Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WWE Summerslam 2014

WWE Summerslam 2014

Live from the Staples centre in Los Angeles, California on Pay Per View Summerslam opened its doors on Sunday August 17th. After a slow build with minimal matches and a Brock Lesnar extravaganza would fans be pleased from the result of the beatdown? Or would WWE simply attempt to bribe its audience in measures to secure sign ups to the international purchase of the WWE Network? Lets find out...
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler Vs The Miz (c)
After years of failure both stars were relied upon as the dependable spares in WWE's strife. As challenger Ziggler was the fan favourite. The Miz gaining the championship last month was a clear mistake and why WWE gave it to a nobody is confusing at best. Curtis Axel, Antonio Cesaro or Rob Van Dam (who was last month unfortunately benched with injury) should be highly considered with strong planning.
In a predictable attempt to bribe the minor numbers of fans chanting for Ziggler at events in the hope their jobber will be something again, WWE rewarded the peroxide blonde with the Intercontinental title. Being short stacked and without likeable staff, WWE saw its chance to encourage a few more sales. He will be dropped at a later stage. As for the action, the pair worked to help each others flaws though was a fairly empty match with spot monkey Ziggler's jump up moments.
WWE Diva's Championship
AJ (c) Vs Paige
After returning and re-gaining her diva's title, AJ was set to defend he title once more. The outcome was a predictable and weak decision on WWE's part. After screams, spot calling and low fluidity through transitions and bungle bits from inexperience flunkie Paige, the title was decided. Paige defeated 'frenenemy' Paige to lift her second, non-existant diva's title. an attempt to cover up her failings as first time fluke champion and the lack of female competition spelled the end of WWE's female division once and for all. If WWE are truly serious about it, it will find new challengers that are interesting to the public and not fan faves that Triple H though would work from rushed NXT call ups. This also made WWE and AJ look insanely weak and non-eventful. It's title holder remains an inexperience fluke that can never materialise, especially on fandom alone. WWE need to hand it over to someone else and establish heavy competition. Paige is WWE's biggest failure to date for 2014.
Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter Vs Rusev w/ Lana
American hero Jack Swagger battled Russian endorser Rusev in a flag match. The winner will have their national flag raised in their honour. Swagger attempted to weaken the ankle of Rusev through the match. Rusev took heavy attack and charging spots throughout. For Jack Swagger it was a tense time. Rusev caught the American into his submission hold and defeated Swagger to become the victor. After tending to Jack, Zeb Colter was then smashed by Rusev. The Russian national anthem was then played for the victorious Rusev.
Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose
While this battle is still going on, the pair are making it work tremendously. The match was filled with craziness. The pair chaotically charged into the outside arena over the barricades. To establish order the lumberjacks were all then battling the two stars around the ring. This prompted Corporate Kane to return and retain order. Ambrose held control back in the ring as Rollins was pinned. Kane stopped the pinfall before three. all the lumberjacks then charged at Kane into another dysfunctional collusion. The diversion allowed Seth Rollins to reach his Money in the Bank briefcase and batter Dean Ambrose with it to snare the three fall victory.
Chris Jericho Vs Bray Wyatt
With both Wyatt Family members Harper and Rowan banned from ringside, last month's rematch took place here. Jericho, who returned to WWE for financial purposes again ruined all momentum for Wyatt heading into this match from last month's PPV. Wyatt, who was due to win, lost to Jericho last month in a last minute change backstage. Tonight Jericho entered a lame entry with Wyatt, who tried his utmost to succeed the hype. Looking like a complete failure, Wyatt was easily Jericho's up and comer after a year of making his name worthwhile to fans. Jericho is set to leave soon after to do another rock band tour. Only in it for the money, Jericho showed off with a Walls of Jericho and Codebreaker making cheap foolishness of Wyatt. Bray Wyatt then had to use two Sister Abigail's to silence Chris Jericho in a tame rematch foreseeable and wasteful. Once again the match felt empty, devoid of interest and boring.
Stephanie McMahon Vs Brie Bella
After months and a year of the Daniel Bryan saga from The unapproving Authority, Stephanie took to the ring for the first time in over a decade, Would rusty McMahon be good enough to win? Kitted out in smooth clobber and assured, Steph was all teeth and smiles. The action started fair and consistent for diva matches. During the mid match Triple H emerged from backstage. Nikki Bella soon made up the numbers and followed. Triple H then pulled the referee from the match as Brie baseball slide to gaining the advantage as the lead figure. Sister Nikki joined the ring as she was going to stop Stephanie trying to escape. Instead Nikki smashed her sister Brie Bella, shocking the crowd. Stephanie McMahon seized the advantage and nailed a Pedigree on Bella to cover her and take the glory as winner once again. If anyone honestly believed McMahon would lose, they were foolish. As the grand master able to find any way to turn around a situation, Steph has not only developed considerable as a character, but has found a way to push forward situations to slightly develop WWE. That being said, she is no Max Waltham and needs lots more work, but is finding a way forward to help interest fans.    
Randy Orton Vs Roman Reigns
WWE's latest henpicked star for the top is Roman Reigns. For months since supergroup The Shield split, Reigns has been issued a star pass to the top. However, for Reigns it is not all plain sailing. Though being expertly guided by WWE's five-star maker Randy Orton, Reigns is struggling to evolve. After months of heavy help in top spots and star matches, Reigns is weak. His character, skill and depth are next to none. As previously stated we want Reigns to be a star. Though his star rising qualities have been assumptive and disastrous. WWE expected the new hunk with a great momentum from the top trio and beefy body to easily glide into a comfortable position. It is actually this position that has exposed Reigns and halted his expectations. Roman Reigns won this match far too easily by kicking out of an RKO from Randy Orton smashing a spear instead. While Randy Orton may be in the doghouse with management, Reigns looked stupid. Fans cannot get on board with a new star reliant on cheap wins and no demonstration of skill in some capacity. Currently Reigns is a robotic script stooge. Stand, Smile, Roar, Move, Cover, Win, Cheer. WWE have been considering Reigns to win a heavyweight title at Wrestlemania, possible from Brock Lesnar in the future. If this continues, Reigns is on course to be the best option for WWE's new title scene to flounder into mid card jobber instead. It needs careful work. Reigns requires a year or so more. WWE should have prioritised with Antonio Cesaro.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena (c) Vs Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
This one was full of implications. Will WWE give Lesnar the win to encourage more buys for the WWE Network on the hope of change? Would Cena keep it a month longer to give viewers a chance to buy again on the Network? Or would that alienate them instead? Decisions, decisions.
John Cena supercharged at Lesnar with strong offence and control. For fans the Cena surge was swiftly de-railed. Lesnar grabbed Cena and pummelled him with an F-5 within thirty seconds. Cena managed to kick out of a cover. Lesnar was mad. The Beast didn't come for a picnic with Cena, he came to obliterate him. Fans wanted it and they got it! Cena had a few miniscule spurts of comeback as Lesnar tore the house down and kept destroying Cena with hard beatdowns. Cena was hurled to the mat over and over. He came back with an Attitude Adjustment with a pinfall attempt. Lesnar kicked out. Beasty Brock sat up and laughed at the feeble attempt to beat him. Lesnar then took a new front. Capturing Cena, Lesnar hoisted Cena around in a record sixteen German Suplexes. The announce team questioned if referee Charles Robinson would end this match as a result. Cena was well and truly slammed.
At some point, as all Cena matches have it, he came back with an STF out of nowhere hold. The intensity of the hold was once again weak and laughable. Making it work to an extent, Broke Lesnar broke free and landed another F-5 on John Cena to cover for a three fall and lift the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time in his career. Brock Lesnar has officially re-claimed the gold and 'Monday Night Lesnar' as Plan B (or was it C) in WWE? 
PPV Rating - 3/10
Men/Women of their matches - Dolph Ziggler, AJ, Rusev, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar
Man/Woman of the PPV - Brock Lesnar
This was the only Summerslam event to see all titles change hands. Apart from Lesnar, however, the card was weak. Used as a mechanism to encourage WWE Network sales with fan favourites that mean nothing whatsoever is a troubling time for WWE. Devoid of challengers and not interesting audiences for quality, the WWE show is becoming well and truly costly. WWE have slid back into its comfort zone. Desperate to validate the Network as a good concept, WWE will sacrifice its stars, titles and audience entrustment for the smell of greener pastures. Is this what is truly 'best for business' or has WWE lost its way again? While it may keep fans quiet with the Dolph Zigger and Paige wins, the pair have no interest overall and fans know they will soon lose those titles after a rough three months of empty thrill.
WWE should figure a way to make Lesnar or his eventual loss, split the titles to separate entities again. Until then, no-one has figured out that Lesnar could host a new single title as the WWE World Heavyweight. Lesnar was the first to launch the undisputed title in his record defining classic with The Rock years ago at the very Summerslam PPV.
WWE need to get and display they are serious about not only the Network but its stars and audience. With the titles all becoming entirely meaningless, lack of competition and severe ego on the line, its an empty time in wrestling. could this be the straw that breaks the camel's back? With a capable roster filled with talent WWE reverts to pushing the clueless and talentless. This alone will not sell any concept to its fullest and proves WWE, while are at the top of the pecking order still, is slowly driving away fan faith. That is the most troubling predicament of all. WWE needs to keep the faithful in a business that wants change and quality.

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© Max Waltham 20th August 2014

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