Sunday, August 17, 2014

SummerSlam 2014: Brock the Conqueror Reigns

  • The Miz (IC Champion) vs Dolph Ziggler--Solid opener.  I have zero idea whatever that was that The Miz was wearing during his intro, but the smarmy heel movie star thing works for me.  Like someone said on Twitter, at least he's a heel you want to punch in the face every time you see him in the ring.  I also liked Miz trying to leave with the belt only to be cut off by Ziggler.  The psychology on that Fame Asser to SCF was lacking, but it was executed kind of beautifully at least.  Ziggler wins the IC gold after the Zig Zag.  Nice sell job on that by The Miz by the way.  It was also a nice opener.
  • AJ Lee (Divas Champion) vs Paige--I typically pay the Divas matches no mind, but this one has gotten my piqued my curiosity.  Really good match with a lot of fire out of both Divas.  Paige counters the Black Widow to become new Divas Champion on her birthday apparently.
  • Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs Rusev w/Lana in a Flag Match--This match was a ton of fun and the hot crowd played into that.  I liked the touch of Swagger injuring Rusev early to kind of even up the injury situation.  I really thought Rusev was going to tap and you could feel the anticipation growing in the crowd.  I don't really have an issue with Rusev's win and Lana instructing him to kick Zeb's head off was a nice touch.  Someone suggested a Submission Match to blow off the feud and I'd certainly be down with that.
  • Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack Match--This was insane (in all the right ways) and the only Lumberjack Match I specifically recall being a really good match.  That one sequence in there where Ambrose's Dirty Deeds attempt was met with a kick which bounced him off the ropes and he ended up nailing Rollins with a vicious clothesline was awesome.  As was the big plancha on the Rollins and the Lumberjacks.  Ambrose loses, but was still well protected.  It won't hurt his momentum at all.
  • Bray Wyatt vs Chris Jericho--Hot crowd is in to this one as well.  Bray's entrance is mesmerizing.  He's also go the old butcher smock deal on which is a really cool look.  Jericho has a fancier version of his light up jacket.  The also point out that Wyatt's movement is growing and that he calls the lit up cellphones his "fireflies."  That's kind of cool too.  The crowd seems split.  The Sister Abigail to the barrier was sweet.  Bray finally finishes him off in the ring and JBL puts over the fact that he has just beat a six-time world champion.  Good match and a nice win for Bray which didn't even include shenanigans from the Family.  Bray even cuts a post-match promo in the ring which the crowd responds positively to although they didn't turn on Jericho either. 
  • Stephanie McMahon vs Brie Bella--I think they've done a wonderful job building this feud despite Brie's, um, limitations as it relates to cutting realistic promos.  Now I had no reason to believe this would live up to the build and it absolutely did not.  We get the expected Nikki Bella turn which is a decision I don't care for, but we'll see how they explain it and all before judging.  The best part of course is that we get a smug Stephanie celebration which is always nice.  As I've said 1,000 times before, Stephanie is better at this than her old man by a lot.
  • Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns--Roman has new gear with a blue trim to it instead of that olive green or whatever.  It looks better.  JBL putting this over as Roman's biggest match as a singles competitor which is true and exactly what a commentator should be doing. Typical WWE-style main event match with a bunch of near falls, signatures and finishers.  Roman evades the Punt and finally hit the Spear for the win.  I'm really high on Roman Reigns and the announcers are putting this over huge, but it's weird that the fans seem to sit on their hands for his matches.  They pop for him when they see him, they dig the entrance and the victory, but during the match it's like they are completely out of it. 
  • "The Beast" Brock Lesnar vs "The Champ" John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Title--Wasn't a great match, but it worked from a psychology standpoint.  It was a great moment.  Brock the Conqueror slays The Undertaker and his Streak and follows that up by demolishing the greatest champion of this era.  The narrative worked, but the match itself only worked at being a spectacle.  It was an unthinkable way to see John Cena lose the WWE World Heavyweight Title.  That's for sure.  The commentators put over the fact that Cena and WWE may never be the same and also that Brock delivered 16 German Suplexes to Cena.  Good-ness.  Brock is your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and that's a good thing.
Overall, this show ruled from top to bottom.  It was certainly worth whatever I paid for it.  What was that?  Oh, $9.99.  If you missed it you need to catch this show.  It was awesome. 

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