Welcome to Bleeding Cool's ongoing WWE SummerSlam live coverage. The tagline of the show tonight is "You'll never see it coming." That's a bold claim from WWE, which traditionally has been extremely predictable over the last twenty years. Can they really pull off a surprise? And what is that surprise about? A swerve in the McIntyre/Orton match? The identity and/or leader of Retribution? Something else? I guess we'll find out tonight.
WWE SummerSlam Report Part 2
We get the obligatory opening video package and then SummerSlam officially kicks off with a buttload a puro and a shot of the WWE Virtual Universe in the Thunderdome. It's mostly dudes. What's the best part of having the audience on LED screens instead of in person? You can't smell them!
Asuka heads to the ring for the opening match. In a pre-recorded promo, Asuka says you may never see it coming at SummerSlam, but tonight we'll see her become champion. Bayley comes out with Sasha Banks. Bayley looks a little anxious. Michael Cole calls it "focused." Corey Graves sells friction between Sasha and Bayley. The crowd noise, which I am at this point assuming to be heavily sweetened, sounds pretty good during the intros. Better than it did at SummerSlam. We'll see how it sounds during the matches.
Asuka vs. Bayley – WWE Smackdown Women's Championship Match
- The crowd noise is not better during the matches. What it's missing is people "ooohing" and "aaahing" with the moves. It's hard to sweeten that, I guess. Plus, the fans are all gonna be on slightly different delays, both with their own camera feeds and their WWE Network feeds. There's no getting around that.
- After an opening exchange, Bayley ends up in control of the match for a bit. A lot of it is spent working a headlock or beating on Asuka while yelling at Michael Cole.
- Asuka kicks out of Bayley-to-Belly.
- Now it's time for an Asuka comeback. Asuka hits a kick and both women lay on the mat while the ref counts.
- When they make it to their feet, Asuka is fired up and hits all her offense. She gets a near fall off a butt-to-face attack. You never go butt to face, Asuka.
- Bayley drops Asuka knees-first on the apron, then starts working the knees in the ring. She puts on what Michael Cole calls a "very unique submission." Not that I know what it's called either. It was kind of like an upside down Figure Four.
- Asuka hits double knees on Bayley and doesn't sell her knees at all despite them being dropped on the apron like 30 seconds ago.
- Bayley catches Asuka off the top ropes into a knee submission, but Asuka makes it to the ropes. Bayley then hits a sunset flip powerbomb into the turnbuckles. Shades of Nia Jax?
- Bayley goes for a top rope elbow but Asuka catches her in an arm bar.
- Sasha gets in Asuka's face during the submisssion, so Asuka kicks her. Sasha treis several times to interfere, ultimately succeeding when Bayley gets a roll-up.
Sasha attacks Asuka after the match. She and Bayley hit a double powerbomb on her. They talk some trash and leave. The booing is loud now. Since I can barely make out any difference in the crowd noise during the match, I have to assume WWE just has a soundtrack for boos and cheers and they play them in the most obvious moments and that's it. It feels empty. This was a decent match, nothing special, though I suppose it's really just meant to set up the match between Asuka and Sasha later.
Commercials. Yes, commercials on PPV.
Backstage, Dominik Mysterio asks Rey Mysterio to promise not to get involved in his match against Seth Rollins tonight. Rey gives him his word. Dominik heads to the ring. The Raw announce teams takes over, but the Street Fight isn't happening yet. Tom Phillips wants to talk about Retribution. He plays a video package about them.
Kevin Owens comes to the SummerSlam commentary table. Angel Garza and Andrade come out with Zelina Vega. The Street Profits come out. Solo cups rain from the sky. I hope Montez Ford kept an eye on the one he's drinking from right now. In a pre-recorded promo, Ford says he knows Zelina and her crew poisoned him. Angelo Dawkins says they'll pay for it in the ring.
Angel Garza and Andrade vs. Street Profits – Raw Tag Team Championship Match
- Andrade and Garza control Ford for the beginning of the match.
- Dawkins tags in and cleans house, but a big back elbow from Andrade and they both lay on the ground.
- Ford and Garza tag in and Garza tries a cheap pin, assisted by the ropes, but Ford kicks out.
- Zelina distracts the referee, but she ends up getting knocked to the floor by Ford after he's superkicked by Garza.
- Dawkins slams Garza, Ford hits a splash from the top rope, and the Street Profits win.
That was a shockingly short match, especially for a PPV like SummerSlam, but Garza and Andrade losing wasn't surprising at all. Once again, they prove completely ineffective. Is there a point in them staying together after this? Overall, a disappointing match in both action and ending. Kevin Owens says he'll have Aleister Black on a special edition of the KO Show on Raw tomorrow.
Kayla Braxton interviews Bayley and Sasha backstage (the backstage area is another wrestling ring – is this where Raw Underground will take place?). Bayley calls their night historic and magical and passes the mic to Sasha. Asked if Bayley will return the favor and interfere on her behalf tonight, Sasha says if Bayley can beat Asuka, she can beat Asuka. Bayley agrees. Sasha says she's the Boss and the Standard and loves being two-belts Banks. And she's gonna love tapping out Asuka and you can Bank on that. Bayley pulls out a broom and says tonight is gonna be a clean sweep. Then, at Payback, they'll successfully defend their Raw tag team championships.
Two matches down for SummerSlam proper, and I think this is a good breaking point. So look for part three of our SummerSlam report coming up a little while.