WWE SummerSlam 2018: Analysing and grading each match
Thirteen matches were on the stacked card, including Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship), AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship), Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship) and Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz.
Both women’s divisions were also represented, with Ronda Rousey challenging Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Championship) and Carmella competing in a Triple Threat match against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Championship).
Elsewhere on the card, Shinsuke Nakamura faced Jeff Hardy (United States Championship), Kevin Owens challenged Braun Strowman (Money In The Bank briefcase), The Bludgeon Brothers took on The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championships), and Finn Balor went one-on-one with Baron Corbin.
Three matches were on the event’s kickoff show: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak (Cruiserweight Championship), The B-Team vs. The Revival (Raw Tag Team Championships), and Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana.
In this article, let’s break down every match and take a look at what was good and bad about this year’s SummerSlam.
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#1 Kickoff show: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega def. Rusev & Lana
Match: The early stages of this match were contested by Andrade “Cien” Almas and Rusev, then Lana finally got her hands on Zelina Vega when Rusev tagged her in. After a distraction on the apron from Almas, Lana slapped “El Idolo” in the face before being rolled up for the 1-2-3, with some help from the middle rope, by Vega.
Verdict: The big surprise here was that the unreliable Aiden English actually obeyed Rusev’s pre-match orders and stayed away from ringside. The match itself was fairly entertaining for a kickoff show encounter, with the Brooklyn crowd interested and getting involved in chants from start to finish. Overall, a positive way to start the event.
#2 Kickoff show: Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak (Cruiserweight Championship)
Match: Drew Gulak was dominant for most of this match, inflicting lots of damage to Cedric Alexander’s neck and left arm. The match turned around when Cedric elbowed Drew in the face after a battle on the apron, leading to an incredible Spanish Fly from the champ. Then, after several near-falls in succession, Cedric got the 1-2-3 with a roll-up.
Verdict: This match has split fans on social media, with some saying the final sequence looked botched (Cedric essentially pulled Drew on top of him for one of the near-falls) and others praising its creativity. While the finish did look clumsy, the story of the match was very good. A win for Gulak would have been nice, but his time will come!