Ranking the 4 SummerSlam weekends in Brooklyn from worst to best
Once upon a time, Madison Square Garden was the WWE's home. It was the venue for countless special moments over the years, both on television and on pay-per-views. The first ever WrestleMania happened there, along with the tenth and the twentieth editions. Both of them were stellar, some of the finest ones in the history of the event.
However, at the turn of this decade, WWE started using the building lesser and lesser for televised events. Costs for running TV were as high as ever and WWE searched for an alternative in New York.
In 2012, the Barclays Center was opened in Brooklyn. The first WWE event there, the TLC pay-per-view, was a massive hit. It seemed that they had finally received an alternative. Since then, WWE hasn't run a single televised event at the Garden, only using the legendary building for big house shows.
The first real sign of Brooklyn becoming WWE's new home in the Big Apple was the deal they had for SummerSlam. For four consecutive years, WWE has run a weekend's worth of shows at the Barclays Center in the second half of August with the objective to make SummerSlam a big deal again.
They have managed to do that through this four year run in Brooklyn, with the introduction of NXT Takeover events on the night before 'Big Four' pay-per-views. With them, every such weekend feels special. Whether it is SummerSlam, or WrestleMania, or any of the others, you will be guaranteed to have a weekend filled with great action and memorable moments.
And since the brand split was put into action in 2016, WWE's best pay-per-views annually have more or less been the 'Big Four'. Three years after the first mega-weekend of shows in WWE, this concept lives on and is getting more and more successful with every such weekend. This past weekend marked the fourth consecutive and final time, for now at least, that the festivities of SummerSlam weekend were in Brooklyn.
As fun as all of them were, here are the four SummerSlam weekends, from Takeover to SummerSlam, to the next night or two, in Brooklyn ranked from worst to best.
NXT TAKEOVER: The second Takeover events in Brooklyn was a solid one, albeit lacking a little lustre from the other shows of its kind. The first half of matches on this show was all about getting relatively new talent over. Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Ember Moon all gained impressive victories, earning momentum for the future.
The second half of the show ranged from exciting to excessively exhilarating. The Japanese invasion was in full swing as Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura left Brooklyn with NXT's two major championships, beating Bayley and Samoa Joe to do so.
But the night was stolen by the NXT Tag Team Championship match, as DIY came extremely close to dethroning The Revival in a classic tag team encounter between good and evil. It was an excellent first instalment of the greatest tag team feud in NXT history.
SUMMERSLAM: The first pay-per-view of the second brand split in WWE, SummerSlam 2016 had a host of possibilities. There were exciting matches on the card, including Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor for the newly sanctioned Universal Championship and the rubber match between AJ Styles and John Cena.
The show started off well, with a surprising Women's title victory for Charlotte Flair over Sasha Banks and the show-stealer between Cena and Styles. However, that was when the show peaked. The night devolved into madness shortly after, with a weird Tag Team Championship match, a cancelled United States Championship match and the unveiling of the Universal Championship.
The ugly red colour distracted the fans from witnessing Finn Balor reach the top of the mountain within a month on the main roster. The main event was even more bizarre, if that is even possible, as Brock Lesnar literally elbowed Randy Orton's head wide open. A weird finish to a weird show.
OTHER HAPPENINGS: The post-SummerSlam edition of Raw would build towards the future of the red brand, under the most unfortunate of circumstances. Following a shoulder injury at SummerSlam, Finn Balor was forced to relinquish his newly won Universal title.
A sad moment, but the show must go on. We got matches building to a Fatal-4-way for the vacant title on the next Raw, including some fun bouts like Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn.
Also on this Raw, the Dudley Boyz retired from WWE in-ring competition and were wiped out by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. However, the high point of the night after SummerSlam 2016 was the much-anticipated main roster debut of Bayley.
This show would be a come-down from the surprise-heavy show that took place the previous year, as we will see. A decent episode of Monday Night Raw, but a bit disappointing given that it immediately followed the second biggest show of the year.