Originally published at WWE SummerSlam 2021 Preview - Reigns vs. Cena, Lashley vs. Goldberg
The 34th installment of SummerSlam takes place tonight from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas headlined by Roman Reigns and John Cena for the WWE Universal Championship.
It will be the second-largest attended SummerSlam in history with WrestleTix reporting over 44,600 tickets are out for the event. The only version of the show to draw more was the 1992 edition from Wembley Stadium in London, England.
The show is centered around Reigns and Cena with the added stipulation on 24 hours notice that Reigns will leave the WWE if he loses the title to Cena. It’s a stipulation that – win or lose – no one buys and is more an indictment on the lack of significance such a parameter should add to a match rather than detract.
Either outcome is possible as Cena is scheduled for another date for September 10th on SmackDown at Madison Square Garden. If they had Cena win, it gives him the fictional record of most world championships and goes off the air with a major buzz. However, it would be questionable to beat Reigns now after so many people he has dominated and then, do a short title swap for a few weeks.
In the WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley defends against Bill Goldberg, which has been promoted effectively through the promos by MVP, who has lived up to his moniker throughout this program. There is no one ready for Lashley on the Raw side unless they revisit Drew McIntyre and violate that stipulation, move someone over from SmackDown, or go back to the well with Randy Orton.
Goldberg has stated in the past his deal calls for two matches per year and added that his deal has two matches left, meaning two more scheduled for 2022. If those are the current terms, it’s open-and-shut that Lashley retains the championship. If there was wiggle room to get Goldberg to do another match this year, you can argue the idea that Lashley desperately needs an opponent and by losing, he comes out strong in the end where the win over Goldberg means more when he wins the title back. It gives Raw a temporary jump numbers-wise as they approach the return of Monday Night Football and Goldberg has demonstrated a short-term help on that front as evidenced by the three-hour pattern this past Monday leading to their segment.
The largest question mark on the show is Sasha Banks, who missed both live events last weekend and did not appear on Friday Night SmackDown. WWE is still actively promoting the match as though it is happening but based on her absence on Friday, I think most would be skeptical regarding the status of the match for tonight.
The card will begin with the kickoff portion at 7 p.m. ET and the main show is scheduled from 8-11 p.m. ET and avoid going head-to-head with the Manny Pacquiao fight at the T-Mobile Arena in town.
We will be LIVE immediately after SummerSlam with our POST Show as I will be joined by Kate from Montreal and Nate Milton. The show will be live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. The show will be available for everyone to download late tonight.
Here is the full card for SummerSlam:
*WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (champion) vs. John Cena – If Reigns loses, he leaves WWE
*WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (champion) vs. Bill Goldberg
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (champion) vs. Sasha Banks
*Raw Women’s Championship: Nikki A.S.H. (champion) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
*SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (champions) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio
*Raw Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles & Omos vs. Randy Orton & Riddle
*WWE United States Championship: Sheamus (champion) vs. Damian Priest
*Edge vs. Seth Rollins
*Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
*Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie