Although there are some feuds that seem to be set in stone for SummerSlam this year, the majority of the build has consisted of matches booked for Battleground that are either repeating in some fashion (Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns) or were held off due to injuries (Intercontinental Championship triple threat, Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler, etc).
As such, WWE seems to mostly only be focusing on two matches lately: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins vs. John Cena.
All four men are more than capable of being tossed into the main event of the show without the fans looking at it as a step down from the rest of the card and there are cases that can be made for either one of those bouts being the finale. Only one of them can go on last, though, so which one should it be?
Making the Case for Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
The most obvious thing to point out when it comes to these two is the infrequency in which they wrestle. Brock Lesnar appears only a handful of times per year while Undertaker has made a habit of being MIA for every month excluding the build to WrestleMania. When either of them shows up, it’s a big deal and should be treated as such due to the rarity. Not only that, both men are legends in the company with impressive records, having won many world titles and been at the top of the sport for too many years to count.
In comparison, Seth Rollins and John Cena are two people that we see each and every week. What’s so special about seeing those two go up against each other? It happened earlier this year with the Royal Rumble and it has even happened on Monday Night Raw last week, so it isn’t as though it’s the freshest match possible when looking at the roster. There’s a good chance having Undertaker and Lesnar go before Rollins and Cena will just drop the mood, as the crowd will be burned out and have no more energy left to spare.
Fans are clamoring for a rematch between The Deadman and The Beast Incarnate after their encounter at WrestleMania 30, wondering if maybe this is a chance for retribution with Undertaker coming out on top. Then again, there’s sure to be a portion of the audience that loves watching Lesnar go crazy and suplex his opponents into oblivion to the point where they would even want to see The Phenom take that punishment. As good as Seth Rollins is on the mic, he’s no Paul Heyman, who is selling this feud as the must-see match above all others.
Making the Case for Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
The biggest factor working in favor of Rollins and Cena as the main event is how much more is on the line. Yes, there are bragging rights when it comes to Undertaker and Lesnar, but the WWE World Heavyweight Championship should nearly always take priority over everything else. Not only is the top title in the company being defended, but so is the United States Championship! This is something that has never been done before in WWE and needs to be treated as something momentous.
This unification could have huge consequences for the roster going forward no matter who comes out on top. Is it even a true unification wherein one of the belts (needless to say, the US title) will be gone for good, or is it simply an instance where the winner will carry both and could lose them separately? If they remain distinct and John Cena wins, will he continue the US Open Challenge even though he’s also the world champion? If Rollins wins, how does the midcard title not get lost in the shuffle? If it’s done away with entirely, that means we’re back down to just having one midcard champion and WWE’s given up on the concept from earlier in the year of putting a lot of attention on those two titles.
Also, don’t forget how good of a track record both Cena and Rollins have had this year for match quality. The last time Undertaker and Lesnar fought, injuries got in the way and it wasn’t too impressive. Meanwhile, Cena and Rollins had a great match at the Royal Rumble, Cena’s been killing it with the title defenses (particularly against Kevin Owens, but with Sami Zayn and others as well), and Rollins has been consistently keeping things interesting as champ against everyone like Dean Ambrose and Neville from this week.
Considering how there are lots of variables that will play into which match is better, I would have to go with Undertaker and Brock Lesnar as the main event. While I’m personally not too thrilled about either match, as I think Taker/Lesnar is one year too late and means nothing as the stakes are nonexistent and Cena’s not the right choice for Rollins, I’m more interested in what will happen with the championship situation than anything else.
That being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that the end of that match will be so overbooked and screwed that if it goes on last, it will leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. If Rollins wins, people will be upset that the best title reign Cena’s had in years will be over with, especially if Seth only wins in a way that protects Cena. On the other hand, if Cena wins, the IWC will groan uproariously with displeasure that it’s another “lol Cena wins” scenario and “of course” Cena won, as he’s the golden boy. Even if Sheamus were to get involved with the Money in the Bank briefcase, is that something you would really want to be the final note that ends what is supposed to be the second biggest event of the year?
Undertaker and Lesnar looks to be building up to a redemption win for The Demon of Death Valley, which will send fans home happy. Since nothing is at stake, there’s less of a chance for people to be upset at the outcome in comparison to the title match. Really, there isn’t much of a risk of this leaving fans in a bad mood, nor is there much of an opportunity for any other match to drain the audience of all its energy, leaving them dead for the finale. No matter what happens beforehand, the crowd will still be pumped to see these two go at it, and then it’s just up to Undertaker and Lesnar to deliver.
Which do you think should go on last? What match are the most excited about? What position on the card should the other match be placed at if it isn’t the main event? Tell us your thoughts, booking ideas and more in the comments below!