The John Report: WWE Summerslam Preview

John: Welcome to the TJR preview of WWE Summerslam. To help me with this preview I’ve enlisted my buddy crazy David K., who writes at thejohnreport.net as well. We talk often and we’re good friends. We’ll talk about every match, offer predictions and we’ll also have polls for every match to see who you think is going to win. It’s pretty simple, so let’s get to it.

Note: There’s a brief spoiler in here regarding Smackdown. One match was announced at that show, so we added it into the preview. It’s really not a huge spoiler if you’ve been watching SD regularly, though.

David: Alright, there’s a rumor of a Team Lay-Cool vs. Team Blonde-tourage … I don’t know which one to choose, I haven’t had this much trouble picking since Edward or Jacob. Oh wait, I’m not a 14 year old girl, so I wouldn’t understand any of the above.

John: Blonde-tourage is such a brutal name. They have nice cleavage, though, so does the name really matter? Not at all. With that said, I guess if it happens they would put The Token Blondes over because beating the champion(s) in a non-title situation leads to a future title match down the road. See that? I just thought about this “division” more in 20 seconds than WWE management does.

David: You know you’re watching the WWE when the women you see put more thought into their entrances and outfits rather than the matches. They are Sexy, Sexy, and Beautiful.

John: Except not too sexy. That would be offensive. They are cute.

David: Can you really call a winner here? I’ve got Lay-Cool winning. Not in any special way, nothing too crazy. A typical TV match put on PPV to laugh at fans for paying for it.

John’s Pick: Kelly & Tiffany
Dave’s Pick: Michelle & Layla

No poll here because we don’t know if it’s actually happening. The rest of the matches are confirmed to be happening. Here they are.

Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston

John: Announced at the Smackdown tapings, Dolph Ziggler will be defending his newly won IC title against former champion Kofi Kingston. Basically Kofi was screwed out of the belt by Vickie, he went nuts after the match and we’ve got the rematch here. How do you see this one going?

David: I see the 3nd longest match on the card. These guys can go, and I want to see them go for a good 12-16 minutes with Ziggler winning clean. Is that realistic? Not at all. It’s going to be Kofi winning over cheap because that’s the crazy booking the IC title has been a part of.

John: They’ve had those 12-16 minute matches on SD and they have been pretty good, in that three star range or so. I like the chemistry they have. A lot of people are thinking maybe this rage by Kofi is leading to a heel turn. I don’t see that happening because he’s good in the babyface role and I think he has long term value in the role. You really think they would move the belt back to Kofi two week after putting it on Mr. Ziggles?

David: I really think they would. PPV is a different monster than TV. I honestly believe Vince doesn’t stoop to watching non-Cable programming, so he never catches Smackdown. Fingers crossed for a Ziggler win.

John: Yeah I think they have to keep it on Dolph, so he’s my pick. It would be too stupid, even for WWE, to move the belt so soon. Dolph’s been on the brink of that title for a year now, remember the good Rey match last Summerslam? He deserves a decent run. He also deserves a new name, but that part isn’t happening I guess.

David: Hey, it happened for Johnny Nitro, why couldn’t it happen for Dolph Ziggler?

John: Did you just remember Johnny Nitro? That’s offensive to me. No memories allowed. I almost remembered Nick from the Spirit Squad, but thankfully I had some KOOL AID~! and it wiped my memory clean.

David: Is Kool-Aid a part of the Wellness Policy for Mark Henry? Must be at 50% or higher … anyways, moving on.

John’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler
Dave’s Pick: Kofi Kingston

Divas Title: Alicia Fox vs. Melina

David: Next is the returning Melina vying for the Divas Championship against current champion Alicia. Melina’s been out quite a long time with injuries, and immediately gets a title shot upon return. Is that how you become champ these days?

John: I heard a good analogy on the F4W radio show with Bryan Alvarez who said if it was something like UFC they would give the champion the title shot when they were healthy. She never lost the belt. She forefeited due to the ACL tear in January. Plus, the division is booked terribly (use Natalya and Gail please!) so what the hell else are they going to do?

David: I just would rather prefer that she run in on a match between Alicia and Gail and interfere setting up her title shot at the next PPV rather than rush a useless feud here. I understand that she never lost it, but the build here has been poor even for WWE standards in my opinion.

John: Yeah surprise return, then she wins a non title match and then it’s a title match. I dunno what to theorize other than Vince has always seen Melina as a star, so as soon as she was healthy they wanted to throw her back into the fire so to speak.

David: I’ve got Melina winning after a forgettable match. How do you have this playing out?

John: Well Melina won non-title, so I think Alicia wins here through cheating somehow. Then they do a rematch at Night of Champions with Melina winning. I can’t say I’m interested in the match at all, though. Better than Eve matches, though.

John’s Pick: Alicia Fox
Dave’s Pick: Melina

Big Show vs. The Straight Edge Society

John: Next match is a 1 on 3 handicap match with the Big Show taking on Punk, Gallows & Mercury. Your Chicago boy Punk is still recovering from that arm surgery he had although he’s close to 100% now. That’s why it’s not 1 on 1. It is kind of odd to see a 3 on 1 match at a PPV though. It’s more of a TV match. Anyway, what do you – my non Straight Edge friend – see happening here?

David: Hey, I used to appreciate the Straight Edge lifestyle. Then I turned 12, and well … anyways, I like the handicap match to get over a big guy … but umm, Show’s been around for over a decade last I checked, and is over as a big guy. I see a fairly good beat down, Show “KTFO”ing 2 of them, and Mercury sneaking in for the win.

John: I should point out that I’m Straight Edge during Easter week. Thanks fasting. That’s about it though. I think the booking is obvious in that they’re putting SES over due to power in numbers and the only reason it’s not 1 on 1 is because of Punk’s arm.

David: Oh yeah, I completely understand it, that’s just the only situation I like it.

John: I’m hoping Punk gets a main event push again. He’s the best performer on Smackdown and him not being in the title picture all year has been a huge letdown. Booking him in handicap matches where he gets cheap wins is going to hurt him more than help….at least long term. Anyway, I doubt this is going more than 10 minutes. It’s Big Show. He doesn’t work long.

David: I call it being “Jericho’ed”. You get a Main Event push, people love you, people crave it, but it lasts only a month, and it’s back to the mix.

John: Vince hates Chicago people. Sorry Dave.

David: That’s okay, at least we’re not Miami … who doesn’t hate Miami these days?

John’s Pick: SES
Dave’s Pick: SES

World Title: Kane vs. Rey Mysterio

David: We’ve got the Big Red Machine defending his title against Mr. 619 Rey Mysterio. I feel like I’m being tormented by the haunting images of the past when I think of the awful feuds they’ve had in the past … maybe that’s why Vince doesn’t want us remembering stuff.

John: I think this one’s pretty easy. Kane wins. Post match, goes to put Rey in a casket. Undertaker is in there. He beats Kane up and tells us that he is the one that put him in the vegetative state. Then we get Kane vs. Undertaker version #478

David: Is that better and more improved, like Matt Hardy v2.0? Anyways, I agree, this is a slam-dunk. Kane chokeslam after Rey goes for the West Coast Pop (does he even call it that anymore), win, Taker, blah.

John: The question is are we supposed to remember that Undertaker vs. Kane has happened way too many times?

David: My head hurts, too much non-Straight Edge happenings last night. Don’t make me think like that.

John: Whoa whoa you’re only smoke and mirrors. You’re only smoke and mirrors tonight! Sorry. I love the Cody Rhodes song. I had to get it in here somewhere.

John’s Pick: Kane
Dave’s Pick: Kane

WWE Title: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

John: Next up is the WWE title with Randy Orton taking on Sheamus. Like I wrote about in the Raw Deal and talked about in my podcast (I am a shill machine, fella) I think the match between The Viper and The Fella was hyped up really well this week on Raw. It made me interested in what’s going to happen at Summerslam.

David: Very good build from the A-show, totally agree. I want to hate this match because I feel so tired of these guys in the main event, but it’s hard not to be interested in this one. I’m leaning Orton, only because I think they really need somebody to give the belt credibility, but I could see it going either way.

John: I think Orton will win too largely because they are doing the whole thing where they say if he loses he doesn’t get a title shot. Of course we’ve heard that kind of thing before, so who knows. The question is, what role does Miz play if anything at all?

David: I was really confused two weeks ago when the Miz tossed the case to the ref, and Orton gave him the RKO, cause I thought it was going to continue after the break, but they didn’t. I say Miz shows up, but doesn’t cash in. We need a reason to buy the next PPV.

John: So we’re both going Orton and to me I think where they’re going is to include Miz into the title picture leading to a triple threat next month. Then he could still use the briefcase at another time. Could lead to some interesting things. That’s why I like this match, though. Unlike some of the other matches this one isn’t obvious as far as the outcome. Even though I pick Orton I’m not that sure about it, ya know? Unpredictibility is good.

David: It does that one thing that wrestling is supposed to do … make us forget it’s pre-determined, suspend our belief in reality.

John’s Pick: Randy Orton
Dave’s Pick: Randy Orton

The Nexus vs. Team WWE (Elimination Tag Match)

David: Closing out the show is the “I swear it’s not an invasion angle” Nexus taking on Team WWE (clever name). Team WWE is still lacking a 7th man. Any guesses on who it is? Hunter? Danielson? Dare I say Taker?

John: Not Taker obviously. He’s on the show WWE doesn’t care about. My take is this. Instead of Miz being part of the team they will have it be 7 on 6 for the match. The match will come down to Cena vs. Barrett/Sheffield or Barrett/Otunga. Then HHH’s music hits and everybody thinks he’s the 7th guy. Cena gets the shit beat out of him, he comes back, makes the hot tag to Hunter. Crowd goes apeshit. Hunter turns around, Pedigree to Cena, Barrett covers and Nexus wins. Big heel turn. New leader for Nexus and the son in law gets to be in the biggest angle in the company. I think it works.

David: I only hate it because it’s been done. But in saying that, it’s been done so many times it has to work. Big name comes in, thinking the save (Hogan in nWo, Angle in Invasion), and turn to become the leader. It’s gonna happen … my question is will I care when it’s all said and done. I say yes, but I’m preparing for that feeling of a let down because it’s so obvious to do that.

John: I care more about HHH as a heel. He’s better in that role. Plus, Nexus needs a top guy or somebody that knows how to wrestle since Vince has such little faith in the Nexus guys. Anyway, since I wrote that out I know it’s not happening now. So blame me if you want to.

David: I was going to do that either way, but thanks for the heads up. So we agree Team WWE gets down to Cena, and loses to a returning Hunter?

John: Yeah I mean The Nexus has to win. If they don’t win it kills the angle dead. And they need to keep it going. The other name is Daniel Bryan. I don’t see it being him here. He’s booked through September. Some will believe it’s him. What about you?

David: I think he’ll be back eventually, but I think in the blow-off to this feud. I see a return in a couple months at some other event, but this is still just the rising action to make Nexus look like viable opponents.

John: Yep, I agree. He’ll be back in like November or later. Not yet. To me the show ends with HHH wearing a “N” shirt with the other dudes of Nexus while Cole wonders what WWE can do to stop this.

David: Fucking Cole … you don’t need to print this … but man, fucking Cole.

John: Oh we can print that.

John’s Pick: The Nexus
Dave’s Pick: The Nexus

Before we wrap this up, I need to plug The John Report podcasts I’ve done for three weeks now. They’re a lot of fun. You can listen on the player on the site, download the MP3 file or listen via iTunes. Check it out and look for it weekly. We record Tuesday night, so check it out every week.

THE BIG FINISH
Note: This is blatantly stolen from Pardon the Interruption. We love that show. Consider it an honor.

John: How many minutes will Nexus vs. WWE go?
David: If the over under was at 15.5 minutes, I’m taking the over … only because of how many announced matches there are.
John: It’s a small card, so should get lots of time even though I have little faith in the Nexus gus. I say 24 minutes.
David: I don’t have it eclipsing 20, but that leads to …

David: Why am I playing Where’s Waldo with the Uso’s and Hart Dynasty on this card?
John: Grrr yeah that pisses me off. Use the Hart’s please. It’s stupid that they refuse to push the tag division.
David: Build them up, break them down, and move on is the practice as of late. Time’s ticking ya know on these teams.

John: Do you think WWE will really care about Smackdown when they move to Syfy in October?
David: It’ll be like Sunday Night Heat … great promise coming out of the gate … but eventually the ratings won’t back having that much talent there, and it’ll shift back to where it was pre-Draft.
John: I don’t think they’ll push it hard. I hope I’m wrong. They just love the live show at this point.

David: Bret Hart, Jericho, and Edge on a team together … have you had more of a Canada-gasm than you will Sunday?
John: Yeah that will be an epic sight for me. Too bad it’s not in Canada.
David: Only way I’d “-gasm” is if TBA was Christian, but there’s not enough good fortune in the world to get that.

John: Most common question I get lately is when will Miz cash in MITB. What say you?
David: That’s the best part of his run with it … I have no idea. That’s the great part of MITB that I enjoy, but I was the guy that liked the 24/7 rule on the Hardcore title. My money (no pun intended) is on the Raw one week after SS.
John: You know what I would love? WrestleMania. He saves it until then and says he wants a title shot there. That would be sweet. But it’ll probably be within the next 2 or 3 months. I’ll guess Night of Champions PPV. They do a triple threat, Orton pins Sheamus to retain and then Miz attacks Orton post match and wins the belt himself.

David: With the advent of all these gimmick PPV’s, does Summerslam still hold value as one of the “big” events of the year, or is it just another PPV that’ll get you to next month?
John: It feels like any other PPV, but to their credit the build for this has been good and the buyrate should improve on the last three, which did poorly.
David: The build was too late, but salvaged it enough to make me want to watch it live … instead of getting it by other means not discussed in such a public forum.

FINAL THOUGHTS

David: There’s a formula you can see being used here, with the exception of a couple matches, of younger talent squaring off against veteran talent. Frankly the two matches that currently don’t use that could benefit heavily from switching participants, Kane v. Kingston and Rey v. Ziggler. With the older Superstars having track records, and young talent needing to make their own, it gives a great aura of mystery around the matches on how they’ll play out. While I am not thrilled with the product they’re making me chew here, I’m happy that they’re starting to change the face of the WWE, now that the former top guns are starting to wind down/out (Michaels retiring, HHH out more than half the year, ‘Taker taking his post WM absence, Batista leaving for MMA). The WWE needed guys like Cena and Orton to step it up, but since Cena was already maxed out as far as being the face of the company goes, Orton took the ball and ran with it. On top of that, the Nexus feud is blatantly showing that the youth movement is in full motion. I would have preferred if this card was set two weeks ago rather than thrown together this close to the show, but that’s how the WWE works these days. Here’s hoping for a 4.5/5 star show, and a great future after it.

John: I don’t know what else to add to what Dave said except that I think his expectations for it are a bit higher than mine. The matches on this card are okay, but for him to hope for a 4.5/5 (or 9 out of 10) type of show to me is a bit much. It’ll be remembered almost solely for the main event. Who’s turning heel? Who might come back? Those are the questions we don’t know and we want to be answered. Depending on how that goes, that’s how we’ll remember Summerslam 2010.

We’ll have live coverage of Summerslam at thejohnreport.net written by Andrew Johnson, who posted a column today about his attempts to get Summerslam tickets, which is a nice parody article. I’ll try to have a short recap with thoughts posted on Monday at some point, but I’ll be unable to see it live due to other plans.

We’ll be back in a month for Night of Champions. In the meantime keep checking out thejohnreport.net for daily coverage of everything going on in WWE and the wrestling business.

Thanks for reading,
John Canton john@thejohnreport.net or Twitter.com/johnreport
David K. Twitter.com/DaveTheAwesome

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