WWE SummerSlam is all set to take place tonight (Sat., Aug. 21, 2021) from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. It begins at 7:00 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.
Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.
Let’s get to it.
WWE SUMMERSLAM PREDICTIONS
Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (Universal championship)
Geno Mrosko: What’s strange to think is there was a time when you could feel reasonably certain that Cena would be winning a match like this. Now, you can feel reasonably certain that Reigns will be winning this match. Pick: Roman Reigns
Sean Rueter: If WWE was going to book a “reactionary” move against AEW’s big Friday night, this would be the one that would grab the most headlines. A Cena win wouldn’t be a bad story either, and the fact he’s around a bit for at least the next couple weeks means they could hot shot the belt back on The Tribal Chief on SmackDown to pop a rating. Still, if there’s any truth to The Rock rumors, Roman needs to (sorry, not sorry) continue to look strong. Pick: Roman Reigns
Kyle Decker: Cena going for #17 adds a bit of intrigue, but I don’t see any world where they stop the Roman Reigns run right now. Plus, Cena is a busy Hollywood guy. He doesn’t have time to be champ unless he does it like the Rock did when he was last champ - you know, something John railed against at the time. Pick: Roman Reigns
Claire Elizabeth: Boy howdy they’ve taken what should be a simple and great pro wrestling story (old lion returns to put young lion in his place) with a perfect summary tagline (Cena’s “you’re gonna kick my ass but all I need is three seconds”), and just made it too meta to be interesting, huh? Well in any case, John boy ain’t the one who’s gonna dislodge the Tribal Chief, so... Pick: Roman Reigns
Cain A. Knight: I’m still amazed that the best story they could come up with here was John Cena signing his name on Finn Balor’s contract, and then blaming Roman for Dean Ambrose’s exit from WWE. Pick: Roman Reigns
Stella Cheeks: This feud went from exciting new romance to predictable missionary position in less than a month. It’ll still be really fun and a win here is a big rub for the Tribal Chief, but boy, oh boy is this one overproduced. Pick: Roman Reigns.
Marcus Benjamin: The Tribal Chief’s story doesn’t end here. Least of all in the very boring context WWE built around it. Just as they did when The Rock came back, they went for meta storytelling when leaving the fourth wall intact is a perfectly reasonable plan. And induces less eye-rolling. Cena’s line about three seconds is very dope and compelling, but Reigns seems uninterested. Almost as if he knows he’s going to smash him, stack him, and print another shirt. Pick: Roman Reigns
Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg (WWE championship)
Geno Mrosko: I can’t do enough mental gymnastics to get to Goldberg winning here. It’s strange to think that he’s 4-5 since returning in 2016, 4-4 in singles matches, and yet he’s just able to walk in and demand title shots and be granted those shots. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Sean Rueter: Another one where the title change would generate a lot of conversation, and you can always justify a Goldberg win using the Survivor Series ‘16 template (it doesn’t work nearly as well on an indestructible otherworldly monster, but that didn’t stop them from doing it). What the hell, I’ll say it. Pick: Goldberg
Kyle Decker: Bill Goldberg has won two championships since 2016 so you can never count out the former Falcon. But a win would also include someone he’d obviously lose it to. When he beat KO, it was to drop the belt to Brock. When he beat the Fiend, it was to drop the belt to Roman (which became Strowman when Roman reasonably opted not to work early in COVID). I don’t see anyone on the Raw roster who is at the level to defeat Bill who could actually use the rub. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Claire Elizabeth: Listen, I like Bill Goldberg. I’d welcome him being around and having matches for basically as long as he likes. At his best, he adds a mystique and a presence and a connection to pro wrestling’s history that’s eminently valuable, and his matches (mostly) are short and sweet and add good variety to any card. But he in no way should be winning any championships ever again, and especially not against a guy who’s come into his own in as big a way as Lashley has. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Cain A. Knight: Goldberg should know better than to have his son sitting ringside for this three minute match. The heels will put the son in a dangerous predicament, leading to Goldberg’s defeat. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Stella Cheeks: I literally don’t understand how this happened. Did we all forget the Undertaker vs. Goldberg match??? How is this man allowed anywhere near a wrestling ring. And let’s face it, Gage is no HOOK. Are we really supposed to pop for this? Good for Bobby Lashley though, I guess. It’s a big name to put in his win column. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Marcus Benjamin: Sweet Christmas, this is still a thing? Well, since I have to write something, there’s no way Goldberg wins here. It’ll probably be short enough to sports entertain us, with Lashley getting the W and moving on. Goldberg goes back on the shelf until someone new decides they want to be next. Pick: Bobby Lashley
Nikki A.S.H. vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (Raw women’s championship)
Geno Mrosko: I suppose this could depend on how much more they think they can get out of Nikki and this character. All signs point to Flair getting yet another run, though. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Sean Rueter: Sigh... I wanted to like Nikki’s new gimmick. Honest, I did. I also thought Rhea was a can’t miss talent, and yet WWE’s managed to turn her into “just another
wrestler Superstar” since moving her from NXT to Raw. I think you see where this is going. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Kyle Decker: I think they use the triple threat format to buy Nikki’s reign a little more time. Pick: Nikki A.S.H.
Claire Elizabeth: Nikki’s almost going to win, I can feel it. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Cain A. Knight: Ripley isn’t winning. Flair is getting the title back soon, but they might want to stretch it out for another month before pulling the trigger. Pick: Nikki A.S.H.
Stella Cheeks: Ripley and Charlotte will focus too much on each other, fueled by their mutual hatred and lack of respect for Nikki A.S.H. Nikki will capitalize on their distraction and retain. It will almost be a good match. Pick: Nikki A.S.H.
Marcus Benjamin: I don’t think the Nikki A.S.H. experiment is over yet. And there are more possibilities with her retaining than giving the belt back to Ripley or Charlotte. Pick: Nikki A.S.H.
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (SmackDown women’s championship)
Geno Mrosko: They headlined WrestleMania night one and Bianca won there. Now they’re back in a stadium in a top match at SummerSlam, and I think Sasha gets her win back. Pick: Sasha Banks
Sean Rueter: Having The Boss win would give them the obvious reason to continue this feud, but WWE’s never hesitated to keep a program going even when the results are lopsided. Double-down on The EST here, have Sasha win at Extreme Rules, then have an Irishwoman interrupt Banks’ gloating heel promo at the Draft. Pick: Bianca Belair
Kyle Decker: I could see this going both ways. And since I haven’t picked any other title changes on the top, I’ll go for one here. Pick: Sasha Banks
Claire Elizabeth: Ordinarily I’d consider this a perfectly good first title reign and say it’s time for the Boss to reclaim her throne, even if only for the variety but Bianca... it’s like the title was made to be around her waist and I don’t think you do it now. Pick: Bianca Belair
Cain A. Knight: The SmackDown women’s division desperately needs to be carried by Sasha and Bianca. Therefore Sasha will win, to keep this feud going for a while longer. Pick: Sasha Banks
Stella Cheeks: This is the beginning of a forever feud. Sasha disappeared after they made history at WrestleMania, allowing Bianca to establish herself. But now that she’s back, a whole slew of storyline possibilities has opened. Time to start a little hot potato championship belt action and stir up those “fight forever” chants. Pick: Sasha Banks
Marcus Benjamin: Hear me now and believe me later: Sasha and Bianca will have the best match of the night. Sasha is smarter about Bianca’s hair this time, so look for her to use that to her advantage. Pick: Sasha Banks
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Geno Mrosko: I’m guessing this is the first in a series and will definitely feature some kind of shenanigans leading to a heel victory. Pick: Seth Rollins
Sean Rueter: Since they don’t seem ready to go to Rollins vs. Reigns yet (and understandably not), there’s no reason to put another L on The Rated R Superstar’s record. This will probably get run back anyway, and The Drip God can easily start a rivalry with any babyface on the roster. Pick: Edge
Kyle Decker: In the end, Edge will likely put over Rollins. But he can only lose so much or his putting folks over starts to lose its meaning. And right now, Rollins is not hurt from a loss that he’ll probably get back. Pick: Edge
Claire Elizabeth: I’m thinking Edge picks up the win here, avenges the sting of humiliation from the “JOHN! JOHN!” segment seven years ago, and then puts an increasingly unhinged Rollins over in a stipulation match down the way. Pick: Edge
Cain A. Knight: Edge lost at WrestleMania and Money in the Bank. I don’t think they are paying him big bucks just to lose all the time. Pick: Edge
Stella Cheeks: Heel Seth and his fancy suits can take a loss here and Edge can’t really afford another big loss. Seth is a worthy sacrifice at the alter of the Rated R Superstar. Pick: Edge
Marcus Benjamin: Edge didn’t come back to take repeating L’s in big spots. Rollins is killing it right now but so is Edge. But Rollins is also pure evil while Edge is just trying to defend his own honor. Plus, Seth brought Edge’s family into the picture and that’s a big mistake. Pick: Edge
AJ Styles & Omos vs. RK-Bro (Raw tag team championship)
Geno Mrosko: There will never be a better time to put the titles on Randy Orton & Riddle, so they better do it here. Pick: RK-Bro
Sean Rueter: Randy didn’t grow that Pirates of Penzance-looking facial hair and hug it out with a goof (a very talented goof, but a goof nonetheless) to not get a title reign. Pick: RK-Bro
Kyle Decker: This type of odd couple tag team story usually ends in a title change. Pick: RK-Bro
Claire Elizabeth: RK-Bro winning the tag titles is the story here. Orton and Riddle will have a nice little run, and then Matt will be reminded why you never trust a snake and we’ll all move on with our lives. Pick: RK-Bro (Matt Riddle & Randy Orton)
Cain A. Knight: WWE repeatedly tells me that AJ Styles is the weak link of his team, so I assume he will be pinned after an RKO from one of the babyfaces. Pick: RK-Bro
Stella Cheeks: I mean, it’s literally shocking that AJ and Omos have held the titles this long as it is. It’s 100% time for a change. RKO’s for everyone! Pick: RK-Bro
Marcus Benjamin: A.J. and Omos had a fun ride. But that ride runs out of road tonight and they drop the belts to the feel-good story of the summer in RK-Bro. Pick: RK-Bro
The Usos vs. The Mysterios (SmackDown tag team championship)
Geno Mrosko: They could switch the titles back but that seems uninteresting unless they’re going back to Uso family turmoil along with Reigns. Let’s hope that’s not the play. Pick: The Usos
Sean Rueter: Just feels like a way to get Rey on the card. Now give me Jimmy & Jey vs. The Profits. Pick: The Usos
Kyle Decker: The Mysterios had their win already. If they hadn’t won the titles prior to this, I’d pick them because that will happen. But since it has, I’m going with the Bloodline to continue holding gold. Pick: The Usos
Claire Elizabeth: Mysterio the Younger seems to be chafing under papa’s learning tree, so I gotta think that’s the story here. Dom overreaches, loses the match, and either he becomes receptive to his dad’s wisdom or we get a breakup and some sweet, sweet father/son lucha violence. Pick: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Cain A. Knight: Dominik is going to keep screwing up. Pick: The Usos
Stella Cheeks: It was a great moment when The Mysterios won the tag titles, but they had their moment and the moment has passed. The Bloodline draped in gold at the end of SummerSlam is a good look, especially after Roman defeats Cena. It sends a big message and that message is don’t f*ck with us. Pick: The Usos
Marcus Benjamin: The Bloodline stands tall at the end of the night holding all of the gold once again, while Dominik keeps making rookie mistakes, setting up the inevitable father vs. son clash down the line. Pick: The Usos
Sheamus vs. Damian Priest (U.S. championship)
Geno Mrosko: Why not? Pick: Damian Priest
Sean Rueter: As long as we get to hear Sheamus call Priest “Damo” a few more times, are there really any losers here? Pick: Damian Priest
Kyle Decker: No reason not to give Priest a little push. Pick: Damian Priest
Claire Elizabeth: It ain’t your gold any longer, fella. Pick: Damian Priest
Cain A. Knight: There’s no need to overthink this one or get cute with the booking. Pick: Damian Priest
Stella Cheeks: This is Damian’s moment to prove that he wasn’t all Bad Bunny hype. Pick: Damian Priest
Marcus Benjamin: As much fun as it is seeing Guy Ritchie’s version of Sheamus hold the belt, it’s time for him to go down. Pick: Damian Priest
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
Geno Mrosko: This is going to be a ridiculous squash. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Sean Rueter: Not to get all Freudian here, but what if the sword is an expression of Drew’s repressed desires for his former bandmate? Sorry, just trying to find something interesting about this one. Because sometimes a cigar - or in this case a giant sword - is just a cigar, I’ll go with the underdog instead. Pick: Jinder Mahal
Kyle Decker: Bring back Slater to be special guest referee. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Claire Elizabeth: How do we call the finish if Drew actually murders Jinder with his sword? Referee stoppage? DQ? Knockout? No contest? Pick: Drew McIntyre
Cain A. Knight: The deck is stacked against the heel because his henchmen are banned from ringside, and the babyface can murder him with a giant sword. This bout mostly reminds me of the one-off PPV match that Roman Reigns had with Mahal in 2018, where the top babyface is just killing time against a lower card heel before finding something better to do next month. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Stella Cheeks: Drew McIntyre has a sword. Jinder Mahal doesn’t. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Marcus Benjamin: I really don’t care because they’ve done nothing to make me care. Now, if Drew uses that sword, then my interest will rise tenfold. But since that’s not happening, what with it being a serious crime in most states, I’ll grin and bear whatever match they throw at us. Jinder goes down for the count, even though both guys deserve better than this. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Eva Marie vs. Alexa Bliss
Geno Mrosko: I’m just going to hope that something interesting happens. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Sean Rueter: If Doudrop revolts against the Eva-lution, they might be able to salvage something from this mess. The doll is gonna smile or some $#!+ either way. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Kyle Decker: Ugggggggggggh. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Claire Elizabeth: The doll wins. The doll always wins. The doll won long before any of us were born, and will continue to have won long after we’re all gone. The doll. The doll. The doll. THE DOLL.
THE DOLL. T̶̤̜͌̊H̷̰̀͝Ȅ̵̜̻̅ ̵͉͊͐D̵͚̅Ơ̸̼L̸̢̬̕L̶̻̘̇.̸̤̰͊͛ Pick: Alexa Bliss
Cain A. Knight: Lilly hits Eva with a springboard shooting star press through a flaming table when the referee’s back is turned, leading to a win for Bliss. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Stella Cheeks: Gonna get to see Eva’s acting skills in action when she has to job to an evil doll. My hopes are not high. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Marcus Benjamin: Alexa gets the W but let’s be honest here. Lilly is the true victor. Halloween is around the corner and a new Chucky series is coming. She needs to look strong for her eventual showdown with Charles Lee Ray’s homicidal doll.
That’s what we think.
How about you?