The cracks continue to show within the ranks of The Bloodline. Credit:

5 WWE Predictions Leading Up to SummerSlam 2023

Graham GSM Matthews

The aftermath from WrestleMania 39 has already proved to be eventful, and thus there's no telling what more WWE will have in store leading up to SummerSlam on August 5.

The introduction of the World Heavyweight Championship and the 2023 WWE draft shaking up the SmackDown and Raw rosters have far and away been the biggest highlights. Additionally, Backlash in Puerto Rico was a smashing success, and both Night of Champions on May 27 and Money in the Bank on July 1 are bound to be monumental events as well.

What can WWE possibly do to raise the bar for the long-running summer staple?

The returns of several Superstars should be imminent, and notable character shifts aren't out of the question, either. Lengthy title reigns could also be ended, not to mention that fresh faces can emerge at any time.

All of the unpredictability in WWE at the moment should result in stronger shows this summer season, with the next batch of significant storylines culminating at SummerSlam. These five predictions would ensure that the pay-per-view build is as interesting as possible.

The Usos Will Cement Their Split from The Bloodline

The demise of The Bloodline was greatly exaggerated en route to WrestleMania 39.

Although they didn't completely crumble at the event, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn did put a noticeable dent into the group by dethroning The Usos as the undisputed WWE tag team champions after nearly two years. The Usos have been off their game ever since.

Roman Reigns' reaction to their recent shortcomings on SmackDown wasn't exactly encouraging as far as his future with the faction. They should also take exception to Reigns booking himself for an opportunity at the tag titles in order to undermine them even more.

It's been a long time coming, but this summer should mark The Usos' breakup from The Bloodline.

If they remain united with Reigns going forward, they will simply serve as henchmen and nothing more. Them leaving their cousin's side would make him that much more vulnerable as champions and could perhaps plant the seeds with Solo Sikoa following suit as well.

This should begin with The Usos costing Reigns and Sikoa the tag titles at Night of Champions, lead to The Usos vs. Reigns and Sikoa at Money in the Bank, and build toward Reigns running it back with Jey Uso one-on-one at SummerSlam.

Charlotte Flair Will Challenge Bianca Belair

If you were wondering why Asuka and Bianca Belair rekindled their rivalry on Friday's SmackDown, it's because there aren't any other credible contenders waiting in the wings right now on SmackDown.

No one else is on Belair's level at the moment, and that's an indictment on the booking. It becomes increasingly clear by the week that WWE is merely killing time until Charlotte Flair is ready to return from her hiatus to have her challenge for the SmackDown Women's Championship, ideally at SummerSlam.

Amazingly, Flair is the one Four Horsewoman whom Belair has yet to conquer, and it's not as if they've never crossed paths before.

Flair beat Belair in their initial encounter on NXT in 2020, and their next match ended in a non-finish on Raw in November 2021. They have excellent chemistry together, so it would certainly be an attraction worthy of the SummerSlam stage.

Belair must overcome Flair if she intends on becoming one of the best women's champions in WWE history. If Flair wins, however, she'll be one step closer to making history and tying her father for most world titles won at 16.

Randy Orton Will Return to Reunite and Then Feud with Matt Riddle

To say Randy Orton has been sorely missed would be a massive understatement.

His absence from WWE has been felt by fans who have been anxiously awaiting his return to television for almost exactly one year now. There's no timetable for when he'll be back because of the severity of his injury, but SummerSlam season would be a prime time for him to resurface.

A feud with Cody Rhodes eventually would be logical given their history, but reuniting with Matt Riddle and re-forming RK-Bro upon his return would make the most sense. The two-time tag team champs have unfinished business and should team up for a time before the big split happens.

Of the two, Orton should be the one to go heel because of how naturally that role suits him.

Riddle would benefit from being the babyface in peril and having his best friend betray him despite the many teases of it happening earlier in their alliance. Doing it when the audience least expects it would make for an unforgettable moment.

Orton vs. Riddle could be a marquee match at SummerSlam if WWE was able to build it up enough in time.

Gunther Will Remain Intercontinental Champion Through the Summer

The more things change in WWE, the more they stay the same. That applies to Gunther's historic reign as intercontinental champion.

Truthfully, no championship is totally safe from changing hands in the next few months (including the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship). Gunther, on the other hand, should be considered safe given the circumstances.

The closest he came to dropping his prestigious prize was at WrestleMania when he defended against Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. That would have been the time to take the title off him and move him toward the top of the card, but WWE insisted on continuing his dominant run.

No one on Raw right now feels remotely ready to dethrone Gunther, so it only stands to reason that he hold the gold until September, when he can break The Honky Tonk Man's record as the longest-reigning intercontinental champ of all time.

If he has title defenses scheduled for Night of Champions, Money in the Bank and/or SummerSlam, expect him to reign supreme with the title in tow. Matt Riddle, Apollo Crews, and Johnny Gargano are potential opponents for him, but they will all fall before September.

Edge Will Have His Retirement Match at SummerSlam

A recent video posted by Edge on social media had the entire wrestling world talking ahead of Friday's SmackDown, where he competed in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament.

He noted how poetic it would be for him to retire as world champion for a second time, adding that his days in the ring are numbered. Unfortunately for The Rated-R Superstar, he fell short in the first round and left fans with no indication of what's next for him.

Per a December report from Fightful, Edge signed a multiyear deal with WWE in early 2020 and is expected to retire later this year. He has gone on record in saying that he would ideally like to retire in Toronto, and that seems to be a significant possibility before the summer concludes.

If not in Toronto, then one final match at SummerSlam at Detroit's Ford Field could be in the cards. He's already faced a handful of the newer talent during this run and has nothing to prove in the top-title picture. There's nothing stopping him from calling it quits in the next few months.

No Superstar on SmackDown stands out as being an obvious choice as his final opponent, but putting over someone such as LA Knight, Karrion Kross or Grayson Waller on his way out would be quite characteristic of the WWE Hall of Famer.

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.


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