By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Paul Heyman Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Coming off the biggest victory of his career over The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, there is absolutely no way Cena can take Brock Lesnar lightly going into SummerSlam by cracking jokes. Thus, I'm happy Cena cut a straightforward, intense promo here, even showing fear of Lesnar at times. Heyman cut a very good promo per usual hyping up the accolades of Lesnar. Cesaro coming out seemed strange at first given how they just parted ways, but he made sense of it by saying he was coming to Heyman's aid as a friend. His "you can't wrestle" one-liner toward Cena was hysterical and his brief promo led nicely into their subsequent match. What a way to kick off the show.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. Cesaro (Non-title)
After their fantastic match earlier this year on Raw, I didn't expect anything less from Cena and Cesaro in this matchup. Once again, the action was awesome from start to finish due to the two having such great chemistry together. You knew going in that Cena was coming out victorious, but Cesaro looked so strong in defeat (literally and figuratively) that it didn't even matter. This was the best bout he's had in months (not counting his match with Dean Ambrose from last week's SmackDown) and it felt like nothing had changed from earlier this year. I hope this match opened the eyes of officials in that they start pushing him again.
Divas Champion AJ Lee Attacked Paige
Wait, a Divas Championship program actually got mic time? Are we living in an alternate universe? In all seriousness, I'm happy to see Paige and AJ get a segment to themselves to further their story. Both were good on the mic here and the crowd popped for their brawl. Paige acting like she's still best friend was interesting, but hopefully she stops doing that going forward and does more to garner heat. AJ got the upper hand after being beaten last week, so all of this was well done.
Chris Jericho Interrupted The Authority
Stephanie McMahon's traumatized approach to being imprisoned last week was humorous, but not nearly as funny as Triple H's verbal exchange with the interrupting Jericho. Jericho poking fun at Stephanie was a nice stroll down memory lane for those that remember their storied history from the early 2000s. This was easily the best Jericho has cut since his return and Seth Rollins' attack on him afterward set up their matchup for later in the night.
Dolph Ziggler and WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Rybaxel
All the competitors in the matchup worked well together and collectively had a fun contest. The action was enjoyable and everyone was able to shine at one point or another, even Rybaxel. Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston standing idly at ringside was intriguing and I hope they challenge for the tag titles at SummerSlam. Ziggler winning for the second straight week in a row was cool to see and I like the idea of him feuding with Miz over the Intercontinental Championship.
R-Truth def. Bo Dallas
Dallas' pre-match promo about Truth never being able to win a match was comical, but I didn't think it'd actually lead to Truth beating him. Maybe officials felt that they already had an undefeated streak going with Rusev and didn't want this to coincide with that? I know, I'm stretching here. I'm just trying to justify the decision to snap the streak so soon. Fans were getting behind it, too. Oh well. At least they had him add an extra layer to his character by showing attacking Truth afterward.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter Interrupted Rusev and Lana
Colter and Lana had yet another solid exchange on the mic that the crowd was hot for. Colter's pro-USA shtick hasn't gotten old yet and he and Swagger continue to garner strong reactions. The brawl between Rusev and Swagger was another nice preview of their eventual rematch which will hopefully take place at SummerSlam. I'm glad to see this feud continuing after it looked like it was dropped on Raw last week.
Adam Rose def. Damien Sandow
Is there really much to say about either guy at this point? Rose hasn't evolved at all since his debut, which is sad for me to say since I consider myself to be a 'Rosebud' and want the gimmick to succeed. As for Sandow, he continues to flounder as an impersonator, but I'm ready for him to ditch the silliness and move on. Most of his impersonations are hit or miss and the one on this show didn't garner any sort of reaction from the live crowd.
Randy Orton Attacked Roman Reigns
Reigns vs. Kane wasn't the most exciting match on paper, so part of me was happy to see it not take place. It was odd for Kane to aid Orton since tension was teased between Orton and Kane last week. It's been a long time since Orton last looked this vicious, so it awesome to see him in his element when brutalizing Reigns. Reigns as been so dominant for weeks on end that it was refreshing to see him look vulnerable for once.
Diego def. Fandango
Did anyone else feel they were watching an episode of Superstars during this match? Basically anyone who associates themselves with Summer Rae and Layla is guaranteed a win over Fandango, so the ending outcome was no shocker. I'm just waiting for the next chapter in this story, or better yet, the conclusion. The lack of reaction from the crowd during this match spoke volumes.
Naomi and Natalya def. Cameron and Alicia Fox
The match was fine for what it was, but nothing out of the ordinary given the Divas involved. The central focus was Naomi getting her hands on Cameron and not only did she beat her, but she made her submit. What's the point of the two facing off in a rematch now? On a side note, it was nice to see Natalya win on Raw for once, but it's a shame she's not involved in anything right now despite there being several stories in the Divas division currently.
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins Ended in a No Contest
Jericho and Rollins haven't clashed much if at all in recent years, so this match felt fresh. It was entertaining while it lasted and showed promise for a future feud between the two. You had to know The Wyatt Family was going to make their presence felt somehow, but I was glad the clean finish was saved for a later date. The least the referee could have done was call for the bell instead of having the fans assume the official decision was a "no contest."
Stephanie McMahon Agreed to Face Brie Bella at SummerSlam
After all the foreshadowing, I figured Nikki Bella was going to come out and be revealed as an ally to The Authority, but I was happy to have been wrong because what they did instead worked so much better. It makes sense in storyline for Brie to uses her charges against Stephanie as a way to goad her in facing her at SummerSlam. The live crowd was hot for their brawl at the end and made it feel like a major showdown. When was the last time just the women closed the show? I honestly can't remember. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually anticipating the match between Brie and Stephanie at SummerSlam.
The show started off strong in the first hour, cooled off by the second hour and rebounded in the final half hour with Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins and the awesome segment featuring Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon. Some of the matches could have been longer, but the Cena vs. Cesaro, six-man tag action, and Jericho vs. Rollins all made up for it. Above all else, there was great hype for SummerSlam throughout the night with multiple matches being announced and teased for the card. I'm ecstatic they're stacking the show with many blockbuster bouts and the build has been paying off so far.