SummerSlam has been clutch over the years in providing great Pay-Per-Views for WWE. The 2015 version had been hyped more than any other SummersSlam than I can remember due to one match. The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar rematch got the most publicity and rightfully so.
Those two superstars squaring off had to be the main event after their epic fight at WrestleMania 30 where Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s streak of being undefeated at wrestling’s biggest showcase. With that match and a slew of other big names on the card, how would SummerSlam 2015 stack up?
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Starting off the way I reviewed the Battleground PPV, Orton and Sheamus face off, again. We have seen this matchup as much as we have seen Kim Kardashian nude…so a lot of times. Unlike Kim K though, these two vets are talented so fans can still expect a decent match. Both traded some vicious uppercuts, Orton struck Sheamus with a DDT off the top rope, and Orton hit Sheamus with an RKO out of nowhere as Sheamus tired to launch himself into the ring. Unlike Battleground however Sheamus kicked out of the RKO and then followed to hit Orton with two back to back Brogue Kicks for the victory.
Grade = B
Final Thoughts – Yeah, another match between these two, but another good match. It was predictable for Sheamus to win since Orton won the last PPV bout. Now can we move on from this matchup? Time to get Orton and Sheamus feuding with someone new. Orton vs. Kevin Owens? Sheamus vs. Cesaro? Book that please! The crowd always gets on Sheamus for his egregious looking braided beard by chanting “You Look Stupid!” If WWE continues to book this match, especially with new talent on board, then those writers will also look stupid.
The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Las Matadores vs. The Prime Time Players
It’s obvious, WWE has no idea who they want to push as the dominate tag team champs. They have four options so they stuck all those options in a fatal four way match. It felt as if a title change was inevitable but with those fatal four way rules it was hard to actually gage who would win. Lucha Dragons started things off with their stellar high flying, acrobatic moves. Teams were in and out of the ring and the non stop action was really enjoyable. Big E hit a splash on the ring apron to Darren Young that should have broken some ribs. Titus O’Neil hit Kofi Kingston with a huge boot that made him flip like Eminem’s middle fingers. Bodies were everywhere after Titus threw three men off the top rope, then followed that with a spine buster to one of Los Matadores (I never can tell who is who in that team, and quite frankly I don’t care to know). Kofi then delivered a big kick to Titus and got the pin-fall win on Los Matadores allowing The New Day to reclaim the tag team titles.
Grade = A
Final Thoughts – A lot of excitement in this match. All kinds of action in and out of the ring which had the crowd going wild. All the different elements, and how cohesive everyone worked together made it a great match. The New Day are still the funnest group to hate because of their actions like remixing a Jay-Z song while in Brooklyn before the match to which the crowd actually enjoyed (no word on if Hov is going to strike back with a diss record). They deserved to win after that.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Saw this matchup coming a mile away after their two love interests got into it. Lana looked great in her new denim attire and Summer Rae has the best legs in WWE since Stacy Keibler.
Oh yeah the match…
This was Ziggler’s first match coming back from his “injury” and he looked explosive as ever. Rusev always amazes me with his athleticism for being such a big man as he hit Ziggler with a spinning heel kick off the ropes. Then he hit a front flip right onto Ziggler that shook Dolph’s insides. After that barrage from both men the match became stale. Both men are great wrestlers but one is about power, the other is not and that combo can make a match boring fairly quick, which is what happened in this case. Eventually there was a double count out as both men couldn’t get back into the ring in time. Then the expected unfolded as Lana and Summer Rae got into it once again.
Grade = D
Final Thoughts – The match wasn’t about Rusev and Dolph, it was more about Lana and Summer, and that was the downfall of the bout. When the two ladies start fighting the crowd erupts. When Rusev and Dolph fought, yeah, no so much. Men fighting over women has gone on forever, but I am hoping this matchup doesn’t. I like Rusev and Dolph but I will pass on another match and this entire storyline. Summer isn’t much of a wrestler so I am hoping they don’t put her and Lana into an actual bout because I will make sure to turn that “show off.”
Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett
I will admit, I didn’t know who Stephen Amell was until he made an appearance on Raw. When I heard he was a celebrity and he was going to team up with Neville and actually wrestle, one name came to mind…David Arquette. WCW fans may still have not recovered from that moment David Arquette became WCW champion, I’m sorry to bring that up again. Thankfully no titles were on the line so I could rest a little easier. Amell actually looked pretty good in the ring and showed off some acrobatic movies diving off the top rope onto Barrett and Stardust. The always impressive Neville came into the match moving 100 miles an hour and showing off all his athleticism with an array of kicks and flips off the ropes. Eventually Neville hit Barrett with the Red Arrow for the victory.
Grade = C
Amell didn’t look like a professional wrestler, but he didn’t look like David Arquette either. Stardust continues to play a impressive, lunatic heel. Neville was the star of the match showcasing his unreal physical ability. I think it is time for a Neville push but I hope his feud with Stardust continues.
Big Show vs. Ryback vs. The Miz
Bathroom break. I didn’t watch this match, but I saw Ryback won. Continuing with the Jay-Z / Brooklyn theme, on to the next one!
Wyatt Family vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
I was expecting a heel turn by Reigns. I was hoping for a heel turn by Reigns. The crowd already dislikes him, so why not? I was looking forward to the match, but honestly cared more about what happened after. Ambrose came out with great energy like always. He actually ran across all three announce tables without tripping to deliver an elbow to Wyatt. The two things you can always expect from Ambrose is great energy and for him to take a beating. Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt put a beating on the Lunatic Fringe as both teams worked great together at first. Then Reigns was out of action for it seemed like five minutes laying outside the ring and that’s when the match went stale. After a little more back and forth, Ambrose hit Wyatt with Dirty Deeds and Reigns followed that with a spear for the victory.
Grade = D
Final Thoughts – I was disappointed in the match because WWE missed a great chance to turn Reigns heel. Reigns didn’t beat down Ambrose like I had hoped. They just hugged it out and moved on. The match had a good start then faded down the stretch. Ambrose and Wyatt have had way too many matches, and Reigns being a baby face just isn’t working anymore. Once again, WWE needs to change it up in regards to some of these roles and matches, and this a perfect example. Can we start an Ambrose vs. Reigns feud in time for Night of Champions?
Cena vs Rollins
No J&J Security, and no Kane. Seth Rollins was riding solo into this match with Cena and I was pumped to see this. Rollins is crazy talented in the ring, but for some reason he doesn’t get a chance to showcase that. Either someone is interfering with his matches, or he is getting destroyed by Brock Lesnar. Now all those elements were out of the picture and Rollins had a chance to just wrestle (at least I thought). Cena competing for the first time since Rollins broke his nose on Raw, had a chance to tie Ric Flair for the most title wins in wrestling history. With the WWE Championship and the U.S. Championship on the line it was set up for a great match. The crowd gave Rollins a big welcome as he dawned white ring attire similar to his NXT days. The crowd then relentlessly booed Massachusetts native John Cena which is normal for a New York crowd anyways. Rollins came out on a roll with three straight dives out the ring that concluded with a flip over the top rope which knocked Cena to the ground. After a botched Springboard Stunner by Cena, Rollins showed a move I haven’t seen before with a front flip onto Cena for a two count. Rollins showed his heel character by mocking Cena and hitting him with a stomp to his chest from the top rope as Cena was hanging from the turnbuckle. Then Rollins again with something new hit Cena with a Frog Splash as flashbacks of the late great Eddie Guerrero came to mind. Cena stayed in the match but Rollins hit Cena with an Attitude Adjustment then two consecutive suplexes. One was from the top rope, then while not breaking his hold Rollins picked Cena up again and slammed him to the ring which Cena kicked out from. After Rollins hit Cena with a knee to the face that didn’t break his nose along comes the host of SummerSlam, Jon Stewart equipped with a chair. Rollins has appeared on The Daily Show previously as the two showed a dislike for each other. However, Stewart turned heel and hit Cena with the chair as Rollins delivered a pedigree to Cena on the chair for the three count victory.
Grade = A
Final Thoughts – Seth Rollins stole the show! He pulled out all kinds of moves, new and old, all were flawless and worked with great energy throughout the match. Stewart interfering didn’t even bother me that much because the match was great and that was a surprising element to add to it. Jon Stewart went kicked John Cena’s butt. Rollins remained champ and became the new U.S. champ which he definitely deserved after putting together a performance like that.
Team P.C.B. (Paige, Charlotte, & Becky Lynch) vs. Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks, Naomi, Tamina)
I thought the Diva’s match from Battleground competed for the best match of the night from that PPV. Now that all three teams were in the mix I had high hopes once again. Tamina started things off with a huge super kick to Bre Bella that probably made Daniel Bryan cringe. Sasha Banks might be the most over diva right now as the crowd chanted “We Want Sasha” and quite frankly so did I. Naomi and Sasha both dove over the top rope to take out a few ladies followed by the Bella Twins diving through the middle rope to take out everyone else. However, Team B.A.D. was eliminated fairly quickly after a pin by Bre Bella. So with the most over diva already gone, it felt as if the crowd was going to turn on the match, and they did when the match went flat. Nikki hit Paige with a brutal Alabama Slam outside the ring, and Alicia and Charlotte both took each other out with a boot to each other at the same time. Other than that the match didn’t have much hightlight material after Team B.A.D. was out of the picture. Bre Bella missed a missile dropkick to Becky, and Becky ended up pinning Bre for the win.
Grade = C
Final Thoughts – This was the first time I thought the divas put on a subpar match since the whole revolution started. Eliminating Team B.A.D. so early was a BAD choice. Fans wanted to see Team B.A.D vs. Team P.C.B. and not Team Bella. Since Nikki is the champ her team had to stay in. Can we just hurry up and give Nikki the reign as longest Diva’s champ surpassing AJ Lee and quenching Triple H and Vince McMahon’s thirst to stick it to CM Punk? I hope once that happens, we will see less of Team Bella and more of the other divas.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
I thought this match had the chance to be the match of the night. Both men had been putting on great performances recently and pairing them up in a match was an awesome idea. The match started off with both men flying over the top rope to take each other out. Owens hit Cesaro with a Cannonball as Cesaro was sitting up against the barricade. Owens then hit a front flip that ended with a leg drop to Cesaro which was an impressive more for a big guy. Cesaro showing off his ridiculous strength, countered with a Gut-wrench suplex to Owens from the top rope. After a Tornado DDT by Owens from the middle rope, Cesaro came back with his patent uppercuts. Owens then hit Cesaro with a spinning suplex from the top rope and then finished him off with a Pop-Up Powerbomb for the victory.
Grade = B
Final Thoughts – Good match, not classic or the best match of the night, but a good match. Both men got to showcase their strength and ability which they deserved. Not sure I want to see this feud end though. I feel like this wasn’t the best match they could of had, so maybe one more would do. Owens is playing a great heel at the moment and that should be prolonged. Cesaro has been very impressive in the ring and with the crowd being behind him more and more hopefully he stays in the spotlight.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
I couldn’t remember WWE hyping up a match like this since Rock vs. Cena II. It was shocking to me that this bout was even happening in the first place after how old The Undertaker had looked in his last couple matches. When he came out at Battleground and put a beating on Lesnar I was optimistic he would be able to put on a good show. He could at very least do something better than that awful WrestleMania 30 match when the streak was broken. The match started off with Brock attacking Undertaker before he even took his trench coat off. A few punches were exchanged and then Undertaker sent Brock over the top rope as the crowd erupted. Two minutes into this match and it was already better than their infamous WrestleMania 30 match. Brock then took Undertaker to Suplex City with a nice belly to belly followed by a german suplex. Undertaker showing his old classic moves hit a massive leg drop to Lesnar on the apron. Lesnar than countered a choke slam with another german suplex. The action spilled outside the ring as Lesnar hit Undertaker with an F5 through the announce table. Both men were physically spent but Undertaker delivered a monster choke slam to Lesnar as both men were laid out on the canvas. Lesnar eventually got Undertaker in the Kimura Lock submission to which Undertaker tapped out from. However, the ref was on the other side and didn’t see Undertaker tapping as the timekeeper rang the bell calling for the match. The ref then told the timekeeper to restart the match and as this was going on and Lesnar was celebrating, Undertaker delivered a low blow to Lesnar and put him in the Hell’s Gate submission as Lesnar gave Undertaker the middle finger before passing out.
Grade = B
Final Thoughts – The match was clearly better than their WrestleMania 30 one. Both men showed off their patent moves and it was a physical match from start to finish. The ending however was as dumb as Jessica Simpson. A bell snafu? Only reason this was done was because it sets up a third and final match between these two which WWE will do to make even more money. Let’s just hope there is no bell issues next time.
SummerSlam 2015 didn’t live up to the hype. WWE missed some opportunities to turn Roman Reigns heel, to put others over, and had a bell mishap in the biggest match of the year. Had a few of those things actually happened and Lesnar and Undertaker had a clean finish, I might be saying it was a classic PPV. Seth Rollins was the clear winner of the night as he defeated Cena, won the U.S. Championship, and showed why he is the current WWE Champion. Look for Rollins to continue putting on a great show as he faces off with Sting at Night of Champions in four weeks! See you then!
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Born and raised in Denver, John is a the Sports producer, anchor, and reporter at the Emmy-winning student run newscast of MSU Denver, The Met Report. John is also the Founder, Administrator, and Publisher of the blog 2CentBeatDown.com