By Jason Powell
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WWE SummerSlam 2016 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center
-Renee Young hosted the Kickoff Show and was joined by the panel of Jerry Lawler, Lita, and Booker T. Tom Phillips checked in from the Social Media Lounge and said Sasha Banks would be joining him to answer fan questions.
-The first video package was for the John Cena vs. AJ Styles match. The panel discussed the match and Booker T claimed he once shot a hole in one in golf. Lawler said Styles was as lucky as Booker was when he got the hole in one and it won’t happen again. Lita and Lawler predicted Cena wins, Booker said the torch will be passed to Styles.
-The panel previewed the Intercontinental Championship after the video package.
-Backstage, Tom Phillips interviewed Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. They apologized for calling him the wrong name for the last couple weeks, then Jericho called him Phillip. Jericho also apologized to Enzo Amore for saying you can’t be a Certified G. He said there actually is a G Association. Jericho said for $8.99 you take a test, he passed, and now he has documentation. Jericho told Owens to show them. Owens said he must have left it in catering. Jericho said he worked hard for it. They spoke about being closer than any team in history. Owens said they are going to hurt and defeat Enzo and Big Cass in front of their friends and family. Jericho said they are going to take their friends and family, and they will be living on the street. Jericho said they are going to get “it” tonight.
1. Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Mojo Rawley, and Zack Ryder vs. Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Konnor, Viktor, Tyler Breeze, and Fandango. Mauro Ranallo, JBL, and David Otunga were on commentary for the match. WWE has long screens on the back of the ring posts. All 12 wrestlers fought. Alpha stood tall, then posed in between the ropes only to look like goofs when the Vaudevillains pulled them to the floor. They went to a WWE Network ad.
After the break, Gotch was working over Ryder. The heels isolated Ryder and took turns working him over. Otunga reminded viewers that Rydr was in his hometown as he continued to get worked over. Ryder finally made the hot tag to Jimmy Uso. Jordan checked in a short time later and performed a series of suplexes on a few of the heels. He had Gotch pinned, but English broke it up.
It was rapid fire big move time. JBL asked if anyone had any idea who the legal men were. No one had a clue. The Usos dove onto a group of wrestlers on the floor. Alpha hit their finisher on Gotch, then one of the Usos performed a top rope splash on Gotch and pinned him…
Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Mojo Rawley, and Zack Ryder beat Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Konnor, Viktor, Tyler Breeze, and Fandango in 14:25.
After the match, the broadcast team pointed out that one of the Usos made a blind tag and basically stole the win. Jeyimmy looked up at Gable and shot him a look while getting the pin. There was some grumbling amongst the babyfaces after they got the win…
Powell’s POV: The best part of the match was the tension established between the Usos and Alpha. The crowd just didn’t seem to care. They were into the entrances, but they barely reacted to the finish.
-The broadcast team set up a video package for the Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler match. Lawler picked Ambrose to win. Booker rambled on about how this could be Ziggler’s last chance and then said booyah for no good reason. All three panelists picked Ambrose to win.
-As the panel was yucking it up, Baron Corbin crashed the set. He took his gum out of his mouth and put it on the desk and told Lawler to hold it. Corbin said he was supposed to have a match with Kalisto, but “that little coward begged and pleased in every doctor’s ear to keep him home where he’s safe.” Corbin said he’s about making money and Kalisto cost him money. Corbin said he hopes Kalisto is comfortable with his wife on his couch because he’s going to put him there permanently. Young tried to ask a question. “I’m not here to answer your questions,” Corbin said.
Powell’s POV: Corbin was good here. I like the idea that he’s all about making money and a bully on top of it. How about Corbin as a bounty hunter or hired gun type of heel?
-The hosts discussed the Rusev and Lana post-wedding ceremony on Raw. Lawler told some marriage jokes. Booker said you never put your hands on another man’s woman. Lita picked Roman to win, Booker and Lawler went with Reigns.
-A video package showcased the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte match as the second hour of the two-hour show got underway. Banks joined Phillips in the lonely Social Media Lounge to answer bad fan questions such as what is the best thing about being champion. Sasha likes being the best and the title proves it. She also said she beat Charlotte to win the title and this match won’t be any different. Another fan asked if Charlotte has something up her sleeve. Sasha said Charlotte is the dirtiest player in the game, but it won’t matter. Another fan asked if Sasha is afraid of Charlotte. Sasha said she’s not afraid and was born to do this.
Powell’s POV: Congrats to the three fans who presumably figured out that your best chance of having a questioned answered is to dumb them down as much as possible. Why in the world would anyone think Sasha’s character is afraid of Charlotte? Didn’t she just volunteer to face Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a handicap match?!?
-The panel spoke about the women’s title match. Heel Lawler said the success clearly went to the head of Sasha, who said “me” and “I” repeatedly during her appearance in Tom’s masturbation den. Lawler and Booker picked Charlotte to win, Lita went with Sasha to retain.
-Backstage, Andrea D’Marco interviewed Cesaro, who wore a white tuxedo. Cesaro said the best of seven series is the best way to settle their issues. “Less talk, more wrestling,” Cesaro said before walking away.
2. Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz. The Raw broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. They cut to an early break as D-Von was working over Zayn around 2:40. Later, Zayn took a tag from Neville and worked over D-Von. Zayn performed a Blue Thunder Bomb and went for the pin, but Bubba broke it up. Neville broke up a cover by Bubba on Zayn. Neville avoided 3D. Bubba accidentally clotheslined D-Von. Zayn performed the Helluva Kick on Bubba, then Neville followed up with the Red Arrow for the win…
Sami Zayn and Neville defeated the Dudley Boyz in 8:00.
Powell’s POV: The broadcast team pointed out the latest issue between the Dudleys, so it continues to feel like it’s only a matter of time before they split. Bubba looked dejected on the floor after the match.
-The panel discussed the tag match. Lawler said everyone is impressed with the new guys, but he was disappointed in the old school guys. Booker said that’s why he’s on the panel rather than in the ring.
-A Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins video package aired. Lawler compared Balor’s Demon King persona to the KISS band putting on the makeup. Lawler and Booker picked Rollins, Lita went with Balor.
-A WWE Network commercial hyped an animated Story Time series for November, Holy Foley, more Stone Cold Podcasts, and a total of 19 annual pay-per-view events.
3. Sheamus vs. Cesaro in the first match of a best of seven series. The Raw broadcast team was on the call. Graves picked Cesaro to win the series, and then, of course, Saxton picked Sheamus to win it. The crowd immediately chanted “You look stupid” at Sheamus, ignoring the fact that Cesaro had a tear-off tuxedo with a t-shirt underneath. Cesaro threw dropkick and went for a cover that Sheamus quickly kicked out of. The fans chanted for Cesaro.
Sheamus had Cesaro down as they went to a commercial for Summerslam at roughly 5:00. At 9:00, Cesaro fired off a series of uppercuts on Sheamus in the corner. Cesaro followed up by setting Sheamus on the top turnbuckle and dropkicking him. Cesaro performed a superplex for a two count.
Sheamus came back with White Noise for a two count at 10:45. Sheamus performed a rolling senton off the middle rope and got a two count. Cesaro came back and then stood on top of the ring post and then spingboarded off the top rope into a cross body block for a cool near fall. Cesaro performed the Swing and then applied the Sharpshooter, but Sheamus reached the ropes to break it.
Cesaro dodged a Brogue Kick. Cesaro set up for the Sharpshooter again, but Sheamus thumbed him in the eye, then ran him into the bigger than usual ring post area, and Brogue Kicked him for the win…
Sheamus defeated Cesaro in 14:20 to win the first match of a best of seven series.
Powell’s POV: A good match to close out the needlessly long Kickoff Show. The Cesaro springboard from the post was really cool, and this was a good, physical match that left me looking forward to the rest of the series.
Booker spoke about how the series will only get tougher and it will be difficult for both men to stay healthy. Young set up a video package on the Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton feud.
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