Wrestling Review: WWE SummerSlam (2020)

The WWE Thunderdome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida plays host to the 2020 edition of WWE SummerSlam. Six championships will be on line, including Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton finally facing off for the WWE Championship. As McIntyre seeks vengeance for all of Orton’s misdeeds over the past months, including his assualts on Edge, Christian, Big Show and Ric Flair, both men have promised that the other will never see the finish coming. On the SmackDown side, demons will collide when the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman faces off with The Fiend, Bray Wyatt. Asuka will be pulling double duty as she faces off with both Bayley and then Sasha in separate matches, with the SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships on the line, respectively. Not to be outdone, Rey Mysterio’s son, Dominik, will make his in ring debut for the WWE as he faces off against Seth Rollins, the man who took Rey Mysterio’s eye at Extreme Rules, while two former friends, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, will do battle in a No Disqualification match where the loser will leave the WWE. All of this and two more championship matches at WWE SummerSlam.

+ Sasha Banks (c) (w/ Bayley) vs Asuka (Raw Women’s Championship): these two have really good chemistry. Sasha’s smaller size makes her a great opponent for Asuka to swing around, even if that size also sometimes works as a detriment to Sasha’s own moves. I enjoyed this, but I do hope it might be the last these two (or three) are around each other for a while
+ Dominik Mysterio (w/ Rey Mysterio) vs Seth Rollins (w/ Murphy) (Street Fight): Dominik was impressive, but not particularly groundbreaking. This was predominantly a storytelling match instead a back and forth contest, and in that regard it was fine. Dominik’s offence was smooth, thanks in no small part to Seth Rollins’ own skills. I liked this
+ Mandy Rose vs Sonya Deville (No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE Match): not particularly good from a technical standpoint, but as a brawl it was fine. One particularly unique table spot was cool, even if it’s not what you’d think when you hear ‘table spot’. It’s a shame this wasn’t a hair vs hair match, because I really think both women could have pulled off that shaved hair look
+ Bayley (c) (w/ Sasha Banks) vs Asuka (SmackDown Live Women’s Championship): these two have wrestled before, and it’s always been good. It’s hard to find new ways to say ‘this was a good match between two good wrestlers’ so there you go
+ the Thunderdome itself is really good, and even if the sounds piped into the arena is fake crap, I really like seeing the faces around the ringside area

Braun Strowman (c) vs The Fiend (Falls Count Anywhere for the Universal Championship): ever for me, who loves The Fiend and loves these big boi fights, this was not good. The stipulation added nothing to the fight, and it seemed the whole thing was a set up for the post match. This wasn’t good
Drew McIntyre (c) vs Randy Orton (WWE Championship): holy smokes this was garbage. Orton looked as uninterested as ever, and McIntyre once again was making the most out of a horrible situation. This whole pandemic has been a string of bad luck for McIntyre, and he deserves better
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) (c) vs Andrade & Angel Garza (w/ Zelina Vega) (Raw Tag Team Championships): first and foremost, Andrade/Garza really need a team name. This was a pretty good match, but it does feel like we’ve seen it all before… which is because we have.
Apollo Crews (c) vs MVP (United States Championship): this was fine, but standard pre-show fare, and as always for WWE a match that we have seen a thousand times before. Not to mention, this was such a short match considering these two have a story going in, on a one hour pre show
– it’s strange that so many SmackDown competitors were not on the show, including champions Jeff Hardy, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, alongside AJ Style, Matt Riddle, Sheamus and Baron Corbin

> the WWE really needs to stop doing so many repeat matches on PPV. Apollo/MVP and Street Profits/Andrade and Garza are just two examples, but even Bayley/Asuka happened on Raw not too long ago. How hard is it to build a match without having the two people constantly face each other?

Should you watch this event: I really wanted to like this, but even with how much the Thunderdome set up adds, the matches were just not good enough. Both the top title fights were sloppy and uninteresting, and the fact that so many good wrestlers — most from SmackDown, for some reason — were not on this show was a noticeable loss. WWE is in a nosedive, and they need to fix it, now.

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