The Burning 7: SummerSlam 2019
SummerSlam 2019 is in the books. Was it as perfect as say Extreme Rules from last month? No. But it was a damn good show. Very few negative takeaways and for a show that ran pretty much close to 6 hours when you include the kickoff show, it’s really all you can ask for. Here are some of my takeaways from the biggest wrestling party of the summer.
1. Ember Moon passed her showcase with flying colors
It was no surprise Bayley won. The real priority for the WWE last night was to bolster the women’s division that seems to be thinning out in the middle. Once you get past Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Bayley the division does present many questions. Yet the WWE gambled on a match between Bayley and Ember Moon that many looked at more as a filler. Instead we got a really solid presentation. Ember Moon may have lost the match but in my opinion she passed the eye test. She’s more than passable and should be able to move up the card in the coming weeks and months and hopefully contend for the women’s title as we approach the final quarter of 2019.
2. What is the WWE doing with Dolph Ziggler?
Dolph has for all intents and purposes become a over glorified jobber that’s being fed to the wolves otherwise ascending to the top of the roster which is sad. We know DZ best days as the man on the roster are more than 7 years behind him but I’m willing to argue he’s still one of the five best in-ring performers in the company. Simply put, his match with Goldberg was solely done to wipe the stink off his match vs.The Undertaker from Super Showdown back in June. In hindsight it does make sense how it played out with Goldberg no selling two super kicks before spearing Dolph not once but three times. The match felt more like the comedic portion of SummerSlam but the sad reality is Dolph Ziggler is probably needing a change of scenery. He virtually gets no pop from the crowd and the only reason they’ve been invested in him as of late is solely due to the angles he’s been involved in with both Goldberg and Shawn Michaels — two Hall of Fame legends that’s easy to get invested in from a storyline perspective.
3. Having the women’s tag team championship on the line during the SummerSlam pre-show was absolute genius.
We know how many fans of the WWE Universe on a monthly basis complain about the length of the PPV’s especially the major four events (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series) and much ado is because of the kickoff show. For the record I have no beef with the kickoff show. It’s the WWE utilizing and maximizing its platform to create as big an atmosphere as possible for the viewer. For that I salute them. Many folks however do complain of the length to which I say that you as a viewer do have choices. The WWE did utilize it’s kickoff show in the best way by bringing out a surprise in Hall Of Famer Edge and also showcasing a women’s tag title match in Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross vs.The Iconics. If you’re going to do a kickoff show it does present the opportunity to dump some really intriguing matchups that are otherwise not on the main card. Job well done.
4. The Fiend (Bray Wyatt) debut was a great spectacle.
Because I’ve only returned to watching the current product in the last 2-3 months, Bray Wyatt for intents and purposes is still green to me. As for his return in this new incarnation as “The Fiend” I’ll say this. The presentation leading into SummerSlam and ultimately last night on the big show it has been nothing short of incredible. My lone concern is whether he can consistently make this character work in the ring like he has off it. Too early to tell but throwing Finn Balor to him, so far so good. We will see though.
5. Color commentator Corey Graves is really growing on me.
As a fan of over 30 years I’ve had my favorite “hellish” color guys in the booth from Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler to name a few. It’s taking me a bit getting used to Corey Graves. But I’m a fan finally. He isn’t so over the top as a heel supporter cause he does lend common sense to the overall psychology of each match. His comparison of “The Fiend” character and impact to that of “The Undertaker” sounded shocking in the moment but the analogy in hindsight does ring true.
6. Since Wrestlemania, Kofi Kingston has had a more impressive title run than Seth Rollins.
This is the damn truth. Nothing todo who I prefer. I’m not particularly a big Seth Rollins guy although he is an incredible in ring performer. But judging from when both men won their respective titles at Wrestlemania in April, there is no question Kofi Kingston is much more over especially judging by the programs he’s been involved with thus far. Whereas it seems to keep Seth Rollins interest strong they’ve had to rehash his rivalry with a part timer in Brock Lesnar and a failed on-screen partnership with his real life girlfriend Becky Lynch. Seems like the WWE has to try hard to sell Seth Rollins while it has its hands off on Kofi Kingston cause he sells himself. Maybe a sudden heel turn is in the cards for the Beast Slayer.
7. Brock Lesnar was used SOLELY to sell SummerSlam and it might have officially destroyed his character.
I hated the ending last night. It makes zero sense why Brock Lesnar returns to cash his Money In The Bank at Extreme Rules last night to regain the Universal Title only to lose it a month later to the same guy in Seth Rollins who just beat him 4 months ago at Wrestlemania. Only thing I can come up with is that the WWE entering the summer with low television ratings and waning interest brought back Brock Lesnar to give the company a short term jolt heading into SummerSlam to raise some interest and bring back a few eyeballs who may have otherwise turned away. The problem now is unless Brock Lesnar intends on not wrestling again, the bloom is off the rose with his character. How can I believe a guy who for the last two weeks that has busted ribs courtesy of the Beast Incarnate can come into SummerSlam and beat him cleanly? It’s hard to believe and it makes the Brock Lesnar character look even less than. It’s truly dumb.