Summerslam is usually the WWE pay-per-view that caters more to the hardcore wrestling fan. Wrestlemania is the show for the casual fan that likes nostalgia and big, story driven matches. This year’s Summerslam marks a new age for WWE. This is the age of competition. WWE has competition coming from All Elite Wrestling in the fall. They have competition coming from smaller independent companies like Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling. If anything the pressure is on for their creative team and their superstars. Summerslam has a lot riding on it for the WWE faithful. This is going to be a review of just the main-card. As anyone can watch the pre-show on Youtube. Let’s get started.
Submission Match for the Raw Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
Starting off with this match was an interesting choice from the booking team. This seemed like it was a high profile match that could have been deserving of a main event slot. Starting off the show hot is always important though. The fans in this match seemed torn for who they wanted to root for. Becky Lynch was getting her usual welcome from the crowd. But they also wanted to root for Natalya. This was always going to be a bit of a pickle from a booking standpoint anyway because face vs. face is hard to pull off. WWE portraying Natty in the way that they did before the match as a tweener probably helped her with the crowd.
The action started off strong from both. Becky and Natty both went for submissions off the bat trying to end the match quickly before any damage was done. Natalya strapped in the Sharpshooter on Lynch after this. Except it was locked in on the turnbuckle. Thanks to the submission stipulation, there was no rope break or DQ and Lynch had to break her way out.
The crowd and the match really blew up when the competitors traded each other’s submission moves. When Lynch locked in the Sharpshooter, the Toronto crowd went into a frenzy. The action broke down and it looked like Natty was going to win when she locked in the Sharpshooter. Lynch squirmed away and took the momentum back. Moments later she locked in the Disarmer for the tap-out win.
Becky retains her Raw Women’s Championship.
This match was a great showcase for these two women. For the first time in awhile I felt like Lynch had her mojo back. Wrestling a world class competitor and ring general like Natalya will do that. Lynch can move on to whatever competitor she sees fit now. And Natalya can go back to being the gatekeeper of the women’s division. The only thing holding this match back was length. It felt like it could have gone on for another five minutes or so to really build up the tension. It was the right choice to open the show.