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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2016 Review with Full Match Ratings and Show Grade - What the Hell?
By Mr. Tito
Aug 21, 2016 - 11:05:34 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at / by yours truly, Mr. Tito. Tonight, we review WWE SummerSlam 2016 on an INSTANT COLUMN basis which means that I'm writing this column as the show happens and immediately posting this column on LoP as soon as the show ends. It's been a tradition for a few years now...

Heading into SummerSlam 2016, I liked the match-ups but I disliked the Creative Team pushes towards the WWE Titles. WWE has performed destructive booking with Dolph Ziggler since Survivor Series 2014, including recent loses to NXT call-ups Tyler Breeze & Baron Corbin, as well as many other World Title pushes for Ziggler being undercut. Then, you have the current Internet Darling Finn Balor who just gets called up from NXT and in his FIRST NIGHT on the RAW brand, he gets a World Title shot on WWE's #2 show of the year, SummerSlam 2016. Granted, the talent roster on RAW is so weak on Main Event drawing superstars that it almost merits pushing Balor... Still, not everyone watches NXT and I believe the overpushing of Balor combined with the absence of superstars like AJ Styles & John Cena has sunk RAW's battleship (or viewers). We're permanently under 3.0 million viewers and this is BEFORE NFL Monday Night Football.

The rest of the card, I felt, looked pretty strong and my gripes about the World Title matches are resolved by WWE booking 2 strong additional co-main events in John Cena vs. AJ Styles and the last unique match up for Brock Lesnar against Randy Orton.

That's how I felt heading into the show... How did I feel about the show as it happened?


I did not watch the Pre-Game Show, nor will I make any effort to rewatch it. This show will run long and therefore, I spent that 6pm hour with my family rather than wearing the Mr. Tito mask.

Opening match was Enzo & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens. Enzo & Cass were CRAZY OVER with the Brooklyn fans although Kevin Owens had a nice pop for him as a heel. I would NEVER break up Enzo & Cass until Big Cass is absolutely ready to exist on his own. Even then... Cass is a decent talker but he tends to say very basic things. Enzo is far more creative on the mic and simply by saying "This is Big Cass, he's 7 feet tall, and you can't teach that" easily describes and gets Big Cass over each night. That's important. Very standard tag match between the 2 teams with Enzo playing the "face in peril" while Big Cass went on the warpath with from the hot tag. Enzo & Cass went for their finisher, but the heels blocked it when Kevin Owens tripped up Enzo on the top rope. Cass eats the steel post and Kevin Owens rolls into him on the barricade. That then allows Enzo to get owned by a nice looking finisher by Owens throwing Enzo into Jericho's Codebreaker. [ *** ] Felt too standard, nothing unique... I would have given Enzo & Cass the big memorable win here, too, but they could easily do more rematches off of this. Enzo & Cass are still too new to the WWE roster and letting them chase for a while is not a bad thing.

Jon Stewart backstage... Questions why Mick Foley is working with Stephanie McMahon and of course Stephanie is right behind Stewart when he says that. Har har...

I did NOT like the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte match. Too dangerous. I've seen many Sasha Banks matches in which she's used REAL psychology instead of having to rely on high spots. You see what happens when you rely on spots? Sasha Banks landed on her neck in the corner and she was woozy for the rest of the match. Yes, that Razor's Edge like move from the top rope was a thing of beauty, but it was dangerous to accomplish. So much to could go wrong with that move. They badly botched one of Charlotte's finishers where the arms/legs were hooked and Charlotte tried to lift Sasha up in the air. The Boss is one of the best at psychology from what I've seen in NXT, but then again, she worked as a HEEL in NXT. That's why... I can only imagine how PISSED Vince McMahon is backstage watching this match as both ladies are probably dinged up from this match. And I agree with Vince. Don't kill yourselves out there, ladies, especially when it simply takes away from match quality with botches. And imagine the finish? ACTUAL WRESTLING as Charlotte does a nice counter to Sasha's Bank Statement by rolling her up into a pin. [ ** ] Afterward, Sasha appears legitimately injured in the ring which proves my point. "Less is more". After a great Wrestlemania match, they take a step back by becoming spot machines at SummerSlam. Sasha hasn't impressed me in the WWE as much as she did in NXT, so therefore, I don't care about the early title loss. PROVES MY POINT about hotshotting the Women's Title at first edition of the Brand Extension RAW, though.

Up next, we have our first FINGER OF SHAME delivered of the night... Yes, I dislike the Miz, but he's the Intercontinental Champion and should come out FIRST. But what the hell is up with the Phantom of the Opera mask?!? Apollo Crews has done jack or squat in the WWE thus far to merit coming out before a champion. Just stating what should be the obvious... CHAMPION COMES OUT SECOND! Crowd is dead for this match but not to knock the match-up, but the first 2 matches used up a lot of the crowd's energy. Great question posed by the announcer... "I wonder of Mr. Hughes wore sunglasses as he trained Apollo Crews". Match was crisp, as Miz has been around for a while and is decent at selling high impact moves. Match, however, felt a little short as out of no where Miz hits his Skull Crushing finisher when I blinked and it was over. Felt too much like a television match and not exceptional as a Pay Per View match should be. [ **1/4 ] Actually, now that I see the replay, the finish was quite good with Crews making a mistake when jumping into the corner to cost him the match. No problem with that and I think Apollo Crews needs more work in the WWE being built up. He just appeared on RAW one day, following Wrestlemania 32 I believe. How are fans supposed to connect with a wrestler introduced like that?

Up next, we have one of the big non-World Title matches in AJ Styles vs. John Cena, hopefully here to save the day. HEAVY "John Cena Sucks" chants during Cena's theme music. Heavy "AJ Styles/Let's Go Cena" chants to start the match, as both wrestlers start slow like blind men at an orgy, they were going to have to feel things out. Liked that punch to the face by Cena, that's new. Just jacked him. For some reason, Cena tries an Attitude Adjustment on the ring apron on the outside but AJ Styles beautifully reversed it into a suplex. OUCH! Who on else on earth could do that move? Styles uses Rollins's reversal out of the Attitude Adjustment, hits the Pele Kick, and then nails the Styles Clash. 2 count only, as we're too early into this match. Looked damn good! Super Cena recovers from that and hits an Attitude Adjustment but 2 count only! This match is off to a much faster start than their previous Pay Per View counter. But can they finish strong? And did John Cena just lift Big E's finisher? SICK modified Attitude Adjustment by AJ Styles with Cena's back dropping on AJ's knee (hope that it didn't hurt Cena's neck?). AJ Styles missed the 450 splash and then John Cena, which I've never seen him do before, hits a Sunset Flip into a Powerbomb (am I calling that right?!?). Wow... Cena is a beast but AJ Styles can sell anything perfectly. AND WHY ISN'T THIS MATCH FOR THE WWE TITLE?!? Had to get that Dolph Ziggler mini-push in... Sigh. Beautiful reversals of moves into their submission holds... Great sequences of trading submission holds. Cena tries a top rope Attitude Adjustment but Styles fights it and nails a Frankensteiner. Wow... Cena insists on hitting the Top Rope Attitude Adjustment and does, but 2 count only! Holy cow! Styles fights off the next Attitude Adjustment, Styles reverses it into a Styles Clash, and instead of going for the pin, hits the Phenominal Forearm! 100% CLEAN VICTORY! [ ***** ] John Cena, once again, does great business at SummerSlam. Put over Punk in 2011, Bryan in 2013, losing badly to Brock Lesnar in 2014, and now AJ Styles in 2016. OK, let's push AJ Styles to the WWE Title in the upcoming months please. HE'S READY! AMAZING... I'm still leaning Nakamura/Zayn for my "Match of the Year", but repeat viewings will happen. Nice to see the Brooklyn fans showing appreciation for John Cena afterward. This column has been pro-Cena for years and SummerSlam repeatedly proves why from him.

Looks like we're in for a long show or WWE needs to kill time... Jon Stewart comes out and is happy that nobody interfered with John Cena vs. AJ Styles. You know, he's alluding to his interference on Seth Rollins from last year. Stewart isn't happy about Gallows/Anderson hurting Big E and offers himself to join the New Day tonight...

New Day & Jon Stewart vs. Anderson/Gallows. Love that Kofi Kingston is throwing out Booty-O cereal to the fans in handfuls. That's funny. Anderson and Gallows are playing up their doctor gimmicks from the past few weeks worth of segments. I don't get it... I think Hulu is cutting too much from RAW for me to know what's going on in this feud. Oh well. Crowd is dead to start this match but fans just witnessed a legit "Match of the Year" candidate. Plus, I don't think this crowd is too excited for the Stewart cameo. Maybe if CBS didn't make the foolish decision to put Stephen Colbert on late nights instead of Stewart? Colbert is awful and the ratings are proving it. Then again, Gallows and Anderson have yet to set the WWE world on fire since their arrival. Good wrestlers, but fans just don't know how to correct with 2 guys who suddenly appeared one day and dominated other tag wrestlers. Because this match badly needed heat, Jon Stewart is in the ring alone with Anderson/Gallows and was about to get a nutcracker on the post when Big E makes his return to cause a Disqualification. So what? Even with their attack on Big E, I still have zero connection as a fan to Anderson/Gallows. Just so dull and this match had nothing worth noting. [ * ] Time to seriously rethink Anderson/Gallows and I would legitimately move them to NXT to figure it out. I'm sure that will upset many of the New Japan fans out there, but truth hurts.

Up next is Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler as Dolph comes out second. He better, for he's the WWE Champion! Match starts off slowly, as both guys are hitting their usual televised wrestling match stuff. The once hot Brooklyn crowd agrees with me, as there's nothing exceptional from this match yet. Funny moment when Dean Ambrose eats a Superkick by Dolph Ziggler on the outside and Dean actually jumps late after the kick to sell that it elevated him. I'm sure Botchamania has a few nuggets to use from this event. Finally, Dean hits the Dirty Deeds to end this match that didn't have heat. And why didn't we have Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose again? After all, Wyatt did beat Ambrose several times last year. [ ** ]

Up next, it's Becky Lynch/Carmella/Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss/Natalya/Nikki Bella. That's right, the Wellness Violation has put Eva Marie on a "vacation" according to her entrance announcer. So she takes medication that helps with ADHD... How does that help or hurt pro wrestling again? Not sure why she was suspended unless she attended a certain couple's party... Good to have Nikki Bella back. The Bellas has obtained undeserved hatred from the Internet from years and my column has been mostly pro-Bella. The Twins had to carry a very thin roster of women for a while and get unnecessary hatred because they believe John Cena is pulling strings to get Nikki pushed. No, they draw over 1 million viewers for their E! Total Divas show. That's why Nikki gets pushed and in my opinion, she improved her look and her in-ring ability to merit the success. Besides, who else was there to push before mid 2015?!? Paige? We tried that after Wrestlemania one time, remember? Match was mostly Carmella as "face in peril" and then Becky Lynch gets the hot tag to ZERO reaction by the Brooklyn crowd. Ouch. Nice spot by Lynch with all 3 in the corner and each taking a kick off the ropes. I really like Naomi and I hope her new look/gimmick helps get her something... Fans briefly popped when Naomi came in and delivered kicks. Much of this match involves a wrestler hitting a move and screaming in the middle of the ring to get a reaction. That's sad. Nikki Bella holds Carmella in what looks like a Rack Attack but spins Carmella around for the TKO move that Mark Mero used to do with his boxing gimmick (I think??). Why is this even on the Pay Per View? Total RAW/Smackdown match that wouldn't have been fun to watch.[ * 1/2 ]

Backstage, Rusev is still furious over Roman Reigns degrading his wife Lana a few weeks ago during their Wedding celebration.

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor is up next which means that Wellness Policy violating Roman Reigns gets a higher spot on the SummerSlam 2016 card than BOTH World Title Matches AND John Cena vs. AJ Styles. That is hysterical! Even more hysterical is how the WWE Universal Title looks exactly like the WWE Women's Title. How does a company that just put on an AMAZING NXT Takeover Brooklyn II event just repeatedly drop the ball on minor details on their main WWE roster? So stupid... Idiotic moves like this makes using excessive amounts of Paint all over your body look logical... Balor, tonight, is painted up like he's going to kick Danielson's teeth in along with the rest of the Cobra Kai at a Halloween Party. Please, put this idea of painting your entire body into a bodybag. To be consistent, I was highly critical of Jeff Hardy's tacky looking bodypaint as well. Both guys were doing their usual stuff with kicks, high risks, etc., but nothing to overly excite the Brooklyn fans. It's the kind of match that might work in a smaller arena with loyal Indy fans, but in a bigger arena in front of 15,000... It's struggling to connect. As I've said repeatedly now... Not everybody watches NXT to even know or care who Finn Balor is. Rollins hits the Pedigree (I HATE that he does that move) for 2 count only. Lots of dropkicks into Corners and now Balor hits the Coup de Grace finisher to a very mild reaction by Brooklyn fans. SOMEONE TELL ME how Seth Rollins is not allowed to do a Curb Stomp finisher and Finn Balor is allowed to jump on someone's chest? Match was OK but nothing special, as Brooklyn fans were sleepy for the match. Good to know that the "Demon King" has parents, aunts, and uncles to celebrate his Universal Title with... [ **3/4 ] Match was dull and paint-by-numbers to me. I give it 1 month before Vince McMahon panics and pushes the Roman Empire bullcrap again (might already be starting, look at the Reigns placement on this card!).

And now, we have a poor KFC sponsorship segment between the Miz and Dolph Ziggler. Man, this show really needs saved by Rusev/Reigns and/or Orton/Lesnar at this point or SummerSlam 2016 will forever be known as AJ Styles vs. John Cena + Other Crap. And no thanks to that Chicken Little sandwich. I'd rather retain a few more years of my life by not eating that.

Another FINGER OF SHAME for Rusev coming out first despite being champion. But of course, he's against the Lord and Savior of the "Roman Empire", Roman Reigns. Despite the midcard spot, although you couldn't tell by the spot on the card, the Brooklyn fans are heavily booing Reigns. The "you can't wrestle" chants are already beginning, oh no. When you have a wrestler with deficiencies like Roman Reigns, what do you do? Throw him into the stairs, brawl on the outside area. Already, and we're seriously just 1 minute into this match, Reigns is sucking wind. Can someone buy him a treadmill and/or stairmaster? Maybe pave a running track around his house? So Rusev starts the match by bashing Reigns into the stairs repeatedly but when Roman Reigns tosses Rusev over the barrier, multiple referees come down to hold Reigns back? What the hell, WWE? Rusev is selling an injury and the referees actually kick Reigns out of the arena! Did I just hear "We Want Slater" and "CM Punk" chants? Announcers tell the crowd that due to injury, Rusev is unable to compete. So of course, Roman Reigns comes back out and attacks Rusev. And that's it... NO MATCH! What a JOKE. [ 0 Stars ]

Hey, WWE is repeating the Randy Orton/Brock Lesnar hype promo which shows the OHIO VALLEY WRESTLING CLASS OF 2002. How do you like them apples, Comments section?!?

And now, the match that will either "make or break" SummerSlam 2016: Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton which should have Brooklyn's full attention. HA! "Got Juice" sign right beside Brock Lesnar as he walked by! Oh damn! WWE will have to choose whether to edit the sign or change the entrance's television angle when they sell that show for retail. Classic. Lesnar brawls to start but Orton hits a perfect dropkick and soon misses the RKO. German #1 delivered by Lesnar. Orton heavily protected himself on that and ditto for German #2. Orton is coming off a neck injury, too. German #3 after some knees. German #4. Lesnar is going a bit more gentle on those Germans for Orton than he does other wrestlers. German #5. Someone needs to use Beach Volleyball scorecards to tally up the Germans at ringside. German #6. Orton then gets slammed onto the announcer's table but it doesn't give! Second attempt by Lesnar and Orton goes through it! That was violent! In the ring again, German #7. Brock Lesnar tries to stand on top of the announcer's table for further destruction but an RKO out of no where on Lesnar on a table that didn't give! Cool... Let's see what happens now. Then, he hits the DDT through the ropes! SEE! I told you, Orton has the convincing offense that could harm Lesnar! RKO but 2 count only! Orton went for the Punt Kick and but was caught in a bad looking F5 (Orton protecting himself, scared to be lifted). Now, Lesnar is punching Orton violently and the referee calls for the trainers. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, Orton is cut badly! Lesnar pushes everybody away and punches some more. Whoa... And now, "GOLDBERG, GOLDBERG..." chants. OK, that's trolling. More punches by Lesnar and the match is CALLED OFF by WWE doctors and the referee. Lesnar wins by "TKO". Huh? What the hell, man? [ *** ] Back to back matches with ZERO pins or submissions? And what about the WWE policy on bleeding? And Lesnar attacks some more.

Afterward, Shane McMahon dares to come down and confront Brock Lesnar and Shane takes the F5. And that's it.

LAST WORD: Aside from AJ Styles vs. John Cena, which ranks as my #2 contender for "Match of the Year" behind Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, this show was a HOT MESS. Complete letdowns by BOTH World Title matches, bad botches between Charlotte/Sasha (trying too hard to overcome NXT Takeover last night, are we???), non-match between Rusev/Reigns, bad Tag Title match, and just nothing exceptional on the #2 show of the year by the WWE. Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar was just getting good and then this blood angle starts... What the hell, WWE?!? But HOLY COW, though, AJ Styles vs. John Cena is worth suffering through all of this crap just to see these 2 put on a clinic and John Cena putting over AJ Styles 100% clean. Cena continues to prove why he's one of the best professional wrestlers of all time and his longevity + ability to make stars might make him catapult other greats when it's all said and done. This show? Thanks to AJ Styles vs. John Cena, it gets a C+ and that is being generous. Nothing but a show full of letdowns, terrible finishes, and bad booking. Orton vs. Lesnar actually showed real promise but WWE flushed it away. So long last unique match-up...


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