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WWE SummerSlam Preview & Predictions -- @MikeKillam
The 25th annual WWE SummerSlam Pay-Per-View is upon us! Despite some of my larger complaints with the current WWE product, I have to give a huge round of applause to the WWE for building up a roster to the point where I feel every match - with the exception of the tag team contest - has at least one legitimate, "over" Superstar.
It was one year ago at this very event that CM Punk successfully defended the WWE Championship against John Cena, for the second Pay-Per-View main event match in a row, no less. If we can ignore the few months of poorly planned Alberto del Rio nonsense, Punk has remained on top of Monday Night Raw as the Champion longer than anyone in quite some time. During that phase we've seen Dolph Ziggler come into his own as a real competitor, Daniel Bryan hit overnight stardom, several wrestlers re-invent themselves, the return of Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar, and so much more.
Things haven't been perfect; you could complain about part-timers taking all the "real" main event time, or John Cena still being involved in every major angle. Or...you could accept the way things work in the WWE circa 2012, and spend energy on the positive steps towards, as CM Punk has put it, "making this fun again."
Tonight's SummerSlam card has the potential to be truly great. Potential that I hope WWE fully realizes. Unforunatley, the bigger our hopes are, the greater the margin for disappointment. You can look at it either way, but I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. Sometimes. With all the good that WWE has done for pro wrestling this year, I'm willing to give tem the benefit of the doubt. As I said on my post-Raw Tout last week (they made me do it!), I'm sold on SummerSlam.
United States Championship
Ah yes, the YouTube/Facebook/WWE.com pre-show match. I have some serious questions for the WWE about how much they can honestly value a title belt if it's being defended for free in what is essentially an internet-based Velocity/Heat match. But they are every bit a social networking company now, and WWE wants to push their product through those channels. At the very least, we're going to get a match you can invest something into, with the title on the line.
I don't watch Smackdown enough to know how Cesaro has come along, but I hear it's coming down to the wire for some people in management who feel he needs to be used "now or never". I'd be surprsised to see a Championship switch hands on the pre-show (even if we'll see it again in replays later on), but Santino has probably had the belt for long enough by this point. I love the goof, but he's much more loveable as the underdog. I'd look for a swap quite soon, but on Smackdown or at the next Pay-Per-View.
Prediction: Santino retains
Two former WWE Champions collide with the Intercontinental Title on the line. This is the kind of match I want to see taking place on a regular basis! Not only does it bring the belt back into a respectable light, it's just going to be straight-up good wrestling. Both are proven main eventers, both are proven in-ring talents. I can't think of too much else to add to this, other than I sincerely hope the Miz retains.
I like Rey Mysterio. When he's healthy he can be a tremendous asset to the roster. But I don't value him as a Champion near as much as a chaser. As WWE's token under-dog, it makes sense for him to continually be in that role. Unless he's booked in matches against lower-card talent, Mysterio shouldn't have an "easy" time going over anybody. As far as who is worth more to the long-term main event picture in WWE, the Miz is much more valuable at this point in his career. He's had enough loses; it's time for another AWESOME run!
Prediction: The Miz retains