Why the fuck did I stay up until 6:15am to watch a fricking Pay Per View wrestling show? Probably because my brother asked nicely, and he said this one would be fun. This one being Summer Slam 2018, with a bunch of pretty standard fights and a lot of belts and rivalries that needed sorting out. I didn’t actually pay for it, mind you. There’s a €10 a month subscription to the WWE network and it lets you watch pretty much any wrestling match from the WWE ever. Frankly, that’s a pretty good deal if you like wrestling as much as my brother does.
Before I start rambling about Summer Slam proper, yes, I know, wrestling is fake. Probably like 80% of all wrestling fans know that it’s ‘Sports entertainment’, not actual sports, and that a ton of it is scripted. Those who don’t are children or deliberately fooling themselves, and spoiling it for the kids is simply mean. They’ll work it out one day, same way kids work out that Santa isn’t real.
Anyway, Summer Slam.
Okay, the pre-game stuff was bollocks. There was a tag team championship match going on but everyone was talking over it. It was like 99% talking and backstories and explaining stuff that most normal fans probably already know and everyone else only needed like a brief refresher on. Particularly the Roman Reigns stuff. A lot of commentator stuff as well, but it was all basically fluff. That wasn’t worth getting up for. I could have had a nice, hour-long nap.
Summer Slam proper… well, I’ll be honest, the matches were all mostly pretty fun, but a lot of them felt obvious yet inconclusive.
Inconclusive matches were rife. There were a bunch of disqualifications in matches and attempts to cause disqualifications. Like the New Day VS the Bludgeon Brothers. That match was a pretty intense match with high hazard moves on both sides, but it ends insanely abruptly by disqualification. Like, why? That match kinda should have ended in a complete mess and a powerful victory for one side or the other, but no, random disqualification because a Bludgeon Brother decided hammers > fists.
The more obvious ones were more annoying. For example, the Miz VS Daniel Bryans. I quite like both of these guys and the match was genuinely pretty good (once we got past yet another backstory slideshow). Miz and Daniel Bryans were both going at it, Bryans gets the upper hand but no Miz has to cheat. It was a pretty damn predictable move (although kudos for it not being as obvious as normal) but it kinda detracted from the whole point of Summer Slam, causing this rivalry to continue into later shows.
Every match seemed to fall into those two categories.
Apart from Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura. The only fight that made me cringe. Not in edginess or anything like that. It was the only match that made me shout at the TV.
Mainly “JEFF NO YOU’RE TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT.”
Because he is. I mean, against a young, talented guy like Nakamura, he was kinda holding his own at first. Until the idiot decided to dive off the top ropes, only for Nakamura to move and for poor Jeff to smash his side on the corner of the ring. You can guess who won. Tip: Not poor Jeff.
What surprised me even more was when Randy Orton (who apparently has a rivalry with Jeff) came out, seemingly to beat on Jeff Hardy while he was down. But even Randy could see that Jeff had fucked up and left him lying there in his own agony.
Poor Jeff. Poor, idiotic Jeff.
But yeah. Most of the matches ended in similar ways, generally on the predictable side of things. Even the main event, Brock Lesnar VS Roman Reigns. There was a hint of surprise when Braun Strowman showed up with his Money in the Bank suitcase, but it was obvious what was going to happen the second Brock decided to focus on Braun instead of Roman, with Roman using that as a distraction to take out Brock, pin him and win the match.
The crowd did not know how to react to that. But I suppose that’s what’s going to happen when no one at all was hyped up for this match.
You know what though? It’s all a bit of fun. Watching the WWE is like watching a massive, convoluted soap opera. It’s like watching series after series of Eastenders or Coronation Street, but instead of neighbour rivalries about who fucked who, it’s sweaty men and women who use microphones and their fists to solve their problems. And occasionally there’s rivalries about who fucked who.
It’s a bit of fun and some fireworks and a show.
Would I watch another Pay Per View like Summer Slam? Maybe. But not a normal one with normal wrestling matches. Gimme Tables, Ladders and Chairs or Hell in a Cell. Because that shit is badass, fake or otherwise.