It's been a turbulent few months for WWE since Wrestlemania. Amongst other things, we've seen Jinder Mahal rushed to the top to become WWE Champion (though to his credit, he IS doing a good job at being a bad guy), Shinsuke Nakamura made his debut in WWE and he has been immensely entertaining, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman have been crushing each other and burying the other in ambulances, the first ever women's Money in the Bank was won – by a man (damn you Elsworth!) and we've also learned that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle's son... sigh.
Oh and Enzo and Big Cass broke up – but no one cares about that.
So anyway, Summerslam was set to be a stonker with some big matches. Sadly I didn't get to stay up late to watch this one this time, but caught up with it on the Network, hence why this review is so late. So let's dig in and see if this lived up to the hype.
I didn't see the pre-show, but the results for the matches were as follows. The Miztourage beat the Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan. Neville defeated Akira Tozawa to get his championship back (really, so soon?) and The Usos defeated The New Day (guess they didn't feel the power!)
So up first we had Baron Corbin against John Cena. Considering Cena cost Corbin his Money in the Bank contract against Jinder Mahal, I would have thought that Corbin would tear into Cena. Unfortunately, this was pretty much like every other Cena match – Cena wins for a bit, he gets beaten up, then powers through to victory. Disappointing; and it seems that Corbin's once great momentum has screeched to a halt. Maybe the rumours about Management being upset with him are true.
We then had the Smackdown Women's Championship against Natalya and Naomi. Like many, I though Naomi would win and Carmella cash in her Money in the Bank contract – but imagine my surprise when Natalya won the match. Cleanly as well! It was pretty solid with some savage moments – and Naomi's look of devastation as Natalya threw her victory in her face was kinda sad. One has to wonder when Carmella will come through with thatMoney in the Bank contract though.
The next match was Big Cass against the Big Show with Enzo Amore suspended in a shark cage. Prior to the match, Enzo did another one of his promos and... I'm just gonna say it, Enzo is REALLY pissing me off right now! His promos go absolutely nowhere and he just seems to spout random BS. Plus, he's been seen as really weak in his rivalry with Big Cass, who pretty much just curb stomps him everytime he fights.
Anyway, onto the match and boy was it GODAWFUL!!! Between the slow pace and Enzo not shutting the **** up, the crowd were less than impressed, even chanting “Boring”. There was one moment when Enzo tried to escape the cage, only to be knocked out by Cass. Thanks for coming, Enzo. Seriously, this match was a contender for “Worst PPV Match of the Year”. It almost made the Bayley VS Alexia Bliss Kendo on a Stick match look good!
Still, at least I can call it a match – which is more than can be said for the Rusev VS Randy Orton encounter. It starts off promising, with Rusev beating the **** out of Randy before the match starts. But as soon as the bell rings, Randy does an RKO and ends the match. And this was on the main show why?
Our second Women's title match included my girl Alexia Bliss against Sasha Banks. Personally I would have prefered Nia Jax in this match – but hey ho. The match itself was decent, and for a moment it looks like Bliss might just have the edge on Banks. But a Bank Statement ends the match kinda prematurely for my liking, feels like it could have gone on longer. I'm disappointed Bliss lost, but the girls gave it their all so I can't be too upset.
The next match was one I was looking forward too – Bray Wyatt verses the Demon King Finn Balor. Boy have I missed this! We haven't seen the Demon King in action for over a year and he didn't disappoint. His entrance was kinda like he was trying to “out creep” Wyatt and it seemed to work. The match itself was, somewhat upsettingly, not as intense as it could have been, but it was by no means a bad match. And the Demon came out on top. It was a match for the gimmick fans. Hopefully they'll have more of the Demon King in future events.
Now for a match that had everyone stoked. Seamus and Cesaro VS the newly re-formed Shield, mimus Roman. Ambrose and Rollins had their differences leading up to the match, and one had to wonder if past tensions would interfere. In all seriousness, this match was one of the most exciting I've seen. It went back and forth, with Cesaro and Seamus doing everything to keep the two apart and singling out one at a time. Many a time we thought it was gonna be a victory for the champions – but in true underdog spirit Ambrose and Rollins came back to win and become the new champions. What made this even more special is that the crowd felt like they earned it after all the crap their opponents put them through. A real feelgood moment and probably the first really good match of the night.
Oh and Cesaro destroyed a beach ball that was being tossed around in the crowd. Can't say I blame him, I'd be pissed off if fans did that if I was working my nuts off to entertain them or not. Not sure if it was real or a work, but it was pretty funny nonetheless.
Another match I was looking forward to was AJ Style VS Kevin Owens. These two have had some of the best matches I've seen this year – I actually think it's impossible for these two to have a bad match. Maybe a day will come when they do have a bad match – but it was not tonight! With Shane McMahon as the special guest referee, one had to wonder if he would end up screwing AJ or Owens over. But to his credit, he called it down the middle as AJ and Owens laid into each other. There were moments when it looked like it was going to shift one way – and even had a moment where Owens would get a cheap win when Shane counted to three when AJ's foot was on the ropes – only to notice his mistake. It was physical, intense and damn exciting. AJ won in the end, but it could have gone either way.
This next match SHOULD have been awesome – Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE title. It had ALL the makings of a great match, despite not being pushed as much as it could have done. Hell, they barely even met each other before this event. But the end just pissed me right off!!!
It started off great, with Shinsuke coming down with Lee England Jr to play his entrance theme. And the match itself was ok up until the Singh brothers got involved. Shinsuke knocked them out, but then Jinder hit him with the Khallas to win the match in sloppy form, much to the horror of people in the crowd. This wouldn't be so bad – if this wasn't how Jinder won EVERY SINGLE MATCH!!! I get it, he's a heel and they need to use dirty tricks to win, but come on! Doing the same thing every time isn't fun! What's more, it's uninventive. If Shinsuke had just kicked out of this and then Jinder won another way it would be fine – but as it happened this was just crap! Poor show, WWE. Poor show!
With that bad taste in my mouth, we moved onto the Fatal-4-Way for the Universal title, featuring Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar. HOLY ****ING **** THIS MATCH WAS AWESOME!!! It was so intense and heart racing that it almost makes you forget the stuff that happened before. Everyone threw everything at each other, hitting them with everything they could – but the true star of the show was Braun Strowman! It has to be said he's been one of the most persistant performers in WWE this year and his work this time was incredible!
During one part, Brawn powerslammed Brock through one of the foreign announcer tables at ringside. He then did the same with another table moments later. The crowd chanted “One more table”, noticing there was another table at ringside and Braun obliged. But he did so by lifting up the table and literary tipping it onto Brock! I have never seen this happen before in my life and the crowd went balistic! Chants of “This is awesome” filled the arena and they weren't far wrong. It looked like Brock was out of it as he was carried out in a stretcher, leaving the other three to fight it out. But Brock came back and fought his ground. At this point the match went back and forth, with near falls coming out of nowhere. Few matches have gotten my adrenaline pumping and my heart racing that this one. Eventually, Brock stood tall by countering Reign's spear into an F5, emerging as champion.
Brock may have won the match, but the true winner here was Strowman! He has looked more dominating and powerful than ever before and that's saying something! With a Lesnar/Strowman match scheduled for the future, I have rarely been this excited in a long time. I know Lesnar is pretty much a “part timer,” but tell me you don't wanna see these two giants destroy each other!
So Summerslam might have had some mixed reviews online, but I kinda liked it. The matches they had were solid enough – with a few exceptions – and the main event was an adrenaline pumping adventure, full of brutality and intensity. The Fatal-4-Way and AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens were the two best matches of the night for me. Worst match was Big Show VS Cass for a large number of reasons. Most disappointing match was the WWE title match. That could have been awesome, but it was such a letdown due to a terrible and uncreative finish.
But in conclusion, I liked Summerslam 2017. It's by no means the best of the Summerslam chronology and certainly not the best PPV of the year – but it was mostly enjoyable and it will be interesting to see how the storylines progress from here!
Overall I give Summerslam 2017 a respectable 4 out of 5.