WWE SummerSlam 2014: Stars Under the Most Pressure at PPV

Aaron BowerFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

After the poor showing the WWE produced at its recent Battleground pay-per-view, SummerSlam cannot roll around soon enough.

That thought should be shared by everyone: the WWE itself, wrestling fans who hope that Battleground was just a minor blip and the WWE stars.

There were mixed showings at Battleground across the entire roster. Accompanying the good performances of The Usos, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose were the poor efforts of Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho as well as a pretty disappointing title match.

But out of the entire WWE roster, which stars are under the most pressure to perform at one of the WWE's traditional "Big Four"?


Roman Reigns

Although he won't be competing for the WWE title at a pay-per-view (for the first time since The Shield broke up), Roman Reigns still has a lot of pressure on his shoulders at SummerSlam.

He's very much the big babyface in the WWE, and he's been well and truly fast-tracked as a main event star since the split of The Shield.

His performance at Battleground, although far from the worst out of the four men in charge, was a little bit flat, to be honest. If he fights someone like Randy Orton in a one-on-one match (a rarity for Roman Reigns, at least on pay-per-view), it will be a good chance to show the world what he can do inside the ring.

Too often we see Reigns dragged into controversial finishes or feuds that break out from nowhere; SummerSlam needs to provide us with a proper Roman Reigns match. His technical ability is in there somewhere, we just haven't seen too much of it lately.

If he is going to be a champion sooner rather than later, we need to see big things from Reigns at SummerSlam.


Bray Wyatt

It was tempting to insert Chris Jericho into this slot instead, but Jericho isn't ultimately under that much pressure. In a couple of months he will be off on the open road again, and the WWE will have to live without him.

But Bray Wyatt is permanently on the roster in the WWE, and times have looked a bit tougher for him in recent weeks. After that incredible The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family rivalry earlier in the year, followed by an excellent feud against John Cena, Wyatt looked ready for the main event scene in some fashion.

But his performance against Chris Jericho at Battleground, as well as the feud in general, has all felt a bit flat. It was hopefully just a blip, and Wyatt can bounce back to remind everyone just why he is so highly regarded at SummerSlam.

A quick note, though: The last two young bucks Chris Jericho put over (Fandango and Ryback) have descended into midcard jobbers. Surely the same can't happen with Bray Wyatt?


Brock Lesnar

Make no mistake about it, the pressure on Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam will be absolutely huge. Many expect him to walk away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but let's not forget this will be his first match since defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX.

The landscape of the WWE's main event scene has shifted slightly since Lesnar last wrestled in a WWE ring. Daniel Bryan is no longer there to hold up the rest at the top of the card, so Lesnar has to work the crowd well—not just at SummerSlam itself, but in the weeks leading up to the event, too. Raw was a solid start, as Paul Heyman cut a nice promo that generated some heat for Lesnar.

But as always when someone wrestles John Cena, there will be large proportions of the crowd who will want a Lesnar win, meaning the pressure is well and truly on.

Hopefully the last few performances of Brock Lesnar in a WWE ring have proven to us that he can handle that pressure. Closing SummerSlam is no small job, so Lesnar will have to be ready physically.