WWE have successfully cemented SummerSlam as the company’s second biggest show of the year, after WrestleMania of course. In terms of time of year it’s the perfect distance away from The Showcase of the Immortals and it has even found itself what appears to be a semi-permanent home in Brooklyn, New York. The 2017 edition of the biggest event of the summer may have only just come to a close, but WWE have already announced that 2018’s SummerSlam will be taking place in the Barclays Center making it four straight years for the event.
Sunday night’s show featured a bumper thirteen matches – talk about a stacked card – with eight of those matches featuring gold up for grabs spanning across more than six hours. A Fatal Four Way that was perhaps the biggest main event in SummerSlam history, literally and figuratively, Shinsuke Nakamura’s attempt to complete his masterpiece by becoming WWE Champion, a Shield reunion of sorts as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins won tag team gold, and really that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out what we thought we the 20 biggest takeaways from SummerSlam 2017.
20. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn Makes It 3 And 0
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III is effectively WWE’s so-called developmental brand’s WrestleMania. For the third year in a row NXT not only took place in the same building the night before SummerSlam, but it once again stole the weekend. The men and women looking to make the move to Raw and SmackDown Live leave it all in the ring and effectively tell those competing the following night to ‘follow that’. SummerSlam may have been long, it may have been action-packed, but once again it was Takeover that won the weekend. Expect to see a few of its stars on the main roster in the coming weeks.
19. Even WWE Doesn’t Think Kick Off Shows Are Important
WWE pay-per-views are pretty long nowadays, more on that later, and part of the reason for that is because of their kick off shows. SummerSlam was preceded by a two hour pre-show and even though it had three matches of it’s own, it really isn’t must-see and it would appear WWE agrees with that. The first match on the kick off show was the six man tag between Jason Jordan, The Hardyz, The Miz and The Miztourage, and it started just 25 minutes after the doors to the Barclays Center opened. Barely anyone had made it in yet and the arena was basically empty!
18. We’ve Forgotten Who The Intercontinental Champion Is
Speaking of the opening six man tag match, did you notice that it contained the Intercontinental Champion? You’d be forgiven for forgetting that The Miz still has a hold of the supposedly prestigious title, something he tried to remind us of after his SummerSlam bout. Earlier in the week many assumed that The A-Lister would be defending the championship against Jason Jordan but that was not the case, and the IC belt was not defended on the second biggest show in WWE’s calendar whatsoever. There’ll be no shot in Jordan’s near future either after Miz pinned him for the win in the night’s opening match.
17. Neville Truly Is King Of The Cruiserweights
We were inexplicably given SummerSlam’s Cruiserweight Championship match six days early on the go-home Raw. Well consider that mystery solved. Neville got his rematch at SummerSlam and brought an abrupt end to Akira Tozawa’s reign with their division’s title, becoming a two time Cruiserweight Champion in the process. White gear sometimes points towards a face turn but that was never going to be likely for the King of the Cruiserweights. Normal business will resume now that he has his crown back and prepare yourself for Neville versus Tozawa part three as the now former champ will be owed his own rematch.
16. A Six Hour Pay-Per-View Is Too Long
SummerSlam was four hours long, and that’s not even including the two hour pre-show. Even the most hardened of wrestling fans will have struggled to make it through the whole show. A thirteen match card, eight of which were title matches, WWE should be asking themselves whether every Superstar really needs to be on every card. Harking back to Takeover Brooklyn, that show was almost the perfect length. Around two and a half hours long and it ended with a bang that saw fans go home happy. There’s a reason Takeovers are such a hit with the fans and main roster PPVs can feel like something of a slog.
15. New Day And The Usos Bring The Best Out Of Each Other
Not only did The Usos just become the first team to win four Tag Team Championships since The Dudley Boyz in 2001, but they did it in style. I sincerely hope that all the crowd were in the building for the kick off show’s final match because it was a pretty incredible one. The two teams put on quite the show at Battleground and somehow managed to raise that bar even higher on Sunday night. Jimmy and Jey may have left with the titles but all four men should be proud. This match really should have been on the main card.
14. Shawn Michaels Must Be Low On Cash
So we were…treated? That really doesn’t feel like the right word. We were subjected to a KFC commercial that featured various WWE Superstars competing to be the next Colonel Sanders. Cut back to the arena and who gets the gig? Shawn Michaels. That’s right the Heart Break Kid was at SummerSlam dressed as the father of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t hit any Super Kicks, he simply strutted his stuff and presumably returned to the locker room to pick up what I hope was a pretty hefty pay check. We still love you Shawn, but wow.
13. Baron Corbin Is Being Punished
— WWE UK (@WWEUK) August 20, 2017
The first match on the main card came in the form of John Cena versus Baron Corbin. This match didn’t have much going for it, that was until Cena cost The Lone Wolf his Money in the Bank contract. Rumors have been swirling this week that Corbin had to sacrifice his briefcase because of a Twitter altercation he had with a US soldier, and his match at SummerSlam may have pretty much all but confirmed those rumors. Cena is in the business of putting over upcoming talent lately, but apparently not Baron. It’s been a tough week for the man who looked destined to become a WWE Champion some time soon.
12. John Cena’s SummerSlam Streak Is Over
— WWE (@WWE) August 20, 2017
Whether Corbin was being punished or not, that was likely neither here nor there for John Cena. Would you believe that his win on Sunday night was his first one at SummerSlam since 2010? Over the years Cena has lost to CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, and AJ Styles on Summer’s biggest stage. Big Match John will be extremely happy to break that duck and bring an end to what would have been a very unwanted streak that was blemishing his record. Who knows, if Corbin had reigned it in on social media then we could have been looking at a streak to rival The Undertaker’s a few years down the line. Never mind.
11. Natalya Is Finally A Women’s Champion
So many female Superstars are getting credit for the ongoing women’s revolution in WWE, and rightly so, but one lady who has been somewhat overlooked is Natalya. Nattie was around long before the revolution and endured what was a lesser time for women in WWE. She has been a Divas’ Champion, but for the first time at SummerSlam she deservedly became a Women’s Champion. Naomi has held the title since WrestleMania and was visibly crying at having to hand it over to Nattie. The championship is in good hands though, how about a rematch between her and Charlotte of their NXT classic?
10. WWE Needs To Invest In A Better Shark Cage
Maybe one of the least anticipated matches on the SummerSlam card was Big Show versus Big Cass. It was never going to be a breath taking wrestling match, but at least we could rely on Enzo Amore to provide us some entertainment. Putting Smacktalker Skywalker in a shark cage proved not enough to stop Amore getting involved in the match, oiling himself up and slipping between the bars. Enzo’s antics really were the highlight of the match, and they were short lived as upon arrival in the ring he ate a big boot from Big Cass, and then Big Show ate two.
9. Rusev and RKOs Come Outta Nowhere
Last year Rusev and Roman Reigns’ SummerSlam match was a non starter after the bout never made it into the ring. Well The Bulgarian Brute had similar ideas for his match with Randy Orton at this year’s event. What Rusev didn’t account for though is that as soon as that bell rings, Orton’s RKO can make it ring again in a matter of seconds. Randy played possum somewhat, nailed his finisher and picked up a win. Certainly beats getting elbowed in the head by Brock Lesnar until you’re in a pool of your own blood, as was the fate of The Viper at last year’s SummerSlam.
8. Real Life Heat Makes For Good Looking Matches
In the fourth – yes fourth – title change of the night Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship. It’s no secret that The Boss and The Goddess don’t particularly like each other, both in and out of the ring, and that certainly showed in their SummerSlam bout. The knees were hard and the Bank Statement that won Sasha her fourth Women’s Championship looked set to snap Alexa in half. Bring on another match between these two and here’s hoping it becomes something akin to Banks’ feud with Charlotte Flair, pitting the two against each other with the championship going back and forth.
7. You Don’t Beat The Demon
— WWE (@WWE) August 21, 2017
Bray Wyatt may have bucked a long running trend recently by winning a feud, for once, against Seth Rollins, but Finn Balor proved that when his war paint is on, The Demon doesn’t lose. All it took to coax Finn’s alter ego out of hiding was for Bray to dump what looked like a bucket of blood over Balor’s head. If the WWE Universe knew that’s all it took one of us would have volunteered, right? Not only did Finn convincingly beat Bray while wearing his body paint, but he also showed The Eater of Worlds that if he wants this feud to carry on, he may have met his match when it comes to mind games.
6. Cesaro Really Doesn’t Like Beach Balls
— WWE (@WWE) August 21, 2017
New York wrestling crowds are known for being a little, different shall we say? Well midway through Sheamus and Cesaro defending their Tag Team Championships part of the WWE Universe decided to play with a beach ball. Clearly peeved at losing a section of the audience to a game of volleyball The Swiss Cyborg hopped the barrier, grabbed the inflatable and quite literally tore it to pieces. Sheamus and Seth were in the middle of something on the ring apron at the time and sort of just froze in shock as they watched the now former tag champion lose his cool. He probably should have paid more attention to not losing his and Sheamus’s titles.
5. Shane McMahon Is A Terrible Referee
We knew that there would be some physicality between Shane McMahon and the two men in SummerSlam’s United States Championship match, but the SmackDown Live commissioner was almost as involved as AJ and Owens. He took a 450 Splash, was sent careening from the ring, and was a split second away from coming to blows with The Prizefighter. As KO pointed out recently too, it’s not the first poor performance as an official Shane has put in during his career, although at least this time his incompetence was accidental. Owens will likely not be happy with the ending of the bout however, so prepare yourselves for KO versus Shane O.
4. You Can’t Hinder Jinder
Fair to say that the majority of the WWE Universe were eagerly anticipating Shinsuke Nakamura’s crowning moment at SummerSlam, well aside from the 1.3 billion people on Jinder Mahal’s shoulders maybe. Unfortunately though the wait continues. Mahal is still WWE Champion and as always, he had some help from his ever faithful Singh Brothers. Eventually Jinder is going to have to defend his WWE Championship without the help of Sunil, or Samir, or The Great Khali (where did he go) and if justice is done then it’ll be The King of Strong Style capitalizing on catching Mahal while he’s not got any back up.
3. The World Wants Brock vs Braun
We got a little snippet of it on Raw before they were broken up, and at SummerSlam when it came to Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman finally clashing the crowd was absolutely electric. It did not disappoint. No one has man handled The Beast quite like Braun did in Brooklyn, power slamming the former UFC Champion through two announce tables before dumping the third one on top of him. Despite Brock being carted off on a stretcher, he still came back for some revenge and all four men remained in the match. Put these two behemoths in the ring one on one please WWE.
2. Lesnar Isn’t Going Anywhere
Whether he won or lost, did we really believe that Brock Lesnar would actually turn his back on WWE and leave forever? I guess we’ll never know as The Beast Incarnate overcame the odds, returned from being taken away on a stretcher, and successfully defended his Universal Championship. Brock has been in some battles, but this match may be the most he has ever battled back from to win. Not only that, but it was Roman Reigns taking the fall. If the rumors are true then The Big Dog will have to wait until WrestleMania 34 to get that win back.
1. The Undertaker Is Most Definitely Retired
Someone saw him getting on a plane headed towards New York at the weekend, then there were rumors The Deadman was back stage at SummerSlam. All of that may have been true, but if it was The Undertaker was certainly not in New York for an appearance. As Roman lined up what would be a final attempt at a Spear on the Universal Champion, I waited with baited breath for the gong to sound and the lights to go out, but it wasn’t to be. It’s probably for the best too, and there is already an awful lot coming out of that main event without the addition of a returning Phenom.
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