WWE holds many “special events” as they’re now called throughout the year, but only a select few have been around so long that they constitute an annual tradition. Everybody knows about WrestleMania of course – it’s the pinnacle of the wrestling calendar every single year – the grand daddy of them all. The second longest running after Mania is the “fall classic” called Survivor Series. When wrestling fans talk about annual events though it’s not limited to just these two – it’s a grand group called the “Big Four” that includes the Royal Rumble and what Jeremy Piven once accidentally referred to as “the SummerFest.” Ari Gold wasn’t entirely wrong. No matter what the name of the event it follows (and this year it was WWE Battleground) the SummerSlam PPV has been around long enough to become a wrestling holiday akin to WrestleMania. Friends get together to eat at buffets before their eyes gorge on wrestling. Bars fill up with fans thirsty for both beverages and body slams. Office betting pools are formed and suddenly even the predetermined outcomes of WWE seem a little less predictable. How sure is a sure thing this year? Up to an hour before WrestleMania it was a sure thing that The Undertaker would beat Brock Lesnar. Coincidentally the beast incarnate has promised to unleash his fury on WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Conventional wisdom would have you believe a part time wrestler shouldn’t hold the company’s most prestigious title. If you accept that premise you may want to bet Cena as a +400 dog. On the other hand if the breaking of Undertaker’s monumental undefeated streak at WrestleMania is to mean anything, having Lesnar “conquer” Cena the way he beat Taker makes sense – as does Lesnar being a -600 favorite. Surprisingly these are far from the longest odds for Sunday’s event. Bray Wyatt is a heavy -2000 favorite going into battle with Chris Jericho at +1000. The fact that Jericho is already talking about his next tour with Fozzy in interviews lends credence to these odds – give Wyatt his “big win” over Jericho before he leaves again. Speaking of the big win, Roman Reigns seems about due months after The Shield finally broke apart, and in a one-on-one battle with Randy Orton (+600) he’s a -1200 favorite. There’s no natural reason to continue their feud after SummerSlam – Orton and Reigns are both gunning for a title shot. The winner moves on and the loser kicks rocks. The only question you have to ask is if Lesnar is the champion, who is a better challenger – another heel or a face like Roman Reigns? The other odds are much closer throughout the card. Stephanie McMahon is a small -155 over Brie Bella at +115. Jack Swagger is a -245 over Rusev at +175 – and that’s a tempting dog to bet. The Miz seems likely to retain his Intercontinental Title over Dolph Ziggler at -260 vs. +180. Last but not least Seth Rollins is a -180 going head to head with Dean Ambrose at +140 in a lumberjack match. As always these previews are for entertainment purposes and if you’re going to wager on the PPV please do so responsibly and only bet what you can afford. Enjoy the SummerFest!
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