SummerSlam is unquestionably one of the year's biggest pay-per-views, and it will be headlined by one of the biggest matches WWE has ever seen.
John Cena will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar in a match that could main event any show. That massive encounter will also be bolstered by a strong undercard that will have major implications within WWE moving forward.
With WWE looking to grow its WWE Network subscription count, it comes as no surprise that the company has pulled out all the stops to come through with a deep and intriguing card. Here is everything you need to know about SummerSlam, including when and where to watch it as well as which matches figure to steal the show.
Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles
When: Sunday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. ET (pre-show begins at 7:30 p.m. ET)
Watch: WWE Network (subscription required)
PPV Live Stream
WWE Network is now the primary way to watch pay-per-views like SummerSlam. For $9.99 per month (with a six-month commitment), wrestling fans can get the WWE Network and watch hours upon hours of content by streaming through a number of different devices. That includes every live pay-per-view event and tons of original programming as well.
Here are the platforms that currently support WWE Network, according to WWE.com:
- Apple TV
- Kindle Fire
- Amazon Fire TV
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation 4
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Android devices
- iOS devices
- SMART TV
- Blu-Ray devices
Kickoff Live Stream
The pay-per-view will be preceded by a special half-hour pre-show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET featuring a match between Rob Van Dam and Cesaro, according to WWE.com. That can be viewed through all of the following platforms:
- WWE Network
- WWE App
|John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar||N/A||WWE World Heavyweight Championship|
|Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon||N/A||N/A|
|Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton||N/A||N/A|
|Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins||Lumberjack match||N/A|
|AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige||N/A||Divas Championship|
|Jack Swagger vs. Rusev||Flag match||N/A|
|Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt||Wyatt Family banned from ringside||N/A|
|The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler||N/A||Intercontinental Championship|
|Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro||Kickoff||N/A|
Top Matches to Watch
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
Cena and Lesnar have faced each other in the past, but the stakes have never been higher than they will be at SummerSlam. Cena has vowed to keep the WWE World Heavyweight Championship away from The Beast Incarnate, but Lesnar has more momentum than ever after ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania.
Paul Heyman has made it clear that Cena will meet the same fate as The Phenom. Heyman has even gone so far as to suggest that Lesnar will eradicate Cena from WWE once and for all, according to WWE Universe on Twitter:
As seen in this photo courtesy of WWE's Instagram account, it is abundantly clear what Lesnar and Heyman plan to do at SummerSlam:
While Lesnar is undoubtedly the odds-on favorite, Cena can never truly be counted out. Most expected Lesnar to beat Cena at Extreme Rules 2012, but the leader of the Cenation prevailed. Booking Cena to win Sunday wouldn't make much sense, but beating Lesnar at Extreme Rules wasn't particularly logical, either.
Cena has been world champion 15 times, and the majority of the fanbase is ready for something fresh. Even though Lesnar is a part-time guy, having him win would open up a world of possibilities. He is the most dominant Superstar and biggest attraction in WWE right now, so making him WWE World Heavyweight champion would simply be smart business.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
The Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose rivalry was supposed to come to a head at Battleground, but their match never happened after Triple H ejected Ambrose from the building. The former Shield mates have continued to get under each other's skin since then, but they will finally settle it in the ring at SummerSlam.
Rollins has retreated many times throughout this rivalry after a sneak attack by Ambrose. The Lunatic Fringe earned the right to set the stipulation for their match and ensured that there will be no running or hiding for Rollins by making it a Lumberjack match.
There will be nowhere for Mr. Money in the Bank to go with Superstars surrounding the ring, but Rollins doesn't appear to be particularly worried about that:
Surround the ring with bodies we spent two years stacking up. Poetic ...justice, ha. I wouldn't have it any other way. #SummerSlam— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) August 9, 2014
Regardless of who wins this match, it should be a fantastic affair, and it probably won't be the end of their feud either. Although some might argue that the booking hasn't been great, Rollins vs. Ambrose is still the best rivalry going in WWE right now.
Rollins and Ambrose stole the show together so many times as members of The Shield that it will be a true treat for fans to watch them do the same as opponents.
Which SummerSlam match are you most excited for?
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
It has been a decade since Stephanie McMahon last truly competed in a WWE match, but that drought will come to an end Sunday when she faces Brie Bella. Stephanie has made life miserable for Brie, her sister Nikki and Brie's husband Daniel Bryan, which prompted Brie to demand a match against the WWE heiress.
Brie initially quit to save her husband's reign with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but she got her job back a few weeks ago after agreeing to drop the charges she filed against Stephanie (stemming from Stephanie's slap). Stephanie has had a few tricks up her sleeve since then, however.
Not only did she Pedigree both Brie and Nikki a couple weeks ago, but she then had Brie arrested on the go-home edition of Raw. Stephanie had Bryan's physical therapist admit that she had an affair with Bryan, which caused Brie to slap the supposed mistress. She was charged with assault, which was Stephanie's diabolical way of getting back at her.
Now that the mind games are over, the focus shifts to the match itself. Stephanie may not be an in-ring performer, but she is in top-notch physical condition, as seen in this WWE Instagram photo:
Also, Brie has improved by leaps and bounds in the ring, so they have the potential to put on a decent outing. What this is really about, though, is the attraction of seeing someone get a measure of revenge against an evil McMahon.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Brie will get retribution, but one can only assume that Stephanie will have something or someone in her back pocket to foil her rival once again.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter