Tonight, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, WWE holds their annual SummerSlam event. As of this posting, there an unbelievable 13 matches. Aside from the astounding length of the show, on paper this looks to be an incredible event.
The card is, as follows:
- Preshow Matches
- Cesaro vs. Sheamus (1st match in a Best of Seven Series)
- Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
- American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) & The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) in a 12-man tag team match.
- Main Card
- Carmella & Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Alexa Bliss & ___ (formerly Eva Marie) in a six-woman tag team match.
- The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
- The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
- Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship
- Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE United States Championship
- John Cena vs. AJ Styles
- Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship
- Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship
- Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Randy Orton
We will have limited coverage of the preshow, starting at 5pm Eastern, with full coverage of the event beginning at 7pm Eastern. Refresh this page for the most up-to-date thoughts and results, and be sure to follow along on Twitter @RingRap as well!
It is 5:26pm, and we are starting with the preshow matches. Here we go!
Preshow Match: The Vaudevillains & The Ascension & Breezango vs. The Hype Bros & The Usos & American Alpha
Chad Gable and Tyler Breeze start it off. Gable runs circles around Breeze. Jey Uso tags in to boos from the Brooklyn audience. English tags in. Some cool tandem spots from the Hype Bros, and Brooklyn is surprisingly behind Mojo. Within moments, everyone is in the ring brawling. And shortly thereafter, everyone spills out.
After a short break, the heels have control. Typical stuff here, rapid tags and surprisingly, the heels are all working well together. I’m sure it won’t last long. Zack Ryder makes the hot tag to Jimmy Uso. Jimmy takes out Tyler Breeze. Jason Jordan makes a hot tag and suplexes people like crazy. Aiden English breaks up a pin attempt. It’s a little crazy again, everyone getting in their spots. A cool spot with The Ascension trying to superplex Gable, but The Usos superkick The Ascension and follow it with a dive over the rope. Spear from Jordan and tag to Gable, and they hit their finisher, but a blind tag from The Usos steals the pinfall.
Winner: Team Good Guys, but at what cost?
A fine preshow match, but there is so much happening that none of it truly matters.
The preshow itself is fairly uneventful, until Baron Corbin shows up and complains about Kalisto not being medically cleared to wrestle tonight. He says he’s about making money and Kalisto cost him money. Renee Young tries to ask him a question, but Corbin cuts her off and says he’s not there to answer her questions. Not a bad promo at all.
Preshow Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. Sami Zayn & Neville
Sami and D-Von start it out. Early tag to Neville, and they’re firing back and forth with tags very quickly. A cool spot happens when Neville uses Sami Zayn as a stool to get a little extra height for a corkscrew splash.
The Dudleys gain control, working over Neville. Zayn gets the hot tag, nails D-Von with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn hits a Helluva Kick on Bubba Ray, tags in Neville, and a Red Arrow ends it.
Winners: Sami Zayn & Neville
Formula tag match. Nothing fancy.
Preshow Match: Sheamus vs. Cesaro, First Match in a Best of Seven Series
Sheamus missing a Brogue Kick early on, but catches Cesaro out of a springboard uppercut. Lots of counters here, as you would expect. These men have quite a bit of experience together.
You’ll never guess it, but after a commercial, Sheamus has Cesaro locked in a headlock. Irish Curse backbreaker for a near fall. Both men spill outside after some back and forth suplex attempts. Cesaro barely makes it back into the ring at 9. Cesaro nails a series of uppercuts, and dropkicks Sheamus off the turnbuckle. Superplex from the top, and Cesaro gets a 2-count. Sheamus counters the Neutralizer with White Noise for two.
Sheamus sets Cesaro up on his shoulders on the turnbuckle, hits a rolling senton for two. Sheamus sets Cesaro up for the Brogue Kick, but Cesaro counters with his own, and hits a clothesline for a near fall. He goes up top onto the ringpost, then springs onto the top rope, hitting a lateral press. Cesaro Swing time, into a sharpshooter. Sheamus breaks it on the ropes.
Sheamus hits a thumb to the eye, shoulder into the ring post, and a Brogue Kick for the win.
A very good match, as one would expect from these two. It had good pacing and a solid build, and really, belonged on the main show. Looks like Cesaro will be fighting from behind in this series. I’m fine with that.
WWE SummerSlam Main Show
The pyro kicks off, and it’s SummerWrestleMania time!
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho
Enzo cuts a promo on the way to the ring. You can’t teach that, you know. He and Cass are dedicating this match to everyone in the building working hard for a living. I think he’s saying song lyrics, but honestly, I’m not sure. He says “Ol Blue Eyes” (Frank Sinatra) was singing about the greatest city in the world. Cass sings a few bars, and he’s pretty good. Enzo says they are living proof that bright lights can inspire you. He quotes Big E. Smalls – “Mo money, mo problems.” He says Jeri-KO got problems because they are checks. Cass calls them SAWFT.
Jericho and Owens come out next, Owens with a new entrance vid. I like it.
The bell rings and Jericho and Owens immediately knock Cass off the apron, and lay into Enzo. The ref gets control and it’s Jericho and Enzo. Amore takes out Jericho with a splash off the ropes. Cass tags in, as does Owens. Corey Graves criticizes Enzo for being from New Jersey, not New York. They stack Jericho and Owens up in the corner, but they move out of the way before Cass can toss Enzo at them. They roll out of the ring, Cass tosses Enzo at them anyhow.
Jericho gains the advantage off a distraction, gets a two-count. Owens taunts Enzo from the apron to a huge pop (admittedly I missed it). Jericho keeps Enzo grounded with a headlock. Enzo starts to pick up steam but he’s cut off by a dropkick. Tag to Owens, who continues to keep Enzo down. Enzo fights out of the corner.
Jericho cuts Enzo from making the tag. He takes out Cass on the apron, tags in Owens, and Owens hits a frogsplash for a believable near fall. Seriously, Owens needs to get some pins with that. Owens misses a cannonball in the corner, and Cass gets the hot tag. He’s on fire, taking both Jericho and Owens out. Bodyslam into an Empire Elbow to Jericho. Boot to Jericho and a tag to Enzo, but Owens yanks Enzo off the turnbuckle. Cass brawls with Owens outside the ring, Owens hits the cannonball outside.
Jericho and Enzo are legal, Jericho going up top for a superplex. Enzo counters and gets a near fall. Owens breaks it. Owens springs Enzo into Jericho’s Codebreaker. It looks sloppy and nasty, but it gets the win.
A surprising finish for the opening match of the show, but it give Owens and Jericho a reason to stick together as a team, something I was hoping for anyhow.
Backstage, Mick Foley, Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, John Stewart, and Stewart’s son have a moment. Stewart lays into Foley for working with Stephanie. Steph is right behind him and he panders to her. New Day show up, sans Big E. They
try to sell Stewart a box of Booty-O’s try to encourage the Power of Positivity.
A video package hypes up Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship
Michael Cole puts over Charlotte’s win/loss record – 13 – 2 in PPV matches, 11-0 in singles matches. It’s a nice touch that really puts her over as a credible contender.
This match has a big match feel, and the audience is into it. Sasha sends Charlotte out with a head scissors early on. Early roll-up attempts back and forth. Banks does a twisting rope walk arm drag thing. It’s cool.
Charlotte works Sasha over in the corner. She literally drops her back/head first across the top rope. It looked nasty and very dangerous. Charlotte works over the back, as they replay the spot. Looks like Banks mostly caught the ropes with her legs and didn’t land directly on her head as I originally thought. Still…
Sasha starts to fight back, taking Charlotte out with a series of moves ending with a dropkick. Charlotte nails Sasha with a back breaker for two. More knees to the back in the corner. Charlotte goes for the Figure Four, but Sasha kicks out. Charlotte hangs Sasha upside down in the corner, laying into her with kicks. Charlotte sets Sasha up on the top rope Razor’s Edge, but Sasha counters with a Frankensteiner. The place goes nuts.
The two trade punches from the ground, slowly getting to their feet. Charlotte hits a chop. Sasha has chops of her own. Well, more like furious slaps. She misses a pair of knees in the corner, but Charlotte misses a spear. Sasha locks a Boston Crab across the ropes in the corner. Nice spot. Double knees to the small of the back, and it’s worth two.
Charlotte takes out Sasha’s knee on a charge in the corner. She sets her up for a superplex of sorts, but Sasha fights free and hits the double knees to the floor.
Back in the ring, Charlotte goes for Natural Selection. Banks counters it into a Bank Statement. She reaches for the ropes, but Sasha pushes off the rope. Charlotte breaks free, hits a neck breaker, a chop block, and Natural Selection for two. She goes for another cover, gets two. Third cover, no dice. Charlotte starts talking trash out of desperation. She slaps Sasha across the face. Sasha counters with a Tilt-A-Whirl into a Bank Statement. Charlotte rolls it backwards, and Sasha’s shoulders are on the mat. The ref counts, and Charlotte picks up the surprise win.
Winner: Charlotte to become the WWE Women’s Champion
Wow. It’s not even 8pm and we’ve already got a strong contender for Match of the Night. These two did some pretty crazy spots throughout, and went a little far more than a few times, but it paid off. This was a great match. I’m surprised they pulled the belt off Sasha so early, but I think there’s a better story to tell with Charlotte talking trash about how great she is, and Sasha chasing after her.
Backstage, Gallows and Anderson are dressed up as doctors, and they’ve got their jars with them. AJ Styles comes in and they all share a moment, talking about beating up John Cena. Finn Balor walks into frame and the founding member of The Bullet Club has his first on-screen moment with the others. They look at him and offer him a Too Sweet, but he walks away. Damn.
The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The announcing team switches to the Smackdown crew for this one. Miz attacks Crews immediately, clipping his throat across the ropes. Miz has Crews scouted here. The action spills outside, and Miz keeps control, until Crews catches Miz with a dropkick.
Miz tries to lock in the Skull Crushing Finale, but Crews breaks free. Miz lifts the knees on a standing moonsault. Crews hits an impressive powerslam as JBL drops some “Uhaa Nation” knowledge on us. Miz goes for his corner clothesline, Crews catches him, slams him, and connects with the standing moonsault.
Miz catches Crews with a boot to the head, Crews counters, misses a splash in the corner, and Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale to retain the title.
Winner: The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
A short match that felt meaningless. We needed to come down from the Women’s Championship match, so this filled that role nicely, but it also lowered the status of the IC Title even more, if that’s even possible.
We see a video package hyping John Cena vs. AJ Styles.
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Brooklyn loves Cena and sing right along with his music. “John Cena sucks! John Cena sucks!” The crowd is pretty electric right now, too. I can’t help but wonder if this is the hottest crowd that Styles has been in front of. I’m sure that’s not the case, but still…
They lock up as the chants continue “Let’s go Cena! AJ Styles!” Styles slips out of a waistlock. Styles hits a dropkick and boasts to the crowd. Cena yanks him off the ropes, whips him into the corner. Cena goes for an AA on the apron, but Styles counters and hits a suplex across the apron instead. Ouch. Back in the ring, Cena sends AJ flying in the air. Cena hits a drop kick for two. He lies AJ up with a fist, and a headbutt. AJ fires back, and they exchange blows. AJ hits a flurry of kicks and punches. Flying forearm, but Cena counters with a shoulder block, side slam, and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the AA, but AJ pops out, hits the Pele kick, and a Styles Clash. It’s only worth two.
Cena goes for an AA from up top. AJ counters with a torture rack into a powerbomb for two. He goes for another Clash, Cena counters with a catapult into the turnbuckle. He hits a cutter on Styles for two. Styles rolls through for a pin attempt, but Cena grabs the leg for an STF. Styles hits a shoulderbreaker off the shoulders for two. JBL thinks it was an AA. It wasn’t.
AJ misses a 450 Splash. Cena hits a flip sitout powerbomb for two. Styles hits a rolling German suplex into a face buster for two. He springboards again, Cena grabs the leg and goes for an STF, but it looks weak. Styles reverses it. Cena picks him up from the submission attempt. Styles reverses and locks the Calf Crusher. Cena rolls through it into an STF. AJ breaks free, hits an enzuigiri. Cena hits a tornado DDT for a near fall.
Cena is back on his feet first, and he heads up to the top turnbuckle. Top rope leg drop for a two-count. He sets AJ up top, Styles elbows free. Styles hits a springboard Frankensteiner, and sets Cena up, connects with the Phenominal Forearm, and John Cena freaking kicks out.
Cena powers AJ up, but can’t keep him up. He counters Styles with a clothesline. He brings AJ up for another top rope AA, and he connects. AJ kicks out at 2.75.
Cena recovers in the corner as AJ crawls to the ropes. Cena is in complete shock that AJ kicked out of that move. Styles is on his feet, but barely. Cena goes for another AA. Styles counters! He hits the Styles Clash, but can’t cover Cena. He rolls to the apron, takes off his elbow pad, hits the Phenomenal Forearm, and gets the pin!
Winner: AJ Styles
I want to deduct points for every time someone kicked out of a finisher here, but that aside this was a great match. Another Match of the Night contender, easily. These guys have amazing chemistry together, and Cena put AJ over strong here, both by selling his disbelief that AJ keeps getting up, and by, well, taking the clean pin.
After the match, AJ heads up the ramp as Cena recovers in the middle of the ring. Brooklyn gives him a standing ovation, as Cena takes off his “Never Give Up” armband. He leaves it in the middle of the ring, and walks towards the back. Cena salutes the crowd, then heads backstage. There’s a lot of symbolism there, and they can go a few ways with it, but the most obvious is Cena will be off TV for a bit.
Jon Stewart walks out to the ring to some absolutely terrible music. Brooklyn isn’t terribly receptive to him, and he gets it. He says he’s just happy that noone interfered by hitting one of those two with a chair. He says he learned his lesson last year. Brooklyn is shitting all over this. He says he’s be asked to be there by New Day. He reveals a Booty-O’s shirt, puts on a unicorn horn, and says he’s joining The New Day in their battle tonight. He starts the Big E “Don’t you DARE be sour” part. Brooklyn picks up the rest for him.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Gallows and Anderson come down with a 4th jar, extra small for Jon Stewart.
Anderson and Kingston start it out. Woods tags in, and The Club gains control for a time, but when Gallows tags in, Woods and Kofi trade tags with stomps in the corner. Kofi caps it off with a running dropkick, and Woods sends Gallows out, so Kofi can leap over the top rope while posing, landing on Gallows. Cute.
Anderson causes a distraction, allowing Gallows to gain control. They keep Kofi in their corner, and Kofi fights back, but Gallows keeps control until he misses a splash. Both men tag out. Woods hits a flurry of moves, slides under Anderson, hits a spinning punch and a dropkick to the back for two. Woods hits a flying elbow from the top rope for two.
Kofi tags in and hits a double stomp from the top as Woods hold Anderson. Order breaks and all four are in the ring. Anderson hits a running boot and tags in Gallows, and they set Kofi up for the Magic Killer. Jon Stewart runs into the ring and tries to Too Sweet The Club. Anderson hits a spinebuster, and they continue to corner Stewart, who tucks his shirt in before he’s about to get beat up. The Doctors decide to give him a case of ring-post-itis, but before they can hit him, Big E comes running out and attacks The Club. The referee rings the bell.
Winners: The Club by disqualification, but The New Day retains
Big E slams Gallows and Anderson into the barricade. He take a sip of the liquid his “ball” is in, and New Day celebrates their loss in the ring. They dance with Stewart, who realizes he looks like a fool, and stops.
This wasn’t a fantastic match to begin with, but Stewart really brought it down a level. The non-finish is disappointing, and I’m pretty sure Brooklyn wanted to see a title change.
A video package airs hyping up Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose. I stepped away for a moment and came back to see Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan in the ring, ad Dolph Ziggler finished his entrance.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE World Championship
The bell hasn’t even rung yet and they already have to keep the two separated.
Back and forth early on, but Ambrose slaps Ziggler, and Ziggler returns fire. Ziggler catches Ambrose with a dropkick, and a splash in the corner. Ambrose bails out, Ziggler catches him with a splash and neckbreaker outside the ring.
Back in the ring, Ambrose creates some space, tossing Ziggler out of the ring. Ambrose sets Ziggler up in the corner, and goes up top. He hits a double underhook suplex off the top for two. Ambrose locks a single leg Boston Crab. Snap suplex to Ziggler for two. Ambrose goes up top, and Ziggler catches him with a dropkick in mid-air. Ziggler misses a superkick, gets planted face first instead. Ambrose mocks Ziggler by stomping his foot in the corner, like he’s going for a superkick. He cuts it short and goes for Dirty Deeds instead. Ziggler counters with a DDT for two.
Ambrose counters a fameasser attempt, but Ziggler sends him into the ring post. He hits the fameasser this time, for two. The two collide with a splash attempt in the middle of the ring. Ambrose lays into Ziggler with punches and chips. He hits a series of running blocks. Running bulldog and Ambrose goes up top, connecting with an elbow for two.
Ziggler goes for a sleeper hold and both men tumble outside. Ziggler rolls Ambrose back into the ring after a superkick, but he doesn’t get the pin. He misses another superkick, and Ambrose goes for a counter, but Ziggler hits a Zig Zag for a near fall. Ziggler starts laying into Ambrose with elbows, then locks in a sleeper/choke. Ambrose breaks free, and counters with a rebound clothesline. Ambrose goes up top, Ziggler catches him, crotching him on the top turnbuckle. Ziggler goes for a superplex, Ambrose headbutts himself free, but Ziggler goes back up again. Ziggler dives off the top, but Ambrose counters it and lands on his feet, immediately hitting Dirty Deeds for the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE World Championship
I’m not sure if the crowd is exhausted or if it’s just a bad build for this match, but they were sitting on their hands the entire time for this one. The match felt like it suffered for it too. For a guy who claims he steals the show, this was a lackluster outing for Dolph Ziggler, and I’ve seen better from Ambrose too.
Naomi & Carmella & Becky Lynch vs. Natalya & Alexa Bliss &
Eva Marie Nikki Bella
They tease Eva Marie’s entrance, but then say she’s suffering from stress and illness due to hostility by the WWE fans, and is recuperating in some fancy island land. Instead, Nikki Bella makes her return!
Lynch and Bliss start it off. Bliss outsmarts Lynch coming out of the corner, but Lynch catches Bliss’ leg, and tags in Naomi. Bliss tags in Natalya. Naomi goes for an early pin, then wiggles her butt in Nattie’s face. Well then. Nattie hits a slingshot slam, Naomi counters and hits a split legdrop for two. Carmella in now, she moonwalks out of Nattie’s offense. Silly, but it leads into a head scissors. Nattie bails out of the ring and eats a clothesline from Carmella.
Nattie has control when she tags in Nikki Bella. Suplex for two. She hits a spine buster, gets two, and busts out some pushups. Tag to Bliss. Bliss hits a sloppy stomp on Carmella. Two-count. Tag to Natalya. Snap mare out of the corner for two. Carmella fights out of the corner, stretching for a hot tag, and makes it, tagging in Lynch. Lynch hits a leg lariat, a pair of Becksploders, and stacks all three ladies in the corner, hitting springboard kicks on each. Another Becksploder suplex to Natalya, but Nattie rolls her up for two. Lynch with an enzuigiri, she sets Nattie up in the corner. Lynch hits a leg drop but a pin attempt is broken up.
Bliss legal now, Naomi makes a blind tag, hitting a springboard cross body. She hits a series of alternating kicks, but misses a split legged moonsault. Bliss eats a pair of knees, but tags in Bella. Naomi flips free and tags in Carmella. Carmella connects in the corner, but all six ladies are not in the ring. Bella nails Carmella with an elbow in the jaw, then sets her up on her shoulder, swinging her into a cutter for the pin.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Good to see Bella back in the ring, though not completely unexpected, especially considering Eva Marie’s suspension. I’m thrilled she was wise enough to change her finisher, as the Rack Attack likely contributed to her career-threatening neck injury.
Maria Menounos interviews Rusev and Lana backstage. Rusev is pissed at Roman Reigns. He feels Reigns humiliated Lana. Lana says only a true husband would seek revenge and blah blah. Honestly, it could be forecasting Lana switching sides and teaming with Reigns, but I’d be floored if that happened.
It’s time for the WWE Universal Championship match, and a nice video package airs hyping it up.
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins to crown the first WWE Universal Champion
The new title sits at ringside, and looks nearly identical to the existing WWE World Championship, except it’s all red. Basically, Eva Marie would love it.
Full demon entrance for Finn Balor. Brooklyn loves it. The bell rings, and Finn immediately hits a dropkick launching Seth into the corner. He goes up top and Rollins rolls out of the ring. Finn dives outside. Seth heads back into the ring, begs off Balor, but Balor starts working on the legs. Rollins yanks Balor off the apron, and suplexes him at ringside. Rollins tosses Balor into the timekeeper area. Balor pops up and hits a flying forearm.
Back in the ring, Rollins cuts Balor off. Balor counters a sunset flip with a dropkick and a pin. Two-count. Balor continues to work the leg. Rollins sneaks out of the ring and carries Balor, hitting a buckle-bomb into the barricade.
Apparently Brooklyn agrees with my feelings about the new title, chanting “That Title Sucks.” Rollins has a chinlock on Balor. I could make a joke about Balor’s Demon Paint biting off Seth’s arm but I won’t. Anyhow. Rollins slams Balor head-first into the second turnbuckle. Two-count. Rollins keeps Balor grounded. He takes off the tape on his wrist and stretches Balor’s nose out. Rollins catches Finn with an elbow in the corner, and a springboard knee. He heads up top, connecting with a frog splash for two. Finn counters Rollins and plants him with a DDT. Both men are out.
Balor picks up the pace and hits a series of drop kicks. Rollins bails out of the ring, and Balor hits him with a kick to the face from the apron. Sling blade from Balor back inside. He lines Rollins up, but Rollins counters with a dropkick. Rollins goes for a Pedigree, Balor counters. The trade blows. Enzuigiri from Rollins, Pele kick from Finn. The crowd claps but is otherwise pretty dead.
Finn gets another near fall after a reverse DDT. He heads up top, misses a coup de grace, as Rollins locks in a Triangle Choke. Balor reaches for the bottom rope. Apparently this is no disqualification and the break doesn’t count. I missed that memo.
Rollins rolls Balor back in, and Balor attacks the leg immediately. Rollins connects with another buckle bomb. Kick to the head and it’s worth two. Rollins talks trash to Balor, and Balor gets to his feet. Rollins hits a series of elbows. Balor counters. Seth counters with a small package driver, it’s only worth two. Balor sends Rollins out of the ring, hits a running dropkick, rolls him into the ring, and goes up top. He hits the double stomp to the back of the head for two. He goes back up top once more. He misses, rolls out of it. Rollins with the Pedigree, but Finn kicks out at two.
Rollins goes up top, misses a corkscrew, and Balor heads up top. Rollins meets him up there, hits a superplex, Balor counters the Pedigree. Stomp to the gut, dropkick into one turnbuckle, another dropkick into ANOTHER turnbuckle, and Balor connects with the coup de grace. Finn Balor is your new WWE Universal Champion!
Winner: Finn Balor to become the first WWE Universal Champion
A very good match, and a great way for Finn to make an impact. He’s been on the main roster only one month, and already he holds Raw’s top title. If you’re gonna get a push, make it count. They made it count. Of course, he and Rollins had awesome chemistry together, and I’m looking forward to the likely rematch.
Balor hugs and kisses a woman and a man in the audience, I assume his parents. A nice moment.
We go to the preshow panel. They hype up what’s happened thus far.
I walk away and return to a commercial with The Miz dressed up as a chicken wrestling Dolph Ziggler dressed up as Colonel Sanders.
Lana is in the ring, and announces her husband, Rusev.
Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE United States Championship
Rusev immediately attacks Reigns before the bell even rings. Rusev sends Reigns into the steps repeatedly. Rusev attacks Reigns with the steel steps. He yells at him “This is for my wife!” Reigns reverses a whip and sends Rusev into the timekeeper’s area. Reigns hits a superman punch. Reigns leaps over the barricade and lays into Rusev with punches. About 15 referees run out to break up the brawl. Reign grabs a chair and attacks Rusev in the gut. He slams Rusev across the back, and lays into him with punches. They get Reigns off Rusev, but Reigns goes back in, hitting a series of headbutts.
Rusev holds his ribs, and Reigns continues to attack. He walks away and goes back in for more. The fans start booing him as he finally heads up the ramp.
There was no match.
The fans start chanting “We want Slater” as a doctor tries to help Rusev. Lana watches on from a distance. Jojo announces that Rusev is unable to compete per orders of the doctor.
Winner: No contest/The match never started
Roman Reigns comes back out down the ramp and nails Rusev with a spear off the ramp. It’s an awesome spot that he’s done before, but it still looks cool as hell. Rusev sells it like his ribs are broken in half.
I’m actually completely ok with this. It gives Reigns a nasty edge that he actually could benefit from, and builds sympathy for Rusev, should he need it down the line. Plus, it’s late. The last thing we need is another 20 minute match right now.
A video package hypes up Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton.
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Randy Orton
Paul Heyman cuts a promo after Lesnar enters the ring. He gives a full MMA announcement. It’s short and to the point. Randy Orton comes out next. Paul Heyman does not do an announcement for him.
Mauro Ranallo is the lead commentator for this match, with JBL, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton helping.
Early on, Lesnar hits a series of shoulders in the corner. Lesnar starts dispensing German Suplexes. He hits three in a row. Orton tries to block the suplexes, but he can’t. More shoulders in the corner. We’re up to six German suplexes now. Orton bails out of the ring to recover. Lesnar slams Orton onto the table, then tosses him through the table.
Back in the ring, suplex #7. Lesnar starts to tear apart another announcer’s table. He sets him up, but Randy Orton nails Lesnar with an RKO out of nowhere. The table doesn’t break, but that’s actually better. Looked more devastating.
Lesnar crawls back into the ring. Orton nails him with a DDT off the ropes. Orton waits for Lesnar, and hits another RKO. Lesnar kicks out at 2. Orton backs off and sizes Brock up for the punt. Lesnar counters with an F5. Orton kicks out.
Lesnar takes off his MMA gloves and mounts Orton, laying into him with fists and elbows. Orton is bleeding from the top of his head. Orton looks knocked out, and there is a significant amount of blood. There’s a literal pool of blood on the mat. The doctor comes in to treat Orton. Lesnar pushes him away and attacks Orton. The referee and doctor try to get Lesnar off Orton. The fans start chanting for Goldberg. Lesnar goes back in once more. They ring the bell and end the fight.
Winner: Brock Lesnar via “TKO” aka referee stoppage
Lesnar paces back and forth, and once more starts attacking Randy Orton. Shane McMahon steps up to Lesnar. Lesnar stands in between he and Orton. Orton stirs and starts to move. Lesnar F5’s McMahon right into the pool of blood. Paul Heyman begs him to stop. “What did you do?!?!” Lesnar leaves the ring and nothing else happens as the show goes off the air. Orton’s head looks completely destroyed.
The current feeling seems to be that this was a dud of an ending. I have to agree. Orton looked strong for all of 5 minutes. Those elbows to the head were brutal. And although I didn’t see Orton blade, I assume this would have had to have been the planned finish. Otherwise they would’ve thrown up the X, right?
That said, this does nothing for either man. Lesnar looks like a beast, sure, but when he’s only around every 4-6 months what does it matter? Meanwhile, now Orton looks like a chump and will have to miss TV time to sell the beating. Smackdown needs him right now. This is a mistake, and a terrible way to end one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year.
Otherwise, I’d say overall this was a good show, but I felt like the first half was hotter than the second half. The last few matches just felt flat. I assume the crowd was feeling burnt out – I know I was – but the wrestlers looked burnt out too.
Bill will be by tomorrow with your WWE Raw coverage, and I’m here on Tuesday for Smackdown. Thank you for reading folks! Have a great night!