Biggest Takeaways from WWE SummerSlam 2021 Results
WWE SummerSlam 2021 boasted a packed card with a ton of promise to be something that would go down as monumental in the history books.
With so many titles on the line and some big names like John Cena and Goldberg brought back, there was no excuse for this to not be an event worth talking about in the aftermath.
What big moments will have repercussions going forward? Who stole the show to advance their careers? Which buzz-worthy topics are trending on social media? What stood out as the most interesting aspects of the pay-per-view?
Let's reflect on SummerSlam 2021 and break down the biggest takeaways coming out of Saturday's show.
Full Match Results
WWE SummerSlam 2021 Results
- Kickoff Match: Big E defeated Baron Corbin by pinfall.
- RK-Bro defeated AJ Styles and Omos by pinfall to win the Raw Tag Team Championship.
- Alexa Bliss defeated Eva Marie by pinfall.
- Damian Priest defeated Sheamus by pinfall to win the United States Championship.
- The Usos defeated Dominik and Rey Mysterio by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
- Becky Lynch defeated Bianca Belair by pinfall to win the SmackDown Women's Championship.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Jinder Mahal by pinfall.
- Triple Threat match: Charlotte Flair defeated Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley by submission to win the Raw Women's Championship.
- Edge defeated Seth Rollins by submission.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Goldberg by referee stoppage to retain the WWE Championship.
- Roman Reigns defeated John Cena by pinfall to retain the Universal Championship.
Baron Corbin Is Severely Underrated
Baron Corbin has been one of the best heels in WWE for years and rarely gets the recognition he deserves.
Few are so dedicated to being a villain and so adept at getting heat that they haven't been cheered for years, but Corbin's been able to pull that off. Whether he's an authority figure, King of the Ring or just a general jerk, he's so easy to hate.
Lately, his story of being broke and down on his luck but so awful that he can't garner any sympathy has been one of the best things on WWE television. Stealing the Money in the Bank briefcase was hilarious and a great way to start a new feud that also gives Big E something to do.
Even during the Kickoff match, Corbin was more concerned with stealing the briefcase and leaving rather than winning. But he was unsuccessful, and Big E recaptured his prize, so Corbin is left wondering how else he can cheat the system.
Whatever the next step in this story may be, it's going to be one of the most interesting aspects of the SummerSlam fallout, even if it is destined to be swept under the rug compared to bigger matches and title hunts.
RK-Bro Works on All Levels
Riddle and Randy Orton, on paper, sounds like a pairing that wouldn't work, but they tapped into some magic and have been consistently entertaining together.
Odd-couple teams are hit-or-miss, and the synergy between The Original Bro's warm positivity and fandom of his partner versus The Viper's cold cynicism and reluctant acceptance of Riddle remains fun to watch several months after they first teamed up.
On top of that, they work well together in the ring. They have chemistry and know when to pass the hot tags to keep the momentum going rather than wrestle as two singles stars sharing half the spotlight.
It made sense for this team to be the ones to dethrone AJ Styles and Omos. It will be fun to see what they do while spearheading the division.
There's already a hook to watch Monday Night Raw too, as Riddle told Mario Lopez he had a surprise in store for Orton to celebrate their victory.
The Feud Between Alexa Bliss and Eva Marie Was a Mess
It's doubtful many fans would have ranked Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie as the match they were most excited to see on this card, but there was at least potential for some interesting twists and turns based on The Goddess' darker character.
Unfortunately, there weren't any fun uses of character to make it worthwhile for the rough ride of poor segments that led to this point.
Bliss was hindered from the onset. Coming out for her entrance in broad daylight without the WWE ThunderDome screens reduced her to just walking out in generic fashion. Imagine The Undertaker coming out to his regular theme but without the lighting effects and pomp and circumstance.
The match was rough. Fans chanted they wanted something else to voice their disapproval. The moves were clunky, and there weren't any uses of the mythical powers Bliss supposedly has. At least that would have livened things up a bit.
With a generic pin, Bliss won and her part of the equation was already over. That led to Doudrop cutting ties with Marie—something that was set up from the first day they were together and didn't have enough time to build to the point that fans were clamoring for their split.
This segment proved that Bliss isn't Bray Wyatt, the gimmick isn't fun if you cut all the darkness out of it, Marie still can't wrestle well enough to get hyped for any of her matches, the partnership with Doudrop was a failed experiment and this was a waste of time.
WWE's Toxic Entitlement to Forgiveness Is Only Getting Worse
The card is always subject to change, but when WWE knows far in advance that something is likely not going to happen and still pretends it will, it's a sign the company is abusing its relationship with its fans.
For days, if not weeks, WWE must have known Sasha Banks would be out of SummerSlam for whatever reason that may be. This has spread around the internet for a while, and no one knew better than WWE, so this wasn't a last-minute surprise.
Still, the promotion continued to promote her appearance, knowing full well her match with Bianca Belair was going to be pulled.
Obviously, WWE thought the Carmella switch with a surprise Becky Lynch return would make up for it, but that doesn't stop fans of The Boss from being upset that they tuned in and waited until the bell was supposed to ring to find out that she wouldn't be on the card.
The lineup is always subject to change, but this is about as close to false advertisement as WWE can get and takes for granted how willing people are to be blindsided.
In comparison, All Elite Wrestling handled CM Punk's debut on Friday's Rampage perfectly. Fans knew this was in the works, nothing confirmed or denied ahead of time and he opened the show instead of forcing viewers to wait.
WWE thinks fans should always look forward to the next thing that is promoted, but if it falls short of expectations, it wants them to just forgive and forget and never take that baggage into the next event.
No matter how chaotic things have been lately, WWE shouldn't hide behind that as an excuse to let people down and say "deal with it."
WWE Continues to Have Tunnel Vision with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are two of the best Superstars in WWE history. They have deserved to be on top of the women's division for as long as they have been.
However, they aren't the only women in the company worthy of a top spot, especially at the expense of others.
The joy of Lynch's return Saturday and her shocking title win were offset by how frustrating it was to see Bianca Belair lose in short order. Would it have killed WWE to cut one of the filler matches or segments like the Rick Boogs music number or the Drip Stick 2000 bit and give them a competitive match?
This did nothing but harm The EST of WWE. It spits in the face of her rise since Royal Rumble and firmly pushes her back into her place as "clearly not good enough" in comparison. Even if she turns heel out of this, she will still have looked like a fool in the process.
Even more annoying, if anyone complains about it, WWE apologists will try to gaslight those fans and say they are never happy about anything. In reality, fans just shouldn't have to pick which positive they are willing to give up in exchange for another one.
Likewise, the Money in the Bank briefcase proved to be a waste on Nikki A.S.H., who didn't even get a proper champion's entrance at SummerSlam because Flair came out last.
WWE has consistently booked The Queen to be better than Rhea Ripley for a year and a half. The Nightmare dropped the title to Flair to reiterate that point and to set up A.S.H. cashing in for a cheap win. Then A.S.H. was made to look weak for weeks only to tap out to Flair once again.
The message is loud and clear: If you're not Flair or Lynch, you're the backup plan in WWE's eyes.
Goldberg Is Damaging His Legacy
Not everyone wrestles the same style as Shawn Michaels or Daniel Bryan. Goldberg's never been known for 5-star technical wrestling clinics, but his short, power move-filled matches served him well for years.
Sadly, as time goes on, his mystique has been waning.
It used to be that every time he stepped into the ring, he left with another win to his name. Now he leaves feeling like less of a big deal than before.
Once upon a time, Goldberg was unstoppable. At one point, his WWE resume had only two losses on it. Since returning in 2016, he's lost 60 percent of his matches.
The quality of the contests aren't anything to rave about, either. Fans know they are in store for a few spears and not much else. If Goldberg steps out of his comfort zone, it can be messy. And even if he sticks to his regular moves, he's sometimes not able to pull off a Jackhammer.
Going out in this match with a referee stoppage may be the weakest he's looked so far, save for the injuries he suffered at Super ShowDown 2019 against The Undertaker.
Goldberg is a legend who is tarnishing his overall legacy. It's good for the younger talent to get wins over such an icon, but it's making the previously unbeatable juggernaut look like any other guy.
Miscellaneous Other Takeaways
- Randy Orton is deceptively tall. As huge as Omos is, The Viper didn't seem all that much shorter when standing next to him.
- The Usos coming out with leis was a nice touch that helps illustrate The Bloodline's family ties.
- Mario Lopez saying WWF and Tiffany Haddish calling Damian Priest the national champion illustrates how WWE should properly prep celebrities. Remember, this is SummerSlam and not SummerFest, no matter what Jeremy Piven thinks.
- All of that build for Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal was just for a generic match with a straight-up pinfall and no sword action after it was over? This filler isn't something to be proud of.
- Edge's Brood entrance is a great example of having fun playing the greatest hits on a retirement tour.
- Bringing back the Edgecator was a particularly fun part of The Rated-R Superstar's match against Seth Rollins.
- John Cena and Roman Reigns followed through with their promise to have a main event worthy of the finale of SummerSlam.
- Brock Lesnar's return proves even more that with Edge, Goldberg, Cena and so on, WWE is heavily relying on older names and struggling to build newer stars or trust them with the responsibility of the marquee.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.