WWE SummerSlam 2016 Results and Thoughts
My mind is still trying to process last night’s show. From the illogical match placements that did nothing to keep the crowd invested throughout the show to some down right stupid book decisions, mixed in with matches that let the audience down, this year’s event just didn’t live up to expectations or to some of the better SummerSlam events from years past. Was it completely horrible? No. There were some positives. Let’s break this event down!
12 man/6 Team Tag Team Match
This was basically the same match we saw on Smackdown a few days earlier. Nothing to write home about and it was basically more fuel to turn the Usos into heels to feud against American Alpha. Winners: American Alpha, The Usos, and The Hype Bros
Sami Zayn & Nevelle vs. The Dudley Boyz
Another match just running through the motions to give the good guys a win and to promote the inevitable break up of the Dudleys. I have no clue why they want to do this instead of giving the Dudleys one last kick ass run with the titles. Bubby hit D-Von by mistake to give the faces an opportunity to get the win. Winners: Sami Zayn and Nevelle
Cesaro vs. Sheamus (1st of the Best of Seven Matches)
I’m not surprised that this got moved to the Pre-show at all. This match was decent, but just nothing special. I’m not sure how they’re going to have us vested in (potentially) six more matches between these two. Their matches are just for bragging rights, so it’s hard to engage in this feud. I’m surprised with the outcome, too. I thought they’d kick off the show with a fan favourite taking the win to pump the crowd up. Boy, did this ever foreshadow what was to come on this show. Winner: Sheamus
Enzo and Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
Well, at least I got it right that this would be the first match on the card. What I didn’t get right was everything else about the match. It was decent and I’m sure we’ll see the rematch on Raw tonight (as the match was a standard TV match), but to have the heels go over and not let the hometown boys get the win was more foreshadowing that WWE Creative just didn’t think clearly about this event and some of the build up of the matches. Winners: Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
Sasha Banks (Champ) vs. Charlotte – WWE Women’s Championship Match
As soon as they showed this match was coming up next, my buddy and I looked at each other and said, “whaaaaa?” They were putting this match on this early in the card and before the 3 on 3 women’s tag match? WTF?!?!
The match started off a few minutes in with Charlotte botching a spot that had Banks land hard on her head/neck. She sold her back hurting, but it was really bad. You could tell that Banks was legit hurt as she took a long time to recoup from it. As well, Charlotte was off her game because of it – with more botches and poorly timed spots. It wasn’t until three quarters of the way through that the women picked it up, but another dangerous spot off the top rope where Charlotte was going to do a Razor’s Edge on Banks that turned into a huracanrana barely gave Banks the time to tuck her head in enough to avoid more injury. It was scary to watch.
The end came surprisingly fast where Charlotte countered the Bank Statement and got the pin for the win to become a two-time champ. I was floored. I didn’t think that would happen as I didn’t understand why they would have given the match away on Raw a few weeks before just to change the title again three weeks later? Rumours are is the belt was taken off of her because she needs time to heal (some are saying she’ll be suspended for a Wellness Policy violation – but I don’t believe it). We’ll just have to see as she’s now been taken off all dates for a month. Winner: Charlotte to be the new WWE Women’s Champion
The Miz (Champ) vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship Match
There was no build-up for this match so the crowd was pretty dead for it. Crews got in some good offense and showed the crowd why he’s on the main roster. Still, the main thing is that no one knows anything about him so no one is connecting with him. I predicted that Crews would get the win to shake things up and push this new era, but The Miz got a clean pin with no interference, which I’m OK with – but he has to defend the belt more often. I’m sure the program, or what little program/feud there is, will continue on Smackdown. Winner: The Miz
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
THIS! This was what made SummerSlam important and it was the match of the night. I actually watched it again right after the show ended and I watched it again (well, kind of) while writing this while my little girl was napping.
It started off a bit slow, but that was fine as the match kept building and building. Yeah, we saw many finishers get kicked out of, but when you’ve got two of the best in the company going at it, you need to show that they’re giving it their all and really fighting for the win. Cena pulled off some moves here that I’ve never seen him do. I thought the match was even between the two throughout the bout. There wasn’t any crazy domination of one over the other. As well, Cena and Styles both sold well and I think that’s why the multiple kick outs really worked.
Both men had the crowd hooked and my eyes didn’t leave the screen at all. In the end, Styles got Cena in another Styles Clash and then nailed him with another flying forearm, leaping from the top rope (it’s so phenomenal!) for the 1-2-3. Cena helped make AJ Styles in the eyes of any of the doubters and Cena performed very well here. If I was there, I would have given both men a standing ovation.
AJ left the ring gloating a bit, but still selling the effects of the match, while Cena sat in the ring. After Styles left, Cena took off his “Never Give Up” armband, gave it a kiss, and put it down in the middle of the ring. The camera followed him to the back. It was emotional and left me waiting to see what Cena is going to say/do on Smackdown. Perhaps Cena will say that it’s time for him to leave for a bit, although we know he’s going to be leaving to film season 2 of a show he’s doing on FOX. Unbelievable match and one of my faves of the year. Winner: AJ Styles
The New Day (Champs) vs. The Club – WWE Tag Team Title Match
I was hoping and praying WWE Creative would focus on the match and the importance of the tag team championship instead of testicles. What did we get? A clusterfuck and embarassment of a match along with more emphasis on Big E’s nuts. Fuck this shit. I barely remember the match as I just didn’t care once I saw The Club come down the ramp in their lab coats and the fake nuts in the jars.
Once Jon Stewart got in the ring, I knew The Club wasn’t winning and just swore at the TV. Big E returned and helped his buddies retain the titles. I feel so sorry for The Club and Vince/WWE Creative need swift kicks to their nuts so they drop all of this garbage from now on and focus on a meaningful feud with a focus on the TITLES. Why is that so fucking hard? This was appalling and an insult to the crowd. Winners: The New Day
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship Match
Another wave of disbelief hit me when they announced that this match was coming up this early in the evening. So you’re telling me that the WWE Championship, the build to the match (which was pretty good over the past few weeks), and what the championship stands for is relegated to near the middle of the card? Wow. That speaks volumes about what WWE Creative thought these guys could do in the ring and how they view that belt now. This match should have been the last, or at least the second last match of the night. I turned to my bud and said Ambrose would be winning because placing the match here just made it seem like an afterthought.
I’ve read some online reviews of the match and I don’t think it’s as bad as some people thought. I thought it was decent with some good offense and defense from both men. I just thought there would be some more, I dunno, effort for breathtaking spots or more effort to tell a more compelling story. This match could have been on Raw and it would have been applauded. For a major PPV, more was desired. Cena and Style raised the bar so high with their match, I think it may have taken the energy out of the crowd for a while and set the bar so high that any match that followed would be hard-pressed to live up to it. Maybe they found out they were now in the middle of the card and gave a middle of the card match.
The match conclude when a facebuster from the top rope was attempted by Ziggler but Ambrose countered and nailed the Dirty Deeds to finish off Ziggler. Winner: Dean Ambrose
Here’s my issue with the this match/program. The build-up was great and it ended with a whimper. The camera followed Cena after his loss and followed him to the back. Ziggler was an afterthought and there was absolutely no focus on him losing this match. Where was the frustration? Where was the passion? Where was the after match beat down on Ambrose that should have elevated Ziggler’s character more? There was NOTHING and they cut to a vignette of the WWE wrestlers in NY. I shake my head in disbelief as this was an opportunity that was missed to change Ziggler’s character or show signs of the feud continuing. I guess Ziggler may be going back to the mid card and Styles will be Ambrose’s next challenger.
Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Carmella vs. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and Nikki Bella
Why this match didn’t switch place on the card with the Banks/Charlotte match is just so fucking stupid, it’s beyond logic. Did they think this would be a good food, bathroom, and/or merchandise break for people? Ugh.
Anyway, the “good” girls came out to some decent ovations and after two of the “bad” girls came out, WWE fooled the crowd, teasing that Eva Marie was actually in the building.
So, you have a team of heels/bad girls and who do they put in? A returning Nikki Bella. WTF?!?!?! The Bellas went between heel and face so much in a year and a half it made your head spin. So Nikki comes back after a life threatening injury after being told she may never wrestle again, so they have her come out- to pops from the crowd – for the team you’re supposed to boo (and while she’s pandering to the crowd)? Whose idea was this? This should have been built up more where she came to the ring on Smackdown, took in the jeers of the crowd and THEN turned on them, like Rollins. Oh well. Nikki got the pin on Carmella after a standard TV match. Winners: Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and Nikki Bella
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor – WWE Universal Championship Match
Before I talk about the match, I’m going to say a quick piece on the new belt. Raw features the colour the red, therefore their choice of using red for the backing of their new belt isn’t such a surprise. Is it the most pleasant to look at? Not really. I just didn’t get the big fuss over it. Perhaps it was a tired crowd trying to stay awake after the Cena/Styles match or maybe it was them communicating their disappointment in the show by focusing hatred on that belt. I don’t really like it, but I’m not gonna really rant for long on it – it’s what it represents that’s more important.
As for the match, I thought Rollins and Balor nailed it. They finally got the crowd into the match with them half way through, although Balor kicked off the match in high gear. There were some great kick outs and spots that amazed and surprised me (but in a good way). I really liked the action in the match and their chemistry in the ring. I’m looking to a rematch between the two. Balor ended up nailing Rollins at the end with the Coup De Grace and got a clean pin, which was needed. I’m glad there was no shitting booking in this match and we had a clear and decisive winner. If it wasn’t for the stellar outing from Cena and Styles, this would have been the match of the night. Winner: Finn Balor to become the first WWE Universal Champion
Rusev (Champion) vs. Roman Reigns – US Championship Match
The match didn’t happen. I have no idea the logic behind this as they said the ringside doctor wouldn’t allow Rusev to wrestle after both were in a brawl before the bell rung. When does that ever happen? The crowd boo’d Reigns for a lot of this and he acted like a heel again during this whole thing. What f’n garbage. Another slap in the face to the people in the audience.
So, WWE ran some stupid thing about KFC featuring The Miz and Colonel Sanders (Dolph Ziggler) and subjected us to that, but they skipped this match?!? Was it because they promised KFC to show this so they could get their sponsor money? Was WWE really that much over time so they called an audible and decided to skip the match? Holy f’n questions for something that they should have just delivered. I bet we see this match on Raw tonight.
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
Like I said in my prediction piece, I wasn’t interested in seeing this match, although I was curious as to how they would have Brock win without damaging Orton too much, as there would be no way Lesnar would lose. Would they have interference? Would we see a run in? Would we get a DQ? Nope. We got a TKO. When does a TKO happen ever happen in WWE? Yes, I know, Owens and Sami Zayn ended in a TKO in NXT, but that didn’t make that good. I’m also absolutely amazed that with the TWO major championships on the line, they let this bout main event the program? WHY?!?!?
I noticed right away that when Brock was giving suplexes to Orton, something was a little off. Usually his opponents go flying (as they jump a bit when Lesnar lifts them), but Orton seemed to be dead weight. I thought it was because they were trying to protect Orton’s shoulder, but I read that people are saying it was because Orton was actually trying to make Lesnar work in the match. Oh the rumours!
I thought the “match” sucked. It was more of the same from Lesnar: suplexes, punches, a few knees, and some elbows. Orton got two RKOs in and Brock sold them decently. The one he gave on the announcer table I’m sure was supposed to bust the table, but it didn’t break. Thankfully Orton landed more on his lower back and not tailbone as that would be excruciating.
The match ended when Orton kicked out of an F5 and Lesnar took off his gloves and began to punch Orton viciously. Lesnar gave Orton two really hard and stiff elbows and busted him open so bad that there was a pool of blood in seconds. I’ve never seen someone bleed that bad immediately on WWE programming – especially without a blade job. People think he bladed, but I watched this in slow motion many times and there was no blade job. The doctors came in and Lesnar threw more punches on a downed Orton twice (perhaps to buy time as the people in the back decided what the hell to do – as I don’t think this was supposed to go down this way). The ref finally called for the bell and awarded the match to Lesnar by TKO. Winner: Brock Lesnar
After the match, Shane McMahon came down and ended up getting F5’d and rolled into Orton’s blood. Yuck!
The PPV really seemed to go downhill after the Cena/Styles match (besides the Rollins/Balor match). I found a lot of the booking and match placement to be downright confusing. This was a disappointing show to say the least – well, maybe an average PPV – but for Summerslam, things are supposed to amaze us. I enjoyed more of the matches on NXT Takeover more the night before and the flow of that show.
I’m just really curious as to how the Lesnar/Orton match was supposed to end. I’m sure that we’ll have another suspension of Lesnar because of this which will keep him off of TV and out of action until at least the Royal Rumble, which is fine with me. It does make me want to tune into Raw tonight, but as I send this write-up to go live on my site, it looks like Lesnar isn’t even advertised to be on the show tonight. Go figure.