Three nights in Brooklyn, and the WWE sold out each show. And each night, the fans got a good show, whether it was NXT TakeOver, SummerSlam, or Monday Night Raw.
====NXT TAKEOVER RESULTS (Saturday)
This would be the bigger crowd an NXT event has ever had, so how did they do?
JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER def. TYLER BREEZE – Liger had a decent run in WCW in the 1990’s, but his main career has been in Japan. It was interesting that the 50-year-old wrestler finally made his WWE debut and did so on an NXT special. Liger’s still got it. It was a high-energy high-spot affair. Liger got the victory, but once again, Breeze proved he should be on the main roster already.
==NXT Tag-Title Match==
THE VAUDEVILLAINS def. BLAKE & MURPHY (c) – The face-turns of Aiden English and Simon Gotch have thus far been successful, and it’ce nice that they now have a female valet in Leva “Blue Pants” Bates to counter anything Alexa Bliss may do. I think they would have been better off having Enzo & Cass winning the titles, especially in Brooklyn, but BAM had a good run, and the Vaudevillains have a fun gimmick that apparently transfers just fine to large arenas. (Would recommend Bates try adding a Mae West or Betty Boop flavor to her character.)
SAMOA JOE def. BARON CORBIN – Hard-hitting match that was a good showing by Joe, and easily the best of Baron’s career. It says something that he was able to step up his game on the big stage. His heel turn is working out for him.
==NXT Women’s Title Match==
BAYLEY def. SASHA BANKS (c) – Another near-classic. Banks is at the top of her game, and Bayley’s improved to the point she deserves to be part of the Four Horsewomen.
==NXT Championship Ladder Match==
FINN BALOR (c) def. KEVIN OWENS – These guys took some hard hits, but the match was clinched when Balor hit the coup de gras (double foot-stomp to the chest) from the top of the ladder. Can’t imagine letting a 210-pound man jump from fifteen feet to land squarely on my chest. Great showing for both of them. They set the bar high for the main roster to follow.
====WWE SUMMERSLAM RESULTS (Sunday)
SHEAMUS def. RANDY ORTON – I might think I didn’t want to see this match, but they won the crowd over with a solid, wellpaced match, and a nice ending with Sheamus hitting two straight Brogue kicks to get the victory.
==Fatal 4-Way Tag-Title Match==
NEW DAY def. PRIME TIME PLAYERS (c), LUCHA DRAGONS & LOS MATADORES – This was a fun, high-flying fast-paced match. Ever since New Day turned heel, crowds love them. And as lame as Los Matadores’ gimmick is, they can keep up with any other team in the WWE. Everyone had their spots. Xavier Woods was entertaining with all his shouting at ringside. Thrilled that New Day won the belts.
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. RUSEV ends in Double Count-Out – This has been one awkwardly built feud. First Rusev gets injured, but Dolph was scheduled to film a movie so they wrote him off with an injury storyline as soon as Rusev returned. There’s more interest in the Lana v. Summer Rae sideplot, but the big question is if Lana can actually work a match.
NEVILLE & STEPHEN AMELL def. STARDUST & KING BARRETT – For a celebrity, Stephen Amell (star of CW’s Arrow and the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel) looked pretty good in the ring. They played up the comic-book aspect to the match, and so it was the right amount of time, and an entertaining bout.
==InterContinental Title Triple-Threat Match==
RYBACK (c) def. BIG SHOW & THE MIZ – This felt like a match they needed to just get out of the way, but I really how Miz played the opportunist and kept trying to sneak in pins while Ryback and Show were hitting all the moves.
ROMAN REIGNS & DEAN AMBROSE def. BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER – The crowd dumoed all over Reigns, but he didn’t deserve it. Good showing from all four. At the time, I wasn’t sure what this match really meant, but that would be answered the next night on Raw.
==WWE & US Title vs. Title Match==
SETH ROLLINS def. JOHN CENA – Terrific showing from Seth Rollins. He may be the best all-around performer in the WWE. Cena was good at his stuff (although that springboard stunner is not improving), and while the ending was silly (Jon Stewart interferes to give Rollins the win), I was just glad Seth was able to get both belts. Now it’s a question of which one does he drop first?
==Elimination Triple-Threat Tag Match==
TEAM P.C.B. def. TEAM BELLA & TEAM B.A.D. – Nine Divas competed, and it was good, but the storytelling is missing. What are the stakes of this match? Best spot was Alicia and Charlotte kicking each other in the face at the same time.
KEVIN OWENS def. CESARO – This was a smark dream match. I love that they got the penultimate spot. I love how well they worked with each other. These two could feud for months, and I’d be happy. Give one of them a title to add to the stakes!
UNDERTAKER def. BROCK LESNAR – Their match at WM30 was a bit off since Taker was concussed five minutes into it and Brock had to carry them most of the way. This rematch was much better and worth the wait. The 50-year-old Undertaker still knows how to perform, and Lesnar’s the most exciting thing going in WWE (when he actually wrestles). The ending was screwy, but after thinking about it, it actually works for the story. Taker got his win, but Lesnar passing out protects him, and whenever they have their winner-take-all third match, presumably at WM32, anticipation will be at an all-time high.
There were many cool developments on Raw. The Raw after WrestleMania is always special, and now that SummerSlam is four hours, WWE made sure the Raw after SummerSlam was special. Not only did Sting return and put himself in the WHC Title scene, but the Dudley Boys returned to put themselves in the Tag-Team Title scene, and the Wyatts got a new family member who did not disappoint. Braun Stroman was an NXT worker who’d only appeared on TV thus far as a Rosebud in Adam Rose’s train. (Simon Gotch started as a Rosebud too.) Now he’s jumped straight to the main roster, and he is an impressive beastly specimen.
Also this week we saw the season finale of Tough Enough. Sara Lee and Josh the Yeti were the two winners.
1. The Divas Revolution is getting stalled by bad booking, and I put that squarely on the decision to keep the Divas title on the waist of Nikki Bella (John Cena’s girlfriend) so she can break the longest-reign record by AJ Lee (CM Punk’s wife). They’re trying to distract people with a lot of tag matches, but longer matches don’t translate into more investment from the audience if they know all these tag matches are delaying the inevitable. The women need their own stories, and their own singles matches. If they want factions, fine, but what do they really mean at this point?
2. I’m suddenly very intrigued by the Wyatt Family/Shield feud. The Wyatts are back up to three, and they’ll be at four once Erick Rowan comes back. Who are the Shield going to enlist? Survivor Series isn’t until November, but I expect that by Night of Champions, Reigns & Ambrose will have found a third guy to help them out. Or maybe they’ll wait until there’s four Wyatts and they enlist the Usos. I woukd think the best third guy would be Samoa Joe or a face Baron Corbin.
3. John Cena’s behavior on Raw was the most heelish he’s been thus far. He gave an AA to a 52-year-old celebrity who was in the middle of apologizing for costing him a match. And Ric Flair just stood there with a smirk, making no attempt to save Jon Stewart, who said he’d been motivated so that no one would break Ric Flair’s record. Just another sign that Cena is Hulk Hogan. Hogan did heelish things for years before he ever actually turned heel in WCW.