Much has been said leading up to Saturday, but we learned that, from the opening bell, this was not Vince’s SummerSlam.
OK, perhaps not quite from the opening bell.
But by the end of the opening bout, it was crystal clear that this was not Vince’s SummerSlam.
Of course, after the abrupt, but much-needed retirement of Vince McMahon. ..we knew there was a change at the top.
Which is why we can say…
From The Opening Bell, This Was Not Vince’s SummerSlam
Vince announced his retirement just before the July 22nd SmackDown. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t likely much to be changed by Hunter.
Especially considering his elevation to the head of creative didn’t formally happen until the next week.
We can say, however, that the removal of Vince probably boosted a lot of morale. It also likely ended the constant day-of-show changes.
And you know what? If you have a script and let your talent learn it and work with it, without constantly changing?
Good things happen.
It was clear there was a new boss, not the same as the old boss.
And, thirty minutes into the 2022 edition of SummerSlam, it was clear that this was not Vince’s SummerSlam.
It’s noteworthy, because there were conflicting reports heading in.
Some rumblings indicated that WWE was not looking for massive changes.
Other reports let fans have hopes up, pointing to Hunter wanting to make a big splash in Nashville.
After Bianca Belair retained, there was a surprise hug and handshake from Becky Lynch. I bet a lot of us expected an attack.
We almost got it, but not from Lynch.
Instead, the long overdue return of Bayley provided the first of our surprises for the evening. And she did not come alone.
I mean…Io Sharai, we have not seen in months. Dakota Kai  was released.
Not anymore. We were told that Hunter might be able to bring some departed talent back …seems those reports were spot on.
But…even more stunning? The new boss had this to say.
— Triple H (@TripleH) July 31, 2022 
And, let this sink in: Fightful reported  that our new heel trio had previously been shot down by…Vince McMahon.
Once shot down, Dakota Kai was gone. Clearly, this was not Vince’s SummerSlam.
And, like Hunter himself told us…we were just getting started.
Sure, we all expected an eventual Edge return, so maybe that’s not the biggest surprise. But it happened here too.
Even if the football stadium made for a really weird entrance.
Another way it was clear there was a new Game running things?
The commentary. Things were said that never flew under Vince.
If you’ve been listening on the past couple shows, you’ve likely noticed that. It’s just getting more pronounced.
With a pro like Cole, and some folks like Graves and McAfee who have that gift to talk?
Being unleashed is a good thing.
While not a surprise return, it was a surprising outcome next. Liv Morgan retained…albeit via a controversial decision.
Almost immediately after Morgan cashed in and became SmackDown Women’s Champion, we heard that it would be a short reign.
Like, we came in to SummerSlam expecting Rousey to win the title back.
Did not happen. Ronda Rousey did dominate, and technically did have Morgan tap out…but the ref didn’t see it, and so, the reign continues.
Honestly half expected Charlotte coming in there, but while she doesn’t like Rousey, she also doesn’t make saves.
And we ended the show with a bang…and a tractor…and a ring that was not the way it should have been.
Reigns won, because…well, Lesnar failed to use the tractor like Foley used the forklift.
Sadly, we didn’t get any more surprise returns…tonight.
But, it is clear that this was not Vince’s SummerSlam.
And on Monday…and beyond…that’s not Vince’s RAW…this is not Vince’s WWE anymore either.
Buckle up fans. Let’s hope its a fun ride!