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Roundtable: Assessing SummerSlam 2016 aftermath

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
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Seriously, why was everyone so upset about the Universal Championship design at SummerSlam? 

Riley Kontek:  I think they are upset with the design because, as Brandon Stroud so eloquently put it on Twitter, it looks like a Fruit Roll Up. I understand that the WWE wants to make each major title distinguishable, but whoever designed that must have had a hankering for strawberry Gushers. OK, no more fruit snack references. On the real, they could have easily made it the same color as the WWE Championship and just gave it a different gold plate. That would have been better.

Travis Wakeman: For me it’s the red strap. That was made even worse by a friend I watched the event with who said they had read a rumor that the SmackDown title will be put on a blue strap. That is a terrible idea. I like the plate of the belt, and if they had put that on a traditional black strap, it would look fine. Hopefully, this red and blue theme for each show can stop with the branded t-shirts.

Jason Hall: For starters, it looks like the Women’s Championship, only worse. It’s just an uglier version of the WWE Championship, which is pretty much what was rumored all along. We get it, Raw is red and everything needs to be red. But it just looks like an eyesore.

Joseph Nardone: This mostly goes to the smarky, hipster Brooklyn crowd who decided to make SummerSlam about themselves. While I do think a lot of wrestling fans think the belt was iffy at best, most realize what is actually important here is what it represents and not what it looks like.

Do I get the frustration over it? To some extent. But being that mad over the appearance of a world title is just mind-boggling. Seriously, out of all the things to be outraged over, people are going to lose their minds over a belt that looks exactly the same was the WWE Championship, but with red leather?
Get it together, humans.
Daniel DeMarco: Well, for one, it is the same title as the world championship and the women’s championship, just a different color leather. And I actually like that idea, to make the belts all the same core design. But at the same time, WWE should not have given it some special name to differentiate it from the others if it was going to be the same thing. Should have just gone back to calling it the WWE Championship, and then it would have made much more sense. Overall, it’s fine. Again, I like the belts all being the same design with just different colors to separate them. Still though, it’s an awful name.

More surprising: Styles’ clean win over Cena or Charlotte’s win over Sasha Banks?

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

RK: Style’s clean win over Cena. I figured Styles would win, but I figured there would be some tomfoolery. The fact that he did not cheat to go over on Cena means that WWE is confident in their star. Charlotte winning was certainly shocking too, but Vince McMahon is reportedly way high on Charlotte and has his doubts about Sasha. I figured we’d have a Club reunion of some sort in Styles winning.

TW: Charlotte winning. And not just her winning, but the point in the match at which she did. I felt the match had at least five minutes left, and Charlotte counters the Bank Statement into a rollup and pins her? I think those two have performed that reversal a dozen times and the match never ended at that point. I was just really surprised that the match ended like that, and of course because they pulled the belt off Sasha as soon as they did.

JH: Styles’ clean win over Cena. Even when Cena showed anguish in how difficult it was to put Styles away I don’t think anyone expected the outcome. At least then both Superstars would have looked strong, which is the best many had hoped for with AJ. But having someone completely win a singles feud against John Cena is not something I expected to see.

JN: People will use hindsight here to say Styles (I think), but it was Sasha’s loss. We had no idea of any injury or suspension (or whatever it turns out to be) before the match.

Rarely do relatively newer champions lose their gold this quickly. That is what makes this so incredibly shocking. I imagine as we find out more information about backstage things, it will become less of a stunner, but it’s far more crazy than AJ Styles beating John Cena clean, as the latter hasn’t even won a SummerSlam match in six years. In fact, Cena doesn’t win all that often anymore  so it isn’t all that shocking when he gets beat clean.
DD: Charlotte’s win over Sasha Banks.
It was pretty clear AJ Styles was going to defeat John Cena because Cena is taking a hiatus to do some work outside WWE. But for WWE to cut short Banks’ title reign so soon was a surprising move, to say the least. Charlotte’s title reign was not popular, even as a heel run. And to give Banks that much momentum since she came back from injury, only to rip it away from her a month after winning the title. I would be happy to hear the logic behind this move, because I do not see anything there except WWE taking steps backwards.

Which show gained more from SummerSlam, Raw or SmackDown?

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

RK: Raw. Finn Bálor is a new star, Brock Lesnar beat up on a Smackdown wrestler and they didn’t have to admit to having a crappy IC title match or that dreadful six-woman tag team match. Either way, SummerSlam sucked and neither brand should be especially proud of what was given to the audience. That’s all I have to say about that.

TW: I suppose Raw. Raw now has a new best-of-seven series between Cesaro and Sheamus as well as a potential new tag team of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho that could be incredibly exciting. Charlotte picked up one of the biggest wins of the night and of course, Brock Lesnar of Raw savagely beat up Randy Orton of SmackDown. If there needed to be a tiebreaker, that last match sealed it. Of course, Lesnar is just a part-time star, but his F-5 of Shane McMahon could lead to a new storyline as well. I think you’d have to give SummerSlam to the red brand tonight.

JH:  I’d say Raw. The fact that both of Raw’s titles were scheduled after SmackDown’s should say everything. Or that Brock Lesnar nearly murdered Randy Orton and SmackDown’s commissioner should help the argument. Plus Raw now has its champion and the outcome wasn’t as predictable as SmackDown’s title match.

JN: Both to varying degrees, but I know that’s not the question being asked. Since I am forced to pick one, I will go with Raw because I am stupid high on Finn Bálor being a transcendent Superstar.

While none of us know if that will actually be the case, we have to give the WWE some props for taking this risk. By giving Bálor – who still is, generally speaking, an unknown to the majority of casual fans – a “world title,” it is a safe bet to assume the company will be attempting to build Raw around him moving forward.
And who is against seeing three hours of Finn Bálor? I’ll tell you who isn’t… my wife.
DD: Tough call. On the one hand, Finn Bálor is the new champion, and that is maybe the most significant event coming out of SummerSlam. So a big brownie point for Raw. SmackDown still has Dean Ambrose as champ, which was the right move, plus AJ Styles getting the clean win over John Cena in the best match on the show. And those are two very solid points for Tuesday’s show. Really not too much though to separate the two shows here, so in that sense, Raw comes out with the most gained strictly based off of Bálor holding the new title and becoming a new a wrestler for the WWE product.
Roundtable: Assessing SummerSlam 2016 aftermath

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