WWE SummerSlam 2012 is tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 19) and it hosts a stacked card of three potential main events. Okay, two - let's not kid ourselves into thinking the World Heavyweight Championship match would get top billing over the WWE Championship or even a superfight involving Brock Lesnar.
Regardless, it's one of WWE's biggest shows of the year and they've pulled out just about every stop to make sure it has appropriate buzz.
That's debatable - as is who will win the matches; which brings us to the first Cageside round-table, featuring myself and two of our newest staffers, Nolan Howell and C. J. Bradford.
Without further ado ...
Pre-Show United States Championship match: Santino (c) vs. Antonio Cesaro
- Sergio: I have to vote for the former Claudio Castagnoli. Santino doesn't NEED the belt while it could do a lot to boost Cesaro's stock.
- Nolan: I'm going with Cesaro here. He has been getting a big push and Santino's pop with the crowd has gotten less and less relevant. Plus, imagine the heat Cesaro can catch if he turns the US Championship into the European Championship? Think it is time to strike while the iron is hot on Cesaro and this is the right time.
- C. J.: Santino Marella has a great gimmick going. He's a fun midcard act who has gotten over with the fans in a huge way. But his run with the United States Championship needs to come to an end. He hasn't done much with the strap in the five months that he's held it. Antonio Cesaro has been getting a great push of late, and his victory is the only logical conclusion. However, this is the WWE, and we know how these things go.
Summary: Sergio, Nolan & C. J. all predict - Cesaro
Check out the rest after the jump.
Tag Team Championship match: R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (c) vs. The Primetime Players
- Sergio: O'Neil and Young could use the momentum while R-Truth and Kingston just reek of "let's throw these two dudes who aren't doing anything" tag teaming. #MILLIONSOFDOLLARS
- Nolan: I have to go with the surging stars that I have an affinity for in the Prime Time Players. They could certainly be set to job and work on their skills on the mic and in-ring, since their shining mouthpiece got fired. But something just tells me that the WWE has a lot of faith in these guys and they'll take the belts off a stale Truth/Kofi team.
- C. J.: Can I say I have no clue? No? Damn. Okay, well common sense would say that The Primetime Players would finally get the Tag Team Championship. They've been getting the most focus out of any of the tag teams, yet don't have a solid win to speak of. A loss here would do nothing for them, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston, or the entire division as a whole. Which probably means Truth and Kofi retain.
Summary: Sergio & Nolan - Primetime Players | C. J. - R-Truth and Kofi
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
- Sergio: Bryan wins or I riot.
- Nolan: Kane isn't on TV unless he is making a cameo in a segment involving Daniel Bryan. It would make sense for Bryan to get the victory here and that's my pick. However, don't be surprised to see Kane win.
- C. J.: Daniel Bryan has got to win a match eventually, right? I don't think SummerSlam will be his night though. Kane and Bryan look like they are in it for the long haul. Which most likely means that Kane will be getting the upper hand before Bryan is allowed to get back his win. I'm actually leaning towards some type of disqualification (Bryan freaking out and not letting go at five is the most obvious suspect) but if I have to go with a clear winner, I'll pick Kane.
Summary: Sergio & Nolan - Bryan | C. J. - Kane
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Sergio: Jericho is on his way out so there's no way Ziggler doesn't win.
- Nolan: With Jericho going on tour and Ziggler holding the MITB briefcase, it makes sense for Ziggler to beat Jericho and send him off into a shameful break, only for him to come back "stronger." That's what I'll go with, as I am picking Ziggy here.
- C. J.: Chris Jericho has been putting everyone over left and right, a fact that Dolph Ziggler and Michael Cole have been repeating over and over the past few weeks. In most circumstances, this would obviously mean that Jericho picks up the win at SummerSlam. This is Jericho's last PPV for a while though, and it would be a fitting end to Y2J's latest run to put Ziggler over. Expect interference by Vickie, a headshot with the Money in the Bank briefcase and "The Showoff" to pick up the big one.
Summary: Sergio, Nolan & C. J. all predict - Ziggler
Intercontinental Championship match: The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
- Sergio: I'm really not sure who picks up this win. It will be a good match though, I can guarantee that. For the sake of having to make a pick, I'll go with The Miz retaining.
- Nolan: Kind of a coin toss here, but Miz has been getting more relevant TV time and has a movie coming out. I'll say that he takes it.
- C. J.: My knee-jerk reaction is that they wouldn't have given The Miz the Intercontinental Championship if they weren't going to let him have a serious run with it. Also, with Rey Mysterio already looking pretty with two wellness strikes, I'm not too sure if they are going to reward him in any manner. That being said though, Mysterio is still one of the fan favorites. I think Miz is going to take this (usually some despicable heel tactic, no doubt) but I wouldn't be too shocked if they gave the strap to Mysterio.
Summary: Sergio, Nolan & C. J. all predict - The Miz
World Heavyweight Championship match: Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
- Sergio: UGH, just end this feud already. Sheamus should win and feud with the returning Wade Barrett.
- Nolan: When in doubt, trust in Irish Cena. Nothing here suggests that WWE wants to let their other PG prince lose some of his legitimacy. As much as it hurts to say as a Del Rio fanboy, Sheamus will be taking the gold home.
- C. J.: I'm probably one of the bigger Sheamus fans on Cageside, and even I am completely sick of this match. Sheamus will retain over Alberto Del Rio via Brogue Kick, Dolph Ziggler will run out and feint towards cashing in his briefcase, and he will receive a Brogue Kick for his troubles. And there will be much rejoicing.
Summary: Sergio, Nolan & C. J. all predict - Sheamus
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
- Sergio: I still think it would be funny if Lesnar came back just to job out three times but all signs point to him beating Triple H tomorrow. I mean, if they really intend to use his name to boost WrestleMania 29's buyrate, he can't be seen as an also-ran. Still though, this buildup has sucked.
- Nolan: When in doubt, know that "The Game" books the shows. Although it would kill Lesnar's heat and reduce any interest in him to rubble, something tells me that the crew backstage doesn't want this liability going over on the future owner of the company.
- C. J.: I know a lot of people are fearful that Triple H will put himself over at all costs, but I still have an ounce of hope left. A Brock Lesnar loss does nothing for anyone. Triple H won't look any better and whomever Lesnar faces next is worse off for it. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they overbook the hell out of this. Shawn Michaels is supposed to be watching SummerSlam from his home. This means that you shouldn't be too surprised if he shows up in Los Angeles to lend a hand (or foot). Lesnar picks up the win via some type of schmoz.
Summary: Sergio & C. J. - Lesnar | Nolan - Triple H
Triple Threat WWE Championship match: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show
- Sergio: I'm torn on this one. On one hand, part of me feels Punk will win tomorrow and take the title to Royal Rumble where he'll drop it to The Rock leading to a WrestleMania 29 rematch between him and Cena. On the other, I feel the roles could be reversed and it ends up being Punk who wins the Rumble to challenge "The Great One." I think WWE has set the stage for the latter, so I see Cena getting the deuce in LA.
- Nolan: Super Cena will fly at SummerSlam. It will make more sense for the heelish Punk that has been emerging to chase Cena for the title. Of course, heelish Punk will likely remain face Punk if he is chasing Cena, but don't try to explain that to the bookers! In all, it is a big PPV and this is the time to change the champ if needed, so I'll go out on a limb and say it is Cena's time.
- C. J.: There is an argument to be made for CM Punk picking up the victory by pin or submission on the Big Show and then facing John Cena at Night of Champions in Boston, MA. However, until John Cena loses I'm going to keep expecting him to win. That's just how it's always going to be. Maybe we get lucky; I just don't have enough faith in the WWE to believe otherwise. Cena wins the WWE Championship via pin on Big Show.
Summary: Sergio, Nolan & C. J. all predict - Cena
There you have it, Cagesiders. What are your predictions?