Seth Freakin’ Rollins
– WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion Seth Rollins’ in-ring promo did drag on, but it was cool to see him soak up all the heat as he used the “boring” chants to help his ego boost and talked about how great he was. Sting interrupting to show he had the statue in his possession was funny, but maybe WWE should’ve gone more for a serious approach. Sheamus coming out to confront Rollins was entertaining to see and set up a potential outcome for Night Of Champions. Rollins didn’t hold back either, also resorting to insulting Sheamus’ look, which the crowd seemed to dig.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
WWE deserved a lot of credit for building up this four-hour long, Brooklyn-bred edition of SummerSlam.
You had the pure marquee matches (Seth Rollins-John Cena “Title For Title,” Brock Lesnar-The Undertaker “The Rematch Too Big For WrestleMania,” etc.), a sure-fire Tag Team spotfest, celebrity involvement (Jon Stewart, Stephen Amell) and much more.
It’s not to say the entertainment factor didn’t strike us with the desired reaction, it’s just an example of how shoddy overbooking can override what would otherwise be fun on its own.
Let’s get to all of that stuff below.
If you ask any wrestling fan, it’s not summer until SummerSlam.
In a year that has pushed new stars into the limelight, we’ve gotten a SummerSlam card that’s more revved up than years past, even getting an extra hour, all taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
It’s an excellent weekend to be a Brooklyn wrestling fan on many fronts, aside from the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn show just the day before.
It’s a loaded show, so let’s get right to things.
Last Stop Before Brooklyn
– The WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback-Big Show match carried off of Raw when Show turned down a fight with Ryback when he challenged him to step into the ring after defeating The Miz. Interesting that Miz isn’t on commentary in this instance, not even remotely involved in the finish either. There were some hard hits before culminating in a clothesline spot that took both men into the barricade, knocking out the camera feed too, for a cool, maybe unplanned effect, but also leaning for the always-lame double countout finish. Either way, we knew not much would happen because of the triple threat at SummerSlam, but at least it was a different way to start the show off.
The Beast Comes Home
– Nothing says “go-home show” like an old fashioned Triple H-Stephanie McMahon opening promo to the show… They plugged WWE SummerSlam on the WWE Network (four hours, mind you) and they ran through the whole card, though someone hit the John Cena-Seth Rollins graphic too soon. Shucks. They hyped Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper, Nikki Bella vs Sasha Banks for later in the show. Seems that announcing matches earlier in the show worked the last time, made sense to do it again here.
The Champ Goes On And On And On…
– The show started with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins coming to the ring (how many times have we wrote that this year?) as he bragged being great, “taming the viper, heroically escaping that pathetic excuse of a Money In The Bank cash-in and bringing down to earth the man gravity forgot.” All good stuff, which made sense for him to embellish. He also addressed John Cena accepting his challenge on Tough Enough, making the SummerSlam “Champion vs. Champion” match official. He hyped up a face-to-face segment with Cena on the next week’s Raw. Neville interrupted and confronted Rollins, bringing up the logical loopholes that Rollins selectively omitted from his diatribe. He also noted that Rollins was never able to kick out of The Red Arrow, also saying that Rollins was going “on and on and on.” He fit in the segment because of their Raw encounter. Cesaro came out and was talking the same, when Kevin Owens ambushed him from behind, while Rollins powerbombed Neville into the turnbuckle. Interesting start that likely culminates in a tag match. Shocker.
Green Arrow Attacks
– WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins came out and did more bragging about injuring United States Champion John Cena, acknowledging he didn’t hear Cena respond to his challenge. The bit with the “live via satellite” was too cutesy, but fit what Rollins was going for. Cesaro’s interruption to challenge Rollins for the Title was a good moment, since he looked like a star with the suit, glasses and crowd support. Owens interrupting allowed him to pick on Cesaro more, brilliantly drawing heat from the method of the “Cesaro Section Signs Fans,” then drawing out Randy Orton, who made jokes on the heels. Rollins had another instance of talking himself into trouble by saying he didn’t care what The Authority thought, when Triple H picked up on it and booked a triple threat match with Owens-Cesaro-Orton with the winner fighting Rollins for the Title later. Good segment.
– As always with WWE and paying respects to passing legends, the on-screen tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper was classy, with all the talent on stage wearing “Hot Rod!” shirts, his music playing out the scene, followed by a great video package.
– Things started with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins in bragging mode about breaking Cena’s nose injury from the Raw match and why wouldn’t he exploit it? Don’t think anyone complained with Cesaro’s interruption, who showed enough confidence on the mic in that snarky way, but still came off likable. It turned into an actual match, which was surprising since Rollins didn’t attempt to run. Was a good segue for Kevin Owens to come down and sit on commentary, which is always a treat. The match had some decent action but Owens interfering by attacking Cesaro was inevitable, as he pretty much gave it away on commentary, again hilariously picking on the team for not plugging WWE.com interviews. Rollins and Owens double-teaming Cesaro afterwards was a good lead-in to what turned out to be the main event.
A Night Of Firsts
– SummerSlam’s still a good month or so away and the buzz is already amidst thanks to last week’s all-out locker-room brawl between Brock Lesnar and Undertaker, which received more flashback video packages (two on this show particularly and from last week’s Smackdown) which was good. It’s ironic that this was branded as a “night of firsts” at the beginning since it speaks to how routine the show has felt in recent weeks, despite one big angle coming out of the shows, like the “Diva Revolution” or the brawl.