Before the "Biggest party of the Summer" the August PPV didn't need a tag line to mean something as I would say that Summerslam 2002 was one of if not the best Summerslam PPV events in the history of the event. In April of 2002 we saw what would become one of the most memorable debuts in the history of WWE. Brock Lesnar would make his debut on Raw as one of the first Post WrestleMania developmental talents to debut on the main roster. Lesnar would get a heavy push upon first arrival in the company as he would go undefeated until November of that year when he lost to the Big Show.
Brock would also become only the second person to win a WWF World Title shot after winning the King of the Ring. Following Brock's match on this event he would bring the WWE Championship to Smackdown exclusively which would bring the WWE World Title onto Raw. However, Brock vs Rock wasn't the only anticipated match-up on this night as after 4 years away Shawn Michaels would make his highly anticipated return to the ring against his former friend Triple H. This would also be the first of many violent matches that would take place between Hunter and Shawn over the next year and a half.
American Alpha, The Uso's, & The Hype Bros vs Brezzeango, The Vaudevillians, and The Ascenion
To me this feels like a match WrestleMania pre-show match because it seems like they are just trying to get everyone on the show in any way they can. In this case I don't think this type of match helps anyone other than just getting them in front of the crowd. Even though I would normally go with the heels I am in partial to the Hype Bros and Gable so I am going with the face team winning.
Dudley Boys vs Neville and Sami Zayn
This match is a joke because to me it feels to likely that the Dudley's will come up short against two guys who have never teamed together. Look the only way the booking of the Dudley's makes sense is if we are leading to a split were Bubba turns heel and gets the singles run he deserves. So Neville and Sami win.
Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi vs Natalya & Alexa Bllis
I don't have much to say about this match other than the WWE's attempts to make this PPV seem like the summer time version of Mania to a degree may be at least a year off because they need to keep the momentum going before people can look at Summerslam as a special event like they used to. I was going to go with the heels but since they have the disadvantage the babyfaces win.
Best of Seven Series Match:
Cesaro vs Sheamus
These two are somewhat the last of a dying breed of wrestlers as they are hard hitting, very snug, brawlers who will be proud to leave welts on your body and then uppercut you for good measure. These two are in a way throwback talents to the days of the old no non-sense guys of the past even like JBL. In the ring these two have good chemistry with one and other and I think a best of seven is a good way to keep both men on TV and developing in the new era of WWE. To kick the series off I think Sheamus needs the win more so I am going with him.
Enzo & Big Cass vs Jericho and Kevin Owens
So far the run on the Main Roster hasn't went the way most expected it to go for Enzo and Cass but it still has been quite a ride so far. As I don't think anyone could've expected that these two would go over as quick as they have on the Main Roster. Since the draft some wrestlers had to find a new way in the company and two of those names are Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens as they formed a tag team instead of staying singles after the draft. Though most would say Enzo and Cass need the win I am going with Jericho and KO to win big in their first match as a team.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
(c) The Miz vs Apollo Crews
Now I honestly don't have much to say about this match other than I do believe that this is one of the benefits of the draft. Because before the draft Apollo was lost in the shuffle on the roster due to the bloated roster the company had and the fact that they really never mixed things up as far as us seeing the same people on pretty much a weekly basis. I don't think that Crews winning would be the right thing to do unless your trying to shock the fans, but if it were me I say that Miz remains champion tonight.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
(c) New Day vs The Club
For pretty much the last year one team has ran the WWE tag team division and raised the bar as far as what it means to be a successful faction in the WWE. Over the course of this time the New Day have become one of the greatest factions in modern WWE history but all good things must come to an end and tonight their run will end. Tonight The Club will leave Brooklyn the new champions.
John Cena vs AJ Styles
This will likely be the match of the night as far as quality because since his debut in the WWE I don't think AJ has disappointed in the ring at all and especially not on a big stage. With Cena set to once again take time off to film the second season of American Grit on FOX I am guessing that Cena will come up short tonight and AJ will #BeatupJohnCena.
WWE United States Championship Match:
(c) Rusev w/ Lana vs Roman Reigns
In my book this is the road this is the road that Roman should have been on from the word go instead of heading right for the World Title. Because as the New NXT Champion said if I want to be World Champion I have to beat the best. Roman only did that when he was in The Shield and I also think going slower with Roman's push would have helped Roman get over better with the fans. Either way though tonight Roman will topple the Bulgarian Brute and win the US title.
WWE Women's Championship Match:
(c) Sasha Banks vs Charlotte
I feel like I don't have to say much about this match considering I think we all know what we will get from these two talented women. So I will keep this short due to something things that may or may not be true it's 50-50 that Charlotte maybe taking some time off so if that is the case we may no who wins tonight. But then again either way The Boss wins tonight and you can "Bank on that!!"
WWE World Championship
(c) Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler
As far as build up I absolutely preferred this build to how they built up the match between Finn and Seth as you saw the passion and the desire both of these men have to be champion. Also like I mentioned for the first time in a long time Dolph is showing the reason why so many people think he should've been a multiple time champion at this point. So where along the line his fire was lost but it's back and these will tear the house down at Summerslam but Ambrose keeps the title.
WWE Universal Championship Match:
Finn Balor vs Seth Rolllins
I am going to keep this short because I have been very disappointed with the build up for this match as it could have been so much better. I think they are focusing too much on Finn's alter ego and not enough on how big this match should be as it's to crown the first ever Universal Champion. Considering the fact that Finn has just arrived I think it's too soon to give him the big push so "The Guy" Seth "Freaking" Rollins walks out with the gold.
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs Randy Orton
The tag line is "15 years in the making" and that is true but to think back to 2002 and remember the last time Brock faced Randy, Brock squashed him like a bug. But that was 12 World titles ago and heck that was even before Evolution and like Triple H said Evolution gets to everything. Randy was once a Legend Killer and now he is a Viper and Brock was once the "Next Big Thing" and now he is a "Beast Incarnate." This match will live up to expectations and will keep people wondering what's next for both men. Brock hasn't lost clean since he fought Triple H at WrestleMania 3 years ago so that should tell you who wins tonight.
With the end of the Summerslam series it's time to jump into a new series where we look at talent who have benefited from the brand split and how they have benefitted. If you have lived under a rock for the last month then you may not be aware of the fact that the WWE brought back their brand extension so now Smackdown and Raw have their own exclusive rosters instead of letting all talent appear on both shows. The move to make Smackdown go live was designed to bring more eyes back to the once top brand in the company. But they need to spend a lot of time to undone all of the bad they have done to the show over the last couple of years.
That is right since the brand extension very few people have shown more then the self proclaimed "Show-off" the named Dolph Ziggler has always had the talent to be on top but has just never been given the opportunity to succeed in the company especially over the last few years. But since the draft I feel like something has awoken in Ziggler almost like it's always been there but the creative team has finally let him be Dolph. As everyone knows Dolph has a history of getting of himself in trouble on social media by running his mouth and saying things that get him in trouble with the office, but it seems like all the no's have started a fire in Dolph.
Not only did giving Dolph the title opportunity shock the fans but it also has given us a fresh feud as fans to be interested in and intrigued by considering these have never actually fought one on one for the richest prize in the game. I could see Ziggler flipping heel following Summerslam as it just seems like the writing is on the wall, but I could be wrong and hope I am as WWE doesn't have any really serious faces on the roster in my book. Critics will say this doesn't prove anything and that bringing back the brand split wont work, but as of right now this brand split has done wonders for Dolph as it has seemingly revived what had become a lackluster career.
Recently I have been looking back at some top moments from the past editions of Summerslam as we approach the 29th installment of the biggest party of the summer. Back in 2010 the WWE had a big chance to really invest in a group of new faces to given them a big chance. In June 2010 we saw the biggest debut of any big group in the history of the company when the group known as the Nexus made their debuts and attacked Cena, Punk, and Justin Roberts and then proceeded to destroy the ring.
The momentum that the Nexus got on from their debut to the big match in question featured below. Now I think everyone at this point who has seen the match is a critic of this match due to how it finished with Cena basically killing any momentum the stable had in one show. The critical response of this match makes it all the more worth sharing and taking a look back at as we approach the next installment of the event on Sunday August 21, 2016 live from the Barclay Center.
For the first time since 2008 the WWE didn’t hold the “biggest party of the summer” Summerslam in the it was one of three events that WWE had at the arena in a three day period. The last couple of years the Summerslam PPV had been somewhat lackluster and pretty much forgotten about in terms of the importance that it once had. Summerslam was at one point considered the WWE’s second biggest PPV event of the year, but it hasn’t reach those standards in many years. The summer is actually the company’s worst financial season of the year and when taking the fact that Wrestlemania accounted for more than one-third of WWE’s total pay-per view revenue last year.
This “Summer Slump” has been in effect for almost a decade. Many experts believe that thing may been changing this year with the much anticipated re-match between Undertaker & Brock Lesnar. Also the average ticket for the show costs nearly $540 on the secondary market. Will WWE ever break out of its “Summer Slump?”
At one point the WWE did have a big four during the year with Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series but then at a certain time things changed. The PPV lost it's meaning and significance after years of bad booking and matches without any build or meaning, but now things seem to be changing. One has to think has the damage been done and they need to move on or have they done enough to repair the image of the show yet. With the success of last years event it might be far to say that the "Summer Slump" may have ended!!!
What seems like a never ending list of injured reserved talent for the WWE though the list may not be as long as it was before but it still does have some names on the list. Earlier in the year names like Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Naomi, and others though they are back now everyone hasn't returned just yet.
Recently it was actually reported that Paige is on the shelf with somewhat of a stinger in her arm and neck I do believe which is the reason that even though she was drafted and hasn't made her presence felt on that brand thus far. Right now the injury doesn't seem that serious so that means she shouldn't be away too long. Now I am aware that some of you might not think that Paige being away is big deal, but the more depth that the division has the better especially with Sasha now holding the championship. Imagine a feud between Sasha Banks and Paige for the title once she comes back to the company.
The other injury that needs updating is Nikki Bella. Since September of last year at Night of Champions she has been on the shelf with a very serious neck injury. In the past many have doubted both Bella twins passion for the wrestling business, but if she didn't love what she does and have a passion for the business then she wouldn't be fitting to make her return to the ring. Now I will say that it is possible that Nikki may never actually be medically cleared to return much like Daniel Bryan, but that is probably at least a few months away. Right now Nikki is cleared to return to working out and doing limited drills in the ring but can't return to full time competition. Though I have always been a heavy critic of the Bella's it is very difficult to not be rooting for Nikki to be able to return in the future.
I am going to keep this short and say that it is official at this point now that Ryback aka Ryan Reeves is finished with the company. After months of being off television due to a contract dispute with the company his contract has officially expired and he is allowed to move forward now.
Ryan has been under contract with the company for quite a long time from both the WWE and developmental before moving up to the main roster. For those who don't know Ryan Reeves was actually a participant on the 1 million dollar edition of Tough Enough back in 2004 and though he came up short in the competition Ryan would still be offered a contract with the company in developmental.
In many respects Ryan could be considered the Ahmed Johnson of the modern era due to his injury prone nature and his lack of coming big when given the opportunity. I would say his last chance with the company came last year when they gave him a run with the Intercontinental championship and his run left little to be desired. In the end I would like to wish Ryan "Ryback" Reeves the "Best of luck in all of his Future Endeavors" Yup Yup Yup What it Do!!!
In around a week live on the WWE Network we will be graced with the next installment of the biggest party of the summer. Within the last twenty or so years we have seen a lot great moments at the event and in the coming weeks it's time for us to celebrate these types of moments. Every year the PPV has a match which tells us what the final player is so that helps a little bit. The questions is with Summerslam approaching would be a great strategy.
Johnny has been with the WWE since 2006 when he was signed to a developmental deal and started working in DSW. After WWE separated from Deep-South Wrestling, Johnny was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling which was WWE's new training academy in June 2008. He was a two-time FCW Tag Team Champion with Derrick Bateman & Tyler Reks. In 2010 Curtis got called for NXT but it wasn't long before Curtis was back down in FCW because he had no feud or anything to do. Then after NXT 5 he went back down and stayed with NXT which was the new FCW and by late 2011 Fandango was born. At first Fandango wouldn't compete if anyone from Matt Striker to Justin Roberts, to Tensai, to Khali, to Kofi to Jericho to many others didn't say his name right.
Which is Fan-Dan-Go!!!!! His first match didn't happen until Wrestlemania because of Fandango's opponents not being able to pronounce his name right. The next night the crowd was crazy so crazy that when Fandango came out the fans were humming & dancing along to Fandango's theme on and off for the rest of the show. Then they were humming the theme again before the Smackdown taping and even a little on Smackdown. Since this time he really hasn't done too much outside of a crummy love triangle with Summer Rae and Layla. For the last couple of months Johnny has been teamed up with Tyler Brezze as BrezzeDango. Maybe WWE has actually found something that works or something people find so stupid it's fine and they want to see what happens with Fan-Dan-Go!!!!!
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present