In most years, you can count on SummerSlam to follow much the same pattern as WrestleMania. Some feuds will wrap up, others will continue, but regardless of the particulars, plenty of fan favorites will win to ensure the fans all go home happy.
Not so much for SummerSlam 2014. While Dolph Ziggler started Sunday night off with an Intercontinental Championship victory, heels ruled the vast majority of the show. It wasn’t until the penultimate match on the card that another face had his or her hand raised in victory, and while the main event certainly couldn’t be defined in the usual black and white terms when it came to the rooting interests of the fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it’s hard to remember a time when a nominal face champion was manhandled in quite the same fashion.
WWE Heavyweight John Cena and Brock Lesnar charged right at each other to begin their heavily hyped encounter, and Lesnar hit a very early F-5 to get a near fall. Lesnar taunted Cena before hurling him with a release German suplex as loud dueling chants rained down from the stands
Another release German suplex dumped Cena on his head, and it was all Brock to that point. Lesnar buried his knee in Cena’s side and glared at him again. A vertical suplex was next, and though Cena rushed to his feet to back Lesnar into a corner, though that only worked for a moment.
Brock cranked the neck while Charles Robinson checked in on the champ.Cena tried another blind rush, but Lesnar was able to use a knee to the gut to drop him back down. Lesnar stomped on Cena’s hand and threw him with four more release German suplexes. Cena looked woozy, and two more German suplexes didn’t help.
Cena finally rallied with a series of running forearm shots, and he countered an F-5 with an Attitude Adjustment for a near fall. Lesnar laughed as he rose again, and Cena looked discouraged as Brock bounced around. He used a double leg takedown to take Cena to the mat, raining down punches and hammer fists while Paul Heyman urged Robinson to call it off.
Lesnar launched into a series of rolling German suplexes, then another just for good measure. Somehow, Cena got the STF applied, but it turned out to be his last gasp — Lesnar got himself free, hit an F-5 and left Cena’s vow to leave SummerSlam with the belts still around his waist looking hollow indeed.
Needless to say, Seth Rollins wasn’t rushing to the ring to cash in his Money in the Bank contract after that performance.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Night of Champions on September 21st.
We’ve been doing this for a while now, but we’ll review for any newcomers: Dale’s comments are in italics, Nick’s are in plain type. It’s a seniority thing.
Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam – SummerSlam Pre-Show
Remember five months ago when Cesaro looked like he was going to be a main eventer? Now, he’s wrestling pre-show matches. RVD fights off multiple European uppercuts, even taking one leaping off the top rope. RVD kicks out of a pin and goes up top again. This time he hits the Five Star Frog Splash to get the cover.
Winner … Rob Van Dam
Recent birthday boy Hulk Hogan comes out to kick off what I used to call the pay-per-view portion of the event. He slightly botches his first line, but he recovers nicely to get the important stuff in. Namely, that the WWE Network is only $9.99 a month. It’s possibly worth noting that since we’re watching the show, most of us are already subscribers.
Dolph Ziggler wins the Intercontinental title. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
The Miz (Champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Challenger) – WWE Intercontinental Title Match
The Miz tells the fans at the Staples Center how fortunate they are to be in the presence of a real live, non-CGI movie star. If one shows up, please let us know. Bazinga! Miz recovers from a slow start and nails Dolph with a big boot and a move of the top rope. Ziggler uses a pair of jumping clotheslines and a leap into the corner to get a near fall. Both finishers are countered, but Dolph’s superkick gets another very close call. Miz tries getting his belt and going home, but Ziggler soon regrets retrieving him when he ends up in the Figure Four for an extended period. Miz hits the Skull-Crushing Finale, then looks incredulous as Ziggler kicks out. Dolph follows up quickly, ducking a big boot and connecting with the Zig Zag, and it’s enough to get the pin and give us a new IC champion.
Winner … and NEW Intercontinental Champion … Dolph Ziggler at 7 minutes and 57 seconds
Match Rating: 7/10
Tom Phillips asks Brie Bella about how her week has been. Brie says she reflected on how Stephanie treated her husband and sister while she was in jail waiting to be released.
Paige screams with joy after regaining the Divas title. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
AJ Lee (Champion) vs. Paige (Challenger) – WWE Diva’s Title match
AJ wants to shake before the match, but AJ isn’t suckered in. Paige rolls out of the ring with a piece of AJ’s hair. AJ follows, but gets dropped onto the security barrier for her trouble. Paige hits the floor after getting knocked off the top turnbuckle and then AJ follows with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Paige counters the Black Widow into the Ram-Paige DDT and covers for the win.
Winner … and NEW WWE Diva’s Champion … Paige at 4 minutes and 55 seconds
Match Rating: 5/10
After the match, Paige gives a still woozy AJ a hug and a kiss, telling her she loves her.
It’s true love — in the platonic and psychotic sense, that is.
Lana and Rusev stand over the beaten Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
Rusev w/ Lana vs. Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter – Flag Match
Not sure why this is a Flag Match when there are no special rules, but whatever. The match doesn’t even have time to get started before these two foes come to blows and Rusev ends up in the Patriot Lock. The ref finally gets order restored, and even on a bad wheel, Rusev manages to gradually take control of the match. A belly-to-belly suplex buys Swagger a breather, and the fans get behind him as he hits the Swagger Bomb. Rusev kicks out, and Jack’s already injured ribs can’t be feeling much better. Rusev lands kicks to the torso and face, but his ankle is too hurt to apply the Accolade. He tries it on one knee, and we’re led to believe it’s not as effective this way. Swagger switches it around and gets the Patriot Lock applied, and while Rusev can’t reach the ropes, he does eventually manage to kick his way out. Rusev gets the Accolade locked in properly this time, fighting through the pain. Jack won’t tap out, but he does pass out, and when Zeb Colter goes to check on Swagger, he gets knocked silly with a kick.
Winner … Rusev at 9 minutes and 1 second
Match Rating: 8/10
Dean Ambrose versus Seth Rollins was a brawl from the opening bell. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]om.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins – Lumberjack Match
Ambrose punches Rollins into the corner and then tosses him across the ring.Rollins tries to escape, but the lumberjacks do their jobs. Ambrose gets tossed out of the ring but is able to fight off Bo Dallas and Fandango. Ambrose almost gets caught on the apron, but he is able to suplex Rollins over the ropes and onto a group of heel lumberjacks. Ambrose is then able to slam Rollins over the security barrier. Ambrose fights off the lumberjacks to dive onto Rollins with a leap from the announce tables. The lumberjacks fail miserably as Rollins and Ambrose fight into the stands. Corporate Kane runs down and yells at the lumberjacks to go get Rollins and Ambrose. Rollins has something bad in mind in the stands when Bo Dallas and crew grab Ambrose and escort him back to the ring. Rollins is untouched and takes off to the back. He is cut off by The Usos, Big E, and the faces. They carry Rollins to the ring, only for Ambrose to fly over the ropes to take out everyone. Back in the ring, Rollins counters Dirty Deeds, but Ambrose answers with a hard clothesline. Ambrose follows with Rollins’ own Curb Stomp. He goes for the pin when Kane jumps in to break it up. Goldust gets in Kane’s face, and everyone pours into the ring. Ambrose avoids Harper and Rowan only to catch the Money in the Bank briefcase in the face from Rollins. Seth covers to get the win.
Winner … Seth Rollins at 10 minutes and 55 seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
Post-match, Bray Wyatt shares some wisdom. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
Jericho is flying around early on, but he takes a tough tumble to the floor and gets his head smashed into the steel steps by an onrushing Wyatt. Bray conducts some singing from the fans before continuing his assault. Jericho finds himself grounded and has to fight his way back to his feet, but Wyatt’s running senton has Y2J back in trouble again. Wyatt goes for a charge into the corner, but Jericho greets him with a dropkick for a two count. The next near fall goes to Wyatt, but he soon ends up in the Walls of Jericho and has to crawl to the ropes to break the hold. Both men end up on the apron, where Wyatt delivers a bit of a DDT to get another two count. Eventually Wyatt’s spider walk creeps Jericho out so much that it stops him from attacking, but it’s not enough to stop a Codebreaker. Wyatt barely manages to kick out at two, and he greets Chris out on the floor with a Sister Abigail into the retaining wall. Another one follows in the ring, and that’s all she wrote.
Winner … Bray Wyatt at 12 minutes and 53 seconds
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Hard to believe, but yes, Triple H was involved in Stephanie McMahon’s victory over Brie Bella — as was Nikka Bella. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella
Steph comes out on the offensive, and when Brie tries diving out to the floor, McMahon is waiting to clobber her coming through the ropes. A DDT follows back in the ring, but Bella kicks out at two. I’m not sure the “You’ve still got it” chant is appropriate here, as it implies Stephanie “had it” at some previous time. A Thesz press (sort of) gets Brie some momentum, and she unleashes a flurry of kicks in the corner. Bella’s missile dropkick finds the mark, but it’s not enough to keep the boss down for three. Triple H comes down the ramp and hops up on the apron, in perfect position to pull the ref out of the ring while Steph is trapped in the Yes Lock. Brie slides and knocks Hunter down with a kick, and now Steph is stuck between two Bellas … or is she? Nikki turns and knocks down Brie, and Stephanie’s Pedigree is enough to seal the deal for the on-screen head of the WWE. I feel a bit sheepish that I didn’t see that turn coming.
Winner … Stephanie McMahon at 11 minutes and 6 seconds
Match Rating: 7/10
Randy Orton appears more than a little miffed after losing to Roman Reigns. Photo by R.P. Strickland, [email protected]
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns takes the fight to Orton right at the sound of the bell. A clothesline sends Orton to the floor and then smashes his face off the security barrier. Back in the ring, Orton takes Reigns to the mat, going to work on his ankles. Orton takes Reigns to the top rope and delivers a massive superplex from the top turnbuckle. Reigns uses a reverse chin lock that turns into a sleeper hold. Orton counters and breaks the hold with a side slam. Reigns decks Orton, who falls into the ropes, and the former Shield strongman goes outside to deliver the dropkick on the apron. Orton doesn’t stay down, driving Reigns into the ring post and then slamming him on the announce table.
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of WWE SummerSlam?
It was great – 24% It was okay – 25%
Didn’t like it – 15% Didn’t see it – 36%
One of the announce tables, you mean!
Back in the ring, Orton gets caught in the corner, and Reigns delivers a Samoan drop from the middle turnbuckle. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch and connects, but Orton counters the spear into a scoop power slam. Orton follows with the elevated DDT. Reigns counters the RKO, but Orton then counters another Superman Punch with an RKO. Reigns is able to kick out of the pin, though. Orton goes for the punt, but Reigns is able to counter with a leg sweep and then pops up to nail Orton with the spear. Reigns covers to get the win.
Winner … Roman Reigns at 16 minutes and 30 seconds
Match Rating: 7/10
John Cena (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar (Challenger) – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Winner … and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion ..Brock Lesnar at 16 minutes and 14 seconds
Match Rating: 6/10
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 54 minutes
Event Rating: 7/10