The biggest party of the summer has been heating up, with high stakes, revenge and so much more on the line in what should be an enthralling show.
WWE SummerSlam is scheduled for this Sunday at 10am AEST on BINGE and will be live from Ford Field in Detroit, marking the first Premium Live Event since WrestleMania 39 to be held in the United States.
Below is The Inner Sanctum‘s preview and predictions for SummerSlam.
Biggest certainty: Cody Rhodes to defeat Brock Lesnar
In their third and final encounter, Cody Rhodes will lock horns with Brock Lesnar to see who will ultimately prevail in their rivalry.
This feud kickstarted on the Raw after WrestleMania, as the Beast attacked the American Nightmare when they were supposed to face Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa in a tag team match.
Rhodes escaped with the victory in their first battle at Backlash, while Lesnar equalled the ledger at Night of Champions after defeating his rival by technical submission.
Although the feud has kept the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble winner occupied after falling to the Tribal Chief at WrestleMania, it has been rightfully criticised for lacking story. The Beast never explained his actions for assaulting Rhodes, with some fans eager to see this angle reach it’s conclusion as a result.
Lesnar has the upper hand heading into the SummerSlam clash, brutally attacking Rhodes in front of his mother a fortnight ago on Raw and also this week.
However, the American Nightmare should earn the win in the rubber match before entering a new and refreshing program with momentum. It is possible that he moves into a rivalry against a returning Bray Wyatt, with Uncle Howdy posting on X saying, “Mr. Rhodes” before deleting it.
Surprise prediction: Finn Balor wins the World Heavyweight Championship
Finn Balor will have another chance at securing revenge on Seth Rollins, when the two collide at SummerSlam for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The Prince was edging close to triumph at Money in the Bank, until Damian Priest intervened and hinted at cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. The Visionary took advantage and was able to retain his title, which caused temporary tension between the two Judgment Day associates.
However, Balor was granted a second opportunity and it will be seven years on from the corresponding event where Rollins injured the inaugural Universal Champion to cut short his reign.
At SummerSlam, the challenger should finally be compensated and become the World Heavyweight Champion. It does seem harsh to say the Visionary should lose his title, considering he has become popular with the WWE Universe and has been such a workhorse since his rivalry with Cody Rhodes.
It is too soon to break up The Judgment Day though and if WWE wish to have them on a similar wavelength as The Bloodline in terms of storytelling, Balor should capture the gold to keep tension brewing between him and Priest.
There would also be shock value and it would complement the whole faction, with Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio holding their respective championships and Priest remaining Señor Money in the Bank.
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Title most likely to change hands: Women’s Championship
Asuka will defend her Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair in a triple threat match at SummerSlam, but neither of them could leave Detroit with the gold.
This saga commenced when the Queen was given a title opportunity before the E.S.T., which the latter was not thrilled about. Belair finally received her rematch after losing at Night of Champions on the July 15 edition of Smackdown, which ended in a disqualification.
IYO SKY has teased cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase for weeks and it looks likely to occur at SummerSlam. Whether her attempt will be successful or not remains to be seen, but the Women’s Championship has more of a chance to change hands over the other titles to be defended on the show.
If SKY elects to cash in her contract, she should emerge victorious and it could prompt a much-anticipated feud with the Empress of Tomorrow. Belair and Flair could also have their own non-title rivalry, as it is difficult to envision their directions post-SummerSlam.
Match of the night: Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso
The main event of SummerSlam pits Jey Uso challenging his cousin, Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship in Tribal Combat.
Jey inserted himself into the title picture after pinning Reigns at Money in the Bank, becoming the first man to achieve this feat since December of 2019. The Tribal Chief and Solo Sikoa were seething on the Smackdown after, sending Jimmy Uso out of action which led to Jey demanding war.
The stakes were amplified shortly after, when the recognition of Tribal Chief was also put on the line. Jey is a slim chance of ending his cousin’s 1000+ day tenure as world champion, but Reigns will more than likely retain.
An assist could come from Sikoa or even a returning Jimmy, as a potential scenario could be the latter costing his brother out of jealousy. While it may not make sense since Jimmy was the first to leave the Tribal Chief, The Usos have stated publicly they would like to work against each other.
Regardless, the enriched story and no disqualification rules will ensure this match steals SummerSlam. There are other potential candidates for match of the night, like Gunther vs Drew McIntyre and Logan Paul vs Ricochet, but the above factors will push Reigns vs Jey over the line.
What must happen: Gunther vs Drew McIntyre ends in a no contest
After featuring in arguably the greatest match of the year so far at WrestleMania, Gunther and Drew McIntyre are destined to meet in singles fashion at SummerSlam for the Intercontinental Championship.
The Scottish Warrior made his first appearance since that pulsating triple threat clash at Money in the Bank, confronting the Ring General. He made his intentions clear with a claymore kick that he desires his opponent’s title, as their match was officialised on the July 25 edition of Raw.
This is one of the more unpredictable matches for SummerSlam and it could swing either way. While Gunther is on the verge and deserves to become the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, it would hurt McIntyre to come back and lose a high-profile contest immediately.
Therefore, it should be in WWE’s best interests to have a no contest and there are multiple methods for the company to conduct one. Not only would it solidify the Ring General’s chances of making history, but it would also protect the former WWE Champion.
WWE should allow Gunther to reach the record he deserves, which would transpire early next month. After that is when the trigger could be pulled for McIntyre to dethrone his rival, although Chad Gable has mounted his case with an impressive performance against the Ring General on this week’s Raw.
Logan Paul defeats Ricochet
LA Knight wins the SummerSlam Battle Royal
Shayna Baszler defeats Ronda Rousey