This weekend was one of the biggest ones we’ve had concerning professional wrestling in a long time. We had the pleasure of enjoying two major wrestling events back to back, so I think it make sense to review them together as a whole experience. So let’s kick things off with the future of WWE first.
- Jushin “Thunder” Liger def. Tyler Breeze via Pinfall
The match was fun from beginning to end. Unfortunately, the winner was obvious. It wouldn’t have made sense for Liger to lose his first match in NXT.
- The Vaudevillians def. Blake and Murphy via Pinfall
The Vaudevillians is a legitimate tag team in a time where most tag teams consist of two guys randomly thrown together. With an interesting gimmick and with Blue Pants now on their side, I can’t think of a better team within NXT worthy of taking the titles from Blake and Murphy. But their feud isn’t going to end at Take Over. I’m pretty sure The Vaudevillians haven’t heard the last from Blake and Murphy.
- Apollo Crews def. Tye Dillinger via Pinfall
This was less of a squash match than it was an opportunity to show off Crews’ in ring ability. Although I dislike his new name (I’m pretty sure WWE will drop it to simply Apollo) his agility and power inside the ring will definately win NXT fans over in no time.
- Samoa Joe def. Baron Corbin via Submission
This was a collision of two destructive forces. But despite Corbin’s pure power, The Samoan Submission Machine was able to live up to his name and make Baron pass out for the win.
- Bayley def. Sasha Banks via Pinfall
*Match of the Night*
Bayley and Sasha Banks stole the show as they delivered a brutal and hard hitting final NXT match between the two. With Sasha officially on the main roster, the match had a legitimate feeling of the torch being passed to Bayley. With Sasha delivering a few brutal moments of offense including flying high to the outside of the ring, the match ended with Bayley scoring a convincing victory over The Boss after surviving her best efforts to retain the title. A stellar match with a feel good moment at the end featuring Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha congratulating Bayley in what could possibly be their last appearance in NXT.
- Finn Balor def. Kevin Owens via Ladder Match
Both Owens and Balor brought their A game to the match. With a few brutal moments from Owens connecting pretty hard on to the ladder, the match ended with Balor retaining the title.
It’s hard to review NXT events sometimes. Mainly because NXT gets so many things right that it leaves me without any serious criticism. NXT Take Over: Brooklyn was no exception. The show was just as great as the brand has always been, and an outstanding way to lead in to SummerSlam!
- Sheamus def. Randy Orton via Pinfall
Sheamus scored a clean win over Orton and solidified himself as a serious threat to The Viper. Sheamus vs Orton has been amazing so far, and it seems like the feud isn’t going to end at SummerSlam. However, the first match of the night did suffer from having to follow an amazing show from NXT the other night with a match we’ve seen quite a few times before. The crowd wasn’t fully invested in to it at first, but they eventually came around.
The New Day def. The Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores , and The Prime Time Players via Pinfall
*Match of the Night*
The New Day basically stole the show with their singing and banter before the match even started. And to add on, the match itself was incredible! Big E shined the most with a spear to the outside of the ring and a brutal outside ring apron splash. With The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores flying all over the ring, and Titus O’Neil showing off his brute strength, the match easily won match of the night. And of course, fans were treated to what was possibly the greatest celebration dance in the history of the WWE!
- Dolph Ziggler and Rusev end in Double Countout
I’m not a fan of how the match ended, but I think it’s interesting considering that we haven’t seen a lot of matches end with a double count out lately. I would have preferred for it to have taken place on Raw instead of SummerSlam, but the feud between Ziggler and Rusev is far from over. I just wish the buildup for it was better. Because the jealous boyfriend routine has run its course.
- Neville and Stephen Amell def. King Barrett and Stardust via Pinfall
I’m a huge fan of Stephen Amell. He’s very athletic in real life, so he fit in perfectly in an actual wrestling match. And although he got more ring time than I thought WWE would allow, Neville scored the pinfall in the end. A great job from Amell.
- Ryback def. Big Show and The Miz via Pinfall
There was no surprise that The Big Guy was going to retain the IC title. The match was good, but felt like more of the same we’ve seen in the last few weeks.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper via Pinfall
A great match, but fans were not on Reigns’ side at all. Unless WWE is willing to finally add another member to the Wyatt Family in order to stack the odds against Ambrose and Reigns, it would be best to end the feud and allow both men to go their separate ways. It’s obvious that fans are just not willing to completely accept Reigns as a face. WWE’s idea of keeping him around Ambrose in hope that the crowd reaction might rub off on Reigns isn’t working.
- Seth Rollins def. John Cena via Pinfall
As amazing as the match was, the finish ruined everything Rollins had accomplished in it. Because despite giving Cena a run for his money, it ended with Rollins once again winning with outside assistance. It’s obvious that Rollins has the ability to believably go over Cena clean. If Owens can do it, then the world heavyweight champion definitely could. So it blows my mind that WWE is still forcing Rollins to continue as a heel constantly in need of outside assistance to win. Although Rollins winning this match was far better than having to sit through another Cena title reign, I just wish WWE would finally allow Rollins to shine as a true champion before his reign is over.
Team PCB def. Team Bella and Team BAD via Pinfall
Despite the match being as interesting as always, I think it’s time for the Divas division to move on from this three way team battle thing they’ve invested so much time in to. I’d like to see the Divas championship defended instead. Nothing against Team PCB and Team Bad, but we get it. Everyone is tired of the Bellas. Now it’s time to actually do something about it like dethroning Nikki.
- Kevin Owens def. Cesaro via Pinfall
A great match between the two, and a much needed win for Owens after losing to Finn Balor the night before. I’m pretty sure we will see more from Owens vs Cesaro in the future.
- The Undertaker def. Brock Lesnar via Submission
The match was far better than their Wrestlemania meeting, but the finish ruined it in the end. For some reason, The Undertaker has been handled in an extremely weak manner. From kicking Lesnar in his mini beast each time they’ve come face to face, to actually tapping to Brock before eventually forcing him to pass out, Taker has come out of this feud losing a lot of respect from fans. There are plenty of ways the finish could have went down exactly the same, but with a slight change to it. Taker could have blacked out for a moment and the bell could have went off without the ref’s permission. Another idea could have involved Taker trying to throw strikes and the time keeper confusing it as him tapping by the angle viewed. Either way, it could have ended with the same confusion without Taker actually looking weak.
Unless WWE is attempting to turn The Undertaker in to a heel, SummerSlam delivered a serious disappointment in its much hyped main event. But despite The Undertaker being mishandled, and the world heavyweight champion once again not scoring a clean win, the rest of the show filled its four hour running time perfectly. So I can’t condemn the entire show for taking a few missteps in two of their biggest matches on the card. Because at the end of the night, SummerSlam was part of a huge weekend of spectacular wrestling. And it delivered in more areas other than the main event. A great effort by the WWE, but also a indicator that they are still not above making bonehead decisions when it comes to booking.