In the 2014 version of Summerslam by the WWE, there were a lot of matches that fans were looking forward to, but none more so than the main event featuring the returning Brock Lesnar. After his Wrestlemania 30 defeat of The Undertaker, Lesnar took several months off, coming back only a few weeks before what is the second largest event of each year for World Wrestling Entertainment. His challenge to John Cena was not the only match on the card with something at stake, and no defended title or personal rivalry was safe.
After Hulk Hogan came out to congratulate those watching on the WWE Network, the first match of The Miz versus Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship began. The Miz, as the champion, came out first as a heel while Ziggler received plenty of fan support. Moves and near falls were quick to fly with both combatants displaying high energy. Miz hit his Skull Crushing Finale finishing move, but was unable to gain the win. Dolph, given his opportunity, hit his own finisher and became the new Intercontinental Champion, his first title since 2013.
Next on the docket was the Diva Championship, featuring A.J. as champ and Paige as challenger. The champion immediately began by pulling the hair of the challenger, causing Paige to turn the tables aggressively. That offensive flurry ended with a bite from A.J. before the fight spilled outside to the floor. Paige was rolled back in and covered, but was able to kick out moments before hitting her signature Paige Turner to take a pin fall victory and the title.
Jack Swagger took on Alexander Rusev next in a match over country pride. Swagger, sporting the American flag, was a huge fan favorite, coming out to a red, white, and blue color guard before wrestling the Bulgarian, Rusev. The match quickly turned into a fight that spilled out of then back into the ring. Rusev used his massive strength to impose his will, but a boot to his face changed that swiftly. The massive competitor was soon locked in an ankle lock, but broke out to perform The Accolade, causing Swagger to pass out and bringing the Bulgarian flag to fly before a booing audience.
WWE gave the most unusual match of Summerslam 2014 to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins: a Lumberjack Match. Rollins came out first with his gold, contract-filled “Money in the Bank” briefcase, and it was not long before he was joined by Ambrose and both sides came at full force. The thirty lumberjacks around the ring waited for either competitor to fall into their grasp, but their opportunity was thwarted when both men began fighting against the enforcers. After returning from the crowd and with the referee distracted by an outside ruckus, Rollins nailed Ambrose with his golden briefcase for a win.
Chris Jericho against Bray Wyatt was a rematch from the previous WWE event in which Jericho came out victorious. He entered the ring first with his signature entrance, but may have been upstaged by Bray when the crowd began chanting, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” in an arena lit only with phone lights. Wyatt dominated early with pressuring near falls until a head scissors move off the top rope changed the tide and put Jericho on the offensive. An instance of Sister Abigail into the barricade rocked Jericho, serving as a prelude to a second Abigail from Wyatt inside the ring. That victory was followed by Bray posing and cackling while singing along with his loyal buzzards in the crowd.
Stephanie McMahon, in her first match in a decade, was next for her fight against Brie Bella. Their bout started back and forth, but Brie was injured on an outside scuffle that nearly had her counted out. Both Triple H and Nikki Bella came out after a surfboard hold was broken up – the former distracting the referee with a “Yes” lock, making Stephanie tap out in the ring. Nikki and her sister seemed to have Stephanie surrounded, but Brie was slapped by her twin, allowing McMahon to hit The Pedigree for a victory.
The penultimate match featured Roman Reigns versus Randy Orton with Orton entering first from the ramp and Reigns coming from the crowd. Their battle almost immediately fell out of the ring with the action only returning inside to a Superplex by Orton. Roman hit his signature Superman Punch, then had his Spear countered into a swift power slam, DDT, and RKO finisher, none of which was enough for a three count on Reigns. Orton then stood and turned into a Spear from nowhere for a loss to Reigns.
Brock Lesnar stepped into the WWE ring in the 2014 Summerslam main event against Heavyweight Champion John Cena, both hearing mixed reactions from the sold-out crowd. From there, Lesnar rained suplex after suplex after beat down on the champion, keeping the momentum throughout. The only spark of offense from John Cena was a sudden Attitude Adjustment that earned nothing but a two count. Brock responded promptly with a further beating until Cena, attempting a submission, was countered into the F-5 for the victory, giving Lesnar a dominating victory and a new WWE championship reign.
By Myles Gann