Expectations surrounding the 2014 edition of WWE’s SummerSlam were incredibly high coming into the event, and while most of the show lived up to the hype, several top Superstars failed to make their mark on the pay-per-view.
With top performers like John Cena, Roman Reigns and Jack Swagger failing to take their matches to the next level, there were many fans let down by the performances of the three aforementioned wrestlers.
The biggest disappointment was John Cena.
For weeks leading up to the match, Cena talked about how Lesnar was in for the fight of his life and he wouldn’t quit. While Cena didn’t quit, he was utterly dismantled in one of the most lopsided matches the WWE Universe will ever witness.
From bell to bell, Cena was destroyed by Lesnar. Even after Cena mustered up the strength to hit the Attitude Adjustment, Lesnar simply sat up just like The Undertaker and laughed at the former champion’s effort. Several German suplexes and a well-timed F5 sealed Cena’s fate.
For a wrestler who has beaten almost every man he has ever stepped in the ring with during his career, it was refreshing to see Cena get beat down for the entirety of the match. After Lesnar defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania, this was the only way to book him.
Another disappointing performer was Roman Reigns. While there are many fans who choose to turn a blind eye to his faults, I'm not the only one who agrees that he is not ready for the limelight:
Despite having the stage to shine and Randy Orton to carry him through a co-main event match, Reigns showed that he is still very green in the ring and needs plenty of work before becoming a top face for the company. Orton did most of the work in this bout and stole the show with his impressive spots.
On the other hand, Reigns looked rigid in the ring. While he hit his typical spots with precision (Superman punch, spear, apron kick, etc.), there was no flow to Reigns’ performance and he clearly looked like a wrestler in over his head. The WWE needs top faces with Daniel Bryan on the shelf and CM Punk quitting, but rushing Reigns to the top is not the right answer.
Orton carried Reigns to a solid match, but the former Shield powerhouse proved he needs more time to develop before being dubbed the next face of the company.
While expectations were much lower for Jack Swagger, he is one of the performers who most disappointed on Sunday. The feud with Rusev has been very entertaining and booked properly coming into Sunday’s match, but something was off in this bout.
Swagger didn’t have the same intensity he usually showcases, and that made the match boring at times and dull overall. Rusev is a great athlete for his size and should be able to pull off a technical match with a talent such as Swagger. With the Real American scheduled to take the loss, though, his effort level wasn’t where it needed to be.
Swagger lost the match and let down his American fans.
All three of the previously mentioned wrestlers were expected to arrive at SummerSlam and perform valiantly even in a loss. Unfortunately for the WWE and fans at home, Cena, Reigns and Swagger all failed to live up to the expectations.
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