JC’s Top Rope Report: 10 Thoughts on SummerSlam, NXT and More!
SummerSlam weekend is in the books. While I wasn’t here to review NXT/SummerSlam thanks to my computer being down, I did still watch both shows. Thanks to my colleague Matt for filling in for me this weekend.
So I’m here to give you my thoughts on the last 4 days of the WWE, and where things could go from here!
1. AJ Styles Is The Best Wrestler In The WWE Right Now
-This one is rather easy to understand. The AJ Styles vs John Cena match at SummerSlam is easily the WWE Match of the Year right now. I don’t think it is close. Nothing tops the story told going into and during the match. It may be hard to believe but Styles actually is improving during his WWE stint. Styles mic work might be the best of his career right now. He’s acting like and carrying himself as a top star. I look forward to him being the face of the Smackdown brand in the very near future. He deserves it for all of the work he has done this year.
2. The New Title Designs Are Awful
-I thought the whole point of having separate brands was to be unique and distinctive? Instead of coming up with different designs for the Universal Title and Smackdown Women’s/Tag Team Titles, the WWE used the same design but different color schemes. Why is it so hard to come up with a new design? The WWE had over a month to think up these ideas. Why do you think the Universal Title was booed so heavily at SummerSlam? The crowd over did it by taking away from the match, but some of the blame does fall on the WWE.
3. Bobby Roode’s Entrance Was, Well, GLORIOUS!
-When I covered TNA for the HTCWrestling, Bobby Roode was often my favorite part of the show. Roode isn’t going to wow you with his flash. But Roode is a technical worker and a good veteran hand to have around, especially in NXT. But what the WWE did with Roode’s entrance is great. It is already one of the more heavily downloaded songs on iTunes. And the actual entrance Roode had at Takeover was great. I thought Finn Balor would have the best entrance of the weekend. He actually had the third best, because Nakamura’s entrance was also better. With his entrance along, Roode was already more over on NXT than he ever was in TNA.
4. Kevin Owens Should Win The Universal Title This Monday
-The smart money is on Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins. They are the top two guys on RAW. But Owens has been money since teaming with Chris Jericho. And it would be an added shake-up that the RAW brand desperately needs right now. If Rollins or Reigns wins, we will just get months of those two facing off against each other. But an Owens Title win adds a bunch of possibilities for RAW. Owens could feud with faces and heels and it would work. You’d eventually get an Owens/Jericho feud. You could go back to Owens/Zayn, this time for the Title (which I suggested a while back for Wrestlemania 33). Owens could be the face in a program and not change a thing about his character.
5. Brock Lesnar vs Shane McMahon Should Not Happen
-At the end of SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar F5’d Shane McMahon. On RAW, Stephanie McMahon said there would be consequences for Brock Lesnar. She fined Lesnar $500. On Smackdown, Shane said it is obvious Steph isn’t taking this seriously. But Shane McMahon should not fight Brock Lesnar at all. Now if this is leading to Shane hiring someone to fight Lesnar, then I am okay with it. But wasting a Brock Lesnar match on Shane McMahon would be stupid. If Lesnar just demolished Randy Orton, Shane McMahon realistically shouldn’t stand a chance against him. And the shine is wearing on Lesnar a little bit anyways. A Shane McMahon match would just further that belief.
6. Shinsuke Nakamura Is Going To Be A Mega Star In The WWE
-Whenever Nakamura is on camera, he just oozes charisma. The guy knows how to work a crowd and get them fully invested in everything about him. The second his entrance started at Takeover, the crowd was hyped. And they were invested in every moment of the match. Hopefully, Nakamura is on the main roster by the end of the year. And he should be in a big match at Wrestlemania. There are so many options for Nakamura. If it were up to me, he would be challenging for whatever brand’s Title he was on. Or you could put him up against Brock Lesnar and have him slay the beast. If the WWE screws up Nakamura it could be the biggest screw up they ever made. Nakamura is a license to print money in the WWE.
7. Cena vs Styles Was My Match of the Weekend, But The NXT Tag Title Match Was A Close Second
-In a wrestling world where fans love seeing flash and big moves, The Revival doesn’t do any of that. The Revival works over their opponents with basic mat work and standard wrestling. They focus on a body part and work it over the entire match. And they pull out every heel tactic in the book. And it’s great. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were the perfect underdog tag team to go up against the Revival. And what we got was one of the better tag team wrestling matches in quite some time. I was quite surprised they didn’t have Ciampa turn on Gargano at the end. Maybe we get another match from these two teams.
8. Did Anyone Think Heath Slater Would Get THIS Over?
-I can guarantee you that the WWE didn’t. I would bet my life on it. But Slater’s work during his free agent run has won over the fans. On Smackdown, he actually got people to boo Daniel Bryan. Slater is the right mix of comedy but also makes you feel sorry for him at the same time. I would like to Heath Slater and Rhyno win the Tag Titles. But I also want to see American Alpha win. I would much rather see Slater win the Intercontinental Title from The Miz. If you saw Miz’s promo on Talking Smack, it would make sense. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. Miz was ON FIRE during the promo.
9. Dean Ambrose Needs A Heel Turn
-When Dean Ambrose won the WWE Title I was excited. I thought it would lead to a character overhaul fro him. And we’ve seen flashes of good from Ambrose during his Title reign. But a good amount of his act continues to fall flat with some of the audience. Being wacky but also effective in a PG world is tough to do and Ambrose is very hit or miss. The crowd was flat for his match at SummerSlam. Now I’m sure part of that was because the match followed Styles/Cena. But Ambrose needs an edge to him that he just won’t get as a face. He played more of a heel character during the Ziggler match. Maybe the WWE tries a double turn with Ambrose and Styles, because Styles is going to keep getting cheered.
10. Is There A Bigger Wasted Talent In The WWE Then Rusev?
-I was furious when the WWE had Rusev walk out of his match with Big Cass on RAW. First of all, it made their Universal Title look weak. Why would anyone willingly walk out of a Title match like that. Even if Rusev was playing up his injury, it just makes your belt look bad. Not only that, but Rusev has shown with his work since the brand split that he can be a valuable asset to RAW. He is the right mix of serious and comedy. He knows when to drop the comedy as a character. Rusev should be treated as a main event like player with the US Title. Instead, Rusev has looked rather weak over the last month or so.
Top 3 Matches
- John Cena vs AJ Styles
- The Revival vs Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
- Dolph Ziggler vs AJ Styles
Top 3 Entrances
- Bobby Roode
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Finn Balor
Top 3 Moments
- AJ Styles Beats John Cena Clean
- Bayley Debuts On RAW
- Nakamura Wins NXT Title
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka