WWE SummerSlam 2017: Four Burning Questions
It’s hard for WWE fans not to look ahead to August 20, the day WWE SummerSlam takes over Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with speculative excitement. There’s still WWE Battleground still looming, but it’s SummerSlam that carries the weight of far-reaching consequences for both Monday Night RAW and SmackDown. SportsKeeda, which dropped at least one spoiler-heavy bombshell, reports SummerSlam will likely have a four-hour main card.
As wrestling fans and observers speculate on what we can expect to see at SummerSlam, there are a few significant questions raised in need of definite answers.
Which Belts Are Likely On The Line?
If the pre-determined drama of SummerSlam unfolds over a period of four hours, then there will probably be multiple belts up for grabs. WWE staffers over at ESPN boldly predicted that Monday Night RAW’s Universal Championship and SmackDown’s WWE Championship would be changing hands, as would SmackDown’s United States Championship and Women’s Championship titles.
If true, this would mean that SummerSlam would ultimately serve as a reset button, crowning a fresh series of champions. It could also create a series of new rivalries and possibly launch a new round of storylines for both RAW and SmackDown.
What’s The SummerSlam Main Event?
Answering this question is tricky as there are virtually no matches 100 percent confirmed for SummerSlam. Current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is allegedly supposed to face either Roman Reigns or Samoa Joe at SummerSlam. Reigns and Joe were set to have a No. 1 contender match for the right to face Lesnar.
However, a recent report by SportsKeeda suggests the three men will meet at SummerSlam as part of a “Fatal 4 Way” matchup for the belt. If things weren’t unclear enough, there’s some debate over who that fourth man will be. SportsKeeda says WWE is set on Braun Strowman as the fourth man. However, ESPN’s Omar Powell is holding out hope that Finn Balor will have a say — and possibly defeat Brock Lesnar.
Fan speculation aside, reports indicate that Strowman will very likely be the fourth man in a “Fatal 4 Way” main event. Given the timing of his injury, it’s believed Strowman could arrive just in time to directly compete for the Universal Championship.
WWE SummerSlam Tickets
Did SummerSlam Leaks Spoil Battleground Match Outcomes?
An exclusive report by SportSkeeda says “John Cena is currently penciled in to face Jinder Mahal.” If true, the timing of this leak is a serious problem. It’s important to remember that both Cena and Mahal will feature heavily at WWE Battleground on July 23rd. As Wrestling, Inc. writes, early betting odds already had the two men as favorites to win their respective matches.
This report seems to make their Battleground victories quite obvious conclusions. Wrestling fans may not even bother to suspend disbelief for John Cena’s bout against Rusev or Jinder Mahal’s title defense against Randy Orton. Instead, fans may choose to ignore these matchups and speculate the outcome of Cena vs. Mahal.
Will WWE Burn Itself With John Cena Record?
Speaking of John Cena and Jinder Mahal, one of the more interesting ESPN predictions has John Cena winning the WWE Championship. Doing so will allow Cena to hold a WWE belt a record 17 times. While it’s tempting to go down this route and solidify Cena’s place in the WWE Hall of Fame, doing so could cause issues among non-receptive WWE fans.
As ESPN’s Matt Willis points out, the Brooklyn crowd is notoriously verbal, especially when it comes to things they don’t agree with. The staffer feels that “more than half of the Barclays Center will be rooting on Mahal and his cronies.” That could put the WWE in yet another awkward position where a PPV outcome results in a round of boos rather than cheers. Although the WWE is unapologetically scripted, fan reaction is not. WWE might need to plan some course correction strategies if the fan reaction is especially sour.
With SummerSlam likely shaking up storylines on both RAW and SmackDown, the fan excitement is understandable. It’s possible some of the questions on this list may be answered well ahead of SummerSlam. It’s just as possible new questions will be raised in the coming days. With so many theories about the directions of various storylines, it’s likely rumors and speculation will continue right up until August 20.