It is finally here! It’s time for SummerSlam and the Biggest Party of the Summer seems be shaping up to be a blockbuster! Will the party live up to the hype or fall flat because someone forgot to bring the drinks?
Universal Championship: Remember the rumors of Lesnar and Heyman splitting up? Yeah, that was a total ruse. Reigns cut a promo on his match on Sunday against Lesnar and was interrupted by Heyman, who seemed to be deciding that his best bet for future employment was to offer his services to Reigns. When Reigns took the piece of paper Heyman was handing him, Heyman showed his true colors by shooting mace into Reigns’ face, leaving him open to an attack by Brock Lesnar who choked Reigns out and hit several F-5s. Lesnar was the last man standing on Monday, but it could be another story come Sunday night.
SummerSlam: It finally happened. After four years, four matches, one successful cash in, and a controversial finish, Roman Reigns FINALLY defeated Brock Lesnar. It looked like Fate was going to give the Big Dog another swerve when Braun Strowman came out to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Strowman didn’t want to be a coward and tried to make the match a Triple Threat. Unfortunately for Strowman, Lesnar wanted to finish his business with Reigns one-on-one and chucked the Briefcase. The match was short and to the point and ended with Reigns vanquishing the Beast and becoming Universal Champion. Have fun in UFC, Brock.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins were scheduled for a contract signing on Monday, but Seth Rollins hadn’t appeared yet, due to travel issues. However, they discovered that Rollins was allowed to add in the proviso that he would be allowed to have someone in his corner at ringside. Ziggler and McIntyre weren’t happy about this, but the alternative was McIntyre would not be allowed at ring side for the match.
Seth Rollins would finally show up for the contract signing, but not until AFTER Ziggler signed the contract, and we discovered that the ‘travel issues’ weren’t his, the travel issues involved his second at SummerSlam: Dean Ambrose!!!!! Ambrose is sporting a new look, a buzzcut and he’s put on some muscle, but he looked healthy and ready for action. The two Shield brothers descended on the ring and took care of business. Ambrose hit his trademark Dirty Deeds on McIntyre and the two brothers were standing tall. Dean made sure Rollins signed his contract and the Intercontinental Match for SummerSlam is official!
SummerSlam: What a difference a friend makes, especially when that friend is Dean Ambrose! The Lunatic Fringe came back last week as a second to his Shield brother, Rollins, to counteract the numbers game Dolph Ziggler’s been enjoying due to the presence of his buddy, Drew McIntyre. Dean did the job he needed to, making sure McIntyre didn’t get involved, which helped Seth, put Ziggler away in an amazing match that is going to require rewatching.
RAW Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey opened the show and announced that Nattie’s father had passed away and expressed her sadness over her friend’s sudden loss and how much Nattie and Nattie’s friendship meant to her and how much she looked forward to beating Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam for Nattie.
Since Nattie wasn’t able to be at RAW due to her sudden loss, Ember Moon was introduced as Alexa’s opponent for RAW. Alexa cut a promo and continued to say that she wasn’t scared of Rousey and was going to beat her at SummerSlam, which is going to be a tall order since Bliss has come out on the short end of one on one encounters with Rousey. Bliss also demanded a security escort to the ring, despite Rousey already being in the ring. Needless to say, the security guards didn’t last long.
Bliss and Moon had a really good match tonight, Bliss looking to gain some momentum heading into SummerSlam. Unfortunately, Bliss made the mistake of attacking Rousey from behind after a distraction by Alicia Fox, which Moon the opening she needed. The match ended in a DQ, but Rousey was the last woman standing, but whether or not she’ll be the Women’s Champion on Sunday remains to be seen.
SummerSlam: After months of ducking and fading, Alexa Bliss finally faced Ronda Rousey, and to no one’s surprise, it was not a Moment of Bliss. Rousey tore Bliss apart, winning her first championship in WWE after forcing Bliss to tap out, backed by her friend, Nattie, who arrived after the death of her father, sporting his jacket from SummerSlam 1990. They were joined by the Bella Twins, who also helped Rousey get ready for WWE and the four women basked in Ronda’s triumph.
RAW Tag Team Championship: We learned another thing about the B Team, they aren’t math majors, though they did get their odds right.
B-Team, Deleter of Worlds, and the Revival met in a Triple Threat Match for the RAW Tag Titles tonight and the odds were definitely not on the side of the B Team. The B Team would sneak out the win, much to the dismay of their opponents.
However, it was announced that the B-Team would face the Revival at SummerSlam on the kickoff show.
SummerSlam: The dream keeps living, B-Team managed a stupid win over the Revival due to an error by the ref. Understandably, the Revival are NOT happy. I foresee the titles changing hands on Monday.
Sasha and Bayley: Sasha was in singles action against Ruby Riott on Monday. Both competitors were accompanied by their respective partners. As expected, they put on a great show, but Riott would pull out the win by rollup and Bayley was unable to help Sasha due to the remaining Riott Squad members.
Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin: Corbin and Balor were in action on Monday. Corbin face Tyler Breeze in singles’ competition. Corbin’s match was pretty much a squash, which was disappointing for Breeze fans.
Balor was saved from Corbin’s decision to book him in a handicap match against Mahal and Owens by GM Angle, who made the match a tag match and gave Balor Braun Strowman as a partner. Strowman and Balor would win the match, but Corbin would hit attack Balor and hid End of Days.
SummerSlam: Corbin really should’ve stopped while he was ahead. His constant attempts to humiliate and belittle Balor unleashed the Demon and the Demon was in the mood to fight. In the second squash match of the night, Darth Demon King absolutely destroyed Corbin, who never got in any offense.
Kevin Owens vs Braun Strowman: Owens and Strowman would meet in tag team action, but Owens managed to avoid Strowman, leaving Mahal to get his ass kicked. Strowman would get the win for his team. Owens got chased to the back by Strowman, leaving Balor to be attacked by Corbin.
SummerSlam: To call what happened to Kevin Owens a squash is putting it mildly. Owens was absolutely CREAMED in one of the most one-sided matches in SummerSlam history. Strowman is still the Money in the Belt holder and it remains to be seen if he’ll cash in or not.
Elias and Bobby Lashley: Elias’ music career hasn’t been going on for long, but he’s already got a huge fan: Ricky Roberts (oh, dear). Young Mr. Roberts introduced his idol. Elias was again interrupted by Lashley who came into the ring and got a guitar broken over his back by Ricky Roberts, who learned the folly of his decision pretty quickly. As of the end of RAW, no match had been announced for these two, but Elias will be performing at SummerSlam.
SummerSlam: Elias tried to perform a song for Barclay’s Center, and they were unimpressed. Unfortunately, his guitar broke prematurely and Elias snapped, destroying his set.
Titus Worldwide vs Authors of Pain: Titus Worldwide and Bobby Roode were in action against Authors of Pain and Mojo Rawley. Roode picked up the win for his team, so these two feuds will likely not be featured at SummerSlam.
Kurt Angle vs Baron Corbin: Angle seems to be reaching his limit with Corbin going over his head to Stephanie McMahon, especially when Corbin tried to put Finn Balor in a handicap match against Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal.
WWE Championship: Paige certainly had her hands full keeping her SummerSlam Main Event intact. She had planned for Samoa Joe and AJ Styles to do their final promos separately, but neither man seemed all that interested in waiting until Sunday. Joe even scoffing at Paige’s attempt to make him act like a professional, stating that he’d do what he wanted and there was nothing she could do about it. Fortunately for Paige’s peace of mind, AJ made a promise to his wife to be civil to Joe until Sunday.
Styles called himself blessed to have the near 20 year career he’s had and getting to compete all over the world. He’s also said that he’s learned a lot, like the pressure that comes with being WWE Champion. He again called out Samoa Joe for stabbing him in the back and ending their decade long friendship. He said that Joe’s comments about Styles’ family took him (Styles) to a dark place where all he wanted to do was rip Joe’s head off. Fortunately, Styles’ wife, Wendy, talked him out of it and told him that he could lose his cool because he had to stay focused.
Samoa Joe interrupted and called Styles a liar and claimed to have a letter from a member of the WWE Universe. The letter writer claimed that Styles never wanted children or a wife and that Styles’ willingness to sacrifice everything for wrestling. Joe then claimed that the writer hoped Styles lost so he could know what losing everything felt like. To add insult to injury, Joe claimed that the letter was from Wendy Styles, AJ’s wife.
After the show, an absolutely BALLISTIC Styles was held back by security from attacking Joe. Joe definitely got to Styles, but we won’t know until SummerSlam if his mind games are going to get him the championship or not.
SummerSlam: This match straight from TNA just a few years ago, started off with a war of words, with Joe dragging AJ’s family, specifically his wife and daughter, into the argument. Unlike the Nakamura match, this match lived up to hype. Styles and Joe tore each other apart and set a high bar for the rest of the show. Joe made the mistake of dragging Styles’ family into the mess one time too many and Styles SNAPPED. Joe found himself the recipient of a brutal beatdown by a bloody and enraged AJ Styles while his wife and daughter looked on. Styles retained his title, but this story isn’t over.
WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy was in action against Shelton Benjamin. Jeff would pull out the win, but would be accosted by his SummerSlam opponent, Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura would get the jump on Hardy, thanks to an assist by Benjamin, but would fall victim to the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb. Hardy would make his way to the back, closely watched by Randy Orton.
SummerSlam: The second encounter between Hardy and Nakamura went a lot longer than the first one. Both men took it to each other, showing very good chemistry that should’ve been there from the start. Nakamura would pull out the victory after avoiding a Swanton Bomb on the apron. After the match, Orton came out to pick the bones, but decided better of it. No idea where this story is going now.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: The three women involved in this Sunday’s Triple Threat match were in the ring and things got heated. Carmella mocked both her opponents, while it was suggested that Carmella was a Diva living in a Woman’s World (Ouch.).
Paige came out and said that her job as GM of SmackDown is to insure that the fans get to see the best competition at SummerSlam, which was way Charlotte was given a chance at the Women’s Championship. She also stated that her job was also to ensure the best competition for SmackDown, so why wait until Sunday to see them do what they do best, and since Carmella’s talent seems to be talking, she was sent to commentary, while Charlotte and Becky were put in a tag match against Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose.
Team Tea-Generation X would get the win, but it remains to be seen if their friendship will survive on Sunday or if Carmella will find a way to survive again. Backstage, the BFFs celebrated and wished each other luck, but it’s clear things are not going to be good on Sunday, and judging by Charlotte’s face after Becky left, Charlotte might be planning to channel her father’s moniker of ‘Dirtiest Player in the Game’.
SummerSlam: Few things ruin friendships faster in pro-wrestling than titles and that got proven tonight. Charlotte and Becky fought each other and Carmella. Charlotte would win by pinning Becky with Natural Selection while Becky had Carmella in the Dis-Arm-Her and became a 7x Women’s Champion, tying Trish Stratus’ record. The realization that she’d been screwed out her moment by her best friend…AGAIN, was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Becky. After appearing to want to hug Charlotte, Becky brutally attacked the new Women’s Champion and left Charlotte in a heap at ringside, much to the delight of the WWE Universe. No telling what’s going to happen on Tuesday, but it’s safe to say that Charlotte has two pissed off women gunning for her.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Bludgeon Brothers were in action against a three man team of jobbers. Suffice to say, the match was quick and brutal.
Their opponents, New Day, were also in action against Sanity. Despite their own unique brand of chaos, Sanity would fall to New Day, leaving a big question as to who has more momentum heading in to SummerSlam.
SummerSlam: Despite giving it everything they got, the New Day will have settle for a moral victory without the belts because the Bludgeon brothers are leaving with the tag belts due to getting themselves disqualified by using one of their hammers on Big E.
Miz vs Daniel Bryan: This week, we got a recap of the eight year feud of Daniel Bryan and Miz, from Bryan’s time in the original incarnation of NXT through to their war of words on Talking Smack and Bryan’s being cleared to wrestle again earlier this year.
SummerSlam: After eight years of feuding, the hype was high for Miz vs Bryan and the match didn’t disappoint. They tore the house down. Miz would get the victory, but not without some help. This is another story that isn’t done.
Rusev & Lana vs Andrade “Cien” Almas/Vega: Aiden English was in action against Almas in a bid to redeem himself to Rusev and Lana. Despite English’s best efforts, Almas would come out on top. Flush with victory, Vega and Almas cut a promo mocking their SummerSlam opponents. Lana and Rusev would come out and vow victory on Sunday because SummerSlam is on Rusev and Lana Day.
SummerSlam: So, Rusev and Lana Day was celebrated with a mixed Tag match at SummerSlam against Almas and Vega. The match was almost all Rusev and Almas, with Lana and Vega not getting much ring time. Lana and Vega did a good job with the time they did have in the ring, though Lana’s decision to have super long hair extensions is a little baffling. Vega would again get the victory with a roll up, rendering the point of this match a little moot.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: We got the final promos for SummerSlam from Gulak and Alexander with Gulak citing his work in 205. He claims that Alexander is a loner, entitled, and complacent.
Alexander, for his part, admits that Gulak is dangerous, especially with Gallagher and Kendrick backing him. Alexander says that he’s always ready and that he’s a man of action, while Gulak loves to talk. Alexander also cites his great matches with Murphy, Kalisto, and Itami, among others.
Alexander and Gallagher had a great go-home match with both guys looking fabulous. Alexander would get the pinfall victory, but was jumped from behind by Brian Kendrick and Gallagher, before Gulak would attack him from behind and lock in the Gu-Lock. Gulak was standing tall, but that doesn’t mean anything on Sunday.
On Saturday, GM Maverick announced that Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher would be banned from ringside during the match, which means Gulak’s going to have to win it on his own.
SummerSlam: Drew Gulak’s mission to ‘save’ 205 from Cedric Alexander’s ‘complacent’ reign suffered a major setback. Despite Gulak’s best efforts and planning, Alexander proved why he is a great champion, taking everything Gulak could dish out before pinning Gulak and getting the three before Gulak even knew what happened.
Lio Rush vs Akira Tozawa: A very sulky Rush came out and cut a promo on the crowd, saying that despite living in a garbage town in an embarrassing, they get to watch the Man of the Hour do his thing.
This was a very good match. Tozawa seemed to have Rush’s number but Rush would ultimately pull out another victory, which seems to have defeated the purpose of building up Tozawa getting a rematch. Time will tell if Tozawa will get another rematch or if Rush will move on to bigger things.
We get an update on Mustafa Ali, who collapsed after a hard-hitting match against Hideo Itami. GM Maverick announced that Ali is suffering from extreme exhaustion and that he’ll recover from it. Maverick blamed himself for what happened and vowed that Ali will come back when Maverick is 100% certain he’s okay.
Hideo Itami vs Trent Newman: After his part in the temporary removal of Ali from 205 live, Hideo Itami was in action against Trent Newman. Itami showed no remorse for what happened to Mustafa Ali, in fact, he seemed quite happy about it.
To say this was a squash is putting it mildly. Newman looked like he really had no idea what he was getting himself into, though he got in a shot or two, which only pissed off Itami. But if you thought Itami would end it quickly, you were wrong, Itamai would break the three count himself in order to inflict more punishment on Newman before Chioda stopped the match.
Lucha House Party vs. Party Crashers: Maverick talks to Nese and Murphy about their tag team victory last week and congratulates Nese on getting a pinfall victory over Kalisto. However, he points out that Murphy being in the ring illegally is what gave Nese the win, because illegal men helping their partners NEVER happens in WWE. Maverick says that, to make it up to the upset Lucha House Party, next week the Lucha House Party will face the Party Crashers in a tornado tag match.
Noam Dar vs. TJP: Next week, we get these two in a singles match to settle their issues.
NXT Championship: Well, it is officially official: Aleister Black is out of TakeOver after being attacked last week after NXT went off the air. The NXT Championship match will now be between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa in Brooklyn on Saturday in a Last Man Standing Match.
We see some more footage of Black being found in the parking lot and it seems like everyone and their brother was in the parking lot when Black was found, but no one seems to have seen the attacker or attackers.
We also get a recap of the issues between Gargano and Ciampa, but since this show was taped a month before TakeOver, any live footage of the three competitors has been cut.
TakeOver: Traditionally, Last Man Standing matches have been violent and brutal, they have to be. Add in two men with a long and nasty rivalry and you have the makings of a bloodbath. The blood didn’t flow, but it came darn close. Ciampa and Gargano kicked each other’s asses from pillar to post. Ultimately, Ciampa would be the last man standing, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort by Gargano. Is this rivalry over? Hell no, it hasn’t even hit its peak.
NXT North American Championship: During Undisputed Era’s group promo, Adam Cole again refuted Ricochet’s claim that he was a coward, claiming that Adam Cole doesn’t hide behind anybody, even though he was standing (hiding) behind the rest of the Undiputed Era during the interview and says he won’t hide from Ricochet either at TakeOver.
Ricochet has his own interview and repeats that Cole is a coward and hides behind the Undisputed Era and that the North American Championship needs to be on someone who will defend it with honor.
TakeOver: We have a new North American Champion, Bay Bay! After an amazing barn burner of a match, Ricochet is the NEW North American Champion! The crowd loved the match and both guys looked like a million dollars. Great show by both men, but I have the feeling that this feud isn’t over by a long-shot.
NXT Women’s Championship: Kairi Sane was in action tonight against Aliyah, who got some advice from Shayna Baszler, who has a vested interest in Sane getting beat up before TakeOver.
Aliyah did her best, but Kairi Sane was too determined to show off her killer instinct to Shayna Baszler, who was on commentary during the match. Ultimately, Sane would make Aliyah tap to the Anchor Lock, but not before three InSane elbow drops. Time will tell whether or no Sane will be able to take down Baszler.
TakeOver: The Queen of Spades got buried! Okay, she didn’t get buried, but she did lose her NXT Women’s Championship to Kairi Sane in a match that not only lived up to its own hype, but took its place in the pantheon of epic Women’s Title matches at TakeOver: Brooklyn. With multiple InSane Elbows and a roll through pin, the Pirate Princess vanquished the Queen of Spades.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Roderick Strong was in action against Tyler Bate. In a pre-recorded interview, the Undisputed Era mocked Moustache Mountain and the War Raiders, who aren’t even in the match.
In a TakeOver preview, Bate and Strong tore the house down and made each other look great in the process. Bate would pull out the victory, but it was as much about luck as skill since he and Strong were pretty evenly matched. There were a lot of sloppy spots, but it was a really great match.
TakeOver: Despite their best efforts and an amazing match, Moustache Mountain would fall to the Undisputed Era at TakeOver. However, as UE was celebrating, they were attacked by their next opponents: War Raiders, who wasted no time intaking out Strong and O’Reilly.
EC3 vs Velveteen Dream: Dream and EC3 would have their final face off before TakeOver. Dream wasn’t happy about being dumped into the pool last week and says that 3 made an enemy out of the Dream.
EC3 comes out and mocks Dream’s fanny pack and warns him not to start because 3 knows that Dream is trying to get into his head, but 3 says that he (EC3) lives in people’s heads and sets up suburbs in it. Both men vow victory over the other and the segment ends with EC3 hitting the 1% TKO on Dream and is left standing tall.
TakeOver: So much for his mental real estate empire. EC3 fell to Velveteen Dream at Takeover after a match that went all over the place.
Street Profits vs The Mighty:
The Street Profits faced the Mighty tonight in tag team actions. Even though these teams won’t be on the TakeOver card, that didn’t stop them from showing why we will probably see them on the next TakeOver card. The Profits would pull out the victory and celebrate with the crowd, but it’s safe to say that the Mighty are not happy.
We see some footage of Bianca Belair’s road to recovery after injury.
For next week’s show, Pete Dunn will defend the UK Championship against Zack Gibson.
WWE sometimes has a problem creating go-home shows that build enough excitement and PPVs that live up to their hype and they did both this week. The go-home shows gave plenty of reasons to watch and both TakeOver and SummerSlam lived up to their hype. Even the matches that didn’t have the outcome I wanted gave me something I wanted, usually.
Worst Match of the Week: I have to go with Rusev/Lana vs Almas/Vega. I don’t see the point in having Vega sneak out victories over Lana on TV if Lana doesn’t get the PPV win.
Best Match of the Week:
- Raw: Rollins vs Ziggler – SummerSlam
- SmackDown: AJ Styles Vs Samoa Joe – SummerSlam
- 205: Cedric Alexander vs Jack Gallagher
- NXT: Ricochet vs Adam Cole – TakeOver
- RAW: Sasha and Bayley vs Riott Squad
- SmackDown: Charlotte vs Carmella vs Becky – SummerSlam
- NXT: Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane
Moment of the Week: Dean Ambrose returning to be in Seth Rollins’ corner.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed WWE SummerSlam and the weeks leading up to Hell in a Cell should be really interesting.