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KELLER’S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT
AUGUST 21, 2021
LAS VEGAS, NEV. AT ALLEGIANT STADIUM
AIRED LIVE ON PEACOCK & WWE NETWORK & PPV
Announcers: Michael Cole & Pat McAfee (Smackdown), Jimmy Smith & Corey Graves & Byron Saxton
(A) BARON CORBIN vs. BIG E
A woman who won a TikTok contest did guest ring announcing. Corbin clutched the Money in the Bank briefcase on his way to the ring, looking paranoid someone would try to snatch it from him. Big E went for an early splash on the ring apron, but Corbin moved and Big E landed with a thud. Fans chanted “Big E” at one point. Big E made a comeback and applied a stretch muffler. McAfee, for some reason, yelled “Stomach exposed!” about Corbin. Corbin escaped, then Big E charged at him, but Corbin caught Big E with a Deep Six for a two count. Corbin got frustrated and rolled to the floor to grab the MITB briefcase. McAfee told Corbin, “That is not yours.” Big E went after Corbin at ringside and threw him back into the ring. Corbin ran right back and grabbed the briefcase, but Big E checked him hard into the boards. McAfee used a football analogy, but a hockey comparison was much better. Big E speared Corbin off the ring apron, although he hit the ropes as he went through them and had a awkward fall. He was okay. Big E dropped his straps and clapped. Fans chanted “New Day Rocks!” He hit the Big Ending for the clean win. Big E grabbed his MITB briefcase. McAfee excitedly said the briefcase is back with the owner. They cut to Logan Paul at ringside, which drew boos from the fans.
WINNER: Big E in 7:00. (*3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Nothing special, but nothing wrong with it. I don’t know how McAfee is so obnoxious and yet so utterly likable that it doesn’t matter at all. Few can pull off what he does. I think it’s a mix of genuine or believable enthusiasm mixed with cleverness and a dry sense of humor, plus feeling less scripted and corporate-programmed than anyone else on WWE TV.)
-A length video package previewed the event.
-Jimmy Smith introduced the event as the camera panned the crowd, touted at over 50,000.
(1) A.J. STYLES & OMOS vs. RIDDLE & RANDY ORTON
Riddle came out to his music first. Fans chanted “Bro! Bro!” Then Orton’s music played and he joined Riddle in the entrance area. The stadium is big and looks great on TV, but the entrance area looks really small and old-school and way scaled back for a big event. They briefly went to Smith, Saxton, and Graves on camera as Riddle and Orton made their entrance. Riddle was wearing a mix of colors that may have never been born together before – hot pink, lime green, forest green, and accents of azure blue. Someone held up a sign that read, “Randy, Let’s Wrestle Naked.” Styles and Orton started the match. Styles got frustrated and threw a fit at ringside. Riddle tagged in. Styles then tagged out to Omos. Riddle charged at Omos, but Omos knocked him down. Omos bodyslammed Riddle. Riddle went for a sleeper on Omos’ back, but Omos tossed him to the mat. Styles leaped off the top rope and over Omos’s shoulders and DDT’d Riddle off Omos’s shoulder. Riddle kneed Omos on the ring apron, then knocked Styles to the floor, then crawled over and went for a hot-tag. As Riddle leaped, Styles intercepted him. Riddle kneed Styles seconds later and hot-tagged in Orton.
Orton rallied against Styles, then took a shot at Omos on the ring apron. He snap powerslammed Styles, then turned and kicked Omos off the ring apron. Orton delivered a draping DDT. Orton then signaled for an RKO, but Omos dragged Styles to safety at ringside. Riddle went after Omos, but Omos slammed him on the ring apron. Omos lifted Riddle, but Riddle slipped free and shoved Omos into the ringpost. Styles then backflip leaped at Riddle and drove him into the mat at ringside with an inverted DDT. Orton ducked a Phenomenal Forearm and went for an RKO. Styles slipped free and rolled up Orton and yanked on his tights for a two count. Orton then landed a sudden RKO for the win. They replayed the crowd going wild for the win.
WINNERS: Orton & Riddle in 9:00 to capture the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles. (**)
(Keller’s Analysis: This was fun. There wasn’t a ton to it, but it worked. Omos was kept in his lane of what he can do, but wasn’t a big focus of the match after dominating Riddle and Orton in singles matches. The Riddle & Orton team is popular, and it is smart to roll with it right now with a title win.)
(2) ALEXA BLISS vs. EVA MARIE (w/Doudrop)
Eva avoided Bliss early and regrouped at ringside. Bliss smiled and sat in the ring. Eva took control, then grabbed Lilly from the top turnbuckle and slapped her around. Bliss didn’t like that. Eva slapped Alexa with Lilly in the face. Bliss let out a screech and attacked Eva. Bliss landed a moonsault and then sat up and rolled her eyes back. Bliss held up Lilly to the crowd who sorta cheered while Doudrop gave Eva a pep talk. Bliss leaped off the top rope with a Twisted Bliss, but Eva moved and then scored two near falls in a row. Eva complained to the referee. Bliss then surprised Eva with a DDT for the win. Doudrop smiled at ringside. After the match, Doudrop took the mic from the ring announcer and said, “And the loser of the match is Eva Marie!” Graves asked how insulting a person can be. Doudrop then strutted around in Eva’s robe and imitated her blowing kisses.
WINNER: Bliss in 4:00.
-Mario Lopez interviewed Orton & Riddle about their title victory. He was wearing a Hart Foundation t-shirt. Orton said it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out because they will continue to win. When he said R-K, he paused and Riddle suggested “Bro” instead of “O.” Orton said it like he wasn’t sure how to say it or how he felt about it. Then he walked away. Riddle said he has a big surprise for Orton at Monday Night Raw. He fist-bumped Lopez.
(3) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. SHEAMUS – U.S. Title match
After a few minutes of back and forth methodical action, Priest went for a running flip dive over the top rope. He came up a bit short and landed with a thud near his tailbone on the mat. He was a bit stunned and stood gingerly. The announcers commented on a replay. Sheamus shoved him into the ringpost seconds later and threw him into the ring. Sheamus controlled the action for a while. Priest made a comeback, but Graves said he’s a half-step slower than usual as his back is bothering him. Priest climbed tothe top rope and landed a leaping spinning wheel kick for a two count. He set up a Reckoning, but Sheamus countered and slammed Priest to the mat. He climbed to the top rope, but Priest grabbed his throat and guided him along the top rope. Sheamus leaped off the ring apron and snapped Priest’s neck over the top rope. He then landed an Alabama Slam for a near fall.
Priest punched Sheamus from underneath. Sheamus head-butted him to the mat. He stood and set up the Brogue Kick. As he charged, he slowed down and Priest kicked him and then one-arm slammed him for a very near fall. Priest continued to reach to his sore back over and over during the match. Sheamus caught Priest leaping off middle rope with a knee to the jaw for another believable near fall. Sheamus set up a clover leaf, but Priest turned it into a small package for a two count. Sheamus applied a heel hook next. Priest yelled out in pain. Priest reached up and yanked off Sheamus’s protective face shield. He punched away Sheamus, who had to cover. He launched Sheamus face-first into the top turnbuckle and then delivered a spinning wheel kick and his Reckoning for the win.
WINNER: Priest in 13:00 to capture the U.S. Title. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: Overall, a good match. Slow early, clunky at times throughout, but hard-hitting and dramatic most of the second half. Priest still seems a step short of being a main event guy, and it’s hard to put my finger on why.)
-Backstage, Dominik apologized for last night and said he was just pumped up. Rey cut him off and said what happened last night was part of the past, but he can’t get distracted right how. He said they never quit and they fight the fight that’s in front of them. He asked if he’s ready to bring the tag team titles back to their family. Dominik said yes, and they hugged.
(4) JEY & JIMMY USO vs. REY & DOMINIK MYSTERIO – Smackdown Tag Team Title match
McAfee and Cole talked about Jimmy and Jey have a much different attitude than before. Jimmy and Rey started the match. Rey sent Jimmy into the ropes with a head scissors and signaled for a 619, but Jimmy moved. Rey dropkicked Jimmy to the floor. Dominik backdropped Jey onto Jimmy. Rey slid under the ropes chest-first onto both Usos. Dominik then springboard leaped onto the Usos on the floor. Next, he slingshot dove at Jimmy and scored a two count. The crowd was taking a break from cheering. Dominik hit three suplexes. Rey tried to wake up the crowd and they responded. Jey shoved Dominik off the top rope. Jey shoved Dominik into the ringpost. The Usos worked over Dominik for a sustained stretch. Dominik began a comeback, but Jey took him down with an uppercut.
Eventually Dominik hot-tagged out to Rey. Fans popped. Rey springbaord moonsaulted at Jimmy. Jimmy caught him. Rey twisted him into a DDT for a near fall. Rey landed a senton on Jimmy. A Jey DISTRACTION opened up Jimmy to take over on Rey with a superkick as Rey turned around. Jey landed a frog splash a minute later for a near fall. The crowd popped for the kickout. Rey avoided a splash a minute after that and sent Jimmy into a 619 position. Rey then connected with it. He climbed to the top rope and landed his top rope splash right on Jimmy’s raised knees. Jey tagged in, and the Usos superkicked Rey’s head from opposite sides of the ring. Jey then top rope splashed Rey’s back and got the three count.
WINNERS: The Usos in 11:00 to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, that built nicely from the crowd not caring much to being totally invested in the last two-thirds. Since Rey and Dominik pulled back on any hints of dissension in their pre-match segment, based on WWE reverse-psychology, I was thinking they would break up tonight. Instead, maybe they’ve decided to move away from the storyline entirely. There was no sense at all they were building toward a conflict with Rey and Dominik next Friday.)
-Tiffany Haddish interviewed Priest backstage about his U.S. Title win. She called it “the Summerslam” and called Priest a “first-time National Champion.” (Geesh.) She excitedly asked Priest for his thoughts. He said Sheamus is a bully, and he’s not a fan of bullies, so it’s especially sweet to take it from him. He said to the haters who don’t think it’s the land of opportunity, that belt proves it actually is.
-Rick Boogs played guitar in the ring and introduced King Nakamura. McAfee went nuts and exclaimed, “This is amazing! How you ever felt lightning before.” He stood on the announce desk and danced with Boogs and Nakamura. That was it. Just a ring entrance, no match.
-Cole threw to a video package on the Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks.
-Belair then made her ring entrance, twirling her hair and skipping to the ring. The ring announcer revealed that Sasha Banks was unable to compete tonight. Belair looked shocked. He then announced Carmella was her opponent. Belair looked confused.
(Keller’s Analysis: Why did they have Belair beat Carmella so soundly last night on Smackdown if this was a known possibility? That’s just crazy, when you think about it. McAfee acknowledged it and said prior results don’t necessarily predict future outcomes. Also, storyline-wise, shouldn’t WWE let Belair know her opponent is switched? It’s just weird they decided to reveal it the way they did and have Belair look surprised.)
After Carmella’s entrance, Belair asked for the mic. McAfee said, “Las Vegas is not happy.” Belair said it might not be tonight, but sooner or later, she’ll face Sasha in a rematch. She said until then, she’s going to take her frustrations out on Carmella. As the bell was about to ring, Becky Lynch’s music played and the arena exploded. Cole did his fake stutter bit, so you know it’s supposed to be a big deal. Becky walked out as Cole touted her as one of the biggest stars in WWE. McAfee said the roof just got blown off the stadium and clearly the fans haven’t forgotten about her after more than a year.
Becky entered the ring and showed off her “The Man’s Back in Vegas” t-shirt. Cole said Becky “has stolen the thunder from this Smackdown Championship match.” Becky seemed genuinely moved by the enormous crowd reaction for her. She then attacked Carmella and threw her out of the ring. She told Belair, “I’ll be right back.” She threw Carmella into the ringside steps. Fans loudly chanted, “Becky! Becky!” She re-entered the ring and took off her t-shirt. She had a staredown with Belair. They both looked at the ref. Becky asked for the mic. “What do you say, EST, let’s blow the roof off this joint?” she said. “For the Smackdown Women’s Championship.” Belair thought about it, put her hands on her hips, and accepted the challenge.
(5) BIANCA BELAIR vs. BECKY LYNCH – Smackdown Women’s Title match
Becky shook hands with Belair, then yanked her hard into her short-arm clothesline, then landed a one-arm slammed and won the title. As Becky celebrated for an extended period, they showed Belair in the entrance area dealing with a mix of emotions and coming to terms with what happened.
WINNER: Lynch in seconds to capture the Smackdown Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big moment, and a net positive to have Becky back, but it’s also less than ideal. Belair had real momentum, and this pulls the rug out from under her. Becky big-footed her in this storyline, which could be more WWE hot-shotting because of Sasha’s situation. I don’t like not having a match and having Becky win so quickly. I don’t think they’d have designed this on purpose if it weren’t for Bayley’s injury and the Sasha situation, so compromises were made to avoid a big letdown since they have no one else credible to substitute in for Sasha against Belair. There could even be a backlash against Becky, although she wouldn’t deserve to take the heat. I think they’d have been better to agree to have a match another time, with Becky saying Belair deserves to have time to prepare for her, and then have Zelina Vega and Carmella attack them. Then have a tag match that lasts a while and gives fans some in-ring special moments with Belair and Lynch working together.)
(6) DREW MCINTYRE vs. JINDER MAHAL
Drew overhead tossed Jinder at ringside a minute into the match. Jinder took control briefly and settled into an armbar. They went to a wide shot of the arena. Drew finished Jinder with a Claymore. Veer and Shanky ran out to check on Jinder. When they made a move toward Drew, Drew pulled his sword out of the corner. Veer and Shaky left.
WINNER: McIntyre in 5:00. (3/4*)
(Keller’s Analysis: What is the point of Jinder, Shanky, and Veer being on the roster at this point if they blow off a feud that ate up all that TV time in such an anti-climactic, but understandably swift, manner? Drew’s sword doesn’t seem over with the fans.)
-They went to Smith, Graves, and Saxton on camera at ringside. Smith threw to a video package on the Raw Women’s Title match.
(7) NIKKI A.S.H. vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. RHEA RIPLEY – Raw Women’s Title match
As usual in three-way matches, they battled in various pairings while the third wrestler was “recovering” at ringside. The action was good, but inconsequential. Ripley entered around 6:00 and gave both Chalotte and Nikki a German suplex at once. She then landed a missile dropkick on Charlotte for a near fall. As Ripley and Charlotte battled at ringside, Nikki leaped off the top rope with a crossbody onto both of them. She showed a ton of fire, although it didn’t seem like the crowd was into her at all. Back in the ring, she set up a suplex, but Ripley jumped in. Nikki and Ripley lifted Charlotte for a delay-drop suplex, but Charlotte countered with a double-DDT of both of them. “Are you kidding me!” said Smith. Graves then responded, as he always does now, “I kid you not.” Charlotte backdropped a charging Ripley over the top rope to the floor. Ripley landed on her feet, then fell down. Charlotte climbed to the top rope next and landed a corkscrew moonsault onto both Nikki and Ripley. Ripley kicked Charlotte in the head and knocked her to the floor.
Ripley and Nikki battled back in the ring. Charlotte re-entered and applied the Figure-Eight on Ripley. Nikki broke it up with a splash onto them. Nikki then gave Charlotte a swinging neckbreaker. Ripley broke up the cover. She set up Nikki for a Rip Tide, but Nikki countered with a DDT. Nikki climbed to the top rope, but Charlotte swatted her out of mid-air and then put her in the Figure-Eight. The crowd popped. Nikki struggled for ten seconds, then tapped.
WINNER: Charlotte to win the Raw Title in 13:00. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action throughout, as you’d expect with these three. They worked within the Triple Threat parameters well. The crowd was more into Charlotte than Nikki, but part of Charlotte being over as a babyface is WWE doing such a lousy job with Ripley from the start and pushing Nikki into this silly Almost a Superhero persona.)
-A lengthy video package aired recapping the Seth Rollins-Edge storyline.
(8) SETH ROLLINS vs. EDGE
Seth came out in what Cole compared to a Sgt. Pepper and the Lonely Heart Club Band style outfit. Edge came out to the old Brood music and rose up through flames and smoke. Then his regular music kicked in and the crowd exploded with cheers as he made his way to the ring, looking intense and ready for a fight. Seth paced in the ring. Edge got the advantage early as Cole talked about the “dark gooey substance” Edge orchestrated dropping onto Seth last night. Seth came back at ringside and shoved Edge into the ringpost. The methodical beatdown by Seth drew some boos, but the crowd felt emotionally spent or just catching their breath.
They battled to the top rope where Edge leaped off with a flying neckbreaker. Both were down and slow to get up. The crowd cheered and came alive. Edge hit more big moves and scored more near falls. He climbed to the top rope. McAfee asked if Edge is a high-flyer. Seth met Edge on the top rope and landed a cradle superplex and then a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Seth stood and set up a stomp to the back of Edge’s neck. Edge moved, but Seth quickly countered into an underhook. Edge, though, blocked it and then hit a Glam Slam for a near fall. Seth snapped Edge’s neck over the middle rope as he leaped off the ring apron to the floor. He went for a stomp, but Edge moved and he threw Seth into the ringpost. Edge leaped through the ropes and speared Seth to the floor. “This is how much winning this match means to Edge!” said Cole. “Holy word I cannot say here on Peacock,” said McAfee. A “This is awesome!” chant broke out.
Edge threw Seth into the LED ring apron. The LED board flashed a bit and then went black, although it was a silly pre-programmed effect. Back in the ring Edge went for a spear, but Seth leaped and caught Edge mid-air and drove his head into the mat Pedgree-style for a believable near fall. Edge avoided a top rope corkscrew moonsault and hit a spear for a believable near fall. The crowd popped big for the kickout. Another “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Seth went for a spear, but Edge caught his boots and then applied the Edgecator leglock. Cole said Edge was going real old school tonight. Seth powered out and rolled up Edge for a two count. Edge then shifted into a crossface mid-ring. Seth pried Edge’s fingers off of him, but Edge just slammed Seth’s face into the mat over and over. Edge then locked on a sleeper in a crossface position and Seth tapped out.
WINNER: Edge via tapout in 21:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Dramatic, with effective near falls and innovative and nostalgic moves deep in the match to elevate the match to another level the longer it went.)
-An ad announced that WWE would return to Allegeant Stadium on Fourth of July weekend in 2022 for the Money in the Bank PPV.
-Ring announcer Mike Rome announced Summerslam attendance at 51,326 and thanked the fans.
-Miz and John Morrison made their way to the ring. Miz complained about how dry the hottest party of the summer is. He said the dry-bronis were hurtin’ for a squirtin’. Xavier Woods came out and was dressed up as Razor Ramon with the hair twirl and toothpick. He had a big water jug on his back and stood on the ring apron and, after lots of back and forth verbally to nearly zero crowd response, Xavier sprayed Miz and Morrison with water. They sold it like they were being hit with a fire hose, then rolled out of the ring and mean-faced Xavier.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a dumb waste of time. The show is running long and they just need to move on to the main events.)
(9) BOBBY LASHLEY (w/MVP) vs. GOLDBERG – WWE Title match
Champ Lashley and MVP came out first, and challenger Goldberg came out second. (Goldberg could have used Lashley’s ring entrance as a chance to catch his breath after that long stadium walk to the ring.) A fan in the front row held up a sign that said, “Vince Loves Large Men.” After formal ring introductions, the bell rang, they circled each other, and then they locked up collar & elbow. Goldberg shoved Lashley into the corner. Lashley had some words for Goldberg, then shoved him in the chest. Lashley charged at Goldberg, but Goldberg didn’t budge. Goldberg tackled and then powerslammed Lashley twice. Goldberg kept looking at the hard camera after his moves. Goldberg charged at Lashley in the corner, then clotheslined him. He had a few words for MVP, then tuned back to Lashley who recovered enough to take over. Lashley battered Goldberg with forearms. Lashley climbed to the top rope. Goldberg tossed him to the mat. Lashley tucked at the last second and landed on his back. MVP pulled Lashley by his boot to the floor. Goldberg ran around the ring and speared Lashley at ringside.
Back in the ring, Goldberg set up a spear, but Lashley rolled to the floor as MVP hit Goldberg on his knee with a chair. Lashley clipped Goldberg’s leg and then slammed him. Lashley stood over Goldberg and extended his arms. Graves said this is where Goldberg’s dream ends. He went for a Hurt Lock, but Goldberg elbowed out of it. Lashley tackled Goldberg, who landed on his head. He seemed shaken. He crawled to the ropes and rolled to the floor. He grabbed at his knee and seemed groggy. Lashley lifted Goldberg on his shoulders and rammed him ribs-first into the ringpost. Lashley showed fire and pounded his chest as Goldberg struggled to pull himself up at ringside, still selling his left knee injury. Lashley lifted Goldberg onto his shoulders and rammed him again into the ringpost.
Lashley rolled Goldberg back into the ring. The ref checked on Goldberg’s left knee. He couldn’t put weight on it. He collapsed. Graves suggested the ref stop the match. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Lashley via ref stoppage in 7:00 to retain the WWE Title. (*)
-After the match, Lashley attacked Goldberg with a chair, bashing his leg over and over. Goldberg’s 15 year old son Gage entered the ring. Lashley put him in a Hurt Lock. His son was face down on the mat, not moving. MVP said there’s no way Lashley could have known it was Goldberg’s son attacking him from behind, selling the idea he’s worried about Goldberg being out for vengeance.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lashley can’t even get a clean win at Summerslam? This seems like more setting up a rematch than generically protecting Goldberg. Perhaps a rematch with stips at Extreme Rules next month? The match itself was ambitious considering Goldberg age and his lack of matches lately along with just a general limited set of ring skills, and at times it was dangerous for the well-being of the wrestlers involved. That flat “to be continued” finish took it down an extra notch.)
(10) ROMAN REIGNS (w/Paul Heyman) vs. JOHN CENA – Universal Title match
Cena came out first to a huge pop. Reigns, Heyman, and the Usos walked out to the entrance area. The Usos stayed behind as Heyman and Reigns made their ring entrance. Cena wore a new t-shirt with 16 belts in a 4×4 grid on the back with dates of each of his previous title wins. The belt images matched the design of each belt he won, which is a cool touch. Cena was cheered, Reigns was booed during ring introductions. The bell rang 3 hours, 41 minutes into the PPV show. Cole acknowledged some think Cena might have ring rust. McAfee said, “Documentaries will be made about this match tonight.” They milked the first lock-up and the crowd rose to the occasion. Cole said it’s a big fight feel in Vegas tonight.
Reigns shoulder tackled Cena. Cena rolled up Reigns for a one count. Cena held up one finger, as if to tell Reigns it just takes three of those to end his reign. Cena hit a small package for a two count. He held up two fingers and taunted Reigns. McAfee said three is the only thing that matters. Reigns took Cena to the mat, then played to the crowd (and again, seems to be having the time of his life as a heel). Reigns whipped Cena hard into the corner and then stalked him. He yelled to fans at ringside something about Cena being distracted by Hollywood. Reigns methodically beat on Cena for several minutes. McAfee said it’s been like a night off for Reigns. Cena surprised Reigns with a quick Attitude Adjustment attempt, but Reigns countered with a DDT for a quick near fall. Reigns had a few words for the camera after that.
Reigns settled into a sleeper. Cena stood, with Reigns’s full weight on his back. Cena faded and dropped to the mat. Cena made a comeback with two shoulders tackles and a side slam. Cena signaled “You can’t see me” so Reigns reached up and applied a guillotine. Cena leveraged Reigns’s shoulders down and scored a near fall, forcing Reigns to release his hold. Reigns landed a Superman Punch for a two count. Cena kicked Reigns as Reigns charged for a spear. Cena then waved his hand in front of his face and dropped his fist with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Then he lifted Reigns for an Attitude Adjustment for a near fall. Some fans bought it, but because of that added Reigns stip on Smackdown that he’d quit WWE if he lost, I think fewer people bought in than would have. Cena then applied his crossface. Reigns crawled to the ropes as McAfee wondered if Reigns would have to leave WWE.
Reigns caught Cena with a Drive-By at ringside. Cena collapsed at ringside at 17:00. A “Let’s Go Cena!” chant broke out, with no audible counter-chant. Reigns charged at Cena at ringside, but Cena caught him and gave him an Attitude Adjustment onto the announce desk. It collapsed. Cena threw Reigns into the ring and made the cover for a near fall. Cena leaped off the top rope, but Reigns powerbombed him (sort of) to the mat out of mid-air for a near fall. Reigns stood and waited for Cena to stand as he readied another Superman Punch. Cena avoided it and rolled up Reigns for a near fall. Cena lifted Reigns for an AA, but struggled to fully stand. Reigns slipped out and hit Cena with another Superman Punch for a two count. Reigns closed his eyes and looked frustrated. Cena side-stepped a spear, and Reigns went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cena dragged Reigns to the top turnbuckle and delivered an AA off the second rope. Reigns kicked out and the crowd went nuts for that one.
They exchanged strikes mid-ring a minute later. The crowd yelled for each punch. Reigns hit a Superman Punch and another. Cena went down on his back. Reigns yelled, “I am WWE!” Reigns speared Cena for the three count.
WINNER: Reigns to retain the Universal Title in 24:00. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Slow start, but it built logically and effectively to a really good closing 10 minutes.)
-After the match, Brock Lesnar’s music played and he walked out. Reigns and Heyman couldn’t believe their eyes. “Here comes The Beast!” said Cole. Brock sported that new tuft of a Mohawk and a beard. He circled the ring and then stood on the steps and smiled and stared at Reigns. Reigns looked shaken up. Lesnar entered the ring and approached Reigns. Heyman backed away in sheer panic, hiding behind Reigns. Lesnar walked up to Reigns and had a few words. Reigns backed out. Lesnar smiled and played to the crowd a little bit. The crowd popped every time Lesnar raised his arms. They showed Reigns walking to the back looking angry and shaken.
(Keller’s Analysis: Take that, C.M. Punk. Lesnar already seems like he’s having fun as a babyface.)