Now that UFC 200 is in the rear-view mirror, the two biggest elephants in the room remaining for WWE are next week’s Draft and subsequent brand split and the Roman Reigns suspension. And while Battleground is next on the agenda, SummerSlam remains the biggest show of the year outside of WrestleMania. Brock Lesnar’s win this past Saturday night invariably casts another shadow of uncertainty over his commitment to sports entertainment, but for the time being, he is locked into a huge match with Randy Orton at SummerSlam, and that is for certain.
The Lesnar/Orton showdown, 14 years in the making, may have an outside chance of becoming the main event at SummerSlam, especially with Brock’s win over Mark Hunt certainly gaining mainstream momentum. But by the time August 21 rolls around, there are likely to be two world championship matches featured on the card, and it’s unlikely The Beast and The Viper will be vying for one.
Lesnar did main event last year’s SummerSlam, but that bout also featured the Undertaker in what ended up being the long-awaited rematch from WrestleMania 30 when Brock beat the streak. But if these two don’t close this year’s show, there are only two other candidates that could claim the spot. And interestingly enough, Dean Ambrose, the current WWE Champion looks to be on the outside looking in.
As previously noted, Ambrose’s title reign was only supposed to last until Battleground, but that was before the company had to suspend Reigns for violating the Wellness Policy. And now, according to Cageside Seats, if they stick with that original plan, the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam will feature Roman Reigns in a one-on-one match with Seth Rollins. Since the idea of the brand extension became a reality, the blueprint was to put Reigns and Rollins together to headline one of the brands (most likely RAW) while John Cena and AJ Styles would be the marquee names on the other show (Smackdown).
So through logical deduction, this would mean that Ambrose would not be on the same show as Reigns and Rollins after next week’s draft, the actual go-home show before the triple threat main event at Battleground. But because of recent reports suggesting that Cena is taking on a lighter travel schedule, the company will need an adequate babyface replacement, and that’s where Ambrose fits in.
And speaking of Cena and Styles, their rivalry is expected to continue through to SummerSlam, which makes them logical choices as participants in a match to determine the second world champion. And if that is the plan, that match is certainly worthy of being the main event at SummerSlam, along with Lesnar/Orton and Reigns/Rollins. Unfortunately for Ambrose, he would again appear to be outside of that conversation, although there is always the possibility that if he is indeed headed to Smackdown, then he’d have an argument for being inserted into that show’s main event picture.
If you consider that plans back in April had a SummerSlam lineup that consisted of matches between Lesnar and Bray Wyatt, Cena and Reigns and Rollins and Triple H, much has changed. And while that card looks stacked on the surface as well, the brand split threw everything for a loop and will continue to do so until things are cleared up on next week’s Smackdown.
It was clear the company was scrapping any Lesnar/Wyatt program, at least for the time being and time ended up being on their side as far as Orton’s return was concerned. Cena and Reigns are likely now being held off until next year’s WrestleMania, and we’re still not certain when Triple H re-enters the fray. But if and when he does, a lot of the groundwork has been laid for a potential encounter with Shane McMahon. Add that to the SummerSlam card, and that’s four potential show-closers from which to choose.
[Image via WWE]