Raw drew 3,156 million viewers this week with a Smackdown show that was main evented by a triple threat match in which the united states title was on the line drew 2,535 million viewers.
With Brock Lesnar set to defend his Universal Championship at Summerslam against Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, speculation will begin as to who will win the match. I’ve noted before that I’m not all that excited to see a whole year worth of build up to Lesnar finally losing the Universal title to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. That opinion is only stronger now because I feel like Raw needs a bit of a shake up and I feel that shake up would be best served in seeing Lesnar lose his title at Summerslam, allowing the champion to be on Raw week to week, unlike the rare appearances we see from Lesnar. I feel like if the title is going to change it would be Reigns that ends up walking out of Brooklyn with the Universal title. However, my idea would be to see Samoa Joe be the man to win the title. Joe has shown over the past few months throughout his feud with Lesnar that he really does belong at that level – anyone who watched him in TNA and NXT already knew this, but obviously the WWE will want Joe to prove it on the bigger scale, and I feel that is what he has done. Samoa Joe has shown himself to be one fantastic asset to the WWE and I feel like he could have some great matches with plenty of the guys on the roster, and could really have a good run with the title. I feel like there will be need to be a good way to beat Strowman in this match and to make him seem like a real monster. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have Roman Reigns to be the one to take the pin in those one and with the amount of absolute beasts in that match, it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to see Reigns pinned after possibly taking moves from all three other guys.
The United States Championship has once again changed hands, not once since my last article, but twice. Kevin Owens had won the title back from AJ Styles at Battleground just for Styles to regain the title on Smackdown in a match involving a returning Chris Jericho. While this triple threat was fantastic and I have no problem seeing any of these guys with the championship, it’s a little bit weird to see the title thrown back and forth between Styles and Owens. Normally I’d be against this, and in all truth, I’d probably prefer they hadn’t done it. Although I like the idea it presents, although I’d have preferred to see this idea really emphasised more than it has be. That idea is that Styles and Owens are such good wrestlers and are so close to each other in terms of skill and ability that their matches do not have a consistent outcome. This meaning that they continue to trade wins back and forth between each other. I’d like to see this whole feud played out with a two out of three falls match, possibly at Summerslam. Not only do I imagine this would turn out as a really fantastic match, but it simply makes sense that this sort of match would finally be used to separate two fantastic wrestlers.
I still get the feeling that the Raw’s womens division could do with being shaken up a little. I have suggested previously that I’d really like to see Asuka make the move to Raw after Summerslam. Having already given my feelings on that in a previous article, I have a few more ways that the division could have some added excitement. It currently looks like it will be Bayley facing off with Alexa Bliss for the championship in Brooklyn. This wasn’t the match I was hoping for at Summerslam, although possibly that is me wanting to see things rushed a little bit too much. I really do enjoy watching Alexa Bliss but she has been the main part of all storylines in either the Smackdown’s womens division or the Raw’s womens division for about three quarters of a year now. You can be a fantastic character – which I think Alexa Bliss is – but being the focal point of a television show for what will soon be a year, week in week out, can be draining on any viewers and I do feel like it’s time to make use of some of the other wrestlers on the roster. Bayley and Sasha Banks is a feud I’d like to see, with Banks having more of a character change. Although those aren’t the only wrestlers on the female roster that could be utilised better. Of course there is still more to be done with Nia Jax, but you’ve also got the likes of Alica Fox, Dana Brooke and Summer Rae that have either hardly been used or haven’t been used at all recently. Summer Rae is one I really want to see reintroduced because it has been over a year since she was last used by the WWE, which of course was mostly down to injury but she has apparently been ready to return for a while. Then you’ve also got Emma and hopefully her interaction with Kurt Angle this week is a sign of a bigger role for her going forward; although the way Nia Jax ran through her, I’m not so sure of that.
While I’m excited to see it, it really is a weird world we live in where John Cena will be facing Shinsuke Nakamura – for the first time ever – on Smackdown. Not just that, but the winner will be facing the WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal, for that championship at the second biggest event of the WWE calendar. Not only does it just not really feel right, but I just think that the match will lose some of the steam and the shine of what could have easily been a Wrestlemania main event – if not at the very least the main event at a pay per view. I expect this match will be nothing less than at the very least a really good match but there is a lot of anticipation for this match that could have been stretched out a lot further than from one episode of Smackdown to another. There has been a decent amount of speculation that this match will end up being some type of no contest, and honestly, the earlier they have Jinder Mahal interfere, or whatever they decide to do, the better. That way they can build up to the first proper one on one encounter between Nakamura and Cena. It’s expected that if they do decide to have Mahal ruin this match somehow, he will end up defending his title against both men in a triple threat match. While I am speculative about seeing two multi-man matches for both the top titles at Summerslam, neither the fatal 4 way or the triple threat sound disappointing to me – honestly, both matches sound far better options than what some of the other possibilities.