WWE SummerSlam 2019 Recap
A.K.A The One Where All Of The Champions Retained Except Brock
The second biggest pay-per-view show of the calendar year is live from Toronto and features a 12-match card that doesn’t seem as bad on paper as the build has been. With Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins likely to main event the show, it could either be a dud or one of the best PPVs of the year. None of the three tag team titles nor the intercontinental championship will be defended on the show, which boasts a pair of Hall of Fame legends to help fuel the anticipation as Trish Stratus faces Charlotte Flair and Goldberg takes on Dolph Ziggler.
The card also features the in-ring debut of Bray Wyatt’s new character, The Fiend, when he squares off against Finn Balor. Kofi Kingston defends the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in a match that is very personal for Kofi. Stone Cold Kevin Owens looks to vanquish the dastardly McMahon when he takes on Shane McMahon with his job on the line. All of that and so much more on SummerSlam 2019.
- Drew Gulak (c) def. Oney Lorcan to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
- Buddy Murphy def. Apollo Crews via DQ
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (c) def. The IIconics to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships
- Becky Lynch (c) def. Natalya to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
- Goldberg def. Dolph Ziggler
- AJ Styles (c) def. Ricochet to retain the United States Championship
- Bayley (c) def. Ember Moon to retain the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship
- Kevin Owens def. Shane McMahon
- Charlotte def. Trish Stratus
- Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton ended in double countout for the WWE Championship
- “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt def. Finn Balor
- Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar (c) to win the Universal Championship
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Match of the Night: Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar
This is a controversial pick and I know it. But it’s my review, so be happy I didn’t add Pete Dunne.
AJ Styles and Ricochet had an incredible match. Charlotte and Trish Stratus showed how awesome women’s wrestling really is. However this match just felt special. In the predictions, I talked about how sick I grew of Seth Rollins during his title reign. I don’t know how, but he won me over again.
This match was hot from beginning to end. This match was Brock’s Magnum Opus when it came to his selling. From the initial flurry of offense to the final Curb Stomp and pin, Lesnar was selling the offense like death. It was like the Wrestlemania match he had against Goldberg at Wrestlemania 33, but even more chaotic and just plain fun.
— WWE (@WWE) August 12, 2019
This match wasn’t a technical masterpiece nor did it have the significance of other matches on the card but when I think back on SummerSlam 2019, this match will be the one that I think of in remembrance. That image of the crowd exploding in shock and excitement when Lesnar’s shoulders didn’t come off the mat and Rollins was now the new Universal Champion. Well done, guys. Well done.
The Fiend Is The Best
Bray Wyatt had his first match since his repackaging against Finn Balor and absolutely dominated, winning via pinfall after knocking out Balor with the Mandible Claw.
“The Fiend” came out with the absolute best entrance in WWE history aside from The Undertaker. It was a darker, more distorted version of his old entrance music that sounded amazing. He also came out with his lantern but instead of a typical lantern, it was a fake Bray Wyatt head in the design of his old character with the mouth wide open and a light shining through.
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The match was quick and basically a squash match but it felt like a spectacle. Wyatt looked absolutely amazing and this character is going to lead him to superstardom.
Stone Cold Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was a mega-star with this Toronto crowd. He came out and it was like Stone Cold Steve Austin himself was coming out to open up a can of whoop-ass. Owens was finally insanely over as a babyface and I’m excited to see how WWE books him moving forward now that he vanquished of Dictator Shane McMahon.
The match wasn’t great by any means and it was more about storytelling than anything, but just the sheer magnitude of the stardom of Kevin Owens was enough to earn him this spot. Also, I’m going to say it: Kevin Owens has a better looking Stunner than Stone Cold Steve Austin.
— WWE (@WWE) August 12, 2019
One Of The Best Finishes In Wrestling History
AJ Styles and Ricochet had an incredible match where they pulled out one of my favorite finishes of all time. Way back in the annals of TNA, Styles had a match against Low Ki that ended when Low Ki attempted a Phoenix Splash and Styles caught him in mid-air and turned it into a Styles Clash for the win. It is one of the best things ever and Ricochet and Styles did it here on the second biggest show of the year.
— WWE (@WWE) August 12, 2019
Ricochet was clad in a Nightwing inspired suit that was pretty badass and he was flying around like he didn’t believe in gravity. I am not at all upset with Styles retaining, as I believe that he has a better future with the championship following this show. Ricochet impressed greatly, however, so don’t expect him to necessarily get lost in the shuffle moving forward. Overall, these two put on a fantastic performance for everyone watching.
SummerSlam was never going to top the amazing show that was NXT Takeover: Toronto. It got pretty freakin’ close though. All hype and reputation aside, the two shows were really awesome and SummerSlam far surpassed the lukewarm expectations that the show had going into the event. It boasted three incredible matches in Styles vs. Ricochet, Charlotte vs. Trish Stratus, and Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar. It also had a lot of fun moments like “The Fiend” debuting and Kevin Owens just looking like 2019 Stone Cold. Also, that match between Becky Lynch and Natalya was really good and surpassed my own expectations for it. I loved SummerSlam 2019 and it definitely deserves the high grade. Class dismissed.
One More Thing:
Say whatever you want to say about the women of WWE today but Trish Stratus is still the GOAT. She put on one of the best performances of her career in her match against Charlotte Flair and she is well over a decade past her prime. She came out and worked an incredibly fun match that was every bit as awesome and exciting as you would expect from these two. Trish kept up with everything Charlotte did and the two just meshed together so well. Bravo, Trish. Bravo.
Javier Melo is a writer of Pro Wrestling for Full Press Coverage and an Assistant Sports Editor for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. Follow Javier @JMeloSports on Twitter.