Was this week the best in recent memory in terms of in-ring WWE action? It might just be, with the excellent SummerSlam pay-per-view being followed up with a compelling week of television.
It is certainly an exciting time to be a WWE fan. The company has Superstars who are able to show what they can do in the ring on a regular basis. Choosing just one match as the best of the week was no easy task.
The match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam may have been a squash for all intents and purposes, but it was so well executed by both men that it was certainly in contention for the match of the week.
Not every match has to be a back-and-forth contest, and this bout achieved what it set out to do quite masterfully. Cena, Brock and, of course, Paul Heyman played their parts perfectly and produced a main event that won't soon be forgotten.
The two Divas matches at SummerSlam may have been something of a surprise for many. Paige and AJ Lee put on perhaps their best match together so far, but the real revelation was Stephanie McMahon's return to the ring.
A vastly expanded work rate and the same sense of character that makes her promos so strong helped Stephanie make the match rather entertaining. Brie Bella held up her end, but this was very much the Stephanie McMahon show.
Yet another excellent encounter from SummerSlam was the flag match between Rusev and Jack Swagger. Smart booking and a canny finish played their part, but it was the talent of the two men involved that made this one great.
Swagger works surprisingly well as a face, and he definitely has what it takes in the ring. Rusev might be surprising many at the moment, proving to be a well-rounded performer far beyond what you might expect of a big man playing the foreign heel.
Match of the Week for August 23: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack Match at SummerSlam
Many were disappointed to hear that the long-awaited face-off between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins at SummerSlam would be a Lumberjack match, but the bout itself took full advantage of the stipulation in a creative, high-intensity contest with some very memorable spots.
The Lumberjack stipulation can be something of a restraint on a match, but that was far from the case here. Chaos is central to the persona of Dean Ambrose, and having the ring surrounded by other wrestlers allowed that chaos to take centre stage.
However, this match wasn't just a good gimmick match. The booking of the Ambrose-Rollins feud has been rather excellent, with risky moves like their non-match at Battleground paying off with a programme that audiences were completely engaged with.
You could tell that the crowd was keen to see these two mix it up at Money in the Bank, and that same energy was present when they finally squared off at SummerSlam—and it didn't drain one bit until the match was over.
We've all heard the old adage of a hot crowd elevating a match, but when the performers involved are as talented as they are in this case, things can really reach another level. Smart booking, receptive crowds and exceptional performances have all coalesced to produce something special with this feud; it certainly feels like we're watching history in the making.
The Falls Count Anywhere match from Monday Night Raw between these two was also great but was edged out by the SummerSlam bout for me. You'd think that these two are destined to meet again over the next few months, and with the Hell in a Cell PPV but two months away, perhaps we could see them take on another classic match type.
Did another match stand out to you this week? Which was your favourite Slater Gator bout of the week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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