It’s fair to say that WWE’s storytelling has been hit and miss in recent years, and that’s putting it nicely.
Even in recent months the booking has been inconsistent. At times they come close to getting it right and then take a bizarre left turn to ruin it. Whether that be “Who’s this masked janitor flying round the ring?…Oh, he’s lost in two seconds…oh it’s Cedric Alexander” or “Oh no, Roman has been crushed by some scaffolding…oh wait, no he’s fine”.
Despite this, there have been a few notable changes to WWE’s presentation which has created a sense of optimism for the future. The additions of Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman could be a catalyst for change and at least gives the fans some hope.
With AEW’s TV debut just around the corner, WWE desperately needs to start reconnecting with their audience. They can start this Sunday by giving the fans more of what they do want and less of what they don’t.
With that in mind, here are five things we do NOT want to see at SummerSlam 2019…
5. Another Shane McMahon Victory
Surely this has gone beyond a joke now. Or is it even a joke?
The fans viewed Shane’s ’Best In The World’ gimmick as a delusional heel character, yet he’s been backing it up. He’s defeated The Miz twice and even holds a victory over Roman Reigns.
But this must come to an end soon. WWE has listened to the fans and righted some wrongs by taking Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans out of the main event picture. Now they need to do the same with Shane McMahon.
The main event scene is severely lacking heels that the audience can buy as a genuine threat. The unstable Daniel Bryan or maniacal Bray Wyatt would be much better choices than the owner’s 49-year-old son.
It’s also imperative that Kevin Owens picks up the win at SummerSlam. Shane’s victories over The Miz hurt his credibility and he has been floundering in a crowded mid-card scene ever since. WWE can not make the same mistake with Owens.
Owens has the potential to be a top level babyface that the fans can believe in. But that will not happen if he is losing matches to a sweaty, middle-aged man.
4. Goldberg To Wrestle For Over 2 Minutes
It was nice to see Goldberg receive such a positive reaction when he returned on Raw.
It’s no secret that both he and The Undertaker were embarrassed with their substandard match at Super Showdown. The Undertaker exercised his demons by putting on a good match at last month’s Extreme Rules, now Goldberg has the chance to do the same.
WWE should not overthink this match, people just want to see Goldberg’s greatest hits. A couple of spears and a jackhammer would be enough to send the fans home happy and erase the memory of Goldberg’s previous performance.
It would also allow Dolph Ziggler to do what he does best, sell like a rag doll. Ziggler doesn’t need a strong showing, he is just there to fill the role of Goldberg’s opponent.
With SummerSlam’s reported six-hour running time, this is exactly the type of short, snappy segment the show will need. Just give us Goldberg’s legendary entrance, a quick match and a feel-good victory for the former Universal Champion. Job done.
3. The Demon
At last year’s SummerSlam, Finn Bálor brought back ‘The Demon’ to face Baron Corbin. Whilst it’s always cool to see ‘The Demon’, it should be saved for the right moment and not just carted out for a cheap pop.
Bray Wyatt’s ‘Fiend’ will be making his debut on Sunday and the focus should be on his new persona. Wyatt needs a dominant victory to establish this new character and Bálor’s job is simply to make ‘The Fiend’ look like a monster.
It’s almost guaranteed that Finn will be losing on Sunday so why waste an appearance from ‘The Demon’?
It has been reported that Bálor will be going away for awhile after SummerSlam after requesting some time off. He has become a stale on-screen character and it seems the man behind the character has become burnt out too. A break will do him good and he can do Bray Wyatt a favour by putting him over on the way out.
Perhaps down the line we will get a ’Fiend’ vs. ‘Demon’ match, but that deserves much more build than this match has had over the past few weeks.
‘The Demon’ character should be special and saved for big occasions. Another appearance and an expected loss at SummerSlam would only harm the aura surrounding Bálor’s alter ego.
2. Rollins To Slay The Beast…Again
The Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar will likely main event this year’s SummerSlam. However, this could be an interesting contest for all the wrong reasons.
There doesn’t appear to be much desire to see either man walk away with the Title. Lesnar’s stranglehold on the Universal Championship has irked the fans over the last couple of years, whereas Rollins has actively turned fans against him with his social media antics.
So how does SummerSlam end? There doesn’t appear to be a satisfying conclusion to this story either way.
Either Lesnar continues his reign of terror or an out of favour Seth Rollins regains the Championship. A heel title reign for Rollins could be interesting, but how do you turn somebody heel against Brock Lesnar?
We certainly don’t want to see another underdog, babyface victory for Seth Rollins. That would be a re-run of the story told at WrestleMania 35, only with significantly less crowd support for the ‘Beast Slayer’.
If nothing else, it will be an intriguing match. Let’s hope that Paul Heyman has a trick up his sleeve that will send the fans home happy from SummerSlam.
1. Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE are expected to add more matches to the SummerSlam card over the next few days. As it stands, no tag team titles are set to be defended and there is no place on the card for the biggest of dogs, Roman Reigns.
It’s likely that Roman will be a last-minute addition, but a match against Daniel Bryan would feel very premature. The ongoing saga of ‘Who Attacked Roman Reigns?’ still has legs and should not be hot-shotted just to beef up the SummerSlam card.
Bryan’s involvement is still unclear and that story should be told over the next few weeks. The reveal of the mastermind behind the attacks and reasons why would make for some interesting television. We don’t want to see that thrown away and just announced on WWE’s Twitter account.
It’s been rumoured that Roman Reigns could face Buddy Murphy at SummerSlam, or possibly team with Samoa Joe to take on Daniel Bryan and Rowan. Either of these would be decent filler matches that would still leave plenty in the tank for the following months.
Let’s hope this is true, but we all know how Vince McMahon loves to change his mind. Reportedly, the reason Aleister Black vs. Sami Zayn happened on Tuesday and not SummerSlam was because WWE needed to fill time on Smackdown. So who knows what will happen Sunday?
Hopefully, logic will prevail and we can build to Roman vs. Bryan at the next pay-per-view or possibly even Survivor Series.