Erin: Before my viewers go through the review, I’d like to welcome back Aaron Flow for his special Summerslam Review appearance. This show felt big, and it turned out to be an even bigger show.
For the record, I wasn’t a fan of Jon Stewart’s opening bit, it was lackluster. They could have literally gotten anybody to do what he did, but I guess his name means a lot more. I will admit the whole back and forth between Foley and Stewart gave me a chuckle. Starting the show on a light hearted note felt nice.
Aaron: Thanks to Erin for asking me to do this Summerslam round-table, I hope to be back again on a more regular basis in November. I haven’t written in a while, so forgive me if some of my rants seem dated.
Sheamus vs Randy Orton
Erin: I loved how Sheamus stopped and addressed the crowd after the bell rang. In actuality, his character should be frustrated with the “you look stupid” chants. He found a way to maximize his heat with the crowd by doing that. While the two started off hot, this match cooled down quickly. The crowd’s lack of reaction was evidence of this. At one point the only thing going through my head was how Sheamus’ hawk doesn’t fall apart. Even after Orton messed it up, it was still standing. The spot of the match was the RKO while Sheamus was in midair. Those types of RKOs always look amazing. Overall, I was just glad this match ended.
Aaron: For me, this is a brutal match to start the PPV off with. Mainly because I can’t stand watching these two wrestle each other. I was not expecting Sheamus to methodically dismantle Orton in the beginning portion of this match. These two did a good job proving that even the New York crowd can be dead for a match. This match was a struggle for most of the bout, with the occasional burst of innovation which helped the audience from wanting to hang themselves. Sheamus getting the win was obviously necessary as he’s been riddled with losses as of late. It’s just too bad that the win he got, wasn’t that convincing.
Fatal Four Way Tag Match
Erin: The New Day stole the match before it could even start. Their opening promo may have been slightly campy, but it definitely delivered. Kalisto was obviously the standout of this match, he made the wrestling aspect of it much more entertaining. What surprised me even more was that he was able to deliver a few flip type spots within a few minutes. The non-wrestling aspect of the match was carried by Xavier Woods. At times I wish they would just give him a headset and mute the commentators. He truly did out do his previous ringside rants. The spot of this match was Woods slamming El Torito into mat, but only because of his rants afterwards. Believe it or not, I shouted in excitement when the New Day got the pin. The finish was executed extremely well and it capped off a highly entertaining match.
Aaron: This should have opened Summerslam. The crowd was hot for this one, and it helped that the first match was such a snooze-fest. This tag division is such a mess, and this match continued the trend as it was pure chaos. Some really good spots in this one as Big E’s athleticism continues to amaze me. New Day walked away with the titles which I expected, but didn’t really want. The Tag Division needs to have long reigning champs for the titles to mean anything. I’m assuming that the idea was to have New Day get the heat for the win, but that completely backfired as the crowd cheered their amazing dance (including me.) This was the first thing out of this event that got a reaction out of me. Hilarious.
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev
Erin: What did they do to Lana? Everything that made her character intriguing has been slowly flushed away. I feel her outfit from last night took away from what she used to be. I only cared to see Rusev crush Ziggler in this contest. The mark in me couldn’t take any more of Ziggler in this feud. To be honest, most of the match was quite dull, most of the time I was waiting for some sort of interference from Lana or Summer. It is worth noting that Rusev’s facial expressions were pure gold. I don’t understand why this ended in a double count out. It was a terrible way to finish this match, and it doesn’t help that the feud is terrible as well. Rusev should have this match clean.
Rusev has been so badly damaged by WWE creative. It’s painful for me to watch his continued demise. For me as a fan, I needed to see Rusev destroy Ziggler. This is the guy who had a brutal feud with Cena, and is now in a program with Ziggler that is unoriginal, uninspired, and painful to watch. Personal feelings aside, this match was good. Really solid action from both guys with some decent suspense. When Rusev slapped on the accolade, I figured it was over. Only because Lana was yelling in Rusev’s face while he was performing the move, constantly reminding him how hot she used to look before Ziggler put her in a terrible, acid washed, denim outfit. Storyline-wise, that should have made Rusev want to break Ziggler in half. The double count out finish did not fly here. This is the PPV that is big enough to host a match “too big for Wrestlemania,” but it’s not big enough to give us a winner between two mid-carders? This crowd deserved better than this.
Neville & Stephen Amell vs Stardust & King Barrett
Erin: The video package was awesome for this feud, I could tell the editing team was working hard this past week. The slow build for the match had me wanting them to break out into a full brawl. For a non wrestler, Amell did a great job in this match. He did a decent job at selling, and did an even better job at using his offense. His top rope attempt is what truly impressed me. Overall this match delivered on being a ton of fun.
I think it’s safe to say that Stephen Amell is by far the best celebrity wrestler I’ve ever seen. What great promotion for Arrow to have your star actor performing this way in the ring. He looked like a guy who had been doing this a while. Not much of a match but a nice change of pace, positioned perfectly on the card to not offend anyone (anymore than they already were.)
The Miz vs Big Show vs Ryback
Erin: I had no expectations for this contest, as they haven’t given me much to expect. To their credit, they did have some fun spots with the use of Big Show’s strengths. This match was worked smart because it didn’t go very long, and the drama was kept at a high level. Surprisingly enough, it was much better than I thought it was going to be.
Aaron: I had such mixed feelings about this match. I can’t stand watching Miz and Big Show, but these three guys had one hell of an entertaining match…..but it was literally around 5 minutes long! The ring entrances were almost longer than this match. I don’t actually think I can recall a triple threat match in history that was this short. It was nice to see Ryback keep the title and get a win here, hopefully they can get him in a meaningful program after this. He deserves better.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs the Wyatt Family
Erin: The chaos that ensued outside the ring was extremely entertaining. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, a chaotic brawl is a style all of these men thrive on. For the most part they capitalized on that type of wrestling, even when they were in the ring. The beat down on Ambrose was great for story telling, and it gave this contest more purpose. Dean’s struggle to stay in the match was great for building fan sympathy, as I was genuinely hoping he would overcome the odds. This Brooklyn crowd was not too keen on Roman, but I thought he put on a decent show. Once the finishing sequence ensued, this match became much better. Overall, I truly did enjoy the action between the two teams. Also, was I the only one waiting for that turn?
Aaron: I have to say, as I sat watching the ring entrances of this match, I found myself amazed at how terrible this event had been so far. There is no need to cram this event with 10 matches, and tack on an extra hour, if it’s all going to be nonsense. This match was fine, but what did it accomplish? And what justified this match to go be 10 minutes long when it was nothing different than anything you would see on Raw? Why did the triple threat match for the title get the shaft? I don’t understand these decisions. The “Roman’s sleeping” chant was great. I like Reigns, but he’s doing himself no favors at all by pulling that stuff during matches. It was the sole reason people hated his Rumble performance. The fans don’t forget. The Wyatt’s lose this one, and I’m not sure anything really matters. It was uncomfortable to watch the “hot tag” to Reigns while he got boo’d. What a mess.
Seth Rollins vs John Cena
Erin: This crowd just booed both of these men, it was actually pretty funny. I was completely thrown off of Seth’s new ring attire, but I liked it. I think it would be great if he only wore white at the big four PPVs. The two men didn’t hold back, as they gave it their all the second the match started. Rollins especially was outstanding. It was clear that he was out to prove that he’s the best wrestler on the roster. While John was good for the most part, he botched a few of big spots, such as the springboard stunner and top rope leg drop. The spot of the match was Seth’s version of the AA, only because it came after Cena’s AA attempt. I’m not going to lie though, the figure four spot was way too intense as I marked out like crazy. Did they really need Jon Stewart to interfere? That ruined a perfectly good match, and that finish could have been setup without interference. Rollins could have easily gotten a chair on his own after the ref was knocked out. Regardless of the one flaw in the finish, I still enjoyed this match.
Aaron: Finally something cool. What great ring presence from these two, especially Rollins in the all white. Both of these guys are so good…..and then Cena botches that horrendous stunner that he should stop doing (but won’t.) Thankfully Rollins hit him with a combo of dazzling moves, which quickly fizzled out the “you can’t wrestle” chants. A true worker. The announcers stressed how much Rollins wants that statue of himself at WWE headquarters. How did the writers of this feud not immediately get fired for rehashing the exact same storyline that Ambrose had, not even a year ago? Remember, he wanted his picture up with the legends at WWE headquarters? If you don’t remember, it’s ok, because it was a completely forgettable storyline. Cena has been having these epic 4 star matches this year using the same formula of dramatic counters and kick-outs, but that didn’t take away from this match at all. Rollins hit a breathtaking frog splash that wasn’t “shades of Eddie Guerrero,” he actually WAS Eddie Guerrero. The figure four exchange was suspenseful, but not nearly as incredible as the Rollins super-plex combo. Even when the ref got bumped, it wasn’t insulting to the intelligence of the viewer, it was well done. The run in from John Stewart better make sense come Monday, otherwise it was a waste of a fantastic match. A 5 minute triple threat title match, a double count out, and a run in from a talkshow host causing Cena (who kicks out of almost anything) to lose……this is some event.
Divas Triple Tag Elimination Match
Erin: In order for them to capitalize on this match, they had to avoid it turning into chaos. In the past we’ve been given a ton of battle royals with women, and they never result in anything good. For the most part, they followed this formula and added in controlled chaos with the pair of dives to the outside. In fact, the Bellas in particular had a great set of suicide dives. I was shocked that team Bad was eliminated so early, especially after the show Sasha put on the night prior. It really took the energy out of me, because I felt team Bella should have went out first. They still wrestled a solid match afterwards and it was going well until Brie completely missed her missile drop kick. I’m not sure if that was a botch on Becky or Brie. It was great to see Lynch pick up the win for her team and it shows that they’re willing to showcase her as much as the other women.
Aaron: I’m going to refrain from going ballistic from these horrible ring entrances. All I’m going to say is, Flair and Banks have great entrances and music….and WWE completely blows them off. How will they ever expect these Divas to set themselves apart, if they keep lumping them together in separate, generic, teams? Why should anyone care about any of this? The formula is simple. Wrestlers compete in singles matches to eventually get a shot at the champion. Instead we get this. A bunch of filler. Nikki Bella got Becky Lynch up onto her shoulders, Cole yells, “Sasha up top,” and I almost wanted to start crying. These girls were putting on classic matches in NXT, and now they are in embarrassing team battles while the announcers literally can’t distinguish who they are. I applaud WWE for giving them almost 16 minutes, but this was not a match worth talking about. Hopefully this “group” gimmic will somehow turn into a more structured title picture.
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
Erin: For anybody that thinks the company doesn’t care about these guys, you’re wrong, at least for this show. The fact that Owens and Cesaro were given a chance to perform before the main event means the WWE wants them to get exposure. I felt the two were put in a position to work a long match. This contest also turned out to be the most technically sound on the card. Cesaro seemed to have brought his A game when it came to the uppercuts, because at one point he made them look like they were connecting. The spot of this match was the moonsault from Owens, simply because it looked so fluid. What impressed me the most about this match was how the two men protected each other’s finishers. Cesaro never hit his, but Owens used his once and won. As of late Owens has had a string of losses, and as a fan this win felt great. The two put on an awesome match, and I’d be okay with them continuing the feud.
Aaron: It’s nice to finally see Cesaro getting the respect he deserves from WWE. This was a good match for both men as Cesaro got to look strong and appear like a main eventer, while Owens got the win he badly needed to avoid becoming the token fat mid-carder that WWE destroyed. This was a good 15 minute match between two guys that should be bigger stars than they are.
Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar
Erin: I was completely thrown off guard when Lesnar attacked Taker right away, because I was planning on finishing my glass of wine before Taker’s entrance was over. They couldn’t have booked the starting any better though, because it just showed us how much the two hate each other. Early on Taker was phenomenal with his selling of Lesnar’s multiple suplexes. Also for someone that has had a ton of injuries, Taker looked great. He didn’t look as gassed as he did in his past two matches. Half way through the match, they had already done better than their previous encounter. The spot of the match and the show, was Lesnar’s F5 to Taker through the table. I didn’t expect the Deadman to take big bumps like that, but he did. This spot actually made me jump out of my seat. The chokeslam soon after was a close second, just because of the air Brock caught. I can’t recall a moment that was intense as Taker keeping Brock in the hell’s gate submission before the finish. I was close to pulling out my own hair to see if Lesnar would tap.
That swerve at the end, was perfect. It wasn’t something grand, but it was effective enough for it to blend well. This was one of many factors that made this match excellent. These two men wrestled as if they hated each other, and it translated well on screen. Since the emotion was high, every move felt intense. It also helped that the two flawlessly executed everything.
Aaron: When Taker came out and walked down to the ring with that hat and coat on, his walk and appearance reminded me slightly of Terry Funk. Thats not a compliment. Taker needs to hang it up worse then Big Show. It wasn’t long before Lesnar viciously started attacking an old man, before eventually getting tossed out of the ring by that same old man. Watching Taker go to “Suplex City,” was really difficult to watch. For having a “no blood” policy, Lesnar is pretty consistent at completely ignoring that rule. The F5 through the announce table was worse to watch than “Suplex City.” Remember that thing I said about Terry Funk? Taker was channeling him here in this match. I have to admit, I had VERY low expectations for this match. This match was much better than their first encounter. My hat is off to the Undertaker for a fantastic, irresponsible, Funk-like performance, that he clearly doesn’t need to be doing at this age. The ending, like this entire PPV, was ridiculously stupid.
Erin: It wasn’t until Roman & Dean vs Bray & Luke that the show picked up. I guess that was just the start of all the big matches. In fairness to the rest of the show, this did not feel like four hours, and it flew by. While some of the matches weren’t great, the show was fun. The low point of last night was the Ziggler-Rusev match while the high point was of course the Taker-Lesnar match. Overall, I give this PPV a 7/10
Aaron: The two best matches on this show where clearly Rollins/Cena and Taker/Lesnar, but the horrible endings for each match caused me to give them both a 7/10. This is a major PPV that ended up looking like a TNA event. I walked away from this event feeling like I wasted 4 hours of my life, I can’t imagine what the fans felt who were at the event. They got to see a double count out, a 5 minute triple threat for the title, interference in another title match, and a “controversial” bell ringer in the main event. Overall this PPV gets a 4/10.