WWE SummerSlam 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2020

WWE SummerSlam 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    "You'll never see it coming," WWE promised ahead of Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view.

    But what was "it?"

    Maybe a major title change in one of the six championship bouts on a stacked match card? Perhaps it was a shocking conclusion to the increasingly psychological battle between Braun Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt? Could it have been an appearance by the chaotic Retribution?

    The question hovered over the night's proceedings like a dark cloud, threatening to rain on The Biggest Party of the Summer.

    What was the answer and how might it affect the WWE Universe moving forward?

    Find out with this recap of Sunday's extravaganza. 

Match Card

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    The match card for the 33rd annual SummerSlam was as follows:

    • WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
    • Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
    • Raw Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
    • SmackDown Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Bayley
    • United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
    • Raw Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza
    • Street Fight: Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
    • No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville

United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. MVP

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The night’s in-ring festivities began on the Kickoff Show, dubbed her "last hurrah" by longtime on-screen personality Renee Young, with a United States Championship defense by Apollo Crews against MVP.

    The contest, the culmination of two months of feuding, was Crews' opportunity to prove to the mouthpiece of The Hurt Business that he made the right choice by going it alone.

    MVP controlled for a bit before the match spilled to the arena floor. A dramatic near-count-out led to a Crews comeback.

    Moments later, MVP tried for the Playmaker but Crews escaped and delivered the toss powerbomb for the successful title defense.

    After the match, Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Lashley hit the ring, but Crews escaped a beatdown.



    Crews defeated MVP






    This wasn’t as good as their first match a few weeks back on Raw.

    Neither man really hit his groove, and there wasn't much in the way of a story to speak of. Crews winning was never really in doubt, either.

    The match being demoted to the Kickoff Show, despite being relatively high-profile on Monday nights, certainly hurt its overall effect, too.

    Hopefully, both Crews and The Hurt Business can resume their runs on Monday's Raw because this felt like a step down from what they had accomplished in the weeks prior to SummerSlam.

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Asuka vs. Bayley

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    Credit: WWE.com

    After an extraordinary promo befitting The Biggest Party of the Summer, Asuka made her way to the squared circle for the night's opening contest, a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bayley.

    The Empress of Tomorrow started hot and looked for a submission. When that didn't work, she targeted both the lower extremities and right arm of her opponent. A DDT off the steps and to the arena floor continued the challenger’s early onslaught.

    A springboard stunner by Bayley allowed her to turn the tide in her favor and score her first near-fall of the contest. She downed Asuka with a Bayley-to-Belly but the challenger shot her shoulder off the mat at two.

    Asuka mounted a comeback, pushing the pace and building momentum. She delivered the running hip attack but Bayley kicked out at two. The fight moved to the ring apron, where Bayley drove Asuka's knee into the middle frame and set out to target the now-injured joint.

    Asuka fought back with a Codebreaker for another two-count. Bayley answered, catching her opponent midflight and applying a kneebar. The Empress made it to the ropes. 

    Moments later, Bayley capitalized on a momentary distraction by Sasha Banks and rolled Asuka up for the win.

    After the match, Banks immediately jumped Asuka and joined Bayley in slamming her to the mat, all in the name of gaining a competitive edge over The Empress ahead of her Raw Women’s Championship defense later in the pay-per-view.



    Bayley defeated Asuka






    This was another strong entry in a long line of matches between Asuka and The Golden Role Models.

    Asuka and Bayley have great in-ring chemistry, dating all the way back to their days in NXT, and it showed here. One or two moments were clunky, but the competitors cut a frenetic pace and jam-packed their time with a ton of spots.

    Banks attacking and further putting Asuka at a disadvantage was exactly the story they needed to tell after the match and set up the second chapter of the program later in the night.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kevin Owens joined Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe at the commentary position as Angel Garza and Andrade challenged The Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championships.

    A fired-up and focused Montez Ford sent Andrade to the floor, then launched himself over the top rope at his opponents. Andrade and Garza caught the flying champion, though, and slammed him back-first into the arena floor.

    The heels isolated Ford, with Garza targeting his knee with a dropkick and Andrade adding a rope-assisted armbar.

    Ford finally tagged Angelo Dawkins into the match and, after a brief burst of offense from the big man, Montez found himself back in the match. He sent Garza into Zelina Vega, which distracted Andrade and allowed The Street Profits to successfully defend their titles.



    The Street Profits defeat Garza and Andrade






    Remember when Alberto Del Rio did the double stomp in the corner and it always looked stupid because his opponent needlessly held himself up until Del Rio crashed into him? Garza did that, made it make sense and almost deserves an A+ for that alone.

    The match was as good as you would expect from the two teams involved, even if Ford taking the beating and tagging back into the match as quickly as he did didn't make the most sense.

    The Profits' title reign continues, which is probably best for the Raw tag team division. The question now is who steps up to challenge them? Might it be Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin as The Hurt Business continues to entrench itself on Raw?

    And what of Andrade and Garza? Are the Latin Lothario and El Idolo ready to split?

    Those questions need to be answered as WWE moves forward.

No DQ, Loser Leaves WWE Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The single best feud in all of WWE in 2020 culminated Sunday night in a No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE match as former teammates and friends Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville waged an emotional and physical war.

    Rose struck first, delivered a spine-crushing suplex on the entrance ramp. She drove Deville into the guardrail and followed with a flying clothesline off the announce table. The Golden Goddess set a table up at ringside but her rival blasted her with a chair to the midsection and seized control of the bout. 

    Rose fired off some hard rights but Deville applied a dragon sleeper, complete with a leg scissors as she sought a submission win. Rose fought through it, then countered a triangle into a roll-up for two.

    Rose answered trash talking with a renewed ferocity, hammering away at Deville and setting her up on the table. The Pride Fighter rolled off, though, and narrowly dodged a steel chair to the face. She followed with a pump kick to the face, laying The Golden Goddess out on the floor. 

    Rose delivered the running knee and followed with a second...and a third. The double underhook facebuster and a fourth knee to the face earned Rose the hard-fought victory.

    Disbelief set in as Deville threw a tantrum at ringside, slamming her own head into the commentary table. Meanwhile, Otis hit the ring and celebrated with his on-screen love interest.



    Rose defeated Deville






    This would have been even better with fans in the arena to feed off.

    With that said, Rose and Deville delivered a fantastic conclusion to their storyline. It was hard-hitting, fueled by emotion and saw the babyface prove her toughness by outlasting the former MMA competitor in a match that should have favored the heel.

    Rose is a fantastic babyface and if WWE is looking for someone from SmackDown to dethrone Bayley, they may have their best option in the Tough Enough alumnus.

    Deville taking some time away could be the best thing to happen to her, especially if she explodes back onto the screen as a vengeful foil for Rose or any other babyface on the roster.

Street Fight: Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In the second emotionally charged match of the night, Dominik Mysterio sought to repay the torment, physical and emotional agony dealt his family by Seth Rollins.

    The Monday Night Messiah, always taunting, sported tights similar to the Phantom design worn by Rey Mysterio at the 1997 Halloween Havoc pay-per-view against Eddie Guerrero.

    A spurt of lucha libre-style offense from Dominik gave way to a no-nonsense barrage by Rollins, who then introduced a kendo stick to the match. A dropkick by the second-generation star allowed Mysterio to grab the weapon but he failed to connect with it. 

    Rollins wrestled control of the match and continued to taunt Rey at ringside. Dominik capitalized on the lack of focus, sending The Messiah into a chair with a drop toehold. He followed with a buckle bomb and tornado DDT for a quality near-fall.

    Dominik unleashed a kendo-stick attack, retaliating against Rollins for a similar assault two weeks ago by breaking the weapon over the former world champion's back. The fight spilled onto the ropes, where Rollins delivered a superplex, then followed up immediately with a Falcon Arrow for a near-fall as cameras caught a concerned look on the face of the babyface's mother, Angie.

    The heel retrieved his own kendo stick and unloaded on Dominik, daring Rey to save his son. He set up a table, continued to smack the young competitor with the weapon and set him up on the ropes. Dominik crotched a trash-talking Rollins and brought him off the top and through the table with a White Russian Legsweep.

    Dominik uncorked a frog splash in an ode to Guerrero, but he could only keep Rollins down for two.

    The Messiah regained control, removed Dominik's shirt and continued his cane assault. He produced a pair of handcuffs but Angie appeared. The distraction allowed Dominik to score a roll-up for two. Murphy jumped into the match and leveled the rookie with a knee to the face. Rey also got involved, saving his son's eye from the heels, but he then found himself handcuffed to the top rope.

    Rollins teased confronting Mrs. Mysterio when an incensed Dominik attacked. He backbody-dropped Murphy and delivered a modified 619 that sent Rollins into the guardrail. Another 619 left The Messiah stunned but a frog splash attempt ended with Dominik crashing into his rival's knees.

    The heel again taunted Rey, delivering a stomp to Dominik just feet from the future Hall of Famer, and Rollins took the win to a chorus of boos.



    Rollins defeated Dominik






    Rollins is a great professional wrestler and showed why with his performance in this match.

    He took a young man with no professional experience to date, and he made him look like an absolute star in this spectacular bit of business. The storytelling here was off the charts and The Monday Night Messiah did everything in his power to put Dominik in a position to succeed.

    He sold like hell when the situation called for it and was the antagonistic ass when he needed to be. He was the glue that held the fight together and deserves a considerable amount of credit for the finished product.

    With that said, Dominik was awesome in his first in-ring performance. 

    Faced with the weight of the world on his shoulders to deliver a performance that lived up to the story that accompanied it, the 23-year-old answered any skepticism around his inexperience with a performance that proved his future is as bright as he wants it to be.

    There will be growing pains, but you could not have asked for a better performance out of him on his WWE debut. 

    This belongs on the short list of WWE Match of the Year candidates.

Raw Women's Championship Match: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The second of Asuka's in-ring performances on Sunday night saw her challenge Raw women's champion Sasha Banks. 

    Banks wasted little time targeting the left knee injured earlier in the night, looking for a quick victory. But The Empress of Tomorrow answered with some stiff kicks before The Boss took her off the apron with a sunset flip powerbomb and sent her to the arena floor with a sickening thud.

    A nasty corner kick led to an arrogant cover from Banks and a two-count.

    Asuka baited The Boss, dropped her to the mat and applied an ankle lock. She headed up top but Banks caught her with a hard right hand, then set up for a superplex. The Empress countered into a DDT from the top turnbuckle and scored a near-fall.

    Asuka unloaded on Banks as a worried Bayley looked on. A modified Codebreaker from The Boss earned her a two while a follow-up frog splash missed the mark. Moments later, the challenger looked for the Asuka Lock. Banks countered into a Bank Statement, but Asuka countered back.

    Bayley tried to interfere but ate a hip attack. Asuka countered the Bank Statement again and earned the tap-out victory as The Boss screamed for her friend's help. 



    Asuka defeated Banks to win the title






    Just like the opener, this was another above-average entry in the rivalry between these two.

    Asuka and Banks wrestled a smart match, with some great counters and psychology. The story of this one, though, was Bayley not being there for The Boss as she had been there for her earlier in the night.

    It is the foundation for the impending split between The Golden Role Models and the series of matches that will undoubtedly see them tear the house down. 

    As for Asuka, this was her night as much as it was anyone else's on this entire show. She exceeded expectations and now seems set for a future dominated by Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.

WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Drew McIntyre is the defending champion. Randy Orton is a legend-killing prick.

    Or something like that.

    They clashed in the semi-main event of this year's SummerSlam, a pay-per-view The Viper has traditionally found tremendous success at. 

    A hot start by the champion came to a screeching halt when he missed a Claymore, escaped an RKO and crashed shoulder-first into the ring post. Orton seized the opening and delivered a side suplex onto the announce table. 

    The Viper worked a side headlock in the center of the ring as he implemented a slower, more methodical pace. McIntyre finally recovered and applied the figure four, a callback to Orton's heinous assault on Ric Flair two weeks ago on Raw.

    Orton screamed in agony but, in a move he almost certainly learned from Flair, pulled the referee out of the way and poked the eye of the champion, thus forcing the break. His eye bloodied by the challenger, McIntyre teed off on his opponent with a barrage of right hands. He dodged another RKO and unloaded with a series of overhead release suplexes.

    The Scot delivered a top-rope clothesline and then downed the challenger with a Future Shock DDT. Orton avoided a flying McIntyre and dropped him with a snap powerslam. The champion answered with the Glasgow Kiss and clotheslined The Viper to the floor. 

    With McIntyre down, Orton set up for a punt but the champion caught him with a powerbomb. McIntyre tried for the Claymore Kick but the challenger ducked out of the way. He tried for another RKO but the titleholder countered with a backslide for the win.



    McIntyre defeated Orton






    This was a good old-fashioned pro wrestling match with great storytelling and some clever callbacks to spots and moments from the build to the showdown.

    The figure-four spot in particular was excellent and a great ode to Flair. The teases of the RKO and the Claymore were well done and the finish was clever, especially if this is intended to be the emphasis for the next chapter in the feud.

    It was physical, intense and exactly what you want from two heavyweights fighting for the top prize in the company. A great match in a string of them on Sunday night.

Falls Count Anywhere for the Universal Championship

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    Credit: WWE.com

    "Hell is empty. The devils are here," Corey Graves stated on commentary as Braun Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt entered the squared circle for the Universal Championship match. 

    The Fiend weathered an early storm and unloaded on Strowman, breaking a toolbox over his back. The champion answered, driving Wyatt through the timekeeper's position. The challenger rose to his feet, only to be chokeslammed onto the announce table, with his spine cracking off the edge of it. Again, he rose.

    The Monster Among Men blasted him with the ring steps and delivered a powerslam, but The Fiend kicked out at one.

    Strowman sent his opponent into the entrance stage and fought him into the backstage area. The Fiend sent the titleholder into the walls and delivered Sister Abigail for two. The fight spilled back into the arena.

    The Fiend tried for the Mandible Claw but Strowman fought out and sent him into the LED side of the ring apron. Back inside, The Monster delivered another powerslam for another two-count.

    Frustrated, Strowman grabbed a box cutter from ringside and tore the canvas up, exposing the wood underneath. The Fiend rose, delivered a uranage and consecutive Sister Abigails on the exposed wood for the win and title.

    After the match, though, Roman Reigns came from out of nowhere and speared the the new champion, before unleashing a chair-assisted beating on Strowman. He delivered another spear to The Fiend.

    "You're just a freak in a mask," The Big Dog shouted. He picked up the Universal Championship. "I run this b---h," he said and stood tall to close out the show.



    The Fiend defeated Braun Strowman to win the Universal Championship



    Match: D, Post-Match: A+



    Holy crap.

    First, the match between Strowman and Wyatt was not at all good and a very disappointing conclusion to their story. Part of it could be attributed to the wicked table bump Wyatt took that looked to have driven the air out of him and potentially damaged his back.

    Still, the lack of creativity in the match after it had been such a major staple of the program was certainly unsatisfying. It was a bland hardcore match between guys hitting each other with foreign objects.

    But then...it happened.

    Roman Reigns exploded onto our screens like the dark knight we deserve—the hero we need.

    He unleashed hell, showing the attitude we have spent six years begging and pleading with WWE to let him display. He was brash, staked claim to Strowman's success and took ownership of WWE. He was almost egotistical in his trash-talking, which is not something we typically associate with The Big Dog.

    It was almost like, fingers crossed, he was a heel. And for that reason alone, SmackDown just became destination programming this Friday night.