by Glenn Schouw
There will be fireworks at SummerSlam this weekend but a big bang will be a surprise.
The bang being Brock Lesnar defeating Roman Reigns for the WWE's Universal Crown at this prestigious event held at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee tomorrow - SA time, Sunday, from 2am on DSTV channel 208.
This is the ninth time these WWE icons will be facing each other. The rivalry between the two is currently tied at three legitimate victories for each. Reigns has won the last three encounters.
The upcoming bout will decide who has the upper hand in being the most dominant force in the company. But the odds appear to be favouring Reigns.
Five reasons stand out.
One - Lesnar is a back up opponent as Randy Orton was initially scheduled to be Reigns' opponent at SummerSlam. However, the 20-time champion is sidelined due to a legitimate back injury.
Two - The next premier event is the Clash at the Castle and the show will emanate from Cardiff, Wales on September 3. There is already a poster prepared for this event which features Reigns taking on Drew McIntyre.
Three - Vince McMahon's retirement. The Chairman is no longer the lead creative of the company and Lesnar was upset by this. He walked out during last week's episode of SmackDown before returning shortly before the end of the show. This hints that Lesnar may no longer be interested in a long run with WWE.
Four - His relationship with Triple H appears not to be as good as it was with McMahon. Triple H has taken over from McMahon as the WWE's main creative force regarding the storylines.
So there are some doubts about how Lesnar will fit into Triple H's plans. WWE cannot possibly crown a superstar whose future is uncertain in their company as the new champion. Triple H is a big advocate for long-term planning in WWE.
Five - There has been strong talk that Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, will return to face Reigns at next year's WrestleMania 39.
However, Reigns has the greatest respect for Lesnar. This was crystal clear with an interview on the Today Show on the eve of their big showdown.
Reigns, who previously beat Lesnar during WrestleMania 38 in April, said during the interview that he feels great.
"I'm on a course now to do something that no one's ever done -- dominate Brock Lesnar. We're really entering that kind of timeframe in my career where I'm really pushing myself to a different level and just trying to achieve things that have never been done before. Anytime you can beat Brock Lesnar three times in a row, that's pretty good."
While Reigns recently turned 37, Lesnar is 45, so Reigns was asked about the speculation that SummerSlam could be the last time that the two face off in the ring.
"I hope it's the last time. It hurts, it's brutal being in the ring with Brock. He's a big old country boy and he's got such a great legitimate background...the only problem he has is that Roman Reigns showed up and took over, so, it's going to be great."
Two women's bouts should ensure a memorable event for millions around the world.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey will look to dethrone new SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan in what promises to be a slugfest!
There are few competitors as devastating as The Baddest Woman on the Planet.
The former Raw Women’s Champion re-emerged after taking time off to become a mom, and it wasn’t long before she made Charlotte Flair scream “I Quit!” to claim the SmackDown Women’s Title.
As the fans took in the start of her reign, it seemed unlikely that anyone else would be holding the title for a long time.
That all changed in one fateful night on July 2, however, when the determined Morgan rose above the competition to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and seize the contract for a championship opportunity.
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
The EST of WWE will battle Becky Lynch in a highly personal showdown for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Since Belair’s triumphant victory over Lynch to capture the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38, her second Women’s Title captured on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Belair has been a dominant force atop the Raw mountain.
All the while, an unpredictable Lynch has become simply unhinged in her quest to regain gold, whether engaging in a chaotic rivalry with Asuka, battling in a Triple Threat Match at WWE Hell in a Cell or fighting tooth and nail in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Last year at SummerSlam it was Lynch's shocking return that derailed Belair's first title reign. Can The EST get payback in front of her home state crowd in Nashville?
The rest of the bill is:
United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Theory
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos take on The Street Profits.
Pat McAfee vs. Happy CorbinI
Logan Paul vs. The Miz
The Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins bout will not be taking place as Riddle was seriously injured in an out of the ring attack by Rollins on Raw this past Monday.
The latter is still likely to feature at this event. John Cena and Edge are also tipped to make an appearance.