibley vs. Seaton: NXT: Takeover Brooklyn and SummerSlam Predictions
So I used to do all kinds of prediction posts in another life when I wanted to write about MMA or wrestling. Haven't really done one since I got married and had kids. Now that the bloggerati are telling me that I need to keep churning out content for my website and blog, and because it's the weekend of two incredibly big WWE events, I thought I'd revive the old "prediction post" hound in me and see if I couldn't come up with something good.
This weekend marks a milestone for the WWE as they take their signature SummerSlam event from the west coast back east to the Barclays Center in New York City. WWE is banking so much on this being a success that they've not only stacked the SummerSlam card with some ostensibly great matches, they've also decided to put the NXT promotion on full display with NXT: Takeover Brooklyn airing Saturday night on the WWE Network. That's a newsworthy event, and I need to at least speak on it.
Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to do it by myself. Fear not, because I enlisted the services of one Michael Shibley to help me do a little pick'em for this weekend of grappling goodness. Who is Michael Shibley, you might ask? Well, shame on you if you are asking said question, because Michael Shibley is a commentator for EGO Pro Wrestling, and one of the funniest stand-up comedians in the ragtag group that calls itself Scruffy City Comedy. This makes him uniquely qualified to help me out in this department, so I'm ready to get things started. All of Shibley's comments will be in plain text, and mine will be bold.
SHIBLEY: We are at the halfway point of the WWE Season and Summerslam is the second biggest event for the WWE outside of Wrestlemania. This year it is so big they have stretched the Summerslam event to four hours and brought along NXT for their next Takeover event which is happening Saturday on the WWE Network. Will it all live up to the hype? Lets take a look at the matches.
SEATON: Yes please. I'm just dying to know the justification for making SummerSlam four hours. On the brighter note, I think this is going to be a major test for the NXT brand because they're not going to have the usual Full Sail crowd backing them. Nothing, though, Shibley, will match the hype of Caitlyn Jenner being found guilty of manslaughter and the continued quest to explain why Dr. Dre beating Dee Barnes was left out of "Straight Outta Compton." Because we have priorities in this country.
NXT TAKEOVER: BROOKLYN
The WWE’s developmental system that is booked by HHH has been touring in small venues across the country this year. However, this is the first real big event that is not in the friendly confines of Full Sail University. NXT has gotten over so huge with fans that despite only airing on the WWE Network, there will be 13,000 fans in the Barclays Center to watch this edition of Takeover, NXT’s special events they have every few months. There are some big matches and it will be interesting to see how some of the young talent handles the pressure of performing in front of the largest live audience to date for NXT.
I think this is going to be the better of the two cards, honestly. Summerslam hasn't really appealed to me enough to where I feel like I need to watch it. NXT: Takeover events are starting to outshine the main roster's work, and you're almost always going to miss something good if you don't watch them, so it'll be neat to see what they can do in the Barclays Center.
SAMOA JOE VS BARON CORBIN
There is an interesting divide at NXT right now. There are WWE Products and Indy Products. The bulk of the roster is made up of guys who had some experience in the Independent Promotions around the county and are then brought in to NXT where they get the bulk of their training. The other part of the roster are made up of guys who made their names for years not only in Independent Promotions, but also in more established promotions such as TNA, Ring of Honor, and New Japan.
This first match brings the divide in NXT to the forefront. Samoa Joe has been wrestling around the world for years and finally signed with the WWE this year, and debuted at the previous NXT Takeover. Joe has been a wrecking ball everywhere he has been and he has been a welcome edition to the roster and brings instant credibility to any match.
Meanwhile, Corbin is a former football player who signed with the WWE after his football careerended. After a few years learning the craft and being a jobber, he came out as the “Lone Wolf” and was having nothing but squash matches beating opponents in seconds with his End of Days finisher. Corbin, who looks like an extra from Bitten, has been protected by only having these shorter matches though most of his time in NXT. At the last Takeover event he faced ECW and WWE veteran Rhyno and while he got the win, he did not look great in a longer match.
Baron Corbin really fits the mold as a guy Vince McMahon loves. Powerful, tall, and has a full head of hair (see Kevin Nash, Roman Reigns, etc.) so they would like to have him on the main roster when they think he is ready. However, Samoa Joe was signed and really does not need much time to learn “WWE Style” in NXT. I see Joe getting the win and getting a good match out of Corbin.
WINNER - SAMOA JOE
Both guys are interesting, and Shibley highlights the difference. One thing I'll be doing consistently when I look to these matches is thinking about how the finish is going to benefit either guy or the overall product. I think Corbin needs some time still to polish on the lower ranks because his in ring work isn't impressive, and I think he needs the benefit of having a veteran like Samoa Joe put him through a semblance of a good match. It will be interesting to see where this goes, but I'm going to agree with Shibley and pick Samoa Joe for the win here. Joe needs the rub desperately to elevate him a step further towards either Raw or Smackdown.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER VS TYLER BREEZE
Talk about a matchup of worlds colliding. Tyler Breeze is another product of the WWE System and plays the classic pretty boy cocky heel. He adds a wrinkle to his character by walking to the ring with his phone out and filming his pretty face. Lately he has added the “selfie stick” (the symbol of the millennials) to the walk.
Breeze is probably the best of the WWE’s home grown talent and probably would have won the NXT Championship by now if it was not for the awesomeness of guys like Kevin Owens and Finn Balor who have wrestled around the world for years like Samoa Joe. Breeze has actually expressed frustration about how long he has been down in NXT and that he has not been brought up to the main roaster. Luckily for Breeze he gets to face a legend in Brooklyn.
If you do not know who Jushin “Thunder” Liger is then I do not know why you are reading this article because you are not a wrestling fan. Liger is one of the greatest light heavyweights of all time and an absolute legend. Liger has primarily wrestled in New Japan Pro Wrestling over the years but wrestled against many of the great cruiserweight wrestlers in WCW including the first ever match on Monday Nitro against Brian Pillman.
As far as this match goes, it should be a fun match and I hope it gets enough time. Liger may be 50 years old but can still go. I see this as a great battle and maybe a throwback to some of those great Liger/Pillman matches in WCW. I think Breeze gets the win and a great feather in his cap.
WINNER - TYLER BREEZE
Again, Shibley and I are in agreement with this one. It needs time, and I think Liger does the honors here for Breeze. He's one of the most protected guys on the NXT roster, and I can't see the WWE booking team letting a legend who's in house for one night get the duke over a guy who's been continually made to look good over the course of his career. I think this will be an incredible technical display, and I hope Breeze thanks Liger when it's done for making him look like an even bigger star. This is one you will want to watch as the two men will do everything they can to make this the match of the night.
WINNER: Prince Pretty
APOLLO CREWS DEBUT'
The man once known in the Indies as Uhaa Nation will finally debut in NXT. The man has some serious talent and I am excited to see him in the ring. I just wish they did better with his new name. Apollo Creed + Terry Crews = Apollo Crews.
I don't care and Shibley just ruined the entire debut for me by pointing out just how terrible the NXT Random Name Generator got with this one.
NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - BLAKE AND MURPHY(c) VS THE VAUDEVILLAINS
Blake and Murphy aka the “Dubstep All-Stars” were essentially jobbers for much of their time in NXT. However a few months ago the powers that be decided to pull the trigger on them and they surprisingly won the Tag Team Championship from the Lucha Dragons. I think it has been a surprise that they have been champs for this long because both guys have the personality of a wet mop. The only thing they have going for them is the lovely Alexa Bliss has helped them retain their titles by getting involved in matches.
Meanwhile the Vaudevillains have one of my favorite gimmicks right now as they look like Vaudeville throwbacks to pro wrestlings early days. Originally a heel team, Aiden English and Simon Gotch have the fans backing now and are ready to win the belts.
NXT GM William Regal has advised the Vaudevillains to find a counter to Alexa Bliss on the outside. They have said they do. I hope the counter is NXT’s cult hero Blue Pants who will help them win and become the new champions.
WINNER - THE VAUDEVILLAINS
hibley gets back on point with this one. Murphy and Blake are going nowhere as heel champs, and the only thing that's getting them over is Alexa Bliss. They can't even act like proper heels, which is sad. The Vaudevillians are going to be over no matter what, and they've got at least someone coming to back them up. I don't know if it's going to be Leva "Blue Pants" Bates, though--it could be any number of women wrestlers NXT has ready to go. Still, I think it's time the Vaudevillians got the straps just for the amount of work English and Gotch have done in developing their gimmick and how they connect with the fans.
WINNER: The Vaudevillains
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP - SASHA BANKS(c) VS BAYLEY
The biggest winners from the NXT Takeover events have been the women’s matches. On each event, the ladies have damn near stole the show each time. The awesomeness of these ladies is what led to the WWE to bring up Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks to the main roster. One of the issues is that Banks is still the NXT Women’s Champion and the only lady left with great talent down in NXT is Bayley.
Bayley is the happy go lucky smiling ball of energy in NXT always dealing out hugs to the fans, especially to the little girls who love her. After coming back from an injury and winning her feud with Emma, Bayley rattled off wins over Charlotte and Becky Lynch to become the number one contender to Banks’ title (Hey someone who EARNED their shot. What a concept!).
Banks’ is without a doubt one of the best wrestlers male or female in the WWE right now. Her Boss persona is awesome and she backs it up in the ring. I would have loved to have seen this match before Banks and the other ladies got called up because it would be one of those moments where Bayley can finally win the big one. However, while this match should still be awesome the outcome should be a foregone conclusion as Bayley gets the win and carries the division in NXT.
WINNER - BAYLEY
See, here is where we differ. I think that Banks is going to retain, just because I don't see this feud going anywhere and either party looking really good if Bayley wins. I think it's gotta be a convincing matchup on the part of both, but I think the NXT Women's division benefits more if Banks retains the belt and we end up with a Lynch/Bayley/Banks 3 way to see Bayley get the belt at the next big Takeover event. The fantasy booker in me has Banks doing everything in her power to make Bayley compromise on her shiny happy sparkly personality, and eventually getting Bayley to snap and compromise on her normal happy demeanor at some point during the match. She still loses, and Bayley then discovers a "mean streak" she can turn on when she needs to that eventually gives her the belt so that Banks can go to the main roster, maybe tear up that godawful "Divas" belt they have, and then adding some serious legitimacy to people like Nikki Bella.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
NXT CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH - FINN BALOR(c) vs. KEVIN OWENS
There has been a history of great ladder matches at Summerslam. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in 1995 and HHH vs the Rock in 1998. This one has the potential to top those.
Balor and Owens were well known commodities outside of the WWE and both arrived to huge fanfare in 2014. Their awesomeness in the ring helped them rise immediately to the top of the card in NXT. Owens won the NXT Championship in just his second match, beating Sami Zayn to a pulp until he could not continue. It was only a matter of time before Owens got called up to the main roster and was immediately thrown into a feud with John Cena.
Meanwhile, Finn Balor became the number one contender for the NXT Championship and had his match against Owens in Tokyo in July at the WWE Network special event Beast in the East. Balor, who wrestled as Prince Devitt in New Japan Pro Wrestling and was the founder of the Bullet Club, defeated Owens in a great match to win the title.
Owens used his rematch clause to get another shot at Balor, this time in Brooklyn in a ladder match where the only way to win is to climb a ladder and retrieve the championship belt hanging above the ring. I personally cannot wait for this match and I think both men will pull out all the stops. Balor will unleash the demon again and retain.
WINNER - FINN BALOR
BIZZ CLIZZ IN THE HIZZOUSE...erm. Sorry, Shibley got me started by mentioning Devitt's time in the Bullet Club. Anyway, this is one that rather intrigues me, and it's not just because of the stellar talent in the main event. We've got a clash of gimmick vs. match here, and I think in this case the match aspect is going to win out. Let me explain.
hibley mentioned "The Demon," and that's an integral part of Finn Balor's gimmick. An unwritten rule of NXT booking has been whenever Balor puts on the body paint and looks like Carnage and the Lickers from Resident Evil had a child he's unbeatable. At some point there's going to be a time when that gimmick ends, though, and Balor loses with the body paint on.
I think that's happening Saturday. Balor--to my knowledge--really hasn't done ladder matches before. Owens is responsible for a couple of the most violent, brutal ladder matches in history with Sami Zayn when the two were known as Kevin Steen and El Generico respectively. I look at this and see the ladder match as being the point where Zayn and Owens would be right now to blow off their big feud before Owens said "bye" to NXT for good. Plus, Owens hasn't been used to his full potential on Raw or Smackdown as of late, and certain events that have transpired recently have me thinking he may go over Balor just to get a little heat back.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS RUSEV
This one is your classic story. Bulgarian man loses feud and has his ankle broken by Cenawinslol, blames hot blonde girlfriend for no real reason and dumps her, hot ex-girlfriend is wooed by bleached blonde pretty boy, Bulgarian stalks ex-girlfriend and pretty boy, Bulgarian crushes pretty boy’s windpipe with a crutch and gets now hot blonde girlfriend. Now they fight and of course it is personal.
This should be a fun match and hopefully the get enough time on a four hour event to tell a good story. I have Rusev going over here because the WWE will forever be butt hurt about Ziggler wanting to moonlight as a standup comedian.
WINNER - RUSEV
I just find it funny that Shibley now refers to the WWE's top guy as "Cenawinslol." That's pretty much a summary of this guy's entire career at this point in time. I also agree with his summation on the merits: Rusev goes over here because he's the favored heel who needs a rub after losing to Cenawinslol, and Ziggler takes one step further to earning his J.O.B Squad credentials.
TEAM BELLA VS TEAM B.A.D. VS PCB - WOMEN’S THREE TEAM ELIINATION MATCH
As much as I have enjoyed having so seriously talented ladies come up from NXT to add some depth and wrestling ability to the main roster, I cannot help but feel a bit force fed. They got all the ladies into nice neat teams of three with ready made names (except PCB which was the third choice for Paige, Charlotte, and Becky because the Submission Sorority and Submission Sisters were obviously porn related and no surprise to anyone except people in the WWE).
The big thing if the Divas Revolution is to make sense and survive is to give these ladies the time to go out there and wrestle. They have had multiple segment matches on RAW and Smackdown but here at Summerslam is where it needs to happen. If they get 15-20 minutes that would be great, if it becomes a five minute mess, then it has all been a waste at this point and they should just move the ladies to NXT and have HHH book them properly.
As far as the winners go, I have to give it to the face team of PCB and have them all take their shots to win Nikki Bella’s Championship for the next few months.
WINNER - TEAM PCB
I agree with Shibley here on this one, but I have one strong question: Can we get rid of the name "Divas" and just call them "Women's Wrestlers?" What's wrong with that? The "Diva" term was coined, if I recall correctly, when Crash TV was king and we were hiring swimsuit models instead of wrestlers to be in segments where they sexed old men to death. I'd like to see this one end up with Paige, Charlotte, and Lynch all subbing the members of Team Bella while Team BAD is somehow incapacitated. And WWE has a strong history of crushing all my hopes and dreams, so I'm picking Team Bella.
WINNER: TEAM BELLA
CESARO VS KEVIN OWENS
Two gentlemen who are fan favorites of the internet and former indie standouts get a chance to go out and show what they can do. Both Cesaro and Owens have gotten the rub from John Cena the past few months, Owens by feuding with him and Cesaro by tagging with him and being one of the big challengers in Cena’s US Title Open Challenge.
This is another match that has the possibility to steal the show if they are given enough time. I think they get that opportunity and both men can go out and hopefully grab the proverbial brass ring. I think Owens gets the win here in a classic.
WINNER - KEVIN OWENS
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Match of The Night on Sunday. Owens and Cesaro have absolutely nothing to lose by leaving every last trick they have in the books to make the crowd go bananas. I honestly feel sorry for the main eventers because every bone in my body is telling me these two are going to put on one for the record books. Out of the two I'm going to question Owens' ability to go two nights in a row in major matches, especially since he's going to be very tempted to resort to his indy style while working a ladder match against Balor Saturday night. If he does that, then there's a chance we may get an injury, which would lead to an audible and Cesaro getting the win. But I think Owens needs the rub badly right now after having Cenawinslol get the duke during their last US Title match, so there's my pick.
STEPHEN AMELL AND NEVILLE VS STARDUST AND KING BARRETT
Amell is the star of Arrow and has been in a social media feud with Stardust for a few months. Stardust called out Amell and dared him to show up on RAW. Amell did just that and got himself involved and has himself a tag match at Summerslam.
As far as celebrities in matches go, this should be much more like Lawrence Taylor at Wrestlemania XI and not Snooki or Jay Leno. Amell is a fan, and he’s athletic so it looks like he should be able to go in the ring. At the end of the match, the Green Arrow and the man who hits the Red Arrow (Neville) will have their hands raised.
WINNERS - STEPHEN AMELL AND NEVILLE
The one thing WWE knows how to do is exploit celebrity. Amell is a legit athlete and trains in his spare time with the good folks at the Tempest Freerunning Academy when he's not filming for Arrow. He's also--APPARENTLY--been actually training for this match and learning how to take proper bumps. That's good on him, and I respect that. Problem I have is he's not a wrestler, and while he's been truly respectful of the business, I see this as having the same effect that the Young Bucks super kicking an eight year old had--it just further reinforces the stupid, asinine belief that this is "fake" and that anyone can do it.
I mean honestly, it's a neat gimmick. The Green Arrow and The Red Arrow. Amell has even hinted that he's wearing his Arrow costume to the ring, so that will be cool. I'd like to see Neville ditch the cape for a night and the techno music and dress as Arsenal. Oh, the fanboy in me can dream. Barrett and Stardust are two people who could use a win, and part of me hopes they get it, but this is a one time appearance for Amell and I think they'll go the cinematic Hollywood ending of having the Green Arrow running interference while Neville hits the Red Arrow.
WINNER: Amell and Neville
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - PRIMETIME PLAYERS(c) VS LOS MATADORES VS THE NEW DAY VS THE LUCHA DRAGONS
Sigh…remember when the tag team titles used to mean something? It is getting harder and harder to remember when. Personally I’ll be using this match as a bathroom break because I do not care about this one at all. However, since I have to pick a winner, I will go with New Day and they can keep the titles warm until the Usos come back.
WINNER - THE NEW DAY
I remember when the tag division used to be something. It was a fine time most of the young people who watch WWE nowadays won't remember--days when teams like Demolition and the Legion of Doom were in vogue. Tag teams are a dying art form, and there's nothing that will make me pine for the days of yore like watching an old Midnight Express or Dudleys match.
This is a throwaway, something that will allow four teams some time on the big card of the summer. I hate that, because there's no real established feuds here other than the Prime Time Players vs. the New Day. Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons are in this just to add a little high flying flavor and to bring in El Torito (who is getting shafted compared to his work in Mexico as Mascarita Sagrada but I digress).
hope in this case we get a PTP win, and Shibley is right on the money about this being a bathroom break on a four hour card. Man, when you've been subject to Timesplitters vs. Forever Hooligans vs. Fish and O'Reiley vs. the Young Bucks in New Japan it ruins you on tag teams. And I hope if the PTP win they bring back Rufus "Pancake" Patterson as a thing. BECAUSE HE FLATTENS FOOLS.
WINNERS: The Prime Time Players #MillionsOfDollars #MoneyMakingScholars
BRAY WYATT AND LUKE HARPER VS. DEAN AMBROSE AND ROMAN REIGNS
See, now here is a tag match that people care about. Reigns was screwed out of winning the Money in the Bank contract back in June after Wyatt knocked him off the ladder and the two have been feuding ever since. Wyatt even reunited part of his family by bringing Luke Harper back into the fold, while Reigns has his old Shield buddy Ambrose as backup.
All four of these men seem to work really well together and should make for a fun match. One thing I do not see is the match ending clean. Ambrose and Reigns have been way too buddy-buddy to not anticipate some type of swerve happening. I actually see Reigns turning on Ambrose and going full heel to wash the taste of being shoved down our throats for Wrestlemania out of our mouths for good.
WINNERS - BRAY WYATT AND LUKE HARPER
hibley makes an interesting point here. There may be a Reigns turn so he can have some depth to his character other than the handsome Samoan Dothraki Prince thing he's been doing for some time now. It's also a more compelling story than "throw these teams together and see what happens." Again, I have to look to who's going to benefit from this the most, and I think--and I hate to say this as much as I love Dean Ambrose--Wyatt and Harper have to get the win here. Bray's almost seemed neutered since he did the honors to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, and Luke Harper has been rudderless without Erick Rowan beside him. I think this is the start of a resurgence of the Wyatt Family, and as much as I want to see Dean and Roman get the duke I don't see how it gives them anything better to work with following Summerslam. Therefore, I'm going with the Family, but largely because I think it'd lead to better things in the future.
WINNER: The Wyatt Family
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH - RYBACK(c) VS THE BIG SHOW VS THE MIZ
How I feel about the Tag Team Championship is pretty much the same about the Intercontinental Championship as well. Since Daniel Bryan got injured again it has just been depressing to watch one of the most prestigious championships in professional wrestling get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully this match will be far enough away from the Tag Team Championship match so I can use the bathroom again.
As for who wins, well this match was supposed to have taken place at Battleground last month but Ryback was out with a staph infection. I do not see them giving up on Ryback as champion just yet.
WINNER - RYBACK
ee, Shibley and I are old school. We remember the days of good IC title holders, and when the IC strap used to mean something. Guys like Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Curt Hennig, and Ricky Steamboat made that belt worth holding, among others--and now it's a bad joke that whoever gets the IC belt is going to be losing non-title matches for the next six months until someone else takes the belt. It's pretty much the albatross around the neck of the WWE performer. Cenawinslol (and I'm going to start calling him that for good now) has to his credit done some great things with the US Open Title Shots, and I hoped the IC belt would get some prestige by doing the same thing. In this case, though, we get three people no one cares about fighting over a belt that basically means nothing right now, and that makes me sad.
WINNER: The kids in the audience whose parents paid $100 for seats to the show. If I have to pick I say Big Show. But I don't want to even acknowledge this cluster-you-know-what of a match as canon.
RANDY ORTON VS SHEAMUS
We have only seen this match 854,284 times before so this is not like we are getting anything new here. Sheamus won the MITB ladder match in June because…reasons, and can cash in his contract at anytime for a championship match. Orton meanwhile is in a holding pattern near the top of the card until they need a champion not named John Cena.
These two always have solid if not memorable matches together and this should not be any different. I do think they need to have Sheamus win here so he does not lose every big match until the eventual cash in.
WINNER - SHEAMUS
greed with Shibley here, but the only way this match turns into a must see is if a meteor brains Sheamus and Orton defecates on him in the middle of the ring thinking the Celtic Warrior is a gym bag. Or if Brock Lesnar comes out and suplexes the bejeezus out of them both.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP & UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP - TITLE VS TITLE - SETH ROLLINS VS JOHN CENA
Seth Rollins has been World Champ since he cashed in his MITB contract at Wrestlemania this year and John Cena has been the US Champ since Wrestlemania as well. Both guys have had different outcomes during their reigns. Rollins has mostly been a flop having to use relationship with The Authority to keep him on top and winning many of his matches, while Cena has happily defended the US Championship against all comers during his US Championship Open Challenges in what have consistently been the best matches on RAW.
Cena has gotten tired of seeing Rollins be a cowardly champion and wants to bring legitimacy back to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cena beat Rollins clean a few weeks ago on RAW to make this a Title vs. Title match. However, during the match Rollins broke Cena’s nose after a brutal Muay Thai knee and Cena has been out of action since then.
A win by Cena would give him his 16th World Title, tying him with Ric Flair for most World Title reigns (by WWE’s math anyway). There is no way I see this match ending with a clear winner. Some sort of shenanigans will have this match end in a DQ or a No Contest and both men keep their respective championships.
WINNER - JOHN CENA BY DQ
I'm going to disagree with Shibley here. I think this match needs a clean winner so we can put Rollins and Cena behind us and let Rollins meet his next challenger on in full force. I think in this scenario the person who gets the most benefit of a clean win is Rollins, so I think Rollins is leaving the Barclays center holding the WWE and US straps. Seth Rollins has just turned into an ideal heel--he has a certain cowardly quality about him when he wants to turn it on, he's full of bravado when he needs to be, and he's not afraid to do things that makes fans boo him. Plus he is the epitome of a beatable heel champion, which is what you want when you've got a heel with the belt like WWE has right now.
Is the win clean in the middle of the ring? No. Absolutely not. Expect Kane, J&J Security, or anyone else The Authority can throw at Cena to make this match completely one-sided. This will not be a Cenawinslol night--it will be an evening where Cena does what he's been doing lately--the admirable step of putting his own career aside and doing what is really "best for business." I think Rollins leaves with the win, and I think it's a dastardly heel finish, but I think afterwards Cena has a chance to maybe win a US Title Tournament or something. Anyway, there's nothing good to be had of another Cena title win, so I'm taking Rollins here.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
BROCK LESNAR VS THE UNDERTAKER
Any wrestling fan worth his salt will know that the greatest streak ever was the Undertaker going 21-0 at Wrestlemania, only to have that streak ended at Wrestlemania XXX by Brock Lesnar. Lesnar has gone on to leave a path of destruction behind him, dominating everyone, including John Cena to win the World Heavyweight Championship at last year’s Summerslam. The only reason Brock lost the title at this year’s Wrestlemania was because Seth Rollins took advantage of a beat down Lesnar and Roman Reigns to cash in his MITB contract.
Lesnar finally had his chance to beat Rollins and get his title back at Battleground in July. Before the referee could count to three, the bell tolled and the lights went out. When they came back on the Undertaker was standing in the ring, finally ready to avenge the loss of his streak.
Undertaker does look in much better shape than he did a year and a half ago when he lost to Lesnar, but he does look pretty old. I know Lesnar can go just fine, but can the Undertaker pull his weight? No matter the quality of the match, it should still be one to watch and hopefully live up to the hype. I have Undertaker getting the win to set up some sort of epic rubber match at next year’s Wrestlemania.
WINNER - THE UNDERTAKER
SUPLEX CITY, BITCH!
There, I got it off my chest. I'm going to come out right now and say this was a mistake in booking by the WWE writing staff. I know you want the Barclays Center to be filled, but to make this a match for Summerslam is not doing anything beneficial for the book in the long run. It's painting you into a corner and giving you very limited options on what you get to do at the next Wrestlemania when you're trying to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium in 'Taker's home state. Plus, you're putting a very over legend in wrestling history against the most over babyface in the company right now, and doing a face vs. face match is a very tricky proposition indeed.
I had this pegged as a time frame when Lesnar and Rollins would go toe to toe for a while until Lesnar would eventually just say "if I don't beat you at Wrestlemania then I retire." Rollins then accepts the match at Wrestlemania and then Lesnar beats Rollins for the gold. Revenge is had and you sell tickets. However, the writing team said "We need Taker" and the Undertaker respects Brock Lesnar enough to have him be the man who beat the vaunted Streak, so we have ourselves a rematch. I think at this point we're locked into a collision course between these two men for Wrestlemania season in 2016, so I'm going to take a page from Jim Ross and say this is how it goes down: Lesnar beats Taker convincingly at Summerslam, we don't see either guy on TV for a while, and then Taker challenges Brock at Wrestlemania in Texas for his last match to say "I have to know if I can beat you, otherwise I retire." Taker then does the honors to Lesnar--because Mark Calloway wouldn't lay down for a man if he didn't want to--or Brock does the honors for Taker in his home state, because Brock will always be a monster that's over with fans--and you have a match that people want to see. Either way, Taker goes out on top for his last match.
And if you're not putting the Undertaker into the Hall of Fame in 2016, you're an idiot.
WINNER: BRRRRROOOOOOCKK LESSSSSSNNNAAAAAARRRR
That is all for me. I hope everyone enjoys three straight days of wrestling! You know I will be watching.
nd you don't have kids either or competition for the television, Shibley. Either way, we'll both be watching so you can check out NXT: Takeover Brooklyn Saturday Night on the WWE Network and Summerslam Sunday on the WWE Network to see which of us got our picks right.
n the meantime, if you want to give Michael Shibley some love, his Twitter is @Michael_Shibley and his Instagram is @mshibley924. Hit him up and tell him thank you for his analysis compared to my jackassery.
See you Tuesday, folks.