This article features a review with match ratings for WWE SummerSlam 2022.
Bianca Belair (C) def. Becky Lynch – RAW Women’s Championship
Belair and Lynch are simply not capable of putting on a bad match with each other, and they showcased the best in both of their arsenals once again. While I preferred their WrestleMania match just in terms of story and how they built up towards the end, this was still so, so very good. I’m going to have an article up on it soon, but Bianca Belair has all the makings of WWE’s next mega-star. Everything is there. The look, the athleticism, the feats of strength, the charisma…..she literally looks like she was hand-crafted specifically to be a WWE superstar. And every time she’s in the ring with a high tier worker of Lynch’s caliber, she kills it. They kill it here once again. Of course, the major story of this match isn’t the match, but rather what happened afterwards.
It appears on RAW, we have a new faction in the women’s division in the form of Bayley, Io Shirai and Dakota Kai. I love it for many reasons. First of all, Bayley is just awsome at everything, especially as a heel. But more importantly, it gives the RAW Women’s division some much-needed depth and star power, especially at the top. Lynch’s supposed face turn after the match should help even out the balance and no doubt these women will be heavily involved with each other as we head deep into the fall. But overall, just another splendid match between Belair and Lynch, and some good post-match drama to tease what’s on the horizon. ****1/4
Logan Paul def. The Miz
Many people have often complained why celebrities not in the WWE can just come in and earn high profile spots on WWE’s biggest shows, especially in recent years. The bottom line is that WWE is a business, and if they can get celebrities of high influence to be part of their programming, it can only bring in ore viewers. But it is a bonus when those celebrities can perform in the ring. And if Logan Paul didn’t silence enough critics with his WrestleMania showing, he certainly did himself a service tonight. This was sports entertainment at its finest, and the formula was basic. We should also be sure to give The Miz his flowers as well.
He put over Bad Bunny in a match that way exceeded expectations at WrestleMania last year, and then puts over Paul here. He has no ego about him, is capable of working with anyone, and getting the best out of those who haven’t stepped in a WWE ring before. He did it again here. The match was well-structured, didn’t drag on or overstay its welcome, and had just enough drama to keep the ground engaged. And of course, any time you leap off the top turnbuckle onto the announcer’s table, especially as a celebrity, you’re always good to get a pop. Best believe this won’t be the last time you see Logan Paul at a big PPV. Well done. ***3/4
Bobby Lashley (C) def. Theory – United States Championship
The drama unfolding in the main event is going to revolve around whether or not Theory cashes in, so it was probably a good idea not to overexpose him here. I don’t think Lashley was ever in jeopardy of losing the championship, so that took away from the drama of sorts. A fair question to ask is whether or not all these losses Theory have been taking would hurt him. Well, we don’t know when a successful cash in would take place, so it may be a while, but yeah. This what was it was. Just enough for Bobby to get his stuff in and send the crowd home happy. **1/2
The Mysterios def. Judgement Day – No Disqualification Tag
A few things were going across my mind in this match. The first being with things involving the stipulation. It’s a No Disqualification tag. So why doesn’t Rhea Ripley just start jumping the Mysterios from the get-go? It’s not like nothing was stopping her on Monday jumping both Rey and Dominik. Second, if you’re going to make it a No Disqualification match, actually make it one. A few chair shots here and there doesn’t make it a No DQ match. I know the stipulation was there for the Edge run-in at the end, but at least for the sake of filling the match, at least try to pretend there’s a stipulation that allows you to beat the hell out of each other with whatever you want.
Second, it must be said that the Judgement Day is simply not the same without Edge’s influence. Alter Bridge music aside, Judgement Day just doesn’t have that same menacing feeling that they had when Edge was leading things as opposed to Balor. Sometimes, your faction is only as good as the top. And it’s safe to say that Edge was exponentially better as a cult leader than Finn. Also, taking two straight losses to The Mysterios doesn’t help things either. Tonight, I truly believe Judgement Day should have won, and then have Edge come and save them from a post-match attack. Instead, they take a loss on Monday, and lose once again at Summerslam. The match itself was okay. It wasn’t anything special because the stipulation wasn’t really used, and Damian Priest and Finn Balor didn’t really have me engaged during the heat segments. ***
Pat MacAfee def. Bumass Corbin
Pat, for one reason or another, has a unique way knowing how to engage a crowd. N doubt his experiences on commentary have translated well to his character work in the ring. His match with Theory at WrestleMania was solid, and we had a similar outing here. Once again, a simple formula, do the spots that you know will get the crowd on its feet, and give the crowd something to cheer about. They stuck to that formula, and it worked. And yes, I’m. upset Pat didn’t hit the Panama Sunrise at the end as we were all expecting. ***1/4
The Usos (C) def. The Street Profits – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships (Special Referee: Jeff Jarrett)
I don’t think this match measured up to their classic at Money In The Bank simply because of the Jeff Jarrett dynamic, but because these two teams know each other like the back of each other’s hands, they can’t have a bad match with each other. They still had appropriate levels of drama, and it had very good ebbs and flows. SmackDown’s ending suggested that The Usos are gonna get somehow screwed by the ref because of their inadvertent kick. But the story left after the match is if the Street Profits are gonna be splitting up soon. It’s been long rumored that Montez Ford will be soon billed as a singles competitor because of his in-ring talents and personality. It’s hard not to speculate once you see the look on his face after he lost. Also, if you look at how angry he was towards the end, it may indicate a subtle personality change on the horizon. Match was still high quality even with all the histrionics. ***3/4
Liv Morgan (C) def. Ronda Rousey – SmackDown Women’s Championship
I thought this was going to be Liv’s first major test as champion, but instead, this was instead used as a brief conduit towards Liv and Ronda’s eventual rematch. The match was nothing special considering it was only given about 5 minutes. And in those 5 or so minutes, the action was a little awkward. It was really just about Ronda effortlessly hitting her submission moves and Liv trying to escape. The finish was good in the sense that both women are protected, even if it comes at the expense of a brief, unspectacular effort. I’d expect some kind of stipulation for their next match. It’s also worth mentioning this is the second straight PPV where the excuse for a rematch between the same opponents will be because of incompetent refereeing. **
Roman Reigns (C) def. Brock Lesnar – Undisputed WWE Universal Championship (Last Man Standing)
If I were to conceive of what a Last Man Standing match should look like, this would probably be what it looks like. Two men doing everything in their power to keep their opponent down. Not just spamming their finishers and just hitting them with weapons. I mean doing everything conceivable. The things that Brock did with that tractor just took things to another level. Between him dumping Roman with it in the ring and tipping the ring over and flattening Roman on the outside…it was all magnificent. Some may call it cliche and a bit cartoonish, but when two men who have fought each other for Vince knows how long, and they somehow do things we haven’t seen them do before, it takes it to another level.
Everything about the match was great. The atmosphere set up a big fight feel. Roman comes out with his usual swagger. Lesnar means business and approaches the ring from a tractor and stares Roman down as if he’s King of the Jungle, and the match begins with him jumping down on him and wailing on him. As the match gradually got more violent, both men gradually got more desperate. Lesnar started using the tractor more. Roman started using every weapon he could find and had to summon every bit of strength just to keep getting up. The referee’s counts gradually became more heart pumping and you thought that either man could be down. Everything just hit a fever pitch.
Then, we had the Theory run-in. We pretty much all knew this cash-in was going to be unsuccessful, or if he did cash it in, he was not walking out as champion. But I’m wondering what was going through Theory’s mind. The ring is tipped over, and you can only become champion by pinning or submitting Lesnar and Roman in the ring. It’s not Falls Count Anywhere. So what was he planning to do? Perhaps that’s an example of his youth and inexperience at work, which actually would work well for storyline purposes. Sure enough he failed, and then we come down to the final sequence, where Lesnar puts to rest his manager of about two decades, and then Roman does everything in his power to keep him down before he ceremoniously buries him under a mountain of rubble, and stands on top, finger to the sky, signaling to him that his reign his over, and that he is the top dog in WWE, and that their rivalry is over.
Lesnar and Roman have had quite a journey from the first time they crossed paths in 2015, and I don’t think WWE could have done their final match (let’s hope it is) much better. It’s the culmination of 7 years of back and forth, character transformation, manager switches, and drama. I don’t know if Lesnar is officially done in WWE with Vince McMahon no longer at the helm as evidenced by his walk-out, but if it was, then that’s a hell of a way to go out. Now we look to September, where Drew will have a massive home field advantage and look to get the moment that was taken away from him two and a half years ago. But for tonight, a phenomenal main event, a match of the year candidate, and a perfect final chapter of Roman vs. Lesnar ****3/4
WWE’s first PPV in the post Vince McMahon era was their second biggest show of the year, and I think they passed the first test. Yes, there were no title changes and yes, the card was mostly rematches from the previous 3 PPV’s. But we still had very good matches from the start of the show and the main event, drama-filled returns, and potential new storylines to look forward to as we head towards the fall. Belair/Lynch, Miz/Paul, Street Profits/Usos and the main event I think will give you your money’s worth, and that’s not including Edge and Bayley’s returns. This new format WWE has on PPV has been working, because each match is getting time to tell its own story, and each PPV has had around two matches I’d at least watch again. Summerslam was a huge stage, and there were plenty of huge moments. So I have to go thumbs up. Not the greatest show ever, but if you have four hours to burn, I think you’ll be pleased.