On August 23rd at the Barclays Centre, the WWE will present its latest pay-per-view showcase: Summerslam. The show will contain a rematch between Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker as main event, as well as likely matches between Kevin Owens versus Cesaro, John Cena against Seth Rollins, and some sort of variation of the so-called Divas Revolution. With the card beginning to take shape and the track record of the WWE for PPVs so far in 2015, fans can expect a Summerslam to look forward to from start to finish.
The WWE set the stage for Summerslam at Battleground in July when, during a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker returned, attacked Lesnar, and set up a rematch which, according to Paul Heyman on RAW this past Monday, will be “bigger than Wrestlemania”.
Heyman is not wrong. The decision for the WWE to book the rematch of the encounter which saw Brock Lesnar end the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania 30 is one which you would expect on a show like the Showcase of the Immortals. The encounter is a marketing dream as it will involve two of the biggest stars in the company’s history. Whether or not the match itself will warrant being the main event over John Cena vs Seth Rollins is yet to be seen but based on star power and the narrative behind it, it will be one of the biggest matches in the events history, matching the bout between Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan in 2005. However, that is not the only match to look forward to.
On Monday night, WWE Champion Seth Rollins issued a challenge to John Cena for a Title versus Title winner takes all Match at Summerslam. It is a match that many fans didn’t want to see considering Cena’s track record with younger stars such as Wade Barrett, Rusev and Kevin Owens but there is no doubt that it will deliver in the ring. Since winning the title at Wrestlemania in historic fashion, Seth Rollins has been an entertaining champion whether it be in the ring or on the microphone. His matches with Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton, among others, have been phenomenal and he has proven that he is one of the best wrestlers that the company has at it’s disposal.
At the same time, John Cena, despite being openly and frequently criticised for his tendency to go over younger guys and his limited move set in the past, has been the best thing that the WWE fans have seen in 2015 since winning the US championship from Rusev at Wrestlemania. Despite criticism over his treatment of Rusev and, most recently, Kevin Owens, nobody can deny the pride and prestige that he has brought back to the belt as well as the constantly sensational matches which he has been apart of since he won the title (including against Rollins). Not only that, but the way he has added to his wrestling arsenal has seen him become much more of an all round performer and will ensure that Rollins versus Cena will amaze.
However, Cena versus Rollins will not be the match that will steal Summerslam. That honour will go to Kevin Owens versus Cesaro. Since debuting on Monday Night RAW, Kevin Owens has been a breath of fresh air for fans. Add to that the fact that, in his first match on the main roster, he beat John Cena CLEAN, and the WWE have something special on their hands. Despite his size, Owens has shown himself to be very quick as well as possessing phenomenal technique. His 3 matches against John Cena were all master classes and that will likely continue at Summerslam. His opponent that night will be one of the finest pound-for-pound wrestlers that the WWE have seen in a long time: Cesaro. The Swiss superstar has long been considered one of the most under-utilized stars on the roster. In fact, during a famous podcast with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon claimed that he couldn’t connect with the fans.
However, since the unfortunate injury to Tyson Kidd, Cesaro has started to prove Vinny Mac wrong. He has shown himself to be one of the standout performers on the roster and has consistently put on excellent performances, no matter the opponent. His 2 matches with John Cena before this rivalry with Owens, were sensational and showcased just how good Cesaro is. As well as that, as was seen on Monday night and, in particular, an interview he did with Michael Cole, Cesaro has started to demonstrate mic skills that many fans did not think that he had. Now, fans can very much look forward to a wrestling clinic between Cesaro and Kevin Owens which may well best anything else on August 23rd.
The last match that I am going to talk about, and one that I am most looking forward to in terms of intrigue as to what will happen, is the Divas Championship Match at Summerslam. Since NXT women Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Sasha Banks have arrived on RAW, things have started to change in the women’s division. Gone are the days of 3 minute matches and throw away segments. It appears as if the WWE creative team, seemingly influenced by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, have started to treat women’s wrestling the way that fans have been clamouring for for years. With regards to Summerslam, the WWE have not booked a Divas Title match as of yet. However, if Monday is anything to go by, it will likely be the under rated Nikki Bella defending her title against Charlotte.
However, with the likelihood that the WWE will want to showcase each of Team B.A.D., Team Bella and the Submission Sorority on the card, it may end up being a Triple Threat Match between Nikki Bella, Charlotte and Sasha Banks. No matter what the variation, fans can look forward to a very good match between the women as the Divas Revolution continues to change the landscape of women’s wrestling. Couple the talent involved with the fact that Summerslam will be 4 hours long and the fans may be able to witness a match to rival other matches on the card.
WWE Summerslam being 4 hours long will no doubt add pressure on the company to deliver an entertaining show from start to finish. Thankfully for the WWE, with talent such as those that I have already mentioned in this piece, as well as other matches involving the reformed Wyatt Family, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Stardust and Neville, fans can expect a PPV to rival past Summerslams and, possibly, to rival past PPVs overall.