Summerslam 2016 Review
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this review I feel the need to let you know there will be a lot of complaints about this PPV. Most of the matches were either filled with wasted opportunity, a complete waste of time, or the crowd completely destroyed any real reason to enjoy the match. That being said I’ll be sure to go over which matches had what problems in some form of detail and tell you why I think such as best I can. Another thing is I’m going to try and keep this review slightly shorter then the rest due to the fact Summerslam was effectively a six hour PPV. One more thing I disagree with. Anyways, on with the review. Be sure to comment on the review and let us know what you think.
Pre-show match 1: Breezango, The Vaudvillians, and The Ascension vs American Alpha, The Usos, and The Hype Bros.
(12 man tag match)
3/5 (For entertainment value only)
While this match was entertaining has had some pretty decent spots and a potential Uso heel turn, I personally have two problems with it. Number one, Why do I need six tag teams in one match at the same time on a brand with zero titles for said teams and number two, This match was on Smackdown… Maybe a two hour pre-show is to much and instead of backing out they just gave us a recycled match. My issue with it being for virtually no reason is the biggest one for me however. Now if they plan to maybe institute some tag titles or like a tag tournament once a year then I’m all for it and I’ll gladly eat my words. I just feel like this didn’t have to happen.
Pre-Show match 2: Sami Zayne and Neville vs The Dudleys (Tag Team Match)
Why was this a thing? You have The Dudleys who after 26 title reigns and decades teaming together suddenly forgetting how to tag team and possibly worse than that, Sami Zayne beat Kevin Owens in what I claim to be a match of the year candidate only to be stuck in tag team hell? Wasn’t the point of the final battle between Owens and Zayne is so they could both move on with their career? How is this moving on? After a vicious miscommunication in the form of Bubba clotheslining D-Von, Sami hit D-Von with the Helluva kick then tagged in Neville who hit the Red Arrow and got the victory. I’m not gonna say Neville and Zayne didn’t impress me as a team but I feel like Sami should be in some type of singles title hunt after that match at Battleground.
Pre-Show match 3: Cesaro vs Sheamus (Match 1 in the best of 7 series)
I’ve heard quite a few opinions on this Best of Seven Series and it seems pretty split. Personally I think this is exactly what needs to happen and not just for Cesaro and Sheamus. This Series needs to happen for the WWE as a whole. Two of RAWs hardest hitting, smash mouth, slobber knocker producing super stars having to go one on one at minimum four times over the course of a month or so. No breaks, no week to fight someone else and have a typical run-in angle. No these two guys will only face one another every time their brand is on TV or PPV until one of them has bested the other 4 out of 7 times. (In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of these series.) So these two took the Pre-Show to the next level. It started out slow with kinda the feeling out process but in NO time at all it went off. Strong man vs Strong man just beating each other senseless like they don’t have potentially six more matches in the coming weeks. After Cesaro pulled off some incredible counters and Sheamus did the same, one stiff Brough Kick got Sheamus the first win of the series. Here’s hoping the matches get even better the longer this goes.
Match 1: Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens vs Enzo and Big Cass (Tag Match)
Right out of the gate I have the same issue with this match that I had with Sammie Zayne’s from the pre-show. Why is it happening and how is Kevin Owens being put into a tag team with Chris Jericho some type of moving the career forward. The match was entertaining yes, Enzo and Cass rocked all their mic skills, and JeriKO (I hate that team name…) are clearly working well together. I just feel like we have to many entertaining matches and not enough matches with meat and potatoes and reasons to feel the feuds. I will say the ending was pretty good though. Owens tossed Enzo up like a Pump Up Power Bomb set-up but then Jericho caught him with a Code Breaker on the way down. So I mean there is that.
Match 2: Charlotte vs Sasha Banks (Women’s Title Match)
These two women had a brawl. The feud going in was nice with Dana Brooke being banned from ringside a few weeks before and just the animosity these two have had for each other since hitting the main roster. They took what they did the night Sasha won the title from Charlotte and cranked it up to 11. The opening was alittle rough with some dangerous spots but it cleaned up right towards the end. During the more brutal part Sasha was dropped across the top rope by Charlotte who looked like she had no idea what kinda move she was attempting but it went horrible. When I tell you a part of Sasha hit every rope on the way down I mean just that. With that horrible botch Sasha slowed down but not enough to keep from pulling off some incredible spots like my personal favorite. Charlotte had Sasha on the top rope and was going for the Razors Edge. In mid toss Sasha reverses into a Frankenstiener and changes the entire tide of the match. Unfortunately the early back injury kept Sasha from kicking out of her submission move turned pin and lost the belt to Charlotte. Aside from Sasha being legitamently injured in that match it was pretty awesome from bell to bell.
Match 3: The Miz vs Apollo Crews (Intercontental Title Match)
This is where the show started to dive. Aside from some decent spots this match was just not for me at all. The video package told me the rivalry started because Miz refused to agree with Apollo about his last name? Is that really what out Intercontinental title has become about? Give me a break… This match had typical Crews flips and power along with some terrible commentary work and of course interference by Maryese to put the icing on the cake and have Miz pull out another one. Once again this match just didn’t pull me in I don’t know what else to say.
Match 4: AJ Styles vs John Cena
I wanna make this one another 10/5 but I’m really not gonna make a habit of that. Say what you will about Cena or AJ or both. When these two hit the ring to go head to head it’s magic. I say this every time but back in 2002 when I was paying $10 every Wednesday to watch AJ Styles and the other originals of TNA, I never thought I would see him in a WWE ring and I for sure never thought John Cena and AJ Styles would put on some of the best WRESTLING matches I’ve ever seen. If we get anything from the NEW Era right out the gate it’s the level John Cena has stepped up his game from it. If someone tells me John Cena can’t wrestle now I feel like I might bust a blood vessel in my head. His matches with AJ Styles continue to get better and better with even more ridiculous spots. When I tell you this match could have gone either way I mean it. There was even a point when Cena hit an Avalanche Attitude Adjustment that has beaten AJ before but this time he kicked out. Cena then sat in a corner with the exact same look on his face everyone who’s faced him over the past 10-12 years. That look of I might not be able to do this. AJ ended up pulling out a victory with a beautiful Styles Clash. After AJ had left, Cena stood in the ring, took off his “Never Give Up” armband, kissed it, and left it behind in the center of the ring. We’ll find out on Smackdown what this means but for now we just have to relish in what was most likely match of the year.
Match 5: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs Koffi Kingston and Xavier Woods w/ John Stewart. (Tag Team Title Match)
This was all over the place. Just when I thought New Day was gonna get serious and Gallows and Anderson were going to show off what made them so big in Japan, it all came crashing down around me with John Stewart. If they don’t stop bringing this guy in to screw things up I might lose my mind. Twice now he’s been involved for zero reason other then to cause turmoil. The only reason this match can even entertain a 3 is because up until Stewart almost caught ringpostitus, the match was good. New Day retained by DQ after Big E returned and litteraly saved “himself”. Maybe this feud will have time to become something more or maybe it’ll just burn out quick. Either way just another average match on an average card for the most part.
Match 6: Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler (WWE World Title Match)
Why are all the title matches average you ask? Because booking was awesome on paper terrible on delivery. Everything about this rubbed me the wrong way. From the night of the brand split all the way till Summerslam I knew some garbage would be cast over Smackdown. Their title match was almost midcard and nothing was done to make the match interesting other then Dolph getting magic HBK powers. Smackdown has arguably the better roster, why are we claiming to have no glass ceiling but giving multi time world champion Dolph Ziggler the first shot at the gold. I firmly believe Bray Wyatt should have been in this match or anywhere on the card for that matter. This match was basically tit for tat until finally Dolph got hit with Dirty Deeds proving once again he can’t get it done.
Match 7: Alexa Bliss, Nataliya, and Nikki Bella vs Nayomi, Becky Lynch, and Carmella (Six Woman Tag Match)
What? Why was this a thing? Just another filler match I suppose. The only saving Grace is we got Nikki Bella back and didn’t have to sit through an Eva Marie match. Nikki pulled of the win with a vicious fore arm and a new inverted AA. Welcome back Nikki.
Match 8: Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Title Match)
These two guys have mirrored each others WWE career with a few differences. The match they had showcased this in incredible fassion. As a matter of fact the only reason this wasn’t a 5/5 is because the crowd was obnoxiously distracting for most of it and I blame WWE fully for it. While these two warriors are going head to head to be the first Universal Champion, the crowd is chanting about how the belt is stupid, (cause it is..) and other random things. It used to be funny when the crowd would hijack a show because it was boring but now it’s just straight out disrespectful to the talent. Anyways, Finn opened up the match by dropkicking Rollins into the corner then going up top for his Coupe de Grace. Luckily the match didn’t get a chance to end at that moment and a pretty awesome match came from it. Rollins pulled out finishers he hasn’t used since his indy days but in the end it just wasn’t enough to slay the Demon King on that night. After three consecutive corner dropkicks and a big Coupe de Grace, Finn Balor became our first ever Universal Champion.
Match 9: Rusev vs Roman Reigns (United States Title Match)
This never even became an official match. Rusev attacked Roman before the bell and they just started to endlessly beat each other till refs and security could finally get everything pulled apart. I mean there isn’t much to say about a match that didn’t happen and honestly at this point in the PPV I just wanted it to be over.
Match 10: Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar (Match 15 Years in the Making)
Maybe my expectations were too high for this, maybe I want to see who’s finally gonna put down The Beast, or maybe it’s both. This went like every other Lesnar vs (insert star here) match. He uses his strength and tosses them around for 10-15 minutes then wins. Now this match had a twist. It even had some ok table spots where Brock threw Randy from the crowd, over a guard rail, and through an announcing table. He then places Orton on another table and sets up for the F5 only to catch an RKO which was nice. Randy rolls Brock back in the ring and gets a two count on him. Orton decides it’s time to try his classic punt kick to finish off The Beast but instead gets caught in an F5. This is where things get uncomfortable. After the F5 Brock decides to elbow Orton in the head putting a huge gash right at the hair line and continue to elbow and hammer fist his way to a TKO victory. I used to love watching things like that but it doesn’t fit with what the wrestling world is today. Blood every so often keeps things “real” but beating a man unconscious is just ridiculous and doesn’t need to happen with Brock Lesnar doing the beating. We get it at this point, Brock is unstoppable…
Hopefully this will be the last 6 hour PPV for a long time and if they ever decide to do another one make it worth watching from start to finish. Summerslam didn’t pan out as great as I had hoped but we still got a match of the Year candidate and our first Universal Champion. With the next few PPVs being brand specific we’ll see what each show can do on their own and maybe make something of their rosters. Next month is Night of Champions for RAW and October will be Backlash for Smackdown from what the commercials were saying. I look forward to getting those reviews done for all our readers and hopefully will have a more enjoyable PPV to review. Until then have a good one.