Coming off a very strong SummerSlam card which was headlined by two part-timers, WWE needed something big for the September followup. A shot in the arm if you will. And what better way to galvanize the 2015 fans than by bringing back the hot new WWE sensation Sting! That's right, direct from WCW circa 1997, the Stinger is back and ready to claim his rightful place atop the WWE roster. Hot off the heels of his WrestleMania loss to Triple H, it only made sense for the 56-year-old youngster to step up and challenge WWE's top dog Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship!
Okay, snarky rant finished.
Let's get to the predictions. Dan leads Justin 35/53 to 34/53.
PreShow Match: Stardust/The Ascension vs. Neville/Lucha Dragons
On paper I like this alright. The Ascension are pretty terrible workers but the other four are all fun to watch. As I feared though, Neville has been listless since being called up to the main roster. It's a sad thing when moving UP from NXT to WWE is a poor career move.
Justin's pick: This new Stardust stable is just getting warmed up, so I gotta think they come away with a win.
Dan's pick: I agree. Having the Ascension join with Cody seems to be a move to make them somewhat relevant. Maybe a victory will help them.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz
Justin's pick: The New Day hold onto the straps probably through nefarious means or via a DQ.
Dan's pick: I think it's far too early to throw the gold onto the Dudleys. New Day retains.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Justin's pick: Rusev wins, regardless whether Lana turns heel again
Dan's pick: This Lana face turn has been booooooring. I hope she does go heel and help Rusev win.
Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens
Justin's pick: Kevin takes the gold
Dan's pick: I agree. Ryback lost all his momentum after being injured. Time for KO to reign.
Divas Championship: Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte
Nikki is now officially the longest-reigning Divas Champion. Too bad she's only defended the thing like five times. Anyway, now that she's achieved that goal (and WWE gets to erase AJ Lee from the record books), it's time for the Divas Revolution to begin in earnest. An accomplished Champion like Charlotte (flanked by challengers like Sasha and Becky) if given the stage to really steal the show like she did in NXT, could finally position the women's division to be a major attraction. This must happen.
Justin's pick: Charlotte
Dan's pick: Yup. I've said this before, but I've never cared for ladies wrestling. So sure, Charlotte.
The Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Mystery Partner
There's former Wyatt member Erick Rowan, who hasn't been on WWE TV for months due to an injury. That choice would suck out loud.
There's Samoa Joe, who's been running roughshod on NXT but hasn't made his main roster debut yet. The place would go absolutely nuts for Joe, and he'd unquestionably make the match better.
There's Cesaro, who is once again majorly over but "just isn't connecting with the audience because Europe." He and Kevin Owens had a fine match at SummerSlam but he's been pretty directionless since then. Cesaro would be a very nice surprise, the place would go bananas, and the match would be improved.
There's the obvious choice of Randy Orton, who was beaten to a pulp by the Wyatts the night after SummerSlam. That would make sense and I'd be okay with it but a) he's not the most exciting option and b) I've read rumors that he's taking time off, hence the beatdown.
And of course there's the remote possibility (and this would be orgasmic), that the mystery man bit is a device to reintroduce the long-missed Daniel Bryan. I for one would be over the moon for this. Do I think it'll happen? Not really. But goddamn this would be good.
Regardless, this should be one of the stronger matches on the show.
Justin's pick: Since the babyfaces have the big mystery reveal I gotta think they win. I'd say the two most likely picks are probably Joe and Cesaro.
Dan's pick: Of course Reigns & Rollins will win when their mystery partner is revealed as none other than Y2J CHRIS JERICHO! (Ok, probably not, but man that'd be great)
US Championship: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
Justin's pick: I think Cena regains the US Title and resumes his yeoman's work elevating said belt.
Dan's pick: I didn't agree with the move to take the U.S. strap off Cena in the first place so him winning it back makes plenty of sense.
WWE Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Sting
Supposedly Rollins-Cena is going on last, but for this column I'm putting the WWE Title match last because that's where it should be. I think this match will be fine. I'm not a fan of giving Sting a title shot because it makes no sense, but the guy's still in great shape for a 56-year-old, and Rollins is Rollins. They've kinda painted themselves into a corner - Rollins can't lose the belt here (I mean come the fuck on!) but Sting can't really lose two out of two PPV matches in WWE, can he? There's always the possibility that Sting wins the belt and then Sheamus cashes in, replacing Rollins as The Authority's top man, and then Rollins turns face and feuds with Sheamus. But I dunno, that seems like a lot of upheaval all at once.
Justin's pick: Sting wins the match but doesn't win the belt. So a DQ finish of some kind.
Dan's pick: Sting wins, Sheamus cashes in, BOOM - Ireland on top, like the old days.
Like the old days of what, Dan? Like the old days of fuckin' what??
I'm not expecting a landmark event here by any means, but this show should deliver at least a few good matches and memorable moments. There's some good potential. Hopefully it measures up. If not, oh well. New Japan's got four PPVs coming up this fall.