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SummerSlam 2019: The Good, The Bad and the Weird

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Welcome to the biggest party of the summer. It’s time for the 3rd big four PPV and annual summer slog fest to grace our screens and hopefully impress us. TakeOver knocked its viewers dead last night so let’s hope for a repeat performance. The city of Toronto was treated to multiple title defences, some old grudges, Natalya having a PPV match for a title and the debut of The Fiend. There’s a lot to dissect here so let’s stop stalling and get into it.

The Good

A Different Type of Cruiserweight Match

This will not have been for everyone. It was a very different type of cruiserweight match in the sense that it wasn’t flips, flying and fast offense but instead a slow burn of vicious strikes and technical mastery. Oney Lorcan lit up Drew Gulak with a series of vicious chops, forearms and uppercuts as Drew had to retreat and rebound. In the end, Lorcan pushed Drew so hard that he had to cheat to win, pulling the ring apron to distract the referee then throat punching Lorcan. He won with the Cyclone Crash but it wasn’t a clean win. They’ve the door open for more of this feud where they can hopefully have a better longer match.

Rated R Duet

Elias will never not be fun. The man has the charisma and vitriol to carry his city bashing promos and he always ends up getting his comeuppance this time in the form of Edge. The second Metalingus hit, the crowd exploded as Edge made his way to the ring and Speared Elias. It was a fun little segment that used a hometown legend correctly.

Natalya Proves Her Worth

Natalya is often a very underrated talent. She’s been in the division for so long, trained some of the biggest stars in WWE and NXT yet she doesn’t get much in the way of opportunities. She was given the opening match against Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Title. She may have lost but she certainly gave it her all. She was creative in her application of submissions, innovated the turnbuckle submission and gave Becky Lynch a proper fight. The pair even traded submission finishers. It was a bold move to open the show with a submission match but these two proved it can work. A very strong start to the show and a very positive sign of things to come from Natalya if she can keep putting on matches like that. She may be a veteran of the business but she barely ever gets the recognition she deserves.

A Good Squash

Now that he’s over his little “it should have been me” whine fest, Dolph Ziggler has been somewhat interesting in the past couple of weeks. Now he can add standing up to Goldberg to his list of achievements and nearly Superkicking his chin off. This was exactly what you expected but instead of staying down Dolph kept egging on Goldberg to Spear him again. Goldberg obliged of course until Dolph stayed down and shut up. It was an excellent little match that actually helped Ziggler despite the fact he got squashed.

Styles Makes Magic

Holy hell was this an amazing match. Styles and Ricochet mesh incredibly well and this match just proves that. The pair were on another level when it came to the moves they pulled off. This might be the best that Styles has looked in a while now and it might be down to the OC rejuvenating his WWE tenure or through his opponent Ricochet. Either way this was an exceptionally fun match to watch. The OC has been good for Styles, Gallows and Anderson plus it gives Ricochet the ultimate underdog appeal. Of course, since his speed is his greatest weapon, styles worked over a knee. That meant a one-legged Ricochet had to pull off his high-flying offense and try to beat the odds. Unfortunately, he couldn’t and Styles retained with an amazing catch into the Styles Clash.

Ember Moon Rising

Much like the Ricochet match before, this ended up being a case of the loser looking good in defeat. Ember Moon had Bayley’s number the whole match and bust out a whole load of new moves throughout the course of the match. Moon was on fire for most of the match, taking Bayey’s best and doing better. She only lost because Bayley caught her with a top rope Bayley to Belly. This was a good first showing as a main roster title contender, please give her more matches.

End of the Shane-anigans

Na na na na, na na na na, Shaaaaaaane goodbye. I know his career technically wasn’t on the line but my god did it feel good to see Shane McMahon get kicked in the balls. The Shane/KO match was always going to be dicey but Shane brought out his goon Elias and tried to resort to cheap tricks multiple times throughout the match. However, KO was too wise and in control to fall for them. The officials, both of them, ended up getting taken out so KO introduced Elias to a chair and gave Shane a kick in the balls to a Stunner to keep his career alive. This wasn’t anything special but it was fun and incredibly cathartic to see the best potato in the world get smacked down.

A Stratusfying Conclusion

I think I can be forgiven for not being the most hyped about Trish Stratus vs Charlotte? On paper it had the makings of a good match but not necessarily anything special. That being said, it was surprisingly enjoyable. Heel Charlotte is always fun and she made Trish the perfect underdog in her hometown. It also helped that Trish could still go to a reasonable level. This was as much fun as you could want it to be and featured callbacks galore from Trish’s career. It appeared to be Trish’s swan song so it was nice to see her go out appreciated by her hometown in a decent match.

We Let Him In

This was perfect. Absolutely perfect. From entrance to finish, the Fiend was showcased perfectly. He terrified Balor by coming to the ring with a lantern made from the former Bray’s head and a remix of the old entrance music, accompanied by so many let me/him in messages. He walked to the ring in a slow creeping stroll, making sure the lantern was on display. In ring he was a powerhouse, knocking Finn about like he was nothing and delivering one brutal neck snap. He was borderline unstoppable until Finn snapped out of Sister Abagail. Finn made the mistake of going for the Coup De Grace on the Fiend, who caught it into the Mandible Claw and choked Balor out. I should also mention that we still saw Bray too, fighting with in the Fiend, causing him to second guess and consult the gloves. The Fiend won both the match and the internal conflict and vanished into the night after one last sighting on the stage. He is here, he is strong and when the Fiend is here, he will be merciless. I can’t wait to see more.

Beast Slayer 2: The Sequel

Originally, I just wanted this main event to be a five-minute pasting of Seth Rollins as the company had managed to make me apathetic to him. Now I’m glad I didn’t get my wish as we got a seriously good main event. Seth threw everything he had at the Beast to stun him originally but then he had to overcome a very angry Brock Lesnar. What followed was a lot of flying Seth, Suplexes, Splashes and Stomps. It was an exciting and fast paced main event that saw dominant Brock often put on the rebound by some fast thinking from Seth. This main could have been a total snooze fest but it managed to make a seriously compelling match with Brock clearly motivated to kill Seth. Rollins would be victorious and reclaimed his title. So I guess you could say the Man’s Man is once again the Man… or something like that at least. Anyway, great main event, fun match and the perfect feel good moment to end the show. Oh, and props to Seth for managing to prove why WWE made him the top face. I thought we’d lost you.

The Bad

Stop the Adverts!

I usually ignore this but sod it, now is the time to address it, why the hell do WWE air ads during their pre-show matches? 90% of the kick off show is hype packages so why interrupt further with more adverts when we actually get matches? It seems so disrespectful and distracting when there are performers in the ring trying to show of and make the most of their time. For the sake of ten minutes, just drop the hype ads and let us actually enjoy the matches.

Rowan the Ruiner

Firstly, where the hell is Buddy Murphy’s dubstep? That music set a tone and now it’s gone so his entrance doesn’t feel the same. That being said, he had a really fun little nothing match with Apollo Crews that was genuinely getting good when bam, Rowan ruins it. It may further a storyline but I’d have preferred it to have happened later in the night backstage. This match deserved some time and an actual conclusion despite being thrown together at the last minute for no reason other than to have Murphy in a place he can be destroyed.

Cringey Corey

Who hurt Corey Graves during SummerSlam? Normally I’m fond of Graves and his sarcastic wit but tonight he was just insufferable. I can’t tell whether he just didn’t want to be there or if he was being told to ramp up the heel factor to 11 but it was not enjoyable to listen to in the slightest. The best bits were when he was quiet or said very little. I don’t want to hate on a commentator but he was a serious distraction for SummerSlam.

RKofi

This is a difficult one to rate as the match was good but the ending annoyed me. It seems to be the common WWE cop out to make the champion go crazy right now. The match was getting good and we were reaching a tense conclusion but then it was over because Orton was a dick and Kofi punished him for it. We saw this with Joe and AJ so it’s not even fresh. It’s a real shame too as I saw potential in Orton taking the title. I love Kofi but he needs a challenge, Orton was giving him it.

The Weird

Missing Faces

I know not everyone can make it onto a PPV but I did find it slightly odd that this PPV didn’t feature the likes of Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns or either tag team champion. Gallows and Anderson made it onto the show as a part of the OC but other than that and the Women’s Tag Titles on the pre-show, there were no tag team title matches. Nothing from RAW or SmackDown. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as this made the show more concise and didn’t give us the seven-hour pain train that was Mania.

In Conclusion

So, there you have it, the good, bad and weird moments from SummerSlam 2019. As you can see it was an excellent showing despite a less than stellar card. Every match had something good to offer and it had the very high points of the Fiend debuting, AJ and Ricochet and the surprisingly good Becky and Natalya match. Plus, we have the interesting main event that exceeded my expectations and will hopefully give Seth some swagger back. RAW will be something to see as we have some fallout from the event. I just hope they don’t mess it up now after having an exceptional weekend of wrestling.

John is a UK based wrestling obsessive who still wants to believe the Bullet Club is fine. He is always tearing the business apart and first realised wrestling was for him when he saw Mankind fall from the top of the cell at King of the Ring 1998.

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