by Daniel Johnson
WWE’s Summer WrestleMania, WWE SummerSlam 2014 is just a few days away and some of the marquee matches feature names like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and…Brie Bella?! Since WWE SummerSlam 2013 some wrestlers have rose up the ranks through hard in-ring work and intriguing character development. Others have seemingly been pushed down our throats, but are still high up the card of the Summer spectacular. Regardless of the reason for why they are in the spot that they are one thing holds true, which is that the lineup of this year’s SummerSlam looks noticeably different from last year’s event. Before anyone writes me a nasty e-mail complaining about why I didn’t include this person or that person the criteria for this list includes only using performers who were on the WWE active main roster since last year’s happening. Without any further delay let’s look closer at the 5 biggest jumps up the card from SummerSlam 2013 to SummerSlam 2014!
5. Jack Swagger
In 2013 Jack Swagger returned after a long period of no one caring about him by joining forces with Zeb Colter. Going from a fairly generic bad guy with amateur wrestling credentials to a patriotic heel who looked to take his country back, Swagger had drastically changed his character. He was hot shotted into a match with Alberto Del Rio at WWE WrestleMania XXIX for the World Heavyweight Championship then for whatever reason (aka drugs) the WWE office soured on him. Swagger was left off of the SummerSlam card in 2013 altogether and spent the rest of 2013 helping to keep Antonio Cesaro from getting too hot in The Real Americans tag team. By what looks to be pure coincidence this year WWE has been pushing Russian heel Rusev and his valet, “The Ravishing Russian” Lana like it was still 1985. With Swagger long being “a patriot” he became a de facto face against Rusev. Swagger may still just get fed to Rusev in their flag match at SummerSlam this year. Even at that it would be a tremendous step up from dragging Cesaro down, which is what Swagger was doing last year while not even appearing on the show.
4. Roman Reigns
Believe it or not Roman Reigns and the rest of The Shield were not even on the proper SummerSlam card last year. Instead Reigns just accompanied Dean Ambrose on the WWE Summerslam Kickoff to face Rob Van Dam in a WWE United States Championship bout. After not having a chance to really prove himself as a singles performer on pay-per-view since he has been with the company, this SummerSlam may be Reigns’ chance to shine. Reigns has a one on one encounter scheduled with one of the WWE’s golden boys, Randy Orton. Reigns even has some chance of winning. Aside from the worthwhile pushes each member of The Shield has been getting WWE brass may not be too thrilled with Orton for getting the company bad press (aka an action that oddly enough had nothing to do with drugs).
3. Brie Bella
Let’s get this out of the way. Brie Bella is just not a great wrestler. Don’t get me wrong she has improved tremendously since she first came to WWE last decade. Yet, few really good things can be said about Brie as an in-ring performer. I guess you can say that she had a better run with the WWE Divas Championship than the disastrous one her sister, Nikki Bella had in 2012. Yet, that is not saying much of anything. Brie is a holdover from that long ago time 2007 when in-ring talent had just about nothing to do with what women WWE chose to hire. With all this in mind her match with Stephanie McMahon is being pushed. Hard. Heck, the WWE Monday Night Raw go home show for SummerSlam spent a tremendous amount of time hyping this match that also included a nice little swerve for good measure. This perfomance could very well be placed as the bathroom break match before the John Cena/Brock Lesnar showdown for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Yet, if it is it will be one of the most heavily promoted bathroom breaks in history.
2. Dean Ambrose
As mentioned earlier last year Dean Ambrose was wasted on the pre-show, which people were not happy about. Worse still, Ambrose didn’t even come out on top of his match with RVD instead losing by disqualification. The Shield then ran from Van Dam, The Big Show and Mark Henry (it’s not really worth remembering why Show and Henry were backing RVD). This year Ambrose is scheduled for a marquee bout, which could steal the whole show. True, this will be a lumberjack match, which is kind of ridiculous considering WWE rarely takes lumberjack matches seriously, but still. Ambrose is red hot and without a proper pay-per-view clash between him and Seth Rollins fans have been left hungry for this one.
1. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins was much in the same boat as Ambrose was last year only at least Ambrose was officially wrestling on WWE SummerSlam Kickoff. Rollins just had to sit there alongside Reigns and wait to run away from three guys randomly grouped together probably after one of the WWE creative team said, “Hey can we get these three guys on the card? No? Well, can we get them near the card?” This year Rollins is not only facing Ambrose, but also holds the Money in the Bank briefcase. There are then a few different outcomes for Rollins all of which top what he was doing last year. At worst Rollins will lose to Ambrose then try to cash in on Brock Lesnar or John Cena later in the night and lose again. With that Rollins runs the risk of falling down the card after SummerSlam. More likely Rollins will face Ambrose and win or lose he will wait another day to cash in, which keeps him with plenty of intrigue. A long shot possibility is Rollins will beat Ambrose then cash in and win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. An even longer shot would that this would permanently help him move to the WWE main event scene. Unlikely sure, but no guy accompanying someone for a pre-show match has ever had a chance like that improbable as it might be.
Photos 1-2, 4, 6: en.wikipedia.org
Photos 3, 5: Daniel Johnson / Johnsontranscript.com
Categories: Wrestling Lists