By Jacky Chen
Summerslam is coming up this Sunday. This year’s Summerslam is held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, like last year. It will be the first PPV after the WWE Brand Extension and will crown the first WWE Universal Champion. It will take place on August 21, 2016, at 8 pm ET on the WWE Network.
As of 8/17/16, there are eleven matches that are booked. All of the championships will be defended and the inaugural Universal Champion will be crowned. Jon Stewart, who was last year’s Summerslam’s guest host, will return this year.
Randy Orton (Smackdown) vs. Brock Lesnar (Raw)
It was announced on July 7th that Randy Orton would face Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Orton had been injured and Lesnar was competing at UFC 200. Randy Orton returned at Battleground on Chris Jericho’s talk show The Highlight Reel. He proceeded to RKO Jericho. On Raw, Paul Heyman announced that Orton wouldn’t be able to RKO Lesnar when Randy appeared out of nowhere and hit an RKO before escaping. The following night, in a match between Orton and Fandango, Brock Lesnar appeared and proceeded to F5 Orton. The following weeks involved making Orton and Lesnar look strong.
My Choice: Randy Orton
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship (Raw)
After Dean Ambrose defeated both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship, Raw was left without a title. The following night, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley created a new championship for Raw known as the Universal Championship. Finn Balor and Roman Reigns (winners of separate Fatal Four Way matches) faced off and the winner would face Seth Rollins at Summerslam. Balor won the match. In the following weeks, there would be many confrontations between Balor and Rollins.
My Choice: Finn Balor
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship (Smackdown)
The first Smackdown after Battleground, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan announced that the winner of a Six-Pack Challenge would face Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship. Ziggler came out on top. The following weeks saw many confrontations between the two men. In one, Bray Wyatt ambushed Ziggler and challenged him to defend his contendership. Ziggler won the match but a disgruntled Wyatt attacked Ziggler as Ambrose came to his help. On 8/16, Ziggler Superkicked Ambrose on an episode of Miz TV. Later that night, Ambrose faced Erick Rowan while Wyatt looked on. After Rowan lost, Wyatt walked away, leaving Rowan’s mask on his rocking chair.
My Choice: Dean Ambrose
John Cena vs. AJ Styles (Smackdown)
Styles and Cena first faced off at Money in the Bank, which Styles won after interference from the Club. The Club would proceed to #beatupjohncena before Enzo and Cass came to the rescue. At Battleground, the Club faced Cena and Enzo and Cass in a losing effort. After the brand extension, both men participated in the Six Pack Challenge for a shot at the WWE Championship, which was won by Dolph Ziggler. Styles reignited the feud the following week, challenging Cena to a match. On 8/16, Cena beat Alberto del Rio in a match. After the match, Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm. He went for the Styles Clash but Cena countered with an Attitude Adjustment. Cena then hit another one through the announcers’ table.
My Choice: AJ Styles
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns for the United States Championship (Raw)
WWE finally booked Reigns on the mid card and it is working pretty well. After Rusev crushed Mark Henry for the US title, he proceeded to mock the United States. Reigns came out and attacked Rusev. On an episode of Raw, Rusev would have a wedding celebration with Lana. Reigns crashed it before causing Lana to fall into the cake. Later that night, Reigns won a match against Rusev to “defend Lana’s honor”.
My Choice: Roman Reigns
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship (Raw)
Sasha Banks returned to challenge Charlotte for the Women’s Championship. She beat Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a tag team match and on the following Raw, she made Charlotte submit to win the Women’s Championship. Banks defeated Dana Brooke to ban her from ringside. After Charlotte defeated Alicia Fox on Raw, she proceeded to attack her before Banks made a save. However, Dana Brooke saved Charlotte and the two proceeded to beat down Sasha.
My Choice: Sasha Banks
The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the WWE Tag Team Championship (Raw)
As the New Day celebrated being the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, Gallows and Anderson attacked them. After a win from the New Day via roll-up, Gallows and Anderson attacked Big E injured Big E’s groin thus creating a disease called “Ringpostitis”. The following week, the Club attempted to injure Kofi Kingston the same way. However, before they could do so, Xavier Woods attacked them. On 8/15, the New Day attacked Gallows and Anderson after their match. The New Day attempted to smash the trombone into Anderson but was stopped by Gallows.
My Choice: The New Day
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens (Raw)
During an argument between Sasha Banks and Charlotte, Enzo Amore and Chris Jericho interrupted. After Jericho and Charlotte defeated Enzo and Sasha, Jericho attacked Enzo before being driven away by Big Cass. Jericho revealed his partner to be Kevin Owens and a match was set up between the two teams.
My Choice: Enzo and Cass
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Championship (Smackdown)
Apollo Crews gained a shot at the title after pinning Kalisto in a Triple Threat Match involving Baron Corbin. After the match, he was hit with a Skull-Crushing Finale by the Miz.
My Choice: Apollo Crews
Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Raw)
Cesaro first defeated Sheamus on Raw but was attacked. The following week, Cesaro defeated Sheamus again and received a shot at the United States Championship. He lost the match, however, due to interference from Sheamus. After Cesaro cost Sheamus a match against Sami Zayn, a match was set up at Summerslam. This is to be the first match in a Best of 7 series match.
My Choice: Cesaro
Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi vs. Eva Marie, Alexa Bliss, and Natalya (Smackdown)
The six women were involved in a confrontation the first Smackdown after the draft. On 8/16, Eva Marie was scheduled to face Naomi but had “problems with the traffic”. During a tag team match between Becky Lynch, Carmella, Natalya, and Alexa Bliss, Eva showed up but was chased by Naomi into the ring. Naomi was punched by Natalya, but the distraction caused Lynch to apply the Dis-arm-her and pick up the win.
My Choice: Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi
Smackdown Matches: 4
Raw Matches: 6
Don’t forget to tune in at 8 pm Eastern Time to catch up to Summerslam, live on the WWE Network.