Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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WWE SummerSlam 2014: Results and observations from the show

The Staples Center in Los Angeles saw a lot of predictable outcomes, but getting to those outcomes was interesting to say the least.

WWE SummerSlam 2014: Results and observations from the show

Brock Lesnar. (Photo courtesy of WWE.com)
Brock Lesnar. (Photo courtesy of WWE.com)

The Staples Center in Los Angeles saw a lot of predictable outcomes, but getting to those outcomes was interesting to say the least.

SummerSlam was a lot of fun. Not only because I did stellar in my predictions, but because the WWE set a new course. It’s not new in the sense that there will be new storylines and feuds. It’s new in that the WWE entered some uncharted territory Sunday night.

It’s territory I believe will make from an entertaining product for the rest of the year and eventually leading into WrestleMania 31.

Before we go in-depth into what occurred in L.A., here’s the full match results from the show.

- Pre-show match: Rob Van Dam def. Cesaro

- WWE Intercontinental Championship – Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz

- WWE Divas Championship – Paige def. AJ Lee

- Rusev def. Jack Swagger

- Lumberjack match – Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

- Bray Wyatt def. Chris Jericho

- Stephanie McMahon def. Brie Bella

- Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton

Now let’s breakdown all of the happenings from SummerSlam:

Brock Lesnar destroys John Cena

Wow!

Brock Lesnar chewed John Cena up and spit him out, and I loved every single minute of it. Not because I’m some type of Cena hater. I’ve always admired Cena’s work.

But I loved seeing him get destroyed by Lesnar because it was the right thing to do. It was as Triple H says, “What’s best for business.”

Lesnar ended The Undertaker’s streak and would legitimately beat the hell out of almost anyone in the WWE in a real fight, including Cena. So why would a match that involves him be anything but that — a butt whooping.

If you’re going to have Lesnar carry your most prestigious title all the way until next April, why not make him look like an absolute monster while doing it.

Winning the match just isn’t enough. If Lesnar is so much of a beast, he should be destroying everyone in his path, including Superman himself.

Lesnar’s best asset is his believability. If Cena made yet another miraculous comeback from the beating he was taking, it would have been unbelievable. It would have been some typical professional wrestling stuff.

With Lesnar, you have a different animal. A different beast all together, and typical pro wrestling logic, which is sometimes unrealistic, shouldn’t apply. If Lesnar’s suplexes you 16 times then hits with you an F5 for the second time, you probably shouldn’t get up.

Did I mention how much I loved this? It was perfect because for the first time in a long time, the WWE has a dominant heel champion. One that people is legitimately fearful of.

One that when he loses the title some time down the road, it will make the guy that beat him look like a million bucks.

After all, that’s the whole reason Lesnar has the title and will carry it for a long, long time. It’s to eventually make another guy into a huge star. That should happen at WrestleMania. Who that person will be isn’t quite as clear in my eyes.

As far as Lesnar being a part-timer, who cares? I mean really? Who cares?

Does the champion really have to be on Raw every Monday? Does the title have to be defended at every single pay-per-view?

You do realize that wrestling is the only combat sport where a title is defended on a monthly basis. Sure, it isn’t quite as real as boxing or mixed martial arts, but people accept it there. Why can’t us wrestling fans do the same?

The reason why the title is defended 12 times a year on pay-per-view is because of the Monday Night Wars from the 1990s, when the WWE was trying to keep up with World Championship Wrestling and vice versa. It’s also the reason why we have 12 pay-per-views.

That’s also the reason why you see main event-caliber matches every Monday night. Wrestling survived nearly a 100 years without having the champion defend his or her title on a monthly basis on television, but we can’t wait two months potentially?

This is uncharted territory for the WWE, but I think it’s the right decision in the long run. Is house show business really going to drop because the champion isn’t on the card? Once again, who cares? And by whom I mean the fans.

The fans don’t go to house shows to see the champion. They go to see their favorite star. If Cena is on any live events anytime soon, it will still do well at the box office. Why? Because he’s the No. 1 star in professional wrestling right now that’s why. And that’s it.

On top of that, having Lesnar on every show every week only takes away from his attraction. He’s an attraction because you rarely see him and when you do, he beats the hell out of someone.

Lesnar won’t be on every show because the attraction has to remain strong.

Nikki Brie turns on Brie Bella

What was typical wrestling stuff was Nikki Bella turning on her own sister Brie Bella.

The match itself between Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon was pretty decent, but suffered from the ol’ pro wrasslin’ swerve.

McMahon was just putting Nikki Bella in 17-on-1 handicap matches about a month ago and knocked her upside the head with a clipboard two weeks ago, but Nikki Bella somehow looked past all of that in order to turn on her own twin sister.

That’s when professional wrestling becomes unrealistic. That scenario just doesn’t make any logical sense, but it’s wrestling and I guess I should just throw logic out of the window.

So, The Authority grows by one, but now we will probably have to suffer through a feud between the Bella Twins. I’m not looking forward to that at all.

Neither one of them are great in the ring and neither one of them are very good on the microphone.

Even if they hit on some good, personal stuff in promos together, it won’t be delivered right because neither one is all that good at acting.

Hopefully I’m wrong.

What I did like was Michael Cole sounding disgusted at Nikki Bella’s actions. That’s something that’s been sorely missed since Jim Ross left the announce table — an announcer that sells the heel’s despicable deeds.

Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns stand out

While Brock Lesnar is the WWE’s present, the company’s future put on admirable performances Sunday night.

Bray Wyatt put on a very good match with Chris Jericho that was noticeably better than their encounter at Battleground. It also helped that he won in pretty emphatic fashion.

Roman Reigns picked up a big win as well during his match against Randy Orton. The match started slow, but picked up toward then and had a pretty cool finish.

The most important thing was that neither Wyatt nor Reigns looked out of place in their marquee matches. It didn’t hurt that they were in the ring with guys that are quite experienced in being in marquee matches, but they both looked comfortable with the limelight shined upon them.

If the WWE continues to build its future around Wyatt and Reigns, the company should be in good hands. Time will tell.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have a fun match

I fully expected Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to have a quality match at SummerSlam and they definitely delivered.

When Ambrose announced that the stipulation he decided upon was a lumberjack match, the Internet wrestling community did a collective rolling of the eyes, as lumberjack matches usually aren’t the most scintillating of spectacles.

But Rollins and Ambrose made great use of the lumberjacks and told a pretty good story in the process.

If there was one word I would use to describe this match, it would be “fun.” It was just an all-around fun match to watch.

I also agreed with the finish. Rollins is still gaining steam as a heel and Ambrose is taking off a to film a movie, so it made sense to me.

Ambrose can come back in a couple of weeks and try to seek revenge on Rollins and maybe we’ll get a rematch of some sort at Night of Champions.

Loved the story between Rusev and Jack Swagger

Whether you like the outcome or not, I loved the story that was told between Rusev and Jack Swagger.

Although I found the aspect of having the heel starting the match with an ankle injury kind of odd, I loved how Rusev and Swagger built the match around the salesmanship of their injuries.

I also loved the fact that Rusev won. I know some people expected the patriotic storyline to culminate with Old Glory being waved around the arena, but this is a bit of a different circumstance.

That outcome may have been cool, but it would have come at the expense of Rusev, who the WWE is building as a monster, sort similar to Lesnar, but not on as grand of a scale.

If you’re going to topple the big monster, you have to have a credible babyface do it that the company is firmly behind moving forward.

Although the fans were into the match Sunday night, Swagger is not that guy. He was a guy filling a role, just like Big E was a couple of months ago. The difference between Swagger and Big E is that Swagger has cool theme music and a manager with a cool catchphrase.

That’s why he got over more than Big E, but at the end of the day, he’s merely filling the role of another obstacle for Rusev to overcome.

Paige beating AJ Lee makes sense

AJ Lee’s title reign much shorter this time around, as Paige defeated her in the middle of the ring at SummerSlam.

I like this outcome for two reasons. Firstly, Paige has finally been legitimized. When Paige beat Lee the night after WrestleMania, it looked like a fluke. Then, she spent her entire title reign trying to prove that she wasn’t a fluke.

Her win Sunday did more to legitimize than any of her victories during her first run with the title. She beat the best diva in the company clean and in the middle of the ring.

I also like the outcome because the story would make more sense with the babyface chasing the heel champion if this feud has more legs to it.

Also, the match was short, but was still better than the one they had at Battleground in my opinion.

Dolph Ziggler wins a title!

All of the Internet wrestling fans can rejoice! Dolph Ziggler has won a WWE championship title.

After months of toiling in the middle of the card, Ziggler defeated The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship and is a featured position for the first time more than a year.

It shouldn’t have taken nearly that long, but whatever.

Will he have any world titles in his future? I would venture to guess that it won’t, but he should definitely be showcased as an integral part of the show, not just fodder for long television matches.

Now, we just have to give him some more microphone time and some new merchandise and he should be good to go.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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