Powell's WWE SummerSlam Hit List: Brock Lesnar wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella, Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
By Jason Powell
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WWE SummerSlam Hits
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena: Lesnar looked like an absolute badass and gives WWE its strongest heel champion ever. The Cena character can not only absorb the loss, it can actually grow stronger now that there's a story of long term redemption story to tell. Cena's career of Superman comeback and his win over Lesnar at Extreme Rules helped this match. As dominant as Lesnar was, fans had to be wondering if Cena would hit the Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere and win the match. I am really looking forward to seeing where things go for both men. Who does Lesnar face at Night of Champions? He has to be there, right? And where does Cena go from here? It feels premature to book a rematch considering how dominant Lesnar was, so it will be very interesting to see who Lesnar faces next month. Batista?
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose: The best lumberjack that I remember seeing. Rollins and Ambrose utilized the lumberjacks perfectly. The lumberjacks helped the match rather than distract from it. The finish was strong in that Rollins got a solid win, yet Ambrose lost nothing since he was distracted and took the briefcase shot to the face. Does Ambrose move away from Rollins to face Corporate Kane? As much as I enjoy watching these two, I would actually prefer that they split off for now. I see this as a match they can go back to repeatedly over the years if they show discipline now by leaving the fans wanting more rather than running the feud into the ground.
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella: The dynamic of Stephanie playing the role of a confident fighter rather than the intimidated billionaire princess took something away from the match. Still, the was very entertaining and Stephanie really did a nice job and actually seemed more competent in the ring than some of the green main roster Divas (cough, Eva Marie, cough). I also liked Brie's pre-match promo, which was much better than usual once she got past that cornball line about having time to reflect while she was incarcerated. The Nikki Bella turn was flat. Am I the only one who wasn't surprised that Nikki's post match facial expression was her pouting? John Cena won't marry her on Total Divas? Pout. John Cena won't give her a baby? Pout. Stephanie McMahon sticks her in handicap matches? Pout. Turn on your own sister at SummerSlam? Pout. Let's see if Nikki can add another facial expression and make this new heel persona work.
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton: I was worried about this match when Orton applied the chin lock of doom early on. Worse yet, Reigns finally broke free and then applied a chin lock of his own! In their defense, the crowd was pretty spent and the chin locks actually gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath. The match built nicely to the finish and the fans were certainly there when Reigns and Orton kicked things into go-home gear. Where do both men go from here? Is it as simple as continuing the program or do they break away from one another? I actually hope they break away from this feud. Orton finally regained some lost mojo in the weeks that led up to this match and I fear that prolonging the feud will cause him to lose it.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt: They were stuck in the unenviable position of having to follow the lumberjack match. The crowd was tired early, but Jericho and Wyatt drew them in as the match went on. This was a big improvement on their Battleground match. I just hope that they wow us with the buildup to the expected third match of the series. When this feud was set up, I really expected to be blown away with strong angles and great mic work. I enjoyed last week's sit-down segment, but I really want this feud to feel bigger than it has thus far. Again, though, a good match and I like the clean win for Wyatt.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger: This beat the hell out of the usual approach of both wrestlers trying to retrieve their respective flags. The crowd was hot for Swagger and really wanted to see him win here. He could have won the usual style flag match, but I was not surprised to see him lose a straight up match since they are clearly and wisely protecting Rusev. Swagger passing out rather than tapping out protected him nicely.
A.J. Lee vs. Paige: A good women's title match with a surprise title change. I love the finish with Paige using a realistic escape to the Black Widow and then breaking out the vicious DDT finisher. Is Lee entering chase mode or going away?
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz: A good pay-per-view opener with a crowd pleasing surprise finish. I didn't see Ziggler going over so the finish caught me by surprise. Miz is starting to settle into his new persona nicely. It may not be WrestleMania main event material, but it's a good change of pace from his previous persona.
Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro: A good Kickoff show match with the live crowd rallying behind RVD. I expected Van Dam to go over here as the babyface in the Kickoff match, but I hope there's a meaningful plan for Cesaro that will begin tonight now that SummerSlam is over. The guy is simply too talented to waste.
WWE SummerSlam Misses
None: A great pay-per-view from start to finish. The show looked loaded on paper and every match delivered. It was a small part of the pay-per-view, but the Totino's Mama's Boy crap was cringe material. I'd rather watch pizza rolls cook for 9 to 11 minutes at 425 (not my first rodeo) than suffer through that nonsense again.
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