Summerslam is traditionally the second biggest show in the WWE calendar after Wrestlemania. Yet this year, for me the show felt a bit lacklustre. That's not to say it was a bas show per se, but re-watching it for this review, it does feel like a show that could and should been better.
In terms of positives, there is only one place to start, and that is the main event. The fatal four way with Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship was excellent. It was chaotic, exciting, exhilarating and lots of fun to watch. Braun Strowman looked like an absolute monster, Brock Lesnar weathered a storm to continue to look like an absolute beast, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe both put in a massive shift, and everything clicked. I had no idea who would win, and I have to admit forgetting who actually won the match while re-watching and getting invested in the action in front of me. That alone is enough to make this show worth seeing, even if the rest of the matches would not reach anywhere this level.
AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens was one of the better matches the two had in their recent programme, and the introduction of Shane McMahon as the guest referee added a new and interesting dynamic to proceedings as well as setting up the start of the feud between Owens and Shane and everything that has come since between the two. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins reuniting and taking on The Bar was really well built prior to the show, and the match itself was really very good. Ambrose and Rollins make for great babyfaces and Sheamas and Cesaro put in a great effort as the heels. This was of course a prelude to the eventual Shield reunion, but this still feels like a big moment and a very well executed bout featuring four of the best performers WWE currently has on its roster.
Unfortunately, everything else on the show ranged from average to pretty bad. Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt was great during the entrances, and then the bell rang and it all felt very dull, especially considering where Balor was twelve months prior. Natalya vs Naomi was fine if not spectacular, while Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss didn’t really gel in the ring for me. Again, not awful, but nothing standout. Big Cass vs Big Show was a plodding big-man affair, while Baron Corbin vs John Cena was a decent but instantly forgettable opener. Corbin still feels like he's treading water now, and this match certainly seems like the start of that slump in retrospect. The brawl between Randy Orton and Rusev before the match was fine, but the nine second squash really rendered the whole thing pretty pointless and made Rusev look very foolish. Finally, we had the worst match of the night between Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. IT's not so much that the in-ring was awful, Nakamura did everything in his power to drag the woefully average Mahal to a good match. However, the booking was just awful. Nakamura was presented as being a big deal in NXT, and although he stuttered a bit initially on the main roster, after beating john Cena cleanly on Smackdown and getting this title shot it seemed they were finally going to capitalise on the potential of Nakamura. Alas, they opted to keep the belt on Jinder, and frankly it almost completely took all the air out of the audience. A massive low point on the show, and a very disappointing outcome.
Summerslam 2017 is not a great show. It has a few very average matches on the undercard, some decent stuff in the middle of the card, and a very good main event. It doesn’t feel like this show is on the level of previous incarnations of the "Biggest Party of the Summer", but the main event certainly saves a show that otherwise would have been way below the standard expected from a "Big 4" show.
EXTRAS: The usual pre-show is included on this release featuring three big matches. Neville vs Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight title is probably better than the majority of the matches on the main show, as is The New Day vs The Usos which as you would expect is excellent. It boggles the mind that these two matches were on the pre-show while Big Cass vs Big Show and Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks were on the main show. The final of the three matches included here is The Hardys and Jason Jordan vs The Miztourage which is nothing to write home about, although it is interesting to see how empty the arena is (there was an issue with security which delayed the audience getting into the arena). A decent selection of extras, and well worth a look.