WWE Champions Corner (16-17 July): Who Will Face Brock Lesnar?
Spoiler: it will be Roman Reigns. But don't worry: a certain monster still has a briefcase.
Extreme Rules my arse. Now that the least extreme PPV of the year is over, the superstars of WWE have their sights set on SummerSlam. And with that, our champions need to get ready for some big matches. Let’s see who’s stepping up as we edge ever closer to the hottest party of the summer.
WWE Raw Champions
The Universal Title
After months of putting up with Brock Lesnar no-showing Raw, Kurt Angle finally decided to take some action at Extreme Rules. As a result, the Universal Champion has no choice but to defend his title at SummerSlam. As for who his opponent will be, well, I’m pretty sure you can guess where this is going.
Roman Reigns, Finn Bálor, and Drew McIntyre had a hellacious match in the first of two triple threat bouts on Monday. Reigns (because he’s THE BIG DAWWWG) went on to win by spearing Bálor, who had just taken a Claymore from McIntyre.
Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, and Elias competed in the second three-way fight with Lashley coming out on top; seems like winning with a spear is all the rage these days.
Next week, Reigns and Lashley will face off to determine who will face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for the Universal Championship. Given that we just saw this exact match on Sunday, I’m not looking forward to the next Raw main event at all.
And with the awesomeness of 50/50 booking, you know for damn sure Roman’s going over. I hope you’re looking forward to another bout between the Big Dog and the Beast.
The Intercontinental Title
Dolph Ziggler successfully fought off a valiant Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules, and the IC Champ sure as hell revelled in his glory on Raw. The ever-forgettable Bobby Roode made his way to the ring, calling the champ out for his heelish antics, and the former TNA World Champion managed to get himself a one-on-one match with the Show-off.
The bout was very good, even if it didn’t make much sense for Ziggler to get the win just a few hours removed from an Iron Man match. Then again, he has been telling us he’s that good for years now, and champions should be made to look strong in 99% of their matches.
I’m not a big fan of Roode in WWE so I don’t care too much about his constant burial, but I can certainly appreciate the fact he deserves to be treated a little better. Ziggler’s now seen off two potential threats to his title in Rollins and Roode so the question remains as to who will step up in time for SummerSlam.
The Raw Women’s Title
Not once have I ever been rewarded for defying my boss’s orders and kicking the crap out of my work colleagues, and I think that’s fair enough. For some reason, Raw GM Kurt Angle thought the best way to punish Ronda Rousey for her actions at Extreme Rules was by giving her an extra week off and a match against Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam for the Raw Women’s Championship. I agree with Constable Baron Corbin on this one; what the hell are you doing, Kurt? Rousey’s actions should have serious consequences.
The Raw Women’s Title scene this week wasn’t interesting, entertaining, or even logical, but now we know how good Ronda Rousey is in the ring, I’m actually looking forward to seeing her face Bliss for the belt.
The Raw Tag Team Titles
WWE throws us the occasional decent surprise, and Vince McMahon’s latest shock, twist, and turn saw The B-Team leave Extreme Rules with the Raw Tag Team Championships. I didn’t see it coming, you didn’t see it coming, God Himself didn’t see it coming, but Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel are your tag champs.
The B-Team carried on their winning ways on Raw this week as they beat The Ascension in a fairly quick but pretty decent match. After the three-count, Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen to warn the champs their days are numbered. The Deleters of Worlds are invoking their rematch clause, and so next week, The B-Team will have to put the titles on the line against the former champs.
A big part of me is saying this storyline will echo the ‘Zack Ryder is the IC Champ’ scenario from two years back. In other words, Dallas & Axel will lose next week and fade out of title contention. I don’t want it to happen, but can you realistically see The B-Team defending their titles at SummerSlam? I can’t.
The Cruiserweight Title
Things are certainly heating up on 205 Live. GM Drake Maverick informed Cedric Alexander his next opponent will be decided next week with four of the roster’s top guys competing in a fatal four way to be declared the no.1 contender to the cruiserweight title.
The battlers will be: Drew Gulak, Hideo Itami, TJP, and Mustafa Ali. As incredible as it would be to see the champ square off against any of these men, I think Drew Gulak is the one who needs this win. He hasn’t had a one-on-one match for the belt yet, and it’d be great to see how he’d counter all of Alexander’s high-flying antics.
WWE SmackDown Live Champions
The WWE Title
Oh my God, what a match! Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas challenged Styles to a match on Tuesday that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the main event of SummerSlam. The former NXT Champion got in a lot of excellent offence, but the Phenomenal One proved to be too much, rolling Almas into a calf crusher for the submission victory.
Next week, we’ll find out who’s going on to face AJ at SummerSlam, and I would welcome a rematch between Styles and Almas with open arms. I think the most likely contender is Samoa Joe, but hey, I’m not against all three men going at it. Book it, Vince!
The US Title
Shinsuke Nakamura bollock-bashed his way to become the new US Champion at Extreme Rules, but this week on SmackDown, Jeff Hardy invoked his rematch clause to give us the proper match I wanted to see on Sunday.
The match was good and entertaining, and even though I normally hate screwy finishes, the return of Randy Orton followed by the absolute decimation of Jeff Hardy was a real treat to watch.
We don’t know why Orton is attacking Hardy yet, but this feud definitely has my attention. Who knows what Nakamura will do next though? He became a bit of an afterthought.
The SmackDown Women’s Title
It looks like Asuka is officially out of the running for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and with that, WWE has truly ruined one of their brightest prospects. But all hope is not lost as Becky Lynch is stepping up to the plate. After her win against Sonya Deville this week, Lynch said she is gunning for the title. SD GM Paige then told Carmella she would be having a match next week against the Lasskicker. If Lynch wins, she gets a shot at the strap at SummerSlam.
As much as I love the idea of Lynch becoming champion again, I don’t think it’ll happen. She’ll win for sure next week and challenge for the SD Women’s Title, but then 50/50 booking will come into play, and ‘Mella will leave the hottest party of the summer with the title firmly around her waist. WWE proved me wrong when I said The B-Team would never beat Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt; I hope Vince McMahon gives us another pleasant surprise here with Lynch ascending to the top of the mountain once more.
The SmackDown Tag Team Titles
I guess Harper & Rowan needed the night off. They must’ve been really tuckered out after that flat and boring match at Extreme Rules.
It’d be nice to see Sanity get in the face of The Bludgeon Brothers next week. Lord knows we need to see a decent SmackDown Tag Title match soon to get the belts back to the prestigious levels they were at when The Usos and The New Day were battling for them.
Plans seem to be in motion to get our champs into decent feuds going into SummerSlam. Check back next week to see which superstars are going to get their tickets punched.