Then Strowman lifted an entire announcer's table, like it was as light as the belt he was pursuing, and tossed it on Lesnar, who lay there motionless. Not a person at Barclays Center sat, not for a moment, in the Fatal 4-Way match Sunday at SummerSlam for the Universal title.
There was a moment later, when Roman Reigns began an assault of Superman punches on both Strowman and Samoa Joe so disturbing to the fans that they jeered him as if every one of them had just found out what had happened on "Game of Thrones."
And there was a moment earlier in the night, on the preshow of all places, when Big E picked up partner Xavier Woods and powerbombed him into Jimmy Uso with such force that it ended the match. Except it didn't -- and it was like the 10th best spot in the match. That's how good that one was.
And how about that moment when Randy Orton RKO'd Rusev? Well, that moment turned out to be the entire match. The surprise element sent fans into a frenzy. A squash match between two powerhouses. Who saw that coming?
Let's not forget Sasha Banks. Or Neville. Or Natalya. Each now a champ.
The action was so good, so relentless from the Kickoff show to Lesnar's eventual win, that AJ Styles, the No. 1-ranked wrestler in our most recent ESPN.com Power Rankings and the United States champion, was kind of an afterthought on the night. As was John Cena. And they were both really good Sunday.
With that, shall we hand out our 2017 SummerSlam awards?
The "This is awesome" award goes to ... Take your pick, but we're going with the preshow. That's right. After a decent encounter between The Miztourage and the Hardy Boyz/Jason Jordan, the two-hour time slot before the main card thrilled the sparse crowd inside the arena at the time. Leave it to Neville to defy whatever human beings aren't supposed to do in the air. He avenged a loss on Akira Tozawa from last week's Raw to regain the Cruiserweight title.
That said, Neville deserves more than the kickoff show. He's that good. He absolutely wowed the crowd at Camping World Stadium at WrestleMania 33 in early April, and he impressed big time Sunday.
We already mentioned The Usos and The New Day, but it's worth mentioning again. The action was ceaseless, the execution incredible, if not painful. Right, Big E?
- WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 20, 2017
The "Yes! Yes! Yes!" award goes to ... Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. It turns out they can get along. They were friends, then they weren't, and now they're champs. Nothing like gold to heal the hate, eh? But Rollins and Ambrose didn't just take out Sheamus & Cesaro in mundane fashion. No, there were springboard hurricanranas, superkicks and, of course, Dirty Deeds. Rollins and Ambrose are brothers in arms once again.
The "Woooo!" award goes to ... The two new women's champs, Natalya and Sasha Banks. The women's landscape has been messy lately. The storylines have been blasé. We needed a changeup. SmackDown and Raw needed new leaders, and that's what they got.
Granted, neither match was overly memorable in an otherwise strong card, but Natalya and Banks can hopefully lead the way to a better blueprint for the success for the women, who, as recently as the end of 2016, looked very much on par with the men in this business.
The talent is there. Well, sort of.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair weren't actually at SummerSlam, but they are high-end performers with pedigree and cachet. Now they have to look up at Natalya, whose experience finally paid off in a win against Naomi for the SmackDown women's title. Banks has reached the apex of this business multiple times, but her character took a hit, so to speak. She hasn't been the focal point in the Raw women's division for some time. We've been speculating whether a heel turn could have suited her character well. Perhaps being the champ works better, no?
The "You deserve it" award goes to ... Brock Lesnar. He does. The guy was carried away on a stretcher for heaven's sake and returned to retain the title. Against three other opponents, Lesnar, probably took the worst drubbing. No one walks away from an entire announcer's table being thrown on top of you without some sort of pain. But Lesnar endured the punishment.
He escaped medical care, avoided leaving the WWE and retained his gold. Lesnar can be as part-time as he wants. Stay away until WrestleMania if you want, Brock, because when you come back, we'll be watching. Oh, and when you do return, maybe a one-on-one against Braun? Seems as though there's interest.
The "Booo!" award goes to ... No, no, settle down. It's not Roman Reigns. This distinction, er, last-place trophy, goes to Big Cass, Big Show and Little Enzo. We've made a big deal about the Kickoff Show, and we have to assume only a fraction of the SummerSlam audience actually caught it. In our moderately humble opinion, the fewer people who have to endure any more Big Cass and Enzo, the better.
Big Cass is still green, and it doesn't help that the only two guys he's been in a ring with as a singles competitor are either there to job out to him or can't quite move like they used to. Enzo is little more than a prop these days. If you're going to escape the shark tank, then at least make it matter.
In hindsight, splitting Cass and Enzo might not have been the smartest call. True, they were kind of stumbling as a team in recent months before the split, but they're that much more ineffective now. This was the low point on a sensational night at SummerSlam.