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Kevin’s WWE SummerSlam 2019 Review

August 11, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s WWE SummerSlam 2019 Review  

WWE SummerSlam
August 11th, 2019 | Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario

Fair warning. Unlike during TakeOver: Toronto, my WWE Network was freezing from time to time. That means my stopwatch might not be accurate and I may miss something notable in a few matches.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak [c] vs. Oney Lorcan
The first of our three Kickoff Show matches. This was shorter than I expected, but they still did well with the time given. These are two very good pro wrestlers who have styles that mesh well together. Gulak is the mat technician and Lorcan is the Wildman who throws everything into his offense. However, a lot of this match didn’t click as well as I hoped. They did some good things but there wasn’t any drama or even a real sense of urgency. That changed late as Lorcan started firing up. His three straight European uppercuts were great. I loved how Gulak turned the tide with a vicious shot to the throat. From there it was the Cyclone Crash and a Gulak retained in 8:36. Good wrestling, though I feel they have something better in them. Give them 15 minutes on 205 Live and watch them wow us. [***]

Apollo Crews vs. Buddy Murphy
Murphy’s first match as a member of the Smackdown roster. He came up with a huge pump knee that puts Kenny Omega to shame. It got him a near fall in the opening seconds. That set the tone for the quick pace the contest would have from start to finish. Outside of one rest hold, they kept things moving along. Crews got to showcase his strength and athleticism. Murphy did stuff you see in other companies, only he did it better. After Buddy avoided an apron moonsault and hit a tope con hilo, things looked like they were really getting good. Then Rowan ran down and jumped Buddy. That gave us a DQ in 4:37. I felt like this was going quite well before the finish. Fun sprint. [**¾]

Rowan continued the attack, powerbombing Murphy into the ring post. He shouted for Murphy to keep his name out of his mouth. A fan chanted “snitches get stiches” and he isn’t wrong.

In a surprising moment, Elias’ performance was interrupted by Edge. He even Speared him! What a time to be alive!

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross [c] vs. The IIconics
Alexa Bliss sported Buzz Lightyear themed gear. Nikki Cross should have been Woody. A lot of this match saw Cross play the face in peril. The IIconics did a strong job working her over with solid tandem offense. What really got me pumped was the hot tag to Alexa Bliss. She’s been heel for so long that I think people aren’t ready for her babyface potential. She’s way popular and the hot tag came of very well. Cross took out Billie Kay, leaving Alexa and Peyton to go at it. Their exchange was better than expected. Peyton showed off some smooth offense and Alexa knocked her out before winning with Twisted Bliss at the 6:12 mark. I enjoyed that. It was arguably the best that the IIconics looked in the ring, Cross was a good sympathetic face, and Alexa’s babyface fire was solid. [***]

Time for the main card.

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Submissions Match: Becky Lynch [c] vs. Natalya
Natalya came out with a Canadian flag. Really going for that cheap pop. She came out with fire, going right after Becky. The champion put her focus on the arm, looking to setup the Dis-Arm-Her. Thankfully, they decided against the rope break stuff in this kind of match. I hate when that happens. You can’t get DQed so it’s pointless. Nattie loves the double Sharpshooter spot but she did her best Sharpshooter by applying one on the turnbuckle. Easily the sickest move she’s ever done. I also really liked Becky doing the Sharpshooter. It got a mixed reaction because that move is sacred in Canada. The same goes for Natalya doing the Dis-Arm-Her. They centered the match around those moves and that was a good idea. There were no frills or BS and they got right to the point. Becky won via Dis-Arm-Her in 12:27. I liked a lot of what they did here. Some stuff didn’t come off as cleanly as I hoped, but they told the right story and made it work in front of a hot crowd. [***¼]

Dolph Ziggler vs. Goldberg
Goldberg had his pyro back. Dolph hit some superkicks to start for a few near falls. Goldberg with the Spear to stop his momentum and then the Jackhammer to win in around 1:41. it was short and Dolph bumped his ass off. Good. Go away, both of you. [NR]

Dolph Ziggler got a microphone and called Goldberg a dipshit. Goldberg returned with another Spear. After Goldberg left, Dolph talked more trash and called him a laughing stock. Goldberg came out again and hit another Spear.

WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles [c] vs. Ricochet
Their match at Extreme Rules was good but underwhelming (***). They started with a fight right at the bell. That mostly fits the feud and I’m glad they didn’t go with the slow paced opening. Ricochet running on the shoulders of Gallows and Anderson to leap onto AJ Styles was one of the coolest spots of the evening. When things slowed down, it made sense because AJ was in control and that’s what he wants to do against Ricochet. I appreciated Ricochet doing springboards off of one leg due to damage on the other. It’s what Meltzer argued on his radio show that Willy the Ospreay did against Tanahashi, even though he didn’t. Styles kept to the leg work and I popped great for Ricochet countering the Calf Crusher into the Anaconda Vice. As Ricochet got close to winning, Gallows and Anderson got involved. Ricochet had to take care of them. Then, they lifted the finish from Invasion Attack 2015 as a Phoenix Splashing Ricochet got caught into the Styles Clash in 12:55. It came off better here. This was very good. I thought the leg work came off well, Ricochet sold it like a champ, and they hit their big spots when they needed it. An improvement on their last match, but still not the banger I’m hoping for. [***½]

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley [c] vs. Ember Moon
The crowd was not feeling Bayley. IT’S CANADA AKA BIZARRO WORLD. Then, after a few minutes of solid back and forth action by both women, the fans started singing to Bayley. I understand nothing. Bayley continued to be more aggressive than she was prior to her title reign. She added little things like doing a cutter with Ember draped between the turnbuckles. Ember busted out a super rana and a modified Go to Sleep of sorts for a great near fall. Both moves were impactful and the fans bit on it. Going up top proved to be a mistake for Ember. Bayley followed her up and hit an avalanche Bayley to Belly to win in 10:01. The crowd didn’t give any shits about that match. Maybe it’s because Ember hasn’t been relevant for long enough. Either way, what they did was solid, just unspectacular. [**¾]

Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
If Owens loses, he must quit. Shane introduced Elias as an outside guest referee. Crowd was way into this and completely behind Owens. They played up the Screwjob stuff. Elias would get involved or he’d distract the referee when Owens had it won. He slid in a chair to goad Owens into using it and getting himself disqualified. When Owens really got going and hit a frog splash, Elias pulled the referee out as he was counting, so Owens took them both out with an apron dive. Shouldn’t that be a DQ on him? Owens got the chair and used it to wail on Elias. The referee got up and didn’t see Owens also kick Shane in the dick. A Stunner followed and Owens won in 9:19. That was pretty much what it needed to be. Shane stacked the deck, Owens got his revenge on both men, and he won without it going on for too long. Entertaining stuff. [**¾]

Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus
Charlotte came in incredibly confident. It was as if she wasn’t taking Trish seriously. She quickly found herself in trouble as Trish busted out some moves that showed she more than still had it. With Charlotte rattled, she got serious and more aggressive. There was a lot of trash talk as she wore Trish down. When Trish fired up, the fans popped and you could feel the match kicking into the next gear. That was especially true when Trish took a nasty bump off the apron. I liked Charlotte laughing as she blocked Trish in the corner, so Trish just started leveling her. Then Charlotte had a superbomb setup and Trish turned it into a super rana. Great sequence. I popped for Trish putting Charlotte in the Figure Eight. It was fantastic. Trish hit Stratusfaction for a really well done near fall. Charlotte survived whatever Trish threw at her and locked in the Figure Four. Once she turned it into the Figure Eight, Trish had to give up at the 16:38 mark. That was great. It built as it went on and peaked right at the end. Trish looked better than ever and hung right in there with Charlotte. There was a fair amount of drama even if the outcome seemed obvious. [****]

Trish got to pose for the crowd and get one last sendoff in her hometown.

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston [c] vs. Randy Orton
Kofi joined the group of people rocking Raptors inspired gear. Orton kind of dominated this from the opening bell. He walloped Kofi with an early assault that sent him to the outside. Kofi’s back became a target and it really caused the champion a lot of problems. Kofi rallied and it was good stuff, but the crowd was back to being dead. As Orton setup for his rope hung DDT, he mocked the New Day clap. This Orton heel run has seen him do some really great stuff. Kofi hit all the babyface fire spots he’s known for, including the trust fall dive to the outside and a big cross body. Still, no matter what he did, Orton remained a step ahead of him. Even when Kofi had a big springboard cross body lined up, Orton caught him with a midair RKO. He couldn’t cover instantly and Kofi rolled outside. Orton followed out and tried to humiliate Kofi in front of his family in the front row. That led to a brawl and a double countout in 16:24. I thought the match was actually quite good even with the lame crowd and finish. [***]

Post-match, Kofi attacked Orton with a kendo stick as revenge for trying to humiliate him.

Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
On the subject of the match, there’s not a lot to say. But Bray Wyatt debuted his new character and it was wild. From the sick mask to the lantern in the shape of Bray’s head to the remixed theme song. His wrestling style didn’t seem all that different, but the character came off very well. Finn was shook. He got in a little bit of offense when Bray was torn by the voices in his head. Bray still won with the Mandible Claw in 3:26. Good stuff. [**½]

WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar [c] vs. Seth Rollins
Seth won the title from Brock in a fun Mania sprint (***) and Brock won it back by cashing in Money in the Bank at Extreme Rules. Here, we got more of an actual match. Seth rocked the DDP rib tape, so Brock had a target but he just went in with German suplexes. We got some fire from Seth with an early Curb Stomp near fall. It helped him build confidence but then Brock just started dominating again. When Brock hit the ring post a few times, it get Seth openings. That’s one of Brock’s weaknesses. The others are dick kicks and diverticulitis. Seth had a huge spot with a frog splash off the ring post and through a table. Inside, he hit another frog splash but his bad ribs remained a problem. Brock survived and got him up for another F5, but Seth slipped out and nailed the Curb Stomp to beat Brock for a second time in 13:19. This was the fantastic sprint I was hoping for. Brock is always better against smaller opponents and the fact that he never had a great match with Seth was disappointing. We finally got it. [****]

The final score: review Good
The 411
Would you look at that? WWE puts on another good PPV. Seriously, each one outside of the Saudi show has been good. This had nothing that I would consider bad, with the worst thing bottoming out at **½ and a pair of four star matches. Plus, they kept it from going too long and it actually felt like it went by quickly.

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WWE Summerslam, Kevin Pantoja