Raw Tag Team Title match 7.5/10
Nobody did anything wrong in this match, and the right team won(RKBro). Omos even seemed to pull more moves out than usual and seemed less limited. However, the match as a whole seemed very basic. They cut Riddle off Randy and dominated him, and he had a few flashes before tagging Randy in. there was some fighting between Riddle and Omos on the outside before Randy did his moves and hit AJ with a Rko on the second attempt. The match was fine.
Alexa vs. Eva Marie 6.5/10
This match was too gimmicky. I think this match showcased why these two shouldn't have been paired together so early. They both are working out new characters and still haven't found the sweet spot between character and work rate. This match had far too much character work and wasted motion. Even after a whole match, I still didn't see much of Eva. They should have put together a match with more actual wrestling and had one big character spot at the end.
Damien Priest vs. Sheamus 8.6/10
Damien Priest beat Sheamus in a thriller. Sheamus seems incapable of having a bad match at this point. He had the match's highlight when he caught Damien out of the air with a knee to the face. Damien rose to the occasion and showed he was capable of putting on a show. He is a big guy, but he can go off the ropes and has enough flash in the arsenal to avoid being boring. Damien Priest is also very physical, so this was the perfect match for him. He beat Sheamus after taking off his mask and kicking Sheamus in the face before hitting his finisher and winning his first singles title in WWE.
Rey and Dominic vs. The Uso's 8/10
The match is not an all-time epic clash, but it delivered and was a solid showing from both teams. There are many fun spots like Rey diving on the Uso's under the rope, Dominik coming off the apron, and the Uso's double super kicking Rey and hitting their finisher. Heavy references to Eddie Guerrero with both teams hitting the three amigos and attempting frog splash. In the end, The Uso's retained the tag team championships.
Bianca vs. Becky -1/10
This match was terrible. I like Becky and Bianca, and I was excited for Becky's return. However, Becky's return was so bad that it made me dislike something I was looking forward to and took me out of the entire SummerSlam show. First, they announced that Sasha wasn't competing, which they already knew but decided not to tell us. Then brought out Carmella, who Bianca has beat multiple times, killing the crowd( no offense to Carmella, who I like). Then Becky comes out and beats up Carmella making her look like a joke challenges the champion and beats her in two moves.
It was awful. It made everyone involved look bad. Becky acted like a heel beating up Bianca as she went for and handshake when she should be a beloved face returning. She also made Espy winning history-making women's champion Bianca Bel-air look incredibly weak, and for what? Who did this help?
How are we even supposed to be interested in the rematch when we know Becky is so much better than Bianca in Kayfabe? WWE had several other options like bring another woman like Asuka or Toni Storm or have a fatal four-way where Becky pinned someone else. The similarity between this and the first African Born WWE champion Kofi getting squashed to benefit a white champion for Fox looks pretty odd, to say the least. WWE just buried one of their only homegrown rising babyface stars, and for what? This match receives a negative rating because it hurt everyone involved and hurt my enjoyment of the overall show.
Jinder vs. Drew 6.1/10
The match was fine. It was inoffensive. However, there was just no way to care about this match. Drew dominated Jinder for weeks in the lead-up to this. Then in the match, Drew just beat him in a simple match. He didn't do anything spectacular as he promised to make this moment. This match should have been on the preshow. The wrestlers didn't do anything poorly. They were just set up to fail and did what they were supposed to.
Nikki Ash vs. Rhea vs. Charlotte 8/10
I was looking forward to this match, and for the most part, it delivered. It didn't tell a specific story, but everyone got their stuff in and had moments. Rhea suplexed Charlotte and Nikki at the same time. Charlotte had a cool half suplex half DDT on Rhea and Ash. Nikki had many cool spots. My favorite was when she reversed the Riptide into a crossbody pin. The match was fast-paced throughout and delivered some entertaining moments.
However, the finish was very disappointing. Lol, Charlotte wins again. This result was particularly damaging because Rhea has never pinned on submitted Charlotte for her to lose again sucked. This was obviously even worse for Ash, who Charlotte said wasn't worth her time. Charlotte made fun of people for even liking Nikki Ash, and even when the match started, she told Nikki to get out of the thing like she didn't belong there. Like she was a dog that needed to go outside. WWE has validated Charlotte's side and buried Nikki by pulling the title off her after barely a month and having her literally submit to Charlotte in the middle of the ring. Another rising star falls to Charlotte.
Edge vs. Seth 8.7/10
I still think this match needed a stipulation. However, Edge and Seth went out and killed it and did their best to deliver on the promises of their promos. Seth was clearly attacking Edges neck, trying to get that curb stomp and end Edges career. Edge pulled out many of his old moves we hadn't seen in a while and was more vicious in his attack. They had good fluid sequences and creative counters like Seth reversing the spear into a pedigree. In the end, Edge locked in the cross face and bashed Seth's head into the mat before locking it in again and making Seth tap out.
Golberg vs. Bobby 0/10
Mvp hit Golberg with a cane giving Golberg an excuse for why Bobby proceeded to beat him up. This was a cheap way to protect Golberg when WWE should have been focused on building up Bobby. The match was called off, and Golberg's kid jumped in, and Bobby Lashley beat him up. This would have been cool if it happened weeks ago during Raw. Now it just ensures that Bobby will continue a feud people aren't very interested in. Also, even at the end, Bobby and Mvp ran away a little bit like they made a mistake by hurting Golbergs, son and they didn't want to suffer the consequences. However, that doesn't make sense because they could have ended Golberg's career right there if they wanted.
John Cena vs. Roman 9.2/10
This match delivered on everything it promised. It was a clash of titans—two of WWE's biggest stars done right. Roman had trouble dealing with Cena, and John just flat out could not put Roman away. Fu Roman kicks out. Fu, through the, announce table Roman kicks out. Super Fu off the second rope Roman still kicks out. It was amazing. Roman finally finished John with a thunderous Spear and had significant moments of domination, like superman punching Cena out of the air during a shoulder block. Roman was the correct winner in this match. When he finally loses, it should be clean to a young star like Riddle.
After the match, Brock Lesnar returned, and it's clear he is gunning for Roman. I was surprised to see Brock back. It was a real surprise for me and many other fans. It's nice to see him back in WWE not so interested in him and Roman for the 300th time, but it is what it is. Hopefully, WWE can resist temptation one more time.
Reverse Hipster Final Thoughts
The show started well but took a tremendous negative momentum swing with Becky's return and most of the matches afterward. Cm Punk Return is still the most significant thing to happen this weekend. It's crazy that WWE brought back Brood Edge and Becky and Brock all to deal with one Punk return on free tv. Also, I feel like the returns WWE made didn't compare. Punk soaked in the crowd appreciation and made a good promo and set up a fantastic match to look forward to. It was simple yet super effective. WWE buried Bianca gave Becky the title in one night, and when we should have been acknowledging Roman, we focused on Brock's return. This Summerslam could have been great if WWE hadn't overthought it and missed the mark.
Final Grade 61.6/100 D
MOTN= Cena vs. Roman
AJ Styles and Omos vs. RKBro (Raw Tag Team Championship)
This was a great choice to kick off the night. It was a hot feud without giving away too big of a match to start the night. This was the best we could ask for out of two non-team tag teams. AJ Styles and Omos had a pretty bland reign, but they have brought it in PPV matches. RKBro has been the hottest thing on Raw, in my opinion, so I love that they got the titles. It gives them longer to build a story, and it will mean even more when inevitably, Randy Orton turns on Riddle and starts their feud.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie
I thought this feud had potential early on, but by this point, I did not think it warranted a spot on the main card of this PPV. Alexa Bliss won, which is the correct result, but I didn’t buy into the story of this match or this feud. I like the use of Eva Marie to put over other talents, and I like the attempt to have a women’s rivalry independent of the championships. It just didn’t work here.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Sheamus vs. Damian Priest (United States Championship)
This was one of the stronger matches of the night between two of the best workers every week. I would have liked to see Sheamus’s reign go a little longer. He was white-hot with every match he had at one point this year. Still, the story makes sense, and it is Damian Priest’s time to shine. The championship already seems to be opening new avenues for his character and feuds from here.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
The Usos vs. the Mysterios (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
By this point in the night, the undercard matches were starting to blend together. Even with these two great teams, the action between them was sort of overexposed at this point. We’ve seen some combination of an Uso and a Mysterio in-ring at least five times by now. The result was that the teams had really good chemistry, but I kind of didn’t care about the result since they’ve already faced off for the championship once, and the Usos won again.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (substitute: Carmella, substitute: Becky Lynch) (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
In the infamous words of Pete Dunne via Twitter, “Not the way.” There was a right way to end Bianca Belair’s reign, a right way to keep Sasha Banks out of the championship, and a right way to return Becky Lynch. This was none of those. It was so exciting to see Lynch return, but the manner she returned was convoluted. She kicked out Carmella, who would have been the most boring possible replacement for Banks after Belair squashed her on SmackDown. They have also faced off so many times nobody would care even if the match was competitive. I really wanted to see Banks vs. Belair 2. Their first match could be in the conversation for the best women’s match ever, and this was their chance to build on the story. With Banks not even appearing, it was a non-event.
Most importantly, after being built by squashing two potential stars in the SmackDown women’s division, Belair was functionally squashed by Lynch. Belair looked stupid for taking the match on short notice, and it was unfair of management to put her in that place, to begin with. She looked terrible in her loss, and the commentators added on top of it by saying she was crying over the loss. Lynch is a mega-star, but this was not the way to return her. Belair is one of the most over women on SmackDown, and Lynch will get unintentional heat from this move. Horrible booking all around.
Final Grade: 3/10 Bad (only higher because of Lynch’s return)
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
This is another feud that had potential but didn’t feel like it should be on the card by the time the bell rang. There was no reason to believe Jinder Mahal could beat Drew McIntyre, and it showed. The way McIntyre has been booked as a superhuman means he gained nothing from this too. A waste of our time, truly.
Final Grade: 3/10 Bad
Nikki ASH vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
Nikki ASH said that her gimmick change was a hail mary to save her career, and I feel like everything paid off about it here. The dynamic of this match worked awesomely. Nikki is the underdog that inserted herself in a feud between two titans of the women’s division, and she went in as champion! It made the in-ring work make sense. The flow of this match was awesome, with perfectly-paced high spots and action between all of the women advancing the story. The result was horrible. Charlotte Flair returned to being champion, which feels like an excuse just to add another reign to her resume. Among all of this, it feels like the Women’s Money in the Bank and Nikki’s chance to be the main event woman was wasted. Ripley’s direction from here is unclear too. If this were the plan all along, I would have preferred Flair stay champion, and Nikki holds the briefcase until she could get over more and hold the championship for longer. I usually can’t separate the match and the result, but for this match, I have to.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good (match), 3/10 Bad (result)
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
In-ring, this was the best match of the night. Frankly, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have if the taste in my mouth wasn’t sour from the matches before. Edge’s brood entrance to modern entrance was awesome. It actually made me want to see multiple stages of entrances for both men (imagine Seth Rollins’s Shield to Architect to Messiah entrance). Edge is one of the best in the world at composing a WWE-style match, and Rollins is too good in-ring to bring the quality down at all. The story of this match was the story of the feud, and because the feud was so good, everything else followed: targeting the neck, high spots, both of their moves throughout the years, and more. I don’t think Edge winning was the correct result, but I think Rollins will be fine because he is too good in-ring to deny. Honestly, Edge needs to get some wins to have validity when he puts younger guys over. Both Edge and Rollins need another world championship reign after this effort. This was just short of being excellent for me.
Final Grade: 7.5/10 Good-Great
Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg (WWE Championship)
The theme of tonight was the story of matches living up to their feuds. For this match, that was not a great thing. I didn’t completely buy into the story of Goldberg being a family man or that Lashley needed to end Goldberg’s career to prove a point. Goldberg has been booked so strong in recent years, Lashley frankly just needed to win. Instead, the injury non-finish was disappointing. The action before that wasn’t super entertaining either. Yes, Lashley got the win, but it doesn’t put him over the same way a pin or submission would. I didn’t care at all for Lashley accidentally, maybe not accidentally attacking Goldberg’s son, but it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (Universal Championship)
I don’t quite know how to rate this match. I thought it was a good match. It didn’t live up to the feud, but the rivalry was excellent. It earned its main event spot, but the crowd was kind of tired to this point. They did the pro thing, and they slowed it down, slowly built it back up, and got the match to a crazy pace with high spots at the end. It shows that these are two of the best to ever do it at this level. I was a little upset with the result, but it was the right way to go. I feel like they gave it away on SmackDown when Reigns said he would leave WWE if he loses, so maybe that’s why it feels like this didn’t reach the level it should. At the end of the show, Brock Lesnar returned, which kind of feels like when Sheen brought Ultra Lord to show and tell for the seventh week in a row. Like, yeah, that’s still Brock Lesnar, and he looks GREAT, but do you really want to see him and Roman Reigns again? That was the marquee match in 2015. It also felt disrespectful to John Cena to end his quest for a record 17th championship reign by having Lesnar’s return overshadow his. I think WWE tried to show all their cards here, but it still wasn’t enough to retaliate to AEW signing someone who has not been in a ring in 7 years.
Final Grade: 6.5/10 Above Average-Good
Like I said before, this was a show defined by stories of matches living up to the stories of feuds. For some rivalries, that means the matches really paid off. For most feuds, lazy WWE creative meant the matches left a lot to be desired. As a result, most of the show was below average, and I usually don’t say that for WWE PPVs. WWE played three of their most oversized cards (Lynch, Cena, Lesnar), but it still wasn’t enough to be the biggest party this summer. The best you could say about this show is you didn’t see it coming.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
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