Hey everybody, welcome to a new segment I’ll be tackling called WWE Heat Index, wherein I’ll be trying to gauge people’s interest for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events.
With a name like that, what better event is there to start off with than SummerSlam 2017?
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Pre-Show Kickoff Matches and Missing Elements = Cold
I’ve already written up two posts on the Raw and SmackDown wrestlers who aren’t scheduled for the event (part 1 and part 2) so I’ll spare you my repetitive thoughts on those, but part of the reason I’m cold on this is because I feel like we’re missing some legitimate people who could have added something fun to the mix, like Chad Gable, Sami Zayn and Nia Jax.
I also don’t think it’s crazy to be disappointed that there’s yet to be an Intercontinental Championship match announced between The Miz and Jason Jordan, as enough time and resources have been invested in that feud that it seems strange for it to be an omission.
Does that mean WWE isn’t set on having it at all, in which case they pulled the plug? Does it mean they don’t value it enough to announce it ahead of time and forgot about it? Does it mean they specifically want it to be a surprise match added at the last minute? Does it mean they still haven’t figured out which matches are going to be on the pre-show and they have to sort that out before they place this on the card?
I have my suspicions that what they’re going to do instead is have The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel face off against Jason Jordan and The Hardy Boyz in a six-man tag team match on the pre-show to help stall the title match (which could happen on Raw or at No Mercy) while also making sure Matt and Jeff got on the card in some capacity as The Revival is no longer available for that role.
They can do better, and we only have a few days for them to announce something that can heat things up again.
Universal Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe = Hot
Don’t get me wrong, I’m paranoid about the outcome of this match, but just because I have pessimistic ideas of how WWE is going to handle it doesn’t mean I can deny that it’s undoubtedly the single biggest match on the card. In some ways, it’s a one-match card in my mind as you’ll see how few feuds get the Hot option below.
What I’m nervous about is that Brock Lesnar will retain the title and effectively hurt the future of the next 9 months or so, since we’ll have seen him already beat the three top guys to challenge his title (making it less interesting for me to see Lesnar vs. Strowman or Lesnar vs. Reigns at Survivor Series and such). Also, in that scenario, Lesnar will remain off television for a long period of time again, and there’s always the risk that they keep the belt on him all the way until WrestleMania, which I don’t want.
However, the optimist in me looks at this match as the 4 biggest behemoths (save for Big Show) in the company colliding in what could be a brutal brawl where we possibly have a regime change with someone new being crowned the champion—two of those options being people who have never won a world title in WWE (and the other being someone who has, but has never held this particular belt).
In more ways than one, I can see this being the only thing that matters to most people and the main or only reason they’re watching. While I’m not going to be happy if five hours of this event sucks and then this match is good, it’s still the biggest and most important thing that can make or break this show for me and I’m excited for it.
Baron Corbin vs. John Cena = Cold
Why did Baron Corbin attack John Cena instead of Shinsuke Nakamura? Because they wanted to have John Cena against Baron Corbin at SummerSlam and the hell with trying to figure out a better way to start that feud.
Uh oh, we’ve ran out of time and this feud has no steam to it. What do we do? How about we have Corbin lose his cash-in. That way, he can blame Cena and then we can say that it’s a bitter rivalry!
What pisses me off about this is that it can’t possibly be what WWE had in mind when they were trying to sort out the pay-per-view schedule earlier this year. From what had been told, Raw had no idea what to do with Money in the Bank and SmackDown had an actual plan, so they lobbied for it.
You mean to tell me the plan was for Baron Corbin to win it and to lose his cash-in as a mercy ploy to try to give a reason for him to feud with Cena like this, and for the women’s match to be marred in annoying “controversy” where you repeat the exact same outcome two weeks later on SmackDown?
If that’s what the writers had planned out months ago, they need to be fired.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Akira Tozawa (c) vs. Neville = Lukewarm
I have a problem with seeing the same match 20 times and still being pumped for it. Sure, Akira Tozawa and Neville work well together and I like both of them, but what’s different about this compared to all their other matches? The belt is on the opposite guy. That’s it.
I have no problems with Tozawa as champion, but given the option of seeing him defend it against Neville or against someone fresh, I would have chosen a new opponent. If the belt would have stayed on Neville, I would have rather seen him fight Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado or maybe even Kalisto if he could move over to the 205 Live crew.