WWE SummerSlam 2016 has come and gone and after six exhausting hours of broadcasting, it’s time to look at where the show leaves us going forward. A card stacked with potential was met with a lot of animosity by the Brooklyn crowd and they were right to do so as with a couple of exceptions, the matches all had strange results or failed to deliver.
On top of that, there are a lot of fires that need to be put out if RAW and SmackDown are going to bounce back from the damage SummerSlam may have done. Let’s break down those fires.
The RAW Women’s Division is Toast
This has nothing to do with the match Charlotte and Sasha put on, which considering what we know now, is even more exceptional. Yes, there were a couple of mistakes, but some of those spots were amazing, even in their failure. We now know that Sasha was always going to drop the title as she worked the match with injuries that will see her on the shelf for at least a month. This means that Charlotte is the champion again, which will deflate many fans and the women’s division currently sits as Charlotte, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox and Summer Rae. Paige is still out for another four weeks with suspension, leaving Fox as the only babyface on the roster. They could call Bayley up, but throwing Bayley straight into the title feud would be the wrong way to build her up. Of course, they don’t really have a choice now because a Charlotte versus Nia Jax feud just isn’t going to happen.
So that’s it. After ONE MONTH, injuries and suspensions have eroded the depthless women’s division to an unsustainable state. The SmackDown women’s division, now with extra-Bella, seems to be handling itself alright, but there’s no star power in it either.
Basically, splitting the women’s division has undone most of the good work done in the last year. Good job, WWE.
A Title Belt Design Ruined a Dream Match
Finn Balor is THE champion of RAW… Why isn’t everyone celebrating? Ah yes, it’s because the WWE Universal Championship looks like a candy replica of the Women’s Championship. That’s why. The crowd was absolutely hostile towards it, and for good reason, leaving a stain on what was otherwise a fantastic match. You’d have to think they’d consider changing it and going with a more old school title like the people seem to be demanding.
Other than that, Balor as the champion is a great change of pace, but was it too soon to make him the top guy of RAW? Can he survive in this Demon King gimmick? Can his promo skills hold strong? Find out next time on Dragon Ball Z.
What on Earth Happened with Ziggler and Ambrose?
Going into SummerSlam, no match on the card had a better build-up than the WWE Championship bout. Ziggler and Ambrose did a fantastic job making the angle work and on the final SmackDown, both men seemed fired up and in the best form of their careers… so how did the match fall so flat?
The crowd was absolutely flat for starters and that didn’t help, but the match didn’t do them any favors. Ambrose and Ziggler started slowly and didn’t really pick up the pace until the final minutes of the match – and then it just ended. Ambrose nonchalantly countered Dolph into a Dirty Deeds and that was that.
The match was 15 minutes long, but it certainly didn’t feel like they did anything of note until the final two. There were minimal near falls and at no moment did Ziggler even seem like a chance to win. If you’re booking this match, the key has to be making the crowd believe Ziggler can win, but at no point did Dolph even seem like a chance. The only superkick he hit was outside the ring. The 15 minutes was not utilized and what it shows is the Ziggler push has unfortunately failed. With AJ Styles winning so decisively, you’d have to assume he’s going into the title picture and Ziggler’s time at the top is done. It’s a shame, but it’s hard to see anyone pushing to get him another title shot when this one was so underwhelming.
Put simply, the match should have been much, much better to represent the WWE Championship’s importance, SmackDown and to do the feud justice.
Brock Lesnar Underwhelms Again
With the exception of Fast Lane, Brock Lesnar has not had a good match in 2016. The Brock that put on genuinely fantastic matches of the past seems to be gone and has been replaced by one who’s given up on story telling. Ambrose said it himself, Brock doesn’t want to put 100 per cent effort in because he simply doesn’t have to. He gets the big money regardless.
His match with Orton was only 38 seconds longer than the six woman tag team match and as the main-event on a four hour show that seems very lacklustre. The TKO ending will hopefully lead somewhere, but the match itself was nothing but suplexes and an RKO or two. There was nothing else to it. It felt hollow. In fact, it about summed the night up, honestly.
Where Does Sami Zayn Go From Here?
Sami Zayn is being completely wasted on RAW. He should not be on random pre-show matches, especially when the Intercontinental Championship picture on SmackDown is bereft of a babyface challenger. He needs to be moved to SmackDown to help sort out their depth issues. He’s simply not needed on RAW. Neville on the other hand will be fine. He just needs to tread water until the Cruiserweight Division kicks off after the CWC.
Biggest Questions Going Forward:
- How will Nikki Bella impact the SmackDown women’s division?
- Will they illogically move her to RAW to fill depth there?
- How long will Sasha Banks be out for? Can the division survive without her?
- Will they redesign the Universal Championship?
- What’s next for Dolph Ziggler?
- How many days until AJ Styles is the WWE Champion?
- What’s next for John Cena?
- Who’s next for The Miz?
- When will SmackDown introduce its new titles and will they learn from RAW’s mistakes?
- What repercussions will Brock face for F5ing Shane McMahon?
- Will they cave in and move Sami Zayn?
- Will they call Bayley up to RAW?
- Will Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens continue to be amazing?
- Will SummerSlam be a six hour event next year considering how exhausting it was this year?
- Can Aron Stevens stop Big Damo’s path of destruction?
- Will all of these questions be answered by the time this article is live, rendering it redundant?