Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - Destruction in Kobe 2015 Review

Hirooki Goto defends his IWGP Intercontinental Title against Shinsuke Nakamura!

NJPW Destruction in Kobe 2015
Kobe, Japan 9/27/15

1.) Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka vs. David Finlay & Jay White: **1/2

The shows kicks off with a battle of the Young Lions!! These matches always tend to fun, and this one was certain a nice little opener. It was by no means spectacular, but it was decent way to opener the show. Komatsu & Tanaka would get the win here. No real complaints from me.

2.) Six-Man Tag - Yuji Nagata, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, & Tiger Mask vs. Captain New Japan, Juice Robinson, & Manabu Nakanishi: **1/4

I think the big story here is that Juice Robinson (formerly CJ Parker in NXT) is now part of New Japan. I guess the story is that, after being released from WWE, Robinson wanted to go elsewhere to prove himself and get better, and he ended up in New Japan (thanks to the help of NXT’s head trainer Jason Albert, the former Tensai/Giant Bernard/A-Train/Albert, who spent a number of years in New Japan). As far as this match goes, it was just ok. Nothing much else to say besides that. In the end, the team of Nagata, Liger, & Tiger Mask would get the win.

3.) Eight-Man Tag - CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Roppongi Vice, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Great Bash Heel (NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), Mascara Dorada & Ryusuke Taguchi: ***1/4

I don’t know why, but I just always find it cool whenever Ishii teams up with Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta. Anyway, they’re teaming here with their other CHAOS stablemate YOSHI-HASHI to take on Makabe, Honma, Mascara Dorada & Taguchi. I thought this was a pretty good Eight-Man Tag. It was certainly better than the multi-man tag that came before it. An entertaining match from start to finish, and all eight guys seemed to get a chance to shine. Eventually, the CHAOS contingent would score the victory.

4.) Six-Man Tag - Matt Sydal, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Satoshi Kojima vs. The Bullet Club (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, & IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows): ***1/2

Sydal is the next challenger for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, with Kenny Omega regained from KUSHIDA a few nights prior in Okayama. On that same show, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows successfully retained their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles over Tenzan & Kojima. Now, on this show, those two different title programs have come together in one Six-Man Tag, which I actually thought was pretty good. The action was solid from start to finish, and it was just, as a whole, entertaining. Sydal scored the clean win for his team after hitting Omega with a Shooting Star Press, so that does a really good job to further set up their upcoming title match.

5.) Tetsuya Naito vs. Katsuyori Shibata: ***1/4

So this feud came about during their interactions during the G1 Climax, first during their singles match early on in the tournament (where Shibata beat Naito), and later on in several multi-man tags. I just love the personality clash between these two, with Naito’s “too-cool-for-school” (if that’s the right term for it) heel persona clashing with the no-nonsense asskicker in Shibata. This ended up being a good match, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I thought this match definitely fell below expectations, which really sucks, because they had a great match during the G1. I’m honestly not sure what it was. I think, based on the brawls we saw leading up to it, people thought it was going to be more heated than it ended up being. That was definitely part of it, in my opinion. Naito, after hitting a series of low blows, hit the Destino to secure the win. Definitely one of most disappointing matches from New Japan in 2015.

After the match, Naito attacked Jay White, who had been tending to Shibata, and also attacked a cameraman. Shibata then flew in from out of nowhere, and the two brawled to the back.

6.) Six-Man Tag - The Bullet Club (“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Tama Tonga, & Cody Hall) vs. CHAOS (IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada, Kazushi Sakuraba, & Toru Yano): ***¼

Here we have another match that’s building towards the Okada/Styles rematch at King of Pro-Wrestling 2015. This time, it’s a Six-Man Tag, with Tama Tonga & Kazushi Sakuraba joining their respective solid. Another good multi-man tag. Like I said in my review of the show from Okayama a few days prior, these multi-man tags always seem to blend together, but most of the time, they almost always deliver. There was some solid action throughout this match. The interactions between AJ Styles & Sakuraba specifically were pretty exciting to watch. In the end, Sakuraba would score the win for his team after submitting Cody Hall.

7.) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. The Time Splitters: ****

Now we’re getting into the “meat & potatoes of this card, with the first of three title matches. First up is the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. KUSHIDA is just coming off losing the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title to Kenny Omega, and is looking to bounce back with his tag team partner Alex Shelley. These two teams had a number of matches with each other in 2014, with reDRagon having the edge in the series coming in. I thought this was a pretty great match! Both of these teams are just so incredible, so it should be no surprise that this ended up being so good. Great back & forth action throughout. You really can’t go wrong with either team, and they once again produced. Eventually, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly were able to hit Chasing The Dragon to retain their titles.

After the match, Roppongi Vice came out, seemingly to congratulate reDRagon on their victory, but they attacked them instead, hitting their tag team finisher, Strong Zero, on Bobby Fish. Looks like they’ll be the next challengers.

8.) #1 Contender’s Match - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale: ****

Bad Luck Fale defeated Tanahashi during the G1 Climax, which Tanahashi went on to win. So, naturally, Bad Luck Fale is getting a shot at Tanahashi’s G1 Briefcase/Tokyo Dome Title Shot. Honestly, I thought this was a great match! It’s been proven that if you put Bad Luck Fale in a match with somebody who can carry him, he’s perfectly capable of having really good matches. We’ve seen it before when he’s wrestled guys like Nakamura & Okada, and now we’ve seen it again, as he had a legitimately great match here against Hiroshi Tanahashi, which was even better than their match in the G1 Climax. Bad Luck Fale looked like a monster, and Tanahashi fought back, and was able to overcome the monster, in the end, to win the match and retain his title shot.

9.) IWGP Intercontinental Title - Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: ****½

I felt like we were done with this feud after Goto defeated Nakamura soundly on two occasions (first in his title victory Wrestling Dontaku 2015, and then in the rematch at Dominion 2015). However, Nakamura earned a victory over Goto during the G1 Climax, which has resulted in another title match between the two. I know both guys were great, but I was a little wary going in, since this was the fourth singles match these two would have in 2015, but they surpassed my expectations and had an incredible match!! This was awesome! It was easily their best match in this particular series. I think where things came together is that they put together a complete match that was great from start to finish, as opposed to some of their previous matches, which have gotten complains for having some rather uninteresting first halves. These two just put together a spectacular match, and the closing few minutes especially were just great. Eventually, Nakamura scored the victory to regain the IWGP Intercontinental Title!!

After the match, Nakamura was cutting one of his usual promos to close the show, but he was soon interrupted by Karl Anderson, who had beaten Nakamura early on in the G1 Climax. Based on his victories over both Nakamura & Goto, Anderson challenges Nakamura to a title match, and the challenge was accepted!

Overall: 8.25/10

I think the last three matches really helped to make this show really good. Goto vs. Nakamura was a fantastic Main Event, and as I said, it was definitely the best of their singles matches in 2015. You also had a great singles match between Hiroshi Tanahashi & Bad Luck Fale (easily one of Fale’s best singles matches in New Japan), and a great IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match between reDRagon & The Time Spillers. You also had a number of multi-man tag team matches, with The Bullet Club vs. Matt Sydal & TenKoji being the standout. Additionally, while it was incredibly disappointing, Naito vs. Shibata was still good. It just didn’t meet the lofty expectations people had for it. As a whole, this was a pretty good showing from New Japan.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - Destruction in Okayama 2015 Review

Togi Makabe defends the NEVER Openweight Title against Kota Ibushi!

NJPW Destruction in Okayama 2015
Okayama, Japan 9/23/15

1.) Eight-Man Tag - Katsuyori Shibata, Yuji Nagata, Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka vs. Tetsuya Naito, Manabu Nakanishi, David Finlay & Jay White: **3/4

We start off the show with an Eight-Man Tag. What’s interesting here is that Naito, who is clearly a heel now, is the only heel in a match with all babyfaces. Additionally, we had all four young lions in this match. I thought this was a relatively solid opening match. We saw Naito continuing the evolution of his heel persona, as he refused to tag in when Jay White wanted him to, which led to White getting pinned by Nagata.

After the match, Naito spit in Shibata’s face, and Shibata went right after him. The two needed to separated. This is building towards their match in Kobe.

2.) Non-Title Match - IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Mascara Dorada: ***1/4

While reDRagon are facing a team comprised of two juniors, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line here. I enjoyed this match. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish are always fun to watch, and seeing them interact here with Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Mascara Dorada was pretty cool. A fun little match that reDRagon eventually won.

3.) NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Title - Steve Anthony (with Bruce Tharpe) vs. Tiger Mask: **½

Anthony, representing the N.W.A., won this title from Jushin “Thunder” Liger earlier this year, and now, he’s defending the title against one of Liger’s semi-regular tag team partner Tiger Mask. This was an ok match. Both guys are getting up there in age, but Liger is still much better than Tiger Mask, when it comes to singles matches. Bruce Tharpe, of course, was as entertaining as he always is. In the end, Tiger Mask picked up the win to capture the NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Title.

4.) The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Matt Sydal: ***1/4

I’m not sure if this is the first time that Matt Sydal has wrestled in New Japan. If he has, it hasn’t been for a long time. He’s teaming here with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the winner of the 25th G1 Climax, to take on The Bullet Club. I thought this was a pretty solid tag team match. Sydal got showcased, while we got some build towards Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in Kobe a few days later (where Tanahashi would be defending his title shot he earned by winning the G1 Climax). A Shooting Star Press, following by a High Fly Flow (both on Tama Tonga) gave the victory to Hiroshi Tanahashi & Matt Sydal.

5.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles - The Bullet Club (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima: ***1/2

It’s been awhile since TenKoji (or Tencozy, whichever you prefer) has challenged for these titles. For the most part, I really enjoyed this match. It wasn’t spectacular by any means, but I thought both teams did a very good job here. This was certain a nice change of pace from a few months prior during the horrible feud between The Bullet Club & The Kingdom. Despite the best efforts of Tenzan & Kojima, Anderson & Gallows eventually got the win to retain their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles.

6.) Ten-Man Tag - CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Roppongi Vice, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto, Tomoaki Honma, Alex Shelley, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Captain New Japan: ***¼

The purpose of this match is to help build up the IWGP Intercontinental Title Match between Hirooki Goto (the champion) & Shinsuke Nakamura (the challenger) in Kobe. Another pretty solid multi-man tag. These matches always seem to blend together, but the majority of them are usually relatively good, as was the case with this show. Completely fine for what it was, but forgettable as a whole. Of course, as you would expect, Captain New Japan got pinned, and the CHAOS team got the win.

7.) The Bullet Club (“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles & Cody Hall) vs. CHAOS (IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano): ***

Styles is getting his rematch with Okada form the IWGP Heavyweight Title at King of Pro-Wrestling 2015 in October, so this match is basically building towards that confrontation. While this wasn’t quite as good as the multi-man tag that came before it, this was still a fine tag team match. Cody Hall & Toru Yano were alright here, and seeing Okada & Styles go at it is always fun. In the end, Yano won the match for his team with a rollup on Cody Hall.

8.) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title - KUSHIDA vs. Kenny Omega: ***1/2

KUSHIDA won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title from Kenny Omega back at Dominion in June. While this was a very good match, it wasn’t nearly as great as their previous match. The reason for this was the fact that there was a ton of interference from The Bullet Club. Even though there was still a ton of good action throughout the match, the sheer amount of interference brought the match down for me. Alex Shelley also came out at one point to try and help his tag team partner KUSHIDA. In a result that I think was a surprise to everyone, Omega regained the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title after hitting the One Winged Angel on KUSHIDA, who had just been hit with a Gun Stun from Karl Anderson. I don’t think anyone expected Omega to get the title back.

After the match, Matt Sydal (who pinned KUSHIDA in a singles match on a ROH show about a month prior) challenged Omega to an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match, which would later be set for King of Pro-Wrestling 2015.

9.) NEVER Openweight Title - Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi: ****

Ibushi earned this title shot after scoring a victory over Makabe in last week or so of the G1 Climax. This was easily the best match on the show. Ibushi was as great as he always is, and while Makabe seems to be falling out of favor with North American New Japan fans (myself included), he definitely put on a really good performance here in a main event spot, and it resulted in a great match. There was some really solid action throughout, and the crowd seemed to be into it. Eventually, Makabe scored the win to retain his NEVER Openweight Title, and cut a promo to close the show.

Overall: 7.0/10

I think it’s fair to say that this was probably one of the weakest “major shows” of the year for New Japan. It was honestly a one-match show, with Makabe & Ibushi delivering a great Main Event. The other important highlights included Kenny Omega recapturing the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title from KUSHIDA after a ton of interference from The Bullet Club, and Tiger Mask winning the NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Title. Other than than, the rest of the show was just a bunch of tag matches building to bigger matches.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

WWE Night Of Champions 2015 Review

Seth Rollins defends two titles in one night!

WWE Night Of Champions 2015
Houston, Texas 9/20/15

Kickoff Show

1.) Six-Man Tag - The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust & The Ascension) vs. Neville & The Lucha Dragons: **¾

After losing a tag team match to Neville & Stephen Amell at SummerSlam, Stardust started to feud more with “The Man That Gravity Forgot” and recruited The Ascension as his “henchmen”. Neville, in turn, received some backup in the form of The Lucha Dragons, setting up this Six-Man Tag. I thought this was a relatively solid match. It was perfectly fine for a pre-show match. In the end, The Cosmic Wasteland actually got the win here, which was a surprise to me.


1.) WWE Intercontinental Title - Ryback vs. Kevin Owens: **3/4

The first title match of the night sees Ryback defending his WWE Intercontinental Title against former NXT Champion Kevin Owens. This was….decent, but I was expecting a little more from this one. Now I’m not saying that I thought this could have been spectacular (this is Ryback were talking the bout), but I thought this could have been at the least, good. It just fell below my expectations. I’m sure the fact that Kevin Owens won the title with a rollup after raking the eyes of Ryback contributed to this match being just decent.

Between the first and second match, we got an advertisement for Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell Tour”. Now I normally don’t talked about backstage segments or promos on my WWE PPV reviews, but this particular video package has some pretty big announcements. First, Brock Lesnar would be wrestling The Big Show on a WWE Network Live Special from Madison Square Garden on October 3rd. Then, he would be appearing on The Stone Cold Podcast with Steve Austin following RAW on October 19th. Finally, it was announced that Brock Lesnar would be facing The Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell Match at the Hell In A Cell PPV on October 25th. That was a pretty big announcements, as their were rumors at the time that the “rubber match” between Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker would take place at WrestleMania 32. Obviously, this was a case of “plans changed”

2.) Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae): **3/4

Speaking of rumors, I believe the original plan here was to do a mixed tag with Dolph Ziggler & Lana vs. Rusev & Summer Rae. Apparently, Lana got injured during training, so plans change, and we got basically a rematch from SummerSlam instead. Fortunately, this match actually had a finish, but it did include some shenanigans, as attempted interference by Summer Rae backfired, which allowed Ziggler to get the win. Another relatively solid match. It’s amazing to see how far Rusev had fallen at the start of 2015. Don’t get me wrong, he was still fantastic, even in this storyline, but he could have been so much more.

After the match, a frustrated Rusev leaves without Summer Rae, and Ziggler kissed her hand.

3.) WWE Tag Team Titles - The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boyz: **3/4

The night after SummerSlam, in Brooklyn, The Dudley Boyz made their surprise return to WWE, making their intentions clear by going after The New Day. Speaking of which, Xavier has a new hairdo, and The New Day cut another great heel promo before the match that involved a lot of comedy. It was around this time that they started the “Save The Tables” campaign in response to the The Dudley Boyz. As far as the match goes, much like the two (technically three) matches that came before it, this was relatively solid, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was good. It could have been good, if the match hadn’t ended in a DQ when Xavier Woods interfered.

After the fact, The New Day decide that they’re going to put The Dudley Boyz through tables, but their plan backfired, and it was Xavier Woods that would end up going through a table, courtesy of a 3D from The Dudley Boyz.

4.) WWE Diva’s Title - Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (with Becky Lynch & Paige): ***

On the RAW before Night Of Champions, Charlotte challenged Nikki Bella for the Diva’s Title in an attempt to prevent Nikki from becoming the longest reigning Diva’s Champion in history. Nikki retained in controversial fashion, but Stephanie McMahon put together this match in response. Finally, we have a match on this show that was able to crack the *** barrier. This was a pretty solid Diva’s Title Match. They did seem to tell a nice story with Nikki going after one of Charlotte’s legs for an extended period of time, but it really ended up not meaning much in the end, as Charlotte made a comeback, and eventually got Nikki to submit to the Figure Eight, winning the Diva’s Title, and ending Nikki Bella’s reign at 301 Days.

After the match, Becky Lynch, Paige, and Ric Flair celebrated with Charlotte in the ring.

5.) Six-Man Tag - Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, & Chris Jericho vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Braun Strowman): ***1/2

With Erick Rowan still on the shelf with an injury, Bray Wyatt introduced a new member of The Wyatt Family following SummerSlam. That person would end of being his “Black Sheep”: Braun Strowman. He’s a huge dude who, according to, only had SEVEN matches under his belt before he got called up to the main roster (as we would discover in the coming months, Vince McMahon is IN LOVE with this dude). A Six-Man Tag was then set up for Night Of Champions, and a “mystery partner” was advertised to join the side of Ambrose & Reigns. That “mystery partner” turned out to be Chris Jericho, who has a history with The Wyatt Family (he feuded with them in the summer of 2014). Interestingly enough, before the reveal of Chris Jericho, a fan jumped in the ring, I guess in an attempt to be the “mystery partner” but he was taken away by security. The match itself was very similar, in terms of quality, to the Ambrose/Reigns vs. Wyatt/Harper tag team match at SummerSlam. It was a very solid Six-Man Tag, and that says a lot considering the limited experience of Braun Strowman. Towards the end, Jericho forcing himself in via a blind tag, but this would end up causing his team’s downfall as Jericho eventually passed out in Strowman’s weird looking submission hold.

After the match, Ambrose & Reigns appeared to be disappointed in their tag team partner for taking things into his own hands and letting the team down. Jericho just leaves, intentionally bumping into Ambrose on his way out.

6.) WWE United States Title - Seth Rollins vs. John Cena: ****¼

So after WWE seemingly copied what ROH did back in June at Best In The World 2015, they decided to do it again. This was an even more glaring example, as they were copying what ROH was on their All-Star Extravaganza VII PPV, which took place just two days earlier in the same state (ROH was in San Antonio, while this show was in Houston). The only difference is that ROH had Lethal two title defenses separated, as he defended the ROH World TV Title against Bobby Fish in the opening match, and then defended the ROH World Title against Kyle O’Reilly in the Main Event. WWE, on the other hand, is having Rollins defend both of his titles back-to-back.

First up, is the WWE United States Title Match, where Seth Rollins is defending against John Cena, which is a rematch from SummerSlam. Interference from Jon Stewart cost Cena his United States Title that night. I thought these two, once again, delivered another fantastic match!! In comparing the two, I’d say their SummerSlam was on track to being the better match before the interference from Jon Stewart. This match was still pretty awesome. Both guys worked really hard, and we saw some great action from start to finish. What’s also pretty cool is that we actually got a clean finish, as Cena won back the WWE United States Title which, at the end of the day, was the right result.

After the match, Cena takes the mic, and reminded him that he now has to defend his WWE World Title against Sting. He then gives Rollins an Attitude Adjustment on the floor, and rolls him back into the ring. Sting then makes his way out, and our Main Event gets underway!!

7.) WWE World Heavyweight Title - Seth Rollins vs. Sting: ***¾

Sting returned the night after SummerSlam, and made his intentions clear that he wanted to take the WWE World Title off of Seth Rollins. While this wasn’t as awesome as the Cena vs. Rollins U.S. Title match that preceded it, this was still a really good Main Event. Of course, Rollins was great as he always is, but this match will probably be remembered more for the gutsy performance of Sting. I think he proved a lot of people, having one of his best matches in several years. He took a number of bumps that he didn’t necessarily need to take. There were moments here where Sting looked like he was in a bad way (particularly after a Buckle Bomb from Rollins), but he fought through it, though ultimately, Rollins would end up retaining his WWE World Title.

As it would later turn out, the injuries that Sting suffered during this match (mainly a neck injury from, I believe, the Buckle Bomb) would ultimately lead to his decision to retire during the WWE Hall of Fame induction speech in April 2016. This meant that this match would end up being the last in Sting’s legendary career.

After the match, a weakened Seth Rollins was attacked by Sheamus, who was the holder of the Money In The Bank Briefcase. It looked like Sheamus was going to cash in, but then Kane (Demon Kane to be precise) came out and attacked Rollins, hitting him with a chokeslam. Sheamus tried to order Kane to do more damage to Rollins, but Kane gave him a chokeslam as well. Kane then gave Rollins a Tombstone Piledriver and stood tall over the WWE World Champion to close the show.

Overall: 7.5/10

This was a relatively solid PPV from WWE. Oddly enough, a show that I would compare to a ROH Live Event, specifically Reloaded Tour ‘15: Lockport, which took place about a week after this show. Both shows started out with several matches right at the **¾ mark, but things got a little better when it came to the top matches. In this case, most of the undercard was fine, but unspectacular. The highlights were probably Charlotte winning the Diva’s Title and Chris Jericho returning. The two best matches of the night were the two Main Events. Cena/Rollins was very much the best match on the show, while Rollins/Sting ended up being really good as well. It also has a bit of historical significance as Sting’s last match (though we didn’t know it at the time). The ending of the show with Kane standing tall probably caused a lot of eyerolls (deservedly so), but it has to be said that the performances that Seth Rollins put in on this show were incredible (as far as wrestling two tough titles matches back-to-back is concerned). Again, this wasn’t an amazing show, but it was solid, and had it’s moments.

WWE SummerSlam 2015 Review

The biggest party of the summer comes to Brooklyn, New York!

WWE SummerSlam 2015
Brooklyn, New York 8/23/15

Interestingly enough, this four-hour show (with ten matches on the card) didn’t start off with a match, but with an in-ring promo from the host of SummerSlam: Jon Stewart (who recently retired from hosting The Daily Show on Comedy Central). He talks about how happy he is to be here, but then brings up the fact that he’s still upset that Brock Lesnar broke The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Undefeated Streak. Stewart says he wants to interview Lesnar, but he’ll need some backup, and brings out Mick Foley! However, there was a bit of a misundering, as Foley said he thought Stewart said “Rock”, as in The Rock, and not “Brock”, as in Brock Lesnar. Foley says that he’s never been to Suplex City, and that he doesn’t intend on going, telling Stewart that he’s on his own. An….interesting segment. I felt like this would have been a better fit for somewhere backstage, but I can’t complain too much, as I’m a big fan of Jon Stewart.

1.) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus: ***

The opening contest of the night is actually a rematch from Battleground (which opened that show as well). This was fine, but I thought their aforementioned match the previous month at Battleground was significantly. Plus, we’ve seen these two wrestle each other hundreds of times before. It’s not like we’re seeing anything new here. Sheamus would end up getting the win here.

2.) WWE Tag Team Titles - Fatal Four-Way Match - The Prime Time Players vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores (with El Torito) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods): ***½

The New Day cut one of their great heels promos before the match. Titus O’Neil & Darren Young had been WWE Tag Team Champions for about two months at this point. Now, they’re not only defending the titles against their rivals, The New Day, but against The Lucha Dragons & Los Matadores as well. I thought this was a pretty good match. In hindsight, this match should have opened the show. We’ve seen these four-way matches for the WWE Tag Team Titles numerous times over the last few years, but no matter what, you can always count on them to deliver, and they certainly did here. Some very good action throughout this match, and all four teams got a chance to shine. Eventually, following a blind tag, The New Day was able to come from out of nowhere to recapture the WWE Tag Team Titles. What followed was probably one of the funniest post-match celebrations I’ve seen, as Kofi Kingston flopped like a fish on the mat, and the trio eventually started dancing in the ring to thunderous cheers.

3.) Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae): **1/2

So WWE actually went along with the dumb idea of splitting up Rusev & Lana. What followed was Lana pairing with Dolph Zigger, and Rusev attaching himself to Summer Rae. Now, since she’s with Ziggler, Lana is wearing with jean jacket & short skirt, while Summer Rae is dressing more like what Lana used to wear (remember the heights that Rusev & Lana reached going into WrestleMania? Yeah, that’s pretty much all gone). As far as the match goes, it was ok, for the most part. It could have been better if it had gotten a proper finish, but instead, we got a double count-out, which was met with a chorus of boos. Rusev & Ziggler continued to brawl, and then Lana & Summer Rae brawled in the ring. On commentary, JBL mentioned after the fact that he loved the fact that their issues weren’t resolved. What an idiotic comment to make, especially on a major PPV.

4.) Neville & Stephen Amell vs. King Barrett & Stardust: **3/4

So Stardust aka Cody Rhodes had been doing an angle where he was antagonized Stephen Amell, the star of the DC Comics TV Show Arrow (based on DC Comics superhero The Green Arrow) and a longtime wrestling fan. Eventually, this led to a confrontation on RAW where, after being shoved by Stardust, Amell jumped the barricade and attacked him in response! This resulted in a tag team match being booked for SummerSlam, with Amell teaming up with Neville to take on Stardust & King Barrett. I have to say, for what this was, I really enjoyed. It was honestly hard for me to not enjoy it, since I’m a big fan of Arrow (and all of the DC Comics TV Shows on the CW). For what this was, I think it actually turned out pretty well. Amell looked pretty solid in this match. It’s definitely one of the better in-ring performances by a celebrity I’ve ever seen. The match itself was nothing spectacular, but like I said, for what this was, it turned out about as well as it possibly could have. Neville would get the win for his team after hitting the Red Arrow on King Barrett.

5.) WWE Intercontinental Title - Triple Threat Match - Ryback vs. The Big Show vs. The Miz: **1/2

This match was originally scheduled to take place at Battleground, but it had to be called because he had (I believe) a staff infection. It was a relatively quick match (clocking in at just under six minutes), and it was fun for what it was. A completely inoffensive midcard match. Ryback would pin The Miz (who has just received a KO punch from The Big Show) to retain his title.

6.) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper): ***1/2

Bray Wyatt picked up a win over Roman Reigns at Battleground thanks to interference from Luke Harper. Naturally, Dean Ambrose would step up to the challenge to help his buddy Roman Reigns, and here we have this tag team match. For the most part, I thought it was pretty good. It wasn’t a great tag team match by any means, but I thought all four guys worked hard, and it was just solid from start to finish. I known some people thought that Ambrose might have turned heel here, but that never happened. Reigns would get a measure of revenge on Wyatt, pinning him after a spear to win the match for his team.

7.) WWE World Heavyweight Title vs. WWE United States Title - Seth Rollins vs. John Cena: ****1/4

Both titles are on the line in this match. This was Cena’s first major WWE match since suffering a nasty broken nose in a United States Title defense against Seth Rollins on an episode of RAW at the end of July. It’s actually a little weird that this big title vs title match (which is basically WWE stealing ROH’s idea from two months prior, when they did Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal in a title vs. title match on PPV) is seventh on a ten match card, but whatever. Rollins is wearing all-white gear, while Cena comes out to the fans in Brooklyn singing “John Cena Sucks” along with his theme song. Now for the most part, I thought this match was awesome!! Rollins was fantastic in this match, and really showed what he could do in a big-time championship match that doesn’t involved shenanigans with The Authority. Cena, of course, almost always delivers on the big stage, and this time was no different. Great action from both guys throughout this match. It had the potential to be a MOTYC before the finish. There was a ref bump, which led to Jon Stewart coming out with a steel chair. It looked as though he was going to hit Rollins with it (Rollins & Stewart had been having a “feud”, which included Rollins popping up on The Daily Show twice and Stewart making an appearance on RAW before WrestleMania 31), but instead, he hits Cena with the chair! He runs out of the ring, allowing Rollins to give Cena a Pedigree on a Steel Chair to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Title, and to win the WWE United States Title. Again, I love Jon Stewart, but the finish did hurt the match a little bit. Still, that shouldn’t totally take away the incredible work both Cena & Rollins did in this match.

8.) Triple Threat Trios Elimination Match - Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks, Naomi, & Tamina) vs. Team Bella (The Bella Twins & Alicia Fox) vs. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, & Becky Lynch): **¾

So the “Diva’s Revolution” saw Stephanie McMahon introduce three of NXT’s “Four Horsewomen” (Becky Lynch, Charlotte, & Sasha Banks) to the main roster, and she placed them into teams, pairing Becky Lynch & Charlotte with Paige as Team PCB (originally they were called “The Submission Sorority” but that was dropped when they realized that name was being used by a number of “adult websites” aka probably porn or something of the sort) and Sasha Banks with Naomi & Tamina as Team B.A.D. (which stands for Beautiful and Dangerous). This has led up to a Triple Threat Trios Elimination Match, which also includes Team Bella of The Bella Twins & Alicia Fox. Honestly, I didn’t think this match was as bad as some reviews I’ve seen have made it out to be. Yes, it was a giant cluster, but there were parts of it that I enjoyed, and as a whole, I thought it was fine and relatively inoffensive. Team B.A.D. would be eliminated first, and then Becky Lynch scored the fall on Brie Bella to win the match for Team PCB. Again, I didn’t think this was that bad.

9.) Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens: ***3/4

Kevin Owens was at a very interesting point in his WWE career coming into this show. He was just coming off losing his feud with John Cena (He had lost to Cena on two straight PPV’s after winning the first match at Elimination Chamber, and the night before at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, he failed to regain the NXT Title from Finn Balor in a Ladder Match. He needed a win to bounce back, and he did that here with a victory over Cesaro in a really good match. Honestly, I thought this match didn’t get the attention it probably deserved, because of it’s placement on such a long show, and the fact that other, more important stuff (important in WWE’s eyes, I mean) was going on throughout the show. Still, these two are both fantastic wrestlers, and they put on a really good (bordering on great) match here in the Semi-Main Event slot.

10.) Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker: ****

Of course, Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Undefeated Streak at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans. Then, well over a year later, The Undertaker (now with hair, and wearing gear that was similar to what he wore in 2004-2005), make a surprise appearance at Battleground, costing Lesnar the WWE World Title. Despite the fact that they had an awesome pull-apart brawl on an episode of RAW leading to SummerSlam, I was a little weary about this match going into it, especially since their match at WrestleMania XXX was incredibly disappointing (which wasn’t helped by the fact that The Undertaker got hurt relatively early in that match). However, both guys blew away everyone’s expectations, and had a legitimately great match!! I think that came as a surprise to everyone. I don’t think the consider was more so with The Undertaker than Lesnar, since people were questioning if his body would be able to go through the punishment of a Lesnar match after he got hurt in that fateful match in New Orleans. The Undertaker really showed here that was able to hang with Lesnar, and these two just put on a great match. They just beat the crap out of each other, and it was entertaining to watch. Of course, this match is going to be remember for the….very weird finish. Lesnar had The Undertaker in a submission hold, and then the bell rang. Heyman started celebrating, and it seemed that Lesnar had won, but the referee never called for the bell. Turns out, The Undertaker tapped out, but out of the view of the referee. The match continued, and The Undertaker kicked Lensar low (continuing to muddy the waters of his face/heel alignment), and made a defiant Lesnar pass out in the Hell’s Gate submission hold to “win” the match.

Overall: 8.0/10

This show felt like a bit of a rollercoaster (with a lot of ups & downs), but as a whole, I’d say this was a pretty good show. The show kept going back & forth between stuff was really good to great, and stuff that was….well….average. There really wasn’t anything on the show that was outright bad. The best match on the show was easily Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (despite the finish with Jon Stewart), and right behind that, in terms of match quality was surprisingly Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (again, despite the finish). Other matches on the undercard that stood out as being pretty good included Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper, and the WWE Tag Team Title Fatal Four-Way Match. Stephen Amell’s appearance was also a personal highlight for me, since I’m a big fan of Arrow. Despite some of the obvious issues, this was a relatively good SummerSlam.