That's how you do it, WWE.
The last few pay-per-views have left fans wanting more, but the company made sure that didn't happen with SummerSlam: One of the biggest, most important PPV's of the year turned into an unforgettable show.
There were great matches, good matches and pretty solid matches. No bad matches. There were thrilling spots, intriguing storyline development and some unpredictable moments.
Adam Rank of NFL.com took off his football hat for a second to applaud the unbelievable show:
What an amazing #SummerSlam wow. Still can't believe how great Brock Lesnar looked. Damn.— Adam Rank (@adamrank) August 18, 2014
You could probably make an argument for any match as one of the top-three best of the night, but let's at least highlight a couple after taking a look at the full results.
SummerSlam 2014 Results
|Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro||Singles||Rob Van Dam|
|The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler||Intercontinental Title||Dolph Ziggler|
|Paige vs. A.J. Lee||Divas Title||Paige|
|Jack Swagger vs. Rusev||Flag Match||Rusev|
|Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose||Lumberjacks Match||Seth Rollins|
|Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt||Singles||Bray Wyatt|
|Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella||Singles||Stephanie McMahon|
|Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns||Singles||Roman Reigns|
|Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena||World Heavyweight Title||Brock Lesnar|
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
This led off the show (not counting the pre-show), so expectations weren't extremely high. But it ended up being an extremely well-worked battle from both competitors.
From Miz playing his egomaniac character perfectly by guarding his face to Ziggler selling the figure four and the throw into the turnbuckle, there were a ton of fantastic spots and moments.
The New York Times' Kevin Sullivan praised the match:
GREAT showing by Miz and Ziggler... Really set the tone for #SummerSlam.— Kevin Sullivan (@SullivanBooks) August 18, 2014
Moreover, the right person won:
Ziggler is undeniably talented and always puts on good matches inside the ring. It's been a frustrating stretch for him, as he has lacked significant direction for a long time now, but hopefully this is a beginning of a push back to great things.
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
In terms of seeing a variety of moves or enthralling back-and-forth action, this match would certainly fall lower on the list. But as the New York Times' Kevin Sullivan noted, the power of storytelling was on full display in this one:
Here we have the main event of the second- or third-biggest PPV of the year. And WWE essentially turned it into a squash match.
But not only was it a squash match, it was a squash match with the loser being the company's most marketable superstar. Brock Lesnar absolutely destroyed John Cena, picking up the win after a slew of German suplexes:
This was amazing. It takes some unbelievable guts for the WWE to pull off a move like that, and if you saw this coming, then you're lying. Even as Lesnar was putting forth a beating of a lifetime, you felt as though Cena would do Cena things and pull out a miraculous comeback.
But it never happened. At the same time, the company has made half the WWE universe unbelievably ecstatic, while completely alienating the other half. To do something like this, in such a big moment, to such a polarizing star, is incredible.
The legendary Steve Austin offered his praise:
Lesnar's transformation into an unstoppable monster is now complete. He beat Undertaker at WrestleMania and now obliterated Cena. The WWE has utilized its part-time star to perfection.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
It just doesn't get better than this.
Some don't like the Lumberjack Match gimmick, but it didn't matter. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were going to put on a transcendent show no matter what.
Diamond Dallas Page gave his thoughts:
Favorite match of the night?
It would have been nice if the match was longer, but every second that it lasted was spectacular. The action was fast, furious and chaotic. The lumberjacks had no chance at containing these two, and it was a wild, thrilling ride that featured an endless amount of heart-pumping spots.
These two are on another level right now, and it's an absolute joy to watch.