AMERICAN ALPHA, HYPE BROS. & THE USOS vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS, THE ASCENSION, & TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO- 6.75/10
That SummerSlam logo on the ring skirt is WAY too colorful it draws your eyes way too much.
We’ve got a TWO-HOUR pre-show… and they still feel the need to cut into a match in order to show a commercial to advertise the very thing that 99.99% of people are watching this commercial very on! I know I say this every time and that I should expect it by now, but the fact that it happens always infuriates me to the point where I feel the need to comment on it for the cathartic release.
This was exactly what you’d expect it to be. Fun and chaotic, solid but not spectacular. The finish was one of the Usos making a blind tag to American Alpha and then landing a big splash after Grand Amplitude to steal the pin. I thought this finish did a great job of making an otherwise pointless match feel important. Then the kick-off show panel killed that by ignoring the finish and instead talking about what they would like the upcoming Smackdown brand tag team titles to look like. Because that’s more important than getting the angles over.
THE DUDLEY BOYZ vs. SAMI ZAYN & NEVILLE- 6.25/10
Apparently the twenty minutes spent discussing Brock vs. Orton in depth on the kick-off show weren’t enough, so we had to interrupt this match for a commercial for that match. The Dudleys lose because of another miscommunication. It’d not like we’re about to have tag belts on Smackdown that need to be established as important or anything, so let’s have the Dudleys on Raw and split them up. Yeah. That’s definitely the best thing to do right now.
MATCH 1 IN THEIR BEST OF 7 SERIES: Sheamus vs. Cesaro- 7.25/10
Hopefully this was an accurate preview of what we’ll get for the rest of this series: strong-style strikes mixed with great athletic feats.
ENZO & CASS PROMO- awesome. Which is the opposite of the rating I would give to Enzo’s gear.
COLIN CASSADY & ENZO AMORE vs. KEVIN OWENS & CHRIS JERICHO- 6.75/10
A fun roller-coaster ride with Enzo as the babyface in peril. Everyone looked great. Jericho and Owens won with an assisted Codebreaker, which looks a lot like the Revival’s Shatter Machine.
AN OBNOXIOUS SH*T-SHOW BACKSTAGE- first Bryan, Foley, and Shane bicker. Then Jon Stewart (and his son) showed up and he yelled at Foley for working with heel Steph. Then Steph shows up and talks down to Jon Stewart. Then New Day shows up and whisks away Stewart and son. Then the authority figures talk about nothing for a few seconds. Remember when we were told this would now be “all about the superstars?” LOL.
WWE WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH: Sasha Banks(c) vs. Charlotte- 8.5/10
Why is this the second match on the card? Or more specifically… how the hell is this positioned underneath the pointless six-woman tag match from Smackdown?
Dana is barred from ringside, but it looks like Charlotte is wearing her gear.
They tried to do a spot early one where Charlotte dropped Sasha back-first on the ropes but instead Sasha’s knees landed on the ropes and she fell right on her head. The wrestlers both kept playing it like it was a back injury though, and the announcers’ played along, which I guess is the right thing to do if the wrestlers aren’t going to call an audible.
The general idea here seems to have been that these two figured that everyone has already seen everything they can do against each other, so they decided to come up with a bunch of new stuff to do, and it was awesome. Both women worked the back, but Charlotte got a head start on it which proved to be Sasha’s undoing.
GALLOWS & ANDERSON DO STUPID COMEDY- AJ shows up to help them recover some of their dignity.
FINN BALOR SHOWS UP- The Club off to 2 Sweet him but he snubs them.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: The Miz(c) (w/Maryse) vs. Apollo Crews- 5/10
Miz is wearing what appears to be a bedazzled Phantom of the Opera mask. This was a decent match with an utterly baffling result.
AJ STYLES vs. JOHN CENA- 9.25/10
JBL said it best when he described this match as “forget about jabs” and just “go for the homerun punch.” In that way it was very reminiscent of the Taker vs. Triple H match from WrestleMania XXVII. Not every single move was a finisher, but after a certain point, pretty much every single move felt like there was a slight chance that it could be the finish.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- possibly the most interesting thing all night.
Cena sat up and slowly took off his “never give up” arm-band, started at it, kissed it… and then left it in the ring.
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The New Day(c) (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (w/Jon Stewart) vs. The Club- 6.25/10
This was going fine until Jon Stewart distracted The Club and cost them a victory. They were about to crotch him on the ring post when Big E. ran in to save Stewart… causing a DQ. For some reason we were supposed to be happy about a DQ finish and celebrate with these babyfaces who have lost their titles if not for outside interference.
WWE WORLD TITLE MATCH: Dean Ambrose(c) vs. Dolph Ziggler- 7.25/10
Why is the world title match going on in the middle of the show?
The story here was that Dean wasn’t taking Dolph seriously. Dolph eventually forced him to do so… but then lost clean afterwards. If the match had gone twenty or thirty minutes then you could argue that Dolph had proved something, but he lost soon enough afterwards that it didn’t feel like he had really accomplished anything.
WWE PR VIDEO- GRRRR! The only people are going to see this are people who are paying for the Network or the PPV. That is not the audience you need to be marketing your PR to!
BECKY LYNCH, NOAMI, & CARMELLA vs. ALEXA BLISS!, NATALYA, & NIKKI BELLA- 4.75/10
Okay… I’ve warmed up to Naomi’s raver entrance a bit. Carmella got crickets in what should theoretically be her home market. They did the long-winded, extravagant Eva Marie announcement, ending in the news that she wasn’t here tonight because she was “recovering from exhaustion, anxiety, and stress brought on by hostile WWE fans.” She was replaced by Nikki Bella, who got a surprisingly great reaction.
The match was fun for what it was. Not enough Alexa Bliss! heel antics, though. Nikki Bella pinned Carmella with a TKO, but when she had her up I was certain she was going to hit the AA for the big heel pop.
RUSEV & LANA PROMO- good
SINGLES MATCH TO CROWN THE FIRST-EVER WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor- 8/10
Oh come on! Why the hell is this match going on before the US Title match? (Oh. Right. Roman Reigns.) HUGE pops for both guys. The cameraperson screwed by accidentally showing Balor hiding behind the cloud of smoke. Twice. Speaking of screwing up, the new title looks just like Ambrose’s title… but it’s red. UCH.
This was an awesome match, but I think that a match like this needs to be more than that. You’re trying to establish a new world title with nothing behind it other than “we want to make a new belt.” That means that the only prestige the belt will have is what you have put into it so far… which is essentially just this match. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to make this match a classic. I would have given this match no less than twenty-five minutes. Maybe even over thirty. This match didn’t even go twenty. It was a PPV-quality world title match, but in a place where it needed to be more.
DUMB SH*T INVOLVING MIZ IN A KFC COMMERCIAL- they really couldn’t have taken the belt off of him before having him look like an idiot and job to Colonel Sanders in a commercial?
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Rusev(c) (w/Lana) vs. Roman Reigns- DUD!
Overwhelming boos for Roman, even though he is here defending the USA. That is how much people don’t want to cheer for Roman. Rusev jumping Roman to start things off got a big pop. Roman eventually turned things around on Rusev, hit him with a chair a few times and beat him up a bunch. Referees eventually got Roman to go to the back, and a doctor declared that the match wouldn’t happen because Rusev can’t compete. Rusev started to go to the back, but then Roman came out and speared the injured man. What an asshole.
I don’t understand what the point of this was. Okay, Roman is pissed because Rusev jumped him, but him coming back out afterwards to spear Rusev felt extremely excessive, so I don’t see how this was supposed to make Roman more of a babyface. And if you’re going to turn him heel, there are people it would be a lot more effective to have him turn on than Rusev. More importantly, though, they just screwed us out of an advertised title match! WTF?!
RANDY ORTON vs. BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman)- 6.5/10
The commentary team for this match was Mauro, JBL, Graves, and Saxton. I was shocked that Saxton was included instead of Cole.
They did suplexes and some RKOs and stuff and then Randy was bleeding A LOT. The ref wanted to check on Randy and have the cut-man fix him up but Brock kept beating on him. They eventually gave the match to Brock via TKO, but I really think Brock should have been DQed. Brock started to beat on Randy again afterwards. Shane came out to yell at him so he got F-5ed, too. The crowd had apparently been paying attention to the rumor mill so they chanted “GOLDBERG!” during all of this, but no Goldberg ever showed up.
I was very disappointed by this. Unless Randy needs some time off for injury (in which case he’d be crazy to take some of the bumps he took here), this was a big mistake. Randy was made to look like just another guy, at a time when he is as hot as he has been in years. This felt like a less momentous version of the Cena vs. Lesnar match from two years ago.
I had really been enjoying this show, but now it has ended with me feeling cheated out of two straight matches. The show was great up until the end, but it’s usually the end that leaves the biggest impression.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. JBL (before the twelve-man tag)- “A little history repeating itself here. The main event of the first ever SummerSlam in 1988 was a tag team match: the Mega Powers vs. the Mega Bucks.”
Right. Because a twelve-man tag in the opener and a standard tag team main event are the same thing. By that logic, history repeats itself every time there is a tag team match. Funny how JBL never brings it up then.