WWE SummerSlam 2017: 3 Potential Main Events Without Braun Strowman

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3. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

If Strowman can’t go for SummerSlam, then it opens up an opportunity for SmackDown Live to claim the main event scene. Since Raw has a lot of the talents that usually fit this description, WWE would have to go to arguably the best available option for this: AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.

Orton vs. Styles has taken place on Tuesday nights before, but on an episode caught in the middle of WrestleMania 33 season. With the Viper winning the title at the Show of Shows and Styles moving onto his second face run, it makes their previous encounter forgotten.

The Phenomenal One is a big-enough name to main event a WWE PPV, especially something like SummerSlam. Evidence of this can be seen at the 2016 SummerSlam event, where he defeated John Cena in one of the best matches of the year. Even at Royal Rumble, which was another bout against Cena, fits how big of a stage Styles can work.

Orton has been in the main event spot for over a decade and was in the headliner for last year’s SummerSlam. This saw him get destroyed by Lesnar, losing by TKO. So this is certainly the Apex Predator’s redemption tour.

If WWE chooses this match over something with Lesnar, it would be an upset. The Beast in a marquee name that doesn’t show up often, so WWE will likely look to bank on his price in the main event of its No. 2 show of 2017. That may leave Orton vs. Styles in a co-main event slot, but not the last match.