Pro Wrestling

WWE SummerSlam Recap

Billed as “The Biggest Party of the Summer” SummerSlam is one the “Big Four” PPV’s the WWE puts on every year. And has been the case over the last several years it has had big shoes to fill as the NXT Takeover Brooklyn Special put on quite an impressive show. SummerSlam was filled with quite a few contests starting with the Kick-Off Show.

Kick-Off Show

Mixed Tag Team: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟 1/2

This mixed tag team match was an excellent start for the WWE SummerSlam kick-off show as it started to get the crowd into the even as Rusev Day is always a crowd involving segment. The early part of the matchup was dominated by Almas. After a hot tag to Lana, she came out on fire. Lana looked quite impressive. Zelina Vega and Lana seemed to have good chemistry and worked well together.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Since being taken over creatively by Triple H 205 Live and the Cruiserweights have had a fantastic run. The rivaling styles of Alexander’s high flying fast paced nature and Gulak’s ground-based, technical style make for a beautiful preview of the cruiserweight division. Gulak would focus his attack on the neck of Alexander to set up his submission finisher the Gu-Lock. Gulak was in control for much of the matchup. Drew Gulak is very well versed in the art of submission based style wrestling, and he had it on full display in this bout. As the pace quickened the aerial artistry of Cedric Alexander was put on display. The story was clear by these two veteran performers as the neck was the focused area for Gulak. Overall an excellent story was delivered by both men.

RAW Tag Team Championships: The Revival (Dash & Wilder) vs. B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟

This match took a quick turn, as the Revival hit Bo Dallas with a dragonscrew leg whip and a Shatter Machine on Curtis Axel. The Revival continued to work over the leg of Dallas through the matchup. Constant quick tag by the Revival keeping the fresh man in and continuing the assault on the leg of Dallas. Axel came in firing one he received the hot tag. A miscommunication spot by the Revival lead to a roll-up victory by the B-Team.

Main Card

Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The best way to open up the “Biggest Party of the Summer” is with arguably the best two superstars on Monday Night RAW. Rollins vs. Ziggler has been the best in-ring feud in WWE over the last few months. A fast-paced back and forth early in this contest between two of the best in WWE. Ziggler would then slow the pace into a more methodical style. This match would set a high bar for the rest of SummerSlam. This match was incredibly hard-hitting and evenly matched. Ziggler and Rollins continually deliver amazing matches. Rollins would perform a high impact reverse superplex and reverse lifting DDT. Outside interference would cause a momentary distraction for Seth Rollins. Rollins would get cut, and Ambrose would return the favors of the outside interference. Leading to Rollins playing possum and catching Ziggler with a superkick for the win.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E) vs. Bludgeon Brothers (Luke Harper, Erick Rowan)

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

The Bludgeon Brothers would demonstrate their outstanding power. Quick tags by the Bludgeon Brothers would be used throughout the contest. The Bludgeon Brothers would also display some unusual agility for men of their size. Once Big E got into the match he would put his very own power and agility on display. Much of this matchup would happen on the outside. Including a diving elbow drop from the top turnbuckle to the outside by Xavier Woods. The match would end by disqualification as Rowan would hit Xavier and Big E with their hammer.

MITB Briefcase Match: Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 😑

As was expected from this match Strowman just dominated the match. This match, however, was utterly one-sided. It was as if Kevin Owens was being punished. This was a joke calling this a match.

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

This match was built up as a battle between friends Charlotte and Becky, yet the champ Carmella had been counted out from the beginning. Carmella controlled the early part of the contest. Carmella was very vocal and cunning. Charlotte would kick Becky Lynch “aiming” for Carmella. When Becky Lynch took control the pacing would pick up a bit. A beautiful spot by Carmella on the suicide dive. Charlotte followed up with a corkscrew moonsault onto both women on the outside. But in the case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride Becky Lynch took the loss against Charlotte Flair.

After Match Potential Becky Lynch Heel Turn: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The celebratory victory hug between Becky Lynch and Charlotte quickly turned. With Becky attacking Charlotte and the crowd would erupt in support of Becky Lynch.

WWE Championship: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This rivalry has taken a very personal approach to the build for this match. Like the Rollins and Ziggler feud, these two competitors are some of the best that the WWE has to offer. Based on the build and storytelling, these men were aggressive in their strikes. Both AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have such a history and knowledge-based of one another they are capable of countering many moves. The speed and technical prowess of AJ Styles was matched by Joe’s power and quickness. This hard-hitting bout was beautifully booked. The in-ring psychology between these two men is fantastic. The brutality displayed in this match was great leading to the disqualification finish it was very well done.

Grudge Match: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2

This match is quite a long time coming, Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz is eight years in the making. The crowd was clearly behind Daniel Bryan in this matchup. Miz having adopted much of Bryan’s moveset and used them early in the match. An apparent staple of SummerSlam 2018 was some hard-hitting bouts. And this match also met that mark with many Strong-style strikes. These two men work exceptionally well together. A beautiful story told in the ring by both The Miz and Daniel Bryan indeed leading to a continuation of this feud.

Constable Baron Corbin vs. The Demon King

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

For the first time in over a year, the Demon King made his presence known. The Demon King has been full speed ahead and dominated the Constable. The Demon King put him away in short order after a quick but extremely hard-hitting contest. When in dons the paint and becomes the Demon King his style in the ring alters just a bit. He becomes more aggressive and delivers an even higher impact on his maneuvers. It is a masterful performance every time we see the Demon King.

United States Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Nakamura would start the match with some patented mind games. Then Hardy would return the favor with the mind games. Nakamura used a slow, methodical pace throughout much of the match. Nakamura the “King of Strong Style,” definitely delivered that during this match. Jeff Hardy is a madman without question. We have seen him take some incredible risks throughout his career but never have I seen Jeff attempt a Swanton Bomb on the ring apron. However, he did, and he crashed and burned. Nakamura retained with the Kinshasa following the missed Swanton Bomb

Following the match, Randy Orton would come out with his sights set on Jeff Hardy. He would walk to the ring then stop and turn back to the locker room.

RAW Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Ronda was extraordinarily intense and focused. Bliss played her role as a cowardly heel perfectly. Ronda was incredible in her performance as well. It was fun to watch Rousey trash talking Bliss. Ronda has made unbelievable strides in such little time. Rousey played to the crowd in perfect form. Ronda and Alexa used Bliss’s double-jointedness to their visual advantage before locking in the armbar. Ronda Rousey is your new RAW Women’s Champion.

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

As the match was about to get underway, Braun Strowman would come out and announce his intentions to cash in on the winner of the match. Reigns would then hits three Superman Punches and two Spears. Roman third attempt at a spear would result in a guillotine. Reigns would slam Lesnar to try to escape, but Lesnar would keep the hold. Reigns would hit another spinebuster, and Lesnar broke the hold. Brock would then hit two German suplexes. Reigns would charge Lesnar near the ropes, but Brock would side step and Reigns would fly onto Strowman on the outside. Lesnar would then hit Strowman with an F-5. Strowman would grab at the ankle of Lesnar trying to get back in the ring. Brock Lesnar would hit Strowman with the MITB Briefcase and a chair. Lesnar would also throw the MITB briefcase all the way up the ramp. Lesnar would then enter the ring to a spear from Roman Reigns. Reigns would then cover Lesnar for the victory. While I would have preferred for Strowman to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, the Universal Championship needed to come off of Brock Lesnar.

Overall Rating For WWE SummerSlam: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

All in all SummerSlam was better than it has been the last few years. While some of the finishes I would have changed if I were in charge. The overall event was one of the better shows that the WWE has put on recently.

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