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Richard Reacts To WWE SummerSlam

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It took me 20 minutes to get onto the WWE Network. I finally got connected on my iPhone before being about to get my desktop to connect. Based on responses I heard from my Twitter account, the incident wasn't isolated and a lot of people were having issues. As of 7:24 PM ET everything is fine, hopefully they're won't be anymore issues. I missed the opening segment featuring Jon Stewart and Mick Foley, two of my favorites. Sean has you covered with the recap at this link.


The outcome: Sheamus pinned Randy Orton clean after a Brogue Kick

Pass or fail?:Pass. Expectations were low and they delivered by working hard, the crowd liked it too.

Analysis: Orton vs. Sheamus is a match people didn't care to see. When we reported it was announced, it was a collective sigh of apathy. But the crowd at the Barclays Center begged to differ. They were into the match, with Sheamus and Randy working hard. Randy suffered a cut above his left eye, with blood visible. The referee put on gloves as a result. Sheamus got nuclear "you look stupid" heat. This was a good opener but nothing special. Sheamus had to stay hot with the win as Mr. Money in the Bank and Orton was just directionless for Summerslam this year.


The outcome: Kofi Kingston pinned Fernando to win the WWE Tag Team Championship for The New Day.

Pass or fail?:Pass. Talk about a fun tag team match, this was great and a perfect undercard bout. The New Day gimmick had plenty of people shaking their heads but Kofi, Big E and Xavier Woods have turned it into a fan favorite.

Analysis: At the beginning, both Kofi and Big E were legal men and could have ended it right there. The strange/ridiculous loophole was mentioned on announce as the situation was quickly rectified by another team tagging in. Xavier Woods was brilliant outside the ring. Titus O'Neil showed off his strength with backbreakers on Fernando. The crowd was hot throughout; a great crowd tonight in Brooklyn. The hot work from all 8 (plus 2) was rewarded with "this is awesome" chants. Everyone in this bout came off as so hungry and it translated on the pay-per-view broadcast. The go-home sequence saw Titus O'Neil powerbomb The Lucha Dragons and Fernando off the top rope and hit his finisher but Kofi had connected on a blind tag. This allowed him to sneak in and pin Fernando after he'd been finished off.


The outcome: Double count out.

Pass or fail?:Fail. I failed it because of the double count out. The match was good and the outside drama was expected but the crowd hated the finish.

Analysis: It took the crowd a little bit to get into the match and while it's impossible to explain why, it's likely because WWE is having to move so quick with so many bouts on the card. It's of note Lana was wearing a jean outfit, completely different from the business suits. The most impressive thing about Rusev is his versatility. I remember reading a blog by former WWE creative member Kevin Eck, who admitted that he and others laughed out loud when they watched his developmental tape. Rusev shouldn't be able to pull off the moves that he does but he does. He's a really good worker and it's why he's progressed forward so well. This was fine for what it was, we finally got the physical confrontation between Summer Rae and Lana but this program isn't stopping here. I would have rather seen the continuation of the angle on Raw and not taking up a spot on the pay-per-view lineup.


The outcome: Neville pinned King Barrett after hitting the Red Arrow

Pass or fail?:Pass. This isn't going to blow anyone away but it was a match that featured a celebrity that took it serious. Stephen Amell worked hard to be ready and did himself proud tonight.

Analysis: Stephen Amell jumped in the ring, got up quick and showed off some pro wrestling basics. I really respect that; he clearly prepared for the bout and took it serious. The announcers oversold him though and the crowd died off a bit. Neville was quick to change that because as soon as he got in the pace picked right on up. It was a very smart booking decision by putting Neville in the match, one of the best workers in WWE can always stir the crowd with his high-flying move set. Amell impressed again by going off the top rope onto his opponents. The finish saw Neville capitalize on Amell's offense, hit Red Arrow on King Barrett and get the pinfall for the win. Any time an outsider comes in and shows that he takes what these guys do serious, I have nothing but positive things to say. Great work Stephen Amell and great work by Neville to pull it all together. The heels were just there to do a job and they did it tonight.


The outcome: Ryback pinned The Miz after Big Show knocked him out

Pass or fail?:Fail. There was nothing to it. Just a limited spot fest that saw all the talent use their finishers with Ryback getting lucky and pinning a knocked out Miz after throwing Show out.

Analysis: Big Show actually makes Ryback look small - how is that even possible? Show double suplexed Ryback and The Miz with ease and loudly proclaimed he's a giant. One of WWE's biggest problems -- and it's something I noticed here -- is the overuse of finishers. Big Show hit Ryback with a chokeslam but he was up fighting within minutes, later hitting Shell-Shocked, only for Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale. There were several near falls as a result of all that but very problematic for a number of reasons. The chokeslam used to be one of the most devastating finishers there was and when you got it, you were getting pinned. Now, finishers carry as much weight as a shoulder block or a hip-toss.


The outcome: Roman Reigns pinned Bray Wyatt after hitting a spear.

Pass or fail?:Pass. A physical undercard match that would have rated much higher 2-3 years ago.

Analysis: There was nothing wrong with this, we've just seen these type of bouts with these guys before. It's 2015 and it's inexcusable that Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper are still working as midcarders. I know this may not be the time or place to write this but I couldn't get that fact out of my head while watching the match. The crowd still likes to give Roman Reigns a hard time as they loudly chanted, "Roman's sleeping" when he was down on the outside. Again, the bout was fine and something I would have raved about years ago but it's time for the next step with these guys. All of them.


The outcome: Seth Rollins won the United States Championship by pinning John Cena after a pedigree on a steel chair. Jon Stewart, the host of SummerSlam, came out and helped Rollins retain the title and the crowd loved it.

Pass or fail?:Pass. It wasn't a clean finish but the right man walked out with the titles. The crowd loved the match too.

Analysis: Seth Rollins debuted new all-white ring gear and the crowd was anti-John Cena from the get go. The announcers went a little heavy on the "Cena is coming back from a broken nose" references. John missed on a springboard stunner and the crowd made him pay for it. The match had the crowd throughout, as one of the stories told was Cena could tie Ric Flair's record of being a 16-time World Champion. Cena had some rust but the crowd was so heavily engaged, it didn't matter. Jon Stewart came out after a referee bump and aided Seth Rollins by using a chair on Cena, allowing for Rollins to pedigree Cena on the chair and pin him for the win. The crowd babyfaced the heck out of Rollins tonight, so it was the right outcome even though an ugly "only in pro wrestling" finish.


The outcome: Brie Bella missed on a missile dropkick, allowing Becky Lynch to hit a pumphandle slam and get the pin.

Pass or fail?:Fail. Time wasn't the issue. The crowd wants to see Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch. They're who is hot and they're the ones that need to be working on pay-per-view right now.

Analysis: Brie Bella pinned Tamina to eliminate TEAM B.A.D. There was a big Alabama slam on the outside from Nikki on Paige. The crowd struggled to hang on. While in the midst of the Divas Revolution, which I truly believe is real, WWE would be better suited to do two singles Divas match or a singles and a tag. They need to really focus on the abilities of some of these women then trying to throw everyone out there to get them on the card. The crowd immediately got into it when Charlotte came into the match, showing just what a special attraction that she is. There is a high level of interest in the newcomers. It's nothing personal against The Bellas, Alicia Fox, Naomi or Tamina but they're associated with the old way. Right now, WWE really needs to focus on the new Divas while they're red hot because this match didn't get over.


The outcome: Kevin Owens pinned Cesaro after a powerbomb

Pass or fail?:Pass. Good match from KO, proving himself to be a workhorse.

Analysis: Kevin Owens and Cesaro are two of the best in-ring workers in WWE. The crowd felt a bit worn out for the match, which was good, but this ended at 10:12 PM ET (3 hours and 12 minutes into the show). While it's nice to see Owens and Cesaro working later on the match card, it's clear neither is above midcard status at this point.


The outcome: Brock Lesnar appeared to have won via submission when the bell rang. Then Charles Robinson turned his back and argued with the timekeeper that he didn't call for the bell. Undertaker used it to hit a low-blow and then made Brock pass out in Hell's Gate.

Pass or fail?:Pass. The finish was dirty but it had to be. The match was great and much better than their encounter at Wrestlemania 30, where Undertaker was seriously injured early on. But will this hurt Lesnar?

Analysis: Brock jumped on Undertaker early before the opening bell rang. The crowd was much more split between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar than they were in Minneapolis, which should obviously be expected. Brock was busted open above his right eye in the match. Brock put Undertaker through the Spanish announce table and repeatedly told Undertaker that he would kill him. The crowd chanted "you've still got it" to Undertaker and "this is awesome" to both of them. There was an incredible sequence on the mat when they both looked each other in the eye and exchanged stiff rights. The finish confused people, as Brock had Undertaker in the kimura lock and the bell rang. Charles Robinson argued with the timekeeper he didn't call for it, Undertaker used the distraction to hit a low blow and lock in Hell's Gate. They wanted to make Brock look as strong as possible so he gave Undertaker the finger before he passed out. Because the bell rang, Paul Heyman will claim Brock didn't lose. It was a smart way to book it.

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