Here’s my final thoughts on WWE Raw and SmackDown Live’s Summerslam 2017!
Neville vs. Akira Tozawa (c) (with Titus O’Neil) (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Reactions: This was a solid Cruiserweight matchup between two very capable competitors. Tozawa is a living, breathing firecracker who’s matches tend to always be high energy. Neville arrived with revenge on his mind and that was easy to see during this championship rematch. Tozawa got most of the offense here, but Neville’s in-ring smarts got the better of the high-octane member of Titus’ stable. Decent match with an unexpected (and for me, disheartening) result.
Rating: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars
The New Day (Big E and/or Xavier Woods and/or Kofi Kingston) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Reactions: This might be the first time in Kickoff Show history where the crowd was caught chanting “THIS IS AWESOME!” And I have to agree with everyone who yelled that inside the Barclays Center. Both these teams have incredible chemistry with each other, which was evident during their excellent Battleground match. They put on another amazing performance here that felt a bit fresher thanks to some innovative tag team moves from Woods and Big E. The Usos shocked me and the live crowd with something just as cool (I legit hopped off my couch when Woods got thrown to the outside and then destroyed with a Samoan Drop). This match was built up efficiently and by the time it got into the middle portion, the crowd began losing their minds (and so did I). Big E’s destruction via a double Superkick/Superfly Splash and the shocking result makes this one of the standout matches from this year’s summerSlam. Can we get a 2-out-of-3 Falls rematch next?
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) and Jason Jordan vs. The Miz and The Miztourage (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) (with Maryse) (6-Man Tag Team Match)
Reactions: Doesn’t get anymore basic than this. This was a disappointingly bland 6-man tag team match that lacked any crowd interest since most of the arena was still empty. Nothing remarkable happened here. It was what it was. The Miz got a win over Jordan, which sets up a future IC Championship feud between the two at least.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Reactions: I’m always down to watch a slow burning tag team match. This was the purest definition of that sort of instance. Ambrose and Rollins were the strange bedfellows who that title wouldn’t have applied to back in 2014. Cesaro and Sheamus stood united and worked together perfectly as they took advantage of Rollins near the match’s early portions. When Ambrose got his chance to run wild, this match kicked into a higher gear. His comeback sequences tend to do that, and with Rollins by his side, that moment’s excitement became magnified. The double Suicide Dive and fresh tag team maneuvers from the former Shield brothers were awesome along with Cesaro and Sheamus’ impressive moveset. The closing moments saw Cesaro and Sheamus pull out everything from their bag of finishing moves, but Rollins’ insane Frankensteiner helped turned the tide for his team. That wild ending and the rest of the this match all equaled up to a fine performance.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
Reactions: Corbin hasn’t impressed me much with his main roster performances. But I had a feeling he’d go that much harder and show some better potential against WWE’s #1 guy. And that’s exactly what happened here. Corbin put in a ton of work and made himself look better than he’s ever been. Cena gelled pretty well with the big man as Corbin used his powerful offense to match up with Cena’s slickness. Corbin looked like the world beater he’s promoted to be and he pulled out his best moves. But Cena still ended up on the winning end of this fun opening match. While it was a bit too short for my tastes, I still got a kick out of Corbin’s coming out party. But in more important news…CENA FINALLY ENDED HIS SUMMERSLAM LOSING STREAK!
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars