SummerSlam 2016 is nearly three months away, but the card for WWE’s second-biggest show is already falling into place. With Money in the Bank fast approaching and the returns of both Seth Rollins and John Cena already things of the past, the card for Aug. 21 in Brooklyn is shaping up to be even better than that of WrestleMania 32.
John Cena is back, and he is all but guaranteed to be in one of the biggest matches on the card. However, this could be the first time in a few years that he doesn’t fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. He’s been in the title match every year since 2011, but it will likely be WWE’s new group of stars that close out the show this time around.
A lot can change in the coming months, and much is still to be determined with the impending brand split. But it’s looking like WWE has a few SummerSlam matches already mapped out.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Cena and Styles will certainly have a match in the near future after Styles and The Club attacked Cena upon his return to “Monday Night Raw.” In his few months in WWE, Styles quickly became one of the company’s most popular babyfaces. But WWE signed him in large part because of the work he did in New Japan as a heel, and he has a chance to become one of WWE’s top villains. Their match should be the biggest on the card, other than the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
It’s the match that should have been the main event of WrestleMania 31 or WrestleMania 32, had it not been for an injury to Seth Rollins. Rollins will challenge Roman Reigns for the title at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on June 19, where Dean Ambrose will compete in the ladder match for the right to earn a title shot. Look for Ambrose to win the ladder match, setting up a triple threat match among all three members of The Shield at Barclays Center.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
The Owens vs. Zayn feud is the oldest one in WWE, dating back to NXT a year and a half ago. They’ve already faced each other in a singles match at Payback, but they are likely headed towards a bigger match at SummerSlam, one with more on the line. Zayn has a claim to an Intercontinental Title match since it was his Helluva Kick to Cesaro that led to The Miz’s pinfall at Extreme Rules, though it wouldn't be surprising to see Owens regain the belt in the coming weeks. Whether it’s a title match or a match with some sort of stipulation, it only makes sense that Owens and Zayn will face off one more time.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt
It looked like Lesnar and Wyatt would face off earlier in 2016, but that match never came to fruition. They didn’t fight at WrestleMania 32, as was rumored, and when they were supposed to have a match at WWE Roadblock, it ended up being Lesnar vs. Luke Harper, with Bray never getting involved. Both wrestlers have been off TV since April, and with no other likely opponents on the roster, their feud should finally reach a conclusion at SummerSlam.
The New Day vs. The Club (Tag Team Championship)
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have teamed with Styles to become the biggest heel faction in WWE, and they could quickly find themselves in the title picture. The Club attacked The New Day on Monday, and a match between the two teams will happen sooner rather than later. The only question involves how many teams will be involved in the match, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a multi-team tag match at SummerSlam.
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks (Women’s Championship)
WWE has kept Sasha off TV in many of the weeks following her loss at WrestleMania 32, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be re-inserted into the title picture. She’s the most popular wrestler in the women’s division, and WWE is likely planning to have her face Charlotte at SummerSlam. In the meantime, Charlotte will continue to look strong with pay-per-view wins against the likes of Becky Lynch, Natalya and others.