Sisters really are doing it for themselves: Nikki Bella made what was perhaps the biggest power play of SummerSlam 2014 when she betrayed her own flesh and blood, Brie Bella, and fed her to Stephanie McMahon in their grudge match. As Stephanie allowed Nikki to explain, the reason for the Diva’s total betrayal stemmed from Brie’s supposed “selfishness” throughout their lives, especially in the months since Brie quit to save Daniel Bryan’s title reign. It was a cold-blooded denouncing of the sisters’ lifelong bond. Brie’s last-ditch offer of forgiveness to her sister was met with similar coldness, plus a stinging slap from Nikki to Brie’s cheek.
There isn’t anything in this world that a few hundred pounds of raw power can’t possibly solve. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family found this out to their very great detriment on Raw when they were all but scattered to the four winds by WWE’s newest, biggest tag team of Big Show & Mark Henry.
Proclaiming himself “fire and brimstone,” The World’s Strongest Man started the proceedings and helped power his team to a lengthy advantage in the early goings. The Wyatts found their footing – so to speak – when Harper dropkicked Show through the ropes and the two swamp monsters traded shots on the giant. Rowan scored the biggest hit with a bodyslam to The World’s Largest Athlete, though the big men came up strong in a late-game melee after Rowan was clocked with a KO Punch and sent stumbling into the World’s Strongest Slam for a mighty 1-2-3.
Give Paige credit for backing up her schemes in the ring and taking the Divas Title back from AJ Lee, but the self-professed “Diva of Tomorrow” had a mighty short honeymoon after her second union with the butterfly title. It was Natalya who played killjoy just 24 hours after SummerSlam in a non-title match Paige dedicated to her deposed predecessor. There was an assist from said predecessor that helped The Queen of Harts get one over on the champion, though: AJ came skipping to the ring at a particularly dominant moment from Paige and Natalya pounced with a roll-up for the win. If AJ's wild-eyed address to the titleholder was any indication, though, Paige isn't out of The Black Widow's web just yet.
Having crushed his enemies, seen them driven before him, and heard the lamentation of the Cenation, Brock Lesnar is truly nothing if not a conqueror. And like any conqueror worth his salt, The Beast Incarnate received his crown from none other than The King of Kings himself when Triple H presented Brock with a brand-new WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Following the coronation, it was Paul Heyman – once again the advocate for a reigning, undisputed WWE Champion – who commemorated the crowning of his client with a speech proclaiming nothing less than the death of Hustle, Loyalty, Respect, the Cenation itself, and any prospective challenger to The Beast’s crown.
Who says sequels always end the same? Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental Title rematch with The Miz ended with The Awesome One winning, yet the count-out nature of Miz’s win meant The Showoff continued to sport the vaunted title around his endlessly swiveling waist. Like all the great sequels, it even featured a match-long throwback to the original installment when Ziggler re-aggravated the knee he tweaked the night before, giving Miz an easy target to prepare for the Figure-Four Leglock.
Which, of course, The Awesome One eventually applied. But a pre-match endorsement from Ric Flair seemed to spiritually propel Ziggler to the ropes, though Dolph couldn’t return to the ring in time after Miz bounced him through the cables. Neither man seemed too happy by the ending of the bout, as Miz attacked Ziggler after the match and Dolph reciprocated with a Zig Zag to the fuming former champion. Scene.
The King of Swing is on the upswing. Cesaro reversed his recent misfortunes and Jack Swagger continued his own when the former Real Americans battled once again on Raw and, in a reversal of last week’s result, The Swiss Superman came out on top. Swagger seemed somewhat lost without Zeb Colter at his side and Cesaro gleefully pounced on his former partner, making it a point to target Swagger’s taped-up ribs.
Even though Cesaro found himself trapped in the Patriot Lock, some well-timed chicanery (read: a thumb to the eye) sent Swagger reeling face-first into the Neutralizer. To add insult to injury, Bo Dallas came gallivanting out after the match and recapped Swagger’s laundry list of woes, while offering a faint glimmer of hope that the Real American could reclaim his dignity and the love of his countrymen if he only Bo-lived. Swagger, as one might imagine, did not seem convinced.
This time last year, Randy Orton was sitting pretty as The Authority’s new, personally anointed WWE Champion. Now, though, the former Face of WWE is covered in egg following two demoralizing losses in the span of 24 hours. Orton’s second defeat does have a slight cushion in that The Viper – teamed alongside RybAxel to battle Roman Reigns, Sheamus & Rob Van Dam – did not lose by his lonesome. But the fact that they lost at all still has to sting given the dominant stretch Orton’s squad put together.
Anchored by a mighty effort from Ryback, Orton & Co. held control for the majority of a match until Sheamus’ reversal of Orton’s hanging DDT turned the tide. The bout shifted into a Roman Reigns whomping of Curtis Axel, and interference by The Viper meant to neutralize The Big Dog inadvertently allowed RVD to tag in and pick up where Reigns left off, pouncing with the Five Star Frog Splash after a knock-down brawl among all six competitors.
The Usos are seeing stars: The Tag Team Champions, having asserted their skills over nearly every tandem in their division, were humbled by the cosmic duo of Goldust & Stardust in the first collision between the bizarre brotherhood and the Samoan dynamos. The Usos had their opponents on the ropes for the majority of the match, however, muscling Goldust and then Stardust to the canvas with some surprisingly forceful mat wrestling.
The champions’ decision to veer from their signature high-flying ultimately cost them; Stardust wised up to their ground-and-pound game plan and sunset-flipped his way to the deciding pinfall, stunning the champions in Sin City. Whatever becomes of these two, it’s unlikely Jimmy & Jey will forget their names anytime soon.
Nothing hurts Rusev, only pain. And Mark Henry has a whole Hall full of it that he’d like to introduce the Russian monster to in the very near future. For all the Kremlin crowing Rusev and Lana were prepared to do over their technicality-bolstered victory at SummerSlam, the two-time U.S. Olympic representative stomped to the ring about two syllables in to offer The Fist of Russia a guided tour of The Hall of Pain. He even offered Rusev a preview in the form of a World’s Strongest Slam and running splash that left The Super Athlete wheezing for air and Lana uncharacteristically speechless. That’s what he does.
The WWE Universe did, indeed, decide Dean Ambrose’s fate. Even though their selection of a Falls Count Anywhere Match firmly put Seth Rollins in the unstable one’s home turf, the anything-goes atmosphere ultimately allowed The Authority to make their biggest play yet in removing Ambrose from Rollins’ path.
The decisive maneuver came after a lengthy street-style brawl between the two former Shield members wherein Ambrose bounced Rollins off the stage and The Aerialist chopped away at Ambrose with a Kendo stick before powerbombing him onto a pile of chairs. Ambrose answered with a superplex through a table. Kane, who had been observing at ringside, came in to aid Rollins when things got the most dire, and channeled his inner demon for the occasion. Not only did he help Rollins Curb Stomp Ambrose atop the announce table, he also removed the timekeeper’s desk to expose a hidden pile of cinder blocks through which Rollins drove Ambrose’s skull with a second Curb Stomp that caused the ref to stop the match. Advantage: Authority.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Big Show & Mark Henry defeated The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) (11:37)
- Natalya defeated Paige (1:39)
- The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler (c) by Count Out in a Intercontinental Championship Match (7:15)
- Cesaro defeated Jack Swagger (4:28)
- Roman Reigns, Sheamus, & Rob Van Dam defeated Randy Orton & RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) (11:13)
- Stardust and Goldust defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (5:55)
- Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a No Contest in a Falls Count Anywhere match (20:26)
- Dark match: Chris Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt
Other on-screen talent
Stephanie McMahon addressed Nikki Bella’s actions at SummerSlam
Big Show & Mark Henry vs. The Wyatt Family
Natalya vs. Paige
The Authority presented Brock Lesnar with the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship