Best: Cena vs Rollins
Worst: Ryback vs Big Show vs Miz
John Cena continues his march to wrestler of the year, but Seth Rollins was by far the MVP tonight. Outstanding performance tonight at a point that the show needed it. The four hours works much better for Wrestlemania when it’s a big spectacle, matches generally get more time and there is some variety. This was endless 10-15 minute matches until the title match, which was a needed change in pace. The match was so good I’m even overlooking the non-sensical finish, especially since I was expecting DQ all along.
I think we can officially blame Undertaker’s concussion for the lousy Wrestlemania match between he and Brock Lesnar, as they delivered in the main event spot tonight. I can see how the finish of the main event sounded good on paper, but the execution fell flat in my eyes. Maybe it would’ve made more sense if we saw Taker tap out live and not wonder why the bell rang. Or if they showed the timekeeper telling Charles Robinson that he saw a tap. Anyway, the nuances of this were unbelievable — from the laughing after the tombstone to Brock telling Taker to F-off instead of tapping when he was going out in the gogoplata, and we know they’re headed to Cowboys Stadium, it’s just a question of what the stip will be and if it will be Undertaker’s last match.
My only other nit-pick: I would have had Owens and Cesaro open the show. Hot crowd would’ve been more receptive to two people they like, and they had a great match too.
– Chris H.
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WWE Summerslam 2015 Feedback
Thumbs Way Up
Best Match: Cesaro vs Kevin Owens
Worst Match: Ryback vs Big Show vs Miz
I loved this show. A lot of the matches were good in their spot. Sheamus vs Orton was good and the tag title match was very entertaining and probably a career night for The New Day to this point. Ziggler vs Rusev was quite entertaining with both guys moving really well and Lana and Summer Rae having fun interactions. I liked the finish as well because double countouts are not overdone.
Stephen Amell was far better that I would have expected and I thought it was one of the best celebrity performances I’ve seen. It was a good rub for Neville and Stardust came a long way tonight. And then Reigns and Ambrose vs Wyatt and Harper was close to the best match. Reigns and Ambrose play off well as best friends who are on call for each other and Wyatt and Harper are much better together than apart.
Jon Stewart really played off well all night. And then Rollins transformed himself into a long-term main eventer with a great match against Cena. I am a defender of using Stewart in the finish and think he would be part of a good build-up of a possible Rollins vs Lesnar match at MSG
The women’s match was a real letdown after last night. They really need to let the girls called up from NXT work great matches against each other rather than trying to have them drag good matches out of the Bellas. I did like seeing Becky Lynch go over and think she should get the title next.
Owens vs Cesaro was a great match. Both really tore into each other and had a solid match. Owens is up there with the best and so is Cesaro. I hope Owens get the IC title as that could be a great run for the rest of this year.
Taker vs Brock was off the charts and I am also a defender of the finish. Some of the execution production-wise could have been better but I think it build them well for Mania. The match was very physical and was the best I have seen Taker since the Punk match.
Worst Match: Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz
Best Moments: The New Day Singing, New Day Celebration, Xavier destroying Torito, Undertaker & Brock laughing at each other
*Orton vs. Sheamus: Okay match. Sheamus is the smartest man in WWE because he stepped over the ropes rather than letting Orton drape him for a DDT. Of course then he ate an exploder over the ropes so maybe don’t make Randy mad. Surprised to see a MitB holder win a big match.
*Tag Title Match: This was my favorite match of the night (not the best star rating but the most fun). The New Day are great! I am going to rewatch this tomorrow because I missed many Xavier lines due to people out loud laughing where I watched. The spot where Xavier caught Torito and smashed him was great if only because Xavier looked sooo pleased with himself for doing it. The Big E splash onto Darren on the apron looked like it could cause internal bleeding. The celebration and singing and celebration were wonerful. The New Day is my new favorite team.
*Ziggler vs. Rusev: What did Dolph do to Lana!? Why?! The match was a letdown I felt like I could see on Raw.
*Neville & “The Star from Arrow” vs. Barrett & Stardust: Cody’s gimmick is now Jim Carrey’s Riddler right? Seems timely enough for Vince. Amell looked better than most celebrities who have entered the ring. This wasn’t much match-wise but glad to see Neville get the pin.
*Ryback vs. Miz vs. Show: The only thing I really remember is that Show throws the slowest punch in wrestling. Miz had to run into his fist. I didn’t care at all. Ryback is the least of three evils in my opinion.
*2/3 Shield vs. 2/3 Wyatt Family: Pretty fun match. “Roman’s sleeping” chant cracked me up. Seriously, the guy took a minor bump and was gone for like three minutes. Decisive win considering the JBL and Cole said they didn’t expect anything to be settled tonight right before it started.
*Rollins vs. Cena: Seth Rollins came out looking like the White Power Ranger. Then without the shirt he looked like he belonged in the Beegees. I really liked this match up until the nonsense ending. Seth looked impressive and Cena was really good. The ending seemed straight out of Russo’s playbook. At least Cena isn’t back on top. I like him much more recently since he wasn’t chasing/defending the WWE Title.
*Divas “Revolution” Match: One of the announce crew summed it up perfectly when he said the Bellas had quelled the Divas Revolution. Seriously, someone add up all the minutes Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky were actually legally in the match. I bet it was less than 5 of the 15 minutes this match took. Sasha’s team was eliminated early and then we got a LONG heat segment on Paige from Team Bella. The right team won but this was not the showcase I was looking for.
*Owens vs. Cesaro: Why did this go on after the WWE Title match? They both looked very good but they can’t possibly get over because one is Swiss and the other is fat. I really liked the match and at least someone got over with a win unlike Ziggler vs. Rusev.
*Taker vs. Lesnar: Best Taker match in years (I know he hasn’t had many). I figured they would give Taker the win but I still thought Brock should. The finish helped keep Brock looking strong since Taker did tap. About as good as your likely to get out of Taker at this point. The laughing at each other bit was unintentionally hilarious. Also, Brock is a vile man to look at when he’s sweating.
WWE Summer Slam: Thumbs Up
Best Match: Rollins vs. Cena
Worst Match: Ziggler vs. Rusev
Enjoyed what Jon Stewart brought to the table and nice to see Mick Foley help open the show. Orton vs. Sheamus was fine, but not as good as expected. Sheamus needed a win since he seems to lose a lot as of late. Tag Titles was entertaining even with some botched stuff. New Day winning makes the most sense as they should have never lost in the first place. They still need some new teams in the mix because the same guys over and over again gets old real fast. Ziggler vs. Rusev was nothing special and given the double count out is why I put as the worst match for the night. I do give points just for Lana being out there, but she needs to get with someone in a better spot than Dolph. Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and Barrett was enjoyable. Neville is awesome and Amell was good for being a celeb. I still wish Barrett and Stardust would get a chance to do something. Perhaps they throw them into the Tag Title mix. Triple Threat I-C Title match was okay and I didn’t expect much from it. Miz badly needs to be rehabed and I hope this feud is over. Reigns and Ambrose vs. the Wyatts was a good one, but again there are just too many guys who are running in place and not advancing. Ambrose is another one who deserves more opportunity. Rollins vs. Cena was tremendous and the finish with Jon Stewart was good, although I don’t know how Cena can get revenge on him or why Stewart would go heel, but maybe he will be making more appearances. I assume Rollins won’t hold both belts for too long. Maybe he loses one or both at Night of Champions. Divas match was pretty good, but again I don’t know why they can’t book a match like they do on the NXT show from last night which was fantastic. Cesaro vs. Owens was another good one, but should have been earlier in the show when people still cared. Lesnar vs. Taker was very good and I had no problem with the disputed finish since they are probably saving another meeting for Mania. All in all a good show.
THUMBS solidly in the middle.
It was the best of times, and the worst of times. A lot of good things happened, but a lot of not good things happened.
The fist match of the show was very blah. I like the New Day as champs. I hate that they have ruined Lana’s very good gimmick as a valet for absolutely no reason. But Rusev put on a great performance. I had a hard time caring about the IC match, and even the remnants of what could have been a great Wyatt Family vs. Shield program that missed its chance. I was more interested in seeing how Amell would do, and he did great!
Rollins put on the performance of the night, and carried the Cena match, but I did not care for the finish. Maybe this is a good chance to retire the US title. I was also underwhelmed by the Divas match, but it did have some decent spots, even some by the Bellas. I had high expectations for Cesaro-Owens, and while it was a strong match, it under-delivered my expectations. I like both guys, but I’m glad Owens won. He needs it more than Cesaro.
The excitement that follows Lesnar is undeniable. I was somewhat uncomfortable watching this match, because I have a lot of fondness for the Undertaker, and I just worry about his well-being, stepping in there with Brock at his age. Brock is almost too tough for great athletes in their prime, like Rollins & Reigns. The sight of him throwing around a 50 year old man might be fine if you labor under the idea the idea that wrestling is fake. I found myself worrying about him.
BEST MATCH: That said, and things considered, including execution and anticipation, and even the complex finish, Taker-Brock was the MOTN. Both guys did a great job, even though I’m not sure Taker should still be doing this. I did like the way they laid out the match, and incorporated many signature UT spots early in the match. I initially hated the finish, but the more I think about it (like the streak being broken, actually) the more it is growing on me. Unlike everyone’s predictions that the UT should go out on top, he is now poised to go into his retirement match as a heel, take a clean loss, and have his retirement be his permanent babyface turn.
WORST MATCH: Orton-Sheamus. This match could have been left off the show. It didn’t begin or further any story.
I am waiting for this HUGE surprise tomorrow, because frankly, I wasn’t exactly blown away by tonight.
Show was a thumbs up though four hours is probably too long.
Best match: Rollins/Cena. Rollins was ridiculous in this match and the ending actually made me want to see what’s next.
Worst match: Orton/Sheamus. Both guys bore me silly.
I wasn’t thrilled with the ending of the Brock/Undertaker match. It’s only going to lead to a third match that Taker will win so why bother? At least Kane didn’t get involved.
Overall: Thumbs up show. This was a long show with a lot to like, a lot to digest, and a lot to discuss. Many will start by stating how much better the NXT show was than Summerslam. As a whole, the NXT event was the better show, but that statement should be made with some caveats. First of all, even though this was in the same building, the crowd was incredibly more easy last night than they were this evening. Last night they came ready and willing to enjoy themselves to the fullest extent. Tonight, it felt like they sat on their hands waiting for the wrestlers to impress them. The wrestlers did their part. I am not sure the booking did the athlete’s efforts justice. I wanted the biggest event of the summer to end with an exclamation point. Tonight ended with a semicolon and a question, “what is next.”
Best Match: Rollins and Cena was a fantastic match and an excellent showcase for Rollins. When the harness is off, Rollins is the most athletically gifted and promising talent in professional wrestling today.
Worst Match: The women’s match was bad.
1. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus. The match started slow and treaded dangerous waters, risking eliciting a negative reaction from a rabid crowd. As normal the match built nicely, including just enough innovation beyond the norm to turn in the Randy Orton trademark three star standard. Fine opener and a surprising win for Sheamus. Orton epitomizes the concept of doing enough to get over and stay over. ***
2. WWE Tag Title Match: Los Matadors vs. Prime Time Players vs. New Day vs. Lucha Dragons. Gotta love the New Day. The singing performance was classic. The match itself was a mixed bag; it had some slop and some cool highspots. Particularly, Sin Cara appeared to be having a rough night. The finish peaked nicely with a very energetic hot tag by Titus and a chaotic close that allowed the hottest heel tag team to steal a victory. Fun match. **1/4
3. Rusev w/ Hot Summer vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Lana. For the third consecutive match, the crowd started cold. The action was fine, but nothing really hooked the live crowd during the body of the match. New York has traditionally been a Ziggler friendly region. Has he lost that much steam? The Lana effect brought the crowd alive, but the double count out finish killed them dead. The finishing cat fight revived them. Obviously, nobody likes a double count out finish, but it does serve as an effective vehicle to set up the heavily predicted mixed tag match. **1/4
4. Steve Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett. This was a lot different than I anticipated. Amell was in the ring taking a beating for much longer than I believed he would. His offense was serviceable, his selling was lackluster. I appreciate the fact that the match built to a Neville hot tag. Neville was given more of a showcase than Amell and his speed and fire were impressive. As for celebrity in ring performances, Amell ranks among the best. Fun match. **
5. IC Title Match: Ryback vs. Miz vs. Big Show. Short and sweet. This fell on the high level of my expectations. The pacing and action was faster then I would have expected. The MIz played his role exceptionally well. Not sure I would have had Ryback “steal” the victory. A big badass should not have to resort to such means. **
6. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Wyatt Family. When the crowd is cold, start hot. That is exactly what these guys did. Loved the chaos at the onset. It is consistent with the mood of the storyline. They employed the old Shield template of building the hot tag to Roman. Unfortunately, the crowd is too smart for this in 2015. Nonetheless, the action was solid and aggressive from start to conclusion. The finish was about as clean and definitive as it gets. No dissension, no reveal, no turn, no shenanigans. ***
7. WWE Title and US Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena. Rollins has been limiting himself physically over the last year to avoid receiving a respect response from the crowd. Tonight, he tossed that strategy out the window and gave the WWE a glimpse of what he is actually capable of. Cena manufactured his 2015 match template, and Rollins fulfilled the role of the credible counterpart. Even though he did not cheat until the end, he cheated when it meant the most. How John Stewart and Rollins explain this will be interesting. ****
8. Divas Tag Elimination Match: Team Bella vs. P.C.B. vs. Team B.A.D. These ladies were given a lot of time, and most of it was wasted. Train wreck of a match that was reminiscent in quality of the Divas matches on WWE over the last 5 + years. I cannot explain why the Bellas were given more of a shine than anyone in the match sans Becky. They have been given way too many chances for way to long. Hard to explain how two women’s matches from the same company, in the same arena, with similar talent could produce such drastically different results. The fact that they are still trying to sell these Diva’s train wrecks as good when they are obviously not is borderline offensive. *
9. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro. They started out of the gates with aggression looking like they were set on stealing the show. It did not happen. The action and moves were fantastic. But, getting over with moves and getting your character over are two different things. No matter what they did, the crowd did not fully invest. It is easy to blame the fans or blame the match placement, but in the end, one must admit the story in the ring did not resonate with the live crowd. A strong match, but I feel like they did not get back what they put in. ***
10. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. It was an all out war from the start. Taker is old, but he put his health in jeopardy to give fans the fight they hoped for at WrestleMania 30. The action delivered and provided the big fight atmosphere. Unfortunately, the finish did not due justice for the work put in. I understand they wanted to protect both guys, but in doing so they upset a lot of people. I wanted this to end with a period or an exclamation point, instead it ended with a , “to be continued.” ***1/2.
Thanks, Derrick Hubbard
Best Match: Owens v Cesaro
Worst Match: Divas
So first off for what everyone may comment on; I dont mind a controversial finish to add to a mania rematch but why not go for the easy simultaneous double pin tap out? The ringing of the bell without that really killed it for everyone. The Lesnar FU while passing out was tremendous, would have been great to use (for either of them) in a Mania match. I dont think it took away from how good the match was just think it became very disjointed. Was tough to not give it MOTN but just couldnt go against Owens-Cesaro.
Glad to see Owens get a high profile win again and Cesaro continued to show more and I think keep pace while losing. This was the first high profile Owens match where I felt the opponent “did more” which is a good takeaway shine more on the loser while giving Owens something back in the W column.
Rollins and Cena had a great contest, man Stewart was a shock on paper BUT as soon as he came in he looked right at Cena. How did someone not tell him to never once look in his direction? And he should know that being a fan. Im looking forward to the promo explaining him helping Rollins tomorrow. Interested in what they do with the US title as well.
Anyone else see Sheamus win and automatically say “well no cash in now”? Amazing how we can all read some of the even steven booking thought processes. Nothing was bad on the show. Likely due to the length and some of the lulls it couldnt match last nighta overall excitemtnt. Divas were back to being filler but better than normal filler. Some reward for sasha though to be out first. Remember when crowd cared about Rusev? Just nothing there til Lana got involved and even then so much for what they had going.
This was a great WWE weekend though and with all that talk about a big Raw tomorrow we heard before tonight and the natural follow up, really does feel like a Mania for the summer!
Thumbs in the Middle
Best Match: Owens vs. Cesaro
Worst Match: Ziggler vs. Rusev
-Sheamus def. Orton. Good match, the top rope draping DDT was sick. ***1/2
-New Day def. PTP(c), Matadores, Dragons. Good, probably should’ve been the open.New Day is awesome. Xavier might just be the manager of the year if he keeps this up. ***1/2
-Rusev (draw) Ziggler. This was pretty awful. Lana had horrible outside reactions. When Ziggler was beating up Rusev, but Rusev was kicking out, she was concerned. When Ziggler was being beaten, but still kicking out, she was happy. Double count out. Bad. Bad. Bad. 1/2*
-The Arrows def. Stardust & Barrett. Amell wasn’t too bad, but didn’t get a great reaction. Thank god for Neville, who saved this. *1/2
-Ryback(c) def. Big Show, Miz. This was about what you’d expect to get from a 5 minute match with these three. Big Show knocked out Miz and Ryback tossed him to steal the win. Not a good night, or year for that matter, for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner. **1/4
-Ambrose & Reigns def. Wyatt Family. Really good action, but the crowd wasn’t really having it. Reigns was laid out for far too long at one point, and the crowd chanted “Roman’s sleeping.”. This face run is still not working for Reigns. Good fast paced brawl nonetheless. ***3/4
-Seth Rollins(c) def. John Cena(c). Cena needs to drop the springboard stunner, he misses it about 80% of the time. The audience isn’t reacting to Cena’s match formula as much as they were with Cesaro, Owens, ect. The AA needs to be rebuilt, it’s hard to buy the first one as the finish. My last complaint… Jon Stewart? Of all people, why Jon Stewart? All that said, it was a very good match. Rollins was on his game, breaking out a running shooting star press and a frog splash. Cena using the figure four was a great touch. But seriously… Jon Stewart? ****
-P.C.B. def. B.A.D., Team Bella. Believe it or not, Banks vs. Bayley was better. This went far too long. Alicia, who showed to be by far the best on Team Bella, got the least amount of offence on her team. *1/2
-Kevin Owens def. Cesaro. Great match. Should’ve been given more, especially considering there’s nearly 50 minutes left. ****1/4
-The Undertaker def. Brock Lesnar. The crowd was about 60/40 in favor of Taker. This match was very good until the finish, which was awful. Neither man got over. Of all the ways to set up match three, this was far from the best. ***