20th Aug2018

‘WWE Summerslam 2018’ Review

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to the Summerslam 2018 review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have loaded card to discuss.

Match #1: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega def. Rusev & Lana

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Turns out the dark clouds that engulfed the Brooklyn skyline all day were an omen for a somber Rusev Day, as The Super Athlete & Lana were bested by Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega in Mixed Tag Team action on SummerSlam Kickoff. After telling Aiden English to remain behind due to his repeated failed attempts to help Rusev Day in recent weeks, The Bulgarian Brute & The Ravishing Russian started strong, as Rusev overpowered Almas. However, Vega — as she’s known to do — distracted The Super Athlete, which allowed Andrade to get the jump on his opponent and begin to wear down his arm. Rusev neutralized Almas and made the clutch tag to The Ravishing Russian, who unleashed an offensive onslaught on Zelina that put her on the verge of victory. However, emotion overcame Lana, and she took her attention off Vega to slap Almas right across the face. That short-term satisfaction proved costly, as Vega snuck behind Lana and rolled her up. Unbeknownst to the official, Zelina then put her feet on the ropes for extra leverage and scored the three-count for her and Andrade.

My Take: This was a basic match that felt like a huge demotion for Rusev, when compared to his WWE World Title match with AJ Styles at the last PPV. The action was good enough for its length of time, but Almas and Rusev deserve so much better from the largest wrestling league in the world.

Match #2: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The Age of Alexander continued at SummerSlam, as WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak, thwarting Gulak’s plan for “a better WWE 205 Live.” Alexander kept Gulak on the defensive from the opening bell, using impressive technical ability, which led Gulak to change up his game plan and fight ugly. Although Alexander avoided Gulak’s signature Gulock, the challenger continued to brutalize the champion, knocking him to the arena floor and unleashing offensive strikes designed to maximize pain. From there, the self-proclaimed “best submission specialist in WWE” methodically applied pressure to Alexander’s neck and back.

Utilizing a unique and innovative version of the Gory Special, Gulak nearly forced The Soul of WWE 205 Live to submit. However, the resilient champion reversed the hold, nailed some key strikes and scored with a huge dive to the outside that flattened a retreating Gulak. Alexander fumbled the momentum after a high-risk leap off the top rope didn’t pay off, which allowed Gulak to apply his patented Gulock on the ropes. Following a near-fall, Gulak again went for the hold, but Alexander fought his way out of it. The two competitors once again engaged in a tense back and forth with Alexander nailing a Spanish Fly that led to a series of near-falls. The rivals continued to exchange pinfall attempts in the middle of the ring, but the champion won out, applying the right angle and pressure to keep Gulak’s shoulders on the mat for the three-count.

My Take: This was a strong match, considering the limited amount of time they had to work in.

Match #3: Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team def. The Revival (SummerSlam Kickoff Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel continued their Cinderella story at SummerSlam Kickoff when The B-Team defeated one of WWE’s toughest tandems in The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson took control of the bout in the early moments after targeting the left leg of Dallas and neutralizing Axel with a Shatter Machine. The onslaught continued as The Revival continued to pulverize Dallas’ leg while Axel struggled to recover on the outside. Bo, however, remained resilient in the face of adversity and eventually countered a hold from Wilder that allowed him to finally tag in Axel. Axel came in to the bout on fire before ending up on the wrong end of a small package from Dawson. However, Dallas, who was focused on Wilder outside the ring, stumbled back into the two, reversing the pinfall attempt and putting Axel on top for the three-count to ensure they held onto the Raw Tag Team Titles. Some may see their win in Brooklyn as pure luck, but The B-Team remain the duo to beat in Raw’s tag team division.

My Take: The fluke thing sucks, but the match was solid.

Match #4: Seth Rollins def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

At SummerSlam, The Kingslayer is poised to knock Dolph Ziggler off his throne in a highly-anticipated Intercontinental Championship rematch, and his returning Shield brother-in-arms Dean Ambrose will be standing in his corner while attempting to neutralize the meddling Drew McIntyre. Ziggler took down Rollins to lay claim to the Intercontinental Title for the sixth time on the June 17 edition of Raw, thanks to an assist by McIntyre. Although Rollins technically got even by defeating Ziggler in the championship rematch the following week, The Scottish Terminator’s interference caused a disqualification and once again kept the gold around The Showoff’s waist.

This led to WWE Extreme Rules, where the resilient competitors left everything on the canvas and battled it out to a 4-4 draw in a classic 30-Minute WWE Iron Man showdown, though Ziggler emerged victorious in sudden death overtime once again thanks to McIntyre’s continued interference. With such controversy, it is no wonder that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced the rematch for the workhorse title at The Biggest Event of the Summer, but will The Architect overcome The Showoff and his imposing friend to finally recapture the illustrious gold now that The Lunatic Fringe has reemerged to counter Ziggler’s sinister second?

My Take: Rollins won the title in a strong match. They worked hard and got the crowd on their side by the end. Both guys looked great here.

Match #5: The New Day def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers by Disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The New Day may have technically scored the win at SummerSlam, but there will be no celebrating tonight. After a brutal mallet assault from SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers, Big E & Xavier Woods were declared the victors by disqualification, leaving Barclays Center with bruises, but no titles. The match started off positively for The New Day, as Big E & Woods countered the vicious onslaught from the reigning titleholders. The challengers put it all on the line with Woods going as far as leaping off the top turnbuckle and delivering a flying elbow onto Harper on the ringside floor. Yet, just when it looked as though Harper was about to be defeated, Rowan assaulted The New Day with his massive mallet on the apron. Harper soon joined his partner in a frightening attack continued long after the referee called for the bell. The New Day may be due for a rematch after the controversial outcome to this championship showdown, but will they want to face the wrath of The Bludgeon Brothers again?

My Take: This was a good match had a lousy finish. There was nothing of note other than that these two teams worked well together.

Match #6: Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens to retain his Money in the Bank contract

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Kevin Owens thought he had the upper hand heading into SummerSlam, as he could claim Braun Strowman’s Money in the Bank contract with a win by pinfall, submission, count-out or disqualification. However, KO could not plan against one thing – the unbridled fury of The Monster Among Men, as Strowman dismantled Owens in short order to hang onto the contract. KO tried to evade Strowman, but there was no escaping the monster, who chased Owens down at ringside and turned him inside out with a series of steamrolling shoulder blocks. Owens rolled back out of the ring, again trying to escape, but Strowman caught him. This time, The Monster Among Men grabbed Owens and slammed him into the steel entrance ramp so hard that KO bounced into the air off the unforgiving surface. Strowman took Owens back into the ring and drove him into the canvas with a thunderous powerslam for the three-count that ensured he remained Mr. Monster in the Bank. If Strowman was able to bulldoze his way to victory over a former Universal Champion like Owens, there’s no telling what he’ll do when he decides to cash in the Money in the Bank contract and go for the title.

My Take: Braun won and squashed Owens in the process. I would have liked to have had an actual match, but at least it was a conclusive finish.

Match #7: Charlotte Flair def. Carmella and Becky Lynch to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Charlotte Flair won her record-tying seventh Women’s Championship at SummerSlam, defeating Carmella and Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat Match for the SmackDown Women’s Title. Charlotte’s victory was overshadowed by the Irish Lass Kicking that followed it, however. Tensions between best friends Charlotte and Becky were apparent from the get-go, as Carmella strategically incited her challengers to duke it out with each other while she picked her spots. Carmella got the jump on both The Irish Lass Kicker and The Queen, constantly keeping one equalized on the outside while she punished the other in the ring. Charlotte and Becky finally made it into the ring at the same time, and a true Triple Threat Match emerged. Bodies were flying as Carmella took out Becky with a suicide dive through the bottom rope, which was followed by Charlotte nailing both Superstars with a GIF-worthy Corkscrew Moonsault. After a series of near-falls and close calls, the match’s pivotal moment came when Lynch had Princess Mella locked in the Dis-arm-her, but Flair dashed in from the outside and blasted her best friend with Natural Selection for the win.

Becky had again come up short in a championship match, and she was visibly upset. Then, after sharing a hug with Charlotte in the center of the ring, she snapped. Lynch slapped her supposed friend right across the face and continued to unleash her frightening rage. Becky came close to seriously injuring Charlotte by recklessly tossing her over the announcer’s table, then walked away, leaving carnage behind her.

My Take: This match had Flair win and Lynch turn. It would appear the idea was for Lynch to turn heel, but the crowd was on her side the whole way through and hated Flair, so the booking for their feud may have already been done for Vince before he can really get started. Carmella worked hard here, but it was time to take the belt off of her, as people simply don’t have an interest in her right now.

Match #8: Samoa Joe def. WWE Champion AJ Styles by disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Samoa Joe targeted AJ Styles’ family in the weeks leading up to their WWE Championship Match at SummerSlam, and he kept on doing it even when the bout was underway. After insulting AJ’s wife, who was sitting near ringside, Joe finally paid the price, as Styles unleashed a rage-fueled steel chair attack on the challenger that cost him the match, but not his title. The mind games started before the bell even rang, when Joe grabbed the microphone from the ring announcer and pointed out The Phenomenal One’s wife and daughter in the crowd, then promised them “Daddy’s coming home.” Styles retorted that they were here to watch him make The Samoan Submission Machine pay. Joe looked to have the upper hand early on, as he used the size disparity to his advantage, overpowering the champion and hurling Styles around the ring with ease. The punishment continued at ringside, where Styles hoped to catch a brief breather, only for Joe to come flying through the ropes, sending the champion into the announce table. The WWE Champion battled back, diving onto Joe at ringside, then cutting off another flying attempt from the heavy hitter with a kick to the head. Styles threw everything he had at Samoa Joe while looking over at his wife and daughter to tell them he was OK.

The two men continued to wage war, eventually collapsing to the mat in exhaustion. Styles locked on the Calf Crusher, only for Joe to reverse it into the Coquina Clutch. The WWE Champion escaped as the battle wore on, going back to the arena floor, where Joe recklessly threw Styles into the steel ring stairs. The Samoan Submission Machine then took the microphone once again, stood up on the German announce table and taunted Styles’ family. At that point, Styles had enough. The WWE Champion went into a rage, charging at Joe and tackling him, sending the two crashing through the ringside barricade. Styles continued to unleash his fury on his challenger, mangling a steel chair over Samoa Joe’s back. The WWE Champion eventually calmed down after checking on his wife and daughter, and then walking them out of the sold-out Barclays Center. However, there was no calming Joe, who left the arena in a rage. Joe may have had Styles where he wanted him heading into SummerSlam, but he did not seem to plan for the fury he awoke in The Phenomenal One.

My Take: This was the best match of the show, even with the bad finish. The whole “family” story sucks and almost ruined the match, but since AJ and Joe are too smart to let that happen, the match survived. The one benefit of the family angle is that when AJ walked away with his family after the match, the crowd was with him and against Joe, which is the only way for angle to work.

Match #9: The Miz def. Daniel Bryan

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Daniel Bryan spent the better part of the past eight years wanting to punch The Miz in the face, but Bryan got served a harsh reality check at SummerSlam when The A-Lister connected with the deciding knockout punch in their intensely personal battle. With The Miz’s wife Maryse and daughter Monroe Sky watching from ringside, The Awesome One was all confidence as he took advantage of his first opportunity to slug Bryan right in the mouth. From there, a raucous fight broke out, with Bryan throwing haymakers that looked reminiscent of Brooklyn-native and WWE Hall of Famer Mike Tyson in his prime. Miz would not back down in the face of The “Yes!” Man’s onslaught, however, and he used Bryan’s own signature holds (such as the “Yes!” Kicks and the Surf Board) against him. That strategy did not always prove effective for Miz, as Bryan showed he can dish it out and take it… and then dish it out some more.

Bryan eventually snapped on The A-Lister, eating Miz’s “It” Kicks before slapping the soul out of his rival. Miz stopped Bryan’s Running Knee attempt, catching his foe with The Skull-Crushing Finale, but Bryan refused to stay down. Miz dodged a kick from Bryan, which caused D-Bry’s leg to connect hard against the ring post. The Miz followed Bryan’s unfortunate mishap with a Figure-Four Leglock, but Bryan powered through again and reversed the pressure. With both Superstars now thoroughly battered, Miz found himself being pummeled right in front of Maryse and his baby daughter. However, unbeknownst to Bryan, that attack proved costly. While at ringside, Maryse slipped something into Miz’s hand. When The Awesome One connected with a punch, Bryan was knocked out cold, which allowed Miz to get the three-count, thanks in large part to The Miz’s Mrs.

My Take: I get what they were trying to do here, but it didn’t work. The wrestling was good and the crowd was into it, but having The Miz win just sucked all of the life out of the room, even though Miz did have his usual supporters in the crowd. Imagine going to the Mission Impossible: Fallout and watching the villain kill Ethan Hunt and destroying the world, which would be audacious and bold, but not what the public is paying for. I get wanting to start a long feud between Bryan and Miz, but having Bryan look like a fool to do it is always too risky. If they had done this match at Extreme Rules, I’d be all for it, but since Summerslam is meant to be the culmination of the biggest and best, having Bryan lose just feels like you’re going out with a whimper, rather than a bang.

Match #10: “The Demon” Finn Balor def. “Constable” Baron Corbin

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Baron Corbin continued to poke fun at Finn Bálor’s height before their rubber match at SummerSlam, assuming he could overpower his rival for a second time. However, The Constable was not prepared for the otherworldly rage of The Demon, who made short work of Corbin at The Biggest Event of The Summer. A dark cloud loomed over Barclays Center, heralding the arrival of Bálor’s alter ego. Corbin attempted to beg out of the battle, saying that he had not agreed to face The Demon. Bálor was not going to hear any of that, as he launched Corbin into the corner with a dropkick, following up with a Sling Blade and a daredevil dive onto Corbin on the arena floor. The Demon’s dominance continued as he pummeled Corbin around the ringside area before tossing him back into the ring, eventually crushing The Constable with a devastating Coup de Grace to earn the victory. Constable Corbin chose to target Finn Bálor because of his size, but he learned a hard lesson in why that was not the wisest decision. After all, you never know what demons are lurking within.

My Take: They saved this match by having Finn work as the Demon. This was a short fight with the right finish.

Match #11: United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jeff Hardy

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Jeff Hardy threw caution to the wind in his fight against United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam, but that fearless mentality led to The Charismatic Enigma’s demise. The King of Strong Style capitalized on a failed high-risk maneuver from Hardy to retain the red, white and blue crown. The two rivals wasted no time getting into it, exchanging strikes and taunts in equal measure. Hardy evaded one of Nakamura’s signature low blows and went on an offensive barrage that saw him connect with two Twist of Fates. Ever the risktaker, Hardy attempted the Swanton Bomb on Nakamura, who was laying prone on the edge of the ring apron. Nakamura evaded the dive, causing Jeff to splat right onto the hardest part of the ring. From there, it was academic: Nakamura took advantage of Hardy’s mistake, finishing The Charismatic Enigma off with the Kinshasa for the win. Moments after his victory, Randy Orton arrived, seemingly salivating at the prospect of getting to inflict more pain onto the defenseless Hardy. Then, in a perplexing move, The Viper opted to just turn around and walk away, leaving the WWE Universe to speculate on his intentions.

My Take: This was a good match that was based around Jeff risking too much to win, only to lose because of his tenacity. It’s a shame they didn’t go with the triple threat with Randy Orton, but maybe the other wrestlers were afraid to touch him after learning where his hands have been.

Match #12: Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss to become Raw Women’s Champion

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

There’s no competitor like Ronda Rousey, and she put that on display at SummerSlam. In one of the most dominating victories in WWE history, The Baddest Woman on The Planet defeated Alexa Bliss to become the Raw Women’s Champion. Bliss did her best to avoid the aggressive Rousey in the opening moments of the match, taking up residence in the ring ropes to stave off what many saw as inevitable. Little Miss Bliss tried to sneak attack Rousey, only to catch a punch to the chest that sent her reeling to the outside. Rousey, seemingly sensing the fear in her opponent, gave Bliss an opportunity to take advantage of the contest, sitting down and turning her back to the champion. Bliss locked on a sleeper hold, which appeared to have no effect on The Baddest Woman on The Planet. Rousey stood right up and dumped Bliss to the canvas before tossing her around with ease, asking the sold-out Barclays Center if they were ready for a new Raw Women’s Champion.

They wouldn’t have to wait much longer, as Rousey grabbed ahold of Bliss’ arm, bending it to where it appeared to come out of its socket. Then, Rousey locked on her patented armbar, leaving Bliss with no choice but to tap out. After her victory, Ronda celebrated with her close friend Natalya and The Bella Twins, who were at ringside in Brooklyn to see Rousey’s big fight. Just four months into her WWE career, Ronda Rousey has become a champion and done it in dominating fashion. After such a victory, the WWE Universe must be wondering if there’s anyone who can take the Raw Women’s Championship from The Baddest Woman on The Planet.

My Take: This was the best way to go. Rousey has the rare potential to progress at a rapid rate and can do more as champion than Bliss can, right now.

Match #13: Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Roman Reigns finally did it. After three years of wars against Brock Lesnar, The Big Dog defeated his greatest rival at SummerSlam to win the Universal Title. It was a long road for Reigns, but before his showdown with Brock could even begin, he was interrupted by Braun Strowman. Mr. Monster in the Bank informed the two opponents that, regardless of who won tonight’s match, Braun would be cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and facing them immediately. With The Monster Among Men now watching from ringside, Reigns quickly landed multiple Superman Punches and Spears on Brock, but Lesnar countered and caught The Big Dog in several Guillotine chokeholds. As the madness continued, The Beast gave Reigns yet another first-class tour of Suplex City.

Reigns managed to cut the tour short, but then found himself in another world of trouble when Lesnar avoided a Spear, which resulted in Reigns diving through the ropes and colliding into Strowman. Brock then dropped Strowman on the outside with an F-5 for good measure. When The Monster Among Men attempted to retaliate, Brock assaulted Strowman with the briefcase (before throwing it halfway across Barclays Center) and a steel chair. Lesnar’s thirst for destruction proved costly though, as he was nailed with a Spear as soon as he returned to the ring. That thundering collision was enough to keep Lesnar down and finally allow The Big Dog to vanquish his greatest rival. Strowman’s threat had been neutralized, which allowed Reigns to celebrate with the Universal Championship. The Big Dog had firmly reclaimed his yard, and The Roman Empire has risen again.

My Take: This was short but sweet, with Reigns finally beating Lesnar. My guess is that Reigns and Lesnar will fight at Wrestlemania in Lesnar’s re-match, possibly in a Hell in a Cell match.

News Of The Night:

  1. Elias had a lark of a concert when he broke his guitar, by accident, and left. The concert was a waste of time.
  2. Bryan is being pushed as a failure during a time when he can still choose to not sign a new contract. Isn’t it a great idea?
  3. Braun and Roman is being teased now, which is a good way to go.
  4. Vince will have to decide if Becky Lynch is a face or a heel, based on the way the crowd cheered for her turning heel on Charlotte Flair.

Final Verdict: 3 out of 5 – This card was too long, but at least the right matches got the right length.


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