Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2023 Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade

Welcome to my 2023 SummerSlam review posted exclusively here at During the past, I used to write review columns during the Pay Per Views and then instantly post them as the show goes off the air. It’s been a while, but I figured that I’d give the old format a try.

First of all, this Detroit crowd was RED hot at Ford Field. Goes to show you that if you place a Big 3 Pay Per View in a loyal city, they’ll deliver the heat.

Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2023

I refuse to watch pre-game shows, so thus I tuned in at 8pm to begin the show properly.

I loved the Slim Jim commercial that had highlights of Macho Man and featured LA Knight and Bianca Belair. Good to see a long standing sponsor still around.

Peacock ran nicely for me tonight…

Weird mixing of the announcing crews announced during this show for RAW and Smackdown. That could tell you that something is up with the results of this show or something is coming soon? Where Michael Cole goes is usually considered the top priority show for the WWE.

I really enjoyed Logan Paul vs. Ricochet. Yes, it was a spotfest, but the match had high energy throughout and not too many errors between the two. It’s a shame that Paul isn’t a full-time wrestler, as he has all of the intangibles that great wrestlers have (charisma, personality, promo skills). WWE should scout more for these intangibles rather than the marks or athletes that they usually recruit. Personally, I didn’t like that Paul had to cheat to defeat Ricochet, who isn’t exactly a dominant wrestler in the WWE and has been mostly a midcarder. Fun bout, ***1/2.

Up next was Round 3 of Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar. Before Cody won the 2023 Royal Rumble, what did he have? A few wins over Seth Rollins under his belt. Now, after he won the Royal Rumble, he has a tainted loss against Roman Reigns and has won 2 out of 3 matches with Brock Lesnar. That is called GOOD BOOKING, folks, and a way to scrub off the “AEW Stench” off of Cody. He now had credibility of getting the best of Lesnar and he had Reigns beat at Wrestlemania had it not been for Solo. Overall, I liked the 3rd match as the best match out of the 3, with real drama of Cody overcoming the odds and defeating Lesnar. Lesnar beat the tar out of Cody but Cody kept fighting with many near countouts. ****

If I were booking this, I would have it revealed that Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman PAID Brock Lesnar to harass Cody Rhodes for the past few months. Then, you could have Lesnar join the Bloodline and Reigns & Lesnar together would be a dominant force. Then, Paul and Lesnar could reunite and that could facilitate how Roman Reigns turns babyface. Lesnar attacking Cody after Wrestlemania 39 remains a major LOOSE-END that the WWE has never tied up.

A Battle Royal was up next and was to feature LA Knight winning something to satisfy the rabid fans. Lazy booking, as Battle Royals were more impressive years ago when you didn’t see them too often or before the Royal Rumble was invented. What stood out to me was how thin the WWE roster really is on quality talents. As I have kept telling you for YEARS now, the damage of Triple H as EVP of Talent Relations has affected the WWE and they are seriously riding on the fumes of OVW (Lesnar) and FCW (Rollins, Reigns, etc). ** LA Knight wins, but a better match-up could have featured him better. There was nothing special, other than bragging rights over 24 other performers, to win this match. It’s not like any key main eventers were in this match.

Next up, the crowd found their bathroom break (don’t believe me, HERE IS PROOF!) or a way to save their voiceboxes with the Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler match. Both were trying MMA stuff throughout the match, but it cannot mask the lack of personality or charisma by both. So this match was OK for SummerSlam and Becky vs. Trish was cut? As if the boring action wasn’t enough, the referee pauses the action for a injury check on Shayna. Zero psychology here, just both of them trying to demonstrate their MMA skills in front of 50,000 fans. Interesting finish, though, as Shayna actually choked out Ronda Rousey. Wow… Boring match, but interesting finish, though I really don’t see Vince pushing Shayna match after this match. Next. *

Drew McIntyre vs. Gunther, as I was wishing Sheamus to be here too to relive the amazing Wrestlemania 39 slugfest. Remember when the internet attacked the WWE for renaming him Gunther? I don’t even remember the Walter name, and this version of the wrestler is a lot faster thanks to reshaping his physique. And you say that Vince McMahon isn’t a genius… Match was overall good and physical… There is just a lack of connection with the crowd, and I’ve noticed this trend with Drew McIntyre matches. That and lack of promo ability has been his weaknesses. Just to show you how BROKEN wrestling is, Drew hit Gunther with a Powerbomb and then DDT, but that gets 2 count only. Had this been the 1990s or even the early 2000s, that would have beat anyone. Gunther would actually win with a Powerbomb later… Good overall, but just lacking a pure connection with the fans. *** I just don’t know what the WWE could do with Drew, other than taking losses from top superstars.

Up next was Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor… The Finn Balor main event experience continues, but the guy is a less than 6 foot tall and less than 200 pound wrestler. Quit using him incorrectly against larger wrestlers and push Balor in the Cruiserweight division already. Detroit fans are loving Rollins’s theme music, by the way, and that’s all they are cheering because there’s nothing to care about here with Balor. Wrong fit for this match. I’m glad that fans are into Rollins as the World Champ, because he deserves it. Man has worked hard for almost 11 years on the WWE main roster. Crowd is bored here with Finn Balor on the advantage… Triple H can keep wanting to push his prized NXT prospect, but it’s just not meant to be with Balor. I do like some callbacks to their 2016 SummerSlam match, but having Finn Balor win that world title was a mistake. Triple H has been trying to push Finn for 7 years, but it isn’t clicking. 2 bucklebombs and a splash, 2 could only. Rollins has a big weight advantage and that should have did it. Lots of back and forth, and never have I wanted to see a Pedigree result in a win in my life. Damian Priest appears with the MITB briefcase and he hits Rollins to enable Finn to almost win the title via his own Pedigree. Dominick Mysterio and Rhea Ripley interfere while Priest botched interference (or possibly wanting to cash-in MITB) to allow for the Curb Stomp for a close 2 count. Lots of distractions and Rollins fighting off many on the outside, almost loses to Finn’s finisher. Then, we had a BADASS Finisher with Priest throwing his briefcase into the ring for Finn to use as a weapon, but it backfired to cause Finn to eat a curbstomp on that briefcase. *** Seth worked his arse off here, but Finn looks out of place in any main event match. End this experiment now and push him in a Cruiserweight division. Nobody wants to see Finn vs. Priest.

Alpha Academy was backstage and playing the new WWE 2K game. And the Miz got involved to help push Mike’s Harder Lemonaide. Miz takes another L by getting thrown into a box.

Next, Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Women’s Title… Always gotta worry about your title when Charlotte is your opponent at a Pay Per View. I am legitimately saying this as a compliment, as Charlotte legitimately looks like a blonde Cher and would be a good choice for a Cher biopic in the future. Cherlotte? Love me some Asuka… She’s had a solid WWE career. I am a big fan of Bianca Belair, such an amazing athlete with good in-ring charisma and a cool look. I still watch her Night 1 Wrestlemania main event match with Sasha on occasion. Gotta say that all 3 ladies look like total badasses, particularly Charlotte with the unique looking red tights tonight. I always like how Asuka just toys and tortures her opponents. They are trying out there, but I think the fans are resting up or hitting the restrooms again before the big main event. Everyone just seems tired out there in the ring, though Charlotte and Bianca are hitting some amazing athletic moves out there. Then, Moonsault by Charlotte missed and Asuka’s top rope move looked awkward. Some good near finish combinations, but the crowd isn’t feeling this 3 way. Injury spot with Bianca getting tossed on the outside and onto the steel steps. We get Charlotte vs. Asuka, and Charlotte takes advantage with the Figure 8 but Bianca comes back and hits an incredible 450 splash on Charlotte. Amazing timing by Charlotte to protect herself, just before Bianca landed. Figure 8 on Bianca, but Asuka sprays the blue mist on Charlotte. Asuka tries to then go after Bianca, but Bianca rolls her up to become the NEW Women’s Champion. Match was just wasn’t clicking, though the ladies put up a tremendous effort. ***1/2

Afterward, Damage Control hits the ring and they take out Charlotte and Asuka, and Iyo Sky cashes in her MITB briefcase to easily defeat a wounded Bianca to become the NEW Women’s Champion. Let me emphasize this point again, which I did in my last column about LA Knight. The Money in the Bank briefcase = TRASH, period, end of story. Nobody is going to remember Sky’s win in a few weeks and she’ll prove to be a WEAK champion because she didn’t win it in a legitimate way. What a shame, as wrestlers deserve better pushes and build ups rather than this awful briefcase win. History suggests that I am right on this opinion about these cheap cash-ins. Sadly, the Money in the Bank briefcase has RUINED many SummerSlam events.

FINALLY, the Main Event of Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso has arrived… While the rest of the WWE is struggling for quality control, WWE Creative is just killing it on the Bloodline storyline. I could these guys argue and feud for years… LONG entrances for this one, as WWE has truly become “World Wrestling ENTRANCES”. A dueling chant of “Let’s Go Roman/Roman Sucks” began, and when Roman got the advantage on Jey, Roman taunted the fans “who sucks now?”. Heel Roman takes his time with each move and savors each move that he does, while showing vulnerability to sell the babyface’s moves. Fans decide to begin chanting “we want tables” and Jey pulls one out. Huh? You’re watching a Bloodline match and an old Dudley chant is what you want to chant right now? Lots of Kendo Stick action here in this “Tribal Combat” no disqualification match-up, with Roman torturing Jey and then Jey getting his revenge. Jey Uso throws a bunch of chairs into the ring, which makes me long for the days where chairshots went to the head (done safely). Powerbomb on Jey onto chairs failed to deliver a 3 count for Roman, come on! Pretty dangerous Samoan Drop spot by Jey on Roman… That was crazy, and could have gone horribly wrong. That Samoan Drop happened at 11:58pm, as this show is going long folks… Roman is bleeding badly on his left arm and then they make their way into the crowd. If this were AEW, they’d need permission! As Jey tried to pick up Roman and slam him through another table, Solo Sikoa attacks and Rock Bottoms (or “Spinning Solo”) Jey through that table. Jey is dragged to the ring and takes another Spinning Solo as Roman watches on. However, Roman accidentally speared Solo and Jey hits a spear for a close 2 count. Jey has a chair and is blasting Solo and Roman, but the 2 on 1 odd are too much for Jey. BUT, Solo seems pissed about the Spear and while they are arguing, Jey spears Roman through the barricade. The Drama! Love the Drama! Solo tries to attack Jey Uso again, but Jey counters and puts Solo through the table! Back in the ring, Jey spears Roman and hits the Uso splash, but Jimmy Uso in a mask and hoodie pulls Jey Uso out of the ring. Uh oh, HEEL TURN! “FU Jimmy” chants break out, and Jimmy then superkicks Jey Uso. Roman then spears Jey through the table for the 3 count. ***3/4 Good match overall, but had its moments where it dragged and I felt this finish of Roman winning was too projected. Still, we have GREAT DRAMA coming up on television between Solo taking a spear and Jimmy turning on Jey. I’m good with that.

LAST WORD: After the Cody/Lesnar match, the match quality and fan reactions dropped until the Main Event between Roman vs. Jey. I really thought that the women’s wrestling matches, in particularly, were off while the experiments of pushing Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor need to be reconsidered for other opportunities instead. The show appeared to be a success, but it proved to me that the WWE is severely reliant on a handful of stars, in their late 30s or anything above the age of 40. Not much depth to that roster of youthful stars and that contrasts prior successful years of the WWE. [ B ] as show my show grade for starting and ending strong, with a weak middle while being in desperate need of fresh stars.


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