JC’s Top Rope Report: SummerSlam Thoughts & Wrestlemania 31 Predictions- Round 2

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Hello everyone. I’m here to throw in my two cents on a pretty good SummerSlam and give my second round of predictions as to a potential Wrestlemania 31 card. I usually like to do three different rounds of them: Right after Wrestlemania, after SummerSlam, then at the end of the year.

-I’m officially just lost for words on what the hell is going on with Cesaro. Him and RVD had a good pre-show match. But RVD is finishing up his current run and they still have Cesaro lose to him? I know the WWE tends to do the whole “book you like crap before a push” routine, but this is just reaching new absurd levels with Cesaro. They would have to pull off a booking miracle to regain any of Cesaro’s heat.

-The first three matches on the actual show would be described as a term someone I know likes to use, P.A.W.: Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. Miz losing the Intercontinental Title was surprising to me, as was Paige winning the Divas Title. Ziggler winning was a surprise because the WWE seemed to be pushing Miz as one of the top mid-card acts. Unless they want Ziggler holding the IC Title when Wade Barrett returns, it was surprising to me. Paige winning kind of came as a shock to me too. With AJ losing again, it for some reason leads me to believe she may be finishing up her WWE run too. Just a wild hunch I have. Maybe they do “Title vs Career” Match at Night of Champions. And to me that was Rusev’s best performance to date. The crowd was into the match, which was important for a mid-card match like this. The next logical step for Rusev would probably be the United States Title. As for Swagger? I’d honestly keep him off TV for a bit and have him come back to challenge Rusev for the US Title in a month or two.

-If there is a wrestling god out there, Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins will end inside Hell In A Cell. It’s just so logical at this point that it makes too much sense. These took a shitty Lumberjack gimmick and made it quite enjoyable to watch. Ambrose losing here really did no damage to him. Assuming Ambrose gets a win back at Night of Champions, the logical blowoff happens inside the Cell. And you give these two 30 minutes inside that Cell, you’re probably looking at the match of the year.

-Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt were put in a tough spot. They followed the match of the night that had the crowd up on their feet and into the whole match. So it took the crowd about half the match to get fully invested. Much better than their Battleground match. Part of the problem also is that the same portion of the crowd that likes Bray Wyatt also likes Chris Jericho. And that resulted in the pretty evenly split Jericho/Wyatt chants. I’d actually prefer this to be the end of this feud, and see both men move on to someone else.

-Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella put on a much better match than anyone expected. The Nikki Bella heel turn was way too obvious. I was kind of disappointed to not see Daniel Bryan there. Or at least say something about his physical therapist’s accusations being false. I don’t think Nikki can give a reasonable explanation that would make me care about the next chapter of this story. I cared up to SummerSlam because I expected this story to end there. Now? They have some work to do.

-After a second viewing of the Roman Reigns/Randy Orton match, I’m still not ready to christen Reigns as the next big face of the company. Can he get there? Absolutely. But there is still some work to be done if you want Reigns taking the Title from Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. If that match happened at Night of Champions, I feel pretty confident saying Lesnar would get cheered over Reigns.

I would also argue that Dean Ambrose is more over than Reigns at this point. And if that continues, the WWE could face the same problem they had this year with Daniel Bryan. Oh, and there’s a possibility Daniel Bryan could be back for Wrestlemania. And at this point, Bryan/Lesnar for the Title seems like a much better selling point and draw than Reigns/Lesnar. I’ve gotten crap from people who feel like I nitpick at Reigns flaws like his promo delivery and material, but if he is going to succeed he needs to work on everything to make his character great. If it was me, I would book him like Goldberg. Make him dominant in the ring and keep his material short and to the point on the mic.

I also have to give props to Randy Orton for working his ass off to make Reigns look good as well. Reigns wasn’t slacking by any means, but Orton did well to make him look better. Similar to Bray/Jericho, it took the crowd a little bit to get into the match because of the previous one.

-The main event, if you ask me, couldn’t have been booked better. For the first time in years, we finally have a no non-sense, dominant heel Champion. And when someone takes the Title off of him, it’ll be a big moment. Booking Brock Lesnar to completely destroy Cena was something I never thought the WWE would do. But kudos to them for doing it and making an indestructible monster in the process.

What’s next for Lesnar? If it was me I wouldn’t go right to Cena/Lesnar again. Especially not in a one-on-one match. If that is going to happen, you have to add some kind of stipulation to the match. I honestly wouldn’t be opposed to a one off Lesnar match at Night of Champions against either Chris Jericho or Batista. Jericho would make sense because it would be an easy way to write him off as he leaves for his next sabbatical. If you want to get real nuts, you could have Lesnar send out an open challenge and have Dean Ambrose answer it. It would fit his “lunatic fringe” character about not caring what he does. But that’s a longshot.

Regardless, I’m keeping the WWE Title on Lesnar until Wrestlemania. I don’t want Lesnar facing The Rock. They could have EASILY done that match at Wrestlemania 29 but didn’t. And if he isn’t around full time I’m okay with that. This is different than the Daniel Bryan situation. Bryan was injured and couldn’t defend the Title. Lesnar can be built up as a man who does whatever he damn well pleases and essentially holds the Title hostage. I’ve been on the Lesnar for Champ bandwagon since he’s been back. Now that I got my wish, I hope everything plays out well.

So, with my SummerSlam review out of the way, what do I now see happening at Wrestlemania 31?

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns

-As I talked about above, I’m still not all the way on the Reigns Train. And I would say there is a 50/50 shot that this match changes when I do this again in the fall. I can understand why the WWE wants Reigns to be their next face of the company. But he needs to improve a bit more in the next few months for me to completely by into the hype. But as of today Roman Reigns is not 100% ready to main event Wrestlemania.

Triple H vs Dean Ambrose

-I find it very hard to believe that Ambrose is going to lose any of his momentum going into Wrestlemania. If he was a heel, I would have had him lined up to face The Rock. But the crowd, in my opinion, is going to prevent Ambrose from becoming a heel anytime soon. Ambrose is going to continue to play the lunatic fringe, anti-authority figure well. Which means it seems almost logical for him to fight HHH at Wrestlemania.

Daniel Bryan vs Seth Rollins

-I was in a tough spot with Daniel Bryan. Like I’ve said numerous times already, I gave serious thought to putting him in the Title match against Brock Lesnar. But I stuck with Reigns and am giving him a few more months to show me he can elevate his game. I wasn’t going to put Bryan against Triple H again. I gave some thought to a match against The Rock, but that wouldn’t work for me. Assuming Rock is going into the Hall of Fame next year, they aren’t turning him heel in a program against Bryan and risk getting booed at the Hall of Fame. So I put Rollins against Bryan here. It elevates Rollins for one. And I would assume the story would be that Bryan has to go through everyone in The Authority to get a Title shot. And Rollins might be the last one in this scenario.

The Rock vs Batista

-Hollywood vs Hollywood. I think Batista’s second return is going to go better than his first one. First of all, he won’t be shoved down our throats like he was the last time. Second, I think the positive press he’s gotten with Guardians of the Galaxy will help him out. I thought about putting Bray Wyatt against The Rock but I have something else in mind for him. And Bray/Rock would be too similar to Cena/Bray from this year.

The Undertaker, Sting and Kane vs The Wyatt Family

-I’m making this a tag match for a few reasons. One, I don’t think The Undertaker can wrestle even a 15 minute singles match on his own again. Second, I think Sting will wrestle a couple more matches before Wrestlemania. So not having a singles match at Wrestlemania isn’t a big deal. I’d like to see Sting vs Undertaker, but the spectacle alone won’t be good enough. This match allows Sting and Kane to do most of the work, and Taker can come in and hit his signature spots. I’d be inclined to put The Wyatts over here.

John Cena vs Bad News Barrett

-I thought about putting Rusev here. But I think Barrett might have been in line for a push had he not been injured. Cena should be in a position from here on out when he is used to help elevate/push someone into the main event scene. Barrett and Cena worked well together the last time they feuded, and Barrett’s seasoning that he now has should help a program here.

Randy Orton vs Cesaro

-First time I did this I had Cesaro facing Brock Lesnar. Now? I’m just hoping he is relevant enough to get a singles match at Wrestlemania. Orton is really the only opponent left. I had for him. As much as I thought Orton did well in his match against Reigns, I could easily see him getting lost in the shuffle come Wrestlemania time.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

-I’m assuming this becomes an annual tradition.

So what are your thoughts on all of this. Agree? Disagree? Well you can call into the HTCPulsecast this Thursday night at 8. Here’s the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/insidepulseradio

We’re 90% sure we are doing a show this week. And we are 75% sure that we will have former WWE creative team member Andrew Goldstein on as well. So it is sure to be a good show!

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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