WWE is ready for the next big PPV event this weekend. The organization descends upon Las Vegas for the return of SummerSlam, which is set to go down from Allegiant Stadium on Saturday night. The match card is loaded up with champions, legends and much more to get fans excited for a memorable night of action.
Seven title matches top the marquee with both world championships, both women’s championships and both tag team championships on the line. Legendary veteran John Cena is back from a stint in Hollywood to battle universal champion Roman Reigns for his title as the champ nears a full year with the belt. Plus, another legend in the form of Bill Goldberg returns to take on WWE champ Bobby Lashley in the other world title tilt.
WWE’s top women will also be in action. Nikki A.S.H. will defend the Raw women’s championship against Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match. On the SmackDown side, Bianca Belair will defend her belt in a WrestleMania rematch with Sasha Banks.
Let’s take a look at how we believe SummerSlam will play out this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. kickoff show) from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
2021 WWE SummerSlam predictions
Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena
Cena is here for a minute, trying to pop a few ratings and also getting the benefit of doing a little promotion for F9 and The Suicide Squad. What he is not here for, however, is to become universal champion. Where Goldberg could conceivably beat Lashley because that’s just kind of the tune WWE plays with Goldberg. But there’s a bigger story being told with Reigns and a short-term title flip to Cena just doesn’t fit. Pick: Roman Reigns retains the title
WWE Championship — Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Goldberg
As miserable an idea as it is to continue bringing Goldberg back to struggle to create a memorable three-minute match, it’s clear WWE and Goldberg are content to continue doing it until Goldberg’s three-minute matches look like the last time he tried to go eight minutes. It wouldn’t make sense for Goldberg to win here, but it didn’t make sense for him to take the title off Bray Wyatt and it happened, effectively permanently destroying The Fiend character and setting off a chain reaction that eventually led to Wyatt and WWE parting ways. In the interest of a misguided shocking title change in front of a packed stadium, it may happen again. Pick: Goldberg to win the title
Raw Women’s Championship — Nikki A.S.H. (c) vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
Nikki A.S.H. doesn’t feel like a longtime champion. Her Money in the Bank cash-in was a nice moment, but the “Almost a Superhero” gimmick is not exactly setting the world on fire and when it fully runs out of steam, it’s going to get bad quickly. Ripley struggled as champion, not quite seeming ready to run with the ball quite yet, though she clearly will be as she gets more main roster experience. It may not make fans happy, but Flair is still the top of the heap on the Raw side and it just seems she is the most reasonable pick to leave SummerSlam with the belt. Pick: Charlotte Flair to win the title
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. Sasha Banks
The one guarantee here is that the match is going to be outstanding. Belair and Banks proved their elite-level skills mesh perfectly at WrestleMania. Having even more experience working together can only serve to make the rematch even better. Banks winning the title back only makes sense if you’re going for 50/50 booking, which WWE often is. Still, Belair retaining makes sense as long as WWE believes they can find interesting new challengers for her and not keep running Carmella and Zelina Vega out week after week. Pick: Bianca Belair to retain the title
Raw Tag Team Championship — AJ Styles & Omos (c) vs. Randy Orton & Riddle
There could be no more pointless result than Styles and Omos retaining. They’re a great tag team act, but the long build to Orton finally embracing Riddle as a true friend needs to have the payoff of them winning the tag titles. The result could make for one of the loudest reactions of the night. Pick: Randy Orton & Riddle win the titles
SmackDown Tag Team Championship — The Usos (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio
It’s a shame that The Usos almost lost steam when they won the titles. The intrigue of the family drama really died when Jimmy, Jey and Roman all got on the same page. It doesn’t help that the Rey and Dominik rivalry has mostly seemed to serve Reigns’ story more than build anything meaningful for the teams involved. Pick: The Usos retain the titles
United States Championship — Sheamus (c) vs. Damian Priest
Sheamus was one of the men who really thrived during the ThunderDome era, not because of the lack of a crowd but because he got the opportunity to remind everyone how good he is. His United States title run has been a bit hit or miss but WWE often seems to struggle to figure out what to do with someone once they win a belt. It’s Priest’s turn with the belt now, something he deserves after doing a good job of helping carry the Bad Bunny match to an impressive degree of success at WrestleMania. Pick: Damian Priest to win the title
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Edge’s place on the roster is not one where wins matter. He’s a special attraction who can deliver a compelling story ahead of big matches. Rollins is still a guy who sits in WWE’s back pocket as an any time title challenger. That said, Rollins vs. Reigns doesn’t really work in the current landscape with both serving as top heels on SmackDown. Knowing that Rollins winning has less value with Reigns on top, it suggests an Edge win is the way to go. Pick: Edge to win
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
Post-championship McIntyre has been a bit of a mess. His rambling promos with “history lessons” were a disaster and now he’s constantly threatening to stab people with his sword. Veer and Shanky should not have been banned from ringside since there’s more value in McIntyre overcoming extra odds than simply beating Mahal, which is what will happen. Pick: Drew McIntyre to win
Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie
I don’t expect this to actually be a match in any sense. Eva Marie isn’t really doing much for in-ring work, which means WWE is using her correctly. Bliss is a witch with a magic doll. Expect a bit of interference from Doudrop, some nonsense from the doll and a quick Bliss win — if the bell ever rings at all. Pick: Alexa Bliss to win