The 2013 WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view will be headlined by two matches that the fans, both those at the show and those watching at home, are going to go nuts for.
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk and John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan are two-star studded main events that involve four of the biggest names in the business, who just so happen to be great wrestlers, so you can rest assured that the audience will be captivated by both bouts.
The rest of the SummerSlam card is shaping up to be pretty good, too—depending on who you ask, that is.
While hardcore fans are more than ready to see some of the show’s undercard matches, it remains to be seen just how the more casual fans will react to those very same bouts.
Although some SummerSlam matches may feature great wrestling and/or have a great story behind them, that certainly doesn’t guarantee that the fans will react to them in a positive way.
So, which SummerSlam bouts might not entertain the fans the way that the WWE expects them to?
Let’s take a look at a few matches that may not be all that exciting at this year’s summer spectacle.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston
Dolph Ziggler is undoubtedly catching on with the fans in his new babyface role, but his rumored match, as reported by F4WOnline (via WrestlingNewsSource.com), against Big E Langston at SummerSlam may not be the typical Ziggler match that we’re accustomed to.
Though Langston has had a high-profile role on TV for the entirety of his main roster run, he hasn’t stepped into the ring for actual singles matches very often. As a result, we just don’t know what we can expect of him in the biggest singles match of his career, which is what his match against Ziggler will be.
While it’s hard to imagine Ziggler having a bad match, it’s also hard to imagine him having a great one with Langston, a promising but inexperienced star who’s been relegated mostly to beatdowns and tag team matches throughout his short career.
Ziggler has consistently put on good matches, especially in recent years, but this is a big test for him because he’s going to have to lead Langston to a good showing at SummerSlam.
This isn’t a knock on Langston, who’s shown a ton of potential so far. But performing at a high level on a huge stage like SummerSlam is something he’s not accustomed to.
While the story behind Ziggler’s feud with Langston is actually pretty good, Langston’s lack of experience in big match settings—plus the fact that he’s not nearly over as AJ Lee is—could make for a disappointing match with a disinterested crowd.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
As is the case with Ziggler and Langston, the story behind the feud between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow is a simple one that works.
Rhodes feels betrayed by Sandow for screwing him out of the Money in the Bank briefcase, and now, he wants revenge because his friend turned his back on him and cost him a major opportunity for a future world title match, with F4WOnline (via WrestlingNewsSource.com) reporting the briefcase will be on the line at SummerSlam.
That story would certainly get over if it was taking place between two main-eventers, but there’s a big problem here: Sandow and Rhodes have been booked so poorly for so long that it’s going to be much harder for the fans to be interested in this rivalry than it would be otherwise.
Both Sandow and Rhodes have spent much of the last year losing in both singles and tag team matches, so neither man is over nearly as much as his talent level would indicate that he is.
Rhodes is starting to grow on the fans a bit as a face, but at the same time, the crowd didn’t care all that much about his match against Fandango on this week’s Raw until the finish. That could be a troubling sign.
Although Rhodes and Sandow are two great talents, they also have struggled because the creative team hasn’t done them any favors with its booking.
If the fans can overlook that, then their SummerSlam match should be a lot of fun. If not, then it could be quite the dud.
Alberto Del Rio vs. ____________?
The WWE dropped the World Heavyweight Championship feud between Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler for, well, nothing.
Ziggler has been downgraded to a midcard feud with Big E Langston while Del Rio doesn't have any real feud going at the moment. That's a shame because his rivalry with Ziggler easily could have led to a breakout babyface moment for "The Showoff" at SummerSlam by winning the title.
Now, we're left to watch Del Rio in what seems like his 25th title reign when none of them have been successful. What's even worse is that Del Rio doesn't seem to generate any sort of real reactions from the crowd.
He's a good heel who consistently wrestles great matches, but he's not the type of heel that people seem to care all that much about or want to pay their money to see. As a result, his feuds and matches seem to suffer when they would otherwise be of high quality.
Now, ADR is heading into SummerSlam without a real rival as of yet, and it remains to be seen which babyface will step up to challenge him because most of them are already locked into major matches for the show.
So, just who will Del Rio face? Christian? Sheamus? Rob Van Dam?
That, of course, remains to be seen. But as SummerSlam draws closer and the longer that the not-so-interesting Del Rio goes without getting an opponent for the pay-per-view, the less interesting his already uninteresting title reign become.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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