WWE SummerSlam Kickoff
Sunday, August 21, 2016
From the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
Report by Brooks Oglesby of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
Renee Young welcomes us to the Kickoff panel alongside Jerry Lawler, Booker T, and Lita. Renee sends it to Tom Phillips in the Social Media Lounge, who announces that he will hold a live Q&A with Sasha Banks later during the Kickoff. Use #TheBoss to send in questions.
Lita says she's especially looking forward to Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler. Jerry says Finn Balor is going to look scary tonight, so much so that "a haunted house offered him a job." Booker says, for him, Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton is a dream match.
After a rundown of the three Kickoff matches, the conversation moves to John Cena vs. AJ Styles. Renee asks about AJ's confidence going into the match. Lita says the WWE Universe knows how big this match is. Booker says AJ stepped right into the big leagues, but he's proven that he's worthy of his spot. His confidence is going to shoot through the roof. Lita picks Cena to win, and Jerry agrees. Booker says that tonight, the torch will be passed.
The conversation moves to the Intercontinental Championship Match between The Miz & Apollo Crews. Renee asks if The Miz is playing mind games by calling his opponent "Apollo Creed," and Booker agrees. Booker picks Apollo to win, but Jerry picks Miz to win based on experience. Lita picks Apollo to win as well.
Backstage, Tom Phillips welcomes Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. Owens says Tom doesn't seem happy to see them. Owens says they owe Tom an apology. Chris says they've been calling him the wrong name for weeks. Jericho says, "We're sorry, Phil. It won't happen again, Phil Boy." He also says he needs to apologize to Enzo Amore. Jericho did his research and became a certified G himself. Owens says he doesn't have Jericho's certificate, but he did see it. Jericho says that you can't teach chemistry, and Owens says that technically, they do teach chemistry in school. Jericho says he's talking about another type of chemistry. Owens says they're the closest tag team in WWE History. Owens says they're going to disappoint Enzo & Cass' families tonight. Jericho says tonight, they're gonna get it.
Back at the panel, Renee says there's a lot of ego between these two teams. Lita says Jeri-KO may have their own personal agendas, and could see an implosion in the future. Booker blames their chemistry on being Canadians.
The Smackdown announce team welcomes us to ringside as we get ready for our first Kickoff match. Mauro Ranallo says the show is sold out, as the teams make their way to the ring.
The Usos, American Alpha & The Hype Bros vs. Breezango, The Vaudevillains & The Ascension
Chad Gable and Tyler Breeze start off in the ring. A Gable chant starts as they lock up. Gable lands a number of waistlock takedowns and bridges out of an arm wrench from Breeze, applying an armbar to Breeze. Jey Uso tags in and gets sent into the heel corner as Aiden English tags in. Jey gets worked over in the corner, but fights out with a scoop slam. Mojo Rawley tags in and works over Aiden's shoulder with an arm trap shoulder block. Aiden gets sent into the turnbuckle, walking back out into a back body drop. Zack Ryder tags in and they hit a suplex-dropkick combination for a nearfall. Ryder lands some forearms in the corner and goes for a Broski Boot, but Simon Gotch runs in the ring, and the match devolves into a brawl. The Ascension clears the ring, but American Alpha climbs the turnbuckle together and land tandem splashes. Breezango pulls them out of the ring and Ryder lands a dropkick to the outside. Aiden whips him into the ringpost.
Simon Gotch has Ryder grounded in the ring as Ryder fights to his feet. Viktor tags in and works Ryder over in the corner. After a pin attempt, Viktor locks in a chinlock. Ryder lands a jawbreaker but Viktor stops the tag as Konnor tags in. Konnor splashes Ryder in the corner for a nearfall. Tyler tags in and he stomps Ryder in the corner before landing a leg drop for another nearfall into a chinlock. Tyler applies a half crab and tags in Fandango, who lands a slingshot leg drop for a nearfall. Viktor tags back in and Ryder tries to fight back to his corner, but Viktor stops him. Konnor tags back in and The Ascension knocks the face team off the apron. Ryder fights out of his corner and knocks the heels off the apron. Jimmy Uso waits for the tag and Ryder gets cut off. Ryder lands a Rude Awakening as both men are down. Ryder gets a hot tag as Tyler comes in. Jimmy lands some clotheslines and kicks into a Samoan drop. Konnor gets into the ring and gets an enzuigiri. Jason Jordan gets a blind tag and lands a belly-to-belly to Breezango. He drops the straps and lands a capture suplex on Simon Gotch for a pin attempt which Aiden breaks up. Aiden lands a sit-out powerbomb on Chad Gable. Mojo lands a discus punch on Aiden, and Tyler lands a kick to his head. Ryder goes for a Rough Ryder but walks into an uppercut from Viktor. Ryder gets set up on the top rope as Tyler and Viktor go for a double superplex. Mojo knocks both from the top rope with a powerbomb. Ryder hits an elbow drop, but Fandango comes in with a leg drop. He eats a superkick from Jey Uso. The Ascension hit a modified Hart Attack on Jey. Chad sends The Ascension out of the ring. Viktor stays on the apron and Konnor jumps up. They go for a suplex but The Usos land stereo superkicks, making them drop Gable. The Usos launch over Gable onto the heels outside the ring. Jordan tags Gable in and they land Grand Amplitude on Simon Gotch. Jey Uso lands a blind tag and lands a splash to get the pin before American Alpha can.
Winners: The Usos, American Alpha & The Hype Bros
The Usos celebrate as American Alpha looks disappointed.
Back at the panel, Renee asks about Smackdown Tag Team Championships. Booker explains the significance of the weight and color scheme. The conversation moves to the WWE Championship Match between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler. They discuss how long Ziggler has been working for this opportunity. Jerry says he's in the right place in the wrong time, and that's why Ambrose will win tonight. Booker says Ziggler's window is closing year after year. Booker ranks Ziggler at #8 or #9, and this could be his night to move up. Booker picks Ambrose to win, and Lita agrees.
Baron Corbin wanders into the panel and says he has something to say. He gets a mic and says he was supposed to have a match tonight with Kalisto, but that coward begged to not be medically cleared. Baron says he's all about making money, and Kalisto cost him money. He hopes Kalisto is enjoying his time on the couch with his wife, because Baron's going to put him there permanently. Baron then storms off.
The conversation shifts to the United States Championship Match between Rusev and Roman Reigns. Jerry says Rusev is never in a good mood, even though he's married to Lana. Lita picks Roman to win. Booker says you do not touch a man's woman, and picks Rusev. Jerry agrees.
Sasha Banks joins Tom Phillips in the Social Media Lounge for a live Q&A. The first question asks the best thing about being the Women's Champion. She says it's proof that she's the boss. The next question asks how she plans to beat Charlotte. She asks if this person watched her beat Charlotte 4 weeks ago. She's ready, and hopes Charlotte is, too. The next question asks if she thinks Charlotte has anything up her sleeve. She says she's the dirtiest player in the game, but anything Charlotte can do, she can do better. The last question asks if she's scared of Charlotte. She says of course not, she was born to do this.
Moving to the Women's Championship Match between Sasha Banks and Charlotte, Renee asks Lita's thought on Charlotte and Sasha. She's amazed with how much Charlotte has grown over the past year, and tonight will be a huge battle. Jerry thinks the title has gone straight to Sasha's head, and that attitude can lead to a loss. Booker picks Charlotte, and Jerry agrees. Lita thinks Sasha will hold the title for a while.
Andra DeMarco welcomes Cesaro backstage. She asks whether the Best of 7 Series is what he's been looking for in terms of feeling valued. He's looking forward to it, but he knows his value. Cesaro says the first match is importance in establishing dominance. Cesaro closes the interview by saying, "Less talk, more wrestling."
The Raw announce team is at ringside as the second Kickoff match gets started.
Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Dudley Boyz
Neville and D-Von start off in the ring. They lock up and Neville works over D-Von's arm before tagging Sami in. A quick tag brings Neville back in and the arm attacks continue. Zayn comes back in and lands an axe-handle to the arm. Neville comes back in and lands an elbow to the arm. Neville lands a corkscrew splash off Zayn's back onto D-Von. Bubba Ray gets into the ring and Zayn launches Neville into the air for a dropkick. Neville goes for a splash to the outside, but D-Von grabs his legs. Bubba Ray gets into the ring and levels Neville. D-Von works over Neville in a neutral corner before landing a spinning elbow for a one-count.
Bubba Ray lands a neckbreaker in the corner before tagging in D-Von. He lands a leg drop on Neville for a two-count. Bubba tags back in and slams Neville's head into a corner. Neville fights out of the corner but walks into a back elbow. Bubba gets up on the second rope and tries a senton, but Neville dodges. Neville crawls over and gets the hot tag to Sami. Sami takes D-Von down with some forearm strikes and a dropkick. Sami lands a Blue Thunder Bomb for a pin attempt that Bubba breaks up. D-Von tags out and the Dudleyz land a tandem neckbreaker, but Neville breaks up the pin attempt. They go for a 3D on Neville but Neville counters. Bubba charges and accidentally takes out D-Von with a clothesline. Sami lands a Helluva Kick on Bubba and Neville lands the Red Arrow for the win.
Winners: Sami Zayn & Neville
Back at the panel, Renee puts over the new wave of talent coming through WWE. The conversation moves to Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship. Booker says his Shucky Ducky Quack Quack Moment of the night is going to this match. This is going to be a contest like none we've ever seen before, he says. This match will make someone's career tonight. Renee asks how much it would break Seth to lose tonight. Jerry says it will be devastating for whoever loses. Lita picks Balor to win. Jerry and Booker pick Rollins.
The Raw announce team welcomes us back to ringside as it is time for the third Kickoff match of the evening.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus: Best of Seven Series: Match 1
They lock up and push each other into a corner. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick and Cesaro dodges, landing an uppercut. He goes for a Neutralizer but Sheamus flips him over. Cesaro lands on his feet and sends Sheamus out over the top rope. Cesaro goes to jump through the ropes but Sheamus stops him with a forearm. Back in the ring, Cesaro lands a dropkick for a quick pin attempt. Sheamus lands some forearms in the corner, but Cesaro reverses it and lands some uppercuts of his own. Sheamus sends Cesaro over onto the apron and tries to land a strike to Cesaro's chest, but Cesaro blocks it. Sheamus hangs up Cesaro on the top rope and slams him against the post. A clothesline sends Cesaro to the apron as Sheamus poses for the crowd. Sheamus lands a suplex, and transfers a pin attempt into an arm wrench. Cesaro gets to his feet and lands an Alpamare Waterslide. Cesaro lands a suplex and goes for another pin, getting a one-count. Sheamus lands a kick to Cesaro's sternum and throws him into a corner. Sheamus hits the ropes but Cesaro charges out of the corner, landing a European uppercut. Sheamus counters and lands a tilt-a-whirl slam for a two-count.
Sheamus has a chinlock applied on Cesaro, who gets to his feet. He runs at Sheamus, who lands an Irish Curse Backbreaker for another two-count. They trade blows and Sheamus lands a rolling fireman's carry slam. Cesaro blocks a suplex attempt. Sheamus blocks one in turn, and a suplex attempt from Sheamus sends Cesaro to the apron. Cesaro pulls him over and both men tumble to the ground. Both men get back into the ring and Sheamus lands a strike to Cesaro's face. Cesaro returns with a flurry of uppercuts. Cesaro sets Sheamus up on the top rope and lands a dropkick, sending him out to the apron. Cesaro gets up on the second rope and suplexes Sheamus into the ring for a nearfall. Sheamus tries a roll-up, but Cesaro kicks out and goes for the Neutralizer. Sheamus counters and lands White Noise for a two-count. Cesaro rolls out to the apron and Sheamus sets him up in fireman's carry position on the second rope. Sheamus lands a rolling senton for another nearfall. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick and runs toward Cesaro, who puts up a boot. A clothesline takes Sheamus down, and Cesaro gets a nearfall. Cesaro climbs to the top rope and stands on the ringpost. He springs off the top rope and lands a cross-body for a two-count. Cesaro signals for the Cesaro swing and executes it, stepping into the Sharpshooter. Sheamus grabs the rope and goes for a Brogue Kick, but Cesaro dodges and goes for the Sharpshooter again. Sheamus lands a thumb to the eye and drives Cesaro's shoulder into the post. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick for the win.
Back at the panel, the conversation moves to Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton. Renee asks how Orton can weather the storm of Brock Lesnar. Booker thinks we'll see blood tonight. He thinks Orton has all the tools for tonight. Jerry says Orton is not an underdog tonight. Both men can withstand each other's best shot. Jerry picks Orton to win, and Lita goes with Lesnar. Booker picks Orton. The Kickoff goes off the air with a promo package for Lesnar vs. Orton.