Summerslam Count-Up – Summerslam 2015 (Original): He Actually Did It
Date: August 23, 2015
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s the second biggest show of the year and the main event is a match too big for Wrestlemania as Brock Lesnar faces the Undertaker, who is looking for revenge after Lesnar snapped his legendary streak a year and a half ago. Also it’s title for title with US Champion John Cena facing WWE World Champion Seth Rollins. Let’s get to it.
There was no match on the pre-show.
Here’s special host Jon Stewart to open things up. He talks about all the people who will be here for the ten matches (meaning the Tag Team Title match will be on the main show) and lists off the people on the card, with Lesnar getting one of the strongest reactions. Stewart isn’t over the Streak being broken so he’d like to talk to Brock about beating the Undertaker. However, since Stewart is a mere mortal, he’d like to have a friend there when he does so. That friend is Mick Foley, who comes out to stand by his friend.
However, there seems to be some confusion. See, Foley thought Stewart wanted help interviewing Rock, not Brock. Stewart brings up Undertaker destroying Foley in the Cell and how Foley shouldn’t be afraid of anything. Foley: “THAT WAS SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO!” Foley has wrestled around the world but never visited Suplex City and isn’t stating tonight so Stewart is on his own. Jon says on with the show.
The opening video talks about every city having a story. This city’s story is about making legends, which leads to your standard well done videos hyping up the double main event.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Well they got to open the previous pay per view with a just ok match so maybe they can get all the way up to not bad here. The threat of an RKO sends Sheamus outside in the first ten seconds, just like it did on Smackdown. Sheamus gets on the announcers’ table to say the fans look stupid, not him. Orton comes out and sweeps Sheamus’ leg to move things along but Sheamus takes him down and drops a knee for two. Sheamus stomps him down and asks if the fans are not entertained. Fans: “NO!”
We hit the chinlock on Orton, drawing out HOW YO DOIN and OLE chants from the very vocal crowd. Randy fights to his feet and t-bones Sheamus out to the floor for a big crash. Back in and Sheamus tries a quick Cloverleaf but walks into a powerslam for two. Sheamus gets in a shot to the ribs and heads up top, only to have Randy pull him down with the DDT. Again the threat of an RKO sends Sheamus outside, but this time he’s able to grab Orton for the ten forearms to the chest.
Sheamus tries the slingshot shoulder but Orton catches him in midair in the RKO for a sweet counter. Since this match hasn’t dragged on long enough though, Sheamus rolls outside to keep things going. With the RKO not working well enough, Orton loads up the Punt, which almost never works but neither does this match so why not try it anyway? Sheamus catches him coming in with White Noise, followed by two Brogue Kicks for the pin at 12:11.
Rating: C-. The wrestling was the best these two have ever done but there’s one simple problem: I have no reason to care about any of this. These guys have been feuding for weeks but they’re still here for reasons I don’t get. Like, why is this feud continuing other than the script says it should? That’s bad writing and a problem that WWE has far too often. The main positive here: Sheamus won a big match completely clean. Now enjoy losing until like, Survivor Series.
Some fans won a contest and got to do cool stuff.
Tag Team Titles: Prime Time Players vs. New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores
The Prime Time Players are defending but New Day steals the show with their rendition of Jay Z’s New York, complete with some lyrics about how awful the rest of the teams are, unlike New day which rocks. One fall to a finish and you can tag yourself in. New Day tries the old New Age Outlaws play by tagging in both members (Kofi and Big E.) to pin each other but the Dragons make the save.
The Dragons come in with some fast double teaming followed by Kalisto kicking Big E. in the head over and over. It’s off to Darren vs. Kofi but Big E. splashes Young to put him in trouble. This match is incredibly fast paced so far. It’s Diego in to stay on Darren’s injured ribs but New Day makes their rapid tags to stomp Young in the corner. Woods rants about breakfast and the fans are behind New Day.
Kofi comes in for a chinlock to slow things down for the first time. It’s off to Big E. for the abdominal stretch, as Cole suggests that Woods tweet instead of talk. Cole: “He could use hashtag fatal four way.” Woods: “BIG E. HAS THE MARKET CORNED ON TRICEP MEAT! YOU CAN’T EVEN GET A HAMBURGER IN WWE!” As Woods keeps going about how entertaining this beating is, Darren finally escapes for the tag to Titus, who cleans all kinds of house.
Everything breaks down and Los Matadores are sent to the floor where Fernando dropkicks Sin Cara out of the air. Woods shoves Fernando off the top rope and faceplants Torito to a nice reaction from the fans. Darren drops Woods onto the apron but Big E. spears Young back to the floor. The Lucha Dragons’ double superplex to Diego is turned into a Tower of Doom by Titus, but Kofi sneaks in with a blind tag. The Clash of the Titus plants Fernando, but Big E. throws Titus outside so Kofi can pin Fernando for the titles at 11:20. Big E.’s dancing celebration makes this even better.
Rating: B-. I had a great time with this as they didn’t even try to keep this as a regular match and made the whole thing insane. Woods stole the show here though and sounded like a star. They’ve figured out the perfect formula for these guys and the idea of New Day getting to brag about being right is awesome. Good stuff here and the match that should have opened the show.
Jon Stewart is in the back with Stephen Amell and Neville. Stewart is a big fan but is really here for Undertaker, who passes by the three of them, silencing all three.
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler
Lana left Rusev for Ziggler so Rusev injured Ziggler, triggering this match. Also Rusev has Summer Rae in his corner, who is now dressing as Lana. To counter, Lana is dressing like Ziggler. Got all that? Rusev starts fast and stomps Ziggler down before choking on the ropes. He kicks Dolph in the ribs and puts on a bearhug for a good while before the swinging Rock Bottom plants him again. All Rusev so far.
Rusev gorilla presses him up but Ziggler counters into a DDT for a breather. The Stinger Splash and neckbreaker get two for Dolph but Rusev comes back with the spinwheel kick for the same. Rusev goes up top so Ziggler can run the ropes into an X Factor. Ziggler tries a hurricanrana but has to settle for two off a sunset flip. There’s the sleeper to slow Rusev down but he’s quickly out, only to eat a Fameasser for a close two.
Rusev kicks him down again and puts on the Accolade but the girls get into it, freaking Rusev out enough that he lets go. Ziggler rolls outside but Rusev stops to stare at Lana, who gets decked by Summer. A quick superkick knocks Ziggler onto the announcers’ table and it’s a double countout at 12:00.
Rating: C. This was starting to cook before the lame draw ending. It’s a very interesting case here: Rusev and Ziggler have decent chemistry and Lana vs. Summer could be interesting, but Ziggler and Lana have some of the worst chemistry I’ve ever seen. It’s just awful stuff and they drag down every single scene they’re in together.
The guys keep fighting post match but Summer comes in, triggering a catfight. This almost has to lead to a mixed tag.
We recap Stephen Amell/Neville vs. Stardust/King Barrett. Amell is an actor who portrays the Green Arrow. Stardust has gone insane and thinks he’s a supervillain while Neville is billed as a superhero. King Barrett is thrown in there to make it a tag match and he has nothing better to do. As strange as this sounds, it’s actually been very well done and Amell looks like a great athlete.
Stardust/King Barrett vs. Neville/Stephen Amell
Amell comes out in his Arrow gear but is wrestling in shorts and boots. Neville flips away from Barrett to start and it’s quickly off to Stardust. He wants Amell and gets his wish, as Stephen springboards in and lands right in front of Stardust. Stardust shoves him down so Amell nips up and kicks him in the ribs. A hiptoss puts Stardust down again and Amell shoots an invisible arrow.
Barrett comes in for a kick to the ribs though and Amell is in trouble. Stardust comes back in but gets caught by an enziguri, finally allowing the hot tag to Neville. Everything breaks down with Neville cleaning house, including a middle rope Phoenix splash to Barrett, but Amell gets the dive off the top to drop Barrett and Stardust. The Red Arrow puts Barrett away at 7:37.
Rating: B+. That’s probably the best celebrity performance in the history of wrestling. Amell looked more polished that a lot of indy guys I’ve seen and was clearly having a blast out there. When his selling is already better than a good chunk of your main roster, it might be a sign that you need to make a few changes. I was very impressed here and Amell was awesome. And before I get a million complaints, yes this is on a very sliding scale.
Video on Summerslam week.
Intercontinental Title: Miz vs. Big Show vs. Ryback
Ryback is defending and this was supposed to happen last month, only to have Ryback get injured. Miz bails to the floor to start but comes back in when Ryback has Big Show in some trouble. Show suplexes both of them down and hits a middle rope swanton (yes you read that right) on Ryback, who Miz covers for two. Back up and Miz gets dropped, allowing Show to chokeslam Ryback onto him for two. It’s Ryback up first with a spinebuster and splash to Big Show.
The fans actually get into the FEED ME MORE chant and Ryback Shell Shocks Big Show, before having to kick out of a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz gets two on Show as well and then covers both guys for two more each, followed by a third cover on each for one. I liked that. Show KO’s Ryback but Miz breaks it up at two and gets his own near fall on Ryback. There’s a KO Punch for Miz as well but Ryback shoves Show outside and steals the pin at retain at 5:31. Cole: “Classic triple threat match!”
Rating: C-. Dang they’re flying through this show tonight. We’re through five matches in just over an hour and a half and this match was the fastest of all. They had an idea going here with the stolen pins but the speed hurt it a bit. I’m very glad Ryback retained though as he’s starting to make the title feel important and it would have been really stupid to put it back on Miz or Show for another lame reign.
Stewart tries to talk to Lesnar but gets Paul Heyman instead. Jon talks about being a wrestling fan and how people remember the person with the Streak, not the person who broke it. He goes on about Heyman and Lesnar giving the fans coal for Christmas instead of a puppy. Heyman: “Glory, glory, BROCK LESNAR! I guess we couldn’t get David Letterman to host the show.”
Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose
Ambrose and Harper get things going but everything breaks down in a hurry with the Shield guys taking over and Dean running from announcers’ table to table for a dive onto Bray. The Wyatts pop back up though with Harper suicide diving onto Reigns, followed by a quick superkick over the announcers’ table. Ambrose’ suicide dive is basically no sold and Harper kicks him in the face to really take over.
Things settle down with the Wyatts taking over on Ambrose in the corner with some loud chops. Ambrose gets tied up in the ropes so Bray can suplex him to the floor ala Orton’s hanging DDT. Reigns is still down at ringside. Dean crawls to the empty corner and realizes what’s going on. JBL: “You’re all alone Gilligan.” The Wyatts take turns on Dean, who finally clotheslines Wyatt down. Fans: “ROMAN’S SLEEPING!”
Reigns FINALLY gets on the apron for the hot tag and cleans house, only to have the Superman Punch countered for a sitout powerbomb. Bray says he has an idea but Roman backdrops out of whatever they had planned. It’s back to Ambrose for a Doomsday Device for two on Harper. The Superman Punch and a DoubleBomb plant Harper again, followed by Dirty Deeds to Wyatt. Dean tags Roman back in for the spear and pin on Wyatt at 9:54.
Rating: C+. Well it was certainly energetic. I was buying into the tease of a heel turn but it wouldn’t have made sense given that Reigns was there when Dean finally got free for the hot tag. Also, it’s kind of nice to not go with the turn when it seems the most obvious for a change. You don’t have to force things in wrestling but WWE has fallen in love with the idea.
We recap Rollins vs. Cena. The video has Cena narrating about how awesome New York is before Rollins starts talking about the knee, setting up the title for title match. They really started playing up Cena winning his sixteenth title near as Summerslam got closer.
WWE World Title/US Title: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins is World Champion and Cena is US Champion with both on the line. Seth is all in white here. Cena grabs a headlock to start and the fans are entirely behind Rollins. Back up and we get a “Ce-na Sucks!” chant, followed by a Blockbuster from Seth. Three straight suicide dives make Rollins an even bigger hero but he has to get to the ropes to block the STF.
The Pedigree is countered and Cena totally misses the Springboard Stunner to get the crowd even more riled up. Seth’s standing shooting star gets two so he ties Cena in the Tree of Woe for a top rope double stomp. Back up and a quick AA gets two for Cena before they slug it out. The Pedigree is countered into a catapult, followed by a reverse powerbomb to give John two.
Cena’s top rope Fameasser gets two more but Seth comes back with the buckle bomb for the same. A frog splash of all things crushes Cena and Rollins busts out an AA of his own for two more. Rollins takes his sweet time following up and gets caught in the STF. Cena pulls him back to the middle but has to fight out of the Pedigree, meaning it’s time for a Figure Four on Rollins.
Seth turns it over to reverse the pressure and both guys are down. With nothing else to do, Rollins superplexes him but rolls through into a bonus falcon’s arrow. Back up and the AA connects on Seth but the referee is knocked outside. Cena goes to check on him but gets hit with the knee to the nose. Cue Jon Stewart with a chair (Stewart and Rollins feuded on his show for months) but he hits Cena in the ribs, setting up a Pedigree onto the chair for the pin at 19:27.
Rating: B+. Uh……well alright then. I’m not sure what to think about this one but it’s nice to see Rollins getting a win in a big spot like this. I’m fine with him holding the title a bit longer as there’s really no reason to put it back on Cena just yet. The US Title could go a few different ways now and that makes things more interesting. Good match here, though I’m not sure what the point of the ending was.
Preview of upcoming WWE Network shows, including Edge and Christian on the Stone Cold Podcast, plus Lesnar at another house show at Madison Square Garden on October 3.
The pre-show panel talks as the fans thank Stewart.
We recap the Divas Revolution. Here’s the short version: one team wins, the second team wins, then the third team wins. Nothing changes though because this isn’t about being champion yet.
Team BAD vs. Team Bella vs. Team PCB
BAD: Naomi, Sasha Banks, Tamina
Bella: Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox
PCB: Paige, Charlotte, Becky Lynch
This is an elimination match with one fall eliminating each team. Brie and Becky start things off but it’s quickly off to Tamina to kick Becky in the face. BAD takes turns on Becky with Sasha only getting a slam before tagging back to Tamina. Everything breaks down and BAD hit flip dives (Sasha’s barely connected) onto PCB on the floor in a scary looking crash. The Bellas hit stereo suicide dives, which Cole incorrectly calls new. Paige flips onto the entire pile and all nine are down. Back in and Brie hits a quick Bella Buster for the pin on Tamina to get us down to two.
Nikki Rack Attacks Becky for two but Paige makes the save, only to take the Alabama Slam on the floor. Brie comes in for some YES Kicks and a weak Daniel Bryan chant before it’s off to Fox as the match is finally in a standard formula. We hit the double arm crank as the fans want Charlotte. Instead they get Nikki snap suplexing Paige for two. Back to Fox who eats a knee to the face, finally allowing the hot tag to Charlotte.
Nikki has to break up the Figure Eight on Fox but Alicia pops back up for a double big boot to put herself and Charlotte down again. Becky gets the hot tag to slug it out with Brie, who misses the BRIE MODE dropkick. Yeah it’s a dropkick this time. Lynch grabs a pumphandle slam for the pin on Brie at 15:17.
Rating: C-. So yeah, as you might have expected, Sasha gets no time after last night’s classic, the Bellas get to look dominant for most of the match, and then Becky gets a quick bit of lip service for the pin. Maybe now we can FINALLY get on with an actual story, but there’s a good chance we have more Bella promos to sit through first.
Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
Owens said Cesaro couldn’t beat Cena but Cesaro called Owens out on quitting all his matches. Kevin starts fast and knocks Cesaro outside for a flip dive, only to spend so much time yelling at Cole, allowing Cesaro to connect with a corkscrew dive of his own. Owens is right back up though and sends Cesaro into the barricade for a Cannonball.
A backsplash onto Cesaro’s back gets two and we hit the chinlock, which is now just a regular chinlock because why should Owens be allowed to make a spot fun? For some reason Owens thinks it’s a good idea to talk trash so Cesaro powers up and fires off slaps and punches, followed by the reverse Angle Slam for two. A gutwrench superplex gets two for Cesaro but he can’t hit the Neutralizer. Because Owens is fat you see. Like, fatter than Big Show fat. Even though Big Show weighs like 150lbs more, Owens is fat so it means more.
Owens misses his springboard moonsault but gets two off a superkick. The running uppercut sets up the Cesaro Swing into the Sharpshooter but Owens makes the rope. Cesaro puts him up top, blocks the fisherman’s superplex, and hits a great looking dropkick to stun Owens. He tries…..something, but gets crotched and superplexed, setting up the Pop Up Powerbomb to give Owens the pin at 14:21.
Rating: B-. This was the old “let two guys hit each other a lot” style and it’s very nice to see Owens win another major match. Granted that pretty much ends Cesaro’s match as he came in fresh against a banged up Owens and still lost, but one of them had to lose here and I like Owens winning better.
We recap Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. Brock broke the Streak last year at Wrestlemania but his agent Paul Heyman wouldn’t shut up about it, which angered Undertaker and made him attack Lesnar. That set up the rematch, where for reasons I’ll never understand, WWE is trying to make Undertaker a heel.
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
Lesnar goes after Undertaker during the entrance (has anyone ever done that?) but Undertaker fights him off and knocks Lesnar to the floor for the opening bell. Back in and they slug it out with Undertaker getting the better of it. Old School is caught in an F5 but Undertaker slips off the back, only to be driven into the corner. There’s the first suplex but Undertaker is able to send him into the buckle to block a second. Brock might be busted open.
Snake Eyes into the big boot send Brock outside and Undertaker drops the apron legdrop. They head back inside with Undertaker winning another slugout. See, I can live with that as Undertaker has been billed as the best pure striker for years. It’s not exactly HHH just throwing punches and being fine against Brock. The chokeslam is countered into another German and Undertaker is in trouble again.
They head outside where another chokeslam is countered into the F5 through the announcers’ table to knock Undertaker silly again. Undertaker gets back in at nine and Brock just smiles at him. Brock: “I’ll kill you.” Undertaker: “You’re going to have to.” Brock goes for him but walks into a chokeslam. Tombstone gets two but Brock is up first and laughing again. Undertaker sits up and they start punching each other in the face.
Brock remembers he knows submissions and puts on the Kimura but Undertaker is in the ropes, meaning he can hit the Last Ride for another two. Brock is up first for a second F5 and another near fall. Now Lesnar is getting frustrated and the third F5 is still only good for two. That gets it past the ending at Wrestlemania.
Undertaker suckers Brock into the Hell’s Gate but gets countered into another Kimura with a bodyscissors. The bell rings but the referee says he didn’t call for it. Heyman says Undertaker tapped and in the distraction, Undertaker hits a low blow and puts on the Hell’s Gate but Lesnar flips him off….and passes out to end this at 17:13.
Rating: B+. And now we get a third because trilogies are JUST SO FREAKING COOL RIGHT??? This was a good old fashioned fight but I’m really not wild on seeing Brock lose. We don’t need to see them fight again, but that’s exactly what we’re going to get because that’s supposed to be epic. Ignore the fact that Undertaker never beating Lesnar and the Streak will be gone, but why not take away the two interesting things for the sake of a TRILOGY right? Really fun brawl though and the match they were shooting for last year in New Orleans.
Replays show that Undertaker did in fact tap out in the Kimura when the bell rang, which was due to Lesnar’s shoulders being down for a count, but the referee only got to one. Heyman declares Brock the winner by submission to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. I liked the show, but this is the problem with having a four hour show the night after a two and a half hour show and the night before a three hour show. I was worn out from hearing Cole and JBL talk about stats and where Summerslam has been held over the years and how big this year’s show was about an hour into this and it just never stopped. That’s draining more than anything else and it’s not a good thing.
Now that being said, the show itself was indeed pretty good. This felt like an old school Summerslam until the last match, with a lot of mini feuds being blown off instead of doing anything major. There was more than enough good wrestling to go around and they’re ready to go into the fall as we get ready for Survivor Series and then Wrestlemania season.
Rollins retaining the title is a good idea as beating Cena is a big stepping stone forward for him. The Stewart stuff I can live with as it gives WWE some publicity, and they can set up some stuff off of the ending as well. The other stories mean it’s time for some new stories though and that’s the best thing that could happen right now. It’s a good show, albeit not very memorable. As I said though, this just didn’t need to be four hours and it really hurt things.
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