It’s the biggest party of the summer, and we’re all invited!

It’s SummerSlam, the traditional August pay-per-view WWE has held since 1988, and it feels like the biggest one yet with six hours of sports entertainment, including the two-hour kickoff show (and let’s not forget most PPVs now have overruns).

The three biggest matches are Dean Ambrose defending the WWE title against a rejuvenated Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor squaring off against Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal title, set to be the top title on Raw, and Brock Lesnar facing Randy Orton.

This month’s contributors:

Bryan Rose (New Japan/CWC Reporter)

Ryan Frederick (UFC Reporter)

James Cox (WWE Superstars Recapper & WWE DVD Reviewer)

Steve Khan (WWE SmackDown Live Recapper)

Brian Hoops (Daily Pro Wrestling History)

Jeremy Peeples (Lucha Underground Recapper)

Gary Mehaffy (Interviews)

Paul Fontaine (MMA Writer and Recapper)

Kyle S. Johnson (Columnist)

Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss and ???

– Bryan Rose: Sounds like just filler on a show that has a ton of it. Probably won’t be bad. We’re just running in place until they decide to do something for the title that’s coming. It would have been easy for Eva to get a cheap win here, but with her gone you might as well just have Becky or another face get the win.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi

– Ryan Frederick: It’s something to get the SmackDown Live women some attention, but I think this will be an angle to see how Eva Marie can avoid wrestling once again. I pretty much see this as a handicap match and the faces going over.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi

– James Cox: Eva getting popped this week means they either bring someone in like Nikki Bella and the heels go over or they just revert and go with the babyfaces.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi

– Steve Khan: I would’ve gone with the heel team if Eva was still in it, but the faces should probably win now.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi

– Brian Hoops: With Eva out of the match, history suggests WWE should put over the new participant and her team.

Winners: Natalya, Alexa Bliss & ???

– Jeremy Peeples: Eva is gone, which does hurt the interest a bit since they’ve been holding off her return. The babyfaces should win this – but they won on SD, which hurts their chances and it could get a new heel over with a win.

Winner:s Natalya, Alexa Bliss & ???

– Gary Mehaffy: I figure they’ll put over Carmella In NYC, but who can ever tell!

Winner: Carmella, Becky Lynch & Naomi

– Paul Fontaine: Becky is likely the biggest star of the 6 women in the match and Carmella is a local so it seems likely their team will get the win.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi

– Kyle S. Johnson: I would presume that the faces were going to win this match before Eva got suspended, and so I don’t imagine that this would change.

Winners: Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi

Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Match number one of their best-of-seven series)

– Bryan Rose: I’ve seen these two wrestle long matches on Raw. So now I get to see it seven more times, lucky me. Sheamus lost both, so I guess it’s his turn to win. Yay.

Winner: Sheamus

– Ryan Frederick: I don’t really care for a best-of-seven between these two, but it keeps them busy. Cesaro already has two wins over Sheamus before the best of seven series, and past logic when it comes to these types of things is the heel goes over in the first match. So, Sheamus wins I guess. Cesaro deserves to be higher up.

Winner: Sheamus

– James Cox: I think this could actually be a pretty good set of matches, but no one will care too much. It just essentially ties them into a program for a few months. Cesaro should win the war, but Sheamus will probably win the battle here.

Winner: Sheamus

– Steve Khan: It seems obvious that Sheamus will start this series with the advantage, but Cesaro can win the first one and Sheamus can win the next two, or something.

Winner: Cesaro

– Brian Hoops: Cesaro deserves better but at least this is something. I look for Sheamus as the heel to gain an advantage and Cesaro come back to win the series.

 Winner: Sheamus

– Jeremy Peeples: This is the definition of a mid-card treadmill feud anyway, and this best-of-seven series is only going to ensure that neither man is given a chance to gain momentum for at least two months. If this series had any stakes beyond “who is the better man,” it could be something. As it is, the winner of this match doesn’t really matter, but Cesaro needs the win more.

Winner: Cesaro

– Gary Mehaffy: Cesaro will win overall (and deserves to be on the main show and not the pre-show, but I digress) but I think they’ll start with a Sheamus win to kick it off.

Winner: Sheamus

– Paul Fontaine: Sheamus has lost the last two matches against Sheamus so it feels like he’ll probably take the first match in this best-of-seven. I actually like the matches these two have had so far and hopefully they get the kind of time to have the match that they’re both capable of.

Winner: Sheamus

– Kyle S. Johnson: Cesaro has won two matches in a row against Sheamus, and he’s likely going to win the series, so Sheamus striking first blood seems like the most logical route here.

Winner: Sheamus

Intercontinental Title: The Miz (c) vs. Apollo Crews

– Bryan Rose: Even though they now have the platform to elevate people with two different rosters, this title match has gotten very little time on TV, other than Apollo won a match to get the shot. Build has been so lackluster I don’t see a title change here. Maybe a lame DQ to set up a rematch on the next SD PPV.

Winner: The Miz

– Ryan Frederick: The Miz is entertaining in his role and the never-ending title reign gimmick is a good idea. I think that gimmick is going to end. They need to elevate some guys, and while the Intercontinental Title being on both brands has been a killer, on a single brand it should be the elevation title. Apollo Crews winning it here is probably the right call.

Winner: Apollo Crews

– James Cox: Apollo Crews just has so little about him, I can’t see the point of just slapping a strap on him in the hope that he gets over. The Miz to retain unfairly here.

Winner: The Miz

– Steve Khan: It’s almost alarming how little attention they’ve given this match, considering it’s for the IC Title. They should switch the title as a way to kick-off the new era, but Crews is not the right guy at the moment, unfortunately.

Winner: The Miz

– Brian Hoops: The Miz has a better act than Crews but WWE may view a title change on a big SummerSlam stage as a way to try to elevate Crews. They can and will always change it back.

Winner: Apollo Crews

– Jeremy Peeples: Miz and Maryse as an act are great, and they actually don’t even need the title to do it. Miz could just carry around a replica and call himself the champion and it would fit the character being delusional. The title is sadly back to meaning very little, so I can see Crews winning it to gain something resembling on-paper momentum.

Winner: Apollo Crews

– Gary Mehaffy: I was always a supporter of Miz over the years, but he doesn’t need the belt and Apollo needs all the help he can get.

Winner: Apollo Crews

– Paul Fontaine: I’m a pretty big fan of the Miz/Maryse act and don’t feel like it’s time to take the title off of Miz just yet. And even if it was, Crews just isn’t the guy to do it, in my opinion.

Winner: The Miz

– Kyle S. Johnson: This is probably the most low-profile match on the show, which really says something about the state of this belt. Taking it off of Miz should have happened much, much sooner, but Crews also doesn’t seem quite ready for a championship run. Still, Miz’s shtick works just fine on its own and Crews would get at least an aesthetic rub from carrying the belt, so I’ll take Apollo for the win.

Winner: Apollo Crews

Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens

– Bryan Rose: To me, this seems like an angle that’s going to go for a few months. Don’t know how they’ll do it other than Owens and Jericho get a cheap win to set up a rematch on the following PPV. Let’s go with that.

Winners: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

– Ryan Frederick: Enzo and Big Cass are going to be mega stars in front of this crowd, especially Enzo. Kevin Owens is going to be a megastar in front of this crowd too. Jericho probably as well. You know Cass isn’t taking the fall, and Owens taking the fall isn’t smart either. This seems like the start of a program that is going for a little bit for the split brand events, and Owens and Jericho should win the first one.

Winners: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

– James Cox: Flip a coin here. Neither really need to be losing here, but you can see Enzo as the fall guy in this situation. Fun match, no doubt, if they’re given time.

Winners: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

– Steve Khan: Enzo and Cass are hot, but this still feels way beneath Jericho and Owens. It’s their first official night as a team, so I’ll go with the Canadians.

Winners: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

– Brian Hoops: Enzo and Cass will be huge favorites in front of this crowd. Should be a fun match if Jericho and Owens build heat on Enzo and Cass finally makes a hot tag.

Winners: Enzo & Cass

– Jeremy Peeples: Enzo and Cass are in Brooklyn, the heels are a great makeshift team – but still a makeshift team, and the faces should win. This wouldn’t be a bad choice for an opener on the PPV, and a face win would get the show off to a solid start.

Winners: Enzo & Cass

– Gary Mehaffy: As with Carmella, it’s NYC and they’ll put over Enzo and Cass. With Y2J leaving soon it makes sense, although, again, when has that ever worried them.

Winners: Enzo & Cass

– Paul Fontaine: I really like both of these teams but I think that Cass and Enzo are the next team to hold the tag team titles and as such I expect them to go over here.

Winners: Enzo & Cass

– Kyle S. Johnson: All four guys don’t really have any immediate direction after this feud ends, so I could foresee Jeri-KO getting a win over the hometown favorites and the feud being extended just a little while longer before Enzo and Cass start their pursuit of the tag titles.

Winners: Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

– Bryan Rose: You would think this is a ripe time for the New Day to lose the tag team titles, and you know what? It probably is, and I can see it happening here. Maybe do a storyline where they aren’t at full power and without Big E, Anderson and Gallows get the win over Woods or something, then set up a rematch with a returning Big E. The angles to build up this match have been really lame, but a title switch here would give some momentum to Anderson and Gallows.

Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

– Ryan Frederick: I’m pretty sure Big E is going to come back at the end and cost Gallows and Anderson right when it looks like they’re going to get the win. The New Day is one of the most over acts on the roster, and keeping the titles on them to get past the one year mark of holding the tag titles is a good move. Gallows and Anderson are probably going to win them soon, but now seems like it’s too soon.

Winners: The New Day

– James Cox: The fact that they have pushed that it has been a year since The New Day won the title suggests that we’re going to see something here. Gallows and Anderson are being used all wrong, but I think they might be given the titles.

Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

– Steve Khan: When they announced this match, it seemed like a lock that the Club would win. It certainly doesn’t feel like that now, and I almost expect New Day to retain with help from Big E. It’s possible Jericho and Owens are being set up for New Day, but I feel a title change since there might not be any others elsewhere on the show (besides the new belt on Raw).

Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

– Brian Hoops: WWE has missed the prime opportunity to put the titles on Anderson & Gallows and giving them the belts now seems too late. I have to believe Big E shows  up and costs Anderson & Gallows the match and New Day retains.

Winners: The New Day

– Jeremy Peeples: The Club’s momentum has fizzled immensely since even the start of this lukewarm feud. There was a time when the heels should’ve won the titles, but that time has passed and the storyline works far better with Big E returning on the big stage to help his team win and extend their reign.

Winners: The New Day

– Gary Mehaffy: The Club had so much potential (and still could have) but they have been WWE-ized and have lost a lot of their sparkle, as Jeremy rightly said. I could have gone either way on this, but I too see this as Big E’s return leading to a New Day win. I think Gallows/Anderson need to win them soon, and should have here, but I can see the storyline should lead to a New Day win.

Winners: The New Day

– Paul Fontaine: As I said earlier, I expect that Cass and Enzo will be the next tag team champs. I do feel, though, that The New Day will lose this match…..by DQ. I fully expect Big E to return here and go for revenge against Gallows and Anderson for injuring his balls. Or Kingston and and Woods will hit the double nut-shot for the DQ. Either way, balls will be involved and the champs will lose by DQ, leading to a rematch.

Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (but The New Day retains titles)

– Kyle S. Johnson: This has been a pretty underwhelming feud, but the match itself should be a lot of fun. The New Day are not going to lose any luster if they drop the titles, and Anderson and Gallows could really use the belts to make them appear credible (they probably should have gotten the championships before they were split off from AJ), so I’ll take Guns and Gallows to win the titles.

Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

WWE Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte

– Bryan Rose: I really doubt Charlotte’s regaining the title so quickly, so I see Sasha retaining here. Should be a really good match given time.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Ryan Frederick: The title change was going to happen here before they made the switch to kick off Raw with the change. It’s way too soon to take the title off of Sasha, and it seems like there is going to be a new program for her post-SummerSlam. I expect Dana Brooke to cost Charlotte the match in some form by turning on her, leading to them going into a program.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– James Cox: Sasha Banks to retain. There’s no need to be playing hot potato with this title.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Steve Khan: Banks. Despite this new era, the women are still severely underrepresented on this show, so hopefully these two are given a lot of time and have a great match.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Brian Hoops: Should be a great match. Taking the title off Banks this early weakens her and she will be a huge babyface in front of this crowd.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Jeremy Peeples: Sasha has a solid act now and she has put over last year’s Brooklyn show too much to lose here. Charlotte doesn’t need the title and can easily lose due to Dana here if they really want to protect her in the booking.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Gary Mehaffy: This will be a well rehearsed match, eh, I mean, a great match. It’ll kill Sasha’s momentum if she doesn’t win and they can use it as a backdrop to split Charlotte and Dana up. In saying that, the way they book break up angles, this could lead to a Charlotte win with Dana double bluffing everybody. I hope not, but you know how it goes….

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Paul Fontaine: Sasha should retain in what I expect will be a great match. Charlotte is one of the only heels in the company that actually gets a heel reaction and she really doesn’t get enough credit for that. May I also add that I think the WWE 24 special on the women was really good and I’d recommend checking it out.

Winner: Sasha Banks

– Kyle S. Johnson: This should be a pretty great match if the match from Raw a few weeks back is any indication. Sasha will retain, and once her feud with Charlotte ends, I could foresee her being rushed into a program with Nia Jax.

Winner: Sasha Banks

United States Championship: Rusev (c) vs. Roman Reigns

– Bryan Rose: I don’t know why you would do a long match on Raw, with Roman winning, just to lead to another potentially long match here. I’m going to assume it’s because Reigns is not walking away with the title here. I’ll guess that there will be a screwy finish leading Rusev to somehow get the win in the record book.

Winner: Rusev

– Ryan Frederick: It sure seems like they’re going to put the title on Roman Reigns. I don’t think it happens here, though. I’m sensing Rusev getting disqualified somehow and this program going on. Turn Reigns heel. It’s time.

Winner: Roman Reigns (but Rusev retains the title)

– James Cox: Reigns won on Raw so WWE logic says Rusev goes over here. Good to see Reigns in a program where people aren’t dead set against him. Rusev is excellent, Reigns is good, I think this will be pretty good.

Winner: Rusev

– Steve Khan: Rusev shouldn’t lose the title after losing on Raw, but I can’t see Reigns losing either. That leads me to think this match won’t have a great finish, and this feud must continue. I’ll go with Reigns, but by DQ or whatever.

Winner: Roman Reigns (Rusev retains)

– Brian Hoops: 50/50 booking means Rusev wins after Reigns won on Raw. Rusev could win by DQ, countout or some fluke finish and retain the title.

Winner Rusev

Jeremy Peeples: A Reigns win puts him in the Cena spot of making this a top-tier title again, which is good — but he won on Raw, so he’s doomed. His character really should lose this anyway for being such a prick to the newlyweds week after week, and Rusev finally feels like he’s regained most of his lost heat from the last year of bad booking. It’s not the right time for him to lose, and a win over Roman puts him right in the mix for a Universal Championship feud with Balor if he wins.

Winner: Rusev

– Gary Mehaffy: Rusev wins by shenanigans, with Vince thinking that this will make the fans back Reigns, when in reality, he will not be treated as such by the NYC crowd. Don’t believe me? Just check back and watch the Sid/HBK match and then you’ll see what I mean.

Winner: Rusev

Paul Fontaine: Step one in the rehabilitation of Roman Reigns. These two just work really well together and it’s the first time in a while that Reigns has actually been connecting with the fans. I’ve been back and forth on this but I do think that Reigns is going to win the title and go on a strong run leading up to whatever they have planned for him at next year’s Mania.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Kyle S. Johnson: Reigns winning here seemed like a sure thing until he pinned Rusev on Monday night. Since the priority is the rehabilitation of Roman, however, I’ll stick with Roman winning, though probably through some means where he doesn’t walk out with the championship.

Winner: Roman Reigns

John Cena vs. AJ Styles

– Bryan Rose: This should be a really good match and maybe the best on the show if given enough time. Styles is still really tremendous, and Cena can work hard with just about anybody and hold his own. You would think judging by how SmackDown ended Styles would get the win, but since he got the win on their last PPV match, and knowing how they book with Cena, this seems like Cena’s thing to win. But then again, with him taking a limited schedule, Styles seems like the best choice. So against better judgment, I’ll go with him.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Ryan Frederick: History says John Cena wins this as they are really tied up in this program with one win each (though Cena won in a 6-man). They need to buck history here. Cena isn’t going to be around for a while, and Styles should be the top guy on SmackDown Live along with Ambrose, Orton and Wyatt. Styles should be next for Ambrose heading into the stand alone events, so he needs to win here. It’ll probably be great.

Winner: AJ Styles

– James Cox: I rarely don’t back Cena on PPV, because they rarely have him lose on one. But here it does seem odd to beat Styles again. Styles is fantastic, really looking forward to this one.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Steve Khan: I expect this to be match of the night. Cena shouldn’t be losing every big match or anything, but the timing is right here with Cena’s schedule decreasing, and with Styles as one of the guys who has to carry SmackDown.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Brian Hoops: Cena will not be full time and Styles is advertised on house shows for September working with Ambrose. That means Styles should win.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Jeremy Peeples: Cena’s reduced schedule feels like it’s a way for him to put folks over on the way out. AJ needs the momentum and could really benefit from a WWE Title feud to cement his status in WWE.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Gary Mehaffy: Cena is winding down, which should mean AJ goes over, and I think that for once Vince will go that direction and build AJ up for the next series of title shots.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Paul Fontaine: AJ Styles has to win as Cena is leaving and I can’t see anyone else on the SmackDown side being ready to challenge Ambrose for the WWE title.

Winner: AJ Styles

– Kyle S. Johnson: AJ Styles should be the next in line for Dean Ambrose’s championship, and so he absolutely needs the win here. A clean win over Cena puts AJ at that level, and it is the right call to make in this situation.

Winner: AJ Styles

WWE Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

– Bryan Rose: Would be stunned if Ambrose lost here. I think the whole Ziggler thing is a tone deaf, three years too late way of making fans happy and making SmackDown the face brand. Ziggler has been good in his new role, and Ambrose is really holding his own as the top guy on the brand, so it hasn’t been a total failure. And this should actually be a really good match, despite the weird premise. Don’t think Ziggler is walking away with the title, though.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Ryan Frederick: They’ve done a great job convincing fans that Dolph Ziggler may beat Dean Ambrose. Ambrose is the most polished guy to lead the SmackDown Live brand, and he has been fantastic as the champion. Ziggler has been fantastic in his role as well. I’d like to see the program continue, but it feels like it will be done after this event. Ambrose will keep the title.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– James Cox: Dean Ambrose came across like a contrarian and frankly like a guy you don’t want doing a ton of media by his performance on the Stone Cold Podcast. I don’t know if the subsequent heat on him means in anything. Given that this is the SmackDown title now, why not give it to Ziggler? Still, I don’t see it yet.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Steve Khan: Ambrose is on a roll, and this should be pretty great. Ambrose should definitely retain, and I’m all for a Ziggler heel turn post-match.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Brian Hoops: Ambrose is advertised as champion for house shows following SummerSlam and since WWE has NEVER false advertised before, Ambrose must be retaining.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

Jeremy Peeples: Dolph has shown more here than he has in quite a while, and they are giving him chances to do something different that he is making use of. This still feels like what the original World Heavyweight title matches were towards the end — a second IC Title with a more important name. They have made things somewhat personal, but it still feels like things are building and this isn’t the conclusion. I can see Dean winning this one, and then Dolph winning later with a heel turn.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Gary Mehaffy: Dolph is talented, but there’s no way that they can put the title on him, unless Dean really is in the dog house after the Austin interview. That being said, Dean wins and Dolph turns heel the next night in a feud that must continue.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Paul Fontaine: The way this feud has been booked, Ziggler kind of has to go over or it’s just been a complete waste  of time to try and rehab him. But that’s been the story of the last 10 years for this dude, so yeah, he’s losing.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

– Kyle S. Johnson: Who would have thought that Dolph Ziggler might do some of his best work in years with just a little bit of motivation. Both men have been pretty great in the build-up here, and I think they’ll follow through with an equally entertaining match. Dean retains and gets paired up with AJ or Bray moving forward.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

WWE Universal Championship: Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins

– Bryan Rose: This is interesting. The easy thing to say is for Rollins to get the win and the title. But they could go all the way with Balor and make him top champion of Raw in quick fashion. Thing is, they haven’t really let him talk, and being champion requires long periods of talking for no real reason, something they feel comfortable letting Rollins do. I think Rollins gets a cheap win and they continue the feud. A surprise win for Balor here would be cool, though.

Winner: Seth Rollins

– Ryan Frederick: This is the perfect time to make Finn Balor into one of the biggest stars in the company. Rollins doesn’t need the title right now, though he will eventually get it. Balor is getting The Demon get-up at the event, and he is going to be over huge in front of that crowd. The time is right and Balor holding the new title first makes him and it special instead of a retread with Rollins. Make the right move WWE.

Winner: Finn Balor

– James Cox: I think they’ll try Finn Balor on top for a little while. The downside is his mic skills, but he’s an outstanding performer. This is a match to get really excited about, a perfect main event program for SummerSlam

Winner: Finn Balor

– Steve Khan: Rollins winning would give the title more credibility, but Balor can’t lose already. Maybe they’ll do something crazy and have the Club with with Rollins, but I’ll stick with Balor becoming inaugural champion.

Winner: Finn Balor

– Brian Hoops: Potential show stealer here. Way to early for Balor to lose and Rollins has had a run with a title already and if they wanted him with the belt, why have him lose to Ambrose when he cashed in the briefcase?

Winner: Finn Balor

– Jeremy Peeples: Seth has stated far too often that he’ll repeat history and be the first NXT and first Universal Champion. They debuted the Demon paint on Raw, will use it again on SummerSlam and that will seemingly ensure that Balor wins the title and gives Raw a babyface champion. Balor doesn’t quite feel like “the man” on Raw yet, but a title win would help him a lot in both the short and long-term, so I would go with that.

Winner: Finn Balor

– Gary Mehaffy: So, I’m not being biased seeing as Finn is from the Emerald Isle, but this is the time to shake things up on Raw and common sense would be that Finn has to win the title. Now, Vince and common sense don’t always go hand in hand, but this is not the time for Balor to lose in his big debut, although they could go the DQ route (Reigns runs out, turns heel on Finn, costing him the match) but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Finn.

Winner: Finn Balor

– Paul Fontaine: All signs point to Finn Balor but I really don’t think they’re going to do that. Seth Rollins is so good and with them scaling back on the push of Roman Reigns for the time being, he really is the top guy on the brand. At the end of the day, I just can’t see Vince deciding to go with with the 190 lb Balor as that guy. I really hope I’m wrong here, though.

Winner: Seth Rollins

– Kyle S. Johnson: My head says that Seth just wins and establishes himself as the man once again, but my heart says that this has to conclude with Finn winning the championship. Putting Finn over here makes him a bona fide top-five star, and one who will sell a whole hell of a lot of merchandise. Rushing back to Roman vs. Seth seems silly (although 100 percent plausible), so I’ll take Finn to win the championship and carry on his feud with Seth.

Winner: Finn Balor

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton

– Bryan Rose: They’ve protected Lesnar so much over the years it’s hard to see anything else than a Lesnar win. Might be a better match than people expect it to be, but I’m not compelled about the match to be honest. I think it’ll be fine, but doesn’t come off like a real big WWE main event. Lesnar should be having all the momentum in the world following the UFC win, but with the drug test failures that really isn’t true at all now. He gets the win here, but where he goes next is anyone’s guess.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– Ryan Frederick: This is interesting to me to see how mad the company is at Brock Lesnar. I don’t think they care about what happened with the UFC and the drug tests, and they pretty much made that clear with their statement. I have this sense the WrestleMania main event is Lesnar vs. Reigns, which means Lesnar wins. I get the feeling we’re going to have someone cost Orton the match, that being Bray Wyatt. That would be a bad move, and just let these two men work. I think they can have a fantastic match. Lesnar is going to win.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– James Cox: Cannot wait for this. Both are extremely good at what they do. Randy is an excellent performer and one who I think Lesnar is likely to want to work well with. Lesnar is what a big WWE PPV is all about. Sticking my neck out here, though, I say they put Orton over.

Winner: Randy Orton

– Steve Khan: This should be really good. No matter what the situation is with Lesnar, Orton just isn’t the guy who should beat him.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– Brian Hoops: Lesnar is their only big money player and no way should they hurt him with a loss to Orton. With that being said, I could see WWE “punishing” Lesnar with a loss.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– Gary Mehaffy: In any other time, Orton would go over, but he can afford a loss in a strong match whereas I don’t think Brock can. It depends on which side Vince gets out of the bed of on Sunday morning, as he could decide to show Brock who’s boss (seeing as he can’t be suspended for a PED failure), but I’m sticking with Brock.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– Jeremy Peeples: Lesnar should win this since he’s the company’s biggest star, but Orton is their guy who they know won’t leave and isn’t under scrutiny for a drug test failure.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

– Paul Fontaine: This is probably the toughest match on the show to call. Logic would say that Orton will go over because he’s the full-timer and they’re probably pissed off at Lesnar for failing the drug test in UFC. But Lesnar is the bigger star and there’s probably more money matches down the road for him.  So it’s really a coin flip and it just came up heads for me.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

= Kyle S. Johnson: I am going to go with the single most unlikely scenario here: Brock Lesnar loses after Bill Goldberg somehow interjects himself, setting up a rematch between the two for WrestleMania 33. For as much as Vince McMahon may not want to do business with Goldberg, he can sense the potential for money like a shark senses blood in the water.

Having Brock lose in a flukey manner shouldn’t hurt his credibility too much (and even if it does, Paul Heyman can save it with one promo as he did after SummerSlam 2015), but it does make for a splashy story to push in mainstream outlets that cover WWE.

Having him lose on account of Goldberg serves the purpose of creating interest in the upcoming video game, generating new network subscribers by pushing WCW stuff in the archive, and setting up this year’s WrestleMania as a must-see for lapsed fans. Having him lose to a guy he really doesn’t have any business losing to might also be a decent enough way of sending a message to Brock where fines and suspensions are not available avenues.

Is this the likely outcome? Not even remotely, but it sounds much more interesting to me than Brock just suplexing Randy 15 times, kicking out of an RKO, and then winning the match, which is probably closer to what actually happens.

Winner: Randy Orton