Monday, August 21, 2017

WWE Summerslam 2017

Another year, another Summerslam, another marathon of shit.

As per the case with these things, I don't watch the pre-show. But apparently, Neville won back the Cruiserweight title he lost on Monday and the Usos won back the Smackdown tag titles they lost to the New Day last month or so. Also, Shawn Michaels found a new job dressing up as some old guy. Other than that, nothing of note happened.

So, let's begin, shall we?

John Cena defeated Baron Corbin in what was a generally boring match that damn near put me to sleep. Rather surprising since Cena has one of those "making chicken salad out of chicken shit" attributes, but this is one of those rare cases where you can almost tell that Cena simply didn't give a shit and was just phoning it in. Can't say I blame him; this was a match featuring him getting beat up by Corbin for a good amount of time before doing his usual moves and that's it. Then again, it's hard for me to buy into Corbin as any kind of threat due to his cash-in fail the previous week... well, that and his Twitter exploits where he's been mouthing off against veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer as well as a veteran marine, which isn't a smart move in relation to your WWE career. You could look up that stuff yourself if you prefer.

Fun fact: this is the first time that John Cena has won a match at Summerslam since he buried the Nexus back in 2010. And wouldn't you know it? Here he is burying some other clown... though I can't say that I feel particularly sorry for Mr. Corbin. Given his Twittering experience, it's safe to say that the dude had it coming.

Natalya defeated Smackdown Women's champ Naomi to Kill The Glow and win the title. Nattie being upset over the title belt getting night glow accessories is rather baffling, considering this company touted a wrestler's vanity spinner belt as their main World's championship for nearly a decade, but whatever. This was an okay match, but with no real emotional investment whatsoever. I should feel something for Nattie's win or Naomi's loss, but I really don't. And that's sad.

Fun fact: Natalya is the daughter of former WWF tag-team champion Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. That's all I got.

Big Cass defeated Big Show in a match that featured Enzo Amore hanging in a shark cage above the ring, but really, what they should've done was stuck a ball gag in his mouth so that he'd shut the fuck up. Maybe it's my limited exposure to RAW these days, but hearing Enzo rat his mouth off is almost akin to listening to Stephanie McMahon try to act. Unlike Steph, however, I can look forward to the eventual pay-off of Enzo getting his head kicked off, which was precisely what happens when he manages to escape the shark cage (thanks to some lube he had stashed away) and ends up eating a big boot from Cass.

Big Show going down isn't the worst thing that could happen - that would be yet another turn - and I like the story of Show's right hand being the Achilles Heel in this affair, but if this is supposed to sell me on Big Cass being this giant killer, then I'm impressed by his ability... to bore people. Look, guys, you already have fucking Strowman who pulls off the big monster dude convincingly. Cass looks like Great Khali in comparison.

Fun Fact: The Great Khali is a former World Heavyweight Champion.

Randy Orton defeated Rusev in 9 seconds with an RKO Outta Nowhere after a pre-match beating by Rusev. Did Rusev run over somebody's dog or something? What the fuck was this? Big waste of time, but you know what? I don't mind since I like seeing people get RKO'ed Outta Nowhere. The vines helped, I guess.

Fun Fact: Randy Orton won his first World title at Summerslam 2004. He won it against... um, he won his first World title at Summerslam 2004.

Backstage, Sasha Banks and Bayley hug while the audience boos... uh oh. That's never a good sign.

Sasha Banks defeated Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss via submission to win the title. As I'm watching the match and listening to the commentary, something hits me. This is a match between someone who calls herself a goddess and someone who calls herself the "legit boss" or whatever. Both sound like bad gal gimmicks. Who am I supposed to root for? Who's supposed to be the hero of this particular angle? Because both are heel gimmicks.

And yes, the match is fine from the athletic point of view - even if the finish did come out of nowhere. Almost like  I don't give a shit about Sasha winning the title again. Good for her, I suppose. But by this point, the shine has dulled ages ago.

Fun fact: I've run out of fun facts.

The Demon Finn Balor (complete with paint and entrance) defeated Bray Wyatt. The spectacle of watching Balor in his Demon get-up and the smoke and all that is quite a thrill and while the match itself isn't anything really special given they gave this one away for free on RAW, the entrances were top notch. All in all, a nice spectacle if nothing else.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeated Raw Tag Champions Sheamus and Cesaro to win the titles. The highlight of the match was Cesaro going into the crowd and popping a beachball that people in the audience were playing with. Now that's a babyface move right there, pal. Right, so the match itself. Started off slowly, but then picked up steam and I paid more attention. A good match all around that got me hooked after a slow start.

United States champion AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens to retain the title. Shane McMahon is your guest referee for this match and he makes sure you know it. Every other little bump he takes, there's always a confrontation such as the verbal spat between Shane and Kevin when AJ had a foot on the ropes or when Shane was KO'ed while Owens was tapping to the Calf Crusher. Despite this, I enjoyed the match and thought it was fun. It does plant the seeds for a Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens match nobody needs to see, but it was enjoyable.

Fun fact: AJ Styles is the first champion to retain his title on this show. All the title matches up to this point ended with new champions (even the Cruiserweight and Tag-Team title matches on the pre-show ended with new champions standing.)

WWE Champion Jinder Mahal defeated Nakamura to retain the title with outside interference from his lackeys... which is funny because it seems like that's the same finish I've seen in Jinder vs. Randy... pick any of them. This match was filling background noise while I was prepping a cup of tea and when I went to rewatch the show, I simply didn't care. This didn't feel like a WWE championship match featured on the second biggest PPV of the year; this felt like a midcard match you'd see on an episode of WWF Jakked.

Nakamura's run in WWE is so far off from his phenomenal run in NXT that it's insane. And while I don't mind Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion - he has the look, he composes himself well, and he treats the title like something important which is the KEY selling point of any champion. When I see him with the title, I can easily buy into him as a WWE Champion because he sells that image well. But when it comes to watching his matches, I find myself popping up a Game Boy and playing a quick round of Tetris while waiting for something interesting to happen. And nothing ever does.

With the proper creative, Jinder's WWE Title run could be decent if not memorable, but right now, he's basically another statistic in the title history that will be forgotten two or three years down the road... and that's a damn shame because Jinder, whether you care for the guy or not, deserves much better than what he's getting. He tries his damnedest to make it work and he's ALMOST convincing, but at the same time, it feels like something is holding him back.

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the title. This was a fantastic match that Braun Strowman being presented as the monster he's supposed to be. He's unstoppable, he's a force of nature with all them tables he broke and tossed around, he's throwing stairs, and seems to be the only guy who Brock couldn't suplex.

Speaking of which, Brock earned his pay for the month in this match. Yes, he did his usual suplexes that people like, but he also took a beating, mostly from Strowman. He did a stretcher job that STALLED THE MATCH WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU JUST KEEP FIGHTING YOU FUCKING NIMRODS... ahem.

Yes, this was a crazy, fun match. Brock looked like he took a pounding, Strowman looked like a monster, Joe seems almost wasted in this match when the only offense of note was his Clutch submission, and Roman Reigns looked like the biggest chump in the universe, shooting out Aquaman Punches (I refuse to call them Superman Punches) everywhere, but then getting pinned by Brock after only one F5. How is this supposed to get me excited for that Roman vs. Brock match they want to have at Mania in April? If anything, this made me more hyped to see Brock and Strowman go at it one on one because those interactions were the best part of the match.

This year's Summerslam is a marathon of shit. You have to go through the two hours or so of pure, utter mediocre garbage before you get to the somewhat good stuff and eventually hit the top which is a nice rainbow with a pot of gold at the end of it. I'd say the main event for the Universal Red Belt title is worth watching if it pops up on a Best Of compilation or something. The rest of the show... not so much.

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