The 2017 WWE SummerSlam is now less than three weeks away, and the official card for the showpiece SummerSlam event is beginning to take shape. SummerSlam is the WWE network’s most important PPV event after WrestleMania, so we can be sure that the card will be full of championship matches. The official WWE website has already announced that both the Raw and Smackdown women’s championships will be on the line at SummerSlam, but it is arguably the WWE Universal Championship that will provide the most excitement at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center on August 20.
Brock Lesnar currently holds the Universal Championship, but he has been almost invisible since he took the title at WrestleMania 33. The Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman feud has been one of the most enjoyable storylines on the WWE network throughout most of 2017. Strowman is developing into one of the WWE’s best heels, whilst Vince McMahon continues to promote Reigns as the face of the WWE.
The fact that the “Big Dog” retired The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 is ample evidence that Reigns has a huge role to play in the future of WWE wrestling. Monday Night Raw really needs a strong stable of heels, and Strowman has been the leader of the pack through most of 2017.
Samoa Joe made his main roster debut back in January, and since then he has been building a reputation as a great heel and fierce competitor. It was inevitable that both Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman would earn a title chance, though not many would have anticipated that they would get their chance in the same match. That chance comes in a “fatal four-way” clash at Summerslam 2017, a match that the Wrestling Observer’s Jim Ross believes can turn all four competitors into genuine WWE superstars.
In his blog post, Ross praises the WWE for booking Lesnar, Reigns, Strowman, and Samoa Joe in the fatal four-way clash, and says that all four men can come out of SummerSlam with their reputations enhanced.
Who Will Be The WWE Universal Champion After SummerSlam?
As pointed out by Cageside Seats, it’s easy to make a case for any of the three challengers to leave SummerSlam with the Universal Championship belt. If the latest UFC rumors are to be believed, Lesnar is heading back to MMA, once his suspension for failed drugs tests expires. As MMA Junkie points out, a war of words between Lesnar and fellow drugs cheat Jon Jones has already erupted, so it seems that Lesnar is setting up a UFC return. That may well mean that Lesnar will lose his Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
Roman Reigns has benefited from what many would describe as a five-year push by the WWE, so it may be time to have Strowman or Samoa Joe capture a major title. It’s easy to make a case for either man, but my money is on Strowman to emerge victorious from the fatal four-way. Strowman has been building a huge reputation and as the more established WWE star, the time is right to elevate him to championship status.
Tonight’s clash between Reigns, Strowman, and Samoa Joe on Monday Night Raw may give us some clues as to the destination of the Universal Championship after the 2017 SummerSlam.
[Featured Image by WWE]