top of page
SummerSlam 2023


August 5, 2023


For the first time in our relationship, my wife and I went to a wrestling event together. And it was her idea!

In advance of my birthday next month, my wife bought us tickets to SummerSlam. While Detroit is roughly a four-hour drive from Toronto, it seemed well worth the road trip to go there.

We arrived in the Motor City at roughly 2 pm and took in the downtown core like the tourists we were. The city center was cordoned off so that there could be lots of foot traffic between SummerSlam at Ford Field and the Detroit Tigers game next door at Comerica Park. Literally everyone roaming the streets was a wrestling fan that afternoon, with cosplay costumes, championship belts and T-shirts in a volume like I've never quite seen before.

Interestingly, EVERYONE in downtown Detroit seemed to be an L.A. Knight fan. Literally everyone couple of minutes, someone would shout "YEAH!" at the top of their lungs, and this hours before the show started. There were also the requisite "Woooooo!" and "WHAT?" chants in the streets, but "YEAH!" was definitely the order of the day.

Surrounding the arena, several of WWE's sponsors, including Cricket Wireless, C4 and WWE 2K, had set up exhibits for fans to get free goodies and learn about their products. In additions, fans could line up to see vehicles such as Eddie Guerrero's low-rider, Shotzi's tank, The Undertaker's hearse and the DX invasion Jeep. The lines were frankly too long for my tastes, so we just walked through the crowds and people-watched instead.

My wife and I grabbed a quick lunch and then shared a gigantic milkshake at Jojo's Shake Bar (well worth the trip) before heading back to Ford Field. I really did wanted to check out the SummerSlam store as well, but lineups were insane to get in there (I figured I'd pick up something inside the venue anyways).

By 5:30 p.m., the gates began to open and it took the better part of 45 minutes to get into the building. I've been to two WrestleManias, two SummerSlams and The Big Event -- none had quite the same crowd vibe as this show. Like, nothing close to the excitement we saw here.

Once in the cavernous Ford Field, we wandered the venue for a bit and I attempted to line up for the merchandise stands (but the lineups were, once again, crazy), so I figured it would be better to wait until later in the show. We took our seats just before 7 pm, which is the time I mistakenly thought the card was starting. By the time it began at 8 pm, Ford Field was packed and there were practically no empty seats anywhere.

Our seats were of the nosebleed variety, but beggars can't be choosers - I would have sat anywhere to see this show live! Plus, we were almost perfectly centered to the ring. So even though my pictures turned out terrible, at least we had a very nice view of the show.

Ricochet vs. Logan Paul was an excellent choice to open SummerSlam with, even if it wa booked for the purposes of Paul getting to his brother's fight in Texas on time. Tons of high-flying and great energy, plus it did build up Ricochet quite a bit, even in defeat.

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar was probably my match of the night. It told an incredible story, and even my wife (a non-wrestling fan) got into it. Rhodes is the best pure storyteller in wrestling right now, and his ability to play off of Lesnar in this rubber match made it all the more effective. The handshake at the end was a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one.

We missed part of the Slim Jim Battle Royal while trying for the merch stands again (still a long line up!), but got back in time to see Omos get eliminated (my wife enjoyed that spot). LA Knight winning was the clear choice here, and obviously the fans ate that one up.

Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler was the one stinker of the night, in my opinion, and the fans let that be known by booing loudly pretty much the entire match. Maybe if they had explained the match rules better, or built up their story a bit earlier in the month, it could have been something meaningful.

Drew McIntyre vs. GUNTHER was great for what it was, but certainly not the best match either guy has had. I expected a bit more physicality out them, and had actually predicted a McIntyre win here. It was only one of two matches where I predicted wrong.

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor was another banger, definitely better than their Money In The Bank match before it. I loved that they went back to the previous SummerSlam story, right down to the sequence of moves, and the Damien Priest tease of a cash-in made it even bigger.

Between the end of this match and the beginning of the next one, I was able to sneak out for merch stand trip # 3, and this time I made it to the front of the line! I picked up an awesome show-exclusive "Tribal Combat" T-shirt that was well worth the money.

Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair started off a bit weak, but really did build up. My wife and I debated whether Belair was legitimately injured in the one spot (it was filmed too perfectly to be legit), and the finish really got the crowd into the match. By the time Iyo SKY cashed in Money In The Bank (which I'd also predicted correctly), everyone was on their feet. A truly great cash-in moment and they've been able to create a new star in SKY.

Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns was probably too long for a show that had already gone on for a while, but that was really my only complaint with it. This was another "Roman Reigns Greatest Hits" match, with all of the emotion and storytelling you'd expect. While there was no way Uso was winning the title here, he did manage to get the crowd into a few of his false finishes. That alone should count as a victory for the guy. Jimmy Uso's interference (something else I predicted!) made for a memorable ending and keeps The Bloodline war going for at least another day.

Overall, the show was a blast and even though it took us a good hour to get out of the arena, to our car and back to our hotel room, SummerSlam 2023 was an incredibly fun road trip and memory. Apologies in advance for the quality of these in-ring photos -- it was the best I could do from the nosebleeds!

Learn More About Canadian Bulldog

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
bottom of page