The 2013 version of SummerSlam, with two five star matches headlining, was one of my favourite WWE PPV’s in a long time. One year on, could the 2014 version live up to that? If the answer to that question is “no”, it was still a good quality night of WWE action.
The main story, and indeed selling point, was the John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar main event. It was about as far removed from WWE’s version of wrestling as we’ve seen in a long time from the company. To put it mildly it was a one-sided destruction that if only for the novelty value is worth watching.
The problem is, it wasn’t THAT exciting. Some fans will have delighted in Cena getting a battering but even they might have to admit that what has happened since has negated any impact that might have had. Lesnar is rarely booked. It’s had no lasting effect on Cena’s character and if this indeed was meant to cement the “reality” era of the WWE, it hasn’t, as the WWE have done nothing like it since. It’s also fair to say that despite the daft booking when they first met upon Lesnar’s return to the company, that original was a much better match than this.
Still the undercard offered up it’s fair share of excitement on the way to that polarising main event.
In the opener, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz clashed over the Intercontinental title that (unpopular opinion coming up) should be their level in a fun back and forth match-up. And whilst it may be damning AJ Lee and Paige with faint praise to say that their Diva’s Title battle was one of the better women’s matches the WWE have put on in recent months, (not including some fantastic action on NXT) it is fair to say that it was a good, well constructed match and the kind of action we should be seeing more of from the ladies. Of course they should have had more time than they got given here…
There was more Diva’s action later on as Stephanie McMahon took on Brie Bella. I feared the worst since Steph was a non-worker who hadn’t been in a match for a decade and the fact that Brie may have made vast improvements in her time in the WWE rings true but she still wavers around the “mediocre” category. But this must have been the pleasant surprise of the night as the storylines worked well and there was good heat for the most part. Flair/Steamboat it definitely wasn’t, but it was a good effort considering who was in there.
The Flag match between Jack Swagger and Rusev was fun for what it was, and played out in front of a white-hot crowd, whilst Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins showed their potential to climb up the card in an incredible Lumberjack match.
We also had two “veterans” vs. “up and comers” matches. The Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt feud didn’t drag me into it, I’m afraid. The match itself here was more than adequate but it never felt more than just another match. There was no real tension in it; it didn’t seem of vital importance to either man. Randy Orton and Roman Reigns seemed of more importance to the participants and once we’d got over the traditional heel Orton tricks of interminable rest holds (which he’s told to do, by the way) the closing sequence was one of the hottest of the card. Reigns’ win seemed significant, what it should be like when a guy takes a win on one of the biggest shows of the year against a main event star.
The DVD extras add a featurette on the Jericho/Wyatt feud, backstage comments from Roman Reigns & Nikki Bella and the Kickoff match between Rob Van Dam and Antonio Cesaro. It was the usual RVD routine, and the wrong man won. The Blu-Ray also adds some TV build up to the show.
Overall this was a reasonable show with the good just about out-scoring the average.
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our copy of SummerSlam 2014. SummerSlam 2014 is available DVD & Blu-Ray from Monday, October 27th 2014. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.