Logan Paul beat Ricochet with help from brass knuckles as SummerSlam opened with a highly athletic duel, as advertised.
Some of the match’s more inventive spots included a (almost) perfect Spanish Fly off the apron, a flying neckbreaker off the top rope and a modified tornado DDT counter in midair from Logan Paul.
This past Monday on Raw, Ricochet and Logan Paul made their intentions clear that they planned to have “the most viral” WWE match of all time. Paul and Ricochet’s feud launched with an instantly viral moment at the 2023 Royal Rumble. There, the two super-athletes performed a tandem springboard, crashing into each other to the delight of Houston’s Alamodome.
The moment has just under two million views on YouTube.
“The move was, we both do what’s called a springboard, which is when you jump, put your foot on the top rope, and use it as a trampoline bounce…and by the way, when this move was pitched to me, I was like ‘is that possible?’ Generally, when I have that reaction it’s a good thing because if it is then it’s incredible,” said Paul of the move during his popular IMPAULSIVE podcast (h/t Dexerto).
Despite the move being impressive to the naked eye, Paul admitted he landed awkwardly after forgetting to tuck his chin.
“Every wrestler I walked past on the way out was like, tuck your chin buddy. And then [Paul’s fiancee Nina] was like, ‘this is a thing and you knew it was a thing and you didn’t do it, you moron.’”
Paul’s follow-up spot with Ricochet went awry, but this time was much more obvious to the naked eye. Paul and Ricochet attempted a springboard Spanish Fly through the table at Money in the Bank 2023. Both slipped on the top rope before barely salvaging the spot, and the botch was used as fuel to further their storyline.
“Ricochet and I were supposed to do what’s called a Spanish Fly off the top rope,” Paul said on IMPAULSIVE (h/t Wrestling Inc).
“So one of our legs is on the rope, one of our legs is on the ladder, and we are supposed to hit it at the same time. When he hit that rope, it was before me. So he moved it, so I slipped down all the way to the bottom. Our legs are all twisted like this. I’m looking at him like, ‘Oh, this motherf***** is still trying to send this s***.’”
“I’m gonna be honest, he blew the f****** match for me,” Paul added, tongue-in-cheek. “That’s why we got into it backstage. I got into a little tussle with him. I don’t know, I felt like he was a little unprofessional.”
Paul saved his most disrespectful heel line for last on Raw’s go-home show. After mostly exchanging pleasantries, Paul vowed to not only defeat Ricochet, but in turn, force his real-life fiancee Samantha Irvin to announce Paul as the winner. With that, a storyline built around coordinated, viral moments receive a much needed dose of personal conflict at the last minute.
Paul and Ricochet kicked off SummerSlam as Paul had to leave the venue to attend his brother Jake’s fight against Nate Diaz. Paul as a celebrity wrestler has served his purpose, not only to bring more mainstream attention to WWE, but in the process, to level up a talented midcard performer in need of his big break. Paul being a legitimately good professional wrestler is an added bonus.