WWE SummerSlam 2015 HITS:
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins – Although it feels like we’ve seen these two in the ring a lot together over the past several months, they always manage to come up with a fresh feeling match, full of plenty of action and great near-falls. Was the Jon Stewart involvement a little bit messy? Sure. He should have stayed facing Seth Rollins the entire time, and turned on John Cena at the last minute, as opposed to teasing hitting Cena a few times before he actually did it. And hopefully we get some kind of an explanation to his involvement tonight on RAW, otherwise it was really out of the blue. However, when speaking strictly of the match itself, it was the match I most enjoyed, and my hats off to the two top dogs in WWE turning in another memorable performance.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar – The Undertaker showed up for a fight, and although he was visibly out of gas half way through the match, turned in a much more athletic performance against Brock Lesnar than their WrestleMania match from 16 months ago. While newsworthy for the demise of the Streak, their WrestleMania match wasn’t exactly a barn burner when looking back at it. This was much, much better. Another wonky finish in this one, however I love the creativity. I think, with a better camera angle, this would have translated better on TV, so no fault to the wrestlers, or creative for coming up with it. It’s actually a really great idea, it just came across a bit sloppy on TV. However, this was a fun match, which was highlighted by a great visual of Brock Lesnar laughing at the Undertaker, and Undertaker sitting up and giving Brock the best looking maniacal laugh in the history of professional wrestling. Ever. Period.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro – Given the unenviable task of following Cena/Rollins, this match delivered on every possible level as well. Lets talk about Cesaro for a moment. Since debuting with WWE, he’s been given very little to actually sink his teeth into. Whether he was speaking 5 languages, or yodeling, there wasn’t much on the character side of things to either cheer, or boo. But, as he continued to build his body of work, fans started to take notice. Last night was an incredible example of the fans being passionate about the performer, and not necessarily the character. Can you tell me what Cesaro’s character is? If you have to think about that for more than a couple of seconds, you’ll start to understand my point. However, look at the hero’s welcome the WWE Universe gave him last night. And then we have Kevin Owens. A year ago, when he signed with WWE, I was shocked. There were plenty of other times Kevin Steen had been on WWE’s radar, but his weight and/or his attitude was usually the reason given as to why he wasn’t signed. I won’t lie. When he was signed, I assumed it was to get him away from Ring of Honor/Evolve/Dragon’s Gate, and used as a utility guy in NXT to put over whoever WWE’s new chosen one was. His rocketship to stardom has shocked EVERYBODY. Don’t misunderstand that. Kevin Owens deserves every bit of the success he has found. I just truly believed he would struggle in a WWE environment. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And when you put two passionate performers who have a chip on their shoulder in the ring, and give them some time, you get a result like this; a knockdown, drag out, hard hitting classic that both men should really be proud of. I hope both move on to bigger and better things, using the momentum both gained by being in front of such a passionate crowd for them.
Stephen Amell – A good performance by Stephen Amell, who I came into SummerSlam not knowing anything about. He looked pretty good for a guy who likely had very limited ring experience coming in, and spent a good portion of the match in the ring. The match itself was just okay, but Stephen Amell’s involvement was a definite plus (which cannot always be said of all celebrity involvement).
WWE Network – An excellent stream, yet again. I’ve actually mostly forgotten about a time where streaming difficulties were an issue. During any one of the “big 4”, though, I still get a little bit nervous. WWE and MLB Networks hit another homerun (so to speak), last night, presenting SummerSlam without any major difficulties. My stream crashed just before the divas match, but was back within 30 seconds. That could have very well been a case of my own internet connection, as opposed to a WWE issue. Regardless, for $10 a month, WWE Network continues to be the steal of the century.
WWE SummerSlam 2015 MISSES:
None: Overall, a very good show. It was impossible to follow up on the incredible card on Saturday night from NXT, in the same building, however WWE presented their usual top-notch production for the biggest event of the summer. There were a few matches that were “just there” (namely Rusev vs. Ziggler and Sheamus vs. Randy Orton), but they were good enough to stay out of the misses column. The rest of the show turned out to either be very entertaining, or at the very least newsworthy. The divas match started slow, but bordered on excellent down the stretch. The multi-man tag team championship match was a fun car crash, too. Go out of your way to catch a replay of this event, if you get the chance.