WWE SummerSlam (20/8/17) Review

Braun smash! Credit: WWE

My God, that was long. I watched three wrestling shows over the weekend (TakeOver and ROH’s show in Edinburgh being the other two), and I could have watched both of those again in the time that it took me to watch all of Summerslam and its pre-show. But, I survived and have come out the other end a wiser and more cynical man. Let’s hand out some stars.

The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel defeated Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Jason Jordan

This was just a bit sad. Credit: WWE

*Yawn*. Remember when The Hardys were the hottest thing in wrestling? A few months in WWE and they are working the pre-show to ten people. It’s pathetic booking and it’s disrespectful to two men who deserve better. The only thing of note about this was Jason Jordan eating the loss. Is he going to go on a losing streak before snapping and turning heel? Or have WWE not thought that far ahead? Sadly, I think we all know the answer.

Verdict: One Star

Neville defeated Akira Tozawa (C) to win the Cruiserweight Title

Bloody silly booking. Credit: WWE

What’s the fucking point? Seriously, why have Tozawa win the belt on Monday just to lose it back here? It’s short-term booking which ruins Neville’s dominant reign and does nothing to help Tozawa either. The match was okay, but I couldn’t help feeling that it should have been so much better. I love what Neville is doing, but the fights always seem like they are close to being great but don’t quite make it. I don’t know if that’s him or just the fact he’s working pre-shows and has to deal with all the restraints that come with that.

Verdict: Three Stars

The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) defeated The Usos (C) (Jimmy and Jey Uso) to win the SmackDown Tag Titles

One hell of a leap. Credit: WWE

This was brilliant. The Usos and The New Day have fantastic chemistry and for the second PPV in a row they have put out a match of the year contender. Xavier Woods has come on leaps and bounds as an in-ring talent and he’s gone from being the obvious weak link to being on the same level as E and Kingston. Meanwhile, The Usos have flourished since they turned heel and have become as reliable as anyone in WWE. The fantastic near falls down the closing stretch added to the excitement and, unlike with Neville and Tozawa, the title change works. These are the two best teams on SmackDown (if not in the company), and they should be able to beat each other. Plus, it means we get more of this.

Verdict: Four Stars

John Cena defeated Baron Corbin

Poor Baron. It’s been a tough week. Credit: WWE

Is this the end of the Baron Corbin experiment? Let’s hope so. He’s been pushed far beyond his current ability and this was another horrifically average match. Talking about average, that’s all that Big Match John has been in his most recent return. It feels like his mind is elsewhere and I wonder how much longer we are going to see him in a WWE ring for.

Verdict: One Star

Natalya defeated Naomi (C) for the SmackDown Woman’s Title

She sold her soul to the devil but he took her wrestling talent. Credit: WWE

Natalya used to be good, right? We didn’t imagine that? She didn’t use to wrestle like she had to think about every little thing she was doing? At some point in the last few years, she lost it all. On the flip side, Naomi has been improving, despite all the silly glow stuff, but is not ready to carry a match. Combine those factors with a flat title change and it’s hard to be enthused by this. Maybe having the belt for only the second time in her career is the change Natalya needs, but this didn’t fill me with confidence.

Verdict: Two Stars

Big Cass defeated Big Show

Did he have a plan? Credit: WWE

What the fuck was this?

Verdict: Fuck off

Randy Orton defeated Rusev

Why bother doing this? Credit: WWE

Poor Rusev.

Verdict: Fuck off

Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss (C) for the Raw Woman’s Title

Let the hate feed you. Credit: WWE

This was really close to being a great match. The genuine dislike these two apparently have for each other gives their encounters an edge which shined through in the opening stages. Unfortunately, the finish failed to live up to that promise. It came out of nowhere and even the commentators were surprised that it was over. Hopefully, this isn’t the end between these two, because with five more minutes they could have a fantastic match.

Verdict: Three Stars

Finn Balor defeated Bray Wyatt

He should be the coolest fucker on the roster. Credit: WWE

I’m over Bray Wyatt. He managed to make Demon Finn Balor boring and that’s not acceptable. Take him off the road and give him a few months holiday before bringing him back fresh at the Rumble. Anything to get away from the slog of a wrestler that he has become. Balor had enough talent to make sure this didn’t reach Cass vs. Big Show levels of bad but I watched it a less than a day ago and I already can’t remember anything that happened. A waste of time for all involved.

Verdict: Two Stars

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose defeated Sheamus and Cesaro (C) for the Raw Tag Team Titles

Classic SHIELD. Credit: WWE

That’s more like it. Sheamus and Cesaro have quietly become one of the best things on WWE TV while the build up to Rollins and Ambrose’s reunion has been handled well. That all translated into a good match. Cesaro gets all the love in the world for his shutting down of obnoxious fans when he ripped apart the beach ball while the action in the ring was the fast-paced and hard-hitting stuff that you’d expect. Rollins and Ambrose have been floundering so having them drop into the tag division makes a lot of sense. Plus, in Sheamus and Cesaro they have two opponents who I’d happily watch them fight at least a few more times before this is all said and done.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

AJ Styles (C) defeated Kevin Owens to retain the US Title

Great but not amazing. Credit: WWE

This is the best match of their series, but I can’t help but be disappointed by it. Styles and Owens are fantastic wrestlers and yet something hasn’t clicked between them. None of their matches sucked but none of them were spectacular either. You also have to question the inclusion of Shane McMahon here as he did nothing and only served to take attention away from the competitors in the ring. Oh wait, he’s a McMahon, that’s all they serve to do. Jokes aside, if you removed some of the shenanigans this could have been even better but it was a solid match from guys who regularly deliver incredible.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Jinder Mahal (C) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship

95% of the pictures from this match are Mahal working a rest hold. Credit: WWE

Jinder Mahal is a garbage wrestler and Shinsuke Nakamura apparently doesn’t give a shit. The Singh Brothers better get a push coming out of all this or it will have been a total waste of time.

Verdict: One And A Half Stars but The Singh Brothers get all the stars.

Brock Lesnar (C) defeated Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe to retain the Universal Championship

Still the beast. Credit: WWE

Sometimes all you need is four huge guys beating the crap out of each other for twenty minutes. This was high-octane insanity and it was perfect. I think I’m harsher on Braun Strowman than a lot of people, but this was the moment he became a star and you have to wonder whether Reigns being the one who took the pin symbolises that WWE has realised that. Even Brock seemed to be going all out to make him look like a beast. The only downside was that in among all the craziness Samoa Joe was slightly lost in the shuffle but it was a small niggle because Strowman chucked a chair at some people and that’s good enough for me. Lesnar winning was the right decision because when he loses it should be one on one and judging by the last few months, it should be to Braun Strowman.

Verdict: Four Stars

Overall Show

It looks like he was kicked in the face, really he just sat through this show. Credit: WWE

There was a great two to three-hour show here. Open with the Cruiserweights, follow-up with the two tag title matches, the Raw women’s fight, the US Title and the main-event. How great does that sound? Plus, it would have taken up a quarter of the time. Instead of that, we got a bloated mess which at times was brilliant but at others was a bit shit. It was just too much.

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