It should be an interesting few weeks in WWE. It starts with the brand split and subsequent draft for “Monday Night Raw” and "SmackDown,” followed by WWE Battleground five days later. Both events will set the stage for SummerSlam 2016 in Brooklyn on Aug. 21, the biggest remaining WWE pay-per-view in 2016.
There isn’t much that is concrete for SummerSlam, other than the fact that Randy Orton has been confirmed as Brock Lesnar’s opponent. But a few storylines appear to be coming to a head at SummerSlam, and big things are set for the PPV at Barclays Center.
Below are four predictions for SummerSlam 2016.
SummerSlam will produce two world champions
With the brand split set to begin after Battleground, it seems pretty clear that WWE will return to having two world champions. The company’s top title had been called the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ever since Randy Orton became the unified champ at TLC 2013, but it has simply referred to the title as the WWE Championship since Dean Ambrose won it at Money in the Bank last month.
The split might happen after an inconclusive finish in the triple threat match between Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at Battleground, or it could happen at SummerSlam. Either way, there’s likely to be a WWE Champion on “Raw” and a WWE Heavyweight Champion on “SmackDown” after the PPV in Brooklyn.
Brock Lesnar will dominate Randy Orton
There is virtually no chance Lesnar will lose at SummerSlam. Following his win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200, WWE will make Lesnar look even more unbeatable. Look for him to deliver at least 10 supplexes to Orton, dominating like he did at SummerSlam 2014 against John Cena.
Orton is such an established star that he’ll be able to survive a beating at the hands of Lesnar, especially after the UFC fighter looked so strong back in the octagon. Orton hasn’t appeared on WWE TV at all in 2016, but a loss at SummerSlam could spurn a heel turn. He was a babyface when he suffered an injury in October.
There will be at least three title changes
There have been few title changes since WrestleMania 32, and WWE has been setting up multiple storylines to culminate at SummerSlam, where it would make sense for most of the belts to change hands.
Sasha Banks is a favorite to take the Women’s Championship from Charlotte, which she failed to do at WrestleMania 32. The Miz has barely defended his Intercontinental Championship, and SummerSlam would be a good time to put the belt on a mid-card babyface like Cesaro or Sami Zayn. The New Day have held the tag titles for nearly a year, and they certainly don’t need them. The WWE title is up for grabs among any of the three former Shield members.
The women’s title match will steal the show
The card isn’t close to being set, so any number of matches has a chance to steal the show. Lesnar and Orton could have a great match. Cena and AJ Styles had a strong match at Money and the Bank, and they’re likely to have a rematch in Brooklyn. But if Sasha and Charlotte meet in the ring, it’s a virtual guarantee that they’ll have a great match.
The triple threat match between Sasha, Charlotte and Becky Lynch was arguably the best match at WrestleMania 32. Charlotte and Sasha have squared off multiple times in NXT, always putting on a show. Even if a third woman is added to the match, it has a chance to be the best on the card.