Selective Hearing Roundtable: NXT Takeover & Summerslam Reactions

Summerslam was a strange event by all accounts. From the match order to the final results. Strangeness all around. Let’s get to our thoughts on WWE’s annual summer bonanza.

The Usos, American Alpha & Hype Bros. defeated Breezango, The Vaudevillans and The Ascension

Summerslam 2016 12 Man Tag

Did you even watch this match or was it announced to late for you to even care about tuning in to the kickoff show for it?

Greg: I tuned into the kickoff show but wasn’t really paying attention to this match at all. It was just on in the background.

TOZ: Didn’t even know it was a match till I started doing these reactions.

BigFreaky: Background due to being busy.

The Smackdown Live tag team championships were revealed on Tuesday. Is it a given that American Alpha are destined to face the Usos at Backlash for these belts?

Greg: Yeah, they’re the only credible teams that should be in the finals. American Alpha for the win by the way.

TOZ: I see it being American Alpha vs Heath Slater & Rhyno.

BigFreaky: I like Toz’s idea.

Sami Zayn & Neville defeated The Dudley Boyz

Summerslam Dudleys Neville Zayn

It was obvious the Dudley’s were not winning this match. Again, did you watch or no bueno? If you did watch, what did you think of the match?

Greg: Again, no watch. Just had it playing in the background.

Allen: Good thing you didn’t watch. You avoided seeing Neville’s little Pacs…

TOZ: Again, no idea this was a match till I read it here.

BigFreaky: Background, but I thought the Dudley’s were gonna take it since it was a preshow…

Sheamus defeated Cesaro in match 1 of the best of 7 series

Summerslam Sheamus Cessaro

This was a pretty good starter to the series. Do you expect this to get more physical as it goes? Will Cesaro start pulling out some moves that he hasn’t displayed on the main roster yet?

Greg: I expect that these two will probably start to up the level of physicality as the series of matches goes on. I would hope that Cesaro whips out some new move eventually if none of his regular spots don’t get the job done.

Allen: I expect both of them to pull off new moves. If they can make it seven matches, expect them to all be different.

TOZ: It has to be different or else this series means nothing.

BigFreaky: Sheamus winning this first match really shows that he is here to play. By the end these guys are gonna be true shining stars. (Not those puerto rican guys)

More importantly does this series benefit both men at all?

Greg: Um.. I’m not sure. I would hope it would do something to springboard both men into better things once this is over. It depends if the series of matches are repeats of each other or if they try to change things up each time.

Allen: They are both great wrestlers, this series will toughen up Cesaro and give Sheamus more credibility than his last WWE title run. I just hope they don’t go overboard and injure each other, seven matches can just be too long.

TOZ: Maybe? It’s possible, but I don’t see Sheamus doing anything else after this. Cesaro still has a chance to do something better after.

BigFreaky: This keeps them locked in for a while, and a good chance for them to both show us everything they got. I suspect Sheamus will take the next match as well.

Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens defeated Enzo & Cass

Summerlsam Jeriko Enzo Cass

Pre-match promo by Enzo & Cass. Wonderful yes?

Greg: Referencing Biggie Smalls and Frank Sinatra. Plus Big Cass singing. Yes. Wonderful.

TOZ: 100% agree with Greg here.

BigFreaky: Keep that mic in Enzo’s hand.

There was almost a missed spot when Cass threw Enzo to the outside. Did you notice it?

Greg: Yes. It could have been scary if Enzo didn’t clear the top rope.

TOZ: That looked sketchy.

BigFreaky: Super scary, but good thing Cass is as big as he is.

Did the right team go over? What did you think of the manly love expressed by Jericho and Owens after the match? So much bromance.

Greg: Sure, it’s not like the loss is going to hurt Enzo & Cass since they’re still WAY over with the people. The bromance between Jericho and Kevin Owens is generating some funny stuff whether intentional or not.

Allen: I thought they would have gone over in Brooklyn, but this is the WWE and they pull this shit off all the time. Plus more Jeri-KO is better for the world. They have IT!

TOZ: Jeri-KO deserved to win to set up one turning on the other.

BigFreaky: I really enjoy Jeri-KO, I see gold in their future.

Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks

Summerslam Banks Charlotte

Charlotte wins and Sasha is injured. What are your thoughts?

Allen: Sasha has been sloppy and is hurting herself. Charlotte botching didn’t help things either. I’m just surprised that they just took the title off Sasha so fast in order to let her heal. Kind of a waste of her first title reign.

Greg: Charlotte never has a smooth match on big shows on the main roster. These two went too hard and too fast. The match itself was good for what it was. I was surprised that the title switch happened so quickly.

And yes, it was a waste of a title reign and now they’ll pay hot potato with the belt if Bayley gets hot shotted in Sasha’s place.

TOZ: I was also surprised when Sasha lost. They could’ve pulled a Brock and had Sasha off TV for a bit, have Bayley and Charlotte beat the crap out of each other then have Sasha come back.

BigFreaky: I dunno what the hell happened here, it just made me sick to my stomach.

The Miz defeated Apollo Crews

Summerslam Miz Crews

There were few expectations for this match, were you happy with it?

Greg: It was okay for what it was. At least the Miz won.

Allen: Miz continues being a prestigious champ with the win. I just thought giving the title to Apollo would finally make me care about him. Maryse was super hot that night as well! *hair flip*

TOZ: I don’t feel anything toward this match.

BigFreaky: I was hoping Crews would have acquired the strap, but that is my own personal thoughts. He’ll get it in due time, but the Miz is RED HOT right now, especially after his back and forth with SD GM Daniel Bryan on “Talking Smack” Tuesday night.

AJ Styles defeated John Cena

Summerslam Cena Styles

A great back and forth battle with a determined Cena trying to finish off the feisty Styles. Did this surpass their first match?

Greg: Absolutely. Many moons above their first match.

Allen: Their first match was great, this one was phenomenal. Kept it very competitive and Cena told a great story with his facial expressions. AJ keeps putting on amazing matches and with Cena helping out, this kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

TOZ: 100% surpassed their first match.

BigFreaky: As hard as it is for me to pick favorites, I do think this was better than the first. Having a legit 1 v 1 match made it that much better. This was MOTN for me.

Are you happy to see AJ win cleanly over the face of the place?

Greg: Yes. For casual fans of WWE to accept AJ as the real deal he needed this shenanigan free win.

Allen: Of course! I’m pretty sure everyone was happy. It has legitimized him and he has just been on fire since coming to the WWE.

TOZ: Although I predicted Cena winning, the thing I hoped for happened. AJ wins, and now he is in the title picture.

BigFreaky: Whoever wins and whoever loses, they both put on great matches together. No skin off my back.

What was the symbolism of Cena leaving the armband in the ring?

Greg: Souvenir? Indication that he’s going on hiatus again?

Allen: Rock 2.0 needs time off to do outside work. Liked that the Brooklyn crowd gave him his props after the match.

TOZ: Nothing is quite like brand-new money. Or rather, non-WWE money.

BigFreaky: Probably felt like he let the fans down. He never gave up, but still lost. (Toz, there will never not be money that isn’t connected to WWE in one way or another)

TOZ: True, but you gotta have the money go through a few different hands to clean the cash.

Gallows & Anderson defeated The New Day

Summerslam New Day Gallows Anderson

Who didn’t see Jon Stewart interfering in a WWE match again?

Greg: Boo to Jon Stewart. That is all.

Allen: As much as I love Jon Stewart, just stay out of the wrestling matches. I say that, but I loved when he nailed Cena with a chair last year lol.

TOZ: Didn’t need to see him again.

BigFreaky: I have 0 reason to give a shit about Jon Stewart. Wish he would have got Ringpostitis.

DQ finish due to Big E returning to save Jon Stewart. Cop out or expected?

Greg: Big E returning probably expected. Still a cop out finish that did nothing for this feud.

Allen: If he was all suited up, why didn’t he just join them at ringside? Would have been cool to see Stewart turn on New Day to give Gallows and Anderson the win.

TOZ: Cop-out.

BigFreaky: Huge return just makes any finish dissipate into nothing.

Was this a waste of time that made Gallows & Anderson look like chumps?

Greg: Waste of time? Yes. Looking like chumps? Maybe a little.

Allen: Meh, I still see them feuding for a while longer. They need to flesh them out a bit more.

TOZ: Yes and no. I don’t think they look like chumps, but they should have the titles.

BigFreaky: They still got the win, belts should be theirs pretty soon. (Maybe not by New Days’ hands)

The follow up on RAW appears to have been the end of this feud. With Gallows & Anderson moving on. Are there any credible contenders left for The New Day to face?

Greg: Um… Doesn’t look like there’s anyone left for them at the moment.

Allen: Come to Puerto Rico!

TOZ: The Boss & Hug Connection.

BigFreaky: Golden Truth?

Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler

Summerslam Ziggler Ambrose

Dolph seemed to have his working boots on, Dean didn’t seem to be all there, are you disappointed given the great build up?

Greg: Yes. This match was boring. I like Ziggler’s new attitude and Dean’s promos were great. But the actual result not so good.

Allen: I actually don’t remember the match at all. That’s how much of an impression they left. Very disappointing.

TOZ: I was also disappointed. It had a lot of good will going into it. I was hoping Dolph would have the match of his life, but you still need two to tango. Hopefully Dean brings it with AJ.

BigFreaky: I think this match suffers from the same symptoms that Ambrose/Jericho did. A very solid match, but the fans are tired out from so many other things going on. I was hoping for something like Ziggler passing out… but it just didn’t happen…

Would the words underwhelming and overhyped be the best words to describe this match?

Greg: Yes.

Allen: Double yes.

TOZ: I would say we were sold snake oil.

BigFreaky: Unfortunately yes…

Ambrose will face the new #1 contender AJ Styles for the World Championship and Dolph Ziggler moves to the back of the line.. Or something.

Nikki Bella, Natalya & Alexa Bliss defeated Naomi, Carmella & Becky Lynch

Summerslam Womens Tag

Eva Marie once again gets an epic entrance and great excuse for her suspension. Are you digging her no shows?

Greg: Absolutely. Very good excuse for her wellness program violation. This is how you build up anticipation for someone’s in ring debut. Or in the case of Eva Marie, holding back her debut as long as possible.

Allen: I love what they are doing with Eva Marie. I would love a personal announcer wherever I go.

TOZ: I’m won over by these no-shows.

BigFreaky: I’m enjoying it, but the fact that everyone knows she was suspended for wellness violation, and they just saying something else is kinda dumb. In 10 years, we probably won’t even remember so, no big deal. Reality Era, but not quite.

Nikki Bella returns to action after major neck surgery. Your thoughts on her returning as probably the lead woman heel on the blue brand?

Greg: Nikki always had the more believable offense of the Bella twins so I’m glad that she’s back. With the women split on both brands she probably won’t be overexposed as much as when everyone was on RAW.

Allen: Female fans love Nikki Bella, I think she will be pushed more as a face even though her personality leans towards bitchy.

TOZ: Would’ve loved to see her return after Sasha vs Charlotte, but I was excited none the less. I enjoy Natty, but Nikki is clearly the lead heel for Smackdown.

BigFreaky: Always great to see Nikki back. A huge return addition to the women’s division.

This was a pretty decent match for what should have been the come down after the Smackdown championship right? Or did you go take a shit instead?

Greg: I actually paid attention to this match because many of the women I like were in this match. I thought it was decent and everyone got their time to shine for the most part. Becky doing the multiple kicks in the corner was great.

Allen: I was paying attention because I like a lot of the women in this match as well. Love Alexa and Becky.

TOZ: I paid attention. I enjoy a good number of women in the match. We got a sneak peak of Nikki vs Becky which is a dark horse candidate for match of the year if/when it happens.

BigFreaky: Women’s wrestling? I watch it all. It’s a pretty high priority on my list.

On Smackdown Live the women’s title was revealed. How much will the blue women’s belt get shit on? What do you think of it?

Greg: It looks like the original women’s belt. But it’s blue in the middle. I have no issues with it.

Allen: The white trim leather makes it a lot better. The blue title looks great.

TOZ: Both women’s titles look so much doper than the male titles.

BigFreaky: At least it doesn’t look like a fruit roll-up.

Who do you think will end up being the Smackdown Live women’s champion?

Greg: Nikki Bella

Allen: My favorite redhead Becky Lynch!

TOZ: My head says Nikki, but my heart says Becky. Imagine all the puns!

BigFreaky: I would be happy with any of them winning. Nikki seems like the shoe in though.

Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins

Summerlsam Balor Rollins

So the big red belt got more heat than the actual match between the men competing for it. Your thoughts on the Universal Championship belt?

Greg: It’s a little too red. I’m surprised it’s not advertised as part of Apple’s Product Red lineup with an Apple logo hidden somewhere on the belt. Yeah, it’s a red belt.

Allen: The red leather makes it look like a Fruit Roll Up. Looks ugly. Should have went with black leather.

TOZ: I don’t think red leather is a good look generally (Nakamura being the exception) so I’m not with it, but the fact that we, collectively as fans put so much energy in hating it is ridiculous.

BigFreaky: Well, I guess they already made the belt for Shinsuke.

What about the actual match? Was it all that it was hyped to be given the skill level of the 2 competitors?

Greg: This was a good match. Good, not great. I think the fact that the fans were too busy shitting on the belt took away from some of the aura of the match itself.

Allen: Great match even with the injury Finn sustained. I think no matter where this match was placed, the fans would have voiced their opinion on the belt. It’s universally hated.

TOZ: As I predicted. Between good and great, but not fantastic.

BigFreaky: Great as suspected, the early injury probably affected it. We’ll get them again at Mania I suspect. That will be amazing.

Finn Balor makes history becoming the first champion of the universe, only to have to relinquish the title due to injury. How heartbroken are you? When do you expect him to return?

Greg: That sucks, a fresh champion and he gets hurt immediately. Now we get more of the same old shit maybe. I hope that Finn returns by Royal Rumble time. We are probably now guaranteed a WWE 24 special on his return to the ring.

Allen: It’s such a waste and that’s a damn shame. You can tell Finn was heartbroken and that he was expected to be the face that changes things on Raw. Now it’s back to the old era on Raw.

TOZ: I’m sad. I’m hoping for a strong Finn return and he and Rollins go for it again at WrestleMania.

BigFreaky: Finn is as heartbroken as we all are, but his smile and graciousness on RAW helps. He is enjoying it all as much as we are, aside from an injury that takes him out a purported 6months.

Seth Rollins’ streak of injuring people with the powerbomb like move continues. Should he stop using that move?

Greg: Yeah. He should probably stop using that move, or save it for special occasions where he needs it to finish his opponent off when nothing else will work.

Allen: Somewhere in Canada, Bret Hart is saying “I told you so…” Maybe he doesn’t need to launch them towards the turnbuckle or barriers, maybe guiding them will change it up and make it safer to use.

TOZ: I actually didn’t realize he got hurt with the powerbomb. I guess he should.

BigFreaky: I’m a bit torn on this one. It is wrestling and things can cause injury. But most times they don’t. I do realize this isn’t the first time that particular move does cause injury, and I’m not so much a fan of it really, cuz it is so gross. I think it really is just unlucky that these times are so similar.

A fatal four way is being held to determine the new champion of the universe. Who do you think will win?

Greg: Realistically either Reigns or Rollins will win the red belt. In a fantasy world I say give KO a run with it.

Allen: I’d prefer Kevin Owens with Y2J being his best bro during his championship run. But I think they will go with Roman because there is a lot of guys he can feud with, Rollins being first on that list.

TOZ: I will Rollins will win it, but I would give it to Owens just to see what he can do.

BigFreaky: 6 month run until the Demon returns.

No contest between Roman Reigns and Rusev

Summerslam Rusev Reigns

So this match was given away on RAW on the go home show before Summerslam. Did this have to be so high up on the card if it was just going to be a brawl meant to get Reigns over as a beast?

Greg: This should have been way lower on the card. The brawl did accomplish getting Reigns over as a silent angry man. But sadly there was absolutely zero follow up on RAW to hammer the point home.

Allen: They should have swapped the match they had on Raw with this “match” and the fact they had this in the death spot just was weird overall.

TOZ: Why have the match on the Raw before if this was what they were gonna do with it? It also didn’t need to be so high on the card.

BigFreaky: It was what it was I guess. Somehow this puts Reigns in the Main title picture now though?

Given that Reigns is now going after the big red belt, who should challenge Rusev for that USA belt?

Greg: Heath Slater?

Allen: No one right now. Sell that injury angle. If they had to match him up with someone, I would pick Sami Zayn.

TOZ: I also think no one right now.

BigFreaky: Put that strap on Neville.

Brock Lesnar defeated Randy Orton via TKO

Summerslam Lesnar Orton

Well this was a thing right? Many tables were broken, Orton was tossed around and Lesnar was made to look like a monster by cutting Orton the hard way. What did you think of the finish?

Greg: I guess it made sense if you want to make Brock look like an angry monster and not have him take a pin.

Allen: I liked the shock ending but man Orton was just pouring blood!

TOZ: I was surprised Orton was down to be cut. Props to him.

BigFreaky: Yea, it was a thing, I guess. The amount of blood was disturbing. I mean.. Whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen.

Do you think Orton was punked out to save face for Lesnar? Where does this feud go now?

Greg: I wouldn’t say punked out. But this was definitely a face saving move. Again, no real follow up on RAW but on Smackdown, it looks like a Brock vs. Shane showdown is happening eventually.

Allen: That’s what Orton gets for sandbagging Brock during those suplexes. This was the end of the feud as it looks like Orton will fight Bray Wyatt now.

TOZ: I don’t think it makes Orton look all that bad, storytelling wise. I don’t see them doing this again.

BigFreaky: I guess in some way, it makes Orton look stronger. Brock is the invincible monster.

Final thoughts

Best match of the night?

Greg: Cena vs. Styles. An honorable mention goes to Col. Ziggler vs. Chicken Suit Miz.

Allen: WTF was up with the KFC match?? It went on higher than the actual Ziggler match! Cena vs Styles was the match of the night, no question.

TOZ: Cena vs Styles, by far.

BigFreaky: Cena/Styles

Worst match of the night?

Greg: Reigns vs. Rusev. The brawl was great but placement on the card and the non-match for being so high up in the schedule was not cool.

Allen: Reigns vs Rusev was just a waste. Didn’t have any effect on the PPV at all.

TOZ: I guess we can call Reigns vs Rusev a match.

BigFreaky: Reigns/Rusev since it wasn’t a match, but bullshit.

Overall Summerslam just got beat out by NXT Takeover again. There were too many matches and nothing real creative in most of them. That Brooklyn crowd must have been getting antsy because it was taking so long. This Summerslam can turn out to be forgettable in a few weeks just like the last Wrestlemania was.