WWE Summerslam 2021 Review by Anthony S. DiSalvatore
It’s time for one of the biggest shows of the year, coming to you live from the home of the Raiders, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas! Roughly 50,000 people are in attendance for this four-hour show. But will it suck? Among other things, Goldberg will challenge Bobby Lashley and John Cena will wrestle Roman Reigns for the Universal title! A new development this time: if Roman loses, he’ll leave WWE FOREVER. I’ve heard that before. Let’s see how it goes! DISCLAIMER: I’m STILL not talking about anything involving Alexa Bliss or Nikki Cross. Certain standards have to be met.
Randy Orton & Matt Riddle vs. AJ Styles & Omos: RAW Tag Team Championship
I have mixed feelings about Orton being in the opening match, but they’ve done a good job building this up so far. For some reason, AJ decides to start this match. He gets bested easily by both Riddle and Orton, so he tags to Omos. Good move! Poor Riddle has no choice but to engage him and gets thrown around very easily. Orton can only watch. Riddle continues taking the heat from both opponents for several minutes. Omos takes a knee to the face, but he doesn’t leave his feet. Riddle goes for the tag, but AJ is there to stop him just in time.
Riddle finally tags out and Orton makes a comeback! Omos gets kneecapped, but he’s still standing. Orton does his rope hang DDT on Styles and sets up for the RKO, but Omos is there to drag AJ to safety. Riddle tries for a jump, but Omos makes the fair catch. Omos gets pushed into the ringpost, then Styles does his sweet backflip reverse DDT he’s been doing for ages now. AJ sets up for the flying forearm smash, but Randy evades and lays him out with the RKO for the pin and the win! This match could have taken place on RAW. I’m not happy Orton was in the opener, but at least he won! It’s been a long time since Orton was a tag team champ, and Riddle’s never won anything before now. I can see he’s over the moon about this. They make a good team.
Damian Priest vs. Sheamus: United States Championship
This match has been building for a while. After disposing of Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo, Sheamus hasn’t been able to get the upper hand on Priest yet. Priest even stole Sheamus’s big boot last week, and he nailed it! There’s truly nothing more insulting than that in wrestling, short of insulting another wrestler’s mother. Neither of these two are known for their mat prowess, but this match opens with some headlocks and hammerlocks. Priest appears tentative at the start, but he’s a lot more comfortable once Sheamus starts throwing hands. Priest comes out on top and does a cool suplex slam for a two count. Priest does a flip dive to the floor, but he landed hard on his coccyx. He’s in pain, but he’s not quitting. This may add to the quality of the match later on! Sheamus slams Priest back first into the ringpost. Ouch!
Sheamus works Priest over in the ring using reverse chinlocks and some backbreakers. He’s doing an excellent job of targeting Priest’s clearly injured back. Priest fights from underneath and does a Frankensteiner, but Sheamus gives him a suplex instead. Another rough landing, but Priest is still barely able to kick out. Sheamus starts blasting Priest right in the kidneys. Once he’s pissing blood, maybe he’ll forget about his broken tailbone. Sheamus starts shouting down the crowd, and Priest recovers in time to throw some punches. This dude is tough as nails! Priest goes to the top rope for his spinning heel kick. I wouldn’t advise this even if he weren’t hurt. He nailed it, but it’s a two count. Priest goes for Cross Rhodes, but Sheamus is able to block it for now. Sheamus goes to the top and does a big flying clothesline. The Alabama slam connects, which will not help Priest’s injury. Sheamus is running out of ideas, so he sets up for the big boot. Priest counters with a kick of his own and a chokeslam for a two count!
The crowd was silent at the start of this, but after Priest got hurt, they woke up! He’s refusing to surrender. Priest goes for a big slam, but his back can’t handle Sheamus’s weight right now. Sheamus tries for a cloverleaf, but he can’t roll Priest over, so he locks in a heel hook instead. Wow! I didn’t even know he knew that move. In a fit of desperation, Priest rips Sheamus’s protective face mask off and starts throwing bombs. The adrenaline is pumping now! Priest hits the Cross Rhodes for the win! Tough break for Priest here, I’d be shocked if his tailbone isn’t broken. Not sure how long he’ll hold onto the belt, but he fought hard in this match.
Rey Mysterio & Dominic vs. Usos: SD Tag Team Championship
Remember Dominic’s match last year against Seth Rollins? Neither do I! Anyway, it’s been a year since he became a wrestler, and he seems to have learned very little since then. It looks like there’s some dissension between him and his dad, which means he’ll probably turn on him soon. What a mistake that would be! I’ve already seen some variation of this match on Smackdown every week for about two months, so I hope this ends quickly. Rey has the same idea and goes right for the 619, but it fails. Rey and Dominic do stereo dives to the floor. Dominic does a springboard back into the ring but noticeably slips on the ropes. Dominic does Eddie Guerrero’s triple vertical suplex, and the crowd wakes up. If you remember Eddie and Rey’s ladder match from 2005, which I’ve also talked about in detail here, the announcers at the time confirmed Eddie was Dominic’s biological dad. What happened with that?
Dominic gets pushed into the ringpost and the Usos take over. Dominic takes all the heat for several minutes, much like Riddle in the opening match, but with far less talent. Uso rocks him with an uppercut from downtown, which Pat McAfee calls the Hadouken on commentary. Nicely done! Rey Mysterio finally tags in and the crowd is much more excited. He makes a comeback and lays Uso out with a spinning DDT for a two-count. Rey gets knocked with a superkick, but he’s able to kick out. Rey does a springboard, but he misjudged the distance and ate another superkick instead. Uso comes from the top rope with a splash for a two count. Wow! That’s usually a match ender. That may be all Rey had.
Uso goes for another splash, but Dominic’s there to block it. He tries to intervene but gets suplexed on the apron instead. The other Uso goes for a splash but misses. Rey goes on a big run and does his own frog splash, but it’s another two count! Surprising! After a double superkick and a top rope splash, the Usos get the win. This match was a lot better than I expected! Rey Mysterio probably shouldn’t wear carnation pink ring gear ever again.
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks: SD Women’s Championship
Speaking of ring gear, Bianca’s is truly atrocious. She’s got little championship belts embroidered all over her shirt and pants. It looks silly! We’re told by the announcer that Sasha can’t wrestle for whatever reason. Is she injured again?! Her replacement for this match will be Carmella, and now nobody cares. What a bummer. I’ll do you all a favor and stick to the greatest hits. Bianca can’t hide her disappointment. The crowd can’t either. They’re chanting something, but I can’t make it out. Before the match can begin, Becky Lynch storms out, ostensibly to hog the spotlight like she was doing for like a year before she finally fucked off for a while. So are we gonna have a match or what? Becky beats up Carmella and I guess that’s the end. This doesn’t make much sense. Becky challenges Bianca for the belt, even though she’s done nothing to earn that chance. Bianca could just take a walk. I wouldn’t blame her. Instead, she accepts against an opponent she wasn’t prepared for! BRILLIANT! I guess it’s official. This has taken a turn. Becky drops Bianca with a Rock Bottom for the win. This was quick at least, but will it be as well received by the crowd afterward when they realize this is the exact same thing Hulk Hogan did at the end of Wrestlemania 9? Only time will tell.
Jinder Mahal vs. Drew McIntyre
I know it sounds weird, but I’ve been waiting a long time for this match! It should have happened while Drew was champion. This rivalry has had its ups and downs, from Jinder Mahal’s motorcycle being trashed to Drew McIntyre’s prop sword and wild promos, but at least these guys are finally fighting each other. I wish Heath was here. Drew is aggressive from the opening bell. Drew goes for the kick early, but Jinder rolls out of the ring. Clever, but Drew’s not slowing down. Jinder begs for mercy and tries to use their past friendship to get the jump on him. Jinder connects with a kick to the face out of nowhere and takes over. Wow! Jinder continues pouring it on. Drew’s been down on his luck lately, so there’s no guarantee in my mind that he’ll win this. Drew does a headbutt and four consecutive suplexes. The Future Shock connects, and now it’s time for the Claymore. Drew nails it and wins. At least Jinder was on the card! Gotta enjoy the little things.
Seth Rollins vs. Edge
This is the grudge match of the night! A true dream match if I’ve ever seen one because nobody in their wildest dreams ever assumed this would happen. Edge has turned back the clock and started using all of Gangrel’s shit, which I hope he got a nice check for. Seth enters first, then Edge follows with Gangrel’s entrance! He comes up through the ring of fire and everything! Awesome, but you guys need to give Gangrel a check. Why not have him show up for this? I know for a fact he is available. Both guys are reluctant to engage in the beginning, but Edge lands the first punch. Seth gets frustrated and thinks about taking a walk, but he enters the ring again at eight or so. Seth gets dumped out of the ring again in short order. I like this strategy. Edge would be smart not to leave the ring.
Edge promptly leaves the ring! What do I know? He’s won a bunch of titles! Seth smashes Edge’s head into the ringpost several times. He’s targeting the neck. This may not end well. Seth doesn’t let up and smashes Edge’s head into the stairs the exact same way. A neckbreaker connects. This isn’t the best way for Seth to make friends in this arena, but it’s the best way to win this match. Seth spends an interminable amount of time pouring it on and doing that weaselly laugh he does. I hate that, but I can’t change the channel this time. The crowd cheers Edge back to his feet, but Seth does his springboard knee to the head instead. Edge is rocked and looks to be lost. Seth could end this now, but he’s taking his time. Get on with it stupid!
Edge finds his second wind and tries a backslide for a close two count. Edge sets up for back suplex from the top rope! This will be dangerous for both guys! Edge is not able to connect this time. He takes a tumble and Seth does a perfect frog splash for a two count. Very impressive height on that jump! Seth wants the curb stomp, but Edge escapes certain doom for now. Both guys go to the top rope and Edge comes off with a neckbreaker! I’ve never seen that before! It was a tough landing for both guys and it’s taking them a while to recover. The crowd is loving this. Edge uses Gangrel’s Impaler for a two count. Edge goes to the top rope. This is not common for him, and he’s having a lot of trouble anyway because of his neck. Seth meets Edge at the top with his combination superplex and falcon arrow. I’m not a fan of that move for reasons I won’t explain here, but it’s a two-count anyway. Seth sets up for the curb stomp, but Edge counters again with the Glam Slam. He’s married to Beth Phoenix, so I guess he’s allowed to use her moves. Still looked super awkward.
Seth uses the ropes to further injure Edge’s neck, then sets up for the curb stomp again but Edge counters. He spears Seth through the ropes all the way to the floor, just like Big E does. He’s doing everything he possibly can to win! Edge sets up for the spear, but Seth pops up in the air and gives him a pedigree instead for a two-count. Super innovative! Never seen that before either. Seth goes up for his backward reverse flippity flop and misses it. Great form though! Edge gives a spear and only gets two. This is ridiculous! Edge goes for Christian’s Unprettier, but Seth blasts him in the back of the head repeatedly instead. Curb stomp time! Edge is able to catch Seth’s foot in the nick of time and does his reverse Sharpshooter he used in the mid-2000s! He’s doing all his best shit in this match. Seth counters with a rollup, and Edge turns it into a crossface. Edge bashes Seth’s head into the mat a bunch of times and chokes him out for the win. That was brutal! Edge pulled out everything he possibly could. I wonder what Seth will do next. I just hope he doesn’t get near a microphone for a very long time.
Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg: WWE Championship
Much like every sexual experience I’ve ever had, this one should be intense, but very brief. In any event, both of these guys should last longer than Bianca did earlier. What the hell was that? Bobby enters first, which is curious to me. The champion is supposed to enter second! Could this be a subtle signal of how this match will go? For the record, I don’t see Goldberg winning this one, but these are always impossible to call. 50,000 people are chanting for Goldberg! His entrance usually lasts longer than his matches, but Bobby Lashley’s a walking weapon. This one won’t be that easy.
Both guys lock up. Bobby should have this part well in hand. Goldberg backs him into the corner and breaks clean. Bobby goes for a shoulder block, but it has no effect. Goldberg does his own shoulder block and a body slam. Oh no! Goldberg’s walking the dog on Lashley! The crowd’s turning on this! Bobby fires up and he looks pissed. He’s throwing hands and Goldberg can’t keep up. Bobby sets up for his own jackhammer, but Goldberg blocks it. Neither guy can get the other one up. Bobby goes to the top rope?! I don’t advise this! Goldberg pitches him down and sets up for the spear. There are audible boos now. MVP makes the save at the last second and the crowd cheers for him. Goldberg spears Bobby on the floor anyway, but at least he can’t be pinned out there.
Bobby’s doing everything he can to avoid contact now. MVP boops Goldberg in the leg with his walking stick and Bobby follows up with a chop block. Goldberg can’t do shit if he’s not standing up. Bobby does a chokeslam and the full nelson, but Goldberg breaks free. Another chop block. Goldberg’s knee has to be killing him. He rolls out, but he’s not able to stand up on his own anymore. When you get old, your knees are the first thing to go. Bobby runs Goldberg into the ringpost and the crowd’s cheering again. Goldberg gets slammed into the ringpost for a second time. This shouldn’t last much longer. Bobby sets up for a spear, but Goldberg can’t stand up. The ref should probably call this thing. Bobby wins via ref stoppage. I’ve never seen Goldberg in this much pain before. He can’t get up! Bobby continues wrecking him with a chair. Stay down! Goldberg’s idiot son jumps in the ring and Bobby puts him out quickly. Stay in the crowd next time!
Roman Reigns vs. John Cena: Universal Championship
After almost a year of running over everybody, there was nobody on the active roster left for Roman to beat. Enter John Cena, who’s always been able to make Roman look stupid relatively easily. Not much has changed during Cena’s absence, as he’s been doing the same for the last few weeks on Smackdown. Roman’s so confident he can win this that he’s put his career on the line. This pretty much telegraphs that Cena won’t win this, but I like to be positive in these situations. Roman deserves exactly this after he forced Daniel Bryan to retire, so hopefully Cena can properly avenge him. I’m not a Cena fan by any means, but I recognize he is popular and much less limited than Reigns is, which is saying a lot after writing about so many of his early matches where he hadn’t figured it out yet. Cena’s wearing a Super Mario 3 inspired shirt for his entrance. Roman’s entrance takes five minutes. In his defense, the entrance ramp is super long and he’s moving in slow motion.
Cena starts by taunting Reigns, then opens with a headlock. Roman shrugs him off and overpowers him with a simple shoulder block. A sign of things to come perhaps? Cena tries for a rollup and gets two. These guys are dead even. Another rollup by Cena gets a close two count. Roman’s trying to shrug this off, but it’s all false bravado. He doesn’t want to get outdone by Cena again. Roman does some big punches and starts taunting the crowd. Cena’s already earned several nearfalls in this match. Roman’s trying to stay confident, it’s a good thing he has Heyman here with him. Roman sticks with clotheslines and a suplex. Very simple. Even he can’t fuck this up. Most of the next few minutes is Cena taking simple moves while Roman tries to play to the crowd. I’m pretty sure it’s in Roman’s contract that he has to include at least one dramatic reading in every match. He wants to be an actor so bad!
The match goes to the floor. Cena fights back briefly, but he still ends up on his back. Roman takes more time to taunt the crowd than to actually fight. This is mostly posturing. I’m about done with it. Cena tries for a rollup once again and only gets two. Cena tries for the FU, but Roman turns it into a DDT instead. Cena may be outmatched here, but in his defense, it’s been a while since he had a match. It’s time for Roman’s dramatic reading! He looks directly into the camera and addresses people in Hollywood. No, he’s not begging them to hire him outright, but he may as well be. Fast forward! Three minutes later, Cena tries for his usual comeback, but takes a Superman punch instead. Roman wants the spear, but Cena blocks it and fist drops him anyway. The FU connects for a close two count. Looks like Cena has finally woken up!
Cena slaps on the STF, but Roman’s able to get to the ropes. Roman appears to have some kind of lower-body injury, but it’s a ruse. Cena goes to the floor again and takes Roman’s jumping dropkick. Roman tries the Superman punch again, but Cena gives him an FU through the announcer’s table. Even Cena seems surprised by this! If he can win, he’ll be a 17 time champion. He drags Roman back to the ring fast and goes right for the cover, but it’s a two-count. Cena sets up for his top rope leg drop, but Roman intercepts him with a powerbomb, just like Batista did years ago when he broke Cena’s neck. He probably shouldn’t be doing that at this age. Roman does the Superman punch again for a two count. Reigns can’t get the pin yet and he’s getting frustrated. Both guys are essentially sticking to their greatest hits in this match, but at least Cena has an excuse. He’s been out of the ring for at least two years. What’s Roman’s excuse? Roman sets up for a spear and runs into the ringpost instead. Cena drags Roman to the top rope for the Super FU and nails it! Roman kicks out at two again. The crowd thought this match was over. Since the rule is if Roman loses that he will leave forever, I’d imagine the majority of this 50,000 people have had enough of Reigns in the ring.
Cena tries to steal the spear, but Roman’s able to block it. Both guys stand and trade punches in the middle. Cena gets the better of it before Roman Superman punches him AGAIN. That’s really all he’s got so far. Spear time, and Roman nails it for the pin and the win. Was this a classic? Nope. Just two guys sticking to their greatest hits. Cena probably can’t do more than this at his age, or he just doesn’t want to. There’s still eight minutes of show time left, so I’m not tuning out yet.
BROCK LESNAR SHOWS UP! He looks like a pissed off Viking! Roman looks afraid, but he’s not backing down. I give him credit for that. Why is Brock wearing a shirt? If I looked like that, I’d never wear one. Brock enters the ring and Roman’s expression has totally changed. Heyman has the presence of mind to get out of the way. Brock wants to face off with Roman, and Roman backs away. There goes your hero marks! Brock laughs it off and stands tall. I guess he’s Roman’s next opponent. Roman’s days are numbered! The match of the night goes to Edge and Seth Rollins. Those guys tore it up. Sign of the Night goes to Summerslam This Bussy. We’ll see what happens on Monday!