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WWE SummerSlam 2022 recap & reactions: A tractor crashes the biggest party

WWE’s summer party is one for the history books and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Let’s just get into this because we have a lot to talk about. Claire’s blog is still the dope spot all the cool kids love. Go there and be cool.


He's Not Human. He’s Like a Piece of Iron

I truly don’t know where to start when it comes to SummerSlam’s main event. Calling it a war feels like a disservice to actual war. Calling it a match is selling it short. If this is truly the end of the Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar story, their Last Man Standing match was the exclamation point on the last sentence in the last chapter. Words truly do not do this collision justice. That said, this is the gig so I will at least try.

Brock drove a tractor to the ring. He announced himself from said tractor. He also launched himself from the tractor into a Lou Thesz press onto Reigns. That set the tone of the match as it turned into a game of escalation. Roman and Brock beat each other in the crowd. They smashed each other through tables, and hit each other with their biggest moves. Nothing kept the other man down.

This is the logical conclusion of everything for these men. For the longest time, WWE told us these two are heads, shoulders, knees, and toes above everyone else in the territory. The only true competition for either men is one another. The only man who can withstand an F5, or several, is Roman Reigns. The only man who shrugs off multiple Superman punches is Brock Lesnar. Putting them in a match where it’s basically Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is a smart move. What put the match over the top was how each man sold the drama. They milked every 10 count and provided a lot of tension.

Reigns isn’t going down because of a trip to Suplex City. But after going through a table and getting dropped into the ring via tractor—a thing that happened—it’s very possible. That’s what this match was all about: possibilities. The possibility that Reigns narrowly beats the 10 count. The possibility that nothing keeps Brock down for 10 seconds.

The match took a turn, pun intended, when Brock reached his breaking point. The Beast tipped the match in his favor when he tipped the ring on its side using the tractor. Reigns, and the rest of the match, spilled onto the floor. That’s when Jimmy and Jey got involved, sensing there was no way Roman survived without them. That’s The Tribal Chief in a nutshell. No matter his skill, he needs his cousins for the extra hands. He doesn’t love them. He’s not loyal to them. He just needs them.

Even Paul took a shot on Reigns’ behalf when he begged Brock to walk away. Heyman even handed Brock the titles! He just wanted his former client to back away from his Tribal Chief. It was really compelling stuff from Heyman and a nice reminder that he is still at the center of this feud. Too bad he got an F5 through the commentary table for his troubles.

But yeah, The Usos. They attacked Brock, Brock attacked them, they recovered, and took Brock to a Superkick Party. Theory’s music hit, signaling the third act of this match. After losing earlier to Bobby Lashley in pretty spectacular fashion, Theory still kept this chip in his pocket. But he never got the chance to officially cash in because Brock hit him with an F5 and laid him out for the rest of the match. But Brock took his eyes off the prize and you know what happens when you do that.

At this point, it became the Bloodline doing everything in their power to keep Brock down. It actually took chairs, tables, steps, and anything not nailed down to keep Brock on the floor. He survived Roman beating him silly with the MITB briefcase, several vicious shots to the head courtesy of the championship belts, and more superkicks. But he didn’t survive all the plunder thrown on top of his body. Reigns stood atop the pile of rubble for good measure, bidding Brock adieu and fronting like he did the whole thing by himself.

But Brock Lesnar proved he’s not human. Like Drago said about Rocky, he’s like a piece of iron. It took three men and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff to bury the beast. And even then, he got up on his own will.

I loved every second of it. This was the perfect cap to a damn near perfect SummerSlam.


The Champ, The Challenger, The Sky and The Role Model

Whew. So, before we get to the ending, which, some might argue is a bigger deal than the match itself, we need to talk about the actual action first and foremost. Just bear with me for a bit.

You know why Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch make great music together? I’ll tell you since you asked: Both women are believable in everything they do in that ring. They sell joy, anger, frustration, and disbelief better than most. And because both of them are capable enough to do whatever type of wrestling match they want, that ability came in handy during their championship match at SummerSlam. These two put on a wrestling clinic at WrestleMania. How do you follow that? Well, for starters, you don’t do the same thing. Becky and Bianca had a knockdown, drag out fight in Nashville.

And it all started when the bell rang and both women took their time before engaging. Once they clashed, Becky went to work on Bianca’s shoulder and kept applying that pressure throughout the entire match. Becky and Bianca taught a class on ring psychology. Becky worked Bianca’s shoulder so often, it took Bianca three tries to execute a suplex that is, for her as routine as putting one foot in front of the other.

Bianca got in spurts of offense but Becky countered at every turn. And whenever Bianca used one of her big moves, like the suplex or an attempted overhead press slam, she paid the price. Bianca’s power game suffered because, well, she needs two arms for a lot of that. Becky’s plan culminated in the Dis-Arm-Her, the same move Bianca fought off earlier in the match.

And it all made sense. Bianca outwrestled Becky at WrestleMania and pushed past her partly because of her strength. Neutralizing that strength is a great gameplay and fantastic storytelling. From Bianca’s standpoint, having one arm makes her adapt. Bianca says she’s the strongest, but she also says she’s the smartest and toughest. After their last SummerSlam moment, proving those last two adjectives was paramount for the champ. So when she slid out of that Dis-Arm-Her onto the floor, she showed that toughness. Rather than tap and succumb to all that pain her left shoulder felt, she found a way out.

After mustering some strength, Bianca executed a KOD on Becky...outside of the ring. In a moment of great character work, Bianca tried her damndest to get Becky back in the ring before the ref counted 10. She wanted to win the match in the ring and by pin. But, ironically, because of all the damage she did to Bianca’s shoulder, Becky almost lost this match by count out. She barely made it into the ring to beat the count. But Bianca basically took over from that point. She kicked out of a Manhandle Slam, reversed a top rope Manhandle Slam into a beautiful Spanish Fly, and then finished it—finally—with a KOD.

What turned this very good match into a great one was the full circle ending. Becky, after licking her wounds while Bianca celebrated, extended her hand to the champ. Bianca, no doubt remembering what happened in 2021, hesitated. She hesitated for a long time. And her hometown crowd wasn’t feeling it either. But Bianca shook Becky’s hand and the two embraced. Much to my surprise, there was no double cross either.

Okay, now we can talk about the very big moment. Bayley made her triumphant return. Followed by Dakota Kai and Io Shirai IYO SKY! Haitch is already putting in work behind the scenes. Vince is out of the big office and in about a week, he brings back Dakota, finally puts Io on the main roster, and puts Bayley back into our lives.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.

That handshake between Becky and Bianca? Guess who took Bianca’s side when Bayley, Io, and Dakota cornered the champ in the ring? The Big Time herself. To refresh, we got back all the dope things I mentioned, plus a Becky Lynch face turn.

Great way to start the show and a hell of a teaser for this Monday. Just put it in my veins right now.


Extracurriculars

I’ll Be Damned...

I’m not shocked Logan Paul is good at this wrestling thing. I’m not shocked he and Miz put on an entertaining match because Miz rarely puts on bad matches with anyone. I’m not even shocked at the incredible Frog Splash Logan hit on Miz with the latter laid out on a commentary table. And no, I’m not shocked Logan won because of course he won.

I’m floored that huge Nashville crowd eventually cheered for the man. I didn’t think there was anything WWE, AEW, NJPW, or Jesus Christ could do to get anyone to cheer for that guy. But they did, and that’s a credit to every single person in the match, including an interfering AJ Styles. Styles attacked Ciampa, which, hopefully, means we’re getting an AJ and Ciampa feud. Put that in my veins too, please.

Razor’s Edge

Real talk: Every No DQ tag match should be a tornado match. This No DQ tag match between The Judgment Day and The Mysterios started the right way. All four men were going at it, doing whatever with whatever. Then, for basketball reasons I presume, it turned into a regular tag match. Like people actually tagging in and out. When Domink, Rey’s son, got beat on, he just sat there and let it happen simply because of...rules? It was really weird.

At one point I asked, “Why isn’t Rhea getting some action?” Seconds later, she made her presence known by putting Dom on her shoulders and slamming him into the apron. With Rey down and the Judgment Day begging for chairs to scramble brains, no one noticed the set erected at the entrance. A very appropriate and cool remix of The Brood’s theme bumped through the stadium, and Edge, dressed in a Satan red leather jacket, rose through the fire and made a beeline to the ring.

Edge did Edge things, evened the odds, and looked on as The Mysterios got their revenge and the W.

Great moment and I’m digging everything about this iteration of Edge. I can’t wait to see if it really is him tapping into some of his original energy combined with everything he is now. And what does this mean for the future of The Judgment Day? They’re not a strong enough crew yet to get defeated by the guy who created them.

Time will tell, as it always does.

One and Done

This was a weird one. No, I didn’t dislike the tag match between The Usos and The Street Profits. It worked for me for many of the reasons their matches together always work. And, like all of them, it came down to one mistake. The Profits had the match won. They perfectly set up the Usos for a trademark win. Dawkins teed up a Montez Frog Splash. But whew, that impact. Tez needed a bit too much recovery time after and Jey kicked out as a result. Tez, frustrated with everything, spent too much time complaining to Double J rather than issuing more beatdown to Jey or tagging in his partner. Can’t leave The Usos that much time, which is a hell of a story to tell.

The Usos did what they did and walked out still the tag champs. But it was abrupt. A match that I pegged as an early contender for match of the night didn’t reach that bar. Or even come close. It was good, but seemingly ended as soon as it started.

No Profits breakup, no Double J Ka-Bong, just two guys sitting in the ring disappointed while The Usos walked into the moonlight with their titles in hand.

Bum Ass Loser

Pat McAfee is a good wrestler. The crowd wanted nothing more than to see him beat up on Happy Corbin. And it started with an all-mens choir singing “Bum Ass Corbin” as Corbin walked to the ring. Hilarious and brilliant. That set the tone for the whole match and both men delivered. And Pat won because that was the only sensible outcome.

The best moment of the match was this little exchange between Michael Cole and Corey Graves:

Graves: “I liked you better when you weren’t allowed to have an opinion.”

Cole: “That’s changed. A lots changed.”

Thanks for the chuckle, gents.

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Ronda Rousey saw Becky’s face turn and raised her one with a turn of her own. During her match with Liv Morgan for the SmackDown Women’s championship. Ronda dominated. Liv got her shots in but the champ didn’t look like much of a champ at all. And the ending didn’t exactly help her cause either. Ronda slapped on another arm bar and refused to let go this time. Then the foolishness started.

Liv, doing her best to reverse Ronda’s arm bar, puts her opponent on her shoulders. But Ronda doesn’t let go of the submission. The ref, noticing Ronda’s shoulders are down, gets into position to count three. While he’s counting, Liv is tapping. The ref misses that and gives the controversial pinfall victory to the champion.

Ronda snaps with good reason, beats up on Liv and the referee. So, yeah, she’s a heel now and Liv doesn’t look the best coming out of the match. It was fine but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth.

United He Falls

Theory always makes Lashley look like a god. And I mean that in the best way possible. Theory tried fighting dirty in this United States championship match, swinging on Bobby with the briefcase before the bell rang. Bobby walked it off and once the bell went ding ding, it was all Lashley. To be fair, that was part of a larger story. Theory realized he didn’t want this match because of his future plans. Why risk injury messing around with a man like Lashley? So when Lashley applied the Hurt Lock, Theory immediately tapped.

Fun match if you like seeing a chicken sh*t heel get beat up by the conquering babyface. I enjoyed it.


Whew, what a ride. The night’s two best matches served as bookends. SummerSlam opened hot and closed even hotter. Most everything in the middle rocked as well. Some harder than others while there was only one miss on the whole card. We even got a nice brawl between Riddle and Seth Rollins, which I assume is leading to something big on Monday. And shoutout to the commentary, which was great all night. Like Cole said, alots changed. Those changes allow them to sound natural and like they’re having fun.

Another one of the big four events delivers big time.

Grade: A

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.