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   Mon, April 11, 2011



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Countdown to SummerSlam
By SLAM! Wrestling staff



The summer's hottest wrestling card, year-in and year-out, has been WWE's SummerSlam pay-per-view.

Tonight, we get the latest installment of the August tradition, in a card that seemingly has some intrigue and some "no-brainer" matches. All three world titles are on the line, plus two more straps (albeit in one match) and a few grudge feuds that should draw good ratings.

Let's check out the card.


GRUDGE MATCH (HELL IN A CALL)

Undertaker vs. Edge

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

The storyline leading up to this match has been fantastic, so it's unfortunate that it will all end with an Undertaker victory. Come on - you seriously think 'Taker is going to lay down in his "big return"? Forget it. The key here will be the story Edge will be allowed to tell - if he can bloody the Dead Man and leave him barely able to win, then Edge stays strong. I'm guessing, though, that La Familia gets their revenge, costing Edge the bout. Let's just hope that Ryder and Hawkins don't become the Acolytes v.2.0.

Mark Xamin

You can't bet against 'Taker in this one. Edge is the greatest heel on the planet right now and a win here would turn him from a main eventer into a glorified elite, almost a modern day Shawn Michaels. But this is Undertaker's 73897928th return angle and there's just no way he loses this match. Unfortunately, the Dead Man destroys Edge.

Matt Mackinder

An all-out bloodbath that ends when Paul Bearer and Isaac Yankem make their return and distract Undertaker enough to get hit by a spear by Edge for the win.


 
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Triple H vs. Great Khali
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

The obvious thought here is that Triple H retains, but I'm going to go against the grain and say that Khali gets the duke. Triple H as a babyface is better in the chaser role, so it would make better booking sense. Plus, he will need another reign to get closer to Flair's record.

Mark Xamin

Seriously, Khali is still main eventing? Give me a break, already. Triple H all the way. He'll slay the giant, probably clobber him with a sledge hammer, and hopefully move on to a nice lengthy feud with Edge.

Matt Mackinder

Triple H wins by forfeit when it's announced before the match that Khali is the latest wrestler to be released. Too bad it's about two years too late.


WORLD TITLE MATCH

CM Punk vs. JBL

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This one's a tough call, but I have to go with CM Punk. As much as we don't want to admit it, Punk's title reign won't make it to Survivor Series, and it's inevitable that WWE pulls the plug on it sooner or later. Transitioning the belt to JBL means that any number of babyfaces can chase the belt, so that may be the direction WWE takes. My feeling is though that WWE is going to legitimize Punk's reign by giving him the victory here and at one more PPV before he drops it, perhaps to Chris Jericho.

Mark Xamin

Punk all the way. JBL just doesn't have the heat he once had. His 15 minutes are up. CM Punk is on his way up, JBL is on his way down, so it only makes sense that the Straight Edge Superstar holds onto the strap.

Matt Mackinder

This is really a handicap match as Punk has to contend with JBL and his giggly man-boobs. A screwy finish here has Punk keep the title when it's ruled JBL's man-boobs tapped out and not JBL himself, who is the only one eligible to win or lose the match.


  ECW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This is another hard one to call. The logical step is giving Matt the belt, his first world title, but at the same time Mark Henry is proving to be an entertaining champ. The best thing for this match would be a screwy finish, which is highly possible with Tony Atlas at ringside.

Mark Xamin

Matt Hardy wins the gold, if for no other reason than the fact that this is one of the "big four" PPVs and neither Trips nor the Punker are going to drop their titles, so there needs to be at least one switch. Hardy has had a loyal cult following for years and let's face it, Mark Henry is an abomination in the ring, so for the sake of all that is good and holy in this world, Matt Hardy has to win... right?

Matt Mackinder

Is winning the WWECW Tuesday Night Velocity title really an achievement? The belt is silver for God's sake. If I were Hardy, I would want the stipulation that Henry not oil himself up before the match and if Hardy wins, he gets to go back to Smackdown.


 

GRUDGE MATCH
John Cena vs. Dave Batista



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I agree wholeheartedly with Batista's comments [See Batista holds court in Montreal] about the lack of build for this match. While this isn't quite Hogan and Warrior, it still deserves the biggest crowd of the year, not the biggest crowd of the season. You get the feeling that this is just the first chapter in this feud, with one of these guys turning heel. My vote would be Batista in this case, and he'll likely show this by winning after some no-goodness.

Mark Xamin

What a total waste of a dream match. This could have been built over the year and culminated at WrestleMania 25. Instead, it's been given a month of below average hype and will likely end in some sort of double countout or something along those lines. I predict a draw.

Matt Mackinder

The battle of the garden hose veins. The loser of this match is subject to a public urine test in the ring after the match and, remarkably, will be shown to be drug-free. Maybe this Scott Goldman character interferes.


 

GRUDGE MATCH
Jeff Hardy vs. MVP

 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This will be the match of the night, almost by default. I've really enjoyed this storyline and I hope it carries over for another match or two. In order for that to happen, MVP has to win here, and given the amount of faces likely to win tonight, this should be his bout.

Mark Xamin

I'm going with MVP, who should be main eventing within the next couple of years...that's more than I can say for Jeff Hardy, who is one positive drug test away from being banished from the WWE. This is an absolutely solid match though and MVP will likely win via heel tactics.

Matt Mackinder

The only match on the card that has the potential to be an actual wrestling match. I know for some that's tough to take, but Hardy wins it and gets the biggest ovation of the night. MVP goes back to the mid-card.


 

DOUBLE TITLE MATCH (Winners Take All)
Santino Marella vs. Beth Phoenix

 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

The build between Santino and Beth has been awesome, but Kofi is an obvious throw-in and the Mickie feud has run its course. As great as Mickie is as champ, she needs a new heel to work with and a Loser Leaves Raw match would be seemingly be in order. In any case though, the heels win here, taking both belts. The question is, though, who gets which...

Mark Xamin

Marella and Phoenix take it all. This should be a fantastically entertaining bout though, and it could really go either way. I just think heel champions draw better, and there are too many babyface champions these days.

Matt Mackinder

Boy, the writers came up with a brilliant match here, eh? Kind of sad when the only people in this match championship-worthy are the ladies. Mickie and Ghana's finest keep their titles and Santino "Joey" Marella keeps his sick-tough mustache.


 

GRUDGE MATCH (Shawn Michaels Career Status Match)
Career-ending Injury vs. Lost Smile

 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Is anyone buying this garbage? We know Shawn isn't retiring, and we know he's going to be back at full speed in a matter of weeks. I'm guessing this is the build to a loser must retire match at the Survivor Series. The only question here is to what extent Jericho appears. I'm guessing Shawn announces a comeback only to be beaten down again tonight, leading to training for what could be his last match in the aforementioned fantasy booking.

Mark Xamin

What, has he lost his smile again? Maybe they'll give him the Flair treatment and the next time he loses a match he'll be forced into retirement. Seriously though, folks...is HBK's career over? He's been asking for time off for nearly two years now. I can't imagine him walking out under the current angle. He'll need his revenge on Jericho first. My guess is he starts to announce his retirement, but is interrupted by Jericho, and instead he agrees to one last match at the next PPV.

Matt Mackinder

Not only has he lost his smile and his drawers when he posed for Playgirl, but now, Shawn is blind and can no longer subject himself to watching WWE, a product once known for excitement and entertainment, but one now that is run by a 60-year-old bitter old man with no clue about modern-day society.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman