The dust has settled on WWE Summerslam and Ellie Zoe takes a predicted look ahead to what might come WWE fans way in the coming months…
SummerSlam has been and gone for another year, and it was actually really enjoyable. WWE runs pay-per-view shows every month, and most of the time nothing of significant value takes place. There are however four major shows that tend to advance storylines significantly – the Royal Rumble in the Winter, Wrestlemania in the Spring, SummerSlam in Summer and Survivor Series in Autumn. The Rumble and Survivor series are based more around specific match types – but Wrestlemania and SummerSlam are both far more focused on simply loading the card with high profile title matches.
It’s not even just the shows themselves, as there are shows throughout the week both leading up to and taking place after the main PPV itself. NXT runs a PPV of it’s own, and both Raw and Smackdown are usually quite significant. As you might hope, plenty of titles changed hands over the course of the week, and a good handful of feuds were developed. We’re going to have a look at a few of the key moments from over the weekend – and discuss what exactly they might mean moving forward.
A lengthy reign for Ronda Rousey
WWE have been riding high on the Ronda Rousey hype train since her debut at the Royal Rumble – and arguably even before that. Rousey entered WWE canon, as it were, at Wrestlemania 31, when she took to the ring with The Rock to take down Stephanie and HHH. As her UFC career slowed down, a WWE move only seemed logical and she’s certainly done very, very well from it.
WWE have done very well too of course, with masses of merchandise and ticket sales, and big sponsorship and network deals.The Raw women’s division is in a bit of an odd place at the moment, with Rousey on top and no credible threat. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though – the last few years of the title have seen it either hot-potatoed between a handful of women, or just sat on Alexa Bliss who really doesn’t need another run any time soon. It’s best to let Rousey build the title up for a while, and in turn, build up a number of credible opponents that the division so desperately needs.
Gold for the Shield
As individuals, Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose are all world champions and very strong – but as a cohesive unit, they’re near unstoppable. As seen before, it takes several main event calibre stars to even put a dent in the Shield’s armour, let alone actually pin one of them for a championship when they’re working as a unit. Whilst feuds with Braun and either Dolph or McIntrye respectively could be seen as a legitimate threat to both the Universal and Intercontinental championships, it’s hard to see the Shield being stripped of the belts after only just gaining possession of them.
It’s likely that Roman will carry the Universal Championship for a few months at least, and whilst Braun getting a Hell in a Cell match against Roman should set him up for a win, it’s more than likely that the Hounds of Justice will still find some way to intervene. Braun quite possible could be the next Universal champion, but it’s hard to say if it’s his time just quite yet.
AJ Styles goes to Hell
Some fans have been complaining that AJ Stlyes hasn’t had any memorable feuds or matches since starting his second reign as WWE Champion. Samoa Joe has since come in like a freight train and given us what very well may be one one of the most exciting championship feuds in recent history. Everything about this rivalry feels incredibly visceral and personal. Joe has gotten AJ’s family directly involved, and as you might imagine – AJ isn’t particularly pleased. It’s hard to say if AJ will surpass Punk’s 434 day reign or not, and plenty of people would be very happy to see him do so – but Samoa Joe genuinely seems like the biggest threat AJ has faced yet.
This is a match that actually warrants the Hell in a Cell stipulation, unlike many recent bouts that just seemed to make use of the gimmick because the PPV required it. They’re viciously attacking each other where and whenever possible, even going as far as to use weapons. The WWE Championship being on the line only raises the stakes further and with it being evident that these two are more or less incapable of legally finishing a regular match, the Cell seems the only logical option.
Io Shirai wins the Mae Young Classic
It’s definitely worth mentioning here that I am staying completely spoiler free on the events and and tapings of the Mae Young Classic until they actually air on the Network – so Io could quite possibly have already been knocked out. With that said – I fully expect to see Io go the distance and win the Mae Young Classic 2018. A major star in Japan, Io is to women’s (or Joshi) wrestling what Hiroshi Tanahashi is to men’s.
Aside from Asuka, Io is arguably one of the three biggest names in Joshi wrestling, alongside newly crowned NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane and Stardom roster member Mayu Iwatani. With the finals of the Mae Young taking place at Evolution, Io wrestling would certainly be a draw, and a subsequent NXT Championship match with Kairi Sane perhaps even more so. Whilst WWE have in the past relied more on home-grown talent, modern day WWE and even more so, NXT, are genuinely realising the potential and value of bringing in pre-established international stars.
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