06 September, 2016

The Dropkick: WWE Summerslam 2016 - Roman Reigns; more important than two world titles

It’s the biggest party of the Summer, the Wrestlemania of the Summer, the.... thing that happens in the Summer? Either way it's one of the ‘Big 4’ PPV’s WWE produce in a year with some exceptional matches on the card, including Cena vs. Styles 2 and Brock Lesnar coming back from his victory at UFC 200 to take on Randy Orton.

The two hour pre-show covered a variety of matches, none of which I watched. Honestly, this is already a four hour show and you would have to be insane, or extremely dedicated to sit through a 12 man tag-team rematch from the previous Smackdown which saw the Uso’s, American Alpha’s and the Hype Bro’s defeat Breezango, The Ascension and The Vaudvillains. Another tag team match of Sami Zayn & Neville defeating the Dudley Boys.... And finally, the start of the ‘Best of 7’ between Sheamus and Cesaro (Completely ignoring the fact that Cesaro defeated Sheamus TWICE on the two previous RAW’s) Either way, Sheamus won.

The real show kicked off with Jeri-KO (The amazing and witty team of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho) defeating Enzo Amore and Big Cass via a rather rough looking ‘pop-up Codebreaker’ As usual, Enzo was tossed around and took most of the damage, Big Cass looked strong. Enzo cut a funny promo, and Jeri-KO continued to be hilarious with their in ring banter and motions.

Then, Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks in her rematch for the WWE Women’s Championship. Sasha Banks won the championship on the ‘First RAW of a new era’ being the first RAW after the WWE Brand Split a few weeks prior. Charlotte dropped Sasha from the second rope onto her face and back and that was the story of the match, Sasha was legitimately hurt and the entire match was built around Charlotte attacking the injured back.

After the match it was announced that Sasha has had a back injury for a while now and is taking time off, luckily not needing surgery. This match was alright, but very messy (probably doesn’t help that Sasha was dropped right on her head) And watching it after hearing that Sasha’s back was hurting going into the match it makes it a little uncomfortable to watch Charlotte kick her and drop her on her back over and over.

The Miz defeated Apollo Crews (Not Apollo Creed, despite what Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan called him) to retain his WWE Intercontinental Championship. Apollo is still having good matches, but is fairly bland and no personality. Miz is Miz, he’s a solid worker and a great heel and managed to make Apollo look good.

The only notable thing from this match is the aftermath from the Smackdown after in which on ‘Talking Smack’ the post-Smackdown recap show which blurs Kayfabe and ‘Shoot’ Miz went HARD on Daniel Bryan’s criticism of his match and how he wrestles. This entire thing is worth a watch.

Oh boy, this match is surreal (for lack of a better word). ‘Mr. TNA’ and former NJPW Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles defeating The ‘Face that runs the place’ John Cena, the face of WWE for the past 10+ years clean in the middle of the ring. This match was Phenomenal. This is easily in the top five matches from WWE so far this year. 

These two did everything. It started out a little slow, but picked up with some amazing high moments- including Cena kicking out of the Styles Clash, AJ kicking out of the AA and even a SUPER AA- which has only ever been kicked out of by Kevin Owens last year, prompting Cena to spend several minuets staring at AJ in disbelief across the ring. These two are great and AJ winning with a Styles Clash and a Phenomenal Forearm for the 1, 2, 3 was just great. The crowd, and I went nuts.

After the match the crowd gave Cena a standing elevation in which he took off his ‘Never give up’ armband and left it in the middle of the ring. John Cena is now lost the past 6 Summerslam matches he has had, this list includes Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, CM Punk and even Brock Lesnar, and now AJ Styles.

‘The Club’ defeated The New Day (Kofi and Xavier) via DQ after Big E interfered, meaning that The New Day remain champs. John Steward came out to cut a painful promo before the match saying he would support The New Day to which the corwd bood him, a lot… this time last year Stewart cost John Cena the WWE United States Championship after he ran in and hit him with a chair, allowing Seth Rollins to pedigree and pin him- becoming the first holder of both the WWE World Heavyweight Champion & WWE United States Championship.

This match was okay, but the John Steward promo and interference was unneeded, and ‘The Club’ and their entire gimmick revolves around dick jokes…. Big E ran in to make the save and got The New Day DQ’d and laid out ‘The Club’ to which The New Day and John celebrated in the ring.

Then, it’s time for the WWE World Championship match sat right here in the middle of the card for some insane reason… Dean Ambrose defeated challenger Dolph Ziggler to retain his championship. This match was nothing special, the only notable thing was that Dean was playing the heel for most of the match which was interesting.

Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon were watching at ringside. Like I said, this match was nothing special, it felt like a normal TV match and not a PPV match on one of the ‘Big 4’ PPV’s. Later in the show there was a KFC commercial in which Dolph Ziggler; dressed as The Colonel beat up The Miz who was dressed up as a large chicken. No, I am not making this up…

In another Smackdown match, this time a 6 Woman Tag Team match saw Natalya, Alexa Bliss and the returning Nikki Bella defeating Becky Lynch, Carmella and Naomi. Nikki Bella returned here because Eva Marie was busted for suspending the WWE Wellness policy after supposedly failing to file the paperwork for her Adderall (The same thing WWE claimed that was what Roman Reigns failed their Wellness Policy earlier this year)

This match was nothing special, but Nikki’s return and large pop was a surprise, and Eva Marie’s excuse for not being here at Summerslam was amazing, blaming the fans in attendance fofr stressing her out. Her current gimmick is that she finds excuses for not having matches on Smackdown- prolonging her Smackdown Live debut. I love it, I look forward to Eva every Smackdown now. Oh, Naomi’s entrance is amazing and cool. I love that too.

In a great match Finn Balor; the #5 RAW Draft Pick and the first NXT Draft Pick of the entire WWE Draft defeated Seth Rollins; the #1 Draft Pick and former 2x WWE World Heavyweight Champion to become the inaugural WWE Universal Championship... urgh, yes, that is the name of it, and it looks the same as the WWE Title but red…. 0% creativity.

This match was great, however it is certainly hampered by both Finn Balor being injured by Seth after a powerbomb outside to the  barricade, which dislocated Balor’s shoulder, and also the crowd’s reaction to the ugly WWE Universal Championship which caused the crowd to chant bad things about the belt for most of this match, which while funny and somewhat well-deserved for this ugly belt, it did take away from this match.

Balor came out as ‘The Demon’ which was for some reason debuted on the RAW before Summerslam?? Also, Finn is now Finn Balor’ The Demon King’ and the entire build up was Seth shouting ‘DEMON KING!’ over and over… urgh. This is why I prefer Smackdown.

On Twitter the next day it was announced that Finn would require surgery for his shoulder and would be out for up to 6 months, and so he relinquished the championship less than 24 hours after winning it. This sucks, and it’s so unfortunate to happen, especially considering Finn has been in NXT for over a year and as soon as he is called up he gets hurt…

THE BIG DOG Roman Reigns went out and murdered WWE United States Champion Rusev before the match even begun, hitting Rusev with a chair and running down and hitting him with a spear when being helped out by referees. This was not a match, this was a segment, a segment to make Roman look good and strong. I hated this.

I will just finish by saying that on the RAW before Summerslam Roman Reigns defeated Rusev in a non-title match where Rusev’s wife, Lana’s honour was on the line. Roman won. Roman Reigns beat a man just trying to defend his wife’s honour…. Why is he the good guy?

Brock Lesnar then murdered Randy Orton live on PPV, after a flurry of uninteresting suplexes and shooting down almost all of Orton’s offence, apart from a single RKO onto a table (which did not break). Randy sandbagged almost all of Lesnar’s suplexes, but Lesnar is an animal and just threw Orton over his head out of pure strength.

This was a match ’15 years in the making’ and it was completely uninteresting and a typical Brock Lesnar match, he hit a bunch of Suplexes and looked like a monster. Randy got no offence, and even though he hit a single RKO he was rewarded being pinned down on the floor with Lesnar in a MMA Full Guard which he hammered elbows into Orton’s head, busting him open and blood poured out of his head.

Lesnar dominated Orton, blood came pouring out of Orton’s head and a pool  of blood was left on the mat. The referee called off the match, the winner via TKO; Brock Lesnar. Lesnar continued to beat down Orton so Shane McMahon came out despite the crowd’s chants of ‘Goldberg’ and Lesnar killed him with an F5. That’s how the show closed, with Lesnar looking strong…. Again…

This show was… alright. Cena vs. Styles is easily the best thing about the entire show but that should not be a surprise really with their talent. A lot of this show is forgettable, a lot I wish to forget. Overall, there were 16 hours of live content over Summerslam weekend from NXT Takeover:Brooklyn II; reviewed right here to Smackdown Live and I'd still say that NXT was the best part of it.

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