WWE SummerSlam 2019: Results, recap, analysis, ratings
The Biggest Party of the Summer is in the books. An eventful night in Toronto is in our rear view, as the 32nd SummerSlam was filled with excitement, surprises and great action. Rob and Chris are here to talk about what went down, and what it all means going forward.
Drew Gulak vs. Oney Lorcan - WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Chris Novak: Drew Gulak defeated Oney Lorcan to retain his Cruiserweight Championship. This was a very good sprint. Not surprisingly, considering the fact that both Drew and Oney have been top shelf performers this year. Drew won with a torture rack neckbreaker. So Gulak remains champ and has defeated yet another notable face in the division. I wonder who could be next for him. ***¾
Robert O’Neill: That was very good and makes me want to start watching 205 Live, because Drew Gulak is awesome. I wish they would have gotten a little more time, though. ***¾
Buddy Murphy vs. Apollo Crews
Robert O’Neill: This is a fun match that probably wouldn’t have gotten time on Smackdown. Both guys looked good, but the big story was when Rowan came out and attacked Murphy for telling Roman Reigns he was the attacker. Continuity! Rowan powerbombed Murphy into the ringpost as Daniel Bryan looked on from backstage. That was great. *** for the match.
Chris Novak: The match itself was obviously short but it served its purpose and help advance a storyline. It’s kind of wild that they’re doing that at a bi show like this, but I’m not really mad at it either. **½ for me, although that’s not a knock against them.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce - WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
Chris Novak: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross retained their Women’s Tag Team Titles, defeating The IIconics after Alexa hit Twisted Bliss on Peyton. This was a really fun match! Alexa did a Buzz Lightyear laser spot (because she was dressed up like Buzz Lightyear). The IIconics did their damn thing too to be honest. Peyton hit a very smooth Gory Special that nearly did it for them, but Bliss was able to kick out. I liked this match! Short, sweet, to the point, fun action and some enjoyable comedy spots. ***
Robert O’Neill: That was fun! Alexa and Nikki appear to be faces now which is neat. I think this was the best match The IIconics have had in a while, and I have high hopes for Nikki and Alexa with these titles. ***
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya - Raw Women’s Championship
Chris Novak: Becky Lynch retained her Raw Women’s Championship after making Nattie tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her. Holy surprise, Batman. This match was really good! These two told a great story in this match with some really good limb work and finisher steals. I’m legitimately impressed and surprised. This may have even been Nattie’s best match ever. ****
Robert O’Neill: I think it WAS Nattie’s best match ever. That was really awesome stuff from both women. Becky brought the heat after struggling a bit the past couple months (IMO). Can’t believe they got me to like a Natalya match. ****
Dolph Ziggler vs. Goldberg
Chris Novak: Goldberg hit one of the best Spears ever and beat Dolph within two minutes. That was hilariously great.
Robert O’Neill: Ziggler talked shit on the mic from his back, and then got speared AGAIN, and then talked shit on the mic from his back again and got speared again. That was all so good.
AJ Styles vs. Ricochet - United States Championship
Chris Novak: AJ Styles retained his United States Championship against Ricochet. Styles had an awesome counter on Ricochet when he dove off, and grabbed him and hit the Styles Clash on him. This match had some awesome stuff from both. Ricochet dressing up as Nightwing was also terrific. **** for me. Not sure where Ricochet goes from here, but that will get sorted out later.
Robert O’Neill: AJ retaining is perhaps a little surprising, but they could definitely keep this feud going and I’d be fine with it, as I say about mostly every opponent Ricochet has. Just good stuff all around. ****¼
Bayley vs. Ember Moon - SmackDown Women’s Championship
Chris Novak: Bayley retained her SmackDown Women’s Championship after hitting a Bayley-to-Belly off the top rope. The match never really hit another gear but they did the absolute damnedest they could to make it good and fun. They succeeded to a point. It didn’t really feel like there was any drama here, which makes sense considering that Ember was a handpicked challenger and the feud got no real time to flourish. Maybe they run it back next month at Clash of Champions. Maybe they won’t. Who knows? Nevertheless, good match. ***½
Robert O’Neill: That match was about as good as it could have been. I don’t mean any disrespect to either performer. There was a ceiling and they met it, much like Chris said ***¼ here.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Robert O’Neill: Owens overcame the odds with Special Guest Enforcer Elias to defeat Shane McMahon and keep his job. Owens did most of the work, as the crowd was super hot for him. A ref bump caused him to take Elias out with a chair, then kick Shane below the belt before hitting a stunner for the win. ***¼
Chris Novak: Say it with me… common… sense… PREVAILS! ***¼ for me here too. Did the job without being too extra to be honest. And that’s fine.
Charlotte Flair vs. Trish Stratus
Chris Novak: Charlotte Flair made Trish Stratus tap out to win the match. God damn this match was really good! Trish took a BEATING at the start of it, but resiliently fought on and picked up steam. They did a great spot with Trish using the Figure Eight on Charlotte. She nearly put her away with the Stratusfaction, but Charlotte was able to kick out. This was quite, quite good. I don’t think it was the best main roster women’s match of the year like some may call it (the Rumble title matches are still a cut above to me). But this was still REALLY, really good. ****¼ for me.
Robert O’Neill: What an incredible match. I also probably wouldn’t put it above the two Royal Rumble matches, but it’s also the best Trish Stratus match of all time and one of Charlotte’s best ever, as well. Whew. ****½
Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton - WWE Championship
Chris Novak: This match ended in a double countout. It was otherwise REALLY good, though the lack of a clean finish probably took some people out. But they were always going to stretch this feud out. And with MSG on the horizon as the go-home to Clash of Champions, they were always going to use that site to help set up the next match. I liked this match a lot and the lack of a clean finish didn’t particularly perturb me. ***¾
Robert O’Neill: I don’t mind the double countout! It extends the program and gives them a chance to run it back, like you said. I think there’s a lot of potential here. ****
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
Chris Novak: Holy… Bray Wyatt had an incredible entrance. His theme music is remixed from his original theme into a total death metal version of it. The match itself was short and one-sided. Not sure what grade to give this one to be honest. But, it was entertaining.
Robert O’Neill: Also, he’s using the mandible claw as his finisher, apparently! But, yeah. Hard to grade it based on what we saw.
Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins - WWE Universal Championship
Chris Novak: We have a new Universal Champion, as Seth Rollins picked up a (CLEAN) win over Brock Lesnar to win back the Universal Championship. What a freaking match this was. The pacing was awesome. The near falls and drama injected here was fantastic. Some great spots in the mix. The crowd was hella invested. My goodness, they worked an AMAZING match. ****¾ for me here. Just fantastic. Take your disrespect for Brock and take it somewhere else y’all. Same thing with Seth.
Robert O’Neill: As I type this in my Brock Lesnar shirt, I’m surprisingly content. Would I like to see him win? Sure. But for Seth to win this way, after getting his ass beat twice in two weeks and getting his ass beat all over the ring, means so much more than using a chair and low blows to beat him like Seth did at Mania. This might have been my favorite Rollins match ever, and is one of my 10 favorite Lesnar matches ever. *****
Chris Novak: A very solid SummerSlam. Not an all-timer, even if it had two really great matches in Charlotte-Trish and Rollins-Lesnar. But still a very solid show, top to bottom. No low points were had, and the event flowed really well. It even only went 3.5 hours! I’ll give this a solid B+/A-. Real good show with high rewatchability.
Robert O’Neill: Just like every other WWE PPV this year, this was a great show. We didn’t even mention the fact that Edge appeared on the preshow and speared Elias, Ric Flair had a segment with the Street Profits, and Bret Hart wished Seth Rollins luck. There was so much going on, and the show absolutely delivered and has me looking forward to what’s next. A