SummerSlam Prediction: Physicality for the Universal Title

The stage was set on a recent episode of RAW, Roman Reigns was expected to make an announcement on his SummerSlam 2017 intentions. Leading up to that RAW the rumor mill would be swirling just as rambunctiously as it always does. Did they make John Cena a free agent to pave the way for a Cena and Reigns match? Goldberg has been working out and looking good, could Reigns be next?

Surrounded by thousands and thousands of boo-birds, a smug Reigns would make his way to the ring to put all of those potentially scintillating storylines to bed. Roman Reigns would announce that his SummerSlam intentions were to challenge the winner at Great Balls of Fire to a battle in Brooklyn for the Universal title. With the exception of Reigns’ biggest supporters, the crowd and viewers at home would roll their eyes over the lack of surprise.

SummerSlam has always been pro wrestling’s summertime blockbuster and this year will be no different. This is the time that WWE really needs to turn it up to make the event as big as it can. With no disrespect to Samoa Joe, all reports have suggested that WWE is expected to have Lesnar win at Great Balls of Fire, so for the sake of this article, we will proceed with that same mindset.

A SummerSlam main event of Reigns and Lesnar for the Universal title will probably excite Vince McMahon but not a lot of the WWE universe. When planning this year’s Universal title match, it is important to remember last year’s title match and the electricity it brought. Finn Balor and Seth Rollins would have a very solid build towards their match, a fantastic match itself, and an unfortunate injury to Balor that would give this match the legs to live on for years to come. Putting Lesnar and Reigns together in the follow up this year is falling well below expectations.

Fans have heard on and on in internet reports that this was the plan for this years WrestleMania. The WWE Universe doesn’t want this title match in New Orleans in April. They also do not want it this August in Brooklyn. I hate to be a downer but that is what the majority is thinking. On top of falling below expectations, there is also another aspect of this potential match that has fans nervous. Where does Braun Strowman go from here? They cannot bury the guy after all the work that has been done.

Well, with the current course they’re on now I have a suggestion on how they can make fans happy and deliver one of the hottest SummerSlam title matches. Much like the last WrestleMania in New Orleans, WWE needs to add some life to a potentially unpopular match. A spark that could set the hottest event of the summer ablaze. The WWE should make the Universal title a triple threat match. Its participants should be a defending champion in Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and the monster among men, Braun Strowman.

This match works on a variety of different levels and one can argue it has had a slow build for a while. Prior to Strowman’s injury, most folks thought the best SummerSlam title match was Brock Lesnar against Strowman. If you read back to my 7 potential SummerSlam matches, you’d see that I was of that same mindset. You’ll also see that I had Baron Corbin winning the MITB breifcase but thats another story.

With Braun Strowman returning when he has, it has become evident that his return date was a work. A tip of the cap to WWE for the swerve but this also means that they have had plans for Strowman all along. Having him return just to sit on the sidelines during SummerSlam while Lesnar and Reigns do battle doesn’t make sense. It makes about as much sense as, well, Strowman being in the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal.

Seeing as that Reigns has already nominated himself for a Universal title shot (must be nice), the monster among men will need to find a way to include himself. Ideally, that is as easy as having Strowman defeat Reigns at the Great Balls of Fire PPV. The next night on RAW could see Strowman march down to the ring and demand his shot at the champion. With that, we are on a red hot road to SummerSlam.

Prior to Strowman’s injury, he was white hot and fans were really buying into his dominance. The potential showdown between him and Lesnar was already teased the night after WrestleMania. That was when the monster among men would interrupt Lesnar’s spot on RAW. The WWE universe wants this moment for Strowman, that hasn’t changed. His ongoing feud with Reigns dates back as far as last winter and could begin to border on staleness soon. There needs to be an end to the feud or something like the Universal title to add new life to it.

The inclusion of the triple threat match rather than just a one on one helps in a lot of ways. Lesnar won’t be needed every week during the build-up. Reigns and Strowman can hold down the fort. The monster among men has proved that he could do that on his own already. Paul Heyman could do his thing on the microphone as he’s the better promo guy between the four of them. Lesnar continues to collect checks at home in Minnesota, Strowman runs wild, the fans aren’t sour about the championship program, everybody wins!

As far as the match itself, this triple threat match could be one of the most physical triple threat matches that we’ve seen in a long time. When you think of things that each superstar is capable of and then throw them in the same ring, magic. Literally, nothing around that ring is safe. This is a match that is undoubtedly best for business.

The hope here from this writer is that one of the challengers will walk away with the title. It helps Lesnar remain strong as he is only defeated when forced into a triple threat. It will also revive the Reigns and Strowman feud. They can now wage a new war over the richest prize in the game. Most importantly it helps the fans who will no longer be deprived of a Universal champion on a weekly basis. There is no other Universal title match that makes as much sense as this one makes.

There is nowhere for Strowman to go but the Universal title program. Why rush a program with someone like Finn Balor or Seth Rollins. WWE has months on top of months of a storyline just sitting on their lap. I’m not saying that he necessarily needs to win the belt but they’ve gone too far with this Strowman push to turn back. SummerSlam is a well deserved and fitting payoff. Anything less for Strowman is going to universally viewed as a mistake.

Writing credit goes to Michael Hauff

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