With WWE SummerSlam 2019 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak (c) vs. Oney Lorcan:
Good match from what I was able to see, as I missed a portion of it, but it also didn’t seem like I missed stuff that was so amazing that I should be rating this higher. I’d like to go back and watch this match again at some point, if I ever have the time, although as much of a pusher for 205 Live as I can be, I can’t help but to feel as though it wouldn’t be worth my time.
I’m glad Gulak retained, and I wish they would have had an actual build.
Apollo Crews vs. Buddy Murphy:
Out of all the extra matches to add onto this card, I definitely wouldn’t have imagined this being one of them. But hey, it got Crews and Murphy on the show, which is neat, and they kept the Roman Reigns story going by having Rowan attack Murphy. That’s cool.
Since there was no other segment with Reigns on this event, this match gets an extra bonus point for being the only thing they bothered to do to keep that storyline going.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. The IIconics:
Very cool that they added this match, as it gives these titles some meaning behind them, and allows for a much smoother transition away from The IIconics, now that they’ve officially lost the belts.
My favorite part of the segment was Bliss pretending to use the laser, which was about as effective as when Buzz Lightyear tried it. That made me chuckle.
Raw Women’s Championship Submission Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya:
Truth be told, I’m writing this up at 1:45am, and I’ve already forgotten most of what happened in this match. At the time, though, I enjoyed it, and I thought that it was pretty solid all the way around.
I was down on Nattie being given a title shot just because SummerSlam was in Canada, but since the match turned out well, I’m more fine with it, in retrospect. It’s not “second biggest show of the year super special” caliber, to me, but it did its job.
Goldberg vs. Dolph Ziggler:
I had a lot of fun watching this segment and seeing Ziggler keep asking for more spears. That was a very satisfying way for this to go down, instead of it just being the short match itself and moving on to a video package and the next match or something.
Does this make me think any better about the Goldberg vs. Undertaker match from Super ShowDown? Of course not. A good match doesn’t erase a bad one. But it does make for a better most recent impression.
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Ricochet:
Here’s a scenario where I was into match more than I thought I would be.
Based on having seen the two of them face off multiple times and the unlikely possibility anything different would happen, I was pleasantly surprised that it kept my attention and that it involved some highlights for the whole night.
Ricochet stepping on Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson was fun, as was the finish with the Styles Clash. Thumbs up, but I’m also done with this feud and think they both should move on, and I hope Ricochet doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon:
I wasn’t impressed with this match at all. It wasn’t horrendous or anything, but it was very mediocre, and not at all the best these two could offer.
Since this wasn’t the strongest feud heading into SummerSlam, either, I see no reason why this should continue, and since no Sasha Banks return or anything fun happened during or post-match, I’m very blah about this.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon:
Way more fun than I anticipated. This was one of my more favorite segments of the night, despite being very down on it, initially.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve changed my tune and I want to see this feud go on longer and for them to have another Hell in a Cell match or anything. Absolutely not. But I will give credit where it’s due that this was a quality entertaining segment that felt like it belonged at SummerSlam and will help Owens a lot in his new babyface persona.
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus:
Lots of people seem to have loved this match, and I’m not one of those people. I thought it was slow, sloppy at times, and just not some epic encounter between two of the best female wrestlers of all time like it was pitched and presented.
I really feel like if you took Stratus out of this, replaced her with anybody on the current roster, and had the exact same match, people wouldn’t be so high on it. Is that really fair, then, to call it a great match, if it’s really just “great in my mind because I went in with expectations of more ring rust and I’ll give Stratus a pass”? I don’t think so.
I’m very glad Flair won, though, but now I’m scared she’s going to just win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Clash of Champions.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton:
Boy was this a disappointment. I had thought this would be the best match on the card by far and that it would be a feel-good segment that had the potential to even end the night in the main event.
Instead, we get an okay match that seemed like they were holding back, because of course they were, as this is going to stretch out longer and they needed to save things for the future. This double count-out draw had the fans pissed, and I don’t blame them.
I really hope this was done because there is more of a plan in mind than just to stretch it out to Hell in a Cell and “we’ll figure it out along the way”, as that very rarely ever works in WWE when everyone gets distracted and pushes the work further down the pipeline.
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor:
The entrance was cool and creepy, and I’m glad Wyatt changed some of his wrestling style a bit, but I also still don’t truly care about this whole Fiend thing in comparison to the sweater version of the character.