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Countdown to SummerSlam 2007
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Welcome to SummerSlam, arguably the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year for World Wrestling Entertainment.

Yes, in the new age of WWE, where PPVs happen as frequently as a Barry Bonds home run, there is still a certain je ne sais quoi about 'Slam that makes it feel so unique. Tonight, all of the world titles are on the line, while two major returns take place. It should be an interesting show, to say the very least. Let's get right to the action.

 
MAIN EVENT: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

John Cena vs. Randy Orton
 

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Cena can usually pull out good matches out of anyone, even stiffs like Khali. So with someone like Orton, who has talent, this should be the easy match of the night. I'm not a huge fan of RKO, as I think he's pretty boring both in and out of the ring, but apparently someone likes him, given the mega-push he's been getting lately. That continues with a title win tonight.

Matt Mackinder

Cena has been on a roll for nearly a year, but his reign ends here at Summerslam. Orton has been gold in the ring lately and WWE has really built him up as a monster freaking heel with all the "legend killing". Orton takes the title here cleanly and when he does, I'm willing to bet he gets quite a few cheers. I've always thought a heel champ goes over better because the fans want to see who will speedbag him next. Orton fits the bill.

Jon Waldman

For a match that had years of hype and anticipation as a dream match between the two future leaders of WWE, there seems to be a certain lack of excitement going in here. Part of that can be attributed to the odd booking pattern with Orton, who was on a major hot streak with putting legends down for the count, then suddenly took a back seat in the feud to Carlito, then Vince McMahon. Orton is most definitely the best heel in WWE right now, with Edge on the shelf, so it becaome a question of whether they'll put the belt on him, thus making Khali and John Morrison look weaker by comparison. My gut tells me that Orton will end up taking the title, probably with some Vince-led shenanigans, which leads to Cena being concussed by Orton, put on the shelf for a couple months, then get the hot return at Survivor Series.

Andy McNamara

I have loved the build of the Legend Killer gimmick of Orton, and I believe presents a real threat in the fans eyes to Cena's title. A short heel title reign by Orton could spice things up a bit, but who knows if Orton is still in the WWE doghouse for his past behaviour. That's why Cena retains and it's on to the next contender.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH

The Great Khali vs. Batista

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Did you see my previous comments about Cena? The opposite applies here with respect to Batista. He wins though, since he's arguably the better of the two.

Matt Mackinder

Khali has no business being a wrestler and a champion at that. I like that he now uses the claw as a finisher instead of that choke bomb move, but the guy is clueless as a wrestler. There is nothing special or unique about him. Even his translator is dull. How Batista wins, I have no idea, but I see the title changing hands and soon going back to The Undertaker. Just a hunch.

Jon Waldman

A couple months ago, going into the Bash, I asked a question in my preview: "One question - why Batista? Has he not fumbled the ball enough times?" I ask the question again now. I don't see that the big man has done anything to get YET ANOTHER title shot. What's this; three, four consecutive PPVs with Batista getting a title shot? Even the most far-fetched suspension of belief says that he doesn't deserve another opportunity. It would be like Gabriel Gonzaga being Randy Couture's opponent through mid-2008. Let's cut the BS right now - if you're not wearing the belt, you do not headline for a half a year. It's as simple as that. Of course, by WWE logic, Khali wins, due to some sort of shenanigans, then has the blow-off match next PPV, probably in the Punjabi Prison.

Andy McNamara
Wow, this one will be absolutely terrible. Hopefully it is kept short, but somehow I doubt it. None of these guys should be world champion and it's a real shame that Edge had to get injured. I'm picking a DQ finish to have the feud carry on into September.


  ECW TITLE MATCH

John Morrison vs. CM Punk
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This match will show whether WWE listens to its fans or not. With ECW a lame duck brand, they really need to do something to peak peoples' interests. What better way than to give the belt to Punk, who is one of the most popular guys on any show. I think they'll do it... they can always screw it up on Tuesday night and kick off his next feud with Big Daddy V; but at least they'll get it right for one night.

Matt Mackinder

In my eyes, this match could steal the show. These two youngsters have awesome in-ring chemistry and it shows in their matches week after week on Tuesday nights. I see Punk as a world champion eventually and he may win it here, but I'm sticking with my gut and going with Morrison keeping the title and starting a new feud, maybe with a fellow heel. Elijah Burke? ECW is the redheaded step-child of WWE, so it wouldn't shock me to see this match jerk the curtain.

Jon Waldman

Let's call this the RVD epidemic. Punk comes in from one of the "big three" (in this case it's RoH), gets over instantly, gets the rub from being associated in a major match with some of the companies biggest home-grown stars, then gets defeated and shuffled down the card until the fans don't care as much. Unlike RVD though, Punk is in a position where WWE needs him to be strong, to face a barrage of heel contenders, including Big Daddy V and Elijah Burke. In this match, Punk breaks on through to the other side and takes the gold.

Andy McNamara
Punk has tried time and time again for the ECW strap so logically this should be his win. However, Morrison seems to be over with the WWE staff backstage. This match could go either way, and I am going to go with an uncertain slosh finish to set up an extreme rules bout to settle the score in the fall.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Triple H vs. King Booker - If you think Booker has a chance to win, you must have stumbled onto this page by accident.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero -
If you think Chavo has a chance to win, you must have stumbled onto this page by accident.
Umaga vs. Carlito vs. Mr. Kennedy (Intercontinental Title) -
Umaga flattens Carlito, but Kennedy scrambles in for the win, setting up a feud between the two. Carlito? Back to the mid-card for you - you're not cool.
Diva Battle Royal -
Woo hoo! Me and all the pervs watching at home win. Beth Phoenix wins the match.
Kane vs. Finlay -
A mini-Kane would be kind of funny, no? Finlay wins.

Matt Mackinder

Triple H vs. King Booker - Booker wins.Yeah right. HHH makes a triumphant return.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero -
See my HHH-Booker prediction. Rey gets a huge pop and then pops Chavito.
Umaga vs. Carlito vs. Mr. Kennedy (Intercontinental Title) -
Kennedy tastes I-C gold as he uses his conniving ways to beat Umaga and Carlito, probably pinning Carlito.
Diva Battle Royal -
Um, do I care? The name I drew out of a hat is … Beth Phoenix.
Kane vs. Finlay -
Wasn't Kane supposed to get time off? Finlay pulls the upset and shillelaghs Kane into a stint on the DL.

Jon Waldman

Triple H vs. King Booker - It's sad that a great build for King Booker will get killed tonight by Trippy. I'd almost suspect shenanigans here to continue the battle. I'll take Triple H by DQ.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero -
The question here is whether this is a pit stop for Rey en-route to the title. My guess is the feud goes beyond this match, with Rey getting DQ'd for excessive violence.
Umaga vs. Carlito vs. Mr. Kennedy (Intercontinental Title) -
The match between Kennedy and Carlito was simply amazing on Monday, which leads me to believe we'll see more between the two. I'm betting Carlito sneaks out the win, because that's cool.
Diva Battle Royal -
It's gotta be Beth Phoenix going over here no questions asked.
Kane vs. Finlay -
Fit has all the tools to be a title contender, and he gets further solidified by going over the Big Red Monster.

Andy McNamara

Triple H vs. King Booker - King Booker is my favourite part of Raw, and the king gimmick is working out great. HHH returning means a big win for The King of Kings.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero -
Interesting to see if Rey has lost a step with his time off. Unfortunately his return has been lost in the shuffle to HHH, but regardless it will be Mysterio triumphant in his comeback.
Umaga vs. Carlito vs. Mr. Kennedy (Intercontinental Title) -
Carlito will not win, but the company seems to be solidly behind both Umaga and Kennedy. I think Umaga wins after Carlito and Kennedy cost each other I.C. belt.
Diva Battle Royal -
Kind of a pick 'em, but Beth Phoenix has been put over as of late so I'm going with her.
Kane vs. Finlay -
One great worker vs. a below average one. Kane over comes the cheating ways of the Irishman to get the victory.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman