The summer of 2014 could be a very interesting one for WWE. The company is currently without a WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and has lost several of its top stars in the last few months.
CM Punk has quit, Batista is on hiatus and Daniel Bryan remains out with an injury. With so many big names out, up-and-comers like Bray Wyatt, members of The Shield and Cesaro could be in store for a big push.
Four pay-per-views are scheduled this summer, including SummerSlam on Aug. 17. Two months away from WWE’s third-most popular PPV, the match card for the event is very much up in the air.
Below are five things to look for this summer in WWE.
Daniel Bryan’s Return
It would have been difficult to predict a worse WWE World Heavyweight Championship run for Bryan, following his big win at WrestleMania 30. After an uninteresting feud with Kane that seemed destined to continue, WWE’s most popular superstar suffered a neck injury that forced him to lose the title. His status has been very much up in the air, and rumors have persisted that he isn’t recovering at a quick pace. Bryan could be back within a few weeks and regain the belt, but the injury might also keep him out beyond SummerSlam.
Ever since Lensar shocked the WWE Universe and ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak, many have considered it a foregone conclusion that “The Beast Incarnate” will eventually win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since WrestleMania 30, but he’s expected to return for a match at SummerSlam. He’ll likely get a shot at the title, but it’s hard to believe that he could have an extended championship run, considering his limited schedule.
Next WWE World Heavyweight Champion
After Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stripped Daniel Bryan of the title, a lot questions surround the future of WWE’s most coveted championship. Will WWE put the title back on Bryan as soon as he returns? Will several superstars hold the title during the summer? Considering Bryan’s status remains unknown, there’s a good chance WWE still doesn’t have a plan.
The Shield As Singles Wrestlers
The group has officially broken up, after their 16-month run as one of the most dominant factions in WWE history. Now, the three wrestlers have a chance to prove themselves as individual stars. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are likely headed towards a singles match at Money in the Bank, while Roman Reigns will be in the championship ladder match. Reigns could have a match with Triple H in the near future, and it will be interesting to see what WWE does with an unconventional babyface in Ambrose, and Rollins, who recently turned heel.
For months, there has been speculation about Sting joining WWE. It seems inevitable that the icon will eventually sign with the company, and he’s already appeared on the WWE Network, but there’s no guarantee that he will ever wrestle for WWE. There have often been rumors that he would be on “Monday Night Raw,” but he remains without a contract. It was thought that he could might The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, but that seems unlikely, following the Deadman’s loss in April. Still, it would surprise few if Sting appeared on WWE TV by the end of the summer.