The Royal Rumble has traditionally been all about surprises and WrestleMania all about "the moment," but SummerSlam has long stood as WWE's best "big show" for in-ring action. That proved true again this year, as 2020 WWE SummerSlam was an outstanding show from the new WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. And it was capped by a shocking return from the company's top star as Roman Reigns closed the show.
The annual summer extravaganza saw some of the best in-ring work of the year for WWE in what has been an above average year for bell-to-bell action. As expected, titles changed hands and a new tone was set in many ways heading into the second half of the year. But arguably no moment stands out as having a greater potential impact on the company than Reigns' surprise return.
With the Payback pay-per-view just seven days away, it won't be long before fans see the true fallout of SummerSlam, but for one night, WWE fans were able to enjoy a truly solid top-to-bottom show.
CBS Sports was with you the whole way through SummerSlam, providing updates and highlights as the action went down. Check out our full set of WWE SummerSlam 2020 results and grades along with a full set of highlights even further down the page.
2020 WWE SummerSlam results, grades
United State Championship -- Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP (Kickoff Show): Crews started off well, using pure speed and athleticism to cause issues for the 46-year-old challenger. MVP eventually tossed Crews over the top rope and into the ring apron to take things over. Crews made the comeback, hitting a big dive over the top rope to the outside before countering an MVP Playmaker into his toss powerbomb to score the pin and retain his title. After the match, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin -- both banned from ringside during the match because of a Benjamin loss on Raw -- ran in to try and attack Crews but the champion managed to evade them before making his way up the ramp with his title. Like almost every kickoff match on WWE pay-per-view shows, there wasn't much here as it was just a small taste of action ahead of the actual show. There are, and have been, better Crews vs. MVP clashes out there. Crews def. MVP via pinfall to retain the title. Grade: C
SmackDown Women's Championship -- Bayley (c) vs. Asuka: An aggressive Asuka came out fast. The challenger immediately took the fight to Bayley and roughed her up, possibly in an attempt to score the win fast and save up some energy for her match later with Sasha Banks (who was ringside for the match). Asuka hit a big DDT on the outside of the ring, leaping from the ring steps to drive Bayley head-first into the floor. Bayley fired back, using some nasty offense as she became increasingly frustrated with the challenger. Bayley hit an early Bayley-to-Belly for a near fall. Asuka took momentum back moments later, landing some hip attacks to score her own two-count, but Bayley began an attack on the legs with a chop block and a leg lock. The momentum continued to swing back and forth. Bayley tried to hit the top-rope elbow drop but was caught in an armbar. Banks caused a minor collision as Bayley tried to escape and provided another distraction that almost allowed Bayley to win with a schoolboy. Banks got back on the ring apron and took a hip attack for Bayley, allowing Bayley to score the flash pinfall. The duo attacked Asuka after the match, further softening her up for the match with Banks later. This was a solid bout, as expected, and smart booking ahead of the second Asuka match. The ending, in particular, was well-booked in having Banks assist for the win, which will pay off if Bayley doesn't return the favor later. Bayley (c) def. Asuka via pinfall to retain the title. Grade: B
Raw Tag Team Championship -- The Street Profits (c) vs. Andrade & Angel Garza: A hot start by Montez Ford was quickly cut off, and he was isolated from his corner as Andrade and Garza worked him over. Garza held up Ford in the corner at one point, allowing Andrade to hit a big double stomp from the top rope. Angelo Dawkins eventually got the hot tag but was quickly cut off by an Andrade back elbow. Ford came back in with a huge crossbody, but moments later he ran into Zelina Vega, who was on the ring apron. Garza bumped Vega, knocking her to the floor, and Andrade attended to her rather than staying in the corner for a tag. The confusion allowed the Profits to hit the Cash Out for the win. Solid enough tag action in the early stretch, but there wasn't enough to the match after the initial hot tag. The ending sequence came way too fast because of it, really kneecapping the match. Street Profits (c) def. Andrade & Garza via pinfall to retain the titles. Grade: C-
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville (No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE): An aggressive Rose went at Deville early, laying a beating on her around ringside before setting up a table. The time spent setting up the table allowed Deville to grab a chair and ram it into Rose's midsection. Deville took over the match at that point, eventually locking in a dragon sleeper and raking at the eyes before locking in a triangle armbar. Some Deville taunting fired Rose back up, and she made a comeback before placing Deville on the previously-setup table, but Deville rolled out of the way. Rose drove a series of running knees into Deville's face before scoring the win; the table was merely a prop that was never used in the actual match. A shocked Deville threw a tantrum outside the ring after the loss before Otis ran into the ring to celebrate with his girlfriend, who attempted her own Caterpillar ... though it didn't go well. The match itself was a bit of a mess and never fully clicked, and it wasn't at all the best way to book it to have Rose really out-physical Deville for much of the bout. Rose def. Deville via pinfall. Grade: C-
Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins (Street Fight): Rollins had his way early, toying with Mysterio but Mysterio came back with some punches and a nice lucha armdrag. Rollins had Murphy give him a kendo stick but Mysterio was able to take it and almost out it to use before Rollins was able to neutralize the threat. Rollins continually taunted Rey Mysterio at ringside, trying to get him to jump in the ring, but Dominik, who earlier made his dad promise to not get involved in the match, kept waiving him off. Soon, it was Rollins -- body striped with bruises and blood from the earlier shots from Mysterio -- who used a kendo stick to unleash an assault. Rollins set up a table and moved Mysterio to the top rope, but Mysterio fired back and used the kendo stick to deliver a side Russian leg sweep with the kendo stick through the table. Mysterio went up top and hit a frog splash for a two-count. Mysterio tried to slide a chair into the ring, but Rollins knocked it away and hit a huge powerbomb. Rollins removed Mysterio's top and then laid into him with another series of hard kendo stick shots before grabbing a pair of handcuffs from Murphy, leading to Angie Mysterio starting to make a walk toward the ring. The distraction nearly allowed Dominik to score a flash pin, but ultimately resulting in Murphy getting involved and trying to drive his eye into the ring steps before Rey ran back to make the save. Rollins handcuffed Rey to the middle rope and looked at Angie, but Dominik made the save, ultimately hitting a 619 and trying for a frog splash, but Rollins got his knees up. As Dominik crawled toward his dad, Rollins hit a stomp for the win. This was an outstanding effort from Dominik in his first true match, and on a massive stage, no less. He looked smooth in his offense and never looked like a rookie, even in a very lengthy match. Rollins def. Mysterio via pinfall. Grade: B+
Raw Women's Championship -- Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka: Asuka came to the ring with a limp from the earlier match with Bayley, setting a target for Banks to focus on from the jump. Banks hit Asuka with a huge sunset flip powerbomb from the ring apron to the floor, snapping her head against the concrete in a sick-looking spot. Asuka focused an attack on Banks' leg, turning the tables on the earlier action, but was quickly taken to the top rope by Banks. Asuka reversed the position into a diving DDT from the middle rope, forcing Banks to roll out of the ring. After some momentum swings, Bayley gave Banks a pep talk, but the champion was almost caught in an Asuka Lock. Banks locked up a Banks Statement before a reverse into the Asuka Lock again. A near replay of the earlier match happened with Bayley getting on the apron and into the ropes where she moved out of the way of Asuka's hip attack -- Banks took that bullet for Bayley earlier in the night -- and moments later, Asuka again locked up the Asuka Lock for the submission. Really slick callback in the storytelling, with Bayley not being willing to sacrifice herself in the same way as Banks. And the actual in-ring action was fantastic, a notch better than the solid Asuka vs. Bayley match earlier. Asuka def. Banks (c) via submission to win the title. Grade: A-
WWE Championship -- Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton: Orton immediately ran from McIntyre's initial attempts to engage. The "Apex Predator" tried to hit an RKO with a series of attempts that McIntyre avoided before Orton took over along the outside of the ring. Orton then methodically took over, picking apart McIntyre on the mat with stomps. McIntyre, worn down from the early assault of Orton, fired back with an attack on the legs of Orton, including locking in a figure-four. With McIntyre torquing the pressure, Orton pulled the referee forward and then dug his fingers into McIntyre's eyes while the referee couldn't see the rule violation. McIntyre, now bleeding near his eye from Orton's foul, stormed back with a series of belly-to-belly suplexes and a clothesline from the top rope. McIntyre struck with the Future Shock DDT for a near fall. A Glasgow Kiss headbutt by McIntyre appeared to open a cut on the forehead of Orton, adding a bit more blood to the match. Moments later, Orton lined up for a punt as the action returned from the floor to the ring, but McIntyre countered with a big powerbomb. McIntyre lined up for a Claymore, Orton ducked and tried to reverse into an RKO, but McIntyre spun into a backslide pin for the victory. What a brilliant finish. Avoiding a finish for either man in a big PPV world title match is against-type for WWE and made for a tremendous shock finish that did nothing to halt the momentum of either man. Great match, better finish. McIntyre (c) def. Orton via pinfall to retain the title. Grade: A
Universal Championship -- Braun Strowman (c) vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt: Strowman tried to explode early, but Wyatt quickly took over before trying to use a toolbox. Moments later, Strowman drove Wyatt through the ringside barricade. Strowman tossed Wyatt onto the announce table and then drilled him with the ring steps before hitting the powerslam for a two count. The two battled into the backstage area with Wyatt hitting Sister Abigail in Gorilla Position for his own near fall. They battled back to the ring, Strowman bleeding from a cut on the side of his head, and the champion hit another running powerslam for a two count. Strowman grabbed a box cutter and cut away the padding from the ring apron but turned to be hit with a uranage and two Sister Abigails on the exposed wood for the victory to capture the universal title.
After the match, Roman Reigns made a shocking return, running in to the ring and delivering a spear to The Fiend before doing the same to Strowman on the outside of the ring, followed by a series of brutal chair shots to Strowman. Reigns then laid out Wyatt again and posed with the universal championship to end the show. Solid enough match and with the needed chaos to overcome any in-ring issues the two men have together. But Reigns' return was a true shock and he looked phenomenal in running through the two men who have dominated the top end of SmackDown, adding some electricity to the end of the show. The Fiend def. Strowman (c) via pinfall to win the title. Grade: B+