Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2020 Review Submitted by Mr. Tito on 08/23/2020 at 10:06 PM
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It's time for WWE SummerSlam, folks... If you look back into the history of the WWE, SummerSlam typically delivers. Wrestlemania, to me, is always overhyped and things don't always go as planned. SummerSlam, however, is usually where the WWE presses the reset button for storylines pushed at Wrestlemania that didn't go over well during the following Summer. For some reason, this show consistently delivers on the biggest match-ups and then you'll get something good happening in the midcard.
For this year, however, my expectations are VERY LOW... Sorry, but Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman aren't doing it for me... There was a reason why Drew was placed in the 3 Man Band and then released. He looks the part but he's dull. Meanwhile, Braun Strowman has endured some bad booking in his past but he's also not appreciative of his WWE spot based on the way he's taunted Indy wrestlers to "pay their dues". The Tag Team division is weak, the midcard titles are poorly built up, and the Women's Division is a bit thin without Charlotte and Becky around. For the ladies, I like that Bayley, Sasha, and Asuka have been given better roles, but the bench behind them... Yikes!
This SummerSlam Pay Per View is the kind of show that just has to be decent and I'll probably show more positive bias because my expectations are that low.
As I wrote earlier in the week, Triple H Needs to Step Up on the Creative Team and try to change Vince McMahon's mind. Otherwise, Vince will feel isolated as if nobody is willing to help him book shows. As you can clearly see by the Thunderdome, it's very apparent that Executive Producer Kevin Dunn has his ear to make the WWE atmosphere look more appealing. That's fine and dandy but that still doesn't fix how Talent are poorly developed or how storylines are horribly constructed by the Creative Team. It's like those old phrases of polishing a turd or putting lipstick on a pig... At the end of the day, you still have a turd and a pig.
Let's stop with the Supernatural CRAP already... Bray Wyatt is more than capable of wrestling a REGULAR OLD FASHIONED wrestling match. He's a Rotunda with an uncle named Windham. In fact, Wyatt's real freakin' name is "Windham Rotunda". Obviously, the supernatural edited segments are NOT DRAWING... So let's save money and return to the ring and do what Bray Wyatt was trained to do... Wrestle!
As demographic studies prove, most of WWE's audience is between 40-60 years old as many of them grew up as kids watching the NWA, Hulkamania era WWE, WCW vs. WWE Monday Night Wars, and the Attitude Era. When you present wrestling that is contrary to that style, it's not going to click with those fans. Obviously, the past 10 years of Creative has proven to not gain new or younger fans. TIME FOR A CHANGE... If you go back to 1995-1996 when business kept declining and WCW arrived for an actual challenge, Vince McMahon made 3 critical moves. He placed Jim Ross in charge of Talent during 1995 (brought in Foley, Austin), promoted Jim Cornette to the Creative Team during early 1996, and gave Vince Russo a chance at Creative by the end of the Summer 1996. From Wrestlemania 13 through Survivor Series 1997, things clicked bigtime for the WWE and those 3 men set up the WWE to grow for years.
WWE needs to find NEW BLOOD for their Creative Team and Talent evaluations, period. WWE has many veterans around that could serve on the Creative Team but they also have a ton of wrestling fans out there, like Vince Russo, who are full of ideas and would die for a chance at booking WWE. WWE might have to consider hiring athletic scouts to help them evaluate potential wrestling candidates. They also need better veterans injected into NXT for training, as many Indy habits are not scrubbed out before joining WWE.
Until they repair the infrastructure, the WWE is going to have the same stagnant results and they'll place all of their hopes on an arena structure, like the Thunderdome, to draw instead of the actual wrestlers themselves.
Onto the WWE SummerSlam 2020 review:
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2020 Review
To Thunderdome we go, where even the non-camera view is tarped off from fans. *mic drop*
The disclaimer that each WWE fan agrees to for the Thunderdome screen is hilarious, by the way... Several places have posted it and it's hilarious how the WWE tries to shield themselves from any liability for what fans do on-screen.
No Pre-Game for me, thus no emotional send-off from me for Renee Young. Good luck in your future endeavors, but you didn't add that much to WWE as a scripted talking head. They'll find another communications major with a pretty smile to replace you.
OPENING MATCH is for the Smackdown Women's title between Asuka vs. Bayley. I really wish that Asuka would do away with the green facepaint... It took me a while to warm to it, but I really appreciate how Bayley has grown into that heel role. That said, her tights were too colorful tonight as a heel compared to what she wore at Extreme Rules where she appeared far more intimidating. Speaking of Bayley and Asuka, check out their 2016 NXT work together if you want to see some quality match-ups and with babyface Bayley in her prime. The Thunderdome screen is way too distracting... Just bring in real fans and have them sign waivers at the door. Some good back and forth between the two, with no real errors in sight (though both wrestlers were getting in position, clearly, for top rope spots). Of course Sasha interferes... Why would Asuka even allow her at ringside? Distraction allows Bayley to get the roll-up pin for Bayley. [ ** 3/4 ] Afterwards, the heels get a few extra shots on Asuka. Match was overall good but had nothing unique or flashy about it, too predictable with Sasha Banks interference.
Next match was for the RAW Tag Titles between Andrade/Angel Garza vs. Street Profits. Felt like a typical Monday Night RAW tag match, nothing special. Eventually, Zelina Vega tried to interfere but she was knocked off ringside. As Andrade tended to her, Garza ate some tag moves for an eventual loss. [ * 1/2 ] WWE's tag team division is really thin right now, maybe its worst ever.
WWE's Ice Cream bars have Becky Lynch, Macho Man Randy Savage, John Cena, and Roman Reigns... 4 wrestlers who are NOT on this SummerSlam show. Obviously Macho is long gone, but Cena is in Hollywood, Becky is on maternity leave, and Roman is on COVID quarantine. Good job, marketing department!
Up next, Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville... I'm with Jim Cornette on this one. Rose and Deville are supposed to be feuding but per that awful kidnapping story (very glad that nothing happened to Deville by that stalker), it was revealed that Mandy Rose was at Deville's house when the invasion happened. I would favor cancelling this match all together and just reuniting them as friends because they clearly are in real life. I'm kind of sad that it's no longer a Hair vs. Hair match, too... Loser leaves WWE now? And for how long will the loser of this match stay out of the WWE? They'll be back... Since these two are friends, they should have this match planned out to make something decent. I'm waiting for either one of these two to break through already as performers. Mandy Rose baffles me, as she trains for power lifting YET she wrestles without doing any power moves. She should be the great equalizer against a heavier Nia Jax, for example. Sonya is hyped with the MMA background but I've never really seen it convincingly used. Match was just a slow back and forth between the two, as I would have expected better in-ring chemistry between friends and also trust in executing No-DQ based moves. Just nothing. [ * ] Sonya Deville is now gone from the WWE and she'll probably appear on RAW during Monday. Don't care. Don't have that match gimmick unless it truly sticks.
1 hour in and I'm regretting watching this show. Things HAVE to improve. Right?
Next it is Seth Rollins vs. Dominik in a Street Fight. Oh, another gimmick match? And don't worry, we have a Falls Count Anywhere match later as well. Remember when Seth Rollins was considered a "top star" of the WWE? You know, the guy who beat Brock Lesnar TWICE during a single year? Now, he's wrestling Rey Mysterio's inexperienced son. I wouldn't doubt that WWE will keep pushing Dominik on WWE television just to keep his daddy away from AEW. In theory, this match should last less than a minute against a Main Eventer, much like last night's match with Adam Cole and Pat McAfee... But when you let the inexperienced wrestler look strong against a main eventer, it reduces the value of the main eventer... It's MUCH DIFFERENT if you knew that they came from somewhere, such as John Cena coming from Ohio Valley Wrestling (hence why he was credible to give Kurt Angle a tough match during 2002). Good story being told early on, as Seth is dominating but he's taking his time in between moves, as a heel, to savor each time he punishes Dominik. When Dominik got in some moves, you could see that inexperience... I like the psychology that Seth is trying as a heel, as it's keeping Dominik even in this match... As a heel, he's enjoying the torture implemented onto Dominik and that buys some time for Dominik to stay in this match. Dominik catches an arrogant Rollins and Russian Leg Sweeps Rollins through a table from the ropes. How does that not hurt BOTH guys? Dominik to the top rope and hits a Froggy Splash in honor of Eddie, nice touch. Seth Rollins gets back on the advantage with a Superkick and a nicely executed Powerbomb. Many Kendo Stick shots now on poor Dominik. Rollins tries to apply handcuffs and that prompts Momma Mysterio to come out with concern. As Rey tries to calm her down, Murphy gets involved and attacks Dominik. He even tries to shove Dominik's face into the stairs to impair his eye, too. Rey comes back and fights off Murphy but is ambushed by Rollins. Rey gets handcuffed instead and Seth thought about going after Momma Mysterio until Dominik made the save. By the way, what were handcuffs doing under the ring anyway? Didn't I argue about useless crap underneath the ring in a recent YouTube video? Eventually, Seth takes advantage of the situation, along with Murphy nearby, to hit Dominik with the Blackout. [ ** ] I give Seth Rollins credit because he played up the heel quite well to give Dominik a chance in this match. Otherwise, it was as you'd expect between someone experienced carrying someone inexperienced.
The next bout is Sasha Banks vs. Asuka as I point the FINGER OF SHAME at the WWE for making the Women's Champion come out first. Champions should always do their entrance second, WWE! Now, that said, if I were the WWE, I'd push Sasha Banks to the moon... She's a great in-ring performer but what she has, particularly as a heel, is the swagger and psychology of being "larger tha life". Just rewatch her 2015 in NXT and there was NO female heel like her ever. I was just arguing today with someone on how THIN the Women's roster is and all I had to say is "why is Asuka wrestling twice on SummerSlam?". I could also win by saying "why does 2 wrestlers have all 4 Women's Titles?". ONCE AGAIN, why is Asuka letting one of the heel tag team wrestlers at ringside? Is she really that obtuse to believe that no interference would happen? Good continuation of Sasha working on the leg and then a devastating Sunset Flip bomb off the side of the ring by Sasha. Damn! Sasha and Asuka are working a bit snug here, as they are connecting on kicks and punches to add a bit more realism to the match compared to others tonight. Beautiful Electric Chair Drop and then DDT from the top rope by Asuka. Asuka, also an Eddie Guerrero fan, tries her own Froggy Splash but it missed. Asuka Lock is next, reversed into a pin, and then reversed into the Bank Statement. Now, back into the Asuka Lock. Bayley tried to interfere and as Sasha Banks tried to lock in the Bank Statement, Asuka reversed that into the Asuka Lock to make Sasha tap! New Women's Champ! [ **** ] Finally, a good match appears on this damn show and it took until the 1 hour and 42 minute mark to see something decent. Based on the way that the Bank Statement was reversed, I don't expect the Sasha/Bayley union to end just yet... Sasha will either botch the rematch with Asuka or the Tag Title loss will cause the break-up. I'd personally keep them together, but that's just me.
Up next is the WWE Title match between Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre. Though I'm not high on his him as a talent (lacks charisma, speaking ability, personality to be a top draw), I feel bad for Drew McIntyre that he never got to be champion in front of a crowd. No, being champion in front of a bunch of digital screens doesn't count. Match was dominated by Randy Orton at first, as Orton punished Drew on the outside and worked on him in the ring as a heel. As Drew locked in the Figure 4, Orton pulled a slick move on the referee and put a thumb to the eye. Randy is MOTIVATED, which suggests that he's either winning the WWE title tonight or he'll win the title soon after this event. Bloody eye from that eyepoke, by the way. Offense begins to even out as the match goes on and that's when things start to get really good... Both trade high impact moves and it feels like a real heavyweight bout. The noise from the Thunderdome wall seems to be picking up and it's starting to feel better to enhance the show. Ending saw Drew McIntyre miss his kick but avoid the RKO to defeat Randy Orton with the Backslide?!? Holy cow, shades of Kerry Von Erich defeating Ric Flair for the NWA title... Solid damn match, [ **** 1/4 ]. Best match and win of Drew's career, period.
As I expected, Keith Lee is now on the WWE main roster after losing last night. Good luck to him.
Payback Pay Per View next Sunday? Holy Tuesday in Texas, Batman!
The MAIN EVENT is Bray Wyatt/Fiend vs. Braun Strowman in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The bald head of Braun is throwing me off... This feud has been too insane with Sports Entertainment. What it needs is a great match to make all of the booking insanity actually make some sense. But we'll get the usual brawl because it's FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE. Both of these guys are trained wrestlers. Why can't they just put on a great match inside the ring? You know, like Orton and Drew just did? As they brawl throughout the entrance and backstage, either both guys are selling pain or they are completely out of breath. Based on the rate their torsos are moving to suck wind and the amount that they are sweating, both are out of gas. As they both slowly try to execute the next move, I just laughing at how both guys mutilated themselves with awful tattoo choices. And now we're back to the multiple finishes hit on Bray Wyatt again... What? I seem to remember seeing Bill Goldberg make lightwork of the Fiend and then Braun did the same to Goldberg. How is this match making any sense? Strowman gets out a boxcutter and cuts open part of the ring, removing padding to expose wood. Funny how that just exposed what the rest of the wrestlers were performing on earlier... The Fiend hits 2 Sister Abigails that COMPLETELY MISSED THE EXPOSED WOOD to defeat Braun Strowman to win the WWE Universal Title. [ ** ] Awful match.
BUT AFTER THE FREAKIN' MATCH, Roman Reigns appears and attacks BOTH Fiend and Braun! Holy cow. Nice t-shirt, too, which states "Wreck Everyone and Leave". Roman grabs a chair and pounds Braun... He returns to the ring to deliver another Spear to the Fiend. Wow...
LAST WORD: Just skip to the 1:42 minute mark on your WWE Network if you have yet to see this event... From there, watch Asuka/Sasha and Drew/Orton and then just shut it off. Good to see Roman Reigns back after a long absence and I'm actually rooting for him to dispose of the Fiend. Show was a 2 match show with the rest being boring to hot garbage. [ C ]
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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