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‘WWE SUMMERSLAM 2021’ Recap + Review – Reigns vs. Cena, Lashley vs. Goldberg

DATE: August 21, 2021
VENUE: Allegiant Stadium (Paradise, NV)
COMMENTATORS (RAW): Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, & Corey Graves
COMMENTATORS (SMACKDOWN): Michael Cole & Pat McAfee
VIEWING METHOD: Peacock (Live)

SummerSlam 2021 features the return of John Cena as he challenges the head of the table Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, with Reigns vowing to leave WWE if he loses. Also on the show Bobby Lashley defends the WWE Championship against Goldberg, Edge takes on Seth Rollins, and RK-Bro challenge AJ Styles & Omos for the RAW Tag Team Championship.

CHAMPIONS

  • WWE CHAMPION: “The All Mighty” Bobby Lashley
  • WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns
  • RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Nikki A.S.H.
  • SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Bianca Belair
  • WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION: Sheamus
  • WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Shinsuke Nakamura
  • RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles & Omos
  • SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
  • WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Natalya & Tamina

LINEUP

  • AJ Styles & Omos [c] vs. RK-Bro for the RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
  • Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie (DUD)
  • Sheamus [c] vs. Damian Priest for the WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
  • The Usos [c] vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio for the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
  • Bianca Belair [c] vs. ??? for the SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (LAME)
  • Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal (**)
  • Nikki A.S.H. [c] vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
  • Edge vs. Seth Rollins (***1/2)
  • Bobby Lashley [c] vs. Goldberg for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP (*3/4)
  • Roman Reigns [c] vs. John Cena for the WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)

*****

“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles & Omos [c] vs. RK-Bro (“The Viper” Randy Orton & Riddle) for the RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Orton was initially resistant to reforming his tag team with Riddle after making his return, but Riddle proved himself by saving him from Styles and Omos last Monday so RK-Bro is back in business, baybay! For now anyway. Never trust a Viper.

Orton gets the upper hand at the start with a series of rights and a suplex. Riddle tags in and has Orton assist him with a pop-up twisting splash for the 1…2…Styles kicks out and rolls to the floor, slapping the announce table in frustration. Omos tags in and drops Riddle with ease when he charges, following up with a clubbing forearm across the shoulder blades. Omos picks Riddle up and toys with him a bit before tossing him to the canvas with a slam, getting in his way when he tries to make a tag. Omos lifts Riddle in the air, Riddle turns it into a Bromission attempt but gets whipped right off and squashed in the corner. Styles tags in and Omos assists awkwardly with a tornado DDT for the 1…2…Riddle kicks out, Styles locks in a rear chinlock. Riddle fights out, Styles bends him in half with a backbreaker and reapplies the chinlock, staring right at Orton. Riddle rocks Omos with a jumping knee strike and tosses Styles to the floor, but Styles yanks him away at the last second to prevent a tag. Riddle escapes Styles’ grasp with a knee and finally gets the tag to Orton, who sends Styles flipping to the canvas with a backdrop. Orton connects with a snap powerslam and drops Omos from the apron with a kick to the kneecap, then hangs Styles across the middle rope for a DDT. Orton coils up, Omos pulls Styles to the floor and catches Riddle in mid-air for a chokeslam on the apron. Styles stuns Orton, Omos gets sent into the post courtesy of Riddle, Styles wrecks Riddle’s day with a backflip into an inverted DDT in one fluid motion. Great sell by Riddle, eyes WIDE OPEN. Styles counters the RKO with a roll-up for the 1…2…Orton kicks out and connects with an RKO for the 1…2…3!

RK-Bro defeated AJ Styles & Omos [c] via pinfall to win the RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (7:05)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Crowd is WAY more into this team than I thought they were going to be, honestly. That’s what I get for not watching RAW. Match was pretty good, watching Omos progress is fun. If he puts it together he’s gonna RULE. (**1/2)

-LAST MONDAY: Doudrop doesn’t take Alexa Bliss’ doll, Eva Marie slaps her repeatedly for failing. Seems ill-advised to do.

Alexa Bliss [w/ Her Weird Doll] vs. Eva Marie [w/ Doudrop]

Bliss grabs a waistlock, Marie with a switch but eats an elbow to the face, Bliss following up with a drop toehold. Marie gets some offense in and slaps around the doll or whatever. Bliss snaps and lays into Marie with a series of furious strikes, then puts the doll back on the post where she belongs. Bliss steps on Marie en route to a Twisted Bliss but MISSES and Marie almost gets the win off a couple of pinfall attempts. Marie argues with the ref, Bliss drills her with a DDT for the 1…2…3.

Alexa Bliss defeated Eva Marie via pinfall (3:50)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Awful. (DUD)

Doudrop happily announces Marie as the loser of the match, then walks off wearing Marie’s robe much to her anger. This sucks so f*cking bad.

Mario Lopez is revealed as a guest correspondent backstage, sporting a Hart Foundation t-shirt to show off his credentials. Lopez brings in the new RAW Tag Champs RK-Bro. Randy Orton says it’s going to be smooth sailing every night because they’re going to use the three most destructive letters in the English language: R…K…Bro? Riddle teases a surprise for Orton tomorrow on RAW. I will not be watching to find out.

Sheamus [c] vs. “The Archer of Infamy” Damian Priest for the WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP

Sheamus is wearing a face mask to protect his broken nose which happened…at some point. I’m a little bummed that he’s wrestling in his normal attire as opposed to the “Irish bar hooligan” getup I keep seeing in promo pics. I totally forgot about Priest once the Bad Bunny stuff concluded, but it seems like he’s doing okay.

Sheamus takes control early with a side headlock takeover, Priest counters out into a hammerlock, Sheamus counters back with a drop toehold into a hammerlock of his own. Sheamus drops Priest with a shoulderblock, Priest responds with a jumping back elbow and a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. Priest sends Sheamus to the apron, Priest sends him to the floor with a forearm shiver and follows up with a step-up senton but lands FULL FORCE ON HIS HIP AND BOUNCES OFF THE FLOOR. Jesus Sheamus you’ve been wrestling forever, catch a motherf*cker, will you? Sheamus takes control, throwing Priest into the LED post and connecting with a NOICE belly-to-back suplex but only gets a one-count. Priest tries to escape a chinlock, Sheamus turns it into a backbreaker and POSES while balancing his challenger over his knee. Love it. Priest counters a power bomb with a hurricanrana, Sheamus shrugs it off and connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…shoulder up. Sheamus starts with the Beats across the chest but stops halfway through to stop the crowd from counting along. Sheamus talks some trash, Priest catches him off-guard with a standing tornado DDT and finds his second wind. Priest lays into Sheamus with jabs and a pair of clotheslines. Priest stuns Sheamus with a kick from the apron and connects with a FLYING SPINNING HEEL KICK for the 1…2…Sheamus kicks out! Sheamus heads to the top, Priest goozles him but gets dropped throat-first across the top rope, Sheamus climbs back up and connects with a flying clothesline into an Alabama Slam for the 1…2…PRIEST SURVIVES. 

Sheamus charges, Priest catches him with a kick and hits a South of Heaven for the 1…2…SHEAMUS KICKS OUT. Priest connects with a big boot and goes for a springboard, Sheamus catches him on the way down with a pump knee for the 1…2…PRIEST KICKS OUT AND SHEAMUS IMMEDIATELY LOSES IT AT THE REF. Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf, Priest turns it into a cradle for the 1…2…Sheamus kicks out and applies a heelhook in the center of the ring! Priest fights through the pain and pulls Sheamus’ mask off to land some strikes to his bare face. Sheamus charges, Priest hits a snake eyes followed by a spinning heel kick and a RECKONING for the 1…2…3!

Damian Priest defeated Sheamus [c] via pinfall to win the WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (13:48)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Priest and Sheamus didn’t have to do a lot to better than the last match but they exceeded expectations anyway for me. Hard-hitting match, loved the back and forth and Priest removing the protective mask to put an exclamation on his final blows. Good on Priest getting the nod. (***1/4)

The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) [c] vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio for the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

The Usos beat Rey & Dom last month at the Money in the Bank Kickoff. The Mysterios have been struggling since, both in winning matches and with each other. 

Rey snaps off a rana on Jimmy and goes for the 619 early but he rolls to the floor to avoid. Jey runs in, Dom backdrops him to the floor, Rey connects with a sliding splash on both Usos and Dom follows up with a springboard splash on the champs. Back in the ring Dom connects with a springboard splash and hits the Three Amigos, honoring his REAL father Eddie Guerrero. Jey secretly tags in and shoves Dom off the top and into the barricade, then throws him into the LED post which he sells pretty well. Dom tries to tag out, Jey throws him to the canvas and makes the tag to Jimmy for a DEMOLITION DECAPITATION-style double team move. Heck yeah. Jimmy taunts Dom and connects with a headbutt for the 1…2…not yet. Dom clears Jimmy off the apron, Jey F*CKS HIS DAY UP with a beautiful uppercut. Jey mocks Dom as he crawls over to make a tag, snatching the wrist right before but Dom counters a suplex attempt with a brainbuster-like move of his own. Rey gets the tag and plants Jimmy with a DDT for the 1…2…emphatic kickout. Rey clears Jey off the apron, Jimmy connects with a superkick for the 1…2…Rey kicks out! Rey sends Jimmy to the floor with a rana, Jey catches him flying with a glancing superkick (they were way too far away ha) and a Superfly Splash for the 1…2…REY KICKS OUT. 

Dom and Jey fight on the apron, Jey sends him bouncing off the hardest part of the ring as JIMMY WAITS FOREVER to miss a Superfly Splash on Rey. Rey connects with the 619 on Jimmy but Jimmy counters the Frog Splash with a pair of knees. Jey tags in, DOUBLE SUPERKICK from the Usos followed by another Superfly Splash on Rey for the 1…2…3.

The Usos [c] defeated Rey & Dominik Mysterio via pinfall to retain the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (10:50)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: The Usos are easily one of the best tag teams in WWE history and I’ll never tire of seeing them do their thing. Rey was great as always, and Dom was…fine. He’s fine. He sells pretty well. Right team won. (**1/4)

-Guest correspondent Tiffany Haddish interviews new U.S. Champ Damian Priest. Priest says he never misses and got his opportunity. Okay. Haddish said “THE SummerSlam” and called Priest a “National” Champion. Ha.

Rick Boogs shreds the guitar in the center of the ring to bring out King Nakamura. Nakamura and Boogs rock out with McAfee on the announce table, Cole trying his best not to have a good time. There is no match, they’re just here for funsies. Fair enough.

-SmackDown Women’s Champ Bianca Belair makes her way out for the next match after a video package hyping up her big rematch with Sasha Banks. The announcer says that Banks is not cleared to compete tonight and will be defending against CARMELLA instead. Carmella dances her way to the ring, everybody but her disappointed at this situation. Belair gets on the mic and says she’s going to take her frustrations out on Carmella, and will face Sasha Banks sometime in the future. BUT BEFORE THE BELL RINGS OUT COMES BECKY FRIGGIN’ LYNCH TO MAKE HER SURPRISE RETURN HELL YEAH. Lynch takes Carmella out of the occasion and calls for a mic, challenging Belair to wrestle right now. Belair takes a second then accepts and it’s on!

Bianca Belair [c] vs. “The Man” Becky Lynch  for the SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Lynch teases a handshake, belts Belair with a forearm, then hits a MANHANDLE SLAM for the 1…2…3! HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT

Becky Lynch defeated Bianca Belair [c] via pinfall to win the SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (0:26)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: What could’ve been a cool moment turned into a big ol’ pile of bullsh*t. This is Kofi losing to Brock all over again, what the helllll. (LAME)

-Olympic Gold Medalists in wrestling Gable Steveson and Tamyra Mensah-Stock get introduced to the ring. Gable has been very vocal about wanting to be in WWE, I’m glad he’s getting the nod. Tamyra seems WAY more into this though.

Extreme Rules is next month. 

Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal

Mahal’s lackeys Veer and Shanky are banned from ringside for this one. Mahal cost McIntyre cost the Money in the Bank briefcase last month, but more importantly have a long past as former friends and 3MB teammates. That’s the part of the story I care about, 3MB kicked ass.

McIntyre wastes no time, throwing Mahal into the corner and lighting him up with a chop. Mahal stuns McIntyre with a back elbow, McIntyre responds with a clothesline and a suplex throw. McIntyre signals for the Claymore countdown, Mahal smartly bails to the floor to avoid it. McIntyre goes to follow, Mahal trips him up and sends him crashing into the apron, McIntyre blocks a whip and throws him on the floor with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring Mahal rattles McIntyre’s brain with a superkick and almost gets the win right then and there but McIntyre manages to stay alive. Mahal punishes McIntyre with various knee strikes and chokes, slowing things down into an arm/chinlock combo. McIntyre escapes with a Glasgow Kiss followed by FOUR overhead throws and a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre nips up, counts down, and hits the Claymore Kick for the 1…2…3.

Drew McIntyre defeated Jinder Mahal via pinfall (4:38)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Easy win for Drew, felt like a WCW C-show main event. Not terrible, just forgettable. (**)

Veer and Shanky think about attacking but get scared away by McIntyre’s cosplay sword. 

Nikki A.S.H. [c] vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Nikki Cross started dressing like a fake superhero and propelled herself to the Women’s Title, but now has Charlotte and Rhea’s entitled asses gunning for a shot so here we are. 

Nikki sends Flair to the mat with a monkey flip, Ripley re-enters the match and gets rolled up for a one-count. Nikki dropkicks Ripley’s knee, Flair tosses her out to the floor and the challengers start battling. Flair catches Ripley with a shoulder to the gut, Nikki kicks Flair to the floor as she rides Ripley down with a bulldog, then rolls her up for the 1…2…Ripley kicks out, Flair throws Nikki into Ripley and throws them around like nothing. Nikki catches Flair with a crossbody, Flair stuns her with a knee to the midsection and slams her on Ripley. Ripley counters a moonsault with a big boot, Nikki counters the Rip Tide with a lateral press then hits a tilt-a-whirl on Flair. Ripley superkicks Nikki, Charlotte drops Ripley with a big boot for the 1…2…not yet. Ripley clears Nikki from the apron and hits Flair with a basement dropkick followed by a Northern Lights suplex for a two-count. Flair picks Nikki up, Ripley comes from behind with a German on Flair and both go flying. Ripley connects with a missile dropkick on Flair for the 1…2…Flair kicks out. Flair and Ripley stiff the hell out of each other at ringside, Nikki flattens them both with a flying crossbody from the top. Back in the ring Ripley and Nikki team up for a delayed vertical suplex…THAT CHARLOTTE TURNS INTO A DOUBLE DDT AND FINALLY THE CROWD WAKES UP. Hell yeah. 

Flair sends Nikki & Ripley to the floor, revs herself up, then f*cks their day up with a goddamn corkscrew splash from the top! Nikki went FLUSH into the barricade, jesus. Ripley boots Flair off the apron, Nikki slingshots into a roll-up for the 1…2…Ripley kicks out. Ripley applies a standing Cloverleaf, Flair tries to break with a boot but Ripley dodges and connects with a kick of her own and applies the same leglock, Flair escapes and turns it into a FIGURE EIGHT and Nikki breaks it up with a splash! Nikki connects with a swinging neckbreaker on Flair for the 1…2…Ripley breaks it up, Nikki counters a Rip Tide with a DDT but Ripley falls to the floor to avoid getting pinned. Nikki takes flight but misses the flying crossbody and Flair turns it into a FIGURE EIGHT, forcing Nikki to tap!

Charlotte Flair defeated Nikki A.S.H. [c] & Rhea Ripley via submission to win the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (13:04)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Flair wins clean and makes the actual champ submit, WWE didn’t even have Ripley take the loss and help Nikki save some face. SAVAGE. Makes sense that Flair won though, she was the best part of this match and the best wrestler out of the three. I don’t really get what this Nikki A.S.H. thing was supposed to accomplish other than make someone look like a dork. Okay maybe that’s all it was supposed to accomplish, who knows. (**1/4)

“The Rated R Superstar” Edge vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins cost Edge the Universal Championship at Money in the Bank, continuing a longstanding grudge that began when he tried to hurt Edge during his retirement years. Edge has found a DARK PLACE as the feud has gotten more personal, summoning a Brood bloodbath to Rollins the night before on SmackDown. And we get the Brood music tonight as well, COMPLETE WITH THE FIRE ENTRANCE leading into his regular one. No Gangrel though so why the f*ck even bother?!?

Edge frustrates Rollins early, Rollins almost letting himself lose my countout until finally running back in. Edge beats on Rollins in the corner, Rollins clubs him back with his taped-up arm, Edge sends him to the floor with a backdrop to counter what looked like a Pedigree attempt. This time Edge chases Rollins back in, ducking a clothesline and connecting with a knee that sends him right back to the floor. Rollins dodges a baseball slide and sends the back of Edge’s head crashing into the LED post and ring steps. Back in the ring Rollins connects with a neckbreaker for the 1…2…not yet. Rollins continues attacking the surgically-repaired neck with another neckbreaker, but Edge refuses to stay down. Rollins supposedly connects with a springboard knee strike and covers but Edge kicks out once again. Rollins toys with Edge, Edge counters a neckbreaker with a backslide for the 1…2…Rollins kicks out, Edge connects with a flapjack and corner spear. Rollins knocks Edge off the buckles and connects with a Frog Splash for the 1…2…Edge kicks out! Rollins trash talks and pulls Edge up to the buckles, Edge fights back and connects with a twisting neckbreaker from the top. Edge goes on a comeback string with a stun gun, big boot, and an Edgecution DDT for the 1…2…Rollins kicks out! Edge with a victory roll for the 1…2…Rollins kicks out again! 

Rollins surprises Edge with a superplex, then rolls through into a Falcon Arrow for the 1…2…EDGE KICKS OUT. Edge dodges the Stomp and counters the Pedigree with the GLAM SLAM for the 1…2…ROLLINS KICKS OUT. Awesome. Rollins bounces the neck over the middle rope, Edge dodges an apron stomp and sends him into the post, following up with a SPEAR THROUGH THE ROPES AND TO THE FLOOR GODDAMN. Edge sends Rollins into the ring skirt LED board and rolls him in for the 1…2…ROLLINS KICKS OUT. Edge measures Rollins for a Spear, Rollins counters with a sorta Pedigree I guess for the 1…2…EDGE KICKS OUT. Rollins rolls through a Corkscrew Moonsault attempt, Edge catches him with a Spear for the 1…2..ROLLINS KICKS OUT. Rollins counters a Killswitch with a rolling forearm to the back of the neck followed by a superkick to the side of the head, Edge catches the Stomp and turns it into the EDGE-U-CATOR submission. Rollins almost gets to the ropes, Edge drags him back into the center, Rollins rolls him up for the 1…2…Edge rolls through into a Crossface in the center of the ring! Rollins peels him off and Edge SLAMS HIS HEAD IN THE MAT REPEATEDLY followed by a Bulldog Choke for the tap!

Edge defeated Seth Rollins via submission (21:15)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Took me a bit to get into but I eventually did and ended up really enjoying this. Probably my favorite Edge match since his return, he pulled out all of the stops and found his “dark place”. Edge smashing Rollins’ skull into the canvas and winning via tapout was cool, debuting a new move and what not. I’m into it. (***1/4)

-Official SummerSlam attendance: 51,326. AND NOT ONE OF THEM ARE UNVACCINATED OR HAVE COVID SO IT’LL BE FINE.

-EARLIER TONIGHT: The Miz and John Morrison arrived in a Pure Life truck, planning a WET SummerSlam celebration or some sh*t. 

The Miz and John Morrison are in the ring, whining that everyone in the crowd is dry or whatever. Morrison has brought a special surprise to moisten up the party: the DripStick 2000. Miz tells Morrison to grab it, Morrison says he thought Miz had them. If they don’t have them, then who does? Xavier Woods emerges from the crowd with Scott Hall cosplay hair and toothpick, wearing the DripStick 2000. Woods does a survey thing like Hall then sprays Miz & Morrison out of the ring with the Pure Life gun. 

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Unf*ckingbearable.

“The All MIghty” Bobby Lashley [c] [w/ MVP] vs. Goldberg for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Goldberg’s entrance gets kneecapped by the camera jump cutting to the crowd every two seconds during his walk and HAVING NO ACTUAL PYRO FOR HIM TO BATHE IN. What the actual f*ck is this show, man?

Lashley and Goldberg lock up, the latter backing the former into the corner. Lashley runs into Goldberg, no one moves. Goldberg ducks a clothesline and levels Lashley with a leaping shoulderblock followed by a pair of slams. Goldberg clotheslines Lashley in the corner then hits a short-arm clothesline to follow up, crowd is NOT thrilled. Lashley responds with CLUBBING blows, Goldberg tries a Jackhammer but his leg buckles and he gets dropped by Lashley. Lashley heads to the top, Goldberg slams him off (AND DAMN NEAR ON HIS NECK/SHOULDER). Goldberg measures Lashley, MVP pulls Lashley out of the ring to avoid a Spear attempt. Goldberg runs over and hits the Spear anyway and rolls Lashley in. Goldberg goes for another, Lashley climbs out of the ring and MVP hits him in the knee with the cane. Lashley clips the knee and connects with a chokeslam, Goldberg fights out of a Hurt Lock attempt but Lashley clips the knee and he lands on his head. Lashley measures Goldberg, Goldberg rolls out of the ring clutching his knee. Lashley shows no mercy, throwing Goldberg’s knee into the LED post. Goldberg can’t stand, ref calls it.

Bobby Lashley [c] defeated Goldberg via ref decision to retain the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP (7:11)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: This has to be the longest match Goldberg’s had since his return-ish in 2016 right? Felt like it. Wish it was shorter and the finish sucked shit but at least Lashley was on offense for most of it. (*3/4)

Lashley continues attacking Goldberg’s knee, this time with a steel chair. Gage Goldberg runs in to help his Dad, Lashley puts him in the Hurt Lock but MVP tells him to back off because he’s just a kid. Gage gets knocked out anyway though, tough break. MVP gets on the mic and excuses Lashley’s behavior saying there was no way to know that was Gage, then announces Lashley as the winner. 

Roman Reigns [c] [w/ Paul Heyman] vs. John Cena for the WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Cena made his surprise return last month at Money in the Bank, setting his sights on Reigns. Reigns was initially hesitant but decided to take the match and has sweetened the deal by leaving WWE if he loses. Cena is chasing after his illusive 17th World Championship which seems feasible now that Ric Flair has left the company. Could go either way, let’s do this.

Reigns makes first contact, dropping Cena with a shoulder tackle. Reigns grabs a headlock, Cena turns it into a roll-up for the 1…2…Cena almost sneaks it out there. Oh man that would’ve been hilarious. They circle one another, Cena surprises Reigns with an inside cradle for the 1…2…Reigns kicks out, Cena reminds him again of how close he was. Reigns alternates between right hands and antagonizing the crowd, Cena ducks a third right and rolls Reigns up for the 1…2…Reigns kicks out and connects with a clothesline to regain control. Reigns snaps off a suplex, covers nonchalantly for the 1…2…Cena gets the shoulder up. Reigns tosses Cena to the floor, Cena fights back with rights but gets tossed into the steps. Reigns poses on said steps with the Universal Championship in an effort to DRAG THIS MOTHERF*CKER OUT. Cena rolls in and surprises Reigns with another roll-up for the 1…2…Reigns kicks out and drops Cena with a forearm, snuffing out another rally. Cena almost gets an AA, Reigns counters into a DDT for the 1…2…Cena kicks out. Reigns talks some trash, Cena fights back with rights but his trademark shoulderblock gets countered with an uppercut. 

Cena with yet another surprise roll-up, Reigns kicks out and locks in a sleeperhold. Cena almost fades but breaks it in the corner, following it up with a desperation clothesline and both are down. Cena gets going, hitting shoulder tackles into the belly to back suplex, Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Reigns grabs a guillotine, Cena rolls him up for the 1…2…Reigns kicks out and connects with a Superman Punch. Reigns charges, Cena drops him with a kick and this time hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle followed by the ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT for the 1…2…REIGNS KICKS OUT. Cena slaps on the STF, Reigns makes it to the ropes. Reigns rolls to the floor, Cena hops down and Reigns catches him with a Drive By dropkick. Reigns charges again, Cena puts him through an announce table with the Attitude Adjustment! Cena quickly rolls Reigns in and covers for the 1…2…REIGNS KICKS OUT. Cena takes flight, Reigns counters whatever he was gonna do with a powerbomb for the 1…2…KICKOUT. 

Cena goes for a Superman Punch, Cena counters with a roll-up for the 1…2…Reigns kicks out, Cena goes for the AA, Reigns escapes and this time hits the Superman Punch for the 1…2…Cena kicks out and Reigns is NOT happy. Reigns proclaims it’s done, Cena dodges a spear and he goes shoulder-first into the LED post, Cena drags Reigns up the buckles and hits a SUPER ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT FOR THE 1…2…F*CKIN’ REIGNS KICKS OUT AGAIN WHAT THE HELL. Cena mocks Reigns’ war yell and charges right into a kick from Reigns, both men throw bombs, Reigns hits a Superman Punch followed by a second and finally the SPEAR for the 1…2…3!

Roman Reigns [c] defeated John Cena via pinfall to retain the WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP (23:00)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: A little on the slow side for my taste, I guess in the name of storytelling or whatever, but ultimately it ended up being really good. Lots of drama towards the end too with a couple of nearfalls that I thought were going to actually end the match. Good on ‘em for getting me like that. Cena may come in Hollywood shape (meaning all muscle no cardio) but he fared a lot better than I think The Rock did when he returned. Big win for Reigns as he continues to be the Big Dog of the WWE. (***1/4)

Reigns’ celebration is cut short by the return of BRAWWWWK LESSSSSNAR, complete with ponytail and beard. Lesnar gets in the ring, Reigns and Heyman back away, Lesnar celebrates like a smiling babyface? THE F*CK? 

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS

I thought SummerSlam was going to be a one-match show but I was wrong: it was a TWO match show with Reigns/Cena and Edge/Rollins being the standouts. That and the U.S. Title match aside though, this was…rough. Really rough. Becky Lynch making her return in the WORST WAY POSSIBLE sucked all the air out of the room and created a moment so awful I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of people shut the show off and vowed never to return. Couple that with an extraordinarily awful Alexa Bliss/Eva Marie “match”, brazenly unfunny comedy with Xavier Woods, Miz, & Morrison, and a few other negative spots and you’ve got a recipe for a show that, while it had a few good moments, it reinforced the reasons why I don’t watch WWE outside of PPVs at this point. Just so many baffling stupid decisions and a roster full of people I can’t find myself rooting for. 

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Edge vs. Seth Rollins
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Brock Lesnar, smiling babyface with ponytail, makes his return to run another program with Reigns, this time with their roles reversed.

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