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WWE SummerSlam 2018 Review: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

WWE SummerSlam

  • Show: WWE SummerSlam 2018 
  • Location: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York 
  • Date: Sunday August 19, 2018 
  • Review by: Amin Ajani

Seth Rollins (w/Dean Ambrose) def. Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship 

  • Rating⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4

The match started with some chain wrestling. Ziggler delivered a flying crossbody but Rollins rolled through. Rollins attempted a suplex but both men fell over the top rope to the floor in an awkward spot. Rollins delivered a sling blade. Rollins delivered middle rope blockbuster for a near fall. Rollins delivered a tope and followed up with a springboard clothesline. Rollins delivered a Rainmaker Knee but Ziggler kicked out. They traded strikes against on the ring apron. Ziggler shoved Rollins into the ring post and followed up with a jumping DDT on the ring apron. Ziggler delivered more strikes but Rollins caught him with a superkick. Rollins went for a frog splash but Ziggler got his knees up. Ziggler rolled up Rollins for a close near fall. There was a cool spot as Rollins leaped up the turnbuckle, delivered a reverse suplex from the top rope and followed up with a reverse Falcon Arrow but Ziggler kicked out for a good near fall. Rollins was setting up for The Stomp but McIntrye shoved Ambrose into the steel steps. Off the distraction, Ziggler delivered a Zig Zag but Rollins kicked out for another good near fall. McIntyre jumped back on the apron but Ambrose recovered and planted the Scottish superstar with the Dirty Deeds. Finish came when Rollins delivered a superkick and followed up with The Stomp for the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as both Rollins and Ziggler worked very hard. There were some creative spots and the outside involvement of Ambrose and McIntyre was effectively done.)

-Backstage: Nikki and Brie Bella were interviewed backstage as they teased being part of WWE Evolution. The Bella Twins mentioned they will be sitting front row for the RAW Women’s Championship match between Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey. 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day def. The Bludgeon Brothers via Disqualification

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rowan delivered a big splash for a near fall. Harper delivered a springboard senton for another near fall. Rowan scoop slammed Harper onto Big E on the floor. Harper attempted a powerbomb but Xavier Woods countered by delivering a snap hurricanrana onto the steeps. Big E tagged in, delivered overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Harper and Rowan on the floor. There was a great sequence as Harper delivered a superkick to Big E. Woods delivered a flip dive to Rowan on the floor. Harper delivered a Black Hole Slam to Woods on the floor and Big E followed up by spearing Harper through the middle rope to the floor. The Bludgeon Brothers delivered a Crucifix Bomb to Big E but Woods broke the count. Rowan held Woods in a wheelbarrow position as Harper delivered head butts and followed up with a sit-out powerbomb for a close near fall. Rowan backdropped Kofi Kingston on the floor. Big E delivered the Big Ending to Rowan on the floor. With the assistance of Woods, Big E delivered a uranage to Harper on the ring apron. Woods delivered his springboard leaping flying elbow to Harper on the floor which got a big pop. Finish came when New Day went for the Midnight Hour but Rowan returned and attacked Woods with a mallet as the referee called for the DQ. 

(Amin’s Analysis: A very good tag team match that was filled with all action spots as both the Bludgeon Brother and New Day worked hard. The finish was lame but likely sets up a rematch at the next PPV.)

Money in the Bank Briefcase Match: Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Strowman delivered back-to-back running splashes to Owens in the corners. Strowman  plowed through Owens on the floor. Strowman chock slammed Owens on the floor. Strowman delivered a running powerslam for the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: Kevin Owens deserves tons of credit for bumping and doing everything possible to put Strowman over. Strowman was over and they heavily hinted that Strowman might cash in later.)

Charlotte Flair def. Becky Lynch & Carmella to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Carmella delivered a low dropkick to Becky but Charlotte broke the count. Carmella rammed Charlotte into the steel steps and then rammed Becky into the steel steps.  Charlotte delivered a running boot to Becky. Charlotte delivered an exploder suplex to Carmella. Becky delivered a flying missile dropkick to Carmella and Charlotte. Becky delivered an exploder to Carmella. Carmella delivered a standing head scissors to Becky for a near fall. Charlotte speared Carmella for a near fall. Carmella attempted a standing head scissors but Charlotte countered by delivering a modified Styles Clash. Charlotte applied a Boston Crab and then transitioned into a Figure-4-Leg Lock. Becky broke the count by delivering a flying leg drop. Carmella delivered a low tope to Becky. Charlotte delivered a great looking top rope reverse corkscrew splash to Becky and Carmella on the floor. Lynch delivered a uranage to Charlotte but Carmella broke the count. Carmella delivered a superkick to Becky but Charlotte broke the count. Carmella super kicked Charlotte to the floor. Becky applied the Dis-Arm-Her but Carmella grabbed the ropes. Finish came when Becky reapplied the Dis-Arm-Her but Charlotte returned planted Becky with the Natural Selection for the win. 

  • Post-Match: Carmella was shown on the floor in tears. Becky and Charlotte shared a hug as the crowd booed. Becky then snapped as she slapped Charlotte. The place exploded as there was a huge “YES” chant. Becky rammed Charlotte into the barricade and then threw her over the announcers table. Becky stormed to the back. Charlotte was shown with tears near the announcers table as the crowd booed. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as everyone worked hard. The post-match angle was really well done as this heel turn will definitely freshen up Becky’s character. This can lead to big feud with Becky chasing Charlotte to win the SmackDown Women’s Title.)

WWE Championship Match: Samoa Joe def. A.J. Styles via Disqualification 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

There was a loud chant of “TNA” as the match started. Styles’ wife and daughter were shown at ringside. Joe delivered a shoulder tackle. Styles delivered leg kicks. Styles delivered a standing dropkick to Joe. Joe delivered a tope suicide as Styles went crashing into the announcers table. Styles delivered a slingshot Phenomenal Forearm to Joe on the floor and followed up with the Phenomenal Blitz inside the ring. Styles delivered a reverse DDT for a near fall. They battled on the turnbuckle as Joe delivered a head butt and followed up with a flying leg drop for a near fall. Joe delivered more strikes, an atomic drop, a running boot and followed up with a back senton for another near fall. Styles caught Joe coming off the rope and delivered an Ushigorishi. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Joe moved and delivered a snap powerslam for a near fall. Styles made a comeback as he delivered a low superkick and followed up with a nice looking Styles Clash for a great near fall. There was another good back-and-forth strike exchange. Styles delivered a Pele Kick to Joe. Styles then charged but Joe caught him with a uranage out of the corner. Styles caught Joe and placed him a Calf Crusher. Joe broke free by slamming Styles face rapidly to the mat. Joe then transitioned and applied the Coquina Clutch. Styles batted as he placed his foot on the rope to the break the hold. Joe delivered a standing step-up ensuigiri as Styles fell to the floor. Joe then rammed Styles in the steel steps. Styles was busted open. Joe then grabbed a mic and said “Hey Wendy,  I made you a promise, daddy was coming home.  It looks like he’s not but I’ll be your new Daddy.” Styles was pissed as he rammed Joe over the barricade which looked crazy. Styles then whacked Joe with a chair as the referee called for the DQ.

  • Post-Match: Styles continued to whack Joe with chair as WWE agents Adam Pierce and Fit Finlay came down. Styles hugged his wife and daughter and walked the back as the fans respectfully cheered. Joe got up and was furious as he headed to the back. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was my favourite match of the night as both Joe and Styles worked really hard. I wasn’t a fan of the storyline heading into the match but it worked well as there was tons of heat for this match. The finish was flat but is very likely heading to a rematch inside Hell in a Cell at the next PPV.)

The Miz def. Daniel Bryan 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4

Maryse was shown at ringside. Bryan grabbed Miz and delivered a big right hand as the crowd chanted “YES.” Miz applied a surfboard but Bryan broke free. Bryan applied his own surfboard and followed up with YES kicks. Miz crotched Bryan on the top rope and followed up with a flying clothesline for a near fall. Bryan made a comeback by delivering running dropkicks and following up with a flying head scissors for a near fall. Bryan delivered a sliding dropkick and followed up with a flying crossbody to Miz on the floor. They battled on the turnbuckle as Bryan placed Miz in the tree-of-woe position and followed up with YES kicks. Bryan delivered a belly-to-back superplex to Miz for a near fall. Bryan went for a roundhouse kick but Miz moved and delivered a snap DDT for a near fall. Miz delivered YES kicks but Bryan no sold it. Bryan slapped Miz multiple times across the face, followed up with a dragon screw and a roundhouse kick. Miz avoided another kick as he catapult Bryan into the ring post and followed up with the Skull Crushing Finale for a great near fall. Miz charged but Bryan caught him with a high kick. They battled on the ring apron as Bryan went for a kick but Miz moved as Bryan knee connected with the ring post. Miz then applied a Figure-4-Leg lock. Bryan refused to give up as he delivered strikes and reversed the hold. Miz grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan delivered elbow strikes and then transitioned into a YES Lock but Miz grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Miz rolled to the floor as Bryan delivered a flying knee strike from the ring apron. Bryan delivered a running dropkick as Miz went into Maryse. Maryse then handed Miz a pair of brass knuckles. Bryan went for a tope but Miz punched him with the brass knuckles. Miz pinned Bryan and got the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was very good professional wrestling match but it didn’t reach that next level. I didn’t mind the finish as it will likely set up a rematch and continue this feud.)

‘Demon’ Finn Balor def. Baron Corbin 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Finn Balor came out in his demon persona and got the biggest reaction of the night. Balor  completely squashed Corbin as he delivered a Woo dropkick, a sling blade and followed with a tope con hilo to the floor. Balor delivered a sling blade and followed with a Woo dropkick into the barricade. Balor delivered another Woo dropkick inside the ring and followed up with a Coup de Grace to the back. Balor then delivered a Coup de Grace from halfway across the ring for the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was an awesome and the highlight of the night. Finn Balor’s demon persona felt like the biggest star of the show and made the demon feel special.)

Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jeff Hardy to retain the WWE United States Championship 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️1/4

The crowd sang for Nakamura before the match. Nakamura delivered a running knee strike from the floor and followed up with a jumping knee from the ring apron. Nakamura delivered a KENTA strike. Nakamura delivered a spinning wheel kick. Jeff delivered a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a running knee strike and followed up with a sliding knee for a near fall. Nakamura went for a low blow but Jeff moved and delivered a low dropkick. Jeff delivered a Twist of Fate and followed up with a Swanton Bomb. Nakamura placed his hand on the rope to break the count. Jeff went for another Swanton Bomb but Nakamura moved as Jeff landed on the ring apron. Finish came when Nakamura delivered an axe kick and followed up with a Kinshasa for the win.

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as both Nakamura and Hardy worked hard.)

Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss to win the RAW Women’s Championship 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4

Natalya came out and got a very nice reaction as she was wearing Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s jacket. Rousey came out and got a huge reaction. This was a great squash match as Rousey delivered a jab to Bliss. Rousey trash talked Bliss throughout the match and played subtle heel. Rousey taunted and mocked Bliss as she turned her back, sat crosslegged and closed her eyes. Bliss returned and applied a sleeper. Rousey broke free by delivering a spinning uranage. Rousey chased Bliss around the ring and followed up with rapid-fire strikes in the corner. Rousey delivered back-to-back judo throws and followed with another spinning uranage. Rousey then pulled on Bliss’ arm. Rousey then applied an armbar as Bliss immediately tapped out.

  • Post-Match: Natalya entered the ring and hugged Rousey as the crowd cheered. The Bella Twins entered the ring as the crowd booed. The Bella Twins hugged Rousey as the crowd booed some more. Rousey then ran, hugged and kissed her husband Travis Browne. Natalya and Rousey then celebrated on the entrance ramp. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was the perfect booked match as Rousey was great in the ring and her offensive was very crisp. The post-match angle was good as it’s possible setting up a match for Rousey and Nikki for WWE Evolution. Bliss deserves great as she deserves props for bumping and putting Rousey over.)

Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Universal Championship 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4

Before the match started, Strowman came out and got a huge pop. Strowman mentioned that he will cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase again the winner of the match. The match began as Reigns delivered a hat trick of Superman Punches to Lesnar. Reigns delivered back-to-back spears. Reigns went for a third spear but Lesnar caught him in a guillotine hold. Reigns broke free by delivering a spine buster. Lesnar re-applied the guillotine. Lesnar took off his gloves and delivered a hat trick of German suplex. There was a cool spot as Reigns went for a spear but Lesnar moved as Roman took out Strowman with a tope. Lesnar delivered a F-5 to Strowman on the floor. Lesnar rammed Reigns into the barricade and then whacked Strowman with a chair. Lesnar then whacked Strowman with the MITB briefcase and then launched the briefcase all the way to the entrance ramp. Lesnar then entered the ring with a chair in hand. Reigns recovered, delivered a spear and pinned Lesnar to become the new Universal Champion.

(Amin’s Analysis: The booking of this match was fantastic and the involvement of Strowman was well done as the crowd didn’t turn on the match. The finish was anticlimactic but I get why it was done as WWE didn’t want fans to boo Reigns when he won the match. Lesnar was great in this match and deserves credit as he bumped like crazy for Reigns.)

-Overall: WWE SummerSlam was a good show as it had some good wrestling matches and some awesome moments. The problem is that at over 4 hours the show started to drag near the end. 

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