A LOOK TOWARD SUMMERSLAM 2018
With Wrestlemania 34 out of the way, WWE’s storylines are already shifting toward the company’s next big PPV event: “Summerslam 2018.” This year’s spectacle is set for August 19 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Clearly, with four months and four other PPVs still remaining until the big show, a lot can happen from now till then. But we looked into our crystal ball to see what the Summerslam card might look like. Think of it as a combination of what makes sense storyline-wise and matches we simply want to see.
We open the card with…
SETH ROLLINS (c) vs DEAN AMBROSE for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Ambrose should come off the injury list in a matter of weeks, and what better way to make a splashy return than to turn on his SHIELD brother, who happens to be the reigning IC champ? If you’ve seen Ambrose in his pre-WWE days (as “Jon Moxley”), you know he can be an incredibly charismatic villain. Turn these two guys loose, and you’ve got a red-hot opener for Summerslam.
For the second match on the card, we turn to the tag team division:
THE BAR (c) vs BLUDGEON BROTHERS vs RANDY ORTON & BATISTA for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles
Here’s how this would happen: Cesaro and Sheamus win the tag straps and immediately get into a heel-vs-heel feud with Harper and Rowan (Bludgeon Brothers). On Smackdown, Orton is attacked during a backstage interview by The Bar, who are fuming over being beaten by the Bludgeon Brothers. Orton then challenges either member of The Bar to a singles match, and the ensuing match ends when the other Bar member and both Bludgeon Brothers interfere. Orton demands a shot at both teams, and GM Paige sets up a three-way tag match at Summerslam. All Orton has to do is find a partner. And that partner turns out to be his old Evolution teammate.
Next up, we have a women’s tag team match:
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Charlotte & Becky Lynch for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles
Paige gets together with the McMahon clan and persuades them to create a women’s tag team division for the Smackdown brand. Upon hearing this, Raw GM Kurt Angle demands that “Team Red” get in on the action, and it’s decided that representing teams from both brands will compete for the first-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Tournaments are held on both shows, with Charlotte and Lynch winning the opportunity to represent Smackdown. Bayley and Banks, after weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks and weeks!) of teasing a full-blown feud, shock the WWE universe by turning heel together and vanquishing the Raw division. In the end, we just want another excuse to see the WWE’s Four Horsewomen go at it one more time.
Next, the match fans always wanted but never expected to see:
THE MIZ (c) vs DANIEL BRYAN for the U.S. Title
Longtime viewers of “Talking Smack” will remember the hostilities between these two. Frankly, it brought out the very best in The Miz. Back then, of course, no one knew that Bryan would be medically cleared for an in-ring return. Now that it’s happened, this is the feud that we’re all waiting to see. The seeds for this match have already been planted, with Bryan managing to get The Miz over to Team Blue. Expect this rivalry to build up to boil at Summerslam. It will be worth the wait.
Now, another tag team match-up:
KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN vs JOHN CENA & BRAUN STROWMAN
Owens and Zayn are great as heels. They’re so entertaining, and they can go in the ring. We expect them to win Raw’s tag team belts in short order. As Summerslam approaches, we can see the duo getting into a dust-up with Cena, who always seems to be around in time for the big PPvs. Needing a partner, Cena will join forces with Strowman, whose days as a destructive “Monster Among Men” seem to be fading with every passing week. If this match happens, we’d book it so that Owens and Zayn retain the championship after Strowman turns on Cena and tosses him off the roof of the Barclays. (We just like heel Strowman a lot better!)
And now for the marquee women’s match of the night:
NIA JAX (c) vs RONDA ROUSEY for the Raw Women’s Championship
Let’s face it: A “face” Nia Jax isn’t going to last very long. She was born to be a monstrous, unstoppable heel. So we expect her to turn any week now, and her incredible size and strength advantages will only be more effective when combined with a villainous attitude. She’ll be the logical “next step” for Rousey, whose in-ring performances have been better than anyone could have imagined. She is really good, and she’s only going to get better. Imagine Rousey squaring off against an “evil” Jax! Rousey doesn’t even have to win the title here to make this match special, but we’d give it to her anyway. Why wait till the next Wrestlemania?
Next, a rematch years in the making:
AJ STYLES (c) vs SAMOA JOE for the Smackdown World Title
Longtime TNA fans know what kind of matches these two are capable of having. And although a good amount of years has passed since their last pairing, we’re ready for another in-ring encounter – this time on the WWE stage. With Joe now on the Smackdown brand, we know the match is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.
And now for our main event:
ROMAN REIGNS (c) vs BROCK LESNAR vs BOBBY LASHLEY for the Raw Universal Title
The “Greatest Royal Rumble” event in Saudi Arabia takes place on Friday, and we expect Reigns will finally vanquish Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. (If we’re wrong, just forget you read this.) Still, with Lesnar signed to a new contract, you know once and future MMA star will remain on the main event scene. A rematch at Summerslam is a high possibility, and to spice things up this time around, throw in the recently returned Bobby Lashley, who reinvigorated his mat career with a solid run in TNA.
What’s that you say? Where’s Shinsuke Nakamura? Where are New Day and the Usos? Where’s Big Cass (all right, no one is asking that). Sorry, we couldn’t fit them all in. Throw them all together in a 50-man battle royal for the pre-show!
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