I sometimes dread watching WWE pay-per-view events because of their rather inconsistent quality for the past few months. Not only that, you have to now set aside a good chunk of your day if you want to watch them because they’re becoming longer and longer! But the length of the show wouldn’t matter if the matches are actually good as the time would just fly by. I truly hope this would be the case for Summerslam this year.
As this will be undoubtedly another long show, let’s not waste any time and let’s go check out what happened at this year’s Summerslam pay-per-view event.
Match #1: Seth Rollins (with Dean Ambrose) vs. Dolph Ziggler (with Drew McIntyre) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
I’m torn about this. A part of me wants to see Dean Ambrose turn heel and backstab Rollins just as he’s about to get the pinfall. Yet, doing that would be a bad idea since it doesn’t make any sense seeing that he just returned. So I’m going for the latter with Ambrose staying true but Rollins failing to beat Ziggler for the belt.
Despite being one of the matches on the card that’s just a retread of a match that happened in a previous pay-per-view, I came in with high expectations because of the quality of the competitors. I can’t say I was disappointed but I can’t say it met my lofty expectations either. Lots of good back and forth and, while Drew and Dean did make their presence felt throughout everything, they didn’t really interfere in the match itself. The action between Rollins and Ziggler was pretty standard for the most part and they took their time to really heat things up.
The closing minutes were very satisfying to watch, though. It all started with Seth doing a belly-to-back suplex on Ziggler from the top turnbuckle then he rolled through to perform a modified Falcon arrow. Drew then mows down Ambrose, distracting the Kingslayer and allowing the Showoff sidestep a curb stomp and nail a Zigzag for a 2 count. Rollins is buster open at this point. Ziggler signals for a superkick but, after a couple of counters, Rollins connects with a bucklebomb. Drew tries to interfere but Ambrose intercepts with Dirty Deeds. The Showoff tries a superkick but Rollins gets off his superkick off first. The Kingslayer lands a curb stomp to get the pinfall victory and become the NEW Intercontinental Champion.
This was a good way to start off Summerslam. The match would’ve benefited from being a little shorter and the action a little tighter. The closing moments did a great job of getting everyone hyped, which is always good for making a memorable match.
Rating: 7.5 of 10.0 no Dean Ambrose heel turns
Match #2: The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E with Kofi Kingston) vs The Bludgeon Brothers for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
As much as I feel the Bludgeon Brothers have become boring since they haven’t done anything with the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, I just don’t see The New Day taking the belts from them in Summerslam.
I do find it refreshing to see Xavier Woods in the match as he’s usually the man outside for The New Day. This meant that Kofi was the cheerleader for this match. Nothing against it but I just enjoy the antics of Woods more. Anyway, the action was fairly predictable but in a good way. The Bludgeon Brothers dominated using their power moves while The New Day constantly tried to overcome the odds. Even so, the action moved really briskly and there didn’t seem like any wasted movement. It always felt like something was happening.
The finish came shortly after Rowan took out Kofi. This allowed Big E to come in and nail the Big Ending on Rowan on the outside. Harper intercepts Big E as the biggest New Day member tried to get back in the ring. Harper attempted a suplex on the ring apron but Big E blocked it and reversed it into a double team attack with Woods to the outside. Wood then nails a big elbow drop to the outside to Harper! Big E rolls Harper back to the ring and sets his opponent up for the Midnight Ride. Rowan then steps in with his big mallet and strikes Woods with it. This causes a disqualification win for The New Day but allows the Bludgeon Brothers to retain their Smackdown Tag Team Championship.
Lots of good action overall but there were some noticeable botched moves here and there. Nothing really spectacular. I actually like that the Bludgeon Brothers had to get themselves disqualified to retain as this made them seem vulnerable for once. It’s still went over in a very predictable manner but that didn’t impact the match all that negatively.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 mallet strikes
Match #3: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens with the stipulation that Kevin Owens will take ownership of the Money in the Bank briefcase if he wins
Because of the stipulation, I’m inclined to think Kevin Owens will win. Although I enjoy seeing Braun Strowman with the Money in the Bank briefcase, I would like it even more if Owens had it.
Actually, there’s nothing much to say about this match as it was over very quick. The instant that Strowman starting rolling, it was pretty much over as the Monster Among Men assaulted Owens from the moment the bell rang. I will say it was entertaining to see Owens sell all the punishment he took. The match was over after a chokeslam onto the steel ramp. One running powerslam later and we see Strowman get his hands raised in victory.
This was entertaining even though it was a glorified squash match. I do think it’s important though as Braun was becoming more of a comedy act during the recent RAW episodes so seeing him positively kill Owens in a quick match made him look like the monster he should be.
Rating: 6.0 of 10.0 squash matches
Match #4: Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Carmella in a Triple Threat Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
I fully expect Carmella to weasel out a victory here by taking advantage of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair beating each other up and then stealing a pinfall from one of them.
There was just something odd about this match. It had the basic ingredients of a Triple Threat match with one opponent being kicked out of the ring so the other two can do their thing inside. I guess the issue is how Carmella kind of slowed everything down. I know her schtick is taunting and screaming at her opponents but she needs to pick the right time to do it instead of just all the time. However, I do like that she tried to trick Charlotte and Lynch into fighting each other but it was just poorly executed as it just made Becky Lynch look like an idiot for falling for it. It was also obvious that Charlotte was off her game as she botched a couple of moves.
The finish came shortly after a corkscrew moonsault to both Lynch and Carmella on the outside (which clearly missed, by the way). Charlotte tried to connect with Natural Selection but the Irish Lass Kicker dodges the move and locks in the Dis-Arm Her but it broken up by Carmella. Lynch fights off Carmella and slams Charlotte with a rock bottom-like move. Becky goes for another pin but it’s broken up by Carmella again. Carmella tries to roll Lynch up using the ropes for leverage but Lynch kicks out. Carmella with a superkick but it’s Charlotte breaking the pin this time. After a little back and forth, Becky locks the Dis-Arm Her on Carmella but Charlotte swoops in with Natural Selection on Lynch to get the pin and become the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion. But it’s not over. Charlotte and Becky Lynch hug it out but Lynch snaps! The fans go wild at this time! Becky slams the new Smackdown Women’s Champion into the barricade and the announcer table before leaving in a huff.
The match itself was pretty average but the twist of seeing Becky Lynch finally turn heel and assault Charlotte after the match was brilliant! And judging by the crowd reaction, I’m not the only one who was thinking it. Taken by itself, the match was just okay but add that heel turn and this match was just slightly more special.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 Becky Lynch heel turns
Match #5: AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe for the WWE Heavyweight Championship
I don’t see Samoa Joe taking the belt this time. This is going to be a long feud, especially with Joe mentioning AJ Styles’ family. I predict Styles will retain but by double countout as Styles will beat on Joe on the outside or he’ll will lose the match via disqualification when he beats Joe with a steel chair or some kind of weapon.
As I expected, this was going to be a hard hitting match. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who realized that these were two former TNA main eventers as the crowd erupted with TNA chants. The match started off slow with the pace increasing gradually as well as the stiffness of the attacks. While the two have rather contrasting styles, Styles and Joe worked off each other really well. The Phenomenal 1 used his quickness and agility while Joe used his power. That didn’t mean that Styles didn’t use any moves that demonstrated his strength and that didn’t mean Joe didn’t show his amazing agility, though. They both used their movelists appropriately and when necessary.
The finish was a mixed bag for me. The Samoan Submission Machine set up for a Muscle Buster but Styles fought out of it. Joe then retaliated with an wicked enziguri, knocking Syles to the outside. Joe then slams Styles into the ring steps, busting the WWE Champion open, before asking for a microphone. He then addresses Styles’ wife saying that he be her “new daddy.” Styles then goes ballistic and knocks Joe into the ring barricade. He beats down on a couple of ring personnel before nailing Joe with a steel chair. Styles is disqualified because of this but still retains his WWE Heavyweight Championship.
Like I said, this was a good match but the way it ended didn’t make much sense to me. Joe had the upper hand so why even bother taunting Styles by going after the man’s wife? If Joe just pressed the offense, he could’ve won! Even with the controversial finish, there was a lot of good action but it would have definitely been a phenomenal match if it ended better.
Rating: 7.5 of 10.0 TNA chants
Match #6: Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
I do expect Daniel Bryan to win here but with Miz assaulting him afterwards, pushing the feud forward.
Remember when the Miz was a joke wrestler? While that may be the case sometimes, we all do respect him for actually putting in the work and giving us some good matches now. It’s still fun to see the Miz copying Daniel Bryan’s antics and moves up to now. Another less capable wouldn’t be able to pull it off for this long! Lots of really good back and forth in this one with both Bryan and The Miz preening to the crowd at just the right moments to keep them invested in the match. With that said, this match was just exhausting to watch, especially after the previous match!
The finish came after Bryan locked in a Yes Lock but Miz escapes to the outside. Bryan connects with a running knee from the ring apron, knocking The Miz towards Maryse, who is watching at ringside. Maryse then hands something. Daniel Bryan pushed the offense but, as Bryan goes for a suicide dive, The Miz strikes him with the weapon, which the referee doesn’t see. Miz sneaks the weapon back to Maryse before crawling back into the ring to get the pinfall victory.
While I did thoroughly enjoy this match, I think it’s placement in Summerslam right after the AJ Styles and Samoa Joe match was wrong. I was already tired from the earlier match and you expect me to keep up the energy for another long, grueling bout? I do like The Miz having to cheat his way to victory. Sure, he took another shortcut to beat Daniel Bryan but at least he legitimately tried to go one-on-one with him prior to relying on cheating. It fits his character perfectly.
Rating: 7.0. of 10.0 hidden weapons
Match #7: Finn Balor vs Constable Baron Corbin
I think Baron Corbin needs a win to at least make him keep appearances as a tough guy. As much as I hate it to be at the expense of Finn Balor, that’s what I think is going to happen here.
Weird. Finn Balor brings out his Demon persona… against Baron Corbin. I thought he only uses it against really tough guys? Anyway, this shakes up Corbin to such a degree that The Demon runs roughshod over the Constable with dropkicks and slingblades. One Coup De Grace later, The Demon gets the pinfall victory in a quick squash match.
Hard to give a rating as this was hardly a match. It was a nice change of pace after the two long bouts we got before this. I still think it’s odd for Balor to bring out The Demon against Corbin, but… whatever. I guess it needed to be a quick match, so this is what we got.
Rating: 5.0 of 10.0 returning Demons
Match #8: Jeff Hardy vs Shinusuke Nakamura for the United States Championship
It a shame that this feud is being marred by adding Randy Orton in the mix. I do believe Nakamura will retain but because of Orton sticking his nose in the match one way or another.
You would think that, with the caliber of the WWE Superstars in the match, this would be a much faster paced bout. Sadly, this just came off as rather slow. Nakamura’s patented “strong style” of wrestling looks pretty soft here while Hardy’s usually high-octane technique was much slower than expected. I wouldn’t said it was boring but I just expected a lot more from these two. Things did pick up later in the match and things started to get good but it was a matter of too little, too late.
The finish came soon after that missed swanton bomb attempt by Hardy. The referee goes to check on the Charismatic Enigma but the King of Strong Style shoves the official out of the way. Nakamura kicks Hardy into the middle of the ring and even does an axe kick on his fallen foe for good measure. One Kinshasha later and Shinusuke Nakamura wins via pinfall and gets to keep his United States Championship. But it isn’t over. Orton appears and makes his way to the ring… then walks back?
Like I said, adding Orton to the mix just makes it awful. The match itself was already rather so-so but I will give it a few additional points for that sick swanton bomb to the ring apron. Too bad I’ll be taking away those same points for that random Randy Orton appearance that happened for no apparent reason!
Rating: 4.5 of 10.0 wild Randy Orton appearances
Match #9: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship
I think it’s too early for Ronda Rousey to win the RAW Women’s Championship. So I’m betting Alexa Bliss to manage to keep the belt… with the help of Natalya turning heel.
I will give Ronda Rousey a lot of credit. She really knows how to get a crowd to react. She did a lot of neat antics, such as even taunting Bliss by turning her back to her and closing her eyes. That was just brilliant! Bliss did her best heel stalling gimmick but it was pretty much all over once Rousey got her hands on The Goddess. There was literally nothing Alexa Bliss could do to stop The Baddest Woman on the planet this night.
The finish came after Bliss struck Rousey with a forearm. Rousey just steamrolled on Bliss with punches and judo throws. Rousey then teased an armbar, which allowed Bliss to use her dislocated arm trick. Fun and gruesome to watch all at the same time. Once Ronda fully locked in the armbar, Bliss tapped out immediately, making Ronda Rousey your NEW RAW Women’s Champion. Afterwards, Natalya and (ugh) The Bella Twins come in to celebrate. It looks like the crowd is wisening up, though, because I heard them booing the Bella Twins! Yay… to the boos thrown at the Bellas!
This was the match it needed to be, in retrospect. Rousey looked powerful and dominant, which is a good thing right now. I do worry that, if they keep on doing this, the WWE may fall in the same trap they fell into with Brock Lesnar. They may have someone really hot right now but, if they make that champion too dominant, the fans will turn on that person. Still, good match with some really good selling by Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey looked really impressive. Oh, and those boos against the Bella Twins put a smile on my face.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 boos at the Bella Twins
Match #10: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship
I predict Roman Reigns to win because… I really want the WWE to get it over with already. Not like I want him to win but… whatever.
Before the match starts, Braun Strowman matches into the ring and proclaims he’s going to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on whoever wins! Interesting! Anyway, the match starts off really fast, with Reigns just pummeling The Beast with superman punches and spears. Brock manages, however, to catch Reigns with a headlock but The Big Dog powers out with a spinebuster. Brock does a few german suplexes and stares down Strowman. Lesnar tries and F5 but Reigns gets out of it. The Big Dog goes for another spear but Lesnar sidesteps and Reigns spears Strowman instead. Lesnar takes the opportunity to strike The Monster Among Men with an F5 and tosses the Money in the Bank briefcase out of Strowman’s reach so he can’t cash in immediately.
The finish came soon after this. Lesnar rolls into the ring and tries to nail Reigns with a steel chair but The Big Dog connects with a spear instead. Three seconds later, we have a NEW WWE Universal Champion in Roman Reigns. Yay.
This was a smartly booked match by hinting at a Braun Strowman cash in. It also helped that the action was just pure chaos which helped to hide the fact that nothing was really going on. The match was also extremely short, which was also a smart move. With all that said, this wasn’t that good of a match but, thanks to all the smoke and mirrors, it came off rather well.
Rating: 5.0 of 10.0 failed Money in the Bank cash ins
Overall Rating for WWE’s Summerslam (2018):
This was a surprisingly good Summerslam. A lot of the matches were good and a couple of them were great. The worst match was the Shinusuke Nakamura vs Jeff Hardy match for the United States Championship and even that wasn’t a total bust. It was also smart that a few of the matches were quick squash bouts to hide how long the show really way. I didn’t even know it was actually 4-hours long.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 surprising squash matches
What did you think of this year’s Summerslam? Let me know in the comments section below!