Monday, August 24, 2015

SummerSlam 2015 Review

With SummerSlam being four hours long, everything made the actual main card. The show opened with Sheamus vs. Randy Orton, just like Battleground did last year. I made the "oil and water" comparison between these two but they surprised me with a strong showing last month. Tonight, they were back to their usual disappointing performance. The match wasn't awful but basically, like two minutes in, I was ready for it to end. It's just hard to care about their matches, especially when they fail to deliver. Orton hit a pretty great RKO but Sheamus rolled out of the ring to avoid the pin. That honestly would have been a good finish. Instead, it ended with Sheamus hitting two Brogue Kicks after 12 minutes. I like that the MITB holder won clean, but it all felt very mediocre. **1/2

There is honestly no act in the WWE more entertaining right now than the New Day. Similar to Bayley at TakeOver, they wore white and gold. Kofi Kingston sung before the match, which was excellent. The match itself was a clusterfuck but dammit, it was absolutely fun. Xavier Woods had me in stitches with his ringside antics. There were a lot of big spots here, like Big E splashing Darren Young on the apron, Woods nearly killing Torito and Titus O'Neil taking out everyone. Granted, there were some botches like Sin Cara's dive outside being met with a dropkick. Still though, New Day stole the pin after about 11 and a half minutes. Their celebration was the stuff of legend. They are absolutely the right choice to have the belts again because there is no tag team more over right now than them. While the build up to the match was lackluster and lazy, the match itself was enjoyable and I had a good time, which is all I can ask for. ***1/4

Up next, Rusev took on Dolph Ziggler and Rusev was sporting a new jacket for the show. As expected, the match they worked was decent. Both guys are usually solid in the ring and that was the case here. However, it was hard to get into any of it because you just knew that Lana and Summer Rae had to get involved. Any false finish before that just couldn't be bought. Lana and Summer got into it outside and Ziggler superkicked Rusev onto the announce table. This led to a dumb double countout finish after 12 minutes. After the match, Rusev and Ziggler fought, leading to Summer and Lana fighting, meaning the feud continues. This was bad booking. Rusev should have won here and then, Ziggler and Lana could win the eventual mixed tag where Lana would pin Summer. Lana stays over, the faces win out and Rusev never has to lose while looking strong. The finish hurts the score here. **1/2

The team of King Barrett and Stardust took on the Red Arrow, Neville and the Green Arrow, Stephen Amell. Amell wore the green hoodie, but wrestled in basketball shorts, stealing Kevin Owen's look. Amell showed off some impressive athleticism throughout, but they built to the hot tag to Neville, which caused Amell to have to sell. He wasn't very good at that. Still, he did well and looked like he was having a good time. He dove from the top onto his opponents before Neville scored the win with the Red Arrow. This would go for just under 8 minutes and did what I expected it to. Neville and Stardust looked good, Amell showed off his athleticism and Barrett ate the pin. This was fine for what it was. **1/4

Due to Ryback's staph infection, his match against Show and Miz didn't happen last month. Honestly, that should have been a sign that this match didn't need to take place. Alas, it does now. They seemed to try and start the match at a fast pace, which I appreciated, but it's not what works for them. Ryback kind of hit the Shell Shock on Big Show, which is always rather impressive. However, I didn't like the finish. Show knocked out Miz and then Ryback just took him out and pinned Miz. That steal the finish ending is their go to finish in multi-man matches and it's overdone. It works even less when your giant face champion does it. He should have looked rather dominant and this probably means we get another Show/Ryback match. **

It was time for diet war as the remnants of the Shield took on the remnants of the Wyatt Family. They hyped this as a war and they did their best to sell that. It started hot and pretty much never slowed down. There were bodies flying everywhere, it was chaotic and entertaining. That's basically what this needed to be. It clearly wasn't on the level of the original Shield/Wyatts match last year, but I enjoyed it. Reigns was taken out early and got "Roman's Sleeping" chants. He eventually got the hot tag and was booed. I mean, he got booed, but I don't understand it anymore. He's not being shoved down our throats as much anymore and the guy has been delivering on most Pay-Per-Views. I'm still not someone who goes out my way to root for him, but I'm also not gonna boo him. Anyway, he spears Bray Wyatt to win after 11 minutes. Pinning Bray made sense if this was the end, but Michael Cole made sure to tell us that this wasn't over. Eh, it was a good brawl and probably the best thing so far. ***1/4

Surprisingly, the big Title for Title match between Seth Rollins & John Cena went on now. Due to Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker, I knew this wouldn't headline but didn't expect it here. It seemed like Seth was trying his best to steal the show, going out of his way to bust out the big moves. A diving double stomp in the corner, three suicide dives in a row, a superplex rolled into a falcon arrow and things like that. I've seen some people say this was MOTY level but it never reached that for me. I was ready to give it about four stars, but then the finish came. We got a ref bump and Jon Stewart, the host of SummerSlam, ran out with a chair. He telegraphed what he was going to do badly. He debated between both guys before finally hitting Cena with the chair. This allowed Seth to hit a Pedigree on the chair and win the United States Title in just under 20 minutes. While I enjoyed the match overall, and it was the best of the night, it wasn't a classic. WWE now has the heel double champion that ROH has, but he didn't do it cleanly. I didn't expect him to, but this Jon Stewart ending was pretty dumb. Still though, Seth is a double champion and I can't be mad about that. ***3/4

The DIVAS REVOLUTION match was on next. Did you know that there is a DIVAS REVOLUTION happening Maggle? Stephanie McMahon started the DIVAS REVOLUTION! With the plugs out of the way, I can discuss the match. They tried early on, bringing out the big dives outside. That part was fine, highlighted by Sasha Banks and Naomi doing somersaults. However, team BAD was gone after six minutes. The woman who stole the entire weekend, Sasha Banks, was nothing in this, working for about 30 seconds. Then, Team Bella bored us with some work before Becky Lynch eventually came in and got the win in 15 minutes. This was another case of "just give the girls time and people will care." It's not just about getting 15 minutes, it's what you do with it. This was nearly the complete opposite of Bayley/Sasha. It just never clicked and was a colossal disappointment. Hopefully, this dumb three team thing is over soon. *3/4

In our next match, Kevin Owens faced Cesaro in a match of two guys that shouldn't lose. That makes things tough but I expected both guys to deliver. That's exactly what they did. I felt like the match was really good, but slightly disappointing. Part of what hurt it is, is that they weren't fighting for anything. The match felt like it was kind of just there. I still say this should have been for the US Title if we had to get Seth vs. Cena on this event. Regardless, they worked well and Owens picked up the win after 14 minutes with the Popup Powerbomb. Again, good match that could have been better with higher stakes. ***1/2

In our main event, Brock Lesnar took on the Undertaker. Brock attacked during Taker's entrance, showing that this was absolutely going to be the fight it needed to be. Brock got busted open and Undertaker took an F5 through the table. The best part about this was Brock laughing only for Taker to sit up and do a HILARIOUS laugh back at him. Show stealing. They bested their poor WrestleMania XXX showing and were on their way to a match that was better than I expected. Then the shit finish came. Brock had Taker in the Kimura and the bell rang. The timekeeper saw Taker tap out but because of Charles Robinson's poor position, he missed it. As they talked about this, Undertaker went to his new finish, the Dick Shot, and then put Brock in the Hell's Gate. Brock flipped him off and passed out, giving Taker the win. I said from the start that this match shouldn't happen, and if it did, Brock should win. Instead, they end the second biggest show of the year with a shoddy finish. ***1/4

Overall, I felt that the show was better than I thought it would be, though that might be because I had some seriously low expectations. Nothing on the show was truly awful to me, but nothing was really great in my eyes. The finishes to Rusev/Ziggler, Brock/Taker and Seth/Cena were not very good and hurt the overall feeling of both matches. I'd say, like most WWE events this year, this was a middle of the pack show. 6/10.