SummerSlam Weekend Staff Predictions: Raining Retains
WWE’s biggest weekend of the summer, SummerSlam weekend, is finally here and the card is set in stone. This weekend’s NXT TakeOver and SummerSlam will emanate from Toronto, Canada, and all three women’s championships are on the line.
The staff at Bell to Belles gathered together to share their thoughts on who should win the scheduled women’s matches, and who will win.
Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim
Who should win – Mia Yim: Another NXT TakeOver event, another opportunity to see what exactly WWE’s unofficial third brand has planned for The Queen of Spades. Make no mistake about it, Shayna Baszler’s run with the NXT Women’s Title has been nothing short of impressive. Baszler has beaten contenders in singles competition and multi-woman competition making her seem almost unbeatable.
It’s time someone beats and her and why not start now, with Mia Yim?
There are many reasons Mia Yim should win. The primary one, of course, is that Yim provides something unique to the other women on the roster. She has a unique skill set and an indistinguishable look that could make it easy for the NXT faithful to buy into her as a top star in the company. She is also relatively unknown to many fans who may watch NXT only for the TakeOver events, which makes her an exciting option as the top woman in NXT. The Blasian Baddie is poised and ready to take a spot atop the NXT Women’s Division, which would inject an element of freshness to the division, and allow opportunities for new women. – Anthony Suter
Who will win – Shayna Baszler: Yim has a lot to offer the NXT Women’s Division, and her push certainly has been impressive, but it’ll take more than that to dethrone the Queen of Spades.
Baszler debuted exactly two years ago today at a NXT house show, and has dominated the scene, ever since. She snagged the NXT Women’s Championship last year at WWE Evolution, creating a reign lasting 286+ days. Since her debut in NXT, Baszler boasts a 72 percent win record.
Compare those facts to Yim’s NXT run. Since debuting last year on Sep. 29, Yim holds a 59 percent win record. Yim’s recent push is certainly impressive, but it’s too early in a babyface run to build a solid story of struggle to give her a proper underdog run.
The fans need to be ready for a change like Baszler dropping the title. The Yim push feels like a last minute decision, and though her story is one for a star in the making, she’s not yet the star that will break Baszler. – Kristen Ashly
Candice LeRae vs. lo Shirai
Who should win – Io Shirai: If this was a short-term program with a one-off match, I would suggest that Candice LeRae should win. However, given that this match is likely the start of a long feud between LeRae and Io Shirai, I think Shirai should win at first, probably by some nefarious means.
If Shirai does get the win, it can set-up future stipulation matches to close the feud and give us a reason to invest in LeRae’s journey to overcome her foe. There is money in an eventual match over the NXT Women’s title, if Shirai is the one to finally take it off Baszler. It could also set-up a multi-women match, with Shirai going over, as a heel vs. heel match is difficult to pull-off. Ideally, WWE should use time-limit draws, because neither woman could better the other, creating an argument for both to challenge the winner of Baszler vs. Yim. Either way, I’m sure this match will be excellent. – Josiah MacDonald
Who will win – Io Shirai: This is a little tough to predict, because Candice LeRae could easily pick up a win in her NXT TakeOver debut. In fact, it could be argued that she needs the win more, because she hasn’t had much of a push since she joined the developmental brand. However, Io Shirai will more than likely win. She just turned heel, and it’s hard to imagine she will lose her first match as this new character. It’s also safe to assume she is still a top contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. So, she will probably stack-up some noteworthy wins like this before she challenges for the title, again. – Philip Lindsey
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus
Who should win – Charlotte Flair: Charlotte Flair should win this match against Trish Stratus, despite it being in Stratus’ home country. Yes, Stratus is one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, but Flair, in my opinion, has surpassed Stratus as the greatest female wrestler to have ever laced-up her boots.
She surpassed Stratus’ title reign record, which landed at seven reigns, and Flair is no where near done collecting the gold. WWE used to be looking for the “next Trish Status” but years down the road, they will be looking for the “next Charlotte Flair.”-Lauren Founds
Who will win – Charlotte Flair: While there’s an argument to be made for Stratus to win in her hometown, having Flair best the Hall of Famer is the simpler, smarter outcome, and it’s the one WWE will likely go with. Unless this dream match falls well below expectations, the fans will still view Stratus as a legend, regardless of the result, but Flair needs a quality win after taking a backseat to the rest of the division for the last couple months.
What happens between these two after the final bell holds some interest as well. WWE could easily have Flair win and gloat about her triumph for weeks on end — especially given how scarce the heel side of the SmackDown women’s division is — but it’s also possible that Flair and Stratus show mutual respect in a way that turns Flair babyface. It seems like a stretch, but this company really wanted to push Flair as a protagonist last year, despite the crowd favoring Becky Lynch over her. Either way, look for Fair to win via submission in what should be a great match, provided they get time. – Chris Jeter
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya Neidhart
Who should win – Becky Lynch: Sometimes the best result for a wrestler is a loss. Becky Lynch should win this Sunday because The Man’s time at the top is far from over, but, more importantly, Natalya should lose because it’s way past due that she gets some narrative momentum all of her own.
Since losing the SmackDown Women’s Championship almost two years ago, she’s been stuck playing second fiddle in all her storylines, first to Ronda Rousey, then to her own late father, and most recently to Beth Phoenix. Her feud with Becky Lynch is the first time in a long time she’s been the hero of her own story, and it’s incredible to see the passion and pathos she’s brought to the ring over the past few weeks. The best way to keep that fire burning is to feed it with a hard-won loss at SummerSlam. She’ll need that fire to claim the opportunity she’s been denied far too long: a singles match on the Grandest Stage of Them All. – Dean Buckley
Who will win – Becky Lynch: Many feel “The Man” has lost some of her luster since main eventing WrestleMania, but not enough to lose her title this soon. Natalya is a a stellar in-ring veteran and will be in front of her home country, but I don’t see her beating arguably the hottest star on the WWE roster.
The match is destined to be a back-and-forth bout showcasing both women’s impressive move set. I foresee several attempts to tap-out one another with their respectful submission moves, but Becky Lynch will be the victor in this match via the Dis-Arm-Her. Natalya will put up quite the fight, and will give Lynch a run for her money, but the The Man will be holding her title high above her head after the bells rings at SummerSlam. – Lauren Founds
Bayley vs. Ember Moon
Who should win – Ember Moon: I feel Ember Moon should be the one to go over in the SmackDown Women’s Championship match scheduled for SummerSlam. Bayley can take a loss at this stage of her career, and I feel like Ember Moon getting a win over one of the Four Horsewomen could do wonders for her career. There’s also endless possibilities for fresh championship matches with her being the champion. -Dallas Barnes
Who will win – Bayley: As heart-warming as it would be to see Ember Moon win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam, Bayley will almost certainly represent the Blue Brand when it moves to FOX, in October.
Bayley’s producing the best work of her career right now and is 1b to Kofi Kingston’s 1a in the fictitious MVP race, this year. Bayley also has other opponents to elevate. Because this match is about Bayley having another great title defense, and even more about Ember putting herself on the map as a sure-fire future champion. Don’t be surprised to see Moon defeat Bayley in the future if she gets a second opportunity at The Hugger’s title, but it’s hard to see WWE making the switch so early into a strong title reign. – Kevin Parvizi
Do you agree with our TakeOver and SummerSlam picks? Let us know below.