It's an event steeped in history - lots of classic Bret Hart matches, lots of Undertaker crazy story lines, and more recently lots of decent matches involving multiple competitors for the big titles.
This year might be a return to form for the summer classic, as we've got several matches I'm excited about, if they are given the proper screen time.
Gorgeous Glen (GG): It's true, I think that this is shaping up to be a decent card from top to bottom. While it is incredibly unfortunate that one of the matches I was looking most forward to, MVP vs. Matt Hardy, was recently axed due to health reasons, the bright side is that it will give more time to the other matches. Of the remaining matches, I think that I am most looking forward to the return of one of my favourite competitors, the diminutive Rey Mysterio. He goes one on one with the man who put him out of action last fall, Chavo Guerrerro. I expect this match to be the usual great stuff between these two, with some intense wall-to-wall action. As for the outcome, I leave little doubt that Rey-Rey will come out on top in clean fashion.
TT: Absolutely, you've got to like the junior Mysterio's chances coming back to action with a big win over his rival.
Another match that I think will be short but action-packed will be the match for the ECW Championship. The recently rechristened John Morrison squares off against the straight-edged CM Punk in what I'm sure will be a classic encounter. While the ECW brand still seems to be struggling to find its own way, solid matches such as this one will help it on its course. Less Boogeyman and Viscera in favour of these talented youngsters can only help the product. As for an outcome, I predict Door's front man lookalike John Morrison will retain - mostly because I think both other big titles will be changing hands tonight.
GG: Well Tenacious One, we begin our disagreements here. I think that we will begin the Straight Edge Era tonight at Summerslam when CM Punk finally gets a big W over Morrison. He has dropped contests at the last two PPV's to the former Johnny Nitro (former Johnny Blaze, former Johnny Spade, former Johnny from Tough Enough) and it is high time that they pass the gold around. CM Punk has been amazing during his ECW run and has been one of the few consistently entertaining members of the roster. I see this feud stretching out for a few months with a big Gimmick Match coming in a month or two.
Also tonight, we will be seeing a battle of two tough veterans as Finlay and Kane go one on one. I've long been fans of these two men, and this has potential to be an entertainning brawl between the two big men. Both men appear directionless on Smackdown, so this feud should continue for another month. As a result, I see Finlay winning after some shenanigans involving Hornswoggle, Jamie Noble and a shillelagh.
TT: I kind of wish this match were under hardcore rules, but thankfully both men are gifted brawlers and should entertain regardless. It's true that both men are drifting, and sadly a cruiserweight champion Leprechaun friend isn't going to save matters. I'll side with the former Fit Finlay on this one as well.
Speaking of drifting and directionless, there's a diva's battle royal tonight. I care so little about the divas and their wrestling that I'm not making a prediction. Chances are it won't be someone who can actually wrestle (Victoria, Melina) but rather someone about to pose for playboy or be cast on a reality TV show. Hopefully this will be quick and painless and the winner will defeat the current champion, Candice Michelle, to get the strap off of RAW and onto another brand.
GG: Yeah this is pretty lame, not only will this be bad, but a #1 Contenders Match on a Big 4 PPV? LAME!!!! I'm going to go with Beth Phoneix getting the W and the push that she was going to receive a year ago before she got hurt right out of the gate.In an actual title match, we have newly face turned Umaga defending his Intercontinental Title against Mr. Kennedy...Kennedy and Carlito. I'm sort of torn on this one to be honest, usually in thrown together multi-man matches you take the champ, but I have a feeling that Mr. Kennedy will pull this one out by pinning Carlito through nefarious means (...Kennedy). This will help set Kennedy....Kennedy up for his monster push and give the IC Title some much-needed direction (there's that word again...) in the process.
TT: As much as I'd like to see Carlito win this one, I think they need to major work on rebuilding his character before he can be a champ again. The Umaga face turn makes no sense - his character can't speak English and he's a savage - how does he know good from bad? Ridiculous. Look for Kennedy to win and continue his ascent when he is revealed to be Vincent (Kennedy) McMahon's son.
On to another man who can't speak English - World Champion The Great Khali is in action tonight defending the strap against big Dave Batista. The Khali experiment, while initially fun, has certainly been a failure. No one likes a big man forced down your throat (right ladies?). Batista will regain the title, only to lose it to a returning Edge (who will in turn drop it to a retiring Flair). Khali, should he perform tonight, may be rewarded with a big PPV loss to the eventually returning Undertaker (once he squashes Mark Henry, Big Daddy V, etc). Regardless, this won't be a good night for Punjabi giants across the globe...
GG: This is the match that I am having the most trouble predicting to be honest. While I am certain that Batista will be the one to take the giant, I have a funny feeling that it won't be tonight. Word on the street is that they are planning a Punjabi Prison match for Unforgiven, so I have a feeling that will be Khali's rematch for the title. But on the other hand, Batista came off as dominant at the end of Smackdown, which is usually the kiss of death heading into a Big 4 PPV....I'm going to say Batista wins only to drop it to Edge in November or so before Edge drops it to Taker at Mania.
Perhaps the most hyped match is the "King of Kings" match between Triple H and King Booker. I really hope that this feud continues for more than just one match since it would really hurt King Booker. That being said, I don't see anyway that Triple H would loose his first match back in 8 months. H will win but the feud will somehow continue for a few months.
TT: Absolutely, no other way for this one to go down. Booker's character is excellent as of late and I love how he calls people by made up, longer, names, ie. Jerome Lawler, Tazzwell, etc. Great stuff. So while Conan asserts himself as king, we have our final match of the night...
SummerSlam has been both cruel and kind to Randy Orton - he won the belt from Benoit at this card, but he was also jobbed out to Hulk Hogan. Tonight is going to be his night, though, and he will beat John Cena to become WWE Champion. It's no secret I'm a huge Orton fan, but its not just my blind faith that directs my prediction. Orton is on a roll as of late and his character has been built up to the right level to become champ once more. Hopefully he'll have a decent run before losing it to HHH. Cena keeps getting booed and though he sells lots of merch to kids, it's time to let the youngster have a run. Interesting to note how Orton is sometimes cheered now in his segments with Cena. Look for Orton to win in a most brutal or evil fashion, cementing his top heel status.
GG: I both agree and disagree on this one. First off, I think that Orton will be the man to take the title off of Cena before eventually dropping it to H, but I just don't see it happening tonight. The main reason that I say that is because Cena's current title run will have a one year anniversary as of next month. I think that it would be fitting of Orton to kill Cena's "Legendary" run when it reaches a full 12 months, it just seems somehow more fitting to me. So while I have predicted the other two World Titles to change hands, I've got to say that this one will stay with the Doctor of Thuganomics for tonight.
And that concludes our SummerSlam Preview Edition of Heal Heat, Travis my friend/nemesis, do you have any closing thoughts to share with the blogosphere?
TT: Just that I hope that this post-Benoit tragedy PPV manages to return wrestling to the fun piece of entertainment it once was. There are some solid matches lined up for tonight and WWE seems to be grooming some new starts in people like CM Punk and Mr. Kennedy. Lets hope they can get some traction off of this show and build for a positive fall season. All the best to you Gorgeous Glen and all the Glenamaniacs. Until next time, I'm Tenacious Trav.
GG: I'm just going to sign off with this amazing trailer for the Main Event which I found on YouTube...WWE should seriously consider hiring this guy.
Until next time,