WWE rocked the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with one of the most dramatic SummerSlam’s in recent memories with attempted cash-ins, friendships falling apart and titles changing hands in dramatic fashion. But how did it stand up to recent efforts?
Rusev Day (Lana and Rusev) vs Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega
Result: Almas and Vega win via pinfall
Thoughts: One month ago, Rusev was facing AJ Styles for the WWE Title in the co-main event. Tonight; he competed in a mixed-tag match on the pre-show in front of a Barclay’s Center only 25% or so full. Some things are just not fair in life. The match was absolutely fine. That’s all you can really say. Just hope that everyone involved here gets more in the future but…we’ll just have to wait and see.
Cedric Alexander (c) vs Drew Gulak- WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Result: Alexander retains via pinfall
Thoughts: It infuriates me when they advertise main show matches during the pre-show matches. It was especially prominent here; if you’re complaining about people not caring about 205Live but then don’t show the match respect when it’s on TV; why should people? That being said, the crowd got into this and it was made better for it. This was as good as people expected it to be; the fantastic contrast of Cedric’s insane flips in comparison to Drew’s ground and pound attitude. The finishing sequence unfortunately featured a very minor botch with a pinfall but it was so good that it doesn’t matter. Really, really good advert for 205 Live.
The B-Team (c) vs The Revival- WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match
Result: B Team retain via pinfall
Thoughts: The story here was simple. The Revival completely segregated Bo Dallas away from Curtis Axel whilst simultaneously targeting Bo’s knee. And then Curtis got the hot tag, went through the Revival, Dawson had the match won and then Dallas fell into the cover which reversed the pin in order for the B-Team to retain. Look; I love the B-Team as much as the next guy, but I really wanted The Revival to win. PLEASE let them…do something. But yaay- B-TEAM, B-TEAM- GO, GO, GO!
Seth Rollins (c) w/Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler w/Drew McIntyre- WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Result: Rollins wins via pinfall- New Intercontinental Champion
Thoughts: What an utterly fantastic opener. Rollins has been the MVP of WWE, especially in PPV openers and then he just had the best one of the year. Ziggler and Rollins have already had fantastic matches, but this was their best to date. The chemistry between the two is easily apparent so we always knew it was going to be good. The added bonus of Drew and Dean on the outside kept things even more interesting and the finish was spectacular. Yes, we all wanted to see if Dean was going to be turning heel but- we have time for that. Tonight, the Kingslayer became the newest Intercontinental Champion.
Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs The New Day- WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match
Result: New Day win via disqualification- Bludgeon Brothers retain their titles
Thoughts: This was easily the best Bludgeon Brothers match we’ve seen. However- really poor ending. It works in terms of the story that, for the first time, the Bludgeon’s felt that their titles were under threat. However…it’s never great for a title match, at Summerslam, end in a DQ where the champions retain. So, a very fun match up until the finish so the grade is reflective of that fact. Additionally; Big E is a future WWE champion. He will absolutely kill it in the main event.
Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens- If Owens wins by any means, he is the new Mr Money in the Bank
Result: Strowman wins via pinfall in under three minutes
Thoughts: Well…that happened? I literally have no idea what that does…for anyone? It was ALREADY clear Strowman was a dominant wrecking ball that couldn’t be stopped. But Kevin Owens is…Kevin Owens?! Former NXT, Intercontinental, United States and Universal Champion?! That can kill all credibility to lose in such a squash. I absolutely hated that.
Carmella (c) vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair- WWE Smackdown Live Woman’s Championship Match
Result: Charlotte wins via pinfall- New Smackdown Woman’s Champion
Thoughts: For all the criticism Carmella has had in her career- this was probably her best performance to date. The suicide dive, intelligent heel tactics all came together in a really great showing. The match played consistently the story of Charlotte and Becky having to lock horns consistently. Charlotte eventually won with Natural Selection on Becky Lynch. Charlotte is a 7-time Woman’s champion…however.
Becky Lynch turns heel
Thoughts: This needed its own segment. The most. Justified heel turn. Ever. The anger, the emotion, the fury, the pain of being stuck behind the shadow of Charlotte Flair finally bubbled over and Becky absolutely lost it. Not only that- but the crowd absolutely detonated. Becky has been pushed around and always allowed Charlotte to take opportunities that were handed to her over Becky when she was as deserving. Becky Lynch is my favourite woman’s wrestlers ever so I know I’m biased but…good god, that was absolutely perfect and couldn’t have been executed better.
AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe- WWE Championship Match
Result: Joe wins via disqualification- AJ Retains the title
Thoughts: That was absolutely fantastic. THAT is how you do a DQ finish; it worked PERFECTLY. AJ was holding is his own with Joe throughout the entire battle but was in a constant battle with his own emotions. When Joe made…those comments to AJ’s wife; he did what ANY person would do when their partner/family member is insulted- he lost his mind. The match was already amazing but the finish made it even better. Joe vs Styles screams Hell in a Cell and will actually make sense for the stipulation for once. I absolutely cannot wait to see where this feud goes next and I have no idea what’s going to happen. Lovely stuff.
Thoughts: Highlight of the night. That was amazing. Elias is literally the best thing about WWE. That’s all.
The Miz vs Daniel Bryan
Result: Miz wins via pinfall after hitting Bryan in the head with Brass Knuckles
Thoughts: This was absolutely fantastic. The crowd was a bit exhausted but it, thankfully, didn’t take away from the match. It felt like a fight. The stiff kicks, punches, chops; everything felt real. The story of both men trading moves worked perfectly into the story and helped create defined characters; Miz being a cocky idiot who thinks he’s superior in every single way in comparison to Bryan taking risks, hitting crisper offence and being the all-round better competitor. Miz cheating with the brass knuckles added a perfect ending to a match that was clearly being used to further the story. It will make the eventual Bryan win that much sweeter when it comes. Apart from the New Day/Bludgeon Brothers finish and the Owens vs Strowman match, this PPV has been surprisingly great thus far.
Baron Corbin vs ‘The Demon’ Finn Balor
Result: ‘The Demon’ Finn Balor wins via pinfall
Thoughts: Having ‘The Demon’ come out of nowhere was an absolutely fantastic surprise and exactly how it should be used. Coming out of nowhere and just absolutely wrecking shop. Clearly, it was realised that no-one was interested in Corbin vs Balor AGAIN so they mixed it up and it worked great. Also, THAT’S how you do a squash match effectively- not what happened with Owens and Braun.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Jeff Hardy- WWE United States Championship Match
Result: Nakamura retains via pinfall
Thoughts: Not a whole lot to say about this one. Absolutely love Jeff Hardy so always love watching him wrestle but this was most likely the most predictable match of the night. The biggest talking point was the Swanton Bomb on the apron that Jeff missed- he should NOT be doing that at his age and with the condition of his body! Overall though; a pretty paint by numbers match and then the…weird post-match situation where Orton had a full entrance…came down to the ring…then just decided NOPE and went back through the curtain…very strange.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs Ronda Rousey- WWE RAW Woman’s Championship Match
Result: Rousey wins via submission- New Woman’s Champion
Thoughts: If there was ever a place for a squash match- it was here. There isn’t much I can say about this; Ronda is so naturally brilliant and fluid in the ring. Alexa’s selling was fantastic as usual- WHAT WAS THAT ARM THING- and then Ronda made her tap out instantly. Just really cool and very interesting to see where we go from here; for both Ronda and Alexa. Absolutely the right result.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns- WWE Universal Championship Match
Result: Reigns won via pinfall- New Universal Champion
Thoughts: Well this was mental!!!!! This was the best Roman vs Brock match we’ve had so far purely because we had no idea what was happening. Roman hitting everything right at the start but Lesnar grounding him created a clear divide between the two guys. Roman beating Lesnar clean was huge and a great end to that story. The introduction of Strowman before the match made everything tense and it was smart to have Lesnar take Strowman out. However, this then created an issue as it was clear the Strowman cash in was teased to prevent people from leaving. It left the final moment on a bit of a flat note as you were waiting for Braun to get up and cash in on Roman. Regardless, a mental main event.
Overall Thoughts: This show over-delivered and then some. I still personally preferred NXT due to the shorter show and better individual matches but this was a fantastic show; easily the best WWE PPV this year. Only one match was actually poor, Strowman vs Owens and only an additional one finish was frustrating. Four matches especially; Ziggler vs Seth, Miz vs Bryan, Joe vs Styles and Roman vs Brock were all fantastic and Becky’s heel turn was the cherry on the cake. I cannot wait for RAW and Smackdown Live to see where everything goes. Hats off to you WWE- fair play.