SummerSlam: WWE’s Biggest Party Of The Summer Isn’t Exactly A Slam Dunk This Year

Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

WWE is Vince McMahon’s baby. So, in theory, he run it however he sees fit. But when various outlets report that, for multiple shows in a row,  McMahon has rewritten SmackDown just hours before it airs, it’s fair to point out the chaotic nature of the blue brand. Supposedly, the rewrites have been meant to strengthen the build for SummerSlam. Given that it’s been unremarkable anyway, it’s concerning to think the road to the show could have been even more bland. Ironically, McMahon’s actions have helped SmackDown but they only support the idea that, backstage, WWE is an incredibly hectic working environment. Combined with the aforementioned financial troubles, it all dampens the mood surrounding SummerSlam.

It’s ironic that, arguably, the least exciting program for SummerSlam is the major feud on Monday Night RAW. Brock Lesnar has reclaimed the WWE Universal Championship and rather than facing a fresh challenger, the Beast Incarnate will once again meet Seth Rollins with the title on the line. Their rivalry was fairly stale by WrestleMania 35, but at least their match at MetLife Stadium offered some closure when Rollins seemingly ended Lesnar’s reign of terror. Instead, just a few months later, the two men are in another high-profile match that’s telling the same story.

In the build to this contest, one bright spot has been overshadowed by some missteps. Brock Lesnar’s brutal attack on Rollins, which caused the former champion to cough up blood, made fans take notice. But when Rollins foolishly limped out and got demolished by Lesnar for the second week in a row, some fans rooted against Rollins. That change shouldn’t shock anyone because it’s been a long time coming.

For months, WWE has made it hard to cheer for Rollins. From his awkward on-screen relationship with  Lynch and substandard feud with Baron Corbin to his critically panned promos and segments, Rollins has been unlikable for a while. WWE has tried to get him back on track; they briefly put him with the Street Profits on RAW one week in an attempt to make Rollins cool again. Instead, they just managed to make the three of them look even worse. A substantial number of fans probably want to see Rollins lose on Sunday and that sentiment doesn’t bode well for RAW’s future.

Speaking of which, assuming Lesnar retains the title, the red brand will once again be the land of the part-time champion. Fans and analysts alike constantly criticized the infrequency of Lesnar’s presence on RAW during his previous reign as the Universal Champion and they’ll likely do so again after Sunday. Plus, few, if any members of the WWE roster pose a genuine threat to Lesnar right now. You could make a case that Roman Reigns will dethrone the Beast down the road but, in the past, their rivalry hasn’t been the most well-received. So, right now, it looks like WWE is in a lose-lose situation with the Universal Championship.

Next page: It’s not all doom and gloom