I Sir Mitch, Invite you to bask in the Afterglow of WWE SummerSlam 2019 with me!
Becky Lynch def. Natalya
I wasn’t sure about this match going on first given just how over Becky Lynch really is! Surely she should be further up the card was my very first thought. But after watching the superb mat classic (no, not Colt Cabana’s gimmick in Wrestling Society X back in the day) that Becky and Nattie put on here, I realized there was a method to WWE’s madness because that was the perfect match to open the show and set the tone for the rest of the night.
As I am a bit of an in-ring traditionalist, this is the type of wrestling I like to see and its something we don’t see anywhere near enough off in any promotion these days. More, please!
Goldberg def. Dolph Ziggler
What was the point of this? SummerSlam was already sold out, so they didn’t need Goldberg to sell tickets. Dolph has been buried from stop-start booking for over a decade now, so they weren’t trying to punish him. So I ask you…WHAT WAS THE BLOODY POINT TO THIS!
It’s bad enough we had to sit through Goldberg doing his usual two-minute squash of someone vastly more talented than him. Why did we have to see him repeat it twice? Especially after he was already blown up and sweating like Vince McMahan after testifying to U.S. Congress the first time.
Please let this be the last time we have to see this!
AJ Styles def. Ricochet
Leave it to Ricochet to ruin my nickname for him (The Walking Marvel movie) by dressing as Nightwing a DC Comics character. Although, as I’m more of a DC fan anyway (come at me Marvel fans) I’m not going to complain.
This match was quite good, but it came to a rather abrupt ending. My only guess is they were given the signal to wrap things up early due to time issues. It was still a fun match as I mentioned…but they should have gotten another five minutes!
Bayley def. Ember Moon
I was so happy Ember Moon was FINALLY being given an opportunity to the main roster after being given nothing to do since being called except try to get Mandy Rose over on Smackdown (Vince has got to give his beloved blondes all the spotlight after all) shame nobody in the area seemed to care!
It wasn’t Ember’s fault as she and Bayley for that matter were giving it everything they had. It’s just that Bayley as a character is falling completely flat lately. I know Charlotte will probably be taking the strap from Bayley soon, but I hope her first program is with someone who deserves the opportunity like Ember.
Kevin Owens def. Shane McMahon
Some people were complaining that this match wasn’t exactly exciting. But the reality was it was never going to be an in-ring technical classic (it’s a Shane McMahan match for crying out loud) it was meant to be more of a story match. Kevin Owens and Shane delivered that in spades. I loved the babyface work by KO all throughout this one channeling not just Steve Austin, but also Eddie Guerrero with the low blow spot.
This was the first real step in KO’s turn as one of the companies top babyfaces after years of successful heel work. I am looking forward to where they go next with it.
Charlotte Flair def. Trish Stratus
This match was always going to be a passing of the torch moment, which fits into WWE’s current narrative that Charlotte is the greatest female wrestler of all time, and we all knew that. That passing of the torch was 100% achieved in this one, and Trish put on one hell of a performance in her last match.
But, it must be said (and some aren’t going to like me saying this as it goes against WWE’s narrative) as good as Charlotte is (and she is BLOODY good) Trish will always be the greatest all-time female performer in Wrestling. NOTHING will change that!
On that note, I was a little upset Charlotte was booked not to stay in the ring to show her respect to Trish after the match. I know that doesn’t exactly fit with her character, but they’ve had heels show respect to babyfaces after hard-fought matches before.
But apart from that one criticism, this match was epic!
Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton
I was actually kind of disappointed the word “Stupid” wasn’t shouted more often in this match!
This was another story match as opposed to an in-ring classic, but I was kind of hoping for a mix of both as Kofi and Randy are capable of having matches like that. The ending of Randy losing track of time due to staring gleefully at Kofi’s family before Kofi recovered from Randy’s beating to go nuts and start brawling with him was done to extend this feud. But I kind of wish this was a one and done deal with Kofi coming out on top and avenging himself against Randy a decade after he stalled his first big push.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt def. Finn Balor
You know, WWE cops A LOT of flack over how it writes its product and books it’s wrestlers over the last few years. 90% very much deserved, in my opinion. But every now and then they come up with an idea that is so original, so captivating and so brilliant that even hardened critics stand up and say “this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen” and Bray Wyatt’s new “Fiend” persona is one of those times.
Everything about it from the mask that resembles the Joker’s cut off face from the Death Of The Family storyline in DC Comics to the demented kids, show promos, to the remixed theme music was absolutely brilliant. I thought the Bray Wyatt character couldn’t be saved after a few years of stop-start booking taking the edge of the original southern clan/cult leader type gimmick Bray originally had. But somehow, he and the creative team have found a way to reinvent it in the most ingenious way possible. I tip my hat to everyone involved!
As for the match itself, it is a shame Finn was made the sacrificial lamb here. But, we all knew this would happen as he has requested time off after SummerSlam (probably to get married) and we can look forward to a “Fiend” vs. “Demon” feud when he returns!
Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesner, Paul Heyman, and WWE’s creative team somehow managed to do something many thought wasn’t possible; they made Seth connect with the audience again!
Between lackluster programs since WrestleMania, playing second fiddle to his FAR more over girlfriend Becky Lynch and his recent comments on Twitter where he took aim at everyone who criticizes WWE’s product, burying other products and non-WWE workers…fans were understandably a little fed up with The Architect. Sensing that, WWE’s higher-ups decided to have Brock win Money in the Bank and take the Universal Title back.
Most of us thought this would be a permanent thing until Roman challenged Brock or something and Seth was going under in this match. But in the end, it was all part of a plan to have Seth win fans over again. So again, I tip my hat to WWE’s higher-ups and creative team. Let’s just hope they and Seth don’t blow it again!
Final Glow: I have to hand it to them; everyone involved in this show put their best foot forward. Everyone in WWE (despite publicly denying this over and over again) know that their product hasn’t got the best reputation these days. So with companies like New Japan Pro Wrestling continuing to grow and the upcoming, All Elite Wrestling TV show poised to give the industry its first major shakeup in nearly two decades in the form of possiple competition…they knew they had to step it up!
I don’t know if this will be aa long term thing and WWE’s higher-ups and creative team will continue to address criticisms fans have been making for years such as people like Baron Corbin, and Lacey Evens being pushed ahead of more talented workers due to purely aesthetic reasons or inconsistent and/or illogical storylines etc. But this show was a HUGE step in the right direction.
So, once more I tip my hat to WWE in this Afterglow!