WWE SummerSlam 2020
August 23, 2020
Watch: WWE Network
Meet our reviewers
Steve Case: Follow Steve on Twitter @Coachcase44. Member of the Midcard Matinee Podcast (@midcard_matinee). Joined once again by the good Dr. MacArthur for her first WWE PPV! And boy what a show do we have in store. How many eyes will be lost? How many monsters and rabbits and Sister Abigails will show up? How many soulless mindless Zoom faces will be staring at us all blankly in the THUNDERDOME? Let’s just hope for a few memorable matches.
Griffin Peltier: Griffin is here for “The Biggest Party of the Summer” live from the WWE ThunderDome! He’s been watching a lot of Dragongate recently, so The Fiend vs. Braun Strowman will be a complete change of pace in viewing habits. Follow him on Twitter @HiImGriffinP.
Joe Lanza and Rich Kraetsch will go live immediately following SummerSlam for Instant Reaction LIVE. Listen tonight on our $10 Patreon tier at patreon.com/voicesofwrestling.
WWE United States Championship
Apollo Crews © def. MVP
Steve: This is my first experience with the Thunderdome. All I have to say is, more is not more. I don’t need to watch a bunch of turds wave at their friends and try to grab attention. It’s bad and it distracts from the match. From the good doctor, “Why does the crowd look like Guess Who?” This was a pre-show match. Crews looked good hitting a couple of dives, but this was nothing you couldn’t find in the middle of any hour on RAW. But hey, at least the younger guy won. From the good doctor, “Well that was just two big guys ramming into each other. Vanilla ice cream, the missionary position, you get the idea.” **
Griffin: This was pushed to the SummerSlam Kickoff. All of these faces around the THUNDERDOME are distracting. MVP’s leg padding being so clunky and visible would get him READ on Drag Race. This was a very good showcase of just how good Apollo Crews is in the ring and how great he would be if the company got behind him and gave him a legitimate shot at a main event run. That will probably never happen in the WWE (he does not fit their mold of a World champion) so he’s relegated to plain matches with old guys on the Kickoff show. **
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley © def. Asuka
Steve: These two ladies went out and had a really good women’s title match. These two are both two of the best, and if you let them go out and have a match with minimum shenanigans, they will deliver. The highlights of the match were both ladies picking each other out of the air for a kneebar and arm bar respectively. You knew Sasha would get involved, but only after Asuka struck first. Bayley would take advantage of Asuka hitting Sasha off the apron for the win. The two would then beat down Asuka after to further soften her up for the second match later tonight. If I had my guess, Bayley won’t be as helpful in that match, leading to Asuka getting her win. Thus, leading to the loooooooooooooooong awaited Bayley/Sasha feud. From the good doctor, “This was good, but the only thing that really popped off the screen was Asuka’s wardrobe choice. This crowd continues to be very distracting.” ***1/2
Griffin: This took a while to get going but the pace picked up after they established the Asuka knee injury angle. This suffered from WWE’s usual booking of the Bayley and Banks duo where they have a good match until the end where it’s full of bullshit interference and distractions. I’m tired of tuning into these PPVs to watch some good matches always end with tiresome booking. Quick note, cutting away to people on the screens looks really bad. ***
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship
The Street Profits © def. Andrade & Angel Garza
Steve: Kevin Owens has joined commentary for this one. The good doctor popped for Owens telling his wife he loves her. Hundreds of solo cups fell from the sky for the Street Profits entrance, because as we’ve mentioned, MORE IS MORE. Three out of four of these men should be at or near the top of any card this company puts together, and Dawkins is a fun tag worker. Ford is so amazingly athletic and charismatic, and at the same time takes such a great beating. This dude needs to move up yesterday. Andrade and Garza worked Ford over real well until Dawkins got a hot tag. We had some nice back and forth until Ford knocked Zelina off the apron. Andrade went to check on Zelina, leading to Garza being hung out to dry, eating a spinebuster and his huge twisting frog splash. Fun match. Ford should be a star. From the good doctor, “FINALLY! This was what I came here for. There was really good energy, I loved all the flips, and Ford was awesome!” ***1/2
Griffin: The commentary team loudly yell “Tag!” every single time a tag is made. You will never be able to tune it out now. There’s a giant Pikachu watching and a guy eating his own hair in the THUNDERDOME. This show has peaked. This was fun and Andrade and Garza work really well together. After falling victim to an extended beatdown, Montez Ford got the TAG! (/Tom Phillips Voice) and then got the Hot Tag after Dawkins didn’t do much in the ring. The match was good until we got another bullshit finish. Vega got pushed off the apron and Andrade went to check on her, so Garza had no partner to TAG! in before eating the pin. The action in the ring was decent but never reached the next level. ***1/4
No Disqualification Match – Loser Leaves WWE
Mandy Rose def. Sonya Deville
Steve: I’m glad these two are able to have this high profile a match after what they went through the last week or so. This has to be super important to both. Sometimes the best, most hard-hitting matches are between real-life best friends, so I have hope for this. These two worked really hard to try and have the best match possible, the problem is Mandy just isn’t very good. I was excited at the start when they did some outside brawling and Mandy brought some fire, thinking we’d have a fun plunder brawl. Then Mandy lost a quick fight with setting up a table that was never really used, we had some clunky chain wrestling, and really weak looking strikes and kicks. Mandy finally hit a running knee for the win. Otis came out and celebrated with his peach. They did try really hard and put in good effort, I just think the ceiling was low to begin with. From the good doctor, “It felt a lot more personal than the first women’s match. I liked seeing the chairs come out since the table wasn’t working. I REALLY like Mandy’s Greek Goddess vibe with her outfit.” **1/2
Griffin: This is my main event! The action was hot from the opening bell, with both women bringing their A game. Some of the shots were brutal. Sonya and Mandy were all business and the back-and-forth action was fun to watch. Rose brought out a table but it was never used. Rose had to power up and bring out her mean side to put away her former best friend. Sonya Deville left the ring and immediately went backstage. A good match with some iffy spots down the stretch. OTIS came out to dance after Mandy won instead of giving Sonya a sendoff. ***¾
Seth Rollins def. Dominik Mysterio
Steve: Seth rocking Rey’s gear from Halloween Havoc ‘97 is a nice touch. Gotta love Rey still rocking the eye patch on the match. A true worker. Where do we begin with this match? I get it. Seth destroyed Dominik with a kendo stick. There were so many shots in this the Sandman got embarrassed. We got Seth talking to enhance the DRAMA throughout, and even Dominik’s mother got involved, coming out to the rampway. In between all of this, was a pretty solid squash match with the dickhead heel beating down the young upstart. Dominik had some fun flare-ups throughout and took a great beating, but he still has quite a ways to go. In the end, this was all about further the Rey/Seth story and not as a Dominik coming out party. Seth would handcuff Rey to the ropes and make him watch as he delivered a curb stomp to Dominik for the win. There was a fun match in this if you cut out all the extra WWE DRAMA. From the good doctor, “I thought I was going to watch a massacre, but Dominik actually put up more of a fight than I thought. The kendo stick shots were really hard to watch with how hard they were hitting each other. I really liked a lot of the move combinations. I enjoyed it!” ***
Griffin: Dominik stole TNA’s Manik’s gear. Seth had an answer for Dominik’s every move early on and played with him a bit until Dominik’s nerves went away and he showcased some good agility. There was a lot of focus on DRAMA! during this match that made it slow and plodding where Seth tried to goad Rey into throwing in the towel for his son. Lots of kendo stick shots that lose impact after spamming them over and over again. Dominik hit a Sandman-esque Kendo Stick-assisted Russian Legsweep from the second rope through a table and followed that with a beautiful Frog Splash. We got more drama when Angie Mysterio walked out on stage that allowed Buddy Murphy to run interference and then Rey got involved despite Dominik’s wishes. The dastardly Rollins then set his eyes on Angie but proud mama’s boy Dom made the save, dropped Murphy, and hit a 619 but Rollins got the knees up on the Frog Splash. MORE DRAMA until Seth hit the Curb Stomp to end this. Very corny match with lots of MOMENTS and DRAMA, which is not for me. Dominik has the basics and could become a tremendous wrestler if he went and screwed around in the lucha indies for a few years. If you like overplayed drama in your wrestling this is for you. I’m giving this an extra quarter star for the no vomit. **1/2
WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Asuka def. Sasha Banks ©
Steve: Whether it’s good or bad for herself or others, the element of danger in a lot of Sasha Banks’ matches is what really makes them pop for me. THAT SUNSET POWERBOMB TO THE FLOOR. Yeeeeeeeeeesh. The good doctor’s jaw was on the floor. Follow that with a Shibata kick to the corner, and I’m all in on this match. These two beat the hell out of each other and it ruled. Hard-hitting offense and some great submission sequences towards the finish led to the capper to the story they started in the first match. Sasha was willing to sacrifice for Bayley, but Bayley wouldn’t do the same for Sasha. Just because its a predictable story doesn’t mean its a bad story. This ruled and is one of the better main roster matches I’ve seen this year. From the good doctor, “I was impressed that Asuka was still going. She was slow in the beginning, but by the end, she caught a second wind and it was back and forth. Sasha brought way more energy than Bayley, and I was way more into the match because of it. My blood ran cold when Sasha made Asuka’s head bounce off the floor. I LOVE DROPKICKS and Asuka did one from the top rope!” ****1/2
Griffin: A big storm has come through (not SummerSlam 2012) and is screwing with my internet, cutting out my Network stream. I caught the last minute of the match and it seemed pretty good.
Drew McIntyre © def. Randy Orton
Steve: This was about what I expected it would be, and about what you can expect from a Randy Orton match. I do appreciate they both laid things in a little and got some hard way blood, but everything was very basic and technical. I did hold my interest because I do like Drew and I don’t hate Orton like most, but I can’t call it anything more than a good pro wrestling match. From the doctor, “Definitely a slow burn. At first Randy spent a lot of time trying to avoid wrestling, then he beat the tar out of McIntyre. Then finally the match got more even and more intense.” ***
Griffin: Orton was the smart veteran early on and it provided a good counter to Drew’s intensity as champion. Orton nearly hit an RKO early on, and while it didn’t connect, it did frustrate the champion. This was very much a Randy Orton match – slow, plodding, but well worked. One of my biggest issues with the style is that both men must be down and hurting after every single move. McIntyre came back to life and hot a Clothesline from the top rope and did a nip-up but Orton fought back and slowed down the pace. Drew grew more frustrated after Orton kicked out of a Future Shock DDT but the match continued on. The finish was interesting, Orton ducked a Claymore, McIntyre thwarted an RKO and got the win off a backslide. To quote Music of the Mat‘s Andrew Rich (@AndrewTRich), “Two solid professionals having a professional wrestling match with solid fundamentals.” ***1/4
WWE Universal Championship
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt def. Braun Strowman ©
Steve: The best thing I can say about this is that it was an actual wrestling match. No cinematches. No swamps. No ghosts. That said, this was a bad wrestling match and still somehow the best Fiend match. They brawled, grunted, stalked, and even went to Gorilla. Then Brawn lost a box cutter match with the ring and The Fiend capitalized with a couple of Sister Abigails to win. From the good doctor, “Not knowing the backstory made it confusing, though knowing the backstory would probably still make it confusing. The match seemed to take a while but then ended real quickly. It was interesting to see what’s beneath the mat and now have a greater appreciation for the beatings these wrestlers take. *½
Post-match, Roman Reigns returned and took out both the Fiend and Brawn and looked like a killer. He stood tall holding the Universal Championship to end the show.
Griffin: This was a match. Moves were done. The Fiend won. *
— WWE (@WWE) August 24, 2020