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Csonka’s WWE SummerSlam Review 8.21.16

August 21, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s WWE SummerSlam Review 8.21.16  

Csonka’s WWE Summerslam Review 8.21.16

Kickoff Match: American Alpha, The Hype Bros & The Usos defeated The Ascension, The Vaudevillains and Fabreeze @ 14:30 via pin [**]
Kickoff Match: Neville & Sami Zayn defeated The Dudleyz @ 7:55 via pin [**¼]
Kickoff Match: Sheamus defeated Cesaro @ 14:15 via pin [***½]
– Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho defeated Enzo Amore & Big Cass @ 11:55 via pin [**½]
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte defeated Champion Sasha Banks @ 14:07 via pin [***]
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion The Miz defeated Apollo Crews @ 5:40 via pin [**]
– AJ Styles defeated John Cena @ 23:09 via pin [****¾]
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Gallows and Anderson defeated Champions The New Day @ 9:09 via DQ []
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler @ 15:18 via pin [***]
– Nikki Bella, Natalya and Alexa Bliss defeated Naomi, Becky Lynch and Carmella @ 11:05 via pin [**]
WWE Universal Championship No DQ Match: Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins @ via pin to become the first Universal Champion [***¾]
WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Rusev vs. Roman Reigns didn’t happen because reasons
– Brock Lesnar defeated Randy Orton @ 11:45 via TKO [**½]

– They put some effort into the set, which is nice. The posts are encased and lit up with the Summerslam logo.

Kickoff Match: American Alpha, The Hype Bros & The Usos vs. The Ascension, The Vaudevillains and Fabreeze: This is a rematch from Smackdown, which was ok but got almost no time due to a commercial break (it was a total of 6:50, but the commercial break was over 3:00 long). They are working on front of a sparse crowd, but are doing their best to get the fans that are there into the match. They ran through various pairings, it broke down at about four-minutes in with everyone brawling and bodies falling to the floor. We took a network commercial break, and when we came back the heels had control on Ryder. They are working a total house show match, slow and with not much heat or sense of urgency. After what felt like forever, Ryder got a tag to Jimmy Uso. He ran wild, Jordan blind tagged in and suplexed fools around the ring. It started to break down, we got the big move buffet, and then Breeze and Viktor worked together. We got a tower of doom, into more big moves and then dives by the Usos. American Alpha hit grand amplitude, but Jey Uso blind tagged in and stole the pin. The first half was a complete struggle, with everyone working the mail it in house show formula and then relying on the fast paces “cool moves everyone knows” segment to try and save it down the stretch. American Alpha won on Smackdown, the Usos stole the pin here to show that they are still in the mix and to also likely tease a tag tournament final match (and Uso heel turn). This was an overall average match with a finish that was well done and set things for the future.

– Baron Corbin arrived and said he was set to face Kalisto tonight, but Kalisto is not medically cleared. He ran down Kalisto, and then bailed. Well Baron, maybe if you didn’t sneak attack him and kick his ass for the past two weeks he would have been available to compete tonight so you could “make that money”. See Baron, that’s why bullying doesn’t pay.

Kickoff Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. Neville & Sami Zayn: Cole reminds us that the Dudleyz returned this time last year (Raw after SS), how time flies when you’re dong nothing. Zayn and Neville ran wild early a commentary spoke about the Dudleyz recent miscommunication issues, which led to a recent losing stream. The Dudleyz eventually overcame the speed of their opponents and took over as we went to a network commercial. The Dudleyz worked the heat post break, and when you’re winning you have no problems. Bubba worked his usual slow clubbing heat while yelling at his opponent, missed the back splash off the ropes and Zayn got the hot tag. He ran wild on Devon, Bubba made the save and then tagged in and they scored with the double team neck breaker and Neville had to make the save. Neville made the save, miscommunication for the Dudleyz again and the helluva kick and red arrow finished off the Dudleyz. The story continues as the former champions continue to lose due to their own miscommunication, which should lead to their break up. This was a little better than the opener as it was more focused, with Neville & Sami providing the moving parts and the story of the Dudleyz fall continuing well, but they need to pull the trigger soon.

Kickoff Match: Cesaro vs. Sheamus (Match 1 in Best Of Seven): This is the first match in their best of seven series. They went fast paced early, teasing signature stuff before Cesaro hit a double stomp and sent Sheamus to the floor. They then just beat the piss out of each other because that’s what they do best. Nice back and forth action, with both guys staying true to the hard-hitting formula that has been successful for them while also playing off previous encounters with some good counters. After a network commercial break, Sheamus remained in control hitting the Irish Curse. They both fought for a suplex, which led to them tumbling over the top and to the floor. We got the countout tease, leading to them beating the hell out of each other and Cesaro firing up and hitting uppercuts and a dropkick. Cesaro then hit the superplex for a near fall. Sheamus countered the neutralizer into white noise and scored a near fall. This led to them battling up top and Sheamus hitting the Finlay roll off the second rope for another near fall. Cesaro countered the brogue kick and hit a lariat for 2. Up top for Cesaro, onto the post and then did a jump onto the ropes and hit a high cross for a near fall. The big swing followed, into the sharp shooter but Sheamus got the ropes. Sheamus then countered the brogue kick into a sharp shooter, but Sheamus poked him in the eyes, posted him and then hit the brogue for the win. Sheamus takes a 1-0 lead in the series. This was a very good, back and forth and hard-hitting match to kick off the series; it was easily the best thing on the pre-show.

– Enzo and Cass got a huge reaction as you would imagine, and these guys were SO excited to be performing in New York. This was a great call to kick off the PPV, because the crowd was reacting to everything they were saying.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho: Jericho and Owens attacked before the bell, and tried to isolate Enzo. While a sound theory, it didn’t work out as Cass tagged in and worked over Owens. Enzo and Cass kept control, working over both Jericho and Owens, who escaped to the floor. Cass just tossed Enzo out of the ring onto them. He almost lost him there. Back in the ring, Jericho took the heat on Enzo as Owens mocked the Enzo dance. Solid heat from Jericho and Owens as they kept Enzo isolated in their corner. Enzo fought them both off and looked for the tag but as he dove Jericho cut him off and then dropkicked Cass to the floor. Frog splash by Owens connected for a near fall. Owens kept abusing Enzo, but missed the cannonball in the corner allowing Enzo to finally get the hot tag and Cass ran wild. Jericho went up top but met with a big boot. Owens then cut off the rocket launcher, Cass chased and then got posted. Cannonball by Owens on the floor, Enzo fought off the superplex and hit the DDG, but Owens made the save. Owens then tossed Enzo into a pop up code breaker (a little off) for the win. Enzo and Cass have failed New York. This was a solid effort overall, with some of Enzo’s stuff feeling off at times and it going a little long as the heat on Enzo felt way too long. This is obviously the first part of the program, but having Enzo and Cass lose in their hometown after the reaction they got feels questionable.

– Foley, Shane and Bryan all met with Jon Stewart backstage. Stewart ran down Stephanie a bit, and she was right behind him, ready to put him in his place. New Day then arrived and Foley ate some BootyOs.

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Champion Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte: Charlotte tried to stall a bit, but when they go to action Banks got a Banks statement, but Charlotte got the ropes right away. Banks hit the lucha arm drag, went up top and Charlotte slapped her and they battled in the corner. Charlotte went for… something, and dropped Banks onto the corner and she then landed on her head. That was a reckless deal there, and really scary. Charlotte took the heat, working a Gory special into a backslide for a near fall. Banks fought back with clotheslines and a dropkick, but was favoring the back. Charlotte then hit a back breaker and an STO for 2. She worked knees to the back, Banks hit a RANA off the ropes and then fought off the figure four. Charlotte slammed her into the tree of WHOA, then set her up top and went for a razor’s edge but Banks countered with a RANA. They did a double down and then traded strikes from their knees and then on their feet. Banks fired up with crazy fists, Charlotte missed a charge and posted herself and Banks worked a Boston crab in the corner; the double knees got a near fall for Banks. Charlotte to the floor and Banks hit meteora off of the apron. Back in and Banks got a cradle for 2. They seemingly blew a back stabber, or Charlotte just sold oddly. Banks countered natural selection into the banks statement, but Charlotte managed to escape. Charlotte clipped the knee and hit natural selection for a near fall. Charlotte was frustrated as the crowd got behind Banks even more. Banks then countered the tilt a whirl into the Banks statement, but Charlotte rolled back and picked up the pin as Banks wouldn’t let go. They worked really hard, but there were a fair amount of sloppy spots and at times this bordered on being overly reckless, abandoning the successful style they worked on Raw when they did the title change. Speaking of the title change, it all felt very counter productive to send the title back to Charlotte; Banks’ title run was a complete non-factor, but there are reports that she had an injury and that is why she is being taken off of house shows, so if that is the case I get it. Back to the match, it felt as if they were trying too hard for an epic match, as if they wanted to out do Bayley vs. Asuka, but the thing with Bayley vs. Asuka was that it had a great story to go along with the in ring action. They were going for great, they had the intensity and the effort, but the execution was off and they only hit good. Sasha may have been legitimately hurt, which didn’t help things.

– More bullshit with Doc and Karl talking testicles. They met with AJ Styles, and as they talked Finn Balor arrived and walked away, not giving them the too sweet they wanted.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion The Miz vs. Apollo Crews: Miz controlled and tried to put Crews away quickly. Solid control by Miz, he tried to come off the top but ate a dropkick as he flew off the ropes. Crews fired up with clotheslines, escaped the skull-crushing finale but the standing moonsault ate knees. Miz sent Crews to the corner, hit his corner clothesline but Crews caught him and planted him with a suplex and the standing moonsault for a near fall. Miz took a powder and looked to leave, but Crews stopped that and rolled him into the ring. Maryse distracted Crews, he fought back and then missed a corner splash and hit the post. The skull-crushing finale from the Miz finished it. That was a completely flat match with no heat and Crews looking like a complete after thought. But considering the non-existent build and the fact that Crews has no character at all, that should be no surprise, they were given nothing on TV to make any one care. It was a match.

John Cena vs. AJ Styles: They had a great crowd right away. We got a basic back and forth, Styles hit the dropkick combo but celebrated way too soon, allowing Cena to attack and repeatedly slam Styles to the corner. I think we’re getting INDIE CENA tonight, as he took a suplex on the apron. Back in the ring, Cena fought back with a high backdrop and dropkick for a near fall. They are basically telling the story of the first match here, but this time it is Cena staying a step ahead of Styles now that he knows what he’s getting into. Cena kept rolling, shoulder blocks and the proto bomb, leading to the five-knuckle shuffle. Styles countered the AA and hit a PELE, STYLES CLASH connects, but Cena powers out at 2 (I hate that it has become a transition move). Cena then hit the AA for a near fall. This all happened at 8-minutes in. Cena went for the super AA, but Styles countered into the torture rack and then into a powerbomb for a near fall. Cena countered the clash and then hit a toss up cutter for a near fall. AJ then countered the AA, fought off the STF and hit the ushigoroshi for the near fall. Styles then just beat on Cena, went to the apron and MISSED the springboard 450. Code red by INDIE JOHN scored a near fall. AJ countered the AA into a German suplex and a facebuster for a near fall. Styles went for the springboard forearm, but Cena picked the leg as he flew in and licked in the STF. Styles managed to counter into a crossface; Cena then powered up and went for an AA but Styles rolled into the calf crusher. Cena powered up and rolled back into the STF; this whole sequence has been great. Styles rolled into a pinning combo, and then hit the enziguri but Cena hit a tornado DDT for a near fall. Cena headed up top, hit the fameasser off the top but Styles kicked out. They went to the corner, Cena set Styles up top and looked for the super AA, Styles escaped and hit a springboard RANA off the ropes! Springboard forearm connects for a great near fall. Cena tried to power Styles p for the AA, failed but leveled him with a desperation lariat. He again went for the super AA off the ropes, Styles again fought but Cena hit it but Styles said fuck off with that shit and kicked out! Cena looked amazed that it didn’t work as Styles fought to his feet. Cena went for the AA again, Styles then hit the clash and rolled to the apron. Springboard forearm connects and Cena is DONE. This was an incredible match with the right finish and man winning and the match hitting the climax at the right time. They played well off of the first match, they set the stage that Styles could not only hang on his own but that he could take everything that Cena has traditionally put people away with, overcome it and win. AJ is a made man, give him the belt. They did everything right here, Styles and Cena have great chemistry together, and to me this was top tier MOTY level stuff.

– Sad panda Cena left the ring, likely heading for a vacation to film his Fox show.

– Jon Stewart came out to make this show feel longer. He joked about his interference last year, and is joining new Day for the night.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The New Day vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: I have hated the entire build to this feud hopefully the wrestling will deliver. New Day took control right away, ran wild a bit with some double teams and then the stampede in the corner on Gallows. They then sent Gallows to the floor where Kofi hit a great dive, posing in midair. Anderson would distract Kofi as he went up top, allowing Gallows to attack. Gallows and Anderson controlled for a bit, but Gallows missed a splash and Woods got the tag and got some run and a near fall on Anderson. Wood shit the top rope elbow and again got another near fall. Kofi came back, they hit a double team double stomp on Anderson and Gallows made the save. It broke down. Boot of dm by Anderson and Woods sent to the floor. Magic killer connects, but Jon FUCKING Stewart got involved. He was in there FOREVER, and they threatened to slam his balls off of the post. Big E returned to make the save, leading to the DQ finish as he beat the hell out of Gallows and Anderson. It was going along ok until they threw it away with the Stewart bullshit and DQ finish. This feud has been horrible.

– Bryan and Shane are at ringside.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler: Not a fan of this going on in this place, because it further tells you that Smackdown is not as important as the Raw secondary title. At least the build for this was great. Ziggler worked a series of cradles and rollups to try and get the pin as soon as possible. Ambrose took a powder to the floor, but Ziggler followed and continued his attack. Back in and Ambrose countered a DDT and sent Ziggler to the floor. They briefly brawled on the floor, and then back in as Ambrose took him up top and hit a butterfly suplex for 2. Ambrose tried to ground him with the single leg crab, Ziggler escaped but Ambrose continued his attack. Ambrose came off the top but ate a dropkick from Ziggler. Ambrose took the subtle heel role here, trash talking and mocking Ziggler as he looked for a superkick. It was only a tease, Ziggler fought back and hit a DDT, which got 2. They are working hard and playing off of the build well but the crowd is not very interested as there is almost no reaction to the near falls. Ambrose posted himself and Ziggler got the fameasser for 2. They both went for a cross body and collided center ring for the double down. They got to their feet, Ambrose fired up and hit a bulldog and then the elbow drop for 2. Man this crowd just does not care. Ambrose again mocked Ziggler, Ziggler then got a sleeper but Ambrose fought and they went to the floor. Ziggler hit a superkick on the floor, rolled Ambrose back in and covered for 2. Ambrose blocked a superkick but Ziggler got the zigzag for a near fall. Ziggler laid in elbows and locked in the sleeper on the mat. Ambrose escaped, hit the jawbreaker lariat. Ziggler cut off Ambrose as he went up top, they fought and Ambrose sent Ziggler to the mat but Ziggler ran back up and went for the x-factor but Ambrose landed on his feet, hit the dirty deeds and picked up the win. They worked hard and the match was good, but no one cared. I think they waited too long to give Ziggler the shot, because while the build was excellent, no one eve bought into Ziggler winning because he’s been presented as damaged goods for too long.

– They did the Eva Marie entrance gimmick, but said she was out due to stress from fans and is on vacation. This is when Nikki Bella made her grand return.

Naomi, Becky Lynch and Carmella vs. Nikki Bella, Natalya and Alexa Bliss: WOW Carmella even got a shit reaction in New York, she’s DOA. Solid back and forth to begin as they worked through the pairings. Carmella put some offense together on Natalya to no heat. Bliss distracted her allowing Natalya to hit a powerslam. The crowd actually cared for Nikki when she tagged in, as she continued the heat on Carmella. The heels worked over Carmella in their corner, but outside of the reaction for Nikki this is largely dead even if the work is solid. It’s sad that they are working the heat on the “local girl” and she is getting no sympathy. Carmella fought out of the corner and finally rolled for a tag. Lynch in, tossed around Natalya and Bliss and then slammed all three heels to the same corner. She delivered kicks to all three and hit the XPLODER on Natalya. Natalya got a roll up, but Lynch hit an enziguri. Top rope leg drop by Lynch for a near fall as Nikki made the save. Naomi tagged in and hit a springboard high cross and then hit the speedball kicks to Bliss, but missed the split legged moonsault. Nikki in, Carmella tags in and hits a superkick. It broke down, the heels posted Naomi and it came down to Nikki and Carmella, Nikki killed her with the elbow and hit a TKO for the win. There was nothing bad about the work from a technical standpoint, but no one really cared, there was no energy from the crowd outside of Nikki getting some pops.

– It’s like they put no effort into the design. “Hey guys, what should the title look like?” “Well, I got these old pair of Nakamura’s pants…..”

– Stephanie and Foley are at ringside for the match.

WWE Universal Championship No DQ Match: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor: Not a great way to put over the importance of a new title having it third from the top. Balor attacked with a shotgun dropkick, and then followed with a dive. Balor targeted the leg of Rollins, but got tripped up on the apron and Rollins hit a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring Balor took control back, he kept going for the knee but Rollins took it back to the floor and hit a running powerbomb to the barricade. Rollins took the heat as they went back into the ring. Thankfully the crowd was into this and actually reacting to things early, but they were losing some interest as Rollins worked a really bland head. Balor tried to fight back, but ate the springboard knee and then the high fly flow for a near fall. Rollins maintained control, looked for the rainmaker but Balor countered into a DDT. Balor picked up the pace and started to put a run of offense together, a basement dropkick sent Rollins to the floor and Balor hit a knee strike from the apron. Back in Balor hit sling blade, but Rollins battled back and they traded strikes but Balor connected with a kick for a double down. Balor hit the 1916 for a near fall. He went up top, Rollins avoided the double stomp and locked in a triangle. Balor made the ropes, Rollins then said there was no rope breaks and Cole then told us there was no DQ here. Did I miss that earlier? I guess win by pin or submission only means NO DQ. Anyway Balor escaped, back in the ring Rollins hit a buckle bomb and superkick for a near fall. They then traded rapid-fire strikes and Rollins hit God’s last gift for the near fall. Rollins sent to the floor and Balor hits the shotgun dropkick, double stomp to the back of Rollins’ head gets the near fall. Balor back up, misses it and then Rollins hits the pedigree, but Balor kicks out for a good near fall. Rollins up top and misses the Phoenix splash, lands on his feet but eats another shotgun dropkick. Rollins up top with Balor, superplex connects, he rolls for a pedigree but Balor escapes and hits a pair of shotgun dropkicks and hits the double stomp off the top and he wins. This was an overall very good match, with both guys trying to turn the show around. They did that by keeping the crowd invested, b tit was a struggle at times. The homestretch worked well and the clean win was the right call if they are going to actually try and make Balor as a top guy.

WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Rusev vs. Roman Reigns: They brawled on the floor before the bell even rang, with Rusev slamming Reigns to the steps Rusev had worked the arm on Raw, so this makes sense as a follow up. Rusev then picked up the steps and slammed them into Reigns’ shoulder. Rusev battled back and they brawled into the timekeeper’s area with Rusev working rights. Referees arrived to try and separate them, but Rusev kept attacking and grabbed a chair and hit Rusev in the gut with it. More chair shots by Reigns. Seriously, how in the hell is Reigns the face here? He ruined a wedding celebration, he used juvenile humor to mock Lana and Rusev and then he cause Lana to be tossed into a cake? He’s an asshole. They want him to be the face of the company, but also want him to be like Rock (Rock made fun of everyone and was an asshole about it/Hogan took liberties) but Rock was Rock and made shit work. It feels as if they have no clue what they want Reigns to be, and each week it is going to become more difficult to turn things around and make people care about him in a defined role. When he has shown it, Reigns is a great cocky asshole, just let him be that. Hell the brawl wasn’t even that good. The crowd cared so much for this angle that they chanted, “We want Slater.” Listen, the show is going too long as it is and it’s not as if I am disappointed about them cutting a match, but it feels as if they went, “Well we gave it to them on Raw, so no need here.” They announced that there was no match due to doctor’s orders, because Rusev was hurt. Reigns returned and speared Rusev in his injured ribs. So Reigns wins on Raw cleanly, and then makes Rusev his bitch tonight; great job protecting the US Champion.

– Paul Heyman was out to introduce Lesnar.

Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar: Well lets see how this goes. Lesnar rushed Orton in the corner and worked him over. Orton managed to avoid a suplex and went for an RKO, but Lesnar would have none of that and hit Germans. Orton kept trying to fight back, using uppercuts and strikes, but Lesnar basically walked through them and continued to his knees and suplexes. They worked to the floor and Lesnar slammed Orton onto the Smackdown announce table two times, it broke the second time. Lesnar then dismantled the Raw announce table and they climbed onto it and Orton hit the RKO. Back in Orton hit the hangman’s DDT and then another RKO for a near fall as Lesnar kicked out. Orton backed off for the concussion kick, but Lesnar snatched him up and hit the F5 for a near fall and Lesnar was not pleased. Lesnar took off his gloves and worked over Orton with strikes and elbows and Orton was busted open by one of the elbows. The doctor arrived but Lesnar said fuck that and went back on the attack as Orton was spilling blood. We then got Goldberg chants as Lesnar continued to assault Orton. They then did the doctor’s stoppage/TKO. That was almost a main event squash of Orton, who didn’t get much and was laid out in a pool of his own blood. Also if they were going to do this finish, they should have moved the Reigns vs. Rusev angle to earlier in the show. Not delivering a match and then doing this back-to-back came off as a poor way to reward your customers. Now I think that they tied to so something unique here with Lesnar, similar to what he did with Cena when he first returned, but it should have been something he had been doing. We’re just now trying to make him “dangerous?” They wanted to end the show with a “shocking” angle to get people to talk. But all they did was set up a Shane vs. Brock match, which feels like a complete waste of Lesnar. Can you imagine Shane getting the heat on Lesnar with hit shit strikes? I get what they were going for, but if the goal is a match with Shane it is poor planning when they should be making stars. If it leads to Shane bringing in someone that can work. The match as it was

– Post match Lesnar continued to beat down Orton, Shane McMahon arrived and wanted to check on Orton but Lesnar would not let him pass. F5 for you Shane! Heyman begged Lesnar to stop, and they left the ring

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
After this show and WrestleMania, WWE needs to realize that they need to STOP doing six-hour shows because it is a bad idea and overall it doesn’t work. Between the uneven booking, the length of the show and the match placement they lost the crowd which killed some matches; when there is next to no reaction for Ambrose and Ziggler (who usually are loved) there is an issue. I am not sure how, but WWE took a card that many were excited for and made it a completely under whelming production. There are good things on the show, but it is far too long and inconsistent overall. They really needed to edit themselves, it wasn't a bad show, just disappointing and one that should have been a lot better. Make sure to catch Styles vs. Cena for sure.