Monday, August 18, 2014

Summerslam Recap


Wow.....a whole lot of unexpected results at Summerslam this year.  Three new champions, a shocking heel turn, and mayhem all around.  What's my take on the night's events?  Glad you asked.  Here we go:

Intercontinental Title Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (champion) -Excellent opener for the show.  Both guys went for all their signature stuff, and Miz worked the whole not wanting to get hit in the face angle very well.  I was surprised by the finish which saw Ziggler get a clean pin to become the new champion; I figured Miz would get a little longer with the belt. But I don't any problem with the way it was booked.  This match was the right way to open a pay per view event.

Diva's Title Match: AJ Lee vs Paige - I picked Paige to win the title beforehand, but after the Ziggler win I thought they'd go the other way.  I was wrong, as Paige did indeed win the title.  They gave the ladies a good bit of time to work, and both AJ and Paige are good enough in the ring.  The match was decent, and the actual finish was kind of abrupt for my tastes as Paige countered AJ's Black Widow into a simple DDT for the win.  If they go for another match at Night of Champions, they'll need to add some kind of stipulations (2 out of 3 falls would be my pick) in order to avoid any sense of redundancy.  They should wrap this up, but none of the other Divas currently has the kind of public stature to look like a plausible champion compared to either of these ladies, except maybe Natalya.

Flag Match: Rusev vs. Jack Swagger - I apologize for not knowing the rules here.  I didn't know this was a straight up match where the winner got his flag raised as opposed to a capture the flag kind of thing.  I would have picked Rusev had I know that, but I'll live with my prediction.  Rusev won a match that, like his other pay per view contests, have gone well because they stuck with the action and didn't go too long.  He's not a five minute squasher like Ryback was two years ago, and he has looked vulnerable.  In fact, this time he looked almost too vulnerable.  He's going to need to put a decisive finish on somebody important soon (anybody but Chris Jericho, please) if he's going to be a plausible main eventer next year.

Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins - We got our actual match, and Seth Rollins got the win as I called.  The match was better than I thought it would be; lumberjack matches are usually messy and more about the guys outside the ring than the ones in it.  Ambrose and Rollins brawled into the crowd several times and the lumberjacks went there with them.  The finish was your typical lumberjack ending; all the men outside end up brawling leading to a confusing scene that allowed Roillins to get in a shot with his Money in the Bank briefcase for the victory.

Grudge Match: Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella - The first big shocker of the night.  I figured we'd get a better than expected performance from Stephanie on her way to the usual McMahon defeat on a big show.  Boy, was I wrong.  Stephanie did fine, and Brie did better than usual in the ring.  Triple H got involved, and so did Brie's sister Nikki in a shocking heel turn on her own sister.  Stephanie got the win after the interference, and I'm sure this will all be explained on Monday Night Raw.

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt -A better match than the one last month, and the finish was a lot cleaner than I was thinking it would be.  Kudos to the bookers for playing it straight and not using Rowan and Harper's mandated absence as a reason to introduce some other strange kind of shenanigans.  I'm guessing we get the rubber match next month to send off Jericho off until next year.

Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton -The forgone conclusion match of the night.  I thought Reigns did what he needed to do.  He sold Orton's stuff pretty well, which puts him ahead of the Kevin Nash and Ryback's of the world.  That there is half the battle.  I think the concerns about his repertoire are a bit overblown. He doesn't blow spots like say, Goldberg, he just doesn't do a lot of moves in his televised matches.  If he did some more basic stuff in between the stuff he's known for I think he'd be fine.  Orton did defy what I said in my preview and elevate the match with his performance.  He came to work last night and it showed.

Main Event: Cena vs Lesnar -OK, my Seth Rollins cash-in turned out to be way off base.  Instead we got a thorough beating and decimation by Lesnar to claim the title.  Cena fought back a few times, but he got whooped real good.  Anyone who says that Cena does not put people over, or only does it in such a way that the other guys doesn't look very good, needs to either stand down or start wearing a 'Cena Hater for No Good Reason' t-shirt in public.  Period.  That's two Summerslams in a row he has lost the title cleanly; either acknowledge that or go have several seats right now.

Prediction-wise I went a right down the middle 4-4.  I got Paige, Rollins, Reigns, and Wyatt but missed on Ziggler, Rusev, Stephanie, and Lesnar.

So where do we go from here?  Well, Lesnar is a part timer.  I really don't see how they're going to keep the belt on him all the way to WrestleMania given his schedule but it would make the most sense from a booking standpoint.  Having him drop it before then makes this win less relevant.  Lesnar should be a dominant champ so that his eventual defeat has some relevance.  If it's going to be Roman Reigns that gets crowned, then that has to happen at WrestleMania so he can get more matches under his belt.  Brock is going to at least need to show up more often than he currently does.  We'll see; it should be fun.

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