SummerSlam season is finally here.
For the first time in two years, WWE will be able to put on the biggest show of the summer in front of real people when they take over Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in August.
And, if the Money in the Bank pay-per-view was any indication, the company isn’t pulling any punches as it readjusts to an environment with fans in attendance.
As you maneuver down the road to SummerSlam, we took a look at the current landscape of WWE to put together the ideal card for the company’s annual summer showcase.
Barring any major surprises, these are the matches you can likely expect to see when SummerSlam kicks off on August 21.
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena
It’s signed, sealed, and delivered: Roman Reigns will officially defend his Universal Championship against John Cena at SummerSlam.
Following a week of uncertainty after Reigns denied Cena’s challenge and accepted a match with Finn Balor, Cena took advantage of a contract signing interruption from Baron Corbin to take matters into his own hands.
Now, fans will get to see the first one-on-one match between Cena and Reigns since their infamous battle at “No Mercy” a few years back, now featuring Reigns as “The Head of Table” and Cena as the star of the “Summer of Cena.”
This one will undoubtedly be the last match of the night, and fans in Las Vegas will be in for a treat.
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Goldberg
It appears as if Bobby Lashley is next on Goldberg’s list.
Following a win over Keith Lee on Monday Night Raw, Lashley was interrupted by the former Universal Champion, who was ready to take on the “Almighty” one.
While Lashley’s playing hard to get on Raw as of this writing, it appears as if this is clearly the direction that the folks at WWE are hoping to go with heading into their biggest show of the summer.
Don’t expect this match to be any different from Goldberg’s title match against Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble in January.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Sasha Banks
“The Boss” made it very clear upon her return to SmackDown that she was looking for a championship rematch against Bianca Belair. She also made it known that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she gets her title back.
After feigning friendship on July 30, Sasha Banks betrayed Belair to end SmackDown, quickly setting things up for a title match between the two at SummerSlam.
After the instant classic they put on in WrestleMania 37: Night 1’s main event, fans will have high expectations for this one when Banks’ music hits inside Allegiant Stadium.
Raw Women’s Championship: Nikki A.S.H. (c) vs. Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley
The Raw women’s division got a slight breath of fresh air when Nikki A.S.H. cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase and took the Raw Women’s Championship from Charlotte. Then, things kicked right back into the usual rotation.
Just a week after winning the title, the new champion found out that she would be taking on both Charlotte and Rhea Ripley in a triple threat match at SummerSlam.
The build-up to SummerSlam at the moment seems to be focused on the champion and Charlotte, but don’t be surprised to see Ripley have a star-making moment in the next few weeks.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. The Mysterios
How this match landed on the kickoff show for Money in the Bank is the ultimate mind-boggler. Either way, these two teams seem destined to square off in a championship rematch at SummerSlam, whether it’s on the kickoff show or the main card.
The chemistry between The Usos and The Mysterios is off the charts, and the bigger storyline involving The Usos as part of “The Bloodline” makes this all that much more interesting.
There aren’t many other teams worthy of taking on The Usos for the titles, so this matchup seems like a given.
Raw Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles & Omos (c) vs. Randy Orton and Riddle
Once Randy Orton reinserts himself into the equation on Raw, this bout seems like a match made in heaven.
Riddle has been defending Orton’s honor throughout the latter’s absence over the course of a few weeks, even utilizing his “RKBro” teammate’s moves in matches.
AJ Styles and Omos have been in battles with Riddle since Money in the Bank wrapped up, and it seems like a matter of time before Orton returns to Raw to save his tag team partner.
This one could be a sleeper pick for the match of the night if it lands on the main card at SummerSlam, and the fans will go into a frenzy if Team RKBro can take home the tag team titles.
United States Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Damian Priest
Damian Priest’s rise on Raw since the start of 2021 has been something special, and having him go after the brand’s mid-card title makes a ton of sense at the moment.
Combine Priest’s popularity and physical ability with the talent of United States champion Sheamus, and you have a solid pairing to work with at SummerSlam.
This one admittedly could be kickoff show material, but if WWE wants to put the title on Priest, expect this one to show up in the middle of SummerSlam’s main card.
International Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. King Nakamura
Similar to the situation on Raw, Shinsuke Nakamura’s rise as the new “king” coincides perfectly with his pursuit of the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown.
Putting Rick Boogs alongside Nakamura was the perfect move, similar to having Commander Azeez as Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews’ sidekick. With both teams building up great chemistry in their respective time together, Nakamura and Crews could put on a stellar match in Las Vegas.
This one has more of a kickoff show feel than the Sheamus-Damian Priest match, but similarly, putting the belt on Nakamura could easily warrant attention on the main card.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
A dream match will finally take place when Edge battles Seth Rollins at SummerSlam.
The seeds for this match were planted years ago, well before Rollins even won his first WWE Championship. Rollins threatened to injure Edge all the way back in 2014, and could turn that threat into a reality almost seven years later.
This feud is red hot heading into SummerSlam, and it’s just a matter of time before they both grace the ring for a potential five-star match in the middle of SummerSlam’s main card.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
This feud may just play out on SmackDown without the SummerSlam shine, but if WWE wants one more match for its big summer blowout, a bout between Finn Balor and Baron Corbin makes a lot of sense.
Balor seemed to be next in line for a Universal Championship shot against Roman Reigns, and was literally a signature away from the match being made official for SummerSlam.
Instead, Corbin attacked Balor from behind, attempting to steal the title shot right from Balor’s fingertips.
John Cena ended up taking the match away from Corbin, as well, and a natural feud between Balor and Corbin was built.
Corbin has been used as a stepping stone for stars in limbo for a while now, and it seems like this feud will simply be used to elevate Balor for a title shot in the future.
For now, it could provide for some good filler content for a big night in Las Vegas in August.