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It’s that time of the year where WWE host the Biggest Party of the Summer! The 30th Annual Summerslam hails from the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn and is a mammoth 6-hour event including the 2-hour kick-off show!. In what has become a two night event with NXT Takeover happening the Saturday night it really has become the biggest summer wrestling event for fans and this year did not disappoint.
Summerslam kick-off show began at 10pm and we didn’t have to wait too long for the first match as The Miz and the Miztourage faced off against Jason Jordan and The Hardy Boys. Not sure if there was an issue with the venue but there was barely anyone inside for the beginning of the match which led to some unusual camera angles! The match itself was good and the reigning Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, pinned the biological son of Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan, after hitting the Skull-Crushing-Finale.
A Raw-Rematch next up as Neville tries to reclaim the Cruiserweight Title from the International Star of Titus World-Wide - Akira Tozawa. The majority of people were shocked on Monday when Tozawa claimed the title but now the Japanese man will have to try defend it only 6 days later but unfortunately he was unable to retain as King of the Cruiserweights recaptured his title!
Arguably the best match of the night was the final match of the kick-off show (which makes you wonder why on earth it was not on the main show?) it was the Smackdown Live Tag-Team title match with The New Day defending against The Usos! These have been the two best tag teams in the WWE for the last 3-4 years. Such great chemistry with each other and against each other so we knew that this match would not disappoint. Featuring some amazing spots in-which I genuinely thought that Xavier Woods was broken! The Usos finally got the win after having a Superkick Party with Big-E! #AndNew champions are The Usos. Certainly quite a bit of hot potato going on in WWE lately with titles changing hands a lot! (Wonder how many more titles will change hands tonight???)
Time for the Main Show!
We kick off a PPV show with John Cena coming out first, genuinely cannot remember the last time he was on so early in the show. Certainly not a usually spot for the former 16x World Champion. He faces Baron Corbin who unsuccessfully cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Smackdown Live this past Tuesday after Cena caused a brief distraction. Corbin was not a happy bunny coming to the ring (still not a fan of his new music) but could he overcome John Cena? In short, the answer is no. Cena was able to pick a rather straight forward win with Corbin being taken out by an AA. Wonder what’s next for these two guys?
First of the two Women’s title matches was up next as the Queen of Hearts looked to turn off the Glow! Naomi has been a great champion since claiming the gold in her hometown of Orlando at Wrestlemania 33 but tonight defends against Natalya. Surely her toughest defence to date. This match also had the looming possibility of Carmella cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase, would we see that tonight?. Don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing Naomi’s entrance - lights go out and the rave begins! It’s great live! The match was good and was very difficult to see who was going to be going home with the belt. After withstanding one Sharp-Shooter, Naomi finally tapped out after Natalya applied it for a cond time and there was no way out for Naomi! EVERYONE was now watching & waiting to see Carmella come out but sadly we didn’t get that tonight. Wonder how long we have to wait for that to happen?
Shark Cage time! The battle of the Bigs! Big Show v Big Cass with Enzo Amore contained within a Shark Cage hanging above the ring. With Enzo not a factor would we see a straight up fight between these two giants? No. No we wouldn’t. Enzo managed to fit out between the cage bars (We must get on to Mattel and raise our concerns!) but his escape didn’t make any impact at all for as soon as he landed in the ring he was met by a big boot and Cass then did the same to Show, along with the Empire Elbow, and got the 3-count. Not sure why this couldn’t have been on the pre-show instead of the New Day / Usos match?
The length of the show was starting to kick in now and still had a couple of hours to go! Luckily the next match was super short but poor Rusev. The most underappreciated talent in WWE gets a squashed by Randy Orton by catching an RKO out of nowhere! Maybe some day we’ll get to enjoy a good Rusev run. Maybe..
Time for the women of #RAW to takeover as the Champion Alex Bliss defends against Sasha Banks. The #LegitBoss is in this match after the the number 1 contender Bayley was force to relinquish this title match due to injury. Poor Bayley got booed by the Brooklyn crowd after featuring in a back-stage segment with Banks. Can’t imagine what she could have done to deserve that, unless people are booing at how bad WWE are managing her?
Either way it’s time for Little Miss Bliss to face The Boss! Both have put on great matches over the past year and Bliss in particular has been amazing since her promotion from NXT. This match was good with both women hitting their signature moves, particularly love the double double knees that Bliss hits. Sasha picks up the win after making Bliss tap out in the Banks Statement! She is now the 4-time Champ!
One year on to the day since he was the first ever winner of the Universal Title, Finn Balor bring back his Demon character. Looks absolutely amazing! Totally worth the 3 hours it takes to put on I’m sure! Tonight he faces the ‘Eater of Worlds’ Bray Wyatt. The Demon would get the rather routine win, wonder how they could develop The Demon a bit more, custom set of moves?
One of my other favourite matches of the night saw the team of Sheamus and Cesaro defend against The Shield 2.0. Ambrose and Rollins finally set aside their differences to try get the better of SheaSaro who have been picking them off over the past couple of weeks. The most awesome moment of the entire night came as #BeachBallMania was about to break out again, remember how the Wrestlemania crowd threw around Beachballs? (Actually funny when there’s not much going on in the ring) well on this occasion Cesaro wasn’t having any of it and ran into the crowd to grab the beach ball and ripped it to shreds! Pop of the night for sure! Unfortunately for Cesaro that would also be the highlight of the night for him too as The Shield 2.0 picked up the win, would Roman win the big one later on and complete the reunion?
Next up was the United States Championship Match with AJ Styles defending against Kevin Owens for the 947th time this month but this time the Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon was the guest referee. The match was as you would expect, a technical masterpiece from both competitors but unfortunately this match was less about the the title or even the competitors but all about Shane-O-Mac. Pity, focus should always be on the competitors and title. After a few bumps, Shane finally got his senses back and counted to three as Styles retained! Hope we don’t have another rematch. Let’s move on with some fresh competitors please.
WWE Title match - I don’t recall a time when I had such little interest in this title. Nobody is buying Jinder Mahal as champion. So despite the awesome Shinsuke Nakamura coming to face him for the title the WOW factor just isn’t there. The match itself was average with nothing of note happening. The Champion retained the title after some interference from the Singh brothers. The match has gone the same way all of Mahal’s title defenses. Even a Punjabi Prison couldn’t keep him from getting help (he needed) from outside.
And finally we get to the Main Event - The Fatal-4-Way for the Universal Title. This is easily the match I most looked forward to at this event. The competitors; Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and the defending champion Brock Lesnar all are believable champions so you couldn’t guess as to who was actually going to win! The pace for this match was electric and the guys took little time in ‘getting to know each other’. Strowman absolutely bossed everyone, he put Lesnar through TWO announce tables (Lesnar was taken away on a Stretcher!) and threw an announcer's chair and almost decapitated Joe & Roman’s heads! Such much happened that I could be here until tomorrow trying to describe it - Trust me, go watch it!
Despite being taken away earlier on a stretcher, Lesnar came back and opened a large can of Whoop-*ss on everyone! This was literally edge of the seat kind of action. By far the match of the night, hands down! So many Suplexes, Super-Man Punches, Kokina Clutches and Braun just being a lunatic!
Eventually it looked like Roman was about to Spear Lesnar and finally get his hands on the Universal Title but no… Lesnar countered it into an F5 and 1-2-3 #AndStill Universal Champion is Brock Lesnar! #RAW should be good night!
Overall a decent show, 100 times better than Battleground last month but with it being a 6-hour event and with NXT from the previous night being soo good, I actually felt a bit underwhelmed by Summerslam as a whole. Sure there were great spots and matches - The two tag matches, Beachball Bursting and Main event being the highlights, the rest failed to live up the hype that surrounds the 2nd/3rd biggest event in the WWE Calendar. If this was a School Report card it would read: Lazy, Could do More.