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Cageside Countdown: Best of Summerslam 2016


Congratulations! You survived the biggest party of the summer. I am, of course, talking about the closing ceremony of the Games of the 31st Olympiad.

But since this is a wrestling site, I suppose I might as well talk about that thing that happened in New York on Sunday.

What was the best moment of Summerslam 2016?

Earlier this week, we asked you, the Cageside Galaxy, to give us your favorites. And you delivered... unlike most of this card. But I digress. Here are...

The ten best moments of Summerslam 2016.

Remember: these moments are selected and voted by you. So if this list is no bueno, that's on you.

10. That face when you can't beat AJ Styles.

John Cena threw everything at "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles. Everything including Attitude Adjustments, STF's, and AVALANCHE ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS. And Styles kicked out of all that. When the AVALANCE AA couldn't put away the former face of TNA, Cena's facial reaction spoke for all of us. He probably wasn't winning.

9. That face when the table doesn't break.

So Randall Keith Orton of St. Louis, Missouri likes to RKO people. Usually from out of nowhere. So the main event of Summerslam was an underwhelming mess (and I'm not just talking about the match). During said underwhelming mess, Randall from St. Louis is looking to RKO Brock through the announce table. Randy hits the RKO on the announce table. The table doesn't break.


Randy's face spoke for all of us. For a man who's had the table no-sell his signature maneuver more than once, can ya really blame him for being tired of this shit? (photo via ESPN)

8. God's Last Gift.

Colby Lopez, aka Seth Rollins, wrestled in a past life as Tyler Black. Before Lopez took on the persona as Crossfit Triple H and long before he gave opponents the American History X treatment, Lopez as Black finished the opposition with a fisherman's buster, or as he called it, God's Last Gift.

Here's God's Last Gift.

Yeah. I can see why that wouldn't fly on WWE television in 2016. All the head and neck trauma. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Well, here it is at Summerslam.

Last year, he whipped out the Phoenix Splash for the first time on WWE programming, so it's probably an "in case of emergency break glass" move.  So I fully expect him to whip it out this Monday during the Universal title match.

7. The Bullet Club mini-reunion.

Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are two founding members of New Japan's gaijin stable of "real shooters", The Bullet Club. Once upon a time, Fergal Devitt was a member of said Bullet Club. Once upon a time, Allen Jones Styles was a member of said Bullet Club. Sometime between the addition of Prince Devitt and the addition of AJ Styles, Bullet Club became New Japan's knockoff of the nWo, complete with "too sweet" mannerisms and all.

During Summerslam, Anderson and Gallows were reunited with AJ Styles (the three have been splintered off following the Draft), and in walks in Finn Balor, who was Prince Devitt in a past life. It was a subtle, yet blunt tease of a SUPER BULLET CLUB. Maybe? Maybe? Maaaaaaaaaayyyyybe?

Probably not.

6. Nikki Bella returns.

In September 2015, Nikki Bella broke AJ Lee's record as the longest reigning champion of the women's division in the last eight years. It was a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, few knew until deep into that run that the breaking of said record (which may or may not have been because of a grudge against the record holder's husband) took quite the toll on her body. It did so much damage to her neck (thanks in part to her finisher the Rack Attack) it would require her to eventually go under the knife.

From there, the prognosis was bleak: Nikki would have to wait quite a while to return to the ring... if ever. Last month, she got the news she was waiting for: Nikki was a go to return to physical activity. A few weeks later, she was cleared by WWE doctors. It was only a matter of time before Nikki would return to the squared circle.

Thanks to Eva Marie getting Wellnessed, creating an opening on the Summerslam card, Nikki was back in the ring. And yes, she delivered a Bellahammer to Carmella. And a TKO which... it was fine. It's fine. It was fine.

Good to have you back, Nikki.

5. We want Slater!

4. Kevin Owens mocks Enzo Amore.

Just... just look at this man. LOOK AT HIM! (GIF via

3. Never give up.

John Cena and AJ Styles had an absolute classic at Summerslam. It will probably go down in the short list of best matches ever at the event. And you should watch it. Seriously.

The match had quite the unexpected ending: Cena lost. Post-match, Cena was left alone to contemplate (as it usually goes, because WWE canon dictates Cena is ALWAYS the bigger story). Then he took off his patriotic armband with the three words "NEVER GIVE UP" and left it behind on the way out.

Is Cena retiring? Probably not. He still has to get a 16th and 17th world title. And make no mistake; they're happening at some point. Is he transitioning to a part-time role? Perhaps. If he is, that's a hell of a way to go out.


By the time Summerslam 2016 ended, fans at the Barclay's Center have been watching wrestling for about six hours. That's a lot of grappling. Combine that with the previous night's NXT Takeover: Brooklyn and a few other indy shows that happened over the weekend, and safe to say, some of those people watched more wrestling in that period than most casuals will in a month.

If you were at both Takeover: Brooklyn 2 and Summerslam, you'll probably agree with what I have to say next: at the end of Takeover, you were in a fantastic mood. You saw a good show. You were generally sports entertained.  When Summerslam ended, you were in a deflated mood, probably thinking, holy shit, that show could not have ended fast enough. Even if you were sports entertained, you were in your seat for most of, if not all of, six hours. Probably the best feeling you had other than that three going down for Styles over Cena and Balor over Rollins... was when the show ended.

1. John Cena and AJ Styles tear the house down.

It's the best match of the night. It's the best match of Summerslam. It's arguably the best match of the 2nd annual Brooklyn weekend spectacular. And this highlight video doesn't nearly do it justice. Do yourself a solid, get WWE Network, and watch this match now. Or as you Cagesiders saw it, the best moment of Summerslam 2016.

Miss anything? Give out about it in the comments. Best Summerslam moments ever countdown this weekend.

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