The Biggest Party of Summer 2019, WWE SummerSlam took place last night with several great moments taking place throughout the show. WWE Hall of Famers Goldberg and Trish Stratus made returns to the ring, while the “Beastslayer” Seth Rollins faced off against the “Beast” Brock Lesnar in the main event of the night.
The pay-per-view was largely enjoyable with a run time of fewer than four hours, which is a major surprise for a top PPV in WWE. WWE continued their fantastic streak with PPVs in 2019, with Stomping Grounds, Extreme Rules and now SummerSlam, all being enjoyable PPVs from start to end.
Let’s look at how things went down in the Biggest Party of the Summer in Toronto, Canada. You can watch the full kickoff show here.
Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak(c) vs Oney Lorcan
The first match on the pre-show, the two competitors from 205 Live started things off in a bright fashion. The champion, Drew Gulak, started off in a devastating fashion, delivering several offensive moves to the challenger until Oney Lorcan started rallying back with chops of his own.
Lorcan got the crowd behind him and almost won the title, until a throat punch by Gulak while the referee was looking away, followed by the Cyclone Crash got the job done for the champion.
Result: Drew Gulak defeated Oney Lorcan to retain the title
Analysis: Both the individuals are known for their hard-hitting offense, and that is exactly what was on show this evening. Gulak and Lorcan tried their best to fire up the crowd, but a lack of proper motivation behind the match-up couldn’t get the fans invested into their match, quite similar to every other Cruiserweight match on a PPV.
There are talks of 205 Live being disbanded once SmackDown moves from Tuesday nights, it will be interesting to see where all the cruiserweights end up then. For now, the right guy won the match and will look for new challenges in the division.
Kickoff Show: Apollo Crews vs Buddy Murphy
Apollo Crews battled Buddy Murphy in the latter’s first-ever match on a PPV. The Best Kept Secret of WWE dished out some heavy beatdown to Crews, including a running powerbomb and a superkick in the corner.
Crews got in some offense but Murphy remained dominant throughout the match until Rowan appeared out of nowhere and attacked Murphy with a big boot to end the contest. He went on to punish Murphy for disclosing his name to Reigns on SmackDown Live, and demanded Murphy to keep his name out of his mouth.
Result: No contest
Analysis: Both the superstars are currently in the lower rungs of WWE roster but presented a decent encounter in the limited time they were given. Murphy looked to make a name for himself until Rowan ended the match. This match was a late addition to the show, and only served the purpose of advancing the Reigns mystery attacker storyline.
Kickoff Show: Women’s Tag Team Championship: Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss(c) vs The IIconics
The IIconics cut a promo before the match on how they’ll take back what is theirs and will become the Tag Team Champions once again. Yet another late addition to the show, the new champs Nikki and Alexa defended their belts against the IIconics, in the only tag-team match of the evening.
While Alexa and Nikki wrestled as the babyfaces, The IIconics brought their typical heel game to the fore, keeping both the members of their opponent team far away from each other. They isolated Cross and proceeded to trash talk Bliss, until a hot tag resulted in Bliss unloading on Peyton Royce.
Bliss eventually won the match for her team after delivering a Twisted Bliss to Royce, with Cross preventing Billie Kay from interrupting.
Result: Bliss and Cross defeated The IIconics to retain the title
Analysis: Nothing much happened in this match, storyline-wise, apart from The IIconics leaving the Tag Team picture for good. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross continued their strange partnership, and it remains to be seen what’s next for the duo.
Submission Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch(c) vs Natalya
The perfect match to start off the evening, Becky Lynch defended her title against Natalya, in front of the home crowd of the Queen of Harts. Both the competitors tried to lock each other down with their own submission moves.
Becky Lynch used the Sharpshooter to a great pop, while Natalya used the DisArmHer on Becky. Eventually, Becky tapped out Natalya with the DisArmHer to retain her title.
Result: Becky Lynch defeated Natalya to retain the title
Analysis: Becky Lynch and Natalya both looked like legitimate stars in the opening match of the evening, and set the perfect tone for the matches to follow. Natalya wrestled her best match in a long time, while Lynch looked like a proper badass. Hopefully, we are greeted to a Banks return on RAW, facing off against Lynch for the title.
Goldberg vs Dolph Ziggler
In one of the most bizarre match-ups on the card, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg wrestled former World Champion Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler started off on a high with superkicks to Goldberg, but couldn’t keep him down.
Goldberg eventually speared and jackhammered his way to a much-expected victory, and the match ended in less than three minutes.
Result: Goldberg defeated Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: The crowd was hot for the match, even though it was a repeat of all the Goldberg matches in his second run with WWE. Dolph Ziggler gave some hope of a possible upset in the beginning but eventually succumbed to a massive spear from the former WCW Champion.
Ziggler defeated Ali on SmackDown Live to gain some momentum for this match, but it amounted to nothing. Both Ziggler and Ali had to lose for a 53-year old to get some spotlight. Disappointing.
United States Championship: AJ Styles(c) vs Ricochet
Richochet and AJ Styles wrestled in yet another installment of their rivalry, with AJ having the numbers advantage on Ricochet due to RAW Tag Team Champion Gallows and Anderson standing in his corner.
Both the superstars traded out their best offensive maneuvers, with AJ trying to break Ricochet’s knee with his Calf Crusher. Gallows and Anderson provided the distraction for AJ, and AJ finally hit the Styles Clash to retain his title.
Result: AJ Styles defeated Ricochet to retain the title
Analysis: A solid yet unspectacular match, which has become a trend of AJ matches nowadays. The period in the middle where things slow down has been the downfall for Styles’ matches and it seems like he can’t put up with the high pacing of matches anymore.
Hopefully, AJ moves onto new challengers now and WWE lets Ricochet slowly find his feet on the main roster once again.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley(c) vs Ember Moon
Ember Moon battled Bayley, who is for some reason one of the biggest heels in Canada. The champion was mercilessly booed by the Toronto crowd throughout the match. Ember Moon gained the upper hand in the early part of the contest, following which Bayley brought out her new-found aggressive side.
Moon fought out of a Bayley-to-Belly, but succumbed to another one, this time from the top rope.
Result: Bayley defeated Ember Moon to retain the title
Analysis: The feud had lacked energy from the start, which showed during their match. The crowd couldn’t be invested in their encounter and remained quiet for the majority of the match. Bayley unsurprisingly retained her title, and it’s time for her to defend the title against her former nemesis, Charlotte Flair.
Moon is struggling on the main roster without a proper character, and this could hamper her progress greatly.
Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon
The two superstars battled it out in the ring, renewing their rivalries from two years ago, but this time the roles reversed. Owens, the fiery babyface, took on McMahon, the tyrant boss after Owens accused McMahon of misusing his power.
McMahon delivered punches amidst the chants of “You Can’t Wrestle” from the crowd. Elias, the special enforcer for the match, tried to help his boss, but Owens somehow survived the 2-on-1 odds.
Owens was presented with a chair by Elias, to attack Shane McMahon but he somehow resisted the urge and went on to attack Elias instead. Inside the ring, Owens delivered a low blow to McMahon and won the match with a Stunner.
Result: Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon
Analysis: Shane McMahon may be a tyrant and a much-hated personality, but somehow his matches always deliver. Kevin Owens has great momentum after the PPV, and WWE must capitalize on this moving forward. Owens was presented as a “smart” babyface, which is not a very usual sighting in WWE.
Charlotte Flair vs Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus returned to the ring in her final match, facing off against arguably the finest female wrestler in WWE currently, Charlotte Flair. Wrestling her first singles match in over eight years, and her first singles PPV match in more than a decade, Stratus proved that she still got it, and produced a massively entertaining match.
Stratus locked down Flair in a Figure Four lockup, turning it into a Figure-8, before delivering a Stratusfaction and Chic Kick, which couldn’t keep the nine-time champ down.
Flair won the match after Stratus eventually succumbed to the Figure-8. Stratus soaked in all the applause from her home crowd and faded away into the sunset.
Result: Charlotte Flair defeated Trish Stratus
Analysis: No one would have expected a 42-year-old Trish Stratus to produce a fantastic wrestling encounter with Charlotte Flair. Defying all expectations, both the superstars had a well-paced match which ended with the right person winning. Flair was exceptional in her role as well and elevated the match to arguably “Match of the Night” status. Fantasy warfare got real, and it was perfect.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton
Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton locked horns in a deeply personal encounter, with seeds of this matchup being planted over a decade ago. Orton started the match with his slow methodical pace, until Kingston picked up the pace and made a reference to the “stupid” statement from 2009.
Orton dropped Kingston with an RKO but couldn’t finish him off, and went on to say a few things to Kingston’s family which lighted a fire within the WWE Champion, who delivered a Trouble in Paradise to the Viper. Kingston and Orton eventually wrestled to a double count-out.
Result: Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton to retain the title
Analysis: The match was entertaining right until the finish. It is quite similar to what WWE did with Styles-Joe match last year, trying to extend the rivalry beyond just one match. Kingston bringing out his aggressive side was a nice touch, and hopefully, we get a stipulation based match between the two superstars in the upcoming PPVs.
The Fiend vs Finn Balor
One of the best characters in WWE currently, The Fiend made his much-anticipated debut against Finn Balor. The match was a production masterpiece from start to the end, with Wyatt’s entrance, his remixed music to match his new character and was executed amazingly well.
Wyatt brought out his sinister self to the match, and Balor never really got a chance to settle in. Wyatt squashed a Balor attempt at a Coup De Grace, delivered the Mandible Claw and pinned the passed-out Balor to win the match in quick time.
Result: The Fiend defeated Finn Balor
Analysis: A great introduction for the Fiend, which came at Balor’s expense. Wyatt’s new character is set for big things in the future. WWE should keep booking him this way to ensure he remains a major player in the main roster, and WWE could eventually find a proper replacement for Undertaker in the Fiend.
Finn Balor could look to bring out his Demon persona to take on Wyatt’s Fiend in the future, if their rivalry continues.
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar(c) vs Seth Rollins
Brock Lesnar dished out heavy punishment to Seth Rollins in the leadup to SummerSlam, which resulted in Rollins sporting a bandaged look for the evening. Rollins and Lesnar started out at a high tempo, with Rollins countering Lesnar’s attempts at German Suplexes and delivering super kicks of his own.
Lesnar delivered the first F5 of the evening to turn the tide of the match, and went on to decimate Rollins for the next few minutes with a flurry of German Suplexes. Rollins found an opening, after Lesnar cleared off the announced table, and delivered a massive frog splash from the ring post onto the announce table, crashing into the carcass of Lesnar.
Rollins delivered yet another Frog Splash in the ring, and delivered a stomp, only for Lesnar to kick out at 2. Rollins ran into a F5, countered it, delivered a stomp, and dethroned Lesnar as the Universal Champion.
Result: Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar to become the New Universal Champion
Analysis: Rollins was booed when he made his way into the ring, only to get huge applause once he won the match. He turned the crowd around with his exceptional performance and rightfully regained the Universal Championship.
Lesnar will probably take time away from WWE now, and return for the Saudi show set to take place on Halloween. With this loss, Lesnar could be making his move to SmackDown Live once the blue brand moves to Fox.