The WWE brought SummerSlam back to prominence with a main-event fit for a WrestleMania. The Undertaker returned and avenged his WrestleMania loss to Brock Lesnar in a classic, yet controversial match while Seth Rollins got help from an unlikely ally to retain his championship and win the U.S. title.
This was another physical match for these two but wrestled with a much faster pace than their previous encounter. The match was much more of a brawl than their Mania 30 match which seemed to lag at times. The match immediately started off hot when Lesnar attacked Taker as he entered the ring, something I can’t recall ever seeing. Brock was cheered a bit more during introductions but wrestled the match as a total heel. As for Taker, I think he looked great and the best he’s looked since Mania 29. Lesnar hit Taker with a ton of suplexes while the dead man hit all of his signature moves. Lesnar was busted open during the match as well. A real cool spot saw Lesnar sitting laughing at Taker, Taker rises up and laugh back at Lesnar before brawling once again.
Unfortunately if there is one criticism of the match it may be the finish. The finish came when Lesnar had Taker in a kimura. Taker tapped and the bell rang, however, the referee didn’t see it. The story here is that the time keeper rang it on his own. Since the referee didn’t see it the match continued, Taker gave a distracted Lesnar a low blow, snagged him in Hell’s Gate and Lesnar passed out. Heyman and Lesnar went ballistic after the match as you could expect.
I can’t say enough great things about the match. It was truly a classic. The finish was Brock’s first loss since Mania 29. The finish also sets up a rubber match which will likely go down at WrestleMania 32, probably in a Hell in a Cell. I can’t imagine anyone complaining about seeing these guys for a third time after what took place in Brooklyn.
In the co-main event, Seth Rollins pinned John Cena to retain the title and win the U.S. title. The finish came when the referee was bumped and SummerSlam host Jon Stewart came to the ring with a chair. He teased that he was going to hit Rollins, although he looked incredibly flustered and wound up hitting Cena. Rollins hit a pedigree for the three count and the U.S. title.
The match was very good, but Rollins was the probably the runner up MVP after Undertaker. Rollins wrestled his best singles match as WWE champion and maybe his best WWE match to date. Something changed whether it was a fire lit under him or a directive from management because Rollins hit a ton of big moves throughout the match. It was to the point that Rollins was wrestling as a babyface, ironic since Rollins debuted a new ring outfit which was all white and original plans were rumoured to match Rollins as a babyface against Triple H. Why it took this long to see this Seth Rollins and why he didn’t unleash this arsenal in any of his matches against Dean Ambrose is a mystery to me.
When this match was originally booked, I was sure that Sheamus was cashing in. However, the second Rollins dropped that bit about a statue I assumed he was winning to set up the big angle where Cena destroys the new statue. The finish obviously sets up a rematch at Night of Champions and the rumor is that these guys will wrestle each other on the next few special events. They had what I’d call a great spectacle although I don’t want to take anything away from Rollins. The match got out of hand with all of the kicking out of moves in my opinion, but it was a lot of fun to watch if you could ignore that.
The undercard was rather solid but uneventful. Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro in an expected good match. The New Day regained the tag team titles in a match I thought was more fun than most people did on Twitter. Sheamus defeated Randy Orton clean in the middle in the opener.
Overall I’d say the four hours moved a lot faster than I expected going into the big show. As a spectacle, this may be the best SummerSlam event in a decade. I think the only problem is that both main-events had disputed finishes. One would have been fine, but people could feel a little ripped off when you see screwy finishes in both matches. Nonetheless, one thing you can’t complain about was the wrestling as the majority of the show was solid in the ring and you can’t ask for much more from that.
I’d highly recommend checking it out on the Network if you haven’t already, especially for the main-event which is a match that will be talked about for years to come.
The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar via submission
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defeated United States Champion John Cena to win both titles
Ryback defeated The Miz and The Big Show to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro
Team PCB defeated Team Bella and Team B.A.D. in a Three-Way Elimination Match
Steven Amell & Neville defeated Stardust & Cosmic King Barrett
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev ended in a double C.O.
New Day defeated The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, and Lucha Dragons to regain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Sheamus defeated Randy Orton