Is Jinder Mahal here to stay in the main event scene?
Lightning struck twice on Sunday night at Money in the Bank, when Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship for the second straight month. The ending sequence of the match was quite similar to the first one, with Orton laying waste to the Singh Brothers, just for Mahal to catch him with the Khallas for the victory.
The WWE could have owned up to the perceived mistake from Backlash and put the belt back on Orton for a 14th time. He would have been champion heading into the biggest event of the summer. However, with just Battleground in July remaining until SummerSlam, it appears the WWE’s confidence in Mahal is sky-high.
With such a loaded main event scene on SmackDown Live, where Mahal will go once he eventually drops the belt is suspect. There’s no question that the championship is keeping him relevant for the time being, but how much longer will he carry the strap, and how would he work as a challenger once he has lost it?
Can we expect a quick cash-in from Baron Corbin?
With Baron Corbin having retrieved the Money in the Bank briefcase on Sunday, he now holds a shot at the WWE Championship at any place and at any time. It just so happens that SmackDown Live is saddled with a champion that is less than popular and doesn’t have a clear next contender.
Moving the belt from Mahal to Corbin at some point before SummerSlam wouldn’t be a seismic shift on SmackDown Live, but it would certainly present more appealing options in the short-term with feuds against Orton or Shinsuke Nakamura over the title.
The opposite route could also be taken. Because Corbin has hovered perpetually around the upper mid-card scene, he can use the briefcase to supplant himself firmly in the main event picture. Whether it’s a cash-in around October or December or next April, by the time he becomes champion, he will be ready to carry the show.
Will we get Roman Reigns vs. John Cena at SummerSlam?
Heading into the Raw in which Roman Reigns will announce his SummerSlam opponent, all we know at this point is that it will be big.
There are numerous options as to what the Big Dog could do. A WrestleMania rematch with The Undertaker? One more gigantic collision with Braun Strowman? Challenge Finn Balor, thus setting in motion a Shield vs. Club rivalry? The option that makes the most sense and would be the most complex of booking scenarios: Roman vs. John Cena.
The same week that Roman made his announcement, Cena was announced as a free agent. This will undoubtedly free him up to work with whomever he wants, as opposed to being limited to just the SmackDown Live roster.
This would be the type of move that allows the WWE to sit back and put its feet up, laughing at the WWE Universe as it is forced to choose between cheering Roman or Cena. There is a proverbial passing of the torch the two men have experienced, with Reigns now receiving the large number of jeers that Cena did for parts of the peak of his career. Throw in a boisterous crowd like Brooklyn? The WWE has all the makings of a blockbuster match.
Where is Rusev?
It’s a simple question really. Now that Rusev has reached Emmalina levels of disappearance, what has happened to the Bulgarian Brute and does anyone in creative have any idea what to do with him?
It can be ascertained that SmackDown Live just doesn’t need him right now, which is a bad omen for a superstar that is returning and hoping to join the main event scene. He was thought to be in line to make an appearance at Money in the Bank, but only his wife, Lana, competed.
With two months and just one PPV standing in between SummerSlam for the WWE, a title shot for Rusev at Battleground against Mahal would be the most seamless route. With just a month until the show, and with no other contenders directly in line for a shot, the returning Rusev taking on his former tag team partner is a storyline that writes itself.
Who will face Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn III?
Much like how the WWE will want to put on an enormous show in Brooklyn for the hottest show of the summer, NXT is going to want to come with similar thunder. In order for NXT to once again steal the weekend, it’ll need to get creative.
Bobby Roode could defend his NXT Championship against Drew McIntyre. Or Roderick Strong. Or even someone like Aleister Black. Or he could defend it against all of them.
Only once in the history of TakeOver has the NXT Title been defended in a match that did not consist of 1-on-1 action, and it was back in September 2014 at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, the company’s third-ever show. That match featured Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd.
The NXT main event scene is loaded at the moment and a multiman match would give Roode a chance to cement his championship legacy (as a possible Adam Cole debut looms). But rather than give each challenger a 1-on-1 shot, a huge, multiman match fighting over the belt — whether it be four or six or eight — will make TakeOver the place to be in Brooklyn that weekend.