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WWE SummerSlam 2017: Who will walk out as Universal Champion?

It's one of the biggest main events in SummerSlam history, but which man has the best chance of walking out with the gold?

With SummerSlam only days away, easily the most hyped match on the card is Jinder Mahal vs Shinsuke Nakamu- just kidding. As much as I adore the King of Strong Style, their match isn’t the most anticipated. That honor belongs to the Fatal 4-Way Universal Championship Match. Four of the most devastating heavyweights in the WWE today will square off, but which man will walk out as Universal Champion? All four have illustrated their dominance in recent weeks, but only one can leave SummerSlam with championship gold. 

It’s been a long time since WWE has given us a monumental match like this where it legitimately feels like every competitor has an equal chance of walking out victorious. Normally, at least one feels like an odd man out who is least likely to win. They also tend to be seen as a weak link and the most likely to take the fall when the match ends. That’s not the case this time. Every man has a chance, and none of them are easy to keep down. Before we get to which man is most likely to win, let’s look at what makes each competitor a threat and what kind of champion they would be if they won.  

Braun Strowman

What makes him a threat: In recent months, Braun Strowman has been nearly unstoppable. In his many clashes with Roman Reigns, Strowman has proved his power and resilience time and time again. Even when Roman wrecked him in an ambulance, Strowman left that building on his feet. Last week, Strowman went up against Roman one final time in a Last Man Standing Match. While it was the interference from Samoa Joe that helped him finish things off, the victory was yet another notch in the belt of The Monster Among Men. Despite this loaded pack of competitors, there’s no denying the power of Strowman in such an unpredictable match. 

What kind of champion can he be: It’s hard to say, actually. Strowman has operated mostly out of his grudge against Roman Reigns since as far back as January. In many ways, Strowman could be similar as a champion to Brock Lesnar. Both men tend to let their actions do the talking. When they do speak, it’s usually short and to the point. For Lesnar, usually, it’s Heyman doing the talking. Strowman as champion would be a very fresh look on Raw, and he’d likely be there every week (unlike Lesnar). 

Roman Reigns

What makes him a threat: Whether you like Roman Reigns or not, he’s always a threat. Roman is a former WWE Tag Team Champion, United States Champion, Royal Rumble winner, and 3-time WWE Champion. He’s also been doing the best work of his career since being only the second man to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. He’s faced off with every other man in this match, and all it takes is one well-timed Spear to finish things. 

What kind of champion can he be: Roman has already shown himself on three separate occasions to be a capable champion. He handles all of the accompanying responsibilities well, and his recent increase in arrogance will lend itself to him being a fighting champion. Roman’s only struggle following a victory would likely be the fact that Braun Strowman would certainly not be finished with him. 

Samoa Joe

What makes him a threat: Four months ago, the possibility of Samoa Joe walking out of SummerSlam as the Universal Champion seemed like a longshot. In recent months, every action Samoa Joe has taken has illustrated how dangerous The Destroyer truly is. While he came up short against Brock Lesnar, Joe proved that The Beast isn’t untouchable. He’s mortal, and he can be wounded. On top of that, Joe doesn’t have to pin Brock Lesnar. Back at Extreme Rules, he snatched Finn Balor and put him to sleep with the Coquina Clutch in a matter of seconds. If he can do that to any other man in this match, Joe will be the new champion. 

What kind of champion can he be: Over his brief time on the main roster, this dangerous veteran has shown himself capable of being the corporate hand of Triple H. He’s shown himself willing to do anything at all to get what he wants. As a champion, Samoa Joe would likely embody the “walk softly and carry a big stick” concept. He won’t need to remind anyone he’s champion. He’ll let his actions do the talking, cash his checks, and await his next challenger. 

Brock Lesnar

What makes him a threat: Honestly, I could leave the section on Lesnar blank because most people know what makes him a threat. That being said, Lesnar is at a severe disadvantage. He doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the championship. The last two times Brock Lesnar was in a multi-man match like this, he lost without being pinned or made to tap out. Without having to be involved in the decision, a barrage on Lesnar from his other opponents could leave him out of commission while the match comes to a close. He will need to be mindful of this to avoid coming up short once again. 

What kind of champion can he be: We already know what it’s like to have Brock Lesnar as the WWE Universal Champion. Everyone else fights for the right to face him, and he only shows up when he feels like it. It makes his appearances special, but it makes things fall flat at times when he isn’t there. On top of all of this, Lesnar has threatened to leave the WWE if he is unsuccessful at SummerSlam. If he is victorious, he could be an even more arrogant champion than he already is. 

What is the likelihood of each man winning? 

  • Most Likely: Brock Lesnar
  • Less Likely: Roman Reigns
  • Even Less Likely: Samoa Joe
  • Least Likely: Braun Strowman

Why is he the favorite: Even if he’s not my first pick on who I’d like to win, Brock Lesnar is clearly the favorite here. When he’s fallen in multi-man matches before, the other competitors haven’t been quite so hard to keep down. None of these competitors will go down easily, but it’s Brock Lesnar’s threat to leave the WWE that makes him most dangerous here. Lesnar has intentionally backed himself into a corner in a match where he is already at a disadvantage. 

Strowman is the least likely only because of his inexperience. Samoa Joe is next up because of Roman’s experience against Lesnar. Roman falls just behind because of the edge Lesnar has right now. With all that being said, I honestly have no idea who is walking out as champion. My gut tells me they want the title back with Roman Reigns. My heart wants Samoa Joe walking out as champion. My mind tells me that Brock Lesnar is the most likely choice. The safe money is on Lesnar, but anything can happen once that bell rings. I can only say one thing is absolutely certain. You don’t want to miss this. 

Who do you think will leave SummerSlam as the Universal Champion? Let us know in the comments below!

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Patches Chance

Yo, Patches Chance here. I'm the Content Editor for the WWE section here at RealSport. In my past, I majored in English Literature at the University of Houston. I'm a former referee with the Doomsday Wrestling promotion. I've been an avid fan for over fifteen years and have written about wrestling for over a decade. I'm also a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have been a featured columnist for WhatTheBuc. Edge will always be my favorite, but Shinsuke Nakamura is the best thing in wrestling today.

WWE SummerSlam 2017: Who will walk out as Universal Champion?

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