Summerslam 2023 Preview
We’re up to one of the biggest events on the WWE calendar as it’s another stadium show in Detroit. As has been the case in Summerslams of yore, there isn’t one match that really stands above the others. Odds are Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso for the WWE Universal Title will headline, but there is at least one other option, which makes for a top heavy show. Let’s get to it.
Logan Paul vs. Ricochet
We’ll start with a match that is here to be a spectacle and nothing more. You have a pair of athletic marvels here and those are the kind of stars who can put on one heck of a showcase if given the chance. That is what they are going to get here, and the fact that Paul has done so well so far in his WWE career has me interested in seeing what they can put together here.
As much as I’d like to see Ricochet win, this one almost has to go to Paul. He hasn’t won a singles match since last Summerslam and that is going to have to change soon. Ricochet is a name but he isn’t someone with some kind of perfect resume that would be crushed with a loss. This is going to be all about putting together a highlight reel and if they don’t get too crazy, this should be a blast with Paul winning in the end.
Shayna Baszler vs. Ronda Rousey
This is under MMA rules, though we still don’t exactly know what that means. The interesting thing here is that Rousey is likely done with WWE in the near future, which should give you a good idea of where this is going. The hype for this video has done a great job of humanizing Baszler and that could make things a lot better for her going forward. You know, because she’ll be around.
I’ll go with Baszler here, as there is no reason to put Rousey over if she is on her way out of the company. It would be nice to have Baszler finally get a big win and then hopefully move into the title picture. The rules should make things a bit more interesting, but at the end of the day, this needs to be Baszler getting the biggest win of her career, which is long overdue to say the least.
Raw World Title: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Finn Balor
This one has me more interested than I would have expected and that is due to a mixture of Balor and Damian Priest. While Balor winning the title is not out of the question, WWE has set up the idea of Priest cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase. While that is regularly done without going anywhere, it would be great to pull the trigger on the thing and get rid of it. But what happens with the title?
I think I’ll actually take Balor to win the title here, as WWE has built him up as a big enough threat to become champion that he almost has to win it here. That being said, I don’t think Priest cashes in here, but I do think he’ll do it soon. Either Balor or Priest feels destined to turn face soon and Balor winning the title would be a big step there if done in a certain way. Rollins very well may leave with the title, but Balor feels like the right move here.
Slim Jim Battle Royal
Now this one is extra tricky because we only know about half of the twenty five entrants. That means there is always the chance of a surprise entrant taking the whole thing, but for now we’ll have to settle on twelve entrants. There hasn’t been a ton of focus on this match, but that is kind of how a battle royal has to go most of the time. One name in particular stands out, though it wouldn’t stun me to see WWE go another way.
In my prediction sure to go wrong, I have a feeling that instead of LA Knight winning, as would make sense, Grayson Waller gets the nod instead. It would be very WWE to have him pick up the surprise win and then brag about it forever, even if Knight needs the win a lot more than anyone else right now. Knight being eliminated from a battle royal isn’t some death knell, but Waller winning would be a huge boost for him. I hope I’m wrong, but Waller winning feels like a real possibility.
Intercontinental Title: Gunther(c) vs. Drew McIntyre
This one has some extra weight to it, as Gunther winning could almost guarantee that he breaks Honky Tonk Man’s all time record for longest title reign (about five weeks away). McIntyre is probably the last big name standing to try to prevent him from braking the record and it would absolutely not be out of the question to see the title change hands here. I’m just not sure it’s going to.
It’s kind of hard to imagine WWE getting this close to Honky Tonk Man’s record and then just hitting the breaks a little over a month out. While it’s weird to think that McIntyre came back to lose in his first major match, that makes more sense here as Gunther can retain and move on into September to take the all time record. This should be a very hard hitting fight, but Gunther retains. I think. As he should. I think.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Asuka(c) vs. Charlotte vs. Bianca Belair
This is a match that got a lot more attention on Smackdown and that is a good thing. The build for this has been a bit all over the place, but the gist of the whole thing has been that everyone wants the title and to be the best. That is how wrestling is supposed to work and in that sense, it has gone rather well. In the other sense, it is a match that could go in any direction, which is always a good thing. The fact that I have almost no idea who leaves with the title makes it that much better.
I think I’ll actually go with Asuka to retain here, in an overdue win. Charlotte winning the title would be the most cliched result imaginable, which means it is a rather strong possibility. Belair winning would make sense given that she has been more aggressive as of late, which would make a title win all the more logical. That leaves Asuka, who would seem likely to lose, but by WWE logic, I’ll take her winning and retaining. Makes sense right?
Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes
It’s the rubber match between these two and oddly enough there is no stipulation. This match has felt like it needed to be something violent so the two of them could go to war, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the rules lightened up at last a little bit. Either way, it should be a heck of a test for Rhodes, who needs another big win to get him back to the main event scene.
I can’t picture a result where this goes to Lesnar so I’ll take Rhodes instead. It makes all the sense in the world for Rhodes to win here, as Lesnar is likely going away again until Wrestlemania season. Rhodes on the other hand could very well be back in the World Title picture after a win. Give this one to Rhodes and let him get the boost, which seems to be the entire point of the feud (not a bad idea at all).
Smackdown World Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Jey Uso
This is Tribal Combat, which seems to mean Street Fight. It’s also the latest big step in the Bloodline Saga, and in this case, you can all but guarantee that Jimmy Uso is going to return here. That makes the question what Jimmy does and how it will impact the ending, as you almost have to imagine it going in that direction. At the same time though, there is another direction that is hard to fathom as well.
No matter what though, I can’t imagine Jey wins the title here. It is just hard to imagine him actually winning the title, no matter what story is being told. It’s going to be a heck off a fight with both of them working and he weapons evening things out a bit but this it Reigns and I don’t think that will be the biggest surprise. Jey has been playing with the house’s money for a long time now and he will do it again here, even as he loses.
The more I look at this card, the more interested I am in seeing the show. There are a lot of matches on the card that have me curious and that is a nice feeling to have. There is a little bit of everything on the show and that should make for a good Summerslam. The show has an up and down history over the years but there is a real chance that this show brings the quality.
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