Part One: The Conclusion
One thing that I’m absolutely certain about is that WWE’s 4 hour spectacular Sunday night was way too long, by far the coldest event of the summer and, better yet, maybe even the coldest event of the year! If I were a casual fan that wanted to get back into watching wrestling again, having looked at this card on paper without knowing any background or any story I would’ve thought it looked like an exceptionally stacked card. The names on this card and the matches they were in looked great at first glance but there was nothing there to suck anyone in and hold them tight for the ride! The fact that there weren’t any really good, creative, out of the box stories to any of these matches turned this PPV into a really bad one dimensional caricature of itself. Yes it is a “wrestling” show, but the problem is the fact that it has become solely just that and, to be perfectly honest, the real entertainment aspect has taken a cold seat on the back of the bus! There is nothing I can do to make myself become emotionally invested in these matches because that is up to the WWE. That is their job and they’re not doing it! I know that I’m not alone in feeling that it’s difficult to invest in these shows, and you can hear other Brand family voice the same issues anytime on PodcastOne, The RELM Network, YouTube and, of course, right up here at Russosbrand.com!
So, what was good about SummerSlam? Only a few things, and that’s what I’ll touch on briefly in the first part of this article. In an effort to always stay positive and keep an open mind, I’m going to focus on the very small amount of good that came from Sunday night and then I will watch RAW tonight with an open mind and finish the second part of this article once I see the aftermath and can have more of an understanding. The show confused me and I need to see RAW to try and make sense of it all.
Anyways, what was the good that came from SummerSlam? For starters, every performer gave everything they had and put forth stellar efforts! It was an all around fantastic display of athleticism and skill from everyone on the card. In my opinion, John Cena and AJ Styles stole the show with a gritty, hard fought battle! Other than the fact that Sasha Banks almost killed herself probably 3 different times, the WWE Women’s Championship match was a great bit of storytelling. Charlotte and Sasha both fought their tails off in a believable match that sucked me in! This match was easily the second highlight of the night!
Some other small things I liked: The Gallows and Anderson doctor gimmick is hilarious and extremely witty. These dudes are killing it with this little shtick! Another great thing was seeing every announcer from both RAW and SmackDown Live. Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves were magic together in the main event and I was so happy to see that Michael Cole didn’t speak throughout that entire match. These two guys are the very best that they have, no doubt! At one point during the main event Cole could be seen watching Ranallo overflow with excitement as he was calling the match and making him look and feel like a chump! Cole had a very concerned and envious look on his face and I loved every second of it!
So that’s just about all I can say about this show in a positive light and even at that, it was difficult. I’m hoping that we get some real payoffs on RAW tonight in the aftermath. I’m literally summoning all of my positive energy to send in the direction of the show. I’ll catch you on the flip side…
Part Two: The Aftermath
Well, RAW has just ended and I can actually say that it was a good show—not great, but just good! In my opinion, it was a smart move to have this series of matches tonight culminating in a fatal 4-way match next week for the WWE Universal Championship. Having the eliminator matches tonight was a great way to anchor the show and build from there. All four of these matches were highly entertaining and Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn had to be the best one. Zayn sold his ass off here and I have to give the guy the credit where credit is due. At the time of this writing there has already been speculation that Sami’s ankle injury was indeed real, and if that holds true then this guy deserves even more credit for having one hell of a match! I think I’m starting to like this Zayn cat!
Even more badass is the fact that we are not left with some generic, paint by numbers match for the strap next week. I know for sure that I couldn’t have guessed it would be Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Big Cass vs. Roman Reigns, that is not the typical WWE booking! To me, it is very exciting that there is now a certain level of unpredictability to this match and it builds a stronger anticipation to watch it; at least for me anyway. It doesn’t matter who you are: If you’re saying that this match is predictable or you already “know” who is going over, then you’re lost! This is certainly better than a good part of the lame shenanigans we’ve been subjected to in recent memory and I know countless brainiacs will unquestionably be all over social media burying this match for one reason or another. Some people just won’t recognize something good even though they’ve been beaten over the head with it! You all know the saying—you can lead a horse to water but…
Ok, so here’s my one big gripe: Where the f*** was the follow up to the Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton fiasco? Seriously, this is the type of s*** that really just takes the wind right out of my sails; it literally sucks the life right out of me when it comes to this product! I mean why do they have to always manage doing something absolutely stupid? This thing should’ve been the biggest angle of the night, period—end of story. I get it that Lesnar is on a part time schedule, if you can even call it that, but you can’t just leave people hanging like that! Am I really supposed to believe that “The Viper” who hears voices in his head and has one of the most vicious mean streaks in professional wrestling history is just going to take an absolute mauling from Lesnar like that and not be seek revenge and retribution? Come on guys, where is the storytelling?
I would’ve started the show with Lesnar and Paul Heyman coming to the ring with a purpose. Heyman could cut his promo like he always does but Brock would grab the microphone for a change. He would say that he has completely demolished every opponent that the WWE has put in front of him and Randy Orton was just another sacrificial lamb, another victim. He would go on to say that WWE has nothing for him and he has run through the entire roster. Then he would tell everyone that he’s going home until WWE can find a suitable opponent for him. The promo would end and they would leave the ring. Maybe you could even have Foley come down and suspend him for what he did at SummerSlam. Then at some point you would cut to Lesnar and Heyman exiting the arena to get into a vehicle and leave when Orton would suddenly appear in some way and attack Lesnar. Make it brutal and keep the feud alive! Hell, have him even beat the brakes off Heyman too! Do things that make sense, it’s not that hard.
Instead we got Stephanie McMahon telling us that there will be consequences. Like we didn’t already know that s***! So much for the big follow up to that and so much for having the massacre that was our final memory from Sunday’s show actually make sense. WWE, you give The Gonzo Shark a damn headache sometimes!