5/24/16 – Andrew Berg @WrestleRosters
SummerSlam is more than three months away, but WWE has made it clear that it’s the second biggest show of the year, so some of the major angles have already started to come into blurry focus. Here are the top matches I see for this year’s card.
WWE Title: Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena – No matter how much you dislike Reigns, it would never make sense for him to quickly drop the title after his grand ascension at Wrestlemania. Cena is a permanently viable opponent and his quest for a record-tying 16th title would be ready-made story. Reigns could come out on top and stay there until Wrestlemania.
Seth Rollins vs. HHH – Rollins threw a monkey wrench into most fantasy booking when he returned to WWE with a purely heelish character. Nonetheless, there’s an obvious rivalry between him and his former mentor somewhere down the road and SummerSlam would be a solid place for it to boil over.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt – Both wrestlers have largely been out of sight, out of mind since Wrestlemania. Even so, their feud has been rumored for so long that it seems inevitable that it will ignite next time we see Lesnar. It’s about time for Wyatt to reengage as a top guy, too.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens – WWE has artfully allowed Zayn and Owens to dance around one another, keeping their rivalry hot without burning out fans on seeing them wrestle in singles matches. Their association seems likely to persist as long as they are both in WWE, so this match is usually a pretty good bet.
Women’s Title: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks – I don’t mind that Sasha has been on the fringe of the women’s division since Wrestlemania because I have faith that she will have a significant run in the relatively near future. Like Zayn and Owens or the former Shield members, there is no reason to hurry to resolve their rivalry.
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles – The clock is ticking down on Balor’s time in NXT. With the dissolution of The Club, there is a natural void for him to step into and a readymade rivalry with Styles. I think we will see this match before SummerSlam, so this could be a good place for a stipulation match to blow off their feud.
Intercontinental Title: Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose – The list of participants in this match is a grab bag of names I haven’t mentioned yet. Apollo Crews, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin, and Neville could just as easily be the challengers. Either way, I suspect that Cesaro will be in the midst of his reign at this point.
Tag Team Titles: New Day (c) vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows – I will go so far as to say that Anderson and Gallows will be the team to finally dethrone New Day. It has been months since they have had a worthy challenge. Anderson has already flashed more star power than I ever imagined.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars – One way or another, Ezno and Cass belong on the card, even if it’s on the pre-show.
Omissions – Shane McMahon (feud with HHH is coming, but maybe not yet), Undertaker (see you in Wrestlemania season), Randy Orton (will be included if recovered), Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura (carrying NXT through the summer).