SunSport runs down all the big matches scheduled for this Sunday and predicts how the action will go down.
Universal Championship Match – Brock Lesnar (c) v Roman Reigns
Background: Roman beat Bobby Lashley for a shot at Lesnar – setting up this rematch of their disastrous WrestleMania main event.
Reigns is still criticising Lesnar for being a work-shy non-champion who doesn’t respect the business. And Roman’s got a point – Lesnar is more belligerent than ever.
But Brock and Paul Heyman pulled a fast one on the Big Dog – pretending to split so they could lure him into a brutal sneak attack on Raw.
SunSport Predicts: It’s unbelievable that WWE has booked Lesnar v Reigns for a third time this year (after both Mania and Greatest Royal Rumble).
It’s even more unbelievable that Reigns – who is still WWE’s number one golden boy – will lose a third match to The Beast in a row.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Reigns will walk away as Universal Champion. This could be Braun Strowman’s moment to cash-in and take the title.
Throwing Braun into the mix is also the only thing WWE can do to stop fans from booing this
match out of the building – just like fans did at WrestleMania.
WWE Championship Match – AJ Styles (c) v Samoa Joe
Background: Joe ambushed AJ and signed his name on a blank title match contract, making himself number one contender.
Since then, Joe has made things personal by calling AJ a terrible father and husband – because AJ puts the WWE Championship before his family.
It’s got AJ all riled up, but will the usually level-headed champ to lose his cool – not to mention the title – at SummerSlam?
SunSport Predicts: Samoa Joe has proved that he can run with the ball when he’s handed the opportunity (see his feud with Lesnar last year).
But this doesn’t feel like his time to become WWE Champion.
We’re still confident these two longtime friends/rivals can put on a great match, rising above the cheap storyline they’ve been saddled with.
Raw Women’s Championship Match – Alexa Bliss (c) v Ronda Rousey
Background: Alexa cashed-in during Ronda’s last title match against Nia Jax, stealing the belt from under both their noses.
Since then Ronda has torn through Alexa’s pals and personal security.
But will Miss Bliss have a devious trick ready to dodge being dismantled by the Baddest Woman on the Planet?
SunSport Predicts: To call this a foregone conclusion would undermine the good work that’s gone into this storyline.
But there’s almost zero chance of Ronda Rousey NOT leaving SummerSlam as Raw Women’s Champion.
On paper, it’s a total mismatch – Ronda would destroy Alexa and everyone knows it – and WWE won’t to book its golden girl to lose yet.
Daniel Bryan v The Miz
Background: Where to start? Bryan and Miz have been at each other’s throats for eight years – since Miz mentored Bryan on the original season of NXT.
Bryan has criticised Miz’s wrestling and called him a coward, while Miz cut Bryan deeply with jibes about being forced to retire.
But now Bryan is back in the ring and we’re finally getting the high profile match these superstars missed out on the first time around.
SunSport Predicts: There’s only one way to turn up Miz’s obnoxious heel heat and make Bryan want revenge even more – a crafty win for Miz.
It won’t hurt Bryan – he’s looked strong ever since returning to action.
And this feud’s just getting started.
Don’t be surprised if it goes all the way to WrestleMania.
Intercontinental Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler (c) w/ Drew McIntyre v Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose
Background: Dolph beat Rollins for the title back in June and it’s been a numbers game ever since.
The killer combo of Dolph and Drew have put epic beating after epic beating on The Kingslayer.
Now Rollins has enlisted the help of Shield buddy Dean Ambrose, who returns from injury to stand in Seth’s corner.
SunSport Predicts: The breakneck, hard-bumping style of Rollins and Ziggler – plus McIntyre and Ambrose on the outside – could make this the hottest match of the night.
With The Lunatic Fringe evening the odds, this is also Rollins’ moment to regain the title.
But don’t get too dewy-eyed about a Shield reunion – we fully expect Ambrose to turn on Rollins post-match.
Triple Threat Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship – Carmella (c) v Becky Lynch v Charlotte Flair
Background: Becky beat Carmella to earn a shot at the gold, before Becky’s BFF Charlotte was added to the match.
Can either Becky or Charlotte dethrone the gobby heel champ? Or will tensions between the pals get in the way of victory?
SunSport Predicts: We’d love the see the title back on Becky – she’s the backbone of the SmackDown women’s division.
But her inevitable falling out with Charlotte should give Carmella yet another excuse to escape with the title.
Braun Strowman v Kevin Owens
Background: Braun has been acting the playground bully – chasing KO around arenas, locking him a portaloo, and even tipping over his car.
Now Owens has a chance to get the ultimate revenge on the Monster Among men.
If he can beat Strowman, he’ll win Braun’s Money in the Bank briefcase.
SunSport Predicts: This one feels like it could go either way.
Though Braun seems the obvious winner, you can’t rule out a swerve victory for KO – and a surprise cash-in from Owens later in the night.
But our money’s on Braun to retain his briefcase and walk out of SummerSlam as Universal Champion.
US Championship Match – Shinsuke Nakamura (c) v Jeff Hardy
Background: Nakamura beat Hardy for the title on SmackDown thanks to a sneaky pre-match attack.
And it’s not the only beating Hardy has suffered in recent weeks – Randy Orton has attacked him multiple times.
Will the same thing happen at SummerSlam?
SunSport Predicts: Either Nakamura wins or it ends in a DQ.
Randy Orton is all-but guaranteed to slither in the ring to hit an RKO on Hardy.
It won’t do much for Nakamura though.
With the focus on Hardy and Orton, Nak’s starting to look like a spectator in his own feud.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match – The Bludgeon Brothers (c) v The New Day
Background: The New Day won a tournament to earn their shot at the tag titles, scoring big wins over SAnitY and Sheamus and Cesaro.
But can The New Day overcome the devastating power of the Bludgeon Bros?
SunSport Predicts: The Bludgeons should retain here (even if their title run has been a total dud).
Here’s hoping The New Day can at least inject some life into the Bludgeons’ stoic routine of power moves and no personality.
Finn Balor v Baron Corbin
Background: Corbin has been targeting Balor ever since being made the Constable of Raw.
Balor beat Corbin at Extreme Rules, but the Constable has notched up a win and beat-downs on him in the weeks since.
SunSport Predicts: Balor to win and (hopefully) move onto to something better.
Corbin is the worst thing about Raw and this feud is killing any enthusiasm for the hugely-talented Balor.
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