WWE SummerSlam 2017 Thoughts and Results
While I was excited for this year’s SummerSlam PPV, I did bitch about the lack of story build up and some odd booking decisions with many matches in my predictions piece (where I did pretty well, I think). I think my vitriol was justified but I don’t stop it from trying to let the magic of one of the “big four” PPVs encompass me at go time.
The NXT TakeOver PPV the night before really made me hope WWE Creative and the talent were really going to up their game to deliver the type of PPV that NXT did. It was a great card and the matches all built up well. Did SummerSlam do the same? Here are my thoughts on each match.
Kick Off Show – The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan Vs. The Miz & The Miztourage
I feel so bad for The Miz. He has done so much for the Intercontinental Championship and he was relegated to the Kick Off Show and didn’t even defend his championship even though every other championship was being defended. Even the announcers alluded to the situation.
This was a basic TV match where The Miz got a pin on Jason Jordan after Jordan didn’t see The Miz tagging himself in. I think this will continue to set up The Miz vs. Jason Jordan for the IC Championship and we may see it as early as tonight.
Winners: The Miz & The Miztourage
Kick Off Show – Akira Tozawa (Champ) vs. Neville –
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
I appreciated the match these two put together and I think if this was in front of a packed audience that were really invested in both wrestlers (and a story), the electricity for the match would have been heightened.
Both men took some big spots but in the end, Neville nailed the Red Arrow on Tozawa to regain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. I didn’t pick Neville to win because I thought it would absolutely make no sense for Neville to lose on Monday just to win the belt back last night. Well, it happened. Why put an end to Neville’s championship streak just for a few days? I shake my head. Who now is left for Neville to go through in this division that matters? I was hoping Neville would lose and say on Raw he was leaving the division because he needs more of a challenge.
Kick Off Show – The New Day (Champs) vs. The Usos –
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
If you read my wrestling write-ups regularly, you know my thoughts on The New Day and I’m not going into it here except to say I find them tiring. With that said, I will totally take my hat off to both teams because the match between these two last night was probably one of my favourite tag-team matches in ages. Both teams absolutely delivered and with The Usos regaining the championship, you know the story will continue with the faces trying to win again. While I’m not looking forward to the promos from The New Day, I’m looking forward to seeing these two square off again. Much applause.
Winners: The Usos
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
I saw many people predicting that Corbin would win this but I knew he wouldn’t. If the rumours of Cena going to Raw tonight are true, why would he would lose and then just leave Smackdown? That being said, WWE dropped the ball setting up this match and perhaps has hurt Corbin so much in two weeks, it’ll be hard for them to rebuild him.
Yes, he lost to John Cena so that’s probably not expected but after the week Corbin has had, he needed to go over here and show how totally pissed off he was at Cena for the interference in the MITB cash-in match. Hell, Corbin should have won by DQ by getting in the ring and just throwing fists at Cena until the ref ended the match.
Winner: John Cena
Naomi (Champ) vs. Natalya – SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
I read on one of the sites I like to frequent (maybe it was PWTorch.com) that the focus on this match really wasn’t on the two women involved but on Carmella and the “will she/won’t she cash in” scenario. I agree I fell into the hype and I thought she would do it.
I thought these two put on a great match and I like when WWE gives the women more than eight minutes to build-up momentum in a match and the women did it here. I did predict Natalya getting the win here, and it’s well deserved but I do think it’s only a matter of time until Carmella takes it from her or during an encounter when Naomi wins it back, only to lose it immediately.
One last point: WWE and their women want the division to look strong. I understand talent being frustrated and upset if they’ve lost. Naomi didn’t need to cry here.
Big Show vs. Big Cass
(w/Enzo Amore suspended in a Shark Cage above the ring)
I’m not spending a lot of time on this. Big Cass hates Enzo’s big mouth, so Enzo gets put above the ring where Cass can see and hear him? Dumb. Big Show looked like a goof selling his hand most of the match and basically stayed on the ground during near the end of the match while Enzo squeezed himself out of the cage only to get booted from Big Cass for the 100th time.
Nothing was gained from any of this and I hope…no, I pray, this whole feud is done with.
Winner: Big Cass
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Just like Baron Corbin, who’s Corn Flakes did Rusev shit in to get buried so bad on this show? Rusev losing in 20 seconds was horrible and I thought it was a stupid decision by WWE Creative. Orton, like Cena, didn’t need to win their matches. Way to build talent!!
Winner: Randy Orton
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs. Sasha Banks –
Raw Women’s Championship Match
This match was pretty good and it was better than Naomi and Natalya’s match (and that match was good). I am really curious to see if they were going to put the belt on Bayley if she wasn’t injured in this match or if they only decided to take the belt off Bliss after Banks was written into the program. I really also don’t understand the rationale of taking the belt off Bliss when she gets so much heat from the crowd and there really hasn’t been a story built between her and Banks. Here’s hoping something is built up on Raw tonight.
Winner: Sasha Banks
“The Demon” Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt
I may be in the minority here but I expected way more from these two and found the match to be bland. It just didn’t get out of second gear in my eyes. We’ve seen matches way better from both men with other opponents so why didn’t they click here? Hell, Balor has had such phenomenal matches in the past (especially on NXT) that by the end of those matches, his body and face paint is just barely on. He finished this match with most of it intact which kind of symbolized to me that this match wasn’t what it could have been.
So these two are at one win a piece now. Do they face again and Balor proves he can win against Wyatt without being “the Demon” or does Wyatt use some more stupid “hocus pocus” to try and conjure something that will take down “The Demon” at the next PPV? Time will only tell.
Winner: Finn Balor
Sheamus and Cesaro (Champs) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose –
Raw Tag Team Title Match
I wasn’t expecting much from this match and man, these two teams delivered. While it was a bit slow to get going, all four men turned out one of the best matches of the night.
With WWE playing up the rocky relationship between Ambrose and Rollins and Cesaro and Sheamus’ awesome reign (excuse the pun) as champions, I thought the champs would retain here while Ambrose would turn on Rollins. I wanted that to happen so bad but instead we got new tag team champions. Consider me on board for the rematch because I want to see if they can actually top last night’s match.
Two quick notes: 1) props to Cesaro for going into the crowd to grab the beach ball and ripping it. I’m happy WWE actually showed it, too. I hope WWE threw out the people that brought that ball in because it’s so disrespectful.
2) Holy shit, Ambrose needs to learn how to sell. The double team by Sheamus and Cesaro on Ambrose near the end of the match looked like it would have killed a man and yet Ambrose bounced back and was perfectly fine at the end of the match while he celebrated the win. This has been a huge problem for me with him (and I have an Ambrose T-shirt).
Winners: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship Match
with Shane McMahon as a Special Guest Referee
Pro: this is the match with the action and near-falls from Styles and Owens we should have gotten from both men previously. It was a great bout if you didn’t pay attention to what I’m going to mention below.
Con: this match had too much focus on Shane McMahon and did nothing but keep showing how much of an idiot he is/was. The spots where Shane was in the way and got bumped or pulled between both men were just cringe-worthy and I wanted to yell at the TV. I couldn’t get into this match as much as I should have because McMahon, like any ref, should have DQ’d Owens at least twice and just did things any official wouldn’t do. Hell, he wasn’t this inept when being a guest ref in the past.
I guess Owens will go into a program of some sorts with Shane McMahon while Styles will hopefully move on to a story line with someone new and fresh.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jinder Mahal (Champ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship Match
This match was just so-so for me. It had too many hold spots and slow progression. I am not surprised that Mahal won this match and I predicted he would. There are three reasons why Mahal was going to win this: 1) WWE has not built Nakamura up how they should yet, 2) McMahon isn’t showing people that he was wrong by throwing a mid-carder into the championship spot by taking the belt off of him, and 3) WWE Creative built absolutely no story between them leading up to this match.
We will see a rematch at the next PPV, I’m sure, so let’s hope there’s some kind of story built besides Nakamura focusing on the three against one scenario – that’s all Mahal’s championship has been, so who is surprised by this?
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Brock Lesnar (Champ) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
(Fatal 4-Way Match for the Universal Championship)
This is the match where Lesnar probably remembered what it was like to actually work. Seriously, though, he did take a lot of bumps here, but I know Mr. Part-Time could do a lot more. Hell, WWE let Lesnar take a break with the huge stretcher spot.
I really think the other men in this match should capitalize on that stretcher segment of the match because they can say that Lesnar got to rest backstage while they were all out busting their asses.
Reigns, Joe, and Strowman (especially Strowman) looked like superstars last night I know that WWE calls them “superstars” all the time but this match really came across as it. Hell, I’ve already watched this crazy match twice and will do so a few more times.
This is one of those matches where I say make sure that you check it out if you haven’t because just seeing Strowman manhandle Lesnar, putting him through two tables, and tossing an announcer table on him is something you may only see once in your lifetime.
While I am disappointed that the part-timer, Lesnar, walked away with the belt, I can see how the other three men benefited from the match and how they can all still be in a program with Lesnar because of it.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
All in all, I liked the PPV. Was it a front to back classic? Absolutely not but I enjoyed most of the show and I think it was one of the better Pay Per Views of the year. I’m curious to see where they go next tonight on Raw and Smackdown Live on Tuesday. Will Cena appear and try to insert himself into the title picture as well?