|Date: August 23, 2020
|Venue: WWE Thunderdome at Amway Center |City: Orlando, Florida
The video package to open the show is a good one, it looks and feels modern and highlights every match on the card.
Michael Cole welcomes us to the Thunderdome. A stadium packed out with screens showing fans sat at home.
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: A few weeks ago on SmackDown, as Bayley did not have a challenger for her SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam, Stephanie announced a triple brand battle royal for the following week, featuring wrestlers from Raw, SmackDown, and NXT, with the winner facing Bayley at the event. Surprise entrant Asuka won the battle royal, thus double booking Asuka to face the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions in singles matches for their respective singles titles. On the August 21 episode of SmackDown, both Banks and Bayley faced Naomi in a Beat the Clock challenge to determine the order of their respective title defenses against Asuka with the loser defending first; Banks subsequently won as she defeated Naomi, who in turn defeated Bayley.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time main roster PPV singles match between these two girls.
Summerslam Record: Bayley is 1-0 at Summerslam, Asuka is wrestling at Summerslam for the first time tonight.
Match: Asuka takes an early advantage with strikes and submission attempts. Bayley gets back into the match and slow down the pace before hitting a Bayley to belly for a near fall. It’s back and forth from there with neither girl getting the advantage for long. Bayley works the knee of Asuka and catches her in a kneebar when Asuka comes off the top. Bayley hits a sunset flip powerbomb into thr bottom turnbuckle and then looks for a diving elbow drop but Asuka counters and locks on an arm bar. Asuka breaks the hold to kick Sasha in the face. Asuka then looks for a hip attack on Bayley but Sasha moves Bayley and Asuka knocks Sasha off the apron. Bayley then rolls Asuka up for the three!
Result: Bayley retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was a good opener for Summerslam. I think it would have been better with a live crowd but they should still be proud tonight. Bayley continues her monumental run as Smackdown Women’s Champion.
After the match Sasha and Bayley beat down Asuka, putting in the boots to make sure Asuka doesn’t beat Sasha later.
Dominik Mysterio is backstage with his parents. He asks Rey not to get involved with his match later.
Tom Phillips and the Raw announce team link into a video package showing us the group that call themselves Retribution causing mayhem all over WWE recently.
Kevin Owens is out for commentary on the next match.
The Street Prophets (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza – Raw Tag Team Championship match
Background: This match was supposed to take part at Wrestlemania but Andrade was ruled out and replaced by Austin Theory. Now Andrade and Angel Garza get their shot and it appears that their manager Zelina Vega poisened Ford, pouring something in his red cup before a match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.
Summerslam Record: All four of these men make their Summerslam debut tonight.
Match: Andrade and Montez Ford kick off the match and we see some amazing athleticism from Ford as Zelina Vega watches on concerned. Garza and Andrade get back into the match and make quick tags, keeping Montez Ford away form Angelo Dawkins. Montez finally ducks a clothesline and tags in Dawkins who picks up the pace. Andrade hits his back elbow on Dawkins to slow down the momentum and both men make tags. Zelina Vega gets up on the apron but Angel Garza superkicks Ford who falls into Vega, knocking her off the apron. Dawkins hits a spinebuster on Garza and Montez hits a frog splash for the win.
Result: The Street Prophets retain the Raw Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This match was ok. Something didn’t quite click but it wasn’t awful. It just felt like a match you’d see on Raw. I like the Street Prophets as tag team champions anyway and am happy for them to have a long reign. I think there could be some issues between Vega, Garza and Andrade so I think this’ll be the end of this rivalry.
Kayla Braxton is backstage with Bayley and Sasha Banks who are in a good mood. Sasha says that if Bayley can beat Asuka then Sasha knows that she can beat her.
There’s a video package next for Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville – No disqualification loser leaves WWE match
Background: At the onset of 2020, a romance began between Mandy Rose and Heavy Machinery’s Otis. They were set to have a Valentine’s Day date, however, Dolph Ziggler arrived first, stealing the date with Rose. Prior to WrestleMania 36, it was revealed that Rose’s Fire and Desire tag team partner Sonya Deville had conspired with Ziggler to sabotage the date by sending a fake text to Otis that Rose was running late. Otis then defeated Ziggler at the event with the help of Rose, who also attacked Deville. Rose then entered into a months long feud with Deville, who claimed that Rose was all looks and no talent. This culminated on the July 31 episode of SmackDown where Deville attacked Rose backstage and cut some of her hair off. Rose, now sporting shorter hair, then challenged Deville to a Hair vs. Hair match at SummerSlam, which Deville accepted. The following week, Rose had a change of heart, thinking there was still some good in Deville, and asked to put their rivalry behind them. Deville instead raised the stakes and changed the stipulation of their match to a no disqualification match where the loser leaves WWE. This stipulation change was brought about due to a real life incident involving Deville; her home had been broken into by a stalker in Florida. Her lawyers cited it was not a good idea to have a shaved head while in court.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two girls.
Summerslam Record: Both girls make their Summerslam debut tonight.
Match: The fight doesn’t take long to go outside the ring. It’s a little clunky for a few second but results in Mandy suplexing Sonya on the entrance ramp. Rose hits a clothesline off the announce desk and then sets up a table but Sonya lays into her with a chair. Back in the ring and Sonya applies a dragon sleeper. Mandy breaks the hold and then takes the fight outside the ring again. There’s some clunky counters from both girls and then three knee strikes from Mandy. Rose hits a facebuster and then another running knee for the win.
Result: Mandy Rose wins by pinfall.
Review: This wasn’t very good. I feel bad because they clearly tried hard but they didn’t have the match they had dreamed of. Despite Sonya having to leave WWE I hope they get the opportunity to tie up again.
Otis comes out after the match to celebrate with Mandy.
There’s an ad for the WWE Network.
Video package next for Seth Rollins and Dominik Mysterio.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins – Street Fight
Background: Following several weeks of Seth Rollins tormenting and taunting Rey Mysterio, the two finally faced each other at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules in an Eye for an Eye match in which one opponent had to extract an eye of the other to win the match, which was won by Rollins. Mysterio’s son Dominik appeared on the July 27 episode of Raw to confront Rollins and his disciple Murphy for Rollins’ actions, as well as for Rollins gloating about it. Although Dominik attacked Rollins and Murphy, they eventually overpowered Dominik until Aleister Black came out to Dominik’s aid. The brawl, however, resulted in Murphy injuring Black’s eye using the corner of the steel steps. The following week, Dominik challenged Rollins to a match at SummerSlam. Later, after Rollins and Murphy taunted commentator Tom Phillips (which led to fellow commentator Samoa Joe defending Phillips), they were both attacked from behind by Dominik with a kendo stick. Rollins then accepted Dominik’s challenge. During the contract signing the following week, in which Dominik also signed a contract to officially become a WWE wrestler, Rollins stated that Dominik could use any kind of weapon he wanted. After Rollins defeated Humberto Carrillo, Rollins and Murphy attacked Dominik with kendo sticks. Their SummerSlam match was later made a Street Fight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Summerslam Record: Seth Rollins is 5-1, Dominik makes his PPV debut tonight.
Match: Seth Rollins is wearing similar gear to what Rey Mysterio wore at Haloween Havoc 1997 against Eddie Guerrero. Murphy is in his corner. Rollins teases Dominik in the early going, goading him in and letting him take shots. Diminik then picks up the pace and shows off what he can do with some nice arm drags. Seth brings a kendo stick into the match but Dominik dropkicks it out of his hands. Rollins takes control and looks for a stomp on a chair but Dominik counters and hits a drop toe hold onto the chair. Dominik then lays into Rollins with the kendo stick before heading to the top but he’s too slow and Rollins ends up hitting him with a superplex and falcon arrow for a near fall. Seth asks for a table from Murphy and Murphy provides it. Seth looks for a side suplex off the middle rope but Dominik counters with a side Russian leg sweep, sending Seth through the table! Dominik hits a frog spash for a near fall. Rollins gets back into it with a powerbomb and then using the kendo stick.
Murphy hands Rollins handcuffs but Angie Mysterio (Dominiks mother) comes out from the back. Rey stops her from coming down the ramp but in the ring Murphy gets involved and helps beat down Dominik. Rey Mysterio saves his son momentarily but he gets beaten down by Rollins and Murphy and then handcuffed to the bottom rope. Seth walks towards Angie but Dominik stops him. Dominik fires up, hits a 619 and then looks for a frog splash but Rollins gets his knees up and then hits a stomp in front of his handcuffed father for the win.
Result: Seth Rollins wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a match that got better as it went on. Seth winning was definitely the right call but Dominik didn’t look too out of place here. I think a run as a tag team with his father will be really good for him. The psychology was very good in this. I’m a big fan of Seth Rollins and he carried Dominik through a good match tonight.
There’s an ad for some computer game.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka – Raw Women’s Championship match
Background: At The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, the Raw Women’s Championship match between Sasha Banks and defending champion Asuka ended in controversy when Asuka inadvertently spat green mist in the referee’s face, which led to Bayley removing the referee’s shirt and counting the pin for Banks to unofficially win the title. The following night on Raw, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon stated that neither Banks or Asuka won at Extreme Rules and announced a rematch between the two for the following week in a match where the title could be won by pinfall, submission, disqualification, or count out. During the ensuing match, Bayley attacked Asuka’s tag team partner Kairi Sane backstage. Asuka then left the match to check on Sane, resulting in her losing by count-out, thus Banks won the title for a record fifth time. On the August 3 episode, Asuka demanded a rematch for the title, however, Banks stated that she had to defeat Bayley to earn the match at SummerSlam, which Asuka did the following week.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two girls, the previous match was a no contest.
Summerslam Record: Sasha is 1-2, Asuka is 0-1.
Match: The match starts with both girls attempting submissions. Sasha is targetting Asuka’s injured knee. Sasha hits a brutal looking sunset powerbomb off the apron. It’s back and forth and Asuka hits a DDT off the top turnbuckle. Sasha hits a double knees and then looks for a frog splash but Asuka moves out of the way. Bayley tries to get involved but Asuka disposes of her before applying the Asuka lock to Sasha. Banks taps out!
Result: Asuka wins the Raw Women’s Championship by submission.
Review: This was a good match. These two girls had a lot of chemistry and there were some good spots. The psychology was good too and I wasn’t sure which way it would go. Asuka wins back the Raw Women’s Championship tonight and this doesn’t bode well for the Bayley and Sasha Banks friendship.
There’s a video package next for Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton.
Shawn Michaels is routing for Drew McIntyre in this one.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship match
Background: On the July 27 episode of Raw, Randy Orton cut a promo listing many of his accolades before declaring that he wanted the WWE Championship again. He then issued a challenge to champion Drew McIntyre for a title match at SummerSlam. Later that night, McIntyre accepted Orton’s challenge and then defeated Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules match in a rematch from The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, preventing Ziggler from earning the title opportunity. Following the match, Orton attacked McIntyre with an RKO.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two men.
Summerslam Record: Randy Orton is 7-6-1, Drew McIntyre is wrestling at Summerslam for the very first time tonight surprisingly.
Match: It’s a gast paced start to the match, Orton attempting his RKO early. The fight soon goes to the outside where Orton sideslams McIntyre onto the announce desk. Rnady continues his advantage at a slow pace. Drew gets back into it with a unique kneebreaker and theb locks on a figure four. Orton pulls the referee and then rakes the eyes of the WWE Champion to break that hold. Drew gets bloodied and he sees red, firing up with belly to belly suplexes and a flying clothesline. McIntyre hits the futureshock DDT for a near fall. McIntyre counters the hangmans DDT and hits a Glasgow kiss before clotheslining Orton out of the ring and going out with him. Back in the ring and Orton hits a hangmans DDT and then sets up for a punt but Drew counters with a powerbomb. McIntyre motions for a claymore but doesn’t do the stupid count so doesn’t hit it. Orton then looks for an RKO but McIntyre counters with a backslide for the three!
Result: Drew McIntyre retains the WWE Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was the match you’d expect from these two. There was no claymore or RKO and it finished with a backslide so not exactly the finish I was expecting but I think they’ll have another match. PRetty standard heavyweight match, slow paced with some decent spots.
There’s an ad for WWE merch.
There’s a video package next for Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt.
Braun Strowman (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Falls Count Anywhere match for the Universal Championship
Background: At Money in the Bank, Braun Strowman retained the Universal Championship against Bray Wyatt, who wrestled as his Firefly Fun House character. After being absent for a few weeks, Wyatt returned on the June 19 episode of SmackDown, but was interrupted by Strowman. Wyatt stated their rivalry was just getting started before appearing as his old cult leader persona of The Wyatt Family, which formerly included Strowman and from where Strowman had originally made his WWE debut. This led to a non-title match between the two called the Wyatt Swamp Fight at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, where Wyatt, fighting as his old Eater of Worlds self, defeated Strowman, who disappeared somewhere in the swamp. As Wyatt tried to leave himself, he was pulled back into the water, only for his alter ego The Fiend to appear. On the following SmackDown, Wyatt stated that his old Eater of Worlds self was done for now and that The Fiend had been unleashed. The following week, Wyatt said that The Fiend wanted the Universal Championship and that no one was safe until he got it, which was made evident later that night when The Fiend attacked Alexa Bliss, Strowman’s old tag team partner from Season 1 of Mixed Match Challenge. On the August 7 episode, The Fiend tried attacking Bliss again, who seemingly showed affection for The Fiend, causing him to back off. Strowman then appeared on the TitanTron, stating he did not care about Bliss and that he emerged a monster from the swamp. Strowman then accepted The Fiend’s challenge for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. The following week saw Strowman attacking Bliss to lure out The Fiend, who appeared in the ring to confront Strowman. On the August 22 episode of Talking Smack, the stipulation was changed to a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Previous PPV matches: This is the third PPV match between these two men. They have both won one match prior to this one.
Summerslam Record: Bray Wyatt is 3-2, Braun Strowman is 1-1.
Match: Strowman forces Wyatt into the corner as the bell rings but Wyatt laughs and hits a urunage. Bray hits the old neck twister a couple of times and the fight goes to the outside. Wyatt hits Strowman with a tool box a couple of times. Strowman puts Wyatt through a barricade but Bray gets right back up. Strowman then chokeslams The Fiend into the edge of the table but again Wyatt gets up. Strowman uses the ring steps and then hits a running powerslam in the middle of the ring for a near fall. Strowman takes Wyatt up the ramp and into the flimsy big screen. They battle into the backstage area where Wyatt hits Sister Abigail in Gorilla for a near fall. They battle back to ringside where Wyatt locks on the mandible claw but Strowman breaks free. Braun hits another running powerslam in the ring but Wyatt kicks out of the pinfall again. Strowman picks up a stanley knife and slices up the mat in the ring, peeling it back and exposing the wood below. Wyatt gets up though and hits a urunage and Sister Abigail twice on the exposed wood which is enough for the three!
Result: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt wins the Universal Championship by pinfall.
Review: This match was a bit gimmicky but I actually enjoyed it. I’ll take matches like this, it reminds me of the attitude era. It was a lot of fun and better than their previous matches. I really like The Fiend character so I’m more than happy with him as Universal Championship.
After the match Roman Reigns appears from nowhere and spears The Fiend! Reigns then sets his sights to Strowman and spears him too! Reigns screams at Strowman and then lays into him with a steel chair. Roman Reigns is acting like a heel tonight on his return. He spears The Fiend once more and holds the Universal Championship above his head. We never saw it coming.
That was Summerslam 2020. It was a real hit and miss show. There were some good matches, no amazing matches but there were some bad ones. A couple of really disappointing matches, especially for a PPV like Summerslam. The opener was decent. Asuka and Bayley have been two of the bright spots of this Thunderdome era and they kicked off with a decent match. Bayley won with help from Sasha Banks which is fine, Bayley has been a great heel champion. The Street Prophets then beat Andrade and Angel Garza in a match that didn’t really click. The Wrestlemania match (with Austin Theory instead of Andrade) was actually better. I like The Street Prophets and more than happy with them as champions. Mandy Rose then beat Sonya Deville in a poor match. It’s a real shame but this just wasn’t very good. Sonya is gone from WWE but for how long we’ll have to see. It’s a much needed win for Mandy who finally picks up a PPV victory.
Seth Rollins beats Dominik Mysterio in a PPV debut for Dominik. He should be proud of his performance tonight, making your debut against Seth Rollins at Summerslam is a daunting task and although he did look a little green, he wasn’t bad at all. Seth picks up the win which is the right result. Good match. Asuka then beats Sasha Banks in the best match of the night so far to win the Raw Women’s Championship. I liked this, these two girls have a lot of chemistry. It’ll be interesting to see if this leads to the break up of Sasha and Bayley. Drew McIntyre beat Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship in a decent match. It was slow paced as you’d expect but a good title defence for McIntyre. I’m not sure about a backslide finish though. It makes me think we could see another match between these two men. In the main event Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman to win the Universal Championship. I enjoyed this match, it was good. But I think the real story is the return of Roman Reigns who will get thrust into the Universal Championship picture right off the bat. A good main event tonight though. Overall it’s not a PPV that I’d recommend you go back and watch. There weren’t any amazing matches, the Thunderdome brings less atmosphere than the live crowd (although it is an improvement on the Performance Center) and it was a pretty bang average show overall.
Overall Rating: 56.07/100 (ranked joint 261st out of 391)
Match Of The Night: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
Worst Match Of The Night: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
Surprise Of The Night: The return of Roman Reigns
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Asuka
Summerslam 2020 Will Be Remembered For: The return of Roman Reigns