Summer Slam is less than 24 hours away, and the Number Two Contenders have you covered.  Doc Manson and The Teacher are here to discuss matches, angles, predictions and more!

The Teacher:  Doc, does it feel to you like this PPV has taken forever to get here?  It seems like these feuds have been building (or in some cases, not building) for months!

Doc Manson: Yeah, the build has been pretty slow for almost the entire card. I’m starting to feel like a broken record, always talking about the same stories and wrestlers. Although, a few of those wrestlers I talk about aren’t even on the SummerSlam card.

T:  I assume you are referring to one of our favorites, Mr. Cesaro, who will be kicking off the card by not wrestling on it.  He and RVD are scheduled to face off in the Pre-Show.  I’d like to say that having two of the better wrestlers in the company going at it before the PPV means that Summer Slam will be stacked with epic encounters top to bottom, but I just think this is more indicative of some of the lack of quality booking for certain talents.

Cesaro has to win, right?  Even if he’s going nowhere.

DM: They can pull the trigger on Cesaro at any time and he will deliver. I don’t think a win or a loss against RVD on the SummerSlam pre-show is going to make much difference in Cesaro’s career.

Guesses on the first match of the night?
T:  I think we’ll see Miz and Ziggler start off the show proper.  Title on the line (the only mid-card belt being defended, but we’ll get to that later), and featuring two wrestlers who can tell a decent story (If I say Miz is good in the ring, many people on Twitter will call me names).

As much as I like Ziggler’s in-ring ability and potential, I have to believe Miz comes out victorious tomorrow night.  Or, at least, with his IC title.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see him get intentionally DQ’ed or something.

DM: Agreed. Ziggler can’t catch a break, or win a title. Miz continues on his road to mid-card glory.

Wait a minute, this seems like the place to bring this up. Where is Bo Dallas on this card? That’s a rhetorical question, of course, since he isn’t on the card. I really think this would have been a good place to inject a little Bo into the biggest party of the summer with a three-way dance for the IC title.

T:  From what I’ve read, there is a significant lack of Bo-lieving going on backstage, which saddens me.

Also an interesting factoid.  This year’s Summer Slam features nothing but singles matches.  No three-way dances, no tag matches, nothing.

DM: Gotta make room for two Diva matches… although, I hesitate to describe Stephanie McMahon v. Brie Bella as a Diva’s match.

T:  I don’t know, Doc.  Haven’t you been seeing all the pictures of Stephanie working out in the gym.  She’s going to be in top physical condition for this one!

Let’s get this over with now, because the whole thing is just sad at this point.   I’m just adding my voice to the chorus here, but the affair angle from this past RAW totally made the entire thing jump the shark.  Steph will be OK in the ring, we’ll likely discover the affair angle was made up, and Brie will come out on top.

Here’s the important question, though.  Will Daniel Bryan make an appearance?

DM: Before I get to Daniel Bryan, I just want to talk about that affair angle. The writing here makes Brie look like an idiot. She has absolutely no rational reason to believe any scenario brought to her attention by Stephanie McMahon. Her buying into the story, and slapping Daniel’s mistress, was the action of an empty-headed automaton. Brie had come through so much of this story looking like a smart human being, and they completely destroyed her credibility on Monday night.
Daniel Bryan may be in Brie’s corner. I assume a distraction will see Stephanie picking up the win, and having that mistress lady make kissy faces at Daniel Bryan might be that distraction.

T:  Up until Monday, I was enjoying enough about that story to make me actually intrigued with the match.  Now, I think I’ll just skip the whole thing.  Sad, really.

One match I will not skip, though I still have no earthly idea what the rules are, is the Flag match between Rusev and Jack Swagger.  Usually, flag matches end with capturing the flag from the corner ringpost, but from the sounds of it, this one will be slightly different, though we’re not sure how.

I keep going back and forth on this one.  On one hand, Rusev needs to maintain his momentum, so he should win.  On the other, I can’t see WWE risking the potential backlash of a US flag desecration, which makes me think Swagger wins.  Your analysis?

DM: I think Rusev wins. Not waving the American flag at the end of the bout doesn’t equal desecration, so they can get away with it. I’m really starting to cool on the Rusev v. Swagger feud. Lana and Zeb just keep talking, and I feel like each week the feud just loses more and more momentum. Zeb has made it clear that he is still very much that same pro-America, anti-immigration character from before this feud started, and I’m having trouble reconciling them as the good guys here.

T:  I’m glad to see you’re getting the same feelings that I am; many of these feuds have gone on too long and need to end.  In fact, I’ve been putting on my fantasy booking hat as of late, and trying to plot out where I’d like to see the majority of the roster go from here.  In Rusev and Swagger’s case, it’s as far away from each other as possible.

Just for the sake of having some disagreements, I’ll predict Swagger wins, though it will certainly not be by submission.  The US comes out on top, but the Bulgarian Brute still looks impressive.

While we are on the topics of feuds that need to end, Chris Jericho takes on Bray Wyatt tomorrow night.  Thoughts?

DM: Jericho loses? I mean, right? Why else is he here? Bray comes out on top at the end of this feud, or else it has been a severe misdirection. With Harper and Rowan banned from ringside, this is a good opportunity to show that Daddy Wyatt can take care of business on his own.

T:  My thoughts exactly.  As soon as the writing was on the wall that the Family was out of the picture, I started guaranteeing on Twitter that Bray comes out on top.  I can’t say for sure that Jericho helped get Bray majorly over in this feud, but Y2J needs to be staring at the lights this Sunday.

Quick aside before we move on, since I mentioned the lights.  You posted on your own Twitter page (@DocManson, in case you don’t follow him) that you dislike the Wyatt’s entrance, is that right?  Care to elaborate on that a bit?

DM: The entrance in nonsensical and contrary to the motivations of the character. Literally, he lights a lantern, blows it out, and then come out in the arena with the lantern lit again. What? And the Foley-esque cheap pop just doesn’t make me feel like Bray Wyatt is a legitimate bad dude. It gives him that soft, comical edge that directly conflicts with the aura of the character.

Don’t get me started about the continued use of “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” a song that entered the Wyatt lexicon as it specifically described John Cena’s position in the WWE. And why is it that Rowan and Harper now come out with that song appended to their entrance music? No idea. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

T:  Seriously, Doc, tell us how you really feel.

We could rant for hours on the lack of logic and sense we see in WWE right now, and I want to get back to Summer Slam.  Suffice to say, Bray blowing out an actual lantern and then coming to the ring with an electric one has always irritated me, though I don’t mind the cheap pop.  Again, a conversation for another time.

AJ and Paige.  Diva’s championship.  Paige has come into her own as a heel, and AJ lost to Eva Marie.  Why?  Who knows!  All signs are pointing to Paige regaining the title tomorrow, but I think this is one of the two feuds that lasts post-Summer Slam, if only because there is nobody else who reasonably could vie for the title right now.  I think AJ wins, but we see them again at Night of Champions next month.

What say thee, Doctor?

DM: The sportsman in me says that if Eva Marie beat the champion, she deserves a title shot next. I sure hope not though. As far as Paige goes, her entire run as champion and this feud with AJ has been completely mishandled. I get the distinct impression that Paige is not clear on what her character is even supposed to be right now. Worse, I don’t think creative knows what Paige’s character is supposed to be right now. A muddled mess, made more tragic by the potential in Paige.

AJ wins, and the feud continues. Hopefully some good can be made from it in the next few weeks.

T:  Doc, I have to say, you sound very down on the whole direction of WWE right now.  I certainly hope you plan on doing a Mad Rant about it in the future, so that you can be heard.

DM: I may be too depressed to write about it on my own, but I’ll sure try.

What else is on the card?

T:  We have two matches left, my friend.  We have yet to mention the lumberjacks!

DM: Yeah. Yeah. About that. Dean Ambrose, the loose cannon, has the ability to make a match with any stipulation that he wants. He could indulge his violent side and have some sort of weapon match. If he was concerned about Rollins running away, Ambrose could have made a Hell in the Cell match. Hell, if Ambrose really wanted to put the screws to Rollins, he could have made the match for the Money-in-the-Bank contract.

But, no. He decides to have a lumberjack match.

Whoopedy do. A complete waste.

Would you believe that this is the match I’m most excited for on this card?

T:  I would, because I feel the same way.  Just like with AJ and Paige, I think this feud continues.  It just can’t end in a Lumberjack match.

I really thought the Last Man Standing match was the way to go.  Let these two battle all over the arena, really fight it out, do a couple crazy things.  Then Reigns and Kane had one a few weeks ago, and I knew that idea was out the window.

(Random aside:  TOTALLY forgot about Reigns and Orton, so we had three matches.  Not that it matters.)

I’m hoping Rollins uses his clout with the authority to buy off some lumberjacks.  RybAxel would make logical sense, but frankly, I don’t care who it is.  Rollins wins in suspect fashion, giving Ambrose another month to terrorize people and basically steal the show each week, and then they can have that cage match or TLC for the briefcase at the next PPV.

Select members of the Twitterverse believe the lumberjack stipulation was given so that Ambrose and Rollins could NOT steal the show, since they were taking so much of the attention away from the last two matches.  Hope they’re wrong; fear they’re right.

Reigns beats Orton, right?  Do we really need to say much more?

DM: I don’t know. Orton is back to being that psychotic heel character, definitely shifting away from the cowardly character that has been associated with the authority these last few months. I don’t want to see Orton and Reigns continue feuding, but this is only their first singles match against one another, so it makes some sense to try to get some more mileage out of the program they’ve been building. Plus, Orton is one of the top guys in the company. Is Reigns really ready to move on to something bigger just yet?

T:  I hate to keep saying this, but if what I’m reading is true, there is something bigger on the horizon for Reigns.  Bigger, badder, and now a featured player in a major Marvel movie.

DM: Dear god, I don’t care.

T:  OK, main event time.  It’s the biggest match in WWE history, unless, you know, you count the hundreds of matches that were more important.  John Cena and BROCKKKK LESNARRRRR for the WWE World Heavyweight Unified Single Entity Grand High Poo-bah Championship of the World.

If Lesnar wins, its a new era in wrestling and he is virtually unstoppable.  If Cena wins, he is easily the greatest wrestler of all time and we should immediately buy his t-shirts and give the neighbors a 5 Knuckle Shuffle.  Who ya got?

DM: Lesnar is the obvious choice, which makes me want to say Cena. It makes zero sense for Lesnar to lose this match, but if he wins what happens next? Who is available to be a credible contender for Lesnar’s title from now until the road to WrestleMania 31? Name a face that you could even conceivably see them trying to sell in a feud opposite a monster heel Lesnar champion.

T:  LOOK IN MY EYES!  WHAT DO YOU SEE?  CULT OF PERSONALITY!!!!!!

DM: As excited as I would be, not a chance. CM Punk is never, ever coming back.

T:  He’s definitely not coming back for Summer Slam, but we’ll see him again, I’m sure.  Yet another conversation for another day.

There isn’t anyone for Lesnar to face, which is what I would hope Heyman addressed on RAW if Brock does conquer Cena.  In my fantasy booking dreamland, Paul comes out by himself and declares that nobody is worthy to face the champion, so Brock’s going on vacation.  Meanwhile, Heyman challenges the WWE roster to show him what they’ve got, and over the next few weeks, Superstars battle each other for the right to face The Beast Incarnate.

If that doesn’t work, then we’ll just have Cena and Lesnar again at NOC.  ‘Cause that will be fun!

DM: They have months of television to fill. While I can see them getting away with Lesnar not feuding with anyone for awhile, WWE has zero credible main event face characters waiting in the wings, with maybe one exception. Given that they won’t pull the trigger on Reigns until WrestleMania, the only other person I could see would be Dean Ambrose, but he’s tied up elsewhere right now.

T:  We’re also assuming Lesnar remains a heel.  I don’t know about you, but a methodical beatdown of John Cena that ends with a new champion might result in more cheers than jeers.

One other option, though it’s a long shot, would be to use Y2J, if only for the next month.  He could be Lesnar’s first challenger, verbally spar with Heyman for a few weeks, lose to Brock at Night of Champions and ride off into Fozzy-land for another year or so.  Like I said, a long shot, but a possibility.

Well, folks, that’s your Summer Slam card, such as it is.  I wish we had a more positive spin to put on it, but it seems like Doc and I have some serious issues with WWE.  Perhaps we’ll discuss them further next week, once the dust of the biggest party of the summer has cleared.

Any final thoughts, Doc, before we say our farewells?

DM: Lot’s of negativity, but there should be some solid performances at SummerSlam. Hopefully the writing will start to match up with the potential of those performers in the near future.

T:  Couldn’t agree more.

Thank you for joining us, friends.  Hope you enjoy Summer Slam!  For Doc Manson, I’m the Teacher, class dismissed!

From the N2C Archive – August 17, 2014 – Number Two Contenders Summer Slam Preview!
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