LOS ANGELES -- Randy Orton showed he wasn’t only the legend killer, but the dream killer at WWE SummerSlam on Sunday, Aug. 18 at the STAPLES Center.
After the fireworks hit and the confetti showered the area to celebrate Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena for the WWE championship, RKO’s music hit. Triple H, who was the referee for the main event, delivered a Pedigree to Bryan. This gave Orton the opportunity to strike and cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. The pay-per-view closed with Triple H raising the hand of his former Evolution partner in the air.
After the cameras stopped rolling the raucous crowd chanted “No!” with Bryan before he exited the jam-packed arena. The fans also chanted “Bull S***”. Minutes prior Bryan and Cena worked a stellar match.
The same ring work could be said for CM Punk versus Brock Lesnar. The battle between the Best and the Beast delivered one of the most physical WWE battles in recent memory. Paul Heyman constantly got involved throughout the contest. That led to a monumental F5 on the “Best in the World” on a steel chair and the victory for Lesnar. After Lesnar and Heyman left the ring smiling, the fans gave CM Punk a standing ovation.
Another standout match saw Alberto Del Rio successfully defend the World championship against Christian. Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn were successful against Big E Langston and AJ Lee.
Natalya defeated Brie Bella with fellow cast members of E!’s “Total Divas” Nikki Bella, Cameron, Naomi and Eva Marie at ringside. Earlier in the day at SummerSlam Axxess, Nattie and “Extra” TV host Maria Menounos beat Brie Bella and Eva Marie. After Fandango and Summer Rae interrupted SummerSlam host The Miz, JoJo of “Total Divas” sang a stirring rendition of the National Anthem to open SummerSlam.
Bray Wyatt kicked off the SummerSlam action with a win over Kane in the Ring of Fire match. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan managed to get through the flames to help their “family member” win. The group then carried out the Big Red Machine. Sans mustache, Cody Rhodes beat Damien Sandow.
The pre-show featured Rob Van Dam winning by disqualification over United States champion Dean Ambrose.
• Post SummerSlam Jam
The show’s main events exceeded expectations. The crowd at the STAPLES Center was lively throughout the show and really added to the big bouts.
LA was very anti-Cena crowd or pro-Bryan crowd, depending how you look at it.
Christian showed he could still compete on a high level.
Overall it was a solid show.
Lesnar brings another level of violence any time he hits the ring. He doesn’t fight often, but when he does, it counts and means something. He and Punk created a great back-and-forth encounter. Heyman once again showed how much he could add to a match and that there still is a place for managers in WWE. I look forward to the rematch.
Many of the superstars used a variety of submission holds. I’m not sure if this is influenced by mixed martial arts’ surge in popularity, but it adds an extra element of realism.
A lot of people are not happy Bryan lost the WWE championship after winning it, but it may prove interesting in the long run. Many fans have been clamoring for a Randy Orton heel turn. They got it, as well as one from Triple H. Does this mean Evolution is getting the band back together? That remains to be seen, but I’m looking forward to seeing RKO and Bryan matches in the near future.