Thumbs Up

Best: Sheamus/Cesaro vs Ambrose/Rollins
Worst: Big Cass vs Big Show

I figure it’s between this and the Royal Rumble for best WWE main roster PPV of the year, which isn’t saying that much. Thought that the last three hours was enough for a thumbs up, but first hour was weak.

Jinder is really blah, and that was an awful finish that somewhat soured me on the end of the PPV.

-Kevin Chiat

**********

Thumbs down

Best match: Universal Title Fatal Fourway
Worst match: Mahal vs. Nakamura

The main event was great–too bad it didn’t happen until after hours upon hours of the same old directionless, mind-numbing drivel the WWE has been perfecting since WrestleMania. WWE has an amazing amount of talent but they are so poorly booked I’m finding it hard to care. I hope a total restructuring of the booking committees happens sooner rather than later.

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P.S.  What the heck has happened to Nakamura this past year? I know he had the near impossible task of pulling off a good match with Mahal but that was the saddest WWE Title match in a year of sad WWE Title matches. Is he injured or what?

– Nick Randall

**********

Thumbs in the Middle – Just too damn long for a thumbs up for me.

Best Match: Brock vs. Roman vs. Braun vs. Joe
Worst Match: Big Cass vs. Big Show

Main event was an insanely booked highspot-palooza that protected everybody, was a great hoss fight and gave the fans their ticket price worth and then some. Loved it.

Felt as though both Nakamura and Cena were utterly wasted in their relative roles, considering Summerslam is always billed as the “second biggest WWE show of the year”.

AJ/Owens has been booked so weird and had too many shenanigans to have really fire matches, but AJ in particular had his stuff look good here. Poor KO now has to sell those awful punches and probably job to a non-wrestler who’ll be booked like Rambo Jr. Not a fan of that.

RAW tag was pretty hot and I really dug the SD tag match too. Both had the fans eating out of their hands, had great back and forth action and were again, very well laid out matches.  I thought those two tags and the main event were the clear highlights of Summerslam.

SD! women’s was a little better than average, but neither are over enough for the fans to care and we’ve been spoiled by Asuka. RAW women’s was marginally better, mostly because both are more over. Not bad, just not blown away.

Corbin was such a waste of Cena, especially given that he’s doing limited dates and his feuds should all mean something. Corbin’s punches looked pretty transparent, as if he was trying NOT to potato Cena and made sure his stuff all had holes in it so John didn’t get hurt.

Enzo had a Buentello moment with that promo and it felt pretty cringe  He’s booked like such a geek it’s almost unbelievable and yet, they just keep burying him without fail, it’s wild. Cass’s tallness is only going to take him so far nowadays and I think they made a misstep breaking him from Enzo, as Enzo’s own promos pretty much bury how little Cass can do on the mic. That match was rough.

Glad to see Finn win, he’s the perfect top babyface and his presentation is awesome. Now, they 100% have to get him AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from Bray, who is the literal kiss of death of pro wrestling feuds.

Would’ve liked to see more Rusev since he’s such an excellent character, but the show was so long, I wasn’t complaining about the match being short since these PPVs lag by the fifth hour.

Was bummed to see the hottest act coming out of Mania working a pre-show curtain jerker on Summerslam. Felt bad for both those guys and felt really bad for Tozawa and Neville, since they had a very great technical match, but nobody was there to give a darn and it was absolutely dead. I kept thinking how last night they’d have had a stunner and torn the house down and tonight, they barely ranked.

Overall, it was just far too long with far too many matches for the crowd to remain hot, but was still streets ahead of Mania. The main event was a great match and probably “saved the show” and both tags were very exhilarating, which is why I love tags! Everything else was pretty so-so/ho-hum with either not enough fan investment/heat or too many shenanigans and hokey booking for me.

– Jeff Parker

**********

Thumbs up (saw it live in Brooklyn).

Best match: Fatal 4 way with Lesnar.
Worst match: Big Show-Big Cass.

Very good show overall, with “thumbs up” to to the second half.

Fatal 4-way was really wild, and crowd heavily into it.  Styles-Owens good as always. Ambrose-Rollins tag match excellent. Wyatt-Balor delivered.  Nakamura match fine prior to a finish that was telegraphed.  Orton-Rusev was a fun surprise.

Earlier matches less exciting. Cena-Corbin fair at best. Women matches so-so. Cass-Show just short of a disaster.

– Mike Omansky

**********

Tonight’s show was one of the biggest thumbs down for a show that I can remember. Utterly shambolic.

Maybe the G1 and NJPW in general this year has raised my expectations of wrestling higher than WWE’s main roster can possibly reach, maybe it’s because NXT Takeover last night showed that this company under the right direction can get shows right. But this show was an absolute train wreck with little highs and a plethora of lows.

The Miz + co. vs The Hardyz + Jason Jordan match was fine for what it was, but the main conversation coming out of this match will of course be how it will go down as essentially the second Empty Arena match in WWE history. Could they not have just played a few more promos before sending them out?

Neville vs Tozawa was the first of many questionable booking decisions of the night. If they were going to give Neville the belt back, then why did he lose it on Monday? Quick title changes devalues the championship and the Cruiserweights can really do without any more examples of how the worthless the division is.

Elias’ little segment playing guitar was very enjoyable, he gets good heat and can work the crowd well.

The SmackDown Tag Team Championship match was one of the best matches of the night. Hopefully the upcoming Superstar Shakeup will bring more tag teams to SmackDown as there is a notable lack of depth.

Cena vs Corbin felt like a very short match that didn’t really showcase either man, which is terrible for Corbin who is most definitely damaged goods at the minute. Losing to Cena isn’t a death sentence, but after the week Corbin’s had, it might as well be.

Natalya vs Naomi was fine. The title change caught me off guard.

Big Cass vs Big Show. If the crowd were going to throw one, why didn’t the crowd throw the beach ball during this match? It would have been more entertaining than the match.

Orton vs Rusev. Cena and Orton both winning on a show in 2017 where they really should be putting people over isn’t great in the first place. I don’t know what Rusev’s done to annoy Vince to lose in 10 seconds.

I feel like now whenever I try to think positively about WWE, I’ll be forever angered at how they managed to get Bayley booed. How on Earth can Vince McMahon not be able to book a babyface in 2017? It’s his job to book babyfaces who get cheered, and he’s failing horribly at his job.

Alexa vs Sasha was, like the SmackDown women’s match, fine. Again, the title change caught me off guard. The crowd didn’t seem into it.

I’d have enjoyed Finn vs Bray a lot more had I not just seen it on TV 6 days ago. Bray matches do nothing for me now, if he wins, it’s a waste as he’s too damaged to actually gain good momentum from it, and if he loses, it means nothing as he always loses. Saying that, the match was the best on the main card up to that point.

Sheamus + Cesaro vs Ambrose + Rollins was a very good match! One of WWE’s best PPV matches this year. The finish was great with Seth’s springboard hurricanrana. Cesaro ripping the beach ball apart was great too.

Styles vs Owens was good, the best match of their trilogy. I prefer Red Shoes as a ref over White Trainers/Sneakers. KO’s comment about Shane falling off buildings but not getting up to count a pin was very funny. It’s still baffling that Vince put these two into the mid-card.

Jinder vs Nakamura. Oh boy. The opening promo package was good. Nakamura’s entrance was great. The finish was awful. If you get the opportunity to choose between “heel heat” and “white hot babyface heat”, you’ve got to pick the latter all day long. WWE’s post match camera shots of fans shaking their heads at the idiocy of the decision for Jinder to win whilst there were boos was a great example of how stupid Jinder winning was.

The main event Fatal Four Way was a good hoss fight albeit anti-climactic. (It felt like the crowd were dead during all pin-falls.) Braun Strowman is great, and it’s understandable why the crowd love him. A great monster. Did Roman hit any move during that match other than a Superman Punch and a Spear?

All in all it was a very bad show..

– Kieran Lane

**********

SummerSlam. MOTN: 4-way. The first 10 minutes of this match was seriously as good as anything in WWE in the past decade.

I’m not hating on Roman and usually he has good matches, but his 29 Superman punches and weak looking offense hurt the match.

Worst: Damn, there’s so many choices… Corbin actually killed the crowd in a JOHN CENA match, but I’ll have to go with the Cass vs Show Shark Cage. Crowd is definitely turning on Enzo. Loser babyfaces who do nothing but lose will not be cheered.

Overall: Thumbs Down. The match order and pacing was absolutely atrocious.

NXT Takeover

MOTN: Asuka vs Moon
Worst: Roode vs McIntyre. I’m a big fan of Roode too, but that match underperformed, especially for a main event and the tag match overperformed, so have to go with that, although every match was good.

Overall: Thumbs Up. Even though the show was good, after G1, the show definitely didn’t excite me as much as it would have had I not seen so many ****+ matches in the last month.

– Tim Dudley

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