WWE SummerSlam 2017: Preview and predictions

Photo credit: WWE.com
Photo credit: WWE.com /
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Tozawa Neville
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WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Akira Tozawa (c) vs. Neville

Neville was supposed to defend the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at SummerSlam. Then came “SummerSlam come early,” and Akira Tozawa got his title match six days in advance.

On Raw, in a fun back and forth match, Tozawa pulled off the win to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. He ended Neville’s six-month reign that started at January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The King of the Cruiserweights was WWE’s longest-tenured champion heading into Monday night.

A Cruiserweight Championship rematch seems destined for the Kickoff Show, especially with a double-digit match total at SummerSlam. It can get 10-15 minutes in the opening two hours instead of being rushed between two of the night’s marquee matches.

Raw was a great moment for Tozawa. If anything, the Cruiserweight division’s only good moments have come via title wins. That went for TJP at the Cruiserweight Classic, Rich Swann’s win on the debut episode of 205 Live, and Neville winning his first main roster title in January.

However, like many before Tozawa, WWE has pulled the rug out from underneath babyface champions, and in a short time in 2017. Randy Orton’s WWE Championship reign, Bayley’s Raw Women’s Championship reign, Cesaro and Sheamus’ first Raw Tag Team Championship reign and AJ Styles’ first United States Championship reign all had abrupt endings. With the work Neville did at the top (and by a landslide) in the Cruiserweight division, it’s difficult to see him just drift out of the title picture.

So at SummerSlam, look for what WWE did with the United States Championship multiple times in 2017 and have a title change just days after the previous one. Neville’s charisma and dastardly heel tactics were the best part of the cruiserweights and should continue to shine, while Tozawa remains in the title picture but becomes the chaser — again.

Prediction: Neville wins the WWE Cruiserweight Championship