KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

SummerSlam 2023 was the highest viewed of the series' history for WWE.

The biggest party of the summer is over, and this year’s WWE SummerSlam was one for the history books! I’m not just speaking in hyperbole there; WWE has reported that this year’s show was the most-watched SummerSlam in the company’s history. And with how (summer)slam packed the card was, it’s not hard to see why so many eyes were on this particular show.

I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was 12 years old, and SummerSlam in particular holds a special place in my heart. When I moved to West Virginia in 2018, that year’s SummerSlam was the very first pay-per-view that I had to watch alone without my usual friend group of fellow wrestling nerds. And now, 5 years later, I was able to watch that very same event reunited with my old crew. It was a night spent eating junk food, poorly recreating our favorite finishers and submission holds, and watching our favorite wrestlers duke it out for in-ring supremacy. Thankfully this year’s SummerSlam provided many unforgettable moments that will keep wrestling fans buzzing for the foreseeable future.

The show kicked off with a video promo starring – oddly enough – Kid Rock. The Michigan native was able to get the Motor City crowd revved up for a night of high-octane action. And from there we were off to the races with no brakes to slow us down. Last week I shared my match predictions for the show (seen here). Despite the now regrettable headline, SummerSlam managed to subvert most of my expectations as I ended the night with a disappointing 4-4 prediction record. Rather than becoming humbled by the experience and admitting that I just may not be great at picking winners, I’ll instead use my stats as evidence that SummerSlam was just an unpredictable show.

Speaking of, here are some moments that stood out the most to me:

  • Cody Rhodes Conquers The Beast

    This is one of those rare instances where I’m 100% happy to have been wrong. Even though I’m a huge fan of the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes, I was sure that Brock Lesnar would walk out of Ford Field as the victor that night. But in a spectacularly brutal match, Cody pulled out all the stops (and steel steps) to overcome the odds and finish his story with the Beast Incarnate. And for the cherry on top, after the match Brock gave Cody the ultimate sign of respect by shaking his hand before raising it to the crowd, signaling Cody as the better of the two before exiting the ring. It was a classy end to what was a hellacious feud, with a satisfying outcome that I was completely fine putting in my L column.

  • LA Knight Becomes Battle Royal-ty

    Now this is more like it, a match winner that I guessed correctly! Fan favorite LA Knight finally got his moment in the SummerSlam sun when he beat out 24 other opponents in the SummerSlam battle royal (sponsored by Slim Jim)! You could tell the crowd at Ford Field was firmly behind Knight, booing anyone who even brushed against him in passing. But in the end, the self-proclaimed Megastar backed up all the trash talk and eliminated the Celtic Warrior Sheamus to cement his big win. My friends and I were definitely chanting “YEAH!” in celebration.

  • Rollins Escapes Judgment

    Man, I really have to stop betting against my favorites. First I paid for it with Cody, and I made the same mistake here in doubting Seth “Freakin” Rollins. The World Heavyweight Champion, through a mix of pure skill and incredibly quick thinking, managed to thwart the Judgment Day leader Finn Balor’s attempts to cheat his way to victory. After a miscommunication between Finn and Mr. Money in the Bank Damian Priest, Seth was able to capitalize with a devastating curb stomp to escape the arena with his title intact. It’s always a treat when these two face off in the ring and SummerSlam was no different.

  • Iyo Sky Cashes In

    …AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion! The Genius of the Sky herself finally won championship gold after cashing in her Money in the Bank contract Saturday night. She waited for the perfect opportunity to strike, running in immediately after Bianca Belair won the title in the previously advertised championship match. And despite going the distance and defeating not one, but two worthy opponents in Asuka and Charlotte Flair, the EST of WWE simply had nothing left in the tank once Iyo hit the ring. One cash-in and perfectly executed moonsault later, and Iyo walks out of SummerSlam with new hardware! Despite them being bad guys, it was still hard not to smile watching her teammates in Damage CTRL embrace her in celebration.

  • Jimmy Uso's Brotherly Betrayal

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that I NEVER thought this would happen. In the most shocking twist of the night, Jimmy Uso returned from a month long absence to cost his own twin brother Jey the win in the main event. The latter Uso was earning his moniker as Main Event Jey in heated Tribal Combat with his cousin, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. And just as it seemed that Jey was finally closing in on ending Roman’s historic 3 year reign, Jimmy emerged from the shadows, hitting his confused and heartbroken brother with a superkick. This allowed the Tribal Chief to pick up the scraps, spearing Jey through a table and retaining not only his championship, but his spot as Head of the Table. Remember how I said I was happy to be wrong for Cody vs. Brock? Well in this case, I was very sad to be right about the outcome. I definitely didn’t want it to end like this. Older brothers, man. Can’t trust ’em. (source: I have an older brother).

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