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WWE SummerSlam 2021 - As It Happened

Big returns at SummerSlam

Another WWE pay-per-view is in the books and Vince McMahon's company presented SummerSlam 2021 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

WWE put plans in place for SummerSlam to be a WrestleMania-worthy event and The Biggest Party Of The Summer certainly had plenty of matches on the card. Many of them won't live long in the memory but there were two incredible matches, as well as two big-time returns.

Check out what happened below: 

Before the opening Kickoff Show match between Big E and Baron Corbin, The Miz and John Morrison arrived backstage in a water truck to piped-in cheers and promised a "big surprise" for later. 

Big E vs. Baron Corbin - Kickoff Show

Big E wasted no time in going after Baron Corbin and Mr. Money In The Bank dominated the opening minutes. Corbin soon gained the upper hand, though, after Big E crashed and burned on his patented Splash on the ring apron. 

Corbin followed up by throwing Big E repeatedly into the ring post while chants of "Let's go Big E" rang around Allegiant Stadium. Corbin even picked up a near fall following a Deep Six, but Baron couldn't help but grab the Money In The Bank briefcase and try and run off. 

Big E cut him off at the entranceway, however, and the former Intercontinental Champion followed up with a Spear while Corbin was stood on the apron. He then decked Corbin with a Big Ending for the win. 

Big E also has his baby back as he reclaimed the Money In The Bank briefcase after the match. 

Winner: Big E

AJ Styles & Omos (c) vs. RK-Bro - Raw Tag Team Championship 

The Raw Tag Team Championship match opened the main card and Randy Orton looked nonplussed to be around Riddle again during RK-Bro's entrance. 

Randy Orton and Riddle hit some tandem offence in the early going and an enraged AJ Styles tagged in Omos as a result. AJ Styles' Personal Colossus then slowly decimated Riddle and Styles decked The Original Bro with a Tornado DDT from Omos' shoulders. 

Riddle managed to make the hot tag to Randy Orton following a Knee Strike and The Viper ran roughshod over AJ Styles, decking him with a patented Body Slam and Draping DDT. Orton then set up for the RKO but Omos pulled his tag team partner to safety. The former Basketball player then caught Riddle in mid-air and Chokeslammed him on the apron.

Riddle managed to push Omos into the ring post a few moments later, though, and back in the ring Orton and AJ Styles exchanged counters until The Apex Predator decimated Styles with an RKO for the 1-2-3.

Orton and Riddle actually celebrated together after the match too in a feel-good moment. Orton even smiled! 

Winners and new Raw Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro

Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie

Next up was Eva Marie's first singles match since she returned to WWE, a match that focused on a doll. 

Eva Marie failed to hit any offence on Alexa Bliss in the opening moments while WWE's resident goth mocked her. The former All Red Everything eventually gained the upper hand and she proceeded to slap Lilly, even whipping Bliss with the doll. This caused Bliss to scream and she picked up a near fall while Eva asked for help from Doudrop. 

Bliss went for Twisted Bliss soon after but Marie rolled out of the way and almost pinned the former Women's Champion. Marie complained to the official following the near fall and Bliss took advantage with a DDT for the victory.

After the match, Doudrop announced Eva Marie as the loser of the match and donned the 36-year-old's robe. 

Winner: Alexa Bliss

A backstage interview with R-K-Bro followed the second match and Riddle revealed he has a surprise for Randy Orton on next week's Monday Night Raw. 

Sheamus (c) vs. Damian Priest - United States Championship

The United States Championship was on the line next and Damian Priest picked up a near fall during the opening couple of minutes following a brutal right hand and Falcon Arrow. 

Priest followed up with a Somersault Senton to the outside but landed on his coccyx hard which allowed Sheamus to gain the upper hand. 

Multiple rest holds from Sheamus followed before some Beats Of The Bodhran. The Celtic Warrior then shouted that Priest wasn't worthy of being US Champion before the former NXT North American Champion fired back with a Tornado DDT. 

Still moving gingerly, Priest hit a Spinning Kick from the top rope for a two count and he set up for Reckoning. Sheamus countered, though, and capitalised with a Clothesline from the top rope and an Alabama Slam shortly after. 

After some Headbutts, Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick but Priest blocked it and connected with a Sit-Out Chokeslam for a near fall. Priest then went for a dive from the middle rope but Sheamus decked him with a Jumping Knee. Priest somehow managed to kick out! 

Sheamus locked in a Heel Hook shortly after but a crazed Priest escaped by ripping off The Celtic Warrior's mask. The Archer Of Infamy then followed up with Reckoning for the victory.

Titles continue to change hands at SummerSlam!

Winner and new United States Champion: Damian Priest

The Usos (c) vs. Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio - SmackDown Tag Team Championship

Rey Mysterio went for a 619 in the opening moments but Jimmy escaped. That didn't matter to Rey, though, and the former World Heavyweight Champion fired back with a Baseball Slide Splash to the outside. Dominik then decked his opponents with a Splash to the floor and hit the Three Amigos on Jimmy back in the ring. 

The challengers struggled moments later, though, as Jey blind-tagged himself into the match, which Dominik didn't notice, and Jey sent the younger Mysterio crashing into the barricade. The Usos worked over and mocked Dominik for the next several minutes until he made the hot tag to his father as the crowd went wild.

Rey picked up a near fall following a Springboard Moonsault and Jimmy Uso secured a near fall of his own after a Superkick. Rey went for a Springboard Something moments later but got caught with a Superkick by Jey. Main Event then decked Rey with an Uso Splash but Mysterio managed to get his shoulder up. 

Rey hit Jimmy Uso with a 619 shortly after and he went for a Frog Splash but Jimmy got his knees up. Moments later, The Usos hit a Double Superkick and Jey followed up with an Uso Splash to retain the gold.

Winners and still SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos 

Damian Priest was interviewed backstage next on the show and The Archer Of Infamy was booed after he claimed WWE was still the land of opportunity. 

It was then time for an excuse for Pat McAfee to go wild as Rick Boogs played Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring and they all danced together on the announce table. 

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Sasha Banks - SmackDown Women's Championship 

Question marks about Sasha Banks' status for SummerSlam were raised last weekend and Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc. reported as SummerSlam went on the air that The Boss would not be in action at the pay-per-view. 

WWE announced after Bianca Belair made her entrance and ran the video package that Sasha Banks would not be in action. Carmella was revealed to be Belair's replacement opponent, despite having lost multiple times to the SmackDown Women's Champion, and the crowd loudly booed the decision. 

Before the bell rang, Bianca Belair grabbed the microphone and promised to take her frustration out on Carmella. 

That wasn't all though! Becky Lynch's music suddenly played and The Man is back in WWE!!!

Lynch dumped Carmella out of the ring, beat her up some more, and challenged Bianca Belair to a SmackDown Women's Championship match. The EST of WWE, of course, accepted. 

Literally within a minute, Becky Lynch hit the Manhandle Slam and won the SmackDown Women's Title. Bianca Belair looked like an absolute chump. 

Winner and new SmackDown Women's Champion: Becky Lynch

Following the match, WWE announced their return to Saudi Arabia in October with Crown Jewel. 

Wrestling Olympic Gold Medallists Tamyra Mensah-Stock and the prospect no one can stop talking about, Gable Steveson, then made their way to the ring to applause from the American fans in attendance.

Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal

Following that shock result was Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal and The Scottish Warrior marched to the ring with his massive sword, Angela. 

Drew tossed Jinder around in the early going and set up for the Claymore. Mahal scurried to the floor, though, and Drew followed up with a Belly To Belly Suplex. 

Back in the ring, Jinder fired back with a Superkick and he controlled the match for the next few minutes until Drew fought back with four Belly To Belly Suplexes and a Futureshock DDT.

The 3-2-1 countdown followed and he decked Jinder with a Claymore for the quick victory. 

After the match, Drew tried to guide the fans in a 3-2-1 countdown while he celebrated with his sword but the audience blanked him.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

WWE brought fans a show centred around quantity as opposed to quality so far, with only two matches having gone longer than 10 minutes. 

Nikki A.S.H (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley - Raw Women's Championship

Ahead of arguably the three biggest matches on the card, it was time for the Raw Women's Championship match between Nikki A.S.H, Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. 

Nikki A.S.H hit Charlotte with a Monkey Flip in the early going to a spattering of boos and the boos continued as the Raw Women's Champion continued to dominate the early going and pick up near falls. Charlotte Flair eventually fought back and decked Nikki with a Powerslam. The Queen then went for a Moonsault on both of her opponents but they escaped. Nikki A.S.H then countered a Riptide attempt from Ripley with a Crossbody. 

Ripley and Flair traded shots next and Charlotte was initially rocked after a vicious Headbutt from Ripley but she soon knocked The Nightmare to the floor. It was then Nikki and Charlotte's turn to wrestle until Ripley German Suplexed Flair while The Queen was holding A.S.H in a Fallaway Slam position. 

A Crossbody to the outside onto both of her opponents from Nikki A.S.H followed. The champion went wild afterwards but the crowd did not. Ripley and A.S.H worked together next against Flair but Charlotte managed to overcome them both, decking them with a Twisting Moonsault to the outside in the process.

Back in the ring, Rhea Ripley locked in the Reverse Cloverleaf submission on A.S.H and then Flair. Charlotte rolled through and applied the Figure Eight. Ripley was about to tap but Nikki broke up the submission and followed up with a Twisting Neckbreaker to Flair for a near fall. Nikki then countered another Riptide attempt and tried to follow up with a Crossbody to Flair but Charlotte dodged it and locked in the Figure Eight. Nikki A.S.H had no choice but to tap. 

The Almost Superhero fails again. 

Winner and new Raw Women's Champion: Charlotte Flair

Edge vs. Seth Rollins

SummerSlam entered the final stretch with the next match and Seth Rollins made his way to the ring with his now usual Norsefire imagery. 

Edge had an epic entrance as he made his way to the ring to The Brood's music in red sunglasses while surrounded by flames before The Rated-R Superstar flipped a switch and went wild as Metalingus filled Allegiant Stadium. 

Once the in-ring action got underway, Edge dominated the early going until Seth Rollins drilled the back of The Ultimate Opportunist's head into the ring post and then the steel steps. 

Rollins proceeded to methodically work over Edge's neck for the next several minutes and the crowd tried to get the 11-time world champion back into the match. Rollins maintained the upper hand with a Springboard Knee to the back of Edge's head, though, and Rollins' dominance continued. The Messiah earned a near fall with a Frog Splash and he set up for the Stomp but Edge rolled to the apron. 

Seth tried to go back on the offensive with a Superplex but Edge countered into a Swinging Neckbreaker from the top to earn himself some time to recuperate. Edge got rolling shortly after and almost put Rollins away following the Edgecution. The Rated-R Superstar then scored another near fall with the Edge-O-Matic.

Edge went high moments later but Rollins capitalised on his slowness with a Superplex into a Falcon Arrow. Seth then set up for the Stomp again but Edge dodged it. Rollins countered and tried for the Pedigree, which Edge reversed into the Glam Slam for a two count. 

Seth targeted the neck again soon after, catching Edge with a Neckbreaker between the ropes, and he went for the Stomp again. Edge avoided it, though, bounced Seth onto the ring post and followed up with a Spear to the floor while Rollins was on the apron!

Back in the ring, Edge went for the Spear but Rollins countered into a Pedigree for a close near fall. Incredible action in this one! 

Rollins then went for the Phoenix Splash but Edge dodged it and connected with the Spear. 1-2-NO! Rollins somehow kicked out. Edge next went for the Killswitch but Rollins decked The Rated-R Superstar with a clubbing forearm to the back of Edge's head. 

Rollins then followed up with a Superkick and went for the Stomp once again but Edge caught it and locked in the Edgecator. Rollins tried desperately to make it to the bottom rope and Edge transitioned to the Crossface and dragged Rollins back to the middle of the ring. 

Edge hammered Rollins' head off the mat and applied the Crossface once again. The former Universal Champion tried to survive but he had no choice but to tap out. 

Make time to see this one! 

Winner: Edge 

Before the two world title matches, The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring and revealed their surprise was the Drip Stick 2000, a new amazing device. The two ended up bickering because they forgot to bring the Drip Stick 2000 with them, though.  

Never fear, it turned out Xavier Woods acquired the machine and he soaked the tag team to no crowd reaction. 

Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Goldberg - WWE Championship

After that segment, it was time for Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg.

Both men initially locked up in a Collar-And-Elbow-Tie-Up before Goldberg took Lashley down with a Shoulder Tackle, Body Slam and Fallaway Slam as boos filled the stadium. Next was a Clothesline from the challenger but Lashley fought back with some clubbing blows and he set up for the Jackhammer, but Goldberg blocked it and went for a Jackhammer of his own.

Lashley countered with a Flatliner and more clubbing blows. Goldberg fought back with a Press Slam and went for the Spear but MVP pulled Lashley to safety. Goldberg just hit Lashley with a Spear on the outside instead. 

Goldberg set up for another Spear but MVP hit the challenger with his cane while the official wasn't looking. A Chokeslam from The All Mighty followed and he went for the Hurt Lock. Goldberg escaped but Lashley Chop Blocked him back to the mat. 

Lashley next twice rammed Goldberg's knee into the ring post. Goldberg struggled to stand back in the ring and the referee ruled the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion was unable to continue. 

That wasn't good enough for Lashley and the WWE Champion annihilated Goldberg's knee with a steel chair after the match. Lashley then decimated Gage Goldberg in the ring with the Hurt Lock after he tried to defend his father as the crowd cheered. 

MVP fearfully claimed there was no way Lashley could have known it was Gage as Goldberg crawled over to protect his son.

It feels like we're getting Lashley vs. Goldberg II with a big babyface WWE Title win as the conclusion. 

Winner and still WWE Champion: Bobby Lashley

Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena - Universal Championship

After three-and-a-half hours of bang average wrestling that won't live long in the memory and one excellent match, it was time for the main event match between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and 16-time World Champion John Cena. 

Like pretty much every Roman Reigns title defence, the action started out slowly as both men breathed in the moment. Once they did lock up, both men tried to get the better of each other and gloated about it. Cena scored two near falls with a roll-up and then an inside cradle. 

Reigns soon took control, though, and the Universal Champion methodically worked over Cena, dominating the challenger as the crowd booed. As Michael Cole pointed out, only one man in Brock Lesnar has dominated John Cena so effortlessly. 

Cena dragged himself to his feet using Roman and as Reigns gloated, the 16-time world champion went for the Attitude Adjustment. Reigns escaped, though, and countered with a DDT. Roman gloated some more and apologised to Hollywood for the beating he was going to give Cena. 

Cena fought back with some blows and he went for his patented Shoulder Tackle but Reigns chopped him down with a big right hand. The Doctor Of Thuganomics once again struggled to get back to his feet and he scored another near fall with a roll-up before Reigns applied the Sleeper Hold. 

Cena managed to escape and he decked Roman with a Clothesline to give himself some breathing space. He followed up with the Shoulder Tackles and Cena went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Reigns countered into the Guillotine. 

Cena managed to escape but Reigns fired back with a Superman Punch. The champion went for the Spear but Cena kicked him to the curb and connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle this time. An AA followed and Reigns just managed to kick out. 

STFU was locked in by Cena next but Reigns managed to make it to the ropes. The Universal Champion limped to the floor and as Cena pursued him, Roman fired back with a Drive-By. Reigns then tried to follow up with a Spear on the outside but Cena caught him and decked him with an Attitude Adjustment through the announce table. 

The challenger hurriedly threw Reigns into the ring and the referee counted 1-2-No! Reigns somehow kicked out. 

Cena looked to follow up with his Leg Drop from the top rope but Reigns countered into a Powerbomb. Next on Reigns' mind was another Superman Punch but Cena countered and went for a third AA, which Reigns reversed into a Superman Punch for a near fall. 

The Doctor Of Thuganomics sidestepped a Spear from Reigns moments later and Cena hit a Super AA from the top rope. Somehow, Roman Reigns managed to kick out again!

Now it was Cena's turn to talk trash and he mocked Reigns' signature scream. This led to both men exchanging blows before Reigns hit two more Superman Punches and a Spear for the win. 

Winner and still Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

It looked like SummerSlam was over, but no, Brock Lesnar's music suddenly played over the titantron and The Beast Incarnate marched to the ring as a despondent Paul Heyman looked on!

Lesnar and Reigns went face-to-face and Reigns left the ring before they came to blows. 

Lesnar wasn't done, though. After SummerSlam went off the air, he attacked former rival John Cena and the 16-time world champion ended the night on his back following multiple German Suplexes and an F5. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons