The biggest party of the summer for WWE is approaching on August 21 when SummerSlam 2016 hits the WWE Network. So far, a few matches have been announced for the 5-hour extravaganza, but there’s still plenty of time to fill up the rest of the card.
Which matches have been confirmed, which ones are very likely to happen and what other fights could we see added to the lineup?
WWE Universal Championship: Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
WWE Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
We all know this is happening, even though it has yet to be made official. The most interesting part isn’t whether or not it will be scheduled, but if a stipulation will be attached.
After having a few matches together, it seems likely that this will be a Last Man Standing, No Disqualification, or I Quit match, as nothing has been happening to call for a cage to keep people out or to prevent AJ Styles from fleeing the scene. Of course, that hasn’t stopped WWE from doing random cage matches in the past, but with plenty of other singles matches being pretty normal, it would make sense to do something more on the Extreme Rules side with this to freshen things up.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
With the two subordinate members of The Club attacking The New Day on Raw, this seems like a done deal, and it may be time for The New Day to drop those championships. They’ve held them for longer than the previous record and it’s rare that WWE doesn’t have a title change happen once someone surpasses that length. Just look at Nikki Bella’s loss to Charlotte for proof.
Plus, The Club could use the boost after losing AJ Styles and a few matches here and there. As much as it hurts me to say it, as I prefer The New Day, I wouldn’t bet on the power of positivity coming out on top this time around.
WWE Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte
The rematch clause is one of the best and worst things in WWE’s very flexible rulebook. It’s a double-edged sword, as it sometimes stops them from being more creative, but it also is great that it can act as a built-in excuse to continue a feud without having to take a good feud-element away from another non-title program.
Since Sasha Banks won the championship on Raw instead of here, I’d have to imagine Charlotte will be clamoring to get it back, opting to challenge Sasha at SummerSlam rather than on Raw. It’s too soon to push Nia Jax to fight Sasha and we’ve had two different pay-per-views with women’s tag team matches in a row, so that’s not going to happen a third time.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. ???
SmackDown’s roster doesn’t have a ton of midcarders, but there are still a number of people who could step into a feud with The Miz for SummerSlam.
The first person that springs to mind is Apollo Crews, who had a good showing this week on SmackDown when he won the battle royal to advance to the six pack challenge and came close to winning that, too. Crews still has a way to go before he’s found his comfort zone, but he could be prime for an Intercontinental Championship title reign, so it might be starting here.
While there are folks like Zack Ryder, Kane, Kalisto and more who could fit the bill, I think there’s only one other person who might be challenging The Miz and that’s the returning Shelton Benjamin, who will have some momentum on his side as a former star that fans will be excited to see come back. He could just as easily return as a heel, though, or just start a feud with a guy like Baron Corbin separate from the Intercontinental title hunt.
WWE United States Championship: Rusev (c) vs. ???
Rusev has already gone through Titus O’Neil and Zack Ryder, so those can be taken off the table (especially Ryder, who is on SmackDown). Nothing has been built up yet for who his next challenger could be, but the go-to answer is Cesaro, who is on roughly the same hierarchy level as Rusev and should definitely not be left off the card.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens aren’t going to be having a singles match, but they might actually get in the mix as well. I would not be surprised at all to see Rusev forced to defend his championship in a Fatal 4-Way with those two and Cesaro.
POTENTIAL OTHER MATCHES
Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns
Obviously, Roman Reigns isn’t going to be ignored come SummerSlam, but the direction WWE takes him isn’t quite clear yet. Is he going to turn heel? He hasn’t been acting enough like one to bank on that, but the company isn’t foolish enough to think he can get a babyface reaction against anybody like Kevin Owens, and despite his suspension, there’s no way he’ll be demoted to face opponents lesser than him like Bo Dallas and Sin Cara.
Assuming Jericho is sticking around for this show, he’s going to need someone to wrestle, so they might saddle him with the Reigns match. Perhaps Jericho has a Highlight Reel to gloat about how Reigns can’t get his momentum going after being suspended and that’s what acts as the catalyst for this match.
Then again, Jericho could just as easily be wrestling someone like Cesaro, Neville, or Sami Zayn that he might request to work with in the undercard.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars
The tag team division isn’t the most amazing thing now that they’ve split the rosters up, so if there’s no crosspollination, the options for Enzo and Cass are pretty thin. Golden Truth are babyfaces and won’t have a match against them, which pretty much narrows it down to The Dudley Boyz and The Shining Stars. Both matches have been seen, but the latter is fresher.
My guess is Primo and Epico will pick a fight and this will be a pre-show match or a rest segment in the show that is largely just a funny promo and some downtime before Cass destroys The Shining Stars yet again. This is more of a means to get Enzo and Cass to pop the crowd than it is to have them put on a clinic in the ring.
Neville vs. Sheamus
Call it a random shot in the dark, but I can see a relatively quick match (particularly on the pre-show) between Sheamus and Neville taking place. The Celtic Warrior is just waiting for something to do and Neville’s back in action, so they might pick back up where they left off in the past when Sheamus was picking on Neville and the “smaller guys” by just putting these two together for a somewhat random exhibition.
Even with all of these suggestions, there are still some people not accounted for, like Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, Darren Young, Alberto Del Rio, American Alpha, and all of the women on SmackDown’s roster.
What matches do you think we’ll be seeing and what would you like to happen at SummerSlam? Leave your fantasy booking ideas in the comments below!