WWE SummerSlam Weekend Review
The Barclays Center for the fourth year in a row hosted the weekend for WWE’s biggest party of the summer SummerSlam. Before these big wrestling weekends, I always get this sense of excitement and nervousness because these events get major build up and excitement but sometimes fall flat and disappoint the fans that follow the product religiously. So I asked myself the question: did this weekend live up to that hype or fall flat?
We started the weekend with NXT takeover Brooklyn 4. I was fortunate enough to attend the event live, but I will try not to let this affect my opinion of the event. The night started off hot with a great back and forth between the Undisputed Era and Mustache Mountain. The chemistry of the two teams was really on full display. The Undisputed Era retained but after the match the War Raiders attacked them and I’m still shocked how high Kyle O' Reilly was thrown up in the air. I see this setting up a War Games match with three teams involved and I’ll explain this a little later in the article.
Next up was EC3 vs Velveteen Dream. The truth is that the match fell kind of flat but the amount of charisma these two guys had is what sold this match. Dream with the “Call me up Vince” on his trunks was very clever. After this feud, I couldn't tell you where or what Velveteen Dream or EC3 have in their future plans in NXT.
The third match was Ricochet vs Adam Cole. This match for me was the match of the night. The match had great high spots. The pacing felt so fluent and natural. The big spot of the night and of the weekend was Ricochet backflipping into a superkick from Cole. I’m still in shock Cole landed that superkick. Being there and experiencing that spot made me and basically everyone in the arena jump out of their seats. I said earlier the setup for War Games was made earlier in the night and this confirmed it. War Games looks like it will be War Raiders and Ricochet, British Strong Style and the Undisputed Era. That match will not disappoint.
The second to last match was for the NXT Women’s Championship. Although I wasn’t a big fan of either wrestler, I still enjoyed the solid work from both women. Kairi Sane was very much over with the crowd and her winning the title was a really cool moment in a night of big moments.
The final match of the night was a perfect main event to cap off NXT Takeover. Ciampa vs Gargano just never disappoints. Every contest between these two is special and violent. The spots during the match showed brutality and allowed us to see the dark side of Gargano that Ciampa was trying to bring out. The ending of the match seemed a little confusing which makes me think Gargano was supposed to win. Either way, the match was a really nice blow off, but leaves the question is this feud over?
I started off my article by asking whether the hype would make it fall flat? NXT Takeover 4 was everything but flat. From start to finish the show did everything it needed to do and created new storylines that will allow them to build to War Games.
Now we turn our attention to the main show SummerSlam. We start off with the Kickoff Show. The first match was the mixed tag team between Rusev and Lana against Almas and Vega. The match was a typical mixed tag match with a little back and forth and Vega attempted to get her feet on the ropes for the pin and missed but still managed to get Lana for the one, two, three.
The next match was the Cruiserweights and this was really good except for the final sequence which felt a little sloppy. Alexander retained and we‘ll see what happens on Tuesday night on 205 Live. The final match on the pre-show was the B team facing off against the Revival. I get they like the B Team gimmick but the burial of The Revival hurts. The Revival was so big in NXT and now they are just a couple of jobbers, what a shame. Enough about the pre-show let’s get to the main show.
They started off hot with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose against Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre. The match was really well done. The pacing was really good and had some nice moments. The inverted superplex with the spinning reverse DDT was really cool and a nice addition to the match. I like Rollins winning the title although, I don’t know what they are planning with Dean Ambrose. He looks so jacked and to me needs a really big heel run. The Ziggler-Mcintyre dynamic should be interesting because it looks like we’ll get one more match between Ziggler and Rollins. After that, we shall see what they plan going forward.
Next were the Smackdown Tag Titles. The match was solid good back and forth although the DQ finish was hard for me to fathom. I feel the way the Bludgeon Brothers were booked that they would dominate but for them to get DQ’ed felt weak.
After that we got a squash match between Braun and Kevin Owens. Well, honestly, I looked down and the match was already over. Braun winning for me was right because he should be in the title picture. Squashing Owens though is a head-scratcher
I hope he isn’t injured but the squash makes me think he had something wrong with him.
The SmackDown women’s championship was an interesting match. I had the feeling that Becky was going to turn on Charlotte but the ending made me very happy. Having Charlotte win over Becky was very smart.
The WWE Championship match was placed early in the Card. This was the match of the night. The pacing of the match was a little slow but worked for what they were building. These two have chemistry in every match and this one was no different. The ending of this match is what made it for me. With Joe walking to the back with the look he had on his face, this is not over by a long shot. This was the match of the night for me.
Next up was Miz versus Daniel Bryan. This match didn’t have much but I loved the build-up to the match because it felt genuine. Miz winning dirty because of Maryse was okay, but this was a match I was excited for but ultimately left disappointed.
After that they finally put on Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin. I had a feeling they were going to bring out the Demon King and I was not disappointed. I don’t care that the match was a squash match; I’m all for Demon Balor and more of it. They have to keep it special but I want more.
Next was a SmackDown match for the United States Championship. I was not interested in the match from the start. I like the charisma of Hardy and Nakamura but these two seem to have no chemistry at all and for me the match felt very long, slow and methodical. After the match, Orton came out and teased another attack. I wish Orton would go full fledge 2009 heel Orton and start punting people but to have a heel Randy Orton is a very good thing.
Rousey versus Bliss was next. I knew this match was going to be short; Bliss never really has a good match it’s not her thing. She can talk with the best of them but wrestling is not her strong suit. To have Rousey come out and dominate was exactly what should’ve happened.
The last match of the night was Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns. Before the match even started out came Strowman and what a nice pop for him. They brought him out in hopes to save the main event to get booed out of the arena and keep your attention whilst hoping for a cash in. They succeeded if that was the goal. The finish of the match was a shock to me. It felt fast the moment Lesnar threw the briefcase. To have Lesnar take that spear and get pinned was a shock to me. This sets up Monday Night Raw which is now a must watch.
So again back to the beginning of the article, did the show fall flat or live up to the hype? I felt SummerSlam was a really good show. Takeover had five really good matches with really no time to catch your breath. SummerSlam had some flat moments but overall was a really solid show that had some really good moments. Match of the night was Joe versus Styles which should main even Hell in a Cell.
What did you think of the weekend? Let us know in the comments.