WWE Summerslam 2015
The show starts with Jon Stewart, fresh off leaving the Daily Show, making wrestling is fake jokes while the crowd gives him the WHAT treatment. He then brings out Mick Foley, who claims he only came because he thought he was going to hang out with Rock, because he misheared Jon ask him to be there when he talked to Brock. Foley's teeth came out or something. He explains mishearing Jon on the phone and leaves. Well. That was a big waste of time.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
Orton immediately starts by trying to hit the RKO. Sheamus bails and gets on the mic to berate the fans. This is a never ending feud. They've come back to it every year for five years in a row, and they never produce anything that doesn't bore the live crowds. Some guys just don't have chemistry. That's normal. It's okay to keep them apart. A few minutes in, Sheamus hits a King Kong Knee Drop, which is pretty dope. Sheamus is at his best beating the shit out of internet faves or knocking the shit out of another Euro dude. Not trading chin locks. Enzo Amore chants break out. Not at all a surprise that the crowd isn't into this. Because they're never into Orton/Sheamus matches. This is just not interesting at all. At some point, Orton gets a cut above his eye. I'm not sure how. He might have hit the actual turnbuckle. That's the only thing I could see. Orton did his hanging DDT from the tope rope and caught a shoulder tackle into the RKO. That's really all that happened in this match. Very uninteresting all around. Sheamus won with two Brouge kicks in a row. There wasn't a story at all. It was just trading signature moves in a slower manner than Cena/Owens. With less kick outs.
Draft Kings has a WWE section now? Lol. JAKE WIENER and Joss Gross (Gross Wiener is their tag name) won a contest and got to meet dudes and hang out on the NXT set.
New Day vs Prime Time Players vs Lucha Dragons vs El Matadors WWE Tag Team Championships
It's a New Day! They came correct in that white and gold gear. Clean and fresh. Kofi has Kid Icarus booties on. Today, they're going to give Brooklyn a lesson on hip hop. Oh damn, they're breaking out the pitch pipes. Tune to C. Oh my god. They're singing Empire State of Mind. New Day is amazing. Kofi has a wonderful voice. New Day is just the best. "They're like the Jackson Five, there's just three of them. Crowd doesn't give a shit about anyone who isn't New Day. And New Day try to win by pinning each other. Xavier just talking shit nonstop is so good. Everything about New Day is great. I can't believe that Kofi , after years of doing absolutely nothing, has suddenly become part of the best thing in wrestling. Kalisto gets a bit of a showcase, which he needs a lot more of. No idea why they have him stuck in a tag team going nowhere if they want him to be the next Rey. Big E CRUSHES D-Young on the apron. Let it be known that I was on the Big E train from day one in NXT. Loved it when he'd just run into dudes all the time. This match is 100% about New Day. Let's not even pretend. Big E doing the New Day Rocks clap on Young's body during an abdominal stretch. It's just the best. Triceps meat. You can't even get a hamburger in WWE because Big E only sells triceps meat. "We are putting a hurting on this man in a very interesting and entertaining way right now." Titus gets the hot tag and just REKS everyone. BIG BOOT. He has the best hot tag in the biz. Unsurprisingly, Sin Cara is involved with a missed dive. The mask and gimmick are cursed. This turns into a mess of spots. A messy mess of spots. Kofi blind tagged himself in and got the win. NEW DAY CHAMPS. NEW DAY CHAMPS. New Day literally my favorite thing in wrestling in 2015 by a large margin. I love them so.
TO THE BACK. Jon Stewart and his son are with Neville and Green Arrow, when Undertaker walks by. 2spooky4me.
Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler
Man, this angle was so much better without Ziggler. Lana now wears acid wash denim and has her hair on a pony tail. What have they done to the Lovely Lana? Do people in charge not realize that she got over because of her sexy secretary ice queen look? Now she looks like a generic blonde bimbo, with her mimbo boyfriend. Terrible. And the great and powerful Rusev has to be dragged down to his level. Just sad. I wish Rusev was doing just about anything besides an angle with Dog Ziggler. Long bear hug spot early into the match. Rusev is the over one. They're chanting USA, not anything for Ziggler. Ziggler counters a press slam into a DDT and the match just grinds to a halt. Not that much was happening before this. Most of Ziggler's offense being punches is an awful decision, because he has garbage punches. This match is not good. No story being told here. Which is sad, because Rusev is my next favorite thing next to New Day. He's solid in this, doing cool new moves like a rolling senton, but this match doesn't match the storyline. It should be a heated affair, with focus on Ziggler's neck. Instead, it's bland and the bulk of any of the work is at the expense of Dolph's mid-section. Ziggler survives the Accolade, there is a cat fight, and the match ends in a double count out. A double count out on a PPV in 2015. Which of course means this shit is going to continue for at least one more PPV. Poor Rusev.
Stephen Amell/Neville vs Stardust/King Barrett
This had a pretty cool pre-match video, done in comic book style. I like how WWE has recently added more personalized touches to videos and name plates. Wtf, why isn't Amell in costume as Green Arrow? Come on. It would have been so easy, and inline with the angle of Stardust thinking he really is Green Arrow. Play some mind games, actor man. Come on. He looks bland as shit, too. Straight outta ROH. What's great is that you see him on his show and he looks jacked and all cut up. Then he's standing next to an elf whose head barely reaches the top rope and looks half as big. Arrow flies into the ring, much to the shock of Stardust. He then hits a teep kick. King says that DC big wigs are in the audience to cheer Arrow on. I find that hard to believe. Amell is an athlete and clearly put in a lot of work training. He's pretty decent. No LT or Kevin Greene, though. Amell takes a lot of punishment. Once Neville gets the hot tag, he wins within about 2 minutes, having hit a second rope Phoenix Splash and the Red Arrow, but not before Amell hit a tope. Nothing offensive. Nothing great. As well as you can hope a celebrity match to go. King used it as a platform to drop all of his 60s/70s comic references.
The Tough Enough folks are here again. Then we get a package on all the media hype everyone has done over the week.
Big Show vs Ryback vs The Miz WWE Intercontinential Championship
Miz wisely bails to the floor and lets the big men fight. "I'M A GIANT!" Lol. Of course, Show. Everyone is aware of that. Show actually does something new: A second rope rolling senton. Somehow, he managed to get less hight on it than Rusev's senton earlier, but at least he's putting effort into SOMETHING. It's been years since he's put effort into his job. He also chokeslams Ryback on top of Miz. Big Show KOs Miz, Ryback knocks Show out of the ring, and Ryback gets the pin. Title retained. This was very short. I'm not sure it was even five minutes long. After all the TV time it got.
TO THE BACK. Jon Stewart heads to interview Brock Lesnar. Instead, he gets a very sweaty Paul Heyman. You see, Jon is a big Taker fan and goes IN on how offensive Paul has been towards wrestling fans by gloating about Brock breaking the streak. People remember Joe Dimaggio. They don't remember the guy who broke his streak. This is a good promo. I also can't help but laugh at Stewart using Christimas references with another Jew. My people. Paul responds by singing and then burns Jon with a "we couldn't get Letterman" dig.
Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper
Bray now wears a devil horn hood or something. These fans don't even know why they boo Roman anymore. Just like they forgot why they boo Cena years ago. They boo just because that's the thing to do. You can't boo him because he sucks or because he's getting the huge push. He doesn't suck and has lost every big match since February. He's smackdab in the middle of the show in a tag match. At the outset, Cole straight up says this match won't settle anything and the feud will continue. Well, then what's the point of watching the match? When they tell you from the start there are no stakes and everything is going to continue anyway, it removes all intrigue. This match could have the most definitive ending possible and it wouldn't matter, because we've already been told the feud will continue. Plus, Summerslam should be the end of angles and the start of new ones. Not continuation of everything. So far, not a single match on this show had felt like a climax, which in turn makes the show feel like any other PPV. The reason the Big Four are/were the Big Four is because the angles would get months of build and get the conclusion at one of them. But now, everything continues and there is rarely a clear blow off to anything, so nothing really matters. There's no decisive, "this is it" moments anymore. Just a never ending story. Dean and Ambrose are a really good team. Lots of good offense and chemistry together. Wyatt and Harper are good, too, particularly Harper. If you could combine the talents of those two into one body, he'd be the top heel. Bray's talking with Luke's in ring work. Think of all the big boots, lariatos, and powerbombs. Just wonderful. Wyatts first take out Roman so they can focus on the smaller Dean. Dean also gets his shirt ripped off. I believe that has been a spot in every match he's had for 2 months, so I'm thinking they're just trying to come up with reasons to show off his body, but don't think to just have him not wear a shirt to the ring. Maybe he'll get transitioned into actual ring gear. "You are all alone, Gilligan." Dean going full on Terry Funk selling in this. The rebound lariat has to go. It doesn't even make sense when he does it. It actually stops his momentum on the lariat. Roman finally gets back on the apron and gets the hot tag. These fans are stupid. But this is the same building that was going insane for the Vaudvillains and Blue Pants the night before. Yet Roman sucks because Kevin Dunn/Vince is blind., God damn, what a Bateaster Bomb from Harper. Superman Punch Party! Shield hit the Doomsday Device and double powerbomb. Dean hits Bray with the Dirty Deeds. Roman gets the win with the spear. This was solid, if unspectacular. Just a good tag match. Probably the most enjoyable thing of the show so far. Bray looks like a punk, though. He never wins big matches.
John Cena vs Seth Rollins WWE World Heavyweight Championship/US Championship Title For Title
Seth comes out in his new all white gear. It looks ridiculous. While it's always cool when wrestlers have new gear for big matches, he looks like the White Ranger or a dude in long johns. This already has a weird dynamic. The super face is in black, the super heel is in white. The crowd obviously is going to treat Cena as the heel, but he looks very shitty and grumpy from the start, while Seth is happy and smiling. However, it's hard not to notice that while the fans are doing the dueling Cena chants, they aren't mentioning Rollins at all. A Daniel Bryan chant breaks out, but still, nothing for Rollins. Bryan, Punk, and KO are the only guys that I can remember to get chants for them during the dueling Cena chants. Is Seth on their level? Has he been booked so well (or poorly) as a heel that fans don't even want to chant for him? But here's the thing with Rollins. He's supposed to be this dastardly heel, yet his move set is all about flying around to pop the crowd stuff. The top heel shouldn't be doing a three dive series. The top heel shouldn't be attempting Phoenix Splashes. The top heel shouldn't be doing all of his springboard moves. The springboard stunner looks worse than ever, almost completely missing and being used as a transition to the fist drop, with Seth back on offense seconds later. That move has been completely devalued. Seth, the top heel, is doing running SSPs. This is just all weird. Rollins also does the Low Ki tree of Keanu double stop and somehow manages to land on his own head. Rollins does a huge frog splash, which Cena completely no sells to attempt the FU. Rollins gets out and hits the FU himself. Seth is basically working as a 100% face. It's just poor storytelling and character work. And Cena, the top face, puts on the figure four while screaming at the fans, sticking it in their face. Complete with Rollins doing the reversal spot that you've seen Dusty and Flair do a million times. Of course, there was a ref bump. JON STEWART comes to the ring with a chair. And...he hits John Cena. Pedigree on the chair. Seth wins. New champion! Title retained. This match was garbage. Completely backwards and illogical storytelling, everyone involved being out of character. Everything in this match was building to Rollins winning clean and celebrating as a face, with the pressure and crowd finally getting to Cena and making him snap. Instead, it ends with Rollins getting another cheap victory and Cena being cheated. For the whole match, the roles were reversed, until the end, when everything went back to normal. In addition, Stewart kicked Rollins in the dick not long ago. I'm sure this will probably tie in with Jon saying he was a wrestling fan, so he screwed Cena for all the wrestling fans, because wrestling fans couldn't handle seeing another streak broken.
Team BAD vs Team PCB vs Team Bella Elimination Tag
It's so nice that the women aren't in the bathroom break match. That's as big as getting ring time on Raw, in my opinion. Team BAD dominates the opening moments of this. Crowd is hot for Sasha. As they should be. She put on a MOTYC the night before. This all leads up to a dive sequence. You know, as much as people still blindly shit on the Bellas, on a show with a dive in every match, they had the best ones. Tamina gets her team eliminated after eating a tornado X-Factor from Brie. Sucks that Sasha is gone, but she put in her work over the weekend and deserved a night off. Rack Attack on Becky. Her partners save her. Paige starts blasting Nikki with knees in the corner. Holy shit, Alabama Slam on the floor. Bellas control Paige for a while after this. It's a shame this crowd has been so dead the whole show, because these women are really knocking the shit out of each other. I guess running 10 hours of wrestling in the same building in 3 days wasn't the best idea. This is basically worked like a traditional Southern tag, just with extra teammates. Paige finally gets the hot tag to Charlotte, who in 40 seconds looks better than she has the entire time she's been on the main roster. Oh shit, the Nash/Taker double big boot spot! Looked brutal. Becky gets the pin on Brie with a pumphandle t-bone thing. Solid match. This and the other tag have been the only things worth watching.
Cesaro vs Kevin Owens
Surprised there weren't ROH chants immediately. KO hits a dive in the first minute. Another example of a heel with a move set designed to pop the crowd. Cesaro follows it with his own dive. KO not bothering to sell the effects of the ladder match is kind of weird. This is being positioned as a must win for Owens, but nothing at all is said about Cesaro. But really, neither guy can gain anything from this. It has zero stakes, which is why it is in the cool down spot. KO has beaten Cesaro multiple times, so another win doesn't do much. If Cesaro wins, he's beating a guy the announcers just called a loser who was in a ladder match the night before. It's really a no-win situation for both guys. What the fuck. Cole starts talking about a man named, "Jew", watching from Manilla. This is a weird match, too. KO physically dominating Cesaro is just not believable. To pretend like they're even on the same planes of existence physically is silly. This should be a match where KO has to use heel tactics and cheating to get the advantage. He shouldn't be able to keep Cesaro on the mat with strength. He also should stop doing all these big pop the crowd moves, because much like Rollins, his character and in ring styles don't mesh at all. Compare this to Owens just the night before, who taunted the crowd and would deprive them of the big spots and moves they wanted to see. KO wins clean with the pop up powerbomb. No story and in ring work that is at odds with character work.
The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar
#bigfightfeel. Taker makes it to the ring in just a bit over three minutes, which is great time. And as soon as he hits the ring, Brock attacks. No fear. He is not shook by Taker's spooky old man shit. He's beaten Taker. He's seen through the myth and now he's trying to shatter it. Brock going full on MMA, taking Taker down with a shoot and getting in side mount. But Taker has that pure striking ability, and we've seen that Brock can be rocked with punches. Belly to belly. Suplex City, here we come. German suplex. About this time into the match at WM is when Taker got concussed and turned to dust. Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself. Brock gets busted open by either a big boot or snake eyes and things head to the floor. There is a lot of hatred in this. This is about an old man Taker at the end of his rope, desperately clawing to keep what is left of his legacy and mythology against a man who has taken his spot as the phenom and ultimate final boss. Back in the ring, Brock takes any opening he can to hit a suplex. This isn't rookie Brock vs prime Taker. This is Prime Brock vs old dog Taker. Taker can't rely on his speed or agility anymore. He has to rely on his veteran tricks. All those dick kicks aren't some kind of heel turn. It's literally all Taker has left to get an advantage over Brock. This is a Brock who will F5 Taker through the announce table just because. He didn't need to. He did it for fun. Old Man Taker appears to be fighting off actual shock. He realizes his legacy is about to be destroyed for good. When Brock, covered in slobber, sweat, and blood, says that he's going to kill Taker, and Taker responds that Brock will have to, this isn't just wrestling shit talking. This is Taker saying Brock will have to kill Taker the man to kill Taker the myth. That's what this is all about. I can see why "but dick kicks" is about as deep as wrestling fans are taking it, because they aren't used to getting this kind of story told to them. That and the wonky finish where for the first time ever, a time keeper decides to take it upon himself to ring the bell because he saw a tap out that the ref didn't. That was weird. I can go for trying something unique, but it felt bizarre considering nothing like that has ever happened and it calls into question every pin/cheating/submission during a ref bump in history. But the real point here is that not only did Taker tap out for the first time in his career to Brock, but he also had to have a tremendous stroke of luck and a low blow to beat Brock, yet Brock wouldn't even give him the satisfaction of tapping out. Brock flipping Taker off before getting choked out was him telling Taker "fuck you, this doesn't mean shit, old man". And Taker knows it, crawling away from the match, hanging onto his mythological status for one more night. Barely. This is obviously leading to WM32, where Brock will break the man and and the myth, fully consuming both to become the new phenom and conscience of WWE. It's a wonderfully told story, especially coming off how poor the WM match was. In some ways, the concussion and subsequent poor performance kind of adds to this story. At WM, Brock beat a Taker that wasn't at 100%, ending the streak. Taker comes back, but even at 100% he can't beat Brock without cheating and things just happening to work out for him. By all rights, Brock beat Taker again on this show. The show ended with Brock's music, with the tap out being shown. Taker stole the win, and he knows it, but this was the only way he could maintain some of his aura. The irony being that in order to maintain his aura, Taker had to kill more of it off. This is better story telling than wrestling, but the wrestling itself was good as well. It's no coincidence that Brock became the God Brock after breaking the streak.
This, of course, is not really anything new for Taker. Not even when it comes to Brock himself. Taker had done nothing but put Brock over. He let rookie Brock destroy him in his signature match. He never beat Brock in Brock's first run. He was willing to let Brock break the streak nearly 5 years before it actually happened, when Brock didn't even work for WWE. And then he had Brock smash him at Wrestlemania. He returns and can only win by luck and cheating and still has to crawl away while Brock stands tall. I'm hard pressed to think of anyone that has done as much for another wrestler than Taker has done for Brock.
Over all, a very skippable show besides the main event. Going into the weekend, I really thought NXT looked lame and Summerslam looked hype, yet came out with the complete opposite opinion.