The Biggest Party of the Summer is officially over, and I can’t help but be a little sad. There was a lot of excitement last weekend at NXT’s Takeover: Brooklyn III and the WWE’s SummerSlam, but I’m left feeling a little unfulfilled.
As has been the case many times when WWE’s developmental brand has a show on the same weekend as the main roster, NXT’s event outshined the “big show.” There were things to like on each show, but there were some gaffes in SummerSlam that never should have happened.
The Professor’s SummerSlam Weekend Summary
Somebody got Buried – I don’t know who Rusev, Enzo Amore or Baron Corbin pissed off, but they all paid the price at SummerSlam. (Actually, I think I know who Enzo pissed off, thus his banishment to 205 Live.) Rusev was destroyed in under a minute by Randy Orton for no clear reason, and Corbin, fresh off the worst Money-in-the-Bank cash in of all time, dropped a decision to John Cena, who promptly took off for Raw. Even with the addition of Bobby Roode to the SmackDown Live roster, the blue brand is sorely lacking in heel star power. Cutting the legs out from under Rusev and Corbin was short-sighted and ultimately bad for the show.
The Main Event of SummerSlam rocked – It’s hard to believe that the same people who booked the Rusev and Corbin fiascos also booked the Fatal Four-Way that closed the show. All four men looked strong in the match, and WWE may have unveiled its biggest draw of the future when Braun Strowman absolutely destroyed Brock Lesnar to open the match. At one point, there were no announce tables left at ringside. The action in this match was fantastic, but it was the booking that really stood out. None of the four men in the match came out looking weak, even Roman Reigns, who took the pin. While Strowman/Lesnar is the obvious feud coming out of SummerSlam, there are endless booking options involving all four men.
Ambrose and Rollins On Top – The fans went wild when Rollins and Ambrose reunited two-thirds of The Shield on the Raw before SummerSlam. The crowd at Barclays went nuts again when the two took the Raw Tag Team Championships at the big show. It was a good decision by WWE, and will help prop up a flagging tag division on Monday nights. There’s even hope that Reigns will rejoin the trio at some point. (After he’s done having John Cena put him over.) If that happens, it’s possible that the WWE Universe will stop booing him out of the building every time his music hits.
Bad Timing for Cass – Big Cass won his match against Big Show at SummerSlam, and appeared ready for a monster heel push coming into Monday. Instead of having Cass go after one of the top stars in the division, WWE decided to have him go up against his former tag partner, Enzo Amore, one last time. (I suspect Cass was supposed to beat Enzo so badly that he’d show up at 205 Live in a month or two instead of last Tuesday.) Instead of pulverizing Enzo, Cass shredded his knee and will be out of action for up to nine months. It will be interesting to see if he’s given any kind of push upon his return.
Still Not Time for Nakamura – This won’t be a popular opinion, but I think WWE did the right thing by not putting the World Heavyweight Championship on Shinsuke yet. I’m a huge fan of Nakamura, and am sure that he’ll hold that belt at some time in the near future. I think it will be at a big event like Survivor Series or even WrestleMania, however. SummerSlam is the second-biggest PPV on the WWE calendar, but having Nakamura take the title from Jinder Mahal, who has yet to score a clean win as champion, wouldn’t be as big a deal. As the year rolls on, bigger names are probably going to have a shot at that title, and seeing Nakamura claim the crown from the likes of AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, or even Bobby Roode would be more satisfying. There’s even a chance that WWE books Mahal better over the next few months so that beating him will seem like an accomplishment.
Miz is Still the Best Heel in the Company – Miz cut another scathing promo on John Cena and Roman Reigns on last Monday’s Raw. One of the reasons that he’s so effective is that he says what many fans are thinking. Why is the Intercontinental Champion (or the SmackDown Tag Champions for that matter) on the SummerSlam kickoff show when we have to watch Cena beat Corbin in a match that didn’t mean anything (except a possible end to the Lone Wolf’s push)? I’m a fan of both Cena and Reigns, but I could stand to see some new faces at the top of the card. At least it looks like they’ll be feuding with each other for a while, so only one match will be affected.
That’s it for this week. Hot rumors say that the might be another Superstar Shakeup in the works. Next time, we’ll take a look at who might be best served changing brands.