WWE has spent the better part of two decades building SummerSlam, their mid-year pa-per-view event, into a show that they deem as big (or almost as big) as WrestleMania. The same kind of glitz, glamour and excitement and big-time matches worthy of The Showcase of The Immortals.
As we move towards this year’s iteration of SummerSlam I can’t help but feel like a lot of that is being undone by the fact that we (almost) know exactly what’s scheduled for the main event: Brock Lesnar losing the Universal Title.
With Brock’s short-term WWE contract and already-announced move back to the UFC, it’s an almost inevitable but then again that is what the fans predicted at both WrestleMania AND the Greatest Royal Rumble when he faced Roman Reigns, so could we once again be ‘swerved’ at the last minute?
Whoever faces Brock at SummerSlam (if we discount any shenanigans with a Money In The Bank cash-in) is likely walking out with the Universal Title. This pretty much means the only thing of interest in this match is the who, and how of it all.
This past week on RAW, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley won separate triple-threat matches to win the right to face off this Monday to see who will face Brock for the Universal Title at SummerSlam. This presents three possible scenarios:
Lesnar Vs Lashley – WWE is sometimes like a little kid. They fixate on a certain toy or show and that’s all they want. Right now for 3-year old WWE, it’s MMA. With Brock’s appearance in a UFC Octagon, and Lashley’s MMA background, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were to try to put them in the ring and say “As long as Brock loses, just go for it!” Of course, that’s unlikely because there’s more to putting on an MMA-style shoot fight than just doing it. Plus, in the PG era I doubt it’d fly. Another possibility: Heyman turns on Brock and becomes Lashley’s advocate. Lashley really needs to do that “not talking” thing, and we could all use more Paul Heyman in our lives.
Lesnar Vs Reigns – Roman Reigns is a good wrestler. There, I said it. You know it, I know it, and maybe this is the time for him to shake off the bad booking he’s suffered through and make a full (badass) heel turn. Remember his promo the night after facing the Undertaker at Wrestlemania? It was spectacular. If finally beating Lesnar gets us that Roman full-time, it’ll all be worth it. It could really change his career trajectory, and also elevate the title, because who wouldn’t want to beat the crap out of that guy?
Lesnar Vs Lashley Vs Reigns – This is practically Wrestling 101. It would be easy for WWE to have the match between Lashley & Reigns go to a no contest through some kind of shenanigans, causing them to repeat the match the next week, which would more than likely end in similar circumstances, and they’d just declare it a Triple Threat at SummerSlam. This match would be great for Brock because he could lose the title without being pinned. It’d be terrible for the audience in that it’d be nothing but a glorified Reigns/Lashley match, which we’ve just sat through, like, a lot. This is the most likely of the scenarios, to be honest. It could give us the outcome of a 1-on-1 Reigns/Lesnar match, while protecting Brock and making Lashley…still be there? I guess?
My choice? It’s actually a fourth scenario: With the excitement around the Intercontinental Title right now, Ronda Rousey Vs Alexa Bliss and the rumoured Samoa Joe Vs AJ Styles WWE Title match potentially on the card, honestly, we don’t really need a Universal Title match. The best thing WWE could do is start the show with the Universal Title in a display case in the ring, announce that Brock has been stripped and the Title will be retired to a closet in HHH’s office. In it’s place will be a re-instated Heavyweight Championship (Hey, it’s my fantasy booking, let me have this), which Lashley and Roman will battle for in the Main Event.
The Universal Title debuted at SummerSlam, so ending it there would be fitting.
Sound off in the comments! What scenario would you like to see play out at SummerSlam with the Universal Title?