HomeTelevisionWWE SummerSlam 2018: A Mid-Summer Night of Confusion

WWE SummerSlam 2018: A Mid-Summer Night of Confusion

I have no doubt there will be a lot of debate whether this was a good pay-per-view or not. If you go by match finishes, then questionable. Some matches were really good, but the decision-making on the outcomes left something to be desired. Too many DQs or shady finishes for a main PPV. For some feuds, tonight was a beginning, for others, an end. The final match was all sorts of weird.

It was decent. Some matches were good, but the booking decisions into how this would all unfold was questionably confusing.

I can’t take credit for this, but it’s been easily noticed events in the final match were WWE Creative’s way of making certain no one left the arena during the main event. Cunning move.

Preshow quick recap:

The B-Team retained the RAW Tag Team Championships against The Revival. Well, this could have been worse. Not only did the Revival get buried, but the loss was by accident with an oopsie reversal of a pinfall rollup. Ok, I guess the class clowns of the tag team division get a prolonged reign. Wish I could care.

Cedric Alexander retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Drew Gulak. Despite what looked like a botch or slip early on, this was a pretty good match. I would have thought Gulak would win, as heel champions seemed to do well on 205Live, having a number of faces chase after the belt. Alexander is great and I envision a fast-paced wrestlefest when Mustafa Ali gets to challenge.

Andre Cien Almas w/ Zelina Vega ended Rusev Day – Well, we all saw this coming. I really had this weird thought Rusev wouldn’t have been used for fodder. Almas is on the rise and Rusev… well, his day might be done. Lana took the pinfall so Rusev didn’t look too weak, but a loss is still a loss.

Main Show Recap:

Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre to become Intercontinental Champion. Damn, this was an outstanding show-opener. WWE needed a big bang to kick off the main program, and this was it. Putting this half-way would have either rejuvenated the live crowd or it would have fallen victim to hijacking. Better to be first. Highlight for me was the reverse superplex off the top. Good lord. I feel as though Rollins and Ziggler are on a different level. They know each other’s pacing and the addition of Ambrose and McIntyre didn’t subtract from the match at all. Chances are this feud isn’t over yet. Maybe we get some matches with Ambrose against McIntyre first before the feud is over.

The New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers by DQ. The two teams did alright. Bludgeon Brothers were the usual lumbering and brawling, with the occasional spot from Luke Harper. I lose interest because of Rowan. I just can’t get into this guy, even when he did an apron dive, it just looked sluggish. New Day as expected, pulled out the big spots and kudos to Xavier Woods for nearly killing himself with the top rope elbow to the floor. Thinking it over, it was smart to end it in a DQ. New Day wins, but the belts stay with Bludgeons.

Braun Strowman squashed Kevin Owens. Yep. Squash. Owens had one percent offense. One superkick which connected and did all of nothing. Owens, kudos to him. Took a lot of sick bumps. A few looked like they rattled his head around. I hope he didn’t get concussed in the first minute and they called it. Question is, will Strowman cash in tonight?

Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. We all saw this coming a mile away. Charlotte coming back meant Charlotte being crowned champion. Carmella brought her “Diva” to the “women’s division” and played it up well. A bit over the top tonight, but I guess since she was losing she had to play extra annoying. The best part was the inevitable heel-turn by Becky, which was unanimously approved by the live crowd, and chances are, fans watching at home as well. Good for Becky, she can pull it off.

Samoa Joe defeated AJ Styles by DQ. Wow, can Joe cut a sick promo during the introductions. He announced the presence of Styles’ wife and daughter. Wow. “Daddy’s coming home.” Wooo. Brief TNA chant from the Brooklyn crowd. This was the match we expected, with the ending we didn’t. A long, storytelling match, with some heavy hits and harder slams. The big nail in the coffin, when Joe outright hit on AJ’s wife, sending Styles into a rage, ending the match via chairshots. This feud will continue for sure.

Elias. I have no idea what happened. He looked a bit sick from the get-go, and just about time to play, his guitar breaks. I’m guessing this is a bad omen in the world of music, but it just looked odd on TV. He kicked his stool away and tossed the broken instrument off-stage and stormed off. Was he too over and WWE Creative felt it was time to bury the gimmick?

The Miz defeated Daniel Bryan. I felt a little disappointed. DB isn’t the same as before his original retirement. A slow match isn’t a bad match, but I expected to feel the emotion and drama built into this, but it wasn’t there in the ring. My guess is this feud will continue. Miz couldn’t get a clean win, using Brass Knux passed by Maryse, going unseen by the ref to get the pinfall victory. Backstage, Bryan kicks himself for not anticipating underhanded tactics.

“DEMON” Finn Balor defeated Chief Constable Corporate Bacon Kane Morley in the second squash of the night. I’m noticing a bad trend… Seven matches. Two squashes, two DQs, matches ending with interference. Not counting the pre-show, so far, only two matches went clean?

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the United States Championship. I figured Nakamura would hold onto it. Lately it seems foreigners aren’t allowed to hold a major championship (unless you are Jinder Mahal and WWE expands into India by coincidence), but the United States Championship is fair game. You could tell the crowd is burned out at this point. Dead crowd, as someone watching from home, this was the glace-up-at-the-TV once-in-a-while-and-shrug-when-Orton-shows-up. Spot of the match was Hardy leaping and missing a swanton onto the ring apron. Kinshasa, and it’s over. At least it was a clean finish.

Post match, Randy Orton showed up. Went to the ring, but did not go in. Turned around, and left. That was weird.

It’s a bit before 10:30pm and we’re getting promos for Rousey vs. Bliss. Guys, get to the match. You’re audience is losing steam.

Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to become the RAW Women’s Champion. Well, I was wrong. I thought Bliss was going to do the dislocated arm spot we’ve seen before. This was just another squash. Bleh. Anyone notice Rousey said “ready?” before each spot? Meh, poor Bliss, having to job this way. In a squash.

Three squashes, two DQs, two shady finishes, and it’s not over yet.

Natalya came out wearing Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s jacket. Very classy. Nice ovation. That was a plus.

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Rabbi Paul Heyman. 

BRAUN STROWMAN IS OUT and lets us know he will cash in on the winner of the title match!! (Spoiler, he doesn’t.)

Something happened in the crowd to distract from a match no one was interested in until Braun showed up. To be fair, it probably was entertaining. Brooklyn letting the crowd know they both suck. To be fair, they aren’t wrong. At one point Brock somehow lobbed the MITB briefcase all the way to the stage. To be fair, last time he lobbed something it was a car door which nearly hit the crowd. Somehow, Reigns hit a Spear and pinned Brock for the Universal Championship. During the bout, Strowman got beat up, so no cash in happened.

Well, that was weird. I don’t really have much to add. That was a strange finish.

Strange days ahead folks.


Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.


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