The latest word on the card for this evening’s Canadian SummerSlam event in Toronto, a brief review of last week’s go-home television shows for the pay per view and some thoughts on the very interesting direction pro wrestling seems to be going are our major points of focus this week In This Corner.
A couple of the matches for tonight’s 2019 SummerSlam spectacular have been changed from the original plan. Brock Lesnar defending the Universal title against Seth Rollins is still in a top slot. Kevin Owens tangles with Shane McMahon with Kevin’s career on the line as a stipulation. Charlotte Flair faces Canadian legend and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus. Dolph Ziggler found out this past Monday at Raw that he was facing Goldberg, not the Miz. Sometimes you are the last to know.
Vince McMahon reportedly ordered a last minute rewrite of Smackdown this past week that appears to indicate the Roman Reigns-Daniel Bryan bout said to be on the docket for SS now seems unlikely to happen just yet. Of course, they could change their minds again, but they have not revealed who was responsible for the slow-motion collapsing crane mishap victimizing Roman Reigns two Mondays ago or the traditional pro wrestling car accident he narrowly survived this past Monday. Perhaps, since neither Reigns nor Bryan have matches listed for tonight, they will do something on SS to continue the storyline for a payoff down the road.
A women’s tag team title match originally scheduled for SS was moved up to Raw this past Monday and ended with the Iconics dropping the straps to Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss in a four-way. Aleister Black was supposed to be going against Sami Zayn tonight, but they did that on Raw with Black getting the win. Ricochet and AJ Styles battle over the United States title and Becky Lynch squares off with Natalya in a submission bout for the Raw women’s championship.
A caller to the Busted Open radio show on Friday proposed a great storyline and ought to be considered for the creative team for coming up with it. He proposed having Brock Lesnar squashing Seth Rollins with repeated German suplexes and F-5s until Lynch comes running in to try to stop the onslaught on her boyfriend only to have Rhonda Rousey run-in and hurt Lynch with her famous armbar. That would align the two former UFC stars under the advocacy of Paul Heyman and set up an inter-gender tag match for a future ppv — even if they had to drag it out until WrestleMania. It would be a great ending to SS and give people something to look forward to down the road. Rousey would have to be willing to interrupt her sabbatical, but could still be back only as a part-timer.
Kofi Kingston will be challenged for the WWE title by Randy Orton and Oney Locran is penciled in to challenge Drew Gulak for the cruiserweight crown. Bayley defends the Smackdown women’s championship against Ember Moon. Bray Wyatt will try to get the best of Finn Balor. Based on recent television, it would seem like they are pointing toward a Cedric Alexander match with Drew McIntyre for tonight, but that was not confirmed as of our deadline. Recent television had pointed toward an Ali challenge of Nakamura for the Intercontinental belt, but they had Ali lose cleanly to Ziggler on Monday to bolster Dolph’s credibility going into his match for tonight against Goldberg.
SummerSlam does not seem to have a huge buzz about it this year. While the card has some solid match-ups and there should be some outstanding in-ring work, there isn’t one particular bout that anyone is overly excited about. The same has been true of the past couple of WWE pay per views. Yet, they have been pretty good outings that exceeded expectations. Right now it is fashionable to be anti-WWE main roster shows with the popularity of NXT, AEW, New Japan, Ring of Honor, MLW and Impact on limited levels due to a variety of factors. Now, the long-dormant NWA is being hailed as another legit alternative with Nick Aldis currently carrying the 10 pounds of gold and endorsed by the late, great Harley Race not too long before his unfortunate demise. The organization is trying to make a nostalgic comeback with plans to run studio wrestling tapings in the Atlanta area in the near future.
Right now, it is almost as if there is a return to the old territory days with numerous options for the wrestling fan and the wrestlers getting more places to potentially earn a decent living in the sport. That hasn’t been the case for quite some time and bodes well for just about everyone. It will be quite interesting to see how the new wrestling wars turn out this fall with AEW on TNT. Rumors of WWE countering with a live two-hour NXT possibly going against AEW on Wednesday night surfaced this past week and AEW’s announcement that it will be in Boston and Philadelphia for television for weeks two and three. Those are traditional WWE cities, although the NWA had great success in those locations in the 1980s even while Hogan was routinely selling out WWE shows in the same cities. The wrestling scene is getting very interesting.