WWE is coming at us live from Brooklyn, New York for the second night in a row. SummerSlam is being hyped as the “Biggest Party of the Summer,” and looking at the current card, that’s certainly a possibility. We have a staggering 13 matches tonight – three on the pre-show, with a main event that’s been hyped up quite well, and overwhelmingly looked forward to by fans.
Here is the current card, as of this writing.
- Kickoff Match: Akira Tozawa (c) (w/ Titus O’Neil) vs. Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
- Kickoff Match: The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (c) (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. The Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
- Kickoff Match: The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy) & Jason Jordan vs. The Miz & The Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) (w/ Maryse) in a Six Man Tag Team Match
- Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
- John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
- Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
- Big Show vs. Big Cass (Enzo Amore suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
- Randy Orton vs. Rusev
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship (Special Guest Referee Shane McMahon)
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
- Naomi (c) vs. Natalya for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
- Jinder Mahal (c) (w/ The Singh Brothers) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
- Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship
The preshow begins at 5pm Eastern, with the main card beginning at 7pm Eastern. We will have full coverage of the main card and limited coverage of the preshow (with a focus on the matches and any major happenings). Be sure to join in tonight starting at 5pm Eastern both here and on Twitter, @RingRap! And, don’t forget to take a moment to fill out a copy of our WWE SummerSlam Scorecard!
WWE SummerSlam Kickoff Show
It’s 5:23, and it’s time for our first match!
The Miz (w/ Maryse) & The Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy) & Jason Jordan
The Action: Miz and company come out first, followed by Jason Jordan, then the Hardy Boyz. The arena is quite empty right now. Reports say there are a lot of people still waiting to get in…
Matt Hardy and Curtis Axel start it off. Hardy tags in Jeff early on, and they work over Axel’s arm. They team up to hit Poetry in Motion in the corner. Low drop kick from Jeff for one. Jordan tags in and Axel gets the advantage immediately. Tag to Bo Dallas.
Dallas trades forearms, but Jordan returns the favor and hits a nice dropkick for a quick cover. Big takedown from Jordan. Tag to Matt. Matt comes off the second rope and attacks the arm. Tag to Jeff, then a tag to Jordan, for a quick triple team. Everyone spills into the ring and they dispense chops. Jordan bodyslams Dallas, and tags Jeff, who goes up top, but Axel pulls Dallas out of the ring as we to go break.
It’s a short one. Jeff gets teamed up on in the corner. Miz legal, he hits a running boot and a cover for two. Axel legal, he continues working over Jeff. They keep Jeff stretched out on their side of the ring. Axel takes out Jordan.
I looked away for a moment and found Matt Hardy slamming Miz’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly. He goes up top and drops the elbow. It’s worth two. Miz takes out the leg and hits a DDT for two. Miz hits a set of Daniel Bryan roundhouses. Matt ducks the last one and hits a Side Effect for two.
Jordan gets the hot tag and goes crazy. He sends Axel into the corner and hits a suplex to Dallas. He spears both in the corner and hits a slam for two. All hell breaks loose. Jeff hits a Twist of Fate. Axel tosses him out of the ring, Jordan fires up and tosses Axel, and hits a shoulder, but Miz sneaks in and hits a Skull Crushing Finale from behind for the win.
Winners: Miz and The Miztourage
Fine for an opening match, but this was ultimately meaningless. Even more frustrating was the lack of a crowd in the arena. They showed a shot of the hard-camera area and there wasn’t a single seat filled yet. That’s terrible planning. Terrible
We get a segment with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in the social media lounge. And then, at 5:48pm, it’s time for the Cruiserweight Championship match.
Neville vs. Akira Tozawa (c) (w/ Titus O’Neil) for the WWE Cruisterweight Championship
The Action: They lock up. Neville wrenches the head. He hits a running shoulder at Tozawa. Backflip into a dropkick from Neville. He tries to toss Tozawa out of the ring, but Tozawa counters and dropkicks him off the apron. Tozawa taunts Neville with some grunts and proclaims it’s his ring.
Tozawa hits a running kick and goes aggressively after Neville. Tozawa scouts a dropkick and hits a senton on Neville, who rolls out of the ring. Neville hangs Tozawa on the ropes and slams him into the LED board on the ring apron as we go to break.
Back in, Neville hits a top-rope dropkick, then heads back up and does a second one for two. He keeps control of Tozawa with a headlock. Tozawa recovers and sends Neville to the floor and immediately hits a running dive through the ropes.
Back in the ring, Tozawa hits a pair of running forearms. He hits a kick, misses an enzuigiri, and nails a snap German suplex. He heads up top, but Neville crawls away. Neville catches him off the apron, but Tozawa turns it into a Black Widow. He rolls it into a roll-up for two, hits a Shining Wizard and another two-count. He goes back up top, but Neville recovers. the two trade blows, with Tozawa hitting the enzuigiri this time. Neville counters with his own. Tozawa hits a hurricarana and follows it with another shining wizard. Both men are laid out.
Neville recovers first and wrenches Tozawa’s shoulder directly into the mat. He focuses on the arm. Tozawa rolls through and hits a fist to the face. He lays a second punch and Neville drops. Tozawa goes up top. Neville recovers. Neville climbs up top and sets up the Superplex. Tozawa tries to fight free. He reverses it and suplexes Neville face-first, then comes off the top rope with the senton. Neville tucks the knees and Tozawa hits hard. Neville climbs up for the Red Arrow, and it connects for three.
Winner: Neville to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion
I don’t see the purpose of switching the belt to Tozawa only to switch it back just a few days later. That said, this was a really strong match. These guys fought hard, and made a strong case for the cruiserweight division getting more focus. When you’re filling out your Match of the Night polls later on, keep this match in mind. It’ll be easy to forget about it over the course of the next five hours, but it shouldn’t be. This was very good.
After a brief discussion from the Kickoff Panel, Elias is sitting in the ring. He’s got his guitar, and he’s got a question for everyone – “Who wants to walk with Elias?” He says he was walking around the city earlier, watching the people, and it inspired him to write this song. He asks that we silence our cell phones and hold our applause until after he’s finished.
As he starts to play, Brooklyn books the hell out of him. He stops and demands they hold their applause until after, and he starts over. Naturally the song makes fun of Brooklyn. He finishes his song and then starts an encore. He says he’s been working on a little something. He says Brooklyn has had some characters, like Jay Z, but they can’t measure up to him. He makes fun of Brooklyn further, and asks “When did you all lose your balls?” Huge boos. No match. Fantastic.
Back in the preshow booth, Carmella and James Ellsworth interrupt. HUGE cheers for these two. They talk about Big Cass vs. Big Show, and she predicts that Cass will win and Ellsworth can beat Enzo. They then pivot to talking about the Money in the Bank briefcase and she teases a cash-in but never announces she will. Carmella says she’d rather take the title from Naomi. She also talks about the Raw Women’s match and says they both hate each other. There’s some more teasing of a cash in and they leave.
Backstage, the Singh Brothers introduce Jinder Mahal, who cuts a promo about the fans being xenophobic about his title reign. He mocks Corbin’s loss Tuesday and says he’ll silence the fans once again when he beats Shinsuke Nakamura.
We go ringside for our final pre-show match. Byron Saxton, JBL and Tom Phillips are at ringside to call the action.
The Usos vs. The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods, w/ Kofi Kingston) (c) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Action: On the way to the ring, The New Day cut a fairly lengthy promo talking about their history in Brooklyn, and proclaim they will continue their Tag Team Championship reign.
The bell rings. Xavier and Jimmy start it out. Woods tries to cinch the arm early on. Jimmy rolls it into a shoulder block. Both men run the ropes and counter each other. Woods gets the better with an elbow to the face. Cover for two. He tears off Jimmy’s shirt and chops him in the corner repeatedly. Flying elbow in the corner. Make that two. Woods hits a series of jabs to the body. Jimmy fires back with a shot to the throat. Jey distracts Woods and Jimmy catches him with an uppercut as Woods comes off the top rope. We go to break.
Back from break, Jey is in the ring keeping Woods grounded. For some reason, he’s chosen to remove his shirt as well, which makes my job incredibly difficult since they’re both twins. Anyhow, Big E reaches for the tag, but Jey keeps him cornered. He sets Woods up on the top turnbuckle. Woods head-butts him off, and then dodges an attack from Jimmy, which sends Jimmy into the post. Dropkick from Woods and he dives for the tag, but Jimmy yanks Big E off the apron. Jey slams Woods neck-first into the top turnbuckle in their corner, and they double-team. Jimmy chops Woods on the apron and rolls him to the floor.
The referee counts both men. At 7, they roll Woods back in and make a tag. Jey hits a chop off the top for two. Jimmy back in, he locks in a headlock in their corner. Woods rallies back. Jimmy hits a headbutt and a side suplex. Woods rolls out of a second attempt, planting Jimmy face-first into the mat. Hot tag to Big E, Jey legal as well. He dispenses the belly-to-belly suplexes. Big E grinds and goes for a splash, but Jey connects with an enzuigiri. STO in the corner by Big E for two. Tag to Woods. He picks Woods up for a rolling powerbomb onto Jey, then they tag in for another tandem move. He picks Big E up for an electric chair and drops him on Jey for two.
Things get crazy. Jimmy makes a blind tag and they hit a tandem spine buster for two. Woods tags in and hits a kick to the stomach. He sends Jimmy into Big E, who hits an STO while Woods does a back stabber. Sick move, and worth two. Jimmy and Woods go back and forth with running elbows. Woods gets nasty and hits a series of headbutts. Jimmy hits a running elbow and tags in Jey. Woods sends Jimmy out of the ring and Jey on the other side. Dive out onto Jimmy, Jey attacks Woods from the barricade. Big E teases a jump, gets hit with a superkick between the ropes. Both Usos in opposite corners. One hits Big E, caught in the ropes, the other, Woods, for two.
Woods catches Jey in a submission attempt. Jimmy goes to break it, but Big E holds him back. Jey rolls it into a pin for two. Woods hits a running knee for two. Woods takes Jimmy off the apron, and goes for an Honor Roll. Jey catches him. Woods recovers and tags Big E, then dives through the ropes with a DDT to Jimmy. He goes up top and they hit Midnight Hour. Jimmy barely breaks it up at two.
Woods picks Jimmy up and punches him. Jey is still legal however. He pops Woods over the top rope to the floor, onto Jimmy. Woods is dazed, and Kofi checks on him but is tossed into the steps. Big E flies through the ropes with a spear. He picks Jimmy up, but Jimmy tags in Jey and eats a superkick. Make that two, and a tandem one. Jey is legal now, somehow. Both men head up top across from each other and hit a double-splash on Big E. It’s good for the pin.
Winners: The Usos to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions
Holy crap that was amazing. Bell to bell, this match was incredible. These teams work so well together and this was just another great match. The Smackdown tag division is shallow right now, but there’s no shortage of amazing action on it. With The Usos picking up the win, they can set up some new challengers and rebuild the division until the next big thing comes in.
I know what I said about the Cruiserweight match, but this may have just leaped it. Keep this one in mind too.
After a lengthy KFC commercial featuring a number of wrestlers dressed like The Colonel, Shawn Michaels comes out to a full entrance, dressed as The Colonel. I enjoyed the commercial, but this is disappointing to see. He slides across the announcers table and dances, and that’s it.
Paul Heyman cuts a promo backstage. He acknowledges that Lesnar’s title defenses are infrequent, but special. He says it’s three-for-one as he takes on Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman. He says Lesnar will be the winner, and still reigning, defending… but Braun Strowman cuts him off. He says he talks too much. Heyman walks away.
The panel cues up the rest of the show and the preshow comes to an end.
WWE SummerSlam Main Card
Tom Phillips introduces the show, saying they’re sold out tonight. He welcomes us to SummerSlam…
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
Brooklyn loves John Cena, and sings along “John Cena Sucks” to the tune of his theme. The announcers hype the show as one of “four times a year” that Raw and Smackdown co-brand pay-per-views. Baron Corbin comes out next to his new theme music. Some of the alternate language teams hype the show as we see a recap of Corbin’s failed Money in the Bank cash-in.
The Action: Cena mocks Corbin. He runs out of the ring and tells JBL that “This kid is shook.” He says he’s not thinking about tonight, he’s stuck on last week. He puts on JBL’s hat and mocks Corbin further. Corbin follows him out of the ring and talks trash, but Cena slides back in.
Cena locks a headlock. Corbin tries to shake him, but Cena holds on tight. Corbin nails him with a fist on a corner break. Corbin talks trash and hits a series of knees. Corbin hits a running boot to the face. He charges the corner and slips underneath the ropes, running back in with a clothesline for two. Corbin steps on Cena’s hand and continues to talk trash. He hits a few punches and follows with a suplex. Corbin argues with the referee and mocks the fans. Cena starts to fire back. Corbin catches him mid-air and slams him for two.
Corbin keeps the pace slowed. Cena hits a dropkick and catches Corbin off guard, but Corbin takes him out pretty quickly. The fans chant “Where’s your briefcase?” and Cena fires up, hitting the Five Moves of Doom, but misses the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Corbin slips under the ring once more and hits a choke slam back breaker with crazy height for two.
The two start brawling on the top rope. Cena gets the better of the exchange and comes off the second rope with a Tornado DDT. He goes back to the well and hits the Shuffle. He goes for the AA, Corbin counters with a Deep Six for two. He attacks Cena with a series of forearms, and then takes his shirt off to a chorus of boos. He attacks Cena repeatedly in the corner. Corbin charges and once more slides under the ring. This time Cena has him scouted. He hits a clothesline and follows it up with the Attitude Adjustment for the win.
Winner: John Cena
A good match to get the crowd hyped. Not sure what the next step is for either man though. Cena is a free agent and there’s speculation he’s heading to Raw for a little while, so a win here keeps him strong on a new roster, but Corbin really could’ve used that win coming off a failed cash-in. Long term, Corbin will be fine, but this hurts him a bit right now.
After the match, Cena greets some fans behind the announcer’s tables. He seems to know them. I have no idea who it is. He then hugs someone’s grandmother, and then a small child, and then heads up the ramp.
Natalya vs. Naomi (c) for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Greg Hamilton gives this match a title-match intro. Naomi kisses the title before handing it to the referee.
The Action: Natalya immediately slaps Naomi. She attacks her in the corner. Naomi recovers and hits a head scissors. She slides into Natalya and slaps her in the face. Natalya rolls outside. Naomia catches her with a soccer kick on the apron, and follows it up with a blockbuster from the apron to the floor. Inside the ring, cover for two.
Natalya catches Naomi’s leg on the top rope and wrenches it. She slingshots her from the apron into the ring post. Nattie heads out of the ring and attacks, then rolls Naomi back in. Headlock back in the ring. She keeps Naomi grounded. Backstage, Carmella and Ellsworth look on. Back in the ring, Nattie hits a snap suplex. She goes for another one, Naomi counters with a roll-up for two. Natalya hits a clothesline to slow the pace. She keeps Naomi grounded with a series of attacks, and stretches her out mid-ring.
Naomi starts to recover, but that doesn’t last long. They head up top. Naomi breaks free of a suplex attempt and hits a Russian Leg Sweep off the second rope. Both ladies are laid out. They make it to their feet and trade forearms. Naomi counters with a nice hook kick, and slams Natalya face-first with a head scissors for two. She hits a pair of roundhouses and then a weak flurry of kicks. Natalya pulls her leg and drops her into a split. Two-count.
Natalya gets caught up in the ropes. Naomi hits a roundhouse and then a slingshot leg drop off the apron worth two. Nattie drags Naomi into the turnbuckle. Naomi hits a roll-up pin attempt, then goes for a submission, but Natalya slips out and goes for a Sharpshooter. She rolls Naomi over mid-ring. She drags Naomi back into the middle of the ring. Naomi crawls again, and she rolls Natalya backwards into the turnbuckle.
Naomi goes for the split-legged moonsault. Nattie gets the knees up and immediately goes for another Sharpshooter. Naomi taps out.
Winner: Natalya via submission to become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion
I enjoyed this match. These ladies worked well together, and told a good story of a fighting champion versus a resourceful veteran. I’m excited to see what Natalya can do with the title – it’s been a very long time since she’s had a chance with the title.
After the match, Natalya holds the title up high as Naomi looks on, fighting tears. Natalya holds the belt up in front of her, taunting. Naomi sells the loss.
The Big Show vs. Big Cass, Enzo Amore suspended above the ring in a shark cage
Enzo Amore comes out to the ring first. He cuts a promo. Naturally, he’s the realest guy in the room. The fans eat it up and chant “How you doin’?” He asks “Where Brooklyn at?” and called NYC the greatest city in the world. He quotes Lil’ Kim, saying Money, power and respect is what you need in life. He says he only gets that when the mic is in his hand. He says he plays the hand he’s dealt, but had the balls to tattoo a microphone on it. He says they’re better off locking him up at Riker’s Island. He makes a Zero Dimes joke about Cass, and says he would put his worst day on the mic against Cass’s best day in the ring. He agrees Cass is seven feet tall – that’s a hell of a hand to be dealt, but the deck he was dealt had no heart in it. As he continues, Cass interrupts.
Cass walks to the ring without saying a word as Enzo is locked in the cage. They raise Enzo up and Big Show’s music plays. His hand is wrapped.
The Action: Show goes on the offense. He sells pain in his right hand and starts using the left more frequently. Enzo talks trash the entire time. Show hits a chop in the corner. He launches Cass into the corner. Side slam from Show, but he hits his hand on the way down and sells it.
In the corner, Show climbs up to the second rope, but he can’t climb up effectively. Cass rolls out of the way as Show drops down, and he lands on his arm. Cass immediately attacks with a splash. He goes for a boot, but Show hits the KO punch with the bad hand for two. He misses a shoulder block in the corner. Cass attacks the hand immediately. He wrenches the arm mid-ring. He torques the hand in a wrist-lock. Show backs him into the corner and then tosses Cass across the ring. He hits a set of clotheslines. He goes for a chokeslam with the bad hand, then switches to the left. It connects. Cass kicks out at 2. He rolls out of the ring.
Cass fights Show on the apron. He slams Show’s hand into the ring-post. Enzo takes his shirt off and tosses it out of the ring, then tries to escape through the cage. He pulls something out of his pocket – oil? He squirts it all over his body, then puts on a pair of clothes. He slips through the cage and gets free… in his boxers! He lowers into the ring, and Cass immediately kicks him in the face. He sizes Big Show up and hits a running boot. Show kicks out at two. He sizes Show up once more, and connects with the big boot. He follows it with an Empire Elbow for the win.
Winner: Big Cass
They protected Show by having him take the boot twice and deal with a hand injury, but Cass winning here was the right call. Otherwise, not much to say here. This was about what you might expect.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Kurt Angle talk about their brands. Bryan feels Smackdown is stealing the show with their international appeal. Angle feels his match has Universal appeal. Bryan says their match will be epic, and that’s damn true. Angle says Raw will have better matches – Yes! The two get into a Yes/No battle as we go ringside.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
As Orton poses in the corner, Rusev attacks Orton out of nowhere from behind, with absolutely no intro. He sends him to the floor, rams him into the ring post. He hits a fallaway slam into the barricade. He rolls Orton into the ring. The referee keeps Rusev off of Orton. Orton struggles to his feet.
The Action: The bell rings finally. Rusev charges him in the corner, and Orton side-steps. He hits an RKO and it’s over.
Winner: Randy Orton
Seriously? That’s it? They had two championship matches on the preshow but managed to find time for this?
Orton poses in the corners as “highlights” play. JBL says if you built a “sports entertainer” from the ground up, it would be the perfect predator, Randy Orton.
Backstage, Sasha Banks is approached by Bayley to a mixed reaction from the crowd. She hugs her and tells her to be safe.
Sasha Banks comes out to the ring in a jacket that’s a cross between an Asian hand-fan and a peacock… the announcers introduce the rest of the international announcers teams. Alexa Bliss’ music hits and she gets a good reaction.
Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss (c) for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
The Action: Full title intros here. THe bell rings and both ladies stare each other down. They lock up, Bliss pushes Backs in the corner. Banks fires back with elbows. They trade furious attacks. Bliss nails Banks off the break. Banks hits a dropkick. Bliss elbows her off the apron. She climbs up to the top and connects a cross-body for two. Sasha kicks out into a cover of her own, worth two.
Bliss yanks on Sasha’s hair off the ropes. She kicks Banks in the corner. Banks fires back with her own kick. Bliss gains control and hits a flurry of fists for two. Headlock time. Bliss covers for two. Banks fights free. Bliss slams her to the mat. She heads up top and chokes Banks from the top rope. She comes off the top with double knees and backflips into another double knee for a two-count.
Bliss continues to wear Banks down. She goes for another cover, Banks kicks out. She slams Banks head-first into the turnbuckle. Off the top turnbuckle, Bliss tries to get the advantage. Sasha takes her down. She hits a running knee, and both ladies are out. Banks fires up with clotheslines and a dropkick. She takes Bliss down for two. Bliss hits a knee and drives Banks face-first into her knee. Two-count.
Bliss goes for a sunset flip sitout powerbomb out of the corner, but Banks, catches her and slings her into the turnbuckle. She hits a pair of running knees for two. She connects with the back stabber and rolls it into a Bank Statement, but Bliss gets to the ropes and immediately rolls out of the ring. Banks follows her. Bliss yanks the apron and trips up Banks, who crashes to the floor.
Back in the ring, Bliss goes on the offense. She sends Banks to the floor, and Banks sells her shoulder. Banks rolls in just before the count-out. Bliss immediately attacks the arm. She goes up top and hits Twisted Bliss. Banks kicks out at two. Bliss picks Banks up, Banks counters and slams her to the mat face-first, then locks in the Bank Statement. Bliss grabs the arm and wrenches it. She rolls a cover for two, Banks goes right back to the submission. She arches her back, and Bliss taps out.
Winner: Sasha Banks to win the Raw Women’s Championship
Well, I didn’t see that coming. That was a very good match from beginning to end. I’m shocked Banks picked up the win, especially considering this match was never supposed to happen. I’m curious to see what happens next with Bliss, and I assume that Banks and Bayley will end up squaring off once Bayley returns.
A video package hypes the next match…
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
The fireflies are out as Bray Wyatt makes his entrance. The music cuts out, and the audience gets immediately hyped for Balor’s entrance. Balor’s music mocks Wyatt’s use of “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” There’s a build of maniacal laughter, then darkness. The heart beat intensifies and the stage is covered in red as Balor crawls out. He rises through the smoke as his music hits. Michael Cole explains the origins of Balor’s name.
The Action: Wyatt immediately bails out of the ring. He comes back in and strikes Balor. Balor no-sells it and goes on the offense. He takes him down and lays in some nasty fists. Wyatt bails out again. Balor attacks outside the ring. He rolls Wyatt back in. Wyatt teases a crab walk out of the corner. Balor is unphased. He kicks Wyatt in the back and hits a low dropkick.
Wyatt rolls out again. Balor dives out of the ring onto him at ringside. He returns to the ring. Wyatt baits him to the ropes and nails him, then suplexes Balor through the ropes to the floor. Back in the ring, Wyatt corners Balor, who fights free. Wyatt sets him up on the turnbuckles and hits a shoulder breaker off the top rope. Two-count. He locks a chokehold. He sends Balor into the corner and teases Sister Abigail. Finn breaks free.
Balor catches him with a kick out of the corner, and moves into a Pele kick. He hits a set of forearms and tosses Wyatt to the floor again. He hits a dropkick through the ropes, and then runs off the apron with a soccer kick on the apron. He sets Wyatt up once more, hitting a stomp to the back of the neck onto the floor. He rolls Bray in and heads up top, leaps off, and Bray immediately goes for Sister Abigail, but Balor hits a Sling Blade instead.
Wyatt hits a mid-ring STO of sorts and makes a cover for two. He drags Balor into the corner and heads up to the second rope. Balor catches him with a kick and drops him with an elbow for two. Both men outside, Balor hits a running dropkick into the barricade. He rolls Wyatt into the ring, but eats a clothesline mid-ring for two. Wyatt writhes into a crab walk. Balor kicks up to his feet, unphased. Wyatt is shocked. Sling blade and a running dropkick into the corner. Balor goes up top and hits the Coup de Grace from the top rope for the win.
Winner: Finn Balor
That was the expected finish. It’s disappointing that Wyatt loses yet again, but there was just no way Balor was going to lose this one. Not with the demon.
A video package plays hyping up the reunited Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose heading into the Raw tag match.
Sheamus & Cesaro (c) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
In case you’re wondering, Ambrose and Rollins came out separately.
The Action: Ambrose and Cesaro kick it off. My feed gets wonky and suddenly Sheamus is in the ring. Dunno how that happened. He takes Ambrose down with a headlock. My connection is dropping parts of the match apparently. Rollins tags in and I miss it. They hit elbows on Sheamus. Sheamus backs Rollins into the corner and tags in Cesaro, who nails him with an uppercut. Rollins flips out of a back body drop and tags Ambrose. Tandem attack and Ambrose is on the offense. Tag and they hit a set of dropkicks on Cesaro, and then send Sheamus to the floor as well. I think Rollins is legal, but I have no idea.
Cesaro and Sheamus regroup outside. Cesaro reenters and squares off as Sheamus lurks. Cesaro takes down Ambrose on the apron and Sheamus Brogue Kicks him. Rollins goes to attack them outside the ring, but they catch Rollins and throw him to the mat.
Back in the ring, Cesaro stalks Rollins. He deadlifts Rollins and tosses him. Tag. Sheamus hits a leaping knee. Tag. Cesaro off the top with an axe handle. He locks in a headlock. Rollins fights out of the corner with a blockbuster. He goes for a tag but Ambrose is still out. Sheamus tags in and hits a running knee. Bodyslam for two. There’s a beach ball getting tossed around in the crowd. Cesaro literally runs into the crowd and rips it up. Amazing! The fans loved it.
He tags in and suplexes Rollins for two. Sheamus works Rollins over, but Cesaro manages to tag in and cut Rollins off of a hot tag. Ambrose is back on the apron now. Rollins tosses Cesaro out of the ring, and Cesaro hits the floor hard, possibily hurting his knee. Sheamus tags in, and they taunt Ambrose, who tries to get in. The fight spills outside and Ambrose leaps off the turnbuckle onto both men. He rolls Rollins into the ring and then runs to the corner, begging for the tag. Sheamus tries to grab Rollins. Rollins kicks him off. Tag to Cesaro, Rollins tags Ambrose.
Ambrose is on fire. He takes down Cesaro, and knocks Sheamus off the apron, leaping onto him at ringside. Cesaro goes for an uppercut, but it’s rolled into a pin attempt. He goes up top. Sheamus runs in, Rollins cuts him off. Both men sent outside, Rollins and Ambrose have the ring. They run the ropes and dive out together. Tag to Rollins, and they double-team Cesaro. He hits a blockbuster for two.
Ambrose leaps off the top and eats an uppercut from Cesaro. I think he’s legal now. It’s been tough to follow. Cesaro sets up the Neutralizer. Ambrose breaks free. They trade blows center-ring. Rebound clothesline from Ambrose takes both men out. Shemus tags in and takes out Rollins on the apron. Ambrose attacks him. Sheamus flips up to the turnbuckles. Ambrose catches him and goes for a superplex. Rollins and Ambrose double-team. Ambrose hits the superplex and Rollins hits a huge frog splash for two. Cesaro with the save.
Sheamus fights through both men. Ambrose tags in and the two corner Sheamus with stomps. They set Sheamus up on the second rope and go for a tandem powerbomb. Cesaro breaks it up and launches Rollins over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus attacks Ambrose and covers for two. Cesaro tags in. He goes up top and hits a cross body, but Ambrose rolls it through for two. He goes for Dirty Deeds, Cesaro counters with a swing into a Sharpshooter. Cesaro drags him back into the middle. Sheamus takes Rollins out at ringside. Ambrose reaches but Cesaro transistions into a Crossface instead, and rolls it back to the middle. Ambrose rolls him back and he breaks it.
Cesaro pushes Ambrose and he rebounds, but Sheamus kicks him on the apron. Tag and they hit an electric chair/clothesline for two. Cesaro and Sheamus hit a cruicifix powerbomb, Rollins breaks it. They stomp the hell out of Rollins and toss him out of the ring again. Cesaro stares down Ambrose, who begs him on. Tag to Sheamus, and both men attack Ambrose. Sheamus goes for White Noise, but Rollins hits a hurricarana, sending Cesaro into Sheamus. The two fire up and hit a series of moves. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on Sheamus and makes the cover for the win.
Winners: Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose to win the Raw Tag Team Championship
That was a frantic and hectic match, and nearly impossible to keep up with. Fun though, and nice to see so much tandem offense from these two teams. That’s the tag wrestling I love, and it’s alive and well on both brands.
We get a hype package for Styles vs. Owens, up next.
Shane McMahon heads out to the ring first, naturally wearing a custom referee shirt. Kevin Owens comes out next, then AJ Styles.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship with Special Guest Referee Shane McMahon
The Action: Styles takes Owens down before the bell even rings. Shane pulls AJ off. Owens takes a cheap shot and Shane is forced to pull him off too. The bell finally rings and the two go at it. They brawl outside. Styles sends Owens into the apron and hits a running knee off the apron. Back in the ring, Owens stomps away at Styles. Styles nails Owens with a dropkick. He hits a back breaker. Owens hits Styles in the throat out of the corner. Styles cuts him off with a right hand to the face.
Out of the corner, Owens takes Styles out with a clothesline. He mounts him with a set of punches. Owens keeps control, grounding Styles. Styles fires back with forearms. Owens hits a cannonball in the corner for two. He hits a senton for two. Styles hits a set of elbows and lifts Owens up, but can’t get anything out of it. Owens covers for two. Chops in the corner from Owens, he stays on Styles. Styles fires back and they throw down. He lifts Owens up again, but winds up with a sitout facebuster instead. Styles goes for the Clash, Owens counters with a back body drop. Styles misses a moonsault DDT, Owens hits a superkick. Styles finally connects with an ushigaroshi for two.
Styles goes up top. Owens pushes Shane into the corner, knocking Styles down. Owens sets Styles up on his shoulders. Styles fights free and rolls through with a powerbomb. Styles goes for a springboard 450. Owens pulls Shane onto him and he hits both men. Styles goes in to check on Shane, but Owens cuts him off and tosses him for a pop-up powerbomb. It’s worth two.
Owens yells at Shane for not counting in time. Shane gets in his face and Owens backs down. He misses a charge at Styles in the corner. Styles rolls him up for a Calf Crusher. Owens grabs the eyes and Styles breaks the hold. Owens kicks Styles into Shane McMahon, and Shane tumbles out of the ring. Styles locks in another Calf Crusher, and Owens taps out in the middle of the ring, but Shane doesn’t see it. AJ gets in Shane’s face when Shane finally makes it into the ring. Styles pushes him, Shane pushes back, and Owens rolls Styles up for two.
Styles is launched into the top turnbuckle. He counters Owens with a forearm, and suplexes him into the corner. Styles sets Owens up top. Owens catches him mid-hurricarana, and sets him up for a top rope underhook suplex. Cover for two. The two trade forearms mid-ring. Owens starts to get the better of the exchange, but Styles unleashes a flurry. He misses a Pele kick. Owens hits a superkick. Styles counters a poweromb. He rolls Owens up into a Clash and it connects. He rolls into the cover, Owens kicks out at two.
On the apron, Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm. Owens ducks and hits a pop-up powebomb. Styles has his foot on the ropes and it’s worth two. Owens is furious, he thinks he won. Owens stares Shane down and gets in his face. Shane insists it was two. Owens points and him and they go forehead to forehead. He pushes Shane, Shane pushes back. AJ rolls Owens up for two, hits a Pele kick. He rolls to the apron and sets up for the forearm. It connects. He goes for the Styles Clash and and hits it. It’s good for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles to retain the WWE United States Championship
Wow, this was another awesome match between these two, as expected. Possibly the best in the series, if we’re being honest. I was concerned that Shane could take away from these two in the ring, but he didn’t. He played his part perfectly, and we’ve definitely got a hint that Owens and Shane will get into it going forward while Styles moves on to the next feud.
A video package highlights the rise of both Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura. It’s presented as a true international phenomenon, and plays up Nakamura’s titles overseas.
We go to the arena, and the same violinist that played Nakamura to the ring during NXT Takeover some time ago (I can’t recall his name, sorry) is playing again. Shinsuke makes his way to the ring first. The fans sing along with his music, even after it stops playing.
The Singh Brothers then walk onto the ramp to introduce the “Modern Day Maharaja” Jinder Mahal.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal (c) w/ The Singh Brothers for the WWE Championship
Greg Hamilton makes this match feel like a big deal, and it kind of is. They pipe in the Hindi commentary briefly, and they are all for Jinder.
The Action: The two size each other up. Nakamura goes for a kick early on. Mahal works out of a waist lock. Nakamura rolls it into a headlock. The announcers talk about Nakamura winning the NXT Championship 1 year ago to the day, in that very building. Mahal pushes Naamura off of him near the ropes. My feed freezes, again. Restart. When it comes back, Nakamura is gyrating on Mahal in the corner. Mahal bails out of the ring to recover. Nakamura follows him with knees and strikes near the barricade. The Singh Brothers look on, just out of range, but it’s enough of a distraction as Mahal sends Nak into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Mahal stomps away at Nakamura. He maintains control with a series of strikes and elbows. Nakamura tries to fire up, but Mahal keeps him grounded. Nakamura recovers and hits a knee strike and an enzuigiri. Both are slow to their feet. Nakamura recovers first and hits a series of roundhouses to the chest. He whips Mahal into the corner and connects with a running knee. He sets him up across the ropes and hits another running knee.
Nakamura goes for an exploder. Mahal counters and goes for a powerbomb, but Nakamura rolls it into a triangle choke. Mahal breaks it on the ropes. More knees and a front suplex from Nakamura. He sets up for the Kinshasa, but Mahal dodges and rolls him up for two. He hangs Nak up on the ropes and hits a knee for two.
Mahal misses a shoulder block in the corner and hits the post. Nakamura nails him in the back of the head with a running knee. He moves Mahal to the center, but Samir Singh hops onto the apron. Nakamura tosses him, then nails Sunil with a series of strikes. He takes both men out. Mahal sneaks in and hits the Khallas from behind and gets the win.
Winner: Jinder Mahal to retain the WWE Championship
That was a disappointing finish, but it was a dirty one, so it’ll give Nakamura a chance to get a rematch at the very least. Still, I feel this was the right stage to go with Nakamura picking up the win, but perhaps they’re saving it for further down the line? I don’t know, and I don’t understand.
A video package hypes up the next match, our main event.
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Championship
Braun Strowman (cheers) comes out first, followed by Samoa Joe (huge Joe chants from the crowd), Roman Reigns (massive boos), and Brock Lesnar (cheers). Jojo handles the introductions, until Brock Lesnar anyhow. Heyman handles those details.
The Action: The four pair off, Joe vs. Lesnar, Reigns vs. Strowman. Lensar tosses Joe with a suplex as Reigns and Stroman brawl outside. Reigns sends Strowman into the ring post, and Reigns steps up to Lesnar. Lesnar suplexes Reigns, then Joe again. And then, Braun Strowman steps in, and Lesnar’s face changes. Before they can touch, Joe and Reigns jump in. Strowman takes out Joe, Lesnar takes out Reigns, and it’s down to two again. Strowman hits a splash on Lesnar in the corner, then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Reigns comes in and hits a clothesline of his own, but Strowman pushes him off. He misses a shoulder in the corner.
Outside the ring, Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch on Lesnar. Reigns goes for a spear and Joe pushes Lesnar into him. Reigns spears Lesnar right through the barricade! Joe slams Reigns onto the table, but it doesn’t break. Strowman plows into Joe knocking him over the same announcer’s table. He tears apart one of the tables at ringside. Lesnar tries to attack Strowman with part of the wall. Strowman picks Lesnar up and hits a running powerslam through the announcer’s table.
Strowman rolls Joe into the ring, Reigns cuts him off. Joe runs the ropes and dives onto Reigns at ringside. Out of nowhere, Strowman launches an announcer’s chair into Joe and Reigns. He tears apart a second announcer’s desk and goes after Lesnar again, powerslamming him through a second table. Holy crap this is insane.
Strowman picks up the third announcer’s table and literally flips it up and over on top of Lesnar. Half a dozen referees and at least three agents come out to get the table off of Lesnar. Heyman essentially cries at ringside as they check on Lesnar. They prep a stretcher. Heyman cries “Nooo!” The fans sing “Na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye” as Lesnar is stretchered out. Strowman looks on, smiling as Lesnar is removed from ringside through the crowd.
Strowman picks up the steps at ringside. He nails Joe in the face, then Reigns, then Joe again. He throws the steps into the ring. He stares down Reigns and rolls him into the ring. Reigns kicks the ropes into the crotch. He goes on the offense with clotheslines. Reigns grabs the steps and hits Strowman with them repeatedly. The third shot sends Strowman to the floor. He tosses the steps at Strowman as Joe rolls in and gets a two-count. He hits an atomic drop, boot, senton for two. Joe goes for an urinage, Reigns counters and gets a two count.
Reigns goes for a Superman punch. Joe kicks him and locks in a Clutch, but Strowman breaks it up with a double chock slam for two. Strowman is bleeding from his ear. Out of nowhere, Brock Lesnar barrels back down the ramp, officials chasing after him. He takes Strowman down and attacks him, and sends Strowman over the top rope. Reigns eats a German suplex. Joe eats a German suplex. Lesnar gets back up, and Strowman attacks him from behind. Lesnar goes for a German, Strowman fights out. He hits a splash in the corner, Lesnar cinches a kimora. Strowman holds on. Reigns hits a Superman punch on Strowman, Lesnar, then Joe. He sets up a spear on Lesnar. Lesnar kicks out at two.
Reigns hypes up, but out of nowhere, Joe locks in the Clutch. Strowman dropkicks both men, hits a powerslam on Joe and gets a two-count after Lesnar yanked the referee to the floor. On the floor, Reigns hits Lesnar with a Superman punch. In the ring, it’s a Pop-up Superman punch. Two-count, as Strowman pushes Reigns off of him quite literally. Reigns goes for the Spear, eats a foot in the face. Strowman with a powerslam, Lesnar breaks the count.
Lesnar tries for a slam, Strowman counters with his own, but Reigns hits a spear and takes both out. Lesnar picks Reigns for an F5, Reigns gets free. Joe tosses him out of the ring and locks the Coquina Clutch on Lesnar. Lesnar picks him up and hits an F5. Reigns breaks the count. Reigns hits Lesnar with a Superman punch. Make that two. Three. Lesnar is rocked. Reigns charges, Lesnar counters with an F5. He pins Reigns for the surprising three-count.
Winner: Brock Lesnar to retain the WWE Universal Championship
Lesnar struggles to his feet as the show goes off the air, Paul Heyman laughing.
While normally I’d complain they didn’t go with a shakeup here, this match was so brutal and insane and fun that I don’t even mind. They had an opportunity to put the title on someone different, but there were quite a few title changes on this show – five even. It’s not bad to have some stability.
Besides, we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow night.
This was a very, very newsworthy show tonight. There were a lot of changes, and WWE feels like a brand in flux coming out of SummerSlam. Is there going to be a SuperStar Shakeup as well? Hard to say, but it feels like they’re in a better position to do one if they wanted to. And while the Raw tag division gets a pretty serious shakeup with the title change, on Smackdown it’s less effective, as there’s really only two teams anyhow. But for the women, it’s time for something different on Smackdown, and perhaps by getting the Raw title on Banks, they can shuffle Nia Jax into the picture without worrying about her and Alexa Bliss going at it.
I would like to thank everyone that sat in with me this evening for a lengthy – but fun – show. Bill has Raw tomorrow, I’ve got Smackdown, and of course, our audios in between. Thank’s everyone for following. I’ll see you next time!