We put a wrap on the WWE’s summer of fun.
Coast 2 Coast is cowritten by Josh Rebuck.
SummerSlam is in the books. We break down what went right, what went horribly wrong and what should change in the weeks to come. Which is good because we’re only a few weeks away from our first brand exclusive PPV. Hopefully there’s talent left to actually compete.
1) What’s your highlight, lowlight, and something you would change from SummerSlam?
Corey: Highlight of SummerSlam would definitely be AJ Styles vs John Cena. That Match was AMAZING and the right person went over. Lowlight would definitely be Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler. I never thought Ziggler would win that night, but I didn’t think he would lose so cleanly. With the type of buildup they did for Dolph, to lose cleanly it absolutely killed any type of momentum Dolph could have eventually built up. You can even tell by the crowd’s response that they weren’t all that excited for the match because everyone KNEW Dolph was going to lose. Terrible booking in my opinion. Unless Dolph turns heel at some point then I doubt the WWE crowd will ever fully get behind him again. The one thing I would have changed would be the match order. It was really weird to have the Reigns/Rusev controversial finish then have the Orton/Lesnar finish right after that.
What’s next for Dolph Ziggler after falling out of the main event picture?
Josh: Best match of the night was definitely AJ Style vs John Cena. Close second would be Sasha Banks vs Charlotte. My lowlight would be the numerous the conclusion to the Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar match. I can get behind going for some sort of TKO type referee stoppage, but I can’t believe they let Lesnar throw straight elbows to Orton’s head. Trying to add a touch of realism is fine, but that should not have happened. Why would you as an organization purposefully allow a worker to take unprotected shots to the head knowing everything you now know about concussions? There’s no way that situation ends well and it definitely didn’t. And like Corey I’d change the match order. It made zero sense, made both world titles look rather weak, relegated the Raw woman’s title and the whole second half of the show just took a nosedive. That’s not to say SummerSlam was a bad PPV because most of it was very good, but it should have been much better if they would have just reordered it a bit.
2) Did NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 2 live up the expectations? Was it better than last year’s?
Corey: This year’s TakeOver met all of my expectations and I was very satisfied with how it turned out. To me personally I would definitely go with this one over last year, but let it be known last year was amazing as well!
Josh: TakeOver definitely lived up to expectations, but I would not say it’s better than last year. This year had a very strong card with one particularly glorious debut, but the majestic nature of last year’s Bayley vs Sasha Banks match far exceeds this card. It’s close, but last year beats it by a nose.
3) Finn Balor is out for at least six months with a torn labrum, he’s relinquished the Universal title, what’s Raw going to do without Balor holding the championship?
Corey: Finn having to drop the title right after winning hurt my heart. I was beyond excited for his win. Hopefully he returns soon and in best case scenario ends up being Number 30 in the Royal Rumble. I would bet money though that Seth Rollins is going to end up the next champion which I have no problem with.
Josh: Balor’s injury is a serious blow to the Raw brand. Hopefully he recovers quickly and can get back healthy without missing too much time. With Balor’s absence it’s probably the right move to turn to Rollins for another lengthy title reign. It’d be great to see him work a program with Sami Zayn, their match on Raw was great and I could definitely go for more of that.
4) Smackdown debuted two new championships, an exclusive woman’s and tag team titles, what are your early impressions and who should be the first to hold these new titles?
Corey: Becky Lynch should definitely be the first woman’s champion for Smackdown without a doubt. As for the tag titles I definitely think the Usos are going to get it, but I’m not exactly too excited about that. Their gimmick has gotten stale but at the same time the SmackDown tag division isn’t all that deep so hopefully more teams will debut soon.
Josh: So we’re going with color coordinated championships? I understand it’s not easy to design a title belt, you can look at the work people do in the WWE 2K games and know it’s not easy to make one look good, but come on guys! If we’re doing separate brands with separate titles then let’s make these things actually look different. Also, what happens if you’re color blind? Lynch is probably the overwhelming favorite to be the first holder of the title, but I’d rather see someone like Natalya hold it first. Good heel champion with Lynch or the returning Nikki Bella chasing makes for a solid storyline for a brand new title. Similar to Corey I’d like to see the Usos take it and turn heel by cheating to win over American Alpha.
5) Speaking of champions, what’s your reaction to the promo the Miz cut on Talking Smack (Smackdown’s after-show)?
Corey: The Miz’s promo was PERFECT. He showed that he can work a mic with the best. Watching it I had a hard time telling if it was planned or if Miz was actually mad at Daniel Bryan and was genuinely voicing how he felt, which is exactly what you want from a promo so kudos to The Miz.
Josh: Miz’s promo was sheer gold. What’s most striking at the promo is that no part of it was untrue. Miz skirted that perfect line of where reality and script blend to the point of us actually questioning whether it was real or not. I loved it. Miz is arguably the biggest heel on either brand simply because he’s hated by everyone. His work since Maryse has joined him is suberb, and the Miz is also probably the most underrated talent on the roster. Dude performs and gets over. Are we ready for another run with Miz as the top heel champion? I think we are!
It’s the tirade that everyone is talking about, and also made Talking Smack must watch television.
Other Random Thoughts
-The LED ring posts are kind of amazing, I need these as a permanent fixture.
-That Titus O’Neil promo was rough, this storyline with Darren Young is rough, 67-year old Bob Backlund taking a body slam was rough. I’m going to need them to smooth out this middle section of Raw.
-I need the cruiserweights to arrive before September because they are killing it right now and I need to see them on the big stage.
-Gotta agree with Josh here. The Titus O’Neil promo needed work as well as whatever they are doing with Darren Young/Bob Backlund.
-I love the interactions with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
-I doubt I’m the only one, but I cannot wait until they have Asuka vs Ember Moon.
-Another thing I gotta agree with Josh on is I’m ready for the cruiserweights to come to the main roster. I think an hour of cruiserweights on tv will make the three-hour show flow much more smoothly.