Here are our predictions for Summerslam 2021.
WWE Universal Title
Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena
This is a proper main event – Cena is past his prime as an in-ring performer, but arguably at his peak as a “star” following his continuing success in Hollywood. Equally, Roman is at his own peak as a performer, finally being the character that he should have been playing in 2015.
Roman is the heavy and deserved favourite here with odds of 1/5 (against Cena at 3/1) and it’s hard to see this going any other way. Hopefully Cena has still got an “epic” in him (you have to assume so) and this should be an entertaining affair; the key thing being that it doesn’t over-stay it’s welcome.
One has to assume that with the star power involved that this closes the show and I think we get a valiant performance from Cena with at least five spears before he’s eventually put down and Roman stands strong. Don’t forget – this would be John Cena’s “record tying World Title Reign” (actual facts and history ignoring) – and you have to think that if Cena was winning here, more would be being made of this.
Who does Roman move onto next after this though? Drew / Seth / Edge all feel played out vs. Roman.
Maybe we get this set-up at the end similar to how they did with Cena. Daniel Bryan would be a bit of a shocker give he’s presumably going to AEW. Maybe this is how they keep Adam Cole? Still not sure this feels right either. Maybe Bray or Braun haven’t really gone after all. Let’s see.
Prediction: Roman Reigns Retains
RAW Women’s Title
Nikki A.S.H. (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
5 weeks on the bounce (and 7 matches) now that some combination of these three have been in the ring with each other and it’s been some of the finest 50/50 WWE booking masquerading as a story. Nikki has pinned Flair and beaten Ripley by DQ. Flair has pinned both Nikki & Rhea. Rhea has pinned Nikki and beaten Charlotte by DQ. Based on this, I’m assuming either Rhea pins Nikki or Nikki pins Rhea, but do the bookies agree?
Kinda, yeah. It’s currently very short odds for a Nikki ASH win – especially given how well backed by the company her opponents are. I mean, Nikki has at least some backing given that she is the champ, but it’s a Superhero Gimmick with no merchandise available.
Nikki is currently 4/5 to win and is a heavy favourite (Flair is 11/8 and Rhea is a surprising outlier at 5/1). Despite Nikki’s usual underdog status, her favourite nature with the bookies is easy to understand – Charlotte and Rhea can essentially “beat each other” leaving the (almost a) Superhero to pick at the scraps. Charlotte and Rhea can then continue their own feud, but before one of them (lets face it, Charlotte) can then beat Cross at a later date. Gonna go with the bookies on this one.
Prediction: Nikki ASH Retains
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Goldberg
Fun Fact: this is going to be the second (combined) oldest WWE/F World Title match of all time. They would be the oldest if it were not for a Ric Flair / Hogan match… and Goldberg is currently older than both of those men were when that ‘stat winning’ match took place.
I’ve no immediate issues with both performers age – Lashley is objectively at his peak as a performer despite being in his fourties and Goldberg… well… Goldberg is Goldberg.
Whatever happens, this is very unlikely to be a twenty minute technical classic. Two big lads battering each other and we move on. That’s not where the issue is here. The issue is that Goldberg – say this quietly – kinda needs to win here.
The bookies totally disagree for what it’s worth – Lashley is 1/4 and a heavy favourite, where as Goldberg is 5/2. But Goldberg has lost 2 in his last 3 matches (and for a unique stat, hasn’t won a match on US soil since 2017). Do you think Goldberg is the sort of person who cares about this kinda thing? I do.
If you want to keep using Goldberg as an attraction, then he’s going to actually have to win a match at some point and – despite all of the upside to Lashley – I feel that WWE may be willing to sacrifice him for this; so stick clear of betting on Lashley and maybe consider a pound or two on Goldberg.
Goldberg shouldn’t be in the world title picture. Goldberg beating Penniless Corbin here would have been fine. The only way (as a fan) I’ll accept Goldberg winning if this is when Big E cashes in.
Big meaty men bumping meat.
Prediction: Goldberg Wins
Smackdown Tag Team Title
The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio
Dominik Mysterio hasn’t been involved in a match that doesn’t feature an Uso since June. It’s an oddly damning verdict of the company that this match already feels played out, despite only having one PPV match previously. It’s also hard to see how one grows and develops as a performer when you’re facing the same person over and over and over and over. (I’m including house shows in this by the way – he literally only fights Usos)
I get that the Usos as champions makes sense within the wider sense of the Roman storyline, but I can’t see how you can possibly justify “rewarding” a convicted drink driver with a yet another title run. The logics behind WWE’s moralities continue to be baffling.
The Usos go into this match as heavy favourites with a 1/5 odds making them really not a profitable bet. The Mysterios (Los Mysterios? Mysterio Familia?) are 3/1 and I’m not sure this is even worth a bet for an outside chance. It sounds strange to say, but if the Usos were going to lose here, they’d have never won the titles in the first place.
Prediction: The Usos Retain
Smackdown Women’s Title
Bianca Belair (c) vs. Sasha Banks
After both performers missed shows last weekend, there was a very real suggestion that this match may not be going ahead but – as I type – it appears that we’re now going to get this Wrestlemania re-match.
I enjoyed their Wrestlemania match and Sasha arguably is WWE’s best and most proven “big match worker”. Sasha regaining the title here at a big show like Summerslam wouldn’t be surprising at all (the very close odds suggest that bookies are split on this) but I think that the (slight favourite) Belair will win this one.
The Four Horsewomen are all fairly untouchable, but I think there’s a commonly held understanding that bringing up the “next level” (which would include someone like Belair) needs to a sensible step. Bianca winning here – to add to the Wrestlemania win – will be a real boost for Belair’s longer term position as a Headline performer. I think there’s still some real growth that Bianca can deliver in-ring and these are the sort of matches to help with this (both how she is in-ring and also her perception on the roster). The sensible move is to retain and that’s what I’m going with her.
Prediction: Bianca Belair Retains
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
I think that this is a really tough one to call – and the bookies are agreeing. Both Rollins and Edge really could do with a win here and you’ll get fairly short odds on each performer. Edge is the favourite with very short odds of 1/3 and Seth is 2/1, but I think Rollins could win this one.
The only previous in-ring meeting for these two is in the last two Royal Rumbles (the latter of which was obviously won by Edge) so it will be interesting to see how they play out in-ring. Edge has shown throughout his career that he can “turn it on” with a variety of performers and I think that both could do with the win, Rollins in particular *really* needs a great in-ring showing.
It wouldn’t shock me if they go again with this match at the next PPV; partly because WWE can’t do anything good without trying to replicate it fifty times again, but also because I think it’s a good way to keep (both) away from the World Title picture (Edge because we’ve done Reigns/Edge and Rollins because of it wouldn’t make sense yet). For me, Rollins wins here and Edge wins later… and at 2/1, Seth’s not a bad bet.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
WWE US Title
Sheamus (c) vs. Damian Priest
I’ve said on previous write-ups that I think Sheamus has been one of the highlights of the “Thunderdome Era” and it should be acknowledged he’s done a good job in building a US Title reign which has boosted that belt’s relevancy. But – much like the bookies – I think this 130+ day reign comes to an end here.
The 6’5” Hispanic Damian Priest feels to be someone the WWE is going to be getting behind in their “no more midgets” forthcoming era and he acquitted himself well on a high profile stage at ‘Mania. I’m not entirely sure why he’s seemingly done nothing in the following few months, but hopefully a big win here will help reset that momentum which Priest had pre-Mania.
For me, a Priest win feels an obvious point but (in a rather strange preview where I’m seemingly disagreeing with the bookies on everything) Sheamus is still getting quite short odds to retain. Priest *is* the favourite at 2/5 but Sheamo’s odds are still fairly short at 13/8. Regardless though, I’m sticking with the favourite here.
Prediction: Damien Priest Wins
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
This match comes with a foreshadowing stipulation that Mahal’s flunkeys – Veer & Shanky – being banned from ringside (but McIntyre can bring his sword called Angela). Being heels, it’s always possible that they could just – you know – ignore the stipulation entirely. But we could also have some nonsense where Shanky’s Indus Sher tag partner (Saurav) makes his return to the WWE makes his return to aid Mahal.
The biggest problem is suggesting that McIntyre’s MASSIVE BLOODY SWORD will play a part in the end of the match. It’s a common problem in wrestling with impractical props. From Beefcake’s Garden Shears, to Jimmy Havoc brining a literal Ax to the ring – how do you build you character around having a weapon of choice that they *literally* can’t use without murdering someone? It’s a miracle that HHH made a sledgehammer plausible really… and Drew won’t be able to do that with the sword.
The odds-makers are suggesting that this will be shenanigan free as they’ve got McIntyre as the heavy favourite (1/6) with Mahal at 10/3 which is strange as the stipulations are built towards a Mahal win. I also think that the history of the two men means that Drew could (legit) see how a Mahal win (however tainted) will do more for Jinder than it’ll hurt Drew. The general rule is don’t bet against the bookies for these shows, but it’s another one where a small bet could pay off.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal Wins
Eva Marie vs. Alexa Bliss
Eva Marie debuted with WWE in 2013. I’m pretty sure that this is her first ever single’s match on PPV. Hmm…
Given that this PPV doesn’t feature King Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, New Day, Jeff Hardy, Keith Lee, Mustafa Ali, Ricochet, Asuka, Apollo Crews, Finn Balor, Toni Storm or WALTER one has to think this match has something to prove.
The cliché is that a wrestling show is like a circus – every match should offer something different. This match will offer something – I’m pretty sure that it will be short and probably involving SPOOKY MAGIC.
Maybe Doudrop turns into a Zombie. Maybe Eva Marie pins herself. Perhaps Doudrop turns into a Viper.
It’s another match where can see a logical (with the loosest interpretation of the word there) result for either performer winning. I’m going to agree with the bookies here that Bliss wins (1/4 as a favourite against Eva Marie at 5/2) as I think Bliss will soon enough be back in the title picture, but it could go either way. BECAUSE OF SPOOKINESS.
Prediction: Alexa Bliss Wins
RAW Tag Team Title
AJ Styles and Omos (c) vs. RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle)
Matt Riddle & Randy Orton) are the favourites to win this one (the bookies have them at 2/5) which seem surprisingly short odds given that one of the team mates hit the other with a RKO the previous week. But, hey, WWE Logic. Something about wanting to toughen him up, yeah? The UFC fighter? Yeah. Ok.
AJ & Omos are fairly short odds at 13/8 so whilst being the outside bet, they shouldn’t be ruled out. I also think that they’re a good bet here – Omos is very new to all of this and is well served in a Tag Team (especially with someone as experienced as Styles), whereas Riddle/Orton naturally feels like a temporary team to assist a feud – so why not do that?
Orton costing Riddle the win here feels obvious; Riddle costing Orton would be a different twist – especially if it leads to Riddle then moving up the card a little bit. But either way I think that AJ / Omos keep the belts for a little more here.
Prediction: AJ Styles & Omos Win