Summer is a season attached to memories and moments in life that have come and gone with the cool evening breeze; a nostalgic time of year that brings back feelings of childhood joy as we look back fondly on little league baseball, swimming at the beach, scrapping knees on pavement, and perhaps even finding a very first romance.
School is out and the parties have become more wild and weird while less and less clothing is being worn and skin is beginning to brown. Softball beer leagues are in full swing, backyard barbeques are a regular occurrence, horseshoe pits are being built, cabins are occupied, and the great outdoors is suddenly a thing of interest.
In the WWE, the Summer is a hot season (figuratively) for the company as they build towards their massive Summertime Pay-Per-View. Usually, a big storyline will play out during the season; something that swerves or shocks the WWE Universe. In recent years, the Summer has seen the rise of both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as both men would feud with the top dog in WWE, John Cena.
With the Summer approaching, fans will surely begin to wonder what the WWE has in store for everybody this year. Hopefully, something better than what has been produced lately on WWE programming. Of course, only time will tell but since this is a season of sunshine; let's remain optimistic for a strange change of pace.
There are a number of good angles to look forward to over the next few months and in this article – instead of trashing the product – we will take a look at some positives that are on the horizon. The Summertime solace we will attempt to find within the wretched WWE Universe as we stare out into the abyss through eyes covered with sunglasses.
These are the top 15 things to look forward to this Summer in WWE:
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SummerSlam is the second biggest Pay-Per-View event in WWE that has been taking place annually – during the dog days of Summer – since 1988 when the inaugural event was held in the historic Madison Square Garden.
This year, the event will make its return to the New York area when SummerSlam is presented live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The crowd on said night is sure to be electric as New York wrestling fans are among the best in the world.
14 Tough Enough
The WWE-produced, reality-competition series Tough Enough will soon makes its return to the airwaves with Chris Jericho serving as the new host for the upcoming season. Tough Enough will aim to find the next WWE superstar as they endure the grueling grind of a WWE training regiment.
The series will also feature Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan, and Paige as judges while Billy Gunn, Booker T, and Lita will act as trainers for the hopeful contestants. While the success rate of Tough Enough has been low (The Miz, John Morrison, and Ryback are standouts); the show will make for an entertaining watch this Summer.
13 More Mastery from Bray Wyatt
The current WWE roster does have its share of promising talent but non more promising than Bray Wyatt. “The Eater of Worlds” is a master of the promo with his own unique vision that comes across as sinister and cynical.
Aside form his talking ability, Bray Wyatt has a great in-ring work ethic. Wyatt seems to be continually lost in the mix; but if allowed, he could be the best thing in the WWE. Bray Wyatt shucks the norm of a WWE superstar and that's a good thing.
Hold on Bray Wyatt fans, as perhaps someday soon his time will come.
12 The Rise of King Barrett
Bad News Barrett was in desperate need of a character alteration; a new direction for a talented superstar who wasn't getting his just opportunity. In the past, injuries and circumstance have kept Barrett out of the spotlight but that may be about to change.
The King of the Ring has often gone on to become a massive WWE superstar. Stone Cold Steve Austin quickly rose up the ranks following his victory in 1996. Obviously, Barrett is not going to change the landscape of the WWE in the manner of Stone Cold but as the reigning King; could be in for a strong push this Summer.
11 New Divas Champion
Nikki Bella has had more than enough time with the Divas Championship. The time for a change is now; whether it be Cameron or Paige, somebody needs to take the title away from the Bella twin. While her reign wasn't terrible, it always wasn't grand.
The Divas division continues to struggle but we must remain hopeful that something, some day will change and the girls on the main roster will once again be viewed in a positive light. If only the girls on the main roster were given the same amount of ring time as the girls in NXT, perhaps then we would see something special.
10 Tag Team Turmoil
The upcoming Elimination Chamber event will feature – for the first time ever – a Tag Team Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. This will definitely be an interesting take on the Chamber concept.
That being said: it is nice to see that WWE are once again placing focus on the tag team division. Tag Team wrestling has grown stale in recent years but a revitalization seems imminent. Throughout the summer months, it will be interesting to see which tag teams are feature prominently on the scene as the division has much potential moving forward.
9 The Direction of the I.C. Championship
With Daniel Bryan recently vacating the Intercontinental Championship, the title is now up for grabs and much like the Tag Team Championship, will be placed on the line inside of the Elimination Chamber; when a new champion is crowned at the event.
The championship had found new life with Daniel Bryan and now that he is out of action, it will be interesting to see who gets to take this prestigious belt into the Summer. The Intercontinental Championship picture could turn out to be a great scenario as many exciting superstar could contend for the gold.
8 The Evolution of Lana
The relationship between Lana and Rusev is all but finished. During his I Quit match with John Cena at Payback, Lana would be the one to quit on behalf of Rusev. This would anger the Bulgarian Brute to no end and the following night on Raw; Lana was dismissed.
Lana, whose real name is C.J. Perry and is in fact an American citizen, is set to become a breakout star in WWE, which you can read about here. The company are apparently high on her and she will soon be repackaged and reintroduced to the WWE Universe.
7 New Mr. Money in the Bank
The Money in the Bank briefcase has become one of the most sought after props in the WWE. The winner of the briefcase has all but twice gone on to become champion. This past year at WrestleMania, Seth Rollins would chose an opportune time to cash-in, leaving California as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
With the Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View set to take place next month; the potential future champion will emerge. This is a great time for WWE to allow a mid-card talent to quickly catapult himself to main event status.
6 The Big Red Machine
The Director of Operations, Kane has been tested quite frequently by the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins. The frustration continues to grow and at some point Kane is bound to explode.
The payoff here would be Kane back in his mask and fiery suit and possibly challenging Seth Rollins for the title. “The Big Red Machine” is due for a comeback and this Summer would make for the best time to see another run from the monster.
5 The Push of Dean Ambrose
Adding Dean Ambrose to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Payback was the right call to make. Ambrose has main event qualities but has been stuck in the middle in recent months, so having him compete with his former buddies from The Shield is a strong move.
Dean Ambrose will now challenge Seth Rollins for the championship at Elimination Chamber; another good call as these two will not disappoint. Will Ambrose win? Probably not. However, testing him out in the title picture could lead to bigger things down the road. One immediate thought would be to have Dean Ambrose win this year's Money in the Bank briefcase.
4 Seth Rollins Will Continue to Roll
There is no denying that the hottest superstar in the WWE right now is Seth Rollins. “The Architect” makes his in-ring work look easy as Seth Rollins is always out to put on the absolute best performance possible.
The future seems bright for Seth Rollins but will he be able to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship all summer long? Time will tell whether or not Seth Rollins and his championship reign turn out to be a long-lasting experience.
3 Kevin Owens on the Main Roster
Kevin Owens came out for his match with Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver; Unstoppable wearing a John Cena “The Champ is Here” t-shirt. Great touch. Owens is now set to have his first main roster match at Elimination Chamber against John Cena.
This is a great jumping off point for Kevin Owens who is currently the NXT Champion. However, with the arrival of Samoa Joe, that could soon change. Once Owens drops the title, he can then make his way up to the main roster on a full-time basis.
This summer could prove to be a great season for Kevin Owens and his fans.
2 Paul Heyman vs. The Authority
Paul Heyman should be on WWE programming each and every week but unfortunately he is not. However, he is due to make his return this summer and will no doubt have words with The Authority. Heyman will serve as the middle man between his client and those in power.
Paul Heyman is currently the best talker in WWE and when he returns to spew his venom, it will surely be harsh and hardcore. Paul Heyman can match anybody on the mic and when the time is right, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon will have to suit up and do battle with the ECW mastermind.
1 The Return of Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar has not been seen on WWE television since the night after WrestleMania. Lesnar was out to exact vengeance on Seth Rollins and reclaim his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. What ensued was an onslaught of violence as Lesnar took out the entire announce team and a camera man. This would lead to Stephanie McMahon “indefinitely suspending” Brock Lesnar.
Well, this summer, “The Beast Incarnate” will be back and ready to get his hands on Seth Rollins. In all likelihood, Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will headline this year's SummerSlam. Brock Lesnar brings a sense of legitimacy to the WWE and the sooner he returns, the better.
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