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The verdict is in on WWE SummerSlam 2023

A straightforward review of WWE’s hottest event of the summer.

As a long-time fan and writer who appreciates talking about wrestling with fellow enthusiasts, my aim is to host a simple discussion that doesn’t include scores and star ratings. Instead, I want to focus on answering a simple question: Did you like this?

With that in mind, here is my no-frills review for each contest at SummerSlam 2023.

Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

Verdict: Liked it

In 2002, Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio had what I feel is the best opening match in SummerSlam history. But credit to Paul and Ricochet, who came really close to changing my mind with a fun showing worth watching.

My only issue was the finish, as someone from Paul’s crew came out of nowhere to hand the social media star a pair of brass knuckles. It distracted me from the moment because I became more concerned with the identity of Paul’s aide than the action. Still, I enjoyed it overall.

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Verdict: Liked it

It’s a shame that Rhodes’ new documentary ended with his loss at WrestleMania 39 because this was the happy ending that his film needed. My only complaint is that the beatdown on Rhodes went on for so long that it made his eventual comeback a bit unbelievable. But they held my attention throughout, and I loved the physicality. And for those who say Lesnar never gives back to the business, he did so here in spades.

SummerSlam Battle Royal presented by Slim Jim

Verdict: Liked it

As battle royals go, this was quite enjoyable. The last-minute inclusion of Omos added intrigue and cast some doubt on the finish. Ultimately, the right guy, LA Knight, won. My only criticism is that we didn’t get a brief showdown between Omos and Bronson Reed.

Shayna Baszler vs. Ronda Rousey - MMA Rules Match

Verdict: Didn’t like it

SummerSlam lost all its momentum here. Though the two worked hard, this lacked heat (and the Unified Rules of MMA) and seemed out of place within the confines of a sports entertainment show.

GUNTHER (c) vs. Drew McIntyre - Intercontinental Title Match

Verdict: Indifferent

A hard-hitting battle that took time to get into, thanks to the stinker that came before it and McIntyre’s subdued entrance as he came to the ring. I want to like this more than I do, and I’m glad GUNTHER won, but something didn’t connect with me.

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Bálor - World Title Match

Verdict: Didn’t like it

I found myself with little reason to care for this and used the opening moments to take a needed bathroom break. Having followed their live event matches for over a month, those exhibitions were better. The closing moments were exciting, but the highlights, which will likely land on Raw, are all that mattered. Unless one is a fan of either Rollins or Bálor, this is skippable.

Asuka vs. Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte Flair - WWE Women’s Championship

Verdict: Didn’t like it

SummerSlam was getting long in the tooth at this point. That this went on seemingly forever made it worse. The Money in the Bank cash-in by Iyo Sky was fine, but I’m tired of the MITB concept and just wanted all of this to be over.

Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso - Tribal Combat for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship

Verdict: Didn’t like it

When Reigns came out without Solo Sikoa, I knew nothing would matter until it was time for Sikoa to appear. Unfortunately, I was right.

The action finally picked up once Reigns had backup, but it was simultaneously a distraction as I kept wondering who was coming to help Jey. The answer? No one.

Jey stood alone, fighting Sikoa off and catching Reigns dead to rights until his brother Jimmy came out to cost him the match.

The finish fell flat with me, as Jimmy’s sudden change of heart seems more like a device to give Reigns an out than it does to reflect his character’s motivation in recent months.


I didn’t like SummerSlam. It ran too long, the MMA Rules match killed the show’s pace, and the final bouts felt like paint-by-numbers wrestling until they arrived at their respective conclusions.

Now it’s your turn, Cagesiders. Did you like SummerSlam? Sound off below.

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