It’s time for the 31st edition of WWE SummerSlam headlined by a familiar match as Roman Reigns faced Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title while other matches included Daniel Bryan taking on The Miz, Alexa Bliss against Ronda Rousey and a Dolph Ziggler-Seth Rollins opening match.
I wrote this live when it took place and remains untouched.
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
August 19, 2018
There were three matches on the Kickoff Show. I’m not going to write detailed reviews because the first two I saw while preparing and eating dinner. The third one I saw when I finally got to sit at my laptop to write about the show.
Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega vs. Rusev and Lana
It had mixed tag rules, so guys against guys and girls against girls. Vega won for her team with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with her feet on the ropes with the ref not seeing it. The finish was weak and looked sloppy.
Winners by pinfall: Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega
Analysis: *3/4 The match was just decent. Weak finish. I assume they will do a rematch on Smackdown and then have Rusev and Lana get the win or maybe Aiden English costs them the match on purpose.
Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak
They had a technical wrestling match since that’s the style of wrestler Gulak is. Gulak kept going for submissions, but he couldn’t make Alexander tap out. The finishing sequence saw them each going for pinfalls, Alexander ended on top with a pin where he hooked the legs and won.
Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander
Analysis: **1/4 Average stuff here. Nothing against Gulak, but putting Alexander against a guy like Buddy Murphy would have been a better match to showcase the cruiserweights. A reader mentioned to me that maybe they’ll save Murphy’s win for the Australia show since he’s an Aussie, so that makes sense. I like that idea.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The B Team vs. The Revival
It was the same story as most B Team matches in the last few months. The Revival were in control for most of the match, The B Team worked as the faces and the finish saw Bo Dallas get pushed onto Dawson, who was trying to pin Curtis Axel and Axel ended up on top for the inside cradle pin.
Winners by pinfall: The B Team
Analysis: ** A standard tag team match with a cheap finish. I thought The B Team would win since they are faces now and I think the Authors of Pain will be the team to beat them for the titles.
All three matches ended in rollups/cradles. Is this show sponsored by Fruit Rollups? No, but it should be. I don’t know why they are repeating finishes. Anyway, the Kickoff Show matches were skippable. Last year we got a four star match with The Usos vs. The New Day, but there was nothing close to that this year.
The Kickoff Show panel talked about Reigns/Lesnar for a few minutes in the lead up to the start of the main show at 7pmET.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were shown walking backstage. The opening match at SummerSlam is Dolph Ziggler w/Drew McIntyre for the IC Title vs. Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose. They main evented last PPV. They open this one.
SummerSlam Main Pay-Per-View
The opening video package featured actor Terry Crews doing a pep talk welcoming us to an epic SummerSlam while highlights aired of WWE superstars in action. It was a very good video that WWE released on Youtube a few days ago. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
There was a shot of the crowd in Brooklyn looking like a packed house. Michael Cole said there were 16,169 fans on hand. They had a number in the 14,000 range for NXT one night earlier, so there was a difference although WWE uses fake numbers. It doesn’t matter.
Dean “Jacked” Ambrose entered first to a big ovation. The crowd was happy to see him back in action even though he’s not in a match. Seth Rollins also got a big ovation. Dolph Ziggler, the Intercontinental Champion, entered along with his buddy Drew McIntyre.
The Raw announce team is at ringside with Michael Cole, Jonathon Coachman and Corey Graves, who is on both announce teams. The Spanish and German announce teams were at ringside telling you to visit TJRWrestling.net daily while also telling us they hope nobody breaks their damn tables.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins (w/Dean Ambrose)
Ziggler has tights where the IC Title is painted around at the top of the tights around his waist. That’s clever. McIntyre tried to get involved, so Ambrose got in his face to prevent something from happening. Ziggler went for a superkick, Rollins avoided it and Ziggler bailed to the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins with a hip toss, so Ziggler bailed to the floor again. Rollins got in the face of McIntyre as they must have talked about their black hair and beard looks. Ambrose went up to Ziggler, so Ziggler went into the ring. Rollins told McIntyre “it’s a different ballgame now” leading to Rollins hitting a clothesline on Ziggler. Rollins on the apron, Ziggler kicked the ropes to stun Rollins with his knee hitting the ropes and Ziggler hit a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler sent Rollins face first into the turnbuckle. Ziggler whipped Rollins into the turnbuckle leading to Rollins doing an upside down Flair bump over the top to the floor. Ambrose got in McIntyre’s face again. Back in the ring, Ziggler with a headlock that kept Rollins on the mat for about two minutes. Rollins got back to his feet with a jawbreaker. Rollins charged, Ziggler ducked and gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. The announcers immediately diagnosed Rollins with about ten injuries all at once. Back in, Ziggler went up top, he jumped off with a cross body block and Rollins did a suplex that sent both guys over the top to the floor. The pace in the first ten minutes of the match was slow. You can tell they are going long.
They went back in the ring with Rollins hitting a Slingblade. Rollins with two running forearms and Ziggler with an inside cradle for two. Rollins to the middle rope with a Blockbuster that was good for a two count. Rollins went up top, Ziggler went into the ropes to knock Rollins down to crotch him on the top and Rollins hit a headbutt that knocked Ziggler down. Ziggler rolled to the other side of the ring, so Rollins hit a clothesline that sent Ziggler out of the ring and Rollins hit a suicide dive. Rollins with a springboard clothesline off the top and a ripcord knee to the face by Rollins got a two count. They battled by the ropes again, Ziggler with a sleeper and Rollins threw him off to send Ziggler to the apron. Ziggler drove Rollins neck first into the top rope to take him down. Ziggler told him “now we finish this” so Rollins went for a catapult, but Ziggler kicked Rollins into the ring post and Ziggler hit a leaping DDT on Rollins on the apron. Ouch. That drew a big pop. Rollins got back into the ring before the ref’s count reached ten. Ziggler wanted the Zig Zag, Rollins held onto the ropes and Rollins kicked Ziggler in the jaw. Rollins up top with a Frog Splash, Ziggler got his knees up and a pin attempt by Ziggler got a two count. That was a good nearfall. Ziggler worked over Rollins with punches, Ziggler kicked the knee, but Rollins caught Ziggler by the turnbuckle. Ziggler elbowed Rollins to the mat, Rollins popped back up and Rollins hit a reverse Superplex into a Falcon Arrow slam (or more like a sidewalk slam, but that’s when he usually does a Falcon Arrow) for a two count. The crowd gave them a standing ovation for that. Rollins wanted The Stomp, McIntyre sent Ambrose into the ring post and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for a two count. Rollins was bleeding by the left side of his head, so the ref put on the rubber gloves. The match was around 20 minutes by this point. The match continued with Rollins and Ziggler each getting rollups. Rollins picked up Ziggler and hit a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. McIntyre on the apron, Ambrose kicked him and hit a Dirty Deeds DDT on the floor. Rollins with a superkick on Ziggler. Rollins with The Stomp on Ziggler and he covered for the pinfall win at 22:01.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ****1/4 That was an excellent opening match. It was a lot of fun I think the first ten minutes This Rollins/Ziggler match was a lot better than their Extreme Rules main event. The last ten minutes were great. I liked the story of McIntyre trying to interfere, Ambrose stopped him like he was supposed to do and Rollins ended up getting the win with The Stomp (still needs a better name) for the victory. Awesome opener and possibly the match of the night. I picked Rollins to win the title because I don’t think Ambrose should turn heel until the new year around the Royal Rumble. Save it. Let Rollins have another run as champion.
After the match was over, Rollins celebrated with the IC Title while Ambrose stood beside him. Ziggler and McIntyre were outside the ring as the losers.
A commercial aired for WWE2K19 with Ronda Rousey.
A commercial aired for the Tap Sports Baseball game that is a fun game on your phone.
The Bella Twins duo of Nikki and Brie were interviewed backstage by Renee Young. Brie said WWE is a big part of their lives and Nikki wanted to witness history. Nikki said they are focused on all their products and reality shows, which led to Brie plugging their reality TV shows. Nikki spoke about how they are there to have fun and witness Ronda Rousey making history to become the Raw Women’s Champion. Brie said they were a part of the women’s evolution and they want to see what happens. Nikki said they’ll be front row to witness history.
Analysis: The rumor is Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella at Evolution, so it may be teased later. I missed Nikki. Brie is okay too, I guess.
The Smackdown team took over with Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton in a ridiculous jacket and Corey Graves as the announcers. The New Day entered for their Tag Team Title match against The Bludgeon Brothers, who entered last as the champions.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E) w/Kofi Kingston
The heel champions were in control early. Harper with an impressive dropkick on Woods to start the match. Rowan tagged in with a splash on Woods for a two count. Harper back in with a senton splash on Woods. Harper and Rowan took out Big E by knocking him to the floor and Rowan slammed Harper on Big E on the floor. Rowan tossed Woods out of the ring. Rowan picked up Woods, but Woods punched to escape from Rowan and Woods with a headscissors that sent Harper into the steel steps. It was more than ten seconds, but the ref was doing a very slow count. Big E kicked Rowan and Big E got the tag with a belly to belly suplex on both guys on the floor. The belly to belly on Harper looked nasty with Harper landing on his head, but Harper got back up fine. Big E with a belly to belly on Harper in the ring and a running splash. Harper with a sitout slam for two on Big E. Rowan tagged back in, Big E sent him into the ring post, Harper wit ha superkick on Big E and Woods with a running somersault dive over the top to take out Rowan. Harper with a spinning slam on Harper on the floor. Big E with a running splash on Harper on the apron to take him down on the floor. That was a crazy sequence. Rowan with a running cross body block on Big E on the floor. Harper and Rowan picked up Big E with a double team Crucifix Bomb for two because Woods made the save. Woods with a kick to Rowan, Woods tagged in and kicked Harper. Rowan held Woods and Harper hit a sitout Powerbomb on Woods for a two count. Rowan took down Kingston on the floor. Big E followed up with a Big Ending slam on Rowan on the floor. Big E tag, Harper kicked Woods out of the ring and Harper kicked Big E. Big E with a one armed slam on Harper onto the knees of Woods on the floor. That was a crazy spot. Back in the ring, Woods got the tag for his team and Woods climbed up top, but Harper left the ring. The fans stood as Woods thought about it and Woods hit an Elbow Drop off the top onto Harper on the floor. Harper was laying on the floor. That looked impressive. Woods rolled Harper back in the ring, Big E picked up Harper and Woods was slow to climb up, so Rowan hit Woods with a mallet to the face. That led to a disqualification. The fans booed the cheap attack. It went 9:45.
Winners by disqualification: The New Day (The Bludgeon Brothers are still Smackdown Tag Team Champions)
Post match, Rowan hit Big E in the face with the mallet and he hit him in the stomach as well. Harper hit Big E with a mallet as well.
Analysis: *** That was an exciting match for the time given. I liked the pacing of the match because they knew they were going about ten minutes, so it wasn’t the kind of match where a guy sits in a headlock for five minutes. There were a lot of tags, they built up to some exciting nearfalls and the crowd was into it for the comebacks from The New Day. The disqualification finish is a bit disappointing because you want to see a finish in a PPV match, but I think the build to this match was just average and now they will have more of a story going into a rematch with New Day seeking revenge. The mallets look cheesy and don’t really fit in today’s WWE, but it is what it is. It doesn’t bother me that much.
A commercial aired for Total Divas. It features women complaining about their lives and grown women acting like idiots because cameras are on them. One of the scenes was Rusev and Lana having sex on the beach (they had to digitize her body parts) and then they were being admonished by a guy in WWE about acting professional. In other words, typical Total Divas.
There was a shot of 2015 SummerSlam host Jon Stewart at ringside with his son.
The video package aired for Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens. Strowman has made Owens life hell, so Stephanie McMahon gave Owens a match to win the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Kevin Owens made his entrance. He’s got a cool shirt with “KO” in the Money in the Bank green colors along with text in the gold colors. Braun Strowman entered to a huge ovation with the Money in the Bank briefcase in his hands.
Money in the Bank Contract Match: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens
Strowman can lose the contract by pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification.
Strowman started the match with two running splashes against the turnbuckle. Owens left the ring, so Owens ran around the ring with a shoulder tackle. Strowman with another shoulder with Owens doing a flip bump to sell it. They left the ring with Owens hitting a superkick, which Strowman no sold. Strowman picked up Owens hit a Chokeslam on the bottom of the steel ramp. The referee checked on Owens. That sounded brutal. Back in the ring, Strowman picked up Owens and hit a Running Powerslam for the pinfall win at 1:50.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: * Easy win for Strowman with Owens only connecting with a superkick, which Strowman didn’t sell. Strowman winning in dominant fashion is what I predicted. I wrote that it should be five minutes because I think they should put the Universal Title on Strowman at the end of the night. It sucks for Owens, but this is all about putting over Strowman strong and I think it’s the right call. I understand some people being mad that it was not a real match, but sometimes when you want to push somebody the right way like Strowman, others must do the job in quick fashion.
Post match, Strowman celebrated with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
A clip aired from WWE stars at a Be A Star rally with some kids.
The Smackdown Women’s Title match is up next with the clips of Carmella losing non-title matches to Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to set up this triple threat.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance. She was wearing a brand-new robe that was pink/red and she had red boots that she tweeted about before the show. Becky Lynch got a nice ovation for her entrance. Carmella was wearing pink and black colors likely in honor of her friend Natalya’s late father Jim Neidhart. They stood in the ring for the introductions for a championship match.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch
The first fall wins the match. There are no countouts or disqualifications in a triple threat.
Carmella started with trash talk early, Lynch with a kick to Carmella and a running leg drop, but another leg drop missed. Carmella dropkick got one as Flair broke up the pin attempt. Carmella shoved Flair into Lynch and Carmella got a rollup for two. Lynch with a hip toss on Carmella and Flair kicked Lynch out of the ring. Lynch got a rollup on Flair for two. Flair with a bridging pin for two, Lynch got back with two arm drags. Rollup by Flair. Lynch got back into it, Carmella pulled Flair out of the ring and Carmella sent Flair into the ring post. Lynch tried an attack on the floor, so Carmella shoved Lynch into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Carmella got a two count on Lynch. Carmella slapped on a headlock on Lynch while Flair was on the floor. Carmella with a running clothesline on Lynch. Flair back in, so Carmella pulled her down by the hair for a two count. Carmella slapped on a headlock on Flair. Lynch back in and Carmella remained in control with a dropkick followed by more trash talk from Carmella. Carmella taunted Lynch some more, Flair back in with a kick for Carmella, but she moved and Flair kicked Lynch out of the ring by accident. Flair worked over Carmella with chops, two overhead suplexes and a belly to back suplex by Flair followed by a kip up. Lynch back up with a knee to Flair while on the apron. Lynch up top with a double dropkick with Carmella and Flair going down even though she didn’t hit Flair. Lynch with a running leg lariat on Flair sent her out of the ring. Lynch with a forearm on Carmella and a Bexploder suplex. Lynch up top, Carmella grabbed the rope and hit a headscissors off the top for two. Flair got back into it with a Spear on Carmella with Lynch also going down and Flair covered both women for a two count on each. The crowd was not that into this match. Carmella sent Flair into the middle turnbuckle. Carmella set up Flair on the top, Carmella took her time and Flair countered by pulling her legs down. Flair slapped on a Boston Crab submission, but Carmella held on. Flair slapped on a Figure Four Leglock on Carmella. Lynch up top with a leg drop to Flair for a two count with Carmella breaking up the pin attempt.
They all stayed down for a bit. Carmella managed to clear the ring and she was all alone with a suicide dive under the bottom rope to take out Lynch on the floor. Flair went up top, Carmella and Lynch stood there waiting for her as Flair hit a corkscrew moonsault that mostly hit Carmella. That was impressive, but it looks bad when the other two women wait there on the floor. Back in the ring, Lynch avoided the Natural Selection and Lynch slapped on the Disarmer. Carmella broke it up. Lynch dumped Carmella out of the ring. Lynch with a uranage slam with Carmella breaking up the pin at two. Carmella back in and she sent Lynch into the middle turnbuckle. Carmella with a superkick for two as Flair made the save. Carmella kicked Flair out of the ring. Lynch went for the arm, superkick by Carmella and Lynch slapped on the Disarmer on Carmella, but Carmella reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Lynch with a Bexploder suplex. Disarmer by Lynch again on Carmella, who was lcose to taping out and Flair back in with a Natural Selection neckbreaker on Lynch for the pinfall win at 15:15.
Winner by pinfall and New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: ***1/4 The match was pretty good and they got plenty of time with Carmella showing that she could hang with the two women that are considered better wrestlers. Lynch came close to winning a few times and the crowd wanted her to win, but it was Flair who capitalized on the situation to get the win. I thought the finish was well done in terms of accomplishing the goal of what they did after the match. I thought Carmella would win due to issues with Flair and Lynch, but instead the reign of Carmella ended with Charlotte getting back the title. It seems like Charlotte is always holding a title since this is her seventh reign on the main roster already in three years.
Post match, Lynch looked sad after the loss while Carmella left. Flair hugged Lynch. They let go and hugged again. Lynch let go and punched Flair in the head. The crowd cheered Lynch! Lynch sent Charlotte into the barricade at ringside. Lynch tossed Charlotte over the announce table leading to a hard landing for Flair. Fans chanted “you deserve it” at Flair as Lynch walked to the back. The doctors checked on Flair, who was sitting up telling them she was fine, but she was emotional because of what Lynch did.
Analysis: The attack by Lynch was not a shock. I thought if Charlotte was going to win then it would make sense to have Lynch attack out of jealousy. The story is that the crowd was totally supportive of Lynch because they wanted to her to win while they see Charlotte as somebody that’s always around the title. I’m excited about Lynch as a heel, but it wouldn’t shock me if WWE actually listened to the crowd and made Charlotte the heel in the storyline. Charlotte did nothing wrong or heelish because she just took advantage of the situation to win the match. It was just a case of the fans wanting Lynch to win. I’m excited to see how they book this on Smackdown to see if Charlotte is more of the heel. Either way, it should lead to Charlotte and Becky in a big feud that hopefully leads to a match at Evolution in October and perhaps Hell in a Cell before that.
(WWE wanted Lynch to be the heel. The fans did not. It took a few weeks, but as the feud continued Lynch was the face and Flair was the heel.)
Next up is the WWE Title match with AJ Styles defending the gold against Samoa Joe. A video package aired to set it up.
Samoa Joe entered first as the challenger with fans chanting “Joe” for his song. AJ Styles was up next to a loud ovation as usual. There was a shot of AJ Styles’ wife Wendy and their daughter in the crowd. Styles also has three sons, which I know because he’s got all the birthdays tattooed on his side. They stood in the ring for the introductions since it’s a title match.
Samoa Joe made a special introduction. Joe said that tonight, joining them… “Hey Wendy, how you doing? And I see she brought your lovely daughter Annie too.” Joe said “daddy” is coming home tonight. Styles grabbed the microphone and said that his family is there to see Styles kick Joe’s ass.
Analysis: Don’t say ass in front of a child! What kind of parenting is that? Kidding. Maybe.
WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
Some fans chanted “TNA” as the match begin, so that was an interesting chant you don’t hear very often. Both men made their names in TNA before WWE. There was a slow start in the first few minutes with some posturing going on. Joe with a kick to the legs that took down Styles. When Joe went for a forearm, Styles avoided it, hit a kick, Joe with chops and Styles hit a dropkick after Joe ran the ropes. Styles ran the ropes leading to a running punch to the face of Joe leading to Joe going to the floor. Styles with a dropkick that kept Joe out of the ring. Styles went for a running knee while on the apron, but Joe avoided it and kicked Styles on the apron to take him down. Joe worked over Styles with kicks. Styles was on the floor, Joe ran the ropes and hit a suicide dive into a forearm that sent Styles into the announce table. That was a nasty looking bump for Styles. Back in the ring, Joe got a two count and slapped on a head vice submission. When Styles broke free, Joe hit a stiff clothesline for a two count. Styles and Joe exchanged forearm shots, Styles bounced off the ropes and punched Joe out of the ring. Styles with a slingshot dive over the top to take out Joe with a forearm while on the floor. They went back inside the ring with Joe hitting a stiff forearm to the face. When Joe charged in, Styles kicked him in the head, chops, a clothesline and a running forearm by Styles. Corner clothesline by Styles, back elbow to the face and Styles hit the flip off the ropes into the reverse DDT for a two count.
Styles set up Joe on the top rope, Joe was seated up there, Joe knocked him off with a headbutt and Joe jumped off with a leg lariat off the middle ropes for a two count. That was impressive from the near 300 pounder. Joe with an atomic drop, boot to the face and a senton splash got a two count. Styles came back with a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker, but Styles really didn’t connect with the knee to the back. Styles was grabbing at his left knee. The fans chanted “AJ Styles” and “Samoa Joe” for both guys. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, Joe moved and Joe got a two count with a spinning powerslam. That was impressive. Styles got back up with a kick to the shoulder and Styles connected with a Styles Clash that was only good for a two count. That looked nasty because he barely connected with it, but Joe managed to kick out in time. Styles worked over Joe with punches, Joe hit Styles with palm strikes and Styles hit a Pele Kick. Joe came back with a uranage slam. Both guys were down. The crowd was really getting into this. The crowd chanted for both men again. Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher submission on Joe’s left leg. Joe broke free by slamming the back of Styles’ head into the mat repeatedly. Joe turned it into a Coquina Clutch submission. Styles managed to break free and got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Joe was frustrated by it. Joe set up Styles on the top rope, he teased a Muscle Buster, Styles fought back with punches and Joe hit a leaping kick that sent Styles off the top rope to the floor. Joe whipped Styles face first into the steel steps. Joe grabbed the microphone: “I made you a promise that daddy was coming home, it looks like he is not, but I’ll be your new daddy.” Styles got back up, he was furious, he was bleeding from the head and tackled Joe off the announce table through the barricade at ringside. Styles attacked some guys by the timekeeper’s table. Styles grabbed a steel chair and hit Joe in the back. Styles hit Joe in the back with the chair again. The ref called for the bell after the first chair shot. The match went 22:45.
Winner by disqualification: Samoa Joe (AJ Styles is still WWE Champion)
Analysis: **** That was a very good WWE Title match between a fighting champion in Styles and an aggressive challenger Samoa Joe. I liked the way the match was structured even though the crowd was not that into it early on. They got into it as each guy hit the big moves throughout the match. It was a nice story with Joe kicking out of the Styles Clash and then Styles got to the ropes during the Coquina Clutch submission attempt. When Joe made his comments on the announce table, Styles was furious and it led to the DQ finish that should set up a rematch. I’m all for the rematch because this felt like the start of the rivalry. I thought Joe was going to win the title because of Styles being distracted by Joe’s taunts to AJ’s family, but instead, it is Joe winning by disqualification. I think Joe will be the one to take the title from Styles whether it’s at the next PPV or later in the year.
After the match was over, the fans were chanting “who’s your daddy?” Styles had the chair in his hands and he hit Joe in the back one more time. Officials went up to Styles to stop him. Styles went over to his wife and daughter in the crowd. AJ’s daughter said, “daddy, you’re bleeding.” He picked up his daughter and said I’m sorry. Styles left through the crowd with his wife and daughter.
There were replays of the key spots in the match. Joe had a serious look on his face and he looked angry about what happened. Joe left on his own.
Analysis: The “who’s your daddy?” chant was well timed. It was funny especially after what Joe said to Wendy. What WWE isn’t mentioning is that Joe is married with kids of his own, but Styles has yet to talk about it because it’s mostly Joe doing it because he is a heel.
There was a commercial for content that’s coming on WWE Network in the next few months.
Elias was ready to begin one of his concerts on the stage. I’m still writing about the match before it, so I won’t be that detailed. Sorry to him. Elias bragged about his album and then insulted the crowd for being disgusting New Yorkers. Elias tried to play a song, then his guitar broke and fans chanted “you deserve it” and “you fucked up” at him. Elias was mad about it and that ended the segment.
Analysis: That was a waste of time to give the crowd a break. I liked the crowd chants. I wish I timed by bathroom break better to make it happen during this segment. I figured Lashley would come out to kick his ass, but no sign of it, so maybe the story will be Lashley broke the guitar before the show and it’s revealed on Raw. I don’t know.
The Miz was shown walking backstage in a ridiculous outfit. The B Team duo were there as Miz talked to his Miztourage. Miz said if they want to fetch his limo and celebrate after his match, he’s good with that. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel said they had celebrating to do, Dallas said they are the B Team and B stands for Daniel Bryan. Axel said that they hope Bryan shuts Miz’ mouth for good. Dallas said that Miz had a reality show called “Miz and Mers” instead of Mrs. and said they had Total Fellas, but with a “B” so he said Total Bellas. B Team did their chant to end it.
Analysis: That was some mild comedy designed to show that B Team are faces now. I chuckled a bit.
It’s Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz up next. The long video package aired to show their history going back to 2010 up until this match.
The Miz made his entrance first. He’s still announced as being from Hollywood, California even though he’s got a popular reality show that showed that he moved his family to Austin, Texas. Oh well. It doesn’t have to be accurate. The Miz’s wife Maryse was at ringside with their baby girl Monroe in a stroller although you couldn’t see the baby, so the baby was likely in the back.
Daniel Bryan got a huge ovation with “yes” chants from the crowd. Bryan’s got some new gear with some blue, green and white colors on them. It looks like a tribute to the Seattle Seahawks, which is Bryan’s favorite NFL team. Sorry Bryan but go LA Rams. Anyway, the crowd was ready for this one.
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
The Miz did the Bryan tribute moves early with Miz hitting him with kicks and a dropkick. Bryan finally got his hands on Miz with a punch followed by kicks to the ribs. Kick to the head by Bryan. Bryan hit a bulldog headlock although it didn’t connect that well. The Miz trapped Bryan in a surfboard looking submission move that Bryan usually does and Miz locked it in with Bryan selling it like he was in a lot of pain. Bryan broke free, he kicked the legs of Miz and Bryan slapped on his own surfboard submission in the center of the ring. Miz got free, he set up Bryan on the top rope with Bryan sitting on the top rope and Miz hit a clothesline with Bryan doing a flip bump to sell it in a big way. Miz slapped on a cravat headlock with Miz even telling Bryan what the move was called. Bryan opened up on Miz with hard chops to the chest, Miz came back with his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo for two. Miz punched Bryan in the soft, Miz called him soft and Bryan was up against the turnbuckle. Miz trash talked, so Bryan fought back with punches and Bryan hit a running clothesline that knocked down Miz. Bryan with two running dropkicks against the turnbuckle, Bryan with kicks to the chest and Bryan went up top for a hurricanrana off the top for a two count. Bryan with a back body drop that sent Miz out of the ring. Bryan with a running dropkick that sent Miz into the announce table. Bryan up top and jumped off the top onto Miz outside the ring by the barricade right near Maryse was sitting. Bryan rolled Miz back in, Miz tripped up Bryan on the top and Miz attacked Bryan with punches. Bryan slipped out, so Miz was upside down against the turnbuckle and Bryan worked over Miz with kicks. Bryan with a running low dropkick on Miz. Bryan hit a belly to back superplex that put Miz down and Bryan covered for two.
Bryan worked over Miz with kicks to the chest, Miz came back with a kick to the knee and a DDT for a two count. The Miz hit his kicks to the chest with some fans chanting “no” while others said “yes” and Bryan was getting back to his feet after every kick. Bryan grabbed the leg of Miz, Bryan slapped Miz repeatedly and a dragon screw leg whip. Bryan with a roundhouse kick to the head of Miz. Bryan set up in the corner, the crowd chanted “yes” with him and Bryan wanted the knee, but Miz caught him. Bryan wanted the Yes Lock, Miz fought it off, Miz with a catapult that sent Bryan into the ring post and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for two. Miz tried a running attack, Bryan blocked it with a hard kick to the head and Bryan covered for two. They battled on the apron, Bryan kicked Miz in the chest repeatedly and Miz avoided a kick leading to Bryan’s left foot hitting the ring post. The Miz immediately capitalized with the Figure Four Leglock. Bryan was in pain selling the foot injury. Bryan managed to punch his way out of it and he turned the hold to put the pain on The Miz and it led to Miz crawling over to get his hand on the bottom rope. Both men got back to their feet slowly, Bryan avoided a Skull Crushing Finale again, Bryan kicked Miz in the back and hooked the arms for a pinfall attempt that got a two count. Bryan worked over Miz with elbows to the head. Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock submission, but Miz was near the ropes and Miz managed to get his hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan with a running knee strike leading to Miz landing right in front of Maryse at ringside. Maryse put something in the left hand of The Miz, which the referee and Bryan never saw, but it was right there on camera. Bryan kicked Miz into the barricade. Bryan went for a suicide dive, Miz had something in his hand and he punched Bryan with it, which knocked Bryan out. Miz covered Bryan for the pinfall win at 23:30.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: ***3/4 The match was pretty good, but perhaps a level below what I expected in terms of how good it could have been. I was still entertained by the story of the match with Miz controlling a lot of it, Bryan making the comebacks, the kick to the ring post by Bryan was interesting and led to some good submission spots for both guys. I thought that Miz would win in controversial fashion and that’s what happened. It made sense to utilize Maryse by having her give Miz brass knuckles or some other kind of object to give him the win. The story going into the match was about Bryan wanting to punch Miz and that’s how Miz won. Well booked. It should set up another match between them and maybe even more than one more match. It’s a personal feud that can continue for several months. I thought the crowd would be into this match more, but they were not. Whenever it’s a long show like this one, it’s tough for the crowd to be hot the whole way.
The replays after the match showed the key part of the match with Maryse handing Miz a weapon from her jacket and Miz knocked out Bryan with it. They will probably say it was brass knucks. The Miz celebrated the win while Bryan sold the attack like he was knocked out. The Miz told Bryan he was better than him and he’ll always be better than him. Miz left up the ramp.
A commercial aired for the FX show Mayans.
A commercial aired for the Mae Young Classic on WWE Network coming in September.
The Raw announce team was back to talk about the WWE Super Showdown event in Australia in October. A video aired about The Undertaker vs. Triple H in a “Last Time Ever” match because they are old.
Baron Corbin made his entrance in his TGI Fridays outfit that is also his ring gear. The international announce teams were shown from their section of the arena.
The lights went out for Finn Balor’s entrance and he was decked out in the “Demon” Finn Balor gear because it’s a big event like SummerSlam. The crowd was loud for it. Cole noted that Balor was “Demon” Balor at SummerSlam two years ago when Balor won the Universal Title. The crowd response to the Demon Balor gimmick was very strong.
Analysis: It’s the first time Balor has used the Demon gimmick in about a year according to Cole. It makes sense to do it an event like SummerSlam, but this does not feel like a big feud.
“Demon” Finn Balor vs. “Constable” Baron Corbin
Corbin whined to the ref about Balor’s looks. Balor with a dropkick, Slingblade, clothesline over the top and Balor hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Corbin on the floor. Balor hit a Slingblade attack while on the floor. Balor with a running dropkick that sent Corbin into the barricade. Coach said he can’t figure out why Balor doesn’t do this more often. It’s because the creative team sucks. Balor with a double foot stomp to the back of Corbin. Balor with a dropkick that sent Corbin into the turnbuckle. Balor with a Coup de Grace double foot stomp off the top on Corbin for the pinfall at 1:35.
Winner by pinfall: “Demon” Finn Balor
Analysis: 1/2* It was a dominant win by Balor with Corbin getting no offense. I didn’t expect the “Demon” Balor look, but it certainly worked in terms of getting the crowd more into the match because the crowd was into it. I hope the feud is over because these guys have wrestled enough.
There was a commercial for WWEShop.com items.
Daniel Bryan was in the doctor’s room with a doctor putting ice on his head. Brie Bella, Daniel’s wife, showed up. Bryan complained about what happened and he knew that was going to happen. Brie mentioned Maryse getting involved. Brie said that Bryan had to follow his dreams, she said the fight isn’t over and Bryan told Brie to go back out there to enjoy the show. They kissed, said I love you and she left.
Analysis: It feels like they are planting the seeds for a mixed tag team match at some point down the road, which is fine to give Bryan and Brie a win.
Jeff Hardy and Shinsuke Nakamura made their entrances because they are up next.
United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy
I missed the first few minutes of the match. Hardy hit a neckbreaker. Nakamura managed to take control with a roundhouse kick to the head followed by a knee to the back while Hardy was on the apron. That was good for a two count. Nakamura grounded Hardy with an armbar. Hardy got back up, kick to the chest and Hardy with a Slingblade. Hardy with an atomic drop followed by the double leg drop and a low dropkick from Hardy for two. Nakamura with a spin kick to the head of Hardy. Nakamura missed a corner attack, Hardy with a splash and Nakamura set up Hardy on the top, but Hardy avoided a knee attack. Hardy up top with Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Nakamura with a knee to the ribs and a running kick from Nakamura got a two count. Nakamura set up in the corner, Hardy back up with a kick, Nakamura went for a low blow, Hardy moved and Hardy hit a dropkick. Hardy yelled “come on” to try to get the crowd into it. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Hardy up top and he connected with a Swanton Bomb by the ropes. Hardy covered for two, but Nakamura got his hand on the bottom rope. Hardy went up top again, Nakamura went to the apron, Hardy stood on the ring post and jumped off for a Swanton Bomb, but Nakamura moved and Hardy hit hard on the apron. Hardy crashed on the floor. Nakamura sent Hardy back in the ring, kick to the back of the head by Nakamura and Nakamura set up in the corner. Hardy back up and Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee strike to the head for the pinfall win at 11:00.
Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: **3/4 It was an even match with Nakamura winning clean after Hardy missed the Swanton Bomb on the apron. It was a big move for Hardy and fans know that apron bumps hurt more than regular bumps in the ring, so the fans reacted to it as a big deal. Nakamura retaining the title is what I expected.
Randy Orton’s music hit and Orton slowly walked down to the ring. Nakamura left the ring while Hardy was out in the ring. Orton teased going into the ring, then he stopped and walked back up the ramp. Hardy was helped up to his feet and they went to a commercial.
Analysis: That was weird. If they did it so Hardy was back on his feet ready to fight and then Orton left that would have been fine. Doing it this way just felt awkward.
A commercial aired for WWE Story Time on WWE Network because it’s up next after SummerSlam.
It’s Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship up next. A long video package aired to set it up.
Natalya made her entrance wearing a black and pink jacket that her father, the late Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, wore at SummerSlam 1990. Cole said that Neidhart died a “couple of weeks ago” but it was really six days ago on Monday.
Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance alone with the Women’s Title on her shoulder. Bliss walked up to Nikki and Brie Bella at ringside and scoffed at them as if she wasn’t impressed that they were there.
Ronda Rousey made her entrance. She had a lot of makeup around her eyes. Rousey walked out to the ring with a purpose. She was wearing a black sports bra with “Rowdy” on it, black shorts and black shoes. Bliss told Rousey to back up as Bliss did her pose as the champion.
Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey (w/Natalya)
Bliss stepped into the ropes to avoid an attack. The fans chanted for both women with Rousey hitting Bliss with a punch leading to an over the top bump by Bliss going to the floor. Bliss went back in and left the ring again. Rousey said she’ll give her the ring and even sat in the ring to let Bliss come back in. Rousey even covered her own eyes. Bliss went back in with a chinlock. Rousey got back up, put Bliss on her shoulders and Rousey hit a spinning slam that took Bliss down. Bliss bailed to the floor again. Rousey chased Bliss back in the ring, Bliss with a forearm and Rousey flipped Bliss over. Rousey with two judo throws while grabbing the arm and Rousey with another slam off the shoulders. Rousey was asking her if she was ready for it and then she delivered it. Rousey grabbed the left arm of Bliss and Rousey pulled on the arm of Bliss. Bliss is double jointed as we have seen in the past. Rousey pulled on the arm in an armbar and Bliss tapped out at 4:00.
Winner by submission and the New Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Analysis: 1/2* It was what it should have been with Rousey winning in dominant fashion. Rousey calling the spots loudly is something she has to stop doing. I doubt it is something WWE likes her doing. Bliss got in a few strikes, but not a lot of offense otherwise. Rousey winning the title is what I expected although I thought that maybe Bliss would get in some offense thanks to some cheap tactics. Instead, it was an even more dominant victory from Rousey than I thought it was going to be.
Rousey celebrated with the title. Natalya went into the ring and hugged Rousey. The Bella Twins also went into the ring, the fans booed them and they hugged Rousey also. Rousey left the ring with the Raw Women’s Title and jumped in the arms of her husband Travis Browne. Natalya and Rousey left together while the Bellas went back into the crowd although they likely walked to the back that way. Rousey got another hug from Natalya, she told her that she loved her and Rousey said this is for Jim Neidhart and Roddy Piper. That ended the scene.
Analysis: There was no angle for Ronda and Nikki. There’s plenty of time to set it up especially if Rousey is going to defend the title at the next PPV Hell in a Cell as well to set up the Evolution match.
A commercial aired for Hell in a Cell on September 16, which is the next PPV on the WWE calendar.
The video package aired for the main event for the Universal Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns made his entrance. There were a lot of boos, so the announcers busted out their usual phrase about it being a “polarizing” response for him. It’s like they are robots programmed to react the same way every time. When Reigns made his entrance, there was some Big Dog graphic on the screen. That’s weird and it’s pretty cheesy.
Brock Lesnar made his entrance as the Universal Champion with Paul Heyman in a suit by his side. Lesnar did his usual walk around the ring. Jojo announced Roman Reigns and then Heyman did the introduction for Brock Lesnar. The match began from there…but wait there’s more.
The match was about to begin when Braun Strowman showed up with the Money in the Bank contract in his hand. The crowd exploded for Strowman. Strowman got in the ring and said he refuses to cash in when his opponent’s back is turned. Strowman said he’s the Monster Among Men and he does things face to face. Strowman said good luck to Reigns and called Lesnar “Beasty Boy” and Strowman said he’ll stand outside the ring because after the match is over, one of them is going to get these hands. Fans chanted “Beasty Boy” at Lesnar for a bit.
Strowman left the ring to watch the match from ringside like he said.
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns unloaded on Lesnar with three Superman Punches. Reigns hit a Spear on Lesnar, Reigns hit another Spear, Reigns with another Spear and Reigns wanted another one, but Lesnar grabbed Reigns in a guillotine headlock. Reigns broke free with a weak spinebuster and Lesnar slapped on another guillotine headlock on Reigns. That led to Reigns getting back up and dropping Lesnar with another spinebuster. I saw some fans on Twitter noted that beach balls were in the arena, so fans chanted “asshole” to somebody that took them away. Lesnar took off his gloves. Lesnar hit two German Suplexes. The fans chanted “you both suck” at Lesnar and Reigns. Reigns went for a running attack on Lesnar, but Lesnar moved and Reigns ended up hitting a suicide dive on Strowman. Lesnar walked up from behind Strowman and Lesnar gave Strowman a F5 on the floor. Lesnar picked up the Money in the Bank briefcase and hit Strowman in the back with it multiple times. Lesnar tossed the briefcase up the ramp. Lesnar hit Strowman in the back with a chair two times in a row. Lesnar called Strowman a bitch and it got muted. Lesnar brought the chair into the ring, Reigns hit a Spear and Reigns pinned Lesnar to win the Universal Championship. The match went 6:10.
Winner by pinfall and New Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **1/4 There it is finally. The Universal Title reign of Lesnar is over because Roman Reigns was able to get the job done. The story of the match was that Strowman caused a distraction by being at ringside, Lesnar spent so much time beating him up and Reigns capitalized with a Spear to win the match and the title. I liked the way they started the match with a fast pace. I’m also glad we probably won’t see Reigns vs. Lesnar again since Lesnar is likely done in WWE for now because he’s headed back to UFC for a fight early next year and he needs to focus his training on that. Lesnar is booked for Raw, so there is going to be some kind of follow up to the match.
Reigns was handed the Universal Title and Reigns posed with the title. Replays aired of the key spots in the match.
There was a graphic on the screen to signal the end of the show while Strowman was still on the ground after the attack from Lesnar. Reigns celebrated with the title some more. It was Reigns’ first time as Universal Champion.
Analysis: The ending seemed like it was done to not show that much of the Reigns celebration to avoid the booing crowd. It’s smart by WWE to try to tell that story that Reigns’ win was celebrated even though a lot of fans may have booed him if they kept the cameras rolling. There was no cash-in from Strowman even though he said he was going to do it. That’s because Lesnar beat him up, so Strowman was too hurt to get it done. I thought the right call was a Strowman cash-in and title win to end the night, but it didn’t happen. I think Strowman was out there to keep the crowd into the match hoping that he would cash in. Sorry fans. Not yet. Would I have ended it the way WWE did? No. I would have gone with Strowman as champion, but it’s not a shock to see Reigns get a run with the title.
This event has a run time of 3:56:23 on WWE Network.
It gets a 7 out of 10 from me.
I thought it was mostly a good show that didn’t drag on that much. Best match was Rollins vs. Ziggler, I liked Joe vs. Styles a lot, Miz vs. Bryan was pretty good and there were a lot of short matches as well especially on the Raw side. Three quick wins for Strowman, Balor and Rousey. All of them were fine with me and the crowd was into them. Even the Reigns win was short too.
There were not that many big angles other than Becky Lynch attacking Charlotte Flair and we know WWE wanted her to be a heel after that, but the fans loved Becky for it and that led to Becky’s rise to becoming a main eventer. (That’s a 2022 edit of that sentence because what I had before looks silly now because of what happened.)
I’m exhausted after writing over 8,000 words, so I’ll just end by saying I was entertained most of the night. Perhaps they could have had a few better matches, but I enjoyed most of SummerSlam.
Five Stars of the Show
- Seth Rollins
- Dolph Ziggler
- AJ Styles
- Samoa Joe
- Becky Lynch
Sorry Bryan and Miz, but I’m keeping it at five this time.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here.
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