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Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The scheduled main event for SummerSlam, and possibly WrestleMania, changed a few weeks ago.

The only question is what they did change to. It was confirmed to us that a few weeks ago, probably just before the Roman Reigns interview where he said he wanted a shot at the Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe winner, that plans for SummerSlam on 8/20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn changed from Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman as the main event to Lesnar vs. Reigns.

That is probably still the main event for the show, but there is an outside chance that will change since everyone realizes how strong Samoa Joe has gotten over in the Lesnar feud. Originally Joe’s role was to just be the guy to put Lesnar over to set up the bigger match. But it’s been hard not to notice how strong this program is getting over.

Lesnar vs. Reigns, with Reigns winning the title, had been planned as the main event for the 2018 WrestleMania in New Orleans from before this year’s WrestleMania. But if anything, Reigns has gone from the old John Cena position of being cheered wildly at most house shows but booed on television, to being booed heavily at most house shows.

The idea could be to pull the trigger on the Reigns title win early, so they would have the Universal champion as a regular on Raw television and house shows. Or it could be part of a story they want to tell where Reigns doesn’t win now and builds to a Mania win. But normally, WWE doesn’t put the planned Mania match on PPV before Mania. The most logical conclusion is that a Reigns win over Lesnar would lead to a Reigns vs. Cena WrestleMania main event, given the Cena “free agent” who can work on both shows gimmick was introduced at the same time the Lesnar vs. Strowman match was changed. If Lesnar loses the title, that nixes plans for Lesnar title defenses prior to next year’s Mania with both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, both of which had been teased a few weeks ago. Lesnar vs. Strowman could be saved for Mania or Rumble.

In theory, although wins and losses leading to big matches isn’t always the way WWE books, that would change the Reigns vs. Strowman ambulance finish to a Reigns win. Strowman was planned to go over in that match to set up his title bout with Lesnar, and likely make that a way to set up Strowman as a contender for the title when Reigns won. Joe, with two wins over Reigns, is clearly being set up as a contender, but that would theoretically mean they’d have to protect him to a degree in the match with Lesnar.

Another interesting note is that Lesnar is being booked on some Smackdown house shows coming up, and Cena is being booked on some Raw house shows. The Cena thing has already been explained.

Otherwise, the Great Balls of Fire show on 7/9 in Dallas is being built up largely as expected, with Lesnar vs. Joe, Reigns vs. Strowman in the ambulance match, Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt, The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC title (where Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are likely to get involved), Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Hardys for the tag titles (this is not yet announced, and there would likely be a stipulation involved), Balor vs. Elias Samson, Neville vs. Akira Tozawa for the cruiserweight title, Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks for the women’s title and unannounced possibilities of Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass and R-Truth vs. Goldust.

From storylines, it also appears that Bliss vs. Nia Jax is actually the big women’s match upcoming, so it’s likely for SummerSlam.

On the Smackdown side, the 7/23 PPV, Battleground, from Philadelphia will be headlined by Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match. It’s a gimmick match used once before in a Great Khali vs. Batista title match, and a way to keep the program going and keep some interest in a third straight main event.

The Punjabi prison is basically a double high cage match made up bamboo sticks. To win, you have to escape the first high cage, and then climb up and escape the second high cage.

Nothing else has been announced for the show but it’s clear there will be a Usos vs. New Day tag team title match and a Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin match. Another thing teased is Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett) vs. Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens will defend the U.S. title against the winner of a 7/4 Battle Royal. There was a tease of Owens with A.J. Styles, which would make sense. They had Nakamura pin Owens a few times on television so it appeared at one point that was the idea, and still could be down the line. Tyler Breeze & Fandango will likely face the real team that was messing up their mock police station.
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

Some points:

1). They're troubled that Reigns is getting booed on both televised and untelevised events, yet they want to rush Lesnar vs Reigns now? Lesnar has been working as a face since Wrestlemania, and he always gets fan support. Smart idea?

2). It also appears that Bliss vs. Nia Jax is actually the big women’s match upcoming, so it’s likely for SummerSlam. ---- I'm OK with this one if the belt is not involved. Sasha vs Bayley can headline the women's division; Bliss vs Nia can fill out the undercard. Nia vs Bliss should never headline though.
 

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TEAM DEPPIE
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Re: Summerslam plans change

Damn, I was really hoping for Braun vs Brock at Summerslam. It would be smarter for them to get Roman vs Brock out of the way though. I just worry about Braun's momentum not being the same if they save the Brock match up for a later PPV. This is the best time since Braun has the "Anyone but Roman!" momentum going on for him. That heat being immediately transferred to a Brock feud could make him big time.

And man, all the complaints about Brock and Roman holding the main event scene hostage, but low and behold, the match is happening earlier than expected.

People got their wish, they're getting the match out of the way. Which ultimately screws Braun in the process as far as a big match up for Summerslam. Guess they can give him Joe but it isn't the same.

I do hope Braun still somehow wins against Roman. They can bullshit their way to Brock vs Roman for Summerslam without having Braun lose. Even though it won't be a pin.
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

So you're telling me Roman could possibly hold the title until Wrestlemania?
 

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Benson, Charisma and Camila Mendes Fan. King Of Th
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Re: Summerslam plans change

I have no problem with Reigns beating Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam because that would give us a full time star as Champion and we can the title back on the screen every week.
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

I could see Reigns winning the title from Lesnar at Summerslam and then dropping it soon after to either Joe or Braun. Then they can have the new champion defend against Finn and Rollins.
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

Everyone has a plan till you get choked out by a Samoan.

I don't see Joe not fighting one of Brock, Strauman, or Reigns at SummerSlam. He's proven too much in building this feud and being credible. I'm not saying he'll get the title at GBOF, but it's likely he has a match with one of these 3 for a #1 contendership
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

Shoot, that's fine with me. Get the Reigns def. Lesnar for the title crap outta the way, they've already done that exact same match at Mania anyhow.

Save Braun vs Lesnar for Mania, and also at Mania you can have champ Reigns vs someone like Cena (going for his record-breaking title win).

Keep Joe strong throughout this whole ordeal and then have him face AJ at Mania. That already has the makings of a stellar card.
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

That's great news. In a perfect world Reigns will hold the title until WM34 to drop it to a super over babyface which will make the first real "happy ending" to a WM since WM30 and finally build up another new star. Judging from now Strowman has the best chance at being that man, so I hope Strowman beats Reigns at Balls anyway, otherwise he'd risk losing his popularity like most before who lost a feud with the top star decisively (it also makes for some great potential in storyline developments, as after Reigns wins at Summerslam, Strowman can come out and demand a title match since he has beaten Reigns; Reigns may refuse to accept his challenge to signal the beginning of a full-fledge heel-turn, which should culminate before WM34) If things don't pan out this way though, Reigns/Cena would be fine in my book as well.
 

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FOTC
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Re: Summerslam plans change

A couple of points:

• If Reigns defeats Braun he will be protected in the loss considering it's an Ambulance Match

• They should book Joe/Brock in a way where it appears like Joe is about to win. He has Brock in the clutch but Heyman pulls the referee out. Joe tells the ref not to DQ Brock, but he gives Brock a chance to get back up and loses to an F5

• The next night Joe takes his frustrations out on someone backstage (new feud)
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

Roman about to go over Triple H, Undertaker, Brock, and Cena within a 4-year span.

That's in addition to his many wins over people like Rollins, D-Bryan, Ambrose, Wyatt, Balor, Strowman, and others.

Would it hurt to have him lose to Brock first, then win at Royal Rumble 18'?
 

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Re: Summerslam plans change

Maybe we read too much into Roman's No.1 Contendership at Summerslam, Maybe Strowman beats Reigns at GBOF and go on to face Brock at Summerslam.

After Joe-Reigns finish on raw, I think we could see it at summerslam. Joe is 2-0 on Roman.


- Brock vs Strowman for the universal title.
- Roman vs Samoa Joe.
 

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It all just sounds so terrible no matter what direction they go in.
I kind of agree. I'm a big fan of Lesnar, Strowman, and Joe, and I actually like Reigns, too. Here's the thing, though. No matter how the former 3 do, this is all built around Reigns. He's going to end up beating all 3 of them.

I want to see Lesnar/Reigns, but if they pull the trigger already at SummerSlam, that means Strowman is taking the L, effectively short circuiting his momentum. Reigns can afford that loss much easier than Braun can. And if you have Lesnar lose already, his aura takes a huge hit. He had all kinds of trouble with Goldberg, then has 1 title defense and drops the title again? This is what happens when the ultimate goal is to protect one man over everyone.
 
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