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WWE SummerSlam: The five big questions ahead of tonight's huge Box Office event

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-08-20 00:43:13

Every single one of WWE's championships - and a Money In The Bank briefcase - will be on the line at SummerSlam on Sunday, the company's second-biggest event of the year.

The action gets underway at midnight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and you can see every moment of the action live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Sky Sports WWE editor Jefferson Lake is in position in the Big Apple and he's come up with the five key questions which need to be answered tonight...

Does Roman Reigns finally win the title?

In wrestling speak, a 'false finish' is the term given to a moment in a match when the audience thinks it will finish but it doesn't, building the drama for when it does actually reach a conclusion.

It is a term which can be justifiably applied to the battle between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, and the latter's long-term pursuit of the top singles title in WWE, the Universal title.

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Everyone expected Reigns to win at WrestleMania - and he did not. Almost everyone then thought he would get his moment at the Greatest Royal Rumble, the theory being the Saudi crowd would be more 'traditional' in their appreciation of the face/heel dynamic. He did not.

And so will SummerSlam be the time for the Big Dog to finally end Lesnar's reign and bring down the curtain on the 'absent champion' concept or will he once again come up short and pave the way for Brock to carry the belt into his return to UFC at the start of 2019?

Will there be any surprise appearances?

Unlike other events - notably the Royal Rumble - SummerSlam is not the traditional home of the WWE surprise appearance but that doesn't mean there won't be any.

Hulk Hogan's recent return to the company's good books, combined with a flurry of tweets about an October reunion for the nWo, has created a ripple of speculation that the black-and-white boys may be booked for Barclays.

Seth Rollins has recently had a lot to say about the strategy of bringing back the old guard - could those words come back to haunt him?

Away from the Hall of Fame category, Nia Jax very much has unfinished business with Alexa Bliss, and given her position as one of the company's leading lights it might make sense for Little Miss Bliss to have an excuse if she is to drop the Raw title to Ronda Rousey.

Will we see a Money In The Bank twist?

Going by the formbook, Braun Strowman should be in for an easy night. He has defeated Kevin Owens at every turn, with the exception of the Extreme Rules cage match in which Owens - cage fall through the table and all - recorded a Pyrrhic victory.

Strowman has even been recording victories on the house show loop - the long-established testing ground for outcomes in matches on television and pay-per-view.

But will that count for anything at SummerSlam tonight? History tells us foreshadowing should be taken with a pinch of salt but if anyone has been developed to the point where they could upset the odds through nefarious means against a seemingly unstoppable opponent, it is Owens.

The argument that Strowman doesn't need the briefcase is one which has been consistently made. Owens, as the underdog in the feud, and someone who will seemingly do anything to return to the Universal title picture, perhaps does.

What will Dean Ambrose's role be?

The third Shield member has been on the injury shelf for the first eight months of the year but returned to Raw last week to support his friend Seth Rollins in his ongoing battle with Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler and his own backup man Drew McIntyre.

Ambrose returned with a new look but no alteration to his ability to pop the crowd and put a beating on the guys they don't like.

His new look, however - cropped hair, scissor-modified t-shirt, bulging muscles - was not one of a babyface. As the Lunatic Fringe, Ambrose has had menace but always with an almost joyful air of reckless abandon. The Ambrose which appeared on Raw this week looked mean, his playfulness removed.

Everything seems straightforward for SummerSlam. One against one, with one each in the corner. But Bobby Heenan's famous piece of commentary could potentially be applied to Ambrose: "Whose side is he on?"

Is this Ronda Rousey's coronation night?

Ronda Rousey has exceeded all expectations in WWE so far and there seems to be little doubt now that she will become Raw women's champion.

There is an extremely strong possibility that will happen tonight. SummerSlam is WWE's second biggest event of the year and coronating Rousey as the ace of the women's division would make a huge splash in wrestling and - crucially - in the world beyond wrestling.

She would be on all of the morning talk shows promoting WWE. She would be carrying the company's title onto all of those shows, and it would be a topic of conversation when she is on the promotion trail for her new film, Mile 22. You can't be a price on publicity like that.

Rousey admits she needs to get better in the ring

But to suggest WWE would put the title on Ronda simply because of who she is, and her pubic profile as a legitimate sporting pioneer, is disingenuous at best and disrespectful at worst.

She has proved herself to be more than capable in the ring. This isn't David Arquette we're talking about. By her own admission, she still needs to make a lot of improvement, but her matches to this point have all been good, even if there have only been four of them.

The SummerSlam card is a stacked one. Superb matches and epic grudges fill the running order. But when the Brooklyn dust settles in the early hours of Monday morning, the main talking point could well belong to Rousey.

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