After an incredible match at this past weekend’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, Finn Balor was crowned the first ever WWE Universal Champion after his victory over Seth Rollins. It was truly a great match, with a lot of back and forth action, and maybe most importantly, it was a match that was fairly unpredictable. One one hand, you had Rollins, who is arguably the best single talent the WWE has right now, and that is enough to make one think that he would win. On the other side, WWE has really been pushing the “New Era” as of late, so one could argue that Balor would win, due to him being called up from NXT and immediately making an impact on Monday Night Raw.
Unfortunately, Finn Balor suffered an injury in the SummerSlam match, which we learned about the day after. On Raw, Balor made it official, saying he may miss up to six months with a shoulder injury. He relinquished his new title, and WWE immediately had to figure out who was going to be the new champion. It was determined that four men would challenge for the title on the August 29 episode of Monday Night Raw.
Those four men are: the aforementioned Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Big Cass, and Roman Reigns. They will have a “Fatal-4-Way” match for the Universal Championship. The obvious question now is, “who is going to win?”. I would like to take a look at each Superstar’s chances of winning, and argue why they should or should not become the new champion.
Seth Rollins: 75% chance to win
For many fans, this is the rather obvious pick as to who will win this match. Seth Rollins is maybe the best wrestler, and one of the top heels on the Raw roster at the moment, and he is so incredibly over with the fans, that it would be hard to not see some backlash if he were to lose this match. He’s already proven that he can be the top guy in the company, after his lengthy WWE World Heavyweight Championship after Wrestlemania 31. He would have kept the title for even longer, however a knee injury sidelined him for several months. WWE may be nervous to give him another championship, as he can be seen as injury prone, but I think he is the best man for the job, and WWE would be silly to not give him this opportunity. This is definitely the “safe” choice, and I think WWE is not in a position to take a risk right now. If you’d like to read another writer’s opinion about why Rollins should win, click here. This was written pre-SummerSlam, but it is still relevant to why he thinks Rollins deserves to be champion.
Kevin Owens: 20% chance to win
Another Superstar who is a fan favorite, Kevin Owens has proven time and time again that he can wrestle with anyone and can hold his own on the microphone. Many people see Owens as the best heel in the company, right after Seth Rollins, and for good reason. He knows how to get heat with the fans, and he has such a “bad guy” persona that it’s hard to see anyone else reach his level. He’s unfortunately been stuck in creative limbo for some time now, having a seemingly endless amount of matches with Sami Zayn (which were all match of the year contenders) and joining forces with Chris Jericho as a tag team. Many fans are waiting for Owens to finally break free and receive the push that he deserves, and giving him this title would be a great place to start. I am fairly certain WWE knows how much fans want this guy to be champion, but is now the right time? I don’t think so, but I still think Owens has an outside shot to win this match.
Roman Reigns: 5% chance to win
To many fans’ dismay, Roman Reigns is back in the championship picture on Raw. After serving a 30 day suspension for violating WWE’s wellness policy, Reigns has lost every bit of momentum he had after leaving Wrestlemania 32 as the new WWE Champion. While he hasn’t been punished as hard as fans would like, he still was pinned cleanly in two straight pay-per-views, which is not ordinarily something WWE does to their top dog, which he was before the suspension. I don’t really see Reigns as having really any chance to win this title, as WWE is not ready to give him the opportunity again. He is coming off of a feud with United States Champion Rusev, which hasn’t really been resolved, so I think either after this match, or during it, Rusev will attack Reigns to allow that to continue. I don’t see Reigns winning this championship, but I gave him a small percentage because you truly can never predict what will happen in WWE.
Big Cass: 0% chance to win
I may sound hypocritical to my previous sentence, but I think it is a pretty safe bet to declare that Big Cass will absolutely not win this match. He is still in a tag team with Enzo Amore, and they haven’t even won the tag team championships yet. Before either of them win a singles title, I believe WWE will allow them to win the tag team titles, as they have been one of the most exciting tag teams since being called up to the main roster in April of this year. What Cass’ placement in this match signifies is what many WWE fans and dirt sheets have been reporting; they eventually want to push him to the top of the card, whenever him and Enzo split up. This is an opportunity for Cass to get some big match exposure, however I do not see him having any sort of chance to win this title. In fact, I predict that he will probably be the Superstar who gets pinned to lose this match.
Those are my predictions for who I think will win the newly vacated WWE Universal Championship. While I do think the odds are definitely in one man’s favor, I think we will still be treated to a fun match, with plenty of close calls, but I truly think Seth Rollins leaves this episode of Raw with the new belt.
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