Year in and year out, WWE books SummerSlam to be their second-biggest (not necessarily second-best, mind you) event. As most of you are probably aware, 2020 isn’t your normal year, in or out of the ring. We’ve still gotten a pretty big build for this year’s event, all things considered, and here we are, ready to watch how everything unfolds.
(0:02) Watching this opening video package is really showcasing the highs (Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton) and lows (Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt) of WWE storylines right now.
(0:04) The Thunderdome idea is really cool, and it looks amazing, but man, some of these fans need to be a little more excited. It’s sad to cut to “crowd” shots and see people just sitting there with no emotion.
(0:05) Smackdown Women’s Title match opens the show, with Asuka getting her first title opportunity of the night. If you’ve been reading my work in the last few weeks, you know that I think it would be a bad, bad, bad idea to give her both wins here. We can’t keep having the same three women involved in all three title pictures on the main roster.
(0:06) They’ve already used the stupid ass “You’ll never see it coming” tag line six or seven times, and we’re only in the introductions for the first match. I fucking hate Vince McMahon sometimes.
(0:09) Asuka is 5-0 against Bayley in televised singles matches over the last four years. Just a random stat.
(0:12) I like the way the crowd noise is being piped in so far tonight. It still isn’t quite like the real thing and having 20,000+ fans in attendance, but it’s a lot better than the random banging on plexiglass that WWE programming has featured for a while now.
(0:16) The fact that Bayley and Sasha Banks still aren’t officially known as She-Generation X makes me sad.
(0:18) Live look at the WWE Universe… and the first thing I see is a guy looking off-camera for the entire time he was shown. MA! THE MEATLOAF!
(0:19) Good strategy by Bayley to work on Asuka’s knee, not only trying to wear her down to beat her, but to wound Asuka so that Sasha has an easier match later on. Nice stuff.
(0:21) Bayley gets the win after Asuka runs into Sasha on the ring apron, leading to a roll-up. She-Generation X is now one-for-one, and they beat Asuka up a bit after the match for good measure. Bayley’s lengthy reign as Smackdown Women’s Champion continues. That was a good match, albeit nothing overly special. I’ll say 2.75 stars, just for both the shits and the giggles.
(0:25) I’ve said it before, but my goodness, Dominik Mysterio sounds so much like his dad. To be exact, his dad from the WCW days.
(0:27) ONCE AGAIN, these fucking morons are playing video packages for Retribution. Why the hell would you show video packages for these outsiders that are supposed to be screwing with your television production and attacking your employees?!?
(0:30) Yes, Kevin Owens, we are your friends. KO joins the commentary team for the next match, which is the Raw Tag Team Title contest with The Street Profits defending against Andrade and Angel Garza. If this one is given enough time, it should be a lot of fun.
(0:33) Red Solo cup shower “pyro” for the Profits during their entrance. Nice touch.
(0:36) Future WrestleMania main eventer Montez Ford has quite the sneaker game.
(0:37) Building on what I last said, do you think WWE could be looking to build a new “power couple” on-screen, having Montez win the WWE or Universal Title at the same WrestleMania that Bianca Belair wins the Raw or Smackdown Women’s Title? Just a random thought.
(0:40) Andrade and Garza actually improved on the stupid ass Tree Of Woe spot by having Garza hold Ford up, instead of just having Ford hold himself in position for Andrade to stomp the shit out of him. That type of addition was sorely needed.
(0:43) The Profits retain the titles after a distraction. Ford accidentally knocks Zelina Vega off of the ring apron, so Andrade goes to check on her, leaving Garza alone. More drama for Zelina’s group. More losses for Zelina’s group. I worry that you’re going to read this a lot from me, but… good, but not great, match. Nothing crazy, but it needed at least five more minutes of action. I’ll give it 3 stars, but if you wanted to go to 3.25 stars, I wouldn’t call you a moron.
(0:47) Time for the super personal match between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. I’m glad they’re going with the No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE stipulations instead of the original Hair vs Hair idea. This one should be fun.
(0:50) Win or lose here, WWE has some serious money with Deville in the future.
(0:54) Michael Cole wondering if Mandy Rose can bring the “killer instinct” to Sonya Deville is a pretty poor choice of words, considering what these women have recently gone through out of the ring.
(0:56) Mandy having an embarrassing moment, being unable to lift a table at ringside, even with multiple attempts.
(0:59) They’ve really built this up as a mismatch, especially in a No DQ scenario, with Mandy always being presented as a human Barbie, and Sonya being a destroyer with an MMA background.
(1:01) Another dumb moment for Mandy at ringside, this time using steel chairs to slide across a table to try and hit Deville with them. I get what she was going for, but missing twice was essentially saying that she wanted Sonya to have two chairs to potentially use.
(1:03) Mandy with the win, clean as clean can be. When the Loser Leaves WWE stipulation was announced, everyone knew Sonya would lose, assuming she would need some time off to deal with what’s going on in her personal life. That was better than it probably should’ve been. Again, though… 2.5 stars, but if you went up to 3 stars, that would be fine. I think that I could probably go a little higher with a second viewing where I’m not also focused on typing these words.
(1:06) Next up is the most intriguing match of the entire show, as Prince Mysterio steps into the ring for his debut match, taking on Seth Rollins.
(1:10) Oh, I really dig Seth’s ring gear tonight, with the throwback to Rey Mysterio’s gear from Halloween Havoc 1997.
(1:14) Before the bell has even started the match, it’s easy to see that Dominik looks like a pro wrestler, at the very least.
(1:17) Early on, Dom looks very smooth in the ring. Seth is giving him a lot so far, but Dom has definitely been watching his dad’s matches. He’s also been watching Rey Mysterio’s matches… I miss you, Eddie.
(1:19) For future matches, methinks Dom should ditch the hood on his ring gear.
(1:21) Lots of stalling so Seth can trash talk Rey at ringside.
(1:23) Dominik looks like he’s been swinging kendo sticks for years. Jesus.
(1:26) He also looks like he’s been beaten by a kendo stick for years. Seth is absolutely abusing him yet again. He’s going to have some permanent marks from these beatings.
(1:28) Frog Splash from the top rope by Dominik, and now I want to cry.
(1:30) Vicious powerbomb by Seth, and now Dominik wants to cry.
(1:31) Both men have welts and cuts all over their bodies right now.
(1:33) Murphy takes Dom to the ring steps and tries to remove Dom’s eyeball, but Rey makes the save.
(1:34) Seth with the great heel work in trying to go after Rey’s wife, Angie, before Dominik attacks him.
(1:36) Rollins gets the win after hitting Dom with a Stomp right in front of Rey, who was handcuffed to the ropes and had no choice but to watch in agony. That was very well done. Dominik has himself a helluva future in this business if he keeps this up. I’m very impressed. Best match of the night so far. Let’s go with 3.5 stars. Kudos to both Seth Rollins and Dominik Mysterio.
(1:41) Asuka, part deux! Time for the Raw Women’s Title match, with Sasha Banks defending against a challenger that isn’t quite at 100%.
(1:47) As my man Rob Simmons points out on Twitter, this will be Sasha’s FIRST SUCCESSFUL TITLE DEFENSE if she wins this match. First one. Ever. She’s a five-time champion, ladies and gentlemen.
(1:52) Sasha is wrestling a stiff match here. A couple of solid strikes have landed on Asuka’s head.
(1:54) Asuka with the “Dean Malenko DDT’s Scotty 2 Hotty from the turnbuckles” spot. Brutal match so far, but in a good way. Both women are letting the other have it.
(1:57) Sasha misses a Frog Splash. By the way… Hornswoggle’s version of the move is the Tadpole Splash, but if he weighs more than Sasha (and he does by a good margin), what does that make Sasha’s version?
(1:59) Asuka wins by submission, becoming the new Raw Women’s Champion, and continuing Sasha’s piss-poor booking when she’s a titleholder. Five total reigns as a singles champion on the main roster, combining for 103 days with the title, and zero total successful defenses. That’s going to be tough to beat. On the bright side, she can say she competed in the best match of the night so far, and my pick for best match of the weekend to this point. That was definitely 4 stars.
(2:02) Time for Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton. This is similar to last night’s Keith Lee vs Karrion Kross build. Realistically, it isn’t time for Drew to lose the WWE Title yet, but Randy is absolutely on fire right now, which would make a loss almost a shame for him.
(2:09) Shawn Michaels, his wonky eye, and his lack of selling Randy Orton’s Punt decide to show up via satellite and say that he hopes Drew wins the match. If you get hit with the Punt, then immediately get up and sit in the corner of the ring, I don’t give two shits about your opinion on things anymore.
(2:13) Orton plays mind games to start, continuing to stop the momentum of the match before it even begins, rolling to the outside. Good heel work.
(2:16) I really feel bad for Drew McIntyre. He finally reaches the top of WWE, defeats Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, and is doing some of the best work of his career… and none of it is taking place in front of thousands of fans. He’s had matches and moments that would have had some great crowd pops, but hasn’t had any of it due to things completely out of his control.
(2:20) Slow, methodical pace to this one. No surprise to anyone who has ever seen these men wrestle, but especially Orton.
(2:22) McIntyre locks Orton in the Figure Four, and I can’t help but look at the fans watching, and seeing the young fans that are really getting into the match. They’re moving all around, making a bunch of noise, and really enjoying things. Good for them. That’s awesome.
(2:27) Both men appear to be bleeding at different places on the face/head area. Tough, hard-hitting, old school match here. Well… the blood on Orton’s head might be McIntyre’s, but my point remains.
(2:30) I know that it has been said by many people before, but Samoa Joe is fantastic on commentary. He makes everything sound great. He’s able to not only talk about what is happening in the ring, but why it’s happening. He sounds like a passionate wrestling fan without crossing the line into sounding like a company shill like many wrestling commentators do. I still want to see him wrestling again, but this is so much better than having him on the shelf.
(2:34) McIntyre wins… with a back slide? I mean, he won, but holy shit, it’s just an excuse for Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton to continue with tonight’s lame ass theme of how “you’ll never see it coming” blah blah blah. Vince McMahon can’t leave this company soon enough. At least the match was entertaining, but hey… pretty good, not great. I’ll go with 3.25 stars.
(2:37) You’d think we would’ve seen The Actual Disasters by this point. We’re almost at the end of the show, and nothing from the No Edge Society? No wacky production “fun” from The Dumping Bomb Angels?
(2:39) Time for the Universal Title to be defended, and now I want to elbow drop a hamster. I hate this shit so much. Braun is so fucking bad at this, which is INCREDIBLE, because LOOK AT HIM. He should have no problem whatsoever coming across as an unstoppable monster. Finding a way to screw this up should cost people their jobs.
(2:41) Lost in the mix of me typing that was a vignette for Keith Lee making his Raw debut tomorrow night on Raw. Oh, that poor bastard.
(2:49) Pretty sure The Fiend just tried to kill Strowman by snapping his neck. Twice. It didn’t work, of course.
(2:52) Strowman just slammed The Fiend onto the announce table, and it didn’t break. Must be a part of Shawn Michaels’ No-Sell Collection from Home Depot.
(2:55) They’re brawling around backstage, near the Gorilla Position. No Vince McMahon to be seen. Coward.
(2:58) The top of Braun’s head is bleeding. Not enough for my liking. Let’s go crazy. I want someone to rank high on The Muta Scale.
(3:00) Strowman has a box cutter! I might get my wish!
(3:00) He’s using it to cut the mat apart. I fucking hate this even more. Check, please.
(3:02) After a couple Sister Abigails on the exposed wood of the ring, Bray Wyatt is the new Universal Champion. Good for you, Braun, you goof. You should’ve used the box cutter better.
(3:03) ROMAN REIGNS IS BACK! Welp. Looks like a short title reign for Bray. I’ll be damned, though. WWE was right all along. I really didn’t see this ending coming.
(3:05) Reigns beats the hell out of both Wyatt and Strowman and stands tall with the Universal Title in his hands to close the show. Another moment that would’ve been beautiful with an actual live crowd. Man, I miss that stuff. If you’re a fan of Wyatt and/or Strowman, you probably enjoyed this match. Otherwise, you probably didn’t care. I didn’t care. Two stars. I’m much more excited to see Reigns back.
Thank you for joining me once again. I hope you got some enjoyment from my words tonight. I’ll be back on Wednesday with my usual Week In Review. Goodnight, folks.