SummerSlam is now behind us and in typical WWE fashion it’s already time to look ahead. The bumper thirteen match, six hour event featured many twists and turns and included an incredible five title changes. The WWE machine never stops though and there’s no time for those new champs and the rest of the roster to stop and smell the roses. No Mercy is less than five weeks away, Survivor Series is in November, then before you know it we’ll once again be on the road to WrestleMania. The time between now and then will fly by, but make no mistake there is still a lot of wrestling to be done before WWE sets up shop in New Orleans.
As I type this WrestleMania 34 is a little over seven months away. The WWE landscape can change a lot in that time. That being said you can bet your house on the fact that Vince McMahon, Triple H and the rest of the creative team already have most of the card planned out in their heads. Yes injuries and such can and will change that card a lot in the coming months, but WWE will try their best not to stray too far from the path they have drawn out. That leaves the question, what will and won’t happen between now and WrestleMania 34? It’s unlikely that all five of the new champions crowned at SummerSlam will make it to New Orleans with their titles still in hand. It’s also safe to assume that some other NXT Superstars will join new recruit Bobby Roode on the main roster. A lot will happen and a lot that some may be expecting to happen will not.
20. John Cena Will Become A Grand Slam Champion
At this stage in John Cena’s career most fans are focused on and discussing whether the franchise player will win that record breaking seventeenth World Championship. That will likely happen eventually, but before that it seems WWE has a slightly different plan for Cena. John was recently made a free agent meaning that he can move freely between Raw and SmackDown Live. He finally made use of that advantage the night after SummerSlam and while Cena came to Raw looking for Roman Reigns, it looks like he might have to settle some issues with The Miz first. Miz currently has a title John Cena has never held, the Intercontinetnal Championship. It’s a prestigious belt that John would unquestionably love to add to his resume and when he does it will make him a Grand Slam Champion in the process.
19. John Cena And Roman Reigns Won’t Go One-On-One
When Kurt Angle welcomed John Cena to Raw recently we expected a lot of things. Calling out Roman Reigns on his first night back on Raw was likely not one of them. Yes many fans are fully expecting a super match between Cena and Reigns to go down eventually, but not before WrestleMania 34. Turns out that assumption is probably still correct despite the call out. The face of WWE and the man Vince McMahon hopes to replace him with were interrupted by The Miz and Samoa Joe and now they look set to venture down different paths, for now at least. The earliest time we will see The Big Dog and The Franchise Player go one-on-one is WrestleMania 34, but not a day earlier.
18. Charlotte Flair Will Rule SmackDown Live
Charlotte Flair was the Queen of Monday night Raw earlier this year. Then following WrestleMania 33 the four time Women’s Champion was moved to SmackDown Live as a part of the Superstar Shakeup. It was quite rightly highlighted as being the blue brand’s best acquisition during the shakeup, but it hasn’t really panned out in the way we were expecting. Most would have likely thought that Charlotte would be champion on the brand by now, but not only has it not happened we’ve seen the opposite and Flair has slipped down the card. She had no place at SummerSlam, although that is probably a blessing in disguise considering the condition of her father, Ric. Rest assured though when Charlotte returns she will ascend back up the pecking order. She’s the most talented woman in WWE today and will make sure SmackDown Live is her kingdom in the coming months.
17. The Authors Of Pain Won’t Be Called Up
With NXT Takeover Brooklyn III now in the rear view mirror the WWE Universe is once again awash with talk and rumors of which Superstars will be next to move on up from NXT. One act that is repeatedly mentioned are the now former NXT Tag Team Champions, the Authors Of Pain. Akam and Rezar may be the biggest surprise package NXT have ever produced. At first fans just saw them as a couple of typical WWE big guys, but since then they have proved via impressive matches with the likes of The Revival and the now defunct DIY that they are so much more than that. Seeing the two behemoths with Paul Ellering by their side on Raw or SmackDown Live would be a sight to behold, but it won’t be happening any time soon. They may no longer be the champion in NXT but they still have a lot more work to do at Full Sail before they make the move to the main roster.
16. Alexa Bliss And Sasha Banks Will Trade The Title Back And Forth
During the final few months of 2016 the crown jewel in WWE’s flagship show was the epic feud between Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. The two of them traded the title back and forth in some incredible matches, one of which took place inside Hell In A Cell making them the first women to ever step inside the structure. In the coming months WWE look set on attempting to replicate that. At SummerSlam Banks defeated Alexa Bliss to become a four time Women’s Champion. Rumor has it that there is some real life animosity between the pair and it’s making for some real hard-hitting matches when they meet. It may not reach Sasha – Charlotte level, but these two ladies could battle over and over again and the WWE Universe would be absolutely fine with it.
15. Jason Jordan Won’t Become A Top Star
Just a matter of weeks ago the WWE Universe was a buzz about what exactly Kurt Angle’s big secret was. Turns out in the realms of WWE Jason Jordan is his long lost son. It was hardly an earth shattering revelation so naturally since then the angle has lost pretty much any momentum it may have had to begin with. Clearly WWE are wanting to turn Jordan into a big deal on Raw, and so far no good. It doesn’t look likely to happen any time soon either. Short of Vince McMahon force feeding us the former American Alpha member akin to what he does with Roman Reigns, it’s hard to imagine Jason climbing any higher than the mid-card. All of that means they need to find a way out of Jordan being Kurt’s story line son.
14. Nia Jax Will Be A Women’s Champion
As good as Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks may be, even they can’t carry an entire women’s division solely on their shoulders. That third wild card who will be ever present throughout the rivalry will be the dominant Nia Jax. Jax currently has an odd on-screen bond with Bliss, sporadically helping her in her attempts to either become or remain Women’s Champion. That can’t last forever though, and one of these days Nia is inevitably going to want that title for herself. Many WWE fans may cringe or roll their eyes at this since Jax may be viewed as a little rough around the edges when it comes to her wrestling ability. As her entrance theme declares however she’s not like most girls, and that’s what WWE likes about her.
13. CM Punk Will Not Return
CM Punk has been absent from WWE for over three and a half years now. The former WWE Champion is still actively pursuing a career in MMA, plus on top of that is also still engaged in a legal battle with WWE over the comments he made about WWE doctor, Chris Amann. Despite all of that there are still what feels like weekly rumors that one day very soon The Second City Saint and Father of the Pipe Bomb will come walking through that curtain to entertain us once again. Right now that is not only doubtful, but probably as unlikely as it ever has been since he walked out in January, 2014. As of right now it would seem Punk has zero interest in wrestling at all, whether that be with WWE or otherwise. He reportedly turned down the opportunity to wrestle in the UK over the summer despite being offered one million dollars to do so.
12. New Shows For Female Wrestlers And UK Talent
WWE now has an entire network to fill with original programming. Not only that but Vince McMahon and Triple H also want to appeal to as many people as possible while they slowly fill that network with various shows, hence the array of tournaments the company has held over the past year or so. The Cruiserweight Classic was a hit and has since become a permanent fixture in WWE’s week in the form of 205 Live. At this moment in time it’s looking likely that the same will happen on the back of the UK tournament earlier this year with a weekly show still reportedly in the works. With the Mae Young Classic taking place also, it’s probably safe to assume that a women’s wrestling show will also have a place on the Network and that by the time WrestleMania 34 rolls around, there’ll be a WWE wrestling show for every day of the week.
11. AJ Styles And Shinsuke Nakamura Won’t Have A Match
There’s an argument to be made that AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are the two best wrestlers in WWE right now, even though we’re yet to see the best from Shinsuke on US soil. They’re also both on SmackDown Live. What that inevitably means is sooner or later the two are going to clash, and the end result will be a pretty incredible match. WWE knows that a bout between the two would be money, and that’s why they’ve teased it a couple of times. They also know to hold on to that card for as long as possible. While John Cena is getting his dream matches out of the way as his wrestling schedule gets lighter and lighter, The Phenomenal One and The King of Strong Style are going nowhere. The longer the build to this one the better the eventual pay off will be.
10. Asuka Will Debut On The Main Roster
Speaking of dream matches, how many different women are there in WWE right now who we can’t wait to see Asuka face off against? The likes of Bayley and Nia Jax have already felt the wrath of The Empress after sharing a ring with her in NXT but the majority of the females on Raw and SmackDown Live have not yet had the pleasure of being kicked in the head by the NXT Women’s Champion. Asuka’s fellow countryman Shinsuke Nakamura has gone down an absolute storm on Tuesday nights and it’s highly likely that she will do the same. Whether the undefeated Asuka lands on Raw or SmackDown Live there will be a whole host of ladies waiting to do battle with her including Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair.
9. But Her Undefeated Streak Will Not Be Broken
Most NXT Superstars have to lose their championship, if they have one, before they can come to either Raw or SmackDown Live. Well with Asuka being pretty much unbeatable that doesn’t seem like an option. Even though Asuka will debut on the main roster before WrestleMania 34, her undefeated streak will still be intact. Much like Paige did a few years ago The Empress of Tomorrow will simply have to relinquish her current championship if she wishes to compete on either Raw or SmackDown Live. It won’t be long before she wins the gold on whichever show she ends up on, and then she can continue what is already an unbelievable streak. Asuka may suffer her first loss in New Orleans at WrestleMania 34, but rest assured it’s highly unlikely to happen any time before that.
8. Shane McMahon And Kevin Owens Will Clash
It’s been building and building for a while now and sooner or later Kevin Owens is going to snap. The latest twist in the plot came on SmackDown Live when Shane McMahon ejected special guest referee Baron Corbin in Owens and Styles’ US Championship rematch and took his place. Styles won of course, just giving KO yet another reason to hate Shane O Mac. Many fans had a McMahon versus Owens match pegged to go down at SummerSlam, but that prediction didn’t come to fruition of course. The story line has not simply gone away however and has instead been built up even more. Aside from a freak injury this match is bound to happen, it’s just a question of when. Shane normally doesn’t wrestle unless it’s a big event so Survivor Series seems like a likely back drop for the bout. That is still three months away though, so maybe we’ll get Shane O versus KO even sooner.
7. There Will Not Be A Full Shield Reunion
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins may be getting along like a house on fire right now, but don’t hang your hopes on Roman Reigns joining that part any time soon. There’s a couple of reasons WWE has decided to have Seth and Dean renew pleasantries, and one of the main ones is because they have nothing else for them right now. Roman on the other hand likely has plans penciled in all the way up to WrestleMania 34 and beyond. Whether he’s battling Brock Lesnar, trying to become Universal Champion, or eventually setting up a match with John Cena, Reigns is all booked up. The trio’s paths may cross now and then but for now a full reunion is not on the cards.
6. Dean Ambrose Will Turn On Seth Rollins
One other reason there may not be a full Shield reunion that includes Roman Reigns is because of how The Lunatic and The Architect’s recent reconciliation will come to a sticky end sooner rather than later. The whole story behind the build to the pair getting back together was the lack of trust Dean had for Seth following Rollins betrayal back in 2014. Ambrose may be friendly with Rollins as for right now but as we all know, the former WWE Champion can be a little unpredictable. Eventually Dean will return to loathing Rollins and then it’ll be the Lunatic’s turn for a heel run. Who knows, maybe Ambrose will align with Triple H himself to serve up some long standing revenge. We haven’t seen or heard from The Game since he lost to Rollins at WrestleMania 33 after all.
5. The Undertaker Will Not Come Out Of Retirement
One of the biggest rumors over SummerSlam weekend was that The Undertaker was going to shock the world and make an appearance during the biggest event of the summer. The Deadman was spotted on a plane heading to New York then was reportedly backstage at SummerSlam. All of that may very well have been true, but as we now know Taker did not renounce his possible retirement. Many fans are clinging onto the hope that The Phenom has not hung up his boots for good, but every week that passes makes it seem more and more likely that he is gone forever. We won’t know for certain until WrestleMania season. If The Undertaker doesn’t return for the 34th Showcase of the Immortals then you can rest assured that his retirement did actually happen, and that it’s permanent.
4. Rusev Will Quit WWE
What on earth is WWE doing with Rusev right now? The Bulgarian Brute was sidelined through injury for a while and since he has come back there has been nothing for him. It began when Rusev demanded via a video message that he wanted a championship match at Money in the Bank. Well that was two months ago now and we’re still waiting. His in ring return actually came at SmackDown Live’s following pay per view Battleground where he lost to John Cena in a flag match. Not so bad considering. At SummerSlam however he lost a throw away match in very short and embarrassing order to Randy Orton. WWE is giving Rusev nothing of any significance while making him look a fool, and he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who will stick around and take it forever.
3. Braun Strowman Won’t Become Universal Champion
At SummerSlam this year we were treated to one hell of a main event. The Fatal Four Way match involving Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, and Samoa Joe was an all out war. Despite Brock leaving the battlefield with his Universal Championship there was another man who came out of the match looking incredibly strong, and that was Strowman. Then the following night The Monster Among Men continued his dominance of The Beast by leaving him laying once again. The whole ordeal has left people wondering whether Braun could be the man to strip Lesnar of his championship. Put simply, he won’t be. The two will face off at No Mercy and who knows they may even battle again after that, but it won’t be Strowman taking Brock’s title away.
2. Jinder Mahal Will Fade Back Into Obscurity
Okay maybe obscurity is a bit of a strong word bus rest assured, Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship reign will come to an end long before WrestleMania 34. The Modern Day Maharajah’s time as WWE Champion has been two things, an experiment and a business decision. As an experiment it hasn’t been a complete failure, although most fans haven’t exactly taken to Mahal. As a business decision it has likely been successful and pulled in more Indian fans. Once the WWE tour of India is over however – it takes place in September – expect a new WWE Champion to be crowned. Following a rematch after he loses the belt you will likely not see Jinder in the WWE title picture again for a long while.
1. Kurt Angle Will Not Return To In Ring Competition
This time last year it felt like Kurt Angle ever returning to the WWE family was just a pipe dream. Now he’s on Raw every week as the show’s General Manager as well as being a WWE Hall of Famer. Some people still aren’t happy though and won’t be until Kurt Angle once again wrestles for WWE. It’s a topic that has been much discussed yet still there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. As of right now it would seem that an in-ring return is unlikely. Allegedly the plan was to have Kurt wrestle Seth Rollins, hence the running theme in the trailers for WWE 2K18. Reportedly that plan has since been nixed. WWE is extremely wary when it comes to letting certain wrestlers step back into the ring nowadays, just take a look at Angle’s SmackDown Live counterpart Daniel Bryan.
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