WWE's 2018 Summerslam Was Decent, Yet Disappointing All the Same
Admittedly Summerslam was better than I expected. I didn't know what the card was going into it, except for Lesnar vs. Reigns, and that had me expecting the absolute worst from the show over all. And yet it was better than I expected, but had a disappointing finish and moments... But let's get into it with the assessments.
We "kicked off" with Rusev and Lana vs. Cien Almas and Zelina Vega in a "mixed tag team match."
We started off with Rusev vs. Almas, as Almas literally gave Rusev the run around. This quickly ended up with Almas on the offensive, which turned into Rusev reversing matters. That reversal didn't last long, as Almas took his advantage back, and wore down Rusev. Rusev after a managed to make the tag to Lana, it was her turn to go on the offensive against Vega. Lana overwhelmed Vega, and it looked like she had this match. But Vega turned around and beat Lana with a roll up, planting her legs on the ropes for added support...While the ref...Wasn't...Looking...
Anyways next was Drew Gulak Vs. Cedric Alexander. for the Cruiserweight Championship It started out with with Cedric having the advantage, but Gulak turned the tides after some underhanded tactics. As a result Gulak dominated the match, and wore Alexander down, before Alexander turned the tables. From there Alexander overwhelmed Gulak with some quick and high flying offense that crashed the two outside of the ring. Gulak managed to take his lead back, but Alexander fought desperately enough to where it didn't last long. The turned into a trade off of holds, slams, and leaps that ended with Alexander pinning Gulak and becoming the New Cruiserweight champion.
Then came The B-Team vs. The Revival, and what an odd match this was. The B-Team were the underdogs in this match,. and given how they were the former entourage of the Miz, that's understandable, but I digress. Dawson and Wilder dominated a majority of the match by continuous tags, working over Bo Dallas' leg, and keeping Curtis Axel at bay. This didn't last long however, as Bo managed to tag Axel, who proceeded to run wild on Revival. From there, Dash, and Wilder tried to regain their advantage, but that ended in Axel pinning Wilder, after Wilder's pin to Axel was reversed by Bo Dallas falling over him. As a result the B-Team retained the tag titles.
And that ended the kick off show as far as matches go, as it was a decent opener with some entertaining moments.
Main Card Match Assessment
The main card started with Seth Rollins Vs. Dolph Ziggler for Intercontinental Title. Standing guard in each corner of course were Dean Ambrose to watch out for Seth, and Drew Mcyntire to watch out for Dolph Ziggler. The match got under way with Rollins and Ziggler matching each other for a bit, before Ziggler got overwhelmed, and had to retreat once or twice. Drew would try to interfere, but was intercepted by Dean. Drew eventually managed to interfere, but it backfired, and cost Ziggler the title with a roll up. Thus Rollins was once again the Intercontinental champion.
Next was The New Day(Big E. and Xavier Woods) vs. The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Titles. The match started with Xavier and Rowan, before Xavier found himself being overwhelmed by Harper and Rowan. Xavier managed to tag in Big E., who ran wild on Harper and Rowan, who tried to overpower him. They managed to subdue Big E., before Xavier came to his aid. New Day made a push back against The Bludgeon Brothers leading to a moment of desperation that caused Rowan to bludgeon Xavier with a hammer, disqualifying the Bludgeon Brothers. Rowan then struck Big E., before Harper struck Big E. with Rowan's hammer. The Bludgeon Brothers however retained their titles.
Braun Strowman vs. K.O. for the Money In The Bank Brief Case. The stipulation was if Braun loses via pin, count out, submission, or disqualification, he lost the Money In The Bank Brief Case. That didn't happen, as Braun knocked Kevin out of the ring, slammed him onto the ramp, and announce table. This was all it took to wear Owens down enough for Strowman to win the match and walk away the victor.
What followed was the triple threat SmackDown Women's Championship match.This was decent, despite some minor irritating aspects. Realizing she had no chance against Becky and Charlotte, she decided to turn them against each other. This proved fruitless, as individually they proved too much for Carmella. Carmella struggled and strained against Charlotte and Becky, who overwhelmed her, and occasionally tussled with each other. Becky nearly had the match won with an arm bar, but she was blind sided by a Charlotte's "Natural Selection," which allowed Charlotte to claim the SmackDown Women's Title. And you think all would end well with Becky seemingly being a good sport, but she turned on Charlotte cementing a heel turn.
What followed was Aj Styles vs Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship. After some taunting from Samoa Joe, Aj Styles was out for blood, as he overwhelmed Joe, who tried to fight back. Joe managed to turn the tides after slamming Aj Styles against the announce table. Styles fought hard to get his advantage back, and it lasted for a good while, as despite getting in some good offense, Joe was still outmatched. Joe managed to get his advantage back after a leg drop from the top rope, but try as he might, Styles refused to stay down. The match turned into a slugfest, as Styles and Joe matched each other in strikes, slams, and holds. Joe managed to break this pattern by kicking Styles from the top rope, and throwing him into the steel step, before taunting Styles' family once more. This sent Styles in a rage, as he struck Samoa Joe several types with a chair, ending the match in a disqualification, as Styles retained the title despite this.
Next was a comedy segment with Elias... At least I think that's what it was... Because after a long monologue about how great he was, and how Brooklyn sucked, Elias began to play his guitar, before it literally snapped in half. Enraged, Elias threw his guitar, before storming off the stage.
Next was The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan, which was decent over all. Miz used Bryan's own moves against,, and a figure four leg lock. Try as he might though, Miz couldn't put Bryan down. Bryan furiously withstood Miz's attacks, and retaliated against the Miz. As Bryan showed Miz how do the surf board hold, the "yes kicks," and reversed the figure four, Miz was overwhelmed. Maryse handed the Miz an item after he scurried out of the ring, before Miz thwarted a dive from Bryan by punching Bryan in the face, and pinning him for the win.
Next was Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin. And was more of a squash, as Balor emerged with his "Demon King" persona, and thrashed Corbin with a sling blade, drop-kick, clothes-line, and running dive. And Balor ended matters with a coup de grace, cemented Corbin's tour in Hell for a total of ninety seconds.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy for the U.S. Title. This match was longer than expected, as the Jeff Hardy held his own against Nakamura. Jeff's offense included a twist of fate and swanton bomb, among a few punches and kicks. Nakamura retaliated with his own attacks, and tried to strike Jeff's nuts about once or twice. After a swanton bomb outside of the ring, Nakamura threw Jeff back in the ring, and took Hardy out with an axe kick, and a kinshaza to retain the U.S. Title. Then Orton came out, before turning about and leaving again...
What followed was Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss for the RAW women's title... Alexa ran from Ronda, before Ronda gave her an opportunity to choke her. Ronda sat patiently, before Alexa locked her in a rear choke. Ronda judo flipped Alexa, and locked her in an arm bar to win the RAW Women's title.
And finally it was time for Reigns vs. Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Before the match started, Braun Strowman emerged, and said that he was gonna cash in face to face. And instead of a triple threat, Strowman said whoever won, is the person he'd face. After a short skirmish, Lesnar dodged a spear Reigns, causing Reigns to crash into Strowman. Lesnar then F5'ed Strowman, before Strowman retaliated, and got beaten down by Lesnar with a chair for his troubles. Lesnar made his way to the ring, before he got speared by Reigns, and lost the universal title to Reigns.
Like the title suggest, SummerSlam was a decent Pay-Per-View, yet disappointing. What made it decent were the matches of Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander, New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers, Aj Styles vs. Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz, and oddly enough, Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin. What I loved about these matches had good in ring psychology, story, and conclusions. I loved Gulak's underhanded tactics against Alexander, but how it didn't prevail with Alexander turning the tables. I like how New Day overwhelmed the Bludgeon Brothers, causing them to cheat and leading to a DQ finish. I liked how much of a smug slime ball Samoa Joe was, leading him to get beaten by an enraged AJ Styles. Balor squashed Corbin, sure but I loved how Corbin got throttled because he wasn't ready for Balor's "Demon King" persona.
I loved Elias' segment, and it made me giggle. I'm a sucker for anything that can make me laugh.
What I didn't like the finish of the SmackDown Women's Triple Threat. I hated that Charlotte won. I so hoped this was gonna be Becky's night, but they gave Charlotte the title again... I hated how Becky turned heel, while instead of Becky cheating out of desperation of wanting to win, she turned on Charlotte after the match, which felt predictable and lame.
I liked Ronda's sense of patience during her match with Alexa, but what I hated was how easily Ronda won. I expected Alexa to give Ronda more of a run around, and try some underhanded tactics to try and get over on Ronda, before Ronda overpowers her, and wins. But instead it was a simple match that ended with an arm bar.
Nakamura and Hardy tried to have a good match, but I wasn't feeling it. I liked that it was longer, and well choreographed but I wasn't feeling it.
And lastly, I HATED Reigns vs. Lesnar. I don't ask for much, as I just want to see two big men slug it out like brutes. And Strowman could've made it a triple threat. But no, Lesnar put Strowman out of commission, and lost with relative ease to Reigns. I mean yeah Lesnar and Reigns was over done, but that doesn't excuse the lack of choreography or energy.
And that's how this show was decent, yet disappointing. It had some decent matches, and some bad ones, and a disappointing finish to Pay-Per-View Main Event.