RK-Bro def. AJ Styles (C) and Omos (C) – RAW Tag Team Championships
A very solid start to the show, with both teams working a basic formula that kept the crowd engaged. On the RK-Bro front, I didn’t really see much in terms of innovative tag team moves on their end, as it was really just Orton getting the better of Styles.
But I can’t really complain about the end result here, as this was written in the stars for months. Styles and Omos performed well here too, although Omos is quite visibly still green and WWE is still reluctant to give him extended ring time and do things that aren’t basic big men stuff. So in practicality, this felt more like a handicap match.
Overall though, an energetic start, and a safe match with the right team going over. And now we wait for when Orton will turn on Riddle. ***
Alexa Bliss def. Eva Marie
Mercifully, this was kept relatively brief and to the point. I have no idea what this feud is about or what they’ve been fighting for. All I know is that I’m glad it’s (hopefully) over. *1/4
Damian Priest def. Sheamus (C) – United States Championship
I really hope people will give Sheamus his flowers while he’s still competing. All throughout his career and especially though the pandemic era of WWE, Sheamus has served as one of WWE’s unsung heroes and workhorses. With that said, this was a very entertaining match in my opinion, combining the right level of storytelling and physicality.
If there was anything that ruined my enjoyment of this match, it was WWE having Priest defeat Sheamus before this match. Those “contender’s matches” are rather stupid. But with that, the right call was made here and that match was well paced and well done. Priest looked like a star and Sheamus played his role beautifully. ***3/4
The Usos (C) def. The Mysterios – SmackDown Tag Team Championships
This match went by so quickly, it literally feels like a blur. These two teams have seemingly fought each other since WrestleMania non-stop. So these teams probably know each move and each transition well in advance. I liked what I was seeing a lot, even if it did feel like just a re-hash of their greatest hits over the last few months.
It looks like they may be moving forward with the Dominik heel turn, at least. But for what it was, a very high paced and energetic match that took on a different pace from the RAW Tag Title match. ***1/4
Becky Lynch def. Bianca Belair (C) – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Well, that’s certainly a thing that happened. So the mystery of Sasha Banks started last week when the two were pulled from a live event. Then, we were told that the match might be in jeopardy and get taken off the card.
Then, we were told that the match was back on and WWE promoted all week. Then, another report comes out yesterday that Sasha is no longer expected for Summerslam. My thinking is that they wanted to have the rematch and then have Becky emerge as the enemy challenger, but Sasha’s status made them expedite those plans.
The whole thing from Carmella was clearly a smokescreen at the start, as there would be absolutely no way that WWE would go through with that match after we saw it for free last night. So I definitely agree with Becky coming out to emerge as the challenger. However, I absolutely do not agree with having Becky essentially squash Bianca and make her look like a fool after five months of looking dominant. At least have Becky issue a challenge and tease it.
Then again, I also get it. It’s Summerslam, so if there’s a big moment no one’s expecting, you do it. But a squash? Maybe Becky needs time to get her in-ring mojo back so they made it quick. But essentially doing The Rock vs. Erick Rowan? Bianca deserves better. Hopefully she gets better in a proper match between these two. But I am not gonna complain about Becky being back in action. RAW’s women’s division now looks even thinner.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
Eh, didn’t care too much for this. Basically an extended squash. My general theory about matches like these is if it could be resolved on RAW, probably don’t have on your second biggest show of the year. But I guess this was just to make everyone forget about Bianca getting squashed. *1/2
Charlotte Flair def. Nikki A.S.H (C) and Rhea Ripley – RAW Women’s Championship
Yes, Charlotte wins yet again. But you guys already knew that, didn’t you? So I guess this means the Nikki ASH experiment was pretty much a failure. She got quite a few boos during her entrance, and that’s rather apropos considering that WWE has treated her like an afterthought since winning the title. When she won, it was only due to opportunistic circumstance and luck. She got pinned cleanly by both of her challengers in this match. So in the end, she was just a paper champion.
As for the match, it picked up quite a bit at about the halfway point and all three women gave tremendous effort here. Nikki served once again trying to take advantage Kd opportunities when they came, Charlotte was an aggressor, and Rhea looked to always gain some kind of advantage. While some may disagree with the Charlotte win ad pass it off as redundant, she has emerged as one of WWE’s most reliable performers on big stages. So I’m fine with it, although I hope reigns start to become more meaningful and she doesn’t just start padding reigns so she can inevitably surpass her father. Where the RAW Women’s division goes in the future is an even bigger question. Past Rhea and Nikki, and with Becky now exclusive to SmackDown, who is a credible enough challenger for Charlotte? ***1/2
Edge def. Seth Rollins
First, I just want to say that Seth and Edge are two of my favorite superstars ever, and when Rollins solidified himself as one of WWE’s top guys, this was a match I always wanted to see and wondered what it would have been like if Edge never retired. And holy shit, we actually got it. All of those WWE 2K simulations have finally come to pass. I actually couldn’t believe it. Edge’s Brood entrance. Seth’s cockiness. It all blended so well together and my heart was pumping before the bell rang.
As you can imagine, this dream match did indeed deliver in a big way. The story was predictable, with Seth consistently targeting the neck and looking foe the Curb Stomp (WHICH COULD END HIS CAREER IN CASE COLE DIDNT REMIND YOU ENOUGH), and Edge looking desperately for a way out. And he always found a way. I also couldn’t remember the last time Edge won via submission 3 was going OLD old school. Rollins’ relentless assault was also the perfect counter to Edge’s elusive nature. This was a beautiful match, a match that lived up to the hype and the billing. Boy oh boy would I have loved to have been in Vegas to see it. ****1/2
Bobby Lashley (C) def. Goldberg – WWE Championship
So I’m pretty sure we were all expecting the usual Goldberg sprint match where all the big moves come early and the winner is decisively known within 5 minutes. I was not expecting delayed limb work and things of that nature. Although I gotta say, having your WWE Title match on your second biggest show of the year being stopped by “injury stoppage” was hella lame.