For the 32nd time in WWE history, the biggest feuds of the summer will come to a head on Sunday in the second biggest pay-per-view of the calendar year. Six titles will be contested in a loaded 10-match card as WWE SummerSlam invades Scotiabank in Toronto with a WrestleMania rematch between universal champion Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins as the likely main event.

A pair of WWE Hall of Famers will also return as Goldberg takes on Dolph Ziggler and Trish Stratus returns to face Charlotte Flair. Kofi Kingston defends the WWE championship against Randy Orton in a rehash of their 2009 feud. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch and Bayley will defend their SmackDown and Raw women’s championships, respectively, against Natalya and Ember Moon.

Subscribe to our podcast — State of Combat with Brian Campbell — and check out our WWE SummerSlam audio preview below at the 1:02:32 timestamp. You can also watch the preview on YouTube.

2019 SummerSlam predictions

Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak (c) vs. Oney Lorcan

JC, BC, AS: I’ll admit something: I wanted to choose Lorcan here because I have believed for a long time that Gulak is better fit for one of the main roster brands or even a top spot in NXT. But the fact is that 205 Live seems to be growing in popularity over the past few months despite its horrendous time slot on the Network. As the brand continues to grow, it’s smart to keep a savvy veteran such as Gulak at the top of the mountain for right now. If anything, this should be the most physical match of the night from a standpoint of pure professional wrestling. Pick: Drew Gulak retains the title

Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler

BC, AS, JC: Goldberg may have received a big pop for his return on Raw to surprisingly sign on to be Ziggler’s opponent. But that doesn’t make his involvement in this match any more logical, nor does it overshadow the fact that Shawn Michaels was teased as Ziggler’s opponent in a sort of crossroads feud between similar characters of different eras that would’ve been mighty compelling. Goldberg will probably do what he always does here, which is go over dominantly in a short squash match. If so, nothing was accomplished here other than a cheap pop. Pick: Goldberg wins

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor

AS, BC, JC: Putting reports of a Balor vacation aside, the worst thing WWE could do to the reintroduction of Wyatt is have him lose his first match back with the company in a calendar year. We can criticize WWE all we want for its storylines, but the build and presentation of The Fiend has been pitch perfect from the start. The only way to make Wyatt and The Fiend believable as a dominant force is to have them take out Balor in a major way here, perhaps even in squash fashion. One can only hope this leaves to an eventual Fiend vs. Demon showdown, perhaps at Survivor Series or even Royal Rumble. Pick: Bray Wyatt wins

Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (If Owens loses, he will quit WWE)

JC, BC, AS: Sure, there’s a built-in outcome here where Owens could lose and then just terrorize Shane and Co. for a few weeks as the “former employee” wreaking havoc on his former employer. But I don’t think that’s the best way to go in this scenario. The authority angle with McMahon — while fresh at first, simply because it didn’t involve Triple H or Stephanie — has really played itself out, and Owens should step in and be the person to finally put an end to it once and for all. I’d like to see Owens move along and feud with actual members of the roster not getting enough attention; you know, like he specifically mentioned in that incredible SmackDown-opening promo from a few weeks back. Pick: Kevin Owens wins

United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet

BC, AS, JC: Expect this to contend for match of the night status. Styles and Ricochet have proven in short time that they are gold when it comes to in-ring chemistry and this match takes place on the brightest stage of all thus far in their feud. Styles doesn’t need the title and likely will have bigger business to attend to this fall, which means it’s time for Ricochet to take back the strap and continue to build his name. Pick: Ricochet wins the title

Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus

BC, AS, JC: Despite the short build, WWE couldn’t have chosen two better performers to take part in this women’s passing-of-the-torch match. At 43, Stratus appears to still have it physically after making a brief comeback last year for the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble match. Flair, meanwhile, might be the perfect dance partner to help elevate this match to the status of memorable. Considering this serves as the female version of the iconic WrestleMania 18 match (also in Toronto) between The Rock and Hulk Hogan, there’s no reason not to use similar booking with Stratus being presented strong only to do the job when it’s all said and done. Pick: Charlotte Flair wins

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon

JC, BC, AS: Yes, I am about to go down this road: we’re going to see Sasha Banks make her long-awaited return at SummerSlam. It was nice to give Moon this sort of shine, and I’m interested to see what the chemistry is like in the ring between she and Bayley. After retaining the title, though, I believe Bayley will have a reunion with her returning best friend in the middle of the ring. Whether that will be good or bad for the champ, though, is something we’ll have to wait and see. Pick: Bayley retains the title

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya (Submission Match)

AS, BC, JC: Lynch has put together a long reign since winning both women’s titles at WrestleMania, but it has been anything but remarkable as WWE has basically shelved its push of the women’s division since the departure of Ronda Rousey. Saddling Lynch with trying to get Lacey Evans over — for three months — was ridiculous and truly hurt her stature even if she remains a popular antihero for fans. She needs a big win, and while Natalya may not have been the most inspired opponent for WWE’s second-biggest event of the year, it does make sense considering the location (Canada). How do I see this ending? Lynch tapping Natalya out in the center of the ring … with her own sharpshooter. Pick: Becky Lynch retains the title

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton

AS, BC: Kingston’s run with the WWE title has been remarkable. In fact, it’s the strongest booking WWE has given one of its world champions in quite some time (not counting Brock Lesnar, of course). But it has to come to an end at some point, and Orton is the perfect opponent to take the title from Kingston considering their real-life history and a storyline that had Kingston calling out Orton to get retribution on the legend for holding him down in WWE so many years ago. Kingston has been a fine champion, but he was even better chasing as a babyface. Let’s give Orton his 15th world title in WWE (putting him one short of John Cena and Ric Flair) and have Kingston spend the next couple months earning another opportunity … perhaps on the debut of SmackDown on Fox or even at Hell in Cell. After all, if Kingston does retain, who is actually left for him to defend against? Pick: Randy Orton wins the title

JC: The story that’s been told here has been nothing short of amazing to watch play out — much like Kingston’s entire reign as champion since his historic victory at WrestleMania. These two should have one of the better matches of the night, and it’s one of the bouts I’m looking forward to the most on this stacked lineup. But when it comes down to it, though, I’ve been getting the growing feeling that Kingston’s reign is going to be even more lengthy than most of us had originally thought. And when the time does come for him to drop that title, it’ll be to a young up-and-coming heel, not a veteran presence like Orton. Kingston will be able to close the longest chapter in his book with a victory over the Viper on Sunday. Pick: Kofi Kingston retains the title

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins

BC, JC: Recent booking has unfortunately succeeded at giving Rollins rare go-home heat as a babyface. Outside of Lesnar’s cashing in and his initial beat down of Rollins, this feud has also lacked anything creative, save for Rollins’ never-say-die rant on Monday that simply doesn’t fit his character. Should WWE decide to force a favorable pop by having Rollins conquer Lesnar cleanly for the second time this calendar year, it would be lukewarm at best. This match needs Lesnar to go over, and Rollins needs to turn back to heel sooner than later. Pick: Brock Lesnar retains the title

AS: Look, I agree with what was written above. WWE has done Rollins a disservice — just like it did Roman Reigns before him — with the way they have booked him opposite Lesnar. And the consecutive beat downs on Raw give Rollins an out if he loses. I just think that Rollins’ promo on Monday night was supposed to hit way harder than it did; instead, it flatlined, leaving many to believe Lesnar will go over here. But if you listen to his words, a white-meat babyface in Rollins guaranteed — again, guaranteed — victory. And Vince McMahon does not have his faces do that historically unless they are ultimately going to win. My only hope is we do not get another low-blow, mind-numbing quick match as nearly all of Lesnar’s losses have been during his recent WWE run. Pick: Seth Rollins wins the title





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