Credit: Nathan S and Prowrestling.net
A mate and I flew over from Australia for SummerSlam. It was my first live show since YEStlemania, so I was pretty amped.
Before they went on the air, New Day were getting the most chants. It’s amazing how over they are. Some guy tried to start a ‘we want Hogan’ chant outside the building. He was booed down. Bright spark that one. Michael Cole had the usual heat while JBL and Jerry Lawler got great applause. The French commentary team was booed… okay.
Jon Stewart received a nice reaction and Mick Foley a great one. Their comedy bit was good for what it was but it felt a little rushed. We enjoyed Foley’s banter about missing the “B” and that Hell in a Cell was 17 years ago, but they raced through it and I’ll have to watch again as I’m sure I missed bits and pieces.
Randy Orton received a nice pop and Sheamus had bad heat. He’s got ‘go away’ heat and a few people around thought he was playing for heat a bit too much. Respect the hawk does nothing for me, although Orton messing with it got a few laughs. Fans lost interest. Referee Mike Chioda even got a chant. The RKO ‘outta nowhere’ was received well and I think most people felt with Sheamus winning we wouldn’t be seeing him later. Good.
New Day! What is left to say? Brilliant. They got great heat saying New York knows nothing about hip hop, but by the end of ‘New Day State of Mind’ (I guess!) they were being applauded and had us all in stitches and singing along. Big E is just hilarious. I didn’t hear anyone booing at the end. That was some great mic work. They are so far the best tag team. A decent reaction for the Lucha Dragons and crickets for the bull fighters. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young got a solid pop. The match itself was very well received. Titus’s offense was very enjoyable. Woods finally beating Torito got a good pop. His reaction like he’d won a title was just tremendous. On that huge suplex/powerbomb move, it look like one of the bullfighters fell off the buckles by mistake but they recovered well. The live crowd could see Kofi just waiting for the finish, but the crowd went crazy for New Day. Their celebration was hilarious. How good are they? Good for those guys. Awesome match.
Dolph Ziggler received a huge pop. It was the site of his cash in so he was very over. Lana looked stupid. If they’re going to keep those two together, maybe Dolph should change up his ’80s appearance or go all the way with a perm job mullet thing. Anyways…I went for a bathroom break and missed a section. It was what it was. The crowd played along without any great investment and, while the finish was booed, I think everyone accepts it’s leading to a mixed tag.
Stephen Amell got a decent reaction and the match was fun. He held up his end, which the crowd appreciated. It was smart wrestling. He didn’t take a single back bump. That’s well thought out. The crowd enjoyed Neville’s offense.
The IC title match was not good. Big Show received ‘please retire’ chants. The only highlight for most of us it seemed was Miz’s hilarious attempts at pinning both Ryback and Show. The crowd seemed behind Miz in those moments. He’s great. Ryback winning ‘Miz style’ at the end was a strange and it was a flat way for a babyface to go over. Not great. The crowd chanted “Feed Me More” so that’s something for Ryback.
The Paul Heyman line about David Letterman was great. I don’t think Stewart was mic’d particularly well and he was rushing. He seemed contrived. My buddy called a heel turn two weeks ago. He would be upset if I don’t mention that.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper was interesting. Reigns was booed a lot. Every move was booed actually. He was even booed on that Tapout commercial. I’m surprised that didn’t come through on the broadcast. The ‘Roman’s sleeping’ chant wasn’t something I’d normally love (I’d prefer to be into the match) but it was a ridiculously long time that he was lying at ringside, so it was funny. The match felt flat for a lot of us. I was surprised to see such a decisive win and to see Wyatt eat the fall. They’re wasting this character.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins was unquestionably match of the night. That was awesome. The John Sena sucks singing was so loud and the crowd was mega into this whole match. A ‘you can’t wrestle’ chant broke out. I was backing Rollins, but seriously?! That’s a chant 10 years removed from reality and was frankly embarrassing. The crowd was nuclear for everything, but especially Seth’s strength show into the AA. Nice spot. The superplex spot… Wow. The crowd loved that. Brilliant wrestling. Stewart took too long to strike with the chair and I thought made both Cena and Rollins look a bit silly in the process but that’s nitpicking. Great match.
The women’s match was what it was. ‘We want Sasha’ chants here and there but used as a come down from the title match. It was ok. Whatever really. Break these dumb factions up asap.
Both Cesaro and Kevin Owens received good reactions. It just felt like they were in a tough spot. I wish they’d went with this before or after Cena vs. Rollins. It felt like the crowd was a bit tired and waiting for the main event. A tough spot for these guys. I kind of like that the match restricted the kick-outs off of finishers, as it clearly left room for a better second match if they go down that path. Owens won clean. Poor Cesaro. He needs a win.
The crowd came to life for the main event. Dueling chants of Undertaker and Suplex City, but this was unquestionably a Taker crowd. I personally wanted a Brock win. Why waste that equity with even booking. The attack by Brock as Taker stepped in drew a huge reaction. It was on. A great way to start. The ‘You’ve still got it’ chants. Eugh. The sit-up and laugh sequence got a monster reaction. Then the punches… Great stuff by both. The tap out pin sequence was poorly received. Afterwards, we got it, but it wasn’t great. It took everyone out of the moment. Then another low blow. Weird booking. Taker wasn’t a heel even after that and won’t be tonight or at WrestleMania. They backed themselves into a corner that I thought needed a winner and they seemed to have backed themselves into a bigger corner now. Taker the heel? Lesnar a complaining babyface? In the words of Ron Simmons… Damn.
A really enjoyable live experience. I am looking forward to Raw tonight before the long journey home.