WWE SummerSlam 2019 Results: Brock Lesnar Elevates Seth Rollins, More Hot Takes
Brock Lesnar's selflessness headlines the biggest hot takes from Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Lesnar lost the universal title to Seth Rollins in the night's main event, putting The Beastslayer over as the undisputed face of WWE.
Dive deeper into that defeat, as well as the debut of The Fiend, Charlotte Flair's continued excellence and the reason Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon worked as well as it did with these takeaways from the annual summertime extravaganza.
Brock Lesnar Elevates Seth Rollins with Clean Job in Main Event
WWE had done everything in its power to present Seth Rollins as the face of the company since WrestleMania, but it was Brock Lesnar's selflessness Sunday night at SummerSlam that finally established The Beastslayer as the star the company has so desired him to be.
Since his return in 2012, Lesnar has been picky about who he has put over and how.
He lost clean to John Cena at that year's Extreme Rules, lost to Triple H in a convoluted Street Fight wrought with interference at WrestleMania XXIX and lost to The Undertaker at SummerSlam 2015, but only after a low blow.
The Beast Incarnate has not gone out of his way to put any young stars over clean in the center of the ring. Until Sunday night.
The story of the match saw Lesnar throw everything at Rollins, only to have the challenger counter, reverse or withstand the onslaught. Rollins had seen or experienced it before, knew how to get out of it and did en route to a stomp and an inconceivable clean pinfall victory in the center of the ring.
For a guy whose narrative has been that of a selfish big-timer who only works when he wants or puts guys over he wants, his willingness to lay down for Rollins is a great indicator of how he feels about the new universal champion.
At a time when fan dissatisfaction with Lesnar holding the top prize on the Raw brand neared its height, he did the right thing, and in the process, he elevated the star of a guy who has all of the other tools necessary to carry the company into a new era, and the future Hall of Famer deserves credit for it.
Bray Wyatt Finds Redemption in the Fiend
A year ago, Bray Wyatt was dead in the water.
Inconsistent booking, questionable on-screen pairings and a lack of motivation had him on a path to mediocrity. He needed to step away from television and freshen his character up if there was any hope of the former WWE champion remaining a valued part of the show.
Wyatt didn't just go away, he came back with an entirely new and compelling character. Riddle-spewing, cult-leading Wyatt was dead and gone. In his place? A demented Mr. Rogers with a terrifying alter-ego and a kid's show called Firefly Funhouse. Every week brought with it an edgier, more dangerous and disturbing vignette, and at SummerSlam, the masked Fiend made his grand debut in front of a live WWE audience.
The company had exactly one shot at getting the presentation right, and it succeeded.
The appearance, the production value, the Wyatt head lantern and the remixed theme song all came together to create the most unforgettable moment of the SummerSlam broadcast.
There is genuine excitement about the character, and rightfully so.
Some of that can be attributed to the fact that it came across as very cool and modern. Not cool by WWE standards, but legitimately cool as in, "I could show this to my friends" cool.
Add to it the split personality gimmick teased during the match and the first-class production values and you have a package that fans can buy into that is already more layered and intriguing than any of the creatively devoid characters on the show.
Charlotte Flair Further Proves She Is a Generational Performer
Charlotte Flair has the ability to deliver the best performance at any show on which she appears. She carries herself like a star, has a pedigree of excellence and uses her raw athleticism to make any match better. She is a generational performer, much like her father, Ric.
Sunday night, she proved it, delivering the best match of the entire SummerSlam pay-per-view with Trish Stratus. The same Stratus who has been retired since 2006 and has appeared in the squared circle only a handful of times.
Yes, the Hall of Famer was spectacular in her return to high-profile singles competition, but had she been in there with a lesser talented Superstar, the match would not have been nearly as good as turned out.
Flair is an artist between the ropes, her timing is exquisite and her ability to put together sequences is one of the more underrated elements of her performance. She helped Stratus regain her confidence in the ring, and by the time the match neared its conclusion, fans were on their feet, hopeful the hometown hero would slay The Queen of All Eras and stand tall.
She did not.
Flair ripped the collective heart out of the chest of the WWE Universe and did so gleefully, a triumphant villainess not at all concerned with the happy ending the Torontonians wanted for their fellow countrywoman. It was another brilliant performance by the second-generation performer and further evidence of the greatness that has become synonymous with her.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon Proves Unlikable Heels Spawn Red-Hot Matches
The two hottest pay-per-view moments since WrestleMania featured Becky Lynch rescuing Seth Rollins from a Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans beatdown and Kevin Owens whooping that Shane McMahon ass Sunday night at SummerSlam.
What do those two unrelated segments have in common?
Genuinely unlikable heels the fans wanted to see get their asses kicked.
Somewhere along the line, probably during the second half of the Attitude Era, cool heels became all the rage. Fans liked the edginess and coolness of those characters and ultimately ended up cheering for them at the expense of the more one-dimensional babyfaces on the show.
That is a pattern that continued some 20 years later, all at the expense of the company's ability to create electrifying moments featuring red-hot babyfaces. Why? Because fans no longer longed to see heels get their comeuppance.
That has changed of late, for the better.
Owens overcoming the odds and dropping the insufferable McMahon with a stunner popped the crowd and earned The Prizefighter the babyface pop he has been working for since returning in February. The crowd was genuinely happy to see a bad guy get what was coming to him, as they were when Rollins and Lynch teamed up to down Corbin and Evans.
Those two matches serve as proof positive that, no matter how cute WWE Creative tries to get with the product, fans will always react to a bad guy getting his comeuppance at the hands of a babyface they have wronged.
As Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff ease into their roles on the creative team, it would behoove them to take the crowd's reaction to Owens' win into consideration and work toward developing more bad guys that fans will root against, thus strengthening the babyfaces in the process, rather than finding edgier, cooler heels to build shows around.