We’re halfway through four-straight days of WWE action at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Let’s take stock of what’s happened and look ahead to what may be in store for Raw and SmackDown.
A New Universe
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar to capture the Universal Championship in what was an excellent main event at SummerSlam. There’s no telling how long Lesnar will be sticking around for so we may see Rollins going in a different direction in terms of a new contender for his championship. It would make a lot of sense to have a contender Rollins has never seen before to keep competition fresh as we head into Survivor Series and Royal Rumble season. Perhaps someone like Ricochet steps up to the plate. But maybe we’ll see someone like Drew McIntyre, who wasn’t on the SummerSlam card, challenge. Bray Wyatt put on an amazing display in and out of the ring at SummerSlam, and could be ripe for a run at the top prize on Raw.
It could be a New Day
Kofi Kingston retained his WWE Championship following a double count out in his match against Randy Orton. This feud appears far from over as Orton sparked some rage from Kingston when he came in close contact with the WWE Champion’s family during the match. This rivalry could take a turn due in part to the reaction that Kofi received Sunday night. The crowd was not happy to see Kofi, and it appears his humble WrestleMania success story is wearing off. Toronto has always been known as bizzaro world, so it would also make a ton of sense to stay the course with Kofi.
Black and Gold to Red or Blue
NXT hit another home run Saturday with their latest TakeOver production. The card was solid from start to finish, with one small hiccup of a match between Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim. Other than that, the opening tag match featuring the Street Profits and Undisputed Era members Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish was exceptional, while the main event consisting of Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano was a match of the year candidate.
Gargano, the greatest wrestler in the history of NXT, lost the championship match and was given a lengthy standing ovation in what was his goodbye to the NXT universe. The next question is, where does he land? Will it be on Raw or SmackDown? And will there be other call-ups? Fans have been asking when the Undisputed Era will be called up, while also fearing the popular faction will be broken up. Those fears should be put to rest based on first-hand accounts from each wrestler in the group saying they won’t separate when called up and that merchandise sales are way too strong to break them up.
It also wouldn’t be strange to see U.E. leader Adam Cole and his NXT Championship on the main roster. NXT champions have made their way to Raw and SmackDown while holding titles before, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping it now.
Next Man Up
Becky Lynch has rolled through nearly every opponent who has come her way since capturing gold at WrestleMania. So who’s next for “The Man”?
Speaking of potential call-ups, NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler seems more than ready to step into the spotlight of the main roster. Baszler doesn’t seem to have anything left to prove in NXT after helping carry the women’s division for the better part of almost two years.
Baszler is a logical choice to go up against Lynch, who is seemingly out of challengers. Baszler would represent a legitimate threat to “Canada’s new hero.”
SmackDown will be moving over to Fox in October as part of a massive TV deal WWE signed with the American cable network. Word is there will be no more intermingling of brands. Wrestlers will be strictly confined to either Raw or SmackDown. Will we see a mini shuffle of the deck before rosters freeze in October?
A Stratusfied Farewell
Trish Stratus said goodbye to the wrestling ring at SummerSlam following an excellent match against Charlotte Flair. Stratus more than held her own against the top performer in the women’s division, cementing what was already known … she’s an all-timer.
The Toronto crowd was extremely receptive and respectful towards Stratus, recognizing her as a hometown hero. On Monday Night Raw, she should get a nice send off from the Toronto crowd, and hopefully Flair as well.