Earlier this year, WWE made all of its previous and future blockbuster PPV events, along with thousands of hours of professional wrestling history accessible to subscribers of its brand new and revolutionary, WWE Network. No doubt fans were excited, but when “the authority” unveiled the subscription cost of only $9.99 per month, heads exploded.
I have been a monthly WWE Network subscriber since day one. With all this additional content at my disposal, I forged a new obsession with WWE Superstars and story lines. I’ve spent countless hours educating myself with WWE’s rich and often controversial history. I found the franchise outrageously amusing, and for those with children, considerably family friendly over the last few years. The current state of professional wrestling reminds me a lot of my WWF-addicted childhood.
But then something changed. I became WWE Network fatigued. It started to affect my attention to current RAW and Smackdown episodes. I found myself fast-forwarding through matches, just to catch the backstage interviews and ringside smack talk. Just enough viewership to stay up-to-date on current happenings. SummerSlam 2014 reeled this subscriber back into the fold.
The summers biggest social, pay-per-view, and now, on-line subscription based event was one of the best premium WWE shows in the last few years. I thought it trumped WrestleMania XXX. The following is a breakdown of my favorite matches.
AJ Lee vs. Paige
I have a love/hate relationship with Divas matches. Tag team and rumble-style matches can be entertaining, but singles matches I find just, meh. The fewer the Divas, the more noticeable the fight construction. That is until the WWE promoted Paige from NXT (WWE’s development arm) and pit her against long-running Divas champ AJ Lee. These two ladies exhibit a fascinating rivalry that is entertaining in and out of the ring; their fights always entertaining due to fabulous mat mechanics. SummerSlam was no exception. Paige wound up victorious from a reversal of AJ’s black widow submission finish.
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Rusev is one of my guilty pleasures. I was very excited to see him and the “Ravishing Russian” Lana called up to Raw and Smackdown earlier this year. WWE is staying relevant with current world affairs by having these two superstars exploit our tense relations with Russia. We are constantly force-fed images of Putin and the Kremlin. As a result, SummerSlam pitted Rusev vs. the Real American Jack Swagger. The match itself was rather dull, but Rusev came out on top. Of course, then a huge Russian flag waved above the ring to rub it in our faces.
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
I was’t expecting to enjoy this match as much as I did. I don’t find The Bella Twins particularly exciting in the ring and their acting is atrocious. This match was all bout the Queen, Stephanie McMahon. The principal owner of WWE dominated her opponent for most of the match until Brie landed a few choice shots. But then the unexpected happened, Brie’s twin sister Nikki turned heel and flattened her sibling out. The helpless Brie Bella was then pinned following an excellently executed Pedigree. The Bella Twin storyline just got interesting.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Ever since the Shield split and all three members went their own ways, these two Superstars have been dueling it out on a level unmatched by the rest of the roster. Every week they bring the pain and they are compelling at every turn. Everyone thought Roman Reigns was the breakout star of this group, but heck no, these guys are awesome. Rollins stole the victory after playing tennis with the “Money in the Bank” briefcase against Ambrose’s head. The lumberjack’s breaking out into a brawl was the proverbial icing on the cake.
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
This was a shocking match. Never before had we witnessed such a dominant performance, completely degrading the spirit of John Cena. Lesnar landed over 15 suplexes and 2 F5′s to Cena’s body on his way to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. What a way to end a spectacular fight card!
I highly recommend purchasing a WWE Network subscription while the coals are hot. There are some fascinating story lines developing on the way to March’s WrestleMania XXXI.
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