Another installment of Reigns vs. Lesnar highlights SummerSlam weekend

SummerSlam 2018Roman Reigns. Brock Lesnar. Here we go again with our hand-wringing over, does WWE finally put Reigns over as The Guy?

Perhaps a bigger question heading into SummerSlam is, does Reigns-Lesnar even main-event the show?

Silly as it might seem to ask, the risk to main-eventing the millionth installment of this franchise is allowing fans in the arena to hijack the show, making it so that, whoever wins, nobody walks out at the end of the night with a tailwind.

It seems pretty clear that, at some point, soon, later, whenever, Reigns is going to be The Guy. Way too much has been invested in Reigns at this stage for WWE to not finally and definitively put the Universal belt on him and have him carry the company forward.

But, is it this weekend? Or does Vince McMahon see value to keeping the strap on Lesnar, who seems to be heading back to UFC for a fight early next year with UFC heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier?

It would make for an interesting cross-promotional venture for both WWE and UFC to have Lesnar challenging Cormier as the reigning, defending WWE Universal champ.

Would certainly be a first, in any event, to have a pro wrestling champ in a high-profile legit shootfight.

SummerSlam storylines

  • A.J. Styles defends against Samoa Joe: Funny seeing the WWE Universe marking out over this one for the WWE title, but when Styles and Joe were in TNA Impact, those same WWE Universe fans were mocking them because they weren’t in the E.
  • Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey: This one should be the main event. And have Rousey win by basically rag-dolling Bliss. Establish her as the badass that she was in UFC. That’s the way to draw money with her down the line.
  • The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan: This feud ignited back when we thought we’d never see Daniel Bryan in a wrestling ring again, when The Miz talked smack on Bryan on, appropriately enough, the now-departed Talking Smack post-Smackdown Live talk show. Making this one feel like a real-life feud. Nice work by creative.
  • Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens: If we see this one early on the card, that could signal Strowman coming back for the Reigns-Lesnar match to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase.
  • Carmella vs. Becky Lynn vs. Charlotte: Carmella gets knocked quite a bit for her lack of in-ring skill. I like her act, actually. Good pro wrestling isn’t all about work-rate. Carmella has major-league charisma.
  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins: What about a Dean Ambrose heel turn to help Ziggs retain the IC belt? Jim Ross suggested it on his podcast this week. Ambrose is much more entertaining as a heel, and he has the look now, with the beard and shaved head.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy: I’m not buying Jeff Hardy as a singles competitor. Nor am I buying Shinsuke Nakamura as a heel.
  • The B Team vs. The Revival: This has to be a coronation for The Revival, who I think can revive the Raw tag-team division.
  • Bludgeon Brothers vs. New Day: Yawn.
  • Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin: Love both of these guys. Not loving this feud, but, hey, it’s keeping them busy until something better comes along.
  • Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak: Please, no!
  • Lana and Rusev vs. Zelina Vega and Andrade “Cien” Almas: Make it stop!

Don’t forget the NXT Takeover: Brooklyn show on Saturday

If you haven’t been keeping up with NXT, you’ve missed the feud of the year, between former DIY tag partners Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.

They’ve had two of the best matches in WWE in 2018, with the series standing at a win apiece.

I’d be disappointed if this one doesn’t turn out to be the match of the weekend.

Also on the Takeover card

  • Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane: Baszler is already being booked as an MMA badass. Kairi Sane is booked as a cutesy babyface. The only logical finish to this is a Baszler squash, which means, of course, that Sane has to be the favorite, because WWE booking.
  • Adam Cole vs. Ricochet: Sit back and enjoy what will be the second-best match of the weekend.
  • Velveteen Dream vs. EC3: Sit back and enjoy what will be the third-best match of the weekend.
  • Undisputed Era vs. Moustache Mountain: Trent Seven needs to renew his gym membership.

Preview by Chris Graham

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