Another SummerSlam has come and gone. It’s the signal that summer is almost over and the kickoff to the road to Survivor Series.
Over the years we’ve seen major storylines start their lives at “The Biggest Party of the Summer.” Daniel Bryan climbing the mountain that is John Cena, only to be screwed over by Triple H stands out to me – it was genuinely shocking and began the biggest accent we have seen in a long time. Would this year have a similar moment?
No, no it did not. Not even close. And, once again, SummerSlam was overshadowed by NXT Takeover. The “developmental brand” put on the vastly better show on Saturday. Top to bottom NXT was a fantastic show. And they set up for the future with the debut of Red Dragon as a team and Adam Cole (BAY BAY). I loved it. SummerSlam… Well… Let’s talk about that.
How far have the Hardy Boyz fallen? They were the high spot of WrestleMania, now relegated to an empty arena match, teaming with the failed experiment that is Jason Jordan. I like Jordan as a wrestler, but this Kurt Angle’s son thing was DOA and it needs to end yesterday. I am happy Miz, the IC champ, got the pin – but he needs a new feud. Let Finn go after the IC strap or something more high profile. This was a garbage pile of a match.
The preshow had three matches and to be honest, two of them were better than a lot of the main show. The Cruiserweight title match between Neville and Akira Tozawa was pretty darn good. You have two of the best workers in the company going at it and they made the case for why you should be watching 205 Live. Because I know you don’t. Aren’t you ashamed?
The New Day vs. The Usos was a fantastic tag team match and should have been on the main card. These teams have a lot of chemistry and just don’t put on a bad match. Xavier Woods looked like a total star here. When the New Day ends, I truly think he can have a solid run as IC or US champion.
Right now though, the Usos are in the middle of the best run of their career. They can do no wrong in any department. They make for great champions that can play the evil heels or cool faces. The only issue is that SmackDown doesn’t have a tag team division outside of these two teams. The Authors of Pain desperately need to be called up and sent to SmackDown Live or some teams need to come together, because the Usos need new faces to fight.
Finally – after a two hour preshow – we are off to the main show. It is beyond clear that WWE is SUPER pissed at Baron Corbin because they let John Cena bury him like a dead fucking body. Holy shit was this bad! Cena didn’t give one single fuck about this match and it showed from bell to bell. I know Corbin is a dick. He was a dick in Breaking Ground. He is a dick on twitter. I know he said things to people you really shouldn’t. But you took the guy you gave the Money in The Bank briefcase, the same briefcase that made men like Edge, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan into main event players in WWE, and you made him look like the biggest waste of space ever. I thought they did Sandow dirty with his loss to Cena. In comparison, he looks like a massive star. They need to take Corbin off TV for a while and let the stink of this evaporate. He looks like a huge joke and with the current state of SmackDown Live, that is a huge problem.
Naomi vs Natalya was ok but I am baffled with the call to put the belt on Nattie. She is a great worker and should have been given a bigger chance to shine years ago. But Naomi is a massive star today, with a hot entrance and great look – WWE can make a mint seller her merch. I don’t get taking the title off her at all. It was a well worked match but the finish doesn’t make a lot of long term booking and business sense. Oh wait, this is WWE. Long term booking, outside of Lesnar/Reigns, doesn’t exist.
Big Show vs Big Cass. Why? Just… why? What was the point? And the shine is 100% off of Enzo. I was so high on him in NXT and even when he first came up to the main roster. Now, he is just another guy I fast forward through. And that sucks. I hope they put him on 205 Live and he can find some of that magic again.
And then we went on to the absolute SHIT SHOW that was Randy Orton vs Rusev. Rusev could and should be a main event level player that is fighting for the WWE title. He is a massive star that has all the tools to pick up the ball and run with it. Randy Orton has had his day in the sun. He is a 13 time champion. He did not need this win at all. I know he just lost to Jinder three times but what does this do to help SmackDown Live? Nothing. It hurts it almost as much as the WWE title match did (oh, we’ll get to that later) and it again handicaps one of the young stars of the company. I don’t know what happened to the SmackDown Live that was putting Raw to shame but that is over now and it’s getting really bad.
The Raw Women’s title match was pretty darn good! Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss have good chemistry because they really, REALLY don’t like each other. You can tell that both of them put a little extra stink on some of those strikes, just to remind the other person of the hate they have for each other. Both are just great workers and this feud has so much potential to become an all time great. Oh, and if they have the balls to turn Bayley heel, things could get real interesting.
Ah, yes please. This. Give me The Kilty Party (Sheamus/Cesaro) vs Shield Lite (Now Roman Free!) all day and night. This was a great match. First, Cesaro needs to be given a massive raise for killing that fucking beach ball. If you bring a beach ball to a wrestling show and start playing with it during a match of this caliber, you deserve to take an uppercut from the Swiss Cyborg. Stop it you monsters!
This match was super fan to watch. Great tag team work from the champs, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose looked to be having fun. Dean has looked bored since coming to Raw and this will fix that. I think this really could be something and make Raw super hot. Oh, AND MOVE CESARO TO SMACKDOWN LIVE AND LET HIM BE AWESOME YOU ASSHOLES!!!!
We then got the best match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens of their feud. I am sad that we didn’t get the classics I was hoping for. With the level of talent, each match should have been great to amazing, and they just were not. But this was really good. A little too much Shane from my taste, but it sets up the feud with him and Owens, so it served a purpose.
I have to start with this: I don’t hate Jinder Mahal. I think this guy deserves a lot of credit. He got fired, worked his ass off, got back to the company and found a way to go from jobber to WWE champion. He busted his ass and that is a great story. But this match did nothing to help him. You might think pinning Shinsuke Nakamura would be a great win and a feather in his cap. But with them booking it like they did, the same way he won two times already (the same exact way), you make him look like a total joke. And I am not saying he shouldn’t have won. If he gets DQ’d or finds a new, clever way to keep his title, I am on board. JBL was a chicken shit heel that always cheated to win, but he did it in new ways each time. You hated him for it, but he made it interesting to see just how he would get out of this new predicament.
This also hurts Nakamura. They are taking the shine off the hottest act they have had in a while. I am sure he will get a rematch, but why? He lost, so really he should have to go to the back of the line. But with Rusev and Corbin buried, Sam Zayn left off TV and Cena a part-timer – who is next? The main event scene is in rough shape over on the blue brand.
Raw in limbo
Our main event of the evening was a car crash of a match and it was fun to watch. Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman vs Samoa Joe was built up to be a huge clash of some very large and powerful men and boy, it lived up to that and then some. Braun has to be considered the MVP of this match. He did the most and he looked like a total star. Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, looked awful. He can no longer work a match longer than seven minutes and his move set is less than the five moves of doom that Cena gets pinged for. I am beyond bored with seeing him on my TV and holding the title. He will now go away and hold the belt while these three are left in the lurch. I am happy Roman ate the pin. Samoa Joe really should have walked out with this win. I know they have had a series of matches, but let’s have Roman and Braun go to a Hell in a Cell match and have Joe be the dominate champ they want Brock to be… but you know, actually show up for work.
Again, I have to ask; where does the Raw main event scene go from here? At least SmackDown Live has a belt for their guys to fight over. With Miz rocking the preshow, I doubt the answer is to lift the IC title to fill the void. We have this hole where the champion of the brand should be and that isn’t good. I think Raw has been great over the last couple weeks, but can they keep that up? We will see.
So overall SummerSlam was 6-5 in the negative for me. You had really good matches but more really bad/confusing matches. And you have to look at the short term and long term future and wonder where we go from here. It is murky at best. While we do have bright spots, the top of the cards on both shows are in a lot of trouble and I hope they have some kind of plan, because it doesn’t feel like they do.
But I will tune in and pray I am just a smark that is wrong and they wow me.
Until next time, remember, you’re the tops!