Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: August 21, 2021
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole, Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
It’s time for one of the biggest Summerslams ever, as this is the first major event after the attendance restrictions were lifted after the Coronavirus pandemic. They need a major main event to make that work and that is what they have with John Cena challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Title. Other than that, we have Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg for the WWE Title because we must have Goldberg. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Big E. vs. Baron Corbin
Baron’s Happy days weren’t here yet. Some woman from Tik Tok is a guest ring announcer and Big E. doesn’t have his Money In The Bank briefcase as Corbin stole it from him. The rather sad Corbin clutches the briefcase and gets belly to belly suplexed to start. Big E. misses the apron splash though and Corbin is thrilled with the idea of winning via countout.
That doesn’t work so Corbin sends him into the post a few times, setting up the chinlock to keep Big E. down. A chokeslam is countered into a stretch muffler of all things but Corbin slips out and hits Deep Six for two. Corbin heads outside to grab the briefcase, earning himself a ram into the barricade. Back in and the Big Ending is good enough to finish Corbin at 6:31.
Rating: C. Set up a quick story on TV and then pay it off with a fast match here. That’s all you need to do for a Kickoff Show match and seeing the horrible loser take another loss will always work. Things would get better for Corbin soon, while Big E. would wind up having a pretty lame WWE Title reign, though at least he got there.
We’re in Las Vegas so the opening video has a poker theme, which lasts all of a few moments before going into the look at the matches, as expected. Also as expected, John Cena vs. Roman reigns feels way bigger than anything else.
Those stadium shows always look awesome and that is the case again here.
Raw Tag Team Titles: RKBro vs. AJ Styles/Omos
RKBro is challenging after reuniting last week to go after the titles. Orton and Styles start (not a bad choice) with Orton sending him flying with an early suplex. It’s off to Riddle so Styles bails to the floor and assaults the announcers’ table. Back in and Styles hands it off to Omos for the big slam on Riddle. Styles puts the chinlock on but Riddle elbows his way out of the fireman’s carry. That lets Riddle hit a running knee on Omos but Styles is there to cut off a diving tag to Orton.
The comeback is on, including a backdrop to Styles and forearms to Omos. Orton powerslams Styles and, after knocking Omos off the apron, hits the hanging DDT. Omos saves Styles from the RKO though and then chokeslams Riddle onto the apron. Riddle is back up with a posting for Omos but Styles is back with a moonsault from the apron into a reverse DDT to drop Riddle hard. Back in and Styles blocks the RKO, only to get caught with the second attempt to give Orton the pin and the titles at 7:05.
Rating: C+. The match wasn’t quite a classic but it makes perfect sense to put this on first. The fans loved RKBro and letting them have their big win was going to get the show started in the right direction. Styles and Omos were fine for a pretty nice title reign, but you’re only going to get so much out of that. Good choice for the opener here and Orton getting some focus is almost always a good thing.
Riddle being so freaking happy over the win is a great thing.
We recap Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie, which is over Bliss’ doll Lillie being all evil. Eva wanted Doudrop to go after Bliss but she was scared of the doll, meaning Eva and Doudrop aren’t in a great place coming in.
Eva Marie vs. Alexa Bliss
Doudrop is here with Marie. Sign in the crowd: “Eva Marie is worse than an airport tuna sandwich.” Points for creative, which cancels out the negative points for the massive CGI Lillie doll. During the entrance, we get a quick look at Lillie being able to sit up and wink, because of course she can. Bliss dodges a few charges to start and Eva falls out to the floor.
Back in and Bliss elbows her in the face as they’re going in very slow motion to start. Eva gets in a few shots but stops to slap Lillie, who she also uses to slap Bliss. That’s enough to send Bliss into a rage for some bad right hands, setting up a flipping splash for two. Doudrop insists that she believe in Eva as Lillie is sat back on top. Bliss sends her into the corner but misses Twisted Bliss to give Eva two. Back up and Bliss hits a DDT (which Marie falls too soon on) for the pin at 3:50. Doudrop seems well pleased.
Rating: D-. This was one of those matches that would have felt like a bad filler on Raw, let alone getting time on one of the biggest shows of the year. Eva was brought back in for star power but then she has a match like this and so much of it is dropped out the window. Bliss was better, but the Lillie stuff was killing her and that was getting more and more obvious every week.
Post match Doudrop makes sure to announce Eva as the loser of the match.
Mario Lopez, in a swank Hart Foundation shirt, brings in RKBro with Randy Orton promising that it is going to be smooths ailing for the team going forward. He’s still getting used to the Bro name though. Riddle has a surprise for him on Raw too, which would wind up being a scooter (with tassels).
United States Title: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest
Priest is challenging after beating Sheamus in a non-title match, where he re-injured Sheamus’ nose (hence a protective mask). Sheamus headlocks him down to start before switching into a hammerlock. Back up and Priest rocks him with a right hand before muscling him up for the Broken Arrow. Sheamus is sent outside so there’s the running step up flip dive to take him out again.
Priest’s spin kick is countered and he gets sent hard into the post, meaning it’s time to slow down a bit. A belly to back suplex sets up a chinlock but Priest is right back up. That works for Sheamus, who plants him with the Irish Curse and stops to pose. Priest powers out of another chinlock and hurricanranas his way out of a powerbomb, only to get powerslammed for two more.
Back up and Sheamus stops to check his hair, allowing Priest to get in a running tornado DDT but his back seems to be flaring up. The back is fine enough to hit a top rope spinwheel kick but Sheamus snaps him throat first across the top to break up a…..something. A top rope clothesline into an Alabama Slam gives Sheamus two and frustration is setting in.
The Brogue Kick is countered with a kick to the head though and Priest grabs South Of Heaven for two more. Sheamus knees him out of the air for two of his own and it’s off to a heel hook of all things. Priest fights up and rips off the mask, allowing him to hammer away. A kick to the face sets up the Reckoning to give Priest the pin and the title at 13:49.
Rating: B-. That’s the kind of big time fight that you need to have in a spot like this and they did the right thing with the ending. Priest took every big thing that Sheamus had and then won clean with his finisher. WWE set Priest up in the last few months and then paid him off with a win here, which is what you’re supposed to do. Nicely done.
We recap Dominik Mysterio causing issues for his dad, because they have literally been teasing this split for over a year now.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Mysterios
The Usos are defending. Rey hammers on Jimmy to start but it’s too early for the 619. The Usos are both sent outside with Rey hitting the sliding splash, followed by a springboard dive from Dominik. Dominik comes in for Three Amigos to Jimmy but Jey breaks up the frog splash with a shove out to the floor. The top rope Demolition Decapitator hits Dominik for no cover and Jimmy adds a running headbutt for two.
Dominik tries to fight out of the corner and gets BLASTED with an uppercut to drop him again. Jey hits Two Amigos and stops to pose before shouting some Spanish. A neckbreaker gets Dominik out of trouble though and there’s the hot tag to Mysterio to start cleaning house.
The tornado DDT gets two on Jimmy and the top rope seated senton puts him down again. Everything breaks down and it’s a superkick into the Superfly Splash for two on Rey. Dominik is back in and gets dropped on the apron like the schmuck that he is. Jimmy misses another Superfly Splash but he raises his knees to block a frog splash. The double superkick sets up the Superfly Splash to retain the titles at 10:48.
Rating: C+. The Usos and Rey managed to overcome Dominik’s extreme level of bleh to have a decent match. The Usos are able to have a pretty good match against anyone and that is what they did again here. It’s a rematch from another recent title change so there was only so much interest, but that has been the chance for either Tag Team Titles for years now.
Actress Tiffany Haddish introduces the new National Champion Damian Priest, who doesn’t like bullies. He likes being the UNITED STATES Champion though.
Rick Boogs plays new Intercontinental Champion Rick Boogs to the ring, allowing Pat McAfee to dance on the announcers’ table.
We recap Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the latter’s Smackdown Women’s Title. Belair beat her at Wrestlemania to win the title so Banks left (as she does) and then came back for a rematch. However, there were rumors that Banks wasn’t cleared to wrestle so things might be up in the air.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
Hold on though as Banks isn’t cleared to compete (right) so we have a replacement.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella
Belair is….hang on a second.
BECKY LYNCH IS BACK beats the heck out of Carmella, meaning we have a replacement (again).
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
Belair is defending and it’s a right hand into the Manhandle Slam to make Lynch champion at 25 seconds.
And for those you keeping track, had it been Banks vs. Belair, it would indeed be the same story for Belair at back to back Summerslams.
WWE is going back to Saudi Arabia and yes, it’s amazing, mainly because they’ve been well paid to say so.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Gable Steveson, Olympic gold medal winners in wrestling, are here for a nice presentation.
We get the same WWE Shop commercial for the third time in less than two hours.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal cost Drew Money in the Bank so tonight it’s about revenge with Mahal’s goons barred from ringside. McIntyre drives him into the corner to start and hits a quick clothesline, followed by the toss suplex. A trip to the floor goes badly for Mahal as well, so McIntyre throws him back inside for some begging. Mahal brings up their previous friendship before getting in a superkick for two. The chinlock doesn’t do much to McIntyre so it’s the Glasgow Kiss into a series of overhead belly to belly suplexes. The Futureshock into the Claymore finishes Mahal at 4:36.
Rating: D+. Yeah what were you expecting here? Mahal has long since stopped meaning anything so having McIntyre beat him without much trouble was the only way to go. That’s what they did here and it was a fine way to go, albeit in a bad match. You can only get so much out of a match that is this one sided though and that’s what brought this down.
Post match Veer and Shanky come to the ring to go after McIntyre, who chases them off with the sword.
We recap the Raw Women’s Title match, with new champion Nikki Ash defending against Charlotte and Rhea Ripley. Nikki cashed in Money in the Bank on Charlotte, who had been beaten down by Ripley. Tonight it’s time to crush Nikki once and for all, because she has been treated like a loser since she won the title in the first place, because A, Charlotte and B, it’s a really stupid gimmick.
Raw Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki Ash
Nikki is defending and, after some Big Match Intros, gets shoved down by Charlotte to start. The monkey flip takes Charlotte down and a rollup gets two on Ripley. Back up and Charlotte tosses Nikki out, leaving Ripley to shoulder Charlotte into the corner. Nikki comes back in so Charlotte can beat up both of them at once, including slamming Ash onto Ripley for the double stack.
The moonsault hits Ripley’s raised boot though, leaving Nikki to counter Riptide into a crossbody for two. Charlotte and Ripley mess up something so Charlotte hits a big boot for two of her own. Nikki is sent outside and another big boot sends Ripley outside. A tornado DDT drops Charlotte to give Nikki two but Ripley is back in to German suplex both of them at once.
Ripley’s missile dropkick gets two on Charlotte, leaving Ripley with the stunned kickout face. Charlotte and Ripley brawl to the floor for the slugout until Nikki dives onto both of them for no reaction. Back in and Ripley and Ash go for a double suplex on Charlotte, who counters into a double DDT, then knocks them both outside (because of course she does). Charlotte corkscrew moonsaults onto both of them, with Ash being driven HARD into the barricade.
Ripley finally gets in a big boot on Charlotte and Prism Traps Nikki, only to have Charlotte break it up again. The Prism Trap to Charlotte is countered into the Figure Eight but Nikki dives off the top for the save. Nikki hits the Reckoning for two on Charlotte with Ripley making a save this time. The Riptide is countered into a DDT to send Ripley outside and this isn’t looking good for Nikki. A high crossbody misses for Nikki and Charlotte grabs the Figure Eight to get the title back at 13:03.
Rating: C+. While it’s an entertaining match, this made me mad last year and it’s doing it again here. Nikki might as well have been a lamb led to the slaughter here, as Ripley looks like a killer and Charlotte looks like a star, while Nikki looks like a mascot of a low rent kids’ birthday party place. Throw in Charlotte being booked like a train here and then getting Nikki to tap in the end and this was ALL about Charlotte, as is far too often the case anytime she’s around. Nikki being called ALMOST A Superhero was bad enough, but then she’s just a meal for Charlotte, like so many others have been over the years.
We recap Seth Rollins vs. Edge. Rollins cost Edge the universal Title against Roman Reigns last month, which is apparently tied to a moment in 2014, when the Shield teased attacking Edge and almost wiped him out. Now Edge knows that if Rollins hits the Curb Stomp, his career is probably over. I’m not sure how good of a feud it was, but Edge facing someone new is a fun thing to see.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
I almost didn’t recognize Rollins without his Freakin. Edge comes out with a hybrid Brood/Metalingus theme for a pretty awesome moment. Feeling out process to start with Edge grabbing a headlock and then knocking Rollins to the floor for some frustration. Back in and Rollins forearms away but gets backdropped right back over the top for a crash. Edge sends him back inside and then outside again but this time Rollins drives him into the post.
A trip into the steps makes it worse and Rollins grabs a neckbreaker for two back inside. Rollins hits a Sling Blade but Edge is smart enough to go to the ropes before the Stomp can launch. Yet another neckbreaker is countered though and Edge grabs a flapjack for a breather. Rollins is able to knock him off the top, setting up a heck of a frog splash for two. Another Stomp attempt is avoided so they go up top at the same time, with Edge grabbing a super swinging neckbreaker (which would seem to hurt them both equally).
It’s Edge up first with a big boot and the Edgecution for two, leaving him a bit frustrated this time. The Edge-O-Matic is good for the same but Rollins suplexes him down. Another Stomp misses so Edge grabs a Glam Slam for two (nice touch). Edge has to avoid another Stomp and sends Rollins into the post, setting up a spear through the ropes and out to the floor for the crash.
Rollins is driven into the apron and the screen (because there’s a screen) is knocked out to give Edge two more. The spear is countered into the Pedigree (how Rollins beat Roman Reigns one day) for another near fall, meaning it’s Rollins being stunned this time. With nothing on the ground working, Rollins goes up top for the Phoenix splash, only to get speared down for another near fall.
With nothing else working, Rollins just hits him in the back of the neck, setting up a basement superkick to the back of the head. Rollins goes for the Stomp yet again but gets reversed into the Edgecator of all things, with Edge letting go to switch into the Crossface. Edge rams him face first into the mat and makes it a Crossface sleeper for the tap at 21:14.
Rating: B. They beat each other up for a long time until Edge got him in the end. The story here centered around the Stomp and it was a logical way to go given the buildup from that 2014 segment. That being said, going off a segment from seven years ago that wasn’t so interesting in the first place and it was a weird build to get there. Good match, but the road there could have been better.
Money In The Bank is in a football stadium next year. Gee that’s a quick turnaround for the same stadium but I’m sure nothing will go wrong.
Tonight’s attendance of 51,326 is officially announced.
Earlier tonight, John Morrison and Miz drove a water truck into the stadium.
Here are Miz and John Morrison for a chat. They’re ready to soak everyone….but Morrison has forgotten the Drip Stick 2000s. Miz doesn’t have them either, so here is Xavier Woods with the Drip Stick 2000 (a water cannon with a water tank attached). Woods is told he’s outnumbered but he does a survey (as part of his weird NWO tribute phase) and then sprays both of them down. And that’s it, as the crowd was SILENT during this.
We recap Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley for the WWE Title. Goldberg showed up as a challenger (as he tends to do) and the match was made, but then Lashley and MVP went after Goldberg’s son Gage (who looked like he would rather be having his teeth pulled out than be here) to make it personal. In other words, it’s a battle of the spears because WWE thinks that is the most amazing idea ever.
Raw World Title: Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley, with MVP, is defending. After the Big Match Intros, they go with the power off to start, with Goldberg hitting a flying shoulder and a World’s Strongest Slam. Back up and Lashley knocks him down with a hard shot of his own. Neither can hit a Jackhammer though so Lashley gets in some shots to the back of the neck. For some reason Lashley goes up top but gets slammed down, meaning MVP needs to offer a distraction.
That’s fine with Goldberg, who hits the spear on the floor to rock Lashley again. With nothing else working, MVP hits Goldberg in the knee with his cane, allowing Lashley to hit a chop block. A spinebuster puts Goldberg down again and he rolls outside for a rather out of character move. Lashley follows and drives the knee into the post twice in a row….which is enough for the referee stoppage at 7:12 as Goldberg can’t stand.
Rating: D+. Yeah it wasn’t awful, but at the same tome it is really hard to find any reason to be interested in Goldberg. All he does is come in, do some lame story, and then get a title match. That wasn’t the case here, and Lashley can only do so much. Nothing to see here, but at least Goldberg is done again for the time being.
Post match Lashley stays on Goldberg with a chair, but Goldberg’s son comes in to jump Lashley. That earns him a Hurt Lock, but MVP points out who it is and Lashley lets him go. Goldberg swears vengeance and covers his son as MVP says Lashley had no way of knowing who that was. BECAUSE THIS NEEDED A REMATCH!
We recap Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the Universal Title. Reigns has been champion for about a year so now it’s Cena coming in for the dream match. Reigns talked about how Cena never changes (Reigns: “It’s like missionary position EVERY NIGHT!”) but Cena says Reigns has to change every few years because people stop caring. Cena also brought up that all it takes is three seconds to win the title, no matter what Reigns does to him. Oh and if Reigns loses, he’s leaving WWE, because WWE likes to take away any drama they might build up.
Smackdown World Title: John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns, with Paul Heyman, is defending. Cena comes out first and my goodness you can feel the star power dripping off of him like no one else that you ever see. As a great touch, the screen behind Cena’s entrance shows his sixteen World Titles, including the dates he won them. They take their time before eventually locking up for a standoff. Cena rolls him up for two and points it out to Reigns as the mind games are on.
That doesn’t work for Reigns, who knocks him down and then does it again to make it worse. A snap suplex gives Reigns two and we hit the chinlock. Cena gets tossed outside and there’s the big whip into the steps, allowing Reigns to pose again. Reigns can even stop to pose on the steps with the title but Cena gets in a quick rollup for two (in a great touch because it’s THAT CLOSE to the upset).
A quick AA attempt is countered into a DDT to give Reigns two, allowing him to apologize to movie executives for hurting Cena. Reigns cuts off a comeback attempt with a right hand and says this is easy. Another AA attempt is countered into a sleeper, with Cena powering up to drive him into the corner. Reigns still isn’t impressed, so Cena hits that big running clothesline of his for a needed breather.
Back up and Cena hits the running shoulders into the ProtoBomb. The Shuffle is countered into a quickly broken guillotine though, leaving Reigns to hit a Superman Punch to take over again. The spear is cut off with a kick to the face and now the Shuffle connects. There’s the AA for two (with Cole freaking out on commentary to give away the kickout). The STF sends Reigns to the rope for the break so Cena follows him outside, earning himself an apron kick to the face.
Reigns gets a running start but charges into an AA through the announcers’ table for two back inside, leaving Cena frustrated. Cena goes up top but dives into a powerbomb for two and needs to pull himself up in the corner. The spear misses in the corner though and it’s the super AA for two, with the Reigns Leaves If He Loses stipulation being brought up for the first time all match. For some reason Cena tries his own spear but gets kicked in the face. They slug it out with Reigns hitting the Superman Punch into a spear to retain at 23:00.
Rating: B+. This wasn’t the best match in the world, but it was all about the big match atmosphere. That was hitting completely, as Cena knows how to bring the feeling like no one else these days. While it wasn’t likely that Cena was going to win, there was the feeling that it could happen and that’s good enough. Throw in Cena knowing how to do this match just well enough and it felt like a main event worth title match between two titans.
Post match Reigns poses but here is Brock Lesnar, making his first appearance in well over a year. Lesnar circles the ring and then stands on the steps before the staredown sends Reigns backing away. While the feud is tired, this would lead to a heck of a story as Paul Heyman was stuck between the two of them and even switched sides for a few weeks. Anyway, Lesnar poses as reigns and Heyman leave to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Most of the bigger matches clicked well, but there were enough things bringing the rest of the show down. The biggest thing though was the crowd actually being around, as it adds so much to the show. This was a rare situation where Summerslam was a way bigger show than Wrestlemania and the quality was good enough too. The bad parts are pretty bad but the stronger parts of the card carried it over. Solid show, but fast forward some of those weaker points.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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