WWE Summerslam kicks off this evening on the WWE Network and PPV, starting at 7:30pm EDT, with the preshow.  It will feature the following matches:

  • Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro (Kickoff Match)
  • Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Lumberjack Match)
  • The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
  • Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
  • AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige (for the WWE Divas Championship)
  • Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
  • Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
  • Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
  • John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RingRap for live tweets periodically throughout the show! 

WWE Kickoff Show

Welcome to the WWE Summerslam live coverage!  Our kickoff show begins… now!

Renee Young kicks off the show, accompanied by Booker T, Ric Flair, and Alex Riley.  Silly banter with the intros.  They talk about what they’re looking forward to tonight.  Alex Riley wants to know who from Hollywood is here.  They plug the network, and the price.  Take a drink, folks.

Intro to our WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, then to our other main event - Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon.  Cue the video package.

Booker calls this the “Shucky Ducky Quack Quack” moment of the night.  I won’t even pretend to understand what that means.  

We go ringside, and JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler are here to call the kickoff match, so let’s do this.

Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro (Kickoff Match)

RVD comes out first, Cesaro second.  Cesaro looks like he means business.  Also, the LEDs on part of the stage don’t appear to be working quite yet.

RVD goes for a monkey flip out of the corner early on, and hits a spin kick in the corner.  Cesaro cuts him off with a knee.  An “ECW” chant breaks out.  Hurricarana from RVD.  Cesaro rolls out.  RVD flips out after him, and Cesaro just walks away, but RVD lands on his feet and kicks him in the face.  Rolling Thunder outside the ring.

Back in the ring, RVD hits some kicks.  Poke to the eyes when the ref isn’t looking.  Cesaro attacks in the corner.  Cesaro manhandles RVD and hits a slam.  We go to break.

We come back after a single commercial for the network.  Cesaro has a headlock.  Knee to the back.  More headlocks.  RVD gets some clotheslines, misses a kick to the head, but rolls it into head scissors.  Springboard split-leg moonsault for two.  Springboard kick, to the apron, moonsault again outside the ring.

RVD rolls him in and goes up top.  Cesaro nails him with an uppercut.  Superplex attempt, RVD fights him off.  He goes up top, but another uppercut.  Superplex attempt #2, fails.  RVD tries again.  Nope.  Uppercut.  Cesaro tries AGAIN for a superplex, misses.  RVD goes for the Five Star this time, Cesaro catches him with an uppercut in mid-air.  Impressive!

Steam picks up and there’s a boot to the face.  Cesaro with a near fall.  Slap to the face, but RVD counters, and kicks Cesaro in the head.  He goes up top again.  This time the Five Star Frogsplash is good.  RVD gets the pin.  RVD wins.

Good opening match from these two.  Just as it really started getting good, it was over.  A glimmer of what they’re capable, but they knew their place on the card.

After the match, Cesaro is talking trash to the referee at the Preshow Booth.  He said the ref counts too fast.  Nice improv there.

Some dude won a contest.  His name is “Momma’s Boy.”  This is a train wreck.  The kid is pretty comfortable talking though.  

They put over Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton.  Then, more Brock Lesnar coverage, including a video package of his destruction.  I think it’s the same package from Monday.  Now John Cena talks.  Yep.  Same package.  It was a very, very good package, by the way.

WWE Summerslam

Hulk Hogan opens up the show.  Looks like the issues with the LCD screen have been ironed out.  The set looks like Raw, quite frankly.  Somewhat disappointing.  

Hogan starts out by shilling Hollywood Hulk Hogan.  He doesn’t say the name of the arena.  Mortals can become immortal, etc.  Oh, there’s the cheap pop for LA.  He shills the WWE Network.  So, if you bought the show for $55, you feel like a fool right now.  $9.99 shills.  They talk about the next six WWE PPVs, guaranteed through the Royal Rumble.  So, they’re leaving their bets open.  

Proper video intro for the show now, putting over each match with buzz-words.  Clever.  Sounds like a movie plug.  

My stream just died on me.  Legit died.  Getting a video error - “There’s a problem with this video.  We are working on it.  Please try again later.”

I’ve switched from my Xbox One to my Android Nexus 7 Tablet.  It’s working there.

The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Miz takes off his sun glasses after the bell rings.  Ziggler on the early offense.  A couple of roll-ups, The Miz ducks out of the ring.  He finally comes back in.  Ziggler lands a few chops.  Miz gets the advantage after a fierce clothesline. Miz is really working over the crowd after a boot to the face.  Off the top rope, Ziggler hits him in the gut.  

Ziggler gets the advantage and lands a neck breaker.  Two-count.  Ziggler goes for a roll-up.  Miz teases a Figure Four.  Ziggler catches Miz in the face with a super kick.  A very near fall. The fans are behind Ziggler, 100%.

Miz bails out and grabs his belt.  He starts leaving.  Ziggler hits a baseball slide and rolls him in the ring.  Miz catches him between the ropes, then locks in the Figure Four, in the middle of the ring.  Ziggler’s shoulders hit the mat.  He tries to roll it over, but Miz holds on.  Ziggler grabs the rope.  Miz breaks the hold.  Miz goes again, Ziggler hits a Fameasser, Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale.  Ziggler kicks out at 2.5.

Miz is shocked he didn’t get the win there.  Miz gets up and Ziggler gets a Zig Zag out of nowhere.  He covers The Miz for three.  Dolph Ziggler is your NEW Intercontinental Champion.

I didn’t see this coming.  1-1 on my picks so far.  Enjoyable match from these two, from the beginning.  Some good near falls, too.

Recap of this past Monday, with Steph, Brie, and Claire Lyn… I mean Megan whatshername.  Brie Bella interviews with Tom Phillips backstage.  She talks about sitting in her cell and reflecting on all the times Steph tortured Daniel Bryan, tortured Nikki Bella, and paid the physical therapist to lie.  She’s gonna take Steph out.  It’s best for business.

AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige for the WWE Divas Championship

Paige is wearing some new gear tonight.  Red.  Looks lovely.  AJ comes out next.  They show videos of the trading title on during the entrances.  Paige extends a hand for a handshake.  AJ accepts and bites Paige’s hand, then pulls her hair.  AJ ripped out a chunk, apparently.  AJ is acting crazy.  Paige kicks her in the gut, then sets her up on the apron.  Action spills outside again.  AJ on Paige’s shoulders, face-first into the barricade.  Back in the ring, Paige for a two-count.  She drops hair onto AJ.  I have no idea who’s it is.  More vicious knees from Paige.  She goes up top and they fight on the turnbuckle.  AJ sends Paige to the floor, then climbs up top herself.  She hits a diving clothesline off the top.  Both ladies are out.  

They get to their feet and AJ rolls Paige into the ring.  Shining Wizard for a near fall. Paige kicks AJ right in the jaw, then picks her up for a Paige Turner.  AJ locks in the Black Widow instead.  Paige counters and hits a nasty looking DDT.  The ref counts.  It’s over folks.  Paige wins the WWE Divas Championship.

After the match, Paige sits AJ up, shows her the belt, then tosses her back to the match as she skips around the ring.

A very physical match from start to finish.  That DDT, which she calls the Rampaige, looked tight.  Good finisher.  Good match.  I would’ve liked about 10 more minutes from these ladies, but I’ll take it.

Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) in a Flag Match

Lana cuts a promo on how Hollywood represents everything wrong with America.  Jack Swagger’s entrance is a little more involved.  Some members of our armed forces come out with the American flag, and rifles.  Swagger gets a marching team behind him.  A nice touch.  This could be the most important match of Jack Swagger’s career.

My internet dropped out briefly, so I lost the feed, again. This time, it’s not WWE’s fault.  

I join Swagger attacking Rusev’s ankle.  The action is outside the ring.  He drops Rusev with a clothesline.

Swaggerbomb in the corner fails when Rusev lifts the knees. He sells the ankle as he hobbles to Swagger and attacks the ribs.  Kick to the back from Rusev.  He works the ribcage. Rusev yells at Swagger in Russian.  Out of nowhere, Swagger hits a belly-to-belly suplex.  Clothesline, Swagger’s on fire.  Boot to the head.  He goes for the Swaggerbomb again.  He gets it this time, but sells the ribs.  Only a two-count.  

Swagger counters a kick from Rusev for an Ankle Lock, but Rusev weasels out.  Slam to the mat for two.  Rusev nails a kick to the ribs, then a kick to the face.  Swagger is down.  Lana instructs Rusev to “Crush!”  He kicks Swagger in the back, then goes for The Accolade, but he sells the ankle injury.  He can’t do it.  He does again, and does it with one leg instead.  Swagger powers out and rolls through with the Patriot Lock.  Rusev reaches for the ropes.  Swagger pulls him back in, but Rusev unloads with punches and a kick to the ribs.  He barely hits Swagger with a jump spin kick.  Splash off the ropes, back into The Accolade.  Rusev is really selling the pain of the ankle.  Swagger doesn’t tap.  Swagger starts to pass out.  The ref calls for the bell.  Jack Swagger did not tap, he passed out.  Rusev wins the match anyhow.

Good action here from these two.  Both men sold their injuries well.  I really liked the heat here, and both men worked well.  These are two very valuable players in WWE right now.  

After the match, Rusev kicks Zeb Colter down to the mat.  They show highlights of the match, then play the Russian National Anthem, while raising the Russian Flag.  I’m having flashbacks of 1980s WWF here.

Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack Match

A good mix of mid-card talent surrounds the ring.  Seth Rollins out first, briefcase in hand.  Dean Ambrose is next.  Ambrose attacks immediately, and catches Rollins with kicks in the corner.  He tosses Rollins.  Rollins tries to roll out, the lumberjacks send him back in.  Twice, as a matter of fact.  Ambrose locks in a nice lock and yanks on the nose, then runs his face across the ropes.  Rollins sends Ambrose out of the ring, Ambrose fights them, then goes back in.  Rollins sends Ambrose out with a dropkick, and this time the lumberjacks attack Ambrose, before sending him back into the ring.

Rollins with a bodyslam, cover for one.  Ambrose goes up top and Rollins takes him out, kicking him in the gut repeatedly.  Headlock.  Ambrose starts fighting back.  Ambrose on the apron, Rollins attacks.  Ambrose hits a suplex over the ropes to the floor, into the lumberjacks.  Nice spot!  

All hell breaks loose outside the ring.  Rollins and Ambrose are fighting anyone they can.  Rollins runs towards Ambrose and Ambrose flips him over the barricade.  Rollins looked like he whacked his leg on a chair.  Ambrose goes flying through the ropes into the lumberjacks, then attacks everyone basically.  He tosses the lumberjacks around and chases Rollins out into the crowd.  Hard to keep up here.  They fight through the audience. Kane comes out to straighten things out.  Meanwhile, Rollins and Ambrose are pretty high up into the audience.  The lumberjacks head up there to separate the two, bringing them back to the ring.  

Rollins fights off Sin Cara, then takes off towards the back.  Ambrose is literally being carried to the ring.  The lumberjacks eventually cut Rollins off and send him back to the ring.  They’re literally carrying him, Adam Rose style.  Dean Ambrose takes advantage of the moment and dives off of the top rope into the group.  Bodies everywhere!

Back in the ring, Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, Rollins counters.  He hits a rebound clothesline for two. Ambrose talks trash, then hits Rollins with his own finisher, the Curb Stomp.  He goes for the cover, and Kane stops it.  Goldust runs in and jaws with Kane.  Kane takes him out!  All the lumberjacks run into the ring and start fighting!  The last two left are Rowan and Harper.  Ambrose send them both over the top.  Rollins turns around and nails Ambrose with the briefcase.  He gets the pin!  It’s over folks.  Seth Rollins wins!

Well, that was a fun brawl.  I normally dread Lumberjack matches, but these guys did a really good job of keeping it fresh and being unique.  Of course, I called for Rollins to use the briefcase, but I called Ambrose to get the win.  Does that really count as a strike on my predictions?

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt

Cell phones lit up everywhere.  Impressive. Jericho gets his old-school countdown clock.  Been a while since I’ve seen that.  New LED jacket too.  They lock up.  Jericho goes on the offense.  Springboard shoulderblock to the floor.  He rolls Wyatt in, then goes up top.  Cross-body for one.  Knees in the corner from Jericho.  Wyatt reverses a whip into the corner, then sends Jericho over the top rope.  Action continues outside.  He runs a knee into Jericho’s face at the steps.  

Back in the ring, Wyatt sends Jericho shoulder first into the post.  He punches Jericho in the head, with his face pinned against the steps.  Running elbow.  Headlock in the ring again. Jericho tries to fight out.  Wyatt tells the ref to “Ask him.”  Funny.  Jericho gets to his feet, fights out.  Wyatt hits him with a knee, Jericho catches him with a boot and some chops.  Enzuigiri from Jericho.  Cover for one. Jericho misses off the top rope and Wyatt takes advantage.  Running senton for two.  Wyatt runs out of the corner, Jericho catches him with a dropkick.  Kick to the gut.  Wyatt slams Jericho down.  He laughs.  

Wyatt hangs upside down in the corner, then walks over for Sister Abigail.  Jericho rolls him up, then goes for the Walls of Jericho.  He punches Wyatt a few times, then rolls him over.  He’s got it deep.  Wyatt makes it to the ropes.

My sound cuts out here.  Wyatt gets the advantage on Jericho, then goes for a pin.  Headbutt.  Wyatt goes up top, Jericho cuts him off.  Jericho up top too.  Top rope hurricarana!  Impressive.  Jericho goes for the cover, Wyatt kicks out.  

Jericho with a dropkick, taking out a running Wyatt.  Wyatt pops up in the crab walk.  Jericho sells it.  He’s freaked out.  Wyatt starts yelling at him.  He says he cannot die, that he’s already dead.  Ok then.  Jericho nails him with a Codebreaker, but Wyatt gets his foot on the rope.  

Action spills outside again, and Wyatt takes Jericho out with Sister Abigail into the barricade.  He lifts Jericho up, rolls him into the ring, and picks him up. Looks like he’s got one more for him.  Sister Abigail #2.  Wyatt covers Jericho and gets a clean pin.  Bray Wyatt wins.

A much better match than their last outing, in my opinion.  These guys gelled much better, and it was entertaining from beginning to end.  I have to assume there’s one more match between these two.

After the match, Wyatt takes the mic.  He says Jericho found out what it means to Follow the Buzzards.  Wyatt leads the fans in singing “Whole World in his Hands.”

Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella

Stephanie McMahon comes out wearing an outfit that at best can be described as a dominatrix.  At worst?  She looks like Chyna.  Brie comes out wearing something fairly normal.  They lock up.  They lock up again.  Brie rolls her with an arm drag.  Another arm drag.  Elbow from Steph and shoulders in the corner. Steph slams Brie face-first into the mat.  Steph does the Yes chants.  

Brie counters and goes for a Yes Lock.  Steph bails out of the ring.  Brie runs the ropes and goes for a dive.  Steph catches her.  It looked awkward and clunky.  Brie tumbled out of the ring pretty fiercely.  She barely gets in by 9.  DDT from Steph.  Two-count.

Hair pull from Steph.  She’s stretching Brie’s arms out, hair pull to the mat.  This is pretty slow and prodding.  Brie hits a few kicks to the head.  Brie fights back.  She lays into Steph with kicks, a-la Daniel Bryan.  Hair drag thing.  More kicks in the corner.  Dropkick off the second rope.  Brie gets a two-count.  She tries to drag Steph off of the ropes.  Triple H runs out, but Nikki Bella comes running out too.  Brie is distracted, and Steph goes for a pedigree.  Brie rolls it into a Yes Lock.  The ref is calling the shot here, and Triple H yanks him off the apron to the floor!  Triple H stares down Nikki Bella.  Brie hits a dropkick through the ropes and send Triple H flying!

Nikki Bella enters the ring and corners Steph.  Steph backs away, then the ladies prepare to attack.  But wait!  Nikki Bella attacks Brie instead!  My god!  What a development!!!1

Stephanie takes the opportunity to hit a Pedigree on Brie and get the pin.  Stephanie wins.

Michael Cole sells this like a travesty, and he should.

A slow and prodding match in my opinion.  The low point in the show thus far.  The Nikki Bella heel turn has been rumored for a little while now, but I fail to see how it helps anyone.  This story should end.  Please.

Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns 

Both men stare each other down, but Reigns goes on the offense first. Elbows from Reigns, punches in the corner.  Orton pokes the eyes, but Reigns sends him over the top rope. Back in the ring, Orton yanks the hair and sends Reigns to the mat.  Garvin stomp.  Orton misses a knee drop in the corner.  Reigns goes up top, Orton cuts him off.  Superplex for two.  

Stereotypical Randy Orton chinlock.  Reigns counters and goes for a sleeper, but Orton drops him on his back.  Reigns locks in another chokehold.  Orton hits a side suplex for two.  Another headlock from Orton.

Both men trade punches.  Reigns goes into second gear.  He hits a clothesline in the corner.  Running kick from the floor to the apron.  They fight outside and Orton tosses Reigns into the barricade, then rolls him in.  Two-count.

Orton slams Reigns into the announce table, then tosses him into the steps. Orton rolls Reigns back into the ring. Reigns manages to get the advantage, and they go up top.  Orton headbutts out.  Reigns goes back up top and hits an impressive Samoan Drop from the top rope.  He crawls over and makes the cover.  Two-count.

Reigns eyes up Orton and nails him with a Superman punch.  Reigns hits the corner and waits for a spear.  He squares up Orton and makes his move.  Orton wisely turns it into a powerslam out of nowhere.  Nice move.

DDT off the ropes by Orton.  They go back and forth, but Randy hits an RKO out of nowhere!  He goes for the pin, and Roman Reigns kicks out at 2 and a half.  Orton stands over Reigns, then sets him up for the kick to the head.  Reigns ducks out of the way, then hits a running spear out of nowhere!  Roman Reigns gets the win!

Not a bad match, but it didn’t live up the level of expectations I had.  Plus, most of the matches so far have been such high caliber that this one really had to do something truly special.  Good though.  Reigns looked like he belonged, and Orton’s timing was impeccable.

John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Cena is still rocking the two belts, and it’s the scratch logo, so that hasn’t been replaced quite yet. I fully expect this to be a fight.  Can’t wait.  Full intros, a good number of boos for Cena.  

The bell rings and these two are brawling immediately.  Lots of punches.  Lesnar goes for an F5 early on!  He hits it!  Cena kicks out at two!  

Lesnar watches over Cena and Cena sells it.  Cena struggles to his feet.  Lesnar tosses Cena with a German Suplex, half-way across the ring.  Lesnar talks trash, then picks him up and hits him with another German.  My feed crapped out again.  Back in to Lesnar hitting knees.  Snap suplex.  Cena gets another wind and attacks Lesnar.  Lesnar cuts him off and knees him across the ring.

Lesnar locks Cena in a chin lock.  He attacks Cena’s ribs again. Cena tries to push him away.  Cena hasn’t really been on his feet much.  Cena fires back with punches.  Lesnar hits him with a few knees again.  He steps on Cena’s hand, then stomps on it hard.  Lesnar hits a series of German Suplexes on Cena.  Four releasing suplexes.  Cena is laid out.  Lesnar goes for the cover, only gets two.  He rams Cena with a knee to the ribs.  Another German Suplex.  Cena is dazed looking.  Another German Suplex. Cena powers out with some elbows.  He gets some momentum, goes for a pair of clotheslines.  Lesnar counters and sets him for an F5.  Cena powers out and hits the AA!  Lesnar kicks out at two!

Lesnar sits up and starts laughing at Cena.  He beckons Cena to come at him.  Cena is on the mat in the corner.  Cena runs in on him.  Lesnar takes him down and mounts him.  He punches Cena repeatedly in the head.  Cena covers up.  The ref orders him off.  Lesnar tells the ref to “Ask him!”  

Lesnar stalks Cena again and hits German after German after German.  He hits a total of four before releasing Cena.  More Germans.  Lesnar stalks again, Cena out of nowhere hits an STF on Lesnar.  He’s got it on tight.  Lesnar rolls through and starts hammering on Cena in the face.  He loads him up - F5!  Lesnar goes for the pin.  It’s over.  Brock Lesnar has won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

After the match, trainers check on Cena.  Lesnar holds both belts over his shoulders.  He and Heyman walk to the back.  Lesnar stands on the ramp.  The announcers state that Lesnar delivered 16 suplexes to John Cena.  Wow.  Cena is still laid out as the show comes to a close.

A strong main event, and a different kind of match than their last go around.  From a match standpoint, I liked what they did better in Extreme Rules 2012, but I’ll be damned if Lesnar didn’t completely dominate Cena. If they’re looking to build up Lesnar to dominate through Wrestlemania, they have laid a fantastic foundation.

I want to thank everyone for joining me this evening.  Be sure to tune in tomorrow night for our coverage of WWE Raw!  Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for Ring Rap Audio on Wednesday!