The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused a lot of disruption to daily life and activities. One of the worst-affected sectors in this regard has been sports. Due to the various lockdown measures imposed around the world, hosting sporting events became impossible. Every major sporting event was either postponed, suspended or cancelled. The severity of this crisis can be seen from the fact that this year was the first time since the Second World War that Wimbledon was not held. The Olympics, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, were pushed back by a year, as was the European Championships football tournament. Various domestic and international tournaments were all suspended as well. It is only now, since June, that we are seeing live sports resume to some extent. Of course, having fans in attendance is out of the question at the moment, but the likes of football and cricket have resumed their respective competitions, and other sports are looking to follow suit. The NBA is going to start with its matches in Florida, with the players and teams being held in a bio-secure bubble. This news will be music to the ears of sports fans, who have had to make do without live sports for more than three months in some cases, and will also allow fans to be able to make bets as well on sports games at real online casinos in Canada and other sports betting websites.
One sporting franchise that has been a constant through the pandemic is WWE. The entertainment brand is set to return to screens with its SummerSlam pay-per-view event on 23rd August. It will be held at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, in the absence of fans, but it still promises to be the spectacle that all WWE events usually are. One of the marquee matches that was supposed to be part of the lineup for this edition of SummerSlam was to be the face-off between Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre. Lesnar has not been seen on any of the WWE shows since he lost the WWE Championship to McIntyre back at WrestleMania 36, but he was scheduled to fight McIntyre again at SummerSlam. However, the ongoing pandemic and related restrictions look like making that bout impossible for now.
Lesnar resides in Canada, and with non-essential travel between Canada and the United States suspended at the moment due to the pandemic, it is not clear if the WWE will get permission to bring Lesnar over. Given the spread of the virus in the United States at the moment, it is unlikely that Lesnar will be allowed to travel across the border, leaving the WWE with a very tricky decision in terms of filling his spot for SummerSlam.
While fans will be tremendously disappointed to be denied a rematch, there is still some hope for a big marquee match at this summer’s event. Reports claim that the WWE is lining up Randy Orton as an opponent for McIntyre instead of Lesnar, with Orton’s own match against Edge at SummerSlam being ruled out due to an injury to Edge. WWE is going to set up the storyline for the Orton vs McIntyre match in the next few weeks, once McIntyre’s defence of his title against former tag team partner Dolph Ziggler is done with on Monday Night Raw this coming week.
As stated earlier, there will be a lot of disappointment that Lesnar and McIntyre’s fight will not materialize any time soon. However, Orton is a huge name in his own right as well, and so an Orton vs McIntyre fight will also be the marquee that SummerSlam was hoping for.