Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Russ Morgan
With the countdown well and truly on to next weekend’s Sunday’s SummerSlam PPV, the team turn their attention to the event in this latest Sunday Sermon – discussing the event generally as well as looking at the build-up to the WWE’s hottest ticket of the summer.
Craig: First things first, I’m actually quite looking forward to SummerSlam weekend. A NXT takeover on the Saturday and one of the best annual events on the WWE calendar, next weekend should be pretty exciting.
I don’t mind the four hour aspect and understand why it’s being done. It’s clearly showing that SummerSlam is the summer’s version of WrestleMania, and trying to show it in such a light makes a lot of sense for the company, particularly in relation to Network buys etc.
Now, we’ll obviously predict – and in my case get wrong – the results next Sunday for the event but what’s everyone’s take on the show itself, the format and the card as it is? Already I sound unusually upbeat about things…
Brian: First off, it does have a big event feel to it and the fact it is in New York makes it all the more better. It may be partially my New York bias…but NYC crowds usually hold nothing back and will tell you what sucks and what doesn’t. I know this is a bit off topic…but when was the last time Madison Square Garden had a big event ie a pay per view or a Raw??? It seems like forever…very weird considering that was/is like the WWE’s second home.
Craig: I agree re MSG. I loved the fact that the tenth anniversary WrestleManias were there but it was clear that when the 75k capacity Mercedes-Benz Superdome was chosen for the thirtieth installment that the event had outgrown MSG. Am sure I’ve read about it being expensive to host events at MSG with a small capacity making it difficult for the WWE to really make money from events there.
The inclusion of the celebrity, in Stephen Amell, is quite interesting too. Celebrities are usually reserved for WrestleMania with SummerSlam seen, in some quarters, as the WrestleMania for the purists.
If you look down the card there’s a back story to every match bar, really, the big thrown together tag team title match but we hit upon that in last week’s Sunday Sermon anyway.
Ultimately though, it’s got a bigger feel than most SummerSlams do and a pretty solid, if unspectacular really, card to back it up.
It’s really only a musical guest away from feeling a whole lot like WrestleMania, huh?
Brian: Let’s just hope that doesn’t occur…the musical guest that is. Stephen Amel is enough for one show. As for the show itself….the WWE can build and hype a match better than anyone with all the interviews and video packages they do. Is Brock Lesnar Vs Undertaker realistically going to be any good? Probably not. I know I am being a bit negative…but I have been burned many times by the WWE getting hyped for an event.
Jamie: I’m with Brian here, I’m not getting carried away. I am interested in most matches that have been booked thus far, I’m just not that into any of them. Lesnar vs. Taker doesn’t appeal for some reason. As it stands, one week away from the show’s most hyped match, I really have no preference towards who wins and don’t have particularly high expectations for the match itself. It’s weird because I can’t pick a winner – usually a good thing – but I don’t care.
I’m a little juxtaposed in that what excites me about Summerlsam is also what is turning me off slightly. The Tag and Divas matches are a prime example. These should be really good matches and I’m really looking forward to them, but familiarity can breed contempt. The same performers that wrestle each other on a nightly basis chucked into a multi-person match…… that’s hardly a “revolution”, is it? It’s hardly sustainable either. Add some pillows to the mix and the Divas are back where they were ten years ago.
Good as the match will be, I’ve seen Cena vs. Rollins and I’m pretty sure Seth won’t be winning that cleanly, if at all. I assume Sheamus and Orton will fight, again. Ditto whatever is happening with that IC Title. One positive though; I have never seen Arrow but the difference and actual actor makes to a segment has helped this match considerably in my eyes. I’m actually rooting for this Stephen Amell guy, whoever he is.
Brian: The really good thing about celebrity matches…if there is anything good about them…is the fact that the wrestlers involved will get some mainstream exposure. With that said, I just don’t see the hype for it like when Bam Bam Bigelow took on Lawrence Taylor or even when Jay Leno wrestled a match. I want to really get excited for this show…but it’s just not happening yet.
Craig: The IC title match is the triple threat we never got last month with Ryback defending against The Miz and the Big Show. This match does absolutely nothing for me. As it stands this is the match I am least looking forward to. We discussed the IC title recently but Ryback does nothing for me as champion, or generally truth be told, but nor do Big Show and the Miz. In fact, am more excited by the three team divas match.
One thing that really stands out for me on the SummerSlam card is the number of multi-man, and women, matches there are. With the divas match its unavoidable but when it comes to the tag match and the IC match, but to a lesser extent, it’s due to lazy booking. Why, with Ryback out, didn’t Miz and Big Show battle to become number one contender? Why with the tag matches have we seen endless variations of tag matches involving the teams but with no clear outcome – such as a number one contender again. If WWE want to chuck everyone on the card then have a battle royal, don’t use it as a way to disguise lazy short-sighted booking.
Jamie: I’d actually rather see Ryback vs. The Miz in a singles match for the IC Title. I’d at least be open-minded about that match, but the addition of The Big Show is an immediate turn off for me…. or fast forward, I should say. If they add a “if Big Show loses he retires… for real” stipulation then I certainly would be interested…
Oh, we’ve not mentioned the whole Rusev/Lana storyline thing. Anyone interested in that? I can’t help but feel the ball has been dropped here. Lana was so over a couple months ago, but this angle with her and Ziggler is beyond shit; it’s shit as fuck!
Craig: They’ve now added Cesaro versus Kevin Owens to the card. That’s the show stealer, right? And that’s the match I’m now most excited about.
Brian: Owens Vs Cesaro should be a show stealer indeed. I am sure they’ll do a few segments to kill some time and get the crowd relaxed and take a break…much like the Divas division use to do before their “revolution.” Overall though, I’m still kind of eh with this card. That may be a good thing because the lower the expectations…the more room there is to be pleasantly surprised.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.