Summerslam 2017 has come and gone, and thus I mark one full year of writing my opinion pieces for this incredible website. As this is my 1st Anniversary post-show article, I want to give you lovely readers a bit of insight into what has weighed on me as a wrestling fan for this year. I have done an excellent job of complaining about WWE’s booking decisions and storylines; this I know. Nevertheless, I want to make it clear right here and right now that World Wrestling Entertainment is embarrassing themselves.
Summerslam 2017 was not a bad show. It wasn’t a particularly good show. It had some fantastic ups in both tag team championship matches, Styles/Owens and the amazing main event. It also had some pretty abysmal downs in the Orton/Rusev debacle, the Cena/Corbin match, and whatever Show/Cass was.
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Despite its many title changes and an extravagant entrance or two, Summerslam 2017 failed to feel like anything more than an average show with a slightly larger card – save for maybe the main event. It was long – there’s no two ways about that – but it lacked a truly special feel. Too many matches felt one-off, too few matches felt like the conclusion of or the beginning to a new story. The matches that were solid and felt appropriate in their story placement were hurt by a dead crowd and a rather sleepy audience at home (maybe that was just me).
Summerslam has always had a special place in my heart, as it was the first pay-per-view I ever watched and the first event I covered for this blog. The Biggest Party of the Summer has always meant something to me. I craved to see something that felt like the incredible Cena/Styles or Balor/Rollins matches of last year, matches that would go down in WWE history and would send shockwaves through the wrestling climate.
I craved an event that felt like it was truly a Big 4 PPV and not a longer Battleground. Again, I will say some matches did deliver and the main event did so in spades, but the evening as a whole felt terribly incomplete. Maybe this was truly a lackluster show on its own, or maybe it’s because of something else.
Just twenty-four hours before Summerslam 2017, those tuning in to the WWE Network got the privilege to watch one of the finest WWE-produced events in recent memory. NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III was absolutely incredible top to bottom. Jeff has already covered the event in great detail, so if you are curious as to how good it actually was please refer to his fantastic article. I will refrain from delving too deep. Safe to say every match was fantastic and the show as a whole delivered on its incredible legacy built in Brooklyn over the past three years.
I firmly believe that this NXT event embarrasses its main roster counterpart when the two are compared. I am well aware of the many advantages that NXT has over the WWE main roster: fewer storylines to juggle, fewer advertisers to cater to, fewer hours of TV to write, a consistently passionate fanbase at a set arena for weekly tapings. However, when it comes to having quality wrestling matches with quality storytelling intertwined, the WWE main roster pales in comparison to NXT. Out of the 13 matches on the Summerslam main card, I would say no more than six could be qualified as good. To say any less than four out of the five TakeOver matches were exceptional is an outright lie.
In the fallout of this weekend, I got to witness a lot of back-and-forth between wrestling fans on social media. Many made similar claims to mine. A common retort by the defender of WWE is that it prides itself on being more ‘sports entertainment’ as opposed to the ‘wrestling’ of NXT. Wrestling is wrestling. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. A turd by any other name would smell as putrid. The WWE main roster can attempt to cover itself with its claims of being more story-heavy and ‘moment’-based, but when it comes down to quality professional wrestling you will find a better option in NXT.
Summerslam 2017 has allowed me a great opportunity to reflect on my wrestling fandom and passion for the WWE product. I recognize that not all will share this opinion, but I am very curious as to how those of you who experienced both Saturday and Sunday nights’ shows feel about the weekend as a whole. Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I did not say this is probably the best time to be a wrestling fan in history, so there is little reason to be all too concerned about the state of the WWE main roster.
Again, I’d like to thank you all for a great of support and I hope to continue this on for even longer. See you next time.
by Dat Man S.Fran
Photo Credit: WWE.com