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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results: Rollins Retains, Undertaker Wins

August 23, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE brought SummerSlam back to prominence with a main-event fit for a WrestleMania. The Undertaker returned and avenged his WrestleMania loss to Brock Lesnar in a classic, yet controversial match while Seth Rollins got help from an unlikely ally to retain his championship and win the U.S. title.

The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a fantastic match to cap off SummerSlam 2015. Lesnar passed out in Hell’s Gate after giving Taker the middle finger. Many, including myself, had concerns whether these two could live up to the unbelievable hype coming into the match. Not only did they live up to the hype, I think they exceeded it. This was nothing like their WrestleMania 30 match and everything you hoped for and more from two savage rivals.

This was another physical match for these two but wrestled with a much faster pace than their previous encounter. The match was much more of a brawl than their Mania 30 match which seemed to lag at times. The match immediately started off hot when Lesnar attacked Taker as he entered the ring, something I can’t recall ever seeing. Brock was cheered a bit more during introductions but wrestled the match as a total heel. As for Taker, I think he looked great and the best he’s looked since Mania 29. Lesnar hit Taker with a ton of suplexes while the dead man hit all of his signature moves. Lesnar was busted open during the match as well. A real cool spot saw Lesnar sitting laughing at Taker, Taker rises up and laugh back at Lesnar before brawling once again.

Unfortunately if there is one criticism of the match it may be the finish. The finish came when Lesnar had Taker in a kimura. Taker tapped and the bell rang, however, the referee didn’t see it. The story here is that the time keeper rang it on his own. Since the referee didn’t see it the match continued, Taker gave a distracted Lesnar a low blow, snagged him in Hell’s Gate and Lesnar passed out. Heyman and Lesnar went ballistic after the match as you could expect.

I can’t say enough great things about the match. It was truly a classic. The finish was Brock’s first loss since Mania 29. The finish also sets up a rubber match which will likely go down at WrestleMania 32, probably in a Hell in a Cell. I can’t imagine anyone complaining about seeing these guys for a third time after what took place in Brooklyn.

In the co-main event, Seth Rollins pinned John Cena to retain the title and win the U.S. title. The finish came when the referee was bumped and SummerSlam host Jon Stewart came to the ring with a chair. He teased that he was going to hit Rollins, although he looked incredibly flustered and wound up hitting Cena. Rollins hit a pedigree for the three count and the U.S. title.

The match was very good, but Rollins was the probably the runner up MVP after Undertaker. Rollins wrestled his best singles match as WWE champion and maybe his best WWE match to date. Something changed whether it was a fire lit under him or a directive from management because Rollins hit a ton of big moves throughout the match. It was to the point that Rollins was wrestling as a babyface, ironic since Rollins debuted a new ring outfit which was all white and original plans were rumoured to match Rollins as a babyface against Triple H. Why it took this long to see this Seth Rollins and why he didn’t unleash this arsenal in any of his matches against Dean Ambrose is a mystery to me.

When this match was originally booked, I was sure that Sheamus was cashing in. However, the second Rollins dropped that bit about a statue I assumed he was winning to set up the big angle where Cena destroys the new statue. The finish obviously sets up a rematch at Night of Champions and the rumor is that these guys will wrestle each other on the next few special events. They had what I’d call a great spectacle although I don’t want to take anything away from Rollins. The match got out of hand with all of the kicking out of moves in my opinion, but it was a lot of fun to watch if you could ignore that.

The undercard was rather solid but uneventful. Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro in an expected good match. The New Day regained the tag team titles in a match I thought was more fun than most people did on Twitter. Sheamus defeated Randy Orton clean in the middle in the opener.

Overall I’d say the four hours moved a lot faster than I expected going into the big show. As a spectacle, this may be the best SummerSlam event in a decade. I think the only problem is that both main-events had disputed finishes. One would have been fine, but people could feel a little ripped off when you see screwy finishes in both matches. Nonetheless, one thing you can’t complain about was the wrestling as the majority of the show was solid in the ring and you can’t ask for much more from that.

I’d highly recommend checking it out on the Network if you haven’t already, especially for the main-event which is a match that will be talked about for years to come.

Full WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results and winners…
The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar via submission
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defeated United States Champion John Cena to win both titles
Ryback defeated The Miz and The Big Show to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro
Team PCB defeated Team Bella and Team B.A.D. in a Three-Way Elimination Match
Steven Amell & Neville defeated Stardust & Cosmic King Barrett
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev ended in a double C.O.
New Day defeated The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, and Lucha Dragons to regain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Sheamus defeated Randy Orton

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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions and Preview

August 20, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

To say that this is the biggest WWE SummerSlam in recent memory would not be an understatement. The 2015 event brings SummerSlam back to prominence as arguably the number two special event of the year. A rare appearance by the Undertaker in a rematch over a year in the making has many in and out of the wrestling world ecstatic for this year’s event.

The biggest party of the summer comes to New York this Sunday night. The WWE has stepped up the event with hopes of bringing it back to its 1990s prominence. The company is pulling out its big gun, booking Undertaker on his first non-WrestleMania special event in years and a title for title match between the WWE world and U.S. champions.

Let’s take a look at the top matches…

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Like some, I believe that the WWE didn’t time this one right. Don’t get me wrong. It’s hot, red hot right now. However, I think that it could have even been bigger if it were put on a WrestleMania show. Either put it on 31 or save it for 32. Nonetheless, we’re getting it and fans are juiced up for the big rematch.

It’s hard to deny the intensity in the match. Thus far, these two have blown the roof off of several buildings with their confrontations and fights. They have certainly been more action-packed than their infamous bout at WrestleMania 30 which saw Lesnar end the streak. Hopefully the energy continues into the match.

SO let’s talk about the match. I think that these guys have set a real high standard of expectation here. They cannot go out there and have a match like they had at Mania. They need to tell a different story. This match needs to be a fight. I know people are expecting 20 or 30 minutes here but I think anything more than an 8-10 minute fight will kill the mystique. I think you can come back for the rubber match with a different story, but this match needs to be fast, intense, and full of action.

I don’t think that you bring back the Undertaker to have him lose. I’d be shocked if Taker lost at SummerSlam. I think he wins and I have no problem with Brock losing his first match in a while to Undertaker. I also think he goes over clean here, although they could insert Kane into the finish which would take all of the air out of the balloon.

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins U.S. Title vs. WWE world Title

Did you know that John Cena has been in the WWE world title match for in every SummerSlam since SummerSlam 2011? I just thought I’d through that out there. I believe that this match is coming together due to the low ratings RAW has suffered in recent months leading to SummerSlam. Like Seth Rollins or not, he has not been a draw as WWE world champ and the CEO is taking the only action he knows, bring back Cena!

Before we criticize the WWE for putting Cena back in the title picture, I think we need to give him credit where it’s due. Cena has had an excellent year in the ring thus far, putting together a string of excellent matches between bouts with Lesnar and Rollins, some Rusev matches, and of course the series with Owens. Cena has even outshined Rollins on occasion in the ring. While you may be sick of Cena, it is only fair to point out how solid he has been in the ring for a while now.

I have no reason to think that this match won’t be very good. They will certainly have time, especially with a four hour show. I’d expect nothing less than a 30-minute competitive match between these guys. But who is going over?

Seth Rollins asking for the statue threw a curveball into my original theory. As a matter of a fact, I think it gave the finish away. Rollins wins and Cena destroys his statue the next night on RAW. That seems the most predictable here. However, my original pick had Cena winning and Sheamus cashing in to win the WWE world belt. This would leave Cena as U.S. champion. Until Rollins asked for the statue, I was 100% sure of Sheamus leaving New York with the title. Now I am not so sure. I don’t think either guy is leaving with both belts so I’ll stick with my original pick of Cena over with Sheamus cashing in but I am not nearly as convinced.

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. the Wyatt family

One thing I can almost guarantee you is that this match will be good. These guys always had great matches in six-man tags so I have no reason to think they can’t pull it off down two. I was almost sure that Dean Ambrose was turning on Reigns here until RAW this past Monday. I am starting to think that Lana and Rusev are reuniting, thus Lana on Dolph being the turn of the night. Maybe this one drags on and we finally see Sting in the mix by Hell in a Cell? I think that the Wyatts are winning to keep the feud going.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

I liked this feud a lot more on paper than what I have seen in the ring. I still think this one has a lot of potential but the chemistry is just not there between Dolph and Lana. One thing struck me on Monday and that was that I don’t believe Lana has made any physical contact with Rusev. I could be wrong, but I don’t even remember a slap. I think that this experiment into splitting them up has gone terribly wrong and the company just can’t figure out what to do with either one of them. Neither one of them are over nearly to the degree they were with each other. I think they reunite at SummerSlam and Ziggler takes another fall at SummerSlam.

Full WWE SummerSlam 2015 card and matches…
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
John Cena (U.S. Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (World Champion) …Winner Take All singles match for both the WWE United States Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Ryback (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Miz in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Wyatt Family vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) (c) vs. Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego w/ El Torito) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (a 2/3 combination of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) in aFatal 4-Way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The Arrows (Stephen Amell and Neville) vs. The Cosmic Kings (Stardust & King Barrett)
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Team Bella (The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox) vs. Team B.A.D. (Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina) vs. PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch) in a Three-Team Elimination match
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) vs. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae)

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50 Greatest WWE SummerSlam Matches Ever

August 18, 2015 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

So here it is! The ultimate compilation of great and historic SummerSlam WWE matches. Here are the 50 greatest matches ever from the biggest party from the WWE summer extravaganza.

50. ROCKERS/TITO SANTANA VS. FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS/RICK MARTEL (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Go ahead, find the weakest worker in the match, I dare you. Just a tremendous back and forth contest with three skilled faces, and three heels who knew the formula. Just think, if Strike Force never broke up, this would have been an amazing TLC match.

49. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: REY MYSTERIO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
Before this match, Ziggler was considered by many to be an overrated product of the developmental system. After a furiously paced battle that opened the 2009 show, Ziggler proved he belonged with a flawless heel effort in defeat, and more than earned his forthcoming push.

48. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CM PUNK VS. JBL (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
This one’s a bit forgotten, but it’s historical in that it was Punk’s first successful defense of a World Title on PPV. There was a sick moment in which both men landed in a fashion where JBL’s head landed on the back of Punk’s, legit knocking Punk silly, but he had enough bearing to finish the match, and win.

47. BRET HART VS. DOINK THE CLOWN/JERRY LAWLER (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
It was a better angle than it was a match. Lawler faked an injury to get out of facing Hart, whose family had been tormented by Lawler for months. Bret won by DQ after Lawler, not injured, interfered. Then Lawler was forced to face Bret, where he was then mauled. Lawler won by DQ on a technicality.

46. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. CHRIS JERICHO (August 21, 2005 – Washington, DC)
The anti-Cena backlash was just beginning to pick up steam at this point, as Jericho proved to be the crowd favorite in the nation’s capital. Cena would win with the then-called FU, and would drive Jericho out of the company for two years one night later on Raw.

45. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: KURT ANGLE VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 24, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ)
Sadly, this might be the worst of the Angle/Lesnar matches, due to the overbooking and involvement of Vince McMahon (wearing an uncharacteristic Hawaiian shirt), but it was still good enough for the most part. Lesnar tapped out for the first time, proving that Angle is as good as Frank Mir. *cough*

44. WORLD TAG TEAM: STEINER BROTHERS VS. HEAVENLY BODIES (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
With family in the crowd, and their home state behind them en masse, the Steiners put on a variant of their classic NWA/WCW ‘technical spotfests’ with Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard, both quite game to play at the Steiners’ level. One Frankensteiner later, and the Steiners prevailed in their backyard.

43. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: CHRIS BENOIT VS. ROB VAN DAM (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
The story was Benoit (Smackdown) was attempting to bring the belt to the blue brand, whereas RVD (Raw) was fighting to keep it on Eric Bischoff’s show. It was the usual tooth-and-nail show of aggression, and Van Dam recaptured the gold from the “Canadian Crippler”.

42. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. MANKIND VS. TRIPLE H (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
This match was heavily hyped with then-Governor Jesse Ventura donning the referee stripes, and the media blitz was quite a coup for WWE. Mankind scored an upset by pinning an injured Austin, but Mick Foley would drop the gold to Triple H the following night to give The Game his first reign.

41. WORLD TAG TEAM/2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: DEMOLITION VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 27, 1990 – Philadelphia, PA)
I was there! Demolition scored the first fall, but their final reign ended in a DQ in the second stanza, followed by their three man hoodwinking (Ax was not supposed to be at ringside) being foiled by the Legion of Doom, allowing for The Hitman and The Anvil to double team Crush to win.

40. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: EDGE VS. JOHN CENA (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
Cena got booed out of his hometown arena, and the Bostonians couldn’t have been happier to see Edge retain. It was the typical “main event style” match that the two do so well, and Edge’s brass knuckle shot sealed the victory, prompting Jim Ross to curse up a storm at ringside.

39. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CHRIS BENOIT VS. RANDY ORTON (August 15, 2004 – Toronto, ON)
Even Benoit’s countrymen seemed enthralled by the notion of Orton becoming the youngest World Champion in WWE history, and it happened after one of Orton’s more stellar efforts to date. Say what you will about Orton, but seeing him bawl his eyes out in victory was a nice, real moment.

38. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. UNDERTAKER (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
As great a match as this was, it would have been even more epic had Austin not been knocked silly on a backdrop counter spot earlier in the match. As it was, it was the culmination of a summer’s worth of storylines, and had the satisfying ending of Austin beating the Dead Man cleanly.

37. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: RICK RUDE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
If not for Randy Savage, I’d say nobody got better matches out of the Warrior than Rude, who added both a musclebound-rival perspective, as well as a ragdoll for the Warrior to throw around. After Roddy Piper distacted Rude, Warrior got his gold back in convincing fashion.

36. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE UNDERTAKER VS. BRET HART (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Bret Hart would never be allowed to wrestle in America again if he lost, and having Shawn Michaels as the referee stacked the deck against him. However, an errant Michaels chair shot felled the Dead Man, and Hart was able to salvage his US career with a reluctant count from Michaels.

35. CHRIS JERICHO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 19, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA) WWE planted a red herring, making fans believe Jericho was losing prior to his leaving the company. Instead, Y2J won a highly-intense opening match with the Walls of Jericho. Jericho would leave the following night, when Ziggler beat him in a ‘briefcase vs. career’ match, but came back at the Rumble

34. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: LANCE STORM VS. EDGE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Take a technically proficient bad guy, a formula-driven, yet energetic good guy, and give them the opening match in which to set a killer pace for the show. Done and done! Edge, despite Christian’s questionable failed interference, put away his Canadian counterpart to capture the gold.

33. LUMBERJACK MATCH: DEAN AMBROSE VS. SETH ROLLINS (August 17, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA)
Back when Rollins the Sly Coward wasn’t an overshot concept, he and Ambrose brawled wildly in this lumberjack match without the boundaries inhibiting them any – in fact, Ambrose broke the barriers with one of his most delightfully unhinged performances to date, before strangely becoming a hapless afterthought.

32. ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM WWE VS. THE NEXUS (August 15, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA)
Considering the lack of experience on the opposing team, this match turned out pretty damn good. Bret Hart’s Summerslam return was also a welcome addition to the match. So what if John Cena managed to win using his Superman formula? It was still a good forty minutes, wasn’t it?

31. I QUIT MATCH: RIC FLAIR VS. MICK FOLEY (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
For a feud that began over petty comments made in an autobiography, this bloodbath stole the show for a lackluster Summerslam. Melina, as Foley’s ally, was great in her role of concerned friend, and Flair drawing a submission from Foley by threatening to main her was great theater.

30. STREET FIGHT: TEST VS. SHANE MCMAHON (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
Test’s greatest match ever, and it may have been Shane’s as well. Test was fighting for the right to date Shane’s sister, Stephanie, and the two beat the hell out of each other in an overbooked, but fun, skirmish. Test won, but Shane stunned everyone with his diving elbow through the table.

29. DEGENERATION X VS. LEGACY (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
This was quite a coming out party for Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, and they were made to hold their own against a reunited DX, who tend to dominate anyone that’s not a main eventer. Although Legacy lost, they looked pretty damn good, but it’s a shame the momentum didn’t last.

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28. KURT ANGLE VS. REY MYSTERIO (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
It may have been under ten minutes long, but it was still an exciting way to open possibly the greatest Summerslam ever. Mysterio’s WWE PPV debut saw no wasted motion, as he and Angle found instant chemistry. Angle prevailed with the ankle lock, and the fans needed to catch their breath.

27. WWE HARDCORE/LADDER MATCH: ROB VAN DAM VS. JEFF HARDY (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
WWE fans were warming up fast to the Alliance’s resident daredevil, as he and WWE’s enigmatic freak tore down the house, setting new standards for ladder match insanity. Van Dam would retrieve the title, and his rise into an eventual babyface star was coming to fruition.

26. LION’S DEN MATCH: OWEN HART VS. KEN SHAMROCK (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
It was WWE’s attempt at UFC, before UFC was the rage with every tatted-up blowhard in your neighborhood. Held in the confines of the theater inside MSG, Shamrock and Hart stretched and slugged each other until Owen could prove no match for Shamrock’s anklelock.

25. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/TLC: JEFF HARDY VS. CM PUNK (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
One of Hardy’s final contributions to WWE, before his life began its free fall, was this exciting, innovative, and spotastic TLC match that closed the 2009 event. Punk won by a hair after taking his lumps, but Undertaker was there at the end to ruin the moment with a chokeslam.

24. WCW HEAVYWEIGHT: BOOKER T VS. THE ROCK (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
It’s a shame the feud was so one-sided toward The Great One, because he and Booker would rank in the top ten of all time most charismatic performers. The match was a great main event showcase, but Booker T spinarooni-ed his way right into a Rock Bottom, wounding the Alliance’s windfall.

23. DANIEL BRYAN VS. WADE BARRETT (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
A sleeper classic between the best technical wrestler in the world, and his former NXT alum, no wrestling slouch in his own right. Bryan and Barrett exchanged science and stiff shots for the duration of this forgotten battle, with Barrett narrowly winning.

22. WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 17, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA)
The most heralded squash match since Warrior splattered Honky in the Garden, Lesnar lived out an IWC fanboy’s dream by pummeling Cena mercilessly, and laying the terrain for what would become Suplex City. The brawl was 80-20 in Lesnar’s favor, reminiscent of Vader felling Sting at Great American Bash 1992.

21. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
The confusing storyline of Mr. Perfect attempting to manage whoever won did little damage to the body of the match. It lacked the intensity of their WrestleMania VII epic, but Savage and Warrior told their typical icon vs. icon story very well up until the disappointing countout finish.

20. JOHN CENA VS. BATISTA (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
Two of the prized prodigies of WWE’s early developmental days were engineered to tell main event stories with a larger-than-life feel. Both men have spent their careers doing just that, and the result was this great match, wherein Batista put Cena out for months with a riveting Batista Bomb.

19. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H VS. KURT ANGLE (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
One of the more intense matches in Summerslam history saw Kurt Angle get his brains scrambled on a table Pedigree gone wrong. In the midst of the Angle-HHH-Stephanie love triangle, there was enough heat, plus The Rock’s “it factor” to give Summerslam 2000’s finale a sound ending.

18. NON TITLE MATCH: BRAIN BUSTERS VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
The booking may have been suspect (Busters leaving in the fall, titles not on the line), but the match was just old school tag team wrestling from four experts on the matter. Bret Hart nearly left WWE after this show, and if he had, he’d have gone out with a tremendous opening match.

17. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. VADER (August 18, 1996 – Cleveland, OH)
There was some interesting discooperation in the middle, where Michaels legitimately chewed out Vader for messing up a spot. That flaw aside, what you get is a great “killer monster vs. hearty underdog champion” dynamic, with Michaels winning to continue his first World title reign.

16. UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Who could forget those awesome training vignettes in the weeks before the match? Those well-done videos were paid off with a heavyweight clash for the ages, where Lesnar shook off Rock’s offensive toolbox, and sent him back to Hollywood with a roaring F5 to the cheers of the crowd.

15. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: OWEN HART VS. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Up until the final two or three minutes, Hart and Austin were engaged in an absolute classic, but it was the final moments that made it legendary. Austin was temporarily paralyzed after a botched piledriver, and still found the willpower to ease Owen into a roll-up to score the win. Simply chill inducing.

14. HELL IN A CELL: THE UNDERTAKER VS. EDGE (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
After screwing over The Dead Man for over a year, Edge finally got his when he was locked inside “Satan’s Structure” with Undertaker himself. One of the first “violent” matches in the PG era, Undertaker won, and then vanquished Edge into a smoldering pit to settle the score.

13. 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: CHRIS JERICHO VS. CHRIS BENOIT (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
The match was somewhat abbreviated, perhaps due to time constraints, but leave it to the “Calgary Kids” to pack a lot of action into a short frame of space. Benoit would take the contest two falls to one after cheating in the final frame, but anyone who watched it was satisfied enough.

12. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/STREET FIGHT: CHRISTIAN VS. RANDY ORTON (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
This may well be Randy Orton’s greatest match ever; an all-out war where his demented “Viper” persona got revenge on Christian’s underhanded title win one month earlier. Both men pummeled each other with chairs and canes until an RKO on the stairs ended it.

11. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: MR. PERFECT VS. BRET HART (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
And with that, The Hitman was a made man. Perfect was on his way out with back injuries, and in defeat, he made his real life friend look like the world-beater Vince McMahon needed. After kicking out of the Perfect Plex, Hart would snare Perfect in the Sharpshooter and force the submission.

10. WWE UNIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. JOHN CENA (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
It was going to be hard to top their five star effort at Money in the Bank, but damned if they didn’t come close. Punk’s relatively clean win (with Cena’s foot on the ropes) was only undone by Alberto Del Rio’s cash-in of his Money in the Bank privilege afterward.

9. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. KURT ANGLE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Angle kicked out of three Stunners and was suddenly no longer the goofy, milk-loving Americana nerd that Austin remembered. If not for a BS ending wherein Nick Patrick disqualified Stone Cold, his boss, and saved his title, this match might be number one. Alas.

8. NO DISQUALIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
Could’ve been the match of the year for 2013, if not for one entry still to come. In many ways, this clash follows the template of a Vader/Sting battle, but with weapons and WWE Main Event-style pacing. It’s maybe Brock’s best WWE match, and Punk’s last classic.

7. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
By the end of the match, two main eventers were born. Rock’s People’s Elbow, done while Triple H was lying on a ladder, brought Madison Square Garden down. In the end, Hunter ended Rock’s nine month reign as IC Champ, but bigger things were ahead for both.

6. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. DANIEL BRYAN (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
It’d take eight winding, agonizing months for the true conclusion of Bryan’s ascension, and even then, the broken neck sadly deflated it. Still, this is an incredible match, lauded as the best of 2013, and Cena laid down cleanly, without his typical out.

5. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 27, 1995 – Pittsburgh, PA)
It was a tough task to try and outdo WrestleMania X’s standard-defining match, but the Kliq running buddies were game to try. The story of this one centered around Michaels having his leg hammered, but Razor ate some Chin Music off the ladder, and Michaels wound up retaining the gold.

4. WORLD TAG TEAM/TLC: EDGE/CHRISTIAN VS. HARDY BOYZ VS. DUDLEY BOYZ (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz winning, since they were the “home team”. But there was nothing conventional about this stunt show, in which Jeff Hardy swantoned off a ladder, nearly killing him and Bubba Ray Dudley. Edge and Christian ended up retaining, and celebrated with a 37 second pose.

3. NON-SANCTIONED STREET FIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. TRIPLE H (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Michaels’ first match in over four years opened a lot of eyes. The eyes opened realized that, after such a layoff, Michaels was capable of outworking just about anyone with no rust evident. The Heartbreak Kid scored the win, and provided closure to his career over the next eight years.

2.WWE HEAVYWEIGHT/STEEL CAGE MATCH: BRET HART VS. OWEN HART (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)The greatest sibling rivalry in wrestling history hit its apex with a bloodless, but quite exciting, steel cage challenge with the entire Hart family at ringside. After dozens of near escapes and dramatic moments, Bret left brother Owen hanging and dropped to the floor to keep his championship.

1.WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: BRET HART VS. THE BRITISH BULLDOG (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
Bulldog was the native son with 80,000 fans behind him, but he should be grateful that Bret had his back. In this babyface can-you-top-this war, Hart led Bulldog, who spent the summer drugged up and burnt out, to the best match of his life, putting his brother-in-law over before a raucous crowd.

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Brock Lesnar Says WWE CEO Does It Better Than UFC Prez

August 18, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Former WWE and UFC champ Brock Lesnar is quite the charmer…well at least he was on Tuesday’s ESPN Sportscenter. Lesnar appeared on ESPN to hype up SummerSlam, talk about the conquering the streak, and even took a shot at his former boss.

The WWE is getting a huge boost of credibility from the mainstream this week on ESPN. ESPN is hyping SummerSlam more than they have hyped any other WWE show in recent memory (or ever). Brock Lesnar returned to ESPN to appear on Sportscenter and talked about a variety of subjects, but one particular comparison is drawing immediate headlines.

Lesnar was asked about UFC president’s recent comment about the WWE being “fake.”

@RKORollins I hear u bro but fake shit should be 9.99 – @DanaWhite

Lesnar took the defensive side in favor of pro wrestling, defending the honor of his current profession. Brock also said what hardcore UFC fans don’t want to hear, in that what Dana is promoting is the “same racket.” It was what Lesnar said next that is bound to get under the skin of his former boss.

“I think Vince McMahon is better at it than Dana and that might rub Dana the wrong way.”

A couple of things here. One, Brock said that without being provoked. It wasn’t as if the interviewer asked him who was better. Two, no matter what Dana says about Brock he can’t change one thing. Brock was the biggest draw in company history, more than Ronda Rousey, Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell, and Anderson Silva. Lesnar still holds the record for headlining the biggest buyrate in UFC history. So no matter what kind of childish potshots Dana takes at Brock, the bottom line is that he’d take him back in a second.

As a matter of a fact, the UFC was negotiating with Brock up to the last minute a few months ago before Brock re-signed with WWE.

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WWE Summerslam 2015 Is A One Match Show

August 13, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

At time of writing, the 2015 WWE Summerslam is only ten days away from exploding into action at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Headlined by the first showdown between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar since their history defining, streak-ending encounter at Wrestlemania 31, this battle between the two megastar part-timers has pretty much been the selling point of the entire show up to this point.

In some respects, this probably seems like an odd thing to say. With a whopping four hours to kill, the oft-reviled creative forces behind WWE programming have been throwing everything they can at the annual summertime event, determined cement Summerslam status as the second biggest show of the year.

You could even argue they’ve succeeded. After all, even with such a vast amount of new content filmed each week, it’s not every day you get to see a potential title unification match like the upcoming Cena/Rollins bout, nor an in-ring appearance by an actor from a superhero show this writer has been led to believe is pretty popular.

Still, let’s be honest here folks; in the run up to August 23rd, the buzz surrounding both supposedly marquee matches has been dwarfed by that centered on Lesnar/Taker II. When it’s all over, it’ll take something fairly significant to happen in order to prevent the post-Summerslam conversation being full of anything other than this much-anticipated rematch.

Again, this is apparently the second biggest event of the WWE calendar, the one event the company would have you believe is more significant than the Royal Rumble, more important than the Survivor Series (though to be fair, most events are more important than the Survivor Series these days), the one event that offers more must-see matches than all of those other thrown-together PPV cards put together; and its entire success is largely dependent on a single match.

Not that this is anything new.

Cast your mind back some 27 years if you will, folks. The year was 1988. The world was a very different place back then, the World Wrestling Federation especially so. Then very much a wrestling promotion rather than the global household name it is today, Vince McMahon’s burgeoning sports entertainment empire was still figuring out how to ride the ever-so-slowly stalling Hulkamania bandwagon to greater heights whilst simultaneously holding off the competition from Jim Crockett promotions.

WWE’s solution? More Pay-per-view events.

Having created a proven formula for success with multiple Wrestlemanias, and having successfully thwarted Crocket’s own forays into the big time with the creation of the Royal Rumble (also launched in 1988) and the 1987 debut of the Survivor Series, McMahon went at it again with an event he named Summerslam.

As soon as the show was announced, Summerslam 1988 already became the company’s second biggest show by default. Despite the popularity of both the Rumble and the tag team elimination format of the Survivor Series, both of those shows were still very much novelty concepts, special attraction shows resulting in only the most minor of consequences for the greater WWE landscape.

Summerslam, we were told, was going to the mid-year’s answer to the aforementioned ‘Mania, a show so huge and so important that the company chose to build the entire thing around one single match.

Still, what a match it was though.

Taking place in an age long before the days of Teddy Long: General Manager, main event singles stars tagging together was something of a rarity back in those days, making the opportunity of seeing Hulk Hogan join forces with then WWF Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage to take down the evil duo of Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant anything but your everyday TV bout.

Hyped to the heavens, and forming the nucleus of a plot which still serves as the blueprint for any pro wrestling love-triangle story to this day, The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Powers was a pretty big deal, almost on a par with Hogan/Andre or the headline bout of the first Wrestlemania.

Speaking of which, that inaugural ‘Mania event was sold on one match two, the now legendary Hogan and Mr. T vs. Piper and Orndorff clash with was the focal point of the entire Rock ‘n’ Wrestling campaign.

With the possible exception of the women’s championship match -also a major angle stemming from the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling thing- can you name one other important, or even memorable match from that show? Likewise with the first ever Summerslam. Beneath that heavily promoted main event, the rest of the show was predominantly card-filling fodder of little significance, unless of course you count the Ultimate Warrior’s historic Intercontinental Championship win, which wasn’t actually promoted ahead of time.

Yet as we’ve already touched on, these were different times back then. The market wasn’t so over saturated, the WWE itself wasn’t burdened with having to create such an abundance of compelling matches as it is today with its multiple hours of television programming and an on-demand network to worry about.

Back then, a single match could -if it were done right- sell out an entire arena and provide the catalyst for an entire event’s success. Today? At a time when it often feels like everything that can be done in pro wrestling has been done countless times over? Is it enough?

Is Lesnar/Taker all the WWE needs to create a compelling enough reason for fans to tune in for a marathon four-hour show? Only time will tell for sure, but with just ten days to go and counting, isn’t it time delivered something that really made Summerslam feel like the second biggest show we’re told to believe it is?

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WWE Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker II will be bigger than Brock vs Taker I

August 10, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

At SummerSlam this year, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar will face off in a rematch of their Wrestlemania 30 encounter. On April 6th 2014, the wrestling world watched on in a stunned silence as the greatest streak in sports history came to an end. After 21 straight Wrestlemania victories against superstars of the industry including Triple H and Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker lost for the first time ever at the annual super show to the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.

Over a year after this monumental moment and having only been seen once since the defeat (a Wrestlemania victory over Bray Wyatt), The Undertaker finally returned and struck some revenge against Lesnar, costing him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground by interfering in the title match between Lesnar and champion Seth Rollins and setting up a rematch for the ages at the biggest event of the summer; Summerslam. Whilst many wrestling fans were originally confused about the reason for this rematch, they have plenty of reasons to be excited now, as the whole feud promises to be better than the original.

When Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker originally came to their feud in the early months of 2014, there was no real base for their feud. At the time, Brock Lesnar was attempting to force his way into the world title picture, and The Undertaker hadn’t been on screens for months. The Undertaker returned to confront Lesnar who could face an opponent of his choice instead of the title match, and the two set up their match there and then, with The Phenom putting Lesnar through the table. The feud was set up from nothing, with the two only ever coming up against each other in a feud that seemingly ended in 2003. It felt at the time that this was the annually Undertaker return. He came back, he set up the feud with his Wrestlemania opponent, and it seemed he would go on to claim his next victim in his streak.

This didn’t prove to be the case, however. Brock Lesnar, after three F5’s, pinned the Undertaker clean and brought the entire arena, and the wrestling community to stunned silence. The shock of the streak being broke brought an allure to a feud that had been struggling due to its repeated feel of every year with the Undertaker. This time round, however, it is different.

There is a reason behind the war. The Undertaker is angry at losing, and is angry at Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman constantly reminding fans that his client broke the streak. Lesnar, on the other hand, is raging that The Undertaker cost him the world title, the one motive that keeps bringing him to return to the ring. Both men go into this feud with a genuine reason to want to fight the other, which gives fans more to be interested in than when they originally feuded. Furthermore, Brock Lesnar is huge right now. He is by far the hottest attraction in the company right now. After the year he has had, carrying the title and arguably the company for the most part of the year, he has increased his attraction even more than when he first faced Taker, creating even more buzz around this big fight.

This feud will be bigger and better this time round because it also will stand out as the main event of the show. This match has a major big fight feel going into it. There hasn’t been a feeling like this in some years, with two major attractions of the business going to war. It has been described already by Paul Heyman as the fight that is “too big for Wrestlemania”. It is being billed as the main event of the card even though it appears there will be an addition of a championship vs championship match added to the card between Seth Rollins and John Cena.

When The Undertaker and Lesnar first fought last year, it was placed on a card that was entirely overshadowed by the world title victory for Daniel Bryan. The Yes Movement was reaching its peak, and the fans were all anticipating his rise to stardom after a long struggle. At Summerslam this year, there will be no match in the way. Brock vs Taker II is the match. It is the main event. It is the bout that will draw the fans in and get people talking about the show. This time round, it is likely to close the show as well, which will add further attraction to the feud. Fans will be anticipating the match in the whole build up, and will be itching for the bout to come on during the show too.

From an outside the ring point of view, the feud is going to be bigger and better second time round. But, to really better the original, the fight inside the ring has to be better. And this is where the feud will truly excel even more. The Undertaker has made a career out of fantastic bouts and incredible performances. Wrestlemania matches against Triple H, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk are just a few examples of his in ring ability. His Wrestlemania encounter with Lesnar didn’t reach the heights of his other bouts, though, but this was mainly down to The Undertaker suffering from a concussion he picked up early on in the bout. If all goes to plan, this time round won’t see an injury like this damage the quality of the bout, and The Undertaker will be able to once again put on a sensational match.

Brock Lesnar also has a reputation of being able to put on an incredible performance. His involvement in the Triple Threat Match at the Royal Rumble against John Cena and Seth Rollins and his world title match against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania of this year will both go down as candidates for the match of 2015, showcasing the ability Lesnar has in the ring. Brock Lesnar has been building up a reputation of constantly delivering German Suplex after German Suplex to his opponent in matches, and it will be interesting to see if he continues this against a 50-year-old Undertaker, but regardless of that, both men have been known to put on a classic, and they will deliver again this year, bettering the performance they put on for Wrestlemania 30 last year. The excitement created by the brawl they had on Raw only weeks ago highlight how good a fight the two can put on, and how hotly the crowd react to them going at it. As Paul Heyman said, this rematch is well and truly “too big for Wrestlemania”.

Agree with my opinion? Or think that this entire feud is a waste of time and won’t live up to its hype? Let me know by commenting below or contacting me on Twitter at @carlo_george

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The WWE Has A UFC-Sized Problem

August 05, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

While the WWE is preparing for another John Cena world title run now that the “Winner Take All” stipulation has been tossed out in a challenge by the current champion Seth Rollins, will the big “16” keep fans interested in the product on television?

Frankly, I do not know the answer to that question. The WWE has a serious issue right now as it is being “punked” (no pun intended) by poor booking and no leader to take over the band other than the man who had his nose smashed two weeks ago on Raw. The fact John Cena is still on top of the wrestling scene right now with talent on the roster that is not being properly used speaks volumes about where the WWE is. Also, the fact it does not have the dominant character right now like the UFC has in Ronda Rousey.

I’m sure the McMahon Family would give anything to have wrestling fans talk about its performers the way we are all buzzing about how Rousey is the most dominant athlete in any sport at the present moment. And that kind of momentum isn’t going away anytime soon. Like the McMahon’s, UFC President Dana White might have issues putting enough top-level talent on a fight card, but when you have the one person everyone is talking about both in fighting and entertainment circles, it masks a lot of problems that might exist. The card from last weekend was not the most stellar White has put together.

But this is a blog about the WWE and how it has gotten away from the big bang of a wrestler who is so dominant that everyone talks about them – regardless of whether they are a casual fan or a hardened old-school relic.

This is something not even John Cena can fix. Seth Rollins is good, but he is not good enough. Brock Lesnar is great, but he cannot carry the WWE on his back the way Rousey is carrying White’s baby. And if you want to talk about other roster talent, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Cesaro and others aren’t even close.

Where is the dominant squash match when you need it? I thought that was what Lesnar was supposed to do – to come in and beat the hell out of opponents like Cena, The Undertaker and Rollins and leave them all in his wake.

With Rousey, the match is the story as much the fighter. I liken it to Floyd Mayweather in his prime. How fast can Rousey or Mayweather win a fight? How quickly will there be a submission or a knockout? Let’s plunk down $59.99 to see a 34-second match.

Now that the company uses the WWE Network for pay-per-view shows and exclusive network viewing, this would be a good time to find a wrestler who can dominate much like Rousey is beating the competition today. At $9.99 (yes, I know I sound like a commercial and probably should get paid by the company for this cheap form of advertising), wouldn’t it make more sense to get fans to purchase the product at a lower buy rate for the sure enjoyment of seeing pure mayhem?

I’ll give the WWE credit for changing its guard a bit and creating longer, more intense matches. Old school wrestling meets new school talent. The creation of a dominant Divas division thanks to Charlotte, Paige, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks has as much to do with the Rousey buzz and the fact WWE fans saw the dominant beauty in a WWE ring at WrestleMania. Fans can only hope at some point she makes the jump to the older product and helps it thrive.

When wrestlers like Big Show (The Giant) and Goldberg and Lesnar arrived in the WWE, they were as dominant as Big John Studd, King King Bundy and even a heel Hulk Hogan was at the beginning of his career. And fans ate it up. Somehow, wrestling got away from that, and in the process another product came along that showed it could be more dominant – even if it is only one athlete leading the charge.

The WWE is at an advantage when it comes to personalities because they are scripted and expected to be over-the-top performers. With Rousey, Conor McGregor and others, they are in-the-moment types of stars. The attitude is real, the everyday appeal isn’t rehearsed.

Rousey and McGregor are said to be part of a mega show at UFC 194 at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium set for Dec. 5. The WWE is still working on building its SummerSlam card that is now going to be four hours long. With Rousey’s win this past weekend and given the fact there may not be four hours of solid entertainment to keep fans interested, doesn’t it look like Rousey’s appeal to wrestling fans will again turn the tide even more and take away viewership from the McMahon stable? It’s just a thought, but if I were in Stamford right now, I’d be more than a little concerned.

Brock Lesnar and Undertaker is a great concept with the “big brawl” feel. But unless the Divas are taking ratings away from every other wrestler on the WWE roster and something unheard of happens in the match between Rollins and Cena, the WWE will still be playing the underlying role between the two companies.

That certainly isn’t good for the WWE, mainly because they don’t have the mega-star right now they can hitch their wagon to and build as a dominant force. Certainly not the way White and the UFC has done making Rousey the biggest and best athlete in sports today.

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WWE Battleground 2015 Review

July 21, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Battleground 2015 took place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It featured three championship matches and a pivotal Divas tag match. It was available via traditional pay-per-view and for free to subscribers on the WWE network. So let us see how things turned out for the superstars involved.

King Barrett vs. R-Truth

The evening festivities kicked off with the pre-show match between King of the Ring winner Wade Barrett and rappin’ superstar R-Truth. The match was sold as the Battle for the Crown match due to R-Truth mocking Barrett by imitating him every chance he got. Barrett represented the heel in this feud and Truth went over as the face. The stale buildup in the RAWs leading up the event caused a lack of true interest in this match. However, the in-ring action was extremely solid and, by the time the crowd had filled in, Barrett and Truth had connected with the audience with a decent match that set a good stage for the rest of the show. A Bull Hammer Elbow from Barrett brought an end to Truth’s antics and hopefully closed out this feud as it did nothing to help either man.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

Randy Orton won the first match of the pay-per-view against Sheamus, the Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Although Orton and Sheamus have excellent in-ring chemistry and succeed in putting on a good match every time they perform, the lack of a true story hurt this match. The only idea that any viewer had was that Sheamus is going to become the Authority’s new favorite and Randy Orton was still locked in his quest to destroy them. While any anti-Authority storyline plays well, this one faltered for the lack of a true reason for the feud. Nevertheless, Sheamus and Orton put on a hard hitting brawl that easily ranked as one of the night’s best matches.

The Prime Time Players vs The New Day (Tag Team Championship)

After the Orton-Sheamus bout, the tag team championship match felt like a filler match as the crowd caught their breath. The defending champions (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil – Prime Time Players) defended against (Big E and Kofi Kingston – New Day) while Xavier Woods (New Day) stood at ringside. The match featured high intensity action and plenty of heel antics from the New Day. As the end of the match neared, order broke down as each superstar hit his finisher in succession. When the dust finally settled, the Prime Time Players had retained the Tag Team Championships. As a wrestling match, this was excellent, but it failed to get the crowd involved until the very end. Solid performance from all parties here, but it needed a better story to create more interest.

Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns

The story leading up to this bout was one of the best on this card. Bray Wyatt’s promo skills are second only to Paul Heyman and he did an excellent job of selling the personal side of this match by targeting Reigns’ daughter. His veiled threats sparked Reigns to take rash actions to get his hands on him. Each time Reigns tried, he always caught a mystery man who looked like Wyatt. The bout itself was an excellent brawl that lived up to the quality of the buildup. Failed finishers and near falls kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. At the very end, the same mystery man interfered as Reigns was gaining control and Wyatt was able to hit his Sister Abigail finisher for the win. Afterwards, it was revealed that the mystery man was Luke Harper, a former Wyatt family member. This bout was an excellent kickoff to the Reigns-Wyatt feud. It left fans wanting to see more and you can expect them to clash at Summerslam.

Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs. Brie Bella

On the last RAW before the pay-per-view, Stephanie McMahon announced that three divas had been called up to reinvigorate the divas division. At Battleground, two of them (Charlotte and Sasha Banks) were pitted against Brie Bella in a Triple Threat match. The new divas made an instant impact, delivering a high intensity match that the divas division hasn’t seen since AJ Lee feuded with Paige. The lack of a story was the only detriment to this match as Charlotte picked up the win by pinning Brie Bella.

John Cena vs Kevin Owens (United States Championship)

This was one of the most anticipated matches coming into Battleground. Each man had won one match in the feud and the stakes were high in this one. John Cena’s United States Championship was on the line. Given the utter disrespect that Owens had shown and the personal animosity he had against Cena, who could not afford to lose the third match. The buildup to the match fully expressed this and, when they finally got in the ring at Battleground, they delivered the match of the night. For all of the criticism regarding Cena, he is undoubtedly the best all-around superstar in the WWE today and Owens is fast proving himself to be one of the best superstars as well. After numerous, heart-stopping, near falls, Cena made Owens tap out to his STF. Where this feud goes from here is uncertain. They may have another rematch at Summerslam.

Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

As Paul Heyman hyped this match, you honestly believed that Seth Rollins (current champion) was in for the whooping that he had coming for him since he stole the title from Lesnar at Wrestlemania. For much of the match, it appeared to going that way. Rollins could mount very little offense and Lesnar delivered 13 suplexes to him. The more stubborn and defiant Rollins got, the more angry and sadistic Lesnar got. An F5 put Rollins down and, as the referee counted two, the iconic bell tolled and the arena went dark. When the lights came back on, Rollins was gone and Lesnar stood face to face with the legendary Undertaker, whose undefeated streak at Wrestlemania ended at the hands of Lesnar in 2014. Two chokeslams and two tombstones to Lesnar ended the show. While bringing back the Undertaker to set up a Summerslam showdown with Lesnar is a moneymaking move, it left the Rollins-Lesnar storyline incomplete and it will remain incomplete until after Summerslam. Moreover, it ruined a great match and made Rollins look irrelevant.

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WWE Battleground 2015 Results and Recap: Undertaker Returns, Owens Taps

July 19, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

TheThe Undertaker WWE Battleground road to SummerSlam began at WWE Battleground. The prelude to the biggest party of the summer kicked off with one of the most exciting angles in recent memory to set up one of the biggest SummerSlam seasons in recent WWE history.

The Undertaker returned in what was arguably the best angle of 2015. The Undertaker returned to set up a big money rematch with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. The return of the Dead Man while predicted and reported prior to the show, still came as a bit of a shocker in the way it was done. The heat for it was the best of any angle I can remember on a WWE show in recent memory. Lesnar and Taker are expected to wrestle at SummerSlam.

The return came at the conclusion of the Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar match. Lesnar dominated Rollins for most of the match, sans a brief flurry of offense from Rollins. Lesnar at one point hurdled the barricade in a jump that was much more impressive than it sounds. The finish came when Lesnar dropped Rollins with the F5. The ref began to count, the lights went out, the bells rang, and Undertaker was in the ring. The best part of the entire angle was Undertaker’s facials. His eyes were bulging out of his head the entire time he was in the ring. It was simply awesome! Rollins disappeared and Lesnar looked scared and confused. Taker kicked Lesnar with a low blow and eventually hit a choke slam and laid him out with two tombstones. Again it was the look on Taker’s face that put this thing over the top. The reaction from the fans made this probably the biggest “must see” WWE moment since Lesnar defeated Taker at Mania 30.

I blogged shortly after Mania 30 that a Taker vs. Lesnar Mania rematch would be a blockbuster matchup. Between the shock of the moment and Heyman’s constant taunting of Taker, I think it would have been huge which was I was surprised that Taker came back for a mid-card match with Bray Wyatt. I love the revenge angle and it will be big but I can’t help thinking that they are losing out by not pulling this angle off at the Royal Rumble and setting it up for WrestleMania 32. Regardless, this will be the first non-Mania big match the Undertaker has worked in years and that is something to get excited about.

The timing of it all does seem odd in that the WWE finally pulled the trigger on turning Lesnar babyface. The crowd has booed Heyman at any mention of the streak and the crowd in St. Louis were 100% pro-Taker when he laid out Lesnar. It will be interesting to see where things go post-SummerSlam for Lesnar and Heyman.

The finish leaves the belt on Rollins and leaves the situation between Lesnar and Rollins open. I predict with Cena winning and the ratings woes RAW has experienced this summer (although I’d expect that to end tomorrow night) that Cena will wrestle Rollins at SummerSlam and regain the WWE championship. I don’t know this nor have I seen it reported, it’s just a gut feeling reading the lay of the land and seeing Vince go back to Cena a couple of weeks ago to close out RAW.

In what will go down as one of the most disappointing, yet expected results of the night John Cena defeated Kevin Owens…by tap out. To say that fans on social media are irate would be an understatement. These two had another very good match, probably not as good as their last but very good nonetheless. I do think that having three matches so close together prevented this one from being appreciated as the classic that it was. Cena defeated Owens via tap out when Owens was caught in the STF. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I published a blog shortly after Owens won the first match reminding all of you optimists out there that Cena never loses twice in these situations. At least he’s consistent!

I can’t describe this as anything other than disappointing. Owens had a ton of steam coming out of Extreme Rules but has been marginalized ever since Payback. Owens desperately needed a win here and while he still got himself over with a loss at Payback, this was not the case at Battleground. I am not sure where you go from here. I think Owens and Cena need to be kept a part for a while. Owens will be challenging Finn Balor for the NXT title at NXT’s biggest event in history on SummerSlam weekend. However, it seems like a step backwards for Owens to win the NXT title and I think it’s too soon for Balor to lose.

Bray Wyatt defeated Roman Reigns in a bit of a shocker. The finish saw former Wyatt family member Luke Harper interfere and attack Roman Reigns outside of the ring. Bray then hit a Sister Abigail on the apron, rolled Wyatt back into the ring, and covered Reigns for the win. The match was much better than you probably would have expected. It was very similar to a house show match I saw the two have but with much better timing. At one point the crowd was chanting “This is awesome!” I am not sure if I agree with that, but it was a pretty damned good match nonetheless.

One thing that I’d like to point out is that while Harper was wearing a hooded sweatshirt it was obviously him. Yet the commentators all “had no idea” who it was, not even a guess that it could be a former Wyatt family member. I think the announcers all look like idiots while most casual fans who aren’t necessarily the “experts” can clearly see who the attacker is.

The rumor is that the finish set up the Wyatts vs. Reigns and Sting for SummerSlam. That would certainly make sense coming out of the match. It’s a great spot for Reigns who will likely avoid the booing when he is teaming with Sting. It’s also a great spot for someone like Sting to come in and help get Wyatt and Reigns over.

Full WWE Battleground matches and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar via DQ to retain the WWE title
John Cena defeated Kevin Owens to retain the U.S. title
Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks and Brie Bella
Bray Wyatt defeated Roman Reigns
Prime Time Players defeated the New Day to retain the WWE tag team titles
Randy Orton defeated Sheamus
King Barrett defeated R-Truth

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WWE Battleground 2015 Predictions and Preview

July 15, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE will be following up the explosive Beast in the East special on the Network with Battleground. The main-event features a match fit to headline SummerSlam along with the next chapter in one of the most exciting trilogies in recent WWE history.

On paper, Battleground presents a card fit for SummerSlam. Brock Lesnar gets his long awaited rematch for the WWE world championship against Seth Rollins while John Cena and Kevin Owens attempt to top what some are calling a Match of the Year with another round for the U.S. championship.

Let’s take a look at WWE Battleground’s top matches and pick some winners…

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Maybe it’s just me and it could be, but I feel that this one is coming too early. The post-Mania angle on RAW was one of the best in ages. Yet Lesnar’s return just seems rushed and illogical considering how things went down immediately after Mania. I guess that is what happens when you rush a match a month early.

As for the match, it should be very good. Lesnar and Rollins appeared to have real good chemistry at the Royal Rumble and let’s be honest. When is the last time Lesnar has had a bad match since returning from exile? I’d expect to see a lot of Rollins flying around and a long visit to Suplex City for the world champion. So who wins?

The finish is a real interesting question. I would be inclined to say that Rollins wins on some kind of screwy finish to set up SummerSlam if not for the terrible RAW ratings as of late. Whether it is Rollins fault or not is debatable but the bottom line is that he is the top guy. How much faith does the company still have in him? Well they had John Cena close out RAW last week for the first time in months so that tells me something. I am going to go out on a limb here and predict a new champion. I don’t think Brock goes through Mania with the title but I do think the company is ready to shake things up in hopes of turning interest around right before the NFL kicks into high gear.

John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship

I said it the second these guys were booked at Extreme Rules. Be careful what you wish for Kevin Owens’ fans because these things never end well for Cena haters. Owens and Cena are now tied up at 1 win a piece, with Owens coming off of his second high-profile loss at Beast in the East to Finn Balor. The monster Owens push while fun, now has Owens looking beatable and the company appears to be putting more stock into John Cena as he once again closed out RAW recently.

These guys have had a pair of great to excellent matches. It hasn’t been much better this year than those two matches. I saw them wrestle at the Philadelphia house show on July 10 and even then, they had a long match with a ton of action. At this point it is almost impossible for these two to have anything less than a great match. I’d expect the same back and forth match we have seen twice with some new twists as I saw in Philly on July 10.

The million dollar question here is who goes over? The finish at the house show saw Owens blatantly hit a low blow on Cena for a DQ loss. I highly doubt that is where this is going at Battleground or at least I hope not. Who needs the win more? Owens needs the win without question but history shows us that Cena doesn’t lose two in a row against new guys. The finish here will say a whole lot about how committed the company truly is to Owens. I think Owens gets the nod here which by my predictions would make two title changes on one show. That is probably not going to happen but I can’t see this one ending any other way.

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

The most disappointing post-Mania WWE feud has to be Reigns vs. Wyatt. While the idea of Wyatt messing with Reigns through his child is good, the execution has just been way off. I don’t know if it is a lack of creativity or Reigns’ inability to believe in the storyline but Reigns is just not committed to the part and it’s hurting the feud. It’s obvious to anyone watching TV that Reigns isn’t overly concerned about Wyatt and people just aren’t buying the storyline. It’s not too late to change that but Reigns really needs to connect emotionally to the storyline to get this program where it needs to be.

As for the match, I saw these guys wrestle on the same Philly house show. It was a little disappointing. I just felt that these guys were going at two different speeds. The match was also a lot slower than I would have expected and went quite a bit. I don’t know if one or both were mailing it in because it was a house show or they just aren’t clicking but it certainly wasn’t promising nine days out from Battleground.

Reigns won in Philadelphia with a school boy. I think the result and likely the finish don’t change at Battleground. I see the stage being set for Reigns to challenge for the WWE world title at SummerSlam. A clean win over Bray Wyatt sets that up quite nicely.

Full WWE Battleground 2015 card and matches…
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Ryback (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Miz in a Triple threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) (c) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship

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