If you had any questions as to how much World Wrestling Entertainment values its “SummerSlam” event, the answer lies in the length of Sunday’s pay-per-view spectacle.
WWE recently announced “SummerSlam” will be a four-hour event, instead of the usual three. The late-summer event always has been billed as the No. 2 show behind “WrestleMania,” and coupled with the fact that WWE wants to drive up WWE Network subscription numbers, the change isn’t a huge surprise.
Here’s all you need to know about the summer’s marquee event:
Date: Sunday, Aug. 23
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
How to watch: WWE Network or pay-per-view
The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons (for tag team championship)
The tag team division has been revitalized in recent months, thanks in large part to the emergence of the New Day. They’ve hit their stride in terms of developing the gimmick after a rocky start. This match should have plenty of high spots, but there’s not a whole lot of reason otherwise to be too invested in this match.
Prediction: New Day wins
Ryback vs. The Miz vs. The Big Show (for Intercontinental championship)
Much like the tag title match, there’s not a whole lot to dig your teeth into with this one. All three bring something different to the table, but the sum of the parts is kind of unimpressive. The build to this match also was hurt, quite literally, by Ryback’s injury.
Prediction: Ryback wins, retains title
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
If you feel like you’ve seen this match a hundred times before, well, it’s because you’ve seen this match a hundred times before. Still, these two are good workers who probably can squeeze out an interesting match, especially on the biggest stage. Also worth noting: The last time Randy Orton faced the “Money in the Bank” holder, he defeated Seth Rollins at “WrestleMania” before Rollins cashed in later in the night during the main event to win the title. Maybe Sheamus will cash in Sunday, too?
Prediction: Randy Orton wins
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
You can’t help but get the feeling this match will lead to more. With Ziggler off filming a movie for a few weeks before returning Monday night, much of the build for this match centered around the respective “girlfriends,” Summer Rae and Lana. With that in mind, it feels like the heel goes over and maybe sets up a mixed tag match down the road.
Prediction: Rusev wins
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
This will be the best wrestling match on the card. It might not mean the most, and it might not even tell the best story, but from a wrestling standpoint, it will be the best. These two both can go and are among the best workers on the roster. It’s not a stretch to envision both of these guys working main events sooner rather than later.
Prediction: Owens wins
Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. PCB (Elimination match)
The “Divas Revolution” is here, as WWE seems more committed than ever to giving the women’s division a legitimate run. So far, the results have been mixed. The recent NXT call-ups of Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks have been a breath of fresh air, but there’s still not a whole lot of direction in terms of storyline. Regardless, this elimination match will be entertaining, especially as some of the lesser workers are paired off. We’re guessing it comes down to some sort of combination of the aforementioned trio, Paige and/or Nikki Bella.
Prediction: Charlotte pins Banks for PCB win
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
Rumors are swirling all around this match. First, a potential return for Sting was rumored all along, but that seems unlikely at this point. Another rumor bandied around the Internet and speculated over many times is tat this match could featured a heel turn for Ambrose. That would make some sense, too. He’s kind of lost in the shuffle right now, and a feud with Reigns would be fun. If he doesn’t turn, then this is just a match without a whole lot of reason.
Prediction: Wyatt and Harper win
Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett
WWE loves to get celebrities in the mix — as evidenced by Jon Stewart hosting “SummerSlam” — and this summer, Amell is one of them. This is the culmination of a storyline that has been a few months in the making, as a feud between Stardust and Amell has escalated. The star of “Arrow” was a star of “RAW” two weeks ago when he jumped into the ring, attacking Stardust and setting this match in motion. He looked good doing it, which gives at least some hope this match might not suck.
Prediction: Amell and Neville win
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (Title for title match, with WWE championship and United States championship on line)
The WWE has been criticized in recent months for lackluster builds into pay-per-view events. The same can’t be said for “SummerSlam,” thanks in large part to what the company has done for the two biggest matches on the card. The Rollins-Cena matchup is a real interesting one, as it pits the “face that runs the place” (Cena) against Rollins, who’s really the future of the company. It didn’t hurt to get a little bit “lucky” when Rollins caught Cena with a knee a few weeks ago and broke his nose, giving Rollins more promo material, not to mention a new T-shirt. Cena should be applauded for the work he has done in 2015, using the United States title to elevate young talent. He has done the same with Rollins and delivered a masterful promo Monday night that has this match heading in a good place entering Sunday. This could be a show-stealer.
Prediction: Rollins wins
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
How big is this match in WWE’s eyes? It’s so big that they’re calling it too big for “WrestleMania,” which is kind of a laughable premise considering ‘Mania is their showcase event of the year, but whatever. This one has been beautifully built, highlighted by a classic pull-apart brawl shortly after the Undertaker returned at “Battleground” to cost Lesnar a chance at regaining the title. Here’s the thing: No one really knows how good this match will be. Their historic “WrestleMania 30” match was historic only because it ended ‘Taker’s “WrestleMania” unbeaten streak. It was a rough match, but that’s largely because Undertaker was concussed early on. This match should be better, but at the end of the day, it’s a match between two part-timers, one of whom is 50 years old. But, hey. The build has been great, and it’s two legitimate superstars, so eyes will be glued to the TV. It also feels like there might be some “WrestleMania 32” foundation laid in this one.
Prediction: Undertaker wins
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