WWE SUMMERSLAM 2017
Femi Solaja at the ringside Barclays Center in New York
Crowd pleaser and Indian born wrestler, Jinder Mahal, handed Shinsuke Nakamura his first singles loss to retain the WWE Championship belt on Sunday night. It was one of star matches of the SummerSlam Final at the Barclays Center in New York.
However, it was The Singh Brothers who assisted Mahal by distracting Nakamura just long enough for Mahal to gain the upper hand.
It was a lacklustre ending of a match that did have some strong intensity overall, and the reaction to the result was mixed.
Mahal has been one of 2017’s most surprising success stories. And he displayed his new-found confidence during the match, coming across as the star few expected to be.
Although he moves like Michael Jackson, Nakamura’s main asset is his physicality, and he used that attribute with great effect against Mahal.
The Japanese-born Nakamura had entered SummerSlam with a tonne of confidence after beating Cena, but he was at a disadvantage due largely to Mahal’s penchant for stacking the deck in his favour with the presence of The Singh Brothers.
The number-game worked in Mahal’s favour once again at this SummerSlam and helped secure him a victory. But Nakamura put on a strong performance and made a case to remain in the title scene in the next few years.
In another main battle, the Fatal 4-Way event came to a thrilling end as Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in a thrilling encounter that ignited the packed crowd on their feet all through the over 20 minutes of the side drama.
In a match where The Beast Incarnate staked nothing less than his WWE future on the out come of the clash with the undisputed Universal Champion, he defeated his three opponents to retain his title in a SummerSlam Fatal 4-Way that all but reduced the Barclays Center to a smoldering crater at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush.
While each Superstar was a destroyer in his own right, the four competitors picked a similar style throughout the course of the demolition-derby contest.
Reigns played offence, dishing out great punches repeatedly including one that plowed Lesnar through the barricade in the early goings of the match. Joe played spoiler, largely appearing whenever there was a weakened, staggered or otherwise compromised opponent ripe for his near-inescapable Coquina Clutch submission hold. Lesnar, who didn’t necessarily need to be involved in the conclusion of the match to lose his title, was left to play defence, fighting through onslaughts from his three opponents to stay in the eye of the storm at all times.
Strowman, whose ear was bloodied after Reigns hit him with the steel steps, could not close out against the two Samoans, despite breaking up a Coquina Clutch that nearly put The Big Dog to sleep. Had it stayed between those three, The Monster Among Men might have pulled out the win, but Lesnar wasn’t finished with him.
In almost ‘free for all’ scene, Brock Lesnar remained champion while Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe were left to lick their wounds.
In the women’s field, Canadian-American wrestler, Natalya put on a wrestling clinic and wrestled the WWE Women’s championship off Naomi in the final showdown to become the latest champion in that field.
Natalya started the match with a quick slap on Naomi, but the defending champion retaliated with a strong elbow kick that almost send her opponent to the canvass.
As the bout wears down, Natalya had enough and decided to attack Naomi’s knee to slow her down as she persistently delivered suplexes and pinned Naomi regularly.
Natalya inflicted more pain by applying a cleverly-executed abdominal stretch on Naomi in the middle of the ring.
Although Natalya was in control for the majority of the match, she began to look frustrated and started jawing with the crowd.
Naomi had a hard time generating offense against Natalya. Every time an opening presented itself, Naomi couldn’t capitalise. Natalya thought she smelled blood in the water when she applied a Sharpshooter to Naomi in the middle of the ring, but Naomi countered it quickly.
However, Natalya applied it again after escaping Naomi’s split-legged moonsault, and the champion tapped out in pain. Natalya hadn’t won a women’s championship in six years, and it was a huge moment to see her lift the title high once more after going so long without it.
Late last night, fans were entertained as notable WWE superstars were on hand to thrill the crowd with great skills and technics.