Monday, August 22, 2016

Summerslam 2016

One of the many things I didn't see coming.
Summerslam! Thirteen matches! Six hours, including the pre-show! Because this is the WWE, where pacing is for suckers. Speaking of which, one of the sponsors is Jolly Rancher, which was probably a rejected WWE gimmick in the early 90's, too. Anyone thinking I'm some kind of wrestling Nostradamus after going five for six at Takeover is in for a bumpy ride.

The pre-show starts with the Smackdown Tag Team Mosh, six on six, heels vs. faces. Didn't know this match was happening so I didn't have a prediction, but I promise you I'm saying Alpha gets the pin before the match starts. It's a mess, of course. But there's a nice spot where Jason Jordan catches Fandango in mid-air and suplexes him. The Usos steal the pin from American Alpha, so that's gonna be the Smackdown feud going forward.

Dudley Boys vs. Zayn and Neville gets these four guys a pay per view payday. It is mercifully short, and ends with a Heluva Kick and a Red Arrow.

And finally, Cesaro and Sheamus have their first of SEVEN MORE FUCKING MATCHES. This is fine. They're all fine. They'll all be fine. None of them will be great, because Sheamus, but they'll all be fine, because Cesaro.

The main show opens with Enzo & Cass vs. Jeri-KO. Solid opener, nothing special, but after Minor Shenanigans, Jeri-KO hit a sloppy flapjack Codebreaker for the win. So I'm 0/1 on predictions.

After a Jon Stewart And His Son Both Shop At The Same Grey T-Shirt Store backstage segment, we have the Wonen's Championship defense, which is a weird place on the card for it. The match starts sloppy, with a couple of UGLY botches, but they bring it back and have some incredible sequences before Charlotte reverses the Bank Statement into a pin, surprising everyone and winning the title back. I'm 0/2 on predictions. Word on the street is that Sasha needs time off to rest and heal, hence the switch. The Raw roster is shockingly shallow on female faces. With Paige suspended and Sasha hurt, we have Charlotte (heel), Nia Jax (heel), Dana brooke (heel, could turn but makes a lousy face), Alicia Fox (?), and Summer Rae (?). Hmm. Bayley just lost to Asuka...

Next up is the Intercontinental Championship, and The Miz comes out with entrance gear that redefines fucking ridiculous. This match is pretty much what you'd expect, except The Miz wins, which I did not expect because I did not want, and I'm 0/3 and it's turning out to be that kind of night.

John Cena and AJ Styles wrestle for like twenty fucking minutes, and 18 of those minutes are attempted Attitude Adjustments. Seriously, there are THREE attempts at a second rope AA in this match, two AJ elbows out of, one AJ tries to elbow out of and kicks out of instead. John Cena's final move, in fact, was an attempted AA that AJ Styles reverses into a second Styles Clash and a second Phenomenal Forearm for the win. And I'm 0/4. Jaysus. Cut like eight minutes out of this match and it would have been great.

Brooklyn is not having Jon Stewart. None of it. Until he announces he's the third member of The New Day in their match against Anderson and Gallows, still doing their doctor gimmick and "feeling testy" jokes. A fairly standard tag match ensues, leading to a finish where Jon Stewart saves Kofi from being pinned after the Magic Killer, and a long Threatening The Celebrity sequence is interrupted by the surprise return of Big E, which leads to New Day retaining the titles. Technically, Gallows and Anderson won, but I'm calling this a correct prediction because, well, I need this. 1/4.

Amrose-Ziggler is next, and their position on the card tells you everything you need to know about how the WWE views the brand split. It's about as good a match as you'll get out of these two, but the ending was weird and didn't work at all. Also, Ambrose won, which makes me 1/5 on predictions.

The women's six-man tag features the returning Nikki Bella replacing the Wellness-Suspended Eva Marie, but Eva still gets her full entrance, which is the best thing about this match. Not even the Brooklyn crowd gives a shit about Carmella, which... is a problem. The heels win. I didn't pick a winner, but I did say the match would last five minutes and be on second, so 1/6!

And now we have the WWE Universal CHampionship, which is just a red version of the black World belt and the white Women's belt. Whee! Seth "Tron" Rollins faces off against The Demon King Finn Balor With Bonus Green Tongue, and it's a fantastic match for the most part. They lose the crowd a couple of times, and the match suffers a bit as a result, but then Finn Balor became the first ever WWE Universal Champion, and I couldn't be more happy to be wrong. 1/7!

The bathroom break slot is now held by the United States Championship, Rusev vs. Roman Reigns, which ends up not even being a match, as Reigns destroys Rusev before the match and Rusev can't compete and Rusev is still the bad guy somehow. Nobody could have predicted that, myself included, so 1/8!

And finally, Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton, a guy who wrestles four times a year versus a guy who's wrestled the same match for the last decade. This is not good for my apathy. The match goes as expected to start - Brock suplexing Orton over and over, Orton hitting a couple of RKO's, and then things get weird. Brock pounds Orton on the mat over and over and seemingly busts him open, with a lot of blood on the mat. The match is eventually stopped in Lesnar's favor while medics attend to Orton, but Lesnar goes back at least three times around that to beat on Orton some more, which you'd think they wouldn't do for a real medical stoppage. At the same time, that doesn't seem like it could have been the match plan, either. Twelve hours later, the Internet is telling me nothing about what happened, not that it really matters, because regardless of what happened, WWE will make a story out of it.

Post-match, in what seems like an audible, Lesnar F5's Shane McMahon, proving that Shane can take that move about five times better than Orton did. And that makes me 1/9 on predictions, so just bet against me when it comes to knowing what's going to happen in the WWE.

The show had ups and downs, but finishing the show with those last two matches the way they did was just madness. If all those things were planned, why not end with Finn Balor winning? If they weren't, what the hell was?

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