August 17th 2014, WWE’s SummerSlam at Staples Center. A reported 17,300+ filled Staples Center for the last of the 6 straight WWE SummerSlam event, as their #2 PPV will head to New York next year. As usual, there were plenty of celebrity sightings, and some of the local wrestlers were in attendance. Among them, was the “WWE Superfan” known as “Sign Guy”!
P – Rob Van Dam p. Cesaro w/ the Five Star Frog Splash.
Fairly short, but very effective pre-show match, drawing plenty of energy from the fans that were already in their seats.
* While it was great to see Hulk Hogan come out to get the crowd going at the start of the PPV, but did they really have to do another cheap plug-in of the “WWE Network for $9.99”?
1 – Dolph Ziggler p. The Miz w/ the Zig Zag to win the Intercontinental title.
Strong opener in my opinion. I liked the counter-wrestling that both men showed, especially when Miz countered Ziggy’s move into the Skull Crushing Finale. It does look like Ziggy is “out of the doghouse”, even if it is just one of the two secondary titles.
2 – Paige p. A.J. Lee w/ the Rampage DDT to win her 2nd Divas title.
Another strong Divas match from the two. I liked A.J.’s tope crossbody–something you don’t see much of from the Divas on the main roster today. I also liked the way the former Britani Knight worked her way out of the Black Widow, eventually hitting the said move for the title-clinching pin. At this rate, they could easily be today’s version of Lita & Trish.
3 – Rusev (w/ Lana) made Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) tapout to the Accolade to have the Russian flag raised up high over the ring. While I felt that this was the weakest match of the card, it was still a strong and effective match IMO. Like it was at “Battleground” last month, the Knokx Pro product had to overcome getting his right ankle picked apart in that Patriot Lock to KO Swagger w/ the submission hold, then Superkicked Zeb into tomorrow.
4 – Lumberjack match. Seth Rollins p. Dean Ambrose with a smash of the MitB briefcase behind the referee’s back. Even with “Corporate Kane” making a costly interference, this was still a great match to watch, complete with the brawl into the crowd, and the crazy cluster spots that they did, especially Dean’s tope crossbody.
5 – Bray Wyatt p. Chris Jericho w/ Sister Abigail.
Bray proved that he doesn’t need Erick Rowan & Luke Harper every time he’s doing battle in the ring. Both men gave a great show.
6 – Stephanie McMahon p. Brie Bella w/ the Pedigree.
Even with interference from Triple H, then Nikki Bella turning her back on her sister, this was still a decent ladies match. Clearly, “The Billionaire Baroness” still has her ring skills, even if it was 12 years since her last match. IMHO, why didn’t she “fire” Brie afterwards?
SM – Roman Reigns p. Randy Orton w/ the Spear.
Man, did these two deliver, from the counters into the Scoop Slam & RKO, to the Superplex & Super Samoan Drop. Roman was able to dodge the Punt, sweeping the leg, then eventually hit the Spear.
M – Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) p. John Cena w/ the 2nd F5 to win the World Heavyweight title. Total domination, total conquest. Brock was in control of this match the whole way, with those multiple German Suplexes, those MMA-style punching, and being able to weather what little offense Cena had. That is bad news for everyone, including Seth Rollins.
Overall, a better card than what it appeared on paper, making the ticket prices worthwhile. I don’t know where they go from here with The Authority apparently in full control again, storyline-wise, but we’ll see where it goes from here, to WrestleMania 31 in San Jose. MOTN honors, to me, goes to the Roman/Orton match, followed by the match between the former Tyler Black & the former Jon Moxley, then the Bray/Y2J match. Out of these 6 straight SummerSlam L.A. events, the Cena/Daniel Bryan match from 2013 was the best one IMO, followed by the “Team WWE” v. “The Original Nexus” match from 2010, then the Punk/Cena match from 2011.
WWE returns to So Cal for Raw at the Honda Center ***Next Monday***, then SmackDown at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario the following day. Then they’ll have their 12/30 Holiday House show at Staples Center, and perhaps a Raw and/or SmackDown before or after WM31. Of course, there are some of the “alums” that will be in Reseda on Labor Day Weekend, for the 2014 PWG BoLA.