That famous scene in Gladiator occurs when Maximus single-handedly decimates an arena of all the other top warriors. He not only murders them without even really breaking a sweat, but he dispatches them in bloody fashion. When there is no one left to challenge him, he throws his arms up and asks the crowd, “Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?” That’s all that was missing from the main event of last night’s SummerSlam.
Brock Lesnar is a terrific athlete and a tremendous waste of talent. His matches are annoyingly one-sided and all too often resemble a Maximus-esque slaughter. You can lay that at the feet of WWE Creative if you want and they certainly deserve some blame for booking Brock as an invincible monster, but the Beast Incarnate does not care if he puts on a good show. He doesn’t give a s**t about your kids and he certainly isn’t concerned with helping other wrestlers get over. When Brock left Randy Orton in a pool of his own blood last night, only to continue wailing on him after the match was over, we may as well have been ancient Romans sitting silently as Maximus asked us if we were entertained.
I can’t speak for everyone, but Eric and I were certainly not that entertained and we have a feeling that many of you weren’t as well.
We had originally intended to do a SummerSlam predictions post followed by a recap, but
technology sucks and we’re too reliant on it we weren’t able to. Instead, we had to squeeze this reaction piece together as best we could. You can also see our original predictions so that you can mock our lack of foresight.
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
Jesse and Eric’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Eric: The match itself was aggressive and intense. The first time in a long time where blood was not only apart of the match, but no immediately stopped like usual. This tells me it was planned. However, I do not think that SummerSlam should have finished like that or with this match.
Jesse: My biggest disappointment with this match, aside from what I mentioned above, wasn’t Brock winning. No one anywhere is surprised that he once again dominated en route to another victory. However, I told Eric before the match that if I didn’t see an F5 countered into an RKO, I was going to kill somebody. Well, that didn’t happen and now I have a body at my house that I need help burying. Eric won’t fly back to Denver to give me a hand, so I’m lighting the beacon and requesting aid from anyone who will help a guy in a pinch. Thank you very much.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev – United States Championship
Eric and Jesse’s Prediction: Roman Reigns
Eric: My interest in Raw and WWE in general is slowly, no quickly, declining. This went after the two big title matches and it ends up not even happening. Sorry, but this was a waste on a card that had potential to be one of the best SummerSlams ever.
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor – WWE Universal Championship
Eric’s Prediction: Seth Rollins Jesse’s Prediction: Finn Balor
Eric: The match was marred by the unveiling of the new title belt (personally, I didn’t think it was terrible), but the match itself, not counting fan reactions, was a great quality one with solid work put in. I don’t think the Demon King is worth the hype but still, a very strong match.
Smackdown Six-Diva Tag Team Match
Jesse and Eric’s Prediction: The Heel Team
Jesse: Fun fact. I didn’t pay much attention to the rumor mill yesterday and as a result, didn’t see that Nikki Bella was probably going to be the one to replace Eva Marie in this match. When I expressed to Eric that I was certain Nikki would be the surprise partner, he proceeded to ridicule me for making the same prediction that everyone else was. Some of the guys in WWE could learn a thing or two from Eric about heeling it up. Anyways, since we won’t get to see Becky Lynch whoop Eva’s ass for another 28 days or so, it makes sense that they would feature the returning Nikki in this match so that Becky has someone to challenge for Smackdown’s Women’s Championship. Good to see Nikki back and I dig her new finisher.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE World Championship
Jesse and Eric’s Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Jesse: Easily the most disappointing match of the night for me. I loved the story they told leading up to this and felt like they did a great job of selling why an Ambrose/Ziggler title match matters in 2016. The match itself featured very little drama and was a fairly straightforward victory for the Lunatic Fringe. I’m an Ambrose guy and I’ve always admired Ziggler, but to me this fell very flat and didn’t give us the payoff that we were expecting. Maybe it’s because the crowd really seemed to be behind Dolph and weren’t happy with how easily he went down, or maybe the Cena/Styles match just burnt everyone out and nothing could follow it. I don’t know. It’s just too bad that these guys didn’t put on a better display and steal the show like they told us that they would.
The New Day vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson – WWE World Tag Team Championship
Eric and Jesse’s Prediction: Gallows and Anderson
Eric: This was pointless, honestly. Jon Stewart ruins another good SummerSlam match and Big E so happens to be waiting backstage in his ring attire? Another potentially great match ruined.
John Cena vs. A.J. Styles
Jesse and Eric’s Prediction: A.J. Styles
Jesse: The Face that Runs the Place and the Phenomenal One are more than just catchy nicknames. They are monikers that John Cena and A.J. Styles have earned over their respective, historic careers, and in case you had forgotten how good the two of them are, they proved it again last night. I don’t care if you don’t like John Cena. I’ve never been a fan of his, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t one of the best workers I’ve ever seen. He shows up for big matches and seems to always shine the brightest at SummerSlam, and his bout last night with Styles was one for the ages. I respect the hell out of Cena for being so good at what he does and for putting over Styles clean last night, which is not an accolade that many guys in WWE have on their resume. As for Styles, I’m thrilled beyond belief that he’s being treated like the star that he is and is finally getting the chance to be a household name in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Easily a match of the year candidate and it was definitely worth some of the crap that followed to see these two go at it one more time. I tip my hat to both of them.
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship
Jesse and Eric’s Prediction: Apollo Crews
Jesse: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Miz is a fine heel. One of the more capable ones in the company, in fact. I just don’t understand what purpose is served by giving him such a lengthy run with the Intercontinental Title. He’s not being built for a larger push when he does finally drop that belt and he’s not exactly helping other guys get over. And I’m not advocating for Apollo Crews to get another shot at the title, either. He has ability but lacks the charisma and showmanship to ever truly make a name for himself and stand out from the crowd. The match itself was entertaining enough, but I wasn’t really thrilled about the premise going in and I’m unclear on the direction of either of these guys now that it’s over.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – Women’s Championship
Eric and Jesse’s Prediction: Sasha Banks
Eric: There had better be a damn good reason why Sasha lost. Nonetheless, out of the whole card this was probably a top three match. It was entertaining and the two ladies work well together.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Jeri-KO
Eric’s Prediction: Enzo and Big Cass Jesse’s Prediction: Jeri-KO
Eric: An entertaining match to open the show that didn’t do anything for the competitors, but it was still a good match.