SummerSlam is finally here. In one week's time, WWE will put on the largest Fatal 4-Way in history. No really, there may not be enough canvass space for Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe to operate.
At first, expanding the main event to a four man match may feel like a cheap way to keep guys relevant. But in this case, WWE had no choice. WWE likely had Lesnar and Reigns in this spot months ago, but it's their pre-SummerSlam dancing partners who deserve applause. Through outstanding performance, Braun Strowman and Samoe Joe unilaterally forced WWE's hand into including them in Summerslam's main event.
On top of the expanded field of competitors, there are copious amounts of rumor and innuendo simmering below the match's surface. Brock Lesnar's UFC saga has cast legitimate doubt on his WWE future. Is it possible he loses next Sunday? If so, who wins?
Well, I've done some heavy meditation of the subject and I'm ready to bring my thoughts to the public forum. So here they go - let's rank the potential winners at SummerSlam's monstrous main event:
4. Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is the most important addition to WWE's roster that we've seen in years. More so than any NXT graduate, Shinsuke Nakamura or even AJ Styles, Braun Strowman is a living, breathing spectacle.
Before speaking or wrestling, WWE fans of any nature are going to be captivated by The Monster Among Men. To Vince McMahon, Braun's only short coming is that he wasn't around to be body slammed by Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III.
No one in WWE instantly gratifies like Strowman, that said, his act is one that doesn't need a championship belt. Although the fans would totally support him as Universal Champion, it's not quite time for Strowman to step into that role. Vegas seems to be well aware of his positioning in WWE and have made him the match's biggest underdog at +650.
Strowman's 2017 has already been magnificent. His feud with Roman Reigns is one that we've already taken for granted as Strowman has proven that he has main event chops. SummerSlam will be a great test to see if Storwman has staying power on WWE's brightest stage. It's a trial he'll pass with high scores and will be a pivotal plot point in his rise to the top of WWE.prevnext
3. Roman Reigns
A huge match in 2017 and Roman Reigns is not the favorite? Correct, in fact, he's not even Las Vegas' silver medalist as his current odds sit at +425.
Despite, extinguishing Undertaker's soul at WrestleMania 33, Reigns really has been out of WWE's main event. In fact, SummerSlam will be the first time Reigns even gets to sniff the Universal Championship.
It appears that WWE has consciously kept Reigns out of the title picture, and it's worked beautifully. While retiring The Undertaker proved the be the trolling of the century, Reigns is given the subliminal benefit of the doubt when he's not champion. Fans hate Roman Reigns because they fear he'll be a darker iteration of the invincible John Cena. While that is a concerning concept, it's not a valid one. Reigns and Cena are starkly different personalities, I mean WWE had Reigns try to kill Braun Strowman.
When has John Cena ever been driven to such lengths?
Reigns will have a dozen more turns with the Universal Championship, but next Sunday will not be one of them.prevnext
2. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has two destinies awaiting him next Sunday:
1. As the perfect fall guy, Joe is pinned by Brock Lesnar
2. Joe Leaves SummerSlam as Universal Champion
Sitting at +250, Vegas has insulated itself for either of those things happening. WWE will want to protect Reigns and Strowman in such blockbuster of a contest, with Joe being a non-WWE guy, he's ideal to take the fateful pinfall. This is classic WWE psychology.
But the other side of that coin, Joe winning, would be a departure of traditional WWE logic. Do they feel they need to make a splash? Joe's popularity continues to surprise and that's not just with fans. Paul Heyman is rumored to be pulling strings backstage for Joe to win the Universal Championship.
While Heyman's lobbying could prove to be a classic example of smoke and mirrors, the idea of Joe winning isn't that outlandish. Joe's rise is a beautiful reminder that WWE rewards Superstars who overachieve. Could they hand Joe the ultimate cookie? With WrestleMania 34 so far away, it's possible that WWE gives Joe a run as interim Champion, keeping the belt warm for either Lesnar or Reigns until 2018 hits.prevnext
1. Brock Lesnar
WWE and Brock Lesnar have done a wonderful job to make us think that his reign as Universal Champion is in jeopardy.
The narrative that Lesnar is leaving WWE for UFC will prove to be just noise. No matter what John Jones says, what Dana White doesn't say, or the fact that Paul Heyman said that he and Brock will leave WWE if he loses on Sunday, Brock Lesnar will still be your Universal Champion.0comments
WWE and UFC have recognized that they can make more money by using one another. While Brock may indeed have his super fight with John Jones, it contractually can not happen until 2018. Lesnar's WWE deal is up after WrestleMania 34. On top of that, Lesnar is still suspended by UFC and will remain that way for at least another 5 months. And for the cherry on this logical banana split - Lesnar is being advertised for WWE events after Summerslam, letting us know that he won't executing Heyman's threat because he'll win at SummerSlam.
WWE has a narrative chocked full of misinformation. With so many rumors zooming about, we can't hear the obvious: Brock Lesnar is going nowhere. And nor should he. Vegas knows this and has made him a -225 favorite.prev