August 18, 2014 by Joey Keogh
The hottest show of the year is finally upon us, and what better way to kick it off than with an “experts panel” comprising of the legendary Booker T, a strangely sober Ric Flair, WWE journo Renee Young and that man who is still employed for some unknown reason but has yet to add anything of value, Alex Riley. The main purpose of this panel is to waste time by discussing everyone’s picks for tonight. Booker is stoked for the main event, Flair wants to see Orton define himself as one to watch finally, and Riley is celeb-spotting. Sadly, this whole business lasts twenty minutes and the rather good match between Cesaro and Rob Van Dam is given a slight eight minutes of airtime. Go figure.
Rob Van Dam -v- Cesaro
Cole reckons this match is going to “whet your appetite” for the main show, while King manages to impress precisely nobody by rhyming “Summerslam” with “Rob Van Dam“. Speaking of RVD, he has a nip slip for the entire match that almost distracts from his hideous singlet. Almost. It kicks off well, only to be interrupted by a very weird Cena/Lesnar promo that’s all monotone with red highlights, a bit like Sin City only if it were made in Movie Maker. When we return, Cesaro has RVD in a headlock and is dragging him around the ring. There’s then a cool moonsault from Van Dam, which is more impressive than it ought to be just because he looks totally winded and exhausted throughout. Then, poised on the top rope for a Splash, Cesaro delivers a rough uppercut to counter but RVD recovers soon after to deliver the 5-Star Frog Splash, which Cesaro counters with another uppercut. He tries for the Neutraliser, but RVD counters again before delivering a boot to the face and clambering to the top rope to deliver the 5-Star Frog Splash to win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Before the main show can get started, Hulk Hogan emerges from whatever dive bar he’s been haunting to shill the Network to us, brother. A lone child is very excited by this, meaning his parents have utterly, utterly failed him.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz -v- Dolph Ziggler
How sad that Ziggler has been chosen to jerk the curtain tonight. But, then again, at least we know the show is guaranteed to start in style. Speaking of which, tonight Miz has shown up as a sexy ghost, meaning he’s dressed in a torn sheet, draped precariously over his left nipple, with everything else on show. He lands the first blow, but Ziggler rolls him up early on for the first of many near falls, in an explosive match that is loaded with cool spots. Miz spends much of it running off, like a coward, but Ziggler tackles him outside the ring until he’s forced to face up to him – not literally, of course, since he’s protecting his “moneymaker” throughout. As is to be expected, the crowd are 100% behind Ziggler, and rightly so – the man is wrestling like his life depends on it. He’s selling remarkably well tonight, even by his standards, full-on sprinting into the turnbuckle at one point before falling back in agony. Miz tries to leg it with the belt, before being dragged back in and attempting to put Ziggler in the Figure-4, out of which he swiftly kicks. Miz goes for it again, and Ziggler really sells it as he slowly reaches for the ropes, letting the crowd flip the shit as it seems it’s all over for him before he finally makes it, and flips over to unleash the Fame Asser. Miz blocks it, administers the still-stupid Skullcrushing Finale, leading to another near fall. Finally, mustering strength out of nowhere, Ziggler utilises the Zig Zag to win the title in spectacular fashion and everyone goes nuts.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (new champ)
Divas Championship Match: AJ Lee -v- Paige
Rumours are swirling around this morning that AJ Lee may be done with WWE, and if this was indeed her last match, at least it’ll stand to her as one of her best. Paige emerges first, sporting new ring gear and skipping along to piss her “frenemy” off. She goes to shake hands but AJ bites her, setting off a rough and exciting bout that doesn’t last nearly as long as it should – but hey, these are Divas so who cares if they can wrestle better than any other female on the current roster? AJ chucks Paige shoulder-first into the barricade, before Paige drags her into a headlock and strokes her hair lovingly. AJ then leaps from the top rope to tackle her opponent on the ground, the two trade kicks for a bit and Paige crawls up AJ so slowly it’s a wonder the entire arena doesn’t simultaneously get up to take a toilet break. AJ goes for the Black Widow, but Paige counters with an awesome DDT to win.
Winner: Paige (new champ)
Flag Match: Rusev -v- Jack Swagger
What’s a flag match, anyway? Are these two just going to wave their flags around in the ring for a bit while people cheer? The fact that Lana is given about three fucking minutes to talk before they start makes the short length of the previous match sting a whole lot more. Flags are indeed waved for a bit, before Swagger utilises a classic heel move, in spite of apparently being a face, by attacking Rusev before the bell has even rung. He puts him in the Patriot Lock, but Rusev manages to wriggle out. There’s a great boot to the jaw by Swagger, followed up by a Swagger Bomb, leading to the first near fall of a decidedly dull match – let’s face it, we all knew this was going to be the low point of the night, so at the very least we should be grateful it’s over with sooner rather than later. Nobody seems to be watching the flags while the two are fighting. Rusev focuses on Swagger’s injured ribs throughout, while Lana barks orders from ringside. He puts Swagger in a “modified” Accolade, due to hurting his foot or some shit – er, maybe he should wear boots in the ring? – but Swagger counters and goes for the Patriot Lock. “Rusev‘s gonna tap!” Cole screams over and over, like an over-excited child. Of course, he doesn’t, because he’s Rusev, so he fights back with a flurry of punches and kicks before utilising a Big Splash and finally putting Swagger in the Accolade, thus rendering him unconscious. Upon winning, he tackles Zeb Colter for no apparent reason.
Lumberjack Match: Seth Rollins -v- Dean Ambrose
When it was first revealed that this was going to be a lumberjack match, we collectively rolled our eyes, but funnily enough the employment of a group of totally shit lumberjacks – one of whom is Sandow, dressed quite literally as a lumberjack – ends up being really good fun, in what is undoubtedly the match of the night. To start with, some poor little girl is very upset by Rollins, possibly because his entrance music sounds like a failed audition for a really rubbish metalcore band. JBL calls Ambrose a “nutcase” as he enters, which is not nearly as adorable as calling him “crackers” but is still food-related, so will do for now. Once they’ve reached the ring, and are surrounded by a mixture of jobbers and mid-card dudes, the two lay into each other immediately. King is right for once, it’s a total slugfest. A vicious elbow from Ambrose momentarily disables Rollins, as he leaps out to tackle some jobbers. He flips Rollins over, and into the lumberjacks, and then through the announce table, startling the German commentators who are all like “oh mein Gott!” except not really because they’re not stereotypes, in spite of what Twitter would have us believe. Rollins is flipped over the barricade, Ambrose is forced back into the ring, he leaps out to tackle all of the lumberjacks again, and then follows his opponent into the crowd, as Rollins tries desperately to escape. The two brawl on a staircase, to the delight of everyone who rightfully assumed their seats were shit. Corporate Kane shows up to tell the lumberjacks off for standing around doing nothing, instead of stopping them from fighting outside the ring. Aside from Heath Slater, who is delighted to be involved, nobody else really seems to give a shit about the match, truth be told. Ambrose teases throwing Rollins off a balcony, but the lumberjacks stop him just in time. Rollins tries to run away up the ramp, but the lumberjacks catch him and carry him back to the ring as one, mosh-pit style. Ambrose waits for his moment and then leaps from the top rope to tackle them all simultaneously once again, knocking them over like dominoes. Once Rollins is settled in the ring again, Ambrose cocks a finger-gun behind his head before going for the Dirty Deeds, which Rollins counters with a clothesline, leading to a near fall. Ambrose then uses Rollins’ own move against him by curbstomping him into submission. Kane intervenes as the lumberjacks flood the ring, while Ambrose wipes his face with Cesaro‘s towel. He disposes of Harper and Rowan, before Rollins hits him from behind with the briefcase to win.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Chris Jericho -v- Bray Wyatt
Wyatt enters the ring wearing his Leatherface-esque apron, which is always a welcome addition to his ring attire, while Jericho is sporting a new jacket and salt and pepper beard. A cool Splash from the top rope by Jericho kicks things off, as a “Go Back To Toronto, Jericho” sign reveals itself in the crowd – possibly a reference to when Jericho admonished a holder of an identical sign with a simple “I’m from Winnipeg, idiot”. Wyatt drags his opponent to the barricade and lays into him, before trapping him at the turnbuckle and delivering a flurry of uppercuts. He’s really working the camera with the crazy eyes tonight, while Jericho focuses on putting him the hell over. Wyatt grabs Jericho in a headlock, but he powers out. Wyatt is going absolutely mental on him, but Jericho is giving the best he can, especially considering the outcome is pretty obvious. He goes for the Sister Abigail, but Jericho counters by rolling him up, leading to a near fall. He attempts the Walls, but Wyatt utilises a stunning DDT off the apron. He then takes the top rope, but Jericho turns it into a Frankensteiner – the spot of the match, for sure – leading to a near fall. A codebreaker looks set to win it for Jericho, but Wyatt does his weird crab walk thing and then finally utilises the Sister Abigail to win.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Divas Match: Brie Bella -v- Stephanie Mc Mahon
It’s shocking that this match ended up as exciting a prospect as it did, but there was always an assumption that it wouldn’t deliver because it seemed so, well, silly. Thankfully, though, Brie isn’t allowed to talk and Steph is dressed like Rollins’ evil lady twin so it’s already good fun, even before anything happens. To start off, Steph grabs Brie in a headlock at the turnbuckle, before Brie utilises two arm-drags on her, followed by an elbow. Steph focuses on Brie’s shoulder in the corner and gets a “Yes” chant going. Suffice to say, the boss lady is beating the absolute shit out of Brie, as expected, but she tries to fight back with a few boots to the face that look about as impressive as a tiny infant hitting a bodybuilder. This is Steph’s match, and she kills it throughout. Everything Brie does looks embarrassingly weak, but Steph sells it like a pro. A dropkick from the top rope by Brie leads to a near fall, as suddenly Trips and Nikki’s boobs show up to intervene. Steph goes for the Pedigree, but Brie counters with a rubbish-looking excuse for a Yes-Lock. Brie then kicks Trips in the face, as a “Yes” chant ensues once more. Suddenly, Nikki enters the ring and Steph cowers on the floor, cornered by the two Bellas. And then, just when it looks like it’s all over, Nikki tackles her sister, helps Steph up and the boss lady delivers the Pedigree to win. Nikki then takes her place next to Proud Papa Trips as her sister lies motionless in the ring.
Winner: Stephanie Mc Mahon
Randy Orton -v- Roman Reigns
Orton kicks off with the pose, while Reigns struggles to get over the barricade gracefully, as always, before the two lay into each other, Reigns hungry for a shot at being champ and Orton pissed he stole his chance from him. Reigns clotheslines Orton over the ropes early on, before chucking him into the barricade. Orton responds in kind by throwing Reigns into the steps. Once back in the ring, Orton curbstomps Reigns’s hands and ankles, before grabbing him in a headlock. Reigns powers out, punches Orton and then administers the Samoan Drop. Reigns is then thrown into the announce table, but recovers to line up for a Superplex, which Orton counters with a headbutt. Orton tries for a Superplex, but Reigns counters with a Samoan Drop. Reigns goes for a Spear, but Orton counters with a Powerslam, followed up by a DDT from the second rope and an RKO, leading to a near fall. One dude is motioning desperately for Reigns to get up, before booing. Luckily, he does wake up and Spears Orton to win.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Main Event: John Cena -v- Brock Lesnar
In spite of the fact that this angle seemed like nothing new, it has been sold rather well to us and, although there were those who assumed Cena would still emerge victorious somehow, most remained safe in the knowledge that Lesnar would beat the absolute shit out of him and win. What was perhaps most shocking about the match is that he did exactly that. Before it kicks off, we get a nice little replay of the last time the two fought. Lesnar talks about blood but no blood is actually shown because we have to think of the children. Lesnar sets things off immediately with an F5 within the first minute, as Heyman watches gleefully from ringside. “He’ll kill you” he says, happily. What happens next will go down in history as one of the coolest/weirdest/roughest moments in recent WWE history, as Lesnar utilises a seemingly endless amount of German Suplexes on Cena, each one looking more capable of breaking his neck than the last. It literally happens over and over and over for about ten minutes, until Lesnar is red-chested and drenched in sweat. Cena, to his credit, takes it like the champ he is but even he knows that, in spite of a comeback during which he utilises an elbow and an AA, he’s never winning this and he seems to be completely exhausted. More crazy German Suplexes follow – apparently, those watching the feed from that country noted the German announce table were loving it – and Cena manages to land a desperate STF, but Lesnar powers out effortlessly to resume beating the absolute shit out of him. Finally, there’s an F5 to win and the camera quickly pans to catch the two adults and a child who are (somewhat) shocked by this win. Cena lays motionless in the ring as paramedics check on him, while Lesnar and Heyman celebrate just a few metres away.
Winner: Brock Lesnar (new champ)
It was a hell of an end to a killer PPV, one stuffed full of surprises, great spots and awe-inspiring fighting. The highlights of the show were definitely Rollins/Ambrose, Ziggler’s win, the two Divas matches (shockingly), Wyatt’s triumph and the brilliantly brutal Main Event, with just a couple of low points in the form of the Rusev non-match and the Orton/Reigns bout that, let’s face it, we’ve seen a million times before.
As hard as it is to believe, all three titles changed hands tonight, which means this is the start of a new era for WWE. We have three new champions, two of whom are heels, while Bray Wyatt‘s win over the legendary Jericho puts him over as one of the top bad guys on the current roster. The Nikki Bella heel turn was great, too, adding one more person to The Authority, while Cena’s devastating loss to Lesnar may hint at him finally having enough and turning to the dark side.
We laughed when Trips described this as one of the best Summerslam cards in years, but it turned out to be just that, maybe even more so considering the Main Event won’t be forgotten any time soon. Who knows how Raw is going to recover from it tonight, but one thing’s for sure – it’s anyone’s game now.
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