SummerSlam Heat: Rumors and Possibilities

SummerSlam 2017 Final Ad Poster

(c)WWE

SummerSlam Heat

Tonight is the biggest night of wrestling for the summer, WWE’s SummerSlam 2017! Vince McMahon’s annual summer showcase this year is headlined by the Fatal 4 Way match between Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe for the title of WWE Universal Champion. While we hope the in-ring action to be the best, some of the storylines heading into SummerSlam have cooled off, let’s take a look at some of the still blazing ones. Rumors aplenty ahead.

Is Undertaker going to be at SummerSlam?

Underake on a Plane (Snapchatted)

(c) @MR_GQ_Cantu on twitter

Undertaker was spotted on a flight to NY this Friday. This could have potentially huge ramifications for the Universal title match. Undertaker over the past couple of years had intense feuds with Roman and Brock and he could be coming to interfere in the title picture. Particularly with the former as he was the one who put him to rest in his own yard. With the main event being a no-DQ match, Undertaker’s presence could swing into a surprise win for the two newest arrivals on the Raw title scene, Braun, and Joe.

A Full Shield Reunion

Dean and Seth Fistbump on Raw

(c) WWE

This last Raw, we were witness to the reunion of 2/3 of The Shield. Dean and Seth have joined forces to face Sheamus and Cesaro, The Bar. This comes after the prior month being a seesaw relationship between Dean and Seth. The only one missing from the reunion is Roman. With Wyatt and Balor both on Raw, there is the potential for two other factions to form and face the Shield. Could a Shield reunion mean we see the return of the Wyatt Family or hopefully the long awaited debut of the Balor Club on Raw?

Only tonight will tell. The Shield may also prove vital to making sure Roman wins the title tonight. Dean has his history with Brock and Seth has feuded with Joe prior to this. We may be seeing The Shield put Strowman through an announce table tonight. I can’t say I’m not looking forward to this possibility.

Baron Corbin Failed Cash-in

Baron handing Ref MITB Briefcase

(c) WWE.com

This past Tuesday, we saw Baron Corbin fail to cash in on his WWE Money in the Bank contract. He made the suspicious choice of waiting for his opponents to get up to cash in his opportunity. He then did it in front of Cena, a man infamous for failed cash-in attempts. Silly Baron. Money in the Bank cash-ins are usually saved for pay-per-view action, but Baron decided to fumble his all the way to failure. This, of course, nixes the change we see a cash-in after the Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura WWE Championship match.

Will this result in a more ruthless Baron going forward? Cena hasn’t won at a SummerSlam show since the Nexus debacle, and Baron may be a lucky recipient of that trend. On the other hand, Baron hasn’t been the nicest on Twitter lately. Picking fights with legends and journalists alike. We all know Vince loves Corbin for his size and not so much his intangibles. SummerSlam against Super Cena could be either a death knell or a career starter for Baron. We’ll have to tune into tonight to see.

Brock Leaving to fight Jon ‘Bones’ Jones

Brock Lesnar (Left), Jon Jones (Right)

(c) UFC

Last, but not least, Brock losing tonight means the Beast Incarnate will be leaving the WWE right after SummerSlam. There’s already smack talking going between the two fighters’ camps and hype is starting to build. The UFC and WWE have cross-promoted before, but this might be their biggest cross-promotional fight. Bones is a UFC legend with a huge following and has just come off a strong win against Daniel Cormier. Bones is also no stranger to mic work and would be fantastic at holding up his end.

Vince is never hesitant to drum up huge spectacles like this and having Brock not in the WWE ring to promote his end of the fight would mean huge dollars lost for the company. Brock has already been featured in advertisements and promotions for live events and a September PPV appearance. Could this all be a ruse? WWE has teased Brock before and he’s left. Should Brock lose tonight, this picture should become even more clear and means huge dollar signs swinging one way or another.

Tonight’s SummerSlam card is filled with matches that should not disappoint. Let’s hope the ball isn’t dropped with these angles going into SummerSlam.
Markus X. Murden

@MXMurden 

WWE Has Failed Bayley and it’s Scary

Bayley in the ring with an arm sling w/ ring announcer

(c)WWE

Bayley, the queen of hugs, beloved NXT Women’s champion, and owner of one of the brightest gimmicks ever is failing as a Face on the main roster of WWE. She was supremely over in NXT and her debut on the main roster was highly anticipated, with her arriving at a massive pop. So how did WWE fumble with her and is it indicative of a larger problem?

At the beginning of the year, Bayley was still a favorite in fans eyes. She was in a Women’s Title triangle feud with Charlotte Flair and Sahsa Banks. Even though Sasha and Charlotte’s matches were red hot, Bayley wasn’t far behind the two. The three marquee women on Raw’s roster were developing good story lines and having fun matches. Then on February 13, 2017, Bayley won the Raw’s women championship.WWE played on her being the young girl with a dream and it hit a crescendo beautifully.

The Downfall of Bayley

Then the Superstar shakeup happened, and the Raw’s women division collapsed with Bayley seemingly at the center of it. Bayley’s character has bounced around from varying levels of innocence, all going into story lines that go nowhere. Remember that Cory Graves segment? It still scares me that WWE was willing to go with a story line that one of their superstars was so naively innocent to not have kissed a boy in her life. Is that how you get a wrestler over?

Thankfully that story line has seemingly been shut down and hopefully won’t resurface. However, I don’t know if WWE can do better by her. Her previous feud with current champion Bliss ended with Bayley looking extremely weak. Despite challenging Alexa to the match, she didn’t want to “hurt” her opponent. This takes baby facing to the next level.

Worst of all, Bayley had to suffer through the worst promo segment ever, a “This is Your Life” segment hosted by Alexa Bliss. The segment saw Bliss run down her past, exposing her as a nerd, naively innocent, and a betrayer of her friend for wrestling. Bliss decimated Bayley, making her look weak. WWE mistakenly thinks the audience wants to root for a loser. That’s not the case. We want to root for an underdog, and ultimately an underdog can’t keep coming up short all the time.

This leads us to the run up to Summer Slam. After burying Bayley’s character, she scores a couple of quick wins and is back in the title match for Summer Slam. The booking makes no logical sense at all. Why destroy her one month and then have her headline for a PPV in the next? Because WWE has lost real story line investment.

WWE should have stuck to a design of an ultra baby face who just wanted to win and please her fans. She would be over to the moon, think an antithesis to Roman Reigns even. With Charlotte as the heel, Sasha as a tweener, and Bayley as a face, the Raw’s women division would have a solid foundation. Instead, Bayley’s character has been through the ringer and is worse off for it. Bayley was recently booed on this week’s Raw. Now it was possibly the fans booing at WWE’s booking of Bayley, but accepting that narrative isn’t helpful. 90% of what a wrestler becomes is because of their booking and how well it protects their character. Had Alexa Bliss been given an up and down heel run she would probably be with the rest of the Raw’ women division. Aimless.

I’m not sure if Bayley’s injury going into SS is a work or a shoot. If it’s real I hope she has a swift recovery, and hope she comes back better. I hope she’s not just stuck back in another program with Nia Jax or hoping for a rematch with Bliss. I believe WWE should give her a proper comeback tour. Showcase her with some of the better veterans like Emma and Mickie James to remind the fans why they loved her in the first place. Give her character time to grow naturally, WWE, and they’ll have an absolute gem. The fans are already waiting with open arms.

(c)WWE