Survival of the Fittest.
The 30th annual WWE SummerSlam was a joint production of RAW and SmackDown LIVE and it came to you, live, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. There is no doubt that, throughout his career in UFC and in WWE, Brock Lesnar has established himself as one of the toughest, most ruthless competitors in the history of both organizations. However, “The Beast” will have his work cut out for him at SummerSlam when Brock defends the Universal Championship against the top three Superstars on RAW in “The Big Dog” Roman Reigns, “The Destroyer” Samoa Joe, and “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman in a Fatal 4-Way Match, where the first Superstar to score a pinfall or submission will walk out as the Universal Champion, meaning that Brock Lesnar does not even have to be pinned or made to submit to lose the title. As if the stakes weren’t high enough already, Paul Heyman made the announcement a few weeks ago that, if Brock Lesnar loses the Universal Title at SummerSlam, then both Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman will leave WWE! Having repeatedly accused WWE and RAW General Manager Kurt Angle of creating a “conspiracy” to get the Universal Championship off of Brock Lesnar due to Brock’s apparent desire to return to UFC, Paul Heyman has echoed his client’s dissatisfaction with the Fatal 4-Way Match as “The Beast” is at a distinct disadvantage in the title match. With three top contenders vying for his Universal Championship, can Brock Lesnar survive as the Universal Champion or will either Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, or Braun Strowman dethrone “The Beast” and usher in a new era on RAW?
Throughout his illustrious career, Shinsuke Nakamura is no stranger to being a champion. Having competed all over the world and picked up several championships along the way, “The King of Strong Style” would debut on the grand stage of SummerSlam to challenge for the top prize in the wrestling business, the WWE Championship. In order for Nakamura to achieve his “destiny”, he must dethrone “The Modern Day Maharaja” Jinder Mahal to do so. Since shocking the world at Backlash where he defeated Randy Orton, with some help from The Singh Brothers, to win the WWE Championship, Jinder Mahal has managed to survive as WWE Champion. Whether you agree with Jinder’s tactics or not, the WWE Champion has been successful in remaining champion and making his home country of India proud. However, Jinder has never faced a competitor quite like Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura has been nearly unstoppable since arriving on SmackDown LIVE shortly after WrestleMania and, using his unorthodox style to his advantage, “The King of Strong Style” has defeated the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and, most notably, John Cena in recent months and now Nakamura will get the biggest opportunity of his WWE career at SummerSlam when he challenges Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship. Can Nakamura be the one to end the reign of “The Modern Day Maharaja” or will Jinder Mahal find a way to leave “The Biggest Event of the Summer” as the WWE Champion?
In a classic rivalry over the United States Championship, AJ Styles and Kevin Owens have traded victories, as well as the United States Title, in recent weeks, though a lot of these matches have ended controversially. Styles won his first United States Championship in July at a WWE Live Event in Madison Square Garden only to lose the prestigious title to Kevin Owens at Battleground. Two nights later, Chris Jericho would make an unexpected return to SmackDown LIVE with his sights set on getting his rematch for the United States Title. This would set up a Triple Threat Match later that same night that would see AJ Styles pin Chris Jericho to claim his second United States Championship. The following week, Kevin Owens would get his one-on-one rematch for the title and this is where the controversy would come into play. After getting blasted with an inadvertent right hand from Kevin Owens, the referee for the title match would be partially blinded and would count Kevin Owens’ shoulders down even though one of Owens’ shoulders was clearly up. This would send Kevin Owens into a rage, getting in the face of SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon and SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan, demanding that he not only get another shot at the title at SummerSlam, but he wants a competent referee to call the match. Daniel Bryan would then suggest that Shane McMahon should referee the match and Shane agreed. Over the last couple of weeks, tensions have mounted between Shane McMahon, AJ Styles, and Kevin Owens with both AJ Styles and Kevin Owens inadvertently striking Shane, leading to a lot of speculation regarding Shane’s role as the Special Guest Referee at SummerSlam. Given his questionable history as a referee in WWE, will Shane McMahon call the match right down the middle? How much of a factor will the Commissioner be in the title match?
After weeks of being at each other’s throats and teasing a reunion, former friends and longtime rivals Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have finally buried the hatchet of their animosity. It was four years ago that Seth Rollins betrayed his Shield brethren Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, attacking both men with a steel chair. Since then, Dean Ambrose has refused to trust Seth Rollins again, fearful that “The Kingslayer” might betray him again, but, over the last few weeks, Seth has proven himself to Dean and these two former Shield teammates would walk into SummerSlam on a united front to challenge Cesaro & Sheamus for the RAW Tag Team Titles. Truly a capable and dangerous tag team, can Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins stay on the same page long enough to dethrone Cesaro & Sheamus or will Cesaro & Sheamus prove why they call themselves “the bar” by vanquishing Ambrose & Rollins to remain on top of the RAW tag team division?
In what started out as John Cena coming to the aid of Shinsuke Nakamura after an ambush by Baron Corbin has become much more personal. This past Tuesday night on SmackDown LIVE, Baron Corbin would interrupt a non-title match between John Cena and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, attacking Cena with his Money-in-the-Bank briefcase. Baron would then spot the WWE Champion in a vulnerable state in the ring and Corbin would decide to cash in his Money-in-the-Bank contract for an impromptu WWE Championship match. However, this would be the catalyst for the most embarrassing moment of Baron Corbin’s career as Corbin would take his focus off of Jinder Mahal to knock John Cena off of the ring apron and that brief distraction would allow the opportunistic Jinder Mahal to surprise Baron Corbin with a roll-up, beating Corbin in roughly ten seconds to retain the WWE Title. This loss would make Baron Corbin only the second Superstar in WWE history to cash in his Money-in-the-Bank contract and lose by pinfall. After the biggest opportunity of his WWE career slipped through his fingers, Baron Corbin will certainly be seething at SummerSlam when he goes one-on-one with John Cena. Can Baron Corbin use his rage to his advantage to upset the sixteen-time former World Champion or will John Cena make things go from bad to worse for Baron Corbin?
In a match that was originally slated to be Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley for the RAW Women’s Championship, Bayley’s shoulder injury that she suffered a few weeks ago would keep “The Hugger” from her big opportunity at redemption at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”. Instead, it will be Bayley’s best friend who will get the opportunity as “The Boss” Sasha Banks would challenge Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Title at SummerSlam. No strangers to one another, Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks first faced off at Great Balls of Fire last month where Alexa would take a count-out loss to “The Boss” in order to hang onto her RAW Women’s Title. Now Sasha Banks will get another opportunity to dethrone the self-proclaimed “Goddess” of WWE at SummerSlam. Can Sasha Banks defeat Alexa Bliss to claim her fifth RAW Women’s Title or will Alexa find a way to walk out of SummerSlam as the RAW Women’s Champion?
By virtue of her Five-Way Elimination Match win at Battleground last month, Natalya would walk into SummerSlam to challenge Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It has been nearly seven years since “The Queen of Black Hearts” has been a champion in WWE and, at SummerSlam, Natalya would look to change all that. However, one factor that cannot be forgotten in this title match is “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” Carmella. With her Money-in-the-Bank contract entitling her to a SmackDown Women’s Title match whenever she wants it, Carmella could very well cash in for a title match at SummerSlam. Can Naomi overcome the opposition of Natalya and, potentially, Carmella to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title or will Natalya win her first SmackDown Women’s Title and will Carmella let either Superstar leave as the champion?
In a strange rivalry between two very strange individuals, SummerSlam would see a rematch between “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt and the returning “Demon” Finn Balor. After not only beating Finn Balor on RAW but also dumping a strange red liquid on Finn, Bray Wyatt would inadvertently bring out Finn Balor’s inner demon and Finn’s alter ego would return at “The Biggest Event of the Summer” when Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt go one-on-one one more time. Also at SummerSlam, after Rusev recently expressed his displeasure at not having a match at SummerSlam, Randy Orton would provide Rusev with an opponent for “The Biggest Event of the Summer” in the form of Orton himself. Since then, these two have traded shots in recent weeks and, at SummerSlam, “The Viper” and “The Bulgarian Brute” will go one-on-one.
Ever since Big Cass revealed that he was behind the backstage assaults on Enzo Amore, ending his association with Enzo, the seven-footer with Queens has gotten more than he bargained for from Enzo Amore and Enzo’s new friend, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show. Having been twice knocked out by Big Show thanks to interference from Enzo Amore, Big Cass would demand that Enzo be locked in a shark cage for his match against Big Show at SummerSlam and RAW General Manager Kurt Angle would comply! Now, with Enzo Amore locked in a shark cage that will be hanging high above the ring, the two seven-footers would collide at SummerSlam when Big Cass goes one-on-one with Big Show, but after Big Cass, along with Gallows & Anderson, broke the hand of Big Show on RAW, will “The World’s Largest Athlete” be able to overcome Big Cass or will Big Cass take full advantage of his handiwork and defeat the legendary giant?
- 6-Man Tag: Kickoff Match: The Miz & The Miztourage def. Jason Jordan & The Hardy Boyz by The Miz pinning Jason Jordan following the Skull Crushig Finale.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Kickoff Match: Neville def. Akira Tozawa (c) (with Titus O’Neil) by pin following the Red Arrow to the back to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Kickoff Match: The Usos def. The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (c) (with Kofi Kingston) by Jey Uso pinning Big E (c) following a double Uso Splash to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
- John Cena def. Baron Corbin by pin following the Attitude Adjustment.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Natalya def. Naomi (c) by submission to the Sharpshooter to win the SmackDown Women’s Title.
- Enzo Amore in a Shark Cage: Big Cass def. Big Show by pin following the Empire Elbow.
- Randy Orton def. Rusev by pin following the RKO.
- RAW Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss (c) by submission to the Bank Statement to win the RAW Women’s Title.
- “The Demon King” Finn Balor def. Bray Wyatt by pin following the Coup de Grace.
- RAW Tag Team Championship: Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins def. Cesaro & Sheamus (c) by Dean Ambrose pinning Sheamus (c) following Dirty Deeds to win the RAW Tag Team Titles.
- United States Championship: Special Guest Referee – Shane McMahon: AJ Styles (c) def. Kevin Owens by pin with the Styles Clash to retain.
- WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal (c) (with The Singh Brothers) def. Shinsuke Nakamura by pin following the Khallas after a distraction by The Singh Brothers to retain.
- Universal Championship: Fatal 4-Way Match: Brock Lesnar (c) def. Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, & Braun Strowman by pinning Roman Reigns following the F-5 to retain.
See page 2 for detailed results.