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Five matches to watch at WWE Summer Slam

Brock Lesnar, in his UFC days. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Roar Guru
19th August, 2017
8

With 13 matches on the 2017 WWE Summer Slam card scheduled for tomorrow it could be easy to get lost in the mix of fireworks and spandex.

But never fear, The Roar has you covered with the five matches you must watch at Summer Slam.

1. Brock Lesnar (c) v Roman Reigns v Samoa Joe v Braun Strowman (WWE Universal Championship)
There is nothing small or subtle about this match. For its showpiece main event the WWE has taken the old school route and thrown together its four biggest and baddest wrestlers to see who will come out on top.

The current champion Brock Lesnar will be a name familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in combat sports as a former WWE, UFC and NCAA Wrestling Champion.

If you haven’t seen him in a WWE ring before his general MO is to overpower and rag doll his opponents all around the ring.

His opposition here are Roman Reigns, the anointed ‘next big thing’ in the WWE, Samoa Joe, the indy destroyer who has won just about every other championship in wrestling and Braun Strowman, a two metre tall, 150kg former strong man contestant.

These wrestlers have all put in extremely hard hitting matches against one another over the last few months so expect nothing less than a complete brawl.

The icing of intrigue on this violent cake is the stipulation that if Brock loses he will leave the WWE, so you can expect to see him gain another level of strength and power as he looks to hold onto his championship and his job.

Brock Lesnar UFC 200 2016

(AP Photo/John Locher)

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2. Sheamus and Cesaro (c) v Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (Raw Tag Team Championship)
If you read my column earlier this week about the story arc that has brought Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to this point you will know I am a pretty big fan of their work.

Over three years they have consistently been a compelling pairing, first against each other and now by each others sides. When they finally bumped their fists together and reunited this week the audience nearly blew the roof off the arena.

Their opponents Sheamus and Cesaro may have been flung together last year largely because they weren’t really doing anything else at the time, but after their less than glorious beginning the pair have grown to become the most physical tag team on Monday Night Raw and the rightful champions of the division.

The kind of match these four can produce together will be a treat as well. Sheamus and Cesaro are two of the most reliable wrestlers on the roster and Seth and Dean have utterly potent chemistry as opponents and now back together as a team.

3. AJ Styles (c) v Kevin Owens with Shane McMahon as Guest Referee (United States Championship)
One of the really fantastic things the WWE has done over the last few years is increase the prominence of its second-tier titles, such as the US Championship and the Intercontinental title.

While the Intercontinental title won’t be defended at Summer Slam, the elevation of these belts will continue with this match pitting two guys who started the year as the World Champion of each of their brands fighting for the US Title.

The previous matches between Styles and Owens have uncharacteristically lacked something to elevate them to truly memorable matches, but expect them to pull out all stops as they blow off their feud.

Just to add some extra spice, they will be wrestling under the eye of guest referee Shane McMahon, the son of the company owner Vince, who isn’t afraid to get involved physically and has tussled with both of these wrestlers previously.

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4. Jinder Mahal (c) v Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
The rise of Jinder Mahal to WWE World Champion has been one of the most controversial affairs in recent wrestling memory, dividing the wrestling fan-base between haters and believers (read more about that in my previous column), but one thing that has united fans back together is Shinsuke Nakamura as number 1 contender.

The King of Strong Style is like a wrestling mix of Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson (trust me, it works), a unique showman that has buckets of style and the moves to back it up in the ring.

Asian characters have previously not received the greatest treatment by the WWE, but Nakamura has rightfully had the red carpet rolled out for him since arriving in the company a year ago and won over even the fans that didn’t know his history of wrestling in Japan.

While there is a chance Mahal will find a way to screw over Nakamura this match may well be the coronation of Nakamura as WWE Champion.

5. The New Day (c) v The Usos (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
In the space of four months the Smackdown tag team has gone from near non-existent to one of the most exciting divisions in the WWE, largely off the back of The Uso’s and now the New Day’s work as Smackdown tag team champs.

Since reinventing their characters as trash talking thugs, the Uso’s have been putting in the best work of their career and have clearly inspired a New Day whose act was in danger of going stale.

Not only have they delivered in the ring with matches such as their clinic at the recent WWE Battleground event, but their promo segments such as their July 4 battle rap have regularly been the most entertaining segments on Smackdown.

It is a crime that this match has been relegated to the pre-show to the main card, but hopefully that will mean these two veteran tag teams will get extra time to put on the tag team master class they are capable of.

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So over to you Roarers, what are you looking forward to most at WWE Summer Slam?

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