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Smart Builds for WWE SummerSlam 2018 Top Feuds

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

It is being billed as the biggest event of the summer—and WWE SummerSlam 2018 offers an intriguing glimpse into the company's plans for the second half of the year.

With some huge matches planned, how WWE handles the build to them will dictate whether the event is considered a success.

With that in mind, here's a look at how WWE can best plan the big feuds to make sure the event goes off with a bang.

            

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

After seven or eight months with a tight grip on the WWE Championship, trouble awaits for AJ Styles at SummerSlam on August 19. 

WWE set the tone for Styles vs. Samoa Joe with the sneak attack by the latter on last Tuesday's episode of SmackDown, and that should be how the feud runs right through to the big night.

While Styles' title reign has been about him generally looking comfortable against opponents such as Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev, here Joe has to be positioned as a legitimate threat to the champ.

So as much as Styles tries to lay down a marker for SummerSlam, WWE must make it so he can't get anywhere near Joe no matter how hard he tries.

Joe wins a squash match, and Styles tries to ambush him but fails. Joe is backstage and just manages to avoid The Phenomenal One trying to take him out.

Every single time Styles sets his sights on Joe, the challenger begins to look more and more untouchable. That creates serious belief that Styles has finally met his match when it comes to the WWE Championship.

Joe, more than anyone else, deserves a major push and to look a credible threat to the biggest stars on the roster. That should start here with this feud.

               

Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey

Has Alexa Bliss finally met her match when it comes to the Raw Women's Championship?

It seems that way, and while the temptation for WWE will be to position Ronda Rousey as the overwhelming favorite for their bout at SummerSlam, it's vital the company makes Bliss look as strong as possible too.

Rousey is obviously overwhelmingly popular and will be the favorite to win. But given how she almost always has the upper hand on anyone who crosses her path in WWE, it could be easy for Bliss to look like a weak champion.

That means Rousey has to be exposed somewhat during this feud. WWE has to avoid overprotecting the former UFC star, and while that doesn't involve her losing any matches on Raw on the road to SummerSlam, it has to involve Bliss getting the upper hand on her on a couple of occasions.

Bliss and Mickie James must be allowed to exploit the numbers game with Rousey, attacking her on various occasions.

That will create enough doubt that Rousey might not be good enough to get the job done.

             

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

Now for the big challenge: How does WWE successfully book a feud between two of the most loathed superstars on its roster?

No matter how unpopular he is, Roman Reigns must win the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Brock Lesnar's uninspiring reign with the title has gone on for too long—though WWE can exploit the situation it has booked itself in with Lesnar to Reigns' advantage here.

While The Beast Incarnate will likely make sporadic appearances on the road to SummerSlam, in a strange way, it would be better if he didn't.

This feud does not need Lesnar promoting it on Raw every week. After all, he has advocate Paul Heyman to take care of that for him.

Position Lesnar as someone so arrogant that he simply doesn't feel he needs to show up to promote the bout or confront Reigns. He's beaten The Big Dog enough times before that he owes WWE nothing in terms of his duties as champion.

This will only further ramp up the annoyance levels among fans when it comes to Lesnar. WWE could even go as far as publicly announcing he's showing up on Raw, before general manager Kurt Angle declares on-air The Beast is nowhere to be seen.

Will it naturally put Reigns over? Probably not—but the only way this is going to work is if Lesnar is positioned as the champion who simply thinks he's too good for WWE.

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