It could go either way for SummerSlam 2019.
SummerSlam is usually WWE’s biggest event of the summer. There are big matches with titles on the line and even some big legends returning. Unforutnately, not much of it feels big.
Sunday’s event from Toronto, like so many WWE shows this year, is headlined by matches we’ve already seen a dozen times over.
There’s always a chance for surprises when it comes to WWE shows, and SummerSlam 2019 has the potential to pull some off. All the pieces are there. But it’s kind of hard to have faith in WWE to put them all together.
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar (C) Vs. Seth Rollins
Speaking of things we’ve seen a dozen times over.
Lesnar became a 3-time Universal Champion at Extreme Rules when he cashed in on Seth Rollins. Despite WWE’s best efforts (well, despite their minimal efforts), there just isn’t much heat behind this contest.
Considering we just saw it at WrestleMania 35, it’s hard to get excited about seeing it again at Summerslam 2019. Rollins’s road back to the title is even the same as it was in the Mania lead-up. He won a 10-man battle royal (a rumble, as it were) to earn his shot at the Beast.
Which leads me to ask, what was the point of the last four months if we’re just going to end up exactly where we started?
At the end of this match, where we started is exactly where we’ll end up. Between Heyman being the man in charge of Monday Night Raw and the fact that – say it with me – we’ve already seen this, the tomato belt stays with Brock Lesnar.
Winner – Brock Lesnar
WWE Championship – Kofi Kingston (C) Vs. Randy Orton
Ever since WrestleMania 35, Kofi Kingston might as well wear a red cape and sew an “S” to all of his shirts.
The feel good moment of Mania has yet to let up, as Kofi has taken down every challenger to date. Randy Orton will be the latest to test the power of Kofi-Mania at Summerslam 2019. The two have a long history, dating back to 2009. And, shockingly, WWE has been using that as part of this story.
It’s a rare bit of, how do you say, writing and storytelling from the crack staff at Vince’s Shop Of Suplexes. As strong as a champion as he’s been, I think it’s time to take advantage of the company’s rare fluke of telling a compelling story. I think it’s time to take the belt off of Kofi, and with Orton seeming engaged for the first time in forever, now would be the time.
Plus, with SmackDown Live’s move to Fox looming, it would be the perfect time for Kofi to drop to strap and set up winning it back on the premiere episode.
Winner – Randy Orton
Raw Women’s Championship (Submission Match) – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Natalya
Speaking of people we haven’t taken seriously in forever.
Natalya has brought her A-game in this feud with Becky Lynch, and the two have crafted some pretty compelling television.
There’s actually been an arc building, as Natalya has become more and more heelish as we move toward Summerslam 2019.
Some of the luster was worn off of The Man, but it’s not time for her to drop her title just yet. Natalya has done her duty of becoming a credible challenger. And for Lynch to beat her at her own game, a submission match, will give the Irish Lasskicker that much more credibility.
And, not for nothing, but if WWE was going to get serious about Natalya, they would’ve done it well before now. It’s time to embrace her as the tried-and-true member of the women’s division.
Moving forward, this match could go a long way to bringing Lynch back to the prominence that peaked at WrestleMania 35.
Winner – Becky Lynch
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley ( C ) Vs. Ember Moon
Bayley shocked pretty much everybody when the captured the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Money In The Bank back in May.
And then they didn’t really do a lot with her. It’s great to see Ember Moon get a title shot and on as big a stage as SummerSlam 2019, no less.
But Bayley needs the win. Winning the briefcase and the title on the same night did a world of wonders for making her a meaningful name again, but a win over an up-and-comer like Moon can boost that momentum.
Having said that, the two should put on a fantastic match, and hopefully we’ll get a rematch in the near future where Moon walks away with the gold. For Summerslam 2019, though, they need to keep Bayley hugging that belt.
Winner – Bayley
United States Championship – A.J. Styles ( C ) Vs. Ricochet
This match won’t just steal the show. It’ll steal the show, hold it for ransom, collect the ransom, and then steal it again.
Styles defeated Ricochet to claim the title at Extreme Rules (with more than a little help from the Club). This has had “major feud” written all over it ever since it was first teased after Ricochet won the U.S. title at Stomping Grounds.
Ricochet and Styles have similar styles, they’ve traveled similar roads in the pro wrestling business, and they should mesh together perfectly in the ring.
I’m not sure we can set the bar high enough for this one. But as much as I want to see Ricochet take his title back, I also want the U.S. title to gain some prestige back. It’s been traded around like a hot potato in 2019, and Styles is easily one of the greatest U.S. Champions of the last decade.
The WWE machine is already behind Ricochet, so this won’t be his last bite at the apple.
Winner – A.J. Styles
Dolph Ziggler Vs. Goldberg
This one makes my head hurt. Like, really badly. Every bit of promotion surrounding Ziggler leading up to SummerSlam 2019 seemed to be building toward Ziggler vs. Shawn Michaels. But one throwaway reference to Goldberg later, this is the match we’re getting.
If nothing else, it’ll be short.
Winner – Goldberg
Charlotte Flair Vs. Trish Stratus
On the flipside, this is a returning legend match I can get behind. Because, you see, Trish Stratus can still move around like a pro wrestler. And Charlotte is at the top of her game and only getting better.
The titles may belong to Lynch and Bayley when this night is over, but the bragging rights in the women’s division will go to the Queen.
Trish is the gold standard to a lot of the women in WWE. There might not be titles on the line, but make no mistake. This is a torch-passing match at SummerSlam 2019. From the best of one generation to the best of the next.
Her match at Evolution last year showed that Trish still has the goods, but look for her to do the favors for Charlotte in her home town of Toronto.
From one class act to another.
Winner – Charlotte Flair
Kevin Owens Vs. Shane McMahon – If Owens Loses, He Must Quit WWE
So let me get this straight. A few weeks back, Owens cut a new version of the pipebomb promo on SmackDown. And his big complaint is that nobody wants Shane McMahon to take up so much television time. And his answer to this is to have a match with Shane McMahon at the second-biggest pay-per-view event of the year.
WWE logic, folks.
On the bright side, this feud does give Owens a clear window to get the crowd behind him. And he’s gaining more of that babyface momentum each week.
Even though it’s all storyline, Owens is absolutely right. Shane needs to be beaten and in convincing fashion. Owens is coming out of Summerslam 2019 with the win, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be an absolute slaughter.
Winner – Kevin Owens
Finn Balor Vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
After months of the “Firefly Funhouse” segments on Raw, Bray Wyatt finally debuted the Fiend in the ring this past month by attacking Balor.
There’s been too much build toward Bray’s new alter ego being a big deal to believe that Balor is winning this match.
But I do look for there to be an eventual “Fiend vs. Demon” payoff somewhere down the road. Look for Wyatt to utterly dominate this match to set up his new character moving forward.
I just hope WWE doesn’t forget to build Balor back up in the aftermath.
Winner – Bray Wyatt
Cruiserweight Championship – Drew Gulak ( C ) Vs. Oney Lorcan
Sadly, this will get relegated to the kickoff show, I’m sure.
I was skeptical that Gulak would capture the title a few months back, and now I can’t imagine anyone else holding the purple brand’s belt.
Lorcan and Gulak have great chemistry with one another, and their program has been built up really well over the past few weeks on 205 Live.
Gulak has been on an absolute tear through his opponents in the cruiserweight division, and I expect that to continue at Summerslam 2019.
All of the elements are present for WWE to put together a great show this Sunday in Toronto. And, by either accident or some dark sorcery, there are actually some compelling stories.
We’ll know whether or not WWE can put it all together this Sunday on the WWE Network. The kickoff show will begin at 5 PM ET with SummerSlam 2019 beginning at 7 PM ET.
All images courtesy of WWE.