PREVIEW SPECIAL: WWE SummerSlam
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST PREVIEW COVERAGE OF WWE’S SUMMERSLAM EVENT FROM BROOKLYN THIS SUNDAY NIGHT.
Welcome to the Sheet Sandwich WWE SummerSlam Preview Special, where we size up the Good, Better, Best of top (plus the Bad and Ugly of the worst) Previews for Saturday night’s big event set for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
We’ve rated these on a scale of Good, Better, and Best, starting with the best (this “winner,” if you will) and working our way down from there.
We hope you enjoy the following compendium of top (and bottom) previews for this weekend’s SummerSlam show.
There’s a thing I noticed in building these Preview Specials, first for NXT Takeover and now for WWE SummerSlam, and that is the tendency for most of the bigger sites to contain their big show previews to podcasts and not lend their voices to the written articles on the site. This, to me, is a big miss.
People value and respect the opinions of the names they know, and the bigger voices they hear on these sites. They set the bar and are the standard bearers for their brands and, when it comes to high visibility shows, their names should be attached to everything surrounding the major coverage of a big show – from the previews to the reviews.
I’m as guilty as anyone in pouring time, effort and energy into podcasting when part of that could easily be reapplied toward the written content of Sheet Sandwich, so I get how easy it is.
But it’s also relatively simple, when you have a large staff of supporting columnists and contributors, to pen an email with your thoughts on matches and let someone else compile them into an article.
I’ll pick on them slightly because I hold their site in such high regard, and my expectations for the site have risen astronomically in the five months I’ve been writing the Sheet Sandwich.
It would have been great to see Rich Kraetsch, Joe Lanza and Rob McCarron’s names along with Sean Flynn, Rob Barry, Ru Gunn’s over at Voices of Wrestling on their SummerSlam Preview.
Likewise, for an event as big as this SummerSlam is shaping up, it would be nice to see some of the regular guys at F4Wonline partake in predictions for the big wrestling shows like they do with the MMA matches.
It’s little wonder so many people question their passion and commitment to wrestling when they go all out with their predictions for the “real” sport of MMA, but relegate the big wrestling cards to three half-hearted “previews” on podcasts where they run down the card six ways from Sunday, and aren’t even clear on what the rules to the divas three-way, 9-woman tag match are, despite the rules being talked about on television.
Proof positive that neither Bryan Alvarez nor Dave Meltzer are paying even a sliver of attention to Smackdown.
With that said, let’s get to our review of the previews you should check out:
Cage Side Seats – WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions
By Geno Mrosko, Sean Reuter, Keith Harris, Bill Hanstock, Kyle Decker
Similarly to their treatment of the NXT Takeover Brooklyn show, Cage Side Seats brought it to another level with their preview of Sunday’s SummerSlam show.
Everything that was great about their NXT preview was present here from a formatting standpoint, and even from an additional match spotlight standpoint.
The thing that tipped them over the tip to win the Best ranking for the big show preview here is that, rather than “Cagesiders” with conspicuously forumesque names, here we had recognizable CSS contributors like Reuter, Keith Harris and Geno Mrosko to lend their voices.
Their picks were easily formatted and scannable, and there was the additional bonus of being visually appealing in that the matches were broken up graphically to let a hasty reader know when they were on to the next match.
It’s not about whether I agree with the picks or not, it’s more about rather they provide me with points of view I could relate to, that seem plausible, or that make me think about something I hadn’t thought of before. Most of the previews looked at here achieve this, so this award basically comes down to aesthetics.
411 Mania – 411’s WWE Summerslam 2015 Preview
By Sean Garmer and the 411 Staff
A sleeper pick of sorts here, and actually one that makes me feel sorry I wasn’t alerted to the 411 crew’s efforts for NXT Takeover.
The thing that slips this one into second place is how they offer mini-profiles of their panel, so I know what podcasts or correspondence the contributors take part in when their not giving us their points of view on big WWE events.
The formatting is similar to the terrific work done by Cage Side Seats and Voices of Wrestling in that you can easily scan or read through each match summary and catch the prediction.
A solid effort here by a site I had, quite honestly, written off ages ago. Kudos.
Voices of Wrestling – WWE SummerSlam 2015 (Preview & Predictions)
By Sean Flynn, Rob Barry, Ru Gunn
As has become typical of the crew at Voices of Wrestling, this trio did a great job framing up the gist of the card and offering their perspectives on the winners and losers.
The preamble setting the stage for the event wasn’t quite up the standard set forth by their NXT preview article, and the fact that no one compiled the picks of Kraetsch, Lanza and McCarron from their podcasts for inclusion here feels like a bit of a miss.
Still, the coverage is exceptional, and several different angles are explored.
A reader will easily find value in the preview. It’s a great effort well worth reading, and following along with.
F4Wonline – Brock Lesnar, Divas & celebrities: 5 reasons to be excited for WWE SummerSlam
By Paul Fontaine
I liked Paul Fontaine’s preview here very much, and so I keep it rated as a good despite the fact that, technically, it’s not a full review.
On the plus side, though, he does a really nice job of breaking down the five matches he does cover, and makes me wonder how thorough this could have been had he gone all our and broken down the entire card like he did this big matches.
What he did review nearly rose to the level of the spotlight match breakdowns I’ve raved about on Cage Side Seats the last couple of days, so that’s saying something.
Definitely worth checking out, even if it is incomplete.
PW Torch – Cool For The Summer: McNEILL Previews WWE SummerSlam 2015
By Pat McNeill
Another out of the ordinary preview I still rate as Good. McNeill flat out informs the reader here “Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event… [and] are not predictions, because this is the column where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.”
With that said, McNeill breaks down the card in humorous fashion while still getting across his point of view and how big an event this is.
He’s thorough in that he runs down every match, and its easy to glean his opinion of each of them, and their outcomes.
I know McNeill can be an acquired taste, but I appreciate his knowledge laced with that sardonic wit.
UPROXX – Your Official With Spandex WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions
By Brandon Stroud and the With Spandex Staff
Alternatively, we have the gang at Uproxx With Spandex, who just continue to be too clever for their own good.
Honestly, are these people out of work comedians or some sort of half-assed improv troupe who share wrestling in common and have banded together to test out their “material” on unsuspecting wrestling fans?
Because that’s exactly what this feels like; as though they’re all auditioning for a bad wrestling show on EarWolf.
Summer says, drop the act…