Friday, 6 October 2017

DVD Review: SummerSlam 2017

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 267 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: October 9 2017

(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)

There are two issues with SummerSlam these days. One is that it immediately follows an NXT Takeover show which greatly emphasises the in-ring product over sports entertainment. The second is that the show's four-hour length means that certain matches are guaranteed to come across as filler, which is why the overall reactions to recent SummerSlams has been mediocre at best.

The same response applied to this year's show, and the 2017 SS definitely isn't one of the greatest in the history of the event. However, there are still some topnotch battles and fun moments to be had when reliving the card, meaning that certain parts of the 30th annual SummerSlam are definitely worth checking out.

This doesn't include the underwhelming opening match, though, where John Cena doesn't leave second gear and Baron Corbin's nightmare week (having lost his Money In The Bank cash-in bout the previous Tuesday) ended with a defeat in a match that he had to win. I enjoyed Naomi vs. Natalya as the Queen Of Harts earned her second Women's Championship in style, even if the Brooklyn crowd seemed disinterested.

Big Cass' win over Big Show serves the purpose of giving him an, erm, big victory, though the match is not the best that I feel these two could deliver. Randy Orton's quick-fire defeat of Rusev is something different, but another potentially enjoyable match is denied as a result. Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks is pretty good, though, and the result is a pleasant surprise.

The Demon rises next as Finn Balor meets Bray Wyatt in a decent fight. Then, we finally get a truly thrilling match as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins challenge Cesaro and Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team Championships in a great doubles scrap (though Cesaro randomly running into the crowd to burst a beach-ball was the highlight of the match, and the entire show, to me).

Shane McMahon as special guest referee adds a new layer to the AJ Styles-Kevin Owens rivalry, which ends here having generally undelivered compared to what it could have been in the eyes of the fans. Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is predictably disappointing, and those who expected Shinsuke to tear it up here must now be wondering whether the 'old' Nakamura will ever make a return.

Fortunately, SummerSlam ends on a high note with one of the best WWE matches of the year. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe is a terrific brawl, a classic example of a four-way in a WWE ring, and a superb showcase of Strowman as an absolute monster. If you only watch one match from SummerSlam, this has to be it.

The DVD extras are the three Kick-Off matches. The six-man tag is hampered by taking place in front of an almost-empty arena, but Akira Tozawa vs. Neville is really good, and The New Day vs. The Usos is outstanding, somehow topping their previously exceptional clash at Battleground.

So, SummerSlam 2017 covers every spectrum on the quality scale, with some great matches, some good bouts, some average scraps and some major disappointments. The bonus matches elevate this to the rating below, as the main show seemed a bit of a let-down with only two excellent matches out of a possible ten. But it's still a really fun DVD to watch, as you will recognise when reliving the Biggest Party Of The Summer.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 - Good

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