Sunday, August 6, 2023

WWE Summerslam 2023

By Steve Ward

WWE finally returned to the United States this evening following back-to-back Premium Live Events (aka pay per views) in Saudi Arabia and England as Summerslam emanated from a sold-out Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Tonight’s card was scheduled for eight bouts with four titles contested. As the show opened, Michael Cole proclaimed that there would be FOUR main events…really? In my opinion, stating four matches are main events is not only contradictory, but also, diminishes the luster of the final bout of the night. Nonetheless, the final match of the evening pit Roman Reigns against his cousin Jey Uso in a familial civil war with the Undisputed Universal Championship on the line.

Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

Winner: Logan Paul via pinfall

The evening kicked off with the polarizing Logan Paul, who made his way to the ring welcomed by an overwhelming chorus of hatred, to take on the high-flying Ricochet. In the closing moments of the contest, Ricochet seemed poised to claim victory as he ascended to the top rope to attempt the 630. Paul rolled out of harm’s way and as the referee checked on him, a member of Paul’s entourage slipped him a pair of brass knuckles which he used to drop Ricochet to solidify the victory.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes 

Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall

Following Brock’s betrayal of Cody on RAW the night after Wrestlemania, the two have engaged in a bitter rivalry that has seen each man claim one victory a piece in each of their two previous meetings with the deciding match this evening. Brock Lesnar dominated the vast majority of this bout as he delivered everything in his arsenal only to have Rhodes continue to ask for more. Late in the match, Lesnar met the dreaded exposed turnbuckle with his head which opened the door for Cody to cinch in Brock’s own patented Kimura Lock on him. Brock managed to escape and attempt the F5 again only to have Cody slip out. Rhodes proceeded to deliver three consecutive Cross Rhodes to slay The Beast.

Summerslam Battle Royal

Winner: LA Knight

In an effort to pack more talent onto the card, an over-the-top battle royal was added to the card with nothing other than bragging rights at stake. The final four men in the bout were AJ Styles, Bronson Reed, LA Knight, and Sheamus. The first to go was Bronson Reed at the hands of LA Knight. Styles was eliminated next by Sheamus thanks to an assist by Karrion Kross. As Styles stood on the ring apron, likely setting himself up to deliver a Phenomenal Forearm, Kross grasped Styles’ leg allowing Sheamus to take advantage and kick him in the face. LA Knight then clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope to reign victorious.

MMA Rules Match

Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler

Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission

Following Baszler’s betrayal of Rousey during their tag team title bout at Money In The Bank, which cost them their titles, things have gotten ugly between the two former sparring partners. With a long-standing friendship dating back to their UFC days, the two have quickly become bitter rivals as Baszler has felt like she’s been trapped in Rousey’s shadow which has brought us to tonight’s match. Following a rather uneventful match, Baszler cinched in the Kirifuda Clutch to earn the submission victory.

WWE Intercontinental Title Match

Gunther (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Winner: Gunther via pinfall

Since Gunther overcame McIntyre and Sheamus at Wrestlemania to retain his championship, he has continued his torrid streak as the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of the 21st Century. Recently, McIntyre made his return to WWE television for the first time since Wrestlemania and immediately confronted The Ring General. That lead us to tonight’s hard-hitting encounter between the two as Gunther entered the night only 32 days from matching the Honky Tonk Man’s legendary reign as Intercontinental Champ. McIntyre gave Gunther a run for his money as he was perched on the top rope and appeared to be in dire straits as The Scottish Warrior seemed poised to deliver a superplex until he was propelled by Gunther onto the top rope in a quite precarious landing position. Gunther then capitalized and delivered the power bomb to solidify his title defense.

World Heavyweight Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor

Winner: Seth Rollins via pinfall

Their ongoing rivalry continued this evening as Balor received another title shot against Rollins after he was arguably cost a victory at Money In The Bank thanks to the distraction of his fellow Judgement Day stablemate, Damian Priest. Just as Rollins was building momentum late in the match, Priest made his way to ringside with Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley soon to follow. The distraction was enough to give Balor a temporary edge as he was able to land the Coup de Grace but could not capitalize. Priest then slid the Money In The Bank briefcase in the ring and proceeded to distract the referee. As Balor crawled over to retrieve it, Rollins stopped him with the stomp as he drove Balor’s face into the briefcase allowing him to secure the pinfall.

WWE Women’s Championship

Asuka (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair

Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall

Asuka looked to continue her title reign following her victory over Bianca Belair at Night of Champions as she engaged in a triple threat affair with Belair and Charlotte Flair who made her recent return. In the closing moments of the match, Flair had the Figure 8 cinched in on Belair. Asuka then sprayed the mist in the face of Flair and attempted to kick Belair in the head. Belair ducked and rolled up Asuka to become the new champion - for a few minutes.

WWE Women’s Championship

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Iyo Sky

Winner: Iyo Sky via pinfall

Just moments after Belair won the Women’s Championship, Miss Money In The Bank, Iyo Sky’s music echoed throughout Ford Field as she made her way to the ring with Bayley. Sky cashed in her briefcase and immediately hit a moonsault on Belair to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.

WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Tribal Combat Match

Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman vs. Jey Uso

Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall

Following Jimmy and Jey Uso’s election to turn on Roman Reigns, they have become embroiled in a bitter Bloodline civil war which led us to tonight’s Tribal Combat. Essentially this no holds barred match was not only for the Undisputed Universal Championship, but also to determine who would sit at the head of the table as the tribal chief. As Jey Uso seemed poised to pull off the unthinkable late in the match, Solo Sikoa emerged to turn the tides. Jey was able to remove Sikoa from the equation with a splash through the announce table and again turned his attention to Roman. After delivering an Uso Splash to Roman, Jey was pulled from the ring by his brother Jimmy who emerged from the crowd. Roman then capitalized and drove Jimmy through another table propped up in a corner of the ring with a devastating spear to retain his title.

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