It’s WWE’s biggest event of the summer! If it wasn’t for Wrestlemania, it would most likely be the biggest event of the year. This year it’s certainly a big show. Not necessarily because of the popularity of names on the card, or the hype built around the show, but because of the sheer volume of matches in the lineup. If you plan to watch the pre-show and the main card, you’ll be sitting through 13 matches and an Elias segment. Basically every active roster member that has been up to something recently has something to do on this show. In the main event, Brock Lesnar defends his Universal Championship against Roman Reigns. These two have met on numerous occasions, with the most notable on being at Wrestlemania 31, when Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase to beat both men. We’ll get more into that match, but let’s work our way up to it.
The first of the three kickoff matches is The B-Team defending their RAW Tag Team Championships against The Revival. The B-Team are just coming off a defense on Monday in a triple threat match, where they capitalized off of the damage that their opponents were doing to each other. This match really has two outcomes: 1) The B-Team finds a way to just barely squeeze by, in a fluke situation or 2) The Revival take the belts, ending The B-Teams undefeated run. Personally I feel the safe bet is on The B-Team since WWE have been getting more comfortable with the gimmick in past weeks (theme song, etc).
The second kickoff match is the only mixed tag match on the show. Rusev and Lana hope to win on Rusev Day when they face Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. Andrade was sitting on the bench for quite some time on Smackdown Live until recently he was put into this angle. Despite Vega having matches in the past, this match will be the first time that I’ve seen it. It will be interesting to see how she works with Lana.
205 Live get slight representation on this PPV, like they do every show. Cedric Alexander defends his Cruiserweight Championship against Drew Gulak. Gulak got the last laugh on the most recent episode of 205 Live getting his henchmen to distract Alexander, letting him pick the scraps. Alexander has been champion since Wrestlemania making him have the second longest Cruiserweight Championship reign in history (first place is Neville).
After the three kickoff matches have come and gone, there is 10 more matches. The first one from the Smackdown brand is a grudge match years in the making. Daniel Bryan faces The Miz in what is really a Wrestlemania caliber match. Bryan broke into WWE back when NXT was a game show, with The Miz being his mentor. Their feud was on the backburner for a few years, but then was brought back when Bryan found himself in a managerial position at Smackdown Live. Now that Bryan is out of retirement the petty exchanges between the two will have to be put aside and settled in the ring.
Finn Balor squashes his beef with the power hungry Baron Corbin in a RAW brand fight. Baron Corbin, who likes to now go by the name “Constable Corbin” has not been spared of any criticism by Finn Balor in past weeks. Corbin has used his position of power to mess with Balor.
Shinsuke Nakamura is set to defend his United States Championship from Jeff Hardy on Sunday as well. Nakamura won the belt off of Hardy at Extreme Rules, ending Hardy’s nearly three month reign. Nakamura has shown that he will do anything to win, even if it means bending the rules. Hardy might have to move on to another goal in wrestling if he loses this Sunday.
In the only triple threat match Sunday, Carmella defends her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Becky and Charlotte have to put their friendship aside as it’s every woman for themself. Carmella either has a big advantage or disadvantage heading into the match, depending on which angle they go with. If Lynch and Flair team up, then Carmella will have trouble. If Carmella can capitalize on the two having troubles co-existing, she can win. Personally I feel this match going in favour of Carmella, but there’s no real safe bet.
Another twist was added to the Seth Rollins versus Dolph Ziggler match was added this Monday when it was announced that Dean Ambrose will be cornering Rollins. This evens the odds as Ziggler has had Drew McIntyre by his side for his matches. Ziggler has to defend his Intercontinental Championship in this match.
Similar to what NJPW does with their G1 Briefcase, Braun Stroman will put his Money In The Bank briefcase on the line against Kevin Owens. This rivalry got almost no mentions in the go-home Monday Night RAW. Owens has been toyed with by Stroman for the past few months by destroying his rental car and throwing him off the stage while being in a port-a-potty. It’s safe to say that a win for Owens isn’t just for the MiTB briefcase.
The Bludgeon Brothers put their Smackdown Tag Team Titles on the line against The New Day. 2015 at Summerslam was where New Day became tag team champions, starting a reign that would last 483 days, making them the longest reigning champs of what is now known as the RAW Tag Team Championships. New Day have a numbers advantage, as they can choose two of the three members to participate in this fight.
In the biggest match for the Smackdown brand, Samoa Joe attempts to dethrone AJ Styles and his WWE Championship reign. Joe and Styles have fought numerous times in the past, mostly outside of WWE. Cagematch.net has 69 fights listed between them, dating back to 2003. However, they haven’t met in the ring since 2013. Styles has held the belt since November of 2017. Whether Joe’s past experience can play into his success on Sunday will be seen.
Ronda Rousey doesn’t fight often, but when she does it’s not for nothing. Since her debut at Wrestlemania Ronda has seen success but never gotten a chance to fight for gold. In one of the biggest fights on the card, Ronda will try to take down Alexa Bliss and take her RAW Women’s Championship. Bliss has been playing the cowardly gimmick leading up to the fight, throwing security guards and her henchwoman Alicia Fox at Rousey. There will (hopefully) be nothing to use as a distraction on Sunday when it’s just the two of them in the ring.
The main event of Summerslam is Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar. Lesnar has successfully defended the WWE Universal Championship against Roman, both times in April. Once at the grandest stage Wrestlemania, the other at “The Greatest Royal Rumble”. Last year Roman was in a four-way fight with Brock, Samoa Joe and Braun Stroman. This time around there is no except them. Brock has the chance to make it a trilogy of victories over Roman, hopefully ending this rivalry, or Roman will become the new Universal Champion, ending Brock’s 16 month reign.
Tons of matches and tons of time for them on Sunday as the Summerslam kickoff starts at 5PM EST on Youtube. The main card starts at 7PM EST and goes for as long as WWE’s heart desires.