WWE strikes again with controversial endings and captivating action, as they delivered with a packed card for the 26th annual SummerSlam event. Fans witnessed a "Ring of Fire" match, and a WWE Championship match where...NEITHER participant walked out with the title.
The main event featured a WWE Championship Match between John Cena and Daniel Bryan. There was a big spotlight on this match, because Triple H was the special referee for this match. With all the drama surrounding Triple H, and the McMahon family's split feelings towards Bryan, many fans were shocked to see that he actually called the match straight down the middle. Another interesting note was Cena was competing with a taped up elbow, as he had fluid built up in his elbow the size of a baseball.
For 30 minutes, Cena and Bryan beat and bashed each other all over the ring. The last half of the match saw a large number of finishers and reversals to each, and fans cheering and screaming throughout. Towards the end of the match, they started trading punches and straight open-faced slaps. The exchange ended with Bryan drilling Cena in the face with a running front kick. He covered Cena and the crowd came alive as he was announced as the brand new WWE Champion. Confetti exploded throughout the arena, fans cheered as Bryan had finally realized the dream of becoming WWE Champion.
But his celebration would be short-lived. The familiar sounds of Randy Orton's theme blared suddenly blared through the arena, as Orton walked to the ring with his Money In The Briefcase in hand. He stopped short of the ring and held it high above his head, evidently as a warning that Bryan's new title reign was already in jeopardy. He turned to walk away when the unthinkable happened.
Triple H, who had been unbiased throughout the night, spun Bryan around and floored him with a thunderous Pedigree. The fans looked on in disbelief as Orton walked back to the ring and handed his former Evolution teammate the briefcase. Orton then covered Bryan and just as quickly as Cena had lost the title, The Viper strikes for his seventh WWE Championship reign. It was a jaw-dropping end to what had been a really solid SummerSlam pay per view.
Another high-profile match saw Brock Lesnar get a surprising win over CM Punk. This one didn't come without a little controversy of its own, as Paul Heyman made his presence felt throughout the match.
This was not expected to be a technical classic, as the bad blood between these two started spewing early. Punk and Lesnar battered and bruised one another in and out of the ring, leaving a trail of damage in the process. A steel chair got involved a few times, as both men felt its wrath. Heyman tried to use the chair himself, but ended up in the Anaconda Vice for his efforts.
But Punk forgot about Lesnar during this, who picked up the chair and slammed it hard into his arm. He used it again across Punk's back, and picked him up for a vicious F-5 through the chair. Lesnar was able to make the cover and get a huge win over the man widely recognized as "the best in the world."
In other action at SummerSlam, here are the full results:
- PRE-SHOW MATCH: Dean Ambrose defeated Rob Van Dam by DQ to retain the United States Title.
- RING OF FIRE MATCH: Bray Wyatt def. Kane
- Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow
- WORLD TITLE MATCH: Alberto Del Rio def. Christian by submission to retain
- Natalya Neidhart def. Brie Bella by submission
- NO DQ MATCH: Brock Lesnar def. CM Punk
- MIXED TAG MATCH: Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn def. AJ Lee & Big E. Langston
- WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: Daniel Bryan def. John Cena to become champion (Triple H as special referee)
- WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: Randy Orton cashed in his MITB briefcase and pinned Daniel Bryan to become champion