The dust has well and truly settled following WrestleMania 33. We’ve even witnessed the Superstar Shake-up and now know exactly where we stand when it comes to the new wrestling year. That means it’s time to look ahead. The next big date on the WWE calendar is of course SummerSlam. While there’s an awful lot of wrestling to be done and stories to be told between now and then, there are clearly some matches that’ll be taking place during the biggest show of the summer whose wheels have already been set in motion. Without giving any aspects of this coming list away too early, there are certain Superstars who were not traded between brands by accident. Fresh matches are needed and more importantly new blockbuster feuds are required for SummerSlam this coming August. In addition to that, it’s also no accident that certain people are champions right now.
That’s all well and good and while there are certain matches that seem destined for the SummerSlam card, there are also a number of match ups that are far less likely to be happening on pay-per-view this August no matter how much we might want them. We hoped for other moves during the Superstar Shake-up but alas, they were not to be. In our, the fans, mind’s they made complete sense, and perhaps that’s why WWE have avoided them for now. To swerve us and to make us wait.
Nevertheless, if we’ve predicted the future correctly SummerSlam will be one hell of a show. Here’s a definitive run down of the matches we believe will be included and those we wish would be considered.
15. Going To See: The Hardy Boyz vs The Revival
The Hardy Boyz have returned to their spiritual home in WWE. And while they may not be Broken, they are still very much awesome and currently our Raw tag team champions. I was worried that their title reign would be a short, 24 hour one. Luckily it was not and now I hope Matt and Jeff’s 7th WWE tag team title run is a long one. The Hardyz weren’t the only team to join Raw’s ranks on WrestleMania weekend though.
The Revival also made their long awaited move up onto the main roster from NXT. Both teams have been dominant since WrestleMania, but more importantly separate. It would seem that the two teams may not clash for a while, and I think that may continue all the way up until SummerSlam.
14. Want To See: Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles
Like a few entries coming up on this list, unfortunately for us this match now seems further away than ever before thanks to the recent Superstar Shake-up. Seth Rollins and AJ Styles remain on separate shows, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. The Architect and The Phenomenal One are arguably the two most talented wrestlers in WWE today, so fair play to Vince McMahon it does make sense to have them on opposing brands.
In all fairness, that match right now may lack the spark that it deserves. Rollins is currently rebuilding his character after a year of injury and relative disinterest from the fans in 2016. His feud with Triple H has gotten him some of the way there and I think an inter promotional match come SummerSlam pitting these two athletes against one another would be the crowning glory Seth will need come August.
13. Going To See: Sasha Banks vs Bayley
For those of you hardcore WWE fans that are watching week in and week out, you’ll all know as well as I do that the friendship between Sasha Banks and Bayley cannot last. Especially while Bayley has that Raw women’s title around her waist. When there’s gold involved there are no friendships in professional wrestling. The only real question is when that trigger gets pulled. When will Banks decide that being champion again is more important than being buddies with Bayley?
Many are calling for it sooner rather than later. I on the other hand am thinking that WWE are attempting the slow burn. Following the Shake-up Bayley and Sasha have a host of new challengers to fend off before they are forced to turn on each other. That can wait until SummerSlam.
12. Want To See: Triple H vs Kurt Angle
While Triple H’s logical SummerSlam opponent is Seth Rollins, for nostalgia reasons many of us older fans are clamoring for the new Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to make an in ring return and The Game seems like the most likely candidate to be his opponent. Angle has already made some pretty big changes since becoming GM in Stephanie and Triple H’s absence and I can only imagine WWE’s resident power couple aren’t going to be too happy upon their return.
Much like she did with Mick Foley Stephanie will attempt to emasculate Angle but I can’t imagine she’ll have much luck. This time though The Cerebral Assassin will be able to physically intervene in the situation beyond just a mandible claw. Bring on Kurt’s return to a WWE ring at SummerSlam!
11. Going To See: Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt
Thanks to the Draft last summer poor Braun Strowman was ripped away from the rest of his family. While the rest of The Wyatts remained on SmackDown Live, Braun had to go it alone on Raw. Safe to say he’s done pretty well for himself. Well now Bray has returned to Monday nights. At Payback The Eater of Worlds will finish up his feud with Randy Orton, then it would seem that he has his sights set on Finn Balor.
After all of that is said and done however I see no opponent more logical for Wyatt than his former pupil Braun Strowman. By that time SummerSlam will be looming large and it’s certainly a big enough match for both men and most definitely warrants a place on the SummerSlam card.
10. Want To See: The Broken Hardys vs The Wyatt Family
While Matt and Jeff Hardy were Broken in TNA they provoked a lot of Superstars in a lot of different companies. Every now and again Bray Wyatt would respond and the fantasy booking began. It may be the most anticipated faction versus faction match in recent history. Alas The Hardy Boyz have arrived but aren’t broken and The Wyatts are scattered across WWE. Nevertheless we can still dream.
Bray has proved since the Superstar Shake-up that as it stands he is ever present across both brands plus still seems to have control over Erick Rowan. And The Hardyz? Well once the legal side of it all is done and out of the way who knows, the WWE Universe may very well be blessed with Matt’s Broken Brilliance.
9. Going To See: Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles
It may be a match we’ve seen before, but not on a big stage. And after we were given a taste of it during the SmackDown Live chapter of the Superstar Shake-up as Sami Zayn and AJ Styles shared the ring with Baron Corbin, I think we’re set to see that match on a much bigger scale. Yes earlier in this list I said we want Styles to take on Rollins at SummerSlam, but the much more realistic path for The Phenomenal One is a path that ends with him taking on Sami for the United States championship.
AJ is the number one contender for the title and while he may not win it on the first time of asking, I believe he’ll be champ by SummerSlam and it’ll be The Underdog from the Underground challenging him for the US title.
8. Want To See: Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe
Pull the roster up in front of you, for both Raw and SmackDown Live, and run through it. How many names on there haven’t already faced Brock Lesnar and could give him a credible match? Not many I bet. Even a first time ever with Kevin Owens was already wasted on a house show earlier this year. One man I would love to see standing across the ring from The Beast Incarnate is Samoa Joe.
Joe hasn’t really made a huge impact on Raw yet, but it’s still early days. Between now and the summer The Samoan Submission Machine could continue to run through everyone that’s put in his way until he earns a shot at Lesnar and his Universal title. It would be an epic matchup that this year’s SummerSlam card could be built around.
7. Going To See: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
Chances are that this match may be saved for WrestleMania 34. However an entire year seems an awfully long time to keep the Universal championship on Brock Lesnar considering he’s only a part time attraction. Plus this match has technically already headlined a WrestleMania. So with all of that in mind I would imagine this’ll be our main event for SummerSlam 2017.
The night after WrestleMania 33 Paul Heyman called out Roman as the only Superstar Lesnar has any interest in defending his title against. Braun Strowman then interrupted so that Brock could slink off for a while and to give Roman something to do in the meantime. Eventually The Beast will return and his rivalry with Roman will continue to build until it culminates at SummerSlam.
6. Want To See: Kevin Owens vs Shinsuke Nakamura
It’s a match that has happened outside of the WWE bubble and one that I am personally aching to see within it. Plus with the arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown Live and drafting of Kevin Owens to the blue brand it’s one that we might see sooner rather than later. So you may be asking why exactly this has fallen under the ‘want to see’ umbrella of this list as opposed to the ‘going to see’. Well that will become clear a little further on in this run down.
Back to this match though, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who would cite KO versus Shinsuke as their ultimate dream match that could actually come to fruition in WWE right now. It’s a match big enough for WrestleMania but I can’t wait that long so would love to see it at this year’s SummerSlam.
5. Going To See: Triple H vs Seth Rollins
Following WrestleMania 32 we did not see Triple H for a long, long time after his WWE championship loss to Roman Reigns. Safe to say that we can assume the same will be happening again this year following on from The Game’s defeat at the hands of Seth Rollins. For now it would appear that Triple H’s right hand man Samoa Joe will be attempting to gain revenge for his fallen comrade.
I can only think that when Triple H does return to our screens it will be to avenge his WrestleMania loss, and a rematch of that stature is so big that SummerSlam is the only logical show on the horizon that can stage it.
4. Want To See: The Miz vs Daniel Bryan
What with Daniel Bryan being retired, this match was already not likely. Now that The Miz has moved to Monday night Raw following the Superstar Shake Up this dream match has shifted even further into the realms of impossibility. While the two were butting heads on SmackDown Live and Talking Smack it did become very confusing where exactly the feud was leading. With Bryan’s retirement surely it could never be more than a war of words?
Yet every now and then, the SmackDown GM would drop a hint that in the future maybe he could return to the ring. With Miz’s move to Raw it would seem that WWE is trying to make us forget about any possibility of that, although the host of Miz TV has continued to use Bryan’s signature kicks on Monday nights.
3. Going To See: Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
In a perfect world Charlotte versus Asuka would pit Flair’s undefeated pay per view streak against the NXT women’s champion being undefeated full stop. Sadly Charlotte has lost that attribute. That doesn’t mean that between now and SummerSlam Charlotte can’t be the perfect first opponent for a still undefeated Asuka, especially now that Flair is on SmackDown Live.
In my opinion, there is no one on the blue brand that holds a candle to Charlotte both in and out of the ring. That story can be told over the coming months and just as Charlotte thinks she has run out of competition, here comes Asuka. Then the two will discover who’s better at SummerSlam with the SmackDown women’s title on the line.
2. Want To See: Roman Reigns vs John Cena
While there are any number of combinations involving the likes of Owens, Zayn, Styles, Nakamura and more that we’re dying to see, there really is only one bout that you could describe as a super match. Roman Reigns against John Cena. It is of course a WrestleMania worthy match, but if WWE want to make this coming SummerSlam the biggest ever then a Reigns Cena main event is truly what will make that happen.
With John Cena absent during the shake-up you could even have him return in a few months time on Raw with Kurt Angle revealing the deal was done covertly. Plus as I mentioned it is a match made for WrestleMania, so following part one of it at SummerSlam, WrestleMania 34 could be the grand stage for the explosive and much anticipated rematch.
1. Going To See: Shinsuke Nakamura vs John Cena
What did I say about there being only one real super match we’re dying to see? Okay this one too, but in all fairness Nakamura has only just arrived on SmackDown Live. While the Roman against Cena match may be a pipe dream thanks to separate brands, Shinsuke versus Cena may very well be on the cards. The King of Strong Style has arrived on the scene at a time when Cena is away, and that’s no accident.
This way WWE and Vince McMahon can try Nakamura out against certain SmackDown Live Superstars, it would appear that Dolph Ziggler is up first, and decide whether Cena against Shinsuke is their dream too, as well as the fans’. Of course Nakamura will blow them away and prove that himself versus Big Match John is unquestionably the biggest match SmackDown Live can possibly put out at SummerSlam.
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