Here are all of the juiciest rumors ahead of WWE SummerSlam 2021. Wrestling has been more affected than most entertainment mediums over the past 14 months. Sport can be competed behind closed doors, while TV shows and movies can take precautions to continue filming. Occupying that strange middle ground between the two, however, wrestling draws heavily from the presence of a live crowd, and the industry has struggled to compensate. WWE has endured empty arenas and Thunderdomes to varying levels of success, but with fans trickling back in, Vince McMahon's battle barn is firing on all thrusters once again.

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Starting with Money In The Bank, WWE has been making every effort to claw back viewers who might've dropped off while superstars were slapping each other's chests to the echo of an empty building. Goldberg will challenge current WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (assuming he defeats the locker room door on his way there), while John Cena is taking a break from his movie career to dance with Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Traditionally one of WWE's "Big Four" annual events, the company is viewing SummerSlam almost as a WrestleMania do-over - the start of an exciting new chapter with fans back in tow.

Related: Why WWE Should Stop Using Hulk Hogan

Of course, this means WWE has big plans for SummerSlam 2021, and wrestling buffs are busy speculating what those might be. And with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk both heavily linked with rivals AEW, WWE might be extra keen to pull some surprises of their own. These are the major rumors emerging ahead of this year's SummerSlam jamboree.

Becky Lynch Is Back (& Wants Her Title)

Becky Lynch at WWE Summerslam

Known for an endearing sense of self-awareness, Becky Lynch has been teasing her return for some time, posting not-so-cryptic clues ahead of Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, only to be missing from those events entirely. Becky took a break from wrestling after Money In The Bank 2020, revealing she was pregnant, but since the child's birth in December, The Man has been routinely posting workout pictures ahead of an in-ring return. Thanks to her social media hi-jinks, there's no telling when that might be, but all indications point toward a Becky Lynch comeback sooner rather than later, and where better than in front of SummerSlam's roaring crowd?

Current rumors have Lynch Raw-bound, and that would certainly make more sense looking at WWE's current title picture. The Raw Women's Championship is currently held by Nikki A.S.H., but she's in a precarious Triple Threat against Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley at SummerSlam 2021. Should Nikki drop her title to Flair, the heat on WWE's 11-time champ would be nuclear, paving the way for Lynch to emerge as Charlotte's first challenger.

The Rock Begins A Feud With Roman Reigns

The Rock and Becky Lynch in WWE

It's surely only a matter of time until The Rock is cooking something up in WWE once again. The People's Champ hasn't competed in a proper match since 2013, though his last televised appearance came as recently as October 2019 alongside the aforementioned Becky Lynch and Baron Corbin. With WWE looking to strengthen its mainstream appeal and The Rock's movie career showing no signs of losing momentum, it's a matter of scheduling for Dwayne and Vince but, according to rumors, WWE has a feud with Roman Reigns planned if and when Rocky does swagger home.

Related: How Long Has The Rock Been Out Of WWE?

Reigns and Johnson aren't blood-related, but share a close bond outside of the ring, and consider themselves cousins. Currently WWE's Universal Champion, Reigns is enjoying the form of his life, but is rapidly running out of legit challengers to face after John Cena (which will very likely be part of the SummerSlam card). Assuming Reigns sends Peacemaker back to Hollywood, the self-appointed "Head of the Table" could deliver a promo about "beating movie stars," only for The Rock to appear and declare himself Roman's next opponent.

John Cena Breaks Ric Flair's Record

John Cena - Money in the Bank 2021

John Cena and Roman Reigns throwing down for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2021 looks a dead cert, and the safe money's on Roman Reigns to Roman Retains. But what if he loses?

John Cena is currently tied with Ric Flair at 16 championship titles (as long as you stop counting Flair's at 16, that is), and one would imagine WWE would like Cena to take that crown before Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, Respect hangs up his boots. With an accelerating movie career, John Cena surely doesn't have many more title matches in his future, and besting Reigns at SummerSlam 2021 could be WWE's only shot at giving the biggest wrestling star of the past 10 years his richly-deserved record. Recent episodes of Raw and Smackdown have also confirmed that John Cena will be sticking around in WWE longer than most fans assumed, suggesting a SummerSlam title win isn't out of the question. Just very, very unlikely.

Brock Lesnar Returns

Another name WWE are rumored to want back on their books is Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate was last spotted dropping the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36, after which his contract with the company expired, and there's been precious little update to his status since. According to rumor, WWE wants Lesnar as part of its pandemic bounce-back strategy, but the man himself either has no interest in wrestling to an empty crowd, or hasn't been offered the right money.

Related: Why Ric Flair Is Really A 21-Time World Champion (Not 16 Like WWE Says)

Now that crowds are back for WWE, a Lesnar appearance is looking more likely, and SummerSlam is the kind of big stage a superstar of his magnitude demands. Two potential angles present themselves - either Brock faces Roman Reigns, fresh from victory over John Cena, and the pair feud over who Paul Heyman loves most, or Lesnar confronts Bobby Lashley after the WWE Champion's expected match against Goldberg.

Edge vs. Rollins

Edge and Seth Rollins in WWE

In the excitement of Money In The Bank 2021's Reigns/Cena setup, Seth Rollins being primed for a match against Edge fell criminally under the radar. The Rated-R Superstar has been enjoying a career resurgence since an unlikely comeback from injury in 2020, and Edge has previously spoken of his admiration for Rollins as a performer. With Reigns' attention now drawn toward a John Cena-shaped silhouette, Edge is free to mix it up with the Monday Night Messiah, who interfered in his Money In The Bank title shot. The pair have been brawling all over recent episodes of WWE Smackdown, and fans look to be getting a bona fide dream match that felt all but impossible only 2 short years ago. SummerSlam headlines might be favoring John Cena, but Edge vs. Seth Rollins could easily steal the show.

WWE's Audience Plans May Be Scuppered

Big E in WWE

A slightly less exciting rumor, but one that could potentially impact SummerSlam 2021 significantly. With fans in seats once again, SummerSlam was going to be the "biggest party of the summer" and celebrate a return to normality at Nevada's Allegiant Stadium. Taking place on a Saturday night, SummerSlam 2021 will be aired in theaters, as well as being available through the usual streaming platforms, but the assumption that COVID-19 is no longer a threat might've bitten WWE, as Nevada's governor recently confirmed an indoor mask mandate encompassing the country where Allegiant Stadium is located. This could mean fans in attendance at SummerSlam 2021 are required to wear face masks, and while this should bear no impact on the show itself, a WWE crowd going back to wearing masks doesn't exactly fit with the on-air "we're back to normal" message that has been in place since Money In The Bank.

Banks Vs. Belair II

Bianca Belair in WWE

Sasha Banks' last WWE title match came at WrestleMania 37 in April 2021, where she lost the WWE Smackdown Women's Championship to Bianca Belair in one of night 1's best bouts, after which she took a hiatus. However, marketing for an upcoming non-televised event announced Sasha for an August 13 live date, seemingly confirming The Boss will be back in time for SummerSlam 2021. Now Banks is officially back on Smackdown, where else to head other than straight toward a Belair rematch?

Related: WWE Bringing Back John Cena For SummerSlam Reinforces Their Biggest Problem

The whip-happy champ recently admitted she was prepared for a "surprise" opponent at SummerSlam 2021, and Belair has already felt the sharp end of Sasha Banks' treacherous streak after a one-night alliance went sour. With Bayley out injured, Banks vs. Belair looks like the most obvious/only WWE Smackdown Women's Championship match available, but it's hard to imagine Banks being beaten by the K.O.D. twice in a row, especially after her grand return. If the match goes ahead, Sasha could be walking away with the gold.

A Snoop Dogg Cameo

Snoop Dogg on AEW

In related Sasha Banks news, Snoop Dogg could be in line for a brief cameo at WWE SummerSlam 2021. The legendary rapper has a long association with Vince McMahon's promotion, but landed himself in hot water by appearing on AEW back in January, where he performed something vaguely resembling a frog splash. It should surprise absolutely no one that Snoop Dogg cares little for inter-promotional wrestling rivalries and, sure enough, he's now back in the WWE fold, promoting a SummerSlam mobile game tie-in. Since Snoop is already involving himself in the SummerSlam build, he might be tempted by an invitation to the Biggest Party of the Summer itself, perhaps accompanying Sasha Banks upon her return, or introducing the show as a host of sorts. WWE might even one-up AEW by letting him try a Moonsault.

More: Every Wrestler Fired By WWE in 2021 (So Far)

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