thoughts on WWE’s big Saturday and Sunday night shows. Plus a bonus thought, since I can’t count.
1 – NXT killed it on Saturday, the crowd seemed HOT and I think it lit a fire under the main roster guys to try and #topthat on Sunday.
2 – With rumors that tonight’s show is “can’t-miss” and something big happening, wow, WWE may not have had a three days like this in a long time, especially if you don’t count Mania.
3 – Making SummerSlam weekend a big event: accomplished. And they should do NXT shows on the Sat before SurSer and the Rumble as well.
4 – Didn’t see Bayley vs. Sasha yet, but saw all of the NXT card except that and the Apollo Crews debut. Looking forward to seeing both. Meanwhile on the SSlam card, I FFWD a lot, mostly due to time constraints, but even if they were solid, I’m not likely going out of my way to see Orton vs. Sheamus, Ryback/Show/Miz, Ziggler vs. Rusev or Shield vs. Wyatts (I caught the finishes for all, but didn’t have time to watch the whole bouts). Four hours is a LOT.
5 – Jon Stewart was great all night. You can tell he’s a big fan, and his kid must have had a BLAST. The Mick Foley bit was perfectly done and got the crowd up, the Heyman backstage part was OKAY but it worked for what it was, the Green Arrow/”Undertaker’s smoke” part was corny but Stewart went all in which made it work, and his appearance (spoiler alert) during the title match made him the biggest babyface in the building, even though it was a “heel” move.
6 – Green Arrow is sure athletic! Don’t remember the last time a celebrity looked that good in a pro wrestling ring, and he even sold pretty well. Smart having him only do acrobatic stuff, and not really take any back bumps, etc. Stardust is growing on me, and this helped even though he was on the losing end. And Neville is just miles ahead of almost anyone else on the roster; he can be the new Rey Mysterio if they book him properly.
7 – That tag match was one of the more fun I’ve seen in years. New Day rocked in Brooklyn, the fans ate it up, they were so over-the-top with awesomeness, and again… FUN. The tornado style of the match made it interesting as well, as they don’t do that very often, and I got a real kick out of many of the spots, including New Day attempting to pin themselves, Kofi sneaking the blind tag just before Titus did the big multiple-man powerbomb, and pretty much every time Kalisto or Diego was in the ring. And the dancing and singing! If you listened to New Day on Jericho’s podcast (a great episode by the way), you’ll appreciate that, since they originally pitched Vince anything but singing and dancing… meanwhile, this act is finally just working.
8 – Divas match was a bit messy, but not due to lack of hard work. I think it was hard with so many women in the ring, but overall it was better than what they usually do on the main roster, and aside from thinking Becky would beat Nikki not Brie, this match went pretty much the way I expected. I had thought this match would set up a situation where Sasha, Charlotte and Becky all had wins over the champ leading into a tournament or four-way for Night of Champions (which takes place just after Nikki passes the 300 day mark, if my math is correct). That said, they can always use the win over Brie to continue the story and Becky might still have some time to get that victory. Or maybe they’ll focus the push on one of the three for now. Sasha seemed to be the favorite in Brooklyn, and I think Charlotte is the chosen one, but I of course prefer Becky. Maybe it’s her awesome music. Also: Paige looked and performed great, carrying a LOT of that match. And Team Bella has really improved; kudos to the Total Divas cast.
9 – That Seth Rollins/John Cena title-for-title match was incredible. Probably better than anything on WWE TV/PPV in a while, and close to Owens/Balor (which was great in a different way) the night before. Did not mind at ALL the Stewart interference finish. Frankly, there are so many finishes that WWE over-uses, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was actually refreshing to see a ref bump! They barely happen anymore, and this was perfectly timed and very well done. As for the two titles: now what (unifying them, dropping one, having him defend both at NOC, having Sheamus cash in)? Lots of possibilities is a good thing, by the way.
10 – Didn’t see Owens/Cesaro, but I really really need to. Read the results and they are two of my favorites lately, and while this spot on the card is usually a “bathroom break,” I’m sure they worked their butts off, and I’m fine with Owens winning here, as long as Cesaro gets put back in the W column in his next program. In fact, they shouldn’t be feuding together anymore. Maybe Cesaro can go after one of Seth’s titles… And I’d like to see Owens take out Ryback, since the IC title picture bores me. Or maybe he and/or Reigns can challenge Sheamus for the briefcase. That could be a fun twist.
11 – As for the main event, what a cool, unique finish. I would have had Undertaker job clean and then build up a story for Wrestlemania where he finally pins or submits Brock in a singles match, something he’s never done, in his final match in his home state in front of 100,000 fans. That said, they can still do a “rubber match” since Taker has the win here; and Heyman and Lesnar can simply show the video tape over and over and over again, showing Brock made the dead man tap. Pretty sweet stuff here, and it plays nicely off some recent terrible MMA refereeing (poor Charles Robinson!).
Tags: summerslam 2015