Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on SummerSlam 2019 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins = FRIGID Cold
I rant about this all the time. You know how much I hate Lesnar’s title reigns, feuds, and matches. I have no reason to invest 1 minute of my time on this feud when I know Rollins stands no chance of winning the title back and the belt will disappear into nothingness for the large part of the next few months leading up to what will probably be an uninteresting match at WrestleMania 36.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton = Hot
Kofi Kingston has had the best title reign out of everyone this year, I think, and I’m not questioning his ability to put on great WWE Championship matches that are believable at the top level. He’s proven himself.
Likewise, even though Randy Orton can have some stinkers once in a while with some headlock fests and whatnot, The Viper is one of the better performers if he’s properly motivated, and I get the sense this is one of those cases.
This may very well be the best match of the night that people shouldn’t be sleeping on, and I’m excited about this more than anything else on the card.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston wins.
Raw Women’s Championship Submission Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya = Hot / Lukewarm
Very neat that they’re making this a submission match, as that’s spicing things up!
At face value, I rolled my eyes at this. Natalya has done nothing to justify her being the top contender for the Raw Women’s Championship over the past few months with her lack of momentum, and she’s only really getting this title opportunity due to SummerSlam’s location.
Also, I think they’re trying way too hard to make this feel like it’s an epic encounter and suddenly a bitter rivalry, and I’m not buying into that one bit like they want me to. Sorry. In fact, what they’ve done since the original segment of Nattie being declared the No. 1 contender has actually hurt this build for me. I started off writing this as Hot and over the weeks, I’m almost ready to put it down as Lukewarm.
But I do think this will be a good match and a big step up from what we’ve been seeing between Becky and Lacey Evans, and there’s a chance the crowd is super hot for it and can help push this along even further.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon = Hot / Lukewarm
The feud has been lacking, I’ll say that right out of the gate. It’s interesting that Ember Moon has gotten this title shot entirely from Bayley pointing at her and saying she wants to fight her, which is something different, but I don’t get the feeling that Moon has been written well enough as someone who needs to prove herself worthy of that title shot.
If I were writing things, I would have put more emphasis on Moon feeling like she doesn’t want to come off as a charity case, and the build for this would have consisted of her beating other people to illustrate that she does indeed deserve a championship opportunity.
But this is something pretty fresh, and a babyface vs. babyface feud between these two is much better in essence than going to the well of Bayley against Flair, so WWE gets a thumbs up from me, overall.
Prediction: Bayley wins.
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet = Lukewarm / Cold
Seen it enough times by now to know that they’ve probably given it their all, and even though they are two of the most entertaining in-ring performers in this company, I haven’t been wowed yet like I thought I would.
Since this has no stipulation to shake things up, or a gimmick involved to differentiate it from their previous series of generic singles matches, what’s the hook? “See these guys have their fourth or fifth match in the past month and hope that they don’t just repeat what you’ve seen before” isn’t really the best selling point to me when I’m overloaded with too much wrestling.
I would have rather seen these two split into other feuds and wrestle some other people. Copy and paste rematches do nothing for me and have dwindling interest that is multiplied more and more each time it’s repeated.
Prediction: AJ Styles wins.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak (c) vs. Oney Lorcan = Lukewarm
I feel so bad for these two, because I can tell that they have to be frustrated with what they were given to do with this “feud”—or, let’s be honest, the complete lack thereof when it comes to a storyline.
They are talented in the ring and have it in them to put on a great match, yet they have no momentum on their side. 205 Live is the forgotten child second only to Main Event, and Lorcan wasn’t even declared the No. 1 contender until the final minutes of this last episode, so their entire program has been one single stare down.
It’s hard to imagine anybody being super excited for this when WWE clearly doesn’t value it, so it’ll be just skipped over on the pre-show. But I’ll be watching it and likely enjoying it more than a lot of other things on this card (cough*Wyatt/Balor, Lesnar/Rollins and more*cough)
Prediction: Drew Gulak wins.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon = Cold
When a feud revolves around how it’s frustrating that a certain character has been overused and played out on television for the past 9 months, it’s hard to really want to watch anything more associated with it. Being hooked on this feud is an oxymoron.