WWE SummerSlam 2014 Results: Power Ranking Every Match at PPV

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2014

WWE SummerSlam 2014 Results: Power Ranking Every Match at PPV

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    World Wrestling Entertainment's SummerSlam pay-per-view was a show that had lofty expectations placed on it, thanks in large part to one of the best cards in recent history.

    Whether it lived up to said expectations is for fans to decide, but one thing is for certain: It was chock-full of entertaining, memorable and quality matches from some of the most likely and unlikely participants.

    Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon wrestled a fine match, while Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt disappointed. Brock Lesnar's 20-minute assault of John Cena was vastly superior to the match between in-ring greats Rob Van Dam and Cesaro.

    The quality of the matches can be determined via a number of means, be it the actual in-ring work or the reaction of the fans or the story told by the competitors.

    Sunday night featured a great mixture of all of those elements, leading to the most diverse pay-per-view WWE has presented in quite some time.

    Relive every match from Sunday's card now, as they are ranked in order from worst to best.

9. Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro

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    The opening match of the night took place on the WWE Kickoff Show and pitted Rob Van Dam against Cesaro. 

    Neither man entered SummerSlam with a winning record over the last month, so one of them would put an end to their losing ways.

    It was a competitive match, though no better than what one may see on Raw, Main Event or SmackDown, and was won by Van Dam.

    The Los Angeles fans were happy, and the event was kicked off with a fast-paced, high-energy bout, but it was hardly memorable past the end of the pre-show festivities. 

    That is disappointing for both proud Superstars.

8. Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt

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    The Battleground match between Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt was underwhelming, leading many to believe the talented individuals had a much better match in them.

    If they do, it's still in there somewhere, as their SummerSlam clash again failed to meet expectations.

    Jericho and Wyatt have struggled to find chemistry with one another, and the results have been quite lethargic as a result. While there was nothing inherently wrong with their match at WWE's latest pay-per-view spectacular, there was nothing to really ignite interest in fans, which was evident by the complete apathy with which the contest was greeted.

    Some of that is the fault of WWE Creative, which has done nothing to evolve or advance the rivalry, but at some point blame must be put at the feet of the performers themselves, regardless of how great they may be.

    Early indicators from Raw hint at the feud continuing into Night of Champions. If that is the case, Jericho and Wyatt will have their work cut out for them as they face an audience jaded by their first two mediocre offerings.

7. AJ Lee vs. Paige

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    The Divas Championship match between AJ Lee and Paige was quite the energetic contest between two women determined to improve upon their disappointing effort at Battleground.

    AJ was a ball of fire, attacking her opponent from the opening bell, but Paige slowed the action down and took control. A huge diving clothesline from the top rope by AJ popped the crowd, and the Black Widow looked be the end of Paige's championship dreams.

    Then she countered the hold into her devastating new finisher dubbed "Ram-Paige" by Michael Cole. That finished off AJ and won Paige her second Divas Championship.

    It was a very competitive match that did more to put Paige over as the centerpiece of the Divas division than anything WWE Creative had done in her first four months on the main roster.

    A breakout performance for Paige and further proof that AJ is one of the best female workers in wrestling.

6. Jack Swagger vs. Rusev

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    The Flag match between Jack Swagger and Rusev was the best match of the young Bulgarian Brute's career.

    Forced to really sell for the first time in his main-roster career, Rusev did an excellent job of putting over the effect of Swagger's Patriot Lock, which led to a great deal of drama surrounding the contest. For a moment, it even appeared as if the former World Heavyweight champion would be the man to knock off the dangerous Russian defector, but it was not meant to be.

    Rusev won the match via referee's decision after Swagger passed out while in the clutches of The Accolade, saving his heat but giving his opponent his biggest win to date.

    The match was a testament to Swagger, whose work as a babyface has far exceeded any of his heel work over the last year. Perhaps it is his chemistry with Rusev, or maybe he is more comfortable working his style as a hero rather than a villain.

    Whatever the case may be, he was a big part of the match's success and should be commended for it.

5. Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon

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    The beauty of the Brie Bella-Stephanie McMahon match was not the actual in-ring work, which was very basic, but the way the two women worked the crowd and got them to invest in the action.

    Stephanie had complete control of the Los Angeles fans, manipulating them with simple body language and taunts that generated the desired reaction. Brie, on the other hand, showed a great sense of timing, mounting her comeback and leading to the finish.

    There are times that overbooking can hamper a match, but that was not the case Sunday night. The involvement of Triple H and Nikki Bella played perfectly into the story being told, and the swerve involving Nikki made for a moderately shocking moment.

    Stephanie winning was a wise decision in that Brie will now move on to feud with Nikki while the hated villain can elicit more heat from the audience by bragging about her accomplishment.

4. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz

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    The opening match of the evening was everything fans could have hoped for from The Miz and Dolph Zigglerand more.

    The Superstars worked several different stories into the framework of a single match, including Miz's propensity for targeting the knees of his opponents and Ziggler's determination to land blows to the face of his opponent, who is all too eager to protect his "moneymaker."

    The hard right hand and superkick to the face really effected Miz and took him off his game, allowing Ziggler to ultimately deliver the Zig Zag for the pinfall victory and the Intercontinental Championship.

    The spot in which Ziggler delivered the Fameasser only for Miz to bounce right up and catch him with the Skull Crushing Finale was outstanding and led to a dramatic near-fall that had fans thinking the Showoff would come up short once again.

    Both Superstars have demonstrated outstanding chemistry with one another in matches prior to and proceeding SummerSlam. With both men being former heavyweight champions and both having built up a certain amount of trust with fans over the last five years, they are the perfect candidates for a feud over a title that is in desperate need of prestige.

3. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton

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    The best classical wrestling match at SummerSlam came when Randy Orton and Roman Reigns clashed in the culmination of their months-long feud.

    Orton, a master ring general, relied heavily on facial expressions, body language and superb sequencing to deliver the absolute best match possible with Reigns, who performed up to the level of his competition and notched the biggest win of his career with a massive spear.

    The spot in which Reigns flew through the air for a leaping clothesline, only to be caught in an RKO and nearly have his night end on a negative note, was simply outstanding and got a crowd exhausted by Stephanie vs. Brie back into the action.

    While said crowd did the match no favors, the Superstars hardly let it affect the story they were telling. Orton did the right thing for business, Reigns benefited exponentially and all was right with the wrestling world.

2. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar

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    Anyone expecting a wrestling classic out of John Cena and Brock Lesnar was both incredibly naive and seriously disappointed by what they witnessed at SummerSlam.

    The rest of us were left captivated by the ruthless aggression exhibited by Lesnar as he dominated and destroyed Cena in the most one-sided WWE World Heavyweight Championship match of all time.

    German suplex after German suplex wore Cena down, allowing the leader of the Cenation to get only two legitimate maneuvers in throughout the entire match. Lesnar's taunting of his opponent following an Attitude Adjustment, which came in the form of his mockery of the Undertaker, was outstanding and added to the arrogance and cockiness of The Beast Incarnate.

    By the time the final F5 put a nail in the coffin of Cena's title reign, fans were happysome because Super Cena had been vanquished by the villain, others because the merciless beating had come to an end.

    Either way, Lesnar turned in one of the performances of his career by doing less, while Cena took one for the team, allowing himself to look as weak as he ever has while putting over the danger that Superstars face when they square off with the monstrous Lesnar.

1. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

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    There is no adequate way to describe the chaos that ensued when Dean Ambrose met Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack match at SummerSlam.

    The 20 Superstars tasked with keeping the action confined to the ring were absolutely awful at their jobs and left many wondering why they were even necessary, but their involvement throughout the contest was paramount to the story being told, so it was forgivable.

    Ambrose and Rollins fought through the crowd and into the stands, followed by the Lumberjacks, then were brought back into the ringside area, where they continued to unleash fury on one another.

    Ultimately, the arrival of Kane and a huge melee involving the 20 Superstars led to Rollins seizing an opportunity and blasting Ambrose in the face with the Money in the Bank briefcase and securing the win.

    The crowd in Los Angeles was as hot for the explosion of The Shield members as any other on the show, which was evident by their reactions throughout. That Rollins and Ambrose crafted the greatest Lumberjack match of all time was but icing on the proverbial cake.