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    Tuesday, August 24, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: SummerSlam 2021

    John Cena and Roman Reigns at WWE SummerSlam

    As the situation in the United States got better and crowds started coming back to WWE arenas, the big story heading into SummerSlam was that it was going to be the real WrestleMania this year: big event, record-breaking crowd, huge names, possibly some celebrities (which did happen, backstage), some good matches, and even bigger moments.

    If that's the barometer we're using for this year's third Big Four event, then by and large, I'd say it was pretty successful. There were two beloved returns—well, one is a mixed bag, all things considered—and in classic WWE fashion, everyone walked away from the show talking about it, even if it wasn't all positive buzz.

    In fact, one could even say that it was quintessential WWE. A very Vince McMahon event. Leave the wrestling in the hands of the great wrestlers, send the crowd home happy, and give everyone both moments they can be happy and mad about. It's an emotional rollercoaster the way only WWE and Vince can book, and it's the kind of thing that usually leaves one confused as to what to feel. But overall, the big result seems to be a net positive.

    For me, however, the important thing in the end is that the event drives the whole company forward. Whether you hated or you loved the things that happened on Saturday night, there was forward progression. For a lot of people, it's still going to result in a mass tuning into RAW and SmackDown this week. As wrestling and WWE fans, this is the cycle we're locked in until something drastic happens to break it. 

    The gambits, the outrage, the exhilaration, the surprise—they all work. Whether you like it or not.

    SummerSlam 2021 Rating: A

    Match of the Night

    I'll be honest: there are a lot of good matches on the show, especially near the top of the card. You can take any of those and have them as your Match of the Night and I wouldn't even argue. I just wanted to shout out the main event between John Cena vs. Roman Reigns for being like Italian cooking—simple and strong flavors. Some fans will generally prop up matches with higher "work rate" as being better, but sometimes, all you need to get the crowd in the palm of your hand is easy-to-follow storytelling. This is what veteran wrestlers generally mean when they say less is more, and the two leaders gave a masterclass in exactly that. Even when he's away for a long time making his movies, John Cena's proved that he still got it, and he's finally here elevating the current generation.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: SummerSlam 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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