SummerSlam 2018

First off, I’ll fully admit that I’ve not watched NXT TakeOver yet. I was away for much of the weekend and haven’t had the time to see it yet. Therefore, all of my SummerSlam reactions have not been tempered by the amazing NXT PPV the night before. Those who watch NXT know that the TakeOver PPVs are usually better than the main roster PPV that happens the next night, but I wanted my reactions to SummerSlam to be fresh and not tainted with the glory that happened the night before. Now, onto the incredibly long show!

 

Oh, Yes It Is!

New Day is crazy! They are so well suited for each other, and while a lot of people think they’ve run their limit, I never heard that said about DX, especially when they were full on comedic. Just saying. I’m still loving them, and this is from someone who really didn’t like them early on. It wasn’t that I hated them because they were heels, I just didn’t think it worked. Only when they turned face did I really get in the groove with them. So much fun, and I think they need to start with singles competition while staying together. nWo carried singles belts while a faction. Same with DX and Evolution, to name a few. I see no reason that they cannot grow as singles and stay together as a faction.

 

Why? Just, Why?

I don’t know anyone who wanted to see JBL return to the WWE in any way, shape, or form. Bringing him back is sending a message that it’s okay to be a bully. It’s okay to treat people as less than human, but still have a job and be on WWE TV whenever you want if you’re rich and friends with McMahon. Disgusting!

 

Heels In White

I was so excited that Zelina would finally be in the ring, and while she did well selling for Lana, I thought she would come out of the corner like she was on fire. Lana actually looked so much better in the ring that she’s ever been! I’m shocked at how good she looked in the ring. Obviously she’s been working with Rusev in a huge way.

I really didn’t like Zelina’s ring gear as it made her look short, and not in a cute way. That being said, she was the consummate heel in the ring, especially when using the ropes for the three. She was truly in character in the ring, and it was great to see them give the women a huge chunk of the match, and the pinfall to end it. It’s a great step in the right direction, but a huge step back in that they put a commercial for the WWE in the middle of the match. How can they be taken seriously when they don’t get the full attention of the WWE Universal, never mind the full attention of the powers that be in the WWE? That sickens me.

 

After Only 4 Months Off PPVs…

Why does the WWE hate their wrestlers so much? The second match on the SummerSlam Kick Off show, and second time they put a commercial in the middle of the match! That’s just so much bunk! Further, this is the first time since Biggest Royal Rumble that we have seen the Cruiserweight Division on a PPV! What a mess!

I was really looking forward to this match, but this isn’t what we were looking for. I expected so much more from these two. I know how great they can be, but this wasn’t their greatest by any stretch of the imagination.

 

The Screwing Of The B Team

I was so tired from the weekend that I fell asleep before this match started and had to go back and watch this after I wrote the rest of this Afterglow. It had nothing to do with the B Team or this match and everything to do with myself over-stretching myself, burning the candle at both ends.

As for the actual match, I was so excited to go back and actually watch it, and they put the whole Ronda/Bliss video package on during the match. Rather than having JBL blathering on about the matches, why not show the video package before or after the match and let the Raw Tag Team Champions show off the zaniness they’re known for. I’m disgusted that they got such treatment! They are Champions, yet their match was almost completely ignored and covered up by a video package in the Kick Off show. Whoever decided that gets a big old zero in my book. On the other hand, B Team and Revival deserve so much more for the work the did in a semi-empty arena, and on a split-screen. Not cool WWE, really not cool!

 

This Is How You Start A PPV!

I know there was a Kick Off, but this starting SummerSlam was brilliant!

I’m thrilled Ziggler didn’t straighten his hair for this match. First off, with all the sweat it would have gone back to curly anyway. Second, he looked so daft last week with his hair the way it was. Not a good look for anyone, of any generation. Then there’s his ring gear. Yes, it was very reminiscent of Rick Rude, but it was done in a very Ziggler way. It’s been over twenty years since Rude was in the ring dressed like that, and that’s why I have little issue with Ziggler playing homage to him with a great looking pair of pants in this match. Personally, I had more issue with Rollins’ ring gear. His pants were made of a material that clearly showed his bum crack sweat, which is never a good look, for anyone!

Now, onto the match, WOW! These two are really great, and always work their bums off (or, Ziggler has more lately since getting McIntyre), but this was a whole new level of work. Rollins was in WrestleMania mode and it was awe inspiring to watch. This is why Rollins has been such a mainstay on Raw since Shield first appeared. What didn’t happen here that I’d hoped would happen was some sort of dissension between Ziggler and McIntyre. McIntyre doesn’t need Ziggler as much as Ziggler needs McIntyre. I was down on McIntyre and his work for years, was always against him, even when he was working 3MB with Slater who I adore, but he’s really grown up and found himself. McIntyre could be a force to be reckoned with, and I want to see him do it, but he can’t as Ziggler’s lackey. I also have no clue what will happen between Rollins and Ambrose, but it was only Ambrose’s second appearance, but I hope they have some solid plans for him going forward.

 

Antlers?

I like it, personally. If nothing else, this match showed what a powerhouse Big E is. Those belly-to-belly suplexes outside on Rowan and Harper were sick! I say that about Big E, but Woods looked sick in there too. He worked his Cruiserweight bum off in there. Woods shouldn’t have had a chance in there, and he made it look realistic. Woods has this Rey Mysterio thing going on that is so unusual for smaller wrestlers. They worked so hard in this match, but there was no way they could go over Bludgeon Brothers clean because they just can’t at this point. I get the DQ at the end, and I hope that they keep Big E off TV for a few weeks selling the handle of the war hammer to the neck, but when he comes back they need to go on an all-out vendetta against the Bludgeon Brothers. Further, it’s well past time that they start pushing Big E further up the ranks. He’s beyond ready, and they don’t need to break up New Day to make it happen, as I’ve said so many times!

 

These Hands

I truly hope that KO just needs some time off to recoup from nagging issues, or something else, because being buried like that for no reason is a horrible thing. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from what these two did in this match, but there was little to it. Fingers crossed that it’s just so KO can take some time off, then come back as a beloved face – until he goes off as a total heel again, because he’s so great at it!

 

Such Love, And Hatred!

So much homage played to Anvil and his lovely daughter Nattie. The pink ring gear by Carmella and Charlotte, with Carmella taking it further with the pink streaks in her hair. It was beautiful to see these women step up and (most likely) have new ring gear made this week for this show. That’s a truly beautiful way to honor a veteran wrestler and their friend in the same color.

Then there was this match, wow! The three of them really worked it out there. There were a few issues in the match, as there usually is when Charlotte hits the moonsault. She’s just not that great at it, and it always looks scary and dangerous. While I don’t like dives out of the ring, Carmella really put all of herself into it and it looked lovely. They did so much for the fans and told an amazing story through the entire match.

Then there was what happened after the match! Holy smokes! I really wonder what they were saying to each other in the ring, and when they were hugging. I’m sure they knew what they were going to do after Becky turned, so their conversation had to be interesting before that moment. Being that they really are very close friends, I’d have loved to been there to hear what they said. Beyond that, Becky’s heel turn was great. No clue if this was the reaction McMahon was expecting, but it was loved by the fans. Those fans turned on Charlotte in a huge way and really fell in love with Becky that much more for turning on her and beating her down. The fight was great, but the fans made it that much better. I have to wonder what Becky was thinking when she was stomping up that ramp looking pissed, but all the fans were chanting for her and sending serious love. I think it shows how different today’s fans are compared to the Monday Night War. Sometimes being smarks is a good thing, sometimes it’s not. I’m not sure where I land on that at the end of this match, though I wonder if the fans might have reacted similarly back then if there was such a beloved female wrestler at that point.

 

Daddy, You’re Bleeding. I’m Sorry.

Joe talking to Wendy in the audience was one of those moments that almost crosses that line, but as they’ve done so little of it recently, I’m going to hold off passing judgment until I see where they go with it after this PPV. Though I have to say the most poignant moment in this match was the moment between Annie and AJ, when they said what I used as the title of this match. She was scared, and not old enough to get what she just watched happen. So while I’m not thrilled, a lot of littles grow up watching their parents in the ring and have survived. Honestly, she’s young enough that I doubt she will remember it, though she might have some issues in the coming weeks.

This is something most of us never thought we’d see – AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship Match at SummerSlam, WWE’s #2 PPV. Of course they left it all out there, because that’s what these two do, no matter if they’re in front of 50 people or 50,000, they are there to entertain, and they do it so well. Their chemistry is sick, and I could watch them feud through WrestleMania and enjoy every bit of it – if it’s decently booked. There is so much for these two to do together, and it will be a joy to watch, just as this match was the continued joy of what they built in TNA. Lastly, I loved the ‘TNA’ chants as it was a way the fans acknowledge where their working relationship started and how much they have already done, how much of themselves they’ve already given to the fans. I cannot wait for the next installment of their story.

 

Walk With Elias!

What a great segment from Elias, but as was asked in the Wrestle Royalty Dignified Discussion, does Elias wrestle any more? Either way, the man is total gold and downright amazing. Who else could break a guitar and have the fans in the palm of his hands?

 

Miz & Mrs. Knucks

I was really impressed with the work in this match, though it didn’t steal the show the way I thought it would. Rollins vs Ziggler and AJ vs Joe were just as inspired as this match, though this match had something Rollins vs Ziggler didn’t, a huge history. Obviously AJ and Joe have a longer history than Miz and Bryan, but the fact that this feud has been building for so long with almost no connectivity made this into something very different.

Watching Miz and Bryan leave it all out there was great, but it was the story they told and the ring psychology that took it to another level. They hit each other with absolutely everything, giving us what we have been wanting for so long, and for three years never thought would happen, so we were all on the edge of our seats. That Miz had to cheat to win made this into barely the first step in a feud that will (hopefully) continue into next year and to WrestleMania. This might be the feud that never ends, it will go on and on my friends.

 

Total Fellas, With A B!

The B Team was so much greatness here, as they are in all they do. Bo makes me smile each time I see him, and makes me want to Bolieve! They have finally made their mark in the WWE, and left Miz fuming, which is always fun to watch!

 

KISS Fan On Acid

I really thought that when Balor came out as the Demon that we were going to see McMahon completely end all the greatness that Balor has created, yet they did the right thing by him. I’ll admit that I’m completely shocked by how Balor went over Corbin, and thrilled. This match was in a spot that could have been horrible for it, but they gave us a short match with much excitement for a cool down from Bryan and Miz. An interesting way to book the show, but I really like it. I also really like that Demon took care of Corbin in a short match that drove their storyline, made Balor look great and grew Corbin’s character in an interesting way. No clue who actually booked this show, because so far it’s felt more like the kids put it together, not McMahon and Dunn.

 

Cool Down Boredom

Yes, I said it. This match was boring. Jeff Hardy and Nakamura have better chemistry than Nakamura had with AJ, but Jeff just isn’t as young as he once was, and the hard ring work and drugs have ravaged his body. Personally, he’s not looking good in the ring, and because of that I don’t want to see him working a storyline with Orton, unless they are heading into a retirement angle. Even then, I’d rather see the Hardy Boyz finish off together because together they helped change the industry in so many ways.

Then there’s Nakamura who needs to be in a good feud that shows his amazing heel-ness, or he’s going to be a waste of strap and good money. Heck, a huge waste of talent, because he’s so very talented, but just hasn’t been able to work with people he has great chemistry with. I honestly feel really bad for Nakamura at this point in his WWE career.

 

Over-Hyped Rookie!

Let me start by addressing the part of this that has the IWC in a tizzy, Ronda’s makeup. I think it’s hysterical that they are all over Ronda’s eye makeup. Personally I think it’s a great way for her to show some personality without being all girly and glittery, which she really isn’t. I also love the creative braiding of her hair as it’s obvious that she can’t/won’t work with it down, something I truly get. What I do have issue with is the foundation on her face. It was too light for her skin tone and made her look a bit sickly. Many people have compared her look to Bull Nakano – one of the best female wrestlers to grace the WWE, and well before her time – and I see it more in the way her face was lightened as much as the eye makeup. So the foundation was horrid, but the eyes were great, and only a bit more exaggerated than a look she wore previously.

Now to the meat of the match. I will give Ronda props for slowing down and not rushing things, the way she has in her previous matches. I will also give her huge marks for her personality in the ring. She showed us more personality in turning her back, sitting down, covering her eyes, than she’s shown almost the rest of her stint in the WWE. It was a great part of the match, and nothing to do with wrestling moves.

Like David Arquette, this woman doesn’t know how to wrestle, anything about ring psychology, and truly isn’t ready to be on the main roster, never mind making the top heel on Raw look so terribly weak in the ring to win the Raw Women’s Championship! Coach said that Ronda didn’t look like she knew what to do when she won the strap, but more than that, she doesn’t know what to do as a WWE superstar. At least Brock Lesnar learned to wrestle before joining the WWE, Ronda is a hot mess and needs to be taught before putting her on the main roster, but that’s not where the money is. I really hope they don’t screw this up the way they screwed up the Universal Championship for so long. Only time will tell.

I also have to mention more than Ronda, especially Bliss. She worked really well in the ring, sold Ronda’s moves, and made it look as good as she could. That she can hyper-extend her elbow made the ring work look that much better. She is a consummate pro in the ring. It was great to see Nattie out there, especially in that jacket. The look on her face when she came out was lovely and heartbreaking. Lastly, I’m thrilled the Bellas didn’t get involved in the match as I expected when they stated they’d be watching Ronda from the front row. I know they’re setting up for Evolution, and I’m worried about those plans with the Bellas, but that’s McMahon for you!

 

The Most Dominant Combat Professional Ever – NOT!

Shut up JBL! Sorry, JBL said that about Brock Lesnar before SummerSlam started and it rankled me. Honestly, anything positive about Lesnar rankles me. I’m more over him than I am over ADR, and everyone knows how I feel about him!

So there’s BL, someone who basically turned fat and lazy as the Universal Champion. Fat being relative, of course. Anyway, Reigns couldn’t take out BL when he was fat and lazy, but now that BL has trimmed down and has been hitting the gym in a serious way Reigns can beat him? I know that Strowman was a great distraction, but that only goes so far. Basically it makes no sense that Reigns can be BL now when he couldn’t for so long. Further, they each hit two moves a couple times and it’s over. A hold and suplexes from BL, punch and spear from Reigns, and boom, it’s over.

Now, I’m glad it’s over, and I don’t even care that McMahon trolled us with Strowman, I just care that they NEVER strap BL again, EVER! It’s time for him to go back to UFC and not darken the WWE ring again until they induct him into the WWE HoF, which we know will happen sooner than later. It’s time for the WWE to build the Universal Championship into something that means something because it hasn’t for the majority of its existence!

 

Final Glow

The only thing I have left to say about this SummerSlam is that the booking and overall flow of the show was really good. It was so good that it felt like McMahon was in charge of the main event, but Trip and others were in charge of the rest of the show. Now, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but SummerSlam seemed fresher and not as lagging as most recent PPVs. Fingers crossed that things continue in this way.

Queen KB