Over a four night span, the WWE took over the Barclay’s Center, in Brooklyn, New York for Summerslam weekend. During the third week of August, the WWE fans witnessed almost a week’s worth of intense action, title changes, and a glorious debut.

The main event of the August 19 NXT Takeover special was the Glorious Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship. It featured a lot of action, and had a raucous crowd throughout. After a hard fought match, Drew became the new champion after a kick to the face. Fans could see the emotions etched on the new champion’s face after achieving the victory. However, his enthusiasm was short lived, as the newly signed group of Adam Cole, Kyle O Reilly and Bobby Fish attacked McIntyre and left him lying in the ring. The Brooklyn crowd cheered these wrestlers. They have watched them before in an independent promotion called Ring of Honor. I am fine with the crowd cheering the attack – it shows that they care, and know who these wrestlers are. But, as a result of the loss of the NXT title, the question becomes…..what’s next for Bobby Roode?

He was called up to the main roster, and made his shocking debut on Smackdown on August 22. The crowd in Brooklyn was overjoyed. Like in NXT, they were singing along to his Glorious theme song. In his debut match Smackdown, he defeated Aiden English, and the following week, he upended Mike Bennett. Hopefully, one day Roode will emerge as a singles champion on Smackdown, or maybe even on Raw, if he is moved there at a later date.

At Summerslam, Sasha Banks regained the Raw Women’s title by defeating Alexa Bliss. But, on the August 28 edition of Raw, Alexa regained the title. So, once again, in her first defense of the title, Banks lost. Now, I know Sasha will receive her rematch, and like I always do, I will support her during that opportunity, but I do not believe she should win. In fact, I think that if she loses the rematch, it could be a catalyst for her to turn heel. She can say that she is tired of losing the title as soon as she wins it, and that she is the best woman in the WWE, and deserves much better. Those statements can either cause the turn, or perhaps, set the wheels in motion for a move to Smackdown, where she can finally have a lengthy reign as champion.

The opening match at Summerslam between Baron Corbin and John Cena told its own tale, which resulted in Corbin losing very quickly. I have no idea what happened here, as the company seemed intent on pushing Baron to become the WWE champion. I am sure something occurred along the way that derailed the WWE’s original plans for him. However, based on what is transpiring on Smackdown, it seems the company is placing Baron Corbin in a rivalry for the United States title against AJ Styles. So, what’s next for John Cena? Since his return to the company on July 4, he was dubbed “a free agent” meaning he can appear on either Raw or Smackdown.

The main event of the night was a brutal, dramatic and exciting affair featuring four of WWE’s toughest competitors vying for the Universal title. Brock Lesnar put up the title against Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. The crowd was ecstatic when Lesnar pinned Reigns to retain the belt. Despite that, Braun Strowman came out of the match looking like a star. He dominated every competitor for the most part, and the crowd supported him. They were stunned when he powerbombed Brock through one table, and used all his strength to flip over another announcer’s table on top of Lesnar. Braun sat on the ringside steps, and taunted the champion as he surveyed his damage around ringside. The crowd went wild for this scene. Also, a rare occurrence took place as fans witnessed Brock being wheeled off on a stretcher during the match. Even though he returned and won the match, I think he should have just stayed in the back to recover. But, as fans know, that is not in his nature. With that said, one of the matches everyone wants to see will transpire on Sept. 24, at No Mercy as Brock Lesnar defends the Universal title against Braun Strowman. I am sure that will be a wild and chaotic affair. But, what about Reigns? He has moved on to begin a significant storyline which will lead to something a lot of fans want to see.

The next night on Raw, John Cena returned to the show and issued a challenge. He cut a promo stating that the only reason he came back to Raw was to battle Roman Reigns. He wanted to see what all the talk was about. I was stunned by this revelation. I knew the match would eventually happen, but not this soon. It is a Wrestlemania or Summerslam worthy main event. On the August 28 edition of Raw, a “contract signing” was held for the match at No Mercy. The match was made official for the event, but a lot was said during the segment that made for riveting television.

With the fans going insane, Reigns got one of the early verbal jabs in when he stated that he was the one who “retired” the Undertaker – something that John could never do. John later retorted by calling Roman a “corporate Cena bootleg.” The best line came when Cena said that he could do this better as a part-timer than Reigns could ever do full time. I will say, that when it comes to cutting a back and forth promo with someone, John Cena is one of the best, and he proved it that night. It really was a beautiful sight to watch Cena destroy Reigns on the microphone and for Roman to struggle to find a competent response – he seemed flabbergasted for the most part. Both wrestlers got jeered, despite the fact that both are supposed to be fan favourites. Roman is booed because the WWE, specifically, Vince McMahon, for years, has been pushing him extremely hard to become the new face of the company. But, that is not going over well with the fans –they do not want to be forced into liking someone, no matter how much the company tries. And, Roman acts like he doesn’t understand why he gets booed. On the other hand, Cena gets booed, but at least he views it as a sign of respect. He encourages the fans on a weekly basis to express their love, hatred and passion for him.

So, at No Mercy, on September 24, I will be supporting John. My support for John will continue for the other matches that will surely follow between these two polarizing wrestlers. And yes, I know the entire purpose of the match, and the rivalry, is to help put Reigns over as the future of the company. What will happen, is that Reigns will be victorious in the overall series of matches between the two, and the fans will still despise Roman. With the fact that he upended John Cena and the Undertaker – two future WWE legends, the fans might view Roman differently, thought I do not see that happening. I also think that if he brags about it, like he is doing about beating the Undertaker, the company will maybe do something that makes sense – turn him heel.

The WWE should be really proud of their Summerslam week, and even the television shows which aired after. The week after Summerslam was very intriguing with the Cena/Reigns interaction, which should lead to a great set of matches down the road, starting with No Mercy. Only two things of significance happened on Smackdown. They were Bobby Roode’s debut, along with the return of Shelton Benjamin on August 29. But, I am sure more will occur on both shows in the coming weeks. And I am sure fans will continue to be entertained as a result.

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