Thumbs in the Middle
Best Match: Undertaker v Lesnar (until the ending)
Worst Match: Miz v Big Show v Ryback
This PPV would have been a clear thumbs up, but I feel like the ending for a lot of the key matches tainted the overall PPV experience. I was expecting Reigns to turn on Ambrose at the end of their tag match and it didn’t happen. So I wonder where they’re going next with these two. The Divas revolution seems to really have done a 360; we’re back to where we started. The match was very lackluster and is a stark contrast to the women’s match on the NXT special last night.
The Rusev v Ziggler countout ending seemed pretty anticlimactic but I suppose they’re building to a mixed tag team match on the next PPV.
The Cena v Rollins match was a great showcase, again for Rollins talents. Cena, although booed at first, really seemed to turn the crowd with his performance as well. I don’t think it needed the swerve ending, so I hope there’s a good explanation on Raw. Perhaps he didn’t want someone tying Ric Flair’s title record? That’s the first thing I thought. Other than that, going in, I thought that Rollins was going to win, only because I could really see him bragging the hell out of holding two titles and being the best champion ever.
The Taker v Lesnar match was fantastic, again, up until the ending. Compared with their Wrestlemania match, the stakes seemed higher and emotions seemed more intense and it really showed in both performances. I still don’t know what to think of the ending. It seemed like a botch at first. And then it turned out it wasn’t. So really, Brock did get screwed. Is this to build to an Undertaker final heel run? WIth this ending and all the low blows he’s been using lately, one would think so. But it’s Undertaker and perhaps those conventions don’t apply.
Overall, it was a thumbs in the middle, but it would have been up were it not for one too many shitty endings.
Thanks for all the work Dave!
Thumbs upBest match: Rollins v CenaWorst match: Ryback/Show/Miz Good show, but some strange finishes. A double count-out, a celebrity run-in, and a timekeeper’s “mistake”…and the one match I thought for sure would end with a screwjob (Reigns/Ambrose v Wyatts) ends with a clean pin and no turn. I’m a bit perplexed about the Jon Stewart angle. That wasn’t the match I thought he’d be getting involved in, given the build-up. Incidentally, no one should be selling for a guy of Jon Stewart’s size even if he has a chair. I’m game to see how they explain the Taker/Lesnar finish on Monday…especially considering the thousands of visual pinfalls and submissions we’ve seen in wrestling that don’t matter a bit. What I really want to mention here, though, is what a lousy experience we had watching this on the Network. Lots of graininess and freezes, especially early on, and some skipping a few seconds back and forth throughout the evening. Given that I don’t watch the network for historic content anymore (way too much buffering, and not nearly enough content added lately), and could care less about their crop of new shows, I’m left paying an average of $30 per PPV for the ones I watch. Would I pay around twice that to have those events delivered to me in a way that’s always been in high quality? I haven’t yet, but one more experience like this and I just might. So much for the phenomenal value of the Network.
Thumbs in the middle
Best Match: PTP v. New Day v. Matadores v. Lucha Dragons
Worst Match: Big Show v. Ryback v. The Miz
For all the promotion Summerslam received, I expected a bigger and more dramatic show. The two disputed finishes in the WWE Title and Lesnar v. Taker matches really hurt the show. To put it another way, the “Too Big For WrestleMania” tagline could have also been, “Big Commercial For Wrestlemania.” WWE put on a bunch of pretty good wrestling matches tonight, but the quality was on par with Raw or Smackdown main events (omitting the very good tag match and the title match).
This is the third match in a row where the Undertaker looks and fights like a nostalgia act. His moves look less and less like wrestling moves and more like weird looking spots. Lesnar has to climb the ropes and wait because Undertaker needs to hit the Last Ride spot. Lesnar needs to bend over and wait with his arm draped nonchalantly over the Undertaker’s torso because the Hell’s Gate spot is next. I would think that at some point the fans would reject a wrestler who paces around for a minute to catch his breath after every move, but it hasn’t happened yet and maybe it never will.
Some Summerslam feedback for the site:
Thumb: In the middle
Best Match: Cena vs Rollins
Worst: IC Title 3 way
This is the first WWE PPV I’ve bought since the 2014 Summerslam. Quite the mixed bag. The opening with Stewart and Foley was Thunder level rubbish. Why this was on my PPV I don’t know. What exactly did it accomplish? Is Foley getting killed on Raw tomorrow by Rollins? And then came out Orton and Sheamus, two workers who need to leave my TV for at least a year. I just don’t care about either guy, and a **1/2 match won’t change that. Tag Team fourway was damn fine thou, best bout of the non main events. Rusev vs Ziggler was a fun 10 minutes. The ICT match isn’t worth talking about, while the Arrow match was fine for what is was.. Cena and Rollins were having an excellent fight until the silly John Stewart “turn”. Clearly they needed far more time rehearsing that with him, since he blew the spot. But beyond that, why should I care if a middle aged guy attacks Cena? I guess it serves as a way out, because God forbid Cena could lose clean. Not sure a clean loss would have been worse than losing because a talk show host hit you with a soft chair shot. Would have been ****+ but that finish brings it down. No doubt this gets Stewart in their HOF come 2017.Moving on, the women all try hard, but it’s like watching ballet rather than something akin to a fight. Owens-Casero should have gone on it the ICT title slot, would have been a gem if the crowd weren’t burnt out. Taker vs Lesnar was a great spectacle, but again the ending takes it down quite abit. Too clever by half, and this is the big angle for WM2016? Vince needs to give us Rock vs Brock in Dallas. In the end the PPV was decent, but far too long, and at $30+ in the UK, I really don’t believe I got value for money. I can’t see myself purchasing another for a while. But hey the G1 was great, eh?
Hi Dave, Just wanted to give my 2 cents on the Taker/Brock match. I thought it was such a botched finish to an otherwise really good and stiff looking match (which is what people wanted to see originally at WM30 after their kayfabe UFC confrontation). The finish was sooooo butchered, it was right up there with Sting vs Hogan @ Starrcade IMO. *IF* you’re going to do that finish you have to have the perfect camera angles and posititioning. Taker’s arm needs to be in a position where the time keeper can see it, while the ref is on the other side of him and doesn’t. The audience needs to see Taker tapping, so you’re sitting at home going “HE’S TAPPING!”, then the bell rings and you’re fooled into thinking Brock has legitimately won. Then the ref does the whole “I never called for the bell” thing. Instead, it came off as a screwjob fast count as Charles Robinson was in the middle of a pin-count, so nobody is thinking about a submission in that moment – and of course the announcers were clueless as always and had no idea what was going on either. Compare this to a similar finish from Rock vs Benoit @ Fully Loaded 2000 and see how flawlessly this was executed in terms of timing, camera angles, ref positioning, etc. It’s night and day. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz5063_the-rock-vs-chris-benoit-fully-loaded-2000-wwf-championship_sport Tim Dudley
Best Match: Rollins vs. Cena
Worst: Rusev vs. Ziggler
I thought that every match on the show served its purpose. I know we’re supposed to boo New Day, but it’s hard to do that when they are as entertaining as they are right now. Rollins would have completely stolen the show with a clean win among wrestling fans, but having Stewart help him means more for mainstream exposure in the long run. All of the finishes made good sense. No match was really bad, but the Rusev/Ziggler match, while it builds to a mixed tag or something along those lines, just felt like the one that was the most “there” with no one really looking forward to the follow-up.
NXT & SummerSlam NXT Takeover Thumbs Up: Overall just good but the fans made it great. NXT is like the combination of Japanese booking with the over the top characters and gimmicks of WWE in the 80’s. Everyone has a role and they act according to that, can’t say the same about RAW or Smackdown.Best Match: Bayley vs. BanksWorst Match: None 1. Liger vs. Breeze. Fine opener. Crowd seems to know Liger’s move which is odd to in a sense. *** 2. Vaudevillians vs. Blake & Murphy. The hot crowd really helped this one. Both teams are good. ***1/4 3. Crews vs. Dillinger. WWE should be very carefull with Crews, he has the potential to be the black star that they are lacking. ** 4. Joe vs. Corbin. Slow at times but fine overall. **1/4 5. Bayley vs. Sasha. The best women match since the glory days of All Japan Women in the mid 90’s. Bayley has the best underdog act in the business and Sasha is just a complete performer. The post match was even better. It’s a shame that WWE blew the debut of Sasha (and Charlotte and Becky) on the main roster with Stephanie telling them what to do like girl scouts. ****1/2 6. Balor vs. Owens. Very good match but they couldn’t follow the women. Plus the dynamic wasn’t the best as the heel, Owens, was the one chasing the title and that never works as good as the other way around. ***3/4 ===================SummerSlam Thumbs in the Middle. Overall good but some of the matches didn’t deliver as expected. Best Match: Rollins vs. CenaWorst Match: Divas 3-way 1. Sheamus vs. Orton. Good but this was helped by being the opening match, in any other position this would had got the boring chant treatment. *** 2. New Day vs. PTP vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Matadores. Sometimes luck is better than talent, and that’s exactly what happened with WWE and the New Day gimmick; it started as a borderline offensive stereotype and now is the only hot was act in the tag division. Match was all action and fun. ***1/2 3. Ziggler vs. Rusev. Fine but nothing more. Hope this feud ends with Lana back with Rusev. **1/44. Stephen Amell & Neville vs. Barrett & Stardust. Amell looked fine by outsiders standards. Hard to rate this one. *3/4 5. Ryback vs. Show vs. Miz. Average in every sense of the word. ** 6. Ambrose & Reigns vs. Wyatt & Harper. Lots of spots but not real heat. The more they push Reigns the more fans hate him. **3/4 7. Rollins vs Cena. Show stealing performance by Rollins. He is right there for the MVP Award, or at least best in the ring since nobody means anything when it comes to the business aspect except for Cena. Seth delivered a five stars match but Cena took it down, his punches are terrible and he missed the Stunner spot by a mile. ****1/2 8. PCB vs. Team Bella vs. BAD. My God this was boring and pointless. This whole Diva Revolution deal is just a weak excuse for a real change. They didn’t get any reaction here, which is saying something as it was the same building that Sasha and Bayley steal the show the day before. After the post match deal on NXT, I thought that they would drop the whole stables thing and go with a NXT women vs. Total Divas feud. Sadly, it didn’t happened. I think it’s just a matter of time before the fans turned on them. And I’m usually right about that stuff. It seems that WWE is waiting for Mania to pull the trigger on Charlotte, and if that’s their plan it won’t work since it’s expected that Ronda will be there with Step (in any role) and there is no way that those two are going to be outperformed; so it doesn’t matter what the regulars do, on that day, all eyes would be on Ronda and they will just be an afterthought. *1/2 9. Owens vs. Cesaro. Why this was booked so late on the show is anyone guess. This same match could had steal the show if early on the show. If they switch places with the opener no one could have follow but here it was just good. ***1/4 10. Undertaker vs. Lesnar. This was great until the finish. The rematch is just a matter of time, so no Sting or Cena for Taker. ***1/2
Leonardo Toledo Mendes