WWE SummerSlam 2017 is only a little over a week away and anticipated for the event is already in the air. As WWE's second biggest pay-per-view of the year, SummerSlam never disappoints in delivering a stacked show from start to finish and this year's installment should be no exception. While the card is not yet complete, what is being advertised so far appears to be promising, especially the marquee matches presented by both Raw and SmackDown Live.
Almost every active championship will be defended at SummerSlam this year, and most importantly, none of the matches are extremely predictable. That's part of the excitement, and henceforth I have a pretty good feeling SummerSlam won't end on an underwhelming note as it has in the past. It's never too early to start previewing the show's biggest bouts, so let's look at each of the event's top matches and potential victors.
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Universal Championship Fatal 4-Way Match)
Is there any doubt that this is the match fans are most looking forward to at SummerSlam this year? As Bleacher Report's Ryan Dilbert discussed, it is the most hyped match WWE has done in years, and I couldn't agree more with that. Brock Lesnar's matches always have a "big fight feel" about them, but this perhaps more than any other because of all the possible outcomes and because of the thought of these four behemoths waging war.
We are a week out from the event, so there's plenty of time to make a final prediction, but I'm not entirely confident that Lesnar will walk out still the Universal Champion. Yes, he has threatened to "leave" if he loses the title, and yes, he is advertised for September's Raw pay-per-view, but WWE can work around that. Besides, the top of the card could benefit from a shake-up at the moment with one of the challengers capturing the gold.
Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)
This match kind of came out of nowhere, but that isn't to say that's a bad thing. I would much prefer Shinsuke Nakamura contending for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam than John Cena. Besides, Nakamura is one of SmackDown Live's hottest stars at the moment, so it would make sense to put the title on him sooner rather than later. In fact, according to Trevor Dueck at Sports Betting Dime, Nakamura is clearly the odds-on favorite to become WWE Champion.
It's hard to argue with that considering Mahal simply hasn't been lighting the world on fire as WWE Champion in recent months. To his credit, he's been attempting to make the most of what he's been given, but his matches are mediocre at best and his mic skills are less-than-stellar. I could certainly see Nakamura winning the prestigious prize next Sunday and holding the gold through WrestleMania 34 for a dream match with AJ Styles.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (Raw Tag Team Championship)
Okay, so this match technically isn't confirmed for SummerSlam just yet, but there's no doubt in my mind that it will be happening. I'm very happy WWE has taken their time with this storyline as opposed to rushing it, and Bleacher Report's Ryan Dilbert said as much in an article earlier this week. It would have been easy for them to instantly reunite and announce their intentions to vie for the Raw Tag Team Championship, but the slow-burn has been brilliant.
Just this past week on Raw, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins teased getting back on the same page, only for Rollins to refuse to fist bump Ambrose. The crowd ate it up, making me think it would be amazing if they finally became friends again once they take home the twin titles at SummerSlam. This has been one of the better built bouts on the card and it should be a ton of fun.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens (Shane McMahon Serves as Special Guest Referee; United States Championship)
Most fans are ready for this rivalry to wrap up, but I for one am hyped for this United States Championship match. WWE.com recapped their confrontation from Tuesday's SmackDown Live (specifically Kevin Owens' promo) perfectly and the tension that has been teased between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon, but don't think for a second this means Owens will be a four-time United States Champion after SummerSlam is over and done with.
Styles isn't heavily favored in the odds compared to Owens according to Dueck, but he really should be. It's time for the title to stay on Styles and for Owens to move forward into a feud with Shane. I would enjoy seeing them mix it up later this year in time for Survivor Series, but it would be even cooler if WWE held off on that money match until WrestleMania, similar to Styles vs. Shane from earlier this year.