After weeks of buildup and a busy weekend, it’s finally time to look at the 2018 Summerslam WWE PPV. The 13 match show started on the free Kickoff Show on Youtube.
Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana (Mixed Tag Match)
The first match on the card was Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega facing Rusev and Lana in a mixed tag match. Almas and Rusev started the match, with Almas being dominant. Rusev tried to give Lana a hot tag but Vega pulled her off of the ring apron, keeping the men in the ring. Almas tried for a second rope move but Rusev reversed by pushing Almas over the top rope, to the outside. Lana then finally got the hot tag, hitting a combo of moves finishing with a Running Bulldog. She then did a Double Knees to the head on the ropes and a Neckbreaker for a two count. Lana did a Slam which the commentary team sold as if Vega was an impressive person to lift. Lana slapped Almas who was on the ring apron. Vega capitalized off the distraction, hitting a roll-up pin to win the match. She put her legs up on the rope while pinning to show that she was cheating, but did it so late into the pin that it did not look that well.
The match was good and I thought the finish was clever. When Lana wrestles she always looks so stiff. She is improving, but still doesn’t look too comfortable in the ring.
Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
As the kickoff show reached it’s second hour, it saw it’s second match. Drew Gulak looked to take down Cedric Alexander, who won his Cruiserweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Alexander did a dive over all three ropes mid-way through the match after Gulak was awkwardly thrown out of the ring. Cedric went to the top rope but was shoved off the rope, then Gulak did the GuLock on the ropes. Alexander escaped another GuLock later with a Elbow that was sold really well by Gulak. Both of them did a really good combo with tons of near falls and chain wrestling. It ended with a roll-up by Alexander. The chain wrestling lasted for over a minute and was phenomenal. It looked like it was fully choreographed. The rest of the match wasn’t that great, but the impressive chain wrestling was worth seeing.
The Revival vs. The B-Team (WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match)
Finishing off the Summerslam kickoff was The B-Team facing The Revival. The B-Team not only defend their titles, but their undefeated streak. The B-Team won this short match with a roll-up pin. I mentally clocked out during this match. The finish was kind of lame.
Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre
Summerslam started with a video package of Terry Crews. He stands outside of the Barclays Center talking about what success is. I thought that the video package was even better than the usual intro that WWE has. It wasn’t as exciting, but it felt like a good introduction. We cut to a crowd that didn’t seem too thrilled to be there. WWE throughout the night used CGI that was hovering over the ring in-between matches, but it honestly looked so bad. The first match is Seth Rollins versus Dolph Ziggler, with the biggest plot twist in this match being Dean Ambrose making his return, cornering Rollins. Ambrose got his own music before Rollins made his entrance.
Ziggler was wearing pants that had the IC belt printed on them, which threw me off. Early in the match Ambrose went face to face with McIntyre two times. Rollins impressively caught a Crossbody from Ziggler then dumped him to the outside. When they got back in the ring Rollins got a rally going, hitting a Swingblade and strikes in the corner. After Ziggler tried for a roll-up Rollins hit a Blockbuster. Rollins went to the top rope again but Ziggler stopped him and tried to turn it into a Superplex. Rollins head-butted him off of the second rope. Ziggler rolled out of the way from a second rope move. Seth did a dive to outside the ring then a Springboard Clothesline and a Ripcord Knee for a two count.
Rollins did a close count out spot, rolling back in at nine. Rollins went to the top rope after a kick and tried a Frogsplash but Ziggler put up the knees to counter it. Rollins did a Superplex except Ziggler landed on his stomach, then rolled through for another slam. He got a two count because of this. The crowd gave got guys a round of applause during the pause in the match. As Seth was setting up for another move McIntyre attacked Ambrose at ringside. This distracted Rollins, letting Ziggler hit a Zig-Zag. Rollins kicked out, which surprised me because this felt like the end of the match. Seth started to bleed around the forehead.
Rollins dodged a Superkick for a round of roll-up pins that lead to a Buckle Bomb. Ambrose gave McIntyre a Dirty Deeds at ringside. Rollins did a Superkick then a Curbstomp to become the new Intercontinental Champion. While the first ⅔ of the match had the crowd pretty quiet, the impressive combinations of moves at the end really woke them up. It would be hard to be right after these guys on the card. I felt that Dean played too much of a background role for this segment, despite being involved with the finish. I felt that most of the time you forgot he was there, until got attacked there was a reaction of “Oh, right.” Other than that, this was a fair opening to the show.
The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)
Before our next match Renee Young was backstage with Nicki and Brie Bella. They say they are at the event to see what history will be made tonight. They are asked if they will participate at the Evolution PPV. THey say that they don’t know yet. They do a sketch about how their reality shows have been renewed, which had some pretty bad acting in it, but it doesn’t really matter. We’re with the Smackdown commentary for the next match, including Byron Saxton, who is wearing a very shiny blue blazer. The New Day looks to recreate the success that they have seen at Summerslam before, facing The Bludgeon Brothers for their Smackdown Tag Team Championships. It’s usually Big E and Kofi Kingston in the ring, but Xavier Woods has replace Kofi for this one. Three members of this match did an absolutely deadly (in a bad way) spot. Big E threw Harper off the apron onto the floor, where Xavier was trying for a Backbreaker, but kind of missed it, making Harper just land on his back hard. Xavier did a crazy spot after doing an Elbow Drop off the top rope to the floor onto Harper. New Day were trying for a double team until Rowan hit one of them with a hammer to end the match via DQ. This was very disappointing. A crazy match with tons of spots was put an end to in a cop-out way.
Kevin Owens vs. Braun Stroman (Winner Gets Braun Stroman’s Money In The Bank Briefcase)
Jon Stewart was spotted in the crowd before the next match. Corey Graves and Michael Cole reflected on how Stewart was involved with Summerslam two years ago while Johnathan Coachman was interrupting about something completely irrelevant. The next match is Kevin Owens versus Braun Stroman with Stroman’s Money In The Bank Briefcase on the line. Within minutes Stroman got the win with a Running Powerslam. Owens got completely crushed. Well, how could you bury Owens even more, really. Owens has bullied for weeks, with his life being completely ruined, then when he stopped running away from his problems he got his clock cleaned. Not sure what was achieved by this. Ironically, an anti-bullying ran right after the match.
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella (Smackdown Women’s Championship Match)
The next match was a triple threat match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Carmella did a dive to the outside which was absolutely insane. It looked like she absolutely murdered who she landed on. Lynch put Carmella into a Disarmer but Carmella got to a rope. Lynch slammed Carmella back into the center of the ring to reapply the Disarmer but Flair broke it up with the Natural Selection. She pinned Lynch to win the match. Flair is the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. This match was going at the pace of one that should tear the house down, but didn’t. It felt like most moves didn’t fully land. After the match Charlotte and Lynch hugged, but then Becky beat up Charlotte. This crowd acted surprised but also satisfied with this. The crowd was pulling for Lynch. Looks like this will be the Smackdown program for the Evolution PPV.
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship)
Smackdown got their main event about halfway through the main card of Summerslam. Samoa Joe faced AJ Styles, attempting to win the WWE Championship. Joe has played mind games leading up to the fight, bringing AJ’s family into the mix. Before the fight started, Joe introduced Wendy Styles and their daughter who were in the crowd, saying “Daddy’s coming home tonight.” Styles refuted saying that is family is there to see him beat up Joe. Joe did a dive to the outside which is always crazy to see from him. Joe also hit a massive knee strike off the top rope later on. Styles hit a Styles Clash that looked kind of sloppy, but Joe kicked out. Styles tried to finish the match with a Calf Crusher but he got out of it by slamming Styles’ head on the mat repeatedly. This looked pretty badass. He then put in the Cohena Clutch, but AJ reached the ropes. After beating up AJ at ringside he said daddy might not come home but he can “be your new daddy.” This unleashed Styles, making him not only beat up Joe, but beat up people at ringside. He took a chair to Joe, ending the match via DQ. He also started bleeding on his forehead. I was really hoping that this match wouldn’t end this way, but it was still a pretty good ending. I was hoping that maybe Styles could be unleashed but in a way that made him powerful in the match.
Elias is in the ring for a Summerslam concert. Before Elias was going to debut a new hit song of his, he accidentally snapped his guitar in half. This ended his concert. It was a cute little breather in-between matches. The Miz sees The B-Team backstage. The Miz says assumes that they are there to thank him. He also invited them to hang out after the show. They say that they aren’t there to thank him, and they have their own partying to do. They say that they hope Daniel Bryan will beat The Miz.
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Easily the biggest grudge match of the night was The Miz versus Daniel Bryan. Not that they had much competition, but even if there was 20 grudge matches on this card, this specific match would still be the biggest. One of my favourite spots in this match was Bryan hanging The Miz in the corner upside down, then doing Yes Kicks to him. He followed it up with a running Dropkick and a Belly-To-Back Suplex off the top rope. The Miz kicked out from this. Bryan started pelting The Miz with kicks and slaps. It was revealed during the match that Maryse was sitting at ringside. The Miz put Bryan in a Figure Four late into the match, but Bryan fought out of it. The finish came after The Miz hit Bryan with something when the ref wasn’t looking. He was handed it by Maryse. He got the pin to win. This was a very good finish to the match. Although I liked this I felt WWE was going a little overboard tonight with DQ’s/dirty finishes.
“Constable” Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor
Finn Balor faces Baron Corbin in the next match. Balor is in his rare demon attire. This got a huge reaction from the crowd. Corbin did not want to fight once he saw Balor is the demon. Balor quickly got all of his spots in, stomping Corbin with the Coup De Grace to win the match. This match was short, and I totally understand why, but I wished it would last a little longer so we could appreciate the amazing body art that is the demon version of Finn Balor.
Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (United States Championship Match)
Hardy hoped to win back his US title in this match. At the start of the match Jeff mocked Shinsuke, which got him very angry. Late in the match Hardy hit a Twist Of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb, but Nakamura grabbed a bottom rope. Hardy attempted another Swanton Bomb, this time on the ring apron, but Nakamura dodged it. That looked extremely painful. Nakamura did a brutal kick to the back of the head then did a Kinshasa to retain his belt. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like ring apron spots like that. It buries the idea that the actual ring has value to do moves on. After the match Randy Orton came out eyeing an injured Hardy. He was going to attack Hardy, but then turned around and left, almost out of pity.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss (RAW Women’s Championship Match)
Before the next match Natalya came out to a very warm reaction from the crowd. The next match is Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey. Bliss was fleeing the ring at the start, not looking like she had much confidence in herself. Bliss was killed with Rousey’s armdrags. Rousey put Bliss in an Armbar, bending her arm backwards in a “broken” looking way to win the match. I guess we all forgot that Bliss is double jointed, and the two times that she used that to her advantage.
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman (WWE Universal Championship Match)
Finally, the main event of the evening. Roman Reigns faces Brock Lesnar, attempting to dethrone his record long reign. As usual Paul Heyman did an introduction for Lesnar. Just before the match was going to start, Braun Stroman comes out. Braun said that he is going to cash in for whoever wins this match. Reigns hit three Superman Punches and then three Spears, but the third one went right into a Guillotine but Roman escaped. Brock dodged a Superman Punch and hit two German Suplexes. Roman did a dive to the outside after Brock got out of his way. Outside the ring Lesnar did an F5 to Stroman. Reigns won with a Spear as Lesnar was distracted with a chair to become the new Universal Champion. Roman is on top of the WWE world as the show goes off air.