As you might have heard, Summerslam is this coming Saturday and that means it is time for….well a bunch of stuff we have seen before. If there was a theme to this year’s show, it would be Summerslam: Rematch Edition, and that isn’t the most exciting way to go. There isn’t much on the card that has me inspired to see where things go, and that is rather disappointing. At the same time though, it is rather unsurprising and that is what we are going to look at this week.
Summerslam has eight matches on the card and the majority of the card is comprised of rematches. The show has two rematches from Money In The Bank (Usos vs. Street Profits, Bobby Lashley vs. Theory, and Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan, though the latter has an asterisk due to the cash in), one from this week’s Monday Night Raw (Mysterios vs. Judgment Day) and two from WrestleMania 38 (Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair).
That’s at least half (or more) of the card is made up of matches that we have seen only a few months ago at most, if not earlier this month in some cases. I get the idea of having some matches that you have seen before, but this show feels like something that we have seen before from other shows. I would hope that Summerslam would have a little bit more than that, but when you think about it, at least in some of the cases, WWE really doesn’t have that much more to offer.
We’re going to be focusing on two matches today and those are the two WrestleMania rematches. Reigns is defending the WWE Universal Title against Lesnar in a match that has headlined Summerslam before (twice in a way) and Lynch is challenging Belair for the Raw Women’s Title. That doesn’t leave much in the way of original thoughts, but the question is who else could WWE put in those spots.
Over the last few years, WWE has done a horrible job of wrecking their main event scenes. Reigns and Belair have both run through almost every challenger that they have for the foreseeable future and that is where these problems start. If WWE keeps insisting on having the main event scenes be almost exclusive to a handful of names, this is about all you can expect.
We’ll start with the worse of the two situations in Belair. When you look at the current WWE women’s division, who in the world is Belair supposed to face? I’ll spare you from going through every name on the roster, but to say the pickings are slim would be an understatement. Being realistic, there are probably less than half a dozen women who would be seen as a threat to Belair: Asuka, Lynch, Rhea Ripley, Charlotte and….am I missing anyone?
Morgan is seen as a fluke who got where she is because of a cash-in, Natalya hasn’t won a major match in forever, Raquel Rodriguez hasn’t won anything of note on the main roster, and Alexa Bliss hasn’t been a champion in almost four years. Asuka has had her feud with Belair, Charlotte isn’t around and Ripley has been missing in action due to health issues over the last few weeks (after having to forfeit her scheduled title shot at Money In The Bank last month anyway).
So when you look at it, Lynch is pretty much the only viable option that they have. Other than calling someone up from NXT (Which has Alba Fyre and….who else? Unless you want to go to NXT UK and get Meiko Satomura, which would mean nothing to the masses.), Lynch was the only person available as everyone else is either banged up (ala Bayley), taken (ala Rousey) or not worthy of this kind of a shot (ala….just about everyone else in the division). I’m sure WWE is happy with Lynch vs. Belair, but it seems to be more of a situation of desperation more than anything else.
Then you have the men’s main event, with Reigns defending against Lesnar (again). This is a case where injuries have screwed things up, as Randy Orton was seemingly scheduled to face Reigns, so the Lesnar glass was shattered. While the men’s division has a better choice of options to go after the title, it still isn’t like there is a lot of depth here. Even last week when Lesnar walked out on SmackDown, Goldberg’s name was being thrown around. If he wasn’t available what was next? Drag Undertaker out of mothballs and hope for him to survive?
Going back to the WWE roster, who is there right now who could be a viable challenger to Reigns? Being realistic, you have AJ Styles, Lashley, Edge, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio, Riddle, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus. Now right away, you can write off names who aren’t going to happen (Owens, Kingston, Sheamus) and names who are busy (Lashley, Balor, Mysterio), leaving you with Styles (who has been doing nothing important for a few months), Edge (maybe), Riddle (just did it a few weeks ago), Rollins (maybe) and McIntyre (next in line for Clash At The Castle).
That leaves you with a small handful of names (again, NXT is pretty barren here as Bron Breakker, the best option, isn’t ready to be WWE Champion and shouldn’t be losing) who are possible options and none of them are that interesting. Lesnar might not be a fresh idea and seeing him vs. Reigns again does nothing for me, but it again begs the age old question: who else do you have?
In other words, it’s basically the same problem for both title matches and that is something WWE needs to address. Unfortunately, that has been the case for a very long time now and I don’t know if they are actually going to do anything about it. WWE has long since been accused to running with the same group of stars, especially in their main event scene. Now you can see what happens when things go wrong.
What you are seeing now is that problem in action, as they were already running thin on stars capable of challenging for the top titles and WWE is in trouble. Instead of coming up with something better or having someone waiting in the wings, WWE has turned Reigns into someone so unstoppable that it takes someone special to challenge him. Lucky for us, that challenger is Lesnar again, because there isn’t anyone else to take the spot.
The solution to this should be pretty obvious, as WWE needs to start building some more people up. They have the resources and knowledge of how to do it, but I’ll believe it when I see it. WWE doesn’t have a recent history of building people up very often (though it isn’t unheard of, such as with Belair) and we are LONG past the point where something needs to be done about it.
What you are seeing right now is WWE’s roster problem coming to fruition at one of the worst times. Ignoring the other matches that are rematches from not that long ago, the two main title matches are rematches because they don’t have very many other options. WWE needs to make things better in a hurry, and maybe the new regime can do something to fix the problem. Either do something about it or have more rematches with fans leaving.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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