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Tuesday, September 07, 2021

The Rundown Slam: WWE SummerSlam 2021

09/05/2021 05:43:15 PM

It's now a love triangle-like affair between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, with Paul Heyman as the subject of the line. (Photo from; obtained via Forbes)

WWE's biggest event of the summer just got bigger as they staged SummerSlam at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Some remarked SummerSlam has become even more significant than this year's WrestleMania (yes, despite the latter being a two-day event).

This year's SummerSlam was a blockbuster four-hour show with ten matches and two significant returns. It has put some money on Vegas at the height of a blockbuster Saturday night in the city (as the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas took place at the nearby T-Mobile Arena). Besides Peacock, WWE Network, and traditional pay-per-view service, World Wrestling Entertainment showed this event live in theaters. Plus, it was a bit of an extravaganza that reminds you of WrestleMania Axxess before 2020.

Big E regaining his briefcase was a decent storyline for a short time. He needed that victory to prove how serious he is now that he runs solo and has a chance to be a top champion in WWE.

Kicking off the program was the match for the RAW Tag Team Championships. The duo of RK-Bro came victorious, and while it became a surprise result, I think it's about time for Omos to go on a singles run in WWE. A wise decision by the bookers to start the main show with this match.

Meanwhile, Alexa Bliss versus Eva Marie shouldn't be there – though the sudden turn by Doudop is something I was looking forward to the most.

I have to say that Damien Priest versus Sheamus is one of the best matches of the evening, and the former winning the title away from the latter is quite a great move by the bookers. It's about time for this young guy who was once known as Punishment Martinez to have his singles championship run on the main roster. Fair to say this can be a match-of-the-year candidate for WWE's part.

The Mysterios and the Usos slugged it once again for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, and despite doing the program again for the nth time, it seems that Dominik isn't ready to carry the load of being a team player yet. Still a fun match to watch. It's pretty interesting to see how the father-and-son story unfold while Roman Reigns' cousins move forward to another feud in the Bloodline.

In one of three surprise returns this week, Becky Lynch has made a heel turn that the crowd inside Allegiant Stadium did not get at all. The sudden switch of slots and titles is just one seed planted for Bianca to reclaim her back to the throne – and probably a heel turn if this side of Becky would not sit well with the audience.

RAW had another throw-away match at SummerSlam. Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal should've taken place at the kickoff show because we all know how predictable this feud had been. The mid-card feeler and a quick win? It's not that hard to see why especially following their show during the recent Monday Nights.

As for their woman's championship match, Charlotte Flair appears to be the only no-choice decision to win. Someone's just chasing title reign statistics here. On the other hand, Rhea Ripley isn't as primed to have another reign, and does WWE take their superhero superstars seriously and for real? Because if they do, they probably had done something about Nikki A.S.H. Somehow, a fast-paced match makes up for its booking decisions.

As the latter hours continue to roll, there goes another match of the night. Edge vs. Seth Rollins, no doubt, was another standout right there. Forget how Adam's entrance was a mix of actual nostalgia act and today's pop impact. These two have told a story that is poised to be more than a one-off rivalry. Why not? With all their classic hits and tribute moves, plus focusing on the weakness and going into the dark side? It's not that hard to see why.

Bobby Lashley versus Goldberg for the WWE Championship was short but sweet, no matter how terrible it looks at first. There's a decent story in the latter parts and the actual aftermatch. The problem, however, lies in the possibilities of a rematch, like how Goldberg can go for one more time when the All-Mighty WWE Champion should already be gunning for another contender by the next PPV event?

Capping SummerSlam 2021 was the main event, and boy, John Cena and Roman Reigns delivered so well with all the solid stuff and gradual pace from slow start to eventually flipping it out to the next level. And as if the main event match appeared to be dragging in length yet remains superior in showmanship, the post-match affair suddenly became a draw lot.

Sixteen months since his last appearance at WrestleMania 36, the Viking-looking Brock Lesnar made his presence felt – and suddenly, unfinished business and loyalty issues became the talk of the town between Reigns, Lesnar, and a mutual advocate/counsel/agent – Paul Heyman. Interesting to see how things would go from this possible long-term feud.

All in all, SummerSlam was quite an excellent big-time welcome back to the live event scene. Despite threats of the Delta variant, WWE is rolling on the road again. While SummerSlam has become WWE's biggest show thus far for 2021, it will be challenging for the promotion to stay the course with all the drastic decisions, including batches of the massive firings that did not sit well with its fans.

Verdict: 8/10

We talked about WWE SummerSlam and CM Punk's return on two episodes of These Drunken Midnights this past August. Feel free to listen to our takes, courtesy of our friends from The MTG Podcast and Kayfabe Cafe.

Author: slickmaster | © 2021 The SlickMaster's Files

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