You know, WWE oft makes decisions that makes the heads of even some of the most loyal clientele spin. And then, WWE makes us eat our words from time to time. On a night that had title changes, character turns and arguably the most lopsided WWE Championship match in the history of the industry, Summerslam had made its mark and with that said, allow me to beg your indulgence. I’ll grade each match on a 10 point scale (ex: 6/10, etc.). Did Summerslam meet expectations? Let us begin.
Dolph Ziggler def (pin). The Miz (C) : Intercontinental Championship
For what has seemed an eternity since Dolph Ziggler dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to Alberto Del Rio at last year’s Payback PPV, we have seen the IC Title lose value, save for the stint with Bad News Barrett. Ziggler experienced months upon months of obscurity and ineptitude and some were beginning to question whether or not he would hold a title again. While its not the WWE Title, it certainly is a modest consolation prize. The match itself between the two Clevelanders was a decent match to start the PPV. Nothing I’d write home about, but certainly an ideal choice. I also liked the the tease we got when Ziggler kicked out of the Skull Crushing Finale. I was inclined to believe that The Miz would kick out of the Zig Zag and boy was I glad he didn’t. I predicted The Miz winning because he just won it and Ziggler had the upper hand on Smackdown by thwarting an escape attempt from Roman Reigns. Needless to say, the right man won and the crowd certainly agreed as well. I’m sure the IWC got what they wanted here. Above average opener for the PPV.
Paige def. (pin) AJ Lee (C) : Divas Championship
I originally predicted AJ coming out on top but I did have my doubts. This feud seemed destined to continue as no other Diva was being primed to hold the title. I am digging Paige’s heel turn more and more by the day. As for the “match”, to me it was more of a brawl. Certainly better than their Battleground counterpart, but less of a match. It did have their spots. Rarely do you see a Diva doing a top rope crossbody outside. Just to say, that DDT was absolutely sick. I also wanted to see Paige counter AJ’s submission move with hers. Once again, I was wrong and I glad I was. Not exactly a bad match, but again, nothing spectacular. The ending sequences did save it though.
Rusev def. Jack Swagger: Flag Match
I loved the National Guard coming out before Swagger’s entrance. I never saw that serenation coming, but I loved it. I also loved the psychology of the match as well. Swagger going for Rusev’s ankle before the match played into the moves as Rusev was moving with a noticeable limp. It also gave Swagger more of a chance of winning. Now I have to say I was indeed impressed with this match and it was given a decent amount of time. The Ankle Lock vs. Accolade battle was a great sequence and the ending was the right way to do it. Not only did Swagger not tap, making him still look strong, Rusev wins despite being attacked before the match even started. Now I was a bit disappointed that Swagger didn’t get the win because he was getting over hugely with the crowd and having him win would be a great feel good moment. But I completely understand giving Rusev the win. He needs the heel heat as he is being built up more as a threat. I’m not entirely sure if the feud is going to continue, but if it does, I do expect Swagger to come out on top next time around.
Seth Rollins def. (pin) Dean Ambrose: Lumberjack Match
On this night, WWE gave us what may have been the best Lumberjack match ever. Lots of people, including myself were complaining that the two were reduced to a Lumberjack match as opposed to a No Holds Barred match. But WWE still managed to impress us, well at least me, with how they utilized the Lumberjacks. The carnage, the brawls, Ambrose lunging himself to the big crowd, it was all pandemonium. And I loved every second of it. I was a bit saddened that they didn’t get more in-ring time. Because I think the amount of near falls they would have had would have engaged the crowd even more. I thought the outside action was a tad much. And Kane coming out as well was completely uncalled for. But grading the entire match in its entirety is easy. It was absolutely great. Rollins winning retains his strength, and makes Ambrose looks strong because he was hit with a briefcase. I look forward to an even better match at Night of Champions. Perhaps with the briefcase on the line.
Bray Wyatt def. (pin) Chris Jericho
Bray Wyatt seriously needs to shapen up his character. Before, I was digging the crazy promos, but now it is becoming tedious. Its a shame too, because their match was very good. Far better than their Battleground encounter. But the crowd remained quiet until the ending part of the match. I think Wyatt botched a spot when he was trying to reach for the bottom rope after the Codebreaker and had to kick out instead of having his foot on the rope. Solid match, but if Wyatt was a bit more interesting, I think it would have played up to the crowd great. A very modest showing here. I also liked the Sister Abagail to the barricade, just like he did to Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble.
Stephanie McMahon def. (pin) Brie Bella
I am pretty sure everyone and their granddaughter could have seen Nikki turning heel a mile away. The proverbial writing on the wall made itself known as soon as the twins stood over Stephanie. Now I did have Brie winning the match and had Nikki turning heel as only a possibility and not a definite outcome. It should be interesting to see how WWE plays into this sibling rivalry. I don’t expect a Jeff/Matt Hardy type of feud, but giving these two some time in the limelight against each other should at least guarantee the Divas division some semblance of relevance going forward. Oh, and by the way, my jaw was on the floor when I saw Stephanie come out. She looked like she just got done roleplaying with Triple H last night. And I do appreciate her carrying the majority of the match, because got knows Brie still needs to learn some things. I mean, did you see where her hand was positioned on the crossface? 10 years of not wrestling, and Stephanie looked like she didn’t miss a beat. I just loved the old school heel tactics, and nothing felt rushed. Now when Triple H came out and Brie baseball slided him to the floor, I couldn’t help but applaud Triple H for taking that spot. How embarassing is that? Overall, the match wasn’t bad. I actually enjoyed it greatly. But it was no Lita/Trish that’s for sure.