(CBS New York/CBS Local Sports) — WWE is taking its second biggest show of the year north of the border to Toronto, as SummerSlam emanates from the Scotiabank Arena. The main card begins at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, with the kickoff show slated for 5 p.m.
The main event features a WrestleMania Universal Championship rematch between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. Rollins got the better of “The Beast” that night, but “The Beast Slayer” has since dropped the title back to him and been the subject of savage attacks by Lesnar in each of the past two weeks. Whether he can pull a rabbit out of the hat and become the Universal Champion for a second time is one of the more compelling storylines heading into the show.READ MORE: How To Get An Appointment When COVID Vaccines Open For Mass. Residents 16+
Much of the card is stacked with Canadian talent, including Natalya, Kevin Owens, and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, who will be competing in her hometown. However, the homecoming could be bittersweet, as two out of the three seem unlikely to have their hands raised in victory.
Elsewhere, Goldberg will be back in action, while unlikely WWE Champion Kofi Kingston looks to continue on as the company’s version of Rudy Ruettiger. Bray Wyatt is also returning to the ring to compete for the first time as “The Fiend.”
Here is a look at the full SummerSlam card and how things might play out.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Say what you will about Brock Lesnar, but he is still what’s best for business in terms of having a champion who can draw ratings. At the very least his mainstream marketability is something WWE desires at a time when ratings are eroding and they’re moving to a major broadcast network. Regardless, it would be foolish to play hot potato with the main title, and a second title change since WrestleMania would do just that. Rollins has an easy out here, since he’s been destroyed the past couple weeks. So, a loss won’t hurt him, and it sets the stage for the feud to continue for another pay-per-view or two. Pick: Brock Lesnar
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton
The feel good story of Kofi Kingston is on its way to being played out, which means his days as champion are numbered. Much like with Lesnar, WWE is going to want to have one of their most important titles on as big of a name as possible. It’s largely exclusive to SmackDown, and the show will be under immense pressure to attract viewers once it moves to a new network in October. That’s still two months away, so a change here isn’t necessarily required. It’s also plausible that they’ll hold off on making a switch until the first show on their new TV home to create a splash and capture a new audience. Given all of that and the fact that oddsmakers are going with Kofi, I will too. Pick: Kofi Kingston
RAW Women’s Championship – Submission Match
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya
The interesting thing here is that Natalya has turned heel for this feud, but there is no way any member of the Hart family will be booed in Canada, where they are beloved national treasures. Unfortunately for her and for all Canadians, there is also no way she pulls an upset here. Becky Lynch was just given the cover of the WWE 2K20 video game this week, and having her lose just days after that honor makes zero sense. Pick: Becky Lynch
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon
Ember Moon is ready for a title run. The fans have warmed up to her since she moved to the main roster from NXT. But is WWE ready to pull the trigger? It wouldn’t hurt, and a Moon victory would make a nice feel-good moment for SummerSlam. Whomever wins this match is likely to have Charlotte Flair as their next opponent. Pick: Ember Moon
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish StratusREAD MORE: Vehicle Inspections Will Resume At Most Massachusetts Locations Saturday
More bad news for Canadians. Natalya won’t be your only countrywoman to lose at SummerSlam. Charlotte Flair needs to carry the women’s division on the blue brand, and a loss here — even to a Hall of Famer — would hurt her ability to do that, especially after being off TV for a while recently. Trish will get her moments of Stratusfaction in the match and tell a good story, but The Queen will reign supreme. Pick: Charlotte
United States Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet
Do not go for a snack or to the bathroom for this one, because AJ Styles and Ricochet could very well put on the match of the night. Hopefully they will have plenty of time in the ring and not have to rush through everything. As for the result, expect to see Gallows and Anderson to get involved and help Styles retain. Pick: AJ Styles
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Owens must quit WWE if he loses
If you’re paying close attention, you’ll note that the stipulation states that Kevin Owens must leave WWE if he loses, but the same doesn’t apply for Shane McMahon. Shane O’Mac is due for a whooping, and this is the perfect place for KO to make it happen. The storyline has been building to a comeuppance for weeks. Plus, a McMahon loss would prevent Canadians from getting swept out of Toronto. Pick: Kevin Owens
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
At long last the new incarnation of Bray Wyatt will make his in-ring debut. The Firefly Funhouse vignettes have been wildly popular, so the roof is going to blow off the place when “The Fiend” comes through the curtain. Also a factor here, Finn Balor is reportedly taking a sabbatical in the near future, and this is an easy way to write him off while setting up a “Demon” vs “Fiend” clash down the road. No way Bray doesn’t win. Pick: Bray Wyatt
Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler
This match is about redemption for Goldberg, who is coming off one of the worst outings of his career after getting knocked silly while wrestling The Undertaker a couple months ago. Despite that snafu, his surprise appearance to close RAW received a big pop from fans who appear to have already put the poor showing behind them. Look for Goldberg to deliver the beating Dolph Ziggler is owed after weeks of trash talk. I don’t expect this one will last very long, but it should also be more than just a quick spear, jackhammer, and bell. Pick: Goldberg
Drew Gulak (c) vs. Oney Lorcan
The good news for Oney Lorcan is that he punched his ticket to SummerSlam and earned a shot at the title by winning 205 Live’s first-ever Six-Pack Challenge. The bad news for him is that if recent history is any indication, that’s about as far as that win will take him. Since October 2017, no champion has held the title for fewer than 77 days, with the average reign spanning 115 days. Undoubtedly the odds are in Drew Gulak’s favor to successfully defend the title here. As has become the norm for the cruiserweights, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this match is relegated to the Kickoff Show. Pick: Drew Gulak
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.MORE NEWS: Pet Spa, Food Locker Among Amenities Added To Apartment Buildings During Pandemic
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.