Becky Lynch turns… into an even bigger babyface! Every other wrestler gets a squash match! Is Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar finally over (in both senses of the word)? And did I retain my jacket in WrestleTalk’s prediction war against Cultaholic?!
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas & Zelina Vega beat Rusev & Lana – 1.5*
The pre-show was a rather pointless affair, with no feuds developing or titles changing hands. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Zelina Vega beat Rusev and Lana with zero Aiden English interference.
Cedric Alexander beat Drew Gulak – 3*
Cedric Alexander retained his Cruiserweight title against Drew Gulak in a well-worked match.
B Team beat The Revival – 1*
And the B Team fluked another victory over the Revival.
But move aside, pre-show, because it’s the real deal now: complete with Terry Crews cutting a promo on how we should all be more successful.
Seth Rollins beat Dolph Ziggler – 4*
The main card opened with a great bout between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler, with the Lunatic Without A Fringe Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre levelling up the drama in their respective corners.
And hopefully restarting his pre-Extreme Rules momentum, Rollins Curbstomped Ziggler to win following a very fun finishing sequence.
New Day beat Bludgeon Brothers (DQ) – 3*
The excitement continued with an action-packed SmackDown tag title match, complete with Xavier Woods elbows to the outside, Big E belly-to-bellys and the Bludgeon Brothers not only using each other as weapons, but actual weapons as weapons too.
The New Day won via DQ, marring a very fun match with a lame finish.
Braun Strowman beat Kevin Owens – 2*
Next up came Braun Strowman vs Kevi-oh wait, Braun’s already won.
Strowman completely obliterated Owens in a minute. Which is a great way to make Braun look dominating, but it severely undermines KO.
Charlotte beat Carmella & Becky Lynch – 3.75*
Carmella defended her SmackDown Women’s title against Charlotte and Becky Lynch’s monobrow in a match made by the challengers’ chemistry and burgeoning feud.
The finish was excellent – Becky had Carmella in the Disarmer, but Charlotte hit the Natural Selection on Lynch to win the belt. Following a brief embrace, Becky finally snapped, turning from a babyface… into an even bigger babyface. She attacked Charlotte to massive cheers from the crowd. If Bayley and Sasha Banks’ Raw feud is anything to go by, this will pay off sometime in early 2022.
Samoa Joe beat AJ Styles (DQ) – 4*
My favourite match of the night, however, was a surprisingly raw bout (pun intended) between Samoa Joe and AJ Styles.
After a very good, heated match, Joe got on the mic to tell AJ’s daughter at ringside he’ll be her daddy – which caused Styles to snap and attack Joe with a chair for the DQ loss.
Then, in the night’s most devastating bit of storytelling, AJ’s daughter recoiled from his hug because his face was splattered with blood. This feud just went up a notch.
Elias beat His Guitar – 7*
In the night’s second squash match, Elias accidentally broke the neck of his guitar.
Miz beat Daniel Bryan – 3.5*
With a match eight years in the making, and one of the best video packages of the year, Miz vs Daniel Bryan was always going to struggle with the lofty expectations. Especially coming about 23 hours into a 49 hour show.
Maryse slipped Miz some brass knuckles to help him cheat to win, neatly basing the feud around a single punch. As great as their longterm feud is, though, Bryan’s return from retirement is way short of its potential, with crowd reactions cooling off after every pay-per-view match.
Finn Balor beat Baron Corbin – 3*
Squash match number 3, and arguably the most exciting surprise of the night: the return of Demon King Finn Balor! Because Finn’s feud with Baron Corbin is apparently more deserving of it than fighting for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania.
Shinsuke Nakamura beat Jeff Hardy – 3.5*
Jeff Hardy revealed in an interview he’s working pretty banged up right now. So he worked a understandably safe match by hitting a Swanton Bomb on the ring apron.
Randy Orton came out of somewhere after Nakamura got the pin, presumably to shake the winner’s hand (allegedly), but then walked back out and did nothing. What a heel.
Ronda Rousey beat Alexa Bliss – 3.5*
Squash match number 4! The petrifying tag team of Ronda Rousey and Ronda Rousey’s weird make-up annihilated Alexa Bliss in minutes, taking advantage of Alexa’s double jointed arms to make it look like she broke one and tapped her out. Ronda celebrated with Natalya and her husband afterwards, along with some awkwardly included Bella Twins product placement.
Roman Reigns beat Brock Lesnar – 3.75*
Here comes the giant CGI big dog graphics aside, the Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar main event was a masterstroke in damage-control booking. To get around the crowd either highjacking Reigns vs Lesnar again, or just walking out, Strowman promised to cash-in his Money in the Bank beefcase on the winner and stayed there at ringside.
It didn’t stop the crowd chanting ‘You Both Suck’, but it otherwise the booking was super effective, with both Lesnar and Reigns wanting to win in the quickest way possible to be fresh for Braun’s cash-in.
Brock opted for the more direct route: beat up Strowman and then throw the Money in the Bank briefcase ACROSS THE FACE OF THE PLANET. But he turned right into a Roman spear, giving us a new… finally… Universal Champion. Imagine if it was a babyface who was actually over.
This was a very fun SummerSlam, with some great booking (Kevin Owens excluded) loads of title changes and a dramatic main event. Even though WrestleTalk lost to Cultaholic by one prediction, meaning I have to give up my beloved sexy jacket, this year’s SummerSlam is a Great Per View.