SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TRIPLE THREAT FOR THE WOMEN’S TITLE AT SUMMERSLAM…
Recap: The show opened with Renee Young interviewing Becky Lynch in the ring. Renee asked what it was like to finally get back into title contention. Becky recounted her self-doubt in getting to this point, as well as how long it took to get here. She said that after beating Carmella, she couldn’t sleep due to her excitement for her upcoming title shot. She said it would be an honor to enter the Evolution PPV as champion.
Carmella then came to the ring. She gave an emotional appeal recounting that the meaning of Stephanie’s announcement on Raw had only recently hit her, and that due to her prior actions she felt ashamed to be representing all of the past and present women’s wrestlers at the Evolution PPV. She began to cry as she spoke of being told she’d never be more than a manager, and of being told on social media that she isn’t worthy of the title.
She then told Becky that she was happy to be wrestling someone she always admired at SummerSlam, and that they would tear down the house. She extended her arm to Becky for a handshake.
Just then, James Ellsworth’s music played. He did not appear, but Carmella took advantage of the distraction to attack Becky from behind. Charlotte Flair then ran down the ramp to make the save.
Later backstage, Carmella complained to Paige about Charlotte’s run-in. Paige was disgusted at Carmella, stating that she actually believed her change of heart. An angry Carmella told Paige that she had the title, something Paige could never have again. Paige retaliated by setting a match between Charlotte and Carmella, with the stipulation that the title match at SummerSlam becomes a Triple Threat if Charlotte wins.
In another backstage segment, Renee asked Becky Lynch about the possibility of a Triple Threat at SummerSlam. Becky said she was happy her friend had returned, but was not happy about the possibility of a Triple Threat as it lowered her chances of victory. She said she was sure she could beat Carmella or anyone else one-on-one. Renee followed up by asking if she was rooting against Charlotte, to which Becky replied that she’d never root against her best friend.
In the main event, after a long match, Carmella attempted a Figure-4 on Charlotte, but Charlotte escaped and made Carmella tap out to the Figure-8. Becky was watching backstage and looked disappointed and a bit angry.
Evaluation: Becky’s part of the opening segment was an old-fashioned, earnest face promo. It reminded me of something we’d see on a 1980s Crockett show. It was nothing fancy, but it worked and the fans loved it.
Carmella is the queen of the insincere face promo that turns heel at the end. Even though she has used this technique so many times that we all normally see it coming, she did have me going for a minute this time. WWE has been so outrageously over the top with its promotion of the Evolution PPV that it wasn’t entirely out of the question that they’d have Carmella cut a sincere promo about its historic nature.
Forecast: With tension clearly building between Charlotte and Becky, it appears we’re moving toward a Charlotte heel turn at SummerSlam. I’d like to see Charlotte turn and win at SummerSlam, followed by an extended program where Becky Lynch chases her for the title.
Alternatively WWE could do a swerve and have Becky be the one to turn heel. While I believe Charlotte is better positioned of the two to be a heel, I’d certainly be willing to give Becky a chance.
BRYAN VS. MIZ AT SUMMERSLAM IS ALL BUT OFFICIAL…
Recap: Daniel Bryan came out to address Miz’s attack from last week. He emphasized that the announcement of the Evolution PPV meant a lot to him personally due to his wife’s 30 second match being a catalyst for the #GiveDivasAChance movement. He said that he and Brie have always had to fight for respect.
Bryan then called out the Miz, who appeared on the TitanTron. Miz said he wasn’t in the arena, as he was on the set of Mz & Mrs. Bryan called him a coward.
Bryan told Miz that the wrestler turned Hollywood star has been done before by better men. he told Miz he’d never be The Rock or even John Cena. Bryan called Miz soft and challenged him to a match at SummerSlam.
Miz told Bryan that he didn’t actually want to fight, but rather just wanted the conflict with Miz to raise his profile. He said that Bryan should just let his contract expire and move on to small-time matches in high school gyms. He then said people only see one thing when they look at the Miz, and followed with an on-screen montage of crying babies.
Evaluation: The Miz’s portion of this promo in particular was great. I could’ve done without the crying baby graphics, as it seemed forced. The rest seemed like genuine anger.
Forecast: I expect this match to be made official next week.
JOE CALLS OUT AJ…
Recap: Joe made his way to the ring for an in-ring promo. He was alone and grabbed a stool for himself. Joe said that he respects the house that AJ Styles built as well as AJ making the WWE Title the most prestigious title.
Joe said AJ has put being champion ahead of his friends, his vices, and even in front of his family. He told AJ that despite talking about how much the Evolution PPV meant to his daughter, “you’re barely home enough to hug your child, let alone look at her lovingly in the eye.” He said AJ feels more comfortable being on the road and living in a suitcase than being a husband and father. He called AJ a failure as a father, and said that AJ’s family would be secretly rooting for Joe, as without the title they could have their husband and father back.
Byron Saxton made sure to interject that he personally knew what a great father and husband AJ was.
Evaluation: This was a brutally intense, old school heel promo. It was simply great and personalized the feud.
Forecast: If the Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar match doesn’t go over well at SummerSlam, at least the fans can take solace in this as a well-built match that presumably will also be well-wrestled.
Lana’s accent was 100% gone this week….
Jeff Hardy’s incoherent promos make me like Randy Orton’s beat downs on him….
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 7/24: Orton Gives His Motivation, Joe vs AJ & Carmella vs Becky at SummerSlam