SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 21, 2017
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAYS CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Booker T, Corey Graves
IMPORTANT NOTES: Be sure to subscribe to the new “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” which debuted last month on PodcastOne. It’s a four-days-a-week FREE podcast with the most timely reviews of Raw and Smackdown you’ll find in the podcast universe – available just a few hours after each show ends – plus the Thursday Flagship covering a wide range of topics and then Interview Friday (so far it’s featured Jack Swagger, Stan Hansen, J.J. Dillon, former WWE Creative team members Kevin Eck and John Piermarini, and Lilian Garcia).
Wade welcomes a diverse array of cohosts, bringing together some of the top analysts and informed personalities in pro wrestling including PWTorch staff and contributors (Bruce Mitchell, Todd Martin, Pat McNeill, Greg Parks, Travis Bryant, Rich Fann, Mike McMahon, Andrew Soucek) and wrestling analysts from other places such as Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net, Mike Chiari from Ring Rust Radio, Jason Solomon from Solomonster Sounds Off, and even Jonny Fairplay from Reality TV and TNA fame!
If you have comments or questions regarding Raw on Monday night for the recording of “The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast,” send to our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll answer questions during the show.
If you plan to attend Raw or Smackdown in person in future weeks, let me know if you are interested in being a guest correspondent who can spend five minutes with us shortly after Raw or Smackdown ends telling us about your live experience and any off-camera matches and happenings.
Read more about the show HERE.
-The ring announcer introduced Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar to star the show. Lesnar’s music played. Graves said Lesnar was “badly hurt” last night. Lesnar looked to have a spring in his step and was as happy as he’s ever seemed on WWE TV. Booker T (who survived calling Roman Reigns “the most hated Superstar” last night on Summerslam) said Lesnar wearing the belt tonight answers those who wondered if he’d retain his title at Summerslam. The announcers recapped what happened at Summerslam’s main event as freeze-frames were shown.
(VIP MEMBERS: Listen to last night’s 80 minute post-Summerslam VIP Roundtable Podcast w/Bruce Mitchell & Todd Martin & Wade Keller HERE.)
Heyman said he deals in spoilers, not predictions. He said the vast conspiracy he talked about in recent weeks unfolded before their very eyes. He said the felonious assault last night took Lesnar out of equation – temporarily. “Just like I told you,” he said. He added that this was the first time in Lesnar’s life he was carted off the battlefield. Heyman said then three “worthy contenders” who were “pretenders to the throne” were left in the ring. He said Lesnar responded by denying medical attention and refused to let the doctors take care of him and walked back down the aisle to continue to defend his title. Some cheers. He said championships were designed to be won or lost in the ring, so Lesnar returned to “conquer or be conquered.” Heyman said if you haven’t heard, Lesnar pinned Roman Reigns. Heyman’s inflection went into gloating range. The crowd cheered. Heyman said no one in WWE or UFC can conquer the one and only ruler of the WWE universe. Lesnar held up his Universal Title belt. Suddenly Braun Strowman’s music played.
Out walked Strowman. Cole said he is responsible for Lesnar being carted off last night. Graves said it quite was a site to see these two last night, and now it’s happening again. They went face to face. Fans chanted “Strowman! Strowman!” Strowman lifted Lesnar for a chokeslam. Lesnar slipped free and then charged at Strowman. Strowman met him with a boot to the chest and then a powerslam. Strowman raised his arms. Graves said Strowman put the WWE Universe on notice. He gave Lesnar another running powerslam, then yelled again. Strowman lifted the WWE Universal title belt. Cole said Strowman has his sights set on one thing. Lesnar writhed in pain as Strowman walked to the back.
(Keller’s Analysis: They kept that pretty simple. Have Heyman talk up Lesnar. Have Strowman come out and get the better of Lesnar physically in a decisive, memorable manner. Then sell WWE Network subscriptions to see those two in an official match.)
-Graves plugged Big Cass vs. Enzo Amore in a Brooklyn Street Fight. [c]
-Freezeframes of Summerslam aired with “Legend” by The Score played.
-The announcers commented on clips of the Strowman-Lesnar angle.
(1) BIG CASS vs. ENZO AMORE – Brooklyn Street Fight
As Big Cass made his ring entrance, the announcers reviewed freeze-frames of last night’s Big Cass victory over Big Show with Enzo slipping out of the cage. Graves said he doesn’t like Enzo’s chances in a street fight, and then added, “I don’t like his chances in any fight.” Enzo gyrated onto the stage. He said Big Cass went to a private school and NYU. He said his book smarts aren’t street smarts. Enzo said he, on the other hand, graduated from the school of hard knocks. Enzo said a street fight feels right for Brooklyn. He talked about how their friendship began 15 years ago. “We were brothers,” he said. “It was about having each other’s backs.” He talked about how Cass broke bread with him and his mother, then they broke their hearts. He said the same place the story began is where it will end. Enzo walked to the back, then rolled a shopping cart out filled with apparatus. Enzo offered to go grocery shopping.
Cass marched up to the stage. Enzo threw stuff at him. Enzo plowed right into Enzo despite Enzo’s use of a kendo stick. He threw him down the ramp and then pushed the shopping cart into him. Cole did not exclaim he has never ever seen anything like that and never imagined he would like he did with the padded desk chair. Cass threw Enzo hard into the barricade. Cass grabbed a folding chair. Booker said Enzo is a good guy, but so is his next door neighbor. Cass threw Enzo a chair and told him to bring it on. Enzo picked up the chair, then Cass gave him a big boot. Enzo went down hard. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Cass was still in control. Graves wondered what Enzo was thinking calling for this match. They showed that during the break, Cass tossed Enzo hard to the floor at ringside. Enzo crawled toward the chair back in the ring, but Cass kicked it away from him and then splashed him in the corner. Enzo got in one shot on Cass, but Cass brushed it off and beat on Enzo some more. Cass went for a big boot, but Enzo ducked. Cass tumbled to the floor. He immediately grabbed at his leg near his knee. Enzo crawled over grabbed the chair, but Cass returned to the ring and stomped on Enzo’s hand. Cass limped from his bump at ringside a minute earlier. Cass favored his knee and couldn’t put weight on it. The ref checked with him as Cass limped toward Enzo. He tried to continue, and went for an Empire Elbow, but his knee buckled. Cass went down and started yelling and got frustrated. He banged on the ropes and then the mat. He tried to walk to the back on his own, but then dropped and looked super-frustrated. The ring announcers said Big Cass couldn’t continue due to injury, therefore Enzo was the winner. Cass looked dismayed. They replayed his awkward landing on the bump over the top rope. Graves said sometimes the human anatomy doesn’t cooperate.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, that looked real. Cass seemed to understand the gravity of the situation, which was a complete halt to his big push and lot of lost income and painful rehab. He was as frustrated as I’ve seen anyone after suffering an injury. He didn’t hide his emotions. That said, it could have been a really good acting job.)
-They showed Bayley’s posts on social media congratulating Sasha Banks on her win.
-In the locker room, Emma complained to Dana Brooke for not being in the Summerslam Raw Women’s Title match. As she complained, Dana pointed out she tapped out in the qualifying match. Emma claimed she started the Women’s Revolution. As she began insulting Nia Jax, Jax walked up behind her. Emma sheepishly asked, “How long have you been standing there?” Jax said after their match, the trend on Twitter is going to be “Give Emma CPR.”
-A Smackdown commercial hyped that they’d follow up on the Shane McMahon involvement in the U.S. Title match between Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles. [c]
(2) EMMA vs. NIA JAX
WINNER: Jax in 1:00 with a Samoan Drop.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure where they’re going with Emma, but if she’s going to lose that decisively, what’s the point of giving her that much mic time in that segment before the break?)
-They showed Elias backstage. Cole said he was debuting a new song next. [c]
-Elias sat mid-ring with his guitar. He said he was going to sing about Brooklyn, but everyone there is already ashamed to live there, so he’s going to sing about his opponent, R-Truth instead. He then did an acoustic version of R-Truth’s opening lyric. That was funny. Then he said, “Just kidding. Time for some real music.” He sang about the Brooklyn Bridge. The crowd clapped. He stopped and told them this isn’t the time to clap along. He was interrupted by R-Truth about 20 seconds later.
(3) R-TRUTH vs. ELIAS SAMSON
Samson pushed Truth into the corner, but truth powered out with some punches. He gave Elias a spinebuster and then splashed him in the corner, showing good aggression and fire. Elias elbowed Truth and finished Truth with his Drift Away finisher.
WINNER: Elias in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not exactly a squash match, since Truth got most of the offense, but another sign of Elias getting prepped for a big push.)
-The announcers hyped that the new champions from Summerslam would be on Raw later – Sasha, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, and Neville. Graves plugged that Kurt Angle would have “a huge superstar surprise” after the break. [c]
-More Summerslam freeze-frames aired.
-Angle walked out to chants of “You suck!” Angle played into them enthusiastically. Angle said for the first time on “the Monday Night Raw” in over a year, John Cena was there. Cena walked out. Cole said it’s been a while since he’s been able to say the 16-time WWE Champion is here. Graves called it a great “get” and a “score” for Angle. No explanation how that’s possible or allowed, just the term “free agent” being applied as if there was an explanation at some point.
(If you have a question about tonight’s episode and you’re reading this during Raw, send your question for tonight’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast to email@example.com.)
Cena entered the ring to a mixed reaction. He asked if they were expecting him. A “Let’s Go Cena! / Cena sucks!” battle chant broke out. Pretty sloppy. The crowd sounds fatigued from two prior days of exertion including six hours of Summerslam. Cena made a goofy face and said, “Why am I here?” He said Angle asked him to come to Raw. People booed. Cena asked if they were booing Raw, because he likes Raw. He said he immediately said yes, not because Smackdown is bad, but because he’s wanted to stand in the ring at Raw and be face-to-face with a certain WWE Superstar. He started to act like Jim Carrey with his demeanor and facial expressions. Out walked Roman Reigns to his music to an eruption of boos.
Cole called them the two most polarizing figures in WWE today. Roman took his sweet time getting to the ring. Cena said, “This is Mr. Roman Reigns. You are exactly who I was looking for.” Reigns smiled and asked, “You’ve been looking for me?” He said the only time he’s looked for him is when he runs his mouth on Twitter. Cena made dorky facial expressions. Reigns said now that he’s in his yard, the question is will he run his mouth to his face. An “Un-der-taker” chant broke out. The camera zoomed in on Reigns’s face. Cena said it seems like the Raw audience will hold a bit of a grudge sometimes. He said he didn’t come to Raw to talk. He dropped the mic. Reigns did the same. Cena took off his shirt and twirled it and threw it into the crowd. Then suddenly Miz’s music played.
Miz, Maryse, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas walked out. Cole said, “Oh no.” Miz said, “So this is what a sold out Barclays looks like. I wouldn’t know.” Miz jumbled the word “Barclays”; sounded like “Bar Glays.” Cena made fun of him for that. Miz mocked laughed. Miz asked if he interrupted “a moment.” Miz said in life you’re told if you work hard and plug away and do your job, then your moment will come. He said he is sick of waiting for his moment while two undeserving people like them get moments week after week. Miz said he’s taking his moment while he ruins theirs. He said Angle seems to think Raw needs an addition. Cena shrugged. Miz said he was riding the pine at Summerslam, and that’s wrong. He asked Barclays if Raw needs John Cena. A burst of cheers and boos. Cena offered to leave. “I’m a man of the people, I’ll show myself out.” Cena’s getting into Bad Shawn Michaels Zany territory now. Or worse, Jon Stewart. Miz stopped Cena and said he didn’t appreciate him turning his serious point into a joke.
Miz told Reigns that if this is Reigns’s yard, it’s his show. He said he is the one working here, not them. He turned to the crowd and yelled at them. He said they don’t know whether to cheer or boo John Cena. Boos! Same for Reigns. Even louder boos. Miz said that doesn’t affect Cena or Reigns. “It affects me,” he said. “The only champion in this ring.” He said he deserves to be in the ring each and every night and he’s sick of the disrespect. He said he’s spent 12 years earning respect. “Where is my moment?” he yelled. A “You deserve it!” chant started. Cena held up the mic. The crowd couldn’t get their cadence together. Cena said it’s time to give Miz a moment. He offered to wrestle him in the main event tonight in a tag match. He said Miz and either of his lackeys can face him and his new tag team partner, Reigns. Reigns reacted with scorn. Miz said he’s in a three-peice suit.
Suddenly Samoa Joe’s music played. He walked out and looked over at Cena and Reigns. “Joe’s gonna kill you!” chants some fans. It wasn’t a strong chant. This crowd seems fatigued. Joe said he has a strong opinion himself. Joe said if anyone is going to be Miz’s partner, it won’t be Bo or Curtis, it’ll be him whether Miz likes it or not. He said it’s going to be him. He told Reigns he’s sick of hearing him say this is his yard. “I’ll tell it to you straight; I own you,” he said. Fans chanted “You’re his bitch.” It faded quickly. Joe turned to Cena. He surprised Cena with a barrage of punches. Reigns fought off Miz, Bo, and Curtis. Cena attempted an AA, but Joe applied the Coquina Clutch. Reigns broke it up with a Superman punch. The crowd chanted “You both suck!” They got their act together for that one. Reigns’s music played to end the segment.
(Keller’s Analysis: Man, there’s a lot to unpack there. Ultimately, how messed up is WWE with that kind of crowd reaction for all of them? Most popular was Joe, then Miz, then Cena, then Reigns. They are cast opposite of how fans feel about them, based on this Brooklyn crowd reaction. But just remember, Canada, Europe, New York, and Chicago don’t count. Nor do all of those other cities who don’t see things Vince McMahon’s way. That said, that was a fun, if not uncomfortable at times, segment to reset things post-Summerslam. Cena was really obnoxious here. Reigns was unlikable. Miz was Miz. Joe was badass.) [c]
-They showed the exterior of Barclays Center.
-Cole said Kurt Angle made their dreams come true as he booked Cena & Reigns vs. Miz & Joe for later.
(4) DREW GULAK & NOAM DAR & ARIYA DAIVARI & TONY NESE vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER & RICH SWANN & GRAND METALIK & MUSTAFA ALI
Graves gave some background on a few of the wrestlers. Booker spewed some cliches about the action in the ring and how these are eight of the best and how “on any given Sunday Rich Swann can score a victory.” Someone who has never watched WWE could contribute such generic cliches and phony insights. Cedric finished Nese with a Lumbar Check. Fans did the wave.
WINNERS: Cedric & Swann & Metalik & Ali 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s like the world stands still when there’s a cruiserweight match. Nothing changes. It’s essentially the same group doing moves together and it just evaporates as soon as the match ends.)
-Charlie Caruso interviewed Neville backstage. She asked about his regaining the title last night. He asked what the fans were expecting. He said where he comes from, they have a word for people like Titus O’Neal and Tozawa. Titus walked in and said words can never hurt them. He called Neville “gargoyle.” Titus and Tozawa challenged him to a rematch tomorrow on 205 Live. Graves said, “Wow, I cannot wait.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Yawn. There’s just no edge to any of that.)
-A commercial aired with Breezango and Alexa Bliss hyping a pizza chain. [c]
-More Summerslam highlights.
-Backstage Kurt Angle was on his cell phone and for some reason the director thought it’d be a good idea to show him reading texts. Then “totally unexpectedly” in walked Jason Jordan. They hugged. Angle said he’s really proud of Jordan so far. Jordan said he’s not looking for preferential treatment, but he really wants to compete tonight. He said he wants Finn Balor. Some “oohs” from the crowd. Angle asked if he thinks he’s ready for that level of competition. Jordan nodded. Angle smiled and gave it to him. Another hug. Jordan walked away as Angle wished him luck.
-The ring announcer introduced Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Dean’s music played and he came out first. Then Seth’s music played and he walked out. Seth said it feels good. Dean said he never thought this would happen. Dean said he’s been wearing the belt around everywhere and slept with it under his pillow. Seth said he was beginning to think this would never happen, but the people believed. “Here we are and it’s time to celebrate,” he said. He said everyone is invited to the party, “bay bay.” Hey, copyright infringement. Dean said Cesaro & Sheamus are going to get their rematch sometime, but they’re ready for any challenge. Fans chanted “Delete!” Then the Hardy Boyz music played. The Hardys danced onto the stage. “This is shaping up to be some night!” exclaimed Cole.
The Hardys entered the ring. Jeff said they didn’t want to ruin the party before it got started, but they wanted to congratulate them. Matt said they know better than most that sometimes brothers fight, but when brothers put those differences aside and fight together, it’s a beautiful thing. He said they came out to challenge them to a match. Seth asked if they were serious. “We grew up idolizing you guys,” he said. The fans chanted “Obsolete” and “Brother Nero.” Matt said for a quarter of a century they have revolutionized the tag team division, and they want to do it again tonight in Brooklyn. Seth said, “Let’s do the damn thang.” Matt called for a referee. Out came a ref. [c]
(5) DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS vs. MATT & JEFF HARDY
Graves said an entire generation was inspired by the Hardys, including Dean & Seth. Booker T said, “The Hardys aren’t like some old retired tag team.” Who said they were? He said they “dropped the straps” not long ago and they’re ready. Cole said, “They’re not like Harlem Heat, they’re still in action.” Booker told Cole to watch himself. Cole said if the Hardys win, they could be in line for a title opportunity. They showed Sheamus & Cesaro watching backstage. Cole said they’re owed a rematch “at some juncture.” Jeff and Matt flipped Seth hard over onto his back and his head whiplashed off the canvas. Ouch. The announcers cringed. Matt applied a headlock. They replayed the whiplash in sl0-mo. They cut to a break. [c]
Seth was still selling his head hurting as he tried to mount a comeback and then tagged in Dean. Dean tagged in and Seth staggered and collapsed at ringside. Dean rallied against Matt and went for a bulldog, but Matt pushed him off. Dean slingshot himself toward Matt at ringside, but Matt ducked. Seth was back in the ring and charged at Matt, but Matt backdropped him over the top rope. Matt tagged in Jeff. Jeff leaped off of Matt’s back as he kneeled and landed Poetry in Motion onto Seth and Dean at ringside. Jeff went for a move off the top rope onto Seth, but Dean pulled Seth out of the way. Graves called it “great situational awareness.” Take a shot. Dean and Seth isolated Jeff for the next several minutes. Dean whipped Seth into Jeff, but Jeff elbowed him. He elbowed Dean, then leaped onto both Seth and Dean with a Whisper in the Wind.
Jeff hot-tagged in Matt, who threw Dean out of the ring and then rammed Seth’s head against the turnbuckle a dozen times as fans chanted “Delete!” Matt hit a running bulldog for a two count. Fans yelled “Three!” Matt climbed to the second rope and yelled, then leaped off with an elbow. He set up a Side Effect, but Seth blocked it and blind-tagged in Dean. Then they gave Matt an elevated double-team Sling Blade. Jeff made the save. As everyone recovered for a moment, fans chanted “This is awesome!” Four-way action broke out. Dean and Seth cleared the ring, then did a double-spear through the ropes onto Matt and Jeff on the floor. Matt dropped Dean throat-first over the top rope. Matt then choke slammed Seth on the edge of the ring apron. Matt went after Dean, but Dean went for a Dirty Deeds. Matt blocked it. Dean went for the Lunatic Clothesline. Matt countered with a Side Effect for a two count.
Dean eventually set up Matt for a top rope move. Matt fought away and then face-planted Dean. Jeff climbed to the top rope and landed a Swanton, except it landed on Dean’s raised knees. Both were slow to get up. Dean got up and set up a Dirty Deeds. Jeff shoved him off. Seth blind-tagged in and gave Jeff a high knee. Dean the hit Dirty Deeds. Seth made the cover and got the three count.
WINNERS: Dean & Seth in 17:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good tag match. I think WWE ought to dial back the talk of the Hardys being at this for a quarter century, or at least point out they’re counting their teen years. I’d just talk about them as legends who generations of fans and current wrestlers have admired, but then move on. It just causes viewers to think they’re on the edge of retirement and irrelevance in the title picture, or look for signs they’ve slowed down. They otherwise did a good job making this feel really special.)
-They replayed highlights of the show-opening segment, then hyped the main event.
-Miz with Miztourage approached Joe in the locker room. He talked nonstop about how impressed he is that Joe joined him without him having ask. He said he knows Cena inside and out. Joe stood up and told them to shut up because “this is how this is going to work.” He told Bo and Axel to “remain a constant presence on the outside” and Miz should do his “annoying unorthodox thing you do in the ring.” He asked if they had any questions. Miz said they were cool. He patted Joe. Joe turned and shot Miz a look, then left. [c]
-Sasha Banks came out to her music. The announcers commented on freeze-frames of her win. Banks said she might be from Boston, but the last three years she’s left her heart in Brooklyn. She talked about her matches with Bayley two years ago and Charlotte last year, it’s been special. She got emotional and said everyone is praying for Ric and they all hope he gets better. “The world needs the Nature Boy,” she said. “Wooo!” She said the world doesn’t need a wannabe goddess. She said she proved there is no goddess on Raw, there is just one legit boss. She held up the title belt. She said she plans on defending it the right way. She said she won’t talk her way out of a match or have Nia Jax watch her back. She said she has the fans. Bliss interrupted.
Bliss stood on the stage and asked if she said she is going to defend “my title the right way.” She giggled at the concept of Banks even defending a title. She said Banks has never successfully defended that title and she is a four-time Raw Women’s Champion. She said she has lost every defense. Banks said anytime she’s wrestled Bliss, she’s either run away or tapped out. Bliss got pouty-faced. Banks asked Bliss to use her automatic rematch clause “right here, right now.” Bliss said that’s a thought and maybe she should, but she didn’t think the fans in Brooklyn deserved to see a Bliss title celebration. Bliss said she’s not in the mood to break her heart. She said next week she wants her rematch. She said after next week, she’ll be known as Sasha Banks the Legit Loser, not the Legit Boss.
(Keller’s Analysis: I know the crowd doesn’t love it, but it makes sense to hype it this week and announce it for next week if they’re going to give it away on Raw.)
-Jason Jordan made his ring entrance. [c]
(6) JASON JORDAN vs. FINN BALOR
Balor’s full ring entrance took place after the break. Poor Jordan had to stand there for the full break in front fans indifferent to him. Graves said Jordan is a gifted freak. He said he was drafted to play baseball with the Chicago White Sox, but passed on it to continue his wrestling career. Booker said, “Guess what Corey, this ain’t baseball. It’s easy to get here, but it’s going to be proven it’s so hard to stay here.” Graves shot back: “You’re the first person in the history of the business to say it’s easy to get to WWE.” Booker said: “No, no, it’s easy to make it to the dance, it’s harder to stay there. I’m just saying it like that.” Huh? How is that any different? Booker is so awful in this role, it’s just not even fair to have him on the air. Cringeworthy constantly. He just says stuff regardless of what the words actually mean. Graves pointed out that Balor and Jordan are familiar with each other due to common time at the Performance Center and NXT. Jordan powerslammed Balor for a soft two count a few minutes in. Booker called Balor “a kid” with a ton of talent. He’s 36 years old. Jordan offered a handshake, but Balor kicked Jordan. [c]
Jordan was in control after the break. He powered Balor around and had a more intense and serious expression. Graves talked about Jordan having a switch that flips. Jordan gave Balor an overhead butterfly suplex for a near fall. A beach ball came out and fans began paying attention to that. Balor turned up the jets with a flurry of offense, then threw Jordan to the floor. He gave him a flying dropkick through the ropes. The crowd popped for the beach ball as Balor gave Jordan a running boot. He threw Jordan into the ring, but Jordan gave him an overhead throw. The crowd chanted for the beach ball. Jordan pulled the straps down and let out a barbaric yell. He charged Balor in the corner. Balor countered with a body press for a two count. Balor surprised Jordan with a Pelé kick. Both were slow to get up. Balor got up and showed fire. Jordan, though, picked him up and threw him hard into one corner, then the opposite corner, then back to the original. Balor caught Jordan with a knee and a sling blade. Balor landed the Coup de Grace for the clean win.
WINNER: Balor in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: My hunch is this is part of a slow build of Jordan not being good enough playing it nice, and he’ll eventually begin to show signs of being too aggressive which will upset Angle, but Jordan will push the limits and that will lead to a turn of some kind. If so, this match made sense. The beach ball tonight was disrespectful. Well, it’s almost always disrespectful.)
-They went to the announcers who read a promo for “Birth of Dragon,” a WWE Studios move. Then the trailer aired. [c]
-The announcers confirmed Sasha defending against Bliss next week, and Neville vs. Tozawa on 205 Live tomorrow night.
(7) SAMOA JOE & THE MIZ (w/Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. ROMAN REIGNS & JOHN CENA
Miz & Co. came out first. Then Joe. Then Cena to a seemingly muted reaction. The second appearance is always a dropoff. They did sing “John Cena sucks” to the beat of his music. Then Reigns came out. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, the match began. Cena drew attention to the beach ball. The camera showed it in the crowd. Cole said it looks familiar after last night. Graves said this night is beginning to feel like the night after WrestleMania. Brooklyn is going to chant their way out of getting Summerslam weekends in the future at this rate. Joe went after the distacted Cena. Miz tagged in and stomped away at him. The crowd chanted for the beach ball again. Miz got cocky and Cena exploded at him with a clothesline. The wave got going and Cole began talking more about the crowd. Cena played into the wave. Graves said Cena thrives on this situations. Miz surprised him with a DDT for a near fall.
The crowd kept reacting to things having nothing to do with the match, which is a shame. Joe took it to Cena, then tagged Miz back in. Miz climbed to the top rope and waited for Cena to stand. Booker criticized Miz for taking his time. Miz then yelled at the crowd and set up a charge in the corner. Cena moved and Miz sold a hurt knee. Booker then criticized Miz for the delay. This time it made sense. Cena hot-tagged in Reigns who had trouble even getting into the ring. Graves said he’s still feeling the effects of the match the night before. Reigns cleared Miz out and then threw a barrage of clotheslines at Joe in the corner. Reigns gave Joe a boot to the face.
Cole pushed WWE Network and the Summerslam main event. He said it was perhaps the most physical match he’s ever called. Reigns set up a Superman Punch, but Joe caught him with urinage for a two count. Joe stomped away at Reigns. The crowd was disengaged. Miz threw Reigns out of the ring where Bo threw a clothesline as the ref was distracted. Booker said, “I love it.” Sigh. Miz covered Reigns in the ring and scored a two count. Cena glared at Miz who taunted him with a You Can’t See Me hand wave. Miz kicked away at Reigns repeatedly. Reigns ducked a big wind up kick and then lifted and dropped Miz hard with one arm. Both were slow to get up. Joe settled into a nerve hold on Reigns, then kicked him and scored a near fall.
Miz tagged in and continued to take time to taunt Cena. He tossed Reigns to the floor. Bo charged with a clothesline. Reigns ducked and then gave Axel a Drive By and a charging Bo a Superman Punch. Miz charged, but Reigns pulled the top rope down and Miz tumbled to the floor. Joe threw Miz into the ring and Miz couldn’t stop Cena from getting a hot-tag. Cena hit a couple shoulder tackles and then went into You Can’t See mode. Joe jumped into the ring to stop the fist drop. He put the Coquina Clutch on him. The ref scolded him. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, but Joe let go and the punch hit Cena. Joe dove through the ropes at Reigns seconds later and Reigns punched him, too. Miz then crawled over to Cena, who was KO’d from a Superman Punch. Miz waited for Cena to stand. Then he set up a Skull Crushing Finale. Cena countered with an Attitude Adjustment for the win.
WINNERS: Cena & Reigns in 13:00.
-Cena held his jaw and looked over at Reigns suspiciously as the ref raised their arms. Booker said, “I think it was inadvertent. I don’t think it was on purpose. It was an accident.” Graves said in the heat of battle, those things happen, so don’t read too far into it. Cena and Reigns glared at each other. Cena then played to the crowd as his music played.
$1 VIP SALE – ACT NOW, EXPIRES SOON
- GET SLICK & LIGHTNING-FAST AD-FREE VERSION OF PWTORCH.COM (MOBILE & DESKTOP)
- TONS OF DAILY EXCLUSIVES (ARTICLES, PODCASTS, NEWSLETTERS)
- 30 YEARS OF UNMATCHED INSIDER ARCHIVES (RETRO RADIO, 1,500+ BACK ISSUES, 1000S OF PODCASTS)
GO VIP TODAY FOR JUST $1 TO UNLOCK ALL SUMMERSLAM FEATURES BELOW (limited time offer) and GET A FULL MONTH OF ALL VIP BENEFITS & ACCESS (including 30 years of insider archives of newsletters, podcasts, and interviews dating back to the late 1980s.
NEW SUMMERSLAM VIP COLLECTION (“This is Awesome!”)…
A new Special Section has been added to the PWTorch VIP website this week featuring our coverage of Summerslam over the last three decades dating back to 1988. Below is the list of Summerslam features on our new Summerslam VIP Collection page. The links here won’t work without a username and password associated with a current VIP membership. You can become a VIP member for a limited time for just $1 with our 90 percent off sale.
•FULL DETAILS AND LIST OF SUMMERSLAM COLLECTION: CLICK HERE.
•READY TO SIGN UP NOW? GREAT… CLICK HERE FOR SIGN UP FORM – Enter promo code: summersale17
•OR LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL VIP FEATURES: CLICK HERE FOR VIP DETAILS
Over the next week, we will be adding two Summerslam Audio Roundtables per day to a Podcast RSS Feed (compatible with iTunes and popular podcast apps on iPhone and Android devices) that were recorded the night of each event led by PWTorch Wade Keller and two or three columnists. The shows begin in 2005 and end with last year’s 2016 Audio Roundtable.