Why I Am Not Sure What To Think Of WWE SummerSlam 2019
Written by Brandon Lewis on August 9, 2019
Photo Credit: whatculture.com
“The Biggest Party of the Summer” is upon us!
Sunday, WWE will be the center of attention in Toronto, Canada, as the 32nd edition of SummerSlam takes place, and I still do not know what to think about this year’s version, so instead of writing a full preview and predictions article, I thought I would tell you, the readers of this article, where my head is at when it comes to WWE right now.
Two weeks ago, WWE had announced the following six matches for SummerSlam, and I was excited about all of them because they all had stories.
- Brock Lesnar(C. W/Paul Heyman) vs Seth Rollins. Universal Championship.
- Kofi Kingston(C) vs Randy Orton. WWE Championship.
- Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon. If Owens loses, he quits WWE.
- Becky Lynch(C) vs Natalya. RAW Women’s Championship. Submission match.
- Bayley(C) vs Ember Moon. Smackdown Live Women’s Championship.
- Finn Balor vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
Rollins getting his rematch with Lesnar made sense. Randy Orton is the first legitimate threat I believe to Kofi Kingston’s WWE Title reign, and they are revisiting a feud that started a decade ago but never finished, and it has some truth behind it. Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon have never gotten along, even dating back to their feud in 2017 when Owens was the heel instead of McMahon, so it makes sense that Kevin Owens, who has not gotten booked properly since returning in February in my opinion, would try to end McMahon’s reign as the prominent heel on WWE programming as Owens cements himself as a top face.
Becky Lynch and Natalya have been good friends for over two decades, but there’s always been a hint of jealousy between the two. They both have submission finishers, they are two veterans who can put on a good match, Natalya is way better as a heel, Natalya is basically the only option Lynch has as a challenger, and this also opens up the door for a Ronda Rousey return as Natalya and Rousey are great friends off-screen.
Like Lynch, Bayley had no legit challengers for her championship, so she just gave Ember Moon a match, and I am fine with that. The two have never squared off on the main roster, and it gives Moon a chance to break out.
Finn Balor is the perfect opponent for “The Fiend” to make his debut, and it is at a perfect venue. In 2013, the Bray Wyatt character debuted in the ring against Kane in a Ring Of Fire match at SummerSlam. Now, six years later, Wyatt re-debuts, and it is against a man who beat him as “The Demon” at SummerSlam 2017.
However, since all those matches were announced, the build has gone done tremendously on some of the matches in my estimation. Bayley and Moon have barely had any interaction that garners interest, and Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton were not even on the Smackdown Live go-home show.
While I do think the builds to Lesnar-Rollins, Lynch-Natalya, Wyatt-Balor and Owens-McMahon have been decent, there is no WOW factor to these matches. There’s no match that stands out anymore as a match that I go, “Man, I REALLYYYYYYY NEEEDDDDDD to see that!!!!!”
Am I excited for “The Fiend”? You bet your house I do! Do I think it is going to be fun watching Lesnar probably toy with Seth Rollins worse than John Cena at SummerSlam 2014? Yes! Do I think Natalya and Lynch along with Orton and Kofi are going to get me invested as their match goes on? Probably because they are so good in the ring. Do I think Owens and McMahon will tell a good story even though we all know Owens is going to win? Yes because they know how to tell a story.
But, I think my biggest problem with this SummerSlam is that nothing feels special, and that some of the matches feel forced. Am I glad they did the Women’s Tag Team Title Match, and Black vs Zayn on TV this week instead of at the PPV? Absolutely because neither of those matches belonged on the card, but there’s other matches that do not belong on the card either in my opinion.
Why do we need Trish Stratus vs Charlotte? I get it is in Toronto(the hometown of Stratus), but to me, the match feels forced because WWE is using Stratus to make Charlotte a monster heel, which she already is. Not to mention, I do not see this match as a dream match. I understand Charlotte and Stratus have the most women’s titles in the history of the WWE, but I was never a big fan of Stratus even in her prime, and there promo on Smackdown Live Tuesday was nothing but awful in my estimation.
Why do we need a squash match between Goldberg and Ziggler? I know Goldberg wants to try to write his wrong from Super ShowDown just like Undertaker did at Extreme Rules, but Goldberg squashing Ziggler does him nothing in my opinion.
Why do we need to do Ricochet and A.J. Styles again? I have already seen this match many times, and I have not loved any of them. I am also one of the few people to not like Ricochet personally. I just do not see him as the next “top guy” in the company like a lot of people do. There’s no denying the dude can fly, but I just don’t think he has good matches. I would have rather seen a fresh matchup like Styles vs Rey Mysterio.
Besides those three matches not being needed on the card in my opinion, I have a couple of other issues with the build to this year’s PPV:
I don’t understand what the plan is with some of the biggest fish.
Last year, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman were the two biggest faces on RAW, and they were both feuding with Lesnar over the Universal Championship. This year, Strowman is nowhere near the card, and Reigns is in some storyline where somebody attacked him, and he is not scheduled to wrestle Sunday. How?!?!
Daniel Bryan last year had a great match with The Miz as the two were reigniting an eight year rivalry. This year, neither of them are scheduled to compete.
A month ago, Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans were the No. 1 contenders for the Universal and RAW Women’s Championships. They have not been on TV since. That is interesting to me. I wonder if it has anything to do with Paul Heyman?
What is the plan with the 24/7 Championship and Elias?
The 24/7 Championship is the championship I care about the most right now in all of wrestling, including AEW. It is hilarious, well written and just pure entertainment. I would love to see more than one segment with the 24/7 Championship at SummerSlam.
Then, there’s Elias. Last year, this man released an actual album you can buy on ITunes. The man has beautiful pipes, and he is the best in WWE right now at getting loud boo’s. If he is only used as McMahon’s lackey in his match with Owens, and he does not sing a song about Kawhi Leonard leaving the Raptors, I will be extremely disappointed just as I was Monday on RAW when he did not show up in his hometown in Pittsburgh. Elias NEEDS to get back to being a singer, not a servant.
How long will this show be?
A report surfaced a week ago stating that SummerSlam was scheduled to have 15 matches on the card, and that the show may go until after midnight, but with some matches taking place on TV Monday and Tuesday, the show may go a little shorter, and I am ok with that, but I need to know! Since Wrestlemania 32, Wrestlemania has gone over five hours in length with the main card, and I do not like it. What happened to quality over quantity?
For years, if you were on a “Big Four” PPV, you earned it. Nowadays, it seems like WWE feels the need to put everybody on the show. The problem with that formula is even the most die-hard wrestling fans are going to get bored and tired at some point.
If SummerSlam is indeed going to last over five hours, let me know now WWE, so I can prepare myself. Right now, I am prepared for about a four hour show with the 10 matches that are currently scheduled. All I am asking is either announce more matches ahead of time or do not have them! Please, for my sanity, and for the WWE Universe’s sanity, DO NOT add five matches to the main card just before the show! If you need to add them, put them on the Kickoff Show.
My Overall Point
Throughout this article, I have mostly only mentioned the negatives about SummerSlam 2019, but the bottom line is, this show will probably end up being pretty good like most WWE PPV’s are, especially the big ones. I was worried about Wrestlemania 35, and it delivered. I do think there’s a lot of potential with this card if they do it right.
While there are some matches I am not a fan of, WWE can make up for them if they are entertaining, and while the go-home shows this week somehow actually got me less excited overall for a PPV, WWE always seems to pull a rabbit out of their hat!
With that being said, I am challenging myself, and I challenge you, the readers, to do the exact same thing: Go into SummerSlam 2019 with an open mind. Let’s forget about the negatives, and let’s see what happens! Hopefully, it will be a wonderful, entertaining night Sunday!
Brandon Lewis is the Web Director for Black Squirrel Radio. Follow him on Twitter @brandonlewis_7