The Four Sided Ring: It’s My Dean in a Box!
Last Monday I saw a man look suspiciously at a giant Red and yellow wrapped box. Once he decided it was safe he walked away only to be attacked by another man bursting out of said box. Only in wrestling. This angle between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continues to be the most consistent and rewarding angle WWE is presenting right now. Even without the great storytelling the matches these guys put on in the Indies at places like Dragongate and then in FCW were classics and they work great together, so the ultimate match at Summerslam will be a classic. What’s most interesting and a testament to the two is they have yet to me in a match together for this angle that is well over two months old and yet the angle hasn’t grown stale or tiresome. The mic work and charachter work of both men has the audience invested and ready to see them brawl it out. The choice for a lumberjack match was a head scratcher as it didn’t really fit into Ambrose’s character to me but I’m willing to let that slide.
The other big time angle is of course the World Heavyweight Championship match between Brock Lesner and John Cena. It was great to finally see the two face to face as for the build to Summerslam has seen at least one, sometimes both absent from WWE programming. Whether by design or happenstance seeing the two in the building made for tense moments and a big fight feel. If you need any more proof this is important just listen to Cena use curse words, he only does that when its reallllly important. The decision to frame their showdown in the birthday celebration of Hulk Hogan was a great although predictable decision. Still seeing Hogan get teary eyed and emotional was cool to see and seeing the original NOW in the ring again is always an awesome thing. On a side note I know it wouldn’t make sense and would be a bad way to debut him but seeing Sting make an appearance during the celebration would have been awesome, sure it would have stolen all of Hulks thunder and sure it would have ruined the Cena Lesner thing but man it would have been cool. Anyway back to Lesner and Cena, WWE has done most of the build for this match via media and vignettes. Whether it be the pieces shown on Raws, previous matches shown, or the 30 minute special that aired on the network (insert $9.99 joke here) they have managed to sell the importance of the match. What remains to be seen is what happens to the company if Brock wins the title and disappears for another few months. Paul Heyman made some interesting points in an interview where he stated that the title shouldn’t have to be defended every month and the importance of a title defense loses is lost when it’s defended so often. The question is will people tune in when the champion and the titles fate isn’t featured on TV.
The other big angle and the one arguably getting the most TV time has been the Stephanie Brie Bella match. For me this angle is dragging couldn’t end soon enough it’s barely hanging on by Stephanie’s sheer villianousness alone. The flip of Brie being arrested felt very “we’ve seen this” and while we excused it in the world of wrestling once this month I’m not sure we are willing to again. I fail to see the endgame and what a match at Summerslam will really solve; unless the loser leaves WWE does anyone really believe the beef will be over? We’ll probably see Stephanie completely embarrassed to the point it feels awkward a la Vince vs. Bret at Mania 26.
The rest of the card is working out to be solid but nothing seemed to be pushed to far as everyone kept it in cruise this week. Jerhico and Wyatt did a little to raise the stakes but neither really revealed anything they haven’t already in previous weeks. Rusev and Swagger exchanged upper hands again as they cruise to Summerslam and Miz and Ziggler keep swapping blows waiting to get a match. Paige and AJ almost repeated what they have been doing except Eva Marie got a pinfall victory over the champ which by all wrestling logic means she gets a tile shot soon, and she seemed excited to see Brock Lesner.
Randy Orton seems to be going back to his more aggressive side and even got a pretty decent pop in his match vs. Sheamus. As I said two weeks ago if the aggressive Orton shows up for Summerslam this can be a really good match. Other than the main event the rest of the card feels like it would have benefited from Summerslam being a week earlier. But as I stated nothing really lost ground in my mind so I suppose that’s saying something.
In outside the Ring news Alberto Del Rio was released after a backstage altercation which led to him slapping an employee. And in the “I’m not shocked” category there are reports that TNA has already contacted Del Rio and have discussed putting the title on him, is anyone surprised? NXT made another big splash when they finally announced the signing of Kevin Steen which was meant with some cool congratulatory tweets from Superstars like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. If you’ve never seen Steens work definitely head over to YouTube and check it out. Curious he was able to keep his name as opposed to the many other Indie talent WWE has poached as of late. Regardless fast forward a year and NXT will be a cant miss program that if was a standalone company could challenge TNA for #2 promotion in the country.
In what seemed like a odd move 2K announced that CM Punk will be playable in WWE 2K15 and also will be heavily featured in the Spotlight mode that will follow his feud with John Cena leading up to Summerslam 2011. He was quick to release a tweet that comprised of 140 characters worth of haha’s which should put to bed any thoughts that this meant a return.
So there you have it folks, Summerslam is here and the biggest party of the summer is on. Enjoy the show and be sure to check out the Four Sided Ring next week for our Summerslam Analysis. Till then go out there and put someone over.