The Universal Empire.
For thirty years, SummerSlam has earned its reputation as the second biggest pay-per-view in WWE, second only to WrestleMania, as legends, future Hall of Famers, and champions have all had their moment in the spotlight at “The Biggest Event of the Summer” and a new chapter in the storied history of SummerSlam would be written on this night as the 31st annual WWE SummerSlam came to you, live on the WWE Network, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Ever since winning the Royal Rumble in 2015, Roman Reigns has had his sights on defeating and dethroning “The Beast” Brock Lesnar but, time and time again, “The Big Dog” has come up short in his quest and, now, Roman sets his sights on SummerSlam where he will once again challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. In recent weeks, Brock has shown a more vicious, unpredictable, and underhanded side, using his relationship with Paul Heyman as a long con to get his hands on Roman Reigns. Now all eyes will be on these two titans as Lesnar and Reigns wage war one more time inside the Barclays Center. Can Roman Reigns make good on his promise to dethrone Brock Lesnar and send “The Beast” packing back to UFC or will Brock continue his record-breaking reign as Universal Champion, taking the title with him to UFC and proving that Roman just doesn’t have what it takes to beat him?
AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are no strangers to one another as the two legendary journeymen have wrestled each other numerous times in their careers but they have never faced each other one-on-one in WWE. That all changes at SummerSlam when AJ Styles defends the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe for the first time ever. Using AJ’s family to get inside the head of the WWE Champion may have cost Samoa Joe his longstanding friendship with Styles but the mind games played by “The Destroyer” could very well pay off if he is able to dethrone AJ Styles and win his first WWE Championship. Can Joe take full advantage of his first WWE Title opportunity by ending the nearly year-long reign of AJ Styles or will “The Phenomenal One” use Samoa Joe’s personal mind games as motivation to defeat Joe at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”?
2018 has been a banner year in the career of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey as the former UFC Bantamweight Champion signed her WWE contract, made a successful in-ring debut at WrestleMania, starred in the upcoming film Mile 22, and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Now “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” has another milestone in her sights and that is the RAW Women’s Championship. At WWE Money-in-the-Bank in June, Rousey looked to have the title won as she was about to lock in the armbar on then champion Nia Jax but it was not to be as, after winning the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase earlier in the night, Alexa Bliss would interfere in the title match, taking out both Rousey and Jax before cashing in her Money-in-the-Bank contract, ultimately defeating Nia Jax to claim the RAW Women’s Title. This would put Alexa Bliss in the crosshairs of Ronda Rousey and, while “The Goddess” has managed to narrowly avoid the wrath of “The Baddest Woman on the Planet”, that could all come to an end at SummerSlam when Alexa Bliss defends the RAW Women’s Title against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
In a personally charged rivalry that can be traced back to the original NXT, Daniel Bryan and The Miz have certainly never seen eye-to-eye over the years with The Miz being able to hide behind Daniel’s forced retirement from in-ring competition. However, after Daniel was cleared earlier this year and The Miz came over to SmackDown LIVE in the Superstar Shake-Up, the planets have finally aligned for a collision course that fans never expected we would see again as SummerSlam would see Daniel Bryan go one-on-one with The Miz.
Ever since losing the Intercontinental Championship to Dolph Ziggler a couple of months ago, Seth Rollins’ repeated attempts to reclaim the prestigious title have been thwarted by Drew McIntyre as Dolph & Drew have taken full advantage of the two-on-one odds to ensure that Seth could not take title back. This would send Seth on a search for someone to have his back and “The Kingslayer” didn’t have to look far to find his backup as, after nine months on the shelf due to injury, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would return this past Monday night on RAW to be Seth’s corner man at SummerSlam! With his former Shield brother in his corner to even the odds, can Seth Rollins finally dethrone Dolph Ziggler and take back the Intercontinental Title?
While Jeff Hardy has had his hands full with repeated assaults by Randy Orton over the last month, “The Charismatic Enigma” has not lost sight of regaining the prestigious United States Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura and, at SummerSlam, Jeff would get one more chance to take the title back when he challenges “The King of Strong Style” for the United States Title. Also, after weeks of being on the receiving end of repeated humiliation at the hands of Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens would look to exact his revenge on “Mr. Monster-in-the-Bank” by taking Braun’s guaranteed title opportunity away from him as SummerSlam would see Kevin Owens go one-on-one with Braun Strowman and, if Kevin Owens wins by any means, he will win the Money-in-the-Bank contract!
The SmackDown Tag Team Titles would also be up for grabs at “The Biggest Event of the Summer” as, after making it through a tag team tournament to earn the opportunity, The New Day would get another chance to dethrone the dominant Bludgeon Brothers when they challenge Harper & Rowan for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Also, in what was originally a one-on-one match for the SmackDown Women’s Title between Carmella and Becky Lynch has now had an interesting wrench thrown into those plans in the form of the returning Charlotte Flair, who defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella in a non-title match to earn her way into the title match. Now, at SummerSlam, the friendship between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair would be put to the test when they challenge Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Title in a Triple Threat Match. SummerSlam would also feature the latest match in the ongoing rivalry between Finn Balor and Constable Baron Corbin as Balor and Corbin would go one-on-one at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”.
- Mixed Tag Match: Kickoff Exclusive: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega def. Rusev & Lana by Zelina Vega rolling up Lana with her feet on the ropes.
- Cruiserweight Championship: Kickoff Exclusive: Cedric Alexander (c) def. Drew Gulak by roll-up to retain.
- RAW Tag Team Championship: Kickoff Exclusive: The B-Team (c) def. The Revival by Curtis Axel (c) rolling up Scott Dawson to retain.
- Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (with Dean Ambrose) def. Dolph Ziggler (c) (with Drew McIntyre) by pin following the Curb Stomp to win the Intercontinental Title.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day’s Big E & Xavier Woods (with Kofi Kingston) def. The Bludgeon Brothers (c) by DQ after Rowan (c) attacks Xavier Woods with a mallet. As a result, The Bludgeon Brothers (c) retain.
- Money-in-the-Bank Match: Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens by pin following the running powerslam to keep the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Triple Threat Match: Charlotte Flair def. Carmella (c) and Becky Lynch by pinning Becky Lynch following Natural Selection to win the SmackDown Women’s Title.
- WWE Championship: Samoa Joe def. AJ Styles (c) by DQ after AJ Styles (c) attacks Samoa Joe with a steel chair. As a result, AJ Styles (c) retains.
- The Miz def. Daniel Bryan by pin following a brass knuckles shot.
- “The Demon” Finn Balor def. Constable Baron Corbin by pin following the Coup de Grace.
- United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) def. Jeff Hardy by pin following the Kinshasa to retain.
- RAW Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss (c) by submission to the armbar to win the RAW Women’s Title.
- Universal Championship: Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar (c) by pin following the Spear after a distraction by Braun Strowman to win the Universal Title.
See page 2 for detailed results.