Summerslam Count-Up – Summerslam 2020 (2021 Redo): I Still Didn’t See It Coming

Summerslam 2020
Date: August 23, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe

We’re a year removed from this show and things have indeed changed a bit. For one thing, we are FINALLY out of the Thunderdome, which was a full two days old when this aired. In something that hasn’t changed, I have no idea what happened at this show, save for the main event. That’s kind of nice for another look so let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: US Title: Apollo Crews vs. MVP

Crews is defending and it’s strange to see him as just a guy in trunks and not….whatever he would become next year. As a bonus, the rest of the Hurt Business is banned from ringside. MVP takes him down into a very quickly broken knee bar but Crews is back up with a sunset flip for two. That’s enough for MVP to bail to the floor as things cool down a bit. Back in and Crews flips away from him, setting up a quick dropkick for two. MVP is fine enough to toss him over the top and out onto the steps as the beating begins.

The running boot misses in the corner so Crews goes up, only to get crotched on top. The superplex brings Crews back down but MVP lands hard and the delayed cover gets two. A clothesline puts MVP on the floor and there’s the big flip dive to take him down again. They both dive back in to beat the count and it’s time to slug it out. Crews gets the better of things and it’s a spinebuster into the standing moonsault for two. The toss powerbomb retains the title at 6:37.

Rating: C. This was about as Kickoff Showey of a match as you could get and it happened to have a title on the line. There was nothing wrong with it and Crews gets a win to make him feel that much more important as US Champion. You’re only going to get so much out of a standard Raw level match and this was about it. Not bad, but as forgettable as any other Kickoff Show match.

The opening video is much more about the Thunderdome than anything else, though the matches themselves do actually get some attention. Well the bigger ones at least. The Smackdown World Title match between the Fiend and Braun Strowman has a tagline of “You’ll Never See It Coming”. That’s one way of advertising things.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Asuka

Bayley is defending as part of the Bayley/Sasha Banks Are The Most Amazing Women Ever stretch. Granted it wound up being pretty awesome so it’s kind of hard to complain all that much. Banks (the Raw Women’s Champion and Bayley’s partner as the Women’s Tag Team Champions) is at ringside too as they fight over the grappling against the ropes to start. Asuka dropkicks her in the ribs to take over and pulls Bayley down into a reverse Koji Clutch.

The foot on the rope gets Bayley out of trouble in a hurry so she bails to the apron, allowing Asuka to kick the leg out again. There is something fun about watching Asuka pick someone apart like that and it always works. Bayley gets kicked out to the floor and Banks is already looking worried. Asuka grabs a DDT (or close enough) off the steps for two back inside but Bayley manages to snap her neck across the middle rope for a much needed breather.

Some stomping sets up the chinlock with Bayley shouting a lot as she keeps Asuka down. Back up and a quick Bayley to Belly gets two but Asuka kicks her in the head for a double knockdown. A German suplex into the hip attack gives Asuka two and they head to the apron for the slugout.

That doesn’t last long so they head back inside for an exchange of leglocks. Asuka knees her in the face for two but Bayley is right back with a running sunset flip into the corner. The “patented” (I want paperwork) top rope elbow is countered into a quickly broken cross armbreaker so Asuka is back with a kick to the head. Banks takes the running hip attack though, allowing Bayley to grab a rollup to retain at 11:33.

Rating: B-. Good and logical choice for an opener here with Asuka fighting as hard as she could to pick up the first title. That didn’t wind up working out, but they did a nice job of going back and forth against each other. What mattered here was having Asuka seem ready to pick up the win until Banks’ interference was enough to throw her off for a split second. Nice match with the story making perfect sense.

Post match Banks (who faces Asuka later tonight) and Bayley beat Asuka down and leave her laying.

Dominik Mysterio asks Rey Mysterio to let him go out there alone tonight. Rey, realizing how much of a disaster it would be to ask fans to care about Dominik on his own, says no but is finally talked into staying in the back.

Video on Retribution’s path of….well really just annoyance so far, though this period of breaking stuff would be their apex as a team.

Raw Tag Team Titles: Street Profits vs. Angel Garza/Andrade

Garza and Andrade, with Zelina Vega (who recently poisoned Montez Ford), are challenging and Kevin Owens is on commentary. We get the traditional rain of red solo cups to start as the Profits’ inset promo talks about how they are here for revenge. Andrade slugs away at Ford to start but gets caught with a big jumping clothesline. A jumping hurricanrana brings Andrade off the top and there’s the double flapjack to drop Garza.

Ford loads up the big flip dive, but gets countered into a double powerbomb onto the floor (as tends to happen). Back in and we hit the armbar on Ford, allowing Garza to TAKE OFF HIS PANTS (Vega approves). A cross armbreaker over the ropes has Ford in more trouble and it’s back to Andrade for an armbar of his own. Garza adds a running knee to the ribs (and promises to win the titles, which Owens does not like) and the running kick to the ribs makes it worse.

There’s the top rope Alberto Double Stomp for Andrade’s next near fall. Ford flips out of a belly to back suplex though and the enziguri sets up the diving tag to Dawkins. Chris Jericho’s Judas Effect only takes Dawkins off one foot (ha) and he spears Andrade down. Ford comes back in with the crazy high crossbody but Garza rolls through for two, even with Vega holding his feet on the rope. Vega gets on the apron to yell but Ford knocks Garza into her. The Sky Cash Out into the twisting frog splash retains the title at 7:50.

Rating: C. Total Raw match here which was the latest exhibit of how much charisma that Garza has. The guy can make anything look better but Andrade had the star power and that is what gets you ahead around here. This feud, or some form of it, went on for the better part of ever and never once got interesting because the Profits were that much better. Now get some fresh competition in the tag division.

The long form celebration is on.

Bayley and Sasha Banks don’t like Kayla Braxton’s questions but know that Sasha will beat Asuka tonight. Bayley even busts out a broom because it’s going to be a sweep.

We recap Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose, which has been going on for a long time. Sonya got jealous of Mandy getting all of the attention and eventually turned on her by calling her selfish. Since it’s WWE, we’re supposed to side with the bombshell model, which was made even worse when Sonya was about five levels ahead of Mandy on the mic. Sonya cut off some of Mandy’s hair so the hair vs. hair match was set.

Then a psychotic fan broke into Deville’s house with zip ties and a knife, likely in an attempt to kidnap and/or kill Deville. Rose happened to be staying there and the two got away as the stalker went into the wrong part of the house. This sent Deville into a lengthy legal process and since her lawyer felt that cutting her hair off was a bad idea, it was turned into a No DQ Loser Leaves WWE match. Fair enough, but next time you have a crazed stalker who might be trying to kill you, make sure you think of kayfabe. Go out separate doors or something and worry about being stabbed later.

Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose

No DQ and the loser leaves WWE. Mandy offers a handshake to start so Deville rolls her up for two. Back up and Mandy hits her in the face and they head outside with Deville getting suplexed onto the ramp. A clothesline off the announcers’ table puts Deville down again and let’s get a table. As usual, that takes way too long and it’s Sonya ramming Mandy into the announcers’ table to take over.

Back in and a running knee to the chest gets two and it’s a dragon sleeper with a bodyscissors to put Mandy in even more trouble. The trash talking fires Mandy back up though and it’s a jumping knee for two on Sonya. It’s back outside for more ramming into the announcers’ table before Mandy slides chairs over the regular table, with Sonya having to duck the decapitation attempts. That’s either brilliant or really stupid and I’m not sure which. Back in and three straight running knees set up Angel’s Wings to crush Sonya. Another running knee gives Mandy the pin at 9:49.

Rating: C-. This had the intensity but dang Mandy is not the greatest in the ring. I completely get why WWE would want to push the heck out of here but Sonya was so much more of a complete package and felt like a natural. It’s a shame that she had to go away, though it was a rare instance where something is more important than wrestling (egads that’s hard to say).

Post match Otis comes out to celebrate with Mandy (Yeah remember when that was a thing?), who fails at the Caterpillar.

Here’s what’s coming on the WWE Network!

We recap Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio. This was part of the never ending Rollins vs. Mysterios feud, which saw Rollins gouge Rey Mysterio’s eye out. Dominik is willing to fight for his father in a street fight, which also happens to be his in-ring debut. Rollins also destroyed Dominik by tying him into the ropes and destroying him with a kendo stick for a pretty nasty moment. Other than that though, this feud was complete death by this point and this was the match that I was dreading coming into the show.

Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio

Street fight and Rollins, with Murphy, is in gear inspired by Rey Mysterio at Halloween Havoc 1997. Rey is here with Dominik, as you might expect. Rollins wrestles him down without much trouble to start and seems rather comfortable. He’s so comfortable that he offers Dominik a headlock before tripping him down with ease. Dominik gets in a few right hands before getting dropped again. A springboard armdrag and then some regular versions have Rollins down, which is just a step too far.

Rollins drops him again and gets a kendo stick, which is dropkicked out of his hands. Dominik gives chase but gets knocked down, only to have Rollins kick the stick away. The one armed camel clutch has Dominik in more trouble and Rey is nervous. The Sling Blade lets Rollins work on Dominik’s hand and Murphy sends in a chair. Seth yells at Rey a lot as he stomps away but the Stomp (that’s confusing) is countered into a drop toehold into the chair. The Buckle Bomb is countered into a hurricanrana into the corner to stagger Rollins again as this comeback needs a crowd reaction.

A tornado DDT out of the corner gets two and the kendo stick shots have Rollins in more trouble. Dominik goes up but it’s Rollins running the corner for the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for two. Rollins is mad (as he should be) and it’s time to kendo stick Dominik for a change. Murphy throws in a table but Rollins takes too long going up, allowing Dominik to hit a super White Russian legsweep through the table. Since wrestling logic is a thing, Dominik is fine and hits a frog splash for two.

Dominik takes too long grabbing things again, allowing Rollins to superkick and kendo stick him some more. Saxton: “Rey can do nothing to help his son!” As you try to see the invisible wall keeping Rey from doing anything, Rollins pulls out some handcuffs. Cue Rey’s wife Angie to try and do something but Rey holds her back.

Murphy loads up the steps to take out Dominik’s eye, meaning the invisible wall is smashed as Rey finally gets involved (making the last five or so minutes subject to wrestling logic). With Dominik as backup, Rey is quickly cuffed to the ropes as the villains look up at Angie. Dominik is back up to make the save this time….and his frog splash hits knees, because he isn’t very good at this. Rollins tells Rey to reach for Dominik and then hits the Stomp for the pin at 22:36.

Rating: C-. Being away from this story for a year has taken away some of the bad feelings about it, but this still wasn’t very good. Above all else, this was WAY too long as Rollins felt like he was dealing with an annoyance than any real threat. Dominik isn’t an embarrassment in the ring by any means but he also isn’t ready to be in a 20+ minute featured match at Summerslam. He looked ok for a debut, but the length of the match (and the feud) dragged it way down.

The villains sneer post match and Rey hugs Dominik.

Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks vs. Asuka

Banks is defending and has Bayley in her corner. Commentary points out that Banks has never had a successful singles title defense, which does not bode well for her future. Banks goes straight for the knee (ala Bayley in the first match) but Asuka spins up and fires off the Kawada kicks. A sliding forearm (minus some power because of the knee) sends Banks outside and Asuka is right there with a kneebar on the floor.

They wind up on the apron, where Asuka kicks the post by mistake. Bayley cranks up the trash talk (because she’s very good at that) and Banks takes her back inside to fire off kicks in the corner. Banks switches to the shoulders but gets caught in an electric chair faceplant. Asuka can’t be trusted with two legs in front of her and Banks has to bail to the ropes to escape the kneebar.

With that broken up, Asuka gets a bit creative by taking her up top for a super DDT. The missile dropkick gives Asuka two but Banks goes after the knee again, setting up the double knees in the corner. They’re both down so Bayley goes into coaching mode….and Asuka immediately grabs the ankle lock. Bayley isn’t good at coaching. The Bank Statement is countered into the Asuka Lock which is countered as well. Bayley’s distraction fails and the Asuka Lock goes on again to make Banks tap for the title at 11:31.

Rating: B-. I liked this one a good bit as Banks and Bayley had a plan to take Asuka out but still couldn’t do it. That’s a nice way to make Asuka look even more impressive while also continuing the build to Banks vs. Bayley. They took their time to get there but Bayley was awesome almost every step of the way. Banks held up her end as well and it was a heck of a match on top of the storytelling.

Post match Banks glares at Bayley, who begs forgiveness.

We recap Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre for the Raw World Title. Orton has attacked a variety of legends, which has McIntyre ready to fight back and defend their honor, along with his title. McIntyre talked about how Orton has been protected for years while McIntyre fought every day to get here. They did a nice job with the culture clash here and the video does a good job of making this feel big.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre is defending and we get a quick inset promo from Shawn Michaels, who wants Orton to get Claymored. Orton bails to the floor to start as the mind games are going strong early on. Back in and Orton begs off again but does hit a few right hands before bailing to the floor for a second time. This time the chase is on but Orton catches McIntyre on the way back in. The RKO attempt is blocked so McIntyre shoulders him down. Another threat of the RKO sends McIntyre bailing outside and you can see a bit of shock.

Back in again and McIntyre unloads in the corner but has to block the RKO for a third time. The ensuing charge sends McIntyre shoulder first into the post and Orton sends him into the barricade to make it worse. A posting sets up a drop onto the announcers’ table and then Orton does the latter again. Orton gets a bit creative by suplexing McIntyre off the table for a delayed one (that kickout at one was a good deal for McIntyre).

The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by the Orton Stomp and some slow staring at the….uh, screens. McIntyre comes back with a Stunner to the knee in the corner and a spinebuster for the double knockdown. With the knee banged up, McIntyre goes Flair with the Figure Four (nice job given Orton attacking Flair and other legends leading up to this). Orton can’t roll out so he grabs the referee for a distraction and goes to the eye to escape. McIntyre’s eye looks to be cut a bit as they slug it out from their knees. Make that from their feet, with McIntyre having to block the RKO again.

The overhead belly to belly sends Orton flying and McIntyre does it again for a bonus. A top rope shot to the head drops Orton and McIntyre nips up as the adrenaline starts flowing. McIntyre loads up a superplex, gets knocked into the Tree of Woe, and pulls himself up to send Orton flying with the choke superplex as usual. As impressive as that is, commentary shouldn’t be that impressed or surprised, but WWE commentators are seen as stupid for a reason.

The Futureshock gets two but McIntyre misses coming off the top. Orton’s powerslam gets two and he is busted open as well. The hanging DDT is broken up and it’s a Cactus Clothesline to put both of them on the floor. They get back in fast but this time the hanging DDT connects. With nothing else working, Orton loads up the Punt but McIntyre cuts him off. The Claymore misses so Orton tries the RKO again, only to get caught in a backslide of all things to retain the title at 20:34. Commentary shouts about how Orton NEVER SAW IT COMING because they need to hit that tagline.

Rating: B. I liked this one a good bit as they were playing up the story they had established coming in. The idea was that Orton was the seasoned veteran who had learned from the legends and he was cheating every chance he had here. Throw in the RKO as the ultimate weapon (which he never hit, as it is probably being saved for later) and this was a chess match with McIntyre using everything he could while Orton just waited to hit the RKO. I liked what they were doing and the ending worked well. Good match, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Orton looks up at McIntyre from the floor because this isn’t over.

We recap Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt for the Smackdown World Title. These two have been feuding for MONTHS in one bad match after another. Last month, they fought in the swamp (because reasons) and Wyatt made Alexa Bliss appear because Strowman has always wanted her. Strowman doesn’t buy it because he knows the Fiend is going to corrupt her as well. Bliss slapped Strowman a bunch so he teased attacking her but decided to fight the Fiend instead. In other words, this feud was really, really stupid and nothing they were changing made it any better at all.

Smackdown World Title: The Fiend vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman is defending and this is Falls Count Anywhere. Fiend is driven back into the corner to start but comes back with a heck of a clothesline to drop Strowman. They’re already on the floor with Fiend busting out a toolbox. A few shots with said toolbox don’t do much to Strowman, who runs Fiend through the barricade. Strowman chokeslams him onto (not through) the announcers’ table and a steps shot to the face drops Fiend again.

Back in and the powerslam sends Fiend right back to the floor, which doesn’t mean as much as he can get pinned out there as well. Strowman kicks him up the ramp and they fight backstage. Fiend whips him into a few walls and Sister Abigail gets two. They come back into the arena where Strowman is sent into the video screen to bust up some of the color.

The Mandible Claw goes on but Strowman gets up anyway and shoves him into the apron for the break. Back in and another powerslam gets another two on Fiend so Strowman yells a lot. Strowman grabs a box cutter from the toolbox and starts cutting up the mat to expose the wood. That takes WAY too long so Fiend is back up with a Rock Bottom and a pair of Sister Abigails onto the wood for the pin and the titles at 11:58.

Rating: C. The shorter time helped but egads this feud was death and everyone but WWE seemed to know it. You could have seen this title change coming from before Extreme Rules last month, making for a very long and slow build. They kept this the way they should have and the lack of anything involving Bliss helped here. It could have been worse, but you’re only getting so much out of a hoss fight like this one. As long as Strowman isn’t champion any longer though, it’s an upgrade.

Post match Roman Reigns is back (for the first time since March) with the spear to the Fiend and the beating is on. Another spear hits Strowman and Reigns shouts about how they aren’t monsters unless he’s here. Reigns bends a chair over Strowman and spears Fiend down again. He grabs the title, says it has always been his, and calls Fiend a freak in a mask. Cole: “WE NEVER SAW THIS COMING!” Reigns would win the title a week later, as he should have, along with joining Paul Heyman, which was an amazing twist.

Overall Rating: B-. This was a bit of an odd show as the stuff that was good was quite good but the weaker stuff just felt tacked on. WWE was still figuring things out after getting into the Thunderdome and this came off as somewhat of a Summerslam in name only. It certainly isn’t a bad show with the Bayley/Banks/Asuka stuff and McIntyre vs. Orton all being good. Tighten things up a bit and it could be great, but for now it just has to settle for being pretty good.

Ratings Comparison

Apollo Crews vs. MVP

Original: C
Redo: C

Asuka vs. Bayley

Original: B-
Redo: B-

Street Profits vs. Andrade/Angel Garza

Original: C
Redo: C

Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose

Original: D+
Redo: C

Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio

Original: D+
Redo: C-

Asuka vs. Sasha Banks

Original: B
Redo: B-

Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre

Original: B+
Redo: B

Fiend vs. Braun Strowman

Original: C+
Redo: C

Overall Rating

Original: C
Redo: B-

I’m not sure if that overall rating makes sense but the rest of the show was certainly in the same ballpark, save for Rose vs. Deville.

Here is the original review if you are interested:



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