The weekend finished in a big way on the WWE Network. SummerSlam, the four hour extravaganza had a lot of hype and a lot of viewers with many talking points coming from the show. Then on Monday we had the usual RAW Pre-Show and even a brief post-show with an announcement that is big news for September’s pay-per-view, Night of Champions.
Big talking points out of Summerslam include some of the programs that will be on the Network this fall. Unfortunately, it was announced that Swerved will air its final episodes. It is disappointing to see the rumors of the show’s cancellation turn out to be true, but it isn’t entirely shocking. Beyond more Swerved episodes, WWE will be introducing a new series called “Breaking Ground”, which will follow NXT trainees and their triumphs and struggles as they try to reach the top.
Beyond that, we know some upcoming specials. WWE 24 returns with a look at NXT. The Stone Cold Podcast returns in less than two weeks with Hall of Famer Edge alongside former World Champion, Christian. The legendary tag team will be the first duo to be on the Network version of the show. Lastly, WWE announced another live special similar to their Tokyo one, this time from the legendary Madison Square Garden. And once again, Brock Lesnar will be live and in action.
If you missed it, check out the trailer below:
Lots of intrigue with these upcoming shows, but for now let’s look at what has been added recently instead of what’s to come:
The RAW Pre-Show hit the WWE Network once again and as usual it was more entertaining than people give it credit for. The usual panel of Scott Stanford, David Otunga, and Corey Graves were fired up more than normal after the big weekend and they had a lot to say.
The show didn’t have a call in interview this week, but what they did have was the WWE timekeeper, Berkley Ottman (son of WWE Legend, Typhoon/Tugboat) who had a rather controversial night at SummerSlam gave his insight on what happened before the three hosts discussed it further — but hey, at least he didn’t fall through a wall! 😉 Additionally we had more fallout from the weekend and basic previews for the upcoming show. The RAW Pre-Show is never “must see” but it’s a fun show that I feel like gets overlooked too often so give it a shot this week.
» Verdict: Give it a chance.
Immediately following RAW, right before the latest Swerved debuted, the Network presented Triple H’s Night of Champions Exclusive. All this happened to be was JBL, Michael Cole, and Byron Saxton going over the events at the end of RAW before an exclusive interview with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Seth Rollins where the Night of Champions main event was announced. This is only about three minutes and not must-see, but if you don’t know what the match is it may be worth checking out.
» Verdict: Skip it (if you’ve heard the news already).
The latest Swerved was a mixed bag. I thought some of the skits were entertaining, specifically the ones that featured a father and son duo being crass towards the divas. On the other hand, some of the skits just weren’t to my taste. I’m not particularly fond of spiders, so that bit didn’t do it for me. I also thought the 3D snot bit was iffy, although not too bad.
The pregnant lady in the gym scene will probably be the most memorable and controversial. Some will find it in bad taste, while others will enjoy it. It’s difficult to go too much into it without spoiling it, so the best recommendation I can make is to watch it and come to your own conclusion. Oh, and Dave England of Jackass fame does a skit with Hornswoggle.
» Verdict: Watch it.
With SummerSlam being four hours long this year, the SummerSlam Kickoff didn’t have a single match on it. So right before I get into it further, it is completely skippable. With that being said, the show was still fun live. Getting hyped for the event, we had the analysis from Renee Young, Booker T, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves as they broke down the matches and gave their sometimes controversial take on them.
Booker T’s take, however, wasn’t accepted like most. Instead Kevin Owens interrupted to give Booker and the panel a piece of his mind. I enjoyed this because Owen’s character has pretty much argued with the commentators both on NXT and the main roster since his debut. Character work is always a plus, especially on a show that is just there to build hype. Decent enough pre-show, but not worth going out of your way to see.
» Verdict: Skip it.
Oh boy. SummerSlam is going to be one of those shows that is well remembered for completely different reasons based on the individual. Some loved it, some hated it. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the show yet, but we have a more in-depth review of the show here. Personally though, I thought the show mostly delivered. I think I may have had my expectations a little bit higher than what many of the matches met, but they weren’t far off and pretty much everything was good. In particular, I thought the main event told a fantastic story.
The biggest criticisms of the show seem to be based on the booking decisions and not so much the in-ring work, and I can certainly understand some of the complaints, but with that said I still really liked the show. I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t already seen it, and for those who have, it’s good enough for a re-watch.
– Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
– WWE Tag Team Championship: The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego, with El Torito) vs. New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E, with Xavier Woods)
– Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae)
– King Barrett and Stardust vs. Neville and Stephen Amell
– Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. The Miz vs. The Big Show
– Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper)
– WWE World Heavyweight and United States Championship: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
– Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, & Becky Lynch) vs. Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, & Sasha Banks) vs. Team Bella (Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, & Alicia Fox)
– Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
– Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker
» Verdict: Watch it.
This episode of SmackDown was a good one. The show is dominated by some of the most talented people on the roster, and certainly some of my favorites. The main event was, as you would expect, quite good, along with the story of Cesaro and Kevin Owens occurring throughout the night. The show isn’t quite good enough to warrant a re-watch so soon, but if you haven’t seen the episode already it is a worthwhile viewing.
– Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
– Neville vs. Adam Rose
– Rusev (with Summer Rae) vs. Kevin Owens
– Team Bella (Nikki Bella & Brie Bella, with Alicia Fox) vs. Team BAD (Naomi & Sasha Banks, with Tamina)
– Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
» Verdict: Skip it (unless you missed it originally).
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