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WWE SUMMERSLAM 2019 KICKOFF
AUGUST 11, 2019
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
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Kickoff Panel (Rotating): Beth Phoenix, Jonathan Coachman, Charly Caruso, David Otunga, Sam Roberts, John Bradshaw Layfield, Miz, Mick Foley
After the panel did a complete match rundown, the show kicked to Sam Roberts who was standing at ringside with JBL. They were featured long enough for JBL to insult Sam’s physical appearance, then the show cut to a Ziggler – Goldberg video package.
When asked to make a prediction for the Ziggler – Goldberg match, Miz smiled and said, “I think we’re gonna see a spear, and we’re gonna see a jackhammer.”
A video package for Bray Wyatt – Finn Balor was shown, including a montage of unique moments from Firefly Fun House. Sam Roberts predicted that their match would be “a massacre,” because Balor is “not the Demon.” On the panel, Foley remarked that he had never felt more helpless than when he was attacked by Wyatt.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Kevin Owens backstage. He again addressed Shane McMahon’s career not being on the line, and that Shane has no integrity. He said he planned to take out years of frustration by beating the living hell out of Shane McMahon. “The marquee might read SummerSlam, but trust me when I say that tonight is the Kevin Owens Show.”
Balor was reunited with The OC in the locker room. Styles offered the help of the OC in Balor’s match tonight. Balor was silent and non-committal as the OC walked out.
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, Aiden English
(1) DREW GULAK vs. ONEY LORCAN – Cruiserweight Championship match
The bell rang and Gulak immediately leveled Lorcan with a double barreled drop kick, but then the two settled into some back-and-forth mat-based grappling. Gulak locked Lorcan in an abdominal stretch as the Kickoff show went to a split screen ad for the Rollins – Lesnar match. After the break, Gulak transitioned into a headlock.
Lorcan battled out and got the upper hand and brought the fight outside of the ring for some strikes and chops. Back in the ring, Gulak turned the tide and locked Lorcan in a submission but Lorcan escaped by getting his boot on the bottom rope.
Lorcan twice attempted the Half and Half, but twice Gulak escaped. The wrestlers both ran the ropes and clotheslined each other to the mat. They both got to their feet at the referee’s seven-count. They exchanged blows in the middle of the ring, but Gulak got the upper hand and rained down blows to the back of Lorcan’s head.
Lorcan fired up and landed blows of his own while holding Gulak by his beard. He finally knocked Gulak down with his second European uppercut. Gulak stunned Lorcan with a punch to the throat, and was able to take out Lorcan with the Cyclone Crash, this was good for the three-count.
WINNER: Drew Gulak by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: As always, another solid Cruiserweight championship match which has become standard fare for every WWE Kickoff show. The match was brief and featured hard-hitting violence.)
-Drake Maverick appeared at the Kickoff panel and put out the word to look for 24-Hour Champion R-Truth. The camera panned out and Truth and Carmella were revealed to be hiding in front of the panel’s desk. Maverick reappeared with a referee and chased Truth and Carmella into the arena.
-The panel discussed the Natalya – Becky Lynch submission match. Lawler indicated that the Sharpshooter is the more dangerous of the two submission holds in question, having suffered the maneuver at the hands of Bret Hart.
Announcers: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
(2) APOLLO CREWS vs. BUDDY MURPHY
The bell rang and Murphy leveled Crews with a knee strike to the face, then covered for a two-count. Murphy issued a series of kicks to Crews in the corner before being backed off by the referee. Murphy delivered more kicks in the center of the ring and covered Crews two more times before locking in a chinlock.
Crews escaped and the men ran the ropes, both missing clotheslines, then both hit high cross bodies against each other, sending both wrestlers to the mat. Crews took Murphy down with a Samoan drop, then landed a standing moonsault and covered for a two-count. Crews stalked the stirring Murphy and began to military press him, but Murphy slipped free and went on to land a powerbomb to Crews, again good for a two-count.
The wrestlers exchanged strikes and kicks in the middle of the ring. Murphy was tossed out to ringside. When Crews followed him to the floor, Murphy tossed him into the ring steps, then got back into the ring only to fly out again to level Crews with a somersault senton over the top rope.
Suddenly, Rowan appeared and began an assault on Murphy, repeatedly tossing him against the ringside barriers. The bell rang, and Rowan fired Murphy against the ring post, and screamed, “Keep my name out of your mouth!” Daniel Bryan was shown backstage watching the mayhem on a monitor.
WINNER: Buddy Murphy by disqualification (?)
(Meyers’s Analysis: The match itself was inconsequential (and eerily similar to the Cruiserweight match) – this served to provide another page in the Reigns murder story. Rowan either hates being wrongfully accused of a crime he didn’t commit, or he resents having the lid blown off his murder attempts.)
-Elias appeared in the ring and strummed his Fender California Redondo. “You wanna know how I know I’m in Toronto? Cuz I can’t wait to leave and meet my friend Kawhi Leonard in L.A.” This drew some boos, and Elias’s song was interrupted by Edge’s music and entrance. The crowd popped and stayed hot as Edge strutted into the ring and postured for the crowd. Edge absorbed the enthusiasm for a minute, then easily took out Elias with a spear. Edge left as quickly as he came, high fiving fans on his way back up the ramp.
(3) ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS (c) vs. THE IICONICS – WOMEN’S WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Bliss started off against Kay, and the women exchanged headlocks before Kay slammed Bliss to the mat by her hair. Royce and Cross tagged in, and Bliss fired her partner into the corner to splash Royce. Cross leveled Royce with a high cross body from the corner and covered for a two-count. Kay tagged in and struck Cross with multiple forearms before covering for a two-count.
Royce tagged back in and the Iiconics double teamed Cross with simultaneous kicks before Royce laid in a chinlock. Cross escaped, but the Iiconics continued to split the ring and double team their opponent. This time Kay locked in a chinlock, and suplexed Cross when she nearly escaped. Kay screeched at Bliss, and then at the crowd, before tagging Royce back in.
Cross finally made the hot tag, but Bliss was leveled by a kick from Kay while distracted with Royce outside of the ring. Bliss was being double teamed, but Cross dragged Kay out of the ring, leaving Bliss to battle one-on-one against Royce. Royce took Bliss down with a jawbreaker, but Bliss kicked out at two.
In the corner, Bliss knocked Royce down with a right hand (very reminiscent of Lacey Evans’s Woman’s Right) , then climbed to the top turnbuckle and landed the Twisted Bliss on Royce which was good for the three-count.
WINNERS: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: A decent, frantic tag match – especially good considering the Iiconics’ ring skills. Nobody looked limited here, and the Iiconics stirred some of their bizarre antics into the match.)