SummerSlam is headlined by a huge fatal four-way, as Brock Lesnar defends his Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe.
It’s one of the toughest matches to call in recent history. As it stands, each man heading into the match as a strong candidate – and current champ Lesnar circling over a potential return to UFC.
Sun Sport looks at the four competitors to see just who should leave SummerSlam as the Universal Champion.
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The rumour since WrestleMania has been that WWE would keep the title on Lesnar until next year’s ‘Mania for an almighty showdown with Roman Reigns.
Lesnar redeemed his losses against Goldberg and had a killer feud with Samoa Joe – but there’s still a sense that he’s coasting in WWE.
And with Lesnar looking for yet another UFC return, WWE will surely take the title off him before that happens.
The last thing Vince wants is for his top champion to risk a pummeling in a legit fight, which – if it happened – would make WWE look infinitely inferior to UFC.
Paul Heyman has also vowed that Lesnar will leave WWE if he loses the title – which could be a cover story for a temporary departure to UFC.
(Though he probably won’t be off TV any longer he usually is, with his cushy part-time hours.)
The fatal four-way stipulation is the perfect way to get the title off Brock and still protect him – someone else can eat the pin for the belt to change hands.
Whoever it is that does the favours on the night, we don’t see Brock walking out of SummerSlam as Universal Champion.
Whether Reigns faces Lesnar or not at WrestleMania next year, it would sense to hold off Reigns’ big Universal Championship win until then.
It’s the one title that’s eluded Reigns so far – and WWE will want to close its big show with big victory for the Big Dog (for the third year running – sorry, haters).
But WWE rarely shows patience for long-term, sensible booking these day and the company could hotshot Reigns to the title at SummerSlam.
But we think Reigns will take a detour before winning the Universal Championship – and join the current Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose story for a full Shield reunion.
If Lesnar is scheduled to lose the title next Sunday, the fatal four-way could work as a tease for a future Lesnar v Reigns showdown.
(Lesnar could always win back the title before ‘Mania to put those original plans back on track.)
Reigns and Lesnar do have unfinished business from their blinding match at WrestleMania 31.
They’re also the only two men to have defeated Undertaker at Mania – it’s a main event collision that pretty much books itself.
SummerSlam could be the first step towards that happening.
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We love the Monster Among Men. His repeated annihilation of Roman Reigns has made him an unlikely hero on Raw.
And he’s got momentum going into the match, after his Last Man Standing victory this past Monday.
He’s taken huge strides in the last year and improved massively, but Braun’s not ready to lead the company. This doesn’t feel like his time to be crowned champion.
And there’s only so long a monster like Braun can go before he has to be chopped down.
After multiple victories over Reigns, he’s surely due a loss to Roman – the Big Dog needs his vengeance.
Of course, that could happen on Raw this coming Monday, ahead of the SummerSlam. Either way, it doesn’t need to the end of Braun’s big push.
WWE should use the fatal four-way to give Braun some earth-shattering moments and continue to boost on his unique position as both monster heel and unlikely anti-hero.
There was a time when fans thought Joe would never make it to WWE – let alone be the strongest contender for its top championship.
Contrary to how we though WWE would handle Joe, he’s been an absolute powerhouse since Extreme Rules in May.
He was booked strongly against Brock – giving The Beast his best feud in two years – and has scored wins over all of Raw’s big players.
Joe took a pin from Reigns last week in a triple threat, but got his revenge this week by choking out Reigns in the closing minutes of Raw.
The image of him stood victorious over WWE’s chosen one was a testament to Joe’s position in the company at present.
If the Universal Championship is going to change hands at SummerSlam, Samoa Joe is up to the job – a killer heel with a veteran’s experience.
Joe can do it all, whether it’s in the ring or on the mic. (Think back to his incredible promo with Paul Heyman, when he gently warned Heyman he was about to choke him out, then did it – genius.)
We say it’s time to give him the title and see what he can do as WWE’s very top star.
Watch SummerSlam on the WWE Network Sunday August 20
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