WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 23, 2015

WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    On a night filled with performances worthy of the marquee event, WWE SummerSlam 2015 failed at endings.

    Brock Lesnar and Undertaker collided in what looked to be a match as big as advertised. Instead of ending in celebration, though, the bout concluded with confusion and disappointment.

    That was a theme throughout a pay-per-view that WWE tried to convince fans is the WrestleMania of the summer. Jon Stewart was part of one of the most puzzling turns in company history. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev ended in underwhelming fashion.

    And the choice to have Lesnar vs. Undertaker end with the referee debating protocol with the ring announcer was baffling.

    Still, SummerSlam delivered several times over in terms of in-ring action. However, what could have been A+ bouts suffered from poor writing.

    The following is a look at all the night's in-ring offerings, recapping, analyzing and grading each contest.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

1 of 10

    After SummerSlam host Jon Stewart tried to warm up the crowd, the action got underway.

    Sheamus retreated from Randy Orton to grab a microphone and berate the fans. He then overwhelmed The Viper with a barrage of knees and methodical offense.

    An Orton comeback had the match's pace quicken, but it didn't last long. Sheamus took control in the physical matchup and left Orton with a cut over his left eye.

    The Celtic Warrior soon came out on top by way of a pair of Brogue Kicks.

    Result

    Sheamus wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Orton goes for the RKO with his first move, but Sheamus slips out of the ring to avoid it.
    • The Brooklyn fans grow restless and chant for Sami Zayn and Enzo Amore.
    • Orton throws Sheamus out of the ring with an exploder suplex.
    • Orton hits Sheamus with an RKO in midair.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Credit Orton for managing to win the seemingly bored fans over. They went from chanting for NXT guys to rooting for an RKO.

    Still, the lack of buildup hurt the action. The result was solid wrestling in a match that didn't feel significant. The feud overall has felt lacking and now seems headed for a rubber match regardless.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship Match

2 of 10

    The New Day kicked things off by trashing New York and serenading the crowd.

    Big E tried to pin his own partner, which the announcers claimed would get the heel trio the win and the titles. Fast-paced action followed with The Lucha Dragons flying around the ring and Kofi Kingston showing off some unique offense.

    Darren Young took the majority of the punishment.

    That is until the bloody-lipped babyface tagged in his partner. Titus O'Neil wrecked his opponents, flinging them around the ring.

    The bout quickly turned chaotic when Xavier Woods and El Torito got involved, with power moves coming from everywhere. Kingston sneaked a tag in and pinned one of the matadors to get the win.

    Result

    The New Day wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The New Day uses pitch pipes to prep for its pre-bout song.
    • Kingston tells the Brooklyn fans that New York doesn't know anything about hip-hop.
    • Sin Cara monkey-flips Kalisto onto Kingston.
    • Woods: "Big E got the market cornered on tricep meat."
    • Diego dropkicks Kalisto to prevent an attempted suicide dive.
    • Woods plants El Torito face-first on the floor.
    • Big E spears Young off the ring apron.
    • O'Neil slams The Lucha Dragons while they suplex Diego.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    As has been the case with the tag team scene as of late, hard work from the wrestlers and fast, high-flying action led to a fun showing.

    It's odd that WWE went with a title change this quickly, but The New Day's members have been the stars of the division and were the stars of this match. The heel trio has continued to excel with its gimmick. It is masterfully irritating and only getting better.

    WWE needs to step it up when it comes to giving the group a proper rivalry from here on out, though. There has been just a threadbare narrative between the team and The Prime Time Players.

Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler

3 of 10

    Rusev manhandled Ziggler in the early part of this physical clash. The Bulgarian Brute held Ziggler in a bear hug for a long stretch and weakened him with forearm shots.

    Ziggler battled back with his usual gutsy-babyface routine.

    The Showoff frustrated Rusev by kicking out of his high-impact moves. Rusev's dominance halted when he let go of The Accolade after watching Lana slap Summer Rae.

    Rusev and Ziggler battled outside the ring. The brawl lasted longer than the referee's 10-count, spelling the end of the match.

    After the bell, Summer and Lana had to be separated after catfighting atop the men.

    Result

    Double count-out.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Lana wears a Ziggler-style denim outfit.
    • Rusev hits a thunderous flipping senton.
    • Ziggler superkicks Rusev onto the announce table.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    Lana and Summer's fight had more fire than Rusev vs. Ziggler.

    Rusev and Ziggler have decent chemistry, but the story is so focused on Rusev's obsession with Lana that the revenge element is overshadowed.

    This was far more setup than satisfaction. WWE is also clearly just starting things out with this rivalry. John "Bradshaw" Layfield said it best with his post-match comments: "Nothing was solved here."

Stephen Amell and Neville vs. King Barrett and Stardust

4 of 10

    A shirtless Stephen Amell began his in-ring debut by springing onto the canvas off the top rope.

    Stardust hesitated to engage him, especially after the actor kicked him in the chest. The heels soon turned things around, pounding on Amell in their corner.

    Neville came in, his high-flying leaving King Barrett and Stardust reeling. After a few high spots, Neville hit the Red Arrow for the win.

    Result

    Neville and Amell win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Amell leapfrogs over Stardust.
    • Amell dives onto Barrett and Stardust.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Amell was just awesome in there. He leaped around the ring, showed off some smooth ring work and took a surprising amount of bumps. If he ever gets bored of doing TV, the WWE Performance Center would surely welcome him.

    For a match that heavily featured a non-wrestler, this was better than most fans likely expected. It provided a happy ending and big moment from Amell.

    Being a bit short and not capitalizing more on Stardust's animosity with Amell kept this from being even better.

The Miz vs. Ryback vs. Big Show (Intercontinental Championship)

5 of 10

    The Miz darted out of the ring to let the two behemoths go at it.

    His escape didn't work, though. He was the victim of chokeslams and splashes from both Ryback and Big Show.

    Ryback hit Shell Shocked on Big Show only to take a Skull-Crushing Finale from The Miz. The Awesome One failed to get a pinfall, even after several tries.

    After Big Show knocked out The Miz, Ryback clotheslined the giant out of the ring and pinned the motionless loudmouth instead.

    Result

    Ryback wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Big Show suplexes The Miz and Ryback at the same time.
    • Big Show hits an ugly rolling senton on Ryback.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Nice touch by Michael Cole to play up how often the IC title has changed hands at SummerSlam. Stats like that add a minor subplot.

    The Miz came off well as a scavenger, trying to steal the win from the powerhouses. It would have been smart for WWE to play up that angle more leading up to the bout.

    The short match packed in a good amount of action. Everyone came out looking strong.

    This has just been an uninteresting feud that a large number of fans are hoping is over with now. Ryback needs a foe whom he has more of a spark with moving forward.

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper

6 of 10

    The ring didn't hold the action for long. Within moments, Roman Reigns was barreling over his enemies outside the ring and Dean Ambrose smashed Bray Wyatt into the guardrail.

    Wyatt and Luke Harper took control in the chaotic action, pounding on The Lunatic Fringe. Reigns, meanwhile, lay unmoving near the announce table as his partner suffered.

    When Reigns eventually reentered the fray, he put his fists to good use. The Big Dog clocked his foes again and again before he and Ambrose hit a series of double-team moves.

    Dirty Deeds from Ambrose and then a Spear from Reigns put Wyatt down for the count.

    Result

    Reigns and Ambrose win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ambrose runs across the announce tables and leaps onto Wyatt.
    • Cole: "This thing has been out of control from the start."
    • Wyatt DDTs Ambrose off the ring apron onto the floor.
    • Fans chant, "Roman's sleeping!"
    • Reigns hits Wyatt with a midair Superman Punch.
    • Reigns and Ambrose hit The Road Warriors' Doomsday Device.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    This was hard-hitting and wild from the opening bell. It was plenty intense and had some fun moments.

    It didn't feature any big storyline developments (i.e. a heel turn) as many had predicted. This feud losing momentum over the last few weeks made Reigns and Ambrose's victory feel smaller than it should have been.

    If the rivalry is set to continue, WWE is going to have to put some work in to kick-start interest in it. This came off as a climax, albeit not a stellar one.

Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (United States, WWE World Heavyweight Championships)

7 of 10

    John Cena outwrestled Seth Rollins in the early going. A side headlock kept the world champ grounded for a good stretch.

    The Architect, though, would escape and take to the air. He forced the bout's pace to pick up, using his speed and agility to take the advantage.

    Each man pulled new moves out of their toolboxes. An old standby, the Attitude Adjustment, wasn't enough to get the three-count. Rollins tried his hand at the same move, getting only a two-count.

    Cena and Rollins continually countered each other's best shots.

    The action knocked the referee out, nullifying a potential win for Cena. Stewart ran in with a steel chair in hand. He knocked out Cena, allowing Rollins to steal the win.

    Result

    Rollins wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rollins dons all-white ring gear.
    • Cole: "Rollins is a highlight reel."
    • Rollins follows two suicide dives with a flip over the top rope onto Cena.
    • Cena misses a springboard stunner.
    • Rollins hits a frog splash.
    • Rollins delivers an Attitude Adjustment.
    • Cena clamps on the figure-four leglock in honor of Ric Flair.
    • Layfield: "With this stakes this high, roll the freakin' dice."
    • Cole: "Jon Stewart has gone from Daily Show host to SummerSlam criminal."

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Dissecting this match requires one to split it into before and after Stewart's intervention.

    Before the comedian and TV host came out, the two wrestlers put on a phenomenal show. Both men went all out. Rollins whipped out so many thrilling weapons, while Cena clearly looked to make this a memorable bout.

    The out-of-nowhere ending is what people will be talking about, though.

    It's hard to understand why Stewart would help Rollins. It comes off as a bit cheap, the kind of shenanigans that should have occurred in a midcard boutnot such a defining moment in Rollins' career.

    The moment is both a rare surprise in the age of the Internet and an ill-fitting narrative choice.

Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. PCB (Elimination)

8 of 10

    Becky Lynch was seeing stars not long after the bell rang. Naomi leg-dropped her, Tamina Snuka floored her with a superkick, Sasha Banks slapped her across the mouth.

    The match grew chaotic as the wrestlers all landed high-flying, high-risk moves.

    Brie Bella eliminated Snuka. A save from Paige and Charlotte prevented Nikki Bella from doing the same to Lynch.

    The Bellas then dominated, taking turns punishing Paige. It took a long time before she was able to tag Charlotte in. Lynch and Brie soon went to battle, and a missed missile dropkick gave the Irishwoman a chance to get the pin.

    Result

    PCB wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Banks and Naomi hit double dives over the top rope.
    • Paige leaps off the top turnbuckle onto several women.
    • Nikki hits an Alabama slam on the floor before doing pushups in the ring.
    • Alicia Fox and Charlotte knock each other down with simultaneous big boots.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    What was billed as the pinnacle of the "Divas revolution" angle sure didn't feel like it. There was little energy here, little reason to invest in the outcome.

    While the women pulled off some exciting moves, there was no sense of this being a high-stakes matchup. A part of that is how vague the current storyline is. What exactly does this win mean?

    How difficult that is to answer is an indication that WWE didn't do a good enough job of building this match and telling its story overall.

Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens

9 of 10

    Kevin Owens and Cesaro's animosity led to the two grapplers ditching wrestling early and brawling on the outside instead.

    The former NXT champ took control, rattling off big moves. Owens made the mistake, though, of angering Cesaro by mocking and slapping him. That inspired The King of Swing to go on an uppercut rampage.

    Owens showboated. Cesaro stayed focused on attacking the bruiser.

    Ultimately, it was a Pop-Up Powerbomb that earned Owens the win.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Owens hits a spinning neckbreaker followed by a somersault leg drop.
    • Owens to Cesaro: "Stay down!"
    • Cesaro hits a gutwrench suplex from the top rope.
    • Cesaro sends Owens into the guardail with a running European uppercut.
    • Jerry Lawler: "That kick would have hit Andre the Giant in the face."

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Clear heel and face roles, good chemistry and a smart choice for the winner made this one of the night's best matches.

    The announcers billed this as a must-win match for Owens, citing his recent losses. He regained a ton of momentum with a clean, decisive victory in a highly competitive match.

    With so much of SummerSlam featuring odd endings and screwy finishes, it was a welcome sight to see one warrior just out-battle another.

    WWE would be smart to have this feud continue. With some creativity and the same kind of attention to the narrative that we saw before this, Owens vs. Cesaro could be the midcard hit of the summer.

Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker

10 of 10

    Brock Lesnar didn't even let Undertaker take off his coat. He came charging in with fists flying. The Deadman, though, sent him into retreat with strikes of his own.

    Undertaker stunned Lesnar, cutting him open over the right eye with a right hand. The Beast Incarnate soon took control after he laid out Undertaker with a succession of suplexes.

    A weary Undertaker battled back but couldn't win with the Tombstone Piledriver. The gladiators traded right hands, power moves and neither could put the other man away.

    Lesnar had Undertaker in the Kimura Lock. The bell rang inexplicably. Referee Charles Robinson bickered with the timekeeper.

    A low blow and a Hell's Gate later, and Lesnar passed out. An angry Paul Heyman rang the bell and claimed that his client had actually won.

    Result

    Undertaker wins via submission.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Lesnar F-5s Undertaker into the announce table.
    • A bloody Lesnar sits up and laughs at Undertaker. The Deadman mocks his laughter.
    • Undertaker kicks out of two F-5s.
    • Lesnar gives Undertaker the finger while being trapped in Hell's Gate.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    It looked as if this massive bout was going to live up to the hype. It had that proverbial big-match feel. Undertaker looked much better than he did at WrestleMania 30. He and Lesnar put on a compelling slugfest.

    The trouble wasn't with Undertaker being past his primeit was WWE Creative not just letting the titans go at it.

    The screwy finish gutted the drama the wrestlers built. Clearly, the controversy is designed to lead to another showdown between them, but this was the wrong way to do it.

    This is how you leave your fans feeling cheated. This is how you change the conversation topic from the in-ring action to the poor choices from the writing team.