This year’s SummerSlam was an odd one. The card was filled with mediocre matches, bizarre results and the crowd didn’t help either. Was there a deliberate elbow from Lesnar, causing Orton’s forehead to split open? There were some matches that wowed the viewers and some that left us confused. Here’s a look at the matchs, results and general performance of last night’s Pay-Per-View card.
The Kickoff show had the likes of Sheamus def. Cesaro via pinfall which was a match where perseverance was key to enjoying it. The match started really slow, so slow I nearly feel asleep before the main event could even kick off. However, towards the middle of the contest, things started to really pick up. After they started throwing out their best moves, using their brute strength, a number of reverse counters, the match dynamic looked as if it was a title match-up. Then we had a huge 12-man tag team contest which failed to deliver. American Alpha, The Usos and Hype Brothers defeated The Ascension, BreeZango and the Vaudevillains but the problem with this was we already had this match on SmackDown’s last show and they pulled it of better last time, so it just felt pointless for this prestigious event. Also in the Kickoff show we saw Sami Zayn & Neville def. The Dudley Boyz via pinfall which was a nice viewing as we saw the Dudley’s get the opportunity to work a real match for the first time in a while.
Now onto the main event:
JeriKO def. Enzo and Big Cass
This was a good event for Enzo and Cass as they were the hometown products and they had the crowd exactly where they wanted them, especially with some excellent work on the mic before the match had even commenced. You had Enzo quoting Biggie Smalls and Cass sang Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York’ which was rather entertaining. However, as the match progress, all this excitement and enthusiasm just diminished.
The energy was lacking throughout and some of the moves weren’t executed perfectly which was evident for the audience to see. JeriKO dominated most of the match and when it came to the finishing move Jericho couldn’t quite perfect it, which took the emphasis away from the impact making it look less significant, putting a downer on the end of the match.
Charlotte def. Sasha Banks – Charlotte is the new WWE Women’s Champion
This was an odd one for me. I believe that the Woman’s category in the WWE roster has revolutionised the franchise. The match-ups have become very exciting. The story lines, the individuals, the flamboyance and the choreography has got as good as the men’s, maybe even better, as it should be. But this match-up sadly didn’t reflect on that. Don’t get me wrong it was slightly entertaining, which could be down to the fact that it had two of the best in-ring workers in the women’s roster, yet, it was just a bit off.
The match contained some sloppy transitions which made Sasha coming close to really hurting herself. She almost came close to falling on her head and neck on multiple occasions. One of those occasions I seriously thought she may have had injured herself. Charlotte Flair was about to hit one of her signature moves the Razor Edge from the top rope, until Sasha managed to counter it into a hurricarana but her head almost folded on the floor. You can argue that this is what provides the entertainment; the thrills and suspense you may say, but the way it was all done just seemed all a bit sloppy.
The finish caught be by surprise too, which is not a negative here. I thought they may give Sasha more time to establish herself as champion due to her infectious charisma and ‘likeablity’ factor. However, her reign as champion was short lived as Charlotte rolled Sasha up in a reversal to win by pin fall. It will be interesting to see where they go with Sasha from here.
The Miz def. Apollo Crews – Miz retains the title
For me, this was a wasted match for a PPV card. Most of the action was very forgettable and could of easily been a main event on SmackDown. There was no dramatic kick-outs, nor was there any specific defying moments to take away from the match. Apollo Crews did provided some interesting and acrobatic moves, it’s just a shame that they didn’t capitalise on this more.
AJ Styles def. John Cena
Cena and Styles stole the show last night, producing ‘the best’ match throughout this PPV card. It was an instant classic. Their chemistry was brilliant, allowing the match to flow nicely, really selling the drama and story. There was a number of huge moves, reversals, signatures and kick-out which were the core ingredients that made it so exciting. After each individual got their momentum going, either one was looking likely to win. However, it was when Styles executed a second Styles Clash claiming the victory over ‘The Face That Runs the Place’.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson def. The New Day by DQ – New Day retain tag-team titles
This was another disappointing contest, purely because of the way the match was won. You could really see that the New Day- who I think are one of the most entertaining wrestlers in the roster, really missing Big E’s in-ring work and presence. We did see a glimpse of him in the match but it just wasn’t enough. The fight never really progressed and his return for this fight was the reason why the New Day lost due to a disqualification. You could have got a lot from this match but it just felt flat and the end result was very disappointing.
Dean Ambrose def. Dolph Ziggler – Ambrose retains WWE championship
Again another match that failed due to its conclusion. The match itself was okay, Ziggler could have had the upper-hand a bit more but some parts still provided that small amount of entertainment. I am happy that Dean Ambrose is still champion because he’s really doing well in that position at the moment but the way he beat Ziggler was a real disappointing ending. With a simple Dirty Deeds, he was able to win the match and retain his title. For a match like this, I felt it deserved more of an explosive ending.
Nikki Bella, Natalya and Alexa Bliss def. Naomi, Carmella and Becky Lynch
Another odd one here. With Eva Marie being announced, but then dismissed from the match due to her anxiety from the WWE fans, allowed Nikki Bella to return to action, taking her place. The match did what it needed to do and had the ‘correct’ ending but again it just felt as if something was missing to make it that complete match.
Finn Balor def. Seth Rollins – Balor wins the WWE Universal title
Here’s a positive to take away from SummerSlam. This match-up contained everything you want from two incredible individuals in the roster. Before the match could get underway, the new Universal title was revealed and fans showed their dislike of it, by booing for a good 10 minutes into the match. Personally for me, I don’t mind it so much, the red is a bit odd, but it not as bad as the old Diva belt let’s just say that. Anyway onto the match itself, there was a number of high flying acrobatics, kick outs and signature moves.
The flow progressed well with one another and Fin Balor really showed that he has what it takes to progress within the WWE. I would have been happy with either one these guys becoming victorious, but the question that is on my mind, is Balor beating Rollins for the first Universal title too soon? Rollins has established himself as the best overall performer in the WWE and with his return from injury recently, just didn’t feel like the right time for him to lose. Regardless of the result, the match delivered and whether it be Rollins or Balor, I am sure the WWE can progress from the outcome of this match.
Rusev vs. Reigns – No Match After a Brawl – Rusev retains the U.S. Title
Am sorry to say, but this match was just stupid. Another result due to a no contest. It was another waste, as there was no match which seems pointless on such a recognised PPV. Before the match could get officially announced Rusev and Reigns came to blows with one another, pushing the action outside where Reigns hit Rusev with a chair on a couple of occasions.
What escalated from this, was a number of referees tending to Rusev, while other escorted Reigns to the backstage. The match was called off due to Rusev being unfit to wrestle. After getting to his feet, Reigns once again emerged and rushed down to where Rusev was standing and speared him to the ground and that was the end of that. Just pointless, especially having it so high up on the card, I really don’t get what the booking team was doing here. The only good thing that can come out this, is that we’re finally seeing the darker side of Reigns which has been a long time coming and what is needed for his character.
Brock Lesnar def. Randy Orton by TKO
This was a big match, two house hold names against each other, the match was exciting but again I feel the conclusion let itself down. Throughout the match we got to see Lesnar dominate like usual, we saw a number of Suplexes leading to the F-5. From this, the action took place outside, Lesnar dragged Orton on the announcer table and as he was to start his attack on Orton again… Bam, out of nowhere the Viper hits the RKO, gaining the advantage.
From here, Orton would gain the momentum, however, it was short-lived. Lesnar removed the MMA gloves and started unleashing a maraud of punches and elbows which appeared to legitimately cut Orton open. After Orton’s cut continued to produce a significant amount of blood, referees rushed in to attend the injury. That didn’t stop Lesnar though, he continued to attack the bloody Orton until Shane McMahon came to the ring to stop Lesnar. After a few glares Lesnar hit Shane with an F5 as well, ending the match in a TKO. Fans have now question whether Lesnar went off script, perhaps to punish Orton with an downwards elbow after Orton called Lesnar out due to his failed doping test previously on the UFC. Who knows, WWE are yet to make a statement on the event.
It’s not really the conclusion we wanted, whether this was the intended ending or it was stopped due to Orton’s injury, which looked bad from the amount of blood that was seen on the ring, we don’t know. For the main event from one of WWE’s biggest pay-per-views, you’d expect a much more exciting denouement rather than another no contest. Still this could be due to Orton’s cut which needed 10 staples to stop the bleeding.
Overall it was a very average event, there were elements making it an exciting viewing, however, the negatives overcame the positives, with Cena and Styles providing the best match of the night.