GOOD- Contract signing for Rollins vs. Mysterio at SummerSlam
We start with Seth Rollins and Dominick Mysterio signing their contract for SummerSlam and Dominick also signing his contract to become a WWE superstar. WWE smartly had Samoa Joe handle the heavy lifting promo-wise versus Rollins. Dominick is like his dad, he can’t really cut a promo, certainly not one that builds hype for a match. Rollins is really good on the mic so it’s better to have Joe going at him there because he’s also really good.
GOOD/GREAT- Seth Rollins vs. Humberto Carillo and postmatch attack on Dominick
The match was okay, it was nothing special. It wasn’t given much time and Carillo did the job quickly. The real deal came afterwards, when Rollins and Murphy completely destroyed Dominick with kendo sticks. They blasted him over and over again, as you can see here.
Even as it was happening, you could see the welts, bruising, and cuts on his chest and back. Dominick deserves a lot of credit for that. It builds the match effectively as it’s hard to not sympathize with a guy who got destroyed like that. Wow.
BAD- Angelo Dawkins beats Andrade and Bianca Belair beats Zelina
This was two matches tied together. Dawkins beat Andrade after Belair attacked Zelina on the outside, then Belair beat Zelina in a squash in which she showed off her power. That was cool, but I’m not a fan of Andrade losing and Zelina losing. It would have been better to have one win while the other loses. They wanted Belair to look strong against Zelina, which she did, but Andrade should have won over Dawkins. Both matches were short, though they tried hard.
GOOD- Shelton Benjamin beats Apollo Crews
Apollo cut a good promo before this match talking about how he’ll beat MVP at SummerSlam to prove last week was no fluke. The match was fairly good and Benjamin rolled up Crews to get the win after distractions from The Hurt Business. I liked that, but I’m also a Benjamin fan and am glad to see them doing something with him.
GOOD- Mickie James returns, cuts promo on Natalya and Lana
I’m tempted to go BAD for this because I was hoping to see more from James, like an actual match, but I suppose this was fine. They set up a match for next week between Mickie and Natalya. That’s cool, I’ll take it.
BAD- Viking Raiders, Ricochet, and Cedric Alexander beat Akira Tozawa and ninjas
This was just needless “comedy” that cut have easily been cut for time. After the match, Tozawa got rolled up by R-Truth disguised as a ninja to win the 24/7 Title for the hundredth time.
GOOD- Peyton Royce beats Liv Morgan
I’m a fan of all four of these ladies so this was great for me. It was more about the storyline than the match, though, as they showed some dysfunction between Morgan and Ruby Riott, as well as The Iconics getting a win.
GREAT- Asuka beats Bayley
This was non-title and when Asuka won, she got a rematch against Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam. This was an awesome match. The counters and submissions and matwork from both was just fantastic. This was better than pretty much every PPV match you’ll see should have headlined this show. I know they didn’t because of what happened in the main event I’ll get to in a minute, but holy hell, this was great. If you’re into matches that look real and the emotions involved, this was for you. The finish came when Bayley mocked Kairi Sane’s stomping into a charge that allowed Asuka to lock in the Asuka-lock and get the tapout. That was awesome.
GOOD/BAD- RAW Underground fights
Riddick Moss beat Cal Bloom in an okay match. Then Arturo Ruas beat some jobber and Dabba Kato beat a jobber with a dick grab and knockout punch. Meh. However, then Shayna Bazler came out and beat up three jobbers. It’s a nice way to show how tough Bazler is but it’s just okay.
UGLY- Retribution crap
I really don’t like this faction. Yeah, I’m not supposed to, but man these guys are bad. They look like a bunch of high school kids cosplaying. After the commotion they caused at the end of Smackdown last week they do this, which is throw a cinder block through a glass door. They got to do something quick to try to salvage these guys.
GOOD- Randy Orton defeats Kevin Owens and Orton punts Ric Flair
The match was fairly good. Owens went for the stunner but Orton reversed it into a RKO for the clean win. I would really like to see Orton get smoother with his reversals. There’s a hitch to it every time and it doesn’t look natural. It doesn’t look organic, it looks forced. When Owens went for the stunner, Orton spun him around and there was a second or so of Owens just standing there waiting for Orton to grab him for the RKO. It just doesn’t look natural. That aside, it was a fine match.
After the match, Orton cut a promo on Flair. The highlight was when Flair took the mic and talked about how all he wants now is to tell the people he loves how much he cares for them. He’s not Ric Flair anymore, he’s Charlotte’s dad and a big fan of Orton. He wants to see him break his championships record. Orton then lowblows Flair and laid him down and punted him. They protected Flair by having the lights flicker and blink out right as it happened, which was good because I didn’t want to see even a safe worker like Orton even try that on Flair. Drew McIntyre finally rushes out and calls Orton an evil SOB and said he’s going to destroy him. Good ending to an up and down show.