Monday, August 18, 2014

SummerSlam Review

About a day or two before SummerSlam, they added Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam to the pre-show. In a match between two guys who are pretty irrelevant, we got a better than expected contest. Cesaro always seems to deliver in the ring and this was no different. He hit a flurry of uppercuts and nearly won when RVD jumped off the top into a big one. However, my prediction was right when I said that it's not wise to pick Cesaro until he wins one because he lost to a Five Star Frog Splash here. Good stuff, even if it was two guys that are going nowhere. ***

To start the actual Pay-Per-View, the Intercontinental Championship was on the line. Now, I completely expected The Miz to retain here due to him having a character and the promotion for the Marine 4. However, Dolph Ziggler surprised many of us when he pulled out the win and became the new Intercontinental Champion. The match was a good back and forth battle with neither guy really gaining a big upper hand at any point. Miz again did his best to avoid being hit in the "moneymaker", which makes for some fun moments. It would've been better had Miz faced someone who's finisher actually targeted his face, but I still enjoyed this and it was a good opener. ***

The match that I might have been looking forward to more than any other followed as Paige went one on one with AJ Lee for the Divas Championship. Paige was sporting new red ring gear, which was pretty great looking. This was a vast improvement on their Battleground match. They disappointed on that night and botched a bunch. This was better and I wouldn't be a straight male if I didn't point out Paige crawling over AJ in a pretty sexual way. ITS SUPPOSED TO BE PG! Paige would get caught in the Black Widow and countered it into the RamPaige DDT, which is sweet. She became the first woman to win the Divas Title twice in the same year. After the match, she hugged AJ and told her how much she loved her. **3/4

A Flag match with no flags followed. Jack Swagger got the fancy entrance with marines following him to the ring with American flags. He attacked Rusev before the match and put on the Ankle Lock. Rusev is hurt and doesn't want to start but is forced to start anyway. He sells the ankle injury like an absolute champ throughout the whole match. Swagger comes close to winning as he applies the Ankle Lock again, but Rusev manages to survive and forces Swagger to pass out to the Accolade. I think this should've been a Flag on a pole match, so Swagger could win for the USA and Rusev could stay undefeated. The match wasn't bad though thanks for the great selling. ***

Well, I was not looking forward to a Lumberjack match at all, but of course, because Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are incredible, they made it work. Normally in a Lumberjack match, the heels outside leave the heel alone but not here. Everyone hated both Seth and Dean and things were wild. The match spilled into the crowd and they teased a bit spot there. Seth tried to escape but was stopped by the face Lumberjacks. We did get a nice spot where Ambrose suplexed Rollins onto the Lumberjacks. He eventually hits Seth with Seth's own move, the Blackout, but Kane interfered to stop the pin. Goldust, being the badass that he is, gets in Kane's face and levels him. All of the Lumberjacks enter and a huge brawl ensues. This allows Seth to get his briefcase and lay out Dean to win. Very hectic and fun match but I expect more from this and an even better match. ***1/2

Chris Jericho would meet Bray Wyatt in another rematch of a match that disappointed at Battleground. Throughout this bout, Jericho developed a weird bruise of sorts on his leg. I enjoyed this more than their Battleground match, but it still wasn't as good as it could've been. Honestly, besides his Royal Rumble match with Daniel Bryan, Bray hasn't done much to wow me in the ring. I mean, his Payback Last Man Standing match was fun but it was meant to be a big clusterfuck. Things were a bit slow but they picked up near the end and Bray was able to survive a Codebreaker before winning with Sister Abigail. Good stuff. ***

If ever there was a heel turn that was telegraphed from a mile away, it was Nikki Bella. But that's not a complaint. It's a heel turn that makes sense. Brie Bella chose her boyfriend over her sister. But enough about the heel turn, the real story of the match was Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie hasn't wrestled in over a decade and was better than a good 90% of the Divas roster. She looked fantastic and was easily the MVP of this contest. Not only did she show love to Ronda Rousey at ringside, but she controlled the match and did a great job. Triple H arrived and Brie put Steph in the Yes Lock. He pulled out the ref and sold the hell out of a dropkick from Brie. Nikki enters and lays out her sister, allowing Stephanie to beat her. They kept the crowd into it and did a good job, which is all you could ask for. **1/2

I've mentioned here before that I'm just not feeling the Roman Reigns mega push the way that the WWE wants me to. His match here with Randy Orton should have felt like a big deal but it didn't. It honestly felt like filler and like we were all just waiting for the main event. Roman actually started to get a mixed reaction as some of the crowd turned towards Randy. I don't know if this is just an LA thing or if it's because some people are starting to dislike the Roman uber push. We got a TON of rest holds early on and Reigns still pretty much has like four moves. The finishing sequence saved this match though as Reigns kicked out of a huge RKO. I dislike how finishing moves don't finish matches all the time. Anyway, Reigns wins with a Spear. **1/2

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match had a big fight feel. It felt like something big was about to go down. What followed was unexpected. Now, I knew that John Cena was going to take a beating but I expected it to be similar to Extreme Rules 2012. Instead, Brock Lesnar beat the hell out of John Cena in a way that's never been seen before. He hit 16 German suplexes and John Cena got in about two offensive moves. I'm not exaggerating. He hit an Attitude Adjustment and locked in an STF. This was utter domination. I have to give props to Cena because I doubt another guy in his position in the past would've agreed to a fifteen minute squash match. But for everyone who has disliked seeing John Cena win as often as he does you will always have this match. An absolute beatdown. It was what it needed to be. If a man conquers the Streak, then John Cena shouldn't be a match for him. And he wasn't. ***1/2

Overall: 8/10. This was arguably the best Pay-Per-View since WrestleMania XXX. Look back at the ratings and nothing was bad. Brie/Stephanie and Reigns/Orton got the lowest ratings but they weren't bad matches by any means. Another key is that nothing was filler. Money in the Bank and Payback had too much filler. Every match had people invested in it due to the build and nearly all of them delivered. Plus, the image of Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion is awesome and I can't wait to see where it leads.