By John Napolitano
Welcome to the inaugural edition of John’s Jargon. First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. I am an avid professional wrestling fanatic and frequent viewer of both WWE and TNA programming. I began watching pro-wrestling in March 2006, but do not let the brevity of my tenure as a wrestling fan deceive you, I have spent countless hours absorbing as much information as I can through books, DVDs and online resources.
My passion for sports stretches beyond pro-wrestling, as I am a huge New York Yankees, Chicago Blackhawks, and Dallas Cowboys fan. I am going to use John’s Jargon as a canvas to share all of my thoughts, analysis, and predictions for pro-wrestling. For this particular blog post, I choose to dive into the risky realm of SummerSlam predictions.
Debuting in 1988, SummerSlam has always been regarded as the sister pay-per-view to WWE’s biggest show of the year, WrestleMania. The Hottest Party of the Summer can act as the epicenter for epic rivalries, the boundary for blow-off bouts, and an avenue for awe-inspiring action. Historically, SummerSlam fails to disappoint, having provided the WWE Universe with a smorgasbord of memorable moments, and this year is set to be no different.
SummerSlam 2014 presents one of the boldest cards to date with an impressive eight confirmed matches. What's even more impressive is that each matchup is the product of a well-booked storyline with legitimate heat and a good deal of television exposure. There is not a single match on the card in which I do not have some type of vested interest. This entire summer and the weeks leading up to SummerSlam have felt very organic and made me especially proud to be a pro-wrestling fan.
The first bout of the night appears to be the new Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. the “Showoff” Dolph Ziggler. The Miz, just having had his character revamped this summer, is in no position to have any of his momentum derailed. I predict that The Miz will successfully defend his Intercontinental Championship in a fun and exciting 10-minute opener.
Winner: The Miz
I predict AJ Lee and Paige will follow the opening match in a tangle for the Divas Championship. This has easily been one of the most engaging rivalries that the Divas division has seen in a long time. These two divas have gained massive followings, and the Staples Center will definitely be split as to whom they would like to see come out on top. For the sake of the rivalry’s continuation, I see Paige regaining the gold in Los Angeles, only to be vanquished at Night of Champions by the ever-resilient Lee.
As far as the “Real American” Jack Swagger and the “Bulgarian Brute” Rusev, there is no doubt in my mind that we will see Swagger achieve victory on behalf of the United States in the Flag-on-a-Pole match. I have enjoyed every second of this feud because it has provided legitimacy to Swagger’s babyface turn. After having lost at Battleground to Rusev, Swagger is due to even the odds, and the beauty of this match is that he can look strong in victory without pinning or submitting Rusev and detracting from his credibility.
Winner: Jack Swagger
The “Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt is set to go one-on-one with (due to CM Punk’s absence) the “Best in the World” Chris Jericho. It is no secret that Jericho’s role within the company is to put over the younger talent and make them look great while doing it. The rivalry between these two superstars has not reached its full potential, but in order for it to shift it into fourth gear, Wyatt has to defeat Jericho on Sunday, August 17. I am not quite sold on the in-ring chemistry between Wyatt and Y2J, but they will have a solid 15-minute matchup and tell a great story in the process.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Once Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins hit the stage, I predict that the WWE Universe will reach a frenzied crescendo, as this is one of the most personal rivalries in recent memory. I have been salivating just thinking about these two young bucks locking horns. Ambrose has hit his stride in recent weeks and is bringing a new dynamic to his Lunatic Fringe character. Rollins is easily the hottest worker, talker, and entertainer in the locker room right now, and these two superb athletes can potentially steal the show at SummerSlam. When the dust settles I predict that “Mr. Money in the Bank” will fire the first shot in what should be a historic rivalry.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Things have gotten extremely physical between Randy Orton and Roman Reigns as of late, and I do not see this standard one-on-one match being an effective means of containment for these two combustible elements. In order to prolong this storyline and keep both Orton and Reigns occupied, I predict that this bout will end in disqualification in what will be brutal brawl from bell to bell.
Winner: Roman Reigns via disqualification
Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella have set the stage for one of the most anticipated divas matches in WWE history. The dramatic story that these two characters have nurtured has twice closed out Monday Night Raw and captured the amazement of the entire WWE Universe. It is great to see a divas arc take such precedence in the build to a major pay-per-view, and it has not disappointed thus far. I foresee the Billion Dollar Princess taking control of a majority of the matchup but ultimately losing to Bella via rollup.
Winner: Brie Bella
Last but certainly not least, we have the Biggest Fight of the Summer. The 15-time world champion John Cena looks to survive his biggest challenge to date, the “Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar. Both of these megastars are at the pinnacle of their respective careers. Cena has cemented his legacy as the greatest WWE Champion of all-time and Lesnar caught lightning in a bottle when he conquered The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX. Not only will this match tell a story, but it will also be a first-rate, vitriolic clash of titans. As history tells us, Cena has great difficulty claiming victory at SummerSlam, and I predict this year will be no different. Lesnar has a greater amount of momentum going into Los Angeles on August 17, and he will parlay that into his fourth WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
SummerSlam looks to be one of the biggest cards of the year, and you will not want to miss what happens on August 17th at the Los Angeles Staples Center.