Preview by Joseph Currier
Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns will face off for the third time this year as SummerSlam takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York tonight.
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show as well as last nigh's Takeover show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com
After Lesnar retained at WrestleMania and the Greatest Royal Rumble, Reigns gets another shot at the Universal Championship tonight. Lesnar stood tall on the go-home Raw after attacking Reigns, with Paul Heyman setting it up by pretending that he was trying to align with Reigns.
Ronda Rousey will challenge for the Raw Women's Championship for the second time in her career, this time against Alexa Bliss. And in SmackDown's top match, AJ Styles defends his WWE Championship against Samoa Joe.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz, Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women's Championship, Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Dean Ambrose) for the Intercontinental title, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy for the United States title, Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens (if Owens wins, he gets Strowman's Money in the Bank briefcase), Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin, and The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship will also take place on the main card.
The main card begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The pre-show is starting at 5 p.m. Eastern, with Andrade "Cien" Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana, The B-Team vs. The Revival for the Raw Tag Team titles, and Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship.
by Dave Meltzer
ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS & ZELINA VEGA VS RUSEV & LANA
Not much here. A simple match. Lana's wrestling has improved, but there wasn't much chance to do much. It was kept short. Lana went to slap Almas athe starnd Vega snuck up from behind Lana and used a schoolboy and was supposed to put her feet on the ropes to get the pin. Because she was so far from the ropes, she struggled to do it but by the count of three the feet were on the ropes.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER VS. DREW GULAK FOR THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE
Alexander retained after a series of reversals with a cradle. The wrestling was solid, quite good in the last minute or so. It didn't have much heat. Really good stuff with with neurolizer by Alexander caught and put into the ankle lock.and Alexander turned it into a cradle and a standing Spanish fly.
THE B TEAM VS. THE REVIVAL FOR RAW TAG TITLES
Short match match, technically solid. Axel was injured early do it was like a handicap match. The B Team were the total faces here. Dawson had Axel pinned with an inside cradle. Wilder snapped Dallas neck on the top rope and he fell backwards into the pile and in doing so Axel ended up on top for the pin. The idea is that the finish was a fluke. No crowd reactions here.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS FOR THE IC TITLE
Real good. Rollins won the title with a superkick and the curb stomp after Dean Ambrose pulled Drew McIntyre off the apron and gave him Dirty Deeds on the floor. The match built slow and it really wasn't until the last two minutes that the crwod was into it, but they were hot from that period on with all the near falls. Rollins was bleeding, not sure where, maybe from a turnbuckle spot.
The Bella Twins did an interview. Obviously they teased Evolution. They pushed all of their stuff. Nikki said she was there to witness Ronda Rousey making history and winning the title. They said they would be in the front for for the Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss match, so that seems to indicate their involvement in some form with that match. Certainly felt like the start for Rousey vs. Nikki.
BLUDGEON BROTHERS VS. BIG E & XAVIER WOODS FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES.
E & Woods won via DQ when Erick Rowan used jthe mallet on both of them. The match was short, but all action. Really good stuff here before the flat ending. It was filled with big moves including Woods doing an elbow drop off the top rope to the floor on Harper, which is almost like a Cavernario bump. E tackled Harper to the floor and also gave him a belly to belly as part of a sequence on the floor and Harper nearly landed on his head on the floor. Lots of high risk stuff in this match. It looked like the New Day would win the titles with the Midnight Hour on Harper, but that's when Rowan used the mallet shots on both. Harper also hit E with the mallet after the match.
BRAUN STROWMAN VS. KEVIN OWENS FOR THE BRIEFCASE
This went less than 2:00. Strowman was really over, ran over Owens twice on the floor, choke slammed him on the ramp and powerslammed him in the ring. Owens should be given credit for taking all kinds of bumps to get Strowman over. They outright teased Strowman coming out for the Reigns vs. Lesnar match and trying to cash in.
CARMELLA VS. CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. BECKY LYNCH FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S TITLE
Flair won her seventh title pinning Lynch after Natural selection while Lynch had the disarmer on Carmella. The story here was more about wanting you to feel sad for Lynch as the star of the match and not winning. Charlotte and Lynch hugged after but the fans didn't want that, They wanted Lynch to jump her, They booed the hug a lot. Then Lynch turned on her and the place exploded. It was so well set up. This was a great build for Lynch chasing Charlotte for the title. The crowd was chanting for Lynch big because of how well it was set up. Lynch threw he into barracde and over the table. It would normaly be a heel turn but they read the crowd perfectly. Carmella probably did her best work to date in this match. Built well. Key spots included Carmella doing a tope and Charlotte doing a twisting moonsault off the top on both of them. Lots of near falls. The crowd booed Charlotte even though she did nothing storyline wrong.
A.J. STYLES VS. SAMOA JOE FOR WWE TITLE
Excellent match. It was your slow building great match with them doing all their big stuff. Joe did a tope. Joe kicked out of the Styles clash. Joe threw Styles into the steps and Styles came up bloody. A.J. Styles' wife and daugher were at ringside. Joe then said, "Hey Wendy, I made you a promise, daddy was coming home. It looks like he's not but I'll be your new Daddy." Styles went nuts, tackled him off a table and through a barricade and then Styles was DQ'd for chair shot after chair shot. This worked to build a stip rematch for the next show. It ended with Styles hugging his daughter.and them leaving together. Joe looked furious when it was over.
His guitar broke, this was planned, and the segment ended No Bobby Lshley. Really not much of anything.
The Miz was backstage with Bo Dallas & Curis Axel. The Miz said he doesn't need them ot wish him luck. Miz told them to fetch his limo. Dallas & Axel said they had some celebrating to do, we're not the Mizterouge anymore and they are the B Team. They said the B stands for Bryan and they hope Bryan beats him, more to establish him as a babyface.
DANIEL BRYAN VS. THE MIZ
A long match ending when Maryse gave Miz a foreign object and Miz punched Bryan as he went for a tope and got the pin. Very good. Not as heated as I would have expected got good story tellihg for what they were trying and given that this is the first match of the program, Miz should have won by cheating. Still, they are risking it because the way the angle has gone with Miz always getting the better of him, fans were cheering Miz, not loud but it was there, when he won. Bryan kicked out of a skull crushing finale at one point. Lots of the figure four and reverse spots.
FINN BALOR VS. BARON CORBIN
Balor came out as The Demon. Balor destroyed him in 86 seconds with a sling blade, a running flip dive, two Woo dropkicks and finishing with the coup de grace. At this stage of the show, Thank God it was short. It was good for getting the Demon over as something special.
Bryan was with Brie Bella backstage. He was furious about losing. He said that his return has been a bust. Felt like they were building to a mixed tag.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. JEFF HARDY FOR U.S. TITLE
The crowd was dead for this. People just didn't want to see this after nearly five hours into the show. There was nothing wrong with what they did, but even when Hardy used the twist of fate and swanton, nobody cared. The finish saw Hardy with a twist of fate that Nakamura took funky. Nakamura rolled out of the ring. Hardy went for a swanton on the apron but Nakamura moved so Hardy took a crazy bump. Nakamura threw him in the ring, hit an ax kick and Kinshasa for the pin. Randy Orton's music played.. He came out, and then he turned around and left doing nothing even though Hardy was laying in the ring.
ALEXA BLISS VS. RONDA ROUSEY FOR THE RAW WOMEN'S TITLE.
The Bellas are at ringside. Rousey won the title in a squash. Bliss ran away for a while. Rousey finally caught up to her and gave her a few judo throws and spinning fireman's carries. She beng her arm as Bliss is double jointed so they could make it look disgusting without actually hurting her. Rousey won with an armbar. Rousey and Natalya hugged abd cekebrated, The Bella Twins came in. The fans booed them. She jumped into the crwod and hugged Travis Browne. They really focused on Natalya with her. This was what it should have been.
BROCK LESNAR VS. ROMAN REIGNS FOR UNIVERSAL TITLE
Strowman said he was cashing it in as soon as the match is over,. Fast match, Lesnar attacked and destroyed Strowman and Reigns hit the spear and pinned Lesnar. The crwod didn't react badly, it wasn't the pop they'd want but the crowd didn't crap on the match. They tried, but the Strowman stuff and the fast open kept them from doing it. Because Lesnar gave Strowman an F-5 on the floor and a bunch of chair shots and then threw the briefcase to the entry way they never did the cash in. They cut away right after Reigns won. Reigns came out with Superman punches and three spears but on the third spear Lesnar used a guilloine. It was all big moves and a short match including Reigns going for a spear, Lesnar moving and Reigns turning it into a tope on Strowman, which led to the Lesnar attack on Strowman.