We’re keeping it simple this week. Two days ago on “Monday Night Raw”, General Manager Kurt Angle made his decision for the Universal Title match at “Summerslam 2017”. Rather than having Lesnar defend against any one person, he’s going to defend against Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman at the same time in a fatal four way. Today we’re going to look at the match and go over each possible winner, plus who would be the best choice to leave Brooklyn with the title.

So how did we get here in the first place? This is the culmination of a few different feuds over the summer, all of which have featured a finish line of facing Lesnar for the title somewhere in the future. “Summerslam 2017” makes as much sense as anything else as it means we don’t have to wait all the way to “Wrestlemania XXXIV” to crown Reigns the undisputed biggest star of all time (again). While there’s no guarantee Reigns wins, that’s certainly a possibility but we’ll get there soon enough.

Reigns and Strowman have been feuding on and off since February (with a stop off for Reigns to retire the Undertaker) with Strowman getting the better of it, only to have Reigns attempt to murder him. Samoa Joe is involved because he won the fatal five way match at “Extreme Rules 2017” and took Lesnar to the limit at “Great Balls of Fire”. Reigns wants a shot because he’s Reigns, Samoa Joe wants a shot because he almost beat Lesnar and Strowman wants a shot because no one has been able to beat him. That sets up the pay per view and that’s where we’re going now.

So who wins? Let’s take a look at each of the possible options and the benefits/detriments that each of them would have.

Brock Lesnar

We’ll start with the easiest option: Beast Mode is activated and Lesnar retains the title by pinning someone, likely Samoa Joe. Lesnar is quite the monster and it would make sense to have him win here. It would be quite the accomplishment to have him smash everyone in sight and run through them all to retain the title. Having someone beat him for the title in a big mess of a match doesn’t quite mean as much, especially if the challengers all team up on him for the big beatdown.

Then again, that’s a lot, even for Lesnar. At what point do you lose the benefit of having Lesnar destroy all these people? It turns into everyone fighting to be second best because no one, even all three of them at once, are able to stop Lesnar. It’s killed wrestlers before and it’s something you really don’t want to risk. Simply put, if the three of them can’t stop him, it’s REALLY hard to believe that one person can.

Now there’s the major problem that has been getting a lot of publicity as of late: the potential UFC contract. Lesnar may be heading back to the UFC before or after his WWE contract ends (then again he may not) and it would be very, VERY risky to leave the title on him until “Wrestlemania XXXIV”. If he gets humiliated in the UFC or gets injured etc., the value of someone slaying the Beast falls through the floor and everything since “Wrestlemania XXXIII” is completely wasted.

That is a really ominous issue and I’m not sure WWE would be comfortable with the risk. If Lesnar can’t do “Wrestlemania XXXIV” for whatever reason, it would be a major blow to their long term planning and I don’t think WWE is willing to go that far. Lesnar is awesome when he’s in WWE, but he’s already gone long enough that I don’t think they want to risk either his body or his reputation taking the hit while still being Universal Champion. Of course none of this matters if the UFC deal doesn’t go anywhere, which we’ll have to see later on.

Brock Lesnar brawls with Samoa Joe: Raw, June 12, 2017

Braun Strowman

This is the longest shot of them all for as I just can’t picture WWE putting the title on him above the other options, even as a foil for SUPER MECHA DEATH REIGNS later on in the year. Strowman is one heck of a monster but I think it’s more the “let’s beat him down and do our thing” variety. Strowman has been built up as a monster like few others have been in a very long time and it’s gotten him all the way here, but does that warrant a World Title run?

Well yeah kind of. Strowman is the kind of guy that you build up for someone else to slay later on and that’s what WWE has done. After surviving the whole attempted murder thing at “Great Balls of Fire”, Strowman is viewed as a big face by the crowd and really, how could he not be? He’s the kind of monster you don’t see every day and his delivery (especially on I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU) is very good, better than many others of his usual kind tend to be.

So yeah, Strowman is a good choice on paper but I can’t picture WWE picking him over anyone, save for maybe Samoa Joe. Strowman can look very dominant during the match while not winning the title and I think that’s what they have in mind for him. There’s no need to put the title on him as he can come after it later on, against any of these three actually.

On the other hand though, what better way to anoint someone as the replacement to the Beast than by having him powerslam the current one into oblivion? Strowman standing tall with the title to end the show would be a great visual, though the question is if they would actually pull the trigger on such an idea.

Braun Strowman tears up the road to SummerSlam: Raw, July 17, 2017

Samoa Joe

This is the real wild card in the whole thing as I don’t know if they would pull the trigger on Samoa Joe winning the title but I think that’s what the people want more than anything else. Samoa Joe has gone from a big name in NXT to a top name in WWE as fast as almost anyone else in history and that could be enough to warrant pushing him all the way to the moon.

Just imagine what it would mean if Lesnar F5’d Reigns but got choked out to give Samoa Joe the title. He’s the kind of guy that could be turned into an absolute monster that someone special would have to slay, while also giving WWE a brand new monster who is actually around every week for a change.

Of course there’s always the standard problem that comes with Samoa Joe and you can insert your own Scott Steiner HE’S FAT clip here. I know he’s been awesome for a long time now (about his whole career actually) but it’s a long stretch to ask Vince McMahon to not go with someone who looks like Lesnar, Strowman or Reigns instead of someone who looks like him.

As much as I’d love to see Samoa Joe get the title, I really don’t think it happens, at least not here. One day he’s going to choke someone out and become champion, which is going to scare the heck out of a lot of people on the roster. However, it’s not going to be here as there are other options who need the title sooner than Samoa Joe can get it.

Samoa Joe traps Paul Heyman in the Coquina Clutch: Raw, June 5, 2017

Roman Reigns

You knew we had to get here eventually. Like the parsley with a steak, Reigns is here no matter who might not want him to be. Reigns is going to be a factor in this match and I don’t think it’s any impressive prediction to suggest that he’ll be leaving “Wrestlemania XXXIV” with the title. The question is when does he get it.

You could have Reigns win the title here, likely by spearing Strowman because he’s more than worthy enough to be defeated for the sake of making Reigns champion again (the fourth time must be the charm). WWE has already made it clear that they’re not going to worry about the crowd reaction so the Brooklyn fans aren’t their biggest worry. They even have feuds built in with someone like Strowman or maybe Samoa Joe after, so it’s not like this is the biggest stretch.

What is a bit of a stretch is McMahon thinking that just winning the title at an event as lowly as “Summerslam 2017” instead of the grandest stage of them all. I know that was the big plan ever since Lesnar won the title in the first place but sweet merciful popsicles in the summertime, is that really all we can do? Reigns has already won the title at Wrestlemania once. Why do we need to see it again that way?

Very simple: because that’s what McMahon seems to think is the big solution to all of Reigns’ problems instead of, you know, everything else wrong with him. The fans just don’t seem interested in seeing him in that spot and it would be rather annoying to see them do it again. Then again, when has WWE ever bothered to go with what makes sense when they can go with what they want instead?

Roman Reigns reveals who he will battle at SummerSlam: Raw, June 19, 2017

With all that said….I think they’re going to go with Strowman. He really does seem like the one they could go with to make Reigns look like the big strong monster slayer and that seems to be the big end goal. I can’t imagine that main eventing “Wrestlemania XXXIV” but at least it would be something that isn’t likely to be derailed by the UFC taking Lesnar away. It’s a long shot but I’ll actually go with Strowman to win.

Any of the four participants in the title match have a real chance to pull this off but they all certainly have their problems. Strowman feels like a safe bet for me, though Lesnar is always a possibility as well. He’s a once in a lifetime talent and there would have to be a good reason to take the title off of him. It can also be used to set up things all the way until “Wrestlemania XXXIV”, if not a bit beyond. They better choose carefully with the winner and I’d go with Strowman.


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