Way-Too-Early WWE SummerSlam 2020 Match Card Predictions
Until announced otherwise, WWE SummerSlam 2020 is scheduled for August 23 at TD Garden in Boston.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still preventing live events and mass gatherings from taking place, there's no telling whether The Biggest Party of the Summer will go on as planned. Instead, it may turn into another oddball show like WrestleMania 36 or Money in the Bank, emanating from an empty venue with some talent unable to compete.
Despite all the variables that can change the landscape of sports entertainment, that shouldn't stop us from looking ahead and guessing what direction WWE is heading in.
It's time to gaze into our crystal ball and toss out some way-too-early predictions for the matches that could make up the SummerSlam card.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Bayley has had a stale title reign for the past year. For the most part, it's consisted of each new challenger winning a No. 1 contender's match, waiting two weeks or so, failing to win the title and adding their name to the pool of opponents who keep fighting her.
The only interesting prospective challenger for the title has been Sasha Banks, yet WWE continues a yearslong weak tease of that feud. At some point, it has to happen. Since WWE didn't pull the trigger at WrestleMania, maybe SummerSlam is when they finally clash.
If not Bayley vs. The Boss, who else could it be? Another Fatal 5-Way or Six-Pack Challenge also involving Naomi, Lacey Evans and Carmella would prove WWE's writers are creatively bankrupt when it comes to the blue brand's women's division.
The only other option for something different would be Mandy Rose, but that's yet to be hinted at.
Raw Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
Since her return to action April 6, Nia Jax has been the most dominant force on Monday Night Raw.
Whether or not she wins this year's Money in the Bank contract, she will likely still be in the title hunt over the coming months as a hurdle Becky Lynch must overcome.
But come SummerSlam, The Man is more likely to be in a rematch from WrestleMania against The Queen of Spades. Shayna Baszler has vowed to get revenge for her loss in some fashion. Perhaps that will be through a Money in the Bank cash-in.
The two could fight in a gimmick match, which would up the stakes and prevent this from feeling like a cheap rehash. Alternatively, if someone else wins the briefcase, this may be the time to bring back Ronda Rousey. Her presence in a singles rematch against Lynch would be one of the biggest draws of the event.
In that case, Baszler would have to take a back seat. However, since Rousey's return is up in the air, Baszler's the safer bet.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Sooner or later, Sami Zayn should drop the Intercontinental Championship to Daniel Bryan.
It's surprising it didn't happen at WrestleMania, but that may be WWE's attempt to stretch this out for as long as possible during an era with fewer challengers to work with.
There has been a suggestion that Bryan would feud with Zayn's group and win this title since before Survivor Series in November. For that to never come to pass would be strange.
Once he does, Bryan should enter SummerSlam with the title to face an opponent who's noteworthy enough to make it feel special, and The Celtic Warrior is the perfect pick.
Sheamus has stated that one of his main goals during the remainder of his in-ring career is to win the Intercontinental Championship, an accolade he's yet to achieve.
He and Bryan have plenty of history together, having fought twice at WrestleMania. They have feuded over other titles, so why not this one too?
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Now that The Rated-R Superstar is back, the list of Superstars who wish to face him must be long.
Just the same, Edge undoubtedly has his picks of wrestlers he would like to work with, just as he wanted to do his feud with Randy Orton at WrestleMania.
Among them must be Seth Rollins, who is currently feuding with Drew McIntyre over the WWE Championship.
Once that story ends, with McIntyre retaining the title, The Monday Night Messiah will need something else to do. He can't just go back to feuding with Kevin Owens, and there aren't a lot of other noteworthy options left on the red brand.
He could take offense to Edge's return, suggesting legends like him are getting in the way of his mission to fix Monday Night Raw. Then the two could have a marquee singles match without a title having to be in the mix.
Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy
Based on Sheamus getting offended at the Jeff Hardy vignettes that have been airing lately, it seems those two are headed toward a fight, possibly at Money in the Bank on May 10.
Once that feud has culminated, The Charismatic Enigma will need to move on to someone else. When looking at the SmackDown roster, he could be a great opponent for The Fiend to have some fun with.
Bray Wyatt has enjoyed targeting Superstars he can wax poetic about. Hardy has more than enough eccentricities to talk about—from his face paint and style to his history of substance abuse and struggles behind the scenes.
This may even be a chance for him to tap into his Willow character for the first time in WWE to fight fire with fire against The Fiend's evil forces.
If WWE is committed to doing more cinematic matches, this would be the ideal one for that.
Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Since Roman Reigns was scheduled to fight Goldberg at WrestleMania and was replaced by Braun Strowman, who went on to become universal champion, this is inevitable. The only question is when it will happen.
Reigns may not be a sure thing for SummerSlam depending on how the coronavirus pandemic plays out. If things remain similar to how they are, he may still be out of action. In that case, WWE may have to rely on someone else to fight The Monster Among Men, such as King Corbin.
But knowing WWE's preference to use Reigns whenever possible, if this can happen, it will go down at SummerSlam because it's the biggest match that SmackDown has to offer.
It would give WWE a chance to either cement Strowman as the definitive top guy rather than someone who only got to the peak in Reigns' absence or it would be WWE's opportunity to put the belt on The Big Dog as originally planned and move on from there.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles or Randy Orton
Once Drew McIntyre is finished with Rollins, he has a handful of opponents he can work with.
WWE may be tempted to take the easy route and set up a rematch with Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam, but that's less likely if there are no fans in attendance. The Beast Incarnate would be a waste in another empty arena.
Someone like Jinder Mahal could get back up to the main event level to challenge his former 3MB teammate, but that feels better suited for a June or July feud rather than a big match at SummerSlam.
Instead, that should go to either Randy Orton or AJ Styles, who are the two biggest heels on the brand. Each man is more than capable of coming off as the biggest threat to The Scot's title reign to date.
The Viper has more world titles than almost everyone in the history of the company, and The Phenomenal One is arguably WWE's best in-ring performer with multiple title wins of his own—one of which spanned a full year.
Whoever doesn't fight McIntyre could be in a feud with someone like Aleister Black, possibly for the United States Championship. In that case, Black vs. Orton would work better, while McIntyre and Styles collide for the WWE title.
Any combination of those Superstars could make for a great main event, though. So as long as it isn't McIntyre against Bobby Lashley, SummerSlam should feel special.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.