On Sunday, August 19th, the WWE is hosting their annual summertime wrestling bash – SummerSlam. This event will be live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The SummerSlam Kickoff Show will most likely start at 5 PM ET on the WWE Network and is scheduled to air at least 3 matches. The Main Card of the night will begin at 7 PM ET and feature 10 matches with a few other entertaining segments including the musical performance by Elias.
If you prefer to skip the entire analysis above, here are some quick SummerSlambetting tips:
Headlock of the Night (Guaranteed to win)
Ronda Rousey (-600) is the lock of the night. There’s no way she leaves Brooklyn without the RAW women’s title.
Who offers the best SummerSlam betting value?
Daniel Bryan at -105 offers near-even money. It’s crazy that he’s not the favorite in this match.
Which SummerSlam Underdog will win?
I believe Kevin Owens is the biggest underdog that could win, but I’m putting my money on Samoa Joe (+150) to be the underdog that definitely wins. I love AJ Styles, but dropping the belt to Joe now will only serve to make this feud even better over the long run.
SummerSlam 2018 Odds
- Drew Gulak (-110)
- The B-Team (-270)
- Rusev and Lana (+145)
- Bludgeon Brothers (-140)
- Finn Balor (-175)
- Kevin Owens (+200)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (-300)
- Seth Rollins (-300)
- Becky Lynch (+160)
- Daniel Bryan -105
- Ronda Rousey (-600)
- Samoa Joe (+150)
- Roman Reigns (-250)
With 13 announced matches, this event has a WrestleMania type feel and duration to it. All of the WWE’s championship belts are on the line and most of the company’s biggest stars will be on the show. Of those stars, none bring in more mainstream attention than Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey. The two former UFC champions are heavily involved in this event and I expect them to be two of the final three matches of the night.
In addition to Lesnar and Rousey, we also have an exciting match between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. These two will tear the house down and could be an “instant classic.” The Intercontinental Title match could steal the show and the Daniel Bryan – The Miz feud will be coming to a head with years of drama ready to be explored inside the ring.
I expect SummerSlam 2018 to be a solid show and I believe the WWE will deliver on the card’s potential. Before I get into the predictions, I would like to send my condolences out to the family of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart as the former tag-team champion passed away earlier this week.
Without any further delay, here’s the announced 2018 SummerSlam event card with betting odds courtesy of BetOnline:
WWE SummerSlam Kickoff Show Betting Odds
The following matches have been confirmed to air on the Summer Slam Kickoff Show beginning at 7PM ET:
Cruiserweight Championship: (c) Cedric Alexander (-130) vs Drew Gulak (-110)
If you are looking for a compelling in-ring storyline and plenty of action inside the squared circle then this Cruiserweight title match is definitely the appetizer that you are craving for. There will be Main Card matches that should exceed this match, but these two wrestlers will set the bar for the rest of the night. And, they will definitely steal the Kickoff Show.
Cedric Alexander has been “the man” on 205 Live as he’s helped to elevate the renewed show. With better storylines and talent that fans are connecting with, the 205 Live show is no longer just a bathroom break. With that said, Gulak has undergone an entertaining transformation with his character. He’s been an exciting cruiserweight wrestler to watch and invest in. He’s a favorite in this match for a reason because he’s earned it with his refocused gimmick.
I expect this to be a great match between two wrestlers with contrasting, yet complementary styles. Alexander will want to fly across the ring, while Gulak will try to catch any of Cedric’s limbs in mid-air and lock on a submission. Whether it happens or not, I like Gulak and I want him to win this match.
RAW Tag Team Championship: The B-Team (-270) vs The Revival (+190)
This match’s odds are courtesy of 5Dimes. In all honesty, as much as I like Axel and Dallas, the WWE needs to put the titles on a credible tag-team that will elevate the division. That’s not The B-Team, that’s The Revival.
Dawson and Wilder are two of the finest tag-team workers in the company today. Their old-school aura adds to their overall in-ring skills both as individuals and collectively as a team. The B-Team was a nice story while it lasted, but it has lasted too long now. There’s a reason why they’re on the Kickoff Show, it’s because the WWE views them as comedy relief. However, if The Revival had the belts, there’s no more room for comedy.
If the WWE wants to make their tag-team division on RAW seem as credible as SmackDown’s then they need to put the belts on The Revival. Unfortunately, they won’t. As much as I want The Revival to win, I believe the WWE will keep the belts on The B-Team a bit longer. I mean, they just won a triple threat match against The Revival and the former tag-team champs. Why would the WWE do that, just to have them lose the belts at SummerSlam?
Rusev and Lana (+145) vs Almas and Zelina Vega (-185)
Like the match above, the following odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It wasn’t that long ago that Rusev was in the main event for the WWE world title against AJ Styles. Now, he’s on the Kickoff Show in an irrelevant mixed-tag team match. It actually depresses me to write about Rusev’s current storyline.
The WWE has no clue or doesn’t care about what to really do with Rusev. They just continue to throw him anywhere on the card. It’s sad considering how talented Rusev is and how much the WWE Universe loves him. One of two things will happen in this match: either Aiden English comes out and helps Rusev win or he causes Rusev to lose and sets up a feud between the two, which is also meaningless and serves no purpose.
Either outcome is meaningless. Here’s hoping that Rusev and Lana get the win at SummerSlam.
WWE SummerSlam Main Card Betting Odds
The following matches will be on the Main Card portion of SummerSlam 2018:
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: (c) Bludgeon Brothers (-140) vs New Day (+100)
The Bludgeon Brothers won the tag-titles at WrestleMania and they’ve been unstoppable ever since then. Rowan and Harper have brought some legitimacy back to these belts, which is more than I can say for the RAW tag titles.
The New Day was actually in the match at WM where Rowan and Harper won the belts. Since then, the entertaining trio have gone through several different feuds before winning a tag-team tournament to become the #1 contenders for the tag belts. Their match against The Bar on SmackDown a few weeks ago was fantastic and one of the best tag-team matches that SmackDown has had in a while.
The WWE has two choices here, they either go with the Bludgeon Brothers keeping the belts for the foreseeable future or they go with The New Day becoming a 5-time champion and eventually losing the belts to my favorite team – Sanity. Personally, I would prefer to see the Bludgeon Brothers continue their path of destruction and not lose the belts until they have a lengthy feud with Sanity. However, what I want and what the WWE does, are two different things.
This is a hard one to pick, but I’m going with Rowan and Harper to retain the belts in a good tag-team title match.
Finn Balor (-175) vs Baron Corbin (+135)
These odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
Unfortunately, this feud has not lived up to the level of their feud in NXT a few years ago and it’s virtually wasted both of their talents. Each wrestler has pretty much gotten over on the other. So, this SummerSlam bout is pretty much the rubber match. When you look at it like that, then you have to go with Finn Balor to win.
Corbin will constantly be involved storylines with his Constable role on RAW, but Balor really needs to get the win and move on to bigger things. I’ve begged for a lengthy feud between Balor and Ziggler, but the WWE failed to let that continue. I believe Balor should feud whoever wins the match between Ziggler and Rollins at SummerSlam. In fact, I would even like to see this become a triple-threat feud for the IC belt.
The WWE has lost sight of Balor’s direction with the company and they’ve pretty much left him relegated to a mid-card feud that should be on the Kickoff Show and not the Main Card.
I’m still a fan of Corbin as I think he has solid in-ring skills for a big man, but he’s not being used the right way and there’s no reason for him to defeat Balor this weekend.
Money in the Bank Briefcase: Braun Strowman (-300) vs Kevin Owens (+200)
This match has all the makings of Owens pulling off the upset by cheating somehow. For the last few months, Strowman has made Owens’ life a living hell and it’s culminated in this SummerSlam showdown where Strowman’s MITB contract is on the line.
The fact that Strowman hasn’t tried to cash it in already is a “weak” move by the WWE creative team. Strowman is supposed to be a monster and, yet, he doesn’t try to cash it in the second he sees Lesnar on RAW.
If Strowman keeps the MITB contract then he needs to cash it in at SummerSlam. The problem is that the WWE doesn’t want to put the title on Braun yet. And that’s a whole separate rant for another day. Bottom line, the WWE has also lost focus on Strowman’s direction and he’s become more of a circus act than the main reason people tune into RAW.
As for Owens, his entire set of skills has been on display in this feud. If anything, Owens comes out of this feud looking better than when he went in. However, it would be ideal to have Owens take the contract and have Strowman return to his destructive ways, instead of carrying around a briefcase as if he’s like any other MITB winner before him.
Strowman doesn’t need the contract and he doesn’t need to win this match. And with that, I’ve convinced myself to take Owens in the betting upset, but the clear as day pick according to many WWE fans. Owens wins via cheating.
United States Championship: (c) Shinsuke Nakamura (-300) vs Jeff Hardy (+200)
A few months ago, I stated how Nakamura and Hardy should have a feud since it was clear that the WWE wasn’t going to have Shinsuke beat AJ Styles for the world title. Fast forward a few months, and these two have been feuding for the show’s secondary title – US Championship belt. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as exciting as I originally hoped for.
The WWE decided to throw Randy Orton into the mix of this feud as the Viper returned with his old attitude and calculated attacks. His beatdown of Hardy on SmackDown last month was refreshingly brutal, but it overshadowed anything Nakamura was doing.
In fact, Nakamura, has become the third wheel in the feud between Hardy and Orton. Once again, the WWE fails to maximize on Nakamura. Forget Orton vs Hardy, I would rather see a stiff match between Orton and Nakamura. The WWE would draw more interest in that rather than Orton vs Hardy. Unfortunately, we’ll be forced to endure a Hardy vs Orton feud a little bit longer and Shinsuke will be lost in the shuffle.
So, will the WWE put the belt on Hardy only to drop it to Orton or will Nakamura keep the belt and feud with someone else?
What would be cool is Orton giving Nakamura and Hardy the RKO so that nobody wins. Unfortunately, that won’t happen so we will probably see Orton interfere and cost Hardy the match again. Nakamura leaves SummerSlam with the belt. Hopefully, he can leave this silly feud behind as well.
Intercontinental Championship: (c) Dolph Ziggler (+200) vs Seth Rollins (-300)
Here’s the one match that could steal the show. These two wrestlers tear the roof down with their in-ring skills and in-ring chemistry. I expect them to bring their A-games on Sunday at one of the biggest events of the year.
This feud has been the best on RAW since Ziggler beat Rollins for the title a few months ago. Each week since winning the belt, Ziggler and McIntyre have come out and harassed or beaten up Rollins in one way or another. On the August 13th edition of RAW, Dean Ambrose returned to help even the odds against Drew and Dolph.
At SummerSlam, either we have all 4 men fighting each other to end the match or Dean helps Rollins win the title.
Seth deserves his revenge, and he’s finally gotten the help he needs to accomplish it. I expect a great match with a shady finish that could go either way. For now, I’m picking Rollins to win and setting up a tag-team feud between these 4 wrestlers.
But, don’t be surprised if Ambrose turns on Rollins in this one. The WWE has been known to pull off these shenanigans before.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: (c) Carmella (+110) vs Becky Lynch (+160) vs Charlotte (+200)
A triple threat match is the WWE’s way to protect a champion while putting the belt on someone else. And that’s what’s going to happen here. Carmella has outworn her welcome as the champ and her promos are becoming obnoxiously redundant.
Charlotte Flair is the best woman’s wrestler on the entire WWE roster and she deserves to get her title back. However, I don’t see that happening here. I think the triple threat match actually sets up a Becky Lynch title win, and rightfully so. It’s been nearly 2 years since Becky has last worn the belt and she’s basically gone through every type of match and feud that the WWE could throw at her during that span.
As much as I would like to see Flair win the belt, this one is going to Lynch. These on-again, off-again friends will end up feuding for the title sooner than later. I would also like to see Asuka challenge Becky Lynch for the title.
If the WWE can keep Carmella out of the way, Becky and Charlotte will put on a great match. However, that’s obviously too much to ask for. So, this should be a solid, but not spectacular triple threat match. Look for the “Irish Lass-Kicker” to become a two-time SmackDown champ.
Daniel Bryan (-105) vs The Miz (-135)
I’ve got to admit, this feud has been anticlimactic considering the backstory and the depth. This match feels rushed and I feel ripped off. This was one of the best organic storylines in the WWE for quite some time, and it’s one that played out over several years. From being Bryan’s mentor, to an epic promo against Bryan when he was the GM, The Miz became the perfect heel during this long running feud with Bryan. And Daniel became the ultimate baby face.
Questions over Daniel Bryan’s status with the company grew over the last few months due to his unwillingness to sign a new contract with the WWE. His current deal ends on September 1st. The sticking point was most likely over how much of a work schedule Bryan would have. Daniel didn’t want a full schedule and I believe the WWE was pushing for that. However, with Bryan’s recent health history, the company would be better suited putting him back together with Mayor Kane in a tag-team for a while than have him work a full single’s schedule.
Because of his contract being up in the air over the last few months, the WWE rushed this match for SummerSlam instead of its inevitable conclusion at next year’s WrestleMania. With that in mind, it would be absolutely pointless to have Daniel Bryan lose this match even if he doesn’t re-sign. After everything that’s happened, Bryan should win this SummerSlam match.
The funny thing is, Bryan just recently stated that he’s 90% sure he will re-sign. And, I’m sure he’s indicated to the WWE that he would re-sign. So, we didn’t need this match at SummerSlam after all. With that in mind, I’m going with Daniel Bryan to win.
Raw Women’s Championship: (c) Alexa Bliss (+350) vs Ronda Rousey (-600)
With a movie coming out soon, and the mainstream media watching, I can’t see any reason why or how the WWE doesn’t have Ronda Rousey win the RAW title. She’s the biggest favorite of the night and a lock to win this match. Hey, Alexa Bliss is a fine choice for a champ, but we all knew this moment was coming. From here, Rousey can feud with Jax, Bliss, and even Neidhart.
Rousey will carry the women’s division regardless if she’s ready or not. I expect her to unveil some of her moves that she hasn’t used yet. Ronda stated in an interview with ESPN that she hasn’t shown everything she can do and that she was saving them in her back pocket. Well, SummerSlam is the time to show off some of these moves in the repertoire.
The only hope here is that Rousey can “sell” some of Bliss’ attacks long enough to make this match enjoyable. A squash match is what everyone feels will happen, but in reality it can’t happen.
Rousey wins with her armbar submission.
WWE Championship: (c) AJ Styles (-200) vs Samoa Joe (+150)
This is the one match that I’m the most excited about. I’m a big fan of both wrestlers ever since each man was in Ring of Honor. I’ve never shied away from saying that AJ Styles is my favorite wrestler in the WWE. However, even with Styles as my favorite, I’ve still picked against him. And, for this event, I’m picking against him as well.
AJ has had the belt for a few months shy of a year. Additionally, he’s carried the SmackDown brand on his back for a while now. Enter Samoa Joe. He hasn’t done much since coming up from NXT and he’s definitely worth of a title reign. SmackDown needs more credible champs and Joe fits that bill.
If AJ wins this match, it does more to hurt Samoa Joe than if Styles were to lose. Win or lose, Styles is still the best worker and one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE. However, a Samoa Joe win will make him the top heel on SmackDown, a position the show desperately needs filled.
I don’t have enough time or space to cover this lengthy feud. Let’s just say that the WWE’s version of their feud lacked creativity and was a bit dull. However, their in-ring work will tell a beautiful, captivating story and they will get the “Steamboat-Savage” treatment to the Hogan-Andre, I mean, Lesnar-Reigns match.
Samoa Joe wins and captures his first WWE title in an epic match.
Universal Championship: (c) Brock Lesnar (+175) vs Roman Reigns (-250)
I would love nothing more than for Brock Lesnar to win this match and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But, I think the time has come for Lesnar to lose the title. Rumors are that Lesnar and the WWE will have a meeting right before the start of SummerSlam. Those same rumors also say that Lesnar wants to do both the WWE and UFC.
The WWE would be stupid not to have Lesnar do both. If he wins the UFC title, he will be a megastar once again. That would be great news for the WWE. However, Vince tends to act selfishly and I can see him taking the belt off of Lesnar just because he wants to.
Let’s also not forget, whether you like Reigns or not, Roman has put over Lesnar on several occasions and has done what’s best for business before. Will Lesnar return the favor? Is Reigns what’s best for business?
I don’t think Reigns is, but I don’t get paid to make those decisions. So, I think after roughly 3 years, Reigns finally beats Lesnar and captures the belt. Brock can go on to train for UFC and hopefully win the UFC heavyweight title. The perfect scenario for Reigns winning, would be to have The Shield come out and beat up Lesnar so that Roman wins.
Final Thoughts on WWE SummerSlam 2018
I believe SummerSlam 2018 has the potential to be this year’s best PPV. There’s plenty of solid matches lined up, but it all comes down to the story they tell in the ring. With that in mind, AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe should be the best match of the night. However, The Miz vs Daniel Bryan will tell the best story. I also expect tremendous matches for Rollins vs Ziggler and Gulak vs Alexander. I even think the Reigns vs Lesnar match has the potential to be memorable. I’m actually looking forward to this 5+ hour event and plan on treating it like another WrestleMania. It’s not too often we can say that.