To be honest, I feel that 75% of this card is bland and I’m not too interested in seeing the matches themselves. However, I have to give the WWE this: the outcomes of the matches aren’t very predictable. Sometimes the WWE runs themselves into a corner where you just know definitively that someone will or won’t win a match, and on this ppv, all but one of the matches are an exception to that rule.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
Rumor has it they want to do Cena/HHH at Summerslam. I pray to GOD that they don’t. That match had a huge drawing value to it back when it hadn’t happened before, but now, it doesn’t matter. Cena is clearly their #1 guy, but they need to back off HHH, and its been discussed to death that they need to start making new stars rather than just using a rinse and repeat cycle of five guys. Then there’s the problem of how can they end Orton/HHH, which has needed to end for months now. I hope they don’t stretch out this feud until the Hell in a Cell ppv (which I still think is a bad idea as it cheapens the spontaneity of the Hell in a Cell match and it resembles No Way Out far too much). On top of that, what are their options for WrestleMania on the Raw side? My prediction has been that it will be Cena/Batista, but you can’t just leave Orton and HHH off the card completely, and I think it would be a mistake to have Cena involved in a third triple threat in a row (or Fatal Four Way). Any of these three can win the match, but it’s determined upon what their plans are for the upcoming ppvs. If John Cena wins, I’ll be very surprised, as I think its more likely that either HHH will win (ugh) and drop it around Survivor Series to Batista possibly, or Orton will retain and drop it soon to HHH (ugh).
PREDICTION: Randy Orton pins John Cena, cause we all know Triple H doesn’t ever lose…
World Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
I thought their first match-up was decent, so this shouldn’t really disappoint. This is the only match on the card, though, that I feel has an entirely predictable outcome. With Jeff Hardy supposedly taking time off and CM Punk most likely filling Edge’s main event heel spot on Smackdown, on top of John Morrison challenging the winner and being pushed as a top star, there’s no way Jeff Hardy wins the title here. Punk needs something that he can gloat about, and if Jeff isn’t here in a month, there’s certainly no reason to give him their top title on the B show. I’m really liking Punk’s character right now and I hope that they don’t belittle him by making him lose via count out or DQ, especially when Hardy can take a clean loss and not be hurt in the process.
PREDICTION: CM Punk retains in a clean pin.
ECW Championship: Tommy Dreamer (c) vs. Christian
This is a pretty tough decision, surprisingly. At first, I thought they were going to have Kozlov beat Dreamer at Night of Champions and do Christian/Kozlov at Summerslam. I don’t like Kozlov in the slightest bit, so I’m glad that doesn’t seem to be happening, as it appears they’re setting up a feud between him and Ezekiel Jackson. Without a doubt, Shelton Benjamin against Christian is the top feud for the entire ECW card, and if ECW gets a championship match at WrestleMania, that’s the one you go with. Until then, Christian has some other feuds he can do, such as Zack Ryder, Ezekiel, and William Regal. That’s enough to last for a while. Dreamer can feud with those as well, though, as well as Shelton – perhaps being the stepping stone for Shelton to challenge Christian in the first place. I could see Dreamer retaining just to push the Christian title reign a little further away, but then again, Christian is the bigger star for Summerslam. This is really a hard call.
PREDICTION: Tommy Dreamer retains. Though I wouldn’t be shocked at all if I was completely wrong.
Intercontinental Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
It’s not a question of “will Ziggler win the IC title”, it’s a question of “when”. Does Ziggler win the title here and retain against Mysterio at Summerslam, or does Mysterio retain here and Ziggler pull off the win at Summerslam? As much as I find Mysterio to be a bore, I’m excited about this match. I think these two can work very well together. For his size, Ziggler wrestles very aggressively, so he may look like a powerhouse in comparison to Rey, in a weird way. I’m not riding the “Ziggler is the future of the WWE and the savior to wrestling” train yet, but he clearly has potential.
PREDICTION: If Dreamer and Orton retain, Ziggler wins. If one of them loses, Ziggler loses.
United States Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Miz vs. MVP vs. Jack Swagger vs. Carlito
Although I think this match has a much higher quality of entertainment to it, I’m a bit sad we didn’t get a straight singles match between Kofi and Big Show. If Kingston were to defeat Big Show on his own, it would help him look like a true star. Now with this setup, I can’t help but think that if Kofi retains his title, Carlito will take the pinfall to make everyone else leave with credibility. Unfortunately, Evan Bourne’s missing in this match because of that awful landing he took on his neck recently. He’s lucky with that one. This is a case where WWE wanted these people on the card and had no clue how to fit them, so they panicked and threw them all in together. It’s understandable in some ways, and in other ways, it’s a bit lazy. But, this should be a really fun match to watch.
PREDICTION: Kofi Kingston retains.
Unified Tag Team Championship: Chris Jericho & Mystery Partner (c) vs. Legacy
Well, in one quick swoop, WWE seems to have shot down my ideas of Miz and Kendrick being the two potential options for Jericho’s partner, lol. Granted, they could easily still be chosen, but there’s less of a chance of that happening now. In response to my article, I received some very good feedback of what other people thought, and I figured I’d address those opinions here rather than by replying to the emails one by one. Five names that were brought up were Jack Swagger, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Ted DiBiase turning on Cody Rhodes, and William Regal. Any of these could work as Jericho’s partner in a technical aspect, but I have a feeling none of them will be picked. Swagger is someone I can see the WWE building up in the next few months through feuds with MVP, John Cena, Batista, and eventually HBK. Maybe even HHH will do the honors and job to Swagger to make him look good. Christian turning heel and feuding with people on Smackdown would kill ECW, as he’s the only credible face on the entire brand and the biggest name of them all. Shelton is the highest ranking heel on ECW, but it could work, though I personally can’t see him working with Jericho. I’d like to see it, but I don’t think it will happen. William Regal’s definitely the type of heel that Jericho would align himself with, but is he worthy of that spot? And when it comes to Ted DiBiase, if he were to turn on Cody, I think it’ll be when he turns face. Another idea that has been brought up by various people is that Jericho may not pick a partner.. He may just come out, say nobody is worthy of standing next to him, and he’ll defend the titles himself. In that case, he loses, and then we’re subject to a lackluster and seemingly pointless title reign from Legacy as they have nobody to feud with. Now that Kendrick has been made to look ridiculous on Raw by losing to Jerry Lawler and pointing out that he wants to be Jericho’s partner, it’s pretty safe to say he won’t be showing up. Still, though, I’m going to keep my previous thought and say the Miz will be Jericho’s partner.
PREDICTION: Chris Jericho and the Miz defeat DiBiase and Rhodes.
Diva’s Championship: Maryse (c) vs. Mickie James
Divas matches are sort of hard to call because the division is so awful that pretty much anything can happen at any time and there’s no poor consequences that result from it. Maryse has Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim that she can feud with, while Mickie has already had a tired feud with Beth Phoenix and we couldn’t really take Rosa or Alicia Fox as serious competition. Mickie doesn’t need the belt as much as Maryse, since having the title gives Maryse something to be cocky about, while Mickie will always get a pop from the crowd.
PREDICTION: Maryse retains after doing something cheap, since, you know, she’s a heel.
Women’s Championship: Michelle McCool (c) vs. Melina
It hasn’t been long enough for Michelle to have her title taken away from her, although I can’t see her having the belt for months on end. The more likely scenario is that Michelle drops it back to Melina or to Maria so they can start up a feud with Natalya later in the year. This will most likely be a better match than Maryse/Mickie, but Melina/Michelle McCool (my god there are a lot of M’s there) won’t have any audience members paying attention at all, save for Melina’s entrance, so the volume will be down and everyone will assume the match isn’t as exciting.
PREDICTION: Michelle retains and gets no reaction from the crowd because it’s a divas match and she has no connection to the crowd.
This pay-per-view has the potential to be something decent, but what scares me is that it has equal potential to be a train wreck.. Unfortunately, I can’t make that 15 minute drive over to Philadelphia to watch it live, so I’m either going to massively regret that or be thanking the stars that I didn’t waste a lot of money on a crapshoot.