Rebooking WWE SummerSlam 2018 Matches to Create a Better PPV
SummerSlam is WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view of the year behind WrestleMania, but the card for this year's show isn't exactly turning heads.
Having Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey on the same show is sure to drum up some mainstream media interest. It's the fans who follow the product closely who might be disappointed.
Here is a look at everything management has booked for Aug. 19 up to this point, according to WWE.com:
- Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (MITB Contract)
- Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak (Cruiserweight Championship)
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship)
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy (United States Championship)
- Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey (Raw Women's Championship)
- Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Championship)
- AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
- Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)
The challengers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships have yet to be decided, but The New Day and The Bar will battle for a shot at The Bludgeon Brothers' titles Tuesday. This match will be skipped since we can't improve something we don't know about yet.
Let's take a look at which bouts can be improved, how to make them better and which ones are perfect just the way they are.
The cruiserweight division has been forgotten on Raw and left off most of the PPVs in 2018, but that will change at SummerSlam when Alexander defends the Cruiserweight Championship against Gulak.
The Savior of 205 Live is a worthy challenger with a great technical wrestling background, but if WWE wanted the most bang for its buck, Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali would have been added to the match.
These four men have been nothing short of amazing in recent months. Alexander, Gulak and Ali have been with the division since it launched, but Murphy is the breakout star on 205 Live in 2018.
The Australian continues to add new moves to his repertoire while proving he can work any kind of style against a multitude of opponents.
All four of these Superstars have been in the ring with each other on several occasions in various singles and tag team combinations, so a Fatal 4-Way with all of them would be guaranteed to be one of the PPV's biggest highlights.
Ziggler and Rollins have had a string of fun matches over the IC title, but it's beginning to feel like management has kept the story going because of a lack of anything better for either Superstar.
While The Architect is deserving of having a title match at SummerSlam, this would have been a good opportunity to give a struggling Superstar a chance in the spotlight.
Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable and Tyler Breeze would have been great opponents for The Showoff, but Zack Ryder might be the best choice.
Not only could the storyline have drawn from their real friendship backstage, but everyone's favorite Broski would be guaranteed to get a big pop from the New York crowd.
United States Championship
WWE may already have plans to change the U.S. title match, but it should have been positioned as a Triple Threat from the beginning.
Having Randy Orton in the mix with Nakamura and Hardy would have made the outcome a lot less predictable than it will be if it remains a singles bout.
The Viper has been doing some great heel work since returning to attack The Charismatic Enigma, and WWE would be wise to capitalize on his momentum right away.
Orton, Hardy and Nakamura represent three different kinds of wrestlers, so putting them in the same ring together would likely produce a memorable contest.
Money in the Bank Contract
Strowman will join an exclusive club of Money in the Bank briefcase holders who put their title shot on the line in a non-ladder match at SummerSlam.
Owens will win the contract if The Monster Among Men loses by any means, including by count-out and disqualification. KO finally has the upper hand.
Frankly, there isn't much WWE could do to make this match any better. The stipulation evens the playing field in a feud that has seen Strowman have the advantage in every other encounter.
It will be interesting to see how WWE books this contest. Many were hoping Strowman would cash in his title shot at SummerSlam, but he might not get the chance.
Raw Women's Championship
Rousey being given another title shot so early in her WWE career has caused some fans to complain, but it makes sense from a business standpoint.
Rowdy Ronda is a proven draw who will bring the mainstream media, her loyal fanbase and casual fans with her to the Barclays Center on Aug. 19.
Having her face Alexa Bliss is where this match runs into a speed bump. Nia Jax posed a real threat to Rousey because of her power, but Bliss doesn't offer the same kind of challenge.
Her strength is in her athleticism and intelligence, but Rousey has both of those, too, in addition to having the reputation as one of the toughest fighters on the planet.
This easily could have been a Fatal 4-Way situation with Natalya and Jax as additional challengers. It would be much less predictable, and there would be at least one Superstar in the match for everyone to support.
SmackDown Women's Championship
The SmackDown Women's Championship match is one of those rare situations where WWE had it right the first time and somehow managed to screw it up.
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella was perfect as it was because The Lass Kicker's journey back to the top of the mountain has been so satisfying to watch in recent months.
Charlotte being added to make it a Triple Threat would normally help any bout, but this is the one time when Lynch should have been given the spotlight on her own.
She could still win the title at the PPV, but WWE has always viewed Charlotte as one of the top stars of the division, so the possibility of her winning another championship is high.
Maybe this whole thing will lead to Lynch or Charlotte turning heel. We just have to wait and see what happens at SummerSlam.
Because of the different types of wrestling fans out there, WWE will almost always upset someone with every decision it makes. However, the company occasionally knocks it out of the park with the perfect match.
Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE title should have everyone excited, especially those of us who have been following them since their days in TNA.
Their matches have always been show-stealers, and as they have continued to learn and improve over the years, so have their performances with each other.
Joe is also a breath of fresh air in the SmackDown title scene after spending so much time being wasted on Raw. This is one of those times when WWE can't do anything to make it better.
It's hard to imagine anyone will be able to top what these guys have planned for SummerSlam.
If WWE's plan was to keep the title on Lesnar for so long that it makes the entire WWE Universe angry, then mission accomplished.
Unfortunately, this will not guarantee people will begin cheering for Reigns just because they don't like Lesnar. It just means there will be a lot of booing for both of them.
The saddest part is management had the perfect opportunity right in front of it and let it go. Bobby Lashley seemed poised to enter the universal title scene after defeating The Big Dog at Extreme Rules, but WWE negated the win by having Reigns beat him for a shot at the Universal Championship on Raw.
The idea of a showdown between Lesnar and Lashley has been thrown around for years because of the similar paths they have followed in the business, so everyone got excited when it became a real possibility following Lashley's return to WWE.
Even a three-way match would have been better than yet another singles bout between The Beast and The Big Dog, but when Vince McMahon decides he wants to do things a certain way, nobody can change his mind.
How would you improve each match at SummerSlam?