By Michael Battista
If I told you a show took place where Stephen Amell, the actor from the CW’s “Arrow,” fought a British king and a cosmic prince and where Jon Stewart decided the outcome of a fight by hitting someone with a chair, what would the standard response be? It shouldn’t be that surprising, since the World Wrestling Entertainment was in Brooklyn for their yearly event, SummerSlam.
Returning to New York/New Jersey area for the first time since 2007, the event was just one part of a packed weekend for WWE, which had three separate and individual shows on Saturday Aug. 22 through Monday, Aug. 24 — all in the Barclays Center.
NXT, the developmental level of WWE, which features the “future stars” of the company, took center stage on Saturday with NXT Takeover Brooklyn selling out the arena. Young talent, such as “Gorgeous” Tyler Breeze and Pamela Rose “Bayley” Martinez entertained the extremely loud crowd while competing for titles, pride and for a chance to be called up to the main roster. Other, more established, wrestlers in the independent scene, such as Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor also competed to the joy of the crowd.
Sunday night saw the main roster take over Barclay for the company’s second largest show of the year, SummerSlam. Consisting of 10 matches over four hours, the show featured the WWE’s biggest stars, including John Cena, Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker. However, actor Stephen Amell was also on the card, competing with the high flying Nevil against Stardust and King Barrett, the former of which had attacked and insulted him multiple times before.
The largest matches of the night were the bouts between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, and the Champion vs. Champion match pitting United States Champion Cena against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins.
In consistent wrestling fashion, the matches ended in a shocking way — but neither in a way any wrestling fan had ever seen coming.
In the Title for Title match, comedian and former host of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart, a passionate wrestling fan, ran into the ring while the referee was down and attacked Cena — who was celebrating fulfilling his 500th Make a Wish request that night. The plot twist cost him the match and his title.
While in the Undertaker vs. Lesnar fight, a rematch 15 months after their last bout, ended in confusion. Late in the match, Lesnar caused the Undertaker to submit, or tap out from pain. However, the referee never saw it and restarted the match allowing Undertaker to pick up the win.
To a wrestling fan, these results could bring happiness, anger or confusion. While anyone on the outside looking in will just say “that’s just wrestling.”