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WWE SummerSlam preview: Meet the champs

Brock Lesnar attends a UFC 200 mixed martial arts workout, Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Las Vegas. Lesnar is scheduled to fight Mark Hunt in a heavyweight fight at UFC 200 on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Roar Guru
10th August, 2017
6

WWE SummerSlam is a little over a week away but before your prescribed dose of sporting melodrama and to help you get acquainted with the wrestlers, we will cast our eyes over the current WWE champs and take our best guess at which ones will be walking out of the night with their title still around their waist.

WWE Universal Champion – Brock Lesnar
A name that will be familiar to combat sports fans worldwide, Brock Lesnar is perhaps the most well-known fighter in the WWE ranks.

A titan in the MMA as well as the WWE, his credentials as a former UFC World Heavyweight Champion give his role as the ‘final boss’ in the WWE a real sense of legitimacy and the WWE have always done a great job in making him look as tough in the wrestling ring as he did at his peak in the octagon.

Some detractors will say his part time schedule, which means he isn’t featured on every show, leaves the rest of the main event scene spinning its wheels in his absence but even they will acknowledge when Brock gets into the ring, ‘business is about to pick up’.

Will he walk as champ?
Many signs point to no; rumours about an upcoming MMA fight have come to the fore since UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones called him out and even before that, the inclusion of three other fighters means he can lose the belt here without having to suffer a direct loss.

WWE Heavyweight Champion – Jinder Mahal
If someone told you this time last year that Jinder Mahal would even be on the card at SummerSlam you would have been right to raise an eyebrow, the fact he is going in holding arguably the WWE’s most prestigious championship belt is one of the most controversial topics in wrestling this year.

Up until April, the Mahal had won one singles match all year. However, a mixture of WWE wanting to shock the audience and a desire to grow their Indian presence saw Mahal thrust into the spotlight of number one contendership. Shortly afterwards, he was made WWE Heavyweight Champion.

His reign has divided the wrestling fan-base between people saying he doesn’t deserve to hold a title with so much history and prestige and those who are excited to see something new and different.

For his part, the Modern Day Maharaja has been an effective villain; being a foreigner attacking the USA has always been a shortcut to boos and the dude has worked hard in the gym to sculpt the kind of physique a champion could be expected to have.

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Will he walk out champ?
No, he reached the peak of this initial championship run by winning a Punjabi Prison match three weeks ago (if you don’t know what that is, it is as crazy as it sounds) and he is up against the hottest act on the WWE Smackdown roster, the ‘King of Strong Style’, Shinsuke Nakamura.

Intercontinental Champion – The Miz
To put it simply, The Miz has a face you just want to punch. I’m not sure if it is his haircut, the self-congratulatory speeches or just the pure arrogance he oozes but you just want to smack him right in the kisser.

The Miz is just a natural at sparking hatred, however even the biggest haters have to admit that he has been Mr Versatile for the WWE over the last 12 months and carried the WWE’s oldest secondary title back to prominence.

He is smart and always has a backup plan for if things don’t go his way, even if that is taking a DQ loss to retain the championship strap.

Will he walk out champ?
So far he doesn’t have a match booked for SummerSlam but if he does, he will somehow weasel his way to a win. He always does.

US Champion – AJ Styles
A former journeyman who had wrestled everywhere but the WWE, The Phenomenal AJ Styles has lit up wrestling’s biggest stage with match of the night after match of the night ever since he arrived at the start of 2016.

After reigning as the WWE champ at the end of 2016, he has taken a slight back step to the US Championship this year, however Styles has remained among the best performers on every card.

Coming up to the age of 40 he is squeezing everything he can out of a WWE run many thought he would never get to have.

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Will he walk out champ?
Yes, he is just getting started as the US Champ and could carry the titles for many months to come.

Raw Tag Team Champion – Sheamus and Cesaro
Shesaro started as two talented singles wrestlers without anything else to do getting thrown together and has become quite a fun tag team that has made itself a fixture at the top of the Raw Tag Team Division.

While they have stumbled into a championship reign they are the victims of an extremely shallow tag team roster so haven’t had the chance to match it with many other teams up until this point.

Will they walk out champ?
Barring a Shield reunion, there really aren’t many other options in the division, so, for now, they should hold onto their titles more by default than anything else.

Smackdown Tag Team Champion – The New Day
The trombone touting, catch phrase spouting trio of The New Day are consistently one of the most entertaining acts in wrestling.

In the ring of late, they have quietly revived the Smackdown tag team division, having some of the best tag matches of the last five years along with their SummerSlam opponents, The Usos.

Will they walk out champ?
Yes, they only won the titles three weeks ago at WWE Battleground and while both they and the Usos are red hot they won’t be quite ready to trade it back just yet.

Raw Women’s Champion – Alex Bliss
Raw’s Queen Bee is quite similar to The Miz, her facial expressions, put downs and in-ring brattiness make her a very effective magnet for boos, there is just something unlikeable about Alexa Bliss.

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Will she walk out champ?
No, bad guys don’t get to finish first too often in wrestling and Bliss has been enjoying an unprecedented reign as the champ of Raw. Her time may be up when she comes into SummerSlam.

Smackdown Women’s Champion – Naomi
She has a pretty impressive entrance but once the match begins it is hard to understand how she has held onto the Smackdown Women’s Championship since Wrestlemania in April.

Naomi is the definition of style over substance, especially with the likes of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch sitting under her on the roster.

Will she walk out champ?
Yes, she is going up against a veteran, Natalya, who has been put there as a foil for Naomi’s flashy in ring repertoire. Hopefully she will be quickly moved to a program with someone else afterwards.

Cruiserweight Champion – Neville
If he was 6ft and 230 pounds instead of 5ft 8 and 194, Neville would rightfully be competing for the WWE Champion. However, in a land of giants his flawless work as the self-proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights unfortunately flies under the radar.

Will he walk out champ?
Long may he reign.

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