As I sat down last night, with an adult beverage, I had high hopes for the card. I was actually pumped for this one. I haven’t been excited for a PPV since Wrestlemania. I was hoping that this wouldn’t disappoint for a few reasons, not just the obvious, “fuck, that was a waste of four hours”, but the fact that I feel the brand specific PPV’s from here on out will be “repug” (shout to Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg…Cheap Heat live was lit last week Friday), especially the Smackdown one’s. So I wanted one last blowout before the months of mediocrity that I know are inevitably coming our way.
And I’m glad to say…Summer Slam 2016 did not disappoint, well a little bit at the end, but we will get there.
The kickoff show was decent. Not many highlights from the 3 matches that took place.
I’m intrigued by the American Alpha/Usos feud that started brewing at the end of the 12 man tag match. I’m big on American Alpha and a tussle with the veteran Uso team should give them a little more notoriety.
The only other thing would be the opening match of the Sheamus and Cesaro best of seven series, which I think is a waste of Cesaro’s time. Sheamus get the first win, which is predictive…I definitely see them going full Cleveland Cavaliers and have Cesaro go down 3-0 or 3-1 and come back to win the series.
Jeri-KO versus Enzo and Cass was the usual, great work from my favorite wrestler Owens and Jericho, flashes of what Big Cass will inevitably be and great mic work by Enzo. Besides being an entertaining all around match there is nothing to get invested in here…and of course, Owens and Jericho go over and again as usual Enzo did the job. Enzo once again showed that he needs work on his in-ring skills. Can’t wait until he gets there, he’ll be one of the greats.
Charlotte and Sasha were another great Women’s match. I personally don’t even think of these matches as Women’s matches anymore… especially when Charlotte is involved. There were a few botched spots, but they were overshadowed by the way these two amazing athletes entertained me. Charlotte retained the belt which was surprising to me, but the passing of the title back a forth between Charlotte and Sasha will be something to look forward to for the next year or so.
The Miz and Apollo Crews match seemed to be unnecessary to me. I think they could’ve thrown someone else in there with the Miz…possibly Bray Wyatt. Where the fuck was Wyatt anyway…they could’ve thrown him in somewhere, they better be holding him for an Ambrose feud…but I digress. I feel Crews could be the black John Cena…but he’s clearly not ready and a 5-minute match with him losing to The Miz isn’t helping. Pair him with John Cena and launch a “Make Apollo Crews Great” campaign. I mean…do something, because as athletic as Crews is, he’s also boring as fuck personality wise.
Speaking of John Cena, I’m happy he did the job for AJ Styles. Styles is the man and will be for the next few years so I’m glad they put him over. I’m just curious where he goes next…maybe in Dean Ambrose’s direction. Cena needs a change, something great for us to remember him by during the last few years of his career. A heel turn maybe? I mean he did leave his “Never Give Up” armband in the ring after the match; a foreshadowing of Cena going to the dark side. I hope so.
As a side note to AJ Styles, I love the fact that that they teased the affiliation of Finn valor with the Club. Those four, throw in some Nakamura and we have our next great faction brewing, might be far fetched but a man can dream.
The Club and the New Day match had me and everyone else fooled. I know we all assumed that since there was no Big E, that the New Day would drop the tag titles. I personally think its time. But not last night, after a Big E run-in which DQ’d the New Day, it’ll have to wait . I think The Club gets those belts eventually, possibly the next Raw PPV. The Club’s antics are amusing as fuck and mixed with the New Day you can’t go wrong. I hope this feud continues for few more months.
I know I was one of many hoping that the WWE would give Dolph Ziggler that Shawn Michaels 2K push. They teased us and then let us down. I’m hoping that this isn’t the end of this feud and that Ziggler does get the push that we feel he deserves. But with his losing the title match and big name guys like AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt looming on Smackdown this might have been it. I haven’t been feeling the whole Dean ambrose and champ thing but the confidence he showed in finishing Ziggler off last night resonated with me. It made me a little bit more of a believer. Dean being the champ on Smackdown without the likes of Rollins or Roman Reigns, the guys who he will be forever linked to, makes him tougher by default. This might have been their angle for making Dean feel more legit as champ. It’s working…a little bit.
The six-woman tag match was oddly placed on the card, but we soon understood why. Nikki Bella is back in the building. The women’s division on Smackdown was starting to look a bit inferior to the Raw ladies line up but Nikki’s return makes it more legit. Not to mention newcomers Alexa Bliss and Carmella are good wrestlers as well. The Eva Marie intro tease was a brilliant move on the part of Creative. I’m excited about the future of the Smackdown women and their new title that is soon to come. Side note, no more “Rack Attack” for Nikki, the new finisher is Attitude Adjustment adjace (that Rosenberg lingo has me hooked, lol).
I saw a report today that said Finn Balor hurt his shoulder during the Universal Championship match and I definitely saw when it happened live when Rollins threw Balor into the barricade surrounding the ring. Needless to say, Balor won the title which was a great move. Balor is a great choice for being the “man” but we still have to see what happens if he is possibly out of action for a while with the shoulder injury. Nothing much to say here besides the usual great work by Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Hopefully, this feud goes on for a while, provided Balor isn’t out for too long. Not sure how I feel about the Universal Championship, all I know is I wonder who will be on top when it’s ultimately combined with the WWE Championship in a few years. Jericho…undisputed champion…again?
Now, this is where they lost me.
I’m not sure what the reason was for the whole Reigns and Rusev brawl. I’m not even sure what the reason was for not starting the match. I assume they needed Reigns to do something at Summer Slam, combined with the fact that they want to raise Rusev’s stock by putting him in feuds that matter, with top guys, plus the fact that the US Title is somewhat beneath Reigns, so there was no point in giving it to him. Well, that was a mouthful…thats all I got on this one. Didn’t really enjoy this match and I hoped the main event would bring me back…spoiler alert, it didn’t. Side note, I liked Lana better in the business suits and the bun.
Brock and Orton were decent matches. I’m not a fan of either guy but I would’ve loved to see Lesnar go down. The match ending in a TKO with Orton bleeding profusely was obviously an agreement between WWE and Lesnar to keep his MMA appeal going strong. I wouldn’t be surprised if Conor McGregor mouthing off to the WWE superstars was just a ploy that inevitably turns into Wrestlemania 33 match between Lesnar and McGregor.
Overall a good PPV…although I don’t have a good feeling I’m looking forward to seeing how these brand specific PPV’s go…but, for now, Summer Slam has satisfied me.