latest DVD release, SummerSlam 2015, is a pleasantly mixed bag
featuring some great action and historic matches. A light helping of
celebrity involvement gives the show a big event feel and some
incredible marquee matches establish this as second only to WrestleMania
in terms of must-see shows of the year.
more than makes up for the fairly mediocre way he opened the show when
he interjects himself into John Cena's match with Seth Rollins later on.
To be fair, the opening wasn't all that bad, it just seemed a little
clunky and overly long. The addition of Mick Foley to the segment was a
welcome and logical way to bring it home and get the show started. Randy
Orton vs Sheamus is a match I feel like I've seen too many times in the
last five years and the various unrelated chants from the crowd
throughout this tells me that much of the audience feels the same way.
The match is fine, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. New Day's
pre-match promo and continued antics throughout their fatal four way
with Lucha Dragons, Prime Time Players and Los Matadores make them one
of the more fun and entertaining aspects of the show. The fatal four way
itself is really good in terms of fast, excellent action and features a
variety of styles, so this is one of the bouts which make this a show
that is worth revisiting. All four teams make a really good showing of
themselves here and the action and execution bring the previously
distracted crowd squarely on board for the rest of the show to come.
Dolph Ziggler and Rusev put in a good effort, making up for the silly
booking of their rivalry with some great in-ring work. The ringside
antics of Lana and Summer Rae are superfluous and unneccesary, while the
lack of a satisfying ending hardly makes this one for the ages.
Regardless it is a watchable and not entirely throw-away segment. Next
up, Neville and guest star Stephen Amell (TV's Arrow, just in case you
didn't know) take on Wade Barrett and Stardust. Cody Rhodes is
absolutely impeccable as the twisted supervillain character he portrays
and thankfully, this is one of the instances of celebrity involvement in
wrestling that works well for everyone involved and doesn't come across
as too contrived or unnatural. It is a good fit, not just because of
the Superhero stylings, but also because Amell is both athletic and a
wrestling fan, meaning that he understands it more than most celebrity
guests. He is not really awkward or unbelievable in the ring and he
certainly put in some work to pull his weight in there, which is great
to see. The performances of Neville, Barrett and Rhodes are all
outstanding as always too, so this is definitely another strong reason I
recommend the DVD, as this is one you will want to revisit. Ryback's
Intercontinental title match with Big Show and The Miz is a fair effort
from the three, although it is in absolutely no danger of stealing the
show at any point. The tag match which follows it pitting Bray Wyatt and
Luke Harper against Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns is heated, exciting
and dramatic, making this another favourite on a very decent card.
Rollins vs John Cena, with both the United States and World Heavyweight
Championships on the line, is testament to the unquestionable talent of
Rollins and to the fact that Cena has really stepped up his game over
the last year or so. Genuinely enjoyable throughout, this is a fantastic
match which checks all the boxes to make it memorable and a definite
keeper. Even people who can't stand John Cena (which usually includes
myself) can't deny that this is a great match. The Divas match on
SummerSlam is one of the first installments of the 'Divas Revolution'
and features the three competing factions of Teams Bella, BAD and PCB.
Whatever criticisms there may be regarding the success of the Divas
Revolution, the action here is strong and serves as a far superior
offering to the rushed filler that has traditionally consituted the
women's contributions. Meanwhile, Cesaro vs Kevin Owens is a superb
blend of power, technicality and brutality, with a sprinkling of
high-flying thrown in for good measure. These guys are just excellent at
everything they do and this is definitely one to watch. Lastly, the
main event for the show, Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker, is an epic
installment which any fan of both or either performer will want in their
collection. The rematch from their infamous WrestleMania 30 bout starts
intensely and is explosive throughout. Hard hitting, suspenseful and
generally gratifying, this is an excellent main event.
SummerSlam lives up to the hype of being WWE's second biggest show of
the year in a year that included a very strong WrestleMania. The
Cena/Rollins and Lesnar/Undertaker bouts alone make this worth owning,
but the rest of the card makes this a complete package which will no
doubt stand the test of time. Highly recommended.