WrestleMania might be the landmark event of the year for WWE, but SummerSlam is the biggest event of the summer and Sunday night's show marked the 31st time the PPV has been staged. SummerSlam 2018 had a line-up befitting of being WWE's second biggest show of the year too. Yet another showdown between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey getting a shot at the Raw Women's Championship, and the long-awaited matchup pitting The Miz against Daniel Bryan. Those of you who watched the show will know that those three matches were just the tip of the iceberg. Those of you who didn't, well check out all the best bits courtesy of The Sportster's recap below.
You can tell a WWE PPV is loaded when the night begins with the same matchup that main evented the last major show. Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins battled it out for the Intercontinental Title to kick off the main card, but this time things went a little differently to how they did at Extreme Rules. Rollins no longer had to constantly keep an eye on Drew McIntyre at ringside, he had Dean Ambrose to do that for him. Having a Lunatic in The Architect's corner came in handy. When McIntyre did try to get involved, Ambrose intervened while Rollins finished off The Showoff in the ring with a superkick and a stomp to once again become Intercontinental Champion.
The WWE Universe hasn't gotten behind a Superstar recently quite like they have with Becky Lynch. That's why it was a little disheartening when Charlotte Flair was added to the Lass Kicker's Women's Title match at SummerSlam. Well, if that upset you, we suggest you look away now. In rather predictable fashion, Lynch once again failed at the final hurdle. WWE doesn't seem to want her to make that final leap and instead, Flair is a seven-time Women's Champion after she won the title from Carmella on Sunday. What makes it even worse is Lynch appeared to turn heel after the match, putting the boots to the new champ much to the delight of the crowd in Brooklyn.
Some fans likely thought that the WWE Title rivalry between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe wasn't given the build it deserved leading up to SummerSlam. Well, what unfolded between the two on Sunday night may have gone some way to explaining that. Joe has been trying to make the feud personal and he took that to the next level at the weekend. Styles' wife was in the front row for the championship match, along with one of their daughters, and after the challenger beat down and bloodied the champ, he grabbed a mic and declared that he would be Styles' kids' new daddy. That made The Phenomenal One see red and he was disqualified for the steel chair assault he unleashed on Joe right afterward. This rivalry has only just begun.
There may have been thirteen matches all told between the main card and the kickoff show at SummerSlam, but the one between Daniel Bryan and The Miz may well have been the most anticipated. No titles on the line, just a match eight years in the making that we have all been waiting for. Both men played to their strengths extremely well, and by that we mean Bryan controlled the match with his incredible wrestling skill while Miz resorted to dirty tactics. The A-Lister stumbled over to his wife Maryse who was in the front row and got something from her. Miz used that something to strike Bryan in the head, leaving him out for the count so The Awesome One could win. The good news? An ending like that probably means Bryan will be signing on to stick around in WWE beyond September.
Despite only being a WWE Superstar for eight months, Ronda Rousey has already become one of the company's top commodities. The Rowdy One stole the show at WrestleMania and on Sunday, became the Raw Women's Champion in what was only her third WWE PPV match ever. She made it look easy too. So easy in fact, that at one point she was sat with her back to Alexa Bliss with her eyes closed to give the former champ a chance. Even that wasn't enough to make it an even contest though, and once that armbar was locked in it was game over for Bliss. Who on Raw can step up to the new champion? With Evolution on the horizon, that question may have more viable answers than ever before.
Here we are again. Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns for the Universal Title closing a show. This time though, things went very differently. WWE knew that the only way the crowd would be up for this one is if there was the possibility of a cash-in. That's why bringing Braun Strowman out, who retained his contract with ease versus Kevin Owens earlier in the evening, before the match had even started was a stroke of genius. When Reigns accidentally clattered Strowman, Lesnar jumped on the opportunity and made sure The Monster wasn't going to be cashing in on anyone after the match, giving him an F5 at ringside. Lesnar should have been focusing on his actual opponent though. As soon as he stepped back between the ropes, Reigns hit him with a spear and finally got that elusive three count he's been after since WrestleMania 31. The Lesnar-Reigns saga is over folks. Well, at least we hope it is.