WWE SummerSlam 2015 takes place today at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The show starts at 7 p.m. and is available on the WWE Network.
Newsday's Josh Stewart and Alfonso Castillo offer these predictions on SummerSlam's lineup.
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Alfonso Castillo: Putting on such an epic rematch on SummerSlam, rather than WrestleMania, seems peculiar--unless you look at it as the second part of a trilogy. To set up a rubber match at WrestleMania 32, it would seem that Taker would have to win here. But WWE could tell just as compelling a story, if not a more compelling one, by having The Dead Man drop two in a row to Lesnar, than convince The Beast to give him one final shot, before 100,000 fans in his home state of Texas, by putting his career on the line. And so, this match really is a toss up, as I think either man could afford a loss here and be rebuilt in time for 'Mania. But if WWE wants to get the most out of Lesnar for the remainder of 2015, I expect they will look to keep him strong here by picking up a close, but decisive victory in a short, wild brawl.
Pick: Brock Lesnar
Josh Stewart: Before anyone handicaps this match, we should take a moment for a tip of the cap to WWE. The outrage over Undertaker's "Streak" ending at the hands of Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX was the product of a short-attention-span society. But that loss was merely the first act of what looks to be an epic trilogy that will will properly cap the Deadman's iconic career and firmly establish Lesnar in Undertaker's spot as the company's big-event, can't-miss attraction. Yes, this feud needs to climax in Texas next year, but if it happens it will be with the score tied 1-1. Undertaker has shown he will resort to some pretty dastardly deeds to exact revenge on Lesnar. What better way to sell a WrestleMania XXXII tie-breaker than an angry Beast looking to avenge a less-than-honorable Undertaker victory?
Title vs. Title
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. United States Champion John Cena
AC: The Brooklyn crowd is sure to be as brutal as ever with Cena. But one classic anti-Cena chant I don't expect to hear is: "You can't wrestle!" Indeed, in the ring, Cena has had the best year of his career in 2015, with Match of the Year-level performances against everyone from Lesnar, to Cesaro, to Kevin Owens to Rollins. Look for him to top himself here in a barn-burner of a contest with the champ. Because this feud will likely stretch a couple extra months, and because it makes no sense for Rollins to win the U.S. title, I'm expecting some kind of screwy non-finish here, setting up a rematch where Cena will win his 16th world title sometime this fall.
JS: Nothing sells a heel better than having two title belts, allowing him or her to come to the ring draped in gold and bask in one's own glory. But here's a wrinkle. Sheamus has been front-and-center at a lot of WWE events in NYC heading up to the show, and he happens to hold the Money in the Bank briefcase, the same thing Rollins used to steal the world title at WrestleMania XXXI. What if Rollins beats Cena to win the U.S. title, and then Sheamus cashes in, plants Rollins and wins the world title? Then Monday night on Raw, a disgusted and distracted Rollins is told he has to defend the U.S. title, and drops it to, say, Neville, a recent NXT call-up who-?"s ready to take the next step. It would all seem to make sense: Cena has re-established the U.S. belt and can now pass it on, and we have a new player in Sheamus to make sure the Cena/Rollins feud doesn't get stale.
Pick: Sheamus cashes in Money in the Bank
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
AC: Headlining WrestleMania 32 with a heel Reigns challenging Cena for the world title makes a lot of sense. WWE storytellers have a lot of steps to take before getting there--not the least of which is Reigns turning on Ambrose to establish him as a villain, and give him a meaningful feud to keep him busy for the remainder of 2015. I don't expect the turn to take place here, but I do expect some seeds to be planted -- perhaps in the way of Ambrose costing his team the match and Reigns appearing annoyed, a la The Rockers.
Pick: Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
JS: When the inevitable Reigns heel turn happens, WWE wants to create as much heat as possible. Ambrose is practically worshipped by the Brooklyn crowd -- his "Monday Night Raw" gimmick there with the Coney Island hot dog cart was one for the ages. If Reigns takes out Ambrose in Brooklyn there will be a crowd outrage similar to Hulk Hogan joining the NWO or the Horsemen breaking Dusty Rhodes' leg in the Omni. If WWE doesn't take advantage of this opportunity it would be downright criminal.
Pick: Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
AC: Clearly, this is aimed at pleasing the type of fans who also attended NXT at the Barclays Center the night before SummerSlam. Expect the work rate to be off the charts for this one. There's no obvious winner here, but I'll go with Cesaro, if only because he seems to be the more important WWE project at the moment.
JS: Funniest observation from a week attending upteen wrestling events: Talking to a teen going to the NXT show wearing a Kevin Steen Ring of Honor T-shirt, then showing up at the ROH show and seeing a similar-looking teen in a Kevin Owens NXT shirt. Owens in the poster boy for WWE keeping the underground fans from dismissing their product as corporate shill, and keeping him strong as a key to maintaining what Owens offers.
Pick: Kevin Owens
Three-way Divas match: Team PCD vs. Team B.A.D. vs. Team Bella
AC: WWE may have high hopes with this one, but with nine women all involved in a match that likely won't be slotted for more than 10 minutes, I'm not expecting a classic here. Team B.A.D. wins this one to add fuel to the three-faction rivalry.
Pick: Team B.A.D.
JS: You have to remember that SummerSlam is now a four-hour show, allowing more time for this type of a match. WWE hasn't come this far on the #givedivasachance road to give the female talent short shrift. This match will go 12-15, more than enough time for the Divas to impress once again.
Pick: Team Bella
Stephen Arnell and Neville vs. King Barrett/Stardust
AC: This match has some potential to steal the show, as all four men will be looking to shine in this features match, which is sure to get the attention of the "Entertainment Weekly"-type media. Celebrity-match booking dictates that Amell stays on the apron most of the match, executes a few flashy moves, and gets the pin.
Pick: Stephen Arnell/Neville
JS: A tag-team match with a celebrity match is always tough balance: In once sense it's a tip of the cap to newbie Neville that WWE would pair him with a movie star. But most wrestling fans are going to watch this and ask themselves, "Why can't I just see Neville vs. Stardust?" That's a show-stealer match that doesn't need a silver-screen gimmick.
Pick: King Barrett/Stardust
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
AC: They're two of the better workers on the entire WWE roster, but neither Orton nor Sheamus have exactly been electrifying crowds as of late. This could make for a suitable opening match. Orton gets the win, setting up Sheamus to, maybe, cash in the briefcase Monday night on Raw.
Pick: Randy Orton
JS: Is this a trend? Orton beat Rollins at WrestleMania XXXI before Rollins cashed in later in the night. In this case, history repeats itself.
Pick: Randy Orton
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
AC: For a match this low on the card, it sure has gotten a lot of TV build up over the last several months. It's clear that the pairing of Rusev and Lana was more than the sum of its parts, so I expect them to reunite sooner than later. Lana backstabs Ziggler here to give her true love the win.
JS: Ziggler said at the WWE 2K16 release party that he'd like to play as himself and face The Undertaker if given a choice. Ziggler has amazing ambition and has persevered after getting lost in the WWE wilderness. This is a key match for Ziggler, kind of like when Shawn Michaels stood tall with Mankind and showed he was more than a pretty boy. In this case, Ziggler is up for the occasion.
Pick: Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Title: Ryback defends against Big Show and The Miz
AC: Ryback retains in a short, forgettable match.
JS: The two big guys cancel each other out and The Miz leaves with the gold.
Tag title match: Champions The Prime Time Players defend against New Day, Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores
AC: The New Day recaptures tag team gold.
JS: The Prime Time Players retain.