The Blue Brand roster stuck around in Canada for a couple more nights after what was a strong, and at times, red-hot SummerSlam PPV. Goldberg predictably obliterated Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins managed to wrest the Universal Title off Brock Lesnar in what was a match of the year candidate, and Kevin Owens finally put an end to Shane McMahon’s reign of terror with a convincing win. And it was the Canadian native who kicked off the show, to a thunderous pop from the Toronto crowd…
KO addresses the WWE Universe
The lesser-seen humble version of the Prizefighter was on show here as he discussed his five-year anniversary with the company and how the experience of beating up Shane O’Mac was made all the more sweeter as his family were ringside to see it. KO then looked ahead to the returning King of the Ring tournament, which is slated to take place next week, and how he would like to etch his name alongside the illustrious past winners. Shane interrupted proceedings and showed footage of the low blow he suffered at the hands of Owens two days previously, and fined him $100,000 as a punishment.
Owens is one of the most versatile performers anywhere in the world. He has excelled as the antagonistic heel, as the anti-authority tweener figure, and tonight as the fully-fledged, appreciative babyface. No matter what, he’s always watchable, and is currently arguably the most over superstar in the company.
Charlotte Flair vs. Ember Moon
Flair is currently riding the crest of a wave following her show-stealing victory over Hall of Famer Trish Stratus at Summerslam. Meanwhile, Moon was looking to bounce back after her disappointing at the hands of Bayley. Flair took control early, and taunted Moon. The War Goddess hit back with a head-scissors and dropkick to send Flair out of the ring. She then launched herself off the top rope onto to Flair to consolidate an impressive turnaround. It didn’t last long, as Flair showed her viciousness, going to work on her opponent’s left leg, slapping on the Boston Crab in the process. Ember showed great intestinal fortitude to fight back on one leg and scored a near-fall after a superkick. Flair proved why she is a nine-time champion, though, with a big boot and a Figure Four Leg Lock to put away the gutsy Moon.
Moon put up a really good fight here, but is now ultimately on the losing end of two high-profile matches, and will likely go back to scrambling around in mid-card obscurity. Flair, on the other hand, is on a roll, and will be looking to again place herself in the title picture as the company builds towards Clash of Champions next month.
Daniel Bryan addresses the Roman Reigns rumours
Last week Roman Reigns beat a name out of Buddy Murphy in connection with who is assailant is. And he pointed the finger at Rowan. In retaliation, Daniel Bryan’s enforcer brutally attacked Murphy on the Summerslam kick-off show. Bryan passionately denied he and Rowan had anything to do with the attacks on Reigns and bemoaned the gossip-mongering amongst the WWE Universe. He claimed the real offender would soon be outed.
Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy
The Big Dog answered Murphy’s challenge in what promised to be an intriguing first ever encounter between the two. Reigns threw the former 205 Live competitor around the ring, but the Australian hit back with a stunning running knee and took the fight outside, sending the former Shield enforcer into the barricade and onto the announce table. The Big Dog responded by launching Murphy over the table and charging round the ring, but missing with a drive by. Murphy pounced on the opportunity and grounded his opponent with a headlock. The former Cruiserweight champion then found himself on the receiving end of a hard-hitting powerbomb, as the contest continued to swing back and forth, with Murphy again fighting back as he sought the biggest victory of his career, scoring a couple of near-falls. The Big Dog was stunned when a Superman Punch still wouldn’t put the Best Kept Secret away. Murphy somehow recovered with a couple of knee strikes and a Brainbuster to very nearly put Reigns away. A second Superman Punch and a Spear finally cracked Buddy’s resistance to cap off a superb encounter.
This was a top quality match, which wouldn’t have been out of place on the Summerslam match card. Reigns was impressive, and his face at the end showed his respect had been earned. Murphy was the real star here though, who matched his more experienced and decorated opponent step for step. Much like Cedric Alexander with Drew McIntyre on Raw, the former 205 competitor matched their more imposing rival move for move. It was a mighty showing from Murphy, who more than justified his place on the roster.
Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe (Elias is special enforcer)
As punishment for his continued insubordinate attitude, Owens was given the Samoan Submission Machine as his dancing partner in the squared circle. And the odds were further stacked against him with the announcement that Elias would be special guest enforcer. KO took the fight straight to Joe with a drop-kick and pummelling in the corner. The action spilled outside, but Elias thwarted any offence, handing the momentum to Joe. Owens responded, though, with a dropkick and running senton for a two count. A senton off the top rope and a pop-up powerbomb also failed to put Joe away, as Elias dragged the official out of the ring before the three count. As Owens protested, Joe rolled him up and Elias executed a quick three count, to send an incensed Owens to defeat.
The narrative of Owens having the odds stacked against him by heels doing the bidding of McMahon continues, with the Prizefighter’s life being made a misery by an authority figure and his cronies. Next on his list looks set to be Elias, who has been a constant thorn in his side over recent weeks, and a programme between the two should follow.
New Day vs. The Revival and Randy Orton
After an explosive start from New Day, with quick tags and cohesive team work, the heels took control, isolating Woods and taking turns to systematically beat him down. Wilder went to work on Woods’ arm and Dawson beat him down with some brutal kicks. The Viper finally tagged in and slammed New Day’s mouthpiece onto the announcer’s table. Dawson continued the assault as Woods desperately tried to make a tag. The hot tag was eventually made as Woods somehow managed to create separation and Big E exploded into the ring, with a series of belly to belly suplexes and a big splash, to turn the contest in the favour of the popular babyface trio. He was stopped in his tracks as Dawson and Wilder teamed up to suplex the big man, only to be on the receiving end of a clothesline from Kingston. The WWE champ then hit a leg drop on Wilder and a suicide dive on an interfering Orton. As chaos ensued, The Revival hit Woods with the Shatter Machine for the three count. After the bell, they destroyed Big E, but Kingston cleared the ring before ending up on the receiving end of a RKO from Orton. The Apex Predator then doled one out to Woods and E to put an explanation point on his sinister destruction of the entire New Day.
Orton’s evil streak was the main talking point here at the end of what was a decent six man tag match, the outcome of which was two-fold; The Revival put themselves back in title contention with the clean pin, and Kofi will now have to spend the coming weeks fending off a sadistic, focused Orton, hell-bent on taking his title.