Liam Hoofe reviews WWE SummerSlam 2018…
This past Sunday night, WWE presented their second biggest PPV of the year, SummerSlam. Following hot on the heels of Saturday night’s NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV, the show had a lot to live up to. Let’s take a look at each match and find out whether or not they succeeded.
Pre-Show: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Zelina Vega defeated Rusev and Lana
This was exactly what you’d expect from an intergender tag match on the pre-show. Almas and Vega picking up the victory was definitely the right decision but it’s a shame that this feud has become more about Vega and Lana than Rusev and Almas. Hopefully, these two guys get a chance to put on a one-on-one match at the next PPV, even if it is on the pre-show because this was all about their partners.
The ending of the match was a bit of a mess as well, with Vega failing to get her legs on the rope before the 3 count, which basically rendered it useless. Even if they are playing second fiddle to their partners, though, it’s still nice to see Rusev and Almas get some screen-time.
Rating: * 3/4
Pre-Show: Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak
When will the WWE give these guys a chance on the main show? This match deserved so much better than the pre-show and was a fine example of cruiserweight wrestling. Gulak’s no-nonsense, grounded style worked really well with Alexander’s more high-flying approach, and there were some really nice spots throughout the match.
Unfortunately, the finish was a bit botched, but the two men still did a good job at trying to hide it. It’s a testament to how good the company have built the 205 Live roster than most fans would have been happy with the result either way. Alexander is an excellent champion, and perhaps now they should keep the belt on him until Mustafa Ali is ready to face him again.
Rating: *** 1/2
Pre-Show: The B-Team defeated The Revival
There was a former NXT champion and two former NXT tag team champions in this match, and not only was it on the pre-show, but it also had a ridiculously stupid (though, to be fair, well executed) finish.
The Revival dominated the majority of the match and got to look good in the early goings. The flukey nature of The B-Team’s victory does at least mean that The Revival should be able to get a rematch. The company have done their utmost to ruin the tag-team division on Raw in recent months, and booking finishes like this isn’t going to help solve the problem.
Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler
What an opening match this was. Rollins and Ziggler have an excellent chemistry in the ring, and they delivered a thrilling encounter to kick things off at SummerSlam. Ambrose and McIntyre were used really well and effectively neutralised one another, allowing the two men in the ring to do their thing.
There were some excellent near-falls towards the end of the match, and that superplex combo towards the end of the match was glorious. The finish played out really nicely, especially the super-kick spot. Rollins winning was the right choice, as is holding out on the eventual Dean Ambrose heel turn.
On the whole, an awesome way to kick off the show.
Rating: **** 1/4
The New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ
This was a good match let down by a poor finish. It was nice to see The New Day actually booked to look competitive against the champions, and it was a nice reminder of how good Harper and Rowan can be when they are actually given the chance.
There were some awesome spots in this match, and it’s a mystery why Vince hasn’t pushed Big E as a singles star. Seriously, that guy is awesome, and his power never ceases to amaze. The ending was dumb, but it means we may get to see a hell in a cell between the two teams next month, at least.
Rating: ** 3/4
Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens
Seriously, who has Kevin Owens pissed off? This was ridiculous. Braun didn’t’ need it, and Owens didn’t deserve to be squashed. This doesn’t really benefit anybody. Waste of time for all involved.
Rating: 1/4 *
Charlotte Flair defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella
When I wrote my predictions for this match, I said that it would be a great match providing Carmella kept out of the way, and in fairness, I was wrong. While Carmella may not be on the same level as Charlotte and Becky, she proved her worth in the ring at SummerSlam, and took part in one of the main roster’s better women’s matches in a while.
While there were sloppy moments during the early goings, there were some really nice spots here. Charlotte locking the sharpshooter in on Carmella from the top rope was pretty awesome, and her corkscrew moonsault was as impressive as ever.
It would have been nice to have seen more Becky Vs Charlotte one on one action, and they could have been more innovative with the triple threat spots but on the whole, this was a solid encounter. Becky’s post-match beatdown of Charlotte was one of the night’s most memorable moments. The Lass Kicker is super over right now and it will be interesting to see where they go with her, it’s a shame the fans have turned on Charlotte though, she is one of the best performers in the company, and is always a great champion.
Rating: *** 1/2
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