Sunday, July 21, 2024

The Real Winners and Losers from 2020 WWE SummerSlam | Bleacher Report


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    You’ll never see it coming! That was the promise WWE made ahead of SummerSlam 2020, and the tagline was delivered over and over again on Sunday.

    However, the night also brought mostly a pure wrestling exhibition, built on the back of some of the best in the business.

    Drew McIntyre pulled off a huge win when he defeated Randy Orton in a victory that solidified his run as WWE champion.

    Andrade and Angel Garza could not get on the same page in the closing moments of the biggest opportunity of their run as a tag team. They lost to The Street Profits and may be falling apart before they even get going.

    Mandy Rose ended her feud with Sonya Deville emphatically, leading to her former friend leaving WWE. In a memorable brawl, The Golden Goddess finally took the next step as a future title contender.

    Dominik Mysterio may never be Rey Mysterio, but he did show he can be a WWE Superstar. He brought his all to a great battle with Seth Rollins before falling just a little short.

    Braun Strowman walked in with momentum and the Universal Championship, but he left with a whimper. After The Fiend stole his title, Roman Reigns stole the remaining spotlight on The Monster Among Men with a shocking return.

    It was a night of big matches that felt the most like a true pay-per-view this year. Some rose to the moment and walked out winners; others fell short, ending the night as unfortunate losers.

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    Drew McIntyre knew he was in for the fight of his life against Randy Orton, and he didn’t disappoint.

    He brought his all against Randy Orton and countered The Viper’s best offense. He showed he was the better wrestler by turning the RKO into a backslide for a surprise three-count.

    It would have been easy to pull the trigger with a title change in this match. Orton has been on an all-time run in his 18-year career. He has delivered in multiple fantastic matches recently, including Sunday night with McIntyre.

    However, WWE continued to run with the Scot by giving him a surprise victory. Ending the match with a backslide may not sell the WWE champion as dominant, but it did deliver on the message that Orton is not the greatest wrestler in the world.

    It is likely Orton will get another title shot soon. He and McIntyre have more work they can do together. Neither hit their finishers throughout the run time of this match, but this was a great opening act that sold both men as top competitors.

    Even if the Scot ends up losing to Orton in the end, this first victory solidifies WWE’s trust in him—this wasn’t Kofi Kingston getting squashed by Brock Lesnar.

    The WWE champion delivered once more and continued the greatest run of his career.

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    Andrade and Angel Garza looked focused and cohesive together early on as they isolated Montez Ford and beat him down. However, after Angelo Dawkins accidentally knocked Zelina Vega off the apron, El Idolo went to check on her, leaving Garza to fall to Ford’s rotation frog splash.

    This was a vital match for the future of the Mexican Superstars. Their whole story was building to this moment. A win would have solidified the tag team, but it instead looks to have all been a waste of time.

    While Ford and Dawkins have done great work together, they have lacked true rivals, while Andrade and Garza got to this point despite losing multiple times. The only angle that sold a rematch was the awkward poisoning of Ford.

    At this point, a new tag team will need to be set up to challenge The Street Profits. Andrade and Garza are done in the title scene and may be done as a whole. It’s hard to imagine El Idolo wanting to work with Vega’s other client after everything that has happened.

    Hopefully, this leads to a better future for both men on their own. While Andrade and Garza are good together, they are better on their own.

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    Mandy Rose came out with anger in her eyes. She fired off on Sonya Deville, making her pay for all that she had done.

    Although The Pride Fighter fought back, she just wasn’t ready for The Golden Goddess at her best, and she hit a series of bicycle knees for the win.

    While the quality of this match may not have delivered for everyone, WWE put full confidence behind Rose and Deville. After all the focus on this rivalry, they got 10 minutes and used it.

    In the end, this was all about establishing Rose. She still has work to do as a performer to match up to top stars like Asuka, Sasha Banks and Bayley, but it is nice to see the company fully committing to a performer who is willing to go out and tell a story.

    Deville is leaving WWE for now. Hopefully, she will get time to recover from a difficult few weeks and come back stronger. While Rose needed this performance, her rival is already established as one of the best in the division.

    Perhaps by the time 2021 comes around, both women will be among the favorites to challenge for gold in a rebuilding division.

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    Dominik Mysterio walked into this match with his father, Rey, behind him, and he showed he has learned much from his parent as he flew around the ring throughout.

    However, Seth Rollins used everything at his disposal to stop Dominik before handcuffing Rey to the ropes and hitting the Stomp on his son to win.

    This was a great performance from the younger Mysterio on his WWE debut. The 23-year-old has work to do in order to show he is worthy of competing against The Monday Night Messiah, but it was a great rookie outing. He is talented and was not badly winded after a 20-minute match.

    Is Dominik good enough to outshine many of the underused stars in WWE? No, but he’s certainly talented. The Mysterio name got him through the door, but his personal work has led to this moment.

    It will be interesting to see what he does next. A loss to Rollins is not a blow at all. Putting on a show with The Monday Night Messiah was proof he can hang with anyone. The story after this point will be what he can do against a variety of top stars.

    He may never be as good as his dad, but few wrestlers ever will be. Dominik just needs to be good on his own merits. If he can do that, he will be one of WWE’s top rising stars in short order.

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    After returning from the Wyatt Swamp with a new look and attitude, Braun Strowman wanted to destroy The Fiend for good. He put his rival through the ringer, but Wyatt’s creation kept kicking out.

    The Monster Among Men then used a box cutter to reveal the boards under the ring, only for Wyatt to slam him onto them to win.

    After the match, Roman Reigns hit a Spear on both men before further beating down Wyatt. He stood tall with the WWE Universal Championship.

    Strowman was always a transitional champion despite his decent-length run. The end goal was to get to Reigns vs. Wyatt. While this feud has happened before, this is a different version of Wyatt than The Big Dog has faced before.

    The show ended with everyone talking about Reigns, while The Fiend walked out with the title. No one was talking about the former champion. Strowman was left out in the cold at the end of the biggest title defense of his career.

    Despite hints that Alexa Bliss would get involved in Sunday’s contest, no one interfered in this fight. This was a Falls Count Anywhere match that ended definitively in the ring. All of that says this was the end of Strowman’s time in the sun.

    While it is always possible that he puts a wrench in the plans for Wyatt vs. Reigns, he just doesn’t fit the focus of that sort of rivalry. He may get a rematch against The Fiend at Payback next Sunday, but he will then quickly be sent back to the midcard role he has been working most of his career.

Herbert Wise
Herbert Wise
Infuriatingly humble organizer. Entrepreneur. Zombie guru. Professional creator. Future teen idol.

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