By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired August 23, 2020 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Aired live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
SummerSlam Kickoff Show match result: Apollo Crews defeated MVP in 6:40 to retain the U.S. Championship…
A video package opened the show and then pyro shot off inside the venue. The ThunderDome virtual fans were shown cheering. Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and then entrances for the opening match took place…
1. Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary. Cole noted that Bayley had held the championship for 317 days. Graves questioned if Bayley had lost her focus and pointed to her loss to Naomi on Smackdown. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
Asuka applied an early armbar, but Bayley reached the ropes. A couple minutes into the match, Asuka leapt from the ring steps and performed a DDT on Bayley on the way down. Bayley sold her shoulder from the earlier spot while Cole played up her history of shoulder issues.
Bayley came back and hit her Bayley to Belly finisher for a near fall at 5:35. Graves said Asuka kicking out of Bayley’s signature move may destroy Bayley’s confidence. Asuka came back with a kick to Bayley’s head and then both women fell to the mat.
Later, Bayley went to work on Asuka’s knee and applied a leg lock. Asuka broke free and caught Bayley with a Codebreaker that led to a two count. Asuka came back and went for a missile dropkick, but Bayley caught her in a kneebar on the way down. Asuka rolled to the ropes to break the hold. Bayley followed up with a sunset bomb into the corner.
Bayley went up top and tried to drop an elbow on Asuka, who caught her in an armbar on the way down. Banks yelled at Asuka, who released the hold and kicked Banks. Moments later, Bayley took advantage of Asuka being distracted by Banks and rolled her up for a near fall. Asuka went for a Hip Attack on Bayley, but Banks climbed onto the apron, pushed Bayley out of the way, and took the move herself. Bayley caught Asuka in an inside cradle and scored the pin.
Bayley defeated Asuka in 11:35 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
After the match, Banks hit the ring and attacked Bayley. Banks and Bayley left Asuka lying…
Powell’s POV: So Banks sacrificed herself for Bayley. You’ll never see it coming when Bayley fails to do the same for Banks later in the show and it leads to the split. Maybe? It feels like we’ve been calling for some variation of this for months.
After some ads, Dominik Mysterio got a kiss from his mom, who left the locker room. Dom told Rey Mysterio that he appreciated him being in his corner, but this was his fight. Rey said he couldn’t promise him what he knew he was going to ask. Dominik persisted and asked for Rey’s word that he wouldn’t get involved. “As hard as this is, I give you my word,” Rey said. Dominik thanked him and said that if they were going down, they were going down together…
The Raw broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe checked in from their desk. Phillips set up a video package that recapped the Retribution attacks…
Kevin Owens made his entrance wearing a Street Profits t-shirt and a tie. Owens pointed at the virtual fans and said they were all his friends…
2. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) for the Raw Tag Titles. The Raw broadcast team and Owens were on commentary. Red Party cups fell onto the stage during the Profits’ entrance. A pre-taped Profits promo aired. They still want the smoke.
Ford went for an early flip dive onto both opponents, but they caught him and slammed him onto the floor. Ford was isolated by the challengers. Garza actually held up Ford in place while Andrade performed a double stomp (this looked so much better than the person taking the move holding themselves in place).
Ford eventually made a hot tag to Dawkins, who worked over Andrade briefly. Andrade caught Dawkins with a nice elbow to th head, but then ran into a spear. A short time later, Ford checked back in and performed a cross body block that Garza rolled through fo ra two count.
Vega climbed onto the apron and barked at the referee. Garza superkicked Ford, who stumbled into Vega and knocked her off the apron. As Andrade checked on Vega, Garza was double teamed. Ford finished him off with a frogsplash…
The Street Profits beat Andrade and Angel Garza in 7:50 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
After the match, Owens announced that he was inviting Aleister Black to join him on the KO Show for Monday’s Raw…
Powell’s POV: Andrade and Garza can’t catch a break. I thought they were booked so poorly heading into this match that it might actually be a sign that they were going to put the straps on them. Nope. On the bright side, Raw’s worst booked tag feud in recent memory might be finished.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Sasha Banks and Bayley in the new backstage ring set. Bayley gloated about winning her match. Banks said that if Bayley could beat Asuka, then she knows she can beat her too. Bayley said she knew it too. Bayley had a broom with her to signify their potential sweep of Asuka…
After some advertising, a video package spotlighted the Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville feud…
3. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville in a No DQ, loser leaves WWE match. Just a reminder that the hair vs. hair stipulation was bumped in favor of the new stipulations. Rose went for a leaping knee, but Deville caught her and rolled her into a quick pin for a two count. They fought to ringside where Rose suplexed Deville onto the ramp, then ran her head into the ring post.
Rose pulled a table out from underneath the ring and struggled to set it up. Ouch. Deville hit Rose with a chair to the gut twice and then tossed it aside. Back inside the ring, Deville hit Rose with a couple of running knee strikes and covered her for a two count. Rose caught Deville throwing a kick, tackled her, and hit her with some punches.
A short time later, Rose slammed Deville’s head into a broadcast table Rose placed Deville onto the table that she set up earlier. Rose went to the apron, but Deville rolled off the table. Rose slid a chair on the table toward Deville, who ducked it. Deville hit Rose with a leaping kick.
Back inside the ring, Rose hit Deville with a running knee. Rose followed up with two more knees, then performed a double underhook into a slam. Rose yelled at Deville, then hit her with another running knee and pinned her.
Mandy Rose defeated Sonya Deville in 10:05 in a No DQ, loser leaves WWE match.
After the match, Deville expressed frustration at ringside while the broadcast team sold the stipulation. Otis came out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and hugged Rose, who joined him in doing a Caterpillar. Otis put Rose on his shoulder…
Powell’s POV: A decent match, especially given the drama these two endured over the last week. Deville sold the outcome nicely, but she didn’t seem overcome with the type of emotion one would expect if she were truly leaving the business permanently. Selfishly, I hope she is back soon despite the stipulation because he has really come into her own as a performer. While it’s possible that she is leaving, I wonder if they called an audible on the hair stipulation for whatever reason and thought they needed another big stipulation to avoid it feeling like a letdown.
After some advertising, a video package spotlighted the Seth Rollins’ feud with the Mysterio family… Seth Rollins and Murphy made their entrance. Dominik and Rey had a moment with Rey’s wife Angie before heading to the ring…
4. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. Seth Rollins (w/Murphy) in a Street Fight. Dom wore wrestling gear and had his own entrance music. Dom got some early offense in. Rollins stood up and applauded him, then kicked him and went on the offensive. Rollins slammed Dom, then had Murphy pass him a kendo stick. Dom kipped up and dropkicked Rollins, then picked up the stick. Rollins rolled to ringside.
Dom followed and chased him with the stick and back into the ring where Rollins cut him off. Rollins taunted Rey while getting the better of Dom, who fired up briefly, only to have Rollins cut him off with a sling blade clothesline. Angie was shown watching the match backstage with a concerned look on her face.
Rollins got a chair, sat down on it, and taunted Rey while Dom was down on the mat. “Come on, papa,” Rollins said. “You don’t want to help?” Rollins went for a Stomp, but Dom avoided it and performed a drop toehold that sent Rollins crashing into the chair. Dom threw some punches at Rollins in the corner.
Rollins hoisted up Dom for a Buckle Bomb, but Dom countered into a huracanrana. Dom hit a great tornado DDT for a really good near fall. Dom picked up the kendo stick and hit Rollins with it repeatedly. Dom went up top, but Rollins cut him off with a forearm. Rollins ended up superplexing Dom, then rolled right into a falcon arrow and got a two count. Angie was shown watching again.
Rollins, who had welts all over his back, hit Dom with a kendo stick several times while taunting Rey. Rollins called for a table from Murphy. Rollins set up the table in the corner near Rey, then placed Dom on the ropes. Rollins delivered a kendo stick shot to the back. Rollins joined Dom on the ropes and taunted Rey, but Dom grabbed the kendo stick and hit Rollins low with it. Dom performed a Russian leg sweep style move using the kendo stick that sent both men crashing through the table.
Dom went up top and performed a frogsplash for a good near fall. Dom went to ringside and grabbed a chair and slid it into the ring and to the far corner. Dom scrambled to get the chair. Rollins superkicked and then powerbombed Dom. Rollins picked up a kendo stick and taunted Rey before hitting Dom with it multiple times. Angie was shown looking away and covering her eyes.
Rey climbed onto the apron. Rollins told him to stay down, then hit Dom repeatedly and pulled down the top half of his gear to show off the welts. Murphy pulled out a pair of handcuffs and passed them to Rollins, who taunted Rey by telling him that he could stop it.
Rey ran to the top of the stage where his wife Angie was standing. Rey pleaded with his wife. “Come on, Angie,” Rollins said from the ring. Dom rolled up Rollins for a near fall. Murphy hit the ring and attacked Dom. Murphy brought Dom to ringside and tried to drive his eye into the ring steps. Rey ran down and knocked Murphy off his son. Rollins attacked Rey from behind. Dom tried to help, but Rollins tossed him into the barricade.
Rollins and Murphy clubbed away at Rey and then handcuffed him to the middle rope. Rollins and Murphy grabbed kendo sticks and looked at Rey, then Rollins opted to walk toward Angie. Rollins held his arms open while moving toward her, but Dom attacked Rollins from behind. Murphy tried to help, but Rollins backdropped him on the floor.
Dom rolled Rollins into the ring and hit him with a 619. Dom went up top and went for a frogsplash, but Rollins put his knees up. Rollins sat on the back of Dom and grabbed his face while taunting Rey. Rollins performed a Stomp and then pinned Dom.
Seth Rollins beat Dominik Mysterio in 22:35 in a Street Fight.
After the match, Dom removed Rey’s handcuffs, then they hugged in the middle of the ring…
Powell’s POV: The best match of the night thus far. Dominik Mysterio had a really good showing in his first match. I was pleased that it wasn’t just a bunch of weapons and we actually got a glimpse of what Dom can do in the ring. Obviously, Rollins deserves a lot of credit, but this is definitely Dom’s big night much like last night was Pat McAfee’s big night. I am kicking myself for not predicting a Rollins win, as I assume this will set up Rey and Dom vs. Rollins and Murphy for Payback. Either way, kudos to Angie Mysterio. I suspect she wasn’t acting while watching her son’s first WWE match, but she definitely looked like a concerned mother.
Ads aired, including one for the WWE 24 documentary on WrestleMania “The Show Must Go On” that will follow SummerSlam on the network…
The broadcast team recapped the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…
5. Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship. Asuka sold a knee injury from the earlier match, which Banks exploited early. Asuka came back with kicks, then winced to sell her knee. They went to ringside where Asuka applied a kneebar that she had to release. Back inside the ring, Asuka performed a Hip Attack in the corner, then applied an armbar.
A short time later, Banks performed a wicked powerbomb that pulled Asuka from the apron to the floor. Damn. Bayley taunted Asuka, who barely beat the referee’s count. Banks quickly covered her and got a couple of two counts. Banks delivered a running boot to Asuka’s head and then covered her for another two count.
Asuka caught Banks in an electric chair, slammed her down face first, and then applied an ankle lock. Banks rolled out of it. Asuka’s momentum took her to the ropes. Banks hit Asuka with multiple shots and set up for a superplex, but Asuka fought out of it and performed a DDT from the ropes.
A short time later, Asuka threw a missile dropkick that led to a two count. Asuka tried to pull Banks out of the corner. Banks held on to the ropes, then let go and pulled in Asuka for a cool double knee driver. Banks went for a frogsplash, but Asuka avoided it. Bayley shouted encouragement to Banks. Asuka and Bayley charged one another, and Asuka caught Banks in an Asuka Lock. Banks scrambled to her feet, but Asuka didn’t let go until Banks rolled onto her for a two count.
Banks countered into a Bank Statement, then Asuka countered into an Asuka Lock. Banks escaped the hold. Asuka dropped Banks with a kick. Asuka went for a hip attack that Banks and even Bayley, who had climbed onto the apron, avoided. Asuka knocked Bayley to the floor with an elbow. Asuka avoided a Banks move and caught her in the Asuka Lock and got the submission win.
Asuka defeated Sasha Banks in 11:25 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Banks sat in the ring while Bayley tried to explain herself…
The broadcast team reminded viewers that Banks and Bayley have to defend the WWE Women’s Tag Titles on next Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view. They hyped the WWE Championship match as coming up next, then a video package showcased the feud…
Powell’s POV: A very well wrestled match and a competitor with the previous match for early match of the night. One knock is that Asuka was inconsistent when it came to selling the knee injury. The story with the finish was that Bayley didn’t return the favor by taking Asuka’s hip attack as Banks did for her earlier. It’s a solid step closer to a split that finally appears to be on the verge of happening.
Randy Orton made his entrance. Shawn Michaels checked in with a pre-taped clip from what appeared to be home and said he hoped that Drew McIntyre would take out Orton with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre made his entrance…
6. Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. Ring announcer Mike Rome delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. The bell rang and Orton rolled to ringside when McIntyre lunged at him. Orton returned to the ring, then stalled again by ducking between the ropes. Orton ended up going for an early RKO, but McIntyre avoided it. McIntyre showed frustration as he rolled to ringside. Orton smirked at him from the ring.
McIntyre stuffed another RKO attempt, but Orton ran him through the ropes in the corner. McIntyre went shoulder first into the ring post casing, then tumbled to the floor and held the shoulder. Orton followed and slammed McIntyre’s head into the post. Orton cleared a broadcast table and slammed McIntyre onto it. Orton leaned over McIntyre and said, “Your title is coming home with me.” Orton suplexed McIntyre from the broadcast table to the floor.
Back inside the ring, Orton stomped McIntyre, then used his boot to rake one of McIntyre’s eyes. Orton looked at the virtual fans and struck his pose. McIntyre bounced back and whipped Orton into the corner. McIntyre charged at Orton, who put his leg up. McIntyre stopped and wrenched Orton’s knee over his shoulder.
A short time later, McIntyre applied a figure four while the broadcast team spoke of how humiliating it would be for Orton to lose to Ric Flair’s move after he attacked him. Orton grabbed the referee and pulled him into the mat, then gouged the eyes of McIntyre to break the hold. Both men got up. McIntyre dropped him with a chop.
McIntyre’s left eye area and nose were scraped up. Both men traded shots. McIntyre performed an overhead belly to belly suplex, then followed up with another out of the corner. McIntyre went up top and put Orton down with a flying clothesline. McIntyre kipped up. McIntyre placed Orton on the top rope, then punched him and set up for a superplex, but Orton cut him off so that McIntyre fell onto the ropes.
Orton headbutted McIntyre, who fell into a tree of woe style position. Orton set up for a move, but McIntyre sat up and flung Orton into the ring. McIntyre covered Orton for two. Orton avoided a Future Shock DDT, but McIntyre spun around and him the move on the second try. Orton came up bleeding from the forehead.
McIntyre hoisted up Orton, who elbowed his way free. McIntyre dropped Orton with a punch, then went up top and dove at him, but Orton moved. McIntyre turned into a powerslam from Orton, who covered him for a near fall at 16:45.
Orton caught McIntyre in position for a draping DDT, but McIntyre avoided it and blasted Orton with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre clotheslined Orton and both men tumbled to ringside. Orton returned to the ring, then caught McIntyre with a kick when he was on his way back in. Orton hit the draping DDT.
Orton looked down at McIntyre, then struck the Viper’s Pose. Orton backed up for a punt kick. Orton ran at McIntyre, who hoisted him up and slammed him down with a powerbomb. McIntyre went to the corner and barked at Orton to get up while calling him a son of a bitch. McIntyre went for the Claymore Kick, but Orton avoided it. Orton went for an RKO, but McIntyre countered into a backslide for the three count. Tom Phillips yelled that Orton never saw it coming.
Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton in 20:35 to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: This is now my match of the night. This was really good. They didn’t really sell me on Orton nearing victory, but it was just a good, physical match. And I still think of Kerry Von Erich beating Ric Flair at Texas Stadium whenever I see a backslide finish in a title match. Anyway, we didn’t see either man hit a finisher, so I doubt we’ve seen the last of these two. I won’t complain a bit if they come right back with a rematch at Payback because they work really well together.
A Keith Lee video package aired and noted that he will be on Raw tomorrow night…
Powell’s POV: Well, that answers that question. It’s a great get for the Raw brand if that’s his landing spot.
An ad aired for WWE Payback… Cole and Graves sat at their beaten up broadcast table and hyped the WWE Women’s Tag Title match for Payback (they don’t have opponents yet). They also set up a video package for the main event and said the feud has been described as a battle of two movie monsters…
7. Braun Strowman vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Strowman charged at Fiend to start the match and headbutted him in the corner. Fiend responded by laughing at Strowman. The Fiend put Strowman down with a uranage, then grabbed his head and twisted it twice. Strowman rolled to ringside while Fiend removed his jacket.
The Fiend followed to the floor and pulled a toolbox out from underneath the ring. The Fiend slammed the toolbox into the gut of Strowman. Fiend laughed maniacally, then ripped the top off the broadcast table. Strowman bounced back and hit a couple of headbutts, then got a running start and drove The Fiend through the timekeeper’s area with a shoulder block.
The Fiend got back up quickly and threw punches at Strowman, who answered with a chokeslam onto the broadcast table, which didn’t break. The Fiend popped up again. Strowman knocked him down with the top half of the ring steps. Strowman rolled Fiend inside the ring and followed him.
Strowman put Fiend down with a running powerslam and covered him for a two count. Strowman showed surprise over not getting the win. They went back to ringside. Strowman ran Fiend into the ringside barricade, then took him to the stage and ran him into the video screen. Strowman slammed Fiend’s head into the screen, then took him backstage into the Gorilla position area (no one was in the room).
The Fiend fought back and performed Sister Abigail, which resulted in a two count. Fiend laughed. Fiend clawed at the eyes of Strowman, then they took the fight back into the arena area. Fiend ran Strowman into the video screen, then dropped down and crawled toward him. Strowman had a scrape mark on his bald head.
They made their way to the bottom of the ramp where Fiend went for the Mandible Claw. Strowman avoided it and shoved Fiend into the side of the ring. Strowman covered Fiend for a two count at ringside. Strowman rolled Fiend inside the ring and then joined him. Strowman performed a running powerslam for a near fall. Strowman showed frustration, then threw repeated punches at Fiend and let out a primal scream.
Strowman rolled to ringside and approached the toolbox from earlier. Strowman pulled out a boxcutter and returned to the ring. Strowman used the boxcutter to cut the ring open and then pulled the padding away to expose the boards. The Fiend got back to his feet and gave Strowman a uranage onto the boards. Fiend followed up with Sister Abigail on the boards. Fiend picked up Strowman and gave him another Sister Abigail near the exposed boards and then covered him for the win…
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman in 12:00 in a Falls Count Anywhere match to win the WWE Universal Championship.
After the match, The Fiend was handed the title belt. Suddenly, Roman Reigns showed up and speared Fiend. Reigns looked down at Strowman, who was at ringside. Reigns went to the floor and speared Strowman. Reigns wore a “Wreck Everyone & Leave” t-shirt. Reigns said something about Strowman not being a monster unless he’s there.
Reigns grabbed a chair and hit Strowman with it repeatedly. Cole said the chair was bent in half (it was bent a little). Reigns returned to the ring where The Fiend was still selling (yes, really). Reigns waited for Fiend to get back to his feet and then speared him again. Reigns adjusted his t-shirt and picked up the title belt. Reigns barked at Fiend that he’s just a freak in a mask. Reigns held the title belt over his head while Cole said something about the “you’ll never see it coming” slogan to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Mark it down, I was cool with a Fiend vs. Strowman match. It wasn’t a cinematic and Fiend didn’t go way over the top with the movie monster no-selling nonsense. It was a pretty straight forward fight, which is a welcome change from what we saw at the end of Smackdown. The return of Reigns fulfills the “you’ll never see it coming” slogan even if some people did see it coming. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t make everyone happy because it’s Reigns, but it is a big return for the company regardless of how you feel about his character.
Overall, SummerSlam was a major improvement over WWE’s other pandemic era pay-per-views. The ThunderDome structure at Amway Center provides a much better visual experience and makes the shows feel major league again. The sound is still underwhelming, but it was better tonight than it was on Smackdown. More than anything, I appreciated the straight forward pro wrestling show without over the top stunt booking, cinematic matches, etc. I will have more to say when Jake Barnett and I get together for our same night audio review for Dot Net Members coming up shortly. Let us know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade and by voting for the best match in our post show polls.
ProWrestling.net Live returns on Monday at 3CT/4ET at PWAudio.net. Jonny Fairplay and I will be taking your calls coming out of SummerSlam weekend.