It feels surreal for Vince McMahon to not be involved with the WWE anymore. I always thought he wouldbe the Chairman and CEO of the company until his dying day. Well, it was not to be as the unthinkable has happened: Vince McMahon has bee ousted out of the family business. Right now, it’s his son-in-law, Triple H, who is now running the “sports entertainment” side of things. Basically, he’s the creative side while his wife, Stephanie McMahon (along with some other guy), will handle the business side of things.
Triple H has a lot to prove and the best time to show he has what it takes to run the show is with the Biggest Party of the Summer, SummerSlam. So, did he prove to fans the WWE is in his capable hands? Well, let’s go check out this year’s SummerSlam and find out!
The first match of the night had Bianca Belair defending her RAW Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch. This was kind of a grudge match as, during last year’s SummerSlam, Becky Lynch returned and essentially squashed the EST of the WWE to regain the said title. This definitely had the potential to be Match of the Night because both Lynch and Belair are already top caliber in-ring performers and they do have super good chemistry together. This match had some really good spots, like Belair countering a draping legdrop attempt from Lynch into a powerbomb and Big Time Becks blocking a KOD on the outside barricade to hit The EST with a legdrop.
The finish came when Lynch attempted her Manhandle Slam on Belair from the 2nd turnbuckle but Belair reversed it into a spanish fly. One KOD later, Belair gets the pinfall victory to retain her RAW Women’s Championship. The segment didn’t end there, however. Despite being a hated heel for so long, Becky Lynch was gracious enough to extend her hand in congratulations, which Belair accepted.
It still didn’t end there! While Belair was celebrating in the ring, a returning Bayley came out and started mocking Belair. She wasn’t alone as she now has a new crew with Dakota Kai and Io Shirai… I mean Iyo Sky (I hate it when the WWE changes the names of their wrestlers for no reason). The trio attempted to accost Belair but Lynch rolled back into the ring to side defend Belair, which led the trio to slink back.
This was a good match but I do feel it lacked a certain intensity. It honestly looked like Becky Lynch injured her shoulder at one point in the match as she had her right arm dangling rather loosely throughout. It was still an incredible and satisfying conclusion to the rivalry while also revealing a new threat on the horizon with Bayley and her new crew. Good stuff.
The next match had The Miz, flanked by
Tommaso Ciampa (what’s with the WWE and limiting their Superstars to a single name?) and Maryse going against Logan Paul. I had an inkling this was going to be a good match but I just wasn’t sure how good it was going to be. Despite having a douche-y aura in real life, Logan Paul did impress a lot of fans, including myself, regarding his wrestling acumen at Wrestlemania. Well, while some moves looked a little stiff and rough, such as his blockbuster and his frog splash to a prone Miz on top of the announcer’s table, he still looked good. It still surprises me how he makes it look so easy.
The finish came after the aforementioned frog splash. Logan Paul rolled Miz into the ring and went for the pin but Maryse got up on the apron to distract the referee. The social media star then confronted Maryse and The Miz tried to blindside Logan Paul with his fist which was wrapped up in a… lanyard? Anyway, Logan Paul got out of the way, leading to the Miz hitting the brakes before he could hit his wife. Logan Paul then hit the Skull Crushing Finale, the Miz’s own finishing move, to get the pinfall victory.
This was a really good match. There were a little too many shenanigans, with Ciampa getting a few shots on Logan Paul, which didn’t seem necessary. I understand putting Logan Paul over but it’s not necessary to make him look indomitable by overcoming insurmountable odds! The bit with Ciampa trying to stay after being ejected only for AJ Styles to swoop in and send him packing was kind of dumb but it does make for a possible storyline. Logan Paul was impressive once again and the Miz did a good job taking the hits.
The next match was for the United States Championship with the reigning champion Bobby Lashley taking on the former champion, Theory (again with the one-named Superstars, WWE?). This was pretty much a standard “super strong face” against “wily and smart heel” match. Theory blindsided Lashley before the bell rang to get the upper hand early but The All Mighty rallied. Lashley showed off his power while Theory displayed his agility as well as his cunning. Still, Lashley was just super dominant throughout the majority of the match.
The finish came after Theory dodges Lashey’s spear attempt, leading to the All Mighty posting himself. Theory then went for his rollthrough dropkick but Lashey knew it was coming and reversed it into a gorilla press. Lashley then transitioned it into his Hurt Lock submission and Theory had no choice but to tap out. Bobby Lashey manages to retain his United States Championship.
This was a little too one-sided for my liking. I was hoping the attack before the bell was going to have an effect but there weren’t any callbacks to it or anything. Lashley did look good and Theory was fine but it just felt like you know the belt wasn’t going to change hands because of how the All Mighty dominated over Theory. At least make it look like Theory had a chance!
The next match was a No Disqualification match. It had The Mysterios, Rey and Dominik take on Judgement Day, Finn Balor and Damien Priest, who were flanked by Rhea Ripley. This feud just seemed to come from out of nowhere which does make the match feel rather lukewarm. This did impact the entire match for me. As this was a No Disqualification match, I expected a little more mayhem throughout the entire match. There were a few spots where they did get creative with the stipulation, like Rey Mysterio sliding to the outside while riding a chair to splash on a prone Finn Balor. These moments were few and far between, however.
Then again, I guess the real purpose for the stipulation was for the finish. The Mysterios set up The Judgement Day members for a dual 619 but Rhea finally interfered and dragged Dominik to the outside and took him out with a face first electric chair to the ring apron. Rey eats a South of Heaven chokeslam by Priest. The heels then ask for a steel chair but they’re interrupted by a returning Edge! The former Judgement Day leader then takes out Balor and Priest with spears. Edge forces Balor to the ropes, allowing the Mysterios to connect with a double 619. One awkward slingshot splash by Rey later and the faces get the pinfall victory.
This was just an okay match. I expected a whole lot more from it because of the No Disqualification stipulation. Rhea Ripley hardly did a thing, which does seem to mean she’s still taking it easy from her injury. That’s fine, however, that means it was up to Balor and Priest to really bring in the heelish actions and take full advantage of the stipulation. Having Edge return was nice but, otherwise, this was a fairly typical tag team match overall.
Next on the card was Pat McAfee taking on Happy Corbin. I did find it odd how the WWE added another “celebrity” match to SummerSlam when they already had Logan Paul. Weirdly enough, they had the same couple of “celebrity” personalities participate at Wrestlemania! Granted, Pat McAfee did show some wrestling acumen at Wrestlemania but, after Logan Paul’s performance, his showing at SummerSlam came off a little weaker. I don’t want to compare but it just did. McAfee looked a little shaky at times when on the top rope but he still looked much better than your average joe.
The finish came after McAfee blocked an attempted End of Days from Corbin. The WWE commentator delivered a stiff punch to Happy Corbin, which inadvertently led him to striking the official. McAfee took advantage of the distraction with a low blow, basically doing what Corbin did to him a week ago. McAfee then performed an awkward looking Code Red sunset flip bomb to get the pinfall victory.
This was, like the match before it, just okay. The biggest problem was how impressive Logan Paul looked early in the night and this made McAfee’s performance, while still really good, look a little clumsy. Corbin did a good job of selling and McAfee’s performance was still impressive. However, it just lacked a lot of luster when compared to the Logan Paul match earlier in the night.
The next match of the night had The Usos defending the Unified Tag Team Championships against the Street Profits. The weird thing is they had Jeff Jarrett as the special guest referee for this match. I don’t know why because he’s not really connected to any of the teams nor is he known for being such a badass to keep things in control if everything gets whack. Anyway, this was a really good match from the get-go with a lot of intensity all throughout. No real insane spots from Montez Ford this time around as he did some high flying spots but nothing too crazy. He made up for it with intensity and a new found energy than just being the happy-go-lucky guy he was before.
The finish had Jey Uso attempting a superkick to Angelo Dawkins but the Street Profit member dodged it, leading to the Uso nearly hitting Jeff Jarrett. Dawkins then hit a flapjack and he tagged to Ford who went for a frog splash. Unfortunately, Ford couldn’t make the cover quickly enough and Jey kicked out. Ford started to complain to Jeff Jarrett for not getting the 3-count. Ford tagged to Dawkins but this gave Jimmy enough time to drag his brother out of the ring to safety. Ford then went for a suicide dive but was met with dual superkicks and he was subsequentially dumped to the crowd. Dawkins tries to rush the Usos but eats dual superkicks as well. The Usos roll Dawkins back into the ring to deliver another double superkick to the Street Profit member before nailing 1D to get the pinfall and retain their Unified Tag Team Championships.
I had no doubt this was going to be a barnburner of a match and I was basically right. Lots of good action and intensity. Making the Street Profits, but more importantly Montez Ford, a little angry has reinvigorated the team so just coming in short makes you feel for them. I still don’t really get why Jeff Jarrett was made the special guest referee as it didn’t really matter much besides him catching the errant superkick. Even so, this was a super good match.
The second to the last match of the night was for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This had the Liv Morgan defend the title against the person she beat by cashing her Money in the Bank contract, Ronda Rousey. I really hoped the WWE wouldn’t just take the strap of Liv Morgan because, even though I don’t think she’s ready, I just can’t stand another reign from Ronda Rousey. It certainly looked like it was going to be a squash as The Baddest Woman on the Planet simply dominated Liv Morgan at every turn. Some of the moves looked like they actually hurt, not because of how hard the slams were, but because of the tremendous amount of torque Rousey was applying on Morgan’s arm every time she judo threw her. Liv Morgan did have some
The finish saw Rousey basically taunted Liv Morgan and the crowd before cinching in an armbar. Morgan makes it to the ropes to break the hold but Rousey ragdolls Morgan to the floor before applying another armbar. However, Morgan gets to the ropes once again. It looks like the referee is thinking to stopping the match but Morgan wants to continue. The Baddest Woman on the Planet takes Morgan down with a modified rolling headscissors and locks another armbar. This time, Morgan rolls Rousey on her shoulders and gets the pinfall victory. However, it looks like Morgan tapped out before the referee called the pinfall victory, leading to Morgan retaining the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a controversial fashion. Rousey goes ballistic and wrecks havoc on Morgan and the official after the match.
This was an adequate match in my opinion. I don’t think Morgan could really get a star making match with Rousey at this time so making it short seems like a good idea. I do think they could’ve gotten away with it going just a bit longer so that Liv Morgan didn’t look like such a wimp when compared to Rousey. The controversial finish kind of worked for me as it did leave Liv Morgan getting a victory while still making Rousey look like the clear winner.
The last match of the night was a Last Man Standing match for the Unified WWE Championship. This had Brock Lesnar taking on the current champion, Roman Reigns, who was accompanied by The Usos and Paul Heyman. Before I do talk about the match, I do have to talk to Triple H directly if he’s reading this. Mr. Triple H, please make this be the final match between the two. Us fans are pretty sick of it. I don’t care if you do have Brock Lesnar come to the ring riding a tractor. I just don’t care anymore as you’ve had these guys go at it too many times by now.
Despite this being something like the 87th time the WWE booked these two together, I found myself super engaged because they actually tried to do something different this time! Maybe because it was SummerSlam and the roles have reversed now. Maybe because it wasn’t just all about Brock sending his opWhatever the case, if this is going to be their last match, at least it’ll go out with a bang.
When it came to the wrestling component to this match, there isn’t really anything special. Sure, both The Beast and the Head of the Table turned up the intensity and the white hot crowd made the proceedings look really glorious. However, they made up for this with really insane mayhem like The Usos each eating an F5 before Lesnar F5’ed Paul Heyman through the announcer’s table. There was also Theory butting in and hinting like he’s going to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase but getting taken out before he could do so. Of course, there’s the entire tractor spot where Lesnar used it to tip the ring over so Reigns would spill to the outside! Can’t forget that!
The finish came after Theory getting taken out by Lesnar and Reigns blindsided The Beast with a spear. Lesnar still made it to his feet so Reigns then beat Lesnar with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lesnar still got up so The Head of the Table clocked him with the WWE Universal Championship belt. Reigns then battered Lesnar with the WWE World Championship belt and, to make sure The Beast wouldn’t be getting up anymore, he and the Usos piled all the debris around ringside on top of Lesnar. Lesnar could not answer the 10 count, meaning Roman Reigns is still your Unified WWE Champion.
This was a fun match overall. While the actual wrestling was just fine, the spectacle definitely made up for it. This is one of those “style over substance” matches and I predict the WWE will be using that tractor clip for ages to come. Still, I do hope this is the end and, if it is, this was a fine way to close out the feud.
Overall, this year’s SummerSlam was incredibly good. I can’t say if it’s because Triple H is now directing the ship or not. Whatever the case, I do hope the WWE follows through with this course as they put on an incredible SummerSlam and probably one of the best pay-per-views I’ve seen in a while.
What did you think of this year’s SummerSlam? Let me know in the comments section below!