TV Reviews

WWE SummerSlam 2018 – Wrestling Review


Goddamn, Ronda Rousey is brilliant at this pro wrestling malarkey!  I hear all of the naysayers’ complaints: this was only her fourth match, she’s been with the company for all of four months, she’s leapfrogged all of the more deserving women who have been busting their asses in midcard hell for an eternity, she’s effectively been shown to be invincible, she made the previous head of the RAW Women’s Division look like an ineffectual joke, etc. etc.  I hear them and I understand them.  But, right now, Rousey is absolutely killing to such an insane degree that I’d be singling her out for praise even if she were a homegrown talent, and WWE are booking her perfectly.  I mean, yeah, they are trying their absolute hardest to sour me on her regardless, with literally everybody on the show fawning over her regardless of whether it makes sense for them to do so, but right now Rousey is too good at this to let it drag her down.

Rousey just seems to get pro wrestling.  She gets how to carry herself in the ring, she gets her character (at least until the second bell rings but she can work on that), she gets how to work a crowd, she throws around so much brilliant trash-talk that it’s even covering up for blatant spot-calling because it works for the character – side note: fire Jonathan Coachman and do so yesterday, HOLY SHIT.  She’s got the It factor that you simply cannot teach and if she keeps at this, if she keeps making strides in the ring, if she does a better job at making her Armbar finish not look kind of weaksauce, if she wrestles pretty much every week, and if she ever, god willing, turns heel, I sincerely believe she could become one of the all-time greats in the WWE.  Really.

Her “match” with Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship was exactly what it needed to be given that Bliss is a snivelling heel that has held her division hostage for well over a year, systematically burying everybody except her in the process, and Rousey can both kayfabe and shoot grind her into a fine paste should Rousey so much as breathe on her.  It was what it was and what it was was extremely satisfying.  I am down for champ Ronda so long as we start getting frequent high-quality matches with deserving talents like Sasha Banks and Ember Moon that make everybody look good, and so long as we don’t take an additional 10 minutes out of every Rousey segment to make her the WWE equivalent of Mr. Poopy Butthole.

Rusev Day (Rusev & Lana) vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak – Cruiserweight Championship
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) – RAW Tag Team Championship
Dolph Ziggler (c) w/Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E w/Kofi Kingston) – SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens – if Braun loses in any capacity, Kevin wins Braun’s Money in the Bank contract
Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair – Triple Threat for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
Finn Bálor vs. Constable Corbin
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy – United States Championship
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey – RAW Women’s Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Championship

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