Dean Ambrose of The Shield will defend his United States title against Rob Van Dam on SummerSlam on August 18. It should be a great match, except for one problem: It’ll be on the kickoff show instead of on the main card.
Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose for the kickoff is a bad idea.
This match should be on the card for a number of reasons. First would be Van Dam’s starring power as one of the main draws in last July’s Money In The Bank pay-per-view. It was his first night back in the WWE, and he almost won the All-Star Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Now, he’s relegated to the kickoff.
Secondly, Ambrose made his debut with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at the 2012 Survivor Series. Since then, they’ve dominated the WWE landscape for nearly 10 months. Their dominance culminated at Extreme Rules, where they took the tag titles, with Ambrose taking the US title.
Ambrose is also relegated to the kickoff. He and Van Dam will now battle on free television and on YouTube instead of the actual pay-per-view.
Who can we blame for this? Can we blame Total Divas, which will have Natalya taking on Brie Bella and will feature the entire cast? Neither of them is even the Divas champion! That belongs to AJ, who will team with Big E Langston against Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler.
Can we blame the WWE’s creative team, who thought putting Van Dam and Ambrose to kick off the show would be a good idea? They probably think it’s great to establish the kickoff show as a way to draw in more fans to buy SummerSlam. It’s still a disservice. Both have earned their way to the main card and should be placed there.
However, these factors are out of our control. Van Dam has signed a long-term deal but has a strange stipulation. According to PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc), Van Dam can work 90 dates and then take a hiatus. He’ll finish a deal after his break; the report states this is the main reason Van Dam doesn’t have a TV feud.
Ambrose, on the other hand, is a different story. According to F4W Online (via Wrestling Inc), The Shield had heat because of arguments with top-tier talent. Rollins allegedly had an argument with Big Show, and supposedly Reigns argued over a botched spot with Randy Orton. The report also says that their heat was gone after their match with The Usos on the kickoff show for Money In The Bank.
That wouldn’t make sense in regards to Ambrose, who seemingly is being punished by association. No reports were found on Ambrose drawing negative attention to himself. Yet it appears The Shield must do one kickoff show as part of their “punishment.”
Rob Van Dam and Dean Ambrose will have a great match. It’s a shame outside factors will leave them off the main card. They deserve to be on the actual SummerSlam card, but events out of their immediate control will force them onto the kickoff show.
We should be happy this match is even taking place August 18. Quite frankly, it’s a bad idea to put these two talented WWE Superstars on the kickoff.