Re: SummerSlam 2019 Card Predictions/Fantasy Booking
I've tried to make this card somewhat realistic, while being something that I would like to see within that realism, if that makes sense. I think the roster is too bloated and some of the guys they are pushing are in completely the wrong roles, but I've tried to work with the table they've somewhat set. I'm also rushing through a bit of stuff, because I'm going to assume that the mission here is to put on a SummerSlam PPV that will get right into AEW's shit (I want them to succeed, but if I'm taking that Vince paycheck I'm not phoning it in).
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
-July sees a Vengeance PPV where the WWE and Universal Title are unified. Kofi wins both belts. A new heel group forms around Dolph Ziggler and they beat the shit out of Kofi. Brock uses his MITB briefcase and robs Kofi of the belt, but Kofi now has got a different direction to go in. Bryan challenges Brock at SummerSlam as a babyface and Heyman says that Brock is going to walk out with two trophies -- the WWE Championship and Bryan's head on a pike.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
-Seth vs. Roman is announced as a friendly match ahead of even Vengenace. Seth loses the Universal Title to Kofi, however, and Roman then turns heel on Seth. He cusses out Seth for losing the belt ahead of their match, and the fans for daring to boo him when he beat cancer.
AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels
-Someone starts interfering in AJ Styles' matches incognito. This person eventually reveals themselves to be Shawn Michaels. In 2018, HBK broke a promise to himself and returned to the ring, but he can't let that be his last match. He wants to wrestle the best and he keeps hearing that AJ Styles is the best. Shawn plays a dick-weed troubled soul that just can't hang it up, and he says that AJ Styles should thank him, because when he beats Styles at SummerSlam, there will be no doubt in Styles' mind that he is no HBK, nor will he ever be, and then he will actually be able to retire one day and play with his kids instead of feeling the pressure of being "the best."
Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
-I'm not a big fan of the McMahon family drama. I'm no fan of either guy being so heavily invested in. That being said, this is the McMahon company, and you have to adapt to that environment. Vince making his son fight his son-in-law makes sense within that world, especially if you are ending the brand split. It keeps the McMahon stuff contained to itself. Maybe with a re-focused WWE, Triple H vs. Shane will actually have that mainstream appeal that you just know they want to grab but never can.
Goldberg vs. Matt Riddle
-This writes itself. Riddle is the punk kid who doesn't respect the old vet. Don't throw kayfabe out the window, just have Riddle talk about how Goldberg just can't go like he used to and he would have beaten Goldberg in his prime, etc. Goldberg starts this one off strong, but when he goes for the Spear he gets a knee to the face, a second knee and then Riddle makes him tap out to strikes. Make a fucking star.
Fatal 4-Way Match for the Women's Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
-Sasha returns and helps Bayley unify the Women's Titles at Vengeance. In return, she wants the SummerSlam title shot. Becky is furious, however, and won't let that stand. The missing piece is Charlotte. A "Horsewoman" in every corner.
I'm not a big fan of the gimmick, but you've got to play by their rules. They've conditioned people into thinking that big stars will crash these things. I would BEG The Rock to make an appearance here. You can have Cena come out again first, which will make the crowd groan given they've already seen this, but that will allow for some Cena/Rock interaction, which is money. Then you have Velveteen Dream crash the party and announce that he intends to challenge John Cena at WrestleMania. Hollywood may not let Rock wrestle a match, but they find ways around the physicality and Dream could do something to him and Cena here to launch him into the stratosphere.
Baron Corbin vs. Bray Wyatt
-Bray Wyatt eventually has to do something, right? I'm no fan of either act, but having Bray aim to clean up the WWE and make it suitable for kids by taking out Baron Boring (or is it Boring Corbin?) is an acceptable start. This is nothing but a glorified squash and Bray's debut match, hoping to milk the intrigue.
The New Day vs. Dolph Ziggler, Andrade & Luke Harper
-I've thrown Ziggler, Andrade & Harper together as a faction. Rowan turns on Bryan and aligns with Dolph as well. Sasha could also be part of this group. They're managed by Zelina Vega and are "Disenfranchised" stars she is trying to make top stars. I'd throw Buddy Murphy in the group too, but Ziggler, Andrade & Harper are the heavy-hitters and they go against The New Day.
United States Championship
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Braun Strowman
-In a bizarre way, this has been "built" since WrestleMania. Well, "built" is the wrong word. It's been stewing in the imaginations of whoever still watches this crap. Joe drops the belt here and moves onto bigger and better things, hopefully. Give the fans the allusion they're doing something with Braun. I'm not fan, but you need to get your existing audience back on side and that means a bit of service.
TLC Match for the Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet
-19 years ago TLC was born, now three teams of the new age are going to go at it in a homage that will "shorten careers" and add prestige to the newly unified Tag Team Championship. Matt Hardy can play a mad preacher on television trying to stop this match from happening, only to get beat up, put through tables, etc. Maybe pair him with R-Truth who is nutty enough to align with Hardy. It's something for them to do. If the 24/7 belt is still around at this point (ugh) Hardy and Truth can run in here and be involved in some of the shenanigans and maybe there can be a few pins or whatever. Gimmicks!
Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai
-When you've got the chance to do this match, why not? AEW will no doubt be presenting something with the joshi at All Out. Try and out joshi them before they get to it. I would toy around with the idea of ending the Women's Tag Team Championship, because fuck that noise, and have Asuka vs. Kairi Sane at Vengenace, a match between two Women's Tag Champs to crown a Women's Intercontinental Champion. This creates the illusion of depth, at least. Kairi can hold onto that belt while the Horsewomen fight over Women's Title Prime. This could, hypothetically, be a belt for Kairi, Natalya, Naomi, Asuka, etc. to sniff around and can be a maneuvering piece to regenerate some interest in acts when they move out of the immediate title picture. With matches like Kairi Sane vs. Asuka and Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai taking place for it, then it'll be impossible to say that the belt is any less meaningful than any of the other ones they have floating around.
Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev
-I'm not a digging the Raw side of things, but it feels like these two would "belong" on a SummerSlam card. And it's not like either Lashley or McIntyre is that awful. They're just boring. Hopefully putting them against a babyface Nakamura & Rusev will liven things up. Bring back Aiden English to be a part of the group and take beatings from the heels. McIntyre can hit on Lana to piss Ru-Ru off. This won't steal the show, but it could be a colorful little program.
Cesaro (c) vs. Finn Balor
-I love me some Cesaro. It seems they're getting behind him as a single, somewhat. Let him beat Ricochet in their best of whatever series to earn an IC Title shot at Vengeance, where this fucking brand split ends. Cesaro wins the IC Title and Balor announces that he'll be taking The Demon to Toronto, or whatever that means. Cesaro wants to be the first person to beat the Demon, whatever that means.
The Revival vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
-I'm a big supporter of Gable. I have him going against Roode in the future and hopefully developing into a big singles asset, but Roode is Canadian and this is in Toronto. When you end the brand split, you can have these two re-align for a bit, sell Chad Gable fake mustaches and some mustache t-shirts. Give them a brief run as a babyface team. Roode can make Gable an honorary Canadian heading into this event. This will probably take place on the Kickoff, which is fine, because whatever. It should be a good match and if they air it for free on TV, more people will see it anyway and Roode & Gable should be over here.
Mask vs. Mask
Sin Cara vs. Kalisto
-Okay, maybe this isn't as epic as Rey vs. Andrade would have been, but if you're trying to get Hispanic viewers in, doing something like this could be a good way to get them hooked. This could happen on the pre-show with some stakes attached. You can have Andrade promoted on the show and remind people that Rey Mysterio exists, possibly getting him to comment on the stakes of Sin Cara vs. Kalisto, even though he's not the best talker. Maybe you can reach out to someone like Hector Guerrero or Konnan to fill that role?
Tony Nese (c) vs. Buddy Murphy
-Murphy aligns with Ziggler and Vega and goes after the Cruiserweight Title and becomes the first member of the group to win gold. I'm not a fan of this belt being around, but you've got to explain it disappearing somehow. Murphy can hold it in the meantime and it can hopefully have some sort of functional role in making Disenfranchised, even if it's just a tiny bit.
General housekeeping notes:
-I've mentioned a few things in there about the brand split ending. I think that's a no-brainer at this point, and they've basically ended it in all but name. I scrap Extreme Rules, because it's a shitty PPV, bring back Vengeance where the original unification of the World Titles happened. Your Vengeance card probably looks like Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston, Becky Lynch vs. Bayley, The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan, Cesaro vs. Finn Balor and maybe Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles. It's nothing crash-hot, but it gets you there.
-Ideally, and if I'm playing for keeps and trying to make Vince McMahon as much money as I can to babyface myself, I'd like to charge for SummerSlam. $10 shows are often perceived as $10 shows. If you charge $24.95, you will get people who will pay that much. I guarantee it. You'll be promoting the hell out of Brock vs. Bryan, Roman vs. Seth, Triple H vs. Shane, Goldberg vs. Riddle, Shawn vs. AJ, the Four Horsewomen colliding and TLC. The other things are garnish, and if you know you are getting The Rock, you hammer that he's going to be there too. With those selling points, wrestling fans are not going to want to miss that show, which means they'll have spent $25-$35 on wrestling that month already. With All Out taking place just a bit later, it might mean the wrestling budget has already been emptied. It's not nice to them, but hell, that's what competition is, right? I'd also charge for Takeover too, since wrestling fans will spend the money. I'd try and sell Takeover for $19.99 and SummerSlam for $24.99 separately, as well as a package for $39.99. I wouldn't charge much for other PPV events. Maybe a minimum of $5.99 for your B-level shows with the options to pay as much as you want? I'd include this option on the Takeover shows, because there are fans that will want to express their support for that style of product. Milk them for all they're worth.
-If you don't like the idea of the whole show being presented like a PPV on the Network, maybe you could divide it into a "free show" (outside your Network subscription, of course) and a PPV portion? The New Day vs. The Disenfranchised (if that name is too long, you could just call them "Dissent") could be that cut-off point. That way it could be presented as the main event for the first part of SummerSlam before things go up a tier. Either way, I would use six-man and the Elias concert as the buffer between the main event stuff and the rest of the card. That's where you move into the Women's Title, TLC, Triple H vs. Shane, Shawn vs. AJ, Goldberg vs. Riddle, Roman vs. Seth and Brock vs. Bryan, which sounds like a fucking PPV all on its own.
-I've got Ziggler, Andrade, Harper, Rowan, Murphy & Banks together as a group managed by Vega. I'm honestly not a big fan of Ziggler anymore, and I feel he is exhausted, but again, you've got to play by their rules and they want to use the guy. I've tried to use some talent that are on the "outs" right now, because they're not going to release them, even though I think they should, but you've got to do something about that morale. Using them in auxiliary roles makes sense to me, and there is even the chance to smooth things over. If Banks and Harper end up with some focus, their moods might improve and they might even re-up even if they are certain they are leaving at the moment.
-I thought about making Bryan the first Undisputed Champion of this re-unified era, and I'd like to make belts matter, but I do think there is value in Kofi getting to be the first guy. It doubles down on him as a guy worth caring about. No, I don't have him in the immediate title picture going forward, but he's got something to do at SummerSlam against a fresh heel faction. He'll be a two-time champ and can be the first guy presented with a new belt that hopefully looks good on him. He doesn't hold it for long, granted, but they continue the WWE Title history and he'll have been champion since Mania and will outlast the other champs. Will he ever get to sniff the belt again? That will depend on whether or not people stick with him, I guess. I'm not dead-set on moving the guy out of the main event forever, and I'm weary of making his WWE Title run and unification trivial, but if it means something to fans and black people who feel that WWE is a white man's game, then it might be worth it. He won't be eating too many pins or submissions moving forward with New Day though.
-I originally had Bryan beating Kofi for the belt and skipping Brock as champion and having Brock keep MITB as an insurance policy or maybe even losing to Bryan twice at SummerSlam. There's an appeal in heading that route. But I went with the cash-in because it goes to follow. I'd be fine with Brock simply challenging Bryan at SummerSlam.
Last edited by The Wood; 06-12-2019 at 02:38 AM.