WWE SummerSlam 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 20, 2017

WWE SummerSlam 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE SummerSlam 2017 was not the showcase of the New Era it seemed poised to be.

    Household names came away with victories at the marquee pay-per-view on Sunday—Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, John Cena. As for the emerging names, the trip to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, wasn't nearly as fruitful. Baron Corbin fell, Rusev lasted mere seconds and Big Cass underwhelmed.

    It was a night where the top matches absolutely delivered.

    The Fatal 4-Way was a violent work of art that saw four monsters tear into each other. AJ Styles and Kevin Owens knocked each other around in what will inevitably be the precursor to KO's next feud. And both Raw and SmackDown's tag team bouts thrilled.

    The lengthy show, though, had plenty that dragged, from Corbin's SummerSlam debut to Enzo Amore's monologue from inside a shark cage. The PPV was a reminder why a tauter card is the better route.

    Read on for a full breakdown of SummerSlam, recapping and grading the night's matches.

The Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan vs. The Miz and The Miztourage (Pre-Show)

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    Jason Jordan showed great cohesion with Matt and Jeff Hardy as the babyfaces took control in the early going.

    The Miztourage went after Jeff's knee as the crew slowed things down. Things remained in the heels' favor as The Miz batted Matt around.

    A fiery comeback from Jordan had the momentum shifting, but The Miz swooped in and hit The Skull-Crushing Finale for a three-count.

              

    Result

    The Miz and The Miztourage win via pinfall.

              

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Axel yanks Jeff off the top rope.
    • "The Miz now holds a victory over Kurt Angle's baby boy."—Corey Graves 

           

    Grade

    D

              

    Analysis

    A thrown-in match with little story unsurprisingly had minimal spark. There wasn't anything in terms of action or moments to make this stand out.

    This felt like something that would round out an episode of Raw.

    The Hardy Boyz need some direction after their feud with The Revival fell apart due to Scott Dawson's injury. That future Hall of Fame duo shouldn't be slumming it in the pre-show.

Akira Tozawa vs. Neville (Cruiserweight Championship; Pre-Show)

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    Akira Tozawa flustered Neville to begin their bout.

    His advantage fell away, though, when the fight moved to the outside. Neville sent him crashing into the ring apron and refused to let up afterward.

    The former champ kept the current titleholder grounded, but only momentarily.

    Tozawa battled back with a high-energy style. Hard strikes had him poised for victory. Neville, though, used the Red Arrow to reclaim his crown.

    Result

    Neville wins via pinfall to become cruiserweight champ.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Tozawa floors Neville with a suicide dive.
    • "Neville values the Cruiserweight Championship like nothing else."—Graves.
    • Neville counters the senton with knees to the back.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Neville looked like his usual prowling-predator self. Tozawa's offense was fun to watch.

    Still, these two have yet to have the great match they're capable of having against each other.

    Neville taking back the title so quickly is a bit of a surprise and letdown, but it puts both men in their ideal positions. The King of the Cruiserweights has been tremendous fighting for his spot on the mountaintop. Tozawa can compel as he goes on the chase again.

The New Day vs. the Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Championship; Pre-Show)

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    The New Day recalled its history in Brooklyn.

    Jimmy Uso and Xavier Woods kicked off the contest with a furious pace. The Usos, however, were able to slow things down as they beat up on Woods.

    Big E charged in to even things up.

    A frenetic pace followed as Woods blasted the challengers with kicks, The Usos fired back with their best shots and the foes left each other reeling. Amid the chaos that followed, The Usos hurt Woods with high-impact moves. 

    The brothers pounced on Big E until he couldn't get up.

    Result

    The Usos win via pinfall to become the SmackDown tag team champs.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Usos don Red Lantern-themed ring gear.
    • Woods rips off Jimmy's shirt before chopping his chest.
    • Jey punches Woods out of the air.
    • Big E powerbombs Woods onto Jimmy; Woods drops Big E off his shoulders onto their opponent.
    • The New Day hit a combination Backstabber/uranage move.
    • Jey dives off the security barricade to take down Woods.
    • Fans chant "This is awesome!"
    • "If you had any doubt about who were the two best tag teams, you don't have any doubt after this match."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Great energy permeated the opening and final chapters of the contest. The great chemistry between these teams was on display as they hit each other hard and pulled out inventive offense that thrilled.

    The Usos continued their run of being hungry, imposing villains. The New Day looked like they were having a blast.

    It's odd that WWE chose to relegate this match to the pre-show.

    And WWE's tendency to change champions so often is exhausting. This was too early to dethrone The New Day who only just ascended to the top of the tag division. 

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

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    Cena goofed around to annoy Corbin. The Lone Wolf responded with right hands and stomps to the gut.

    Despite all of his showboating and bickering with the referee, Corbin remained on top for a long stretch.

    Cena's trademark moves couldn't keep Corbin down at first. Corbin blasted the babyface, but fell to the powerhouse in the end. An Attitude Adjustment spelled Corbin's end.

    Result

    Cena wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "This kid is shook."—Cena.
    • "This is me. So take it in."—Corbin.
    • Cena counters Corbin's inside-out clothesline with a clothesline of his own.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    Cena's run of SummerSlam classics ended in a whimper.

    He was goofier than normal, not nearly as focused and intense as one would expect for a stage like this. Corbin looked good as the angry heel in search of revenge, but this was no great showcase for him.

    Following Corbin's failed Money in the Bank cash-in with an underwhelming loss to Cena is baffling. The emerging star's store of momentum is suddenly painfully low.

Naomi vs. Natalya (SmackDown Women's Championship)

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    Natalya went right after the champ. She withstood Naomi's offense and used the environment around her to hurt her foe.

    A submission-heavy offense had Naomi in trouble.

    Every time Naomi offered any resistance, Natalya snuffed it out. The challenger was able to outwrestle Naomi and keep her on the defensive. 

    Naomi was unable to escape The Sharpshooter before having to submit.

    Result

    Natalya wins via submission to claim the SmackDown women's title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Natalya catapults Naomi into the ring post.
    • Natalya pulls Naomi forward, forcing her into the splits.
    • Naomi hits a springboard leg drop while Natalya is caught in the ropes. 
    • "It's Natalya's moment here at SummerSlam."—Tom Phillips.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    What began with hard-hitting action slowed down significantly. Natalya was delightfully vicious even so. 

    Naomi didn't get to play the gutsy babyface nearly enough here.  

    This spotlight instead pointed at Natalya. This was all about reminding us how dangerous she was and that she's not finished occupying a high spot on the ladder of the women's division. 

    A Natalya title reign is going to be intriguing as she works against the division's younger stars.

Big Show vs. Big Cass (Enzo Amore in a Shark Cage)

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    Enzo Amore talked trash before having to step inside the shark cage.

    Amore brayed from the cage as Big Show pounded on Big Cass. The World's Largest Athlete, though, struggled to stay atop his foe due to his injured right hand.

    Big Cass attacked the giant's weak point, zeroing in on the bandaged hand.

    Amore shimmied out of the cage and slid down only to take a boot to the chin courtesy of Big Cass. The heel moved on to Big Show who he laid out with a kick, as well.  

    Big Cass finished off his opponent with an Empire Elbow.

    Result

    Big Cass wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I am the Al Capone of this microphone."—Amore.
    • Crowd chants "Boring!"
    • Amore strips down and oils himself up to slip through the cage's bars.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    The soundtrack of Amore barking in the background was grating. 

    The action was often lethargic. One can't blame the crowd for growing restless. 

    Amore's escape was the lone highlight of an underwhelming SummerSlam debut for Big Cass. The sooner Cass moves on from this feud, the better.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

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    Rusev ambushed Orton before the bell rang, throttling him in and out of the ring. Once the match officially began, The Viper sidestepped Rusev and hit an RKO for a win in mere seconds.

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rusev throws Orton into the security barricade with a fallaway slam.

    Grade

    D-

    Analysis

    What was the point of that?

    This would have been fine as an angle on SmackDown leading up to SummerSlam. At this marquee event, this felt like a major letdown.

    Rusev coming up short is one thing, but to have him get flattened so easily is a mistake. The hole The Bulgarian Brute has to climb out of just got deeper.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship)

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    Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks popped each other with rapid-fire strikes as soon as the bell rang. The champion gained the advantage, beating him The Boss in the corner.

    Bliss dominated, yanking on her foe's air, trying to squeeze the air out of her.

    A fiery Banks charged back, but Bliss kept finding a way to keep The Boss down. A fall to the outside left Banks' left arm injured.

    Bad wing and all, Banks clamped on the Bank Statement to force Bliss to submit.

    Result

    Banks wins via submission to claim the Raw women's title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Bliss sends Banks' face into the mat after pushing her off the turnbuckles.
    • Banks slams Bliss' head into the turnbuckles.
    • Banks yanks open the ring skirt to send Banks tumbling.
    • Banks kicks out of Twisted Bliss.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Intensity and back-and-forth action powered one of the night's better matches. Banks and Bliss have excellent chemistry. 

    The show needed this after a series of lackluster efforts dragged down the PPV.

    Banks and Bliss, though, were several beats away from composing a great bout. Given a bit more time and some more memorable moments, and this would have been the true show-stealer it was well on the way to being.

    And this title change would have been more powerful had there not been three other ones on the same night.

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Fog floated around the ring as Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt sized each other up.

    The Demon struck first, using his speed advantage to fluster Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds, though, managed to slow things down, punishing Balor with a high-impact offense.

    Both men went on brief flurries. Both taunted each other.

    Balor, though, came out on top with courtesy of the Coup De Grace.

    Result

    Balor wins pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" plays before Balor enters.
    • Wyatt suplexes Balor onto the floor.
    • Balor leaps off the ring apron to dive onto Wyatt's head.
    • "I got him!"—Wyatt on Balor.
    • Balor dropkicks Wyatt into the security barricade.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    While not thriller of a match, this did well to play up the parallels of Wyatt and Balor's characters. The spectacle of the entrances added to the atmosphere. 

    And Balor's win keeps him charging toward the top. 

    There could have been more strangeness and supernatural elements. Wyatt could have been made to be more of a monstrous obstacle, too. 

Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (Raw Tag Team Championship)

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    Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins' teamwork get the initial edge over the champs.

    After regrouping outside the ring, Cesaro and Sheamus overpowered Rollins, hammering away on the babyface. The Kingslayer absorbed a ton of punishment and was unable to tag in Ambrose who lay out cold at ringside.

    Cesaro tweaked his knee before Ambrose charged in and went on a tear.

    The Lunatic Fringe and Rollins meshed well together as they took it to the champs. The heels, though, fired back with their signature moves.

    Rollins leaped into the fray to clear the way for Ambrose to hit Dirty Deeds for the win.

    Result

    Ambrose and Rollins win via pinfall to become the Raw tag team champions.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Cesaro and Sheamus sport camouflage kilts. 
    • Sheamus hits Ambrose with a Brogue Kick outside the ring.
    • The champs catch Rollins mid-dive and hurl him onto the floor.
    • Cesaro tears apart a beach ball he took from a fan.
    • Ambrose dives off the top rope onto Cesaro and Sheamus.
    • Ambrose and Rollins hit simultaneous suicide dives. 
    • Sheamus hits Rollins with a rolling senton on the floor.
    • Sheamus and Cesaro hit Ambrose with the Doomsday Device.
    • Rollins uses a hurricanrana to send Cesaro into Sheamus. 

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Much like the SmackDown tag title bout, energy and chemistry powered an electric showdown. Dramatic near-falls helped it build to a big, fulfilling climax. 

    Both teams shone on the grand stage. 

    Ambrose looked absolutely gutsy surviving all those submission holds. And the champs were allowed to impress even in defeat.

    Ambrose and Rollins' shaky alliance makes them the mighty intriguing champs, allowing their surging story to continue to stand in the spotlight.

AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens (United States Championship; Shane McMahon as Referee)

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    AJ Styles and Kevin Owens didn't wait for the match to officially start. They started trading blows during the introductions. 

    Shane McMahon tried to maintain order as the rivals brawled in and out of the ring.

    KO grounded Styles, but spent a lot of time bickering with the ref. The champion fired back with devastating counters. 

    McMahon got in the way of a 450 splash from Styles and the impact slowed his reaction to Owens hitting the Pop-Up Powerbomb. A second collision left Shane-O-Mac out of position for a potential Styles' win. 

    Champion and challenger slugged it out, trying to finish each other off.

    Owens thought he won, but Styles' foot was on the rope during the three-count. That left KO livid and he and McMahon fought. Styles took advantage, nailing his foe with the Phenomenal Forearm and the Styles Clash to secure the win.

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall to retain the U.S. title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Owens and Styles trade a flurry of slaps and punches.
    • "You fall off buildings and get back up, but can't get over there for a three-count?"—Owens to McMahon.
    • Owens hit a swinging fisherman's suplex from the top rope.
    • Owens kicks out of the Styles Clash.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    In the most intense match together, Owens and Styles thrived in what is surely the end of their rivalry. 

    Owens' attitude entertained. He and Styles shook the ring with big move after big move.

    And WWE deftly used McMahon's presence here. He didn't only add drama but built the foundation for what should be a stellar feud between KO and McMahon. That will give KO something high-profile to do while freeing Styles up for a fresh challenger.

    Smart booking all around.

Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)

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    With the crowd firmly behind him, Nakamura outwrestled Mahal to kick the bout off.

    Mahal retreated. Nakamura taunted the champ. 

    The Singh Brothers distracted The King of Strong Style long enough for Mahal to take control. The Maharaja slowed the match to a grinding pace as he punished his opponent.

    Kick by kick, Nakamura charged back.

    The Singh Brothers got into the ring, took a series of knees to the faces and allowed Mahal to steal the win as a result.

    Result

    Mahal wins via pinfall to retain the WWE title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • A violinist plays Nakamura's entrance music live.
    • Mahal slams Nakamura into the security barricade.
    • Nakamura counters a powerbomb with a triangle choke.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    What looked like it was going to be an exhibition of Nakamura's artistry turned into a familiar scene. Mahal's wins have largely looked the same.

    This was anti-climactic and felt unfinished. 

    The ending speaks to this feud continuing. That will allow WWE a lot more space to explore this story following a short, hurried build to SummerSlam.

Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Universal Title)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In the chaos of the opening moments of the match, Lesnar floored Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns. He squared off with Braun Strowman who blasted him out of the ring. 

    Strowman went on a rampage that left Lesnar in need of medical attention. After officials took away the universal champ on a stretcher, The Monster Among Men went after Joe and Reigns. 

    Joe and Reigns battled. Strowman took on both those hosses. 

    Lesnar charged back into the match where he took Joe and Reigns to Suplex City. 

    The advantage changed hands several times as Lesnar nearly beat Joe, Strowman nearly defeated Reigns and near-falls followed near-falls. The Beast Incarnate finally hit Reigns with an F-5 to keep his title in his grasp.

    Result

    Lesnar wins via pinfall to retain the Universal Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Heyman introduces Lesnar as fighting "out of the conqueror's corner."
    • We are not on Skull Island. We are in Brooklyn, New York. Monsters are real."—Graves.
    • Reigns spears Lesnar through the security barricade.
    • Strowman twice powerslams Lesnar through an announce table.
    • Strowman flips an announce table onto Lesnar.
    • Lesnar kicks out of the spear.
    • Strowman pushes Reigns onto this feet as he kicks out.
    • Reigns spears Strowman, knocking Lesnar over in the process.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    Adrenaline surged through this from the get-go.

    The wrestlers made great use of the environment, breaking tables and barricades to help tell their story. Brutality overflowed. Titans collided in a true main event.

    Strowman putting the hurt on Lesnar helped make him look like even more of a monster. He was the true star here, even with Lesnar getting the win. It's clear a Strowman vs. Lesnar feud would be money. That's a direction WWE has to go in the near future.