WWE 'SummerSlam' 2016 Results & Reaction: 5 Ways The WWE Dropped The Ball At 'The Biggest Event Of The Summer' [POLL, VIDEO]
It was supposed to be "The Biggest Event of the Summer," but for the most part, the 29th annual SummerSlam will be remembered for its misses more than its hits.
Aside from John Cena vs. AJ Styles, which will no doubt go down as a Match of the Year candidate by the time we put a bow on 2016, this year's edition of SummerSlam at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn had several issues that it wasn't able to overcome.
Heading into the event, we used this forum to explain why we believed the card-- on paper-- had a chance to be one of the all-time classics based on the stacked rosters and talent involved in the matches.
That very article, which can be found here, finished with the sentence: "Now, it's just up to the talent and, perhaps even more importantly, the creative team to get the job done."
Unfortunately, in many respects, not all of the talent was game to deliver on Sunday, while the creative booking was just an absolute mess.
Here are five ways the WWE dropped the ball with this year's SummerSlam.
1) Bad Start
The crowd was red-hot when hometown heroes Enzo Amore (New Jersey) and Big Cass (Queens, N.Y.) came out to start the main show. They proceeded to put on a great match with the mega team of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Having the babyfaces lose in front of a pumped up crowd was a rough way to start the show. Though JeriKO is a credible threat, it just seemed like a no-brainer to keep the momentum of Enzo and Cass alive.
From there, the WWE opted to have Charlotte regain the Women's Championship from Sasha Banks. At the time, it seemed like an absolutely outrageous thing to do, but with reports now surfacing that "The Boss" needed time off and may have even been injured during the match, it now makes a little bit more sense.
Still, if the WWE knew that Banks, one of the most over Superstars on the roster, was set to job in Match No. 2, then why would it have fan favorites Enzo and Cass also do a job in the previous match? Having three of the WWE Universe's favorites lose in succession was an awful way to start the night and, sadly, an omen of things to come.
2) Match Order
Not only was it odd to have Enzo, Cass and Banks job in succession, but the order of the matches was all out of whack on Sunday. The WWE is trying to make the "SmackDown Live" brand not feel like a "B" show like it did last time the brands split, yet the WWE World Championship match between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler was placed toward the middle of the card.
The clash went on before a multiple women's tag team match and prior to the United States Championship. The highly-anticipated Universal Championship battle between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor was also put on before the U.S. match. The WWE seriously just can't get over its love of Roman Reigns and apparently only Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton are able to go on after him.
Making matters worse, it wasn't even a match, which we'll get into in the next gripe.
3) Weird Endings
Not only was it moronic to have Reigns and Rusev compete over a midcard belt after the two matches for major belts were already over, but the WWE didn't even book an actual match. They literally gave away this match on "RAW" last week, while at SummerSlam the two brawled and the bout was canceled. If anything, it should have been reversed with the brawl occurring on the free flagship show and the match people paid to see at SummerSlam actually being, you know, a match.
Directly after that, Lesnar faced Orton in a bout that saw him absolutely decimate "The Viper" and for the second straight clash, there was no pinfall, submission, DQ or countout finish. Instead, "The Beast" won via TKO which apparently is now a thing you can do in the WWE.
The WWE wants to keep Lesnar strong and it makes sense since he is such a draw, but he made Orton and "SmackDown Live" look weak after weeks of building up the "Apex Predator" as a viable opponent. Two straight matches with strange endings was not a good way to close the show.
4) Belt Reveal
It's hard to get on the WWE for not thinking that their belt design for the Universal Championship would get lambasted as one can never really predict crowd reactions. Still, hyping up the Universal Championship and then revealing it to basically be nothing more than a hybrid of the current World and Women's Championships was just a complete botch job on their part.
The crowd shouldn't have let the awful design overshadow the match being put on by two great performers in Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, but the WWE also should have done a better job at making the belt unique.
The show was just too damn long. The pre-show began at 5 p.m. and the show went well past 11 p.m., which is just way too much wrestling. Sure, it's the second biggest event of the year, but the crowd was burned out for a lot of the proceedings because it was an overload. Ambrose and Ziggler never really got going, but it didn't help that the crowd completely died on them. The company definitely could have trimmed some of the 13 matches, especially since the overflow of useless brand-only events is slated to start with Backlash on Sept. 11.
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