SummerSlam Will Indeed be a Four Hour Show

WWE has confirmed the speculation, announcing that this year’s SummerSlam will be a four hour show. The event will now start at 7pm ET on Sunday, August 23rd.

Right now, the card only has one official match, which is the Brock Lesnar – Undertaker rematch. We can expect the card to start filling out on tonight’s Raw, with John Cena v. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Kevin Owens v. Cesaro and a Dolph Ziggler & Lana v. Rusev & Summer Rae mixed tag match as likely additions.

WWE Chooses to Ignore Kane’s Injury at the Hands of Brock Lesnar in Undertaker Revenge Storyline

After the Undertaker reappeared during the main event of Battleground to cost Brock Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the reasoning seemed obvious: Taker was seeking revenge on Lesnar for destroying his kayfabe brother Kane’s ankle just six nights earlier on Raw and it reignited his anger over Lesnar ending his WrestleMania streak.

But on this week’s Raw, it became clear that WWE wanted to strip away as much logic as they could from this angle.

The Undertaker opened the show by explaining that he had indeed come for vengeance. However, his brother had nothing to do with it. In fact, Kane wasn’t mentioned at all. Taker came back to avenge his streak, which ended nearly a year-and-a-half ago. Taker could have also sought his vengeance at WrestleMania 31 in Santa Clara, when both he and Lesnar were in the same building. He could have even cost Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that night, since he was defending the title against Roman Reigns.

But Undertaker didn’t do that. He waited. And apparently does not care about his brother Kane at all.

Sure, it’s wrestling and the storylines iron themselves out. The multiple pull-apart brawl from last night’s show certainly helped invigorate this feud and make it seem a lot more personal. But there is no reason not to include Kane in this storytelling.

For one, it solidifies Undertaker’s hatred for this man, Brock Lesnar. Without anger over Lesnar cheap-shotting Kane and severely injuring him, Taker comes off like a sore-loser who has been sitting at home for 16 months stewing over a loss. That’s not even bringing up the fact that WWE has conveniently glossed over Taker’s match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 31, which did little to help the Eater of Worlds.

Also, making Kane a big part of this story would do wonders for the Big Red Machine, who could come back as babyface, complete with the mask as so many fans desire.

WWE chose not to go that route, again brushing away whatever previous storytelling it no longer needed. What makes it so much of a head-scratcher is that there isn’t a logical reason. Maybe WWE thinks that Taker seeking vengeance for Kane would make Lesnar seem like too much of a bad guy? Not mentioning it at all, though, makes Taker seem like a whiny heel.

Either way, it’ll all get smoothed over in the weeks leading up to the main event of SummerSlam. And WWE could still add Kane to the mix. But for now, it seems like a wasted opportunity and another example of fly-by-night booking.

Brock Lesnar v. Undertaker Announced as Main Event of SummerSlam

Monday’s episode of Raw opened with the Undertaker cutting a promo discussing his motivation for interfering in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Battleground, costing Brock Lesnar to the title. While it would make much more sense for Taker to be seeking revenge on Lesnar for destroying Taker’s kayfabe brother Kane’s ankle on last week’s Raw, the Dead Man is actually seeking vengeance for Lesnar ending the streak at WrestleMania over a year and a half ago.

Even though the two were in the same building at WrestleMania 31.

Either way, Triple H announced that the Undertaker will get his rematch against Lesnar at SummerSlam and it will be the main event.

Sorry, Seth Rollins.

Eight Matches Official for WWE SummerSlam

Several new matches were added to the SummerSlam card over the last few days, bringing the match count for WWE’s second-biggest show of the year to eight. Here’s the current lineup, which shakes out almost exactly as I expected.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Brock Lesnar v. John Cena

Roman Reigns v. Randy Orton

Brie Bella v. Stephanie McMahon

Chris Jericho v. Bray Wyatt

Flag Match
Jack Swagger v. Rusev

Dean Ambrose v. Seth Rollins
(Stipulation to be announced)

Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee v. Paige

Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler v. The Miz

Re-evaluating the Potential SummerSlam Card: Orton v. Reigns, Brie v. Steph, AJ v. Paige

A1K_jz2KuNL._SL1500_Yesterday I wrote about the SummerSlam card starting to take shape and following Monday’s episode of Raw the picture is becoming even more clear. With that sharpening view comes an addendum to the potential card, with a Brie Bella v. Stephanie McMahon match looking obvious and Roman Reigns liking battling Randy Orton instead of Triple H. Below is my potential SummerSlam card, version two.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Brock Lesnar v. John Cena


WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler v. The Miz

This match isn’t as obvious now that the two squared off on Raw, but with Dolph winning clean it sets up a title match down the road.

Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose

Not as sure about the cage match stipulation today but it seems like these two need some kind of stip to settle the score.

Randy Orton v. Roman Reigns

Originally I predicted Triple H v. Reigns but after Reigns attacked Orton when Triple H was about to name him as John Cena’s SummerSlam challenger, we’re looking at Orton v. Reigns.

Chris Jericho v. Bray Wyatt

Divas Championship Match
Paige v. AJ Lee

After Paige attacked AJ and turned heel, this feud has new life.

Stephanie McMahon v. Brie Bella

After Stephanie slapped Brie and was subsequently arrested, this match is all but a lock. We’ll probably get the added stipulation of Brie being re-hired if she wins.

Brock Lesnar v. John Cena WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match Official for SummerSlam

“Plan C” was revealed to be Brock Lesnar, who will challenge John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, as has been rumored. Randy Orton was seemingly Triple H’s first choice but Roman Reigns wasn’t having it, brawling with the Viper while Triple H stood in the ring befuddled. That brought out Paul Heyman, who introduced “Plan C,” leading Lesnar to the ring where both men shook hands with the COO, sealing the deal.

Heyman then cut one of the best promos we’ve seen in a long time, much of which is in the above video.

WWE Announces Star-Studded SummerSlam Panel Series

WWE has announced the roster of superstars and legends that will be appearing at its SummerSlam Panel series this year in Los Angeles. The series will feature four panels including a roundtable-type interview and Q&A session. There is an additional VIP experience for those ticker holders, which includes a photo on-stage with the panel guests. Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin are among the featured guests.

The dates and panels are below, via

SummerSlam Panel Dates & Times
Friday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan

Saturday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
“WWE 2K15” Roster Reveal with John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Sheamus, Cesaro and Roman Reigns*
VIP Ticket holders will receive their photo opportunity with Roman Reigns for this SummerSlam Panel

Saturday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
D-Generation X (WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels & Triple H)

Sunday, Aug. 17, 12 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
*VIP Talent

Tickets start at $50 for balcony seating, with VIP floor tickets going for $200.

Potential SummerSlam Card Already Taking Shape

A1K_jz2KuNL._SL1500_We’re 27 days from SummerSlam, WWE’s second-biggest show of the year, and coincidentally right around the time that a lot of WWE Network subscriptions are coming to an end. That would lead a wise wrestling fan to think that WWE will be giving its all to make this show something special. After last night’s Battleground and thanks to wrestling “newz” sites, the card is already starting to take shape. Below are my early predictions for what the SummerSlam card could look like.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Brock Lesnar v. John Cena

This has been rumored for a while following the leak of the SummerSlam poster which showed these two on the marquee. It also makes sense since Paul Heyman tweeted last night that he was headed to pick up “Plan C.”

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler v. The Miz

Since The Miz won the battle royal to become Intercontinental Champion by hiding outside the ring for most of the match then dumping an unsuspecting Dolph over the top rope, it makes sense to have these two square off next month.

Steel Cage Match
Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose

Hat tip to Chris Miles for this one. Rollins v. Ambrose has to happen at some point and his suggestion that it be in a steel cage makes too much sense.

Triple H v. Roman Reigns

This one has also been rumored for a while. They would need to hurry to set this up in storyline, but WWE has been known to squeeze a quick feud out when it needs to.

Chris Jericho v. Bray Wyatt

Jericho got the surprising win over Wyatt last night and it doesn’t make sense to end the feud so quickly.

Randy Orton v. Kane

These two were supposed to be allies heading into the Fatal 4-Way match last night but that, of course, didn’t happen. I’m less confident about this happening since it would depend on Triple H wrestling Roman Reigns. If that match doesn’t happen, Orton v. Reigns would be the logical next option.

Ringside Rewind: Triple H v. The Rock, Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match, SummerSlam ’98

Instead of watching another going-through-the-motions episode of Raw, I sifted through the DVD collection and chose SummerSlam 1998 for my viewing pleasure. Emanating from Madison Square Garden, the card was highlighted by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defending the WWF Championship against The Undertaker, Jeff Jarrett v. X-Pac in a Hair v. Hair match, The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind in a No DQ Handicap match for the Tag Team titles, Ken Shamrock v. Owen Hart in a Lion’s Den match, and Triple H challenging The Rock for the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match.

This was a time when then-WWF really cared about the undercard, which is what made the entire product so much stronger. When I long for the days of the Attitude Era, it’s not the “attitude” or the scantily clad women that I miss; it’s the quality of the roster. The New Age Outlaws were more over then than Alberto Del Rio could even dream of being, for example. WWF put time into creating valuable and compelling storylines for everyone from the bottom of the card to the top, which gave you more of a reason to tune in than, “Hey, this one match might be good.”

But I digress.

The Rock and Triple H were feuding over the Intercontinental Title in 1998 as well as jostling to see who would be the next man up to the main event scene, which made their matches and promos against each other great.

WWE brass discuss “disappointing” SummerSlam, future TV deals on conference call

vkmVince McMahon and other WWE senior management hosted a conference call earlier today discussing the company’s third quarter report. has all the highlights of the call but some notable things stuck out to me.

McMahon said he was disappointed with the SummerSlam buyrate and video game sales, noting that people didn’t “buy the attraction” of the SummerSlam pay-per-view. This touches on a larger point; WWE doesn’t really try to differentiate their PPVs like in the past. Aside from the aesthetics being the same each month, there are few events which have a signature element. Royal Rumble has the Rumble match, Money in the Bank has the two ladder matches and WrestleMania is the big show. Hell in a Cell has lost a lot of its appeal thanks to the matches being basically regular matches in a cage and events like TLC and Extreme Rules have lost their luster thanks to WWE making their product more family friendly.

Also discussed were WWE’s television contracts. The company’s US and UK deals are coming up. CFO George Barrios said there is an exclusive negotiating window with current partners which expires on January 1 and then WWE can shop it to other bidders, with the goal of having everything resolved by April 2014. Judging from the Forbes SportsMoney discussion I posted yesterday about how valuable WWE is to NBC Universal, I can’t see them going anywhere else. A lot will depend on the future of the WWE Network, though.