Until we get official confirmation of anything otherwise, WWE SummerSlam 2020 is still scheduled to take place, August 23rd at TD Garden in Boston.
The COVID-19 pandemic still has a firm grip on society, which has caused absolute chaos in all aspects of life including the professional wrestling world. With live events and mass gatherings being temporarily outlawed altogether across the globe, there's no telling whether The Biggest Party of the Summer will go ahead as planned. What we may well end up with is another 'unique' show similar to WrestleMania 36 or this Sunday's Money In The Bank, which will be emanating from an empty venue with a heavy focus on cinematic matches. We also don't know which members of the roster will even be available to compete.
I'm going to take a look ahead to how the Summerslam card could line up, under the assumption that all is back to normal by the time we reach the Summer of 2020. So many variables have already changed the landscape of sports entertainment, and many more will likely impact it even further, but that shouldn't stop us from looking ahead and trying to predict what direction WWE are going to head in. I won't be going over the entire card, just the key matches and headline feuds that could take centre stage.
It's time to predict Summerslam 2020, but way too early!
Raw Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax or Shayna Baszler
Since her return to action on April 6th, Nia Jax has been the most dominant force on Monday Night Raw. She has also been the most talked about superstar across social media platforms, even if it has been for the wrong reasons.
Whether or not she wins this year's Money in the Bank contract, she will likely still be in the title hunt, whether we like it or not, over the coming months as a hurdle Becky Lynch must overcome. I'm still predicting that by Summerslam, The Man is more likely to be placed in a rematch from WrestleMania 36 against The Queen of Spades. Shayna Baszler has vowed to get revenge for her humiliationg loss in some fashion. Perhaps that will be through a Money in the Bank cash-in.
I don't see these two fighting in a cinematic match as it doesn't suit their characters, but potentially a Last Woman Standing or something to that effect. Alternatively, if someone else wins the briefcase tomorrow, this may be the time to bring back Ronda Rousey. While a lot of fans weren't too happy with The Baddest Woman on the Planet coming to WWE and stealing the spotlight, there is no doubt that she elevated everyone she faced and brought a presence like we have never seen before in the womens division.
If that were to be the case, Baszler would have to take a back seat. However, since nobody knows what is going on with Ronda or when she might return, Baszler is a much safer bet.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
I mean this one is just nailed on. If you've watched Smackdown for more than 5 minutes in the last 4 months you'll be just as confident as I am. Bayley has been spinning her wheels as of late, with the latter part of her year long title reign turning quite stale. For the most part, it's consisted of each new challenger winning a No. 1 contender's match, waiting a few weeks or so, failing to win the title and adding their name to the pool of opponents who keep fighting her over and over again. Very paint by numbers.
The only interesting prospective challenger for the title has been Sasha Banks, without her even challenging, yet WWE still wont pull the trigger. The tease started off pretty weak, with slight hints it may be happening at some point in the near future... before fizzling out everytime it picked up steam. At some point, it has to happen. Since WWE didn't give us what we wanted at WrestleMania, maybe SummerSlam is when they finally clash.
If we dont get Bayley vs. The Boss, what the hell else is it going to be? Lacey Evans again? Yet another Fatal 5-Way or Six-Pack Challenge featuring Naomi, Tamina, Evans and Carmella? Booking this AGAIN would prove WWE's writers are creatively bankrupt when it comes to the blue brand's women's division. The only other options for something different would be Mandy Rose or an NXT call-up, but neither have been hinted at as of writing.
One thing is for certain - it won't be the winner of this Sunday's Money In The Bank Ladder Match. That'll be going to RAW who desperately need a new challenger for Becky Lynch.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Sooner or later (and I imagine it will be sooner), Sami Zayn will drop the Intercontinental Championship to Daniel Bryan. I adore Sami but his reign has been exactly what I predicted it to be - boring, pathetic and pointless. I'm still surprised it didn't happen at WrestleMania, but that may be WWE's attempt to stretch this out until fans are allowed back into arenas and can give Bryan the pop he deserves..
It has been not so subtly suggested that Bryan would feud with Zayn's group and win the title since way back before Survivor Series in November. For that to never come to fruition would be bizarre after so much focus on the rivalry. Once he does win the belt, Bryan should head into SummerSlam and face off against an opponent who actually matters and can make the clash feel important. Without meaning any disrespect to Smackdowns mid-card, Bryan constantly feels like a big fish in a very small pond.
The Celtic Warrior would be the perfect pick to face Bryan. Sheamus has been going through the motions even since returning to Smackdown and his may be the most uninspired return in a very long time. 3 months of squash matches is unbefitting of one of the most decorated superstars in WWE history. He has gone on record that one of his main goals during the remainder of his WWE career is to win the Intercontinental Championship, an accolade he is yet to achieve.
He and Bryan have lots of history together that should be played into, having faced eachother twice at WrestleMania (one of those being a humiliating 10 second loss for Bryan). They have feuded over other titles, so why not this one too?
Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy
Based on Sheamus getting offended at the Jeff Hardy vignettes that have been airing this last month, and the scuffle that they had on this weeks Smackdown, it would seem that those two are headed toward a fight. Possibly as soon as tomorrow at Money in the Bank.
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 next opponent for The Fiend to have some fun with. Bray Wyatt has enjoyed targeting Superstars who he can wax poetic about. Hardy has more than enough eccentricities to talk about - from his face paint and death defying style to his history of substance abuse and other real life struggles behind the scenes.
This may even be a chance for him to tap into his Willow character from Impact Wrestling for the first time in WWE to fight back against The Fiend's evil forces and mind games. What better way to take on a deranged and dangerous psychopath than by fighting fire with fire? It is a shame that we never got to see Jeff join forces with brother Matt and recreate the Broken Universe, but this would at least offer some semblance of an apology on behalf of WWE. If the company is committed to doing more cinematic matches, this would absolutely be the ideal one for that.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Now a lot of this comes down to Drew McIntyre. It has been noted recently that Vince McMahon isn't happy with his WWE Champion and is essentially blaming him for the recent drop in ratings. Utter madness. If Drew were to drop the title at Money In the Bank to Seth Rollins, we may well see this dream match happen.
This was a fantasy match that WWE mocked up in 2015 and it could finally come to fruition five years later. The Rated-R Superstar is back and in a big way, defeating long time friend turned nemesis Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36. The list of Superstars who wish to face him must be huge.
At the same time, Edge undoubtedly has his pick of wrestlers he would like to work with, just as he wanted his first major feud on his return to be with Orton. Among them must surely be Seth Rollins, who has reinvented himself and arguably been the most relevant he has ever been as The Monday Night Messiah.
Once that story ends, regardless of if McIntyre loses or retains 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 especially with his cohorts AOP out of action currently.
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.
Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Of the entire card, the Universal Championship match is the one with the most uncertainty surrounding it.
Since Roman Reigns was scheduled to fight Goldberg at WrestleMania 36 and was replaced by Braun Strowman, who went on to become Universal Champion, this eventual matchup became somewhat inevitable. The only question is - when will it be able to happen?
Reigns may not be a sure thing for Summerslam depending on how the coronavirus pandemic plays out. He is quite rightly taking time off to focus on what is important - both his own health after recovering from leukaemia and the health of his pregnant wife. If things remain similar to how they are now, he could potentially be out of action for the rest of 2020. In that case, WWE may have to rely on someone else to fight The Monster Among Men, such as King Corbin if he were to become a two time Money In The Bank winner.
Knowing WWE's preference to use and push Reigns whenever possible, if this can happen, it should go down at Summerslam simply because it's the biggest match that SmackDown has to offer. It would give WWE a chance to either cement Strowman as a legitimate top guy rather than someone who only got to the peak in Reigns' absence, or, it would be WWE's opportunity to finally put the belt back on The Big Dog as originally planned and move on from there.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles
Once Drew McIntyre is finished with Seth Rollins, he has a handful of opponents he can work with. For this one I'm assuming that Drew retains at Money In The Bank, as he rightly should do.
I sincerely hope that WWE don't just take the easy route and set up a rematch with Brock Lesnar for Summerslam. That's less likely if there are no fans in attendance as The Beast Incarnate is somewhat of a waste in behind closed doors matches. I would be happy to see somebody like Jinder Mahal work his way back into the main event scene and challenge his former 3MB teammate, but that feels better suited for a filler feud at a smaller PPV rather than at a big-four event like SummerSlam.
Instead, that spot should go to AJ Styles, who not only is the best heel on the brand right now but is also the odds on favourite to win the mens MITB match. Styles hasn't featured in the main event scene on either brand for a little while and his star power could certainly be tapped into to help bring those viewing figures back up. The Phenomenal One has just returned from facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania and is arguably WWE's best in-ring performer with multiple title wins of his own - one of which spanned an entire year.
I was strongly tempted to go with Alesteir Black in place of AJ, but as big a fan as I am of The Dutch Desyroyer I dont think he is quite there yet. He should feud with Andrade for the United States Championship first, another match likely to be on this card, before moving on to the main event scene and facing off against his recent adversary... AJ Styles. See how that quite nicely came full circle?
What do you think we'll see happen at Summerslam? Would you be happy with this card? Tell us in the comments!
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