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MCNEILL'S TAKE
Gold Rush: McNEILL Previews WWE SummerSlam 2013!

Aug 18, 2013 - 5:35:20 PM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist

Wake the pets and call the neighbors, it's time for our exclusive WWE pay-per-view projections!

DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul "The Ref" Levesque, "Best Supporting Actress" Stephanie McMahon Levesque and WWE President Bats--- Crazy Vince McMahon. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything's made up and the points don't matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a picnic basket from Picnic Time. The exquisitely handcrafted Napa picnic basket contains wine and cheese for two and was designed for the picnicking elite. The unique, original design is functional as well as elegant. Furnished by Picnic Time. Pat McNeill's wardrobe is provided by Botany 500. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, unless it's not funny enough.

After a month's worth of buildup, World Wrestling Entertainment has taken its SummerSlam main event, the biggest match of the biggest party of the summer, and made it all about:
- Nikki and Brie Bella, the respective girlfriends of the two participants
- Vince McMahon
- Stephanie McMahon
- Brad Maddox
- Special Guest Referee Triple H

So, that's something to look forward to.

By the way, if you're looking for a REAL second screen experience for WWE Raw, you need to be our the PWTorch public list on Twitter. [url]http://twitter.com/pwtorch/torch-staff[/url] That's the place to be online when a major pro wrestling show is going down.

Before we get down to business, let's get to this month's edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that's why many of you clicked here in the first place. Back in the olden days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, compact discs were considered a neat way to store music, and Bruce Mitchell was still a thirtysomething, SummerSlam wasn't always in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, twenty years ago, on August 30th, 1993, WWF SummerSlam took place in Auburn Hills, Michigan. That's where Razor Ramon and Ted DiBiase had the blowoff match to their feud. Not only is the match here, but this YouTube user has provided us with everything leading up to the match. Really.



Did you get to see WWE Friday Night Smackdown? No? Don't sweat it. Here's the international version of the show, kicking off with The Wyatt Family calling out Kane, and continuing with Christian taking on Damien Sandow. Michael Cole, Josh Mathews & John Layfield had the call.



What was happening in the WWF fifteen years ago? I'm glad you asked! On August 17, 1998, the World Wrestling Federation rolled into Des Moines, Iowa for Monday Night Raw. How do you open a show like this? With "Stone Cold" Steve Austin calling out Mr. McMahon. And then with a big Triple Threat match featuring two former UFC Heavyweight Champions. It's Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn vs. the late Owen Hart. Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler have the call.


WWF Raw - 08-17-1998 Part 1 by WWF1996-1999

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John B. Layfield will probably be announcing tonight. While I have had a decent record with my projections, if you're planning to wager actual money on this show, I recommend waiting around for the Reddit Guy. On with the program!

Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam (WWE United States Title): This is your preshow match on WWE.com and various other sites. The preshow has expanded to a full hour, and will feature expert analysis from Josh Mathews, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Natalya, Renee Young, Maria Menounous, Ryan Seacrest, and the late Dr. Joyce Brothers. (Card subject to change.) Projection? Van Dam escapes the headlock driver, kicks Ambrose in the face, and hits the five star frog splash to capture the WWE United States Title. Rollins and Reigns come in to beat up Van Dam, Henry and Big Show make the save. Why do this? Well, it creates an "anything can happen" moment to draw in potential last second buys. And Ambrose will probably get the title back in the next ten days, so this won't alter whatever WWE's plans are for The Shield.

Natalya Neidhart vs. Brie Bella: This match has been set up by the events of the promotion's surprise summer hit, "WWE Total Divas." It's too bad fans of the show will probably miss this match, because they're skipping SummerSlam to watch tonight's new episode of "WWE Total Divas" on E!. Projection? Twin Magic won't work any more, because the twins don't look identical any more. But Nikki distracts Natalya, and Brie wins with the Bella Buster. Natalya's a sweetheart, but you don't mess with the franchise. With any luck, WWE can turn around and sign Brooke Hogan in time for Season 2 of Total Divas.

Big E. Langston & A.J. Lee vs. Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn Bonin: Yes, Kaitlyn and A.J. are still feuding. Why do you ask? Projection? The Divas champ and Big E. have gotten the better of Dolph and Kaitlyn for most of the summer, so it's time to turn things around. Dolph hits the Zig Zag on Big E. and finally gets a semi-major victory.

Kane vs. Bray Wyatt (Ring of Fire Match): I know this used to be called an "Inferno Match," but it's hard to complain about a stipulation named after a Johnny Cash song. Projection? Let's see. Who's more likely to get set on fire during the course of this bout? I vote for the guy in the full bodysuit, who's about to take an extended vacation. Bray Wyatt is your winner. Follow the buzzards. Hopefully, Kane will return and the two men will settle their difference in the first ever "Tennessee Flat Top Box" match.

Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow: Believe it or not, Cody Rhodes' face turn actually seems to have worked. It hasn't made Cody's character any less of a dick, but the crowds are cheering for him. Projection? Sandow goes to use his briefcase on Rhodes, and gets it Beautiful Disaster kicked back in his face. Rhodes wins with the Cross Rhodes.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian (Smackdown World Title): Christian's been begging for one more match against the World Champion, and he finally gets his wish tonight. Del Rio has become the hated villain we all knew he could be. Projection? Christian has the champ is trouble, Del Rio rallies, only to be surprised by Ricardo Rodriguez, who nails El Patron upside the head with a bucket. Del Rio retains the title by disqualification.

C.M. Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman): A lot of fans will be looking at this outcome, because it will tell us something about WWE's long-term plans for the former UFC Champion. The Beast has a whopping 2-2 record since his return to WWE. It will be difficult to set up Lesnar as a serious threat to Undertaker or The Rock unless he gets to dominate a match before WrestleMania XXX. And that's not going to happen tonight. Projection? Punk does well, but falls prey to the "numbers game," as Axel and Heyman help out their running body. Lesnar wins with the F-5. Heyman taunts the fallen Punk after the match, so Punk gets his heat back by giving Paul E. the Go To Sleep. And if Lesnar's deal is anything like the one he had last year, we're not seeing Brock again until 2014.

John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Title - Triple H is the Guest Referee): John Cena might have to have surgery. The McMahons are itching to get involved in the main storyline. And Randy Orton is waiting in the wings to cause trouble. This should be good. Projection? So, how can you give the people what they want, and move WWE into its fall storylines? Cena's hurt, but you have to imagine that he's planning to gut it out and have a complete match. Hunter gets bumped, and Vince McMahon sends Brad Maddox out in a referee jersey. Hunter recovers and gives Brad a pedigree. Daniel Bryan works Cena's bad arm. Cena refuses to tap, so Daniel Bryan pins Cena with a small package to win the WWE Title. Bryan celebrates. Randy Orton comes out to the ramp and stares down Bryan as we go off the air.

Aftermath: On Raw tomorrow night, John Cena demands an immediate rematch with Daniel Bryan. That's your Raw main event. Triple H is not the special guest referee for the rematch. The match goes until Vince McMahon sends The Shield out to beat up Cena and Bryan. The title match gets thrown out, but Randy Orton cashes in the briefcase, soccer kicks Cena in his bad arm and pins Bryan with the RKO. Randy Orton leaves Raw with the title, Cena has to take time off, Daniel Bryan wants a piece of Orton, and the chase is on.

***
Pat McNeill of Richmond, Va. has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. VIP members can join Pat and other members of the Legion of Torch Superheroes for the VIP Roundtable after tonight's show.


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