Filmhounds Magazine

All things film – In print and online

“The Greatest Last Man Standing Match Ever” – Five Key Takeaways From WWE “SummerSlam” 2022

8 min read

emanated from Nashville's Nissan Stadium in front of over 40, 000 fans. The card was stacked, with colliding with for the final time in a Last Man Standing Match, challenging for the RAW Women's Championship, battling , and other high-profile bouts. In addition to the marquee names performing, this year's SummerSlam will also go down as one of the most historic PPVs in wrestling history, as it marks the first WWE PPV under the regime. Although a lot of Vince McMahon's fingerprints were still very much on this show, Triple H managed to play ‘the game' and make his mark. What followed was an impressive show with very strong matches, surprising (and not so surprising) returns, and a main event for the ages.

Results:

  • Bianca Belair defeated Becky Lynch to retain the RAW Women's Title.
  • Logan Paul defeated The Miz.
  • Bobby Lashley defeated Theory to retain the United States Title.
  • The Mysterios defeated The Judgement Day in a No-DQ Tag Match (with help from a returning Edge).
  • Pat McAfee defeated Happy Corbin.
  • The Usos defeated (with Jeff Jarrett as special guest referee).
  • defeated .
  • Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

Edge and Mysterios

Five Key Takeaways:

1. Bianca Conquers Becky & Bayley Returns… With Backup

Bianca KOD Becky

Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch's wonderful storyline began last year at SummerSlam, so fittingly; it ended at this year's summer spectacular. Becky set up the story of this bout by working on Belair's left arm, which the two creatively worked into various spots, such as Lynch reversing the KOD onto the barricade by pulling Belair's arm and dragging her over the barricade. The Champion then started to form a comeback, and the women engaged in a great back and forth battle, with great moves and near-falls like Lynch pulling Belair's long hair, forcing her off the middle rope and into a Manhandle Slam. The match concluded when Belair reversed Lynch's attempt at a top rope Manhandle Slam by hitting a Spanish Fly. The EST then hit the KOD for the one, two, and three. Not another WrestleMania classic, but a very strong match nonetheless.

Bianca shakes Becky's hand

The two women produced a very strong opening for SummerSlam, but the post-match is what understandably had fans talking. First, Lynch bit her tongue and shook Belair's hand, seemingly putting the full stop to their year-long story. As Becky left the ring, a returning Bayley's music hit – to a huge pop. However, shortly after Bayley made her entrance, a returning Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky (Io Shirai) made their entrances to join the Role Model. The three then made their way to the ring. But just as they were about to attack Belair, Lynch joined forces with the Champion, which led to Bayley, Dakota, and Io slowly leaving the ring. SummerSlam is officially a changing of the guard in WWE, and Triple H made his first huge creative splash by bringing in two of the top female wrestlers in the world, who had little chance under the previous regime, to join a returning Bayley. Thank you, Triple H!

Bayley, Io, Dakota and Becky & Bianca

2. The Miz is A-List & Logan Paul is The Real Deal!

Almost everything about The Miz vs. Logan Paul was impressive, and in the end, it made both men even more valuable to the WWE moving forward. The Miz is one of the most underappreciated talents in the history of professional wrestling, but at SummerSlam, he showed his greatness by flawlessly guiding the rookie Logan Paul to an extremely impressive debut singles match. Like a true villain, Miz played games from the offset, mocking Logan Paul by wearing his own limited edition trading card, which shows him attacking Paul. During the match, Miz got the crowd involved as they latched onto the popular “tiny balls” chant, and when it came to the wrestling, Miz paced the match perfectly and set up Logan nicely for his various signature spots. It was a shining example of an elite professional enhancing his fellow performer.

Logan Paul Splash

Logan Paul, who impressed at WrestleMania, took his skills to a new level in this match. Although the babyface experiment doesn't appear to be an ideal long-term plan for Paul, as was evident by the live crowd's resistance to engage with this match, Paul was undeniable and did win over the crowd. Early in the match, he showed impressive athleticism with his leaps, doing the splits, and a moonsault off the ring apron onto The Miz. The nice subtle storytelling continued when Paul attempted to beat Miz with the Figure Four. AJ Styles would make an appearance by eliminating Ciampa, and Paul then hit an impressive Phenomenal Forearm of his own. However, what capped off this unbelievable performance was Paul delivering a Frog Splash on The Miz through the announcer's table. At that moment, it was evident that the live crowd finally gave in and applauded the performance of Logan Paul, and rightfully so.

Logan Paul Finished Miz

To conclude the match, Logan Paul capitalised after The Miz almost struck his wife, Maryse, by accident. Paul hit Miz with the Skull Crushing Finale and got the victory with ‘The A-Lister's' own finishing move. In the end, Paul proved he is no joke by earning the respect of the wrestling fans through his performance, and The Miz once again showed the world he is one of the greats in this business.

3. The Usos vs. The Street Profits isn't Money (in the Bank)

Jarrett and Ford

After their classic at Money in the Bank, expectations were understandably high for this bout, and the teams did deliver another strong performance. The match told a good story, starting with special guest referee Jeff Jarrett warning (rather aggressively) both teams about obeying his five count in the corner – immediately following the storyline of this match requiring a non-traditional official. The Usos then took control, garnering their ‘heat' by weakening Angelo Dawkins. Unfortunately, despite the wrestling being strong, the crowd was flat for a good portion of this bout.

Ford frog splash

Montez Ford eventually made his entrance, but whether it was due to the lethargic crowd, Ford didn't seem to possess the same spark he usually does. Dawkins was more of a standout at SummerSlam, especially during The Street Profits comeback, where he showed great fire while leaping out of the ring onto The Usos. There was also a great spot, which followed on from SmackDown, as Jey Uso almost struck Jarrett with a superkick. However, unlike SmackDown, Jarrett caught the kick and spun Jey around into the path of Ford. The challenger would go on to hit his signature Frog Splash, and just when it appeared The Street Profits were going to be crowned new champions, Ford hurt his ribs on impact, delaying his pinfall attempt and giving Jey those few seconds to recover and kick out. It was a nice sports-like scenario that prevented The Usos from losing.

Jarrett and usos

The match concluded when The Usos took advantage of Ford becoming overly emotional at Jey kicking out, eliminating him from the ring, and hitting Dawkins with the 1D for the win. Despite not reaching the heights of the bout earlier this month, this was still a strong match with a well-worked finish.

4. A Cop Out: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey

Liv vs Rousey

This match could have, and arguably should have been, Liv Morgan's big (and first) SummerSlam moment. Instead, it was a cop-out that did little for either superstar. Kevin Nash once claimed WWE hindered his progress as WWE Champion when he wasn't allowed to defeat Bret Hart at Royal Rumble '95, but Nash was at least afforded a lengthy and highly competitive match against the company's top star. Liv Morgan, on the other hand, looked inferior to Ronda Rousey throughout their title bout.

Rousey v Liv - Armbar

Almost from the offset, Rousey was in control of the match; besides a few spots where Liv one-upped the former UFC Champion. The final portion of this (short) bout saw Rousey apply the armbar repeatedly and the Champion refusing to tap out despite being clearly compromised. The referee stopped to check on Liv a few times, but the underdog Champion kept fighting. In one final armbar spot, Liv managed to put the former Champion's shoulders on the mat while in the armbar, and as the ref counted to three, Liv tapped out, unbeknownst to the referee. It was another screwy finish for a Rousey title match, but this time, with little meaningful wrestling prior.

Rousey attacks Liv

The replay showed that Liv Morgan tapped before the referee counted to three, so the announcers accurately stated Rousey should be champion. Therefore, not only did this present Liv as lucky in “victory,” but she was also clearly second best due to mounting little offence during the actual match. Post-match, Rousey attacked Liv, seemingly turning heel. However, the overall delivery of this felt flat, and despite Liv choosing to fight on, this did next to nothing to enhance our new champion. A huge disappointment.

5. “The Greatest Last Man Standing Match Ever”

Roman Entrance

On WWE's After The Bell podcast, Corey Graves responded to the naysayers of Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns main eventing SummerSlam 2022 by stating: “I promise you have not seen it the way it's going to go down at SummerSlam,” and boy was he right! The Last Man Standing Match not only proved to be a fitting finale for WWE's summer blockbuster and this long-time feud, but it was a masterclass in delivering compelling storytelling, an unparalleled spectacle, and a match where both men leave better than they walked in.

As with every Roman Reigns match now (particularly PPV matches), The Tribal Chief's slow and methodical entrance expertly set the tone for a major showdown, a feeling that was enhanced by the stadium spectacle that accompanied this show. However, not to be outdone, and in true cowboy fashion, Brock Lesnar made his entrance by driving a tractor to the ring, which he then stood on to introduce himself and leapt off to kick-start this thrilling Last Man Standing Match. Lesnar dominated early – immediately taking it to the outside and suplexing Reigns on the floor – wasting little time to start the ref's attempted ten counts. Lesnar also looked even more muscular (if that's possible) during this match, which never hurts his presentation.

Brock F5s Paul Heyman

Reigns would eventually work his way into the clash, and the two heavyweights then proceeded to throw every possible thing, including the kitchen sink, at the audience. Spears, suplexes, and superman punches were in abundance, as were weapons and outside interference. Hell, Paul Heyman was even F-5'd through a table, which drew a thunderous reaction from the audience. Throughout it all, both men sold the wear and tear brilliantly, as Reigns, on two occasions, barely made it to his tiptoes to break the count. A small detail that enhanced the epic nature of this physical battle. Lesnar also sold the beatings superbly but maintained his monstrous aura as he took out the Usos and even interrupted Theory's attempted cash-in by hitting him with an F-5 onto the briefcase. And I believe Lesnar LIFTING THE RING with the tractor deserves a mention too!

Brock Tipping Ring

In the end, within the sea of carnage around the ring, Reigns, who had already hit Lesnar with multiple spears, delivered one final blow with the Universal Title before covering The Beast with chairs, stairs, and announce table parts to ensure the superhuman challenger did not get up again. It was a picture-perfect conclusion to an enthralling final battle in which everyone – the participants, WWE, and the audience – left as winners in what Michael Cole (accurately?) called: “The greatest Last Man Standing Match ever.” Whether it is or not is up for debate. However, there is no denying it's one of the greatest, and it will justifiably go down as one of the greatest spectacles in WWE history.

Roman Wins - Standing on Lesnar

All images are courtesy of WWE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *